E D I T O R I A L
Poignant reminders, poetic rendition
NATURE’S breath of cool breeze ushering in the rainy days of year soothes the fired body and nerves. It stirs the mind waxing poetic on the innate beauty and comfort of a period when the fields are re-greening. It entices the whole environs to come alive in a mix of colors; in the rhythm of sounds; in the aromatic smell of both the living and non-living things, the air, water and soil; and more.
So it’s June, albeit in the era called nostalgia. In the epoch called climate change, we at Asingan NewsLine direly share with you folks—Asinganians, Pinoys, the world over—some cold facts essayed by experience felt on the ground and not fed by statistics.
The month of March has its own “World Water Day” on the 22nd. April has “Earth Day”, likewise on the 22nd. May has “World Turtle Day” on the 23rd. June 5th and 8th are “World Environment Day” and “World Oceans Day”, respectively.
Such special days were made to be so as poignant reminders of what has been chronicled as disturbing health and environmental trends like the global heating up of world temperature, or climate change; biodiversity degeneration, or the extinction or vanishing of many species of the world’s flora [plant kingdom] and fauna [animal kingdom]; occurrences of strange illnesses heretofore unknown in medical history; and more.
“I wish that God would hold you tight.
I wish that angels would keep you in sight.
Now, just to make sure you feel all right,
I’m gonna blow you a sweet goodnight!”
And more endearing wishes as we keep vigil over your life-sustaining ecosystems, dear mother Earth! rmb . anl . june2012
N E W S L I N E
a. Jessica S “ties” with Phillip P in “American Idol”!
By: Engr. Joe L. Sevilla . ANL’s Asingan Correspondent
IN A stunning feat of two contrasting talents pitted against each other by just a hairline dividing the two onstage, this reporter could have urged the judges to declare a milestone decision of a “tie”. And why not?
Lastly, outside of the United States of America, the world rooted for Jessica although the final vote count was not revealed as was the tradition of “American Idol”. Phillip Phillips simply won a big slice of the vote of his young girl American fans and the country music lovers of the United States, contest officials say.
So where lies the hairline difference between the two finalists that hewed the judges’ decision?
“American Idol” mentor and music producer Jimmy Iovine acknowledged after the contest that the song “Change Nothing” did not work for Jessica, implying that the song’s melody must have been “weak” for her powerful voice. Iovine laments there was a wrong choice of song and the teenage singer was not even included in the team to select what she has to sing herself. The three judges—Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler—surmised Jessica’s rendition of the song a “lackluster”.
Be that as it may, the judges themselves knew that Jessica Sanchez had a more powerful voice than that of country singer Phillip Phillips. This hard fact should have impressed upon the judges to spell a “tie” and made history for “American Idol” having a twin-winner.
But that is wishful thinking now. This reporter is a mere spectator half-of-the-globe away from Nokia’s California Theater where the contest held its finale. Neither this spectator plays a guitar nor can distinguish a “tenor” from “alto”. Then, of course, we’re total strangers to the judges. Still, our highest esteem for Jessica Sanchez! jls . anl . june2012
b. “Am not guilty, it’s an honest mistake!”--Corona
By: Ruben M. Balino . Editor-In-Chief, ANL
SO THE next time you commit a felony, simplest you can do is to declare it an “honest mistake” and there you go scot-free. But how the heck an impeachable offense be a mistake so honestly done?
Please read along the neatly knitted “Corona Doctrine” enshrined in the “Book of Honesty” authored by the melodrama artist-lawyer and ousted Chief Justice, Atty. Renato C. Corona. A sequel of the book is reportedly coming soon titled, “Clever Intervention on the Business Affairs of In-Laws”.
Corona’s most convenient alibi of “honest mistake” tragically rammed into his pity-me-emoting face to which the prestigious broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer calls it a well-rehearsed drama of a cheat on his appearances May 22 and 25, 2012 to defend himself before the impeachment court.
The former Chief Justice was convicted based on two simple facts. One, for “Culpable Violation of the Constitution” in not fully disclosing his “Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth” as required by fundamental law for public servants and/or high government officials to accomplish on annual basis. Two, in hiding the complete details of his SALN, plus his other dubious business transactions unearthed both by the prosecution and the court, made him starkly liable and guilty for “Betrayal of Public Trust” which is likewise a constitutional offense.
Inadvertently, Corona’s testimony of admitting less than PhP200 million-worth in both peso and dollar accounts not embodied in his SALN made him all the more deceitful with his alibis of copiously invoking the Bank Secrecy Law on Dollar Deposits and the so-called “co-mingled” nature of his peso deposit. Both were debunked by the prosecution and, most brilliantly, by the Presiding Officer of the Impeachment Court himself, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, in his vote explanation.
With his cabal of lawyers headed by no less than former Supreme Court Justice Serafin Cuevas toeing and surrounding him most of the time, Corona loaded his arsenal with both legal and melodrama antics. Aside from playing sick and acting pitiful, he punctuated his first court appearance May 22 with a sudden walk-out from court after delivering a virtual speech-lecture for two hours [two more topics of his lengthy piece were not read].
Some say Corona was not actually sick but was tired and delirious reading his kilometric parries and alibis on his case; angry and unforgiving in his illogic, indecent and irrelevant personal tirades on the family of his in-laws—the Basa-Guidote family, one of whom stood witness against his devious character. At a relatively young age of 63, Corona—his defense lawyer Cuevas and impeachment court presiding officer Enrile are going 90—sulks shameless like a broken old man ended sitting in a wheelchair like his poker-faced/pint-sized boss Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Late afternoon on the day Corona reappeared in court May 25 to continue testifying for himself, his colleague at Gloria’s stable of lapdogs, former Agriculture undersecretary and habitual “joker” Jocjoc Bolante of the infamous PhP782 million 2004 fertilizer scam, silently sneaked in into the country and disembarked at the airport reportedly from the United States riding roughshod on the unpopular “hot seat” and “refuge” for charged criminal offenders and convicts, the wheelchair.
Sad news though. Pundits say that there are no hospitals in hell and using a wheelchair thereat is not advisable. Steel melts in flame. A sinful soul does not. So there’s the other sad news… rmb . anl . june2012
c. “K to 12” gov’t education program commences
By: Wena Agaton-Balino
TOUTED to be a new and reform-oriented education program of the Aquino government, the so-called “K to 12” education reform concept commences this school-year 2012-2013 with nary a public notice or sort of information campaign to educate the public. Worse, it must be moot and academic by now with its subtle implementation.
Must we study brief and simple what is meant by the term, “K to 12”, this program means a prolonged period of schooling for the youth from “Kinder to Year 12”. Other educators, analysts and cause-oriented groups call it “K + 12” as they see it a more accurate term.
The salient points of the program were indeed disturbing to parents , students and non-government organizations who, in the first place, were neither consulted nor oriented at all about its intricacies, benefits and repercussions. As such, it turns out a surprise to most parents and students thus resulting to protests and confusions.
Firstly, kindergarten [“K”] was not explained to the public that it was made compulsory beginning June 2012 by virtue of Republic Act 1057, a new law otherwise known as the Kindergarten Education Act institutionalizing “kinder” as part of the country’s basic education system thereby making it a pre-requisite for admission to grade 1. Before this law, kindergarten education was optional.
Third, secondary education [highs school] was extended two years more at two levels, namely: The first four years designated as junior high school [JHS] level; and the last two years as senior high school [SHS] level purportedly intended for skills development or actual vocational training.
Tagging this new education program as “K to12” is misleading, if not erroneous. “K + 12” is most precise so as to make the three  added years for “basic education” noticeable and significant. Before R. A. 1057, students go the distance from elementary to high school only for a total of ten  years. Now, at 13 years, it must be exorbitant for the average parents with the uncontrollable hike in prices of basic commodities, fares, books, uniforms and tuition fees. It goes back to fear that education has now turned to be a privilege, not a right.
Lastly, it’s important to ponder on the three  more years added to the country’s basic education system. We may say the rich hardly noticed it, or conveniently ignored the change the government claims as “education reform” subscribing to two international education accords—the Bologna and Washington Accords on Global Education Standards.
Predictably, the poor resented the change. Aside from not being consulted, it prolongs their agony of budgeting and spending for another three long years. Moreover, the two years added to secondary education was implemented without the benefit of law. There are pending bills on this but these are not yet laws thus eliciting doubts and anger from parents and students and the public at large.
On the other hand, private educational institutions must be rejoicing with this development since they cater to the rich, from the middle class and up who disdain poor quality public education. Kinder students, on the average, shell out PhP25,000.00 each for tuition in private schools. Much more so in exclusive institutions.
No wonder, per 100 students entering grade school only four to six of them hurdle college. Over 90% student dropouts for a developing third world country like the Philippines is an unsettling phenomenon. [To be continued…] wab . anl . june2012
d. Pacquiao loses to “Mafiosis”?
By: Nilo Corpuz . Europe Correspondent
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao tasted the bitter pill of defeat at the boxing arena for the first time in a victorious seven-year period not by a single power punch from the “clincher-runner” Tim Bradley but by shade of “Mafiosi-style” scoring.
But we need no scorecards of Vegas-based judges or referees for the public viewers are the ultimate judges to a legitimate sport and not to a gambling game. Boxing aficionados and the world over may review time and again the tapes of the fight in various angles and one can see some dirty hands even in the actuations of a referee enjoyably watching Bradley clinching Pacquiao’s neck with his left arm while pounding with a clinched right fist the back of the head and body of the fighting solon. This, in the naked eye, is pure and simple connivance and foul play at work.
At one point, the referee was seen grabbing the stronger left hand of Manny Pacquiao and forcibly hauled him away from a hugging Bradley—an unlikely practice for a referee as it endangers one boxer against the other who looms free to hit the guy pulled off defenseless by the referee.
A truly professional referee taps the shoulders of the antagonists, forces through his hands in between the clinching fighters and shouts, “break!”, to separate the two. Not this one bull of a “referee-spectator” who skirts danger and plays fire to favor the undeserving, undermines sportsmanship and degrades the integrity of the boxing sport.
We may take a look at the “CompuBox” for a more independent and reliable recording [not just scoring] on the respective fight performances of Pacquiao and Bradley.
But the computer is just that, a “machine”. Going to the most reliable judgment of humans, we may cite the likes of Oscar dela Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Bradley himself, on what they can say on the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. Golden Boy Dela Joya and Leonard were reported to have said Pacquiao won unanimously. Other personalities say, convincingly. Heavyweight Champ Evander Holyfield who was at ringside was seen stunned and shaking his head in disbelief upon hearing the shocking verdict. Top Rank Promotions boss and promoter of the fight, Bob Arum, won’t believe the “Pacman” lost. He immediately ordered an investigation on the judges’ scoring of the bout.
Mother-of-all-shockers were those statements reportedly uttered just after the fight by no less than Timothy Bradley himself. “I did my best but it’s hard to beat the guy,” he allegedly retorted on how he assessed the bout. Most revealing was his reply to a query later if he really won the fight, saying: “Let’s see the tapes if I really have won.” Or words to that effect. Somebody on Twitter was said to have commented that even Bradley’s parents doubted his victory.
Doubts linger all over the globe on the Vegas fight of Pacquiao and Bradley. Quite a number are suggesting—Asingan NewsLine, included—of a Bradley-Pacquiao rematch in Africa as what Muhammad Ali did with George Foreman in 1974 away from the so-called gambling “Mafiosis” of Las Vegas. nc . anl . june2012
P U N C H L I N E
“Media-for-hire” proliferates in Asingan?
By: Ross “Ticong” Diaz
IT WAS called “envelopemental journalism” during dictator Marcos’ martial rule. Now it’s virulent as “media men-for-hire” roaming the streets. Martial law era entices media people with envelopes containing cash. Today it’s the reverse with “media men” enticing politicians to hire them for good [read: election victory!].
With the long-standing operation of the numbers game “jueteng” in the province still rampant; the growing incidents of theft and robbery [of phone and TV wires, computer shops, motor and rice thresher engines, etc]; the recurring cases of crops stolen or harvested at gunpoint and the periodic cattle and hog rustling by armed men done at night time. All these are not isolated cases anymore as they calculatedly attack randomly and periodically to evade detection. More other crimes ranging from the petty to the syndicated ones attacking individuals, homes and even malls are increasing both in frequency and audacity.
Worse, the citizenry is voiceless and defenseless in the face of such malady. Aside from being a police matter, crime could be reduced with a well-informed and vigilant citizenry. On this task, media should come in to take the cudgels of informing and educating community people on the vagaries of criminality and their perpetrators.
Media entities in Asingan come and go in scarce interval. Moreover, principles and commitment were rarely the overriding motivation where money is a corrosive force. Asingan NewsLine received some friendly tips as early as February this year of some local media personalities “prospecting” on the brewing political climate around town.
To wit, a blogspot or two came out on the net. Another two entities are going around openly scouting for possible partners and patrons for the bucks as they know well of elections looming around the corner. ANL has yet to receive a feeler, friendly or not, cash or in kind, co-media men or politicians. Warn you scoundrels, we are pricey. Precisely because we cannot be bought… ticong . anl . june2012
F E A T U R E
a. It’s more “funny justice” in the Philippines!
By: Rudy D. Antonio . Canada Correspondent
One case in point is a certain Delsa Flores sold out to the “jaws-of-justice-Philippine-style”. Flores is a lowly court interpreter who was dismissed from her job by the Regional Trial Court-Branch 4 in Panabo, Davao in 1997 for failure to disclose in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth a mere market stall she owns. Accomplishing a SALN is required of all judiciary employees.
Said Court states that Flores’ “failure to disclose her business interest,” which she herself candidly admitted, “is inexcusable and is a clear violation of Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.” Her lowly job position requires no impeachment process thereby conveniently dismissing her outright.
While Corona was searching and invoking technicality excuses and alibis from beginning to end, Flores was not only dismissed outright and immediately. She was made to suffer most painfully her dismissal from work by thrashing her entire person with the full weight and harshness of the “discriminatory law of the rich and powerful” by blacklisting her in all government agencies and corporations.
Not content with that infamous punishment, the Court likewise forfeited her retirement benefits and accrued leave credits. Whoever is the Chief Justice at that time, he would have his ears and balls clapping and banging in all his delight seeing Delsa Flores reduced into ignominy! It was not reported whether Delsa’s market stall was likewise forfeited or confiscated by the most noble Court of Panabo. That could have put the sadist judge to high heavens where none of his kind must have been there, in the first place. “Hinubaran ng ganap si Delsa Flores ng kanyang buong dangal at kabuhayan!”
Meanwhile, melodrama try-hard and lawyer Renato C. Corona is reportedly going back to academe presumably to teach what he had learned from his 44-day course at the impeachment courtroom. We’re tempted to think if he considers showbiz particularly acting, if not directing. Reportedly, too, he believes his pride and honor were intact and, if we may add, including his sleek pocket.
At the tail-end of all these, we’re likewise tempted to pose some familiar questions. Did Corona’s ALN [Assets, Liabilities and Networth] and other business interests—undeclared or otherwise—frozen or forfeited? Was he blacklisted in all government agencies and corporations? How about his retirement benefits and accrued leave credits?
We may be not lawyers to understand legal technicalities a.k.a “palusot”. But we do clearly see, understand and empathize with the sad plight of one of our very own, Delsa Flores. –rda . anl-vancouver . june2012
b. ANL hails a fruitful year!
By: Bencio Balino
AFTER the birth pains comes the joyful gains! Asingan NewsLine caps a full year round this month of June 2012. Putting up this on-line newsletter is a by-product of the April 2011 grand reunion-homecoming of the Rizal Academy Class ’68.
Co-chairpersons Rudy D. Antonio [for External Affairs] and Ruben M. Balino [for Internal Affairs] of the RA Class ’68 Alumni Association were then ambitious to have an on-line newsletter for the Class to look up to as a “converging point” for its members—meaning, where to reach each other via news, messages and articles expressive of Class sentiments of what’s going on back home in Asingan and all over the country.
The duo agreed to appoint an old friend—old man, too, at 70—to become Editor-In-Chief of then Asingan OnLine [AOL]. The first three issues [June-July-August] were tumultuous. Questions on competence and collective discipline cropped up within the Editorial Board prompting the publisher to revamp it [EB] and let go of the appointed non-RA Class ’68 Editor who was then showing bouts of rabid egotistic and individualistic arrogance by deleting AOL out from the net [blogspot] less the blessing of the owner-publisher.
The new Editorial Board took over September 2012 and appointed Class member Ruben M. Balino temporarily to the post of Managing Editor to lead and oversee the publication of the Alumni newsletter then renamed to a more journalistic title, “Asingan NewsLine”. The rest was history.
“Thanks it was professionalized sans the caprices of an egocentric amateur,” quips one of our Canadian Correspondents upon reading the September issue of ANL. The appointed managing editor was made to assume the EIC [Editor-In-Chief] post April this year.
As of last issue—ANL, May 2012—the readership of Asingan NewsLine has significantly widened to 44 directly supplied classmates, friends and supporters. It is also being sent to the walls of five Facebook Accounts/Groups with more or less two thousand members. Comments and responses were most favorable since the new Board and Staff took over.
Hence, we urge our classmates, close friends and supporters to please pass this newsletter on to your contacts via “Share”, or by locating it @ asingannewsline.blogspot.com. Rest assured that ANL’s Editorial Board shall abide by its slogan, “Write to Serve”, at all times and in the best way and effort we can muster. Agyaman kami! --bb . anl . june2012
L I T E R A R Y
a. Quotation of the Month: [Sent by: Merly G. Mayo . U.S. Correspondent]
“Earth provides enough for
every man’s need,
but not for
every man’s greed.”
Gasp for justice
How can I reach you
when you’re too distant,
clothed with deceit,
adorned with power
but oblivious of the truth.
How, when, and where
could we face each other
when there’s a wall
dividing our distance;
thence near yet so far,
a drawn cutting line,
due the elite, if at all,
for the unlettered.
Pointedly, I would ask
for clear, outright answers
to questions direly blunted
by the perverts of power.
This, I would dare
clinch my bruised fist,
raise it up the sky,
seize the elusive peace
crowned with equity,
of pristine justice.
--ruben m balino . anl . june2012
To the pillars of the family: “Happy and meaningful Father’s
Day. May you weather the increasing rigors of fathering in this
culturally eroding cyber world!"
Nota Bene: As of this posting, the World Boxing Organization had just concluded a few days ago its own investigation on the controversial Tim Bradley win over WBO Welterweight Champ Manny Pacquiao totally reversing the “blind mice” decision and declaring the “Pacman” as unanimous winner by a wide margin. [Details in ANL’s July 2012 Issue]