Tag Archives: opinion

OPINION – SPMC defender to Maria Ressa, critics: DIE OF ENVY!!

Mamatay kayong lahat sa inggit!

I would like to thank Dr. Leopoldo Vega for making SPMC what it is today— the biggest hospital in the Philippines with 1,800 bed capacity, 75 dialysis machines which is more than double the capacity of NKTI, a heart center where delicate operations can be done and patients need not fly to the Philippine Heart Center, and a house of hope for children battling cancer, among others.

Dr. Leopoldo Vega, bagong DOH Usec.

Dr. Vega worked silently for years, devoting his life in making sure SPMC won’t just serve the people of Davao City and the Davao region, but the whole of Mindanao. SPMC has been an equalizer of some sort because the poor and needy people of Mindanao gets zero billing years before zero billing became a concept in Philippine health care.
The Metro Manila-centric state of mind and ego of most Metro Manileños must have been rubbed off the wrong way when they found out that SPMC is now the biggest, not even checking that it was the biggest even before Digong became president.
Unlike the brilliant minds of Metro Manila healthcare, SPMC became the sole hospital for Covid patients, making sure private hospitals remain covid free and can relax on possible contamination of their other patients. A very pragmatic approach on Covid management. (Still, we had to open other hospitals as Covid Centers if cases go up. Pragmatic approach lang, hindi Tagalog brilliant approach na know it all). So weather you are a gazzilionaire or a pauper, if you have Covid, SPMC ka lang.
Then Maria Ressa tweeted something malicious and obviously not checking on facts. Then again, that wouldn’t have been Maria Ressa, queen purveyor of fake news and intrigues, if she checked facts before opening her mouth.
So yes, get angry, all of you, because the boondocks have better healthcare and facilities even before you thought that was possible. When the past admins couldn’t support PGH, the lowly LGU of Davao City provided funds for SPMC alongside with millions as grants from private individuals.
So thank you Dr. Leopoldo Vega. Now, everybody hates us Davaoeños and hates the SPMC, because you did a wonderful and awesome job.

Mamatay kayong lahat sa inggit!

From Emil Vincent S. Sitjar


An agenda to mislead the public

garcia ermin

A statement titled “SECOND OPINION” circulated on social media supposedly crafted by a group of doctors and health workers.

At first glance, the article appears to be genuinely concerned with the plight of the medical sector in the frontlines.

The issues raised in the article focusing on boosting efforts of the medical sector to help combat COVID-19 are valid and should be considered by the national government.
But when it pointed to the community quarantine as applied by IATF today as the source of the continued contagion of COVID-19, while insisting on quarantine based on health factors, the article was clearly leading to an agenda to mislead the public.
It is shortsighted of the medical sector behind the article to think that they, as medical practitioners, alone can properly implement a quarantine that will effectively check the contagion.
If the police, army and barangay officials are having difficulty imposing discipline and enforcing health protocol in communities, how can doctors, nurses, health workers even be remotely expected to compel their thousands of patients to strictly and observe home quarantine? And are they willing to accept responsibility for failure of communities to observe health protocols? If the medical workers already claim to be overworked and exploited, they are certainly asking for more than they can chew if they insist on their medical/health-led quarantine and reject IATFs policy.
The motive became more obvious and the article eventually lost its credibility by wading in politics, wittingly or unwittingly. Days earlier, medical associations vehemently and correctly denied politics as motivation behind their presscon. In sharp contrast, by demanding the ouster of Health Sec. Duque and all retired military officials and czars, while protesting the “fascist” system, the article fully exposed itself as a propaganda of the Makabayan bloc.
I stand corrected if my view that no doctor or health worker in his/her right mind who seeks to protect integrity of his/her profession would recklessly express support for extreme left’s politics, is wrong. Only the left wing groups use the word “fascist” liberally in everything they say and do.
So I strongly suspect that the list of claimed supporters that simply have (MD, RN) affixed to the names is fake. The names could have been easily drawn from a voters’ list.
So wonder no more if Sen Riza Hontiveros is loudly endorsing the article.
The article could still have earned some credibility expressing genuine concerns for welfare of medical sector if the list had included the affiliations of listed doctors and nurses with hospitals, offices and clinics, like when everyone is required to provide detailed info about themselves before entering any establishment.
Leave it to the creative political enemies of the government to exploit every conceivable misstep of government to destabilize it. By ERMIN GARCIA, Jr.

OPINION: ABS-CBN – Not crucial to nation’s survival

By Francisco Sionil Jose , National Artist for Literature

ABS-CBN is not crucial to this nation’s survival nor does its closure mark the end of press freedom. Hundreds of TV and radio stations and broadsheets will continue to purvey news and views. And there is the omnipresent social media wide open to both #idiot and #intellectual.

In fact, the removal of this media giant will contribute to the leveling of the playing field and the strengthening of democracy.

For so many of us who cannot think of the future and whose minds are focused only as far as the next election, remember this: Marcos, Duterte – they are minor incidents in our history, but the oligarchic families will be with us much longer and will most likely be replaced by heirs who will continue to exploit our country and our people.

The struggle to create a just and sovereign nation transcends these politicians and their oligarch allies.

The Filipino oligarchy is our entrenched enemy – not I or those like me who see and know the truth. I’ve tried to be honest with myself.

I know I am expendable, but not as much as the peasant who produces our food. I have to distance myself from self-righteousness knowing I can be wrong. I do not profit from telling the truth. I am reviled instead.

Listen – all of you who resent me and wish me ill – I have nothing precious, no fiefdom to lose – only this life and the little of it that’s left. I’ll use it writing.

COMMENTARY: ERMIN GARCIA – Leni Robredo is not an obstructionist

Journalist Ermin Garcia, a critic of Vice President Leni Robredo, has an approving opinion for the leader of the political opposition and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte for her comment on COVID-19 urging Pinoys to join hands against the deadly virus.

Leni is not an obstructionist, for a change, said Garcia.

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But Garcia also wished that Robredo would also address her unity call to the ranks of the opposition that she leads.

On March 9 in a post in his Facebook account, Garcia spiced up his post with a  note that could also have aborted Leni’s  orgasm over getting praise from a severe critic:

“FINALLY, VP LENI SHOWS THE WAY.. Helpful message this one. Not the voice of an obstructionist, for a change.”

“Imagine impact if she does something similar, enjoining opposition to wash its mouth, sanitize it’s message, touch people’s heart and work as one with people and govt, for a better nation.”

“Hmmm wishful thinking. But we can dream, can’t we – for faster development and progress.”

ERMIN GARCIA: ABS-CBN charged for violation of franchise, not for abusive language or false statements

Press freedom cannot be invoked to defend and promote a media outlet’s business operations

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE. Not only does ABS-CBN have all the latitude and airtime to discuss and reject charges filed by Sol-Gen Calida. It has talents, writers, reporters, commentators to argue for it using ABS-CBN’s facilities That’s the exercise of press freedom as a constitutional right.


“Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely.”- Wikipedia

The moment ABS-CBN’s reporters, commentators, anchors and officials are barred from airing their views in defense of the company, that’s curtailment of PRESS FREEDOM, a violation of the Constitution. (Although the rule on sub judice can also be invoked if warranted to prevent discussion of merits of the case)

If a journalist is charged in court for libel or media establishment for violation of laws, the charges cannot be regarded as a curtailment of, or violation of press freedom because the constitution provides for it.

Of course, complaints of libel and violation of franchise are regarded as harassment, but it’s also no different from how news subjects react to critical news reports and opinions aired or published by journalists about them.

In the case of ABS-CBN it is being charged for violation of its franchise, not for abusive language or false statements of reporters, commentators considered as libelous or false. So press freedom is simply not an issue because press freedom is for journalism practice limited only by libel law. Media establishments, on the other hand are governed by a different set of rules – ownership laws, employment laws, franchise laws, tax laws, ordinances, etc.

Hence, press freedom cannot, and should not be invoked to defend and promote a media outlet’s business operations. It’s totally irrelevant.

There’s a whale of difference in application. (Whether the case as quo warranto is correct, is a different story.)


SolGen just doing his job by filing petition vs. ABS-CBN

Let Congress mandate on ABS-CBN franchise work





jun ledesma 2

By Jun Ledesma

The personal feud between erstwhile confreres Bebot Alvarez and Tonyboy Floirendo has reached an ultimate point of irreconcilability. Both are incumbent congressman representing the two districts of Davao del Norte. Either of the two maybe would deny it, but I consider them my friends before and during the campaign period and after, meaning up ‘til now.


Davao del Norte electorates celebrated they won as congressmen.. Mindanao celebrated with Davao. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is President, Alvarez is Speaker of the House of Representative and Floirendo publicly known to be the biggest contributor to the Duterte campaign all made it to the highest notch of the totem pole of power. Let me say without reservation here that Floirendo also contributed immensely to the campaign kitty of his best friend Bebot. 
rodrigo-duterteThe three, Digong, Bebot and Tonyboy, were the enviable political triplets. They all are from Region 11 or the Davao region, and we, especially those from Davao del Norte, hoped that there will be additional bonanza up in the offing among them the elusive Samal-Davao City bridge, irrigation and potable water for at least seven towns of Davao province to be sourced from Saug river and additional infrastructures in the entire region. Will the triumvirate push these projects? 
What looked like an enduring friendship between Alvarez and Floirendo however suddenly snapped. It was not on account of their love for each other as friends but on account of the significant others in their lives. I hate to delve into the details because it’s too childish an issue to even allow decades of friendship ends as quickly as it began. Frankly, I was disturbed in disbelief for I cannot reconcile what I thought was a deep and meaningful relationship of the two thus I attempted to text the Speaker whether their differences can no longer be mended and, despite the information filed in the Ombudsman by Bebot against Tonyboy, still be reconcilable. “This has nothing to do with friendship anymore about friendship, this is (about) accountability to the nation”, the Speaker texted back. A week later, Sandiganbayan issued a warrant for the arrest of Congressman Floirendo for which he promptly posted a P30-thousand bail. I commiserate with Tonyboy but for now I cannot comment on the case.


What infuriate me however are the events that followed. A phalanx of armed policemen, personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways and several other unidentified men, stormed the Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation and by force dismantled installations in the quarantine gates where people pass through. The crew, based on published accounts, was headed by a certain Edwin Jubahib, said to be a chief of staff of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. 
If indeed this is not about friendship, and all about the alleged criminal liability of Tonyboy Floirendo for using his position as congressman before to persuade the Bureau of Correction to renew the Joint Venture Agreement with TADECO, then why should those biosecurity barriers that protects the banana plantations be dismantled? 
Maybe Speaker Alvarez was not aware of how the stupid officials of DPWH, the policemen and his nit-wit Chief of Staff destroyed those quarantine checkpoints. He should hold them accountable to himself. Those quarantine points are commonplace in banana plantations and in animal breeding places to prevent the entry and spread of deadly diseases. People and vehicles are not prevented from passing through these gates but they are required to comply with a simple process of stepping on foot-washes which are mixed with biocides that effectively eliminates pathological bacteria and virus. 
The devious order to dismantle the quarantine barriers was ordered by Rep. Johnny Pimentel who wants to have an inventory of public roads surrounding the Tadeco Plantation. The congressman from Surigao del Sur cannot even attend to the decrepit roads in his province, and here he is intruding into the roads in Davao del Norte and specifically in Tadeco. 
While I say that his motive is suspect, I put vital emphasis on the effects of this outrageous and deplorable act of placing Davao’s premier agriculture industry in unquantifiable damage. If these bastards think that only Tadeco banana plantation will be destroyed once the deadly Sigatoka disease and fusarium wilt spread they are terribly wrong. I knew for a fact that the entire banana industry had been struggling how to eradicate and control the spread of fusarium wilt. The soil-borne fungus cannot be controlled by fungicide and chemicals and stays in the soil for until when, scientists still are grappling for the answer. What the idiots in DPWH and the Philippine National Police did was to open the floodgates for these toxic diseases to traverse boundaries and infect other plantations. 
The threat of this foolishness is beyond politics and irreconcilable friendship. You are watching here the possible demise of an industry that is the biggest employer in the country. Tadeco alone has no less than 6,000 labor force and that is not counting the indirect small capitalists that derive income from the industry. We are seeing here the decline and then loss of precious dollar currency generated from banana exports. 
Who will suffer in the process? First the Davao region. The purchasing power of people and service sector cannot be belittled. Investment capitals are poured into the region because of the economic bonanza that is driven by its vibrant agricultural industry. Davao City for one has the distinction of sustaining a 9% economic growth possibly the highest in Asia. And we allow an ignoramus congressman from Surigao del Sur to diminish that because he claimed that there are two roads that have barriers in Floirendo-owned plantation? The bloke is even wrong. Tadeco is just a partner in the Joint Venture Agreement with the Bureau of Prisons in developing what was once a vast waste land to be the highest yielding banana plantation in the world. 
In retrospect, I see the sense and purpose of setting up a regional party – Hugpong ng Pagbabago. And having said that, I hope that the HnP leadership will question and repulse this veiled and diabolic attempt of strange political quarters from Surigao that undermine the banana industry in the Philippines. If this will fail, it is time for Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte to intervene and he must do it pronto before it is too late. This is not the way to spur the growth of our regional industry. This is not the sinister manner to deprive employment for thousands of agri-based labor force. This is not the way to drive the hundreds of thousands to seek employment in Kuwait and elsewhere and suffer the indignities and death that could befell them. 
Please spare Davao region from the vagaries of politics. Please spare the banana industry. It is the only one we have.