Category: ethics

When the #DDS can do no wrong: victimizing #HarryRoque

Katrina S.S.

One of the more interesting things to come out of this short period of having Harry Roque as Presidential Spokesperson: it has revealed that the frontline informal communications team of the President cannot be told that they are doing something wrong.

Read on…

Albert del Rosario: Patriot or Profiteer?

Sass Rogando Sasot

When questioned about his conflict of interest about the Reed Bank, Albert del Rosario said:

I think that’s unfair. I was working for the country. If Manny benefited from that, we’ll benefit from that. It’s not something that will be out of the ordinary.

Albert del Rosario is evading the issue and is not being truthful to the Filipino people. The question isn’t unfair; it’s valid, urgent, and must be throughly investigated. And Dick Cheney was also working for his country when he advocated for the Iraq War. Mainstream media aren’t doing their job. They are not asking the right questions and they aren’t gathering facts.

Albert del Rosario was director of Philex Mining Corporation when its partner Forum Energy Plc was granted by the Philippine government the right to explore oil and gas in Reed Bank in February 2010.

Read on…

the new kris: not new enough

kris says she’s leaving the buzz and snn by the end of the month para hindi siya makadagdag-problema sa administrasyon ng kuya niya with her tactless foot-in-mouth ways.   but is that all she’s giving up?   what about the product endorsements?   will she continue to promote unbridled conspicuous consumerism, continue to sell sell sell any product that meets with her very-very-very-personal approval, continue to encourage her tens of millions of fans to buy buy buy the products she likes, continue to sell sell sell herself herself herself like nothing else matters?

Kris Aquino feels at home
by Dinna Chan Vasquez

There is no doubt that Kris Aquino is one of the most sought after product endorsers in the country. Even the mere mention of a brand or label by the actress-TV host in any of her shows will result in brisk sales. For example, when she started wearing a jade bangle from Joy Lim’s Charms & Crystals, women flocked to the feng shui shop’s outlets to buy the same thing.

When Aquino says that she loves a restaurant, expect her fans to patronize the place. If she says that something is good, the public believes her.

“Kris really tests the products that she endorses,” says a source. “I have seen her refuse fat endorsement fees because she doesn’t like what she is supposed to sell to the public.”

For the record, getting Kris Aquino as an image model doesn’t come cheap, but according to one advertiser whose service the actress endorsed in the past, “herendorsement is worth every penny.”

It is no surprise that Aquino is the image model for a wide range of brands including telecommunications services, skin care, food and beverage, laundry soap, washing machine and many others. Advertisers send her products all the time because if she likes it, she will say so and the cash registers will work overtime. She even has inspirational CDs, one which includes her son. No, Kris doesn’t sing in any of the CDs. Rather, the songs were personally chosen for their inspirational and uplifting values.

When she launched her own magazine called K for ABS-CBN Publishing, it became a bestseller. As if her endorsements aren’t enough, they wanted to know what Kris Aquino is really like in private, what instant coffee she drinks (Nescafé); what body care products she prefers (The Body Shop) and what type of food she loves best (steaks).

A year ago, Aquino and ABS-CBN Licensing thought of releasing a line of home products that would bear her name. On TV, Aquino admitted that for the past year, products like pillows, cooking utensils and even plastic containers would arrive at her house and she would try them out to see if they passed her standards.

If they did, it was a go. If she didn’t like the products, it was back to the drawing board.

Karen Eve Coloma, licensing manager for the synergy division of ABS-CBN’s licensing group, says the products under the K Everyday Home Collection—from the linens to the cookware—have all been personally tested by Kris for reasonable periods of time.

“The suppliers were carefully chosen for the project because Kris didn’t want to put her name to anything that the public will be disappointed in,” Coloma says during the preview for the collection held at SM Makati.

She explains that Kris is very meticulous when it comes to her home and the things that she and her family use.

“The collection emulates Kris’ style and is inspired by her personal choices,” Coloma adds.

The first collection focuses on two of the actress’ favorite areas of her home, the bedroom and kitchen. There are bed linens and pillows from Dakki; cookware and kitchen accessories from Metro; stationery, journals, gift wrappers and gift boxes from Sterling Paper. A personal favorite of Kris is the home organization and storage solutions by Sawasdee,

“I am into boxes and storage these days. I even put notes on each box,” says the actress.

Kris shares that since she is in mourning for her mother, former President Corazon Aquino, for a year and promised to wear only black and yellow for the period, most of her “personal” clothes or the ones she doesn’t use for shooting movies and commercials and taping TV shows that are not in those colors are in storage. Thus, they need to be organized and labelled properly for future use.

Expect to see a lot of bright colors in the collection. Kris reveals that during the testing period for the products, she had to reject some of the colors as “they were not me.” The linens are in pinks and purples and everything—from the packaging to the items— is pretty and pleasing to the eye.

back in the reagan days, when the actor was campaigning for the presidency of the U.S., his opponents would show old tv commercials of the young handsome ronald selling a laundry detergent (a la tide or breeze), which was a huge turn-off for many.   it was my first sense that for celebs, selling commercial products on the idiot box was not something to be proud of because it means you’ve sold out to the multinationals that greedily rule the world.

reagan won anyway but he certainly stopped his showbiz ways as it would have diminished the presidency and held it hostage to vested interests.    i know, i know, kris is only a soon-to-be presidential sis.   and i can hear the howls:   but what’s wrong with selling/endorsing products, it’s an honest living, and so lucrative, she’d be crazy to give it all up.   ah yes, the money is too good, the money makes it okay, and hey she pays tens of millions in taxes, as in role model, di ba.

i suppose if we were a first world country like holland where there are no poor, no beggars, no hungry, okay lang.   but in a third world country where the televiewing masses can barely manage three meals a day and television is the great escape, it’s the height of cruelty (witting or unwitting) to raise material needs the way kris does when she sells non-essential products that the masses can only yearn for, dream of, but never ever in reality afford.   and, by the way, let’s be clear:   it’s not the fault of the poor that they’re poor.   it’s the fault of the rich, who know only how to get richer at the expense of the masses, which is so terribly uncreative.

inquirer‘s marinel cruz writes:

In her Twitter account, Aquino said that she would likewise stop appearing in the drama series “Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo” in mid-August. She hinted on the possibility of hosting a lifestyle/travel program when she returns from a three-week vacation in September.

Kris does not want to be in a program where she can make comments, opinionate or articulate her personal views,” Abunda said.

ganoon? but when she appears in tv commercials selling all kinds of commercial goods, isn’t that a super favorable comment, opinion, articulation, reflection on/of her personal worldview and lifestyle?  inquirer‘s ige ramos writes: 

I just hope she’s aware of the power she wields. And I pray that she uses that power to transform this country into something bigger than herself, and not waste it on mundane show-biz activities.

Now that her brother is President, this is an opportunity for her to do something positive, great and wonderful. Something she missed out on when her mother was president.

actually, kung di niya ma-gets o di niya kakayanin, or if sayang the money, paano siya makakatulong kung wala siyang pera pang give-away, ok lang naman din.   she can keep doing product endorsements and soap operas, do a lifestyle/travel show, even glamorize dole-outs with a million pesos worth of school supplies to favored barangays (they voted for noynoy kasi), just please please please, no talk about caring for the poor, or honestly trying to improve the lot of poor pinoys.   because really, all that showbiz stuff is anti-poor.   one cannot be for the poor on the one hand, and anti-poor on the other, and have ANY kind of credibility.

if kris truly wants to make a difference in the next 6 years, WHAT IF she embraced instead an environmental concern, what if she focused her super powers instead on metromanila’s garbage problem.   zero-waste is the target.   she can spend the millions she’s so happy to give away on plastic garbage pails, 2 to a household metro-wide, for segregating biodegradable from non-biodegradable.   she could put together educational tv shows that would promote the campaign and get the public to join the bandwagon.   she could collaborate with garbage truck contractors in putting up recycling centers.   she could create a market for recycled goods by being the number-one customer and product endorser.   o di ba.   new jobs created, and no more flash floods, no more ondoys, no more blocked-up waterways, inang lupa would be so happy, and kris would come out smelling so good, even make it on the cover of time and newsweek, for sure, on her own merits.   we could all be so proud.

Midnight CJ and the Four R’s

Rene Saguisag

The framers could have said the position of Chief Justice (CJ) should be filled up immediately and that only the CJ could swear in a Prez. They did not. They said any judicial vacancy should be filled up within 90 days, which I suggest is even merely directory, not even mandatory. No way we can mandamus a Prez.

The case of Justice Minita Chico Nazario, where the vacancy was filled up six months later is instructive; she twisted in the wind that long before finally taking her oath and becoming a credit to the SC.

It took more than six months for CJ Querube C. Makalintal to replace CJ Roberto R. Concepcion. Thus, the virtue of collegiality. It also shows that when the Constitution gave the Prez 90 days to name a new Justice, the lack of urgency was seen. May the SC order the JBC, headed by the CJ?

When Marcos won, if my memory is true, I had at least two excellent teachers who had been named to the bench just before Macapagal himself was to step down. Seen as more than qualified, maybe, but no one in the judiciary, or elsewhere, is indispensable. The two had to go. In May, 1982, for a working week, we had no Supreme Court at all! All told, vacant days added together, we had no CJ for years. The nation moved on. There simply was no fire.

Now we have a golden chance for a transparent process in lieu of arcana. Justice Rene Corona must disclose in open hearing his suspicion that Justice Tony Carpio was out to smear him. Tony denied the charge, corroborated by Nanding Campos, who Rene had said tried to influence him improperly by using three ex-Justices to approach him (which those of us of the old school us would never do; it just was not and should not be done).

GMA acknowledged on December 30, 2002 that she divides our people. Now, she plans to continue in public life, and some salivate. Why? Are these but the noises of democracy we were glad to have again in 1986 after 15 years of coercive elimination of dissenters, leading to Jackson’s unanimity of the graveyard?

Charito Planas I first met in Washington, D.C. in 1982. She has chosen to be with GMA. The right to pick we cannot question, be it elixir or poison we choose. But, as in the case of Gary Olivar, what does she have to say about the Morong 43? The duo both courageously fought martial misrule. May God bless them both. But we in the human rights community need to hear them on the 43.

FOCAP (like our friend, Tony Lopez) could be naughty. Last Tuesday it held a forum entitled Who Will Fix the Mess? I saw no one take issue with the tendentious theme. All prez wannabes said No to operating the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Bravo! A Korean firm said it would need a billion pesos at least, which may yet double, or triple, to repair and upgrade it. But, we are pasable-OK-na-puede-na Pinoys. I hope Prez Cory and I would no longer be blamed for not operating the plant in 1986, when Chernobyl made it easy to mothball it. But, I had not realized I was so effective chairing the Cabinet and Senate Committees on it that here we are, 24 years after the event and no Prez or wannabe is for operating it.

This fact emerged with crystal clarity in the FOCAP affair. Nick Perlas was with me in the 1986-1992 effort.

Even Engineer FVR would not dare put the nuke plant on line (his home province is Pangasinan; I married one from there and it now welcomes nuke power in a nation where Murphy’s Law—if anything can go wrong, it will—prevails in rampancy: I am not sure we can be like Russia or Japan ably dealing with Chernobyl or Toyota’s recall). We need new energy plans. We need to know from the bets what their plans are, on top of their other sales talk, to pay public servants above the level of corruption by laying down the economic foundation of honesty. Dick Gordon would want school teachers to get P40,000 a month, less than the additional bonus of House employees last Christmas given by Congressmen: how much did they get for themselves?

There must be a better deal for employees, whether public or private, for them to compete for admission into public service.

On specifics, what do they have to say on senior citizens discounts where an employer’s profit is marginal and who will go under with the additional discount? Is this not confiscatory? Any subsidy? Else, the employer may fire employees to salvage the ailing business. There must be a health program too so one with a dollar (less than P50) can have dialysis monthly. More than Motherhood spiels we need from the leading bets. Those who have no chance should withdraw, to improve the chances of even a bad bet; else, by hurting him, we may get a worse, or even the worst one, in lying, cheating and stealing. Balzac said that behind every great wealth is a great crime. How many of the bets have no great wealth?

Anyway, I need to see in the text of the 1987 Constitution, or maybe, someone can show us that, in the debates, the intent was that in the judiciary “midnight appointments” are allowed, contrary to what the SC has nixed. I know how careful the JBC and SC are in observing the no-appointment rule during the critical two months. That was why the promotion of some RTC Judges created a hassle some years ago (even if admittedly, the nominees were good); there was static about antedating to make it appear as not falling within the interdicted two-month period. No transparency. Shielding the nomination process from scrutiny should go. If it would need a constitutional change so be it. Back to the Commission on Appointments? Noynoy I don’t recall ever having opposed any change in the 1987 Consti. He and his Mom, along with millions, simply wanted to do the Right thing in the Right way at the Right time for the Right reason.

Nothing says the CJ should administer the oath. Cory and Doy were sworn in on February 25, 1986 by “mere” Associate Justices, who used the rather unconventional formulation I rushed the night before in a rinky-dink typewriter. Indeed, an ordinary notary public can administer it. When we took power in 1986, I had no time to take it but then it was a risky revolutionary government we had inaugurated. Later, in a more normal time, I took it before a notary. It could not be said that I violated my Four R’s.

Today, what is not being violated in the violent time in the vilest possible way?