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Shedding light on issues LETTER 10/04/2010 Dear Editor:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Shedding light on issues


Dear Editor:
This is to shed light on the issues raised by your opinion columnist Jonathan de la Cruz in his column Crossroads, published in your respected newspaper on Sept. 27.

Secretary Robredo has said nothing against Undersecretary Rico E. Puno especially in public. Much more, he never has encouraged his supporters “to muddle” the situation, he has good working relationship with his undersecretary.

Secretary Robredo is not absolving himself from any responsibility. President Aquino himself clarified that Secretary Robredo did not have direct role in the crisis management committee tasked to handle the Quirino Hostage Crisis..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com8.html

Noy not fit to prevail EDITORIAL 10/04/2010

Noy not fit to prevail

Click to enlarge
Without the Church and the Palace accepting it, Noynoy and the bishops appear definitely headed for a collision course over the Reproductive Health (RH) bill issue.

Noynoy and the leaders of the Church are both saying that it was media that were blowing the issue out of proportion while both sides at the same time are insisting on being firm on their respective stands.

Noynoy appears to have raised its level of commitment to the use of contraceptives to control the runaway population growth after his working visit to the United States where he received a $434-million grant from the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC). The grant, however, requires the meeting of criteria for his administration to draw down the huge amount and the government’s commitment to limit population growth should be one of these.

The Church, on the other hand, has been consistent in its antiquated view on birth control..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com4.html

Who will blink first? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/04/2010

Who will blink first?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
With two opposing positions, the planned dialog between Noynoy Aquino and the Catholic bishops are hardly expected to get anywhere — unless compromises are made.

But it is certain that no compromise on their position will come from the bishops, who hew the Vatican line.

It stands to reason therefore, that if a compromise is reached, it will have to be Noynoy who will be giving in.

And the way for him to give in, and not lose face with the public, is to ensure that the Reproductive Health (RH) bill that is supported by both senators and congressmen, as well as the majority of Filipinos, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, will never be enacted into law — at least during his term as president.

What the bishops are against really is the RH bill, since they do not make such noise and raise the specter of hellfire when local executives announce that they are giving their constituents contraceptives for their use — and for free..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com5.html

Entrepreneurship vs mendicancy DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 10/04/2010

Entrepreneurship vs mendicancy

Herman Tiu Laurel
The Aquino III “working visit” to the US lasted for eight days. The daily reports of his hotdogs and hamburgers, photo ops of his walking in front of landmarks, and one or two gatherings with US-based Filipinos streamed into Manila’s front pages everyday that week. What is clear is that the PR machinery was working; but was Aquino III really working at all?

Three items highlighted that trip: (1) the US dole out agency, Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), and its so-called $434 million grant (spread over five years) “for Aquino III’s compliance with anti-corruption standards;” (2) his seven minutes of glory chatting with Obama; and (3) the so-called $2.8 billion “investments” he claims to have brought home.

That the five-year MCC grant was released due to Aquino III’s anti-corruption credentials is an outright lie. This dole out has been flowing since 2003, going primarily to Mindanao projects where the US runs “conflict resolution” and “better governance” programs through the MCC, the US Agency for International Development (USAid), and groups such as the US Institute for Peace (USIP) led by J. Robinson West as Chairman, who is also head of PFC Energy (the US’ largest energy advisor).

If anything, this only reveals the pincer moves toward Uncle Sam’s goal: The capture of the oil, natural gas, and other resources of Mindanao through “peace” with the MILF and the establishment of a BangsaMoro Juridical Entity which Aquino III has given a positive spin lately.

Meanwhile, the promise of $2.8 billion in investments by a country that is now on the brink of financial and economic collapse is only fool’s gold, and Aquino III is bandying it about as if he had birds in hand. Well, his little birdies should have told him that the US’ promises to the Philippines have all been broken from the day it held sway over this Malay nation that was the first to succeed in an anti-colonial revolution, only to be betrayed when it was sold for $20 million.

Over the century that has passed, the US has already siphoned gold and other riches from the Philippine archipelago; utilized its strategic sea passages and harbors for imperial dominance and used our people as cannon fodder for the Second World War; aside from aborting the nation’s efforts toward industrialization through the Quirino, Garcia, and Marcos governments.

As we cringe at how Philippine media echoed the crowing of the Aquino III begging entourage, I am particularly incensed at one radio tandem that enthused over the reported $1-billion investment an American softdrink firm is supposed to make for “strengthening marketing execution and enhancing system logistics and delivery capabilities in order to better serve its expanding customer and consumer base” in the Philippines — which can only mean the proliferation of more diabetics in the Philippines!

Why, confusion even attended this announcement as Gloria Arroyo also boasted of a $1-billion investment in August of 2009. So the only thing new in this is the “press release.” And that’s why the soft drink company and Ricky Carandang stumbled over themselves to assure that it’s a new $1 billion coming.

It has often been said that “beggars cannot be choosers;” and that promises and illusions tide over the hunger by helping someone escape his dire realities. These are probably the reasons mendicancy, dependency, and escapism have become Aquino III’s answer to the national economic crisis, given the importance his government has placed on the begging-cum-propaganda mission.

Yet that’s what Filipinos have done decade after decade — waiting for manna from the Big Apple’s heaven while the rest of Asia started sailing away to become tiger economies in the 1980s and 1990s. This they’ve precisely done by shunning the beggar’s mindset while striving for self-reliance and economic development.
And as these are also the hallmarks of entrepreneurship, we ask: What if PeNoy never left for the US to gulp its hotdogs and burgers and just rolled up his sleeves to work on the nation’s farms and industries?

What if Aquino III sat down with the Philippine coconut industry and tapped the 330 million coconut trees for more than its crude oil, by adding nutra-ceuticals, pharmaceuticals, as well as industrial and ecological materials into the product mix, to multiply by five times the sector’s present $1-billion output?

What if Aquino III rolled up the hem of his pants and walked the rice paddies to figure out how to match China’s rice productivity of 6.6 tons per hectare and raise Philippine output from the present 3.8 tons?
What if Aquino III hunkers down with industrial and residential electricity consumers to formulate a plan to narrow the gap of electricity prices in the Philippines with that of our Asian neighbors to spur manufacturing and employment growth?

What if, instead of allowing Cesar Purisima to increase the national debt with bonds issued to his banker-masters, Aquino III sat down with groups such as the Freedom from Debt Coalition and worked on auditing the debt to cut down RP’s debt-servicing?

What if the country had an entrepreneurial instead of a mendicant political leadership? Wouldn’t that offer us a more dignified, promising, and progressive Philippines, especially for the next generation? Ah, but can a mendicant see beyond the crumbs laid out before him?

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch Politics Today, Tuesday, 8 p.m. 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/20101004com7.html

DR Congo children turn to acrobatics to survive FEATURE 10/04/2010

DR Congo children turn to acrobatics to survive


KINSHASA — Jonas, 12, finishes his performance balancing on a tall tower of large jam tins, his arms stretched out and his feet wrapped over his head.

“This pose is called ‘the end of the evening,’” announces his assistant, 11-year-old Richard, moving into the crowd of amazed onlookers on a shabby Kinshasa street to collect a few Congolese francs.

In the hustle of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, these boys are among about 10 groups of child contortionists who support themselves and their families through a startling routine of twists and tricks.

“They are athletes of a top level,” said Guy Nkita, technical director of the Congolese Federation of Athletics.
Several days a week, Jonas and Richard set out after school with their tin cans under their arms and trawl the bustling city of 10 million people looking for a willing audience at open-air restaurants and other relaxed places..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com9.html

Common sense HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 10/04/2010

Common sense

Aldrin Cardon
When a policy becomes a suggestion, it becomes a laughing matter.

That’s what became of the DepEd’s (Department of Education) Memorandum 392 when Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Yolanda Quijano clarified it was merely a suggestion — not an order — when they sought to ease the workload off our students on weekends to give them quality time with their families.

I expressed kudos to it when I first heard the announcement. Being a father myself, whose job limits his quality times with his kids, I must admit the clarification came like a jolt, making the memorandum just another of those useless papers flying around various government offices as they serve no purpose.

Yet, if there is a like button in what seems to be a renewed attention to education in general and our students in particular, I would gladly press it a hundred times for an approval.

Government, at least, is looking at our students’ welfare. And it’s a good start..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com10.html

An eye on the youth and family life SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 10/04/2010

An eye on the youth and family life

Dinah S. Ventura
The latest “homework ban” memorandum by the Department of Education (DepEd), which prohibits public elementary school teachers from giving their pupils homework to do over the weekend caused a minor furor among parent and teachers not too long ago.

As DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Yolanda Quijano explained in the media soon after the announcement, the “Memorandum No. 392 was issued due to various complaints to the department that school children have been receiving too many assignments,” to quote a GMA 7 online report.

There are two schools of thought arising from this issue. There are those who believe that having homework to do on weekends is beneficial not only to the pupils, but also their parents. In fact, some such parents were quoted in TV reports complaining that they would lose the only bonding opportunity they have with their kids if they do not have weekend homework to do together.

What’s interesting about this argument is the reason behind the memorandum to give the students more quality time to spend with their family..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101004com11.html

Civil disobedience an option — CBCP By Gerry Baldo 10/04/2010

Civil disobedience an option — CBCP

By Gerry Baldo 10/04/2010

After an implied threat from the head of the Catholic bishops’ group of excom-municating President Aquino over his support to the use of artificial contraceptives, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said yesterday that civil disobedience is an option that the Church can consider should Aquino make good his promise to hand out artificial birth control devices.

Church leaders, in separate interviews, said bishops and priests have the moral authority to teach and lead the faithful based on Church teachings. Aquino had said during a small town meeting in the United States that he might consider contraceptive methods to curb population even though it runs counter to the natural methods that is the only option allowed by the Catholic Church.

“The Catholic Church in the Philippines can do that if it decides to do that because for one thing civil disobedience is a moral option, one of the moral options,” CBCP secretary general Msgr. Juanito Figura said on the CBCP Web site.

Figura added Church leaders have notreceived any call or letter from the Office of the President for a dialogue on the controversial issue although it was published in the papers that an audience with the Catholic bishops is being prepared..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed1.html

‘Exasperated’ PAL divulges crew pays By Charlie V. Manalo 10/04/2010

‘Exasperated’ PAL divulges crew pays

By Charlie V. Manalo 10/04/2010

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) divulged yesterday the average payscale of its cabin crew to show that they are not underpaid amid a looming strike threat by the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (Fasap) claiming unfair labor practice.

PAL said in a statement that it was exasperated by its cabin crew union’s propaganda, adding its flight attendants are well paid and receive some of the best benefits that are the envy of other Filipino workers.
PAL spokesman Cielo Villaluna said officers of the (Fasap) have not been forthright in informing the public of the real salaries and benefits that the PAL cabin crew receives.

“Fasap claims their basic pay is below the government set minimum wage, but this is just a portion of their salary. The truth is they receive much, much more,” she said.

The actual gross monthly pay of a PAL cabin crew, Villaluna said, ranges from P33,000 to P75,000, inclusive of productivity pay and other allowances..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed2.html

Comelec official slain in Basilan By Mario J. Mallari 10/04/2010

Comelec official slain in Basilan

By Mario J. Mallari 10/04/2010

Barely 21 days before the synchronized barangay and Sangguiniang Kabataan (SK) polls, an election officer in Basilan province was shot dead by unidentified armed men last Saturday night, a ranking police official yesterday said.

Chief Supt. Bienvenido Latag, director of the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-ARMM), identified the victim as Entong Musa, election officer of Tuburan town.
Latag said Musa was in Calle Posporo in Barangay San Rafael in Isabela City, Basilan around 7:30 p.m. when unidentified armed men, aboard a motorcycle, killed him.

A special investigation task group (SITG) was immediately created by Latag to address the shooting incident.
Also, dragnet operations and checkpoints were immediately established to track down the perpetrators..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed3.html

Senate resumption of hostage probe still uncertain — Honasan 10/04/2010

Senate resumption of hostage probe still uncertain — Honasan

The resumption of the Senate’s inquiry into the Aug. 23 hostage crisis is being hampered by the Palace’s non-submission of a copy of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report to the upper chamber, Sen. Gregorio Honasan yesterday said.

The senator and overall lead in the probe of the hostage incident could not answer queries as to the date of the continuation of the proceedings of his committee on public order together with the justice panel chaired by Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

“What we want is to wait first for the submission of the report so we can see which areas will be needing legislative intervention, if coordinating relation among agencies involved is lacking,” Honasan said in an interview over dzBB.

Up to now, Malacañang or the IIRC has yet to furnish them with a copy despite formal requests made by the Senate..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed4.html

Gov’t can now demand help in recovering money abroad 10/04/2010

Gov’t can now demand help in recovering money abroad

The government can now compel foreign countries to assist in the recovery of money acquired from illegal and corrupt practices and stashed away abroad under an international convention signed last Friday, Sen. Edgardo Angara said yesterday.

The Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) and South East Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) meeting concluded with member countries agreeing to implement new policies in the fight against corruption, Angara said.

Angara, founding member of SEAPAC and host of the conference, said the country now has an objective scorecard to judge whether a country has achieved progress in the reduction or elimination of corruption.
Under the agreement signed during the two-day convention, member countries were mandated to assist country victimized by corrupt or illegal activities, particularly in the area of asset-recovery, where money-laundering activities are concerned..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed5.html

China closes door on Pinoy domestic helpers — envoy 10/04/2010

China closes door on Pinoy domestic helpers — envoy

The Chinese government has reiterated that there is no current demand for Filipino household service workers in China, saying opening this market to foreigners would endanger employment opportunities for locals.

Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchao cited the skills and competence of Filipino domestic helpers, but said there is no immediate plan for Beijing to allow their entry into mainland China.

“I haven’t heard of any confirmation that such an optionis feasible at this stage,” Liu said in a weekend press briefing. “(Filipino domestic helpers) are very diligent workers. They are professionals but… China is under tremendous pressure to provide jobs for the Chinese.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101004hed6.html

AFP captures 11 NPA camps in Visayas By Mario J. Mallari 10/04/2010

AFP captures 11 NPA camps in Visayas

By Mario J. Mallari 10/04/2010

The Army leadership yesterday announced the capture of 11 camps of the communist New People’s Army in the Visayas region, one of which was maintained by Wilma Tiamzon, wife of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA top leader Alberto Silva.

Army 8th Infantry Division (ID) Chief Maj. Gen. Mario Chan said one of the significant accomplishments of this command was the capture of Tiamzon’s National Organization Department of the CPP-NPA Central Committee headed by Silva, alias Ka Perry.

“The camp was seized by troops of the Task Group Panther of the Scout Ranger,” Chan said.
Chan said that another major NPA camp which served as the headquarters of the communist’s Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee was also captured.

Last Saturday, another NPA camp felled into the hands of the operating troops of Army’s 63rd Infantry Battalion (IB) at the hinterland of Barangay Cagmanaba, Jipapad, Eastern Samar at about 11:30 a.m.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101004nat5.html

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