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A bunch of nincompoops EDITORIAL 10/04/2010 It may well be

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A bunch of nincompoops

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
10/04/2010
It may well be Noynoy’s subalterns facing the Department of Justice (DoJ)’s probe body, but from the clueless and inept way they were responding to questions thrown at them by the panel members, that certainly was a display of not just their incompetence, but also of their president’s, who, from all indications, does not even possess the knack of appointing his officials on the strength of their qualifications and fitness for the job to which they have been tasked.

But then again, how can Noynoy Aquino, President of the republic, be expected to gauge his officials’ competence, qualifications and fitness for the job he hands them when he himself is as incompetent as they are?

What, for instance, made Noynoy halve the functions of the Department of Interior and Local Government between the DILG secretary and a DILG undersecretary, when there can only be one chief for that department, and responsible for both the local government units and the Philippine National Police? As DILG chief, he is tasked by law to be responsible for both the PNP and the LGUs, not his undersecretary, who moreover, has admitted before the probe panel that he is not even trained to handle hostage-taking situations.
Presumably, since he knows nothing about hostage-taking situations, he would have zero knowledge about terrorists taking hostages and even bomb threats from the terrorists. Yet Noynoy puts him in charge of the PNP. This being so, what qualifications and fitness for the job did Ric Puno have, not just as a DILG undersecretary but one moreover who is in charge of the PNP? His friendship with Noynoy?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com1.html

Owning responsibility meaningless FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/04/2010

Owning responsibility meaningless

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
10/04/2010
Close to two weeks after the botched hostage rescue operation that resulted in the murders of eight Chinese Hong Kong tourists, Noynoy Aquino tells reporters that he is taking full responsibility for the botched hostage crisis.

One of his mouthpieces, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma went into a full propaganda spiel, stressing that Noynoy, in taking responsibility for the botched rescue ops, has “demonstrated firm and unwavering determination to bring about institutional reforms.”

Said Coloma: “In taking responsibility, the President is emphasizing the principle of accountability, as enshrined in the Constitution — public office is a public trust.”

What rubbish! Just what does Noynoy’s statement of taking full responsibility translate to? It was merely a statement, but what does that entail? Does it even suggest accountability? What acts follow? Resignation?
Coloma had better cut the crap. What the hell does Noynoy’s saying he is taking full responsibility for the botched rescue have anything to do with demonstrating “firm and unwavering determination to bring about institutional reforms?”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com2.html

In northwest Pakistan, rare hope as hospital rises from ruin focus 10/04/2010

In northwest Pakistan, rare hope as hospital rises from ruin

focus

10/04/2010
NOWSHERA — When water gushed through Nowshera hospital last month it filled operating rooms and wards, left them clogged with stinking mud and forced patients to leave, whatever their condition.

Two doctors evacuating the sick had to be airlifted to safety after getting trapped on the top floor of the district hospital, the main source of health care for 1.6 million people in Pakistan’s impoverished northwest.
“Eighty percent of the hospital staff were affected themselves. The water had destroyed their homes, cars and everything. No one was able to come to hospital,” said the hospital’s chief doctor, Muhammad Arshad.
But since the ruin, caused by monsoon-triggered floods which swept across the country, a massive volunteer undertaking has allowed the hospital to reopen, and Arshad now sits smiling on donated furniture in his freshly whitewashed office.

The walls that were blackened and buried in mud for a week are now a hygienic white, there are working heart-monitor, X-ray, ultrasound and anesthaesia machines, and the damaged water pipe has been replaced.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com3.html

Consumers’ Alliance Against MRT, LRT Fare Hike Formed Published on September 2, 2010

Consumers’ Alliance Against MRT, LRT Fare Hike Formed

Published on September 2, 2010



MANILA — “We’re in a crisis at present; I pray that the government would not increase train fares. We have to be able to recover from the crisis first,” said Aida Florendo, 48, widow of a soldier from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Aida was among the Metro Rail Transit commuters who stopped for a while to sign her name to a petition against the proposed hikes in train fares. Aida is not a resident of Metro Manila, she hails from Cotabato. But she still urges the government not to implement fare hikes in MRT as the people are already very burdened with high prices.

“Wages have not been increased,” a 20-year old office employee, Ramil Portugal, said. “That’s why we hope the fares in MRT would not be increased,” he said after signing his name to the petition.

As the month of August came to a close and with it, the self-imposed deadline of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to complete its study on rates adjustment, the riding public increased its efforts to oppose the looming fare hike by forming an alliance on the first day of September.

Ramil Portugal, MRT Commuter, signed the petition against MRT fare hike. (Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
Along with a signature drive in the MRT’s Cubao station, members of KMU (May First Movement) and Anakpawis Partylist protested the Aquino government’s planned fare hikes with the launching of RILES (Riles Laan sa Sambayanan Network)..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/02/consumers-alliance-against-mrt-lrt-fare-hike-formed/

Baguio Teachers Complain Against Unfair GSIS Policies, Push for Representation to GSIS Board Published on September 4, 2010

Baguio Teachers Complain Against Unfair GSIS Policies, Push for Representation to GSIS Board

Published on September 4, 2010


By ALDWIN QUITASOL
NORTHERN DISPATCH

Posted By
: Bulatlat.com

BAGUIO CITY ? As their colleagues trooped to Malacañang to seek audience with President Benigno Aquino III, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Metro Baguio and the Confederation of Unity for Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees-Cordillera (COURAGE) last Friday aired their demands and launched a signature campaign urging Baguio Congressman Bernardo Vergara to support their demand for a salary upgrade.

“The teachers have all the reason to air their grievances regarding the Government Security Insurance System (GSIS),” said Ronnie Taggaoa, spokesperson of ACT-MB. Taggaoa declared that while teachers are dedicated to their work and still earning meager salaries, they are being robbed of their GSIS benefits.

According to Taggaoa, the GSIS members have suffered enough from the Premium-Based Policy (PBP) and the Claims and Loan Interdependency Program (CLIP). Under the PBP, the GSIS arbitrarily deducts from members’ benefits and any loan proceeds premium contributions in case of delays of remittances. Through this, Taggaoa said, teachers are being unduly penalized because although these are compulsorily and automatically being deducted from their salaries, it is still the teachers who are being penalized when their contributions and loan payments are not being submitted by their employer agencies regularly.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/04/baguio-teachers-complain-against-unfair-gsis-policies-push-for-representation-to-gsis-board/

Right to Organize, Best Protection for Contractual Workers Published on September 4, 2010

Right to Organize, Best Protection for Contractual Workers

Published on September 4, 2010



“Contractualization is essentially an attack on the right of workers and the people to a living wage, to job security and to exercising trade-union rights. Any form of “protection” under a contractual employment status won’t be enough. Only unionization and regularization will truly protect contractuals.” – KMU

By ALDWIN QUITASOL
Northern Dispatch
Posted by
Bulatlat.com
BAGUIO CITY — The labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) advised the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that unionization and regularization are the two things that would best serve contractual workers.

KMU said this in reaction to statements by DOLE saying it would “protect” contractual workers and “pursue all-out-effort” to battle forms of contractualization through its Labor Enforcement and Action Program (LEAP). In its website DOLE said its “regional offices will look into the worst cases of contractualization, especially in the agriculture industry by inspecting workplaces.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/04/right-to-organize-best-protection-for-contractual-workers/

Alexander Martin Remollino: Journalist, Poet, Activist Bulatlat.com

Photo by Jo Abaya-Santos
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

Alexander Martin Remollino was a journalist, poet and activist who devoted the best years of his life to serving the Filipino people.

During his college days at the University of Santo Tomas, Alex joined the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and participated in mass protests not only against tuition increases but also against problems confronting the public. His political activism never stopped even as he was forced to drop out of school due to financial constraints.

In 2002, he worked briefly for Ibon Foundation as researcher and, later that year, started writing for Bulatlat.com, an alternative online magazine.

Alex wrote in flawless English with ease; his writing skill enabled him to write about complex issues in a language understandable to the common reader. For nearly 10 years, Alex used his talent to expose the issues of the oppressed and the marginalized. With his writing chops, he could have chosen to work for the mainstream media where he could earn a more decent income but he opted to stay with Bulatlat to pursue the progressive, pro-people journalism the website is known for...... MORE
Source: Bulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/04/alexander-martin-remollino-journalist-poet-activist/

Crisis body nixed shooting to save hostage taker’s life By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/04/2010

 Admits being incapable of handling crisis situations

Crisis body nixed shooting to save hostage taker’s life

By Benjamin B. Pulta
10/04/2010

Despite the many chances they had to shoot the hostage-taker when the snipers were given the clear opportunity to take him down, the police team decided against shooting a sacked colleague who hijacked a tourist bus because they wanted to “save” him along with his Hong Kong hostages, a probe body looking into the botched hostage rescue operations was informed by an administration official yesterday.

Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno admitted to several mistakes that led to eight of the Hong Kong tourists being killed during the chaotic and bloody end to the day-long standoff that played out live on global television.

“There were a lot of chances where we could (have taken) him down,” Puno told the inquiry.

However, he said the crisis management committee decided against ordering the snipers to shoot the hijacker, 55-year-old former Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza.

“The primary purpose there was to save everybody,” Puno said.

Puno added the national government backed the Manila city government’s decision to let the crisis drag on in hopes Mendoza would eventually tire and free all the hostages..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed1.html

Atienza alarmed by water-logged ballots, seeks Comelec action 10/04/2010

Atienza alarmed by water-logged ballots, seeks Comelec action
10/04/2010
Former three-term Manila Mayor Lito Atienza filed an urgent motion asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to direct the Election

Officers of the City of Manila, the City Treasurer and the management of the Museo ng Maynila to explain why some ballot boxes and the ballots are drenched with or soaked in water.

“In the course of the sealing of the ballots of the protested clustered precincts, a substantial number of these ballot boxes and their contents were found to be ‘wet’ or drenched with or soaked in water,” Atienza’s lawyers stated in the urgent motion they filed with the Comelec.

“We believe that this was no accident and clearly an attempt to sabotage our election protest on the part of some individuals who stand to gain should these ballots be set aside and excluded from the recount.” Atienza stressed.

It was discovered that more than 80 ballot boxes from the Fourth and Fifth Districts are wet and/or the ballots they contained are soaked in water.

Because of this, he said, there is an urgent need to have the ballot boxes delivered as soon as possible to the Comelec to immediately commence with the manual recount of all the “wet” ballots found among the ballot boxes that have been in the custody of the city government’s Museo ng Maynila since May..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101004nat1.html

Noy owns responsibility; solons reject execs absolution By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 10/04/2010 President Aqui

Noy owns responsibility; solons reject execs absolution
By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales
10/04/2010

President Aquino yesterday said he was taking full responsibility for everything that had transpired in the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) failed rescue operations which ended the lives of eight Chinese tourists during the hostage taking incident last Aug. 23.

Aquino made the admission while defending once again his Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo amid Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero saying that Robredo might not be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) owing to his inept handling of the hostage crisis.

But Aquino’s statement assuming full responsibility in the failed hostage rescue was deemed unacceptable to some senators.

Sen. Pia Cayetano said Aquino’s pronouncements owning up to all the blunders in the handling of the hostage crisis should not exonerate officials responsible in attending to the botched crisis.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed2.html

Luisita farmers wary of newly created mediation panel By Pat C. Santos 10/04/2010

Luisita farmers wary of newly created mediation panel
By Pat C. Santos
10/04/2010

Hacienda Luisita farmers who are against the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) scheme that the Cojuangco-Aquino family wants retained, yesterday expressed ap-prehension over the Supreme Court’s (SC) creation of a mediation panel, seeing this as yet another ploy of the hacienda owners to evade implementing the distribution of the land to, and ownership of, the farmers.

The SC ordered the creation of a special panel tasked to mediate the dispute between the Cojuangco-Aquino family that owns the majority shares of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) and farmer shareholders who are against the SDO scheme, along with other hacienda farmers who have signed up to retain the SDO arrangement with the hacienda owners, instead of insisting on the distribution of the farmland.

The mediation panel hopes to resolve the dispute in the hacienda through an amicable settlement.
Earlier, the SC had ordered oral arguments on the case.

The Solicitor General, Anselmo Cadiz, instead of upholding the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC)’s earlier decision, ruling that the SDO mode was no longer working and ordered the hacienda owners to parcel the land for distribution to the farmer, who have lost out in the SDO deal, argued that a com-promise agreement would resolve the case, and would.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed3.html

SC releases guidelines for ‘truth’ oral arguments 10/04/2010

SC releases guidelines for ‘truth’ oral arguments
10/04/2010
The Supreme Court (SC) has issued guidelines for the oral arguments in the consolidated case challenging the constitutionality of the Truth Commission formed under Executive Order (EO) 1.

An advisory to the parties was issued by the high tribunal through Assistant Clerk of Court Felipa Anama.
Two cases filed by lawmakers associated with former President Arroyo, now a representative of Pampanga’s second district, and businessman Louis Biraogo had been consolidated by the high court and will be taken up on Sept. 7.

The SC ordered the parties to principally discuss whether EO 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping the powers of Congress to create public offices, agencies and commissions and whether the edict violates the so-called equal protection clause of the Constitution since it limits the jurisdiction of the Truth Commission to officials and employees of the previous administration. 

Also, under consideration is whether the executive order supplants the power of the Office of the Ombudsman and whether the creation of the truth commission will result in grave injustice and irreparable damage to petitioners..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed4.html

Senate to look into Navy official’s promotion yarn 10/04/2010

Senate to look into Navy official’s promotion yarn
10/04/2010
The Senate is set to conduct a parallel investigation into the case of former Rear Adm. Feliciano Angue, inquiring into the controversy hounding the system of promotions of officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, chairman of the chamber’s committee on national defense and security, said the inquiry will take place immediately after they receive the reports from AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin sometime this week.

Angue had come out in the open criticizing the military’s promotion system and even accused some military
officers of politicking, with him as supposedly among the so-called casualties.

Angue, a two-star general, also claimed he was “demoted” when he was transferred to the Naval Forces Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga from the National Capital Region Command.
Although the matter of politics being played in the system of promotion is at the core of the case, Escudero stressed the need for the upper chamber to step in..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed5.html

Palace to suspend GOCCs’ ‘excessive compensation’ 10/04/2010

Palace to suspend GOCCs’ ‘excessive compensation’
10/04/2010
Malacañang has adopted Senate Resolution 17 that suspends all the bonuses and allowances, except “reasonable payments,” of the executives of various government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and have these sums of money turned over to the country’s coffers.

President Aquino yesterday said he is just awaiting the executive order (EO) — revising the previous one issued in 2001 — that would “tighten” the cap on the excessive financial packages being given to GOCC officials as well as those in the government financial institutions (GFI).

Aquino, in a quick press conference, announced that the EO may be released next week as soon as the draft of the order by Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad reaches him.

“Of course, there is some resistance from those who have gotten all of these fat pays. But we will insist that their positions are due to the government and the benefits are also due government from people. So, hopefully by next week, that will become part of the law of the land,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed6.html

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