Archive for October, 2013

Bel canto live from Ayala Museum

By Pablo A. Tariman, VERA Files Like it or not, bel canto (the art of beautiful singing) is the most-quoted word in the opera circle. Teachers brandish it as though it were a vocal talisman and some students think it is the key to instant vocal stardom. If you are active in the conservatory circuit, […]

October 30, 2013  Tags: , , , , , ,   Posted in: Arts and Culture, Vera Files  No Comments

Embarrassing findings on concrete blocks in Bajo de Masinloc

Retired Philippine Navy Commodore Rex Robles had very serious doubts about the concrete blocks in Bajo de Masinloc as foundations for structures similar to what the Chinese did in Mischief Reef when he first saw the photos presented by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin during a budget congressional hearing last Sept. 3. “Those blocks did not […]

October 29, 2013   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Malaya  One Comment

AFP probers say US, not China, put concrete blocks in Bajo de Masinloc

By Ellen Tordesillas,VERA Files The concrete blocks in Bajo de Masinloc, which Philippine defense and military officials last month accused China of putting there, may have actually been placed by the United States Navy decades ago, military sources said. A military investigation found that the concrete slabs were covered by algae, an indication that they […]

October 25, 2013  Tags: ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Vera Files  4 Comments

Empowering barangays

I have seen some campaigners for candidates running for positions in the barangay elections on Monday but in Metro Manila, the Oct. 28 elections does not have the hoopla of the congressional, senatorial and presidential elections. But it’s a different matter in the provinces, especially in the barrios, where the environment is much more intimate […]

October 23, 2013  Tags:   Posted in: Malaya  4 Comments

Using calamity an excuse for another calamity

One week after the 7.2 magnitude tremblor that shook Bohol, Cebu and other parts of Central Visayas, many are still unaccounted for. Heart rending is the report about the missing five children playing by the waterfall, which has also been obliterated by landslides that followed the quake. There may still be areas, isolated by the […]

October 20, 2013  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Disasters, Malaya  32 Comments

Aquino still in deep slumber despite wake up call

Mahar Mangahas commented on this column in my FB wall: “Ellen, the SWS report about the 2013Q2 rating of the ADMINISTRATION was NOT a recycled piece; it was simply the final release from the 2013Q2 SWS survey. It is different from the SWS report on the 2013Q2 rating of the PERSONAL PERFORMANCE OF PNoy, which […]

October 18, 2013  Tags: ,   Posted in: Malaya, surveys  15 Comments

What to do during an earthquake

Let’s pray for those who were affected by the earthquake that shook the Visayas and Mindanao yesterday. Renato Solidum, the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said more aftershocks could happen in the coming weeks. I’m reprinting here guidelines from the “Disaster Preparedness and First Aid” handbook prepared by the Senate Committee […]

October 15, 2013  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Disasters, Malaya  12 Comments

Azerbaijan oil fuels Nobel Peace prize; Filipino part of winning group

A Filipino is a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which won the highly prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for this year. His name is Franz Ontal, head of the inspector training of the United Nations-backed chemical weapons international watchdog, which oversaw the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. Ontal is from Negros […]

October 13, 2013  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Science  8 Comments

Human rights violations by CHR officials

This is deplorable. Officials of an agency tasked to protect the Filipino citizens’ human rights are being accused of human rights violations. VERA Files’ Jonathan De Santos reported last week that two former employees of the Commission on Human Rights filed a complaint with the Ombudsman against Commissioners Cecilia Rachel “Coco” Quisumbing and Norberto Dela […]

October 9, 2013  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Human Rights, Malaya  27 Comments

Estrada’s ‘dud’explodes

Aquino haters can try impeaching him for going with his Budget Secretary’s concoction of the Disbursement Acceleration Program but as Sen. Miriam Santiago correctly predicts, it will not prosper. Not because it was legal as Abad and his spokesmen aver but simply because he controls both chambers of Congress. And for the very reason that […]

October 3, 2013   Posted in: Graft and corruption  41 Comments