BULAN, Sorsogon, Philippines (JGL) – In 1943, the Japanese Imperial Army started building an airport in a small sitio of Bulan, Sorsogon so their soldiers can easily escape if General MacArthur were to return with his Allied soldiers during World War II.

But because of the extraordinary grit and resiliency of the Filipino guerillas (militias), they were able advance the timetable of MacArthur’s return, which caught the Japanese by surprise.

As MacArthur was carpet-bombing Leyte from the nearby Leyte Gulf, the Japanese Forces abandoned the airport they were building in what is now believed to be sitio Oyango in Bulan that ends up in Ticao Pass, a part of the Luzon Strait that connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea (Philippine Western Sea) in the western Pacific Ocean.


(LOLO BOBBY M. Reyes (right) surveys the extend of the runway of the Bulan Airport, which he said he will complete if he were elected Sorsogon governor on Monday, May 9, during his visit to the area recently in Bulan, Sorsogon, Philippines. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Several Philippine presidents since Liberation had dreams of reviving the construction of the airport but an independent candidate for provincial governor LOLO Bobby M. Reyes would like to finally help the people of Bulan (Bulanenos) have their own airport if he is elected governor on Monday, May 9, 2016. Government officials who tried to build the airport just put the money for the airport in their pockets that’s why nothing had come out of the airport, Mr. Reyes said.

Mr. Reyes said he could make the Bulan Airport a reality if his patron, Sen. Grace Poe, is elected president on Monday.

Mr. Reyes, who celebrated his 70th birthday last May 1, said the completion of the Bulan International Airport (BIA) is going to be one of the flag-ship projects of his administration out of the ten priority projects to “reinvent” the Quality of Life in Sorsogon and its “Isles of the Future” and create 300,000 jobs.


 Taking a page from Sorsogon’s longest-serving governor, the late Juan G. Frivaldo, who sported the name “Tata (elderly) Juan,” Mr. Reyes said his moniker “LOLO,” which means grandfather in Bikol, stands for “Law and Order, Less Government and Opportunities equally for all.”

As a long-time Balikbayan from Los Angeles, California, where he was a lifelong community activist, LOLO Bobby returned to his boyhood and high school-age home of Barangay Bibingcahan in what he now calls “Bacon-Sorsogon (Bac-Sor) City” with all the wisdom and perspectives he accumulated so that he could pay back his dues to his  province of birth.

Based on his writings from his travels on his own mabuhayradio.com and Facebook posts, LOLO Bobby now wants to put those ideas into practice if he luckily wins the majority vote of the 425,025 Sorsogon voters, who had an 83.71% voting turnout record in 2013.

Bobby decided to run for governor of Sorsogon when he started to urge Senator Poe to run for president, when nobody did, thru his Facebook posts, which generated tens of thousands of likes and followers and when nobody from the crop of candidates for governor in Sorsogon supported Ms. Poe. Bobby was introduced to Ms. Poe by his daughter, who was a classmate of Ms. Poe from grade one in Antipolo City to high school.

Because Bobby is not allowed to host a radio program a few weeks in the run-up of the elections, he asked some of his friends, including this reporter and Bubot Laguna, to sub for him in spreading his message over Catholic radio station (DZGN-FM, 102.3mHz)(11a.m. to 12 noon) hosted by Psalm Geraldino and PADABA (103.9 FM) (4 p.m.-6 p.m.) hosted by Bhem Emmanuel Desabayla.


withfarmersIn his visit to Purok 7-B in Bulan Airport with this reporter, LOLO Bobby told the people, who turned the 10-lane runaway of the airport into palay drying platform, that with the grace of God if he were elected Sorsogon governor, he foresees the airport to be his flag-ship project that could generate hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.)

“I will make sure that you will earn a minimum of P1,000 (US$22.22) a day in contrast to Manila where P450 (US$10.00) a day is the minimum daily wage,” Bobby told one of farmers who were drying his palay over the ten-lane runway.


(ASIDE FROM THIS Terminal building, only the 10-lane runaway is the only visible task that was constructed from an alleged release of P15-M (US$333,333) to construct the airport in 2007. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

When asked why he is making Bulan Airport his main project, Bobby said, “I am the son of Cristina Mercado, who hails from Bulan. And I am the only candidate out of the eight candidates for governor, who hails from Bulan.”

It was reported by the Bulan Observer that sometime in 2007, there was funding for the airport in the amount of P15-M (US$333,333) for the parcellary survey, to complete the runway upgrading and right-of-way acquisition that was supposed to be completed by 2008. It did not mention if the terminal building that is the only visible building in the airport was part of the funding.


(HIS EXPANSIVE runway that was started by Japanese Imperial Forces was being rebuilt by every administration after World War II but has yet to be completed. LOLO Bobby M. Reyes, a son of a native of Bulan, Sorsogon in the Philippines, wants to finish this Bulan International Airport if he is elected Sorsogon governor on Monday, May 9. The runway ends in Ticao Pass, a part of the Luzon Strait that connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea (Philippine Western Sea) in the western Pacific Ocean. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Aside from the airport and the other priority projects he wants to pursue, Mr. Reyes said he wants to introduce economic development in Sorsogon because it is one of the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines. “It’s about time somebody has to do positive things for the province and of course I want zero corruption. I would handle peace and order under a law and order program that will stop corruption and stop crimes from rising, especially drug epidemic.”

He said his projects have been posted on his Facebook page and website, mabuhayradio.com.

Although nobody is bankrolling his campaign, LOLO Bobby likes his chances to be elected governor as he has been rated fourth among the eight gubernatorial candidates by a Sorsogon radio station.


(BECAUSE HE has no money to pay for his own billboard, Independent candidate LOLO Bobby M. Reyes is very pleased to see and thankful that the office of Sorsogon City Mayor  Sally A. Lee and the Sorsogon City Tourism Office have included his name and photo in the billboard of six of eight Sorsogon gubernatorial candidates. LOLO Bobby said that the “catch” of the ad is actually a backhanded endorsement of one of the candidates, Eric Dioneda (PDP-Laban), whose educational attainment was portrayed as a college undergraduate first-year midwifery education. Mayor Lee’s son, Bobet Lee Rodrigueza (Liberal Party), is portrayed as a holder of a BSBA-Management degree while LOLO Bobby Reyes is a college graduate in AB Journalism. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Mr. Reyes said on or before July 1, 2016, the first day of office when he takes over the “Sorsogon Interactive New Government (SING),” he will launch simultaneously 10 or more crash-programmed projects designed to raise dramatically the “Quality of Life (QoL)” of the people of Sorsogon that will lead to eliminate unemployment and underemployment.

 “PROJECT 2021”

 He said ten separate task forces, with at least 100 trained staffers each, will be organized and fielded to implement the projects that will translate into hundreds of thousands of new well-paying and permanent jobs.

All local-government units (LGU’s) will be asked to provide more manpower and support to the task forces.

The priority projects will be classified into short-, medium-, and long-term goals that shall be the vehicles needed to accomplish the so-called “PROJECT 2021.” “They will be treated like items in a conveyor belt of an assembly line, so that a long-term project can become a short-term goal if the circumstances and needed resources are present,” Bobby said.

Among the “PROJECT 2021” that will take Sorsogon from 20th to the 21st century (2016-2021) are introducing to the province a Health Maintenance Organization that will provide “Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/216368558400241); education reforms, including retraining of teachers, increasing their salaries, lowering teacher-student ratio, school-provided meals to elementary students and acquisition of modern equipment (https://www.facebook.com/groups/390671054351428/); inspection and retrofitting of concrete buildings in the province, including churches, followed by school-based earthquake-and-other-disaster-preparation classes and training and fielding of trained volunteer fire-and-disaster brigades;

Organization or re-organization of tree-farming co-ops in all the province’s 541 barangays (barrios) and crash program of planting cacao, coffee and cash crops and their shade trees, including an extensive cultivation of bamboo, so as to double the income of participating families in five to ten years, thereby wiping out poverty;  organization and reorganization of fishing co-ops in all the coastal barrios of the province, including the massive cleaning (every weekend) of Sorsogon Bay, the province’s 50 rivers and numerous springs, brooks and other bodies of water and reforestation of their watershed areas. (http://www.mabuhayradio.com/ecology-and-the-environment/the-save-our-sorsogon-sos-bay-initiative);


(LOLO BOBBY M. Reyes (extreme left) paid a courtesy call on Flor Solis (second from left), widow of the late Sorsogon Rep. Jose Solis (whose photo is hanging above) of the second district of Sorsogon, who lobbied for the construction of the Bulan Airport, in the house of Mrs. Solis and her daughter-in-law, Joanne Solis, who is running for provincial board member for the second district of Sorsogon, Bubot Laguna and journalist, Joseph G. Lariosa. (JGL Photo)

The fresh water of Sorsogon’s 50 rivers and other springs, brooks and streams can be harnessed and exported to different parched countries as today clean potable water is more expensive than crude oil or even gasoline. Launching of food-production centers with grain-storage silos, solar-powered refrigerated warehouse and other equipment; Concreting of the runways, aprons parking spaces of the Bulan and Bacon airports, the construction of control towers, with electronic-and-electrical facilities and fuel depots. (https://www.facebook.com/notes/bobby-m-reyes/how-to-complete-the-bulan-airport-as-revised/10202484307966425); the “New Uber-like Parcel Service and Postal House” (www.nupsph.com); solving the growing squatter problem; massive tourism development program; launching of a law-and-order campaign with a “reinvented” Sorsogon Provincial Sheriff’s Office and fielding of one law-enforcement officer (LEO) with training of five employees that will compose a security force of 5,000 to safeguard millions  of domestic and foreign tourists.
And many other projects that include development of stock market, title insurance industry, workmen’s compensation industry, crop-insurance and/or health-insurance industry, broadband industry, call centers, water parks, solid waste, waste-water (for the Bac-Man geothermal plant) and sewage treatment plants and other environmental friendly energy projects. (

Videoclip:  https://youtu.be/oUize3Zp4g4

Joseph G. Lariosa
Journal GlobaLinks
5401 West Lawrence Ave.

Suite 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714
E-Mail address: Jgl@jgli.net
Website: jgli.net
Facebook: Joseph G. Lariosa
Twitter: @jogalar



CHICAGO (JGL) – Overseas Filipino voters, who are interested to find out if their votes match their receipts, should vote in person, not by mail.

But if you don’t care or if you trust the Embassy or Philippine Consulate that your vote will be counted regardless if you want see the receipt or not, then you may just mail in your ballots for as long as you believe that your mail-in votes will be postmarked on or before the May 9, 2016 deadline.

This overseas voter found it the hard way when the staff in the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, who are deputized by the Philippine Commission on Election, to handle the conduct of voting were not able to properly explain to me the nuisances of the difference between voting by mail and voting by person.

It was only after I learned from a complaint of an overseas voter in Hongkong that there was a receipt that validated her vote after dropping the ballot. The complaint of the overseas voter, which was enclosed in a youtube link (http://kickerdaily.com/hk-ofw-claims-she-voted-for-duterte-but-roxas-came-out-in-the-ballot/), which went viral, led me to double check with the Philippine Consulate in Chicago how come I did not get a receipt after I filled up my ballot in the voting precinct in the Consulate.

The complainant said although she voted for “Duterte,” the receipt showed she voted for “Roxas.”

This took me aback and I wanted to find out what happened to the ballot that I filled up and informed the Consulate.

Deputy Consul General and SBEI (Special Board of Election Inspectors) Chairman Romulo Victor M. Israel, Jr. belatedly explained to me that according to COMELEC Resolution No. 10087, ballot receipts are shown only to those who voted personally, meaning those who cast their votes by receiving and accomplishing their ballots at the polling center, and feeding their ballots into the Vote Counting Machine (VCM).

Moreover, after verifying his/her votes as contained in the receipt, the voter will be asked to fold and drop it in a designated receptacle or box. Voters shall not be allowed to bring the receipts with them.



FOR THE RECORD: (Just for my record, I asked that a picture be taken of me while I was voting at the Philippine Consulate last Wednesday, May 3.  I never imagined I would be publishing this picture . (JGL Photo)

 When I voted last May 3, I took with me the ballot I received from the mail in the Consulate. I filled up my ballot in the Consulate voting table.

When I asked where I should drop my ballot, I was told the “batch feeding” has been closed for the day.

I was given an option to come back the following day so I will be one to drop my filled-up ballot in the batch feeding. When I asked if my ballot would be deposited with other filled-up ballots, they said in the affirmative.

But there was no mention of a receipt at all by the Philippine Consulate staff. What was mentioned was “batch feeding.”

If not from the complaint of the Hongkong voter that there was discrepancy between her filled up ballot and her receipt, I would just have kept quiet about it.

Technically, because I brought my ballot and filled up my ballot in the Consulate, I really voted in person, not by mail. The Consulate should have told me that because the “batch feeding” is closed, “we cannot hold on to your ballot and you have to come back.”

I would have gladly come back because I wanted to experience the thrill and excitement of seeing the election tools working properly.

Otherwise, I will follow the lead of the Hongkong voter, who had to complaint to media to expose the discrepancy.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I am going to accompany someone, Mr. Marlon Pecson, who has not yet voted.

I would like to find out if the voter will experience the thrill and excitement that the votes in the receipt he took matched with what he had written in his ballot.

Overseas voters have until 4 a.m. , in case of Central Time  in Chicago, Monday, April 9, to come to the Consulate to personally vote.

Those mailed-in ballots postmarked before April 9 and received at noon of April 9 will still be received and counted. (jglariosa@hotmail.com)

Joseph G. Lariosa
Journal GlobaLinks
5401 West Lawrence Ave.

Suite 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714

E-Mail address: Jgl@jgli.net
Website: jgli.net
Facebook: Joseph G. Lariosa
Twitter: @jogalar



CHICAGO (JGL) – A driver at a mining firm, who was suspected of trespassing in a mining concern in Castilla, Sorsogon in the Philippines, was manhandled by Sorsogon Gov. Raul R. Lee in a video clip that is going viral.


Sorsogon Gov. Raul Lee (in red shirt) is shown messing up the face of a mining driver, who turned his back on the governor, who was asking him questions for trespassing in a mining firm for gold and platinum in Castilla, Sorsogon from this screenshot from a video clip that has gone viral. (JGL Photo)

Although, the incident happened a year ago, it was only now, three days before the Philippine election, that the video clip was circulated by an anonymous videographer, who fed it to the critics of Governor Lee.

It was reported that the governor, who is not running for office this time, was pissed off when the driver turned his back to the governor, who was asking him a question.

It was also reported that Governor Lee was asking the driver, who authorized him to trespass in the mining concern and who his financier was. Mr. Lee, who is a lawyer by profession, was also asking what equipment the driver was using.

When the driver could not answer the Governor’s question, he turned his back on the Governor. This prompted Governor Lee to gang up on him and rough the driver up by crashing the driver’s face with his hands and fingers while Governor Lee’s security officers tried to stop the Governor from causing the driver more harm.

Although Lee can still run for the third term, he decided to pass up the election and let his son, Bobit Lee Rodrigueza, run for  governor. His wife, incumbent Sorsogon City Mayor Sally Lee is running for re-election against Jo Abegail “Bem” Dioneda, the eldest daughter of former Sorsogon Mayor Leovic Dioneda, who died from heat stroke two weeks ago.

Rodrigueza, who is running under the Liberal Party, is up against Sorsogon provincial board member Eric Dioneda, son of the late Mayor Leovic Dioneda, who is running under the PDP-Laban, and six other candidates, including Independent gubernatorial candidate and Balikbayan Bobby M. Reyes, who is running under the ticket of Sen. Grace Poe, on the May 9 elections. (jglariosa@hotmail.com)

Contributed videoclip: https://www.facebook.com/AngPeepNiSally/videos/vb.1554654264852412/1609323166052188/?type=2&theater

Joseph G. Lariosa
Journal GlobaLinks
5401 West Lawrence Ave.

Suite 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714

E-Mail address: Jgl@jgli.net
Website: jgli.net
Facebook: Joseph G. Lariosa
Twitter: @jogalar



(© 2016 Journal GlobaLinks)

NARITA, Japan (JGL) – I was on my way to Chicago, Illinois when I got a PM (private message) on my Facebook account that my cousin’s husband was gunned down because he refused to give up his dream to become a councilor in the municipality of Matnog, Sorsogon.



Seven bullets from a .45 pistol were pumped in various parts of the body of Cayetano “Onoy” G. Oro, Jr., 58, an UNA candidate, by two men, who fled after his killing in front of the house of Barangay Captain Nelson Gacis in Pawa, Matnog at about 6:20 p.m. on April 25. 

I felt guilty because I was in Matnog a few days before the shooting for about five hours while I was writing a story for my outlets in one of the Internet cafes there. But I forgot to ask Onoy’s uncle, retired Matnog policeman Nonoy M. Garra, for me to talk to Onoy.

Onoy’s death followed the broad daylight shooting of Onoy’s uncle, also a retired policeman Virgilio “Bilyong” Garra, who was also gunned down after losing his election as Matnog councilor in the 2013 elections.

Like Onoy’s death, Bilyong death was also attributed to the “people’s justice” promoted by the New People’s Army (NPA’s).

In other words, Onoy’s death will be an unsolved crime again — a perfect crime, where killers will never be brought to justice – like Bilyong’s.

Will this murder of impunity stop if Mayor Duterte were elected president on Monday, May 9?

It remains to be seen.

I am not a big fan of Mayor Duterte, in fact I am leaning on voting for the Gobyernong may Puso, but if Duterte wins and make good his threat to pulverize the criminals, like the killers of Onoy and Bilyong, I might warm up to Duterte’s Death Squad (DDS).

Like Hitler’s SS (Schutzstaffel) or Marcos’ Metrocom Intelligence and Security Group (MISG) or Metrocom Strike Force (MSF), who could not shoot straight, President Duterte’s Death Squad (DDS) should still give killers of Onoy and Bilyong a day in court before DDS take matters into their own hands.

These killers should hope and pray that Mayor Duterte does not win on Monday.




 The NPA’s had already claimed responsibility for the killing of Bilyong because they alleged Bilyong was pushing drugs. But the NPA’s brand of justice is spotty. If the hierarchy of NPA’s only investigated Bilyong first before killing him, they would learn that their intelligence information was flawed.

Bilyong could not have sold drugs because he did not even have money to buy medicine to cure his big boil on his neck. (Please note the towel covering his boil in this photo).

The Sorsogon Philippine National Police cannot go after the NPA’s even after the NPA’s claimed responsibility for the killing of Bilyong because the PNP said the relatives of Bilyong refused to file a complaint. Can you believe the alibi of the PNP? Who of the relatives in their right mind would file a complaint against the NPA’s when the PNP could not even provide protection to my relatives?


 When there is dead body, a good police agency can motu proprio (on his own impulse) conduct a criminal investigation even if there is no complainant. The dead body is considered “evidence,” a “smoking gun.” Why wait for the scared complainant to come forward when the government under the Constitutional doctrine of “parens patriae” can extend protection to the victims of crime by prosecuting the criminals?

I’ve been prodding the relatives of Bilyong to sue the NPA’s but my relatives were hesitant to do so, because they feared they would be the next victims of NPA’s.

True enough, their fear and apprehension unfolded before their very eyes when Onoy was killed and the killing was attributed yet again to the usual suspects – the NPA’s.

But Onoy was not even a suspected drug pusher either, nor a common criminal. Onoy just wanted to make his dream as an elected municipal councilor come true.

Where is the outrage of the community?

But I have a feeling the NPA’s are terrorizing the peace-loving people of Matnog, the birthplace of my mother, because the NPA’s are conspiring with or are being coddled by local municipal officials of Matnog and Sorsogon provincial officials.

When the death of Bilyong was brought up two years ago in my conversation with Matnog Mayor Emilio G. Ubaldo, Mayor Ubaldo was silent. (Please see my photo with Mayor Ubaldo.)

According to grape vines when Bilyong ran for councilor in Matnog, Mayor Ubaldo felt threatened by Bilyong’s candidacy.


 How can Bilyong become a threat to Mayor Ubaldo? Bilyong is as poor as a rat. His pension as a retired policeman was not even enough to feed himself. Bilyong did not even have money to buy medicine to cure the big boil on his neck. My sister and nephew gave Bilyong money to buy medicine to cure his boil but Bilyong saved the money for himself so he could keep his small business going while he endured the pain.

Bilyong obviously did not profit from his business because when he was gunned down, his boil was still sticking on his neck and was even growing!

And I surmise, Mayor Ubaldo also felt threatened by Onoy.

Bilyong and Onoy were only running for lowly municipal councilors. Why will Mayor Ubaldo feel threatened?


The Mayor (left) with the author Josep G. Lariosa

Mayor Ubaldo has been the undisputed political warlord in Matnog. Bilyong and Onoy were not even challenging him. Why doesn’t he let other people run for office in Matnog so they can also serve the people, like Bilyong’s granduncle, the late Lamberto “Papa Titong” G. Garra, who was a long-time outstanding councilor of Matnog with unblemished record?

Bilyong’s father, Jose “Papa Tote” G. Garra, was also a long-time municipal secretary of Matnog and was never involved in corruption.


 As for the NPA’s, who are extorting money from politicians by demanding “permit to campaign (PTC),” I suggest the government human rights commission (HRC) should prosecute these NPA’s. Reward money should be given to anonymous tipsters, who can give information of the extortion activities of the NPA’s to the HRC so the NPA’s do not know the anonymous tipster and the NPA’s do not know whom to retaliate against.

In the first district of Sorsogon, NPA’s demanded and was granted P1.2-M (US$26,666) by candidate running for congress while NPA’s demanded but was rejected when they demanded P500,000 (US$11,111) from a gubernatorial candidate (Eric Dioneda) of Duterte’s PDP-Laban party because the candidate does not have money. Eric Dioneda is the son of Sorsogon City mayoral candidate Leovic Dioneda, who died of heat stroke last week. Leovic will be replaced (or substituted) by his eldest daughter, Jo Abegail “Bem” Dioneda.

Onoy is going to be replaced (or substituted) by his sibling.

Another Sorsogon gubernatorial candidate, Bobby M. Reyes, who is running as an independent supporting Grace Poe, said he does not have money to pay the PTC to the NPA’s but he will focus his campaign on airwaves (radio/TV/social media) and print media so his message can hopefully reach out to the areas under the influence of the NPA’s.

If NPA’s extortion activities weaken because of the reward money, then reward money should also be given to anonymous tipsters of terrorists groups, like Abu Sayyaf.

In the case of jueteng lords, these jueteng lords should pay taxes to the Philippine government because they are using the transportation and communication lines and other facilities set up by the Philippine government. (jglariosa@hotmail.com)

Duterte, the Opium of the People.

We have in Duterte a criminal and a full-pledged psychopath running for presidency. Many dictators in history became mass murderers only after they had seized power. But not with Duterte. He is already one before even elected.  He admitted boastfully and a -matter-of-factly –  before millions of Filipinos and even watchers all over the world, that he killed people personally and that, if elected,  mass killings of people would be the order of the day. For after all, he believed that to be a president you must be a killer. The likes of Hitler, Stalin, Marcos, Saddam, al- Quaddafi would turn in their graves if they would hear Duterte. Indeed, these dead dictators and mass murderers would pale beside this psychopath made in Davao. These past dictators still displayed a trace of respect and good manners in front of the people and televisions. But not with Duterte. For him he is the biggest and the bravest for he decimated all the small drug criminals in Davao without due process of law. He is not just a lawyer- he is the law. For him, a drug addict and a drug dealer are the same so they must be killed.

Duterte of Davao, the mass murderer, rapist, sex maniac, liar, corrupt mayor, plunderer, tax evader, womanizer, alcoholics, drug user and drug dealer? A foul-mouthed dirty old man of Davao wanting to be the first communist- Muslim president in a predominantly catholic Philippines? No way. He deserves rather- and indeed asap- to be put in prison or be locked  in a psychiatric  hospital for he is a great danger to public safety- to women and children the most- and to public coffers.

Why did Duterte become the opium of the people, at least among this SWS 33%? Why are they in favor of  him after he showed them nothing but his psychopathic personality profile, mediocre I.Q, obscenities, blood thirst,  misanthropy, etc. during these last weeks? Is this the kind of man who will save the entire nation from poverty, the man who would attract foreign investors, tourists, beauty queens, diplomats and scholars? Has the Filipino taste and idealism really deteriorated that much after six years of Aquino good governance? ” For a change, that’s why I’ll vote for him”, a neighbor told me. A change for the worst? Is this our idea of political and social change? How come that Filipinos nowadays favor more devolution than evolution, mediocrity than sophistication, barbarism than culture and education, dictatorship than democracy, defeat than victory, decline than progress, idiocy than intelligence, emotion than reason?

Are these devaluations of Filipino character mainly because of poverty? Can a Filipino not be poor and yet be intelligent, decent, informed and democratic at the same time?

Poverty should actually  propel the Filipinos to be more creative problem solvers  and intelligent in their choices and decision making  so they can upgrade themselves rather than downgrade themselves more. Or has this nothing to do with intelligence and creativity but with the Filipino character and traits? Like traits of fatalism, crab mentality, ningas cogon,  debt of gratitude, dependency? All these contribute to the tendency  to sabotage the nation: Are these 33% really democratic-tired, poverty- tired, government-tired that now they want nothing but quick fixes to their problems? Or they just want to sabotage themselves?

Or is the whole thing a sign of creeping colonial nostalgia when the Filipinos were ruled by the rod? A modern collective masochistic  longing for a  sadistic punisher? Is lasting freedom too hard for the Filipinos to bear? Democracy too abstract a concept to comprehend?

And what made Duterte be the monster of Davao? His faulty genes, the people of Davao or his long history as a mayor? We can guess that all these have  contributed to the making of a Duterte monster. Many- but surely not all- people of Davao have feared him and this inflated more and more his defective ego. And being long in absolute power this absolutely corrupted his being. The result is this monster of Davao who now wants more and become the monster of the Philippines. It’s only ISIS that he respects, besides Jose Maria Sison and Quiboloy.

In any case, these 33%, including the INC and some corrupt Bicol politicians found in Duterte what they are looking for: A punisher and a hero archetype with impish plans who would sabotage for them the whole nation if elected – with the help of his communist, Muslim rebels  and drug ring buddies. He would be the absolute ruler and- together with his friend Quiboloy, another psychopath made in Davao- he would resurrect the millions of Filipinos from poverty and ignorance.

When in fact Duterte  is the most anti-Filipino who has ever entered the political scene-  and he is the first and foremost anti-Davao citizen. He is an insult to the intellect of Davao people, to  all decent people of Davao and whole of  Mindanao! They should jail him for such a heinous crime.

It would be a gross negligence of duty and national treachery  on the part of all other sane and responsible political, military, civic and religious leaders of the whole nation not to stop him from entering  Malacañang if ever elected this coming May 9. Stop this psychopath by all means! Filipinos can still afford this kind of national revolution than the revolution that Duterte and cohorts are planning to do without congress and supreme court. Stop him now! Preserve Freedom and Decency.






Catholics and women against Duterte

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro City, a Jesuit priest, just like Pope Francis, has called for all Catholic voters not to vote for a presidential candidate who is a serial human rights violator. He did not name Duterte but simply referred to him as the “Mayor of Davao City.”

In a pastoral letter titled “A Matter of Conscience,” he scored the mayor and other local officials of Davao City for the unsolved extrajudicial killings of 1,424 individuals:

“These killings are immoral, illegal and sinful.” He then added that they could never be justified     whoever the victims are.

He cited Redemptorist priest Fr. Amado Picardal, who knew about these killings perpetrated by the so-called group known as the Davao Death Squad. Picardal said that 57 of the victims were females and 132 were young people ages 12 to 17.

“None of the perpetrators have been arrested…A city with such a high rate of unsolved

killings cannot be called a city of peace and order,” said Archbishop Ledesma.

He stressed: “As Christians, we believe in the dignity of every person made in God’s   image from which flow human rights — and the most basic of which is the right to life.”

Indeed, no good Catholic or Christian or any decent individual – can in good conscience vote for or support a mass murderer presidential candidate who openly declares that a policy of extrajudicial killings is an inherent part of his platform, in the name of peace and order.

The international New York-based Human Rights Watch documents Duterte as a serial human rights violator who leads the Davao Death Squad.

It has also been revealed that he has millions in deposits in pesos and dollars in various bank accounts and vast real estate holdings in his name and his children’s names. His salary as a mayor is only P78,000 pesos.

This monster from hell is a Pol Pot who will not hesitate to kill masses of people. Killing fields like in Cambodia – will be a common phenomenon if Duterte becomes President. He openly confesses to his involvement in killing over a thousand people.

He also absolutely shows no respect for women. He fantasizes about being first in line in gang raping a murdered beautiful Australian missionary. Before an audience with women present, he talks about molesting their housemaid and masturbating twice while doing so.

He also has openly announced his alliance with the Communists, showing much deference in his conference with Joma Sison, also a mass murderer, calling him “Sir” and would welcome him if he became President. As obviously observed, many extreme left elements are actively campaigning for Duterte. The Communists see a great opportunity for them to take over the government with this partnership. Like Hitler and his Nazi party, these godless, amoral conspirators will not hesitate to murder political enemies in their quest for power.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Archbishop Ledesma, Archbishop Villegas and other Archbishops openly call on Catholics to apply their Catholic values based on the teachings of Christ and not to vote for Duterte and tell their relatives and friends to do the same. Priests and nuns are gathering together praying and telling their flocks not to vote for this demon.

In good faith, all well-meaning people must come together. They owe it to God, to their fellowmen and to themselves to prevent the darkness of a terribly evil ruler from falling upon our land. Please do your part and be on the side of what’s right and good.  Bravely face Duterte and the forces of evil. Four days left till Election Day. He cannot be allowed to be President.

This election is unquestionably about the fight between good versus evil.

Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/139280/139280#ixzz47oIuVd7s


Come clean, Duterte

by jun asuncion

The Filipinos should vote the presidential candidate who has a platform that is built upon the good works of his predecessor, a candidate who is credible and has a flair for statesmanship and a good international image. Above all, he must have a moral ascendancy and incorruptible character. Only then is the next step in building a democratic constitutional state further possible.

Several issues in this ongoing election campaign should be treated with caution:

Fighting corruption is not automatically equal to building  a democratic constitutional state. A candidate should be seen against the totality of his picture, against his personality make up, against his open and hidden track records as well. If  a presidential candidate promises a bloody cleansing of all criminals in the Philippines during the first three months of his term if elected, then, as in the case of Duterte and assuming he could not prove that his undeclared assets of hundreds of millions of pesos were not stolen from the government coffers,  he should  rather start this bloody cleansing in his own household first – with himself and his family.

Duterte, the hambugero and barumbado in his ways – both in words and actions – is the biggest joke in this presidential election. It went well for him in a mayoral format with  his warlord character and hot temper as many other mayors in our country are. However, presidential format is too big for him. it would be a national suicide to elect such a rude candidate. His good achievements in Davao do not in any way  permit him to rule over the entire Philippines for he is a tyrant in character, cloaked as fighter for the rights of common people. He is impulsively unpredictable, no self-control and given to fits of anger, obviously as compensation for his mediocre, if not primitive communication skills. How would you send him to the United Nations or to other countries for diplomatic missions? There he would only talk about raping, killing and barilan (shootings).

A president should show finesse, education and culture and the ability to communicate though fine language, not through primitive gestures, facial grimacing,  gang and gutter language.  On day one in office he would quarrel with Japan, America China and so on. The Philippines would be isolated. He would be a tyrant capitalizing on his fight against corruption and drugs. It needs more than these to be a national leader and a nation builder. Democratic constitutional state would be trampled down if a self-righteous person becomes the chief executive and commander in chief  of the armed forces. He would not solve the problems of the Filipinos; he would be the biggest problem, a national liability, not a national asset.

You may say that he could be a good president, that at last, somebody has arrived in Malacanãng who would fix all our problems of corruption and poverty and  catapult us to a first world nation in Asia. Well, it could be, but this is too good to be true – and our nation is too big to fail again! Hence, avoid the gambling when it comes to the highest office. He could also be the Philippines Kim Jong Un! His records in Davao tell us that he would not freely leave his office but would pass it to Sarah and sons, in effect, building up a new national political dynasty. His undeclared enormous wealth and properties are now robbing him his sleep and his presidential chance. Dirty Harry or Duterte? In any case, come clean, Duterte.

Federalism? Duterte advocates Federalism. Although this may be a good solution to a multi-ethnic nation like the Philippines, the present conditions in the Philippines do not call for a Federalist form of government. Not yet. With such a numerous secessionist movements, rebel groups, still a  weak national  government, economy and armed forces of the Philippines to re-enforce the laws, Federalism could easily slide to separatism, to several states proclaiming their independence -especially Mindanao. Duterte hates Luzon, that is his complex. He dreams for an independent Muslim country called Mindanao with his daughter and sons as rulers.

The next joke in this election is Binay. His main motivation in joining this race for the highest office is to save himself from all the pending cases  of corruption against him.This is a public knowledge. Hence, all of his words and actions during the whole campaign period are worthless. He lacks this moral ascendancy and credibility as a person and as a politician. Only corrupt people would vote for him. After this election period, the senators should work for his arrest for all his evasion tactics.

Miriam Santiago is a sacrificial pawn in this election. This tandem with Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is inauspicious, and  the most brilliant proof that she’s no longer in command of her senses.

Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is an echo of the past dictatorship. This thankful Marcos, Jr. didn’t know about martial law, conjugal dictatorship, the national plunder committed by his parents, the countless human rights abuses, tampering of the Constitution, liquidation of the opposition, etc. This is a public knowledge, local and international, yet the son  doesn’t know the recent history of the country from which he is  (vote) buying the  vice-presidency. Suffering from amnesia and yet run for vice-presidency? But we all guess that it’s all about indecency in this election for some presidential candidates and supporters alike. But nomen est omen. His defeat lies in his name. The Marcos supporters of today are just like him: People who want to return to the good old days  of politics where they could enrich themselves at the expense of the poor and helpless.

Grace Poe is a trap set by Danding Cojuangco and Joseph Estrada, two old wolves of dirty Philippine politics. Three years only  in senate, a neophyte in looks and in speech, and now wanting to be the commander in chief. Big dream being financed by big dads. She might really have good intentions for her country but she has chosen the wrong people behind.Greed begets greed.

President Aquino may not have been perfect during his term. Six years are too short to fix such a broken and sick country after all those decades of corruption and plundering by public officials. But given such a scope of destruction and short tenure, Pres. Aquino succeeded in laying down a solid foundation for a democratic constitutional state by exemplary leading his Tuwid na Daan (Good governance), of modernizing the armed forces, of elevating the Philippine’s image abroad and its investment status.

It’s just a matter of common sense that the next who should take over his place should be somebody who would continue and further develop this legacy. Another twelve years of continuous good governance would finally upgrade the Philippines’ economic and political landscape and the dream of Federalism would no longer be impossible.


The sins of corruption of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte:

By Maria Luarca-Reyes

A minute of silence, long hours of work

by junasun

Two weeks after the super typhoon Haiyan, we are faced with the herculean task of recovery and rebuilding. How do we build homes to the hundreds of thousands of homeless people and how do we give medical care to the wounded and sick among them without water and electricity and existing hospitals – and even medical staff for they, like all others, were victims themselves. This is such  an unimaginable logistical problem. Though help and support of all kinds are coming from the international community and the national government, still it takes time to build the most needed infrastructures like roads, hospitals, water and electric plants, bridges and the hundreds of thousands of homes needed. Many have died the day the typhoon hit these areas, but many more will die in such conditions of hunger, shock, trauma, homelessness and zero infrastructures, services and facilities. The government is doing everything but it needs time, – and time is running out to save the weakest and vulnerable among the survivors.

Most of the dead were buried by now. And while we still have hundreds of hours of work before us, to take a minute of silence that will bring us to that quiet place in us where no typhoon can ever penetrate, a place where we all feel at home together as a people, will do us good.

In the face of all these  destructive calamities that have recently befallen the country, we shall all agree that life shall go on and that the life and dignity  of every human shall be respected and protected. And also, as we now pick up our tools to start rebuilding, we should not neglect to treat nature with respect  and consider her in our planning so that she will treat us the same way. We are inseparable from nature, therefore, it’s just wise to live by her rules.

The Philippine archipelago is endowed with natural beauty, but beauty has its price. The Philippines is on the front line of natural calamities and danger may come from above and below. Danger from above are the typhoons. The Philippines is the only large country that is geographically very exposed to tropical cyclones. There are about 20 to 24 typhoons that hit the Philippines, and a few of them are devastating. The most recent one, super typhoon Haiyan, has occurred just two weeks ago and which has practically obliterated Tacloban city and many more places in this region. Around 44,000 of 55,000 houses were wiped out, the rest may still be standing but heavily defaced. Those buildings near the shore just disappeared with the storm surge and over 5,000 people disappeared in a wink of the eye of the storm.

Typhoons are just normal  for Filipino people that a child by the time he is ten years old will have already experienced around 240 typhoons. But this month’s typhoon has surpassed them all. And this typhoon Haiyan has given us a glimpse of the probable nature of typhoons yet to come, – that some of them could be as strong or even stronger than Haiyan. That’s a grim reality to come we have to brace ourselves for.

The danger from below our feet and houses are the earthquakes. The Philippine islands lie in the so called Pacific Ring Of Fire, hence, many earthquakes occur in the islands. The last one just last October 2013 which damaged among others Bohol and Cebu. If this happened that a strong earthquake and a super typhoon occurred in  just a few weeks of interval, the worst that one could imagine is if they would happen at the same time sometime in the future. Better not.

If beauty has its price, then it’s a high price. A single typhoon costs millions or billions of pesos. This typhoon Haiyan alone has cost around P25 billions. But that’s the loss and how about the cost of rebuilding? Aside from thousands of human lives, the country losses therefore tens of billions of pesos from typhoons and earthquakes alone every year.  And we  don’t even add to that the cost of the damages of the typhoons of political corruption that befall our senate and house of representatives and the provincial and municipal buildings. A total shame.

One thing is clear: We cannot move the Philippines away from these typhoons and earthquakes.The people have to  live with it, have to stay in their homeland and rebuild their cities and homes. For the responsible and sensible world citizens (or Netizens) who live in fortunate locations, their only option is to help. The Philippine islands have a life-saving role to play, – as a typhoon shock absorber or shield because after a typhoon has hit the Philippines with its full impact,  it normally continues its course to Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia but already weakened to a certain degree, hence, saving countless lives in these neighboring countries. Haiyan was already over 100 km/h slower when it approached Vietnam. Tha’s a big deal.

Typhoons here, earthquakes there, still life must go on like that of one father in Tacloban who lost his wife and five of his children instantly as the killer waves surged into their village that he is now left with only one child who survived with him. He said that the pain of loss was  hard to bear but he still has a child who needs him that’s why he chose life.

For us then who are not regularly affected by such devastating natural calamities, let’s choose to help them recover from their severe nightmare.





(© 2013 Fil Am Extra Exchange)


CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – The .45 caliber pistol was invented by Mr. John Browning to stop cold a raging juramentado, a Muslim armed with a kris, a jagged sword, on a suicide mission for martyrdom to kill Spanish and American invaders in Mindanao at the turn of the 19th century. These juramentados were the precursors of the suicide bombers in some Muslim extremist countries scaring the hell out of their visiting military forces.

But I never had any inkling that my once pilyo (mischievous but lovable) younger cousin, who had grown to become a policeman in my mother’s native town of Matnog in Sorsogon in the Philippines, would be felled by bullets from a .45 caliber pistol (http://tinyurl.com/ppp6bso). He was treacherously shot from behind his head allegedly by “suspected communist rebels.” My cousin was not even a Muslim, nor a juramentado! And he did not deserve to die from such cowardly act.

I don’t know if his murder was personal vendettas by his unseen enemies, whom he owed huge personal debts. But his enemies should have been men enough to face him or should have brought instead a case against him before the court of law if they wanted to settle a score. And not to resort to salvaging him!

If reports were true that Virgilio “Bilyong” Miguel Garra had drawn the ire of the rebels, I don’t know how he earned such wrath.

From what I know, the rebels only go after the big fish in the community, who oppresses the community. They usually go after ranking military officers, chiefs of police or mayors, who violate the people’s human rights. But not Bilyong. For the simple reason that he had lost any power and influence in the municipality after he retired from the police force that would enable him to commit human rights violations.




Bilyong did not make any money from the police force that should give rebels reason to “levy tax” from him. Unlike some of his rich neighbors, who made it big after brief stints with the Bureau of Customs and other Philippine government bureaucracies. Nor was he on the take in the lucrative Matnog ferryboat station franchise, a favorite milking cow by incumbent Matnog mayors.

Bilyong ran as a municipal councilor of Matnog in the last local lections. As expected he lost because he had nothing to offer but public community service, like his late father, Jose “Papa Tote” Garra, who was Matnog’s long-time Municipal Secretary. Bilyong had no money to buy votes either. So, how would he make the rebels’ blood boil when he did not even have a clout?

If his enemies were politicians, why would politicians still go after someone who is already down?

I do not know who shot and injured him when he was still in the police force when I last saw him in 1998.  Perhaps, police homicide investigators probing his murder should revisit his old case that reached the court.

From initial reports from my sources in Matnog, Bilyong was shot from behind his head in front of his house, which is near a Highway Patrol Group.

If this were so, why would the rebels still take special interest on a penniless election loser?

If Bilyong were shot near the Highway Patrol Group, why would the shooter/s be too brazen enough to fire shots within the hearing and visual distance of the Highway Patrol Group? Were the shooter/s in cahoots with the Highway Patrol Group? If not, did the Highway Patrol Group pursue the shooter after the shooting? If not, why not?

A lot of times after rebels conduct an operation, they usually claim responsibility right after the fact that, in effect, clears the military. I have yet to hear any claim of responsibility from the rebels for the slaying of Bilyong and their reasons for salvaging him!

If the military reports were true that Bilyong was felled by a bullet from a .45 caliber pistol, was the gun used a “colorum” or a “paltik? If it is, then, the chance of identification of the gunman is next to impossible.




If not, then, this government-issued firearm can be matched to the serial number of the gun, which is only issued to a military officer.

In the U.S., and I hope in the Philippines, too, all registered firearms are “test fired” twice. One shell is sent to the owner of the firearm and the other shell with the expended bullets is sent to the FBI.

If the gun is used in a crime, the bullet recovered from the crime scene can be matched to the bullet and the gun formation that the gun manufacturer sent to the FBI, that is, if the recovered bullet is not completely messed up.

A Filipino American friend, who is also a gun owner, told me, when manufactured, gun’s “rifling impressions” (the inside of the barrel where bullets pass through) are different from another gun of the same make. Although, built by the same factory, using the same machine and material, the gun’s “firing pin and shell ejector mechanism” are also unique from another gun, and are the equivalent of the gun’s fingerprint or DNA.

If only the shell casing is recovered near the crime scene, gun matching is still possible as the gun leaves very distinct marks on it. The ballistic investigation will focus on the firing pin and shell ejector mechanism.

But if the slug was recovered from the body, then, the investigator can compare it with the rifling impression from the gun’s barrel.

I hope the Philippine government has an airtight inventory of firearms in its database that should make it easy for homicide investigators to trace the owners of firearms used by hired killers.

As I told my relatives, if they happen to have a gun, like Bilyong, who was in the police service, they have to be doubly careful in leading their way of life as their enemies would not be confronting them face to face but would attack them from behind to even things up. And they should always pray.

Goodbye, Bilyong! May you rest in peace! (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)


The politics of an executive order

Marginal Note

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr., BicolToday.com

At this early takers of greening position in local politics here in the province of Sorsogon are throwing stones with their possible opponents by way of couched personal interest, using position held by a family member who were given a woeful feedback on how to upend the incumbency in a position of influence and power.

For lately, legislative fiat is being secured by a woman chief executive inviting attention to its supervisory power over barangay affairs specifically in the monitoring of national funded projects. The scheme was seen as an early fireworks to the floated interest of her husband who is aiming the seat of an incumbent representative.

Disguising its family intent by way of an executive order was too much for the taking of the provincial board where sitting committee members were heard that its all about politics and nothing more. The exercise was futile, though arguing certain provisions of the local government code which was interpreted to suit its political purposes.

It was a dismal performance by the lady chief executive and her staff who argued their cause but who willfully misinterpreted the exact provisions of the local government code. The committee does not want to be in the crossfire for 2013 is just about in the corner, thus doing the explaining is the provincial director of the interior and local government, supplying the missing, omitted provisions of the local government code with regard to the role, duties and responsibilities of a chief executive.

Pity for the executive order is full of antagonistic ideas to the sitting congressman and did put to test the position of the engineering district, thus the value of loyalty was opened.

Creating a technical monitoring team was too good to be true, it was the icing of the executive order, but the biggest chunk of the take is to negate the authority of an independent local government executive to accept a finish project in his barangay funded out from the national treasury specifically, congressional funds. That was the rub, and the play of the executive order is rubbish for it overstep its limitations and intends to transgress upon a legal authority to function as clearly defined in the local government code.

Taking the issue of corruption and using the line of the present administration of ‘matuwid na daan’ the executive order falls smack in the face of the executive, but do not blame her, it was her husband who purloined the interest by his ilks in the municipal government. He counts his people for he served nine long dubious years and the wife is currently on her last term in their moonless town.

Here’s another rub, at the hearing, she was overheard name-dropping a cabinet secretary who according to her is a relative, as if pushing out the contradiction of the provincial director of the interior and local government for their department is the same. But, to no avail.

Their object of ire is a man who do’esnt expect to win but took the seat from under for his district believed that he performed far better as local chief executive that his contenders.




(© 2012 Journal Group Link International)

CHICAGO (jGLi) – “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period, I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.

“In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.

“I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912.

“I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903.

“In China in 1927, I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

This quote from the talk last Sunday, Oct. 21, at the public forum, “Living the Social Gospel Today” at the Philippine American Ecumenical Church in Chicago, Illinois at the 40th anniversary observance of Philippine martial law by Filipino American author and theologian, Dr. Eleazar Fernandez, was a direct quote from Major Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler, an outspoken critic of military adventurism and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history – for being one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice.

General Butler, who saw action in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War, appears to be the poster boy of trigger-happy Philippine military, among them soldiers of the 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army led by Lt. Col. Noel Alexis Bravo.

Karapatan, the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights based in Quezon City, Philippines, said it was the soldiers of Colonel Bravo, who strafed the house of an indigenous B’laan tribal leader, Dagil Capion, on Oct. 18 at 6 a.m., killing Dagil’s wife, Juvy, who was two-month pregnant, and their two sons, Jorge “Pap,” 13, and Jan-Jan, 7, in Fayahlob, Sitio Datal-Alyong, Danlag Village, Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Both Dagil and his daughter, Vicky, 5, were wounded.

In order to lure Dagil to give up, the soldiers brought the bodies of Juvy and her sons outside the house. Juvy was a member of Kalgad, a local Lumad organization, which is opposing the Xstrata’s Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan. Dagil, as B’laan tribal leader, is likewise opposing SMI for exploiting the rich gold and copper deposits in Tampakan.


President Noynoy Aquino should immediately order the formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of human rights groups, the Church, local government, the Commission on Human Rights to look into the massacre.

The military should stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.” It seems the rebels could no longer match the firepower of the military and the military should just take defensive position.

The Philippine government should withdraw its counterinsurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians.

As a signatory to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other major Human Rights instruments, the Philippines should protect, not violate, the human rights of the Filipino people.

If the large-scale mining of Xstrata’s Sagittarius Mines, Inc. is straying into the tribal property, President Aquino should cancel the mining permit just as the American government has granted American Indian Natives their own reservations.

The massacre of the Capions does not appear to be isolated. In my home region of Bikol, elements of the 49th Infantry Battalion are also being accused in the killing of Barangay Captain Merlyn Bernas last Aug.7 at Barangay Malaya, Labo, Camarines Norte. Bernas was tagged as a member of the New People’s Army. Bernas, however, had the support of her constituents, who turned out in full force to denounce the military for the killing Bernas during Bernas’ funeral procession.

In Bulan, Sorsogon, soldiers from 8th Scout Ranger led by 2nd Lt. Jay Maravilla under the 31st Infantry Battalion also shot and killed on July 17, 2012 a coconut farmer they suspected as NPA member. The killing was announced on local radio by 31st IB Commander, Lt. Col. Judy Torribio.


On the other hand, on April 30, 2012, soldiers from the 9th Infantry Battalion also shot and killed Jovic Estrellado in Gubat, Sorsogon. A PFC Jordan Enconada earlier approached Estrellado to withdraw his case against some members of 9th IB.

President Aquino should dismantle the Peace and Development Team (PDT) that is used as cover as the Army’s Death Squads.

These extra-judicial killings should be stopped and the killers should be punished. If these military men cannot stop the killings under their watch, they should be re-assigned and be re-trained to be sensitive to human rights procedures before they are given new assignments.

Mr. Aquino should never use the military to support what Dr. Fernandez calls “corporate greed” that was denounced by General Butler, who called the U.S. military as “gangster of capitalism.”

Dr. Fernandez said, “When your interest is not of the people, you need the military to protect yourself against the people.

“Protection of the interest of the few leads to repression of the many. This is what the predatory global market does. It goes against the interest of the people. It is anti-democratic and what is at stake here is our democratic life.”

President Aquino should justify reports that his government has informed the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland last May that “there is armed rebellion in the Philippines that gives him an excuse to use the military to fight the rebels.” He should also countermand the Executive Order No. 546 signed by his mother.

And he should go back to the stalled peace talk with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front and come up with agreement that will bring about lasting peace.

If he can pull off this agreement with the left, Mr. Aquino will be the first Philippine president to have entered two major peace agreements with rebels within his term of office following the framework agreement his government signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front two weeks ago. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)



Journal Group Link International

P. O. Box 30110

Chicago IL 60630


Tel. 312.772.5454

Telefax 312.428.5714





(© 2012 Journal Group Link International)


In a span of less than a week, my fellow Bikolanos lost their two favorite sons – Congressman Salvador H. Escudero III of Casiguran, Sorsogon and Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo of Naga City.

While Congressman Escudero lost his battle with colon cancer at the age of 69 and Robredo lost his life to a plane crash at the age of 54, both certainly died ahead of their time.


Of the two, I had a close-up look at senior Congressman Escudero, a classmate of my elder sister, Dona L. Hernandez, in the college of veterinary medicine at the University of the Philippines in the 60’s.When Dr. Escudero became Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, my sister worked for a few months as a Sorsogon provincial veterinarian, where she met her future husband, the late Jose E. Hernandez from what used to be Bacon and now part of Sorsogon City as a district.

My sister, Dr. Hernandez, parted ways with Dr. Escudero when she immigrated to the United States in the late sixties.

Dr. Escudero’s work ethic and being workaholic served him well him and had not gone unnoticed by the martial law government of President Marcos, who later appointed him as Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry and later as Minister of Food and Agriculture, not Minister of Education as listed in the House of Representatives’ press release. He also became Agriculture Secretary from 1996-1998.

Because of his incorruptible image and as my role model, I sought him out as one of my wedding sponsors.


Despite his busy schedule, Dr. Escudero attended my wedding sometime in 1977 on the day that the Marcos government adopted the first daylight saving time. Making it to an early appointment was no stranger to Ninong Sonny Escudero, who as a teetotaler, usually reported to work at 7 a.m.

Less than two months before his death, I got word that he was very sick as his mobility was confined to a wheelchair. My nephew, Manuel Villamor, in Sorsogon City, told me in a Facebook message, “your Ninong wants to say hello to you. But he is now in a wheelchair.”

But I was surprised that he died so soon last Aug. 13. I wish I could have reached out to him sooner as I emailed his son, Sen. Chiz Escudero, to condole on his father’s death.

The email messages I sent a number of times to some members of the Philippines House of Representatives had never generated a response. I suggest the HR should investigate the inefficiency of its Webmaster, who should be replaced if HR wants to receive feedbacks from the public.

Ninong Escudero has sponsored and co-sponsored numerous bills. But one that left a lasting impression for him was HR 01135, which he authored in his capacity as chair of the Committee on Basic Education and Culture. HR 01135 is a resolution, urging the Administration of President Benigno C. Aquino III to allow the burial of the remains of former President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The bill never gained traction in the House. But one of these days, if my research will check out, this resolution might see its light of day. If I find out something compelling that will vindicate the House to pass the resolution, I will dedicate my effort to the memory of my Ninong Sonny. For now, goodbye, my Ninong. May you rest in peace!

In the case of Secretary Robredo, whose tragic death caught the sympathy and interest not only of the Filipinos but also overseas Filipinos and their friends, I still find it shocking three days after his remains was recovered from the bottom of the sea that he died.

Although, he was not known to have a good “pr” (public relations) or sociable with the media, Mr. Robredo made up for this lack of this knack by being accessible and straightforward with full public disclosure of available information at hand. And this demeanor should make him popular to media types.



Never known to take public issue with local politicians, who opposed his confirmation as full-fledged secretary of the department of interior and local government before the Commission on Appointments, Mr. Robredo was a silent worker, who was never distracted by petty politics. He just performed his job while he enjoyed the trust of President Aquino.Unlike Dolphy, whose deteriorating health was detailed in the news on a daily basis and made the people, who are conferring him the National Artist award, appear to be dragging their feet, the members of the Commission on Appointments found themselves being hit by lightning when they procrastinated for two years to confirm Robredo as cabinet secretary with the plane crash on Aug. 18 (Philippine time).

But from all the comments after the death of Mr. Robredo that I find intriguing is that of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who appeared to have dishonored the memory of Mr. Robredo, who was made to appear to be harboring a criminal. Lacson said he tried to seek the help of Secretary Robredo to convince Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to respect a Court of Appeals decision that set aside the arrest warrant against him when he was running from the law.

If what Mr. Lacson was saying was true, I think, Mr. Robredo, being a non lawyer, might have also asked the opinion of his lawyer friends if what Mr. Lacson was asking him to do made sense. I’m sure Mr. Robredo’s lawyers advised Mr. Robredo that complying with Mr. Lacson’s request for help was premature – the Court of Appeals’ decision was not yet final and was still appealable to the Supreme Court!

I just hope President Aquino and the Commission on Appointment will honor the memory of Secretary Robredo by replacing him with and confirming someone, who has no criminal record. How can a once fugitive from the law have moral ascendancy over lawbreakers?

When Secretary Robredo will be honored at the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, Aug. 24, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. by his APO-USA fraternity brothers and by his fellow Bikolanos, particularly the Bikol U.S.A. of the Midwest, I will be praying not only for the soul of Secretary Robredo and my Ninong Sonny Escudero but also for President Aquino to appoint an independent-minded Supreme Court Chief Justice, a more sensible replacement for Secretary Robredo, who will be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, who should not be distracted by petty politics. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)



Journal Group Link International

P.O. BOX 805072

CHICAGO IL 60680-4112

312.772.5454 (312.772.JGLi)

Fax 312.428.5714




Republic of the Philippines…..)

Quezon City……..………………) S.S.


I, VLADIMIR RAMON B. FRIVALDO, Filipino, of legal age, single, with residence and postal address at Arellano Street, Poblacion Norte, Barcelona, Sorsogon, and an incumbent Board Member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon, hereby files these criminal and administrative complaints:

A. Criminal complaint for violation of Section 3, Paragraphs (a) and (g) of R.A. No. 3019 otherwise known as “The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” against the following persons:

1. RAUL R. LEE, incumbent Governor;

2. ANTONIO H. ESCUDERO, incumbent Vice Governor;










all incumbent Board Members of the Sangguniang

Panlalawigan of Sorsogon

13. HIL BENEDICT G. MANZANADES, Dept. Manager/Head, Land Bank of the Philippines in Legazpi City;

14. RENATO G. EJE, Vice President, Land Bank of the Philippines, Head Office.

B. Administrative complaint for Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty against the following persons:

1. RAUL R. LEE, incumbent Governor;

2. ANTONIO H. ESCUDERO, incumbent Vice Governor;










all incumbent Board Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon.

The complaint is based on the following facts:

1. On January 17, 2011 Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Sorsogon passed Resolution No. 5-2011 entitled “Resolution Granting Authority to Governor Raul R. Lee to Enter into a Loan Agreement with any reputable Banking Institution offering a more favorable deal to the Provincial Government relative to the P350 million Bank Loan of the Province of Sorsogon.” A photocopy of said resolution is hereto attached as Annex “A”.

The respondent Vice-Governor Antonio H. Escudero who is also the Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the respondent Board Members concerned violated a cardinal rule in the passage of Resolutions and Ordinance as provided for in Article 7 of Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code which provides:

Art. 107. Ordinances and Resolutions. – The following rules shall govern the enactment of ordinances and resolutions:

a.Legislative actions of a general and permanent character shall be enacted in the form of ordinances, while those which are of temporary character shall be passed in the form of resolutions. Matters relating to proprietary functions and to private concerns shall also be acted upon by resolution.

b.Proposed ordinances and resolutions shall be in writing and shall contain an assigned number, a title or caption, an enacting or ordaining clause, and the date of its proposed effectivity. In addition, every proposed ordinance shall be accompanied by a brief explanatory note containing the justification for its approval. It shall be signed by the author or authors and submitted to the secretary to the sanggunian who shall report the same to the sanggunian at its next meeting.

c.A resolution shall be enacted in the same manner prescribed for an ordinance, except that it need not go through a third reading for its final consideration unless decided otherwise by a majority of all the sanggunian members.

d.No ordinance or resolution shall be considered on second reading in any regular meeting unless it has been reported out by the proper committee to which it was referred or certified as urgent by the local chief executive.

e.Any legislative matter duly certified by the local chief executive as urgent, whether or not it is included in the calendar of business, may be presented and considered by the body at the same meeting without need of suspending the rules.

f.The secretary to the sanggunian of the province, city or municipality shall prepare copies of the proposed ordinance or resolution in the form it was passed on second reading, and shall distribute to each sanggunian member a copy thereof, except that a measure certified by the local chief executive concerned as urgent may be submitted for final voting immediately after debate or amendment during the second reading.

g.No ordinance or resolution passed by the sanggunian in a regular or special session duly called for the purpose shall be valid unless approved by a majority of the members present, there being a quorum. Any ordinance or resolution authorizing or directing the payment of money or creating liability, shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all the sanggunian members for its passage.

h.Upon the passage of all ordinances and resolutions directing the payment of money or creating liability, and at the request of any member, of any resolution or motion, the sanggunian shall record the ayes and nays. Each approved ordinance or resolution shall be stamped with the seal of the sanggunian and recorded in a book kept for the purpose.

None of these Rules were observed by the respondents Vice-Governor and the respondent Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Members concerned.

2. On March 1, 2011, a letter was sent by a certain Alfonso C. Tanseco and Edlyn G. Quesada, Senior Vice-President and Account Officer, respectively, of the Philippine National Bank (PNB for brevity) to respondent Governor Raul R. Lee containing indicative terms and conditions for the possible financing of various projects of the Provincial Government of Sorsogon. It shows that if PNB is chosen, the principal loan of THREE HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION PESOS (P350,000,000.00) shall bear an interest rate of 5.38%. A photocopy of the letter is hereto attached as Annex “B” and the interest rate thereon as Annex “B-1″ and are made integral parts hereof.

3. On March 7, 2011, respondent Hil Benedict G. Manzanades, Department Manager and Head of Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP for brevity) in Legazpi City, submitted a similar proposal to respondent Governor Lee also to extend a loan for the various projects of the Provincial Government of Sorsogon at the rate of 7.0%. A photocopy of the letter is hereto attached as Annex “C” and the interest rate thereon as Annex “C-1”.

4. On March 25, 2011 respondent Governor Lee wrote a letter to respondent Vice Gov. Antonio H. Escudero as the Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan regarding the convening of the “Finance Committee” to finalize their recommendation on the proposals of PNB and LBP. In said letter, Respondent Governor Lee was clearly instructing the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for the passage of a Resolution to authorize the latter to enter into a loan agreement with PNB. Question is, what will now be the effect of the recommendation of the Finance Committee if the governor has already chosen a favored Financial Institution then, in this case the PNB. A photocopy of the said letter is hereto attached as Annex “D”.

5. On March 30, 2011 respondent Hil Benedict G. Manzanadez, Dept. Manager/Head, LBP Legazpi City wrote another letter to Governor Lee. This time, LBP was offering the prevailing interest rate of 5.061%. A copy of said letter is hereto attached as Annex “E” and the new interest rate as Annex “E-1”.

6. Undersigned Complainant has been very consistently inquisitive as to the practice of irregularities and short cuts of procedures by the provincial government in securing loans because the respondents could not even account, liquidate nor properly come up with a report for previous loans and justify not only to the complainant but to the general public if the loans were for the their best interest and has the most reasonable terms for the Provincial Government. The Complainant in his own capacity and as a duly elected government official has been very vigil in inquiring the possible negative implications it has on the Provincial Government in securing loan in the form of letters, privilege speeches, inquiries in aid of legislation, as they remain the liabilities of the LGUs even after the term of the contracting officials has ended. Based on an on-going congressional inquiry on House Resolution 1196 of this 15th Congress of the House of Representatives, there has been a reported increase in most LGU bad loans. Such as in the case of the previous administration’s provincial loan of P260.0 million with LBP which has yet to be liquidated, reported and still remains existing and if proper safe guards are not in place this may happen again. Please find the hereto attached communications to respondent Hil Benedict Manzanades, Department Head of LBP Legazpi City and to LBP President Gilda E. Pico are hereto attached as Annexes “F”, “G”, “H” and “I”.

7. On May 12, 2011 both Alfonso C. Tanseco, Senior Vice President and Julius Ceazar P. Banog, Account Officer of the Philippine National Bank, sent another letter to respondent Gov. Lee and also offered a new interest rate, this time it’s 5%. A photocopy of the letter is hereto attached as Annex “J” and the new interest rate as Annex “J-1”.

8. A perusal of the proposals of the two financial institutions offering loan options, it shows that PNB offered the lowest interest rate, which is FIVE PERCENT (5%).

9. Thereafter, without offering any explanation, justification nor an evaluation by a government or provincial body, not even the so-called “Finance Committee” nor a Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee, respondent Governor Lee whimsically and on his own caprice set aside the PNB proposal and instead favored the proposal of the LBP. This can be shown by the letter dated May 17, 2011 Governor Lee to Vice Governor Escudero in his capacity as the Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and submitted a copy of the proposed Loan Agreement from PNB for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s perusal, review and ratification. The respondent Governor did not consider the proposal from the other financial or banking institution, at least, to make sure that the contract which is most advantageous to the Provincial Government could be had. A photocopy of the letter is hereto attached as Annexes “K” and the PNB loan agreement as Annex “L”.

10. And on June 21, 2011 respondent Presiding Officer and the concerned Sanggunian Panlalawigan Board Members in direct violation AGAIN of its own internal rules and regulations ( Art. 7 of the LGC IRR) and with obvious disrespect thereto, PASSED AND APPROVED, Resolution No. 92-2011, entitled “Resolution granting authority to the Provincial Governor on behalf of the Provincial Government to negotiate and enter into a Loan Agreement with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) in the amount of P350.0 million to finance urgent and priority Provincial Development Projects, enumerated per attached List and hereby approving the aforesaid enumerated projects pursuant to the approved Local Development Plan and Public Investment Program or approved Annual Procurement Program of the province.” This has already been the practice of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan since time immemorial in passing measures, ordinances and resolutions which the accused Governor Lee commands upon the concerned respondent Sanggunian Panlalawigan members. Respondent Presiding Officer and the concerned Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Members probably did not seem it necessary or important to even ask for a briefing, explanation nor justification from Governor Lee for the sudden change of heart nor did they required for any recommendation if any of the “Finance Committee” before overwhelmingly passing and approving the Resolution;

It is noteworthy that there was neither a single official committee hearing held nor any public consultation done for this purpose. This is a glaring show of conspiracy between the Governor on one hand and the Vice Governor and the concerned Board Members, because despite this the Sangguniang Panlalawigan expeditiously passed and approved Resolution No. 92-2011 LBP which has a higher interest rate of 5.061% (Please find hereto attached Photocopy of the Resolution as Annex “M”. Again, in direct Violation of Article 7 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code earlier cited.

This is direct violation of Section 3, Paragraphs (a) of R.A. No. 3019 otherwise known as “The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” which states:

Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. — In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

(a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.

11. Further, the respondents Governor and Vice Governor as well as the aforementioned Board Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan did not even exert efforts nor initiate any actions necessary to secure concessional interest rates or such interest rates lower than the prevailing interest rate to justify their actions as if treating the provincial funds and decisions as their own personal funds.

Article 395 (c) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code provides:

“Government financial and other lending institutions are authorized to grant LGUs such loans, credit lines, advances, and other forms of indebtedness for projects and purposes referred in paragraph (b) hereof, preferably at concessional interest rates lower than the prevailing rates as may be authorized by the governing board of the financial or lending institution,”

Prevailing rates shall mean the Central Bank standard reference rate for medium-and long-term loans.”

12. The irregularities may be easily inferred from the sequence of events prior to the signing of the aforesaid Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Land Bank of the Philippines. There was no evaluation nor any recommendation from any government or provincial body or even the “Finance Committee,” to show that the list of projects is included in the Annual Investment Plan of the province for the loan. How can a handful elected officials now decide on their own which projects or endeavors are most beneficial to the province and the poor people of Sorsogon.

In a letter dated July 5, 2012 by Dominador O. Jardin, Prov’l. Gov’t. Dept. Head of the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO for brevity) to the complainant, he said that his Office could NOT come upon any feasibility study of the list of projects such as roads, bridges, buildings, farm to market roads and tourism facilities funded in the P350,000,000.00 LBP loan from available existing records. A copy of this letter is hereto attached as Annex “N” to show that not even the PPDO officer, was included nor was his office made a part of the official action of the provincial government to come up with the decision to justify and substantiate the loan application for some “priority projects “of the respondent Governor, respondent Vice Governor and respondent SP Members concerned. What is now the legal or even economic basis if any of such loan?

In direct non adherence of the provisions of the Local Government Code, specifically in Article 6 which provides for the official functions of the Planning Development Coordinator, which provides:

Article Six. – The Planning and Development Coordinator

“ X X X X X X X X

(b) The planning and development coordinator shall take charge of the planning and development office and shall:

(1) Formulate integrated economic, social, physical, and other development plans and policies for consideration of the local government development council;

(2) Conduct continuing studies, researches, and training programs necessary to evolve plans and programs for implementation;

(3) Integrate and coordinate all sectoral plans and studies undertaken by the different functional groups or agencies;

(4) Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the different development programs, projects, and activities in the local government unit concerned in accordance with the approved development plan;

(5) Prepare comprehensive plans and other development planning documents for the consideration of the local development council;

(6) Analyze the income and expenditure patterns, and formulate and recommend fiscal plans and policies for consideration of the finance committee of the local government unit concerned as provided under Title Five, Book II of this Code;

(7) Promote people participation in development planning within the local government unit concerned;

(8) Exercise supervision and control over the secretariat of the local development council; and

(c) Exercise such other powers and perform such other functions and duties as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.

And despite the absence of any or all legal requirements to support their reason for applying for a loan for a list of projects which is not even included in the Annual Investment Plan, accused Governor Lee wrote a Letter on October 5, 2011 to the Honorable Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan requiring the Presiding Officer and Vice Governor Escudero, the Chairs and Members of the Committee on Budget and Appropriations and the Committee on Public Works, Infrastructure and Highways to be present during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on October 19, 2011, 9:00 a.m. at the LBP Legazpi City Office. (A photocopy of said letter is hereto attached as Annex “O”.

13. Obviously, the respondent members of the SP are all blinded and misguided, because based on a Certification dated October 13, 2011 issued by Otilla R. Marifosque, Records Officer III/Admin. Officer V and noted by William H. Delgado, SP Secretary/PGDH of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, there is no record of any document which could be accounted on file by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan which shows:

1. Request of the Governor endorsing to this Honorable Body for review, the Land Bank of the Philippines’ evaluation of the proposed P350 million loan of the Province of Sorsogon.

2. A draft Memorandum of Agreement between Land Bank of the Philippines and the Province of Sorsogon.

A photocopy of the Certification is hereto attached as Annex “P”. This clearly shows that the SP did not even have the privilege to scrutinize any loan agreement or proposal of the financial entity, and despite this the respondents passed and approved the accused governor’s for a resolution to enter into a loan. The reason or consideration for said approval to allow the governor to enter into said agreement is now the biggest question.

Again, the action of the accused Board Members is direct violation of Section 3, Paragraphs (a) of R.A. No. 3019 otherwise known as “The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” which states:

Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. — In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

(a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.

14. Significantly, it is worth mentioning that the abovementioned Letter was dated October 5, 2011; while in a Letter of respondent Hil Benedict G. Manzanadez, Dept. Manager and Head LBP Legazpi City Office dated October 17, 2011, it was only there that Manzanadez notified respondent Governor Lee about the LBP approval of the whooping P350.0 million loan. The said Letter was received by the Office of the Governor only on October 18, 2011. Please find the letter hereto attached as Annex “Q”.

A simple layman would not think that the approval of this controversial loan was pre-arranged by respondents Governor Lee with Vice Governor Escudero including members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as cohorts. The conspiracy appears to extend to the officers of the LBP who suddenly wrestled out the loan from PNB and kept the same unknown to other banking or financial institutions. Respondent knowing fully that PNB has the lowest interest rate.

The records shows that the respondent Governor, as early as October 5, 2011, already knew of the approval and the date, time and venue of the schedule for the signing of the LBP Loan Agreement way ahead of time.

Another major question now is that how come the loan was split into two loan agreements with different Interest Rates and Terms by the LBP with-out any prior notice or approval from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, considering that the authority of the governor was specifically for the whole amount of P350.0 Million and not for the aggregate amount of P100.0 million and another P250.0 Million.

15. Noteworthy to mention is that respondents Governor Lee, Vice-Governor Escudero and the concerned Board Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan particularly singled- out LBP despite the higher interest rate it offered compared to the PNB proposal as the only financial institution to service the loan being secured by the Provincial Government without even asking for any justification nor explanation from Governor Lee for choosing the LBP over the PNB offer.

On October 19, 2011, respondent Governor Lee signed the Loan Agreement (Term Loan 13 in the amount of P100,000,000.00) and Loan Agreement (OTLF 2 in the amount of P250,000,000.00) with Land Bank of the Philippines represented by respondent Renato G. Eje, Vice President/ Head, ROV (herewith are the photocopies of the two (2) Loan Contracts between the Provincial Government of Sorsogon and Land Bank of the Philippines for a total sum of 350 Million Pesos, copies of said loan agreements are attached as Annexes “R” and “S”). Both LBP Loan Agreements have different Interest Rate and Term. The acts mentioned here is a direct violation of the provisions of the following:

Section 3 (g) of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which provides:

“Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.”

16. The respondents Presiding Officer and the concerned Board Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan did not even bother to inquire as to the glaring conspiracy between respondent Governor Lee on one hand, and some officials of LBP for the purpose of securing a loan to the detriment and disadvantage of the Provincial Government. Where LBP offered 5.061% compared to the PNB’s lower interest rate of 5%. In fact, on October 21, 2011, respondents ratified, confirmed and approved Resolution No. 152-2011 entitled “Resolution ratifying, confirming and approving the Loan Agreement by and between the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Provincial Government of Sorsogon represented by Provincial Governor Raul R. Lee governing a loan in the amount of One Hundred Million Pesos (P100,000,000.00). A photocopy of the Resolution No. 152-2011 is hereto attached as Annex ”T”.

The respondents Presiding Officer and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Members concerned, violated AGAIN a cardinal rule in the passage of Resolutions and Ordinance as provided for in the Article 7 of Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code earlier cited.

17. On May 21, 2012, respondents Vice Governor Escudero and the mentioned Board Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed and approved Ordinance No. 09-2012 entitled “An Ordinance governing/authorizing the proposed borrowing of the Province of Sorsogon with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) in the amount of TWO HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION PESOS (P250,000,000.00) to fund various priority infrastructure projects, farm to marker roads, buildings and other tourism facilities.” A photocopy of Ordinance No. 09-2012 is hereto attached as Annex “U”.

The respondents Vice Governor and the concerned Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members, violated AGAIN a cardinal rule in the passage of Resolutions and Ordinance as provided for in the Article 7 of Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code earlier cited.

And, this is also a direct violation of Section 3, Paragraphs (a) of R.A. No. 3019 otherwise known as “The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” which states:

Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. — In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

(a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.

18. On June 1, 2012, Provincial Treasurer Efilda C. Nogales and Provincial Accountant Mercedes J. Ativo duly noted by Governor Lee sent to the Complainant the Status Report of the Payment for Infrastructure Projects funded under the P350,000,000.00 loan of the Provincial Government of Sorsogon with Land Bank of the Philippines. Accordingly, as of May 31, 2012 the amount paid by the Provincial Government of Sorsogon thru Provincial Treasurer Nogales and Provincial Accountant Ativo is SEVENTY TWO MILLION NINE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED FORTY EIGHT PESOS AND SIXTY ONE CENTAVOS (P72,925,948.61). Herewith is the photocopies of the June 1, 2012 Letter attached as Annex “V” and List of Projects Funded out of the P350 M Land Bank Loan as ANNEX “W”.

The release of the P72,925,948.61 is the result of the railroading of the P350,000,000.00 LBP loan, the Respondents have RAPED the funds of the Provincial Government of its money.

19. Worst, against the fundamental principle of public consultation, the loan was secured without such consultation with the members of the Provincial Development Council which fundamentally appropriates funds for the expenditures contained in the 20% Development Fund, and which is required under Sections 106 to 115 of the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

20. Further, Complainant has been very vigilant in provisions in the Loan Agreement which Complainant deems material and necessary to be explained to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan but to the stake holders as well because public funds will be used to pay the loan. The following queries were raised, to wit:

(i) where the percentage for “spread” will go and how it is charged;

(ii) why is there a Special Funder in the contract and nobody knows what it means;

(iii) why is the term of the loan conditional;

(iv) why are there two sets of loan agreement with different Interest Rate and Term for One Hundred Million Pesos (P100,000,000.00) and another for Two Hundred Fifty Million Pesos (P250,000,000.00), respectively, when there is only one set of project to be financed; and,

(v) the life span of the project – the project may have already lost it serviceability but the loan is still unpaid. However, these queries remained unanswered. These are all contained in Complaint’s numerous privilege speeches which center on the anomalous in the manner most Provincial loans were hastily and conveniently facilitated by the Respondents with any regard for laid down laws, principles and procedures. Copies of the letters are hereto attached as Annex-9.

21. In concluding, the loan was obtained using the Internal Revenue Allotment as collateral and which required the: (i) public bidding as provided under Section 10 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. (RA) 9184; (ii) approval of the Provincial Development Council (the body tasked to appropriate expenditures under the 20% Development Fund); (iii) without public consultation; (iv) securing the concessional rate of interest; (v) without first securing certifications from various agencies of the national government if the projects listed can be funded by the concerned agencies.



In view of the foregoing, it is respectfully prayed that:

1. The said LBP Loan Agreements (Term Loan 13 in the amount of P100,000,000.00) and Loan Agreement (OTLF 2 in the amount of P250,000,000.00) with Land Bank of the Philippines be declared illegal, therefore NULL and VOID.

2. The unreleased amount of the LBP Loan should be immediately held in abeyance and the released portion (as of May 31, 2012) in the amount of SEVENTY TWO MILLION NINE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED FORTY EIGHT PESOS AND SIXTY ONE CENTAVOS (P72,925,948.61) should be returned to the creditor bank.

3. The above-named respondents be charged criminally for violation of RA No. 3019 or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Law particularly Section 3 (a) and (g).

4. The above-named respondents be administratively charged for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty;

5. The above-named respondents (except for Hil Benedict G. Manzanades and Renato G. Eje) be preventively suspended immediately pending the investigation of this complaint pursuant to Section 24 of R.A. No. 6770; and,

6. Other reliefs and remedies as may be deemed just and equitable under the circumstances are likewise prayed.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature this 10th day of July 2012 at Quezon City, Philippines.



SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 9th day of July 2012 at Quezon City, Philippines. Affiant exhibited to me his Driver’s License bearing number 3-90-102197 containing his picture and signature as competent evidence of his person.




I, VLADIMIR RAMON B. FRIVALDO, of legal age, a resident of Arellano Street, Poblacion Norte, Barcelona, Sorsogon after having been duly sworn in accordance with law, depose and state that:

1. I am a Complainant in the following cases:

A. Criminal complaint for violation of Section 3, Paragraph (a) and (g) of R.A. No. 3019 otherwise known as “The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” against the following persons:

1. RAUL R. LEE, incumbent Governor;

2. ANTONIO H. ESCUDERO, incumbent Vice Governor;










all incumbent Board Members of the Sangguniang

Panlalawigan of Sorsogon

13. HIL BENEDICT G. MANZANADES, Dept. Manager/Head, Land Bank of the Philippines in Legazpi City;

14. RENATO G. EJE, Vice President, Land Bank of the Philippines, Head Office.

B. Administrative complaint for Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty against the following persons:

1. RAUL R. LEE, incumbent Governor;

2. ANTONIO H. ESCUDERO, incumbent Vice Governor;










all incumbent Board Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon.

2. I caused the preparation of the foregoing complaint;

3. I have read the contents thereof and the facts stated therein are true and correct of my personal knowledge and/or on the basis of copies of documents and records in my possession;

4. I have not commenced any other action or proceeding involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency;

5. To the best of my knowledge and belief, no such action or proceeding is pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency;

6. If I should thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency, I undertake to report that fact within five (5) days there from to this Honorable Ombudsman.



SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 10th day of July 2012 at Quezon City affiant exhibiting to me his Driver’s License bearing number 3-90-102197 to expire on May 11, 2014 containing his picture and signature as competent evidence of his person.


Doc. No._____ ;

Page No. ____ ;

Book No._____ ;

Series of 2012.




February 20, 2012

Thank you fellow colleagues for allowing this representation to avail of this Privilege Hour.

Let us discuss anu po ang EPAL (in street slang MAPAPEL) or KSP (KULANG SA PANSIN).

Not all attention seekers possess a personal disorder. But if a person starts to sacrifice some of his/her moral values for the sake of getting attention without logic then it’s probably the result of an underlying disorder.

Sometimes adults seek attention because of jealousy or envy. When someone feels threatened by another person who may be drawing all the attention or admiration of the public, that someone may retaliate to steal or destroy such attention or admiration. Kulang sa Pansin (KSP) or lack of self confidence are other causes for acquiring that kind behavior. Some people feel that they are just overlooked and so the only solution to restore their balance is to bring back the lost attention.

Dahil hindi ako mapatigil sa mga pagpuna sa mga kamalian at pangaabuso ng isang mataas na provincial official at ang kanyang mga alila, dahil walang maibatong isyu na may basehan laban sa akin, pinipilit na naman ng abusadong lider na ito na gamitin ang Ethics Committee ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan para sa kanyang sariling kapakanan. Huwag po natin payagan ang kalokohang ito.

Last December 19, 2011, many were surprised when SPMs Arnulfo Perete, Angel Escandor, Ferdinand Dave Duran and Franco Eric Ravanilla complained to the Provincial Board and insisted that this representation be sanctioned by the Ethics Committee. The allegation of the four (4) SPM is “that SPM Vladi Frivaldo “maligned” the entire Sangguniang Panlalawigan when the Bicol Today came out with a news article which claimed I was offered money by two (2) unnamed colleagues to abandon my firm stand lambasting Gov. Raul Lee.”

The objective of this Provincial Governor is getting very clear that is to remove me as a duly elected Board Member by hook or by crook by using again the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members. Good luck sa inyo.

My fellow colleagues, there are only four elements in the crime of libel and these are simple to remember. Just remember the acronym “D.I.M.P.”

“D” stands for DEFAMATION, or a word or a group of words that put one person in shame before those who happen to read or heard of the publication of such word or group of word.

“I” stands for IDENTIFICATION. This means that the person put to shame was named in the published item.

“M” stands for MALICE. This means that the author or the publisher of the published item had the intention to put to shame the person named in the publication.

“P” stands for PUBLICATION. This means that the word or the group of words that put another person to shame was published. By “publication,” it means that the word or the group of words was read by at least one person who is other than the person who was put to shame by this word or group of words.

If ANY of these four elements is not proven or is absent, there is no libel.

Many are asking, where is the proof of actual malice in the alleged news article written by Bicol Today or even I was privy to that? Unless you can show evidence of actual malice then file a libel case. If not, you may raise other issues just to appease your political benefactor. Ask any listeners of RADYO NATIN Station Manager Doods Marianito, “isa lang an sinasabi nila, “nagpapa EPAL lang ang mga bokal sa kanilang amo.”

Wake up guys, wake up! Let us have a reality check. Bakit hindi tayo magtanong sa mga taga barrio para makita natin na ang taongbayan mismo ang magsasabi na karamihan sa atin dito ay BULAG-PIPI-BINGI sa sandamakmak na katiwalian na nangyayari dito sa Probinsya ng Sorsogon?

I am your fellow board member. I have done you no wrong. Instead of harassing this lone vocal fiscalizer, why don’t we unite and stop this very abusive governor? Why don’t we investigate the motives of some concerned board members to determine who in particular, initiated the voting allowing the anomalous transfer of the budget of SP Legislative to the Office of the Governor? Until now, the salary of our lowly paid contractual employees in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is still pegged at P185.00 per day only instead of P240.00 per day?

Did anybody from this August body join me in fighting for our employees’ welfare? O natatakot lang kayo sa abusadong gobernador? Tayong mga Bokal ang dapat manguna para ipaglaban ang karapatan ng ating pobreng empleyado. Ang sinasabi ng mga MAGAGALING LANG SA SALITA na mga bokal na nagtulak ilipat sa Governor’s Office and pondo ng SP ay dahil “majority decision naman eh.” Ang galing ng rason niyo, huh? Nandito ang ating mga contractual employees – makakatingin pa ba kayo ng diretso sa kanilang mga mata at may lakas loob sabihin ang tunay na dahilan kung bakit kailangan pa nila magdusa sa kalokohang gawa ninyo? Kung hindi ito KALOKOHAN, ambot sa inyo kung anu ang tawag niyo – KASABWAT SA KALOKOHAN?

Why don’t we investigate why this humble representation does not have a regular staff for more than one (1) year now? Why are you blind in this glittering indirect interference of this abusive governor? Did anybody initiate an investigation? Wala! Wala! Dahil mga bahag ang mga buntot niyo baka maalisan din kayo ng staff o talagang KASABWAT KAYO SA KALOKOHANG ITO?

Why don’t we investigate the controversial Mining Contract issued by ex-Gov. Sally Lee?

Why don’t we investigate this “SHORT LADY” who told us last January 10, 2011 executive session na nagsabing “magkakapera tayo basta lang pumayag tayo na madaliin ang pagutang ng P350 million loan ni Gov. Raul Lee?”

Why don’t we investigate what the hell really happened to the P260 million LBP loan of ex-Gov. Sally Lee?

Why don’t we investigate the irresponsible claim of a fellow board member na may utang pa sa kanyang minamahal na mentor (ex-board member) ng halagang P300,000.00? Balanse daw ito sa “SHARE” na pinangako ng administration ni ex-Gov. Sally Lee patungkol sa nakaraang P260 million LBP loan. Ang gusto nitong kasamahan natin ay bayaran na muna ang balanse ng kanyang mentor bago siya pumayag sa bagong uutangin na P350 million loan? The nerve of this guy. Nakakahiya!

Sabagay totoo ang kasabihan ng matatanda, hindi naman magbubunga ang RAmbutan ng boungainVILLA.

Why don’t we investigate some of our colleagues together with this “SMALL LADY” during the executive session last January 10, 2011 na sinabihan ako na huwag ako pumalag sa gusto daw ni Gov. Raul Lee na umutang ng P350 million dahil nag-iisa lang ako na kokontra. Tutal malayo pa ang election at sigurado malilimutan din ng mga botante ang mga ganitong issues. Ito ang binalita ng isang local na diyaryo ang dahilan daw kung bakit ako nag walk-out dahil imbes kapakanan ng Sorsogon ang ating paguusapan na kung nasaan at napakinabangan ba ang dati P260.0 million loan ni ex-Gov. Sally Lee, ay gusto ng ilan natin kasamahan ay malaman agad kung anu ang makukuha nila.

Why don’t we investigate and review further the P350 million LBP Loan Contract and other related documents recently signed by Gov. Raul Lee? You will see the pernicious consequences and ramifications of this problem that I had been trying to tell you. After almost 6 months of tedious research and data gathering evidences with the help of volunteer lawyers and paralegal team, the time is almost ripe for the small potato to initiate a top to bottom reform against rampant graft and corruption in the provincial government.

To the poor people of Sorsogon, I appeal to all of you to please join me in my crusade against this abusive governor, LBP officials, Finance Managers, BAC, PGSO, PEO and the hard headed majority SP members who supported and connived with each other in causing the hasty approval of this gargantuan P350 million LBP loan. Remember, plunder is a non-bailable offense.

Last June 2, 2011, my old and rusty borrowed van was vandalized right inside the capitol compound. Hindi lang ginasgasan ng todo. Niluwagan para matangal ang lahat ng bolt sa dalawang harapan na gulong. Ang obheto nila ay masaktan o mapatay ako at lumabas na parang aksidente. Mabuti nalang may awa ang mahal na Diyos at nakita agad itong banta sa buhay ko. Ito ay aking pina blotter sa Sorsogon City Police Station. Did anybody even care or initiate an investigation to identify the culprit?

Why don’t we investigate a fellow board member who gave irreparable damage to the image of Sorsogon with his shameless performance in handling the 2011 Kasanggayahan Festival? Pinahiya lang niya ang sarili niya, pinahiya din ang organization na kabilang siya at higit sa lahat pinahiya ang buong imahe ng Sorsogon! Para tumino ang taong ito, ano bang parusa ang dapat igawad sa kanya?

The only way to save Sangguniang Panlalawigan and our province from further shame and controversies is for that board member to file a leave of absence in all public positions. If he has delicadeza he should RESIGN immediately;

Sorsogon’s credibility to host another Kasanggayahan Festival or any future competitions will always be in doubt if we allow this fellow member to continue his public functions. Huwag natin palabasin sa mga tao na kinokonsinti natin siya.

Why don’t we investigate all these valid issues that I have been raising long ago? Sabagay tama ang sabi ng taong bayan na karamihan dito ay hindi lang BULAG-PIPI-BINGI kundi pinag-lihi pa sa anesthesia – MANHID sa katotohanan!

Now you want me to be crucified by the Ethics Committee? My God, why am I being surrounded by hypocrites? Shame on you guys!

To all my colleagues, can you still look straight in the eyes of your loved ones (your child, your wife, your parents, your siblings and your relatives including those who had already departed us) at sabihin ninyo buwa o hindi totoo, maski isa lang sa mga issues binangit ko?

Last February 6, 2012 when the Regular Session had just ended, many were surprised at the immature and babyish actuation of SPM Franco Eric Ravanilla when he started yelling my family name names. He made fun of my mother’s maiden name Boayes by repeatedly shouting “Vladimir Ramon Boayes Buwaon Frivaldo.”

Ginoong Ravanilla, bakit mo ginawa ito?

For your information of the so called educated legislator from the first district, my mother happens to be the eldest daughter of Col. Francisco “Turko” Boayes, my lolo.

Col. Francisco “Turko” Boayes, was the 2nd in Command of Gov. Wenceslao Vinzons Guerilla Command in Camarines Norte. When the Japanese forces killed Gov. Vinzons, my lolo took the Command and renamed it Vinzons Division – Turko Command. This Division was the most powerful and most armed in the whole Bicolandia. The name “Commander Turko Boayes” reverberated in the whole Bicol region. He liberated Daet from the Japanese forces. He is also the first mayor of Daet, Camarines Norte after WWII.

On June 13,1968, in a ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Col. Boayes was awarded the Gold Medal – the highest award given to a war veteran of World War II. This was personally conferred by then Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos, the crowning glory of his bravery and gallantry.

Visit the Provincial Capitol of Camarines Norte and see the statue of the famous Bicol War Hero, Col. Francisco “Turko” Boayes as an expression of gratitude of the people of the province to the name Boayes – the name that Mr. Ravanilla have insulted and despised for no reason at all. Col. Francisco “Turko” Boayes and 8th term Gov. Juan Frivaldo both died a poor man but left a good name to his family, relatives and friends.

Nakikiusap po ako na wag mo naman yurakan ang aking pangalan at ang magandang pangalan ng aking angkan – motherside and fatherside. Maski pobre lang ang familia namin, iniingatan naming ang kanilang malinis na pangalan.

Alam mo Ginoong Ravanilla, malaki ang respeto namin sayo kundi pati sa iyong mga magulang na si former SPM Butch Ravanilla at DOT Dir. Nini Ravanilla. Pero bakit ibang iba ang iyong pinapakitang ugali sa publiko? Ginoong Ravanilla, wala tayong personalan. You are an elected official. Grow up and act like a man!

Pero mas marami miyembro ng third sex gaya ni Epong ay may gustong itanong sayo – “marami naman sa ating kasamahan ang laging naka-Official Travel pero bakit ako lang ang lagi mong hinahanap at may halong lambing ka na inannounce sa Session Hall na “MISS NA MISS MO NA AKO.” Kaya ang tanong nina Epong ay ito “Bakit, bakit si Vladi lang ba ang laman ng isipan mo Ginoong Ravanilla?” Epong added, “don’t tell a lie – aminin.”

Pakiusap ko sa mga kasamahan ko dito sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan, dapat puro isyu lang ang ating pag-ukulan at tigilan na ang personalan. Alam niyo, ang totoo hindi po ako ang lalabas na katawa-tawa sa tao kundi – KAYO! Kaya ang tanong sa inyo ng taong bayan, “Kayo ba talaga ang tunay na alila ng abusadong gobernador ng Sorsogon?

My friends, I am thankful to all difficult people I’ve met in the Capitol. They have shown me exactly who I don’t want to be.

Dahil sa suporta at pagmamahal binigay ng Sorsogon sa aming familia magmula kay Tata Owan Frivaldo, sa akin tatay former OIC Vice Gov. Eddie Frivaldo at sa aming dalawa ni Bokal Frank, makakaasa kayo na tuloy ang aming pakikibaka sa malinis na pagogobyerno at hustisya para sa kasaradayan. Ang mithiin ko ay sana magkasama-sama na tayo ngayon para buhayin ang nalugmok sa napakalaking utang ang probinsya ng Sorsogon.

Sa pagtatapos ng aking Privilege Speech, mahulaan kaya ng aking mabait na kaibigan, the gentleman from Prieto Diaz SPM Benito Doma, kung sinu-sino ang maguunahan na magpapa EPAL o KSP dito. . . . . . . . oo nga pala, ingat lang po kayo sa pagakyat mamaya sa Capitolyo at baka madapa kayo sa pagsumbong sa amo ninyo, kawawa naman kayo. . . . . .

My friends, maraming, maraming salamat po.


Happy New Year, Bulan!

Bulan Observer wishes the town of Bulan as well as its readers, authors and contributors a Happy New year!

We have unspoiled twelve months before us, hence, this first day of the year  is  the right time to be optimistic. After all those festive moments and weeks of rest and reflection, we prepare ourselves now for the things to come in our town and in our nation.

We will continue with our own little ways of making known to a greater public what is happening in Bulan even as we also share our opinions on things that are happening on the national level.

We have seen some goals achieved with the latest developments on the national level. For this, we thank President Aquino for realizing our goal of making corrupt public officials accountable. Some of these big crocodiles are now behind bars. Now, we expect the smaller provincial crocodiles to be held accountable also to the mess they have done to our town and province. But of course the President has his priorities. I’m thinking about the Sendong- ravaged villages in the south as top on his list of finding those perpetrators of illegal logging and mining and poor local planning  that degraded the environment and endangered the lives of many inhabitants there. Remember that these illegal activities are also happening in Bulan, Matnog, etc. So we’ll keep our eyes on these things and hope that corrupt officials in our province also be put to justice.

I’m following closely Chief Justice Corona’s case. Personally, I think he already lost his office for he no longer enjoys public trust. His fight which is reduced to legal technicalities will never win him that  integrity and moral ascendancy expected of a Chief Justice. Mr. Miguel Zubiri went home early to take off his Arroyo clothes before the public could do it for him, and this makes him wiser than Mr. Corona who never realizes that his Arroyo wardrobe is too weak to protect him from the winds of change that’s  now in our country. Soon, the senate impeachment court will be his dressing room where he will be undressed cloth for cloth-  eight Arroyo clothings, I guess,-  till the bare truth comes out.

May this year 2012 be an interesting and brilliant year for Bulan. Bulan Observer hopes for more interesting articles written by people from Bulan themselves.

My special thanks this year goes to Mr. Joseph Lariosa for his reports and for introducing Bulan Observer to our Kababayans in Chicago. May he writes more political commentaries and opinion articles.

jun asuncion




October 19, 2011

Sorsogon City

Vice Governor/Presiding Officer


Dear Vice Governor Escudero,

Please register my opposition in the strongest terms against the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Sorsogon Gov. Raul R. Lee and Land Bank of the Philippines (Legazpi Branch) relative to the P350.0 M Loan which was signed today October 19, 2011, witnessed by majority members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.  This MOA is scheduled to be ratified, confirmed and approved in a resolution form by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Friday, October 21, 2011.

An irregularity can be easily traced on the sequence of events prior to signing of the aforesaid MOA.  On October 5, 2011, Gov. Raul Lee wrote a letter to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members enjoining specially its Presiding Officer, the Chairs and Members of the Committee on Budget and Appropriations and the Committee on Public Works, Infrastructure and Highways to be present in the signing of the MOA relative to the Loan of the Provincial Government of Sorsogon with the Land Bank of the Philippines.  That signing will be held on October 19, 2011, 9:00 am at the LBP Legazpi City Office.  Now, why did Gov. Raul Lee dated his letter to Sangguniang Panlalawigan on October 5, 2011?  Obviously, the approval of this controversial loan was pre-arranged by Gov. Raul Lee with the officials of the LBP Legazpi City Office as cohorts.

Please note that the letter of Mr. Hil Benedict G. Manzanadez, Dept. Manager and Head LBP Legazpi City Office is dated October 17, 2011 when he notified Gov. Raul R. Lee about the LBP approval of the P350.00 M loan.  This letter was received by the Office of the Governor only yesterday, October 18, 2011.

My opposition against the ratification, confirmation and approval of this gargantuan LBP Loan, among others, are as follows:

1. The people of Sorsogon will remember October 19, 2011 as a black day our poor province will be sunk deeper to the oblivion by the gargantuan P350.0 million loan by Gov. Raul R. Lee.  Many believe that our province will never move forward in the proper direction, ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY to the Filipino people is not upheld by most of our provincial officials.  Without this basic tenet of good governance, the culture of impunity and shameless corruption will continue to pervade throughout our provincial government, leading to more poverty for our poor people.

2. Up to now, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan including the undersigned has not yet received any copy of the auditing and accounting report on the previous P260.0 M LBP Loan obtained by former Gov. Sally A. Lee.  We, the present SP Members and the public as well, have the right to know the status or what the hell happened to the previous Administration’s loan, to determine whether or not said loan was really needed and was properly utilized or spent for the very purpose for which it was applied for.

3. The pending election protest against Gov. Lee docketed as Comelec Case No. SPA 09-187 (DC) entitled, Jose G. Solis versus Raul R. Lee filed last December 19, 2009 around 11:45 AM which is a Petition for Disqualification and Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy.  Case status – ACTIVE.

4. A civil case filed against Gov. Raul Lee led by Matnog Parish Priest Fr. Alexander Jerus, the Alyansa Laban sa Mina sa Matnog (ALMMA), Bayan Sorsogon and private individuals residing in the Municipality of Matnog opposed the iron ore mining operation in Barangay Bolacawe, in Matnog town for total violation of R.A. 7076 otherwise known as the People’s Small Scale Mining Act, R.A. 7942, the Philippine Mining Act, R.A. 7160, Local Government Code.  Now pending before the Regional Trial Court in Sorsogon City.

5. A Graft and Corrupt Practices case against Gov. Raul Lee is now pending before the Sandiganbayan involving the alleged anomalous implementation eight years ago of the province’s Distance Learning Center Program (DLCP) involving P22 million pesos in funds sourced thru LBP and PNB loans.

6. And the most popular of all is the graft case of Gov. Raul Lee’s alleged direct involvement in the controversial P728.00 M fertilizer fund scam. Both graft charges have been elevated to the Sandiganbayan by the Ombudsman.

7. The LBP Notice of Loan Approval states that it is a violation under its General Terms and Conditions, Item No. 1 which provides that the LBP reserves the right to withhold loan releases should there be a case filed against the LGU or its officials involving the project to be financed.  But Governor Lee is the top Sorsogon official who signed this MOA and who will also administer and handle all fund releases of all projects under this P350.0 M loan.  We all know that Mr. Lee is already saddled by several criminal, anti-graft and corrupt practices cases pending before the Sandiganbayan and other courts.  What kind of evaluation was conducted by LBP and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan? Where is logic here?  Hindi ba ito ang nauuso sa buong mundo na corporate greed.  O ang tinatawag na bureaucratic capitalism?

Instead of condemning and sanctioning the questionable actions of the provincial governor, will it not appear that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Land Bank of the Philippines (Legazpi Office) have conveniently colluded with each other in tolerating the wrongdoings of Gov. Raul Lee by granting this mind boggling P350.0 million loan which shall be paid by the people’s money?  This P350.0 M loan is the biggest loan in the history of Sorsogon. The justification and the necessity of this loan is practically nil.  If no one from my distinguished colleagues in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan do not see anything wrong about this huge P350.0 M LBP loan and other previous loans, something must be very wrong somewhere.  Shall LBP and SP allow themselves to be like the three monkeys? SEE NO EVIL, TALK NO EVIL AND HEAR NO EVIL.

In sum, ratifying this Memorandum of Agreement by a majority vote of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members, such measure will only further inflame the peoples distrust to the Sorsogon provincial officials.  Sangguniang Panlalawigan will appear endorsing the people’s hard-earned money to a governor beseted by several anti-graft and corrupt practices cases and whose integrity is already in serious doubt.

My dear colleagues, let us all unite and protect the people’s money.  Let us denounce the Land Bank of the Philippines (Legazpi Office) and identify those people responsible for the approval of the loan passage for NOT exercising due diligence, prudence and sound judgment in evaluating the Sorsogon loan application for purposes of transparency and accountability at all times.  LBP corporate decision is also NOT in consonance with President Aquino’s “MATUWID NA LANDAS.”

God bless us.  Thank you.

Very truly yours,


Ms. Gilda Pico, LBP President
Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., Chair Senate Committee on Local Government
Cong. George P. Arnaiz, Chair, Congressional Committee on Local Government
Cong. Deogracias B. Ramos, Jr., Member, Congressional Committee on Local Government
All Sorsogon Mayors and Barangay Chairmen

——————-Bulan Observer————————–




(© Journal Group Link International)

Joseph Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – Two weeks ago, 12 Philippine senators, including my friend former President Joseph Estrada, got together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 12-11 vote, rejecting the U.S. Military Bases in the Philippines.

While I applaud them for their nationalism, I feel that they were like the Monkey in the fable Jose Rizal wrote about the Monkey and the Turtle.

As you know, in the fable, the Monkey gave the Turtle the choice of the manner of death he would deal on the Turtle — the Turtle would either be pounded into pieces in a mortar (lusong) or he would be tossed to the river. Of course, the Turtle tricked the stupid Monkey by choosing the mortar because the Turtle did not want to drown in the river.

When the 12 senators padlocked the U.S. bases, they did not tack a rider on the rejection – the termination of the agreement would be contingent on the U.S. clean-up of the bases of their toxic wastes.

It was like telling the renter of your apartment to take with him all the unsightly furniture before the renter turns in the key to the apartment owner.
Because our jolly senators forgot or overlooked this expensive environmental hazardous clean-up, it will now be the responsibility of the present Philippine Congress to appropriate $102-Billion to survivors of deceased victims of toxic contamination caused by hazardous substances stored and used in Clark and Subic military bases.
A similar demand was also served on the Philippine government in the amount of 52-billion pesos (US$1.2-billion) for neglect and refusal to deal with incidents of deaths and illness of the victims, who worked and lived in the two U.S. military bases in a class suit pending before the Regional Trial Court in Pampanga.


There have been reports of leukemia and cancer being caused by toxic contamination of drinking water. At least 80 deaths were reported, resulting from drinking contaminated water at the Clark “motorpool.”

The United States cannot be compelled to pay up because it is not a signatory to the 1989 Basel Convention that penalizes countries that are responsible for risk of damage to human health and environment caused by hazardous wastes while the Philippines is a signatory.

So, the “Magnificent 12” actually let the U.S. go like the Monkey did to the wily Turtle.

If the Philippine Congress wants to go on a damage control mode, it better adopt a U.S. law called Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), requiring companies to provide information about their potentially toxic chemicals, if it has not yet done so.

EPCRA was the result of the U.S. Congressional hearings triggered by the leak of a cloud of lethal methyl isocyanate in a 1984 Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India that caused the death of 2,000 people while they were sleeping and another 8,000, who died later. The Union Carbide paid $470-M in damages.

Among the features of EPCRA is a requirement for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish hazardous materials placard system to help emergency responders to know what they are dealing with.

Rail cars and trucks carrying toxic or dangerous materials must display a diamond-shaped sign having on it a material identification number, which can be looked up to determine what hazardous materials are on board, and a hazardous class number and symbol that tells whether the contents are flammable, explosive, corrosive, etc. Color codes also convey instant information: blue (health), red (flammability), yellow (reactivity) and white (special notice).

The placard system is as follows: Hazard class 1, explosives; Hazard class 2, gases (nonflammable, flammable, toxic gas, oxygen, inhalation hazard); Hazard class 3, Flammable liquids; Hazard class 4, Flammable solids (spontaneous combustible, dangerous when wet); Hazard class 5, oxidizer and organic peroxide; Hazard class 6, toxic/poisonous and infectious substances; Hazard class 7, radioactive; Hazard 8, corrosive; and Hazard class 9, miscellaneous dangerous goods.


 The absence of these placards from a chemical tanker that split into three in Barangay Pange, Matnog, Sorsogon in the Philippines at about 2 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2011 is giving authorities a hard time on how to deal with the accident.

It took Pange Barangay Chairman Fernando Genavia and Barangay Kagawad Ruel Genavia two weeks on Oct. 6 to report to Dr. Rossana Galeria, municipal health officer of Matnog and Matnog Mayor Emilio G. Ubaldo after telling the Matnog Sanitary Inspector that many cases of diarrhea and epigastric pain had occurred following the tanker explosion.

According to accounts, the tanker broke down along the highway of Barangay Pange and split three ways and its unknown liquid contents spilling into nearby trees and ground. Without knowing what the content was, the residents collected the liquid as fuel for cooking and lamps.

Typhoon “Pedring” washed the chemicals on Sept. 25 and 26 to the inner part of the forest and into the river. The trees and grass on the path of the liquid had died and turned brown, including the algae in the riverbed. Fishes died.

Residents had complained of caustic smell from the river and some had diarrhea. Although decontamination is being conducted among residents, the residents do not want to cooperate.

With a population of 520, the barangay residents are mostly indigents, depending on farming for their livelihood. 
Because hundreds of vehicles, including chemical tankers, are passing by the barangay everyday on the way to and from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, more hazardous materials are likely to be spilled in the area.

If the Philippines has EPCRA in place and there is hazardous materials placard system, a rapid response team in the municipality created by the law would have been notified by the residents to report the accident, mentioning the number of the placard and extent of the spill as there is threshold of spills to report (say 1,000 pounds of Sulfuric Acid are spilled) as test results of the contents would be taking weeks to find out.

It is just like calling police during emergency.






(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)

Joseph Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – I applaud the residents of Agusan del Sur in the Philippines for snaring and trapping alive last week a huge prehistoric crocodile touted as the longest and heaviest of its kind in captivity. While the reptile might have consumed humans, who might have crossed his path, this crocodile should not be faulted for attacking humans because he was doing it only for survival. Now that the reptile which took its nickname “Lolong” after one of its ill-fated hunters, we should now turn on capturing the two-legged crocodiles that roam the Philippine Congress and the government, who never tire on stealing the pork barrels.

Many politicians have been raiding the national treasury for nearly a decade and stashed those ill-gotten wealth secretly in big investment houses. But still, they would insist on holding onto some elective positions, pretending to be serving the people. But what these very few rich people want to accomplish is to preserve their wealth so that more people will seek their help and be indebted to them. This insatiable desire to amass more wealth is a throwback to the feudal times when nobility would thrive by exploiting illiterates and turning them into beasts of burden. So they would be untouchable like drug lords, these rich people would have to put up private security agencies or private armies.They don’t realize it that the more they linger in government service, the more they are liable to committing more mistakes.
 But like the black hole in the outer space, where nothing escapes, these crocodiles in the government will be ceding a great part of their wealth to the lawyers, who will be representing them in various courts of law. If they are unlucky with their choice, these lawyers will prolong the litigation of the case so they earn more attorneys’ fees.
 In the case of my native Sorsogon province, it is pity that my province mates have been governed alternately by husband-and-wife tandems, who are not even natives of Sorsogon. Incumbent Gov. Raul R. Lee is said to be originally surnamed “Rodrigueza” from Albay while his wife, former Gov. Sally Lee, is from Vigan, Ilocus Sur, who does not even speak Sorsogon Bikol. Since both of them are carpetbaggers, how sincere are they really in helping Sorsoguenos?

When she was governor of the southern most province of Luzon, Governor Sally Lee obtained a 260-million pesos (U$6-M) loan for the province. When Sorsogon’s provincial board member Vladimir Frivaldo sought for an accounting of the loan, Frivaldo did not get any response. I told Vladi to direct his inquiry to the Commission on Audit so it can conduct an accounting of the loan money. Despite the refusal of Governor Sally Lee to explain the whereabouts of the 260-million pesos, her successor and husband, Gov. Raul R. Lee, had the gall to secure another loan, this time, a bigger 350-M peso (US$8.3-M) loan.

 Vladi Frivaldo opposed the P350-M loan but the rest of the members of the Sorsogon provincial board approved the loan request. Vladi wrote a letter to the two banks – Philippine National Bank and Land Bank of the Philippines – to reject the Governor Raul Lee’s loan application by virtue of two criminal graft information filed against Lee by the Ombudsman. Vladi also wrote Congress to investigate the loan request. Vladi is still waiting for the response of his letters.


If COA finds out that Gov. Sally Lee cannot liquidate the P260-M, Sally Lee should be charged with malversation of public funds before the Ombudsman. If Sally Lee could not even account for the P260-M loan, why would PNB or the LBP even entertain granting the P350-M loan to her husband?

Court Information furnished to me by Mr. Fulton Baylon, an anti-graft fighter in Sorsogon, shows that Gov. Raul R. Lee, Raul G. Hernandez, Sorsogon Provincial Chief Accountant, and Ofelia D. Velasco, Sorsogon Provincial Treasurer, have been charged with violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019) by Ombudsman Orlando C. Casimiro after a preliminary investigation for buying P2,640,000.00 (US$62,857.00) Bio Nature Liquid Fertilizer from Feshan Phil. Inc. without public bidding.

The overpriced liquid fertilizer, according to former DA (Dept. of Agriculture) Regional Executive Director Fe Laysa, is “not appropriate for rice and corn, the principal crops in the region” but it is good for “hanging plants like orchids and other ornamental plants, which however, are not among the priority commodities for development and support.”

In another case supplied to me by Mr. Baylon, the Ombudsman also charged Gov. Raul R. Lee, Atty. Cesar J. Balmaceda, Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Antonio R. Huab, Provincial Engineer’s Office Engr. Arnie de Vera, Assistant Provincial Budget Officer Rosie D. Agnis, Provincial Assessor Florenco C. Dino II, Provincial General Services Officer Teresita D. Paladin, Accounting Clerk III Felicisimo D. Brondial, Inspection Officer Manuel S. Laurora and Enrico T. Velasco, Presidential and CEO of First Education & Training Ventures, Inc. of San Juan City, Metro Manila with accepting P12, 000,000.00 (US$285,714.00) satellite and office equipments and a recurrent fee of US$24,000 on March 29, 2004 from FETVI before FETVI was awarded the contract on March 30, 2004 without public bidding.

The same respondents are also accused of obtaining 300 sets of computer hardware and software in the amount P10,000,000.00 (US$238,095) from a loan with the Philippine National Bank. The only problem with these computers is that they are all “reconditioned/slightly used” instead of the “brand new fresh commercial stock supplies or property” required by the COA Circular.

Oh, well the accused in Sorsogon are not as large as the crocodiles in the Philippine Congress and Malacanang but they can grow as big if they will be left in the wild (or go unpunished).With these charging information, Secretary Jesse Robredo has now every reason to ask Governor Lee to cede his office to the Vice Governor, unless Mr. Lee can quash the information.



The Self-respect of Nations: The Philippines and China

by W. Scott Thompson and Oliver Geronilla


Somewhere in the first of Trollope’s 6-volume set Palliser Novels, “the Prime Minister,”  the Duke of Omnium, also the premier, tells his usually silly wife that—and we paraphrase—nations are like people:  they elicit (the) respect from outside powers to about the same extent that they do so on a personal basis—according to how much respect they give themselves.

We respect countries and people who respect themselves.  Costa Rica is truly a tiny country, but it eliminated its military, developed peaceful relations with its neighbors, and is considerably the most prestigious country in its neighborhood.  Botswana, by far the richest black state in Africa, even used its adversity during a drought to make itself still richer, but had a unified proud country pulling with it.

Recently, we have been reading with great interest the debate in the Philippine press of how to deal with China.  One of us has been reading this sort of thing for 42 years. This is in fact the most substantive debate on foreign policy we have seen here.

But we are bothered by a few things.  Let’s get some facts straight first.  The Philippines is not a ‘small’ country and it is not a ‘powerless’ country.  It’s going beyond even being a middle-sized country as it hits the 100million mark.

Now, in all respects China is bigger, richer, and far more militarily powerful.  So?  What else is new?  Throughout history smaller countries have had to find ways of dealing with stronger ones.  The only thing the smaller country must never do is make a big deal about how powerless it is.  For by such it becomes far weaker, even pathetic, in the eyes of the stronger.

How should the smaller power act?  There are some old shoes to use.  Of course one constantly reiterates the sovereign equality of nations.  It’s a bit meaningless if one is talking about navies, but it has a basis in history and law, at least back to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.  It means that there is a prima facie basis for each power, no matter what size, respecting the others.

Now, to be sure, China has been ascending up a steep ladder.  Britain and then America, as they expanded, found ‘natural and historical’ rights to establish coaling stations (Shanghai, Bombay) that became colonies or extra-territorial enclaves. Empire Britain became.  America found ‘friends’ to rent all over the world as cold war fever swept over it, and poor countries like Ethiopia sold rights to its Asmara high ground, where a vital communications link was built to bring the world together—under American hegemony.

China historically has not gone in that way.  It never established a world empire.  It thinks regionally–whence its invasion of Vietnam in late 1978, to ‘teach it a lesson,’ though it seems like it was China that got taught a lesson.  Yet here’s the rub for the Philippines: It’s right in the way of China’s claim to maritime supremacy in its region.

Manila is right to build up its navy to minimize the danger.  It is wrong to go around feeling sorry for itself.  No one respects that.   But there is precedent. One of us, in September, will be publishing a long and authorized biography of former President Fidel Ramos, in which a major player is General Jose Almonte, himself quite a card to play, as the region’s foremost and smartest strategist.  FVR assigned Joal the job of dealing with China over the first real eruption of major problems with China over the Spratly islands.  Joal told us—and we are paraphrasing from the forthcoming biography—that he didn’t even believe in FVR’s assignment—to find a solution.  Joal understands power; he didn’t believe he had any cards to play.  But he rallied the region, even consulting Koreans and other nearby non-Asean powers.  He put China on the defensive and they began asserting that they were not a traditional great power; they weren’t trying to use might over right.  Ha!

General Almonte, to his own astonishment, achieved his purpose.  The Chinese backed down.  Of course there’s a lot of water over the dam since then—and a far larger Chinese navy.  What worked then must be tried harder today.  Insist in all fora on the ‘equality of nations;’ work the region as a whole.  Differences among Asean countries must be eliminated, as they play right into the Chinese hand.

Above all, achieve coherence at home.  Nothing strengthens a country more than the integrity of its political system and a growing economy.  Respect your president—give him the free hand he needs.  So far he’s been a winner abroad.  Does China want to look like a bully against a freely-elected (and overwhelmingly supported) young and popular leader?

Fight all you want domestically for advantage (but Ampatuan methods are ruled out), but as a nation be as one.  Foreign policy begins at the water’s edge, we always said.

Yet there are times when might makes right—for a time.  Still the picture of the beleaguered exiled emperor of Ethiopia at the League o Nations, after Italy defeated his forces in 1935, appealing on the grounds of sovereignty and dignity of his country, is one of the most popular of the 20th century.

If the Philippines doesn’t want to see its sovereignty violated, it must be wholly united, not by asking for pity on grounds of its powerlessness, but on grounds of its rights as a united political entity. This time it’s going to be a lot more difficult.  The Foreign Secretary looks like he’s got it right—and he’s a man of dignity who had to work for years in Washington with a weak hand to play; but he did it well.  Get Behind Secretary Del Rosario.  Be two nations if you will: a squabbling one internally (though the less so the better) but a coherent people with respect to foreign policy.

The Philippines has never had much interest in statecraft—compare Thailand.  Manila felt for too long it was protected by the US.  Even now it is putting wordly faith in its mutual defense treaty with Washington.  That has to get substantive.  Call a conference.  Put America more and more on the spot. Card by card build your hand.  The Philippines can’t stand up to China in a military conflict, but the Philippines can make that the least likely of scenarios.  In fact, we see the Philippines as having a quite strong hand in law of the sea, ASEAN unity, history, international law, and international prestige (the latter as applied to China as it wishes to present itself internationally).  Go for it!


Oliver Geronilla is a language instructor based in the City of Dasmarinas .  W. Scott Thompson, D.Phil. served four presidents in the United States and is professor emeritus of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston .  He lives in Washington and Makati City and is the author of 14 books on international relations and Southeast Asian politics.

Brain drain And Minority Leader Danilo Suarez

by jun asuncion


House Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said in Philstar today :

– Aquino has turned the entire government machinery into “one wrecking crew” just to get back at leaders of the previous administration.

My comment: Who will do that otherwise? The Philippines of today is the result of corrupt leadership of the past administrations. Now they have to pay for it.

– “If your marching order is to dig up dirt to use against your enemies, instead of finding ways to improve the lives of Filipinos, you will self-destruct,” …

My comment: Finding ways to improve the lives of Filipinos? The lives of the Filipinos have never been improved because of corrupt and plundering leaders in all levels, from president of the past administrations to the governors and mayors even of today. They destroyed not only the Philippine economy but her people and all of  her institutions, – and ultimately also destroyed themselves now that they have to face the charges for the crimes they have perpetuated when they were up there in their respected offices freely serving their selfish interests. The fight against corruption and plunder is the best way to improve the Philippines. For then the flow of government resources will finally reach its designated targets. No economy and institutions will function properly with corrupt employees and when the flow of government resources ends up in their own pockets.

So President Aquino is doing the right thing because corruption is the root of our poverty. He started this corruption-free political culture in the Philippines, a courageous undertaking which deserves national and international recognition. I think a corruption-free culture is the key to a better Philippines. At the moment that’s really the only way to start improving the lives of Filipinos. This is a big social change happening  in the Philippines.

– “Imagine all the time and public resources to be spent on that one objective alone. And the people’s attention is turned to these issues, so the national attention is on these issues, not the real urgent problems that we must address collectively,” …

My comment: Danilo Suarez has forgotten how much time, opportunities and public resources have been lost during the time of Macapagal-Arroyo, Estrada and Marcos- and how much more we will be losing today and in the future if we don’t end this corruption culture in the Philippines. Alone the loss of good brains due to emigration of intellectuals, imprisonment, extra – judicial killings of thinking Filipino leaders of different sectors is irreplaceable. The loss of  money, of  tax money that should have gone to education, research, health programs, etc., is unaccountable. How about the loss of image? If you live abroad, you will know how the rest look down on us. We have suffered collectively because of these things caused by these people. Hence, we must address this urgent problem of corruption and social injustice collectively and help bring these people to justice.

– “They know that if you hit GMA you will be on the headlines,”…

My comment: When GMA was still president, she was always on the headlines for hitting the country hard and placing it as the most corrupt and plundered nation in Asia and of using the OFWs to her political advantage.  Now the world knows that GMA will soon be facing these criminal charges against her and her old machineries of corruption. Her Ombudsman Gutierrez – a woman who was supposed to fight corruption –  had to go because of  favoring corruption. Already a win for Philippine  justice. “Talk to my lawyers”, was GMA’s response to the inquiring journalists at the airport. Lawyers are professionals and are paid to create good defense argumentation out of  GMA’s miserable situation. But justice doesn’t end there.

To sum up, I think Minority leader Danilo Suarez is a living proof of brain drain in the Philippines.






CHICAGO (jGLi) – In his diary, Philippine national hero Jose Rizal described Missouri River as twice the size of Pasig River in its widest part. Missouri is just the second largest tributary of the Mississippi, the largest river system in North America.

In my youth, I considered Kawayan (spelled with a “k” since there is no “c” in Tagalog nor Bikol alphabets) River in Basud, Sorsogon in the Philippines just as big as the Pasig River if not half as big in its narrowest part.

When I was in grade school, I always cherished the days when we visited our relatives living near Kawayan River so we could swim in the white water the whole day.

If we could leave early in the day, we would even walk upstream of Kawayan River called “Rangas” for a picnic to visit one of my uncles, Felipe Lariosa, who would guide us to a pool of water which was so clean it was safe to drink. We did not care if we took on water while we bathed.

Today, Kawayan River is like a swamp that may soon become a dry and barren land.

Thanks to what Los Angeles, California activist and former Sorsogon resident Bobby Reyes describes as an “ecological rape” of Kawayan River perpetrated formerly by the Philippine government when it was operating the Philippine National Oil Company, which later became National Power Corporation. The NPC ceded its interest to Energy Development Corporation after submitting the complying bid for the 150-MW Bacman (Bacon-Manito) geothermal plants last year for 1.2-billion pesos (US$26-million) during an auction hosted by PSALM (Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp).

While geothermal is considered “cleaner energy” than coal- or oil-fired power plant because each kilowatt-hour of electricity it generates only emits about 5 percent of carbon dioxide, along with the area’s “rotten-egg” smell as well as ammonia and methane that it emits, geothermal still raises environmental issues such as air and water pollutions along with safe disposal of hazardous waste, silting, and land subsidence.


One of the residents near Kawayan River, Sonia Lariosa, a cousin of mine, informed Mr. Reyes that in her Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150294889948968.379581.720778967, everyone can see the effects of how huge power companies bring ecological nightmare to the rivers like Kawayan and nearby farm lands when these powerful companies disregard environmental safeguards as they go about with their business.

Sonia complains that Kawayan River is now a very small tributary and from the photos, it seems it is no longer empties into the Sorsogon Bay.

She said her small rice fields are no longer irrigated with water from up streams but with muds “with cement” that can only come from nearby “Bacman II, a geothermal facility that operates two 20-Megawatt-unit turbines “commissioned in 1994.”

The word “Bacman” was taken from the towns of Bacon, Sorsogon and Manito Albay in the Bikol region. It has a steam plant (BacMan I) located in the boundary of Bacon and Manito.

“When my father was alive (Cerelo Lariosa, a World War II veteran), these PNOC people had been bulldozing our small patch of land. My father protested but because nobody can sue the government without its consent, my father gave up and let them do what they wanted,” Sonia recalls.

While the PNOC was building their facility, quarrying of the river went into high gear. Today, when there is rain, there are no more stones to hold the soil and there are mudslides all over the place.

Sonia is not the only one affected. Her neighbors about 200 of them have signed up a petition to put into stop to the unmitigated exploitation of their natural resources that used to irrigate their rice fields, which are the main sources of their livelihood. “We can no longer grow palay in our rice fields,” she wailed.


She said she could not get the cooperation of her Barangay Captain so their complaints will reach the higher government authorities (the local “representathieves” of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources), who are conniving with the Energy Development Company people.

They are now enlisting the help of senior law students from Aquinas University in Legazpi City so they can file complaints.

They have formed a group called “Bacman Geothermal Multi Monitoring Task Force,” which will file a complaint against EDC before the United Nations for violating the KYOTO PROTOCOL, an environmental treaty, of which the Philippines is a signatory.

The Task Force realizes that they are up against a behemoth in the industry in EDC, a geothermal leader whose Chair Emeritus is Oscar Lopez of the powerful ABS-CBN international conglomerate. Last May 15, EDC reported a net income of 1.45 billion pesos (US$31-Million) for the first quarter of the year alone. Thru its subsidiaries Green Core Geothermal, Inc. (GCGI) and Bacman Geothermal, Inc. (BGI), EDC acquired the geothermal power plants owned by National Power Corporation, which sources steam from Company’s steam field assets.

Oscar Lopez is a sister of Gina Paz L. Lopez, the managing director of ABS- CBN’s Foundation, Inc.’s Bantay Kalikasan (nature protector) that “envisions a responsibly protected and preserved Philippine environment where children can live safer, healthier and more bountiful lives.”
Sonia said she wrote Gina about her complaints against EDC. But Sonia is afraid Gina is going to be placed in a “conflicting role.”

EDC remains the largest producer of geothermal energy in the Philippines, accounting for 62 percent of the total country, the largest integrated geothermal power company in the world.

Last year, Bacman plants generated 1,199 MW. To appreciate better the power of an MW, a 3-MW plant can supply electricity to Ormoc City, which has a population of 177,524 people and Ormoc’s nearby towns. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)







CHICAGO (jGLi) – When I was covering the mayor’s offices of Rizal province in the Philippines in the seventies, I was pleasantly surprised to see a mayor of Antipolo in near tears when I told him politicians should pave the way for other aspirants when they had grown tired of their jobs or had run out of ideas to improve other peoples’ lives.

“Joseph,” the mayor told me, “what will happen to me when I leave the town hall? Running for mayor and winning the job is the be-all and end-all for me. I don’t have any other marketable skills to boot.”

If you get a similar response from politicians in your neighborhood, you should be ready to stick by him for a long haul.

These kinds of politicians might not have heard of the Peter Principle propounded in 1968 by educator Dr. Laurence J. Peter, who said that: “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence … in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties … Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.”

This theory met its match when the United States Military has required that certain ranks should be held for no longer than a set amount of time, a lack of compliance of which could render grounds for dismissal.

We can just imagine if the Philippine military will ignore the Peter Principle. What would have happened to the Philippines if thefts of comptrollers of the Philippine Armed Forces like Generals Carlos Garcia and Jacinto Ligot or AFP Chiefs of Staff like the suicide-driven Angelo Reyes, Diomedio Villanueva and Roy Cimatu were not exposed? Don’t you think they would ever leave their posts if they were not detected?

And if these kinds of generals were given the option to retire from office like a United States Supreme Court justice who has lifetime tenure, where will the Philippine government get its depleted funds?


Look at what happened to other generals abroad, whose rise to power had remained unchecked. There were Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Augusto Pinochet or Col. Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi to name few, who are shoo-in for entries into the Hall of Shame.

And this takes us back to our local politicians, like my favorite provincial governor in Sorsogon, Atty. Raul Lee.

Governor Lee is your typical Filipino politician, who believes that, like the mayor of Antipolo, Rizal, or the Hall-of-Shame generals that they are the only competent people who can improve other peoples’ lives.

If Governor Lee will be voted off, he can no longer game the system. His position will be a fare game to all comers, who believe that he no longer have an iota of competence.

Ever since his political rival in Governor Juan Frivaldo died after becoming the longest-serving Sorsogon provincial governor, Governor Lee seemed to have carried a chip on his shoulder because he could no longer break Mr. Frivaldo’s winning streak.

With term limits now in place, like any other politician protecting his turf, when Gov. Lee will just about to be termed out, he will let his wife, Sally, run for his position so he will not lose his touch of power. And he can run again for the same position in case his wife is also about to be termed out.

But if they have outlived their competence, as they never age like wine, I believe, Governor Lee should just cede his position to his vice governor and “cut his losses.”


Instead of enjoying his retirement, the 69-year-old Mr. Lee is now re-enforcing his mini-dynasty that he would only be dreaming if the aging “Tata Juan” were still alive. He is now grooming his son, the incumbent Sorsogon City Vice Mayor, and his grandson, the incumbent SK Federation President, for his position.

I don’t mind if his dynasty takes root for as long as can improve the peoples’ lives till Kingdom Come.

But why is he now so insecure like Marcos? Governor Lee has also now usurped the power of the provincial legislature called Sangguniang Panlalawigan by reducing its budget?

The last I heard, in order to silence his critics, Governor Lee has also taken over the appointing power of his vice governor (Antonio H. Escudero) and suddenly became a micro-manager.

After being named to answer for the fertilizer scam, Mr. Lee turned the table on his opponents in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan by hitting them where it hurts most: deprive the SP the ability to hire and keep their own staff.

All appointments by the SP will now have to go thru the eye of his needle so he can buy their loyalties.

His vocal critique, SP member Vladimir Frivaldo, the grandson of “Tata Juan,” was deprived of his “proposed staff complement” after Governor Lee learned that the grandson of his former foe was opposing Lee’s support for STL (small town lottery) operation, the controversial operation of mining in Barangays Balocaue and Cabagahan both in Matnog, Sorsogon and demand for liquidation of the loan obtained by his wife, Sally Lee, in the amount of 260-M pesos (U.S.$ 5.7-Millions) before Lee can obtain a new 350-million pesos (U.S $8.75-M), the biggest loan in the history of the province.

Mr. Vladimir Frivaldo reminded Gov Lee that it is the duty of the SP to approve the annual budgets, the request by the office of the Governor to obtain loan, to oversee that programs and projects are implemented properly within existing laws, guidelines and procedures and make implementors accountable, and not the governor’s.

I don’t know how Gov. Lee can circumvent the fertilizer scam filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman. If he can steer clear of the charges, the people of Sorsogon can always gather enough signatures to start the ball rolling for his unprecedented recall. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)