Friday, January 30, 2009

Desperately Seeking An Obama but Missing Obama's Message

With permission I asked Ms. Dinky Soliman to repost her notes from facebook, I am sharing it here:

Desperately Seeking An Obama but Missing Obama's Message

Wed 5:33pm
by Corazon Juliano-Soliman

January 20, 2009 Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the USA…it signaled hope and change in America…..January 20, 2001 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was sworn in as President of the Philippines riding the on the hopes of a people for a leadership that will practice good governance.

Today, January 20, 2009, we Filipinos are seeking an Obama of the Philippines. We are sick and tired of the corruption that confronts us everyday and the cover ups that this administration is doing. We complaint about the abuse of power that GMA and her cohorts exercise as they slowly slaughter the institutions of democracy in the country. We are frustrated with the opposition because most of them have not demonstrated that they are different from the current administration. – in their practice of politics.

We are looking for an Obama who will be opposite to the current leadership in Malacanang. Thus a person who stands up for truth and does not buckle down to bribery becomes a candidate for the highest authority of the land. A leader who performs well in his mandated function and conducts himself with integrity gets drafted by a host of people to run for presidency. There were even suggestions that a sports champion can be a legislator or a local chief executive because he unites the country every time he wins in his game.

In our desperation, we are missing the essence of the message of Obama.

It is not one leader; as Obama says …” it is not about me, it is about us…” …” it is the victory of the American people”… is pulling out from the depths of our collective consciousness the values that had withstood the test of times- crisis, calm and celebration. In his inaugural speech he invoked …” hope and virtue”… which the founding father of the USA had called on all citizens to hold on to and move forward.

Obama read the people’s wishes and aspirations. He saw the willingness and desire of the people to effect change; he touched on that social energy and the people acted, got involved and made the change. Thus the repeated message of Obama is - the people made the change and the people will remake America.

So we the people of the Philippines have to demonstrate that we are ready and willing to make the change happen; that we know what is right and wrong; we know truth from lies and we know freedom and democracy. We have to tell each other, show each other that we are willing to invest to make the change; take risks to correct the wrong and stand up against corrupt politicians. We have to take back politics from the hands of people who betray the trust of the people and make politics sacred again- a sacred covenant between leaders and constituencies. We the people, cede part of our power to people we elect, thus if they do not act in behalf of the common good we should take back the power we ceded to them.

When we act in our numbers and insist… persist …for truth and justice, transparent and honest governance at the local and national level….the Obamas of the Philippines will emerge. There will be leaders who will demonstrate servant leadership; there will be leaders who will facilitate processes that will forge unity; there will be leaders who will be bold and daring to innovate with the people in crafting solutions to systemic problems; there will be leaders who will account to the people their governance practice.

This is what Obama was referring to as “the promise of citizenship…” We the people have to talk with each other collectively act and organize a force that will change our politics and set our democracy right again.


(This position paper was sent and being circulated in email from our colleagues in Mindanao).




The present conflict between the Government of the Republic of Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has displaced more than 700,000 innocent people who continue to suffer in misery, hunger and unsecured lives. The conflict has left millions of people in emotional distress and uncertainty, and has caused damage to properties, structure, investments and previous efforts of communities to rebuild a broken land.

It is a cycle of war and continuous armed conflict which threatens to rip apart our families and communities that we want to STOP NOW!


We are a community-based alliance of peace advocates represented by the Sindaw ko Kalilintad coming from different cultural identities and backgrounds in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat who yearn for PEACE in our lands;

We condemn the continuous violations of human rights experienced by our Muslim, Christian and Lumad brothers and sisters;

We condemn the massive displacement, innocent killing of people caught in the crossfire, burning of houses and the irreparable damage wrought upon victims who are crying for peace;

We are alarmed by the growing incidences of kidnapping and harassment of those who sacrifice their lives as they continue to work for humanitarian protection and we urge the authorities to immediately get to the root and act on this problem;

We do not want another “All-out-War” to happen! We seek to sustain the peaceful initiatives that we have collectively woven together!

We believe that a hundred times of peace talks are better than a day of battle. Together with other peace-loving individuals and groups, we therefore appeal for a resumption of the peace talks. We call on the newly composed GRP-panel to build on the gains of the peace process and pursue in-depth analysis and study of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Ancestral Domain. We also call on the MILF to be open to a more thorough and inclusive discourse on the issues surrounding the MOA-AD which should reflect the diverse voices of the many ethnic groups whose identities seek to be recognized in the continuing pursuit of self-determination.


Fiesta Cotabato Restaurant and Pensionne House, Cotabato City

28 January 2009


1. Hadji Quirino Oranto BOD Chairperson – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

2. Amina Pualas President – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

3. Hadji Casim Zaman President – IFABN

4. Taha Diron President – BMPDI

5. Abdalawi “Allan” Pagrangan President – BUA

6. Bedis Kudarat President – IDBM

7. Nestor Empal President – SMMMI

8. Hamza Oranto President – CTFOI

9. Desdemona Oranto Chairperson – LIKHAAN Mindanaw

10. Edilberto Villaruel Mindanao Coordinator – CO Multiversity

11. Jessie Tiwan Tribal Council – Titulok, Bagumbayan

12. Noeme Dignadice Treasurer – DRTPFI

13. Omar Anting Brgy Chairman – Bayanga Norte, Matanog

14. Madid Sampiano Brgy Chairman – Barorao, Balabagan

15. Isabelita Dignadice President – TPWO – DRTPFI

16. Zenaida Mohamad President – BLKM

17. Bashit Imam Vice President – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

18. Hermelinda Loreno Secretary – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

19. Jimmy Tribiana BOD Member –Sindaw ko Kalilintad

20. Moamar Acbar SB Member – Municipality of Kapatagan

21. Hashimion Aratuc Vice President – BMPDI

22. Mudzaime Habib President – IDBM Youth

23. Princess Jasmin Pagrangan Secretary – LIKHAAN Mindanaw

24. Romie Guialil BOD Member – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

25. Nor-ain Anting Treasurer – IFABN

26. Fatima Baulo BOD Member – IFABN

27. Omar Abas BOD Member – SMMMI

28. Wilma Pagrangan BUA Women’s Organization

29. Salama Oranto Secretary – CTFOI

30. Luminog Dipatuan Chairman of the Board – IFABN

31. Saidamen Sabino President – IFABN Youth Organization

32. Fatima Macasasa Manager – CTFOI Consumer Cooperative

33. Macapando Oranto BOD Member – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

34. Arlan Norodin Secretary – BUA

35. Capsa Aminodin President – Bangsabae

36. Norma Ansao Vice President – BUA

37. Dima Mama SB Secretary – Kapatagan

38. Sultan Ali Omar BOD Member – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

39. Sino Bara SB Member – Kapatagan

40. Guiaria Maulana President – IDBM Women’s Organization

41. Agrifina Ayob Business Manager – IBDM

42. Kash Lauto Project Officer – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

43. Pilot Abas BOD Member – Sindaw ko Kalilintad

44. Noemi Pimentel RDO – CO Multiversity

45. Farida Ambang BUA Women’s Organization

46. Rocman Abdul Racman BOD Member – BMPDI

47. Moslemin Abas CO – CO Multiversity (Buldon)

48. Elizabeth Gallardo CO Trainer – CO Multiversity

49. Malik Adil CO – CO Multiversity (Barira)

50. Madette Gardiola – Virola Freelance Consultant

51. Jacquiline Arat CO – CO Multiversity (Matanog)

52. Jo-annee Lopez CO – CO Multiversity (Kapatagan)

53. Badrudin Guiadel CO – CO Multiversity (Bagumbayan)

54. Adah Masukat CO – CO Multiversity (Balabagan)

Edilberto "EVHOY" B. Villaruel
Mindanao Coordinator
Community Organizers Multiversity (CO Multiversity)
Sampaguita Rm. MTRC Bldg., DMSF Cmpd. Bajada, Davao City
(082) 2258763

MAIN Office:
18 Marunong St., Barangay Central Quezon City
(632) 9220246/9270794

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Litratong Pinoy : Lilang Streamer - Tutulan...

Larawan kuha ng magkaroon ng pagkilos ang mga mamayan ng Gwangju nagmartsa mula harapan ng Chonnam National University patungo ng Old Provincial Hall, ang lugar kung saan nagbuwis ng buhay ang ilan sa magigiting na bayani na tinutulan ang martial law at diktaturya ni Chun Doo Wan noong May 18 1980 (518) o May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising (518). Nanawagan ang mga lider ng pagkilos at iba pang mamayan na tutulan ang pagbuwag ng simbolo ng (518), ang Old Provincial Hall, upang bigyan ng mas magandang facade ang itinatayong Asian Culture Complex.

From 왜가리

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mamayan Ayaw sa Suhulan at Iligal na Droga-MASID

Mababago po natin ang Pilipinas… paisa-isang ahensiya… paisa-isang Filipino… at uunahin ko sa aking sarili…! Major Ferdinand Marcelino

Together with friends I joined in solidarity a public mass at PDEA celebrated by Bishop Pavillo. I met at the mass-rally members of MASID ( Mamayan Ayaw sa Suhulan at Iligal na Droga) coming from the urban poor, youth and other socio-civic groups and leaders of Manila, Montalban, etc., most of whom I had a chance to work in the past. I also met several community organizer friends and got to listen to the story of one of PDEA’s director receiving lecture on community organizing for their PDEA academy.

Below are photos of the protest stage by the people’s organization with Katarungan /Justice with the scale and money on her hands and eye uncovered, not blind but have a special eye for those who can afford to buy (in) justice.

In this video Director Santiago is berating media for sensationalizing allegations against Major Marcelino so instead the issue and the focus is not anymore on the Alabang Boys but on other unimportant and unrelated concerns.

Press Statement
27 January 2009

Mamayana Ayaw sa Suhulan at Iligal na Droga-MASID
(Movement Against Corruption and Illegal Drugs – MACID)

The so-called Alabang Boys controversy has stirred up a lot of issues which again exposed the present administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for its “outrageous graft and unmitigated corrupt practices”. Now it’s the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) claiming that millions of pesos had changed hands in the Department of Justice which resulted to state prosecutors dismissing the case against suspected drug pushers who belong to rich and influential families.

The resurgence of NARCO-POLITICS presents a serious and immediate threat to this country. It was no other than Director Dionisio Santiago, head of the PDEA, who categorically said the existence of “narco-politics all over the country” which illegal drugs trade worth an estimated US$ 6.3 to 8.4 billion yearly. Worse the Philippines ranked as No. 1 in Southeast Asian country with the most number of drug users based on the 2008 World Drug report released by the UN office on Drugs and Crime.

Whilst the long list of billion dollars worth of government contracts (such as the ZTE deal, the fertilizer fund scam, the Northrail Project, etc) tainted with graft and corruption has put our country in shame by earning the title “Most Corrupt” country based on the 2008 Global Corruption Report released by Transparency International (TI). This only means that GMA is failing to curtail corruption.

Ang Pilipinas ang bansang may pinakamaraming adik at Bansang Pinaka-kurakot sa buong mundo.
Nakakahiya na Mrs. President!

We simply cannot continue to allow illegal drugs destroy the sacredness of our families and peace in our communities and schools as a result in part of the greed of drug lords coddled by “politician at all levels in government”.

The demolition jobs perpetrated to the heroes of PDEA will not make any sense at all. We do not believe the distrustful statements of Resado. He is making mockery of Congress and the Filipinos. We are happy that Major Marcelino lambasted Sec. Gonzales. We all wanted to do the same.

However we say no to the proposed appointment of Gen. Jovito “The Buthcer” Palparan in PDEA or DBB. PDEA is now an institution becoming a beacon of hope and trust for our people. He will definitely destroy the integrity of PDEA established so far.

We are also alarmed on the independent commission formed to investigate the Alabang Boys issue whose members are all selected by Sec. Gonzales himself. Why not leave the responsibility of investigation to the Ombudsman who has the power and legal mandate for such concern?

We must be vigilant now so that more people will be courageous and honest enough to come out and be like Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino and Gen. Dionisio Santiago who exposed the corruption in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and keep waging total war against illegal drugs.

Mamayan Ayaw sa Suhulan at Iligal na Droga-MASID is a group of concerned individuals and leaders f non-government organizations and people’s organizations prompted by the so-called Alabang Boys controversy who gathered themselves in a place in Quezon City on January 22, 2009, to discuss the current state of illegal drugs and corruption in the Philippines. The group members committed to help mobilize their respective constituencies to provide civil society support to the pursuit of truth and accountability in the current Alabang Boys Controversy.

MASID will vigorously pursue the following aims:
1) To help educate the various civil society groups and broader Philippine society on the extent of influence and threat of illegal drugs and corruption to the Philippine politics.

2) To connect and move into action the peoples, communities, schools and various organizations who are concerned and outraged at the expose of bribery at the DOJ that could have led to the dismissal of three influential drug pushers;

3) To provide venues for greater citizens participation in helping pursue a more truthful and transparent investigation on the drug and bribery issues involved in the current Alabang Boys controversy leading to the prosecution of those involved and the installation policies that would strengthen current institution’s capacity top deal with the drug and corruption menace.

Contact and Quote:
Soti Sabarre – NGO Worker (0910-391-6128/ 0907-742-6493)
Rolly Serna - - Urban Poor Leader from Navotas
Email –

Related Blog post:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Invitation for a Public Mass against Corruption and Illegal Drugs

Below is an email inviting the public for a public mass to denounce the alleged involvement of public officials in different government agencies in corruption and illegal drugs and in support of PDEA officials. This is one of the current controversies that have rock the country, that GMA herself took the rein to be on top on this issue of illegal drugs.

A mobile-text version of this email is circulating as well. Please forward the text message, this invite and support this cause.

Mamamayan Ayaw sa Suhulan at Ilegal na Droga (MASID)

Ika-22 ng Enero, 2009


Noong Enero 22, 2009, nagkaroon ng maikling talakayan ang ilang mga indibidwal at mga kinatawan ng ilang mga NGO at PO na ginanap sa Phildrra Building sa Quezon City ukol sa umiinit na usapin ng ilegal na droga at korupsiyon bunga ng tinatawag na Alabang Boys controversy. Nagresulta ang talakayan sa pagkakasundo na kailangang magsagawa ng mga pagkilos patungkol sa dalawang mahalaga at kagyat na isyu sa ating lipunan na tinatawag ding NARCO-POLITICS. Binigyang halaga sa pag-uusap ang pagbabantay sa mga proseso ng mga isinasagawang imbestigasyon ukol sa suhulan sa Alabang Boys upang matiyak na makamit ang tunay na hustisya at maparusahan ang nagkasala at mapataas ang kamalayan ng mga tao sa usapin ng lumalalang ilegal na droga at korupsiyon sa gobyerno.

Upang mayroong magamit na pansamantalang pangalan ang grupo para sa pagpapatawag ng mga susunod pang konsultasyon at talakayan sa mas marami pang samahan at indibidwal ay iminungkahi na tawagin muna ang panimulang grupo na MASID. At bilang panimulang gawain ay magkakaroon ng selebrasyon ng Banal na Misa at maikling programa sa ika-27 ng Enero, 2009, sa ganap na ika-9:00 ng umaga, Martes, sa PDEA, NIA Road, Quezon City na pangungunahan Bishop Pavillo.

Kung kaya, malugod ka naming inaanyayahan sampu ng iyong mga kasamahan sa inyong institusyon o samahan na makiisa sa gaganaping pagdiriwang. Maaari ninyo kaming makontak para sa inyong kumpirmasyon sa 0907426-9430.

Marami pong salamat!


Emmanuel L. Marcelino
Community Organizer
MN 09193150710

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

God Bless you Mr. President - Barack Obama!

Inauguration of the
44th President of the USA
Barack Obama
21 January 2009

Notwithstanding an almost freezing temperature; amidst the millions of people of color, race and creed shouting; despite the errors in the oath taking, Americans and citizens of the world witnesed the 44th President of the USA, Barack Obama sworn into power.

Although his inaugural speech is not as compelling and rousing as his campaign speeches his rhetoric showed maturity and credibility. He extolled on the virtues for which America was founded and pointed out that greed and irresponsibility had contributed to the current crisis suffered by America.

Environment advocates will have a green-field day with the Obama administration for he made mention on the need of a clean source of energy and recognition of threats to the environment.
He will not waver and will be tough to those who will challenge the power of America, stressing, “ For WE REMAIN THE MOST POWERFUL, our capacity remain undiminished”. But still, America will remain a friend of each nation.

And here are other key phrases I picked up from his speech:


Today starts the rule of the new US President, the ruler of the most powerful nation. But I hope to see that US President Barack Obama’s fine rhetoric will be as refined as the rule he will conduct himself in his new office.

God Bless you Mr. President!

(Note: photos were taken from the TV live coverage of ABS-CBN.)

The video and transcript below was taken from :

It is my distinct honor to present the Chief Justice of the United States, the honorable John G. Roberts Jr. who will administer the presidential oath of office. Everyone, please stand.

Are you prepared to take the oath, Senator?

I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear

I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear

That I will execute the office of President of the United States, faithfully

That I will execute...

Faithfully, the office of President of the United States

The office of President of the United States, faithfully.

And will to the best of my ability,

And will to the best of my ability,

Preserve, protect and defend

Preserve, protect and defend

The Constitution of the United States

The Constitution of the United States

So help you God.

So help me God.

Congratulations, Mr. President.

Thank you. Thank you.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America -- they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions -- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort -- even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- honest and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence -- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Monday, January 12, 2009



Boy Marcelino is a good friend and colleague so I am supporting him on his call to promote this current controversial issue that plagues his family specifically his brother Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). I have heard of his brother Ferdinand, his role model. And this blog post is in support of his family.

Aside from poverty identified as one of the issues in the communities where we work as an institution (Community Organizers Multiversity), drug addiction and its related ills are the biggest challenge causing breakdown in the community. But what is more aggravating on this issue is the connivance and collusion of military and government officials, another case of corruption.

Drugs corrupt and destroy lives...

Corrupt government and military officials destroy a nation...

Good thing the Philippines still have the few of the kinds of Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino.

Mabuhay kayo Major!

Imbestigahan korupsiyon sa DOJ!

Here are links from you tube regarding Maj. Marcelino's background and a TV interview on the case


Interview of Maj. Marcelino.

Below is the story taken from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

PDEA’s Marcelino a battle-scarred Marine

By Arlyn dela Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:25:00 01/07/2009

Filed Under: PDEA-DOJ bribery issue, People, Civil & Public Services, Military

MANILA, Philippines—Before joining the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino saw action in strife-torn areas in Muslim Mindanao as a Marine officer.
Marcelino is the PDEA officer who spoke of three alleged attempts to bribe him and his men in exchange for the release of the so-called “Alabang Boys.” Marcelino said he said no and stood his ground.

Mindanao was one posting Marcelino would never forget, citing his work on intelligence during the Dos Palmas kidnapping saga in 2001 as his most difficult assignment, one that kept him away from his family for a long time.

The Dos Palmas incident involved the kidnapping of 20 people, including three Americans, from a tourist resort on Palawan Island. The incident drew world headlines.

“Once, on Sept. 30, 2001, we had an encounter in Sumisip and we were almost wiped out,” Marcelino said in Filipino. “For a whole day and night, no reinforcements came.”

“That was also the time when my youngest child, Amir, was born. It was also during that period that our electricity and water supplies were cut off at PMA (Philippine Military Academy) where my family lived.”

He said he had wanted to go back home to his family but his work as part of a major intelligence operation to get Abu Sayyaf commander Aldam Tilao, also known as Abu Sabaya, made him stay in Mindanao. Sabaya was later killed in an encounter with government forces.
“I was in the frontline of the intelligence operation then. The letters of Abu Sabaya were passing through me,” Marcelino said.

Magdalo episode

Marcelino said there were attempts by other officers, mostly from the Marines, to recruit him to join the core group of Magdalo officers, who eventually launched a mutiny against the Arroyo administration in 2003.

“They kept talking to me during meetings about our torn combat boots and uniform and about corruption in the military,” he said.

“I told them we were all similarly getting assigned to remote places in the Philippines where we had no slippers, no clothes or even food to eat. I said the people did not send us to the PMA so that we would have nice combats or clothes or a nice life. We are trained to endure all kinds of hardships,” Marcelino said, explaining his decision not to join the Magdalo Group.

Hardship is nothing new to Marcelino. He said he actually lived in poverty and had to support himself to get an education.

A tabloid reporter

As a working student, Marcelino said he did odd jobs, anything that would help him survive the day, and this included a stint as a construction worker in the summer of 1988.

He had planned to enroll at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, thinking it was the only school he could afford. But when it was time to enroll, he found out he needed to pay P180 and he did not even have half of that amount in his pocket.

But lady luck smiled on him.

While working at the construction site in Recto, he said he saw a poster of the DAWN, the college publication of University of the East. “If you are able to make it to the paper, tuition is free, and you even get an honorarium.”

He knew he could write and applied and was taken in as a staff member. While studying at University of the East and working on the college paper, Marcelino said he found a sideline—as a police beat reporter for the then afternoon tabloid, Headline Manila.

PMA beckons

That eventually led him to the doors of PMA.

Marcelino said that as a police reporter, he was supposed to interview the PMA commandant “when somebody handed me an application ... I was financially hard up so I applied to be a PMA cadet.”

He became part of PMA Class 1994.

Now, Marcelino is on the spotlight with his revelations about the “Alabang Boys” Richard Brodett, Jorge Joseph and Joseph Tecson.


PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago described Marcelino as incorruptible. When he assumed the agency’s top post, he convinced Marcelino to join him. His reason: “He (Marcelino) can be trusted, he will do good.”

Before becoming a special unit head at the PDEA, Marcelino, along with a fellow military officer, Maj. Valentino Lopez, was asked by Santiago to help him solve the case of the missing 7 kilos of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) at the evidence storage area of the PDEA.

The case was solved and the masterminds were identified—two police colonels and a police major.

With the cracking of the case and their discovery of a clandestine shabu laboratory operated by Chinese nationals in Calumpit, Bulacan, Santiago asked Marcelino and Lopez to help cleanse the PDEA and prove that an agency of government could serve the people well.

“I can vividly recall what the DG (director general) said. ‘If you are not going to help me here at PDEA, who else can help me whom I can trust’?”

Challenge accepted

Marcelino said he was about to go schooling abroad when Santiago’s offer came. He said the challenge of doing something more for the country through the PDEA appealed to him.

Marcelino said he was ready to defend in any investigation the operation that led to the arrest of the Alabang Boys.

On Tuesday, before the House committee on dangerous drugs, he did just that.

(Note: I have not posted for wuite sometime after coming back to the Philippines where internet connection is so limited, even the wireless service I subscribed is very poor. Anyway I enjoyed a great vacation.)