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While Filipino netizens are pressing government, Congress included, for action so we could finally have #betterinternet, some Members of Congress want to do something else: Launch a crackdown on vaguely-defined “cybercrimes”.

Lawmakers have not given up on their dangerous project and on Feb. 2, the House ICT Committee holds a meeting to tackle seven “cybercrime” prevention bills that are pending in the current Congress.

Former President-turned-Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ruled the country for nine years and made corruption its byword and hallmark, according to most Filipinos.

Suhol, lagay, padulas, pampadulas, tongpats, SOP, kotong, regalo, Christmas gift, pamasko, birthday gift, delihensya, pangyosi, love offering, pang-almusal (for breakfast), pang-tanghalian (for lunch), pang-merienda (for snacks), pang-hapunan (for dinner), para sa birthday ni hepe (for the chief’s birthday), Ninoy (short for P500 which features the face of former Sen. Ninoy Aquino), pakimkim, kickback, porsyento (percent), and more.

Liwayway M. Cruz was once awarded as "most outstanding high school science teacher" in Manila.

Today, World Teachers Day, allow me to devote this space to something written by someone from among the hundreds of thousands of Filipino teachers.

This someone was my first and certainly my best teacher. She’s my mother who’s now teaching at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She shares her views on being a teacher in this essay she posted today on her Facebook page.

Ka Satur Ocampo, the respected leftist statesman running for the Senate this year, doesn’t look and act like he’s 70 years old, which he already is. His endurance is obvious in his active leadership and participation in street protests. He’s young at heart, remaining true to the hopefulness of the ranks of young Filipinos to which he once proudly belonged.

Secretary Esparanza Cabral, formerly of the DSWD and currently with the Department of Health. Photo grabbed from the DSWD website.

Secretary Esperanza Cabral is apparently harassing the blogger who blogged about the relief goods stockpiled in warehouses of the agency she used to head in the aftermath of supertyphoon Ondoy (Ketsana). She has filed a libel case against Ella Ganda for supposedly defaming her, the men and women of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the agency itself.

Cabral is committing a grave mistake for which she would probably shame herself before the court which will hear the libel case. The subsequent events after Ella Ganda published her controversial post — Cabral admitting that there indeed were plenty of relief goods in DSWD warehouses and Cabral accepting the offer of citizens to help in repacking them to speed up distribution, the online community’s response to such call for volunteers — would only confirm what the blogger wrote. In fact, Ella Ganda did the country a favor by ensuring speedy and transparent distribution of these relief goods for their intended recipients.

Any citizen may question the imposition of martial law before the Supreme Court. (Photo grabbed from WikiPilipinas.)

The National Union of People’s Lawyers, Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. and this blogger today went to the Supreme Court to file “A Very Urgent Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Very Urgent Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction” at the Supreme Court.

Docketed as G.R. 190301, the petition asks the Court to nullify Proclamation 1959 on two grounds:

  1. It is unconstitutional; and
  2. It adversely affects and jeopardizes the people’s demand for justice forthe victims of the Maguindanao massacre.

Here is the full text of the petition:


This is a second tragedy in two weeks: First, a massacre of at least 57 innocent civilians. Now, a massacre of the Constitution and everything we supposed to have learned from martial law.

President Arroyo’s Proclamation 1959 is obviously unconstitutional: There is no invasion or rebellion to warrant martial law. What we have is transparent incompetence on the part of law enforcers to enforce the law, to rein in the suspected brains and masterminds of the November 23 massacre and to restore and maintain peace and order and the rule of law in Maguindanao.

Sen. Escudero announces resignation from NPC (Photo courtesy of Yahoo PH)
Sen. Escudero announces resignation from NPC (Photo courtesy of Yahoo PH)

Sen. Chiz Escudero today surprised the nation by announcing his resignation from the Nationalist People’s Coalition and begged for time to make a final decision on a possible presidential candidacy in 2010.

Speaking before media and supporters at Club Filipino, Escudero railed against party politics and attempted to tackle specific people’s issues — surprise! surprise! — as he explained his decision to resign from his erstwhile party:

blogfestI have a couple of good news to share.

First is about what is touted as a gathering of Asian bloggers, Blogfest.Asia ’09 set to be held on Nov. 5-8 in Hong Kong.

Among the speakers are fellow bloggers Blogie Robillo and Juned Sonido. They will share insights on “Peace Initiatives through Blogging” based on the experience of Mindanao bloggers as well as introduce the Philippine blogosphere to the participants.

I will also be a speaker on the topic “Bloggers and social media users in the aftermath of typhoons Ketsana and Parma”.

bad09rpToday’s Blog Action Day comes soon after the latest survey updated the nation on the horserace among the prospective candidates for president in next year’s elections.

As Filipino bloggers and the Philippine online communities (and those in many parts of the globe as well)  take on the issue of climate change, I wish to pose these questions to these same candidates and their political parties and coalitions:

logotxtpowerSoon after turning over to the Philippine National Red Cross the last check from  TXTPower’s fundraising campaign for typhoon Ondoy’s victims, I received a call from Mr. Mario Shiliashki, general manager of PayPal Southeast Asia & India.

Mr. Shiliashki told he was “reaching out on behalf of the company” to apologize for the incident and assured the company’s respect and support for the efforts of Filipinos and our friends abroad to provide relief aid to victims of the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. He said that what had happened would help improve Paypal’s processes and procedures.