KEEP WATCH OF OUR SHORES

By: Ben Emata Recent news reports revealed that some Malaysians and Indonesians militants were among those slain in gunfight with our soldiers in Mindanao. This case should alarm our government and move to strengthen security on our shores more especially in Mindanao which is very near its Asian neighbor. I am afraid we will wake one day and our country is gone to the hands of the invaders. To be more specific, Jolo and Tawi-tawi are at the tip of the archipelago and just an hour or two, by high powered kumpit or motorized banca, People in this region travel without immigration processes, passport or visas as if they are within the country. It is even very difficult to distinguish if they are Filipinos or whatever because they appear to be similar in race. We must know that we came from the Malayan race and as such we stand perfectly the same with them with reference to height, brown color, hair, eyes, etc. We differ in language but some Malaysians and Indonesians speak Pilipino too just like some of us who also understand their language. This makes matter worse or complicated thus allowing free flow of people in the area anytime of day and night. I remember many years ago when I used to travel regularly to Zamboanga and Jolo and met a friend. He was actually an Indonesian but he speaks our language. He helped me buy an accordion, batik clothes, blue seal cigarettes and other items from Indonesia. One time I was tempted to sail to Sabah and into Malaysia but I changed my mind for fear...

THE STRIKER

By: Ben Emata Russia is sending troops to North Korea to defend the country against the United States. This after the incident in Syria where tomahawks missiles of the United States hit some targets after Pres. Bashar Assad, personal friend of Vlademir Putin, dropped chemical bombs to its own people who are rebels. Russia was utterly irked at America. Independent analyst described the issue as a provocation by Russia to engage the United States into a fight. Whatever language we use, tension between America and Russia is escalating, I hope the two countries remain sober and peace will prevail. Filipino fishermen in Panatag reported sometime ago that they were driven away by Chinese coastguards who fired water cannons at them. Just this week, a group of top Philippine officials and military officers visited Panatag to see what they can do to convert the area into a tourist spot or attraction. The same thing happened and they were driven off by the Chinese coastguards. To begin with, Panatag is within our territory and has always been part of our historsy. And notwithstanding judgment from the UN permanent arbiters, China displayed its hard head position and even rejected the move. To my mind, Panatag which is ours should be occupied by our troops. Soldiers should be deployed, put up a tall flag pole wih our flag flying high and maybe we can bring there some homeless people from Metro Mania to live there for good. We should help them develop agriculture and raise domestic animals, go into fishing and everything. For all purposes, we shall have lawfully established possession and certainly...

TAKE CARE EVERYONE

By Ben Emata Four members of the New Peoples Army were killed in a gunfight with the government soldiers in the boundary of Bukidnon and Cotabato today. No fatalities in the side of the government. The army are pursuing the retreating rebels. The much publicized climate change, now we know, does not make changes only in our planet but actually includes the attitudes and behavior of people. To say the least, it is general change that we must be aware of. The advent of mentally-wrecked people with ideas not to preserve life but destroy its future. What I am trying to emphasize is the great changes in the way people in the criminal world are handling. They have introduced new ways to fool us and make us victims of their illegal activities. Series of crime lurk behind the scene that attack us in various fronts. And while people sleep, criminals are awake 24 hours a day. I am not so certain but the fact is the armed bandits, the rebels, the ordinary criminals etc seem to have agreed to strike at the same time to cripple our government and soldiers. What seemed to be a coordinated actuations is giving us headaches and indeed killed some of our men in battle. Our lsoldiers and police are battling the enemies of the state in many places. they strike in Davao, in Cotabato, in Lanao, Agusan and so many other pkaces that naturally divided the attention of our law enforcers. There is ingenuity in the midst of stupidity. It is a good thing our armed forces are so strong and determined to...

A ragtag army

              When we decided to jump the gun and started publishing the Bohol Sunday News, it was like fighting a war by a lone ranger.           Later, we were able to recruit new members into our ragtag army composed of one squad.           Although operating as one, we see to it that it moves and maneuvers like scout rangers. No amount of traces of its movements, ninja-type.           Frankly speaking, what can you expect of the by-product done by a ragtag army? It was basically below par.           Although we are very much comfortable commanding a ragtag army rather joining a regular armed forces with a mere rank of a captain.           It is a matter of choice. Be in the regular force as a mere captain or commanding like a general in a ragtag army. We chose the latter.           Now the ragtag army is able to survive its first year of existence. Break-even is not even part of its dictionary.           Our mentors told us that the first six months of operation of a new newspaper will be in the red. From seven to twelve months will be break-even.           Truth to tell, we have not experienced that scenario. The modern day technology has put to rest the experiences of our predecessors.           The Bohol Sunday News finally reaches its first year anniversary. Don’t look now but we only just began.           This means that in the next few issues, we will be publishing legal notices and be included in the raffle of orders for publication.           This will manifest that the Bohol Sunday News...

Stupidity at its best

               One cannot fathom the rationale behind the filing of an impeachment complaint against Pres. Duterte by Magdalo party list Cong. Gary Alejano.           Alejano, a disciple of Sen. Antonio Trillanes, widely known as an anti-Duterte critic, signed the impeachment complaint all by his lonesome.           House Speaker Bebot Alvarez correctly described the move by saying “everybody is entitled to his own stupidity”.           Truly indeed. But to the Magdalo party, headed by Trillanes, everything has its own price.           Alejano and his cohorts have to swallow any stupidity in exchange for a huge sum of money.           That is what we call as stupidity with benefits. Trillanes and his disciples are mutineers during the time of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. They seized the Oakwood Hotel in Manila to press for Arroyo’s resignation.           But despite their apparent braveness, Trillanes failed in their armed uprising against the Arroyo administration.           With just a simple armed hostility, Trillanes, Alejano and their blind followers, immediately surrendered to authorities and were incarcerated thereafter.           For one, an impeachment complaint has to be sufficient in form and substance.           Perhaps, with more than 60 consultants, Trillanes must have prepared an impeachment complaint which is sufficient. But as to substance, without batting an eyelash, the impeachment complaint cannot simply take a first base.           Well, Pre. Duterte and his allies may correctly described the impeachment complaint as stupid.           But they cannot allay fears that the move is part of the destabilization plan against the present administration.           The support generated by imprisoned Sen. Laila de Lima, the projected criminal complaint...

It’s all about politics

It’s all about politics             We have been in that field for almost ten years of our lives. Its ugly head will definitely soar once given the opportunity to maneuver. It’s all about politics.           So when we heard that a resolution was foisted in the Hallowed Halls of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Tagbilaran seeking to declare three committee chairmanships vacant, we know that it’s all about politics.           City Councilor Adam Relson Jala justified his measure as an offshoot to the bitter debate over the tax programs of the city government but one has to admit that the reorganization brought about a political impact among city officials.           To the uninitiated, the Liberal Party in Tagbilaran led by City Vice-Mayor Jose Antonio S. Veloso and City Councilor Dodong Gonzaga together with Greggy Gatal and Jonas Cacho joined forces with City Mayor Baba Yap in the last local elections and his group in National Unification Party (NUP).           With this informal coalition in the city, Yap’s administration is enjoying a majority in the city council.           But with Gonzaga, Gatal and Cacho stripped of their committee chairmanships, no one can claim that there is no majority and minority in the city council. It’s all about politics.           Aggravating the situation is the report that a survey was being conducted at the instance of Cong. Rene L. Relampagos testing the waters for his possible city mayoralty candidacy in 2019.           In fact, the name of Gonzaga has been floated as a possible running mate of Relampagos who is now on his last and final term as representative of the first district of Bohol....

De Lima, one up and counting

De Lima, one up and counting             At the outset, we learned several quotations in the life of Sen. Leila de Lima in her career as chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, as secretary of the Department of Justice and as Senator of the Republic.           In between these episodes of her life, she has been a staunch critic of Rodrigo R. Duterte and a loyalist of the yellow party led by former Pres. Noynoy Aquino and his cohorts.           For one, what de Lima did to former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada in having them incarcerated, also happened to her.           The golden rule that do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you holds true to de Lima at this moment when she sought the sanctuary of the Senate overnight before surrendering to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).           She castigated the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Muntinlupa for issuing an arrest warrant against her. She must recall how she also sought for a warrant of arrest against Arroyo and have her stopped from leaving the country.           The criminal raps filed against her in relation to the illegal drugs trade is the first salvo in silencing her tirades against the President.           In her last press conference, it seemed that there is no stopping her in her attacks against the President. If you saw that press con, it was as if she was thinking that it was still the time of the former administration with the yellow party painting the town red.           Calling...

Putting the lesson of EDSA People Power Revolution to other use

Putting the lesson of EDSA People Power Revolution to other use   Yesterday was the celebration of the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution that ended the Martial Law Regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos and catapulted to power the widow of his arch enemy, Corazon C. Aquino.  On the other hand, Senator Leila De Lima was arrested Friday morning, a day after the court issued an arrest warrant for her on charges based on allegations that she, during her stint as justice secretary, allowed the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison. The senator’s arrest was ordered by Judge Juanita Guerrero of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 204.   The two incidents are not related at all but both are worth discussing this time.  The EDSA People Power Revolution brings to the fore a historical fact that may lose its meaning through the years  but a deeper look can be a great tool for solving a myriad of problems that are confronting this nation that is benighted in its march towards real progress and development.  On the other hand, De Lima’s arrest can spark an honest to goodness review of what ails the justice system of this country.   Seeing the lackluster activity that marked the 31st Anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution speaks both the attitude of government and those of the people on the importance of that piece of Philippine history.  What activity that was seen on the streets of the nation’s capital was not one of celebration but one of protest by a small group against an entirely different issue, albeit with relation to violence and human right violation. ...

Remembering Mia

Remembering Mia           If you think lawyers are brave, think again.           After the brutal slaying of Atty. Mia Manuelita Mascarińas-Green last Wednesday afternoon, we observed the conduct of local lawyers at the Hall of Justice the following day. They were restless but silent. No one was talking about Mia’s brutal slaying.           We even spent a sleepless night after Mia’s ambush, we just kept our emotions deep inside us. We cannot think of Mia ending her life in such a violent and dastardly done killing.           Being a senior in college, we were already lording it over as a student leader at the then Divine Word College of Tagbilaran (DWCT). We became Speaker of the student government’s constitutional convention and associate editor in the student publication. Along the way, we spotted Mia while she was a second year accounting student. When we formed a core group in the Student Affairs Office (SAO), we recruited her to be the chairperson knowing that she has leadership skills and a highly organized student leader. Mia is mild-mannered and a simple woman. In her senior years, we heard Mia organized a student movement advocating for active non-violence (ANC) and late founded the DIBDIB Student Party. We were positioned in the opposite side and help establish the so-called Coalition for Patnubay and Pagmata for Nationalism, Patriotism and Advancement (CPP-NPA). Later, this student movement was transformed into the Partido ng Kilusang Mag-aaral (KMP), a leftist student political party. After being suspended in school due to our student activism, we parted ways with Mia. We knew later on that she passed the CPA board exam in flying...

Not the time to ask the people’s choice

Not the time to ask the people’s choice         The next election in 2019 is more than two (2) years away but some people can’t just wait for the right time to discuss about it. In fact some institutions including the media are itching to start the partisan political activity and for what purpose we can’t surmise yet at this time.  But start it did.   Last week Radio Station DYRD based in Tagbilaran City made a survey among its radio listeners on who they will choose between current Congressmen Aris Aumentado of the 2nd District and Arthur Yap of the 3rd District as Governor of Bohol if elections were held at that time.   While politics and politicians are the favorite topics to talk about anytime especially among peers while drinking, it is too early even to suggest that people make their decisions now on who to choose.  It is too early to divide the people at this time when our focus should be on development and on what will bring good life to the people.  The congressmen, too, will be distracted from their legislative work.  What we need at this time is a unified effort and approaches to what will bring real progress and development to the people.   It is alright to provide a venue for people’s sentiments since that is one of the functions of the media but to actually trigger it may only fan and foment an undesirable situation that is not contributory to a peaceful political order that we need at this time.  Once ignited a spark can become an uncontrollable conflagration the damage of which we may...