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65 days of amateurism EDITORIAL 09/03/2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

65 days of amateurism

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It is the 65th day of the Aquino administration and thus far it has shown consistency in its amateurish handling of government.
When the Aquino campaign machinery for the May 10 elections told voters that Aquino and his team will hit the ground running, it never occurred to anybody that what it meant was the administration running around like a headless chicken.

Among the key moves of Noynoy when he assumed power was to appoint three spokesmen and with Cabinet ranks to boot. The idea supposedly was for the administration to communicate effectively with and to the public.

It is not for anybody to tell Noynoy how to run his household, which is the Palace, but the people certainly have a big say in how badly he runs it, especially when it becomes clear that Noynoy has been bringing the country and the Filipino nation down with his incompetence. Besides, he had, anyway, asked for a participative government and did say “Kayo ang boss ko” to the people so it is fair to rate Aquino’s term more than halfway through his first 100 days of reckoning: A fat zero. Nobody is in charge and the promised change or even a ghost of it, is not happening..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100903com1.html

Good for the GMA goose, not good for the Noy gander? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/03/2010

Good for the GMA goose, not good for the Noy gander?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Most negative and critical bordering on slander and libel against Gloria Arroyo and her administration all throughout the presidential election campaign was then presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino, through his then campaign spokesman, Edwin Lacierda.
They gloried in such Arroyo criticisms, especially as they were being carried out by their yellow media that ensured no negative stories would be aired against their yellow bet, to the point of suppressing valid issues leveled against Noynoy who wasn’t brave enough to answer the issues directly. 

Not surprisingly, valid issues such as Noynoy’s utter lack of managerial and administrative experience, as well as his appalling do-nothing record in Congress, not to mention the hacienda issue, were never highlighted as the yellow media glowed with positive stories on Noynoy and negative reports on the Arroyo regime, as well as negative reports on the rest of the presidential candidates. 

But today, as Noynoy and his spokesman Lacierda, along with their incompetent yellows are in power and position, they not only reject critical reports and commentaries, especially from the Tribune, but even go to the extent of threatening our Malacañang reporter with a libel suit, asking her when she would have a job change and even asking for the Tribune’s status, claiming too that the Tribune reports are editorialized, all of which is really none of his business. And if Noynoy is included in this, it is because Lacierda is his spokesman, and what he says necessarily reflects Noynoy’s stance toward our newspaper..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100903com2.html

Industrialized world risks ‘lost decade’ — economists FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/03/2010

Industrialized world risks ‘lost decade’ — economists

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
PARIS — With momentum sputtering in many countries, economists fear the industrialized world is facing a period of slow growth and high unemployment similar to the “lost decade” endured by Japan in the 1990s.

“The risk... is higher than ever,” said Philippe Trainar, a professor of economics at Paris-Dauphine University.

“The latest data shows that we were too optimistic about a recovery in the United States and maybe too pessimistic about Europe.”

The bursting of a financial and property market bubble in Japan in the early 1990s pushed what was then the world’s second economy into deflation — a period of sharply declining prices and salaries.

Japanese economic growth during the 1990s averaged out at just one percent a year and the country’s economy has now been overtaken by China.

“The Japanese experience show.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100903com3.html

Some deserve the judgment NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 09/03/2010

Some deserve the judgment

Armida Siguion-Reyna
I got this text message: “You hate Filipinos for the hostage fiasco last week, right? But I don’t hate the Chinese for lead poisoning (of toys) and melamine contamination (in milk, wherein not eight, but hundreds, maybe even thousands suffered? I don’t think it right to blame a whole nation for the mistake of one man.”

The reactions continue, ranging from the sane to the outrageous, the calming to the provoking, all the way to the simply invented. Circulating on Facebook are letters from supposed survivors, but at this point no one knows what’s real and what’s made up.

This, for instance, is said to be spurious, parts of it going: “The hostage taker, as you know him was really nice. He treated us okay and even let the elders and the children leave the bus. He said your policemen treated him unfairly. He was a policeman too and was accused of doing something he had no knowledge of. But your government didn’t listen so he used us to get everyone’s attention.

“Things would have never turned for the worst if he didn’t see how his family was dragged out of their house and taken into custody. He was watching the news all the time as we huddled around each other behind the bus. He shouted some words in your language then started shooting in the air. A girl about my age started screaming. Mr. (Rolando) Mendoza demanded her to stop but she didn’t understand English. God, he had to slash her neck with a knife just to put her to rest. Her boyfriend who tried to hit him was shot in the head.”
Doubt on the authenticity of the document sprung up after the Chinese government released an official list of the hostages, and Bang Lu Min, the supposed signatory was not one of them.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100903com4.html

Reverse the policy of servitude DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 09/03/2010

Reverse the policy of servitude

Herman Tiu Laurel
Around five to 10 percent of the messages I get these days run counter to the tide of remorse that most Filipinos have over the massive hostile reaction of the Hong Kong people in the wake of the deadly hostage disaster — feelings which are being stoked by the endless tale of errors of the Philippine government. One text from Michi says the Chinese are already going overboard, as exemplified by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s allegation that a Hong Kong immigration officer threw his passport back at him. Danny echoes the same but with more pain: “Masyado na tayong minamaliit” (We are being belittled too much), as news of Pinay domestics being harassed come in. Despite movie idol Jackie Chan’s efforts to dampen the burning rage of his countrymen, attempts such as these only douse more fuel to the fire.

One can sympathize with the Hong Kong people yet think that they might be overdoing it; but then, as more developments in the Philippines unfold, the situation only gets worse. The “Kodak-an” of uniformed policemen in front of the bullet-riddled bus, posing as if it were a tourist attraction, has by now circulated massively on the Internet, revealing a penchant for kababawan that treats the tragic crime so lightly, which can only rekindle heated emotions that could have otherwise started simmering down. Another picture that has a bevy of white uniformed schoolgirls also posing before the hostaged bus naturally elicited a caption that reads, “One of these bitches could be your domestic helper next.” Indeed, these things might be a fun topic among Pinoy barkadas; but they are weird and even macabre. So I can’t really blame the Hong Kong people.

On our end, the pain from the shame is growing too, especially as we sense the helpless situation of our domestic helpers in Hong Kong, where some of its citizens are still unforgiving, and understandably so, despite the Philippine public and officialdom’s acts of contrition. I had actually begun to feel that the Chinese protested unnecessarily about the Philippine flag being draped on Mendoza’s coffin; but when I read the transcript of the final interview of RMN (aired over GNN) with Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza, who at that point threatened to shoot “even the small ones” among his hostages, I changed my mind. Mendoza, of course, was no longer in his right mind; but for anyone, and a police officer at that, to consciously target children is so cowardly (and unbecoming of a Batangueño). Imagine the rage of those from Hong Kong who will get to read it.

Truly, the thing that makes this recent imbroglio testier is that around 200,000 Filipinos work as domestic helpers (DHs) in Hong Kong. Filipino DHs are preferred, though they cost more, while Filipino DHs prefer to work there because of proximity. When the people of Hong Kong demanded compensation for the victims in their recent rally, some Filipino bloggers made the retort that they should also compensate Filipinas who were wronged. But the fact is, Hong Kong’s laws are clear and fair. Filipino domestics have been permitted to stage rallies in the past to demand better wages and benefits. Still, we wouldn’t be in this situation if our countrymen didn’t have to leave their home country by the hundreds of thousands to find work outside.

Marcos was the last Filipino leader to have set his eyes on industrializing the nation to ensure sufficient domestic employment. If he had succeeded with his “Eleven Industrial Projects,” which included, among others, the copper and aluminum smelters, the integrated steel mill, and the centerpiece Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The US ensured, through systematic sabotage, that none of these projects would take off. Through Ninoy Aquino’s assassination, it was able to create turmoil by using the unsuspecting middle-class and ambitious military officers to stage a coup that put the nail on the coffin of Marcos’ dream.

Corazon Aquino, with Joker Arroyo, became instrumental in dismantling the foundations of Philippine industrialization by deconstructing the independent energy sector; privatizing state assets crucial to developing a sovereign nation; and turning the Philippines into a servant country.

The humiliation of Filipinos did not start with the Hong Thai hostage fiasco and won’t end with it. We recall American radio shock jock Howard Stern calling Filipinos “monkeys;” the case of Flor Contemplacion who was executed in Singapore for killing her fellow domestic, with the Philippines unable to do anything to save her; and how dictionaries of certain countries define a Filipina as a “domestic servant; someone who performs non-essential auxiliary tasks.”

If Filipinos should be angry at anyone or any group for this humiliation and apparently hopeless future as unwitting “servants of the world” (a concept that is even promoted by some local religious groups, idealizing “servant leadership” as against “visionary leadership”), it should be at the Philippine social and political leaders who have sold this nation for slavery.

What happened in the fall of Marcos’ vision of industrialization was nothing less than a counter-revolution of historic proportions. Thus, social conditions will require an equally great, revolutionary effort to reverse our dependency and mendicant economy. It took 24 years of the elite Yellow counter-revolution to entrench the Yellow movement (after a near upset by the masa in the election of Estrada); but now under the last Aquino, the nation has begun to understand and reject them.

We must return to the original colors of the revolution of Bonifacio, Mabini and Rizal. The present crop in the Senate and Congress is hopelessly corrupted. Fortunately, there are possibilities in the margins of the present power structure, such as Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada (if he expands on his father’s masa focus), and maybe Jojo Binay if he frees himself of his chains to the Yellows (and the Aquinos) and starts to oppose the Big Business cabals.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch Politics (and Economics) Today, Tuesday, 8 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 Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100903com5.html

Give us jobs, say Somali pirates focus 09/03/2010

Give us jobs, say Somali pirates


HOBYO — The pirates of old often took to the seas to rebel against the social order but in lawless Somalia, many pirates say they would happily pay taxes and take a job in a factory.
Among the pirates of Hobyo, there is no hint of libertarianism nor any assertion of an alternative lifestyle. Most describe their activity as a crime of survival.

Ahmed Osoble is too young to have witnessed any form of organized government and like many young men in central Somalia’s remote coastal areas relied entirely on fishing for his livelihood.

“Since around 2003, the quantity of fish in our waters started decreasing badly and it became almost impossible to live off the sea,” says Ahmed, a soft-spoken 27-year-old.

He remembers the day in 2008 he left his nets on the beach and set off on his first piracy mission.
“I wasn’t scared, it was a do-or-die situation. I had nothing to eat.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100903com6.html

Malaysia’s gay community begins to push the limits FEATURE 09/03/2010

Malaysia’s gay community begins to push the limits


KUALA LUMPUR — When Malaysia’s only openly homosexual pastor announced he was establishing the nation’s first gay church, the proposal was met with a torrent of outrage and criticism.

Reverend Ouyang Wen Feng faced down threats to block the plan by government and religious leaders who said it would encourage homosexuality — still a crime punishable by 20 years in jail in the Muslim-majority nation.

The church he co-founded has however been operating quietly in suburban Kuala Lumpur for the past three years, drawing a group of gay Christians for Sunday services and bible studies.

Ouyang’s battle is part of a campaign being fought on many fronts in Malaysia, where there is a growing sense of activism among the gay community which is beginning to mobilize to fight for its rights.

“We are working on encouraging more people to join the church, for Christians to come out and live authentic lives,” says the pastor, who was married for nine years until he “came out” publicly in 2006.

“Whether one is gay or straight or bisexual, they are sexual orientations, it is not something we do that makes us gay.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100903com7.html

SC: Massacre judge ruling reasonable, calls for sobriety By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/03/2010

SC: Massacre judge ruling reasonable, calls for sobriety
By Benjamin B. Pulta

A Supreme Court (SC) official yesterday urged the public to let justice run its course and defended Quezon City Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes’ decision to put off temporarily the trial of the Maguindanao massacre case which should have commenced on Sept. 1.

Reyes upon the request of the defense lawyers representing the suspects, led by members of the Ampatuan clan agreed that the trial could not proceed as yet as she still has to receive the comments of both the prosecution and defense panels on the pre-trial order she issued last Aug. 27.

Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said Reyes was right when she postponed the trial since the guidelines that would govern the trial proceedings have not yet been approved by the parties.

“The pre-trial order will govern the proceedings of the trial… Neither party filed their respective comment. Therefore, the court cannot go into trial as there are no guidelines yet to govern the trial,” Marquez told a press conference.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100903nat1.html

EU: Botched hostage rescue RP’s ‘dark cloud’ By Mario J. Mallari,Aytch S. de la Cruzand Benjamin B. Pulta 09/03/2010

EU: Botched hostage rescue RP’s ‘dark cloud’
By Mario J. Mallari,Aytch S. de la Cruzand Benjamin B. Pulta
The Aug. 23 botched hostage rescue operation that left at least eight Hong Kong Chinese tourists dead, with eight injured, and more traumatized by the incident, has cast a “very dark cloud” over the image of the Philippines in the eyes of the international community, a European Union (EU) official yesterday said.

While stressing that the bloody hostage rescue at the Quirino Grandstand last week could happen anywhere else in the world, the EU official admitted that the bungled rescue operation cast a “dark cloud” over the image of the country in the international community.

Alistair McDonald, ambassador of the EU delegation to the Philippines, said he is personally looking forward to the results of the ongoing top-level investigation of the hostage-taking and botched rescue that ended in the killing of the eight Chinese tourists.

“I cannot comment on the event itself because the investigation is ongoing but an event of that nature happening anywhere in the world certainly casts a very dark cloud over the image of the country whatever it is when something like that happens,” McDonald told Camp Aguinaldo reporters during the Multi-stakeholders Forum on Human Rights and Armed Conflicts.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100903hed1.html

More bungling in aftermath of failed rescue By Conrado Ching 09/03/2010

More bungling in aftermath of failed rescue
By Conrado Ching

Local police authorities again bungled the investigation being conducted by Hong Kong authorities when airport police held two Hong Kong investigators at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for carrying four empty shells that police claimed were part of the shells found in the Luneta hostage crisis that killed eight foreign tourists.

At the same time, there was, in Hong Kong, a mix up of the bodies of hostages in their coffins.

In the case of the airport police barring the Hong Kong probers from leaving the country, it was again a matter of the Philippine bureaucratic red tape.

The airport incident, however, was resolved by the Department of Justice (DoJ) after the Chinese Embassy in Manila complained that the Philippine government authorities held one of its investigators for questioning.
Members of the Philippine... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100903hed2.html

Lacierda doesn’t deserve his post, says Aquino ally By Angie Rosales 09/03/2010

Lacierda doesn’t deserve his post, says Aquino ally
By Angie Rosales

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda does not deserve to stay a minute longer in his office, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday as he scored the Palace official’s reported mistreatment of a Tribune reporter covering the Palace beat, hinting that the issue will be raised against Lacierda when he faces the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) for confirmation.

The Tribune’s editors came up with a protest editorial on its front page the other day against Lacierda for
harrassing newspaper’s Malacañang beat reporter Aytch de la Cruz by repeatedly airing threats of her facing libel charges for stories that carried her byline.

The senator, while a known political ally of President Aquino, expressed disgust over the manner in which Lacierda has been dealing with Palace reporters, specifically pointing out the offensive acts he committed against De la Cruz.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100903hed3.html

High court junks reelection suit vs Erap 09/03/2010

High court junks reelection suit vs Erap
A ruling by the Supreme Court (SC) has put off interpreting the constitutional provision on the reelection of a president as it dismissed a petition questioning the candidacy of former President Joseph Estrada during the last elections, stating that the suit that held a constitutional question has been rendered moot.

“Following the results of that (May 10, 2010) elections, private respondent (Estrada) was not elected president for the second time. Thus, any discussion of his ‘reelection’ will simply be hypothetical and speculative. It will serve no useful or practical purpose” the unanimous decision written by Chief Justice Renato Corona said.

The tribunal added that “there is nothing for the court to resolve as the determination thereof has been overtaken by subsequent events.”

Estrada placed second in the elections.

Sought for comment, Estrada’s campaign manager lawyer Ernesto Maceda told the Tribune that “the SC decision is correct” and said that despite the decision “it is unlikely that Mr. Estrada will be running again since he would already be too old (by the next elections).”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100903hed4.html

Solgen sued on EO 2 for verbal Solgen sued on EO 2 for verbal By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/03/2010

Solgen sued on EO 2 for verbal Solgen sued on EO 2 for verbal
By Benjamin B. Pulta

A former prosecutor who was verbally told to quit her post in the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) without due process has petitioned the Supreme Court (SC) to rule on the validity of Executive Order (EO) 2 for unduly expanding the definition of midnight appointees as prohibited by the Constitution.

In a 54-page petition, government lawyer Cheloy Garafil asked the high tribunal to rule on the constitutionality of EO 2 which she said “violates the Constitution by expanding the definition/interpretation of what constitutes midnight appointment” and which affects the fate of hundreds of government workers. 

“EO 2 undermines civil service as an institution as it effectively deprives the very constitutional rights of government operations — the selfless and often underpaid workers in the civil service,” Garafil said, adding that “removal from government service, in the absence of any justifiable cause and due process, is wantonly illegal and plainly uncouth. It defies the well-established norms of justice, fair play, courtesy and profesionalism.”

A prosecutor with the Department of Justice (DoJ) for six years, Garafil had been appointed as state solicitor in the OSG on March 5 of this year, six days before the two-month deadline in the Constitution which prohibits the President from making appointments before an election.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100903hed5.html

15 seamen rescued from ship 15 seamen rescued from ship 09/03/2010

15 seamen rescued from ship 15 seamen rescued from ship
Six Filipino seafarers who were rescued after their Korean-flagged fishing vessel sank in icy waters in the Southern Ocean have arrived in Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said.

They were among the 51 seafarers aboard the Oyang 70, which sank some 400 miles east of Dunedin in South Island, New Zealand last Aug. 18.

The nationalities of the crew were listed as South Korean, Indonesian, Filipino and Chinese.

The survivors, some of whom had mild hypothermia, were recovered from five life rafts by the New Zealand fishing vessel Amaltal Atlantis, it was gathered.

According to the DFA, Jessie Perez, Allan Ilao, Edwin Gonzales, Arnel Amodo, Rolan Rola and Christoper Gampayon arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Singapore last Aug. 23.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100903hed6.html

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