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Presidential appointments EDITORIAL 06/03/2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Presidential appointments



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
06/03/2010
It will be found, before June 30, 2010, just how many pre-dated appointments under the executive branch that Gloria Arroyo had made, most of which will then be claimed as being illegal, given the ban on midnight appointments as stated in the Charter, although this ban, as ruled by the Supreme Court recently, does not apply to the post of chief justice.

A few days ago, reports were out that Gloria had re-appointed Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chairman Efraim Genuino. The appointment papers of Genuino, however, show that he had been appointed a day before the midnight ban took effect.

It may be difficult, should his appointment be challenged, for one to prove that he had not been appointed prior to the ban.

Still, with an incoming president, the truth is, if Genuino intends to stick to his post, even if the appointment is deemed legitimate, a new president can make life hard for him and even the board members who were also re-appointed. It would be best if they resign, under a new administration.

It is a given in this country, that it is most easy for an administration in power — more specifically the president, whenever he chooses — to have any foe or any government official hostile to him charged for any crime — and merely on the basis of a complaint affidavit and depending on the type of crime, could be denied bail. 

There is however, a negative public perception toward Genuino and his boys at Pagcor and this could spell more problems for them. Worse for them, is that there were, even during the time of the Arroyo presidency, already questionable contracts entered into by Genuino and his group, which, if proven to be detrimental to the interest of the country, could land them in jail — if they continue to resist calls for their resignation by the new president.

After all, the Pagcor top position is not a constitutional office and that executive appointment, as it is always claimed by all these presidential appointees, is dependent on the pleasure of the president.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100603com1.html


No blaming Smartmatic? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/03/2010

No blaming Smartmatic?



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
06/03/2010
A congressional hearing on allegations of automated poll fraud yesterday appeared to have been aimed at clearing Smartmatic, the automation partner of the Commission on Elections, with the chairman saying that the focus of the hearing then would be on the Comelec.

The IT experts invited as resource persons, did say that it would be very difficult for outsiders to engage in electronic fraud, a conclusion to which the committee chairman, Teddy Locsin, agreed.
It was more or less established that poll fraud could have occurred through an inside job, meaning that the automated poll results could have been rigged by insiders who knew just how the system worked, and how to beat it.

But having established that, why then is Smartmatic being let off the hook?

Logically, if an inside job is involved, then neither Smartmatic, nor Comelec, nor the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), should be cleared as yet, because when we talk of insiders who know how the system works, we have to talk about the Smartmatic technicians, the Comelec officials and personnel involved in the poll, as well as the officials and officers of the DoST, all of whom can be categorized as insiders.

Smartmatic cannot be let off as yet, since the technicians were recruited by Smartmatic and were, even in the case of the machines, responsible and accountable for them, and, according to the so-called protocol, they have, or should have, custody of the machines. This was the explanation of both Smartmatic and the Comelec in the matter of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, amounting to 60, that were found in the home of a Smartmatic technician.

What happens then when the congressional committee clears Smartmatic? The hired Smartmatic technicians get the blame and responsibility while the Smartmatic officials go scot-free?

It is, however evident, that this automated fraud, could not have been done without the complicity of Smartmatic (at least on the level of its technicians, in which case, Smartmatic officials must bear the responsibility), the Comelec, its officials and personnel which would include the usual leaders and members of the poll cheating syndicate.

It must be stressed, however, that a lot of suspicious moves were made — coming from Comelec..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100603com2.html


China, Myanmar to shore up ‘marriage of convenience’ ANALYSIS 06/03/2010

China, Myanmar to shore up ‘marriage of convenience’



ANALYSIS

06/03/2010

BANGKOK — Myanmar will roll out the red carpet for the Chinese premier this week as relations between the two allies, seen as a “marriage of convenience” at the best of times, go through a rocky patch.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao heads to the military-ruled country Wednesday for a two-day visit that comes against a backdrop of shifting relations between the neighbors, and ahead of Myanmar’s first elections in two decades.
It is the first visit by a Chinese premier since 1994.

The Asian economic powerhouse has long helped keep Myanmar afloat through trade ties, arms sales, and by shielding it from UN sanctions over rights abuses as a veto-wielding, permanent member of the Security Council.
In return, China is assured of a stable neighbor and gets access to natural resources from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

“It’s always been a marriage of convenience,” said Professor Ian Holliday, a Myanmar expert at the University of Hong Kong.

“The generals in Myanmar need some sort of international support in the Security Council. China needs access to natural resources inside Burma. It also needs transportation across Burma for oil and gas.”

Energy-hungry China is the junta’s key ally and trade partner, and an eager investor in the isolated state’s sizeable natural resources. In November its top oil producer began construction of a pipeline across Myanmar.

But ties between the two countries frayed last year when fighting between Myanmar’s isolated ruling junta and rebel ethnic armies in the remote northeast drove tens of thousands of refugees into China.

China issued a rare admonishment to Myanmar, urging it to resolve the conflict that broke out in Kokang, a mainly ethnic Chinese region of Myanmar’s Shan state.

“You can see a shift in the Chinese policy on Burma because of the border instability,” said Win Min, a Burmese academic at Chiang Mai University in northern Thailand.

“It was the first time that China criticized the regime very openly,” he said.

Wen’s visit comes as the country prepares for polls planned for the end of this year, which critics have dismissed as a sham due to laws that have effectively barred opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from participating..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100603com3.html


Gobbledygook BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 06/03/2010

Gobbledygook



BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
06/03/2010
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Verzosa appears to have hit a brick wall with regard to his hugely unpopular plan for the nationwide imposition of a “total gun ban” after being told that two of the nation’s highest officials, namely President-apparent Noynoy Aquino and newly-minted Supreme Court Chief Justice Rene Corona, may actually be averse to the idea, as they are closet gun lovers.

But just to be fair to Verzosa, he probably realized that he would be kicking up a firestorm that would be difficult to contain — coming from hundreds of thousands of responsible gun owners all over the country who would most assuredly be fighting him tooth and nail in court to prevent him from preventing them from bearing arms and providing themselves with the protection that the police couldn’t possibly provide — which is why he prudently backed off from pursuing the idea.

And besides, he would be retiring in six months, exactly on Christmas Day when he would be turning 56 years old, the mandatory retirement age for members of the PNP; so he probably thought he didn’t need the aggravation.

Seriously though, the proposal to impose a total gun ban appears impractical at this point due to the PNP’s critical lack of personnel. During last week’s edition of the “No Holds Barred” media forum of the National Press Club, Senior Insp. Kimberly Gonzales of Camp Crame’s public information office was cornered into making that admission that the PNP currently has a personnel complement of only around 130,000, which roughly translates into a ratio of 1:550 or one policeman for every 550 civilians, based on a population figure of 80 million.

During the same forum, Federation of Philippine Industries president George Chua lambasted the strictures presently being imposed by the PNP on the carrying of guns because it leaves Chinese traders, who are favorite their prey, quite vulnerable to kidnappers. 

In the 1990s, during the Ramos administration, the PNP proved so inutile against curbing the rising tide of criminality in the Philippines prompting Congress to pass the heinous crimes law which imposed the death penalty (but this was later suspended by President Arroyo due to pressure from the Catholic Church as well as several sectors of society).

“If guns are outlawed (by the police), then only the outlaws will have guns,” he pointed out during the forum, as a way to underscore the predicament of his members..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100603com4.html


Dura lex, sed lex VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 06/03/2010

Dura lex, sed lex



VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
06/03/2010
The law may be hard to observe or difficult to obey, but it remains the law and must be therefore followed just the same. This is the plain and simple meaning and implication of the above cited Latin maxim which is well known in a special way by those in the legal profession. The Latin principle is objectively right and the legal experts are professionally right as well when invoking the Latin truism — but only by virtue of the following three fundamental premises:

Firstly, that the law is just in its objective content, just for the subject party concerned, and just to the society as a whole it is mandated for observance. 

In other words even but there is an iota of injustice in the law in conjunction with any of the said qualifying factors, a law may be difficult to comply with, but an unjust law it remains. Thus it is that it loses its nature and finality as a law. Example: The eVAT as a law is unjust because the very poor and the very rich are taxed the same amount in their purchase of consumer goods!

Secondly, that the law equally applies to all — “without fear or favor.” This simply means that everybody has exactly the same standing — the same basic human dignity and the basic human rights — before the law. This is the cornerstone of the majesty of the law: it bows to no one for consideration of power and wealth. Precisely, herein hinges the majesty of the law — or this becomes a joke. Example: Recently, nothing less than a whale in authority and might wriggled out of the legal net while two small fries were caught!

Lastly, that the law is interpreted and applied by a legal system that is not simply working as designed and expected — but categorically working according to the demands of social justice, especially in terms of its distributive dimension that is provident of public welfare or common goods. And this is distinctly not the case when those entities and individuals tasked to act accordingly, either do nothing or act to the contrary. Example: The dysfunctional justice system in the country.

Under any of the at least three realities above mentioned, it is quite incongruous to say it with peace of conscience and conviction of reason the famous Latin line dura lex, sed lex — in the concrete Philippine situation. Therein, the maxim or saying becomes a big bad joke — such as in the following cases: When jails are full of poor and helpless people. When the so called “Rich and Famous” are above the law. When someone is altogether immune from any prosecution for any gross misdeed, any gigantic graft, any colossal corruption even by making them one big combined or huge composite villainy — precisely brought to fulfillment by that someone with all the power and influence to do what is right and just, but does exactly the abominable and censurable.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100603com5.html


Breaking bread with demons By Ronald Roy COMMENT 06/03/2010

Breaking bread with demons


By Ronald Roy
COMMENT

06/03/2010

Here are some salient features of my interaction with readers. I am pleased that my last article entitled “Torch at the center” stirred interest at a level beyond my expectations. As of this writing, queries continue to pour in — a situation that hopefully leads to greater enlightenment on how we can participate in the presumptive President-elect’s monumental task of one: washing off the putrid mess left by the outgoing regime, and two: installing an honest and competent administration responsive to the people’s need for a better life. But first, the political spectrum.

The word spectrum has no less than three scientific definitions. For our purposes, let’s just say our political spectrum is a monochromatic range of five rainbow colors laid out from left to right, to wit: red, orange, yellow, green and blue. By the way, it is coincidental that the foregoing shades I’ve chosen were the identification hues used by the major political parties engaged in the just concluded May 10 elections. 

The yellow center represents the three branches of government headed by the president and surrounded by elements supporting the chief executive. Thus, the greater the number of supporters for the incoming administration of Noynoy Aquino, the greater his popularity, and vice versa. This explains why Gloria Arroyo and her minions are now practically alone at the center, her popularity having inexorably waned throughout her 10-year stay in the presidency.

Indeed, by now GMA’s administration has been forsaken by substantial numbers of her allies and followers who have fled the center for its left and right flanks. This is what happens to a leader — let alone one who has unconstitutionally grabbed the centrist power — who is perceived to have abused that power with impunity, and with an appetite so ravenous that appeasement of a national outrage would seem impossible.

The oranges are mostly the have-nots of society, or the less fortunate, led by critical left-of-center literati with whom the leader should keep open avenues of dialog for redressing their grievances. At the spectrum’s extreme left are the reds composed of Maoist rebels who are primed to overthrow the government, and the Muslim secessionists from Mindanao who are hell-bent determined to dismember the Republic so they can establish their own. On the other side are the right-of-center greens representing the halves, or the affluent, whom the leader must likewise support so they can more aggressively develop and expand the economy, producing and manufacturing affordable economic goods and, beyond that, blazing the hi-tech trail to keep pace with the rest of the world.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100603com6.html


A stone’s throw from Nile, Egypt’s taps are running dry FEATURE 06/03/2010

A stone’s throw from Nile, Egypt’s taps are running dry



FEATURE

06/03/2010

KIRDASA — Six months into her pregnancy, Tahani Rabia continues to ignore doctor’s orders and rises before dawn every morning, praying that when she turns on the tap the water will flow.
But more often than not, the rusty tap runs dry in her little home a mere 10 kilometers (six miles) from the Nile River.

“The doctor told me I had to rest, but I get up around 5 a.m. because if there is any water in the pipes it runs out by seven,” said the veiled 18-year-old, who lives on the outskirts of Kirdasa in Egypt’s Giza governorate.

“I can’t carry water back from the Nile because it’s too heavy with the baby and it’s not suitable to drink anyway, so I store as much as I can from the tap and ration our daily use,” she explained.

“When we run out, we turn to our neighbors to see if they have any to spare.”

The tap in the single room that Tahani shares with her husband hasn’t worked for days, and the neighbors have been a lifesaver.

Hers is a story echoed across Egypt, where thousands living just a stone’s throw from the Nile suffer supply and sanitation problems as their government becomes increasingly entangled in a war over water with up-river nations.
Egypt has dominated the Nile for decades and refuses, along with neighboring Sudan, to sign a new pact the other countries say would lead to more equitable sharing.
.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100603com7.html



Poll fraud seen in reconfiguring CF cards By Gerry Baldo 06/03/2010

 House panel head bent on absolving Smartmatic

Poll fraud seen in reconfiguring CF cards


By Gerry Baldo
06/03/2010

Probable electronic cheating in the May 10 elections could have occurred when Compact Flash (CF) Cards were reconfigured in the offices of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) executive director issuing a memo to provincial officials who had been given a lot of flash cards to reconfigure and a card burner.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said CF cards were reconfigured in the DoST offices without the knowledge of poll watchdogs and representatives of political parties, including the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
“The CF cards were reconfigured without transparency in the DoST regional offices,” Rodriguez said yesterday in the thick of debates relative to the CF cards before the board of canvassers.

Rodriguez maintained that they did not know about the arrangement of the Comelec, Smartmatic and the DoST until yesterday morning during the continuation of the hearing conducted by the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, when a Comelec memo was bared.

But its chairman, Rep. Teddy Locsin, apparently intended the hearing to clear Smartmatic officials, saying that the focus of the inquiry on the poll fraud should be the Comelec, and no longer its technical provider.

But Rodriguez said that there was a big possibility that the CF cards were reconfigured to favor certain candidates when these were reconfigured in the DoST offices.

“Nobody knew that they were reconfiguring CF cards in the DoST offices,” he said.

Maguidanao Rep. Didagen Dilangalen said the reconfiguration of the CF cards took DoST employees until the early morning of Election Day as shown by a memorandum sent to officials of the DoST for “your dedicated performance of the required tasks and tireless efforts extending up to the early morning hours just so the CF cards are reconfigured and will be utilized for the election process are highly commendable.”

Dilangalen also pointed out that the CF cards were prepared in such a way that it would favor a certain candidate.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asked Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino to issue an affidavit to explain how the CF cards were reconfigured in the DoST offices and why it took them until the early morning of Election Day to reconfigure the cards.

A memorandum issued by Alfondo Alamban, DoST region 10 director, showed that the DoST should be taking care of the replacement of defective CF cards and of the PCOS machines for use of the May 10 elections.

Another memorandum from the Comelec, issued on May 9, 2010 or a day before the elections, showed that the Comelec would be deploying 20 blank CF cards and two card burners in the provincial offices of the DoST where defective CF cards will be replaced. The memorandum was signed by Tolentino.

Rodriguez took Tolentino to task for failing to inform the political parties and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting with the issuance of the memorandum a day before the election.

The Comelec has deployed 1600 CF cards in 80 provinces during election day.

The same issue pervaded the hearing of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reform yesterday morning even as the panel chairman cleared the Venezuelan firm from any liability in alleged election cheating.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100603hed1.html


Null votes, poll memo slow canvassing 06/03/2010

Null votes, poll memo slow canvassing


06/03/2010

The issue of the null votes which comprise about 10 percent of the total number of votes cast is expected to slow down the canvassing of the Certificates of Canvass (CoC) for president and vice president even as Sen. Mar Roxas’ camp maintained that the ballots that were considered void should be checked.

“We have to look at the ballots. At least, a random manual audit, to check the ballots. This is the only way you can see if there was a vote abstention, or that the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines did not read the votes,” Roxas’ lawyer Joey Tenefrancia said in an interview.

But the presiding officer of the National Board of Canvassers (NBoC) rejected the move on the ground that the canvassing is limited only to the certificates of canvass (CoC).

Lawyer J V Bautista, spokesman for Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino vice presidential candidate Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, said the null votes are not supposed to be counted and that it is not within the mandate of the NBoC to count and check the void ballots.

“The House-Senate joint committee (canvassing the votes for president and vice president) has the constitutional duty to tabulate the CoCs and determine their validity. Null votes are not supposed to be part of the counting,” Bautista said yesterday.

Bautista suspects that the move of Roxas’camp was meant to delay the proceedings in the House of Representatives and delay the proclamation of the winning president and vice president.

“This is a futile exercise, good for propaganda, and should not affect the on-going canvass,” Bautista told House reporters. “It’s like groping at the straws.”

Earlier, Liberal Party losing congressional candidate for Camarines Norte Liwayway Vinzons Chato, said that the null votes could either be for Roxas or for Binay.

“Under the system that we are using, it can only mean that nobody voted for that position, because there was no shading of votes or that there was an overvote. In other words, the ballots were shaded for number two or three, so that is what null votes mean, but these are not included in the canvass,” Chato said.

Bautista shared the view of the NBoC, saying that the panel could not look into the ballots and count the votes because that would be the duty of the presidential electoral tribunal in case there is an election protest.

“Unfortunately for them they could not dig up the null votes The proper agency that should look into this is the Comelec, Congress, or the Presidential Electoral Tribunal,” Bautista stressed.

Binay’s spokesman maintained that a 10 percent ratio of the null votes vis-a-vis the number of votes cast would still be tolerable under the present system... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100603hed2.html


Carry out GMA broadband project, Palace urges new admin By Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/03/2010

Carry out GMA broadband project, Palace urges new admin


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
06/03/2010

Citing the need for the country to be connected electronically, Malacañang yesterday said the next administration should reconsider and revisit the national broadband network (NBN) program — President Arroyo’s pet project that was cancelled due to the alleged anomalies surrounding its contract to potential supplier, China’s Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Co. (ZTE).

Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza who was linked to the controversy given his previous position as Transportation and Communications chief, said they are hoping that the next 

government would take this aborted project into account to serve its genuine purpose of bridging the networks of various government offices across the nation.

“The reconnection especially among government offices is very important. That will connect the country electronically and even integrate. The very purpose of the national broadband network program was to integrate all the systems now existing in government,” Mendoza told reporters in a post-briefing interview.

“I just hope that the entire country could be electronically connected (because) the problem is that we may have (network) connection provided by the private sectors but, you know, it’s profit-oriented. When it comes to fourth-, fifth- and sixth-class municipalities, the service is no longer there so we really need to have a government intervention on electronic connection,” he added..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100603hed3.html


PERC: RP has third worst bureaucracy in Asia 06/03/2010

PERC: RP has third worst bureaucracy in Asia


06/03/2010

SINGAPORE – The Philippines, India and Indonesia have Asia’s most inefficient bureaucracies, with red tape a constant blight to citizens and deterrent to foreign investment, a survey yesterday showed.

Ranking 12 key countries and territories on a scale from one to 10, with 10 as the worst possible score, the business executives in the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) survey rated India as having the region’s most inefficient bureaucracy.

India had a score of 9.41, followed by Indonesia (8.59), the Philippines (8.37), Vietnam (8.13) and China (7.93).
Malaysia was in sixth place from the bottom with a score of 6.97, followed by Taiwan (6.60), Japan (6.57), South Korea (6.13) and Thailand (5.53).

Regional financial centers Singapore and Hong Kong have the most efficient bureaucracies, with a score of 2.53 and 3.49, respectively.

PERC said 1,373 middle and senior expatriate executives took part in the survey carried out earlier this year.
Singapore was also number one and Hong Kong was in third place globally in the World Bank’s latest survey on the ease of doing business, which covered 183 economies.

Government bureaucracies in some Asian countries have become “power centers” in their own right, allowing them to effectively resist efforts toward reforms by politicians and appointed officials, the Hong Kong-based firm said.
The Philippine government “goes through the motion” of addressing problems of bureaucratic red tape “but nothing has really made a dent in the problem,” PERC noted.... MORE  

  SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100603hed5.html


DND chief claims fraud but won’t make move By Mario J. Mallari 06/03/2010

DND chief claims fraud but won’t make move


By Mario J. Mallari
06/03/2010

Avowed junta disciple acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales expressed belief that cheating happened during the country’s first ever fully-automated presidential elections last May 10 and said he is collecting data to prove it.
“Do you believe that there was no cheating? I believe cheating happened,” Gonzales said during a chance interview during an event yesterday hosted by Manila Water at Camp Aguinaldo.
“There are definitely defi-ciencies in those machines, there are deficiencies in transmissions, there are manipulations in the elections, there are fake ballots in the last elections,” said Gonzales.
But with less then 30 days in office, Gonzales admitted he could not do anything about alleged manipulation of the last May 10 polls.
Last May 12 or two days after the actual voting, Gonzales initially assessed the overall holding of the polls as “credible for now.” Gonzales, however, maintained that he is not after interfering in the results of the election which, based on congressional canvassing, was topped by Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.
“Let’s really examine what happened in the elections, it is not about favoring somebody or not or whether we can still interfere in the result of the election, the election is already over,” Gonzales said.
“…it may not stand up in court but we have to find the truth, we owe it to our people to show what really happened in the last elections.
Just like other critics of the automated elections, Gonzales cited “deficiencies” on the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used during the elections and the use of fake ballots.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100603hed6.html


DFA: UN report false on AFP use of kids in armed conflict By Michaela P. del Callar 06/03/2010

DFA: UN report false on AFP use of kids in armed conflict


By Michaela P. del Callar
06/03/2010
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has branded as “false” the report of the United Nations (UN), which accused the Philippine military of using children in armed conflict.

“Isolated incidents committed by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) were cited in the (UN) Annual Report. In response, the allegations were investigated and verified by the AFP and found to be false,” the DFA said in a statement, adding that the military’s comments have been submitted to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (SCWGCAC).

The DFA also maintained that the May 20 annual report of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to the UN SCWGCAC even cited the Philippines for its “progress and openness in addressing the issue on children in armed conflict.”

“Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy highlighted the importance of bringing to fruition the full implementation of the action plan signed by the UN with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). He also commended the Philippine government for its openness in making the undertaking possible,” the DFA said.

The DFA added the Philippines continues to reassure the UN Security Council of its commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of children in discussions with the SCWGCAC.

Ban, in his report, has expressed deep concern over grave human rights violations against children in the Philippines as both rebel and government forces have either killed or recruited them during ongoing conflicts in the country.
.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

  URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100603nat1.html


Noynoy Aquino hard to please and satisfy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/03/2010

Noynoy Aquino hard to please and satisfy


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
06/03/2010
The presumptive president-elect Noynoy Aquino is just hard to please and satisfy.

After all the efforts rendered by the outgoing administration’s transition team to transform the derelict Arlegui mansion into a newly refurbished building to house its counterpart from the incoming administration, come statements that Aquino and his camp are considering other venues instead to organize their transition plans.

Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza said he was told by Aquino’s emissaries that they welcome the Arlegui mansion as potential transition office for both teams but they are also looking at other private venues as option.
Mendoza explained that the Aquino camp has no reservations about the Arlegui mansion, but it is perhaps still on the process of finding location that is more suitable for the members of its team.

“We just offered a venue but they (Aquino camp) said they will also consider some other venues. I told them to let us know immediately where that is,” Mendoza told reporters at his regular Wednesday briefing.

“Actually there are many venues being considered but we believe the appropriate location for our transition team is Arlegui…We believe it is the best venue because it is accessible to anyone not only for the national transition team but the (officials of other) departments as well can also hold meetings there. I mean, the venue actually is capable of handling a lot of activities,” he explained..... MORE  

  SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100603nat5.html


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