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Only when forced EDITORIAL 09/28/2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Only when forced

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Obviously, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioners never had any intention to provide independent groups and organizations with the source code for their independent review, as stated in the election law.

A few days before the national polls, when suddenly, Comelec and its partner, Smartmatic, came up with the claim that the compact flash cards earlier programmed had to be changed with new CF cards programming, which eventually paved the way for widescale automated electoral fraud, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered Comelec to disclose the source code and other related automated election system (AES) documents to independent groups.

This SC ruling was ignored by the Comelec. Going for the poll body then was that the polls had to take place and the issue was overtaken by this development..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com1.html

New Palestinian uprising unlikely despite peace talks crisis focus 09/28/2010

New Palestinian uprising unlikely despite peace talks crisis


RAMALLAH — Ten years after the outbreak of the last intifada, peace talks are again in crisis and Israeli settlers are pouring concrete, but this time the Palestinians are tuning out.
US, Israeli and Palestinian leaders are struggling to keep the peace process alive after the end of a settlement moratorium, but the streets are quiet in the territories and few expect a repeat of the bloody events of September 2000.

The calm prevailing in the occupied West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip is partly the result of the low expectations going into the latest round of negotiations launched in Washington on Sept. 2.

“The average Palestinian is not interested in the negotiations because he knows they won’t achieve anything,” said Abu Ahmad, 38, a former militant commander in the northern West Bank city of Nablus who now serves in the Western-backed Palestinian security forces..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com3.html

Remember heroes NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 09/28/2010

Remember heroes

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Down and out the entire week-end for yet another debilitating low blood pressure episode, this lola once more found herself in the cardiac telemetry section of the Makati Medical Center. In between sleeping, talking to visiting family members or being checked by doctors and their representatives, I chanced on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo DZMM’s Sunday morning discussion on Radyo Patrol Balita, on how it was during typhoon “Ondoy,” exactly a year ago.

There I caught two young entrepreneurs promoting a product na makakatulong daw sa mga nasasalanta, a jacket that doubled up as lifesaver, which in swiftly-rising flood waters you blew on an inflatable tube somewhere near the hood and from there you floated to safety.

That’s a good idea, exclaimed hosts Jun Lingcoran and Ricky Rosales. “Marami hong gagaya niyan.”
“Ay, hindi ho puwede,” the two businessmen replied. “Ipapa-patent namin ito.”

So much for tulong sa kapwa, I thought..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com4.html

Science and development AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 09/28/2010

Science and development

Ken Fuller
About a year ago, this outsider was added to the mailing list of Flor Lacanilao, retired professor of marine biology at UP. Largely, his mailings concern the scientist’s well-intentioned (and well-grounded) fears for the future of both science and the country. The country is backward, he believes, because insufficient attention is given to science, and too often positions of scientific leadership are assigned to non-scientists. Fine as far as it goes, but nations are not built by scientific endeavor alone.

More recently, I came across a paper entitled “Scientific and Technological Capabilities and Economic Catch-up” by Roger Posadas, professor at the UP Technology Management Center. This argues that the dire state of science in the Philippines is but a feature of the general backwardness of the country, something explained by the wrong-headed economic strategy pursued since at least 1986..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com5.html

A lapdog is a lapdog is a lapdog FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/28/2010

A lapdog is a lapdog is a lapdog

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Both Malacañang aides and allies in the Senate came out to deny that Palace pressure has been brought to bear on the Senate blue ribbon committee to drop the Juetengate ll probe.
Palace spokesmen say they have nothing to do with the decision of Senate ally, Sen. TG Guingona, to cut short the Senate probe.

Guingona claims he has been misquoted, as he never said he would be cutting short the probe, insisting that which he said was that he will not prolong the hearing, saying that there is a difference between not prolonging the probe and cutting it short.

That’s playing with semantics. You don’t prolong, you cut short.

What Guingona did not state was that he also said this probe was pretty useless, as no one witness or resource person is going to admit culpability and this being so, the hearings are useless..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com2.html

North Korea’s eternal president lives on FEATURE 09/28/2010

North Korea’s eternal president lives on


PYONGYANG — Kim Il-Sung lives on.

Sixteen years after the death of communist North Korea’s founding father, the “Great Leader” survives through a cult of personality with Messianic overtones.

His smiling, bespectacled face adorns billboards, songs in his praise echo across Pyongyang day and night, and grand monuments to his exploits dominate the run-down city.

The impoverished nation is to hold its biggest political meeting in decades on Tuesday, which North Korea watchers expect will pave the way for a transfer of power from the late leader’s son Kim Jong-Il to his grandson, Kim Jong-Un.

But in the capital there are no visible signs of the expected accession of the younger Kim, who is believed to be around 27, to top posts in the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

The public focus remains on Kim Il-Sung, whom one biographer called “The Benevolent Sun.”

“I still feel he’s here, because the Great Leader is always in my heart,” says army First Lieutenant Ri, a female guide at a museum devoted to the North’s “great victory” in the Korean War which left the peninsula divided..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100928com6.html

Jueteng lords gifted 5 PCSO bigwigs with P2-M cars By Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales 09/28/2010

Jueteng lords gifted 5 PCSO bigwigs with P2-M cars
By Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales


Jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam yesterday accused five former officials of of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) of being the beneficiaries of expensive imported cars from illegal numbers racket lords in exchange for the protection of “jueteng” which continues to operate under the guise of the PCSO-sponsored small town lottery (STL).

At the hearing of the House committee on games and amusement on the reported non-remittance of STL revenues to the PCSO, Cam claimed that the unnamed officials were each given Mini Coopers costing at least P2 million apiece.

Cam claimed the cars were delivered “a month before former President Arroyo stepped down from office.”

“A month before the GMA administration went down..I have my mole (in the PSCO)..the PCSO directors received Mini Coopers worth P2 million each. The House panel should be the one to investigate this,” Cam told the panel, adding that the cars came from “bigtime jueteng” operators, who were running the game in the guise of the PSCO-sanctioned STL, which members of the House alleged, were not remitting the right revenues to the government, leading to the loss of localized funding assistance for health and developmental projects..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed1.html

Luisita talks collapse By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/28/2010

Luisita talks collapse By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/28/2010

Talks brokered by the Supreme Court to mediate the fate of the Cojuangco family-owned Hacienda Luisita are officially dead in the water.

The three-man panel yesterday formally announced it has suspended its proceedings after the parties failed to come up with an amicable settlement involving tenants during the month-long deadline given by the high tribunal.

Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) spokesman Tony Ligon admitted that the parties have failed to reach an agreement which was compounded by the sudden non-appearance of lawyer Jobert Pahilga, who represents a faction of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Hacienda Luisita (Ambala).

Pahilga, who walked out in the middle of the mediation proceedings last Sept. 21, did not show up during yesterday’s proceedings, prompting the panel to cut short the mediation process even before the lapse of the 30-day period.

The high court had denied Pahilga’s motion to stop the mediation proceedings and was enjoined by the SC to participate in the arbitration proceedings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed4.html

Noy allies seek TRO lifting on impeach Merci bid By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/28/2010

Noy allies seek TRO lifting on impeach Merci bid

By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/28/2010

Allies of President Aquino, key figures in the impeachment complaints against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez yesterday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to set aside the status quo ante order it had earlier issued stopping the House of Representatives’ committee on justice from hearing the impeachment proceedings before the lower chamber.

Gutierrez earlier said the committee violated her right to due process when the House justice panel issued its Sept. 1 and Sept. 7 resolution with “indecent and precipitate haste” and violated the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, limiting impeachment proceeding against the same official to once within a period of one year.

She noted that the first impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General of the House of Representatives on July 22, 2010 while the second complaint was filed on Aug. 3, 2010, or just 12 days after the filing of the first complaint and well within the one year bar.

In their comment to the Ombudsman’s petition, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros along with retired Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, both of whom lost in the senatorial polls under the Liberal Party, and the parents of Navy Ensign Philip Pestaño, who was found dead on board a naval vessel where he was serving as cargo officer in 1995, insisted that it is within the exclusive.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed2.html

Palace downplays discord brewing at Noy camp By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/28/2010

Palace downplays discord brewing at Noy camp

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/28/2010

Malacañang yesterday dis-missed the observation made by a party-list representative that the ostensible factionalism inside the Aquino Cabinet is behind the embattled state of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno.

Puno has been plagued with criticisms lately owing to his involvement on the latest jueteng controversy and his inclusion to the Incident Investigation and Review Committee’s list of individuals that should be held accountable for the Aug. 23 hostage rescue fiasco.

Ang Kasangga party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco said in a report that the alleged continuing attempt by the camp of defeated vice presidential candidate and former Sen. Manuel Roxas II to take control of key posts in government is getting out of hand at the expense of some Cabinet members appointed by President Aquino, referring to Puno.

Puno is reportedly associated with the Samar Group or that faction led by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero who supported Aquino’s candidacy in tandem with Vice President Jejomar Binay who ran under the banner of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed3.html

Gazmin’s Noynoy slay plot baseless 09/28/2010

Gazmin’s Noynoy slay plot baseless 09/28/2010
All that talk of a plot to assassinate President Aquino, as bared by Defense chief Voltaire Gazmin last week, has been found to be empty and baseless.

The Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) yesterday said it has found no specific plot from any threat or armed groups to assassinate Aquino as earlier re-vealed by Gazmin to a local executive in Cagayan de Oro city, even naming the person who wassuspected of being involved in the claimed plot.

At a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo, AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., however, maintained the Presidential Security Group (PSG), which is the primary unit of the AFP tasked to secure the President and his family, is always on alert for any eventuality.

“There’s nothing to it,” said Mabanta of the supposed assassination plot against Aquino earlier revealed to the media by Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano, quoting Gazmin.

“Initial reports tend to support the thesis that there is no plot against the President,” said Mabanta.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed5.html

DILG, DWSD corner half of shelter agency funds By Angie Rosales 09/28/2010

DILG, DWSD corner half of shelter agency funds By Angie Rosales 09/28/2010

The Aquino administration has slashed by a hefty 50 percent the allocations for shelter agencies in the 2011 budget to P5.6 billion from P11 billion this year and redistributed the budget cuts to other agencies that lack the capability to undertake mass housing projects, the Senate learned yesterday.

The Senate finance subcommittee was told that appropriations for six housing agencies had been slashed by more than 50 percent and that the cuts were rechanneled to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Given the huge cut on next year’s budget of the government housing agencies, officials said accomplishment expectation will also be lower than the target of the key shelter agencies.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, the housing czar, told Sen. Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate panel, that some housing projects were transferred to the DILG and DSWD, thus the reallocated budget..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100928hed6.html

Noy appoints three Ateneo lawyers as commissioners to PCGG 09/28/2010

Noy appoints three Ateneo lawyers as commissioners to PCGG 09/28/2010
President Aquino appointed three Ateneo lawyers as commissioners of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

This means the PCGG now has four Ateneo law graduates, including Chairman Juan Andres Baustista.
“Fulfilling a campaign promise to attract the “best and the brightest,” as well as new and relatively younger faces to public service, President Aquino announced the appointment of the three new PCGG commissioners,” a statement from the PCGG said.

President Aquino appointed Atty. Gerard Mosquera, who obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Ateneo Law School.

Prior to his appointment, Atty. Mosquera has been leading USAID funded anti-corruption programs, among which is the “Justice Institution Strengthening in East Timor,” experiences that should prove invaluable to PCGG..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100928nat4.html

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