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What is truth? EDITORIAL 10/19/2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What is truth?

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Despite the high court not having taken any action as yet on the constitutionality of the Aquino-created Truth Commission, the body went ahead to announce, in a press conference, that it was ready to accept confidential, anonymous and other graft complaints against Gloria Arroyo and her administration, as well as complaints on the C-5 controversy involving the properties of Sen. Manuel Villar.

The reason the body had constituted itself, so claimed its head, is that its life span is only a year, which is not quite accurate, since the same executive order (EO) creating it also says it could be extended if there is a need for it.

But trust Hilario Davide, the disgraced former Chief Justice, to go against rules and the Constitution, as well as deny the same institution he once headed, judicial courtesy.

Interestingly, all too suddenly, the C-5 issue was introduced by the truth body. It was pretty clear that this has been included by Davide to counter an argument from the parties questioning Noynoy Aquino’s EO in focusing charges solely on the previous administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101019com1.html

No independence FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/19/2010

No independence

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Calls from the House of Representatives have been made for the resignation of Peace Adviser Teresita Deles for the insulting manner she displayed in Congress, berating the Muslim representatives during the budget deliberations.

Rep. Aliah Dimaporo apparently asked Deles about the programs and policies of her office and sought for answers to the roots of insurgency in Mindanao.

Reports said that Deles responded that the problem with Muslim legislators is that they are mostly new and do not understand how the process works, while she (Deles) has been working on the peace issue for a long time.

That’s pretty arrogant of Deles, especially so because even when she was the peace adviser under Gloria Arroyo, her stint wasn’t successful. Neither is her record as a Cabinet secretary, since no achievement can be gleaned in that department.

Instead of explaining as she was asked to do by the members of Congress, Deles reportedly cut Dimaporo off, stating that the representative should read Deles’ books instead..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101019com2.html

Saddam-era firm now making music instead of bombs FEATURE 10/19/2010

Saddam-era firm now making music instead of bombs


BAGHDAD — Before the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq’s Al-Shaheed State Company used to make a blast, literally. Now it helps to produce music.

“We used to make mortar shell casings, but our engineers changed the production line, so we now make brass for trumpets and vases, and copper cables,” said Amine Hawas, a company technician.

Al-Shaheed’s fate has been mirrored by a string of other companies created during the regime of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein and since transformed under an order of the post-invasion government of US diplomat Paul Bremer to turn military industries into civilian ones.

Created in 1982, the reformed company displayed its wares at a four-day fair of state-owned industries in Baghdad this week.

Other companies at the exhibition have gone from making guns, bombs and military binoculars to water sprinklers, microscopes and bomb-disposal robots..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101019com3.html

Unregulated bus companies AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 10/19/2010

Unregulated bus companies

Ken Fuller
Concerned by the spate of fatal bus accidents earlier this year, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. has made the sensible suggestion that the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) investigate bus drivers’ working conditions, as he suspects that “lack of sleep and rest between long trips could be a key factor in the rash of road disasters.”

Reading his press release, it struck this outsider as curious, however, that while it makes sense for DoLE to examine the driving hours’ regime of each employer, Representative Barzaga made no call for the Department of Transport and Communications (DoTC) to ensure that the legislation on this matter is adequately enforced.

Back in July, Malaya columnist Dahli Aspillera wrote on the same subject, although she agreed with Cebu Rep. Eddie Gullas that rail needed to play a bigger role at the expense of buses, as she was convinced that the DoTC was incapable of effectively regulating the conduct of bus companies.

Aspillera told of a recent experience in which she and 40 other journalists were driven on a day-long tour, then conveyed to their hotel for dinner, followed by a six-hour night-time drive back to Manila, all with the same bus driver. Again, it struck me as curious that she questioned only the prudence, but not the legality, of this..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101019com5.html

Defense cuts spark questions on Britain’s post-empire role focus 10/19/2010

Defense cuts spark questions on Britain’s post-empire role


LONDON—The prospect of savage cuts to the defense budget as the government battles to cut a huge deficit has revived a decades-old debate in Britain — is it losing its status as a global power?

Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped in to mediate between the Treasury — which initially demanded defense cuts of up to 20 percent — and military chiefs who warn that cuts over four percent could endanger national security.

Defense Secretary Liam Fox has been another long-term opponent of heavy reductions — in a leaked letter to Cameron last month, he warned of a fierce backlash if “draconian” cuts were made while Britain was at war in Afghanistan.

Even US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has weighed into the debate, saying she was worried by the prospect of defense cuts in Britain, the second-biggest supplier of foreign troops in Afghanistan after the US.
After Cameron’s intervention, the 42 billion euro ($59 billion) defense budget now faces likely cuts of seven or eight percent in the defence review to be unveiled Monday and Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s overall spending review, the BBC reported..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101019com6.html

Finally, US Army makes progress for women in uniform FEATURE 10/19/2010

Finally, US Army makes progress for women in uniform


FORT BELVOIR — The US Army is testing its first-ever combat uniform expressly designed to fit the female figure, a move seen as an overdue effort to make 160,000 US women soldiers more comfortable.

Don’t expect a camouflage haute couture revolution for America’s military women; the changes will be visibly slight, although they are important, said the first person to try on the women’s army combat uniform, or ACU.
“The unisex uniform was a little bit baggy,” Major Sequana Robinson told AFP, undoubtedly summing up the attitudes of thousands of female soldiers who for decades have had to make do with ill-fitting fatigues.

“The goal is not to have female soldiers accentuate their curves, but... it alleviates some of the excess material” that had come to typify the unisex uniform worn by far more men than women.

For years the US Army offered standard-issue unisex ACUs, which sought to neutralize gender differences but were often considered uncomfortable and unwieldy by female troops..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101019com7.html

Liar, liar NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 10/19/2010

Liar, liar

Armida Siguion-Reyna
NEW YORK — He must be tickled, having been main topic of an op-ed columnist in a major major broadsheet, just yesterday. I (unfortunately) know him well enough to know that there’s no difference between good and bad publicity. As far as he’s concerned, what matters most is that media identify him, so he’s able to write back and explain his side, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Well, I’m not about to give him the satisfaction, even as I list and make public more of his lies. Here, he shall be like the villain in the Harry Potter series, if not You-Know-Who, then the One-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. From time to time, since I stepped down from the MTRCB, I’d get asked to come out on TV with him, and I always said no. Heck, there was an offer I didn’t at all consider but immediately turned down, and this was to host a radio talk show. Eew, my grandchildren said then. And eew, indeed. There was no way I was going to willingly breath in the air he’d exhale, in the small confines of a radio booth.

On Skype — a wonderful invention, where through your computer you are able to talk to friends and family overseas and at the same time see them, for free! — friends have advised me not to even bother. But people like him continuously need to get exposed for the hypocrite and pakialamero that he is. For oh, how he can twist the truth and manipulate data to make it appear that he and only he comes in the name of truth; that it is only he who knows what’s truly artistic and what isn’t; and that it is only he who knows who’s truly artistic and therefore worthy of the National Artist Award..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101019com4.html

Noy no show in disaster meet 10/19/2010

Noy no show in disaster meet

President Aquino was expected to preside over the disaster preparedness meeting organized by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) yesterday morning at 9, but was a no-show, which absence gave rise to speculations that he again failed to get up on time to make it to the meeting.

Talk has been swirling for months that Aquino is a late riser and begins his work day at 11 a.m and cuts off at 5 pm.

Aquino was instead represented by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and two of his Communications Group officials — Secretaries Ricky Carandang and Edwin Lacierda — who all claimed that the President has other more important meetings to attend that day.

According to Ochoa, the President had been informed since Sunday night by Defense Secretary and NDRRMC chairman Voltaire Gazmin that government preparations for super typhoon Juan have so far been put in place and so he has nothing to worry about it.

“All agencies that are members of this risk reduction committee are already on hand and well-prepared for any eventuality,” Ochoa told reporters in a chance interview..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101019hed1.html

Dreaded insertion hope of fund-short agencies By Gerry Baldo 10/19/2010

Dreaded insertion hope of fund-short agencies

By Gerry Baldo 10/19/2010

The many government agencies that suffered slashed budgets for next year are now pinning their hopes on persuading legislators to realign part of the P1.645 trillion national budget to augment their operating funds or through so-called insertions, a term that gained notoriety during the past administration.

One such agency is the Department of Justice (DoJ), the budget for which has been slashed by half to only P7-billion.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the DoJ needed to find a budget to implement Republic Act No. 100171 or the Prosecutors Service Act. She said the funds would be used to hire some 200 prosecutors of the 700 needed to fill the prosecutorial staffing of various branches of the trials courts in the country.

“Somebody recommended the augmentation of P200 million. We will need this to allow us to fill out certain prosecutor positions because right now, there are 700 plus vacant prosecutor positions,” De Lima said in an interview with House reporters.

De Lima lamented that the DoJ’s hands are tied because of the crying need for more prosecutors in regional trial courts.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101019hed2.html

Malacañang confident of legal premises of truth body By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/19/2010

Malacañang confident of legal premises of truth body

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/19/2010

Officials of Malacañang are unmoved by the resurgence of constitutionality issues being leveled against the creation of the Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) by its critics from the upper chamber who remain equally steadfast in making their opinions heard that such fact-finding committee does not stand any chance in courts.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the other day, reiterated her view that the Executive branch has no constitutional authority to create agencies like the PTC. She continues to have reservations whether the findings and recommendations of such body will be able to stand in court.

But Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. believes otherwise as he expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will uphold President Aquino III’s maiden executive order (EO) which instituted the PTC.

Ochoa is part of Aquino’s legal team that crafted the parameters of the PTC which are being challenged by the lawmakers from both Houses of Congress particularly those who are allied with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, whose nine-year administration serves as its main target, owing to its alleged violation of the equal protection clause, among other things..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101019hed3.html

Solons to Noy: Heed Deles ouster calls By Gerry Baldo 10/19/2010

Solons to Noy: Heed Deles ouster calls

By Gerry Baldo 10/19/2010

President Aquino should heed calls from lawmakers to fire Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) chief, Secretary Teresita Quntios-Deles if he wants to succeed in forging peace with the Bangsamoro people, lawmakers said yesterday.

According to Davao del Sur Rep. Marc Douglas Cagas and Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong, Aquino should consider the overwhelming sentiments of the lawmakers who are offended by the arrogance of Deles.

The lawmakers issued a manifesto calling for the ouster of Deles who had allegedly insulted Rep. Aliah Dimaporo and the Maranaos during a meeting in the House of Representatives.

“The peace process is at stake. Maybe the President does not realize that this is a big issue.” Cagas said.
Loong added: “the President should consider our sentiments; we can’t have somebody there whom we can’t trust.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101019hed4.html

Senate panel okays Noy’s amnesty proclamation By Angie M. Rosales 10/19/2010

Senate panel okays Noy’s amnesty proclamation

By Angie M. Rosales 10/19/2010

The Senate has effectively approved on committee level Presidential Proclamation 50, which granted amnesty to military soldiers and junior officers accused of attempting to overthrow the Arroyo administration. This will be put to a vote in the upper chamber for concurrence when Congress resumes session next month.

“It’s been approved in the committee level. It will now be brought to the plenary for spon-sorship and debates... It will be put to a vote,” Sen. Teofisto Guingona, also the chairman of the committee on peace, unification and recon-ciliation, told reporters after yesterday’s first and last joint hearing by the Senate committee on rules.

He also assailed former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo for cheating her way to the presidency, leading to nine years of oppression that forced some soldiers to stage military uprisings against her admi-nistration.

“I would also like to state that it is my opinion that while many say they violated the law, but in the view of many, they were following the law. The Constitution provides that the President of the Philippines shall be elected by the people. Gloria Arroyo was not elected, she cheated her way to the elections, therefore she had no legitimate claim to the office of the President. She was a mere usurper who took away, and stole the Office of the President. Therefore, it was incumbent upon the officers of the Armed Forces to remove the usurper who had no legitimate claim on the office of the presidency. They were acting in compliance, not in defiance, of the Constitution,” Guingona said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101019hed5.html

21 Pinoy seamen freed; VP accepts job of OFW adviser 10/19/2010

21 Pinoy seamen freed; VP accepts job of OFW adviser

Twenty-one Filipino seafarers of a Liberian bulk carrier vessel were released Sunday by their Somali hostage-takers after almost six months in captivity, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The vessel, MV Voc Daisy, was hijacked by ransom-seeking Somali pirates last April 21, 190 nautical miles off the coast of Salalah, Oman.

In a statement, the DFA said the Filipino crewmen are in “good health.”

The department declined to say if ransom was paid to secure the release of the sailors.

The DFA said it is coordinating with the Filipinos’ manning agency and the vessel owner to arrange for the immediate repatriation of the seafarers to the Philippines.

To date, 80 more Filipino seamen on board six vessels are still held captives by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden: one aboard the MV Iceberg 1, 19 on the MV Samho Dream, 19 aboard the MV Eleni P, three aboard the FV Tai Yuan, 18 on the MT Motivator and 20 aboard the MV Izumi..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101019hed6.html

NFA tells traders not to cut down palay price 10/19/2010

NFA tells traders not to cut down palay price

The National Food Authority (NFA) is telling the grains businessmen in regions hit by typhoon “Juan” not to cut down their buying price of palay which may result in undue disadvantage on the part of farmers.

The NFA administrator Angelito Banayo said that just like most traders, the affected farmers would only just want to recoup even part of their investment, but this may not even be possible if the private palay traders will offer a much lower buying price at this time..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101019nat6.html

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