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Kaya Natin! Official Statement on the total eradication of Jueteng

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Kaya Natin! statement on the total eradication of jueteng


We, the leaders of the Kaya Natin! movement for good governance and ethical leadership express our full support to the call of Archbishop Oscar Cruz for the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to immediately work towards eradicating jueteng operations all over the country.

As former and current government leaders, we have seen the dire effects that this illegal numbers game has in terms of promoting a culture of gambling among  Filipino people most especially the poor and powerless. This culture has destroyed thousands of families and has continued to drag down millions more into poverty. We have also seen the effects of jueteng during elections where effective, ethical and empowering leaders are clobbered or given a very hard time due to the billions of jueteng money used for vote buying that  perpetuate electoral fraud. Sadly, the past administrations have done little if at all to curb rampant jueteng operations and put jueteng lords to jail. We believe and expect the  present administration led by President  Aquino to go beyond the usual lip service, hearings and investigations of  the past.  Let us not waste  any more time for fact-finding  sessions  that will only bring out the same old things about jueteng that have been said over and over again. We do not want anymore whistleblowers killed.   We call on the President to immediately order the leadership of the Philippine National Police to  put an end to jueteng operations in our country.

We also ask  the President to give full trust, support and authority to DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo in solving this growing problem. Sec. Robredo’s experience in his 18 years as city mayor of Naga has clearly shown that jueteng can be stopped if a leader is serious in tackling the problem head on. He successfully solved this problem through strong political will and his unrelenting efforts towards bringing to justice those who lead jueteng operations in his area. We believe that with the full support of the President, Sec. Robredo will be successful as well in putting an end to this social ill that has continued to grow in our country for several decades. Let us not wait for the day when we will be known as a country that is fully controlled by gambling lords, now is the time for our government leaders especially the PNP to seriously live up to its promise to bring forth the necessary reforms and changes in our society.

Kung wala jueteng, mawawala ang maraming corrupt at kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap!


Signed:

HON. EDDIE PANLILIO, former Governor, Pampanga

HON. GRACE PADACA, former Governor, Isabela

HON. TEDDY BAGUILAT, JR., Representative, Ifugao

HON. BOLET BANAL, Representative, Quezon City

HON. SONIA LORENZO, former Mayor, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija

HON. MARIVIC BELENA, Mayor, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija

HON. ROQUE VERZOSA,JR., Mayor, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur

HON. VALENTE YAP, Mayor, Bindoy, Negros Oriental

HON. MABEL SUNGA-ACOSTA, former Councilor, Davao City

HON. FERMIN MABULO, former Mayor, San Fernando, Camarines Sur

HON. FLORANTE GERDAN, former Mayor, Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya

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Kaya Natin! Statement of Support for DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Statement of support for DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo

We, the leaders of the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and
Ethical Leadership greatly appreciate the statement of President
Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to clear the name of Department of
Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo from
accountability regarding the failure of the Philippine National Police
(PNP) to respond effectively to the Quirino Grandstand hostage crisis
last August 23,2010. In Aquino’s statement which was published in
several major newspapers, he clearly said that he had made a previous
arrangement for Secretary Robredo to focus on local government
matters and designated Undersecretary Rico Puno to be more directly in
charge of the PNP, thus it was Puno and not Robredo whom Aquino said
was partly to blame for the botched response of the PNP. We also
strongly support the move of Aquino to immediately convene an
investigation led by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de
Lima and Robredo regarding this very unfortunate incident.

As such, we believe that persistent calls made by some of our
government leaders for Robredo to resign from his position and/or to
inhibit himself from the on-going investigation are unjustifiable and
baseless. We urge our government leaders to set aside politics for
the meantime as we try to move forward with the investigation to find
out what really transpired during the hostage crisis.

We believe that a swift, fair and impartial investigation on this
matter will help restore the credibility of our nation’s government in
the eyes of the international community. Finally, we urge the
President to act decisively towards giving the appropriate punishment
to government leaders who are found to have neglected in their duties
and responsibilities during the hostage crisis. By doing so, our
government can send a clear and strong message to our countrymen and
the international community that justice will be served to those who
failed to perform their duties regardless of influence or position.

SIGNED:

HON. EDDIE PANLILIO, former Governor, Pampanga
HON. GRACE PADACA, former Governor, Isabela
HON. TEOFISTO GUINGONA III, Senator
HON. TEDDY BAGUILAT, JR., Representative, Ifugao
HON. BOLET BANAL, Representative, Quezon City
HON. NERIC ACOSTA, former Representative, Bukidnon
HON. SONIA LORENZO, former Mayor, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija
HON. GLORIA CONGCO, Mayor, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija
HON. MABEL SUNGA ACOSTA, former Councilor, Davao City
HON. ROQUE VERZOSA, JR., Mayor, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur
HON. FLORANTE GERDAN, former Mayor, Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya
HON. MARIVIC BELENA, Mayor, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija
HON. VALENTE YAP, Mayor, Bindoy, Negros Oriental
HON. MARY JANE ORTEGA, former Mayor, San Fernando City, La Union
HON. FERMIN MABULO, former Mayor, San Fernando, Camarines Sur

Website: http://www.kayanatin.com

Tel: (02) 4341458

Email: kayanatin@yahoo.com

Why the hostage crisis happened and how we can move forward

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Why the hostage crisis happened and how we can move forward

by: Harvey S. Keh

For the past few days since the embarrassing hostage crisis that has brought international shame again to our country, I have been reflecting on how we as a Filipino people can collectively move forward from this incident. In cyberspace, many people continue to express anger, rage, disappointment, frustration and sadness about how our government particularly our Philippine National Police (PNP) handled the situation. Yes, I agree that there was indeed a lack of strong willed leadership from our government in handling and managing the situation but the reality is, the damage has been done and we all need to learn from this experience, unite and do our own share to help our nation to move forward. Let us first assess what truly happened in the hostage crisis since we need to learn from the hard mistakes of our past to move forward to a better future.

Firstly, let us ask what probably drove former police officer Rolando Mendoza to be desperate enough to take a whole bus full of tourists hostage and eventually kill many of them. My simple analysis is the fact that perhaps Mendoza no longer trusted and believed that our judicial institutions can provide him with a fair and equal judgement. What happened to Mendoza is an effect of the corruption of our democratic institutions that are tasked to protect the rights of  every Filipino. Yet, because institutions such as our courts, the Office of the Ombudsman and the COMELEC are now tarnished with so much graft and corruption, people such as Mendoza no longer have a venue to air our their grievances thus, they often resort to extra-judicial means in order for them to get the justice that they think they deserve. When people become desperate and they feel that they have been a victim of injustices committed by the very institutions that were supposed to protect their rights, their morals are weakened thus, it makes it easier for them to violate the law.  What he did was truly wrong but unless we are able to restore trust and credibility into our democratic institutions especially the Ombudsman who is known to protect the interests of the past administration, there will be more Filipinos who may be like Mendoza who will take matters into his own hands.

Moreover, the lack of proper training and equipment was one of the major reasons why the PNP failed to address the situation properly. Many of our lawmakers especially the allies of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo such  as Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Rep. Edcel Lagman  have called for the resignation of some Cabinet members of the barely 2-month old Aquino administration. Yet, does full accountability really fall under President Noynoy Aquino and DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo? Yes and no. Yes, because they are currently the ones who are in power and perhaps many of us would’ve wanted them to have been in full control of the situation. No, because even if they were in control of the situation, given the lack of training and proper equipment of our police force, the hostage crisis would’ve still most likely ended the way it did. Now, we beg the question, why is our police force inept and why do they lack proper equipment to deal with crisis situations such as these? The PNP will always answer that it is a problem of a lack of funds. So does that mean that we can’t do anything about it? No. A study by various international institutions have always said that the Philippines has lost more than 1 Trillion Pesos due to corruption at different levels of our government in the past 5 years. Imagine if just 1% of 1 Trillion pesos was used to upgrade the training and equipment of our PNP then I am sure they would’ve responded in a much better way to the hostage crisis.

Many of us blame the PNP for what happened but in reality they are also heroes who often sacrifice and risk their lives for all of us. I believe that majority of our police force are good and well-meaning Filipino public servants who went into the service to help our country. If our political leaders for the past 5 years only used our funds properly instead of putting it in their own pockets then I am sure that we would have been able to develop an elite police force that would be able to handle any type of crisis situation in a very effective manner. I am making no excuses for the Aquino administration because like I said, they should’ve been in full control the moment the hostage crisis started but in reality they are also inheriting a poorly trained and equipped PNP from the previous administration. Let us not forget that Aquino has been in power for barely two months while Robredo was just appointed as DILG chief in the middle of July. It is with this reason that I am really appalled by the way two very staunch supporters of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senator Miguel Zubiri and Albay’s  Rep. Edcel Lagman, are now trying their darndest best to play hero and pin all the blame on Aquino and Robredo. If they are really serious that they want to help our country and improve our image in the international community, then perhaps they can begin by probing and supporting an investigation on all the anomalies and corruption that happened during their boss’ term.

Now, what can we do to finally move forward? I think the greater challenge for us Filipinos is to understand that all of these has happened due to the rampant corruption and injustices that continue to pervade our government institutions. Many of us have actually contributed to this worsening situation especially when we choose to take shortcuts in dealings with our government institutions, bribing government officials for a favorable decision, selling our votes to the highest bidder or just by simply choosing to be apathetic while turning a blind eye to all the corruption that is happening in our midst. Aquino said it right when in his inauguration he called upon all of us to help him in cleaning up our government, restoring trust and credibility into our institutions and ultimately, begin the work to rebuild our nation.  He cannot do this alone, if we want to prevent this from happening again, all of us must do our own share in ensuring that graft and corruption are stopped, self-serving and greedy leaders no longer get elected and our government is run by effective, ethical and empowering leaders. If we all do our own share in promoting good governance and ethical leadership, who knows, maybe the next time we watch CNN or BBC, we will no longer have to watch another embarrassing crisis unfolding in our country, we will instead be watching how the Philippines has become a great nation once more because every Filipino decided to do his or her own small share in rebuilding our broken nation.

Harvey S. Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo School of Government and is Lead Convenor of the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership.

Why smuggling and jueteng are related to each other

August 11, 2010 2 comments

Solving the problem of jueteng especially in our rural communities is more complex than just arresting the people behind it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that widespread poverty across our country is a major cause of why this illegal numbers game continues to thrive. Jueteng doesn’t only provide a possible albeit very slim chance of escaping poverty but it also provides an alternative source of income to thousands of Filipinos who are employed as “kabos” or “kubradors”.

In a predominantly agricultural country where approximately 8-9 million Filipinos work as farmers or fishermen, it is important that they are able to sell their products at a competitive price to allow them to earn enough which will eventually lead to an improvement of their quality of life. Yet, the opposite is happening right now as the rampant smuggling of rice, corn and sugar from neighboring countries such as China and Vietnam have drastically lowered the prices of their locally produced counterparts.Thus, many farmers do not anymore earn much or worse, even recoup their costs when they sell their harvest. During the last SONA, even President Noynoy Aquino lamented that they discovered millions of metric tons of imported rice that were left to rot and haven’t been sold or distributed to hungry families.  This drastic reduce in the prices of palay and rice has led many of our farmers to totally abandon their trade and look for alternative sources of income such as jueteng. This has also led to our food security problem which has embarrassingly forced us to become the biggest rice importer in the whole world.

Thus, I believe that the job of eradicating jueteng should not only fall on the shoulders of our Kaya Natin! Movement’s co-founder, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and PNP Chief Jesus Verzosa but it will also need the cooperation and synergy of other government agencies particularly the Bureau of Customs and the Department of Agriculture.