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Note January 24, 2009

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My other published articles are in PDF format and I’m still looking for a way to put them here. If I’m not busy, I’ll find a way.


Protected: There’s something about Grace January 16, 2009

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Bishops Reiterate Message Of Encyclical On Birth Control On Its 40th Anniversary September 16, 2008

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PHILIPPINES Bishops Reiterate Message Of Encyclical On Birth Control On Its 40th Anniversary
July 28, 2008 | PL05432.1508 | 697 words

MANILA (UCAN) — Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales of Manila told married couples during a Catholic “Prayer Rally for Life” to practice discipline in the marital bed.

During the July 25 rally, Humanae Vitae 40: Blessing of Life, Blessing of the Family, the cardinal stressed that transmitting life is a “sacred duty” and requires couples to be responsible parents.

Speaking in Filipino to around 12,000 Catholics at the anniversary Mass for the papal encyclical on the regulation of birth, Cardinal Rosales said “transmitting life is not just a momentary spark” but a “so sacred” process involving wife and husband.

The “sacred duty” of caring for the fragile child is what Pope Paul VI referred to as “responsible parenthood” in his encyclical, the cardinal said.

The pope issued Humanae Vitae on July 25, 1968, amid fears the world population would outpace available resources, resulting in greater hardship for families and developing countries.

It warns this fear “can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher measures to avert this danger.” Acknowledging the new understanding of women’s role in society developing at the time as well as the value of conjugal love in marriage, it teaches about married love, responsible parenthood, observance of natural law and “faithfulness to God’s design.”

Cardinal Rosales addressed the same topics in his message during the Mass and rally at the pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila. Participants included bishops, priests, nuns, lay Church workers and students.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, and Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, concelebrated the Mass.

Cardinal Rosales said the Church considers abortion the “worst kind of sin,” because the child has no choice. “That poor child cannot fight back against the mother or the father, or the doctor or nurse.”

The Church leader appealed to Catholics to continue to protect the welfare of the family, which he described as “under attack” from legislators’ attempts to implement a national population management and reproductive health care program, and other “anti-life” bills.

“Let us urge our legislators to protect and support the family,” Cardinal Rosales said, calling the family “the cradle of love.”

Archbishop Lagdameo preached the homily, urging people to reject abortion as a means of regulating births and all artificial means of birth control including pills, condoms and sterilization procedures.

The Mass capped an afternoon of prayer, musical presentations, testimony from doctors and couples on family life, and talks against House Bill 182, also known as the Reproductive Health Care Act, and alleged pressure by the U.S. government for Philippine legislation to limit population growth.

Among the crowd was Sister Elvira Cruz, who came with another member of St. Mary’s College in Meycauayan, Bulacan, 95 kilometers north of Manila. She said she had just arrived from a 10-year mission in Pakistan.

The nun said she was impressed with the courage of Ligaya Acosta, executive director of Human Life International-Asia.

Acosta told rally participants about her decision to quit her job as family planning officer of the Health Department in the Philippines after noting the “side effects” of some family planning methods the government was allowing.

Jomer Menguido, a 35-year-old tricycle driver, attended with his wife, Grace, and their two children, aged 11 and 6. Grace told UCA News she believes “corruption” is “to blame” for poverty in the country, not too many children. She added that she and her husband practice only natural family planning and feel this has “deepened” their relationship.

The National Statistics Office’s 2005 Family Planning Survey found 49.3 percent of 50,000 Filipino women were using some form of contraception. Among those using contraceptives, 36 percent said they used artificial methods.

Before the rally, UCA News spoke with Rowena Martin in San Andres Bukid community, downtown Manila. The Catholic housewife said she wanted the city government to give out free condoms because five children are more than what she and her husband can support on his seasonal wages as a house painter.

The 33-year-old mother claimed she “used to take pills,” but her veins got so big that it scared her. Using contraceptives, in her view, is “just controlling birth” and not “killing a baby.”


Stock Picks for the Week: Filinvest Land, Inc. September 16, 2008

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July 21, 2008 Monday
Pg. S3/2
563 words
Wealth Manager;
BusinessWorld Research’s Stock Picks for the Week: Filinvest Land, Inc.
Frances G. Mangosing

Recommendation: HOLD

Due to higher interest rates brought about by inflation, investors are advised to put on hold their purchase of stocks of Filinvest Land, Inc. (FLI).

Maria Arlysa E. Narciso of AB Capital Securities, Inc. said that the stock performance of the Gotianum-led property developer “could go up but only on a limited scale.”

She added that FLI’s resistance level is at 80 centavos from its closing price of 75 centavos on Friday. Its shares could go up in the coming days, but only with a limited gain since it is near the resistance level, the analyst said.

Higher interest rates are also seen affecting other property developers.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas raised its policy rates by 50 basis points last Thursday to moderate inflation, which reached a 14-year high of 11.4% in June. The first hike last month only raised the rates by 25 basis points.

In its latest financial report, FLI, a unit of Filinvest Development Corp., posted a net income of P430 million in the first quarter compared with P296 million in the same period last year.

Total revenues, however, dropped to P935 million from P1.1 billion in the same period in 2007, for a 12.4% decrease .

“This was mainly due to an extraordinary gain by Filinvest Alabang, Inc., an affiliate, from the secondary sale of FLI shares in February 2007,” the company said in a statement.

In May, FLI President Joseph M. Yap said the company is aiming for a 20% to 25% profit growth this year, with the launch of 30 new projects and the inau-guration of finished ones.

It is expected to generate additional sales of P10.2 billion, way higher than the P6.1 billion from the 17 new projects last year. The company is allotting P6.5 billion for residential and business outsourcing projects this year.

He added that FLI will launch two more sites that will replicate One Oasis, a mid-rise building project originally unveiled in Ortigas.

-A similar condominium project is also in the works in Davao City, but the property developer is still looking for more properties to develop.

Davao was singled out as an investment site because of the potential of its urban market.

In 2007, FLI registered a P1.7 billion net profit, 95% higher than the P871.8 million in the previous year.

Revenues reached P5.1 billion in 2007, with 69% coming from real estate development.

“Major reasons for such better sales performance are intensive marketing activities, availability of affordable financing packages, strong OFW demand, attractive pricing, positive market reception to various house models, and promos and incentives being offered to both buyers and sellers,” the company said in a statement.

Breakout September 16, 2008

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By Frances G. Mangosing
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:17:00 02/27/2008

I’d like to write about my admiration for people like Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr., who, despite his fear of testifying before the Senate and despite the desperate attempts of influential people to control him, mustered the courage to reveal what he knew, even if it also meant admitting his own dirt.

I’d like to express my disgust with the people behind Lozada’s short disappearance, for moving heaven and earth to fabricate story, complete with documents, ending up exposing themselves as part of a cover-up. I find it very insulting that Malacañang thinks we are so idiotic as to believe this bunch of ludicrous lies.

I’d like to write how much I detest people who only think of themselves. Assuming that the controversial ZTE national broadband network (NBN) deal pushed through, these selfish people would only have to rest in their mansions while waiting for their billion-peso kickbacks. I hope they visit the slums around the country and see that there are people who hardly eat at all.

I’d like to write about my dismay with the Cabinet member who chooses to remain silent. I have no idea what’s keeping him from talking further. When the time comes that he finally finds the guts to speak out, whatever he may have to say, I will appreciate it greatly

I’d like to write about my disappointment with someone who used to be an honorable man, and who is now a staunch defender of an audaciously corrupt administration.

I’d like to write how I find it ridiculous that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo skipped the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming because of an assassination plot. Don’t presidents get death threats all the time? How funny that the alleged plotters, the Jemaah Islamiyah, carelessly left their documents in a parking lot! How amusing that on the day of the Philippine Military Academy homecoming, the President went out of town anyway. Malacañang’s capacity to produce incredible excuses and bizarre pieces of evidence is impressive.

How I wish to expound on the issues revolving around prominent government officials. But a simple enumeration of these issues would already fill a room. Then the ranting will need a much bigger space.

So I’ll tell you instead that while I am not one of those fuming street protesters outside the Senate or on Ayala Avenue, my rage is just as intense. I’ll tell you that between the pressure of academic deadlines and the pressure of having a life, I still find time to sit down and ponder the administration’s every move. My rage gets stronger every time I read and watch the news. I am getting more and more dismayed. For the very first time in my 20 years of existence, I am no longer an apathetic observer of this political circus. This national issue has stirred the Filipino blood flowing in my veins.

Other people my age would probably think I’m too much concerned with these events. But of course! I am a part of the youth. Our future leaders belong to my generation. I don’t want to reap the fruits this government is planting. I do not wish my generation to inherit the practice of corruption, shameless lying and other sinful things.

It is said that the people get the kind of government they deserve. But I am sure we are aware that we don’t deserve what we have. We Filipinos are getting wiser in choosing our leaders. That is why we have elected a few good men like Antonio Trillanes IV, Grace Padaca and Ed Panlilio. Their victory in the elections is a manifestation that little by little we are taking steps to get the kind of government that we truly deserve. We are improving, because in the recent elections, we did not re-elect traditional politicians; we did not elect entertainment personalities to the Senate and a boxing hero to a local government post. These are proofs that we have learned our lessons.

They say that we should not ask Ms Arroyo to step down for the sake of our developing economy. After all, 2010 is fast approaching. In two years, we will have a new leader.

I used to say the same thing. But the issues against her continue to pile up. I hardly see any credibility left in her. Her leadership is full of anomalies and saying “I’m sorry” does not suffice. If we wait for two more years, the government will be morally broke, perhaps beyond repair. The remaining years of her term may be tolerable for the well-off, but two more years is an eternity for those who are suffering.

There is another question her critics always bring up: Will she step down in 2010? While I know she might try to stay in power, I have faith in my fellow Filipinos and I know they won’t let this happen. If it does happen, we won’t only have a new people power uprising, but a bloody revolution.

The President is lucky that she can stay in power because Filipinos are suffering from so-called “people power fatigue.” But her luck seems to be running out. The recent Ayala Avenue protest tells us that bigger things are yet to come. Further investigations and future revelations will push more Filipinos to move out of their comfort zones and make their voices heard. Observing events from the sidelines has made the people weary. If these protests are the only way to let Ms Arroyo know that the people will no longer allow themselves to be bullied by her administration without fighting back, then expect more rallies ahead. Like Lozada, the people will be unstoppable when they finally decide to break their silence.

I am sure of it, and I will be among them.

Frances G. Mangosing, 20, is a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism senior at the University of Santo Tomas.

It’s Recom Echiverri in Caloocan City September 16, 2008

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By Nancy C. Carvajal
First Posted 08:26am (Mla time) 05/23/2007

MANILA, Philippines – Exactly a week after the May 14 elections, the Board of Canvassers yesterday finally proclaimed the winners in Caloocan City.

Based on the final tally of the Commission on Elections, incumbent Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri defeated Rep. Luis “Baby” Asistio in the mayoral race by more than 25,000 votes.

Echiverri garnered 115,346 votes over Asistio’s 89,863 votes.

After his proclamation, Echiverri, who is on his second term, thanked the members of the BOC—composed of Juliet Villar, Dr. Elizabeth Manalo and City Prosecutor Ramon Rodrigo—“for enduring the grueling task of counting the votes.”

Echiverri’s running mate, Vice Mayor Luis Tito Varela, was also reelected, receiving 143,634 votes.

Oscar Malapitan, a former congressman, reclaimed his old post in the first district. He got 91,124 votes, defeating his closest rival for the post, Echiverri’s son, Ricojudge, who is the chair of Caloocan’s barangay leaders.

On the other hand, the proclamation of the winner in the race for congressman of the second district was deferred until the board resolves questions regarding the statement of votes.

Based on the Comelec’s tally, Councilor Mitch Cajayon is leading against Rep. Egay Erice, corporate lawyer Nilo Divina and Albert “Bebong” Muñoz, actress Jolina Magdangal’s boyfriend.

Last Sunday, two days before his proclamation by the BOC, streamers went up in many areas in the city with announcements about Echiverri’s victory. At the same time, he also thanked his constituents for giving him another term.

Echiverri yesterday assured residents in Caloocan City that he would continue implementing the reform programs he had started.

“Makakaasa po kayo na mas lalo ko pang pag-iibayuhin ang aking pagsisilbi at pipilitin ko rin na sa susunod na tatlong taon ay mabigyan nang maayos na trabaho at makabuluhang proyekto ang lahat ng mga taga-Caloocan (I assure you that I will exert more efforts to serve you and to ensure that in the next three years, I will be able to give decent jobs and meaningful projects to everyone in Caloocan),” he said in a statement.

He also called on other winning candidates to work with his administration for the speedier development of the city. With Francis Mangosing


Abalos lost, Trillanes cheered, Erap home alone September 16, 2008

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Abalos lost, Trillanes cheered, Erap home alone

First Posted 01:56am (Mla time) 05/15/2007

MANILA, Philippines – Even the chairperson of the Commission on Elections, Benjamin Abalos Sr., became hot under the collar when he set out to vote in Mandaluyong City.

Abalos told reporters his own travails as a voter in the course of claiming that “confusion is always expected in the first few hours of the elections.”

Aside from failing to bring his voter’s ID card and information sheet, the man said he had a difficult time searching for his polling precinct because of the heavy traffic caused by “clueless voters.”

“I, for one, knew where my voting precinct was, but locating the precinct was another story,” Abalos said in the first of his media briefings yesterday.

Good thing, he said, that volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) were ready with their own computer-based voters’ list and precinct assignments.

Usual complaints

The circulation of a fake Comelec memorandum in Kalinga province, the arrest of poll watchers wearing campaign shirts in Makati City, and the usual complaints of missing names on the voters’ list—these, said Abalos, comprised the usual confusion encountered by voters nationwide.
“It’s due to excitement… Everybody’s watching, everybody’s wanting to vote ahead of the other,” he said.

Nevertheless, Abalos assailed the yet unidentified culprits behind the distribution of the bogus memo he had supposedly signed, which threw out a resolution giving due course to the candidacy of Floydelia Diasen, the wife of Kalinga Vice Gov. Rommel Diasen who was killed in an ambush two weeks ago.

He denied having issued such a memo, saying it was apparently meant to sow confusion among voters in Kalinga.

Generally peaceful

Still and all, despite such “minor incidents” and the postponement of elections in some provinces because of insurgency threats and imminent acts violence by political rivals, the Comelec declared the midterm polls to be “generally peaceful.”

But over at its Social Action Center, the hotline was bombarded with calls from concerned citizens complaining about the bunting and campaign flaglets that sprouted near schools and poll precincts in Metro Manila over the weekend.

A hotline staffer said one caller even complained that the bunting interfered with their phone connection.

No sample ballot

The Lubao Central Elementary School in Lubao, Pampanga, was crawling with members of the Presidential Security Group and the local police when President Macapagal-Arroyo came to vote.

Dressed in a deep red pantsuit adorned with a glittering brooch, Ms Arroyo arrived promptly at 8 a.m. at the school, where she is registered as Voter No. 83. She lined up behind 10 other voters at Precinct No. 1, Barangay San Nicolas, Lubao East Central District.
She spent the 10 minutes waiting in the queue chatting with Liwayway Mendoza, district supervisor of the Department of Education, school principal Felicidad Santos and other Kapampangan.

She was overheard saying she did not have a sample ballot with her, but she brought her own pen.

5 minutes to vote

Ahead of the President in the queue was her elder son, reelectionist Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, who got to the precinct 10 minutes ahead of her.

Ms Arroyo’s brother Diosdado Jr. and half-sister Ma. Cielo Macapagal-Salgado are also voters in the same precinct. But they were not around at the time she was there.

After signing up and affixing her thumb marks on the voter’s list, the President took her ballot and chose the chair in the back of the small room.

She ignored the chair designated for her by the PSG and the school officials and went to the most secluded portion of the room after photographers and TV cameramen, who were positioned outside, urged her to take a seat near the windows.

She took five minutes to fill up her ballot.

Ms Arroyo stayed in the principal’s office for a few minutes before boarding her white coaster. After about 30 minutes in the school, her convoy left for Malacañang.

Erap for Goma?

Did Joseph Estrada vote for actor Richard “Goma” Gomez?

The ousted President exercised his right to suffrage at around 11:30 a.m. at his vacation estate in Tanay, Rizal, where he is under house arrest for the alleged crime of plunder.

A five-member Comelec team from his hometown of San Juan brought the election materials to his rest house; his ballot was counted at the Pedro Cruz Elementary School.

It was Estrada’s third time to vote in detention since his ouster in January 2001.

Inquirer photographer Joan Bondoc, one of the members of the media who covered the brief proceedings, said she spotted the name of Gomez, an independent candidate, on the 12th slot for the senatorial slate in Estrada’s filled-up ballot.

Home alone

But Estrada one of the party elders of the Genuine Opposition (GO), declined to confirm this when reached later on the phone. All he would say was that he had made sure “nobody else would fill in the blanks.”
GO is technically made up of only 11 candidates. Early in the campaign period, it counted independent candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan as a “guest candidate,” completing its 12-member lineup.

On the phone, Estrada gamely disclosed that with only police sentries and his guards from the Presidential Security Group for company, he was practically home alone yesterday.

It turned out that the nine members of his household staff (cooks, drivers, maids and secretaries) had to go to their respective hometowns to vote.

All quiet at HQ

It did not feel like Election Day at the GO national campaign headquarters in Makati City.

Explaining to reporters the laid-back atmosphere and the lack of activity, GO campaign manager Sen. Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III said: “We are in the eye of the storm. How can you preempt massive cheating? The cheating will start tomorrow.”

Osmeña stayed home most of the day and turned up at the headquarters at past 3 p.m. His deputy, Renato “RC” Constantino Jr., got in two hours earlier.

GO campaign spokesperson Adel Tamano arrived in the afternoon from Marawi City, where he had voted.

Osmeña said he and Constantino had received reports of irregularities from their contacts in the field.

But no election hotlines had been set up at the HQ.
Constantino brought with him five unopened cell phone SIM cards which he said they were to use as hotlines to receive reports from the field.
GO candidates were left to do their own monitoring.

LP ops center

In contrast, the Liberal Party, a member of the opposition coalition, has set up a 24-hour operation center at its headquarters at the second floor of the Matrinco Building on Pasong Tamo in Makati.

LP director general Chit Asis said the party would guard against cheating by tabulating results based on the official copies of election results (ERs) it would receive from the Comelec.

The Comelec has declared the LP the dominant minority political party in the midterm elections, which entitles the party to the sixth copy of ERs, certificates of canvass from municipalities, and statement of votes from provinces.

According to Asis, the LP will go on 24-hour operations starting Monday night until it completes a national tabulation for its own use in two to three weeks.

“But we can’t publish it because we’re not accredited by Comelec as a quick-count body,” she said.

All by herself

Actress Susan Roces, dressed in a green suit, cast her ballot at Xavier School in San Juan early in the morning.
“Of course, I’m with the opposition. We expect that most, if not all, of our candidates will win,” she told GMA 7 shortly after voting.
Asked how different this year’s elections were to her, Roces paused to collect her thoughts.

Then she said in Filipino, her voice breaking: “I’m all by myself now. It used to be that I had someone to vote with.”
She was referring to her husband, movie legend Fernando Poe Jr., who was the opposition’s standard-bearer in the 2004 presidential election. He died of an aneurysm in December 2004.

No assistor

Gloria Licad-Lanot, 89, who is physically handicapped and wheelchair-bound, was unable to completely fill up her ballot because her daughter was not permitted to assist her.

Said her other daughter, writer Marra PL. Lanot: “This is in violation of the provision in the handbook of the Board of Election Inspectors that an ‘assistor’ may ‘fill out the ballot of an illiterate or physically challenged person … if his/her condition is readily obvious.’”

Licad-Lanot, widow of the writer Serafin Lanot, tried to vote at Precinct No. 4564-A (for Barangay South Triangle) at the Kamuning Elementary School in Quezon City.

Security tightened

Tighter security because of an alleged assassination plot attended GO’s Antonio Trillanes IV when he voted in a precinct in Caloocan City yesterday morning, according to his spokesperson Rolando Averillo.

“His security personnel were doubled and his plans to stay a little longer outside his detention cell was cancelled because of the information provided by his sympathizers from military intelligence,” Averillo said.

Trillanes, a former Navy lieutenant, is accused of rebellion and is being tried on coup d’ etat charges for his participation in the July 2003 Oakwood mutiny. He is detained at the Marine Custodial Center in Fort Bonifacio.

News of the alleged slay plot—supposedly dubbed “Oplan Allan,” after Trillanes’ deceased infant son—spread on Saturday, Averillo said.

Cheering, clapping

Dressed in a blue shirt and khaki jeans, Trillanes arrived at the Holy Infant Montessori School in BF Homes 1, Deparo, Caloocan, in a black Nissan Urvan with heavily tinted windows at around 9:30 a.m.

He was accompanied by his mother and brother when he entered the polling precinct. He stayed for less than 10 minutes.
An earlier plan to have his wife join him was cancelled because of the supposed threat, Averillo said.

Before the rebel soldier’s arrival, a crowd had formed outside Precinct No. 0678B.

The sound of cheering and clapping accompanied him from the time he alighted from his vehicle up to the time he reached the second floor of the school building. It ended after he boarded his vehicle and left.

Mere propaganda

But the military was unimpressed by talk of Oplan Allan.

“Although there was no attribution as to who will perpetuate these actions, we do believe it’s mere propaganda,” said Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro, the military information chief.

Bacarro said he did hear “rumors” on Sunday night of the supposed slay plot.

Asked whether the fact that nothing happened to Trillanes when he went out to vote proved that the rumors were exactly that, Bacarro said: “Well, you can conclude [that] it’s probably part of political propaganda.”

No rest for Loren

There will be no rest for GO’s Loren Legarda—not until she’s proclaimed No. 1.

The consistent frontrunner in the surveys said as much when asked about her plans for the rest of the day after casting her ballot before noon.

Legarda, dressed in her usual campaign outfit of white top and blue denims, was accompanied by her father and brother when she walked from her ancestral home in an old subdivision in Malabon City not too far from the Potrero Elementary School.

She said she would not go home to rest but planned to stay at the GO headquarters in Makati to monitor the counting of the votes after a short visit to a nearby church.

“I am not obsessed with being No. 1, but I have a responsibility for the people who voted for me as No. 1,” Legarda said when asked why it was important for her to be proclaimed No. 1.

She also said it would be “highly improbable” for her to be dislodged from the top slot, “not according to me, but to the pollsters.”

“And it’s hard to surmount at least 5 million votes,” she said.

Reports from Jocelyn R. Uy, Juliet Labog-Javellana, Volt Contreras, Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Miko Morelos, Nancy C. Carvajal, Christine O. Avendano and Frances G. Mangosing (volunteer)