Friday, November 30, 2012

Philippines won't stamp Chinese passports

Sino-Filipino territorial dispute ensues as China puts a new map of the country that includes islands that are part of the Philippines as well as other places being claimed by India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told the media that personnel from the Bureau of Immigration will only stamp a visa application form from Chinese nationals and not their passports.

This is a form of protest from the Republic of the Philippines because stamping the new Chinese passport might be misconstrued as the country’s agreement to the Chinese claim over parts of the South China Sea.

A formal protest letter was already sent by Albert del Rosario, the Philippines’ Foreign Secretary to address the issue. 

Photo via Associated Press

Monday, November 26, 2012

UP welcomes the AGT

Philippine Railways confirmed on Sunday that the first Filipino-built Automated Guideway Transit or AGT has already arrived in the University of the Philippines’ main campus.

Bearing the logo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and UP’s seal, the blue and white train will be used for the test runs on an elevated track as high as 500 meters, according to reports.

The AGT prototype will be tested on a curved and circular track inside the university. A previous test was done on a straight track but the train used for the test is an earlier version of the AGT. 

While many are excited that the monorail system project is on its final test stages, many members of the UP community are now wondering what will happen to the iconic Ikot.(Photo via

Saturday, November 24, 2012

14 PNP personnel dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman confirmed to the media recently that it has stood pat on its decision on dismissing 14 PNP officials and personnel for their involvement in the PNP helicopters procurement case. The Ombudsman added that six others were also suspended for six months because of this. 

The Order was signed on November 19, 2012 even if Motions for Reconsideration were filed. These motions were denied, according to the Office of the Ombudsman, due to the failure of presenting new evidence that will materialy affect the decision. 

The case arose from the Philippine National Police's helicopter purchase amounting to P104, 985, 000 in the years 2009 and 2010 from MAPTRA - a company that did not possess the financial and technical eligibility required by Philippine law. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

7 Interesting Facts About Philippine History and Historical Figures

There are a number of things about Philippine history that we have either forgotten about or do not know of. These are a few of those things: 

1. Malvar the Orange Farmer 

Miguel Malvar, the last Philippine general to surrender to the American troops, was an orange farmer before he took up arms against colonizers. 

2. Goyo was a playboy. 

Gregorio del Pilar fondly called Goyo by his peers was a good looking lad and he made sure his good looks was put to good use. Historians have confirmed that Goyo was a playboy and had girlfriends in every town he went to. Could it be that the term manggogoyo in the vernacular came from the general’s nickname Goyo? 

3. Rizal's mom was sent to jail. 

 Doña Teodora, Rizal’s mother did some jail time when she was accused by a relative that Teodora tried to poison her. 

She was only released when the Governor-General fell in love with Rizal’s sister Soledad. According to accounts, when the Governor-General asked the young woman what he could give to her as a gift, Soledad immediately said,”Mi madre”

4. The Code of Kalantiaw is a forgery. 

The Code of Kalantiaw although considered as a disputed document by Teodoro Agoncillo is a forgery. The forger? Jose E. Marco. Marco, who considered himself a historian, forged a  number of documents including the Code of Kalantiaw. 

Today, there are still many who believe that the code actually existed. Marco continued to forge documents until the year of his death. 


Sulat sa Tanso by Hector Santos 

Kalantiaw The Hoax

5. Yes, they dated albeit briefly.

Before she married strongman Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda briefly dated Ninoy Aquino. (Source: The Imelda Marcos Story –As Told by David Byrne )

6. Rizal was a Nazi - a grammar Nazi.

Rizal was a grammar Nazi but in a nice way. In his letter to his nephew Alfredo, he wrote, “Your letter pleased me very much… I congratulate you on your excellent grade. I believe it is my duty to call your attention to a little mistake you have committed in your letter, a mistake that many commit in society. One does not say ‘I and my brothers greet you’ but ‘My brothers and I greet you.’ You must always put yourself in the last place; you should say, ‘Emilio and I; You and I; My friend and I’ etc.”

Source: Jose Rizal’s 150th Year: To Outlive One’s Name by Denise Roco

7. Bruce Willis looks like Douglas McArthur

Yes, he returned. Again. 

No citation needed.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ombudsman wins case against former Unisan Mayor Alpay

The Sandiganbayan convicted former Unisan, Quezon Province mayor Cesar Alpay for graft charges arising fro the unlawful diversion of the Php 1 million Social Fund of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from its intended use as cash loans to farmers in 2003.

In the 75-page November 7, 2012 decision penned by Associate Justice Gregory Ong and concurred in by Associate Justices Jose Hernandez and Maria Cristina Cornejo, the anti-graft court’s Fourth Division found Alpay guilty of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and sentenced him to: (a) suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment from 6 years and 1 month, as minimum, to 10 years, as maximum; (b) suffer all the appropriate accessory penalties consequent thereto, including perpetual disqualification from public office; and (c) pay the costs.

 Alpay was indicted with graft for causing undue injury to the government for using the P1-million peso social fund under the "Isang Bayan, Isang Produkto, Isang Milyong Pisong Programa ni Pangulong GMA" to buy hand tractors amounting to P459,110, and motor engines for bancas amounting to P418,200 for a total of P877,310, without the benefit of public bidding and without the required supporting documents.

The fund was intended as cash loans to deserving Micro and Medium Scale Enterprises or entrepreneurs or farmers.

 In its ruling, the Sandiganbayan stated that the evidence is clear that the amounts given to the farmers/ fishermen-beneficiaries were not paid. Instead, they were outrightly given cash, but were not required to repay the amounts separately given to them.

This is contrary to the clear directive of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 176, which requires loans to be paid within 5 years for long-term loans and within one year for short-term loans.
 “We find as sufficient the prosecution evidence to support a conclusion that there was evident bad faith,” the ruling said.

 According to the court, the eventual release and distribution of the amounts took place on June 30, 2003, “the last day of the term of office of accused Mayor Alpay who was, obviously, aware that another duly-elected mayor will be taking over the helm of his office on the day following.”

“Accused Mayor Alpay simply cannot feign ignorance of the requirements under Executive Order No. 176, particularly on the need for the amounts released to the farmers/ fishermen-beneficiaries to be repaid by them,” the decision stated.

Media Affairs Bureau (MAB)