Political Killings

Here’s an interesting news clip from Inquirer.

The international community has voiced concern over the unresolved killings of hundreds of political activists in the country since Ms Arroyo took office in 2001.

The charges presented against both the Arroyo and Bush administrations included:

• Gross and systematic violations of civil and political rights: extrajudicial killings, abduction and disappearances, massacre, torture.
• Gross and systematic violation of economic, social and cultural rights.
• Gross and systematic violations of the rights to national self-determination and liberation. [Inquirer]

I have pointed out in previous posts that I am not a fan of Gloria Arroyo. But I find the timing of the report by an international forum at The Hague quite questionable. It’s election season and every party is at each other’s throat. And news like this are just meant to ruin the reputation of a party and its candidates. We all know that.

Anyways.

Yes, it’s an international forum at The Hague no less. But who are they to claim and decide that our government was/is responsible for the political killings? Have they – these lawyers and human rights activists – actually lived here long enough, or at least for the duration of Arroyo’s administration? It’s one thing to academically study and discuss the ‘oral and written documentations’ a million miles a way from the country and it’s another to be vigilant observers of the such tragic events.

More than just a gross attempt to discredit the incumbent administration, this kind of international announcement sends a far to negative image of our country. It strengthens the perception that our government is the ultimate mastermind behind all things evil and corrupt about our country. It further damages not just the reputation of our government but our reputation of our nation as a whole.

Sad to say but political killings seems to be a ‘regular’ aspect of our national politics. Such acts of violence are almost a constant even during the Marcos era and beyond it. But its persistence doesn’t mean that we – nor this administration – condone it.

The way I see it, the major responsibility of our government – whether it be the Arroyo, Ramos, Estrada, Aquino, Marcos, etc – that involves them in the political killings is their apparent lack or inability to solve such crimes. I don’t know if it’s a question of lack in capability or motivation or financial resources.

Also, the incapacity to address this issue does not lie in the president entirely. We (and this international forum) need to remember that we have other government agencies that are supposed to deal with such matters.

Do we really need members of an international community to voice ‘concern over the unresolved killings of hundreds of political activists in the country since Ms Arroyo took office in 2001’ and to bring the matter into light as if we are oblivious to it? The Hague, we are more than aware of our problems, thank you very much.

Kung pwede lang, huwag na nila palakihin yung issue di ba? It’s bad enough that we as citizens feel helpless and disgusted by the killings. We really don’t need the rest of the world to feel the same way towards our country.

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Forgive and Forget?

Distinct members of Team Unity recently visited Ilocos as part of their nationwide campaign. The contingent includedTito Sotto, Vicente Magsaysay, and Tessie Aquino-Oreta. And guess what? They were actually welcomed by no less than the Ilocos Norte Governor Bongbong Marcos.

Perhaps, it is true that time heals all wounds. In this case at least. Then again, we wouldn’t really know the real deal between the Aquinos and the Marcoses.

A political and/or financial compromise perhaps?

Of course, it’s the dancing queen member of the Aquino family that we’re talking about here. How much can we really expect from a turncoat? Sigh. The things these people just to stay in power…

Sayaw Tessie… Sayaw Tessie…

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Baby Switching

Misplacing an object is normal. We sometimes tend to overlook certain actions that are as trivial as locking the car door because some actions has become a habit.

But misplacing a baby is totally something else!

How clueless and irresponsible do you have to be to put a baby in the wrong baby bin? Are the people involved too eager to go home and catch their favorite telenovela? What ever the reason is, some sort of negligence [kesho nataranta pa yung nurse o ano man] has occured.

It’s good thing that a dna testing has eventually confirmed the babies are now with their respective mothers. Of course, that was after one of the mothers noticed that the name on the armband of the baby she took home was different! Grabe, naiuwi na! Is it really that difficult to notice if the baby you’ve been craddling all the way from the hospital looks different?? It’s your child for crying out loud!

Can you imagine if the parents if the parents threw away the armbands without hesitation. =P

Binibining Pilipinas 2007

Congratulations to the winners of Binibining Pilipinas 2007!

Nadia Lee Shami for Bb. Pilipinas International
Margaret Nales Wilson for Bb. Pilipinas World
Anna Theresa Licaros for Bb. Pilipinas Universe

In beauty pageants, beauty is always a given. All of the candidates have the physical appearance to be beauty queens. And it’s not the pretty-in-their-own-way but a more socially accepted kind.

What always set a candidate a part are two things: her background and her answers. Although I think pageant runners try to have a more diverse crowd by accepting entries from different backgrounds, there’s always one that stands out. Anna Theresa, or Tere, is a UP law student and was summa cum laude when she graduated BA Broad Comm back in 2005. As cliches go, she has beauty and brains.

But what really made her stand out was her answer (or answers) in the question and answer portion. I think, this is the make-or-break portion of any pageant. (Although, having received almost all of the special awards, Anna Theresa was already a favorite and a formidable contender for the major titles.) No one among the candidates gave the most confident and concise answer other than Tere. And it wasn’t just one question, but two.

There was the question of BPI’s Aurelio Montinola III which involved choosing between the pageant crown or her love life. For many people, it seemed like a difficult question because it appeared to be a choice between career and personal life. When you think about it, it wasn’t really a difficult one. (Mas mahirap pa yung tanong ni Vicky Morales.) And she gave a perfect answer. Any candidate will only reign for a year, and most of her responsibility is representing our country in the international beauty contests. It wasn’t a question of value, but a question of priorities. There is no real comparison because it’s not like choosing between two careers or two persons; thus, no real choice is necessary. And if you’re a true Binibining Pilipinas, you always prioritize the one where you will make the most difference, to be of greater service. Love, if true, will always be there regardless.

Lastly, there was the question of Richard Gutierrez. Aside: noticed how the hosts (Paolo and Richard) mostly just asked the candidates how are they feeling or some small talk question. It’s supposed to calm them down although it didn’t really work for most of them. When it came to Tere, Richard just had to bring up the law student info. And was she prepared to answer that! She gave a perfect answer, the first one actually. And given her academic background, she certainly anticipated that fact being asked.

Add the fact that the way she delivered her answer was far, far better than the other candidates. No umm’s, no mispronounced words, no sentence fragments. And more importantly, hindi pilit [it wasn’t forced.] Every word fell into place.

That small-talk question with the prepared, well-thought response, catapulted her a part from the rest and could have been her major stepping stone towards winning the Binibining Pilipinas Universe.

Thank God she didn’t pick Robin Padilla.

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