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Too soon for findings EDITORIAL 08/31/2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Too soon for findings

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday made public its forensic analysis, saying that all the eight Chinese tourists were killed by sacked police Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza.

The PNP spokesman said that of the 65 spent shells from an M-16 rifle recovered at the scene, 58 of them came from the firearm used by Mendoza in executing the hostages, while seven other spent shells recovered inside the bus are still being studied to determine their origin.

It was evident that the PNP came up with that initial forensic findings to erase suspicions of friendly fire from the police having killed some of the hostages during the assault.

Let’s all hope that the PNP’s findings jibe with both the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) findings, and more importantly, the Hong Kong forensics, because if they don’t, more hell is likely to break loose.

What is difficult to understand is why the PNP insists on publicly releasing its so-called “initial forensics analysis” and claim, “with a degree of certainty” that all eight hostages were killed by the hostage taker, especially when there is yet to be investigations from two more groups.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com1.html

Unreliable ally FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/31/2010

Unreliable ally

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
From a global point of view, Noynoy Aquino and his government, due to their gross mishandling of the hostage crisis that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead, might now be seen by foreign government-allies as incompetent, and therefore, an unreliable ally in the continuing war against terrorism, where unfortunately, the Philippines has been made the front stage in this part of the terrorism war.

No matter the push from the Noynoy Communications Group secretaries in laying the blame on the previous Arroyo administration whom they alleged had not spent the funds for training and equipment of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams and special police forces, while saying that they have only been in office less than two months when this hostage crisis erupted, the fact is that it was very evident that Noynoy and his officials blew their chance in proving their leadership abilities and competence in handling such crisis situations.

The fact of the matter is that the Philippines has a president who does not want to accept responsibility and acknowledge accountability, and has moreover this penchant on laying the blame on everything else except himself and officials he has appointed.

Even as he and his executives lay the blame on the previous administration for the botched police rescue operations, how then do they explain the fact that this is the same police force that had the equipment and the training, but ran around like headless chickens now that the government has changed hands?... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com2.html

Nearly 15,000 war missing still haunt the Balkans FEATURE 08/31/2010

Nearly 15,000 war missing still haunt the Balkans


BELGRADE — Verica Tomanovic holds up a flyer as she talks about her Serb husband who disappeared in Kosovo more than a decade ago.

“This man went missing. If you know his whereabouts, please call KFOR or 92 (the police).”
Andrija Tomanovic, the 62-year-old chief of surgery in Pristina’s hospital, disappeared in broad daylight on June 24, 1999, two weeks after the war ended and Nato-led KFOR peacekeeping forces controlled the area.

He is one of some 14,650 persons unaccounted for after the wars in Croatia, Bosnia Hercegovina and Kosovo, which tore apart the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Families throughout the western Balkans still hope to find out what has happened to their missing loved ones, if only to bury and grieve for them properly.

“On that day he called (from the hospital)... and said he was going home and would call back in 10 minutes,” Tomanovic’s wife recalls.

“We haven’t heard from him since,” she adds in a whisper.

Immediately after he disappeared Verica, who was visiting her daughter in Belgrade at the time, spent frantic days and nights calling friends and colleagues in a desperate bid to locate her husband.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com3.html

Did this really happen? NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 08/31/2010

Did this really happen?

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Miss Universe runner-up Venus Raj is continuously hit left and right even by those hardly able to put subject and predicate together, for her answer to American actor William Baldwin’s question in the final round of last week’s Miss Universe contest about the “one big mistake” she’s ever made in her life and whatever she’s done to “make it right.”

Her response: “Thank you, Sir, for that wonderful question. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Good evening, Las Vegas. You know what, sir, in all my 22 years of existence, I can say that there’s nothing major, major, I mean problem that I have done in my life because I am very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So, thank you so much that I am here, thank you, thank you so much.”

She finished 4th runner-up, in other words, the 5th loveliest, in a field of 80 contestants. Still she’s pilloried and blamed for not coming up with “a better answer” that could have made her Miss Universe, because, as an idiot said in a blog, “kasi kung nanalo siya, makakalimutan na ng mundo ang ginawang pangho-hostage ni Rolando Mendoza ng mga turistang Chinese.”

When the self-flagellation ends is hard to predict, but enough is enough. Tama na, itigil na, and I daresay my good friend Pete Lacaba feels just about the same. See, in the Internet there’s a Huffington Post article about “Miss Philippines, Maria Venus Raj, (who) is by anyone’s definition fantastically beautiful, poised, and graceful. Many believe she should have won the competition, and she deserves a lot of credit for being the first Filipina since 1999 to make it to the finals. But her flubbed response to the question of what mistake she had made in her life and what would she have done differently apparently cost her the crown.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com4.html

Ninoy and the embassy AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 08/31/2010

Ninoy and the embassy

Ken Fuller
An article posted on the GMA News Web site on Aug. 18 (“Ninoy networked with everyone, Reds included,” by Lisandro Claudio) gives details of the links between Ninoy Aquino and the Communist Party of the Philippines formed by Jose Maria Sison in 1968.

As Claudio concedes, however, these links are not exactly news. It has, for example, been known for decades that Aquino acted as a middle-man in the formation of the New People’s Army, arranging the initial meeting between Sison and Bernabe Buscayno, better-known as Kumander Dante, the NPA’s first leader. As this outsider researched a forthcoming book (A Movement Divided, to be published next year, is a sequel to 2007’s Forcing the Pace), one of my sources confirmed this particular link, adding that Aquino also provided arms and allowed his Times Street residence to be used by wounded NPA fighters.

Prior to this, Aquino had led an interesting life working with the CIA, a connection upon which Claudio is silent. 

At President Magsaysay’s suggestion, Aquino spent four months in the USA, observing CIA training methods, following which he reported back to Magsaysay. By now he had married into the wealthy Cojuangco family. When the Spanish-owned Tabacalera company decided to sell the 7,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita, Magsaysay mentioned this to Aquino, as the former wished to avoid the property falling into the hands of the Lopez family. Aquino then approached his father-in-law, Jose Cojuangco, who purchased it.

After the death of Magsaysay, President Garcia asked Aquino if he would provide refuge for a group of anti-Sukarno colonels linked with the secessionist rebels of Sumatra. This was agreed, and a training camp was established on the hacienda which, according to Sterling Seagrave, was “[o]ne of the CIA’s favorite estates” as it “provided the Agency with facilities to train agents for conspiracies throughout Southeast Asia.” Gabriel Kolko informs us that when the Sukarno loyalists stormed Sumatra to put down the rebellion, the CIA “assigned some three hundred to four hundred Americans and foreigners to supply the rebels with arms and supplies...” Amazingly, and by his own admission, one of these foreigners was Aquino, who was sent to Menado with two army radio technicians; he stayed a month and then returned to Manila to report.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com5.html

2009 Adoption Law is unconstitutional By Alan F. Paguia COMMENT 08/31/2010

2009 Adoption Law is unconstitutional

By Alan F. Paguia


Is the 2009 Adoption Law, or Republic Act 9523, constitutional?

No. It appears violative of two constitutional principles. First, the separation of powers, and second, it contains substantial provisions which are not germane to, nor expressed in, its title.
Violation of separation of powers

1. The title of the law reads:

2. The statute materially provides:
“SEC. 8. CERTIFICATION. — The certification that a child is legally available for adoption shall be issued by the DSWD in lieu of a judicial order, thus making the entire process administrative in nature.

The certification, shall be, for all intents and purposes, the primary evidence that the child is legally available in a domestic adoption proceeding, as provided in Republic Act No. 8552, and in an inter-country adoption proceeding, as provided in Republic Act No. 8043.”

3. In other words, the Congress, through RA 9523, seeks to promulgate the certificate of availability for adoption as primary evidence in adoption proceedings which are already covered by the Supreme Court’s RULE ON ADOPTION or A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC, which took effect on Aug. 31, 2002, and which expressly repeals Rules 99 and 100 of the Rules of Court. DOES CONGRESS HAVE THIS POWER? No. Under the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court’s power to promulgate judicial rules is NO LONGER SHARED BY THE SUPREME COURT WITH CONGRESS (Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice, 301 SCRA 96; 1999). Most importantly, the 1987 Constitution took away the power of Congress, under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure (Baguio Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Coperative v. Judge Illuminada Cabato-Cortes, 613 SCRA 733; 2010). As one of the safeguards of the Supreme Court’s INSTITUTIONAL INDEPENDENCE, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure in all courts is now the Supreme Court’s EXCLUSIVE domain (ibid.). 

4. Consequently, the REPEAL of judicial rules on adoption sought to be promulgated by RA 9523 — is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. This state of the law and jurisprudence is within the MANDATORY JUDICIAL NOTICE of all courts; and, is likewise within the MANDATORY QUASI-JUDICIAL NOTICE of the DSWD, considering that ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith (Art. 3, CIVIL CODE). If ignorance of the law is not an excuse, with greater reason is ignorance of the Constitution not an excuse.

Substance not germane to title

5. Under the Constitution: “Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.” (par. 1, Sec. 26, Art. VI).

6. RA 9523 deals with more than one subject. Generally, it refers to the requirement of a DSWD certification declaring a “child legally available for adoption” as a prerequisite for adoption proceedings. But the law actually does more than that. It does not simply impose an additional requirement. It converts the entire judicial process of adoption into an essentially administrative process. There is, therefore, a DEVIATION from the general subject of the law (Insular Lumber Company v. CTA, 104 SCRA 710) which is not expressed in the title. The conversion of adoption proceedings from JUDICIAL to ADMINISTRATIVE is not germane to, nor reasonably necessary for, the imposition of an additional requirement in adoption proceedings. The two legislative intentions are separate and distinct purposes. One can exist without the other. Hence, while the title of the law covers the matter of additional requirement, it does not express the matter of conversion (Tio v. VRB, 151 SCRA 208).


7. The DSWD officials are thus placed in a predicament where they have to choose between following the statute or following the Constitution. If they follow the statute which appears unconstitutional under the foregoing premises, they take the risk of incurring administrative, civil, and criminal liability. If they follow the Constitution, they take the risk of upholding the Rule of Law.... Go to Page

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com6.html

JPE: ‘We are not taking Trillanes as a free man’ 08/31/2010

JPE: ‘We are not taking Trillanes as a free man’
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile clarified yesterday that the Senate is not taking Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as a free man when the upper chamber passed a resolution asking the court to allow the detained senator to attend the Senate session and other activities.

“He is still under detention,” Enrile clarified in a radio DWIZ station interview.

“We are asking the court for the orders and restrictions and limitations which the court may issue to transfer the custody, the place of confinement of Trillanes from Camp Crame to Senate under guard if necessary,” Ernile said.

Last week, 15 senators approved a revised resolution asking anew the Makati Regional Trial Court to allow the long-detained legislator to fulfill his legislative duties.

In Resolution No. 7, the senators said that the temporary transfer of custody of Trillanes would not be tantamount to release or even impair the doctrine of separation of powers between branches of government and infringe on the court’s prerogatives..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100831nat1.html

Palace gags all hostage crisis probers By Aytch S. dela Cruz and Benjamin B. Pulta 08/31/2010

DoJ chief in charge but no HK media questions to be entertained 

Palace gags all hostage crisis probers

By Aytch S. dela Cruz and Benjamin B. Pulta

Malacañang has issued a gag order yesterday on all officials in all agencies doing investigative work on the aftermath of the hostage crisis.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) through its chief, Secretary Leila de Lima, has issued a “gag order” against all investigative agencies currently involved in the ongoing investigations related to the recent hostage crisis that left eight Chinese Hong Kong residents dead.

While in her briefings, De Lima will be answering Filipino reporters’ questions, she made it clear that she will not be entertaining questions from Hong Kong media, saying they should direct their questions to Hong Kong authorities.

A day earlier, the Philippine National Police spokesman declared that the police forensics team has already concluded with “an amount of certainty” that 69 shells found in the hijacked bus all came from the hostage taker. Only seven slugs are to be checked against other firearms.

The gag order was issued to ensure that no confusion arises among the different agencies that are keeping track of the case, Malacañang said yesterday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed1.html

Senate to probe hijacker brod’s role 08/31/2010

Senate to probe hijacker brod’s role
been on air and monitoring the live coverage on television when the arrest on his brother, Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Gregorio Mendoza, took place.

“Based on the excerpts of the interview, he (Mendoza) knew what is happening outside because of the TV monitor inside the bus. It is absurd that the authorities overlooked this matter when they drastically arrested the brother of the hostage taker,” the senator said.

“It was clear that instead of it (Gregorio’s arrest) controlling the been on air and monitoring the live coverage on television when the arrest on his brother, Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Gregorio Mendoza, took place.

“Based on the excerpts of the interview, he (Mendoza) knew what is happening outside because of the TV monitor inside the bus. It is absurd that the authorities overlooked this matter when they drastically arrested the brother of the hostage taker,” the senator said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed2.html

Peace talks with gov’t at risk without Malaysia, warns MILF By Mario J. Mallari 08/31/2010

Peace talks with gov’t at risk without Malaysia, warns MILF

By Mario J. Mallari

The secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) yesterday ex-pressed apprehension over the government’s supposed plan to change Ma-laysia as the facilitator of the peace negotiations.

Former MILF nego-tiator and now information committee chief Mohagher Iqbal said the changing of the facilitator could serve as a problem in the planned resumption of the peace talks after the Ramadan.

“If they (government) will not touch the mechanism in place, it could happen (resumption of peace talks after Ramadan) but if they will touch them, example they want to change the facilitator, facilitating country, that could be a problem,” he noted.

President Aquino, in his State of the Nation Address, had expressed his intention to resume the peace negotiations with the MILF after the Holy Month of Ramadan which ends second week of September.
Iqbal stressed that without changing the mechanism in-place, the resumption of the talks would come smoothly.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed3.html

Singson may receive HK anger backlash By Gerry Baldo 08/31/2010

Singson may receive HK anger backlash
By Gerry Baldo

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte raised the possibility that with emotions running high after the carnage of Hong Kong tourists in the recent hostage-taking crisis, this may create a backlash on the drug case in the territory against Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson as he expressed the hope that it will be spared from such a possibility.

Belmonte said that it would be “pitiful” if the botched hostage rescue last week that resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong residents would affect the case now pending in the former British colony.

“That’s a different matter altogether. That would be pitiful,” Belmonte said amid continued outrage over the Manila incident that killed eight Hong Kong and Canadian tourists held hostage by a former police officer.

“Just let their laws and the circumstances prevail without the emotionalism that is engendered by an entirely different matter,” Belmonte said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed4.html

Angara calls for ‘pork’ transparency 08/31/2010

Angara calls for ‘pork’ transparency
Sen. Edgardo Angara yesterday challenged Mala-cañang to exercise transpa-rency in the distribution of so-called pork barrel to lawmakers as no less than the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) already issued an assurance that Congress members will have enough appropriation of such under the proposed 2011 national budget.

“Of course we understand the need for transparency. Ambiguity can be perceived as corruption. We all know by now that incon-sistencies in the books are red flags for suspicious spending activity,” he stressed.

The senator, former finance committee chairman in the upper chamber, was reacting to the recent statement made by the DBM that lawmakers will be provided with pork barrel, also known as Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), but under very strict measures for accountability and transparency.

“We should exercise prudence in spending and show that the PDAF can be an effective tool for development,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed5.html

High court upholds freedom of speech and of expression 08/31/2010

High court upholds freedom of speech and of expression
The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the exercise of freedom of speech and of expression of the employees of the state pension fund agency Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) when, in 2005, they wore red shirts and appeared in a hearing against their union leader to manifest their support.

In a ruling of the SC en banc (full court), it dismissed the petition filed by former GSIS president and general manager Winston Garcia for his failure to prove that employees Dinnah Villaviz, Elizabeth Duque, Adronico Echavez, Rodel Rubio, Rowena Therese Gracia, Pilar Layco and Antonio Jose Legarda were guilty of grave misconduct and/or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service pursuant to the rules of procedure of the GSIS.

Wearing red shirts, the said employees appeared before the GSIS Investigation Unit on May 27, 2005 to support Mario Molina and their union leader Albert Velasco, they defiantly raised clenched fist in airing their grievances against Garcia’s administration.

After a month, using as basis the report of the GSIS security, Garcia found the employees guilty and punished them with a one-year suspension with accessory penalties.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100831nat2.html

No new laws without corresponding measures to generate revenues By Charlie V. Manalo 08/31/2010

No new laws without corresponding measures to generate revenues
By Charlie V. Manalo

A ranking House leader said yesterday no new laws increasing public expenditure should be passed without a corresponding revenue-generating or cost-offsetting measure.

Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, author of House Resolution 302, said any management spending or tax legislation that increases the deficit or reduces revenues must be accompanied by a countervailing measure that offsets the increase in deficit or reduction in revenue.

“In order to lessen the country’s ballooning deficit, it is necessary to instill fiscal discipline in the public sector,” said Mandanas, chairman of the House committee on ways and means.

Mandanas called on both executive and legislative branches of the government to adopt deficit-neutral rules to instill fiscal discipline for a more responsible financial management and promote sustainable economic growth.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100831nat7.html

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