opinion

Uy’s political journey

September 13, 2019

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—Rep. Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy had been ready for years to be elected and to serve as mayor of Cagayan de Oro City and Mayor Oscar Moreno’s announcement that Uy would continue his programs is just the adrenaline push the congressman needs to serve the city more. Lando Uy is a man of great patience. He can wait for his turn. That virtue non existent to other politicians or even non politicians. Like any soldier in combat he can wait but while waiting he works and toils, preparing for the day when opportunity comes to serve. As a congressman Uy is quite conscious and ever ready to serve his constituents in Cagayan de Oro’s first district. In street language Klarex is “dili sirok.” We have seen Uy after his run for mayor in 2010. In the 2013 elections, Uy chose not to run and instead supported then outgoing Misamis Oriental governor Oscar Moreno in his run against the late mayor Vicente Emano. Uy worked well and delivered and partnered with the Moreno administration and the results speak for themselves.  More and better roads, schools, hospitals and services to the barangays in the city’s first district. The list is long but all those who live in the hinterlands can see and have benefitted from the truckload of projects that Uy delivered to them in his capacity as their congressman in the city’s first district. And there are many more to be received by city residents should they chose to elect Uy, who originally come from Clarin town, Misamis Occidental. Unlike others who preceded him, Uy began at the bottom.  Uy was a barangay kagawad of Carmen and later became a barangay (village) chairman. It was as barangay chairman of Carmen that I came to know Uy.  Social media wasn’t even a thought at the time and what will later be known as the internet or World Wide Web was still in its infant stage. People in those days relied heavily on the rsdio, TV and newspapers to get their daily dose of news, information and entertainment. As a radio anchor in my early years, I did double time providing news and extending assistance to my loyal audience. It was in this capacity that I come into contact with then kagawad (councilman) Uy and he would gladly offer his assistance. In no time at all ‘Klarex’ Uy became a household byword. Then he was elected barangay chairman, winning over those who claimed roots in Carmen and through sheer grit and commitment, Uy became one of the so-called ‘Magic 8’,  or the eight barangay officials whose support of the late mayor Vicente ‘Alas’ Emano secured his victory against the then administration candidates of the late mayor Pablo Magtajas and the late congressman Erasmo Damasing. At that time I was a vocal critic of Emano and his loyal barangay captains won’t talk to me except Uy who wasn’t scared of being sanctioned by ‘Alas’ for agreeing to be interviewed by me at any time. So aside from patience, Uy holds the virtue of sticking to his principles and convictions, not hesitating to uphold them over friendships and even his political career. Building a name for himself among all other barangay officials is no easy task snd he built his mass base that he posed a potential challenge to ‘Alas.’ As barangay chairman Uy managed to reach out to other barangay officisals and built friendships with them over the years. Thus when he challenged Emano in 2010 during his tenure as first district congressman, he lost, not a few believed he was cheated and true enough there was evidence that the SD cards used for the automated counting machines were found in the former Dagong landfill. Uy then returned to base He stayed on his base and began anew, winning another congressional stint which he holds unchallenged to this day. We’ll talk more about Uy’s political journey in the days to come since it’s still too early to discuss elections barely after the country had one back in May. Suffice it to say that Moreno made the right choice and Uy, for all his experience in the political arena, remains as simple, principled and dedicated to public service as he was in his days as barangay chairman of Carmen.

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PRRD order to prisoners freed over GCTA scandal retroactive

September 12, 2019

DON'T look now. All prisoners who were freed after availing of the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) must return to prison as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte. According to Duterte, that the released papers of the freed prisoners under the GCTA would be scrutinized. “If the release papers are found in order, the prisoner would be finally freed,” Duterte said. Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, of the second district of Cagayan De Oro, said that Duterte’s order covers all prisoners released from 2014 until 2019. In an interview with CYNOSURE, Rodriguez said that it does not matter whether Duterte was elected President only in 2016. “The fact that the President order ‘all’ prisoners who availed of the GCTA to return to prison means that Duterte’s order is retroactively at the time when the GCTA was implemented,” Rodriguez. Rodriguez, one of the co-authors of Republic Act 10592, said that the law was approved in 2013 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) took effect in 2014. Rodriguez said that the President’s order has been retroactive since the implementation of the Republic Act 10592, which became law in 2013 and the IRR, stating the provisions of the GCTA, in 2014. Duterte issued the order to all prisoners who availed of the GCTA to return to prison after an uproar over the released of prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment with heinous crimes through the GCTA. Duterte warned that the prisoners who failed to return by reporting to the nearest police station or military command after the 15-day “grace period” would become the subject of a police manhunt. “They (prisoner) would be considered recidivist and a “shoot-to-kill” order might be meted against them,” Duterte said. On the contrary, the police cannot simply arrest the prisoners who failed to return to the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) without a warrant of arrest. Rodriguez said that the police must secure a warrant of arrest from the court that sentenced the prisoner in order that the arrest would be legal. One must remember that the prisoner who availed of the GCTA was released on the presumption that he (prisoner) was already freed and cleared of his sentence. Rodriguez said that without an arrest order, the arresting officer could be held liable with an arbitrary arrest or illegal detention.  “The law enforcers must be careful in arresting those already freed because of the GCTA, otherwise, they (police) might face legal actions,” Rodriguez said. Here is a backdropped of the now controversial RA 10592. On 26 March 2014, an IRR was jointly issued by the then Justice Secretary, Leila H. De Lima, and then DILG secretary Manuel A. Roxas II. However, Section 4, Rule 1 of the IRR directed the prospective application of the grant of good conduct time allowance (GCTA), time allowance for study, teaching, and mentoring (TASTM) and special time allowance for loyalty (STAL) to prisoners. ( www.abogado.com) In declaring the IRR invalid, in so far as it provides for the prospective application of the grant of GCTA, TASTM, and STAL, the Supreme Court (SC) stated: “While R.A. No. 10592 does not define a crime/offense or provide/prescribe a penalty as it addresses the rehabilitation component of our correctional system, its provisions have the purpose and effect of diminishing the punishment attached to the crime. The further reduction of the length of the penalty of imprisonment is, in the ultimate analysis, beneficial to the detention and convicted prisoners alike; hence, calls for the application of Article 22 of the RPC. Ibid. Article 22 of the 1930 Revised Penal Code provides the Retroactive Effect of Penal Laws. — Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect in so far as they favor the person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in rule 5 of article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same. https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph. -0-

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Come on: Give me a smile!

September 10, 2019

I KEEP on  writing columns for several papers from all over the world since the early 1980's. Sometimes, while writing, I am indeed not in a good mood. I rewrite and rewrite - and then the moment comes, I am asking myself: "Do the readers of this publication really like to read my columns?" Anyway, I try my best. It's actually a sweet day today, so sunny, so calm, so bright, it's like the bridal of earth and heaven.  The grandeur  of  God flames out like shining from shook foil. I feel like as the waves make towards the pebbled  shore. An incredible and peaceful Sunday, while writing this piece. I observed again a multi national couple somewhere in my neighborhood fighting each other. Gosh. Stupid people have an uncanny way of hitting the right nail on the head with the wrong hammer! Maybe, you are angry also right now, while reading this. You are angry, even for others it's a beautiful day. You are angry? It's okay. We are all battling against one of the most powerful emotions known to man - anger! Anger. A day rarely goes by without us feeling angry. Or,  maybe seldom a days goes by without feeling anger... . Anger is the main part of our daily life. That's why it's really important to talk about this phenomenon. What is anger, what does it do and how does if affect our lives? Where does it come from and how can we learn to handle it in a constructive instead of destructive way? Only, if the roots of our anger exposed and explained, we can defuse its explosive and dangerous potentials. As I said earlier, anger is one of the most basic emotions. Everyone can get angry. You and me? Now, later, tomorrow...! It's a feeling of being against something or someone. Anger is a hostile emotion that sets people against one another, or even themselves. By its nature, anger involves opposition, hostility, hatred and disliked. It happened between Filipinos, and between Filipinos and foreigners as well, living here in the Philippines. It even happened at political levels right nowadays. Anger, however, is simpler to define than to identity. Emotions of antagonism can take a wide variety of faces. Expressions of anger range from the overt, in-your-face brand of open hospitality to the cold indifference of a silent individual. At times, anger can be felt like an inner fire... . Millions of defense, not a damned penny for tribute, as Charles Pinkney stated... . Anger between people: the one side remains cold as ice while the opposite plays meek as a lamb. Sige, burn the midnight oil! And what the result at the end? A shadow of doubts remains after each fight getting its origin out of anger. The silent withdrawal and lack of understanding  and innumerable shortcomings of one or both partners are often an indication that one is angrily punishing the other for not doing things his or her way. We are all selfish! Yes, me too! That's why we see the cause of anger as something outside of ourselves. Life is unfair! Life is hard! +++ Email me: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or visit one on of my websites www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.

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Fluke Shui

September 9, 2019

Yes there is fluke Feng Shui and it deserves to be called fluke Shui!      Fluke means tsamba or unintentionally correct Feng Shui whether done with or without Feng Shui knowledge or skills!      In what instances for instance?      Okay say you want to be a Playboy or Playgirl or nowadays metroplay LGBT regardless of which comfort room or toilet you use standing or sitting, you bought a deadeand lot or condo unit. That’s a right Feng Shui choice as it will fulfill your relationship goals in making love only forever til death or illness forbids!      Another instance is buying a dragon or Buddha belly lot that can make you a multimillionaire in less time imagined!      Or putting a water feature to the left of your house as you enter to get the driver or Yaya of your sexual fantasies like a president of the Philippines example not in lucid intervals but for real.      Or pass the bar Exams to be a lawyer by studying with back to Southwest or vice versa.      Or fulfillment of a wife’s pregnancy wish by merely pushing a bed in the right direction!      Or making a big sale by unintentionally wearing the right underwear.      All things that lead to your being at the right place and time enabling you to achieve a goal or dream, can be fluke Shui if done without Feng Shui!      The best is winning a national election just because your cooking appliances were incidentally placed rightly even without knowing it’s excellent Feng Shui!      For gentlemen, when choosing a fluke seat in a bar attracts pick up girls of your whetted dreams. Or ladies when your dress leads you to your fantasy dance instructor on the dancefloor!      Let alone when you flukely take that luckiest Feng Shui seat for you at the slot machine or gaming table in a casino for your dream win.      Yes Virginia and any Tom, Dick and Harry, mostly Ducks! Yes fluke Feng Shui is true. So try and try until you die a cceeding! Good luck!

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The ‘double standard justice’ system

September 6, 2019

WHEN a person is impoverished he is denied of the right connection in the community. There was this unwritten biases that often haunt the minds of the society. The biases are the foundation of social discrimination. The biases that become the origin of social ills. One of these social evils is the “double standard” justice system. Without doubt, the “double standard” justice system is the mother of all corruption in the community. It is the ultimate excesses of power and influence that dictates the character of the community. More often, the poor and the under privileged is the victim of “double standard” justice system in a community laced with social inequities. While social discrimination is intangible, its contextual implication is manifested in the lives of the people. A classical example of social discrimination is the few who still enjoy unwritten privileges while in prison.  The malady displayed a gaping wound after an expose of the release of prisoners. The inmates who were convicted of heinous crimes but were released because of the “flaw” of the law per se. The released of some prisoners by the Bureau of Corrections officials under pretext of “good conduct time allowance” (GCTA) opened the ‘Pandoras’ box. It not only triggered a social uproar but likewise uncovered the ugly head of the county’s “double standard” justice system. The controversial GCTA provision of the law made the difference between the rich and the poor who were both deprived of liberty. It depicts the harsh reality that an influential prisoner could gain freedom under any circumstances. For instance, it is easier for a person, convicted of four life sentences, to avail of the GCTA. Woe to the poor and the under privilege because they could not easily avail of the GCTA. What gives? To avail of the GCTA means that the prisoner needs a lawyer who could do the dirty jobs for his/her release. Of course, it would entail “money.” If a prisoner has no money or could not afford the services of a well-connected lawyer, he or she would rot in jail. Certainly, that is what is happening in the country’s correctional institutions. What makes matter worst are the innocents who were sent to prison because of their inability to hire lawyers. There is the belief that the innocent prisoners were victims of the “double standard justice” system. In fact, there are countless of them who are languishing in jail today. While the thought about the “double standard” justice is abstract, its effect is tangible in context. Undoubtedly, the “double standard” justice system is prevalent in a country laden with corruption and corrupt public officials. It is lamentable that, without exception, the “double standard” policy is contagious - it has contaminated all the branches of the government. Perhaps, eradicating the roots of the “double standard” justice system needs a “cultural revolution.” -0-

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Leave the teachers alone

September 6, 2019

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—Leave the teachers alone in the classrooms. No ifs and buts. I agree with House Bill  No. 4232 known as the School Health and Safety Act filed by Rep. Kristine Alexie Tutor of Bohol province’s 3rd  district and it is timely and relevant at this point in time in the history of the Philippine educational system. The bill’s main focus is on the health snd safety of students in public schools whether technical or vocational. It is also more of the removal of non-teaching responsibilities of teachers and faculty members in all public schools. I agree with Rep. Tutor 100 percent especially at this time when educational standards in the country have not only stagnated but are deteriorating. With the declining performance of over populated public schools in examinations and global competitions something is clearly wrong. This is due to many factors such as teachers’ involvement in non-teaching works assigned to them.  These include guidance and even psychological counseling as well as providing entertainment during fiestas, Christmas parties and other occasions.  Some teachers also act as doctors or nurses because there are no medical personnel available. Public school teachers and even some private school teachers couldn’t refuse lest they don’t receive favorable endorsement or recommendations from their superiors. Yes, sadly in the Philippines a lot of public school teachers had to jockey for endorsements from local officials especially if they don’t have the required eligibility and other credentials. And this lopsided setup imposed on them affects their performance and by extension their students.  Teachers can only spend so many hours in a day without burning out that they shorten their teaching hours by about a half thus leaving their students to fend for themselves with all their materials while they make cut flowers or other decors to be used for school visits by their supervisors. Sad and true. In fact I came to know of a teacher in one of Cagayan de Oro City’s hinterland barangays (villages) who had to cancel classes to prepare some thesis for the principal.  And that’s not including election season when public school teachers are required to serve in the Board of Canvassers while their allowances are delayed no thanks to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Congress. It’s sad to see teachers reporting for work tired and sleeping in the corner while their students do nothing in class. And too often, losing candidates blame their defeat at the hands of biased teachers who supposedly manipulated the tabulation of votes in their respective districts. That is why teaching is and should remain a noble profession and we owe it to our teachers for what we have become today. Rep. Tutor is being  true to her surname ‘Tutor’ which is another word for teacher or mentor. And so again I’m sure I am not alone in saying that government should just leave the teachers alone and allow them to do what they were trained to do and that is to teach our children. (For questions and comments email me at susanap.dennis@ yahoo.com)

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