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JUNE 23-29, 2014 • VOL.4 NO.43
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By Miguel Raymundo The latest numbers reveal that the economy is on the wane. Contrary to Malacañang’s propaganda, the recent growth in the Philippine economy in reality is artiﬁcial, narrow, debtdriven and unsustainable. Page 2
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DoeS DoTc NeeD HoUSecLeANING? 7 6/20/14 10:02 PM
Not True economy boom...
By Miguel Raymundo
Far from the true picture of the economy that belies Malacañang’s assertion of economic growth, latest numbers imply that the economy is on the wane, a far cry from the still sanguine assessment dished out by those in power. Bluntly, political scams are weighing down on economy’s prospects and how businessmen perceive them. Take the gross domestic product (GDP) which measures the nation’s local output, which has declined over the past quarters. From a high of 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012, GDP has gone down to 6.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013 and a disappointing 5.7 percent growth in this year’s first quarter.
As expected, officials heap the blame on the spate of natural calamities for the economy’s slump over the past quarters. Finding fault, however, with the weather as the culprit of the economy’s woes may not be that accurate. While the figures are quarterly, they nonetheless provide a glimpse into what has long bogged down the economy – uncompetitive, protectionist and corruptionprone.
Yearly, the Philippines aims to chalk up between six and seven percent GDP growth in its bid to make it one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. That projection takes into account the foreign exchange remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) which account for 20 percent of the annual GDP. This year, prospects don’t augur well for a significant share of remittances to GDP due slowdown in this year’s first quarter as hostilities flare up in the jobrich Middle East, particularly in Libya, Iraq and Syria.
Moreover, certain policy and structural constraints still abound, one of which is the still unresolved 60:40 equity limit imposed by the Constitution on investors seeking to do business in the country.
While both Houses of Congress are receptive to striking out the archaic provision in the Constitution, it seems ironic that no less than President Aquino himself stands in the way. In no unequivocal terms, he thumbed down any proposal to tinker with the basic law of the land, including its economic provisions. Undoubtedly, the pro-Filipino but anti-foreigner equity ratio ceiling curbed the entry of foreign funds which only ended up in other hassle-free nations – Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Lack of infras
More often than not, prospective foreign investors bewail the government’s incoherent and unstable business policy, lack of infrastructure, particularly roads, ports and airports in the Philippines. Yet, billions of pesos are allotted annually to finance the construction of highways, being the lifeblood of the economy. Talk of corruption in the business circuit often revolves around the pork barrel scam, a major embarrassment to Aquino’s so-called tuwid na daan” program of government. During the just-concluded World Economic Forum in Makati city, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima was booed by activists for his upbeat assessment of the debt-plagued economy. He was blamed for the orchestrating multi-billion dollar debt deals with the multilateral finance institutions, plunging the country deeper into a debt hole.
Not spared was Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, a dyed-in-the-wool Aquino loyalist who was roundly assailed for giving tribute to Aquino’s “tuwid na daan” platform of government for the restoration of people’s faith in the government. Contrary to what Aquino officials trumpet, critics believe that the recent growth in the Philippine economy was “artificial, narrow, debt-driven and unsustainable.” Worse, it is accompanied by worsening job generation, growing unemployment and exclusionary growth, mainly in the narrow real-estate and construction sectors.
june 23-29, 2014
These sectors are supported by recordlow interest rates, which have made financing for production and for consumption artificially cheap. While it artificially increases economic activity, this situation of cheap financing is only momentary.
Filipino businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, whose group of companies operates toll roads, telecommunications firms, mining pits and power utilities, says while reforms are laudable, the government still needs to address many critical issues necessary for economic growth. “Certainly, the soft spot of development is important – reforms, governance and perception of the Philippines – but there are hard parts of development as well. It can’t be all perception.” Pangilinan wants the government to cut red tape, reduce the cost of power and build more infrastructure. For one, American financial services giant JP Morgan Chase has cut its 2014 economic growth forecast for the Philippines, noting that its first-quarter GDP results fell below expectations and turned out to be the slowest pace of expansion in 10 quarters. It also revised its GDP growth forecast of six percent for the Philippines this year, down from the previous forecast of 6.6 percent. As more and more analysts reassess their views on the Philippine economy, they tend to narrow down their verdict – that the much-hyped economic growth was but a flash in the pan. Such labels as “Asia’s next miracle” and “Asia’s rising star” are all but empty advertisements meant to make the Philippines popular to investors.
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News from Where You Stand
mUcH ADo AboUT NoTHING By elCid Benedicto Such would likely be the case, in the end, of the Senate blue ribbon committee in taking great pains in securing a copy of the widely-publicized alleged digital ﬁles of pork barrel scam principal whistleblower Benhur Luy. The committee headed by Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III is facing the difficult task of hurdling some legal obstacles in proceedings with its halted investigation into the pork scam, a matter which probably explains why he has been conspicuously silent until now as to when the panel could schedule a hearing to tackle the “digital fi les.” There now exists some provisions in the law, under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which could probably prove to be a stumbling block in taking up anew the issue, add to the fact that the case has been formally turned into the hands of the anti-graft court by the Office of the Ombudsman. Senators, in various interviews, appear to be now in confl icting positions as to whether they should still continue investigating the P10-billion pork barrel scam as there are those who admitted that it’s eating too much of their time, while others, came off to have some personal agenda – that of exonerating themselves from the mess after their names have been included by no less than Janet Lim Napoles in her so-called “list.”
More than the issue of the Senate probe practically opening a can of worms, was a possible legal consequences that could prove to be damaging to the institution.Remember the time when the Senate’s Committee of the Whole was barred by the Supreme Court from proceeding with the call of some senators to replay the “Hello, Garci” takes in their hearings then? Even before the SC handed down its decision, two senatorlawyers – Miriam DefensorSantiago and Richard Gordon – issued a stern warning to their colleagues, coupled with a threat of bringing the issue to the High Court, if the tapes will be made public, as they were of the position that replaying an illegallyrecorded conversation between two individuals would be tantamount to an invasion of privacy. The Senate could stand to violate the Anti-Wiretapping Act as well, Gordon pointed out. Santiago held the position that the right to privacy communications prevails over parliamentary immunity, which includes Senate proceedings. At that time, the parallel investigation in the House of Representatives already saw the playing of the tapes but Santiago insisted that a duplication of such act would not justify the use of the wiretapped tapes in the Senate proceedings.
“It is the duty of the Senate to educate the House on pressing points of constitutional law,” she said. Ironically though, the SC stopped the Senate from the playing of the tapes not because of the issues raised by the two senators but it has yet then to publish its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation, “in clear derogation of the constitutional requirement.”
The SC even noted that the Senate had admitted in its pleadings and even during oral arguments that the Rules of Procedure had been published in newspapers of general circulation only in 1995 and 1996 and at that time of the said controversy, no similar effort had been made when they fi rst opened their session in June 2007.
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In the present case, however, regardless of whether the Senate had already published its Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries, they have to deal with the provisions of R.A. 10175 also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. No less than Sen. Vicente Sotto III pointed it out in one of their plenary sessions recently, hours before the blue ribbon committee received from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Luy’s digital fi les the matter of legal consequences concerning the two-year-old law, particularly Section 4 on covered offenses. It says that among those that could constitute an offense under the said law, include “access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right,” “intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of computer data, electronic document or electronic data message, without right including the introduction or transmission of viruses”, “the use, production, sale, procurement, importation, distribution or otherwise making available, without right of,” “acquired without right or with intellectual property interests in it” and so on and so forth. It should be worthy to note that the so-called Luy’s fi les were taken from the “fi les” of the company of Napoles and thus, were not his “property” or owned by him in the fi rst place. Luy apparently kept the fi les given his designation as Napoles’ “bookkeeper”, thus, even the laptop that he used to in safekeeping the information is said to be owned by the company he used to be connected with. Turn to page 14
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Commentary Next Tiger Economy? E
From boom to doom! Sheer coincidence or not, but the eloquence of truth is fast overtaking the pack of lies being desperately peddled around by spin doctors of the ruling power. Thanks to enlightened and alert citizenry, they can’t be easily swayed by any claim to fame and glory in the remaining days of President Aquino’s six-year term in office. Nothing can be farther from the truth as facts can easily be discerned from fiction, especially as the countdown in the run-up to Aquino’s uneventful tenure begins soon. That the economic boom being bandied about by the powers-that-be is more imagined than real is simply beyond dispute. Just look around and bear witness to the fact that the benefits of the so-called inclusive growth have yet to trickle down to the grassroots levels in the countryside. On the contrary, the supposed growth has become more inclusive to those in possession of wealth and influence to the exclusion of the depraved and ignorant. Apparently, the boom times those in power refer to are nothing but a self-serving claim meant to inflate certain egos of dyed-in-wool politicians. Or they could be intended to mislead the people of their country’s true state of affairs as Aquino will deliver soon another sequel of his state-of-the-nation address. The lingering pork scam, certainly a blot in Aquino’s stay in power, remains fresh in the public mind and any unintended mention would likely dwarf any other issue, either political or economic, because of its debilitating impact on the national psyche.
OpinYon is published weekly by Opinyon Media Services, with business oﬀice at Rm 202, ECRD Condominium, Barangka Drive cor Talumpong, Mandaluyong City.
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oN PReSS SecReTARy SoNNy coLomA’S STATemeNT: “Ang hirap naman kasi sa mga kababayan natin, bibili lang ng bigas, yun pang mabango ang hahanapin nila. E ‘di siyempre mahal yun.” Locally na galing an rice tapos an presyo mahal padin! Ang quality pa durog durog at puro bato! Mas marami pang tipak ng bato kesa sa buong butil ng bigas! Chad Michael Pulido Hindi naman issue kung ano bgas ang gusto ko kainin ...PAKIALAM M KUNG GUSTO K MABANGO BIGAS... ang sagutin m bkit tumataas presyo ng bgas at iba pa bilihin. LUMAYAS NA KAYO S PWESTO... Emma Manuel Trabaho nyo paga angin ang buhay ng mamamayan. Kaw kaya kumain ng mabaho kanin total bagay naman sa pagmumukha mo eh. Ato Obiasca Ow pambihira,,, saten n nga galing ang bigas minamahalan pa nila. d n nahiya! Emmagandara Park Siapno
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By any measure, the Philippines is a land of extremes and mind-bugling contradictions. A third of the country’s capital, Metro-Manila, is fi lled with ‘shanty towns,’ but it also boasts one of the world’s biggest shopping malls, namely Mall of Asia and SM North Edsa, while benefiting from an impressive real estate boom, showcasing lush structures such as the Resorts World casino complex, a $4 billion Entertainment City complex, and a Versace-designed residential Tower (fi rst of its kind in Asia). Global celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Donald Trump have lent their name to major residential projects in the country, namely the Azuri Urban resorts residences (showcasing a jaw-dropping man-made beach) and the $150 million Trump Tower. It takes a cocktail of unyielding leadership and sustained implementation of right policies to address the country’s structural imbalances. According to a recent authoritative study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), entitled “Tak-
DAVE DIWA Opinion Editor
Email: opinyon.2010@ gmail.com
(The following is an excerpt from ‘Is the Philippines the Next Tiger Economy?’ by Richard Javad Heydarian. Mr. Heydarian is a foreign affairs analyst for Huffington Post. Originally published 10/18/2012 on Huffingtonpost.com)
ing the Right Road to Inclusive Growth,” the country’s economic growth has not only failed to make dramatic and much-needed improvements in terms of poverty-alleviation and employmentgeneration, but it is ultimately ‘unsustainable’ -- unless there is significant diversification of an essentially service -- and remittance-dependent economy. This means the country needs to build a strong manufacturing base. Party to a whole host of international trade regimes that have liberalized the Philippines’ manufacturing markets, atop an appreciating currency, the country has been suffering from marked de-industrialization in recent decades. As a result, real wages have practically stagnated in the last three decades, with much of the population denied access to stable and well-paying jobs -- relying instead on remittances, insecure and low-paying jobs in the service sectors, or/ and totally enmeshed in the informal economy. Moreover, the Philippines still struggles to attract investments. According to the IFC’s 2012 Doing Business Survey, which looks at the overall investment environment, the Philippines ranks 136th out of 183 countries. Clearly, reviving industries and improving the country’s overall investment climate will require a much more structural and strategic economic approach, something which is glaringly absent in the current administration’s agenda. But at least, there is fi nally a semblance of badlyneeded macroeconomic and political stability.
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Dalawa lang to: 1. Kumakain si Sec. Coloma ng NFA rice na di lang kanais-nais ang amoy kundi dinaig pa yung feeds ng kalapati sa pagkadurog.2. Masyadong malaki na nabulsa ng administrasyong ito na okay
lang kahit 60-70pesos na ang presyo ng kinakain nilang bigas. Ina Nacario He shouldn’t be working in the government anyway, public service should be their priority. Eh kung hindi nila kayang magbenta sa masa ng bigas na de kalidad sa murang halaga eh magsilayas na sila sa gobyerno. Trabaho nila ang atupagin nila hindi yung pati amoy ng bigas isasali pa. His stupidity and the administration’s incompetency should not be tolerated. Shiela Marie Flores Valdez oN cHARGeS FILeD AGAINST ‘PReSIDeNTIAL HecKLeR’ em mIJAReS Magpasalamat tayong lahat dahil may kabataan pa na katulad niya. Walang takot na sabihin ang katotohanan sa harap ng pinakamataas na pinuno ng gobyerno. He’s braver than the politicians/govt oﬀ icials who are afraid to report the real situation of the Filipino people to the president. Jen Isma I admire his courage, I would’ve done that, too if I had the chance.. Pero kung mahuhuli man ako, I wouldn’t ﬁle a case against anyone.. I knew the consequences of my actions right from the start.. Randol Molina Calapatia Benigno Aquino III should get out of his shell and apologize to Mijares, his family and most of all, to the Filipino people! Likewise, he should get a grip and order PNP to drop all the charges against Mijares and tell them that exercising one’s freedom is guaranteed in the constitution. If NINOY is alive, he would tell him the same thing. In case he does not remember or pretend not to, NINOY DIED FOR FREEDOM that he is now taking for granted. Cris Pacheco
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The Viewpoints and outlook of the well-informed
Marcos had a soft heart for youthful militants. Who can forget the intractable Gerry Barican, the fiery activist who was among those who led that violent demonstration outside Congress? Who would have thought that after a few days, Gerry would completely lose his appetite for violence and become a frontliner of the Kilusan Bagong Lipunan?
ayang, Pres. B.S. Aquino lll missed a golden opportunity --- like he often does! He had a great chance as the country’s president to articulate his sovereign bosses’ inalienable birthright to freedom; but he goofed, ironically on such a day as Independence Day! As he delivered his speech extolling his lineage in Naga City, a feisty 19-year-old psychology student from Ateneo de Naga suddenly screamed: “Patalsikin ang Pork Barrel King! Walang pagbabago sa Pilipinas! “ Emmanuel Pio Mijares was immediately grabbed by presidential security agents, gagged with something like a sackcloth reeking of turpentine, then whisked away like a common criminal. Although charged with violation of Art. 153 of the Revised Penal Code (Tumults and other Public Disturbances), he now stands as the latest larger-than-life crusader for freedom of speech, silenced by a repressive reactionary who chose to do wrong instead of good. If Noynoy Aquino knew that the arrest of the “heckler” was wrong but did nothing to let him go, then we have a president whose despotic nature renders him morally unfit to stay a minute longer in office. On the other hand, if he did not know that it was wrong, or even thought that it was right, he should then resign because this sort of incom-
MUSINGS Ronald Roy petence pertains to people who cannot even understand Pepe and Pilar. Indeed, there must be a severe character flaw that disables P-Noy from learning simple things that other presidents are known to have quickly used to good advantage. A recent incident comes to mind in the case of US Pres. Barak Obama whose public speech was rudely interrupted by a heckler. Obama calmly told the disrupter, “Sir, please allow me fi rst to fi nish my speech, then we can discuss your problem later.” Obama was dignified, courteous and persuasive. In contrast, we vividly remember how Pres. Aquino publicly abused, by mouth and body language, then Chief Justice Renato C. Corona. P-Noy was unpresidential, scandalous, bastos and €#£?&! This time around, it didn’t take long before P-Noy came under flak. Being critically excoriated comes with the office, and world leaders know this. But it’s different when censure comes from students, and world leaders know this too. But ---
does P-Noy know this? Is he not aware that students are the unstoppable dynamo of sociopolitical change? And that they take their tomorrow very seriously?! When P-Noy was a student, didn’t he burn with reformist fervor? His father must have. Ferdinand E. Marcos did. I once overheard Marcos regaling four Law school seniors with anecdotes of his campus activism. “I was once like these romantic student activists. It’s their love of country that drives them onward, unmindful of the valley of death”, he reminisced, his eyes flashing with paternal understanding. He then continued, “Tomorrow I shall speak to the five boys who were apprehended at the height of the recent protest rally. I hope to win them over.” FM was referring to a mammoth demonstration outside of Congress that was marked by Molotov-cocktail blasts that injured numerous innocent individuals and burned down some vehicles. FM had a soft heart for youthful militants. Who can forget the intractable Gerry Barican, the fiery activist who was among those who led that violent demonstration outside Congress? Who would have thought that after a few days, Gerry would completely lose his appetite for violence and become a front-liner of the Kilusan Bagong Lipunan? Who would have thought that student leader Nilo Tayag would likewise suc-
cumb to the taming mastery of his nemesis? It was unthinkable that he would, but he did! Dyed-in-the-wool activist are tough nuts to crack, and it surprised many that Tayag would be quickly transformed into what one might call a KBL disciple, a follower who would go around teaching “Marcosian” principles of building a “new society”. And he did, with a lot of passion and energy. The youths were not the only ones whom Marcos could sway with his powers of persuasion. While conversing with him, or just listening to him, people of whatever age easily perceived his wisdom, sincerity and goodness. For, how else could he have convinced a would-be assassin not only to reform but also to follow him? I refer to the late Eduardo Figueras Jr., a prominent businessman who failed in his assassination try on Marcos because the latter, who was then playing in the Malacañang Golf Course, didn’t walk from the ninth green to the next tee, the very spot Figueras had chosen to hit the president with a long rifle. Eddie, a close family friend, told me the entire story. He was arrested and confi ned, treated well, was asked to read materials about the New Society and the KBL, and became a disciple himself after a year. As he narrated his story, he muttered: “Ronnie, Marcos is a great leader!” Can we say this of the reactionary P-Noy?
hy is China acting like a bully in the neighborhood?”, Satur Ocampo of PhilStar asked (6/14/14). It is pushing its dominance like a tough guy. It’s leaders are doing an ‘angel and demon’ op following the line of Sun Tzu’s Art of War: “One step backward, two steps forward.” Promising to espouse peace, business and economic assistance to its neighbors. At the Shangri-La Dialogue, the respected security forum held annually in Singapore’s Shangri-La Hotel, a Filipino top security expert, Prof. Rommel Banlaoi, head of the Center for Intelligence and National Security Studies said that China acted like a ‘new predator’ at the conference. Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of staff of the PLA(Peoples Liberation Army) and the highest Chinese military official in China’s delegation undiplomatically snubbed Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and at the same time accused the U.S. of hegemony, threats and intimidation. Wang added that the speeches of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel were coordinated with each other and challenges China. Wang concluded that
China has NEVER taken the fi rst step to provoke trouble and had only been forced to respond to the provocations of others (China Daily 6/6/14). As I have written before, like a thief in the night, China is installing its oil rig in Vietnam without further notice and grabbing even the shoals and reefs also claimed by other Asian nations like the Philippines. Intimidating its neighbors in the process. What emboldened China to act this way? According to David Feith of Wall Street Journal (6/5/14), “China seems to have bet in the South China Sea, that now is the time to bully and bluster because the US response will be limited. In Beijing’s calculation, it appears that before the US can complete it’s pivot to Asia by boosting military cooperation with Japan, start returning troops to Philippine bases, make port calls in Vietnam, China has already deployed their war materials and the PLA warm bodies through the 9 dash lines and ADIZ as deterrent to the containment and encirclement of China. Feith added that China’s Gen. Zhu Chenghu diagnosed American foreign policy suffering from ‘erectile dysfunction’. Citing US weakness toward Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Zhu said that he doubts Washington will get
WHISTLE BLOWER Erick San Juan involved or use military intervention once there is a territorial dispute involving China and its neighbors. “That’s a dangerous belief for Chinese officialdom to hold. First, it signals more grabs for territory, natural resources and shipping lanes. And if China misjudge American passivity, it could initiate a shooting war with US in East Asia.”, Feith warned. The truth about China’s aggressiveness, over expansion and the myth of growing economy is now being unmasked as a cover-up and a possible bubble burst is in the offi ng. Due to its tight control of media and the internet, China’s slowdown, too much graft and corruption among its leaders, capital fl ight, real estate bubble, and mounting debt poses as an internal threat which is being kept secret to the people. Even President Xi Jinping’s family was exposed by Bloomberg in 2012, amassing an estimated
$376 million. Reason why Xi cant dictate, its the millionaires among the political elites who will ultimately decide the faith of China (William Pesek 6/14/14). This could be the reason why China’s politburo is using the principle of “painting in the west and fighting in the east”, by showing to the world that their economy is OK and at the same time showing to their restive nationals that ‘China’s Dream’ will soon be a reality and a greater China and the reunification of Taiwan is on. Pundits believe that China’s leaders are being selective in charting their history. Some have forgotten how the globalists lured the Soviets in believing that they’re on the verge of being a fi rst world-er. According to Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in their best seller book- Why Nations Fail, as late as 1977, an English economist argued that Soviet-style economies were superior to capitalist ones in terms of economic growth, providing full employment, price stability and even producing people with altruistic motivation. Nobel peace prize winner Paul Samuelson predicted the coming economic dominance of the Soviet Union. He said that the Soviet national income would overtake that of the US
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possibly by 1984, but probably by 1997. By the 1970’s, Soviet’s economic growth had all but stopped. Then the Soviet Union hit a roadblock. Sounds familiar! Then in November of 1989, I witnessed the historic chopping of the Berlin wall and ended the Soviet empire. “China’s debt reckoning is coming!”, William Pesek said (Bloomberg 6/4/14). “Maybe not this quarter or this year, but President Xi’s unbridled effort to keep growth from falling below the official 7.5% target is cementing China’s fate. And it seems that China’s fi nancial excess is leading to ruin and Xi is continuing down this road.” Quoting Nikolas Guosdev, a professor of national security studies at the US Naval War College reiterated that “war can start through unintended consequences and an economically interdependent world does not necessarily stop it from happening. Some of the systems supposed to prevent confl ict may be starting to weaken (Reuters June 4,2014 report). Last week, Danny Schechter, news dissecter of MediaChannel.org said that, “The fi nancial crisis is still with us. With no end in sight, it may be time to GIVE WAR A CHANCE once again.” Let’s prepare for the worst! Be self-reliant!
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Food Security & Sustainability
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OPINION much Ado About...
that of becoming an immune witness or sparing her children from being made co-accused in the case. It means that her statements can not be taken against her and with her plea being junked after failing to meet the qualifications of those applying to become an immune witness, what will become now of the Senate probe?
From page 3
young engineer... From page 16
This young man is known for his ingenuity. He made an insole generator which he placed inside a pair of old sports shoes and connected the insole generator to the battery powerbank. The shoe generates electricity from walking. The generator converts the kinetic energy from the shoe into electricity, which could then be used to charge a smartphone or smartwatch. Angelo proudly exclaims that the project only cost him just Php304. He integrated recycled materials into his project. “I plan to become an engineer someday and work for a company who innovates new products. Most of my projects focus on electronics, woodworking, and robotics.” Aside from inventing, Angelo does tutorials and writeups on his projects, and he publishes them on DIY websites. He has also won in robotics competitions in the past. Speaking of his invention, the young man says that playing basketball for two straight hours could charge a cell phone battery sufficient to provide 10
minutes of power. To those who worry that the special shoe will feel bulky, Angelo assures people that the insole generator is comfortable, due to the soft foam that he used. One admirable trait that this young man possesses is that he is diligent. There are people online who told the young man that his invention has already been done, but Angelo is unfazed. He knows that his invention is unique because he is the one who designed and built it. He believes in his capability to exceed expectations. In fact, his personal motto is ‘innovation beyond expectation.” Angelo will soon compete in Beijing for the upcoming International Robotics Olympiad on December 2014. Asked by foreign press about what else motivates him, Angelo has a deeper and more noble aspiration. He admires social entrepreneurs who use innovations to uplift the poor. He tells them, “I’m a Filipino. I live in the Philippines. And just by looking around my surroundings, I can see that a lot of people are suffering from poverty. A simple source of light is a big deal for people who don’t have electricity.”
By this time, Guingona could very well be aware of these legal impediments which probably explains his “silence” on the issue of whether to continue or not with the halted investigation. As if these were not enough, his legal team could also be looking at the issue of the legalities surrounding the probe on the documents coming from Napoles – her twin sworn affidavits and so-called “Napolist” – after the Ombudsman junked her plea to be considered as state witness in the case. Any lawyer would say that such affidavits coming from Napoles, were not a tell-all but rather executed under some conditions imposed by her, that she was offering the information in exchange for some quid pro quo –
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6/20/14 10:02 PM
The Voices of Change
ome labor groups are not impressed with the arrests of senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, as the arrests are seemingly selective, and at best, superficial. Progressive groups under the banner of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) condemned the selective arrests of three members of the opposition by the Aquino administration, citing that it is only one of the government’s diversionary tactics to appease the angry masses in calling for accountability. Youth group Anakbayan says that the administration’s tactic only aims to limit the scope of prosecution in the pork barrel scam. “We can call for accountability all day long, but the Aquino administration will not give us genuine accountability, ” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan. Aquino on the defensive for his allies involved in the alleged corruption cases are among factors on why genuine accountability will not happen under his administration. Aquino is using all his power to contain the anger of the Filipinos and redirect them to members of the opposition involved in the scam while his involved allies enjoy the privilege of his protection. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma stated that the palace has a “new media team” that collected the data on the negative impact of Sen. Bong Revilla’s speech on the internet. Different organizations continue to point out how the administration is wasting the people’s taxes by collecting this kind of data which only aims to serve the interest of Aquino and his allies.
‘We can call for accountability all day long, but the Aquino administration will not give us genuine accountability’. — Vencer crisostomo
QUoTeS oF THe WeeK
“A whole lot more could come from foreign investment if the restrictions on ownership are lifted. or big projects and investments, it is diﬀ icult for a foreign investor to accept a minority shareholding especially if they carry the bulk of the risk, provide the management expertise and the technology” – United Kingdom Ambassador (Asif) Ahmad.
“We are not trying to change the nature or character of the maritime feature there,” — DFA spokesman Charles Jose, reacting to China’s criticism that the Philippines was altering the disputed west Philippine sea.
Petilla — Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla.
“We have a law right now that says that any government project of national interest cannot be TRo’d except by the Supreme court.
“They should seek forgiveness from the people who voted for them and return the money they stole from the national coﬀers.’ “
— Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-Nassa), referring to lawmakers accused of plunder. “The monetary board believes that solid domestic growth prospects allow some scope for a measured adjustment in the SDA rate to ensure that monetary and credit
conditions continue to be appropriate,” —BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said in a statement. “Access to tertiary education remains problematic and elusive especially to the poor and underprivileged Filipinos,” —Senator Juan Edgardo Angara in his bill, making tuition fees and allied expenses tax deductible from the gross income of the taxpayer. Angara
We TAKe A STAnD
june 23-29, 2014
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SECTIONS NATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 OPINION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 BUSINESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 HEALTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 AGRICULTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 FOREIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
GameChanger ANGELO CASIMIRO
Young Engineer & Innovator
eing entrepreneurial means being open to new ideas and having an eye for innovation. When it comes to teaching people how to be innovative, there is no better way than to start them young.
Angelo Casimiro looks like your typical 15-year-old high school student. He is very articulate, energetic, and bright-eyed when talking about his hobbies. What makes him stand out is that at his age, he loves to tinker with electronics. His advanced skills are courtesy of his grandfather, who is also into electronics. In his submission video for his project, the young inventor said that he had been making projects with his grandfather since he was four. He considers his grandfather his biggest inspiration. When his beloved grandfather passed away recently, the young man continued making electronic projects in his honor. Angelo became famous online because he invented a device that generates energy from your steps to make electricity to charge smartphones or any portable devices. The young man sent his project, â€œElectricity-Generating Footwear,â€? to the 2014 Google Science Fair, a global online science and tech competition whose participants are students. Angelo has a passion for renewable energy and he is always on the lookout for ways to harness alternative energy sources. Turn to page 14
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june 23-29, 2014
We TAKe A STAnD
6/20/14 10:02 PM