Posts filed under ‘Buhay ofw’

RP Critical of Burma represion

Philippine Government statement on Myanmar

September 27th, 2007 · No Comments

Philippine President Arroyo who is with other world leaders in New York attending the annual general assembly meeting has come out with what is one of the few statements by leaders in ASEAN versus the repression in Myanmar.

Most ASEAN leaders – like in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are borderline countries on human rights issues. By and large while there are problems too here in the Philippines with active insurgencies and some cases of violations.

Most if not all cases that make it the courts do go through the legal process – and – widespread crackdowns like the current one in Rangoon are rare. However, Burma’s rulers often do as the rulers of any dictatorship do and do not pay heed to their own people let alone really listen intently to other leaders in the region.

Privately Philippine officials in Manila speaking on ‘Conditions of Anonymity’ say “China is the key here – and – China can stop the violence in Burma and should. So far its diplomats have been trying, one wonders how long Beijing will cover for the Yangoon Junta which of late has caused a lot of embarrassment and problems for the leaders Beijing.”

[]..Philippine President Arroyo: We call on Myanmar to act in its own best interests to avoid its further isolation and to redeem its democracy without any further delay. We have patiently but persistently advised Myanmar within ASEAN that it must make greater and faster progress toward that goal.
Recent events in Myanmar, therefore, are of concern to the Philippines and to the region as a whole. The Philippines asks the Government of Myanmar to act with the utmost restraint and to take immediate steps to preserve what advances have been made in its roadmap to democracy. Specifically, we ask the Government of Myanmar to now allow all interested parties to take full part in the effort to national reconciliation through peaceful and inclusive dialogue.
This means the release of all those who have been detained and who can contribute to the process of national renewal, including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. In addition, we ask that the Government of Myanmar invite the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, to visit the country as soon as possible.
…[]

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday (Sept. 27, New York time) urged the government of Myanmar to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and scores of Buddhist monks who have been rounded up for staging protests against the country’s military rulers.

In a statement that she distributed personally to members of the Philippine media at the Waldorf Astoria Towers where she is billeted during her three-day official trip here, the President said freeing Suu Kyi from years of house arrest serves Myanmar’s own best interests and avoid further isolation of the country from the rest of the world’s democracies.

Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Recent events in Myanmar, therefore, are of concern to the Philippines and to the region as a whole,” the President said, and called on Yangon to act with “utmost restraint and to make immediate steps to preserve what advances have been made in its roadmap to democracy.”

She said it was important that all stakeholders engage in a common search for a peaceful resolution of the current unrest in the country and bring about national reconciliations..

“This means,” she added, the “release of all those who have been detained and who can contribute to the process of national renewal, including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.”

She also called on Rangoon’s military leaders to invite United Nations (UN) Special Envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari to visit that country as soon as possible to look into the situation there.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was democratically elected prime minister of Myanmar in 1990 but the military refused to hand over power to her winning National League for Democracy Party. Suu Kyi has been under house address since 1989.

The President will address the UN General Assembly before noon Friday (New York time) as she winds up her official visit to the Big Apple. She is scheduled to head back to Manila Friday afternoon, (New York time).-press release

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September 28, 2007 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

Global Corruption Index

Global Corruption Survey Results
Mike Cohen, PNC Correspondent 27.SEP.07
9:39 a.m. Transparency International, the global international anti-corruption ‘watchdog,’ released its latest findings today in Germany. “The 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index looks at perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories – the greatest country coverage of any CPI to date – and is a composite index that draws on 14 expert opinion surveys.”

The yearly report, is used as a baseline by business in trade and investments as guide to global corruption, the report, “scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.”

This years survey shows, “A strong correlation between corruption and poverty continues to be evident. Forty percent of those scoring below three, indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant, are classified by the World Bank as low income countries.”

The report goes on to say some countries are falling further behind. “Somalia and Myanmar share the lowest score of 1.4, while Denmark has edged up to share the top score of 9.4 with perennial high-fliers Finland and New Zealand.”

Global corruption scale:

Scores are significantly higher in several African countries in the 2007 CPI. These include Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Swaziland. These results reflect the positive progress of anti-corruption efforts in Africa and show that genuine political will and reform can lower perceived levels of corruption.

Other countries with a significant improvement include Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominica, Italy, FYR Macedonia, Romania and Suriname. Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption in 2007 include Austria, Bahrain, Belize, Bhutan, Jordan, Laos, Macao, Malta, Mauritius, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.

Eastern Europe improving war zones problematic:

The concentration of gainers in South East and Eastern Europe testifies to the galvanising effect of the European Union accession process on the fight against corruption.

The concentration of gainers in South East and Eastern Europe testifies to the galvanizing effect of the European Union accession process on the fight against corruption.

At the same time, deeply troubled states such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, and Sudan remain at the very bottom of the index. “Countries torn apart by conflict pay a huge toll in their capacity to govern. With public institutions crippled or non-existent, mercenary individuals help themselves to public resources and corruption thrives,” said Labelle. The divide in perceived levels of corruption in rich and poor countries remains as sharp as ever, according to the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released today by Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption. Developed and developing countries must share responsibility for reducing corruption, in tackling both the supply and demand sides.

Executive overview:

“Despite some gains, corruption remains an enormous drain on resources sorely needed for education, health and infrastructure,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. “Low scoring countries need to take these results seriously and act now to strengthen accountability in public institutions. But action from top scoring countries is just as important, particularly in cracking down on corrupt activity in the private sector.”

* Developing countries should use aid money to strengthen their governance institutions, guided by national assessments and development strategies, and to incorporate strengthened integrity and corruption prevention as an integral part of poverty reduction programs.

* Judicial independence, integrity and accountability must be enhanced to improve the credibility of justice systems in poorer countries. Not only must judicial proceedings be freed of political influence, judges themselves must be subject to disciplinary rules, limited immunity and a code of judicial conduct to help ensure that justice is served. A clean and capable judiciary is essential if developing countries are to manage requests for assistance in the recovery of stolen assets from abroad.

* Governments must introduce anti-money laundering measures to eradicate safe havens for stolen assets, as prescribed by the UNCAC. Leading banking centers should explore the development of uniform expedited procedures for the identification, freezing and repatriation of the proceeds of corruption. Clear escrow provisions for disputed funds are essential.

* Wealthy countries must regulate their financial centers more strictly. Focusing on the roles of trusts, demanding knowledge of beneficial ownership and strengthening anti-money laundering provisions are just a few of the ways that rich governments can tackle the facilitators of corruption.

* The world’s wealthiest governments must strictly enforce the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which criminalizes the bribery of foreign public officials. Lack of compliance with the convention’s provisions continues to hinder corruption investigations and prosecutions.

* The boards of multinational companies must not only introduce but implement effective anti-bribery codes, and ensure that they are adhered to by subsidiaries and foreign offices.

Click here to read the entire report

September 27, 2007 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

When a blogger goes bad: a Fishmarket rotten

Over the two decades I’ve been in this field as a journalist I, more often than not, do not react to other writers or bloggers’ opinions on subjects – but as I sometimes look over the reports to see whats there I sometimes get frustrated when I see a report so callous, so uncaring, so insensitive to others that it makes my blood boil.

The hyperlink below is to one such blogger – whose opinions below are syndicated by the ‘blogger news network’. OK,  a nice idea, but  with pitfalls of profession being that sometimes non-journalist writers often take liberties with facts they don’t or can’t even begin to write about because they just don’t know. In other words,  they are ignorant of the realities of what they are writing about and make cute opinions about topics to get away with filling space.

Nancy Reyes describes herself as a retired doctor. Well,  what kind of doctor could be so insensitive to human suffering she just blurts out a line like below:

[] …”The Korean hostages: Part of missionary life no one mentions
Blogger News Network – Here in the Philippines, the NPA specializes in Chinese businessmen. It’s a game, and the ransom is small, since China doesn’t help them, they only charge “… []

Having covered so many kidnappings I don’t even want to remember. I can’t begin to think if a real journalist or columnist wrote this the ramifications for such a line would be – one, they would be fired, two, they would lose most of the readers or advertisers they have. Lastly, they would probably get a visit from law enforcement since partly – her article ‘gives advice’ on who and who not kidnap.

Am I over reacting? NO – I’ve been to a shallow gravesides when not far from her ‘hometown’ of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, a mother clutched the rotten body of her son – filled with worms  – and cried and  screamed. Her son had been kidnapped. I was part of news team and police who had somehow gotten the information from aprehended kidnapper where the child was buried.

The child’s only crime was he was mestizo – a Filipino-Chinese. A son a mother loved; a sad fact was that he had ancestors who came from another part of Asia and because of that he was picked up in mall in Quezon City.  Then the family begged, borrowed, and sold everything to get the boy back  from hoodlums who who were too lazy to find work other than victimizing others. They took money from the family twice – who sold everything they could to get what ever was demanded – they borrowed more the second time.

But still the kidnappers – the vile and criminal men who not only killed the child tortured him – kept him in a septic tank with just enough space for him to stand his head above the filthy water  until they decided he was too sick to return so they killed him. Hardly the ‘harmless’ image Dra. Reyes seeks to portray of the men like these – who have killed hundreds and destroyed thousands of families lives. A number of these people from her own town. But perhaps she doesn’t live in Gapan,  or in Cabantaun or in the areas she so callously doesn’t seem to care about.

I as part the coverage team that dealt with Abu Sayyaf kidnappings had to talk and be the go-between for families of victims of both the Sipadan and Dos Palmas kidnappings. I talked for hours days and weeks with their families – I knew them and still keep in touch in with them – both the family members and victims themselves.

I’ve gone out with both NBI, PNP, and others search teams – I’ve been there when most of the time these men – grown men – come back weeping seeing the evils that are often done to the victims of these children, women, old men and old women who are taken by those whose only desire is making easy money. 9 times out of 10 are themselves killed – but masterminds often go away free and clear. Other times, they get away with it for a while but as in life what comes around goes around. They more often than not get what they deserve – but often too late for anyone they happen to victimize.

I don’t know why anyone who claims to be a healer can be so hurtful, why a so-called news organization like blogger news network let this get published.

But sadly the fact of the matter is, the topic is written by what in life is often the most dangerous thing – a person with little or no knowledge for the facts who couldn’t care less so long as what they write makes a few dollars for the banner ads on the sidebar.

I defend your right to you opinion with my life  as others who really do this work for living – journalism, but tell you flatly – you’re wrong. Kidnapping is never little thing and crime can never be so gently dismissed as to almost laughingly describe events of human suffering without the proper context the events are in. Please learn the facts and please do keep on writing. But for Gods sake, please do not dismiss something so heinous as this type of crime is as just a joke.

Otherwise that is what you become – a bad joke- with nobody laughing.

September 2, 2007 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

AAP Philippine-American Friendship Day picnic at Sofitel

Fil-am friendshp Party at Sofitel

Fireworks display:

Every year the American community of Manila gathers to celebrate Independance day and Fil-Am friendship day. Last year the events took place at the International School in Taguig. It was a fun picnic and as ussual there were marching bands, kids games, a party and fun for all. I featured it on FYITv.net and my youtube site:

FYITv.net

This year the event takes place at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

flyer:

american-independence-day-flyer-high.jpg

(more…)

June 30, 2007 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

Easter fire leaves thousands homeless in Manila suburb

In the pre-dawn hours of Holy Saturday a  fire whipped out thousands of homes in the Capitol suburb of Mandaluyong City, an area that is within a few miles of the manila financial districts of Ortigas and Makati. Reports say only two injuries were reported. Most urban dwellings like  this sprawling shantytown  often are victim to fires caused mostly by faulty or defective wiring. A number of homes typically are hooked up together to homes with electric meters often by simple extension cords.

Investigators are also looking into other possibilities as to the cause of the fire- oftentimes – arson can never really be ruled out in these fires which are seen also as a way owners of large tracts of land with squatter communities in the past have used to attempt to regain ownership and control over disputed areas such as this one. Another possible angle looked into  -although unlikely – is the  specter of  terrorist arson – not unheard of  but, in this case it is unlikely.

Also – heard on radio this Easter morning was another point of discussion – one radio host said – with the loss of so many homes and an entire district so close to election time – political gerrymandering is also being looked into – as 6,000 families could mean as many as 18,000 votes – in tight races a large movement of so many voters out of a district could change the balance of a tight election contest.    news articles »

6000 homeless after five in Philippines
United Press International – MANDALUYONG CITY, April 7 (UPI) — An early morning fire that spread through several blocks of a city in the Philippines left more than 6000 people homeless
1200 families lose homes in fire in Manila slum Peninsula On-line

April 8, 2007 at 9:26 am 2 comments

Left Coast goes Gaga over Apple spoof ad hitting Hillary

There are several groups – looking at the New Vision of politics that is on the web and powered by YOUTUBE. Here in Asia being bashed on youtube means a political figure is noticed – so a Tube or two even a critical one is still a tube.

To those on the right wing of things who have been bashed and battered for the last few years on google videos, youtube, grouper, and others – the posting of a video versus the demcrats fronts runner seems to bring little more than a shrug and a ‘welcome to the club’ responce.

But to California’s media see’s it as a heracy of sorts a attack on what ‘they’ feel will set things ‘left’ of center anew in the White House and bring back the good old days of ‘Bubba’ back to 1600 Penn Ave.

Already under the influence of a San Francisco speaker and with congress firmly back in the groove – soon some hope on the left the days of sex, drugs, and rock and roll at the white house will be back.

Reading the headlines of west coast papers one sees editors – and reporters – if you want to call them that – putting a huge headline spin and some even seeing grand conspiracy theory over a short Internet video – built on a old apple Macintosh advert from the 1980’s redone with perhaps simple home editing software and recasting Hillary in a ominous role of evil ruler.

Hillary’s Politics are sooo 1984 [Video]
AlterNet, CA – 4 hours ago
A video spoof lays bare the artificiality of Hillary Clinton’s attempt to run her campaign as a one-way “national conversation.”
Who is the person behind the Clinton attack ad?
San Francisco Chronicle, CA – 5 hours ago
(03-19) 17:53 PDT — Just who is “ParkRidge47” – the mystery figure who introduced an Internet political attack ad that has stirred the press and political
Big Sister Clinton (2.0)
New York Times, NY – 5 hours ago
By Patrick Healy. Wondering what this presidential campaign might look like in the world of “Web 2.0” social networking sites?

Obama supporter casts Clinton as Big Brother
Independent, UK – 6 hours ago
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles. It is the most striking, perhaps most powerful advertisement to come out of the US presidential campaign to date: a

In the advert – which is based on a George Orwell novel about a fictional state of total control – ironically put Hillary – in the mold of ‘ruler’ in total control. Unlikely casting – I mean she couldn’t even keep Bill in check in the governors mansion or the white house – so ruling with a iron fist seems unlikely.

Mystery YouTuber slams Hillary in name of Obama
Boston Herald – By Jesse Noyes. A 74-second ad painting Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in a pale-blue Orwellian light, while praising rival Barack Obama, is making waves on video sharing site YouTube.
The YouTube Effect (Part XIII) Washington Post
Obama fan targets rival Hillary with internet clip Unison.ie (subscription)

Most likely it was some ids class project – a simple cut and past edit using any number of off the shelf software could do it.

In responce the pack of pro-hillarites are out in force and producing the videos to bash the likely suspects. Seems a lot of effort for what might be afterall something put out by Hillary supporters in strange – backlash styled PR campaign used commonly by those seeking sympathy.

Seems this is going to be the YOUTUBE election.

Here in the Philippines this type of thing has been going on for about three years now on youtube and other video sites. I’ve seen an interesting similar clip done showing the current philippine president posted in satire over the movie ‘V for vendetta’ -and other films – redone using a simple screen overlap.

While the Politics of the US is as all politcal throery domeistic in focus – it is interesting to note on YOUTUBE and using spoofs and technology have the Phgilippines on equal or even ahead of the game on youtube political satire.

March 20, 2007 at 2:13 pm Leave a comment

’24’ to air episode of Nuclear attack on US soil -DRUDGE

Matt Drudge in his column on the drudge report says that the TV series 24 is working on a season opener that includes a episode that according to Drudge includes a nuclear explosion in a US City.

Considering the Port of Manila is part of a forward deployed area of detection just to prevent such a thing from happening with the very public deployment of nuclear and radioactive detection scanners here and in other major trans-shipment and forwarding ports in the Asia pacific region. The news of a TV show coming out with such a scenario will raise awareness. Hopefully more than just that – but also preparedness if anything like that ever were to occur.

Lessons learned from Huricane Katrina to other disaster and 9-11 show that a large urban US city  is the worst place for such things to happen. If something like the episode were to happen in multiple US cities it does make one wonder the possible scenarios and urban planning configurations meant to deal with these kinds of disasters may not be up to planning for the ‘unthinkable.’

[] “… XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX SUN JAN 14, 2007 18:17:05 ET XXXXX
IS FOX SET TO BLOW THE NUKES ON '24'?
Sun Jan 14 2007 18:14:34 ET
As Washington continues to raise concerns about terror threats on The Homeland -- a recent CIA report outlined a scenerio of possible "series of explosions using 'low charge' nuclear weapons" -- Hollywood and FOX-TV are set to up the ante with the new season of 24!
Few outside of the 24 set know the exact details of the new season unfolding, but studio sources claim producers are pushing hard to take it radioactive this time -- and keep it there.
"Time to wake the country up!" a top FOX source told the DRUDGE REPORT over the weekend. "I do not think there has ever been TV done like this, the viewer is going to be completely riveted."  ..." [] Drudge report

A TV show dramatization is often the best way to raise awareness – in particular something like what is on something as watched as ’24’ will perhaps awaken some urban centers into better planning.

Most people do need to be awakened – to things they do not want to think about perhaps the shows producers are doing the right thing here – be that what is hoped will never happen.  Anywere in the world. Even here in Asia where it actually did to two Japanese cities during World War II.

I am sure there will be debates and discussion – but in the end the highly popualr series will do its best to make the unimaginable good entertainment with a stlye it all to well known for. ’24’ is popualr in the Philippines several different channels carry the show aside from DVD sales. Replays and dubbed versions in Tagalog.

January 16, 2007 at 3:40 am Leave a comment

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