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Playing dumb? EDITORIAL 11/30/2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Playing dumb?

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/30/2010
Malacañang is either dumb or playing dumb, not being able to read the underlying message as it welcomed France’s “modification” of its travel advisory against the Philippines to its citizens on account of the rising criminal activities in the country, but still citing terrorist risk in the Mindanao area.

Warning foreigners — or at least French citizens and Japanese nationals, both of whom have been issued travel advisories against heightened criminal activities in the country — was welcomed by Noynoy and his government when these travel advisories still cast a negative picture of the country, besides which, there is still that warning of terrorist activity in Mindanao.

The deputy presidential spokesman, Abigail Valte, came up with the claim that the French advisory spoke only of the threat of a terrorist activity now just situated in Mindanao, and not in the entire Philippines.
Is the Palace now saying that there is basis for France and the rest of the foreign countries that issued a travel advisory for their citizens?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101130com1.html

No hope for an independent Congress FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/30/2010

No hope for an independent Congress

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/30/2010
One of the major reasons both chambers of Congress can never hope to shed off their image of being an extension of Malacañang is its allies’ eagerness to approve, even without too much study and review — if at all — of anything that the Palace occupant wants.

A case in point is the amended amnesty proclamation issued by Noynoy Aquino, to correct the many glaring legal errors found in the first amnesty proclamation.

Even before the amended copy reached the Senate, presidential ally Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona, who is succeeding in portraying himself as a pure-bred Palace lackey, was ready to defend the legally-flawed amnesty proclamation of Noynoy Aquino, even stating that they have enough numbers for the Senate to concur in this resolution.

The same was done in the House of Representatives, where it was certain to have the House concurrence, despite the legal flaws.

And even with the amended amnesty proclamation, there went Guingona, saying that there will no longer be any need for plenary debates, as the majority will simply take this up in a caucus and quickly give their concurrence to the amnesty..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101130com2.html

Hamas woos hearts and minds of Gazans focus 11/30/2010

Hamas woos hearts and minds of Gazans

focus

11/30/2010
GAZA CITY — Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip three years ago but is now worried that the Islamist movement has been losing the hearts and minds of the Palestinian territory’s 1.5 million residents.

Seeking to regain the popularity lost through political repression and the often heavy hand of its police, Hamas has embarked on a door-to-door public relations campaign called “Communication and Affection.”

The charm offensive, due to wrap up at year end, is the second time Hamas has gone courting public opinion since it ousted forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’ secular Fatah party in deadly street fighting in 2007.

By mobilizing party officials and even government members to visit homes and sit down with people, Hamas aims to “restore its popularity and clarify some of its policies,” spokesman Taher al-Nunu told AFP.

“We have taken notice of the excesses of the security services and police, and of rumors about that within Palestinian public opinion,” said Nunu, whose party scored a surprise victory in Palestinian elections in 2006.
“That is why this campaign was necessary to strengthen relations with citizens and to remind them of services provided.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101130com3.html

Who’s the oxymoron? NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/30/2010

Who’s the oxymoron?

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
11/30/2010
You must have heard about the video now making the rounds in the Internet, explicitly showing how the morally upright Pro-Life Philippines bullied supporters of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill at the Manila Cathedral last Nov. 20.

Explicit as adjective refers to what is “stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.” Explicit as noun means “the closing words of a text, manuscript, early printed book, or chanted liturgical text,” derived from Middle English: late Latin: “Here ends.” At mukhang dito na nga ang simula ng wakas ng pagpa-power trip ng Simbahang Katoliko dito sa Pilipinas.

It’s a short video, running only up to 6:54 minutes, but still could shock the daylights out of you, as it did me. I never thought people could be this rude, especially those who purport to walk in God’s path. This can’t be justified as an example of righteous indignation, either. What’s clearly bullying cannot be compared to Jesus driving the money lenders out of the temple that Sabbath Day..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101130com4.html

Elegy for liberalism? AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 11/30/2010

Elegy for liberalism?

AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
11/30/2010
A few more second-hand or remain-dered book bargains, three of which will be mentioned here, have recently come this outsider’s way. Each overlaid by a somewhat elgiac air, all three are, coincidentally, by British authors.

Cider with Rosie has an international reputation, being the 1959 memoir of author Laurie Lee’s childhood in a Gloucestershire countryside which, like its millennium-old lifestyle, was beginning to disappear as the horse gave way to the internal combustion engine. While it’s true that you can still find expanses of English countryside today, it is the slow life, its pace dictated by the seasons, that has gone.

Lee was born in 1914, and when the book closes he is in his teens, but patches of England’s rural past which he so poetically describes maintained an obstinate if precarious existence for several decades after this period. Indeed, the first five years of my own life, commencing in 1946, were not dissimilar to Lee’s. Like him, I was born into a fatherless family (although my own lacked the small army of siblings that distinguished his) in an impoverished rural setting..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101130com5.html

Copenhagen plans super highways ... for bikes FEATURE 11/30/2010

Copenhagen plans super highways ... for bikes

FEATURE

11/30/2010
COPENHAGEN — Copenhagen, one of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities, has begun turning its extensive network of cycle paths into bike highways in an effort to push more commuters to leave their cars at home.

Considered one of Europe’s two “bicycle capitals” along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen counts more bicycles than people and cycling is so popular that its numerous bike paths can become congested.

Two-wheeler traffic jams are especially regular on the main Noerrebrogade thoroughfare used by around 36,000 cyclists a day.

“You have to elbow your way in to go forward and some cyclists aren’t always thoughtful,” complains 22-year-old university student Lea Bresell.

The creation of bike highways “comes right on time,” says Danish Cyclist Federation spokesman Frits Bredal.
“Copenhagen’s roads are overloaded with people who want to ride their bicycles in all kinds of weather,” he says..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101130com6.html

War with N. Korea poses nightmare scenarios focus 11/30/2010

War with N. Korea poses nightmare scenarios

focus

11/30/2010
WASHINGTON — A full-blown war on the Korean peninsula offers up a nightmare scenario that would cause appalling casualties and potentially trigger a nuclear exchange, experts and former officials say.

The crisis provoked by North Korea’s artillery attack on a South Korean island this week makes the prospect of an all-out conflict look less remote, and US officials — mindful of the high-stakes — have carefully avoided talk of military action.

With an array of artillery trained on Seoul, North Korea could easily blast the glass towers of the South’s booming capital for days and kill huge numbers of civilians before US and South Korean forces prevailed, experts said.

“Official Pentagon models assume it would take months to win the war at a cost approaching one million casualties or more, all told, including dead and wounded,” Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told AFP.

“And that’s without nuclear weapons being used,” said O’Hanlon, who wrote a book looking at the effects of a potential war..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101130com7.html

Delay in amnesty concurrence seen By Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo 11/30/2010

HOUSE FORMS STUDY BODY ON NOY’S AMENDMENTS

Delay in amnesty concurrence seen

By Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo 11/30/2010

The long sought amnesty by rebel soldiers who figured in several incidents of mutiny against the former Arroyo administration is expected to be indefinitely delayed due to the insistence of a ranking member of the Liberal party to create a special committee that would study the legal implications of the presidential amnesty proclamation.

Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, chairman of the House committee on national defense, said the presidential proclamation should first go through the special committee before his panel would agree to the presidential prerogative.

The move doused hopes that the rebel soldiers, including then Navy Lt Sr. Grade now Sen. Antonio Tirllanes who led the Magdalo soldiers in taking over the Oakwood Suites in Makati, would spend Christmas with their families.

Iloilo Rep. Neil Tupas of the Liberal party, who heads that House committee on justice, also shared Biazon’s view that a panel should be created before concurring with the presidential amnesty.

The subject of the panel’s study would be those involved in the Oakwood Munity in 2003, Marine Headquarters Standoff in Fort Bonifacio in 2006 and the siege as the Mania Peninsula in 2007 where members of the media were arrested for allegedly obstructing police operations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101130hed1.html

Sotto flays Palace on ploy to make him budget villain By Angie M. Rosales 11/30/2010

Sotto flays Palace on ploy to make him budget villain

By Angie M. Rosales 11/30/2010

Instead of depicting him as an obstructionist, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III yesterday said Malacañang should instead justify P880 million in the Department of Health ‘s (DoH) budget that would would be solely spent on the purchase of contraceptives.

Sotto took issue with President Aquino’s spokesmen who he said are making him appear as an “obstructionist” in the approval of the P1.6 trillion national budget.

The senator issued the statement after an “assurance” made by Palace deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte that the entire P32.7 budget proposed next year for the Department of Health (DoH) will be used for the government’s population control program.

Valte said only a portion of it will actually be used to fund the purchase of contraceptives.

Sotto has been open in questioning the appropriation of some P880 million for acquisition of condoms, pills and other forms of contraceptives in the DoH’s 2011 budget, supposedly for distribution to the poor..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101130hed2.html

UN condemns killing of aid worker in Philippines By Michaela P. del Callar 11/30/2010

UN condemns killing of aid worker in Philippines

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/30/2010

The United Nations yesterday condemned the killing of a Filipino aid worker in the restive southern Philippines, but said the attack would not affect its food distribution efforts there.

The worker was helping the UN’s World Food Program deliver rations on Friday when a gunman attacked the agency’s truck outside Marawi city on Mindanao island, where many armed groups including Islamic militants operate.

The UN asked the Philippine government to continuously ensure the security of all its staff members in its areas of operation after the Filipino aid worker was killed while distributing relief food to residents in conflict-stricken Mindanao.

UN World Food Program country director Stephen Anderson condemned the attack but assured that it will not suspend its operations in Mindanao. The UN worker, whose name he did not divulge, is a local-hired worker and is not a full-time staff of the WFP.

“WFP strongly deplores this act of wanton violence that has led to the tragic and senseless loss of life of an individual who was assisting in the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” Anderson said in a statement.

The shooting incident occurred while a WFP contracted truck was off-loading rice and mung beans for the organization’s food-for-work distribution on Nov. 26, in Barangay Maul, Marantao, Lanao del Sur, which resulted in the death of the truck driver’s assistant..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101130hed3.html

RP willing to send non-military assets as Seoul bolsters troops By Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/30/2010

RP willing to send non-military assets as Seoul bolsters troops

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/30/2010

Sending Filipino soldiers to the Korean Peninsula is not the primary concern of the Philippines even as it welcomes the prospect of the United States invoking the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) to help defend South Korea against North Korea in the event they go into a full-blown war.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda yesterday said security officials have not discussed about that scenario presented by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile the other day because the repatriation of Filipinos remains their top priority in case the tensions between the estranged Korean nations escalate.

Lacierda implied that if South Korea indeed asks for help with or without the US bringing the MDT into play then the Philippines would be willing to deploy doctors and nurses for humanitarian assistance only and not members of the military, given the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) limited capability and resources.

“What is definite is we can provide humanitarian assistance to the South Korean government if and when we are asked to provide assistance... What we are more concerned really is the repatriation or evacuation of our Filipino nationals. We have not discussed anything with regard to military assistance,” Lacierda said in a chance interview..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101130hed4.html

WikiLeaks unleashes flood of damaging US cables; RP gets 1.8 K 11/30/2010

WikiLeaks unleashes flood of damaging US cables; RP gets 1.8 K

11/30/2010
WASHINGTON — Whistle-blower Web Site WikiLeaks has unleashed a flood of US cables detailing shocking diplomatic episodes, from a nuclear standoff with Pakistan to Arab leaders urging a strike on Iran.
The US cables on the Philippines are said to number close to 1,800 but they are yet to be posted on the WikiLeaks Web Site.

The leaked memos describe a Chinese government bid to hack into Google; plans to reunite the Korean peninsula after the North’s eventual collapse; Saudi Arabia’s king call to the US to bomb Iran to halt its nuclear drive.

The confidential cables, most of which date from 2007 to last February, also reveal how the State Department has ordered diplomats to spy on foreign officials and even to obtain their credit card and frequent flier numbers.

The memos, released on Sunday, recount closed-door remarks such as Yemen’s president telling a top US general: “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours” when discussing secretive US strikes on al-Qaeda.

A description of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said he required the near-constant assistance of a “voluptuous blond” Ukrainian nurse..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101130hed5.html

Malacañang takes credit for record-high lotto jackpot 11/30/2010

Malacañang takes credit for record-high lotto jackpot

11/30/2010
Malacañang has found a fresh way to skirt rising suspicions with respect to the recent recovery of the Office of the President (OP) on the supervision and control of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the ballooning jackpot prize in the 6/55 Grand Lotto draw it operates which soared to a record-high P730 million by citing so-called “anecdotal” stories of commonplace citizens.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in an interview, yesterday shared a story about a taxi driver who reportedly considers the biggest ever lotto prize as a reflection of a clean and honest management of the PCSO under the new administration.

“This is really the first time that the prize reached that high in this administration so he (taxi driver) is of the belief that the PCSO is being managed well. According to the taxi driver, it is a reflection of honesty and integrity of the Aquino administration,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda even implied that the way people have been queuing outside lotto outlets to be able to bet and get a fair chance at winning the biggest jackpot prize ever may have reduced the output of those who are operating the illegal numbers game..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101130hed6.html

Claims linking Lacson over Dacer-Corbito case scrutinized 11/30/2010

Claims linking Lacson over Dacer-Corbito case scrutinized

11/30/2010
Citing additional evidence, the camp of Sen. Panfilo Lacson urged Justice Secretary Leila de Lima anew to take a closer look at claims linking the senator to the Dacer-Corbito case.

Lacson’s lawyers said the new evidence included the Aug. 2, 2010 affidavit of former SPO4 Reynaldo Oximoso Jr. and the Aug. 9, 2010 affidavit of former Senior Superintendent Michael Ray Aquino.

In their five-page letter, lawyers Alexander Poblador and Joseph Joemer Perez said they were forced to write De Lima because of former police colonel Cezar Mancao’s request to demand that former police colonel Glenn Dumlao act as a state witness in the case or have charges against him re-filed.

They disputed Mancao’s insinuation that Dumlao’s exoneration of Lacson was a turnaround from his previous testimony allegedly implicating Lacson, and that this exoneration was contrary to the terms of Dumlao’s exclusion from charges.

“We are constrained to write to you directly to set the record straight and refute Mancao’s allegations, which are obviously targeted not only at Dumlao but also at our client. The truth is that while Dumlao has implicated others, he has never implicated Sen. Lacson in the Dacer-Corbito case,” they said, adding nowhere in Dumlao’s affidavits contained any statement implicating Lacson in the Dacer-Corbito case..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101130nat6.html

NPA top leader Gregorio ‘Ka Roger’ Rosal is dead? By Mario J. Mallari 11/30/2010

NPA top leader Gregorio ‘Ka Roger’ Rosal is dead?

By Mario J. Mallari 11/30/2010

The military’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) yesterday expressed belief that communist New People’s Army (NPA) top leader Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal is already dead.

Citing intelligence reports which cropped up two years ago and the continuing silence of the NPA spokesman, Solcom chief Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali said the military is inclined to believe Rosal is gone.

Detabali, however, admitted there is no confirmation of such report.

“There was intelligence report that he (Rosal) expired while being transported out of the hospital…about two years ago and all NPA surrenderees, including top ranking ones, they never mentioned about Ka Roger,” said Detabali. “…but we cannot confirm, validate that,” said Detabali, noting the absence of the body.

Asked if he believes that Rosal is really gone, the Solcom chief replied “he is gone.”

Detabali, however, admitted the information the military has is third hand..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101130nat3.html

Broken, lawless under Noy EDITORIAL 11/29/2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Broken, lawless under Noy

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/29/2010
The outside world has built a worrying perception about the country that its government is not capable of protecting its own citizens, much less those who are visitors of the country.

Noynoy, aside from incessantly trumpeting his so-called straight path of governance, has done nothing or cannot do anything to change such widespread sentiment. At least seven rich nations have issued travel advisories on their citizens in the country that Noynoy confronted by merely demanding that the countries lift the travel warnings. It was as if throwing a tantrum would convince the countries to leave the safety of their citizens on what they hold as an incompetent government.

The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) described the country as one where an individual can no longer protect himself nor his family and exists in a nation that cannot protect its own citizens.

“A nation that cannot protect families and the community where they live cannot hope to protect the foreigners on its soil. It is a broken and lawless nation,” according to the AHRC..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101129com1.html

No change in perception FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/29/2010

No change in perception

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/29/2010
Malacañang won’t admit it, but all those excuses from the Chinese government by way of saying that there is always a rescheduling problem only means that the Chinese government doesn’t want to officially meet the Noynoy Aquino delegation that was formed to come to China over the botched Aug. 23 rescue operations.

Of course it must be done diplomatically, which is why there is always that excuse of the Chinese not being able to reschedule the Philippine delegation.

But Noynoy and his propagandists aren’t about to admit it, saying that it is the Philippine government that had decided not to send the delegation to China anymore.

Even in Vietnam, it was already clear to all that China is still smarting from the botched hostage, apart from the fact that the Chinese government has certainly made it clear that it is miffed with the way Noynoy exculpated his pals and allies from any liability and accountability, since Noynoy couldn’t even get a brief one on one meeting with the Chinese high official, whether in Vietnam or Yokohama.

With Noynoy’s propagandists claiming that the Chinese official and he were in good terms, and that everything is back to normal, Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang, in a radio report, made sure that the Malacañang propagandists were not going to get away with it, as he gave a radio interview in Hong Kong to give his piece, and there was the additional information that the HK police would be doing an exhaustive forensic analysis of the botched rescue..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101129com2.html

NY’s subway dancers never stop moving FEATURE 11/29/2010

NY’s subway dancers never stop moving

FEATURE

11/29/2010
NEW YORK — No stage is too small — or moving too fast — for Donte Steele and his dance crew.

Broadway might be the most prestigious showbiz address in New York, but Steele surely works the most challenging: the subway trains hurtling under Manhattan.

There are no curtains on this stage, but when Steele’s crew burst through the automatic doors of the carriage, armed with a boom box, the drama is instantaneous.

“What time is it?” one calls out. “Showtime!” call back the others.

Passengers mostly look away from the sudden intrusion. But not for long.

The boom box is pumping Black Eyed Peas and the youngest performer, 15-year-old Marcus Walden, otherwise known as “Mr. Wiggles,” is break dancing. He back flips.

Next up, “LJ” Tamiek Steele, 21, stands on his hands and calmly, as if it were the easiest thing in the world, reclines to a horizontal position, supported only by his fingers. You’d think invisible strings held him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101129com3.html

Why not Nene Pimentel? C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 11/29/2010

Why not Nene Pimentel?

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
11/29/2010
The early retirement of Comelec Chairman Jose Melo has stirred a hornet’s nest of sorts. Some sectors are speculating why Melo, who has four more years to serve after presiding over the country’s first automated elections last May, decided to abbreviate his stay by January 2011 when there are no especially difficult tasks ahead except for the scheduled ARMM elections next year. These sectors scoffed at Melo’s excuse that he wants to “spend more time with his grandchildren and play more golf” as an easy way out of a reported campaign by some close P-Noy partisans to ease him out to give way to their favored replacement. Reports are rife that some of them have actually seen Melo and in no uncertain terms “talked” him into issuing that resignation letter after insinuating that the latest barangay and SK elections fiasco was just the latest in a number of possible items which may be brought up in their year end assessment of the poll body’s operations. There were even suggestions that the J. V. Ongpin forum on the May elections featuring former Comelec Chairman Christian Monsod and others who have expressed concern over lingering problems at the poll body was just a preview of things to come. Of course, others believe that the amiable chairman deserves a break and this is as good a time as any for him to say goodbye. My only hope is that before he goes he gets to advice the nation on what to do with the balance of the budget allocated for last May’s election and the offer of Smartmatic, the poll body’s technology and solutions provider, the better to clear the air as some quarters are again hard at work trying to suggest that the impasse on these two concerns has something to do with the “division of spoils.” which is of course as ridiculous and wacky as many of those unsavory rumors about the Comelec and its employees immediately after the May elections which continue to linger up to now. But that is another story.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101129com4.html

The nation and the SYM DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 11/29/2010

The nation and the SYM

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
11/29/2010
I received this text a few days ago: “Gud pm, Ka Mentong, r u aware of d SYM goin on? TY.” The text came from an old-time Edsa III Kabansang Leth (or compatriot Leth, as we call each other in the movement). I really wasn’t familiar with what SYM stood for. It was the first time I encountered it.


When Leth texted again with “Sorry Yellow Movement,” it was then that I recognized the words that I have long been hearing the past few months from many former loyal Yellow stalwarts who have finally given up believing that the Yellow legacy holds any remaining promise of change and hope for its believers and the broad masses of the people.

I discussed this on the latest episode of our radio show and I said that I had been “Sorry Yellow” long, long before — ever since the last few years of the Cory Aquino administration.

The newcomers to this “Sorry Yellow” tribe are therefore more than welcome. They can in fact be a “boon” to the nation and a tremendous help in freeing the minds of the remaining wayward souls aboard the Yellow train. After nearly 25 years of domination in the Philippine scene, the Yellow era in our politics and governance has failed miserably — nay, criminally — to bring its promise of democracy, economic development, and prosperity.

Instead, what it has given is reinforced neo-colonial chains by the plutocrats who pull the strings on corrupted national and local, election, judicial, security, defense, and other officials in a sham, make-believe democracy that nurtures and entrenches an army of career sycophants all the way to the top, so long as they pay homage to the US Ambassador, sing paeans to “foreign investors,” and genuflect before “globalization” and “privatization.”

A historical perspective to the “color revolutions” is useful at this stage. I have said that the Philippines is the political-economic laboratory of American imperialism. The US has time and again shown that it exercises in-depth mind and political control over this country very successfully.

My first impression of RP being a testing ground for US imperialist programs came from a study of the Philippines’ transition from the “Filipino First Policy” under President Carlos P. Garcia to the “decontrol” period of Diosdado Macapagal — a process imposed by the earliest “structural adjustment” programs of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which included liberalization of foreign exchange and trade controls.

In the decades that followed, “structural adjustments” became a byword in IMF-Third World relations (which is now being imposed on European countries). Also, the “Yellow Revolution” was soon followed by the “Rose” and “ Orange ” revolutions in former Eastern Bloc countries similarly destabilized by the US.

In all, crucial ideas forming the ideology of a nation’s sovereign governance changed with these color revolutions. The downgrading of the state (with its government) and the rise of the corporatocracy by the transfer of public assets to private transnational and local conglomerates (through privatization) placed the real power shift to the plutocrats.

The downgrading of productive industries also resulted as the economy was “financialized,” with the ascendancy of “shareholder value” and “capital markets” that create the “virtual” economy of financial and stock market speculation by the likes of George Soros, Warren Buffet, and the infamous Ponzi man Bernie Madoff.

All these as local oligarchs feed their respective nations to these speculators via the “debt sentence” amid booming stock markets in bankrupt economies marked by “jobless growth.” The net effect: The killing of the real, physically productive economy, with GDP and GNP indicators replacing genuine “development” in such areas as health and education.

The “Sorry Yellow Movement” must rise above personality politics and the prevailing materialistic culture into a higher plane of thinking where a moral and spiritual vision for a better country and a better life for all Filipinos and all nations is upheld. But this must also be grounded on historical empiricism, i.e. knowledge from evidence-based experience, against the quasi-occultism of the Ghost of Edsa Shrine historiography and Yellow necromancy around the death masks of its idols.

What is the better model of development in real terms (i.e. long-term vs flash in the pan), the balanced political-economy of Singapore and Malaysia as well as China ’s social-market and market-socialist system, or the ultra-capitalist system exemplified by the US? After 25- and 50-year cycles, the consistent developmental economics of China et al. outperforms the boom and bust-driven US system.

The chromatic symbolism of the Philippines must return to the multi-colors of the flag that evolved from the Katipunan’s sun and black or red background to the multi-colors of the flag of the First Republic representing the true nation-state republic that Apolinario Mabini and the other founding heroes envisioned. The yellow of royalty, theocratic power, and privilege — not to mention, cowardice — must be thrown into the dustbin of history where it belongs. The Republic represents the people; and as it is a government of, for, and by the people, it should stay that way.

The “Sorry Yellow Movement” must begin to understand these before it becomes, as some have already declared, the even sorrier “Very Sorry Yellow Movement.” And while they say goodbye to their old ways, we from the genuine mainstream of the nation of Filipinos — patriots by natural law — say “hello” to welcome them back to the fold.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch Politics Today with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on “RP’s Home Mortgage Crisis: Ready to Explode,” on Global News Network, Destiny Cable channel 8; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com; P.S.-“10 minutes of lights out vs power plunderers,” 7 to 7:10 p.m., Monday nights)

 (Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101129com5.html

The next billionaire HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 11/29/2010

The next billionaire

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
11/29/2010
To get rich quickly, that has become an obsession to many.

Like everyone else, it has also been my dream. But I have no chance at politics, where winners always hit the jackpot and players are almost, as always, like the jackpot winners if they know how to play their politics right.

For the common man, it’s the lotto which is their ticket out of poverty.

I don’t gamble, but on some days, I welcome the exceptions.

I love playing golf with my Philippine Sports Association buddies because, even if I play the worst among the PSA lot, I usually bring home a prize, the most common of which are umbrellas.

The occasional television sets they give out during special games are always tempting, and I have brought home a couple since I started taking up the sport to the detriment of the many public courses where we play.
I also cherish victories during Christmas parties and other special occasions where raffle items are at stake..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101129com6.html

Odds and ends SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 11/29/2010

Odds and ends

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
11/29/2010
The Grand Lotto pot has reached over P600 million. That is a dazzling figure that you only ever see attached to roads or condominium projects. Indeed, it could fund so much of our development plans that one congressman took it upon himself to suggest that the pot money be used for such. A random survey among citizens, however, revealed a resounding “Heck, no!” I bet each one of us wants a shot at that money — a chance to be the next Manny (Pacquiao, Villar, Pangilinan)!

The lines in lotto outlets are long, but people patiently wait their turn. Hope burns in their chest that their luck would turn and they would finally know how it feels to have money at one’s disposal, never having to worry about how to pay for the next month’s bills; how to find the money for one’s kids’ tuition fees and pricey gadget obsessions; how to pay for treatment at the hospital and buying those medicines; never having to slave away at minimum wage.

If it’s not the lotto, there’s jueteng, albeit illegal. And that is the root of this issue that has had the church and state locking horns, just like that issue over the use of condoms and contraceptives.

Poverty pushes people to try anything and everything their conscience can take just to survive. Try watching one of those Brilliante Mendoza films, which strive to portray reality at its ugliest so that you can’t turn away – glued by a deep-seated knowledge that these things do exist, we just never wanted to acknowledge them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101129com7.html

RP troops to Korea possible under MDT By Angie M. Rosales 11/29/2010

ENRILE SAYS U.S. MAY INVOKE TREATY OBLIGATION

RP troops to Korea possible under MDT

By Angie M. Rosales 11/29/2010

The government will be compelled to deploy Filipino soldiers in South Korea if the United States invokes the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) in the event that the tension between North Korea and South Korea escalates into a full-blown war, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said yesterday.

Enrile, in a radio interview, added the developing situation in the Korean peninsula is also a concern to the country.

North Korea had warned of unpredictable consequences if the US and South Korea go ahead with naval exercises in the Yellow Sea. The drill, nevertheless, started yesterday.

The USS George Washington aircraft carrier and its battle group were planning four days of exercises with South Korea from yesterday as a show of force after Pyongyang stunned the world with artillery strikes on Yeonpyeong Island.

The planned drill has also heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing since China regards the Yellow Sea as its own ancestral waters and has refrained from condemning its communist ally Pyongyang over Tuesday’s attack..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101129hed1.html

US, Sokor start drill; China calls for talks 11/29/2010

US, Sokor start drill; China calls for talks

11/29/2010
Yeonpyeong Island — The United States and South Korean navies staged a potent show of force against North Korea yesterday, as China called for emergency talks about the crisis on the divided peninsula.
Tensions remained high after the North’s deadly bombardment last week.

People on the South Korean border island hit by shells and rockets scurried to bunkers after hearing explosions — apparently a firing drill miles away on the North’s mainland.

China, the isolated North’s sole major ally, proposed “emergency consultations” in Beijing early next month among chief envoys to the stalled six-nation talks on the North’s nuclear disarmament.

Its top envoy on North Korea, Wu Dawei, speaking in Beijing, stressed the proposal did not constitute a formal resumption of the negotiations. But he said he hoped they would lead to such a resumption soon.

South Korea, which is pressing Beijing to be more even-handed in the standoff, reacted cautiously as did Japan. The United States and Russia are the other members of the talks along with the North itself..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101129hed2.html

Dinky facing possible subpoena from House panel By Gerry Baldo 11/29/2010

Dinky facing possible subpoena from House panel

By Gerry Baldo 11/29/2010
Members of the House minority bloc are planning to subpoena Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman if she continues to ignore the invitation of the House committee on good government and public accountability which is conducting an inquiry into the controversy surrounding the P10-billion zero coupon Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificate (PEACe) bonds floated by the Code-NGO (Caucus of Development-NGO Networks).

Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay, a member of the Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), said Soliman, former head of Code-NGO, snubbed the first hearing last Wednesday when the panel had uncovered that her husband, lawyer Hector Soliman, was Code-NGO’s corporate secretary.

Code-NGO had received a windfall earnings of P1.3 billion from the flotation of the P10-billion zero coupons bonds which was allegedly engineered by a relative of then Finance Secretary Isidro Camacho.

Magsaysay warned the Social Welfare chief of facing possible subpoena from the committee if she insists on snubbing the lower chamber’s hearing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101129hed3.html

Maguindanao vice mayor shot dead 11/29/2010

Maguindanao vice mayor shot dead

11/29/2010
A vice mayor in Maguin-danao province was killed in an ambush staged by teenaged-looking suspects in Davao City yesterday, a police official said.

Police Regional Office-XI (PRO-11) spokesman Supt. Querubin Manalang said Alexander Tomawis, vice mayor of Barira town, was shot in the head by two unidentified assailants around 10:45 a.m. yesterday.

Quoting reports from the field, Manalang said Tomawis was along Hill Drive beside the Heritage Church in Bajada, Kilometer 5, Barangay Buhangin in Davao City, whentwo teenaged-looking suspects shot him, using a handgun.

Manalang said the suspects managed to approach Tomawis by pretending to have some documents signed by the vice mayor.

“The victim, who was with his security detail at the time of the shooting, was rushed to the Davao City Doctors’ Hospital for medical attention but was declared dead on arrival thereat,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101129hed4.html

Malacañang double standard raised over amnesty grant 11/29/2010

Malacañang double standard raised over amnesty grant

11/29/2010
Malacañang may be accused of exercising double standard in the grant of amnesty to soldiers who launched a series of coup attempts against former President Arroyo while refusing to act on the case of healthworkers suspected of being communist rebels, Sen. Joker Arroyo said yesterday.

Arroyo, for the first time, directly chastised President Aquino for pressing the grant of amnesty to rebel soldiers yet denying the same to the Morong 43, the group of health workers accused of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

The lawmaker warned Malacañang of the possibility of being accused of double standard in this particular issue.

The senator questioned Aquino’s posturing, intervening in the case of the rebel soldiers, due to be meted with a possible sentence while refusing to lift a finger on the case of the alleged leftists.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, meanwhile, maintained on radio there’s no more need for the rebel soldiers to admit guilt for apologize, before they are granted amnesty..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101129hed5.html

6 Pinoys killed in bus crash in Japan 11/29/2010

6 Pinoys killed in bus crash in Japan

11/29/2010
Six Filipino factory workers — three men and three women — were killed and 22 others were injured in a road accident yesterday in western Japan, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The Filipinos died when their bus collided with a trailer truck at an intersection in Kameyama, Mie prefecture while on their way to a factory manufacturing flat-screen televisions for Japanese electronics firm Sharp.
Twenty other Filipino workers, including one who had obtained Japanese nationality, and two Japanese — the drivers of the bus and the trailer truck — were injured, reports said.

Philippine Consul General Maria Lourdes Ramiro-Lopez said five of the Filipinos died immediately, while the other died on the way to the hospital.

Reports said the fatalities are in their 20s and 30s.

Lopez said 10 of the 20 injured Filipinos are in serious condition..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101129hed6.html

Binay to suspend insurance coverage for OFWs By Jerrylyn Barcelo 11/29/2010

Binay to suspend insurance coverage for OFWs

By Jerrylyn Barcelo 11/29/2010

Vice President and presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFWs) Concerns Jejomar Binay urged the joint congressional oversight committee to suspend the implementation of the law requiring insurance coverage for agency-hired migrant workers.

Binay said he is pushing the review of Republic Act 10022 or the amended Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act in light of the issues raised concerning the compulsory insurance for OFWs.

“Considering the complaints, I believe it is necessary to re-evaluate RA 10022. That is why I’m calling on the labor committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives overseas workers affairs committees to defer the implementation of the law pending its review,” Binay said.

In a meeting with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board, representatives from the joint congressional oversight committee assured that they will convene to look into the issues pertaining to the RA 10022..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101129nat1.html

Ominous start EDITORIAL 11/28/2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ominous start

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/28/2010
Let’s put everything in its right place. In its strictest sense, the economy’s third quarter performance cannot be called growth. Compared with the previous quarter, when the economy grew an adjusted record-setting 8.2 percent over a year, it was a contraction of 0.5 percent.

Also the Aquino administration cannot lay claim to the second quarter growth since it covers the months of April to June, when Noynoy only assumed office July 1. Thus, the reckoning month on how thus far, Noynoy was the third quarter alone that showed the economy under his term is now three months away from a technical recession, which is the economy sinking two straight quarters compared with the previous same period.

Quarter-on-quarter, the 0.5 percent contraction in the gross domestic product (GDP) from July to September, came after a 1.4 percent growth in the second quarter. The gross national product (GNP) that includes income from abroad grew at a slower rate of 1.2 percent in the third quarter from a 1.8 percent expansion in the second quarter..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com1.html

Pinoys not the boss FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/28/2010

Pinoys not the boss

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/28/2010
The reality would have sank in, sooner or later. As it turned out, it came sooner.
Noynoy Aquino’s inuagural address where he claimed that the Filipinos were his bosses, was wildly cheered by the yellows, as well as his no more wang-wang policy.

But if the Noynoy devotees — all yellow colored — had not been wearing rose-colored glasses, they would have seen those claims for what they really are: rhetoric and very insincere at that.

Sure. Noynoy saying the Pinoys are his bosses sounded good to their ears, but frankly, for his devotees to have swallowed this hook, line and sinker, merely shows just how politically naïve they are, to think that this is the gospel truth coming out of the mouth of a politician who has morever, shown his real color: That of being a trapo politician.

Sure, the sirens, or wang-wangs, have been silenced. But that change is pretty cosmetic, considering that there are those police escorts with him with their blinking lights and still pushing cars away so Noynoy and his car can pass without trouble. True, there is no longer the so-called counter flow driving, but the roads are closed, for him to evade traffic. The change was superficial. The trappings of power, which had been equated with the wang-wangs are still there..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com2.html

Lebanon’s Bedouins: Neither nomads nor citizens FEATURE 11/28/2010

Lebanon’s Bedouins: Neither nomads nor citizens

FEATURE

11/28/2010
FAOUR — Hiam Abu Ragheb has big dreams for her 19-month-old triplets despite being a Bedouin without papers in Lebanon. Her sons will be doctors — Bahaa a gynecologist and Saad a surgeon — and her daughter Nazek will be a lawyer or journalist.

But little Bahaa, Saad and Nazek, namesakes of members of Lebanon’s Hariri dynasty — Saad Hariri is now prime minister — might not even make it through school. They have no identity papers.

The Abu Raghebs belong to the Bedouin Huruq tribe and are among more than 100,000 Arab Bedouins who live in eastern Lebanon, many of whom have been fighting for years to be recognized by the state as citizens.
Once a migrant community that lived off herding and agriculture, Lebanon’s Bedouins gave up their traditional nomadic lifestyle by the mid-20th century and settled in the country’s east where they remain today, battling poverty, state neglect and discrimination..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com3.html

Curious case of Jose Ferdinand Rojas II BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 11/28/2010

Curious case of Jose Ferdinand Rojas II

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
11/28/2010
Archbishop Oscar Cruz, the country’s acknowledged “anti-jueteng lord,” has placed Pangasinan police officials on the hot seat with his disclosure that the illegal numbers game has staged a comeback, now that the controversy he started several months ago has subsided.

According to the octogenarian prelate, who heads the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Sugal (or People’s Crusade Against Gambling), jueteng has resurfaced in the third most-populous province in the country due to the acquiescence of certain powerful local government and police officials whom he didn’t name.

In a recent pastoral letter, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who is Cruz’s successor, criticized Pangasinan authorities for their failure to stop jueteng. He said the Church rejects gambling as it corrupts the gambler and exploits and diminishes human dignity.

Villegas also assailed the government for allowing the propagation of small town lottery (STL) as a means to combat jueteng. He said that a government which promotes gambling is morally corrupt.

Philippine National Police (PNP) officials however denied the allegations aired by the two archbishops..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com4.html

Elementary observations on the RH bill VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 11/28/2010

Elementary observations on the RH bill

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
11/28/2010
With all due respect to the President and to all those in the legislative department following his lead on the so-called “RH bill” (Reproductive Health bill), it is but right and proper for them to take into consideration the following simple and basic observations — herein forwarded with malice toward none, with good will toward all:

To start with, the RH bill is a huge misnomer. It is definitely not “reproductive” in nature and finality whereas it is precisely anti-reproduction whereas it is decidedly unfavorable to couples, considering the ill-effective of chemical based pills and injectable plus provided recourse to mutilation like vasectomy and tubal ligation.

The RH bill sadly looks at population as its national enemy whereas it causes poverty; it breeds criminality and other social maladies. It fails to consider the reality that population is wealth — on proviso that government really works and truly serves, conducts itself with integrity and honesty, fulfills its altruistic mission than indulge in self-service..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com5.html

Guess who is more ‘popish’ than the Pope? TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 11/28/2010

Guess who is more ‘popish’ than the Pope?

TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
11/28/2010
When an Italian humorist declared, after the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005: “We have a German Shepherd!” — the world laughed at the equivocation.

But even the detractors of the former Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, that stoic doctrinal watchdog-prefect of the powerful Sacred Congregation on the Doctrine of Faith, who suspended popular theology of liberation exponent, Fr. Leonardo Boff, never played up the “German Shepherd” tag to put the Pontiff in a bad light. Neither did their cohorts burn a canine effigy of the Pope in Vatican’s public square when he revived the Latin Mass.

In this recent statement of the Holy Father about the use of condoms in order to prevent HIV infections even among sex aberrant users such as male homosexuals, the papal thoughts in that interview by journalist Peter Seewald has become a molding clay not for humorists but for contortionists grabbing the limelight in the grand global media stage. Contortionists and cartoonists hushed and rushed over the perceived “complete turnaround” of the Church about its traditional and basic rejection of the use of condom..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com6.html

DoT: The Big Picture LETTER 11/28/2010 Dear Editor:

DoT: The Big Picture

LETTER

11/28/2010
Dear Editor:
Much has been said with regard to the Department of Tourism (DoT) slogan fiasco. I feel all this brouhaha is misplaced because I doubt that even the most dramatic, racy or sexy slogan will “sell” the Philippines as a tourist destination unless we are clear about the role of tourism in the life of our nation.

The “selling” of the Philippines must be part of a grand strategy, a national strategy — one that will chart and give us a road map to where we are going as a country, our priorities, actions. The debate about the slogan belongs to just one aspect of the entire picture. If that national strategy identifies tourism as a major revenue source, then the other departments and agencies should get involved to ensure the success of the effort.

The DoT cannot plan as if it were an island by itself. It needs the Department of Public Works and Highways for the infrastructure needed to access these tourist spots. It also requires collaboration with the Philippine National Police for the protocols for security of the tourists, whether domestic or foreign. It also has to work with the Department of Health to inform the tourist world about our medical tourism services.

The Phil Retirement Agency is another body it can work with since studies show the world is aging and there are millions of elderly who have the time and money to visit our country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com7.html

Noynoy government can’t be trusted — Belgian firm By Charlie V. Manalo 11/28/2010

FOREIGN CONTRACTOR ON LAGUNA LAKE DREDGING CRIES FOUL ON PROJECT CANCELLATION

Noynoy government can’t be trusted — Belgian firm

By Charlie V. Manalo 11/28/2010

All of President Aquino’s assurances to foreign and local investors he is trying to woo for his Public-Private Partnership projects, which are said to be composed of big ticket items, may have gone to naught, as he and his government have done a Gloria Arroyo, which is to cancel a clean contract.

With no categorical explanation and no formal notification on its decision to cancel the multibillion-peso Laguna Lake dredging project, a counsel for the project’s Belgian contractor yesterday accused the Aquino administration of being highly untrustworthy, calling the Noynoy administration a government that can never be trusted.

“A government that runs away from its contract is a government that cannot be trusted,” Abraham Espejo, legal counsel for Baggerwerken Decloedt en Zoon (BDC), charged during the weekly Kapihan sa Sulo yesterday, referring to the Aquino administration.

Espejo stressed that with the P18.7-billion project in perfect order as attested to by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the Aquino administration is legally bound by law to adhere to all its provisions, thus the need to execute the project..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed1.html

Nokor condemns US-S.Korean naval drills; Seoul vows revenge 11/28/2010

Nokor condemns US-S.Korean naval drills; Seoul vows revenge

11/28/2010
SEOUL — North Korea yesterday warned of “unpredictable consequences” if the United States and South Korea go ahead with naval exercises in the Yellow Sea, days after launching a deadly attack on the South.
The USS George Washington aircraft carrier and its battle group were planning four days of exercises with South Korea from Sunday as a show of force after Pyongyang stunned the world with its artillery strike.

The planned drill has also heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, which regards the Yellow Sea as its own ancestral waters and has refrained from condemning its communist ally Pyongyang over Tuesday’s attack.

China — which has resisted taking sides in the worst flare-up in decades between the Koreas — was more outspoken in its opposition to the US-South Korean drills.

“We hold a consistent and clear-cut stance on the issue,” China’s Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.“We oppose any party to take any military actions in our exclusive economic zone without permission,” it said, referring to the sea area that stretches 200 nautical miles from a country’s shores..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed2.html

RP bans deployment of OFWs in S. Korea 11/28/2010

RP bans deployment of OFWs in S. Korea

11/28/2010
While the government has not yet cautioned Filipinos against traveling to embattled South Korea, a deployment ban has been issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in connection with the ongoing unrest in the Korean Peninsula.

Malacañang yesterday confirmed that sending overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for South Korea has been temporarily suspended upon the instructions of President Aquino as the government continues to assess the situation.

This developed even as Aquino implied the other day that he finds “convincing” the expectations conveyed to him by all quarters involved in the issue that the longstanding conflict between the North and South Koreas would not escalate into a worst-case scenario.

The deployment ban order was released by DFA Undersecretary Esteban Conejos in cooperation with the officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and Philippine Overseas Employment Association (PoEA) which was affirmed later on by deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed3.html

AHRC: RP a broken, lawless nation; France issues advisory 11/28/2010

AHRC: RP a broken, lawless nation; France issues advisory

11/28/2010
A Hong Kong based human rights group tagged the Philippines as “a broken and lawless nation” as it has become a country where an individual can no longer protect himself, his family and consequently fails to protect a community.

At the same time, the French government, in its Website, yesterday also issued yet another travel advisory, warning its citizens against rising criminality during the holiday season in the Philippines.

Apparently, the criticisms President Aquino openly aired against the countries that had issued travel advisories against the country then even demanded them to withdraw their advisories, claiming that the warnings had no basis, fell on deaf ears..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed4.html

Aquino gov’t braces for student protests 11/28/2010

Aquino gov’t braces for student protests

11/28/2010
Malacañang yesterday asked the restive student leaders in almost every part of the country to just bear with the country’s tight fiscal situation as “maximum tolerance” is being exercised by President Aquino’s security aides in view of the second lightning rally they staged just recently during his speaking engagement in Baguio City.

According to deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte, security measures are being kept in preparation for these rallies by the students, denouncing Aquino’s cuts in the budget of state colleges and universities (SUCs) which she claims to be “infrequent.”

“Usual measures are in place when we have rallies. The rallies, I think, have not been not frequent but we are prepared for them. The President said that usually whenever there’s a rally, maximum tolerance is to be really exercised. So we can really see that at present — maximum tolerance is to be exercised at all times.

We also understand that the students or our countrymen have the right to rally and make their opinions be heard,” Valte said during her weekend briefing to reporters aired live over radio dzRB..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed5.html

Miriam calls for gov’t funding information availability online 11/28/2010

Miriam calls for gov’t funding information availability online

11/28/2010
It’s the age of digital technology and a boost for transparency in government funds and spending information, but it is not known as yet whether the Aquino administration will support transparency though this manner.
As the Senate deliberates the 2011 budget, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago filed a bill that will make information on all government funding awards, grants, contracts, and loans available and searchable on a public Web site.

“Government funding to entities and organizations should be a transparent process so that taxpayers will no exactly how their money is being spent,” Santiago said.

Senate Bill 1675, also known as the Government Funding, Accountability and Transparency Act, aims to expand upon e-government management tools in releasing information on various government financial assistance and expenditures.

These include grants, contracts, subgrants, subcontracts, loans, awards, cooperative agreements, purchase orders, task orders, delivery orders, and other forms of financial assistance accessible to constituents..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed6.html

CA acquits two sentenced to life imprisonment By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/28/2010

CA acquits two sentenced to life imprisonment

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/28/2010

Two persons were sentenced to life behind bars by the lower court has been cleared by the Court of Appeals (CA) after the appellate court found that the arresting police officers bungled in the handling of the illegal drugs seized as evidence in a buy-bust operation in Mabalacat, Pampanga six years ago.

Acquitted in a decision written by Associate Justice Noel Tijam and concurred in by Associate Justices Marlene Gonzales Sison and Danton Bueser were Alexander Monsuelo and Loreto Ortizo, both of Barangay Dau in Mabalacat town.

“The proliferation of dangerous illegal drugs constitutes a menace that must be eradicated. When the integrity of the chain of custody of the illicit drugs is compromised, a reasonable doubt is created that the quantity and quality of the illicit substance confiscated are the same as those examined and presented in court,” the CA said.

With the ruling, the CA reminded law enforcement officers and prosecutors “to be more circumspect and prudent in upholding the integrity of the evidence they present in court especially in drug cases.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101128nat1.html

Solar energy to light up 2,650 households in remote areas 11/28/2010

Solar energy to light up 2,650 households in remote areas

11/28/2010
CEBU CITY — The Department of Energy (DoE) expects to energize about 2,650 more households in remote areas in the country using solar energy.

The DoE will pursue the project after the success of its “Sustainability Improvement of Renewable Energy Development in Village Electrification” program.

Officials from DoE Visayas, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and eight African countries visited the Solar Home System (SHS) project in Alumar Island, Getafe, Bohol with 50 household beneficiaries.

The Alumar Island solar project only cost P500,000, which was contributed jointly by DoE, Jica, Getafe municipal government and University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City.

About 40 families from a far-flung barangay in Toledo City that have never used electricity are among the 2,650 families who can avail themselves of the power service of the SHS for 2010..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101128nat6.html

Just do it EDITORIAL 11/27/2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just do it

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/27/2010
Noynoy does not appear to be that firm in his claim that he is standing firm on his position of family planning through couples’ choice, which includes artificial contraception. The signs point to the slow retreat of Noynoy in this matter, what with the House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte now singing a different tune on the early passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

The excuse given by Belmonte is that there is little time to act on the RH bill by way of plenary debates since the sessions will have to come to a close, owing to Congress’ Christmas break, which is still a lot of days away.

Unless reports were wrong, the RH bill is supposed to already be on second reading, which would not take too much time to finish this off. Then too, the chairman of the panel that handles such bills had already been quoted as saying that Belmonte had not given him directions to push the RH bill.

It is certainly is also known that the House generally takes orders from Malacañang for it to act, or not act on bills, which translates to Noynoy and his aides not pushing this particular bill for its passage — and the only reason for the Malacañang tenant to retreat from this issue may well be pressure from the Catholic prelates, whose support he does not want to lose, at this stage of his dipping popularity..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101127com1.html

Impunity will still reign FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/27/2010

Impunity will still reign

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/27/2010
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda was reported to have told a group of demonstrators that they should blame the provincial government then led by the Ampatuans, and not the national government.

“This (Maguindanao massacre) is the action of the provincial government. This was not countenanced by the state, that is something to be made clear,” Lacierda was quoted in a newspaper report as saying, while calling on the media not to make the national government liable.

“Do not mix the separate jurisdictions, do not put the liability of a local government... these are not state-sanctioned acts of the government,” he reportedly added.

Lacierda misses the point, but not surprisingly, since Malacañang and his principal’s style is always to wash their hands off any blame..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101127com2.html

No good choices for Obama on North Korea ANALYSIS 11/27/2010

No good choices for Obama on North Korea

ANALYSIS

11/27/2010
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama faces precious few appealing choices in handling North Korea’s latest armed attack on the South.

“This is the land of lousy options... You can choose between bad, worse and the worst,” former diplomat Victor Cha told a group of fellow analysts.

After this week’s deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island, the United States faces three options: Resume negotiations with North Korea, which would be seen as rewarding its latest provocation; ease up on the tone of the response and perhaps risk a new shocker from Pyongyang; or toughen its stance and face the prospect of an armed escalation on the Korean peninsula.

Obama was briefed several times Wednesday on the developing situation in the Korean peninsula and his administration is working around the clock on the issue, the White House told AFP.

During his 2008 election campaign, Obama was more conciliatory than his Republican rival John McCain in vowing a more open policy toward Pyongyang.

A few months after he took office, however, he changed his tune after North Korea tested a missile and broke off six-party talks with China, Japan, Russia, the United States and South Korea..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101127com3.html

Filipino Journalists Face Another Form of Impunity: Violation of Labor Rights

Filipino Journalists Face Another Form of Impunity: Violation of Labor Rights


In a speech at the seventh Congress of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), labor lawyer Nitz Mahinay said there is impunity not only in the killing of journalists but also in the violation of their rights to self-organization and job security.
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Contrary to perceptions that journalists enjoy glitz and glamour, journalists and media workers suffer the same job insecurity and appalling conditions no different from other Filipino workers.

In a speech at the seventh Congress of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), labor lawyer Nitz Mahinay said there is impunity not only in the killing of journalists but also in the violation of their rights to self-organization and job security.

Mahinay noted that contractualization in the Philippine media industry has become rampant. The use of in-house manpower agencies owned by the principal employer is one of the latest tactics employed against media workers. Such is the case of the ABS-CBN Internal Job Market (IJM) employees. Despite the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) decision in favor of the workers, the ABS-CBN management did not reinstate the dismissed workers and even continues to retrench them.

Delegates of the NUJP Congress spoke of various work arrangements that violate labor rights such as volunteer reporters, talent and technical staff, correspondents, among others. Some owners of media agencies also deny the existence of an employer-employee relationship.

Journalists suffer from scandalously low remuneration with some being paid per story, per commission, or with very low wages. Benefits such as insurance and hazard pay are rare, if given at all. Journalists are hardly protected from the risks of the job with no protective clothing or insurance.

Mahinay said the Supreme Court and the DOLE are ‘not consistently upholding the law.’

Propose Actions 

The Congress adopted a resolution addressing this concern. The NUJP resolved to:

1. ensure the installation of a data base system that would provide the necessary information about the different working conditions of journalists in the different media, regions, and provinces to enable the union to plot out strategies and tactics to promote the rights and welfare of NUJP members,.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/11/27/journalists-an-exploited-lot/

Environmental Groups Intensify Opposition to Planned Expansion of Coal-Fired Power Plants

 Environmental Groups Intensify Opposition to Planned Expansion of Coal-Fired Power Plants

A typical coal power plant generates an average of 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide… 500 tons of small airborne particles…720 tons of carbon monoxide… 225 pounds of arsenic… and 114 pounds of lead, four pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium which are all poisonous and carcinogenic. 

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Coal-fired power plant is the most hazardous energy source in the world but despite its dire effects, the national government plans to construct at least four new coal power plants by 2012 and is targeting to increase the local production of coal by 250 percent by 2015.

According to Kalikasan-People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), more coal-fired power plants will be constructed in the provinces of Isabela, Zambales, Negros Oriental and Occidental, Davao City, Saranggani, General Santos, and Sultan Kudarat.

There are already nine existing coal-fired power plants in the Philippines which are operating in Sual, Pangasinan; Masinloc, Zambales; Mauban and Pagbilao, Quezon; Toledo City and Naga, Cebu; La Paz, Iloilo, and Semirara, Antique and Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. By December of this year, Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) will start to operate in Iloilo, while Korean Electric Power Co. (Kepco) in Naga, Cebu was also set to operate next year.

“The hazards of coal fired power plants is well discussed in numerous international studies, but here in the Philippines, there seem to be a deliberate attempt by the government to ignore these health and environmental impacts as well as the pleas of the communities against coal fired power projects,” said Meggie Nolasco, public information officer of Kalikasan-PNE.

After his US trip last September, Aquino boasted of bringing home $3.7 billion in investments. Part of this potential investments would be coming from Marubeni Corp, which plans to rehabilitate and expand the 1,200-megawatt (MW) Sual and 735-MW Pagbilao coal-fired power facilities in Luzon.

Dirty
How dirty could the coal-fired power plant be?

A typical coal power plant generates an average of 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide which causes acid rain; 500 tons of small airborne particles which can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death and lung diseases; 720 tons of carbon monoxide which causes headaches and place additional stress on people with heart disease; 225 pounds of arsenic which is carcinogenic; and 114 pounds of lead, four pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium which are all poisonous and carcinogenic..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/11/27/environmental-groups-intensify-opposition-to-planned-expansion-of-coal-fired-power-plants/

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