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Liquidity problems EDITORIAL 07/25/2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Liquidity problems



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
07/25/2010
Was there really a water shortage? Or has Metro Manila been a victim of an elaborate stage-managed crisis situation to extract a water rate hike?
The circumstances on the supposed water crisis were very suspicious.
The operator of the water services for the so-called west zone of the capital region made up of the cities of Manila, Quezon, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon is Maynilad Water Services Inc., which is deep in debt to the tune of anyhere between P11 billion and P14 billion and is in desperate need of an increase in water rates to improve its supply network.

Maynilad used to be managed by the Lopezes but it unilaterally rescinded its concession contract with the Manila Water and Sewerage System (MWSS) and got away with it without any penalties and later on decided to stay on in exchange for the government converting P8 billion of the company’s debts into government equity.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100725com1.html


Unpresidential Noynoy FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/25/2010

Unpresidential Noynoy



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
07/25/2010
Too bad, Noynoy Aquino is still in that campaign mode, not realizing that he is now president, and needs to talk and act like a president, and not a presidential candidate campaigning for votes.

The other day, Noynoy gave the media teasers on how his State of the Nation Address (Sona) speech will go, and saying that the nation will be shocked at the discoveries made by him and his Palace team, complete with at least “five exposes,” he said, adding that even those in the know will still get shocked at the revelations he will be making in his speech, with remarks such as, huh? They actually did that? How could they have done that?

It was said in the context too, of calamity funds having gone to a congressional district that was not even affected by the typhoons that visited the country in the past.

There were other “teasers” Noynoy gave, focused mostly on the pittance left by Gloria Arroyo and her administration in the coffers, some P100 billion, so he said.

Noynoy, or at least his spokesman, claimed that these have to be brought to the attention of the public so that they would know where Noynoy is coming from and from there, will provide a road map of what can be expected in the next six years of his presidency.

Fine. But does Noynoy have to still publicly demonize his predecessor?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100725com2.html


Survivors of Khmer Rouge torture center await justice FEATURE 07/25/2010

Survivors of Khmer Rouge torture center await justice



FEATURE

07/25/2010
PHNOM PENH — In January 1979, as the Khmer Rouge regime collapsed and its leaders fled Phnom Penh, invading Vietnamese troops stumbled upon an abandoned prison with fresh corpses chained to iron beds.

It was Tuol Sleng, or “Hill of the Poisonous Trees,” the most infamous of all of the jails run by Pol Pot’s murderous regime.

Next week the prison’s former chief Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, will hear the verdict in his trial at a UN-backed tribunal where witnesses have recounted the horrors of a place from which almost no one came out alive.

Norng Chan Phal, 40, is one of just a handful of survivors to emerge from the Khmer Rouge regime’s main torture center, liberated by the Vietnamese invasion.

He told the trial last year how, as a child, he saw Tuol Sleng guards threaten, beat and photograph his mother. Soon afterwards she disappeared and was never seen again.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100725com3.html


Litmus test for P-Noy BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 07/25/2010

Litmus test for P-Noy



BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
07/25/2010
There are a few remaining vestiges of the much-despised Arroyo administration which President Noynoy Aquino should tear down if he wishes to maintain his seemingly immense popularity among the masses, who after all were responsible for his overwhelming victory in the May 10 elections which is why he now finds himself ensconced in Malacañang.

The words he had enunciated so eloquently during his inauguration speech delivered at the Quirino Grandstand on June 30 when he assumed power before an expectant Filipino nation still resonate in our ears.

“Kayo ang boss ko, kaya’t hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo… Kayo ang nagdala sa akin sa puntong ito — ang ating mga volunteers — matanda, bata, celebrity, ordinaryong tao, na umikot sa Pilipinas para ikampanya ang pagbabago; ang aking mga kasambahay, na nag-asikaso ng lahat ng aking mga personal na pangangailangan; ang aking pamilya, kaibigan at katrabaho, na dumamay, nag-alaga at nagbigay ng suporta sa akin; ang ating mga abogado, na nagpuyat para bantayan ang ating mga boto at siguraduhing mabibilang ang bawat isa; ang aking mga kapartido at kaalyado na kasama kong nangahas mangarap; at ang milyun-milyong Pilipinong nagkaisa, nagtiwala at hindi nawalan ng pag-asa — nasa inyo ang aking taus-pusong pasasalamat… Papaigtingin namin ang proseso ng konsultasyon ag pag-uulat sa taumbayan… Dito magwawakas ang pamumunong manhid sa daing ng taumbayan.”

Well, P-Noy (the monicker by which he wants to be called) will have an excellent opportunity tomorrow, when he makes his very first state-of-the-nation address (Sona) before a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives to mark the formal opening of 15th Congress, to be true to his word in getting rid of the image of the kind of leader Mrs. Arroyo had morphed into — one who was detached from reality and impervious to the plight of a long-suffering citizenry.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100725com4.html


SLTC operating illegally? C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 07/25/2010

SLTC operating illegally?



C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
07/25/2010
After getting flak for attempting to jump the gun on the thousands of motorists and biyaheros using the South Luzon Expressway (Slex) daily with that whooping 250 percent toll fee increase just days before P-Noy’s inauguration, the RP-Malaysian tollroad operator — South Luzon Tollways Corp. (SLTC) — is in for another round of excoriation. And this time it may be fatal as it involves the very franchise upon which the whole operating agreement is based. Records show that the operator which is owned 80 percent by Malaysian company, MTD Capital, and 20 percent by the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) used the latter’s franchise to legitimatize its takeover of the operation and maintenance of the 27 km Alabang-Calamba portion of the expressway.

Apparently, PNCC posited it will be able to renew its franchise for another 50 years thus when the partnership agreement was signed and approved by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) toward the end of 2007 all the parties thought everything will be fine and dandy. Well, PNCC’s franchise which expired last May 1, 2007 and has not been renewed since. To remedy the situation and save Malacañang from further embarassment, the PNCC Board by Art Aguilar and the TRB jointly requested the Palace to issue a 15 year administrative franchise. ... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100725com5.html


Dead in the water TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 07/25/2010

Dead in the water



TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
07/25/2010
At first glance, if you are not a media buff who knows camera angular vantages you would think that the visuals provided by the evening TV news depicting frantic people in queues for water supply and the irate clients in near fist fights are the first signs of chaotic Armageddon in the offing, an inevitability this world is about to plunge into. As one environmental advocacy group suggests, the immediate root of a third world war would be water — potable water and not terrorism nor nuclear arsenals. By then the survival of the fittest would the survival of the fastest — whoever runs faster with watertanks tucked on his back or gulps the most to irrigate parched throats.
Water wars, of course would not be by violently drowning one’s opponents and enemies, but a la bandit style of marauding and ravaging whatever is left on the wells, pipes and faucets and to protect such great salvaged find with one’s own dear life by snuffing out the life and limbs of threatening predators, as if by extreme beastly humanity.

Of course, we have seen these scenarios before in parched dry lands such as Nigeria, Ethiopia and the rest of dry Africa, but not in a tropical and island nation such as the Philippines on a rainy or wet season as today. Tell tale signs but are indeed nightmarish. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100725com6.html


The public purse: Empty of cash but full of debts VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 07/25/2010

The public purse: Empty of cash but full of debts



VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
07/25/2010
One particular sinister expertise of the previous administration was how to spend and disburse public funds with neither care nor remorse — and how to incur public debts without reserve or concern. On the one hand, it nonchalantly made payments to gain and stay in power. It lavishly spent for local non-events and luxurious foreign travels. On the other hand, it borrowed money like a drunk, incurred debts upon debts without any guilt or regret. As its infamous and shameless legacy, it left a public purse that is empty of cash but full of debts. And how!

This is exactly why the present administration has no rational option but most probably to do the following — among other consonant agenda: One, extirpate all graft and corrupt practices in government, and apply the full force of the law to their principals and agents. Two, pay special attention to the doings of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the workings of Bureau of Customs, the operation of the Department of Public Works and Highways plus the conduct of all government owned corporations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100725com7.html


Bombshells hitting Gloria not intended, says Palace By Aytch S. de la Cruz 07/25/2010

ARROYO OFF TO HK, TO MISS SONA

Bombshells hitting Gloria not intended, says Palace


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
07/25/2010
Former President Arroyo is expected to absorb collateral damage from President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) tomorrow but the direct hits on now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo will not be intentional since Aquino will be stating the effects of the many irregularities he inherited from the past administration, the Palace said yesterday to describe the outline of Aquino’s first address before members of the joint Congress.
Malacañang yesterday implied that it cannot do anything if Arroyo will come out as the villain on the list of what Aquino termed as landmines left by the former administration that will be revealed tomorrow in the Sona during the opening of the 15th Congress.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, however, emphasized that while Aquino is determined to disclose the so-called anomalies of the previous administration, the overall content of his speech has no intention to directly spite the erstwhile Chief Executive.
“We are not thinking about Congresswoman Arroyo because this is just a factual perception against the previous administration. So if she is going to be hit by that, it is only because we are enumerating the problems that we inherited [from her government]. There is no intention to spite or to offend Congresswoman Gloria Arroyo,” Lacierda said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100725hed1.html


5 pol parties merge, to play ‘fiscalizer’ role in House By Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo 07/25/2010

5 pol parties merge, to play ‘fiscalizer’ role in House


By Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo
07/25/2010

Five political parties yesterday signed a working coalition agreement creating a “third force” in the administration-led House of Representatives.

At the weekly Kapihan sa Sulo, representatives from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Nacionalista Party (NP), Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and PDP-Laban signed the memorandum announcing that “from now on, the administration’s political party, the Liberal Party (LP), would have to deal with us as a group and not as separate political parties.”

“And in so doing, by combining our collective strength, we can play the role of a fiscalizer in the House of Representatives,” Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla of NP said.

“While we will be supporting the majority coalition in the House, we will be in the middle. If there is something to criticize, we will criticize. If there is something to commend, we will commend,” San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said.

According to Remulla, with the five parties, including the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), which failed to send a representative, they would be a force to reckon with in the House as they have around 80 lawmakers under their bloc.

With 80 congressmen, the number could figure dominantly in the choice for speakership, much more in the passage of measures in the House.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100725hed2.html


CBCP applies pressure anew on contraceptives, sex ed 07/25/2010 The influentia

CBCP applies pressure anew on contraceptives, sex ed


07/25/2010
The influential Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is again exerting pressure on President Aquino to reject sex education and the Reproductive Health bill through a pastoral letter it will issue today and read during the Sunday Mass in all of the country’s churches.

The CBCP reminded Aquino that he must adhere to the legacy left by his mother, former President Cory Aquino, who toed the line of the Church on population control during her presidency.

This will be among the contents of the pastoral letter of CBCP president Nereo Odchimar Catholic priests will read in today’s Masses.

“We reiterate that the Church is not against sex education. But for reasons of morality and religious faith, we strongly object to the proposed sex education program. The program is devoid of any substantive moral and religious value formation,” according to the the pastoral letter given in advance to media.

“In matters of character formation and nurturance in moral values, it is the parents who possess the fundamental and natural right and duty, a right acknowledged in the Constitution, a right which government may not take away and arrogate unto itself,” it read.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100725hed3.html


Lakas: Bid to dissolve House body linked to SCTex scam By Gerry Baldo 07/25/2010

Lakas: Bid to dissolve House body linked to SCTex scam


By Gerry Baldo
07/25/2010
Stalwarts of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD in the House of Representatives smell something fishy in the insistence of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) to abolish the House oversight committee.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said something must be cooking at the ruling party.

“They might be planning to hide something (in abolishing the House body),” Lagman told reporters covering the Lakas-Kampi-CMD caucus in Clark Field, Pampanga.

Lagman said they could not understand why such an important panel would be abolished amid claims by the LP that transparency would be one of the hallmarks of the Aquino administration.

“That was the decision...to abolish,” he said.

Lawyer Raul Lambino, who was designated as the Lakas-Kampi-CMD spokesman, shared Lagman’s views. He said the abolition must have something to do with the panel’s investigation into the issue of the SCTex access road to Hacienda Luisita.

The House oversight committee then headed by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez has investigated the allegations that Hacienda Luisita, owned by the Aquinos and Cojuangcos, unduly benefitted from the construction of the access road which was funded by the Philippine government..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100725hed4.html


Nokor threatens nuclear ‘sacred war’ 07/25/2010

Nokor threatens nuclear ‘sacred war’


07/25/2010
SEOUL — North Korea has threatened a “powerful nuclear deterrence” in response to joint US-South Korean naval exercises as tensions escalate over the sinking of one of Seoul’s warships in March.

North Korea was prepared for a “retaliatory sacred war,” the powerful National Defense Commission (NDC) headed by leader Kim Jong-Il yesterday said in a statement carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The United States and South Korea have announced joint naval exercises, beginning on Sunday, in what they have described as a bid to deter North Korea’s “aggressive” behavior.

“All these war maneuvers are nothing but outright provocations aimed to stifle the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) by force of arms to all intents and purposes,” the NDC said.

“The army and people of the DPRK will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the US and the South Korean puppet forces.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100725hed5.html


Three major quakes rattle Mindanao 07/25/2010

Three major quakes rattle Mindanao


07/25/2010
Three major quakes measuring between magnitude 7.3 and 7.6 hit the southern Philippines early yesterday, seismologists said, but there were no reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The underwater quakes struck at a depth of between 575 and 605 kilometers, just over 100 kilometers southwest of Cotabato, on the island of Mindanao, the US Geological Survey said.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no destructive tsunami was generated by the 7.3-, 7.6- and 7.4-magnitude quakes, the first of which hit at 6:08 a.m. 

“It was kind of mild,” said Monisa Tulawie, a staff member at the Cotabato city mayor’s office, who said she felt one of the quakes.

Other residents contacted by phone were unaware of what had happened, saying they had not been woken by the tremors.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said it has not monitored any damage incurred from the earthquake that rocked a big portion of the country Saturday morning.

“There is no damage. Although it’s 6.1 magnitude, there are no reported damages in the Cotabato City areas,” said NDCC Executive Officer and concurrent Office of Civil Defense Administrator Benito Ramos..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100725hed6.html


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