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Opinion

For an independent & progressive Senate

On May 13, 2019 Filipino voters would troupe to election precincts and cast their votes for 12 new Senators of the Republic. Given what the Duterte administration has done in the last three years, what it is currently doing and what it intends to do for the remaining time it is in power, the results of the Senatorial elections will be very crucial. To put it lightly but bluntly, we cannot screw up.

A quick rundown of what the key issues are: our national sovereignty up for sale with our lands, waters and other resources being offered to China; changing our Constitution to favor dictatorial and tyrannical designs and to entrench the self-serving ruling class; the imposition of more laws that will burden the poor majority; the complete restoration of the Marcoses in power; the continuing attack on journalists, activists, human rights advocates and indigenous peoples; the truth that drug lords remain free to operate while thousands of poor have died without due process.

These will get worse if candidates who are not only imcompetent and undeserving of a Senate seat and worse, who by words, deeds and legislative record would just kowtow to Duterte’s desires and designs will be elected.

It is paramount then, nay, it is our duty and obligation to use our ballots to elect a Senate that is independent and restore some sense of dignity, duty and concern for the common good in our democratic systems.

To achieve this, I urge our fellow voters to consider and support the following candidates:

Neri Colmenares

Leody De Guzman

Ernesto Arellano

Sonny Matula

Allan Montano

Chel Diokno

Erin Tanada

Samira Gutoc

Pilo Hilbay

Nancy Binay

Bam Aquino

Serge Osmena

The list is made up of men and women of principles. They have exhibited intelligence and openness to working with others across ideologies and have shown independence of mind.

Neri Colmenares is one of the most popular candidates from the opposition. A veteran of the parliament of the streets, he made his name for being a human rights lawyer himself being a victim of rights abuses during the martial law years of the Marcos dictatorship. His track record in the House of Representatives is proof that he is a champion of the poor and marginalized – increased pension for SSS, opposing unreasonable rates increase by Meralco, Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act and many more. Despite being red-tagged by the government and targeted by misinformation campaigns, Colmenares remains untainted by corruption.

From the Labor Win coalition comes Leody De Guzman who heads the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Ernesto Arellano, founder of Kilusang Mayo Uno, Sonny Matula, president of Federation of Free Workers and Labor lawyer Allan Montano. Electing them to the Senate will ensure that laws will be crafted to serve the common good and the common man. Living wages, ending ‘endo’ and strengthening unions will be much easier to achieve if these leaders would get a Senate seat. They are free of corruption and are not beholden to any oligarchs or private interests.

Samira Gutoc has really captured my interest with her fiery passion about the issues besetting Mindanao and our Muslim brothers. Chel Diokno will ensure the respect for due process and the rule of law will be on the Senate’s agenda. Erin Tanada and Pilo Hilbay will help secure and defend our sovereignty. Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay and Serge Osmena will be great assets to ensure an independent Senate.

I enjoin everyone to look into their backgrounds and track records. Their positions on the key issues enumerated earlier are worth the consideration, so much so that it would merit your vote.

Karl Marx once wrote that “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” Come May 13, we get the chance to select leaders that will truly represent us and help us struggle against our own repression.

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Quotes

Karl Marx @ 201

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”

KARL mARX, Eleven Theses on Feuerbach
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Daily dose

I love you. 3000!

Avengers: Endgame is the best movie from MCU that I have seen. How they all returned from the ‘snap’ and defeated Thanos was just awesome. Hat’s off to Robert Downey, Jr he deserved the spotlight. Looking forward to Phase 4.

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Videos

TED Talk – How to take a picture of a black hole | Katie Bouman

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Videos

Star Wars Episode IX – Trailer The Rise of Skywalker

Stronger Rey. Kylo’s rise to evil or the return of the Emperor?
Categories
Quotes

Tulfo is racist & colonial

By defaming Filipino workers before the world, Tulfo and company are demonstrating how much they loathe the very class that produces the goods and services they themselves enjoy, and dismissing any possibility that the country of their birth, through its own people’s efforts, can ever better itself.

– Luis Teodoro, Racist – and colonial
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Daily dose

[FACT CHECK] Apolinario Mabini was not a student of Juan Ponce Enrile

Yes, it’s a meme. It’s satire. It’s funny AF. And here it is below in all its glory:

Screen grab from The Third Pinoy Season Facebook page

Humor aside, I’m a bit concerned that there would be someone who would actually think this is true. Unbelievable as it may sound but we’ve reached this point in our civilization that there are people who think everything on the internet is true.

So let’s break this meme down.

Quick facts about the two persons involved:

Juan Ponce Enrile – Born 14 February 1924 (age 95 years)

Apolinario Mabini – Born: 23 July 1864, Tanauan, Batangas
Died: 13 May 1903, Manila

Was Apolinario Mabini a lawyer? Yes. He earned his Law degree at University of Sto Tomas in 1894*.

Did Juan Ponce Enrile taught law? Yes. He was taught Law at the Far Eastern University Institute of Law in the 1960s before he became involved with former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Was Apolinario Mabini a former student of Juan Ponce Enrile? No. Apolinario Mabini was already a lawyer in 1894, thirty years before Juan Ponce Enrile was born.

Hope this sets the record straight. Still, hats off to JPE, he’s almost a century old and I think he’ll see two more Presidents until he kicks the bucket.


  1. *
    Zaide, Gregorio F. (1984), Philippine History and Government, National Bookstore Printing Press
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, March 14). Juan Ponce Enrile. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:58, March 24, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Juan_Ponce_Enrile&oldid=887724006
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Daily dose

Facebook passwords stored in plaintext – change it now

Have you changed your Facebook & Instagram password lately? If not it’s time to do so now. News has gone viral that Facebook has stored millions of passwords in plain text format making it readily accessible to its thousands of employees for a long time now.

Krebs on Security got hold of a Facebook employee and here are the basics:

  • Facebook employees built applications that logged unencrypted password data for Facebook users and stored it in plain text on internal company servers.
  • So far, it’s estimated that 200 and 600 million Facebook users had their account passwords stored in plaint text and searchable by Facebook employees.

It’s very basic that for services like Facebook, user account passwords are stored in a secure way – passwords are scrambled using cryptography aka hashing then stored in its servers. Once hashed, the passwords are virtually impossible to crack even with a powerful computer.

What Facebook discovered is that passwords were stored without being scrambled or hashed. This is like typing your Facebook account password in a text file using Notepad. Naming the file ‘FACEBOOK PASSWORD’ then saving it on a share folder. If you want to go offline, it’s like writing down your Facebook password on a sticky note then putting it on the fridge door.

Fortunately, for now, Facebook has found no indication that the passwords were abused by its employees nor has it been accessed outside its network. Either way, the best thing to do now is change your Facebook and Instagram passwords. And for goodness’ sake don’t save it on your computer or device. Use a password manager app if you’re having trouble remembering your password for each social media account.

Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Featured image by Mark Burnett

Categories
Videos

Surviving in a falling elevator – Debunked

A week ago, 12 people were injured when an office elevator in PBCom tower, Makati City malfunctioned and descended rapidly. Tips on how to survive in a falling elevator came to mind as I work on the 38th floor of one the tallest office buildings in Makati, but would those really work? This video by Debunked has the answers:

Categories
Daily dose

Problems with GCash? You’ll need a lot of patience

Since November last year, I’ve been using GCash whenever possible – paying bills, online and even daily purchases. It’s been a great experience as the service has been reliable and convenient. Until last Friday, March 1.

I needed to pay for my PLDT bill and the idea of cashing in at 7-Eleven came to mind. At first I tried to use the Gcash app to generate a code but it failed and so I decided to use the CLiQQ stand instead. Walked up to the kiosk, generated a receipt, queued up at the counter, handed over the cash and walked out the 7-eleven store after taking the receipt.

An hour has passed and already done with buying the things I needed to cook dinner, I checked my Gcash balance and my cash in has not yet been credited to my wallet. No confirmation SMS that the transaction was successful.

Calmly, I searched for Gcash’s Customer Support hotline when I got home. Made 4 calls to 2882 yet all I got was a pre-recorded message saying that there is no one available to assist and that a call back was scheduled instead.

That’s when I started to get really worried. It seems that Globe’s customer service has not improved that much. Not enough representatives to answer customer calls and responses took longer than what is reasonable. Even the GCash Care on Messenger took hours to get any real reply. Emails to support@gcash.com was even worse with nothing more than canned responses acknowledging my first email.

Then the callback from 2882 finally came – Saturday evening, a full 24 hours after I first reported my concern. They advised of the following:

gcash_chat
GCash Care took more than 24 hours to take action on my concern.

The transaction failed on 7-Eleven’s side – there seems to be an issue with their ‘connection’ to GCash that cashing in is still unavailable.

Bring the receipt with me and ask for a refund. However, this needed to be worked on by 7-Eleven customer service which took another day.

Finally, after 3 days, I was able to get the refund from 7-Eleven. So much for trying the ‘convenience’ of reloading GCash via 7-Eleven stores.

Lessons learned:

  • Always keep the receipt – it’s proof of your transaction
  • GCash transactions generate SMS confirmation/alerts within minutes. If no SMS comes in, then it’s most likely that something went wrong with your transaction.
  • Have patience. Tons of it. Dealing with GCash customer support will definitely take a lot of time and if you have an urgent need for the money or the transaction, it will really cause a lot of stress.

It will also help move things along if you contact the customer support of the other organization involved in the GCash transaction, in my case 7-eleven. This experience has left me with the feeling that GCash has real limits contrary to what their marketing team says: things could easily go wrong any time. Despite the modern tools and services we have today, integration and synergy between separate digital services is still a work in progress.

How’s your GCash experience so far? If you’d had similar or worse issue, feel free to share in the comments below.

Disclaimer

The author is not connected in any way to Globe, Inc, Mynt or GCash.