“Calling Harry Roque . . . Is Harry Roque in the Building?”

roque inquirer

Harry Roque (Photo Source: The Inquirer)

I didn’t quite know where I was going with this article until Society follower brianitus offered up the following profound quote:

  • “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” — Frederic Bastiat

That explains why the Philippine government is so obtusely nit-picky and authoritarian, why upper-crust criminals like Arroyo and Napolese are given pampered jails cells, and why the three amigo plunderers in the Senate are not already suspended. The system is built to favor the crooks, whilst the poor and powerless are thrown in crowded, stinky cells without legal recourse. Crooks coddle crooks. And the system of favors even impels the good guys to coddle the favored class, and the crooks amongst them.

How do we break down the system?

We need armies of Harry Roques, I think.

Harry is a one-man Civil Liberties Union. That dude is everywhere and we need him once more.

By fate of happenstance, two totally unrelated events occurred on the same day that brought to my attention the need for a Citizens’ Litigation Army (CLA). Actually, the events are related in that both represent ridiculous government processes. Let me explain:

  1. The American air safety regulators once again dinged the Philippines for not being up to snuff on airplane maintenance.
  2. The Philippine Department of Immigration gave JoeAm a punishing runaround on his Annual Report.

I’ll provide a little depth to the two incidents. Then explain why we need Harry Roque and more like him.

Philippine Airline Maintenance

The Philippines has had about six years to bring its airline safety procedures up to international standards to gain America’s safety stamp, and get more routes to the U.S. authorized for Philippine airline companies. But . . . the . . . maintenance . . . people . . . just  . . . cannot . . . read . . . procedures . . . and . . . then . . . do . . . them.

American inspectors just recently dinged the Philippines once again. So there will be no new routes to the U.S.,  . . . and we continue to fly across and from the Philippines in poorly maintained planes.

Immigration Runaround

Joe is required to report every year to Immigration to let them know he is still here. There is a fee for handling the paperwork. The paperwork is more rigorous this year, requiring 5 pages of mind-numbing details and a notary’s testamentary seal.

JoeAm submitted his impeccably filled out forms (black ink within the lines and notary seal . . . done under threat of deportation) to the Immigration desk in Tacloban and was told they couldn’t accept the paperwork because the fee had to be paid in Cebu. You see, the office computers were not working because of Yolanda. They were accepting payments for visa extensions, but not for the annual report for permanent residents.

Joe went into a royal rant and asked them if they did not have paper and pen in the office, kinda like a “backup procedure” in the event of computer failure? They just stared at him.

  • Joe: “What’s the penalty if I don’t do my annual report?”
  • Immigration Person: “P200 a month.”
  • Joe: “Ummmm  . . . P2,400 for a year, versus P10,000 to travel to Cebu. Duh! See you next year!”

I’d rather be deported than be given a runaround by mindless bureaucrats who have no interest in serving their clients. They expect the peon immigrant to make up for their lack of invention by paying through the nose and puking  all the way to Cebu in a highly sinkable Ferry. And the Immigration people there would undoubtedly find fault with the paperwork and reject it. Pain-in-the-ass autocratic nincompoops.

But perhaps I am channeling Angry Maude a little too much with this personal rant.

Why we need Harry Roque

There is little recourse for those of us damaged by Governmental incompetence. Where are the John Grisham style aggressive tort lawyers getting rich by representing all of us little people in class action lawsuits?

Why is there no class action case that sues the pants off Philippine airline inspectors because it is clear they are allowing domestic flyers to ride around in unsafe coffins . . . er, planes? We can also get some more pants from Immigration for imposing burdens on well-meaning people rather than accepting accountability for something incredibly simple: having in place a manual backup plan for computer failure.

The Philippine government is notorious for placing burdens on the people they are tasked to serve. Take the industry of NBI clearances which basically take the official government position:

we don’t trust anybody so prove you are not a crook.

The burden goes to citizens to prove they are innocent before the fact, rather than assuming their innocence and punishing them if they are discovered to have lied on an application.

What a horrid testament of the government’s lack of faith in its people. And businesses buy into it.

Intimidation. Placing the burden on the citizen. Authoritarianism.

Someone should sue the pants off the government for an outrageously offensive “process” that all citizens have to prove their innocence.

So my idea is to sue the NBI for millions to end the NBI clearance industry, and the damages it does to LIBEL innocent people as potential criminals. Then use the money to hire more Harry Roques to sue more regressive government agencies and the bureaucrats who run them . . . negligently.

Like, sue to end the bank secrecy law that blocks investigators from tracking the stolen money. Talk about a system set up by crooks to protect crooks . . . and damage us by stealing our properly earned and paid taxes.

I tell you, litigation on behalf of citizens would become an industry. Bigger than casinos for sure.

Probably add a full percentage point to annual GDP growth.

Comments
60 Responses to ““Calling Harry Roque . . . Is Harry Roque in the Building?””
  1. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Thank God, if there is any, Americans did not allow inner routes to America. PAL, if I recall, only serves San Francisco and Los Angeles. These airports sit next to the water. So, if they crash, they go into the water and drown their Filipino passengers. So, people may know, PAL only caters to Filipinos, I guess. Because the only time I was in their coffins they were all Filipinos. Manned by old grumpy stewardesses.

    There were not young ones, I do not know if they have it now, because assigned to international route is a perk. A promotion. The coffins in domestic routes are cleaner, orderly and young happy healthy stewardesses eager to please.

    The international route to America is more like a bus plying EDSA. I’m squished between two seats. The whole place is like market. I saw older women praying!!! OMG! WHY ARE THEY PRAYING? OMG! Is this plane gonna fly? OMG!

    I smelled fried rice in the galley. I peeked. A Stewardess preparing Fried Rice with Garlic served over Kung Pao chiecken. OMG! They are not serving Airline Food !!! They are cooking airline food from the ground up in the Galley. Niiiicee !!!

    Jumbo jets packs in 300 squished passengers. Each passenger back then carries two balikbayan boxes full of carne norte at 70lbs each, GO FIGURE IF THE PLANE FLIES. The overhead bin was sagging!!! Why are the bins sagging? I checked! OMG! It is crammed with backpacksfull of carne norte again!!!

    I started to sweat. This plane is not gonna fly. BUT IT DID !!!! IT DID !!!! I thank those old women for praying.

    I think my flight with PAL was sometime 1993, if I remember right. I went to the restroom and there were smoke swirling at the back!!!! The plane is smoking !!! FILIPINOS WERE STANDING TOWARDS THE BACK are smoking cigarettes with alcohol on the other hand !!! Well, that was back then. 1993. Everything legal. Smoking in the cabin.

    We approached San Francisco. The plane dove like Kamikaze zero. It hit the ground hard with a thud. A screech. FILIPINOS WERE CLAPPING. They clap and clap and clap !!!

    WHY ARE THEY CLAPPING? They clapped because they survived the ordeal.

    I picked-up my baggage from the carousel. I went to the ticket counter. “Miss, I want my return flight cancelled !!!! I’ll book with another airline.”

    That was the end of my PAL international flight. Now I fly Cathay Pacific.

    • Joe America says:

      Beautiful characterization of my one and only PAL flight experience. That plane was so heavy on takeoff that it audibly groaned when it finally got some air underneath it. At 6′ 4″, my chin was on the tray table in its upright position because I couldn’t get it down because my knees were in the way. But I tend to look at the upside. I am now more compassionate toward sardines.

      • Geng says:

        This is not to defend Philippine Airlines because I had been an employee for more than 22 years but aren’t we supposed to expect an airplane to go down, crash anywhere in case of trouble, because it’s up there in space?
        The FAA had been so strict with maintenance or operating procedures but I can’t remember the airline had to deal with a major accident in its international routes during the time I was there and until now. Sure, there were lapses sometimes then due to a management that does not properly know how to manage their employees or employees were too spoiled to follow simple rules when doing their jobs.
        A consolation though is that balikbayans now bring lighter items for pasalubong like coffee in small plastic jars (unlike those carne nortes in heavy tin cans) which most of them were too ignorant about the fact that the trees where the beans came from grows here in the Philippines. And in most probable circumstances, those beans,came from the Philippines.
        Well, at least, they know how to patronize the product that originated from their own country.

    • Dee says:

      Hahahahahaha! You just made my day, Mariano. Thank you for clearing my congested nasal passages and making my dry eyes water from laughing. I am bedridden with a winter flu but boy-oh-boy, I am perky now. 🙂

      • Geng says:

        Dee,
        The one thing you/we all love about this blog is that we do not run out of hecklers or comedians to perk up a rather gloomy day started by the rant of Joe.
        By the way, I found a not so old draft about your request for me to write about my idea(s) to eliminate poverty but I am not sure if Joe would like the idea or if it is publication worthy. You seem to be really good at writing so I will ask your opinion on it as soon as I finish writing, and if possible, a final edit.
        Please contact me at gerardovergara29@yahoo.com so I can email the draft.
        Thanks.

        • Dee says:

          I e-mailed you. There is nothing wrong with your writing ability as evidenced by your comments in this forum.
          It will be an honor to look it over before you submit it to Joe. Thank you for your trust.

        • Joe America says:

          Don’t take my rant seriously, geng. The immigration staff are bound by procedures and are generally good people. I’d only sue the policy makers, not the earnest people. I just didn’t like that they solved their problem by putting the burden on me. We ALL had to deal with the Typhoon. 🙂

          I look forward to your write-up.

          • chit navarro says:

            But you are very right Joe in your observation about mindless bureaucrats. They are not mindless, though. These “our-taxes=pay-them” bureaucrats want to make life miserable – they are the 1st line you have to hurdle/go through to start the process – so that when you feel exasperated, you offer them “merienda money” to make the processing faster…. That’s how it works… Bribery starts at the bottom….I can not forget my first investigative job in our office then – verify the cash liquidation reports of our brokers processing at the Customs. I went through the process myself and in the first signature I had to obtain, the old lady would not budge nor even acknowledge your greeting – she just kept on fingering her rosary in an open drawer of her table. And there was an assistant standing near her table – I asked how many mysteries she has to pray first before she starts looking at my paper. I was told she can stop her praying if she sees a 20-peso bill… that was in the early 70’s. Imagine how many importation releases would pass through her during the 8-hour day.. and Imagine how many signatures you have to obtain before the importation can be released.

            More than 3 decades after, amid computerization, and improved technology, the same old system of “mindless bureaucracy” still abound in almost all government offices.

            • Joe America says:

              When I left Immigration, I wondered if there might have been a way around the problem, with some grease money. My problem is I am poorly skilled at how to do that. A lousy cheater, can’t lie well, all sorts of deficiencies. Your little lesson is precious. Praying… preying.

  2. jcc says:

    You were married to a Filipina Joeam. You can apply for naturalization on that basis. Then apply for dual citizenship. The immigration renewal is solved because you were now a Pinoy and also an American.

    • Joe America says:

      Here I’m on a royal rant and you come up with a SOLUTION. What are you, a trouble-maker? (Good idea if I can steel myself for the application work.)

      • Dee says:

        Do it, Joe. It will just be 25 pages in triplicates and you will have to have an NBI clearance, an FBI clearance, a Barangay clearance, a Municipal clearance, a Provincial clearance…

        • Joe America says:

          Medicals, testimonies, counseling with a shrink, parent’s work history, brother’s sexual performance, etc.etc., I can imagine . . .

          . . . oops . . . preference, preference . . . not performance . . .

      • Geng says:

        Joe,
        I think jcc meant with his suggestion/solution was that it would be a good practice of endurance…which would be of big help if you plan to try in the Iron Man or audition for the sequel to the Man Of Steel.

      • R.Hiro says:

        Wrong advice re becoming a naturalized pinoy. Americans naturalized here in the Philippines cannot apply for dual citizenship here in the Phils. This is reserved exclusively for former natural born Pinoys.

        Better advice would be to use travel agents who handle immigration matters for their clients.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks. I don’t know why Immigration suddenly got stricter this year for annual reporting, requiring new forms, notarization, and a personal appearance. Aliens in Leyte and Biliran have to fly or take a ferry to Cebu to do their reporting. It’s a 2-day event at considerable cost. Talk about an agency that is not clued in as to how to attract foreign investment . . .

  3. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I do not understand why you have to go to immigration, Joe. Philippine immigration is a joke!!! They lose paperworks. They have not found one single illegal alien and deported them. Well, they may have but it is not in the U.P.-run newspapers. Maybe it is not worth the news. Filipinos prefer news about corruption and mayhem and massacre. Not that it happen not daily but the ensuing investigation and hearing makes it fun to put in their 5 cents worth of opinion based on gossips. Another benefit of mayhem and massacre and corruption is it gives the populace a chance to blow their frustration commenting in loony newspapers.

    Things may change because they cannot comment now without libel hanging over their head. I hope the people will take their ire against rubber-stamp Benigno-picked justices who are affidavit-obsessed and witness-crazed people.

    Illegal immigration is goot for the Philippines like illegal immigration is goot for American economy. Illegal immigrants in the Philippines bring in coveted dollars, whereas, illegal immigrants to America brings in a pool of harassed, underpaid strawberry pickers and become pawned rockstars every American election.

    Another benefit of illegal immigration is they marry locals. They produce half-breed beauty queens. Currently, Philippines import half-breed beauty queens to represent Miss Universe, an American, and Miss International, a Canadian. They import these because they want contestants that can stand on their own when interviewed in English and respond in fluent impeccable country-club English. Because in the Philippines, ENGLISH IS MEASURE OF INTELLIGENCE.

    2ndly, beauty in the Philippines is measured by the color of the skin. The whiter the skin the more beautiful.

    SO, JOE !!! Philippines will allow you to stay in the Philippines with expired documents. Just imagine the consequences if they deport you. No more half-breed Piolo look alikes. They will beg to import back your children and you to fool the world that Filipinos look like Piolos.

    But when Yolanda raped your island, the American savior came for a big surprise. They do not look like Piolos, Shamceys and Janines. They were browned skin and flared nose. No wonder Philippine Government import American beauties.

    • Attila says:

      Why can’t my Filipino friends have your sense of humor? You may want to team up with Rex Navarrete and do a gig together.

  4. mirano353 says:

    I liked the Bastiat quote.

    There’s something similar from Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged):
    “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you…you may know that your society is doomed.”

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, very good, indeed. Which leads me to my all-time favorite quote anywhere, found in both the book “Heart of Darkness” and the movie “Apocalypse Now”:

      “The horror! The horror!”

      Thanks for bringing us that gem from Ayn Rand.

  5. Dee says:

    I like your CLA idea, Joe. Doesn’t the Philippines Bar Association publish a list of new lawyers looking for pro bono cases to practice on or those needing to do public service for credits?

    Maybe all kids graduating in high school who have the aptitude and desire to be lawyers should get a scholarship in exchange for a certain number of years of public service after. It could be done in other critical areas where there is a shortage of professionals too. This could lead to better candidates for all branches of the government. No more unqualified entertainment people in the government. Filipinos are now thoroughly entertained and they need a roster of credentialed and experienced public servants.

    • Joe America says:

      That is a superb, superb idea. Rather than military service, graduates would do civil service. Doing actual work is a good way to learn, for sure. Real. Applied. That idea needs to be promoted. There are certainly a lot of unemployed bright people wandering around. If I were one of them I would jump fast for the chance to show my capability.

  6. Joseph-Ivo says:

    I had the opposite experience. Politely I asked the security guard if it would take long because I was double parked. He called an officer and to my embarrassment had a Filipino stand up so I could sit. Then an officer asked me what my problem was, I said that my visa was overdue and he brought me a form and a pen. Once I filled it out he showed me the rates, I gave him money, he when to the cashier himself, cutting the line, went inside with all documents and reappeared 5 minutes later with my renewed visa and the change. Didn’t even accept the change as tip.

    Now I have a PRA (Philippine Retirement Authority) visa, only need renewal of my ID every 3 years (I guess). They take care of everything.

    Also PAL got approval to fly to Europe again because of improved maintenance.

    I think you did something wrong, Do you enjoy the sun too much and are you a little tanned? Did you add enough salamat’s? A joke does wonders…

    Another day, another mood? It’s cool and the sun shines, my coffee tasted very well.

    • Joe America says:

      Perhaps they read my blog, I dunno. The LTO treats me as you were treated. And I suppose I have always held a bit of mild resentment that, when I got my permanent residency, I was beaming with joy. The immigration people merely scowled. I think there are two points I would make: (1) everyone should be treated as a valuable client by every service organization, and (2) computers sometimes shut down and we ought to plan for it.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Oh, this blog is a must read. Couple of days back Randy David wrote about why they have to make public their investigation. It is forewarning the defense and conjure some air-tight water-tight alibis that government prosecutors cannot untangle.

        At least Randy David did a baby step forward gangnam style.

  7. I just want to share my experience with my NBI clearance.

    It took me 7 HOURS lining up in a worn-out, wet market-like building to get the effing NBI clearance which was only valid for a year. You know; the people at the NBI need money for kids’ tuition yearly.

    When I was at the encoding station– Christ! Gov’t offices here ask you to fill out a form and then they’ll encode it on a computer–, the desk guy got irritated at me because of my handwriting. DUH! Your effing office issues only 1000 applications a day so I had to rush filling out the form.

    I could have said to that moron that If the gov’t department had a database keeping basic infos, the process wouldn’t have taken soooo long. but then, I knew he was a moron so it wouldn’t do any good.

    Worse, when I was at the last station I saw a fixer processed the NBI clearance of his customer for around 5 minutes. Yes, the effing moron at the encoding station was just bypassed.

    Back-up plan and planning for the future. People in this effing country will laugh at you and call you overreacting if you call for it.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The reason Kampuchea, Myanmar, Pyongyang, Ho Chi Minh, Luang Prabang and all those 3rdworld Asian sounding names gets more foreign direct investments than Philippines:

      1. Foreign investors got horror stories in the Philippines;
      2. Foreign investors is just Affidavits away from jail;
      3. They have to associate themselves of “clean” Filipinos, WONDER WHO in the Philippines? Because in the Philippines association of criminal types is enough evidence that you are a criminal;
      4. Having all 94,000,000 Filipinos your friends doesn’t ensure you being charged with paid and bribed Witness Accounts bearing baskets of Affidavits of Dal-dal and pang-damays;
      5. Philippine blackmail works this way: They approved. You Build. After almost done. You are charged of building violations, environment violations, and all the tra-la-la-s
      6. Never pass an envelope in pubic, Example: ZTE San Miguel received an envelope in Wack-Wack fairways
      7. If anyone eng-get at you, they run to U.P.-run PHilippine media and they publish right away without asking for evidence
      8. Foreign investors will be invited to many baptismal, ninong of wedding and parties because of being tisoy. Being Tisoy is an honor in the Philippines. It is a sign of wealth.
      9. Foreign investors will never know, they’ll get deported once their business is off and running.

      That is why Foreign Investors do not bring in money. They apply for a loan for start-ups and get the rest from Makati Stock Exchange. Foreign Direct Investment: 0, nada, zilch, nien, nien, nien

      If business go belly up, Filipinos lose, Foreign Investors pack up and leave with zero loss.

      • For Filipino government officials, businessmen and investors are mere milking cows; those business-minded people work hard to pay taxes and much more taxes. if not, bye-bye business license….

        Gov’t officials can’t even comprehend simple logic: business-friendly policies would lead to more investors and jobs.

        The tax-collecting government is like a middle man of the rich’s money to the poor; tax more so gov’t can give bigger dole-outs, or worse, fatten the elected and appointed crooks’ pockets. And the middle class, who can’t exploit tax law loopholes, is trap in between; middle class people have to carry the tax burden of the inefficient and corrupt government.

        • Joe America says:

          I have a friend who runs tax collections for a sizable municipality. He explained forthrightly what you are saying. Taxes are not levied against landholders because they are the powerful people and he would end up paying the price personally if he did not grant “consideration”. So a lot of residential properties are declared as agricultural (low tax rates), that kind of thing. So tax people indeed are agents of the empowered. I do think that Kim Heneres is working to change that.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, my, yes. The horror, the horror. I note that NBI is automating some facets of the application, but my God the paperwork and certifications required here are simply crazy-making. I have a blog in the works that argues the Philippine nation does not trust its people, and that is why these insane processes continue. Sorry if I riled you up overmuch recollecting your cross-cultural “experience”. 🙂

    • This happened 7 months ago..still…

      Harry Roque will certainly become a rich man if he represents the FIlipino people in class suits against front-line government agencies, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Meralco, Power producers, Globe, Smart, Petron, banks and others

      Once the Filipino people win the class suits, there would be a new way of wealth distribution that would put the leftists to shame.. hahaha

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Before Harry files for class action suit, he needs an army of typists to type Affidavits and a gaggle of squabbling backstabbing eng-get witnesses paid for by highest bidder.

        PAL, cebu Pacific, Meralco, Power producers etcetera bids for witnesses in the trading floor of Justice Department represented by Ma’am Arlene who is a de facto Supreme Court which to this day has not been identified and never have been tracked down.

        • Joe America says:

          Well, the second place sued after NBI would be the Department of Justice for failure to prosecute on our behalf. Gloria Arroyo should not be sitting there cooling her heals for years without getting charges on the table and tried in court. The third would be any judge who pends a case more than 90 days.

  8. letlet says:

    i had almost the same experiences when I was buying another property in Quezon City, which unfortunately the wife of the American retiree didn’t transfer their property into their name, then I had to transfer the property from their name to my name ( I had to pay enormous money just to do two transferring), so I had to go to the City Hall. The first document in the hurdle of transfer was flipped open to me within 10 minutes of paying the greased money ( had to pay the grease money coz in few days, I was going back to UK) which normally would take the whole morning of waiting. In just few days. In the course of processing the document of title, I was allowed right inside the office where I was constantly asked ” fast track your papers” which mean I had to pay endless grease money. At the end of the day, I got the title of my new property. Whewww.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      @letlet, CORRUPTION IS NORMAL IN THE PHILIPPINES. If you are honest you are the criminal. My parents intend to buy a property in tony subdivision. The seller wanted to draft two Deed of Sale. One for BIR purposes which is lesser in value and the other the actual sale price. My parents are to pay the capital gains tax !!!! The buyer paying for capital gains tax? GENIUS !!!

      I sked my parents why do they need the 2nd deed of sale for? The 2nd deed of sale is the actual acquisition cost which is higher than the one submitted to BIR.

      So, I told my parents, if something goes awry and we have to drag them to looney Philippine court, we’d be accessory to all illegal. The BIR would run after the seller and my parents. Both documents cannot even be presented in court because both are not on the level.

      It is like presenting evidence before the court and we have to agree which deed of sale is valid. THIS IS VERY COMMON IN THE PHILIPPINES. Two Dead of Sales. Two selling price. One lower and the other one higher.

      I bet you Benigno know this.

      SICK COUNTRY.

      • Joe America says:

        I’ve bought two properties, both had double tax declarations, both under advice of legal counsel. Both with sly smiles and yuk yuks that “this is the way we do it here.” Do you know how much tax money gets swept away by the landed folks? Stunning. It would feed millions.

    • jcc says:

      @letlet,

      you were legally ill-advised. If the first buyer did not transfer the title to the American buyer,all you have to do is to make the docs appear that the original seller sold the property direct to you. with the right lawyer, this could be done. I just sold my property awarded to me by the court by directing the title-holder to transfer to me the title of the property. I hold the property but which title still under his name.. 15 years after, somebody was interested in the property. because I have possession of the title though not in my name, in instructed the buyer to go direct to the person and asked him to execute the deed of sale but payment goes to me as a condition of my turning over to the buyer the title. everything works fine.

      • letlet says:

        The first buyer didn’t transfer the title of the property to the American- Filipina couple and when I was buying the property, the 1st buyer was already dead, and the money given by the American to his wife for transferring the property to them was spent on something else, so I paid their unpaid capital gains and all the other taxes plus my capital gains and all the other taxes and all the grease money. Why did I do such thing? The house is one of the most beautiful houses in the subdivision and it was sold less than 3 /4 of the price when the American bought it.

    • I don’t understand why decent, hardworking people need to be responsible for the income of those incompetent fixers. No Philippine President has promised a clean-cut, automated front line transaction system.

      I think Presidential wannabes are afraid of the fixer constituency.

      • Joe America says:

        Clean-cut, automated front line transaction system. I think it is Luddite mentality. Automate and people will lose their jobs. There’ no recognition that speed creates wealth, for all, because people are just focused on “me”, not “us”.

  9. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Here is another that just keep me scratching my head … General Technology Resource Deputy Cunanan was audited back in 2010. COA Audit report warned him of PDAF-induced NGO that they cannot account for.

    Audit Report is public documents that U.P.-run Philippnie Newspapers can acquire without FOI just like in the U.S. Nobody looked into it. Nobody was interested. Who’d want to be interested Audit Reports are written in math language. Filipinos are poor in math more especially journalists. There was not noise …. It was all quiet in the western front …

    … not until …. Whistling BenHur Luy the PDAF worms came out in the sunshine to breed some more PDAF worms.

    Cunanan is a State Witness. Cunanan is absolutely innocent including the subpoenaed GARDENER IN KIDAPAWAN who has to borrow money to fly to Senate to prove his innocence. Well, The Filipino People only got one paragraph about him. Fortunately I have a knack of reading newsreports that can never be milked for sensational purposes.

    I cannot blame the Chinese for violating Philippine sovereignty and questioning “investigative prowess” of NBI on Chinese massacre by sending their own CSI before it became another investigation by Senate and dragging my dead Lola as witness.

    The Chinese ordered the Republic of the Philippine President not to publish the findings after it was reviewed by Chinese experts. After it was reviewed, made corrections to spelling and grammar, THEY ORDERED Benigno to release it.

    No fanfare. No drama. No speculation. No Senate investigation. No brouhaha. IT WAS BORING unlike this PDAF where they drag everyone to ask questions not presenting evidence contrarary otherwise.

    Now, imagine if Chinese were to run the Philippines or outsource the Philippine Government to Ghaungzou ….

  10. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    In America clerks have power. In check in counters they ask you if you have guns, prohibited drugs, etcetera before baggage is check in. A mere verbal question is goot enough to screw a Filipino if S/He answered “NO” and found out there is prohibited items the clerk can cann airline security and have S/He quarentined. No buts, no ifs.

    Nora Aunor was stopped and frisked and found she had drugs in her. Children of Gen Garcia was stopped by a clerk. That wife of a senator that brought $50,000 was stopped by a clerk. Brother of Bill Clinton was apprehended and ticketed for DUI. Genna Bush for carrying fake ID so she can drink San Miguel and Secret Service cannot do anything.

    This is America. In the Philippines none of the above will ever happen except if they are poor. Unfortunately in the Philippines majority are poor and educatedly ignorant.

    • Joe America says:

      It is interesting. In America, there is an essential trust that you are honest, and if you discovered to be not honest, then you are punished. In the Philippines, you are presumed to be dishonest, and have to prove innocence with clearances and notaries and all sorts of background data. If you are discovered to be dishonest, you can buy your honesty back under the table.

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Here is another true to life story.

    A friend applied for immigrant visa to America. He has to go for police clearance, NBI clearance, barangay clearance, Birth certificate authenticated, notarized, dry sealed, certified true and correct you know all what Kim Henares wanted from Manny Pacquia’s U.S. ITR.

    Oh, funny about Kim Henares on Manny Pacquiao is in America ITR can be printed and presented fresh off my printer and it is acceptable anywhere. But in the Philippines Kim Henares did not want fresh-off-the-printer American ITR. She want all the ribbons and dry seal and signature all over the face of the documents. Funny this. Funny that. But eventually Kim and Manny decided not to make public pronouncement. So we do not hear from them no more. I WONDER WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO MANNY’S ITR FIASCO?

    So, to continue, my friend with for police clearance. The police told him he has a warrant for his arrest on record. My friend asked what is the warrant of arrest for? Non-contribution to Pag-Ibig for his employees. The police merely told him, to sort this out and come back after he paid Pag-Ibig. WONDERFUL !!! My friend and I were just laughing. So we had a beer. Went to Pag-Ibig. Sort it out. Got a clean bill of health. He went back to the police. Arrest Warrant riscinded. Got a police clearance now his family is in Vegas!!!!

  12. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    My friend told me it pays to be a tisoy. After that lesson learned. I applied for skin whitening and plastic surgery apponitment with Vicky Belo. OMG !!!! The lines are long and the wait is like a year. THAT IS HOW THE FILIPINOS DID NOT WANT THEIR FACE. They do not have pride in their skin color. That is why they import half-breed beauties to represent Filipinos in beauty contests.

    How can Filipinos be patriotic and nationalistic when they do not even like their skin color and faces? They have to chop someone’s arms and legs just to get an appointment with Vicky Belo.

    It is the fault of “nationalistic” “patriotic” U.P. graduates that run our Philippine Media. They promote tisoys and tisays and they do not know it. Because it is the norm to like tisoys and tisays. Acquitances tells me that Philippines is a “melting pot” like the U.S. REALLY? That was coming from my textbooks of my Lolos and Lolas about Philippines a “melting pot” and “pearl of the orient seas”. Now, Philippines is not a melting pot and the pearls were stolen.

  13. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    deLima has another Witness of Mass Destruction: Cunanan

    Bong Sexy and Tanda Johnny is thinking of Witness Protection Program to protect them from Witness of Mass Destruction.

    What if everyone turns into State Witness?

    Why are they selective who becomes State Witness?

    Add all the “commissions” these WMDs that are forgiven and forgotten, how much is the sum total?

    Who are the losers?

    Can Tanda Johnny and Bong Sexy charge the government for Class Action Suit ? Why not ? Everyone of them from WMD to Improvised Explosive Defenders are all corrupt. Why pick on Tanda Johnny and Bong Sexy ?

    There is gotta be Class Action Suit for discrimination. But Harry Roque has already made up his mind. Only these two gotta go to Muntinlupa Assisted Living with 24/7 Security.

  14. edgar lores says:

    1. Pffft!

    2. You guys think you have it bad? JoeAm – no one to write out a receipt? Chit – merienda money? David – 7 hours in a queue? Letlet – grease money?
    2.1. Hah!

    3. My sad, sorry story with the bureaucracy started in February 2012 – yes, two years ago – and it is not over yet. It is a Kafkaesque tale with no ending in sight.

    4. I have spent thousands of pesos, and have not seen nor received a single centavo.
    4.1. The money I have “invested” is equivalent to almost two years’ worth of pension. (Admittedly, my pension fund is not that big.)
    4.2. The main application form is a fill-in-the-blanks form that looks like a stenciled form from the 70’s. (It is unlike the question-and-answer form that I am familiar with.)
    4.3. The application documents have to be “authenticated” by consular staff. ($)
    4.4. Required application documents are advised piecemeal. After you complete one set, you are required to lodge another set of new documents. (More $$.)
    4.5. Foreign application documents – such as birth certificates and IDs – have to be “certified” by the Foreign Affairs department of the foreign country. (More, more $$$.)
    4.6. Before these foreign documents can be certified, they need to be “notarized”. (More, more, more $$$.)
    4.7. The reasons for some application documents are not explained. Clarification queries are ignored and only answered after repeated follow-ups.
    4.8. There is no timely acknowledgement of documents received.
    4.9. There is no volunteering of relevant pension information such as the size of the fund, and the timing of delivery. And the volunteered info is incomplete and imprecise.
    4.10. There is no standard consular operating procedure with respect to the “bundling” of documents.
    4.11. The fee structure of the consulate office does not take into consideration the size of the pension fund.
    4.12. Application documents get “lost” in the mail even when sent via registered airmail.
    4.13. The suggested delivery method does not include electronic bank-to-bank transfers. It’s like the computer revolution and the Internet never occurred.

    5. The Philippine pension is an entitlement in that it is contributory. It may be unlike foreign pensions which are non-contributory and are given ex gratia to senior members of the community as a safety net. It is the contributing citizen’s money, and yet the bureaucracy is so unsystematic and so heavy-handed.
    5.1. Or it could be that I do not have Joseph’s aura.

    • Joe America says:

      ahahahahaha, 5.1 perhaps you are not tall and white with a fancy car and money hanging out your back pocket.

      But you win the tale of woe, hands down. “The horror! the horror!” Bloodsucking vampire government agencies!

      • Joseph-Ivo says:

        Are you suggesting I have money hanging out my back pocket?

        And luck is not always at my side neither. As I worked and lived in different European countries and oversees, I have 7 different pensions. Every year I have to go through the trauma to proof 7 times that I’m still alive. According some you have to go to the embassy of the country where you worked, for others where your had residence during your employment (I also lived at the other side of the border), for others where you have your nationality. Last year I broke a record by being sent back and forward between two European Embassies 6 times! (for those interested I have a binder now with all European and all national regulations, I marked in red the contradictions) You feel so helpless with the mighty bureaucrats, I think that the secret agenda is to make you die of irritation.

        But in the Philippines I’m often lucky. But that could be the subject of another blog.

        • Joe America says:

          Ha, seven pensions, yes, you positively drip with money. You’all are making my complaint with Immigration sound rather puny and nit-picking. I think yours tops Edgar’s. You need your own foreign affairs department.

          • Joseph-Ivo says:

            … and I didn’t mention the pensions of Monsanto, the US and Saudi Arabia that I could buy out 🙂 

            Joe, I could fill a blog with all the delicacies hidden in the different definitions, with a user’s guide for the small print and the large corpus of legal interpretations over the last decade. Just as a teaser:

            What embassy that can decide if you are alive or not depends on:
            1- Nationality or nationalities
            2- Residence: current and past, permanent or not, full year or partial, first or secondary, family seat or individual…
            3- Previous employment: full, detached, “cross border” (when you lived within 30km of the border there is separate legislation), location of the employer’s main seat…
            In all countries these definitions are slightly different, some terms cannot be translated exactly. Even in Dutch the same word can have different meanings in the legislation of Belgium and the Netherlands.

            Who dares to blame Philippine civil servants? At least they can make their own most individual interpretation of legislation, unhindered by harmonization committees, decisions of regional and national court, courts of appeal, supreme courts or the European Court of Justice in Strasbourg. I don’t know if somebody went already to the UN court in The Hague.

            And why don’t they just check with the NSA, they certainly know if my heart is still beating. But my own little sweet revenge is not to give in and stay alive!

        • edgar lores says:

          Joseph,

          I…I concede. You win.

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  1. […] A while back, I expressed the opinion in this blog that the Philippines needed more advocates like Harry Roque (“Calling Harry Roque! Is Harry Roque in the Building?“). […]



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