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Pledge made, pledge broken EDITORIAL 07/06/2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pledge made, pledge broken



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
07/06/2010
One of the most stupid soundbites made during the new Malacañang tenant’s inaugural speech was his pledge of no more wang-wangs, as a result of which he was late for his appointments.

His yellows in media who cheered this spiel as though it was an earth-shaking policy that transforms both the presidency and the Filipino people, now appear to realize the stupidity of this no blaring sirens policy, now saying that wang-wangs should be banned for all officials and VIPs — except the President.

This is a curious argument, considering that the yellows appear to believe that it is only the President who should have exclusive use of these sirens, and no other high public official, and wasn’t the cheering of the no sirens policy being projected then by the media as Noynoy Aquino being one with the people, to the extent of showing that he is not only the people’s President, but also the servant of the Filipino people?

Stated differently, all other high public officials, whether the Vice President, the Senate President, the Speaker and the Chief Justice, not to mention visiting foreign VIPs, are deemed unimportant by the yellows, and that their appointments are not important either for them to come on time, as they will naturally be held up in the horrendous traffic that Metro Manilans are subjected to every day.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100706com1.html


Ain’t over till it’s over FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/06/2010

Ain’t over till it’s over



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
07/06/2010
It may not look like it right now, but Johnny Ponce-Enrile may just have the best of chances to retain the post of Senate president, that is, if the presidency is handed to him on a virtual silver platter, rather than his campaigning for it.

While it may look as though it is Kiko Pangilinan who has more or less wrapped up the votes to make him Senate president, it may not be all that it seems.

The equation is simple enough: There are supposedly at least four blocs within the Senate that have pledged to vote as blocs.

Enrile has said that four of them will be voting as a bloc, the bloc being composed of Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Greg Honasan and Tito Sotto, or so it was said.

Ed Angara also has a bloc of five to seven, or so it is being claimed. The Angara bloc members are: Angara, Migz Zubiri, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla and Loren Legarda.

The Villar bloc is said to be composed largely of his Nacionalista partymates, who are the Cayetanos, Pia and Alan Peter, Villar, Bong Bong Marcos, Miriam Santiago and Joker Arroyo, making six in the bloc.

The Liberal Party with Kiko Pangilinan heading the bloc, has five sure votes: Pangilinan, Frank Drilon, Serge Osmeña, Ralph Recto and TG Guingona, with an additional vote from detained Sen. Sonny Trillanes, if he will be allowed to attend the opening of Congress and cast his vote for Pangilinan.

If Trillanes does get that furlough from both the court and the military, you can be sure that the new Malacañang tenant will have dipped his presidential finger in both the judiciary and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to get Trillanes to appear in the Senate and give his vote.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100706com2.html


Years of prison, but no justice for Haiti’s women inmates FEATURE 07/06/2010

Years of prison, but no justice for Haiti’s women inmates



FEATURE

07/06/2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE — The inmates at Haiti’s only women’s prison cry out in desperation as warden Marie-Yolaine Mathieu makes her rounds, hoping that she will hear their case and perhaps, help secure their release.

“Director, director, I need to speak to you,” calls out one woman with matted hair and a blemished face, whose days of incarceration without a conviction turned first into weeks and now months.

Like so many others, the woman makes a futile plea for Mathieu’s intervention.

“I’ve been in this prison for six months. I have a 10-year-old child who has not been cared for since my mother died during the earthquake,” she cried.

“I can’t take it any more,” she screams, beside herself with despair.
 
This impoverished Caribbean country’s broken judicial system has failed its citizens at every turn. But it has been especially delinquent in prosecuting those who face criminal charges but have never been convicted of crimes.
Haiti’s main in prison in Port-au-Prince was virtually destroyed by the 7.0-magnitude quake on Jan. 12, and almost all of its estimated 4,000 male prisoners escaped.

But the women’s institution — condemned years ago by UN officials as “cruel and inhumane” — still holds its unhappy occupants. This was built for around 30 inmates houses 300.

The prison director said however said she feels for the women, but that she is powerless to improve their plight.
“They keep arresting the women and sending them to us,” Mathieu said, “and the criminal justice system does not free them. What is one to do?”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100706com3.html


Gambling center of Asia MR. EXPOSE Amb. Ernesto Maceda 07/06/2010

Gambling center of Asia



MR. EXPOSE
Amb. Ernesto Maceda
07/06/2010
Archbishop Oscar Cruz has correctly asked President Benigno Aquino III to bare his gambling policy after he appointed Ateneo classmate Cristino “Bong” Naguiat as Chairman/CEO of Pagcor.

Since he ran and won on a platform of anti-corruption and choosing the high moral road, P-Noy must look with priority into the current gambling situation which is the worst of all of Asia and probably the world except Las Vegas.
Under GMA, FG and Ephraim Genuino, there have been literally more than a thousand casinos, Internet gambling parlors, poker parlors, bingo halls, slot machine parlors, small town lottery outlets and recently, Jai-Alai off track betting parlors and soon dog racing in Mandaue, Cebu. And the casinos are much bigger. Maxims Casino will have 1,000 tables in five floors.
All of these gambling outlets alongside jueteng collectors, masiao outlets, daily horseracing, daily cockfights, you can also bet on boxing, NBA, PBA and UAAP basketball games by telephone or text.
Just like revenue collecting Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs, Pagcor has become a lucrative cash cow for the powers that be. If ran honestly, Pagcor can produce P5 billion more of revenue.
Franchises highly disadvantageous to the government have been granted to Maxims, Marina Hyatt and Fontana Leisure resorts.
Note that there are now more than 25 casinos in the greater Metro Manila area including Thunderbird resorts in Binangonan, Rizal and also in Imus, Cavite. There are six casinos in Angeles City alone. There are casinos in Olongapo City, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, Tagaytay, Poro Point, Laoag, Dakak/Dapitan and the Cagayan CEZA in Sta. Ana.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100706com4.html


Gambling center of Asia MR. EXPOSE Amb. Ernesto Maceda 07/06/2010

Gambling center of Asia



MR. EXPOSE
Amb. Ernesto Maceda
07/06/2010
Archbishop Oscar Cruz has correctly asked President Benigno Aquino III to bare his gambling policy after he appointed Ateneo classmate Cristino “Bong” Naguiat as Chairman/CEO of Pagcor.

Since he ran and won on a platform of anti-corruption and choosing the high moral road, P-Noy must look with priority into the current gambling situation which is the worst of all of Asia and probably the world except Las Vegas.
Under GMA, FG and Ephraim Genuino, there have been literally more than a thousand casinos, Internet gambling parlors, poker parlors, bingo halls, slot machine parlors, small town lottery outlets and recently, Jai-Alai off track betting parlors and soon dog racing in Mandaue, Cebu. And the casinos are much bigger. Maxims Casino will have 1,000 tables in five floors.
All of these gambling outlets alongside jueteng collectors, masiao outlets, daily horseracing, daily cockfights, you can also bet on boxing, NBA, PBA and UAAP basketball games by telephone or text.
Just like revenue collecting Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs, Pagcor has become a lucrative cash cow for the powers that be. If ran honestly, Pagcor can produce P5 billion more of revenue.
Franchises highly disadvantageous to the government have been granted to Maxims, Marina Hyatt and Fontana Leisure resorts.
Note that there are now more than 25 casinos in the greater Metro Manila area including Thunderbird resorts in Binangonan, Rizal and also in Imus, Cavite. There are six casinos in Angeles City alone. There are casinos in Olongapo City, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, Tagaytay, Poro Point, Laoag, Dakak/Dapitan and the Cagayan CEZA in Sta. Ana.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100706com4.html


Help NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 07/06/2010

Help



NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
07/06/2010
I fired my new maid the other day. If I had my druthers, the other one would have gone as well, except that she had been with me for a little over three months and I’m hoping against hope she still somewhat makes the grade. Which I doubt very much. We don’t get good helpers anymore, the better ones have gone to greener pastures abroad.

Truthfully, it was no longer hunky-dory between me and the one I let go. She couldn’t remember instructions and wouldn’t write them down either. With my own long-term memory going bonkers, it was getting harder and harder for me to rely on someone just as forgetful.

Our last scene had to do with the CD remote control I could not find in my office. It was not in the usual place where I put it, on the counter behind the atril I use for my solo rehearsals for “Aawitan Kita sa Makati.” 

An atril, by the way, is a music rack, or a music stand, where a musician props up his score sheet to guide him as he plays his musical instrument. Pianos come with a built-in atril; singers and orchestra members use the stand-alone type. I’m bringing this in as just last week I sung in a public gathering, so I wanted an atril on standby, where I could easily glance at the lyrics in case I forgot any. I must have asked three people about it, and they all said there was none. As it turned out, there was a lectern onstage. No one knew what an atril was, that it served the same purpose as the lectern. It would have been easier if people had forthrightly asked, “Ano ho’ng atril?” But no one did.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100706com5.html


A ghetto for parties with programs? AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 07/06/2010

A ghetto for parties with programs?



AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
07/06/2010
An explanation is required concerning last week’s column and, more particularly, its table. This, you may recall, detailed the fortunes of the left parties in the party-list elections since 2004. There were, however, five errors in the table, presumably the result of a technical glitch occurring somewhere along the stretch of road between my e-mail attachment and the published paper.

Four of the errors occurred in the 2004 column, where the figures for the ranking of Anak ng Bayan, Suara Bangsamoro, Migrante and Akbayan were duplicated in the column giving the votes of those parties. Thus, for example, the vote for Akbayan, which came in at number 3 in 2004, was shown not as 852,473, but 852,4733. Probably, most readers had been able to work out what had happened. This may not have been the case, however, with the 2010 column, where the Anak Pawis vote was shown as 45,628 instead of 445,628, the first four having migrated to the column on the left.
Last week’s column suggested that the fact the left has ended up with nine party-list seats out of a final total of 57 (the final results are still, at the time of writing, to be announced), might be the subject of sober reflection.
There will probably be reflection anyway. The Makabayan group’s decision to field Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza as guest senatorial candidates on Manny Villar’s Nacionalista ticket will, presumably, be hotly debated on a number of grounds, including the disappointing (for both Villar and them) results, and the controversies which emerged during Villar’s campaign and provoked visible discomfort in Ocampo.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100706com6.html


Job discrimination riles China’s Uighurs focus 07/06/2010

Job discrimination riles China’s Uighurs



focus

07/06/2010
URUMQI — Tursun’s eyes well up as she describes life as a Uighur in China, which she says is marred by overt discrimination in the job market — a source of much bitterness in the restive city of Urumqi.

“There are so many young Uighurs here who have been abroad, who speak perfect English, perfect Japanese,” the shopkeeper says in the violence-scarred capital of far-western Xinjiang region.

“But they can’t find good jobs despite that,” she says, gesturing to rows of market stalls and the vendors minding them.

“I’ve been for many job interviews here but they wouldn’t hire me because I’m a Uighur.”

Many Uighurs in Xinjiang complain about what they say is a job market openly skewed against them, with many of the better-paid professional and technical jobs going to members of the country’s Han Chinese majority.

That resentment boiled over on July 5 last year, when some mainly Muslim Uighurs took to the streets of Urumqi in a protest that descended into violence against the Han Chinese. Han mobs then sought revenge in the following days.

The government said the unrest — the worst ethnic clashes in China for decades — left nearly 200 dead and 1,700 injured. So far, 26 persons have been sentenced to death for their roles in the mayhem.

Tursun, who asked that her real name be withheld out of fear of reprisals, maintains a steely stare as tears begin to roll down her cheeks.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100706com7.html


Truth body may include probe of FVR, Erap terms By Aytch S. de la Cruz 07/06/2010

Truth body may include probe of FVR, Erap terms


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
07/06/2010
Former President Arroyo, now Rep. Gloria Arroyo, may no longer be the focus of the so-called Truth Commission which is being created by President Noynoy Aquino, and which body will be headed by former Supreme Court Chief Justice and former permanent Philippine ambassador to the United Nations, Hilario Davide Jr.

Instead, the Arroyo probe may include probes of alleged irregularities and abuses committed by previous administrations, including the Ramos and Estrada administrations, it was broadly hinted by presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda yesterday, as he spoke of the probability of widening the scope of the truth commission.

Lacierda gave this statement in response to the reported suggestion made by Church leaders represented by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales not to focus solely on Arroyo, but to include past presidents, although Lacierda clarified that it is up to Davide to decide on this matter given his authority to oversee the said commission.

Lacierda, who speaks for the President, categorically stated that the Palace is open to this idea of widening the scope of the probe but that all it can do is to merely recommend this position to Davide himself pending the parameters he will be seeking for the commission’s powers.

Earlier, it was reported that Aquino himself would be providing the parameters of the commission, but apparently, he is leaving everything to Davide.

It was not made clear by Lacierda, however, if the Cory administration’s irregularities will also be included in the recommendation for inclusion in widening the scope of probe.

There were many firesales made from sequestered companies suspected by the Cory government as part of the Marcos properties, with the Cojuangco relatives buying these up at bargain prices, as well as the overpricing of the generators purchased during the power crisis that gave the country 12 hours brownouts daily under the Cory presidency.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100706hed1.html


LP coalition partners to get juicy posts in the House By Gerry Baldo 07/06/2010

LP coalition partners to get juicy posts in the House


By Gerry Baldo
07/06/2010
Liberal Party (LP) members and their coalition partners are going to get juicy posts in the House of Representatives when the 15th Congress opens on July 26.

According to LP spokesman Rep. Lorenzo Tanada III, the party is currently in the thick of negotiations with those who are going to support the speakership bid of Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte even as the key positions like those of the deputy speakers would all be held by members of the Liberal party.

“On the part of LP, we are now talking with some people who are interested. (Samar) Rep. Raul Daza who was formerly a deputy speaker. There is (Zamboanga) Rep. Maria Isabel Climaco, (Batangas), Rep. Hermilando Mandanas and myself will likely be deputy speakers,” Tanada said yesterday.

He added that the post of the majority leader would most likely go to Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales III, a former Lakas Kampi CMD officer who jumped to the LP before the campaign period for the May election. The majority leader also heads the Committee on Rules.

“What is being discussed in the next few days and weeks is how these committees will be distributed to the different coalition partners who are supporting Rep. Belmonte,” he said, stressing that the post of the speaker is “already in the bag” for Belmonte who has the support of over 150 lawmakers.

Among the LP coalition partners are the Nacionalist Peoples Coalition, the Nationalista Party, the Lakas Kampi CMD, the PDP Laban and some partylist groups.

Half of the 150 lawmakers who are going to vote for Belmonte are members of the ruling Liberal Party.

Tanada said that there are also plans to collapse committees and create new ones to give way to the LP’s allies. Currently there are 57 standing committees in the House.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100706hed2.html


Impunity persists as first activist slain under Aquino By Charlie V. Manalo 07/06/2010

Impunity persists as first activist slain under Aquino


By Charlie V. Manalo
07/06/2010

The culture of impunity, widely identified with the administration of former President Arroyo, has persisted under President Aquino after two consecutive killings believed to have been politically motivated, the latest of which was an activist felled by gunmen yesterday.

Fernando Baldomero, an area coordinator for the leftist Bayan Muna (Nation First) group was shot in the head and neck as he was taking his children to school in Lezo, Aklan, police said.

“He is the first activist killed in five days into the new Aquino administration,” Bayan Muna said in a statement.
The militant group held the military responsible for the murder, linking it to the killings of other leftists in recent years.
Over the weekend, a veteran journalist in Kalinga province was shot dead inside his home. According to Tabuk City police, Jose Daguio, a reporter of local radio station Radyo Natin and columnist of community paper was slain while having dinner in his home around 8 p.m. last Saturday.

Investigators is looking at a dispute over a public works contract as possible motive behind the murder. Citing results of initial investigation obtained by the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Daguio, Cordillera Regional Director, Chief Supt Villamor Bumanglag said 75-year old Daguio was involved in a public works project of the Tuga waterworks system in Tuga, Tabuk City, Kalinga.

“Mr Aquino must send a clear message to state security forces that these killings have to end and perpetrators will be prosecuted, heads must roll in the armed forces,” Bayan Muna said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100706hed3.html


DoJ chief to inhibit in probe of Susano’s flash cards By Benjamin B. Pulta 07/06/2010

DoJ chief to inhibit in probe of Susano’s flash cards


By Benjamin B. Pulta
07/06/2010

Newly-appointed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is recusing herself in the continuing investigation into the possession of former Quezon City Rep. Mary Ann Susano of election compact flash (CF) cards. 

Speaking to reporters, De Lima yesterday said she has decided not to participate in the case because Susano, who ran but lost in the Quezon City mayoral race last May 10, used to be her client.

“If that case would ever reach my office, I would have to inhibit because she was my client in an election case when I was still practicing law in private,” De Lima said, adding the case may instead be assigned to an undersecretary in the department.

Former Justice Alberto Agra said Susano could be held liable for mere possession of CF cards, which she presented during an earlier inquiry in the House of Representatives.

In the last case conference on June 28, Susano’s lawyer only submitted a certificate from local election office showing that there is no missing CF card in the precinct where her CF cards supposedly came from.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office had already reported that there were some CF cards missing in that same precinct, which shows an apparent inconsistency in records of the poll body.

The mere possession of CF card is prohibited under the poll automation law. 

Aside from Susano, the election officer assigned to take custody of the card could also be held accountable for misplacing the card.

Susano had volunteered during an earlier hearing of the House committee on suffrage that she has in her possession a CF card used in the precinct optical scan (PCOS) machine assigned at her district in Barangay Bahay Toro in Quezon City.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100706hed4.html


Somali pirates seize ship with 18 Pinoys on board 07/06/2010

Somali pirates seize ship with 18 Pinoys on board


07/06/2010
Ransom-seeking Somali pirates have hijacked a Marshall-flagged chemical tanker with 18 Filipino crewmen on board, the European Union anti-piracy mission yesterday said.

The MT Motivator came under small arms fire from a pirate attack in the northern Bab Al Mandeb area in the southern Red Sea Sunday morning. 

“After notification of this attack, attempts were made to make contact with the Motivator but to no avail. The hijack was confirmed early on July 5,” the European Union Naval Force said in a statement.

This latest hijacking incident brings to 83 the total number of Filipinos being held by pirates off Somalia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila said it is confirming the incident.

The Philippines is the world’s leading supplier of ship crew with over 350,000 sailors, or about a fifth of the world’s seafarers, manning oil tankers, luxury liners, and passenger vessels worldwide, exposing them to piracy attacks.

As a policy, the Philippine government does not negotiate nor pay ransom to kidnappers, but gives ship owners the free hand in negotiating for the release of abducted Filipino sailors. ... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100706hed5.html


Noynoy, DFA officials in hot water for diplomats’ extension By Michaela P. del Callar 07/06/2010

Noynoy, DFA officials in hot water for diplomats’ extension


By Michaela P. del Callar
07/06/2010

Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo’s move to extend the term of 21 political ambassadors appointed by former President Gloria Arroyo beyond June 30 could be illegal and put him, those envoys, Department of Foreign Affairs finance officers and even President Aquino in hot water, two diplomats said yesterday.

A senior DFA diplomat said that under the Constitution only the President has the power to appoint or re-appoint officials and diplomats “but not extend their terms.”

“The political ambassadors’ term ended by operation of law on June 30. After that they have become private citizens. So there’s nothing to extend because their legal tie to the office was cut off,” the veteran diplomat, who asked not to be named, told the Tribune.

In an internal memorandum circular, Romulo instructed the envoys to stay in their posts until Sept. 30 to allow them to finish protocol and administrative arrangements before they formally end their tour of duty.

“Official action needed is an appointment, not extension and therefore the Commission on Appointments confirmation is needed. That extension could also be illegal,” the diplomat said.

According to Romulo, additional period was needed to allow these ambassadors to make farewell calls on host government officials and diplomatic colleagues and wrap up their tour.

The senior DFA diplomat, however, said deputy chiefs of mission or other lower-level diplomats can stay on to take charge of Philippine embassies and diplomatic functions while the new government looks for replacements.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said in a statement issued by Malacanang that he and Romulo have jointly recommended to Aquino to allow a three-month extension of the terms of the ambassadors, whose terms were deemed to have ended with that of former leader Gloria Arroyo on June 30.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100706hed6.html


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