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Noy pushes ‘culture of impunity’ EDITORIAL 10/13/2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Noy pushes ‘culture of impunity’

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
10/13/2010
Clearing his close buddy and allies, then giving all others a limp slap on the wrist define Noynoy Aquino’s embrace of the culture of impunity and cover-ups under his stewardship.

From the start, it was evident that Noynoy was bent on a cover-up and whitewash of the botched Aug. 23 hostage rescue operations. He created the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) headed by his Justice secretary, Leila de Lima, initially as his way out of a diplomatic falling out with China and a way to cool the outrage of the Hong Kongese.

But as the IIRC started its interviews with the concerned officials, and with Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno fumbling in his testimony, and spilling out the state of the DILG’s separation of powers and authority, it was just as clear that the IIRC would find Noynoy’s close and trusted pal, as well as his allies, liable, whether administratively or criminally.

But this, Noynoy would not allow as he had to absolve his close buddy and allies of all accountability, responsibility and liability and there was no way he would take the IIRC sanctions lock, stock and barrel..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101013com1.html

Whitewash, clear and simple FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/13/2010

Whitewash, clear and simple

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
10/13/2010
In defending his decision not to charge his close buddy and allies with any administrative or criminal liability and completely change the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) recommended charges, Noynoy claimed that there was nothing in the laws nor even the crisis committee manual to even lock in those charges against the personalities indicted by the IIRC.

As Noynoy claimed, they don’t want to just press charges if the cases aren’t solid, because what he wants is that when government files charges in court, there will be a conviction.

That’s pure bullshit he and his legal team spew because the weighing of the merits of the case always rests, not on the government lawyers or prosecutors, but on the judge hearing the case.

Besides, the recommendations of charges against these personalities were largely done by his Justice chief, Leila de Lima, and she is expected to know her law and what appropriate charges there are to buttress the IIRC charges..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101013com2.html

An aria with your pint? London pub gives opera a new look FEATURE 10/13/2010

An aria with your pint? London pub gives opera a new look

FEATURE

10/13/2010
LONDON — “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!” sang the baritone in the opening scene of The Barber of Seville, as the 120-strong audience looked on rapt, sipping their beers.

A new English translation of Rossini’s comic opera opened this week in an unlikely venue — the back room of a north London pub, which has become the British capital’s first new opera house in more than 40 years.

It is at the vanguard of a drive to make opera more accessible to those who think it is stuffy and only for the rich, by staging shows in intimate venues for a fraction of the price charged in the palatial theaters of Covent Garden.

“Opera still has a serious image problem,” said Robin Norton-Hale, director of the Barber, which is showing at the King’s Head Theatre in north London for 15 pounds (17 euros, $24) a ticket.

“The reason we want operas in these kind of venues is so that people can experience opera in a completely different way.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101013com3.html

Absolved?*&!#^ C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 10/13/2010

Absolved?*&!#^

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
10/13/2010
This was how Malacañang apportioned blame and liability over the tragic Luneta hostage taking last Aug. 23 after a review of the investigating panel’s report and findings of fact:

Former Western Police District (Manila Police) head, C/S Rodolfo Magtibay — for gross incompetence and serious neglect of duty.

NCRPO head Director Leocadio Santiago — for less grave neglect of duty.
Supt. Orlando Yebra (chief negotiator) — for neglect of duty.
Chief Insp. Santiago Pascual III (SWAT Team head) — for gross incompetence.
All of these officers who were considered leaders of the ground forces were charged under Section 2, Rule 21, of the PNP Uniform Rules.

On the other hand, the Palace directed the Department of Justice (DoJ) to investigate Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III for any administrative liability such as “misconduct in office and simple neglect.” The case of Gonzales’ boss, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who is an impeachable official was referred to the House of Representatives for possible action.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101013com4.html

Fate of historic train station stirs nostalgia in Singapore FEATURE 10/13/2010

Fate of historic train station stirs nostalgia in Singapore

FEATURE

10/13/2010
SINGAPORE — No more glittering shopping malls, chic restaurants and expensive condos, please!

The fate of a shabby but historic Malaysia-owned train station tucked away in an obscure corner of ultramodern Singapore’s port and business district is stirring nostalgia for a bygone age.

The Tanjong Pagar station, built during British colonial rule over the two countries, is to be vacated by July 2011 under a recent deal to settle a longstanding land dispute between the two neighbors.

The Singapore terminal is to be relocated to Woodlands, a northern suburb across a narrow strip of water from Malaysia. A causeway that includes the rail tracks connects the two countries.

With its faded facade and four imposing life-size marble sculptures atop the main entrance, the station is an anomaly in a landscape dominated by office towers, hotels and high-rise apartment blocks..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101013com5.html

Two stories, and then some HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 10/13/2010

Two stories, and then some

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
10/13/2010
Each coming in succession early this week, and drawing mixed reactions from many that believe they would reveal the character of President Aquino in the six years that he will be spending as the main occupant of Malacañang.

P-Noy’s official stand on the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report is the more controversial one, taking the spotlight out of what I believe is one of the more important decisions Noynoy has made in his close to four months in power — that of granting of amnesty to rebel soldiers long persecuted by former President Macapagal-Arroyo.

They may be of different twists but the main characters in each story surely benefited from Noynoy’s magnanimity.

But being generous to the point of directly exonerating those who should have been responsible in the hostage rescue fiasco of Aug. 23 at the Quirino Grandstand put Noynoy’s wisdom under question.

It’s where P-Noy missed. P-Noy only gave the main characters in the botched hostage job slaps in their wrists, something that Hong Kong authorities could not take, as they openly expressed, as they were expecting heads to roll for the death of their compatriots who came here to spend relaxing, good times, only to end up dead from the bullets of a corrupt former policeman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101013com6.html

Not a crime SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 10/13/2010

Not a crime

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
10/13/2010
Considering the pressure he must be getting from everywhere, it’s amazing that President Noynoy Aquino can still afford to smile. It was his smiley tendency that got him in hot water with Hong Kong nationals who thought he wasn’t taking seriously the tragedy that befell their compatriots while on vacation in Manila last August.

P-Noy has explained all that fairly well, but it seems he has more to explain regarding that unfortunate incident.

It took Malacañang over three weeks to review and release its recommendations based on the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC), the multi-agency body tasked to investigate the Aug. 23 hostage incident by former policeman Rolando Mendoza. In the interim, talk was rife that certain individuals would be spared from criminal charges, with attention focused on the President’s shooting buddy, Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno, and his boss, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.

There were those who primarily wanted to see whether the President would exercise an iron hand in this matter, especially as they thought he still had to prove his leadership abilities and sincerity. Then of course, there is that demand from the Chinese for heads to roll after the President had studied the investigation results..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101013com7.html

DoJ ignored in Noy’s amnesty move By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Benjamin B. Pulta 10/13/2010

 PROSECUTORS DISAPPOINTED, AFP TO RESPECT GRANT

DoJ ignored in Noy’s amnesty move

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Benjamin B. Pulta 10/13/2010

Once again, President Aquino ignored the Department of Justice in making his move to grant amnesty to the mutineers, both of the Oakwood mutiny and the Peninsula Hotel siege varieties.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima claimed she had been informed but had not been consulted on the amnesty granted to the mutineers.

Incarcerated members of the Magdalo group as well as the rest of the soldiers who figured in the three major military uprisings under the Arroyo administration were granted amnesty by Aquino, subject to the concurrence of Congress as the chief executive yesterday signed Proclamation No. 50 which granted amnesty to all the individuals concerned as part of his “reconciliation” efforts to those who have been adjudged “enemies of the State” for violating the Revised Penal Code and the Articles of War.

Covered by the said proclamation are more than 300 active and former members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) including controversial figures such as detained former Lt. S/G now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and the fugitive Captain Nicanor Faeldon, who drew public attention for spearheading the Oakwood mutiny in July 27, 2003, along with other military adventurists who were involved in the Marines Standoff and Manila Peninsula incidents of Feb. 26, 2006 and Nov. 29, 2007 respectively..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101013hed1.html

No whitewash, just adjustments — Palace By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/13/2010

No whitewash, just adjustments — Palace

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/13/2010

The two-man Palace legal team consisting of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo de Mesa said the revisions made in the recommended actions on those found culpable in the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report were not proofs of a whitewash but were mere adjustments they made on the findings of the body that investigated the hostage fiasco last Aug. 23 that saw the death of eight Hong Kong tourists.

The legal team of two has been under intense criticism since President Aquino announced the obviously watered-down recommendations on those held accountable for the bungled hostage rescue.

De Mesa also refuted allegations of pressure from Aquino to exonerate his target shooting body, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno, and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Jesus Verzosa from any culpability as opposed to the IIRC’s recommendations for administrative sanctions against the two.

“There was no intention to unnecessarily absolve anybody of liability. The objective of the legal team was to file the appropriate charges against those who deserve to be charged and not to charge those who consume charges are unwarranted,” De Mesa said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101013hed2.html

GMA faces charges in NorthRail contract By Angie M. Rosales and Charlie V. Manalo 10/13/2010

GMA faces charges in NorthRail contract

By Angie M. Rosales and Charlie V. Manalo 10/13/2010

On top of the cases being faced by former President, now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, another controversial deal sealed during her incumbency is likely to add to the pile of legal battles she will have to hurdle.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III yesterday urged the filing of graft charges against Arroyo and other concerned officials involving the alleged ano-malous $503-million project of North Luzon Railways Corp., following a hearing on the proposed budget of the Depart-ment of Trans-portation and Communications (DoTC).

Osmeña said there is no need to stop the project since the government has already spent $200 million for the project which will link Caloocan City to Clark in Pampanga via a 80.2-kilometer railway system.

It was envisioned to be operational last February but was suspended in 2009 when China National Marketing and Equipment Group (CNMEG) contracted to undertake the project sought additional payment, citing inflation and foreign exchange issues, among other things.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101013hed3.html

Palace action on IIRC gives preview of truth body — solon By Angie M. Rosales 10/13/2010

Palace action on IIRC gives preview of truth body — solon

By Angie M. Rosales 10/13/2010

Malacañang’s watering down of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report recommendations provides a preview of what will likely happen to investigations undertaken by the Truth Commission which is similarly a fact-finding body that will look into the allegations of irregularities during past administrations, particularly that of former President Arroyo’s.

Sen. Joker Arroyo expressed serious doubts whether the Truth Commission will not suffer the same fate as the IIRC, in having its findings and recommendations subjected to re-evaluation by President Aquino.

Arroyo along with several other senators did not hide their displeasure over the revised recommendations issued by Aquino over personalities involved in the failed hostage rescue last Aug. 23.

Arroyo was practically questioning not only the basis but the authority of those tasked by Aquino to review the IIRC report..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101013hed4.html

Senate can’t act on amnesty concurrence By Angie M. Rosales and Charlie V. Manalo 10/13/2010

Senate can’t act on amnesty concurrence

By Angie M. Rosales and Charlie V. Manalo 10/13/2010

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s release from detention, following President Aquino’s amnesty proclamation, cannot be effected immediately as Senate still has to conduct public hearings.

Adoption in the plenary will likely take place when Congress, which is scheduled to take a break beginning this week, resumes sessions on Nov. 8.

The Senate yesterday referred concurrent resolution No. 3 to the committee on peace, unification and reconciliation chaired by Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III as well as rules panel chaired by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III for public hearings and only after the conduct of such proceedings can concurrence on the floor take place.

It would entail approval by majority of the Senate to seal the deal, so to speak, of the President with junior officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who got embroiled in the failed coups during the past administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101013hed5.html

Somali pirates seize 20 Pinoy sailors in Gulf of Aden By Michaela P. del Callar 10/13/2010

Somali pirates seize 20 Pinoy sailors in Gulf of Aden

By Michaela P. del Callar 10/13/2010

Ransom-seeking Somali pirates seized 20 Filipino sailors on board a Japanese vessel, bringing to 101 the total number of Philippine seafarers being held in the Gulf of Aden.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the all-Filipino crewmen of the Japan-bound MV Izumi, a Panamanian-flagged merchant vessel owned by Japanese shipping company NYK-Hinode Line Ltd., were abducted by heavily armed pirates on Oct.10 off the coastal city of Mombasa in Kenya.

The EU naval force, which regularly conducts patrol in the area, immediately dispatched a Danish and French warship to track the MV Izumi after receiving a distress call from the hijacked vessel. French warship FS Floreal is now monitoring the pirated vessel which is currently 170 nautical miles South of Mogadishu, the DFA said.

In the meantime, the DFA said it is coordinating with the local manning agency of the vessel to secure the safe and early release of the seafarers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101013hed6.html

RP war vets ask gov’t to include P15.766B in arrears in 2011 budget 10/13/2010

RP war vets ask gov’t to include P15.766B in arrears in 2011 budget

10/13/2010
Officials of Aksyon Beterano, Inc. (AB) have asked the Senate, the House of Representatives and Malacañang to include in the 2011 budget some P11 billion, representing Total Administrative Disability Pension (TADP) for living veterans and P1.2 billion for those who died in combat as provided for under Republic Act 7696, dated April 9, 1994..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101013nat4.html

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