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The Daily Tribune

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Lies and more lies EDITORIAL 09/02/2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lies and more lies

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, speaking with reporters said that if necessary, she would summon President Aquino, as well as Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief, Jesse Robredo, her co-chairman in the probe body, for them to shed light on the botched hostage rescue operations.

Obviously, that’s all for show. She certainly wouldn’t dare summon Noynoy Aquino to even “shed light” on what he was doing all that time, because if she did, Noynoy and his boys who claim to have been in Emerald Restaurant on Roxas Boulevard, in front of the US Embassy, would be found to have been lying through their teeth, since it has been confirmed by the restaurant staff, as well Robredo, that Noynoy arrived at Emerald after 8:30 p.m., or after the hostages were already killed. His secretaries, such as Robredo, were there some 30 minutes early as they were summoned by Noynoy to a meeting.

And even as Noynoy was already near the area of the hostage taking, it still took him over four hours to make an appearance, made worse by wearing a smile on his face.

So it has been established that neither he nor his officials were in Emerald monitoring the situation the whole time. So where were they? In the Palace playing billiards while the hostage drama was ongoing?... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100902com1.html

Bribes, kidnap and murder: Russia’s police turn to crime focus 09/02/2010

Bribes, kidnap and murder: Russia’s police turn to crime


MOSCOW — Scandals involving police crime are becoming more and more frequent in Russia — kidnapping, murder, torture and corruption among them — casting doubts on President Dmitry Medvedev’s ability to reform the tainted force.

In the latest incident, four Moscow policemen were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a businessman and driving off with him in the trunk of their car.

The man’s wife told police that her husband had been kidnapped from outside their house by camouflaged attackers.

The case was not unprecedented: three Moscow police officers had kidnapped two women in February, demanding 50,000 euros and threatening that the families would be framed in drugs cases if they failed to pay up..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100902com3.html

Amboy Noynoy FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/02/2010

Amboy Noynoy

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy announced to media that he had canceled his trips scheduled this month to Indonesia and Vietnam, but will go ahead with his US visit to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting, a yearly affair, where heads of state or governments, or their foreign ministers attend in their stead, to give their speeches, which more often than not, are not even listened to by other world leaders.

Noynoy of course hopes for a meeting with US President Barack Obama, even for a photo-op, in the hope of scoring points with the locals to generate that impression that Noynoy has Obama’s full support. But who cares if Obama supports him?

As of now, however, Malacañang has not gotten word that Noynoy can be squeezed into Obama’s schedule.
The interesting question with regard to the canceled Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) visits, however, is: Just who canceled the visits Indonesia or Noynoy, and Vietnam or Noynoy?

Noynoy, in announcing the cancellation of his visits to Indonesia and Vietnam, made it appear that it was he who had canceled the visits, and that he has sought a rescheduling of his visits for October, but that the two Asean countries failed to fit his visit in their schedules..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100902com2.html

Much ado about rolling and flying coffins BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 09/02/2010

Much ado about rolling and flying coffins

Louie Logarta
Associate Justice Noel Tijam of the Court of Appeals has turned out to be the knight in shining armor of an estimated 10 million PWDs (people with disability) all over the country for upholding their right to a 20-percent discount in the purchase of medicines as mandated by in the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.

It was a well-received decision penned by Justice Tijam of the CA’s Eleventh Division wherein he threw out a petition filed by the Drugstores Association of the Philippines and allies Save More Drug of the SM group, Manson Drug Corp., Northern Luzon Drug Corp. and South Star Drug Inc. seeking to nullify said discount being granted to PWDs, claiming several provisions of the PWD law were “unconstitutional.”

Tijam countered that the questioned discount is in fact constitutional because it is a legitimate exercise of police power by the State.

“While the Constitution protects property rights, petitioners must accept the realities of business and the State, in the exercise of police power, can intervene in the operations of a business which may result in the impairment of property rights in the process… based on the foregoing reasoning and justification, we find that the grant of 20 percent discount on the purchased medicines of PWDs is similarly considered a valid exercise of police power of the State, hence, it is constitutional.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100902com4.html

Crisis mismanagement by panic By Ronald Roy COMMENT 09/02/2010

Crisis mismanagement by panic
By Ronald Roy


After the smoke cleared over the Luneta carnage the other Monday, there was little doubt we would be thrown into an internecine state of frenzied blame-laying and finger-pointing. The disarray has reached a point where we must now decide for ourselves how we can regroup to salvage the national honor and recover fast from a jolted economy. For how long, nobody really knows.

One cannot but recoil at the “expert” remark of a Tourism or Foreign Affairs official that there was nothing to worry about since business relations between Hong Kong and mainland China on one hand, and our country on the other, would normalize in around “two and a half” months.

This optimism is as asinine as the notion of a pint-sized Gloria Arroyo being entered as a statuesque contestant in a beauty pageant, and uncalled for since it tends to downplay the hurt the Chinese claim we have heaped upon them. This official must learn that contrition cannot set a deadline for the grant of the forgiveness that a wrongdoer seeks.

At the same time, it is regretted that some of our Chinese friends have failed to isolate the wrongful acts of our officials as their own and not of the entire Filipino nation. It might help them to know we are among the most decent and amiable peoples in the world..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100902com5.html

US legacy unwritten as Iraq combat mission ends — commanders FEATURE 09/02/2010

US legacy unwritten as Iraq combat mission ends — commanders


CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ — Army Col. Charles Sexton likes to tell his soldiers that, 19 years on from his first involvement with Iraq, the US military’s legacy here remains largely unwritten.

Sitting in his office on Contingency Operating Site Marez, just outside the main northern city of Mosul, where insurgent groups wreaked havoc in the aftermath of the US-led invasion of 2003, the 48-year-old recounts a story he has told his troops.

On a recent break in France, Sexton and his wife visited Chateau-Thierry, a town east of Paris, where he saw a monument to the US army’s Third Infantry Division’s contributions during the two World wars.

“The monument is beautiful, it’s gorgeous... everything was kept perfectly and it was in a beautiful spot,” says Sexton, now the commander of the Third Division’s 2nd Brigade.

“And there is, just outside this town... another little sign, it’s about maybe 18 to 20 inches, and it says ‘Cimetiere Allemand,’ which is ‘German Cemetery’. ... It wasn’t well-kept, it was just a cemetery.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100902com6.html

Sex Education — 7 VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/02/2010

Sex Education — 7

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
As a right and proper ending of this subject matter of “Sex Education,” it has now become both fruitful and practical to make a full circle thereabout in the sense that there it started and there also shall it end.

Question: What are the clear and given premises of this short and simple treaties in conjunction with education about sex? 

Answer: Firstly, it acquired the interest and concern of the Department of Education in particular. Then, the same department considered it necessary to have sex education modules, booklets and similar literature composed, printed and accordingly funded. Lastly, as a matter of course, the said department tasked some teachers in selected public schools to handle the subject matter and do the teaching thereof to duly chosen elementary and high school students in the school premises. 

Needless to say, the starling statement of the previous secretary of Health to give “Sex Education” even to “Kindergarten” pupils was not taken seriously..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100902com7.html

Palace hand in Senate probe suspension eyed By Angie M. Rosales 09/02/2010

Palace hand in Senate probe suspension eyed
By Angie M. Rosales

Malacanang may have had a direct hand in the sudden suspension of the Senate’s scheduled inquiry into the bungled hostage crisis that left eight Hong Kong residents dead and eight more injured, with more traumatized over the tragedy.

Sen. Edgardo Angara raised this issue of probable Malacañang interference in the affairs of the Senate as word reached him that somebody allegedly asked to have Sen. Gregorio Honasan, overall lead in the probe of the Aug. 23 hostage incident in Manila, place on hold the proceedings in the meantime.

“Who is investigating it? Because they (Palace) requested Gringo (Honasan) to suspend in the meantime the investigation here in the Senate,” Angara said yesterday in an interview with reporters, adding this was the information he had gathered.

He insinuated that the current Senate does not seem to be acting independently, tossing back the question to reporters if the move to suspend the inquiry will affect the credibility of the institution.

Angara, however, refused to divulge his source, saying that the issue is best addressed to the panel chairmen.
Predictably Honasan, chairman of the public order committee, dismissed the allegations, standing by the decision taken by senators, while assuring that.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100902hed1.html

Noy’s factions’ turf war seen in bungled hostage crisis 09/02/2010

Noy’s factions’ turf war seen in bungled hostage crisis
With so many uncoordinated moves from several communications secretaries of President Aquino during the Aug. 23 bungled hostage rescue operations, this is today seen as a probable cause for the mixed signals that emanated from Malacañang during the hostage crisis, from the explanations offered by them in the matter of the call of Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang, to the continued excuses being offered by them in defense of their, and their President’s lack of leadership.

That factions exist in the Palace was denied yesterday by presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, even when it is fairly evident that there are at least two warring factions in the Palace: The Roxas group, branded by the media as the “Balay Puti” group, and the Samar Group, identified with the Aquino relatives and the Cory yellows.
Lacierda denied that there is infighting between at least two groups in Malacañang and claimed too that the allegations that it was the infighting that contributed to the botched rescue of Hong Kong tourists was false.

Lacierda, who himself has made a lot of boo-boos in his statements issued shortly after the botched operations clarifying the incident of Tsang’s calls not being answered by Aquino, yesterday said that the “issue has been totally blown out of proportion” in relation to the warring factions in the Palace.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100902hed2.html

HK gov’t tells Speaker: Ours is an independent judiciary 09/02/2010

HK gov’t tells Speaker: Ours is an independent judiciary
Reacting to an Aug. 31 Tribune story titled “Singson may receive HK anger backlash” wherein the Speaker, Feliciano Belmonte, was quoted as raising the possibility of the court case of Rep. Ronald Singson —charged by the Hong Kong government with drug possession — being the recipient of the anger of Chinese citizens in Hong Kong and may prove to detrimental to Singson, a Hong Kong government spokesman yesterday defended the integrity of the city’s judicial system, saying : “We do not comment on individual court cases. However, Hong Kong’s rule of law is upheld by an independent judiciary. It is the cornerstone of our society. Judges here (HK) administer justice according to law without fear or favor.”

Belmonte was quoted in the report as saying that it would be “pitiful” if the botched 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.

At the same time, Deputy Secretary for Security, Mr Ngai Wing-chit, of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government issued a clarificatory statement in reaction to Tribune’s Sept. 1 report which had Senate Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada confirming the fears of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in HongKong over the anger of Hong Kong residents spilling over to their jobs and persons.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100902hed3.html

Senate okays reso suspending GOCC, GFI execs’ fat perks 09/02/2010

Senate okays reso suspending GOCC, GFI execs’ fat perks
The refund of the reported P127-million “bonuses” allegedly received by former Social Security

System (SSS) president Romulo Neri and chairman Thelmo Cunanan along with several others was sought by senators yesterday.

They, along with several other executives from government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) uncovered to be receiving fat salaries and excessive allowances, are being made to remit to their respective agencies the amounts they have declared as “benefits,” said to be in the hundreds of millions of pesos.

This is contained in the Senate resolution formally adopted yesterday in the plenary which calls on President Aquino to suspend all the bonuses and allowances of the governing boards of the various GOCCs and have these sums of money turned over to the country’s coffers.

Senate Resolution 17 was unanimously approved by its members.

Sen. Franklin Drilon, in an interview yesterday clarified that it is only the benefits that the governing boards get from their own agencies that are being called to be suspended by the Executive.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100902hed4.html

Put up or shut up 09/02/2010

Put up or shut up
The Daily Tribune’s editorial board is protesting presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda’s repeated threatening remarks on the newspaper’s Malacañang beat re-porter Aytch de la Cruz, of her facing libel charges for doing her assigned job of coming out with daily stories from the Palace that President Aquino’s subalterns find critical of the new admi-nistration.

While not new to an antagonistic Palace, the Tribune editors consider the Palace spokesman’s regular tirades against their reporter as a form of prior restraint on her ability to carry out her daily journalistic chores.

Lacierda yesterday uttered “Ayoko ‘yan, Tribune ‘yan, gagawan na naman ako ng story n’yan” (I don’t like that, that’s Tribune, it will again spin the story) to De la Cruz when she tried to chase him for a com-ment on a previous story about the thousands of justices and judges who wanted to find answers as to whether their unpaid benefits would be provided by the Aquino government.

Even before De la Cruz could shoot her question, Lacierda stopped her cold with his remarks in a
supposed effort to evade other reporters seeking to clarify stories.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100902hed5.html

Aquino economic team slammed over incomplete budget proposal 09/02/2010

Aquino economic team slammed over incomplete budget proposal
President Aquino’s economic team yesterday earned the ire of opposition lawmakers as Budget Secretary Florencio Abad tried to hide a big portion of the 2011 national budget from congressional scrutiny.

House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said Abad had apparently tried to hide the big picture  of the national budget to the lawmakers when the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) failed to give details of some P711.5-billion in his presentation of the National Expenditure Program. The proposed budget for 2011 is P1.645 trillion.

Lagman noted that Abad had only delved on the new appropriations when he should have discussed automatic appropriations such as the debt service and the internal revenue allotment, continuing appropriations such as salaries, and all other kinds of appropriations such as net lending and tax refunds.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100902hed6.html

Over 2,000 OFWs waiting in shelters, safehouses or repatriation 09/02/2010

Over 2,000 OFWs waiting in shelters, safehouses or repatriation
Over 2,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are waiting in various shelters and safehouses in the Middle East for their immediate mass repatriation, with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) having set aside more than P100 million.

The cost of plane ticket for each returning OFW is estimated at P50,000, apart from other expenses such as immigration and legal fees paid by the Philippine government to host countries to allow the Filipino worker leave the country.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Carmelita Dimzon said most of the OFWs that will be deported are not members of OWWA.

The OWWA has collected an estimated $12 billion in 2010 from the mandatory $25 contributions from OFW members, of which a portion should be earmarked for emergency repatriation. “For undocumented cases, the OWWA forwards processing and implementation to the Department of Foreign Affairs which also has funds for this purpose.”

But the OWWA funds have been subjected to numerous cases of misuse of funds from abusive board members. The DFA, on the other hand, has been complaining of alleged lack of funds “but has failed to repatriate a number of OFWs and those in distress over the years.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100902nat6.html

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