What the fuck is this?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 31st, 2008

I came across thie comment below in Manolo Quezon’s recent blog post, Impunity

Carl :

There is absolutely no doubt that the De la Paz’s belong to the priveleged class.
How many Filipinos can be members of the country club set?

How many Filipinos can have the whole family play an indolent sport like golf, which not only takes up precious time, but involves large expenses like buying golf clubs, the proper attire, green fees, caddy fees, membership dues and, in most cases, shares in the golf club amounting to millions of pesos, etc., etc.?

And, inasmuch as some people make sweeping generalizations about the abusive attitude of public officials or the barbarity of Muslims, it can also be argued that members of the country club set are a bunch of loud-mouthed braggarts who feel a sense of entltlement within the confines of their territory, i.e. the country club. Visit any country club or golf club, there is no shortage of “mayabang” types.

December 30th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

I can’t stand this kind of attitude. It’s the sort of mindlessness propagated by advocates of class warfare, people who, if you really think about it, are really against any form of meritocracy.

So I posted this reply to Carl’s comment:

manuelbuencamino :


Who is this “the privileged class” you hate so much?

Are those who became wealthy through hard work included in this privileged class?

Are they not allowed to enjoy and share the fruits of their labor with their family?

So they play golf, what’s wrong with that?

So they chose to join a country club, what’s wrong with that?

What’s your idea of a pasa tiempo? Is there a politically correct way to enjoy time with one’s family?

If a man owns a fishpond and it’s earning enough so he can play golf with his children, join country clubs, and send his children to school abroad and motivate them to become golf champions then more power to him.

There’s nothing wrong with becoming wealthy through hard work. Even Marx said “To each according to his abilities…etc.”

What’s with the brick on your shoulder?

December 31st, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I am against all forms of oppression but I do not equate mere possession of wealth with oppression or exploitation. There are a lot of people who make a lot of money through hard work or sheer luck (lotto winners for example), or both, so to bitch against people with money just because they have money is absolutely mindless.

Meet the mayor

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 30th, 2008

My column for Business Mirror. Know your mayor, obeys the order of Nasser Pangandaman Jr., mayor of a city called Masui in a province called Lanao del Sur.

    Know your mayor
    by Manuel Buencamino

    “Hindi nila kami kilala! Sabihin mo nga sa kanila kung sino ako! (They don’t know who we are! Tell them who I am!)”

    Okay, poh!

    Nasser Pangandaman Jr. is the son of Nasser Pangandaman Sr.

    Junior is the mayor of Masui City, Lanao del Sur. Senior is the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform and a newly appointed member of the reconstituted peace panel for Mindanao.

    Junior plays golf at the Valley Golf and Country Club. He maintains a low profile, despite being a city mayor and the son of cabinet member. He does not have a ‘wang-wang’ siren on his golf cart and he does not have any motorcycle outriders clearing the way for him. He simply jumps the line without even a “by your leave” so golfers who never heard of him assume he is just another “promdi” who hides his ignorance by being rude and intimidating.

    Senior plays golf with Junior. He is also very low profile, despite being a cabinet member, a peace panel appointee, and father of the mayor of Masui City in Lanao del Sur. He stays in the background and says nothing when Junior is busy introducing himself to other members of “Valley”.

    Junior is a man of few words. He lets his fists and feet do the talking. Senior is slightly more verbose. Last Monday, Senior went on dzBB radio and issued a public apology for the incident at Valley Golf.

    He said, “Humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa nangyari. As a government official, hindi ko rin gusto ang nangyari Nasaktan ang pamilya ko, nasaktan din ang pamilya de la Paz… Hindi ko tinatalikuran ang responsibility ko as a government official and a father,” [I am apologizing for what happened. As a government official, I also did not want what happened. My family got hurt and so did the family of De la Paz. I am not turning back on my responsibility as a government official and a father.]

    Senior later clarified his apology in an interview with another newspaper. “I have apologized to the public but this does not mean that I am accepting that we were wrong. We’re not the ones who instigated the incident. There is an investigation going on and the truth will come out,” he said.

    Junior and his father are the subject of a complaint for physical injuries but Junior is said to have been hurt too. He could have broken his little finger while he was introducing his fist to the De La Paz family.

    Meanwhile, a Malacanang spokesman came out with a statement claiming, “The Department of Justice has been directed to investigate the golf course incident and the [filing of] proper charges against those responsible for any violation of law” while Pangandaman Sr. has denied any knowledge of such an investigation.

    “There is no Palace investigation… I am not aware of any. There was no impropriety by a Cabinet member because I pacified them. Let’s not blow this up,” Senior said.

    Pangandaman Sr. left for Baguio City last Sunday to join Mrs. Arroyo’s party. Asked if he had discussed the incident at Valley with Mrs. Arroyo, Junior’s dad said, “She didn’t say anything. She just asked what happened.”

    Junior need not ask his caddy to introduce him to other members of Valley Golf. Members know who he is by now. Unfortunately he might be asked to resign from the club.

    But Junior can always build a golf course in Masui City. That might be the right thing to do. Out there everybody knows who he is so he can be pretty sure he will have the golf course all to himself any day, all day.

“It’s like….”

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 24th, 2008

My column in Business Mirror, Dec.24 2008 lists alternatives to Cardinal Rosales’ analogy.

    “It’s like…”

    Cardinal Rosales got it right when he said leaving it to a con-ass to amend the Constitution is “like entrusting your teenage daughter in the care of a rapist.”

    Many honorables of the Netherhouse were offended by the Cardinal’s choice of words so I’ve prepared a list of more acceptable alternatives:

    “Allowing the House of Rapepresentathieves to constitute itself into a con-ass with carte blanche to amend the Constitution is…

    … like entrusting human rights in the care of General Jovito Palparan.”

    … like entrusting Bantay Bata in the care of Romeo Jalosjos.”

    … like entrusting elections in the care of Garci and Benjamin Abalos.”
    … like entrusting justice in the care of DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzalez.”

    … like entrusting land reform in the care of Reps. Mikey and Ignacio Arroyo.”

    … like entrusting impeachment in the care of the House justice committee.”

    … like entrusting mental health in the care of Sen. Miriam Santiago.”

    …like entrusting the independence of Congress in the care of Mikey Arroyo’s errand boy, ‘Speaker’ Prospero Nograles.”

    … like entrusting national security in the care of Norberto Gonzalez.”

    …like entrusting anti-terrorism in the care of the Abu Sayyaf.”

    … like entrusting the Mindanao peace talks in the care of Sec. Jesus Dureza, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, and Commander Bravo.”

    … like entrusting the personal safety and security of ZTE-NBN whistle blower Jun Lozada in the care of DENR Sec. Lito Atienza, Police Protection and Security Office Chief Romeo Hilomen and his deputy Paul Mascarinas, Aviation Security Group Chief Atilano Morada, airport security chief Angel Atutubo and Rodolfo Valeroso, Mike Defensor, Romulo Neri, Undersecretary Manuel Gaite and Atty. Antonio Bautista.”

    … like entrusting maritime safety in the care of the owners of Sulpicio Lines.”

    … like entrusting the procurement of the AFP in the care of Gen. Carlos Garcia and the intelligence funds of the PNP in the care of police comptroller Eugenio dela Paz.”

    … like entrusting the Fertilizer funds in the care of Jocjoc Bolante.”

    … like entrusting the GSIS in the care of Winston Garcia and the SSS in the care Romulo Neri.”

    … like entrusting the NEDA in the care of Jose Maria Sison.”

    … like entrusting the gold in Mt. Diwalwal in the care of DTI Sec. Peter Favila and Mike Defensor.”

    … like entrusting the national broadband network in the care of DOTC Sec. Leandro Mendoza, Asec. Lorenzo Formoso, Benjamin Abalos, Yu Yong, Fan Yang, Mike Defensor, DTI Sec. Peter Favila, and Gloria Arroyo.”

    … like entrusting the budget in the care of DBM Sec. Rolando Andaya and Gloria Arroyo.”

    … like entrusting the banking system in the care of rural banker Celso de los Angeles.”
    … like entrusting the Senate ethics committee in the care of Sen. Joker Arroyo.”

    … like entrusting the anti-corruption campaign in the care of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.”

    … like entrusting the anti-jueteng campaign in the care of Chavit Singson and Atong Ang.”

    … like entrusting the anti-smuggling campaign in the care of someone’s girlfriend.”

    … like entrusting anti-money laundering in the care of Rep. Ignacio ‘Jose Pidal’ Arroyo.”

    …like entrusting fire prevention in the care of an arsonist.”

    … like entrusting your house keys in the care of Bonnie and Clyde Arroyo.”

Cha-cha jitters?

Posted in Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 21st, 2008

Terrified Witnesses

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 19th, 2008

Maritess Aytona, the alleged link between Jocjoc Bolante and Jimmy Paule,finally surrendered to the Senate yesterday. She told Blue Ribbon panel chair Sen. Gordon that she failed to make it to the committee hearing last Wednesday because of an attempt on her life by a couple of hoods on a motorcycle. Aytona said she’s scared for her life.

DA Undersecretary Belinda Gonzalez, assistant secretary during Bolante’s time and present at a meeting between Bolante and Jimmy Paule, testified last Wednesday. She was so scared she was trembling and in tears. She said she feared for her life.

A major player in the fertilizer scam, Julie Gregorio, owner of Feshan Philippines, the company that got most of the fertilizer funds, also failed to make it to last Wednesday’s hearing. She’s also terrified she might get killed if she testifies.

And then there’s Jocjoc. He chose jail in the US over coming home to testify because he was afraid he would be assassinated.

Who wants to silence these people and why?

It can’t be Gloria or Mike because Jocjoc said neither was involved in the scam. Besides, Jocjoc insists there was no scam at all.

So why the fuck is everyone pissing in their pants?

Putangina, ano ba ito!?!

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 17th, 2008

After years of trying, I finally wrote an article that my newspaper, Business Mirror, saw unfit to publish.

“Putangina, ano ba ito!?!”

Newspapers mishandled the high point of Senator Mar Roxas’ speech at the recent inter-faith rally against Charter change.

The senator shouted, “Putangina, ano ba ito?!?” after he enumerated the scandals involving Mrs. Arroyo and her government.

Newspapers re-spelled “Putangina” as “P_____ina” and translated it to “SOB!” so the impact and import of the senator’s rhetoric was lost.

Everybody knows s.o.b. in capital letters is an abbreviation for “son of a bitch!” so “Putangina!” is not the same as “SOB!” The Pilipino term refers to a certain type of mother while the English word refers to the male offspring of a bitch.

A “bitch,” according to one definition, is a female “dog, wolf, fox or otter.” In an informal and derogatory way, bitch is also “a woman whom one dislikes or considers to be malicious or unpleasant” as in: “she’s the luckiest bitch around” to describe a malicious and unpleasant woman who gets away with high crimes. “Bitch” is also used for “a thing or situation that is unpleasant or difficult to deal with” as in: “Life’s a bitch under this gangster regime.”

The difficulty in finding an English expletive equivalent for “Putangina!” is understandable because none exists. The word is Tagalog for the Spanish exclamation, “Puta madre!” Translating it into English will produce a ridiculous oath, “whore mother” or “prostitute mother.” Some words just don’t translate well.

At any rate, “SOB” is the wrong term because it does not approximate what the good senator wanted to convey: his utter disgust with the Gloria Arroyo administration’s crimes.

A better translation for the senator’s outburst would have been “What the (your preferred curse word) is going on!?!” because it would make clear that he was not describing the mother of Charter change or characterizing Charter change as a male born of a bitch.

“Putangina, ano ba ito!?!” is actually the most logical reaction to just about anything this administration and its allies say or do.

Things have so gotten out of hand I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Arroyo’s most loyal henchmen are thinking what Senator Roxas said out loud.

Take the case of selective justice. An administration congressman, Bienvenido Abante, learned that National Police deputy chief for operations Geary Barias and several police superintendents went on an 11-day trip to Munich, Germany on the invitation of Rohde and Schwarz, an electronics specialist company.

Consequently, the congressman wants to know, “Was it an official trip? If it was, then the trip should have had an authorization from the Department of the Interior and Local Government and spent for by the government. If spent for by a private person, then who and for what purpose?” Abante believes the lawmen could be liable for graft if a private person or entity “with interest in the National Police” shouldered their travel expenses.

Abante also believes there was nothing wrong with Mrs. Arroyo accepting an invitation to golf and lunch with officials of ZTE, a Chinese company bidding for a huge government contract. Those poor unfortunate cops must be asking themselves, “Putangina, ano ba ito?”

Going back to Senator Roxas’ speech… there is something there the Palace can legitimately bitch about: “Patayin ang Gloria-Forever Cha-cha! (Kill the Gloria-Forever Cha-cha!)”

That rallying cry is a personal attack, it goes beyond debating Charter change purely on its merits. It paints an unflattering portrait of those in the Charter change movement.

But in fairness to the senator, he has never said he is against the idea of improving the Constitution. All he said was he is against Gloria-Forever Cha-cha.

Well, who in his right mind would want Gloria to rule forever? And who would be crazy enough to entrust Charter amendments to a con-ass composed of, for lack of a polite term that does not sacrifice precision, SOBs?

“Putangina, ano ba ito!?!”

I saw nothing offensive about the article, do you?

Maybe I should have just thrown a bakya at Gloria.

Si Kamao at si Kurakot

Posted in Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 11th, 2008

They mean well

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 10th, 2008

My column in today’s Business Mirror, “They mean well” is about the strange behavior of Speaker Nograles.

Breaking Chismis A reliable source texted me that there was a “meeting” in La Vista last night. Downpayments for Cha-cha is what the source suspects. Personally, I think she just gathered congresspigs so they could plan welcome activities for Manny Pacquiao.

AND speaking of Pacquiao, this excerpt from an article from the LA Times. is hilarious

    “At the same function, the man who promoted de la Hoya for much of his Golden Boy career and now promotes Pacquiao attempted to introduce some Filipinos on the dais with their countryman, Pacquiao. Bob Arum got to someone he didn’t know, a man who was once a high-ranking government official and who had blown the whistle on Philippine governmental malfeasance.

    Arum stumbled with the name, then flicked his hand in the direction of the man and introduced him as “Governor Whatever.”

Buti nga, Chabit ng chabit kasi sa mga sikat.

Well here’s my column:

    Dispatches from the Enchanted Kingdom: They mean well
    Written by Manuel Buencamino
    Wednesday, 10 DECEMBER 2008

    “Why should we blame lawmakers if their intention is to improve the lives of the people?”—Rep. Antonio Cerilles

    A year and a half ago, Rep. Prospero Nograles, then a loyal lieutenant of Speaker Jose de Venecia, voiced unequivocal support for his principal’s call for a total moratorium on Charter change (Cha-cha).

    “I totally agree that Charter change should be held in abeyance until the next president gets elected and the new set of government officials can decide on this issue. If ever, we just ought to hold a constitutional convention and elect delegates to draft and amend the Constitution,” he said.

    In February, two days after Malacañang substituted him for de Venecia, Nograles announced, “I am not a puppet of Malacañang or a lapdog of anyone. I will not lick the foot of anyone.”

    And, to prove he was nobody’s fool, he added, “I am against pushing for the Cha-cha before 2010.”

    In March, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Batasan Annex, the newly installed speaker reiterated his opposition to Cha-cha.

    “There will be no Cha-cha under my watch. Charter change should take place after we elect our new leaders in 2010,” he said.

    In May, he said, “Stomach first. We cannot debate on the form of government on an empty stomach.”

    Recently, a Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism report showed that Nograles’s colleagues ignored his anti-Cha-cha pronouncements:

    “Since the 14th Congress opened in July last year, Charter-change initiatives have come up to a total of 30 measures—seven bills, nine concurrent resolutions, two joint resolutions and 12 House resolutions.”

    (Ironically, only opposition lawmakers agreed with Nograles on his stand against Charter change. They filed a resolution to reject “any amendments and all moves to amend the 1987 Constitution before the 2010 elections, including the proposed convening of Congress into a constituent assembly.”)

    Congress, it seems, was never under Nograles’s watch. Nograles himself was not under Nograles’s watch.

    In August, he filed House Resolution 737, a resolution proposing amendments to Sections 2 and 3, Article 12 of the Constitution, the provisions covering national economy and patrimony.

    Nograles said his resolution is the correct response to the global economic crisis. Well, great leaders are never so blind or obstinate not to change course when the situation calls for it.

    The leader of the House saw that amending the economic provisions of the Constitution could bring an “influx of foreign investment” at a time when the country desperately needs to create more jobs. Unfortunately, foreign businessmen didn’t see what the great leader saw.

    This paper reported that “officials of the Joint Foreign Chambers, in a roundtable discussion with the BusinessMirror, warned that an ill-timed tinkering with the Charter might lead to more problems rather than present solutions.”

    “There are a lot of things the Philippine government can do now administratively and legislatively that would send a signal that, indeed, they really want to open up the economy, would welcome foreign investment and create the jobs that are needed. It can be done irrespective of whether you open the Constitution or not,” said the executive director of the American chamber.

    What will Nograles do now, force the foreign chambers to put their money where his mouth is? Make them walk his talk?

    Some foreign investors will welcome the amendment proposed by Nograles. These are the locals who have been salting their ill-gotten wealth abroad and who, afraid of being caught in the global antimoney-laundering net, are now looking for a safe haven for their loot.

    If Nograles’s amendment is carried, the usual suspects will be able to set up dummy foreign corporations to “re-invest” their booty right here at home. Our favorite crooks, dressed up as foreigners and acting through nominees, will be able to “eat their cake and bake it, too,” as one former Miss International used to say.

    I hope those “foreign” locals are not the people whose lives Nograles intends to improve, because I don’t want to see Congressman Cerilles joining the blame game.

What is psychological incapacity?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino,Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the December 9th, 2008

Rep. Narciso Santiago III, Alliance for Rural Concerns party-list representative and son of Sen. Miriam Santiago, filed HB 5557, a bill seeking a clear definition of psychological incapacity.

    Santiago said, “Psychological incapacity has become an easy way for many parties to sever their ties as husband and wife due to its generic character.”

He wants to close the door on what he calls a divorce provision in disguise. He said mere manifestation of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities is not psychological incapacity.

    Psychological incapacity, he added, “must be identified as a psychological illness to be proven medically or clinically. Its indicators include, among others, excessive and promiscuous sexual hunger, refusal to dwell with the other spouse, manifestations of socio-pathic anomalies like sadism or repeated infliction of physical violence, and laziness.”

Aren’t those symptoms, among others, the basic ingredients of conflicting personalities? And aren’t conflicting personalities the cause of irreconcilable differences?

Anyway, who are we to question the credentials of the son of Miriam Santiago when it comes to identifying mental illness?

Speed kills

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the December 9th, 2008

Speed kills. Oscar de la Hoya learned the meaning of those words last Sunday.

To be honest, I don’t watch fights anymore. They don’t give me the adrenaline rush they used to give me. But I watch the clips. Just so I’m not completely out of it. Pacquiao is not a beautiful boxer. But he is a complete fighter. He is smart, strong, and fast. And that’s all that counts in that sport.

The dregs of Philippine politics – Noli, Chavit, Monico, Bong, Lito, Noggie et al – were there to bask in Pacquiao’s moment of glory. They think greatness is transferable.

Tomorrow Pacquiao will return to a hero’s welcome. Cheap politics will spoil it once again. Pacquiao will be asked to say things about unity and teamwork, two words completely stripped of all meaning by this administration.

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