Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Repost From Izah Morales Of Yahoo Southeast Asia

Manny's extra weapon: His intelligence

By Izah Morales, Yahoo! Southeast Asia Friday June 4, 2010 05:50 pm PHT

Pacquiao's most trusted adviser reveals beneath Manny's happy-go-lucky probinsiyano is a guy whose mind is as quick as his hands.

Sarangani's Congressman-elect Manny Pacquiao may have not received formal education but that doesn't make him less of an educated man.

Though it's easy to perceive Manny as a simple-minded probinsiyano (a simpleton from the provinces) or even "stupid", his legal counsel, Jesus "Jeng" Gacal knows his long-time friend and client is nothing like that at all.

"Manny has a mind of his own. When he likes it - even if you're against it - he wants to prove you wrong. Especially if he knows he's right," reveals Gacal.

"Maybe it's the champion in him. Mind you, si Manny hindi lang nagkaroon ng formal education pero ang utak ni Manny mas matalino pa sa mga nakapag-aral [Manny did not have a formal education, but he is more intelligent than those who were educated."

Gacal and Manny met in a cockpit venue in General Santos City in late 1990s. He thinks Manny's lack of schooling a blessing in disguise.

"Swerte siya at hindi siya nakapag-aral kasi kung nakapag-aral siya, baka clerk lang siya or whatever. Hindi siya magiging bilyonaryo [He's lucky that he was not able to study. If he had, he might have just ended up as a clerk, and not become a billionaire]."

Proof of Manny's intelligence is his excellent memory, says Gacal. "He's been in boxing for 15 years. So dapat, medyo nakalog na ung utak niya [his brain should be shaken up a bit by now]. But one time, he saw a friend whom he didn't see for three years and he still remembered his telephone number."

Pacquiao's intelligence is also reflected through his talent in music.

"Kaliwete sya. Artist talaga. He plays the piano without proper training. Nakukuha niya yung sounds. Talented talaga. [He's left-handed. A true artist. He can play pieces all by ear]," says Gacal.

Manny is also naturally talented in almost any sport, says Gacal. "Amazingly, he always excels. Tinuruan lang siya mag-dart sa US. In a matter of weeks, yung mga nagturo sa kanya, tinatalo na nya. Natural athlete talaga. Magugulat ka. [He was taught how to play darts in the US. In a matter of weeks, he defeated those who taught him. He's really a natural athlete. It's shocking]."

Though Manny's got great feet in the ring, he's not as naturally talented in dancing as his mom Dionisia, who dances ballroom regularly. "Kasing tigas ng kanyang muscles ang kanyang katawan [His body is as firm as his muscles]," says Gacal.

With Pacquiao now an elected official, he's out to be just as victorious in public service. On June 14, he will be joining students around the country going back to school, taking a crash course in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, according to Pacquiao's chief of staff Jake Joson.

Reposted From Izah Morales of Yahoo Southeast Asia

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Repost From GMA News.TV

Lakas fielding Lagman, not Arroyo, for top House post

The Lakas-Kampi-CMD party has decided not to field outgoing President and congresswoman-elect Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as its candidate for House Speaker in the next Congress.

On Friday, around 35 administration lawmakers decided in a caucus at the Club Filipino to field Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman instead for the House Speakership. If he wins, Lagman will share his term with Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez who will take the last 18 months as Speaker.

"Lakas-Kampi will field me as [the party's] candidate for Speaker," Lagman said in a phone interview with GMANews.TV. "Congressman Suarez proposed time-sharing and I agreed to his proposal to preserve the unity of the party."

Lagman said they decided not to field Mrs. Arroyo, the congresswoman-elect of Pampanga's second district, because "from the very start she said she would play the role of Sonia Gandhi."

Mrs. Gandhi was the Italian-born widow of assassinated Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was immensely popular for taking over the party’s leadership when her husband was assassinated in 1991.

Legal luminary

Because Mrs. Arroyo remains as the party chairperson, she is expected to help Lagman and other Lakas-Kampi congressmen "all the way."

Lagman, the brother of slain labor leader Filemon "Popoy" Lagman, is known to be one of the House's legal luminaries.

He was the chairman of the Appropriations committee before stepping down to senior vice chairman to focus on his pet measure, the Reproductive Health bill, which the House did not end up passing.

An administration stalwart, Lagman was part of the panel that defended President Arroyo during the impeachment case against her in 2008.

Lakas-Kampi has more than 100 elected district representatives, but Lagman said only around 35 congressmen attended the three-hour caucus — which was presided over by Maguindanao Rep. Simeon Datumanong — because some were in their districts or were out of the country.

Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo, Mrs. Arroyo's brother-in-law, was present during the caucus.

Expecting a majority?

Lagman said even though only 55 remain "steadfast in their affiliation" to the party and 27 are "undecided," he was confident they would get the vote on the first day of the 15th Congress's session because they have allies in the Nacionalista Party, the Nationalist People's Coalition, as well as in party-list groups.

"We expect to get a majority," he said.

The time-sharing set up would apply to the minority leadership if Lakas-Kampi doesn't win the Speakership, Lagman said.

Lagman will be pitted against Quezon City congressman-elect Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr., the candidate of the Liberal Party for the House's top post. Belmonte previously held the post from January to June 2001.

Because LP standard bearer Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is presumed to be the winner of the 2010 presidential elections, many lawmakers are expected to shift their loyalties to the LP.

Many House members traditionally gravitate toward the political party of the sitting president, who mostly has the prerogative over the release of pork barrel funds. [See: Fight for Speakership could bring Arroyo down to earth] — RSJ/LBG, GMANews.TV

Reposted From GMA News.TV

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Repost From ABS-CBN News

Why Pacquiao won Fighter of Decade Award

Why Pacquiao won Fighter of Decade Award

Manny Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Seven-division champ Manny Pacquiao’s dominating performances in the last few years made him the best choice for the Boxing Writers Association of America’s (BWAA) Fighter of the Decade Award.

BWAA president Jack Hirsch told Ryan Songalia of that Pacquiao’s wins were more decisive than those of his counterparts from 2000 to 2009.

"He closed the decade very strongly, beating a number of high-profile men,” said Hirsch. “It was the type of thing where it did come down to him or Mayweather. And whoever the voters voted for, there couldn't have been a big argument against either choice."

While the BWAA did not release the exact tally of votes, he said Pacquiao finished with a distant lead over two others, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Joe Calzaghe, both undefeated boxers.

Mayweather has a record of 41 wins and no loss, while Calzaghe retired with a record of 46-0.

Mayweather was the former pound-for-pound king, having won the WBC Super Featherweight, WBC Lightweight, WBC Light Welterweight, IBF Welterweight, WBC Welterweight, IBO Welterweight, IBA World Welterweight, WBC Super Welterweight titles.

He also scored victories over big names like Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Arturo Gatti, Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales.

Calzaghe won the WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF middleweight titles. He scored decisive wins over Chris Eubank Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr..

Pacquiao, meanwhile, has 51 wins and 3 losses.

However, he has the distinction of being the only boxer to win 7 world titles in 7 weight classes, including the WBO welterweight, IBO light welterweight, WBC lightweight, WBC and linear super featherweight, lineal featherweight, IBF super bantamweight, and WBC flyweight crowns.

Aside from the distinction of being a 7-division champion, he scored knockout wins over Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto.

"I was not surprised that he won," said Hirsch. "I was a bit surprised by the decisiveness of Pacquiao's winning, however.”

"Pacquiao's margin was so decisive, and if the voters felt Mayweather deserved it, they would have obviously voted for him,” he added.

The Filipino boxing hero, who was recently elected as Sarangani congressman, is set to receive his award at the 85th Annual BWAA Awards Dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on Friday (Saturday in Manila).

Mayweather earlier questioned Pacquiao’s stature among boxing greats.

“He beat a Miguel Cotto who got pummeled with a cast and he beat a Ricky Hatton that got stretched by me… That’s not for me to put him in the Hall of Fame,” Mayweather earlier said in a report posted on

“Manny Pacquiao struggled twice, which we really know he got beat, struggled twice with Marquez, which we know he really lost. Right? And we know he been knocked out twice and he got outboxed by Erik Morales, but then they still give him Boxer of the Decade. So that’s another thing I don’t understand,” added Mayweather. -- With a report from

Reposted From ABS-CBN News

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Repost From Ellen Tordesillas

There is something sinister in Gloria Arroyo’s re-appointment of Efraim Genuino and four other members of the board to the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation in violation of the ban on midnight appointments.

Last week, my friends and I were talking about how the grim predictions about the May 10 elections were proven wrong.

I asked, “Were we wrong about Gloria Arroyo? ”

I asked that because we all believed that she would do everything to hold on to power beyond June 2010 including cause a failure of election.

Our paranoia was not unfounded. We have seen Malacañang’s efforts to change the Constitution to remove the term limit that prohibits Arroyo from staying on to power. There was an attempt to change the form of government from presidential to parliamentary that would have qualified Arroyo to stay on as prime minister.

The people registered their opposition vehemently forcing Arroyo and her cohorts to shift to whatever other options.

Our fears about the automated elections were borne by our deep distrust for her compounded by her refusal to retire from politics once out of Malacañang and instead decided on running for a Pampanga’s congressional seat, which she won handily.

Failure of election didn’t happen and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III,the candidate whose platform was anchored on “change” and making Arroyo accountable for the numerous anomalous deals during her nine-year presidency, won the election convincingly.

The public’s attention is now focused on the official canvassing and the look of the incoming administration.

Does that mean that we are finally through with Gloria Arroyo? That we were wrong in thinking that she would hold on to power by all means because she would be brought to court once she is out of power?

Aquino’s mandate was overwhelming and Arroyo, a seasoned politician, knows when not to confront the people’s wrath. What is more important for her now is to erase traces of her crimes.

Arroyo’s contentious appointment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was an indication that Arroyo is covering her tracks and it would not be easy to prosecute her for the crimes she committed against the Filipino people.

Her re-appointment of Genuino and for other directors to Pagcor is intriguing. It’s brazenness suggests that she is not done covering her tracks.

Pagcor , which supervises all gambling operations in the country generates some P17 billion a year and a huge part of it goes to the President’s Social Fund. In the past, she used the fund to keep the loyalty of congressmen and local officials.

Gambling aficionados talk of one service casinos give. It sounds like money laundering.

I’m not into gambling so I don’t know how that works.

Just like the many other midnight appointments she issued ( her manicurist to the Pag-IBIG Fund and her gardener to the Luneta Park Administration), the re-appointment of Genuino and company were dated March 9, one day before the start of the ban on presidential appointments.

No one believes that it was not ante-dated. In fact, the receipt by Pagcor of the appointment which was April 28, 2010 support the suspicion that the actual date of appointment was after March 10, which renders it illegal.

The eminent Constitutionalist, Fr. Joaquin Bernas , in an interview with ABS-CBN said, it is not only the appointment date that should be considered but also the date in which the appointment was accepted. “It's [appointment] completed by acceptance,” he said.

Bernas said the Pagcor appointments violate the spirit of the Constitution, which bans midnight appointments. “An outgoing president is just a caretaker,” he said.

Arroyo loyalist Elena Bautista, head of the Presidential Management Staff, downplayed the legal questions saying they have studied and besides, she said, “it’s just for one year.”

A billion things can happen in one year. Ask anyone in the laundry business.

Ellen Tordesillas is a Manila-based journalist who blogs and writes columns for daily newspaper Malaya and Abante, a Filipino tabloid. Her articles published on Purple Thumb are syndications of articles published on her blog.Currently, she writes articles "relevant to strengthening democracy and making life worth living." She is a trustee and writer of VERA Files, a group that undertakes in-depth reporting on current issues.

Reposted From Ellen Tordesillas

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Repost From Philstar News Service

The First Girlfriend

I’m using “First Girlfriend” in the sense that, for example, the wife of a president is called First Lady and not in the strict meaning of the word because, as we must have known by now, President-apparent Noynoy Aquino has had a few girlfriends before he met and fell in love with Shalani Soledad, a third-termer councilor of Valenzuela City who herself has her own admirers before Noynoy.

They have been going steady for one year and eight months (since Sept. 5, 2008). “It’s Noy’s longest relationship,” revealed Kris Aquino when she interviewed Shalani on The Buzz last Sunday. Noynoy is 50 (born in Feb. 1960, an Aquarian) and Shalani is 30 (born on April 27, 1980, a Taurian), and the 20-year age-difference doesn’t seem to matter.

Shalani shows up for this Conversations at her favorite coffee shop located along a side-street off Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City, without any make-up, her hair gathered in a simple ponytail and dressed in black sleeveless shirt and white pants. She’s a cross between Lucy Torres-Gomez (congressman-elect of the fourth district of Leyte) and Sunshine Cruz.

Asked how she keeps her trim figure, Shalani said, “By eating lots of junk food.” She’s joking. “How did I lose weight?,” she continues. “Well, we just came from a rigorous campaign for 45 days, from early morning to early evening, and that was how I lost weight. So I advise those who want to lose weight to join an election campaign.”

During the interview, she and her companion, long-time friend Diamond Morales, daughter of Dynah Dominguez, sipped only green tea. They didn’t order food. “We just came from a lunch meeting,” Shalani begs off.

She’s charming in a quiet way, shy and soft-spoken, the exact opposite of her sister-in-law(-to-be?) Kris.

“Noy and I share many things,” says Shalani. “Simple lang kami pareho.”

Where are your bodyguards?

“Bodyguards? I don’t have any.”

Did you drive coming here?

“I do drive...a CRV...but today I have a driver.”

Pang-ilang term mo na ‘to as councilor of Valenzuela City?

“It’s my third and last term.”

So after that, on to a higher position?

“Hmmmm...No, no further plans yet. But, you know, after the 2007 election, I did plan to run for a higher position but I didn’t push through with it.”

By higher position, do you mean, hmmmm, for vice mayor or even higher?

“Yes, for vice mayor. Or even for congressman.”

Everybody is curious...What will be your role in Malacañang as soon as Noynoy assumes office?

(Laughs) “A lot of people have been asking me that question. Well, I think I will always be a back-up support for Noy.”

What will be your title...First Girlfriend?

“I’m not sure kung may ‘title’ ang isang back-up support.” (Laughs again)

Correct! Anyway, as everybody knows, you are not Noynoy’s first girlfriend. And I suppose he’s not your first boyfriend, ‘no?

(Blushes) “Hehehehehe!”

In your interview with Kris, your sister-in-law-to-be, you said something like you learned from previous relationships and you wanted someone who would not fool you. Why? May nanloko na ba sa’yo?

“I think you learn from every relationship. Afterward, nakikita mo...nari-realize mo kung ano ang nangyari — you know, what went wrong, where you went wrong, how it went wrong, what not to do again.”

Are you the jealous/possessive type?

“No, no, I’m not. In a relationship, one should always bear in mind that there are two of you, that you should always be considerate of each other, you shouldn’t just think of yourself. You always have to think how you can improve each other.”

You and Noynoy have been going steady for one year and eight months. According to Kris, ‘yan ang pinaka-mahabang relationship ni Noynoy. It means that you are far.

(Laughs) “I hope so, I would hope so!”

What do you have in common?

“Love for family. Hindi masyadong grand ang mga taste namin. Love for simple things, for the simple life.”

Oh, kaya pala hindi ka man lang naka-makeup ngayon.

“I don’t know how, that’s why.”

Noynoy was brought up with women around him. How many siblings do you have?

“There are only two of us. I have an older brother.”

What kind of boyfriend is Noynoy? Hindi ba siya seloso, controlling, possessive?

“No, no, he’s not. I think both Noy and I understand the nature of our work. So, hindi kami ‘yung controlling, seloso-selosa na every minute ay aalamin namin ang bawat detalye ng bawat lakad ng isa’t-isa.”

But one time daw, according to your interview with Kris, Noynoy was irritated when you called to say that you were missing him, and he said, “You called just to tell me that? I’m in the middle of a conversation.”

“Hahahahaha! Yes, yes, that happened once. It was during the campaign, so our schedules were crazy. At any given time, ang dami mong kausap, discussing very serious matters.”

Isn’t Noynoy a difficult boyfriend?

“What do you mean?”

Well, isn’t he hard to handle...moody ba siya?

“He’s just like any normal person. Some days, you catch him in a good mood, some days you catch him na hindi ganoon kaganda ang mood. Very normal, I should say.”

You don’t tell him to do this, do that?

“If you mean that I impose on him... no, I don’t.”:

What is your term of endearment?

“Hmmmm. Huwag na ‘yon. Secret!”

Sige na. Just between us.

“Huwag na, huwag na ‘yon.”

Noynoy’s chain smoking is becoming an issue. Do you ask him to stop it already?

“No, I don’t. But as Noy said, he will eventually cut it down.”

Do you smoke?

“No, I don’t.”

Do you drink?

“Not naman drinking. Social drinking lang. Just a sip, ganoon.”

Did you become close to the women around Noynoy — Ballsy, Viel, Pinky and, especially, Kris — during the campaign? Or, were you comfortable with them already even before the campaign?

“During the campaign, we were able to discuss certain matters that we had not been able to discuss before.”

Girl talk, ganoon?

“I wouldn’t say girl talk. Let’s just say that we were able to discuss matters na kung hindi campaign period ay maaaring hindi namin napag-usapan.”

Kanino ka pinaka-close doon sa apat?

“Pare-parehas lang naman, although si Kris ang pinaka-vocal.”

Didn’t Kris give you pointers on, perhaps, how to do your hair or what clothes to wear?

(Laughs) “Once or twice, yes, when we were terms of how I should carry myself, how to tuck in my shirt, mga ganoon.”

I presume that you and Noynoy mutually helped each other win, both by a landslide.

“When I won the first time (in 2004), I was No. 1. The second time (in 2007), I got the highest number of votes. And now, yes, medyo landslide.”

Mahilig si Noynoy sa mga TV hosts. Before you, there was Bernadette Sembrano (now Mrs. Emilio Aguinaldo) and Korina Sanchez (now Mrs. Mar Roxas). And now, you.

“I was on UNTV with Daniel Razon on the morning show. I was the station’s Senate reporter.”

And that’s how you met Noynoy. You interviewed him for your show.


How many other girlfriends did Noynoy have?

(Blushes and laughs again) “I don’t know.”

Don’t you ever discuss about his past and your past? Siempre, hindi naman all the time serious matters ang pinag-uusapan n’yo, di ba?

“We talk about movies, about friends, about haircuts, just about anything any normal couple usually talk about.”

When Noynoy goes to Malacañang, siempre your time for each other will be limited. How do you think will it affect your relationship?

“The task that lies ahead of Noy is very huge. Knowing how time-consuming it would be, I understand that he needs to focus his time, energy and effort on that task.”

And you naman will be concentrating on your task in Valenzuela City.

“Mahirap. Ang akala ng lahat, being president is a bed of roses. Actually, it’s a big, big responsibility. You owe it to all the Filipinos. Hindi mo puwedeng sabihing, ‘Time out!’ Ako naman, I would continue to focus on Valenzuela especially now that I’m on my last term as councilor.”

What are your pet projects?

“During my first term, I was the chair of the Women and Family Affairs Committee and we established the Early Care & Childhood Development in six barangays, and now it’s being implemented in all barangays of the city.”

You were in La Salle St. Benilde taking up Human Resources when your studies were rudely interrupted by politics.

“I still have two P.E. classes to complete the course.”

Why did you join politics?

“Actually, my slot was intended for my maternal uncle. But out of the blue, he told me, ‘Matanda na ako, ikaw na ang tumakbo.’ And without even thinking about it, I said yes right away. My uncle has been my adviser and consultant, helping me with my projects.”

You are close to your uncles and aunts.

“Oh yes, I am. I grew up with them because my parents were separated when I was small, mga two years old pa lang ako siguro. My mom worked abroad but she has been here since I was 20.”

How was it growing up away from your parents?

“Well, I had a normal childhood. I didn’t feel a sense of loss at all because I have very loving grandparents. Mababait ang mga aunts and uncles ko. I grew like any normal child.”

Are you in touch with your father?

“Hmmmmm, no. I’ve seen him siguro just a couple of times.”

Your first name sounds so very Indian. Why?

“According to my mom, she got my name from a baby book. It means ‘bouncing, beautiful girl’.”

How did Noynoy change your life?

“Noy has inspired me to be better.”

In what way, in what sense?

“Well, first is in my time management. More so, in my view of life — you know, that it’s not always about you, that you always have to be considerate with the people around you because the world doesn’t revolve just for you. Also, to stick to my beliefs.”

Did you meet Tita Cory?

“Yes, I did. That was before she was hospitalized.”

Did you meet her at home on Times Street?

“No, not there. Sa house ni Kris or in one of Noy’s sisters.”

When asked if you could wait for six years before you and Noynoy could get married, if ever you would not while Noynoy is in Malacañang, you answered, “I hope...As long as you love the person, you will wait.” Did Noynoy promise you anything?’

“Off the record?”

Yes, off the record.


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