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The Daily Tribune

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Dark Legacies: The Economy Under Arroyo Published on June 15, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Posted by Bulatlat.com

IBON Features–The Arroyo administration will be remembered for lost ground on important measures of development and progress in the face of economic growth. Filipinos are worse off today than when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power nine years ago.

Unemployment is at record sustained highs, household real income declined, poverty increased, inequality worsened, and Filipinos were forced abroad in unprecedented numbers. Prospects have been undermined by the steady erosion of domestic manufacturing and agriculture, a rapidly deepening fiscal crisis, and defeatist international trade and investment policies. In contrast, the profits of the country’s biggest corporations and the wealth of its richest families have continued to improve substantially.

This disturbing divergence between the fortunes of a few and the welfare of the many is the most troubling legacy that the Arroyo presidency leaves behind– and among the greatest challenges that the incoming Aquino administration has to confront to deliver any real change.... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/06/15/dark-legacies-the-economy-under-arroyo-2/

Furthering the 43-year Delay of Land Reform in Hacienda Luisita A Litmus Test for Noynoy Aquino Published on June 18, 2010

Furthering the 43-year Delay of Land Reform in Hacienda Luisita A Litmus Test for Noynoy Aquino

Published on June 18, 2010


When incoming president Senator Noynoy Aquino went on a vacation at his family’s sprawling domicile in Hacienda Luisita recently, the military deployment in the area grew more intense, said the locals. For Noynoy’s security, nightly patrols were conducted by armed troops in barangays within the 6,000-plus hectare hacienda.

But even after Aquino has returned to Manila, the troops stayed on, still patrolling the barangays of Hacienda Luisita up to this day. “We’ve gotten somewhat used to it,” locals told Bulatlat in Filipino, adding that while the presence of armed troops in their midst is not new, their increasing number today is. In Brgy. Balite locals said the 69th IB has stationed three military detachments and rented out houses for the troops.

In other barangays, there are detachments comprised of CAFGUs (Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit) led by at least three military men per detachment. Some supervisors or top executives of the Cojuangco-Aquino-controlled Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) have also joined the CAFGUs, noted the foreign election observers who went to Tarlac last May 10 elections. Added to these armed troops are the blue guards of the Cojuangcos.... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/06/18/furthering-the-43-year-delay-of-land-reform-in-hacienda-luisita-a-litmus-test-for-noynoy-aquino/

ABS-CBN’s Employees Told: Regularization or Termination? Sign Waiver First June 19, 2010 by Marya Salamat

ABS-CBN’s Employees Told: Regularization or Termination? Sign Waiver First

Published on June 19, 2010


QUEZON City—The union representing a thousand media workers in ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ largest media network with presence in radio, free-to-air and cable television, protested since Wednesday this week the company’s “unjust dismissals and harassment” of its workers.

According to the ABS-CBN internal job market (IJM) workers’ union, the management has terminated, delayed, or rearranged the work schedules of dozens of ABS-CBN IJM workers since Wednesday midnight this week in retaliation for the workers’ refusal to kowtow to the company’s “bogus regularization.”
In a statement, the union said the termination as well as the sudden delays in some members’ work scheduling, which bordered on “constructive dismissal,” are being imposed on workers who refused to accept the company’s “discriminatory and conditional ‘regularization.’.... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/06/19/abs-cbn%E2%80%99s-employees-told-regularization-or-termination-sign-waiver-first/

Reds Belie AFP’s Allegation of Child Recruitment June 19, 2010 Aldwin Quitasol

Reds Belie AFP’s Allegation of Child Recruitment

Published on June 19, 2010

Northern Dispatch

Posted by Bulatlat.com
BAGUIO CITY — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) rebutted the claims of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)-Civil Relations Service that the New People’s Army (NPA) has recruited 340 children since 1999 where 209 allegedly “surrendered”, 119 “captured” and 12 “killed in combat”.
In a statement posted at its website, the CPP said these claims are completely unfounded and are mere desperate attempts to malign the image of the NPA before the public and the local and international human rights bodies. “The CPP declares with full conviction that the NPA does not recruit children.”

“The NPA upholds and defends the interests of children in line with the CPP’s Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution, the Basic Rules of the New People’s Army, the Guide for Establishing the People’s Democratic Government, the Geneva Conventions and Protocols on International Humanitarian Law and Rules on Warfare, the United Nations’ Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the Comprehensive Agreement for the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law,” stated the CPP.
.... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/06/19/reds-belie-afp%E2%80%99s-allegation-of-child-recruitment/

The old giveth way to the new EDITORIAL 06/19/2010

The old giveth way to the new

Click to enlarge
Kamag-Anak Inc. I may no longer be as active as it used to be during the mid-Eighties to the early Nineties, when Cory Aquino reigned supreme. But Kamag-Anak Inc. ll, or better still, Sisters Inc., may well be its replacement, with the old giving way to the new — that is, if presidential sister Kris Aquino-Yap’s early lobbying and influencing ways are to be the measure.

The celebrity sister of incoming President Noynoy Aquino, according to Senate sources, has been very active in lobbying for Liberal Party (LP) Sen. Francis Pangilinan to win the Senate presidency, calling up senators and seeking their assent to give their vote to Pangilinan.
Earlier too, with brother Noynoy telling media that he wants TV talk show host and partner of Kris, Boy Abunda, as his Tourism secretary, it was pretty obvious that sister Kris had a lot to do with that early decision.

To make it clear: This is not to disparage Abunda as a potential Tourism secretary merely because he is a showbiz personality, although it must be admitted that he has no experience or background in tourism administration, much less tourism marketing.

This is more to highlight the fact that Noynoy’s sisters, and not just Kris — from indications and even admissions from the President-elect — do wield great influence with the presidential brother.

It is on record that Noynoy has been quoted as saying that he consults with his sisters on his decisions — including, apparently, the place where he wants to stay as President of the republic.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100619com1.htm

No numbers as yet FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/19/2010

No numbers as yet

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
As things stand in the fight for the Senate President’s seat, neither blocs will likely have the numbers with which to get their bets the top seat, in which case, the result may be a compromise candidate where some members of each bloc may gravitate toward the compromise bet.

The problem is the lack of numbers in the Senate members. While there are supposed to be 24 senators in every Congress, the upper chamber almost always lacks one or two members, since a senator decides to run for a higher office and wins. Of course, if he loses the race, and still has three years more to his term, then he goes back to his seat after the loss.

Examples are Sen. Loren Legarda, who lost her vice presidential bid and returns to the Senate, and Noynoy Aquino, who won the presidential race, but still had three years to his term. 

In this case, the Senate has one less senator plus two more, or a total of three. 

Compounding the problem is the fact that as things stand, there are two more senators who are not expected to be able to cast their vote. One is Sonny Trillanes, who is incarcerated and banned by the military and the high court from attending Senate sessions as well as voting; and two, Ping Lacson, who is on the lam, owing to an arrest warrant issued against him, as he is charged with having allegedly murdered publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

The talk is that Lacson will probably return to face the charges, but only under a new administration which has been made possible with the entry of the Aquino ll administration a few days from today.

But even if he does return before Congress opens sometime in July, the arrest warrant is still out, and the law-enforcers, even with a new President in Malacañang, may well serve him with it and promptly place him in detention — until such time a hearing on bail — if such charge is bailable, is scheduled.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100619com2.html

Ivory Coast’s ex-rebels reflect on their future focus 06/19/2010

Ivory Coast’s ex-rebels reflect on their future


KORHOGO — Ivory Coast’s New Forces (FN) rebels, destined for demobilization, are uncertain of their future but many are happy to know they will become part of a new national army.

The FN has ruled the north of Ivory Coast since a foiled coup against President Laurent Gbagbo in 2002, but is now demobilizing its troops under a 2008 peace pact which also provides for elections.

In a ceremony this week at Korhogo, a large town 600 kilometers (370 miles) north of the economic capital Abidjan, the FN officially began gathering its rank and file into barracks.

About 500 men came to the military camps at Korhogo, with a long-term objective of grouping 1,200 out of a total 5,000 scheduled to be barracked in the northern zone.

In the Fansara 110 Camp, the walls have been repainted orange, white and green in the national colors, and the “volunteers for the new army” (VAN) are beginning new lives.

“The rebellion is finished. From today, you’re part of the Ivorian army,” barked an instructor, handing out kit to recruits on their way to their dormitories.

Ivorian leaders and peace mediators intend the new army to merge the loyalist pro-Gbagbo troops in the south with the FN fighters before a presidential election due this year but constantly postponed since 2005.

On a parade ground where the Ivorian flag flies high on a mast, more volunteers waited their turn to discover their new quarters.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100619com3.html

Calls mount for P7.2-B PCOS deal audit By Pat C. Santos 06/19/2010

Calls mount for P7.2-B PCOS deal audit

By Pat C. Santos

Even with a high profile public relations offensive by Smartmatic officials to counteract the growing allegations of electoral fraud, and hiring the 2008 Miss Universe, a Venezuelan, as Miss Transparency for Smartmatic, and despite the Commission on Elections (Comelec) claim of the country having held the first successful nationwide automated elections, computer experts took the strong view that there are still lots of questions that need to be resolved, among which is the issue of having a financial audit as far as the P7.2 billion cost of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines leased by Smartmatic-TIM to the Comelec.

Also at issue are the reported P4-billion additional budget which was given by Comelec to Smartmatic, the absence of UV lamps which were not utilized, the multimillion-peso secrecy folders, indelible ink, ballot and pre- shading and other forms of fraud such as vote shaving and vote buying during the election.

These issues were yesterday aired during the forum “Hocus-PCOS and Noynoy (Aquino’s) first 100 days” held at the De La Salle University where Prof. Sherwin Ola, a computer professor, and others shared their views on the recent automated election, with the consensus established that there is a need to have the P7-billion contract of Smartmatic undergo a post audit.

Ola said “in the parlance of IT community, there are lots of issues that should be addressed as the report of massive disenfranchisement happened as reported by the Comelec to have reached the figure of 20 percent of the voting population, estimated at 51 million, or a disenfranchisement of over 10 million voters on election day.

Another resource speaker, Dr. Giovanni Tapang, UP Physics professor and Kontra Daya head, said the automated election system last May 10 was a hodgepodge and had hoc solutions on election day itself and simply did not work as planned.

Tapang, through his powerpoint presentation, said that the people can prepare for vulnerabilities but that the Comelec chose to ignore these and the poll body even opened the avenue for more vulnerabilities of the system to come in.

On Ola’s part he stressed that now is the time to have a lifestyle check conducted on Comelec officials who he said have the track record for being corrupt due to the fact that the automation was pushed and the cost of leasing the PCOS machines at P7.2 billion is too high.

“Who made money on this? Who benefited from this?,” he pointed out.

“ Comelec should show the data and check if the accuracy of the machines conforms with the ballot as paper trail in order to determine if the people’s money is worth the rental price of the PCOS machines,” added Ola.

The group noted that Comelec officials were not prepared to conduct the nationwide automated polls and that the recently conducted May elections only served as an “on-the-job (OJT) training for the Comelec officials who were mostly lawyers and not IT knowledgable.

Ola suggested that the Comelec should strengthen its IT capabilities by installing at least two commissioners who have computer expertise with unquestionable integrity.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100619hed1.html

Abalos, Neri to be tried separately in ZTE case By Charlie V. Manalo 06/19/2010

Abalos, Neri to be tried separately in ZTE case

By Charlie V. Manalo
Former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. and former National Economic Development Authority Director General Romulo Neri will be tried separately by two different divisions of the Sandiganbayan in connection with the NBN-ZTE deal scandal.

This, after the anti-graft court raffled off the case, with Abalos landing with the 4th Division headed by Chairman Gregory Ong and Neri with the 5th Division headed by Justice Roland Jurado.

In a 17-page joint order last May 2010, the Ombudsman recommended the filing of information against Abalos and Neri for violating Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code.

It, however, cleared President Arroyo and her husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, of any liability in the botched NBN-ZTE deal.

The Ombudsman took the view that Abalos and Neri failed to present sufficient evidence to warrant the reversal of its earlier ruling in August 2009. 

It found probable cause against Abalos and Neri said they should be charged before the court and be held for trial.
Aside from the criminal case, Neri alone was suspended for a period of six months without pay for an administrative liability. His appeal was denied for lack of merit.

Abalos was also indicted on a separate case of corruption of public officials for offering Neri a P200-million bribe.
But Abalos yesterday insisted on his innocence, saying he is just “a victim of vilification campaign.”

According to Abalos, he is a victim of a vilification campaign as he pointed out that “the mere execution by a purported witness of an affidavit is not sufficient to support a charge.”

“A mere charge or allegation of wrongdoing does not suffice since an accusation is not synonymous with guilt. There must always be sufficient evidence to support the charge,” he stressed.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100619hed2.html

UN backs RP gov’t in sex ed row with church 06/19/2010

UN backs RP gov’t in sex ed row with church


The United Nations (UN) on Friday backed a move by the Philippines to introduce sex education among primary and high school students that has sparked a row with the influential Catholic Church.

The UN stressed that the Philippines was a signatory to an international treaty on the rights of children that commits member countries to providing proper information to girls and boys about their bodies.

“It is the obligation of the state to ensure that all adolescent girls and boys are provided with accurate and appropriate information on how to protect their health and practice healthy behaviors,” the UN said in a statement.
“The United Nations will continue to work with government... to respect, fulfill and protect the rights of girls and boys to comprehensive information regarding their health and their bodies.

“Global evidence shows that giving clear, appropriate information to adolescents does not increase promiscuity but helps them make responsible decisions.”

The government this week began introducing its Adolescent Reproductive Health program in 80 public elementary and 79 high schools.

The scheme will later be expanded nationwide, in what the government said could hopefully reduce the country’s high population growth rate, limit unwanted teenage pregnancies and prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) attacked the program, warning that it encouraged promiscuity among the youth.

The bishops demanded that the government stop the program, saying that sex education was better left to parents and taught within the confines of the home.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100619hed3.html

Petitioners for Mikey A’s DQ are millionaires 06/19/2010 Look who’s talking.

Petitioners for Mikey A’s DQ are millionaires


Look who’s talking.
While they are seeking the disqualification of Ang Galing Pinoy party-list first nominee, outgoing Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, the party-list lawmaker-petitioners who have appealed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that Arroyo be declared ineligible as a party-list representative on the ground he is not from a margin-alized sector, are themselves members of the Congress Millionaires’ Club.

Based on the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALn) of all the members of the 14th Congress released by the House Secretary General Office, 45 of the 52 party-list law-makers, including Akbayan party-list Repre-sentatives Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and Walden Bello, are all millionaires.

Baraquiel and Bello, who have net worth of P4.9 million and P2.3 million respectively, have been very vocal that Mikey, eldest son of outgoing President Arroyo, be disqualified since he does not in any way, come from a marginalized sector.

This is based on the 2009 SALn, wherein only seven out of 52 party-list representatives have below P1 million net worth.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100619hed4.html

GMA won’t witness oathtaking; Morales accepts request to swear in Aquino By Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/19/2010

GMA won’t witness oathtaking; Morales accepts request to swear in Aquino

By Aytch S. de la Cruz

A Malacañang official yesterday said most of the traditional inaugural rites will be retained in the turnover procedures that the Palace aides are laying out, including the limousine ride of outgoing President Arroyo and the incoming President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Chief Ma. Elena Bautista-Horn, however, said Arroyo most likely would no longer stay for the rest of the inaugural ceremony as a courtesy to her successor who is supposed to be the star of the show during that important occasion.

She added that traditionally, outgoing presidents leave the inaugural site right after their departure honors and arrival honors for their successor. 

Only former President Fidel V. Ramos during his turnover of government to President Joseph Estrada in 1998 stayed for the whole ceremony since it was the centennial celebration of Philippine independence that year.
She also shared a preview of the pre-inaugural scenes 

in which Aquino will arrive in Malacañang to pay a quick courtesy call to the President and from there, they will board the presidential car on their way to the inaugural site which is the Quirino Grandstand.

Both presidents will be given honors by the chief of the military, after which, the outgoing President will shake hands with President Aquino signifying that she is now turning over the entire nation under his leadership.

“Thereafter, President Arroyo will bid farewell and she will get inside her personal car as the presidential car will be left behind because it is now going to be used by the new president who has just been sworn into office, President Aquino, when he comes back to the Palace,” Bautista-Horn added.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100619hed5.html

GMA’s political ambassadors trickling back home By Michaela P. del Callar 06/19/2010

GMA’s political ambassadors trickling back home

By Michaela P. del Callar

The good times of President Arroyo’s politically appointed Philippine ambassadorships have come to an end, with at least nine of 24 political diplomats she had appointed during her term expected to return to Manila today.
Politically appointed ambas-sadors are deemed co-terminus with the end of the term of the outgoing president, not being career diplomats, but even
career ambassadors and appointed consuls can be ordered by a newly installed president to return to base, and be given new appointments, either in home base, or another country.

Among those to arrive from the their various posts abroad are: Alejandro del Rosario (Poland), former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, Gen. Alexander Yano (Brunei), former military vice chief of staff Cardozo Luna (Netherlands), and former Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Jose Brillantes (Canada).

Also set to return are: former Sen.Orlando Mercado (Philippine Permanent Representative to the Association of South East Asian Nations), former Philippine National Police chief Vidal Querol (Indonesia), businessman Francisco Benedicto (China), former Presidential Chief of Staff Rigoberto Tiglao (Greece), and Manuel Teehankee (World Trade Organization, Geneva).

The Department of Foreign Affairs sent a memorandum as early as last month to 23 embassies and two Philippine permanent missions headed by non-career ambassadors, ordering the envoys to vacate their posts and tender their courtesy resignations on or before June 30, Arroyo’s last day in office.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100619hed6.html

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