OF BLACK AND WHITE

By: Ben Emata The on-going war in Butig, Lanao del Sur must go on until everyone in the side of the enemy is dead. We must teach the enemies that fighting the government is not only unlawful but an unpardonable crime. And criminals’ place is not anywhere but only behind bars for those who are lucky and below the ground for the unfortunate ones. In war, there is no mercy – – only surrender or die. Score as of November 31 is 61 dead rebels and 20 wounded. AFP soldiers zero death but has some injured soldiers. Cheers for our soldiers. You are the real heroes as defenders of democracy. My admiration and sincere salute. The bandits/rebels in our country have proliferated over the years because we treated them like boys. They are grown up treacherous warriors who should not be allowed to carry guns anywhere. They had inflicted so much damage to our people and they must be stopped outright. Previous administrations showed compassion thus allowing them to grow stronger. The country has spent so much money to resist their advances. We must finish them now and declare victory. If they refuse to surrender but found with guns, shoot them. HIV/AIDS virus in the country is spreading faster than we think. Statistics show some 29 people get infected everyday in the 15 to 29 age group. It is expected a total of 55,000 persons will have the disease at the end of the year. I see the program on this issue has not improved anything. I think the government must have a new approach to, at least, reduce...

THE STRIKING FORCE

By: Ben Emata I made comments about the five police officers in Cagayan de Oro who were thrown to jail for kidnapping, etc. In less than 72 hours, seven police officers in Iligan City were charged with murder. These are on top of the many brutalities committed by government authorities in the Visayas and Luzon. And who is not afraid of these incidents that are taking place, in close frequency, in our country? I wish Pres. Digong focuses his attention to criminality that is lording it out, side be side, with his war on drugs. Many taxpayers are already developing fears when they see police officers around with guns. Of course, I commend police officers who are diligent with their jobs. See how event are prostituted? Latest news revealed that four nuclear submarines of China were seen patrolling the disputed seas – – the Scarborough which has always been part of our territory ever since. This is one error of Pres. Digong who utterly surrendered the area to China when he asked permission for our fishermen to go fishing there. Despite the decision of the UN international tribunal declaring ownership of the place in our favor, we still vow our head to China. Now China, for all purposes, think the disputed seas belong to them. And this is precisely the point I want stressed that China could win a battle against us without even firing a single bullet. I just wonder if Pres. Digong is asking for advice from his cabinet secretaries on issue of great significance. A friend jokingly suggested that the best way to clean the country...

Our choice to continue to divide or heal the nation

Our choice to continue to divide or heal the nation     The country went to sleep Friday surprised, outraged and happy (depending on which side one was standing) that without so much fanfare, former President Ferdinand Marcos finally got his dying wish to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.   The dyed-in-the-wool anti-Marcos were outraged upon knowing that Marcos was already being  laid to his final resting place by  noon of Friday and it was too late to mount massive protest actions to prevent the burial of the former dictator, although protest they still did until the late hour of the day.   Marcos’ supporters and loyalists though had smiles on their faces for at last their idol and their hero has finally occupy the place they thought he deserved to be buried.   Leaders, whether heroes or heels, are always controversial in life and in death.  Although for some their deaths would put an end or closure to the controversies their actions and decision have weaved when they were alive. For Marcos, his decisions in life may have been eclipsed by what happened 28 years after his death.   His burial last Friday elicited descriptions from his critics both in high government positions and even from the citizens who were not even born when EDSA People Power Revolution ended Marcos’ martial law regime and whose knowledge of what it was live u der martial law only came from their parents and from whatever history books could tell them.   The descriptions ranged from Vice Pres. Leni Robredo’s  “like a thief in the night”, to Senator Delima’s “sneaky and actually treacherous”, to Senator Drilon’s “anything but...

WHEN JOURNEY OF LIFE ENDS

By: Ben Emata Former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos was finally buried in the cemetery of heroes. To many people, he may not be a hero but to his family and die hard supporters, he was someone a giant, so closed to their hearts, respect and deserving of honors. A dead man absolutely deserves forgiveness. Marcos may have committed serious blunders as a person and leader, unpardonable crime and anything more but he is not around anymore to ask for kindness and forgiveness. Like everyone else, he was a sinner, perhaps more sinner than some of us but believe me a dead man commits no sin anymore. God will forgive him. Are we capable of maintaining hatred to a person who had long been dead? I wish to reiterate I was a victim of martial law too, a genuine victim unlike others who come just to open their mouth without any basis. When the dictator declared military rule in the country, I became jobless as I shut down my growing newspaper publication. It was Marcos who ordered to curtail press freedom and thousands of men and women working in the fourth estate found themselves without work. Honestly I shed tears because of fear I could not provide the needs of my family and support the welfare of the general public. Behind the numerous accusations of the late dictator, Marcos was a man of pity, love and understanding. When his close friends and top men, namely: Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and then Armed Forces Gen. Fidel Ramos cut off their relationship with him, they got support from the general public. That occasion...

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

By: Ben Emata With the situation around the world where many countries are participating in the race for modern weapons of mass destruction, the Philippines must join the regatta and modernize its armed forces. We should buy modern fighter jets, battleships and even at least one submarine. One cabinet secretary revealed that our country has a lot of money if not stolen. I have been saying this time and again but sad to note, only a handful believed me. I manifested many times that our youngsters do not know how to fight because we did not train them. As a result they indulged in so much of illegal drugs and they became criminals. They rob, they kill and they die. I suggested that military trainings in the secondary schools and college stressing clearly the Philippine Military Training (PMT) and the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) be restored but sadly it seemed nobody heard me. If a battalion of enemies land in our shores, we will be finished in a matter of hours. I even think they do not have to fire a single bullet to hold us by our necks. Some of us maybe able to run to the mountain but a lot others will just raise their hands and everything is over. This is so because we are unprepared even on small scale war. Believe me our country is not poor but much of our assets are in the hands of corrupt public officials. In consonance with Pres.Duterte’s war on drugs where thousands have already been killed, why don’t we also kill the corrupt leaders in the government?...

THE HEAVIER STRIKES

By: Ben Emata Could you believe the United States navy could hardly fire its gun because per ammunition cost $800,000 dollars or nearly a million? It is too expensive to fire, it was reported. Precision guided, it can hit an object of more than 70 miles away. It did not mention what would happen if it hits the target. The big gun is aboard the USS Zumwalt. It plans to acquire 32 of these kind of mighty destroyers. Latest survey revealed more than 92% of the Filipinos like the United States of America than anywhere else in the world. No wonder Pres. Duterte has stopped attacking the USA because he felt he is almost alone and his voice could not be heard in the wilderness. In the first place who is Digong to bring down America from the heart of the Filipinos? The United States, for numerous occasions, has proven its unparalleled friendship with Filipinos. It was a true friend, our protector and liberator. I was one of the victims during the Marcos regime when he declared martial law and ordered all newspapers in the country closed. I had no alternative but to shut down my two-year-old publication which was then getting airborne. To maintain my family, I went up to Claveria town where I performed odd jobs selling medicines into the deep barangays, handling criminal cases of farmers accused of illegally occupying public forests, and everything. Life was unbearable I had to get down to Cagayan de Oro to do strange jobs like selling used cars, transistor radios, sewing machines and even insurance. For eight years we lived...

OF BLACK AND WHITE

By: Ben Emata I cannot see any justification why Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte, should die in the hands of government authorities. He was in custody and inside his cell as an inmate after having been charged of illegal possession of high power rifles and suspected of being a drug lord. As an inmate, he was unarmed, helpless and harmless and he cannot resist the police in a any form of fight. What happened could be just part or continuation of the bloody war against drugs implemented by Pres. Digong Duterte. The story built by the authorities is, pure and simple, unbelievable. It has no basis in truth and in fact. In short, what actually happened was murder. This is also true to the death of Raul Yap, another suspect in the crime of illegal drugs. There were two murders that took place early dawn but only Espinosa was given prominence in media report because he was mayor. Both murder cases were masterminded by someone Espinosa implicated in the illegal drugs. If killing of a town executive could be done just as easy as that, I cannot figure out how small town residents can be killed like chickens. I remember Pres. Duterte told his men to kill the criminals and he will be behind them. The problem is who determines the criminals. Who will judge the person to have committed crimes in the absence of trial in court. There should be a solution to criminality in the country. I urge our people, especially lawyers, retired police officers and soldiers to participate in offering things that could end up...

INREMP: The LGUs ally in small infrastructure

INREMP:  The LGUs ally in small infrastructure Driving on the national highways in Bohol these days bring in mixed emotions that are difficult to understand. To the uninitiated about the conditions of roads in the country sides seeing perfectly still good concrete national highways being repaired or reblocked brings in appreciation for what government is doing to make travel on the national highway perfectly smooth. But people who come from the remote barangays and sitios who only pass on foot trails and dilapidated barangay road that sometimes not even a habal-habal would venture to traverse; such re-concreting or re-blocking of still perfectly good national highway evokes disdain if not abhorrence at the insensitivity of national government to the plight of the rural residents. How government could prioritize the repair of good paved roads over the opening or rehabilitation of impassable dilapidated barangay roads is unthinkable as it contradicts sound reason. I have written about this before and I am writing about it again because despite the explanation of engineers that those portions of the national highway are due for repairs as they are more than 20 years old notwithstanding their looks in good condition does not warrant the justification. If national government has so much fund for repair of good roads, why couldn’t these be allocated as assistance to local government units for repairs and rehabilitation of barangay or municipal roads? How many kilometres of very much needed barangay roads could funds for these repairs of perfectly good national highways could finish? How many people especially farmers could benefit from the repair and rehabilitation of their impassable roads to enable them to bring their farm produce...

SP members in hot water over “persona non grata”

TAGBILARAN CITY – Seven of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) who are mostly allied with Gov. Edgar Chatto are facing charges for their declaration of lawyer Salvador Diputado as ‘persona non grata.’ Diputado filed a civil case against provincial board members Venzencio Arcamo, Kristine Alexie Tutor, Abeleon Damalerio, Ricky Masamayor, Elpidio Jala, Agapito Avenido and Romulo Cepedoza. The charge sheet is docketed in civil case No. 8798 “for nullification of Resolution and Damages” subscribed and sworn to by lawyer Romulo Puagang, Clerk of Court VI, Regional Trial Court branch. Diputado asked the court to invalidate the SP Resolution No. 2016-508, declaring him as persona non grata “for being ultra vires, invalid and illegal” The said SP Resolution in question was based on the Committee of the Whole report No. 2016-15 dated September 7, 2016, Diputado said. Diputado also asked the court to order the respondents (the SP members who signed the said committee report) to pay him Php2 million for moral damages; Php500,000 forexemplary damages; and Php20,000 for incidental cost. The alleged illegal acts of the defendants caused him “sleepless nights, mental anxiety and untold social humiliation,” Diputado said in his complaint. It will be recalled that Diputado floated as what SP called rumor the Php81 milion bank account allegedly owned by an unnamed Capitol official in an undisclosed bank in this city. Diputado maintained that he has a source who reveal this bank account to him and that he would not reveal the identity of his source since the said information (on bank account) still has to be verified. This prompted the SP to give attention...

Vietnam is good, but no place like home

BAC NINH – Vietnam is a good place to go for OFWs. “Tahimik dito (It’s peaceful here),” Susie Rebatis responded like it was a no-brainer when asked the advantage of working in Vietnam. She pointed out that guards don’t carry guns and even clubs at work, proof according to her that there are hardly any trouble-makers. The quality control supervisor of the Oishi manufacturing plant in Bac Ninh says she has little reasons to complain. Rebatis said her pay is good and the company provides for the needs like food and accommodation of expats like her. “You don’t hear workers complain about conditions in the work place,” she added in Tagalog. The second in a family of nine daughters, she considers working in Vietnam a marked improvement from her life in the province. Another Filipino working in the company said the only thing missing for him is his family. “I want them to come over,” said Jomar Padon who has a wife and a son in the Philippines. Padon said he wants them to see for themselves the kind of work he has so they will better appreciate the sacrifices he has for them. Like Rebatis, he only has kind words for the Vietnamese. “They are pleasant and respectful,” the plant maintenance supervisor explained. Padon said the Vietnamese are respectful to foreigners and those who work under him do not cause him trouble. Jeremie Molina shook her head when asked if she has any complaints about the people she deals with in the company and those in the community. “They are easy to get along with, no complaints,” she...

THE RIGHT TO EXIST

By: Ben Emata Why are there so many conflicts, misunderstanding, troubles, odds, and fighting around the world? Is this the resultant of lack of respect of people and countries? Some world leaders are so proud of themselves, of their people and country and they never think of others right to exist. Instead, they are driven by their selfish desire to expand, to annex or gather neighbors into their fold. This is lust no matter how we look at it and surely can lead to war. This ugly behavior of human beings is self-destructive and utterly violates the law on co-existence. When the Almighty God created life, there was equality for all. The world was so vast for space of everyone. All of us were given free will and opportunities to survive. Nobody lags behind unless one is lazy and love to sleep all day. Each of us can choose a direction in life. While some people go to the north in search of their dreams, others go to the opposite side or elsewhere for desire and aspiration. God is so knowing and understanding, he give us freedom to stir ourselves into the fulfilment of our dreams. In life, we climb a stair that goes up and down. Using our judgement, sometimes along the way, we fall and there we stand. Our determination to reach our goal and destination are so strong and many of us failed while others wave their hands in success. Most country around the world had its perilous beginnings. Reading world histories will bring us to numerous stories of different places. In the Philippine we learned...

THE COUTRY THAT CANNOT GROW

By: Ben Emata When former president Fidel V. Ramos came forward to denounce the style of Pres. Digong Duterte in the killings of alleged drug lords and his continuous attacks of the United States of America and the European Unions, the personal media of the president countered by destroying the integrity of Ramos. Among other things, Ramos was cited as the president who had numerous lapses and irregularities during his administration, that he is an American boy having graduated from the West Point Military Academy, etc. In short the aging former president is currently being persecuted by the camp of Duterte. When Sen. Trillianes came forward to condemn the ugly ways of Dutrte in his first 100 days in office, numerous cases have been filed against him. Now the senator who is almost alone in the opposition to act as fiscalizer of sort, is facing the dilemma of defending himself against the horror of alleged fabricated cases. Then Matobato an alleged member of the death squad in Davao City during the regime of Duterte as city mayor, he divulged the existence of the annihilation of the criminals. He admitted he was one of those who killed hundreds of suspected offenders who were not given their day in court. Sen Leila De Lima who heads in the Senate an investigation in the numerous extrajudicial killings that claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 victims, conducted what she thought was appropriate, now she is swimming in boiling water and almost alone to defend herself. Pres. Digong personally spent so much time hurling insults and criticisms to a woman accusing her of immorality...

THE INCREDIBLE LANDSCAPE

By: Ben Emata Pres. Digong Duterte is going to China and sadly one of his agendas is to ask the Chinese government to allow Filipino fishermen to do fishing in Scarborough – – a ground within our territory. If we recall, the Chinese has been harassing our navy and fishermen in the area for no other reason except the communist China is strong and a superpower. If what Duterte is doing not begging of sort, asking for the things we own, then there must be intended error on our part. If we were a strong nation, the bullying of China is enough ground for war. It is so painful to think we have the backing of the world, including judgement of the international tribunal, but we are lost within our own shadow. The most that Duterte can get in China are smiles, assurance, pledges of help, perhaps loan and nothing more. Vietnam warned us against having ties with China – – it is a trap. I was laughing hard that Pres. Duterte needed emergency power to solve traffic congestion in the entire archipelago. If the president wants to stand up at the Plaza Miranda to direct traffic that flows into the main thoroughfares at Espana fronting the University of Santo Thomas towards Cubao, UP Diliman, Project 4, Project 6, Project 8, it is okay. But the plan includes alleged traffic problem even in Mindanao when people there can sleep soundly at the center of the road since there is rarely motor vehicles passing, it is really confusing and it involves more than P1.3 trillion pesos to establish. The government...

WINNER TAKES ALL

By: Ben Emata If Communist China and Russia are allowed to enter our country, establish business and may even buy or lease real estates I see the beginning of an end of our lovely country. Russia may not be so interested considering its distance from us but the Chinese will surely grasp every opportunity available for them. They do not have to fire a singe bullet to claim ownership of our country as belonging to them by historical background. I can see we shall all become communists and pledge allegiance to Red China. The statue of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Luneta, most likely, will be thrown to the Manila bay and replaced with the founder of China. That would mean goodbye Philippines. God forbids. 0 0 0 The love of the United States of America to our country has been tested many times. We do not have to mention those dark days during the Philippine-Spain revolution or the Philippine-Japanese World War II. Let us all scan the pages of the Yolanda typhoon in the Visayas and we will see who were more concerned of the great catastrophe. Let us speak of facts and figures and be straightforward. America was the first to come to help in the rescue of the victims of that typhoon and donated the amount of $90.5 million dollars. Then came the United Nations which donated the sum of $40.4 million dollars. After which China and Russia donated the combined amount of $7.5 million dollars. I do not have to emphasize anything but definitely even elementary pupils would know who is in the heart of...

THE GREAT STRIKES

by: Ben Emata What is this I read in the newspapers that the New Peoples Army, notwithstanding the ceasefire ageement, are still indulged in kidnapping and extortions in Mindanao? This report came from the military who is on close watch of the rebel’s activities. I have no doubt about this story because it came from the army on its official report. Had this originated or circulated from the civilians or politicians, I might have reasons not to believe it. In my mind, if they rebellion in the country will indeed come to an end, I urge the government to help the rebels get back to society with peace, we must help them find lucrative jobs within in which to support their families. We must welcome them with open heart and take them into our arms. They must have jobs to maintain life and for the education of their children. 0 0 0 Pres. Digong Duterte is very lucky. He opens his mouth too wide and spits bad words that utterly hurt people and foreigners. He has an office in Malacanang which is like a weather bureau that forecasts the coming of typhoons, and it is this office that apologize for the wrongdoings of their master. So all that Pres. Digong does is attack everybody even the church and God and later follow it up with “I am sorry”, a phrase that is fast becoming a slogan. I see his style as just tactics of sort to impress people and to scare the criminals with the killings without due process. 0 0 0 The Unite Nations warned Pres. Digong to...

BLACK AND WHITE

By: Ben Emata The United States Air Force and Navy are seemingly on high alert in the disputed seas because China is so stubborn in its venture of expansionism. It goes on with its building of artificial islands and military structures therein that is viewed as unlawful since there are several claimants in the area. Among the claimants are the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc. America stands for the freedom of navigation for everybody while it is seen Chins is heading towards owning the area unto itself. Tension is snowballing and could blow up unless China respect the rule of law. 0 0 0 The Philippine government focused so much on the alleged video taken of Sen Leila De Lima making love with her driver. In the first place, I don’t believe there was such a video on the matter. There was a very blurred picture of purported sex action but it was not clear if it was De lima and her boyfriend. I see this as a bluff of Pres. Duterte or a zarzuela of sort for De Lima to resign as she was urged. The averments were nothing but waste of saliva whoever are the liars. Unfortunately, De Lima declared she is not resigning and shouted back the evidence against her is fake. And because the well-choreographed drama failed, another “atomic bomb” of the administration was unleased that caused the death of an inmate for an alleged riot inside the New Bilibid prison. The incident was attributed to the lady senator’s alleged command. I am not a supporter of De Lima but I just don’t like...

ISSUES ON THE SURFACE

By: Ben Emata Terrorism, the unseen and unpredictable enemy of modern society, is getting stronger anywhere around the world and it looks nobody is safe now specially those loitering in busy streets, malls, parks or anywhere there are large crowds. I suggest to keep away from these places for longer time specially Christmas shopping is just around us. Do not stay long hours where there is danger. Be alert and informed of the things taking place in the country for tips. So many people nowadays walk around carrying explosive devices, grenades, guns etc. and they truly pose danger everywhere.. Be safe. 0 0 0 Why foolish things around our country could hardly be exposed? When someone comes forward to point to the public what happened, he is humiliated, ridiculed, threatened of suits, etc. and naturally he cools off and his revelations die with it. Take the case of Matobato of Davao City who was talking about the thousands of killings in the city supposedly ordered by Duterte when he was mayor, he is now in hot water and endangered because of dozens of threats by persons of interests presumably belonging to the mayor’s camp. This is stupid, hell of stupidity and chances are he will now close his mouth. If the opposing camps is interested to the issues, cross examine him and destroy his credibility rather than threatened him of bodily harm. This only shows how afraid they are to be exposed. Or they are hiding something that could blow up once discovered. 0 0 0 I don’t mind so much about the alleged offenses of Sen. Leila De...

BIG WAR TO HAPPEN SOON?

By: Ben Emata It is too early to predict but the way I look at it, a big war is snowballing and could develop not far from our country – – right at the disputed seas. My thinking is not based from hallucinations but from the present positions countries which claim ownership of the Scarborough-Spratly area. While friendly gestures and diplomacy are still on top of the problem, deep within the feelings of each nation is the hidden heartaches like water that is boiling within. Friendship is superficial. Down beneath is hatred, meaningless friendship bereft of sincerity. In the first place, China is bent on having the disputed seas as part of its territory by historical ground no matter what. This precisely the reason why it did not participate in the legal process filed by the Philippine in the international arbitration. The recent decision of the tribunal awarding the subject of the dispute to the Philippines was nothing to China but a waste of paper which it rejected for all purposes. Other claimants which were respondents to the petition filed by our country like Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, etc. were quiet on the decision which amounted to their acceptance of the legal procedure and subsequent ruling. It is, therefore, apparent that China is the principal villain that emerged in the region. As we see it, the only ground upon which thee Chinese is leaning in its bullying escapade is its size as a powerful country in all Asia. As a matter of fact, one of the superpower around the world in level with or parallel to the rest of the...

Talibon has shown local governments can lead the way in bringing back victims of illegal drugs

Talibon has shown local governments can lead  the way in bringing back victims of illegal drugs When the Philippine National Police reported in the meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) last July that more than 30,000 drug users and more than 17,000 pushers have surrendered in Bohol alone, I asked what was going to be one with them. Surely the program could not succeed by just their surrender. Something must be done by government to bring them back to normal life without drugs. Succeeding events proved this right when among those caught or killed in subsequent actions of the police were those who have surrendered, showing that without a subsequent program like rehabilitation, they will just go back to their addiction. I am glad that the municipal local government of Talibon did a real quick thinking an came up with a concrete program to pursue. Let u hope that other municipalities will follow suit as this can only succeed with the concerted efforts especially by the municipal local governments. The plan of the national government of establishing rehabilitation centers can take years to finally operationalize. Even that of the province can take time so much so that before we can finally see those addicted to illegal drugs being treated in these facility, scores, may be hundreds may have died already from the police punitive actions. Engr. Ednardo Avenido, a licensed environmental planner and currently the municipal planning and development coordinator of Talibon informed me last Thursday that Mayor Restituto Auxtero of that progressive town of Talibon has already created as early as August 3, 2016 a technical working group that “formulated plans and programs for drug offenders who surrendered in the municipality...

SECRETS OF LONG LIFE

By: Ben Emata A woman from Scotland who celebrated recently her 109th birthday disclosed “avoid men” as her secret of longevity. Jessie Galan said she was born in a tiny farm town and lived with her four sisters and brother. She worked in the farm and never thought of getting married. Men would only give her trouble and problems thus avoiding them all the time. She eat the regular diet and did some physical fitness or exercise everyday. One Susannah Musket Jones of USA is116 years old Her secret of long life is she eats a lot of bacon everyday. She got married and enjoyed life with her family. She did light physical fitness program daily. She is on diet everyday and maintain her lifestyle over the years. A man from China, Li Chung Yuen is believed to be the oldest person in the world at 256 years old. He married 23 times and fathered more than 200 children. They eat herbal plants only in their place. In San Jose, California, I once interviewed a Filipino woman whose relatives told me she was 105 years old. She looked strong and very normal.. When I asked her what else she would wish from God, she quickly answered she hope for more years in life. In pre-historic days, it was said people lived as long as 700 to 800 years. During those time, they eat simple foods like vegetables and fish and drink clear water from river and creeks. In this world there is no contest on who is the oldest man alive. What is important is we enjoy life and...
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