Saturday, October 27, 2007

Who said the Barangay Elections are non-political?

Its a day before the barangay and SK elections and I'm so tired already.

You might be asking why I'm tired since I'm not a candidate anyway.

Eh yun na nga eh. Ako yung pinupuntahan ng mga kumakandidato para mag-barangay captain!

As early as August this year, pinipilahan na ako sa office ko sa heroes hall at sa upuan ko sa session hall para sa mga projects nila.

Tapos nung September 'financial assistance' na hinihingi sa akin.

Dalawa ang rason na binibigay nila sa akin.

Una, pambayad utang. Kesyo kinampya daw nila ako nung election at nag-number 1 daw ako sa barangay nila.

Or, second, for my political future daw when I run for Congressman.

Oh, my gosh.

To begin with, under national law, the barangay elections are supposed to be non-partisan and non-political. Hindi dapat makialam ang mga pulitiko dyan sa elections na yan. That's NATIONAL LAW ha.

But it seems that in this country, FOLLOWING THE LAW is the last thing we ever do. More often than not, we disregard the law by going around it, or, worse, pretend that it doesn't exist.

With regard to pambayad utang, di naman ako humingi ng pera sa kanila nung May ah. I campaigned in their barangays. Pambayad utang?! Can we stop with this patronage system?! Ano to, 1920's? My gulay, 21st century na, ganito pa rin tayo?

With regard naman to the argument na investment ko to when I run for Congressman (if i run for congressman), pwede ba, kakahalal ko lang bilang bokal, let me worry about my job right now first. Kakaupo ko pa lang sa silya ko pinapaupo niyo na ako sa iba. Ang layo layo pa nun no.

At sa mga sumasabi na malapit na ang 2010, eh ano? Bakit ko iisipin yon? Mali yun eh.

"The difference between a politician and a statesman is that, a politician thinks of the next election, while a statesman thinks of the next generation." --James Clarke

I don't want to think about 2010. I want to think about 2007. Then when 2008 comes, I want to think about 2008. Pag-iniisip ang susunod na election, hindi mo nagagawa ng mabuti ang trabaho mo eh.

Anyway, I'm straying from the topic.

The point is, I've been visited by so many candidates the past few days, and it really stresses me out when I tell them I can't help them financially.

Hindi nila naiintindihan. Madalas, they make me feel guilty pa. Yung iba, nagagalit pa sa akin. Nagtatampo.

Bakit ba kung sino yung sumusunod sa batas, siya pa yung masama?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Too Fast, Too Soon

Oh My Friggin' Gawd!

Executive Clemency just 6 weeks after conviction?! That's one for the books, I'm sure!

I can't friggin' believe it!

Just when everyone was starting to think that there was real justice in this country, she takes it away!

Poor Dennis Villa-Ignacio and his team of state prosecutors. Poor Sandiganbayan justices. All this work and time away from family and loved ones, for nothing. 6 1/2 years down the drain!

All this pressure coming from all sides and to withstand it in the name of justice, all gone.

What a waste of government money.


Kahit na it was the 'right' move politically, I had hoped that the Arroyo administration waited a little bit longer. Like one year man lang. To give semblance ba of justice.

But 1 1/2 months? That's one for Guiness.

Di pa tuyo yung pinta, pinalaya na. Ano ba yan?!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Movies that made me cry

You know, I'm tempted to talk about politics on this blog, but I deal with it every single second in the real world, so I'm going to write about something else. Tonight, I'm going to talk about movies that made me cry.

I bring up this topic only because I just finished watching LITTLE MANHATTAN on Star Movies.

I watched it before with Ria at the cinema and I loved it then. Its a cute love story between 11-year olds during their summer vacation in NYC. I'm just a sucker for romantic comedies. Naiyak ako sa part na sure na di sila magkakatuluyan. Naalala ko tuloy yung similar experience ko nung bata pa ako.

Moving away from love stories, this is another film na iniyakan ko. RUDY. As in hagulgul ako sa dulo. Yung hirap na dinanas niya para makamit ang iisang pangarap at makitang makamit niya yun, wow, man, surefire formula for a tearjerker. I was just so happy for sean astin's character when he was finally allowed to play football, I could not help but cry. I highly recommend this movie for those who are depressed. This will inspire you.

eto ang isa pa. UNCOMMON VALOR starring Gene Hackman. He played a father of a vietnam POW. He flew to Vietnam several years after the war to rescue his son. He really believed na buhay pa anak niya at nakakulong pa rin sa isang concentration camp. Ginawa niya ang lahat para makapunta dun. And when he got there and found out na matagal ng patay si junior, I cried buckets. I was so sad. Dahil yun nga bigo siya sa kanyang rescue. Pero more importantly, pinakita niya kung gano niya kamahal anak niya.

Strangely, iniyakan ko to. AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Its not really a movie. Its a documentary on pollution ang global warming. I mean I've watched documentaries before (Bowling for Columbine, Farenheit 9/11 and Sicko), but I didn't bawl over them. Here, naiyak ako. I couldn't believe how fast we were destroying the Earth. Sobrang bilis at sobrang alarming. We really have to wake uo and help each other save the environment.

we started with a love story, so we'll end with one. And an OPM at that. NGAYON NANDITO KA stars Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa as lovebirds who are separated by tadhana (in this film, Cindy Kurleto) only to find each other again and rekindle their romance. As cheesy as pinoy movies gets, but I cried nung nagkabalikan sila. Yes, tito boy, true love does exist!

Anyhoo, there are other films that really pulled a cord and made me cry, but these are the ones I recall at the moment. I feel that watching tearjerker movies is good for you (in moderation) because one is able to release all this pent up emotions one usually keeps inside during his day-to-day affairs. I think its healthy. Unless you regularly cry by yourself or constantly engage in a fighting match with your spouse, parent or kid.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thank you and Farewell, Miriam

I took a picture of my business law class while they were taking their finals last week. It was my last day as a teacher in Miriam college. This November I will be transferring my teaching load here in Laoag, either at Northwestern University or Divine Word College.

Although I enjoyed my stay in Miriam, the commute to and fro Ilocos was burdensome and expensive. And so I gave my slot to my brod, Marc. Batch, easy ka lang sa kanila ha. 'wag ka na mag-socratic method. It doesn't work sa undergrad.

I'd like to thank my classmate, Joey, for giving me her slot last year. And Entrep. Dept. Chair, Mona, for giving me the chance to teach. The experience was very fulfilling.

I'd also like to thank my last class, IV-Entrep-1, for trying their very best to behave and listen. I hope you girls learned a thing or two from the course, and I also hope I have helped you, in one way or the other, prepare for your future business endeavors. Good luck!

A few parting words from Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar... "If a man were to know the end of this day's business 'er it come, but suffices that the day will end and the end be known... And if we meet again, well, then we'll smile. If not, then this parting was well made."

Thank you and Farewell, Miriam College. God speed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

100 days as a Magician

My term started on 2 July 2007.
Last 8 October 2007, I celebrated my 1st 100 days in public office.

As a local legislator, I have filed ordinances concerning consumer rights (Exact Change Ordinance); peace and order (Anti-Street Gang Ordinance); animal welfare (Rabies Control Ordinance); and students rights (Anti-Student Fees Ordinance).

I have also initiated resolutions asking Congress to pass a People's Initative Act; a law providing for the elections of Sectoral Representatives; another law empowering local sanggunians to declare Local Public Holidays; and to block HB 2417, postponing the Barangay and SK elections.

I've also sponsored resolutions condemning the brutal killing of a parish priest in Pinili town; and calling for the construction of the Provincial Library.

Likewise, I've lobbied for funding for the local chapter of the Philippine National Red Cross.

But after 100 days, nobody knows about this. Nobody cares about my legislative achievements, the job I signed up for.

Instead, for the past 100 days, people have come to me to pull rabbits out of a magician's hat.

I've been asked to give them jobs.
The best I could do was make recommendation letters and pay for their application to a job-matching firm.

I've been asked to produce mountain bikes, aircons, tents, sports equipment, books, bags of cement, paint, GI sheets, grass cutters, tables and chairs, among others.
I've managed to come up with a couple of items, given the hard time I have with my BDF.

I've been approached to help them win in the barangay elections, like I'm a sorcerer or something and that I could magically make their opponents disappear.
All I could do was stare back at them and thought, if had that power I'd make THEM disappear.

Finally, I've been asked to shit money. People have come knocking on my office asking for money to go home, to pay medical bills, to buy medicine, for their church, to pay the tuition, to pay for lodging, like I have a pocket as deep as the marianas trench.
How many times do I have to tell this people that I'm not a magician?! That I'm no different from them, that I also work to make a living. It's just that I chose to serve the public by being their legislator. My salary is for me. I want to save money for my future family. For my future children's college fund. For my future wife's dream vacation. For my future house.

But people don't care. In their minds, they make no distinction. As long as we voted you, we can squeeze you dry for money, money, money. Nevermind that nowhere in the Local Government Code does it say you have to give us financial aid, and that your primary duty is to legislate. We don't care about that. What's important to us is that you will give us the money we ask! You will pull out rabbits out of your hat! Because we didn't elect a board member. We elected Kris Ablan, the Magician.

Friday, October 05, 2007

two new things I learned about US law/policy

1. "at will" employment

I first heard about this concept in an episode of Boston Legal. I actually didn't understand what they were talking about until I read about it in "Scamproof Your Life" (Kirchheimer, 2006, Sterling Publishing Co.).

It turns out, this is a policy of 49 (out of 50) states in America which says that an employer can fire an employee for whatever reason. Hence the term, "at will." Ayaw mo lang sa kanya, pwede. You hate his guts, pwede rin. Hindi na kelangan ng 30-day notice and for just cause--the practice here in the Philippines.

The only limitation is hindi pwede kung ang rason ay age, sex, or race.

Ganun din pag gusto mo mag-quit. You don't have to notify your employer 30 days before. You can just quit and leave the very same day.

Kaya palaaah. Naalala ko na ngayon pag nanunuod ako ng American films, sasabihin ng boss, "you're fired!" Tapos on the same day, pa-pack na ng employee yung mga gamit niya and then leave the office. Ganun pala ang law sa Amerika. Dito kasi, The day you fire someone is not the day he leaves. May period pa.

2. "sanctuary" policy

I didn't know this until I came across it in Dick Morris' book, "Outrage." In the States pala, when a police officer apprehends a traffic violator and finds out he's an illegal immigrant, he is under no compulsion to report the matter to the Immigration Authorities. Hence the term, "sanctuary." In a nutshell, the reasoning is hindi daw nila poblema yun. More importantly, they don't want to report illegals kasi etong mga illegals ay mga "sources" at "witnesses" ng mga pulis. Ayaw nilang ma-jeopardize yung relationship na yun.

Ito naman complaint ng INS (immigration and naturalization service) dahil pwede sana maging two-prong ang approach ng pulis, they are there as police officers and immigration agents.

Kaya naman pala walang takot kumuha ng drivers license ang mga TNT at walang takot din mahuli dahil wala naman pake ang mga pulis sa legality ng stay nila. "sanctuary" ang pulis.

How odd.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Boston Legal

Despite being a lawyer I am not a fan of law-related television series. I didn't watch LA Law, or Law & Order, or Ally Mcbeal, or even JAG. In fact, I watched series at the otherside of the spectrum. I watch CSI, which is about forensics. I also watch Grey's Anatomy, which is about medicine, well, if they don't talk about who slept with who. And I watch Entourage, which is about life in Hollywood. Nothing to do with law practice.

That's why my friend, Barnett, was surprised when he found out I wasn't watching Boston Legal. He said it was funny and I would like it.

So one day I bought a copy of Boston Legal Season 1, and watched it. You know, I liked it. It reminded me of my one year in Britanico, Sarmiento and Franco Law Offices. Happy times. Dreadful times. Ganun nga ang treatment sa mga associates (aso na, syet pa). Tapos ang lalaki rin ng ulo ng mga partners. Pareho ang environment. Ang wala lang siguro, yung sex themes. Wala yun sa firm namin. Good boys and girls kami.

I am especially fond with the character of William Shatner--Denny Crane! Nakakatawa talaga pag sinasabi niya "Denny Crane!" Feel na feel ang pagiging named partner! William Shatner at his best! Hilarious!

I'm now on my 2nd Season, and I can't help but give some comments on the show.

1. Alam ko mabagal ang judicial system dito sa 'pinas, pero sobrang bilis naman ng wheels of justice sa Boston. super effective naman ng speedy trial act nila sa Masachusetts at everyday ang hearing. At ang galing ng mga abogado ng Crane Pool and Schmidt ha, prepared sila mag-trial on the very same day they get a case.

Sa law firm namin, buwan ang binibilang sa susunod na hearing. Ganun din nung nasa OSG ako. buwan.

2. Di ko alam kung bano ako mag oral argument, pero sobrang galing naman ng character ni James Spader na si Alan Shore. Ang husay nila magsalita. I get swayed with his reasoning. Sometimes napapaisip ako, kaya ko bang gawin yung sinasabi nila? Simpleng objection nga lang sa leading question ko, nagkakalat na ako eh.

3. Jury system kasi sa Amerika kaya siguro may effect ang oral argument. Sa pilipinas kasi 90% of the case is written. Bihira na manalo ka sa case dahil you convinced the judge to your side during oral arguments. More often than not, the swaying is through pleadings.

Kaya yun nga advice ko sa mga gusto maging abogado. Hindi lahat oral argument sa korte. Kadalasan cases are won with good pleadings. Kaya dapat ang law student mahilig at magaling sa pagsulat.

Having said that, di ko alam pa'no ko nalusutan ang bar kasi yun nga, I write bad.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Boston Legal. Tigas ni Alan Shore! Sana pagmag-argue ako sa Court ganun ako ka confident sa sinasabi ko at ganun din ako ka-eloquent.

Boston Legal inspires me to almost go back to litigation.

Well, almost...

"Kris Ablan... Kris Ablan... "