Lacierda should know better

I rarely blog about current events and politics nowadays, for I thought that with friends and acquaintances on the administration, the country is in good hands. I still think that we are in the right track, but it can be expected that there will be goof ups, and there will be times when we have to correct the course if we go astray.

I actually dread the day when I have to call out people I know, and what I dread most is the day I have to part ways with friends over differences in opinion. But if I am to be a good friend and a good citizen, it is my duty to point and to dissent.

I’ve known Atty. Edwin Lacierda during the last three years of the Arroyo regime. I’ve been reading his blog back in 2005, back when Arroyo’s been pushing the limits of her powers and burning government institutions to the ground. I’d met him one time at a rally along Ayala Avenue; the last time I met him was at the Palace by the Pasig. I’d like to consider him as a friend but I won’t presume as such – I don’t even know his email address.

Anyway, yesterday, he was quoted as saying the following:

“It won’t win them brownie points … The better venue for them is to really show their protests in a proper forum.” (Emphasis mine.)

I find it ironic that he has to use a phrase that is synonymous with the Arroyo regime. For those who had forgotten: every time there was a complaint/protest against Arroyo, her allies would always tell the opposition (not necessarily those elected officials who were against her) to bring/prove them in the proper forum. As someone who pointed out the mistakes of the Arroyo regime, and to be told that phrase, I find it ironic for Lacierda to tell the anonymous hackers to go to the proper forum.

As a lawyer, he should know that the proper forum is still not an accessible one for people of little means. Hiring a lawyer is like gambling all of your resources to an uncertain outcome. Pro-bono lawyers are very few, and they have a lot of cases to deal with. Docket fees are prohibitive. And government officials can always sit on complaints or use the tyranny of numbers to quash them, as we had seen in the House of Representatives of the years 2006-2009.

The only way common folks can air their grievances is to go to the streets and protest – and we all know how effective it can be. Arroyo invented the calibrated preemptive response (CPR) to deal with street protests. While a legitimate form of dissent, a lot of people would rather do something else than go to the street.

And now, with the cybercrime law, the government is armed with other means of shutting out another avenue for dissent and airing of grievances – the Internet. Some government officials and lawmakers are asking the citizenry to give the law a chance. Yet, by reading the law, you’d see that giving it a chance means giving up this last space for free exchange of information and opinion.

I find it sad that Atty. Lacierda had to say that phrase. It brings back bad memories of a lost decade, years of frustration and of lost chances. He should know better.


Missing the point

I think a lot of us missed something important in the events of last week. Important because what started it all was an affront to one tenet of democracy.

And no, I am not talking about Secretary Leila de Lima’s show of balls (or arrogance, according to some people.)

No, I am talking about the SC’s decision to “bend over backwards to accommodate the request of petitioners for a TRO,” to quote Justice Sereno’s dissent (PDF link). (She was being gracious; what’s on my mind for the past few days was worse: bend over and spread its legs.)

Why is this important?

First, it is instructive to quote several provisions of our Constitution.



Section 1. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.


Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.



Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

Let me highlight Section 1, Article III, specifically “nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”


The Supreme Court, by giving cognizance to the TRO petition, and accommodating Gloria Arroyo (for example, when it extended its office hours so that it could accept the required cash bond), had inevitably shown the EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW exists as long as you are part of the 1%.

How many of you had parents, grandparents, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, relatives, and friends who spent a night in jail all because (1) the warrant of arrests were issued close to end of office hours, (2) did not have enough money to post bail (amount of which is not affordable to the 99%), and (3) when money is available, the courts had already closed (even if it wasn’t end of office hours, even for night courts)? This is an example, and I won’t be surprised if this is representative of what’s happening here.

Once we apply different standards of justice depending on one’s stature in society, the rule of law collapses. The so-called constitutional crisis did not begin with de Lima’s defiance, it began with the SC’s bending backwards and spreading its legs. This is the point that most of us missed, and continue to miss.


I’ve realized we had an Occupy Movement opportunity, but we missed it. Maybe because we have been so jaded by the injustice and inequality, but I think it’s time we take a stand and put an end to the 1% getting preferential treatment on justice.


Hypocrites all over

Bye-bye sexy Bench ad along EDSA?

“Hindi ko pinapaalis, I am just requesting advertisers to have it removed,” Abalos told abs-cbnNEWS.com.

He said the advertisers have already committed to removing the ad.

Of course they will commit, it’s an order from God, right?

But the mayor insists that this is not a moral issue.

“Baka sabihin nila nagpapaka-moralista ako. I’m not very conservative,” he said.

He isn’t? What was his reason for “requesting to have the billboards torn down?

Abalos said that the advertisement was inappropriate, especially since it was placed prominently along a busy area. He added that he was specially concerned about children who see the ad.

Let’s repeat what Fr. Abalos has said.

Baka sabihin nila nagpapaka-moralista ako. I’m not very conservative,” he said.

Yeah, right.

Citizens of Mandaluyong, you have elected a hypocrite for mayor.

PS: Citizens of Valenzuela, look at the kind of mayor that you have elected – a hypocrite.

PPS: The nearby seminary and the Archbishop’s Palace will be pleased.


I will not vote (again)?

Here we go again. This was a problem last 2007, and it seems it is a problem again. The Comelec must have some beef against me.

Last 2007, I was afraid I won’t be able to vote, because the Comelec’s precint finder always returned negative when I searched for my precint. However, my hopes were raised when I tried searching for my brother’s precint (as we were both registered in the same barangay). And there it was. And yes, I was able to vote that year.

This year is a bit different. We had our election registration records transferred from Manila to Caloocan last September 2009 (my oldest brother was the only one who wasn’t able to transfer). Since this year will be the first time for us to vote in Caloocan, plus the fact that the Comelec had implemented clustering of precints, I am anxious to find out where our precint will be. Just like in 2007, Comelec’s Precint Finder via Web and SMS returned negative.

Just like back in 2007, I tried locating my brother’s precint. The Precint Finder returned positive, only that the results show the 2007 precint.

Yes, come May 10, I will be joining thousands of clueless people in looking for their names at voters lists posted outside the polling precints. And I am hoping that I am on that list; I am afraid to be disenfranchised.

So, don’t blame me if I am skeptical (if not distrustful) of this automated elections. The recent actions and decisions of Comelec do nothing to lift this skepticism of mine.


I am not voting for Gibo

Too bad for Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro, his “galing at talino” is not apparent during his stint as Secretary of National Defense.

I will not deny the general observation about Gibo during those debates and fora – he is articulate, he gave the best answers to difficult questions, and he has the charisma to charm even members of his own gender (and preference). The overall assessment is that Gibo is quite intelligent, knowledgeable in fields that no ordinary politician will delve into. In short,

In an ideal world (and circumstance), Gibo is the best choice in this year’s candidates for the presidency. But this is reality.

Teodoro was Secretary of National Defense (SecDef) from August 2007 (replacing Avelino Cruz, who resigned allegedly due to policy differences with Gloria Arroyo) till he resigned last year to seek the presidency. As SecDef, he had direct supervision over the Armed Forces of the Philippines. How did he fare as SecDef. Patricia Evangelista answers in her Philippine Daily Inquirer column, The guns of Gibo:

In a testimony by Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, husband and brother of many of the victims from the Nov. 23 Maguindanao massacre, Teodoro had warned him repeatedly to curb his intention to challenge the Ampatuans for Maguindanao’s governorship. The Ampatuans, he said, were prone to violence, and Mangudadatu risked his own life by choosing to throw the electoral gauntlet. This is the same Teodoro, by his own admission, who used the Ampatuans as a buffer against the MILF in his term in national defense. His was a choice to pander to the Ampatuans’ demands, choosing to appeal to the Mangudadatus not to exercise their legal and democratic right to run for public office, asking them not to offend his guard dogs in Maguindanao.

And still, when bodies were being scraped out of the foothills of Sitio Masalay, Teodoro bewailed how the massacre “had laid to waste” all the good he did as defense chief, forgetting that his choices as defense chief permitted the massacre to happen. It is odd that he feels himself exempt from responsibility. When asked why he did not disarm the Ampatuans when he could, he claims it would have been difficult to disarm them “given the circumstance,” with kidnappings and tension over the Bangsamoro treaty. It can also be argued, it would have been difficult to disarm them while they remained allies of his own President.

And so fifty seven lives (at least thirty four were journalists) were gone, snuffed out by people who think they can murder people like they swat house flies. A massacre done by people who could have been disarmed by the security forces who was then headed by someone named Gibo Teodoro. He could have ordered the AFP to dismantle all private armies, but he did not. The Ampatuan massacre will stand as strong testimony on Gibo’s galing at talino.

As SecDef, he also headed the National Disaster Coordinating Council, the lead agency when it comes to disaster management and relief. The Wikipedia article for Teodoro has this curious line on the second paragraph of the entry:

He was also known for his contributions to the people after Typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines.

Curious, because majority of victims of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) will dispute that assertion. Curious, because maybe that’s the point of whoever wrote that Wikipedia article – his contributions to the man-made disaster that was NDCC’s actions during Ondoy’s inundation. He was head of DND/NDCC since 2007, and Ondoy visited Luzon last year. The NDCC under better leadership could have prepared for disasters by investing in necessary rescue assets. The flooding had caught NDCC with its pants down, and the general assessment was that the NDCC just did not know what to do. In fact, the NDCC had abdicated from its role and instead contented itself spewing statistics. And the most damning testimony of Teodoro’s galing at talino was the private sector’s massive effort in disaster relief, filling in for a non-existent, Teodoro-led NDCC.

And lastly, his statement that he would not actively push for the prosecution of his patron, Gloria Arroyo, is in itself a reason why I am not voting for him. I believe that Arroyo should be prosecuted for all the crimes that she committed in all those years she spent as president. I will not vote for Teodoro precisely because he has already exonerated her.

He might be intelligent, but I cannot see him using that intelligence for the common good. Not before, not now, and not ever.

(Read Gibbs Cadiz’ take on Manny Villar, Noynoy Aquino, and Gibo Teodoro. Read his comments on Gibo; Gibbs has demolished that “galing at talino” shit much better than I could.)


A landmark decision!

The commissioners of Commission on Elections are intellectually brilliant persons who can interpret the laws with such ease, you cannot help but wonder if their brains are actually composed of 20 Intel Core i7 processors.

The Comelec Second Division, headed by Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, with Commissioners Elias Yusoph and Lucenito Tagle as members, has just rejected for the second time the application of Ang Ladlad Party for accreditation in the next year’s party list elections because it “tolerates immorality”.

Yes, you read that right. Our intellectually brilliant commissioners disqualified Ang Ladlad, a party representing gays and lesbians, because (according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer report) the practice of homosexuality offends morals.

Absolutely brilliant! Magnificently well thought of! A decision worthy of making required reading in all law schools in the world! And every bar examinee should be tested about that groundbreaking decision! This decision will establish a lot of precedents, and debunks other precedents!

Let me explain why this decision is brilliant.

* In deciding this case, the Second Division has marvelously forgotten (intentional or not, it does not matter) that the 1987 Philippine Constitution has two provisions regarding religion.

Article II, Section 6 states “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.”

Article III, Section 5 states “No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.”

By this decision, the Comelec has reaffirmed these two provisions – except that it does not apply to Filipino citizens who are gays and lesbians. Brilliant!

* The decision is based on the Second Division’s interpretation of Article II, Section 13, which states “The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.”

By this decision, the Second Division has explicitly defined morality as to be sexual in nature. In short, there is nothing immoral in lying! There is nothing immoral in cheating! There is no immorality in stealing! Murder is not immoral! As long as what you are doing is not sexual in nature, it is not immoral!

* This decision should give comfort to parents everywhere – yes, including parents who beat and/or rape their children with impunity – that their children will be safe from moral degradation. This should give comfort to parents who beat and/or molest their children – they are not doing anything immoral! Physical abuse is not immoral since it is not sexual in nature! Molestation is not immoral as long as they are not homosexual!

* The decision liberally quotes from the Bible and the Q’uran, establishing two facts: (1) that religious literature is part of jurisprudence, and (2) that our system of government is really theocracy in bad disguise. The decision encourages the political elite to shed this hideous disguise and be upfront about the theocratic leanings of the State. But don’t panic! As long as you are moral, the Pope will bless you seventy times seven (just make sure you don’t forget to donate)!

* The case at bar is about accrediting a party for participation in the party list elections. The decision cited provisions of the Revised Penal Code in deciding to dismiss Ang Ladlad’s petition. This decision sets the precedent that the Revised Penal Code applies in accrediting party list organizations. This will have a wide repercussion going forward. But don’t panic! As long as you are moral, it should not be an issue if your party is involved in corruption!

With all these reasons, there is no doubt that this decision will withstand the test of time. It is indeed a landmark decision! Volumes will be written praising this decision! And these brilliant and intelligent commissioners will be declared saints soon!

Seriously, you might want to read the decision. Here is the PDF file of the said decision. Here it is online. Read it.


An appeal for a coordinated relief effort

For the past few days, I am amazed and astounded by the touching response by our fellow Filipinos here and abroad to the call for help with regards to the victims of typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana). These unselfish acts of charity and help are manifestations of the bayanihan spirit that we thought to have been forgotten. This bayanihan spirit is people power in action.

However, I am saddened by several tweets and Facebook messages about the obvious lack of coordination with regards to relief operations. This lack of coordination results to inefficiency and waste. Imagine one relief center with surplus of donations but lacks volunteers to pack these goods; imagine another relief center turning away volunteers because the center does not have enough goods to pack. Imagine the chaos. Imagine the time wasted. Imagine information regarding relief scattered in several locations; imagine information in one location is different from another. This is not the fault of volunteers and relief organizations; they should be commended for acting without being urged, giving without expecting any return.

The biggest losers in this lack of coordination are the victims of typhoon Ondoy. They lost their homes, their things, their families and friends, and their lives. They are staying at rooftops, at crowded evacuation centers, hungry, sleepless, battered. They are hoping for help. Help is available. But for some of them, help cannot reach them, because of this lack of coordination in relief efforts.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) is supposed to be the lead agency with regards to coordinating relief effort. Unfortunately, from day one of the disaster, the NDCC has chosen to abdicate its mandate. With the lead agency out of the picture, the relief effort is ad hoc, uncoordinated, inefficient. And the victims continue to suffer.

It is imperative that someone should lead the relief efforts. The initiative to lead is now in the hands of the private sector. From day one, it is the private sector that has taken the lead in relief operations. Now the private sector must seize the initiative in leading a centralized coordination center, so that information, material, and volunteers can be shared and allocated efficiently. This center shall be the focal point for information collection and dissemination, for coordinating collection of goods, for assigning volunteers where they are needed; in short, to find where materials and volunteers are needed, and send help as soon as possible. The center can map out areas where most help is needed, and to ensure that all areas needing help are attended to.

I am appealing to those leading individual relief efforts to meet and agree in establishing a coordinating body, jointly staffed by relief organizations, sharing resources and information. A united effort will reduce inefficiency and waste. A united effort will ensure that help will be extended where it is needed. A united effort is bayanihan at its best. A united effort is people power at its finest.

With another typhoon in the offing, we cannot afford to be disunited at these trying times. Let us show that we are a nation united in time of crisis. Thank you.

(Photos by Leah Navarro)


How to help

(image from Juned)

(image from Gail)

UPDATE 09/27/2009: Updated to mirror changes in Manuel L. Quezon III’s blog post.

Rescue Operations

National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) (+632-9125668, +632-9111406, +632-9115061, +632-9122665) Help hotlines: (+65 734-2118, 734-2120) ndcchelpdesk@gmail.com

Philippine Coast Guard (+632-5276136)

Air Force (+63908-1126976, +632-8535023)

Metro Manila Development Authority (136)

Marikina City Rescue (+632-6462436, +632-6462423, +632920-9072902)

Pasig Rescue Emergency Number (+632-6310099)

Quezon City Rescue (161)

San Juan City Hall Command Post (+632-4681697)
Bureau of Fire Protection Region III (Central Luzon) Hotline: (+63245-9634376)

Senator Dick Gordon (+639178997898, +63938-444BOYS, +632-9342118, +632-4338528)

Senator Manny Villar (+639174226800. +639172414864, +639276751981)

Civil Society/ Media

Philippine National Red Cross (143, +632-5270000)

Philippine National Red Cross Rizal Chapter operations center hotline: (+632-6350922, +632-6347824)
Go to GMA Facebook page & post complete addresses and names of people in need of immediate help.

ABS-CBN Typhoon Ondoy Hotline: (+632-4163641)

Jam 88.3: (+632- 6318803) or SMS at JAM (space) 883 (space) your message to 2968

GMA Kapuso Helpline: (+632-9811950-59)

Sahana Disaster Management System needs IT volunteers. http://sahana.kahelos.org. Email sahana@kahelos.org.

Rubber Boat, 4×4 Trucks, Chopper Requests

NCRPO (+632-8383203, +632-8383354)
Private citizens who would like to lend their motor boats for rescue please call emergency nos: +632-9125668, +632-9111406, +632-9122665, +632-9115061)
You can also text (+632917-4226800 or +632927-6751981) for rescue dump trucks.
For those who are able to lend 4×4 trucks for rescue: Please send truck to Greenhills Shoppng Center Unimart Grocery to await deployment, Tel No. (+632920-9072902).
Petron & San Miguel Corporation are lending choppers for rescue operations, call/text: (+632917-8140655) ask for Lydia Ragasa

Power Supply

Meralco (+63917-5592824, 16211, +63920-9292824) If you want service cut off to your area to prevent fires and electrocution.

Relief Aid and Donations


Donations of heavy duty flashlights needed for rescue operations in Cainta area. Contact Cielo at (+632918-8824356)

Businesses/ Commercial Establishments

Aranaz Stores in Rockwell & Greenbelt is accepting donations of any kind for Payatas communities affected by Ondoy

Aunt Genie’s Breadhouse in Cebu – 1279 Talamban, Cebu City In front of the Talamban Sports Complex – drop off point
Binalot at Greenbelt 1, call Tetchie Bundalian at (+632922-8573277)
Brainbeam Events, Inc. 2/F MB Aguirre Cornerhs Bldg,15 Pres Ave cor Elizalde Sts, BF Homes Pque across the old Caltex in BF. Will accept relief goods.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be accepting canned goods, water, clothes, blankets, towels, medicine, and emergency supplies (no cash) in all our branches on behalf of the victims of Typhoon Ondoy starting today until Friday. Your generosity will be much appreciated during this difficult time for our brothers and sisters in need.
Every Nation, FORT will accept donations for Red Cross esp. purified water, canned goods, and infant formula. Location @ 32nd St cor University Pkwy across Market Market.
Junior Chamber International Manila Baypark Tent, Roxas Blvd. will accept goods starting Monday.
Luca stores (Rockwell, Shang-rila, Eastwood, or GA towers): Send your old clothes & donations (no cash pls).
Manor Superclub, Eastwood City will accept goods and other emergency items starting Sunday at 10 am.
Ministop IBARRA (Espana cor. Blumentritt, Sampaloc Manila) is also accepting relief goods, Food (non-perishable goods only) Clothing, Medicines, Beds, Pillows, Blankets, Emergency Supplies to help Typhoon Ondoy victims.
Moonshine boutique in Rockwell also accepting relief good to help Ondoy victims in Marikina and Cainta.
Myron’s Greenbelt will accept relief goods
Papemelroti stores in 91 Roces Ave. / Ali Mall Cubao / SM City North EDSA / SM Fairview / SM Megamall / Glorietta 3 in Makati / SM Centerpoint / SM Southmall are accepting relief goods (canned goods / milk / bottled water / clothes NO CASH pls.)
PowerPlant Mall accepting donations for ABS-CBN foundation. Dropoff at admin office, P1 level.
R.O.X. Recreational Outdoor eXchange is accepting donation for relief good for Typhoon Ondoy victims. You can bring it in the store located in B1 building Bonifacio High St., Tel. No. (+632-8564638/39)
Shell gas stations – drop off point
Total gas stations- drop off point for relief goods.
Petron – drop off point for relief goods.
Team Manila stores in Trinoma, Mall of Asia, Jupiter Bel-Air and Rockwell shall be accepting relief goods (Canned Goods, Ready-to-drink Milk,Bottled Water and Clothes) for distribution by Veritas.
Whitespace 2314 Chino Roces Ave Ext as a Makati drop-off for relief goods.
Jollibee branches in Metro Manila – drop off point for relief goods.
McDonald’s branches in Metro Manila – drop off point for relief goods.

Government/ Civil Society/ Movements

Victory Fort is opening its doors to those affected by the typhoon. Call 813-FORT.
ABS-CBN through Banco de Oro account number 56300-20111 account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Incorporation
Akbayan’s taking donations, call 433-69-33/433-68-31 to donate or volunteer.
Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC): Relief goods for typhoon victims being accepted at 72-A Times St., West Triangle, QC. Tel (+632-9299820/22)
Corporate Network for Disaster Reponse bank account no. 0031 0654 02 BPI Ayala Paseo Branch for cash donations
Sen. Kiko Pangilinan is accepting donations @ AGS Bldg Annex, 446 EDSA Guadalupe Viejo. Contact Vina Vargas at (+632917-8081247)

Kabataan Partylist – Drop off donations or volunteer at 118-B Sct. Rallos QC. 09266677163 or kabataanpartylist@gmail.com
Luzon Relief: Donations can be brought to RENAISSANCE FITNESS CENTER, 2nd Floor, Bramante Building, Renaissance Towers Ortigas, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City starting MONDAY (Sept.28) / 9am ? 7pm Contact Person: Warren Habaluyas (+632929-8713488) or email at luzonrelief@gmail.com
Miriam Quiambao drop off point: One Orchard Road Building in Eastwood, or message http://www.twitter.com/miriamq for more details.
Move for Chiz is asking for volunteers and donations at Bay Park Tent, along Roxas Blvd., beside Max Restaurant and Diamond Hotel in Manila, or at Gilas Minipark at Unang Hakbang St., Gilas Q.C.
Operation Tulong Relief Operations: Clare Amador (+639285205508) or Jana Vicente at +639285205499). Drop off for relief donations is at Balay Expo Center across Farmers Market Cubao. e operational again tomorrow, 8:00am, at the following hubs: Cubao – Cubao Expo Centro (the old Seafood Resto), EDSA corner Gen. MacArthur, Araneta Center, QC. Makati – White Space, Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati (near BMW). We urge students to come and help. We need candles, matches, clothes, blankets, salt, cooking oil (in sachets). Please spread! Thanks!
Operation Rainbow (Zac Faelnar Camara) at Ayala Alabang Village needs Canned Goods, Ready-To-Eat Food, Bottled Water, Ready-To-Drink Milk/ Juice, Clothing, Blankets, contact (+632-4687991)

Philippine Army Gym inside Fort Bonifacio or GHQ Gym in Camp Aguinaldo are now distributing donations for Ondoy Victims.
Relief Efforts for Pasig at Valle Verde 1 Village Park, contact (+632916-4945000, +632917-5273616)
Relief Operations Center at AGS Annex, #446 EDSA Guadalupe Viejo after PET Tower contact Ares at 0917.855.4935 or Rachel at 0918.924.1636
Sagip Kapamilya hotlines (+632-4132667, +632-4160387) #13 Examiner St. West Triangle, QC. and Scout Mayoran, cor. Morato, near Alex III.
Tulong Bayan hotlines for donations and volunteers are (+632908-6579998) Marilyn, (+632939-3633436) Jenn (+632-9137122, +632-9136254 & +632-9133306). e operational again tomorrow, 8:00am, at the following hubs: Cubao – Cubao Expo Centro (the old Seafood Resto), EDSA corner Gen. MacArthur, Araneta Center, QC. Makati – White Space, Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati (near BMW). We urge students to come and help. We need candles, matches, clothes, blankets, salt, cooking oil (in sachets). Please spread! Thanks!
TXTPower now accepts donations via SmartMoney 5577514418667103, GCash 09179751092 and Paypal http://is.gd/3GvuN
World Vision partners with Phil Coast Guard and kind individuals for relief distribution to 3k families. Call (+632-3747618 local 242) or text (+632917-8623209) to help.
Worldvision Foundation is also accepting donations/volunteers to pack relief goods in QC. For $-donations, BPI:USDacct #4254-0050-08

Religious/ Schools & Universities

Assumption College San Lorenzo is now accepting donations. Please drop them off at the AC guardhouse.
Ateneo de Manila University is now accepting donations for the victims of Ondoy. Donations can be dropped at MVP Lobby. For those stranded/those who need help: To all students who need help or know of people who need help. Please text the name, location, and contact number to (+6329088877166). ATENEO, which is now an open shelter, accepts refugees. Call (+632917-8952792)
Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandacan Manila near Nagtahan Bridge (+632-5639298, +632-5639308)
CCF St Francis Mall, Ortigas is now accepting goods for donation.
CFC Center Ortigas is now open for donations in cash or kind. Call (+632-7270682 to 87) or text (+632922-2542819)
De La Salle University-Manila – The Sagip Metro relief operation will start to accept donation for Ondoy victims starting Monday @ 8:30 am. Please bring goods to the South Gate of DLSU-Manila.
De La Salle Zobel will be accepting donations tomorrow at Gym 5 (Near Gate 7 in Molave St.)
DLSU Medical Center will accept canned goods, blankets, clothes, water. Location is at Congressional Avenue, Dasmarinas, Cavite. Telephone lines are at(02) 844-7832 and (046) 416-4531
Hillsborough Village Chapel: Water, blankets, shoes, and clothes may be sent to Hillsborough Village Chapel in Muntinlupa City. These will go to families whose houses were washed out in the nearby sitios.

La Salle Greenhills for Greenhills/Mandaluyong/San Juan Area, if you want to help out with the rescue and relief operations, you can drop off your donations (clothes, food, etc..) at LSGH Gate 2 or volunteer from 9am to receive, sort, repack the donations.

Our Lady of Pentecost Parish (+632-4342397, +632-9290665) per Gabe Mercado, donations are very much welcome. The Parish is located at 12 F. Dela Rosa corner C. Salvador Sts., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Playschool International in Better Living is open to receive relief goods. Feel free to drop it there for your convenience. No Cash Pls.

Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower West Ave. Cor EDSA (+632-9257931-40)

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan Task Force Noah, a disaster response arm of the Jesuits, is accepting donations. Please drop it off sa Ateneo Cervini Dorm.

St. James Church Multi-Purpose Hall – Drop off point

St. Pedro Poveda College is now accepting relief goods. call the Social Action Center 6318756 loc. 121

UA&P Please contact Dae Lee [SEB EVP] @ 09178323533 needs donations and volunteers.

UP College of Arts and Letters (CAL) is accepting goods and cash. Donation center at CAL/text 0929-6454102.

UP Diliman USC is collecting food, clothing and/or cash. Contact TITUS 09178001909, JOSE 09273056607 and TIN 09154906106

Katipunan Avenue. Contact Erica Paredes at (+632917-4741930) they need bread, packed juice, sandwich filling (tuna, chicken, anything) You can help her make them, deliver the sandwiches to her house, or help her distribute! Call for more details.
Xavier School in San Juan is now accepting donations, please bring to Multipurpose Center (MPC).

Private Citizens


5729 Calasanz St., Olympia Makati City or call for pick up at (+632-5017405 or +632-7290530) c/o Omel Santos


Accepting relief goods in SOUTH AREA. Please contact Anne at (+632915-2854240)

Karen Ang
3 Kagandahan corner Kabutihan Streets, Kawilihan Village, Pasig 0920-9520900 Will forward donated relief goods to Red Cross

People Tracker (using your phones, get your friends and family to turn on their finderservice for you)

FINDERSERVICE. For Smart, text wis <your name> <your mobile> to 386.
FINDERSERVICE. For Globe, text find <your name> <your mobile> to 7000.

Helping the Red Cross

Red Cross Load Donations: Right now the easiest way to make donations from the seat of your chair is via mobile phone load. The Red Cross Rescue and Relief Operations. Text: RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)

SMS: text RED to 2899 (Globe) and 4483 (Smart)
G-Cash: text DONATEAMOUNT4-digit M-PINREDCROSS to 2882
TXTPOWER.org: Paypal, Smart Money (5577-5144-1866-7103), G-Cash (0917-9751092) funds collected will be given to the Philippine National Red Cross

Please send cash or check donations to the PNRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine National Red Cross. They can arrange for donation pick-up.

METROBANK Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.: 151-3-041-63122-8
Dollar Acct.: 151-2-151-00218-2
Type of Acct. : SAVINGS
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM
Peso Acct.: 4991-0010-99
Type of Account: CURRENT
Dollar Acct.: 8114-0030-94
Type of Account: SAVINGS
Swift Code: BOPI PH MM
Note: For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.

For Credit Cards: Please fax the following info to +632.404.09.79 and +632.527.0575: Name of card member, billing address, contact nos. (phone & mobile), credit card no., expiration date, CCV2/ CVC2 (last three digits at the back of the credit card), billing address, amount to be donated. For online donations you may also visit our website at www.redcross.org.ph .

Most urgent needs

Food items: Rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans and potable water
Medicines: Paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins and medications to treat diarrheal diseases

Non-food items:
Bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, and Laundry soap


TXTPower.org has set up a paypal account for donations. Your money will be forwarded to Red Cross.
Kapuso Foundation is also accepting credit card donations.
2/F GMA Kapuso Center
Samar St. cor. 11th Jamboree St. Diliman, Quezon City
Call 9827777 loc. 9901/9904/9905.
accepts relief goods and cash
In Kind donations


Please send in-kind local donations to The Philippine National Red Cross National Headquarters in Manila. They could also arrange for donation pick-up.
Send a letter of intent to donate to the PNRC
A letter of acceptance from PNRC shall be sent back to the donor
Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the (a) original Deed of Donation, (b) copy of packing list and (c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to The Philippine National Red Cross National Headquarters c/o Secretary General Corazon Alma de Leon, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 2803, Philippines.



Too bad for Caparas and Alvarez, the conferment of the title is as tainted as the electoral victory of the one who conferred the title.

When the new set of National Artists were announced, I wondered who Magno Carlo J. Caparas was – I thought he was Carlo Caparas, the master of massacre films and bromance films; finding the name of Cecile Alvarez was somehow “off” to me. True enough, some people had started protesting the announcement, and then it was disclosed that four names were inserted (including Caparas’ and Alvarez’s names) in the list of recommendations by NCCA and CCP, and one name was dropped.

Amidst mounting protests by National Artists and other artists, Alvarez and Caparas mounted a defensive through a barrage of media interview and press conferences and mouthfuls and mud slinging, even reducing the discussion to a class war. Even proxies of the two had entered the fray, adding their artistically thought-off explanations and rationalizations. I will not argue anymore about what the defenders had said; the artists have spoken, and I have nothing more to add; besides, I am just a rambling old man.

But what I had learned from this issue is a reinforcement of what I have been observing since 2005 – the slow death of values that has governed our conduct as citizens of this country. To find an honest person nowadays is like playing Contra – you’d need the Konami code to find one. The problem is that being honest does not pay. Our system of values is being corrupted. It will be overthrown soon.

Only a few people can define what delicadeza is. Alvarez’ main defense is that delicadeza does not apply on her (what arrogance) since she was not part of the selection process. Not only she does not understand the concept, she saw herself as beyond it, just like the person who conferred the title – she is beyond the reach of the rule of law by supplanting it with rule by law. No amount of prohibition from applicable laws will deter these two from having what they think are theirs – for Alvarez, the title of National Artist, for Arroyo, the presidency.

There are reasons why there are rules. In this case, it is to make sure that people get the title through merit. With the exercise of presidential prerogative, Caparas’ and Alvarez’s victory is tainted with doubts of political payback. Just like how Hello Garci tainted Arroyo’s electoral victory.


One more reason why I think ours is a monarchy disguised as a republic – the exercise of presidential prerogative sounds like what a monarch will do. Long live the Queen!


Reflections on the life of a true citizen

It is hard to write a eulogy for someone you don’t know personally. That is why I have refrained from writing about Cory Aquino. What I know about her I have read in the papers and heard from people who knew her. But as a student of history, the life of Mrs. Aquino is full of good lessons for us Filipinos to learn. I caught the last part of the necrological services last night on the bus, on my way to Megamall. Two things stood out, and I want to ponder on these two. Let me ponder on the first one.

One thing that is consistently emerging from all the anecdotes, stories, and testimonies being shared by her family and friends is that she never shirked from her duty as a citizen of this country. After burying her husband, she could have retreated back in the United States, let their broken hearts heal, and live as normally as they could. It would have been easier to run away. But she chose to stay. When the clamor for her to run in the snap elections snowballed, she accepted with reluctance.

After her term, she could have chosen to live a private life, enjoying things that I am sure she had missed during her term. But when times were ambiguous and confusing, she chose to make a stand. Her son, Senator Benigno Aquino III related the story when she rushed to Fort Bonifacio during the 2006 Marine standoff. She could have chosen to stay at home and pray, but she went anyway, despite the inherent danger of the situation. When the Hello Garci scandal exploded, she could have chosen not to say anything, but instead she told Gloria Arroyo to resign. And when the NBN-ZTE scandal raged, she could have chosen to remain silent, but instead she supported Jun Lozada.

Someone said that for the former president, passivity and silence are not options for her. This is the single point that hit me, and it is stuck in my mind. I think this is the lesson that we should learn from Mrs. Aquino’s life. Because she cared for our country, she just could not stay silent and let these affront to our nation go on without opposition. She knows her duty as a citizen of this country. This is probably what we need to learn.

One more point. She was said to have exclaimed, “I thought my sacrifices have ended. There is no end to sacrifice.” As I was contemplating on that thought, I could not even imagine what would I do if I were in her situation. Those seven years of separation, seeing your loved one murdered, taking on a dictator, facing seven violent attempts to unseat her, facing the temptation of holding on to power – any weaker individual would have folded. I think I would.

What if I find myself facing such a crucial situation? God, I hope I will have the courage when that time comes.