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Truth from when EDITORIAL 07/04/2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Truth from when

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There is something quirky about President Noynoy Aquino forming the Truth Commission in that he may end up investigating his own mother on questions about her allowing their relatives who from 1986 to 1992 were accused of exerting influence to corner government contracts or meddle in government affairs.

The open-ended function of the commission, which will be headed by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, an appointment also under close public scrutiny, will make all so-called “unresolved issues” in past administrations qualified to be lodged with it and investigated.

Since its function is to give a closure to issues, it would seem that only former President Joseph Estrada would be exempted from being probed by the body due to the fact that allegations against him were brought to the court and he was convicted, albeit in a highly dubious manner, of plunder and was subsequently given presidential pardon.
Stopping at Gloria’s already voluminous cases of misrule and abuse would make the Truth Commission vulnerable to accusations of bias. While the most celebrated unresolved issues happened during Gloria’s nine-year rule, the list of such issues goes way back to the Aguinaldo administration.

It would be unfair for the Truth Commission to deny a case that may be filed against former President Ramos for allegations that he amassed bigger kickbacks on build-operate-transfer contracts for power plants built during his term, which pushed up the prices of electricity that Filipinos are suffering from right now.

How about the unresolved issue on the Public Estate Authority-Amari sweetheart land reclamation deal or the unresolved Centennial fund scam which was unfairly pinned on former Vice President Doy Laurel?... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100704com1.html

Time is right for Cha-cha FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/04/2010

Time is right for Cha-cha

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Pretty obvious it was that Noynoy Aquino and his allies were dodging the issue of getting the Charter change (Cha-cha) going, as he said he will be forming a commission to study this measure, while also saying that this would not be a priority, since looking into the fiscal situation is the priority.

As for his allies, including the Catholic bishops and the yellows, they all are against Cha-cha (again) saying that it is too early to do the Cha-cha, or the usual now is not the right time argument making one wonder when in hell would be the right time since Cha-cha has been called for since 1992 and this was the same argument raised.

Others slammed Gloria Arroyo, a bona-fide legislator, for having the gall to file a resolution calling for a constitutional convention (con-con).

But what is wrong with Gloria filing a Cha-cha resolution? She certainly has the right to do so, and if Congress has the right numbers, it certainly can effect Cha-cha — no matter who filed the bill.

In any case, if the bill passes, and Congress enacts this measure, it will still have to go to the people, for the draft’s ratification.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100704com2.html

Letter to President Aquino ENQUIRY Demaree J. B. Raval 07/04/2010

Letter to President Aquino

Demaree J. B. Raval
Dear President Aquino
Forgive me for not addressing you by the moniker that millions of Filipinos now seem to have embraced in reference to you. I am referring to the hyphenated P-Noy, a term coined when the incontrovertibility of winning was a clear and present blessing and no longer an arguable proposition. You have campaigned as Noynoy, true. And I could bet that somewhere in our archipelago of 1,700 islands inhabited by 94 million Filipinos, there are still quite a good number who do not know that your full name is Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III. 

You are and always will be Noynoy to millions, and now that you are president what could come easier and smoother to the tongue than P-Noy? Admittedly, if one cares to style your initials in the fashion of that which the press and obsequious staffers referred your predecessor, the P-Noy tag is much better. Could you imagine PBSCA III? Horrific! Or BCA, as in the FVR of President Ramos? Not likely. With P-Noy, the assonance is so euphonious that the term becomes at once a contraction of Pinoy, the popular term which we Filipinos now proudly call ourselves here and abroad. So by clever coinage: P-Noy. P(resident) Noy(noy), the current iteration of the proud Pinoy. P-Noy, President of the Philippines.

It saddens me sometimes that we Pinoys have arrived at a stage in our culture where addressing people by their formal names is taken as a sign of condescension or snobbishness. “Hey, Cruz, could you see me at my office?” would strike an offended chord in one’s self-esteem, so we go: “Hey, Johnny, could you see me at my office?” There — that’s betterer, as my friend Leina de Legazpi would say; it doesn’t smack of any hint of haughtiness that, our ancestors used to think, characterized the speech of our former imperious, patronizing colonists when they addressed the peasantry.

Oh, we’d like to be known as a race of smiling people whose very pores are oozing with friendliness on every occasion. So we prefer the familiar to the formal. We become so cloyingly familiar and friendly with our public officials that it becomes de rigueur to address our mayors as Jojo, our undersecretaries as Jocjoc, and our senators as Nene even in instances when the form of address or honorific for the official rank demands it. I can almost imagine it: “Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor and privilege for me to introduce…P-Noy!” Or in news bulletins: “P-Noy yesterday announced that it is the foremost duty of his government to lift the nation from poverty through honest and effective governance.” I wonder how we sound to other nations when they hear, or read, about this reverse condescension!... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100704com3.html

Conflict of interest issues hound P-Noy’s Customs picks BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 07/04/2010

Conflict of interest issues hound P-Noy’s Customs picks

Louie Logarta
For the wang-wang to have figured so prominently, and in a negative way at that, in President Noynoy Aquino’s much-anticipated inaugural speech at the Luneta last week, we can only surmise that it must have been associated with some really unfortunate previous experience, so much so that whenever he found himself riding in his car and out of the blue would hear them blaring in the distance to announce the arrival of some VIP’s convoy, it would conjure up some bitter memory of his distant past.

That it was placed in paragraph no. 6 of the very first page of his finely-crafted Tag-lish speech bespeaks its significance in the life of the newly-minted chief executive.

Taking its cue from P-Noy, the monicker which Mr. Aquino wishes to go by, Malacañang officials dutifully announced they would henceforth be strictly enforcing the provisions of the existing Presidential Decree No. 96 that limits the use of wang-wangs — street lingo for the obnoxious sirens that had come to be de rigeur for the cars of powerful politicians, businessmen, police and military officers, etc. wishing to beat the suffocating traffic jams that have been bedeviling Metro Manila motorists for so many years now — only to official vehicles assigned to the Office of the President, the Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Supreme Court Chief Justice, as well as the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Land Transportation Office, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Fire Protection and hospital ambulances.

During his maiden address as the President of the Republic, P-Noy stressed he wasn’t keen on using such sirens on the presidential limousine that he would be using to take him to official functions, which was often the practice of public officials in the past to be able to counter-flow traffic.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100704com4.html

Stability and growth C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 07/04/2010

Stability and growth

Jonathan De la Cruz
Here’s what President Noynoy Aquino III (It will probably take sometime before I can get used to addressing our Chief Executive using the abbreviated P. Noy) said immediately after addressing the men and women of the AFP for the first time two days ago during the turnover ceremonies for newly installed AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David: “...I emphasized that more than anything, loyalty has to be to the institution, to the flag, to the Constitution and not to any single person or personal interest...” The reiteration, not mere clarification, was expected given the antecedent verbal tussles, if we may call it that, featuring the then President-elect and then AFP Chief of Staff Delfin Bangit and his then nominal boss, DND Secretary Bert Gonzales. In the course of their farewell visits to various units, the Bangit-Gonzales duo, engaged P. Noy in a running argument to overturn his decision “not to have Bangit as his Chief of Staff.” The duo’s argument used all kinds of democratic sophistry, as it were, in insisting that Bangit be retained. Well, P. Noy maintained Bangit’s designation was irregular, a variation on the unwanted “midnight appointment” rule beloved by the previous regime and, worse, was essentially undemocratic. The message in no uncertain terms was clear: Bangit’s retention would unduly politicize the military, put him and his administration on a bind and thus, contribute to the kind of instability which will deter growth and, possibly, even national healing. In a word, responsible governance can only be founded on the stability of our institutions and processes not on the whims and caprices, the uncrated swings in the manner we conduct our affairs. The need for stability cannot be more critical than in the case of our security forces and, perhaps more importantly, the dispensers of justice — as these institutions have, in more ways than one, are legally empowered with life and death decisions over our people.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100704com5.html

‘Wang-wang wee’ TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 07/04/2010

‘Wang-wang wee’

Larry Faraon, OP
The “wang-wang” traffic mess experience of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino must have traumatized him deeply that it bit a mouthful in his inaugural speech at the Quirino Grandstand last Wednesday.

Immediately, as if on cue, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), like new born suckers (sip-sip) enthusiastically ganged up on siren bearing vehicles and drivers as if the latter were wanted traffic violators of the criminal genre. Then on the first day of his working day, the newly installed President cruised Times Street toward Camp Aguinaldo without the usual eardrum bashing sirens from the Presidential Security Vehicles and violated the time honored military punctuality by 35 minutes. Besides the usual excuse of “traffic jams” some people may have thought “why should there be a rush” — as one popular car sticker writes, “Don’t follow me, I’m on my way to work.” Punctuality belongs to the ethics of work and professionalism.

Precisely, this the role of those sirens — a man who leads and governs a 90 million population to development and progress cannot afford to waste away man hours in traffic jams, stopping at every red light at every intersection, unless the passenger or the driver himself is delighted by the flashes of intermittent changing of colors from green to red to orange and so on. There is work to do and delays cannot be tolerated especially when this country has a fresh mandate to enthusiastically participate in a highly underscored promise of reforms. The people are willing to work with this new government, and they want to fast track the backlog. Unwanted delays betrays a less serious attitude towards a commitment to do a job.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100704com6.html

Tillers get same rough treatment at Mendiola By Charlie V. Manalo 07/04/2010


Tillers get same rough treatment at Mendiola

By Charlie V. Manalo
Barely on its third day of office, the administration of President Benigno Aquino appeared to have bared its fangs when elements of the Philippine National Police-Manila Police District (PNP-MPD) yesterday dispersed the Farmers Camp-Out for Genuine Land Reform at the foot of Mendiola Bridge on its fourth day, arresting 41 striking farmers.

The striking farmers from Southern Tagalog were seeking the distribution of the more than 7,000-hectare Hacienda Yulo in Canlubang, Calamba, Laguna. The first two days of the camp-out was joined by Hacienda Luisita farmworkers who are also demanding the distribution of the 6,000-hectare sugar estate owned by the Cojuangco family of the President.

Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano condemned the dispersal and called on the police to immediately release the 41 farmers, including Servillano Luna Jr., campaign officer of the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura and a consultant in Mariano’s office, who was arrested while negotiating with the police.

Mariano said that the 39 farmers are “the first casualties of the Aquino administration” and that the incident “signals the continuation of state-sponsored human rights violations.”

“This is a portent of things to come under the Aquino administration. Instead of heeding their demands, their peaceful demonstration was violently dispersed,” he said. 

Reports said that the police unit that dispersed the farmers protest camp-out is in civilian clothes.

“We demand the immediate release of Luna and all the arrested farmers. It is the right of farmers to demand the free distribution of the lands they cultivate and develop,” says Mariano, who also chairs the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

As of press time, the farmers are grouped inside the jail while Luna was isolated at the General Assignments Section of the MPD. 

Hacienda Luisita farmworkers also claim that the military have started harassing them.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100704hed1.html

Another group holding Yusoph; rescue attempt failed anew By Charlie V. Manalo 07/04/2010

Another group holding Yusoph; rescue attempt failed anew

By Charlie V. Manalo

The kidnapped son of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Elias Yusoph has been handed over to another group in Lanao del Sur, a military official yesterday said.

It was the reason the kidnappers were allegedly asking for P25-million ransom in exchange for the liberty of Nuralden Yusoph, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino.
Quoting a report from 103rd Infantry Brigade chief Brig. Gen. Rey Ardo, Dolorfino said the suspects were believed hiding either in Marawi City or in municipalities surrounding it.

“He was moved to different places and the group handling him now is asking for ransom,” Dolorfino added.
According to Ardo, several rescue operations had been conducted in Marawi City and nearby areas following intelligence reports that the victim was being kept in the city.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100704hed2.html

Noynoy, spokesman take full day off 07/04/2010

Noynoy, spokesman take full day off

President Aquino was nowhere to be found by Palace reporters yesterday as even his spokesman said he did not know why on his fourth day in office his schedule was a blank for the whole day.

It turned out Lacierda was also not in Malacañang and was out of town on a day off.

Prior to being inducted into office, Aquino also took a whole week off which he said was a way to recharge himself from his grueling job as president.

“I don’t know his schedule for the weekend so I cannot make any conclusions,’’ Lacierda told reporters through a text message.

Certain sectors have noted the frequent rest periods Arroyo and his habitually late on appointments as possible drawbacks to his administration which is saddled with huge problems inherited from the administration of former President Arroyo.

Aquino was late last Friday for the change of command at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo which the Palace said was due to Aquino’s refusal to use sirens for the presidential vehicle convoy. 

Aquino will continue not using sirens even if he comes late to scheduled activities, Lacierda had said. 

Lacierda told Malacanang reporters during his media interview at the Press Working Area at the New Executive Building on Friday President Aquino would like to lead by example in not using sirens or what Aquino called as wang-wang in his inaugural speech. 

According to Lacierda, even P-Noy’s mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino, in the first three months in office never used wang-wang in her presidential convoy.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100704hed3.html

Gloria true to shameless form in filing Cha-cha — JV 07/04/2010

Gloria true to shameless form in filing Cha-cha — JV

Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo’s bid to revive moves to tinker with the Constitution by filing a bill for Charter change (Cha-cha) was a shameless move, San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said yesterday.

“It is as if her reign for nine years was not enough. GMA’s shameless move for Charter change only validates her real intention of seeking a House seat,” Ejercito said.

“She is hitting two birds with one stone with that resolution, to try and perpetuate herself in power as prime minister and to avoid prosecution from alleged corruption crimes,” he explained.

Nevertheless, Ejercito said Arroyo’s move did not come as a surprise. 

“What can we expect from someone who has been avoiding conviction from corruption for nine years? GMA has shown once again how discontented and hungry for power she is,” the lone district representative added.

Instead of using her position in the House for Cha-cha, Ejercito said Arroyo should divert focus on explaining her involvement in anomalies during her term. 

“She cannot hide for long behind Constitutional protection. I challenge her to face bravely her involvement in corruption issues,” he said. 

Arroyo’s Cha-cha bill also came under fire from Catholic prelates. 

“It is beyond common sense that on the first day of her incumbency she would file a resolution before the House of Representatives for a Charter change,” this was according to Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz.
The prelate, in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Web site also said, “The only conclusion that can be logically drawn from this audacity par excellence is that the lady simply cannot let go of power and cannot be either calmed or cooled.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100704hed4.html

Maguindanao security panel to assess ‘state of emergency’ 07/04/2010

Maguindanao security panel to assess ‘state of emergency’

Newly installed Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu said he will convene for the first time his Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) next week to decide whether to recommend the lifting or retention of the declaration of state of emergency in the province.

The state of emergency has been in effect in Maguindanao, as well as Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City, following the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan, Maguindanao that left 57 persons dead, including Mangudadatu’s wife Jenalyn, relatives, lawyers and 30 journalists.

“The PPOC will meet to decide on the issue, the security situation is our concern,” Mangudadatu said in a radio interview.

As governor of the province, Mangudadatu heads the PPOC.

Malacañang issued Presidential Proclamation 1946 that placed Cotabato City and the two provinces under a state of emergency to intensify the manhunt for about 200 suspects in the mass killing. 

Many of the suspects were members of the provincial militiamen under former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr.

Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, Eastern Mindanao Command chief and overall military ground commander in Maguindanao, said it was aimed at “preventing and suppressing the occurrence of similar other incidents of lawless violence.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100704hed5.html

Dacer daughter banks on Noy gov’t to pursue case vs Lacson 07/04/2010

Dacer daughter banks on Noy gov’t to pursue case vs Lacson

The daughter of slain publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer yesterday said President Aquino knows the feeling of a person deprived of justice and that she believes under the new administration justice will be finally served.
“I think one of his (Aquino’s) programs is to pursue justice for all,” Karina Dacer said in a radio interview.

She added Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson cannot just run away whenever he wants to and returns back to the country if he so desires.

Lacson has been tagged as the one who ordered the abduction and execution of Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000, during which time, he was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Karina believes that under the Aquino administration, the Department of Justice (DoJ) will be fair this time.
She hopes that the double murder case against Lacson will now continuously push through.

Lawyer Demetrio Custodio, the legal counsel of the Dacer family, said even if Lacson was a senator, he should be arrested on the basis of the warrant of arrest issued by a Manila court against him once he surfaced.

Lacson flew out of the country on Jan. 5, 2010, a month before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 18 issued an arrest warrant against him and resolved the motion for judicial determination of probable cause filed by the senator.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100704hed6.html

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