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One big headache EDITORIAL 06/24/2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One big headache

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It was bound to happen in a Noynoy Aquino presidency, having disparate groups behind him, with each group, or bloc, claiming credit for making him win the polls, as well as making a bid for more power and influence within the administration, while cutting off others.

And those who are cut off or are in danger of being cut off from the power line, will naturally be among the first to show discontent at the “ingratitude” of the new dispensation.

As revolutions devour their children, so do victories devour the victors’ supporters who do not have the same tools with which to survive in a veritable snake pit.

As things stand today in the blocs of Noynoy Aquino, there is obviously a pro-Mar Roxas group and an anti-Roxas bloc as well as a pro-Jojo Binay group and an anti-Binay group, the Liberal Party officers and members, along with the most influential, Sisters Inc. grouping, the Kaklase Inc., the Cory veterans group and the old Kamag-Anak Inc., that publicly strives to survive, even when this family group knows that privately, it can’t quite be shaken out of the power equation.

There is too, that infamous group of the Black and Whites, the Hyatt 10, and naturally, the Makati Business Club types that are never far away from the power line just as the yellow media would be there to protect Noynoy and his family while they and their businesses continue to make hay while the Noynoy sun shines.

Noynoy’s problem is to keep them together and united, for him to be able to consolidate support for his presidency, but he is likely to have the same fate as his mother, Cory, who also started her regime with disparate groups of supporters and power blocs, which she could not unite, with some blocs falling on the wayside earlier than the others.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100624com1.html

Same turncoats next election year FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/24/2010

Same turncoats next election year

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Not surprisingly, with Noynoy Aquino now in Malacañang and Gloria Arroyo out of it, the Liberal Party (LP) that claims to be the non-trapo party, disdaining trapo politics, is now showing its true trapo color, swearing in the turncoats coming from Lakas-Kampi-CMD, to build up its party members and become the dominant political party in the House of Representatives.

But turncoatism is expected, with congressmen then allied with the outgoing Malacañang tenant, making a beeline to join the party identified with the new Malacañang tenant.

Quite frankly, no matter how big the LP becomes, due of course to the fact that Noynoy Aquino will be sitting in Malacañang, these same turncoats and some more, even from the LP, will also be swearing in as party members of whoever wins Malacañang in 2016, or earlier, in the event the chief executive is ousted, resigns, or, as the Supreme Court ruled, has “constructively resigned,” is permanently incapacitated, or is impeached.

This is how trapo politics always goes, since the party system in this country is very, very weak and unprincipled, with no ideology but to stay in power and position and allied with the new administration.

During Cory Aquino’s presidency, the biggest political party identified with her was Ramon Mitra’s LDP (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino), which later lost virtually all its LDP members when Cory endorsed Fidel Ramos instead of Mitra as her presidential bet.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100624com2.html

Jackson’s death triggers billion dollar bonanza FEATURE 06/24/2010

Jackson’s death triggers billion dollar bonanza


LOS ANGELES — Soaring music sales, a blockbuster movie and an array of commercial spin-offs: Michael Jackson’s demise has lent weight to the wry showbusiness maxim that death is the ultimate career move.

In the final years of his life, Jackson’s finances were widely reported to be in chaos, with the singer facing foreclosure on his famed Neverland Ranch and struggling with debts of roughly $500 million.

However in the 12 months since Jackson’s death on June 25 last year, the King of Pop’s empire has witnessed a money-spinning resurgence, generating revenues estimated at more than $1 billion, according to one report.

Jackson’s estate has paid off more than half of the singer’s debts and is likely to put his affairs back into the black in the coming year.

The financial bonanza began almost immediately, with the singer selling nearly four million records in the six weeks after his death, with no fewer than six Jackson albums in the top 20 at one stage.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100624com3.html

PNP cover-up BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 06/24/2010

PNP cover-up

Louie Logarta
If Sr. Supt. Antonio Gumiran and Sr. Insp. Jeffrey Briones Uy of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are still wearing their uniforms today, it is because of their friends in the Department of Justice (DoJ) who chose the path of least resistance in sweeping under the rug the administrative charges for conduct unbecoming of police officers that had been lodged against them, rather than prosecuting them in court and having them sent to jail.

Just to refresh the memory, Gumiran and Uy both of whom were active duty officers at the time were caught in 2004 by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in the company of Jason Aguilar Ivler (remember him, too?) while inside a cabin of a small passenger ship that was about just to leave the Port of Zamboanga for Sandakan, Malaysia.

Official reports said that the two police officers allegedly tried to bribe the NBI and BI agents with $5,000 so that they would forget they ever cast eyes on Ivler and allow him to peaceably leave the country through the southern backdoor. Back then, Ivler was being sought by the Pasig Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) in connection with the fatal vehicular smash-up wherein the Toyota Prado SUV he was driving jumped over the center island of the C-5 highway onto the path of the Isuzu Trooper being driven by Undersecretary Nestor Ponce Jr. thus instantly killing him.

The arresting officers reportedly rejected the bribe offered to them and brought the suspect Ivler back to Manila and immediately turned him over to the custody of the court. As fate would have it, Ivler later jumped bail and went into hiding; he was later recaptured by the NBI, who had launched a nationwide manhunt for him resulting from the road-rage killing of the son of another Malacañang functionary, but not after a spectacular shoot-out inside the residence of his mother in the upscale neighborhood of Blue Ridge, Quezon City...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100624com4.html

Boo-boos, boners and blunders By Ronald Roy COMMENT 06/24/2010

Boo-boos, boners and blunders

By Ronald Roy


When Scottish lawmaker Frank Mc Aveety quit his role in a parliamentary committee hearing after being caught on microphone saying a woman in the gallery was “very attractive with that Filipino look... dark... and dusky... nice, very nice... the kind you would see in a Gaugin painting,” he did so in accordance with the exacting ethical standards of Scottish culture, and we can only respect him for his resignation.

Mc Aveety said two other things: “The heat’s getting to me,” — aha, a state of sexual arousal eh?! — and “I’ll maybe have to put a wee word out for her” — probably a Scottish idiom the meaning of which understandably escapes me. In any event, a judgment on the lawmaker’s improper behavior — assuming this were the case by Scottish norms — should not be made by non-Scots. After all, when in Rome tourists do as the Romans do, do in Tokyo as the Nipponese do, and do in Sudan as the Sudanese do.

Someone should assure Mc Aveety there’s nothing to be ashamed of about being turned on by the opposite sex, whether swimsuited in the flesh or reclined in a painting by Gaugin or Renoir of the Renaissance period. In truth, the solemn way to appreciate a frank painting, as in other art forms, is to allow oneself to be drifted by its power into a reverie of senses and instincts where he can thus discover the meaning of his own humanity. Art has long been a procreative driving force since Adam hailed Eve as a most sublime masterpiece by the Supreme Creator.

Mr. Mc Aveety may also find relief from the divinely preordained plan for people to cross color barriers for the improvement of the races. He should be appeased to know that Asians find Caucasians more attractive than themselves, and vice-versa. And he should not wonder why a Welshman will go bonkers over a “tall and tan and young and lovely” girl strolling in an Ipanema beach, or why Puccini’s Pinkerton fell for Cio-Cio San, or why Sammy Davis crooned his way to the heart of May Britt. Should not Mc Aveety then be advised not to be harsh on himself? Feel no eternal remorse, bloke. Your only blunder was not making sure the microphone was off when you gushed over a lady from Manila.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100624com5.html

Vatican wants clean-up amid corruption probe focus 06/24/2010

Vatican wants clean-up amid corruption probe


VATICAN CITY — Shaken to its core by revelations of paedophile abuse in the Church, the Vatican is moving to publicly clean up its finances as a top cardinal is caught up in a corruption probe, experts say.

Prosecutors are investigating Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe over allegations he took kickbacks as head of Propaganda Fide, the body that handles the Vatican’s vast real estate holdings and financing much of the Church’s missionary work.

The Vatican has defended Sepe’s “intense and generous” work, and the cardinal insist he was acting at the time with the full support of the Roman Catholic Church.

But Vatican expert Sandro Magister says Pope Benedict XVI has acted cool toward Sepe, who left Propaganda Fide four years ago to become Archbishop of Naples.

He sees this as a sign that the Pope “clearly wants to clean up” the Vatican’s earthly business.

“It was Benedict XVI who moved Sepe away from Rome” in 2006, replacing him with Ivan Diaz, an Indian cardinal considered “light years away from any kind of wheeling and dealing,” Magister told AFP.
On Monday, the Vatican set up a link from its website to the historical archive of Propaganda Fide in a bid to promote better transparency.

And in September last year, Benedict overhauled the Vatican Bank, the epicenter of previous financial scandals, placing at its head respected banker and transparency advocate Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, Magister added.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100624com6.html

New air. Renewed spirit. Renewal of hope VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 06/24/2010

New air. Renewed spirit. Renewal of hope

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
It is not written down nor accordingly recorded. It is not even expressly said nor formally noted. But the palpable truth is that there is a new air in the atmosphere. There is even a renewed spirit in the country. But more important of all, there is a renewal of hope among the Filipinos. All these are not only timely but also necessary — considering the foul air, the trampled upon spirit and the dying hope of the present generation, courtesy of the exiting administration at long last.

But to add salt to injury, before it is actually gone as a distressing and shameful part of Philippine history, there is on the other hand, the callous shameless attempt at a futile and vain self-glorification of the singularly distrusted — repeatedly obtaining distinctly minus approval ratings in the course of time — finally departing leadership. Power-points are made. Books are written. Rah-rah boys and girls are singing the mandated chorus. All these are highly predictable in their overall deodorizing intention.

There were the roads made, the bridges built, the railways extended. There is the infrastructure in place, the economic fundamentals in order, not to mention these and those accomplishments made for these and those development programs. But: At what and at whose expense

Let it be noted that the said administration in no way spent a single centavo from its own pocket for all such projects — as it in fact earned very much from them. With how much external and internal debts? Let it is said that any and all expenses incurred by the same administration are paid for with public funds — chargeable to every single Filipino, rich and poor, the yet unborn included. How on earth could such be its own projects, its own accomplishments?! Come on! Be truthful even but for once!

No wonder then that there is the shrill howl of “Good-bye!” to the ending administration and the warm greetings of “Welcome!” to the beginning administration. Herewith comes fresh air, enlivened spirit and revitalized hope. It cannot be otherwise — considering the socio-political and economic havoc brought about by the going “Hello Garci” government vis-à-vis the promising future being ushered in by the incoming “P-Noy” governance of honesty and integrity..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100624com7.html

Binay rejects Noy’s MMDA job offer 06/24/2010

Also declines heading body to probe GMA, DAR seat

Binay rejects Noy’s MMDA job offer

He may have been elected Vice President by over 14.5 million Filipinos, but to President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, this electorate’s mandate given to Vice President-elect Jejomar “Jojo” Binay should not be given the respect and importance the sovereign will deserves, as the first offer Aquino made to Binay was for him to merely head the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), a lowly position for an elected Vice President, reliable sources close to the Binay camp told the Tribune.

Aquino is hardly known for his finesse in handling matters diplomatically, as shown in the manner by which he made public his allergy to now retired Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit with Aquino’s demand for him to resign his post, as he was not going to have Bangit as his AFP chief of staff.

Binay, in 1998, was appointed by former President Joseph Estrada as MMDA chief. Binay was then already a third termer Makati mayor.

Sources told the Tribune that “Noynoy’s offer of the MMDA position was very insulting offer to an elected vice president,” since the post calls for mayors, rather than an elected constitutional heir.

But sources also said that Binay politely refused the offer and reiterated to Aquino that he had earlier sent a formal letter to him three days ago, stating very clearly that he was no longer interested in getting any Cabinet post under Aquino’s administration, although he also said in his letter that he would be extending support to Aquino whenever the incoming President seeks it.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100624hed1.html

Wedge among Senate allies favors Villar By Angie Rosales 06/24/2010

Wedge among Senate allies favors Villar

By Angie Rosales

Defeated presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. is emerging as frontrunner in terms of support from senators in the battle for the Senate presidency and as a result of an emerging rift among allies of incoming President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

“Manny (Villar) is still the man to beat,” Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said yesterday, belittling claims by some quarters that the race is narrowed down to only two of known political allies of the incoming President, who are Senators Francis Pangilinan and Franklin Drilon.

“The problem with the LP (Liberal Party), Frank (Drilon) and Kiko (Pangilinan) are at odds with each other,” Pimentel said.

Drilon, he said, is being supported by Aquino’s defeated running mate and LP president, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas, while Pangilinan is receiving backing from another group perceived to be that identified with the incoming President.

“In short, if the Liberals could form its own group and form alliances with other blocs, then they could easily defeat Villar. But I still think Villar is the man to beat,” he said.

Pangilinan supposedly had the edge over Drilon for the top Senate position currently occupied by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, with 11 colleagues purportedly backing his candidacy.

Pimentel, however, disputed assertions made by Enrile, effectively saying that Pangilinan could likely be the one to replace him when the 15th Congress opens in July 26, by sheer numbers.

“Villar has more solid support. There are nine supporting him. He only needs four more to be installed Senate president,” he said.

“In the Senate, no one can claim that this particular bloc is already assured (of the leadership). They need to form alliances,” Pimentel added. 

Although Pimentel did not name names, he was obviously referring to the likes of Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Loren Legarda, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Lito Lapid, Joker Arroyo along with incoming Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100624hed2.html

Erap submits campaign expenses, declares P235.5M spent By Marie A. Surbano 06/24/2010

Erap submits campaign expenses, declares P235.5M spent

By Marie A. Surbano
Former President Joseph Estrada, who ran for the presidency and landed in second place, earning close to 10 million votes, yesterday submitted his report on his campaign expenditure, stating that he spent a total of P235.5 million for his campaign in the last May 10 polls.

In his statement of contributions and expenditures sub-mitted to the Com-mission on Elections (Comelec), Estrada said majority of the election contributions he received came from businessmen.

International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) owner Ricky Razon, was his biggest contributor giving P15 million in donation, followed by construction magnate Antonio Evangelista shelling out an equal amount of P15 million.

Real Estate developer Andrew Tan of Megaworld also contributed P12 million while Manny Pangilinan of Smart Communications, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and TV5 contributed P10 million to Estrada’s campaign kitty.

Members of Estrada’s family donated P20 million while he admitted that he shelled out P8 million.

The former president also received contributions from Ortigas Co. Ltd., which is a real estate firm known for developing Greenhills Shopping Center and Tiendesitas (P4 million); mall chain SM Shoemart of Henry Sy (P10 million); and pharmaceutical giant United Laboratories Inc. (P10 million).

Other businessmen that gave big contributions are Jaime Dy (P15 million); Jack Ng (P10 million); Eric Lim (P10 million); Eric King (P10 million); William Gatchalian (P10 million); Henry Tan (P10 million); Eric Tagle (P10 million); and Jose Yap (P12 million).... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100624hed3.html

Corona SC division gets Luisita case By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/24/2010

Corona SC division gets Luisita case

By Benjamin B. Pulta
After four years gathering dust, the Supreme Court (SC) has decided to revisit the Hacienda Luisita agrarian dispute case which will now be decided by its First Division headed by Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Corona or-dered Clerk of Court lawyer Ma. Luisa Villa-rama to check on the status of the case involving the the family of President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and farmer-beneficiaries of the 5,000-hectare sugar land in Tarlac in response to the request of various farmers’ groups urging the Chief Justice to act with dispatch and resolve the case of Hacienda Luisita in favor of agrarian reform beneficiaries.

The case originally assigned to the Third Division was recently transferred to the First Division that is headed by the Chief Justice following a “court reorganization” which arose from the retirement of former Chief Justice Reynato Puno on May 17.

The First Division is composed of Corona as chair-man, Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. as the working chairman, and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Mariano del Castillo and Jose Perez as members.
The Third Division is headed by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, who was handpicked by Noynoy to administer his presidential oath on June 30.

The last action of the SC in the case was in June 2006 when it issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the decision of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) to place the sugar estate under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and have it distributed to farmer-beneficiaries.

In a decision by then Third Division chairman Associate Justice Leonardo Quisumbing, the SC instructed PARC and then Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman to refrain from distributing Luisita lands to farm worker beneficiaries. It ordered the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) to post a cash bond of P5 million for the TRO.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100624hed4.html

Neri draws flak for gov’t post advice 06/24/2010

Neri draws flak for gov’t post advice

Senators have expressed their disapproval with Social Security System (SSS) president Romulo Neri’s statement cautioning “honest” men and women against taking any government position, stressing that Neri is not in the best position to give such an “advice.”

“His advice is hollow. He covered up a crime,” Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. yesterday said, reacting to the embattled SSS official’s statements.

“He’s not in a position to give such advice,” said Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

Neri is said to be the key person on the matter of alleged accountability of President Arroyo in the controversy surrounding the botched $329-million ZTE-national broadband network (NBN) contract.

The then head of the National Economic and Development Authority had told a Senate inquiry that he had informed Arroyo of a kickback offer from former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. who was facilitating the deal in exchange for the approval of the project in the Neda.

Neri, as recounted by NBN scam whistleblower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada to the Senate inquiry, supposedly said Arroyo told him to reject the bribe but approve the project anyway.

Neri who appeared to have been under constant pressure from the Palace denied getting the order from Arroyo as claimed by Lozada but admitted he did inform Arroyo about the bribe offer and also said that Arroyo asked him why he did not accept the offered bribe of about P200 million.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100624hed5.html

Arroyo boasts, defends presidency in farewell speech By Atych S. de la Cruz 06/24/2010

Arroyo boasts, defends presidency in farewell speech

By Atych S. de la Cruz

Outgoing President Arroyo, in her televised farewell address to the nation last night, said she is confident to leave the country to her successor, President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, in a stronger state than when she assumed the position in 2001 and will just let history verify her avowal.

Arroyo conveyed that Aquino’s election as the coun-try’s 15th President through the historic automation process represents the “hallmark of democracy’ for the country that has changed the face of politics.

Arroyo called on the public to “unite behind” Aquino and Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay.

“Until every Filipino child is born to a family free of poverty, we cannot rest. We must set our sights on the future and keep an eye on improving our economy, investing in people, and building bridges. Not just bridges of iron and steel, but bridges between people, generations, and governments,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo urged the next set of leaders to continue building upon the gains of her administration.

Arroyo explained that the bridges which the next administration should keep building must ‘rest on hard work, grace, and compassion’ from the Filipino people for they are the nation’s ‘greatest asset’ and ‘backbone that drives’ the country forward.

She also insisted that she never grabbed power from former President Joseph Estrada when she first assumed the position in 2001 through a civilian uprising.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100624hed6.html

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