On the Reproductive Health Bill

I will not bother with the technicalities and provisions of the Reproductive Health Bill that is being debated in the House of Representatives. You can read the contents of the bill and decide for yourself. Just the same, let me express my support for the bill, with my main argument centering on the freedom of choice and the government’s duty to provide its citizens the widest choice possible when it comes to reproductive health.

First, the freedom of choice is not explicitly stated in the Constitution. Instead, it is divided into several freedoms as stated in the Bill of Rights (Article III), like (but not limited to) freedom of speech and of expression, freedom of religious worship, and the non-imposition of a poll tax.  Also, in Roman Catholic theology, free will is universally accepted and respected (there’s an “as long as” after that, but I leave that to theologians). When a man and a woman gets married, they do so on their own choice and free will (unless it’s an arranged or shotgun wedding). When a married couple choose to have children or not, they do so on their own choice and free will. Whatever mode of family planning that they choose, the Church and the government has no right to interfere with the said choice (as long as the choice is not incompatible with existing laws); nor does it have the right to deny the choice as long as it is not contrary to law. The Church may morally convince the couple to choose the natural method, but since it has lost the power to impose its will (come on, excommunication is just an empty threat), it can do no more.

Second, I have already stated this before (in the post The Church and the State), and I will state it again: “The Government must promote (not push) artificial family planning to those who are willing to use it. It should not be denied to those who need it most. I believe that the policy should be of promotion, not institutionalization.” Let me refine by saying that the government must promote all family planning methods. This is the Government’s duty.

Unfortunately, the current regime has chosen to act as part of the Catholic Taliban and made natural method its family planning policy. So a poor couple (and the woman has an irregular period) who wants to control the number of offspring cannot expect the government to hand them out condoms and/or pills. I think this policy violates the couple’s freedom of choice. This is a gross dereliction of duty by this regime.

I believe that the Reproductive Health Act (if enacted) will hopefully correct this abusive, short-sighted, and counterproductive policy. It makes the policy a law so that a tyrant cannot just arbitrarily impose his/her religious belief on everyone. The RH Bill is a step in the right direction.

But I am not that hopeful about the future of the bill. The delaying tactics by congressmen on both sides of the aisle (I am terribly disappointed with the opposition, to be honest) is working, and the bill might pass by a very narrow vote (or be utterly defeated). And what about the Senate version? The Senate is having one of its obligatory intramural, and most likely the counterpart bill would be shuffled in the recycled bin. And even it it passes the Senate, Gloria Arroyo can always veto it. Depending on how the votes go, both Houses of Congress would need more than just a simple majority to overturn the veto. So, yes, it is an uphill climb, and the future is bleak. But who knows? Divine intervention might choose to exercise divine irony.

The success of the bill’s local counterpart in Quezon City is an exception unless other local governments enact similar ordinances. It can be done, and it is more manageable.

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The cost of peace

milfgametreerevised At the left is a modified version of Bong Montesa‘s “Game Tree” about the TROd Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain between the Arroyo Administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Click on the image to enlarge.

I felt that Mr. Montesa is either being clever or dishonest with his “GAME TREE” and justifications for his choice of peace, whatever the cost.

game-tree-supreme-court001 Here is Montesa’s original game tree, and compare that with the one I did above. Basically my additions are on the white side. If you notice, all choices lead to war except on HIS choice, which is actually open-ended and subject to speculation. Hence, he is being clever or dishonest.

His choice of the phrase “Game Tree” is appropriate, because for all intents and purposes, his flowchart is propaganda – he is gaming public opinion by saying that all other options will lead to war. Yet notice his choice – it is open-ended. Here, he is being clever by saying that “Hey, I am not sure what would happen after this, so…” Yet, he was certain that the other choices WILL lead to war. Here he is being dishonest. He is certain on certain options, but not on his choice?

He is gaming public opinion by not posting the possible ramifications of the results of a plebiscite, as if he is saying, “Hey, it is possible that peace could be achieved after this!” How I wish he was consistent enough to terminate his game tree by placing the word PEACE after the plebiscite.

Anyway, he is being naive if he thinks things could be that simple. What if the sovereign Filipino people (his phrase) rejects the amendments? Will MILF accept such results? No. (If they reject such results, the MILF is being very Filipino, and that would be a monumental irony, IMO.) And even if the sovereign Filipino people accepts the amendments, there will be groups of people who will oppose it, and they will take up arms.

Reading his blog is like reading someone who loves Pollyanna so much. He keeps on saying that the MoA is just a framework, a roadmap that needs approval of the Filipino people – it is not enforceable even if signed. Mr. Montesa, the MILF says it is a done deal – they mean that it is now in effect. And he keeps on harping on constitutional process even if (1) he says peace talks are unconstitutional; and (2) the MILF does not consider itself under the Philippine Constitution and under the Philippines, period.

Then he posted his First Nation BS, and how I wish he posted his proofs, not what-ifs. The problem with his First Nation is that many will dispute the notion – some will say the lumads comprise the First Nation, etc.

And lastly – he is being pretentious if he thinks the MILF represents the entire people of Mindanao. The fact that there are Mindanaoans who are opposing the MoA AD belies his illusion. He, together with the Arroyo Administration panel, should have first consulted all stakeholders before shoving the country in a corner.  The fact that he called most reactions are emotional speaks of his short-sightedness and tunnel vision. His ignorance of the total picture of the Mindanao situation has actually EXACERBATED the tension instead of easing it.

I am all for peace, but at what cost? The comparison between the MoA AD and Chamberlain’s capitulation at Munich is somewhat apt – we will not have peace and we will have war. That is the cost of peace that Mr. Montesa and the likes want to impose on us.

I do not profess myself to be an expert on Mindanao, and neither do I claim that I have solutions on the problems of Mindanao. I think I have said it before that the solution lies in the hands of the Mindanaoans themselves. And yes, the solution lies in their hands.

What I will contend is that some group of people are piggy-backing on this issue for their own ends. This is the kind of screwup that pushes Mindanao on the brink of chaos. I don’t blame some people in Mindanao if they wanted to break free.


State of the Kingdom Address (SoKA) 2008

Our Lord Prime Syncophant, the Right Honorable Lord Chancellor, Our lords and members of the House of Reprehensibles, the Right Honorable MisChief Magistrate:

We are facing the crucial moment in history, wherein Our kingdom’s greatest generation has faced and has hurdled many obstacles. But now We are facing what is probably the greatest challenge Our government has ever faced. The economic crisis that grips the world is probably the worst since ancient times, a roller coaster of high economic growth and increasing number of poor. It is like a tsunami that is threatening to drown this kingdom.

But with Our foresight and wisdom, We have softened the shock of the economic crisis. We have enough funds to sustain Our lavish lifestyle; the royal barn is full of grain, and the royal motorized vehicles will never run out of gasoline. We thank the Heavens for giving Us the guts to institute reforms to weather this crisis. We thank the Parliament, specially the House of Reprehensibles, for its groveling support to Our glorious reign. We thank all the foolish people who continuously support Our royal lifestyle through levies and taxes and their apathy. We don’t care if Our royal reign is disliked, for We know that we get the job done – to sustain and maintain the status quo.

We have not lived with the poor. We do not care about the miserables lives they live. We are mostly concerned with our privileged life and the maintenance of Our glorious reign. It is the prime duty of the House of Miserable Lords to live with the poor, to care for them, of course, with Our royal blessing.

We praise the lowly citizens for their undying loyalty and support to Our glorious reign. While the enemies of Our glorious reign may continue maligning Our royal character, the miserable poor will continue living their miserable lives, paying no heed to Our glorious satisfaction and happiness. They will pay no heed to Our enemies.

We praise the apathetic people who do not care about Our glorious reign. For their apathy has sustained Our glorious reign, through their prompt and complete payment of taxes, while paying no heed to the activities of Our glorious government. They are truly enlightened, who see that Our actions and decisions are not in their purview. They are wise to leave the running of the country to Our royal government.

We have instituted several goals to sustain the status quo. We wanted to make sure the Our glorious reign continues till forever, and for that We have set goals. Most of these goals might have been unpopular, but We remain steadfast in our decision to levy additional taxes. The imposition of the Vulture-like Asinine Tax has been so unpopular, but We remain adamant that this imposition is important to maintain sufficiency of the royal funds to sustain Our glorious reign. Take this tax away, and see the status quo crumble. Lifting this imposition is like abdicating Our royal prerogative.

Leadership requires necessary decision, and We have firmly resolved to maintain this tax.

We have resolved, further, for the betterment of the status quo. We will continue taxing the apathetic people while lifting the tax burden of the poor. This will lead for the poor to live decadent lives, which will lead to a robust population growth. We have made this decision to satisfy the charlatans of the temples.

We will build new roads, new dams, new irrigation systems, nautical highways, village halls, basketball courts; We will improve existing drainages, roads, school buildings. This will keep the members of the House happy and content. This is also Our token of gratitude for the House’s blind loyalty.

We believe that we can do better to improve the status quo. Join Us as We lift this kingdom to Great World Status. We will not let anyone stand in Our way to glory and richness. We will not let anyone’s agenda to derail our plans. We are one kingdom under Our glorious reign.y Lords and

We are forwarding for the Parliament’s perusal Our annual budgetary requirements for the coming year. We expect that this Parliament will comply with Our royal requirements.

Lords and members of the House of Reprehensibles, may Mammon’s blessing rest upon your counsels.


Pacquiao KOs Diaz in round 9

Here are the news:

Pacquiao KOs Diaz in 9th round, wins fourth world title
Pacquiao stops Diaz at 9th, wins WBC belt

Chavit Singson must be happy now. And the presidential junket should go home now and attend to their constituents.

Biggest winners:

* The government officials who couldn’t cancel their trip to go home because they bought expensive tickets to the boxing fight
* Those who bet for Pacquiao – that mayor who built his fortune on betting on Pacquiao must be quite happy
* GMA 7 for the sheer number of ads
* Gloria Arroyo (I will not be surprised if one of these days, we would see Gloria and Manny touring the places devastated by Frank)
* Manny Pacquiao

Biggest losers

* The victims of typhoon Frank, who couldn’t be attended to by government officials who wouldn’t cancel their US trip, all because it was scheduled long ago, and Frank wasn’t scheduled to come
* David Diaz (better luck next time)
* Those who bet on Diaz

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This regime should walk the talk

As the shareholders of Meralco meet tomorrow for their annual meeting, I think it is time to put Winston Garcia in his proper place.

Weeks before, Garcia went on a rampage, complaining a lot of things about Meralco – from high power rates to failure of management to show him documents to Meralco purchasing power from Lopez-owned independent power producers (IPPs). When asked what he wanted to happen, he said that he just wanted a change in management, not a government takeover of Meralco.

His complaints led to the Joint Congressional Power Commission to convene and hear the side of Garcia and Meralco. The Power Commission, like most congressional investigations, led to nowhere, but a few curious facts were uncovered, like systems loss and imposing VAT on systems loss.

Earlier, I had posted that this issue, like the rice crisis, is a diversion. Let me expound further why it is so.

One: Garcia is barking up the wrong tree. Meralco cannot impose rate increases unless it is approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission, which is headed by a Gloria Arroyo ally, Rodolfo Albano. Garcia should instead petition ERC to reduce Meralco’s rates. This regime keeps on asking us to follow the rule of law, yet one of its lackeys keeps on ventilating on the wrong forum. “Bring it to the courts” is a favorite line by this regime, and it should walk the talk.

Two: Garcia’s allegation that the Meralco management is withholding important documents. As a board director, he should know what is happening to the company. And if he thinks the Meralco management is indeed withholding the documents that he needs, he should ask the courts to compel Meralco to produce these documents.

Three: The issue on systems loss is actually not a legal issue, but a moral one. The law allows Meralco to pass to its customers up to 9.5% its system losses. So if Meralco charges us 9.5%, it is not illegal. It can be immoral, but rule of law prevails.

Four: Meralco passing on to its customers its electricity expense. This is allowed by the law; heck, all businesses factor in electricity expense in the pricing of their products and services. Singling out Meralco is unfair, I think.

Five: Knowing that it can actually lower rates by petitioning ERC and removing/reducing VAT on electricity, this regime has chosen to do what it says the opposition does – trial by publicity. Why? I can think of several reasons:

1. The regime is trying to bury us with seemingly-real issues, which is a clear attempt to bury the real issues. It takes the initiative to set the issue and muddle the waters.
2. If you notice, the regime is trying to be populist nowadays. First, the rice crisis, then Meralco, and now text messaging. I question its populist sincerity since this regime could have brought up these issues way back in 2001, but it only did so now.

Both of these point to the same thing: the regime is trying to divert our attention from the real issues.

If this regime, through its lackey Winston Garcia, is serious about reducing Meralco’s rates, it should do so via ERC, not through the Power Commission, and certainly not through the media. Yet it has not done so, and I cannot help but think that this regime is insincere in this issue, and that leads me to conclude that this is just a diversion.

PS: I suggest that Garcia should instead attend to the problems of GSIS. He keeps on hitting Meralco’s management, while GSIS pensioners are crying havoc. Clean up your backyard first, Winston.


Palace: Attack v. Meralco a diversion =P

There are a few things we can learn from the Fortress’ reactions to the pictures and the new witness-of-sorts in the NBN-ZTE deal. There are two deputy spokespersons who goes by the names Anthony Golez and Lorelei Fajardo, and their shenanigans always show a semblance of truth, even if that word is not in the official Fortress dictionary.

As a background, this supposed witness supposedly saw Gloria Arroyo, her husband Mike, and her Comelec chair Ben Abalos playing golf with officials of ZTE at a golf club in Szenzhen, China. The said golf course was near the ZTE headquarters, and the trio went there after a golf game.

The first salvo came from Golez, who said that the witness should charge Gloria Arroyo in the courts. Of course, let us pardon Golez’ ignorance of the law (even if ignorance is not an excuse, as per Civil Code), and tell him gently that we cannot sue Gloria criminally since his amo enjoys immunity from any suit. And to remove that immunity, she has to be impeached first. But, the House of Reprehensibles will never do that, however substantial the impeachment complaint is. Golez tries to be cute, but he instead insults every consciously-thinking (there are those who chose not to think) Filipinos.

Oh, he continued trying to be cute, first by stating that the meeting with ZTE officials were official. Mr. Golez, if it was official, how come it was not reported in the media? How come there was no press release? Second, he said that the picture hasn’t prove anything malicious, that there was nothing wrong with Gloria playing golf with her husband. Well, this proves that delicadeza is dead, a Filipino value that is left forgotten, for it hinders corruption. Mr. Golez, there is nothing wrong with a president of a country courting foreign investors. But to do so in secret is not right. And who paid for the golf game? Can you show us some receipts, please?

The second salvo came from Fajardo, the most effective spokeswoman that Gloria has ever hired. First, she admitted that her amo met with ZTE officials, confirming part of what that witness had said: that Gloria did had a meeting with ZTE officials, and insisted that it was not a secret. Ms. Fajardo, please read my comments to your colleague’s failed attempts to be cute, you might learn a thing or two.

And what she had said next implicitly stated the rationale for the Fortress’ attack against Meralco: it is a diversion, plain and simple. She said that the public should not be diverted from the true issue at hand, which is high power rates. Kaboom! There you go!

Gloria Arroyo must be paying top bucks for these two. She gets what she pays for. We are paying for them? We are f*cked!


Earning brownie points at Meralco’s expense

Members of the Government Service Insurance System should sue Winston Garcia for outright stupidity. And for acting against their best interest.

GSIS takes “contributions” from government employees every month, and GSIS invests these so that it can provide pension and death benefits to its members and their beneficiaries. GSIS holds a stake at the electricity distribution monopoly. A company declares dividends (in cash or stock) when a company has surplus earnings. So whenever Meralco declares dividends, the GSIS earns.

meralco logoThat is why I am astounded by Garcia’s complaint that the Meralco rates are high, and that Meralco is overcharging its customers. See news reports here (ABS-CBN), here (GMA), and here (PDI).

As general manager of GSIS, Garcia’s primary concern should be the money of its members. His main tasks are to ensure that the members’ funds are in good hands, invest these funds soundly, and pay benefits on time. In short, he works for the interests of GSIS members. Isn’t it for the best interests of GSIS members if Meralco pays high dividends? Will it not benefit GSIS members if there is a large return on investment (ROI)?

As a member of Meralco’s Board of Directors, Garcia has a say on Meralco’s direction. And if he claims that the government owns 35% of Meralco, they why did he and other government directors allow Meralco to operate as it is operating now? And if he claims that Meralco is deliberately witholding documents from him, why can’t he just oust the current management team instead of saber rattling in the media?

I don’t think his comparison between Meralco and VECO should even be given credence. Unless he can prove that Meralco and VECO are both apples, the comparison is unfair. Besides, who owns VECO? Read this:

VECO is owned and managed by the Aboitiz and Garcia families of Cebu.

And Winston is part of that Garcia families. So there.

I agree that electricity rates are high. There are many factors to consider why we have high rates, and one of them is the high cost of crude oil. To that, we can’t do anything; it’s market forces at work. Also, your electricity bill includes VAT. So technically, you are being VATed several times on just one bill: oil is subject to VAT, electricity is subject to VAT, even systems loss is subject to VAT.

And there, this regime can do something, but it won’t. It can reduce the VAT rate to 10%, but it won’t. Because the finances of this regime depends on the taxes that we all pay. So it wants Meralco to lower its rates; I suggest that this regime instead revert the VAT rate for oil and power to 10%. Asa pa ko.

What the regime did was to lower Napocor’s rates. Did you know why we had RVAT? The law that slapped us 12% tax on almost everything we buy? Back in 2004, as par of her win-at-all-costs strategy, Gloria Arroyo lowered Napocor’s rates. The net effect was ballooning of Napocor’s debts, most of which were guaranteed by the government. It brought about budget deficit, and to cover such deficit, we got 12% VAT. Currently, Napocor’s debt is worth half a trillion pesos, which we poor Pinoys are paying through our taxes. And lowering such rates will not help easing that debt. Short-term, we might have a lower electricity bill, but long-term, we are burying three generations of Pinoys in debt.

Meralco should instead counter the regime’s propaganda with transparency. Open its books without reservation and qualification. If it has nothing to hide, it should have nothing to fear. But wait. The truth shall not set you free here in this country. Just ask all of those whistleblowers out there.

I suggest you read Tongue In, Anew’s Meralco v. Mafia for a technical background on Meralco’s current political woes. It should also give you some insight on the regime’s (and its factotums Garcia, Ermita, Bunye, etc) possible motivation for attacking Meralco.


(Is there a) Deal or no deal?

Is there a deal or no deal?

Nine former Magdalo soldiers (all of them Philippine Army) recently pleaded guilty to charges of coup d’ etat, and they were handed down prison sentences from 9-40 years. The actions by Gambala and Maestrocampo surprised some people, and some speculated that a deal must have been made between the Arroyo regime and the nine.

The regime isn’t helping in quelching these speculation. Hermogenes Esperon’s reaction to the court sentence was to tell the nine to accept it. He then floated the pardon trial balloon, while members of the House of Representatives play good cop/bad cop.

And then the convicted former Magdalo soldiers asked for pardon days after their conviction; they even said sorry. A Fortress executive says that they will not granted pardon immediately; maybe a month or so?. Anyway, even Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno wants them pardoned. A few days later, the regime is seriously thinking the effects of granting pardon. And finally, the Department of National Defense and the AFP recommended that the nine be pardoned.

Given the regime’s action regarding Joseph Estrada, do you think granting pardon to nine former Magdalo soldiers is remote? Given the Arroyo regime’s actions and words for the past few days, it is not remote. I believe there is a deal, and we’ll know for sure in a few months. The best indication that there is a deal can be best glanced from one of the motives by the nine to do an about-face: they wanted to be with their families. If there is no deal, they won’t be doing an about-face. They were promised a pardon so that they could be with their families.

My only hope now is that history will not repeat itself. During the negotiations between Roy Cimatu (representing the regime) and the Magdalos on July 27, 2003 (to end the Oakwood mutiny), the agreement was for the Magdalos to return to barracks and surrender under the Articles of War. Ramon Farolan wrote about the recollections of former columnist Max Soliven regarding the Oakwood mutiny (he was present in the negotiations). Let me quote Soliven:

What bothers me is that the mutineers or rebels whatever may be tagged on them, are being double-crossed. Nobody intends to glorify them as heroes or justify their deed, certainly not this writer. But since I was in there with the negotiating group, I’ll have to speak out about what was agreed…

Being charged in civilian court was rejected by the mutineers. They surrendered themselves to military justice, under the Articles of War—in sum, court martial…

Military justice is what they were unanimously pledged by the government panelists—not prosecution in the regular justice system. Otherwise, they might not have surrendered. And you know the consequences of a firefight and the detonation of the explosives they had planted all over the place.

Was anything written down? A surrender agreement? Of course not. But we must consider that an individual’s ‘word of honor’ is supposed to be as binding as a piece of paper. Palabra de honor was what was invoked in the end. Gen. Cimatu pledged himself as an officer and a gentleman, and so did the rest of the government panel …

Are rebels, putschists or mutineers ‘scum,’ not worthy of being given such pledges? Nonsense. Word of honor binds those who give them, not the accused or the imprisoned. Cimatu and the government officers and officials involved should honor this deal.

Why is it so important for the President and her government to honor this commitment? Because if it is not upheld, who knows, what real trouble will be provoked among the far bigger number of men ‘outside’ who did not participate in the so-called coup or mutiny? I kid thee not, they are there, waiting to see whether reforms are instituted and whether heads upstairs will roll …

The Chief Executive and Commander in Chief must at least show sincerity under what was stipulated in the final agreement, the Articles of War. What about Lina’s filing of cases? Perhaps, this even falls under double jeopardy, not just a double cross.

I repeat: the Oakwood Five leaders asked for leniency for their men and even full reinstatement for their followers ‘without hitches.’ This was not conceded in the final public announcement. But the deal on the Articles of War was clearly and unequivocally announced to the media and the general public …

– Max Soliven, August 4, 2003

I hope they will not be twice betrayed.

Ellen Tordesillas called the nine’s actions as pathetic. As much as I agree with her points, I cannot begrudge the nine if they were willing to support this regime and eat their words just to be with their families. But this point by Ms. Tordesillas will haunt them forever:

Since with his appeal for presidential pardon, he is willing to support a liar, a cheat, and a thief, I’m wondering what is Gambala going to teach his son about truth and honesty.

I’d like to share with him something from the book, “The Kite Runner”. The narrator in the book, Am, tells about the time when he was a boy, the mullahs in Afghanistan said drinking alcohol is a terrible sin. He relayed the lesson to his father, who drinks.

The father made him sit on his lap for serious talk: “No matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft.”

The father continued: “When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”

What will Gambala and the eight other officers tell their children about Gloria Arroyo?


The 2008 Philippine rice crisis?

The current issue about rice is troubling.

My mom usually buys about 10 kilos of rice every week (feeding six, five of them boys, excluding visitors; add one if my older brother comes home;). A month ago, she got this variety of rice for Php 26 a kilo. The same variety now costs Php 34 per kilo. The price keeps on increasing by a peso per week, she told me last night.

Simple law of supply and demand tells us that there will be a price increase when demand is high and supply is low. The Arroyo administration claims that there is no supply problem, that there is ample supply of rice. Yet, a month ago, the Secretary of Agriculture, Arthur Yap told restaurants and fastfood chains to serve rice in half of the usual serving. Why serve half-rice if the supply is sufficient?

After several months of dilly-dallying on whether there is a rice crisis or not, the Arroyo regime began a crackdown on alleged rice hoarders. Despite these high-profile raids, the price of commercial rice continues to shoot up, and there is no end in sight for such increases. And legitimate rice traders are threatening to go on a rice holiday if the raids (that they consider as indiscriminate) continue.

The regime has yet to define its parameters for raiding rice warehouses. I mean, how many cavans of rice must a warehouse contain to consider it hoarding?

Also, the rice being sold by the National Food Authority is a bestseller nowadays. Let’s face it: life is hard nowadays, and even some of the middle class buy NFA rice to save.

The administration must show why are these things happening right now. If there is ample supply, the price increase should be not that substantial. But its actions betray the problem: asking Vietnam for assurances of supply, importing from the US, asking restaurants for half-rice servings.

If things come to an explosion, this regime has no one to blame but itself. Too bad transparency has never been one of its virtues.

Do you think there is a rice crisis?

This is a DigitalFilipino.com Club sponsored post for resume maker.


Even the devil can quote the Scriptures

My reaction this news report is this: even the devil can quote the Scriptures.

From Luke 4:1-13:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.”‘

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”‘

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”‘

Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”‘ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Incidentally, you may want to watch Repertory Philippines’ production of Altar Boyz. Read my impressions here. Guaranteed laugh, I tell you.