Insights and opinions from our contributors on the current issues happening in the region

insight 50


more articles...

What do YOUTHink?

Condoms a dead man walking

Manganese, Copper… and other questions

Movie making from Waray’s olden history should begin now

Electric Vehicles will end Climate Change

How could the 'Maguindanao massacre' been allowed to happen?

OB listing by the military in Northern Samar exposed

Message of MGen. Arthur I. Tabaquero during the signing of Manifesto Against Violence

MGen. Arthur Tabaquero’s response to the open letter of Atty. Kathrina Castillo

Press Statement of the City Government of Catbalogan on cityhood issue




What’s wrong with sex education in schools?

Abraham LleraBy ABRAHAM V. LLERA,
June 8, 2010

"I will not at all be surprised if the kids are told that the sex drive is a basic human instinct which is better given release than restrained..."

Even an occasional shepherd of the flock is all for the teaching in schools of sex education to kids, so what’s wrong with DepEd’s plan to teach sex education in Philippine high schools?

Well, everything, if we are to believe Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family.

The Council, instituted by John Paul II with the Motu Proprio Familia a Deo Instituta in 1981, is responsible for the promotion of the pastoral ministry and apostolate to the family, including sex education, demographics, contraception and abortion; sterilization, ethical and pastoral problems related to AIDS and other problems of bioethics; legislation regarding marriage, the family, family policies and the protection of human life.  In other words, the Council has jurisdiction over all questions pertaining to the burning issues of the day: contraception, the RH bill, condoms, and, yes, sex education in schools.

On December 8, 1995 at the Vatican, The Council came out with a document called “The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family.”  In it, the Council spelled out the principles underlying its teachings; the principles that define the limits of information about sexuality; and the practical guidelines on how the instruction must take shape, among others.

In a series of articles beginning with this one I will try to show how the teachings of the Pontifical Council for the Family differs from that of DepEd’s, or that of an occasional shepherd of the flock.

First, the Council teaches that “human love is something of the body and the spirit in the unity of the person.” Judging from the contents of the usual high school science books, the content of talks given to high school kids by POGS and Popcom, what I’ve read about the venom spread by Alfred Kinsey, and the vehement opposition of the Church, I conclude that the sex education materials DepEd insists on must be heavy with emphasis on the body, but devoid of the spirit.

I suspect it will be more or less like the seminars given to government health workers where the participants are given plastic or wooden dicks to use when demonstrating how to put on condoms.  I will not even be surprised to find graphic illustrations of the sexual act, and how contraceptives will be effective in avoiding pregnancies. I will not at all be surprised if the kids are told that the sex drive is a basic human instinct which is better given release than restrained, or perhaps that masturbation is a normal human reaction to the sexual drive which harms no one. Some instructors might even ad lib that homosexual acts or even pornography are acceptable.

I will be very surprised if the sessions mention even a little about how sex is a sacred act created by God for a specific purpose, that of raising “godly offspring.”  Indeed Malachi 2:15 couldn’t be clearer:  “Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.”  I bet a month’s salary the sessions will never say anything about man’s immense dignity; in fact, I bet the sessions will picture man as not any different from dogs in heat.

In a Facebook forum, I had the chance to engage a Cebuana government health worker – who prides herself in being a Sto. Nino devotee – in a lengthy discussion.  Our little exchange, of which the section below is but a little part, is a revelation.  Following is the text, verbatim.  I hold the infernal DOH responsible for this affront to God.

“I am a catholic, but I am also a health care practitioner. I believe that with the right sex education we can help stop the rise of AIDS, unwanted pregnancies and STIs.  We have this on our lecture. Yes we also believe in abstinence, but with the current situation we have, it is simply not always applicable. We cannot control our human urges, let alone our hormones. We crave, we are humans. That is why we have to be practical in a way that we are also protecting ourselves.

“Contraception is not abortion. It only stops the sperm from reaching the egg but NOT to kill a human being since there is no formation of an embryo/zygote. We have to understand that not all women are applicable for the natural contraception like the rhythm, basal body temperature. There are women who have an irregular menstruation. How can a woman use natural birth control if she has an irregular menstruation?

“In our lecture we had ABC:


B-e faithful


D-o it yourself

E-njoy it!

“It’s not a sin to prevent conception but it is a sin to kill a formed child.  If the sperm does not reach the ovum there is no fertilization, no baby, no death.  It is not a sin to have sex, but it is incorrect to have a lot of kids but you don’t have any money to raise them. Where will you place them? How will you feed them? Can you send them all to school?  That’s why our country is getting poorer and poorer. In this times, even a couple who earns an average income has a hard time raising 2 kids how much more for a couple who earns below the average income and raising 5-10 kids?”

To be continued…





Abusing religion


June 1, 2010

WE are already familiar with the problem of secularization. That’s when God is set aside not only in society – as in business and politics – but also in one’s personal life. This is the anomaly besetting many developed Western countries that are entering what is known as post-Christian or post-religion era.

That means religion is already considered as passé and obsolete. Any mention of God is likely met with a laugh, a derision if not an open hostility. In these places, men are convinced there’s no other source of light, wisdom and guidance than their own selves, their own ideas and devices.

Under this category, we can cite isms like atheism, agnosticism, relativism, skepticism, deism, etc.

But another anomaly can also be found in the other end, precisely happening in places known for religious zeal. Our country falls largely under this classification. Here, religion tends to be abused and exploited. In the end, religion is used to deform, emasculate and even kill religion itself.

This happens when religion is detached from a living relationship with God, with his Church, his doctrine and sacraments, and personal struggle. It is driven more by one’s ideas and efforts. Faith becomes mere philosophizing and theologizing, full of form without substance.

Spiritual life freezes into mere external appearances, reduced to a lifeless set of pietistic practices. Sanctity deteriorates into sanctimony. Hypocrisy, calculation, pretension, treachery abound. There’s bigotry instead of broad-mindedness, rigidity and intolerance instead of respect for freedom and variety.

This irregularity has many faces. To mention a few, we can cite religious fanaticism and bitter zeal, fundamentalism, clericalism, superstitious beliefs and practices, simony or commercialization of sacred things, pietism and quietism, fideism and a string of other heresies.

I suppose we can cite our Lord’s own experience at the hands of those who crucified him as the extreme form of religious abuse. Imagine, they were convinced they were doing it out of a keen sense of religious duty itself.

Our Lord himself said: “The hour comes when whoever kills you will think that he does a service to God.” (Jn 16,2) This is the ultimate in religious abuse.

One can readily suspect religion is abused when all those calls for goodness and holiness are full of sound and fury and bombast, but lacking in charity, patience, mercy, humility, meekness, etc. It drips with self-righteousness, ever eager to flaunt itself and have its authority felt.

There is clear bias and prejudice in the understanding and application of the doctrine. Unfair and discriminatory selectiveness marks the study and practice of the faith.

A holistic approach to religion and freedom of consciences are often compromised in the pursuit of holiness. There’s an absence of balance and openness. Even the elementary norms of naturalness are violated.

Of course, religion will always involve a specific way of life, marked even by a special charism. But it’s a uniqueness that does not annul religion’s universal and common end, but rather enriches it in an original way.

In abuse of religion, coercion is subtly made and can lead to brainwashing and to manipulative isolation of people from others. People are made to do religious practices without fully understanding them.

They do these practices more out of fear than of love, more for some ulterior motives than out of a sincere desire to know, love and serve God and others.

The virtues are pursued mechanically, not organically in the sense that they are vitally motivated by charity as they ought to be. Sincerity, for example, can be understood as simply telling the truth, the whole truth, but without any mention about charity, prudence and discretion. Truth is divorced from charity.

When religion is abused, prayer turns into a soliloquy rather than a loving dialogue with God. Love for sacrifice does not spring from the spirit, but is merely a put-on.

When religion is abused, priesthood is less an office for a total holocaust of self-giving, and more an occasion for privileges. The scandals that black-eyed the Church these past years involving some clerics arise from this disorder.

We need to be wary of these tendencies and possibilities that are open to all of us. We can even fall into them without noticing it, since the decline to religious abuse can mimic the process of osmosis.

We have to ask our Lady to teach us how to truly deal with God without being deluded by the wily ways of religious abuse. Like her, we need to be always simple and humble to be able to stick to what is authentic religion.





Can the 8ID now build roads inside Basey’s Settlement area?

May 31, 2010

Ramon “Rams” Viojan Lancanan, son of Basey, Samar ex-mayor Pedro Lancanan, sent in the full text of his thanks and appreciation to all Basaynons, for their having reelected him as their number one  member of the sangguniang bayan.

“Maupay nga adlaw sangkay ug haimo minahal nga pamilya.

“Natapos na an eleksyon, an imo botos ug kinasing-kasing nga pagsuporta ha akon nagbunga hin kaupayan – an akon kandidatura pagka-konsehal nagminalamposon. Ha ngaran han ako pamilya, nagpapa-salamat ako haimo, imo pamilya, mga urupod, ug kasangkayan han bulig nga iyo ginhatag.

“Ako an iyo boses ha konseho. Waray makakatupong nga materyal nga butang han imo bulig ha akon, kundi an akon maihahatag haimo an maupay nga pagtrabaho ug matangkod nga pagserbisyo ha konseho Basay. Uopayon ko pa an akon pagtrabaho ngan pagpangita pama-agi para mapa-upay an kahimtang han haton Bungto ug igkasi Basaynon.

“Maglipay kita sangkay kay ini nga eleksyon nga bag-o la naglabay, KAMO AN NAGDA-OG. An iyo ungara an natuman.

“Inu-otro ko, SALAMAT hin madamu han iyo bulig.”

 + + + + + + + + + +

Basey needs serious government attention for more or less 10,000 hectares of its lands that President Marcos’ Proclamation 2292 converted into a Settlement area on May 21, 1983.   These lands first needs hard road surfaces that can withstand rains, carabao sleds and 4 to 10-wheeler vehicles, but first, for now, roads must be constructed to force every sensible government official to understand why the Settlement area should now receive all the development interventions that it needs from, first and foremost, the national and provincial governments.

In the meantime, the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, and its field units, may want to spearhead the road building.  As the military moves in, it may bring in medical and dental services and give free medicines to the people that spell out life in the ten barrios that either border or are found right inside the Settlement area.  Yes, that the military can do, even if there is truth to its claim that the whole of Basey is already nearing the stage of being cleared of communist insurgents.  There is more reason for the military to do that – as in fact it should to every town that it “saves” from communist insurgency.  The military must sustain the “gains” it made, such as making a locality “safe” from movements and activities of members of the New People’s Army, the Communist Party of the Philippines, the National Democratic Front, and all their allies and front organizations.  Sustaining that gain would mean ensuring that people in the locality, every citizen, every government official and every public servant can freely move, without fear and without threat from any anti-military individual or unit, to introduce, initiate and sustain development activities.  But that can only be made possible through roads that will connect the villages that are isolated by a series of hills, mountains, rivers and creeks.  The roads will make sense.

The local government unit of Basey, through assistance from the Asian Development Bank, started building a “circumferential road” that partly links short distances on the southern border of the Settlement.  That road, though has never been contemplated to be a part of any support service intended for the thousands of lands and supposed agrarian reform beneficiaries inside the Settlement area.

The Settlement needs other roads, that may include the distances between Villa Aurora and Baloog, Baloog and Manlilinab, Manlilinab and Mabini, Villa Aurora and Cancaiyas, Cancaiyas and Cogon, sitio Rizal (of Bulao) and sitio Lanaga (of Cancaiyas), sitio Rizal and Manlilinab, sitio Roño (of Old San Agustin) and sitio Burabod (of Mabini), Villa Aurora and sitio Ogbok (abandoned due to NPA and military operations) to Mount Kalubiganan through Mount Tagpuro Daku via Palas,  Baloog to its sitio Talandawan, Manlilinab to its abandoned sitios, and Cogon to its sitio Guinpongdoan.  A road from Villa Aurora to Baloog via Palas-Tagpuro Daku can make Baloog directly connected to the poblacion of Basey.  Right now, Baloog is isolated from Basey.  Today, Baloog can be travelled to only through a broken road from barrio Magsaysay of Sta. Rita town – which is an insult to the people of Basey.

The 8ID of the Philippine Army has been known also for its road construction projects, except that it has not yet built even a meter long of a road inside the Settlement area.  It must be remembered, during a commitment forum held early in 2007 in Basey’s downtown section it was asked to commit its engineering battalion for these road building needs.  It did commit some assistance but which assistance did not materialize between that time and lately because certain forms of civil government action was never pursued.

It was fine to note that the military, through the 63rd Infantry (Innovator) Battalion, based in Opong, Catubig, Northern Samar and the 803rd Infantry Brigade extended last March 17 medical and dental consultations to the towns of San Roque and Catubig, serving a total of 1,454 children, adults and elderly people – 747 of them from San Roque (with 147 treated of their dental problems) and from 707 Catubig (with 168 free tooth extractions).  The MEDCAP was an initiative of the national government through the People’s Government Mobile Action (PAGCOR PGMA).  The 63IB also held a pulong-pulong in Jangtud, Palapag, Northern Samar five days earlier than the MEDCAP but much later after the army discovered a rebels’ camp near the town and recovered firearms.  Note though that 12 days after the Opong MEDCAP, the 63IB, with the help of former rebel “Nick”, recovered from two camps in McKinley of Catarman, Northern Samar, various ammunitions and materials used by the NPA.

Similar such events took place in Basey, but the answer to the people’s number one need – interlinking, access and penetration roads – remains elusive.





Can we have an elected President sitting after Arroyo?

May 28, 2010

Let’s all pray that the Senate and House of Representatives in joint session will be able to speed up the canvass of election returns so that they can jointly proclaim the winning Philippine President and Vice-President before June 19, 2010, and that this can be done notwithstanding the mounting complaints of election irregularities.

Let’s all pray at the same time that all election irregularities – including the high-tech use form of cheating with the use of much advanced technology that reportedly tampered with the results captured in the PCOS machines and CFCs – can be resolved with finality, sans the usual technicalities and other attempts to conceal the truths about cheating.

The only big problem hanging as of yesterday was that there were more than 250 million votes counted by the machines as reaching the Senate and the House even before canvassing could start.  More than 200 million votes were padded in, that is, if the little over 51 million registered voters were encrypted as the correct voting population for May 10.

If things of complication and intricacy continue to prevail until the end of June, 2010, President Gloria Arroyo may not remain as Chief Executive, because she already was proclaimed winner as congresswoman in her district.  Most likely, incumbent VP Noli de Castro may be able to sit as president, unless he gives way to incumbent president Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who, however, may not likely sit, etcetera, until the Arroyo-appointed chief justice can sit as transition president for an unthinkable period of time.   We may not have an elected president. These, the legislators should guard against now.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Based on results tabulated, Samar province went for a Noynoy-Jojo or Aquino-Binay ticket in the last presidential and vice-presidential elections.

Liberal Party’s presidential bet Noynoy Aquino garnered the most number of votes in Samar province, with 122,195 votes to his credit, while Erap Estrada of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino received only 85,985 from 346,987 votes counted.  Third placer was Manny Villar of Nationalist People’s Coalition, with 71,105; fourth - Lakas Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino-Christian Muslim Democrats Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr., with 16,768; fifth - Bangon Pilipinas Eduardo C. Villanueva, 9,005; sixth - Vetellano S. Acosta of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan - 2,137; Richard Gordon of Bagumbayan-VNP - 1,058, Jess Nicanor P. Perlas (Independent) - 642, Jamby A. Madrigal (Independent) - 453; and John Carlos G. De los Reyes of Ang Kapatiran Party - 408.

Vice-presidential candidate Jejomar Binay of Partido Demokratiko Lakas ng Bayan obtained 115,887 votes to place number one among eight contenders for the same position.  Following him was LP’s Manuel Mar A. Roxas with 96,212.  Next were Loren B. Legarda of Nationalist People’s Coalition with 54,408, Eduardo B. Manzano of Lakas-CMD - 5,775, Bagumbayan’s Bayani F. Fernando - 5,094, Bangon’s Perfecto R. Yasay - 2,988, KBL’s Jose Y. Sonza - 747, and Kapatiran’s Dominador F. Chipeco Jr. - 524.

If figures won’t change, incumbent Sta. Rita, Samar mayor Lisandro Kim G. Adolfo of Lakas  Kabalikat won by a landslide over ex-mayor Beatriz B. Tiopes of the Liberal Party.  In that same town, Gaudencio T. Espino Jr., seized more votes than did ex-mayor Silverio L. Macariola of the LP.

Adolfo got 7,999 or 47.51 per cent of the 17,464 votes cast last May 10, while Tiopes received only 4,919 or 29.22%.  The third candidate for mayor in Sta. Rita, Joven P. Tiu of the Nacionalista Party, garnered only 3,917 or less than 6% than Tiopes’.

In the vice-mayoral race, Espino obtained 7,035 (47.10%) as against the 5,199 of Macariola and the 2,702 of NP’s Gilbert L. Tugado.

By comparison, Adolfo’s votes were higher by 857 than the 7,142 amassed by Basey’s mayor-elect attorney Igmedio Ponferrada of LP, while Espino’s were higher by 44 than Basey’s vice-mayor-elect Raul Sendic B. Bajas who got 7,011.  Basey had 20,662 votes cast, but these were divided among 4 candidates each for mayor and vice-mayor.

It’s titillating to note that while the LP won in Basey, Lakas got Sta. Rita.

However, in the top national elections, while LP’s Aquino took 7,334 votes to win over next opponent Erap Estrada of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino who got only 6,205 or Manny Villar who managed only 3,857 in Basey, the results in Sta. Rita showed differently.  Erap won with 5,550 votes as against the 4,700 of Noynoy, while Manny took the third place with 2,930.   For the VP race, Jejomar Binay of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan registered the highest number of votes in both towns - 8,128 in Basey and 7,933 in Sta. Rita.  In contrast, rival Mar Roxas of LP got only 5,827 in Basey and only 2,768 in Sta. Rita.  Third placer VP bet Loren B. Legarda of Nationalist People’s Coalition had only 2,671 in Basey and 2,146 in Sta. Rita.  Fourth placer had been former actor Eduardo B. Manzano who got only 362 and 198, in that order.

In the senatorial struggle, Jinggoy Estrada of PMP won massively with 9,807 in Basey and 6,640 in Sta. Rita, as against Ramon Bong Revilla of Lakas-Malayang Pilipino-Christians Muslim Party who finished second with 8,037 and 6,174 in that order.

Also in the same order of towns, candidate for governor Jesus B. Redaja of NPC heavily won with his 7,095 votes in Basey over Sharee Ann Tan of Lakas-CMP who got only 6,362.  However, Ann won with a total of 5,275 in Sta. Rita, whereas Jess received only 3,275.  Basey gave Casilda Lim of Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas 3,280, Pedro M. Labid of Bangon Pilipinas - 253 and Pilar L. Bolok (Independent) - 145.   In Sta. Rita, Ida got 2,656, Pedro - 244, and Pilar - 110.

Amazingly, though, Ida won in Calbayog City.  Of 72,137 votes counted, she got 33,545, followed by Ann - 28,006, Jess - 9,916, Pedro - 435, and Pilar - 235.  Ida’s had even more votes amassed than the combined votes of Ann in Basey and Sta. Rita, which summed up to only 11,637 and even if this total of Ida’s were added to Jess’ aggregate of 10,370 in the two towns, which make a total of 22,007 when put together.

For vice-governor, Rosenaida A. Rosales, an independent candidate, took the lead with 38,677 votes in Calbayog, or more than one-half of the votes which Ida got in that northern city.  In Basey, she had only 3,235 and in Sta. Rita, 1,840 only.  It was Lakas-CMD Stephen James T. Tan, brother of Ann, who ended up second to Rosenaida in Calbayog, after garnering 24,449, although emerging as number one in Basey and Sta. Rita respectively with 7,065 and 5,904 to his credit.  San Jorge ex-mayor Joseph V. Grey of NPC got 7,231 in Calbayog, 4,112 in Basey (higher by 877 than Rosenaida’s) and 1,531 in Sta. Rita.





Benigno C. Aquino III – Presumptive president elect

May 26, 2010

It’s all over but the proclamation!

Presumptive President elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has received congratulatory messages from two powerful countries, China and Spain. The gestures came after American envoy to the Philippines Harry Thomas, Jr. visited Aquino at his Times Street residence in Quezon City. The American ambassador who came with the embassy’s staff and the traditional gift personally congratulated Aquino.

Noynoy Aquino IIIThomas visit and the aforementioned countries congratulatory messages, even if congress has yet to declare Aquino as winner of the presidential derby, are seen as a sign that the recently conducted elections bore the will of the people and needs to be respected.

Notwithstanding Senator Edgardo Angara’s comment that the greetings of foreign leaders and envoys are premature and the controversy of the masked man alleging irregularities in the election, the US envoy’s visit sends a powerful message from the US government that delaying the proclamation and tampering with the results of the automated election would not be viewed kindly by the nations who watched and observed the elections as credible.

The flow of diplomatic recognition of Aquino as president elect is a sign of legitimacy of his administration and such would be embraced by foreign countries.

Apparently, Congress is taking its sweetest time to convene and start the canvassing of election results. Congress probably did not anticipate that the automated machines would relay results soonest and done in a matter of hours and not days nor weeks.

Members of Congress election canvassers should have been schooled firstly of what automated elections meant and how fast it would bring in results of the elections. Speaker Prospero Nograles does not seem inclined to hurry up the canvassing saying that accuracy cannot be sacrificed over speed.

The Comelec and the PPCRV are on parallel course in its counting of the election results but still Congress would insist in its mandate as the institution given the task of true canvassers of votes and therefore will do the honor of proclaiming the winners.

Even if Benigno Aquino III has been visibly congratulated by the representative of the most powerful country in the world, an emerging world power China, the old world government of Spain and the influential European Union, the Filipino people need to wait for Congress to do its job.

Taxes which coated the pork barrels of canvassers seem to be viewed as the right to be received and not as motivation to work in fast tracking the proclamation of President elect Benigno C. Aquino III.

That the Filipinos can finally have a sigh of relief that their votes were counted upon the soonest proclamation of the presumptive president is falling in deaf ears.

Let the canvassing start!  (PIA-8)





Not amazing, simply convincing: An Waray’s feat

May 22, 2010

Friends and relatives of yours truly could asseverate now that I was right in my assessment and prediction that the An Waray party-list would still make it to number one among the 187 party-lists participating in the May 10, 2010 elections in all the three Samar provinces.  Specially in the month of April, they were already asking me which one would garner the most number of votes.  Some of them had even entertained second thoughts because campaigners for other party-lists had already gone ahead and far, with some government offices and churchyards not spared by the campaign, while An Waray had only a few moving around.  There also was “pustahay” (actually betting only in words) that so-so would get to number one.  The loudest and most often heard in small group discussions included the party-lists for senior citizens, cooperatives and teachers.  Naturally, those who identified themselves in these sectors believed that they had every right to help push for the victory of their own party-lists.

An Waray, on the other hand, went high gear in its own campaign when starting on the last week of April, it fielded youths marching the populated streets and approached everyone in sight, distributing flyers, and urging them to vote for An Waray.  Somewhere, barker vehicles were playing tunes and making short appeals for An Waray.  Then, most of the houses along the streets had been given copies of An Waray sample ballots and smaller pieces of white paper printed with “An Waray” exhortations.  As election time drew much nearer, in markets and at piers, quays and public bus terminals, electors, without being asked, voluntarily defended An Waray, saying that this party-list had been helping many places in Samar and Leyte, in many ways.  The pros cited medicines and medical services.  Some farmers had also hailed An Waray as genuinely supporting such serious government programs as the agrarian reform and initiated big events that allowed most Samarnon and Leytenhon to participate.  Some community leaders also expressed deep appreciation for the vigorous support that An Waray exerted, twice, to get the comprehensive agrarian reform program extended while one party-list that got the support of many agrarian advocates did not even lift a finger for CARP’s extension and for the approval of the CARPER law.  An Waray has also been supportive of the media and was often in consultation or conference with many media personnel or groups.

I was saying all the time that An Waray has a credibly and veritably convincing track record, that it even needed no further campaign efforts to get it elected back to congress, even in its last bid to get three seats in the House of Representatives.  In its first political salvo, An Waray obtained only one seat, with Bem Noel, who is also a Basaynon, seated as congressman.  In the second party-lists elections, it won two seats.  For last May 10, it was already campaigning for three seats.  I was saying that it was possible for this party-list to get three seats because nationwide, and around the world, there are Warays, most of whom had already awakened to the pro bono publico accomplishments of the party-list that truly works for the welfare and advancement of the Waray people.  That, I said, letting alone the whole of Eastern Visayas, the home of the Warays where majority of its 2,431,584 Waray registered voters were expected to give it a go for its highest bid for three seats.  I said, if all the of the region’s 16,873 established precincts and 5,110 clustered precincts would work well, An Waray would always get between high and highest number of votes in every precinct.  All the time, I was saying that An Waray, if it wins three seats, could have a stronger voice in congress and as such it could push for more legislations that will be advantageous to the greater number of Samarnons and Leytenhons, besides being able to address more rural and agrarian concerns and being able to deliver more basic services, especially drinking water and water for irrigation in Samar.

I was right in my assessment and prediction.  An Waray got the most number of votes in the Samar island.  The province of Samar (Western) gave An Waray 107,014 votes – the biggest number of votes, much bigger than the two other provinces.  This was as of the May 14 late afternoon results posted by the Commission on Elections.  Its votes represented 45.8 per cent of the total votes cast (346,987) in the province.  Eastern Samar delivered 72,329 votes for An Waray, while Northern Samar gave 60,536.  In terms of percentage, Eastern Samar’s 46% was less than 1% higher than that of Samar and 23% much higher than Northern Samar’s 33%.  As of that time, An Waray amassed a total of 239,879 votes from all three Samar provinces.  It was the number one choice in the whole island.  It topped all other 186 party-lists.  Coming up far second was Akbayan Citizens Action Party which collected only 21,788 votes in Samar and 3,093 in Northern Samar, while there was no record of votes in its favor in Eastern Samar. I was eyeing at a few other party-lists based on perceived support that they were getting from various sectors and one of them, my prediction also came true, made it to the top 50 – the Kasosyo Producer-Consumer Exchange, which collected only 1,299 votes to place 27th in Samar.   According to the Comelec data, the Kasosyo did not get any single vote in Eastern Samar and in Northern Samar as of May 14.

In Calbayog City, however, An Waray slipped to second place behind Akbayan which won 16,925 votes.  An Waray’s share of the 79,812 votes cast was only 25.65% (14,252 votes).  Catbalogan City gave An Waray the first place - 14,929 votes (54.8% of 37,263).  Basey gave the highest percentage for An Waray - 61.11% of 20,662 votes cast, giving its favourite An Waray 9,840, while placing on a very far second the Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction Inc. with 782 votes (4.86%) only.  (In Basey, Kasosyo got 41 votes (29th) of which 16 came from one remote barrio.)





A Samarnon offering forged securities per a Bangko Sentral warning?

May 19, 2010

There is a warning posted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas concerning fake documents made by a Filipino, based on a communication from the Interpol.  The BSP issued on November 11, 2003 a circular letter to all banks and non-bank financial institutions, informing them of a letter dated 26 March 2003 from the National Central Bureau, Interpol Manila concerning alleged forged security papers, bonds, insurance certificates, certificates of deposit and treasury certificates.

Said the BSP, thru deputy governor Alberto V. Reyes: “Any attempt by anyone to transact any of the aforecited spurious papers and certificates should be reported to the National Central Bureau, Interpol Manila with office address at Camp Crame, Quezon City.”

Earlier, on March 17, 2003, the Bundeskriminalamt (Interpol Wiesbaden) transmitted a facscimile message to the IP Manila and IP London, saying that “Law enforcement authorities in Berlin/Germany are conducting investigations into possible fraud utilizing forged securities” and asking whether the person identified as offering the suspected securities does exist and has an existing passport and whether those notes were previously subject of investigations in the Philippines (and London).  It had also requested to be advised of any criminal information on the persons, companies and securities involved.

The faxed message also indicated that the records held are only for public authorities responsible for the prevention and prosecution of crimes. “Personal data may only be used for purposes of the prevention and prosecution of crimes.”

Is this information late already, it having been originally dated November 11, 2003?

Probably not so.  According to the Interpol of Wiesbaden, the data will be destroyed on November 12, 2012.  Since it’s only 2010, then there are more than years more to reckon in.  It said: “The data will be destroyed on 18.12.2012 unless new information making further storage necessary is added.”

On March 26, 2003, police chief inspector Gliceria T. Sales, chief of the IP division, DOJ, in behalf of the executive director of PCTC/head, IP NCB Manila Secretariat, referred to Buenaventura copies of the “alleged forged security papers, Bonds, Insurance Certificates, Certificates of Deposit and Treasury Certificates.”  On the second paragraph of her letter, she said: “Allegedly, said forged documents are being offered....”

The suspected documents, 9 specifically listed and all dated July 1, 1981, included “Gold Memorandum Receipt covering 2,500 metric tons of AU Gold purportedly signed by Ferdinand E. Marcos and Jaime C. Laya”, as well as the following:

- Bank of England International GMR No. JP-022801 (2,500 metric tons of gold deposits);

- Insurance Certificate No. JP-022801 issued by Lloyd's International Company - Lloyd's of London covering 2,500 metric tons of gold deposit with the Central Bank of the Philippines to mature on July 1, 2000;

- Note Bond D.S. 7809870110702 Obligation Certificate - Bank of England;

- Gold London Delivery No. JP - 022801 (P780,000,000,000);

- Bank of England Certificate No. JP - 02281 (US$450,000,000);

- Gold Bullion Certificate No. JP - 02281 purportedly issued by Jaime C. Laya, Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines certifying that 2,500 metric tons of gold have been deposited with the Bank of England to back up P780 Billion Ang Bagong Lipunan Pesos;

- Certificate of Deposit No. JP - 0225801 purportedly signed by Ferdinand E. Marcos and Jaime C. Laya; and

- Treasury Certificate No. JP - 022801 signed by Jaime C. Laya certifying that P780 Billion Ang Bagong Lipunan have been deposited with the Treasury Department of the Republic of the Philippines.

The warning papers named the person suspected as offering these documents for transaction.  He is one said to have been born in the Philippines on February 1, 1965.  I know of someone whose birth date and given names are similar to those in the warning, but I have preferred not to disclose them here at the moment, pending a personal reply from that person whom I have planned to contact.  Personally, though, I am wondering how those alleged spurious documents got into the Philippine national’s possession.  The Samarnon that I have in mind who almost meets the identity hints given by the international police had worked abroad and had engaged “private placements of asset-backed securities, fixed-income instruments, exotic currencies, and government securities” in various countries and big cities worldwide, and, in 2003 through 2004, was in Germany specializing in structuring finance and private placement of funds.  If this person is it, perhaps, if he could read this expose here, would want very much and sincerely to explain the real score.

Since there is no accessible indication that the warning has already been lifted, it can safely be said that it is still in effect and in force.  Therefore, the general public, particularly the moneyed few, should beware of these allegedly forged documents.  There is no justification here for a caveat emptor.



◄◄home I next►►