Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

President Benigno Aquino III on Friday officially announced the appointment of Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas as the next Department of Interior and Local Government chief, replacing the late Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash.

Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya, meanwhile, will take over Roxas’ post.

Aquino made the announcement in a Palace briefing at the President’s Hall past 1 in the afternoon. Both Roxas and Abaya were present when Aquino announced their new designations.

“Kailangan natin ng isang tao na may katulad sa atin na layunin. Kailangan ng isang kabalikat na magsusulong ng lahat ng prinsipyong ipinaglalaban natin. Sa kanya ako nagtiwala ano man ang mangyayari. Alam kong itutuloy mo, Mar, ang mga ipinaglalaban natin,” Aquino said on Roxas’ appointment.

Aquino said Roxas was on top of a “very short list” of names considered to replace Robredo, and that he is “very, very capable” of handling his new duties.

“Sa pagsabak ni Mar sa DILG, kailangang mahusay din ang pupuno sa iiwan niyang puwesto sa DOTC. At tiwala naman tayo sa kakayahan ni Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya,” Aquino said on Abaya’s appointment.

“Alam nating kung mapupunta sa maling kamay ang liderato ng ahensyang ito, madaling pagsamantalahan ang mga proyektong napakalaki, at napakateknikal kaya madali ring itago sa publiko. Kumpiyansa tayong maipagpapatuloy ni Jun ang mga proyekto sa DOTC,” Aquino also said.

The President appealed to the Commission on Appointments to quickly act on the appointments of Roxas and Abaya.

“Nakikiusap po tayo sa Commission on Appointments sa Kongreso na ikumpirma sa lalong madaling panahon sina Mar at Jun,” Aquino said.

“Hindi po sila makakaupo hangga’t hindi sila nako-confirm ng Commission on Appointments. Kailangan na po natin sila upang agad na ring maka-arangkada ang mga proyekto’t inisyatiba ng kani-kanilang kagawaran, at ng buong bayan,” Aquino added.

Roxas and Abaya are ranking officials of the ruling Liberal Party: Roxas is party president while Abaya is the secretary-general. Aquino is party chairman.

Accepting his new designation, Roxas vowed to continue the policies started by Robredo.

“Napakalaki, napakalawak, napakaselan at napakabigat ng responsibilidad ng pagiging DILG secretary. More than this, I have big shoes or tsinelas to fill. Hindi po ako si Jessie Robredo. Marami pa po akong kakulangan,” Roxas said.

“Pabubungahin ko ang kanyang [Robredo] mga itinanim lalo na ang pagbibigay ng dignidad sa mamamayan. Transparency, accountability and people empowerment at ang pagsali ng karaniwang tao sa pagdedesisyon…. Ito ang hallmarks ng liderato ni Sec Jesse at lahat ng ito ay ipagpapatuloy natin,” he added.
Meanwhile, Abaya said taking over Roxas’ post as DOTC secretary will be no easy feat.

“Succeeding Sec. Mar… are tough shoes to fill, too,” Abaya said.

However, he vowed to do his best in his new position and to continue with the projects started by Roxas in the DOTC.

He also mentioned improving airport infrastructures as one of his plans, and promised to continue the investigation regarding Robredo’s death.

Budget Secretary Butch Abad was the only other LP member in Aquino’s Cabinet aside from Roxas before the day’s announcement was made.

The among names floated for Robredo’s replacement included Mar, Abaya, Senator Panfilo Lacson, former Isabela Governor Grace Padaca and Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Roxas: From banker to senator then Secretary

Born Manuel Araneta Roxas II on May 13, 1957, Roxas graduated from the Wharton School of Economics of the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.
He then worked as an investment banker in New York until 1986 and eventually became assistant vice president of the New York-based firm Allen & Company.
He also helped organize a series of investment roundtable discussions with the American business community for then President Corazon Aquino, mother of President Benigno Aquino III.
Roxas also served as congressman representing the first district of Capiz from 1993 to 2000.  He also served as majority leader at the House of Representatives.
He also headed the Department of Trade and Industry from 2000 to 2003, during the administration of former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In 2004, he was elected as a senator with nearly 20 million votes, supposedly the highest for any senator in Philippine history.
In 2007, he was appointed by officials of the Liberal Party national executive council as party president.
Roxas was supposed to run for president in the 2010 national elections but he eventually decided to run as Aquino’s vice president.  However, he lost to now Vice President Jejomar Binay, against whom he has a pending electoral protest.
After the one-year constitutional ban on the appointment of defeated candidates lapsed, Aquino appointed Roxas as secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications on June 7, 2011, replacing Jose de Jesus.

In October 2011, the Commission on Appointments confirmed Roxas’ appointment.

Roxas, 55, is married to ABS-CBN News anchor Korina Sanchez.

For a complete list of his projects and achievements, you may click here.

Abaya: Emilio Aguinaldo’s great grandson

Abaya, 46, is the second son of three-term first district Cavite Rep. Plaridel Abaya and the great grandson of former President Emilio Aguinaldo.
He studied electrical engineering at the University of the Philippines from 1983 to 1984.  While he was studying there, he took the entrance exams for the Philippine Military Academy.
He topped the exams and was sent to study at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, USA where he earned a mathematics degree in 1988.  He graduated with honors and was ranked second among all the graduates.
He went on to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1990 from Cornell University in New York and a law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2005.
Abaya is on his second term as representative of the first district of Cavite.

He is currently the chairperson of the House committee on appropriations and secretary general of the Liberal Party.

Read Full Post »

Blue Moon (August 31, 2012)

A blue moon will grace the night sky tonight (Aug. 31), giving skywatchers their last chance to observe this celestial phenomenon for nearly three years.

The moon will wax to its full phase at 9:58 p.m.  today, bringing August’s full moon count to two (the first one occurred Aug. 1). Two full moons won’t rise in a single month again until July 2015.

But don’t expect tonight’s full moon to actually appear blue, unless you’re peering through a thick haze of volcanic ash or forest fire smoke. “Blue moon” is not a reference to the satellite’s observed color.

The term has long been used to describe rare or absurd happenings. And farmers once employed it to denote the third full moon in a season — spring, summer, autumn or winter — that has four full moons instead of the usual three. [Photos: The Blue Moon and Full Moons of 2012]

‘The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.’

- Armstrong family statement

This somewhat obscure and complicated definition, in fact, is found in the 1937 edition of the “Maine Farmers’ Almanac.” But in 1946, a writer for “Sky and Telescope” magazine misinterpreted it, declaring a blue moon to be the second full moon in a month with two of them.

Widespread adoption of the new (and incorrect) definition apparently began in 1980, after the popular radio program “StarDate” used it during a show.

Blue moons  occur because lunar months are not synched up perfectly with our calendar months. It takes the moon 29.5 days to orbit Earth, during which time we see the satellite go through all of its phases. But every calendar month (except February) has 30 or 31 days, so two full moons occasionally get squeezed into a single month.

Though the phrase “once in a blue moon” suggests the phenomenon is exceedingly rare, that’s not quite the case. On average, blue moons come around once every 2.7 years, making them more common than the Summer Olympics, or a presidential election in the United States.

Some years even boast two blue moons. This last happened in 1999, and it will occur again in 2018.

Tonight’s blue moon also happens to fall on the day of late astronaut Neil Armstrong’s memorial service. Armstrong, who on July 20, 1969 became the first person to set foot on the moon, died Aug. 25 following complications from heart surgery.

So stargazers may want to keep Armstrong’s “one small step” in mind as they gaze up tonight.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request,” Armstrong’s family wrote in a statement shortly after his death. “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

A blue moon can refer to either the third full moon in a season with four full moons, or the second full moon in a month.[1] Most years have twelve full moons that occur approximately monthly. In addition to those twelve full lunar cycles, each solar calendar year contains roughly eleven days more than the lunar year of 12 lunations. The extra days accumulate, so every two or three years (7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle), there is an extra full moon. Lunisolar calendars have rules about when to insert such an intercalary or embolismic (“leap”) month, and what name it is given; e.g. in the Hebrew calendar the month Adar is duplicated. The term “blue moon” comes from folklore. Different traditions and conventions place the extra “blue” full moon at different times in the year. In the Hindu calendar, this extra month is called ‘Adhik(extra) masa (month)’. It is also known as purushottam maas, so as to give it a devotional name.

  • In calculating the dates for Lent and Easter, the Clergy identify the Lent Moon. It is thought that historically when the moon’s timing was too early, they named an earlier moon as a “betrayer moon” (belewe moon), thus the Lent moon came at its expected time.[2]
  • Folklore gave each moon a name according to its time of year. A moon that came too early had no folk name, and was called a blue moon, retaining the correct seasonal timings for future moons.
  • The Farmers’ Almanac defined blue moon as an extra full moon that occurred in a season; one season was normally three full moons. If a season had four full moons, then the third full moon was named a blue moon.

A “blue moon” is also used colloquially to mean “a rare event”, reflected in the phrase “once in a blue moon”

Early English and Christian

The earliest recorded English usage of the term “blue moon” was in a 1524 pamphlet violently attacking the English clergy,[4] entitled “Rede Me and Be Not Wrothe” (“Read me and be not angry”; or possibly “Counsel Me and Be Not Angry”[5]): “If they say the moon is belewe / We must believe that it is true” [If they say the moon is blue, we must believe that it is true].

Another interpretation uses another Middle English meaning of belewe, which (besides “blue”) can mean “betray”.[2] By the 18th century, before the Gregorian calendar reform, the medieval computus was out of sync with the actual seasons and the moon, and occasionally spring would have begun and a full moon passed a month before the computus put the first spring moon.[6][7] Thus, the clergy needed to tell the people whether the full moon was the Easter moon or a false one, which they may have called a “betrayer moon” (belewe moon) after which people would have had to continue fasting for another month in accordance with the season of Lent.[8]

Modern interpretation of the term relates to absurdities and impossibilities; the phrase “once in a blue moon” refers to an event that will take place only at incredibly rare occasions.[9]

Visibly blue moon

The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon (not necessarily a full moon) appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, which is a rare event. The effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere, as has happened after forest fires in Sweden and Canada in 1950 and 1951,[10] and after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which caused the moon to appear blue for nearly two years. Other less potent volcanos have also turned the moon blue. People saw blue moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico, and there are reports of blue moons caused by Mount St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.[11]

On September 23, 1950, several muskeg fires that had been smoldering for several years in Alberta, Canada suddenly blew up into major — and very smoky — fires. Winds carried the smoke eastward and southward with unusual speed, and the conditions of the fire produced large quantities of oily droplets of just the right size (about 1 micrometre in diameter) to scatter red and yellow light. Wherever the smoke cleared enough so that the sun was visible, it was lavender or blue. Ontario, Canada and much of the east coast of the United States were affected by the following day, and two days later, observers in Britain reported an indigo sun in smoke-dimmed skies, followed by an equally blue moon that evening.[11]

The key to a blue moon is having lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light (0.7 micrometre) — and no other sizes present. This is rare, but volcanoes sometimes produce such clouds, as do forest fires. Ash and dust clouds thrown into the atmosphere by fires and storms usually contain a mixture of particles with a wide range of sizes, with most smaller than 1 micrometre, and they tend to scatter blue light. This kind of cloud makes the moon turn red; thus red moons are far more common than blue moons.[12]

Farmers’ Almanac blue moons

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Maine Farmers’ Almanac listed blue moon dates for farmers. These correspond to the third full moon in a quarter of the year when there were four full moons (normally a quarter year has three full moons). Full moon names are given to each moon in a season: For example, the first moon of summer is called the early summer moon, the second is called the midsummer moon, and the last is called the late summer moon. When a season has four moons the third is called the blue moon so that the last can continue to be called the late moon.

The division of the year into quarters starts with the nominal vernal equinox on or around March 21.[13] This is close to the astronomical season but follows the Christian computus used for calculations of Easter, which places the equinox at a fixed date in the (Gregorian) calendar.

Some[weasel words] naming conventions[citation needed] keep the moon’s seasonal name for its entire cycle, from its appearance as a new moon through the full moon to the next new moon. In this convention a blue moon starts with a new moon and continues until the next new moon starts the late season moon.

Sky and Telescope calendar misinterpretation

The March 1946 Sky and Telescope article “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Hugh Pruett misinterpreted the 1937 Maine Farmers’ Almanac. “Seven times in 19 years there were — and still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.” Widespread adoption of the definition of a “blue moon” as the second full moon in a month followed its use on the popular radio program StarDate on January 31, 1980.[1][14]

Blue moons between 2009 and 2016

The following blue moons occur between 2009 and 2016. These dates use UTC as the timezone; exact dates vary with different timezones.

Seasonal

Using the Farmers’ Almanac definition of blue moon (meaning the third full moon in a season of four full moons), blue moons occur

  • November 21, 2010
  • August 21, 2013
  • May 21, 2016

It seems that The Farmers Almanac, even though it describes the Sky & Telescope ‘invention’ of the new definition, is now using the new definition of blue moon on its calendar,[15] therefore indicating that the blue moon is August 31, 2012 instead of August 21, 2013.

Calendar

Unlike the astronomical seasonal definition, these dates are dependent on the Gregorian calendar and time zones.

Two full moons in one month:[16]

  • 2009: December 2, December 31 (partial lunar eclipse visible in some parts of the world), only in time zones west of UTC+05.
  • 2010: January 1 (partial lunar eclipse), January 30, only in time zones east of UTC+04:30.
  • 2010: March 1, March 30, only in time zones east of UTC+07.
  • 2012: August 2, August 31, only in time zones west of UTC+08.
  • 2015: July 2, July 31

The next time New Year’s Eve falls on a Blue Moon (as occurred on 2009 December 31) is after one Metonic cycle, in 2028. At that time there will be a total lunar eclipse.

Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Neil Armstrong was a quiet, self-described “nerdy” engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved U.S. pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with the first step on the moon.

The modest man who entranced and awed people on Earth has died. He was 82.

Armstrong died Saturday following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement from his family said. It didn’t say where he died.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and in the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said.

In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of a heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called “a tender moment” and left a patch to commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.

“It was special and memorable, but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do,” Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer this year.

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.

“The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to,” Armstrong once said.

The moonwalk marked America’s victory in the Cold War space race that began Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, a satellite that sent shock waves around the world.

An estimated 600 million people — a fifth of the world’s population — watched and listened to the moon landing, the largest audience for any single event in history.

Parents huddled with their children in front of the family television, mesmerized. Farmers abandoned their nightly milking duties, and motorists pulled off the highway and checked into motels just to watch on TV.

Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA’s forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamour of the space program.

“I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,” he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. “And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.”

A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama’s space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships. He testified before Congress, and in an email to The Associated Press he said he had “substantial reservations.”

NASA chief Charles Bolden recalled Armstrong’s grace and humility in a statement Saturday.

“As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own,” Bolden said.

Armstrong’s modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.

When he appeared in Dayton, Ohio, in 2003 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, he bounded onto a stage before 10,000 people. But he spoke for only a few seconds, did not mention the moon and quickly ducked out of the spotlight.

He later joined former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn to lay wreaths on the graves of airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright. Glenn introduced Armstrong and noted it was 34 years to the day that Armstrong had walked on the moon.

“Thank you, John. Thirty-four years?” Armstrong quipped, as if he hadn’t given it a thought.

At another joint appearance, the two embraced and Glenn commented: “To this day, he’s the one person on Earth, I’m truly, truly envious of.”

Armstrong’s moonwalk capped a series of accomplishments that included piloting the X-15 rocket plane and making the first space docking during the Gemini 8 mission, which included a successful emergency splashdown.

In the years afterward, Armstrong retreated to the quiet of the classroom and his Ohio farm. Aldrin said in his book “Men from Earth” that Armstrong was one of the quietest, most private men he had ever met.

In the Australian interview, Armstrong acknowledged that “now and then I miss the excitement about being in the cockpit of an airplane and doing new things.”

At the time of the flight’s 40th anniversary, Armstrong again was low-key, telling a gathering that the space race was “the ultimate peaceful competition: USA versus U.S.S.R. It did allow both sides to take the high road, with the objectives of science and learning and exploration.”

Glenn, who went through jungle training in Panama with Armstrong as part of the astronaut program, described him as “exceptionally brilliant” with technical matters but “rather retiring, doesn’t like to be thrust into the limelight much.”

Glenn told CNN on Saturday that Armstrong had had a number of close calls in his career, including during the moon landing, when they had less than a minute of fuel remaining on arrival.

“He was a good friend and he’ll be missed,” Glenn told the network.

Derek Elliott, curator of the Smithsonian Institution’s U.S. Air and Space Museum from 1982 to 1992, said the moonwalk probably marked the high point of space exploration.

“The fact that we were able to see it and be a part of it means that we are in our own way witnesses to history,” he said.

The 1969 landing met an audacious deadline that President John F. Kennedy had set in May 1961, shortly after Alan Shepard became the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin had orbited the Earth and beaten the U.S. into space the previous month.

“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth,” Kennedy had said. “No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important to the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

The end-of-decade goal was met with more than five months to spare. “Houston: Tranquility Base here,” Armstrong radioed after the spacecraft settled onto the moon. “The Eagle has landed.”

“Roger, Tranquility,” the Houston staffer radioed back. “We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

The third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, circled the moon in the mother ship Columbia while Armstrong and Aldrin went to the moon’s surface.

Collins told NASA on Saturday that he will miss Armstrong terribly, spokesman Bob Jacobs tweeted.

In all, 12 American astronauts walked on the moon between 1969 and the last moon mission in 1972.

For Americans, reaching the moon provided uplift and respite from the Vietnam War. The landing occurred as organizers were preparing for Woodstock, the legendary rock festival on a farm in New York.

Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, on a farm in Ohio. He took his first airplane ride at age 6 and developed a fascination with aviation that prompted him to build model airplanes and conduct experiments in a homemade wind tunnel. He was licensed to fly at 16, before he got his driver’s license.

Armstrong enrolled in Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering but was called to duty with the U.S. Navy in 1949 and flew 78 combat missions in Korea. After the war, Armstrong finished his degree and later earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He became a test pilot with what evolved into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, flying more than 200 kinds of aircraft from gliders to jets.

Armstrong was accepted into NASA’s second astronaut class in 1962 — the first, including Glenn, was chosen in 1959 — and commanded the Gemini 8 mission in 1966. After the first space docking, he brought the capsule back in an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean when a wildly firing thruster kicked it out of orbit.

Armstrong was backup commander for the historic Apollo 8 mission at Christmastime in 1968. In that flight, Commander Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell and Bill Anders circled the moon 10 times, and paving the way for the lunar landing seven months later.

Aldrin said he and Armstrong were not prone to free exchanges of sentiment.

“But there was that moment on the moon, a brief moment, in which we sort of looked at each other and slapped each other on the shoulder … and said, `We made it. Good show,’ or something like that,” Aldrin said.

In Wapakoneta, media and souvenir frenzy was swirling around the home of Armstrong’s parents.

“You couldn’t see the house for the news media,” recalled John Zwez, former manager of the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. “People were pulling grass out of their front yard.”

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were given ticker tape parades in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and later made a 22-nation world tour. A homecoming in Wapakoneta drew 50,000 people to the city of 9,000.

In 1970, Armstrong was appointed deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA but left the following year to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

He remained there until 1979 and during that time bought a farm, where he raised cattle and corn. He stayed out of public view, accepting few requests for interviews or speeches.

“He didn’t give interviews, but he wasn’t a strange person or hard to talk to,” said Ron Huston, a colleague at the University of Cincinnati. “He just didn’t like being a novelty.”

In February 2000, when he agreed to announce the top 20 engineering achievements of the 20th century as voted by the National Academy of Engineering, Armstrong said there was one disappointment relating to his moonwalk.

“I can honestly say — and it’s a big surprise to me — that I have never had a dream about being on the moon,” he said.

Armstrong married Carol Knight in 1999. He had two adult sons from a previous marriage.

His family’s statement Saturday made a simple request for anyone who wanted to remember him:

“Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

-Fox News
Neil Armstrong
Neil Alden Armstrong is an American former NASA astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon
Died: August 25, 2012, Columbus
Born: August 5, 1930, Wapakoneta
Spouse: Carol Held Knight (m. 1994), Janet Shearon (m. 1956–1994)

Read Full Post »

Here’s the official statement:

On the new Chief Justice of the Philippines

In the midst of this period of deep mourning for the loss of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, the President is cognizant of his constitutional duty to appoint the next Chief Justice of the Philippines. He has therefore decided to appoint Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal-Sereno as the 24th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The President is confident that Chief Justice Sereno will lead the judiciary in undertaking much-needed reforms. We believe the Judicial Branch of government has a historic opportunity to restore our people’s confidence in the judicial system.

Sereno, Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal
Years in the Practice of Law : 25 years

Professional Experience
 Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
August 16, 2010 to PRESENT
 Executive Director, Asian Institute of Management
February, 2009, August 15, 2010
 President, Accesslaw Inc.
April 2000 to August 15, 2010
 Law Professor University of the Philippines College of Law
November, 1986 to 2006
 Consultant for Judicial Reforms, United Nations, Development Program World Bank,
US Agency for International Development (USAID) – 1995 to 2002
 Legal Counsel, Various agencies of government, Office of the President, Office of the Solicito
General, Manila International Airport Authority, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade
and Industry, WTO, Philippine Coconut Authority – 1991 to 2008
 Commissioner and Chairman of the Steering Committee, Preparatory Commission on
Constitutional Reform (Presidential) – August 1999 to December 1999
 Director, Institute of International Legal Studies, UP Law Complex – 1995 to 1996
 Head, Information and Publication Division, UP Law Complex – 1995 to 1996
 Counsellor, World Trade Orgaization and Appellate Body (Geneva) – July 1998 to October 1999
 Deputy Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights
 Junior Associate, SyCip Salazar Feliciano and Hernandez Law Office
January 1985 to October 1986
Teaching / Academic Experience
 Philippine Judicial Academy
• Lecturer
• 2004 to 2008
• Taught Law and Economic
 University of Western Australia
• Lecturer
• 2006 to 2007
• Taught International Business Law
 Foreign Service Institute, Department of Foreign Affairs
• Lecturer, 1996 to 2007
• Taught International Trade Law University of the Philippines College of Law
• Permanent Faculty (Associate Professor)
• 1986 to 2006
• Taught Obligations and contract, Persons and Family Relations, Negotiable Instruments,
Public Regulation of Business, Administrative Law and International Trade Law

 Hague Academy of International Law
• Lecturer
• 2004
• Taught International Trade Law
 Murdoch University
• Lecturer
• 2001 to 2002
• Taught International Trade Law
 Asian Institute of Management
• Lecturer
• 2000
• Taught Electronic Commerce Law
Seminars, Trainings, Scholarships and Fellowship Grants
 De Witte Fellow
• 1992 to 1993
• University of Michigan
 Ford Rockfeller Faculty Grand
• 1991 to 1993
• University of Michigan School of Economics
 Justice Alex Reyes Law School Scholarship
• 1980 to 1984
• UP College of Law
 National Integration Scholarship Grant
• 1976 to 1981
• Ateneo De Manila University

Educational Attainment
 University of Michigan
• Master of Laws
• 1992 to 1993
 School of Economics, University of the Philippines
• 1991 to 1992
• 18 Units in the Master of Arts in Economics Program
 University of the Philippines College of Law
• 1980 to 1984
• Valedictorian Cum Laude
 Ateneo De Manila University
• 1976 to 1980
• Bachelor of Arts in Economics
 Quezon City High School
• 1972 to 1976
• National awards in Oration, extemporaneous speech and academic honors
 Kamuning Elementary School
• 1966 to 1972
• Salutatorian
Civil Service Eligibility / Board / Bar Examination Taken
 Bar Examination Rating: 89
 Year Taken: 1984
 Year admitted to the Bar: 1985
Personal Circumstances
 Date of Birth: July 2, 1960
 Place of Birth: Manila
 Age: 52

Read Full Post »

(Updated 10:33 a.m.) – With his voice cracking, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas confirmed Tuesday morning that the body of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was found at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, 800 meters from the shore of Masbate.

Roxas, in a briefing, said Robredo’s body was found at a depth of 180 feet inside the fuselage of the small Piper Seneca plane that crashed off Masbate Saturday afternoon.

“‘Yung unang sumabak na mga tech divers ‘yung mga puti na nakita natin kahapon, si Matt at ang kanyang team na dalawang babae. At 8:15, kumpirmado na na ‘yung isa sa mga katawan ay ‘yung kay Sec. Jess Robredo,” Roxas said.

Roxas said Robredo’s body was the first to be accessed by divers, as the body was nearest the door.

“At roughly 8:30 or 8:40, ‘yung bangkay ni Sec. Jess ay naiabot na sa surface at ito ay nilagay sa body bag at kinarga na sa barko ng Coast Guard. Ongoing pa rin ang operation for the other bodies in the fuselage,” he said in a press briefing on Tuesday. Roxas said the retrieval was complicated because of the position of the fuselage.
“Fuselage, nakabaligtad kaya medyo kumplikado ang pag-retrieve dahil hindi nila masyadong ma-disturb ‘yung fuselage at baka mapunta sa mas malalim na lugar,” he said.

Robredo celebrated his 54th birthday last May 27.

“Jess has been underwater for more than two days now. Hindi basta bastang… the change in pressure and change in atmosphere is very complicated,” he said, adding that they are seeking help form the Army, the Navy, the Philippine National Police forensics people and the Department of Health in order to ensure the preservation of the body.

Roxas added that retrieval operations continue for the two pilots and the fuselage.
“‘Yung mga scuba tanks at iba pang pangangailangan ay pinapadala underwater para mapatuloy yung retrieval operation of the other bodies inside the cockpit,” Roxas said.
“Tuloy po ang recovery operations… Hindi ito para kay Sec. Jess lang. The divers and the others are being deployed now to recover the others,” he said.
“Sad as it is, we are now in search and recovery, retrieval,” Roxas added.

He said the two pilots (pilot Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand) were in the deepest part of the cockpit.

“Si Sec. Jess ay nasa baroto na nauna, siya ‘yung unang naaccess ng diver kasi ‘yung dalawang piloto nakasubsob sa cockpit sa loob na loob. Si Sec. Jess nasa likuran, mas malapit siya sa pinto. So siya ‘yung unang nakuha ng diver at ‘yan ang dahilan kung bakit nauuna na siyang dahan-dahan inakyat,” Roxas said.

PNoy, family informed

“Nakausap ng Pangulo ang misis ni Sec. Jess and informed her about the development,” he said in the briefing, parts of which were aired on dzBB radio.

Roxas said Aquino was “very quiet” when he was first informed about the development.

He said Aquino sought “absolute confirmation” and gave instructions to call him back once the development was confirmed.

“Noong kumpirmadong kumpirmado na, he wanted to make sure na mayroong malapit kay Ma’am Leni na katabi niya. Unfortunately Ma’am Leni was in her house at malayo pa ‘yung mga kilala naming mga malapit sa kanya so pinagpasiyahan na sabihan na si Ma’am Leni direkta kaysa madinig pa niya sa espe-espekulasyon or what. So the President called Ma’am Leni and spoke to her this morning,” Roxas said.

“‘Yung kapatid ni Jess na si Kuya Butch ay nasabihan na rin, at dinadala siya kung saan ngayon ‘yung katawan,” Roxas said.

In Naga City, dzBB’s Carlo Mateo said Jun Lavadia, a close friend of the Robredo family, was emotional upon learning of the development.

The search for Robredo and the two pilots was on its fourth day Tuesday, after the Piper Seneca bearing Robredo and three others crashed off Masbate Saturday while en route from Cebu to Naga.
Only Robredo’s aide, Senior Inspector Jun Abrasado, was rescued from the plane shortly after it crashed. –With a report from Carmela G. Lapeña/KG, GMA News

Read Full Post »

Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.
Senator of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1967 – September 23, 1972[1]
Presidential Adviser on Defense Affairs
In office
1949–1954
Governor of Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1961 – December 30, 1967
Vice Governor of Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1959 – December 30, 1961
Mayor of Concepcion, Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1955 – December 30, 1959
Personal details
Born November 27, 1932
Concepcion, Tarlac, Philippines
Died August 21, 1983 (aged 50)
Manila International Airport, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
Resting place Manila Memorial Park, Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Liberal (1959–1983)
LABAN (1978–1983)
Other political
affiliations
Nacionalista Party (1955–1959)
Spouse(s) Corazon C. Aquino
Children Ma. Elena Aquino-Cruz
Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada
Benigno S. Aquino III
Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee
Kristina Bernadette Aquino
Residence Times Street, Quezon City
Alma mater University of the Philippines
Ateneo de Manila University
San Beda College High School (Class of 1948)
St. Joseph’s College, Quezon City
Occupation Politician
Profession Journalist
Religion Roman Catholicism

 

Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. (November 27, 1932 – August 21, 1983) was a Filipino Senator and a former Governor of Tarlac. Aquino, together with Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, formed the leadership of the opposition to the Marcos regime in the years leading to the imposition of martial law in the Philippines. In 1973 he was arrested and incarcerated for 7 years, but was allowed to depart for the United States to seek medical treatment after he suffered a heart attack in 1980. He was assassinated at the Manila International Airport upon returning home from exile in the United States in 1983. His death catapulted his widow, Corazon Aquino, into the limelight, and prompted her to run for President as a member of the UNIDO party in the 1986 elections. Manila International Airport has been renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his honor, and the anniversary of his death is a national holiday in the Philippines, Ninoy Aquino Day.

Early life and career

Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. was born in Concepcion, Tarlac, to a prosperous family of hacenderos (landlords), original owners of Hacienda Tinang, Hacienda Lawang and Hacienda Murcia.[6]

His grandfather, Servillano Aquino, was a general in the revolutionary army of Emilio Aguinaldo.[7]

His father, Benigno S. Aquino, Sr. (1894–1947) was the vice-president of the World War II Japanese collaborationist government of José P. Laurel. His father was one of two politicians representing Tarlac during his lifetime. The other was Jose Cojuangco, father of his future wife. His mother, Doña Aurora Aquino-Aquino, was also his father’s third cousin. His father died while Ninoy was in his teens prior to coming to trial on treason charges resulting from his collaboration with the Japanese during the occupation.[citation needed]

Aquino was educated in private schools—St. Joseph’s College, Ateneo de Manila, National University, and De La Salle College. He finished high school at San Beda College. Aquino took his tertiary education at the Ateneo de Manila to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, but he interrupted his studies.[8] According to one of his biographies, he considered himself to be an average student; his grade was not in the line of 90s nor did it fall into the 70s. At age 17, he was the youngest war correspondent to cover the Korean War for the newspaper The Manila Times of Joaquin “Chino” Roces. Because of his journalistic feats, he received the Philippine Legion of Honor award from President Elpidio Quirino at age 18. At 21, he became a close adviser to then defense secretary Ramon Magsaysay. Aquino took up law at the University of the Philippines, where he became a member of Upsilon Sigma Phi, the same fraternity as Ferdinand Marcos. He interrupted his studies again however to pursue a career in journalism. According to Maximo Soliven, Aquino “later ‘explained’ that he had decided to go to as many schools as possible, so that he could make as many new friends as possible.”[8] In early 1954, he was appointed by President Ramon Magsaysay, his wedding sponsor to his 1953 wedding at the Our Lady of Sorrows church in Pasay with Corazon Cojuangco, to act as personal emissary to Luis Taruc, leader of the Hukbalahap rebel group. After four months of negotiations, he was credited for Taruc’s unconditional surrender.[9]

He became mayor of Concepcion in 1955 at the age of 22.[10]

Political career

Aquino gained an early familiarity with Philippine politics, as he was born into one of the Philippines’ prominent oligarchic clans. His grandfather served under President Aguinaldo, while his father held office under Presidents Quezon and Jose P. Laurel. As a consequence, Aquino was able to be elected mayor when he was 22 years old. Five years later, he was elected the nation’s youngest vice-governor at 27, despite having no real executive experience. Two years later he became governor of Tarlac province in 1961 at age 29, then secretary-general of the Liberal Party in 1966. In 1967 he became the youngest elected senator in the country’s history at age 34.[citation needed]

In 1968, during his first year as senator, Aquino alleged that Marcos was on the road to establishing “a garrison state” by “ballooning the armed forces budget”, saddling the defense establishment with “overstaying generals” and “militarizing our civilian government offices”—all these caveats were uttered barely four years before martial law, as was typical of the accusatory style of political confrontation at the time. However, no evidence was ever produced for any of these statements.[citation needed]

Aquino became known as a constant critic of the Marcos regime, as his flamboyant rhetoric had made him a darling of the media. His most polemical speech, “A Pantheon for Imelda”, was delivered on February 10, 1969. He assailed the Cultural Center, the first project of First Lady Imelda Marcos as extravagant, and dubbed it “a monument to shame” and labelled its designer “a megalomaniac, with a penchant to captivate”. By the end of the day, the country’s broadsheets had blared that he labelled the President’s wife, his cousin Paz’s former ward, and a woman he had once courted, “the Philippines’ Eva Peron“. President Marcos is said to have been outraged and labelled Aquino “a congenital liar”. The First Lady’s friends angrily accused Aquino of being “ungallant”. These so-called “fiscalization” tactics of Aquino quickly became his trademark in the Senate.[citation needed]

Martial law, hunger strike

It was not until the Plaza Miranda bombing however—on August 21, 1971, 12 years to the day before Aquino’s own assassination—that the pattern of direct confrontation between Marcos and Aquino emerged. At 9:15 pm, at the kick-off rally of the Liberal Party, the candidates had formed a line on a makeshift platform and were raising their hands as the crowd applauded. The band played, a fireworks display drew all eyes, when suddenly there were two loud explosions that obviously were not part of the show. In an instant the stage became a scene of wild carnage. The police later discovered two fragmentation grenades that had been thrown at the stage by “unknown persons”. Eight people died, and 120 others were wounded, many critically. Aquino was absent at the incident.[citation needed]

Although suspicions pointed to the Nacionalistas (the political party of Marcos), Marcos allies sought to deflect this by insinuating that, perhaps, Aquino might have had a hand in the blast in a bid to eliminate his potential rivals within the party. Later, the Marcos government presented “evidence” of the bombings as well as an alleged threat of a communist insurgency, suggesting that the bombings were the handiwork of the growing New People’s Army. Marcos made this a pretext to suspend the right of habeas corpus, vowed that the killers would be apprehended within 48 hours, and arrested a score of known “Maoists” on general principle. Ironically, the police captured one of the bombers, who was identified as a sergeant of the firearms and explosive section of the Philippine Constabulary, a military arm of the government. According to Aquino, this man was later snatched from police custody by military personnel and never seen again.[citation needed]

President Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972 and he went on air to broadcast his declaration on midnight of September 23. Aquino was one of the first to be arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and subversion. He was tried before Military Commission No. 2 headed by Major-General Jose Syjuco. On April 4, 1975, Aquino announced that he was going on a hunger strike, a fast to the death to protest the injustices of his military trial. Ten days through his hunger strike, he instructed his lawyers to withdraw all motions he had submitted to the Supreme Court. As weeks went by, he subsisted solely on salt tablets, sodium bicarbonate, amino acids, and two glasses of water a day. Even as he grew weaker, suffering from chills and cramps, soldiers forcibly dragged him to the military tribunal’s session. His family and hundreds of friends and supporters heard Mass nightly at the Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills, San Juan, praying for his survival. Near the end, Aquino’s weight had dropped from 54 to 36 kilos. Aquino nonetheless was able to walk throughout his ordeal. On May 13, 1975, on the 40th day, his family and several priests and friends, begged him to end his fast, pointing out that even Christ fasted only for 40 days. He acquiesced, confident that he had made a symbolic gesture. But he remained in prison, and the trial continued, drawn out for several years. On November 25, 1977, the Commission found Aquino guilty of all charges and sentenced him to death by firing squad.[citation needed]

1978 elections, bypass surgery, exile

In 1978, from his prison cell, he was allowed to take part in the elections for Interim Batasang Pambansa (Parliament). Although his friends, former Senators Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, preferred to boycott the elections, Aquino urged his supporters to organize and run 21 candidates in Metro Manila. Thus his political party, dubbed Lakas ng Bayan (“People’s Power”), was born. The party’s acronym was “LABAN” (in Tagalog). He was allowed one television interview on Face the Nation (hosted by Ronnie Nathanielsz) and proved to a startled and impressed populace that imprisonment had neither dulled his rapier-like tongue nor dampened his fighting spirit. Foreign correspondents and diplomats asked what would happen to the LABAN ticket. People agreed with him that his party would win overwhelmingly in an honest election. Not surprisingly, all his candidates lost due to widespread election fraud.[citation needed]

In mid-March 1980, Aquino suffered a heart attack, possibly the result of seven years in prison, mostly in a solitary cell. He was transported to the Philippine Heart Center, where he suffered a second heart attack. ECG and other tests showed that he had a blocked artery. Philippine surgeons were reluctant to do a coronary bypass, because it could involve them in a controversy. In additional, Aquino refused to submit himself to Philippine doctors, fearing possible Marcos “duplicity”; he preferred to go to the United States for the procedure or return to his cell at Fort Bonifacio and die. He also appeared in the 700 Club television ministry of Pat Robertson, where he narrated his spiritual life, accepted “Christ as his Lord and Savior” and became a born-again Christian, which sprang from a conversation with Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, who was involved in the Watergate Scandal during U.S. President Richard Nixon‘s administration.[citation needed]

On May 8, 1980, Imelda Marcos made an unannounced visit to Aquino at his hospital room. She asked him if he would like to leave that evening for the U.S., but not before agreeing on two conditions: 1) that if he left, he would return; 2) while in the U.S., he would not speak out against the Marcos regime. She then ordered General Fabian Ver and Mel Mathay to provide passports and plane tickets for the Aquino family. Aquino was placed in a closed van, rushed to his home on Times Street to pack, driven to the airport and put on a plane bound for the U.S. that same day, accompanied by his family.[citation needed]

Aquino was operated on at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. He made a quick recovery, was walking within two weeks and making plans to fly to Damascus, Syria to meet with Muslim leaders, which he did five weeks later. When he reiterated that he was returning to the Philippines, he received a surreptitious message from the Marcos government saying that he was now granted an extension of his “medical furlough”. Eventually, Aquino decided to renounce his two covenants with Malacañang “because of the dictates of higher national interest”. After all, Aquino added, “a pact with the devil is no pact at all”.[citation needed]

Aquino spent three years in self-exile, living with his family in Newton, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. On fellowship grants from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked on the manuscripts of two books and gave a series of lectures in school halls, classrooms and auditoriums. He traveled extensively in the U.S., delivering speeches critical of the Marcos government.[citation needed]

Planning return

A moving screen shot of Sen. Aquino as he was being escorted out of the plane by military personnel, minutes before being killed.

Throughout his years of expatriation, Aquino was always aware that his life in the U.S. was temporary. He never stopped affirming his eventual return even as he enjoyed American hospitality and a peaceful life with his family on American soil. After spending 7 years and 7 months in prison, Aquino’s finances were in ruins. Making up for the lost time as the family’s breadwinner, he toured America; attending symposiums, lectures, and giving speeches in freedom rallies opposing the Marcos dictatorship. The most memorable was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, California on February 15, 1981.[11]

In the first quarter of 1983, Aquino received news about the deteriorating political situation in his country and the rumored declining health of President Marcos (due to lupus). He believed that it was expedient for him to speak to Marcos and present to him his rationale for the country’s return to democracy, before extremists took over and made such a change impossible. Moreover, his years of absence made his allies worry that the Filipinos might have resigned themselves to Marcos’ strongman rule and that without his leadership the centrist opposition would die a natural death.[citation needed]

Aquino decided to go back to the Philippines, fully aware of the dangers that awaited him. Warned that he would either be imprisoned or killed, Aquino answered, “if it’s my fate to die by an assassin’s bullet, so be it. But I cannot be petrified by inaction, or fear of assassination, and therefore stay in the side…”[12] His family, however, learned from a Philippine Consular official that there were orders from Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to issue any passports for them. At that time, their visas had expired and their renewal had been denied. They therefore formulated a plan for Aquino to fly alone (to attract less attention), with the rest of the family to follow him after two weeks. Despite the government’s ban on issuing him a passport, Aquino acquired one with the help of Rashid Lucman, a former Mindanao legislator and founder of the Bangsamoro Liberation Front, a Moro separatist group against Marcos. It carried the alias Marcial Bonifacio (Marcial for martial law and Bonifacio for Fort Bonifacio, his erstwhile prison).[13] He eventually obtained a legitimate passport from a sympathizer working in a Philippine consulate through the help of Roque R. Ablan Jr, then a Congressman. The Marcos government warned all international airlines that they would be denied landing rights and forced to return if they tried to fly Aquino to the Philippines. Aquino insisted that it was his natural right as a citizen to come back to his homeland, and that no government could prevent him from doing so. He left Logan International Airport on August 13, 1983, took a circuitous route home from Boston, via Los Angeles to Singapore. In Singapore, then Tunku Ibrahim Ismail of Johor met Aquino upon his arrival in Singapore and later brought him to Johor to meet with other Malaysian leaders.[14] Once in Johor, Aquino met up with Tunku Ibrahim’s father, Sultan Iskandar, who was a close friend to Aquino.[15]

He then left for Hong Kong and on to Taipei. He had chosen Taipei as the final stopover when he learned the Philippines had severed diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan). This made him feel more secure; the Taiwan government could pretend they were not aware of his presence. There would also be a couple of Taiwanese friends accompanying him. From Taipei he flew to Manila on then Taiwan’s flag carrier China Airlines Flight 811.[citation needed]

Marcos wanted Aquino to stay out of politics, however Aquino asserted his willingness to suffer the consequences declaring, “the Filipino is worth dying for.”[16] He wished to express an earnest plea for Marcos to step down, for a peaceful regime change and a return to democratic institutions. Anticipating the worst, at an interview in his suite at the Taipei Grand Hotel, he revealed that he would be wearing a bullet-proof vest, but he also said that “it’s only good for the body, but for the head there’s nothing else we can do.” Sensing his own doom, he told the journalists accompanying him on the flight, “You have to be ready with your hand camera because this action can become very fast. In a matter of 3 or 4 minutes it could be all over, and I may not be able to talk to you again after this.”[17] In his last formal statement that he wasn’t able to deliver, he said, “I have returned to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedom through violence. I seek no confrontation.”

Assassination

The aftermath of Aquino’s assassination

Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983, when he was shot in the head after returning to the country. At the time, bodyguards were assigned to him by the Marcos government. A subsequent investigation produced controversy but no definitive results. After the Marcos government was overthrown, another investigation found sixteen defendants guilty. They were all sentenced to life in prison. Some were released over the years, the last ones in March 2009.[18]

Another man present at the airport tarmac, Rolando Galman, was shot dead shortly after Aquino was killed. The Marcos government claimed Galman was the trigger man in Aquino’s assassination.

Funeral

Sen. Ninoy Aquino’s grave (right) is next to his wife Corazon Aquino‘s (left) at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque, Philippines.

Aquino’s body lay in state in a glass coffin. No effort was made to disguise a bullet wound that had disfigured his face. In an interview with Aquino’s mother, Aurora, she told the funeral parlor not to apply makeup nor embalm her son, to see “what they did to my son”. Thousands of supporters flocked to see the bloodied body of Aquino, which took place at the Aquino household in Times St., Quezon City for nine days. Aquino’s wife, Corazon Aquino, and children Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, Noynoy and Kris arrived the day after the assassination. Aquino’s funeral procession on August 31 lasted from 9 a.m., when his funeral mass was held at Santo Domingo Church in Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City, with the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Sin officiating, to 9 p.m., when his body was interred at the Manila Memorial Park. More than two million people lined the streets during the procession which was aired by the Church-sponsored Radio Veritas, the only station to do so. The procession reached Rizal Park, where the Philippine flag was brought to half-staff.[citation needed]

Jovito Salonga, then head of the Liberal Party, said about Aquino:

Ninoy was getting impatient in Boston, he felt isolated by the flow of events in the Philippines. In early 1983, Marcos was seriously ailing, the Philippine economy was just as rapidly declining, and insurgency was becoming a serious problem. Ninoy thought that by coming home he might be able to persuade Marcos to restore democracy and somehow revitalize the Liberal Party.[19]

and called him “the greatest president we never had”[19]

Legacy

In Senator Aquino’s honor, the Manila International Airport (MIA) where he was assassinated was renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and his image is printed on the 500-peso bill. August 21, the anniversary of his death, is Ninoy Aquino Day, an annual public holiday in the Philippines.[20] Several monuments were built in his honor. Most renowned is the bronze memorial in Makati City near the Philippine Stock Exchange, which has become a popular venue for anti-government rallies and large demonstrations. Another bronze statue is in front of the Municipal Building of Concepcion, Tarlac.[citation needed]

Although Aquino was recognized as the most prominent and most dynamic opposition leader of his generation, in the years prior to martial law he was regarded by many as being a representative of the entrenched familial elite which to this day dominates Philippine politics. While atypically telegenic and uncommonly articulate, he had his share of detractors and was not known to be immune to ambitions and excesses of the ruling political class.[citation needed] However, during his seven years and seven months imprisoned as a political prisoner of Marcos, Aquino read the book Born Again by convicted Watergate conspirator Charles Colson and it inspired him to a religious awakening.[21]

As a result, the remainder of his personal and political life had a distinct spiritual sheen. He emerged as a contemporary counterpart of Jose Rizal, who was among the world’s earliest proponents of the use of non-violence to combat a repressive regime. Some remained skeptical of Aquino’s redirected spiritual focus, but it ultimately had an effect on his wife’s political career. While some may question the prominence given Aquino in Philippine history, it was his assassination that was pivotal to the downfall of a despotic ruler and the eventual restoration of democracy in the Philippines.[citation needed]

Personal life

On October 11, 1954, he married Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco, with whom he had five children (four daughters and a son):[citation needed]

  • Maria Elena Aquino-Cruz (Ballsy, born August 18, 1955), married to Eldon Cruz, sons Justin Benigno “Jiggy” Cruz and Eldon “Jonty” Cruz, Jr.
  • Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada (Pinky, born December 27, 1957), married to Manuel Abellada, son Miguel Abellada, daughter Nina Abellada
  • Benigno Simeon Aquino III (Noynoy, born February 8, 1960), the 15th and current President of the Philippines
  • Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee (Viel, born October 27, 1961), married to Joseph Dee, son Francis “Kiko” Dee, daughter Jacinta Patricia “Jia” Dee
  • Kristina Bernadette Aquino (Kris, born February 14, 1971), married to James Yap (2005–2010), sons Joshua Philip “Josh” Aquino Salvador and James “Baby James/Bimby” Aquino Yap, Jr.

Read Full Post »

Lord God the father and creator of heaven and earth give your hand to Sec. Jesse Robredo and to the pilots of airplane for their safety and hopefully the rescue team they will found alive and safe. You are the most powerful in the world and nothing impossible to you. save the life of the pilots and the dilg sec. We pray in the name of Jesus your son. Amen.

Divers searching depths of up to 285 feet for DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo and to the Pilots of airplane. Divers searching for the plane of DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo are probing depths of up to 285 feet, and face a host of dangers from diving that deep. Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas, who has been posting updates on the fruitless search so far, says that divers are searching in waters from 131 to 285 feet, and are being advised not to stay underwater more than 10 minutes to avoid nitrogen narcosis.

“Search area has depths of 40 to 87 meters. Human Scuba can only do 10 minutes at 40 meters (131 feet) before nitro narcosis,” Roxas tweeted Sunday morning, referring to a condition in which divers experience an effect akin to tipsiness from alcohol. The diver’s judgment is imparied, endangering himself and any dive companions.

In fact, according to experienced divers contacted by GMA News Online, divers can stay in water that deep for as long as 30 minutes with the right equipment and training.

“You cannot dive that deep with just air, you need mixed gases,” says dive instructor Chen Mencias.

Technical diver Dave Dy, who is certified to explore shipwrecks, says ten minutes do not give a diver much time to search, and advises that the scuba divers involved in the search breathe mixed gases and bring multiple tanks to enable a longer time underwater and increase the chances of finding the plane fast. But deep-water diving takes specialized training.

“It is possible to get out of deep water fast and safely using a blend of gases (in the scuba tank),” says Dy. “But the deeper one dives, the greater the chance of narcosis.”

A diver who dives that deep risks not only narcosis but bends or decompression sickness, which can cause paralysis or death, according to Dy.

Compression divers, or local fisherfolk who use improvised equipment to stay underwater for long periods of time, were reported to be assisting in the search on Saturday. “That’s even  more dangerous,” says Dy.

Most Filipino divers use feet as a unit of measurement when referring to depth.

Aside from Robredo, the two others missing are veteran pilot and flight instructor Jessup Bahinting and his Nepali co-pilot Kshitiz Chand. Bahinting is also the chief executive officer of the Mactan-based aircraft rental company and flying school Aviatour Air, which owns the plane that crashed. According to Chand’s Facebook page, he graduated from Aviatour Flight School in 2011 and identified himself as a commercial pilot.

Growing search and rescue effort

Roxas earlier tweeted that sonar equipment from Cebu was deployed to help in the search.
According to an NDRRMC report, the Coast Guard is conducting search and rescue operations with five Special Operations Group personnel with diving equipment, a search and rescue vessel with Navy medical personnel, and a helicopter.Naval Forces Southern Luzon also deployed two patrol gunboats for the search and rescue effort. The Philippine Red Cross, local divers, medical teams from LGUs, Bantay Dagat volunteers, and Philippine Navy all responded to the incident.

The US Navy has also offered the services of a Fleet Survey Team, composed of hydrographers who can collect and analyze ocean data in the area to assist in the search.

A portion of the right wing of the Piper Seneca four-seater was found Saturday evening. The wings of the plane contain the fuel tanks, so earlier reports that a fuel tank was discovered by fishermen Saturday night could  be referring to the same debris. - Howie Severino/Carmela Guanzon Lapeña, GMA News

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 44 other followers