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The pitfalls of amnesty EDITORIAL 10/14/2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The pitfalls of amnesty

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
10/14/2010
Amnesty for rebel soldiers, is clearly a prerogative of a president — as long as Congress concurs in it.
These grants of amnesty, however, may work against the state and the government whenever rebel soldiers, misguided or otherwise, believe that they have the noblest intention in rebelling against the government or staging a mutiny to “save the country” and be one with the people, as their “protectors.”

It has been proved, since 1986, that pardons and amnesties to soldiers do not deter military and even police adventurists from attempting to topple a government, perhaps even with the goal of claiming power for themselves while planning to set up a military government.

Early in the reign of Cory Aquino, in July 1986, there was a comedy of a coup d’etat that occurred in the Manila Hotel, with some politicians and rebel soldiers as participants.

It was evident that the coup — if it were one — would not have succeeded. In any case, when it was all over, all the soldiers were penalized with a number of push-ups..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101014com1.html

Taking the crooked path FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/14/2010

Taking the crooked path

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
10/14/2010
Hong Kong, reacting to the Palace reviewed report that exonerated everyone earlier indicted by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) from criminal charges, and watered down administrative sanctions over the Aug. 23 botched hostage rescue, formally stated that “The people of Hong Kong, especially the survivors and the victims’ families, will find this hard to accept. The Hong Kong SAR government is also disappointed.”
The HK government spokesman added: “The eventual actions to be taken against the persons involved must live up to their pledge to be accountable to the public. That is also what is owed to the dead and the injured. We will convey our views to the Philippine government through proper channels.”

Hong Kong is not alone in finding the IIRC’s original recommendations for criminal and steep administrative action against several government officials and officers difficult to accept, as many of the Filipinos also find it hard to accept the Malacañang whitewash of the case, considering the fact that Noynoy Aquino resorted to a whitewash to spare his shooting buddy and trusted allies from any criminal and serious administrative charges.
Noynoy and his boys may deny it all they want, but the blatant watering down of the recommended sanctions was done for one thing only: To get his crony and allies off the criminal hook..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101014com2.html

Outside cash leaves scorched earth in US campaign focus 10/14/2010

Outside cash leaves scorched earth in US campaign

focus

10/14/2010
WASHINGTON — Nerve jarring music races to a crescendo, shadowy pictures flash across the screen, and in doom-laden tones, a narrator warns: “Obama — he promised change... now he’s desperate, on the attack.”

This is not the inspirational candidate who moved thousands to tears at his Chicago victory party, nor the one who tilted at history with the most impressive legislative record of any Democratic president for decades.
This is President Barack Obama through the eyes of “Americans for Prosperity,” a group lambasted by Democrats since a Supreme Court decision opened a spigot of outside spending on next month’s mid-term elections.

Expensive, bombastic political ads are hardly new to American politics — both sides of the political aisle fling half truths and explosive claims across television screens every election season.

But Democrats, fearing heavy losses in Congress due to the sluggish economic rebound and high unemployment, are crying foul this year, after the Court rulings dismantled a raft of restrictions on corporate spending..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101014com3.html

Manila Council declares war on IA BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 10/14/2010

Manila Council declares war on IA

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
10/14/2010
Camp Crame has just come out with a 48-page security handbook filled with tips which Filipino journalists — whom foreign media watchdogs have described as an “endangered species” because the government appears inutile and helpless in assuring their safety against those who’re out to do them harm to prevent them from coming out with the truth in their stories — may use if they so desire to help protect them against threats to their health and safety.

Since 1986, it is estimated that over 170 journalists have been killed in the Philippines thereby lending credence to the unkind epithet that the country is in the league of such places as Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Russia and Mexico as among the most dangerous for journalists.

Officials of the National Press Club said that while they wholly appreciated the publication of the handbook as a gesture by the present leadership of the Philippine National Police, led by the newly-appointed lawyer, Raul Bacalzo, Ph.D, in trying to address the unabated killings of journalists, its greatest shortcoming is the fact that there weren’t any consultations made by the authors with the end users or the beneficiaries of the effort.
Bacalzo said the prime objective of the handbook is simply to give mediamen pointers and practical knowledge regarding the ABCs of securing themselves and their families against possible threats to their safety..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101014com4.html

The Catholic Church VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 10/14/2010

The Catholic Church

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
10/14/2010
Needless to say, everything is hereunder said and noted, is not for agnostics who acknowledge no God; neither for eclectics who simply choose what they want to believe as their own private and personal choice; nor is this short and elementary composition intended for people who subscribe to any sect here and there that come and go, or any system of beliefs that blatantly defies all logic and reason. In other words, this whole plain and simple matter about certain particulars about the Catholic Church are the concerns the faithfully practicing Catholics, of the occasional Catholics and even of but the nominal Catholics.

At the very start, let it be said that it is only the Catholic Church that is found existing and operative in all the known continents of the world. There are wherefore baptized Catholics among peoples of all races and colors. Furthermore, the Catholic Church is the only worldwide institution that is some 2000 years old and counting. There is not a single entity in the whole universe that is as one and universal; that has remained global and vibrant as the Catholic Church. Yes, they are other old creeds — but there are neither one and universal,
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101014com5.html

Myanmar candidate hits the campaign trail — on foot FEATURE 10/14/2010

Myanmar candidate hits the campaign trail — on foot

FEATURE

10/14/2010
Campaigning is under way for Myanmar’s first election in 20 years and opposition candidate Moe Tun has been busy pounding the pavements and knocking on doors to drum up support.

With no car to navigate the streets of Yangon, the 43-year-old teacher has been hitting the campaign trail on foot ahead of the Nov. 7 poll.

“As I have no money, I cannot do much work. But I walk. I reach every ward. I do the work myself by walking,” said Moe Tun, one of 47 candidates for the Democratic Party (Myanmar), led by veteran politician Thu Wai and three daughters of late prime ministers.

But he does not think of himself as a potential lawmaker.

“I consider it as continuing unfinished political work by my friends,” he told AFP while waiting for his colleagues near the Htaukkyant war cemetery in the north of the former capital.

A vehicle decorated with a campaign poster played the party’s music over a loudspeaker while members in T-shirts bearing their symbol of a dancing peacock and stars handed out pamphlets..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101014com6.html

A drink to Dinky! COMMENT 10/14/2010

A drink to Dinky!

COMMENT

10/14/2010
I find nothing wrong with cash dole outs to qualified poor families under Dinky Soliman’s conditional cash transfer program. Aligning the largess with large-scale projects will only invite the ubiquitous obscenity of malversation, such as in the case of the usual bidding anomalies attendant to the acquisition of fishing nets and other fishing gear. Give them the fish or its cash equivalent, and if they choose mendicancy over self-respect, they don’t deserve salvation.

I have been asked to comment on the President’s “encroachment” on the work of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC). It’s obvious some readers believe that the IIRC is higher than its creator.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, in my opinion, a constitutionalist’s constitutionalist, was absolutely correct in pointing out that President Aquino was privileged to publicly bare at any time of his choice his disposition of the committee’s recommendations. As the IIRC’s creator, P-Noy’s authority over it is unassailable, in pretty much the same way he enjoys primordial dominion over the Truth Commission.

The President’s authorship of both bodies derives from his constitutional mandate in the criminal justice system, an executive role that encompasses a process sometimes initiating with surveillance and arrest, and culminating in the prosecution of a crime punishable under our penal laws. The IIRC and the commission are fact-finding bodies which the President created to aid him discharge his duties in the justice system, in addition to such other institutionalized agencies as the military, the police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and of course the Department of Justice..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101014com7.html

HK dismayed by Noy’s no accountability move By Michaela P. del Callar, Aytch S. de la Cruz and Gerry Baldo 10/14/2010 The Chinese and H

 PALACE DEFENDS WATERED-DOWN CHARGES IN BUS HIJACK

HK dismayed by Noy’s no accountability move

By Michaela P. del Callar, Aytch S. de la Cruz and Gerry Baldo 10/14/2010

The Chinese and Hong Kong governments were dismayed by President Aquino’s decision to absolve his close aides and several personalities of any accountability and responsibility in the Aug. 23 Manila hostage tragedy that killed eight Hong Kong tourists.

A diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao was “extremely disappointed” with the outcome of Aquino’s review of the IIRC report, whose sanctions were drastically changed and watered down. The HK government expected the Aquino administration to follow the IIRC recommendations.

The HK government, in a statement Tuesday, said in reaction to Aquino’s whitewash of the charges: “Hong Kong people expect the Philippine Government to handle the question of responsibility of the officials and persons involved in a fair manner, and follow through the required actions seriously. The Philippine Government decided to lessen the recommended actions against the relevant officers named in the first report by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee. The people of Hong Kong, especially the survivors and the victims’ families, will find this hard to accept. The Hong Kong SAR Government is also disappointed. We ask that the Philippine Government follow through the required actions. The eventual actions to be taken against the persons involved must live up to their pledge to be accountable to the public. That is also what is owed to the dead and the injured. We will convey our views to the Philippine Government through proper channels.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101014hed1.html

Timing of amnesty for rebels quizzed By Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 10/14/2010

Timing of amnesty for rebels quizzed

By Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 10/14/2010

Sen. Joker Arroyo yesterday practically accused his colleagues and Malacañang of intervening in the case of detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV by rushing the grant of amnesty to him and other fellow soldiers and officers facing mutiny charges before the courts.

The senator questioned the effort being exerted by the Executive which stemmed from the initiatives of the senators, noting the scheduled pro-mulgation of Trillanes’ criminal case pending before the Makati City Regional Trial Court sometime this month.

“Why Malacañang had to rush the amnesty procla-mation despite the forth-coming decision of the Trillanes, et al mutiny case scheduled on Oct. 28, smacks of executive intervention in the judicial process,” he noted.
But leaders of the upper chamber were quick to defend themselves, pointing out that the reason they are now subjecting the concurrent resolution on Presidential Proclamation 50 to a public hearing is precisely to observe the process and spare them the accusations of railroading the grant of amnesty.

“Prudence dictates that we should hold a hearing. So we referred this to committee on rules so that we may report it out as soon as possible. Our target is, maybe we would be reporting it out or adopt it by Nov. 8 (when we resume sessions),” Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101014hed2.html

SC issues status quo order on Noy’s ‘midnight appointment’ edict By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/14/2010

SC issues status quo order on Noy’s ‘midnight appointment’ edict

By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/14/2010

A status quo order has been issued by the Supreme Court (SC) on Malacañang’s controversial Executive Order No. 2 ordering the layoff of state workers deemed as “midnight appointees” by the Aquino administration.
In a minute resolution, the SC en banc through Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal, ordered the parties in three separate cases which had been consolidated into one single suit “to observe the status quo prevailing before the issuance of EO 2 dated July 30, 2010.”

The three suits had been filed separately by lawyers Cheloy Garafil,Eddie Tamondong and Bai Omera Dianalan-Lucman. Respondents in the three suits include Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz.

Tamondong was a director of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) during the Arroyo administration while Lucman was a former National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) commissioner and secretary.

Last September, Garafil, aformer prosecutor, was verbally told to quit her post in the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) without due process..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101014hed3.html

CPU to help 10,000 victims of child abuse 10/14/2010

CPU to help 10,000 victims of child abuse

10/14/2010
Child Protection Unit (CPU) Philippines will help 10,000 maltreated children annually as child abuse cases reached an alarming rate of 9,787 last year.

The figure was a thousand more than reported in 2008, data from the Philippine National Police’s National Women’s and Children’s Protection Desk show.

“These were only reported cases. CPU wants to be at the forefront in assisting child victims and their families get medical, psychosocial, and legal protection,” said Dr. Stella Guerroro-Manalo, CPU associate executive director.

CPU will establish one national and six regional training and treatment centers, which will be augmented by 25 child protection units in key regions and 81 satellite offices nationwide in the next five years.

The network will enable abused children anywhere in the country to access its services..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101014nat3.html

Pinoys in Greece want Ambassador Tiglao out By Charlie V. Manalo 10/14/2010

Pinoys in Greece want Ambassador Tiglao out

By Charlie V. Manalo 10/14/2010
Filipino workers in Greece have demanded the ouster of the Philippines’ ambassador there whom they accused of overstaying and incompetence.

In a statement, Filipino migrant workers group, Kasapi Hellas, in Athens urged President Aquino not to reappoint Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao, a political appointee of former President Gloria, who they said “has nothing to show in terms of performance after more than four years” in post.

Tiglao’s term ended last June 30, Arroyo’s last day in office, but he managed to hold on to his post after he and several other Arroyo political diplomats were given until Sept. 30 to wrap up their tour of duty.

Defying the Department of Foreign Affairs order, Tiglao continues to stay in Greece.

At least 200 Filipino picketed the embassy on Sunday, bearing protest placards and armed with megaphones, shouting “alis dyan (go away).”

“Mr.Tiglao has overstayed his ‘tourist visa’ in Greece and must go home immediately,” they noted..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101014hed5.html

6 Pinoys killed in plane crash in Afghanistan By Michaela P. del Callar 10/14/2010

6 Pinoys killed in plane crash in Afghanistan

By Michaela P. del Callar 10/14/2010

Six Filipinos were among eight persons killed last Tuesday when a civilian cargo plane crashed outside of capital Kabul, Afghanistan, reports said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it has yet to confirm the report.

DFA spokesman Eduardo Malaya said the Home Office in Manila has already instructed its embassy in Pakistan, which has jurisdiction over Afghanistan, to verify if Filipinos were among the fatalities. Also killed was a Kenyan and an Indian national.

The US-based company operating the aircraft, National Air Cargo said that the plane was en route from the US Bagram Air Base to Kabul when it hit a mountain 20 to 30 kilometers east of the capital.

In July 2009, a civilian helicopter had problems taking off at the Khandahar airfield in Afghanistan and crashed, killing all its passengers, including 10 Filipino workers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101014nat1.html

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