Wednesday, November 12, 2008

new name 2

(...) failed state.
im not comfortable with naming my blog with this, but if i see it everyday, it will keep me reminded. i think i'll keep it for a long long while.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

new name

in deference to my idol, and to his fmcc, i am changing my blog's name from three stars and a sun to minority report for the meantime while i continue to search for the next title i'd be comfortable with for my blog.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

now our government cares...

i couldn't believe it. i started to sense it when news about the rice "shortage" hit the news. there was much concern about how to distribute the much cheaper nfa rice to those who are less disposed to pay for the more expensive rice types. there was also this nationwide investigation against rice hoarders and iv seen several news items reporting some success in exposing those "evil" businessmen/women.
the next news was about meralco. senate hearings were held to investigate how our electric bills can be lowered. after that, news about the government exploring the possibility of making texts free and voice calls charges lowered.
unbelievable huh? yes very much.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Plea to Our Kapwa Pinoys in the US: AGAP-Bikol

(message from fr. manoling francisco, sj)

Dear Friends,

Last Nov. 30, 2006, a supertyphoon Reming ravaged the
Bikol Region and Southern Tagalog, Philippines. More
than 400 people have already been buried; hundreds
more are missing. The death toll, according to the Red
Cross, will most likely exceed 1,000. Moreover, 10,000
families have been dislocated, their homes and fields
buried under tons of mud from the slopes of the Mayon
volcano. The thousands who have been dispossessed are
temporarily sheltered in evacuation centers.

The evacuees are in need of food, clothing, medicines.
They have lost loved ones; for many everything they
own. We beg for your financial assistance.

For those in the U.S., please address and send your
checks to:
Fr. Peter Pojol, S.J.
Hopkins House
40 Kirkland St.
Cambridge, MA 02138-2031

Together with the Filipino graduate students in the
Boston area, Fr. Peter will account and remit the
donations to:
Fr. Jovic E. Lobrigo
Chair, Social Action Center
Diocese of Legazpi
Albay District, 4500
Legazpi City, Philippines

As with our past fund-raising email campaigns (for the
typhoon victims in Bikol and Infanta, Quezon in 2004
during which we raised P755,508.80 and for the
mudslide victims of Guinsaugon, Leyte in 2005 during
which we raised $10,893.43), the Tanging Yaman
Foundation, Inc., will email all the donors:
1) a master list of donations received, and
2) an electronic receipt from Fr. Lobrigo,
in order to assure you that every dollar you send will
go to the evacuees in Bikol.

As we await the coming of our Lord this Advent Season,
may the more than 40,000 dispossessed in Bikol
encounter the mercy of God through the compassion and
aid of people from all over the world.

Sincerely in our Lord,

Fr. Manoling V. Francisco, S.J.
Executive Director
Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc.

San Jose Major Seminary
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Hieghts, Q.C., M.M.

looking for a reforestration project here in the philippines

hi everyone,
if you know of an organization dedicated to reforestration projects south of the philippines, please send me their contact info asap. we would like to help through funding and marketing projects related to "recovering" our forests. please contact me through the comments section below, or by emailing me at

Thursday, November 16, 2006

back to the old habit

hi everyone!
after a 6-month hiatus from blogging, i'm back. haay, there's so many things that's worth talking about, gringo's capture, pacquiao vs morales III, the opposition's senatorial slate, etc. etc..
but, i don't want to write anything about them now. all i care about right now is that i'm back, hehehe. i wonder who's still visiting my blog until now, hmmm...
by the way, here are some updates about myself:
- i got out of the seminary last may.
- i put up a small company, distributing arce dairy ice cream (we have a scooping station at robinsons metroeast, please go and check it out. :))
- i gave leadership seminar/workshops to a bottling company
- i have given and will still give a series of anti-corruption talks to different government offices
- i am doing research also right now about philippine history.
- i am working for a foundation inside ateneo full time.
whew, if only i have the time to write about each of these.
i'm keeping myself busy. we were trained inside the seminary the ability to juggle and manage our time well.
whew, that's all i can say for now. and that i missed blogging...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Senate Report on Fertilizer Scam

Source : Senate Committee Report 54

A summary of the findings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and the Senate Committee on Agriculture and food on the Fertilizer Fund Scam.

8 March 2006

The Fertilizer Scam

The Senate Committees on Agriculture and Food, and Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) have concluded that agricultural funds intended for farmers were diverted by Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-joc" Bolante for the 2004 electoral campaign of President Gloria Arroyo.

Testimonies and corroborative statements of DA officials, 13 farmer groups (see attached list), Commission on Audit officials, Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin, and alleged "runners" of Bolante concluded that farmers did not get a single "farm input or implement" in 2004. At least two LGU officials testified that their districts did not receive any fertlizer in spite of records showing that deliveries had
been made. Several Congressmen also denied having made requests for fertilizer assistance or receiving fertilizers.

Asked if Usec Bolante's requests for funds was upon the instructions of the President, former Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin replied, "I would imagine so."

Who is Joc-joc Bolante?

The committee report points to Bolante as the principal architect and implementor of the scam. He negotiated the release of funds from the Department of Budget and Management, had authority to release funds and the discretion to pick the fertilizer fund's proponents. He also sent letters to congressmen and local officials informing them of the availability of funds.

He was the first appointee of the President in the DA (even prior to Sec. Leonardo Montemayor's appointment) and concurrently held positions as acting chairman of National Irrigation Administration, Livelihood Corp., and Strategic Investments and Development Corp. He was also a director of National Power Corp. and Land Bank of the Philippines.

Wrong timing for fertilizers

The fertilizer fund appropriation was implemented only in 2004, incidentally during the election season. Funds were released from February to May 2004 or during harvest months when fertilizers are of no use because planting time starts in November. The DA's Rice Program (known as GMA or Ginintuang Masaganang Ani) director Frisco Malabanan testified that fertilizer requirements for 2003 totaled
only P28.613 million for the entire Philippines - compared to the P2.806 billion released in 2004.

Overpriced and inappropriate fertilizer

The fertilizers used were actually liquid fertilizers known as foliar, normally used for ornamental plants and flowers and anything leafy but not usually used for rice or corn. To add insult to injury, the "wrong and overpriced fertilizer for rice was even diluted with water." The Commission on Audit reported overpricing of foliar fertilizer (allegedly supplied in all transactions) from 700 to 1,250 percent. For instance, a witness cited Bio Nature liquid fertilizer regularly sold in the market at P180 to P350 per bottle were priced at P1,500 per bottle.

Sharing scheme

Atty. Frank Chavez testified that the fertilizer funds were shared in the following manner: 25% for the DA official (referring to Jocelyn Bolante); 30% for mayors, governors and congressmen concerned; 20% for the supplier of farm inputs; and 25% for DA official runners. A certain Jose Barredo, Jr. also testified under oath (as being one of
the runners) how the fertilizer scam operated and how he offered the fertilizers to local officials and congressmen.

Who were the fertilizer suppliers?

In spite of the size of the program, no major fertilizer suppliers appeared to have participated in the program. The Fertilizer Industry Association of the Philippines (FIAP), which has 17 member-companies and a market share of 95%, testified that none of its members participated in the DA's fertilizer program.

Instead, AKAME Marketing, Castle Rock Construction, and FESHAN Philippines, Inc. were identified as the suppliers of the fertilizer. Two of the companies could not be traced and one has no prior track record of dealing in fertilizers. Feshan, for instance, is originally a medical supplier and started to supply fertilizers only in 2004.

Bigger pie

The Senate Committees on Agriculture and Blue Ribbon revealed that the P728 million fund is just a portion of the Larger Fertilizer Fund released during the 2004 elections. The Department of Agriculture received P2.806 billion for the purchase of farm inputs and implements before the 10 May 2004 elections.

Nature of Fund/Program SARO Number and Date Amount

GMA Farm Inputs and Implements E-04-00164 (Feb. 3, 2004) P728 million

GMA Rice and Corn E-04-00294 (Feb. 11, 2004) P1.102 billion

Marcos Wealth for CARP E-04-01090 (Apr. 28, 2004) P544 million

GMA Rice Program and
Fertilizer Procurement and From Agency Budget Matrix
Distribution Component (regular budget) P432 million
P2.806 billion

Criminal culpability

The Senate committees recommended an overhaul of the Department of Agriculture. Filing of criminal and administrative charges were recommended against Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, Secretary Luis Lorenzo, Undersecretary Ibarra Poliquit, Undersecretary Belinda Gonzales, Assistant Secretary Jose Felix Montes, and all regional directors of the DA who participated in the fertilizer scam. President Arroyo (who may have had knowledge on the Bolante requests for funds) was also asked to account for the mismanagement of the fertilizer fund. Private sector partners or suppliers who connived with the DA in overpricing diluted fertilizers and ghost deliveries could also be charged.


Farmer groups that testified in the Senate Fertilizer Scam hearings and claimed that they had not received fertilizer assistance :

1. Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
2. Pambansang Ugnayan ng mga Nagsasariling Organisasyon sa Kanayunan (UNORKA)
3. Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas
4. Kalipunan ng mga Maliliit na Magniniyog sa Pilipinas
5. Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK)
6. Pahagpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Panay (PAMANGGAS)
7. Katipunan ng Samahang Magsisibuyas (KASAMNE)
8. Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon
9. KMP-Southern Tagalog
10. Samahan ng Gugti ng mga Parag-uma - Sinirangan Bisaya (SAGUPA-SB)
11. SAGUPA-SB, Northern Samar
12. National Federation of Peasant Women (AMIHAN)
13. KMP-Bicol