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And still more lies EDITORIAL 06/13/2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And still more lies



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
06/13/2010
When everybody thought that the nine-year reign of lies and deception had ended, Gloria in what sounded like a farewell speech to foreign diplomats peppered them with the tallest tales she could muster to paint her nine-year administration as a success which was lightyears away from reality.

The speech started with “I did not seek the president’s office in 2001, it was thrusted on me” and ended with the Philippines being among members of the First World in 20 years, or in 2030, which apparently was moved from her earlier enchanted estimate of 2020.

Rather than shirk from the onerous task, I rolled up my sleeves determined to turn the country around, she said.
As if talking to people born yesterday, Gloria recounted that the economy was on a spin, investments were not coming into the country and the Philippines tethered in political chaos, and the government was on the brink of financial bankruptcy, in 2001, the reason she claimed for the takeover of the presidency from constitutionally elected President Joseph Estrada.

Internationally, the Philippines had fallen far, far off the radar screen, went Gloria’s story. 

To those who heard of the Philippines or knew the country for the first time, Gloria’s spiel was impressive, the same way a six-year-old kid would have been spellbound by Jack and the Beanstalk.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100613com1.html


Too full of himself FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/13/2010

Too full of himself



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
06/13/2010
Outgoing Defense Chief Norberto Gonzales puts too much importance on himself, saying that he will be forming a “shadow” Cabinet and provide the Filipino people with an “alternative” political opposition.

In presenting his plan of an alternative government, Gonzales said this is really needed in the country as changes should not merely be focused on a change in government leadership and faces, but genuine reforms that would prove beneficial to the country and the people.

Yet he had all of nine and half years to at least introduce reforms — even in his own office, but it is pretty clear that all he did was to spy on the political opposition, and even come up with frequent claims of political opposition figures plotting a coup against Gloria.

Gonzales, however, clarified that his shadow Cabinet will not be competing with the official Cabinet functions of the incoming Aquino government, saying that other members of the political opposition have already agreed to discuss the move once he is officially out of government service.

First off, the country is not operating under a parliamentary system where, it should also be stressed, the elected political opposition in parliament always forms a shadow Cabinet, ready to take over the reins of the Cabinet government when it falls. Apparently, Gonzales realizes as he said his shadow Cabinet will not be competing with the Aquino Cabinet secretaries. But of course Gonzales’ shadow Cabinet can’t, because he and his members do not sit in Congress.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100613com2.html


Binay: Man of the Moment ENQUIRY Demaree J. B. Raval 06/13/2010

Binay: Man of the Moment



ENQUIRY
Demaree J. B. Raval
06/13/2010
Forty-four years ago, in 1966, Jejomar Cabauatan Binay was one of those juvenile, irrepressible, slogan-chanting students who picketed the Manila Hotel and embarrassed the then occupant of Malacañang when they harangued visiting US President Lyndon Johnson with the chant, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” during the Philippines-Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Summit Conference.

Forty years later, in 2006, a more grown-up but still irrepressible Binay again embarrassed another occupant of Malacañang, when he barricaded himself inside the Makati City Hall in defiance of a suspension order that was a transparent maneuver of the Palace to distract attention from its own scandals. The stand-off would have sparked an ugly, rebellion among Makati’s poor had not the court issued an injunctive order, thereby preventing the Office of the President from enforcing its suspension order.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100613com3.html


Isabela’s Padaca leaves behind P2 billion BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 06/13/2010

Isabela’s Padaca leaves behind P2 billion



BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
06/13/2010
If there is anything the people of Isabela province should remember outgoing Gov. Grace Padaca for, it is the virtue of thrift.

And guess what. The main beneficiary of this exemplary trait of hers is third-term Rep. Faustino Dy III of the 3rd district, the man who trounced her in the gubernatorial race during the May 10 polls.

During the televised weekly public affairs program “Meet the Press” of the National Press Club, Governor-elect Dy graciously conceded that his predecessor Padaca, whom he had edged out by an ultra-slim margin of 3,438 votes from a universe of 546,076 voters, had left behind a hefty bank balance amounting to some P2 billion which he admitted would definitely come in handy as he pursues the implementation of his master plan to bring his notoriously backward province into the 21st century.

Ironically, Padaca’s stinginess with money or more precisely her reluctance to dip her fingers into the public purse is what may have cost her the province’s governorship.

Padaca’s defeat at the hands of Congressman Dy, who comes from a political dynasty which has ruled Isabela since 1963 when the family patriarch Faustino Dy Sr. was first appointed Cauayan town councilor by President Diosdado Macapagal due to a vacancy, is said to be a direct result of her failure to provide funds for health benefits of bona fide residents of the province.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100613com4.html


What loyalty check? C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 06/13/2010

What loyalty check?



C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
06/13/2010
It is well that nobody took acting Defense Secretary Bert Gonzales seriously when he rabble roused during the retirement ceremonies for AFP Vice Chief of Staff Rodrigo Maclang that the incoming Aquino administration was conducting a loyalty check on the officers and men of the military. This he issued after announcing that he did recognize Aquino as his president and that he was going to remain an Aquino critic. Obviously trying to call attention to himself, Gonzales gleefully stated that he and AFP Chief of Staff Delfin Bangit have gotten the ire of the incoming Chief Executive for their seemingly defiant and, might I add, patronizing statements on how the men in uniform and the institution they serve should be treated. What did Gonzales expect anyway? That the incoming President will simply roll over and take their statements which to some observers smacked of blackmail and insubordination at face value?

Being himself a political player of sorts Gonzales should have realized early on that there is a limit to such public upstaging especially since the Aquino camp had earlier made its position very clear on how they are going to exercise their prerogatives as “Commander-in-Chief.” In any event Gonzales is dreaming if he thinks that others will follow his lead... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100613com5.html


Smoking VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 06/13/2010

Smoking



VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
06/13/2010
Lately, there has been and there still is a lot of extraordinary interest, talk and concern about the ordinary phenomenon of smoking.

Do not smoke! Why smoke? Smoking is bad! And so on. Smoking makes you sick! Why poison yourself? Smokers harm others’ health! And so forth. The truth is that even the Department of Health has joined the fray, intending to wage a social war against smoking, even proposing the use of the pack itself of cigarettes to counter smoking. And the cigarette industry in turn, signified its vehement objections to the anti-smoking drive coming to fore these days. It helps the economy. It provides employment. It contributes to the development of the country. Leave it alone.

There are indications to the effect that the rather bitter fight between the anti-smoking advocacy and the pro-smoking promotion will continue for some more time — unlike so many very more serious issues in this country that come and go with the rising and the setting of the sun. Reason: There is a very important personality in the forefront of this particular Philippine socio-political scenery, who is the target recipient of a good amount of unsolicited advice against smoking. Pitiful man. He merely wants to smoke — buying his own cigarettes. He simply enjoys smoking — helping the industry. And there is the mob that tells him “Stop it!” and “Go ahead!” all at the same time.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100613com6.html


The trouble with destiny TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 06/13/2010

The trouble with destiny



TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
06/13/2010
\"If Mrs. Cory Aquino didn’t pass away, Noynoy Aquino would not have run and won the presidency.” “If Sen. Mar Roxas insisted on running for president, then former President Joseph Estrada would be our president today.” “If Sen. Manny Villar gave way to Erap, then we have Erap as the president, giving Noynoy a run for his candidacy.” “If there was no cyber cheating in the elections that showed incredible results such as the zero vote of Erap in Montalban, Rizal where he put up his Erap City and landing third in his own hometown, San Juan, then Erap should have been proclaimed president.” “If the late INC elder Eraño Manalo were alive, the Iglesia ni Cristo could have endorsed him that could have given him victory.” The “ifs” are long and many.
There is quick fix answer to these “ifs” — namely, destiny. This is how we perceive destiny, a set mind toward the finality of an event manifested through a barrage of unanswered “ifs” and “buts,” an intellectual exercise in futility, where the only delight is in the act itself of wishfully attempting to reverse events and their timing. Events perceived as chance are perceived as revelatory episodes leading to destiny followed by a willful surrender to the will of somebody “up there” who must have “arranged” such illogical sequence of events. This may be true if “somebody up there” is in the mold of Zeus, Venus, Hades or the Olympian gods who enjoy playing with the mortals’ lives and actions. Destiny is never god-play. For a game called politics, the gods may not be willing to play; only the lesser gods of fame, wealth, corruption and elitism are willing to gamble, and obviously, they won.
The assumption of President-proclaimed Noynoy Aquino to the presidency is never borne out of destiny. Even the timing of Mrs. Corazon Aquino’s death on the eve of the election does not belong to that category. Indeed, Mrs. Aquino’s demise may be destiny, but not how the yellows and the sympathetic biased media swung such sad event and turned it around pathetically into a political leverage, as Noynoy Aquino stood at the parlor’s seat ready to be remade, recast and reoriented toward a political stage and future, something he himself never thought or dreamt he would step into.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100613com7.html


GMA claims presidency ‘thrust’ upon her in 2001 By Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/13/2010

GLORIA GOES ERAP-BASHING ANEW

GMA claims presidency ‘thrust’ upon her in 2001


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
06/13/2010

Outbound President Arroyo harked back to the 2001 military-backed takeover of the presidency from popularly-elected President Joseph Estrada in defending her much-criticized nine-year administration, saying she did not seek the presidency but instead it was “thrust” upon her in one of her last major speeches before stepping down on June 30.

Arroyo speaking before to diplomats and government officials at a reception marking the country’s 112th Independence Day tried to counter allegations of corruption and mismanagement during her nine-year rule, claiming she will leave behind an economically robust and politically stable country.

Arroyo was vice president in 2001 when Estrada was forced to step down after a military coup that was veiled as a popular uprising.

Arroyo, however, was believed to have been part of the plot to remove Estrada from power from the day he assumed the presidency after winning by a landslide in the 1998 elections.

The plot had among its members the Church hierarchy, the so-called civil society whose members were mainly the rich and now form the core of the political base of President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Makati-based businessmen and military generals allied with former President Fidel V. Ramos. 

“It was thrust upon me. Rather than shirk from the onerous task, I rolled up my sleeves, determined to turn the Philippines around,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo, who will go down in history as the most unpopular president ever for the country, claimed she had reversed the country’s economic decline by raising revenues, investment in infrastructure and posting 37 quarters of growth and promoting last month’s first nationwide automated elections which she will change the face of Philippine politics.
She detailed the efforts of her government to bring the country back on the global map

She claimed that when she took over as President in 2001, the Philippines was in a dismal situation. 

“Internationally, the Philippines has fallen far, far off the radar screen. It had forfeited its strategic importance, weakened its alliances in the region and the world, and taken itself out of consideration by investors as a place to invest,” she said.

It was during her watch, however, that the Philippines was considered in consecutive surveys of international institutions such as the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), the Transparency International and the Global Competitiveness surveys as among the most corrupt country in the world. 

It was also during her administration that the budget deficit hit record levels and she is leaving the government with a back-to-back budget blowout last year and this year of more or less P300 billion.

However, she claimed in her speech the government’s dire financial situation which her administration inherited from the previous predecessor is now “in a much healthier position today than nine years ago.” 

“We will leave a legacy of hard work, a strong and stable economy and renewed global engagement, major investments in health care, education and physical infrastructure,” Arroyo said. 

“I know much work remains to be done, but I am determined to turn over to a new government a new Philippines, one that is ready for the challenges of bringing the nation to the verge of first world in 20 years,” she added..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100613hed1.html


CJ pleads for unity in freedom day speech 06/13/2010

CJ pleads for unity in freedom day speech


06/13/2010
Embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona appealed for unity among Filipinos during his Independence Day celebration speech yesterday at the historic General Emilio F. Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite making broad references to his current ordeal of being rejected by President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Aquino had made public his desire that Corona, an appointee of outbound President Arroyo, give way to another member of the Supreme Court as Chief Justice to be chosen by Aquino.

In his speech, Corona said if the Filipino nation will be united, everyone will be able to help the government solve whatever crisis is facing the country. 

He also stressed that the Constitution should be used for protecting the right of every Filipino citizen.

Corona, who was appointed Chief Justice by Arroyo last May 17, was assigned to also lead the traditional wreath-laying ceremonies at the tomb of General Aguinaldo. 

Corona added the judiciary will not remain dormant in his watch and vowed to continue the reforms instituted by his predecessor, retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno. 

“We shall not have a dormant judiciary in my watch. To be sure, a strong, competent, incorruptible and independent judiciary is the protector of our rights and liberties, and without doubt, the last bulwark of democracy,” the newly appointed SC chief said. 

He also vowed to continue the reforms begun, which aims to improve the judiciary even further in every aspect possible, and strengthen the great institution of the SC.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100613hed2.html


Yellow groups: Appointees ‘left-over seeds’ of Gloria 06/13/2010

Yellow groups: Appointees ‘left-over seeds’ of Gloria


06/13/2010
Groups supporting President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III called on the so-called midnight appointees of outgoing President Arroyo, which some estimates put at as much as 250, to either not accept their designations or resign calling them “left-over seeds” for the countries continued discord.

The letter stated that the midnight appointees were sown by an exiting president who apparently does not care for (the) people’s united effort to move forward with their new leader. 

“The need for unity is even more compelling now as our society emerges from nine years of politics damaged by questions of the legitimacy of the outgoing Arroyo Administration,” the letter said.

The letter was signed by the Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO), the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), the Makati Business Club (MBC) and the US Pinoys for Good Governance.

The statement was an apparent reaction to the statement of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, an Arroyo ally, that the appointees are covered by the Civil Service Law and cannot be dismissed as Aquino had indicated since their appointments, made before the onset of the elections ban under Constitution, were presumed legal and valid.
Aquino’s supporters, however, said the midnight appointees do not have to accept “these very questionable appointments that would pressure the new administration to uproot them.” 

“We note with admiration the fine example of (Arroyo) manicurist Anita Carpon who was reported to have declined her midnight appointment to the Board of the Pag-IBIG Fund. The delicadeza evident in the restraint of a simple manicurist is a modest but much appreciated contribution to our people’s unity behind the new administration,” the letter read.

It issued an appeal to the other midnight appointees “to rise to the level of Ms. Carpon by voluntarily resigning from the posts to which they were appointed starting March this year, without prejudice to the new President re-appointing those among them who are qualified. Doing so shall demonstrate their good-faith intention to serve our people honourably and well.”... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100613hed3.html


Palace team ironing out kinks in gov’t vacancies — Mendoza By Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/13/2010

Palace team ironing out kinks in gov’t vacancies — Mendoza


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
06/13/2010

Glitches on the continuous efforts of the outgoing Arroyo administration in turning the government over to President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III are now being addressed particularly the issue on discordant appointments, Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza yesterday said.

In a chance interview shortly after Malacañang’s Independence Day engagement with the members of the diplomatic corps, Mendoza relayed that they are now in close coordination with the members of the Aquino transition team on how to fix the discrepancies on the government positions filled and unfilled by the departing President Arroyo.
Mendoza said he already explained to his successor, the incoming Execuitive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, during their meeting held last Friday at Malacañang’s Bahay Pangarap that there are about 4,500 co-terminus government positions they need to fill, excluding those who belong to the housekeeping division of Malacañang and its related offices.

He mentioned that the incoming administration might encounter some difficulty in fielding people in these 4,500 posts immediately but this is now being addressed by them through careful and through negotiations with the other camp.

The chief Palace aide explained that making new appointments is never an easy task especially when it comes to the housekeeping division and personal staff of the leaving administration who have been serving Malacañang for decades now even dating back to the Marcos period thus they have already started apprehending some personnel.
“Actually, (there is already an)apprehension of everybody because, of course, they have some functions to attend to. (If they leave), who will carry on such functions? Actually, they (Aquino camp) are attending to that (possible vacancies) already. But, of course, you cannot recruit many people (into the government) that quick,” Mendoza said..... MORE  

 SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100613hed4.html


Comelec, PPCRV, SC feted for role in auto polls 06/13/2010

 Comelec, PPCRV, SC feted for role in auto polls


06/13/2010
Various public figures and members of the diplomatic corps have graced Malacañang’s annual vin d’ honneur in celebration of the 112th Independence Day yesterday which is President Arroyo’s last as head of the state.

Malacañang took the occasion to grant presidential merits and citations to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Supreme Court (SC) in recognition of their “invaluable contribution to the conduct of the national elections of May 10, 2010.”

These three key institutions from the public and private sector were said to have represented a “historic milestone” in ensuring the success of the 2010 automated elections as well as in upholding the exercise of popular democracy that served as “an inspiring testament to the sovereignty of the Filipino people.”

Accepting the presidential citation for the PPCRV was its chairman, Henrietta de Villa, and for the Comelec were Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Lucenito Tagle.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100613hed5.html


Abu Sayyaf beheads 2 loggers in Basilan 06/13/2010

Abu Sayyaf beheads 2 loggers in Basilan


06/13/2010
Islamist militants in the island province of Basilan in Mindanao beheaded two loggers they abducted just hours earlier, police yesterday said.

Police retrieved the headless corpses of the two victims identified as seized Daduh Lumatang and Manuel Lumasag early Saturday after they were abducted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen while at work, Basilan police director Senior Supt. Antonio Mendoza said.

It was the second report of killings of civilians by the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan this month.

Abu Sayyaf was set up with seed money from al-Qaeda in the early 1990s and is suspected by the military of tactical ties with Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian Islamist group blamed for several attacks in Indonesia..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100613hed6.html


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