Hello world!

papa2I shall be writing topics as it comes to mind. It could be topics, past or present, but relative to the times. I shall also be reacting to articles published, whether domestic or foreign, and voicing my opinion. My views shall always be objective.

Every now and then I shall also be sharing with you videos, photos, sayings and graphics of people, animals, places, etc., that I find interesting, which I hope you will appreciate.

Also, there are times when I will be posting articles about facts – why it happened that way or what could have been if something else happened.

I welcome you to my blog site and I look forward to inter-acting with you.

Your participation, your thoughts and commentaries, either for or against, will be very much appreciated.

We may have differences in opinion but that is the essence of being rational, to be able to agree to disagree. It is my aim that as we go along we enlighten not only ourselves but also those that finds the opportunity/chance to visit this site.

Let us enrich each other in knowledge and build each other up in friendship.

Thank you.

Jesus Sievert a.k.a  Quierosaber

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¡Hola mundo!

Escribiré temas como estos vienen a la mente. Esto podría ser temas, pasadas o presentes, pero con relación a los tiempos. También reaccionaré a artículos publicados, doméstico o extranjero, y expresaré mi opinión. Mis vistas siempre serán objetivo.

De vez en cuando también compartiré con ustedes vídeos, fotos, refranes y gráficos de la gente, animales, lugares, etc., que encuentro interesante y espero que lo aprecian.

También, hay tiempos cuando fijaré artículos sobre hechos – por qué pasó así o lo que podría haber sido si algo más pasara.

Bienvenidos a mi sitio de blog y espero colaborar con Vd. en el futuro.

Su participación, sus pensamientos y comentarios, para o contra, serán muy apreciados.

Podemos tener diferencias en la opinión pero eso es la esencia de ser racional, ser capaz de consentir en discrepar. Esto es mi objetivo que como continuamos, aclaramos no sólo nosotros mismos sino también aquellos  que encuentran  la oportunidad/posibilidad de visitar este sitio.

Déjenos enriquecer el uno al otro en el conocimiento y en la amistad.

Gracias.

Jesus Sievert alias Quierosaber

The DAP controversy

dapThe Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) issue got passionately controversial when, on one hand, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled some of the acts and practices by the executive branch on the DAP as unconstitutional and, on the other hand, the executive branch (translated as President Aquino/PNoy) sticking to his belief that his action on the DAP did not violate the law – or so he thinks.

The following were declared by the SC as unconstitutional:

• the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies, and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year AND (all caps mine) without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Acts (GAA);
• the cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive; and
• the funding of projects, activities, and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA

Those who are against the administration are riding on the opinion of the SC and taking the chance to further put PNoy on the spot by calling for his impeachment. Although this move borders on absurdness and arrogance, since PNoy was just following the footsteps of his predecessors in this regard, which made him thought he was doing the right thing, still everyone has the right to seek grievance.

In the same vein, pro-administration keeps on defending their implementation of the DAP and claiming the benefits the country has received from it.

“By implementing DAP, we wanted to ensure that funds are properly used so that social services and public goods are delivered to the people—especially the poor—as swiftly as possible, and with minimal leakages and wastage,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

Also, Abad explained that DAP was a spending reform measure for speeding up public expenditure “to catalyze” economic growth.

But, it is in the context of ‘social services’ that I want to give my two cents worth of opinion.

While many may have condemned the way PNoy handled the DAP, my question is: Have the critics ever gone out of their way to question those who have been impacted favorably by the DAP how it was to receive help from government?

Unless the critics do this, they will never learn the alleviation DAP has contributed to the lives of the poor Filipinos.

Ask the families of the chronically ill children in hospitals all over the country (especially those assisted by the Kythe Foundation), the fishermen, the farmers, the students, the beneficiaries of the livelihood programs in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, etc.

Perhaps the Department of Social Welfare and Development could elaborate further on how ease, relief and comfort have given hope to the poor in our society.

What I am simply saying is that let us not just look at the negative side of things just because it was declared unconstitutional.

Let us investigate and verify if DAP, in this case, also carries legitimacy and benefits in its existence.

If it does, then for Christ sake, let the opposition, who normally identifies themselves as pro-poor, mention it so there is equality in the treatment of the DAP issue.

Binay tops presidential survey

Vice President Jejomar Binay

Vice President Jejomar Binay

Pulse Asia survey once again shows that Vice President Jejomar Binay is the man to beat in the 2016 presidential elections.

Is Binay the best there is?

Is  the Binay political dynasty here to stay?

While it is true that Binay easily goes where the wind blows and has never gotten himself embroiled in controversies, partly because he is simply playing it too safe for political expediency, one can’t help but think, however, if his style and personality is what is needed to lead this country in 2016.

The closest that I can remember Binay getting politically scalded is when he tried to play hero and thought that because of his friendship with Nur Misuari that he could end the Zamboanga Siege sooner than if government were to continue fighting the dismembered Moro National Liberation Front. Realizing that no one was pleased with his self-serving move, Binay backed off from his plan.

It only confirmed Binay’s belief that in order to protect his political integrity he just have to continue being less critical, less opinionated and less vociferous. All these have served Binay in good stead all these years.

But is Binay truly the kind of leader that could sustain the straight path that PNoy is trying hard to establish, no matter how pockmark the way is?

The problem with Binay is because of his desire to be popular and be in good graces with the people all the time, he would rather be mum on controversial issues dividing the country.

How could we gauge then his strength of character and resolve?

Have you heard Binay take a stand, for instance, on the controversial Reproductive Health Law?

I still have to hear whether or not he was in favor of former chief justice Renato Corona’s impeachment.

How about his views on the PDAF and/or the incarceration of Enrile, Estrada and Revilla?

Yet, for political expediency he minced no words that he wouldn’t mind at all having Jinggoy Estrada as his running mate in 2016.

What I am afraid is that with Binay at the helm and with the kind of dubious allies and traditional politicians he surrounds himself with, the advances the country has made and the respect it has gained from the world community will only come to naught.

So, if Binay is not the best there is, who?

Not Joseph Estrada again, for Chrissake!

Neither are the Grace Poes, the Chiz Escuderos, the Mar Roxases, the Alan Cayetanos, the Bongbong Marcoses (God forbids!) and the Bong Revillas.

I am more talking about the Rody Dutertes, the Gibo Teodoros, the Artemio Panganibans, the Hilario Davides and the Manny Pangilinans.

Either one of them is the best bet.

 

 

The Animal School: A Fable

I do not know if you are familiar with this fable, but in this age of extreme rivalry among schools, I have decided to share this with you, and especially to the young parents, who sometimes forget that not every child can be what the parents want him/her to be.

In its desire to corner large enrollment, schools try to make it appear that it has programs and a curriculum-driven agenda that could make a big difference in your kid’s study and future.

But, does it really?

We just have to be reminded that it isn’t so – because each child is a unique human being. Some make it, others fail, and with adverse consequences sometimes – if pushed further.

The Animal School was originally written by George Reavis, then Assistant Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools in 1939. This latest version has been dedicated to “those children and adults who have unjustly suffered the fate of standardized tests and inappropriate curriculum and standards”.

animal

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Does this fable have a moral?

Despicable side of Enrile

 

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile

I have written a lot about Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, although his despicable side always far outweighs whatever respectable side he has.

Opportunistic and calculating that he is, he always knew when to get out of a situation.

Machiavellianism has always been his forte from the time he was in cahoots with the dictator Marcos, to the time he served under the presidency of Cory Aquino and until he became the Senate President.

Divine Providence must have played a role and showed kindness to the Filipinos that Enrile never got to be president although he deviously coveted the position privately. It would have been martial law all over again had he had the chance to get the endorsement and support of the people.

But for the younger generation that who only has a faint idea of what martial law was about during the Marcos regime and a sketchy recollection of Enrile’s participation, I am sharing with you here a link that makes it all the more understandable and unmistakable the despicable side of Enrile.

If I may add, let this story be an eye opener also to the younger generation on who the Marcoses really are. One cannot simply disavow the participation of the heirs, especially the wife Imelda, and even Bongbong, for he was aware of what was going on at the time already. Now they are back in power and have not minced words of their interest to reclaim Malacañang again.

Please open this link: http://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/63840-juan-ponce-enrile-martial-law

World outraged over downing and treatment of MH17 wreckage

 

The difference between empathy and apathy among Russians, especially from their leader.

The difference between empathy and apathy among Russians.

Citizens of countries, both large and small, who value peace, freedom of movement and the sanctity of life, have shown outraged not only over the cold-blooded manner by which Malaysia Flight MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 passengers on board, was blown off by a surface-to-air missile system while passing over war-torn east Ukraine region of Donetsk, but also by the way the demagogues at the wreckage site treated the bodies, or what remained of it, with utter disrespect.

It did not help much that the plane went down in an area controlled by Russian-backed rebels, but what made it worse is that surely, the separatist won’t move a finger until instructed upon by Russian officials, considering the bestial crime that has impacted on the many countries of the world – going by the diversity of the passengers – and especially knowing that what got hit was a commercial plane.

Instead of preserving and securing the crash site, as expected in normal and civilized places, so that proper identification could be made on the bodies so they could be sent back to their loves ones as soon as possible, and evidences on the ground left untouched so experts investigating could easily determine from the tell-tale signs left of the wreckage as to who and what brought the airliner down, what was done instead was bagged the bodies and moved or cut vital evidences.

What made the bungled situation even bad is that not only did the rebels fired shots in the air to prevent journalist from approaching the crash site, but they also fired warning shots at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization concerned with early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation, to prevent them from approaching the wreckage as well. This could only mean that the pro-Russian militants in the area must have received instructions from the Russian authorities to remain rebellious so no investigations could be made.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte aptly described his feelings, saying, “I am shocked by the images of utterly disrespectful behavior at the crash site. This is utterly disgusting.”

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott also appropriately describes the horrific scene, thus: “This is still an absolutely shambolic situation. It does look more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation.”

“Given the almost certain culpability of the Russian-backed rebels in the downing of the aircraft, having these people in control of the site is a little like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene,” Abbott added.

Abbott’s statement was supported by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who more recently stated that there was mounting evidence that a Russian-made missile, an SA-11, brought down the airliner. He said that a U.S. tracking analysis detected the launch of a surface-to-air missile with a trajectory that “went through the plane.”

“It obviously points a clear finger at the separatists,” he said.

While so much finger pointing has been done in the last 4-5 days, to the extent that even Russia, to whom most fingers were pointed at as the most culpable, blamed Ukraine’s government for creating the situation and atmosphere resulting for the plane being targeted. If the situation wasn’t so grim, it would have been laughable to lay the blame on Ukraine.

It is ironic that while the ordinary Russians understood the grieve consequence of their leader’s action by laying flowers and writing notes like, ‘forgive us’, the Russian president and his minions however, has remained apathetic.

Indeed, it would be interesting to see how Russia’s Vladimir Putin will react to his culpability and what further sanctions could be made now that Russia is facing an irate western and partly SEA world community.
(For more on this heinous crime, please go to this link: http://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2014/07/20/what-is-a-buk-missile-at-a-glance/)

 

 

Airplane tragedies and natural calamities

 

Wreckage of MH17

Wreckage of MH17

The world is still perplexed at the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Flight MH370 that was travelling from Kuala Lumpar to Beijing on March 8 with 239 passengers on it, when another devastating news was reported today that Malaysia Flight MH17, carrying 298 people on board, heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, was shot out by a missile over the skies of Ukraine.

While the search for MH370 is ongoing in the southern Indian Ocean, considered to be purely an underwater effort now, as any chance of debris on the surface of the water has all but disappeared, the fate of MH17 can be painfully seen by what is left of the wreckage as it was brought down and crashed in Eastern Ukraine, over the province of Donetsk.

In the same vein, the country is still recovering from the devastation wrought by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, especially those in the Visayas region, when another relatively strong typhoon, Glenda (Rammasun), hit Luzon, the northern part of the country.

People evacuating from typhoon Glenda.

People evacuating from typhoon Glenda

Unlike Yolanda, however, where the tsunami-like sea surges killed most of the over 6,000 casualties, Glenda claimed only 68 lives, thanks to the lesson learned from Yolanda when people listened upon being called to evacuate from their homes and moved to safer places prepared for them.

While airplane tragedies and natural calamities are distressing and heartrending in its own respective ways, fighting nature, however, is not as grim and tragic because either you know or you are forewarned about it. Although Yolanda was an exception and storm surge was incomprehensible then, what is important is that people are on the ground, thus, giving them leeway to move around.

The same cannot be said, however, of airplanes cruising at an altitude of 33,000 ft or even much more less than that. The fact alone that you are so up there makes you leave your fate to God.

Planes are considered safe for mass transport, but when somebody with a sick mind decides to blow it out of the air with a powerful heat-seeking devise then you are gone before you can even say, amen.

It is one thing to be at the mercy of nature, but it is different when one becomes a victim of an ideologue or a group of ideologues.

Nature humbles its victims, but the victims of ideologues deserve justice.

Happy to have made it

I am sharing this video with you not only because I identify myself with it, but also because it tells about reality. The advent of information technology changed it all. But while I may have immersed a little of myself in modernity and be in awe at the development and progress the information revolution has brought to this world, making it small and fancier, still I can’t allow myself to be completely caught up with it because to this day I am for what the environment and circumstances were in the past and will not change the simple things we did and enjoy for the elaborate gizmos of today. Just happy to have made it.