Category Archives: rePosts

rePost: SC chief: Constitution allows autonomy but not secession

Good News! Now we just have to make noise against the Charter Change try and we can wait til 2010 to elect a better president.

from gmanew here:

(Update) MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno on Friday rejected the possibility of the creation of a separate state in Mindanao, saying the Constitution does not allow secession.

At the same time, four justices expressed the opinion that the petition to junk the agreement between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was “premature.”

These cropped up during the oral arguments on the government’s ancestral domain agreement with the MILF where Puno equivocally said that the Constitution only allows for autonomy.

“Most that can be done is autonomy. It should be done within the framework of the Constitution, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines,” Puno said.

Puno cited Article 10, Section 15 of the Constitution which states the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

For his part, Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio challenged the constitutionality of the government’s draft agreement on the issue of ancestral domain with the MILF.

Carpio questioned the constitutionality of several provisions in the agreement particularly those that provide for the creation of a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).

He said this would need an amendment of the Organic Act which requires an act of Congress and ratification of the people.

Carpio also noted that the provisions which allows the BJE to maintain its own police and military forces is violative of the Constitution.

“The Police is national in scope, civilian in nature and controlled by the National Police Commission…The President is the commander in chief of all armed forces. The President has sole control of training, recruitment and payroll,” Carpio said.

“The BJE cannot head the AFP,” Carpio added.

The Associate Justice also said that the provision which allows for the creation of a separate justice system for the BJE is likewise a clear violation of the Constitution.

Carpio noted that under the Constitution, the country will have a unitary justice system headed by the Supreme Court.

“Under Article 8 (of the Constitution), the judicial power shall be bested on one Supreme Court, a unitary judicial system. SC has the sole disciplinary authority over its courts and its personnel,” Carpio said.

Carpio also said the provision in the agreement for the conduct of a plebiscite after 25 years to pave the way for the widening of the BJE’s coverage encroaches into the power of the legislature to schedule a plebiscite to decide on such issues.

Carpio also expressed the observation that there was a seeming lack in consultation in the drafting of the agreement, saying even indigenous peoples in Mindanao have been left out in the draft agreement.

He said under the MOA, the lumads or tribal people of Mindanao will be incorporated to the Bangsamoro, believers of Islam. There are 18 lumad groups in Mindanao.

He said with the incorporation, the ancestral domain of the lumads will become part of the Bangsamoro ancestral domain.

He said it would put the entire Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, which were the ancestral domains of the lumads, under the Bangsamoro.

Cultural (non)Success???

original post here from the marginal revolutions blog:

As distinct from happiness, of course:

1. If a kid does badly in school, does the parent genuinely get mad at the kid and withhold affection?

2. Can people wait in an orderly line?

3. Can people stay in their designated lane when driving a car?

1.  I think based on personal experience YES, The Philippines is relatively poor and studying is a privelege. We have about 37% or around 28 million people 0-14year old which translates to about elementary and highschool (13 million elementary and 6 million highschool students Note: that we are missing 2 years worth of students because this is the available data from the NSO website this means that the percentage would probably or definitely be higher.) 19/28 around 30% this does not even take to account that most students from provincial farming/mountain community have to work in their farms and go to remote schools. What I am trying to say albeit unsuccessfully is that going to school is a big deal. (I am being apologetic but come one different circumstances different reactions)

2. Nope I’ve never found a line  that anybody did not try to cut. I tend to feel that everyone feels It’s below them to fall in line. I remember reading a story in the local newspaper about one of the Ayala brothers (owners of Globe probably 3 riches family in the Philippines, Old Rich) falling in line in the Airport being approached by some newly rich (mostly from government contract the writer quipped) asking “why are you falling in line ? go with me I know people here, You don’t need to waste your time”, that man was respectfully smiled at and not politely told no thank’s

3. I do not drive because driving here is simply crazy. People have no respect for right of way.

for 1 and 2 people need to imbibe the notion that in a cultured world you shall have your turn, you just have to wait for it.

rePost: Torture A Way In Life In The Philippines

I did not know that the Philippines did not have anti torture laws. The fact is even if we had any it would not matter much. Killing is Illegal but journalist , judges, activist, government officials are being summarily executed for speaking out, for trying to make a difference. Laws don’t stop killings, Laws don’t stop tortures, PEOPLE STOP KILLING and TORTURE. As long as a majority of the Filipino people fail to face up to the realities of our country we cannot stop these inhumanities.

from here:

In fact, there remains no law criminalizing torture in the country.

“There is currently no law specifically penalizing acts of torture: criminal cases have to be filed against perpetrators of torture for crimes such as maltreatments; rape; murder if torture results in the death of the victim, etc,” the report states.

It adds: “This situation is contrary to the international commitments of the… Philippines under Article 7 of the ICCPR and the CAT.”

There is also no domestic law criminalizing enforced disappearances, the mission report notes.

Basas says an anti-torture bill has been filed in the House of Representatives during the 13th Congress, but despite overcoming hurdles in the House, the Senate failed to act on the bill.

“Now that the 13th Congress has adjourned, we have to re-file the bill again,” Basas says.

The fact-finding mission report also says the Human Security Act (HSA) or the local anti-terror law contains provisions that create an environment that increases the risk of human rights violations – including torture – being committed against detained suspects.

The new law expands the law enforcers’ powers of arrest and detention, increasing the chance of torture being inflicted on victims, the report points out.

The fact-finding mission “seriously doubts” that the mechanisms and initiatives reportedly put in place by the Armed Forces to ensure respect for human rights will work.

To address the phenomenon of torture in the country, the FIDH mission says the government should:

– Release all persons arbitrarily detained or to “bring charges against them and produce them before a court of law;”

– Stop using civilian auxiliaries of the AFP in the fight against terrorism and, as a minimum and immediate step, ensure that they are properly trained in the field of human rights and prevention of torture;

– End arbitrary labeling of groups as terrorists or enemies of the State without affording them the opportunity to challenge such assertions before the court;

– Seriously investigate all allegations of extra-judicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances involving law enforces and military personnel;

– Criminalize torture;

– Amend the HAS in conformance with the Philippines’ international human rights commitments;

– Ensure the inadmissibility in court of confessions obtained under duress;

– Compensate torture victims;

– Improve the government witness protection program; and

– Fulfill commitments to ICCPR and CAT.

Aside from these recommendations, Amnesty International-Pilipinas Executive Director Aurora Parong says the government should also ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), which is regarded as the most important development for the effective prevention of torture in the global arena.

“There’s no ifs and buts when it comes to torture. Torture is never acceptable, both during wartime and peacetime… This is one of every person’s non-derogable rights, one of the very basic human rights,” Parong says. – GMANews.TV

rePost: Evacuees trickle back to villages in North Cotabato

The sad thing is that most media coverage here is being concentrated on the charter change moves of the president, Humanitarian Crisis be damned.

Evacuees trickle back to villages in North Cotabato


MANILA – Families displaced by fighting between government troops and Muslim separatists in the southern Philippines slowly returned to their bombed-out villages on Thursday but many remained in shelters, too frightened to leave.

About 160,000 people had fled their farmlands in North Cotabato province and adjoining areas since last weekend to escape military airstrikes and mortar fire aimed at Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels holed up in the area.

Military operations ended on Wednesday and the army is trying to coax families back, escorted by armoured vehicles and troops.

“We expect a considerable number of people to return home today. Since late Wednesday they were slowly going back, we are assuring them of their safety,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Julieto Ando, an army spokesman.

The local government said about 20,000 people had made their way back but there were conflicting reports on numbers and some aid agencies said many refugees were still too frightened to leave.

Only about 10 percent of the displaced are in evacuation centres with most people staying with relatives or friends.

“The security situation has improved but it will probably take a bit of time before people feel secure enough to return home en masse,” Stephen Anderson, country director for the World Food Programme (WFP), told Reuters.

“We have to be looking ahead to people having to potentially rebuild their lives, a lot of houses, villages have been destroyed.”

Bomb disposal teams were combing through the villages to make sure they were clear of any landmines or booby traps.

A way of life

The government launched its attack on the MILF after accusing the rebels of occupying villages in North Cotabato. Six civilians were estimated to have been killed in the fighting while 46 rebels and 5 soldiers were estimated to have died, according to the military.

The MILF has said five of its members were killed.

Analysts have said both sides were flexing their military muscles after yet another setback in long-running talks to end a near 40-year separatist conflict in the southern region of Mindanao that has killed more than 120,000 people.

Muslims in the south of the largely Catholic Philippines have been fighting for some measure of independence since the late 1960s in one of Southeast Asia’s most intractable conflicts.

Earlier this week, the United Nations said it was concerned about an unfolding humanitarian crisis in the south.

But Manila dismissed the U.N.’s characterisation of the situation and said people in the poorest region of the country were used to conflict.

“Some of them need a little counselling, most do not. A lot of them are used to it. It’s not the first time that this has happened,” Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral told Reuters.

“They already know if there’s an exchange of gun fire, they should leave their homes, then if the shooting ends, then they go back to their homes, that’s a way of life in Mindanao.”

Mixed Beauty

I think this is even for filipino-blacks and filipino-whites. You just have to turn on the television and be beset by probably a third of Filipino artist. I remeber overhearing a few people in the mall one day. “Ang ganda ng anak mo kamukhang kamukha ang tatay niya, pauwiin mo dito mag artists” (Your daughter is pretty beautiful, looks a lot like her father, you must make her come home to the Philippines and try her hand at acting.) I was able to glance at the picture the person I overheard was looking at and it was a filipino -white household.

from this freakonomics post.

3) Mixed-race kids do have one advantage over white and black kids: the mixed-race kids are much more attractive on average.

Gender Equality In The Philippines

I have this semi favorite movie, its a romantic drama, staring Lea Salonga and Aga Muhlach. It was timely because it was coincided with the beginning of the exodus of nurses/caregivers from the Philippines to the US and UK.

This meant that a relatively simple, formulaic and somewhat unoriginal story were mitigated by the caliber of acting that aga and Lea brought to the film.

This meant that the story was personal to many Filipinos whose love ones just had to go to another nation to at least have a chance for a better life.

The movie consisted of few distinct episode.

  1. The Aga Leah Relationship in th Philippines. Aga as an ambitious office drone and Lea an ordinary Filipina.
  2. Separate Live Aga in the Philippines and Lea in San Francisco. Lea’s path to the American Dream , self reliance and a relatively successful but painful transition to her new life.
  3. Together in the US, Aga doing Menial Labor and Lea as a successful Real Estate broker

The point is that Lea has to choose between her life in the US and being with Aga. She chose to leave her life and be with Aga.

The point is when I first saw the film, I think I was 10 or 9 then , It hit me that why is it expected that the girl sacrifices everything for their love to remain. (I have a different perspective now, maybe part of growing up.).

Stupid me was easy to agitate and around 6 years later when I was older and the movie was shown on tv I was still irritated enough that I asked friend and classmates what they thought about the film, and probably more than half of the people I tlaked to didn’t care much for the film, I didn’t find anyone who found that Lea had to sacrifice.

How does this figure into Gender Equality in the Philippines? Its that Filipina women are presently expected to hold jobs and still be like the previous generation’s mothers. In short they are expected to be superwomen.  The crux of the matter is that in the Philippines it is expected and save for a handful of women’s rights groups in the Philippines helping women in their expanded roles are not in my countries psyche.

On a related note because of Nurses (mostly women), domestic helpers, entertainers and the like, their are a growing number of people termed as house husbands. This is refreshing because it is slowly being acceptable. This means that the old mores are slowly giving way to the realities of a small world.

got this article from crooked timber post here :

Gender equality on the slide?

6 August 2008

Support for gender equality in Britain and the US appears to have peaked and could now be going into decline, research at Cambridge University has revealed.

The study, by Professor Jacqueline Scott from the University’s Department of Sociology, found evidence of “mounting concern” that women who play a full and equal role in the workforce do so at the expense of family life.

Although there are no signs of a full-scale gender-role backlash, there does appear to be growing sympathy for the old-fashioned view that a woman’s place is in the home, rather than in the office.

The study appears in a new book, Women And Employment; Changing Lives And New Challenges, which Professor Scott also edited. The majority of the contributors form part of an ongoing research network on Gender Inequalities funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

“The notion that there has been a steady increase in favour of women taking an equal role in the workplace and away from their traditional role in the home is clearly a myth,” she said.

“Instead, there is clear evidence that women’s changing role is viewed as having costs both for the woman and the family.

“It is conceivable that opinions are shifting as the shine of the ‘super-mum’ syndrome wears off, and the idea of women juggling high-powered careers while also baking cookies and reading bedtime stories is increasingly seen to be unrealisable by ordinary mortals.”

The survey compared the results of social attitude surveys from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s – using recent data from the International Social Survey Programme as well as older polls. Professor Scott focused on the results from Britain, the United States and – because the earlier surveys pre-dated the fall of the Berlin Wall – the former Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany).

Dealing with the Energy Crisis for a Smaller Country

Based on the sound bites heard on the local media the Philippine Government’s plan on the energy crisis includes

  • getting guarantees from governments with a considerable oil production
  • lower taxes
  • begging oil companies to not raise price
  • considering 4 day work week
  • promotion of natural gas
  • promotion of bio fuels

bio fuels and natural gas are plainly bad policy. It’s surprising that no tax is being proposed or at least considered. We have 1980 circa cars and engines plying the country’s streets and highway’s.  I cant seem to relate with the fact that buses and more noticeably jeepney’s are simply never retired. I could go on and on but I am getting worked up.

I pray the leaders of my country read the nytimes at least the good parts;

from this article:

Unlike America, Denmark, which was so badly hammered by the 1973 Arab oil embargo that it banned all Sunday driving for a while, responded to that crisis in such a sustained, focused and systematic way that today it is energy independent. (And it didn’t happen by Danish politicians making their people stupid by telling them the solution was simply more offshore drilling.)


Many people are amazed that the US didn’t really do anything after the first oil shocks of the 1970’s

Hmm ask the republicans??? No that’s unfair, ask the congress of those times.