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Asian Journal Feb 13 2009

Asian Journal Feb 13 2009



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Published by ASIAN JOURNAL
Asian Journal February 13, 2009 digital print edition. Visit us at www.asianjournalusa.com or email asianjournal@aol.com
Asian Journal February 13, 2009 digital print edition. Visit us at www.asianjournalusa.com or email asianjournal@aol.com

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Published by: ASIAN JOURNAL on Feb 14, 2009
Copyright:Attribution No Derivatives


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 Sharing facts &stereotypes about Pinoys
(Continued on page 16)(Continued on page 16)(Continued on page 21)(Continued on page 19)
 A tricycle driver maximizes his trip on a national road in Irosin,Sorsogon. EDD GUMBAN 
 By Aurea Calica Philstar 
The Japanese contractor who provided information toWorld Bank (WB) investiga-tors regarding alleged rig-ging of the bidding for road projects said he was told that bribes had to be paid to of-
cials as high as “the presi
-dent.”The Japanese contractor,whose name had been pub-licly announced as TomatuSuzuka, told WB investiga-tors that in one meeting withthe late Sen. Robert Barbers,it was made clear to him thatthere would be no business inthe Philippines without payingmoney.
“Money would have to be
 paid as high up as the presi-dent, senior government of-
cials and politicians in order 
to do any further business inthe country. To win a
‘Money must be paid as high up as the president’
 By Elisa Osorio Philstar 
MANILA, Philippines-- It’s a good time to travel
nowadays as air fares have been slashed by as much as50 percent while room ratesare down by 10 percent.
Philippine Travel AgentsAssociation (PTAA) vice
 president John Paul Cabalzasaid air fares have gone down by more than 50 percent to
Time to travel:Room rates, airfares down
Tribung Dumara dancers take part in the celebration of the 2nd  Ibon-Ebun festival in Candaba, Pampanga. The festival showcasesmigratory birds and the municipality’s duck egg industry. ERNIE 
 KRIPOTKIN  By Alfred A. Yuson
In Spanish, hillock. InSouth America, beyond.”
Thus came the text reply
from trilingual poet MarraPL Lanot, my colleague atthe MTRCB, a fellow author 
and literature instructor, and
Memories of La Loma
the better half of Salinawit pioneer and exponent Jose
“Pete” Lacaba, himself an
author, editor and bilingual poet.
It was in response to anSMS query as to the mean
ing of the word “loma.”Whenever we’re stumpedover a passage in “Espang
gol,” we turn to dear Marra,
who once helped translateand edit an anthology of Filipino poets for a publica-
tion with a Madrid imprint.Of course. “Hillock.”How could we have forgot
ten? The quaint district of La Loma in Quezon City
referred to an erstwhilevantage point that eventuallyoverlooked particular land-marks.
One was La Loma Cem
-etery, contiguous to but
distinct from the North,or Cementerio del Norte,
which was larger and nestled between the former and theeven smaller Chinese Cem-etery.
Another landmark, in
-disputably more familiar to
Manileño generations fromthe 1950s to the ’80s, wasthe La Loma cockpit, whereas a boy I learned the dis
tinctions between “Texas”and “talisayin,” “lo-diyes”and “doblado.”Across that cockpit
crowed another institution:
Lechon ni Mang Tomas,
soon followed by others of 
its kind. Now the cockpit isno more, and La Loma Cem
-etery is all but eaten up by
 Norte, so that no one refers
to the smaller resting turf.
hen my grandmother got
arthritis, she couldn’t
 bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when
his hands got arthritis too. That’slove.’
Rebecca - age 8
‘When someone loves you, the way theysay your name is different.You just know that your name is safe in
their mouth.’
Billy - age 4
‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and
a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go
out and smell each other.’
Karl - age 5
‘Love is when you go out to eat and give
somebody most of your French fries with-
out making them give you any of theirs.’
On this Valentine’s Day
When Children Ages 4-8 were asked What Love Is
(Continued on page 2)
February 13 - 19, 2009
Msgr. Gutierrez
Filipino Custom: No Touch
Riz A. Oades
When the food was ready, Aling Marina
spread out old newspapers
on the oor of the shanty,
took out plates, brought
the food, and called MangIsko and Nenet to eat. Nenet was already hun
-gry, but when she noticedthat there were only four  pieces of chicken to beshared by the three of them,she held back.
Quiapo Memories
Four pieces of chicken
Simeon G. Silverio, Jr.
 Publisher & Editor 
The San Diego Asian JournalSee page 5
REDWOOD CITY,CA, February 6, 2009
ABS-CBN International
announced today that
Richard Ramlall, RCN’s
senior vice president for strategic and external af-fairs, visited recently the
ABS-CBN Broadcast
ing Network and Globalofces in Manila, Philip
- pines where he met with
top company ofcials
and toured the studios.
In his meeting with
Charo Santos-Concio,
RCN executive visits
 ABS-CBN ofces in Manila
 president of ABS-CBNBroadcasting Network which
is the largest media companyin the Philippines, Ramlalldiscussed the continued
growth of ABS-CBN’s The
 ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Con-cio shows appreciation for the Obama-headlined broadsheets from RCN SVP  Richard Ramlall.
Filipino Channel (TFC) sub-
scribers on RCN. He point
-ed at the high take-up ratefor its Filipino bundle whichhas fared much better than
 Piolo on pre-marital sex, other ‘hot’ topics
Page 2February 13 - 19, 2009 Asian Journal - (619) 474-0588 Visit our website at http://www.asianjournalusa.com
Chrissy - age 6
‘Love is what makes you smilewhen you’re tired.’
Terri - age 4
‘Love is when my mommy makes
coffee for my daddy and she takes asip before giving it to him, to make
sure the taste is OK.’
Danny - age 7
‘Love is when you kiss all the
time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together 
and you talk more. My Mommy and
Daddy are like that. They look gross
when they kiss’Emily - age 8‘Love is what’s in the room with
you at Christmas if you stop open-
ing presents and listen.’
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
On this Valentine’s Day
When Children Ages 4-8 wereasked What Love Is
(Continued from page 1)
‘If you want to learn to love better,
you should start with a friend who
you hate,’ Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more
 Nikka’s on this planet)‘Love is when you tell a guy
you like his shirt, then he wears it
everyday.’ Noelle - age 7‘Love is like a little old woman
and a little old man who are stillfriends even after they know each
other so well.’
Tommy - age 6
‘During my piano recital, I was ona stage and I was scared. I looked at
all the people watching me and sawmy daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. Iwasn’t scared anymore.’Cindy - age 8‘My mommy loves me more than
You don’t see anyone else kissingme to sleep at night.’
Clare - age 6
‘Love is when Mommy givesDaddy the best piece of chicken.’Elaine-age 5‘Love is when Mommy sees
Daddy smelly and sweaty and stillsays he is handsomer than Robert
Chris - age 7
‘Love is when your puppy licks
your face even after you left him
alone all day..’Mary Ann - age 4‘I know my older sister loves me
 because she gives me all her oldclothes and has to go out and buy
new ones.’Lauren - age 4
‘When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little
stars come out of you.’ (what an
image)Karen - age 7
‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I loveyou’ unless you mean it But if you
mean it, you should say it a lot..
People forget.’Jessica - age 8And the nal one
The winner was a four year oldchild whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who hadrecently lost his wife.Upon seeing the man cry, the little
 boy went into the old gentleman’s
yard, climbed onto his lap, and justsat there.
When his Mother asked what he
had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
‘Nothing, I just helped him cry’
***When there is nothing left but
God, that is when you nd out thatGod is all you need.Heavenly Father, please bless all
my friends in whatever it is that Youknow they may be needing this day!
And may their life be full of Your 
 peace, prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer relation-
ship with You. Amen.
Source: http//www.spiritdaily.com
 By Roel Landingin, Philippine Center  for Investigative Journalism
Collusion, like beauty, may bein the eyes of the beholder – or theinvestigators – at least as far as publicworks projects in the Philippines areconcerned.
When the World Bank’s powerful
and dreaded anti-corruption unit, the
Department of Institutional Integ
rity (INT), looked closely into three
rounds of international public tendersfor two Bank-funded road projectsin the Philippines between 2002 and2006, it found convincing proof of collusion and excessive pricing amongsome of the 15 Filipino and foreign bidders.
A fortnight ago, the World Bank’s
sanctions board barred four Chinese
rms and three Filipino companies
from participating in any Bank-funded project for at least four years for their alleged role in the collusive scheme to
articially inate bid prices.
One Philippine company and itsowner were de-listed permanently,
and two other local rms, suspendedfor four years. A Korean rm, which
did not contest the allegations, was
debarred for four years in August last
In stark contrast, at least two inves
-tigations conducted by the Depart-
ment of Public Works and Highways(DPWH) found no evidence of col
-lusion and overpricing, respectively,in the 2002 and 2004 rounds of civilworks tenders for two road projects being funded by a $150-million loanfrom the World Bank.Under ordinary circumstances, thatwould just be taken as a differenceof opinions between two groups of experts. But in the Philippines, where
 public distrust of the DPWH is very
high, the sharply opposing conclu-sions are fueling public perception
that department ofcials are in league
with road-building contractors.
Already, a senator is making the
allegation that one of the debarredcontractors is a close friend of Jose
Miguel Arroyo, the president’s hus
- band.To be sure, the difference in conclu-sions could be partly because some of the evidence, particularly testimoniesof people who told the World Bank investigators about the collusivescheme, were not made available to
DPWH, World Bank probe samebid, draw opposite conclusions
the DPWH.
But the Bank investigators alsorelied on other data available as well
to DPWH ofcials.
‘Strange, unnatural’
The January 2009 decision of the
Bank’s sanctions board, a copy of which was obtained by the PCIJ,reads in part: “(The) circumstantial
evidence consists of alleged indicia of collusion, including high bid prices,symmetrical relationships among
 bids, bids containing signicant er 
rors, ‘clusters’ of bids, ‘strange andunnatural’ bid prices, submission of 
fraudulent bid securities, and inconsis-tent application of criteria within the
 prequalication process.”A PCIJ analysis of the bids showedthat in ve of seven cases, the percent
-age difference between the lowest andsecond lowest bids was always severaltimes higher than the percentage dif-ferences between all the other bids.Procurement experts say that theclustering of bids or symmetricalrelations among bids is a possibleindication, although they clarify that itis not a conclusive proof of collusive behavior.
How much elbow grease was used
in the investigations could be another factor that may explain the difference
in ndings.
Former public works secretary
Fiorello Estuar, who helped oversee
an investigation of collusion that
led to the suspension of some 80road-building contractors in 1987,
recounted that the investigators thenhad to sift through hundreds of pagesof bidding documents to look for evidence of connivance.
“We found evidence – bids fromrival rms prepared in the same hand
-writing or containing the exact same
unit prices and quantities,” recalledEstuar. “In some cases, the same
spelling mistakes could be found incompeting bids. They spelled bunker 
fuel as ‘banker fuel’.”
Suspension? Not really
It’s easier to gure out why theDPWH is not winning any points in
the public-perception department.
After all, the DPWH had the second
lowest rating among state agencies in
terms of perceived sincerity in ght
-ing corruption, according to SocialWeather Stations survey last year.
And so hardly anyone blinkedwhen DPWH Secretary HermogenesEbdane admitted last Jan. 21 beforethe House committee hearing on
the World Bank sanctions that the
DPWH’s temporary suspension of theseven construction rms in ques
tion did not really mean anything. It
was just, he said, a preemptive move
designed to protect the government’s
Responding to a question by Rep.Ronaldo Zamora, Ebdane said: “Since
the issue has affected public opinionand the dignity of the government andthe department is at stake, we, maybewe have faltered but without anymalice or intent with malice.”
“We initiated that if only to makea point,” he added. “Anyway, for the
next few days there are no scheduled biddings except the one that was held
today. It will not in any way physi
-cally affect their name.”
Ebdane has also said that he is form
-ing a special panel to investigate theallegations of bid rigging. But given
his admission at the House, there may be few surprises in that special panel’sndings.At the hearing, Ebdane also saidthe DPWH was ready to discuss thematter with the debarred rms, and
admitted the department may havecommitted a legal blunder in unilater-ally suspending them.
“We are also in coordination with
the parties involved and we will con-
sider their inputs,” he said. “In fact, if there is a need to do some exibility
 – if only it is within the law – we aremore than willing. We are taking noteof your advice since really we havegone maybe a little overboard.”
In response to the World Bank’smove, the DPWH had announced that
it would suspend the seven con-
struction rms from participating in
 biddings for government projects for 15 days, during which the departmentwould conduct its own investiga-
(Continued on page 3)
“20+ Years Experience” 
 Been living in San Diego since 1977 
 Attorney is available daily on regular business days at the San Diego Office
*Member, California State Bar Licensed to practice before the US Federal District Court
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*Legal Advisor, Los Chabacanos of Cavite CityAssociation, Inc., San Diego, California*Juris Doctor law degree, University of San Diego (1985),Diploma; Oxford Institute on International andComparative Law (USD), Oxford, England (1984);Bachelor Degree, University of Southern California (1983);Montgomery High School, San Diego (1979)
*Born in the Philippines (Cavite)
For your convenience, walk-ins accepted especially between 2:00pm – 7:00pmBusiness days Monday to Friday 
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Comments from Manila
 Read previous articles by visiting our website at www.asian- journalusa.com
Page 3 Asian Journal - (619) 474-0588 Visit our website at http://www.asianjournalusa.comFebruary 13 - 19, 2009
 Ready for the Festival of Flowers
- A orist cleans the surrounding area
of his garden at the Baguio Orchidarium in preparation for the month-long celebration of the Flower Festvial which begins in February. Andy Zapata Jr.
Conservation andheritage preservation
 ROSES & THORNS  By Alejandro R. Roces
 Deep in the heart of Texas in theUnited States is the city of San
Antonio. Interestingly, the originalname of Texas was Nueva Filipi
nas. It is a historical fact that thePhilippines was ruled from Mexico
for many centuries. During the 250
The Philippinesand the City ofSan Antonio, Texas
The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
of the Galleon Trade, there was a
tremendous exchange in culture andhumanity; one visible example was
the original name of Texas. Namedafter Saint Anthony of Padua, thecity of San Antonio was foundedin 1691. It is the second oldest cityin America after San Augustine,
Florida. The city has gone on to become one of the best examples of historical conservation and urbanrenewal and planning in the world;hence, it has become one of the top
tourist destinations in Texas. Mark 
Twain once said there are only four 
unique cities in America: Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco andSan Antonio.Each year approximately 26 mil
lion tourists visit San Antonio. The
city has become renowned for itswell-preserved historical landmarks,
such as the Alamo (a legendary siteupon which 189 men held off aninvading army of 4,000 Mexicansoldiers for 13 days), and stunning
examples of urban redevelopment,such as the River Walk. The River Walk began its renaissance in 1929as the brainchild of an architect
named Robert Hugman. Over thenext 80 years, a network of bridges,
shops, malls, restaurants and hotelshas developed on the banks of theformerly muddy and unattractive
San Antonio River. Today, it is one
of the pre-eminent examples of long-term urban and master plan-ning.
The city of San Antonio has
remade itself into a cultural center 
as well. They opened up the rstmuseum of modern art, the McNayMuseum, in Texas in 1950. In 1995,they opened up the San AntonioPublic Library’s main branch de
signed by the famous Basque-Mexi
can architect Ricardo Legorreta; it is
now a major architectural landmark.The project was originally proposed
and funded in 1989. One of the his
-toric beer breweries from the early
20th century has been acquired bythe Culinary Institute of America;
they are turning the site into their 
new agship culinary campus. This
will likely reinvigorate a failing
 part of the city. However, one of the
stipulations of the redevelopment of the brewery was they maintain the
old facade. San Antonio’s focus on
 preservation of historic buildings isevident throughout the city. For ex-
ample, Dillard’s (a popular depart
-ment store) occupies, in downtown
San Antonio, a ve-story Art Deco
 building that was originally opened
in 1889; it still maintains its originalfacade. The Alamo is in the middle
of the city, yet there is a law thatno shadow of any building may fallacross its facade; this creates anoasis of greenery and light amidstthe hustle of urban life.The Philippines is blessed with arich heritage; both man-made and
natural. In many ways, we are alsoone of the most unique nations inAsia, and the world. Our culture isa blend of European, Asian and the
West; our architecture, our cuisine,our art, even our religion exhibits
these inuences. We are reminded
daily of our need to conserve and protect our environment for futuregenerations. But, we must also focuson preserving our cultural heritageas well.
San Antonio provides a good
example of how cultural and historicresources can be preserved andutilized for the public good. The citynow contributes to a thriving tour-ism industry as one of the culturalcenters of the United States. Texasonce borrowed our name, now wemust borrow some of their ideas.
Our cultural heritage and uniqueness
is a resource, it is time we begin to properly use it.
(Continued on page 4)
tion and decide on more permanentmeasures.
An extension of the temporary
suspension could have huge potential
consequences on the constructionrms, as well as on DPWH. Six of theseven debarred rms are some of the
 biggest and most successful contrac-tors for government infrastructure projects.
Cavite Ideal International Construc
tion, CM Pancho Corp., EC Luna
Construction Corp., China Road andBridge Corp., China State Construc-
tion Corp., and China Geo-Engineer 
-ing Corp. bagged 27 percent of thetotal value of civil-works contracts of 
DPWH, WorldBank probesame bid,draw oppositeconclusions
(Continued from page 2)
ongoing or completed foreign-assisted projects between 2004 and 2006
evaluated by Construction IndustryAuthority of the Philippines and Phil
-ippine Domestic Construction Board
(CIAP-PDCB).The six rms are among the top 20
contractors for foreign-assisted proj-ects during the same period, according
to the 2007 CIAP-PDCB Construc
tors Performance Evaluation System
Two debarred rms, China Wu YiCo Ltd and Dongsung ConstructionCo. Ltd of Korea, were not covered bythe CPES report, which tackles about
a tenth of the total government infra-structure projects in the Philippines.
The World Bank probe
The World Bank’s Evaluation andSuspension Ofcer, who evaluatesevidence gathered by the INT, issued
the notice of sanctions to bidders sus-
 pected of collusion in May 2008. That
 began a process for the bidders to re-fute the allegations but not to confront
the INT’s anonymous witnesses.Except for Dongsung Construction,all the debarred construction rms
contested the allegations of collusion,and presented counter-evidence to theWorld Bank.
The notice “presents evidence that
the respondents had engaged in cor-rupt, collusive and other fraudulent practices in connection with multiplerounds of bidding for two road con-struction and rehabilitation contracts
under this World Bank-nanced
 project,” according to the sanctions
 board’s decision.Indeed, the INT investigators were
convinced that Filipino government
ofcials and politicians were involved
in the elaborate collusive scheme.The notice of sanctions, accordingto the sanctions board, indicated that
the debarred rms’ allegedly fraudu
lent actions “include participation in
a collusive scheme, also involving
 politicians and government ofcials,
whereby awards were directed to particular contractors in exchangefor bribes, kickbacks and paymentsdesignated losing bidders.”
The notice “alleges that each Re
-spondent had additionally engaged incorrupt practices either as a princi- pal in a joint enterprise the intent of which was to offer bribes to public
ofcials, or as a secondary party who‘aided and abetted’ the principals in
the payment of such bribes.”The debarred contractors, though,has this going for them: The World
Bank’s sanctions board, after hearingthe INT’s evidence, decided there was
not enough proof of fraud and corrup-
tion. And while it upheld the INT’sndings of collusion, it concluded thatthe evidence “did not establish that it
was more likely than not that the Re-spondents had engaged in fraudulent practices separate from the collusion.”
“In addition,” read the board’sdecision, “the Sanctions Board con
cluded that the INT had not presentedevidence sufcient to establish that
it was more likely than not that theseRespondents had engaged in corrupt practices.”Under World Bank rules, corrupt
 practices mean “the offering, giving,
receiving, or soliciting of any thing of 
value to inuence the action of a pub
lic ofcial in the procurement process
or in contract execution.”
TOLL FREE877-532-2677

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