THE weather has really been making me a sleepy head so apologies for not writing anything for the past days. Anyhoo, I got a chance to catch up in my reading and hey, whaddya know, Fr. Ed Panlilio is running for President of this Glorias Nation of ours in 2010! Should we say "Woo-hoo!" to that? Well, pardon my lack of enthusiasm. You can call me a little bit old school, but I just think a priest belongs in Church not in politics, and especially not in Malacañang.
Sure, Fr. Ed may be honest, kind-hearted, and sincere in his desire to serve the people, but what about his calling from Christ to be w/ the people by saying Mass, hearing their confession, and forgiving their sins? We all know there aren't a lot of men out there who want to become priests, so losing one more, especially to politics doesn't bring the rest of us any closer to God.
With all due respect to Fr. Ed, I think he should go back to minister to his flock. He should speak to them of the heavenly Father's kindness, love, and generosity. After all, the real problem is our lack of morality and sinful ways...clearly, the provenance of a priest and not a politician. There are other honest, respectable and qualified people who can lead this country back to greatness. Fr. Ed should get out of politics before it ruins him.
(Photo of Sen. Manny Villar via the Internet.)
So ex-Senate President Manny Villar has finally come out of hiding and his opening salvo for his presidential campaign is to meet w/ bloggers who rarely write about politics. Eh? Where was Manolo Quezon, Ricky Carandang, Ellen Tordesillas, or Manuel Buencamino? Tsk, tsk. Well I suppose, takot sya sa hard questions. This is obvious in the way he has been rejecting invites to open forums w/ other presidentiables. Of course, these bloggers, no offense, wouldn't know the first thing to ask about the "double insertion" case. (But then, that is the point in keeping Villar away from the political bloggers.)
Just to summarize, Villar stands accused of pushing for gov't funding for the C-5 extension road project, two times, at P200 million each time! And his real estate companies – Adelfa Properties and Golden Haven Memorial Parks – benefited from these double insertions. If that isn't a clear case of corruption, I don't know what is.
Look, I don't doubt that Villar worked hard when he was younger – having come from the lower rungs of society, and through ahem, sipag at tiyaga, became successful as a businessman. But let's call a spade a spade. Of course, marrying into the very wealthy Aguilar family of Las Piñas didn't hurt his chances to become an accomplished entrepreneur either.
Btw, preaching the gospel of entrepreneurship in a country where there is so much red tape in registering one's company, too many bribes to pay to get a business license, as well as corrupt BIR personnel who pocket the taxes these entrepreneurs pay, is just way too simplistic. It doesn't address the reality out there. First step in entrepreneurship is to have capital. And who has that except the folks who already have the money? You think anyone can walk into a bank and borrow funds to put up a business?
Anyhoo, going back to that double-insertion case pending in the Senate (and soon at the Ombusdman), that issue stands to be the largest obstacle in Villar's campaign, I think. He has yet to give credible answers about it. He wants to avoid the issue but really, he has no way but face up to it soon. Oh and btw, this isn't the first time Villar has been accused of corrupt practices and enriching himself. Just ask his newly-minted counsel for da defense Joker Arroyo.
So why hasn't the presidentita approved the list of 22 medicines w/ recommended maximum retail prices. It's simple. She doesn't want to give Sen. MAR Roxas II an upper hand in his presidential campaign. She would rather withhold these vital medicines from our fellow kababayan, many of whom live in extreme poverty and illness, than give Roxas something to crow about in his campaign.
But see, no matter how she tries to play this, everyone knows that Roxas was the principal author of the Cheaper Medicines Act. And not signing that EO to put a cap on those vital drugs to treat the most common illnesses suffered by Filipinos, just continues to make her as the contravida in this issue. In the meantime, she keeps our kababayan sick while she'll be out gallivanting in DC, meeting w/ President Obama (finally pinansin sya! and yes, you and I are paying for that trip). So what else is new?
Here's the list of the 22 drugs in the MRP EO: