DLSUD Launches relief operations for the victims of typhoon Ondoy

There’s little need for me to tell what has happened in the aftermath of Ondoy’s rampage through Luzon and Metro Manila. The mainstream media, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, blogs and online forums are flooded (no pun intended) with news, stories, videos, photos and commentaries about the ravages of Ondoy.

A quick round-up from my reading list, Gail has experienced the worst flood in their entire lifetime, Ade felt like he has been in hell and made it back safe and in one piece, Mikko has shared a good list of updates and ways to help out the victims of Ondoy and here’s a more comprehensive list powered by Google Spreadsheets courtesy of Jayvee. Gibbs Cadiz is among the lucky ones who happen to live on the floor high enough to escape the merciless flood waters that has ravaged the nation’s capital.

It’s something we residents of upland Cavite are thankful about. We live on a place that is too high to see any life and property threatening flood. Though if ever we experience such, it would only mean that the entire Metro Manila has been swallowed up by the sea! Hopefully, it would never come to that.

But we’re not just thankful we were not that severely affected by typhoon Ondoy, we like to view it as an opportunity to extend our helping hands and join in the efforts of assisting our brethren who have suffered the most because of Ondoy.

That’s why we Lasallians from DLSU-Dasmariñas have begun to mobilize our resources to gather relief goods and other donations to aid the victims of typhoon Ondoy.

Starting tomorrow, we would be accepting donations mainly of the following:

  • Medicines
  • Food (canned goods, instant noodles, rice, etc)
  • Useful clothing
  • Blankets

So if you’d like to do your share and you live in the towns of Dasmariñas, Silang, Imus, Tagaytay, GMA, Gen. Trias, Trece Martirez and other nearby towns, do drop by DLSUD campus.

We are accepting your donations at the Lasallian Community Development Office, located on the 2nd Floor, SBC Building, East Campus of DLSUD. The office would be open from 8am to 5pm and volunteers who would like to help out in the sorting and repacking of the relief goods are most welcome. You could get in touch via the telephone numbers:(046) 416-4531 local 3068 (046) 416-4596 (direct line).

The storms and floods may destroy our houses, flood our cities and wreak havoc among our people. But out of this tragedy, the spirit of endurance, hope and unity will keep us all safe and enable us to survive.

God Bless the Filipino people!

in Uncategorized | 444 Words | Comment

Raptorex – T. Rex’s ancestor in ‘Mini-Me’ size

Artists conception of how T. Rex appeared in relation to its small-scale ancestor, Raptorex. Drawing by Todd Marshall

Artist's conception of how T. Rex appeared in relation to its small-scale ancestor, Raptorex. Drawing by Todd Marshall

We all know how massive and gigantic the Tyrannosaurus Rex is, but I bet many would be surprised to know that it’s ancestor was 100 times smaller than the alleged ‘King of Dinosaurs’.
T. Rex was about 40 feet long, 20 feet tall and weighing around 7 tons and lived some 90 million years ago. At that time, it was one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs that walked the planet.

ScienceDaily reported that scientists have announced just recently, their discovery of a fossil that belonged to the ancestor of T. Rex that had all its defining anatomical features but in a much smaller scale.

Raptorex displays all the hallmarks of its famous descendant, Tyrannosaurus rex, including a large head compared to its torso, tiny arms and lanky feet well-suited for running. The Raptorex brain cast also displayed enlarged olfactory bulbs—as in T. rex—indicating a highly developed sense of smell.

Scientists marvel at how scalable the body design of T. Rex was and perhaps it could’ve taken up new dimensions if it weren’t for that cataclysmic event that wiped out the dinosaurs took place around 65 millions years ago.

I’m not that surprised as evolutionary biology has taught me that large-sized organisms usually evolved from a smaller ancestor because at that time they weren’t the among the dominant species in their niche. One example would whales, they’re the largest living organisms ever in the history of earth yet they evolved from deer-like mammals presumed to be either Pakicetids or Indohyus.

But can you imagine seeing a Raptorex standing next to its descendant the T. Rex? It’s really a case of seeing Dr. Evil and his scaled-down clone, Mini-Me.

*Raptorex will appear in the world premiere special BIZARRE DINOS, on the National Geographic Channel at 8 p.m. ET/PT Sunday, Oct. 11.

Trapos and Star power – Vilma Santos or Willie Revillame for Vice-President?

This afternoon, my classmates in Retorika class met to plan for our simulated seminar for our Finals exam come October. The chosen main topic is about the 2010 elections.

A sub-topic would be a run down of all the aspiring presidential candidates namely:

  • Noynoy Aquino
  • Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro
  • Manny Villar
  • Joseph Estrada
  • Chiz Escudero/Loren Legarda
  • Nicanor Perlas

Not included in the list are the ones who have already withdrawn from the 2010 race and those whom we deemed as already out of the race even before they could file their Certificate of Candidacy.

Naturally, the next thing we did was to complete the list by including each Presidential aspirant’s chosen or targeted Vice-Presidential candidate.

  • Noynoy Aquino – Mar Roxas
  • Joseph Estrada – Jejomar Binay
  • Chiz Escudero/Loren Legarda vice versa
  • Nicanor Perlas – ???
  • Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro – Ronnie Puno or Vilma Santos
  • Manny Villar – Pia Cayetano or Noli de Castro or Willie Revillame

Of course the crowd favorites were Noynoy Aquino and Chiz Escudero. Our distaste for the Arroyo administration has led us to easily ignore Gibo Teodoro though we agreed on the cautionary note that amongst the Presidential hopefuls, he has the most noteworthy track record.

Manny Villar lags in our preliminary opinion poll simply because we think he is a true-blue “trapo”.

However, Gibo and Villar’s choices of VPs were really interesting and elicited the most giggles and jokes from our group.

We’ve heard of rumors and reports that Lakas is wooing Vilma Santos into running as Teodoro’s VP. So much for Ronnie Puno? And perhaps this is the reason why Vilma Santos has just released a new movie which co-stars two of the most popular young actors today: Luis Manzano and John Lloyd Cruz.

As for Villar’s supposed option of picking Papi Willie Revillame as his Veep, I think it’s just a ploy to consolidate Villar’s popularity among OWFs since Revillame has a loyal following of Filipino expats. Though I’d like to believe that OFWs are amongst the most discerning and intelligent voters we currently have.

Either way, here you see the classical ‘politics of personality‘ being played out by who else? Candidates who are simply unpopular and have been tagged by the people as ‘trapos‘.

Sony Ericsson’s MH907 – world’s first “Motion Activated” headphones

I’ve been waiting for new phone offerings from Sony Ericsson now since the Christmas season is fast approaching. Its rivals have already started to roll out new models that are indeed attractive and price competitive, so Sony Ericsson must really come out with the good stuff real soon otherwise they could be in trouble again.

It seems we have to wait a little longer but in the meantime, we SE fanboys could marvel at their latest headphone offering, the MH907 which is touted as the first “motion activated” headphones in the world.
SE MH907 "motion activated" headphones

InformationWeek reports:

The MH907 utilizes a technology called “SensMe” for its motion controls, and plugging the headphones in your ear will automatically start music playback. Users can pause the music track by taking out one earbud, and taking out both will stop the playback entirely. Answering and ending calls work in a similar manner, Sony Ericsson said.

Nifty isn’t it? I wonder if Apple would follow suit and release something similar that way, its new line of iPods would become more awesome. Going back, here’s a video ad for the new MH907.

Funky music and animation right? The new MH907 retails around €39 or about Php 2 ,700 by today’s exchange rate. Either way, I’d like to view this as a sign that good things will be coming from Sony Ericsson come this Christmas season.

Globe Super-Unli Unlimited text and calls

Finally, it has arrived. Globe is now offering an unlimited text and call service in one package aptly called, “Super Unli.”

Now we can enjoy unlimited texting AND calling to Globe/TM for only P150 for 5 days.

To subscribe to Globe’s Super-Unli, just text SUPER150 to 2824. To make unlimited calls, change the 0 to 238 at the start of the Globe / TM number you are calling (eg 238917xxxxxxx).

This promo will last until October 18, 2009 and is available for Globe Prepaid, Tatoo and Postpaid subscribers.

For Postpaid:

You can now use GLOBE SUPER-UNLI! Enjoy unlimited Globe-Globe/TM calls and text for 5days! Registration fee is charged on top of your subcription plan. To enjoy unlimited calls, just dial 238 plus the 10-digit Globe/TM#. Ex. 238917xxxxxxx. All text msgs to Globe/TM w/in 5 days after registration are free. To check status, text SUPER BAL. To stop, text SUPER OFF. Send to 2824 for free. Promo is until 10/18/2009. DTI4858SO9.

For Prepaid:

Maari mo nang magamit ang Globe SUPER-UNLI! Enjoy unlimited Globe-Globe/TM calls and text for 5 days! Unlimited texts to Globe / TM until xx/xx/xx. For unlimited calls until xx/xx/xx, just change 0 to 238 at the start of the Globe / TM no. ur calling (eg 238917xxxxxxx). Maintain P1 in ur account upang patuloy na makapag-SUPER-UNLI. Promo is until 10/18/2009. DTI 4858.

Unfortunately, video calls are not included in this promo and you can text SUPER HELP to 2824 for free if you need more information.

Hat tip to Jepoy

Sen Jinggoy Estrada’s Privilege Speech in response to Sen Lacson

I would finally be debating in our Debate class this coming Thursday and with the right timing, the topic that we would be debating about would be the latest “bangayan” quarrel between Sen Panfilo Lacson and former President Joseph Estrada, represented in the Senate by his own son, Sen Jinggoy Estrada.

“Only in the Philippines” as my professor commented, that you’d find Senators and members of Congress using the podium, their parliamentary immunity, the people’s money to rant on and on against their political rivals and enemies.

As part of the preparatory stage before any debate, research is highly imperative, so I share in full the privilege speech of Sen Jinggoy Estrada in defense of his father, former President Joseph Estrada.

**************

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues of this august chamber:
I rise today before this distinguished assembly with a heavy heart, to respond to the innuendoes and half-truths which our colleague delivered yesterday in this very hall.

I rise today, mr. President, on a matter of personal and collective privilege in defense of the honor of president joseph estrada over this vicious and savage assault made by a person whom President Estrada trusted and supported without reservations.

Mr. Lacson, by his own admission, mr. President, acknowledged that he was plucked from the obscurity of his position as provincial director in Laguna.

Sinabi ni ginoong lacson na hindi niya masikmura ang talamak na jueteng doon sa laguna noong siya ay provincial director. Bakit hindi siya nagbitiw ng kanyang tungkulin noong mga panahong iyon?

Si ginoong lacson, ginoong pangulo, ay hindi man lang kakilala ni pangulong estrada. Si ginoong lacson ay ipinakilala lamang ni general reynaldo berroya kay pangulong estrada.

At ito ang naging daan para mabigyan ng magandang posisyon si ginoong lacson sa pacc na pinamumunuan ni pangulong estrada na noon ay pangalawang pangulo.

It was therefore general berroya who recruited and recommended mr. Lacson to then vice-president estrada. It did not take long before mr. Lacson betrayed mr. Berroya.

Mr. Lacson, by his own admission, mr. President, openly acknowledged that president estrada’s personal recommendation earned him in 1994 his first star rank, way ahead of his peers and even senior officers.

Mr. Lacson, by his own admission, acknowledged that president estrada appointed him as chief of the philippine national police in 1999.

If there were indeed second thoughts over his appointment then, it was because mr. Lacson was embroiled in the kuratong-baleleng controversy rub-out.

Mr. President, we heard yesterday self-serving statements from mr. Lacson. They were a combination of gutter talk, hearsay and fishwives tales.

They were accounts as fictionalized as the state of the nation addresses of this present dispensation.

Ginoong pangulo, bakit ngayon lang nagsasalita si ginoong lacson?

Bakit naghintay si ginong lacson ng walong taon para magsalita?

Bakit ngayon lang siya nagbubulgar ng mga paratang na walang maliwanag na basehan maliban sa kanyang personal na mga pananaw?

Ngayon lamang ba nagsasalita si mr. Lacson dahil papalapit na ang halalan sa darating na taon at may iba siyang kandidato sa pagka-pangulo?

In all these, we ask, what are his motives? Is he now on the way to show his real color as an administration man masquerading as part of the opposition?

Was he not instrumental in dividing the opposition in the presidential elections of 2004 even if he knew very well that he will take away votes from the front-runner, fernando poe, jr.?

As a result, this corrupt administration was allowed to continue in power.

Today, it is mr. Lacson’s true nature that is being unmasked. We see the character of a man who, without any qualms or any sense of decency, would smear the very person who helped him not only in his professional career, but in his own political ambitions.

And if mr. Lacson was indeed repelled by president estrada’s policies and behavior when he was president, why did he not resign right there and then?

If mr. Lacson was then being bypassed by dealing directly with mr. Lacson’s subordinates when president estrada was president, why did he not take the honorable and logical course of action, which is to resign?

Was this the act and behavior of a man who now presents himself as a man of principle? Or was this a cowardly and opportunistic act?

Where was that call of conscience that mr. Lacson so proudly proclaims and pontificates today?

Mr. President, sometime in december of last year, one of the lawyers of senior superintendent cezar mancao sought and audience with me.

In that meeting with this representation, this lawyer, atty. Bernard vitriolo, requested financial assistance for his client because mr. Lacson has allegedly abandoned them.

Ang tanong ko sa abugado ni mr. Mancao, “bakit sa akin kayo lumalapit? Bakit hindi kay mr. Lacson? Ang sagot sa akin ng abugado ni cesar mancao, and i quote, “pinabayaan at tinabla na kami…”

This, mr. President, is the true character of mr. Lacson.

Matapos gamitin ang isang tao, bigla na lamang ibibitin ni mr. Lacson sa balag ng alanganin. Iyan ang tunay na pagkatao ni mr. Lacson.

At ngayon, si president estrada na kumupkop at tumulong kay mr. Lacson kung saan man siya nakarating ngayon ang kanyang kinakalaban sa hindi malamang dahilan.

Has mr. Lacson also forgotten so easily that it was president estrada’s endorsement he sought when he ran for office as senator in 2001 and again in 2007?

Has mr. Lacson forgotten that he even sought president estrada’s audience in my grandmother’s house in 2007 to seek his support when president estrada was allowed to visit that christmas?

Mr. President, when president estrada and i were detained at the veterans memorial medical center, i distinctly remember that mr. Lacson together with the older brother of congressman ronnie zamora, mr. Manny zamora, visited president estrada.

This was sometime in 2003 and asked for the support of president estrada for his planned candidacy for president in the presidential elections of 2004.

Mr. President, i know this for a fact because i was there and i witnessed and heard the conversation between president estrada and mr. Lacson.

And has mr. Lacson forgotten that he went to tanay where president estrada was detained in 2007 one fine sunday afternoon to seek his support in his campaign for reelection in 2007?

And has mr. Lacson also forgotten that president estrada, even if he was already incarcerated and burdened by the plunder case against him, willingly without hesitation gave his support?

Mr. President, if president estrada is the devious criminal that mr. Lacson would now portray him to be, why did mr. Lacson go to great lengths to seek his endorsment, not once, not twice, but three times, in the elections of 2001, 2004, and 2007?

Mr. President, mr. Lacson accuses president estrada today of so many things. And yet, for more than eight years, he remained silent, only to speak today with all the vile and venom that we now hear spewing from his mouth.

Mr. President, if president estrada was a jueteng protector as mr. Lacson belatedly claims now, why would president estrada seek to legalize jueteng into bingo two-ball?

It is in the very records of this distinguished chamber that then senator joseph estrada’s maiden privilege speech when he was elected senator in 1987 is the call to legalize jueteng.

Is this the act of a man who has benefitted from jueteng?

If ever president estrada did not bear down on jueteng at that time, he was deeply concerned with those who depended on it for their livelihood.

Anong trabaho ang ibibigay sa kanila? Hahayaan ba natin silang pumunta sa mas masamang mga gawain?

President estrada was concerned that those who depended on jueteng would be deprived of income and it was necessary to find an alternative for them.

The legalization of jueteng was deemed as the solution to this problem.

Mr. Lacson, according to president estrada, was asked to go after kidnap for ransom gangs, car napping and drug lords

Mr. President, mr. Lacson also accuses president estrada of harassing and pressuring mr. Alfonso yuchengco of selling his shares in the philippine telecommunications investment corporation to metro pacific as represented by mr. Manuel v. Pangilinan.

This was a purely private transaction and which mr. Lacson does not tell us the motives or the reasons why president estrada would have to resort to this.

The legal counsel of mr. Pangilinan yesterday denied that pressure was made upon mr. Yuchengco to sell.

Mr. President, mr. Yuchengo is a minority stake holder with less than 3 percent stock holdings in the ptic.

Will mr. Lacson now also come out with the fabulous claim that other stockholders were also pressured into selling to mr. Pangilinan?

mr. Yuchengco now claims that he was pressured into selling to corroborate mr. Lacson’s claim.

Mr. President, how can we trust the word of someone who was one of the first beneficiaries of gma when rcbc floated the infamous peace bonds?

Our people, mr. President, will soon pay the price as these bonds mature.

How can we take the word of someone like mr. Yuchengco who has betrayed the trust of thousands of pacific plan holders?

Mr. Lacson also accuses president estrada of condoning rice smuggling in cebu and of chicken parts. By mr. Lacson’s admission, it was his men who were being accused of harassing shipments in the customs area.

Mr. President, according to president estrada, he constituted task force aduana to go after all forms of smuggling. President estrada was however disappointed that after two months, this task force was unable to deliver and apprehend big time smugglers.

President estrada then abolished task force aduana and assigned this task to paoctf under mr. Lacson. He asked mr. Lacson to go after smuggling.

Ginoong pangulo, ito ba ang presidente na makikipag-sabwatan sa mga smugglers?

Kung ang pangulong estrada ay kasabwat ng mga smugglers, bakit kailangan niyang buwagin ang task force aduana at ibigay ang responsibilidad sa paoctf sa pamumuno ni mr. Lacson?

If president estrada was indeed involved in smuggling, why not relieve paoctf and mr. Lacson of the authority to act against smuggling and assign this another unit which will be more cooperative?

Mr. President, if the then pacc and the paoctf which mr. Lacson headed were successful, it was not because of mr. Lacson alone. It is because of the dedicated and committed personnel that served these agencies with the full support of president estrada.

It is not because of mr. Lacson, but because the men and women behind these task forces were because of the collective efforts of these honorable personel possessed with a deep sense of duty.

Mr. President, when president estrada assumed office, he chose respected and honorable professionals to be members of his cabinet.

These are men of honor and integrity who can guide and advise him. These are men like secretary titoy pardo, benjamin diokno, alberto romualdez, benny laguesma, and many others.

These are people who are professionals who would have rejected any corrupt or illegal acts that president estrada may be engaged in. And these are people who have never been involved in any corrupt acts.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, i send this warning to all presidentiables: beware of those persons with wicked predispositions.

Be wary of those who come to you and profess uncompromising allegiance and unwavering loyalty.

They may last only while convenient and compatible with their own selfish interests and self-serving agenda.

Learn the lessons from president estrada.

Mr. President, i always thought that lying has been the hallmark and trademark of the present administration. It is however contagious and sadly, it has also now reach the walls of this chamber.

Mr. President, after all is said and done, the bottomline here is that mr. Lacson, in desperation, is now using the senate floor to divert attention to president estrada and away from himself in connection with the forthcoming non-bailable double murder charge that will be filed against him in the dacer-corbito murder case.

Mr. President, the counsel of col. Cesar mancao, atty. Ferdinand topacio today issued the following statement, and which i now read and quote:

“in my honest opinion, as a lawyer, and based on the evidence so far adduced in court by my client, cezar mancao ii, the only direct evidence with respect to the mastermind in the dacer-corbito double murder case pertains to sen. Panfilo lacson.

The evidence regarding the participation of former president joseph e. Estrada in the said crime is at best sketchy thus far, and in my humble opinion, will not pass muster either in a court of law or before any preliminary investigation in the department of justice” end of quote and signed ferdinand s. Topacio, 15 september 2009.

Ginoong pangulo, ang masasabi ko lamang doon sa mga sinungaling: hindi kayo lulubayan ng katotohanan, at lalong hindi kayo tatantanan ng kasinungalingan.

At kailan pa man, kami at ang aming pamilya ay hindi natatakot sa sinuman na bihasang magpatahimik sa kanyang mga kalaban.

Nalalaman ko, ginoong lacson, na ninanais mong idawit si pangulong estrada sa iba pang mga bagay. Nguni’t ako ay nakahandang magsiwalat ng iba pang mga katotohanan tungkol sa iyong tunay na pagkatao.

At nalalaman namin na ang katotohanan ang siyang magpapalaya sa amin.

Maraming salamat at magandang hapon sa inyong lahat!

Ang Dalawang Mukha ng Sining – privilege speech of Sen Panfilo Lacson

Here in full text, is the bombshell of a speech dropped by Sen Panfilo Lacson against former President Joseph Estrada. It’s election time here in the Philippines so privilege speeches like these are common fare in national television and media. It’s like a free election campaign for politicians, at the expense of the people’s hard-earned taxes!

******************

In Greek drama, masks were useful devices that allow the actor to play several different characters.

In the Philippine political drama, nothing much differs.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues. Today, I rise on a matter of
personal and collective privilege.

The great American writer Elbert Green Hubbard once wrote:

If you work for a man, in heaven’s name work for him…. If you must
vilify, condemn, and eternally disparage, resign your position, and
when you are OUTSIDE, DAMN TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT, but as long as you are part of the institution do not condemn it. If you do that, you are loosening the tendrils that are holding you to that institution, and at the first high wind that comes along, you will be uprooted and blown away, and will probably never know the reason why.

I hope you will understand why it has taken me this long to unburden
myself of the truth I carry.

Having once been a professional soldier trained in the tradition and
practice of institutional and even personal loyalty, only the higher
interest of nation and people, and the highest call of conscience,
impel me to speak out.

Mr. President, you, more than any of us in this hall, understand what I mean.

When you went through the gut-wrenching crucible of mutiny against
your commander-in-chief on February 22, 1986, you had to choose
between loyalty to person against loyalty to the higher interest of
nation and people.

Jose Ejercito, or Joseph Estrada, also known as Jose Velarde, former
president of the Republic of the Philippines and the first and only
head of state of this country to be impeached by Congress was elected
in 1998 with the highest number of votes cast by the Filipino people
ever.

He also won by the biggest margin ever, over his closest opponent,
Jose de Venecia Jr.

His campaign slogan –Erap para sa Mahirap – was a masterpiece, almost a stroke of genius.

Before he ran for the presidency, I worked with him closely as head of
an anti-crime task force of the defunct Presidential Anti-Crime
Commission formed by then President Fidel Valdez Ramos to combat the
kidnapping scourge that was gripping the country.

Foreign investors were avoiding us, while local businessmen,
especially the ethnic Chinese, were transferring elsewhere.

It was one big security and even economic threat that faced the newly
elected president in 1992.

I joined then Vice President Estrada on August 4, 1992, after a
short-lived stint as provincial director of Laguna in the Southern
Tagalog region.

I gladly accepted the offer to join PACC since I was not happy anyway
with my Laguna assignment.

I was consistently at loggerheads with most of the local elective
officials when I waged a no-nonsense, uncompromising battle against
the illegal numbers game, jueteng, in that jurisdiction.

Needless to say, those officials who were on the take from jueteng
operators hated my guts and wanted me out of the province at first
opportunity.

At the PACC, and it is a matter of public record, we scored high in
our anti-crime efforts. In less than a year, we brought down an
alarmingly high incidence of kidnap-for-ransom cases to zero.

Literally, zero.

This was highlighted by the neutralization of the dreaded Red Scorpion
Group on February 17, 1993.

Modesty aside, but without mental reservation, I can dare say our
performance helped chart Mr. Estrada’s road to the presidency.

More than a couple of years before the May 1998 presidential
elections, he was virtually a president-in-waiting.

Mr. Estrada impressed me with the way he handled his subordinates. He
personally took care of our needs, always mindful of our safety and
security.

He also managed to personally thank and commend all the operatives for a good day’s work, even giving incentives after big accomplishments

It was his personal recommendation to then President Ramos that earned me my first star rank in 1994, way ahead of my peers and even senior officers in the Philippine National Police.

During our private conversations, he would tell me:

“Alam mo Ping, kung matitigil lang ang katiwalian sa ating bansa,
siguradong maiaangat natin mula sa kahirapan ang karamihan ng ating
mga kababayan. Napakalaki kasi ang nawawala sa budget dahil sa
‘corruption’, kaya hindi tayo makaahon sa hirap.”

Having been born to poor parents myself, he struck me as the man our
country needed to lead our people.

Needless to say, I was impressed.

I would tell my men and as many people I could reach, “Kung mahal
natin ang ating bansa, si Erap ang dapat nating maging susunod na
presidente at wala nang iba.”

I put those words into action during the presidential campaign in 1998.

Under pain of being accused of electioneering, I mustered all the men
I had worked with in the Philippine National Police and the Armed
Forces of the Philippines to mount an organized strategic effort to
thwart election fraud as that could be the only way to prevent Mr.
Estrada’s victory in the 1998 presidential election.

My men and I went around the whole country – Luzon, Visayas and
Mindanao, talked to as many field commanders and chiefs of police, so
that they would not allow themselves to be used as instruments to
cheat Mr Estrada out of sure victory.

In one of our visits in Mindanao, I met with then Southcom Chief Lt.
Gen. Joselin Nazareno.

I brought him to Vice President Estrada to make his personal
commitment to guard the votes in Mindanao and made Mr Estrada promise to consider him as the next AFP Chief of Staff when he becomes president.

He did not just promise to consider. He committed the post to Gen. Nazareno.

So Erap became president, all right.

After his victory in May 1998, he started making announcements for
possible appointments to key positions in his government.

One not-so-fine afternoon, he summoned me to his Polk St. Greenhills
residence and asked if he could appoint another ranking general as AFP
Chief of Staff, instead of Gen. Nazareno.

I told him, that was his prerogative as incoming commander-in-chief,
but firmly reminded him that a promise was made to Gen. Nazareno.

His sudden amnesia got me to start thinking, “something could be wrong with the character of this man.”

This thought came again sometime in early June of 1998.

He called me to talk about what I thought would be my possible
appointment as Chief, PNP.

Instead, he expressed his thoughts on jueteng and how he intended to
deal with it during his presidency.

He said: “Ping, iniisip ko, pagbigyan na lang natin itong jueteng.
Alam mo, ang mga governors at mayors, lalo na ‘yung mga tumulong sa
akin sa eleksyon, wala sila ng katulad sa President’s social fund na
galing sa Pagcor. Marami silang gastusin at sa jueteng lang nila
pwedeng kunin ang pera.”

Shocked and surprised, I retorted, “Sir, ilegal ‘yan. Saka presidente
na kayo. Dapat huwag na kayong makialam sa jueteng. Larong lupa pati
iyan. Sasabog kayo diyan at masisira tayo pareho.

Visibly dismayed and irritated, he said, “Sige, saka na lang tayo mag-usap.”

He walked me to the main door of his house and used another tack:
“Saka, Ping, ‘yung mga tao natin dati sa task force, gusto ko rin
silang bigyan ng monthly allowance.”

To which I quickly replied: “Sir, ang mga tao natin, kami lahat,
mababaw lang ang kaligayahan namin. Kahit additional subsistence
allowance lang, happy na kami.”

Hiding his irritation, he gave me a quick and curt goodbye.

Finally on November 16, 1999, I was appointed Chief, PNP. But only
after persistent second thoughts from the appointing authority.

On November 15 of the same year, I received a call from his cohort,
Mr. Jaime Dichavez, who was, at that time, with Mr. Estrada in
Tagaytay Highlands in Cavite.

Mr. Dichavez told me I was to be informed of my appointment as Chief, PNP.

It did not turn out to be that simple.

In the living room of the Tagaytay resthouse, he told me very
seriously: “Ping, dapat pagbigyan natin ang operation ng jueteng.
Maraming umaasa diyan.”

“Eto na naman kami,” I said to myself.

By that time, I had realized jueteng had always been the deal breaker
in getting my impending appointment and must be the reason why I was not appointed in June of 1998.

Maintaining my immovable position that I cannot, as we must not,
tolerate anything that is illegal, he asked, “Sino ba ang mas senior
sa inyo ni Wycoco?” (referring to the late NBI director, Reynaldo
Wycoco), to which I answered, “Kung seniority sir sa PMA (Philippine
Military Academy), siya, dahil una siyang nag-graduate. Pero ngayon,
pareho lang kaming 2-star general, sir.”

He did not appoint me right there, instead instructed me to follow his
convoy back to Malacañang in Metro Manila.

It was in Malacañang, that same evening, that he finally informed me
of my appointment to the position, but not without his “huling hirit
sa jueteng.”

It was also during that conversation when I told him I was aware of
the monthly P5 Million “S.O.P.” being given by Gov. Chavit Singson to
the Chief, PNP as part of an organized payola, and that I was waiving
it, therefore would not accept it.

Three or four months after my assumption of office, I learned that Mr.
Estrada asked Gov. Singson to remit to him retroactively the monies
intended for the Chief, PNP.

He told Gov. Singson: “Gov, baka akala mo, hindi ko alam na hindi
kinukuha ng bagong Chief,PNP ang para sa kanya. Ibigay mo rin sa akin
‘yan.”

After all the internal reforms that I instituted in the PNP were in
place, including my “no-take policy, anti-kotong campaign, 34-inch
maximum waistline, strong anti-crime and anti-drugs campaign, proper
allocation and downloading of funds, and logistics to front-line
units, I started training my guns on the illegal numbers game –
jueteng.

It was a no-nonsense, no-matter-who-gets-hurt kind of a campaign.

I thought if I was hard on lowly policemen who stopped mulcting P100
or P200 from vegetable dealers and hapless taxi cab and jeepney
drivers out of deference to my no-take policy, I should be as hard, if
not harder, against my regional and provincial directors who were
raking in millions of pesos from gambling operators.

This was when my life started to become miserable.

The general public, even most of my distinguished colleagues in this
hall, may not be aware of this, but it was common knowledge in
Malacañang as well as in Camp Crame at that time, that for the most
part of the second half of the year 2000, I was not welcome in the
palace due to my differences with then President Estrada over the
issue of jueteng.

Mr. Estrada had unofficially declared me persona non grata in the
palace grounds.

I was practically in the doghouse for an unusually extended period of
time. Mr. Estrada would not talk to me.

He was dealing directly with my subordinate officers, both at the
PAOCTF and the PNP, which I both headed in concurrent capacity.

I could not even report to him about major incidents like the bombings
in Mindanao because he was no longer answering my calls, which he used to do, and in earnest.

“Anak ng jueteng na buhay ito!” I would tell my close friends.

Jueteng became a sore point between me and Mr. Estrada. I made it
clear that I would stick to my “no-take policy” and I continued to
issue stern warnings to my regional and provincial directors that if
they tolerate jueteng operations in their areas of responsibility,
they would be removed and subjected to harsh disciplinary action.

At least one regional director who had direct and strong connections
with Mr Estrada was defiant.

When I confronted him, he said, “Napagalitan ako ni presidente nang
simulan ko ang kampanya laban sa jueteng dito. Sino ba ang susundin
ko, Chief, PNP o ang Commander-in-Chief?”

I was successful in instituting reforms in the PNP because Mr. Estrada
gave me full authority which I asked in the first place when I got
appointed to the post.

But because of jueteng, Mr Estrada, issued a written memorandum to
then Secretary of Interior and Local Government Alfredo Lim,
effectively taking away from me the authority to appoint and remove
police officials down to provincial director level.

“Hindi nga talaga mahina ang ulo ng presidenteng ito,” I told myself.
By removing that authority, I could no longer discipline my officers,
I would fail in my anti-gambling operations and worse, I would
definitely fail in my mission.

Resigning my position crossed my mind then. I spent many sleepless
nights agonizing over my situation.

In one of our Cluster E Cabinet meetings held in the office of the
DFA, then AFP Chief of Staff Gen Angelo Reyes took pity on me and gave
his advice, “Pare, Commander-in-Chief natin ‘yan. Pagbigyan mo na muna ngayon at saka ninyo na lang pag-usapan ang problema ninyo ni
Presidente.”

I answered him, “Sir, question de prinsipyo ito. Ako ang nasa tama sa
labang ito. Tanggalin na lang n’ya ako, pero hindi ako bibigay dito.”

I found out later that indeed Mr. Estrada had started gathering legal
basis to justify my relief.

On hindsight, people close to Mr. Estrada and this representation
would say as an afterthought – EDSA 2 could not have happened had Mr Estrada listened to General Lacson’s consistent advice on jueteng.
Simple.

But on the other hand, EDSA 2 would not have happened if I went along with Mr. Estrada and Gov. Singson and altogether tolerated jueteng operations.

Why?

Bingo 2-Ball would not have been conceived to legalize jueteng.

We all know that it was during its implementation that there was a
misunderstanding and falling out between Mr. Estrada and Chavit
Singson.

Mr. Estrada realized that I would not waver on my stand against
jueteng and thought that by legalizing it, I would not have any more
reason to conduct raids and operations.

Jueteng is just one illustrative insight into the character of Mr.
Estrada as a government official, and as President of the country.
There were other sinister behavioral patterns that must be told to the
Filipino people.

Sa likod ng isang maka-mahirap na Joseph Estrada na mahal na mahal ng masa, ay maraming transaksyon na may kasamang pang-aabuso, gamit ang kapangyarihang kaagapay ng pagiging pangulo ng bansa, upang magkamal ng maraming salapi para sa sariling kapakanan.

In August 1998, in the early part of Mr. Estrada’s abbreviated
presidency, Mr. Alfonso Yuchengco was pressured to sign conveyance of his 7.75% PTIC (Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corporation) holdings, equivalent to 18,720 shares to Metro Pacific, represented by Manuel V. Pangilinan.

These PTIC holdings correspond to 2,017,650 PLDT common shares.

Mr. Yuchengco, I also learned later, was pressed to sign a waiver of
his right of first refusal over the PTIC shares of the Cojuangco-Meer
group.

It was only after the passage of many years that I was to learn that
Mr. Estrada, barely two months in office then, used the PNP to harass
Mr. Yuchengco’s son, Tito, with threat of arrest on some trumped-up
drug charges to force his father, Mr. Yuchengco to sell.

This harassment of the young man was accomplished through deliberate and obvious physical surveillance.

“Napag-alaman ko na matagal tagal ding may kimkim na galit daw sa akin ang pamilyang Yuchengco sa dahilang ang pagkaalam nila ay sa akin iniutos ni Mr Estrada ang panggigipit sa kanila upang mapwersang
magbenta ng kanilang pag-aaring shares of stocks ng PLDT.

Sa inyo, Ginoong Pangulo ng Senado, mga pinagpipitaganan kong
kasamahan at sampu ng pamilya Yuchengco — wala po akong kamalay-malay sa pangyayaring iyan.

At kung halimbawa mang sa akin iniutos ni Mr Estrada ang gawaing iyon, ay siguradong hindi ko po susundin.”

The bigger and more important question remains – “What was the deal in pesos and centavos between Mr Estrada and Mr Pangilinan, if any?”

Or, should we rather ask, “How much was involved?”

Sa larangan naman ng smuggling sa Customs at sa iba pang lugar ay
hindi rin masusukat ang kakayahan ni Mr. Estrada.

When Mr. Estrada transferred the mission of going after smugglers from
the late Lt Gen. Jose Calimlim’s unit in PSG to the PAOCTF, he gave me
the mandate to go hammer and tongs against smugglers.

Yet one morning, I received a call from Mr. Estrada. “May mga tao ka
raw na nangha-harass sa Customs,” he said with a low tone.

After checking with my officers, I replied, “Wala sila sir sa loob ng
Customs zone kaya imposibleng makapang-harass sila doon. Nandun sila
sa labas, malapit sa Manila Hotel at may inaabangan na ilulusot na
shipments ng dressed chicken parts from China and the US.”

He bellowed, “Basta i-pull out mo!”

A few days later in a light conversation on the topic of smuggling,
inside his office in Malacañang, I told Mr. Estrada, “Alam mo sir,
dalawampung 40-foot containers sana ng dressed chickens ang nahuli
natin kung hindi mo iniutos i-pull out ang mga tao natin.”

With a mocking voice, he said, “Sana hindi kayo nag-pull out.”

Akala ko, nang bigyan ako ng kautusang lipulin ang mga smugglers sa
pier, totoong-totoo at seryoso. Ako namang si gago, trabaho lang ng
trabaho. ‘Yun pala, moro-moro.

May dalawang mukha nga ba ang sining? O, sa likod ng putting tabing ay ibang itsura ng mukha ang nakatago?

Pagkatapos ng manok na galing sa Tsina at Amerika, dumako naman tayo
sa bigas na tanim ng Vietcong.

Sometime in August 2000, when Mr. Estrada was hardly talking to me, on account of my hard-headedness on the issue of jueteng, he was giving a direct order to one of my subordinate officers in PAOCTF to release a shipload of smuggled rice that was apprehended somewhere in the Cebu-Bohol area.

The PAOCTF officer was with me in Cebu during that time, and he was
relaying to me the President’s order.

I did not bother to find out anymore if the officer complied or not
with Mr. Estrada’s order.

I thought I should not interfere with a direct order coming from the
President to a subordinate officer because in doing so I felt that it
would add insult to injury upon myself.

Sadly, because we never punish smugglers, the same people who
sabotaged our economy during the Estrada regime are the same saboteurs in bed with the present dispensation.

Walang nagbago, lalo lang lumaki ang komisyon at lagayan.

In an effort to defend himself from accusations that he may have been
involved in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case, he has consistently
asserted that he never dealt with officials other than the heads of
agencies.

Yet, on so many occasions, and I have personal knowledge on this,
during his presidency, he was giving direct orders and instructions
deep into the layers of the entire government bureaucracy, the PNP and the PAOCTF included.

And those who have worked with him in Malacañang know whereof I speak.

Mr. Estrada had the temerity to issue a press statement that I was the
one who knew and in fact supervised what former police officer Cezar
Mancao had testified in court as “Operation or Oplan Delta”, allegedly
a special operations plan designed to neutralize Salvador “Bubby”
Dacer.

Mabuti pa si Mr. Estrada, alam niyang may “Oplan Delta.” Ako, sa mga
pahayagan at kamakailan ko lamang narinig at nalaman na mayroon palang “Oplan Delta.”

Sa halip na i-depensa na lang niya ang sarili niya, bakit siya
kailangang magturo ng iba?

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, maraming bagay-bagay na sa
abot ng aking natuklasan, matapos ang aking sariling pagsasaliksik at
pag-iimbestiga hindi lamang sa usaping ito kundi pati ibang kasong
maaring kinasangkutan ni Ginoong Estrada ang nais kong ibahagi sa
kapulungang ito.

Marami din akong gustong itanong kay Mr. Estrada:

1. Sino ang inutusan mo para i-harass at gipitin ang pamilya ni Al Yuchengco?

2. Sino ang tumawag sa iyo para utusan ako na i-pull out ang mga tao
kong nakaabang na hulihin ang smuggled chicken parts?

3. Kaninong shipment ng smuggled rice ang ipina-release mo sa Cebu?

4. At higit sa lahat, anu-ano pa ang mga iniutos mo sa ating mga
dating tauhan sa PAOCTF na lingid sa aking kaalaman?

But for now and today, I will limit the subject of my privilege speech
to the issues I mentioned.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, with your indulgence, please
allow me to take the floor once again on Monday next week.

For former President Joseph Ejercito-Estrada, there is no corruption
if it does not involve government funds.

Therefore, following his flawed logic, it is not corruption to accept
bribes – from jueteng and some shady deals that involve using the
power and influence of the presidency.

He has not heard of ‘conflict of interest’ nor taking advantage of
one’s position to amass wealth.

He has not changed that loose definition of corruption.

In media interviews and in his conversations with friends and
associates, he maintains that he had not done anything wrong since all
his transactions while he was president did not involve government
funds.

Now he is presenting himself again to the Filipino people, for one
more chance at the presidency.

At this juncture of our history, after suffering eight years of
unmitigated corruption under the regime which succeeded the Estrada
presidency, I would be remiss in my sworn duties as an elected member
of the Senate, as a nationally elected official of the land, if I did
not unburden myself of my insights into the character of Mr. Estrada.

Marahil may mga magsasabi na sa mga binigkas ko ngayon ay hindi ako
marunong tumanaw ng utang na loob, lalo na sa pangulong siyang
naghirang sa akin.

Ngunit hindi naman din matatawaran ang naibahagi kong tulong, sampu ng aking mga tauhan, sa kanyang katanyagan nung siya ay nanunungkulang bise-presidente at bilang Chairman ng Presidential Anti-Crime Commission.

Ang mas mahalaga ay pairalin ang marapat at matuwid.

At lalong mahalaga na gawing kataas-taasang adhikain ang kapakanan at kinabukasan ng mamamayang Pilipino.

God save the Philippines from Joseph Ejercito alias Joseph Estrada.