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SDO, root of all problems EDITORIAL 08/20/2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

SDO, root of all problems

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The exchange of arguments at the Supreme Court (SC) over the stock distribution option (SDO), the crux of the current conflict at the Hacienda Luisita of the Cojuangco-Aquino family of President Noynoy, points to the fact that political influence kept the farmers out of their rightful claim on the sugar estate, which goes way beyond the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of Cory Aquino, Noynoy’s mother, to the time when his father Sen. Ninoy Aquino brokered the sale of the hacienda with President Magsaysay and Ninoy’s Cojuangco in-laws.

Several administrations had tried to implement in vain the real intent of the sale of the land to the Cojuangcos, which was for the farmers to later own. It was always the intervention of an administration friendly to the Cojuangco-Aquinos that allowed the family to retain the estate.

High court justices yesterday entertained the argument that since Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI), the company formed by the Cojuangco-Aquinos to enforce the SDO scheme, had submitted the compromise agreement to the tribunal, the high court acquires jurisdiction on reviewing the SDO provision under the CARP that those who crafted the 1987 Constitution themselves said was a loophole in the intent of the law for land distribution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100820com1.html

Irony FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/20/2010


Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Going through the history of Hacienda Luisita, it is so very clear just how the Cojuangco-Aquinos have been deliberately screwing the farmer-workers, and even the entire nation, and how the same clan has always abused power and political influence to benefit the selfish interests of the Aquino-Cojuangcos.

It was Ninoy Aquino, an icon of the elite yellows, and hailed by them as a hero, who first used his connections and influence with then President Ramon Magsaysay not only to ensure that the Hacienda Luisita, which was being sold by the Spanish owners, Tabacalera, would not only be acquired by any other buyer except his father-in-law, Jose Cojuangco Sr., father of Cory Aquino and grandfather to the incumbent President, Noynoy Aquino, but also that the then Central Bank (CB) become a guarantor for a Cojuangco’s dollar loan from the Manufacturer’s Trust Co. (MTC) in New York for the purchase of Central Azucarera de Tarlac.

The CB even had to deposit part of the country’s dollar reserves with the US bank for it to release Cojuangco’s loan, apart from which the Cojuangcos, also aided by the Magsaysay government, obtained some P6 million loan from Government Service Insurance System.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100820com2.html

A year later, freed Lockerbie bomber lives in seclusion focus 08/20/2010

A year later, freed Lockerbie bomber lives in seclusion


TRIPOLI — A year after the controversial release from jail of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on medical grounds, Libya continues the secrecy over the health of the ex-intelligence agent convicted of the deadly Lockerbie bombing.

Serving a life sentence in Scotland for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, Megrahi was given an early release on Aug. 20 last year, after doctors said he had prostate cancer and had just three months to live.

But he is still alive a year later, causing an outcry in Britain and the United States, where the majority of the 270 victims of the attack were from.

Libya has maintained a news blackout over the 58-year-old Megrahi’s health, who was given a hero’s welcome when he returned home.

His last public appearance was in September when, looking ill and seated in a wheelchair, he received a large African delegation at a Libyan hospital.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100820com3.html

The way the cookie crumbles NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 08/20/2010

The way the cookie crumbles

Armida Siguion-Reyna
SPOT.PH, one of the more interesting Web sites that’s been pointed out to me by family members who know I wouldn’t know how to surf the Internet on my own, has put out a 10-item list that may help us to understand Willie Revillame.

Those out of the loop will ask: Who is this Revillame guy and why is there need to know him? Only because he’s dared buck ABS-CBN, the giant TV network that gave him his break well into the job that paid as much as anywhere from P30 million to P45 million a month, thus affording him his four mansions, two yachts, and many other etceteras, including a luxury car of dubious ownership, or so he said when the car’s tax papers were questioned.

So we’re informed that he started as a sidekick, and of sidekicks, there are those happy to be so, and “those who aspire to be the main man.” That he’s “a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks” “grew up poor… reportedly took on odd jobs as a jeepney maintenance boy and a barker… probably explains why he has surrounded himself with the best things that money can buy. That he’s an Aquarian, born Jan. 27 and therefore “expected” to be “friendly and humanitarian,” as well as “contrary, perverse and unpredictable.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100820com4.html

The money masters’ subversion of the peso DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 08/20/2010

The money masters’ subversion of the peso

Herman Tiu Laurel
The cat is now out of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)’s bag: New pesos are being printed without the knowledge of the Filipino people. And these will be circulated by December, according to the best information we got. Worse, the BSP is not duty-bound to inform anyone as to when, how or why this decision was made!

The 1987 Cory Aquino Constitution states in Article XII, Section 20 that “The Congress shall establish an independent central monetary authority… (which) shall provide policy direction in the areas of money, banking and credit. It shall have supervision over the operations of banks and exercise such regulatory powers as may be provided by law over the operations of finance companies and other institutions performing similar functions…” By “independent,” it means that the BSP does not even have to report to government whenever it does so to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).

The details of the BSP’s operations, contained in Republic Act 7653 or the New Central Bank Act, were passed during Cory’s time by the late Sen. Raul Roco, considered by some as “The Father of the BSP.” The law passed on old debts of the former Central Bank of the Philippines of around P300 billion to taxpayers (when the exchange rate then was still half of what it is today). Yet it established something even more insidious which very few know of: It organized a Monetary Board to govern the BSP and redefined the composition of the members of the board from five representing government and two from the private sector — which was the case in the old Central Bank board — to a reverse of five representing the private sector and two representing government. Although all are supposedly appointed by the President, the law predetermines that the private sector’s interests shall always dominate the board.

But that’s not all: The new pesos are being printed abroad in foreign money printing facilities instead of our own Security Printing Complex (built by Marcos in 1978 to ensure that the Philippines would have currency sovereignty). The excuse for this is that the new currency will have the most modern security features that would make it impossible to counterfeit. But have we had any reports of major counterfeiting problems with the peso to date? Unlike the dollar which is widely accepted across almost all borders, there is very little advantage to counterfeiting the Philippine peso because of its limited acceptability.

A complete change of a currency normally occurs in the wake of a revolutionary change of the existing political order, as when Marcos tried with the Bagong Lipunan notes, as well as, after Edsa I when Cory Aquino took over. This always results in the flushing out of savings, demonetization of hidden wealth, and the establishment of total financial control.

Of course, there had been new issuances in recent times such as Gloria Arroyo’s P200 bills, which were for a specific purpose and in limited amounts, which would not change the system substantively. But a total replacement of all the cash and coins in circulation means something far more extensive is afoot. Coming as this does with the new regime under PeNoy Aquino, who clearly doesn’t know that this is going on, it shows that the real money powers over our country had planned this long before the last elections, where they expected their surrogate to win through the Hocus-PCOS, to ensure that there will be no resistance to this “coup d’état” being carried out against our peso.

Our suspicions are further heightened by the fact that while this is happening, a great number of former employees of the WB continue to be appointed to high government positions.

From the Bureau of Internal Revenue to the Supreme Court; from the Presidential Management Staff to the government financial institutions and pension funds, elements formerly associated with the WB — who are invariably drawn from Big Business, financial conglomerates and other oligarchs and corporatocracies — are making the PeNoy Cabinet look very much like a structure run by these vested interests.

With the complete change of our money and coins commencing by the final month of 2010, we would have completely lost our Republic by next year if this isn’t stopped. By then, the program for a complete takeover of our state by the corporate powers, planned from Day 1 of Edsa II, would have been fulfilled. Then the Charter change referendum through another Hocus-PCOS will follow for the de jure separation of the richest resources of Mindanao for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-US partnership.

Resistance by the usual means is now futile. These money masters totally control the money of the land — and consequently, the law and government, mainstream media, all elections, as well as, the guns and goons, and even the forces of coercion of the state.

Resistance by other means is imperative if the nation is to be restored to viability and sustainability. But are the forces of patriotism and nationalism still standing? Are there still clear hearts and minds that can discern the vision of a vibrantly free, just, and prosperous Philippines or have all but a few been reduced to unthinking zombies by these money masters?

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch Politics [and Economics] Today, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m. on Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

 (Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100820com5.html

Africa’s ambitious return of ancient rice FEATURE 08/20/2010

Africa’s ambitious return of ancient rice


ATAKPAMEY — One by one, Ali Kassim pulls out the weeds that have grown in his rice paddy. It’s surprisingly rare in Africa, but he is cultivating African rice — once close to extinction after it was pushed aside centuries ago for a higher-yield imported Asian variety.

Researchers hope to see more and more farmers like Kassim, who is 32 and among about 100 persons in Togo’s central Atakpamey region to take part in an experimental programme led by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), based in neighboring Benin.
In the small west African country, experts are seeking to change the farming habits of a whole continent by reintroducing African rice, or Oryza glaberrima, in the hope of scaling down food crises..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100820com6.html

Clarification LETTER 08/20/2010



Dear Editor:
First, Executive Order 2 (EO 2) has solid constitutional underpinning in Section 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, which states that “Two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of this term, a president or acting president shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.” It is also anchored on In re Valenzuela (A.M. No. 98-05-01-SC, Nov. 9, 1998) and De Castro v. JBC, et al. (G.R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010).
Second, Section 6, EO 2 states that “This executive order shall take effect immediately.” The word “shall” is a command, as opposed to “may,” the latter of which vests discretion on the public official concerned. There can be no other interpretation as regards the import of Section 6..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100820com7.html

Noy can order suspension of GOCC, GFI perks By Angie M. Rosales 08/20/2010

No need for Aquino to issue an EO, ally says

Noy can order suspension of GOCC, GFI perks

By Angie M. Rosales
Haste makes waste hardly applies to President Aquino, in the instance of the excessive salaries and allowances currently being enjoyed by officials and officers of government financial institutions (GFIs) and government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), which are now being objected and looked into by senators who are allies of the Malacañang tenant.

Sen. Franklin Drilon, one of Aquino’s staunch allies in the Senate, yesterday virtually portrayed Aquino as one who tarries too long in making a move to stop government officials from continuing to receive their multimillion-peso allowances and other privileges, even as the budget deficit continues to bloat, when he could easily put a stop to this practice through a simple order from him, since these GOCCs and GFIs fall under the executive department.

Placing these questioned remunerations under a suspension order from the Chief Executive should be made pending approval of remedial legislation, Drilon pointed out.

Drilon’s statements came in the wake of reports of Aquino issuing anytime soon an executive order (EO) that will effectively put a cap or a ceiling on bonuses and other perks of these officials..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100820hed1.html

Palace flays Angue as similar to 2004 poll fraud witnesses By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Mario J. Mallari 08/20/2010

Palace flays Angue as similar to 2004 poll fraud witnesses

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Mario J. Mallari
It seems that the Palace under President Aquino and the one under former President Arroyo share the same view that military officials not toeing the official line should be gagged to put them in their rightful place.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma termed demoted Rear Adm. Feliciano Angue’s outburst against military officials playing politics as “unusual” and indicated the need for authorities to look into grievances within their ranks to prevent other military officials who share the same sentiment as Angue’s from surfacing, especially before the media.

Coloma called Angue’s manner of speech and behavior as something “unusual” for someone who is from the military and being an official at that.

He said Angue reminds him of the military officials who refused to follow former President Arroyo’s Executive Order 464 or the “gag rule” which prohibits any member of the Executive branch and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from testifying before any congressional inquiry.

The soldiers invited to Senate hearings then were considered key in exposing the wholesale cheating that transpired during the 2004 presidential elections that gave Arroyo a fresh six-year term.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100820hed2.html

Singson out on HK$1-M bail, faces ethics probe By Gerry Baldo 08/20/2010

Singson out on HK$1-M bail, faces ethics probe

By Gerry Baldo
Singson’s father, in a TV interview, yesterday said that the reduction of cocaine from 26 grams to merely 6 grams was due to the weight of the bottle in which the cocaine was stored. This explanation was generally met with public skepticism, however.

The court also reset the arraignment of Singson on Sept. 7. 

Quimbo, however, said that Singson will be barred from leaving the territory or allowed to return to the Philippines. He has been released under the custody of his lawyer John Reading and some Chinese friends.

He said that Singson has to report to a police precinct every day. 

Quimbo also told reporters that he was sent by the House leadership to Hong Kong to observe in the court hearing in Singson’s case and to protect the image of the House of Representatives. Quimbo was with the House legal department chief Leonard Palicte. 

The two businessmen, claimed Ilocos Sur Luis Chavit Singson, put up the bond with HK $500,000 each. They have been identified as Annie Shie and Derrick Wong..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100820hed3.html

Abads maintain tight grip on Noy gov’t financial affairs 08/20/2010

Abads maintain tight grip on Noy gov’t financial affairs

From the looks of it, the family of Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad is ready to have a powerful grip on the financial affairs of the Aquino administration even as the secretary’s wife, Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad, the chairman of the House committee on energy, has been found to be holding another powerful post in the House, that of the vice chairmanship of the committee on appropriations.

While Representative Abad holds the post of energy panel chairman, Secretary Abad, as Budget chief, is also involved in the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm) as a member of the board. 

Their son, Luis Abad, is the chief of staff of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima while their daughter Julia heads the Presidential Management Staff which is in charge of the President’s social fund, otherwise known as the presidential pork barrel.

Representative Abad, in an earlier interview, said their presence in the Aquino government is purely coincidental and that the four of them are qualified to hold these government posts. 

She added the issue is being blown out of proportion.

The elder Abad also defended their postings in the Aquino administration, claiming that they did not ask to be appointed.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100820hed4.html

7 Pinoys jailed in Maldives pardoned, repatriated to RP 08/20/2010

7 Pinoys jailed in Maldives pardoned, repatriated to RP

Seven Filipinos imprisoned in the Indian Ocean resort country of the Maldives for credit card fraud have been granted pardon by Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and have returned to the Philippines last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said.

The seven overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were meted the maximum penalty of 63 years and 11 months, which was reduced to 25 years’ imprisonment by the court with the intervention of the Philippine Honorary Consul in Maldives.

According to current Philippine Ambassador to Dhaka Bahnarim Guinomla, the seven Filipinos were released on condition that they do not return to Maldives during the initial sentence period of 25 years.

The OFWs were found guilty of credit card theft on different occasions and using them to purchase goods amounting to about $60,000 in February 2009.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100820hed5.html

Noy toes bishops’ line: No divorce in RP By Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/20/2010

Noy toes bishops’ line: No divorce in RP

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
Divorce is a no-no, President Aquino said yesterday, as he rejected divorce proposals from Congress. But he claimed that he is for legal separations that would allow separated couples to remarry.

Theoretically, even if the Philippine President is against divorce, he can’t impose his position on the nation, as it is Congress that is empowered to legislate a measure such as a divorce law.

However, as the House of Representatives is generally controlled by Malacañang, usually through the pork barrel largess to the congressmen, it is almost certain that a divorce law is not likely to pass, apart from which the President those have veto powers.

While Congress can override the presidential veto, this has never been tried by a Malacañang-controlled Congress.
Las Vegas style weddings are out, Aquino said, although he said he is for legal separation with provisions that would allow those individuals who come from broken marriages to get married again and start a new union with the right person.

“I cannot support something like you do in Las Vegas like you can call it stereotype— that if you get married in the morning, you can get divorced in the afternoon. But I do recognize that there have been unions that were wrong. That no matter what interventions are done, no matter what counseling is done they really can’t stay together,” Aquino explained.

Aquino said marital problems between couples are too serious a matter especially if the welfare of their children gets in the line, which is why he said he advocates peaceful and legal separation for those unions that can no longer be saved.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100820hed6.html

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