Mar Roxas 2010 Blog is one of the Top 10 Best Cebu Blogs of 2008

I am humbled and honored to have this blog, the Mar Roxas for President in 2010, as one of the Top 10 Best Cebu Blogs of 2008.

As I had finished re-designing the layout of this blog to make it look more professional, I never expected that a few days after and before the year 2008 ends, something great is coming.

This blog is No. 6 out of the Top 10 Best Cebu Blogs of 2008.

Here's what Mark Monta, head of the Best Cebu Blog Team said about this blog:
The most controversial blog of all times - not until 2010(lol). Well, Kevin has gone a long way and updating people on what is his point of views in campaigning Mar Roxas for 2010 presidency is not a joke. He is a HIT of this year

The award goes not only to me, but also to YOU.

YOU who have kept me updating this blog and feeding to you the necessary information in our advocacy.

This award serves as an inspiration to me to continue and make this blog better to achieve its goals and our goals.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Miss Cebu 2009 - Silver and Beyond

The Mar Roxas for President in 2010 Blog, with its blogger Kevin Ray N. Chua, supports the Miss Cebu 2009. Most especially to our Cebuano readers here in the Philippines and abroad, you can now vote online and support your favorite candidate to be the Miss Cebu 2009.

I had already voted online but I won't tell you who I voted for. Instead of influencing my readers on whom to vote for, I would let you have the decision.

Below are the candidates vying for the crown:
1. Ana Coritha J. Desamparado
2. Sheda Lynn A. Dusaban
3. Christine A. Tan
4. Nadia Claire O. Urbino
5. Tara Frances L. Oliver
6. Ethel B. Bitoon
7. Phoebe Kaye C. Fernandez
8. Kimberley Therese A. Burden
9. Michelle Iva G. Eguia
10. Angela Grace P. Alinabon
11. Rizzini Alexis C. Gomez
12. Kris Tiffany M. Janson

For more information about the upcoming Miss Cebu 2009, click here.

Monday, December 29, 2008 | posted in , , , | 1 comments [ More ]

Senator Mar Roxas is The EQualizer Post's Pinoy of the Year

The EQualizer Post Blog, which has been delivering strong commentaries on politics both here and abroad, together with its readers, has chosen Senator Mar Roxas as its Pinoy of the Year for 2008.

Roxas edged slightly Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio in the poll probably of the former's rage against a Gloria Forever Constitution which had him uttered "Putang ina" in an anti-Cha-Cha rally and refused to apologize about it.

As the EQ Post said:
True RAGE! We agree 100% Senator Roxas!
Read more about this at


2008 Christmas Message from Senator Mar Roxas

"This holiday season, I celebrate with you the birth of Christ our Saviour. Christmas has always stood for the restoration of the Lord's covenant with his people: this contract that says 'Do good, and you shall be rewarded. Fall in line, and you shall move forward.'

"We as a nation celebrate Christmas as we hold on to a promise of change; of restoration of the rule of the good; of renewal of our social contract to care for each other. I stand together with the Filipino people who seek the fulfillment of this promise. In a nation ravaged by the selfishness and greed of a few, we celebrate as a people: poor in wealth and power but rich in hope.

"May we all follow our own stars, as the three Magi did, steadfast in their faith in the Lord and in our ultimate salvation. May this Christmas be meaningful for all of us.

"Merry Christmas!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 | posted in , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

I am NOT Sorry - Mar Roxas

Here's the full transcript of Senator Mar Roxas' "I am NOT Sorry" speech in the Senate refusing to apologize for his expletive outburst during the Anti-Charter Change rally last Dec. 12, 2008.
Mr. President, may I take a moment of the chamber’s time to rise on a matter of personal privilege.

Marami nang nasabi mula nang magsalita ako noong rally noong Biyernes. Maraming nabigla sa bugso ng emosyon. May mga nailang o nagalit. May mga nagsasabing mali ang sinabi ko. Binanatan ako ng Malakanyang. Ginamit nila ang kanilang propaganda machine laban sa akin.

Una: gaya noong Biyernes, magsasalita ako nang deretsahan ngayon: I AM NOT SORRY. I am not sorry for speaking my mind and telling the truth as I see it to be. I am not sorry for expressing my real feelings and my rage in behalf of the people whom I love.

Ikalawa: Marami nang nagbigay ng opinyon sa kung paano dapat ako nagsalita o umasal. Irerespeto ko sila. They are entitled to their opinion, and I respect it. Sana, irespeto rin nila ako, at ang pinaglalaban ko. Hindi ako plastik. I AM NOT SORRY.

Ikatlo: Bakit ako magso-sorry? Kung mag-sorry ako, para na ring nag-sorry tayong mga biktima ng korapsyon, tulad ng mga magsasakang ninakawan ng fertilizer. Para na ring nag-sorry ang bawat Pilipino na gutom na walang trabaho, na wala nang makitang pag-asa dito sa ating bansa. Para na ring nag-sorry ang mga Pilipino, na ang tunay na damdamin lamang ay katulad ng sinabi ko.

Ikaapat: Hindi ito tungkol sa salita lamang. Alin ba ang mas nakakailang: ang masakit na salita, o ang masamang gawa? Ang diretsong katotohanan o ang baluktot na kasinungalingan? Ang maruming bibig o ang marungis na kamay at konsensiya?

What are the real issues?

This government has systematically ravaged our political and economic life. This government has twisted our institutions to suit its self-serving interests. This government has torn apart our nation.

Ikalima, at huli: Hindi ko gustong makasakit sa damdamin ng kapwa sa sinabi ko noong Biyernes. Tinukoy ko lang ang tunay na kalagayan ng bansa. Nagpakatotoo lamang ako, at nasa katotohanan ang kaligtasan at kalayaan ng ating bayan. Nasa katotohanan ang pag-asa.

Para sa mga desperado nating kababayan, tatlo lang ang puwede nilang gawin.

Magmukmok, manahimik, at umiyak sa isang tabi.

Umalis, maghanap ng pag-asa sa ibang bansa.

Mamundok. Mag-armas at lumaban.

Ayaw nating mangyari ang mga ito. We do not want our people to suffer in silence, nor to have to leave their families, nor have to take up arms. Kailangan nating kapitan ang katotohanan. Kailangan nating ihiyaw ito. We must shout out the truth so that we can be free. We must break the apathy and the paralysis. Our outrage will move us forward. I must speak of the people’s anguish.

Sabi nga ni Ka Amado Hernandez, isang pambansang alagad ng sining:

Kung wala mang maglalamay sa gabi ng pagbabangon
Lumuha ka nang lumuha’t ang laya mo’y nakaburol

Kasama ng taumbayan, I say: I AM NOT SORRY.

Thursday, December 18, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Bloggers on Mar Roxas' expletive outburst

It has been four (4) days since Senator Mar Roxas made the (in)famous speech during an anti-Cha-Cha rally in Makati.

"Putang ina" was the word that caught the attention of everyone. Was it a political stunt? I think it wasn't. It was an ordinary feeling of the Filipino disgusted on the way how Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's administration has continued to fool them by pushing Charter Change (Cha-Cha) for her own sake and Senator Roxas wasn't able to control those emotions. It was a rally against the Cha-Cha that Gloria's administration is pushing. Why I said it is for her own sake? She should have the balls to stop it if her people prefers Cha-Cha after 2010!

As I was blog-hopping, I read several posts about the post-reaction on the incident. Indeed, the profane language he used was justified.

As political blogger Schumey said:
... the highlight and the most controversial is the speech by Mar Roxas who verbalized the sentiments of the people by saying "putang ina". There was no other way to describe the disdain we felt and Mar Roxas got it spot on.
The Mount Balatucan Monitor has made a good point on why Roxas' curse was justified:
I don’t see any wrong with what Roxas said. It was justified. People should remember that Friday’s activity is not a testimonial dinner or an inspirational talk. It’s a protest demonstrating the anger of the majority of the Filipino people of moves to extend some greedy people in power beyond their constitutional terms. With the number of abuses this administration has committed, twisting the laws, a policy of lying, cheating and corruption that even the most reserved people cannot stomach all of these anymore. The emotions are high so the “putang ina” calling is very appropriate.
Let us remember that the curse was intended for the Cha-Cha that the administration is pushing, not Gloria.

So, what if it was not Senator Roxas who made that cursing speech? Slap Happy makes a good point here:
But believe me, if that was the typical Juan Dela Cruz who made the speech,the one who has been receiving the tail end of all this corruption, bankcruptcy, hunger and poverty; he'd end up saying far more worse cuss words than Putang ina.
And one thing that has been also proven that Senator Roxas will never be, if ever he runs for President in 2010, the candidate of the administration. He has already broke ties with Gloria after his agressive speech. This was what the Midfield blog said:
Having worked with the good senator when he was at the DTI, your Midfielder feels that the net resulkt is now Mar has fully severed any remaining invisibly umbilimcal cord with GMA.
Resorting to expletives may not seem to be the most gentlemanly way of cutting that cord but there is now no way to reattach it.
Now, the speculations of Senator Roxas being an administration lapdog-under-an-opposition-costume has been proven wrong.

And by the way, here's a quick note from the Pinoy Observer about these topic:
Senators are human too. 

Roxas' PI word during anti-Cha Cha rally was justified

"Ngayon gusto ni Gloria na baluktutin ang ating Saligang Batas para manatili sa poder... Putang ina, ano ba 'to!"

Those were the words that Senator Mar Roxas said aggressively in front of around 7,000 people who protested against the proposed Charter Change (Cha-Cha) of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through Constituent Assembly.

Yes, the "putang ina" word was quite offensive, but it was justified. Roxas was not able to control his anger of the administration's continued use of Cha-Cha to perpetuate their self-interests. It was a strong-worded speech he made during the rally.

Roxas advocates Cha-Cha through a Constitutional Convention which its delegates would be elected together with the candidates of local and national positions in 2010.

Roxas is already fed up with the administration's ploy to extend Arroyo's term beyond 2010. Yes, Roxas might run for President in 2010. But we should ensure that if we have Cha-Cha, it should be after 2010 and the elections on that date should not be postponed just because of their self-interests.

Roxas' words were the feelings of every Filipino who are also against a Gloria Forever Constitution. He just wasn't able to control his emotions as it were natural.

It's not about the words. It's all about the issue.

Below is the video of Roxas' agressive speech during the anti-Cha-Cha rally in Makati last December 12.

TUCP supports Senator Mar Roxas' Con-Con proposal

Senator Mar Roxas' proposal to have a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con), and not a Constituent Assembly, (Con-Ass) with the delegates elected simultaneously in the 2010 elections to change the Constitution has already gained the support of the one of the biggest labor organization in the Philippines composed primarily of trade unions, workers' organizations and other groups of workers.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and Senator Roxas support Charter Change (Cha-Cha) but not with Gloria's Con-Ass that would create a Gloria Forever Constitution with Mrs. Arroyo's allies in the House of Representatives maneuvering the amendments to the Constitution.

Below is the article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer about the news:

by Jerome Aning
from Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—A moderate workers’ group on Sunday said it was joining the growing opposition led by civil society and Church-based groups to the renewed drive by allies of President Macapagal-Arroyo to amend the Constitution.

Usually supportive of the administration, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) warned of a popular uprising in the event Congress convenes itself into a constituent assembly (Con-ass) to ram through the changes it wants to make to the Constitution.

One of the fears of the opposing groups is that President Arroyo’s allies in the House of Representatives will push for term extensions for all elected officials among the changes.

"The people are eagerly looking forward to the 2010 presidential election and to a change in government. Exploiting Charter change (Cha-cha) as an excuse to postpone the polls is totally unacceptable," said TUCP secretary general Ernesto Herrera in a statement.

Herrera, a former senator, said postponing the elections would frustrate the people’s hopes for change and could drive them to the streets in an instant.

He said the TUCP supported Sen. Mar Roxas’ proposal for a constitutional convention (Con-con) whose delegates would be elected during the 2010 national polls.

Herrera urged Congress to focus instead from now until 2010 on passing new laws to stimulate the economy, save jobs and provide gainful employment to overseas Filipino workers displaced by the global financial crisis.

Citing the history of constitutional change in the country, Herrera said Filipinos “[had been] able to discern self-serving initiatives by politicians.”

He recalled that the 5th Congress convened itself into a constituent assembly from April 1966 to March 1967 to amend the 1935 Constitution.

In the subsequent plebiscite to ratify the amendments proposed by the assembly, Herrera said the voters rejected the first two resolutions that sought to increase the membership of the House and to allow congressmen to run for delegate to the 1971 constitutional convention.

He said the voters ratified only the third resolution which called for a Con-con.

Mar Roxas 2010 Blogger joins the Blog Prayer Brigade

Heavenly Father, as we turn a new chapter in our history from a divisive and polarizing government, we ask for your guidance and wisdom as we choose our next leader in May 10, 2010. A leader who is admired not only of his charisma and wit, but also of his integrity and sincerity.

Keep us away from violence, apathy and corruption.

Guide the people who want to perpetuate the term of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and remove their term limits in pursuit of their own political interests.

Help us in making this country once again the shining beacon in this part of the world.

This we ask, in your name.


I, Kevin Ray N. Chua, support the cause of the Blog Prayer Brigade for the election of the Future President of the Republic of the Philippines and I do solemnly promise to recite the prayer, which I wrote, in my own convenient time and regularly as possible until the 2010 Presidential Election commences. Let it be written, let it be done.

Copy these rules including the logo above and paste in on your blog as is:

1. Write a short, sincere and meaningful prayer, (in your own words and according to the customs of your religious affiliation) about asking God in guiding our country and fellowmen in choosing the right candidate to vote for in the coming 2010 Philippine Presidential Elections. It can be in your own vernacular, and can be short and long as you please. Remember, the goal of the prayer is not only for Peaceful Election but most of all “for the guidance of choosing the right Presidential candidate to vote in the election

2. Publish the prayer for everyone to Read in your blog.

3. Go to the Blog Prayer Brigade Main Page which is located here, and get one of the badges or banners for the brigade. Place the badge or banner in your Sidebar until the 2010 Presidential Elections commence.

4. Make an oath by filling the blank below with your handle/or name
I, _____________________(name) support the cause of the Blog Prayer Brigade for the election of the Future President of the Republic of the Philippines and I do solemnly promise to recite the prayer, which I wrote, in my own convenient time and regularly as possible until the 2010 Presidential Election commences. Let it be written, let it be done.
5. Tag at least 7 Pinoy bloggers you know who haven’t done this before so that the prayer will spread wherever there is a pinoy blogger present.

6. Keep you promise of praying for the Presidential Election so that God may guide us in choosing the right leader for our country.

7. In January 2010, we will gather all the names and prayers of each participants and publish all their prayers in one Blog. We will also feature in the blog the most beautiful prayer ever composed in this project.

————–COPY ENDS HERE————–
Now, I’m tagging Jerry, Janette, Tonyo, Arbet, Noemi, Xerxes and Mark.

Friday, December 5, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Music Picks' 12 Days of Christmas, 12 Days of Giveaways promo

Music Picks 12 Days of Christmas, 12 Days of Giveaways promo officialy starts today. As a small way of thanking the blog's loyal readers, visitors, and friends, they are giving away gifts, prizes, freebies, presents, or whatever you call them for twelve straight days. And, to make it a bit exciting, the blogger won’t reveal the prizes until the day he has to give them away. Sounds exciting!

Just a clue, most are music-related stuff (CDs will absolutely be on the list) but the blogger will be including other good stuff as well which he believe winners will surely enjoy. But of course, you have to pre-qualify to have the chance to win.

So how to pre-qualify? You have three choices :

A) Subscribe through e-mail (FREE) by filling out the blog's e-mail subscription form.
B) Or, make a blog post (be it in multiply, friendster, wordpress, etc. just like this one) about the contest and put as a link and label it as Music News Philippines or Music Blog Philippines
C) Do both (subscribe and make a blog post). This will double your entry as well, so more chance to win.

Once you are done, leave a comment on this post including your Name, E-mail and link of your blog entry. Existing e-mail subscribers are automatically pre-qualified.

Pre-qualification will be from December 3-19 and everyone who made it to the cut-off will receive notification and updates via e-mail about the prizes to be given away and the mechanics on how to win them.

The contest will run daily from December 20-31 and all those who pre-qualify have the chance to win. There might be several mechanics but of course, the blogger will try to come up with those which participants will enjoy.

Anyone with local address in the Philippines can join. And of course, prizes will be delivered anywhere within the country.

For questions, leave a comment below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 | posted in , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Roxas to join anti-Cha-Cha protests; Bobit Avila supports Roxas' Con-Con proposal

Senator Mar Roxas on Tuesday again reiterated he would do everything to stop an alleged "Gloria Forever" plot including joining protest activities in the streets.

We must support him in saying NO to a Charter Change (Cha-Cha) that would give us a "Gloria Forever" constitution.

Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's allies in the House are railroading a Cha-Cha through Constituent Assembly, wherein the Congress formally convenes to propose amendments or revisions to the 1987 constitution; and under Article XVII of the Constitution of the Philippines, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members. The Supreme Court has not yet gave a jurisprudence on whether the Senate and the House of Representatives would be voting jointly or voting separately. If voting jointly, then the Senators would be easily defeated by their fellow solons while voting separately would give a balance of voice between the two chambers.

Senator Roxas and the Liberal Party has reiterated their rejection of convening Congress into a Constituent Assembly and instead called for the holding of a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) in 2010.

Under Article XVII, Sec.3 of the Constitution of the Philippines: “The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.” The voters would be electing a set of delegates from the best and the brightest to draft a new Constitution with less or even without political compromise.

Senator Roxas and I share the same opinion. I have been a long-time advocate of Cha-Cha through Con-Con for it is more apolitical that Con-Ass wherein we have Congressmen and Senators that have the tendency to give in to their political interests.

This proposal, which was also pushed by Senator Richard Gordon, earned the support by one of Cebu's respected columnist in the Freeman and in the Philippine Star Valeriano "Bobit" Avila. I read today his column in the Freeman when he was saying that Cha-Cha has now three (3) support groups.

Please do help us STOP the Gloria Forever Constitution. We don't want to dance the Cha-Cha with Gloria.

Click here to view the Liberal Party's newspaper ad about the Gloria Forever Constitution.

Holiday Blow Out-Giveaways by a Pinay Blogger

Holiday Blow Out-Giveaways

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Tis the season, Musing of A Pinay Blogger with her contest sponsors are spreading the holiday cheer by giving away the following:

1st Prize
2nd Prize
3rd Prize
4th Prize
5th Prize
6th Prize
7th Prize
8th Prize
9th Prize
10th Prize
I suggest you should really participate in this contest. It's very easy. To know more about this contest like "How to Participate?" or any other things, please visit this link.
Good luck!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008 | posted in , , | 3 comments [ More ]

LP calls for Constitutional Convention in 2010; Says no to "Gloria Forever" Constitution

The Liberal Party will oppose by all means the attempts to change the Constitution and perpetuate the wrongdoings of the present administration, its President Senator Mar Roxas said today.

To counter the ongoing moves in the House by allies of the Arroyo Administration to push a "Gloria Forever" Constitution, LP senators and congressmen will file separate bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives calling for a constitutional convention to be elected in the 2010 national elections, Roxas said.
"Kitang-kita natin sa pagpilit nitong Cha-Cha sa mababang kapulungan na ang gusto ng ating kababayan ay binalewala para lang dito sa 'Gloria Forever' na Saligang Batas (We can see that by forcing Cha-Cha in the lower House that the will of our people has been ignored for this 'Gloria Forever' Constitution)," he said, referring to attempts in the House of Representatives to railroad amendments to the Constitution that would remove term limits for the incumbent President.

"Maski ilang congressman pa ang sumuporta sa Cha-Cha ay kailangan pa rin ang hiwalay na boto ng Senado rito dahil ito ang demokratikong proseso natin (No matter how many congressmen support Cha-Cha, a separate vote by the Senate is still needed, because this is our democratic process)," he said.
The Ilonggo senator said that the government should prioritize helping the people during the global economic crisis, whose effects have yet to be fully felt in the country.
"Mas lalo pang mahihirapan ang taong bayan, at mas maraming mawawalan ng trabaho, kung hindi tumigil itong pagwasak sa ating demokrasya at ekonomiya (Our people are going to experience even greater hardships, and more will lose their jobs, if the destruction of our democracy and economy does not stop)," he said.
Roxas maintained that if a constituent assembly is to be convened, this should be voted on separately by the House and Senate. However, the Liberal Party will push for a constitutional convention consisting of duly elected delegates in 2010.
"Kung papalitan ang Saligang Batas, ay hindi dapat makinabang ang mga kasalukuyang opisyal. Kaya tinutulak ng Partido Liberal ang isang constitutional convention, na ang miyembro ay pipiliin kasabay ng halalan ng 2010 (If we are to change our Constitution, the present officials should not benefit. That is why the Liberal Party is pushing a constitutional convention, whose members will be chosen at the same time as the 2010 elections)," he said.

No to a "Gloria Forever Constitution"!

The Arroyo Administration has alienated most of the nation because of its failure to live up to its social contract with the Filipino people to provide the country with good governance, Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas said this week.

And forcing the people to accept a “Gloria Forever Constitution” will backfire and condemn the Arroyo Administration as history’s most power-hungry and inept government, Roxas warned in a speech during the week before the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines.

This is the reason why Filipinos eagerly await the elections in 2010 rather than the impending Charter Change moves in Congress by President Arroyo’s allies who want a “Gloria Forever Constitution,” Roxas said.
We have a social contract … However, that contract is now broken. Napunit na ang kasunduang iyon. That social contract is so broken that is why so many of our kababayans feel alienated from general society and from their government, that is why so many of our youth feel detached from what is happening here in our country,” he added.
He said that instead of engaging in programs to cater to the “real” needs of the people, “the government is busy being corrupt.”
Ang gobyerno napakalaki ng kinokolekta sa ating lahat. Tapos ano nakikita natin? Iyong mga heneral nasa Europa namimili ng mamahaling relos. Itong fertilizer, imbes na fertilizer para sa palay at mais, fertilizer para sa orchids at sa foliage ang binili, overpriced na hindi pa nakarating. Iyong kontrata sa NBN-ZTE na $300million, supposed to be iwa-wire up ang bansa, napakaganda ng propaganda. Pero sa katotohanan, isang government intercom system lang pala ito,” he said.
Roxas also bewailed the government’s failure to prepare for the effects of the US-led global financial meltdown, which is slowly creeping into the Asian economy.
What is our government doing in the midst of this? Nothing. It is fixated on Chacha. So we wonder, how come the trust ratings of the government and of the leaders are so low? It’s because we have problems and yet those that have been given power to address and fix these problems are not doing so,” he added.
The Ilonggo senator said Filipinos could contribute in reforming the government by participating in the 2010 national elections.

He said voters should choose someone who has a good track record, someone sincerely interested in helping the people, and someone who has a vision for the country.
Sa darating na halalan, may pagkakataon ang sambayanan na mamili ng tamang lider. Ang lider na tapat, matuwid, ang lider na hindi mangungurakot, ang lider na may plano para sa ating bansa at ang may kakayahan para isakatuparan ang plano na iyon. Iyan ang kagandahan ng demokrasya kasi masama man ang sitwasyon natin pero regular tayo nabibigyan ng pagkakataon na mamili ng bago,” he said.

The Making of the Education President

Senator Mar Roxas' Senate Office just forwarded to me this article in PDF format about "The Making of the Education President" by Carlos Valarao. To give you an overview about the article, it talks about how the so-called "presidentiables" namely Senator Manny Villar and Senator Roxas have performed in the aspect of education legislation. And guess who won!

Below is the article which I uploaded in Scribd for easy reading:
Click here to read the article via Scribd. If it doesn't display, be sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your computer.

Don't hesitate to share your views or comments about the article. Feel free to post your comment on this post.

Thursday, November 27, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Register to Vote for the 2010 Elections!

I'm just reposting this post from the blog of the Commission on Elections-Education and Information Department called "BagongBotante.Ph"

I urge everyone especially those new voters like me to heed my call and register to vote for the upcoming 2010 elections. After all, we need to have a say on how our government should work and who should lead it. We have witnessed on how the US Election was successfully conducted with President-elect Barack Obama occupying the White House in just a matter of weeks from now.

Here's the post:

Using biometrics technology
COMELEC to resume continuing registration of voters December 2

The Commission on Elections announced today that the continuing registration of voters in all areas nationwide, except in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), shall resume beginning December 2, 2008 to December 15, 2009.

In Resolution No. 8514 promulgated November 12, 2008, the COMELEC en banc ruled to adopt the use of biometrics technology for the purpose of “establishing a clean, complete, permanent and updated list of voters.”

“Applications for registration, transfer of registration records, reactivation and changes/corrections of entries in the registration records/inclusion of registration records/reinstatement of name in the list of voters, shall be personally filed beginning December 2, 2008 to December 15, 2009 at the Office of the Election Officer (OEO) of the district/city/municipality where the applicant resides from Monday to Friday, during regular office hours at 8:00 o’clock AM to 5:00 o’clock PM,” the resolution stated.

The COMELEC will be deploying one (1) Data Capturing Machine in every Office of the City/Municipal Election Officer to facilitate the registration.

The continued use of biometrics technology in the registration process proves that the Commission is determined to purge the voters list,” says COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez, adding that this move is also part of the poll body’s efforts to ensure the success of the 2010 national and local elections.

Jimenez said any Filipino citizen who is at least eighteen years of age and a resident of the Philippines for at least one (1) year, and in the place where he proposes to vote, for at least six (6) months on or before the day of the election; may register to vote. Deactivated voters may also apply for reactivation of their registration records during the period prescribed, he said.

Filing of applications for registration shall be done personally at the Office of the Election Officer. Applicants will be required to present valid identification cards such as employee’s ID; postal ID; Students ID; Senior Citizen’s ID; Drivers License; NBI/PNP clearance; Passport; SSS/GSIS ID; IBP ID, PRC license etc. ###

I urge everyone to register to vote! Your support for Mar Roxas for President in 2010 would become useless if you, especially new voters like me, would not register to vote.

Remember, the registration of voters will be on December 2, 2008 to December 15, 2009 from Mondays to Fridays at 8:00 o’clock AM to 5:00 o’clock PM.

Yes, the deadline is still almost a year to go, but why wait for the most busy days of the registration? Register to vote early to prevent hassle.

Don't forget to share to me also your experience during the registration. If you have questions about the process, feel free to comment on this post and I'll address it. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 | posted in , , , , , | 4 comments [ More ]

To Mr. Erin Azarraga on Senator Mar Roxas' stand on Charter Change

This afternoon, I was googling (searching online) on the latest news about US President-elect Barack Obama's upcoming Cabinet selection. Then, as I was surfing in Google News about Senator Mar Roxas, I saw this article from the online edition of The News Today, a daily newspaper based in Iloilo City and circulated in the entire Western Visayas region.

A businessman from Pontevedra, Capiz named Erin Azarraga, the son of the late Atty. Edward Azarraga, urged Roxas to show his stand whether he is for or against the charter change that Malacañang is pushing.

Azarraga said that many senators seem to be "pro Charter Change" as they were instrumental to the ouster of former Senate President Manny Villar who was replaced by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, a Malacañang ally.

I just can't get the connection on why the removal of Villar from the Senate Presidency and with Enrile on the helm would spell as a "pro Charter Change" Senate. After all, there's no such thing as "permanent" Senate President. Everyday, a Senate President will be under a threat of removal if he doesn't have the support of the majority anymore unlike in the US wherein the Vice President is also the Senate President. Another point that I have to make is that even if Enrile is the boss, the majority would still win and they are AGAINST Cha-Cha.

In my own opinion, Roxas has been AGAINST the administration's blatant attempt to remain in power beyond 2010 through Charter Change (Cha-Cha) and he has been consistent with that message. He also said that it is not a priority.

Roxas has also vowed to lead the fight against the administration's Cha-Cha. He said that it was "clearly a conspiracy in pushing for Cha-Cha, to perpetuate this administration of corruption, stealing, and lack of accountability."

It was also a clear indication that the President wants to stay in power as the Cha-Cha train is being led by her son Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo in the House of Representatives.

That slip of tongue by Press Secretary Jesus Dureza in his impromptu opening prayer at last Tuesday's (Nov. 18) Cabinet meeting in Malacañang was another clear indication.

The results of the latest IBON nationwide survey conducted last October 1 to 10 shows that majority of Filipinos continue to reject moves to amend the Constitution a.k.a. Cha-Cha and I'm glad to know that Roxas is with them!

I assure Mr. Erin Azarraga that Roxas is AGAINST Gloria's Cha-Cha. But if it is the Cha-Cha of the people, he wouldn't.

How about you? Are you FOR or AGAINST the administration's Cha-Cha? Do you believe that Mrs. Arroyo is not behind the chew-chew Cha-Cha train? I want to hear from you.

Roxas to BIR: Don't be a scrooge, give full-year tax relief

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today called on the Department of Finance not to be a Scrooge and heed minimum wage workers’ pleas for a full-year income tax exemption, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9504.
Dapat lang na ibigay na itong tax exemption. Kahit kakarampot ay maaaring magdagdag ng kaunti para sa darating na Pasko para sa kanila (This tax exemption must be given now. Even if it’s a small amount, it would help in the expenses this coming Christmas),” he said.
The Cebu city council issued a resolution last month urging the DoF and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to retroactively implement the tax exemption for minimum wage earners, a copy of which was furnished to Roxas, who was commended for pushing the tax relief measure..
In these hard times, we ought to do everything we can to be able to make life better and easier for our people,” Roxas said in a reply addressed to Hilario Davide III, Acting Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of the City of Cebu.

Kapag ‘di naibigay ang full-year tax exemption, P5,000 din ang kinuha ng gobyerno sa mga minimum wage earners. Maliit pero kinuha pa rin ng gobyerno (If the tax exemption will not be given, the government’s taking P5,000 away from the minimum wage earners. A small amount, but the government still took it),” he said.
Roxas has already filed with the Supreme Court a petition to compel the DoF and BIR to exempt minimum wage earners from taxes for income earned since January 1 of this year, and not only since July 6, which is when the law was made effective. He noted that the Supreme Court had previously ruled in Umali vs. Estanislao that an older tax exemption law, RA 7167, covered income taxes from the start of 1991, even though this became effective only on January 30, 1992.

Manny Villar out, Juan Ponce Enrile in

Last Monday, Senator Manny Villar was ousted as Senate President by a vote of 14-0 and was replaced by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

The "surprise Senate coup" came to me as a surprise as I was not able to watch TV and read news articles online. I only knew about it yesterday.

The following Senators voted to oust Villar. The ones with an asterisk sign (*) indicate that they voted for Villar as Senate President last July 2007, otherwise they voted for Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.:

1. Loren Legarda
2. Ping Lacson
3. Jamby Madrigal
4. Mar Roxas
5. Rodolfo Biazon
6. Chiz Escudero*
7. Jinggoy Estrada*
8. Bong Revilla*
9. Edgardo Angara*
10. Richard Gordon*
11. Migz Zubiri*
12. Lito Lapid*
13. Gregorio Honasan*
14. Juan Ponce Enrile*

Senators Joker Arroyo*, Benigno Aquino III, Alan Peter Cayetano*, Pia Cayetano*, Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan* and Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.* abstained from voting.

Let's face it, Senator Mar Roxas voted to oust Villar from the Senate Presidency. It was already expected that he would do it because last July 2007, he voted for Pimentel, Jr. and not for Villar as Senate President.

Villar also has some problems to face like the C-5 Road Project Scandal which he should explain. He should go under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee and deliberate whether he has committed wrongdoings or Lacson is just politicking.

If the clamor to oust Villar from the Senate Presidency was only defended by Roxas, it might not have been successful. It takes 13 votes to unseat a Senate President. It just shows that majority in the Senate wanted a change of leadership.

I am also expecting that Roxas would keep his Chairmanship in the Senate Committe on Trade and Commerce. His performance has been very good and I see no reason why he should be removed from the position.

Mar Roxas 2010 Blogger featured in Manila Bulletin!

Once again, it was an honor to be interviewed via e-mail by Annalyn Jusay of Manila Bulletin, whom I met during the DigitalFilipino.Com Club and Bloggers Cebu Networking event , after the MagTV and DYAB interview of this blogger.

Before this, I already knew her name when my friend Kuya Jehz was also interviewed in her column "Blog-O-Rama." I told Jehz that time that I was envied of him and he's already a star. But he told me that it was just luck and he was not popular. Asus! :)

Anyways, here's a link of the page so that you can read it online. Share to me your thoughts about the interview!

Roxas disgusted over Euro Generals' violations

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas yesterday expressed disgust over blatant violations of existing laws and executive directives of high-ranking police officials linked to the “Euro Generals” fund mess.

Nakakahiya ang ating kapulisan. Tahasan ang pagsuway nila sa mga batas na ginawa ng Kongreso. Hindi na sila naawa sa ating mga kababayan, pati ang perang dapat sana ay gagamitin para sa pagbili lamang ng mga intelligence equipment ay pinagplanuhan pa nilang lustayin sa Russia (Shame on our police force. They blatantly disobeyed the laws Congress crafted. They disregarded the people’s welfare, they planned to squander in Russia the funds that are to be used for the purchase of intelligence equipment),” he said during Saturday’s joint committee hearing into the scandal.
Dela Paz and other ranking police officials, including PNP chief Dir. Gen. Jesus Versoza, appeared before senators on Saturday to testify on the source of the 105,000 euros confiscated by Russian authorities from Dela Paz and his wife prior their departure after attending an Interpol meeting in Moscow.

The Ilonggo senator said the release of the 105,000 euros from the PNP’s intelligence and confidential funds was tainted with irregularity and disregard of the law, especially after Supt. Samuel Rodriguez testified that he had warned his superior, Finance Service director Chief Supt. Orlando Pestaño, that such a release violated the presidential directive governing the disbursement and expenditure of intelligence and confidential funds.
Mahirap tanggapin ang sinasabi mo.. Sinasabi mong hindi mangyayari itong iskandalong ito dahil sumusunod kayo sa reglamento. Pero mula kaninang umaga pa, lahat ng direktiba magmula sa BSP, administrative order, executive order, PNP, Napolcom, lahat ay nilabag po ninyo eh (It’s hard to accept your statement. You said this scandal shouldn’t have happened because you followed the regulations. But since this morning, we’ve found out that you’ve violated all directives from the BSP, administrative orders, executive orders, PNP and Napolcom regulations),” he rebuked Dela Paz when the latter insisted there was nothing irregular with the release of the P6.9 million (105,000 euros) from the intelligence fund to him.

Pati junior officers na nagpaalala sa inyo na mali ito, hindi ninyo pinansin. Ang sabi pa ninyo, ‘Ako na ang bahala’. Mahirap tanggapin ang sinasabi mo. Hindi talaga katanggap-tanggap ang sinasabi ninyo ngayon na biglaan ay susunod na kayo sa reglamento sa kabila ng sunod-sunod ninyong paglabag sa batas (You even ignored the warning of your junior officers that this is wrong. You even said ‘I’ll take care of it.’ It’s hard to accept what you’re saying that you’re now going to follow the regulations after repeatedly violating the law),” he stressed.

Mar Roxas 2010 Blogger featured in MagTV!

Watch this one as I was featured in ABS-CBN Cebu's MagTV last Sunday together with our group, the Cebu Bloggers Society. Together with me were Rodel, X, Clarence and Jerry.

Roxas: Esperat decision start of Ombudsman cover-up

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas rebuked Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez Saturday for dismissing the graft charges filed against former DA Undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante by slain journalist Marlene Esperat in 2003, as he expressed concern this could be the start of an official whitewash of the anomalies in the agriculture sector in the Arroyo Administration.
Ang kapalit ng pagtataksil na ito ay ang buhay ni Esperat (The price for this betrayal is Esperat’s life),” Roxas said regarding the Ombudsman’s decision this week to junk the graft charges filed by Esperat in 2003 against Bolante, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and other DA officials in relation to a P432-million fertilizer fund that never reached farmer-beneficiaries.
He said Gutierrez has proven again public perceptions she has become a willing tool of Malacañang to cover up irregularities in the Arroyo Administration, adding he is concerned the Ombudsman will likely throw out the plunder charges against Bolante and other Arroyo officials involved in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam in 2004.
By junking the Esperat case, Ombudsman Gutierrez has again betrayed her constitutional duty to protect the people. Do we need more lives to be sacrificed before the corruption in this administration is brought to justice?” Roxas asked.
The Ilonggo senator has warned that Ombudsman Gutierrez’ inaction on major graft cases involving officials close to the First Family and their allies will intensify calls for leadership change in the government similar to the call made recently by five bishops led by CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.

He expressed concern that the Ombudsman found no reason to prosecute those involved in the fund diversion despite Esperat’s sacrifice of her life.

Esperat was a former journalist who filed graft charges as resident Ombudsman of the DA’s Central Mindanao office against Yap, Bolante and other DA officials for their alleged involvement in a P432-million fertilizer fund diversion scheme in 2003. She was gunned down before her children in their home in Sultan Kudarat.
Ang mensahe nito sa ating lahat ay wala na tayong aasahan pang hustisya sa ilalim ng administrasyon na ito (The message here is that we should not expect justice under this administration),” Roxas said.

Roxas on Cheaper med law IRR: Now real work begins

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas said yesterday that the real work begins to bring down medicine prices, after the signing last Tuesday of the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act No. 9502, the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act.
One important challenge before us is to constantly keep vested interests at bay. We succeeded this far in passing the law and laying the ground for initial implementation. Those who wish to stop us will continue to find ways to keep the unjust situation of high-priced medicines,” stressed Roxas, principal author of the law, as he commended the government officials and civil society groups who were involved in the crafting of the rules for the Cheaper Medicines Law and having it signed on time.
Roxas said that for the law to have real meaningful impact in its first implementation stages, the government should allocate enough funds for it, particularly for the parallel importation of affordable medicines. He said, as part of his proposal to realign P100 billion of the 2009 budget, that at least P10 billion should be allotted on top of the budgets of various agencies implementing the Cheaper Medicines Act.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce also said he would regularly convene the Quality Affordable Medicines Oversight Committee to check how the agencies are going about the implementation of the law.

In particular, the Ilonggo senator said the Bureau of Food and Drugs must “rise to the occasion” in ensuring the quality of medicines, after the scare of melamine in food products the past two months.
Mas malaki na ang pera na hawak ng BFAD para sa pagsiguro na ligtas ang gamot sa mga masasamang bagay. Kailangan maipakita ng BFAD ang mga pagbabago na sinisimulan na nila sa ahensya. Hinding-hindi na pwede itong business-as-usual na ugali pagdating sa kaligtasan ng ating taumbayan (The BFAD now holds more money to ensure the safety of medicines. The BFAD must show their planned changes within the agency. We can no longer have the business-as-usual attitude when it comes to the safety of our people),” he said.
The Cheaper Medicines Act, among other things, seeks to:

* Strengthen competition by amending the Intellectual Property Code to:

     o Allow the “parallel importation” of patented medicines from other countries where these are more affordable;
     o Prohibit the grant of new patents based only on newly-discovered uses of a known drug substance;
     o Allow local generics firms to test, produce and register their generic versions of patented drugs, so these can be sold right upon patent expiry (“early working principle”); and
     o Allow the government use of patented drugs when the public interest is at stake.

* Give the President the power to impose price ceilings on various drugs, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of health. These drugs include those for chronic illnesses, for prevention of diseases, and those in the Philippine National Drug Formulary (PNDF) Essential Drug List;

* Strengthen the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) in order for it to ensure the safety of medicines, by allowing it to retain its revenues--roughly P150 million every year--for upgrading of its facilities, equipment and human resources; and

* Ensure the availability of affordable medicines by requiring drug outlets to carry a variety of brands for each drug—including those sourced from “parallel importation”—to give the consumer more choices.

Mar Roxas 2010 Blogger attends US Election Watch 2008 in Cebu City

The Cebu Bloggers Society (CBS), which I co-founded, joined the US Election Watch 2008, organized by the US Embassy in the Philippines, in SM City Cebu's Northwing yesterday. Before I went to the event venue, I was already monitoring the US election results on CNN as early as 7AM and by past 8AM, CNN already projected that Kentucky went to (John) McCain's column while Vermont was for (Barack) Obama's.

After that projection, I hurriedly went out of the house and rode a jeepney to the event venue. When I arrived 30 minutes later, I registered (as group of the media) and got supporter pins with some election materials. I asked some people in the venue if any state was already called for any of the candidate after the Kentucky and Vermont in case I missed it, and luckily, none yet. I was glued to the large TV projector of CNN and I watched as the results came in. Then, I also accomodated my colleagues in the CBS.

The CBS members who were there included yours truly, Aldwin, AJ, X, Empress, Athan, Jerry, Clarence, Sinjin, Ethelbert, Zigfred, and Iggy (who didn't bother to enter the venue after the event was done). I never expected how curious and how politically-involved these bloggers are despite there different niches. Only of few of us dare to discuss topics like politics and elections but their participation was worthy of emulation.

Food was overflowing, information was all around and VIPs were in every corner. Finally I met GMA Cebu's Bobby Nalzaro, Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes, Cebu City North District Rep. Raul del Mar, Cebu City Councilor Jack Jakosalem and lot more!

When CBS members try calling me the "Mar Roxas 2010 blogger" while I was speaking with Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes, he asked me if it was for real. I told him "Yes Mayor." He then told me that he also supports Mar Roxas for President in 2010, which made me happy, and cited his ability to serve the country and the people. He told me that he would back Senator Mar Roxas if ever he runs for President and hope he does.

During the event, I won a gift pack for the raffle and an imported brand of coffee for the trivia. The trivia was quite simple: "Who was the first female Vice-President nominee...?" I forgot the entire text of the question but I was sure of my answer. It was Geraldine Ferraro, who was the running-mate of Democratic Presidential candidate Walter Mondale in 1984.

On the other hand, CBS members also participated in the mock polls conducted during the event using any of the 3 electronic election devices. I was envied by how fast the election results came in. The two election devices were mostly like our "lotto" system wherein you shade a circle or complete an arrow to vote for a candidate. After that, you slide it on a machine and tadaa! You're done voting! As easy as that with no dirty ink on your finger. I used the touch-screen device which was more efficient I think. With just pressing on the small circles on that candidate of your choice, you can vote in less than 1 minute! I'm looking forward that these machines would be used also in the upcoming 2010 elections here in the Philippines.

At around 12 Noon, all of us broke into excitement as CNN declares that Senator Barack Obama won the US Presidency. All of us applaused the historic moment and couldn't help having some goosebumps as America bestows its support to the first African-American leader of the world's "still" superpower. A few minutes later, Senator John McCain conceded to President-elect Obama and offered his cooperation. This is what I admire in US politics, that when someone clearly loses, he doesn't demand for a recount. He instead demands for cooperation with the winning candidate. Although their passions have separated, they're one as Americans. Let's hope that Filipino politicians would also embrace that idea.

Let's hope that Senator Roxas, if ever he decides to run for President, would learn the lessons on how Obama ran his campaign which was the best political organization in the entire US history. And also to COMELEC, let's automate the 2010 elections and hope that they can realize how disappointed our people with the electoral process.

Congratulations to US President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle and kids Malia and Sasha!

Photos courtesy of Clarence.

The Freeman's editorial about Sen. Roxas

Good day everyone! I'll share to you yesterday's editorial of Cebu's The Freeman newspaper about Senator Mar Roxas call to review the oil firm's books.

Senator Mar Roxas, noting that world oil prices have dropped drastically and are now selling at below $70 per barrel, is demanding an accounting by oil companies operating in the Philippines.

This is because, as Roxas noted, the price cuts being implemented by these oil firms are not in proportion with the levels to which world oil prices have dropped. In other words, while these oil firms are cutting back on their prices, they are not cutting back enough.

Roxas, who is the chairman of the Senate committee on trade and commerce, wants these oil firms to open their books so the public can see if they are not being made suckers by greedy corporate giants.

But Roxas should not stop with a simple demand for transparency. He should initiate a probe of these companies to determine if sanctions are not in order for their making hay out of a critical situation at public expense.

It is bad enough that these oil giants grab all they can, it is worse when they do it with the thought that we cannot see through their machinations. Pretending to give P1 or P2 cutbacks when they can give P5 is corporate con artistry and must not go unpunished.

Certainly, Roxas is in a position to do something about this abusive and oppressive corporate policies. And it is better to find legislative measures to correct the situation than wait for people to reach breaking point and force them to take matters into their own hands.

And while Roxas is at it, maybe he could also try to find out what is taking the LTFRB so long to order a reduction in transport fares when, for the same reason that world oil prices have been going down steadily, transport fares should have also been cut long ago.

Roxas must remember that transport fares were allowed to go up for one reason only — that oil prices were going up. Now that oil prices have gone down, it is wrong for drivers to start invoking other factors such as prices of rice, bread, etc.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 1 comments [ More ]

DYAB's Jun Tariman features Cebu Bloggers Society

Yesterday, I believe, was the start of the Cebu Bloggers Society's (CBS) "getting-to-know-you" with the public.

We were in Jun Tariman's Hi-Tech Ta Bai program to promote blogging to the people and also our group. It was a free flowing discussion with topics about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to blogging tidbits. Together with me totalk about those things were Clarence, Empress, X, Sinjin and Zenia.

I just hope that there would be more venues that our group will be exploring to promote blogging and build a strong blogging organization here in Cebu. By the way, below is a picture of the CBS members who went for the interview with Jun Tariman.

Photo courtesy of X

Monday, November 3, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Cotabato's SP supports Senator Roxas' draft bill

The draft Mindanao Land Conflict Settlement Commission of Senator Mar Roxas immediately garnered the full support of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of North Cotabato.

In Resolution No. 469, the North Cotabato legislators stated that the establishment of the commission is a concrete, culture-sensitive mechanism to address this problem (land dispute) and eventually pave the way for peaceful co-existence among Muslims, Christians and the Tribal people in Mindanao.

However, the SP members recommended an amendment to Section 8 of Senator Roxas bill which will establish the headquarters in Kidapawan City instead of Davao City.

Representatives Emmylou Mendoza and Bernardo Pinol. Jr of the first and second districts of Cotabato province respectively are requested to file similar bill in the lower house.

Roxas to Versoza: Don't cover up for De La Paz

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas on Saturday said Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Versoza has muddled further the "Euro general" controversy with his explanation that the 105,000 euros from retired PNP comptroller Deputy Director General Eliseo de La Paz in Moscow came from the PNP's intelligence funds.

Roxas said Versoza, having assumed his position as PNP chief only recently, should not allow himself to be used to cover up for De la Paz.
"The people are waiting for the PNP Chief to be a vanguard of the truth, not the protector of falsehood." he said.

"Itong pagpapaliwanag nila ay lalong lumabo ang isyu. Imbes na luminaw ay nadagdagan lang ang mga tanong (This explanation only muddled the picture further. Instead of clarifying it, the explanation only opened more questions)," the senator said.
Roxas branded Versoza's explanation as a "crude attempt to silence the Senate investigation" and proves his point on the "extremely cavalier attitude" of the PNP leadership on the misuse of public funds.
"Ganito ba sila bumili ng mga armas at intelligence equipment? Cash? Walang bidding? Ganito ba na ang mga mga bumibili ng mga mahalagang gamit ng PNP ay isang retiradong opisyal? (Is this how they buy arms and intelligence equipment? Cash? No bidding? Do they really allow a retired official to buy sensitive equipment?), Roxas asked.

"Lalo lang silang nababaon dito. Sa paggamit nila ng intelligence funds na dahilan para kay De la Paz ay isinasabit pa nila pati ang Pangulo (They are only burying themselves with this explanation. In using the excuse that De la Paz' money came from the intelligence funds, they have dragged the President into this mess)," Roxas said.
Roxas pointed out that regulations issued by the Commission on Audit required presidential approval of the use of all intelligence fund, as this fund is not subject to COA audit and can be looked into only by the Chairman of the COA itself.
"May kasabihan na sa bibig talaga nahuhuli ang isda. Kaya nanawagan ako kay General Versoza na huwag nang magpagamit sa mga nasa likod nitong isyu na ito at huwag nang mangdamay ng iba pa (We have a saying that the fish is caught by its mouth. That's why I'm calling on General Versoza not to allow himself to be used by those behind this mess and not to involve others anymore)," he said.
He said this is prime reason why he and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee investigating the issue, agreed to reject Versoza's request that an executive session be called in the next hearing of the Senate on the issue.
"I disagree with the request of PNP Chief Director General Jesus Versoza that we hold an executive session in the next hearing of the Senate on this controversy. Any and all information related to this case must be shown and be made known to the public. What is there to hide from the public when it concerns public funds and public time?" he stressed.
He said it was important that the public is duly informed of the circumstances surrounding the controversy involving De La Paz, who was held by Russian authorities for carrying 105,000 Euros (about P7 million) in the hand-carry bag of his wife on their trip back to the Philippines after attending an Interpol meeting in Moscow.
"This incident has severely affected public trust and confidence in the ability of the PNP to enforce the law, especially as it was committed by a high ranking police official in wanton disregard of the guidelines on the use of public funds and restrictions on travel of government officials," he said.
Versoza had written Roxas a letter dated October 24 requesting for an executive session in the next Senate hearing as "necessary because of the security implications of the circumstances surrounding the incident."

Roxas said he would quiz Versoza, Police Superintendent Samuel Rodriguez, disbursing officer for the Directorate for Intelligence, and Police Senior Superintendent Tomas Rentoy, chief of the budget division of the PNP directorate for Comptrollership, who authorized the withdrawal of the funds from the PNP's intelligence fund.

He noted that Section 20 of the 2008 General Appropriations Act specifies that "no amount in this Act shall be released or disbursed for confidential and intelligence activities unless approved by the President of the Philippines or specifically identified and authorized as such confidential or intelligence fund in this Act."

Roxas likewise pointed out that the same provision mandates that "confidential and intelligence funds provided for in the budgets of departments, bureaus, offices or agencies of the national government, including amounts from savings authorized by special provisions to be used for intelligence and counter-intelligence activities, shall be released only upon approval of the President of the Philippines."

He also questioned Versoza's claim that De la Paz was authorized to purchase "intelligence equipment and similar products" as the retired PNP comptroller never headed the PNP Logistics Command and the PNP Intelligence Command.

Digitalizing Cebu in just one night!

"Digitalizing," that's the word!

The DigitalFilipino.Com Club and Bloggers Cebu Networking event held last October 23, sponsored by PAGCOR and organized by Ms. Janette Toral, was a very successful event! No doubts with it!

Around 5PM, I arrived at Figaro in IT Park because that was the assembly area of the Cebu Bloggers Society (CBS). I was there first, and then later CBS members came gradually. I also borrowed Jerry’s laptop because I had to make a new Powerpoint presentation about CBS for the night’s event. I made one in the school but no one had a flash drive! By 6PM, we decided to proceed to the venue and prepare of minds in figuring out where in Watefront Cebu is Teatro Casino. Most of us weren’t familiar of the place. I was glad to know that Francis, who works in the said hotel, guided us to the place. If not for him, we might have kept going up and down, left and right and maybe all around the place.

Upon arriving at the venue, I was surprised to see Orville sitting at the table, whom I expected to miss the event. I called him earlier and he told me that he can’t make it because he’s going home for a vacation to their province. But due to an unexpected event, he came. I also met Annalyn Jusay, whom I also know because of her article featuring and talking about blogs. I made a comment on her blog post about the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards wherein she referred to this blog as the blog of Senator Mar Roxas and clarified her that it’s blog and not of Sen. Roxas’. I told her that it was just a small matter of clarification and it was nice to meet her.

I invited a bunch of people, especially Cebu-based bloggers and even non-bloggers. I’m glad they came! Although there were some who were not able to make it due to fortuitous events, for my part (and probably to Ms. Toral and Winston), the efforts paid off.

Food was overflowing, familiar faces were almost everywhere and people whom I know online but haven’t met them personally, well, there were lots of them. But I had to continue my CBS Powerpoint presentation! It’s not yet done, so I hurried finishing my food. Damn that waiter who took my glass of softdrink. I wasn’t done yet! Anyways, time was running out, so I just didn’t care if it hadn’t animation. It was just a “short” presentation but the information contained on it was worth listening to, promise! Then came the introduction of everyone and when it was my turn, I gave out my best and promoted my blog as well. It was my time to shine!

After Ms. Toral presented the Top 100 Blogs listed in Ratified.Org who had made significant moves in the year 2008, in which this site, the Mar Roxas for President in 2010 blog, was at No. 37, she asked me (and Winston whose blog was in No.50) to share my “secrets” in front to the event’s participants on how I achieved it. It was unexpected and I didn’t prepare for it but I remember quite a few of my words in my interview with Ms. Toral. I told them that I was just simply blog hopping and trying to comment on topics relevant and some irrelevant to my niche. I also emphasized the importance of bloggers attending bloggers’ events so that they can meet other bloggers and have some link love a few days or even hours later. It was quite a hard thing to talk about the achievement of my blog in Ratified.Org because of its partisan tone. I’m blogging about Mar Roxas for President in 2010 and expect that not all might have the same presidential bets in our mind. But I tried to break that barrier by making myself instead of an election/political blogger into a simple student blogger blogging something that someone doesn’t expect to.

Later, I returned in front to present my Powerpoint presentation promoting CBS. Some people were already asking about the group when they saw our t-shirts! I told the audience about the background of the group, shared our meet-up pictures, discussed about the group’s logo and encouraged them to join our group. It was a bit nerve-wrecking moment but I had to overcome it. Many people are listening to my presentation and I have to make it good.

Upon returning to my chair as the talk ended, a few people came to me and talk about CBS matters. I also came across with different people and talked blogging topics. PAGCOR presented an Audio-Visual Presentation about their history and achievements and later, a live band and music filled the event. Then the cam-whores took pictures to almost everyone who came out with their shutters and clicks. They were almost all around!

After the event, Paul and I (although what Paul held was of Atty. Ethelbert) betted on a game in the casino. I had no idea on how it works, but because of Paul's thinking skills on probability and statistics, we won P1,000! Where did that went? We ate pizzas at Da Vinci's in IT Park. I brought home a few leftovers.

So what more can I say? It was a great event and one of the biggest exposure of CBS to Cebu’s professionals on business and of internet. Hope to have another event like this that would foster better relations of bloggers and the Cebuano society. Congratulations to everyone who made the event successful and that includes the attendees.

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