Pinoy Sounding Board Commentaries l Socio-Political Issues l Blogging Issues Wed, 17 Nov 2010 08:39:18 +0000 en hourly 1 Ocean of Nothingness Wed, 17 Nov 2010 08:31:04 +0000 elmot A guest post by Jeniffer Rio Capanang.

The ship of our nation is plunging towards an iceberg, the passengers and crew are shouting in agony, but nobody’s daring to stop the impending catastrophe.

Now, barely five months after a new tenant occupied The Palace, many of us are busy judging him as if he is a contestant in a talent search. In fact, we are done grading his performance based on a hostage crisis. We are also witnessing that some groups are already conquering the streets to burn his effigy. Haven’t we seen this for almost every administration? The point is: our history is getting circular, cyclical.

We do not know whatever happened to logic, but are we just being blind? The problem is not with the President or whoever sits there. The problem is with the system. And the problem with that system is not just the concern of the leaders, but moreover, of the citizens.

Our society today is full of people who are rich with expectations but poor with examples. Everyone is busy putting their own agenda on top of everyone else’s. So, how will we ever progress?

The solution is simple and out there in the open. It is indeed, so naïve that the intellectuals find it very hard to accept. But sometimes, the most effective solutions are the ones which only need a common sense.

We need to have a re-orientation of values. And we need to start within ourselves.

If ALL OF US, (that includes you, and me and everybody else) could only forget ourselves a little and think more of the common good, if we could stop blaming and start moving, if we could take initiatives and refrain from faultfinding, if we could only integrate love, justice and respect, if and only if we will do our part… then we will be able to fight the disease spreading destructively at the backbone of our country.

This is a two-way process. To govern a wounded nation such as ours is a tough job, but to be responsible citizens is tougher. If both will wait for the other to start the healing process, the ship of our state will crash into the iceberg and sink in the ocean of nothingness.

Do you care enough to let it happen?


Jeniffer Rio Capanang, 21, is a graduate of Mass Communication and now works as a PR and Marketing Specialist at an International School. She likes to describe herself as a writer.

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How to Win the 6/55 Grand Lotto Jackpot of 408 Million Pesos on Saturday Fri, 12 Nov 2010 08:34:11 +0000 elmot The jackpot prize of the 6/55 Grand Lotto is estimated by the PCSO or the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to reach P408 million on Saturday night.  This will be a big jump from the last jackpot of more than 380 million pesos.

This is also the biggest lotto jackpot in Philippine history that even Senators and plunderers are lining up to try their luck on the coveted 6-winning number combination.  Talking about sheer greed huh…(mahina yata raket sa gobyerno ngayun kaya pati Lotto tinitira, LOL!)


I was in a mall hours before the draw of the 6/55 last Wednesday.  A local betting station is full of people and the line was too long, too tiresome for me to put my bet.  Now you know that I will easily surrender to laziness than take a chance on winning the jackpot.

Many people were lining up; the usual bettors on their ordinary shirts and pants.  But most of those I saw lining up were people who were in long sleeves with shinning neck tie and people on blue-collar jobs.


The next day, I went to buy some grocery items and the raffle was for the 6/42 which has a jackpot price of more than 3 million pesos.  To my astonishment, so few were the people who were lining up that those people receiving the bets could just sleep all day on their stations without getting scolded by their boss.

A neighbor told me:  “I will not bet with just 3 million pesos on the pot.  I will be after the hundreds of millions instead.”

Wow, people nowadays will wager on a 29-million-into-1 chance than that of the 6/42 with 3.4-million-into-1 chance.

Wow, really!

This lotto jackpot of more than 300 hundred million as my co-worker shared has instantly raised the standards of Pinoys.  People will not bet anymore when the pot is just an ungenerous 3 million pesos!  But if we are to ask them how much do they have in their pockets, some of them would maybe respond that they’ve got none.

Off to my tips now on how to win it….Excited?  Betcha…

Actually, I don’t know.

First tip…

Some people say that all you have to do is practice the untapped power of the universe by using positive thinking.  All you have to do is put into your whole consciousness, in your mind and in your heart that “you will win.”  And the whole universe will conspire for you to get your heart’s desire.

Unfortunately, every bettor is also positively thinking.  Everyone who lined to get the 6/55 jackpot are resolved that they will win.  The very reason that they are lining up is because they are thinking of winning it.  Now, with everyone else thinking and commanding the whole universe for them to win, for sure the whole universe is already suffering from a diarrhea of positivity.

Who will the universe follow?  Maybe Albert Einstein knows.

Second tip…

Pray.  Pray hard.  This could be a religious way of expressing your positive thinking attitude.  As the scriptures say, “Ask and you shall receive.”

A bishop is condemning lotto for it is also gambling.  But some priests are including in their mass their personal intention of winning the jackpot themselves.  Just kidding, Bishop…or maybe not.

Unfortunately, everyone is also praying.  And whose prayer God will answer?  That is something that we don’t know.  Maybe a winner could not even have prayed to God or does not believe in a God.

Third tip… published an article today saying that only about 25 percent of the total number combinations have bets on them and still about 75 percent of all number combinations did not receive a single bet.  In simple terms, PCSO is telling us, “That is the big reason why the jackpot is just pilling up morons!”

Now, in order for you to win, you have to place your bet on all the 28.9 million number combinations.  My calculator says that, it will cost you about P580 million.

Unfortunately, no one has that amount, except Jose Pidal and Imelda Marcos.  And even if you have that amount, the jackpot is just P400 million, and would still leave you P180 million poorer.


Then everything for me boils down to sheer “luck”.  The winner for sure will be one heck of a lucky man!

I think, it will be all about luck, nothing more, nothing less.

There are two problems in this world according to that same co-worker I mentioned a while ago:  the one with no money (problematic on how to look for money) and the one with lots of money (problematic on how spend it).  But as he said, he does not bother to be the latter.  Well, same here.  And I know most of you too.  Don’t be hypocrites, hahahahaha!

Now, if starting Saturday night you will not hear anything from me anymore on this blog, for sure I am already on some Caribbean Island so problematic on how to spend my P410 million.

Har, har, har!

Photo credit: Hubpages

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Malacañang Declares November 16, 2010 (Tuesday) a Non-Working Holiday Wed, 10 Nov 2010 06:39:17 +0000 elmot

The Malacañang Palace declared that November 16, 2010, Tuesday is a non-working holiday in line with the celebration of our Muslim brothers of Al Adha.

Eid’l Adha is also known for the Muslims as the Feast of Sacrifice.

The official declaration is as follow, as posted on the Official Gazette Website of the Philippine Government:

WHEREAS, RA 9849 provides that Eid’l Adha shall be celebrated as a national holiday;

WHEREAS, Eid’l Adha is one of the two greatest feast of Islam;
WHEREAS, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has confirmed that the feast of Eid’l Adha falls on November 16, 2010;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare Tuesday, November 16, 2010 as a national holiday in observance of Eid’l Adha (Feast of Sacrifice).

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.

Done in the city of Manila, this 9th day of November, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Ten.

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Pacquiao vs Margarito Fight and My Prediction, How about Yours? Tue, 09 Nov 2010 09:23:29 +0000 elmot Everyone is already excited with the upcoming fight of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao against the taller and bigger fighter Antonio Margarito of Mexico.  The fight is on November 13, 2010 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas.  The fighters will battle it out for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight title.

For Pacquiao, the win could give him the unprecedented achievement of having 8 championship belts on eight weight divisions.  On the other hand, a win for the Tijuana Tornado could give him the biggest break on his boxing career and a shot at redemption.

Thrash talk has already started between two camps in an effort not only to give each other the physical advantage but also the emotional focus inside the ring when the bell sounds to start the slug fest.

Margarito’s camp is jabbing at Pacquiao on the issue of the use of performance-enhancing drugs; while Roach says that it is ridiculous for Margarito to say that he is already in tip top shape and had already reached the desired weight a week before fight night.

I think this fight will be a great one.  I am very much excited to watch this minus all the long commercials on local television.  I opt to watch it online maybe if not in the nearest cinema.

Again, this could be a great fight; one aims a shot at boxing immortality (though he has earned it already) while the other one a shot at a needed redemption.  Pacquiao will demolish Margarito. I think his speed is simply overwhelming and his savvy moves, techniques, timing and power say it all.  But Margarito can never be simply dismissed as a weak opponent for the Pinoy champ; a hungry fighter is even more dangerous.

I think, Margarito will go down in the latter rounds, but for Margarito to triumph, he must be in the best shape and condition during the match lest he will simply backpedal to elude the blinding speed of the Pinoy champ.

This maybe is too quick to share, but after a Pacquiao fight, people will certainly clamor for a match with Floyd “Chicken” Mayweather, Jr.  But my fearless forecast is that Floyd will once again make another excuse saying he is gay.

Off to you guys.  What is your prediction in the upcoming Pacquiao vs Margarito fight?  Share your thoughts.

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Railway System in the Philippines to be Rehabilitated Fri, 05 Nov 2010 02:59:21 +0000 elmot I remembered my friend who is always enthusiastic about sharing stories of her European trips aboard the famous Euro train which she had easily visited the whole of the beautiful continent by just jumping from one train to another.

In the Philippines, the railway system has a very bad image, a bad reputation:  dilapidated trains and coaches, dangerous rides, accidents, piles of garbage thrown at the train by squatters living near the railways and the sorry state of the finances of Philippine National Railway Corporation.  All of these are products of years of neglect by the government.

Today, the Philippine government is considering the revival and strengthening of the train line to Bicol province by next year in order to boost growth and business activity in the region.  According to a news report from weeks ago, the train line from Naga City to Manila that is to be rehabilitated will cost of around P500 million and will target two trains a day making a trip to the said line.

Up in the northern Philippines, a train line is also being contemplated and gaining support from local executives and lawmakers. The said line is projected to reach as far Ilocos.

As a country that has lands stretching from north to south, I think having a good railway system is a must for our country as this will surely help in transporting goods that could result to lower cost of products; make the traveling of people easier and cheaper brought about by the more or less effect of competition in the transport sector; and an indication/barometer of the healthy local business, economic and social climate of the country.

But so many things are still to be done to improve the railway system in our country especially the relocation of illegal settlers that had flocked near the railway lines and a amount of budget be allocated for this program.

A clear rehabilitation program should be lain down and implemented as the public deserves good, safe and cheaper means of transportation.

But more than these issues is the problem of corruption on government projects something that Thomas and his Friends surely frown about.

Photo Credit:

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Dilma Rousseff Elected as Brazil’s First Female President Mon, 01 Nov 2010 09:25:09 +0000 elmot Brazil has elected a new president after Sunday’s election.  In the middle of a steady rise of Brazil in terms of economy and political influence in Latin America, Brazilians has chosen Dilma Rousseff to succeed to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who has been very popular to the people but was prevented from running a new term.

Rousseff is a former Marxist guerilla fighter who suffered under the hands of dictatorship and was one time even labeled by the dictatorship as the “Joan of Arc” of the guerilla movement.  As the Supreme Electoral Court released its official statement that Brazil will have its first ever woman President, Rousseff was really elated and promised to continue the dream of da Silva to make Brazil the world’s fifth biggest economy by 2016.  During an interview with reporters, the newly-elected president shared that she is “very happy. I want to thank all Brazilians for this moment and I promise to honor the trust they have shown me.”

Dilma Rousseff, 62, got 55.6 percent votes against her rival Jose Serra who got 44.4 percent who has particularly chosen by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to succeed him and continue was has been started as a grand dream for the rising Brazil.  She has been a cancer survivor and a staunch ally of da Silva who worked as an energy czar and chief of staff.

People had who supported Rousseff and at the same time President da Silva started to flood the streets of Sau Paulo in celebration for the election results.

With her election, and the popular support of Brazilians behind her back, Dilma confidently gives her people the promise of a new and even stronger democracy and a better Brazil in the years to come.

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Vice-President Binay, Speaking Without Thinking? Thu, 28 Oct 2010 15:49:52 +0000 elmot Vice-President Jojo Binay is receiving lots of criticisms after he virtually exonerated the Bar Exams Blast suspect after it turned himself to authorities through the facilitation of the Vice-President and former justice secretary Bello.

The suspect is Anthony Nepomuceno who is being tagged by the National Bureau of Investigation as the person who was identified by witnesses that threw a hand grenade in a pack of law students in front of De La Salle University during the last day of the 2010 bar exams.

Nepomuceno is a member of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity of which VP Binay and Bello are members.

On the report of, Binay said to reporters,

“We believed him when he said that the accusations against him were not true…He said it was unfortunate that he was being implicated. But according to our questioning, I think he had nothing to do with it.”

President Aquino though distanced himself from the issue saying that the court will be one that will render judgment on Nepomuceno based on the merits of the evidence presented by the NBI and DOJ.

A day after such remarks by the Vice-President, he seemed to have immediately got caught with amnesia of absolving his fellow APO member.  The VP shared that he never said that Nepomuceno is not guilty and was just misquoted.  Now, he is leaving everything into the hands of the Justice Department on an official statement that was published by media outfits.

“The Vice President reiterates his statement to media that the matter is now in the hands of the proper authorities. He has made it clear that the perpetrators of the bombing, regardless of affiliation, should be charged appropriately.  As a lawyer, he upholds the principle of due process and the courts will have the last word on the guilt or innocence of the accused.”

Binay has not foreseen himself to get entangled in the middle of crossfire after he sent a bad signal on a very controversial and emotional case.  Indeed, he does not have the power to exonerate or absolve Nepomuceno of the crime hurled against him but as the second-highest public official of the country, he should have taken a neutral stand on the issue especially that the person involved is his “brod” in a fraternity; and not flaunt to the world that his “brod” is as meek as a lamb.

Legally, VP Binay has not done anything wrong, but in the eyes of a distrusting and discontented public, he has added one more reason why he is named by other camps a “trapo.”

Speaking without thinking is shooting without taking aim. ~Spanish Proverb

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LimeWire Shut Down By US Federal Court Wed, 27 Oct 2010 04:37:22 +0000 elmot One of the popular online sharing services today received a very bad news from the United States Federal Court after the music industry that filed suit due to copyright infringement won the case five months ago.

LimeWire was ordered by the court to shut down its online service after the US judge ruled to favor the case filed by 13 music companies who cried for copyright infringement committed by the company.  Added to the complaint by the music industry against LimeWire is unfair competition brought about the file-sharing service.

George Searle, a top honcho of the company was saddened and very much dissappoited by the court order.  Further he said on AFP,

“We are extremely proud of our pioneering history and have, for years, worked hard to bridge the gap between technology and content rights holders.  However, at this time, we have no option but to cease further distribution and support of our software.”

But such a bad news may not easily dampen the spirit of the people behind LimeWire as they are also planning to put up a new online service in the future to replace LimeWire.

Most recently, there are lots of cases filed against copyright infringement committed by companies and websites on US courts like Dana White of UFC really running against online streaming sites and services that run UFC fights without their consent.  Many of these sites has been slapped by closure and seizure by federal courts just like what happened to LimeWire.

Image from BlogExMachina

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Paul the Octopus Dies World Cup 2010 Sage Found Dead in His Tank Wed, 27 Oct 2010 03:41:41 +0000 elmot The famous octopus who has taken the center stage during the 2010 World Cup for predicting the results of different matches perfectly has already died.

Paul the Octopus was found dead on his tank at the SeaLife Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany.  Paul is 2 and half years old.

Paul on predicting the results of World Cup games in particular the games with which Germany played received praises for his precision and at the same time the ire of soccer fans when the octopus predicted a loss for Germany and a win against its opponent; which happened.  It even predicted correctly a win by Spain over the Netherlands during the World Cup Finals match.  This made the Spaniards to even request for them to have Paul the Octopus transferred in Spain.

Caretakers at the SeaLife Aquarium said that Paul was still fine when they checked on him but was then found dead early Tuesday.  People at the park said that the famous sage dead of natural causes.

With Paul’s death, how about a crab as a new sage for the 2011 World Cup?

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Another Plagiarism Case of Associate Justice del Castillo on the Ang Ladlad Case Tue, 26 Oct 2010 07:36:20 +0000 elmot Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo has been most recently one of the most controversial Supreme Court justice due accusations of plagiarism on the majority decision he penned on the Vinuya et al vs. Executive Secretary for which a purported 22 parts of the decision were directly lifted from foreign sources without attribution.

The issue spurred academic and legal discussions with the UP College of Law standing tall and asked for the resignation of the Associate Justice.  With such a valiant move for truth, justice and decency, the least thing actually that the educators from the state university could ask for as an easy way out for the unforgivable act of del Castillo, the Supreme Court of the Philippines chastised these lawyers but had absolved their colleague for any wrong doing saying del Castillo is as meek as a lamb.

Check out full article here of the plagiarism issue on Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo entitled: “Legalizing Plagiarism and Judicial Vengeance.”

Now, with del Castillo’s name instantly so famous (an appointee of GMA,) he easily could rival that Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton; prodding eyes are digging up everything that he has penned as an Associate Justice.

Just today, browsing over Facebook, Rodel Rodis posted a note with what is purportedly another act of plagiarism.

The case is that of the controversial Ang Ladlad vs Comelec, with which the Ang Ladlad group led by Danton Remoto rallied to the Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the Commission on Elections disqualifying their group as a legitimate partylist entity.

Ang Ladlad eventually received a favorable result from the Supreme Court and had been given the chance to run during the May 2010 national elections.

Rodel Rodis shared an excerpt from the decision penned (or was just signed by Associate del Castillo as he blamed his legal researcher for failing to put the necessary footnotes on the Vinuya case) by the controversial associate justice and be the judge.  Here is the full text I actually lifted from the article Mr. Rodis wrote which is also published on (sorry for copying the whole part of purported plagiarized texts as you have explained everything the best way anyone could have done).

Plagiarism Case #1?

“Under the section “Freedom of Expression and Association” in the Ang Ladlad decision, the ponente wrote:

Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and this freedom applies not only to those that are favorably received but also to those that offend, shock, or disturb. Any restriction imposed in this sphere must be proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued.

The sentence was a mix-and-match of direct and paraphrased quotes lifted from Section 49 of the Handyside vs. United Kingdom (1979) decision by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR):

“The Court’ supervisory functions oblige it to pay the utmost attention to the principles characterizing a ”democratic society“. Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of such a society, one of the basic conditions for its progress and for the development of every man. Subject to paragraph 2 of Article 10 (art. 10-2), it is applicable not only to “information” or “ideas” that are favorably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population. Such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no “democratic society”. This means among other things that every “formality”, condition”, “restriction” or “penalty” imposed in this sphere must be proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued.”

It can be claimed that the SC decision merely rephrased parts of the ECHR decision. This style, however, still reeks of Patchwork Plagiarism, wherein various “sources are combined to create a new passage.” If sources are to be properly credited, the original source must be mentioned in the text or credited as a footnote — basic attribution rules that were omitted in the SC decision.

Plagiarism Case #2?

In the same paragraph, the Ang Ladlad decision continued:

Otherwise stated, the COMELEC is certainly not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one. (Emphasis supplied)

Reading it would lead one to believe that this was an original quote from the SC. However, this line was lifted from the United States Supreme Court decision on Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale, 530

U.S. 640 (2000), which in turn borrowed it (but properly credited it) from Hurley vs. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston Inc., 515 U.S., at 579 (1995):

While the law is free to promote all sorts of conduct in place of harmful behavior, it is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one, however enlightened either purpose may strike the government. (Emphasis supplied)

In fairness, the two sources were mentioned in the Ang Ladlad decision. The problem, though, is that they were credited only for another borrowed thought in Footnote 46 and not for the phrase directly copied above. Crediting the original source of that phrase is in order.

Plagiarism Case #3?

It can’t be denied that the SC’s Ang Ladlad decision was peppered with useful nuggets of wisdom, especially in the area of gender discrimination and freedom of expression. Unfortunately, some of these words of wisdom were not the own words of the ponente but rather, quotes lifted from sources not properly attributed to.

In the latter part of the decision, for instance, it was written:

However, as far as this Court is concerned, our democracy precludes using the religious or moral views of one part of the community to exclude from consideration the values of other members of the community. (Emphasis supplied)

Again, this phrase was originally written somewhere else — in Section 19 of the Supreme Court of

Canada decision on the case Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 710, 2002 SCC 86:

Religion is an integral aspect of people’s lives, and cannot be left at the boardroom door. What secularism does rule out, however, is any attempt to use the religious views of one part of the community to exclude from consideration the values of other members of the community. (Emphasis supplied)

Simply adding “or moral views” does not give the ponente right to own the phrase. The source of the line should have been credited.

I don’t know if the good Associate Justice will once again blame his legal researcher (which reveals that he does not write his own decisions!…or review whatever his legal researched writes for him!?) on this particular SC decision he had written or at least signed; or once again blame Microsoft Word: or simply hide under the lame excuse of “no malice”.

The SC is now slowly transforming itself into a laughing stock not only among legal circles but also among students who are chastised by their teachers everytime they commit the blunder of not giving proper credit to sources.

By now, Mr. Go, who revealed so many erroneous entries on Philippine textbooks may have more headache of not only erroneous entries on textbooks for elementary and high schools students but this time on purported plagiarized SC decisions that will be studied by law students.

By now, Bill Gates should be very disappointed too with his Microsoft Word being blamed by a Filipino Associate Justice on an issue of plagiarism.

And by now, Gloria Arroyo must be very damned proud of her appointee following her footsteps for_________  (you can supply any lines you want on this one).

Are these lines plagiarized or simply overlooked by the Associate Justice?

Image from Plaridel.wordpress

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