Saturday, October 31, 2015

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Loyalty)

You give loyalty, you'll get it back. You give love, you'll get it back.
--TOMMY LASORDA :

Be a traitor and we'll get it back. Be hateful and we'll absorb what we are looking for. We reap what we sow. What comes up must come down. The soul's stable equilibrium constitutes our character.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Loyalty)

What I value most in my friends is loyalty.
--DAVID MAMET :

Without loyalty in any relationship, everything else is “plastikan” game, a circus of character hooliganism and first-class hypocrisy.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kune Salinas, victim of a corrupt system

"If it's never our fault, we can't take responsibility for it. If we can't take responsibility for it, we'll always be its victim." Richard Bach

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- We don't fault Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for unveiling the guillotine on 19 Philippine National Police (PNP) officials over the anomalous purchase of coastal boats in 2009.
She did a good job. 
Aside from dismissal from service, the crooks should have been sent to jail.
The P4.54-million police coastal craft procurement scam was another blot in the image of the PNP organization and heads should definitely roll. 
Kudos to the Office of the Ombudsman.
But while we extol the Ombudman's performance, we can't help but commiserate with the other sacked PNP officials who may have been innocent in the scandal.
Like Senior Superintendent Cornelio "Kune" Salinas, director of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO).

IMPLICATE

Spotless in 31 years of service, Salinas was implicated for being a member of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
He was also the chief of the PNP Maritime Group’s Operations Management at the time of the boats' procurement. 
When the defective boats were delivered, Salinas was no longer with the Maritime Group as he was already transferred to the Police Regional Office 6.
He later learned that the Maritime Group did not accept the substandard boats when delivered by the supplier, Four Petals Trading.
The trouble was the Inspection and Acceptance Committee of the PNP’s Logistics Support Services (IAC-LSS) under Superintendent Job Marasigan issued a certificate of acceptance and paid the supplier.
Salinas swore he did not steal a single centavo from the transaction, but neither denied nor confirmed that some PNP officials indeed made money.

'GOOD GUY'

According to Gov. Arthur "Art" Defensor Sr., Salinas is a "good guy." He was not referring, of course, to Salinas' role in the boat brouhaha, but on his overall performance as a police official serving the Iloilo province.
Based on Salinas' emotional narration of facts to members of media recently and the circumstances that developed leading to the boats' procurement, he could be innocent.
Salinas could be a victim of a corrupt system in the procurement process involving government properties where membership in the BAC can lead to the abyss even if he didn't dip his finger in the cookie jar.  
Was it possible that when Ombudsman Morales meted the "severe" penalty, which included the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from reemployment in the government service, forfeiture of retirement benefits and cancellation of civil service eligibility, she failed to separate the chaffs from the grains?

ROTTEN

Were the good guys lumped with the organization's rotten apples under the principle of "an act of one is an act of all"?
In trying to slay the dragon of corruption, the Ombudsman probably wanted to eliminate both its head and body to ensure a total victory.
Salinas and other BAC members probably became accidental villains by virtue of their presence in the dragon's intestines.
We wish Colonel Salinas the best of luck as he tries to weather the storm by seeking for a Temporary Retraining Order (TRO) before the Court of Appeals and for filing a Motion for Reconsideration (MR).
If he is really pristine, as the saying goes, no one can put a good man down.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mystery of burnt Lopez Pink Mansion deepens

"No object is mysterious. The mystery is your eye." 
Elizabeth Bowen

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Before entering the White House owned by former Iloilo second district Rep. Albertito Lopez in the Lopez compound in La Paz district, Iloilo City in the Philippines, a visitor will be greeted on the right side by the unique and imposing Pink Mansion owned by his brother, Emmanuele (not Emmanuel as reported in the papers) "Nikki" Lopez.
On the left side is the ABS-CBN Iloilo station. Adjacent to the Pink Mansion is another landmark, the Boat House, owned by ABS-CBN Corporation founder Eugenio H. Lopez Sr.
On the right inside the compound is the bungalow owned by the late Fernando "Junji" Lopez Jr., eldest son of the late former Vice President Fernando "Toto Nanding" Hofileña Lopez, Sr. 
On the left inside the compound is the mansion of another Lopez daughter, the late Mita.
When Rep. Lopez was active in politics in the early 90's, we frequented the gated compound. 
For a while, the compound was open to invited guests, mostly political, social, and business personalities.

INTERVIEWS

We conducted our interviews with Rep. Lopez and his wife, then Guimaras Governor Emily Relucio, inside the White House.
It was also in the White House where we last saw the late former vice president, who died in 1993.
During important gatherings of the Lopez family where selected members of the press were also invited, we saw there the other members of the fabled clan.
Every now and then thereafter in the mid-90's, we frequented the compound on invitation of Nonoy Junji (that's how Fernando Lopez Jr. wanted us to call him) to dine with him and discuss social and political issues. He also invited us in his manokan (chicken) house in Villa, Arevalo.
Of all the living Lopez children then, only Nikki was aloof to members of media. He was very private, quite and avoidant. 
But Nikki was also among the most controversial.
In the family-owned University of Iloilo, students were cautioned not to look at him once he entered the campus on board his pink car.

WOMAN

A story circulated that he once allegedly slapped a woman who stared at him in a shopping mall. 
The woman happened to be allegedly a top city hall lawyer. He didn't know her, but she knew him. Nobody came forward to confirm the incident. 
The woman lawyer neither confirmed nor denied the alleged incident.
There were reports it was Nonoy Junji, not Nikki, who was allegedly involved in the fracas.  
Nikki, whose favorite color is pink, a universal color of love and sweet sensuality, according to feng shui, probably detested being stared at in public.  
The Pink Mansion, burned 95 percent according to the arson investigators from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Iloilo City with initial estimated damage at P10 million at around past 10 o'clock in the evening on Oct. 25, was as mysterious as its owner.
Nikki escaped unscathed, according to reports. He was seen in the vicinity as firefighters were trying to put out the fire.
Nobody from the media, social, political and business community has claimed publicly to have been invited by Nikki or any authorized person to visit the place in the past.
Nikki, who never married, is a known lover of cats. He reportedly owns several cats and takes care of them like family members.
Were some of those cats killed during the one-hour fire?

ANTIQUES

The mansion reportedly contained jewelries, antiques, and art works described by Capitol bigwig and former journalist Nereo Lujan as "priceless" and "irreplaceable."
Lujan wrote in his Facebook account: "The damage to the house was pegged at P10 million, considering that there were antiques, art works, jewelries, expensive clothing and high-end appliances inside.
"That amount may just be a pittance for Nikki, considering his inheritance, his monthly dividends from the Lopez Group of Companies and that he is not as extravagant as Junjie.
"What is deplorable and regrettable is the loss of the extremely rare antiques and art pieces inside because those were priceless and irreplaceable."
Some visitors from other parts of the country who happened to pass by described the two-story Pink Mansion as "mysterious" because it was surrounded by concrete walls and wooden gate that were also painted with pink color.
As of this writing, arson probers could not confirm what caused the fire.  Nikki has refused to speak to the media.
Because of the fire, the mansion has once again rekindled public interest and curiosity. The mystery deepens as investigators piece together the cause of fire that reportedly started in the ceiling.







Why everyone wants to become vice governor

"If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future." Winston Churchill

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Is year 2016 the right time to become vice governor of Iloilo province in the Philippines?
We suspect even former Philippine Coconut Administrator (PCA) administrator Oscar "Oca" Garin Sr. is itching to become vice governor.
His aim actually is to eventually capture capitol, the only tiara missing in his political resume. 
But the formidable Garins of Iloilo's first district has officially fielded Guimbal mayor Christine against Rep. Neil "Junjun" Tupas Jr., "gunslinger" of another powerful political clan in the fifth district.
The patriarch Garin can still substitute for his daughter in the eleventh hour as the Garins are wont to do in the previous polls.
Both the Garin and Tupas clans were supposed to be "united" under one political roof of Pres. Noynoy Aquino with a modus vivendi to support the reelection of Gov. Arthur "Art" Defensor Sr.
Everything was going well until the deadline for the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) in the Commission on Elections recently.

FALLOUT

The apparent fallout between the Garins and Tupases happened when Junjun decided the run the gamut from the congressional match-up in his district involving his younger brother, Vice Governor Raul "Boboy", against Junjun's wife, Angeli Lee, to the province's second highest position, where he himself is the candidate purportedly representing the Liberal Party (LP).
Feeling "betrayed", the Garins responded with a Queen's Indian Defense vis-a-vis the Tupases' Fianchetto.
And the die cast.
Had it not been for the imposing leadership by LP big man, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Junjun or any member of the clan, for that matter, would've challenged Defensor, who is on his last term.
Or the Garins versus Defensor.
But because no powerful clan can now touch Defensor with a ten- foot pole in as far as the 2016 elections are concerned, they are now up for a battle royale in the vice gubernatorial post.
With or without intervention of President Aquino and Drilon, everyone will salivate for the capitol's second highest position. 
The scuttlebutt is that due to health reasons, Defensor might decide to yield his position and give way to the vice governor before 2019.
Thus, the Tupas versus Garin toss up has become a fait accompli.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

While we laugh at our 'insane' bets, the world laughs at us

"The human race is fundamentally insane. If you put two of us into a room together, we're soon gonna start figuring out good reasons to kill one another." Frank Darabont

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) should share the blame for their failure to sanitize the list of candidates for the 2016 Philippine elections from the start.
Poll authorities were aware that during every filing of the certificates of candidacy (COCs), the Comelec is being transformed into a circus; in fact, the biggest and happiest entertainment in the world.
Through our excited media, we paraded to the whole world our caboodle of weirdos and wackos blasting their way to the poll body, where they were given full leverage and media coverage to mock our electoral system.
We will have to wait until December when the Comelec releases the final list of official or "serious" candidates sans the names of "psychotics" and other escapees from the mental asylum and slaughterhouse.
Our poll authorities could have saved time and money if they did the delisting the moment those charlatans set foot in the Comelec. 
An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.

NUISANCE

Meanwhile, we laughed at the entire proceedings as the "nuisance" candidates dished out unprintable and never-heard-before spiels before national television.
In social media, the Comelec spectacle became an instant hit, a veritable laughingstock.
The jokers helped topple national tensions and stress, and the occasion offered a venue for temporary relief from our day to day worries.
We were amused by our own skulduggery. 
We let the whole world know that our electoral system has been saddled with fundamental defects that can be traced to our culture and failure to legislate a quality law on election reforms.
While we laughed at our factory defect, the whole world laughed with us--and laughed at us!

NOTES: Some political observers think Iloilo board member Carmen Rita “Mitch” Monfort-Bautista's entry into the fourth district congressional race was a "bad timing." Her best chances, according to them, were in the previous elections when former congressman and the come-backing, Dr. Ferj Biron, was not yet in the field...Was Dr. Marigold Gonzalez, the only daughter of the late former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr., "forced" to run for mayor in Iloilo City? Unable to win as candidate for city councilor in 2013, the cosmetic surgeon will only probably fulfill the wish of her father, who had instructed the family to "continue serving the Ilonggos." Against the vastly-improved and logistically powerful incumbent, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of the ruling Liberal Party(LP), Dr. Gonzalez is up against a wall...Vice Governor Raul "Boboy" Tupas appears to be the sentimental favorite to clinch the fifth congressional district when he tackles Yvonne Angeli Lee-Tupas, the lawyer wife of his older brother, Rep. Neil "Junjun" Tupas Jr. Although the lady Tupas is the official LP candidate, Boboy, who is now with the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), is considered not only as a "dark horse" but a solid pick tumandok (native) to put away the pangayaw  (outsider)...Junjun Tupas, the most controversial LP stalwart in the province today, himself will have his hands full versus Guimbal Mayor Christine Garin for vice governor. His eleventh hour decision to run for vice governor caught everyone by surprise especially because he is against the decision of his younger brother, Boboy, to replace him in the House of Representatives. Junjun and Boboy could've swapped posts to preserve order and stability in the party and family...former councilor Rolando Dabao, the best congressman Iloilo City never had, is running for vice mayor against reelectionist Joe Espinosa III under Dr. Gonzalez...second district Rep. Arcadio “Cadio” Gorriceta (LP) will try to walk past board member June “Junjun” Mondejar of the United Nationalist Alliance for his second term.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Binay should get out while ahead

"Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead." Chanakya

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- If ever we will amend the Philippine constitution, we must ask our constitutional convention delegates to include provisions in the electoral process that any candidate who will resort to name-calling and character assassination during the campaign period should be disqualified.
Let's admit it. Some of the candidates in the 2016 elections lack the moral scruples to hold a public office.
Our electoral system has become a kaleidoscope of moral and spiritual bankruptcy; aspirants for public office are a hodgepodge of Sancho Panzas and Emperors Nero and Claudius.
We understand that there is a gnawing concern about the wanton abuse by some wackos to ridicule our electoral process by filing their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for certain higher national positions not to win (and even without the capacity to wage a decent campaign) but only to land in the front-page and to get media attention.

CLOWNS

We understand the frustration of those who detest seeing the names of mediocre personalities and popular clowns in the Comelec list of official candidates but are forced to belabor themselves browsing over the names of rightful candidates on the same list only because the constitution allows even escapees from mental institutions to run for president. Que horror!
Under our squalid and abnormal system, popular movie comedians and athletes, coup plotters, ex-convicts, rapists and children of celebrities can run for higher positions even if they didn't finish high school.
Thus under the Peter Principle, quality legislation becomes the number one casualty if these cretins are elected in the Senate and House of Representatives. 

-o0o-

Vice President Jejomar Binay should quit while he is still on top, some political wisecracks suggest.
We might ask why would anyone leading in a presidential campaign drop out? 
Because he can't win. And Binay hates defeat.
Rumor has it that there's a woman in Calinog, Iloilo named "Brenda" who hasn't heard of Binay. 
But besides her, everyone in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao knows who Binay is.
Binay's popularity in the last quarter of 2014 can be compared to Erap Estrada's name-recall strength in 1998.  

RECOGNITION

The former Mabini lawyer (who started his political career after the 1986 EDSA Revolution) has virtually 100 percent name recognition, and still he can't manage to break beyond the 25 percent to 30 percent or so of disaffected members of the hoi polloi supporting him. 
And, as manifested in the most recent surveys, many of those supporters are beginning to drift.
Either they went to Sen. Grace Poe or to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
In short, Binay hit his apex weeks ago. 
It's only a slide from here.
The Sandiganbayan ruling that ousted his suspended Makati mayor son, Junjun, could be the last straw in Binay's Cinderella-like candidacy that is now on spaghetti legs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Listen)

The older I grow the more I listen to people who don't talk much.
– GERMAIN G. GLIEN :

The more people talk, the more they sound banal. The more they express to impress, the more they appear bittersweet but corny and imbecilic.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Faith)

It is faith among men that holds the moral elements of society together, as it is faith in God that binds the world to his throne.
-- WILLIAM M. EVARTS :

Let us have faith with each other. We need faith as a unifying force to arrest society's intrinsic aberrations; we need faith to overrun poverty and smash the temple of ignorance. We need faith to strengthen our moral and spiritual fibers.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Heart)

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.
 -- EMILY DICKINSON :

While others take pride in trying to rescue hearts that are melting like iceberg and falling apart, there are those who are making a career destroying them. The wrecking crew is usually composed of feeble-minded characters who have long lived in vain owing to their murky background and unhappy childhood.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Bravery)

Physical bravery is an animal instinct; moral bravery is much higher and truer courage.
--WENDELL PHILLIPS :

To possess a moral bravery, we don’t need a dart, a knife, a gun or a poison to defeat the enemy. All we need is a solid principle, self confidence, rational mind, and air-tight values.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Counsel)

He that won't be counseled can't be helped.
-- BENJAMIN FRANKLIN :

If he can't be counseled, he can't be criticized. He who abhors criticism rejects growth. Without growth, we stagnate and become good-for-nothing!
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Monday, October 12, 2015

Why we shouldn't get mad

"One ought not to return a wrong nor an injury to any person, however strong the provocation." SOCRATES 

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- When popular but mediocre candidates file their certificates of candidacy (COC) to run for public office, will our blood pressure shoot up because we can't stop them?
When some people assassinate our character because they can't think and write the way we do, will we stoop down to their level?
Will we engage them in mudslinging, their forte, to get even? 
Come to think of it. 
Jesus Christ mocked and nailed on the cross. 
Mary Magdalene stoned and called a whore. 
Socrates found guilty of "introducing new gods" by a slender majority in a jury of 501 and forced to kill himself by drinking hemlock. 
Pompey decapitated. 
Julius Caesar stabbed in the back by envious senators led by neurotic Brutus ("Et tu, Brute?") and ambitious Cassius.

WOUNDED

Darius severely wounded before being killed in losing Persia to Alexander The Great in the Battle of Arbela. 
Montezuma humiliated in his own territory in Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, by Hernando Cortez. 
Napoleon Bonaparte in Waterloo. 
The Battle of Acium. Holocaust.
Love birds Mark Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. Ben Hur and El Cid. Pearl Harbor. 
The Bay of Pigs. Gomburza. Jose Rizal. Andres Bonifacio. Antonio Luna. John F. Kennedy. 
Martin Luther King. John Lennon. Moises Padilla. Ninoy Aquino.

INQUISITION 

Bruno burned at stake by the Catholic Inquisition. Galileo forced to recant the heliocentric theory and spent years in jail. 
Bloody Mary beheaded. Thomas Moore beheaded for refusing to solemnize the marriage of Queen Elizabeth's father King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution guillotine.
Diego Silang and his wife Gabriela executed. 
Dona Aurora, wife of President Quezon, and their daughter Baby Quezon, killed in ambush by Hukbalahap. 
Alexander Hamilton, Magellan, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Rasputin, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler all died violently. And so on and so forth.
These great men and women suffered humiliation and cruel deaths. 
Why should we bawl out our jealous and envious critics?

MILKY WAY

According to Jewish editor, Harry Golden, there are at lease four billion suns in the Milky Way, which is only one galaxy. 
Many of these suns are thousands of times larger than our own, and vast millions of them have whole planetary systems, including literally billions of satellites, and all of this revolves at the rate of about a million miles an hour, like a huge oval pinwheel.
Our own sun and its planets, which includes the earth, are on the edge of this wheel. 
This is only our small corner of the universe, so why do not these billions of revolving and rotating suns and planets collide?
The answer is, the space is so unbelievably vast that if we reduced the suns and the planets in correct mathematical proportion with relation to the distances between them, each sun would be a speck of dust, two, three, and four thousand miles away from its nearest neighbor. 
And, mind you, this is only the Milky Way -- our own small corner -- our own galaxy. 
How many galaxies are there? Billions. 
Billions of galaxies spaced at about one million light years apart (one light-year is about six trillion miles).

TELESCOPES

Within the range of our biggest telescopes there are at least one hundred million separate galaxies such as our own Milky Way, and that is not all, by any means. 
The scientists have found that the further you got out into space with the telescopes the thicker the galaxies become, and there are billions of billions as yet uncovered to the scientist's camera and the astrophysicist's calculations.
When we think of all this, it's silly to worry whether the allegations of our critics will really change the way we live in society. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

BATCHOY INCIDENT: 'Please forgive me my child has a dengue'

"God's dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion." Desmond Tutu

By Alex P. Vidal 

NEW YORK CITY -- THIS is a true story I will never forget for a long time. 
My friend, a city tourism employee assigned in the old Iloilo airport, and his wife, ordered batchoy (hot native beef noodle soup) in a popular batchoy restaurant inside a giant mall in Iloilo City in the Philippines one Sunday afternoon.
They just came from the church, they were bejeweled and neatly-dressed. 
I was in another table adjacent to the couple and we chatted about their niece, a nurse who just left for the United Kingdom, while waiting for our orders.
After a few minutes, a scrawny-looking waitress arrived ready to serve the hot meals in three bowls -- two La Paz batchoy for the couple and one sotanghon batchoy for me. 
As the lady server was preparing to put the bowls on the table, she lost balance and slipped. 
She accidentally dropped one bowl containing a smoldering batchoy straight into my friend's head, while his wife received another bowl on her body and lap. 
Several noodles and sprinkles of soup landed on my face like hot raindrops. 
The couple scampered away from their seats, dancing like they were avoiding the firecrackers.
They screamed and shouted expletives as other customers watched in horror.

HYSTERICAL

Shocked, the waitress became hysterical and didn't know what to do. 
Fighting back tears, she apologized in hoarse voice, shaking. 
Cooler heads prevented the wife, more embarrassed than hurt, from slapping the waitress.
But the couple took turns in cursing her loudly and violently; they questioned her culture. 
They threatened to sue the waitress and the management. 
She broke down while fellow waitresses came to her rescue, asking apology and trying to cool down the couple.
Some of them wiped off residues of noodles and beef from my friend's face. 
"Sir, ma'm, pasensiaha lang ako indi ko hungod aksidente lang gid to. Malooy kamo wala pako katulog kay nagpulaw ako sa hospital may dengue bata ko (Sir, ma'm, please forgive me it was an accident. I beg for your mercy, I didn't have enough sleep last night because I attended to my child who is a dengue patient in the hospital)," she pleaded. 
I managed to convince my friend to persuade his wife to forgive the waitress and leave the place because the commotion has distracted other customers. 
They transferred to the adjacent Dunkin' Donuts. 
As they left, they continued to give the waitress dagger looks.

TAGORE'S SERVANT

Another story has parallelism to the batchoy incident. 
The great Hindu poet, Rabindranath Tagore, tells us a story in exquisite poetry. 
His servant did not come in on time. 
Like so many philosophers and poets, Tagore was helpless when it came to the less important things in life, his personal wants, his clothes, his breakfast, and tidying up the place.
An hour went by and Tagore was getting madder by the minute. 
He thought of all sorts of punishment for the man. Three hours later Tagore no longer thought of punishment. 
He would discharge the man without any further ado, get rid of him, turn him out.
Finally the man showed up. It was midday. 
Without a word the servant proceeded with his duties as though nothing had happened. 
He picked up his master's clothes, set to making breakfast, and started cleaning up.
Tagore watched this performance with mounting rage. 
Finally he said it: "Drop everything, and get out."
The man, however, continued sweeping and after another few moments, with quite dignity he said: "My little girl died last night."

Alex P. Vidal (Respect)

Respect a man, he will do it the more.
 -- JAMES HOWELL : 

Once respect is given us, by nature, we are ashamed to disgrace ourselves and will do everything to preserve that respect for fear that it may turn into admonition and impeachment of our character.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote (Dignity)

We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away.
 -- PLUTARCH : 

After they have given up everything to serve us and provide us happiness and satisfaction, the least we can do to pay back their kindness and services is to treat them with utmost respect and preserve their dignity.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote (Conscience)

Conscience is the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking. 
–- OLIN MILLER : 

If our conscience isn’t bothering us, nothing can stop us from our foolishness. However, two invisible in-house “witnesses” have been tasked to act as our fiscalizers: their names are Mr. Mouth and Mrs. Eyes.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quote (Ideas)

Anybody who inflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood. 
-- H. l. MENCKEN : 

New ideas would always send shockwaves to doubting Thomases and are heavily treated with utmost cynicism and hostility. If unprepared to collide with these antagonistic forces, authors of these ideas, who are mostly geniuses, will end up in mental asylum.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Parents in pain

"My upbringing is why I am the person I am today. I have very wise parents." Keira Knightley

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Nothing can bring much sadness and pain for parents than to see their children engaged in a bitter quarrel.
And the pain can be more excruciating if the donnybrook goes outside the domicile and reverberates in public in heart-breaking proportion.
This could be the predicament former Iloilo Gov. Neil D. Tupas Sr. and former Barotac Viejo Mayor Myrna Causing Tupas are in today.
The squabble of their sons--Iloilo 5th district Rep. Neil "Junjun" Tupas Jr. and Iloilo Vice Gov. Raul "Boboy" Tupas--has hogged headlines these past months and divided the hitherto formidable Tupas political empire in the fifth congressional district of Iloilo.
Boboy wants to replace Junjun, who is graduating for his third and last term in the House of Representatives.  

WIFE

Junjun, however, is pushing for his wife, Yvonne Angeli Lee-Tupas.
The feud resulted in Boboy leaving the Liberal Party (LP) and embracing the National People's Coalition (NPC). 
It was Junjun who insisted that his wife, a lawyer like him, fits in the congressional portfolio, not Boboy, who is a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduate.
Because he is the eldest son in the family and carries the name of his father, what Junjun wanted Junjun reportedly got.
The decision to field Yvonne Angeli as official LP candidate has been reportedly given imprimatur by the Tupas patriarch to Boboy's consternation.
As a consolation, "majority" of the Tupas children reportedly back Boboy but could not openly defy "Tatay Neil" so as not to douse gasoline into the conflagration.

ENDORSE

Buoyed by his father's go signal to endorse Yvonne Angeli, Junjun has been reportedly "making life difficult" for his younger brother by "excluding" the vice governor in various public activities related to his function as capitol's no. 2 official.
Boboy's supporters viewed Junjun's moves as "a bid to cripple the vice governor's enthusiasm" to pursue his congressional bid.
Unperturbed, Boboy continued to sally forth in the entire district and focused on consultation with his constituents about his plans in 2016 sans approval from the political party he jettisoned.
Junjun denied he was trying to act as Cain, a jealous murderer of his brother, Abel, in the Bible's Old Testament.
Although their hearts are all for Boboy, other Tupas children can't look manong Junjun in the eyes and tell him straight that "blood should be thicker than water." At least not yet.
Efforts to patch up the feud has become increasingly difficult as Junjun and Boboy continued to swap heavy accusations in the media before the filing of the Certificate of Official Candidacy for the 2016 elections.

STRONG

While Boboy was showing strong determination to run against his own sister-in-law, Yvonne Angeli, LP's would-be official candidate, Junjun was stepping up his determination to oppose him.
Amid all the hullabaloo, their parents have remained calm and sober although sources said "they are in pain emotionally."
"It is a common knowledge in Barotac (Viejo, their hometown) that Boboy is well-loved by his brothers and sister (Tweety Tupas-Balleza), most especially by his nanay, Nonoy Myrna," said a source who refused to be named because she is not authorized to speak about the family's political affairs.
"Anywhere you go, it is Boboy who is closer to the hearts of the people. If you open the heart of Nonoy Myrna, you will see the name of Boboy Tupas in all caps there. Nonoy Myrna has been crying privately because she does not want to see both his sons hurting only because of politics."

Monday, October 5, 2015

'If I walk with prostitutes, it doesn't mean that I am also a prostitute'

"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." Abraham Lincoln

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY --  Known for his flawless logic and lucidity of mind, the late Philippine Senator Claro M. Recto Jr. once argued that "if he was seen walking in the company of prostitutes, it didn't follow that he was also a prostitute." 
His syllogism thrashed the "tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are" dictum.
Illogical: Mar Roxas is a pervert because he was allegedly seen (he denied he saw the bawdy event) in the venue of a lewd show at the birthday bash of Liberal Party (LP) member, Rep. Benjie Agarao, in Laguna recently.
Logical: Not all those present were perverts (except, perhaps, the sponsor or sponsors of the indelicate show). Therefore Roxas, who attended the birthday party but "missed" the spicy episode, could not be a pervert since he was not the sponsor or directly involved when a sexy dancer gyrated scandalously on top of a male guest on stage.

PRESENCE

There is a principle in law that says a mere presence in the crime scene does not make one a criminal--except if he is a direct accessory to the unlawful activity.
But since Roxas is a presidential aspirant and it is a political season, every mistake his political party--or members of the political party will commit, will be considered as his albatross.
The political party's moral standard also instantly became a serious issue as it will determine the kind of governance the party will introduce once they retain Malacanang beyond 2016.  
Mar Roxas is guilty by association, his critics will argue.
Association with sponsor (was it Metro Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino?) or sponsors of the lewd act or the LP? Both. 
The sponsor or sponsors could also be LP members.
Not all Roman senators connived and stabbed Julius Caesar. Only those who had been mesmerized by Brutus and Cassius helped carry out the murder plot.

EXECUTED

Mary Suratt swore before she was executed by hanging on July 7, 1865 in Washington D.C. that her only fault was that she owned the boarding house where murderers of Abraham Lincoln plotted the assassination that changed the course of American history.
Her plea fell on deaf ears. 
Former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello predicts a bad luck for the entire political party which, he said, could affect Roxas' presidential bid.
It is not only a case of "tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are" but also a case of "with friends like them (sponsors of sexy show), who needs enemies?" the former solon lamented.
While we agree that the incident warrants a call for investigation on the conduct of government officials in violation Section 19 of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710), we don't believe that Roxas should be faulted and crucified only because he was probably "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Roxas may have "walked with the prostitutes, but it did not mean that he was also a prostitute."

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Let's stop bellyaching; we don't need Rio

"You don't play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball." Bobby Knight

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- So what's the big deal if we wound up second to China in the recently-concluded 2015 FIBA Asia Men's Championship in Changsha City, China on Sept. 23-Oct. 3?
Instead of bellyaching, we must, in fact, jump in jubilation that we reached that far.
Didn't we know that Gilas Pilipinas' silver medal tasted like gold?
In the first place, to land in the championship round against mighty China was already a king-sized accomplishment, given the tough field that Gilas was in, let alone campaigning in a hostile territory.
Against the host country, our chances to bag the title were nil.
It would have been a different story if the game was held in Tehran or Nagasaki. Or in Manila.
But our cagers were "fighting for their life" in the capital of Hunan province, a large city with a history dating to the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 B.C.). 

HOME COURT

If we can't lick China somewhere else, we can't beat them right in their own home court, where the crowd, aside from being rowdy, was violent (they threw empty bottles on the Gilas bench) and definitely wouldn't go home yielding the FIBA throne on a silver platter to any foreign customer.
That the officiating was bum and horrific wasn't news at all. 
If they wouldn't cheat, they would be on a hell ride if the Gilas threatened to pull the rug from under them after Gilas' surprising 5-0 juggernaut in the first quarter.
We don't need a trip to the 2016 Rio Olympics. 
Give the ride to the Chinese. 
The silver medal finish was a blessing in disguise. In Rio, we will only be eaten alive, humiliated and exposed as Lilliputians.
Our present line-up has no match against Argentina, Brazil, USA, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, among other global giants.

BATTLE

Let China do the battle for the Asians in Rio. 
They are more equipped, financially-prepared, more exposed and with many crack reserves, more battle-scarred, and ready to lock horns with the who's who in the world of sports politics as an economic behemoth.
We have limited influence and power. 
We can't even send a competent representative to lobby for the Fiba hosting. 
Instead of sending a seasoned negotiator, we sent Manny Pacquiao, who ended up in a photo-op with Yao Ming. 
Let's call spade a spade. Our 12-man roster that walloped Japan twice in as many confrontations: 6-2 Calvin Abueva, 27, 6-11 Andray Blatche, 29, 6-6 Ranidel de Ocampo, 33, 6-5 Matt Ganuelas, 25, 6-2 Dondon Hontiveros, 38, 6-4 J. C. Intal, 31, 6-6 Gabe Norwood, 30, 6-6 Marc Pingris, 33, 5-10 Terrence Romeo, 23, 6-9 Asi Taulava, 42, 6-7 Sonny Thoss, 33 and 5-11 Jayson Castro, 29, will reign supreme in Southeast Asia or Asian Games, for that matter, but not in the World Olympics.  
Magpakatotoo tayo, please.

OLYMPICS

Pardon me, but I still maintain that the RP Team that finished 5th in the 1936 Berlin Olympics was still the best, a lot better than Gilas Pilipinas. 
And they were all natural-born Filipinos. No naturalized. No imports. We were better than China (tie with Germany at 15th), Italy (7th), Brazil (9th), and France (19th), all powerful teams in this generation.
And who can forget the greatest RP Team-ever assembled that finished third behind the USA and Brazil in the 1954 World Basketball Championship of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) in Rio de Janeiro composed of Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga, and Lauro “The Fox” Mumar, Pons Saldaña, Florentino Bautista, Mariano Tolentino, Antonio Genato, Francisco Rabat, Rafael Barredo, Bayani Amador, Ramon Manulat, Nap Flores, and Ben Francisco?

NOTE: A basketball tournament had been contested during the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, but it is usually considered a demonstration, and not a true Olympic event. Thus, the first Olympic Basketball championship took place in 1936. As the inventor of the game, the United States was considered the favorite, although there had been almost no international competitions prior to 1936. In 1935, the first European Championship had been contested, with Latvia winning, Spain second, and Czechoslovakia third. Latvia competed at the 1936 Olympics but did not even survive the second round. There had been South American Championships since 1930, twice won by Uruguay and once by Argentina, prior to the 1936 Olympics.