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First things first EDITORIAL 06/02/2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

First things first

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One of the first things that should be done by the incoming Congress is to come up with a legislative measure calling for a constitutional convention, where duly elected delegates will be mandated to draft a new Constitution.

This is an important step to be made by the Congress — as well as the new Malacañang tenant — to usher in the much needed political reforms in the system, if this country is to get anywhere, and if we, as a people, want to see independent democratic institutions we have been denied for so long.

The problem we are always bugged with, even when we elect new leaders, whether they come from the administration or the opposition, but more especially from the opposition, is the fact that once in power and position, their first move would be to control both Houses of Congress, which is natural for any leader to want — except that in gaining control of Congress, what the leaders really aim for is control to effect the full protection of the Malacañang tenant, to the point of covering up for whatever transgressions and violations of the Charter are committed. And in the process, this tends to prostitute the members of Congress, offering them bribes, or withholding their pork barrel allocations to get them to toe the Palace line.

To cite an example, when the Liberal Party members were allies of Gloria Arroyo and enjoying the perks of being Palace allies, the Senate, then headed by now Senator-elect Franklin Drilon and his bloc in the upper chamber, ensured that the investigations in the Senate into the allegations of corrupt deals in Malacañang, would lead nowhere, as they were all protecting Gloria and her administration..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100602com1.html

No change forthcoming FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/02/2010

No change forthcoming

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
From the announced appointments of Noynoy Aquino, along with the speculated names of his Cabinet, plus the rejection of Aquino’s offers to certain individuals to join his Cabinet, it appears that he wouldn’t be able to form a Cabinet made up of the best and the brightest.

As reports have it, the speculated names for the Aquino Cabinet, are composed of the old Gloria Arroyo Cabinet, such as retaining Alberto Romulo as the Foreign Affairs secretary, and for the education portfolio, the former Education secretary of Gloria, Butch Abad, along with others identified with the Hyatt 10 group.

But weren’t all of them part of Gloria’s Cabinet for at least five years and in those years, made certain that Gloria would be protected, even when they knew she was using government resources for her 2004 campaign?

Even Dinky Soliman admitted, when she cut off from Gloria, that she was already using the poor, and bribing them to attend demonstrations in support of Gloria.

And frankly, none of these former Gloria Arroyo Cabinet members were deemed to have made any great changes, by way of reform.

As a matter of record, early in 2001, after Arroyo took power, Soliman and her group went on to scam the Filipino people with their P35 billion NGO PeaceBonds that netted for their group a cool P1 billion for which their group does not have to account to the Filipino people.

And with the same faces, the Noynoy administration expects to bring about change or cut corruption?... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100602com2.html

Gulf sex shop offers marriage guidance with edible undies FEATURE 06/02/2010

Gulf sex shop offers marriage guidance with edible undies


MANAMA — Usually veiled and wearing a modest, flowing abaya, Khadija Ahmed looks an unlikely owner of the conservative Gulf’s first sex shop.

She sees nothing wrong, however, with selling “joy jelly,” edible undies or the vibrating accoutrements offered by such niche boutiques around the world, insisting that nothing in Islam forbids the pleasures of the bedroom.

“It’s not a sex shop in the Western sense,” she explained, “but a place to help married couples, and only married couples, enjoy sex to the full.”

Ahmed, who admits that she cannot, of course, check identity cards to see whether clients are married or not, got the idea for the business as she came to realize how many men and women were having extra-marital affairs.

Her shop, named Dar Khadija, aims “to provide a service to married couples by making their sex lives more exciting than the lure of an affair.

“Why do married men and women go looking for love elsewhere? Because of the routine that couples fall into.”
If whips and leather bondage suits are what you’re seeking to pep up your sex life then you won’t find them in Dar Khadija.

Nevertheless, it does offer risque bedroom accessories and kinky lingerie, plus a selection of ladies’ clothing which range from jeans and tops to fancy evening dresses and embroidered abayas..... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100602com3.html

Spate of killings MR. EXPOSE Amb. Ernesto Maceda 06/02/2010

Spate of killings

Amb. Ernesto Maceda
Fr. Angel Calvo, head of the religious group Peace Advocates Zamboanga, expressed alarm over “a spate of murders is turning the city into a killing field.” Fr. Calvo reported that since January, there have been 60 “bold and brazen” killings.

In a separate statement, the Inter Religious Solidarity Movement (IRSMP) declared that killers “are roaming our streets turning the city into a dizzying killing field.”

Christine Cordova, a call center agent, was choked to death by a chatmate in a motel in Valenzuela City.

A six-year-old girl was stabbed to death 16 times in Bulacan. Jester Arellano, 22, was beaten to death in Pasig by a gang of teenagers led by a SK Chairman. Matilde Espayos, 82, was stabbed to death by her son in Caloocan. Luis Siyao, 37, was hacked to death in a carabao market in Tabuk, Kalinga by assassins who escaped in a motorcycle.

Korean businessman Kang Dong Ho was found bludgeoned to death at a roadside in Pagsanjan, Laguna. Two fishermen were killed and one wounded when they were attacked gangland-style in Lian, Batangas. Killed Sunday night were Alfredo Kabayon, 32 and Petronilo Ingat, 25 while their companion, Hermenigildo Bautista, 48 sustained two bullet wounds. Four security guards in Rodriguez, Rizal shot it out resulting in the death of Raymond Corea while Ronnie Escano was critically wounded.

In Quezon City, taxi driver William Herrera, 47, was robbed and killed by three passengers in Batasan Hills. Purok leader Sylvia Quebec, 49, a police informant was shot dead in front of her house at Payatas road, Barangay Commonwealth.

In Nueva Ecija, six shooting incidents happened during the last week of May. On May 23, Apolinario Flores, 23, was found shot to death in Aguas Centro, Cabanatuan City. On May 24, Virgilio Alejo, 47, was ambushed in Bongabon town. Also on May 24, Eusebio Jardinal Jr., 19, a student was found dead in Santa Rosa. In Guimba, one Gener Llanes, 42, was shot to death four times inside his house by two armed men.

Murders galore have been reported in Davao City, Cebu City, Pangasinan, Masbate, Cavite and right here in Quezon City where salvaged bodies keep turning up. Last Saturday, three dead male bodies turned up in three places in Pasay City, namely: Roxas Blvd., Domingo St. and Aurora Blvd.

In Cagayan, a series of killings has also happened, including the latest in Buguey town where anti-mining leader, Conrado Buenaflor was murdered on May 9. Three other members of an Anti-Mining Task Force were killed earlier.

In Basilan, the Abu Sayyaf has again kidnapped three persons, demanding a P1 million ransom.

The new President should appoint a street-smart DILG secretary who can reform and discipline the PNP. The Napolcom should also be reformed to fast track the decision on cases involving erring policemen. Mandatory drug tests for all policemen must be done regularly.


NPA, big problem. Despite AFP General’s continuing claim that the New People’s Army (NPA) is a spent force and its fighters’ numbers waning, the rebel group has scored significant successes the last two weeks, killing three soldiers in an ambush in Davao City and three soldiers in Banay-Banay Davao Oriental. They also wounded seven policemen in an ambush in Mobo, Masbate.

Last Saturday, five soldiers including 1st Lt. Miguel Logronio Jr. were killed and four were wounded by a 30-man rebel group in Presentacion, Camarines Sur. That brings to 15 the number of soldiers killed in only two weeks. GMA visited the wakes to give medals and P250,000 each to the family of the slain soldiers.

The NPAs are active in Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Sarangani, Zamboanga del Sur, Negros Occidental, the three Samar provinces, Sorsogon, Albay Catanduanes, Quezon, Laguna, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Rizal, Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Cagayan, Kalinga, Apayao, Abra, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100602com4.html

Thai PM still standing after deadly protests focus 06/02/2010

Thai PM still standing after deadly protests


BANGKOK — After weeks fighting for his political life, Thailand’s prime minister has surprised many by surviving mass street protests and is likely to put off elections for as long as possible, experts said.

Few think the crisis that has driven a wedge into Thai society and left 88 persons dead is over. But Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has managed to cling to power thanks to the backing of the army, which dispersed the “Red Shirts.”

“I certainly felt that Abhisit wouldn’t survive this crisis but he’s surprised a lot of people,” said Andrew Walker, a Thailand expert and senior fellow at the Australian National University.

Now the British-born, Oxford-educated premier has shelved his offer of November elections, and analysts believe he may try to fend off pressure from the opposition to go to the polls until his term expires at the end of 2011.

“Abhisit is obviously concerned that he would lose an election and he’ll delay it for as long as he can,” said Walker.
The Red Shirts were campaigning for immediate elections, denouncing a government they view as undemocratic because it came to power in 2008 with army backing after a court ruling threw out the previous administration.

The protesters, many of whom hail from the impoverished north, broadly support fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and say the government is the puppet of the nation’s elites in the palace, bureaucracy and military circles..... MORE  

  SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100602com5.html

Kris HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 06/02/2010


Aldrin Cardon
You either love her or hate her.

It came from someone very close to the Cojuangco-Aquino family, and there is no better description of Kristina Bernadette Cojuangco Aquino-Yap, youngest in the brood of Ninoy and the late President Cory, and perhaps the most famous member of the family today. Yes, even more famous than presumptive President-elect Noynoy.

As a seven-year-old, she was adorned by many who bravely trooped to the Laban rallies, all during the time of the dreaded Marcos’ martial rule, when she campaigned for Ninoy who was then in jail. She was a hit among the crowd, but her speeches did not get enough votes to earn Ninoy a seat in the parliament.

As a teener, she became the “crush ng bayan” of my generation. Many teenage girls of my age followed her fashion and her twang. And yes, many raging hormones of my time prayed she enter show business, to see more of her, and she did.

Her first movies were big disappointments. She did not show skin, her movies were all safe, and she partnered with the late Rene Requietas, who was a better James to Joey de Leon’s Elvis, than the toothless Pido to Kris’s Dida.
She became a sought-after girlfriend material soon after, with the reported macho man’s duel between Robin Padilla and Richard Gomez allegedly transpiring in the Arlegui grounds where the two handsome protagonists reportedly battled for her love and affection.

And then came the nasty talks about Kris being a man chaser, reportedly becoming a lead groupie of the then very young basketball star Alvin Patrimonio, who openly sought a simpler gal named Cyndi, with whom he is now married and had children.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100602com6.html

Who’s got the ‘K’? SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 06/02/2010

Who’s got the ‘K’?

Dinah S. Ventura
The Inquirer last Saturday gave her three full pages of Q&A, and why not? What Kris Aquino says, people listen to, and whether or not they agree with what she says, the point is that you read her piece. In fact, a Bulletin spread on Kris the next day began with a description often used on the multimedia star: that she is, to quote, like “a traffic accident — you simply can’t look away.”
What Kris Aquino does, people lap up, whether they love or hate her. Her life is an open book, and such is her popularity that various events in her life have become front page news or prime time TV material. The fascination for Ninoy and Cory Aquino’s youngest continues to this day, most especially now that her brother Noynoy is leading in the unofficial election counts.

With Noynoy leading since the start, a number of Kris critics took it upon themselves to set up a Facebook account called “Kris Aquino’s Despedida” with the main agenda of letting Aquino know that they were ready to bid her adieu once her brother takes on the presidency.

It all began when Kris said she was ready to leave the country and work for ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel abroad in case she becomes a “cause of stress” or trouble for Noynoy. Kris, through her recent interviews, explained that her critics had “the wrong premise.”

Naturally, the TV host was miffed at her detractors, but in typical Krissy style retorted, in effect telling these people off by saying that they are barking up the wrong tree. “Feeling ko, yung mga nagnakaw nga ng billions sa country natin di natin pinaalis, anong karapatan nyo na paalisin ako eh taxpayer ako?” she told Cheche Moral of PDI.

It looks likes Kris is bound for Malacañang once again, although her brother has indicated that if he becomes president, he would not choose to live in the Palace by the Pasig River in Manila. A popular feng shui expert has advised the Aquino family that living with a view of a dirty river poses ill luck, and besides, Kris says, her mom and former President Fidel V. Ramos survived their terms better by living in Arlegui. (And by the way, Kris says Noynoy prefers it that she and her brood visit rather then live with him full time, perhaps so that he can concentrate on the job better.).... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100602com7.html

Temperature Range: for president, vice By Gerry Baldo 06/02/2010

Temperature Range: for president, vice

By Gerry Baldo

The question of how the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines worked during the last elections raised more apprehensions yesterday as the National Board of Canvassers (NBoC) found that there were over 800,000 votes that were nullified for vice president and over 500,000 votes nullified for the presidential race.

Speaker Prospero Nograles, co-chairman of the joint canvassing panel, said that of the 10 million votes so far canvassed, almost 10 percent were considered void.

He stated that the reason for the high incidence of void ballots could be “over voting, under voting or the ballots were not properly read” by the PCOS machines.

“There could have been over voting, under voting or the PCOS machines failed to read the ballots,” Nograles told reporters yesterday.

 The canvass for the positions of president and vice president proceeded yesterday at the House of Representatives where the NBoC, composed of members of the Senate and the House, had convened amid objections raised by some lawyers of the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Among the issues raised by the lawyers were those pertaining to discrepancies in the number of votes relative to the actual votes cast; 

questions about due execution and genuiness of the ballots and the alleged lowering by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of the threshold from 100 percent to accommodate the proclamation of local candidates.

Lawyer Ralph Calinisan, representing former President Joseph Estrada, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) presidential bet, said they have lodged a continuing objection against the canvassing of the certificates of canvass for the president and the vice president on the ground that the COCs have not been digitally signed and that the joint canvass committee has not come out with a ruling on the issue of the lack of digital signatures.

“There is a need for the panel to come out with a ruling on whether the COCs were digitally signed or not,” Calinisan said..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100602hed1.html

Video ‘proof’ of electronic poll cheating now on YouTube 06/02/2010

Video ‘proof’ of electronic poll cheating now on YouTube


Get your laptops and go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhh-F-OK8fM where evidence of electronic election cheating can be found, according to defeated gubernatorial candidate and North Cotabato Vice Gov. Emmanuel Piñol, who says he has finally found proof on his claims that indeed there was cheating in the May 10 elections.

In the website of YouTube, three videos of alleged cheating done in several areas all over the country have been posted. 

One of the videos shown was that of the alleged cheating in North Cotabato with a title “True Result North Cotabato.” 

The video was posted on May 28, 2010 by a person or group with username “dayaan2010.”

In it it says these are the true results in North Cotabato coming from the Comelec (Commission on Elections) server, before the results were altered.

It says that the video is an actual footage taken from the Comelec’s Internet Web site prior to this person or group calling itself Dayaan 2010 (cheating 2010) altering the electronic sending, saying these are the true votes in this particular province as the posted video was being described.

The video showed a posting in the Comelec election results website for North Cotabato (www.electionresults.comelec.gov.ph/res_reg4700000.html) wherein Piñol was seen as the winner in the gubernatorial race with 252,802 votes or 55.75 percent compared to Emmylou Mendoza’s 198,251 votes or 43.72 percent of the total number of votes cast.

The said election result was posted in the Comelec website on May 14, 2010 at around 3:23 a.m.

In the Comelec‘s final and official tally however, Pinol only garnered 199,332 votes compared to Mendoza’s 236,966 votes.

Two more videos of alleged cheating at the 2nd congressional district of Makati City and on the 1st congressional district of Surigao del Sur were also posted by the same user.

All of the alleged winning candidates as shown in the videos were defeated in the final tally of the Comelec.
Piñol said the video clip is sufficient proof that there was indeed cheating in the first ever national automated elections in the Philippines.

“The video is an incontrovertible evidence that we were indeed cheated in the last elections through the manipulation of Smartmatic technicians allegedly on order of Comelec officials.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100602hed2.html

Pangilinan sees midnight deal in P300-billion rushed AFP purchases By Angie M. Rosales 06/02/2010

Pangilinan sees midnight deal in P300-billion rushed AFP purchases

By Angie M. Rosales

A senator smells another midnight deal in the making in acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales’ reported plan to acquire P300 billion worth of refurbished military equipment for Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Sen. Francis Pangilinan yesterday expressed alarm over the planned move of Gonzales to supposedly purchase refurbished or surplus equipment from Israel, Canada, Australia, Italy and South Korea, some of which had been returned to their suppliers allegedly “due to poor performance in bad weather and low light conditions.”

The costly project was supposedly in fulfillment of the long-delayed modernization of the AFP.

“Why must we cram such large and crucial purchases into the last month of this administration’s term when, in fact, the Multi-Year Obligational Authority for the AFP  is not co-terminus with the outgoing administration? Why should we shove surplus equipment down our Armed Forces’ throats when what they need is new and better equipment to serve the needs of our countrymen?,” Pangilinan said.

“These deals need to be looked into lest we once again enter into anomalous contracts that can spell the difference between life and death for our servicemen,” said Pangilinan.

The proposed AFP modernization also includes the realignment of P2 billion worth of funds for “intelligence” and “Social Integration Program” and both are subject to less stringent government accounting and auditing controls, he noted.

“Who will actually benefit from this ‘last-minute contact-signing’? If the government is really sincere in modernizing the AFP, they should scrutinize the offers of the suppliers as these kinds of transactions are putting at risk the lives not only of the soldiers but civilians as well,” he said. 

Gonzales recently admitted that the Arroyo government is into an “11th hour” rush for acquisitions under the AFP modernization program.

“Yes, we are rushing what we can still do under the AFP modernization program in our very limited time left. Aren’t we Filipinos known to be good in the last two minutes?” Gonzales said.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100602hed3.html

SC orders court to dismiss libel case vs pre-need victims By Benjie Pulta 06/02/2010

SC orders court to dismiss libel case vs pre-need victims

By Benjie Pulta

The Supreme Court (SC) has made a clear stand on the issue of “internet libel” after it recently ordered the dismissal of a libel case filed by an advertising firm against a group of parents affected by the collapse of college pre-need plans years ago.

The SC First Division, through Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, ordered the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 149 to quash the libel complaint filed on Oct.18, 2005 by Jessie John P. Gimenez, president of the Philippine Integrated Advertising Agency, Inc. (PIAA), the advertising arm of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC), citing its lack of jurisdiction over the case, the internet being a universal medium of communication.

“It hardly requires much imagination to see the chaos that would ensue in situations where the website’s author or writer, a blogger or anyone who posts messages therein, could be sued for libel anywhere in the Philippines that the private complainant may have allegedly accessed the offending Web site,” the SC said.

“Limitations imposed on libel actions filed by private persons are hardly onerous, especially as they still allow such persons to file the civil or criminal complaint in their respective places of residence, in which situation, there is no need to embark on a quest to determine with precision where the libelous matter was printed and first published.” the court clarified.

Now retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno and associate justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Lucas Bersamin and Martin Villarama Jr. concurred.

The complaint was filed on Oct. 18, 2005 by Gimenez. The SC, however, noted Gimenez was “tasked with preserving the image and good name of the YGC as well as the name and reputation of the Yuchengco family.”
The 13 counts of complaint was filed on behalf of the Yuchengcos, in particular former Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco and Helen Y. Dee and of the Malayan Insurance Co., Inc..... MORE  

 SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100602hed4.html

Before June 30: Gloria prepares to leave; Noynoy takes a rest By Angie Rosales and Aytch dela Cruz 06/02/2010

Before June 30: Gloria prepares to leave; Noynoy takes a rest

By Angie Rosales and Aytch dela Cruz

Two count downs: One is packing, the other one seems not ready yet, he’s taking a break!

Malacañang has started tabbing numbers in anticipation of President Arroyo’s exit 28 days from now, with Arroyo preparing for her last official function when she turns over her post as Chief Executive on June 30 to presumptive president-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, who apparently mindful of the weight of the task he he is about to take, went on a week-long “hiatus” which started yesterday.

The Aquino camp yesterday issued a notice to “friends and members of the media,” announcing Aquino’s taking a vacation in an undisclosed destination. He will be gone until Sunday.

“Media concerns may be fielded to Senator Aquino’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda,” the senator’s camp said in the advisory.

Aquino, in discussions Monday night with reporters at his Quezon City residence, would not provide details of his vacation. He also refused to entertain queries if he would be bringing along his girlfriend, re-elected Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad.

Except for some of his security staff, Aquino would not reveal his companions, only that among his plans is to watch movies on DVD while on vacation.

He said he needed a break, after almost three months of campaign and in anticipation of a heavy work load in Malacañang.

While some of his staff claimed Aquino will be resting in his home province in Tarlac, there were also speculations he would be spending time in Baguio City..... MORE  

  SourceThe Daily Tribune

  URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100602hed5.html

Romulo ‘open’ to any offer Romulo ‘open’ to any offer By Michaela P. del Callar 06/02/2010

Romulo ‘open’ to any offer Romulo ‘open’ to any offer

By Michaela P. del Callar

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo yesterday openly declared that he will accept any post that will be offered to him by President-apparent Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Only two weeks ago, Romulo dodged questions from the media on the possibility of him being re-appointed as Foreign Affairs Secretary or if he is open to accepting another Cabinet post.

But in an interview with reporters at the 112th founding anniversary rites of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), he said he would welcome any position that will be assigned to him by Aquino if he will be asked to join his administration.
Romulo even joked that he is willing to serve under Aquino as a “clerk.”

“He has got moral ascendancy. We should all support him. He has continued what Tita Cory did. I served under Tita Cory. If offered, I will be honored to serve again (under an Aquino administration), even as just a clerk,” he said.

Romulo was the late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino’s Budget secretary.

But sources at the DFA said there is a possibility that Romulo might be offered an ambassadorial post, either as Philippine envoy to Washington or the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Romulo said he is preparing a report bearing his “recommendations,” which he plans to submit to Aquino..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100602nat3.html

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