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Hacienda redux EDITORIAL 06/26/2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hacienda redux

Click to enlarge
Hacienda Luisita was a problem during the Cory Aquino presidency and it was clear that personal interest came before national interest when Cory, being the sole law and government, as she enjoyed absolute dictatorship status then, by fiat, exempted her Hacienda Luisita while placing all rice, corn, sugar and almost every private agricultural land under her claimed centerpiece program, her Agrarian Reform project.

When the Congress reopened, after 15 years, The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law was enacted, placing all agricultural lands under CARL, including Cory’s hacienda. To go around the law, Cory again had her Agrarian Reform secretary go through a stock option deal, where, instead of land, the workers become stockholders of the Hacienda Luisita Corp. but which in the end, turned out to benefit only the Cojuangco-Aquino management, and not the workers.

This state of Hacienda Luisita affairs went on, even under the Arroyo government — until a falling out between Cory and Gloria occurred, after which, Gloria’s Agrarian secretary issued a stop to the stock holdings system, and ordered the parceling of the hacienda land to the workers.

This was quickly stopped by the Aquino-Cojuangcos who sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court that left the resolution of the case gathering dust for some four years.

Similarly, Cory’s son, Noynoy, the incoming President, is greeted with the same problem, which he has ignored throughout the campaign period, claiming that he only has a miniscule share in the hacienda, which has been parceled out for some commercial use which obviously will make the workers’ share of the land, infinitely smaller, should there be a resolution to the case before the high court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100626com1.html

Now comes the hard part FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/26/2010

Now comes the hard part

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Being proclaimed winner of the May 10, 2010 presidential race, or being inaugurated President, is the easy part. But now comes the hard part for Noynoy Aquino and his yellows: Governing without disappointing the nation too soon.

And there are a lot of problems he will be encountering, the biggest problem of which is the budget deficit, which may even become bigger than it is already is, if, by July, when the 15th Congress opens, he comes up with a super budget such as P2 trillion plus budget that, however, cannot be funded without again resorting to borrowing which in turn, will place the Filipino people deeper in debt.

There are other problems, such as his campaign pledges that have to be delivered, as these are expected by those who voted for him last May, and of course the business of governing effectively, as well as being transparent and unstained by corruption, apart from ensuring that the poor’s living conditions improve — and not just through statistics and Noynoy’s Malacañang data.

Reality says none of these can be done, whether in a hundred days, or a thousand days of his presidency.
What is more likely to happen is that he and his yellows will defocus attention from his administration’s deficiencies and divert public focus on Gloria Arroyo and allegations of their graft-ridden deals, which is what his mother, the late Cory Aquino, did when she took over power from Ferdinand Marcos.

But that was a different time, and under a different clime. Then, the Marcos extravagance was talked about in whispers, and the public welcomed the political and entertainment value of it as people were treated to the many video footage of the Malacañang tenants’ lavish lifestyle while the poor languished in poverty.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100626com2.html

Slum problem as Philippines braces for more floods focus 06/26/2010

Slum problem as Philippines braces for more floods


MANILA — Hundreds of thousands of slum dwellers remain living in flood-prone areas of the Philippine capital as the rainy season builds despite pledges to move them after a barrage of deadly storms last year.

A month into the tropical nation’s annual rainy season, entire communities that were hit hard by the disasters that killed about 1,000 persons are vigorously resisting government efforts to move them to safer places.
At the Arenda estate, a 200-hectare (494-acre) swamp in eastern Manila, the holdouts prefer to park dugout boats on their yards, ready to jump in with their meagre belongings should the floods return.

“The surroundings might be miserable, but we don’t have to pay rent,” Elvie Edaos, an unwed 52-year-old mother-of-four who barely earns a living by making dresses, told AFP.

“We can eat swamp cabbage, we can gather clams for free, and we can collect driftwood with which to cook them.”

Linked by flimsy wooden footbridges, the crowded shanties on the shore of Laguna Lake are warrens of plywood and metal sheets sitting precariously on thin stilts above the garbage-flecked water hyacinth beds.

Some sections lie below the lake’s water level, and the government says the community, colonized by poor city migrants in the mid-1990s soon after the government turned the swamp into an open dump, is a double-barrelled problem.

Not only are its residents at risk from future floods, their homes also prevent floodwaters from receding.

President Gloria Arroyo declared the slum unfit for habitation and sent in demolition teams when last year’s floodwaters finally receded, but 50,000 shanties housing nearly a quarter of a million people still stand months later.
Mother-of-two Marites Lerion lives in constant fear of both the demolition crews and the slimy water lapping at her floorboards.

“One time my son fell through the floor. He could have easily drowned,” Lerion said.

But her family cannot afford to flee because doing so would mean having her husband give up his job of driving a pedicab, which earns him P150 (about $3) a day.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100626com3.html

SC Grants Amparo, Habeas Data Plea of GI Interpreter’s Family Published on June 26, 2010 by Dateline Philippines

 SC Grants Amparo, Habeas Data Plea of GI Interpreter’s Family

Published on June 26, 2010

By Dateline Philippines

 MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has granted the petition for writs of amparo and habeas data filed by the family of Gregan Cardeño, a translator for American forces in Mindanao, who was found dead last February 2 inside his room at the Joint Special Operation Task Force (JSOTFP) military headquarters in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

In a one-page notice, the SC informed the parties to the case of its June 15 resolution granting the petition of the Cardeño family and referring the case to Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. for immediate raffling.

The high court also directed the respondents – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in her capacity as commander in chief; the Visiting Forces Agreement Commission; Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Versoza; the JSOTFP; a certain Captain Boyer and Master Sergeant Gines of the US military; General Benjamin Dolorfino, chief of the Western Mindanao Command; Brigadier General Rey Aldo of the 103rd Infantry Brigade; Colonel Felix Castro, also of the 103rd IB; Senior Police Officers 3 Ali Rangiris and Mayaman Angintaopan of the Marawi police; Police Officer 2 Mago, an intelligence officer; Captain Michael Kay; Lieutenant Junior Grade Theresa Donelly of the US Barracks, 103rd IB; Tomas Rivera III and Skylink, a subcontractor of the US Army with which Cardeño applied for the job – to submit a verified return of the writs within five days upon receipt of the resolution.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/06/26/sc-grants-amparo-habeas-data-plea-of-gi-interpreter%E2%80%99s-family/

Four Small-Scale Miners Die of Suffocation Published on June 26, 2010 by ALDWIN QUITASOL

 Four Small-Scale Miners Die of Suffocation

Published on June 26, 2010


Northern Dispatch
Posted by Bulatlat.com

BAGUIO CITY — Three small-scale miners died of suffocation inside the mining tunnels in separate towns of Abra and here in Benguet.

On June 11, in Mt. Bumurayok, Barangay Buneg, Lacub in Abra, miners identified as Junie Lingbaoan and Felix Rosario, both locals of Lacub and Federico Lang-odan of Bauko, Mt. Province lost consciousness due to the lack of oxygen inside the tunnel. The next shift of miners found them dead some hours later.

On the same day, another unidentified miner also died of suffocation in a tunnel in Mt. Capcapo, Baay-Licuan.

On June 12, miner Orlan Luis died also of suffocation due to gas poisoning inside the mining tunnel at Loacan, Antamok, Itogon, Benguet. The area was a former site of mining operations of Benguet Corporation. It was abandoned supposedly because it was mined out but later opened again by the company to small scale miners who are required to sell their produce to the company.

Gas poisoning and suffocation are frequent in the small-mining tunnels due to lack of appropriate gadgets and safety measures..... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/06/26/30080/

Human Rights Violations Still Plague Ilocos Region June 26, 2010 by Joan Garcia

Human Rights Violations Still Plague Ilocos Region

Published on June 26, 2010


VIGAN CITY — In the last months of the Arroyo administration, cases of human rights violations continue to plague the country. According to the Ilocos Human Rights Alliance, (IHRA-KARAPATAN) there are 15 cases of human rights violations with 179 individual victims in the Ilocos Region during the period of January-June 2010.

These violations include extra-judicial killings, frustrated killings, illegal search and seizure, illegal checkpoint and the camping of military forces in barangays for the Balikatan exercises.
Harassed by the CAFGU

It was supposed to be a joyous event as more than one hundred individuals including children joined the convoy of Mayor-elect Jessie Balingsat for their thanksgiving motorcade in Galimuyod, Ilocos Sur last May 11, 2010. At around 5:00 pm two unidentified elements of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and a certain Lt. Zarate stopped the motorcade, claiming that they received a report that the convoy was carrying firearms.

.... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/06/26/human-rights-violations-still-plague-ilocos-region/

NBI to probe witness’ murder 06/26/2010

PNP verifying if slain man is Upham

NBI to probe witness’ murder

Acting on orders of acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Nestor Mantaring has in turn ordered an investigation into the killing of prime witness Suwaid Upham to the Maguindanao Massacre.

But the Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday said that Upham, the witness in the gruesome Maguindanao Massacre who was killed on June 14 in Parang, Maguindanao, was not included in the PNP’s list of accused and witnesses in connection with the case, but added that the PNP is still on a verification process.

PNP deputy chief for administration Deputy Director General Jefferson Soriano said that Upham was not among the accused or witnesses listed by the PNP’s Task Force Maguindanao which was created primarily to handle the massacre case.

Task Force Maguindanao chief Senior Supt. Benito Estipona echoed Soriano’s statements after validating reports about Upham’s killing.

”We validated the report but it turned out that he was not an accused and not even a part of the witnesses surrendered to the PNP,” said Estipona.

But lawyer Harry Roque, who represents the families of 14 media massacre victims, said he had Upham’s death confirmed by at least four sources, one of whom is the Human rights group who had people on the ground..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100626hed1.html

Erap: Binay should reconsider job offer By Angie M. Rosales 06/26/2010

As tension to rise between VP and Roxas

Erap: Binay should reconsider job offer

By Angie M. Rosales

Tension between incoming Vice President Jejomar Binay and camp of defeated candidate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, is likely to heighten in the days to come, based on the statements issued by Binay to select reporters in an interview, during the oathtaking of re-elected Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada last Thursday night, saying he is out to assert himself as the country’s “No. 2 man.”

As this developed, reporters asked the opinion of former President Joseph Estrada, who says he is enjoying being just Citizen Erap, on the rejection of Binay to the job offers made by incoming Presdient Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

For Estrada, who had accepted the position offered him by then President Fidel Ramos as the anti-crime czar, even when this was not a Cabinet position, said that in his personal view, Binay should reconsider Aquino’s offer for him to head the Commission that will look into charges leveled against outgoing President Arrroyo and other scandals and scams that occurred during the nine-year administration of Arroyo.

But Binay had already reiterated that he would not reconsider his decision, saying, as one of the reasons, that he will likely not be considered a part of the Aquino team, as he is not a member of the Liberal Party.

Aquino had publicly asked Binay to reconsider his offers of a government position for Binay yesterday.

But while all is claimed to be well between Binay and Aquino, as Binay himself assured, the same cannot be said of the Roxas camp, especially with Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas’ known allies in the Cabinet, who would be actively participating in running the affairs of the Executive.

“If they see me as a threat...ergo they will never give me any opportunity,” Binay stressed.

The Vice President-elect took note of the statements made by Senate Minority Aquilino Pimentel Jr. that the Roxas’ camp is allegedly blocking any Cabinet appointment for Binay.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100626hed2.html

Lakas-Kampi ‘Trojan horses’ to dominate LP By Gerry Baldo 06/26/2010

Lakas-Kampi ‘Trojan horses’ to dominate LP

By Gerry Baldo

Members of the outgoing ruling coalition, Lakas-Kampi-CMD, are set to dominate the House contingent of the Liberal Party when the 15th Congress opens next month.

The move, described by Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño as “unprincipled on the part of Mrs. Arroyo’s allies,” would practically keep members of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD in a position of strength within the incoming administration with its members almost equally divided among the majority and the minority blocs in the House.
“Company union is not allowed,” he stressed.

Casiño, who is among those set to join the incoming administration’s coalition, explained that the members of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD should confine themselves to the minority bloc “where they have decided to stay.”

Around 50 percent of all the members of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD in the House were set to take their oath as Liberal Party (LP) members yesterday.

Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte, the LP’s bet for the speakership race, claimed that at least 60 members of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD have pledged to support him come July 26 when Congress opens and the Speaker’s post is put into a vote.

House tradition has it that those who vote for the winning Speaker would be joining the majority bloc and those who vote for the losing candidate would go to the minority bloc.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares had warned Belmonte about entering into a coalition with his former colleagues in the Arroyo-backed Lakas-Kampi-CMD even as Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino said there were no strings attached to the party decision to support Belmonte.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100626hed3.html

Palace shows Noynoy goodwill, allots P10M for Aquino inaugural 06/26/2010

 Palace shows Noynoy goodwill, allots P10M for Aquino inaugural

Malacañang has set aside P10 million, courtesy of the Office of the President, to help cover the expenses for the inaugural activites of President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino which in-cludes the logistics and the accommodations for the visiting heads of government on June 30.

“This (budget) was just drawn out of goodwill — we just set it aside to fast-track the payment for their suppliers because we’re already in a rush, given the fact that we have only a few days left. If we haven’t earmarked this, the regular processing will take long and, of course, we also want to give our full support and to make sure that the inaugural event will be successful,” outgoing Presidential Management Staff (PMS) chief Maria Elena Bautista-Horn yesterday said.

Aquino’s spokes-man, lawyer Edwin Lacierda, who visited the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) also yesterday, revealed that the heads of government of Malaysia, Thailand and head of state of East Timor have already confirmed their attendance for Aquino’s inauguration.

He said they are still awaiting confirmation from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) if the brother of King Abdullah Bin Aziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is also coming to witness the ceremony to be held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

“We are doing our part. We are doing our separate transitions right now. I think that one (invitation to the brother of the KSA King) would be from the DFA. They will be releasing the names of the heads-of-states and all the envoys coming over in representation of the heads of states,” he told reporters.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100626hed4.html

Noy’s spokesman vows transparency, media accessibility By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Pat C. Santos 06/26/2010

Noy’s spokesman vows transparency, media accessibility

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Pat C. Santos
Incoming President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, through his spokesman Edwin Lacierda, will make himself accessible to the media and will be holding weekly press conferences with the Malacanang media to keep the public posted on his activities.

But shortly after saying this, Lacierda backtracked on his claim of a once-weekly press conference, saying Aquino will make himself accessible to the media as much as possible.

Lacierda, who dropped by at the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) yesterday, changed his tack, intimating instead that Aquino will certainly try to do that.

“He (Aquino) will have press conferences. You were in the campaign. You have seen how he has been ambushed day after day, unless… Of course, this is a different configuration right now as President, the PSG (Presidential Security Group) would be more conscious of his security. It (press briefing arrangement) depends on the President-elect,” Lacierda explained.

Lacierda also explained that they are still in the process of contemplating whether the OPS, in the process of contemplating whether the OPS, as it is known today, will be abolished by the next administration to bring back the previous Office of the Communications Director (OCD).

The talk going around is that Aquino will not have a press secretary but a presidential spokesman, while the media affairs will be handled by an overall chief, rumored to be ABS-CBN TV broadcaster Ricky Carandang with divisions of radio, TV and print under him.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100626hed5.html

Palace: GMA ready to face the music By Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/26/2010

Palace: GMA ready to face the music

By Aytch S. de la Cruz

Outgoing President Arroyo is not bothered by the slew of criminal and administrative charges which Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño is reportedly bent on filing against her once she loses her immunity from suit after stepping down from the presidency, Malaca-ñang officials yesterday said.

According to Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza, they have always expected this particular scenario to unfold once they leave their positions in the government on June 30 and so they have already prepared themselves to take on these challenges.

“Well, that’s their right, you know, as citizens of this republic, in honor of our democracy and they can file those cases. But the important thing here is that we hope they can have respect for due process and respect for the rule of our legal institutions,” he said in a chance interview. 

Mendoza is reportedly included in the charges which Casiño is set to file before the court on July 1 owing to his alleged involvement in the aborted national broadband network (NBN) contract that the government forged with China’s Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Co. (ZTE).

Casiño said he is also going to sue Arroyo’s husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, expressing belief that he is the brains behind the alleged corrupt practices that ensued between the government and ZTE officials which ignited the controversy.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100626hed6.html

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