Friday, April 30, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


This coming May 10th presidential elections in the Philippines is just too important to have a “wait and see” attitude and let it go without naming the best and most appropriate candidate to occupy the most powerful office of the land.

So on April 29th, Thursday afternoon, at a popular Filipino restaurant in Woodside, New York, a group of New Yorker Filipinos gathered and unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, only son of the martyred senator Ninoy Aquino and former president Cory Aquino.

The special group is composed of Filipino professionals coming from various backgrounds, namely:

This columnist who once served as a member of New York City Mayor’s Ethnic Advisory Council acting as the Mayor’s Liaison to the Filipino community from 1981 to 1989. He worked with former New York City Councilman Sheldon Leffler in 1983 to name a public park in Queens after Ninoy, called BENIGNO AQUINO TRIANGLE, the assassinated father of Noynoy for sake of freedom and democracy in the Philippines.

Prof. Ruben Policarpio Mendez, son of former Philippine Foreign Secretary Mauro Mendez and distinguished educator, author, and Rizalist, Dr. Paz Policarpio Mendez. Prof. Mendez wrote 2 textbooks on International Public Finance currently being used by college students at New York University. He also teaches at Yale University.

Jose Mari Mercader, former Philippine Tourism Attache in New York and former fiery anti-Marcos television commentator in the Philippines.

Atty. Roberto Hernandez, Immigration Lawyer in New York who once participated in the world-famous EDSA “People Power” Revolution and a relative in-law of former Senator Jovito Salonga, honorary chairman of the Liberal Party where Noynoy belongs.

Atty. Gabriel De la Merced, Immigration Lawyer in New York and son of the former Mayor of Norzagaray, Bulacan.

Luis Pedron, Jr., noted Filipino American filmmaker and director and newspaper publisher

Arturo Zamora, foremost Filipino visual artist in the Philippines and currently in New York. Former San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown, once proclaimed an “Arturo Zamora Day” in honor of his artistic distinctions.

Last but not the least, Emmanuel Agbanlog, publisher of this paper and GLOBAL PINOY, a monthly magazine for Filipinos worldwide.

You may log on to to view and listen to this Filipino New Yorkers’ hearty endorsement of Noynoy Aquino as next president of the Philippines and Mar Roxas, as his vice-president.

Now to those who can vote, go the Philippine Center in Manhattan and cast your sacred vote. Remember that your one vote can make a big difference on what will happen to our mother country for the next six years.

Friday, April 23, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Whatever bloody and sinister hand caused the acquittal without a trial of two suspected murderers of more than 50 innocent Filipino civilians in the province of Maguindanao some five months ago could also cause a failure of the May 10 presidential elections in order to hold on to power. The Filipino people whose forefathers like Rizal and Bonifacio gave up their lives for freedom and honor should not allow such an evil hand to rule their lives by cutting it into pieces.

The Philippine’s chief law enforcement officer, none other than the Secretary of Justice, issued the release order for the two murder suspects belonging the Ampatuan Clan with close ties to Malacanang. He was shown on television shedding tears when victims of the massacre protested his decision and finally lodged a disbarment complaint against him. His tears may indicate a manifestation of fear if he changed his decision or a feeling of being torn by two opposing forces - public opinion and common sense against his benefactor, Malacanang perceived to being blackmailed by the wealthy and trigger-happy Ampatuans.

If public opinion fueled by the media is pointing its finger to the justice secretary’s boss, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, as the person with the evil hand, then such charge is just too serious to ignore and that calls for a very serious investigation. The outgoing president should initiate it promptly in order to clear her good name if it is so. If not, there may be more serious things to come.

When President Arroyo placed Maguindanao under Martial Law after the mass murder, I approved of it because it would hasten the arrest and detention of the ruthless butchers of innocent men and women, most of them were journalists. Most people are now thinking that she may have nudged her justice secretary to fail to prosecute two prime suspects of the murder as payback for some political debts incurred in the 2004 presidential elections. If that is true, then she would finally find herself truly in hot boiling water.

I may now think that my approval for the martial law imposition in Maguindanao was based on a wrong expectation. It now seems to indicate that such imposition would be a shrewd ploy to charge the Ampatuans of rebellion without murder and consider the massacre victims as mere casualties of war.

As a once in a lifetime opening lines of a television drama says, “Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men. The Shadow knows.“ Let me now add the following: of women, too.

Friday, April 16, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


We normally experience joy whenever we get what we desire such as a good paying job, a college graduation, first prize in a contest, a marriage proposal from a loved one, or a feeling of being forgiven from some sins we committed.

How about “joy unspeakable and full of glory”? Have you ever experienced it?

The Bible said such joy is loving Somebody that you have not seen but you believe in Him. Therefore, without faith, you cannot have this special kind of joy for the object of this joy is Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.

Again I speak as a Christian and I do not intend to impose my beliefs to my readers. I just want to share them with you. Take it or leave it.

You found yourself lost in a maze and doomed to fall in a bottomless pit. You call for help. Then here is this unseen Friend who came to your rescue and led you to your destination safe and sound. This Friend loves you truly and He expects you to love Him too. And then you begin to love this Friend and so the beginning of joy starts. Yet you cannot express it because it is glorified or celestial. This Friend is Jesus.

Being redeemed from the debt of sin caused by man’s disobedience to God Almighty and set free from the grasp of eternal death is indeed “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

The Gift of Salvation is offered to whosoever will believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior at no price or suffering required. He already paid it all at the Cross of Calvary.

I just cannot express the joy I feel every time I sing or listen to the church hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” This kind of joy is unspeakable and full of glory.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Who wants to be rich? Almost everybody, I presume.

With richness comes a luxurious life, beautiful mansions, expensive jewelry made of gold and diamonds, closets full of any trendy clothes or shoes you want to wear, no problem with financial debts or obligations, a complete staff of household help ready to work at your service, and other manifestations of comfort you would think of.

But if you’re running for a public office in the Philippines, you would not want to be identified with the wealthy class. Naturally, the poor Filipino masses deliver the largest chunk of votes that will elect the new set of leaders. So the candidates try to identify themselves with the poor such as being published having dinner with a poor family using their hands as they appeared to enjoy eating a plate of rice and some pieces of fried salted fish.

The naked truth is all the official candidates for president and other top government posts in the Philippines are rich. With less money, you cannot win even a local election for a town chairman.

If Mayor Bloomberg of New York City who is a billionaire had to spend his multi-millions of his own money to win his mayoral election three times, then any other candidate for public office particularly in a third world country like the Philippines cannot win an election with less money.

In politics anywhere in the world, everything boils down to money as the most potent weapon to win an election. In short, what I am trying to say is most voters go to the highest bidder. Most voters sell their votes, as said in another way.

Selling one’s vote comes in various forms of return of investment. It can be a nice government job, a promotion, a college education for the children, a house and lot, a sack of rice, or just plain cold cash.

I am now retired from New York politics because I don’t have enough money. When I ever stumble on a gold mine in the sky, so to speak, I shall return.

As a footnote, before amassing enormous wealth, I will still consider the biblical saying before making any move that says: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”

Thursday, April 01, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Being the son of a hero and martyr is a big deal in every respect. Being the son of a disgraced man and a thief is just unfortunate and equally a disgrace.

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the Liberal Party presidential candidate for the coming May elections in the Philippines, is the son of the martyred Filipino senator Ninoy Aquino who died in quest of freedom and democracy in the late 80s and the most admired former President Cory Aquino. These credentials definitely deserve greater weight among other factors in considering who would be the best candidate to take over the reins of the Philippine government for the next six years.

Former American president George W. Bush, Jr. is the son of former president George H.W. Bush. He defeated his political opponents twice largely owing to his father’s good record as president credited to have led the liberation of Kuwait from the invading forces forces of Saddam Hussein.

On the other hand, Kim Chong-il, the abusive ruler of Communist North Korea is the son of Kim II-Sung who imposed absolute power over the North Koreans. Both father and son came from the same mold of ruthless dictators. Iraq is just fortunate that the insane sons of Saddam Hussein were taken out to join their father to hell.

There is indeed a close connection between father and son or between mother and son. As the psychologist would say it, it’s in the genes. Or as we Tagalogs would say it, “Kung ano ang puno, iyan ang bunga.” Translated into English, it means whatever is the fruit, it’s from the tree.

So what’s wrong to use the Aquino honorable and heroic legacy in the presidential campaign for Noynoy, Aquino’s only son, in this year’s election.

The whole world regards Ninoy Aquino as a hero for democracy and Cory Aquino as the mother for the restoration of Philippine democracy.

Even former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch believed in Ninoy’s heroism when he signed the Benigno Aquino Triangle naming a park in Queens after the fallen hero. As the Mayor’s adviser on Filipino affairs, I, together with the late Ambassador to the United Nations Salvador P. Lopez, however, had to convince the Committee on Parks and Recreation to recommend the signing of the legislation initiated by former Queens Councilman Sheldon Leffler.

When Marcos fell and Ninoy’s widow, Cory, took power, Mayor Koch was just too willing and proud at the suggestion to open New York City to Cory after her magnanimous speech before the joint session of the U.S. Congress during the late 80s. A festive celebration followed afterwards along the officially closed 46th Street in Manhattan. Thereafter, the yearly Philippine Independence Day Parade event along Madison Avenue became a tradition among Filipinos in the tri-state area.

What is scary to watch is the possibility of a dictator’s son to rise to power or a corrupt official’s son to wield power. Remember the Ampatuan tribe in Maguindanao and what crimes they have been charged.

Being the son of good parents is something to be proud of in this coming presidential elections in the Philippines. Noynoy Aquino should take note of this and ignore the desperate critics.