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eBooks vs. paper books

I started reading eBooks around 12 years ago. There was no Kindle yet. I had a Blackberry which had an eBook reading app. But the screen was too small, and I seldom read more than a few minutes. Then came Kindle, and I began building an eBook library.

But I still love reading paper books. There’s something about holding a book in your hands while sipping a cup of coffee and jotting notes on the side. The feel of paper feels good on my hands. And maybe I could add: the smell of paper.

So which do I prefer? I would still read paper books when I can. It’s not all the time, however, that I have a paper book on hand. I do bring two or three paper books with me in my truck. But most of the time, I forget to bring them with me when I get down to have coffee.

On this point, the eBook wins it!img_20190921_0601031903627806768887232.jpg

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Unclear

There has been a great deal of discussion about the legal ramifications of the directive issued by President Rodrigo Duterte for nearly 2,000 convicts released under the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law during the last several years.

President Duterte wants a review of the circumstances under which these convicts obtained their freedom in the wake of allegations that corruption was what drove prison officials to issue release orders en masse.

The convicts who have since been given back their liberty were ordered to “surrender” not later than today, September 19, 2019.

Quite a number of convicts have already reported to the nearest police stations in compliance with the directive. Nobody wants to mess around with the President’s order.

But there is a question on the status of convicts who were paroled, which is an entirely different process than getting freed under the GCTA.

In Iloilo, there’s a 79-year old man who was freed from prison two years ago after being paroled. Is he still required to be brought back to a penal colony in Mindoro while officials check his papers?

The PNP is not sure. It’s not their call to make a determination on that, the new Iloilo provincial director, Col. Roland Vilela, said. The PNP wants to be on the safe side and just remit the convicts to the BuCor facility in Mindoro.

Perhaps the Department of Justice should take cognizance of such cases and issue the corresponding clarification. It would be unfair for these individuals who have faithfully served out their minimum sentences to be sent back to jail again.

National Heroes Day musings

We honor our heroes today, not just those who figured in our history and whose names we had memorized while still in elementary and high school, but also current day men and women who have died for our country, or put their lives at risk so that their countrymen could live in freedom and peace.
It’s not just the dead who are heroes. Every man or woman who has served in the armed services and law enforcement is also a hero. When a person is willing to give up his or her life to protect our institutions, he is elevated to that status as well.
Ordinary people can also be heroes. We have seen countless examples of individuals braving fires, or rough seas, or any other dangerous situation, to save lives. We witnessed this kind of heroism a month ago when three pumpboats capsized in the Iloilo Strait, sending 31 passengers to their deaths. Without hesitation, porters and crew members of other pumpboats rushed to the scene of the accidents to rescue the victims. We can only imagine how many more lives were lost without these heroes.
It’s unfortunate that as a people, we don’t really show appreciation for the sacrifice our heroes have had to do for our nation and for our people. On National Heroes Day, most of us look at it as a public holiday, a long weekend. This is perhaps one of the reasons we haven’t developed a strong sense of patriotism.
I salute our heroes, both living and the dead. I hope their sacrifices will ultimately build a badly-needed patriotism among our people.

Isko Moreno for President?

Wala pang dalawang linggo si Isko Moreno bilang alkalde ng Maynila pero uma-ani na ito ng napakaraming papuri dahil sa paglinis niya sa lungsod at pag-ayos ng mga problema na matagal nang nakikita sa paligid.

Kaya hindi nakakagulat na ngayon pa lang, may mga nagpupuna na isang “presidential material” si Mayor Moreno para sa bansa sa 2022 national elections.

Pinapakita ni Mayor Moreno ang tinatawag na “political will”, ang pagtugis ng mga desisyon at hakbang na hindi nababahala kung ano man ang resbak nito galing sa mga taong apektado.

Sa napakatagal na panahon, parang naging imposible na ma-clear out ang mga lansangan sa Maynila, lalo na diyan sa Quiapo area. Naging madumi ang lungsod. Masikip ang mga lansangan na halos hindi na mada-anan ng sasakyan.

Pero sa unang araw pa lang ni Isko bilang Mayor, naipakita niya na puwede pa lang gawin ang paglinis ng Maynila at isalagay sa maayos na kalagayan ang mga street vendors upang hindi sila makaka-obstruct sa traffic.

Malayo pa ang 2022. Kung ma sustain ito ni Isko, hindi malayo na makakarinig tayo ng mas maraming paghimuk galing sa taumbayan na tumakbo siya bilang Pangulo. Kailangan lang ni Mayor Isko ang “endurance” at “sustainability” upang hindi ma diskarel ang kanyang mga programa.

 

Adios na, Trillanes

Umpisa tanghali ngayon araw, Hunyo 30, 2019, matatapos na rin ang pag-upo ni Antonio Trillanes IV bilang Senador ng Pilipinas. Milyon-milyong mga Pinoy ay pumapalakpak at nasisiya dahil sa wakas, wala na sa puwesto itong pesteng coup plotter na walang ginawa kondi lumikha ng kagulohan. Masayang-masaya ang mga tao. Walang nanghihinayang sa pag-exit ni Trillanes sa gobyerno.

Ang yabang kasi ng taong ito. Akala mo siya lang ang marunong. Na siya lang ang may kakayahan. Pero sa totoo, walang mabuting ginawa si Trillanes. At sa katapusan, kasama siya sa pag-reject ng taumbayan sa mga dilawan. Ang pagkatalo ng Otso Diretso sa May 13, 2019 elections ay patunay na walang suporta ang mga katulad ni Trillanes.

Ngayon na wala na sa puwesto si Trillanes, tignan natin kung hanggang saan ang yabang niya. Sigurado ako na uunsad ang mga kaso laban sa kanya. At dapat ipatawag siya sa Senado upang imbestigahan tungkol sa mga destabilization plot na iginuhit niya at nga mga dilawan.

Adios, Trillanes! Sa bilangguan na sana ang punta mo!

PHILIPPINES-POLITICS-CRIME-RIGHTS-TRILLANES

This photo taken on September 13, 2017 shows Philippine Senator Antonio gesturing during an interview at his office in the Senate building in Manila. After launching his political career from a jail cell, Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes believes it could end in a grave thanks to a relentless campaign against his “hitman” president. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Kaso laban kay Pnoy, inatras

Umatras ang Office of the Ombudsman sa kasong isinampa laban kay dating Pangulong Noynoy Aquino sa Sandiganbayan kaugnay sa Mamasapano massacre apat na taong nakaraan.

Sa isang “motion to withdraw information,” sinabi ni Ombudsman Samuel Martires na binabawi muna ng Ombudsman ang reklamo nito laban kay Aquino at dating PNP chief Alan Purisima dahil kulang ang ebidensya na kasama sa kaso.

Ano ang ibig sabihin nito? Na makakatakas si Abnoy sa pananagutan niya bilang Commander in Chief sa pagkamatay ng #SAF44 na mga police commandos?

Hindi po.

Kasi nga, noong isinampa ang kaso ni dating Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales bago siya nag retiro, napansin na ng mga legal experts na mahina o “weak” ang reklamo, at malamang ay mahuhulog na lang ito sa acquittal, o pag-walang sala kay Aquino.

Kinakailangan mag-conduct muli ng Preliminary Investigation ang Ombudsman upang makatanggap ng mas malakas na ebidensya.

Sinadya talaga yun ni Carpio-Morales na i-akyan ang kaso kahit kulang ang ebidensya upang maka-iwas si Aquino sa pagkabilanggo.

Kasi nga may tinatawag tayo na “double jeopardy”. Kung nakaharap na ang isang tao sa paglitis sa kaso at ma-walang sala ito o ma-acquit, hindi na siya puwede pang kasohan pa ulit sa parehong kasalanan.

Mabuti na lang at napahinto ni Ombudsman Martires ang trial kaagad-agad. Ito ang paraan upang hindi mag-apply ang “double jeopardy” rule.

Tiyak na ibabasura ang kaso ng Kapa

Hindi naman sa pinangungunahan ko ang Korte Suprema, pero tiyak na ibabasura lamang nito itong kaso na inisampa ng Rhema Int’l Livelihood Foundation, Inc. laban kay Pangunlong Rodrigo Duterte kaugnay sa pagpasara sa operasyon ng Kapa Ministry International Inc.

Una, may tinatawag tayong “immunity from suit” si Pangulong Duterte habang naka-upo ito sa puwesto. Ang ibig sabihin, hindi puwedeng kasohan ang Pangulo kahit sa anumang dahilan except for impeachable offenses. Ang kasong ito ay petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus at pinangalanan si Pangulong Duterte bilang respondent.

Diyan pa lang, bagsak na ang kaso.

Pangalawa, hinihiling ng Cirfund — yan ang tawag nila sa project na kumukolekta ng “donasyon” galing sa mga miyembro — na sampahan ng “impeachment case” si Pangulong Duterte.

Halatang ignorante sa batas ang mga taong ito.

Ang impeachment ay hindi pina-file sa Korte Suprema. Doon yan ginagawa sa House of Representatives. Walang jurisdiction ang Supreme Court sa usapin tungkol sa impeachment.

Talagang matigas ang ulo ng mga opisyal ng Kapa. Pinipilit pa rin nila na legal ang ginagawa nitong pag-tanggap ng pera galing sa mga miyembro.

Dapat arestuhin na yan si Apolinario. Kung naloko niya ang 5 million members ng Kapa, huwag siya mag-akala na kaya na niya suwayin ang mga batas ng Pilipinas at his Pangulong Duterte.