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All Palace bacon hype EDITORIAL 09/30/2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

All Palace bacon hype

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/30/2010
Today marks the 93rd day of Noynoy Aquino in the presidential office. He has only seven days left, or a week, to his first 100 days, which time Filipinos traditionally get to size him up by way of performance, actions and policy directions.

Noynoy has wasted those precious days to make his mark as President of the Republic, media honeymoon or no. It was a time for him and his administrators to prove that they could hit the ground running, showing their capability in handling the affairs of state.

To this day, there is hardly any achievement Noynoy and his administration can latch on to, in proving that competence and ability to run government and this country. There is not even any policy direction that has been given out by his administration which appears to be lost at sea, and not knowing where to steer the ship toward safe ground..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com1.html

Deliberate delays FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/30/2010

Deliberate delays

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
09/30/2010
It can’t be anything but indecisiveness, as well as coddling of his close buddies, on the part of Noynoy Aquino, in the matter of his acting on the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report that found at least 12 government officials liable, criminally or administratively or both.

The delay in making public, first the IIRC report to Filipinos while giving China first crack, and the full report at that, while withholding the recommendations and sanctions portion of the IIRC when it came to the Filipinos — already indicated that this deliberate delay stemmed from his indecision to adopt the IIRC report as is, and not to have certain personalities close to him charged.

The way it was handled was clearly and deliberately designed to delay whatever decision he has to make.
Before posting the incomplete report of the IIRC panel in the Official Gazette for Filipinos’ consumption, Noynoy, at a press conference, stated that he would be handing the same report to his executive secretary and chief legal counsel to review for probable changes, as he is not 100 percent sold on the IIRC’s sanctions, claiming that charges leveled against those indicted by the IIRC panel may not stand up in court, apart from his hiding behind the skirt of due process..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com2.html

Citizens bank on gold in Myanmar’s troubled economy focus 09/30/2010

Citizens bank on gold in Myanmar’s troubled economy

focus

09/30/2010
YANGON — Housewives huddle over jewelry counters in Yangon’s bustling Chinatown, but fashion is not foremost on their minds. This is banking in Myanmar’s dysfunctional economy.

On nearby Shwe Bontha Street, the heart of the gold market since colonial times, Nyan Tun is more than just a trader: he is an unofficial banker in the military-ruled country.

“Normally, the major buyers are farmers. They will buy gold with a little bit of extra money to sell before the next harvest,” he said. “Second are the housewives, who love to buy jewelry as savings.”

The global economic crisis may have reignited suspicion of banks worldwide, but in isolated Myanmar such distrust has long run deep and savers have no desire to put their money into the backward banking system.
Not that people have much to spare: decades of economic mismanagement by the country’s rulers, plus international boycotts and sanctions, have generated a population struggling to get by and facing soaring consumer prices..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com3.html

What’s with Secretary Abad? C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 09/30/2010

What’s with Secretary Abad?

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
09/30/2010
This question is being asked by concerned observers after the Senate committee on finance found out yet another questionable realignment in P-Noy’s 2011 budget, courtesy of Budget Secretary Butch Abad. This time the reduction involves the budget of the government’s housing agencies under the HUDCC by 50 percent — from P11 billion in 2010 to P5.6 billion in this year’s appropriations bill, ostensibly, the cut portion was reallocated to the DSWD (the luckiest agency under the proposed 2011 budget with a whooping 1000 percent increase) and the DILG, which in the message advised Congress, will undertake their own housing programs on a more focused basis, whatever that means. Of course, this sleight-of-hand operation did not sit well with Vice-President and HUDCC Chairman Jojo Binay who rightly advised the senators that the cut will definitely impact on the agency’s efforts to accomplish its targets for the year. Even the rationale advanced by Abad’s people that the DSWD is also involved in resettlement projects, especially those affected by last year’s devastating typhoons and that the DILG portion, will be used exclusively for the housing of uniformed personnel, i.e., police, firemen and jail employees, is flippant and unavailing. No less than finance sub-committee chairman, Sen. Ed Angara, decried the re-allotment saying: Why transfer the funds to agencies whose core competence and mandates are far removed from housing?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com4.html

A Trojan horse from Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 09/30/2010

A Trojan horse from Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
09/30/2010
Strange bedfellows, these two. The Philippine government and giant tobacco companies Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PM-FTC) now find themselves allied with each other, on the same side, to push adoption of a system that promises to address leakages in the collection of excise taxes that annually amount to several billions.
It is a marriage of convenience, if you may, that is ultimately headed for the rocks because the two are natural enemies. On one hand you have the two biggest tobacco manufacturers in the country that collectively control some 90 percent of the market, while on the other there is the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which does nothing but run after them to collect the correct taxes.
The informal arrangement has spawned for BIR Commissioner Kim Henares a lot of criticism for she has signified her interest in discussing the PM-FTC proposal to install a monitoring and control system which purports to increase the yearly tax take of the government by a huge amount..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com5.html

Jueteng costs VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/30/2010

Jueteng costs

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
09/30/2010
During the previous administration, the committees concerned in the Philippine Senate scheduled and conducted many and long hearings about the “What?,” the “Why?” and the “Who?” of the disgusting and nauseating illegal, sick and sickening illegal numbers game called “jueteng” — a distinct racket that has been long since commonly considered as a most vicious cause of the exploitation of the poor vis-a-vis the indecent enrichment of the jueteng lords and their cohorts. Herewith infallibly goes the big and regular jueteng payolas that go regularly to corrupt collaborating local public officials who see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing about the downright illegal numbers game being played under their noses. In the same way, fat and continuous jueteng bribes also go to crooked police authorities who act as very willing and able protectors of the same rigged and crooked numbers game.

Let it be herein formally and specifically said once and for all, that the said long existing and well operational illegal numbers game in this country has the following three major social costs — without even any reference to their downright grave immoral nature and serious unethical dimension, concretely in conjunction with the natural societal mandates of “Do not steal.” and “Do not desire what belongs to others.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com6.html

Clap the thieves in irons! COMMENT By Ronald Roy 09/30/2010

Clap the thieves in irons!

COMMENT

By Ronald Roy 09/30/2010
It’s interesting to note that of all the raging issues rocking the administration of President Noynoy Aquino, most of my readers chose a pedestrian tidbit for me to comment on: his New York City meal consisting of a $2 hotdog sandwich and a coke at the corner of 6th Avenue and West 45th street near his hotel last Sept. 22.

Well, I’m not surprised he crossed some streets with his entourage just to eat a hotdog meal, to the consternation of US Security Service agents. I can almost confirm Noynoy is a hotdog lover because I once witnessed two persons lining up at the Promenade of the Greenhills Shopping Center to buy some hotdog sandwiches for then Rep. Noynoy Aquino and company. I then entertained the idea he would not enjoy a movie if he did not have one to munch on inside a theater.

Exuberance of youth?! Well, that’s debatable now that he is the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines — the most important Filipino on the planet today — who treated his retinue to a $54 street-corner meal of hotdogs and drinks. And this happened in stark contrast to that scandalous $20,000 dinner which his pretentious predecessor and allies had feasted on at Le Cirque, a ritzy French restaurant in the same city over a year ago..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com7.html

Jinggoy files bill legalizing jueteng By Angie M. Rosales 09/30/2010

Jinggoy files bill legalizing jueteng  

By Angie M. Rosales
09/30/2010

The wheels have started to turn for the legalization of the illegal numbers racket.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada yesterday initiated the move to legalize jueteng in the country and immediately gained the support of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Some senators are keeping an open mind on the proposition to make the illegal numbers game to be soon regulated and placed under the sole control and supervision of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
(Pagcor) while others have openly brooked their opposition to any move to legalize or even regulate jueteng.

But it was also clear that the Senate blue ribbon chairman, neophyte Sen. TG Guingona, isn’t that interested in getting to the bottom of the jueteng problem, as he said in an interview he is not going to summon anyone mentioned in the list of jueteng lords, including Ilocos Gov, Chavit Singson, all of whom Sen. Miriam Santiago made public in a privilege speech.

Others invited to the hearings—all administration allies and officials in the Aquino administration-- are not attending the hearing today, Guingona said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed1.html

Bring on the constitutional crisis — House By Gerry Baldo 09/30/2010

Bring on the constitutional crisis — House

By Gerry Baldo 09/30/2010

The fear of a constitutional crisis that could ensue if the House of Representatives committee on justice defies the status quo ante order of the Supreme Court (SC) is not going result in anything nor create a stir among the Filipino people, nor affect them.

This was the pronouncement of House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II who insists that a constitutional crisis between the House and the SC is not going to affect the Filipino people even as he stressed that it is only the SC that is to blame should such a crisis occur.

“There is nothing (that we will do) that will trigger a constitutional crisis, and yet we are being blamed and that we are advocating a constitutional crisis,” Gonzales said yesterday, referring to the SC.

The justice panel headed by Iloilo Rep. Neil Tupas the other day voted 33 to14 in favor of defying the high court’s status quo ante order with one abstention. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said the move was not necessarily a violation of the high tribunal’s order which effectively stopped the panel from pursuing the impeachment complaint filed against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

Gonzales also downplayed the alleged impending constitutional crisis as something that will not have adverse effects on the prices of basic commodities..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed2.html

17 senators push Palace amnesty for ‘mutineers’ By Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 09/30/2010

17 senators push Palace amnesty for ‘mutineers’  

By Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari
09/30/2010

Seventeen senators are practically “lobbying” President Aquino to grant amnesty to all active and former military officers still embroiled in the Oakwood mutiny case, Fort Bonifacio standoff and Manila Pen siege.
The move is seen to also benefit their detained colleague, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who is cur-rently facing criminal charges over failed mutiny – the Manila Peninsula Hotel incident in 2007 and in 2003 where he, along with a number of junior soldiers, took control of the Oakwood building in Makati City.
Introduced by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senate Resolution 217 seeks favorable consideration by Aquino to grant amnesty to certain members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), facing charges for their participation in the said incidents, “under terms and conditions conducive toward the attainment of national harmony and reconciliation.”
Besides Sotto, signatories to the resolution include Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada and Senators Lito Lapid, Edgardo Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand “Bongbong”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed3.html

Miriam wants lifestyle check on Chavit 09/30/2010

Miriam wants lifestyle check on Chavit

09/30/2010
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago yesterday moved to place Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson under a so-called “lifestyle” check by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), along with other alleged jueteng operators and some governors from provinces where the illegal numbers game is reported to exist.
This was the senator’s retaliatory move against Singson for filing graft charges against her Tuesday, after having been named by Santiago as among the alleged big-time jueteng lords in Luzon in her privilege speech delivered last week.

Alongside this move, Santiago is also contemplating on delivering another privilege speech, this time concentrating mainly on Singson, to be entitled “Singson the sabit.”

“He has a list of “sabit,” meaning criminal liabilities. Maybe I’ll expose it on the Senate floor, after I recover from my present illness,” she said.

“He scares a lot of people because of his alleged tendency to violence. But I
challenge him to a duel, but that is a crime under the Penal Code. So instead, I challenge him to a debate on any of the major TV channels,” she said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed4.html

Senate uncovers new P5-B DA diversion By Angie M. Rosales 09/30/2010

Senate uncovers new P5-B DA diversion
 
By Angie M. Rosales
09/30/2010

The Senate uncovered what is likely another diversion scam from the Department of Agriculture (DA) budget similar to the P728-million fertilizer fund anomaly but this time by a far bigger amount of P5 billion that should have been earmarked for farm-to-market road projects but instead was suspected to have been used as campaign money during the last elections.

“These are releases which appear to be election-related, like the fertilizer scam (in 2004), the funds were released to RFUs (regional field units). This is questionable since the releases were made in only two days, Feb. 22 and March 23, 2010, over P4.86 billion spread out in 13 regional offices of DA,” Senate finance committee chairman Sen. Franklin Drilon said.

We will try to find out where these funds went, said to be for farm-to-market roads and various infrastructure projects, Drilon added.

“Sen. (Juan Miguel) Zubiri, during the hearing, did bring out the fact that there were apparently dealers and brokers who would offer these amounts to the LGUs with certain cuts and certain commissions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed5.html

PAL sends out SOS to DoLE amid union strike threat 09/30/2010

PAL sends out SOS to DoLE amid union strike threat 09/30/2010
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to step in and stop the looming strike by its cabin crew union after talks over pay and conditions had broken down.
PAL spokesman Cielo Villaluna yesterday said the company has been negotiating in good faith and has bent backwards to accommodate some of the demands of the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (Fasap) but “the union that is playing hardball, dismissing outright management’s offers without even a second glance.”

She noted that Fasap since the start has not shown any intention to consider anything short of their demands.
“A negotiation is like a two-way street; it’s give and take. It’s very difficult to deal and negotiate with a party who only wants things to go their way,” she stressed.

Villaluna, however, assured that PAL passengers that “a strike will not happen overnight.”
“The management is asking DoLE to immediately step in to avert the strike and protect the interests of the riding public,” the PAL official added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed6.html

30 solons sign manifesto declaring cut restoration in education budget By Charlie V. Manalo 09/30/2010

30 solons sign manifesto declaring cut restoration in education budget

By Charlie V. Manalo
09/30/2010

A total of 30 House members from the majority, minority and progressive party-lists yesterday joined together to express their stand against the impending spate of budget cuts for SUCs holding on to the conviction that education is a right.

“We believe that higher education, in particular, is not merely a vehicle for private career development, but an instrument of social change. Higher education serves a public and social purpose. Contrary to neoliberal dictates, it is a public good, and thus, should not be left alone and vulnerable to free market forces and commercial interests,” solons said.

“Granted such premise, we affirm the idea that education, at all levels, is a right of everyone and a non-negotiable function of the State. It is imperative for the government to provide higher education to its citizens, and thus maintain and improve upon the quality and accessibility of higher education in public institutions.”

The allocation for the country’s SUC’s in the proposed 2011 national budget has been reduced by 1.7 percent from P23.8 billion in 2010 to only P23.4 billion this year. The proposed budget for 25 out of 112 SUCs has also been decreased by as much as 23.5 percent. Funds allotted for the University of the Philippines (UP), the country’s premier state university, with a population of 52,000, has been slashed by P1.39 billion or by 20.11 percent. The Philippine Normal University’s budget is reduced by P92 million cut or by 23.59 percent. P88 million has been deducted from the budget of Bicol University cutting its budget by 18.82 percent..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100930nat1.html

Hoist with Palace’s own petard EDITORIAL 09/29/2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hoist with Palace’s own petard

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/29/2010
Noynoy Aquino and his boys in Malacañang made a lot of noise, followed by memorandum circulars (MCs) and executive orders (EOs) in firing a lot of officials and employees who were appointed by then President Gloria Arroyo, insisting that they were all her illegal “midnight appointees,” having been appointed during the election ban on hiring, or that their appointments were antedated, or that they may have been appointed prior to the ban but took their oaths of office after the ban took effect.

To this day, however, despite the MCs and the EOs, Noynoy has been unable to appoint their replacements, which is why, to this day, even after a three-month extension, the ambassadors with political appointees status have not been replaced.

Noynoy himself has admitted that he is having a difficult time finding people to join his government, although he reversed himself while in the United States, claiming that reforms in his government have already taken effect, as he has tapped people to join his government who are willing to have a salary cut..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100929com1.html

Order or chaos FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/29/2010

Order or chaos

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
09/29/2010
Congressmen who are out to impeach Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez are said set to defy the high court’s status quo ante order and will be pursuing the impeachment proceedings against her.

This was announced in a radio interview yesterday with Rep. Niel Tupas who heads the House justice committee.

It was noted, however, that Tupas gave no schedule for the impeachment hearings, which tends to show that this is all bravura, which can, however, boomerang on him and Noynoy Aquino’s allies in Congress.

Frankly, this is a pretty stupid move, coming as it does from lawmakers who are moreover bound by law not only to enact laws, but to obey the law. And whether they like it or not, admit it or not, the law is what the Supreme Court (SC) majority says it is.

And the high court has already ruled that Congress suspends the investigation by the House against the Ombudsman, as it has granted Gutierrez’s petition for certiorari and prohibition against the hearings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100929com2.html

First post-quake election campaign opens in Haiti

First post-quake election campaign opens in Haiti

FEATURE

09/29/2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE — Campaigning starts Monday in Haiti’s first election since the devastating January earthquake, amid security concerns and with many of the country’s 4.5 million eligible voters living in refugee camps.

Presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for Nov. 28 in a country still recovering from a massive quake that killed at least 250,000 persons and left 1.5 million homeless.

“I hope this election doesn’t become a battleground, where aggressive campaigners try to destroy their rivals instead of expounding their ideas,” outgoing President Rene Preval said Sunday.

Preval, who served two consecutive five-year terms in office and cannot run for reelection, fears there could be unrest during the two-month campaign and vote-counting irregularities later.

“We’ve got enough candidates for these elections: 850 for 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 95 for 11 seats in the Senate and 19 for president,” Preval said.

“What I’m afraid of is low voter participation and security problems,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100929com3.html

Conquering the world HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 09/29/2010

Conquering the world

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
09/29/2010
For my own convenience, I made what I called a fair assumption that the truck came late for me to be able to hitch and join the bandwagon.

It took me years to realize the importance of Lea Salonga to my generation. I failed to appreciate her contributions to the children of the 1980s when she made it big in the world stage, and it was only later that I discovered Lea Salonga as more than the pretty, dimpled girl who sang duets with Puerto Rican singing group sensation Menudo, in that now obscure track That Situation.

Leah came back to my senses after I decided to do some house cleaning. There she was, a 10-year-old, pink pony-tailed girl, smiling back at me as a cover of what I believe was her very first long playing vinyl album — Lea Salonga, Small Voice.

How it got to my collection of old LPs remains a mystery, but she now shares space with Eric Clapton and Don Henly, and a smattering of even older LPs like the ones of the late Didith Reyes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100929com4.html

A ‘voice’ for our times SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 09/29/2010

A ‘voice’ for our times

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
09/29/2010
From Little Big Star third placer to YouTube sensation to Hollywood find, pop star Charice Pempengco is living the Filipino’s American dream — or, as one fan shares in ANC news, “Charice symbolizes every American dream of any and every single American immigrant.”

The 18-year-old’s life is the stuff of telenovela hits, complete with pain, suffering, discovery and triumph. She grew up in a small town and was raised by a single mother. The absence of a father and a life of constant struggle did not dampen her desire to succeed. Charice continued to dream, and dream big. Like many Pinoy wannabes, she joined many singing contests — some say over a hundred! — hoping to change her small family’s fortune.

But that is not the reason we all love the “little Filipina with a big voice.” Charice’s rise to fame and fortune is certainly very inspiring, but that is not all there is to it. All of us are struck by her phenomenal success, more often than not rendered speechless by a talent that was first fully appreciated for what it was by non-Filipinos, thanks to the breadth and speed of today’s technology. We love Charice because she represents some part of us that desires to break out of the mold — that person within that dares to dream and imagine big things happening to his or her life. Filipinos want to be successful and respected; we want our country to shine on any “stage.” Charice has been able to fulfill these dreams for herself, and she is sharing the glory with her kababayans..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100929com5.html

Desperation drives abused Afghan women to suicide by fire FEATURE 09/29/2010

Desperation drives abused Afghan women to suicide by fire

FEATURE

09/29/2010
HERAT — In the refined, cultured and historic Afghan city of Herat, 67 young women have been admitted to the main hospital this year after setting themselves on fire.

Halima is the most recent. She arrived earlier this month with third-degree burns to 30 percent of her body after dousing herself in diesel oil and setting it alight during a family argument.

Her torso and one of her arms — the one that did not pour the oil — are swaddled in thick bandages, the charred and blackened fingers on her right hand poking through. Every now and then she winces in pain.
It had been a furious row, she said, with her husband’s first wife, whom she accused of supplying him with opium.

“I was crazy angry at that time. I wanted to kill myself and I thought that it would be a quick death,” said the 20-year-old who has been a second wife for five years. “But it wasn’t.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100929com6.html

Fears grow over spread of radical Muslim movement in Bosnia focus 09/29/2010

Fears grow over spread of radical Muslim movement in Bosnia

focus

09/29/2010
SARAJEVO — A recent deadly attack against a police station has raised fears in already ethnically-divided Bosnia about the spread of the radical Islamic Wahhabi movement there.
The movement, a deeply austere form of Islam that insists on a literal interpretation of the Koran, has been around since it was imported by foreign fighters who took up arms with the Bosnians in the bloody 1992-95 wars.

“According to the figures of our intelligence agency we have some 3,000 Wahhabi followers in Bosnia, but that does not mean they are all terrorists,” Bosnian Security Minister Sadik Ahmetovic said.

“However we cannot exclude that there are individuals among them... who could at a certain point commit terrorist acts,” he added, insisting that Bosnia’s police have the capacity to deal with the menace.

Bosnian Muslims, some 40 percent of a population estimated at 3.8 million, are generally a moderate Sunni community..... MORE



SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100929com7.html

House blinks, to toe SC order By Gerry Baldo 09/29/2010

House blinks, to toe SC order By Gerry Baldo 09/29/2010

Even as President Aquino’s allies in the House of Representatives committee on justice continued threatening to proceed with the hearings on the two impeachment complaints against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, they blinked, as the Supreme Court (SC) made it clear it was not buckling down to Congress with its statement that the status quo ante it earlier ruled effectively stopping the House from proceeding with the impeachment hearings, stays.

The SC yesterday stood pat on its decision that the impeachment proceedings against Gutierrez should not push through just yet.

The SC maintained that the status quo ante order it issued against the House of Representatives committee on justice in connection with the impeachment complaint against Gutierrez is still in force and effect.

SC spokesman and Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said that there are no changes in the order of the high tribunal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100929hed1.html

Palace junks jueteng flourishing under Noy 09/29/2010 By Angie Rosales

Palace junks jueteng flourishing under Noy 09/29/2010
By Angie Rosales

Malacañang branded yesterday as unfair an assessment given at a House hearing the other day that the illegal numbers racket “jueteng” was poised for a renaissance under the Aquino administration based on reports from the ground.

Anti-jueteng crusader former Archbishop Oscar Cruz told the House games and amusements committee hearing the other day that jueteng has spread under the current administration.

Appearing before the House committee hearing, Cruz was asked by San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito how he would size up the prevalence of jueteng from the period under former President Arroyo.
“I’m sorry to say, but jueteng flourished under the present administration,” was Cruz’s answer.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100929hed2.html

Delays in Noy’s actions on botched sanctions seen 09/29/2010

Delays in Noy’s actions on botched sanctions seen 09/29/2010
President Aquino’s claim prior to his trip to the United States that he will be acting immediately on the Incident Investigation Review Committee that has been reviewed by his legal team will likely face more delays, as the legal team yesterday told reporters that even as it has already made its evaluation of the report, Aquino may not have the time to pore over it as he would be suffering from jet-lag.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, in an interview, declined to discuss the content of the review, particularly on the administrative and criminal charges to be filed against 10 personalities and three media networks.
“Let’s not discuss it yet because we might preempt the President,” Ochoa said, adding that the Palace report includes the “factual scenario” of the incident.

“We’re prepared for whatever questions we anticipate the President might be asking about the report,” Ochoa said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100929hed3.html

AFP grumbling still on over promotions By Mario J. Mallari 09/29/2010

AFP grumbling still on over promotions
 
By Mario J. Mallari
09/29/2010

The grumblings over the military promotions system being practiced under the Aquino administration are hardly over.

Another senior officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has expressed disappointment over the military promotions system as he decried his successive by-passing by officers junior than him during the previous rounds of designations in the 120,000-strong organization.

In an open letter, Col. Jesus Lomeda Jr., a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1980 and assigned to the AFP’s Signal Corps, said that unlike other “disgruntled” officers of the AFP who hide in anonymity when presenting their case, he will not do the same.

“I will not hide in anonymity. I am writing this for the good of the AFP with an intention to be settled among our leaders. I know I will surely be “endorsed” and be reporting to SND (Secretary of National Defense) and upperclassmen when this circulates,” Lomeda wrote in an undated letter entitled “False Hope.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100929hed4.html

Mutiny charges vs 7 dismissed; Lim, et al. court martial stays By Mario J. Mallari 09/29/2010

Mutiny charges vs 7 dismissed; Lim, et al. court martial stays  

By Mario J. Mallari
09/29/2010

Seven military officers accused by a military court of having engaged in mutiny were ordered freed by a court martial after it dismissed charges against them yesterday.

The seven — Col. Orlando de Leon, Lt. Col. Custodio Parcon, Lt. Col. Achilles Segumalian, Maj. Jose Doctolero, Capt. William Upano, Lt. Homer Estolas and Lt. Belinda Ferrer — were acquitted after the military court ruled there was no sufficient evidence against them.

Except for Doctolero, Upano and Estola who are members of the Army’s First Scout Ranger Regiment, the rest are with the Marines.

With the decision, the officers, except for Segumalian, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 56 while in custody, would be reinstated to the service.

But the Armed Forces general court martial did not do the same for the others, as it rejected the dismissal of the charges against nine other officials jailed for their “attempt to create a mutiny” in February 2006..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100929hed5.html

Neri to testify against Abalos on NBN deal 09/29/2010

Neri to testify against Abalos on NBN deal 09/29/2010
Former Social Security System (SSS) chief Romulo Neri is set to testify against former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos in connection with the botched National Broadband Network (NBN) case being heard by the Sandiganbayan

This after government lawyers yesterday sought issuance of subpoenas for Neri, newspaperman Jarius Bondoc and three other potential witnesses to compel their attendance at the start of the graft trial for alleged unlawful intervention in the $329-million NBN project.

Along with Neri and Bondoc, also requested to be summoned by assistant special prosecutor Jacinto de la Cruz were Comelec records officer Charina Co, lawyer Oliver Lozano and the chief of the Comelec’s personnel section.

Abalos’ trial is set on Oct. 11 to 12 at 8 a.m..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100929nat4.html

Solgen: Truth body constitutional By Benjamin P. Pulta 09/29/2010

Solgen: Truth body constitutional
 
By Benjamin P. Pulta
09/29/2010

Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz claims Malacañang’s Truth Commission does not violate the Constitution and only seeks to address graft and corruption.

Arguing before the Supreme Court (SC) during yesterday’s oral arguments, Cadiz insisted the creation of the body was a “a result of the clamor of our people for closure to massive graft and corruption allegations against the previous administration.”

Answering the petition filed by allies of former President Arroyo, Cadiz argued that Executive Order 1 does not violate the separation of powers of the executive and legislative branches as provided by Article VI, Section 1 and Article VII, Sections 1 and 17 of the Constitution because the truth body has quasi-judicial powers, which requires a law and could not be given by mere executive order.

“The reports of the truth commission are only recommendatory. It has no quasi-judicial powers,” Cadiz told the high court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100929hed6.html

Only when forced EDITORIAL 09/28/2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Only when forced

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/28/2010
Obviously, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioners never had any intention to provide independent groups and organizations with the source code for their independent review, as stated in the election law.

A few days before the national polls, when suddenly, Comelec and its partner, Smartmatic, came up with the claim that the compact flash cards earlier programmed had to be changed with new CF cards programming, which eventually paved the way for widescale automated electoral fraud, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered Comelec to disclose the source code and other related automated election system (AES) documents to independent groups.

This SC ruling was ignored by the Comelec. Going for the poll body then was that the polls had to take place and the issue was overtaken by this development..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com1.html

New Palestinian uprising unlikely despite peace talks crisis focus 09/28/2010

New Palestinian uprising unlikely despite peace talks crisis

focus

09/28/2010
RAMALLAH — Ten years after the outbreak of the last intifada, peace talks are again in crisis and Israeli settlers are pouring concrete, but this time the Palestinians are tuning out.
US, Israeli and Palestinian leaders are struggling to keep the peace process alive after the end of a settlement moratorium, but the streets are quiet in the territories and few expect a repeat of the bloody events of September 2000.

The calm prevailing in the occupied West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip is partly the result of the low expectations going into the latest round of negotiations launched in Washington on Sept. 2.

“The average Palestinian is not interested in the negotiations because he knows they won’t achieve anything,” said Abu Ahmad, 38, a former militant commander in the northern West Bank city of Nablus who now serves in the Western-backed Palestinian security forces..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com3.html

Remember heroes NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 09/28/2010

Remember heroes

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
09/28/2010
Down and out the entire week-end for yet another debilitating low blood pressure episode, this lola once more found herself in the cardiac telemetry section of the Makati Medical Center. In between sleeping, talking to visiting family members or being checked by doctors and their representatives, I chanced on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo DZMM’s Sunday morning discussion on Radyo Patrol Balita, on how it was during typhoon “Ondoy,” exactly a year ago.

There I caught two young entrepreneurs promoting a product na makakatulong daw sa mga nasasalanta, a jacket that doubled up as lifesaver, which in swiftly-rising flood waters you blew on an inflatable tube somewhere near the hood and from there you floated to safety.

That’s a good idea, exclaimed hosts Jun Lingcoran and Ricky Rosales. “Marami hong gagaya niyan.”
“Ay, hindi ho puwede,” the two businessmen replied. “Ipapa-patent namin ito.”

So much for tulong sa kapwa, I thought..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com4.html

Science and development AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 09/28/2010

Science and development

AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
09/28/2010
About a year ago, this outsider was added to the mailing list of Flor Lacanilao, retired professor of marine biology at UP. Largely, his mailings concern the scientist’s well-intentioned (and well-grounded) fears for the future of both science and the country. The country is backward, he believes, because insufficient attention is given to science, and too often positions of scientific leadership are assigned to non-scientists. Fine as far as it goes, but nations are not built by scientific endeavor alone.

More recently, I came across a paper entitled “Scientific and Technological Capabilities and Economic Catch-up” by Roger Posadas, professor at the UP Technology Management Center. This argues that the dire state of science in the Philippines is but a feature of the general backwardness of the country, something explained by the wrong-headed economic strategy pursued since at least 1986..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com5.html

A lapdog is a lapdog is a lapdog FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/28/2010

A lapdog is a lapdog is a lapdog

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
09/28/2010
Both Malacañang aides and allies in the Senate came out to deny that Palace pressure has been brought to bear on the Senate blue ribbon committee to drop the Juetengate ll probe.
Palace spokesmen say they have nothing to do with the decision of Senate ally, Sen. TG Guingona, to cut short the Senate probe.

Guingona claims he has been misquoted, as he never said he would be cutting short the probe, insisting that which he said was that he will not prolong the hearing, saying that there is a difference between not prolonging the probe and cutting it short.

That’s playing with semantics. You don’t prolong, you cut short.

What Guingona did not state was that he also said this probe was pretty useless, as no one witness or resource person is going to admit culpability and this being so, the hearings are useless..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com2.html

North Korea’s eternal president lives on FEATURE 09/28/2010

North Korea’s eternal president lives on

FEATURE

09/28/2010
PYONGYANG — Kim Il-Sung lives on.

Sixteen years after the death of communist North Korea’s founding father, the “Great Leader” survives through a cult of personality with Messianic overtones.

His smiling, bespectacled face adorns billboards, songs in his praise echo across Pyongyang day and night, and grand monuments to his exploits dominate the run-down city.

The impoverished nation is to hold its biggest political meeting in decades on Tuesday, which North Korea watchers expect will pave the way for a transfer of power from the late leader’s son Kim Jong-Il to his grandson, Kim Jong-Un.

But in the capital there are no visible signs of the expected accession of the younger Kim, who is believed to be around 27, to top posts in the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

The public focus remains on Kim Il-Sung, whom one biographer called “The Benevolent Sun.”

“I still feel he’s here, because the Great Leader is always in my heart,” says army First Lieutenant Ri, a female guide at a museum devoted to the North’s “great victory” in the Korean War which left the peninsula divided..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com6.html

Jueteng lords gifted 5 PCSO bigwigs with P2-M cars By Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales 09/28/2010

Jueteng lords gifted 5 PCSO bigwigs with P2-M cars
By Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales

09/28/2010

Jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam yesterday accused five former officials of of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) of being the beneficiaries of expensive imported cars from illegal numbers racket lords in exchange for the protection of “jueteng” which continues to operate under the guise of the PCSO-sponsored small town lottery (STL).

At the hearing of the House committee on games and amusement on the reported non-remittance of STL revenues to the PCSO, Cam claimed that the unnamed officials were each given Mini Coopers costing at least P2 million apiece.

Cam claimed the cars were delivered “a month before former President Arroyo stepped down from office.”

“A month before the GMA administration went down..I have my mole (in the PSCO)..the PCSO directors received Mini Coopers worth P2 million each. The House panel should be the one to investigate this,” Cam told the panel, adding that the cars came from “bigtime jueteng” operators, who were running the game in the guise of the PSCO-sanctioned STL, which members of the House alleged, were not remitting the right revenues to the government, leading to the loss of localized funding assistance for health and developmental projects..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed1.html

Luisita talks collapse By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/28/2010

Luisita talks collapse By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/28/2010

Talks brokered by the Supreme Court to mediate the fate of the Cojuangco family-owned Hacienda Luisita are officially dead in the water.

The three-man panel yesterday formally announced it has suspended its proceedings after the parties failed to come up with an amicable settlement involving tenants during the month-long deadline given by the high tribunal.

Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) spokesman Tony Ligon admitted that the parties have failed to reach an agreement which was compounded by the sudden non-appearance of lawyer Jobert Pahilga, who represents a faction of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Hacienda Luisita (Ambala).

Pahilga, who walked out in the middle of the mediation proceedings last Sept. 21, did not show up during yesterday’s proceedings, prompting the panel to cut short the mediation process even before the lapse of the 30-day period.

The high court had denied Pahilga’s motion to stop the mediation proceedings and was enjoined by the SC to participate in the arbitration proceedings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed4.html

Noy allies seek TRO lifting on impeach Merci bid By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/28/2010

Noy allies seek TRO lifting on impeach Merci bid

By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/28/2010

Allies of President Aquino, key figures in the impeachment complaints against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez yesterday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to set aside the status quo ante order it had earlier issued stopping the House of Representatives’ committee on justice from hearing the impeachment proceedings before the lower chamber.

Gutierrez earlier said the committee violated her right to due process when the House justice panel issued its Sept. 1 and Sept. 7 resolution with “indecent and precipitate haste” and violated the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, limiting impeachment proceeding against the same official to once within a period of one year.

She noted that the first impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on July 22, 2010 while the second complaint was filed on Aug. 3, 2010, or just 12 days after the filing of the first complaint and well within the one year bar.

In their comment to the Ombudsman’s petition, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros along with retired Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, both of whom lost in the senatorial polls under the Liberal Party, and the parents of Navy Ensign Philip Pestaño, who was found dead on board a naval vessel where he was serving as cargo officer in 1995, insisted that it is within the exclusive.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed2.html

Palace downplays discord brewing at Noy camp By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/28/2010

Palace downplays discord brewing at Noy camp

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/28/2010

Malacañang yesterday dis-missed the observation made by a party-list representative that the ostensible factionalism inside the Aquino Cabinet is behind the embattled state of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno.

Puno has been plagued with criticisms lately owing to his involvement on the latest jueteng controversy and his inclusion to the Incident Investigation and Review Committee’s list of individuals that should be held accountable for the Aug. 23 hostage rescue fiasco.

Ang Kasangga party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco said in a report that the alleged continuing attempt by the camp of defeated vice presidential candidate and former Sen. Manuel Roxas II to take control of key posts in government is getting out of hand at the expense of some Cabinet members appointed by President Aquino, referring to Puno.

Puno is reportedly associated with the Samar Group or that faction led by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero who supported Aquino’s candidacy in tandem with Vice President Jejomar Binay who ran under the banner of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed3.html

Gazmin’s Noynoy slay plot baseless 09/28/2010

Gazmin’s Noynoy slay plot baseless 09/28/2010
All that talk of a plot to assassinate President Aquino, as bared by Defense chief Voltaire Gazmin last week, has been found to be empty and baseless.

The Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) yesterday said it has found no specific plot from any threat or armed groups to assassinate Aquino as earlier re-vealed by Gazmin to a local executive in Cagayan de Oro city, even naming the person who wassuspected of being involved in the claimed plot.

At a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo, AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., however, maintained the Presidential Security Group (PSG), which is the primary unit of the AFP tasked to secure the President and his family, is always on alert for any eventuality.

“There’s nothing to it,” said Mabanta of the supposed assassination plot against Aquino earlier revealed to the media by Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano, quoting Gazmin.

“Initial reports tend to support the thesis that there is no plot against the President,” said Mabanta.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed5.html

DILG, DWSD corner half of shelter agency funds By Angie Rosales 09/28/2010

DILG, DWSD corner half of shelter agency funds By Angie Rosales 09/28/2010

The Aquino administration has slashed by a hefty 50 percent the allocations for shelter agencies in the 2011 budget to P5.6 billion from P11 billion this year and redistributed the budget cuts to other agencies that lack the capability to undertake mass housing projects, the Senate learned yesterday.

The Senate finance subcommittee was told that appropriations for six housing agencies had been slashed by more than 50 percent and that the cuts were rechanneled to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Given the huge cut on next year’s budget of the government housing agencies, officials said accomplishment expectation will also be lower than the target of the key shelter agencies.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, the housing czar, told Sen. Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate panel, that some housing projects were transferred to the DILG and DSWD, thus the reallocated budget..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed6.html

Noy appoints three Ateneo lawyers as commissioners to PCGG 09/28/2010

Noy appoints three Ateneo lawyers as commissioners to PCGG 09/28/2010
President Aquino appointed three Ateneo lawyers as commissioners of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

This means the PCGG now has four Ateneo law graduates, including Chairman Juan Andres Baustista.
“Fulfilling a campaign promise to attract the “best and the brightest,” as well as new and relatively younger faces to public service, President Aquino announced the appointment of the three new PCGG commissioners,” a statement from the PCGG said.

President Aquino appointed Atty. Gerard Mosquera, who obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Ateneo Law School.

Prior to his appointment, Atty. Mosquera has been leading USAID funded anti-corruption programs, among which is the “Justice Institution Strengthening in East Timor,” experiences that should prove invaluable to PCGG..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100928nat4.html

Gregan Cardeño: Suicide or Murder?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Press conference on March 10, 2010 of the fact-finding report by Karapatan and Kawagib on the mysterious death of Gregan Cardeño, a Filipino interpreter who died while working for the US military in Marawi, Lanao del Sur, Philippines.





SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/5332747

A Year After Ondoy, the Poor in Vulnerable Communities Still Struggling to Survive Published on September 26, 2010

When the hype about relief and relocation efforts for victims of Ondoy, especially the poor in vulnerable communities, had died down, the urban poor were left to rebuild their houses and their lives, without any outside assistance. A year after, they are in a worse state than before Ondoy hit the country. 

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – From scraps of lumber taken from the nearby creek in Tatalon, Quezon City, Ofelia Lubat, 45, rebuilt their house after typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) destroyed and washed it away last year.
Lubat just gave birth to her eighth child a week before Sept. 26, 2009 when Ondoy submerged Luzon leaving 5,353 families homeless with 200 or more people dead. “I thought we were going to die. There were only three of us in the house when floodwaters reached the second floor,” Lubat said.

630 Kangkungan, Tatalon, where more than 50 families reside, is situated near a Manila Electric Company tower. (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / bulatlat.com)

Lubat is one of the thousand families who were left homeless when typhoon Ondoy wrought havoc last year. Her house was built from light materials and scrap wood and were thus, easily washed away by the strong flow of floodwaters during Ondoy.

Lubat and some 50 families are still living in the danger zone in barangay 630 Kangkungan, Tatalon. It is situated where the Manila Electric Company tower is built..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/26/a-year-after-ondoy-the-poor-in-vulnerable-communities-still-struggling-to-survive/

SC orders Comelec to reveal auto polls source code Benjamin B. Pulta 09/27/2010

SC orders Comelec to reveal auto polls source code

Benjamin B. Pulta 09/27/2010

The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to make the source code software for the automated election system (AES) it used in the last elections available for independent review.

In a seven-page decision by Associate Justice Roberto Abad, the court en banc found meritorious the petition for mandamus filed by the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) seeking to compel the Comelec to disclose the source code of the AES.

CenPEG claims the source code remained important and relevant despite the fact that the election had already been held in light of several admissions of errors and claims of fraud.

Concurring with the ruling were Chief Justice Renato Corona, Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Conchita Carpio-Morales, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Portugal Perez, Martin Villarama Jr. and Jose Portugal Perez..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100927hed3.html

No diversion of $434-M US grant, says Palace 09/27/2010

No diversion of $434-M US grant, says Palace 09/27/2010
Amid criticisms that a huge anti-poverty aid to be provided by the US government will not help uplift the lives of the poor, the Palace said yesterday the $434-million Millennium Challenge Corp (MCC) grant will be used for its purpose and will not be diverted into other projects.

“That will be used solely for the projects intended under the grant. Where the funds were committed, these will be spent in line with our commitment to Filipinos on transparency and account-ability in govern-ment,” deputy presidential spokesman Abigal Valte said.

President Aquino received the grant during a signing ceremony in New York City recently. He vowed to implement anti-corruption programs.

Last year, the Philippines under President Arroyo failed to secure the large-scale grant from the MCC due to the long-standing allegations of corruption under the previous administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100927hed2.html

House to comment on SC’s order on Merci impeachment today By Gerry Baldo 09/27/2010

House to comment on SC’s order on Merci impeachment today By Gerry Baldo 09/27/2010

The House leadership is going to tell the Supreme Court (SC) that it is interfering with the affairs of the legislature by issuing a status quo ante order in the impeachment case of Ombudsman Merce-ditas Gutierrez.
According to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, the House will file a comment before the SC by telling the high tribunal that “it is infringing on our constitutional mandate to try impeachment cases.”

“Yes we will reply today (Sept. 27) to reiterate that initiating impeachment is the exclusive power of the House of Representatives,” Belmonte said yesterday.

The Supreme Court has issued a status quo ante order stopping the House committee on justice from hearing the impeachment cases filed against Gutierrez..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100927hed4.html

Bitter infighting among Aquino backers — solon By Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales 09/27/2010

PUNO A VICTIM OF BALAY, SAMAR GROUPS’ FEUD 

Bitter infighting among Aquino backers — solon

By Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales 09/27/2010

Infighting among the major groups that backed the presidential campaign of President Aquino in the national elections last May has been raging hot and its offshoot included the ouster moves against Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno, a member of the House of Representatives said yesterday.

Ang Kasangga party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco said the continuing attempt by the camp of defeated vice presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II to take control of key posts in government is getting out of hand at the expense of some Cabinet members appointed by Aquino. Haresco said he has been hearing about the alleged bickering and factionalism in the circle of President Aquino’s men.

“There’s obviously a silent but vicious turf war going on within the President’s Cabinet,” Haresco said adding that the alleged attempt to oust Puno was part of a demolition job on Aquino’s appointees..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100927hed1.html

Tesda: ‘Bogus’ vocational schools will be closed 09/27/2010

Tesda: ‘Bogus’ vocational schools will be closed 09/27/2010
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) is urging technical-vocational (tech-voc) schools and institutions in the country to either “shape up” or face the possibility of being closed down.
Tesda director general Joel Villanueva issued the warning yesterday as he revealed the agency’s plan to run after “bogus” and “below standard” tech-voc schools and institutions to ensure that the trainings given to students will always be at par with global benchmark.

“It makes sense that we are the ‘DepEd or Ched’ of tech-voc schools and institutions. We should exercise our power to shut down bogus schools, and even tech-voc schools teaching below standard programs,” Villanueva said.

“We will closely coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) as well as the association of tech-voc institutions (TVIs) to run after these schools. I have already met with many TVIs and they said they will support us in this program,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100927nat4.html

DBM ‘fooling’ government scholars, says lawmaker By Gerry Baldo 09/27/2010

DBM ‘fooling’ government scholars, says lawmaker  

By Gerry Baldo
09/27/2010

A party-list lawmaker yesterday lambasted Budget Secretary Florencio Abad for fooling the country’s scholars when he claimed that the proposed budget for state universities and colleges (SUCs) for 2011 has increased.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino accused Abad for allegedly fooling the country’s scholars for claiming that the budget for state universities and colleges has been increased by P2.4 billion in the next fiscal year.

On the contrary, Palatino said the combined budget for 112 state universities and colleges was cut by 1.7 percent from P23.8 billion this year to only P23.4 billion next year.

“Abad’s statement that there is actually an increase in the budget for SUCs is a desperate spin that collapses on its flimsy foundation. He even contradicts his own principal, President Aquino, who earlier said that the SUCs budget for 2011 is ‘1.7 percent lower than the P23.8 billion budget for 2010,’” Palatino said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100927nat5.html

Blast rocks final day of Bar exams; scores hurt 09/27/2010

Blast rocks final day of Bar exams; scores hurt 09/27/2010
An improvised bomb yesterday exploded near the De La Salle University (DLSU) campus in Manila where thousands of law graduates are taking the Bar examinations.

Initial reports from the Manila Police District (MPD) said that at least 10 persons, including students and bystanders, were hurt in the incident.

Police said a loud explosion was heard and people started scampering in to different directions around 5 p.m..
Scores of people were seen lying on the ground with injuries. The victims were taken to nearby Ospital ng Maynila, the police said.

Among the victims were identified as Joanna Katrina Ledda, Arvin Francis Rosales, Philip Edwin Teelo, Gennilyn Ong, Cyril Ferrer, Kathleen Samba, Azenith Gonzalvo, Jamell Ann Marie and Renald Sudla..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100927hed6.html

Hotdog hunt at Manhattan EDITORIAL 09/26/2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hotdog hunt at Manhattan

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/26/2010
Noynoy’s hotdog hunt in the streets of New York has been getting the same level of exposure as that of Gloria’s Le Cirque bacchanalia in 2009.

Gloria and her cabal gorged on $20,000 worth of steaks and caviar while Noynoy and his student council bunch had hotdogs all in all worth $57, but both similar because they were done in bad taste.

The Manhattan cheap thrill was not received as planned in the country as most saw through the obvious publicity stunt. It was meant to provide contrast to the ostentatious New York bash of Gloria in 2009 when the Filipinos were then mourning the death of former President Corazon Aquino.

The Palace needed to make a case about the hotdog adventure as not being scripted because obviously it was. Even before the US visit, the hotdog hunt was announced by no less than Noynoy’s Palace men as a way of reminding the entourage to keep the official visit as frugal as possible. But that’s all for show, folks. Already, he is into chartered flights....MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100926com1.html

Of leaks and leakages FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/26/2010

Of leaks and leakages

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
09/26/2010
Probing media leakages is next to useless, and those claimed investigations on the leak of the missing pages of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report are more for show.

Has anything come out of that so-called Palace investigation on the leak to ABS-CBN of Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address, which Malacañang vowed to probe? That was still in July and we are now going toward October, yet not even a shadow of that claimed investigation on that leak has appeared on the scene.

In much the same way, despite claims of this IIRC report leak being probed, nothing, but nothing will come out of it. And for what? Would there be any sanctions on media?

The media that got hold of the missing pages are certainly going to keep their trap shut. That’s elementary, because if they do come out to identify the leaker, that’s the end of the confidence and trust lodged in the media..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100926com2.html

Japan to pilot digital textbooks in classrooms FEATURE 09/26/2010

Japan to pilot digital textbooks in classrooms

FEATURE

09/26/2010
TOKYO — Japan will soon start trialling electronic textbooks in primary schools, enhancing the role of IT in the classroom for a generation of “digital natives” born in the wired age.

Under the “future school” project, 10 elementary schools will give all their under-12 pupils tablet PCs and fit their classrooms with interactive electronic blackboards starting as early as next month.

The networked devices boast software that lets them trace complex Chinese characters on-screen or exchange ideas on a virtual white sheet of paper in real time, while a teacher digitally monitors their work.

Japan, despite its status as a high-tech pioneer, lags behind South Korea, Singapore, Britain and other countries in IT use in education, said an official with the communications ministry, which is running the pilot program..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100926com3.html

An axe to grind BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 09/26/2010

An axe to grind

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
09/26/2010
It’s payoff time for 309 workers of Broadcast City-IBC 13. After enduring more than two decades of a seemingly endless wait since sequestration in 1986 in the wake of Edsa I, it’s daybreak at last with an amicable settlement that’s been eked out for their employment woes.

And why not? They each were the recent recipients of a P200,000-cash bonanza resulting from a joint venture agreement (JVA) hammered out by representatives of the floundering state-run entity and real estate developer Primestate Ventures Inc. (PVI), and much more.
The abovementioned monetary benefits that accrued to the workers formed part of a P278-million carrot that had been set aside under the JVA to settle their back wages and unpaid retirement benefits in order to pave the way for the projected six-year development project of the Broadcast City property in Balara, Quezon City into a mixed commercial-residential complex as well as the refurbishing of the Channel 13 facilities with modern equipment to make it competitive with the other existing television stations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100926com4.html

Demonizing Puno C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 09/26/2010

Demonizing Puno

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
09/26/2010
President Aquino is right. Unless we have descended into the netherworld of chaos and waywardness, under our democracy, one is presumed innocent of any charges until proven otherwise. That means everybody, friend or foe, is entitled to be heard and accorded the basic processes available under law. There are no ifs and buts about it. We cannot simply accept as Gospel truth the list of “ultimate recipients” of jueteng payola just because it comes from a prince of the church such as Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz who has been crusading against the illegal numbers game for years.

Cruz himself acknowledged that the list is simply a compendium of raw data gathered by his volunteers. He may be wrong, which is why he begged those on the list to forgive him if he has caused pain to them and their families. Not even the shrill pronouncements of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who has prided herself for exposes, many of which turned out to be duds in the end, can stand as proof positive of the truthfulness of her own list of “recipients” and operators of the illegal numbers game. We simply cannot allow the pronouncements no matter how sincere or possibly even factual of two persons who may have the best of intentions and whose hearts may be as pure as driven snow to be the law of the land. We cannot just take their word for it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100926com5.html

A curse that refuses to die VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/26/2010

A curse that refuses to die

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
09/26/2010
Notwithstanding all rhetoric and propaganda made by public officials, despite all the alleged bleeding hearts for the poor brought to fore by civil authorities, and despite loud, repeated and impressive resolves by one government after another, the stark truth and standing fact is that jueteng continues to be omnipotent and omnipresent disastrous. The hideous and deeply rooted vice nonchalantly continues as an alive and vibrant racket in this already too long suffering country. Specifically in conjunction with this long lasting, disgusting and revolting national phenomenon of jueteng in the national scene, it is in good order to point out formally and categorically the three following solid and standing truth of the matter:

One: It is exactly the poor and the helpless, the miserable and the ignorant who are continuously being exploited and duped every time they are enticed and duped into betting their already few pesos in jueteng. The reality is that for the very few bettors chosen to win by expert manipulation on account of their meager bets as “consuelo de bobo,” literally thousands upon thousands of bettors are infallibly destined to lose in this well-syndicated racket..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100926com6.html

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