My Choice of President


Posted on 08:27 PM, April 19, 2010
To Take A Stand — By Oscar P. Lagman, Jr.

The person who gets my vote

The country has suffered from 12 years of maladministration — two and a half years of bumbling and plunder by Erap, and nine and a half years of immoderate greed, unconscionable extravagance, and brazen abuse of power by GMA. My choice therefore for the next president is one who will put an end to the wretchedness and shame we have endured long enough.

I dismissed early from consideration J.C. de los Reyes, Nicky Perlas, and Eddie Villanueva. They may be pure of heart and noble of motive, but their lack of exposure to the workings of government render them incapable of undoing the colossal damage wrought by Erap and GMA. As for Jamby Madrigal, she looked lost in the Senate.

Their many years in government may have developed in Richard Gordon and Gilbert Teodoro some of the skills necessary for governing. But to me it is not just a matter of professional qualifications, it is also a matter of personal qualities.

Richard Gordon had demonstrated during his stint in various government positions that he is the kind of politician spawned during the martial rule of Marcos, to whom he remained loyal up to the end.

He was one of the rah-rah boys of the 1973 constitution dictated by Marcos, but he campaigned all over the country against the 1987 Constitution drafted by men and women of probity and independence.

He governed Olongapo City the way Imelda Marcos governed Metro Manila, highlighting only the good and the beautiful, hiding the bad and the ugly. When Father Shay Cullen, a Columban missionary, exposed the presence in Olongapo City of a child prostitution syndicate that offered children to US Navy personnel, Mayor Gordon dismissed the exposure as a mere publicity stunt of the priest.

If there is an expert on publicity stunts, it is Gordon. He was not an Ateneo cheerleader and Procter & Gamble brand manager for nothing. To gain the sympathy of the people after President Estrada had dismissed him as Subic Bay administrator, he staged a melodramatic meeting of the marches he and his wife led separately, in obvious imitation of the Easter Sunday Catholic rite Salubong.

“Ngayon lang! Napa WOW Philippines ang buong mundo,” crowed the Department of Tourism ad when Gordon was the secretary. Among those cited in the ad as having wowed the whole world were the placement of the WOW Philippines advertisements in CNN and BBC; the installation of a system that facilitates identification and apprehension of taxi drivers guilty of crime against tourists; the awards the country won in a tourism fair in Berlin such as “Best Booth,” “Best Marketing Effort,” and “Best TV/Video Advertising Campaign”; and Gordon’s election as chair of PATA and chair of the Commission for East Asia of the World Tourism Organization.

When you compare what a previous secretary of Tourism and his undersecretaries had done in Corregidor with what Gordon had done in Intramuros, you would be convinced that Gordon is just all hype. His campaign symbol of beating his breast with his fist is most appropriate for him.

His overbearing posture in televised forums gives us a glimpse of the kind of president he would be. And he complains when his campaign sorties are not covered by media. His patronizing stance toward media people turns them away. He blew his top at the Iloilo airport when the public address system announcing the arrival and departure of flights drowned his voice.

His releasing the Blue Ribbon Committee’s final report on the Fertilizer Scam only after it became known he was not Lakas-KAMPI’s presidential candidate smacked of Machiavellian moves. Gordon has vowed to go after GMA if he becomes president. I am sure he would for having been passed over by GMA, but he cannot because his persona will prevent him from ever becoming president.

As for Gilbert Teodoro, he has said he would not take action against GMA as he owes her a debt of gratitude for putting her complete trust in him when she designated him secretary of Defense. Utang na loob, a Filipino value, can be dysfunctional at times. It would be in the case of a Teodoro presidency. That alone caused him to lose my vote.

Also, his vaunted galing at talino were shown wanting by the Ampatuan incident and the Ondoy disaster. The Ampatuans went about their ruthless and reckless way in Mindanao unhampered, unchecked, unperturbed by Defense Secretary Teodoro. National Disaster Coordinator Teodoro looked overwhelmed by the havoc Ondoy wrought.

When martial law was imposed in Maguindanao, the legal luminaries weighed in. Miriam Santiago denounced in her characteristic overdramatic fashion the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao, never mind if it was imposed by the President whom she butters up to. Teddy Boy Locsin defended it in his usual deliberate way, never mind if he went against the stand of many of his allies in the opposition. Teodoro, the bar topnothcher and Harvard master of law, held his peace, in obvious deference to his patron.

When asked in a forum what government policies he may have disagreed with when he was in the Cabinet, he declined to answer, giving the lame excuse that his opinion was privileged information. Talino may be one of his attributes, but moral courage is not.

His campaign handlers make a big deal out of his being a licensed pilot. I would not want to be on a flight piloted by him. He would freeze if the flight encountered turbulent weather.

Villar had said in a televised forum that he is not going to lift a finger to prevent people from filing criminal charges against GMA. I inferred from that somewhat taciturn statement that he will not lift a finger either to file criminal charges against GMA.

Whether his family was really very poor or just not well off when he was a boy is no issue to me. Having been an advertising practitioner, I can tolerate the liberties taken in the production of his commercials.

While I found generally convincing Villar’s speech refuting Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s charges regarding the C-5 Road Extension, certain assertions he made raised questions in my mind. I had expected Enrile to ask the same questions, but Villar’s refusal to be interpellated left those questions unanswered. They continue to nag me.

But what cast a bigger doubt on Villar’s integrity is then Makati Representative Joker Arroyo’s speech in the House of Representatives in 1998 when he accused Villar of using his influence as member of Congress to get government institutions to extend financial accommodations to his companies. Arroyo contended that that was in violation of constitutional provisions. That is why I have difficulty accepting his claim that if he just wanted to enrich himself, he would have stayed in business. His net worth has been ballooning since he was elected to Congress.

I see Noynoy Aquino as the best person who can arrest the worsening situation. For one he has vowed to stop corruption. I believe him. In his 12 years in Congress he has not evinced the imperiousness and wiliness of a trapo. His detractors say he is not deep. I agree. That means he is incapable of Marcosian and GMA machinations.

Noynoy as First Son did not indulge in the luxuries of the presidential palace as the other presidential children Gloria Macapagal, Imee and Bongbong Marcos, and Jinggoy and Jude Estrada did, and which Mikey and Dato Arroyo are shamelessly doing. Neither did First Son Noynoy arrogate unto himself presidential prerogatives and privileges like Imee, Bongbong, and Jinggoy did and Mikey is brazenly doing.

I do not belong to the Noynoy camp. I do not know him personally. I was with a civil society group that was born of the “Hello Garci” controversy. I have gone my own way since the start of the campaign season. I attack Villar and the other candidates, but I am not an attack dog as columnists critical of Villar are branded. Columnists supportive of Villar never grant that those critical of him are as motivated by love of country as they are when they savage Noynoy. I do not attack on the command of anybody like attack dogs do. I follow only the command of my conscience, and my conscience tells me to vote for Noynoy Aquino.


May 3 2010 declared as non-working holiday

Finally, the news we are all waiting for has been released.

“May 3, Monday, is a holiday,” Executive Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza told a Palace briefing Wednesday.

Those who will be required to work on Monday next week will be given additional remuneration, he said.

Republic Act 9492 or the government’s holiday economics policy puts holidays except those that are religious in nature to be moved to the nearest Monday.

Mr. Mendoza said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has already signed a proclamation containing the declaration of holiday on May 3. However, copies of the proclamation have yet to be released. –Gerard S. dela Pena


Win a Free Boracay Vacation Package by WOW Philippines Travel Agency

WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is celebrating it’s 5th year in business during July of 2010, and we would like you to have a chance to celebrate with us, so we have decided to give-away a FREE Boracay Package complete with 5 Star accommodations at the luxurious Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel on Boracay Island. The lucky winner will win the following Boracay vacation package.

Vacation Package Inclusions:
– 5 Days / 4 Nights Luxury 5 Star Accommodations at the Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel
– Flights to Boracay from Manila to Caticlan Airport on Philippine Airlines
– Island Transfers – Door-to-Door from Manila to the resort and back to Manila Domestic Airport
– Three (3) Meals each day, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
– Boracay Activities – Horseback Riding, Island Hopping, Glass Bottom Boat
– PLUS – 5,000 peso Spending Cash

Read More Information:

Where to store your pictures in the internet?

I have found 6 sources where you can store your photos in the internet. Some are offering unlimited uploads while some are only giving a limited capacity and after you reached the maximum you will have to pay their service. You have the option to pay or just maximize the free service with limitation.

Here are the choices:

1. – I have tried this account and they really have special editing features that I like. It iis easy to use and your photo will really improve. Every yahoo account gives you an instant access of this site. It has a lot of editing tools that will make your editing life smooth, easy and fun. Every month you are given 100MB of photos to upload in excess of that you’ll have to pay. You can also 2 upload videos of 150 MB each.

2. – They are giving a larger capacity of 1GB on a free account.

3. – It can import photos straight from your cameras.

4. – It’s free and has unlimited memory to offer for their clients. They also offer special items, like you may include your photos in a mug or in their other products.

5. – This site allows you to upload 1000 pictures and additional 10 pictures every month.

6. – If you want your picture to have a special caption, this one is the right site for you. Your photo can talk for you; you can record a sound and upload it in your photo, something different and unique.

How much should the employers pay during Holy week?

Here’s an update from the Department of Labor and Employment regarding the payment of work made during the Lenten Celebration:

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said that April 1 (Maundy Thursday) and 2 (Good Friday) are regular holidays throughout the nation, while April 3 (Black Saturday), 2010 is a nationwide special non-working day.

The Labor and Employment Chief said that Presidential Proclamation No. 1841, issued earlier on July 21, 2009, had affirmed the regular holidays on April 1 and 2, and April 9, 2010. At the same time, Proclamation No. 2029, by authority of the President signed by Executive Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza on March 24, 2010, declared Saturday, April 3, 2010, which falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as a special (non-working) day throughout the country, citing that, “our people must be given the full and uninterrupted opportunity to ponder on the significance of the Holy Week and to properly observe its traditions… without prejudice to public interest.”
Roque thus advised the country’s employers in the private sector on the pay rules to be applied during the said nationwide regular and special non-working holidays as follows:
1. For the regular holidays on April 1 (Maundy Thursday), April 2 (Good Friday), and April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan), 2010:

A. If the holiday falls on an employee’s regular workday:

– If worked, [the employee] is entitled to 200% of his [or her] basic wage for the first eight (8) hours and, for work in excess of the 8 hours, to an additional 30% of his or her hourly rate on the said day.

– If unworked, the employee is entitled to 100% of his or her regular daily rate, provided he she was present or was on leave with pay on the workday immediately preceding the holiday.

B. If the day is the employee’s rest day:

– If worked, the employee is entitled, for the first 8 hours, to 200% of his or her daily rate plus 30% and, for work in excess of 8 hours, plus 30% of his or her hourly rate on the said day.

– If unworked, the employee is entitled to 100% of his or her regular daily rate, provided he or she was present or was on leave with pay on the workday immediately preceding the holiday.

C. Where the day immediately preceding the holiday is a non-work day in the establishment or the
scheduled rest day of the employee, he or she shall not be deemed on leave of absence on that day, in which case he or she shall be entitled to the holiday pay.

2. For the special non-working day on April 3, 2010 (Black Saturday):

– If worked, the employee is entitled to 130% of his [or her] daily rate for the first 8 hours, and to an additional 30% of his or her hourly rate on the said day for work performed in excess of 8 hours.

– If unworked, he or she is not entitled to any payment, unless there is a favorable company policy, practice or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment for special days even if not worked.

– If worked and falling on the employee’s rest day, the employee is entitled for the first 8 hours to150% of his or her regular daily rate, and for work performed in excess of 8 hours, plus 30% of his or her hourly rate on the said day.

Any clarifications regarding the holiday pay rules may be made with the DOLE Call Center at tel. no. 527-8000.

Entitlement to Separation Pay

As already noted, separation pay is required to be paid to the employee when there is termination of employment by the employer for an authorized cause, the amount of which depends on the cause. If the termination is due to the installation of labour-saving devices or redundancy, the separation pay is one month’s pay for every year of service or one month pay, whichever is higher (art. 283, LC). If the termination is due to retrenchment to prevent losses, or closure or cessation of operation of the establishment not due to serious business losses, or due to disease, the separation pay is one-half month’s pay for every year of service or one month pay, whichever is higher (arts. 283 and 284, LC). However, there is no requirement for separation pay if the closure is due to serious business losses.

Resignation (Philippines)

Under art. 3 (18) of the Constitution, no involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. In view of the prohibition on involuntary servitude, an employee is given the right to resign under art. 285 of the LC. The provision recognizes two kinds of resignation – without cause and with cause. If the resignation is without cause, the employee is required to give a 30-day advance written notice to the employer, to enable the employer to look for a replacement to prevent work disruption. If the employee fails to give a written notice, he or she runs the risk of incurring liability for damages. The same provision also indicates the just causes for resignation (with cause) –

  • Serious insult to the honor and person of the employee;
  • Inhuman and unbearable treatment;
  • Crime committed against the person of the employee or any of the immediate members of the employee’s family; and
  • Other analogous causes.

In this second type of resignation, the employee need not serve a written notice.

Forced resignation is not allowed and is considered “constructive” dismissal – a dismissal in disguise.

Employee retirement is either voluntary or compulsory under art. 287 of the LC.

Contracts of Employment

Contracts of employment are imbued with public interest. There are four tests to ascertain the existence of an employer-employee relationship:

  • Manner of selection and engagement;
  • Payment of wages;
  • Presence or absence of the power of dismissal; and
  • Presence or absence of the power of control.

Of the four tests, the last one – control by the employer of the means, methods and manner by which the work is performed by the employee – is the most important.

Art. 280 of the LC provides for the following categories of employment:

  • Project – where the employment has been fixed for a specific project or undertaking, the completion or termination of which has been determined at the time of the engagement of the employee;
  • Seasonal – where the work or services to be performed is seasonal in nature and the employment is for the duration of the season; and
  • Casual – where the employment is not covered by the foregoing, provided that an employee who has rendered at least one year of service, whether continuous or broken, shall be considered regular with respect to the activity in which he or she is employed and his or her employment shall continue while the activity exists.

Another category of employment recognized in jurisprudence is “term” or “fixed-period employment.” This is based on art. 1193 of the CC, which states that obligations with a resolutory period take effect at once, but terminate upon arrival of the day certain – understood to be a day that must necessarily come. The decisive determinant in “term employment” should not be the activities that the employee is called upon to perform, but the day certain agreed upon by the parties for the commencement and termination of the employment relationship. Stipulations in employment contracts providing for “term employment” or “fixed-period employment” are valid when the period has been agreed upon knowingly and voluntarily by the parties, without force, duress or improper pressure exerted on the employee, and when such stipulations were not designed to circumvent the laws on security of tenure.

Probationary employment is not necessarily a category of employment. It pertains to a period of time. Under art. 281 of the LC, probationary employment shall not exceed six (6) months. An employee who is allowed to work after a probationary period shall be considered a regular employee. A probationary employee is, for a given period of time, under observation and evaluation to determine whether or not he or she is qualified for permanent employment. During the probationary period, the employer is given the opportunity to observe the skills, competence and attitude of the employee while the latter seeks to prove to the employer that he or she has the qualifications to meet the reasonable standards for permanent employment.

Earthquake at Quezon City

March 25, 2010, at about 1 or 2 in the afternoon,i was at the office when an intensity 4 earthquake hit the Quezon City area. I was at the 4th flr then. There was a slight movement that went sideways for about four seconds and a little aftershocks.  According to the news,the epicenter of the earthquake came from Mindoro and they experienced it at intensity  6.1.

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