Hello world!

doy1

I 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

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Imelda’s guilty verdict

Imelda Marcos

After so much wishing and praying for something to prick the ever ballooning ego of each of the remaining Marcos family starting from the wife down to the three children after a glorious political comeback, the decision of the Sandiganbayan declaring guilty and ordering the arrest of former first lady Imelda Marcos on seven counts of graft committed during the reign of her husband and former dictator Ferdinand Marcos could never have been a more appropriate answer.

The reason for their exceeding arrogance is the fact that they had been going around the country trying to rewrite history by convincing people that the dictatorship was the best thing that ever happened to the country, that there was no crime committed, no human rights violated, and nothing stolen from the coffers of government.

What added even more to the bluster of the Marcos family is the fact that today the despot patriarch is now buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ cemetery) after years of being kept in a crypt.

Imelda has been found guilty of violating R. A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, when she transferred around $200 million to seven Swiss foundations during her term as a member of the defunct Batasang Pambansa, as Metro Manila Governor, and as then Minister of Human Settlements.

The anti-corruption court’s 5th Division ordered Imelda, a congresswoman, to serve six to 11 years in jail for each of the seven counts of graft.

Now it can be said that Imelda did not only have a cabinet full of shoes and expensive jewelry and artworks, but inside and in a more secluded place of the cabinet were Swiss foundation skeletons bearing the names Maler Establishment, Trinidad Foundation, Rayby Foundation, Palmy Foundation, Vibur Foundation, Aguamina Foundation and Avertina Foundation which they allegedly created and managed under the pseudonyms William Saunders and Jane Ryan.

This probably gives credence to the allegations made before by the Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG) that the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth “is estimated between US$5 billion to US$10 billion, the bulk of it being deposited and hidden abroad”.

The question now is, would the children, especially politicians Imee and Bongbong, still have the arrogance to deny this conviction of Imelda after it took decades to decide it or will this decision get them grounded with humility in tow?

Wasn’t this writing on the wall when President Rodrigo Duterte himself admitted that Imelda offered to return a portion of their ill-gotten wealth, including a few gold bars, for whatever help it can do to the country’s economy?

While this may be a victory of sorts for all the people who have experienced the dark days of martial law, the moral fight against the Marcoses continue since they can still make an appeal at the Supreme Court for a reversal of the conviction.

But what the aggrieved Filipinos are asking at least is that Imelda be arrested just like any ordinary citizen in the country that has been declared guilty and are praying once more that Duterte won’t pardon her. Let the verdict of the law fall where it may and without regard to age.

Imelda, who is on her last term as Ilocos Norte representative and has already filed a certificate of candidacy for the province’s gubernatorial race in 2019 is sane enough, therefore, to understand that she has committed a crime and answerable for it and that neither age nor stature should make her feel she is above the law.

 

Santo Rodrigo

President Rodrigo Duterte

Time and again the nation, nay the whole world, gets dumbfounded every time President Rodrigo Duterte utters outrageous or ridiculous comments which many deem unpresidential.

But when was Duterte ever presidential – from the way he wears formal clothes, like the barong tagalog or coat and tie, or even in the way he delivers impromptu speeches and interacts with his audience, what with his ever ready vulgar words to run off at the mouth?

Fortunately we are not bound by rules of electing president based on being dapper or silver-tongued and, thus, Duterte was elected overwhelmingly by many who identified with him as a simple, unpretentious and inarticulate person, but whose leadership has been the envy of every politician in the country the way he transformed Davao City from bedlam to a peaceful and livable place.

It is no surprise therefore that what people see in Duterte is what they get, warts and all, even as our president, because as the old cliché goes, “you cannot teach old dogs new tricks”, especially a stubborn ‘dog’ like Duterte.

And so we tolerate and accept, and even laugh, at the banter that Duterte dishes out when he senses that he has connected with the audience, like when he cursed the Pope and called God “stupid”.

Duterte’s latest caper was when he questioned the celebration of All Saints’ Day alleging that the saints Filipinos were worshiping were fools and drunkards and to be sure that they are venerating the real deal Duterte suggested that they get a picture of his and idolize him instead by calling him Santo Rodrigo.

Clearly this is a joke and no one should lose sleep over it. Had Duterte been a natural born comic and knew how to deliver his punch lines, nobody would be questioning his act.

But because he is the president known for delivering uncouth language, the simon-pure in us insists and expects Duterte to show an exemplary demeanor befitting his position.

Duterte may be unpresidential when compared to those before him, but what he lacks in style he compensates it with important traits of a president which is to have not only the knowledge and acumen of his job but also the political will to go after the problems plaguing the country no matter how controversial, unpopular and deadly it may be. This is what makes him stand out from the others.

At the end of the day the reality is that a well-intentioned sitting president is the person who could lead us to salvation from our long agonizing woes and not the veneration we offer the saints who many believe helps in assuaging man’s suffering soul.

So, Santo Rodrigo, any one?

Of course I am joking!

Soldiers at the BOC

 

This is not about questioning the wisdom of President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive for the military to have part of its component deployed to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for law enforcement activities.

After all, not being a lawyer, one can only submit to the statement of Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, saying, “Time and again, the President assures everyone that as a lawyer, he knows the limits of the power and authority of his office.”

This, after Malacañang finally saw it fit to declare a state of lawlessness at the BOC following the seemingly undetected shipment of illegal drugs (shabu) worth billions that entered the country through customs during the time of recently ousted Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña, and even during the time of his predecessor, Nicanor Faeldon.

Obviously, what is happening at the BOC can be considered as a crime committed against humanity, which can also be interpreted in the same vein as invasion or rebellion and the only way to quell it is by the use of military force which is a constitutional mandate of a president.

But what I am questioning, however, is the efficacy of such an order.

It is not as if there never were military officers assigned to the BOC before. In fact this is one government agency where, because of its notoriety as haven for nefarious activities, retired military leaders are immediately considered on the pretext that their training, rank, assignment or position while on active service will be able to instill discipline and change the despicable corrupt culture of the hugely income generating agency.

Alas, time and again the once highly respected gentleman and officer fall short of his mandate to tame and cleanse the agency or his department for that matter, of unscrupulous individuals and become instead a willing participant of a rotten system.

So what makes the deployment of ordinary soldiers a ray of hope at the BOC under a newly minted commissioner who is himself a general of the armed forces?

I understand it is a tactical approach not only to make the bureaucracy change its notorious corrupt practices but also effect a turn-around of the negative perception of the people about the BOC.

It’s an approach intended to stir ‘shock and awe’ feeling in the bureaucracy, but who are they kidding?

Whatever and however one describes the crime syndicate inside the bureau that are smuggling illegal drugs with impunity and creating havoc in our society, the fact remains that those behind it cannot easily be intimidated and, therefore, no amount of soldiers and weaponry brought in could ever bring down the monster that it has become all these years.

This is not to belittle our soldiers, but this is not the kind of confrontation they have been trained to do their best and so let us save them from embarrassment as they will surely fail. Without strong psychological preparedness in battling corruption, human frailty can easily succumb to temptation.

Hopefully, Duterte would consider looking once more into what Sen. Panfilo Lacson has suggested which is having a need for a sophisticated counter-intelligence mechanism in the BOC. This is not about force but rather of having a superior intelligence by any means under a competent and exemplary head.

Preserving our sanity

 

Every time elections are held in this country we always find ourselves at the crossroads where our sanity is being tested to the limit.

It used to be that there were only two political parties to choose from where its respective leaders running it and endorsing their candidates share common values and ideals about the party and the same mission and vision for the interest of the nation and its people.

Election was never a complicated process then as those selected as candidates on both sides were competent and able and had no other motivation but to serve the people in earnest.

It was always fulfilling to have exercised ones freedom of suffrage then knowing that whoever wins will perform to the best of his ability and according to the moral beliefs of the party he represents, which translates to the aspirations of the people.

Alas, elections today have become a political circus of sorts – entertaining, yet confusing and unnerving not only because of the numerous political parties coalescing/aligning with one another but more so because of the wide differences in the nature, character and notoriety of candidates running for office.

There is need therefore for every Filipino to be convinced that in order to preserve ones sanity in the upcoming 2019 elections we have to examine our own consciences and determine the best candidates who will be able to help Pres. Rodrigo Duterte accomplish the programs he has set forth for the country during his term of office.

It is still a long time until Duterte’s presidency expires in 2022 and there is nothing more important than to ensure that there are no personal or political hindrances in the country’s march to progress.

There is no doubt that Duterte’s popularity comes from his out-of-the-box type of governance that is being recognized and accepted by the people as what is propelling the country forward and the only way to keep it moving positively is to have newly elected people in government that could contribute fresh and doable ideas for what the president has envisioned for the country.

What is harmful to our sanity is when we allow ourselves to be suckers of pretentious candidates – young, old and very old – who because of their seeming closeness to Duterte are making a pitch of their usefulness, but in reality have continuing hidden agenda of their own.

For sanity sake, let us vote in the coming 2019 elections intelligently and judiciously.

 

 

The privilege of voting

National election is always a day of reckoning for the country.

There is one coming up fast in 2019 and already we have seen a number of candidates who are aspiring to become a senator.

There will only be 12 senatorial seats to be contested and hopefully the Filipinos will find unity in electing the best and the brightest among them who will not only represent the voice of the people but will fight for them as well in all manner, shape and form.

Voting is a privilege, but it is also our responsibility to ensure that out of this right we are able to      choose the candidates who can best serve the interests of the country and its people more than his own – that he can truly be called a servant leader.

Who should, therefore, qualify to become a worthy senator?

Understanding that the senate is where important laws of the land are deliberated and crafted, it immediately signals the brain that we ought to elect candidates who have the capacity, capability and the competence to perform the job that is highly expected of them.

Electing candidates because of their celebrity status or household name, as we had been wont to doing, should no longer be the norm. Almost always it does not translate to worthiness.

It cannot be denied that some political parties nudge the famous and the wealthy to run because it wants to take advantage of their popularity for political gain, but in so doing does a big disservice to the country for it belies the real intention of putting the interest of the country first.

It does not serve the country well either if we keep on “recycling” past senators or what is aptly called the has-beens that we are in the habit of doing, as if they are the best we have ever had.

This is especially true when sometime in the past their names have been linked to some outrageous and shameful activity, the likes of the scandalous proportion of the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

There never is a dearth of senatorial candidates worthy of our trust and confidence because of their qualification, but, alas, we always go for the mediocre as if their main job is to grandstand and amuse the electorate.

Perhaps it is wise to remember that whoever we elect senators is a reflection of who we are as people and how serious and determined we are in attaining prosperity for the country and making a positive difference in the lives of the Filipinos.

Electing senators in 2019 and beyond

 

Senatorial positions are again at stake in the upcoming May 2019 elections and this early we are already seeing political parties either floating or identifying names of candidates that could at best boost and make appealing the image of their party to insure political gains.

Sadly and disturbingly, however, some political party leaders continue resisting in adapting better ways of promoting the embodiment of their respective parties, like selecting candidates with impeccable character and tract record, but rather contented, as usual, with representations that leave voters aghast and wondering whether or not their candidates could make a difference in the country’s future.

The motivation in doing so simply points to the fact that what is really promoted is the self-serving interest and survival of the party as oppose to what it should be which is putting the welfare of the country first and foremost over any other political consideration.

For decades now we had been seeing presidents come and go, yet their lack of strong leadership has failed this country such that we see ourselves always lagging behind among our neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

I am sure other countries have the same continuing inherent problems that we had been confronting all these years, like corruption, criminality, insurgency and illegal drugs, for that matter, but the lack of courage, resolve and political will from those we have elected to lead our country have always been our downfall.

We have finally come to realize that electing a traditional politician (trapo) to be at the helm of government is not the answer to our political, economic and social woes and this was proven when the Filipinos overwhelmingly opted to elect the unconventional Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as president in 2016.

Compared to past presidents Duterte stands head and shoulders over his predecessors, even as he finds himself only in his third year in office, in the way he has governed and positioned the country in the world stage.

The fact that Duterte has maintained a high trust and satisfaction rating to this day simply means that his leadership is acceptable and, thus, has won the moral ascendancy to continue guiding the country the way he sees fit until he could turn it around for the better.

Having said that, it now behooves on us all to extend to Duterte our full support/cooperation and ensure that we elect senators in 2019 whose integrity and competence are beyond question so that they could ably assist the president in making his plans come true for the country.

All I am saying, therefore, is let us not become victims anymore of their chicanery and finally put a stop of recycling former senators whose celebrity status and/or notorious reputation are their only means of getting elected, but whose integrity, competence and dedication remains suspicious at best and at worst, ineffective, as gleaned from their past performances.

It is about time we make choices for senators whose ideas could integrate with Duterte’s plan of making a meaningful and lasting difference for the country and in the lives of the greater number of Filipinos.

Duterte’s incorruptible and resolute leadership is being noticed in the community of nations and it is only appropriate, as it is reasonable, that those who we elect as senators in 2019 and beyond to write and pass laws, approve presidential appointments, etc., are equally sincere, reliable and competent.

 

High satisfaction rating for a thinking president

Amb. Teddy Locsin, Jr. and Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

I could not agree more at the way the country’s current ambassador to the United Nations, Teddy Locsin, Jr., described Pres. Rodrigo Duterte as a thinking president.

Locsin was quoted to have issued the following statement about Duterte, saying: “Let us make the effort to think as hard as he does. He is old. I sense he is tired. But he is resolved that, while there is breath in him, not just to talk change like past presidents, but make change. And die in the trying.” If we do not take advantage of this man’s leadership, we shall miss our last chance of real change.”

The ever erudite and eloquent Locsin, who penned a moving and much applauded speech delivered by then president Corazon Aquino before a joint session of the United States Congress in September of 1986, seven months after dictator Ferdinand Marcos was deposed and booted out of the country, may be the exact opposite of Duterte, yet in more ways than one both belong to the same pea pod.

It is the similarity of their persona, their attitude towards public service and their patriotism that has brought these two men together, undoubtedly.

In the same manner that I relish Locsin’s journalistic prowess and miss listening his editorial segment titled “Teditorial” for ANC’s nightly newscast, The World Tonight, I won’t mince words that I am also an ardent supporter of President Duterte and his administration.

It is both Duterte and Locsin’s seemingly similar temperament, their knowledge, their strong will and no nonsense approach, and their acerbic language, when needed to be spoken, that make them hold each other in high regard and, importantly, what makes Duterte tick with the Filipino people.

It should not surprise no one, therefore, that Duterte continues to enjoy high satisfaction rating despite his controversial statements being uttered like, “God is stupid”, or that “there are many rape cases in Davao City because of the many beautiful women living there.”

Quite a number of people and some sectors of society may be offended and political opponents may take advantage in lambasting Duterte for their own political expediency, but is being presidential more important than thinking about what is good for the country and its people?

This is what is paramount to every well-meaning president and fortunately Duterte’s dedication and competence cannot be questioned, thus, he continues receiving high satisfaction rating because majority of Filipinos have never given up their trust and confidence that the president could turn around the country for the better during his watch.

Perhaps, Locsin was right when he further said about Duterte that, “If we do not take advantage of this man’s leadership, we shall miss our last chance of real change.”

What dire consequence, indeed!