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First blood EDITORIAL 09/17/2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

First blood

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/17/2010
The Supreme Court (SC) magistrates allied with Chief Justice Renato Corona, who in turn Noynoy had made known that he preferred not be in that post, appears to have spilt first blood in the long anticipated face-off with the Aquino administration and its allies after ordering, and in a quick fashion, the House to indefinitely suspend the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

Moreover, the eight justices who ruled to suspend the House action described the impeachment move against Merci as “capricious and whimsical” which is more or less similar to poking a finger into somebody’s opponent’s nose.

Talking of whimsical, it is hard to digest the SC action on Gutierrez’s petition to stop the House move to oust her as being the product of introspection since it took the high court less than 24 hours to make.

All of the perceived allies of Corona and all sympathetic to former President and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo, Associate Justices Presbiterio Velasco Jr., Teresita de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Roberto Abad, Martin Villarama Jr. and Jose Perez, voted in favor of Gutierrez’s petition..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100917com1.html

Fishy smell in the Palace FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/17/2010

Fishy smell in the Palace

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
09/17/2010
Noynoy Aquino is going the wrong way in handling the jueteng issue, especially by resisting all the moves to have the allegations leveled against the presidential aides who have been linked to the jueteng payoffs investigated.
The latest argument coming from the Palace, through the usual miscommunications group, is that Noynoy is not keen on using even a miniscule portion of his P600-million intelligence fund to investigate the matter, as he claims that he has nothing to go by until retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz reveals the names of the officials who allegedly received jueteng payola.

Quite frankly, this is a most stupid reason given for the hesitance of Noynoy to probe the jueteng payoffs and check on just who among his Palace aides have been getting payoffs because the more he hesitates, the more the public speculation rises that not only are his boys involved in the payoffs, but also that he himself is involved in the payola business.

Unfortunately for Noynoy, the cards are stacked against him as far as speculations go.
Right or wrong, the fact is that he not only claimed early on, that the elimination of jueteng is not a priority of his government — a day or so after his Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary had announced that he had been given a directive by Noynoy to stamp out jueteng..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100917com2.html

Giants of Japanese media eye digital salvation FEATURE 09/17/2010

Giants of Japanese media eye digital salvation

FEATURE

09/17/2010
TOKYO — With huge circulations, loyal readers and a tireless reporting culture that runs around the clock, Japan’s newspapers have defied many of the woes that have beset their western print peers.

But a crisis of shrinking revenues is looming as Japan’s dailies scramble to make their online editions profitable, attract a new generation of readers in an aging society and avoid the woes of US and European titles.

Advertising spending has plunged 42 percent in the past decade, exacerbated by a global downturn that hammered the Japanese economy, threatening to make negative headlines out of print media’s bottom lines.
“Newspapers are seeing a crisis coming,” said Shinji Oi, professor at Nihon University.

“Japan has yet to see the major newspaper bankruptcies and financial troubles that we have seen in the West. But newspapers’ business fundamentals are definitely deteriorating,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100917com3.html

The Urian Anthology (1990-1991) NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 09/17/2010

The Urian Anthology (1990-1991)

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
09/17/2010
Wednesday afternoon saw me braving the traffic from my house in Makati to Balay Kalinaw, seemingly the farthest corner of the University of the Philippines campus, in Diliman, Quezon City, for the launching of the third Urian Anthology (Articles, Reviews, and Interviews by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP) on Filipino Cinema 1990-1999). The trip was well worth it.
You open the book and read: “This book is gratefully dedicated to the memory of two exemplary artists who have gifted the Filipino people with some of the greatest classics of national cinema — Ishmael Bernal (Sept. 30, 1938 — June 2, 1996), National Artist for Film 2001, and Lino Brocka (April 3, 1939 — May 21, 1991). 

Right away you want to buy it. It cost P2,600; we were informed in the bookstores the price would be higher at P3,100. The binding looks solid, the paper is good, the black and white pictures inside are clear. More importantly, the contents are must-haves for any student and admirer of film

Jackie Atienza, former chairman of the Film Development Council, said this in his foreword, and I dare any film buff out there to rebut, that: “The Urian Anthologies are not ony scholarly discourses on the films of a particular decade, but are snapshots in time of the continuing evolution of Philippine Cinema. They are not only testaments to the great films that have aroused the consciousness of Filipinos but are also a source inspiration for a new generation of filmmakers.

“It is a cinematic slam book, if you will — a collection of ponderings, analyses, and opinions of the era’s visual life, a collection of memories, both good and bad, that have contributed to our cinematic growth..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100917com4.html

Honorable Capt. Gary Alejano’s struggle DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 09/17/2010

Honorable Capt. Gary Alejano’s struggle

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
09/17/2010
When I watched the farcical Senate, with the likes of Joker Arroyo faulting media’s work in the hostage crisis, and read such do-nothing solons criticizing our colleagues Michael Rogas of RMN and the TV crews, I can only thank media for risking life and limb to get the full story or else the tales of the dead hostages and Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza may never have come to light — this, as the highest officials of the land are still trying to cover up their dark motives, siopao predilections, and gross incompetence.

Media need not apologize; the authorities failed to direct the scene in every way. But as I watch these farces, I remember the real struggle of a few good men of idealism and vision, continuing their fight for justice and social change despite the absence of media’s klieg lights: Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, still in unjust detention, and Capt. Gary Alejano, who won the mayorship of Sipalay, Negros Occidental but was Hocus-PCOSed and now fights for a manual recount.

Media should pay more attention to these real struggles, as these people are the ones who can make the difference. In fact, the women behind these warriors are as dedicated and visionary, too: Arlene Trillanes, once a military officer in her own right, and Minnie Alejano, who carried the campaign when Gary was in detention. The public knows much more about Senator Trillanes than they do about Gary Alejano. The latter is a young Marine officer who abandoned the much-coveted Medal of Valor Award almost eight years ago on the day he chose to join the Bagong Katipuneros’ march to Oakwood to make a stand for change by condemning corruption in the military and beyond. In all these years, Alejano’s twin girls only grew up visiting and playing with him inside the Fort Bonifacio brig and later the Camp Crame detention center.

Capt. Gary Alejano’s aborted Medal of Valor was based on his rescue of a team of soldiers from another unit trapped and under severe threat from enemy combatants in an encounter along the Narciso Ramos Highway, which connects Marawi and Parang to Cotabato. The Medal of Valor is the highest, most prestigious, and most coveted honor given to any member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for “acts of conspicuous gallantry” and a deed “of personal bravery and self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty so conspicuous as to distinguish himself clearly above his comrades in the performance of more than ordinary hazardous service.”

Gary, whom I have come to know well since his detention in 2003, exhibits truly heroic humor and equanimity in the face of the worst possible crises, as I have witnessed when I was arrested and detained with him after the Manila Peninsula stand-off at Camp Crame.

Candidate Alejano ran in the last elections, along with fellow Magdalo partymates in other parts of the country, such as Navy Seal Lt. James Layug, Army Capt. Dante Langkit and Lt. Ace Acedillo, who ran for congressional seats in Taguig, Kalinga, and Cebu, respectively. Even though Magdalo was not accredited as a party despite its track record as a national organization of around 85,000 card carrying members to date, these four gentlemen still had the fortitude to run as independents.

By all accounts, Alejano won in his bid for the mayorship of Sipalay, a city which he has great vision for — a vision that inspired his constituents to come together to vote for him in the hope of freeing their beloved place from the monopoly of the Montilla dynasty that prevents the full development of tourism and mining potentials there.

On election day itself, the camp of the Montillas had already become mournful. Their impending debacle became clearly written on the wall. Eight of 10 “deacons” of a religious sect had joined the campaign of Alejano despite the promise of money and threat of expulsion from their church. Volunteer campaign workers for Alejano had swelled the ranks, and nothing stood in the way of a people’s victory over the old dynasty.

The mood in the other camp only turned for the better when rumor filtered out from their headquarters that they had found the “fix” to deliver the “winning” votes. Alas, as in so many areas of the country, such as in the premier city of Manila, where candidate Lito Atienza is now engaged in a recount of the Hocus-PCOS votes, the issue of manipulated voting machines reared its ugly head.

Alejano has filed a protest with the Commission on Elections, calling for a recount, and is still being asked to fork over P235,000. That is not an amount easy to come by; yet he is determined to push through with the recount to prove the election anomaly — in the interest of future election exercises which would become meaningless if the Hocus-PCOS is allowed to wreak havoc again. I have joined Alejano’s struggle to obtain this manual recount of votes, to prove the Hocus-PCOS fraud and seat the rightful and deserving leader in place.

Contributions to Alejano’s “Election Protest Fund” can be sent directly to Gary Alejano, Samahang Magdalo HQ, 2/F Timog Bldg., Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City. I am also doing the rounds of friends and supporters personally to raise funds for this cause. Please help restore our democracy; let’s each do our share.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch Politics (and Economics) Today, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m. on Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100917com5.html

Brazil graffiti artists seen more as Van Goghs than vandals FEATURE 09/17/2010

Brazil graffiti artists seen more as Van Goghs than vandals

FEATURE

09/17/2010
SAO PAULO — Graffiti’s long struggle to be seen as valid urban expression, not vandalism, is being crowned this month with an exhibition in Brazil by international artists who not only sprayed official works but also spruced up abandoned corners of Sao Paulo.
A raid on a dilapidated factory by many of the 66 artists on the eve of the event’s opening was a celebration of the roots of graffiti, which emerged four decades ago from New York’s subway system.

It was also a triumphal declaration that, at last, they believe they have reached legitimacy as contemporary artists, a status enhanced by their provocative legacy.

“Maybe that’s why it’s an art form. Because after 40 years starting in New York and everything, it still gets people upset. And it is still getting people to think, and it’s still making people happy. It still makes people talk,” said one of the artists, Anders Rebentlovlarsen, a 25-year-old Dane.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100917com6.html

Celebrities spice up Afghan vote focus 09/17/2010

Celebrities spice up Afghan vote

focus

09/17/2010
KABUL — Robina Jalali is a former Olympic sprinter, Zabihullah Jawanmard a pop legend known as the “Elvis of Afghanistan” and Farida Tarana the young woman who took a TV singing competition by storm.

They are among the colourful cast of characters standing in Saturday’s parliamentary election, the second since the autocratic Taliban were forced from power in the 2001 US-led invasion.

Afghans will go to the polls to choose 249 members of the lower house of parliament, the Wolesi Jirga.
More than 2,500 candidates are standing, despite fears the Taliban might make good on threats to disrupt the ballot with violence.

If candidates such as Jalali, Jawanmard and Tarana win seats, they will bring a touch of glamor and a different approach to politics in an impoverished state long ruled according to age-old tribal traditions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100917com7.html

Juetengate probe to include Bacalzo By Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/17/2010

PALACE TELLS ACCUSERS TO SHOW EVIDENCE 

Juetengate probe to include Bacalzo

By Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz
09/17/2010

The Senate has spread its net wider on its planned inquiry into the juentengate scandal facing the Aquino administration indicating that it will summon newly-appointed Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Raul Bacalzo, who is barely a week in his post, among those to be subjected to an investigation.

Blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III yesterday said Bacalzo is fourth in the list of those topping the guest list of the public hearing his panel will call Tuesday next week.

“He is no. 4 in our list of guests for the hearing and he should show up. He has to answer. He has to answer the allegations against him and he could tell us what he knows about the issue. I hope (former whistleblower) willappear before us. But what we are trying to do first is to invite people rather than to subpoena them. (Retired) Archbishop (Oscar) Cruz is No. 1 in our guest list,” the senator said, appearing in the weekly Kapihan sa Senado news forum..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100917hed1.html

Ex-PC chief says ‘Lacson’ solution will end jueteng By Mario J. Mallari 09/17/2010

Ex-PC chief says ‘Lacson’ solution will end jueteng
By Mario J. Mallari
09/17/2010

Former Philippine Constabulary chief retired Maj. Gen. Ramon Montano came out of the woodwork yesterday to second the allegations made by retired Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz regarding distribution of bribe money to top government officials, mainly from the police ranks, for the continued proliferation of the illegal numbers game ‘jueteng’.

Montano said that jue-teng operat-ions will not proliferate if there was no connivance between the police and local government officials.

“There are those who receive (bribes)…how can it (jueteng) proliferate if there are no connivance?” asked Montano.

Montano said he has information about “massive” distribution of bribe money to police commanders. “Of course it’s massive, otherwise how can the big ones (be) protected by the higher ups so it goes down the line,” said Montano while at the same time refusing to elaborate on his statement.

Montano called on the authorities to employ what he calls “Ping Lacson solution”, apparently referring to the strategy used by Sen. Panfilo Lacson during his tenure as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“We should apply the Ping Lacson solution,” said Montano.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100917hed2.html

10 liable for hostage fiasco — De Lima By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/17/2010

10 liable for hostage fiasco — De Lima
By Benjamin B. Pulta
09/17/2010

At least 10 individuals face charges following the recom-mendation of the five-man Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) which is scheduled to submit its report today to President Aquino.

The report will be the IIRC’s detailed account of how the Aug. 23 hostage-taking incident at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila culminated in the death of eight Hong Kong nationals and their hostage-taker and who should be held responsible for the bungled rescue operations.

Justice Secretary and IIRC chairman Leila de Lima yesterday disclosed the IIRC will be recom-mending charges against “more or less 10 individuals” including government officials and mediamen for their alleged failure to perform their functions and observe protocols during the hostage taking.

De Lima, however, declined to reveal the names of these individuals, saying that Aquino should see first their report. 

“We expect the President to act on the basis of our recom-mendations,” she said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100917hed3.html

House reply to SC order: High court infringing on impeach mandate By Gerry Baldo 09/17/2010

House reply to SC order: High court infringing on impeach mandate
By Gerry Baldo
09/17/2010

The House committee on justice may notify the Supreme Court (SC) that it is infringing on its constitutional mandate to exclusively initiate all cases of impeachment when it issued the status quo ante order stopping the impeachment proceeding against Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez, Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. yesterday admitted.

Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, vice chairman of the House committee on justice, noted that the high tribunal is meddling in the affairs of the House of Representatives.

“The SC should have initially seen that the complaint or petition filed by Gutierrez is not even sufficient in form. How can she attack a committee of the House without impleading the HoR?” Fariñas said in a privilege speech Wednesday night.

House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II said the SC should.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100917hed4.html

Aside from Pag-Ibig, House probe on HGC also urged By Gerry Baldo 09/17/2010

Aside from Pag-Ibig, House probe on HGC also urged
By Gerry Baldo
09/17/2010

The multibillion-peso anomaly involving Home Mutual Development Fund (Pag-Ibig Fund) and private developer Globe Asiatique had prompted legislators to look into the finances of other shelter agencies and the House of Representatives probe is now being sought into the alleged anomalies at the Home Guarantee Corp. (HGC) which has been in financial distress for the past several years.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga said HGC officials should be summoned by the House committees on good government and housing to account for the huge losses incurred by the agency.

“This is unfair to the members of HGC, it should explain to Congress and to Pag-Ibig members how they spent their money and why they had incurred such losses,” Barzaga said yesterday.

A Commission of Audit (CoA) report described the HGC, a government-ofowned and controlled corporation tasked to operate a credit guaranty program in support of government’s effort to promote home ownership, as being in “financial distress.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100917hed5.html

3 soldiers killed in Basilan ambush 09/17/2010

3 soldiers killed in Basilan ambush
09/17/2010
Three government troops were killed after an ambush by fully armed Abu Sayyaf terrorists early Thursday in Tipo-tipo town, Basilan province, a ranking military official said.

Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino said elements of the Army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion (IB) were conducting foot patrol in the outskirts of Sitio Bato in Barangay Bohelebung in Tipo-Tipo town around 6:15 a.m. when an Abu Sayyaf band attacked them.

The 32nd Infantry Battalion is the only Army unit which is based in Basilanprovince, a stronghold of the bandit group.

The Abu Sayyaf members are under the command of Nurhasan Jamiri and Long Malat Sulayman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100917hed6.html

Lucman questions EO 2 before SC By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/17/2010

Lucman questions EO 2 before SC
By Benjamin B. Pulta
09/17/2010

Another government official who fell to Malacañang’s Executive Order No. 2 (EO 2) revoking the so-called “midnight appointees” of former President and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo has petitioned the Supreme Court (SC) for a temporary restraining order (TRO).

Bai Omera Dianalan-Lucman, was appointed by Arroyo as commissioner and secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) with Cabinet rank in March, included the TRO prayer in her petition questioning the constitutionality of EO 2.

Through her lawyers Jose Ventura Aspiras and Bantuas Lucman, the NCMF chief urged the SC to rule whether or not her assumption to office during the election ban makes her a midnight appointee considering that her appointment and oath-taking came before the ban.

Earlier this week, Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz clarified that despite the issuance of EO 2 “thousands of appointees shortly before the March 10 deadline were allowed to keep their posts” by the Aquino administration. “We ended up using Palace records as basis some of which are also missing.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100917nat1.html

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