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Shabby treatment FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/25/2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shabby treatment

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Evident in the offers of three government positions offered by Noynoy Aquino to Jojo Binay is that these were offers that Noynoy knew, even before he made them to Jojo, that the Vice President-elect would reject.

Put another way, Noynoy doesn’t want Jojo in his Cabinet, despite the fact that Jojo was legitimately elected by close to 15 million Filipinos, which is no different from about the same number of voters who cast their vote for Noynoy, according to the official count.

This means that while Noynoy and his disparate team want to crow about his 15 million votes, and for the Filipino people to respect and accept his mandate, he does not want the same respect and acceptance of the mandate given by the electorate to Binay, who represents the masses’ vote.

That was quite insulting of Noynoy to offer the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairmanship to a vice president-elect, considering the fact that this MMDA position is certainly the beneath the station of an elected vice president with a solid mandate.

Sure, Noynoy may be the President of the Republic, but he allows himself to be advised, guided and influenced in his decisions by the unelected within his circle, and even worse, Noynoy does not appear to give any weight to, and respect for, the solid mandate given by the sovereign Filipino people to Binay.

But that being the case, why should the Filipino people be expected by him and his yellow elite groups to respect his mandate, when he himself does not acknowledge and respect the mandate given to the Vice President?

The truth is, Noynoy’s stand toward Binay makes him the lesser man, and even going down in pubic esteem.

From the start, he kept his distance from Binay, and even as Binay, when asked by the media, what Cabinet position he would like to have in an Aquino ll administration, when he said his preference was the DILG, Noynoy quickly slammed this, saying that he has someone else in mind, and in an insulting tone, even said that he and Jojo do not share the same vision.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100625com2.html

Vietnam legislature evolving, but still communist ANALYSIS 06/25/2010

Vietnam legislature evolving, but still communist


HANOI — When Vietnam’s communist legislators rejected the government’s controversial $56-billion proposal for a bullet train last weekend, many Vietnamese hailed them as brave representatives of the people.

Other observers, while seeing the vote as significant, were less quick to view it as a democratic breakthrough.
In its rare decision last Saturday, the National Assembly failed to approve the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City link and asked the government to further study the country’s transport options.

“As far as I know, the National Assembly’s vote against the proposed bullet train is the first time that body has knocked back a high-profile proposed project from the government,” said Ben Kerkvliet, emeritus professor and Vietnam specialist from The Australian National University.

“A significant threshold in national political institutional development has been crossed.”

Some Vietnamese said the elected deputies — more than 90 percent of whom are Communist Party members — had shown they were truly acting in the people’s interests.

Readers who posted their views on the VietnamNet online news site praised the legislators as “brave” and “good representatives.”

“Many Vietnamese are overly enthusiastic” about the vote, said Le Dang Doanh, a former economic adviser to the government.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100625com3.html

Jojo says nay to Noy MR. EXPOSE Amb. Ernesto Maceda 06/25/2010

Jojo says nay to Noy

Amb. Ernesto Maceda
Two weeks after his proclamation as President-elect, Noynoy Aquino finally found time to talk to Vice President-elect Jejomar “Jojo” Binay.

The much delayed meeting is the first indication that P-Noy did not consider the Vice President-elect that important. No less than former Secretary of Finance Jose “Titoy” Pardo and long time Aquino family friend had tried to arrange a meeting 10 days ago. In their two-hour meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Times Street, QC residence of P-Noy, he offered him the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairmanship, then the Department of Agrarian Reform, a program that is being phased out and finally a still to be created commission to probe the corruption of GMA and other officials, positions demeaning to the high position of Vice President and all of which Vice President-elect Jojo Binay politely declined.

At the time of the meeting, the post of Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary which was given to then Vice Presidents Emmanuel Pelaez and Cory’s teammate Salvador Laurel was still uncommitted. And so were the Departments of Agriculture (DA), Public Works and Highways, Labor and Employment and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. DA was held twice by Vice President Fernando Lopez. Any of these five regular Cabinet positions, also called with portfolio, could have been appropriately offered to VP Binay but P-Noy in effect insulted VP Binay and his almost 15 million supporters when the positions offered were minor posts of “Cabinet rank.” Getting VP Binay to his Cabinet would have started the reconciliation process with the Estrada-Binay camp, a move President FVR advised P-Noy to make.

P-Noy rabid booster Conrad de Quiros of the Philippine Daily Inquirer reminded P-Noy of the VP Binay’s long time support for the opposition cause against GMA. He said: “During the pit of GMA’s rule, when the various Metro Manila Mayors were either scared s-tless or trying to ingratiate themselves with GMA, where did all the marchers who marched to protest GMA’s tyranny march to? Where did all the protesters who were unwilling to risk life and limb to defy the ban to mount anti-GMA rallies in Lito Atienza’s Manila and elsewhere seek refuge in? Where did all the actions by the nuns, the priests, the businessmen, the workers, the NGOs, the activists, the housewives and househusbands take place in?

“Makati. Specifically, Binay’s Makati.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100625com4.html

Losing much too early NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 06/25/2010

Losing much too early

Armida Siguion-Reyna
I had promised to follow tradition and not comment on anything the President-elect would say or do for at least a 100 days after his oathtaking, a honeymoon of sorts. Some of my breakfast barkada spew venom and I just laugh over what this paper has tagged as the power clusters of the incoming administration, namely: “Sisters Inc.,” “Liberal Party officers and members,” “Kaklase Inc.,” “the Cory Veterans Group,” and the good ol’ “Kamag-anak Inc.”

Mind you, there’s also still the “Hyatt 10,” and several grouplets comprising the pro and anti-Mar Roxas groups and the pro and anti-Jojo Binay blocs, the NGOS, the activists pseudo and real, and the whatever else there is. Mind you more, the list doesn’t yet include the opposition, all these are within the winner’s camp, squaring for their share of the newly-won pie of the last elections.

The slew of organizations claiming to be malakas don’t bother me. I’m not after any position; at my age I’m much too old to beg for an appointment. There’s nothing left for me to prove, so there. I had really nothing urgent to talk about.

Until I read about the meeting between the President-elect and the Vice President-elect that took place a couple of days ago. Jojo Binay said that he had refused to accept “any Cabinet position so as not to burden the President and allow him to focus on the many challenges facing the nation,” and that was fine with me. Humanga pa ako sa kanya.
It was a re-write of what the President-elect had previously said that bothered me. I found it disturbing when I first heard it, but I pushed it away with dedma. It’s been reprinted and reprinted and now it haunts me, our new President’s declaration that notwithstanding his respect for Binay’s personal inclination towards the DILG portfolio, “I should be accorded the right to choose who I want to serve as my alter ego.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100625com5.html

Keeping the revolution alive DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 06/25/2010

Keeping the revolution alive

Herman Tiu Laurel

The transition from Gloria Arroyo to the new “Hocus-PCOSed” regime is variously described as suffused with euphoria, hope and optimism. This was what I was afraid of during the last campaign period. Elections are one of the most ingenious tools of the oligarchy to distract exploited and suffering peoples from taking the necessary steps toward achieving real control of their destinies.

The most telling victims of this ruse, for instance, who have been drawn into false hopes by mainstream media’s massive propaganda, have been the middle class and the youth. Deceptively hitched onto the Yellow bandwagon, they have actually become the poster children of oligarchic exploitation. The latest National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) survey on “rich” Filipino families (those earning P220,000 a month or P3 million a year) shows their ranks falling from 0.3 percent (51,160 of 17 million families) in 2003 to 0.1 percent (19,738 of 17.14 million families) in 2006.

This three-year decline by a whopping 65 percent happened amid a growing population and a supposedly strengthening economy (by Gloria’s “enchanted” standards). What this means is that one out of every three rich families got bumped off and downgraded to the middle class. While some may argue that this could mean a growing egalitarianism, that again is a delusion.

An earlier Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) already showed the middle class (earning P250,000 to P2 million per annum) contracting from 23 percent in 1997 to 22.7 percent in 2000, down to 19.1 percent in 2003. And yet, I don’t know how earning roughly P20,000 a month can qualify a family as middle class when that amount won’t even get a kid through a decent school.

The poor in Philippine society, as many know, have been growing in leaps and bounds throughout the past decade, reaching an abysmal self-rated poverty rate of 53 percent in November 2009. Some government surveys issued since have even eliminated the use of “lower class,” which got broken down into “low class (not poor)” and “low class (poor)” to minimize the socio-economic collapse.

I find it very sad that the numerous statistics indicating such dire state of affairs still fail to evoke in others a horror as deep as they should feel. It seems the middle class is more worked up over NBA championships and whatnot or petty political turf wars; while the masa get all mushy over a presidential sister’s marital turmoil. Here, the mainstream media are largely to blame, especially when they highlight such inanities as front page news instead of the vital socio-economic issues.

During the nine-and-a-half years of Gloria when conflicts and issues verged on total polarization and crystallization, and when the social revolution was building up to critical mass, there came three major military protest actions that had clearly-stated democratic and nation-building goals: The Bagong Katipuneros of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Para sa Bayan of Gen. Danilo Lim, and a coalition of civilian-military forces led by the two at the Manila Peninsula in Nov. 29, 2007. But the air of revolutionary fervor soon became absorbed by election fever, resulting in another setback.

Although frustration has overtaken the nationalist forces for now, there should be no dismay as the illusions will soon fade. When people — particularly the remaining middle class — face their dire realities, the impulse to revolution will be stirred anew. Even as we write, I can already feel the rumblings within the ranks of the Yellows who see the hopelessness of the system. The thing is, they should now know that their penchant for going it alone without the nation’s mass base won’t do as all of their earnest efforts will simply be taken over by elements controlled by the foreign and local oligarchy.

That being the case, the present hiatus of the revolutionary spirit becomes more of a blessing. With the latest “Yellow hope” revealing irreconcilable turf wars between competing factions; betraying marked incompetence in the Cabinet selection process, along with the interference of unelected sisters and brothers-in-law; plus the spectacle of certain Yellow writers rebelling against key personalities; notwithstanding the Hocus-PCOS and the pressure to raise taxes and utility rates, all indications show BSA III is off to an early failure. It is thus a perfect moment for “conscientizing” and crystallizing the nation’s understanding of the oppressive plutocratic-corporatist character of the present system and the restructuring of society along social-market lines similar to our progressive neighbors Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV — Infowars Edition on “The Imperative Philippine Political-Economic Revolution,” Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100625com6.html

Clarification LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 06/25/2010 Dear Editor:



Dear Editor:
We champion the media’s vigilance against the transactional politics that typified the Arroyo administration through hard-hitting news, which was attempted in the report, “Kris A peddles choice Senate posts for LP bet” by Ms. Angie Rosales, published on The Daily Tribune last June 22, 2010.
However, in equal reverence for the journalistic norms of truth and balance, the erroneous reference to Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trilllanes as having been promised by Kris Aquino “freedom to attend the Senate hearings in exchange for his vote” for Sen. Francis Pangilinan as Senate President, warrants clarification.

Despite the inclusion of information acknowledged as “not confirmed by the Senate source,” it was still falsely inferred that through Ms. Aquino’s efforts “a Senate resolution is being prepared to allow Trillanes to attend the opening session and formally cast his vote for Pangilinan.”

Had there been requisite verification of these “talks” according to unnamed sources, it would be correctly reported that Senator Trillanes has never met or spoken with Ms. Aquino.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100625com7.html

McChrystal’s radical war plan losing early luster focus 06/25/2010

McChrystal’s radical war plan losing early luster



KABUL — US Gen. Stanley McChrystal radically altered the rules of war in Afghanistan but, sacked after a year, the success or failure of his counter-insurgency masterplan will fall to David Petraeus.

The brilliant former special operations chief was appointed commander last June of what has become America’s longest war when his predecessor was pushed out for being unable to stem an unravelling war in the “graveyard of empires.”

Hand picked for his ability to develop counter-insurgency warfare to the battlefield, McChrystal devised a strategy to pour tens of thousands of extra troops into Afghanistan, win over civilians and train local forces.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100625com8.html

Key witness in massacre trial murdered By Michaela P. del Callar 06/25/2010

Key witness in massacre trial murdered

By Michaela P. del Callar

First came the recantations of witnesses to the Maguindanao massacre. Now a key witness has been killed.
The witness, Suwaib Upham, known as “Jesse” regarded by the private prosecutor as a key witness in the trial of a powerful Muslim clan accused of orchestrating the worst political massacre in the country, was shot dead, a private prosecutor said yesterday.

Upham claimed to have taken part in the November killings of 57 persons in a crime allegedly planned by his former employers, the Ampatuan clan.

“He was supposed to be one of our strongest witnesses,” Harry Roque, a lawyer representing the families of 14 media victims, told Agence France Presse. “He saw, and participated in, the killings and could have directly named in court those involved.”

Roque warned that Upham’s killing, which he was told occurred last week in the southern province of Maguindanao, could potentially weaken the case against the Ampatuan family.

US-based Human Rights Watch also said the killing raised doubts about the government’s resolve in seeing justice done in the case.

“Massacre witnesses are dying while the government sits on its hands,” the group’s Asia director Elaine Pearson said in a statement. “This sends the worst possible message to other witnesses thinking of coming forward.”

The New York-based human rights watchdog yesterday challenged President-elect Benigno Aquino III, who takes office next week, to live up to his promise of justice for the massacre victims by taking urgent measures to protect witnesses.

Human Rights Watch said the Aquino administration should provide sufficient funding to ensure adequate protection for witnesses and their families, and urged the government to promptly investigate acts of witness intimidation and killing and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

”We don’t want to hear the government say a few months down the road that it is dropping charges because there is no eyewitness testimony,” Pearson said. “Aquino should make witness protection a priority to fulfill his promise of justice for the massacre victims.”

Security forces and the Justice Department should also take the measures needed to protect witnesses’ physical safety, including relocation where necessary, and to ensure that witnesses and their families are afforded appropriate housing, Pearson said.

HRW also called on the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct prompt investigation on the latest killing of Upham, stressing that the Philippine government must act swiftly to protect witnesses and their families.

But DoJ Secretary Alberto Agra laid the blame on Roque , saying that Roque “never respected the authority of the public prosecutors...who have control over private prosecutors and not the other way around,” Agra said.
“He (Roque) never brought ‘Jesse’ for interview and evaluation before the prosecutors,” Agra said.

“How can that person (Uphami) be placed under the witness protection program? Roque even represents the victims and one of the killers,” Agra said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100625hed1.html

Plunder raps to greet GMA once she loses immunity, says solon By Gerry Baldo 06/25/2010

Plunder raps to greet GMA once she loses immunity, says solon

By Gerry Baldo
President Arroyo is going to face multiple criminal and administrative cases, including plunder, graft and violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Govern-ment Officials and Em-ployees, once she loses her immunity on June 30.

According to Rep. Teodoro Casiño of party-list Bayan Muna, one of the strong cases that would be revived against Arroyo would be in connection with the government’s botched ZTE-National Broadband Network (NBN) deal.
“The NBN-ZTE deal is a strong case against her,” he told reporters in an interview.

Casiño, referring to a Malacañang statement that Arroyo is leaving the Palace quietly, said the outgoing
President is going to lose her immunity from suit on June 30 and that it is now time to file the cases against her.

“There’s no going quietly for GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo),” he stressed. “She has to account for the nine years that she was President,” he said. “Arroyo is going to lose her immunity from suit the minute she steps down from Malacañang,” he said, adding that the target date for the filing of the plunder case would be on July 1 as June 30 is a holiday.

Casiño, however, noted that a big stumbling block to the move would be Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, an Arroyo appointee and classmate of First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100625hed2.html

Pimentel reminds Noy he’s a minority president By Angie Rosales 06/25/2010

Pimentel reminds Noy he’s a minority president

By Angie Rosales

A staunch ally reminded President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino that he will assume the top post in the nation as a minority president and he should strive to get all the support he can get from his closest allies, friends and even perceived rivals.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Noynoy is a minority president since he did not get 50 percent plus one or majority of the voters despite his huge 5-million lead over his next rival. 

“And, therefore, that being the case, as a minority president, he needs the support of all his friends and his allies. The more friends supporting him visibly, the better for him,” Pimentel said during a news forum at the Senate.

The senator’s statements were in relation to the issue involving incoming Vice President Jejomar Binay, who had rejected accepting any concurrent position in the incoming administration after apparently being crowded out of a
Cabinet position due to the several recomendees from groups who supported Aquino and are now all lobbying to get prime government posts.

Binay and Aquino met at the latter’s residence in Times St., Quezon City where the incoming vice president was reportedly offered the positions of heading the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and on a temporary capacity and as head of the commission that will investigate President Arroyo on her alleged anomalous acts which many see as palliatives since Binay was denied of a Cabinet post.

Appearing in the weekly Kapihan sa Senado, Pimentel lauded the decision made by Binay saying that it “speaks of statesmanship in him.”

“Jojo (Binay) told me, that was about three days ago, he had given a letter to Noynoy (Aquino), that was before their first meeting yesterday, to tell him that in order to lessen his headaches, he would not you know expect any appointment from him to the Cabinet which I think is a good thing because No. 1, the President-elect should have full leeway to choose whoever he wants to put in positions, power in the Cabinet,” he said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100625hed3.html

‘Graduating’ Pimentel may join Noynoy gov’t 06/25/2010

‘Graduating’ Pimentel may join Noynoy gov’t

Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay may not have any active role in the Aquino adminis-tration but one of his partymates in the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) appeared to be “in.”
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. is seen to join the incoming administration.

The “graduating” senior legislator gave broad hints regarding this matter but refused to reveal details as there is yet to be any concrete plans disclosed to him by incoming President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

Pimentel was conspicuously cautious in discussing the matter when reporters asked him of his plans now that he’s bowing out of the upper chamber after serving 17 years during the last 23 years.

Initially, Pimentel indicated that he would not be making any comeback in 2013, saying he would rather let “younger people take over.” 

When asked if he has received any offer of government post, being highly identified to be close to the Aquino family, Pimentel answered in the negative.

“None so far. I am not free to talk about anything because he (Aquino) might deny it. In other words, there’s no formal offer.

Pimentel served as minister of Local Government under former President Corazon Aquino, mother of President-elect Noynoy.

“The only time that Noynoy and I talked was when I was done with my speech at the canvass board, remember?” he said, referring to the June 10 Congress’ joint session proceedings at the Batasang Pambansa building.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100625hed4.html

Solon to CJ Corona: Beware of Cojuangco hacienda’s maneuvers 06/25/2010

Solon to CJ Corona: Beware of Cojuangco hacienda’s maneuvers


Now that the Hacienda Luisita land dispute is in the hands of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona’s First Division, a militant lawmaker called for an immediate resolution in favor of the farm workers as he called the attention of the Chief Justice to the Cojuangco-Aquino clan’s alleged maneuvers to maintain its stronghold on the controversial sugar estate.

“The Hacienda Luisita agrarian dispute remains an acid test for Chief Justice Corona,” said Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano “(And) in the face of President-elect Noynoy Aquino’s refusal to recognize Corona, a favorable decision for the farm workers will also test Aquino’s adherence to the rule of law.”

Mariano added that an immediate resolution of the case favorable to the farm workers will prevent the Cojuangco-Aquinos to reclassify and convert a large portion of the lands, and transfer ownership to other Cojuangco corporations.

Mariano was referring to the establishment of the Luisita Estate Management, and the intervention by the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) in the SC case regarding the Hacienda.

According to the RCBC Web site, “in November 1996, RCBC joined Agila Holdings, Itochu and Hacienda Luisita in putting up the Luisita Industrial Park Corp., a 300-hectare industrial park for Japanese investors.”

At the same time, reports said that Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chair Jose “Peping” Cojuangco is planning to set up a 50-hectare National Training Center inside Luisita for the country’s bid to host the 2014 Asian Games.

“We won’t be surprised if the Jose Cojuangco and Sons, Inc. will eventually have a claim over Luisita. All these maneuvers by the Cojuangcos are designed to evade the Hacienda’s distribution,” Mariano said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100625hed5.html

La Salle president gets DepEd post 06/25/2010

La Salle president gets DepEd post


De La Salle University (DLSU) president Brother Armin Luistro, who is identified with the Black and White Movement and a known supporter of President-elect Benigno Aquino lll, has accepted his offer to head the Department of Education (DepEd) under his government.

This is the second time a president of La Salle University has been tapped as chief of the Education department, after La Salle Brother Andrew Gonzales was tapped by then President Joseph Estrada as Education Secretary.
“After due consultation with various stakeholders in the Lasallian community, Bro. Armin Luistro has accepted the invitation of President-elect Aquino to be the Department of Education secretary,” a DLSU statement released on Wednesday night said.

Bro. Luistro is the sixth member of the official family of incoming President Aquino.

Other confirmed members of the Aquino Cabinet are lawyer Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa as executive secretary; lawyer Edwin Lacierda as presidential spokesman; Corazon “Dinky” Soliman as head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development; Teresita Deles as Presidential adviser for peace process, and incumbent Commission on Human Rights chief Leila De Lima as Department of Justice secretary.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100625hed6.html

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