My Report Card

Speech before the Question Mark Club, Hagonoy, Bulacan

This is my first time to come to Hagonoy to deliver a speech after last year’s elections. I am greatly honored.

Hagonoy has become the home of titans. One of them is my esteemed mentor at the Senate, the Honorable BIas Ople. He has taught me a lot. I have yet a lot to learn from his vast wealth of experience and intelligence. I hope to ripen into a statesman of his stature someday.

Hagonoy is blessed because of Ka BIas. In fact, the entire nation is.  Continue reading “My Report Card”

This Empire of Darkness

Commencement Exercises of Sultan Kudarat Polytechnic State College

Nothing in this world gives parents the highest sense of achievement than to witness the graduation of their children. When children graduate from school, we know that parents have arrived.

Show me your parents and I will tell you who you are. Congratulations to all the parents of our graduating students.

The next class of people I want to congratulate are the teachers. They are our extended parents.  Continue reading “This Empire of Darkness”

Take a Break!

Speech delivered at the 2002 PMAAA Homecoming (Overseas Chapter), LA, California

On my way to the United States, while on the plane, I was reading the speech prepared by my staff for this occasion. The tone was too political I had second thoughts of using it. Not that this audience would not welcome to hear about the political developments in our country as an interesting subject matter, but I feel we are here on a fellowship gathering so I have chosen to tone it down a bit.

Quite frankly, I am having butterflies in my stomach even as I face you tonight. Having subscribed with our group websites namely plebe and cavaliers as well as the academy cavaliers’ forum, I can more or less draw my own conclusion on what kind of audience I would have here.

Basing such conclusion on the postings I read, let me venture a guess – one third would be cynical at the outset or even before I open my mouth, another third would be non-believers and the remaining third would be unmindful of the things I will say. Never mind. At the end of the day, it is the cavalier spirit that I hope I can bank on to finish my day unscathed or maybe I’m hoping too much.  Continue reading “Take a Break!”

The Business of Government

Speech Before the Philippine Insurers Club

I want to thank all of you – most specially President Jaime Eduardo Villanueva – for your very kind invitation. He asked me to share with you those issues affecting national interest; and therefore, should be brought to the public for consideration. One such public is the insurance industry where you all work.

The most affective issue – then and now – is government and those who govern. Anything that comes from Malacañang is news. So does anything that emanates from Congress. So does the constitutionality of the plunder law from the Supreme Court. So does a sensational murder like that of the late actress Nida Blanca. All of these haunt media people who are in the business of hunting for the news that sells.

Let me first do a short treatise on governing. Thereafter, I shall link it to what government is supposed to deliver – that of the condition of peace and order. Also, as to the organization that delivers such condition – specifically law enforcement.  Continue reading “The Business of Government”

Prevention and Elimination of Crime: A Key to Moral and Economic Recovery

Speech Before Government Association of Certified Public Accountants

First of all, I would like to thank all of you – most specially National President TITO NABUA – for your very kind invitation. I welcome your hand in my new work as Senator. And you can count on my help, too.

This is my first time to address your Association. I am profoundly grateful. And if you plan to invite me again next year, I am now accepting in advance your invitation.

The first thing I want to tell you is what I told my staff as early as June. I told them never to make and take money from anyone and under whatever guise. Public money is for the public, all of it. It must not go to the pocket of any public servant.  Continue reading “Prevention and Elimination of Crime: A Key to Moral and Economic Recovery”

The Dialectic of Terrorism

Speech Before the Philippine Constitution Association

I want to thank all of you – most specially PHILCONSA Chairman Conrado F. Estrella and President Camilo L. Sabio – for your very kind invitation. It is not everyday that one is honored with this opportunity. In fact, not all senators of this republic have been honored with this invitation. The honor is mine today. And I mean to keep it.

The Constitution is what unites us as a Nation, as a People. Those who revere it, are blessed both in their person and in their profession. Those who severe it, are forever harassed both in life and in death.

It was the Nation that I had in mind when a year ago people went to the streets and made their protest against a popularly elected president. It was the Nation that I had in mind when Congress started an impeachment proceeding against him. I was, then, Chief of the Philippine National Police.  Continue reading “The Dialectic of Terrorism”

Tyranny of Corruption in a Soft State

Speech Before the Rotary Club of Chinatown Manila, Century Park Sheraton

I want to thank all of you for your very kind invitation. I am here to listen more and talk less. What you ask is more action and less speeches, better executives and wiser lawgivers.

There are two kinds of crisis in government – then and now. One is the quiet crisis among civil servants whose diminished quality of life persistently produces low morale. The other is the noisy crisis that arises from a lack of responsiveness in the bureaucracy to the citizenry. If we are to address both, is there a need to reinvent and reengineer government?

When we talk of reinvention or reengineering, we want to see a government that works better and costs less. The goal is admirable and beyond argument. There are, however, many questions about the means to achieve it.  Continue reading “Tyranny of Corruption in a Soft State”

A Wake-Up Call

Speech Before the Lions Club of Manila

There is one invitation that can not be subject to refusal. It is a rare invitation, so rare that people in public life dream to receive but do not always get. When such invitation comes, the feeling is one of relief and gratitude. I am referring to the invitation of Senator Ernesto Maceda. Thank you very much, Senator Ernie!

I did not know that Senator Ernie was a Lion. What I knew was the fact that anyone appearing before the Maceda Committee or Committees in the Senate was advised to enter the lion’s den with courage and care. That must have been an intimidating advice.

But those who appeared before Senator Maceda would invariably say that they left the hearings a wiser man than when they entered. I hope to leave your meeting a very wise man, indeed.  Continue reading “A Wake-Up Call”

Gloria’s Underground Department

Mr. President,

There is a new dangerous office in government today. It is the first of its kind in our history. It is the Department of the Underground. And I rise to forewarn the Senate of the Republic and the Filipino people.

Mr. President, the Arroyo Administration has been in power for only a little more than eight months. It is powerful all right. It is powerfully corrupt.  Continue reading “Gloria’s Underground Department”

In Defense of Dignity

Mr. President.

I rise today on the matter of personal privilege. Even now I want to thank you and my fellow Senators for this opportunity. It is to defend my honor and dignity in the eyes of my peers – and, hopefully in your hearts.

There is no Senator today more bothered broken, and burdened than this very humble representation. I have been demonized without notice. I have been sent to hell without trial.  Continue reading “In Defense of Dignity”