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Focusing on the small stuff EDITORIAL 07/17/2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Focusing on the small stuff



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
07/17/2010
Administration executives are really something else.

Instead of focusing on the important issues related to their respective tasks, they center their attention on really minute stuff, dig up their predecessors’ claimed anomalies or mistakes, merely to get media mileage.

A case in point is the new Justice chief, Leila de Lima. There is hardly any question about De Lima’s legal experience and expertise. She certainly is qualified to head the Department of Justic (DoJ). But why does she waste her time running after former Justice Secretary Alberto Agra and former National Bureau of Investigation chief Nestor Mantaring as well as the chief of the NBI’s Counter Terrorism Unit, Ricardo Diaz, on the matter of their being questioned on the issue of their having failed to initiate an investigation into the claim of an NBI official that a retired Air Force official attempted to bribe a witness in the Maguindanao massacre case?

Is there a need to probe them when she, who is now in position and authority within her realm of responsibility, can check on this matter herself, without necessarily making it appear that something sneaky went on and that her predecessor is guilty of not having this investigated?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100717com1.html


Blatant interference FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/17/2010

Blatant interference



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
07/17/2010
Noynoy Aquino really should know when to keep his trap shut, now that he is President of the Republic. But it seems he may never learn to do so.

Just yesterday, Aquino was written up as saying that the coup charge against Sen. Antonio Trillanes for his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny was “unjust.”

If Noynoy was still a senator, there would be nothing wrong in airing his opinion on the coup charge against Trillanes. But as he is now president, Noynoy shouldn’t even come up with such a statement, because this would be tantamount to influencing the courts that are hearing his case, especially as Trillanes has just posted bail that would release him from one court, even as he still has another coup case before another court, not to mention the fact that there is still the military — or the police — detention, which means that this would be another permit of sorts to release him.

But of course, this appears to be Noynoy’s intent, as he is in the thick of getting votes for his candidate for the Senate presidency. Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, who certainly needs the vote of both Trillanes and Sen. Ping Lacson.
But to get this vote of Trillanes, and possibly Lacson’s, if he surfaces at the Senate on voting day, Noynoy is directly influencing the courts to get Trillanes out of detention, which speaks badly of Noynoy.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100717com2.html


Blatant interference FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/17/2010

Blatant interference



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
07/17/2010
Noynoy Aquino really should know when to keep his trap shut, now that he is President of the Republic. But it seems he may never learn to do so.

Just yesterday, Aquino was written up as saying that the coup charge against Sen. Antonio Trillanes for his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny was “unjust.”

If Noynoy was still a senator, there would be nothing wrong in airing his opinion on the coup charge against Trillanes. But as he is now president, Noynoy shouldn’t even come up with such a statement, because this would be tantamount to influencing the courts that are hearing his case, especially as Trillanes has just posted bail that would release him from one court, even as he still has another coup case before another court, not to mention the fact that there is still the military — or the police — detention, which means that this would be another permit of sorts to release him.

But of course, this appears to be Noynoy’s intent, as he is in the thick of getting votes for his candidate for the Senate presidency. Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, who certainly needs the vote of both Trillanes and Sen. Ping Lacson..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100717com2.html



N. Korea tests US ‘strategic’ patience ANALYSIS 07/17/2010

N. Korea tests US ‘strategic’ patience



ANALYSIS

07/17/2010
WASHINGTON — With North Korea thumbing its nose at the response to the sinking of a warship, the United States is left wondering how long to keep up its policy of studied coolness toward the communist state.

The UN Security Council last week condemned the sinking of South Korea’s Cheonan vessel, which killed 46 persons. But it stopped short of blaming North Korea, which claimed a diplomatic victory and demanded Thursday that the United States prove Pyongyang’s involvement in the March incident.

The United States has responded to the Korean peninsula’s deadliest incident in decades by standing firmly behind South Korea. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates are expected next week in Seoul to announce joint naval exercises, despite objections by China.

But the longer-term US policy toward the North is less clear. Before the Cheonan’s sinking, Clinton described a US stance of “strategic patience” — waiting for Pyongyang to come forward rather than hastily offering incentives.
“How to move forward, and when, are all questions that lots of people are thinking about,” said Bonnie Glaser, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

“There’s a recognition that, based on past patterns and practice, the longer there is a lack of dialog and interaction, the greater the likelihood for North Korean brinkmanship and provocative action,” Glaser said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100717com3.html


Stranded OFWs in Dire Need of Assistance – Migrante Published on July 17, 2010

Stranded OFWs in Dire Need of Assistance – Migrante

Published on July 17, 2010By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
 

Bulatlat.com

ANILA — The Khandera Bridge in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has provided shelter to many stranded overseas Filipino workers. But since Saudi police barricaded it from migrant workers, OFWs have found a new home in the Philippine Consulate General in Saudi Arabia — but only outside its building.


John Leonard Monterona of Migrante Middle East described consular officials as “inhumane” and “heartless” for having the temerity to sit in their air-conditioned offices while stranded OFWs endure the hot temperature, reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius, outside. He said these Filipinos are living like “squatters” beside the consulate building.

Members of the local chapter of Migrante in Jeddah intervened on behalf of the OFWs through a dialogue with consular officials on May 14, 2010. They were able to talk to Vice Consul Leo Ausan, who informed them that consular officials were still waiting for the approval of their budget request from the national government.

“We find it ridiculous since there must be a government budget allocated for that on a yearly basis,” Monterona said. In the interview, he cited the P13.6 billion ($293.4 million) funds from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, gathered through the collection of the $25 compulsory membership fee from OFWs.


OFWs endure a hot and humid day outside the PCG office (Photo courtesy of Migrante – KSA / bulatlat.com)
As of yesterday, Migrante reported that the 20 adults and four children residing outside the consulate building have been sent to the Hajj terminal, where they can temporarily stay.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/07/17/stranded-ofws-in-dire-need-of-assistance-migrante/

After its CBA Was Suspended for 11 Years, Philippine Airlines Employees Face Lay-offs, Contractualization Published on July 17, 2010

After its CBA Was Suspended for 11 Years, Philippine Airlines Employees Face Lay-offs, Contractualization

Published on July 17, 2010


By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

About 3,000 employees of the flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) are in tenterhooks today over threats to their regular jobs and union. This week they expect to get a sample of what President Aquino said would be his “litmus test in labor relations.”

The workers’ fear of losing their regular jobs and union stems from PAL’s plan to “spin-off” three “non-core businesses.” It has been trying to implement it since May 31. The employees who stand to be affected comprise nearly half of the total 7,192 workforce including some foreign-based expat Filipino employees of PAL. It would also rout the membership of PALEA, the rank-and-file employees’ union which, after PAL’s early retirement drive in 2009, has been reduced to 3,732.

Up for “spin-off” are PAL’s airport services department with about 2,000 workers (covering ground handling, cargo terminal/handling and ramp handling), inflight catering services with about 1,000 employees and call center reservations which has 172 currently employed, said Gina Licayan, union board member. They have been working with PAL from seven to more than 30 years now.


L-R: Danilo Palomena, Rigmo Ondevilla and Gina Licayan have been working with PAL from 7 to more than 30 years now. (Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
The spin-off means a sale of the businesses and transfer to third-party providers of said services. According to PAL employees, the third party providers about to takeover these “non-core businesses” do not have employees of their own and expect only to get the current employees thrown into the bargain to keep working and avoid disrupting PAL’s services.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/07/17/after-its-cba-was-suspended-for-11-years-philippine-airlines-employees-face-lay-offs-contractualization/

Pascual Guevarra and the Struggle for Land Published on July 17, 2010

 Pascual Guevarra and the Struggle for Land

Published on July 17, 2010 
By RONALYN V. OLEA
 
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — The death of 78-year-old farmer Pascual Guevarra is not a result of a personal feud but of a long struggle for land.

Guevarra was shot dead inside his house by a lone gunman in barangay San Isidro, Laur, Nueva Ecija, around 4:30 p.m., July 9. The killer whisked away with a male companion on board a black motorcycle without a license plate. They headed north.

Guevarra was preparing the evening meal at the kitchen located at the back of the house when a man in his mid to late 30s, fair skinned, 5’5” in height, medium built, wearing a light blue shirt, denim pants and a hat quickly walked towards him and pulled a handgun tucked in his waist.


A photo of Pascual Guevarra
(Photo courtesy of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas / bulatlat.com)




The shots were heard by Ronnel Villoria, the victim’s grandson who was tying their carabao in the yard. He immediately rushed inside the house and saw the assailant standing over his wounded grandfather. Ronnel grabbed the assailant from behind and tried to wrest away the gun. He continued to struggle with the gunman until the latter broke free and shot Ronnel in the shoulder. The gunman hurriedly ran outside..... MORE

SourceBulatlat

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/07/17/pascual-guevarra-and-the-struggle-for-land/

Guerra Patani by Bel Cunanan 8 July 2010

Bel Cunana



Two protest cases will be watched with great interest because of their far-reaching implications. One is the protest case filed in the Comelec by former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza against chief rival Alfredo Lim. The other protest case scheduled to be filed today, the last day for filing, by losing LP vice presidential bet Mar Roxas before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is against Vice President Jejomar Binay. While the Atienza case is strictly local, it acquires a national significance because it involves the capital city. Atienza asserts that given the support of the Iglesia and El Shaddai, plus the popularity of former President Estrada under whose banner he ran, he would come out clearly the winner if the ballots of Manila were to be opened. The Comelec has approved his petition to this effect but Lim has filed a motion for reconsideration.


* * *


The case of Mar Roxas, which is being handled by lawyers of “The Firm,” has taken some time since the press conference a month ago, during which LP campaign manager Butch Abad and lawyer Joey Tenefrancia graphically detailed how all the “null votes” strangely got concentrated in Mar’s bailiwicks. In fact I thought Roxas wouldn’t file anymore and just sit out the one-year prescription period against an executive appointment, in the meantime continuing to act as de facto chief adviser of President Aquino until he could get back the Department of Trade post he held in the Estrada and Arroyo governments. ..... MORE

SourcePolitical Tidbits

URL: http://polbits.blogspot.com/2010/07/protest-cases-to-be-watched.html

‘Basyang’ leaves RP; death toll now 39, 84 missing 07/17/2010

‘Basyang’ leaves RP; death toll now 39, 84 missing


07/17/2010
The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) yesterday lowered its alert level from code “red” to “blue” after Typhoon “Basyang” left the country’s area of responsibility after battering several regions, including Metro Manila on Tuesday, leaving 39 persons dead while 84 others remained missing.

NDCC Executive Director and concurrent Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Benito Ramos said the lowering of the NDCC alert level was prompted by normalcy after two days of power outages in the capital region and other Luzon areas and the exit of Typhoon Basyang.

Under the “blue” alert, only half of the NDCC and OCD personnel are required to monitor the situation while the other half can already rest.

“The NDCC is now on blue alert…The situation is now normal,” Ramos said, although he admitted that electricity is not yet fully restored in some areas in Luzon.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, Ramos said the number of deaths was at 39, mostly in Region 4-A, which recorded 21 deaths. Region 3 and Region 5 recorded 13 and five deaths, respectively.

The number of missing rose to 84 following late reporting from the field, Ramos said. 

Of the missing, 49 are from Region 5, 31 are from Region 4-A, three from Region 3 and one from Region 6.
The number of injured is at 18 – 12 in Region 4-A, four in Region 5, and two in Region 3.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100717nat6.html


Enrile probable Senate President By Angie M. Rosales 07/17/2010

Realignment of forces up JPE landing top Senate post

Enrile probable Senate President


By Angie M. Rosales
07/17/2010
He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he may just be handed the Senate presidency on a silver platter again — without even fighting or even wishing for it. Again.

There now appears to be an emerging consensus to keep Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile in his post, as more senators seem to be leaning toward his continued leadership in the upper chamber.

A major realignment of forces in the Senate has been taking place the past few days and the so-called “Angara bloc,” currently considered the biggest group in the Senate which is being seen to provide the swing vote, appeared to have lost its steam after one of its members appeared to have already defected and committed the vote to the Liberal Party (LP) and its bet, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Panglinan.

“We have lost one (senator in our ranks) already,” Zubiri admitted to reporters in a press conference yesterday, pertaining to Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid.

The Angara bloc is led by Sen. Edgardo Angara and includes Zubiri, Senators Loren Legarda, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Lapid.

But the chances of the LP’s bet for the Senate presidency grabbing the top post remain dim as those who have stayed on with the Angara bloc tend to favor a “compromise” candidate in the person of Enrile, who, even as he retains his post as Senate President, has not made a bid for it.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100717hed1.html


Migz decries Koko’s false charges By Angie M. Rosales 07/17/2010

Migz decries Koko’s false charges


By Angie M. Rosales
07/17/2010
Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri yesterday rapped defeated senatorial candidate Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel on what he termed as “falsities” and malicious charges following the accusations made by the latter who had claimed that Zubiri deceived the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) which had already come up with a resolution allowing the counter-suit filed by Zubiri. 

Pimentel had charged that alleged staff members of Zubiri participated in and presented themselves as “representatives” of the three senators sitting as judges in a pending electoral case against their principal.

“This is absolutely false. This is a pure canard,” Zubiri told the Tribune, in reaction to the charge made by Pimentel, adding that “it pains me that he (Pimentel) would engage in such malicious, dirty tricks.”

Zubiri yesterday decried the malicious attempt by Pimentel to obstruct due process by trying to
railroad the rules and processes of the SET.

“How can Koko say the fight is over when my 25 percent counter protested area clearly shows that cheating took place in Metro Manila and Mega Manila especially when the SET revisors found tens of thousands of spurious or fake ballots in these areas?” Zubiri pointed out.

At the same time, however, Zubiri said he was willing to forgo the recount the remaining 75 percent of the contested ballots in the May 14, 2007 senatorial polls pending before the SET.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100717hed2.html


Solons seek probe of DoJ charges vs AFP in new slays 07/17/2010

Solons seek probe of DoJ charges vs AFP in new slays


07/17/2010
Lawmakers yesterday said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s reported allegation that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is behind the recent killings of activists is so serious that it needs to be looked into.

“This is a very serious accusation considering that the AFP under the Constitution is the protector of the people,” Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga stressed.

He said the basic requirement of due process mandates that evidence should be presented to support the allegation and thereafter AFP should be given the opportunity to disprove the allegation.

“I anticipate that some of my colleagues in the 15th Congress would be filing a resolution calling for an investigation on this matter,” Barzaga added.

Marikina Rep. Romero Federico Quimbo said while he trusts in the credibility and track record of the new Justice chief, “I do not want to immediately pass judgment on the culpability of the AFP.”

“The circumstances are highly suspicious that should lead us to investigate the matter and definitely, Congress must look into it,” he added.

Quimbo said he is deeply alarmed that the recent victims are mostly teachers whose numbers are already dwindling but continue to respond to the call of duty.

“In the end, the issue is not only about the death of activists, but how the country’s democratic and government institutions are being misused and abused. These killings must stop,” he added.

“There are quite a number of former activists that were elected in Congress. Maybe, this is a good opportunity for all of us to unite, regardless of parties we belong to, in this call to stop these killings of activists in the country,” Quimbo stressed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100717hed3.html

Neri pleads not guilty to NBN charges By Charlie V. Manalo 07/17/2010

Neri pleads not guilty to NBN charges


By Charlie V. Manalo
07/17/2010
Former National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director General Romulo Neri pleaded not guilty yesterday to graft charges filed against him before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the aborted $329-million national broadband (NBN) contract with ZTE Corp. of China.

Waiting for at least 30 minutes for the Sandiganbayan 5th Division justices to arrive, Neri took only a few minutes to enter his plea and leave the courtroom.

While Neri refused to comment on the possibility of his turning state witness, his counsel, Paul Lentajas said his client has no intention whatsoever of becoming a witness for the “Truth Commission” formed by President Aquino to investigate the alleged anomalies that hounded the Arroyo administration, including the ZTE-NBN deal fiasco.
“Whatever the Truth Commission will do is irrelevant as the case is already in court,” Lentejas stressed.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100717hed4.html


Rebel soldiers to file raps vs Garci generals By Mario J. Mallari 07/17/2010

Rebel soldiers to file raps vs Garci generals


By Mario J. Mallari
07/17/2010
Sleepless nights will hound the generals said to have been involved in the 2004 vote-rigging operations later tagged as the “Hello Garci” generals.
Rebel soldiers will be testing the “openness” of President Aquino’s administration in upholding justice by pursuing cases against officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), active and retired alike, allegedly involved in the 2004 electoral cheating.
Lawyer Trixie Angeles, who represents Scout Ranger Maj. Jason Aquino and retired Marine Lt. Col. Achilles Segumilian in the ongoing general court martial proceedings, vowed that they will give the officers linked to the election fraud “sleepless nights.”
According to Angeles, while her clients see “hopes” in the Aquino administration, they will be seeking justice by running after those who were involved in the 2004 electoral fraud as contained in the controversial “Hello Garci” recordings.
“We will test it by first going after those Garci officers,” Angeles said.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100717hed5.html


More than 100 Pinoys face death penalty abroad — DFA 07/17/2010

More than 100 Pinoys face death penalty abroad — DFA


07/17/2010
More than 100 Filipinos, mostly in the Middle East and China, are facing death for committing various crimes, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said.

But the DFA stressed these concern the death penalty, not death row cases. 

“The latter implies that final judgment of conviction has already been reached and the Filipinos concerned are simply awaiting execution,” a department statement said.

The cases of the Filipinos involve several offenses such as rape, drug smuggling and homicide and are pending
in China, Malaysia, Kuwait, Brunei, United States and Saudi Arabia. The cases are in different stages, but in the event of conviction the maximum penalty is death.

Out of 102, 16 are Filipinos in the Middle East who are charged with murder/homicide (including rape/robbery with murder). 

Seventy-four involve drug-related cases, most of which are in China, while three are non-drug related cases.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100717hed6.html


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