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SC clarifies ban on lower court appointments stands By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/31/2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SC clarifies ban on lower court appointments stands


By Benjamin B. Pulta
03/31/2010

The Supreme Court (SC) sought to restrain President Arroyo from appointing anyone to the judiciary on the lower court level following a Malacañang aide’s claim that the high court, in its ruling vesting Arroyo with the authority to appoint the next Chief Justice, with the scheduled retirement on May 17, by issuing a strong clarification on the issue.

New lower court judges cannot be named by the Palace during the election period ban on midnight appointments, SC spokesman Midas Marquez insisted yesterday.

Justice Secretary Alberto Agra earlier said that the President can appoint trial court judges despite a ban on midnight appointments. Agra cited that this was the logical result of a recent controversial ruling allowing her to name the next chief justice.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100331hed5.html

Erap: Fake opposition bets to be shunned by voters

Erap: Fake opposition bets to be shunned by voters


By Gerry Baldo

03/31/2010

Former President Joseph Estrada, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) standard bearer, stepped up his call on voters yesterday to distinguish between the real and pseudo-opposition parties when they vote on May 10.

Estrada, in a rare pitch to establish his pro-poor stance that Nacionalista Party presidential bet Sen. Manny Villar is trying to copy along with his orange party color said the image that Villar is trying to project is as fallacious as his advertisements.

He said the irony is that Villar needed to spend billions of pesos to project an image that is pro-poor.

“He had spent billions of pesos in television advertisements to project his image as pro-poor. He used his mother, his brother to creat. I don’t know if people would believe him,” Estrada said.

Estrada also lambasted Villar for claiming that his party is part of the political opposition.

“How can Villar be in the opposition, who banged the gavel in Congress to railroad my impeachment?”, Estrada asked. Villar was the Speaker when the Articles of Impeachment against Estrada was transmitted to the Senate with Villar and his allies claiming a majority in the House to approve Estrada’s impeachment without a hearing in the chamber.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100331hed4.html

Opening wide the cheating doors EDITORIAL 03/31/2010

Opening wide the cheating doors



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
03/31/2010

All signs of electronic election fraud that is to be committed in May are present, yet the Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioners continue to cast a blind eye on this.

Nothing, but nothing, is being done to cleanse the voters’ list of double and multiple registrants, a sure fire sign that ballots will be padded, especially as the ballots being printed are based on the number of voters, a sizable number of whom are double, multiple and dead voters.

It is hardly any secret to these commissioners that there exists the “Big Four” consisting of leaders of the poll cheating syndicate, that is known to the Comelec personnel to be at the top of the padding of votes. Yet the commissioners haven’t done anything to put a stop to this cheating syndicate. Why, when they have the power to throw the book at these executives who are said to be gang leaders?
.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100331com1.html

Change? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/31/2010

Change?



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
03/31/2010

The Liberal Party (LP) and its presidential bet, Sen. Noynoy Aquino, have been humming the tune of change, which they promise to bring once in power and position.

Aquino and his LP are, what one may call the candidate of, for and by the elite civil society. Notice that their campaign spiel never adverts to the poor in society, but that is mainly because the elite don’t bother about the poor. It is always their interests, first and foremost that have to be served.
Their spiel is that they will eliminate corruption. They will not steal, and they will bring about change in government..... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100331com2.html

Hotels, shopping malls come to South Africa’s changing Soweto FEATURE 03/31/2010

Hotels, shopping malls come to South Africa’s changing Soweto



FEATURE

03/31/2010

SOWETO — Giant black-and-white photos of a young Nelson Mandela smile across the broad halls of a four-star star hotel, looking over the dusty street market where he once hid from apartheid police.

This is the new Soweto, a mix of upper-crust comforts and urban grit, where shopping malls and landscaped parks have sprung up among some of South Africa’s most important landmarks of the struggle against white-minority rule.
It’s a side of Johannesburg that residents hope World Cup visitors will venture out to see, where one third of the city’s 3.8 million people live.

“In the past, you would be ashamed of saying you come from Soweto — first of all because it was associated with crime... shantytowns and poverty. But now it has improved,” said Frans Malotle, a 48-year-old businessman.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100331com3.html

Reflections HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 03/31/2010

Reflections



HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
03/31/2010

He was lean and tall. I remember he sported very long locks any shampoo commercial model would envy. And he did not wear shoes, preferring leather sandals, instead, like Jesus did in those grainy movies I saw whenever the Lenten Season came near, which also meant shortened programming times for the only five television channels in existence, mostly government-owned or had Marcos cronies in their boards. It was at the height of martial law.

The hippie look was his protest against the prevailing order.

But since he was a priest, he could easily get away with it, able to stay away from the mean scissors of some over-eager Metrocom barbers, who wanted every male Filipino to sport the Aguinaldo crew cut and make them look like caricature versions of the man in the five peso bill... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100331com4.html


Ruminations SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 03/31/2010

Ruminations



SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
03/31/2010

Palm Sunday saw me in the annual family Pabasa, which has lived on in my husband’s family for three generations or so. It was held at my parents-in-law’s home in Quezon City, and began in the wee hours of the morning of March 28.

A number of relatives, I learned, had come all the way from the United States to attend the Pabasa, a tradition they had been missing in all their years living away from the Philippines. I suppose they had been missing more than just the annual Lenten practice; the event is a family reunion in a way, with relatives near and far finding the time to come over, bringing treats like native delicacies and lend their voices to the Pabasa.

That day, my father-in-law’s cousin, Baba Jasmin of the Department of Tourism, brought in a caterer that dished out a lavish Filipino lunch of lechon, kare-kare, chicken and pork adobo, rellenong bangus, kakanin and various fresh fruits including green mangoes to whet everyone’s appetite. Sago’t gulaman flowed like water into thirsty throats that sang the words of the story of Jesus, his life and his sufferings.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100331com5.html

Singapore a key transit hub for wildlife smuggling FEATURE 03/31/2010

Singapore a key transit hub for wildlife smuggling



FEATURE

03/31/2010

SINGAPORE — Midori the iguana sits on a platform contemplating his snack of fresh fruit. He is one of the lucky ones, rescued and nursed back to health in Singapore, a major hub for wildlife trafficking.

Three months ago the huge and notoriously touchy 1.5-meter (five-foot) adult male was brought into the non-profit Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) rescue center in bad shape.
Director Anbarasi Boopal said Midori had mouth ulcers and excreted a razor blade on his first day at the sanctuary..... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100331com6.html

ElBaradei takes Egypt reform campaign to the street focus 03/31/2010

ElBaradei takes Egypt reform campaign to the street



focus

03/31/2010

CAIRO — Egypt’s most high-profile dissident, former UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei, has taken his reformist campaign to the street with a whirlwind of encounters with Muslim worshippers, Christian activists and film stars.

The 67-year-old former diplomat attended Friday prayers at Cairo’s historic Al-Hussein mosque after going for a walkabout in a nearby working-class neighborhood as eager passers-by scrambled to shake his hand.

Two days later, the former UN atomic watchdog chief held talks with a group of Coptic Christian activists before meeting with a dozen celebrities at his home. Pictures of the events ran on the front pages of all independent newspapers.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100331com7.html

Estrada vows to bring NPA to mainstream 03/30/2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Estrada vows to bring NPA to mainstream


03/30/2010

“I will unite this country. And that includes the NPA (New People’s Army). We will bring them to mainstream society.”

This was the promise of former President Joseph Estrada on the 41st anniversary of the NPA.

“I respect those with ideals that oppose government. We ourselves are proud members of the opposition — but I will never tolerate the taking of lives of our countrymen, even for the noblest of ideals,” Estrada said yesterday in Binangonan, Rizal.

Estrada stressed he believes there is hope that the NPA will cooperate and end its rebel movement. “I believe that if the NPA sees that the government is truly working for the plight of the marginalized, the NPAs will cooperate.”
Estrada added that he understand that the NPA wants to end poverty, like the opposition; except that they differ in their means. “If they see that the government is not abusing the poor, like this current government is, they will not resort to such killing or terrorism.”... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100330hed4.html

SWS: Erap gains 4 pts; Noynoy static, Villar dives By Gerry Baldo 03/30/2010

SWS: Erap gains 4 pts; Noynoy static, Villar dives


By Gerry Baldo
03/30/2010

Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) standard bearer former President Joseph Estrada posted the biggest gain of four points to 19 percent in the latest BusinessWorld-Social Weather Stations Pre-Election Survey which also showed Liberal Party (LP) bet Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino barely moving at 37 percent but still at the lead while Nacionalista Party (NP) bet Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. suffered a major six percentage-point slide to 28 percent.

Estrada, who remains third in the survey, however, closed the gap with Villar to a single digit in the poll conducted last March 19 to 22.

Estrada narrowed Villar’s lead over him to nine points from 19 previously.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100330hed2.html

What’s cooking? EDITORIAL 03/30/2010

What’s cooking?



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
03/30/2010

Gloria Arroyo has been making too many appointments left and right, within the executive department, and, given the time frame of the appointments, such can be seen as midnight appointments, which is contrary to the constitutional provision.

Her last minute appointments have raised the alarm at the Supreme Court, with its spokesman, Jose Midas Marquez, pointing out that she should not take the SC ruling in relation to vesting her with the authority to appoint the next Chief Justice as her carte blanche power to appoint executives in the Executive branch.

Predictably, Malacañang stated that Gloria has not violated the ban on the midnight appointment, apparently making it appear that these new appointees have been appointed prior to the midnight ban, which is too difficult to believe since some of the old executives were still in their posts when the constitutional clock struck midnight.
Still, that move by Gloria wasn’t unexpected. She hardly does anything by the constitutional book.
What surprises, however, is why the new appointees, knowing about the constitutional ban, accepted the presidential appointment... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100330com1.html

Reading the survey findings FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/30/2010

Reading the survey findings



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
03/30/2010

With the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) presidential polls findings out, different spins are being spun by the bets’ spokesmen.

Edwin Lacierda, Noynoy Aquino’s spokesman, came up to state that they are elated at the widening lead of his client, adding that the strategy to improve Aquino’s rating in areas where he is weak is working since the people are responding well, saying that they will be working to increase Aquino’s lead further.

That’s not quite what the survey findings say because the only reason Aquino widened his lead over Manny Villar, the Nacionalista Party (NP) bet, is that Villar dropped by six points and not because Aquino’s claimed strategy is working, since the Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer’s ratings, in a sense, are stationary, gaining only one point, which is hardly anything to crow about, given the error margins.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100330com2.html

Progress, frustration as Liberia rebuilds from scratch FEATURE 03/30/2010

Progress, frustration as Liberia rebuilds from scratch


FEATURE

03/30/2010

MONROVIA — Giant potholes make way for smooth streets, freshly painted buildings have appeared among those pitted with bullet holes and lights flicker on as electricity returns to Liberia’s war-torn capital.

Yet the improvements, seven years after the end of a 14-year civil war which shattered the country’s infrastructure, have had little impact on the lives of ordinary Monrovia residents, who remain mired in extreme poverty and 80 percent unemployment.

Half of the roads around Monrovia have been rebuilt and the capital now has running water, but the snail’s pace of reconstruction of the electricity grid has hampered economic recovery and development..... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100330com3.html

Who’s really rated ‘X’? NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 03/30/2010

Who’s really rated ‘X’?



NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
03/30/2010
This isn’t the first time I’m asking the question here, and still the answer is the same. It’s not the films that have been rendered unfit to screen that should be altogether banned, but the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), right now mostly composed of power-trippers and ignoramuses.

The ink had barely dried from my last issue’s ululations against the regulatory body’s indiscriminate cutting of the Jim Carrey-starrer I Love You Phillip Morris, when news leaked that it had “X-ed” two short films in the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) AmBisyon 2010 series: Jeffrey Jeturian’s “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano na Tayo Bukas?” and Brilllante Mendoza’s “Ayos Ka.”.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100330com4.html

A cause without a champion AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 03/30/2010

A cause without a champion



AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
03/30/2010

In last week’s column, I referred to the piece by Jean Edward Smith (Roosevelt: The Great Divider) which, appearing in the New York Times last Sept. 3, compared Obama’s approach to controversial legislation (prior to his spirited promotion of the healthcare bill) with that of Roosevelt during the New Deal era. Before shifting to a Philippine context, please allow me one more quote from Smith’s article.

“When Roosevelt asked Congress to establish the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide cheap electric power for the impoverished South, he did not consult with utility giants like Commonwealth and Southern. When he asked for the creation of a Securities and Exchange Commission to curb the excesses of Wall Street, he did not request the cooperation of those about to be regulated. When Congress passed the Glass-Steagall Act divesting investment houses of their commercial banking functions, the Democrats did not need the approval of J.P Morgan, Goldman Sachs or Lehman Brothers.”... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100330com5.html

Celebrations SILVER LINING Dean Ernest Maceda 03/30/2010

Celebrations



SILVER LINING
Dean Ernest Maceda
03/30/2010

Seventy five years. Manong Ernie Maceda, turned 75 last Friday, March 26. He celebrated the milestone in the company of friends and family, including guests of honor President Erap Estrada, Mayor Jojo Binay and the senatorial candidates of the Erap-Binay ticket.

From being elected councilor of Manila in 1959, Manong went on to hold five Cabinet positions, was elected senator three times and became Senate President. His last position in government was Ambassador to Washington. He has devoted more than 50 years of his life to serving the Filipino people. Happy Birthday Manong Ernie!

24.58 percent. Congratulations to the 1,451 new lawyers who survived the 2009 edition of the Bar Examinations. Kudos to Dean Virgilio Jara of the San Beda College of Law for producing the Bar Topnotcher, lawyer Reinier Paul Yebra, as well as the 2nd placer, lawyer Charlene Mae Tapic. Dean Cesar Villanueva of the Ateneo once again grabbed the eagle’s share of the top 10 slots with seven while Dean Marvic Leonen’s UP bets scored two... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100330com6.html

Lebanon’s archaeological sites a pillager’s paradise focus 03/30/2010

Lebanon’s archaeological sites a pillager’s paradise



focus

03/30/2010

 BAALBECK — For three decades Abu Nayef has been digging for treasure from Lebanon’s rich archaeological past, but instead of museums his finds end up in the hands of unscrupulous traders around the globe.

In the eastern town of Baalbeck, home to some of the world’s most beautiful Roman temples, scavengers like Abu Nayef have made careers of unearthing ancient treasure for sale to the highest bidder.

“I know that these are historical artifacts, but much of the time I don’t know their exact value,” Abu Nayef admitted to AFP in his garden in Baalbeck.

.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100330com7.html

Ruling does not apply to other postings — SC 03/29/2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ruling does not apply to other postings — SC


03/29/2010

The Palace cannot refer to the Supreme Court ruling that President Arroyo’s posting of the next Chief Justice is not covered by the election ban on appointments in justifying the mass appointments and dismissals in the executive department, Court Administrator and SC spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said.

The March 17 decision of the high court did not necessarily give her the authority to appoint other government officials during the period covered by the election appointments ban, according to Marquez.

“The decision as concurred in by nine justices, and which is not yet final, only exempts appointments to the SC from the ban,” Marquez added.

Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution bars the President from making appointments two months before and after the May 10 elections.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100329hed2.html

Caloocan folk storm out to mob Erap convoy By Gerry Baldo and Jason Faustino 03/29/2010

Caloocan folk storm out to mob Erap convoy


By Gerry Baldo and Jason Faustino
03/29/2010

Poor families — and there were tens of thousands of them — greeted former President Joseph Estrada’s motorcade in Caloocan City before the country plunged into darkness for the Earth Hour Saturday night, bringing light to the campaign of the once ousted leader who is bidding to reclaim his post in his vow to continue serving the poor masses who never turned their backs on him.

Not even a “road spike” attack on some vehicles which joined Es-trada’s motorcade succeeded in hobbling the campaign, which was also highlighted by the unexpected tandem of the city’s two former mayors — Baby Asistio and Rey Malonzo — who have settled their political differences not only to back Estrada’s presidential bid but also to challenge what they claimed as a “rotten administration.”

Malonzo also once played critic to Estrada at the height of the impeachment proceedings in 2001 before they were aborted by a civilian-backed military coup d’ etat that installed Gloria Arroyo in Malacañang.

Malonzo, who is now a vice mayoralty candidate supporting his erstwhile opponent Asistio’s mayoralty bid, however, have jumped fences and joined Estrada, whom he claimed “continues to enjoy the support of the masses.”... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100329hed4.html

Gloria’s scheming never stops EDITORIAL 03/29/2010

Gloria’s scheming never stops



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
03/29/2010

Whoever in Malacañang said that Gloria would comfortably retire in Pampanga after being elected as member of the House of Representatives in the coming elections either was joking or is a total fool.

The actions being taken lately by Gloria have shown that she is far from over in her pursuit of political perpetuity through plotting and manipulation and that a House seat is only a furtherance of that ultimate goal.

The midnight appointments and the bastardization of the party-list system both of which Gloria exploited to build up new alliances and preserve old ones prove that the predatory traits of Gloria will go on as long as she is in the political stream.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100329com1.html

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