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All Palace bacon hype EDITORIAL 09/30/2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

All Palace bacon hype

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Today marks the 93rd day of Noynoy Aquino in the presidential office. He has only seven days left, or a week, to his first 100 days, which time Filipinos traditionally get to size him up by way of performance, actions and policy directions.

Noynoy has wasted those precious days to make his mark as President of the Republic, media honeymoon or no. It was a time for him and his administrators to prove that they could hit the ground running, showing their capability in handling the affairs of state.

To this day, there is hardly any achievement Noynoy and his administration can latch on to, in proving that competence and ability to run government and this country. There is not even any policy direction that has been given out by his administration which appears to be lost at sea, and not knowing where to steer the ship toward safe ground..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com1.html

Deliberate delays FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/30/2010

Deliberate delays

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
It can’t be anything but indecisiveness, as well as coddling of his close buddies, on the part of Noynoy Aquino, in the matter of his acting on the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report that found at least 12 government officials liable, criminally or administratively or both.

The delay in making public, first the IIRC report to Filipinos while giving China first crack, and the full report at that, while withholding the recommendations and sanctions portion of the IIRC when it came to the Filipinos — already indicated that this deliberate delay stemmed from his indecision to adopt the IIRC report as is, and not to have certain personalities close to him charged.

The way it was handled was clearly and deliberately designed to delay whatever decision he has to make.
Before posting the incomplete report of the IIRC panel in the Official Gazette for Filipinos’ consumption, Noynoy, at a press conference, stated that he would be handing the same report to his executive secretary and chief legal counsel to review for probable changes, as he is not 100 percent sold on the IIRC’s sanctions, claiming that charges leveled against those indicted by the IIRC panel may not stand up in court, apart from his hiding behind the skirt of due process..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com2.html

Citizens bank on gold in Myanmar’s troubled economy focus 09/30/2010

Citizens bank on gold in Myanmar’s troubled economy


YANGON — Housewives huddle over jewelry counters in Yangon’s bustling Chinatown, but fashion is not foremost on their minds. This is banking in Myanmar’s dysfunctional economy.

On nearby Shwe Bontha Street, the heart of the gold market since colonial times, Nyan Tun is more than just a trader: he is an unofficial banker in the military-ruled country.

“Normally, the major buyers are farmers. They will buy gold with a little bit of extra money to sell before the next harvest,” he said. “Second are the housewives, who love to buy jewelry as savings.”

The global economic crisis may have reignited suspicion of banks worldwide, but in isolated Myanmar such distrust has long run deep and savers have no desire to put their money into the backward banking system.
Not that people have much to spare: decades of economic mismanagement by the country’s rulers, plus international boycotts and sanctions, have generated a population struggling to get by and facing soaring consumer prices..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com3.html

What’s with Secretary Abad? C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 09/30/2010

What’s with Secretary Abad?

Jonathan De la Cruz
This question is being asked by concerned observers after the Senate committee on finance found out yet another questionable realignment in P-Noy’s 2011 budget, courtesy of Budget Secretary Butch Abad. This time the reduction involves the budget of the government’s housing agencies under the HUDCC by 50 percent — from P11 billion in 2010 to P5.6 billion in this year’s appropriations bill, ostensibly, the cut portion was reallocated to the DSWD (the luckiest agency under the proposed 2011 budget with a whooping 1000 percent increase) and the DILG, which in the message advised Congress, will undertake their own housing programs on a more focused basis, whatever that means. Of course, this sleight-of-hand operation did not sit well with Vice-President and HUDCC Chairman Jojo Binay who rightly advised the senators that the cut will definitely impact on the agency’s efforts to accomplish its targets for the year. Even the rationale advanced by Abad’s people that the DSWD is also involved in resettlement projects, especially those affected by last year’s devastating typhoons and that the DILG portion, will be used exclusively for the housing of uniformed personnel, i.e., police, firemen and jail employees, is flippant and unavailing. No less than finance sub-committee chairman, Sen. Ed Angara, decried the re-allotment saying: Why transfer the funds to agencies whose core competence and mandates are far removed from housing?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com4.html

A Trojan horse from Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 09/30/2010

A Trojan horse from Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco

Louie Logarta
Strange bedfellows, these two. The Philippine government and giant tobacco companies Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PM-FTC) now find themselves allied with each other, on the same side, to push adoption of a system that promises to address leakages in the collection of excise taxes that annually amount to several billions.
It is a marriage of convenience, if you may, that is ultimately headed for the rocks because the two are natural enemies. On one hand you have the two biggest tobacco manufacturers in the country that collectively control some 90 percent of the market, while on the other there is the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which does nothing but run after them to collect the correct taxes.
The informal arrangement has spawned for BIR Commissioner Kim Henares a lot of criticism for she has signified her interest in discussing the PM-FTC proposal to install a monitoring and control system which purports to increase the yearly tax take of the government by a huge amount..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com5.html

Jueteng costs VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/30/2010

Jueteng costs

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
During the previous administration, the committees concerned in the Philippine Senate scheduled and conducted many and long hearings about the “What?,” the “Why?” and the “Who?” of the disgusting and nauseating illegal, sick and sickening illegal numbers game called “jueteng” — a distinct racket that has been long since commonly considered as a most vicious cause of the exploitation of the poor vis-a-vis the indecent enrichment of the jueteng lords and their cohorts. Herewith infallibly goes the big and regular jueteng payolas that go regularly to corrupt collaborating local public officials who see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing about the downright illegal numbers game being played under their noses. In the same way, fat and continuous jueteng bribes also go to crooked police authorities who act as very willing and able protectors of the same rigged and crooked numbers game.

Let it be herein formally and specifically said once and for all, that the said long existing and well operational illegal numbers game in this country has the following three major social costs — without even any reference to their downright grave immoral nature and serious unethical dimension, concretely in conjunction with the natural societal mandates of “Do not steal.” and “Do not desire what belongs to others.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com6.html

Clap the thieves in irons! COMMENT By Ronald Roy 09/30/2010

Clap the thieves in irons!


By Ronald Roy 09/30/2010
It’s interesting to note that of all the raging issues rocking the administration of President Noynoy Aquino, most of my readers chose a pedestrian tidbit for me to comment on: his New York City meal consisting of a $2 hotdog sandwich and a coke at the corner of 6th Avenue and West 45th street near his hotel last Sept. 22.

Well, I’m not surprised he crossed some streets with his entourage just to eat a hotdog meal, to the consternation of US Security Service agents. I can almost confirm Noynoy is a hotdog lover because I once witnessed two persons lining up at the Promenade of the Greenhills Shopping Center to buy some hotdog sandwiches for then Rep. Noynoy Aquino and company. I then entertained the idea he would not enjoy a movie if he did not have one to munch on inside a theater.

Exuberance of youth?! Well, that’s debatable now that he is the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines — the most important Filipino on the planet today — who treated his retinue to a $54 street-corner meal of hotdogs and drinks. And this happened in stark contrast to that scandalous $20,000 dinner which his pretentious predecessor and allies had feasted on at Le Cirque, a ritzy French restaurant in the same city over a year ago..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100930com7.html

Jinggoy files bill legalizing jueteng By Angie M. Rosales 09/30/2010

Jinggoy files bill legalizing jueteng  

By Angie M. Rosales

The wheels have started to turn for the legalization of the illegal numbers racket.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada yesterday initiated the move to legalize jueteng in the country and immediately gained the support of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Some senators are keeping an open mind on the proposition to make the illegal numbers game to be soon regulated and placed under the sole control and supervision of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
(Pagcor) while others have openly brooked their opposition to any move to legalize or even regulate jueteng.

But it was also clear that the Senate blue ribbon chairman, neophyte Sen. TG Guingona, isn’t that interested in getting to the bottom of the jueteng problem, as he said in an interview he is not going to summon anyone mentioned in the list of jueteng lords, including Ilocos Gov, Chavit Singson, all of whom Sen. Miriam Santiago made public in a privilege speech.

Others invited to the hearings—all administration allies and officials in the Aquino administration-- are not attending the hearing today, Guingona said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed1.html

Bring on the constitutional crisis — House By Gerry Baldo 09/30/2010

Bring on the constitutional crisis — House

By Gerry Baldo 09/30/2010

The fear of a constitutional crisis that could ensue if the House of Representatives committee on justice defies the status quo ante order of the Supreme Court (SC) is not going result in anything nor create a stir among the Filipino people, nor affect them.

This was the pronouncement of House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II who insists that a constitutional crisis between the House and the SC is not going to affect the Filipino people even as he stressed that it is only the SC that is to blame should such a crisis occur.

“There is nothing (that we will do) that will trigger a constitutional crisis, and yet we are being blamed and that we are advocating a constitutional crisis,” Gonzales said yesterday, referring to the SC.

The justice panel headed by Iloilo Rep. Neil Tupas the other day voted 33 to14 in favor of defying the high court’s status quo ante order with one abstention. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said the move was not necessarily a violation of the high tribunal’s order which effectively stopped the panel from pursuing the impeachment complaint filed against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

Gonzales also downplayed the alleged impending constitutional crisis as something that will not have adverse effects on the prices of basic commodities..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed2.html

17 senators push Palace amnesty for ‘mutineers’ By Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 09/30/2010

17 senators push Palace amnesty for ‘mutineers’  

By Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari

Seventeen senators are practically “lobbying” President Aquino to grant amnesty to all active and former military officers still embroiled in the Oakwood mutiny case, Fort Bonifacio standoff and Manila Pen siege.
The move is seen to also benefit their detained colleague, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who is cur-rently facing criminal charges over failed mutiny – the Manila Peninsula Hotel incident in 2007 and in 2003 where he, along with a number of junior soldiers, took control of the Oakwood building in Makati City.
Introduced by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senate Resolution 217 seeks favorable consideration by Aquino to grant amnesty to certain members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), facing charges for their participation in the said incidents, “under terms and conditions conducive toward the attainment of national harmony and reconciliation.”
Besides Sotto, signatories to the resolution include Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada and Senators Lito Lapid, Edgardo Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand “Bongbong”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed3.html

Miriam wants lifestyle check on Chavit 09/30/2010

Miriam wants lifestyle check on Chavit

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago yesterday moved to place Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson under a so-called “lifestyle” check by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), along with other alleged jueteng operators and some governors from provinces where the illegal numbers game is reported to exist.
This was the senator’s retaliatory move against Singson for filing graft charges against her Tuesday, after having been named by Santiago as among the alleged big-time jueteng lords in Luzon in her privilege speech delivered last week.

Alongside this move, Santiago is also contemplating on delivering another privilege speech, this time concentrating mainly on Singson, to be entitled “Singson the sabit.”

“He has a list of “sabit,” meaning criminal liabilities. Maybe I’ll expose it on the Senate floor, after I recover from my present illness,” she said.

“He scares a lot of people because of his alleged tendency to violence. But I
challenge him to a duel, but that is a crime under the Penal Code. So instead, I challenge him to a debate on any of the major TV channels,” she said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed4.html

Senate uncovers new P5-B DA diversion By Angie M. Rosales 09/30/2010

Senate uncovers new P5-B DA diversion
By Angie M. Rosales

The Senate uncovered what is likely another diversion scam from the Department of Agriculture (DA) budget similar to the P728-million fertilizer fund anomaly but this time by a far bigger amount of P5 billion that should have been earmarked for farm-to-market road projects but instead was suspected to have been used as campaign money during the last elections.

“These are releases which appear to be election-related, like the fertilizer scam (in 2004), the funds were released to RFUs (regional field units). This is questionable since the releases were made in only two days, Feb. 22 and March 23, 2010, over P4.86 billion spread out in 13 regional offices of DA,” Senate finance committee chairman Sen. Franklin Drilon said.

We will try to find out where these funds went, said to be for farm-to-market roads and various infrastructure projects, Drilon added.

“Sen. (Juan Miguel) Zubiri, during the hearing, did bring out the fact that there were apparently dealers and brokers who would offer these amounts to the LGUs with certain cuts and certain commissions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed5.html

PAL sends out SOS to DoLE amid union strike threat 09/30/2010

PAL sends out SOS to DoLE amid union strike threat 09/30/2010
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to step in and stop the looming strike by its cabin crew union after talks over pay and conditions had broken down.
PAL spokesman Cielo Villaluna yesterday said the company has been negotiating in good faith and has bent backwards to accommodate some of the demands of the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (Fasap) but “the union that is playing hardball, dismissing outright management’s offers without even a second glance.”

She noted that Fasap since the start has not shown any intention to consider anything short of their demands.
“A negotiation is like a two-way street; it’s give and take. It’s very difficult to deal and negotiate with a party who only wants things to go their way,” she stressed.

Villaluna, however, assured that PAL passengers that “a strike will not happen overnight.”
“The management is asking DoLE to immediately step in to avert the strike and protect the interests of the riding public,” the PAL official added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100930hed6.html

30 solons sign manifesto declaring cut restoration in education budget By Charlie V. Manalo 09/30/2010

30 solons sign manifesto declaring cut restoration in education budget

By Charlie V. Manalo

A total of 30 House members from the majority, minority and progressive party-lists yesterday joined together to express their stand against the impending spate of budget cuts for SUCs holding on to the conviction that education is a right.

“We believe that higher education, in particular, is not merely a vehicle for private career development, but an instrument of social change. Higher education serves a public and social purpose. Contrary to neoliberal dictates, it is a public good, and thus, should not be left alone and vulnerable to free market forces and commercial interests,” solons said.

“Granted such premise, we affirm the idea that education, at all levels, is a right of everyone and a non-negotiable function of the State. It is imperative for the government to provide higher education to its citizens, and thus maintain and improve upon the quality and accessibility of higher education in public institutions.”

The allocation for the country’s SUC’s in the proposed 2011 national budget has been reduced by 1.7 percent from P23.8 billion in 2010 to only P23.4 billion this year. The proposed budget for 25 out of 112 SUCs has also been decreased by as much as 23.5 percent. Funds allotted for the University of the Philippines (UP), the country’s premier state university, with a population of 52,000, has been slashed by P1.39 billion or by 20.11 percent. The Philippine Normal University’s budget is reduced by P92 million cut or by 23.59 percent. P88 million has been deducted from the budget of Bicol University cutting its budget by 18.82 percent..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100930nat1.html

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