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The Daily Tribune

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Speaker, 30 congressmen set to bolt Lakas By Charlie V. Manalo 04/12/2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ready to endorse Villar — source

Speaker, 30 congressmen set to bolt Lakas

By Charlie V. Manalo

Lakas-Kampi presidential bet Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro faces more woes as Speaker Prospero Nograles, together with 30 other congressmen, is said to be ready to bolt the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party and support the presidential candidacy of Nacionalista Party (NP) standard bearer Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., sources close to the administration party said. 

“It won’t just be the Speaker who is ready to bolt Lakas. He is bringing along with him 30 congressmen, ready to switch their support to Villar,” the sources told The Tribune yesterday.

According to sources, the 30 still to be identified congressmen who have signified their approval in joining the Speaker in bolting the administration party “are big guns” and have been proven to deliver the votes for whoever they support..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100412hed1.html

Villar, Noynoy ‘dangerous’ candidates — Jinggoy By Gerry Baldo 04/12/2010

Villar, Noynoy ‘dangerous’ candidates — Jinggoy

By Gerry Baldo
Reelectionist Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino senatorial candidate Sen. Jinggoy Estrada yesterday said the Filipino electorate are now beginning to realize that his father, former President Joseph Estrada, is among the leading presidential candidates in the May 2010 elections.

Jinggoy added the people are also now seeing the truth that two of his father’s political rivals – Senators Manuel Villar and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, are “dangerous.”

“People are beginning to realize that the other candidates are quite dangerous,” Jinggoy said in the sidelines of a huge rally in Longos, Malabon, last Friday.

He added that of the two leading presidential candidates Villar is the most dangerous because of his campaign spending..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100412hed5.html

Erap flays GMA-7 for smear job By Gerry Baldo

Erap flays GMA-7 for smear job

By Gerry Baldo

As his numbers rise in the surveys, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) standard bearer former President Joseph Estrada said the media are again demonizing him.

Estrada, in an interview during a campaign rally in Malabon on Friday, accused GMA-7 of kicking off a demolition job on him when it came out with a report about his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth (SALN) a few days ago.

“They have started the smear job against me, about my SALN. It was all too sudden after my rating at number three started to go up,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100412hed2.html

May 2010 opportunity EDITORIAL 04/12/2010

May 2010 opportunity

Click to enlarge

The financial state of Nacionalista Party (NP) bet Manuel Villar Jr. is a factor for voters to consider since it has been this side of his candidacy, that of his having spent to high heavens to win the presidency, that had chiefly stuck in the mind of the public.

The president has wide access to government resources and assets, a privilege that is prone to manipulation and abuse as inarguably proven by the plundering couple now occupying Malacañang.

If Manuela Corp.’s gargantuan debts running to more than P2 billion in loans and supply credits are major issues now, what more if Villar becomes president of the republic?... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100412com1.html

Very valid issue FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/12/2010

Very valid issue

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Black propaganda or not, the refusal of Noynoy Aquino to take up the challenge of Manny Villar for both of them to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, after the bogus psych report on Aquino’s alleged mental disorder was made public, will do more harm to Aquino’s candidacy than it would Villar on the Liberal Party (LP)’s claim that this fake report was leaked out to ABS-CBN by the Nacionalista Party.

The reason is simple. Since Noynoy Aquino indicated his interest in running for the presidency, talk started about his alleged “autism” and of his being bi-polar.

While this was hardly brought to fore by the media, the fact is that the talk on this alleged mental and emotional disorders suffered by Aquino, kept coming. He has been called “abnoy” the street name for “abnormal,” and is still being called that by many, in political conversations and gabfests.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100412com2.html

With saw and screwdriver, China doctor gives gift of height FEATURE 04/12/2010

With saw and screwdriver, China doctor gives gift of height



SHANGHAI — Orthopedic surgeon Bai Helong hikes up his trousers, places his foot on his desk and marks the spot just below his hairless knee where he cuts into the legs of patients who want to be taller.

Over the past 15 years, Bai has given the gift of height to about 3,000 patients aged 14 to 55 — Chinese, Americans, Germans, Japanese — about half of whom went through with surgery simply because they did not like being short.

“I’m something of an authority in this field,” explains Bai, who uses a technique he developed himself at a modest private clinic in the suburbs of Shanghai..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100412com3.html

The desert lands of Cory Aquino DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/12/2010

The desert lands of Cory Aquino

Herman Tiu Laurel
A thousand years before Christ, China under the Zhou dynasty had already massive water impounding and river diversion projects irrigating its lands. Its builders Sunshu Ao and Ximen Bao were the earliest known hydraulic engineers in history. Mesopotamia, Egypt and Iran go even farther back in terms of irrigation — as early as the 6th millennium BC.

Agriculture, irrigation and surplus food production as hallmarks of a civilized society have never changed since those ancient times. President Ferdinand Marcos’ 21 years as leader of the Philippine Republic had brought the country onto the threshold of self-sufficiency in food production and even achieved a surplus for export at one point. That was made possible by his dedication to the building of the nation’s water and irrigation management systems, covering one million hectares by the time he was forced out of Malacañang.

Twenty-four years after the fall of Marcos, the Philippines has only 600,000 hectares of irrigated lands left, according to farmers’ organizations KaMMMPi and Araro. Twenty-two years of deliberate under-funding, policy obfuscation and neglect, as well as anti-agriculture land policies, plus international multilateral sabotage of agricultural and irrigation development programs had turned back the clock of progress. Farmer-irrigators’ associations were sidelined and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) wasted precious irrigation fees.

After Cory Aquino, irrigation did not take priority again until President Joseph Estrada’s term. He allocated major funding toward rebuilding irrigation systems and revived the carabao development program along this end. In all, Marcos and Estrada markedly supported domestic productive capabilities while the Aquino-FVR-Arroyo triad merely sacrificed agriculture at the altar of globalization.
Right after the assumption of Cory’s Yellow regime, her government began the steps to dismantle and deconstruct the policy foundations for a productive and self-sustaining agriculture in the Philippines.

The Marcos era Agri-Agra law (PD 717) that required all banks to lend 25 percent of their funds to agriculture was amended to allow private banks to use these funds to purchase government debt papers or T-bills instead of compelling them to lend direct to farmers.

Irrigation programs were separated from the Department of Agriculture while government financing was cut in favor of loans from multilateral funding agencies like the World Bank.

Land use policies were skewed toward conversion of prime irrigated agricultural lands into residential and industrial parks — instead of these residential settlements being moved to high-rise urban dwellings and the latter to higher elevations — yielding huge profits to real estate speculators, developers and, of course, the oligarchs.
Cory Aquino and her political heirs sacrificed prime, flat, lowland agricultural properties which other Asian countries such as Korea or Japan would have preserved for rice production.

But then, the Aquino administration never seemed to have a clear policy agenda for development, true to the constitutional change it introduced in 1987 that the private sector would become the primary engine of economic growth. The only growth we have seen since is corporate profits as agriculture and industry have been kept to precariously nominal or, at best, marginal growth.

Cory Aquino’s deleterious policies were then followed up by Fidel Ramos with his “high value crops for export” strategy and later, Gloria Arroyo’s “food security by rice importation” scheme, which is increasing by leaps and bounds.
By 2010, the normal 10-percent rice importation level is expected to double, with more and more money going to foreign farmers.

Today’s government statistics claim that irrigated lands have increased to 1.5 million hectares, but the stark reality, such as the helplessness of farms in the face of El Niño, shows otherwise. Many of what the government claims are really old Marcos era irrigation structures like dozens of dam projects in the North that are now dried up, eroding and unmaintained.

The one reviving many of these old water impounding and irrigation structures is not government but tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan, at the cost of hundreds of millions, in such areas like Patpata, La Union; Quiling, Ilocos Norte; Garab, Cagayan; Dadda, Tugeugarao, Cagayan; Silag, Ilocos Sur; Casilagan, Ilocos Sur; and many other areas that are still undergoing rehabilitation. In many other areas, Lucio Tan is building new similar structures under the auspices of his family’s Tan Yan Kee Foundation.

 Lucio Tan’s efforts reflect a cultural foundation that is rooted in the millennial experience of the oldest of civilizations: That water (coupled with irrigation) is the foundation of all life and civilization. Its lack, in turn, should not be blamed on non-human factors such as El Niño, but on our own unpreparedness for the vicissitudes of nature.

In my small eight-hectare mountain farm in Bataan, I am also taking a multi-pronged approach to the water issue, preparing my own small water impounding project and drilling a water well at the same time while requiring all detergents and soaps to be coconut oil-based so that water for laundry, bath and kitchen use can be recycled for watering plants.

President Estrada in 1991, still as a senator, authored the “Irrigation Law” (RA 6978) mandating the NIA to irrigate 1.5 million hectares within 10 years — a program FVR and Gloria didn’t pursue, which Erap couldn’t complete due to Edsa II.

We need to turn back the deserts of Cory Aquino that are spreading all over the land. We cannot let her heirs and ilk, plus the locust heads of globalization, continue to ravage the nation’s productive capacities and “yellow” our crops in their drying fields.

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100412com4.html

Augmented reality puts the squeeze into virtual hugs FEATURE 04/12/2010

Augmented reality puts the squeeze into virtual hugs



BEGEVE — Now you really can reach out and touch someone through the Internet, with the help of a wearable robot designed by a husband-and-wife team of scientists based in Japan.

Five years in the making, the device aims to inject a little physicality into online chatter, boosting the emotional quotient of virtual exchanges between flesh-and-blood people.

Forget emoticons, those annoying little smiley :-) or frowning :-( faces added to text messages with key strokes.
The quickened thump of an angry heart beat, a spine-tingling chill of fear, or that warm-all-over sensation sparked by true love — all can be felt even as your eyes stay glued to a computer screen.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100412com5.html

Junk food killing pet cats and dogs FEATURE 04/12/2010

Junk food killing pet cats and dogs



PARIS — The junk food and poor eating habits affecting humans is also killing their four-legged pals, say veterinary surgeons and experts.

Allergies and obesity are reducing the life expectancy of Lassies and Mittens nourished worldwide on industrial foodstuffs, said Gerard Lippert, a Belgian acupuncturist for animals who has just completed a study on the diets of 600 dead dogs.

“Pets, like humans, are victims of junk food,” he told AFP.

Of the 600 furry corpses he examined “those fed on processed foods died three years earlier than those fed on food made in the home.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100412com6.html

Not just churva teines HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 04/12/2010

Not just churva teines

Aldrin Cardon

Danton Remoto is all smiles these days after the Supreme Court (SC) had overturned the Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s decision to bar his party-list, Ang Ladlad, from seeking third sex representation in Congress.

The Comelec earlier had banned Ang Ladlad on grounds of morality and religious beliefs. The Comelec even played god in a sense when it discriminated against gays when it claimed that to allow this gay group to run would be allowing Ang Ladlad to flaunt its ideologies and ideas before the once august halls of Congress, which would be tantamount to tolerating immorality, aside from Ang Ladlad, allegedly being offensive to Christians and Muslims.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100412com7.html

Let’s party SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 04/12/2010

Let’s party

Dinah S. Ventura

You’re invited to the “It” event in the country: The Philippine Elections! It’s on May 10, 2010 at your nearest precinct. Come in your best heat-resistant attire — it’s going to be packed! Watch out for “scalpers” or those individuals who will sidle up to you and try to “buy” your vote for a bargain price — they want in, but you know very well that’s out of the question!

As early as 2008, people have been preparing for this major event of the year. Candidate wannabes did the tango, rigodon and waltz before settling into the party of choice. This year, the entertainment has been extra fierce — and it’s not even the DAY yet!

First up: The “funny” presidentiables.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100412com8.html

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