Issues of the day

Senate inquiry – ZTE

Since I arrived home about 3 or 4 hours ago, I’ve been listening to the Senate hearing on the anomalous ZTE NBN Deal. Jun Lozada who was a technical consultant for the project is now up on what can be likened to a witness stand.

I’ll say a silent prayer for his safety, though I know he has nuns and priests guarding and supporting him since his ordeal started a couple of weeks ago, he’s probably in greater danger now that he’s spoken to the Senate, and it’s televised live on national cable TV.

A lot of people are caught up in that big mess and the subsequent efforts to cover it up. I believe that he really must be in grave danger. More so than JDV.

When the hearing was suspended for lunch, the Cabinet members and Malacanang personnel came out on a press conference, explaining/rebutting Lozada’s statements. It’s high time that deals like these are exposed because I am sure everyone knows this isn’t the only deal that’s padded with bribe money. It happens in small scale projects as well.

It’s just taking so long for this Senate inquiry to get to the point. Each senator has his/her own set of questions. So they are each piecing the puzzles together, but in segments. I wish they prepared better as a group so they can have a common strategy. Then maybe it wouldn’t take the whole day to finally get into specifics of the deal that I think should be the focus.

No, I don’t mean to criticize how the senators are doing their jobs. I just pity Lozada for having to endure the endless questions, sometimes he is asked the same question by another person. And though he now looks comfortable sitting in the middle of the hall, I’m sure he is anxious too.

I wonder if something will really come out of this?

House of Representatives

Last night, my parents were tuned to the live coverage of the plenary session of the lower house of the Philippine Congress. A motion was filed to declare the seat of the Speaker of the House vacant. We caught part of JDV’s privileged speech. As well as the tailend of the voting.

JDV sounded so, understandably, wounded. Betrayed. Because he was being ousted, his emotions got the better of him, and he gave the whole country some sort of confirmation, or inside information, on the anomalies that the administration (and the first family) were involved in. One can’t help but question his credibility, and his character. He knew of all those things as they were happening, yet he remained silent. Doesn’t that make him an accomplice? I’m sure he has reasons for being mum about it, just as he has his reasons for speaking out just now. But that’s it, he’s a little too late to be the hero.

But I won’t judge JDV. What they are doing to him is just what politics is about. It doesn’t really matter that it’s wrong.

We shouldn’t look at this for what it is: a personal attack on JDV, a war between him and the family who lives in Malacanang. I actually think that events like this should be the topic of discussions on Political Science or Governance classes. It’s a perfect example of how democracy has failed us.

Don’t get me wrong, I am for democracy – a government for the people, of the people and by the people (or something). But just like families can be dysfunctional, so has our government.

One, the Legislative branch is supposed to be separate from the Executive. Yet, it is clearly the hand of Malacanang at work here. Two, when given a chance to explain their votes, the congressmen/women cited that because of differences in principles, they were not granted funds to support projects in their localities. That’s bull. If not all congressional districts have a right to funds for infrastructure projects or social services, then why allocate such funds in the first place? Such funds should just be channeled straight to local governments and not to the lawmakers. JDV apparently, failed to look at and treat all representatives the same way.

The happenings last night should teach voters a lesson: choose a rep that can author the laws that matter to you. Road improvement is not the top priority project of legislator, it’s to amend laws and make new ones. Leave local projects to the Mayor’s office.

When will we ever survive and truly start to rebuild a genuine government for the people? We seem to be farther and farther from it.

Digital Piracy

Digital piracy seems to be the modern day crime. It is definitely a multi-million dollar underground industry that no doubts fuels economies, and probably even feeds as much families as it deprives.

In this country alone, there are regular police raids at known places where pirated CDs and DVDs are sold and yet, they continue to thrive. They are still everywhere. In a country like ours, I think that what keeps the pirates alive is the fact that original DVDs still cost a fortune. Even the record companies’ claims that the original lasts longer than the copies don’t discourage people from buying. They can buy 4 copies of pirated CDs in the original’s life span, and it would still only be at a fraction of the original price.

The real and more lasting solution, is not just to penalize piracy, but to provide better alternatives for the common man. If they can afford to buy the original, of course they would prefer to buy those. That’s just my take on it.

I know there are some Pinoys who don’t buy pirated local records or movies, they get those original, in support of the local entertainment industry. But for movies out of Hollywood, and music from foreign acts, you can bet that every household probably own a CD or two.

As a beginning digital scrapbooker (perpetual beginner), I know that piracy is one big issue for the community too. With oodles of generosity from freebie designers, there should be no need for anyone to pirate their beautiful work.

Anyhow, I came across this video from Heidi’s blog and that’s what got me thinkin:

I hope you enjoyed the video 🙂

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