Angel's Herald: August 2007

Asked For Recall: RR Nileema Noble

Posted by: Angelicum on Tuesday, August 28, 2007
UN asked to recall its highest official in RP

NGOs accuse exec of abuse, harassment
By Veronica Uy
Last updated 10:58am (Mla time) 08/27/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Former senator Wigberto Tañada and 48 other leaders of non-government organizations have asked the United Nations to recall its highest official in the Philippines for alleged arbitrariness, unilateralism, abuse, and harassment.

In a petition, members of the civil society community said:
“Arbitrariness. Unilateralism. Abuse. Harassment. These are words we do not normally attribute to the UN.”

“Oftentimes we have seen the UN proactively responding to cases involving these. We are alarmed that now, a UN official is associated with the very things that are anathema to UN values,” they said of Nileema Noble, UN resident coordinator and UN development program representative in the Philippines.

“We call upon the UN to deal decisively with the living paradox within its ranks as embodied by its highest official in the country, Ms. Nileema Noble. It is imperative that the UN correct this intolerable situation. We expect far higher standards of ethical conduct and professionalism from its representatives. Otherwise, they must go.”

Noble, who has been at her post for more than a year, is being investigated by the UN for alleged abuse of authority over Filipino employees of the UN office here in Manila.

At least 13 Filipino staffers of the United Nations office here, including two who have left the office, have sought the ouster of the UN-Manila chief for her “autocratic and oppressive behavior,” according to their letter to Kemal Dervis, administrator of the United Nations Development Program in New York, a copy of which was obtained by

Mary Gemme Montebon, Jennifer Navarro, Amelia D. Supetran, Emmanuel E. Buendia, Morito G. Francisco, Imee F. Manal, Clarissa Arida, Roberto V. Carandang, Anna L. Senga, Frances M. Solinap (former UNDP staff), Francis Gertrud R. Mercado (former UNDP staff), Jay-Ann Arandia, and Elcid C. Pangilinan asked that Nileema be punished for “verbal and physical harassment,” “abuse of authority,” and “violation of the rights” of the staffers, particularly rights to effective remedy and due process.

When asked for comment, Noble’s office said she has been instructed by the UNDP headquarters in New York to refrain from talking about the case.

The petition was preceded by a short note saying: “We hope that you will agree that no international official, no matter if resource-bearing nor how well-intentioned and even progressive, has the right to treat Filipinos shabbily in their own country.”

The petitioners noted that Noble’s behavior to UN staff has been known to them. “We are aware that numerous staff under her, whether temporary or fixed term, have complained and filed cases detailing verbal and physical abuse and arbitrary termination of employment contracts. We are appalled that numerous incidents involving Ms. Noble establish a pattern of systematic abuse of authority and downright harassment,” they said.

The letter said Noble has also been arbitrary in her behavior of lack of consultation, mutual respect, and professionalism toward partner government and academic institutions by invalidating contracts.

“The UN has set historic precedents in human rights observance over the past decades. Ironically now, the human rights and dignity of UN staff in the Philippines are being trampled. We cannot stand idly by,” it said.

The other petitioners are Ana Maria “Princess” R. Nemenzo of the Freedom from Debt Coalition; Rosselynn “Jae” dela Cruz, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS); Luzviminda “Vim” Santos, People’s Global Exchange (PGX); Mary Aileen D. Bacalso, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD); Maria “Mars” Mendoza, Children's Initiatives for Learning and Development (CHILD) Inc.; Earl Parreno, Altertrade; Susan Granada, Non-Violent Peace Force; Gil Navarro, Peace Advocates for Truth, Healing & Justice; Arnold Tarrobago, Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party; Jean Enriquez, Coalition Against Trafficking of Women-Asia Pacific (CATW-AP); Jude Esguerra, Institute for Popular Democracy; and Susan “Toots” Ople, Blas F. Ople Policy Center.

Not All Blondes

Posted by: Angelicum on Sunday, August 26, 2007
It doesn't really take much to make me laugh, I though, can't believe that 20% of Americans can't locate their own country on a world map. If I ask any random kid below 10-yrs old, (in the streets of Manila) I'm sure they would be able to locate the Philippines, even if it's so small and undefined.

Miss Teen USA 2007 - Ms. South Carolina answers a question:

And what's up with mentioning that South Africa and Asia will need USA's help?? WHo needs help now?

Malu's Public Apology

Posted by: Angelicum on Thursday, August 23, 2007
I promised not to dedicate a whole journal log about Malu Fernandez, however I think it will be unfair not to post her official statement of apology. This was taken from her Geocities Website:

I am humbled by the vehement and heated response provoked by my article entitled 'From Boracay to Greece!' which came out in the June 2007 issue of People Asia. To say that this article was not meant to malign, hurt or express prejudice against the OFWs now sounds hollow after reading through all the blogs from Filipinos all over the world. I am deeply apologetic for my insensitivity and the offensive manner in which this article was written, I hear you all and I am properly rebuked. It was truly not my intention to malign hurt or express prejudice against OFWs.

As the recent recipient and target of death threats, hate blogs, and deeply personal insults, I now truly understand the insidiousness of discrimination and prejudice disguised as humor. Our society is bound together by human chains of kindness and decency. I have failed to observe this and I am now reaping the consequences of my actions. It is my fervent hope that the lessons that Ive learned are not lost on all those who through anonymous blogs, engaged in bigotry, discrimination, and hatred (against overweight individuals , for example)

I take full responsibility for my actions and my friends and family have nothing to do with this. To date I have submitted my resignation letters to both the Manila Standard and People Asia, on that note may this matter be laid to rest.

I'm glad my blog is not anonymous. I was able to record the TV Patrol feature about her official statement but I accidentally overwrote it with an idle file. Geez.;

[Update] The video was uploaded via Youtube, thanks Riain for the heads up.

Fernandez Touched A Sensitive Nerve Amongst OFWs

Posted by: Angelicum on Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemns Fernandez's derogatory article.

I am still confused how PEOPLE Asia Magazine managed to approve such article. The author hardly mentioned the Parthenon for goodness' sake, the whole article is almost pointless, it has nothing to do with anyone but the author. And just how materialistic it is of her having to mention Louis Vuitton just to describe her eyebags (see luggage), and to mention not just what she's wearing (Adidas All-Terrain) but also the one she chose NOT to wear (Havaianas). This will be my last post about her.

NEDA: Projects Not Decided Unilaterally

Posted by: Angelicum
NEDA responded on an August 9-article of Business Mirror (see my previous posts).

Changes in UNDP-funded projects
not decided unilaterally, says Neda

Business Mirror, August 17 2007.

By Cai U. Ordinario

THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said the decision to implement changes in the 2007 Annual Work Plans (AWPS) for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-funded projects were not made unilaterally.

This is in response to the negative reactions from several implementing partners for UNDP-funded projects who experienced changes in their assignments or even their removal from the projects.

In a memorandum signed by United Nations resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative Nileema Noble, UNDP deputy resident representative Kyo Naka, Neda deputy director general Rolando Tungpalan, and Neda-Public Investment Staff director Jonathan Uy, the Neda and UNDP informed all Country Program Action Plan (CPAP) partners of the changes in the projects.

“[The changes] were agreed [to] as bases for a more focused and leveraged approach of UNDP programs to be implemented in 2007 through the AWPS for achieving the [Millennium Development Goals] and reducing human poverty, fostering democratic governance, energy and environment for sustainable development and peace and development,” the memorandum said.

Sources at the Neda said implementing partners (IPs) need not be informed of the decision regarding changes in the projects since an executive committee that monitors the projects is the one deciding on such matters.

The sources added that the statement by some UNDP staff members alleging that the Neda was “bribed” with “a few cars and travels abroad” was inappropriate. All cars and travels approved by the UNDP for Neda were all connected to the UNDP-funded projects the Neda and IPs oversee.

Apart from this, Tungpalan told BusinessMirror that the efforts of the UNDP to reform and streamline its projects and rationalize the functions of project monitoring offices (PMOs) is consistent with the directive of the Department of Budget and Management to implement a unified PMO in all government agencies.

Under this scheme, only one PMO will be allowed per agency. The PMO for an agency will now handle projects funded by several multilateral agencies, such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and other similar agencies, including the UN and its agencies.

The memo also highlighted the importance of complying with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The Paris declaration stresses the need for the implementation of a rationalization process among donors in managing aid-financed projects and programs.

The Paris declaration was signed by all donor countries and multilateral agencies and has now set the global standard for aid-financed projects and programs.

“Donors commit to avoid the maximum extent possible creating dedicated structures for day-to-day management and implementation of aid-financed projects and programmes,” the Paris declaration stipulated.

In his letter to United Nations Development Group chairman and UNDP administrator Kemal Dervis on August 1, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri said the Philippines has embarked on the implementation of appropriate measures to make the partnership between the government and UNDP responsive to the needs of the country.

“The planning and coordination of the implementation of said measures are being carried out in close coordination with our CPAP partners and UNDP colleagues, with Neda at the helm of the change management process,” Neri stated in the letter.

These changes included the removal of the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) as the IP for the Fostering Democratic Governance Programme. The UP-NCPAG was replaced with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

“The shift would require a change in the present implementing arrangements. The CHR is the most appropriate IP given its mandate,” the memorandum said.

Earlier, seven staffers of the UNDP filed a formal complaint at the Department of Foreign Affairs against Mrs. Noble.

The complaint, filed by UNDP assistant representatives Amelia Supetran and Emmanuel Buendia; programme managers Clarissa Arida and Imee Manal; and programme associates Jennifer Navarro, Morito Francisco, and Mary Gemme Montebon, may render Mrs. Noble a persona non-grata in the Philippines.

Fierce, Fabulous and Fat: Malu Fernandez

Posted by: Angelicum on Monday, August 20, 2007
This article which might be a little late for me to blog is about Malu Fernandez. She was born rich because her dad is rich, end of story. I don't know what will it take for a person so self-absorbed to step on his fellow-Filipinos just because they are OFWs. And worse, I can't figure out how someone so morbidly obese, ugly and looks like a shaved Shih Tzu can do that.

First, whatever you say, you flew coach, which you happen to hate so much, you just can't change that fact. And worse, you flew back on coach class again. If you have so much money, I'm sure you won't mind sliding your card at the kiosk for a freaking upgrade.

Second, even the bottlers and helps of Discovery Shores won't sleep with you cause no matter what perfume you wear, you still looked like a Lechon complete with Jo Malone and MAC, and please, stop using ching-chang-sue.

This is the text from Malu Fernandez's article:

Meanwhile, when all of this was going on, I was on the cell phone with my jet set buddy Ron Sato planning an impromptu trip. You see, Ron is my travel buddy who lives in Los Angeles, so between his schedule and mine, the logistics are a nightmare, The week at Easter, however, was open for both of us so I said: "Pick a country!" We decided on Greece and all we went. But getting there was a bloody nightmare. To save on my ticket, I bravely took economy class seat on Emirates as recommended by my travel agent, Ron excitedly told me to go for it- Emirates had won best economy class and some award. However I forgot that the hub was in Dubai and the majority of the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) were stationed there. The duty-free shop was overrun with Filipino workers selling cell phones and perfume. Meanwhile, I wanted to slash my wrist at the thought of being trapped in a plane with all of them. Of course, everyone in economy class was yelled at for having overweight hand-carries. Mine was 17kg (ssshhhh!). That was all my makeup and accessories I would never risk Iosing if my luggage ended up in the middle of the Sahara desert.

While I was on the plane (where the seats were so small I had bruises on my leg) --YOUR LEGS ARE EQUIVALENT OF BEEF SHACK SO DON'T PRETEND YOU DON'T KNOW THE REASON WHY THE SPACE SEEM SO SMALL, my only consolation was the entertainment on the small flat screen in front of me. But it was busted, so I heaved a sigh. popped my sleeping pills and dozed off to the sounds of gum chewing and endless yelling of "HOY! Kumusta ka na? At taga saan ka? Domestic helper ka rin ba?' translation: Hey there? Where are you from? Are you a domestic helper as well?" I thought I had died and God had sent me to my very own private hell.

On my way back, I had to bravely take the economy flight once more. This time I had already resigned myself to being trapped like a sardine in a sardine can with all these OFWs smelling AXE and Charlie cologne while my Jo Malone evaporated into thin air. However, for the first time in my natural life I was elated to go back to the Philippines so I could go hack to Discovery Shores in Boracay and sip a tropical drink under the fabulous hat I bought in Greece.

There I was sending MMS pictures to my buddy Ron trying to entice him to come over, but I didn't succeed. Instead, I got two other friends to join me in sipping cocktails with a fabulous sunset and ocean view while planting my feet firmly on the bug-free cement flooring by the poolside of Discovery Shores.

All in all, it's been a pretty good summer. Jetting from the Aegean Sea to the Pacific may sound a bit pretentious until you wake up in economy class smelling like air freshener. Not to mention looking at your bank balance after paying for all your trips, which surely smacks reality in your face. But for a couple of weeks, I had a great escape I planned for this long hot summer.

And the overcooked pork can't get enough, so she published another article:

Are you Stinky Linky? Or do you smell like a divine divalicious babe?

As all of you know I have just returned from a wonderful holiday in the Mediterranean. To cut on some costs for this impromptu vacation I was forced to fly economy class which I absolutely do not wish on my worst enemy. I was, however, encouraged by my travel agent to try out Emirates since it won the best economy class, so with great trepidation I flew on Emirates via Dubai, completely forgetting that Dubai is the hub for all the Filipino migrant workers. Call me whatever you like but when you are trapped in economy class that is filled to the brim with migrant workers the smell gets a little funky after nine hours of flying.

The whole incident inspired me to write about fragrance. For as long as I can remember I have had a very keen sense of smell. And sometimes I can remember people by their sense, call it weird but it's true. Some studies actually state that men and women are more primarily attracted by scent than by physical attributes. I may forget a lover's face but I never forget his scent.

You can read the articles from the original scan by clicking these thumbnails"

I know another blog about her will just make her even more famous, after being blogged by hundreds of angry Filipinos.

Her apologetic article about this issue (apparently the publication received thousands of email from people wanting to kick her ass) made things worse, she said it's all about humor and crap, well I didn't laugh. All I saw is a fat woman, so ugly inside and out that she wanted attention by being controversial and projects to the mass that she's frivolous, sorry foundation can't hide your 50kg ham.

I myself have experienced being with a plane of OFWs last year on the way to Hong Kong. My flight was arranged and shouldered by the office. I have to say, OFWs or not, it is the noisy environment that will annoy me on the plane, and having games on-board is a big no no for me. Filipinos being chatters/talkers, I can hear some of them talk about why they are leaving, it's annoying because I am so trying to sleep but it's humbling to hear their stories, and so I started not to mind the chatting and mind my own business.

On my way back to Manila, beside me sits an OFW who will be back home after 10-years of stay in Hong Kong, she worked as a domestic helper to provide for her family, I saw her eyes a little teary while sharing her story to the lady beside her. I, on the other hand is about to be teary cause the plane is having a turbulence that I have never in the world experienced before. This is while the other passengers seem to not care, it's quite funny. I also have a bad sinusitis at that time so I think the woman beside me thought I was crying, when I'm about to fill in my immigration form, she offered me her fountain pen after seeing me search for my carry-on and found nothing. She offered it to me in English thinking that I don't know how to speak Tagalog, she then asked why am I crying. I even heard her prior to that saying "umiiyak yata 'to" to the lady beside her, assuming that I can't understand her. I told her I'm not crying. She seem to care so much, she later on gave me tissue to use, and it gives me an impression of someone so motherly. Someone longing to take care of her own children after years of taking care of other's. They deserve respect.

DHL and Prada Function

Posted by: Angelicum on Saturday, August 18, 2007
Yesterday was a bit busy, imagine I have to clear my name before lunch? Anyhow, I am so consumed the whole morning that I decided to meet up with a friend and have some coffee and later on, dinner. On top of all that crap, there's a typhoon.

I realized that I am also expecting a package from Hong Kong. DHL delivered the mail at home but they realized I am currently out and about, they asked my brother where I might be and and he told them that I am about to have coffee in Shangri-la. When i got out of the car, DHL was there waiting for me, handing me over the package. Isn't that top-level service?! I never experienced that before. Although I think they won't do that, in the middle of typhoon, if you are not a gold member. Anyway, Kudos for them!

The mail is quite huge:

I am planning to have coffee and a little walk around the shops to relax and free my mind from the previous happening that morning, and a huge package with big DHL logo might not look that good. So I removed it from the envelope and carry a folder by my hand. That's when I realized that Prada does have a justified reason for making such clutch, a big one, which I thought 2-months ago was one of their stupidest and biggest clutch mistake.

Of course even if ever I have the money to buy it for $1,290.00, which I don't, I still won't be able to use its sole purpose 'cause it's not for men.

Oh by the way, Paul Smith is having a yummy sale in Shangri-la, men's bags are up to 40% less.

My Hope: Yilmaz Bektas' Toupée

Posted by: Angelicum on Wednesday, August 15, 2007
When Yilmaz arrived in NAIA last week, his hair looked like that of Jude Law's.

And then after a little less than 6 hours, he had this interview at The Buzz sporting this face and hair. Make-up? Botox? Toupée? Definitely! (A toupée is a hairpiece or partial wig of natural or synthetic hair worn to cover partial baldness.)

Talk about hope and inspiration for my hairline?! Wheeee!! Hahaha!

Thanks to the Sneaky Observation of Tita Chuva.

Leibovitz For Vuitton

Posted by: Angelicum on Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Isn't this cool, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev posed for Annie Leibovitz for a Louis Vuitton Ad. I would never have imagined Gorbachev appearing in a fashion campaign, even if it is only for a bag. The ad, however, is part of a campaign to emphasize the company’s heritage in luggage and travel accessories. Gorbachev is featured in a car, a Vuitton bag at his side and the Berlin Wall in the background.

Also photographed by Annie Leibovitz, my favourite, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf cuddling in a hotel room, their bags not yet unpacked.

The final part of the campaign is Catherine Deneuve resting on a trunk in front of a steaming locomotive. All very hot, all very sexy, all raising the profile of the brand.

You can see the bags on their "real" forms, with crease and deformations, unlike the previous ads where the bags looked as if they have card-boards inside to make them look perfect in conformation.

Annie Leibotvitz is the one responsible for this legendary Rolling Stone cover shot of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

And more recently this shot of Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her visit to the United States.

Back to the topic, Vuitton said it was making donations to former Vice President Al Gore's The Climate Project to fight global warming and Green Cross International, founded by Gorbachev to promote sustained development. The company didn't disclose the amount of the donations.

The campaign -- which is to run alongside more traditional fashion ads that in past seasons have featured Johansson -- will appear in magazines in September.

Gifts Part 2

Posted by: Angelicum on Monday, August 13, 2007
Part two of the gifts shout-out.

This is from Tarek, it came from Egypt and it's so beautiful. The details are magnificent and it comes with a brass Egyptian plate.

This cute ceramic town portrait is from Tomita, it shows a little city from Romania.

A cool New York book from Van, my Vietnamese friend from Philadelphia.

And here's a funny story. Last November 15 2006, I was sent a cheque by Oracle. Regardless of its value, I planned to hold the encash-ment of the cheque until kingdom come, more so, until I feel like going to the bank. The last May 18, I thought of having this cheque en-cashed. I am not aware that international cheques are only valid for six months in the Philippines.

I then send a formal letter to Oracle, asking them to send me a second cheque since the one I have has just expired, and also admitting how careless and unaware I was of the situation. It's so irritating because I'm only 3-days late. Oracle told me that I have to send them the original and unused cheque. So right then and there, I sent the cheque to San Francisco via DHL for PhP-1,800. Duh right?

The cheque arrived home May 29th, the reason I wanted to en-cash the cheque is for me to have extra more money for my trip to Malaysia. I departed Manila on 28th, so everything was useless. And then just two weeks ago, I again, planned to en-cash the note, guess what? I lost it again. Hahhahaa! I was so worried for days.

Well now trying to find this New York book for this blog, I found the cheque between the pages, I had a deep sigh of relief. I hid it on my Cathay Pacific ticket to Hong Kong.

I'll be in Hong Kong this October for an official trip and a little vacation and visits with friends.

Teu Lei Lomo! Hahahaha~!

Gifts Part 1

Posted by: Angelicum
I love receiving gifts and tokens of appreciation, even if it's better to give than to receive. I do give too anyway. Mr. Lung gave me an idea to do this again, I've done gift shout-outs before, but I haven't thanked the recent givers.

An addition to my spoons, this one's given by Nick from Hong Kong. Of the times I set foot in Hong Kong, I never really had a chance to buy spoon. Two years ago, the one I saw in Chep Lap Kok was so expensive it's not funny anymore. A year ago, Jay helped me find some at the night market in Jordan, no luck.

So here's a cute wooden spoon, very simple and I like it. Especially because it's wrapped on a brown genuine leather, I love leather.

And this is another one from Hong Kong given by my friend Yoyo, she'll be busy as a bee for college now and we might not get the chance to see each other for four years, so she gave me this Chinese Chess, she knew I love chessboards. It was sent by airmail which is more expensive than the board itself.

This is from my cousin Jenny Jane, another spoon. How ironic that I live in Manila and I don't have a Philippine Spoon. Nice move. Haha! The details are rather elegant. It has a carving of Barasoain Church, Bamboo Sticks, and Malakas & Maganda.

Lastly, from Jaevion, a cute shot-glass with Piña Colada recipe at the back! This is from Jamaica.

And speaking of Jamaica, I realized recently how I miss the place. I went to the movie-house last week with a friend to watch License to Wed with Robin Williams and freaking Mandy Moore, the last part of the movie was shot in Jamaica and the resort where we stayed at was seen. I so want to go back O_O

I'll blog part 2 later.

Noble Sadism

Posted by: Angelicum on Friday, August 10, 2007

Agencies complain of abrupt changes in UNDP projects

Source: Business Mirror, 9 August 2007
By Cai U. Ordinario

SEVERAL government agencies have filed complaints to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines against the supposed abrupt changes implemented on a number of projects funded by the UNDP.

Complainant agencies include the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Mindanao Economic Development Council.

The DOE also complained, specifically, about the removal of project monitoring offices (PMO) in the Philippines. PMOs serve as the main coordinators of a certain project. Former DOE secretary Raphael Lotilla wrote to UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Nileema Noble that one of her circulars shortened the contracts of two Development Support Services Center, (DSSCs), contrary to the directives of the DOE.

According to the Circular Memorandum dated February 15, 2007 from Noble addressed to all UNDP Staff members that all extensions of service contracts of project personnel shall only be valid until April 30, 2007, due to “project administrative costs.”

“It is lamentable that UNDP, which has been advocating a policy of continuous dialogue/consultation with all stakeholders for the smooth implementation of projects, has failed to observe this policy of consultation with its partner agencies, including the DOE, on matters of national importance,” Lotilla wrote.

In a letter to Secretary Lotilla, signed for Noble by UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Kyo Naka, it said the removal of all PMOs has not been a unilateral decision, and that the Neda also took part in the decision-making process. The letter also stated that the government and UNDP signed a joint memorandum to make it clear that the process of cutting short the contracts of DSSCs is a gradual one, over a one-year period ending December 2007.

“The phasing out of the independent PMOs has been accepted as a general principle by Neda and in the context of the implementation of the Paris Declaration Principles, as well as those of the ongoing UN system reform agenda,” the UNDP letter said. For his part, Neda Director General Romulo Neri told BusinessMirror that the agency wrote a letter in support of Mrs. Noble’s efforts to “clean” projects.

“The letter was addressed to all Cabinet secretaries endorsing what Mrs. Noble is doing in the country. I know everything and I am endorsing everything,” Neri said. Meanwhile, NCPAG dean Alex Brillantes Jr. wrote to Mrs. Noble and Neda Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan about the decision of the UNDP and Neda to replace the NCPAG as the implementing partner (IP) of the Fostering Democratic Governance (FDG) Program without due process.

“We were, therefore, dismayed by the unilateral decision of the UNDP and Neda to replace NCPAG as the IP for the FDG program. This was done without going through the process of consultation and dialogue, in accordance with the principles of transparency and participation, which are the basic tenets in the practice of good governance that UNDP advocates,” Brillantes wrote.

According to Brillantes’ letter, the UNDP was the one who approached NCPAG in 2005 to become the IP for the project. He added that never in his dealings with multilateral partners, particularly the UN, has transparency, accountability and participation not been implemented.

Brillantes said this was evident in their dealings with the UNDP since the 1960s and their cordial relationships with various UNDP representatives such as Turnham Mangun, Terence (IP) Jones and Deborah Landey.

Meanwhile, \NAPC Secretary General and Lead Convenor Datu Zamzamin Ampatuan wrote to DDG Tungpalan about its Strengthening Institutional Mechanisms for the Convergence of Poverty Alleviation Efforts project funded by the UNDP. The letter said the UNDP and Neda amended and agreed upon implementing arrangements of the projects and removed NAPC as the IP for the project.

Datu Ampatuan also said these changes were not communicated to him when he took over, and that these are against the interests and responsibilities of NAPC. “I wish to convey to you that NAPC is asserting its rightful role as implementing partner, rather than its relegation now as only one of responsible parties. By mandate alone, the shepherding and coordination of poverty reduction programs and activities should be NAPCs,” Ampatuan said.

These unilateral changes have been happening as early as 2005. NCIP chairperson Jannette Serrano wrote to Naka on behalf of the agency regarding their concern for the manner by which the institutional arrangement for the implementation of the Integrated Program for the Empowerment of Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development of Ancestral Domains (IP-EIPSDAD) was done.

The NCIP letter, written on November 28, 2005, and received by the UNDP in Manila on December 19, 2005, said it was not involved in the negotiations to change the mode of implementation and terms of reference of the project.

“We would like to put on record that NCIP was never part of this crucial decision. As a matter of fact, this is contrary to the position of Department of Agrarian Reform [DAR] Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, with whom we had the opportunity to discuss the matter prior to the FAO, who maintained that the IP-EIPSDAD should be implemented by the NCIP and not DAR,” Serrano said.


Posted by: Angelicum on Monday, August 06, 2007
Final promotional photos for the new brand 'Broadway' featuring lines of accessories for men and women.

Minor retouching, but believe me, the woman's arms are genuine. Amazing.


Posted by: Angelicum on Sunday, August 05, 2007
I've been sick for more than a week now, and my morning coughs currently involves bloody phlegm. Oh well, I still have to work during the night. Recent events were extraordinarily busy and pressured.

First I have to simmer down just a wee bit on blogging about those things *points out the blogs just right below this entry* 'cause I'm about to sign a contract (is this a coincidence or what) for a joint lighting project of the Department of Energy (DOE), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The latter being our subject. =) Here, a little preview:

Anyway, this IT consultancy and web developing project is a little over the top cause for the first time in my life, I will have to come up with my very own website-specific search engine system, free of advertisement and the likes. The only technical script I've done is a little guestbook and tag-board script using C++, so let alone a whole search engine, how comfortable. And yes it's very convenient, I will learn something new and get a dashing reward equivalent to a year labor of your next door call center agent, and I only have to do this in a month. I love my life, sorry.

And to the title of this blog, aside from the lighting project, I also have to do this:

Have had some problems with payment, negotiated, okayed.

I really think that conceptual consultancy is one of the best job in the world. Good pay, you're able to channel your artistic self, be unique, have your work and concept published, meet the hottest specimens God created and just be proud of it. Anyway here are some cool new shots for the new brand Attitudes:

Hey! Don't forget I also accept airbrushing services for minimum price. You really think they're that smooth and flawless?? =)

So ya, I'm bored right now, that's why I blogged, weekend. I haven't been out for a couple of weeks or more and I'm starting to grow lumps of cold air on my back, I need to get out and walk some miles or just buy some new stuff and freshen up. Look here:

I was cleaning my inbox and suddenly realize how busy this specific exchange of emails were, I miss the life-and-death pressure situation, literally heart pounding nervousness and just the whole panicky-slash-amok aura when it comes to travel arrangements.

THEY Want her out! Names Mentioned!

Posted by: Angelicum on Wednesday, August 01, 2007
13 Filipino staffers seek ouster of UN’s Manila chief

Exec accused of ‘oppressive behavior’
By Veronica Uy
Last updated 08:58pm (Mla time) 07/30/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- At least 13 Filipino staffers of the United Nations office here, including two who have already left the office, are seeking the ouster of the office’s chief, Nileema Noble, for her allegedly “autocratic and oppressive behavior.”

In a letter to Kemal Dervis, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York, staffers Mary Gemme Montebon, Jennifer Navarro, Amelia D. Supetran, Emmanuel E. Buendia, Morito G. Francisco, Imee F. Manal, Clarissa Arida, Roberto V. Carandang, Anna L. Senga, Jay-Ann Arandia, and Elcid C. Pangilinan, and former staff workers Frances M. Solinap and Francis Gertrud R. Mercado, also asked that Nileema be punished for “verbal and physical harassment,” “abuse of authority,” and “violation of the rights” of the staffers, particularly to effective remedy and due process.

A copy of the 11-page letter dated July 23 this year was obtained by

Sought for comment, Noble’s office said she has been instructed by UNDP headquarters in New York to refrain from talking about the case because an investigating mission will be coming to the country to conduct a two-day probe on the matter.

The 13 said they tried to give Noble the benefit of the doubt, “but the longer we worked with her, the faster we came to the conclusion that her autocratic and oppressive behavior will not change.” They said Noble’s continued stay at the UN’s Manila office will erode the UNDP and UN’s credibility in the country.

Citing the Charter of the United Nations, the Staff Rules, and the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service, the complainants said “abusive behavior” is not tolerated by the organization.

“As you know, Staff Rule 101.2 (d) indicates that ‘any form of discrimination or harassment, as well as physical or verbal abuse at the workplace or in connection with work, is prohibited. Harassment in any shape or form is an affront to human dignity and international civil servants must avoid it,’” they said.

They enumerated 22 different forms of alleged abuse. Among these, quoted verbatim from the letter, are:

-- Most recently, she insulted and embarrassed staff in front of high ranking government officials, publicly berating them with rude language for supposedly not undertaking a task which she committed to the government without even consulting and formally informing the staff concerned.

-- Poked a staff member’s chest and forcefully slapped another’s back to emphasize a point because she is angry or frustrated.

-- Rebuffed a staff who was so happy because Mrs. Noble already signed a contract (after several weeks of the document being with the latter). When the said staff slightly touched Mrs. Noble on the shoulder and quipped that it was finally over, Mrs. Noble physically shoved her hand away and responded in a loud voice, “What are you suggesting -- that
I’m pending documents in this office…”

-- Meetings where she often raises her voice and nit-picks on managers and staff members, embarrassing and denigrating them unnecessarily. Several incidents of one-on-one meetings with staff where she raised her voice caused further intimidation and fear among them.

-- High-handed behavior with staff members, treating them with not a bit of respect. In one incident, a staff witnessed Mrs. Noble’s ordering another staff to fetch a pen under her table, which she can very well do on her own.

-- Several incidents with staff where she would nakedly point out their supposed rudeness in front of colleagues for not immediately greeting her good morning or good afternoon while she does not even observe it herself. In fact, she would rudely interrupt meetings of staff with the Deputy Resident Representative and not even apologize for the rude intrusion. There was one incident where she was not satisfied with the workshop flow and accused the UN staff in-charge of the activity of sabotaging the Office, in front of everyone.

-- Several incidents where staff were too afraid to speak or question her decisions even if such will clearly compromise the organization for fear of retaliation. Whenever staff muster enough courage to speak their minds on certain issues which clearly contravene her own, she would intimidate these staff until they give up. By her actuations, Mrs. Noble always presumes herself to be correct and no one should, therefore, question her actions. In one of the staff meeting, Mrs. Noble announced staff movements and claimed that she has informed the particular staff of his re-assignment to another unit, where he allegedly agreed on. The concerned staff responded that it was the first time that he has heard of the re-assignment.

-- Often exhibiting unnecessary frustration, rage, and intimidation if an outcome is not to her liking, accusing staff of perceived hidden motivation, imaginary errors, and incomplete staff work. She often accuses staff of hiding things from her and not providing her enough information, no matter how many briefings, briefing papers and other information materials are provided her. She does not listen to staff explanation and makes oft-repeated accusations which are baseless and untrue.

-- One incident where she almost tore a letter apart when she erased her signature in front of a staff, implying that the staff was trying to trick her into signing that document.

-- She also has the habit of throwing papers back to the persons submitting them, if she is not satisfied with such papers.

-- Recent arbitrary (and forcible) termination of two staff without due process. Further, the manner in which she handed out the decision and her ensuing instructions for its implementation, such as the terminated staff’s leaving the UN premises immediately, packing their belongings and turn-over of keys and IDs within the hour, showed how little her respect is for common decency and dignity of a human person, treating them like common criminals. Staff members who witnessed these incidents were left in shock and fear. If these could happen to high-ranking national staff in the UNDP/UN, then it can very well happen to them, or even much worse. These incidents of arbitrary termination happened in a span of only two weeks.

-- Adding insult to injury, one of them was told not to contest the decision of his termination. If he did, then Mrs. Noble said that she will have to state a reason for the termination that will tarnish his record which, in effect, would deprive him of possible UN employment opportunities in the future.

-- Several verbal threats to staff that their contracts will not be renewed if targets are not achieved or performance is not acceptable to her. She even made a threat to withhold a staff member’s salary if performance is not up to her standards.

-- Mrs. Noble’s impossible, whimsical requests and demands to be included in certain high-level meetings and conferences have led to incidents where staff had to push themselves to the limit to satisfy her. There was an incident where a staff had to stay late at night for two days just to enable her to get into an event she, for some reason, craved to be in. When everything has been arranged, she decided last minute not to go anymore, without any explanation or apologies.

-- A very grave infraction committed by Mrs. Noble was her incursion into staff privacy in communications. She had one of the staff member’s office cellphone seized, its contents downloaded, on mere unfounded accusation of a PMO staff that the staff member was spreading malicious messages about her. Mrs. Noble made no amends nor even offered an apology even when the exercise did not yield information incriminating the staff whose cellphone was seized.