Monthly Archives: September 2007

Photos of our fat cat

Booj and Ming

WHICH of course includes some shots of his human companions can be accessed here and here.


Filed under This time it's personal

Copy of newspaper disappears at business school library

BusinessMirror’s September 19, 2007 issue

Page 6 of BusinessMirror’s September 19, 2007 issue

ACCORDING to a text message I received Wednesday night, the September 19, 2007 issue of BusinessMirror disappeared from the library of the Asian Institute of Management. The front page carried my story featuring the possible suspension of Felix Bustos, a professor at AIM’s MBA program. Since BusinessMirror, the paper I work for, has yet to put up its archives, I have chosen to upload the pdf files of the pages where my story was published for the perusal of anyone interested. To recap, Professor Bustos may soon be supended because he was one of the supporters of fellow professors Noel Leyco and Vic Limlingan who were earlier suspended for one year for demanding employees compensation worth nearly a billion pesos. The pay hike was supposed to come from the tuition increases of AIM, 70 percent of which according to law should go to faculty members and workers of the institute.

Leave a comment

Filed under Serious stuff

2 professors to sue business school

AIM logo

TWO professors from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) are expected to file a complaint against school officials after both were suspended for demanding salary hikes for employees worth nearly a billion pesos.
Emmanuel A. Leyco, who specializes in public finance, told BusinessMirror that he, together with fellow professor and Harvard Business School graduate Victor Limlingan will file a complaint Friday at the Department of Labor and Employment, claiming that both of them were victims of “illegal suspension,” arising from an order issued July 9, 2007 by AIM President Francis Estrada.
In a text message sent to BusinessMirror, Leyco said that the case, which will be filed against the school’s Board of Trustees and its President, will demand “compensatory, moral, and punitive damages,” owing to their suspension which will end July 8, 2008. Leyco failed to indicate an amount for the said damages.
Leyco and Limlingan, President and Chairman, respectively of the Asian Institute of Management Faculty Association (AFA), were suspended after both submitted a letter to the school’s board of trustees last February, demanding additional compensation.
The letter asserted that a law—Republic Act 6728—entitled AIM’s 40-strong faculty members and 100 or so employees to receive 70 percent of the school’s tuition fee increases.
According to its calculations, the AFA document said that AIM employees should receive some P985 million. The said law, enacted in 1989, amended Presidential Decree 451, issued in 1974, increasing employees’ share from 60 percent.
For its part, an AIM statement faxed to BusinessMirror said that the claim had “no substantiation whatsoever.”
“The distribution of the faculty share was effectively restored in February 2007,” the same statement said, adding that the institute “has accordingly not violated PD 451 and RA 6728.” The statement failed to elaborate.
Moreover, the AIM statement said that the AFA letter was submitted during AIM’s Leadership Week, a special event regularly attended by the school’s trustees and board of governors, which allegedly led the school’s stakeholders to express deep concern over the issue.
This, in turn, caused Estrada to suspend Leyco and Limlingan, citing “dysfunctional behavior.”
In a faxed statement sent by AIM to BusinessMirror, the two foreign-educated professors were suspended because “management received several letters of concern from various stakeholders who believe that the large unsubstantiated claim in the AFA letter and the timing of its release and the manner of its distribution show that the letter was intended to embarrass or damage the institute rather than raise a legitimate claim.”
For his part, Leyco said that the suspension orders against them were implemented without due process, forcing them to seek temporary relief from the National Labor Relations Commission. The relief was not granted.
The document which sought a temporary restraining order from the NLRC said that the suspension order “should have been undertaken by a committee convened by the Institute’s Dean.”
“Francis Estrada has exercised arbitratriness in managing the school,” Leyco told BusinessMirror in a separate interview Wednesday night. “There has been no consultation, no due process and he comes up with unilateral decisions that hurt individuals.”
Moreover, Leyco on Thursday said that a separate order issued by Estrada barred him from entering the school and using the facilities. In a separate text message, Leyco claimed that “[Estrada] did not want the graduate students ‘distracted’ from their studies.”

From the Oversight Department. Although this piece was published Friday, September 14, 2007 at BusinessMirror, the paper I work for, it contains a few errors, all of which are mine. First, I failed to mention that tuition of AIM, Asia’s first business school, is based on the US dollar to give readers a perspective vis-a-vis the billion peso salary claim. Second, I also failed to indicate that I have undertaken all possible attempts to get the side of Francis Estrada, AIM President. Although I was already writing the story as of six-fifteen in the evening of Thursday, September 13, 2007, I was still hoping that Estrada—or any of the school’s representatives—would call me for a phone interview. Instead, what I got was a statement which was faxed as soon as I emailed Estrada—through AIM’s Edythe Bautista—a set of questions. As of this writing, the same questions have yet to be answered. Third, and perhaps more important, Leyco and Limlingan didn’t file their complaint at the Department of Labor and Employment. They filed it at the National Labor Relations Commission, an agency under the DOLE. Previously, the two asked the NLRC to stop AIM from enabling their suspension. Since they were unsuccessful, they converted their earlier case—which was a request for a temporary restraining order—into a case against their illegal suspension.

Leave a comment

Filed under Serious stuff

Review of Battlestar Galactica: The Reimagined Series

BSG cast


TAKE a hike, Star Trek.
Or move back to the Delta Quadrant.
Battlestar Galactica is here and by the looks of it, the popularity of the reimagined 70s series is not about to vanish into space anytime soon.
While the Star Trek franchise has entertained more than its usual hardcore fans (i. e. normal human beings), the series failed to sustain its excitement beyond its various forays into the big screen—the latest of which will be shown next year—and the skin-tight uniform of Seven of Nine, the sexiest Borg this side of the Alpha Quadrant.
Despite its drawbacks, Klingon-speaking, sci-fi geeks will never disavow their loyalty to the Federation.
Which is understandable.
Besides occasionally providing humor in space (thanks to Star Trek: Voyager), the series has tackled subjects—the effects of altering the past, among others—no other entity in primetime television has ever done before.
Unfortunately, its pre-eminence in the television universe may soon be eroded by Battlestar Galactica, as reimagined by Ronald D. Moore.
In its three-part, three-hour pilot which aired in 2003, the antiquated battleship led by Commander William “Bill” Adama (Edward James Olmos) is shown being decommissioned.

Minutes before it is formally transformed into a museum, the cylons, a race of biomechanical beings, launch a debilitating attack on the twelve colonies of Kobol, Galactica’s fictional world.
Using heavy weapons and a virus which destroys their networked computer systems, the cylons render Kobol defenseless, nearly wiping out its population.

Galactica and its passengers survive, thanks to the ship’s non-networked computers.
Together with a small group of non-military vessels which escape the invasion, Galactica jumps to another area light years away.

However, the great escape is just prelude to various issues afflicting the survivors of the human race.

Just a few days into space, the leaders of Kobol’s 50,000 survivors face a brewing political conflict, owing to a leadership vacuum.

With most civilian officials dead, citizens and military personnel remain half-hearted about the leadership of Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), who before being sworn in as President of the Colonies, was education secretary.

But these concerns take the back seat especially after the fleet is attacked by cylons every 33 minutes for more than ten days.

Unfortunately, not even a severe water shortage—as featured in a later episode—could encourage humans to avoid politicking altogether.

During the last episode of the first season, earlier political tensions culminate into a full-blown mutiny.

Captain Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber), son of the battleship’s commander, points a gun at Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan), the ship’s executive officer and his father’s best friend, to prevent him from arresting President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell).
Since Lee fails to stop the arrest—and what he considers to be an imminent military takeover of the fleet’s civilian government—Lee the mutineer joins Roslin the recently-deposed president in the brig.
However, within a few minutes of their jail time, both learn that Bill Adama is shot by a half-human, half-cylon sleeper agent, masquerading as a reconnaissance female pilot.
And while Adama is spilling his guts out on the bridge, the cylons attack the ship and its civilian fleet. Tigh then assumes command, ordering an immediate jump to an area light years away.

However, upon arriving at the pre-arranged coordinates, Galactica discovers that the rest of the ships are gone and with it, the fleet’s only doctor who can fix the commander.
But that’s just the beginning of a series whose episodes and season-enders have always increased and later satisfied viewers’ expectations.

Rarely funny, often dark, but almost always fast-paced, Battlestar Galactica, according to an American entertainment magazine, is not just the best science-fiction show on television, it is the best show, period. Too bad the series ends on its fourth season, which begins next year.


Published in September 2007 issue of Personal Fortune under the title TV sci-fi at its best

Leave a comment

Filed under Serious stuff