Online Petition: 1 Million Signatures to Oust Senator Tito Sotto

I agree with thousands of online petitioners who call for the resignation of Sen. Tito Sotto III. This will soon reach more than a million.

Image from Voltaire Domingo as used in change.org online petition.

After copying other’s work without attribution and spreading far-from-truth information about reproductive health, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III must resign as senator of the Philippines.

I invited my friends to check the online petition in change.org to understand the reasons why we are calling Sen. Tito Sotto III to resign.

Here are the reasons why the senator must be unseated as cited in the online petition.

  1. He is a serial plagiarist and shows no remorse. He steals other people’s intellectual property when he doesn’t have his own, which only shows that in his career as a senator, he DOES NOT EXERT ANY EFFORT to think and carefully arrive at strategic, impactful decisions. Does the Philippines really need that kind of leader right now? He also shamelessly takes Bible verses out of context to justify his acts and hence serves as a bad example to our youth.
  2. He is a popular public figure yet he uses his political and showbiz influence to spread misinformation about reproductive health. It’s not even about the RH bill itself–whether you’re anti- or pro-RH, WRONG INFORMATION AND LIES only confuse the general public, prevent intelligent discussion, and pointlessly prolong decision-making.
  3. He is sexist. He blames the death of his first-born child on his wife’s use of contraceptives when he could have prevented the unwanted pregnancy by ABSTAINING from sexual intercourse. Must the burden of responsible pregnancy always fall first on the shoulders of women?

As of this time, Sen. Tito Sotto has not shared yet his thoughts about the online petition. Will  he cry? Will he propose a legislation? Or he will once again deliver a speech. Let’s hope that it will not be a translation of someone’s speech and let’s hope he will not copy it from blogs.

Leila de Lima: A walking violation of the rule of law

Among the first batch of Chief Justice (CJ) aspirants, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s words tickled my nerves.

It was good that she was asked why she defied the temporary restraining order (TRO) of the Supreme Court (SC) to her watch list order that would prevent former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving the country for medical reasons. But the answer of Leila de Lima made me feel so bad.

De Lima, in her usual angry voice explained to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) that she did defiance because she could not obey a wrong order.

My question to de Lima is: How could she determine that the order of the Supreme Court is wrong? I wonder if we could ask de Lima to determine for us and enumerate to us what other Supreme Court orders are wrong. Perhaps, this lady secretary of justice can provide us wisdom which of the Supreme Court decisions are wrong according to her own interpretation.

In his column, lawyer and veteran journalist Emil Jurado reminded Leila de Lima:

As a lawyer, De Lima should realize that what the Supreme Court says is the law, whether she likes it or not. Those who disagree may file a motion for reconsideration.

The words and action of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima made her the most unqualified candidate for the Chief Justice position. Besides the fact that she lacks experience and she has disbarment case.

Emil Jurado’s description to what De Lima must be the perfect line for de Lima. He told his readers:

I call de Lima a walking violation of the rule of law

I agree with him and I believe that de Lima should no be appointed as the next Chief Justice. Seven people already filed their formal opposition to Leila de Lima’s candidacy for Chief Justice. That’s more than enough for her to reconsider her ambition.

I would like de Lima to reconsider her ambition to become the next Chief Justice because she has no competence, integrity, high sense of independence.

If ever she become one (God forbid), de Lima would become the CJ of the Palace and the Supreme Court, I’m afraid, would become the extension of Malacanang.

De Lima would then risk herself as the next CJ to be impeached! The Filipino nation cannot accept a Chief Justice that violates the rule of law!

DILG Memo: No names, pictures of government officials in billboards and signages of government programs, projects, and properties

Here’s a scanned copy of the memorandum issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). This is originally posted in the official website of Tacloban City government (www.tacloban.gov.ph) (accessed on July 25, 2012).

Have we forgotten that once upon a time newly elected President Noynoy Aquino directed all members of the Cabinet and other government instrumentalities to refrain from associating the President’s personality and identity in their programs and projects?

It looks like only few DILG offices enforce this memo. This must have been forgotten elsewhere but not in Tacloban City.

DILG Memo banning names or initials, images or pictures of government officials on gov't programs, projects and properties

This memorandum of DILG clearly stated that

the practice of putting up of billboards and signages and other information materials bearing the names, initials or pictures of government personalities on all government projects, and government properties (firetrucks, ambulances, vehicles) are hereby prohibited.

Until we see the results, this memo remains a useless paper. Even the President himself starts to forget that he once told the Filipino nation that epals have no place in his administration.

Even when the anti-epal bill (Senate Bill No. 1967) of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is enacted, it will have no meaning if the Filipino nation continue to tolerate epals in this society.

Among the epals in the government I am watching is Joel Villanueva. But despite all criticisms, TESDA Director Joel Villanueva continue to justify his billboards and other ads. He is determined to his ambition to become senator and it seems President Aquino has no problem with. That’s the problem with Noynoy Aquino – he is inconsistent and he give special treatment to his men.

Joel Villanueva should remove his billboards and other epal ads

I think it is not too late for Joel Villanueva so save his name from very bad publicity. Villanueva, whose ambition to become Senator is already a public knowledge is trying to make himself more popular. He and his supporters might had thought that the best way to promote him is put up massive ad campaign. But his ads put Joel Villanueva in bad light. It makes him the top epal among appointed officials.

TESDA Director Joel Villanueva tailed in surveys and therefore he and his supporters need to double their efforts. They put up billboards along strategic areas in Metro Manila in addition to Villanueva-painted buses and Villanueva-tarps.

Image source: http://epalwatch.com

Here is a clear picture of Villanueva’s epal from Sun Star Cebu editorial:

The ads unvaryingly show a close-up shot of Villanueva occupying approximately 2/3 of the space, with the slogan, “Sa TESDA may choice ka (sic).” Some of the billboards show the faces of Villanueva and P-Noy. While crawling during rush hour at the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex), it is not inconceivable that commuters have to stare for hours at a Tesda ad posted at the back of a bus while moving slowly past an intersection with two Tesda billboards showing Villanueva alone and Villanueva with P-Noy, separated by only a few meters.

Among these ads featuring Villanueva’s mug are those replayed in outdoor LED-TV screens displayed in key areas of Manila.

The recent answer of Joel Villanueva to his epal acts was presented by businessmen who admitted that they fund the expensive billboards and ads of Villanueva out from their pockets because they believe him.

Such poetic explanation was so unacceptable. Here is the observations of Sun Star Cebu editors:

As materials for an advocacy campaign, the TESDA ads hardly contain information updating a viewer about Tesda programs, scholarships and career opportunities for blue-collar workers. There is no URL that refers the Internet-savvy to the Tesda website for more details. Considering that these are outdoor advertising businessmen behind the Tesda blitzkrieg, there seems to be a stark marketing mismatch between the sponsors’ intention and the ads’ presentation and content.

But why does the President had been so silent about the epal acts of Villanueva?

Today’s Sun Star Cebu’s editorial reminds us that it was the President himself who spoke against against government officials who show off their names and faces and shamelessly give credits to themselves on government’s projects and programs.

It seems to be that Joel Villanueva has become a shame to the Aquino Administration – that is if Noynoy Aquino will not exempt Villanueva.

I hope President Noynoy is sincere that he does not like epal in his administration. I hope Aquino will require Joel Villanueva to remove his epal ads.

Related Posts:

Epal Tours with Juana Change: Parañaque on July 22, 2012

Many of us love to hit epals except for the few who define epal in different ways to exclude their lords in the epal list.

Here’s an interesting anti-epal activity. I should join this activity if I were in Metro Manila. I hope soon, Juana Change will tour all over the country to spearhead this all out war against epal.

Source: #epalwatch

For the definition of epal, please check Why #epalwatch?

Anti-Epal Campaign Against Joel Villanueva Only; No Dirty Politics for Ad Industry

I have read the the appeal of businessmen to spare them from politics. I am referring to this story, Advertising execs cry foul over ‘dirty’ politics, published online by The Daily Tribune.

Just for today, I promise not to drag the names of these businessmen – so I would not mention their names here.

I would like to clarify that the anti-epal campaign does not target the businessmen nor any business industry. The targets are the politicians who used their position to shamelessly promote their names and faces and those who have intention to run for an elective position – like Joel Villanueva.

In the report, the businessmen confessed that Sec. Joel Villanueva was informed about their “project” – putting up “outdoor ads along North Luzon Toll Highway and the South Superhighway”.

Here, I quote:

We sought Mr. Villanueva for an audience and it was during that meeting that we presented and sought permission covering our proposal to put up these billboards in our private spots, using private funds for an advocacy that runs consistent with the belief of our private corporation.

There could have been no problem if those ads just exclude the face of Joel Villanueva and Noynoy Aquino. They can better communicate their advocacy without the faces of Joel Villanueva and Noynoy Aquino. I share the same line of thoughts with blogger Noemi Lardizabal-Dado. As she noted in her Twitter account (‏@momblogger):

Nothing wrong with promoting TESDA but TESDA is not Joel Villanueva [Villanueva] is not TESDA. Why put his face?

BlogWatch.Ph (@blogwatchdotph) shares similar thoughts:

If it’s promoting TESDA’s skill-building, why are they promoting a person?

Following the same logic, should they put the faces of DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to encourage children to study or to show support to basic education? Why are they not doing that? The reason is simple. Luistro will not run for senator and they cannot get favor from him while Villanueva, if lucky enough and get a seat in the Senate, could give them some favors.

I suggest the billboards should instead contain pictures of trainees, machines used in trainings, or quotations about blue collar jobs. There are thousands of ways. Having the face of Joel Villanueva in billboards just discourage the youth. That man is not a very good model for the Filipino youth.

Why cry foul about the billboards of Joel Villanueva? It is because it is an epal act; it is because Sec. Villanueva already discussed his intention to run for Senator.

So who would believe that Sec. Villanueva is promoting TESDA? I would say, the TESDA Director is not promoting the agency but used TESDA in promoting himself! That’s deception!

Why there are many entities willing to spend millions just to put up those billboards of Joel Villanueva? It is because Joel Villanueva will run for senator and if he wins, the donations will be translated into favors. Would that make sense?

Sec. Joel Villanueva continue to be peotic as if he does not know the connection among his intention to run (ambition to become Senator), the donations, his shameless promotion of himself, deception, and of being epal.

Clearly, a man who dwells on his political ambition would forget that yesterday, he cried foul over the same stuff he is doing today.

Who funds the tarps, billboards, TV ads of TESDA Director Joel Villanueva?

The “who” question was asked by Business Mirror columnist Ed Javier. In his Firebrand column, he asked a curious question, “Who’s funding Joel Villanueva’s ads?

In his Counterpoint column in Manila Standard Today, Alvin Capino pointed out Joel Villanueva’s violation should the anti-epal bill (Senate Bill No. 1967 or An Act Prohibiting Public Offers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project) of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is enacted.

The tarps, billboards, TV ads, among others of Joel Villanueva are his way to get popular as election 2013 comes close – way of an epal. Let us be reminded that the desire of Joel Villanueva to become senator is no longer private. No less than President Noynoy Aquino is grooming TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva in his earlier speeches. I suspect that the tarps, billboards, TV ads of Villanueva have blessings from President Noynoy. Remember that Villanueva is tailing in the surveys?

I feel pity to the former anti-graft crusader, Joel Villanueva. He is like the defeated senatorial candidate Prospero Pichay. I could see the doomed day of Villanueva if he continue his shameless self promotion. It’s a shame because his predecessor in TESDA was doing the same.

How much TESDA money was spent for those annoying tarps, billboards, TV ads?

In his Twitter account (@secjoelv), Sec. Joel Villanueva, assured that he is not using public funds. I quote:

& again reiterate we’re NOT spending govt money to print tarps, billbrds & produce tv ad. They’r all donors & sponsors they can easily check

But how can we check? Villanueva has not provided names. But why should people donate for Joel Villanueva? Why can’t we see the same for DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro? The answer is simple. Joel Villanueva will run for senator while Brother Armin Luistro has not hinted that he will go beyond being a cabinet member.

So why many people, businessmen, politician, among others are spending a lot of money to show off the face of Joel Villanueva? It is because they are expecting returns when Villanueva got elected. I am pretty sure Villanueva will repay them through favors.

Many of us insist that Sec. Villanueva should reveal his donors, and so he answered in his Twitter account:

Too many to mention all of them. In fact most of those who printed tarps diko kilala except politicians like gov umali, congs alcala, garcia

Would we expect that the hearts of those politicians really bleed and they help Villanueva without returns? Whoa!

Why should Sec. Joel Villanueva allow such donations to flow in? Isn’t it shameful to show off one’s face? In fairness to Joel Villanueva, he’s good looking but it is already sickening to see his face anywhere. Besides, people cannot be fooled that such are not for politics.

To pacify us, Sec. Villanueva appeal to his supporters:

To our supporters & sponsors please identify yourselves by putting a big “DONATED BY” please please 🙂 Thank you po..

Why should such donors don’t identify themselves? Maybe they are druglords, or gamblers and they are using drug money and gambling money to put up Villanueva’s ads. Isn’t that scary?

I would like to ask Sec. Joel Villanueva if he is not alarmed with such anonymous donations at the time he is made known that he has ambition to become senator.

A piece of unsolicited advice to Joel Villanueva. Epal or shameless promotion of oneself is a known ways and strategies of trapos and crooks; likewise, saying that what he got are gifts and donations are the tricks of the crooks. Would we believe crooks?

Save your name, Mr. Secretary Joel Villanueva!

Principles of Corruption: Proven Ways to Steal Millions

Everyone hates corruption. Everyone wants to get rid off corrupt government. Everyone wants clean and transparent governance. So inspiring!

The collective effort to end corruption has long started but why do we keep on getting big news about big money involving big people which can be described in one word called corruption? So frustrating.

I also wonder how and why many of the Filipino people have seemed forgotten how issues of corruption and plunder that topple down former President Joseph Estrada. Millions of people even want him back to Malacanang. So disgusting.

After late President Ferdinand Marcos, I would say that our nation have better view of what corruption is and how it affect the lives of the people. I think that understanding help in inspiring people to form collective efforts that ended the presidency of Joseph Estrada.

Corruption is often a misunderstood word. Like culture, it is relative. What looks like corruption may be just a simple SOP or just a gift for someone.

Corruption can take many forms. Small cases of corruption can easily be understood but the parents of what we call small corruption cases are so complex to understand. Thanks to Sheila S. Coronel for allowing us to have good view on how crooks were able to steal public funds and able to hide stealing for a long period of time that the accumulated amount become unbelievable.

Sheila Coronel, former director of Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), wrote 8 Ways to Commit Grand Corruption in two parts.

8 Ways to Commit Grand Corruption (Part 1)
8 Ways to Commit Grand Corruption (Part 2)

I hope many of will be able to read it to learn and become vigilant. Of course not to replicate those grand corruption cases.

In one beer talk with friends, my sangkay (friend) pointed out that a government official who fails to disclose a big amount of money or asset not just betraying public trust but already guilty of corruption.

So in the long and heated discussion, I asked his take on President Noynoy Aquino’s P37-M excess campaign funds (source: PCIJ Blog) which he failed to declare. I was surprised that for him, it did not matter. Actually, the man is yellow fanatic.

So when we talk about corruption, sometimes it depends to who we are talking to.

One important message in the 8 Ways to Commit Grand Corruption is that no matter how grand the corruption was – it would still end up to court and jail.

The dilemma of Leila de Lima

Can we ignore a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC)? We can’t. Nobody can’t except Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Leila de Lima

By defying the order of the Supreme Court, Leila de Lima, was telling us that she has power more than that of the Supreme Court and that she has the intelligence that surpass that of SC as collegial body.

Ironically, Leila de Lima wants (dreams) to become the Chief Justice of the Surpreme Court. If she became the CJ, would we have the license to defy the order of the Supreme Court? Can we cite what she did as our defense against disrespect to the Supreme Court?

Senator Miriam Santiago was correct when she said (as reported in Manila Standand Today report) that “Leila de Lima (would be) in a dilemma if she was appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court”.

In the same report, Senator Miriam Santiago was quoted saying:

If she becomes chief justice and under her the Supreme Court issues a TRO and someone refuses to obey it using the same grounds, then she will certainly be in a dilemma

Indeed, Leila de Lima will “certainly be in a dilemma”.

Like the character in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Leila de Lima had changed the “rules” and made her own “interpretation”. If, by bad luck (of the Filipinos), Leila de Lima would become Chief Justice, we could expect a change that would best serve only Leila de Lima and President Noynoy Aquino as his master.

I hope Leila de Lima will be disqualified. She is not fitted for the position.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva and the Anti-Epal Bill of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

How I wish the “anti-epal” bill of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is now enacted. I want to see Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva to go to jail.

The former anti-graft (CIBAC) champion is now top on the list of appointed officials who are using their office and public funds to advance their personal interest. It’s not a secret that Joel Villanueva is grooming himself to become senator as evidenced by his billboards financed by TESDA funds.

Senate Bill No. 1967, known as the anti-epal bill is formally titled as “An Act Prohibiting Public Offers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project”.

The bill imposes a jail term of between six months and one year on a public official who would have his or her name or image printed on a “signage announcing a proposed or ongoing public works project.” If the bill has already been enacted, most likely, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva would spend between 6 months to a year in jail. Amen.

Joel Villanueva, by using millions of TESDA money for self-promotion is a violation of the “anti-epal” principles. It is a form of corruption. It is very disgusting how Joel Villanueva use the hard-earned taxpayer’s money to fuel his ambition to become senator.

Do you want to see the epal billboards and tarps of Joel Villanueva? Check the post of Mom Blogger and see the shameless self promotion of Joel Villanueva.

In the words of Alvin Capino in Manila Standard Today,

Villanueva’s self-promotion campaign using Tesda funds includes not only traditional billboards (anyone who passes through NLEX cannot miss Tesda’s billboard featuring a huge photograph of Villanueva) but an expensive electronic billboard on Edsa as well.

There are even buses where Villanueva’s photos are prominently featured as part of the Tesda ad. We saw Villanueva’s Tesda “epal” bus ad in the back of a JAM transit when we went to Laguna last week and we wondered how much Tesda spent to put up those ads and how much the agency is paying monthly for those bus ads.

There are also TV commercials of Tesda again promoting Villanueva. It would not be surprising if there are radio and print ads that give Villanueva credit for Tesda’s accomplishments.

What gives people a bad taste in the mouth at seeing the expenditure of millions of Tesda funds to promote Villanueva is the fact that Villanueva is running for a Senate seat. He is not only engaged in what appears to be early campaigning but he is using public funds for it.

Santiago is right when she points out that public officials must not claim credit for projects funded by taxpayers’ money stressing that the practice is not only unnecessary and highly unethical.

But for a young ambitious man, would Joel Villanueva still remember his words about ethics, accountability, and about corruption?

It is very disgusting that in his website, he is described as leader with strong moral character. But what morals are they talking about when public funds are being used to print and promote his name and face? Where are the christian values of Joel Villanueva?

I think Joel Villanueva should not be given a chance to become Senator. Otherwise, our children would remember him as one of those who use their positions for personal interest.