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We weren’t born yesterday EDITORIAL 10/11/2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

We weren’t born yesterday

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Does Speaker Sonny Belmonte honestly believe the public will buy his explanation that the additional P50 million allocation from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) he and members of the House bartered with the Palace to settle a budget dispute, which he claims will be farmed out without congressional intervention, justify this as not being pork?

The amount was wrangled from Budget Secretary Butch Abad who is supposedly on zero budgeting which is not compatible with the automatic appropriation. Multiply P50 million by just 200 congressmen, since party-list House members were not included in the appropriation, and that’s P10 billion in projects that the DPWH will be required to apportion “without congressional intervention.”

That’s aside from the P25 million each congressman will be getting from the proceeds of the Road User’s Tax (RUT) that Belmonte should have been reminded that senators are already working to send directly to the national treasury instead of these road funds being used as source of political petty cash.

Belmonte in so many words had said House members will not have anything to do with projects to be funded from the additional P50 million from DPWH which was totally incongruent with the reason the argument with the Palace over pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) started anyway..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101011com1.html

Porking out on the ‘righteous path’ FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/11/2010

Porking out on the ‘righteous path’

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Congressmen will get the P50 million that they ask for, by way of additional “pork” taken from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), because if this demand is going to be rejected by Noynoy and Malacañang, what is certain is that his new allies in Congress will withdraw their support for him, and where will he be without congressional support?

Not even his preferred Speaker, Feliciano Belmonte, can last long as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. They’ll turn against him as quick as a wink.

But the question to ask is why Rep. Gloria Arroyo — whom Noynoy and his Palace boys, every chance they get, lambast her and her corrupt path, as against Noynoy “righteous path” as he terms the path taken by the previous administration in comparison to his frigging sanctimonious but shitty path — was given an additional P2.2 billion pork from the DPWH, considering the fact that she had already poured into her second district billions prior to the elections in May.

And apparently, this is not the handiwork of Speaker Belmonte, but of Budget Secretary Butch Abad, as this P2.2 billion was earmarked for Gloria. Hmmmmm. Would this be part of the package deal rumored to have been brokered by a superpower between Gloria and Noynoy, to ensure his PCOS win, and to be assured that Gloria would not seek the House speakership? Hmmmm..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101011com2.html

India jets order boosts ailing Russian defense industry ANALYSIS 10/11/2010

India jets order boosts ailing Russian defense industry


MOSCOW — Russia’s ailing defense industry has received one of its biggest boosts in years with a huge fighter jet deal with India, but much of the sector remains stuck in a Soviet-era time warp, analysts said.

India announced Wednesday it planned to buy up to 300 fifth-generation stealth fighters that would be jointly developed with Russia in a deal that may be worth up to $30 billion (22 billion euros).

Last year’s record arms sales helped mask systemic troubles in Russia’s defense industry that have pushed even the Russian military to seek hardware abroad in its drive to overhaul outdated weaponry.
“Russia needs the Indian money like it needs air to accelerate the production of fighter jets for its own military,” said Ruslan Pukhov, head of Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST).

“It’s not only good but revolutionary news.”

The deal is the biggest ever for India — one of Russia’s top three arms buyers — and crowned two years of growing defense bookings for Russia that will ensure a steady revenue in the coming years.
But Russia has struggled to innovate technologies to meet the needs of modern warfare and is relying excessively on a few high-performing refurbished Soviet-era models, which form the bulk of its arms sales..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101011com3.html

Doublespeak DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 10/11/2010


Herman Tiu Laurel
Headlines last Saturday focused on the doubling of the congressional “pork barrel” through an extra P50 million allocated for each congressman, over and above the regular P70-million take, in exchange for “looking the other way on Aquino’s non-transparent lump sum appropriations in the tens of billions.” Also highlighted was the gargantuan concession by the Palace to now Rep. Gloria Arroyo — ostensibly for the same reason — of P2.2 billion in public works “pork” while adjacent congressional districts got measly amounts of a million or two.

These latest adjustments in the pork barrel already included amounts to appease several Visayan congressmen who earlier stonewalled the approval of the budget when they decried the “raw deal” they got from being left out of the huge pie. But that’s not all: All congressmen (save for those from the party-lists) will now get P25 million each from the Road Users Tax!

Everybody in Congress, especially that grimacing little Gloria, is now very happy — except for the public that’s sure to seethe over this. But getting mad is not going to change things unless there’s a physical revolt.
At least Aquino III is fulfilling his promise of “change,” except that it is not the “change” people expected of him during the campaign. As one Yellow mainstream daily headlined, Aquino III is sure to face the challenge of “Changing (the) old system;” but he’s doing it only for the worse — with more pork, more compromises with his avowed target, and more doublespeak than Gloria ever uttered in her first 100 days in 2001.

So what’s the point of forming the “Truth Commission” when even this early, Aquino III is already engaged in heavy horse trading with Gloria to get Malacañang’s lump sum appropriations through Congress? That’s another confirmation that Arroyo exercises tremendous clout in the Lower House; and I am not surprised, as the Speaker is an Arroyo crony himself.

All told, the whole system is a system of doublespeak, and the Filipino people would do well to put that in their minds and totally dismiss anything the caboodle of politicians, particularly the top honchos, will ever again say to the public.

My purpose of engaging in a continuing public discourse through radio, cable TV, and writing is to expose the doublespeak, the lies, which people are subjected to each and every moment of the day. A nation simply cannot survive on doublespeak; as vision cannot arise from lies. It is my hope that the Filipino people and the various social leaderships that are not party to this system of lies may come together and exterminate the lowlifes that have wormed their way into the corridors of power.

Last Friday night, in our celebration with close friends, one of the subjects that came up was the budget cut of P1.2 billion from the University of the Philippines, described by former UP president Dodong Nemenzo as “paralyzing.” This was discussed alongside the “K+12” plan of Aquino I+2II’s Bro. “Damaso,” Armin Luistro, that was heavily criticized as the increase in the overall education budget of P2 billion will only go to such a scheme that is overwhelmingly rejected by parents and public school teachers alike. We all agreed that since Luistro admonishes parents to look at “K” not as a burden but as an investment, he should first become a parent to know what he’s preaching about.

Ultimately, arguments for “K+12” center on “conforming to international practice” — yet another euphemism for globalization. So the best counter argument: Adding two years to poor quality education is still two more years of poor quality education!

Speaking of education, a surefire budget for “wrong education” is found in the huge increase for the Arroyo-esque “cash transfers” program. As an old Chinese saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will feed himself forever,” it appears that neither Aquino III nor Dinky Soliman wants the Filipino poor to learn how to fish. By slashing the budget that higher education rightfully deserves, only to divert this to dole outs, thus “dumbing” down the people, the DSWD should now be called the “Department of Social Welfare Dependency.”

But wait: Given the huge increase in its budget, the DSWD now even has a housing component. As a result, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council must be crying over scraps while Dinky thanks her lucky stars profusely. Why, she now has the wherewithal to buy several 4x4 pick-ups to spread her dole outs. And even as she continues to deny that these are SUVs (only “trucks,” without ever mentioning the brand), any idiot will know that a 4x4 pick-up is also an SUV! Another doublespeak again.

PS — I lost my main cellphone last week and won’t be able to respond nor act on requests for a while. I committed to see some visitors to Manila from Mindanao referred by Dionisio Lopez of Zamboanga. Although I am very eager to meet with them, I hope Diony will understand my predicament. If the visitors are still in Manila by the time this column reaches Diony, he can text me at 0922-8797627. Regular texters can also send their reactions and suggestions to this number, especially those who send their views for our radio program discussions.

(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/20101011com4.html

Some things never change TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 10/11/2010

Some things never change

Larry Faraon, OP
Today, the country commemorates the naval victories of the Spanish and Filipinos against the marauding Dutch armies that threatened our country with hegemony and eventually dislodging the Catholic religion with the latter’s predominant Protestant religious conquest in 1646. Caught by surprise and in near panic, the Spanish mobilized in haste two trading galleon ships and armed them with artillery and whatever fire power and untrained naval personnel available. Even the Dutch historians would attest later to the unique victory of the ill equipped merchant ships against the impregnable Dutch naval battle vessels in all five engagements at the bay stretch from Cavite to Manila and Bataan.

But the Spanish and Filipino Catholics were quick to attribute the naval victories to the powerful intercession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, since a divine intervention and prayer would be the only recourse in view of the impossible prospects of winning the battle. The people were on the shores of Manila Bay praying, down on knees and in a procession in bare feet begging the Lord through Mary to save the country and the Catholic faith..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101011com5.html

Hundred days into the long wait HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 10/11/2010

Hundred days into the long wait

Aldrin Cardon
Take your pick: Nine years of bad governance vs 100 days of poor performance.

Okay it was not that poor, but it was rocky. Noynoy Aquino’s first three months was rough, real rough. So, I’ll still pick P-Noy anytime. Any Pinoy would do that than compare him with Gloria, whose near-decade of reign sunk us further down, in total opposite of her promised land during that joyous celebration of the now besmirched Edsa Dos.

It’s not hard comparing Noynoy with Gloria, but Noynoy would win hands down when ranged against the corrupt former leader branded worse than Marcos was despite clinging on to power in just nearly half of the years spent by the late strongman in the Palace.

Three months after the elections, Noynoy is still successfully riding on sheer luck.

It was his stock that won him the presidency. It was the built-in political support of his father and mother which powered his campaign engine. It was Gloria, herself, that drove the voters away from her candidate — and others likely to give her amnesty for her abuses — and into Noynoy (and second-placer Erap), that there was no way other candidates would have won last May..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101011com6.html

Rating ourselves SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 10/11/2010

Rating ourselves

Dinah S. Ventura
In a televised town hall-style meeting at La Consolacion College in Manila, President Noynoy Aquino reported on his first 100 days in office to his “boss,” the Filipino people.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this report is the overall optimism and confidence now felt by many, here and around the world, for the Philippines. Stressing that his administration focused on its anti-corruption and anti-poverty campaigns from the very beginning, P-Noy was particularly happy to report the significant savings they had made for the country thus far, as well as the multibillion dollars in investments they were able to bring in from the US recently.

While government officials, critics and interest groups made their own “rating” for the President’s first 100 days known, many ordinary folks are still willing to wait and see how the rest of the Aquino term will pan out.

How do you judge just over three months of work when over a decade of mismanagement, inefficiency and gross corruption had already left such telling marks on the country, not to mention leaving a trail of obstacles for the new leadership?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101011com7.html

Aquino should crack whip on feuding men By Angie M. Rosales 10/11/2010


Aquino should crack whip on feuding men

By Angie M. Rosales 10/11/2010

A close ally of President Aquino said yesterday bitter infighting within the Palace circle is already affecting work inside Malacañang as he appealed to Aquino to “crack the whip” in marshalling his key officials.

Despite the denials by Palace officials, talks of alleged serious infighting in the Aquino administration persisted with Sen. Francis Pangilinan urging the Chief Executive to crack the whip on his ranks.

Pangilinan called for an end to the reported factionalism or power struggle among ranking officials in the Palace which is said to be already affecting paper works.

Aquino should stop playing “Mr. Nice Guy” and address the factions within his team to truly be able to move the country forward.

“He must crack the whip and tell all those surrounding him that given the serious problems facing the country, without unity there is no way his administration can succeed. I know he has it in him to do so, and now is the time to do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy,” Pangilinan said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101011hed1.html

Lopez kingpin gets prime Tokyo posting By Michaela P. del Callar 10/11/2010

Lopez kingpin gets prime Tokyo posting

By Michaela P. del Callar 10/11/2010

Lopez conglomerate heir apparent and Lopez Holdings chairman and chief executive Manuel “Manolo” Lopez was appointed by President Aquino as the country’s Ambassador to Japan, a designation that distinctly smelled of political payback.

The Lopezes are known supporters of Aquino and the group’s broadcast arm, the ABS-CBN Network, went all-out in playing up the candidacy of Aquino.

Lopez belongs to one of the country’s oldest and powerful clan. Aquino also has retained a few of former President Arroyo’s political envoys, Foreign Affairs sources said yesterday.

Lopez, 67, will replace Domingo Siazon, who served as Foreign Affairs Secretary to President Fidel Ramos from 1995 to 1998 and President Joseph Estrada from 1998 to 2001. Siazon was immediately assigned to Tokyo after the downfall of Estrada who was ousted by a military-backed revolt in 2001.

Sources said Lopez visited Tokyo last month to “conduct an ocular inspection” of the embassy and to “familiarize himself” with the chancery and the staff..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101011hed2.html

Former NSA claims Noy’s gov’t to soon self-destruct By Mario J. Mallari 10/11/2010

Former NSA claims Noy’s gov’t to soon self-destruct

By Mario J. Mallari 10/11/2010

The shadowy National Security Adviser and Defense Secretary of former President Arroyo, Norberto Gonzales, yesterday claimed there are strong indications that the administration of President Aquino could self-destruct sooner, as he expressed belief the country needs a “new political initiative” that will let the people gain control of and con-tinue the process of systemic change.

“There are strong indications that the current government could self-destruct sooner than we expect. But this position is alright if we are merely after seeing end to the present reign of hypocrisy,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales, however, stressed that his move is not, in any way, aimed at des-tabilizing the administration of President Aquino.

“We should emphasize that this is notdestabilization. It’s really an honest to goodness opposition. It’s bad not to have any opposition in a democracy,” said Gonzales.

The former defense chief cited the “questionable” results of the last May 10 automated elections and the unceremonious relief of some government officials for perceived closeness to the previous administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101011hed3.html

Noy wants IIRC findings, raps to stand in court, says Malacañang 10/11/2010

Noy wants IIRC findings, raps to stand in court, says Malacañang

Malacañang has assured the public that those found innocent in the Aug. 23 hostage-taking incident that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead will not be charged or implicated, an official said.

According to deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte, President Aquino wanted the findings and charges to stand in court.

“There’s one more thing we want here and that is to make sure the case that will be filed is correct and that the innocent will not be implicated,” Valte stressed.

“What the President wants is to file a case that would stand in court and won’t be dismissed. He does not want to file charges for the sake of publicity,” she said.

At the sidelines of the 10th National Cooperative Summit in Cubao, Quezon City yesterday, Aquino said he hopes to release the full report “by tomorrow (Monday) at the latest by afternoon.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101011hed4.html

No hike in ‘pork, insist solons 10/11/2010

No hike in ‘pork, insist solons

More lawmakers have denied the reported P50-million increase in Priority Development Assistant Fund (PDAF) allocation per congressional district.

They clarified that the reported additional P50-million PDAF per congressman, as discussed in the all-party caucus, is not actually an increase but a move to equally pro-vide all congressional districts P50 million worth of infrastruc-ture projects.

Right now, Rep. Elpidio Barzaga (2nd District, Cavite) said not all House members receive PDAF allocation of P70 million and most don’t have enough to cover for the needs of their respective districts.

Barzaga cited the cases of Representatives Danilo Ramon Fernandez (1st District, Laguna), Roman Romulo (Lone District, Pasig City) and Romero Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City) whose districts received P5 million, P5 million and P1 million, respectively..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101011hed5.html

SC turns down suit challenging anti-terror law 10/11/2010

SC turns down suit challenging anti-terror law

The Supreme Court (SC) has turned down six suits questioning the constitutionality of Republic Act (RA) 9372, otherwise known as the Human Security Act of 2007.

In a 45-page decision by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, the SC en banc held that the petitioners have no legal standing to assail RA 9372 since “none of them faces any charge” under the said law.
Concurring with the ruling were Chief Justice Renato Corona, Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr.,
Antonio Eduardo Nachura, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Roberto Abad, Jose Portugal Perez, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Mariano del Castillo, Martin Villarama Jr., Jose Catral Mendoza and Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is on official leave.

The petitions were filed by the Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, Inc, Kilusang Mayor Uno (KMU), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Karapatan Alliance For the Advancement of People’s Right, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog (Bayan-ST)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101011hed6.html

Kidapawan mayor opposes another drilling in Mount Apo 10/11/2010

Kidapawan mayor opposes another drilling in Mount Apo

KIDAPAWAN CITY — City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco is not keen on endorsing another drilling of a geothermal well at the geothermal field owned by the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) in Barangay Ilomavis, this city.

Gantuangco said he was hurt when the EDC was granted an exemption in paying real property taxes to the city government, using as basis a provision of the Republic Act 9136, an act to order reforms in the electric power industry.

This year, the city government lost some P45 million from EDC’s non-payment of real property taxes.
As an act of ‘retaliation,’ Gantuangco said he will not support EDC’s move to drill another geothermal well at the geothermal site.

Reports said the EDC has already started paying owners of the lot, many of them tribal leaders in the area, who would be affected by the project.

The firm wants to put up another 50-megawatt geothermal plant in Kidapawan City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101011nat3.html

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