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Toughest jobs in the countryAntonio M. Reyes

I used to think elementary public school teachers had the toughest job in the world. That was until I joined the United Church of Christ chapter in Maasin City.

For although primary school teachers handle six classes of 60 different students a day; or a total of 360 students and perform ten non-academic chores as well - they have supervisors to help them and can get a few uninterrupted hours of sleep at night.

While pastors are on-call 24 hours a day, attending to their church member’s problems, which often require home visits and a lot of patience. And of course they also have to prepare and deliver their weekly sermons, which itself, is an awesome undertaking.

The main problem of most pastors in the country is that they lack the authority to perform their job effectively.

This is so because they have a church council whose job was (originally) to make sure the pastors were following the tenants of the church. But over time, many have assumed the role of Chief Executive Officers, who pastors have to answer to for even the most routine administrative matters.

Although it’s not entirely the council’s fault since most are merely following the management practice of their predecessors. I have long felt it should delegate the church’s day-today management to its pastors so it could focus more on its original role as guardians of the Church’s mission goals.

I believe our pastors and school teachers are the true heroes of our country. For they help instil in our people the time-tested Christian values of honesty, hard work, and love
of country.

Unfortunately, most of our politicians disagree for they are still the most underpaid, overworked and unappreciated work horses of our society.

Think about this when you bring your child to school and go to church on Sundays.

Antonio M. Reyes is the publisher and editor of the Southern Leyte Times the largest circulating newspaper & website in Southern Leyte.

Pagara Brothers are truly the Fists of the Future

by Maloney L. Samaco

CEBU CITY - Waterfront Hotel and Casino Grand Ballroom was full house last Saturday for the 26th edition of Pinoy Pride dubbed Fists of the Future. Kudos to ALA Boxing Promotions and ABS-CBN for putting up another noteworthy boxing extravaganza.

The Albert Pagara - Hugo Partida IBF intercontinental super bantamweight championship fight was the most heated bout. The two aggressive boxers almost came to a fistfight when Partida head butted and attempted to punch Prince Albert.

As promised, the younger Pagara taught the Mexican nicknamed Olimpico a neat boxing lesson.

Albert's bombs immediately landed on the face of the gritty foreigner, sending him to the canvas twice prompting referee Bruce McTavish to declare Albert the new IBF intercontinental champion right in the very first round.

Albert was overflowing with joy as he received his first championship belt. The boxer from Maasin City is undefeated in all his professional and amateur fights. It was a dream comes true for the promising young ALA Gym standout.

In the main event, the Jason Pagara- Mario Meraz WBO international light welterweight title fight wowed the crowd as they saw a truly exciting action -filled bout.

Meraz's camp complained when referee Danrex Tapdasan stopped the fight with a second remaining in the 4th round after the Mexican got up following his second knockdown. But the referee insisted that Meraz was on wobbly legs and was hurt.

The two Mexicans had impressive pro records prior to the fight card.

They were no patsies. Both are dreaded knockout artists.

Partida has 21 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws with 16 KOs. He is also the reigning WBC FECARBOX super bantamweight titlist. He lost twice by KO before Pinoy Pride. But he had a 57% KO victory.

Meraz has 20 wins, 3 losses with 16 KO wins. In all his losses he was knocked out. But his KO win rate was 67%. ALA Patriatch Antonio L. Aldeguer and ALA CEO Michael Aldeguer thanked me for my presence and I congratulated them for the successful staging of another Pinoy Pride.

They have a plan of sending the fighting siblings for training in the U.S. Jason will have a bright future ahead of him. Albert could be the next Manny Pacquiao. Still in their 20's, the Pagara Brothers are truly the "Fists of the Future."

On Apologies and Resignations
by Atty. Jess G. Dureza

Being ready to admit mistakes or say ”I'm sorry" are traits that show humility and good character. It also re-affirms human vulnerability and remorse. In some instances, it can be a badge of good faith. Or a false facade of uncontrite double speaks.

For instance, a priest in Cebu had to humbly apologize for giving a tongue lashing to an unwed teen-aged mother during the baptismal of her baby that went viral in the internet.

Even the Redemptorist Order where he belonged also profusely apologized separately.

I remember how former US President Clinton expressed his own apologies for the Monica Lewinsky under-the-table-oral-sex scandal that violated the hallowed chambers of the White House. Heads of states usually apologize for war crimes committed as acts of national atonement. I just read about a contrite erring official in Japan who publicly wept and resigned for abusing taxpayers' money.

Ateneo Apology

The Jesuits of Ateneo de Manila had to issue a clarification and a public apology recently for having invited former First Lady Imelda Marcos one of the early big benefactors of an Ateneo scholarship program. The Jesuits were evidently trying to "save face" by expressing belated guilty feelings of impropriety only after their photos went viral. The Jesuit apology somehow eased the critics and some self-proclaimed “do gooders." But by so doing, the Ateneo hosts unduly dishonored their own "honored guest".

That reminds me of another Jesuit. When he was asked to make a judgmental statement on gay marriages he merely said: "Who are we to judge?" He happened to be His Holiness Pope Francis.

PGMA'S "I Am Sorry"

I have an unforgettable story about another public apology. I was working then in Malacañang when former President Arroyo was facing a crisis situation due to the "hello Garci" tapes. She was agonizing on how to show she was sincerely contrite about
the phone call that admittedly was a mistake and "inappropriate."

In one cabinet meeting I attended, President Arroyo left the room to allow her cabinet members to discuss freely the implications of saying sorry. The cabinet was split. There were those who felt the nation deserved a contrite admission of improper conduct from the president who was caught in a bugged telephone conversation with Comelec Commissioner Garcillano asking about her one million vote lead in the polls.

I remember PGMA’s favorite ladies in the cabinet, Secretaries Dinky Soliman and Ging Deles argued that nothing less than a contrite admission from the president herself would suffice to show remorse and "heal the nation." However, there were others who strongly felt there was nothing illegal in the phone call although conceding that it was indeed a serious lapse of good judgment.

There were airing of opposing views but there was no clear consensus. One early morning I woke up surprised on seeing the nationwide telecast of President Arroyo with downcast eyes and contrite demeanor telling the whole nation in evidently rehearsed way: I Am Sorry.

Some colleagues in the cabinet believed that Secretaries Dinky and Ging seemed to have greatly influenced the president's decision.

Ironically, when the going went rough for the presidency as an aftermath of that presidential apology and other issues hounding the Arroyo administration, the two ladies, joined by Secretary Butch Abad and 7 others famously called the HYATT 10) were the first ones to abandon the president. They resigned irrevocably as an expression of indignation and collective sense of propriety, although with obvious expectations that the staged cabinet hemorrhage would lead to the collapse of the Arroyo government.

Of course, to their “boss” the President who entrusted to them their high positions of honor and confidence and who took their advice to heart, it was simply an act of betrayal. The rest, as I always say, is history.

On Resignations

Fast forward to the present. The recognized "brains" behind the DAP, Secretary Butch Abad had tendered his resignation which the President quickly rejected. I can understand why. A cabinet resignation at a time of crisis, however well-intentioned and honorable, can greatly undermine a government.

On the other hand, quiet and welltimed resignations protect the presidency. I know whereof I speak as I had intentionally timed and calibrated my own several resignations from Malacañang too.

It's our women who have the balls
By Juan L. Mercado

Two” cascaded in. This reported razing of trees, in Cebu City and Bohol protected timberland, by construction firms which, when exposed, washed their hands.

The issue is nationwide. In Los Banos, scientists flayed razing of kapok and other trees due to a road
widening that traverses Mount Makiling. Pangasinan officials balked at cutting of 1,829 trees, along MacArthur highway. Cutting of 30- year-old narra, mahogany, ilang-ilang at Mindanao State University at Naawan lit a controversy that sizzles to this day.

Unlike previous hand wringing, the Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources this time sued. It lodged charges of fracturing PD No. 953, which penalizes unauthorized damaging of trees. Sued were WT Construction officers, in Cebu, along with Dagohoy Mayor Sofronio Apat and Shine Ford Construction in Bohol.

Religious and civic leaders urged President Benigno Aquino to step in with a comprehensive probe. Petitioners included Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines; Fr. Joel Tabora, Ateneo de Davao University president to Antonio Claparols, president of the Ecological Society of the Philippines;

“There is Round Two for environmental destruction,” Mang Teban emailed. “Nature hits back. Expect natural calamities to strike soon at those places where trees have been sawed off due to graft in agencies. There’ve been people who resisted but often at danger to their

Remember environmentalist lawyer Gerry Ortega? He was slain by assassins advocating a stop to illegal logging in Palawan. . The mastermind (s) still hasn’t been tracked down.

Prompt justice is essential for society to survive including environmental crises.

This saga of unending corruption seemed tedious, until I discovered, in the Australian press, that there's heaps of corruption there too, emailed Walter Paul Komarnicki.

In New South Wales premier,Barry O’Farrell had to resign when he couldn't remember getting a $3,000 bottle of wine. He was followed by the police minister and three others. There is no end in sight. Who knows how many other will be forced out of office by the biggest case of conflict-of- interest corruption in all of Australian history?

There is a vast difference between Australia and the Philippines in pervasiveness of corruption, and the cultural attitudes to it, Edgar Lores emailed. .The NSW premier immediately stepped down when he was accused of not being able to recall being gifted with a $3,000 bottle of wine.

What about our senators? They are accused, not of being gifted with bottles of wine, mind you, but stealing hundreds of millions. The equivalent is 1,591.666 bottles of wine for Senator Jinggoy Estrada, 2,766.666 bottles for Juan Ponce Enrile, and 3,441.666 bottles for “Bong” Revilla.

Have they stepped down? No. Have they even offered to step aside while being investigated? No.

Kapayapaan agreed that “fear is being instilled in crooks today by women — Ombudsman Morales, COA’s Pulido-Tan, Justice Secretary De Lima, to Bureau of Internal Revenue’s Kim Henares—and before them, by Presidential Commission on Good Government’s Haydee Yorac and Corazon Aquino. Tienen cojones is the irreverent josh. “They have balls."

What a better way of saying our elected leaders have no more balls at all to condemn those who are unashamedly stealing the public funds! They have become eunuchs of morality in the public service. What are left are their "boladas" and "borlas" so demeaning to be called "honorable".

Ah the power of women, Tadsalo emailed. . We have been waiting for them for so long to finally slay the corrupt men in our midst. By the way, it is also women who are made to commit the sins of men by using them as tools. It is also the same women who bring the downfall of these crooks.

“If you can’t lick em join em” is the principle observed by our solons since time immemorial, wrote Buninay. Senator Sonny Trillanes is vociferous against corruption but softhearted when his colleagues in the senate are the ones involved. He proposed hospital arrest for Enrile.

The old boys club mentality is deeply rooted everywhere...and’ over shadows all codes to curb sleaze. We ought to be thankful to the ladies – Carpio Morales, De Lima, Kim Henares et al -- who waged waragainst corrupt practices.

Tadsalo chimes in: “Yeah, finally. Makes me wonder if Gloria really is a guy in drag”. "He’s a 90-year-old man; in an ordinary jail, Enrile’s medical needs may not be met", Jane Tan quotes Trillanes. Why does Trillanes not fret over innocent people who haven't done anything (and are likely to be victims of pork thieves) whose medical needs are not being met.

If Trillianes is so worried about Enrile's health then why not offer to swap places with him while awaiting for the trial?, Joe Blogs counter-proposed. And when Enrile is found guilty,. if Trillianes is still worried then maybe he could persuade Enrile’s son Jack to serve the sentence. “Sins of the fathers are visited on their sons “Bible. If I remember right.”

We accord moral failures mercy before justice is done, Anong said. No wonder the multiplier effect on the would-be plunderers is enormous that, we, as a nation, cannot extricate ourselves from the abyss of poverty and corruption. Trillianes -- so young...so clueless!

That is the reason why I strong believe that the system of government and justice has to be changed, Frank de Leon adds. The current system and political and social culture help in perpetuating corruption. Something drastic has to be done. Risks have to be taken.

Juan L. Mercado is the Founder of the Press Foundation of Asia and is best known as one of the Visayas Region's most prolific and multi-awarded writers.







Who killed our abaca industry

The Governor at crossroads

What's in the name?

Older editorials . . .


Resigned not fired!

Solon obtains 14 Million from CHED

A billion trees to be planted in Region 8

Mercado wants free dialysis for poor

City tackles motor cab drivers complaints

Provincial government joins DepEd’s Child Feeding Program

Teenage pregnancy alarms city hall

Norwegian & friend thank Good Samaritan


Doctor robbed in Tagnipa

Stolen laptop returned

Angry son kicks mother

Another Robbery victim bites the dust

Jilted lover hangs himself

Lolo loses laptop to burglar


Toughest jobs in the country

On Apologies and Resignations


Dangerous drainage ditch

Macrohon’s nameless reef

Dr. Jose Lito Trumata

Toxic Raincoats

Wanted: medico-legal officer


Poor Trisikad drivers









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