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Hiding does not do Lacson good EDITORIAL 08/23/2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hiding does not do Lacson good

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Sympathy which Ping Lacson easily collected when he cried political persecution during the time of Gloria Arroyo will not be readily given by the public this time, not when he remains in hiding despite a change in leadership and government, under the Noynoy Aquino presidency, whose campaign he had supported openly, to the point of attempting to destroy another presidential candidate with whom he had been at odds and whom he wants to pin the murder charge on.

The double murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito has remained unresolved the past 10 years and many believe that Lacson is key to unlocking the truth behind the incident.

The last word that the government had received from the camp of Lacson was that he would surface once his lawyers fix legal kinks on the case filed against him.

Lacson remains the prime suspect in the cold blooded crime and his sudden flight just a few days before the court had ordered him arrested, notwithstanding his allegations of political vendetta against the Arroyo administration, is seen by many as an admission of guilt.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100823com1.html

Whither Lacson’s future? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/23/2010

Whither Lacson’s future?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
One question that bugs a lot of people is the fact that it took the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) an inordinately long time to cancel the passports of fugitive Sen. Ping Lacson.

The court had already directed, as early as February, 2010, to have Lacson’s passports (he has both diplomatic and regular) cancelled. This order was reiterated by the new Justice secretary, Leila de Lima, to the DFA, yet it appeared to have taken the DFA an inordinately long time to act on this court order.
It finally did, but one still wonders if the cancellation of Lacson’s passport has any impact at this late date.
For all one knows, Lacson is back in the country, albeit still in hiding, having passed through the backdoor. That, or he has applied for a different passport as say, a Paraguayan citizen, or even have today Chinese citizenship.
Belatedly, Malacañang joined public calls for Lacson to come home and face the music, but at the same time, the Palace claimed a review of this case is in order, to ensure that justice is going to be fair..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100823com2.html

Mystery surrounds Mubarak Jr. ‘presidency bid’ focus 08/23/2010

Mystery surrounds Mubarak Jr. ‘presidency bid’


CAIRO — A campaign to nominate the son of Egypt’s aging President Hosni Mubarak to succeed him has long intrigued palace watchers in this country, which faces an uncertain political future amid growing dissent.

Gamal Mubarak, 46, who holds a senior position in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), has long been rumored to be the heir apparent to his octogenarian father. But he has never indicated whether he would like to take over what some fear could become a family dynasty.

Over the past month, posters of Gamal, a former investment banker, have been plastered around Cairo neighborhoods by a previously unknown group called the “Popular Campaign to Support Gamal Mubarak.”

That was followed by several announcements from groups, also previously unknown, to collect signatures for a petition supporting a bid for the presidency by Gamal.

Their volunteers wear shirts emblazoned with the slogan: “Gamal Mubarak: a new beginning for Egypt.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100823com3.html

Was Ninoy’s death a US operation? DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 08/23/2010

Was Ninoy’s death a US operation?

Herman Tiu Laurel
The Aquino children’s repudiation of the reopening of the Ninoy Aquino slay inquiry, under the pretext of “having already forgiven the perpetrators,” is facile and unacceptable. The Filipino people are entitled to know the truth in their continuing conduct of history; and the unclosed chapter is unfair to Ferdinand Marcos et al. who were long condemned as the masterminds through insinuations by the Aquino family and the Establishment media.

Take Billy Esposo’s logic, written in 2007: “…The responsibility falls squarely on the Marcos regime… The compelling reason for ordering the Aquino assassination was to remove the all-too-real threat of Aquino rallying the opposition…” That same facile logic about the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing — which has been proven absolutely false to waylay the nation — created chaos and almost absolved the real perpetrator, Jose Ma. Sison.

Esposo, echoing the logic of all those still simplistically blaming Marcos or those around him, argues: “The power dynamics of the Marcos era was such that the Aquino assassination could only have been undertaken with the go-signal of Marcos or someone who could act on his behalf in ordering the military to undertake the elaborate operation.”

But could Marcos have forced the US not to renew the visa of Ninoy Aquino and his family? And why exactly didn’t the US extend the visas of the Aquinos, since there were countless humanitarian grounds to grant this, particularly the alleged threat of physical harm to his family in the event they returned to Manila? Could Marcos have arranged the acceptance of the obviously faked passport of Ninoy (under the name “Marcial Bonifacio”) through the British in Hong Kong and the Taiwanese authorities? Could he have imposed upon these governments to let a fake passport holder slip through?

Ken Kashiwahara, Ninoy’s Japanese-American brother-in-law, writing his firsthand account in 1983 of that last plane leg at the Chiang Kai Shek International Airport before arriving in Manila (republished by The New York Times last week), said: “Ninoy had no problems going through immigration as Marcial Bonifacio… but as soon as he left the counter, the two ‘security’ men escorted him around the corner. I panicked. ‘This is it,’ I muttered. ‘He’s been discovered.’ I hurried through the immigration, rounded the corner and there was Ninoy, grinning. ‘That was the Taiwan garrison commander,’ he said, ‘and he just wanted to make sure I got through O.K. Can you imagine? A general?’”

The point I am driving at should be clear by now: There has always been a power that could supercede Marcos and any other president to this day. (Erap tried to insist on his way and got ousted, too.)

The official investigation of Ninoy’s assassination stops at Sgt. Pablo Martinez, the identified gunman. But after decades of incarceration and religious guidance from Msgr. Robert Olaguer, assigned by the late Cardinal Sin to minister to the spiritual needs of the 10 soldiers implicated in the assassination, Sgt. Martinez decided to come out with his personal knowledge of who the mastermind was.

On November 2007, Gloria Arroyo pardoned the convicted Ninoy Aquino killers on humanitarian grounds. And as the Aquino siblings denounced this decision, Msgr. Robert Olaguer came up to defend the soldiers to insist on their innocence.

Meanwhile, Esposo, in his aforementioned 2007 article, came to Danding’s defense saying, “What rules out Danding Cojuangco from being the mastermind is the fact that (he) was only in the money game during that time but was nowhere in the line of succession. He neither had the title to vie for it nor had command of the legions to be able to grab it...”

Years after the fall of Marcos that began with the Ninoy Aquino assassination, many US State Department bigwigs, among them former State Secretary George Schultz and then ambassador to Indonesia Paul Wolfowitz, have come out to claim credit for the former leader’s ouster. They’ve stated this either in their memoirs or in various speeches which I have accessed by patiently searching on the Net.

The fall of Marcos caused a reversal of his nation-building programs; then restored and reinvigorated the power of the old privileged elite; demolished trade protection; and accelerated privatization and deregulation, which all led to the greatest transfer of wealth from the Philippine state’s coffers (and the people’s pockets) to global transnational corporations and their local partners. From then on, the sinister program to obliterate the existence of a sovereign Philippine Republic has all but ended with finality.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch Politics (and Economics) Today, Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m. on Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21 about “Ninoy’s Death: A False Flag Operation?”; 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/20100823com4.html

Millions lack shelter after Pakistan floods focus 08/23/2010

Millions lack shelter after Pakistan floods


KARACHI — With entire towns and villages swallowed up by Pakistan’s devastating floods, experts say it could take years to solve a shelter crisis now facing up to 4.6 million people camped out under open skies.

The catastrophic floods swamped a fifth of Pakistan — an area the size of England — and affected 20 million people in the country’s worst ever natural disaster with untold economic, social and political repercussions.
“It is a huge task. It is large-scale devastation, which needs huge money and time to rebuild.... The scenario is bleak and our politicians don’t realize the gravity of the situation,” independent economist A.B. Shahid told AFP.
“We need at least $3 billion just to rebuild huts and houses,” Shahid said.

“And not less than $7 billion more to restore destroyed infrastructure, to build roads, bridges, canals and government offices.”

The United Nations estimates 4.6 million people are still without shelter after the floods and has tripled to six million its target for assistance in the form of tents and plastic sheeting.

Few words can express the misery.

“Everything has been wasted. Nothing is left,” said Qasim Bhayyo, 45, a refugee from Qayyas Bhayyo village in one of the worst-hit parts of the southern province of Sindh, formerly known for rice crops and fish farms..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100823com5.html

Mamang Pulis HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 08/23/2010

Mamang Pulis

Aldrin Cardon
The pot-bellied kotong cop has a new face.

But such is a grainy face which we recognize now, yet one that is far from the fierce handsomeness of Roman emperor Tiberius, uncle of Caligula, yet as fearsome and evil, as he now shares Tiberius’ love for lacing penises, shutting suspected criminals’ urethras and tugging them, while letting out an explosion of laughter with each pull, alternating them with curses and questions not only to warn and extract information, but also to shock and awe, and send a message so dark even to the innocent ones, and those who have witnessed Senior Insp. Joselito Binayug employing such torture against a suspected stick up man in national TV have cringed in fear.

From being a suspected criminal, Binayug transformed the tortured man into a victim. He is dead now, as claimed by his family and the others who saw him, with only the grainy ABS-CBN footage, shot from a telephone’s point-of-view and that of a conscientious man, most probably a member of the Philippine National Police, himself, and maybe one of the 20 personnel of the Tondo precinct personnel relieved over the fiasco, surviving as a not-so-silent witness to the practice of torture within the PNP, which not even its officials could easily brand as an isolated case.

We have heard similar claims of torture in the past, but the advent of cellular phone technology made it possible to record at least one torture incident for the world to see. I’ve seen the footage, and for an instance, am surprised to see another cellular phone being used to record the torture like a simple happening that does not make stomachs churn, and it was visible in the other people present around the police officer identified as Binayug, as though it were just an ordinary event that their reaction, borrowing from youth parlance, was wala lang (nothing)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100823com6.html

Tortured times SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 08/23/2010

Tortured times

Dinah S. Ventura
Monsters of the highway causing hundreds of deaths and injuries... Buses falling off cliffs and snuffing one innocent life after another... Shootouts and bloody encounters that end up with alleged suspects dead, forever silenced... Police torture in the city, where the video of a naked man writhing in agony as he is trussed up, hit and his private parts tied draws a collective gasp from a nation that had begun to imagine itself immune to pain and suffering.

But no one can be immune in these tortured times. Human errors causing untold tragedy, human negligence resulting in unexpected calamities, and plain inhumanity, such as those that are often just whispered about or never see the light of day – these are the true reasons there continues to be misery and disaster in the world we love to call “modern.”

Following the release of a disturbing footage taken inside what appears to be the police community precinct in Asuncion, Tondo, a place described in the news as “crime-infested” and “plebeian,” government and concerned human rights bodies are adamant that action be taken to address the issue of human rights violations in our time.

To date, 11 police officers including the main suspect, Asuncion PCP chief Senior Insp. Joselito Binayu, are being held by the authorities while investigations are done to “get to the bottom of the matter,” as some of these uniformed individuals are wont to tell media. According to reports, government has created “at least three separate bodies” to investigate that one video where a man suspected as a petty thief is seen in the hands of a torturer while others of his ilk watched. Now involved in this affair are the National Police Commission (Napolcom), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Department Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100823com7.html

Senate plans to cut Noynoy’s intel funds By Angie M. Rosales 08/23/2010


Senate plans to cut Noynoy’s intel funds

By Angie M. Rosales
The Senate plans to drastically trim the allocations for intelligence funds in next year’s national budget, that runs in billions of pesos, including a possible reduction in confidential funds allocated yearly for the Office of the President after an ongoing Senate inquiry found that the use of the funds was mostly abused. 

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said only government offices or agencies obviously needing it will be provided with intelligence funds and the reduction of these will not spare even the Office of the President which is given yearly an average of P500 million appropriation in the budget as “intelligence funds.”

“I will talk to the finance committee chairman. They can arrange it,” Enrile said, on the matter concerning the slashing of the item in the budget intended for the Office of the President.

The Senate is currently inquiring into the reported excessive salaries and allowances given to certain executives in government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) where some of them exploit the use of intelligence funds to justify huge compensations.

Such was the case of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) where its administrator, according to a Commission on Audit (CoA) report, was allotted with P5 million intelligence funds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100823hed1.html

Noynoy’s allies finding ways to realign poll budget to pork By Gerry Baldo and Benjamin B. Pulta 08/23/2010

Noynoy’s allies finding ways to realign poll budget to pork

By Gerry Baldo and Benjamin B. Pulta
Allies of President Aquino in the House of Repre-sentatives are finding ways to postpone the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October this year and channel funds allotted for it to their pork barrel.

According to Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte, there is a legal remedy to realign the P3.3-billion budget allotted for the barangay elections to basic social services and infrastructure development.

“We will have a separate enabling law, which we will consider concurrently with the posponement of barangay elections. That is the remedy,” Villafuerte, a former member of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD, said.

He added many lawmakers are inclined to support the move that he would be filing in Congress with the support of several other lawmakers, 22 of whom have already filed separate proposals to postpone the barangay polls..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100823hed2.html

Poll execs in folder scam fight suspension order By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/23/2010

Poll execs in folder scam fight suspension order

By Benjamin B. Pulta
Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials allegedlly behind the orchestration of supply contracts for overpriced Ballot Secrecy Folders (BSF) during last May’s elections are asking the Court of Appeals (CA) for a restraining order to stop the Office of the Ombudsman from implementing the suspension order against them.
In a petition before the appellate court, suspended Comelec Bids and Awards Committee chairman lawyer Maria Lea Alarkon and BAC members Allen Francis Abaya, Maria Norina Casingal, Martin Niedo Antonio Santella urged that a temporary restraining order be issued against Ombudsman Maria Merceditas Navarro-Gutierrez.
They claimed that the anti-graft office committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it issued the suspension order against them for a period of six months without the benefit of hearing or giving them a chance to file counter-affidavits.
“The petitioners were deprived of their right to due process. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that the evidence of guilt as against the petitioners is strong as the bases for the conclusion are nothing but bare allegations alleged in the complaint. There is no showing that the petitioners’ continued stay might prejudice the case against them,” the complainants noted.... MORE

Economic execs doubt Ombudsman on anti-graft bid 08/23/2010

Economic execs doubt Ombudsman on anti-graft bid

The economic managers of President Aquino had turned to blaming Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez in answering questions about the failure thus far of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to file tax cases against government officials under the Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) program.

Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said that he needed to meet the Ombudsman to get assurance on making anti-graft cases on government officials to prosper. 

Purisima said he had set a meeting with Gutierrez within the week to discuss a series of graft complaints against government officials that he did not name.

Trade groups are com-plaining that the lack of a show of determination to stop corruption in government through the prosecution of officials suspected of committing graft is among the reasons for the Philippines to be considered an unfriendly place to do business. 

Purisima recently told businessmen, analysts, entreprenuers and policy makers that the Ombudsman, under Gutierrez, is an important component to the fight against graft but whose coopera-tion the govern-ment is not 100 percent certain.
The Ombudsman’s role surfaced after businessmen asked him for updates on the RIPS program and why it was not as visible as similar programs targeted against smugglers and tax evaders, for example. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100823hed4.html

Deadly NPA attack could derail talks — gov’t 08/23/2010

Deadly NPA attack could derail talks — gov’t

The government yesterday condemned a communist rebel attack that killed eight policemen and a local village official and said the incident could derail planned resumption of peace talks.

The attack by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Northern Samar last Saturday has weakened confidence in the prospects of a negotiated settlement between the rebels and the government, President Aquino’s chief peace adviser Teresita Deles said.
“Such attacks by the NPA undermine the aspirations of our people for peace and make the way forward more difficult,” Deles told reporters.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which has been waging a Maoist inspired rebellion since 1969 in what is among Asia’s longest-running communist insurgencies.
The rebels on Saturday allegedly murdered a local official in Samar and then killed eight police officers sent to the area to investigate the incident.
“The attack by the NPA on police officers on a law enforcement mission in Northern Samar yesterday (Saturday) is condemnable,” Deles said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100823hed5.html

Lacson sets conditions on coming out of hiding By Angie M. Rosales 08/23/2010

Lacson sets conditions on coming out of hiding

By Angie M. Rosales
Fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson wanted that he be placed on “house arrest” instead of going straight to jail and that the Aquino administration reopen investigations into the double-murder case involving the 2000 slaying of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito as conditions for his surfacing.

Lacson is willing to come out from hiding but does not want to go to jail, his son said yesterday as his family appealed to President Aquino to have a standing arrest warrant on him suspended and call for the reinvestigation of the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.

Ronald Jay Lacson, the senator’s son and office chief staff, said they made the request to the administration “so he can safely go home.”

Lacson issued the surrender feeler a day after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recalled his passports.
While the senator is very eager to face his accusers, the younger Lacson emphasized that this father does not want to be incarcerated, even for a short moment, for a crime he did not commit.

“He never considered going to jail, even for a minute, as an option,” he said.

The camp of Police Superintendent Cezar Mancao, meanwhile, indicated that it approves of a house arrest on Lacson to bring him out of hiding and for him to face the charges filed against him by the families of Dacer and Corbito..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100823hed6.html

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