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Weak leadership EDITORIAL 08/26/2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weak leadership



EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
08/26/2010
Broadcast media were highly irresponsible in their live coverage of the hostage crisis, which left at least eight Hong Kong tourists dead.

The police and their SWAT (Special Weapon and Tactics) team bungled the hostage rescue operations, and for them to find excuses for botching the rescue, is unacceptable.
It was also inexcusable for Noynoy Aquino and all other officials who should have moved to act in the matter of the crisis — and it was a crisis — to make themselves inaccessible all throughout the hostage crisis.

Having said all that, even as the broadcast media are being pilloried for irresponsibly covering the hostage taking situation live, despite the knowledge that the hostage taker had full access to the television coverage, why in heaven’s name did not the government act decisively not only to cut media access to the scene but also to cut off the media broadcasts?
Of course media will cry censorship, but lives would have been saved, and the country would not be suffering from the embarrassment suffered today, before the world.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100826com1.html


Political capital going...going... FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/26/2010

Political capital going...going...



FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
08/26/2010
Looks like Noynoy Aquino’s claimed popularity and “political capital” being boasted by him and his Palace officials are dipping pretty fast, if one gauges the negative reactions of his Facebook “fans” following not only the inept handling of the police forces in the hostage crisis which left at least eight hostages dead, but also his inept and weak leadership, so much so that Noynoy has made a public appeal to everyone to stop government-bashing.

Truth is, the police and the officials concerned all showed their ineptitude and their obvious unwillingness to take responsibility for the way the crisis was utterly mishandled.

What is very clear to many is the fact that he, the President of the Republic, was nowhere in sight and inaccessible all throughout the crisis, and worse, appeared at a press conference some three hours after the bloodbath, and without even providing any details on what had occurred.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100826com2.html


Sudan gold miners vie with archaeologists for desert riches FEATURE 08/26/2010

Sudan gold miners vie with archaeologists for desert riches



FEATURE

08/26/2010
ALSHIRIK — Dust-covered miners criss-cross Sudan’s Nubian desert, absorbed by the drone of the pan-shaped metal detectors with which they scour the ground in search of gold.

The desert, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of Khartoum, draws thousands of fortune seekers, some of whom have arrived in their 4X4 vehicles and set up tents equipped with water barrels and enough food for weeks.
But it is also home to ancient relics from the Nubian kingdom, one of the earliest civilizations in the Nile valley, and archaeologists and officials fear that a crucial part of Sudan’s heritage is being effaced as the miners pillage or accidentally damage the sites.

Mukhtar Yussif, formerly a trader, pulled out a gold nugget from his truck’s glove compartment. “I’ve gathered gold for about four months and I’ve already paid for two used cars,” he said.

Family and friends he brought with him oscillated their detectors. Hatem unearthed a small nugget. “It must weigh a gram,” he said.

The rise in gold prices over the past two years and an influx of metal detectors, which sell for about $6,000 in Sudan, have spurred the gold rush.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100826com3.html


P83 million not bad for a retired AFP general BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 08/26/2010

P83 million not bad for a retired AFP general



BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
08/26/2010
If, as Sen. Franklin Drilon says, outgoing Social Security System (SSS) Chairman Thelmo Cunanan had earned a whopping P83 million over three years while sitting on the board of directors of a big mining company merely as the representative of the pension fund, why hasn’t he been censured and ordered to return the money, if not appropriately charged?

Speaking during a public hearing the other day of the Senate committee on finance and government corporations that is currently looking into the obscene salaries being availed of by fat cats of various government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), Senator Drilon explained to reporters that the underlying concept here is that the low-key Cunanan, a retired Army general who nearly lost his life in the late 1980s during a firefight with NPA guerillas in Cagayan, isn’t entitled to the huge remuneration as he is in the board of the blue-chip firm Philex Mining Corp. merely in behalf of the SSS which has a huge exposure therein and not due to his own merit as, let’s say, an investor who had purchased enough company stocks to command a seat in said board..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100826com4.htm

Guidelines C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 08/26/2010

Guidelines



C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
08/26/2010
By now, all sorts of experts and analysts have already issued their one half cent worth of what-should-have-beens after that carnage at the Rizal Park which, to paraphrase the famous Pearl Harbor epithet, will go down in history as a “day of infamy” haunting all of us no end. I am not about to add to the perorations which have been issued thus far. But for future reference, as they say in our part of the metro, and for the edification of people like Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso who succeeded in injecting himself only to add to the bungling of this tragic operation, our colleagues in media and, of course, the police, I am reprinting relevant excerpts of the Guidelines for Covering Hostage-Taking Crises, Prison Uprisings and Terrorist Actions written by Bob Steele, a Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values. It is my hope that the full tutorial not just on the coverage but on the proper handling of such situations will be made available to all concerned entities (media, police and other agencies) and appreciated by all including the “uzis” all over the place to prevent any more similar tragedies happening in the future. As they say, it is the lessons learned from such tragic incidents which, in the end, will determine whether we are deserving of self-respect or not. Here goes: “In covering a developing raid or law enforcement action, journalists are advised to: Be extremely cautious to not compromise the secrecy of officials’ planning and execution. If staking out a location where a raid will occur or if accompanying officers, reporters and photographers should demonstrate great caution in how they act, where they go, and what clues they might inadvertently give that might compromise the execution of the raid. They should check and double check planning efforts.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100826com5.html


Sex Education — 3 VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 08/26/2010

Sex Education — 3



VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
08/26/2010
For a start, what on earth is wrong with Sex Education? Answer: Truth to say, there are certain major things wrong with it. Strictly speaking, to put “Sex” and “Education” together neither jibes, clicks nor sticks — so to speak. For one thing, animals do not get “education” but they do “sex” — naturally and responsibly even. Then there is the reality that the subject matter of sex goes beyond mere knowing which comes from “education.” Instead, the question of sex is the concern of learning which is obtained through formation — considering that the value system has much to say about sex.

Simply knowing sex without the necessary right and proper value system learned through pursuant formation, is not only incongruous but also dangerous. Reason: Incongruous because sex is merely perceived as a piece of meat. And such are the core implications and implications of “Sex Education” in its strong innuendo and naked connotation. And woe to school children and youngster who thus get “educated” in “sex”! The truth is that a big number of this young people are now in effect “over-educated” in sex from certain movies they see and some “dirty” comics they read — plus the world of Internet pornography at their command.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100826com6.html


Aquino’s presidency will fall if... By Ronald Roy COMMENT 08/26/2010

Aquino’s presidency will fall if...


By Ronald Roy
COMMENT

08/26/2010
I apologize for my strong remark about “personal gratification” being the reason officials of government financial institutions and other government agencies help themselves to unconscionable salaries and perks. I’m sure though Landbank’s officials can justify their total compensation packages (TCP).

When Presidential Decree 251 authorized Landbank to engage in commercial banking operations — in order to generate its own revenues to finance its agrarian reform mandate — it has since found it necessary to periodically adjust its TCPs in order to compete with such banking giants from the private sector like Metrobank and BDO. Mea culpa, Gilda Pico et alios!
Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue created his problems by washing dirty linen in public, his good intentions notwithstanding. He chose to diminish his professional standing instead of upgrading it with quiet dignity. He has thus provoked our wonder how he, with an ostensibly insubordinate and self-seeking nature, got those two stars on his shoulders in the first place..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100826com7.html

Quit calls for DILG, PNP, Com group chiefs mount By Gerry Baldo,Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales 08/26/2010

Quit calls for DILG, PNP, Com group chiefs mount


By Gerry Baldo,Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales
08/26/2010
The public wants blood over the botched hostage rescue crisis that tragically ended the lives of eight Hong Kong tourists, with the debacle the latest black mark on the government and its police force.

Resignation calls are mounting, and the calls are for Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo and Secretaries Ricky Carandang and Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Group, saying they should take responsibility for the fatal blunders in handling the hostage crisis last Monday and do the decent thing, which is to resign.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, House minority leader, said the Aquino government failed in solving the hostage crisis that left more than eight dead. The hostage taker was also killed. 

He called for the voluntary resignation of these secretaries and for President Aquino to fire them, if they do not resign.
“Robredo failed to take full control of the situation and did not immediately respond to the scene of the crisis which lasted 11 hours,” said Lagman. “Carandang and Coloma failed to rein in media practitioners from broadcasting live police rescue operations.Neither a postmortem of the tragic hostage-taking fiasco nor a contrite presidential apology will be enough if the heads of high ranking responsible officials are spared.”

“The Aquino administration failed miserably, leading to the death of 9 hostages,” Lagman said at a press conference yesterday at the executive offices of the House minority bloc. The hostage-taker, former police senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, was also killed by a police sniper..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100826hed1.html


Jinggoy wants tricycles be exempted from road user’s tax 08/26/2010

Jinggoy wants tricycles be exempted from road user’s tax


08/26/2010
Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada pushed yesterday for the exemption of “motorcycles for hire with sidecar,” or commonly known as ordinary passenger tricycles, from the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC).

Estrada filed Senate Bill 2416 which seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) 8794 to exempt tricycles from the coverage of MVUC or the road user’s tax.

RA 8794 imposes a motor vehicle user’s charge on owners of all types of motor vehicles upon registration, whether for hire or for private use, including government motor vehicles.

The said tax collection is used to ensure the adequate maintenance and improvement of national and provincial roads through sufficient funding..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100826nat3.html

Noy gets bashing from Facebook fans By Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/26/2010

Noy gets bashing from Facebook fans


By Aytch S. de la Cruz
08/26/2010
President Aquino’s so-called popularity appears to be taking a direct hit from the hostage tragedy as angry Facebook fans spilled their anger on Aquino’s official Facebook page, reducing the President to air an appeal for a stop to the bashing of his and his government over the hostage crisis that left eight foreigners dead.

But his Facebook plea triggered more condemnation.

Aquino’s official Facebook page, which he had set up to promote transparency in government, has been swamped with angry comments, from barbs against bungling policemen to calls for him to quit.

“We have heard and read a lot of opinions from the public, even from foreigners that were affected,” Aquino said on Facebook.

“We appeal to everyone to stop needless arguments. Let us show everyone that we, Filipinos, know how to respect and understand.”

The message triggered varied replies on the page, with some expressing support but many others dismissing it outright. from the public, even from foreigners that were affected,” Aquino said on Facebook.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100826hed2.html


Tourist bus siege review body formed By Benjamin B. Pulta and Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/26/2010

Tourist bus siege review body formed


By Benjamin B. Pulta and Aytch S. de la Cruz
08/26/2010
A senior official of the Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced the formation of a new ad hoc inter-agency incident review committee (IIRC) to investigate the Quirino Grandstand hostage drama last Monday.

DoJ officer-in-charge Jose Vicente Salazar yesterday said the committee aims to look into logistic, operational and administrative problems that led to bloody end of hostage taking in Luneta by a disgruntled policeman.

“There will be a dual objective, the first one would be to determine (what really happened in) that particular incident, that is why we have two timelines for the committee, this is just a proposal of course and we intend to also examine the institutional problems which might have contributed to the incident,” he added.

Salazar said representatives from the inter-agency composed of DoJ, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted an initial meeting on Tuesday night to deal with concerns on the hostage drama. 

“There was already an initial report given to the Justice secretary (Leila de Lima) and she transmitted it to the President and by this evening (Wednesday), we are going to have a meeting, the first meeting not as ad-hoc but this time as the incident review committee at the DILG office,” he added.

“There is going to be a technical working group composed of less senior officials from the different members of this particular committee. The chairman of this committee will be the DILG secretary, the vice chairman will be the DoJ secretary. We will also have as members the PNP-Internal Audit Division, PNP chief (Director General Jesus Verzosa), and lastly would be the NBI director (lawyer Magtanggol Gatdula),” Salazar said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100826hed3.html


Senate expects to uncover more SSS execs’ fat pays By Angie Rosales 08/26/2010

Senate expects to uncover more SSS execs’ fat pays


By Angie Rosales
08/26/2010
The Senate expects to unearth more excessive bonuses and perks of top executives from Social Security System (SSS) on top of the reported P127 million in windfall they received from that sales of stocks in a mining corporation, as the Senate finance committee digs deeper into its ongoing probe on at least nine other private corporations where SSS officials sat as board members. 

Finance committee chairman Sen. Franklin Drilon yesterday sought the submission of documents and information on the other seats being held by SSS officials in time for today’s resumption of the inquiry into the alleged excessive and unwarranted salaries, allowances and other emoluments of some officials in government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).
In a letter to the executives of these firms where the SSS has some investments, Drilon hopes to get the names of all commissioners or the representatives of the state fund in some companies it has investments in for the past three years, including committees, if any.

The senator likewise asked for a list of all benefits they received during the period including the amount of salaries, allowances, dividends and profit-sharing.

Drilon also inquired on the number of stocks acquired by each SSS representative, by virtue of a stock option plan, if any, and the corresponding price at which such options were exercised.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100826hed4.html


SolGen calls for SC lifting of TRO on tollways VAT By Benjamin B. Pult 08/26/2010

SolGen calls for SC lifting of TRO on tollways VAT


By Benjamin B. Pult
08/26/2010
Lawyers for the government have formally asked the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued against the imposition of a 12-percent value-added tax (VAT) on toll way charges issued last Aug. 13 by the high court.

The tribunal had stopped the VAT imposition three days before the government was supposed to start the implementation.
In a 65-page comment, Secretary Cesar Purisima of the Department of Finance (DoF) and Commissioner Kim Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said “to stop the much needed implementation of a valid tax law is to ignore the legal truism that taxes are the lifeblood of the government.” and added the VAT law and its reforms “should not end on paper” and that “the success of the fiscal measure depends on a large degree on its implementation.”

“Needless to say, a cold response to VAT on tollways and a ‘tunnel-vision’ approach in its enforcement are the last things a fiscally deficient nation needs,” Purisima and Henares added.

Former Nueva Ecija Rep. Renato Diaz and former Assistant Secretary Aurora Ma. Timbol of the Department of Trade and Industry said the imposition of VAT on toll is unconstitutional.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100826hed5.html


Noy House allies archive bills on deferment of village polls 08/26/2010

Noy House allies archive bills on deferment of village polls


08/26/2010
It’s final. The barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections will push through as scheduled on October 25.

This, after Congress bowed to President Aquino’s request to pursue the conduct of the polls in October this year.
Aquino announced this development at a news briefing with Malacañang reporters yesterday.

The confirmation came after the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms also on Wednesday dismissed and archived all bills and resolutions of the minority bloc to suspend the barangay and SK polls.

“I appealed to members of the ruling coalition in both chambers to support us in our drive to continue with what has already been scheduled by the pertinent law and that is the conduct of barangay and SK elections by October of this year. And that was again a primary appeal that they have acceded to,” the President said.

He stressed that “without the renewed mandate the support of the populace essential in attaining success of thes objectives will be severely put to the test.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100826hed6.html





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