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Too early for a coup EDITORIAL 08/05/2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Too early for a coup

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With the Liberal Party senators getting the choice committee chairmanships, and with reports of other non-LP senators being disgruntled, as they feel they have been handed crumbs, by way of committees to head, it is now being speculated upon that it won’t be long before a coup occurs that will oust Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile.

To his credit, however, Enrile has always made it clear that he is ready anytime to step down as the Senate chief, as long as there is the required number of senators who want a change in the upper chamber’s leadership.
It is public knowledge that Enrile was not keen on retaining the Senate leadership post, but had to give in a super-majority of senators that wanted him back as Senate president..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100805com1.html

Burning his bridges FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/05/2010

Burning his bridges

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
He has really burned his bridges.
Ping Lacson is now a certified fugitive but has thus far succeeded in hiding from authorities for some six months and counting. If he does get caught, chances are high that he may not even be able to post bail on the murder charges filed against him, because he has proven himself to be a flight risk. He will have to face charges and be detained in a cell.

The senator left the country last January, in anticipation of a regional trial court judge issuing a warrant for his arrest based on the two counts of murder filed against him for the twin killings of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, sometime in November 2000.

The murder complaint was filed against him by the daughters of Dacer, following an affidavit from Cesar Mancao, a close aide of Lacson, who had turned state witness.

Mancao has pointed to Lacson as the brains behind the murder of Dacer.

Lacson has denied having any hand in the twin slaying of Dacer and his driver.

An international manhunt has been launched against Lacson after he was included in the Interpol’s red list, but to date, he has not been caught, nor even spotted by Interpol.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100805com2.html

Indian ‘honor killings’ up as young shun marriage customs FEATURE 08/05/2010

Indian ‘honor killings’ up as young shun marriage customs


NEW DELHI — The uncle was unrepentant about savagely killing his niece and her fiance who had the audacity to want to wed each other in defiance of Indian marriage traditions.

“I have no regrets and I would punish them all over again if given another chance,” the uncle, Om Prakash, told the news media after his arrest by New Delhi police, asserting he had acted to save the family honor.

Asha Saini, 19, and her 21-year-old boyfriend Yogesh Kumar were found stabbed to death in mid-June with their legs and arms bound and their bodies covered with electric shock burns.

The murders came amid a spurt in so-called “honor killings” of couples who seek their own partners, breaching deeply entrenched tradition which dictates that the parents decide who their children should wed.

Asha Saini’s family believed it would bring dishonor if the girl, whose father was a prosperous vegetable wholesaler, married her boyfriend, a poor taxi driver.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100805com3.html

De Lima cans Mikey classmate in BI facelift BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 08/05/2010

De Lima cans Mikey classmate in BI facelift

Louie Logarta
Cagayan de Oro City, the biggest urban center in Northern Mindanao, has a slew of monickers that it goes by. Kagayanons (as the residents are collectively called) like to say “The City of Golden Friendship.” The Department of Tourism refers to CDO as “The Gateway to Mindanao.” Others call it “The City of the River of Gold.”

But personally the name that appeals most is “The City of Smiles” alluding to the sunny disposition of the place which is relatively tranquil all year round as it is rarely beset by typhoons or fierce weather disturbances.

Unfortunately, the smiles turn into frowns, frowns on the faces of the hundreds of passengers of Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines jets which arrive daily at CDO’s Lumbia Airport, as they are forced to stand inside the arrival area while awaiting their luggage to be unloaded and put on the solitary carousel. Because there isn’t a single chair around for them to sit on and rest their aching doggies.

Yes, that’s right, not one chair or stool inside the Lumbia Airport’s arrival area. And Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) director general Alfonso Cusi better believe this, if he knows what’s good for him.

What if a passenger suddenly faints due to the heat, because there is no air conditioning, while the slowpoke airport staffers drag their feet in unloading the baggage from the plane? Where do you place the poor guy while he is being resuscitated, lay him down on the filthy floor? What of the senior citizens who disembark and enter the arrival area? These people cannot stay too long on their feet and invariably will have to sit down at some point.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100805com4.html

Vox Dei: Free Trillanes! COMMENTS 08/05/2010

Vox Dei: Free Trillanes!


Aside from being a hauntingly beautiful aria from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical Sound of Music, Nothing comes from nothing for me marks the cornerstone of Julie Andrews’ career as a thespian and diva. For a theologian, it may suggest the awesome story of Creation, or for an atheist the reactionary theory of the big bang.

For me, Nothing comes from nothing also suggests a people’s philosophical proof of their God-given sovereign power barking out the divine command that soldier Antonio Trillanes be accessed to all the senatorial duties which the electorate of 2007 ordered him to discharge. If you cannot grasp this esoteric thesis, my dear readers, please bear with me as I struggle through the next 700 words or so.

Should Senator Trillanes be allowed to attend the regular sessions of the upper chamber? Absolutely. The doctrinal maxims Vox Populi Est Non Semper Vox Dei (the voice of the people is not always the voice of God) and Salus Populi Est Suprema Lex (the welfare of the people is the supreme law, i.e. even higher than the constitution) militate against the senator’s continued unjust incarceration.

The two Latin adages assert the very essence of the sovereign character or nature of a people feeling, thinking, aspiring and acting in a manner reflective of the sentiments of their Majority (or plurality in appropriate cases). In a democracy, the majority or plurality rules while the minority takes a back seat.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100805com5.html

GMA regime VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 08/05/2010

GMA regime

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Power, command, control, dominion, dynasty — these are some of the more common realities associated with a “regime” in general. And rightly or wrongly, thus also distinctly stood the existential and operative mainly highly questionable features persistently attributed to the GMA regime.

Practically greeted with euphoria on the occasion of its constitutionally questioned succession in 2001, and also seriously doubted in its electoral validity in 2004, the regime went on from bad to worse in the perception of the general public. In fact, when it was moribund for some time, especially so in early 2010, the regime super head obtained the lowest approval — trust and acceptance attributes — public ratings squarely based on repeated and tenable surveys made by different entities. So categorically and consistently low were the said public ratings that these made singular history in Philippines politics, among Philippine presidents.

One reality, however, stood firm and clear. This: Meantime, the GMA element in the regime continued giving big smiles here and there, proudly waved hands to these and those people, and in fact managed to stand tall and straight — before local and foreign crowds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100805com6.html

Dutch clinic helps alcoholics by ‘binding them with beer’ 08/05/2010

Dutch clinic helps alcoholics by ‘binding them with beer’

AMERSFOORT — Alcoholic Janetta van Bruggen settles comfortably into a clinic chair, lights a cigarette and takes a supervised swig from a tall, frosted mug — her sixth beer since breakfast.

Previously forced to drink on the sly, up to two liters (two quarts) of wine and three liters of beer per day, she is one of 19 clients of an innovative Dutch clinic where homeless alcoholics get booze in rations to keep them on a “light buzz.”

“I will drink less from tomorrow,” the 51-year-old says with a wink, stepping up to a make-shift bar counter where she pays a social worker 40 euro cents ($0.52) for a half-liter of beer poured into a tall, frosted glass.

Behind the counter, a staff member makes a tick behind Van Bruggen’s name on a register kept between the stack of beer cans in the fridge and a pail of soapy water for washing mugs.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100805com7.html

Probe called for AFP officers’ May ’10 polls involvement By Mario J. Mallari 08/05/2010

NCRCom chief bares military officials engaged in partisan politics

Probe called for AFP officers’ May ’10 polls involvement

By Mario J. Mallari
Professionalism in the military is dead and has been for some time.

This was gathered after a high ranking military officer yesterday bared that there were many top ranking officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had actively engaged in partisan politics during the May 10 elections, and who have been rewarded by the poll winners for their political “support.”

Contrary to the claimed apolitical stance of the AFP, some ranking military officers have engaged in partisan politics during the last national polls as bared by incumbent National Capital Region Command (NCRCom) chief Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue who is now calling for the investigation of those who had engaged in “politicking.”

Just as it was in in 2004, Angue claimed that those who sided with the winners are now getting their rewards through their promotions and choice positions in the 120,000-strong military organization.

It was, however, not that clear just what Angue meant by politicking. During the 2004 presidential polls, however, high officials in the military were involved in the cheating operations to ensure the victory of then presidential candidate President Gloria Arroyo.

Also, the then AFP chief of staff before his resignation was demanded by then Sen. Noynoy Aquino, hinted broadly that there were some military officers who were actively involvedin partisan and electoral politics.

Then acting defense chief, Norberto Gonzales, was more blunt, saying there definitely was cheating in the last May 2010 polls.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100805hed1.html

Noy voids GMA’s ‘midnight’ appointments By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Gerry Baldo 08/05/2010

Noy voids GMA’s ‘midnight’ appointments

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Gerry Baldo
“Jojo” Ochoa has been deputized by the President to relieve the appointees concerned immediately by designating an officer-in-charge to fill the vacancy so as not to disrupt the delivery of public services.

Given the ambiguity of the term “midnight appointments”, Aquino’s EO2 decided to come up with three categories to determine whether an appointment was made before, on, or after the March 10 deadline which can be considered illegal.

“These appointments specifically refer to those which were made after March 10 or when the appointee took his oath or assumed office after March 10. The second category refers to those made to positions which became vacant only after March 10—these are the anticipated appointments. And the third are those which were made during the election period without the approval of the Comelec (Commission on Elections),” De Mesa explained.
In other words, those officials whose appointment papers were released after March 10 and have taken their oaths past the imposed deadline shall be considered midnight appointees in spite of any proof that they were appointed by the former President before the election ban was effectuated.

“We have also done our investigation (and it) showed that many of these appointments were actually released after March 10 and the appointees took their oaths after March 10. It also appears that some of the appointments were antedated and this could be verified from the mailing time or the barcode numbers of their appointments,” De Mesa said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100805hed2.html

Jinggoy to expose Davide’s ‘sins’ in Senate By Angie M. Rosales 08/05/2010

Jinggoy to expose Davide’s ‘sins’ in Senate

By Angie M. Rosales
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Hilario Davide Jr., who has been appointed by President Aquino to head the Truth Commission may be in for a rough time in the near future.

Amid criticisms of legal infirmities in the creation of the Truth Commission, Malacañang is facing another controversy concerning the fact-finding body with the Davide appointment.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada is out to expose Davide’s alleged irreguarities and misuse of funds while he was at the helm of the high tribunal, it was gathered yesterday.

The Estrada exposé will put into question Davide’s evenhandedness and credibility in investigating cases of irregularities committed under the previous administration.

Estrada, in an interview with reporters, mentioned his planned move concerning the Truth Commission which is viewed by some of his colleagues as a “toothless commission” as it is lacking in prosecutorial and coercive powers.
“I’m in the process of collating evidence against Davide. How can you put a person like Davide, as head the Truth Commission, when he himself did not put any closure to the cases filed against him?” he asked.

“They suppressed closure on the issue of the judicial development fund (JDF)…(former) President (Gloria) Arroyo and her cohorts pressured Congress into not transmitting the impeachment complaint (filed against him) here in the Senate,” the senator added.

Estrada was referring to charges of the alleged misuse of the JDF, first raised in June 2002 by judicial employees of Naga City and nearby areas.

The said issue against Davide earned him two impeachment cases in 2003.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100805hed3.html

JPE, Miriam patch up Senate post differences By Angie M. Rosales 08/05/2010

JPE, Miriam patch up Senate post differences

By Angie M. Rosales
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago have decided to kiss and make up, through the intercession of well-meaning colleagues, it was gathered yesterday.

In a dinner-meeting last Tuesday, Santiago accepted the chairmanship of the committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said.

Sotto formally announced on the floor, during yesterday’s plenary proceedings, Santiago’s assumption to the committee assignment, completing the reorganization in the upper chamber insofar as the 34 permanent committees are concerned.

In an interview with reporters, Enrile relayed the incident which took place at a Japanese restaurant at Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City .

There, Enrile said, they decided to lay on the table the issues they have thrown against each other several months in the past..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100805hed4.html

PAL row has deep roots, no breakthrough seen — Palace By Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/05/2010

PAL row has deep roots, no breakthrough seen — Palace

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
The government conceded yesterday problems deeper than what has been initially perceived may prolong the ongoing dispute between the management of flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and 25 of its resigned pilots as Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the arbitration efforts of the government are not expected to produce results within the week. 

“We cannot guarantee that it would be resolved this week,” he said.

Lacierda said there were deeper reasons for the pilots’ decision to resign en masse other than the attractive compensation and benefits offered by airlines in Hong Kong and the Middle East.

“We thought it was just a simple case of higher wages luring pilots to seek jobs elsewhere,” Lacierda said.
But he said the pilots’ union had since brought out more complaints against the management.

PAL has been beset by growing labor unrest for months with ground crews and flight attendants also threatening strikes.

“We’re getting more and more information on the conditions from both sides, Pilots expressed more problems and on the part of the PAL management, they also expressed their positions in line with those concerns,” Lacierda explained.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100805hed5.html

Iggy takes first shot at Noynoy for Arroyos 08/05/2010

Iggy takes first shot at Noynoy for Arroyos

Taking the cudgels for the former First Family, Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo yesterday fired the first volley against President Aquino, denouncing the Chief Executive’s controversial Truth Commission and calling his administration as nothing but a “sugar-coated dictatorship.”

The brother-in-law of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, in a statement, said if indeed Aquino is bent on flushing out the whole truth, then he also has to include in the scope of investigation of the Truth Commission other issues such as Hacienda Luisita and Mendiola massacres.
“So, when do we bring closure to the Hacienda Luisita and Mendiola Bridge massacres? Will the public ever get to know the truth behind these slaughters?” noted Iggy as he denounced the Truth Commission as proof of of the double standard of justice and truth under the Aquino administration.
To date, he said, nobody has been penalized among the killers of the farmers in the two massacres.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100805hed6.html

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