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Shocking FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/29/2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010



Ninez Cacho-Olivares


After denouncing the Arroyo administration for its huge borrowing sprees in the past nine years, resulting in miring the country and its people in debt, there went Noynoy Aquino, through his Finance chief, Cesar Purisima, announcing that the Aquino government intends to borrow — hold your breath — a shocking P766.4 billion ($17 billion) plus another $200 million this year, to finance infrastructure spending.

The 2010 budget deficit is estimated at P325 billion, yet Aquino wants to borrow much more to plug the deficit, although Purisima says part of the funds will go into infrastructure spending.

Not even Gloria, or for that matter Erap, borrowed, in their first six months in office that kind of fantastic amount to plug the budget deficits.

And to think that which they will be borrowing for this year, is just a little less than half of Aquino’s proposed whooping P1.75 trillion budget!

If today, we, the taxpayers, are paying some P300 billion a year to pay the interest — and not even the principal — of the debts incurred by government, just think of how much more we will have to pay for incurring an additional P766.4 billion debt — and that’s just for this year. No doubt there will again be fresh borrowings next year, and the next, and the next. And whether or not there is no automatic appropriation, this still has to be paid, unless government wants to default on its payments..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100729com2.html

Vatican losing communications fight ANALYSIS 07/29/2010

Vatican losing communications fight


VATICAN CITY — With gay marriage becoming legal in Catholic strongholds such as Argentina and Portugal, the Vatican is showing an inability to adapt its message to changing times, analysts say.

The Roman Catholic Church is “slow to take societal change into account,” said Vatican historian Giancarlo Zizola.

The Vatican “needs to rethink its moral discourse toward today’s youth because so far it has created a set of police-like rules, turning sexuality into a nightmare,” he added.

Vatican watcher Bruno Bartoloni agreed, saying: “The Church preaches old-fashioned attitudes in some areas,” with many wondering why the Church is still opposed to divorce.

He added: “For a long time now, the Church has been losing ground in countries that are historically close, and governments are gradually distancing themselves as well.”.... MORE

Chavit son faces life term for HK drug smuggling BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 07/29/2010

Chavit son faces life term for HK drug smuggling


Louie Logarta


\"What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” is an old-fashioned English expression that suggests if a particular course of action (say in the courts) can be applied to one individual then in like manner it can also be applied to another. In other words, parity which according definitions we have looked up is a legal concept used in “codecision procedure” disallowing one institution from making a decision before securing consent from the other institution engaged in the procedure. Simply stated — being fair to both sides.

All things being considered, it would be the height of naivete to assume that lawyer Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, topnotcher in the 1990 Bar exams and presently a professor in the University of the East College of Law, is unaware of such a basic principle.

However, if we were to go by Pimentel’s recent pronunciations to his friends in the print and broadcast media, it would appear so. This is in connection with the three-year-old protest he has with the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) after being edged out by some 20,000 votes by his rival Zubiri for the 12th and last spot in the winner’s circle for the senatorial derby during the May 2007 polls, despite having led throughout the vote counting supervised by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Pimentel was all the more incensed when he saw the slim lead he had been enjoying over 13th placer Zubiri since the start of the counting on the precinct level overhauled in a snap when the Supreme Court (SC) in an en banc ruling in June 2007 permitted the Comelec to include the ballots from the province of Maguindanao, a known administration bailiwick, in the canvassing. He had been trying to stop the Comelec from counting the ballots from Maguindanao where he alleged wholesale fraud had taken place, but to no avail.

But the SET, which is made up of three SC Associate Justices and six members of the Senate, would have none of it and in the interest of fairness voted 7 to 2 to give way to Zubiri’s counter-protest that included a request to open over 50,000 more boxes from places where he claimed to have also been cheated.

Pimentel is throwing caution to the wind and is courting a contempt citation by the SET for violating an earlier gag order to refrain from discussing in public the merits of the technical issues of the protest; but while Zubiri had dutifully complied with said order, he went amuck in the media and even linked the Senate presidency issue to the SET resolution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100729com4.html

You were wrong, Mr. President By Ronald Roy COMMENT 07/29/2010

You were wrong, Mr. President

By Ronald Roy


Until Friday last week, former Sen. Noynoy Aquino had never been great shakes wherever we bumped into each other, whether in some pub or bistro, or even when he came to a Roy wake two years ago. The nice thing about his persona was that he always seemed an approachable guy who would be delighted to discuss with anyone the biggest sports story of the day.

He hasn’t changed much since, even if he was now the most powerful Filipino in the world. This would be evident to those who had come last Friday to the residence of the late Sen. Magnolia Antonino just five blocks from where I live in New Manila.

When an eerie hush suddenly fell upon the living room where Tita Mags — my moniker for her — lay in state, we all knew President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino had arrived. Donned in a black T-shirt bearing that ubiquitous yellow ribbon above his left chest with a matching pair of black trousers, the President silently headed straight toward the casket to pay the traditional last respects.

After some moments, he turned around, flashed a smile at everybody, and the cameras commenced clicking away. It seemed that the picture-taking session with anonymous fans would never end, until Judy Araneta-Roxas, Mar’s mother, decided to pull him away.

I had been reminiscing with Judy for sometime in the formal dining room about our family ties — nurtured in the post-war days of Manuel Roxas, Amado Araneta and Jose Roy — when she told me not to leave my seat as she was going to sit Noynoy beside me at the huge circular good-for-twelve table where he would join a small company of six. We rose to our feet when the President moved forward to shake our hands. Somehow I knew I would enjoy a light moment with a typical Atenean..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100729com5.html

‘Proof of pudding is in the eating’ VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 07/29/2010

‘Proof of pudding is in the eating’


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz


The 2010 State of the Nation Address (Sona) may be legitimately subject to different perceptions and interpretations. It can be also open to various appreciations and projections. This is not only well expected but also perfectly understandable, even but considering that every individual has his considered options and personal preferences. In the understanding and estimation of the substantive contents of the said Sona, there are at least three major socio-political and economic factors that served as its inevitable underpinnings — all within the content and context of the nauseous “legacy” of the past administration:

One: The institutionalization of corruption in government.

This is one big, profound and extensive ethical liability in public service. The fact that it has been slowly but surely implanted and cultivated for about a decade, means that this deeply and widely propagated malady could easily take years to extirpate — not only from the mind but also the psyche of those holding public offices. The President needs all the available help of his own people to reserve this amorality in public service, in all the branches of government. How and for how long? Who can really say?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100729com6.html

Vietnam’s inefficient state firms in spotlight focus 07/29/2010

Vietnam’s inefficient state firms in spotlight



HANOI — The near-bankruptcy of one of Vietnam’s largest state-owned enterprises highlights a lack of oversight and easy access to capital by the inefficient business groups, observers say.

In early July the ruling Communist Party announced that the chairman of shipbuilder Vinashin, Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, would be reprimanded for pushing the firm to the brink of bankruptcy.

The government said Pham Thanh Binh had been suspended and was accountable for the group’s debts, which local media said amounted to at least 80 trillion dong ($4.3 billion).

Police are reportedly investigating..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100729com7.html

Palace admits GMA’s budget disbursements legal By Aytch S. de la Cruz 07/29/2010

Passes off Noy’s misleading claims as Arroyo’s ‘lack of prudence’

Palace admits GMA’s budget disbursements legal

By Aytch S. de la Cruz


Are their faces red, but they are still trying to save face by injecting a morality issue.

Malacañang yesterday admitted that there was nothing anomalous after all in President Aquino’s claimed “shock and awe” expose against his predecessor, former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, with her budget appropriations and expenditures when she was still the Chief Executive, as all these have all been accounted for by the 14th Congress.

This was the admission issued yesterday by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Mario Relampagos who served as presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda’s guest of the day at a Malacañang press conference, for him to provide explanations in light of House Minority Leader Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman’s contra-Sona statements last Tuesday.

Neither truth nor facts “exposed” could be foundin Aquino’s maiden State of the Nation Address, as the speech was both “defective in what it said” and “deficient in what it failed to say,”Edcel Lagman said as he delivered a contra-Sona.

Lagman pointed out that the minority criticized the Sona as a means by which to tell Aquino that the figures and other information that he had stated in his speech were both wrong and misleading..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100729hed1.html

Aquino’s LP Senate allies lose again By Angie M. Rosales 07/29/2010

Aquino’s LP Senate allies lose again

By Angie M. Rosales


President Aquino’s allies in the Senate, his party mates from the Liberal Party (LP), failed to grab some of the so-called juicy committee assignments in the face of strong resistance from members of the bigger majority.

Upper chamber leaders yesterday decided to give some time off in deciding on the final panel chairmen of the 37 permanent committees as senators continue to be at loggerheads over this matter.

Worse, there are those who are now into a word war, as evidenced in the case of Senators Ralph Recto and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. who are both out to grab hold of the committee on public services, the panel that reviews and approves the congressional franchises for public utilities and some government entities.

“It’s a case of smaller guys wanting the bigger pie,” Sen. Joker Arroyo, who is with the minority bloc, said, referring to the so-called

LP bloc in the Senate, composed of Senators Recto, Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan and Teofisto Guingona III..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100729hed2.html

Fresh complaint filed to oust Mikey Arroyo 07/29/2010

Fresh complaint filed to oust Mikey Arroyo


Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) party-list Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo is facing a fresh disqualification case before the House of Repre-sentatives Electoral Tribunal in connection with his alleged ineligibility to represent the marginalized sector of security guards and tricycle drivers in the 15th Congress.

The complainant, losing Liberal Party (LP) senatorial bet Riza Hontiveros, yesterday said Arroyo violated Section 6 of the Commis-sion on Elections (Comelec) Resolution 8807, which requires party-list candidates to file appropriate documents to prove that the nominee really represents a marginalized group.

“Mikey did not submit these documents to prove that he really belongs to the private sector. This bolsters doubt about his eligibility to sit as a member of the 15th Congress when all other party-list representatives complied with the requirement,” she noted.

“It seems that Mr. Arroyo wants to propagate himself in power. He attacked the party-list system not to represent security guards but to secure his mother (former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo),” she added.

In a 10-page complaint, Hontiveros noted that even the Comelec’s law department director, lawyer Rafael Rafanan, told Akbayan in a letter, acknowledging that Arroyo failed to produce any legal documents that could prove his affiliation with AGP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100729hed3.html

6 bets make it to SC vacancy shortlist 07/29/2010

6 bets make it to SC vacancy shortlist


The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) yesterday came up with a shortlist of nominees for appointment to fill up the lone vacant position in the Supreme Court (SC).

The vacancy in the 15-member high tribunal occurred with the controversial appointment last May 17 of then Associate Justice Renato Corona as the 23rd chief justice of the SC. He succeeded Chief Justice Reynato Puno who retired on the same date.

At a press conference, SC spokesman and Court adminis-trator Jose Midas Marquez said leading the shortlist is Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice and Taxation Law expert Jaapar Dimaampao with six votes, followed by former University of the Philippines College of Law Dean Raul Pangalangan and CA Associate Justice Noel Tijam with five votes each, and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commis-sioner Rene Sarmiento, CA Associate Justice Hakim Abdul-wahid and Asian Institute of Management (AIM) executive director Ma. Lourdes Sereno with four votes each..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100729hed4.html

Querubin granted provisional liberty By Mario J. Mallari 07/29/2010

Querubin granted provisional liberty

By Mario J. Mallari


Highly decorated Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, who was detained for the past four years for allegedly plotting to overthrow the administration of former President Arroyo in 2006, was granted provisional liberty yesterday by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David Jr. approved the transfer of cus-tody of Queru-bin, one of the few living Medal of Valor award-ees, from the Intelligence Service of the AFP (Isafp) to Brig. Gen. Rey-naldo Ordoñez, chief of the AFP’s Office of De-fense Reforms.

David said Ordoñez, as custodian of Querubin, will take full responsibility for the former Marine colonel starting Wednesday.

“General Ordoñez will take full charge and responsibility for the custody of ex-Marine Colonel Querubin and that of his production when so required by the court,” David said.

“He (Ordoñez) is also directed with utmost diligence to secure Querubin and prevent his escape otherwise be held accountable for any violation of the pertinent provisions of the Articles of War 74 (releasing prisoner without proper authority) and other applicable provisions of the Revised Penal Code on Infidelity on the Custody of prisoners,” added David..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100729hed5.html

Lacson’s arrest order upheld by judge 07/29/2010

Lacson’s arrest order upheld by judge

By Aytch S. de la Cruz

Fugtive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson will not be surfacing from his under-ground hideout in a long while after a Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge denied his appeal for a review as well as a revocation of his arrest warrant.

Lacson left the country for Hong Kong in early January this year and went into hiding, aware that an arrest warrant would be issued against him.

He had his lawyers appeal for a review of his case, seeking a reversal of the case filed against him by the daughters of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer.

Dacer, along with his driver, Emanuel Corbito was murdered in November 2000.

Based on the affidavit and testimony of Cesar Mancao, a closed-in aide of Lacson when he was the Philippine National Police chief and prior to that the chief of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, Mancao pointed to Lacson as the brains behind the double murder of Dacer and Corbito..... MORE.

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100729hed1.html

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