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Corruption, now Noynoy’s low priority? EDITORIAL 07/14/2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Corruption, now Noynoy’s low priority?

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President Aquino’s campaign spiel was “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap,” which translated says if there is no corruption, there is no poverty.

He ran under an anti-corruption slogan, but apparently, battling corruption has become a low priority for him and his administration.

This was virtually admitted by Noynoy when he told reporters that the eradication of jueteng is a low priority of his government. Since this is so, as proclaimed by him, it stands to reason that corruption, as well as going after the corrupt in government, is a very low priority. Or does Noynoy think that jueteng is not at the root of corruption in this country and more specifically, in government?

Just where does Noynoy think jueteng protection money goes? To the jueteng operators? To the cabos and cobradores? To the people who place their small bets? 

Or is Noynoy playing blind to the fact that jueteng lords fork out protection money to ensure that the illegal numbers game pushes through — with as much as three times a day draws — in the open, and no arrests or raids. But then again, more often than not, those in the pockets of jueteng lords alert them to a raid that will be staged, and nothing comes out of that raid — precisely because of the payoffs given to these officials who earn millions from these..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100714com1.html

Making the same mistakes FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/14/2010

Making the same mistakes

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy appears to be making the same mistakes his predecessor, and even his mother, Cory Aquino, made.

Told that there is some grumbling within the military on account of the new assignments of officials that they say are hardly given on merit or seniority, Noynoy was quoted as saying that these were merely reports coming from newspapers that are not sympathetic to his administration.

His statement certainly bespeaks of his dismissing reports that are unflattering to him and his government, and instead he prefers to take reports from his yellow media as credible, not realizing that precisely, negatives reports are being killed or downplayed by his sympathetic media, because they are protective of him and portray him with a rosy image.

It is not unlikely that as the days pass, and since his so-called communications team in Malacañang is as yellow as Noynoy, he will start believing in Malacañang-churned out releases and his yellow media reports, which in turn will not provide him with reality but illusions of his government doing well and supported by the people so much so that he and his government can never go wrong.

From reports, Malacañang is said to rely on a feedback mechanism through Twitter and the like, but haven’t they — especially those in his communications team — realized that those comments from Twitter which the yellow broadcast media feature in their news programs come from yellow-colored fans who are supporters of Aquino, and more importantly, reflect the sentiments of an elite group of youngsters?... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100714com2.html

Mistakes made ‘at senior level’ in Israeli raid, probe finds FEATURE 07/14/2010

Mistakes made ‘at senior level’ in Israeli raid, probe finds


TEL AVIV — Mistakes were made at a “relatively senior” level during Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid boat but the use of live fire by commandos was justified, the results of military probe showed Monday.

“Mistakes were made in the various decisions taken, including within relatively senior ranks, which contributed to the result not being as we would have wished,” retired Gen. Giora Eiland told reporters in Tel Aviv on Monday as he presented the results of the internal inquiry.

“In this inquiry we found that there were some professional mistakes regarding both the intelligence and the decision-making process,” said Eiland, who headed the panel tasked with examining how the operation unfolded and learning lessons from it.

The Eiland Committee began its work on June 7, exactly a week after the botched naval raid in which Israeli Navy commandos launched a pre-dawn raid on a Turkish ferry carrying more than 600 persons.

In the resulting fracas, nine Turkish nationals were shot dead and dozens of other people injured, including seven Israeli commandos.

The raid, conducted in international waters, provoked a global backlash against Israel and prompted widespread calls for an international probe..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100714com2.html

3 teachers killed MR. EXPOSE Amb. Ernesto Maceda 07/14/2010

3 teachers killed

Amb. Ernesto Maceda
Under GMA, the poor, underpaid school teachers were kidnapped in Basilan, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Under P-Noy, three teachers have been killed in one week’s time in Manila, Masbate and Bataan.
Mark Francisco, 27 years old, a member of the Association of Concerned Teachers (ACT) was shot dead Friday in Palanas, Masbate after alighting from his motorcycle in the presence of four co-teachers. Josephine Estacio, 46, another ACT member was shot dead in front of Tenejero Elementary School in Balanga, Bataan by two masked men riding a tricycle.

Last Thursday, in thickly populated Quiapo, Thomas Castro, 30, another teacher, was shot dead as he was walking toward Concepcion Aguila Street.

The situation has gone from bad to worse as two media men and one farmer leader have also been assassinated since P-Noy assumed the presidency. In addition, carjackers shot and wounded Architect Efren del Rosario in front of the BPI branch in Commonwealth Avenue after making a withdrawal from the ATM machine. The kidnapped son of Comelec Commissioner Yusoph is still unreleased.

P-Noy is an expert in handling guns. Maybe, he should personally lead the campaign against these wanton murderers. To begin with, he should seriously direct the PNP, the NBI and Barangay Tanods to collect loose firearms. Also the PNP, LTO, MMDA and city and municipal traffic aides to arrest all those using unregistered motorcycles.

Certainly, there must be a total revamp of the PNP. In 1992, FVR retired 68 generals and colonels. There must be a three strike policy in every province or city. Three unsolved killings or kidnappings mean automatic replacement of the PNP Provincial Director or the Chief of Police.
Capital crimes should be the top priority, not jueteng!

Mortal sin. Sen. Tito Sotto is very correct. Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez committed a “mortal sin” when he cheated on his golf score in a golf tournament at Ayala Alabang Country Club. Sen. Serge Osmeña III has joined Senator Sotto in asking P-Noy to revoke and recall Alvarez’ appointment.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100714com4.html

Choices, choices HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 07/14/2010

Choices, choices

Aldrin Cardon
If the choice was as easy as picking the right one between Jacob and Edward, Bella would not have needed three Twilight installments.

Or should we hire Paul, the echoserang octopus to predict where we are headed under Noynoy Aquino’s leadership?

Paul went perfect in picking Spain as the rightful World Cup champion last week, a feat that forced his caretakers to enforce extra security measures around his aquarium, like he has become their most important VIP.

Bella, meanwhile, had to give up her earlier decision to become a vampire, but will marry Edward still.

Noynoy has a bigger predicament than Paul and Bella, though. He is not simply picking a winner in a sports event, nor is he simply choosing a woman to marry, although the last would echo his personal preference to stay single at 50.

Noynoy has to run a country beset with problems, all the litters left by Gloria Arroyo, whom he just can’t simply shake off.

Fourteen days into his presidency, Noynoy has found it harder to clean the ugly remnants of Gloria’s nine years than he thought. And with his Truth Commission yet to gain ground, eyes will be on how Noynoy will deal with Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who, earlier this week, showed her stronger side by declaring her intent to meet Noy’s challenge head on, refusing to submit to calls for her resignation.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100714com6.html

Memoirs of Britain’s ‘prince of darkness’ stir political row focus 07/14/2010

Memoirs of Britain’s ‘prince of darkness’ stir political row


LONDON — A bitter row over the gossipy memoirs of top British politician Peter Mandelson is threatening to overshadow the Labour party’s election of a new leader to replace Gordon Brown.
Mandelson was, with Brown and Tony Blair, part of the most powerful troika in British politics until center-left Labour was voted out of office and into opposition in May for the first time since 1997.

The flamboyant arch-spinner, nicknamed the “prince of darkness,” was Brown’s deputy prime minister and a controversial minister who quit twice under Blair, giving him an unrivalled insight into the turbulent New Labour he helped build.

Now the 56-year-old is telling all about his years as the power behind the throne in a memoir entitled “The Third Man,” out Thursday, which has drawn a furious reaction from some Labour colleagues.

Early extracts published by The Times detail how Brown’s hopes of clinging to power in May by forming a coalition with the centrist Liberal Democrats were scuppered by LibDem leader Nick Clegg, who said he could not work with him.
Clegg now holds Mandelson’s old job, serving as deputy to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron in a coalition government which is imposing punishing spending cuts in a bid to reduce a record deficit accrued under Labour.

It is the timing of Mandelson’s book which has caused anger — the memoirs have thrown the spotlight on Labour’s feud-ridden past, in the middle of a four-month-long leadership election.

Charlie Whelan, Brown’s former spin doctor and one of his closest allies, accused Mandelson, who ran the party’s failed re-election bid, of having concentrated on his book, not the election, in the run-up to May’s crunch poll.
“Peter ran the worst general campaign in Labour’s history. Nobody knew what the message was at all. It was a disaster from beginning to end,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100714com5.html

People watching SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 07/14/2010

Dinah S. Ventura
Everytime we leave “home,” we see it in a fresher light. After an absence, no matter how long, we miss the best of what we left behind, and learn to appreciate them better — friendly faces, familiar surroundings, a sense of belonging. Yet, sometimes, too, our eyes are opened to realities that nudge the heart, pains it into admitting that not all is well back home.

Years ago, after a trip to a neighboring country, I came home and wrote in this column: “Unfortunately for us, the wheels of progress have sadly been rusted by an obsolete system that is more often than not vulnerable to corruption. Without corruption, we would have public services delivered efficiently and substantially. Laws would be strongly enforced and gladly followed because the justice system works fast and fairly. People would enjoy decent jobs, homes that government makes sure would be accessible and affordable for all, and a transport system that is modern, efficient and cheap.”

Among others, I was impressed by the order and progress I saw in that country, and wanted with all my heart the same for ours, our home.

Now that we have a new leadership, that dream has come alive again. Hopes that were dulled by years of observing lies, greed and ineptitude are up again, though it treads on rocky ground, uncertain and ungainly..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100714com7.html

Defeated bet wants 3 senators out of SET By Angie M. Rosales EXCLUSIVE 07/14/2010

Koko Pimentel: They may have conspired to sustain Zubiri’s motion

Defeated bet wants 3 senators out of SET

By Angie M. Rosales

Did they conspire for the sake of political expediency and at the expense of truth?

Five senators may have conspired to deny lawyer Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III a seat in the Senate after they moved to sustain Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri’s motion to review the ballots where he alleged irregularities have been committed.

In contrast, one Supreme Court justice held a contrary view, saying the irregularities Zubiri alleged are unfounded, and his motion for review should have been junked.

Pimentel III, son and namesake of former Minority Leader Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., is questioning before the Senate Electoral 

Tribunal (SET) the proclamation of Zubiri as the 12th elected senator in the May 14, 2007 national and local elections.

The informal alliance recently of Zubiri with Senators Edgardo Angara, Loren Legarda, Lito Lapid and Ramon Revilla Jr., who style themselves as a swing vote in the race to the Senate presidency appears to have been formed as a matter of political survival for Zubiri, and political clout and expediency for the rest, it was alleged.

Pimentel III has placed into question their alliance as he sought for the “disqualification” of Angara, Legarda and Lapid from sitting as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), in a motion filed last June 24, some three weeks after the body issued resolution No. 07-105.

In the said resolution, the SET ordered the conduct of further proceedings on the remaining precincts counter-protested by Zubiri and for the canvassing board to undertake the collection of the remaining counter-protested ballot boxes.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100714hed1.html

Typhoon ‘Basyang’ to hit Central Luzon today 07/14/2010

Typhoon ‘Basyang’ to hit Central Luzon today

Luzon braced for the country’s first typhoon of the year as forecasters warned of floods and possible landslides across wide swathes of the main island as the government ordered schools up to the college level to close today while international flights
will be diverted and ships were barred from leaving port.

Typhoon “Basyang” packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center with gustiness of up to 150 kph, was expected by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to hit Central Luzon late last night or early today. 

Pagasa spokesman Robert Sawi said at 4 pm yesterday, Basyang was at 40 kilometers (km) north northeast of Daet, Camarines Norte and was moving westward at 22 kph. It is expected to make landfall between Aurora and Northern Quezon area last night and it will be 160 km. northwest of Iba, Zambales by this afternoon. Pagasa expects the typhoon to leave the country by tomorrow afternoon. 

Aurora, Northern Quezon, including Polillo Island and Camarines Norte, were placed under public storm Signal No. 3 last night while Signal No. 2 was hoisted over Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Southern Quezon, Marinduque, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes. Cagayan, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Benguet, Ifugao, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Cavite and Batangas. Metro Manila and Albay were under Signal No. 1 last night. 

Pagasa Administrator Prisco Nilo said the typhoon had induced the southwest monsoon thus causing heavy rains of 10 to 20 millimeters per hour within a 250 km radius. Strong winds, Nilo said, is expected to cover a 30 km radius.
Water level in Angat Dam is expected to rise as rain has started pouring in the watershed of Angat Dam based on the monitoring of Pagasa. 

“Areas that are in the direct path will experience heavy rains, even areas to the south of the typhoon will have strong rain,” Nilo told reporters.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100714hed2.html

Erap: Only legalization can stop jueteng 07/14/2010

Erap: Only legalization can stop jueteng

Reacting to statements made by President Aquino that legalization of jueteng is not a priority of his government, and that a training course on livelihood would be the answer to a stop to jueteng activities, former President Joseph Estrada yesterday urged Aquino to legalize jueteng.

In a tele-phone inter-view with the Tribune, Estrada pointed out that jueteng has long been in the country, and no presi-dent has been able to put a stop to the illegal numbers game, intimating that the course of action being taken by Aquino — that of training people who play the illegal numbers game to invest their time in more “worthwhile” projects and find jobs — won’t stop jueteng all over the country.

“Just how many administrations have we had, and all failed to put a stop to jueteng because not one administration had jueteng legalized,” he stress.

Estrada had been batting for the legelization of the illegal number games and even a senator, he delivered a privilege speech urging Aquino’s mother, Cory, and the Congress to legalize jueteng and be rid of the scourge.

“That is fact. I deliveed that speech in the Senate. I have been fighting for jueteng’s legalization. That way, not only will government get additional funds legitimately. Corruption will be curbed, and best of all, there will still be jobs for the cabos and the cobradors, who will now be earning legitimately,” Estrada told the Tribune.

When reminded that he was charged and convicted for plunder for receiving protection money from jeuteng operators, Estrada said: “You all know that my trial and conviction was politically motivated. They (government and the courts) took the contradictory testimonies of the self-confessed crook, Chavit Singson, instead of judging on the merits of the case and the clear lack of evidence to convict me on jeuteng and plunder,” he stressed.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100714hed3.html

Yusoph to take law into his own hands on son’s kidnap By Marie A. Surbano 07/14/2010

Yusoph to take law into his own hands on son’s kidnap

By Marie A. Surbano
If the Aquino government fails to rescue his son from his kidnappers, a poll commissioner vowed to take the law into his own hands.

Poll Commissioner Elias Yusoph threatened to take “the law into his hands” if the government fails to finally resolve the kidnapping case of his son Nuraldin.

In an interview with reporters yesterday, Yusoph did not hide his frustration and disappointment in the Aquino administration’s failure to free his son from his abductors.

“I have been patient. Patient on this for almost one month although it’s too painful. But I still have to control my temper. I did not go home because of some pressure from relatives.....(but) if the government cannot do anything....well you know, its our culture and it will become a vendetta,” Yusoph declared.

“I do not want to take the law into my hands and I have been preventing my relatives from doing it,” added the poll Commissioner.

According to Yusoph its been almost a month now since his son, a religious leader was abducted last June 20.
Yusoph appealed to the Aquino administration to prioritize the rescue of his son and also asked that the entire Lanao del Sur be placed under military control to stop lawlessness in the province.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100714hed4.html

Malacañang turns tail, says Merci can stay By Aytch S. de la Cruz 07/14/2010

Malacañang turns tail, says Merci can stay

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
Just a day after Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez held a press conference to defy Malacañang’s threats to remove her from office, including supporting an im-peachment move in the House of Representatives as stated by President Aqu-ino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda made a complete turnaround from his previous statements, now implying that the Palace would no longer endorse any charges against Gutierrez, adding the Palace would rather have members of the House make a move on Gutierrez.

Yesterday, Gutierrez said she is standing her ground and she will not resign her position and stressed that it is only through impeachment that she can be removed. Gutierrez also pointed out that there is no ground at all to impeach her, saying that being “close to the Arroyos” is not a ground for impeachment.

Lacierda tried to ascribe his volte face to his engaging members of the media last Friday, when he made the threats against Gutierrez, in an “academic discussion” given the fact that no specific moves were ever discussed by the new administration to oust the Ombudsman.

“There is no decision on that matter (impeachment bid against Gutierrez) yet because we’re still shoring up the evidence to be gathered by the Truth Commission. So whoever will sit as Ombudsman—be it Gutierrez or whoever—the important thing if to have the solid appreciation for the evidences to be presented by the Truth Commission,” the Palace spokesman said.

He said Malacañang does not have any intention to persecute Gutierrez or disrepute the Office of the Ombudsman which is a constitutionally mandated body that is independent from the command of the executive branch.
Lacierda said the administration would rather reinforce the mandate of the Truth Commission, which is yet to exist, to gather “solid evidence” against those who are presumed responsible for unsolved corruption cases that happened during the term of former President Arroyo.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100714hed5.html

P5-M bribe try for Ampatuan witnesses bared By Benjamin B. Pulta 07/14/2010

P5-M bribe try for Ampatuan witnesses bared

By Benjamin B. Pulta

Attempted bribery charges are being readied by justice officials against persons yet to be named for allegedly offering more than P 5 million in hush money to witnesses to the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao province last November.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday bared at least two attempts “a few weeks back” to bribe witnesses in the Maguindanao Massacre case.

De Lima said an emissary from the Ampatuan camp whose members were tagged as primary suspects in the murder of 57 persons, tried to offer two witnesses on separate instances money in exchange of recanting their testimonies or pointing the blame at someone else.

De Lima disclosed the emissary offered the witness P5 million, while in the second instance, the justice chief admitted that she forgot the exact amount the other witness was offered.

But she disclosed that the amount was in the same “range” with that of the witness offered with P5 million.
De Lima also said that the bribe attempt was coursed through an officer, who was approached by an emissary of the Ampatuans.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100714hed6.html


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