Thursday, November 6, 2014

Politicians SALN must include guns owned

Gun ownership must be registered the same way as other assets such as real estate and car. So we must put in place a Registry of Deeds for guns. The gun owned must also be declared in the Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SAL) of government officials and politicians. Many politicians have private armies, and they own a lot of guns -- politicians should declare their guns in their SAL. (Excerpt from MNLF Gun Control Policy)

Monday, September 29, 2014

China's current indisputable sovereignty over South China Sea

There is no sovereign international body that adjudicates the assignment of sovereignty. Sovereignty means current and actual military power over a particular territory; and through time (centuries and period of civilizations) it passes from one nation to another depending on the tide of superiority of military might. Wu Shicun is stating a solid fact that at present, China has indisputable sovereignty over the waters within the nine dash line. PH, VM, and MY remain in fact the indisputable challengers.

This is my comment in Disqus on the article titled "China expert expects better ties with PH after 2016" (Inquirer, 29 Sept 2014)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On the trend of killing journalists

In the international scene, weeks ago, the ISIS in Syria executed journalist James Foley, and now Steven Scotloff, and another Briton will follow. Way back in 2009 Philippines, we've that 37 journalists were among those killed in the infamous Maguindanao massacre. This pattern of media killings will continue as long as one-sided propagandists pose cover as journalists. Nowadays, warring groups monitor the mainstream publications and keep a good record of the list of names of journalists who are playing role as propagandists of their opponents. Any side (government or rebel side) have their respective red-list of journalists. When the journalist becomes a captive, the captors will simply check the list. If the journalist is in the list -- autoexecute. It has also become a pattern that governments are assassinating journalists who provide balanced news, thinking that they work for the rebels. I believe that killing non-combatants is wrong, but the chances of getting killed as informant, propagandist, and one-sided journalist is part of occupation hazard. In order to reverse the pattern of media killings, the media industry should cleanse its ranks and retrain their members on the value of balanced reporting and how it affects their journalists' security in armed conflict zone.

Monday, August 19, 2013

My position on the Pork Barrel issue and Napoles

MY POSITION ON PORK BARREL

QUESTION: Sir John, you are supporting Pork Barrel. Why?

ANSWER: I am supporting pork barrel because it is one way a national legislator (Congressman and Senator) can directly dictate the executive branch to fund projects that are urgently needed by their constituents. Pork barrel is a VERY SMALL fraction of the overall government budget. If you remove the pork barrel, the executive branch will have a monopoly over the funds.

Whether the expense item is a pork barrel or not, it passes through the Department of Budget Management (DBM), the Procurement, Bids, and Awards Committee (PBAC) of the Department, and Commission on Audit (COA) of the executive branch. The Congressman and Senator are only endorsers of the projects. It is still the executive branch who approves and implements the projects. So if there is an anomaly, such as issuance of government checks to ghost NGOs, it is the functional lapse and corruption in the Executive Branch, and you must nail down the in-house COA of the Department.

What I want is to restrict the Pork Barrel. It should only be spent on Concrete Infrastructure such as classrooms, roads, bridges, and sidewalks because these projects can be evaluated at post-implementation stage. Pork barrel should not be allocated for Consumables because consumables cannot be evaluated at post-implementation, meaning, these consumables disappear after it is given to the recipients. Consumables include relief foods, medicines and clothing during calamities, dole-out cash and goods to the poor, condoms as pushed by RH Bill proponents, and livelihood capital.

So if you see an NGO office disappears after it is used as distributor of a Pork Barrel relief goods or livelihood funds, it is just NORMAL. Why would it continue to maintain the NGO office if it's function to distribute relief goods is over?

I have worked for a Senator and a Congressman in the past. I have worked in NEDA and have completed all academic subjects in Masters of Public Management. I know how pork barrel works. I know where the corruptions point is and I will tell you now.

Example, extremely impoverished constituents (200 families) approach their Congressman to request for water flexible hose from the main reservoir to their isolated community so they can taste potable water. The Congressman writes a letter to the Local Water Utilities Administration (LUWA under the Executive Branch) and requests that P10 million worth of hose be allocated to this particular constituents, with special note that the P10M be charged to the PDAF (Pork Barrel) of the endorsing Congressman. LUWA then sends a letter to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to make funds available for the project. It takes FOREVER for DBM to issue certificate of availability of funds so you have to follow it up very often. DBM's usual excuse is they are already overwhelmed with workload and they get away with it everytime. DBM is the choke point (our DBM now is Butch Abad).

There are persons who are PROFESSIONALS in making follow up in DBM and one of them is NAPOLES. People like NAPOLES make a living in making follow-up in DBM, in completing the required documents of the project, and they earn percentage commission. They collect their commission from the service provider or project undertaker such as the engineering firm who won the bid to install the water pipes. The commission is big, to a tune of 40% because NAPOLES has to pay grease money to DBM and of course pay gratuity pay under the table to the Congressman, to the LUWA Administrator, and of course to Commission of Audit (COA). Not all Congressmen receives gratuity gifts, only the ones who believe that there is nothing wrong in receiving gratuity gifts. So, only 60% of the money is actually spent on the project, the 40% gets divided between the professional fixer (like Napoles), the DBM, the LUWA, the COA, and the Congressman. The administrators of DBM and LUWA are appointed by the President -- it is their secret duty to share heir loot to the President or else they will be replaced by the Presidential Management Staff (PMS). When PNoy administrator started, Butch Abad is chief of DBM and his daughter Julia is chief of PMS -- now you see the connection. If you work as security guard on the entrance door of DBM, you will personally know all professional fixers, and Napoles is just one of the many. If you do the work of Napoles, you must have good PR (pang regalo). Napoles' work is called a BROKER, it is LEGAL, it is a career, it is part of the entire system, it is risky especially when there is change of administration because new administrators would always want their own relatives and friends to be the fixers in their offices. I don't know why Napoles becomes the center of public fury in this Pork Barrel issue.

In any government business process, if it is slow, professional fixers would always come in. Most of these fixers are fronts of the government officials who are slow in rendering the service.

There is a doctrine in wealth investment management that you should never put your money in one basket in order to reduce the risk. Legislative Pork Barrel is a very small fraction of the entire government fund and its discretion on project identification is allocated to 250 legislators (Senators and Congressman). So if you have 50 corrupt legislator who receives gratuity gifts (commission or kick back) for the projects they endorsed for funding, you only have 20% corruption rate. If you remove the Legislative Pork Barrel and put your money entirely in the discretionary fund of the President, you are risking 100% of your fund if the President is corrupt.

Pork barrel is also a good equalizer. It is a mechanism wherein people can avail of funds for their projects through their district representatives.


PLUG: The Philippine National Government would always make the size of the entire government and the size of population as an excuse of their inefficiency and futility. That's why we, MNLF, are here, and we want to separate from Philippines and establish Bnagsamoro Land (Mindanao, Sulu, Palawan, Sabah) and a separate nation. I believe that a Bangsamoro Nation with 25 million population can serve its citizens more effectively compared to the Philippine Government that is already overwhelmed with 100 million citizens.


PORK BARREL is not good as it is now because it is just being used as the President's "treat" (cash, cars, and even sex) for the DBM and legislators who support his agenda. It is also unfair to concentrate the finger pointing to a small-time DBM fixer (like Napoles) because the people who really get the big shares of the kickback are those in DBM, the Departments who administer the bidding, resident COA staff in the Department, and the Legislator who endorses the project. Napoles is just a bagman, kickback negotiator, secret keeper, pimp, keeper of ill-gotten asset, and thereby front of the real crocodiles.

You might wonder why Napoles has so many luxurious cars and houses all over the world -- it is because she keeps these for the personal and confidential use of corrupt people in government whom she works for. Try checking the owner of the mansions, party house, private planes, helicopters, luxury cars, fueling stations, and even prostitution clubs that is being used by the politician -- they are all well hidden under the name of some corporations (like the corporation owned by Napoles) to avoid getting caught by lifestyle investigators. You can dig into it, but when you get to the point of knowing the broker of the real estate acquisition, STOP, because you will be facing an unsolvable mystery.

PORK BARREL is good in principle because it is an effective equalizer, provided it is regulated by a legislation that is guided by the principles of fairness, equality, and accountability; and its should be made mandatory for legislators to entertain and endorse worthwhile projects initiated by their constituents.

By the way, have you read the standard PDAF endorsement letter of a Senator or Congressman? It always says, "I am pleased to endorse Project X for funding under PDAF, subject to availability of funds and usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations".

QUESTION: Sir John, why is Sen Ping Lacson chosen as lead investigator for PDAF?

ANSWER: By professional background, he was a police investigator. He has no conflict of interest because he never used his PDAF when he was Senator. Most of all, he understands how it is like to be a fugitive of the law.

LOOKING BACK AT THE PAST PRESIDENTS

Si Fidel Ramos ang pinaka-unang nagpa-uso ng Pork Barrel. Ginamit niya etong pang incentive sa mga Legislators na susuporta sa mga Legislative Bills na pinu-push niya via Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

SA PANAHON NI ERAP merong Pork Barrel, pero restricted, ang pwede lang ay concrete infrastructure project sa rural areas where most of the poor lives. Mahigpit si DBM chief Benjamin Diokno at NEDA chief Philip Medalla noon, hindi pwede yang mga projects na waiting shed, maraming galit na corrupt na politicians. Kaya ayan, tingnan mo, pinagka-isahan nila si Erap, tanggal in 18 months. Diba kasama kayo sa pagpapa-alis kay Erap?

Simula kay Gloria hanggang ngayon kay PNoy, ang Pork ay ginagastos sa consumables, halos lahat post calamity dole outs (at malapit na eto gagastusin pang-bili ng condoms via RH Bill), walang trace kung papano ginamit, walang concrete na infra kang makikita. Binoto nyo si Gloria at si PNoy diba?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Filipino, the inferior race

Filipinos - an inferior and corrupted race that is purely intended to be employees who will work for companies owned by foreigners, rely on foreign investments, and the rest work as household slaves in the modern era. This is the legacy of our elders.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Filipino -- a naturally corrupt race

"License" is a matter of law. "Practice" is a matter of reality. In other countries, whatever you read in their laws is actually shown exactly in practice. But in the Philippines, what you can read in its laws is so opposite of what you observe in reality and practice. Philippines as a nation, and the Filipino people as a race is like a "corrupted" software, it functions differently with reference to its program (laws). This is the legacy of the outgoing (old) generation; and I'm getting mixed emotions already on whether we should push for reforms or just sway with the wind and consider corruption as natural part of the Filipino identity.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

5yr tax grace period for start-up businesses in PH

The Philippines is the most stupid government I know, but its people can still redeem itself. In Philippines, they have economic zone concept where the government grants tax grace period to large FOREIGN-owned companies who want to do business in the country. The stupid policy is, there is no tax grace period for STRUGGLING START-UP businesses that are owned by it's very own citizens (Filipinos). That is why foreign companies in Philippines succeed at start-up period, but most small Filipino companies don't.



I am a Filipino, a struggling start-up professional, I want to start-up a SMALL new office and employ around four Filipinos. I want 5 year`tax grace period.

Pag foreign-owned companies na mag start-up sa economic zones, merong 5 year tax grace period. Bakit ako, Filipino, small business lang, bakit ako walang tax grace period? Maliliit nga ako pero marami ang katulad kong maliliit na negosyo, at sa dami namin eh marami kami ma employ pag makapag-simula kami ng magaan ang tax obligations namin. Five years lang naman hinihingi ko. Bakit ako at mga kapwa ko maliliit hindi mapagbigyan ng gobyerno?

Capital ba ka mo? Hindi lang naman foreigner ang merong capital. Meron din tayo dito mga Pilipino. I have P1Million to start up my new, small, purely Filipino owned, and purely Filipino-employed business. Pag mag start-up ako sa current set-up, 1/3 ng pera ko for the year ay kukunin lang ng gobyerno as buwis. So, mabigat. I need a tax grace period, kahit five years lang, hindi ako naghihingi ng sobra sa pabor na binibigay ng gobyerno sa mga foreigners. Gusto ko lang ng pantay, TAXES is a vital factor in competitiveness, I just want na level ang playing field.

Now, who do I speak in bahalf? I speak in behalf of ALL SMALL FILIPINO professionals and businessmen. Napaka-rami ng katulad ko.

Pag i-negosyo ko ang P1Million ko sa current set-up, malulugi lang kasi huhuthutin lang ng gobyerno. So, decision ko, itago ko na lang sa baul ang P1Million ko, buwan-buwan kukuha ako ng P10,000 pang gastos, aabot pa eto ng 100 months (more than 8 years).