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Unworkable working style EDITORIAL 09/09/2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Unworkable working style

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Puzzling it is that, even as Noynoy Aquino admits he and his appointed “acting” Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo have differences in “core philosophy” and differences in “working styles” that already had erupted during the presidential campaign period, Noynoy also says he is not ready to sack Robredo as yet.

So why keep Robredo on as his emasculated DILG chief, especially since he made his dislike of Robredo’s work style public, in the process, making him even more ineffective as a DILG chief?
Because now, with that dislike bared by Aquino himself, just what power and influence does he expect Robredo to wield, within his sphere of responsibility, knowing that he is out of the Aquino loop?
Who does Aquino think his officials or whoever will seek his approval, if not to his DILG undersecretary, Rico Puno, who despite his self-confessed incompetence in police matters, especially in crisis situations, since people now know that Puno carries more clout with Aquino, being his target shooting companion and a very close crony?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100909com1.html

Incompetence, Inc. FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/09/2010

Incompetence, Inc.

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
It was pretty clear, from the start of the live coverage on the hostage situation, where the rescue operations was all botched up, leaving eight Hong Kong residents dead, and where the hostage taker, Rolando Mendoza, a sacked police official, died too, that the broadcast media violated a lot of the guidelines agreed upon earlier between the police and the broadcast media.

But it is wrong to place full blame for the botched rescue operations on the broadcast media, mainly because it was not just the media at fault, but the incompetence of both the national and the local government and their officials and officers, top to bottom, which resulted in the appalling mishandling of the rescue. The probe body is wrong to lay it on the broadcast media, as if they could have done something to stop the bloodbath.

It was just as appalling to know that none of these officials — including Noynoy Aquino — saw this hostage taking as just a local crisis only, not a national crisis and an international crisis.

Clearly, there was a lack of leadership, from start to finish of the botched hostage rescue operations.
What is sad is that these deaths need not have happened at all, if all those officials — including the President of the Republic — showed both leadership, direction and competence..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100909com2.html

Key defendant in Maguindanao massacre is clan’s heir apparent focus 09/09/2010

Key defendant in Maguindanao massacre is clan’s heir apparent


MANILA — Feared and loathed by his enemies, Andal Ampatuan Jr. is the heir apparent of a powerful Muslim clan in the southern Philippines whose family history is written in blood.
The chubby, stone-faced man in his 40s with a penchant for expensive guns, is the son and namesake of Andal Ampatuan Sr., the clan patriarch who has ruled Maguindanao province for almost a decade.

Ampatuan Jr. went on trial accused of multiple murder on Wednesday over the November 2009 massacre of 57 persons.

The victims, which included 30 journalists, were shot dead and dumped in mass graves apparently to end a political challenge from a rival clan.

The defendant, who witnesses claim was among the gunmen, denies a role in the killings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100909com3.html

Anarchy in QC BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 09/09/2010

Anarchy in QC

Louie Logarta
Residents of an upscale village in New Manila, Quezon City are in a dither over the apparent failure of Mayor Herbert Bautista and concerned City Hall authorities in preventing the outbreak of anarchy, with hundreds of informal settlers (squatters, if you may) running roughshod over their once-genteel neighborhood as if they actually owned the place.

After being evicted some weeks ago by the owner of a nearby lot that they had been illegally occupying for several years, the affected settlers resorted to putting up makeshift shanties on 6th and 7th Streets in Barangay Mariana thereby blocking all forms of traffic in the area, to the consternation of legitimate residents whose ability to move about, as a result, had been severely constricted. 

Last month, several people were seriously injured after a demolition team hired by the lot’s owner — armed with an eviction order signed by the QC Regional Trial Court and backed up by dozens of riot policemen — conducted clearing operations in preparation for a residential-condominium project that was going to be built.

Barangay Mariana residents we’ve talked to are blaming city hall for the prevailing mess because there doesn’t seem to have been any provisions made for a suitable relocation site for those who were evicted by the government, in accordance with the existing law..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100909com4.html

Divorce and Question Marks — 2 VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/09/2010

Divorce and Question Marks — 2

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Ouestion 3: Would it be consonant with the dictates of reason and the principle of justice to reward with a divorce decree not only the victim but also the culprit according the proposed grounds for absolute divorce?

It is said that an absolute divorce may be obtained on the ground of a given crime, an errant behavior, a disagreeable option, and the like. In any of these cases, the freedom to remarry through divorce favors not only the victim but also the culprit.

Or is it simply a matter of alimony or support imposed on the guilty spouse? In this case, the moneyed people are favored as they are capable of giving as much money demanded by as many “ex-wives” and “ex-families” possible. And what if the spouse proven guilty cannot afford to pay the imposed alimony? Would this party be also allowed to remarry as well, allowed to divorce again, and again leave former spouses and children without support?

If the proponents of the absolute divorce legislation really want to strengthen the family as claimed, by preventing marital infidelity, abandonment, attempt at the life of a spouse and the like, they should rather be more serious in penalizing these crimes as provided by law — crime which sad to say, are covered by very dead laws in Philippines society..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100909com5.html

Book blames Churchill for Indian Book blames Churchill for Indian focus 09/09/2010

Book blames Churchill for Indian[Famine]


NEW DELHI — British Prime Minister Winston Churchill deliberately let millions of Indians starve to death, the author of a new book has claimed, alleging he was motivated in part by racial hatred.

As many as three million people died in the Bengal famine of 1943 after Japan captured neighboring Burma — a major source of rice imports — and British colonial rulers in India stockpiled food for soldiers and war workers.

Panic-buying of rice sent prices soaring, and distribution channels were wrecked when officials confiscated or destroyed most boats and bullock carts in Bengal to stop them falling into enemy hands if Japan invaded.

Rice suddenly became scarce in markets and, as worsening hunger spread through villages, Churchill repeatedly refused pleas for emergency food shipments.

Emaciated masses drifted into Kolkata, where eye-witnesses described men fighting over foul scraps and skeletal mothers dying in the streets as British and middle-class Indians ate large meals in their clubs or at home..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100909com6.html

Tajikistan attacks raise fears Tajikistan attacks raise fears focus 09/09/2010

Tajikistan attacks raise fears Tajikistan attacks raise fears


DUSHANBE — A deadly prison break followed by a pair of bombings in Tajikistan are an alarming signal that Islamist militants, long active in neighboring Afghanistan, have increased operations in the former Soviet state, analysts said.

The attacks, which included a suicide car bombing of a police station that killed two police officers and a nightclub bombing which wounded seven, were of a nature unprecedented even in Tajikistan’s violent history.
This recent wave of violence bears all the hallmarks of international involvement and marks a serious upsurge in violence, said Alexander Cooley, a professor at Columbia University in New York and regional expert.
“The attacks of this summer in Tajikistan signify an escalation in the activities and aims of militant organizations,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100909com7.html

HK hostages shot at close range ‘not conclusive’ — NBI By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/09/2010

HK hostages shot at close range ‘not conclusive’ — NBI
By Benjamin B. Pulta

Post-mortem examinations of the slain hostages in the Aug. 23 bloody bus siege showed no conclusive indication the victims were shot at close range, resurrecting the possibility that some of the hostages were killed in the crossfire from indiscriminate firing of police rescuers, the inter-agency fact finding body on the incident that outraged Hong Kong and China uncovered yesterday.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) medico-legal division chief Dr. Floresto Arizala Jr. explained “there was no report showing near or contact fire.”

He said the autopsy result is not yet considered conclusive since there still is a need to countercheck it through other physical evidence.

“I would suggest the clothes (of the fatalities) be retrieved,” he told the panel, referring to possible evidence that could answer the question on whether or not the victims were shot at close range.

Asked by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, head of the Insident and Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC), to elaborate, he said there were “no signs of smudging, tattooing, or burning” in the bodies of the victims shown in the autopsy report.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100909hed1.html

Maguindanao massacre ‘carefully planned’ — witness 09/09/2010

Maguindanao massacre ‘carefully planned’ — witnesshttp://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100909hed2.html
The Ampatuans carefully planned and carried out the killings of 57 persons — including 32 journalists — in the country’s worst massacre, a witness yesterday said as the landmark trial began.

The testimony of Lakmodin Saliao, an Ampatuan househelp, directly linked former Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., the main defendant, to the planning and execution of the killings in the clan’s former fiefdom of Maguindanao, an impoverished province in Mindanao.

Saliao told Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes that he was present at the meeting where Ampatuan Jr. broached the “idea of killing Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and everyone in his party when the latter files his certificate of candidacy as governor of Maguindanao in the May 10, 2010 automated elections.”

Saliao, the first witness presented by the prosecution during the trial, said the meeting was held at the mansion of former Maguindanao Gov. Andal.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100909hed2.html

Solon: Noy should blame self for incompetent Cabinet men 09/09/2010

Solon: Noy should blame self for incompetent Cabinet men
The abundance of incompetent men in his official family is all of President Aquino’s own doing.

Zambales Rep. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay, in a privilege speech, yesterday said if Aquino is indeed serious and sincere in pursuing his “righteous path” kind of leadership, he should have started with the appointment of competent officials in his Cabinet to assist him in managing the country’s day-to-day affairs.

“Lest Mr. Aquino forget that our country needs a competent leader, this representation, a member of the small minority and opposition of this august body is ringing the alarm bells for dear Mr. President Benigno Simeon Aquino to act like a real leader. Our country needs a leader for the big ticket decision-making, not just a miniscule stopping of ‘wang-wang’ (sirens) and the counterflow phenomenon. We need a leader who can exercise competent and well-meaning strides to redeem the honor of this country and exculpate our people from the long economic and political bankruptcy our country has suffered through the years,” she stressed.

The lawmaker reminded Aquino that the first acid test of leadership is the proper choice of the right people to assist him in his work, “but how did it happen that people like (Interior) Secretary (Jesse) Robredo and Undersecretary (Rico) Puno were accepted in your Cabinet when they have not shown competence?”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100909hed3.html

GMA gave friends, NGOs huge financial help 09/09/2010

GMA gave friends, NGOs huge financial help

Rep. Gloria Arroyo, during her term as president, gave out financial assistance to allies and non-government organizations (NGOs) but failed to liquidate such financial aid, the Commission on Audit (CoA) said, placing the amount at a little less than half a billion, or P447 million.

The CoA said 13 foundations and NGOs received the financial assistance despite the absence of required documents. The CoA also said the former President failed to liquidate P594 million.

Most of the recipients were from the second district of Pampanga where she ran as representative.

Among the recipients of the financial assistance were the ICTSI Foundation and the Philippine Good Work Foundation. The 2009 annual audit report for the Office of the President also showed that these foundations were given P100 million each despite the absence of supporting documents.

CoA said that the failure of former Malacañang officials to submit required documents violated national government audit rules and is against the objective of promoting transparency and accountability.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100909hed4.html

Noy studies removal of Seniors’ eVAT exemptions 09/09/2010

Noy studies removal of Seniors’ eVAT exemptions
What Congress giveth the elderly, the Palace taketh way?

In an attempt to generate revenues without sacrificing a populist move of not imposing new taxes, Malacañang yesterday confirmed it is studying proposals to remove the value added tax (VAT) exemption currently being enjoyed by the elderly through the enactment of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act (ESCA).
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters yesterday that the Aquino administration so far has not taken any position on the matter because the proposal is still at the level of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

Lacierda said the measure was communicated to them by Sen. Sergio Osmeña III during the budget hearing Tuesday but he indicated that this particular idea has not yet been seriously discussed by the government.

“It was Senator (Serge) Osmeña who suggested removing the VAT exemption and instead increasing the discounts for the senior citizens. Secretary Purisima answered that we will study the matter but we have no position on that yet,” Lacierda told reporters at a news conference.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100909hed6.html

Solon warns of rice crisis due to NFA’s zero budget 09/09/2010

.Solon warns of rice crisis due to NFA’s zero budget

In the face of National Food Authority (NFA)’s “zero budget” for next year, a bill strengthening the agency’s local palay (unhusked rice) procurement capability was filed by a farmer-lawmaker.

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano filed House Bill 3105 or the Rice Industry Development Act (RIDA) of 2010 “allocating P15 billion to be used exclusively for the purchase of palay from rice farmers at farm gate prices that will ensure a just and decent economic return for rice farmers, particularly the small-scale rice farmers.”

Mariano, who also chairs the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, said the RIDA seeks to turn the country back to rice self-sufficiency and do away with the government’s policy of rice importation and dependence in a period of three years.

In HB 3105’s explanatory note, Mariano said the bill “aims to create a policy environment of sturdy state intervention that would institutionalize the core programs that will nurse the development and protection of our rice industry into a self-reliant and sustainable economic element of our national development and bring the country away from import-dependency and food insecurity.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100909nat5.html

SC issues TRO in Jalosjos daughter’s poll case By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/09/2010

SC issues TRO in Jalosjos daughter’s poll case
By Benjamin B. Pulta

Another restraining order has been handed down by the Supreme Court (SC) in a local government election dispute this time stopping the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from disqualifying the daughter of former Rep. Romeo Jalosjos in the mayoral election in Baliangao, Misamis Occidental last May.

Svetlana Jalosjos won against Agne Yap Sr. by six votes in the May 10 mayoralty race. However in July, the Comelec ruled she failed to prove that she stayed long enough in Baliangao as a resident to be qualified to run for mayor.

The Local Government Code of the Philippines provides that a candidate running for an elective post must be a resident of the municipality or province where he or she is running, for at least a year.

According to the poll body, the young Jalosjos failed to establish her residency, which would allow her to run and sit as mayor of the said town.

Svetlana, being an artist, is running the Jalosjos’ entertainment venture Fantasyland in Dapitan City.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100909nat6.html

AFP’s new counter-insurgency plan eyes humanitarian missions By Mario J. Mallari 09/09/2010

AFP’s new counter-insurgency plan eyes humanitarian missions
By Mario J. Mallari

Unlike previous counter-insurgency Oplan Bantay Laya II which was crafted solely by the military and was linked to numerous extra-judicial killings, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday vowed to come up with a new campaign plan heavy on civil military and other humanitarian missions.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said this is why the AFP leadership has opened its doors to all the stakeholders in the internal security situation, including militant groups like the Bayan Muna and Karapatan which were earlier tagged by the military as having links to the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

While he stressed that even Oplan Bantay Laya II contained mixture of intelligence, combat and civil-military operations, Mabanta said the new campaign plan will focus more on civil military operations.

“It focused on triad — a mixture of intelligence operation which is military operation and civil military operations…it will still focus on this triad which is helpful (but) this time priority will be given to civil military operations,” said Mabanta.

“It is with certainty that a big portion of CMO (civil military operation) will play a big factor in this campaign plan,” added Mabanta.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100909nat7.html

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