Dutch government fascist?

Oh, come on Ka Bel.

I know the Netherlands to be one of the most democratic, one of the most liberal in the world that is why communist leaders prefer to hide there than in the mountains of Samar or Quezon.

Just because one of them got arrested, the Dutch government is now labeled “fascist!”

Hmm … I disagree.

(The Netherlands ranked 3rd in the world democratic index; the US 17th, and the Philippines 63rd. North Korea where Filipino communists sought links in the past is at the bottom at 167th.)

AP Photo featured at the Manila Standard Today (August 30)

(7:45 a.m.)

Culture of peace

This move is long overdue.

Given the culture of violence in our society, peace education among our children in school is a must.

AFRIM where I sit as board member since the 1980s has piloted peace education in several schools in Davao City.

A consortium of government and civil society groups are now mainstreaming peace education to help build a culture of peace in Mindanao.

While my friend Congressman Vince Garcia of the city’s 2nd district wants to promote peace building through our society’s basic unit – the family.

(6:08 a.m.)

Smart words

This was forwarded to me through email:

“What do these words have in common….

Give this PLENTY of thought, and don’t cheat!

I am only sending this to my smart friends. I couldn’t figure it out till I saw the answers, so see if you can figure out what these words have in common … ??








Are You Peeking Or Have You Already Given Up?

Give It Another Try….

You’ll kick yourself when you discover the answer. Go back and look at them again. Think hard.

OK… Here You Go.. Hope You Didn’t Cheat. This Is Cool!!

Answer . . . .

In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter, place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word!!! Told ya it was cool!

Did you figure it out? Yeah, me, neither.”

(6:48 a.m.)

Joma Sison

The arrest of communist leader Joma Sison in the Netherlands has revived interests in the Plaza Miranda bombing in 1971 which led to martial law in the country for the next 15 years.

Sison, taken into custody for the murders of his former comrades, is also being tagged as the brains of the infamous bombing.

One of the surviving victims of the bombing of the Liberal Party rally – former Senate President Jovito Salonga – “could have been the greatest president we never had.

500% hike in airport fee

I just drafted a Resolution for consideration at the City Council session today regarding the increase in the airport terminal fee at the Davao (Bangoy) International Airport.

From Forty Pesos (P 40.00), the Department of Transportation & Communication has mandated the increase to Two Hundred Pesos (P 200.00) or 500 % hike starting today.

This is a clear added burden on passengers and a dis-incentive for travel, which is being promoted by the government.

Since the opening of the new airport in 2003, I have been saying all along that the blame for the failure of the government to attract more airlines to serve the airport would be passed on to consumers.

Well, here it is. Because no new airlines have come to Davao, therefore, no added revenue for the airport, they now bleed the passengers dry with this airport fee increase.

(6:28 a.m.)

Voices in Congress

There’s so much noise lately about the so-called Mindanao bloc of solons in the House. But most of these I heard were about money, money, money for the island region.

I really do not know if the funds they seek are for the people or for themselves.

Here is a “gentle – if not melodious” voice in Congress that appears to have a much better advocacy. The Ilongo bloc and their attempts to craft a law to lower the costs of medicines.

(2:54 a.m.)


The census taker of the on-going population count in the country has finally arrived in our house last Saturday.

I checked the census form and I immediately reacted to an error in it. It placed Davao City under the Province of Davao del Sur.

Davao City was chartered in 1936 and it is very much older than the province which was created only in 1967 when the old Davao Province was divided into three. The two other provinces were Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte. The latter was also subsequently split into Davao Province and Compostela Valley.

Davao City is a highly-urbanized local government unit similar to many cities in Metro Manila and is not under or a component city of any province.

Unless this error is immediately corrected, the current efforts to gather new statistics would be flawed, to say the least, as it lumps together the data of the city with that of Davao del Sur.

(6:41 a.m)


Always check your passport’s expiry date if you plan to travel.

It could cause you to miss your wedding.

(6:39 a.m.)

Peter, Pieter

SoAfrican Ambassador

The South African ambassador to the Philippines reacts to my welcome greetings to him and his wife. He said “Oh you have a very good name!”

His own name: Pieter!

His excellency is Pieter Andries Vermeulen. He is visiting Davao with his wife Chrisna. Acting City Mayor Sara Duterte hosted a welcome dinner for the couple Wednesday night. With us also was Patmei Ruivivar, Chief of Staff of Mayor Rody Duterte.

Thanks to Bing Gonzales (of Mindanao Daily Mirror and Inquirer) for this nice shot. (5:54 a.m.)

Bad news

Bad news for the BPO industry which our city is trying to promote.

The country’s ranking as BPO investment destination has slipped to 8th place from 3rd after India and China.

Now, it is outranked by Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. If we wont shape up, Bulgaria, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam are closely at our tail.

The 6th Mindanao ICT Summit should take this matter seriously in its October meeting here.

The reasons for the downgrade – political instability, infrastructure weaknesses and low IT maturity.

(5:22 a.m.)

Posted in ICT. 6 Comments »

Hello Garci, Hi Citizen Etta!

Citizen Etta Rosales, three-term representative of Akbayan, and a tireless human rights advocate has written her analysis of the recent May 2007 election.

She batted anew for electoral reforms in the light of “unsettled and unsettling issues.”

One of this is the scandal “Hello Garci” regarding the massive cheating that denied Fernando Poe, Jr. the presidency in 2004.

The ink on Etta’s paper has hardly dried out when the Senate called for the re-opening of the Garci tapes investigation after a witness has finally spilled the rotten beans.

Etta’s write up will be featured in the September issue of the Human Rights Forum and should be a good reference material for this Senate probe. (5:29 a.m.)

50 million tourists?

When former Manila mayor Lito Atienza was recently appointed as environment secretary, it drew flak from various sectors, particularly environmentalists.

Now, he is drawing flak from the tourism industry.

PhilStar has this report today:

Atienza said he is confident that ecotourism will be a “very, very big attraction” in the country.

The DOT is targeting three million international tourists this year, but “at some point in time,” Atienza said, it is “possible” this will reach 50 million.”

50 Million? My foot!

Atienza is not only dreaming while wide awake. He is hallucinating.

We know for a fact that there is simply no way to bring in 50 million tourists with our lack of air seat capacity. With a protected local airline industry, this goal is simply unreachable.

Also, we know for a fact that when he was mayor of the country’s capital, Atienza’s brand of ecotourism is to litter the Manila Baywalk with eateries of his cronies, including tax dodgers, and converting parks into parking spaces!

(6:30 a.m.)

Tourist stats

Tourism arrivals in the Philippines increased by 7.6 percent during the first semester.

On the other hand, Macau’s visitor arrivals from southeast Asia alone have leaped 68.92 percent.

Visitors in the Philippines reached 1.5 million during the first six months.

Macau, which has less tourist attractions than the Philippines, has more than 12 million!

That’s more than 2 million a month!

Key reason – more flights to the Chinese enclave.

Here, government would rather protect local air carriers than open the skies for more foreign airlines. Thus, the marked difference in our tourist traffic. Our whole year’s goal of 3 million tourists can be achieved by Macau in less than two months.

(4:50 a.m.)

Josie San Pedro

Josie San Pedro will be laid to rest this morning.

She finally succumbed to the Big C which she courageously fought for several years now.

A contemporary of my father (who died also of cancer 20 years earlier), Tita Josie was a real inspiration to many Davaoeños.

English teacher, journalist, civic leader, government servant, and publisher. For her outstanding service, she was given the Datu Bago Awards many years ago. It is the highest honor for citizens of Davao City.

Goodbye Tita Josie!

(8:09 a.m.)


I support new moves for a federal set up in the country to partly help solve the so-called “Mindanao problem.”

A federal state for our Muslims in the south would definitely be a much better solution than the regional autonomy, contained in the GRP-MNLF Peace Agreement, or the proposed ancestral domain areas now being contemplated under the GRP-MILF Talks.

But the whole trouble with this proposal is the need to amend the Constitution, which is still being opposed by majority of our countrymen.

In the last Charter change express, the federalism bait was used to catch a wider support for both the ConCom and the People’s Initiative. Unfortunately, people saw that it was mere cover for the real intent to shift to a parliamentary form of government.

Many sectors are concerned that tinkering with the Charter could open many changes in it that could include issues on military bases, patrimony, etc. (7:22 a.m.)