A great loss

With bated breath, the Philippine nation collectively sighed and sniffed as news that the body of the late Sec. Jesse Robredo was recovered from the deep off the coast of Masbate. The otherwise happy long weekend that we were all looking forward to was interrupted as many of us constantly scoured the news and social networking sites for updates as soon as it broke out that the private plane he was on crashed. Then came the expected but nevertheless painful blow that he indeed did not make it.

I cannot say anymore than what has been said all over the media and cyberspace. He is truly a great loss to the government and the people he served. He embodied simplicity and genuineness in the desire to actually and really serve the public, which is more than what we can say about many of Philippine politicians. My sense is, he is only one of the few honorable left, and he was taken early. Bakit ganun minsan?

On the impeachment trial

The wheels of justice have turned.

I would like to start off by saying that I am not a lawyer. I studied law to some degree in my numerous subjects in college as I wove through my Political Science journey. I have been in government for a little over a decade, and as I have always said, out loud or here in my blog, I have not succumbed to being a typical government employee (or official now). There. What I will say here are my views as a socially-aware Filipino citizen, a mother and an incorruptible civil servant (yes I say that with all dignity I could muster).

Now that I got that out of the way, I just want to write my thoughts on the concluded impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. In the history of the Philippines, it was the first ever successfully (or unsuccessfully, depending on the point of view of a person) concluded trial, with a firm decision of the impeachment court. Now, I do feel strongly about the case that I want to stake my life on it, but I found it very amusing the way some of my friends on FB are ready to buwis-buhay. What I found funnier is that most of them are lawyers. That got me really thinking because many of them expressed claims of constitutional crisis, etc. etc. after former CJ Corona got ousted. Di ko lang talaga ma-gets. Di rin naman ako mangmang para di maintindihan. Pero saan dun yung abuse of power ng Executive?

Why do they keep on including the case of the Hacienda Luisita as the reason for the pushing of the impeachment case? Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t the abuse of power happen when the SC lifted the temporary restraining order effected by the Department of Justice on the travel of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a known ally of the Chief Justice, when she is facing various charges for corruption and electoral sabotage? Hindi ba ito yung malinaw na pakikialam on the other branches of government? At hindi ba ito yung mitsa ng pagsasampa ng kaso kay former CJ Corona–na naiba na lang ang porma–but basically the same because of the obvious favoring of allies? Why didn’t lawyers then raised hell? Considering his very appointment is plagued with irregularities as a way for GMA to cover her ass when not in position anymore, who committed the grave abuse?

Egos working at their best. Wala lang. Just like with a lot of everyday things, let’s just go back to the basic problem–did he commit errors in the of his duties? Hell YES!! Did he fail to declare his properties in the SALN? YES!! So why the continued feeling of being wronged? And WHY, do certain people think that it’s an attack on the judiciary? In all the media frenzy, not once were the other justices mentioned. Not once was the SC maligned as an institution. It was all attacks on the former CJ–as he is in the hot seat, he is the one charged.

I couldn’t even begin to comment on his so-called testimony. He’s a lawyer and justice pa naman. I don’t think words like “spoiled brat” have any place in a court. Now that is hearsay and a personality attack.

And that walkout, and challenging senators and complainants, did him in. He showed nothing in that testimony except how big-headed he is, and how he thinks the rules should suit him because of his former position. I am glad Senator Juan Ponce Enrile showed both compassion and will at the same time. No one is above the law, even the Chief Justice of the Philippines. Sino ngayon ang bastos?

Just saying.

Jose Rizal @ 150

Maligayang kaarawan sa iyo, aming bayani! Wala kang kupas. Napapaisip lang ako minsan kung anong sasabihin mo kung sakaling nabubuhay ka pa sa ngayon. Makikisawsaw ka kaya sa pulitika ng bansa? O ipagpapatuloy mo lang ang pagsusulat mo? Kung ano man, wish ko lang na lahat ng Pilipino ngayon ay naaappreciate pa lahat ng itinuro mo noon. Sana makabuluhan pa ito para sa kanila. Sana hindi ka disappointed sa kalagayan ng ating bansa, ng mamamayan nito. You rock! Siguro ipagdasal mo na lang kami sa langit.

A Wedding Like No Other

And so they were wed amidst the fanfare, pomp and adoration accorded to them by the world at large. Many stayed glued to their television screens Friday morning (night here in the Philippines) to watch, some in awe, some in incredulity, some in distaste for the grandeur being footed by the British people (but curious nonetheless). All eyes were on the commoner as she snagged her rightful place in the arms of her prince. Sigh, of course it was fairytale at best. Who in their right minds would not want such a glamorous and almost worry-free life (for the commoner me at least, who worries about bills and whatnots every week)?

Me, I just wished that particular moment that I could walk down the aisle again wearing that classy and elegant gown by Sarah Burton. Kate got some flak for donning a gown as simple as that. But really, it was so…her. And while I love Princess Diana to death, when I knew her as a young girl, often times ogling over how eerily gorgeous she was, the gown the late Princess chose was not one for the books. The poufy look would become so passe as time went by, whereas Kate’s so timeless, she would not cringe years from now when she pores over her wedding albums. Oh well, Diana’s beauty never seems to fade anyhow despite her passing away some 13(?) years ago.

On the Angelo Reyes tragedy

I have two points here.

I got a bit affected with the Angelo Reyes killing-slash-suicide. To date, nobody can really tell, but most evidence points out to the latter. What can I say? That we really don’t know if he did steal or not. It’s easy to be high and mighty about judging him na nakonsensya sya because of the things he supposedly committed and the huge amounts of government funds that he supposedly partook of. He may, he may have not. Personally, I think there is some truth to it. But, but! Let us not assume that just because he is from the government that’s why he did it! It just sorta burns me up inside. Yes I know that there are absolute corrupt officials and employees within the branches of the government. But it is unfair to use that “because he is from the government” thing para isakdal na ang tao. E kung lahat ng taga-gobyerno e titingnan mo ng ganun, paano naman yung totoong mga nagtatrabaho para sa kapakanan ng bayan?

Jeez! I feel bad more about this issue than the actual suicide. lol. Last month, I “celebrated” my tenth year in government, and I could say with all integrity and dignity that I have never and will ever steal while using the excuse to “feed my family”. I have not so much as stole a single centavo from the coffers of the government save for some pens that are accidentally brought home from my working table. For me, there will always be honorable work available. We just have to learn to be content with what we earn. If we can’t do that, we might as well look for a better-paying job. That’s why it enrages me to hear comments like that, that government officials and employees are “naturally corrupt”.

Besides, people from the private sector also steal right? Why aren’t they being persecuted the way public servants are? Yeah, yeah, yeah, taxes and public funds pay for their salaries. But aren’t private companies earn by profiting from people’s money too? It just doesn’t make sense to judge people from the government that way.

On what pushed Angelo Reyes to pull the trigger straight to his heart (if he did), we really don’t know what he was thinking at that moment. It may have been borne out of desperation, or guilt, or hopelessness. We wouldn’t know if he thought of the action long and hard, or a spur of the moment thing. Is it a personality thing? Is it a sign of weakness?

I have endured depressing moments in my life. Moments where I actually felt and lived na parang pinagsakluban ng langit at lupa. I don’t know if I am psychotic (I hope not), but sadness and alone-ness are two of my friends. Generally, I am a happy person but I give in to bouts of depressions much like my next door neighbor or colleague. My career/job sucks, I am groping at parenthood, I do not have the perfect marriage, I have to deal with salbahe people all the time, and so on. I complain a lot and feel that people sometimes just don’t understand me or my need to be validated (there I said it). When one is in this state, sometimes it feels like one is at a dead end. But then, one gets to think–what next if you decide to take your life? Sure, your problems are whisked away. For you anyway. But what about the ones you will be leaving behind. It is such an easy way out. You wake up and then all your troubles are gone. No more neurotic people, no more financial constraints, no more of everything. But then, for me at least, I always, always think of what will happen my daughter in case I go away. It chills me to the bone. And then I stop thinking about it.

Was there nobody special enough to be the reason for Angelo Reyes’ existence?

The Snatcher

It was unnerving to watch a cellphone being snatched from a lady aboard a jeepney. The moment I saw this guy (it was sad, he looked about 16 or 17) hovering on the side of a jeepney during traffic along Magsaysay Boulevard in Sta. Mesa, I knew he was up to something. He was fidgeting, and he had his arm dodging in and out of the open window for a few seconds before he went in for the kill. It was a total struggle. The lady wouldn’t give up her hold, and presumably a seatmate was trying to help her hold on to it. Desperate, the kid snatcher bit on to her arm (or was it hand, I really couldn’t tell from the distance). She finally let go and away went the kid, even bouncing a bit on the hood of our car as he fled the scene.

All the while, all I could do was say “oh my God, oh my God!”. Hubby said he could’ve bumped the guy so that he would be stopped from getting away. I said, selfishly, that it would take much time, effort and paperwork just to get through the procedure of having the police examine their way through. Besides, the kid snatcher might have some lookouts on the side. Who knows who have knives, guns or other weapons. I was too afraid of what would happen if one of us sets foot outside of our enclosed car. (Does that make me a bad citizen?.)

What has the world come to?

Out with the old

I just want to jump on the bandwagon albeit late. This campaign really cracked up Filipinos although DOT has immediately rectified its mistake by pulling the stops after the tourism campaign received a lot of flak from the public.

I think something like this has been happening all over government agencies who were given new secretaries or heads of offices, ours included. Seems like many are out to change the old, bring in the new, without reviewing what’s been working. My take: why fix something when it ain’t broke? Some keep forgetting that we are client-serving agencies, not merely policy-making bodies, and our top priority should be the public, not personal interests of individuals. Seems that many are out to eradicate traces of the previous administrations, even if these mean getting rid of practices that are effective and working well. Like the WOW! Philippines slogan. Sigh! In our case, while we have mainly shied away from the public in the three decades of our office’s existence, I believe it has been performing really well. Although little is known about us since our clients are mostly immigrants or bound for other countries, we have more done what is expected of our mandate. Drastic changes in our operations may prove to be more harmful than beneficial if not studied carefully. I hope someone applies emergency breaks soon. We are headed for gloom.