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Tag Archives: Arroyo Administration

Emilia Boncodín (1954-2010), the incorruptible

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Emilia Boncodín (1954-2010) proved to the world that not all Filipinos working in government are corrupt nor support corruption. She was among the famous Hyatt 12 — cabinet members of the corrupt Arroyo government who resigned in the midst of the Hello Garci controversy.

There is one word which best describes her defiance against Arroyo’s corrupt government. And it’s spelled H-E-R-O-I-S-M. But like many good people, she died young: 55 due to kidney failure.

May the good Lord bless her soul. And may we have more government workers like her in the next administration.

Emilia Boncodín (1954-2010) chose to abandon corruption rather than joining it.

Tears, laughter mark necro service for ‘angel of budget’

Stories about Emilia Boncodín’s frugality drew much laughter.

Tears and laughter—but mostly laughter—marked the necrological rites for former Budget Secretary Boncodín held Thursday night by her friends and colleagues in government service.

On the fourth night of Boncodín’s wake, her colleagues at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) and the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) took turns to share stories and anecdotes about her and to praise her dedication and integrity as a public servant. Her mother Cristeta and only sister Adel were present.

Patricia Santo Tomas, Development Bank of the Philippines chair and former labor secretary, said Boncodín’s idea of a treat for her staff was ordering food to-go from Jollibee.

“She also liked going to Kamameshi and Serye at Quezon Memorial Circle. Sacsacan ng tipíd. (She was miserly).” Fine dining was not part of Boncodín’s lifestyle.

Exemplar of modesty

Calyzar S. Divinagracia, DAP board chair, described Boncodín as an “exemplar of modesty and frugality.”

DAP president Antonio D. Kálaw, Jr. spoke about her “utmost diligence and simplicity.”

Rarely did Cabinet members, who served on the DAP board, attend meetings, he said. They usually sent representatives. But Boncodín was always present.

Boncodín, however, was perennially late, Kálaw said, a habit that was confirmed by other colleagues who spoke at the tribute.

The reason, they said, was she always gave time to people who consulted her and there was never enough time for each one. And so she would be late for the next appointment and the next.

Boncodín, Divinagracia said, worked to make the DAP financially viable without asking funds from government. She played a key role in its seven-year subsidy program. She also taught at the DAP and at the University of the Philippines (UP) National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG).

“She did not want DAP to have an isáng cahig, isáng tucâ (hand-to-mouth) existence.” But, he added, “She was very matipíd (frugal). She even refused to give honoraria to the DAP board of trustees. ”

Always do right

Former Welfare Secretary Corazón Alma de León recalled: “Emy helped me get the needed budget when I was chair of the CESB. That is why they now have a building they call their own. She exercised the art of the possible but always with honesty, integrity and hard work. She lived the core values of ‘Gawin ang Tamà (Do what is right). She didn’t have to die at 55. But I guess she was ready. None of us are.”

“Emy liked singing,” Santo Tomás said. “She was more than just a public servant. She was a happy person and a really good person. They say that if you are with good persons, you also become a good person.”

Fiery words and flashy pronouncements were not Boncodín’s style. She just walked her talk. It could be done, it could be lived—was the message of her life. She lived simply, she died simply.

“But now she has lipstick on, and even eye shadow,” Santo Tomás quipped, drawing laughter from the audience.

Click here for the complete news article.

Martial Law no more in Maguindanáo

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“In view of the accomplishments of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the habeas corpus under Proclamation 1959, the Cabinet has recommended the lifting of martial law and which the President has approved,” Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced earlier today.

Martial Law in Maguindanáo.

Finally, they’ve come to their senses: Martial Law has been lifted in non-rebellious Maguindanáo. It’s about time. There is really no state of rebellion in the province. Plain and simple. Martial Law may have been justified, say, if it was directed against MILF aggression. But the group has been quiet for a long time. So why place the province under military rule?

When an alleged coup d’état against the Arroyo Administration last 2006 was discovered by the military, the country was placed only under a state of emergency. But Arroyo could’ve easily placed the country –or at least Metro Manila where “much of the action” was planned out– under Martial Law no matter what her critics say about it. But she didn’t. On the other hand, Arroyo could’ve just placed Maguindanáo under a state of emergency instead of declaring Martial Law. But again, she didn’t. Which makes her political behavior more confusing and suspect.

Theories have been put forward about the Maguindanáo Martial Law debacle. Many legal experts say that if the province is placed under Martial Law, then the murder raps filed against the Maguindanáo Massacre suspects, the Ampatuan clan (particularly Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr.), will be relegated to rebellion. And it is said that punishment for rebellion is surprisingly lighter compared to murder. It is likely that it was the real motive. After all, the Ampatuan clan is an Arroyo ally. Arroyo has a debt of gratitude to the embattled Muslim clan. It’s not really doubtful that they collabarated against FPJ’s electoral downfall in ARMM, particularly in Maguindanáo, during the 2004 Philippine National Elections.

Even the manner the mayor of Datu Unsay was taken in by authorities from his posh mansion in Maguindanáo to the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila was tainted with “royal preference”. If the massacre was headed by an ordinary person, the “arrest” would have been different. It could’ve been nasty. Punches and curses could’ve been thrown here and there. There could’ve even been blood. But no, that wasn’t the way it happened with the mayor. And it only reveals how unequal justice is in this country.

Afterwards, the arresting party claimed that the chopper they used to bring the primary suspect to Luzón was attacked “from the ground” by gunfire from unknown assailants. They said that Mayor Ampatuan was shocked. It was hilarious, really; nobody up to now took their claim seriously. That incident even died as soon as it was revealed to the media. And I could be the only person writing about.

Based on the foregoing, it appears that there is an obvious attempt to exonerate Mayor Ampatuan to the public by making him appear to be the victim, the downtrodden, the oppressed. But they only made him more ridiculous and hated and laughable. Nobody bought the chopper shooting incident.

You see, folks, the majority of Filipinos may have been wallowing in poverty for decades. But that doesn’t mean that the Filipino people are stupid. They have been through a lot of hell, and much of that hell was from the original Martial Law of Marcos. We’ve learned our lesson in blood.

The Filipino people are not stupid like what Arroyo and her lackeys think they are.

The Arroyo Empire starts to crumble!

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Now for some good news from –surprisingly!– Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri:

Arroyo party sapped by mass defection
About 40% may have left, Zubiri estimates

As much as 30-40 percent of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD may have decamped, and the ranks of the Liberal Party (LP) and Nacionalista Party (NP) are swelling at the administration party’s expense.

That candid assessment was made Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, the ruling party’s vice president for Mindanáo, who explained the defections of erstwhile Palace allies to the LP and NP as “betting on the winning horse” in the May 2010 polls.

“Probably 30-40 percent of the party … has already left,” Zubiri said. “Well, you know, as we say in politics, for everyone that leaves there’s always an open door for somebody to come in.” Inquirer.net

Huh?

Zubiri’s raving. Who in his sane and righteous mind would want to come in to a dirt-filled house of horrors?

Everybody’s leaving; what keeps “Candid Zubiri” remaining? In the long run, his honest remark regarding the status of the much-hated Arroyo Empire might put him in trouble…

Fill in the balloon, Miggy Boy! Tell us some more!

All it takes is a supreme court ruling to finally clean up a dying Manila Bay

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But it took eight years –EIGHT FREAKIN’, GLOBAL WARMIN’, OIL SLICKIN’ YEARS– before the Arroyo Administration thought of taking up the cudgels to finally rehabilitate a dying Manila Bay where, according to stories, sardines once teemed. Well now it’s teeming with biologically contaminated fish, toxic sludge, bloated crime victims, and other mutated f*ck-knows-what.

The question is why did it take eight years before the current administration thought of winding up it’s ass to do some real rehabilitation of one of the world’s most famous bays? Do they always have to rely on Supreme Court decisions even with environmental concerns such as conserving the beauty and cleanliness of our country’s most historical bay?

It took eight years –and a little over eight months before the next national elections– for the people to finally see some environmental action from the self-styled environmental czar of the Philippines. Hmmm.

What was that APO Hiking Society song again? Oh yeah, Nakapagtataka

Bahía de Manila is famous for its breathtaking sunsets.

Bahía de Manila is famous for its breathtaking sunsets.

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