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Another political gamble EDITORIAL 09/05/2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another political gamble

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Owning up to the responsibility for the tragic outcome of the Aug. 23 hostage crisis was likely the only option that President Aquino can take, amid the clear case of wholesale goof ups that happened in the handling of the situation being revealed in the fact-finding body formed to investigate the real cause of the death of the eight Hong Kong hostages.

The bungling manner of the rescue attempt as seen live on television was a clear manifestation of a lack of an organized group working in the background to assure a quick and orderly resolution of the crisis which is now being considered as the first test of leadership on Noynoy, which he flunked.

From the crisis management body formed to resolve the crisis and the various swift reaction forces assigned to take down the hostage taker and ensure the safety of the hostages, all reported lapses in one instance or another that together contributed to the failed rescue and the subsequent worldwide outrage on the show of police incompetence.

Emerging in the ongoing inquiry of the fact-finding group was an image of a complete chaos in the handling of the crisis in which those not authorized to be conducting the baton gave the orders while those the public expected to contribute to its resolution were nowhere to be found..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100905com1.html

Defending the indefensible FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/05/2010

Defending the indefensible

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy’s mouthpieces are now scrambling to explain away their incompetent boss’ statement owning up to responsibility for the botched Manila hostage rescue operations that left eight Hong Kong Chinese tourists dead.

One of his miscommunications group chiefs, Sonny Coloma, having realized that owning responsibility for such a national fiasco would have the natural consequence of people calling for Noynoy’s resignation, quickly came out the next day to state that, despite Noynoy’s taking full responsibility for the botched hostage rescue, he is not resigning from his post.
Coloma said that Noynoy “is not resigning. He has a clear mandate from more than 15 million Filipinos.”

But even if given that claimed PCOS-brewed mandate, this should have nothing to do with what should honorably be done, which is to resign his position, because, while he was elected on May 10, 2010, Filipinos thought, or believed in his propagandists’ spiel, which was that he would do well as president, given his so-called Cojuangco-Aquino genes, plus that wave of yellow sympathy on account of the death of Noynoy’s mother, over a year ago.

But 67 days into his presidency, Noynoy has hardly performed as a competent, efficient, and goal-directed Chief Executive of the land. To this day, he has not enunciated any policy, nor has he given any clear direction his presidency is taking, apart from which, he certainly has bungled his job as the Chief Executive.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100905com2.html

Altered egos ENQUIRY Demaree J. B. Raval 09/05/2010

Altered egos

Demaree J. B. Raval
Being in a country like Iraq — doing development work toward its democratization — makes one wish he would rather stay in Iraq despite the violence accompanying the pullout of the US troops, if only to avoid commenting on what is happening in the Philippines under the Aquino presidency. But the Internet, through instant messaging, forums and social networking sites, keeps one in touch with the latest events back home, events which compel anyone who takes pride in his country to speak out.

I have purposely kept a civil tongue in my head about the Aquino presidency since its assumption at noon of June 30, 2010, preferring to accord President Benigno Aquino III the customary press honeymoon treatment. In the past two months, much of the press coverage on the President was excitedly positive, some bordering on obsequiousness or even slavish adoration. But then something happened; the party is now over. Like the waning of the moon, the adulation is now progressively becoming weaker and less vigorous. 

Enough is enough already, and I must now speak out against the continued bungling of the President’s alter egos, 67 days into the Aquino presidency..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100905com3.html

MWSS leeches swimming in a sea of bonuses BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 09/05/2010

MWSS leeches swimming in a sea of bonuses

Louie Logarta
There is a new term to be found in the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary as definition for the words shameless, opportunistic, thick-skinned and calloused: MWSS.

Well, what else can one surmise after it was revealed during a recent public hearing of the same Drilon committee that Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System officials and employees all too willingly helped themselves to obscene bonuses and allowances amounting to several hundreds of millions of pesos in the past few years while many parts of the metropolis and millions of Metro Manilans went waterless? And to think that these buggers consider themselves to be civil servants.

Like Nero playing the lyre in his palace while Rome burned. Or Queen Marie Antoinette and her courtiers gouging themselves on champagne, caviar and pastries in the Versailles gardens while the rest of France were rioting in the streets because they didn’t have enough bread for their tables.

The information came straight from the horse’s mouth, the seemingly innocuous and soft-spoken MWSS officer-in-charge Macra Cruz who was subjected to intense withering fire by Drilon and his colleague committee on government corporations and public enterprises chairman Sen. Ralph Recto.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100905com4.html

Penchant for belittling TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 09/05/2010

Penchant for belittling

Larry Faraon, OP
My elder brother seemed clueless on why his 14-year-old daughter would put off an important gimmick or party with friends all because of an “unwanted” pimple on her immaculately milky face, which of course, was not his genetic influence but that of the mother’s. No matter how my irascible sibling dismisses the pimple as “nothing to worry about,” my teenage niece thinks that her face is completely ruined and that only egotistic shame shall come upon her as she thinks everybody would be staring at her minute facial smear at the party! Of course, that scenario brought strains and later hard feelings between dad and daughter. Belittling did not console a bit my niece.

For us counselors and pastors who sip coffee with people who would prefer whiskey or even poisoned beverage to drink along with, “belittling” a case or a problematic situation of a counselee is a mortal sin. In fact when some prayerful people who would quip, “That’s nothing… just pray to the Lord!” it really does not help. 

On the other hand it may even aggravate the psychological content of the matter on hand. When a counselor comments on your problem or situation as “simply nothing really or just a small matter,” that means he has no time to deal with it or he would just like to let you off his shoulders or back. He is not serious about any personal or social repercussions such “little problem” may bring upon yourself or to others. 

This is exactly the glaring message some personalities involved in the bungled hostage taking crisis are showcasing in the ongoing Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) headed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100905com5.html

Divorce and question marks — 1 VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/05/2010

Divorce and question marks — 1

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
The understanding and appreciation of the Church about marriage is certainly not based on her mere opinion, capricious intent and/or invented teaching. That marriage per se is a distinct indissoluble and indivisible union finds its anchorage in nothing less than natural law, viz., the inborn aptitude and disposition of couples opting for marriage, to be together for nothing less than a lifetime.

This innate longing of the human spirit that make men and women want to seal their union for as long as they live can be easily and readily drawn and easily known by simply considering more closely and attentively the constant, consistent and repeated lyrics of a love song. “I shall be loving you eternally…” “I will be loving you always…” And so with other innumerable love songs throughout the world composed by men and women of every race and culture — certainly not by the Church, not by priests and nuns! That is why the lyrics of the song that become also popular say “Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool, loving both of you is breaking all the rules.”

Thus it is that what human nature rightfully and fervently longs for in the matter of man-and — woman love, is duly assumed by the Church as a signal teaching about the nature of marriage, the essence of conjugal love as a partnership between the spouses premised on their mutual consenting love for a lifetime, for their own marital good and the welfare of the children born of their union. In the event that a man and a woman enters into such a covenant before the Church, that union is further elevated into the supernatural order of grace in its constitution as a sacrament.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100905com6.html

Low-tech, low-cost solutions connecting India’s farmers FEATURE 09/05/2010

Low-tech, low-cost solutions connecting India’s farmers


NAITALE — Sanjay Sathe stood by his vines in a sweeping agricultural belt outside the city of Nashik in western India and punched a number into his mobile phone.

“Hello, it’s Sanjay Sathe,” the 36-year-old grape and tomato farmer announced in the local language, Marathi, as if talking to a friend. “Is it going to rain tomorrow?”

The voice at the other end of the line told him there would be 25 millimeters (one inch) of rain and temperatures would be a cool 24 degrees (75 Fahrenheit).

He was also told how best to treat a furry white substance he had noticed on some of his leaves.

Farmers like Sathe are increasingly being seen as key customers in India’s competitive mobile phone market, as the number of subscribers across the country grows at staggering rates.

Between 16 and 20 million new subscribers are signing up every month and in the last year alone, the number of mobile customers soared 49 percent to 617.5 million..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100905com7.html

No more updates on HLI — Palace

No more updates on HLI — Palace

Malacañang had turned to the all-purpose subjudice defense in evading yesterday requests for updates on the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) issue after its farm workers who are against the stock distribution option (SDO) expressed apprehension over the Supreme Court (SC)’s creation of a mediation panel and Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz’s handling of the case on their behalf.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma merely invoked subjudice the same way that Aquino gave it as a reason in evading the issue when he was asked to comment on the concern of farm workers in Hacienda Luisita which the Aquino-Cojuangco family of the president owns.

“Our President has already declared that the case is subjudice and so we will no longer issue any comment regarding the matter given the position stated by our President. Let’s just let our judicial process take its course,” Coloma said on radio.

Anti-SDO Luisita farmers reportedly sensed that the mediation panel established by the SC serves as another ploy by the HLI owners to deny them any piece of their vast estate and retain these lands among themselves..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100905hed2.html

Obama to meet ASEAN leaders in New York By SHAUN TANDON September 4, 2010, 9:41pm

Obama to meet ASEAN leaders in New York

September 4, 2010, 9:41pm
WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama will meet Southeast Asian leaders this month in New York, the White House said Friday, as the United States tries to bolster its role in a region faced with a rising China.

The White House said that Obama would hold talks with leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in New York on September 24, at the time of the annual United Nations General Assembly.

The summit, whose date was earlier confirmed to AFP by a seniorofficial, will mark Obama's latest attempt to reinvigorate US policy towards the dynamic region that, he said, was neglected by ex-president George W. Bush's team.

The New York meeting will follow the inaugural summit that Obama held last year in Singapore with his counterparts from ASEAN..... MORE


URL: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/275590/obama-meet-asean-leaders-new-york

Will heir be unveiled at NoKor convention? September 4, 2010, 5:03pm

Will heir be unveiled at NoKor convention?

September 4, 2010, 5:03pm
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea is preparing its largest political meeting in 30 years, and leader Kim Jong Il is expected to appoint a son to a key Workers Party position in what would be the strongest sign yet of a succession movement in the secretive communist country. The meeting would be the first major party gathering since the landmark 1980 congress where Kim was confirmed as the man who would take over from his father as the country's next leader.

History may repeat itself this week. Now 68 and believed to be in failing health, Kim is expected to appoint his youngest son to a key party post. The exact date of the political gathering, set for ``early September,'' has not been announced, but analysts have said it could open as soon as Monday. Local party officials have been busy electing delegates to the conference, according to dispatches in the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency.

While the conference is not a top-level party congress such as the one held in 1980, it is the biggest Workers' Party meeting since then and appears to have been convened to address urgent matters, quite likely a transfer of power, analysts said..... MORE


URL: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/275536/will-heir-be-unveiled-nokor-convention

Solon wants PhilHealth card for every Filipino Charlie V. Manalo 09/05/2010

Solon wants PhilHealth card for every Filipino
Charlie V. Manalo

A lawmaker is seeking a change in the health care system in the Philippines to achieve effective and universal health care for all Filipinos.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara is the author of House Bill 87, which calls for the immediate and automatic inclusion of every Filipino to Philippine Health Insurance coverage and membership as provided for under Republic Act 7875 or the National Health Insurance Act of 1995.

“All the benefits under RA 7875 shall also be made applicable and available to every Filipino citizen,” Angara said.

Angara said the universal coverage shall be funded by the national government through premium payments to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) which shall be included in the General Appropriations Act annually..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100905nat5.html

No absolution, no resignation, Palace says of Noynoy move 09/05/2010

No absolution, no resignation, Palace says of Noynoy move

President Aquino’s taking responsibility for a hostage crisis which left eight Hong Kong tourists dead will not absolve other officials if they are found culpable neither would he entertain suggestions of resignation, the Palace said yesterday.

Aquino said Friday he took full responsibility for the tragedy, which has chilled ties with the southern Chinese territory and damaged the Philippine tourism industry.

Secretary Sonny Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said the President remains committed to fulfill the mandate given to him by those who put him in power despite the toughest challenge on his administration thus far.

“He will complete his six-year term as president,” Coloma said.

Coloma added in an interview on government radio that Aquino’s admission was in the context of his role as the country’s highest elected official...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100905hed5.html

‘JV’ says Lim accountable for bloody hostage crisis By Gerry Baldo 09/05/2010

‘JV’ says Lim accountable for bloody hostage crisis
By Gerry Baldo

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim should be held accountable for the failed outcome of the Manila hostage-taking incident last Aug. 23 that resulted in the deaths of nine persons — eight Chinese tourists and the hostage taker, former police officer Rolando Mendoza.

According to San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, what prompted Mendoza to start shooting was the fact that his brother was being arrested on orders of Lim.

“I personally think Mayor Lim is responsible for the bloody outcome given the fact he ordered the arrest of SPO2 Gregorio Mendoza,” Erjercito said yesterday.

Ejercito added the reason why the hostage taker got angry was Lim’s action toward his brother.

“The reason why Mendoza got irked was his (Lim) order to arrest Gregorio Mendoza,” he said, adding that in other countries there is delicadeza which, according to him apparently is not being practiced by the Manila mayor.

The former San Juan mayor also lambasted local officials in Manila for allegedly failing to train their police force on hostage-taking incidents.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20100905met1.html

Heads of crisis body left at crucial period By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/05/2010


Heads of crisis body left at crucial period

By Benjamin B. Pulta

Officials of the Crisis Management Committee (CMC) overseeing the conduct of operations to free hostages during the Aug. 23 crisis that ended in a bloodbath with the death of eight Hong Kong tourists and the hostage taker left their posts to fill up on coffee and food as gunman, disgruntled policeman Rolando Mendoza, began shooting, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno told a fact-finding body on the incident.

Moreno told a public hearing he went to a nearby hotel to watch the crisis that left eight hostages dead play out on television while Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim had admitted Friday heading to a nearby restaurant.
Lim and Moreno were the chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the body assigned to resolve the crisis.

The testimony by Moreno yesterday came after details emerged of a catalogue of mistakes by other police and government officials in the central Manila standoff.

Moreno and Lim said they left the crisis command post that was within walking distance of the bus at dusk, soon after the hostage-taker rejected a compromise deal and fired a warning shot.

“What was I supposed to do, go meet the bullets?” Moreno retorted at the hearing called by an inquiry board set up by President Aquino to investigate the fiasco..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100905hed1.html

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