Sunday, August 26, 2012

Philippine police arrests extremist for kidnapping

Alleged member of the extremist group Abu Sayyaf Abdul Jandul was arrested by Philippine authorities in Basilan Island yesterday.

Jandul who teaches Arabic in an Islamic school in the area had a bounty of Php 350, 000 on his head for his role in the abduction of 29 people including Claretian priest Rhoel Gallardo in March of 2000.

The police report states that most of the teachers and students that Jandul and his group captured were freed except for three teachers and Gallardo. The three allegedly died in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf.

The group created in the 90s has been blamed for many of the terror attacks in the country including mass kidnapping of locals and foreigners as well as bombings in the capital Manila. (Photo: VKB) 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ombudsman launches Complaint and Case Monitoring System

The Office of the Ombudsman has started implementing its Complaint and Case Monitoring System (CCMS) since 01 August 2012 to improve the agency’s efficiency and responsiveness in the handling and monitoring of cases and complaints.

The CCMS is part of the approved Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP) of the Office of the Ombudsman for 2012 to 2014 and in line with the agency’s 7-year Roadmap (8-Point Priorities) for 2011-2018. The release of Office Order No. 183, series of 2012, entitled “Prescribing the General Guidelines on Case Evaluation and Records Management in the Office of the Ombudsman” paved the way for the launching of the CCMS.

Prior to the implementation of the CCMS, the offices and sectors within the agency used different systems and databases that caused difficulty in tracking the status of the complaints and cases.

The CCMS aims to centralize the data of the different offices and sectors and give a solid platform that can efficiently search cases, generate reports, and track the status of cases.

Compared to acquiring third-party software that may cost millions of pesos, the CCMS is a cost-efficient and secure solution because it was developed in-house or internally without the need for outsourcing the software development. It is also based on open-source software, thus reducing development cost. System Updates and troubleshooting will be quick, precise and inexpensive.

Confidentiality is also ensured because it is an internal system exclusively for the use of authorized users on a need-to-know basis. The in-house development of the system adds assurance that the data is kept internally and reduces the risk of leaking very valuable information, aside from the added security features in the system itself and in the agency’s network infrastructure.##

Media Affairs Office
Office of the Ombudsman

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Asia's Booming Cities Must Go Green or Risk Disaster - ADB Study

BANGKOK, THAILAND – Asia must act now to pave the way for green, resource-friendly cities or face a bleak and environmentally degraded future, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.
“Asia has seen unprecedented urban population growth but this has been accompanied by immense stress on the environment,” said Changyong Rhee, ADB’s Chief Economist. “The challenge now is to put in place policies which will reverse that trend and facilitate the development of green technology and green urbanization.”
In a special chapter of its flagship annual statistical publication, Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2012, ADB examines the challenges and opportunities associated with the region’s breakneck urban boom. It also details measures needed to turn cities into environmentally sustainable, inclusive growth centers.
View infographic in higher resolution.
Since the 1980s, Asia has been urbanizing at a faster rate than anywhere else, with the region already home to almost half of all the world’s city dwellers. In just over a decade, it will have 21 of 37 megacities worldwide, and over the next 30 years another 1.1 billion people are expected to join Asia’s already swollen urban ranks.
This breakneck expansion has been accompanied by a sharp rise in pollution, slums, and widening economic and social inequalities which are causing rapid environmental degradation. Particularly disturbing are urban carbon dioxide emissions, which if left unchecked under a business-as-usual scenario, could reach 10.2 metric tons per capita by 2050, a level which would have disastrous consequences for both Asia and the rest of the world.
Rising urban populations mean that over 400 million people in Asians cities may be at risk of coastal flooding and roughly 350 million at risk of inland flooding by 2025. Unless managed properly, these trends could lead to widespread environmental degradation and declining standards of living.
The report notes that there is hope. The growth of cities can have many advantages, including critical masses of people in relatively small areas, making it easier and more cost effective to supply essential services like piped water and sanitation. Rising education levels, factories leaving cities, the growth of middle classes and declining birth rates typically associated with urbanization also have a broadly beneficial impact on resource use and the environment.
Conservation and efficiency improvements will help. Many countries have begun diversifying their energy sources to include renewables and have been investing in energy-efficient buildings and sustainable transport systems. Imposing congestion and emission charges, as in Singapore, and removing inefficient fuel subsidies, as in Indonesia, can make prices more fully reflect social costs.  But the report says much more is needed, including the development and mainstreaming of new green technologies. Early examples are waste-to-energy conversion plants, as in the Philippines and Thailand, or “smart” electric grids.
For urbanization to be not only green but inclusive, policy makers need to promote climate resilient cities, in order to prevent disasters like the 2011 Bangkok floods, and improve urban slum areas, the report points out.

Swiss time running out for Sotto because of plagiarized speech

Sen. Tito Sotto’s anti-RH bill speech has been making its rounds on social networking sites recently because the actor-turned-politician copied a blog entry to defend his anti-RH stand. Some Filipinos active on Facebook are saying that Sotto should resign for shamelessly copying a blog post word per word and even had the audacity to deliver it as a speech he knows will be shown on national TV.

Just this year, Hungarian President Pal Schmitt resigned because of plagiarism accusations. It has been reported that much of his dissertation back in the 70s was copy pasted.

A similar case happened in Germany a year earlier when its Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was stripped off his doctorate degree amidst a plagiarism scandal. 

Guttenberg held a rock star status in Germany that whenever the baron took to the stage, AC/DC songs would be played.On his farewell party, the audience could not help but laugh when Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” was played.

Monday, August 6, 2012


by Food Fiend

It was early Sunday morning and raining heavily. The sky was still dark when we left the 
house. I was half-awake and badly needed a strong cup of hot coffee. Poor handsome 
hubby cannot stifle a yawn as he traversed EDSA on our way to UP Diliman . Second son 
hummed and sang to Maroon 5 songs as he chills while seated behind us. I reminded 
second son again to double check if his test permit, snacks, and water were all in his 

It's now after 6 in the morning and we just dropped off second son at the College of 
Law, still early for his scheduled 630 UPCAT exam. Better early than late I always say. 
The early bird catches the worm and all that jazz.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Diary's Favorite #RejectedUPCATEssayQuestions

While graduating high school students in the country are preparing for the rather daunting UPCAT, graduates from the country’s premiere university are now having a lot of fun posting supposedly rejected UPCAT essay questions. Here are the Diary’s favorites:

“Ano ang cultural explanation ng pagkembot ng reyna habang pumapasok ito sa bulaklak?”

“Bakit pababa nang pababa ang spaghetti? Explicate using Newtons Law of Gravitation.”

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Si Spongebob ba sagot mo? Sya lang ba pwede tumira dun? Makipag-away.”

“Kung kasalanan maging pangit, pano ka hihingi ng tawad?”
“Bakit wala pa ring tatalo sa ALASKA? Explain briefly.”

“Why do birds suddenly appear?”

“Asan si Crispin at Basilio? Ibigay ang latitude nila.”

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?”

“Where do broken hearts go?”

“Ano ang favorite season mo ng Daisy Siete at bakit? Ibigay ang buod."

“In essay form, solve for x.”

“If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean the 5th one enjoys it?”

“If you were a cactus, why?”

“Bakit 3rd party ang tawag kung wala namang celebration? Explian. At bawal umiyak.”

“If I fell in love with you, would you promise to be true? Defend your answer with feelings.”

“Tinimbang ka ngunit kulang. Computin ang kulang!”

“Kaano-ano ni Dora the Explorer si Internet Explorer?”
“Gaano kadalas ang minsan? Compute.”

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Doctor Love: 12 Fascinating Facts About LOVE

Sure you’ve experienced it but there may be a few things you don’t know about the four letter word –L O V E.

Here are some of the most interesting things about love. If you want to learn more about this topic, please take a look at the references below. 

1. Sweat is an active ingredient in most perfumes and love potions in the past. Should you add a bit of sweat to your perfume? If you don’t stink, then it’s probably alright.

2.  Scientists say that most people would fall in love 7 times before settling down.
People who say they’ve never been in love have a rare disease called hypopituitarism wherein one does not or never feels the rapture of love.

3. The term LOVE comes from lubhyati, a Sanskrit word for desire.

4. In tennis, love means zero because some tennis players play for love in other words, playing for nothing.

5. Whenever one is heartbroken, one feels a certain type of pain. What is interesting is that, those who have been rejected show strong activity in their insular cortex –that part of the brain that signals and experiences physical pain.

6. Sometimes, the chase is an important component in having a romantic relationship.

7. Individuals with symmetrical faces have more lovers than those who don’t.

8. When women fall in love, they show more activity in that part of the brain that is responsible for memory.

9. Plato says in his Symposium that initially human beings were created whole that they had four hands, four legs, two identical faces, and were hermaphrodite. When they revolted against Zeus, the Greek God split them in two –man and woman. This created that innate desire to be with another human being to feel whole.

10. Falling in love is an urge –it is akin to sex and hunger –a primitive drive.

11. People who have intense romances i.e. the ones you see in the movies are more likely to divorce.

12. Romantic love lasts only a year or so. It is later followed by attachment love –a more stable kind of love.

References and Photo Credits

Ackerman, Diane. 1995. A Natural History of Love. Vancouver, WA: Vintage Books.
Ben-Ze’ev, Aaron and Ruhama Goussinsky. 2008. In the Name of Love: Romantic Ideology and Its Victims. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Buss, David. M 2006. “The Evolution of Love.” The New Psychology of Love. Ed. by Robert Sternberg and Karin Weis. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Cohen, Elizabeth. “Loving with All Your Brain.” February 15, 2007. Accessed: July 20, 2009.
Fisher, Helen. 1992. Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
“The Drive to Love: The Natural Mechanism for Mate Selection.” The New Psychology of Love. Ed. by Robert Sternberg and Karin Weis. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love. New York, NY: Henry Hold and Company, LLC.

Tresidder, Jack. 2005. The Complete Book of Symbols. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.