I begged to be excused from my sister and my ten-year old nephew after we watched a stage play “Rak of Aegis” yesterday.

Me: “I have to review the draft of our impeachment complaint”.

Nephew: “Who is getting impeached?”

Me: “The President”

Nephew: “Whaatt? You are going to impeach the President? Won’t you get jailed for that?”

And so, I dedicate the filing of the impeachment complaint to my nephew and the young ones who will one day become the taxpayers of the Philippines.  “For putting himself above the Supreme Court and the Filipino People, I am attaching my signature to the Impeachment complaint of Benigno Simeon Cojuanco Aquino III as President of the Republic of the Philippines.

signing 1

Photo via Kodao Productions

Dear nephew,

Let me attempt to make this simple. I am sure you have read the fairy tale of the “Emperor’s New Clothes”.  Here is a re-make of the story that my fellow advocates came up with.

Emperor's new clothesWe begin with a fairy tale just as we always do when leaders begin their rule. Four years ago, in a place by the river, an Emperor arrived, promising to take his subjects on a straight, righteous path. He waved a hand and asked trusted aides to weave him a magnificent cloak with the emblems of his rule.

And so the aides went to work, spinning invisible threads on looms, to produce the Emperor’s new garb. And he was pleased and called it DAP.

The Emperor donned his new clothes and raised both arms to bless cheering subjects lined on the highway. “DAP! DAP!”, his courtiers yelled.

No one could see anything but his flesh. “No clothes! No clothes!” The chant went up. But no one among his minions would confess to the fakery and deception lest they fall out of the mighty ruler’s grace. And so the Emperor’s parade trudged on….

The Disbursement Acceleration Program is the modern-day “Emperor’s New Clothes.” It took the Supreme Court, ruling unanimously and unequivocally, to expose DAP for what it truly was – an unconstitutional mechanism that President Benigno Simeon Aquino III deliberately and repeatedly used to undermine the separation of powers of the various branches of government, destroy the system of checks and balances of the republic, violate various laws and betray the people’s trust.

In the fairy tale, it was a child in the crowd , just like you, “who was too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession.”

You are only ten years old and are powerless to stop the procession so I am doing this for you…for the future of our country.

You might ask, “why not wait for 2016? He has only two years left”.

It is a matter of principle. it is a matter of seeking accountability. It does not depend on the numbers in congress. Impeachment is the legal way to make a President accountable for “culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.”

uphold the constitution

You must have known, that the President took an oath of office where he promised to “preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation.” The President is immune from suit and the only way to hold him accountable is through impeachment – a constitutional process.

We will present evidence that Aquino knowingly and wilfully violated the Constitution through his acts of approving and implementing the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) .

We will prove that from the onset, Aquino had sought to control billions in public funds and treat the same as presidential pork.

We will prove that the DAP is no different from Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the sense that both pertain to discretionary lump sum spending. Check this out.

DAP-infographic2 (1)

Click to enlarge

The DAP is not just a disbursement policy gone wrong. It is an attempt by the President to grab for himself the powers held by Congress. It is an insidious scheme to build up a gargantuan pork barrel fund for the President that dwarfed the combined PDAF of legislators.

Through the DAP, the President laundered billions of public money to activities that are by and large either corrupt, corruption- prone, favored, or cannot be accounted for.

The impeachment complaint is the only means for seeking accountability, which has long been due, because no one wants to truly come clean about the DAP. Not the President. Not his men. Not the politicians that gained from his illegal and unconstitutional acts.

To answer your question, I won’t get jailed for this.

Filing an impeachment complaint by a blogger like myself has been done in the past. It is the right thing to do. Atty. Edwin Lacierda (now Palace Spokesperson), then a blogger in 2008 was part of an impeachment complaint versus Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo:


As a blogger, it was an honor to have my signature affixed on this document. Whatever the consequences are, we need to show our country that we have an incumbent president who has failed to honor the “take care” clause in the Constitution, sacrificing the country’s interest in favor of her own political ambitions and must of consequence, be held accountable to the ills she has cursed this nation with.

Manolo Quezon (now a Communications UnderSecretary) led the bloggers in this 2008 impeachment .

manolo quezon filed impeachment in 2008

“…The question is not who we will replace the President with, but to find the President guilty or not guilty of the charges pressed against her. Not the least of which is the charge that she deceived the public – and compromised the integrity and sovereignty of the Philippines – through the BJE MOA-AD. If she is, I believe that she should face the fair and just consequences of her actions. I believe that justice is not about personalities, but about doing the right thing.”

Marocharim , a political blogger added:

marocharim on 2008 impeachment

…I was just doing what any free-thinking Filipino will do. I was just doing things out of principle. I signed that document because of my convictions, not for money, not for ambition. I’m just a twenty-something who makes an honest living.
I signed that document because I believe that it is right, and I believe that it is time. Revolution? To some, yes, but to me, it was a simple matter of doing the right thing.


You might be wondering “So you want Vice President Binay” to be President?

See, the impeachment is not about getting Binay to be President, in the same way that People Power 2 in EDSA was not about making Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President. Those worried about Binay becoming president are also saying that the impeachment has no chance of getting the numbers in congress. My friend, Mae told me “I always say I will follow the law. … I will not fear the future when all I have is NOW.  And now is the perfect time to IMPEACH. when citizens are alive and vigilant, BINAY is not to be feared! In fact opportunity!”

Some of my friends may doubt my motivation. Deng, another friend gives me comfort ” stay as who you are with your conviction and vigilance… and your critics will fail in their attacks of putting labels and colors and doubts in your intents.. because the only agenda you have is rooted for your love of country, fellowmen, family via means of seeking the truth and jurisprudence,… that way, it is easy to convince people the need to participate….”. I love you Deng.

I know it won’t be easy and it could be a long shot. Who said change was easy anyway? It isn’t easy to get out of our comfort zone. Some of us may be jaded or disillusioned because the People Power Revolution failed to bring us to real change and recovery. I continue to hope and hope for the sake of your future, my children’s future, and the future of their children.

It’s not easy to make a stand but I believe in doing the right thing.

Take care and study well.


Tita Noemi


PS. Sorry this letter ended up too long but I am sure you understood most of it . Ask your mom for help. If you want to read more about DAP, here are reports from PCIJ

Part 1: DAP: Good and bad, open and opaque
Part 2: Funds freed in a rush, projects yield slow results

Final Impeachment Complaint Against Bs Aquino by Bayan Et. Al.

head lamp

Typhoon Glenda left more than 20 hours ago and as I type this , there is still no power where I live. Over the radio I heard that 19% of Metro Manila do not have electricity. I should count my blessings that there is not much property damage compared to the Milenyo wrath in 2006. I was ready for power interruption because in 2006, we did not have power for more than two days. I relied on coffee shops .

When your business is dependent on internet service, a day without it is problematic. Two days without it gets to be “near critical”. Where does one get an internet connection when the whole city has no power? I managed the first 24 hours . To go around the house, I wore this headlamp. I look like a miner but it is so convenient that one can even use this at the dinner table for light.

headlamp rechargeable

If you are interested, this BAILONG rechargeable LED Lamp can be found at 888 in Divisoria .  It is also water proof and can act as a hazard light. At bulk price, it is around 550 pesos. Thanks to #SafePH, an advocacy of Smart telecom, for this little gift which was part of a larger disaster kit. I will share more photos as soon as I have power.

ultra saving mode from samsung galaxy tab s

With limited Globe and Smart mobile internet, I still managed to post updates on twitter and facebook. It was erratic though. I am glad my Samsung Galaxy Tab S has ultra saving power. The display is black and white . Who needs color? I am using the Tab S to check typhoon updates and share it with my social media network.

akari rechargeable lamp

I am glad I got to buy this Akari Rechargeable lamp at the HandyMan for 2,000 pesos.  Aside from the lamp, there is an  AM and FM radio as well as a fan. Despite the winds, I felt hot inside my room. The fan lasted me for 7 hours using it off and on. The radio was quite useful too since it gave me continuous stream of information.  This morning I had to go to my car to charge my mobile internet and other gadgets.

charging inside the car 1

The light accessory can charge my mobile wifi while my USB adaptor charged my Galaxy Tab S with enough juice for me to check some updates online. And I also took my breakfast inside the car. Well, that’s how I coped. Despite the brownout, I count my blessings that our water supply is steady and we have gas to cook our food.

charging inside the car

My virtual office is also convenient. (Mr. Stalker, don’t get any ideas. You won’t be able to find me here on a daily basis because there are other branches in Manila and around Asia that I can go to.) . Though I have unlimited hours at the business lounge, I booked a meeting room for four hours  today so I could charge all my gadgets and work on my deadlines. I will update more during the day.

virtual office

By Julie Fuertes Custodio, as originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles.

kids these days

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not judging how the kids these days behave. This article will merely point out the things we do, in my opinion as a parent and as a teacher, that may hinder the way our children grow up the way we want them to. This will not try to compare one generation to the other in terms of which is better and will not indict “bad” parents and extol “good” ones. unnamed Having said that, let me just write down my thoughts and those of some other adults I know when the topic “Kids these days” come up.

  1. Kids these days need to look up and look around more. You don’t need statistics or testimonials to know that most of today’s young people  have their heads down on the glaring and moving graphics of their electronic gadgets. Sometimes it makes us wonder if they know what is going on around them at all.
  2. Kids these days are easily bored. Whether waiting for their turn at the doctor’s clinic, waiting for the food orders to arrive or waiting for the school service to come pick them up, they are bored. Parents see to it that they manage their time wisely by providing them with things that will entertain them: electronic gadgets.
  3. Kids these days rely heavily and put emphasis on fast: Fast food and fast internet connection among others. Delayed gratification is something they need to learn because the truth is the truly good things in life are earned the long and hard way, with much patience and perseverance.
  4. Kids these days are emotionally involved because of the technological advances including how fast and how graphically the news are delivered. Should children know in detail things that are happening elsewhere whereas they know nothing about what is happening in their own immediate environment? Should they be exposed to the violence happening around the world without understanding the impact of these things in their lives? Should we allow our children to read and watch things beyond their understanding?
  5. Kids these days should learn how to form, think of and write their own opinions and not rely on what they read online. Everything is available in the internet. At the click of a button or a tap of a finger, they are able to copy and paste research work painstakingly done by others without reading and understanding the contents, oftentimes without acknowledging the author. There are a lot of cases too where they just copy and paste unverified work without checking other sources.
  6. Kids these days want to work with computers. Nothing wrong with setting the mind to work using computers in the future. The question is, are there children who would want to work in the agricultural and fisheries sector, the human aspects of running a business, the face-to-face management or utilization of the hands and creativity in work-related tasks?
  7. Kids these days feel empowered because they know they can get what they want easily. Parents feel they have to give the best to their children, beyond what they need.  They do not want to see their children having less than their peers, as though this would make their children mediocre or deprived.
  8. Kids these days feel entitled, that is, that that the world owes them what they want and when they want it. This sense of entitlement can prove to be a fatal disappointment when things don’t go the way the children expect.  At this point, even when the children have grown to be adults, they will be having difficulties dealing with rejection, being denied the things they want to have and do because of the realization that they need to work hard and wait for the results.
  9. Kids these days feel that they can handle all the challenges thrown at them because Mom and/or Dad are there for them at all times. We cannot always “clear the path” and face the adversities for the children to merrily make their way to their goals (which more often the parents have set and not the children themselves).
  10. Kids these days are so dependent on the yaya to do simple tasks for them like getting them a drink of water, carrying their lunch boxes or even getting their clothes from the cabinet.

Parents should think about the long-term effects of their parenting style. Parents should guide the children to make their own decisions and choose what steps they should take to realize their dreams. Remember that you parents can’t be with them 24/7. There are a lot of life lessons and life-changing decisions that children have to make on their own in due time but if they know what to do and have been guided properly, then there is not much to fear. Parents should not be in competition with other parents or families because all children are unique in their own way. How should we deal with the kids then?

  • Teach your children the proper way to “fight” their own battles using their own strategies and those that you have taught them, with you as their role models. Walk your talk because these children see you as the benchmark for the words of wisdom you lovingly throw at them.
  • Let them know they are loved even if they can’t have the expensive toys or gadgets that some of their classmates or friends are enjoying.
  • Teach them about responsibilities and chores and pride in the work that they have accomplished themselves.
  • Teach them to appreciate the simple things like having fun without gadgets.
  • Teach them that needs come first before wants, that working hard to get these things will help them realize that not everything can be had at the click of a mouse or a tap on the screen or a tantrum on the floor to get their message across. They need to learn to wait and that sometimes, the answers vary from “yes”, to “no” to “wait”.
  • Be consistent with your home “rules” and “policies” and make sure they are not too  harsh nor  constricting nor too many to follow.
  • Try not to live your dreams through your children by helping them cultivate their own dreams and not yours because it is their lives, their happiness that they will live with even when you are gone.
  • Above all, build a strong CORE foundation for a happy and healthy future that you envision for them: a strong character and a moral fiber like an inner compass that guides them to the right path.

By Richard Leo Ramos as originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles


It is at once one of the greatest strengths and one of the most striking weaknesses of the Filipino psyche: Somehow, Filipinos seem to have a very short memory when it comes to unpleasant events. Depending on the context of the situation, this is either proof of the Filipino’s capacity to forgive, forget, and move on, or it could also be evidence that Filipinos are culturally hopeless, as they will be doomed to keep on making the same general mistakes over and over again.

And the sad part is, we do actually have a saying about it:

“Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.”

Traditionally said to be from Jose Rizal, this quotation is already a warning to the Filipino people to start remembering what went wrong in the first place, and to fix it, if possible.

The irony of the situation, however, is that it is usually used as a way to guilt-trip people into supporting old friends, or giving money when there is a need. Even worse, it can also be used as a way to create a “class divide” when someone from a poorer neighborhood makes it big and moves on to a better financial scale of living.

Here are some things we shouldn’t forget – even if it means we stop being the “nice, likeable Filipinos” that we are stereotyped as being.

Debts and favors given
This one is a classic: An old friend from your past, someone who may not even have been in touch with you for quite some time, suddenly knocks at your proverbial door to ask for help. It could be help in finding a job, but it usually is about borrowing money, with the promise to pay it back when things get better.

It all sounds fine, until you start asking for the money. The next thing you know, you’re being told that you’re not acting like a friend, or, worse, the person will avoid you or even try to ruin your name by spinning a different tale about the money involved.

Our piece of advice is to do a “Frozen” and let it go. However, it does not mean that you should forget. The next time that person comes knocking at your door (if ever), smile, offer them a drink… and nothing else. Don’t do anything for them again. While it may not be the Christian thing to do, by some people’s eyes, it is definitely more Christian in the sense that you are helping yourself to less stress, and helping the other by giving them a character-defining moment.

Accepting a less-than-stellar past
If there’s anything that a person should be proud of, it’s rising from humble beginnings to become a more successful person. And this isn’t just about financial success, but also about personal and artistic triumphs as well.

Some people, however, seem to feel ashamed about not being successful early in life. This is understandable: after all, it could be about peer pressure, where they could lose some strategic friendships or alliances if it were found out they were “not one of us” in the beginning, or it could simply be about not destroying the personal narrative that has been created.

What these people fail to see is that this turn of events in one’s life could be even more powerful than perpetuating a “mysterious past.” Rags-to-riches success stories are the best examples of human determination and passion. If you have “friends” who can’t handle it, that’s their problem. And you will always find better allies who will respect what you’ve done.

Our advice is to accept your origins, and use it as part of your strength moving forward. Ignore the people who love to harp on it, because that’s either insecurity or limited thinking at work. Your only concern is to do well for yourself, and to be a good person.

Charity, social responsibility, and crab mentality
Now, this is somewhat related to the first issue about old friends knocking at your door. However, in this case, it’s about the community that can build around people who are successful, one way or the other.

Filipino communities, for want of a better term, are held together in part by the power of tsismis, or the gossip grapevine. It’s no surprise, then, that some people you may not even know, or community leaders, may come knocking at your door, if they know you have particular skills, financial reserves, or connections. Now, many of these requests definitely fall in the reasonable side of things, and should be entertained and acted upon as best as possible. After all, what’s a little goodwill? However, when you do start noticing that people are beginning to see you more as a favor-mill than as a person, then you should find a way to explain that your resources are limited – and that you do have other things to do with your time.

The bad part is: many people won’t take it well. Welcome to the wonderful world of crab mentality, where people will start all sorts of gossip about you, just because you had the temerity to say “no” to their request.

Our advice on this one is: again, keep on doing good for the people who ask you correctly, who don’t impose on you. Keep on minding your own business. If people believe the gossip, let them – at least you know whom you should not trust, and who will never ask for your help.

The two sides of the coin
If you’ve noticed, it seems that the whole idea of “remembering your roots” has both a dark and light side to it, particularly for Filipinos. Now, this isn’t something you should despair about. Instead, think about it as an effect of the difficult times the Filipino people has had in the past few decades. People need help from each other, and in some cases, this has become rather negative in aspect, where people expect those who are more successful to share the wealth. And traditions can be twisted such that if you try to be reasonable and strict about your contributions, you will end up being the bad guy.

If anything, the best way to help yourself in staying true to your roots and the past, it is to do as much good as possible, by being fair in your business practices, by being an ethical and moral person, and simply knowing when to say no. Your personal and public dealings must reflect your real character. That way, no matter what people say, you will be doing right by your own traditions, your own past.

Photo: “Memories” by Marina del Castell , c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved