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Why not ask her to leave? EDITORIAL 07/11/2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why not ask her to leave?



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
07/11/2010
The headache that is Merceditas Gutierrez, she who simply refuses to fade away during the Arroyo administration and she hopes now, is facing a determined effort from the Aquino administration to have her removed from her position as Ombudsman.

Having former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo as a classmate in the Ateneo de Manila University Law School, reportedly as her main credential for being the former Justice secretary and now the incumbent Ombudsman, Gutierrez is understandably considered a hindrance by the Aquino administration in prosecuting cases against Gloria and her cabal over their nine-year reign of anomalies.

Bereft of any other sterling record in the field of dispensing justice, the only reason for Gutierrez’s appointment to her post, many have been suspecting, then and now, involves a deal of protecting her patrons and their allies when the time comes where cases are filed against them.

Gutierrez, after graduating from Ateneo, failed the Bar exams in her first attempt. In the government, she became the legal officer of the Philippine Aerospace Development Corp., then legal officer of the Presidential Office and also a counsel for the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). Her appointments it seems were dictated by the most immediate requirements of the occupants of the Palace.

At the Department of Justice, she quickly rose from the ranks of state counsel to undersecretary to twice Justice secretary, initially to fill-out the seat left vacant by Hernando “Nani” Perez in 2002 and a longer stint after succeeding Simeon Datumanong in 2004.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100711com1.html


Wrong moves FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/11/2010

Wrong moves



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
07/11/2010
Noynoy and his boys in Malacañang always appear to go about things the wrong way.
Two days ago, at a press briefing, Noynoy’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, bared that the Palace is looking at forcing Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to resign, and failing that, would seek her impeachment in the House of Representatives, through their ruling Liberal Party congressmen-allies.

A third option would be to question Gutierrez’s status as Ombudsman before the courts, on account of her having overstayed in her position, since Malacañang says, she was appointed Ombudsman by Gloria Arroyo, and is to merely continue the term of her predecessor, Simeon Marcelo, who had resigned after two years in the post.

And they in Malacañang want her kicked out because they distrust her, being a classmate of the First Gentleman, and being very close to the First Couple.

Gutierrez is hardly my cup of tea, but — and it’s a big but — their dislike of her is hardly a good reason to kick her out of her position through force, or impeachment, or a question of law and the Constitution.

The reality is that whether she is close to Gloria and Mike Arroyo, to the point of protecting them from suits, after she has lost her immunity is that she, being in the outs with the Aquino government, would prove to be more independent than when she was in with the Arroyo government--at least in the matter of the new Palace cronies and relatives.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100711com2.html


Serbia steps up harsh rhetoric ahead of ICJ Kosovo ruling ANALYSIS 07/11/2010

 Serbia steps up harsh rhetoric ahead of ICJ Kosovo ruling



ANALYSIS

07/11/2010
BELGRADE — Serbia is stepping up its harsh rhetoric on Kosovo ahead of an expected opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of Kosovo’s unilateral 2008 proclamation of independence.

“It is absolutely clear that no democratic leadership in Serbia will ever, under any circumstances, implicitly or explicitly, recognize” the independence of Kosovo, Serbian President Boris Tadic said Tuesday at the UN Security Council in a very combative speech.

“There are those who expect us to yield eventually. This will not happen,” he stressed in the speech which lashed out at the authorities in Pristina and the international community.

Analysts say Serbian officials are clearly outlining Belgrade’s position ahead the ICJ opinion on the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008.

The ruling may not be binding for the states, but it will at least provoke renewed debate on Kosovo’s status in the coming months.

According to various sources, the opinion on the UN’s highest court could be handed down sometime between late July and September. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic has said that the ICJ could send its conclusions to the United Nations General Assembly “during the summer.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100711com3.html


NPC for arming of newsmen BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 07/11/2010

NPC for arming of newsmen



BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
07/11/2010

Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez’s first order of business upon assuming office last week was, according to sources, order an audit of the Manila International Container Port (MICP), one of the agency’s billionaire ports, after it failed to meet its collection target for the first semester of the year by almost P400 million.

Well and good, because he wishes to make a good impression on the people who placed him in one of the most coveted positions in government (we’re told some people would willingly shove their mother-in-law off a cliff in order to get it) and more importantly dispel suspicions that he would favor certain importer-friends, since everyone knows he was the bossman of Airfreight 2100, a cargo forwarding company owned by businessman Bert Lina (also a former Customs commissioner until he joined the Hyatt 10 group in resigning from their respective posts in the Gloria government in July 2005) before he was named to his new position, that counts on many of them as valued clients.

The move will go a long way in showing to the world he is dead serious in doing a performance check at the BoC which has been ranked by survey firms as one of the most corrupt government agencies around. But the commissioner has his work cut out for him because he will not only be fighting corrupt personnel but also facilities and perceptions that actually make it hard for Customs officials to do their jobs properly.

There is a reason the MICP collected only P27.62 billion from January to June (as against its target of P28.06 billion) although it is the second-busiest port in the country, in terms of volume of containers. For the longest time, importers have been emboldened to misdeclare or undervalue shipments because it is so easy to do so over there; so to speak, institutionalized already.

These importers are encouraged by big-time smugglers, many of whom are identified with the previous administration. These dicks have the temerity to process their contraband through the MICP, where the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) which owned by certified billionaire Ricky Razon — one-time crony of former President Arroyo and her husband Mike — has its franchise area..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100711com4.html


Here’s one for Secretary Romulo C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 07/11/2010

Here’s one for Secretary Romulo



C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
07/11/2010
Now that he has taken to personally attend to pressing problems involving his department, especially after that spirited exchange with our friend and Malaya columnist Ellen Tordesillas, DFA Secretary Bert Romulo may want to take a hard look at the activities of Consul General Domingo Nolasco in our Embassy in Washington DC.

If our man in the US, Ambassador Willy Gaa, has not reported the matter to him yet, the good secretary may wish to find out for himself how this Nolasco has been behaving since he took over consular affairs not too long ago. Highly irregular and unflattering are just two of the more benign descriptions of Nolasco’s activities since he took over consular matters in the embassy including those of the honorary consular posts within the US and other areas within its jurisdiction. We are told, for example, that in his meetings with various Filipino communities in the United States, Nolasco has been particularly interested in pitching for recruitment possibilities for a number of agencies in Manila. Hinting that he can help with any consular issues which may arise out of such business operations Nolasco allegedly has even asked some of his staff including the honorary consuls in the US to “look around” in exchange for some “piece of the pie.” 

To make matters worse, Nolasco allegedly has gone to the extent of imposing questionable rules to streamline matters only to make matters worse for our kababayans who are made to travel all the way to Washington DC to have their passports renewed or to have new passports.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100711com5.html


Presidential ‘system’ TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 07/11/2010

Presidential ‘system’



TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
07/11/2010
The presidency is a system. Or it should be symbiotically flushed into the system of anybody entrusted by the electorate to hold the highest office in the land.

But it would seem that as of now, the presidency has not integrated itself into President Noynoy Aquino’s system evidenced by his “un-presidential” moves such as the “absolute no wang-wang policy” interpreted as a signature radical innovation of a budding president who promises to be “different” but at a price of tardiness. Interestingly, however, when an English teacher queried an elementary pupil Tagalog translation of “woman with a difference” — the pupil blurted out with certainty, “Babaeng may diperensiya.”

Harmonizing oneself with the music of the alarm clock in the wee hours of the morning to catch a handover ceremony of the military brass or a morning Mass at the Manila Cathedral needs great effort of practical adjustment. For priests and soldiers, punctuality is a shared virtue of civility and Christianity. But for people in business and politics, punctuality and promptness are attitudinal investments.

Now, I understand why a new president is afforded the luxury of 100 days, i.e. to let the “presidential” sink into his system. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100711com6.html


Marriage VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 07/11/2010

Marriage



VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
07/11/2010
Among the many million Filipinos in the country and abroad, who are elderly, adults and children, who belong to the elite, the middle class and the poor — who did not come from the union of a man and woman usually united by the bond of marriage? Does it not necessarily take the intimate partnership and consummate oneness of a man and woman customarily pledged in marriage, to bring forth the living existence of every single person in the world? It is wherefore not always relevant and even important to talk about marriage such are its “What?” and “Why?” and “When?” and “How?” and “Where?” — among so many other realities?

The subject matter of marriage even becomes more ardent and urgent, especially so when people hear of grand “weddings” as well as famous “separations,” i.e., of delightful spousal unions and tearful marital separations. 

Marriage is one grace-filled and much-promising man and woman relational option whereas it is well said and clearly written: “Failure in marriage cannot be compensated by any success outside thereof.” A great saying! A realistic pronouncement! An impressive reminder! As marriage is the fundamental source of sublime happiness and contentment, so too it is the basic origin of great desolation and dejection.

What is marriage? The Filipinos have their truly incisive and really impressive way of understanding and expressing especially profound and signal realities in their day to day life... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100711com7.html


‘Executive privilege’ to be revoked — Ochoa By Aytch S. de la Cruz 07/11/2010

But Gutierrez may have to stay — Lacierda

‘Executive privilege’ to be revoked — Ochoa


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
07/11/2010
The notorious Executive Order No. 464 (EO 464) issued by former President Arroyo which clipped the investigating powers of Congress by requiring government officials summoned to legislative inquiries to first seek the President’s approval, which in turn was used by public officials as a ready excuse to avoid attending public hearings in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, will be revoked, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said.
President Aquino is carefully studying options to revoke controversial orders issued by Arroyo, particularly EO 464 that allows senior executive officials and those in the police and the military to invoke “executive privilege” whenever they are asked to appear before any legislative inquiries.

Ochoa told reporters who attended a Media Fellowship Night that he hosted last Thursday evening the Aquino government is currently considering every possible process that would enable them to right the wrongs committed by the previous administration.

Ochoa, nevertheless, said nullifying EO 464 is not going to be an easy task given the intricacies involving in such ruling.

“Everything is being studied. We really wanted to get the right formula such as ideas we have before that we needed to validate against realities in the office,” Ochoa said.

Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda, meanwhile, backtracked on his statement last Friday that the Aquino administration is bent on replacing Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez owing to her questionable decisions in relation to the cases filed against high-profile public officials particularly those that involved Arroyo and her husband, Jose Miguel.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100711hed1.html


Economic team sets dream 8% growth goal 07/11/2010

Economic team sets dream 8% growth goal


07/11/2010

As in her mother, former President Corazon Aquino’s administration, President Aquino had resorted to dream targeting for the economy.

The economic team of Aquino raised his administration’s economic growth target for this year of up to six percent this year and eight percent next year that would be a 35-year high if met while projecting the budget deficit to drop to two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013 from this year’s P325 billion or 3.9 percent of GDP.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said late Friday after a meeting of Aquino’s economic officials the worrisome fiscal gap would fall to 3.3 percent next year, 2.6 percent in 2012 and 2 percent by 2013. He said the government will continue to sell off more assets to raise money to support the expansion.
“We agreed we should set an ambitious target,” Purisima told reporters.
“We cannot afford to continue targeting low levels because we will continue to lag behind our neighbors, not be able to fight poverty and not attract more investments,” Purisima said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100711hed2.html




NBI chief vows no letup in hunt for former boss By Pat C. Santos 07/11/2010

NBI chief vows no letup in hunt for former boss


By Pat C. Santos
07/11/2010
Newly appointed National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula dismissed speculations the country’s premier investigating body will go soft on fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson, his former superior at the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), over the double murder case of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in which Lacson is being accused as prime suspect. 

Gatdula assured that the Dacer-Corbito case and other pending controversial cases at the NBI would be among his top agenda when he formally assumes his post next week. 

Despite his association with Lacson, who is facing two counts of murder on the case, Gatdula assured the public there will be no let up in their efforts to pursue the case. 

Gatdula, aside from being a former PAOCTF member, was also part of Lacson’s legislative staff at the Senate in 2004.
There are reports that many doubted Gatdula to handle the case with fair, unbiased and objectivity since he is a former subordinate of Lacson. 

Lacson, in text messages sent to a television station denied reports that he had sent surrender feelers, as stated last Thursday by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Gatdula denied claims that he was appointed to the NBI through Lacson’s intermediation adding he has not talked with the senator since he fled the country last January.

“I know the NBI is on focus on the Dacer-Corbito case for the past years and so I have to continue this work and even strengthen efforts to pursue works for the case,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100711hed3.html


Malacañang ‘Com Group’ formed 07/11/2010

Malacañang ‘Com Group’ formed


07/11/2010
President Aquino’s communication team has finally been formed, beating the Chief Executive’s self-imposed deadline to complete the reorganization of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) and its attached agencies within the week.

But presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in his on-air briefing over Radyo ng Bayan yesterday, told reporters that they were not yet at liberty to provide details on this particular matter because they were still on the process of putting some finishing touches to the new communications group (Com Group).

Lacierda also refused to categorically confirm the appointments of columnist Herminio “Sonny” Coloma and broadcaster Ricky Carandang to lead Aquino’s communications group but promised to reveal everything tomorrow.

Online media reports already circulated Saturday that Coloma will serve as media operations chief while Carandang takes charge of the government’s messaging unit although some accounts have it the other way around.
Lacierda, however, downplayed such reports and said they will be releasing more information tomorrow to finally end the speculations being floated in the media.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100711hed4.html


VP appeals to court for Trillanes’ release 07/11/2010

VP appeals to court for Trillanes’ release


07/11/2010

Vice President Jejomar Binay has asked the Makati City Regional Trial Court to grant the release of detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV so he can attend sessions in the Senate.

“I am appealing to the good Judge Oscar Pimentel for the release of Senator Trillanes so he can attend the sessions in the Senate,” Binay, in a statement, yesterday said.
The Vice President noted that the Senate would start its sessions on July 26 and only 21 out of 24 senators might be present as there is vacancy created by the election of Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino as President of the Republic and Sen. Panfilo Lacson remains in hiding.
Trillanes is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
“Senator Trillanes is a duly elected official of the land, so why can’t he discharge his duties and responsibilities?” Binay asked. “It would be a travesty to the 11 million voters who believed that he can effect change,” he added.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100711hed5.html


Journalist hurt in CamSur ambush 07/11/2010

Journalist hurt in CamSur ambush


07/11/2010
A radio announcer who worked for a politician in the May 10 elections was shot, police said yesterday, the latest attack on a journalist in a country regarded as one of the most dangerous for the media.

Police were guarding the hospital room of broadcaster Miguel Belen after he was ambushed late Friday, Senior Supt. Jonathan Ablang told reporters by telephone. The severity of Belen’s injuries was not disclosed.
The 48-year-old reporter for dwEB radio was shot repeatedly by at least one of two suspects on a motorcycle as Belen rode home from work on another motorcycle, he added.
“We’re checking his cellphone records to determine who had called him prior to the attack,” Ablang said.
Belen is the second journalist to be attacked by gunmen since President Aquino took office on June 30. A provincial broadcaster was shot dead in the northern Philippines last July 3..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100711hed6.htm


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