Insights and opinions from our contributors on the current issues happening in the region

insight 12



more articles...

Assumption speech of MajGen Jovito S. Palparan Jr.

What was Samar doing when MacArthur waded ashore 60 years ago?

The time to return the bells is now

Delusions of Communism

The Poverty of Filipinos

Pride, Sadness and Hopes of a Samarnon in California

Counting the Cost of Corruption in the Philippines

Death Penalty: Moral or Immoral?

The Old Song of the Cityhood of Catbalogan

Money Laundering in a Changed World






Why armed revolution is not a good option at this time

May 20, 2005

"...we have no guarantee that the leadership that can come out in an armed struggle will not be as corrupt as the present one."

My wife was recently scheduled to have hip replacement surgery. However, when she found out that some people with the same problem who had steroid injection to the hip joint were doing well, she decided not to go ahead with surgery and to try first getting the steroid treatment. She wants surgery as her last resort, which is the prudent thing to do.

My wife’s predicament is analogous to the situation in the Philippines. While the situation in the Philippines is really bad that requires an immediate and drastic action we need to exhaust all other alternatives of a bloody revolution. In Edsa I and II we demonstrated to the world with pride that a non-violent revolution is effective. When America had a civil war, the young country lost more lives than in any other war that America ever engaged in. Nobody wants to see Filipinos killing fellow Filipinos Our generation has seen enough of the ugliness of war.

War brings out the worst in man resulting in brutalities that normally are not part of his behavior. Kindness and compassion are replaced by cruelty and irrational insensitivity to his fellowman. An armed revolution would be a setback at this time when we badly need to go forward from our backward position. Other than destruction of lives and properties and disruption of the lives of the people, an armed revolution would create even a worse image of the country making it impossible for foreign capital to come into the country. War will extinguish practically all the initiatives that are now developing to alleviate poverty and remove corruption in the government.

In addition, we have no guarantee that the leadership that can come out in an armed struggle will not be as corrupt as the present one. There is that possibility that the condition in the country could even be worse than what it is now. The world knows that dictatorship is bad. But we know it by experience and no one of us wants to go through it again.

There are now many groups, organizations and movements that are trying hard to solve our major problems of corruption, inefficiency in the government and poverty in the country. There are many more groups that are likely to sprout from this miserable condition. These positive forces are run by cool-headed people with strong patriotic conviction and the abiding belief that righteousness will eventually triumph over evil.

In addition procedures and methods of detection and eradication of corrupt practices are now being developed as a result of pressure from outside and inside the country. There is a fast growing and stronger demand for better governance and elimination of corruption that the government can no longer ignore.

The President is naturally concerned with the growing unhappiness of the people and the embarrassing and humiliating state of the nation that she is leading. It is difficult to believe that she is devoid of the feeling of shame, embarrassment, guilt or sense of responsibility while the nation is sinking. It would be against rational thinking for her not to be concerned for her place in history.

We have to consider that many of the problems of the country and of the government were inherited from previous administrations while there are also anomalies during her administration. The government that she inherited was infested with corruption of previous administrations. We are not giving her an excuse for not cleaning up the government because she could have done it or at least showed convincing efforts to solve the problem. We are just trying to understand the difficulty of removing a systemic disease that has plagued the government for so long. But we need to pressure this government to make drastic reforms and soon.

GLOBAL FILIPINOS FOR PROGRESS has an innovative, bold and practical alternative to an armed revolution. We are going to do it through economic and educational programs starting with the GFULP described in our website: under PROGRAMS.





A respected Editor-Publisher of Manila-US Times in Los Angeles expresses deep concerns to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in open letter

May 6, 2005

Her Excellency
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

President, Republic of the Philippines

Dear Madam President:

The letter from Rev. Steve Berdin of Cebu, openly supporting the Bishops who were demanding your ouster, is a very serious threat to the stability of the government. I am not in favor of the President stepping down with unfinished term. The election process was a very expensive one and the Philippines is not capable of spending billions of pesos again for a similar undertaking without any guarantee that the next president to be elected will be better than you. Besides, once your leadership is toppled, by any group or any means, the economy will collapse; investors will run away with their capital, and the Filipino people will suffer the most.

This is not the time for the members of the Clergy to make bold steps for the sake of making bold steps. What is needed now, more than ever, is solidarity behind the leadership of the President so the present economy can move forward, peace and order is maintained, and the poor people given appropriate attention.

Instead of just providing for food on their tables, these people must be taught how to plant and how to fish, so that with everybody working together in unison, the concentrated effort will help eradicate poverty, one of the root causes of some evils.

There is still enough time to address the mounting problems. The President must act extraordinarily and decisively so that her Cabinet members, as well as elected officials can put to maximum use their talents, resources, including their pork barrels, and network from Metro Manila down to the remotest barrio, from Aparri to Jolo.

Any drastic action from people, like the bishops and priests, and some retired generals, without weighing the pros and cons and their ill effects to the general public, especially the poor, will definitely be detrimental to the general well being of the people.

I am for the status quo of the present leadership, but they MUST act fast enough to arrest the sliding popularity, put a stop to spiralling cost of basic commodities, and concentrate on domestic affairs. When the people – including the bishops, priests, students, farmers, fishermen, jeepney drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, tricycle drivers, vendors, laborers, employees, businessmen, business owners, housewives, maids, police officers, military men, security guards, teachers, Members of Congress and Senate, Governors, Mayors and their respective council members, Barangay Captains and Tanods, the NPAs, the MILFs, the MNLFs and everyone else -- see a genuine transformation coming from the top then may be, just may be, we can still work together as a Team, and not as a divided country.

People have suffered in previous sudden change in the top leadership. We cannot move forward, like our neighboring Asian countries, because there is too much burden to carry.

Subalit dapat nating sugpuin sa lalong madaling panahon ang walang-awang pagpatay sa mga journalists na ang tanging layunin ay maghatid ng makatotohanang mga balita at masugpo ang mga anomalya sa gobyerno; ang walang katuturang patayan sa Samar, sa Mindanao at iba pang panig ng Pilipinas.

Madam President, I am sending you this personal note in the hope that you will pursue the right approach to the problem. Hindi pa huli ang lahat. Marami pang pagkakataon upang mapanumbalik ang pagtitiwala at pagmamahal ng sambayanan sa Pangulo ng Bansa. Huwag na nating hintayin pang lumala ang sitwasyon.

Napakarami nang pagdurusa ang tinamo ng ating Inang Bayan at ng ating mga mahihirap na kababayan. Naiwan na tayo ng ating mga neighbors kagaya ng Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, at iba pa, pagdating sa ekonomiya at teknolohiya.

Ang mga estudyante ng Thailand ay nag-aral tungkol sa agriculture sa U.P. College of Agriculture (Los Banos, Laguna) at nagpakadalubhasa sa IRRI (International Rice Research Institute). Tayo ang nagturo sa kanila sa pagsasaka at pagtatanim ng palay. Pero ngayon nag-iimport tayo ng bigas hindi lamang mula sa Thailand, kundi pati na rin sa Vietnam.

Tayo ang nagturo at nagbigay ng fingerlings na bangus sa Taiwan. Ngayon sila na ang lider pagdating sa bangus.

Ang ating mga computer wizards and tumulong na magset-up ng mga computers sa World Bank, pero hindi tayo maka-ahon sa pagkakautang sa World Bank at palagi na lang tayong dinidiktahan ng IMF.

Noong idiniklara ang Philippine Independence, akala nating lahat ay iyon na ang simula nang ating pagiging independent, pero hindi pala.

Let us act cohesively and firmly toward a new direction that will benefit the people so that the poor people will not only depend on the resources and assistance being extended by Gawad Kalinga, whom I salute for their concerted effort and splendid performances in the past few years for their unselfish motives, dedication and strong determination to lift the country out of the 3rd
world country status -- an ambitious vision, yes, but achievable.

The letter from the Very Reverend Father from Cebu and the joint endorsement of some Bishops for the ouster of the President will not only create chaos and upheavals, but in the end will only add more miseries to the already miserable situation of our beloved country.

Let this serve as a WAKE UP CALL!

HAPPY MOTHER's DAY, MADAME PRESIDENT. And Happy Mother's Day, too, to all
mothers within the reach of this loop.

Very truly yours,


Chairman, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
Glendale, California





Race for radical reforms in the Philippines

March 14, 2005

"When these shameful abuses continue in a country where about half of the people are already suffering from severe poverty it is only logical to expect that the outrage of the people would reach the boiling point where a revolution becomes inevitable..."

It is becoming more evident that the situation in the Philippines cannot last much longer. Anybody who knows the situation there will agree that it is time for a radical change.  The only question is whether it is going to be a radical non-violent reform or a bloody revolution.

There are an increasing number of people who believe that a bloody revolution is inevitable.  The only question is the right time for this to happen. They believe that because corruption and inefficiency in government and poverty of the people are going from bad to worse with no visible hope for reform the country is now ripe for a revolution.

Many people who used to be against any form of violence now share the belief that this hopeless situation has got to change in one way or another.  Billions of pesos earmarked for paving roads and other public projects are disappearing to the pockets of corrupt officials and hundreds of containers of donated and purchased materials from overseas are getting lost in Customs. Government officials continue to make public projects their “milk cows” from which they continually siphon funds into their pockets leaving public works and services neglected. Some high officers of the army, the Police Department and other branches of government are stealing huge sums of money and investing them in expensive real estate in America in increasing number.

Foreign businesses are getting out of the country due to corruption leaving millions of people unemployed. We will need to have a thick book to contain all the abuses and corrupt practices in all parts of the country.  Some say this is worse than having a dictator.  It is tyranny by an elite group of the rich and powerful using their stolen wealth to silence judges and government officials as if the government has become a crime syndicate. The people’s unhappiness and complaints are being ignored and they have nowhere to go for redress of the continuing injustice.

When these shameful abuses continue in a country where about half of the people are already suffering from severe poverty it is only logical to expect that the outrage of the people would reach the boiling point where a revolution becomes inevitable.  No one can wait too long when the stomach continues to be empty and the children are crying for food while government officials continue to plunder the national treasury and impoverish the people.

The “People Power” that was the pride of Filipinos for ousting a corrupt dictator by non-violent revolution of Edsa I and another which removed another corrupt president in Edsa II, did not seem to make a lasting effect on the corruption and inefficiency of the government.  They really did not remove the root cause of the systemic corruption resulting in loss of respect and trust of the people on the government, extreme poverty and fiscal crisis of the government.

However, a bloody revolution is going to be costly in lives, properties and national stability and will set us back even farther into turmoil and disunity and make foreign investors even more afraid in setting their business in the country.  Besides, those who would lead it could be just as corrupt and the resulting condition could be even worse than what it is today.

Yet, a radical reform is necessary if we want to survive and be proud again of our beloved homeland.  There are many organizations of concerned Filipinos all over the world trying in their separate ways to help the country and avoid a violent revolution.  However, their efforts are parochial, regional and limited.  While they can continue with what they are doing there is a need to join our hands and heads and to unite our efforts in order to achieve strength in number and influence and promote coordination, cooperation and sharing of resources.

Our enemies, CORRUPTION and POVERTY, are too massive for small fragmented and scattered organizations with small arms and limited ammunition to tackle the powerful, well entrenched and widespread enemies.  PEOPLE POWER is still our best if not our only weapon.  We know that the type of PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION of Edsa I and II is not going to be enough to uproot corruption in the government.  It has to be more powerful, GLOBAL and COORDINATED with combined resources fighting in a united front and sustained until the desired reforms are secured.

The one element in Edsa I and II that we will still utilize is the strength in number.  We will have millions of Filipinos from all corners of the world and all parts of the Philippines to participate in a GLOBAL PROTEST to secure the desired reforms combined with ECONOMIC PROJECTS to create jobs and fight poverty. With the magic of the Internet we can have a more widespread and coordinated demonstrations throughout the country and the world.  We will also have educational and motivational programs to arouse responsible nationalism and activism.

It is with this perspective that GLOBAL FILIPINOS FOR PROGRESS (GFP) is spearheading a non-violent revolution; a global movement that we hope can prevent a bloody revolution. But we have to act fast before a bloody revolution overtakes us in our race for radical reforms.  No true Filipino can afford to be just a bystander, passive and indifferent when our motherland is dying and being abused for too long now. The enemy of the people is worse than the corrupt dictator because corruption now spreads through all segments of government. It has weakened democracy and democracy is losing its luster in the eyes many people.

The main target of GFP is government corruption and inefficiency because we believe that it is the major cause of poverty and unhappiness of the people. It is the major cause of bankruptcy of the government.

GFP would like therefore to invite all Filipinos all over the world to join us by becoming members.  We also invite all Filipino organizations around the world to join our movement to form a coalition large enough that the government can no longer ignore.

Membership form is available at our website: We also invite you to read educational and inspiring articles under ARTICLES in our website.

In order to fund our non-violent revolution we are inviting participants in our GLOBAL FILIPINOS FOR PROGRESS UNITED LENDING PROGRAM (GFPULP).  This exciting and innovative program is outlined in our website under PROGRAMS.    (send comments)





Morales will whip Pacquiao in 12 heats

March 8, 2005

If we read the sports items in the national papers everyday since January this year, the March 19 fisticuffs in Las Vegas, Nevada between our hero Manny Pacquiao and Erik “El Terrible” Morales of Mexico are already over with Pacquiao emerging as the macho man.

Almost on a daily basis, sports pages of daily papers scream that the 5 feet and six inches Ring Magazine “world champion” from General Santos City will terrorize and dominate the 5 feet and eight inches Mexican phenom who tots a fearsome ledger of 47 wins, 2 losses spiked with 34 impressive stoppages, in their pay-per-view tussle.

Abetted by some over excited scribes who regularly lift stories from the internet highlighting the self-serving boasts of A-1 trainer Freddie Roach that his Filipino ward will definitely steamroll Morales, it seems the May 19 fight will be nothing but an all-Pacquiao show.

One may also wonder if Pacquiao will fight a dishwasher or a cab driver or if the rules have been changed allowing Pacquiao to carry a pistol when he trades leathers with Morales.

Obviously, little credit is given to the fact that Morales is now fighting as a junior lightweight (130 lbs) while Pacquiao, who packs an equally sparkling record of 39 wins, 2 losses, 2 draws with 31 KO’s, is only a featherweight (126 lbs) and will fight Morales in the junior lightweight class.

Morales, who has never been knocked out in his career, has the best wheels in boxing and he starts the brawl by winding up like he is working off a mound. He also throws fastballs with both hands, that’s why he is touted as “El Terrible”.

Some Filipino fans think that because he lost two of his three encounters with fellow Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera, he has no chance of beating Pacquiao.

Wrong logic. Ismael Laguna beat Carlos Ortiz who knocked out Flash Elorde two times in as many encounters (Feb. 15, 1964 and Nov. 28, 1966); Elorde beat Laguna.

Iran “The Blade” Barkely KO’d Thomas Hearns who knocked out Robert Duran who beat Barkley. Rafael “Bazooka” Limon KO’d Rolando Navarette who stopped Cornelius Boza Edwards who beat Limon. Cebuano Rolando Pascua KO’d Humberto “Chequita” Gonzalez who beat Melchor “Cob” Castro who whipped Pascua. And so on and so forth.

Both Morales and Pacquiao are KO artists but Morales moves faster and has the crisper combinations as against Pacquiao’s killer left he used in pulverizing WBC flyweight kingpin Chachai Sasakul in 1999 and annihilating Fashang 3-K Battery in December 2004.

We must take note that after Juan Manuel Marquez recovered from the three flash knockdowns in the opening canto versus Pacquiao two years ago, the WBA-IBF featherweight champion managed to eke out a draw after 12 rounds. Meaning that he was able to perfectly avoid Pacquiao’s killer left and nearly scored a points win if not for that three knockdowns.

Both Barrera, Marquez and Morales are now wary of that previously mysterious and dreaded left of Pacquiao who has the tendency to expose his chin while moving in to deliver a left straight.

There is no doubt that Pacquiao is the stronger fighter. However, it will be another story if he can catch the fast-moving Morales who is expected to plod and weave and cut the ring using his height and dizzying speed and win the fight by unanimous decision after 12 rounds.   (send your comments to this article)

** Alex P. Vidal is the Philippine Supervisor of the World Boxing Foundation





Don’t blame God if Eric Morales will outduke Manny Pacquiao

March 4, 2005

We, of course, want our very own Manny Pacquiao (38-2-2-1NC, 30 KO’s) to win over Erik “El Terrible” Morales (47-1, 34 KO’s) in their much-awaited March 19 rumble in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In fact, it is not right for some quarters to invoke God as “on the side of Pacquiao” the reason why he is purportedly sure to win. This is ridiculous since we all know that God does not play a loaded dice. God is fair and square to everyone; He is the most neutral Referee in the world.

Joe Louis had claimed that "We're going to win because God is with us" and so Max Schmeling decimated him in the 12th round on June 19, 1936.

If God will throw his lot on the 26-year-old Pacquiao as the Filipino fans are wont to believe, is He not unfair to Morales who also comes from a predominantly Catholic Mexico like the Philippines? When Pacquiao climbs the ring to face the 28-year-old Morales, God certainly will not go down from heaven just to guide the punches of the Filipino lefty as did the Greek gods who guided the arrow that hit the tendon of Achilles.

If boxing had been a competition on how to reach heaven, it would have been an insult to the angels. For the past weeks, national dailies have been dishing incredible stories that predict a Pacquiao sure win as if he will face a blind and crippled opponent. Awed by Pacquiao’s reputation as a heavy banger, oddsmakers have initially installed the Gen. Santos City little necromancer as the slight favorite, 2-1. Two weeks leading to the fight, the odds are expected to either hike in favor of Pacquiao or will reverse.

Due to Morales’ awesome punching power that brought him fame and riches, his investiture into the pantheons of greats is already assured regardless of the result of his engagement with the Filipino fisttosser.

To guide our readers how to pick their winner without being nationalistic, aside from Marco Antonio Barrera, here’s another common denominator between Pacquiao and Morales:

On July 31, 1999, Morales mangled beyond recognition then RP junior featherweight champion Reynante Jamili of Silay City, Negros Occidental in Tijuana, Mexico. The then World Boxing Council (WBC) super-bantamweight ruler pole-axed the Ilonggo pretender in only six rounds of a scheduled 12-round title fight held at the Toreo de Tijuana.

Two years later in Manila, Pacquiao ambushed Jamili and left him incapacitated with cracked vertebrae in the second round in a battle for the vacant WBC international junior featherweight crown. If I remember it right, Jamili would never fight again.   (send your comments to this article)

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