Who deserves to be on the finale of American Idol Season 11?

May 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Who will be in the finale of American Idol Season 11?

Would it be 16 year old Californian Jessica Sanchez who sang her heart out in the Top 3 performances today? Or would it be Joshua Ledet, who is being packaged as the preacher’s son? Or Philip Philips who sings out of tune, and being praised for his “independence”?

Who will America vote this time?

 

 

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Ombudsman Morales says Chief Justice keeps 82 bank accounts totalling US$12 million abroad

May 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yesterday’s Senate impeachment trial of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Renato Corona took a surprising twist when Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales presented alleged pieces of evidence indicating possible dollar accounts being maintained by Corona. Morales presented documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) which shows 82 bank accounts in 5 banks. The amounts totalled US$ 12 million.

The Senate voted to see the powerpoint presentation by Morales. The vote was conducted rather intelligently because it did not show partisanship. It cannot be used by both camps to claim early victory because it did not clearly show the true partisan colors of the Senators-judges.

Morales testified that Corona’s records were obtained not by the Ombudsman but by the AMLC. AMLC maintains a solid credibility before the eyes of the People. This agency of government first appeared during the impeachment trial of Joseph Estrada where his domestic bank accounts were scrutinized. Now, it seems that even without a court-instigated order, the AMLC can now even pry open dollar accounts being maintained by government officials abroad.

Anyway, it also seemed like Lead Defense Counsel Cuevas was not in his element yesterday. Morales appeared feisty while Cuevas appeared subdued. Most of the Senators concluded that the prosecution scored on this one.

The Defense meanwhile said, that they will also be presenting five more “hostile” witnesses before Corona appears before the court. Such a behavior suggests that the Defense will be trying to win this on a technicality, a wrong move, I should say.

This trial has two dimensions: one, a legal one and two, a public one. The most important for them especially to their client is to regain his tattered image before the public. Corona suffers from a negative public perception. Even if he survives this trial thru a technicality, but loses in the bar of public opinion, Corona will forever be harassed and debilitated.  A technicality will somewhat put Corona under siege. Corona must convince both the Senate and their publics of his innocence without resorting to a technicality, a very challenging thing to do.

 

China: Philippines should surrender sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal

May 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

Philippine Foreign Affairs secretary Alberto del Rosario denies that China and the Philippines are not in speaking terms. Yes, both camps want to resolve the issue over at Scarborough shoal. The Philippines insists of international arbitration through the ITLOS, which implements the UNCLOS. The only question is, China remains adamant in its official stand—surrender Scarborough shoal to them.

There is no denying that both sides are talking but are they communicating properly. It seems that both have differing views on how to resolve the issue. In a Manila Times news article today, China’s Hong Lei, a high ranking official of the Foreign Ministry, insists that for the issue to be resolved, the Philippines should recognize China’s claims over the shoal and forget that these are just 230 nautical miles off Masinloc Zambales, making it a part of Philippine patrimony. 

Despite claims that it is not arming nor preparing for war, China says that its Guanzhou Military district and its South China sea naval fleet were made to undergo level 2 war preparedness, something which contradicts public statements. While the Philippines remains open even to compromise its official stance.

More than twenty Chinese ships are now at Scarborough shoal, while only two ships were dispatched by the Philippines there. Sources say, Chinese fishermen have been actively divesting the place of rare corals and exotic fishes under the watchful eye of the Chinese authorities and under the weary eyes of the Philippine Coast Guard.

China insists that Philippine ships leave the place first, something which the Philippines is wont to do. Both sides are hardening their individual stances, probably knowing full well that one has a weakness. 

China probably thinks that the United States will not act in defense of the Philippines. China intends to dump its US dollars and has prompted their Central Bank to do so to afflict much damage to the US currency, now under intense international pressure. 

Protest rally against China set by Filipinos and Filipino-Chinese

May 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Filipinos and Filipino-Chinese will stage peaceful rallies throughout Metro Manila tomorrow, Friday. A certain Jaime Gan organized the protest rally which aims to take China to task for its militancy in the Spratlys island. China continues to issue militant statements against the Philippines.

Militant groups are one in demanding China to ease itself out of the issue, and let the international community resolve the contentious issue. The Philippines, has, time and again, been insistent on bringing the issue before the UNCLOS. China refuses, saying that there is no dispute because the islands belong to China eversince.

Tensions have escalated since China sent its gunboats in the Scarborough shoal. China likewise, asked its travel agencies to cease from sending tourists to the Philippines. This is a direct attack on the Philippines.

 

Thrilla in Naia a blackeye in Philippine tourism

May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I hate to say this but this recent episode involving a journalist and a former action star exposes the deep-seated problems we now have at our airports. First, it exposed our defensive weaknesses. The fact that such an incident happened right inside an international airport and the guards assigned were slow to the call, shows you how unsecured the place is. If a sixty five year old guy like Inquirer columnist Mon Tulfo was not properly protected from an angry mob, how then can you assure that these guards would act more effectively when, say a terrorist decides to create havoc there? I mean, the response time and the demeanor of the airport guards and police were dismal. They were not able to quickly address the issue. They responded late.

Second, it showed you how serious problems in airline services are right now. Delayed flights, lousy cabin services and missing luggages are just some of the complaints being received by Cebu Pacific from irate customers. Don’t ever tell me that the reason for the lousy services is the fact that Cebu Pac offers cheaper rates, oh no. It does not follow that someone who avails of a cheaper rate gets a cheaper service. Cebu Pacific must improve its services.

Cebu Pacific must form a customer service unit to address these concerns. It must assign a manager to manage things there, otherwise, it would continue to suffer image problems.

Now, if our airports and our airlines are unprepared and under a condition of incompetency, how then can this country cope from a sudden influx of foreign tourists? The administration intends to generate close to 5 million extra tourists this year. With the state of our airports and the lousy services being offered by airline companies, will it still be fun to go to the Philippines?

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the department responsible for the upkeep of our airports and seaports and all other utilities essential for tourism, should seriously address these problems. It is not okey anymore for Filipinos to get lousy services and delayed flights. Filipinos exercise patience, yes, but, it has its limits. Waiting for two hours is unacceptable nowadays, since everyone knows how other international airports conduct their business. DOTC secretary Mar Roxas wants to become president, sure. Before he even thinks of this, Roxas must accept the responsibility and clean house. He must fire Jose Honrado, the airport General Manager for incompetency.

Raymart Santiago-Mon Tulfo brawl scandal at airport actual video!

May 7, 2012 § 3 Comments

It was a scene out of a movie. Former action star beating up sixty five year old journalist cum martial artist. For what, you ask? For a mere two photos which the age-ing columnist took after seeing the former action star’s wife berating a lowly stewardess.

Mon Tulfo just got out of his airplane when he saw a woman angrily berating a Cebu Pacific stewardess. Previous to this, the 65 year old columnist from the Philippine Daily Inquirer had already made up his mind–he will write something against Cebu Pacific. That day was a lousy day. Bad services from a bad airline. People are complaining due to poor service. Tulfo already had the story in his mind before it became jumbled from the beating he got from an irate Raymart Santiago.

Raymart took part here when he demanded from Tulfo to hand over the camera he used in taking those unflattering photos of Claudine angry and demanding the head of the unknowing stewardess. Tulfo refused. This, according to reports, started the brawl.

I got hold of the video. You judge.

Bugbugang Raymart Santiago-Mon Tulfo sa airport

 

 

 

American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez should improve her choice of songs

May 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Now that there is only four contestants left, with Jessica Sanchez included in the Top 3, many are wondering who’s next after Skylar? If you look at the previous weeks, Hollie Cavanagh should be next in line. She’s always at the bottom three. 

There’s a problem though. While many of the singers are peaking up, Jessica Sanchez’s performances compared with her previous ones, are losing steam. She is having some problems with her choice of songs, even her appearance or look on the show. At the last show, Jessica’s first rendition of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary was loungey and somewhat racy, according to a record producer who commented about her tight mini-shirt. Jessica is just sixteen years old, but her choice of dress for the show is always a little bit mature for her age. Same goes to her songs. She better find the right song for her to cruise thru the show.

Team Jessica should be extremely worried since Joshua Ledet is peaking too. I am not entirely worried with Philip Philips because, by the looks of it, he is there because he looks great. Down the wire, this is a singing competition, and the best singers will eventually emerge as the best two. It will just be a matter of time before the American public recognizes the limitations of Philip Philips as an artist.

Whatever happens, the Filipino-American community should be proud of Jessica. Jessica is heaven sent. This rare gem only comes once in a lifetime. We may have lost Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, yet many believe that they are now being personified by this sixteen year old. She sings like MIchael and Whitney.