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Inept and insensitive EDITORIAL 09/08/2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Inept and insensitive

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It was, as usual, the wrong thing to say at a time like this.
Noynoy Aquino already made a big blooper and fanned the rage of the Chinese people when he was caught on camera, smiling while on site viewing the hostaged bus after it had been emptied of the dead.

It was most insensitive of him to smile at such a time, and both Filipinos and Chinese were appalled at such a reaction from the Philippine President, who moreover, was not only invisible but also inaccessible all throughout the crisis, and even four hours after it was all over.

Noynoy publicly apologized for smiling, explaining that he smiles when he is happy; smiles when he is exasperated, and smiles when he is frustrated — and presumably, he also smiles when he is sad.

This is quite an abnormal reaction, but apparently, he and his mouthpieces didn’t think so. 

But whatever it was, he certainly drew the ire of the Hong Kong Chinese, and his Facebook page showed just what they thought of Noynoy.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100908com1.html

Weird excuses for appointments FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/08/2010

Weird excuses for appointments

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Malacañang has come out to state that the name of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Chief Jesse Robredo, along with two others, Labor Chief Rosalinda Baldoz and Environment Chief Ramon Paje, has not been included in the list of Cabinet secretaries to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA).

The reason? Robredo’s appointment papers state that he has been appointed by Noynoy as acting DILG secretary, and thus, does not need confirmation.

From Robredo’s reaction, he apparently is completely clueless on this “acting” capacity status of him, and so were the other Cabinet appointees.

But surely, when a Cabinet member is appointed by the chief executive, he would have a copy, if not the original document that makes his appointment formal and official?

Did his appointment papers really state that Robredo, as DILG chief, has been appointed in an acting capacity?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100908com2.html

Taboo-breaking Syrian soap causes Ramadan stir FEATURE 09/08/2010

Taboo-breaking Syrian soap causes Ramadan stir


DAMASCUS — A Syrian soap opera that tackles such taboos as homosexuality, corruption and extra-marital sex in the predominantly conservative Muslim country is proving hugely popular during Ramadan.

The TV drama Ma Malakat Aymanukum, which takes its name from a verse in the Koran that loosely translates as “What your right hand possesses,” depicts the lives of young women struggling to cope in a male chauvinist society.

Leila, who wears the Islamic niqab, or full-face veil, is torn between virtue and vice. She eventually gets murdered and her body is found mutilated.

Alia ends up selling herself to help her family, while Gharam’s husband encourages his wife to forge ties with men in high places.

The program is being aired for the first time during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when many families spend the evening watching television after iftar, the meal that breaks the dawn-to-dusk fast..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100908com3.html

A rush to judgment C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 09/08/2010

A rush to judgment

Jonathan De la Cruz
While everybody is busy fixing blame and finger pointing in the aftermath of the Luneta hostage tragedy we are witness to another massacre taking place right inside the bureaucracy as heads of offices go their own way in implementing Executive Order (EO) 2 on the revocation of the appointments of so-called midnight appointees. It is bad enough that this order has thrown the career employees in government in a tizzy it is now being used by officials who should know better to disregard basic processes and civil service rules. A case in point is that involving our former colleague in the newspaper Malaya, Cheloy Garafil, and a number of co-workers who were given pink slips without the obligatory due process by no less than the government’s lawyer, Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz. Apparently, without any provocation and in complete disregard of the Supreme Court’s admonition for the executive department not to rush to judgment while the constitutionality and, yes, practicability of EO 2 is under question in the SC, Cadiz decided to take the law in his own hands and issued those pink slips. Garafil who used to be a prosecutor in the Department of Justice (DoJ) after some reflection decided to fight back and brought Cadiz to court. In her brief, Garafil argued that EO 2 has totally disregarded the basic right of due process to those like her who were unceremoniously terminated without the benefit of a fair and responsive hearing. Cadiz’ order for those he judged as “midnight appointees” like Garafil to slide back or revert to their previous positions effectively rendered them jobless since they were coming from outside the office. In her case, she was formerly a prosecutor with the DoJ for six years. Excerpts of her brief should give a window on the fate of those career officials within the bureaucracy suffering from the high handed manner by which heads of offices have been implementing EO 2. Here goes:.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100908com4.html

Myanmar poll encounters apathy, ignorance focus 09/08/2010

Myanmar poll encounters apathy, ignorance


THABEIKKYIN — The first election in 20 years is only weeks away, but for many people in isolated Myanmar, a chronic lack of information — and meaningful choice — has dulled enthusiasm for the vote.

“Could you please advise me who I should vote for?” 43-year-old Ko Aung asked AFP when questioned on the election.

The father-of-three said there were only two parties in his area, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and the National Unity Party (NUP). Both support the country’s feared military junta.

Ko Aung, who sells bamboo shoots from the forest in Mandalay’s Thabeikkyin township, has heard independent radio reports saying the USDP “is not good,” but he has no strong interest in politics.
“Our daily income is the important thing for us,” he said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100908com5.html

No laughing matter HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 09/08/2010

No laughing matter

Aldrin Cardon
His fever was high, and the chills it brought were standing in the way of his work. So, Garrick Utley, the now retired legendary world correspondent of the American television network NBC, had to visit a military doctor available in the camp to check on his condition.
He was told he had dengue — not malaria as he suspected — and was prescribed with aspirin, a lot of rest and was assured dengue doesn’t kill. He was wrongly diagnosed, as it turned out later, and Utley had to write about the this episode in his coverage of the Vietnam war as an anecdote to make his biography, You Should Have Been Here Yesterday, lighter somehow.

Utley no longer wrote about the American doctor’s other mistakes, such as his prescription of aspirin (which increases the tendency to bleed), and that dengue does not kill. That was in the late 1960s, when dengue was still a misunderstood disease.

Dengue is no longer considered incurable in these times, yet more and more Filipinos are dying of it even as our health authorities have once again raised the warning as a dramatic increase of more than 70 percent in dengue cases have been reported, including more deaths as a result of self and wrong prescription, oftentimes ignorance of the disease.

With poverty a factor in many cases in which dengue victims were no longer brought to hospitals, the Filipinos’ (as most Asian do) propensity to believe in the untested promises of herbal products add up to the confusion and misunderstanding of dengue and its cures..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100908com7.html

Biting truth SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 09/08/2010

Biting truth

Dinah S. Ventura
Health scares have a tendency to make people panic faster than, say, a speeding bus in Edsa. The rising dengue cases in various parts of the country, for instance, have given rise to a choking fear among many Filipinos, among them parents whose kids may be going to schools that have already reported some cases of dengue.

Even those who have no such worries are worried, too — just because they hesitate to place their trust on those who assure them that “everything is under control,” that they are “capable of managing the problem.”

If that were the case, why has the number of cases increased rather than decreased since dengue first became a “scare” last year?

Just think: from Jan. 1 to Aug. 21 this year, the Department of Health (DoH) recorded “62,503 cases of dengue, 88.8 percent higher than the 33,102 cases recorded in the same period last year.” The mosquito-borne virus has already claimed the lives of “465 persons this year and 350 last year,” a report in a newspaper last Sunday said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100908com8.html

Noy: ‘I dislike Robredo’s work, campaign style’ By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 09/08/2010

But won’t sack DILG chief despite ‘philosophical differences’ 

Noy: ‘I dislike Robredo’s work, campaign style’

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales

He doesn’t like his appointee, but will not sack him — yet.

President Aquino and his appointed Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo have serious “philosophical differences” and working styles, it was yesterday publicly admitted by the President.

Aquino bared he has lingering differences with his chosen DILG Secretary Robredo in terms of “working style” and philosophical differences, such as the differences they both encountered during the presidential campaign that apparently made it difficult for him and Robredo to get along.

Despite their not seeing eye-to-eye, Aquino said this is not reason enough to fire Robredo even if his capacity to serve the agency remains questionable owing to his non-visibility during the bloody hostage crisis recently.
Aquino said he is likely to keep Robredo despite his decision to appoint him only in an acting capacity along with Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje.

Robredo, even in the face of being given a public slap on his face by his boss, has not made a move to resign..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100908hed1.html

Bus driver recounts hostage horror from rear-view mirror 09/08/2010 By Benjamin B. Pulta

Bus driver recounts hostage horror from rear-view mirror
By Benjamin B. Pulta

The driver of the star-crossed tourist bus hijacked by a sacked policeman told a public inquiry yesterday how he witnessed the gunman shoot more than a dozen Hong Kong visitors one by one as talks broke down during the Aug. 23 Quirino Grandstand hostage taking.

Bus driver Alberto Lubang said his left hand was cuffed to the steering wheel and he saw the horrific scenes unfold at the back of the bus through the rear-view mirror as the day-long standoff ended in a bloodbath.

On the fourth day of the inter-agency probe, Lubang appearing before the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) at the Department of Justice (DoJ) compound confirmed that the hostage-taker, dismissed Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza, had been on the phone threatening to start executing his hostages if the police did not release his brother.

The hostage taker, Lubang added, also saw his brother, Senior Police Officer 2 Gregorio Mendoza, on the bus’ television lying on the ground as the latter resisted arrest by the Manila police. 

Shortly after, the hostage taker shot one of the hostages who was then cuffed to the door, before shooting the other captives.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100908hed2.html

Meager DoST budget to adversely affect research and development By Gerry Baldo 09/08/2010

Meager DoST budget to adversely affect research and development
By Gerry Baldo

The budget allotted by the Aquino administration to the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) smacks of neglect for the sector, lawmakers said during a hearing on the proposed General Appropriations Act for 2011 yesterday.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Nueva Viscaya Rep. Carlos Padilla said that the agency is being deprived of its potential to improve its equipment and others resources particularly those of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Rodriguez said that the budget proposal submitted by Malacañang for the DoST should be cause for concern for this agency’s officials.

“You compare that budget to that of education’s P104 billion budget and you have only P6 billion, I cannot see why the secretary is not angry,” Rodriguez said yesterday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100908nat5.html

Impeach Gutierrez sufficient in substance, moves forward By Charlie V. Manalo 09/08/2010

Impeach Gutierrez sufficient in substance, moves forward
By Charlie V. Manalo

With an overwhelming vote, the House committee on justice determined two impeachment complaints filed against Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez being sufficient in substance, the first time ever that an impeach-ment complaint filed against an impeachable public official hurdled this stage at the House of Representatives. The committee earlier had ruled that the complaints were sufficient in form.

The committee voted 41 to 14 in favor of a ruling on substance in the first complaint. It voted 41 to 16 on the second with one abstention in the second complaint.

At the resumption of the impeachment hearing, the panel, chaired by Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupaz declared the complaints filed by former Akbayan Representative Riza Hontiveros and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) national secretary Renato Reyes sufficient in substance, sending the case to its second stage, the determination on the sufficiency in ground.

In the determination of the sufficiency in grounds, the Ombudsman will be given 10 working days until September 21 to respond to the complaint. Thereafter, the complainants will be given three working days to file their rebuttal. Then, the Ombdusman will be given another three working days to file her rejoinder..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100908hed3.html

SC can still perform with Third World budget — Palace By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/08/2010

SC can still perform with Third World budget — Palace
By Aytch S. de la Cruz

Even as President Aquino’s gargantuan pork barrel has been increased in the 2011 national budget, hitting close to P 2 billion, he is unwilling to increase the budget allocation of the Supreme Court for the entire judiciary, the Palace spokesman yesterday stressed.

The Palace spokesman dismissed the plaints of the high court for a bigger budget, saying that the judiciary can still perform even under a Third World budget.

The reason for this rejection of the high court’s plea for an increase in the budget for the judiciary branch of government is the alleged scarcity of resources.

This was Malacañang’s lone defense yesterday when pressed over the concerns raised by the SC on account of Aquino’s decision to cut the high court’s budget allocation for next year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100908hed4.html

Errant, selective search for truth in EO1 — GMA ally 09/08/2010

Errant, selective search for truth in EO1 — GMA ally
A close ally of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, arguing before the Supreme Court (SC), denounced what he said was the “errant and selective search for truth” of President Aquino’s Executive Order 1 (EO1) that created the controversial “Truth Commission.”

In oral arguments before the high court, House Minority Leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said “EO1 wan-tonly violates the equal protection clause when it deliberately vested the Truth Commission with jurisdiction and authority to solely target officials and employees of the Arroyo administration.”

“This errant selective search for the truth and flawed pursuit of justice is patently discriminatory,” he added.
More importantly, Lagman insists that the creation of the Truth Commission usurps the powers of the Office of the Ombudsman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100908hed5.html

Senate to probe House member on Pag-Ibig scam By Angie Rosales 09/08/2010

Senate to probe House member on Pag-Ibig scam
By Angie Rosales

The Senate will likely break tradition on inter-parliamentary courtesy when it dips its fingers into the latest housing fund mess, whose subject is now a member of the House of Representatives.

Sen. Sergio Osmena III yesterday said Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, a former official of shelter agency Pag-Ibig or the Home Development Mutual Fund, will likely face an inquiry over 

alleged irregularities uncovered recently involving Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. (GA).

“Yes, I will investigate him. That falls under my committee. I don’t care if he’s a congressman now. I don’t care if he’s president or vice president. He has to answer to the Filipino people. I only represent the Filipino people,” the senator who happens to be the chairman of the committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, said in reference to Quimbo.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100908hed6.html

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