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Noynoy can’t hack it EDITORIAL 10/12/2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Noynoy can’t hack it

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
10/12/2010
Of his feuding cliques and their serious infighting in the Palace, Noynoy Aquino claimed, among others, that he will be deciding on their fates, in this instance, referring to the public verbal exchanges between his undersecretary, Rico Puno, whom he trusts absolutely, and his secretary of local government, Jesse Robredo, whom Noynoy had earlier announced was on a probation status, being a mere acting secretary. He merely admonished the two, or so he claimed.

But the problem is hardly solved, mainly because the problem of feuding cliques and turf wars are deeply rooted on the fact that Noynoy rose to the presidency on the strength of varied, and opposing factions — from so-called original Cory yellows, to the Times Street Group combined with the “stand alone group” to the Hyatt 10 group combined with the Black and White, combined further with some politicians within the Liberal Party and the Roxas group, to the Kaklase Inc., to the Sisters Inc. and the Kamag-anak junior and senior, insterspersed with the Samar Group and some Noynoy volunteers; to the Roxas Balay Puti Group, combined with the Liberal Party, to include the Lopez ABS-CBN Network group, and to the so-called “Noynoy supporters” personified by a newspaper columnist — a self confessed Noynoy propagandist who keeps on whining about their volunteer group being left out of the power circle..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101012com1.html

Sparing pals, allies FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/12/2010

Sparing pals, allies

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
10/12/2010
No surprises there, in the way Noynoy Aquino cleared his pals and allies of any criminal and even serious administrative charges. Everyone certainly knew that with the way Noynoy and his Palace team insisted on reviewing the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) findings, that they would be altering and even completely change the panel’s findings, and all this was meant to spare his target shooting buddy and his allies.

Why else insist on a review, after he had created the IIRC and why did it take forever for Noynoy to come up with a final report, if not to find ways and means to absolve those he wanted cleared?

First, Noynoy created the IIRC, giving it the mandate to get to the bottom of the botched hostage rescue operations. Then, when the IIRC report was finally submitted to Noynoy, he again took a long time to come up with a decision, in essence, he was not accepting those charges recommended by the IIRC, headed by his Justice secretary, Leila de Lima, saying that he is still reading it, after three days had passed.

Then, he made the IIRC report public, but without the second part, which contained the recommended charges, complete with statements of which law, criminal and administrative, would apply..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101012com2.html

Iran: Hezbollah’s chief backer against Israel focus 10/12/2010

Iran: Hezbollah’s chief backer against Israel

focus

10/12/2010
BEIRUT — Iran, a mainly Shiite Muslim nation whose president visits Lebanon this week, is the ideological and financial backer of the small country’s powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah in its fierce stand against Israel.

Hezbollah, Arabic for the Party of God, was founded in the 1980s under the auspices of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, and speaks often of Tehran’s “political and social support” for it and its activities.
But the United States, which lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and Israel, accuse Iran of more tangible support: of feeding weapons to the group through close ally Syria in contravention of a UN Security Council ban.

“In 1982, in the middle of an Israeli invasion of Lebanon, members of the Revolutionary Guard formed the nucleus of Hezbollah in Baalbek (eastern Lebanon), training armed militants, who began operating secretly,” says Wadah Sharara, author of the 2006 book The State of Hezbollah.

“The party grew, and the Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards) continued training, financing and arming it. They even chose its leaders,” he adds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101012com3.html

Congratulations, Grace NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 10/12/2010

Congratulations, Grace

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
10/12/2010
NEW YORK — The last paragraph of the open letter I wrote to President Benigno Aquino III, published in this same space Aug. 17, 2010, read: “Our local film industry we sadly acknowledge to be gasping for breath. Help us bring it back to its feet and nurse it back to health. Give us an MTRCB chairman who has roots in the film industry, an insider who knows well enough not to be manipulated by the unscrupulous among us but at the same time knowledgeable and inspiring. We cannot afford an MTRCB chairman who lets whimsy overrule the Constitution.”

Then just as even the most rabid anti-censor among us was ready to give up, throw in the towel, and accept the present chairman’s reappointment as reality, the Office of the President yesterday announced, through Deputy Presidential Spokesma Abigail Valte, the appointment of Grace Poe-Llamanzares as the new head of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, with film director Emmanuel Borlaza as vice-chairman.

The name of Consoliza, the outgoing, refers to comfort received by a person after a loss or a disappointment, while that of Grace, the incoming, aptly means a short prayer of thanks. This can’t be coincidence, we should really be grateful.

We wanted an MTRCB chairman who has roots in the film industry, that’s Grace Poe. An insider who knows well enough not to be manipulated by the unscrupulous among us, that’s Grace Poe. At the same time knowledgeable and inspiring, and again, that’s Grace Poe..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101012com4.html

Satire? You couldn’t make it up! AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 10/12/2010

Satire? You couldn’t make it up!

AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
10/12/2010
UK friend recently sent me a link for the US satirical site The Onion (www.theonion.com), which is somewhat reminiscent of Mad Magazine. Specifically, the link drew my attention to a story entitled “Sumerians Look on in Confusion as God Creates World.”
This poked fun at those creationists who interpret Genesis (the first book of the Bible, not the rock band formed in 1967) literally. Based on what Genesis tells them, creationists calculate that the world was created some 6,000 years ago — not long before Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel created Genesis, in fact. One problem with this calculation is that it runs up against the inconvenient, scientifically proven fact that the Sumerian civilization, in what is now Iraq, had been up and running for at least a millennium prior to this.

Yes, the Sumerians had government, agriculture and much else before the alleged Creation. Thousands of Sumerians were, The Onion therefore assumes, “working on their sophisticated irrigation systems when the Father of All Creation reached down from the ether and blew the divine spirit of life into their thriving civilization.”

According to tablets which, spoof the satirists, were recently excavated, the Sumerians experienced not shock and awe (the intended effect of another event in Sumeria 6,000 years later, courtesy of god-worshippers George W. Bush and Tony Blair) but confusion. Typical comments were “I do not understand” and “A booming voice is saying ‘Let there be light,’ but there is already light.” The Sumerians complained that, as the face of God moved across the water, “He scared away those who were travelling to Mesopotamia to participate in their vast and intricate trade system.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101012com5.html

Families urge safety over speed in rescue of trapped miners focus 10/12/2010

Families urge safety over speed in rescue of trapped miners

focus

10/12/2010
SAN JOSE MINE — For more than two months, Doris Cortez has prayed for the speedy return of her son Pedro from a collapsed mine in Chile.

Now that his rescue finally is imminent, however, Cortez is urging not speed, but slowness, deliberateness and the greatest of care, as workers prepare bring the men to the surface, probably by the middle of this week.

“The most important thing now is that they get out and they get out OK,” said Cortez.

She said she is eager to see Pedro again, but wants to be sure that rescuers finish the job they started with utmost caution.

“If we’ve waited more than two months, what’s another two or three days?” she asked..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101012com6.html

Democrats drum up flagging youth vote FEATURE 10/12/2010

Democrats drum up flagging youth vote

FEATURE

10/12/2010
HARLOTTESVILLE — As Democrats risk losing their grip on Congress to rival Republicans in next month’s elections, party members are struggling to rekindle enthusiasm among a key bloc — the young.

The youth vote helped propel Barack Obama into the White House in 2008, but with the economy floundering, the Afghan war in its 10th year, and anger at unfulfilled government promises, enthusiasm for the Democrats has dampened.

“Hey! Are you registered to vote?” members of the Young Democrats at the University of Virginia cried out to students heading into the cafeteria.

Adam Gillenwater, who heads the campus Young Democrats, sat at a table with a small team of volunteers and forms to register students on the spot. Behind his dark glasses stamped “UDems,” he pushed his message.

“Hey! Are you registered to vote?” Gillenwater repeated.

One student stopped briefly at the table. “I have class in, like, 12 minutes. Give me a few forms I’ll hand them over to some friends,” she said, before rushing off..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101012com7.html

Noy absolves Puno, Verzosa By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/12/2010

DOWNGRADES IIRC RECOMMENDATIONS; NO CRIMINAL RAPS FOR POLICE, LOCAL EXECS

Noy absolves Puno, Verzosa

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/12/2010

Speculations and public suspicion of a Palace whitewash of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report and charges against several personalities were well grounded, as President Aquino yesterday, in a press conference, absolved his target shooting buddy, Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary, Rico Puno, of any accountability and responsibility in the Aug. 23 botched hostage rescue operations that saw eight Chinese Hong Kong tourists dead, as well as the hostage taker, sacked police officer Rolando Mendoza.

Also cleared was former Philippine National Police chief, Jesus Verzosa, while all IIRC recommended criminal charges against various local officials and police officers were watered down to very light administrative charges.

Aquino yesterday ordered charges to be filed against Manila’s police chief and three other law enforcement officials over their handling of a deadly bus hijacking in August.

Aquino also called for lesser charges against Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and a deputy Ombudsman but spared his closest aides after studying an official inquiry into the incident..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101012hed1.html

China to RP: Assure security, safety, get millions of Chinese tourists By Michaela P. del Callar 10/12/2010

China to RP: Assure security, safety, get millions of Chinese tourists

By Michaela P. del Callar 10/12/2010

Despite all the diplomatese over the botched hostage rescue operations last Aug. 23, where eight Hong Kong Chinese tourists died, with several injured and traumatized, it appears that China is not too willing to forget the incident.

China’s top diplomat to Manila yesterday said the country could attract more tourists from China and Hong Kong if the government could guarantee their security and safety in the Philippines.

This remark came on the same day President Aquino cleared his key and close officials of any charges of responsibilty and accountabilty, and ordered mild administrative sanctions against several police officials.

The Chinese government earlier said, after receiving the Incident Investigation and Review Committee that found cause to charge criminally and administratively several personalities involved in the
bungled hostage rescue operations, it was pleased with the IIRC report..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101012hed2.html

No politics behind closure order on Ping’s office — Senate 10/12/2010

No politics behind closure order on Ping’s office — Senate

10/12/2010
Senate leaders yesterday admitted that they have to come up with a painful decision to cut off the salary and budget for the office of their colleague, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, as part of their obligation both to the country and to the Senate which they represent.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said the decision was aimed at preventing future complications that may arise at the continuing monthly release of P2 million for the operations of Lacson’s office as he remains in hiding.

The fugitive senator is facing double murder charges for the kidnapping and murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito that took place over a decade now.

Lacson left the country last January before the court could issue an arrest warrant against him.
The fugitive lawmaker denied any involvement in the twin killings, alleging that former President Gloria Arroyo was out to persecute him, being one of the critics of the Arroyo administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101012hed3.html

DND gives P1.7B deal to American lone bidder for refurbished C-130 10/12/2010

DND gives P1.7B deal to American lone bidder for refurbished C-130

10/12/2010
The Department of National Defense-Bids and Awards Committee (DND-BAC) has decided to approve the lone price bid that was submitted by a US company for a refurbished Hercules C-130H plane, intended for the capability upgrade of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Derco Aerospace Inc., said to be a world leader in providing aircraft spares distribution, logistic solutions, repaire services and technical solutions to military and commercial customers around the globe, was a adjudged as qualified for post qualification process after bidding P1.747 billion, or around $40 million, for one refurbished, 26-year-old C-130 aircraft.

“We will make our recommendations to the secretary of National Defense that we proceed to the next phase of the bidding that is the post qualification,” said DND-BAC Chairman Undersecretary Ernesto Boac.
Under the post-qualification phase, the DND will be creating a post-qualification team, composed of Air Force technical group, to check on the specifications.

“The job of the post-qualification team is to ascertain whether their (Derco’s) proposal is really responsive to the requirements of the Air Force… they will be checking on the eligibility document,” said Boac, who vowed to nominate DND Assistant Secretary Willie Palugod, who is a retired C-130 pilot, to be part of the team..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101012hed4.html

Solons defend P50-M fund but dole-outs face House rejection By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo 10/12/2010

Solons defend P50-M fund but dole-outs face House rejection

By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo 10/12/2010

Legislators backed Speaker Feliciano Belmonte’s assertion that the P50 million allotment from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) should not be considered as pork barrel while 37 members of the House of Representatives signed a manifesto yesterday thumbing down the P21.9 billion proposed fund for President Aquino’s cash transfer program.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the P50-million additional funds for each lawmaker under the proposed P1.6 trillion national budget for 2011 was meant to even the field in the distribution of key infrastructure.

“I checked that issue, from what I gathered, there’s no change (in the allotment),” he told reporters, referring to the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). The reason behind it, he said, was merely to level the playing so to speak.

“The allotment for each member of the House (of Representatives) is still P70 billion and the only change is it is not really an additional PDAF, that P50 million. It was agreed upon that each engineering district, which is equivalent to a congressional district, will have at least P50 million allotted to that district, automatic, for the benefit of the people in that engineering district,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101012hed5.html

Bar bomber hired goon, says SC probe exec By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/12/2010

.Bar bomber hired goon, says SC probe exec
By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/12/2010

Investigators of the grenade explosion during the recent Bar exams in Manila say the attack was possibly done by hired goons, a court official said.

Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva said the probe panel formed by the Supreme Court has already ruled out possibilities that the attack was part of destabilization efforts against the government or that it eyed at injuring a member of the powerful Ampatuan clan, Datu Mohammad Abdul.

In a press conference after a closed-door meeting of the committee Villanueva said it was found that the perpetrators were experts based on assessment of the National Bureau of Investigation.

“The perpetrators knew what they were doing or were at least prepared by erasing the serial number of grenade so as not to leave possible source of identification,” he explained.

The SC official, quoting the NBI report, said the culprits deliberately erased the serial number usually placed on the handle of the grenade.

“It’s possible that professionals were behind the explosion or they were hired by a group or some persons to do it,” he stressed.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101012hed6.html

Robredo’s citizenship quizzed By Gerry Baldo 10/12/2010

Robredo’s citizenship quizzed

By Gerry Baldo 10/12/2010

Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo and his undersecretary Rico Puno should, both, resign from their posts to spare the government from internal strife and bickering, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte said yesterday.

“Ang rekomendasyon ko diyan dapat pareho na silang alisin. I think that is the solomonic solution to the issue,” Villafuerte said.

Villafuerte maintained that the infighting between the two ranking officials of the DILG is not doing the government any good even as he added that Robredo is also being hounded by the issue about his citizenship.
“He is a Chinese citizen,” Villafuerte stressed. Villafuerte claimed that aside from the hostage drama issue, Robredo should also face the issue that he is a Chinese citizen and not fit to be a member of the cabinet.

“Si Sec. Robredo maraming isyu hindi lang ang hostage drama na iyan... sa Thursday unang-unang kukwestyunin ko ang kaniyang citizenship,” Villafuerte said warning the beleaguered secretary that he is going to be grilled on Thursday when the DILG defends their 2011 budget..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101012nat5.html

Enrile to ask judge to allow detained Trillanes to attend Senate sessions By Angie M. Rosales 10/12/2010

Enrile to ask judge to allow detained Trillanes to attend Senate sessions

By Angie M. Rosales 10/12/2010

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has initiated moves to enable detained colleague, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, to attend Senate sessions pending the resolution of the coup charges against him.

Enrile, in an interview with reporters, bared plans of seeking an appointment with the judge handling Trillanes’ case to discuss a possible arrangement, without entailing the upper chamber into a possible interference with the judicial proceedings.

“I’ll tell you very frankly what I’m going to do. I’m going to make an appointment with the judge and discuss it with him without intruding into the domain of judicial process. As head of the Senate, I will do that informally and if he says no, I will respect him. But if he says yes, we can do it, then I will then advise the lawyers of Trillanes to file the proper motions and let the court issue the order without any interference or any influence from us and he (judge) will dictate the manner Trillanes will conduct himself in the Senate.

“He can say, well, you cannot deliver privilege speeches. You cannot have interviews or press conferences or you cannot do this and do that or you cannot go outside the building of the Senate. In other words, the whole situation is in the hands of the court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101012nat1.html

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