The Buried Lead on GRP - Ramon Ortoll Profile picture
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21 Aug
This best sums up Ninoy Aquino. He was not the hero he was cast out to be after his assassination. A lot of us boomers were fooled then because we didn't have access to information like we do now. Some say he experienced a transformation while
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incarcerated. This was the justification for his martyrdom. But if you have the ability of introspection, you will be able to place yourself in Ninoy's mindset and think about what you would do if you were in his shoes? What was his obsession with the Presidency? Why couldn't he
wait? It was a fact that he met Imelda before Marcos did and was smitten by her. But Imelda didn't have the money of Cory. The Cojuangco's needed a politically-savvy husband for Cory who could do what her brothers couldn't for the family. Not too many people know Ninoy was close
Read 9 tweets
21 Aug
Here goes the Chief Political Analyst again. There is nothing against the COA as an independent institution and its mandate to keep government adherence to sound accounting policies. But when it is used as a tool for politicking, that line is crossed.
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Anyone who has worked in both the public and private sector understand that audits constitute part of the check-and-balance system. This is true for publicly-listed corporations where the public invest. This more important in government which is fully-funded by the public.
However, there has to be a certain element of pragmatism in the output of the COA, the government bureaucracy in general and the departments and agencies it audits, in particular. We are well-aware of how government bureaucracy is behind in digitization. The truth is there is no
Read 9 tweets
20 Aug
I have nothing against women. Hell I love women. Period. I worship at the altar of the woman that is her body and soul. That's how much I love women. The adage that you can't beat them, can't live without them is true; depending on how much bullshit you're
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willing to accept. The idea that Leni Robredo and Leila De Lima are at par with the likes of Angela Merkel is a reach. An overreach in fact. A friend and I have been discussing what truly ails the Filipino. We've come to an agreement that it's basically a socio-cultural
dysfunction. Some psychological too. The definition of success is moving over to the other side of the social divide under the general classification of the haves and the have-nots. Women have been stereotyped as the weaker sex. I truly believe this is not true. How many men have
Read 14 tweets
19 Aug
Chanco changes his tune on pandemic response. This is what happens when journalist-activists don't bother to read the science first and instead, react adversely to government policy just to get the public to turn against government. The 14 day ECQ for NCR
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is nowhere near the first lockdown. We can't afford to shutdown the economy anymore. The Delta variant has changed global outlook on Covid. Vaccines prevent death but don't guarantee against infection. Everyone should get vaccinated. In the meantime, the government and the public
sector should cooperate in digitization in order to facilitate the transition to the new normal. I haven't heard any of the prospective Presidential candidates make public their stand about moving forward with bureaucratic reform. This is of paramount importance at both the
Read 8 tweets
18 Aug
"They say the presidency is destiny. Perhaps the tribulation that the Vice President had to endure is how the universe is strengthening her for the most difficult job of her life." With this premise Masigan deems it fit to claim that Robredo is ripe for
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the Presidency in 2022. I never liked Leni Robredo since her rise to prominence in 2012 after the death of Jesse. I never liked Jesse either. I was a frequent visitor to the Bicol region in the 90s because I had business there. We put up the first marine products processing plant
at the Camaligan Fishing Port Complex. This was a small fishing port by the bank of the Naga River. There wasn't much fish being landed. Leave it to the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority to construct fishing ports in some areas where it isn't even viable. It's a
Read 21 tweets
18 Aug
How is the Taliban going to govern? This is the $64 question. The US has cut-off its access to funds deposited with the Federal Reserve in New York. Its main export is drugs. But underneath the Afghan soil are rare-earth minerals essential to the manufacture of tech hardware.
More than likely the Chinese would find ways to work with them to mine these minerals. It's still too early to predict which direction the new government will take. Terrorism has been stymied by Covid as well but nothing is impossible with determination. All the world can do is
watch at this point. Hamid Karzai is still in the country acting as both adviser and peace broker. This is a good sign. The Taliban will have to temper their religious zealotry if they want to be given legtimacy. But as the piece said, the other groups which are its allies won't
Read 4 tweets
16 Aug
Javad conveniently omits that Biden could've waisted until the peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government produced concrete results in Doha. What Biden did was unilaterally pullout US troops without an exit strategy. Biden can blame Trump
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he wants but Trump didn't order a pullout. It was Biden who did which is why it's on him. Afghanistan is a warning to all "American allies." The US has no interest except its own. This was the case in Vietnam. In the Philippines, the ugly truth was after World War II, the US
didn't give a rat's ass about its only colony. It's focus was on Japan. The Philippines was given "independence" but in name only because the Constitution was amended so Americans would still have parity rights. There was no Marshall Plan for the rebuilding of the country. Even
Read 13 tweets
16 Aug
Looking for someone to blame again? When will these morons realize that Covid is outsmarting science with its mutations? It's like the other moron the Chief Political Analyst who said that the government should accelerate vaccine purchases. The monies are there but the supply
isn't. As for the LGUs, why can Marikina make vaccination registration be so easy? I registered two days ago and yesterday I already got a call and an sms for a schedule today. They gave a list of requirements for each classification. Bring your own ballpen. I will know today if
the schedule is followed. They even ask the question what brand do you prefer and if that is not available would you want to wait or be vaccinated with what is available? The President has come out defending Heath Secretary Francisco Duque. I've had the opportunity to speak to
Read 12 tweets
16 Aug
LGUs will have a huge windfall in additional allocations from their Internal Revenue Allotments as a result of the Mandanas ruling but the problem has always been their absorptive capacity given their lack of qualified technical personnel to undertake
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projects which involve capital outlays, particularly infrastructure development. The answer is BRAVE. The Budget Reform for Village Empowerment Act is legislation sponsored by Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the Senate which seeks to allot automatic funding from the national budget
directly to LGUs from the provincial down to the barangay level. The unique provision of the proposed legislation is it will not be under the control of the Executive and neither will the Congressmen in each of the districts at the LGU level will have any say in the allotment and
Read 17 tweets
15 Aug
Harry Roque's former law partner posts a want ad for the opposition. A coalition he says. Today is August 16. Barely a month a half left before the filing of certificates of candidacy for May 2022 election. Butuyan describes the Duterte administration as a
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political black hole which thrives on intimidation and fear. He would like his readers to believe we are in a tyrannical authoritarian dictatorship. What is ironic is he doesn't seem to see the writing on the proverbial political party wall. There is an opposition coalition but
it's not focused on Leni Robredo. For all intents and purposes, Isko Moreno is the opposition's standard-bearer. This had been tipped off to GRP but we couldn't come out with it because we don't burn our sources and he would've been easily identified as the source. It remains to
Read 14 tweets
14 Aug
The opposition continues to use Marcos as a bogeyman for the state of the Philippine economy. They refuse to acknowledge the validity of Marcos' economic strategy from the beginning of his first term which was to focus on rebuilding infrastructure
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destroyed during World War II. After the declaration of martial law, Marcos was bent on following the South Korean model of industrialization. The Japanese were willing to invest in the Philippines through its sogo shoshas, the trading houses which served as conduits for Japan's
purchases of raw materials for its manufacturing industry. But in between, Marcos had to contend with the US dumping the gold standard and the oil price shocks resulting from conflicts in the Middle East. There was the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 or the Yom Kippur attack which was
Read 20 tweets
23 Jul
Where is the substance in this piece by Mang Tonyo? Numbers he cited comes from Ibon's Sonny Africa. That's biased to begin with. Tonyo also displays a lack of grasp of economics and public finance. The basic is, any revenue shortfall of the government is
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financed by borrowings; external and Internal. The ideal is to have a balanced budget. Government is not a business that's run for profit. It's easy for Tonyo to say the monies are there without taking into account the budget deficit, debt service and funding extraordinary
contingencies arising from fortuitous events such as the projected Delta surge. He deigns to compare the Philippines with the US which is a rich country and has the dollar as fiat currency. Has he looked at the current US budget deficit? The inflationary pressure tax-and-spend is
Read 7 tweets
23 Jul
The Delta variant just dashed the hope that a global economic recovery would begin two years into the pandemic. While most of the opinions expressed have been about pandemic response, both good and bad, the no one has dared to point out the elephant in the
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room that is the only clear path to putting an end to the pandemic; increased vaccine supplies. Viruses mutate continuously while circulating. That is a fact. Yet rich countries continue to prioritize their own population for vaccination. This year we have seen how Covid has
ravaged South America, Brazil and Peru, in particular in that region. India has suffered worst than Brazil with record cases and deaths. The same is being replicated now in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Indonesia, which is passing India's numbers. Australia, Malaysia,
Read 17 tweets
22 Jul
The gadfly strikes again. The inference to the Lacson-Sotto tandem is there for everyone to read. The practice has been institutionalized for the longest time. It may have been prevalent in past Presidential contests where there was a high element of
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political instability but this time around, with an opposition in its death throes, what would the public's alternative be if there was no Lacson-Sotto to put up a challenge against the administration? It's no secret that politics is a lucrative "profession" in the country. This
is specially true at the local level among Governors, Mayors and Congressmen. Political contributions are invested in legitimate businesses which provides employment and tax revenues for the government. Ask any elected official and this is their usual defense against allegations
Read 15 tweets
22 Jul
The SONA blues. The President will deliver his last SONA on July 26. Various news outlets have began taking the public sentiment on what they want to hear from the President when he delivers his valedictory address before Congress. Duterte would've
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"graduated" with honors if not for the pandemic rudely interrupting his term. Pandemic response gets a passing grade because of how relatively bumbling the IATF-EID has performed. Still no unified contact-tracing system and adherence to the 3Ts - test, trace and treat. With the
confirmed community transmission of the Delta variant, we again face economic uncertainty because most of the Asia-Pacific region is suffering from a Delta-induced surge. It remains to be seen how we will weather this latest outbreak. Delta is more contagious than the original
Read 15 tweets
21 Jul
The members of the opposition should read this. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan casts serious doubts on US defense commitments to treaty partners such as the Philippines. The author proposes that ASEAN member countries add collective defense as one of
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group's goals given the heightened tensions between China and the US. This doesn't have positive prospects in the near-term given the ASEAN member countries vested interests, particularly those with competing claims in the disputed body of water. This is made more difficult by
the pandemic which has seen a cutback in training exercises given the prevalence of the Delta variant in the region. It is also hard to commit 2% of GDP as defense spending given the less progressive members having to borrow funds to finance pandemic response, primarily vaccine
Read 4 tweets
21 Jul
The traditional economic boost an election cycle brings to the economy may or may not materialize this cycle due to the exigencies of the pandemic. Mass gatherings are banned so there will be no usual campaign sorties and rallies in the provinces. This
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begs the question how will the campaign be conducted? It will be done online through social media platforms, traditional broadcast outlets such as TV, radio and CATV in the regions where connectivity doesn't exist or is spotty at best. There will be more ads on these platforms
which will fuel temporary employment for those who are adept in digital sales and marketing. It will be an effort on the part of the candidates and the voters to meet halfway and exchange information. There will be an increasing reliance on internal surveys to determine if the
Read 10 tweets
21 Jul
Surveys as a deyerminant of voter base isn't accurate. Why? What if the candidate doesn't really have a voter base? As stated in a previous piece, Isko's voter base is Manila. Give him NCR as the benefit of the doubt. Though it is one of the most populous
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regions in the country, it doesn't mean each and every voter will go for Isko. The same is true with Manny Pacquiao and Grace Poe. The same is true with Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. But in the end, it's the electricity in the air which an individual with excellent political gut feel
will sense that a candidate will win. This is true with Duterte in 2016. What then is Contreras touting as the middle ground with Pacquiao, Isko and Poe? I've always opined that an Isko-Poe tandem is viable. But as a winner, that's another thing altogether. Their combined glass
Read 12 tweets
21 Jul
And I thought she was the only one in the opposition who got the point about a centrist tandem being viable. Apparently she doesn't get it either. The centrist label is now Lacson-Sotto's. They claimed it. Isko could've done the same but he's dilly-dallying just like Leni. ImageImage
Robredo likes to project she isn't selfish during her one-on-one with Christian Esguerra last night but she is. If she really wanted to put an end to what she described as "we cannot go through another six years of this kind of governance," then she should step aside and allow
others who are in a better position to challenge the administration. Maybe this is why Santiago is now despondent in describing their echo chamber as a gas chamber. The opposition, as it is, is dead. No one wants to come near them. 1Sambayan is desperate enough now to consider
Read 5 tweets
20 Jul
MLQ3 makes much of the old political party conventions to select national candidates. Truth is these were just for show as it was essentially imposed upon by the Americans during the Commonwealth period. But that was also a period of monolithic rule as the
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party in power was controlled by his adoptive grandfather El Mestizo, Manuel Quezon. It was MacArthur who ordered Manuel Roxas to put up the Liberal Party. Collaboration with the Japanese was the major issue then and post-independence politics dictated that the veritable pound of
flesh be extracted. Not that Roxas was clean himself. It was just that he was fortunate enough to obtain MacArthur's anointment. Roxas went on to defeat Sergio Osmeña in the 1946 election. The Americans then had their puppet government in place. The 1935 Constitution was even
Read 15 tweets
20 Jul
I keep wondering why everything that is wrong with this country is blamed on Marcos and Duterte and not the political bloc which was in power for thirty years. Marcos was in power for twenty-one. Duterte six. That's a total of twenty-seven. You don't need
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to have a PhD in any discipline to analyze what went wrong with the Philippine economy. You just need to read history and analyze the political structure. The Spanish and American periods saw the Philippines producing coconut oil, abaca and sugar. These were the main exports.
Manila then was the Pearl of the Orient. A trading outpost similar to Hong Kong with a large expatriate community of Europeans and Americans. It was a plantation-style economy which was nothing but a modern version of fief and serf in medieval Europe. The monarchy was the
Read 16 tweets