MMDA karatekas

OMFG, this.

This fellow Tolentino, who’s running the MMDA, just shoots from the hip, doesn’t he? Giving martial arts training to traffic enforcers???

As if those jerks weren’t arrogant enough, now he wants to empower them with a sense of martial superiority over motorists? The man watches too much television.

In the meantime, I cannot recall a time when traffic was worse in the metro. Good frickin’ job, sensei.


Who runs things around here?

Media. That’s who runs things around here.

Check out this news report, with this accompanying picture.

In a bid to end speculations, Police Civil Aviation Security-7 Director Ritchie Posadas shared with News 5-Cebu the photo he took before the plane took off at Mactan Airport last Saturday afternoon, when he escorted the Interior secretary.

First of all, Mr. Posadas, that picture shows the plane on the ground. In fact, as the report pointed out, the Nepalese still hadn’t gotten into the plane. If you were approaching this logically, then there are several possibilities which would mitigate against the sweeping conclusion that Bahinting piloted the plane. Bahinting could have piloted the plane off the ground, but in mid-air, could have switched seats with the student, for example, for whatever reason. In fact, Bahinting could have scooted over to give way to the Nepalese immediately after this picture was taken – as unlikely as that may seem. In other words, Mr. Posadas, this picture isn’t worth jack-shit. You probably just wanted a reason to have this picture picked up by the media, with the excuse of just wanting to “end speculations.”


Mr. Posadas is symptomatic of one of the reasons our “official investigations” don’t amount to much. Indeed, this whole Robredo affair has been marked by amateurish investigation efforts.

Think about it.

Instead of getting every bit of usable information from the lone survivor, our geniuses on the ground actually let him go back to the crash site and basically sit on his thumbs after he’d given his one useful bit of information: where he remembered the plane ditched. In the meantime, no one knew what actually happened except from the speculations of a million and one people, none of whom were actually there when it happened. Apart from a statement, allegedly from the survivor, published in a broadsheet, there appears to be no definitive document containing the survivor’s retelling of events.

And how about the Civil Aviation Authority, eh? Coming in days after the crash when they should have been among the first responders. Air crash investigations ought to begin as soon as the plane hits land – or water – to ensure that no evidence is polluted or lost. Finding survivors is essential, absolutely, but that’s someone else’s job. Everyone outside of the SAR teams should be busy doing their own bit of the investigation, particularly in the matter of finding out what the fuck happened. As it turned out, nearly everyone turned into a wailing chorus, wringing their hands fretfully as they waited for divers – who RAN OUT of trimix, for crying out loud! – and being buffeted by every stray rumor.

Now, here’s Mr. Posadas attempting to preempt the investigation with his photograph, with nary a peep of protest from the people who should be conducting the investigation. And besides, who is he to “end speculations?” – as though his mere utterance would establish fact. He may be a responsible officer, but with an investigation being – or about to be – undertaken, Mr. Posadas ought to realize that he is part of the puzzle to be solved, i.e., his involvement in the whole thing will have to be sorted out to determine if he had any responsibility. He was there, after all, and his official title does make it sound like part of the responsibility for keeping things safe would’ve fallen on him.

I could go on and on about how all this is being flubbed by people who ought to know better, but as I said this clusterfuck is really just a symptom of a deeper malaise: the fact that media dictates the flow of everything.

From the very beginning, media exerted a very strong influence on how things were conducted. And because media’s immediate focus was the tragedy – oh, the humanity! – and the quickly growing cult of personality springing up around the fallen Secretary, so too was the focus of official muckity-mucks sharpened to include only those things that fed the media trend: rescue and remembrance.

Again, don’t get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with commiserating with the family, or praising Robredo – but government instrumentalities should have no room for that sort of thing – especially not to the exclusion of the performance of their other, equally important, duties. But then again, what do you expect when too many government entities now conduct their business with an overly eager eye out for how the media will portray them on the evening news?



Technical Glitch says Pia Cayetano

Remember that plagiarism issue raised by Pinoy Templars? Well, Pia Cayetano’s answer has finally hit mainstream media, and it’s a lousy reply.

“I myself am a writer and a blogger. I believe that everyone is due the proper accreditation and the acknowledgment… nakalagay naman po yun sa ating Intellectual Property Code that from the moment of creation…your literary work is protected,” she said in an interview with reporters.

But she said that it’s difficult to cite all of the sources while the speech is being delivered so she just mentions the major source at the beginning and makes sure to insert footnotes where the speeches are uploaded.
“So sinasabi nila na bawat sentence during my speech dapat i-acknowledge ko? Mahirap naman gawin yun during the speech,” she said.

She has a point, of course. But hang on. Wasn’t she part of the chorus that crucified Tito Sotto? Granted that Sotto’s PR people were stupid enough not to have thought of this defense, still, it’s poor form for Pia to adopt such a crudely obvious dodge. Not to mention the fact that, apparently, the official published versions of at least one of her speeches didn’t seem to have any attribution footnotes at all for the allegedly plagiarized passages.

“My staff has told me in some cases dun sa lumang WordPress file hindi po napapasok ang footnotes. It’s a technical glitch and they have made the appropriate corrections,” she said.
“[So due to the] technical glitch hindi nalagay yung footnotes but I have always acknowledged that proper footnoting should be there,” she added.

Damn! Apparently the MS Word glitch that prevented Supreme Court Justice Castillo’s attribution footnotes from showing up has infected Pia’s “WordPress file.” Double damn! I didn’t even know that WordPress did footnotes. Seriously tho,’ this is probably the lamest excuse ever. Worse for being nothing but an updated version of an old alibi that didn’t even fly the first time.

And while we’re on the subject, what’s up with namedropping WordPress? Was it an error? Did she mean MS Word? Or was she counting on the obscurity – to the general public at least – of the publishing platform as a means of glossing over her error? Did she maybe expect people to go, “ah, wordpress naman pala kasi. okay.”

She likewise clarified that her speech on “The Status of the Philippines in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals” was never delivered on the Senate floor and was just uploaded on her website.
“Unfortunately yung media officer ko akala yung na-deliver kong speech naupload yun again technical glitch hindi nalagay yung footnotes but I have always acknowledged that proper footnoting should be there,” she said.
“Sana naman po may konting nag-abala yung nag-blog…that speech was never delivered on the Senate floor…you would see that in the Senate journal,” she said.

Well now, she’s just gone and torpedoed her first excuse out of the water, hasn’t she? In the first place, she says citing sources while delivering a speech was difficult. But if her speech wasn’t delivered, then – by her own logic – there’d be no problem with attributions, right? So, she waves the magic “technical glitch” wand and puts the smoking wand in her hapless – and conveniently anonymous – media officer’s hand. Real classy. Especially since people have been bitching about ‘command responsibility’ and all that.

In concluding her defense, Pia Cayetano whines that the issue had been blown out of proportion. Maybe so. But when she cheered while shit was being splattered all over your colleague over the exact same issue, perhaps she shouldn’t be so quick to complain when she gets some of that same shit splattered all over her.

Karma, truly is digital.

Manny makes more money than Kobe

Amazing, isn’t it? Manny Pacquiao makes more money than Kobe Bryant according to According to the website ranking of the 50 top earning athletes for 2012, Pacquiao made a total of US 62  million dollars last year, netting 6 million dollars from endorsements alone. This put Pacquiao ahead of both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, who made 53 and 52.3 million dollars respectively.

Unfortunately, the politician-pugilist only came in a distant second in the list, falling behind his elusive nemesis Floyd Mayweather who rang in at US  85 million dollars. Looks like boxing isn’t the only thing Pacquiao has yet to beat Mayweather at.

Check out the complete list here.

Legitimate Rape

Asked whether a woman could legally get an abortion in case she got pregnant from a rape, Republican Todd Akin – a Senatorial candidate for Missouri – gave this humdinger of an answer:

From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment. But the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.

The stupidity is mind-boggling. Let’s break that down.

First of all, pregnancy from rape is no rarer than pregnancy from any other kind of unprotected sex, vanilla or the Christian Grey variety. Atkin goes on to explain why it would be rare.

If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

I have no idea where this bizarre notion comes from, although I would not necessarily discount fringe religious beliefs as a possible source. As far as I know – and I believe I’m standing on pretty solid ground here – the body has no means of knowing whether it was raped, much less have the ability to refuse to get pregnant if it determines that it was raped. That whole concept sounds more like a mutant superpower to me, than actual medical science.

But Akin’s logic – while resoundingly moronic – is also quite predictable, given his Conservative leaning. Ultimately, he is saying that the preservation of a human life – the baby’s – is more important than the psychological and physical well-being of the victim.

Sad to say, this is essentially the same position adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. In this predominantly Catholic country, where even the erroneous belief that abortion is supported by a bill can lead to that bill being stonewalled for close to two decades, any proposed policy or law that seeks to give a woman a choice to terminate a pregnancy arising from rape would be killed within days and its proponents, tarred and feathered. Of course, this doesn’t mean that abortion doesn’t exist in the country. It does, and it probably kills as many desperate mothers as it does fetuses.

This fact alone – that unregulated abortions are fatally carried out despite its illegality – should make the issue of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy resulting from a rape serious enough to warrant mature discussion and consideration. Political realities however, will ensure that no such discussions will ever take place. Is it any wonder then, that the Reproductive Health Bill is taking forever to pass? The citizens of Missouri are fortunate that Akin opened his mouth and spouted that drivel. At least now, he’s being pressured to quit the race.

Here, at home, we’re not quite so fortunate. We may not have Todd Akin, but we certainly have more than enough of his ideological twins standing in the way of better healthcare for women.