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Inability to reverse course EDITORIAL 09/12/2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Inability to reverse course

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Corruption and inefficient government, which together defined the nine-year Arroyo administration, remain very much a huge festering sore on the country’s image that thus far the fledgling Aquino administration does not show the capability to address.

In voting for Aquino, by and large, Filipinos, aside from the emotional voting mode they were in, given the wave of sympathy for his mother, Cory, on account of her death from cancer, which death was blatantly exploited for political purposes by the Noynoy camp to the point of making the “Aquino genes” a guarantee of “good and incorruptible governance” something which, ironically, was non-existent under the Cory government, also were expecting him to steer the government into reversing its course and for the nation to regain its long-lost international respectability.

This was what he had pledged during the campaign. 

The votes that Aquino got in the elections last May showed the high expectations of Filipinos for a different deal than that which they got from Gloria.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100912com1.html

When to speak, when to shut up FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/12/2010

When to speak, when to shut up

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy Aquino should really learn diplomatese and soon, because if he continues to be a slow learner, he may just succeed in isolating the country from the rest of the world.
During his obviously rehearsed panel interview with his friendly television media where he bared his explanation on his whereabouts and “whichabouts” during the hostage crisis, none of which was new, as the same explanations had already been made earlier, save for the many contradictions made during that panel interview and save for his slip of the tongue he made on the “insulting” letter he received — evidently from Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang.

There are some things that a president should not bare publicly. Even more important, Noynoy shouldn’t have mentioned it at all mainly because sentiments among the Chinese are still raw over the botched hostage rescue operations.

What did mention of that “insulting” letter do, to the already strained relations (and they are still strained, despite propaganda that the Philippines and China are on friendlier terms again) between China and the Philippines, and Hong Kong and the Philippines? One must remember that Hong Kong is still a Special Autonomous Region..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100912com2.html

‘Rude’ Parisians enjoy comedian’s teasing FEATURE 09/12/2010

‘Rude’ Parisians enjoy comedian’s teasing


PARIS — The theater bosses said it would never work: A lone Frenchman on stage before a crowd of paying Parisians, trying to make them laugh for an hour at their own bad manners — in English.
Now a former waiter has proved the doubters wrong.

Comedian Olivier Giraud plays to a packed 200-seat theater in Paris, and the locals in the audience are laughing the loudest of all. Next stop: The United States and Canada.

“Even the small theaters thought I was really stupid,” Giraud told AFP, sweating after performing his one-man-show: “How to Become Parisian in One Hour.”

The 32-year-old’s comic guide to Parisian rudeness while eating, commuting and sleeping around in the French capital — performed in simple English easily comprehensible to non-native speakers — draws locals and visitors alike.

Giraud’s hour of risque capering and facial mugging runs through the Paris stereotypes: Rude waiters and taxi-drivers, pretentious nightclubs, and the many and varied meanings of the words “Oh la la.".... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100912com3.html

Cherchez la femme BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 09/12/2010

Cherchez la femme

Louie Logarta
At the onset of the P-Noy administration, Malacañang lawyers led by the crafty Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa drafted Executive Order (EO) 2 which was primarily designed to rid the government of the so-called “midnight appointees” of former President Arroyo who were placed in office purely for political considerations and not their competence in their chosen fields.

Crudely, midnight appointments can be described as Arroyo’s way of providing a pabaon or going-away present for those people whom she considered friends or deemed had stayed loyal to her.

While it was welcomed initially with open arms by the public, who had gotten so up to their necks with the abuses and inadequacies of the previous dispensation and were willing to settle for change at any cost, it is becoming slowly and painfully clear that EO 2 isn’t actually the miracle cure the doctor had prescribed to attain this objective soonest.

The rationale behind EO 2 is laudable as it aims to level the playing field for applicants to positions in government, because landing a job will be entirely dependent on merit and not political connections. No longer will the civil service be allowed to be prostituted by the politicians to suit their interests..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100912com4.html

Not worded but concrete apologies TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 09/12/2010

Not worded but concrete apologies

Larry Faraon, OP
Obviously there is one thing we utterly neglected in the hostage taking drama, namely prayer.
I was just imagining that if only some one hundred Church members gathered around the Hong Thai bus and in a kneeling position, started praying the rosary for as long as the hostage taker held out, the scenarios may have differed substantially. 

How can a decorated former law enforcer, who many thought never had the intentions of killing the hostages, ignore the prayers and the power of God to soften his heart and enlighten his mind? We still believe in the power of prayer. But of course, the God-loving and prayer prone Filipinos missed out on the prayer assemblies of bishops, priests, nuns, pastors and evangelists during the bloody hostage drama, especially at a venue where practically all mammoth religious rallies happen — the Quirino Grandstand.

Why? Because everybody was watching blow by blow the unfolding of the unfortunate events on television like watching engrossingly an addicting favorite telenovela. Well, blame the subliminal effect of television on a society that gormandizes every media fare indiscriminately. And prayer simply slipped off the mind of the glued TV watchers. You may not be one of those pious creatures of religion, but definitely you believe that miracles do happen through communal prayer, still. But obviously prayers did not come handy at that moment — a total of 14 hours of stand still — prayers could have made the difference!.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100912com5.html

Moscow mayor fights to survive as Kremlin anger grows focus 09/12/2010

Moscow mayor fights to survive as Kremlin anger grows


MOSCOW — Moscow’s strongman mayor, who came to power 18 years ago when Vladimir Putin was still an obscure official, is finally under mounting pressure to quit but showing no sign of leaving his post willingly.

Criticism of Yury Luzhkov, who turns 74 this month, intensified after the bee-keeping mayor boldly ignored President Dmitry Medvedev’s desire to freshen up the ranks of local leaders, angering the Kremlin.
Unhappiness with Luzhkov reached boiling point this week as the Kremlin snapped at the Moscow mayor’s apparent attempts to sow discord in the ruling tandem of Medvedev and his mentor Prime Minister Putin.

“Moscow’s authorities have gone too far in their attempts to create a clash between the president and the prime minister,” a source in the Kremlin told Interfax this week. “These attempts will not be left without proper reaction.”

The comment followed several controversial articles in pro-Luzhkov Moskovsky Komsomolets daily and the mayor’s annoyance with the Kremlin’s criticism of his vacation during a critical heatwave that caused a health crisis in the capital.

While Putin showed support, “I got a kick from the other side, the (presidential) administration,” Luzhkov said last week on a Moscow-owned channel. “I came back as soon as I had the chance, on a plane.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100912com6.html

Manila hostage debacle VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/12/2010

Manila hostage debacle

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Still going on in its hideous reality, its shameful significance and detestable implications, the now so called recently experienced hostage “crisis,” “phenomenon” and similar nomenclature, remains a ignominious entry in Philippine history. Its open and extensive staging in no less than a signal place in the heart of Metro-Manila — plus its rather prolonged “real time” video coverage by international media for the whole world to witness — cannot be faulted in its vivid and impressive presentation, showing both its shocking nature and pitiful consequences. While some foreigners irremediably lost their lives, this country as a whole, lost not only its face but its honor as well.

In other words, the hostage debacle exhibited for the world to witness to, in no less than a prominent open park named even after a Filipino great hero, is something guaranteed to remain in local stinging memory and bitter foreign recall. 

It is said that no country and no people is the beneficiary of the horrendous event. The Philippines, however, remains as its biggest loser — courtesy of the Philippine National Police, its built-in hierarchy plus its highest supervising official chosen and appointed by no less than Malacañang itself. The same personality, however, had to admit his ignorance about hostage-taking, its proper handling and satisfactory resolution. It is so darn different from at-leisure shooting of downright inanimate, standing-still and conveniently arranged targets..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100912com7.html

Dazzling Vienna exhibit finds beauty in napkins FEATURE 09/12/2010

Dazzling Vienna exhibit finds beauty in napkins


VIENNA — It is a dazzling array of birds, fans and intricate structures, all made simply from folded linen: A lost Renaissance art that has been revived for a Vienna exhibit called “Folded Beauty.”

But the new show at the Imperial Furniture Collection isn’t really about napkins. And to be honest, it isn’t really an exhibit either, says the artist behind it, more of a life-sized research project.

Joan Sallas, 47, a Catalan master of folding techniques, spent three months folding 200 meters (656 feet) of linen into more than 100 objects for the show.

All are copies of 16th- and 17th-century originals, but his only guides were old engravings and documents describing imperial and royal banquets.

So his work was akin to deciphering a coded message, Sallas explained at a preview of the show, which opened Wednesday and runs until January 23..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100912com8.html

Noy’s close aides get millions in jueteng payola—Archbishop 09/12/2010

Noy’s close aides get millions in jueteng payola—Archbishop
Jueteng payola nationwide is alive and kicking, more alive than before, under the Aquino administration that promised change and reforms, as well as the eradication of corruption, with its campaign slogan of “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap (if there is no corruption, there is no poverty).”

A retired archbishop who is, however, still active in his lifelong fight against jueteng, the illegal numbers racket game that preys on the poor people, yesterday told the Tribune in a telephone interview that far from jueteng being eliminated under the new presidency of Noynoy Aquino, jueteng is proliferating and that it has now even become a “political power of the monstrous kind” under the new administration.

Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, who is active in his anti-jueteng group that goes by the name Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng, yesterday told the Tribune that the information he has gathered recently is that at least two close and trusted officials of President Aquino have been regularly collecting over P2 million a month payoffs from the numbers racket game.

One of the Aquino aides is said to be a trusted and long-time close buddy of the President while the other is also being eyed by Aquino to join his civilian administration.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100912hed1.html

5 HK survivors testify; NBI submits ballistic scan results 09/12/2010

5 HK survivors testify; NBI submits ballistic scan results
Five Hong Kong residents who survived the bloody massacre resulting from a botched hostage rescue operations by the Philippine National Police (PNP) assault team last Aug. 23 have submitted their sworn affidavits taken by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) team sent to Hong Kong by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

She yesterday confirmed that the NBI team had arrived in the country and that the team brought home Friday evening the correlation report of the ballistic scanning and procedures, said to have been finished Friday morning.

“Our team from Hong Kong brought with them testimonies from five survivors, two of whom were in the bus up to the very end,” she said.

De Lima added that the affidavits were in Chinese and that the English translation of at least two witnesses is expected to be completed by Monday.

The Justice secretary also confrimed that the NBI team members also brought with them the ballistic report.
“But the actual analysis based on the results of the integrated ballistic identification system (IBIS) will be done here. We expect the report on that as soon as possible,” De Lima clarified.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100912hed2.html

Noy to swear in truth body panel By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/12/2010

Noy to swear in truth body panel
By Aytch S. de la Cruz

Malacañang is bent on formally launching the Truth Commission tommorow, following the expected oathtaking of its members led by former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. to be administered by President Aquino, notwithstanding the efforts by the opposition forces to obstruct such undertaking.

Speculation rose that this may be the Palace’s way to deflect public attention from the botched hostage rescue operation that resulted in the death of eight Chinese Hong Kong tourists, as well as the hostage taker, sacked police officer Rolando Mendoza,

The media have been carrying reports on the hostage crisis for three weeks, which forced President Aquino to come up with a live coverage of a “panel” interview with selected TV anchors from three Aquino-friendly TV networks, to explain his absence from view during the entirety of the rescue operations which ended in a bloodbath.

House Minority Leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who filed a petition to nullify the Executive Order that created the Truth Commission before the SC last month, reportedly said he would “exhaust all means” to block the body from executing its disputed mandate.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100912hed3.html

Gov’t softens stance on open skies policy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/12/2010

Gov’t softens stance on open skies policy
By Aytch S. de la Cruz
Transportation Secretary Jose de Jesus yesterday said nothing is definite yet on President Aquino’s plan to employ an open skies policy should the ongoing clash between the Philippine Airlines (PAL) and the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (Fasap) create massive disruption of flight services to the riding public.

De Jesus, in an interview aired over Radyo ng Bayan, implied that while he thinks the open skies policy is a good idea, it would need to undergo thorough study first before the government can implement such plan.
Aquino on Friday conveyed that the government’s scrutiny over this open skies policy is being fast-tracked for its easy application should the current labor issues hounding PAL distress the convenience of the plane-riding public to a greatest extent.

“I think that (open skies policy) would be good but we have no definite policy on that (yet). It is still being studied at this point and we’re just about to discuss that in the Cabinet,” De Jesus said of his position regarding the matter.

De Jesus claimed what he can confidently relay to the public right now, insofar as his office is concerned, is that they are currently devising some contingency plans that would hopefully reduce the potential unwelcome effects of Fasap’s declaration of strike.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100912hed4.html

US marks 9/11 anniversary amid Islam tensions 09/12/2010

US marks 9/11 anniversary amid Islam tensions
NEW YORK — Remembrance ceremonies, marred by global tensions over a Florida pastor’s threat to burn the Koran, were to take place Saturday in New York and at the Pentagon on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The rituals honoring the nearly 3,000 persons killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when Islamist terrorists flew hijacked planes into the US defense headquarters and New York’s World Trade Center towers, unfold almost unchanged each year.

In New York at Ground Zero the names of the 2,752 victims who died there are read out against a background of somber music, with moments of silence marking the times when the two airliners slammed into the Twin Towers — and again when the towers collapsed.

President Barack Obama was to attend the memorial service at the Pentagon, while Vice President Joseph Biden would be in New York.

Obama started marking the anniversary by emphasizing national unity and promising that the United States will be defined by hope rather than fear..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100912hed5.html

Four dead, one missing in Koronadal landslide 09/12/2010

Four dead, one missing in Koronadal landslide
A landslide triggered by heavy rains killed four persons and left a seven-month-old child missing in Koronadal City, police and rescuers yesterday said.

Six other persons were injured and more than 200 were forced to flee their homes when the landslip dislodged several houses in Sitio Upper and Lower Acub, Barangay San Isidro, Koronadal City in South Cotabato late Friday, said regional police spokesman Chief Insp. Jomar Alexis Yap.

“The village has been ordered evacuated,” Yap told reporters by telephone.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is caring for 70 families, intotal more than 200 persons, who sought refuge at a nearby school, he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100912hed6.html

Ex-SSS chairman challenges senator to face him in court 09/12/2010

Ex-SSS chairman challenges senator to face him in court
Former Social Security System (SSS) chairman Thelmo Cunanan yesterday asked Sen. Franklin Drilon to bring his accusations in court.

Cunanan said as he defended himself from allegations that he and other SSS executives pocketed millions of pesos over the years and asserted that some of the figures released by the Senate committee on finance were not accurate.

The former SSS official said the court is the proper forum where Drilon can present his case.

In a letter to Sen. Frank Drilon, chairman of the finance committee that has been conducting hearings on bonuses and allowances of officials in government-owned and controlled corporations and government financial institutions, Cunanan said some of the figures released by the committee were not accurate.

At recent hearings by the Senate, four SSS executives were questioned on some P 127 million they allegedly pocketed over some years, the bulk of which was in the form of stock options in Philex Mining Corp., where these executives represented the SSS.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100912nat1.html

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