Thursday, June 28, 2007


Sorry for the intermission, I am here in Oklahoma working hard. Oldtimers here say, “ some of us have to work to make a living”. I report for work at 4:45 am, take care of the paperwork and start endoscoping patients at 6:15 am.

When I arrived in the US, the Customs guy in LA cheerily told me, “Welcome home, Dr. Bautista”. This is a country where things work. Funny that you see multitudes of Filipinos at the airport as Immigration Officers, janitors, food concession employees, many others, we make the airport run especially during the graveyard shift. This is a nation that works, America the Beautiful, why won’t our country do the same?

Check out our headlines, the political intrigues surrounding the next Senate president, counting of votes in Maguindanao, whether we are lying about our GDP, there’s no real production involved, only gossip and chismis and nonsense.

So, let me work, make a little money. Gregory and Doc Lacsamana, we’re in the same continent. Life’s good. Let’s keep evolution and the meaning of life in the backburner. If we are going to change our country, we need to relax, take a couple steps back, think, keep independent.

We can change the World.


Gregory said...

Welcome to this part of the world, again.

You're right. Relax muna. One way for me to put the discussion on evolution, evil, god, etc. in the backburner is to avoid checking out the comment section of that post. :-)

Now you're right. And I am saying this simply as a declarative sentence - without any imputation, without any reference to back home - -things in general do work here. Sure, there are inefficiencies. But yes, in general they work. That's what Jim Paredes said too about Australia. In general, what "wowed" him was the fact that things do work.

Again - that was simply a declarative statement based on my experiences in the States and in Canada.

Well - -good luck with life in Oklahoma. So does this mean it's a back and forth life for you or will you be staying in Oklahoma until perhaps the next election or something.

Asia said...

Will you be coming back again here in the Philippines to continue your advocacy? :(

Martin D. Bautista, M.D. said...

I will be heading to Vegas in a few days to attend the homecoming of the UP Medical Alumni Association. I will be back in the Philippines on 7 July. Tama si Gregory, relax muna. Time to think away from the many problems. Being a gastroenterologist allows me to become an independent from special interest groups. I need to maintain this independence.

Gregory said...

Yes, Martin. Lots of work to be done. Here's a blog entry from The Blurry Brain blog:

Philippines a candidate as a "failed State"

Foreign Policy magazine (working with the Fund for Peace) has published the third annual Failed States Index, which rank the countries where the risk of "failure" is running high, having vulnerability to "violent internal conflict and societal deterioration". According to the Report, 2006 suggests few encouraging signs that the world is on a path to greater peace and stability. Sudan and Iraq are listed as two of the most vulnerable States for this year. With a globalized world, the threat of weak states extend beyond their territories that could endanger the development and security of other nations. See the full Report here.

Not many may have gotten this the first time I circulated it but the Philippines has been listed as 56th in the ranking of vulnerable States, ahead of Indonesia and behind Iran (the rankings are in reverse order). The Philippines ranked poorly in terms of group governance, development, delegitimization of State, security, and factionalized elites. The Foreign Policy rankings itself can be found here.

The government, the academe, international lawyers should all look into this. True or not, either way, this labeling of the Philippines by this foreign publication does not bode well for the country.

Pete said...

Dr. Bautista, why dont you relocate to Cali or HI wherein there are plenty of kababayan patients. It feels like being home treating your own kind but without the third world atmosphere.

r.g. lacsamana, m.d. said...

Welcome back, Martin.

I was hoping you would stay longer, but it appears you will be back home in a week. I thought you were going back to your old GI practice.

Yes, you need time to leave that noisy world of politics back home and reconnect to a world where you had some of the best years of your life. I just have a feeling your old friends and patients want you, and your family, to come back and stay for good.

I still believe in your mission to do what you can for our country, but if voters remain in that time warp where they don't believe in the power of ideas, such as you and the Kapatiran Party had expounded, you are still young enough to consider your options.

Enjoy your time in Las Vegas. Our own UST reunion will be sometime next week, and this is a good time to see friends and classmates we have missed seeing the past several years. I bet your UP colleages will be waiting to hear you report about your baptism into Philippine politics.

rey said...

Have a nice break! I'm going to miss the Las Vegas meeting this year (going to NY for business deal). Hopefully, I can attend future meetings.

ian said...

hi doc martin! glad to know your visit to the US will be just be for a week or so (and not as long as your colleagues and friends wish it to be =])

hope you infect our unquestionably-generous alumni there with more love for the college and our country. we all need to collectively step up our efforts if we are to elevate the quality of medical education further in the UP. God knows the Dean is almost at his wits' end in budgeting money from gov't that is practically not there...

hopefully, in due time, there will be a more tangible direct relationship between the graduation of excellent UP doctors and better healthcare delivery system for Filipinos here.

Anonymous said...


I'm confused. Previously, you said you don't have a green card. How are you allowed to work in Oklahoma?

delfin said...

anonymous : stop already with this asking about doc's green card. So he has one, what's your point?

Gregory said...

I think there's no problem.

One, he is a natural born citizen.

Second, you can have more than one residence.

Now, of course, a green card may mean intent to reside in another country.

But if he were elected, and a case brought up, it can be argued that the intent to reside in Phils. is clear by bringing his family there and that the green card was really used simply as a means to briefly perform work.

I know there are cases in supreme court about green card holders.

My law might be a bit rusty (very rusty actually - -and I could've checked my old notes or conferred with friends) but here goes (for the purpose of simply putting something out there):

G.R. No. 88831 November 8, 1990

To be "qualified to run for elective office" in the Philippines, the law requires that the candidate who is a green card holder must have "waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country." Therefore, his act of filing a certificate of candidacy for elective office in the Philippines, did not of itself constitute a waiver of his status as a permanent resident or immigrant of the United States. The waiver of his green card should be manifested by some act or acts independent of and done prior to filing his candidacy for elective office in this country. Without such prior waiver, he was "disqualified to run for any elective office" (Sec. 68, Omnibus Election Code).

Respondent Merito Miguel admits that he holds a green card, which proves that he is a permanent resident or immigrant it of the United States, but the records of this case are starkly bare of proof that he had waived his status as such before he ran for election as municipal mayor of Bolinao on January 18, 1988. We, therefore, hold that he was disqualified to become a candidate for that office.


Of course, facts here differ. But I think intent on Martin's part to reside in Phils. and that he has not abandoned residency in Phils. is clear. He has clearly stated that when he was in states, he always knew he would return home one day. So he never abandoned residency in the Phils.

Plus, he just went to States for 3 weeks and is coming back home again.

However, it may be good for Martin to check with his lawyers on this matter in case of a future run. I don't think he will be disqualified because maybe all that he has to do is to actually surrender the green card. Plus, he relocated his family back in the Phils, right?

But yes - - a blog sometimes - -can be the basis of cases in the future. I won't be surprised if future competitors of Martin for office (whether it be a local or national position), might make this an issue and use the post in this blog as part of evidence.

Nonetheless, I don't think things are problematic. From my reading, the residency issue can be settled in future by simply renouncing it before he makes another future run.

But with the whole issue of dual citizenship allowed now - - this whole case about the green card can be reinterpreted in a whole new light.

Gregory said...

To the doctors out there - -one way to show your love for UP Med is contributing to its endowment. I don't know if contributes to such is tax deductible.

Ayala Foundation was smart. To increase contributions from Fils. in the US, they established an Ayala Foundation US.

Non-profits etc. back home can increase donations there way if they can come up with system that will enable Fils. in countries abroad to deduct the donations from the gross income for income tax purposes.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about this from the very beginning. I was supportive of Dr. Bautista's candidacy from day 1. But I always had this question, why can't he serve as a physician in the Philippines? He said he thinks he can help better as a politician than a physician. I trusted that but there is something missing there for someone who said his desire is to give back to his own country. What did you give back? You just proselytized to the people there. But then, their poor souls may ask, how convenient is it for you to point out our flaws and to tell us that you could be an answer? So physician in Oklahoma and politician in the Philippines? How safe. When the Philippines needs physicians very badly. Believe me Dr. Bautista you have not given back your people-provided, state university education yet. U.P. doctors get the best medical education and graduates like Dr. Bautista gave back nothing but left for the U.S. the first chance they got. Yes, there is nothing wrong with that action. What's wrong is flaunting your hypocrisy by running for public office and saying you care when you understand nothing of the cause. Stay in Oklahoma. Be true to yourself.

I'm sorry Dr. Bautista but I won't be arguing for you anymore.

Anonymous said...

Too much idealism and cynicism paralyzes us so that we accomplish nothing. Let those willing to help do their thing and better yet support them and quit asking for more. The guy makes his money, the fastest way he can, in America, and promises to use his talents and resources to help the people of the Philippines and you still want more. What we should be asking is what we have done and could do for the Philippines and not question the methods of Dr. Bautista.

Tito Cesar said...

Hey, Anonymous, isn't it enough that Doc Martin has come back home to stay and practice his profession? But, coming home he saw what's direly wrong with Philippine politics and tried to do something about it by running for public office. Had he won, he could have served his constituents both as a doctor and lawmaker. What more do you want?

Anonymous said...

tito cesar,
I hope (and work) for the best for our country. I still continue to do so and I will not give up. I am not a politician (I'm in the business sector.) but I love the country of my birth. It is home. And probably (?) like Martin, I am a dual citizen. I spend three quarters of my year in the Philippines and the rest in different airports.

But Dr. Bautista has not gone back to the Philippines to be a physician. He went back to be a politician. That is his call. And sure, let us give the man a chance to serve. But he should first deliver before he professes to be a messiah.

Deliver, like the very Filipinos (without the high profile job description)-- the middle class, the intellectuals, the blue collars, the hopeful youth, the poor (who may be hoping to deliver but could not) etc.--whom he is claiming to want to serve. Maybe my comments a while back were a bit too harsh, but proselytizing is not the way to go either. He is frequently tempted to do that.

There is not one man to do the job. That is all I'm saying. It is a collective endeavor to carry our country to the state it dreams to become. We have to understand first what is going on with our country's crippled soul. And this holier than thou approach is not the answer.
ps: On an indirectly related note, F. Sionil Jose was right in his books. He should be read as an initial step towards the collective's introspection. And then, change happens.

Martin D. Bautista, M.D. said...

No anonymous, I am not a dual citizen and I didn't find your comments harsh. I want to think that everyone who follows this blog has our country's best interests at heart.

Contrary to what you might think, I am seeing patients here in Bacolod and Quezon City, and there are plenty. Reinforces my belief in the futility of little deeds here. We have got to get together and promote revolutionary change. It is not enough to feel comfortable and secure thinking that by helping a few families, sending 10 kids to school and helping pay for medical expenses you have done your utmost best. It simply is not enough. We all need to do more.