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A scam is a scam is a scam EDITORIAL 10/30/2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A scam is a scam is a scam

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
10/30/2010
Dinky Soliman and her Code-NGO were hardly known entities before Gloria Arroyo and a treasonous military chief of staff, along with his highly unprofessional service chiefs, mounted a coup against the democratically elected Joseph Estrada; which coup was blessed by the disgraceful Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. with Gloria ascending to the presidency.

As Soliman and her group were supporters, including Teresita Deles, of the coup and of Gloria, they landed Cabinet jobs in the Arroyo government.
It is fact that Gloria, flushed with success at becoming president through the coup, quickly announced that Dinky would be her Social Welfare secretary. The next announced appointee was Deles, which already showed just how close their ties were with Gloria, as well as their being very influential in her government — until of course 2005, after their attempted “constitutional coup” against Gloria collapsed and they were then forced to go public, distance themselves from Gloria and demand her resignation.

Incidentally, with Dinky and Deles worming themselves into the Noynoy camp, they too, exert a lot of influence in the Noynoy government today. As it was with Gloria, so it was that Noynoy’s first announced secretaries were Soliman and Deles.
During the early years of the Gloria presidency, it was more than evident that Dinky and her Code-NGO had the ear of Gloria, as they also appear to have the ear of Noynoy, so much so that he quickly absolves them of any and all allegations.

The fact alone that a then unknown non-government organization, calling itself Code-NGO of which Dinky Soliman was its chairman, could get the Philippine government under Gloria to get a P10 billion float going through the Code-NGO’s PEACe Bonds, and for which the Filipino people will have to pay through the nose by next year, the amount of P35 billion, already showed its ties and influence with the Gloria government..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101030com3.html

Hikes in Toll Fees, Mass Transit Fares A Consequence of Public-Private Partnerships

Hikes in Toll Fees, Mass Transit Fares A Consequence of Public-Private Partnerships

Published on October 30, 2010
President Benigno Aquino III boldly declared during his first State of the Nation Address that public-private partnerships would be the solution to the government’s lack of funds and the need to develop the country’s infrastructure. But at whose expense?
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – When the Supreme Court lifted last week its restraining order on the toll fee hikes in SLEx, Skyway and NLEx, critics cried foul and said the high court has also defended private profit against the people’s interest. The 72-page Supreme Court decision argued for the “right to reasonable profit” of private developers contracted by the government to build and operate what should have been government-controlled services, according to critics.

“The roads form part of a government’s public service,” said Modesto Floranda, president of the national capital region chapter of Piston, a progressive drivers’ and operators’ association in the Philippines. “It should be the government who has control of the country’s roads. Why hand it over to private capitalists whose only motivation is to profit from their investments?”

In his first State of the Nation Address last July, President Benigno Aquino extolled the public-private enterprises as his government’s way of providing for the country’s needed infrastructure development. He boasted that with it, the government which is supposed to be short on funds would not have to shell out money to build what needs to be built.

But today’s back-to-back threats of increased fees for use of toll roads and fare for the mass transit system— spooking Filipinos just a couple of weeks after Aquino’s first hundred days in office— are exposing the seamy side of public-private enterprises. “We have improved roads, yes. But we drivers cannot feed our family,” said George San Mateo, secretary general of Piston. The transport group estimates that the P200 to P300 (or $4.66 to $6.99) daily earnings of jeepney drivers plying the SLEx route in Alabang alone would be wholly eaten up by the proposed toll fee increases. San Mateo said they face break-even at best, deficits at worst..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/10/30/a-consequence-of-public-private-partnerships/

Trial and conviction by publicity FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/30/2010

Trial and conviction by publicity

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
10/30/2010
Fhilippine media have this penchant for giving the accused a trial and conviction by publicity as media usually take on the role of investigator, judge and jury, making it extremely difficult for the accused who is tried and convicted by media publicity to even get a fair trial.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as well as the Department of Justice (DoJ) officials also aid in this usual media trial and conviction of persons whom they accuse of having committed a crime, as they come up with their theories and suspicions openly, even when they hardly have any strong evidence to back these up.

Some judges, along with public officials, also get into the trial and conviction by publicity act, as most public officials — usually connected with the administration — want the publicity and some judges, wanting either a promotion or are influenced by the media reports’ early conviction of the accused, end up convicting the accused, not bothering to judge the case on its merits.

This has happened before, in the case of Hubert Webb in the Vizconde muder case. The NBI then and the then Justice chief, Frank Drilon, kept up with the publicity of the rape and murder even before Webb was arrested while media tried and convicted Webb even before the trial.

All that the government case had against Webb was the testimony of a drug addict, Jessica Alfaro, whose testimony, incidentally didn’t quite match the physical inspection of the crime scene findings, apart from which, she even failed to recognize the other co-accused in court.... MORE

SourceDaily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101030com2.html

Woman Political Prisoner Released After Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision Published on October 30, 2010

Woman Political Prisoner Released After Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision

Published on October 30, 2010

“They wasted two years of my life,” Lita Mahilum, a political prisoner who was in jail for two years before being cleared by the Court of Appeals of the charges filed against her by the military, said.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA — Lita Mahilum, 44, a domestic helper in Cebu, and his boyfriend Pedro Lumantas were traveling last July 26, 2008 to make preparations for their wedding. When they arrived at the Sibulan Port, Negros Oriental, around 9 a.m., Mahilum and Lumantas were arrested by elements of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

In its press release , the Philippine Army claimed that Lumantas is a finance and logistics officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) regional committee in Central Visayas. The military also accused Mahilum of being a former member of the NPA unit which is operating in Bohol.

The two were charged with illegal possession of explosives. Mahilum said they only had biscuits, coffee and cigarettes with them when they were arrested. She said the three fragmentation grenades later presented by the military in court as evidence were planted.

On Nov. 6, 2008, the local court in Dumaguete convicted Mahilum and Lumantas of illegal possession of explosives and sentenced them to 18 years in prison. After more than two years of languishing in jail, Mahilum was acquitted by virtue of a decision of the Court of Appeals (CA).... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/10/30/woman-political-prisoner-released-after-appeals-court-reverses-lower-court-decision/

Broad Alliance Bats for Zero Toll Fee Increase, Govt Take-over and Subsidy of Toll Roads

Broad Alliance Bats for Zero Toll Fee Increase, Govt Take-over and Subsidy of Toll Roads

Published on October 30, 2010
Leaders and representatives of commuters, drivers, workers, transport workers and transport operators including pier-based truckers and bus companies, an association of independent oil companies and a legal expert banded together to oppose the impending toll fee hike.
By MARYA SALAMAT

Bulatlat.com
MANILA— The looming 250-percent toll fee hike in the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) and varied hikes in other major toll roads have united disparate organizations in vowing to fight for “zero-toll fee increase.” In a press conference held in Quezon City Friday Oct 29, leaders and representatives of commuters, drivers, workers, transport workers and transport operators including pier-based truckers and bus companies, an association of independent oil companies and a legal expert opposed to the toll fee hike, stated why they think the Aquino government should stop the toll fee hike and its unfortunate “domino-effect” of higher prices and reduced income for most Filipinos.

“The Supreme Court decision on the validity of the STOAs (supplemental toll operation agreements) is not yet final. The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) cannot and must not implement it yet,” said lawyer Ernesto Francisco, one of the petitioners against the toll fee hikes who joined the alliance of commuters, workers and transport operators against the said hikes. Francisco said he will file next week a motion for reconsideration of the high court’s decision that recently gave the go-signal to the dreaded toll fee hikes.

In a joint statement, the groups said they do not expect any positive outcome from the Toll Regulatory Board’s hearings and processes as ordered by the High Court. “In the past,” the groups explained in Filipino, “this agency seems to have favored more the interest of the investors in the tollways than the interests of the people.”

Preventable Burden 

The groups reiterated that the 250-percent toll fee hike in SLEx previously approved by the TRB would be a “huge burden and would create grave damage on the livelihood of people passing by the SLEx and on the entire population in general.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/10/30/broad-alliance-bats-for-zero-toll-fee-increase-govt-take-over-and-subsidy-of-toll-roads/

Military Terrorizes Batangas Community, Forcibly Recruiting Minors to Join Paramilitary

Military Terrorizes Batangas Community, Forcibly Recruiting Minors to Join Paramilitary

Published on October 30, 2010
A minor’s refusal to join the CAFGU resulted in him being beaten up and threatened by soldiers. And he is not alone in his ordeal.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO

Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Leon, 17, (not his real name) should be living a normal life, spending time with his mother, an overseas Filipino worker who has just returned to the country, or with his friends. Sadly, Leon’s life took a downward spin ever since soldiers entered their community.
Since February this year, the military has set up a detachment in barangay (village) Quipo in San Juan, Batangas, purportedly to protect the villagers from possible violence during the May 2010 elections. But they never left. In fact, more soldiers were deployed in the village.

The military, according to Juna Arante of Karapatan – Batangas, is said to be very friendly toward Leon, who they frequently invite to join their drinking sprees. On June 18, soldiers went to Leon’s house in sitio (sub-village) Calabasahan to formally recruit him to the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
“His parents were worried. They heard that CAFGUs are almost always placed at the frontline during military operations. So it is natural that they did not allow him to join,” Arante told Bulatlat, “Plus, of course, he is still a minor.”

Leon’s refusal, however, was not taken lightly by the military. When Leon joined his childhood friends in an out-of-town-trip organized by the Philippine Air Force, in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas on August 28, Leon accidentally opened the door of a restroom for women at around 9:00 p.m. He was then dragged by three drunken soldiers to the men’s room where he was beaten up..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/10/30/military-terrorizes-batangas-community-forcibly-recruiting-minors-to-join-paramilitary/

Twisting the Justice System to Render Agrarian Reform Inutile Published on October 30, 2010

Twisting the Justice System to Render Agrarian Reform Inutile

Published on October 30, 2010
Big landowners in Negros Occidental have found another way to retain and re-concentrate the land in their hands: file criminal cases against peasants and farm workers.

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com
MANILA — Early morning of November 15, 2009, 22 peasant families went to Lot No. 1156 of Hacienda Filomena in Escalante City, Negros Occidental to demand what was due to them. They cultivated the land because the landlord has not paid the monetary claims they have won in the case they filed before the National Labor Relations Commission. In return, however, the landlord filed several criminal cases against them.

Rebecca Bucabal, 56, one of the peasants who cultivated the five-hectare-Lot No. 1156, was aware of the possible criminal charges that might be filed against them. “But we do not have much choice,” she told Bulatlat in a mix of Tagalog and Visayan language, “We are hungry.”

Bucabal’s parents were already working in the 60-hectare Hacienda Filomena way before she was born. Bucabal later married Rufino, now 59 years old, who also works in Hacienda Filomena. Since the time of Bucabal’s parents until the present, farm workers in the hacienda endured the low salary being given to them, which was no more than P80 ($1.86) a day, depending on the type and amount of work being assigned to them.

In 1996, many farm workers were dismissed without prior notice by the Ocdenaria family, the landowners. Only 34 of them were brave enough to file a case against Ocdernarias before the National Labor Relations Commission for illegal dismissal and non-payment of their rightful salaries..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/10/30/twisting-the-justice-system-to-render-agrarian-reform-inutile/

‘Ghost families’ payouts certain By Gerry Baldo 10/30/2010

NO SAFEGUARDS IN DINKY’S P21-B DOLEOUTS

‘Ghost families’ payouts certain

By Gerry Baldo 10/30/2010

Bogus beneficiaries or “ghost families” are certain to benefit from Malacañang’s multibillion-peso cash doleout under the P21 billion conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which funds will be handled exclusively by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The House committee on appropriations has decided to keep the P21.194 billion fund for the DSWD’s CCT program intact, after President Aquino and his budget secretary, Butch Abad, released the pork barrel allocations of the congressmen, as well as their having been given P500,000 in bonuses, prior to the congressional recess, sweetening the approval pot.

Despite the committee’s approval of the CCT allocation without cuts, some congressional members yesterday questioned the agency’s capability to implement the program in the light of reports that the list of its supposed beneficiaries is filled with “ghost familes.”

Party-list Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan and Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez pointed out that the program, which was initiated during the time of former President Gloria Arroyo, may not get the desired results under DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman who is plagued with questions about her involvement in the multi-billion PEACe bonds scam..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101030hed1.html

Glorietta blast reinvestigation under way — DoJ chief By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/30/2010

Glorietta blast reinvestigation under way — DoJ chief

By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/30/2010

A fact-finding panel has been formed by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to take a second look at the October 2007 Glorietta 2 explosion following a retired Army officer’s claim that a high explosive bomb caused the incident, contrary to authorities’ earlier findings that the blast was caused by a buildup of methane in the basement of Glorietta.

In Department Order No. 716, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima directed Senior State Prosecutor Peter Ong and State Prosecutor Gino Paolo Santiago to investigate the Glorietta blast within 45 days.

She ordered the conduct of preliminary verification into the recent disclosure of retired Col. Allan Sollano that the explosion in Makati City on Oct. 19, 2007 was not an accident but was allegedly caused by an explosive.

“The prosecutors shall review reports of investigative agencies made relative to the blast, assess and evaluate existing evidence, gather more evidence and take additional statements from witnesses as may be available and submit their report and recommendation thereon within 45 days from receipt of this order,” De Lima said in her department order dated Oct. 26..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101030hed2.html

Criminal raps filed vs Globe Asiatique, Pag-IBIG exec By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/30/2010

Criminal raps filed vs Globe Asiatique, Pag-IBIG exec

By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/30/2010

Criminal charges of economic sabotage by syndicated estafa were filed yesterday before the Department of Justice (DoJ) by the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against officers of a developer and an employee of Pag-IBIG in connection with the multibillion-peso housing project in Pampanga.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the case handled by a prosecution panel which will look into the scandal-ridden housing project.

“Then that will be assigned to the appropriate task force. I think it will be a task force on the business scam, the same task force that is handling the legacy cases or create another panel. It should have been the panel given to the task force, considering the magnitude or amount involved,” she said.

Charged with syndicated estafa are Delfin Lee, Globe Asiatique (GA) Realty Holdings Corp. board chairman.
Also named in the charge sheet were Dexter Lee, GA executive vice present, chief finance officer, treasurer and board member; Cristina Salagan and Christina Sagun, heads of Accounting/Finance Department and Documentation Department, respectively, of GA and Lerma Vitug, Tintin.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101030hed3.html

NBI hunts second Bar blast suspect By Pat C. Santos and Gerry Baldo 10/30/2010

NBI hunts second Bar blast suspect

By Pat C. Santos and Gerry Baldo 10/30/2010

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is mounting a hunt for a second suspect allegedly involved in the De La Salle Bar exams bombing last month after it filed a criminal complaint against the suspected bomber the other day.

The NBI also released the artist sketch of the unidentified man who poked a gun at the group of men who allegedly mobbed Anthony Nepomuceno after hurling an MK2 fragmentation grenade in front of DLSU, resulting in the injuries to 50 persons.

The second suspect was described as a fair-complexioned man, who was holding a .45 cal. pistol in his left hand, between 23 and 24 years old, 5’7” to 5’9” and stocky.

The NBI said the second suspect poked a gun at the group of Jojo del Rosario who
ganged up on Nepomuceno after the bomb blast..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101030hed4.html

Battles on to aid tsunami survivors as toll tops 400 By Pat C. Santos and Gerry Baldo 10/30/2010

Battles on to aid tsunami survivors as toll tops 400

By Pat C. Santos and Gerry Baldo 10/30/2010
NORTH PAGAI — Indonesia battled Friday to deliver aid to remote islands where a tsunami has killed over 400 people, as bodies lay strewn on beaches and buried in debris days after the wave hit.

Disaster response officials believe the final death toll from the huge wave that pummeled the Mentawai island chain off the west coast of Sumatra Monday could exceed 600, with many victims sucked out to sea as the tsunami receded.

Almost 13,000 people are living in makeshift camps on the islands after their homes were wiped out in the killer wave, which was triggered by a powerful 7.7 mag-nitude earthquake.

Survivors in a village reached by an Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer said as many as 30 of the community’s 100 children had been killed. One man complained they still had not received any assistance from the government.

Elsewhere in the disaster-prone archipelago, the nation’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi, was spewing lava and searing gas, after an eruption on Tuesday killed 34 people..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101030hed5.html

Nurse in ventilator accident Nurse in ventilator accident By Michaela P. del Callar 10/30/2010

Nurse in ventilator accident Nurse in ventilator accident

By Michaela P. del Callar 10/30/2010

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed that the female nurse caught on video accidentally turning off a ventilator that left her paralyzed patient brain-damaged last year is a Filipina.

Foreign Affairs spokes-man Eduardo Malaya identified the Filipina as Violeta Aylward, 55, whose license was suspended in October 2009 by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the British government’s regulatory board, following the incident.

A formal hearing of the case has yet to take place.

Malaya said the matter has been the subject of investigation by the United Kingdom Crown Prosecution Service, which did not find sufficient basis to file a criminal case against the Filipina, who was found turning off the life support system of 37-year-old Jamie Merrett on CCTV.

Merrett became paralyzed from the neck down after a 2002 car accident..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101030hed6.html

Palace: GMA has right to remain silent By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/30/2010

Palace: GMA has right to remain silent

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/30/2010

Stressing the importance of keeping one’s faith with the court’s rules of procedures, Malacanang yesterday said there is nothing with the recent ruling of the Sandiganbayan forcing former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to appear before the court to testify.

In a phone interview with reporters, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte echoed the statement of Sandiganbayan justices granting the petition of Arroyo’s counsel, Estelito Mendoza, that explained why his client should not be compelled by the anti-graft court to testify against her former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri who is currently being tried for graft charges owing to his involvement in the anomalous national broadband network (NBN) controversy.

“That ruling was made on the basis of the fact that Congresswoman Arroyo is also one of those charged in that same case. So, as an accused, she is accorded the right not to testify in her own behalf. So, under the rules of procedure and under the rights of the accused, she cannot be compelled to testify on her own (case). It has to be on her own volition. You cannot force an accused to testify especially if there will be a statement that will be incriminating to the accused. So that’s in accordance with the legal procedures,” Valte explained.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101030nat5.html

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