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Jueteng for so long EDITORIAL 09/24/2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jueteng for so long

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Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada is clashing head on with the Church and other moralist civic society groups over his advocating the legalization of jueteng or the two-number game of chance that had preyed on the state of poverty among the poor majority.

The proposal, however, appears for now the only pragmatic solution to the massive corruption and the overpowering influence on government and the society of the evil network built up from the illegal numbers game.

Scandals, as a result of government, military and Police officials being caught in the lucrative bribery web spun by jueteng lords, have become a seasonal affair and it is rare that anybody gets prosecuted. Such revelations on the government officials coddling of jueteng lords are then followed by perfunctory orders on the Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government officials to crack down on the illegal numbers game.

When the outrage dies down, the illegal gambling lords and their cohorts in government come out of their temporary retreats to again resume making hay, with impunity this time around to make up for lost time.
The next year, somebody from the Church or a disgruntled member of the gambling network explodes a bombshell and the same yearly vicious cycle is repeated..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100924com1.html

Puno can rest easy, he’s a Noy buddy EDITORIAL 09/24/2010

Puno can rest easy, he’s a Noy buddy

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Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno can rest easy. He isn’t likely to lose his job in the Aquino administration.

All indications point to Noynoy Aquino retaining Puno or at the least, appoint him to another position.

In New York with Manila reporters, Noynoy stated that it is just “normal” for Puno to consider the option of resigning from his position, especially since his honor is at stake, but this “does not necessarily translate to his becoming a burden” to Noynoy and his administration.

Translation: Puno is no burden to Noynoy, ergo, he is to be retained.

Also, Noynoy dismisses the bishop’s testimony on the involvement of Puno in jueteng, with Noynoy calling retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz “a very opinionated person.”

“Archbishop Cruz is a very opinionated person. I think I came out publicly asking him to dialog if he wanted to and I think he answered that he didn’t want to. I will even invite you to Google his pronouncements about me, personally, from even the campaign period. I think you will see that Archbishop Cruz, while entitled to his opinion, does not think highly of me,” Noynoy told reporters. Have we got news for Noynoy: World leaders do not think highly of him either, as he couldn’t even get talks going with world leaders of note..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100924com2.html

Flock of Obama departures could spell economic overhaul focus 09/24/2010

Flock of Obama departures could spell economic overhaul


WASHINGTON — A rush of departures from President Barack Obama’s economic team has pundits speculating over a policy revamp and moves to repair ties with big business.
By the start of 2011, Obama’s economic team will bear little resemblance to the one that steered the United States through the depths of the economic crisis.

With the announcement on Tuesday that economic policy coordinator Lawrence Summers will leave the administration, Obama has lost three of his four most battle-hardened economic advisers.

Only Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner remains of a group that shepherded the world’s largest economy for the past two years.

But it is Summers’ departure that will leave a gaping hole at the center of Obama’s team.

“We are grateful for and better off for the ideas that Larry brought... into the administration for the economic team,” Robert Gibbs told journalists on Wednesday.

As director of the White House National Economic Council, Summers is not only one of the President’s most influential advisers, but also has the powerful role of coordinating the conflicting interests of other advisors and branches of government..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100924com3.html

Still dreaming NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 09/24/2010

Still dreaming

Armida Siguion-Reyna
So the world’s a stage and we are all players with our exits and entrances, with specific role assignments. While not all of us will be president, or jueteng lord, and there is only one Charice Pempengco, there’s a growing number of us now dreaming of having something close to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)’s voluntary film rating system established here.

Our Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) does television, and in the past, under a different name, handled advertising as well. The MPAA is purely a rating system for films shown in the US and its territories, covering “thematic and content suitability” for particular age-group audiences. And it is purely voluntary.

I can hear my detractors snicker this is what I want, a voluntary system of film classification so that those who don’t want to submit can get away with it. The ignoramuses must be told that in the US, all signatory members of the MPAA submit to the ratings system, with very few daring to buck it. Unrated films are not allowed to advertise in theaters, television and print media, so producers would rather be rated than risk revenue potential.

Even under a similar voluntary film ratings system, there’s no way local producers can get away with what is truly pornographic, not with the Revised Penal Code’s Article 201 on immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows. Of course the pro-censors will insist by the time the law is imposed, some people will have been exposed to “pumping” scenes and by then it will be too late to save their souls. I will not bother to contend with this; the problem with pro-censors is they refuse to allow even married adults to watch “X” films, as if married adults in the privacy of their bedroom just sit and stare at each other..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100924com4.html

Aquino III: The face of cruelty DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 09/24/2010

Aquino III: The face of cruelty

Herman Tiu Laurel
Behind the quaint portraiture of Aquino III’s supposed modesty and frugality; behind that tired “wang-wang” spiel to the most recent juxtaposition of his “measly” P25-million US trip to Gloria Arroyo’s P1-billion junkets last year, lies a face that the three-headed miscommunications hydra is so desperately trying to hide from the public. That face, with its characteristic smirk and misplaced grin, dreadfully bespeaks a cruel, dehumanizing, and heartless government dead-set on fully implementing a so-called “legacy” that has brought this nation to ruin.

Such legacy, summed up in three decades of economic and political policy “reform” measures a.k.a. “neo-liberalism,” has put in place the following “deforms:”

1) Liberalization of the economy and the absolute rule of the market — which means total control of society by Wall Street, i.e. the Philippine Stock Exchange in local terms, as well as by Big Business in general; the removal of tariffs; and “trickle down” economics, or letting the big guys get all the goods while letting the crumbs trickle down ever so slowly (which has not even happened at all);

2) Cutting public expenditure for social services (such as education and health care, maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply, etc.) — reducing, if not eliminating, government’s role and increasing private corporatist control over these;

3) Deregulation — reducing government supervision and control of anything that may diminish corporate profits, including protecting the environment and ensuring food and job security, as well as public safety;

4) Privatization — selling state-owned enterprises, goods and services (including banks, key industries, railroads, toll ways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water) to private investors;

5) Eliminating the concept of “The Public Good” — replacing it with so-called “individual” or “corporate responsibility,” leaving the small and powerless to fend for themselves, then branding them as “lazy” for their joblessness and poverty;

6) Globalization under the rule of the Gatt-WTO — embodied in the policy that the West imposed on the rest of world through the United Nations’ various trade organizations.
The Philippines, which the past governments of Fidel Ramos and Gloria Arroyo had proudly declared to be the most globalized in the region, now has the highest electricity cost in Asia (and among the highest in the world), and the same in terms of water, port services, and toll fees — public services that were started to be privatized during Cory Aquino’s watch, after the so-called “People Power” of 1986.

Last week, upon prodding from Serge Osmeña III (the power industry’s Senate avatar) among others, Aquino III’s Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) withdrew the senior citizens’ exemption from the 12 percent value-added tax on electricity and water. Despite this just being one of the few token humanitarian concessions given to one of society’s most vulnerable sectors — the elderly who rely on measly retirement benefits of contracting real value — the BIR chief still hurriedly withdrew it without any qualms.

One of Aquino III’s spokesmen, Edwin Lacierda, then countered: “The Aquino administration is willing to sacrifice its overwhelming popularity in exchange (for) implementing revenue generation measures,” thus vividly replicating Judas sacrificing Christ for 30 pieces of silver!

I am using the term Aquino III and not PeNoy because I want there to be no mistake that I am writing any of these in jest. The cruelty and inhumanity of this administration is but an escalation of the previous Arroyo regime’s ills. From its progressing impoverishment of the nation; its diminution of every government capability to support public welfare; to its systematic devaluation of the people’s citizenship in a Republic for overseas and corporate slavery — all these are vintage Aquinorroyo.

The last is even worse as the fate of our citizens has been consigned to the International Monetary Fund-World Bank and mega corporations while these are merely kept alive by our sovereign guarantees, as well as tax money, to amortize over generations all our unjust debts (such as the P950-billion universal charge in electricity and the growing P140-billion public-private partnership projects).

Kim Henares must be proud of this dehumanization of our countrymen while she cavorts with her beloved hubby in their nice convertibles and grand motor bikes (as one lifestyle magazine showed).

I hope the 90 million Filipinos, especially those fooled into voting for this “good man” now being revealed as an ogre, will learn from their repeated mistakes from the time of Edsa I and Cory Aquino. Some, like Teddy Locsin on Karambola, are beginning to admit their grievous sin in the continuing perfidy of proclaiming the Aquinos and other Yellows as a bunch of saints.

I cannot go beyond writing and raging about these since I am already a known dissident, but those who are yet unrevealed should take action to stop this cruel social and economic violence committed by these ogres against Philippine society. If something isn’t done soon, there will be no redeemable nation by the end of the term of this “last Aquino,” who will by then have succeeded to drag the entire country down with his sorry self.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch Politics 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/20100924com5.html

UN summit promises the world, but can it deliver? focus 09/24/2010

UN summit promises the world, but can it deliver?


UNITED NATIONS — After a UN poverty summit featuring 140 world leaders, three days of speeches, and thousands of news articles, critics had only one thing left to add: cold water.

No sooner had President Barack Obama urged fresh energy in the campaign to haul the planet’s so-called “bottom billion” out of extreme poverty by 2015, than aid groups demanded a reality check.

“In the time that President Obama stood at the podium to deliver his UN address, 30 women died in childbirth, and 66 children will have died from malaria,” Ray Offenheiser, spokesman with the charity Oxfam, said.

“Those numbers will repeat every hour upon hour until the President’s words are turned into action.”
The eight Millennium Development Goals, launched in 2000, are an unprecedented attempt at global cooperation to slash child mortality rates, the number of people living on less than a dollar a day, AIDS, and other aspects of extreme hardship.

But with only five years to go until the deadline, the 140 heads of state and government at the UN summit in New York admitted they need to play catch-up..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100924com6.html

At 85, Jimmy Carter pulling no punches FEATURE 09/24/2010

At 85, Jimmy Carter pulling no punches


WASHINGTON — Thirty years since losing the White House, Jimmy Carter has launched a new campaign to reintroduce himself to Americans as a blunt-talking champion for liberal causes at home and abroad.

Still sprightly as he nears his 86th birthday on Oct. 1, Carter maintains a hectic schedule and has eagerly weighed in on the most controversial issues, breaking an unwritten rule for former US leaders to keep to themselves.

In a string of appearances in recent days, Carter has called for the United States to seek better ties with Iran and North Korea, criticized what he sees as Israel’s unwillingness to make peace and staunchly backed Muslims’ right to build a community center near the former World Trade Center.

In one of his less expected comments, Carter — a born-again Christian who teaches the Bible every Sunday at his church in Georgia — even hinted on late-night television that he used to masturbate.

The 39th President has reserved his most stinging criticism for Fox News, accusing the widely watched channel run by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. of fanning polarization and hostility toward President Barack Obama..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100924com7.html

No dismissing close pals, allies — Noy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/24/2010


No dismissing close pals, allies — Noy

By Aytch S. de la Cruz

He will protect his close buddies and loyal allies, rather than dismiss them on what he says are mere allegations for fear that their positions may be taken over by “not so close” individuals and his enemies.

This was the statement made by President Aquino to the Manila reporters in New York, in reference to the jueteng controversy surrounding his close buddy, Department of Interior and Local Government undersecretary Rico Puno, during a briefing and interview yesterday.

Aquino expressed fears that if he dismisses his close friend Puno on account of the jueteng payoff allegations leveled against him without proof, Puno’s loyalty to Aquino and sacrifices all those years of hardship and struggles they shared would not be repaid by the President.

His fear apparently stems from dismissing those he trusts while replacing them with individuals who are not close to him and loyal to him and who may even be his enemies which situation, he stressed,would derail his plans of instituting reforms in the system.

Aquino also believes that the jueteng allegations are a demolition job..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100924hed1.html

Santiago urged to reveal execs receiving payolas By Angie Rosales 09/24/2010

Santiago urged to reveal execs receiving payolas
By Angie Rosales

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago should go further in her recent exposé on the extensive network jueteng lords had built in the government by revealing the names of officials of the current administration who are receiving payolas, Sen. Edgardo Angara said yesterday.

Santiago claimed in a privilege speech last Wednesday that she knew of personalities who are on the take from operators of the illegal numbers game.

“She should tell us who these national leaders coddling those gambling lords are,” Angara said.

The senator added he takes pride in the fact that Santiago herself repeatedly mentioned in her speech that the province of Aurora, where Angara’s sister is the incumbent governor, is spared from the jueteng menace.
Santiago identified Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, Charlie “Atong” Ang and Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda as the top jueteng lords in Luzon, raking in a daily income of P1 million to as much as P9 million..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100924hed2.html

Criminal raps by Monday, Merci not bound by IIRC report, DoJ chief concedes By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/24/2010

Criminal raps by Monday, Merci not bound by IIRC report, DoJ chief concedes
By Benjamin B. Pulta

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said the Office of the Ombudsman is not necessarily bound by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee on the Aug. 23 hostage incident even as she added that criminal indictments will be initiated by Monday against up to seven of 13 individuals named in the IIRC report.

De Lima, also the chairman of the IIRC, said the committee will be coming up with an addendum to the report submitted to President Aquino last week to be released on Monday. 

“Some individuals will be facing preliminary investigation for criminal charges to determine if probable cause exists to indict them before the regular courts of law,” she added.

According to her, it may be appropriate for the Ombudsman to consider waiting for the result of the review by Aquino’s legal team on the recommendations of the committee report before the graft body proceeds with its own investigation to avoid repeating what the IIRC covered in its investigation.

The Ombudsman’s part in the probe had been sought by two Hong Kong councilors.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100924hed3.html

hurt, Edsa blocked in QC demolition standoff 09/24/2010

10 hurt, Edsa blocked in QC demolition standoff
Violence broke out yesterday when thousands of informal settlers in North Triangle, Quezon City, resisted the demolition of their homes set to be redeveloped into a business and commercial district.

At least 10 persons were hurt as residents fought off a demolition team from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the local police which was dispatched by the National Housing Authority (NHA), police and witnesses said.

The main highway in Manila has been closed as demolition crews pulled down their shanties, they added.
Reports claimed that among those injured in the demolition were five policemen of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), two civilians, two firefighters and an employee of the NHA.

Traffic on the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) was backed off for several kilometers as slum dwellers fought running battles with police, officials said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100924hed4.html

OP abolishes 10 ‘redundant’ agencies By Gerry Baldo 09/24/2010

OP abolishes 10 ‘redundant’ agencies
By Gerry Baldo

The Office of the President (OP) is cutting down its budget by P4.075 billion as a result of its effort to streamline its operations, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said yesterday.

Ochoa, who was at the House of Representatives for a hearing on the proposed budget for the OP, said the expenditure plan for the Office of the President will be P183.9 million less than the appropriation received by then President Arroyo.

Ochoa told the members of the appropriations panel that one of the cost-cutting steps taken by the OP in reducing its proposed budget was to abolish 10 locally funded projects which have been found to duplicate the functions of other line agencies or departments.

“The government could realize a savings of P304.62 million with the elimination of locally funded projects under the Office of the President,” Ochoa told the panel..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100924hed5.html

Gov’t denies population data ‘doctored’ 09/24/2010

Gov’t denies population data ‘doctored’
The government yesterday denied allegations that it manipulated population data to support a controversial family planning campaign in one of the world’s most populous Roman Catholic nations.

Bernardo Villegas, a conservative academic, has alleged the government’s statistics office padded the 2000 census data by 146,542 babies, leading to higher future population projections.

“As a long-term student of Philippine demography, I had always suspected some doctoring of population data by birth-control pushers,” said Villegas.

Villegas is a prominent academic closely identified with the Roman Catholic church, which remains highly influential in the country.

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines and while the health ministry is promoting a responsible parenthood program, artificial birth control methods are not provided at community health centers because of church opposition..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100924nat3.html

Six dead, two wounded in ‘rido’ war in Sulu 09/24/2010

Six dead, two wounded in ‘rido’ war in Sulu
Six members of a family, including a one-year-old girl, were massacred in Sulu province due to a supposed rido or clan war.

Belated reports reaching Camp Aguinaldo identified the victims as Karah Aruh, 45; Ganday Aruh, 38; Aldimar Aruh, 20; Dirana Aruh, 22; Dalmina Aruh, 12, and one-year-old Alwina Aruh.

Two other victims who were identified as Nidzfar Dixon, 16, and Arsita Aruh, 15, survived the attacks and are now recuperating at a local hospital.

Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) acting spokesman 1Lt. Jinky Perez said the
the victims were inside their residence in Sitio Lumping, Barangay Panglayahan in Patikul town at about 7:40 p.m. last Tuesday when their house was peppered with bullets by unidentified armed men..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100924hed6.html

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