• 6 AUGUST - *1907 - Gen. Macario Sakay, one of the Filipino military leaders who had continued fighting the imperialist United States invaders eight years into the Ph...
    8 years ago


The Daily Tribune

(Without Fear or Favor)



World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Philippines

The Philippines Matrix Project

Grow up, people EDITORIAL 08/27/2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grow up, people

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
The Palace is now resorting to the ultimate buck passing by blaming the previous administration on the Luneta carnage with Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Palace communications and operations office, reasoning that Noynoy Aquino has been merely in office for 55 days and that he inherited from Gloria the crop of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that undertook the bungled rescue operations.

The assertion is pure nonsense and was issued evidently in reaction to the former Palace aides of Gloria who are feasting on the many lapses of the administration in handling the crisis, the biggest since Noynoy assumed the presidency last June.
It is purely insane to blame somebody who is no longer in command for something that went terribly wrong on Noynoy’s fence, the same way that this administration seems to have made a practice building up its reputation by living on the excesses of the past administration.

The police get orders, whether they be generals or the officers on the field, from those authorities who are in government. That was mostly where the hostage problem seems to have evolved into a catastrophe last Monday.

Noynoy during a midnight press conference after the bloodbath that supposedly was a rescue operation, said he had allowed the police to exercise a free hand to deal with the hostage situation.... MORE

Creating more damage FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/27/2010

Creating more damage

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Injury is being topped with insult, that, if Noynoy Aquino’s idiotic communications officials have not as yet realized, is causing more damage than the damage they are trying to control.

Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma, in an early morning TV interview, virtually called Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang a liar, when he claimed that there was no such call from Tsang.
He said this claim of Tsang having tried to call Noynoy throughout the hostage crisis and that Noynoy was unavailable and inaccessible was “unbelievable,” because Noynoy was “accessible all the time.”
Said Coloma: “If (Tsang) called the Office of the President, his call will be received. Even if the President left the Palace for a short while, he could still be reached because his mobile phones are with his aides.’’

That statement implying that Tsang lied about the attempt to reach Noynoy during the crisis, if Coloma does not know it yet, will definitely create yet another rupture in Philippine relations, not just with China, but with Hong Kong, which is a special region and Chinese anger will have risen with such a claim from Coloma.

From where Coloma was coming, it was clear he was out to control the damage of Noynoy having been “missing in action” during the crisis and completely inaccessible, displaying his complete lack of leadership and his weak presidency. But of all things to clean up Noynoy’s weak image, he had to make a liar out of a Hong Kong leader who had stated at a press conference that he had tried to get to talk to Noynoy but failed.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100827com2.html

US leaves behind murky picture in Iraq focus 08/27/2010

US leaves behind murky picture in Iraq


WASHINGTON — US combat troops pulling out of Iraq can claim the ouster of a brutal dictator as a clear success but otherwise leave behind unresolved questions about democracy, terror and neighboring Iran’s power.

With Washington about to declare an official end to the combat mission in Iraq more than seven years after the invasion, analysts say it is hard to draw clear conclusions.

“In many ways, the most important point to make about this (invasion aftermath) is it’s more complicated than it often looks,” Stephen Biddle, an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, told AFP.

The clearest result of the war was obviously the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein, but most other consequences are loaded with ambiguity, he said.

Take the controversial issue of weapons of mass destruction, for example. A standard view is the war was carried out on a false premise as President George W. Bush invaded Iraq to learn that Saddam no longer had the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs he was suspected of possessing.

Although Biddle said he thinks the invasion was not worth the terrible costs, he urged people to consider what the Gulf might have looked like had the invasion not occurred.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100827com3.html

Adding to the disgrace NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 08/27/2010

Adding to the disgrace

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Malacañang has released an official statement from President Benigno Simeon Aquino III: “With the rest of the Filipino people, I wish to offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims whose lives were lost in the hostage situation at the Quirino Grandstand. The secretary of Foreign Affairs has conveyed our deep feelings of sorrow to the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China and the people of Hong Kong through Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang. I have tasked Secretaries Soliman and Lim to provide everything necessary for the recovery and return home of the survivors. I have directed the fullest cooperation with the Hong Kong authorities on the part of our officials.

“From the onset of this incident, the hostage taker seemed to not be belligerent, as shown by the release of hostages. These were encouraging signs.

“We were going to wait him out. The idea was to let the ground commanders who are the experts in this field handle the operation with minimal interference from people who are less expert.

“But the situation deteriorated rapidly when, during the course of the negotiations, he was given the letter of the Ombudsman in which she promised to personally review his case. As he was reading the contents of the letter, while talking to an unknown individual on the phone, he became increasingly agitated.

“The presence of his brother also added to the tension. “At this point, he threatened to kill a hostage. The police decided to remove the brother from the scene. As the negotiators were departing, the negotiators were shot at.
“Media coverage of his brother being taken into custody further agitated the hostage taker.

“Shots were fired. They seemed to be warning shots, as there was no audible indication of tumult or chaos to show that the hostages were in immediate danger.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100827com4.html

Yellows, GMA to blame DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 08/27/2010

Yellows, GMA to blame

Herman Tiu Laurel
It can be classified as one of the greatest fiascos this nation has ever committed before the eyes of the world. The disastrously botched rescue of the Hong Thai tour bus hostages showed the whole world the absolute institutional collapse of the Philippine National Police (PNP) under nine-and-a-half years of Gloria Arroyo and an almost two-month old administration of PeNoy Aquino. The City of Manila is under intense scrutiny, too, run as it is by another Yellow stalwart, Mayor Alfredo Lim — who was a “darling” of Cory Aquino and an old reliable enforcer of the Edsa I and II cabals. The same is true for Fidel Ramos, who was among the last to head the old and much-maligned Philippine Constabulary — precursor to the PNP — at a time when jueteng became endemic in the entire organization.

Moral-professional decay has infected the PNP and “Manila’s Finest” since the Yellows took over and ruled our country for 24 years. All that rot has led to the showcasing of the complete collapse of institutional leadership, administrative and organizational competence, and amazing misappropriation of the PNP’s resources in the hostage incident.

Clearly, there was no direction from the PNP or from the national and local leadership the whole time, even when it became obvious that the local PNP was already botching the negotiations and later, the assault of the hostage bus cum fortress — such that not a single gas mask was produced in over 10 hours of the siege, which blinded the police with their own tear gas and rendered them inutile when the hostage taker fired back indiscriminately. Why, the PNP even took hours to break the windows and pry apart the door of the bus, only to finally open it by pulling down the lever of the emergency door. (Dumbkopfs indeed!)

All the rot the whole world saw on display last Aug. 23 could not have developed overnight under the PeNoy government; it was a long-standing infection that ate into the structures of our government and the PNP — corrupting its flesh while eating up and corroding its moral spine. There is no doubt that the nine-and-a-half years of unprecedented corruption under Gloria Arroyo — from the promotion to powerful positions of her co-conspirators in Edsa II, such as Ebdane, Mendoza, Berroya, and many others; to the three-fold increase in jueteng and consequently, the unprecedented size of the pot that the PNP top brass divvy up each month; to the misuse of the PNP as a personal tool to spy on critics and suppress the legitimate opposition; as well as massive election cheating, ad nausea — had all been a major accelerator of this decay in the police.

When the congressmen of Gloria’s party stepped up to brag of their President Arroyo “hostage crisis” handling, one can only wonder if they really think the population to be that stupid to swallow their ridiculous claims. Reps. Danny Suarez and Edcel Lagman should remember that the PNP hierarchy led by Director General Jesus Verzosa was inherited from them. The thing is, PeNoy was just showing his idiocy when he decided against replacing PNP Chief Versoza when he could have.

If PeNoy had really represented a clean break from the past, he should have started afresh with new leadership for the police organization. But then, the Yellow movement is really just a continuation of the old Arroyo regime — under names and faces doing the same old thing.

The Arroyo congressmen cited several hostage taking incidents during Arroyo’s watch that ended without casualties. Actually, we saw those operations and the PNP did not perform any better and neither did Gloria do anything significant in those cases. Plus, the cast of characters were different; as were the arms used, as well as, the motives — which included petty publicity for that other bus-taking incident.

The Manila Peninsula incident, meanwhile, would have ended with reporters and civilians killed had not Gen. Danilo Lim and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV taken the morally courageous stand to leave with the civilians to save everyone from slaughter. In fact, Gloria’s attack dogs staged the most ridiculous “glass façade assault” by using the PNP’s V150 APC as it was played across the globe too.

In Manila, the Yellow-backed Mayor Alfredo Lim was inexplicably absent from his usual role as “Dirty Harry.” Why so? Does this lend credence to what we gather from the Binondo, Manila grapevine that Lim had actually caused the cases to be filed against Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza? According to this story, Lim was afraid he would trigger a worse reaction from the hostage taker, thus all efforts toward dialog got assigned to the vice mayor, who failed to get the job done anyway.

But the top Yellow honcho, PeNoy Aquino, did worse: He hid from his Hong Kong counterpart the whole time and even smiled inopportunely at a somber press conference for the victims. All these must have caused the extreme “black” travel advisory imposed by Hong Kong on its citizen-tourists.

The dismal performance of the PeNoy government, capped off by the disastrous Hong Thai hostage crisis fiasco, bolsters the point we raised during the campaign: We need mature, experienced, involved leadership, determined to institute change and forthrightness in governance; curtail PNP corruption by flushing out jueteng payola through legalization; and restore faith in the justice system by cleansing it of “hoodlums in robes” and “rogue cops at the very top.” There was only one candidate who could have filled such shoes; but the Yellows Hocus-PCOSed him, “wheeled and dealed” with religious sects, and manipulated surveys to get their unprepared, reluctant, dense, stiff, uncoordinated, and maladroit puppet in.

Although I sympathize with PeNoy whenever he has that awkward, incongruous look on his face as he tries to defend himself, such follies merely create more problems. Ultimately, he can only blame his Yellow alalays for pushing him into this.

(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; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http:hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman T-u-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100827com5.html

Top Ramadan TV show satirizes, irks Saudi hardliners FEATURE 08/27/2010

Top Ramadan TV show satirizes, irks Saudi hardliners


JEDDAH — There’s little sacrosanct — including the tradition of polygamy cherished by many Muslim men — in the most popular Saudi TV series during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Turning the tables on conservative Islamic beliefs, Tash ma Tash has again sparked huge laughs and huge controversy this month by depicting a Muslim woman not just married to four husbands, but also wanting to divorce one of them in order to marry someone else.

The episode brought cheers from Saudi women, but was met with rage by religious scholars, with one calling for the arrest of the show’s producers.

“I appeal to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (Saudi King Abdullah) to bring those (producers) and the channel that broadcasts this series to trial,” Sheikh Saad al-Buraik said on the Saudi religious channel, Daleel, hours after the episode was broadcast.

Plunging into the forbidden and courting the ire of Saudi Arabia’s powerful, arch-conservative clerics is nothing new for Tash ma Tash — named after a Saudi game similar to the coin-tossing “heads or tails.”

Shown annually during the peak TV viewing period of Ramadan by the Dubai-based, Saudi-owned satellite broadcaster MBC, progressives and conservatives await eagerly to see what the show’s writers come up with.

This year it tackles everything from relations between Islam and Christianity to the tradition of Muslim men taking up to four wives.

“We wanted to present an inverted image to reveal the injustice and suffering of a woman whose husband marries multiple wives without a need for it,” Tash actor Abdullah al-Sadhan told the local daily Okaz.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100827com6.html

‘Sons of Iraq’ feel betrayed ‘Sons of Iraq’ feel betrayed focus 08/27/2010

‘Sons of Iraq’ feel betrayed  focus  08/27/2010


SAMARRA — The Sunni Arab militiamen who sided with American soldiers against al-Qaeda during Iraq’s brutal insurgency fear the exit of thousands of US troops will herald a surge in bloody revenge attacks against them.

Known as the “Sons of Iraq” by the US army that financed them, the former rebels fought militants loyal to Osama bin Laden’s terror network, but years later are mocked as “Sons of America” by foes who continue to exact vengeance.
Dozens of the fighters, who helped avert a civil war and were crucial to curbing Iraq’s sectarian violence when it peaked in 2006 and 2007, have been killed in recent months in acts of retaliation.
And as US forces steadily leave the Sons of Iraq, also known as the Sahwa (Awakening) force, feel abandoned and its men complain of being betrayed by the nation they fought to defend.
“If our houses are being attacked and destroyed by the terrorists even before the withdrawal, what will happen to us when the US forces leave?” asked Majid Hassan, a Sahwa commander in Samarra, a Sunni-stronghold in Salaheddin province north of Baghdad.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100827com7.html

GMA slams Noy for botched hostage rescue, leadership lack By Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo 08/27/2010

GMA slams Noy for botched hostage rescue, leadership lack

By Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo
Former President and current Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, blamed for the disappointing hostage crisis on Monday by Malacañang, yesterday slammed the Aquino government for its failure to rein in the incident that resulted in the death of nine people, including eight foreign nationals and the hostage taker who was a former police officer.

Maria Elena Bautista Horn, Arroyo’s chief of staff, said the former President had nothing to do with the crisis even as she refuted claims that police were ill-equipped and lacked the proper training to address incidents such as the hostage crisis at the Quirino Grandstand.

“It’s not equipment failure or lack of training, but lack of leadership,” Bautista said yesterday, referring to President Aquino who was not seen in public during the course of the 11-hour tragedy.

Bautista, reacting to the statement of Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo that the blame should be pinned on the previous administration as the present administration had barely two months in office, said Robredo should not wash his hands off the carnage and say that the issue was “local” because foreigners are involved.

“He cannot just say it is a local protocol because there were foreigners (as hostages),” Bautista said adding that if the incident happened under President Arroyo’s watch, she would have been the one calling Hong Kong officials to keep them informed of the incident..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100827hed2.html

Malacañang communications execs’ lines crossed on Tsang faux pas 08/27/2010

Malacañang communications execs’ lines crossed on Tsang faux pas

The shameful case of the missed phone call of the Hong Kong leader on President Aquino at the height of the hostage crisis in volving Hong Kong residents last Monday continued to haunt the two main commu-nications officials of the Palace who appeared to have their lines crossed with Palace Communication Development and Strategic Planning Office head Ricky Carandang and Presidential Communications Operations chief Herminio Coloma giving conflicting versions of the Palace blunder.

Coloma denied outright the possibility that Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang could not reach Aquino during the two times he called up last Monday.

In an early morning TV interview, Coloma said the claim of Tsang having tried to call Noynoy throughout the hostage crisis and that Noynoy was unavailable and inaccessible was “unbelievable,” because Noynoy was “accessible all the time,” virtually calling Tsang a liar.

Later he said in a press statement that which he found unbelievable was the allegation that Aquino was not accessible at that time..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100827hed3.html

Lim ordered Mendoza kin’s arrest—MPD chief By Angie M. Rosales 08/27/2010

Manila mayor denies Magtibay’s claim

Lim ordered Mendoza kin’s arrest—MPD chief

By Angie M. Rosales
Buck-passing and the blame game were in full play yesterday during the Senate hearing of the botched hostage rescue operations with a Manila police director in the hostage crisis pointing the finger of blame on Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim as the authority who had ordered him to arrest the brother of the hostage taker which had triggered the carnage.

Lim, for his part, yesterday expressed suprise over the statement of Manila Police District (MPD) director Chief Supt. Rodolfo Magtibay before the Senate hearing that it was he (Lim) who had ordered the arrest of hostage-taker Capt. Rolando Mendoza’s brother, SPO2 Gregorio.

During the press conference held in the oval office of the Manila City Hall yesterday afternoon, he said Magtibay said he was assuming full responsibility for what happened, adding he ordered Gregorio brought to the headquarters after the hostage negotiator reported that he was inciting Rolando not to yield to the police yet.

Magtibay said “the buck stops with me” during the press conference, even stating that he will not be blaming anybody else.
It was Lim who had ordered the arrest of Gregorio Mendoza, which may have led to the killing eight of the sacked policeman’s foreign hostages, mostly Chinese tourists.

This was testified to, under oath by Manila Police District director Rodolfo Magtibay.

Magtibay, who already assumed full responsibility in the mishandling of last Monday’s hostage crisis, was prompted to identify Lim as senators ganged up on him.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100827hed1.html

GSIS board received P6 million each in 2009 08/27/2010

GSIS board received P6 million each in 2009

Board members in the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) received as much as P6 million in salary annually, Senate probers were told yesterday.

Documents submitted to the finance committee investigating the reported excessive salaries and perks of some officials in government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions, yielded hefty allowances, or as much as P600,000 as mid-year financial allowance.

Sen. Franklin Drilon said government trustees and other board members in the state pension fund also received in 2009 15th month pay of P600,000; productivity bonus equivalent to four months at P600,000 a month or a total of P2.4 million; Christmas representation allowance of P250,000 and P40,000 transportation allowance.

The amount also covers P130,000 representation allowance, P5,000 allowance for every board meeting and P5,000 cash gift, and other privileges such as annual check-up worth P50,000 and car loan, among others.

This was confirmed by Consuelo Manansala, officer-in-charge and executive vice president for operations of the GSIS.
Manansala, however, maintained that the compensation, benefits and other administrative expenses of the GSIS remain to be way below the limits set by law.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100827hed4.html

Solgen asks high court to uphold Aquino’s EOs 08/27/2010

Solgen asks high court to uphold Aquino’s EOs

State lawyers have asked the Supreme Court (SC) to dismiss the suits seeking to nullify Executive Orders (EOs) 2 and 3.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., through the Office of the Solicitor General, yesterday argued that President Aquino has the power to revoke void or incomplete appointments without need of judicial intervention.

“The President does not have to invoke the jurisdiction of the courts, via a petition for quo warranto, every time he intends to revoke a public servant or revoke an appointment,” he stressed.

EO 2 nullified the “midnight appointments” issued by former President Gloria Arroyo while EO 3 revoked an order by the previous administration – EO 883 – which granted career executive service officer (Ceso) rank to lawyers in the government service.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100827hed5.html

PAL suffers hostage fiasco fallout; 558 inbound Chinese cancel bookings 08/27/2010

PAL suffers hostage fiasco fallout; 558 inbound Chinese cancel bookings

Flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said yesterday hundreds of people from Hong Kong and mainland China had canceled flight bookings to Manila after a hostage crisis left eight tourists dead this week.

“PAL is beginning to feel the initial impact of a Hong Kong government black advisory warning its residents to refrain
from all travel to the Philippines,” PAL president Jaime Bautista said in a statement.

He said the company’s Hong Kong office had reported at least 558 Manila-bound bookings had been canceled as of Wednesday.

The tourists who canceled their trips were from Hong Kong, Beijing, Xiamen and other Chinese cities, Bautista said.
He said it was too early to say whether the cancellations would impact on the airline’s bottom line.

He said company officials were closely monitoring the situation in Hong Kong, where angry residents are mourning those who perished in the carnage..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100827hed6.html

Blog Archive