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Reflections

“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Aquinos of the Philippines

HONESTY is still the BEST Policy!
 Cory And Ninoy In Marcos’ Military Tribunal 
“I Have Fallen In Love With The Same Woman Three Times”
by Sen. Ninoy Aquino, Jr.
I have fallen in love
with the same woman three times;
In a day spanning 19 years
of tearful joys and joyful tears.
I loved her first when she was young,
enchanting and vibrant, eternally new.
She was brilliant, fragrant,
and cool as the morning dew.
I fell in love with her the second time;
when first she bore her child and mine
always by my side, the source of my strength,
helping to turn the tide.
But there were candles to burn
the world was my concern;
while our home was her domain.
and the people were mine
while the children were hers to maintain;
So it was in those eighteen years and a day.
’till I was detained; forced in prison to stay.
Suddenly she’s our sole support;
source of comfort,
our wellspring of Hope.
On her shoulders felt the burden of Life.
I fell in love again,
with the same woman the third time.
Looming from the battle,
her courage will never fade
Amidst the hardships she has remained,
undaunted and unafraid.
she is calm and composed,
she is God’s lovely maid.
ARRIVAL STATEMENT OF SENATOR BENIGNO AQUINO JR., AT THE MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO BE DELIVERED BEFORE HIS WELCOMERS ON AUGUST 21, 1983*
I have returned on my free will to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedoms through non-violence.
I seek no confrontation. I only pray and will strive for a genuine national reconciliation founded on justice.
I am prepared for the worst, and have decided against the advice of my mother, my spiritual adviser, many of my tested friends and a few of my most valued political mentors.
A death sentence awaits me. Two more subversion charges, both calling for death penalties, have been filed since I left three years ago and are now pending with the courts.
I could have opted to seek political asylum in America, but I feel it is my duty, as it is the duty of every Filipino, to suffer with his people especially in time of crisis.
I never sought nor have I been given any assurance, or promise of leniency by the regime. I return voluntarily armed only with a clear conscience and fortified in the faith that in the end, justice will emerge triumphant.
According to Gandhi, the willing sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful answer to insolent tyranny that has yet been conceived by God and man.
(Reprinted from The New York Times, August 22, 1983)
The Cory Poem
(based 100% on quotes of Cory Aquino)
  I just do whatever it is that I believe I should do,
Regardless of the risks to my life.
I would rather die a meaningful death
Than to live a meaningless life.
Faith is not simply a patience
That passively suffers until the storm is past.
Rather, it is a spirit that bears things
With blazing, serene hope.
It is true you cannot eat freedom
And you cannot power machinery with democracy.
But then neither can political prisoners turn on
The light in the cells of a dictatorship.

President Noynoy Aquino
An honest man with a storied pedigree
Can he fix a broken country?
It's a HERCULEAN JOB!
Matuwid Na Daan
A Commitment to Transformational Leadership:
1. From a President who tolerates corruption to a President who is the nation’s first and most determined fighter of corruption.
2. From a government that merely conjures economic growth statistics that our people know to be unreal to a government that prioritizes jobs that empower the people and provide them with opportunities to rise above poverty.
3. From relegating education to just one of many concerns to making education the central strategy for investing in our people, reducing poverty and building national competitiveness.
4. From treating health as just another area for political patronage to recognizing the advancement and protection of public health, which includes responsible parenthood, as key measures of good governance.
5. From justice that money and connections can buy to a truly impartial system of institutions that deliver equal justice to rich or poor.
Economy
6. From government policies influenced by well-connected private interests to a leadership that executes all the laws of the land with impartiality and decisiveness.
7. From treating the rural economy as just a source of problems, to recognizing farms and rural enterprises as vital to achieving food security and more equitable economic growth,worthy of re-investment for sustained productivity.
8. From government anti-poverty programs that instill a dole-out mentality to well-considered programs that build capacity and create opportunity among the poor and the marginalized in the country.
9. From a government that dampens private initiative and enterprise to a government that creates conditions conducive to the growth and competitiveness of private businesses, big, medium and small.
10. From a government that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange, disregarding the social cost to Filipino families to a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity; and when its citizens do choose to become OFWs, their welfare and protection will still be the government’s priority.
Note: These were the campaign promises of Noynoy when he was a presidential candidate.
The EQ Scorecard on P.Noy's Performance To-date
1) Economy: Grade A-
GDP  grew   year-on-year   by  6.0 percent in the third quarter of 2015. This is higher than the growth rates of 5.8 percent in the second quarter of 2015 and the 5.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014.
The    third  quarter growth  was  driven  by  the  Services   sector   which  accelerated to  7.3 percent from 5.6 percent.    This performance  is   the  highest   since   the 7.4 percent  growth recorded  in  the  third quarter of 2013.  The  entire  Agriculture sector  recovered  in  the third  quarter  by 0.4 percent from a 2.6 percent decline posted during the same period last year.  On the other hand, the Industry sector slowed down to 5.4 percent from 7.8 percent last year. From PSA2) 
2) Poverty Alleviation:Grade C
Economic growth did not translate into poverty reduction in recent years
Poverty and inequality in the Philippines remains a challenge. In the past four decades, the proportion of households living below the official poverty line has declined slowly and unevenly and poverty reduction has been much slow.
Economic growth has gone through boom and bust cycles, and recent episodes of moderate economic expansion have had limited impact on the poor. Great inequality across income brackets, regions, and sectors, as well as unmanaged population growth, are considered some of the key factors constraining poverty reduction efforts. From ADB
3) Reproductive Health:Grade A
The EQ Post strongly believes that parents can have as many babies as they want BUT they have the obligation to raise each of them properly. In the Philippines, there are baby factories all over the poor communities simply because the man just wanted SEX and the woman could not say NO or didn't know what to do to prevent unwanted ...pregnancies. That's why the EQ Post is 100% for the Reproductive Health Law.
4) Foreign Affairs: Grade A
The Chinese Bully Strategy versus the Philippines
President Benigno S. Aquino III called for nations around the world to do more to support the Philippines in resisting China’s assertive claims to the seas near his country, drawing a comparison to the West’s failure to support Czechoslovakia against Hitler’s demands for Czech land in 1938.
Like Czechoslovakia, the Philippines faces demands to surrender territory piecemeal to a much stronger foreign power and needs more robust foreign support for the rule of international law if it is to resist.
“If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line?” he said. He later added, “At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough’? Well, the world has to say it — remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II.” P.Noy
5) Labor Market: C
Despite rapid economic growth in the Philippines in recent years, unemployment remains a persistent problem for the sprawling Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people.
Under President Benigno Aquino, in office since 2010, unemployment has fallen. The latest figures show the rate at 6.4 per cent in the second quarter of this year, down from 7 per cent a year earlier. But progress has been uneven and the Philippines still has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the Asean region.
One reason is that job creation has struggled to keep pace with an ever-expanding population. In three of the past five years, the number of people entering the job market has been greater than the number of jobs created.
The conundrum highlights the difficulty of spreading the benefits of economic growth and suggests they have yet to trickle down to more deprived areas.
Participation in the labour force remains relatively low. Only about 65 per cent of the population aged 15 and above is looking for work, one of the lowest levels in the region. This compares with 78 per cent in Vietnam, 72 per cent in Thailand and 68 per cent in Indonesia. From CNBC
6) Anti-Corruption:A-
P10 billion scam in the midst of abject poverty!
At least, two Pork Senators are in jail now!
7) Disaster Relief: B-
"The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone places on Earth," said Kathleen Tierney, director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado. "They've got it all. They've got earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, tropical cyclones, landslides."
Government response:ok in Bohol and Zamboanga.But slow in Tacloban.
8) Government Service: B-
There is no question that Malacañang tapped the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) mechanism in the national budget to provide additional pork barrel to legislators.
"In the interest of transparency, we want to set the record straight on releases made to support projects that were proposed by Senators on top of their regular PDAF allocation toward the end of 2012. These fund releases have recently been touted as ‘bribes,’ ‘rewards,’ or ‘incentives.’ They were not. The releases, which were mostly for infrastructure projects, were part of what is called the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) designed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to ramp up spending and help accelerate economic expansion. To suggest that these funds were used as “bribes” is inaccurate at best and irresponsible at worst." Butch Abad
9) Peace and Order: B+
The peace and situation in the country remains "manageable and generally peaceful" amid reports of the alleged beheading of a Malaysian kidnap victim in the southern part of the country.
10) AFP Modernization:B 
 President Aquino has approved the Armed Forces modernization program’s shopping list, allowing the procurement of defense assets to move forward.
The big-ticket items approved by Aquino include the two Navy frigates worth P18 billion, three air surveillance radars worth P2.68 billion, six close air support aircraft worth P4.97 billion, two units of long range patrol aircraft worth P5.98 billion, multi-purpose attack craft project worth P864.32 million, night fighting system worth P1.116 billion; two C-130 aircraft worth P1.6 billion, two naval helicopters worth P5.4 billion and lead-in fighter trainer jets ammunition worth P4.47 billion.
The modernization program submitted to the President is worth more than P60 billion.