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Scared of a genuine probe EDITORIAL 11/02/2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scared of a genuine probe

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Civil socialites, of the Dinky Soliman and PEACe bonds type, and apparently, also of the Aquino yellow type, have this penchant for linking criticisms and allegations hurled at them to what they now refer to as foes, out to destroy them.

It is of course being done to deflect accusations against them.
A report stated that Code-NGO, which is deep into the scam called PEACe bonds which earned for the group P1.4 billion while making the Filipino people pay P35 billion for its grand scam, questioned the initiator of the congressional probe into the bonds scam, saying that Code-NGO members thought all along that Rep. Rufus Rodriguez was with the Joseph Estrada camp, and not an ally of Noynoy Aquino.

So what does Estrada have to do with the congressional probe on the PEACe bonds scam? And does it matter who is allied with whom?

Nothing at all, but these PEACe bonders, apparently realizing that they really are in deep manure over that scam, want to divert the focus of attention, which is really stupid, but apparently, they seem to think that linking Estrada to Rodriguez would refocus the probe of the scam elsewhere..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101102com1.html

Barack and Noynoy FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/02/2010

Barack and Noynoy

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy Aquino should really start analyzing just how things have been turning out for US President Barack Obama and his Democrats.

The reason is simple: Noynoy and his Liberals, throughout the campaign and into the presidency, have aped Obama all throughout.

Obama, during the presidential campaign, focused his spiel on two things: Change and hope. This was also the message that was aped by Aquino, who kept on promising change and hope. Remember his Filipinos can dream again line, as well as his call for change or pagbabago?

There are of course similarities and huge differences in the two Presidents. While both were members of Congress, Obama did have a record, Noynoy has none. Barack has charisma, Noynoy has none. One is an intellectual, the other is, well, you know..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101102com2.html

Obama’s philosophy, character still elusive focus 11/02/2010

Obama’s philosophy, character still elusive


WASHINGTON — Despite two years under unforgiving scrutiny, President Barack Obama’s true political philosophy remains elusive, as his White House braces for a sickening blow in congressional elections.

With Republicans poised in Tuesday’s mid-term polls to shatter the Democratic monopoly on power in Washington, the answers Obama finds to questions about his character and politics may decide whether he can win a second term in 2012.

After a stratospheric political rise, Obama made himself, in his euphoric 2008 campaign, the epitome of hope for the future.

His “Yes We Can” mantra, made him the personification of the idea that a grassroots movement could change America.

But after two years, the deep national pessimism about the economy has taken a toll, and it is Republicans, seemingly poised to seize the House of Representatives on Tuesday, who are posing as “change” agents..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101102com3.html

A Little Night Music NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/02/2010

A Little Night Music

Armida Siguion-Reyna
But before I proceed, allow me to be the first to admit that I did not get to finish the Atlantis Productions’ staging of the Stephen Sondheim musical when I watched it last Saturday evening, at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in the RCBC Building in Makati.

Heaven knows I had wanted to see the entire two acts, given that when I was still in New York some two weeks ago. I had already been hearing wonderful things about it, especially given that my apo Cris Villonco was in the cast, and Dawn Zulueta, whom I shall immodestly claim as having cut teeth in Reynafilms’ Hihintayin Kita sa Langit, in 1990.

Except the auditorium was much too cold for me. I was dressed in three layers of clothes and still shivered so much that toward intermission, my teeth were chattering. Given the choice between staying all throughout but at the same time complaining about the temperature to the point of (greatly) annoying seatmates, I had no choice but to leave after Act I..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101102com4.html

No one except cranks AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 11/02/2010

No one except cranks

Ken Fuller
“No one — that is, no one except cranks — has seriously suggested that taxes should be abolished so that everyone can keep his money and pay only for the goods he uses: food, clothes, shelter, roads, power, police, telephones, bridges, medical care, etc. — for the very reason that no one is wealthy enough to afford all these goods and conveniences individually. Socially and economically speaking, collectively — pooling resources in the everyday sense — is man’s fate. In society, every man is his brother’s keeper.”

It is 37 years since those words were written (the author will be revealed later) and the economic culture has, regrettably, moved on. Less than six years after the above passage appeared in print, the UK electorate installed Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street, and the following year Ronald Reagan was elected to the White House. What a way to start the 1980s! “There is no such thing as society,” Thatcher was to quip in 1987 and, although this was not true when she said it, by the time she left office British society was certainly on the rocks.

Thatcher and Reagan commenced an orgy of privatization, savaging the trade union movement in their respective countries in the process. Later, it was revealed that Thatcher’s fight to the death with the National Union of Mineworkers was part of a strategy — her axe-man Nicholas Ridley had a list of targets, headed by the NUM. In the USA, Reagan began by confronting the air-traffic controllers’ union..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101102com5.html

Bosnian war rapes still an open wound, 15 years on FEATURE 11/02/2010

Bosnian war rapes still an open wound, 15 years on


SARAJEVO — Enisa Salcinovic knows a lot about sports. From basketball to rugby, she easily names top players and teams because watching matches is the only thing that does not trigger painful memories.

TV sports, six different daily pills and an exhausting job as a cleaning lady have become the 55-year-old widow’s mechanism for coping with her horrific 40-day ordeal of imprisonment, rape and torture during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

The nightmare began in late June 1992 when a former colleague of Salcinovic’s husband Nusret started tormenting her after Nusret was taken prisoner by Serbs.

“The first time he forced me to have oral sex in front of my parents,” she said as she broke down in tears.
“After that he raped me every time he came, every time he was off work.”..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101102com6.html

Clinton visit raises hopes for embattled Pacific women

Clinton visit raises hopes for embattled Pacific women


SYDNEY — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit this week to impoverished Papua New Guinea (PNG) has raised hopes of a greater focus on tackling shocking levels of violence against women in the Pacific nation.

In a flying visit to Port Moresby on Wednesday, Clinton will “stress the importance of empowering women” in a country rights group Amnesty says suffers from extremely high rates of abuse and discrimination toward females.

“If you are born a woman in PNG you are already at a disadvantage,” University of Papua New Guinea law lecturer Tapora Isorua told AFP.

“The fact that someone of Hillary Clinton’s status is coming to PNG and addressing that issue could... bring the message across to parliamentarians.”

Violence against women is rife in the underdeveloped nation where most people live in remote villages, with studies showing some two-thirds of adult females experience domestic violence, Amnesty campaigner Hannah Harborow said...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101102com7.html

Full disclosure in GOCCs urged By Ayen Infante 11/02/2010


Full disclosure in GOCCs urged

By Ayen Infante 11/02/2010

To whip state firms into efficiency, a legislator has proposed that government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and financial institutions to periodically give to the public what is equivalent to the requirement of the bourse on listed firms, which is adequate disclosure of their financial conditions.

GOCCs should routinely report their operating and financial performance directly to the public, to Filipino taxpayers, not just to the Department of Finance (DoF), Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said.

“Taxpayers are the ultimate shareholders of all GOCCs. Thus, GOCCs should disclose their quarterly and annual results to the public, through management conducting a news conference, where their performance can be openly scrutinized by the media,” Barzaga said.

GoCCs should also post detailed quarterly and annual reports on their web sites, in a format to be aproved by the DoF, for all to see, Barzaga said.

GoCCs are under fire for being perennial drains to the government coffers while appointed officials in these firms shower themselves with fabulous salaries and perks.

President Aquino recently signed Executive Order 7 suspending the perks of GOCC officials but this has been challenged in the Supreme Court (SC) which is expected to come out with a ruling soon on the EO’s validity..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/

39 Christians killed in Iraq church hostage drama 11/02/2010

39 Christians killed in Iraq church hostage drama

BAGHDAD — Seven security force members and 39 Christians were killed when US and Iraqi forces stormed a Baghdad cathedral to free dozens of hostages, an official said Monday, as an al-Qaeda group claimed the attack.

Among those killed in the Sunday night hostage drama were five women, seven children and two priests, an interior ministry official and witnesses said. Ten women, eight children and a priest were among the wounded.
“The latest toll is that 39 of the hostages were killed and 56 wounded,” the official said, adding that seven security force members were killed and 15 wounded. He did not specify if any Americans were among the dead.

Five attackers were killed and eight arrested, he said, adding there had been more than 100 worshippers at the Sayidat al-Nejat Catholic cathedral in central Baghdad when the hostage-takers stormed in.

The gunmen had attacked during evening mass after killing two guards at the nearby headquarters of the Baghdad stock exchange.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101102hed2.html

Kidnapped Pinoy seafarers’ rise to 110 By Michaela P. del Callar 11/02/2010

Kidnapped Pinoy seafarers’ rise to 110

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/02/2010

The total number of Filipino sailors taken hostage by ransom-seeking pirates off Somalia has climbed to 110.
Just last week, pirates seized 30 Filipino seamen in two separate hijacking incidents on Oct. 23 and 30.

Those ships seized were the Singaporean oil tanker MV York with 14 Filipinos on board and the Liberian vessel, MV Polar, with 16 Filipino crewmen.

The Filipino captives are on board eight vessels off 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, 20 aboard the MV Izumi, 14 on MV York and 16 on MV Polar.

As a policy, the Philippine government does not negotiate nor pay ransom to kidnappers, but gives ship owners the free hand in negotiating for the release of abducted Filipino sailors. In the past, millions of dollars worth of ransom were believed to have been paid by shipowners to Somali pirates in exchange for the release of abducted sailors and hijacked vessels..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101102hed3.html

PAL workers guaranteed employment, benefits — DoLE By Mina Diaz and Gerry Baldo 11/02/2010

PAL workers guaranteed employment, benefits — DoLE

By Mina Diaz and Gerry Baldo 11/02/2010

With the House committee on labor threatening to call for a hearing on the Department of Labor and Employment’s decision to lay off some 2,600 Philippine Airlines employees, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz yesterday said that none of the 2,600 affected PAL employees will be left jobless, following the release of its decision on the June 28, 2010 motion for reconsideration of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea) of the earlier decision of former DoLE acting Secretary Romeo Lagman upholding the planned outsourcing of services and consequent severance from employment of the said employees.

The DoLE decision emphasized that the 2,600 PAL employees who are part of its in-flight
catering, airport services (cargo handling), and call center reservations operations, all identified as non-core activities of the airline in its 1998 Supplemental Rehabilitation Plan approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, are all guaranteed with employment and hefty transition benefits.

According to the decision, in declaring valid the termination of the covered rank-and-file employees, it established two parameters under the CBA: (1) the exercise of the management prerogative was done in a just, reasonable, humane, and lawful manner; and (2) the observance of the 45-day consultation period, required in the CBA, before implementing the reorganization..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101102hed4.html

Oversight body vs gov’t major regulatory agencies urged 11/02/2010

Oversight body vs gov’t major regulatory agencies urged

Members of the House of Representatives yesterday expressed disappointment over the Transparency International (TI) report even as they pushed the creation of a permanent congressional oversight committee that would monitor major regulatory agencies of the government.

The lawmakers, including Representatives Ben Evardone (Eastern Samar), Neil Tupas (Iloilo) and Juan Edgardo Angara (Aurora) said they were displeased with the latest global corruption survey.

They noted that despite the small improvement, the report shows how “deeply rooted” corruption is in the bureaucracy.

Despite improving from 139th last year to 134th this year, however, the Philippines is still being considered even as the most corrupt nation in Southeast Asia as it continues to lag far behind its neighboring countries such as Malaysia (56th), Thailand (78th), Indonesia (110th) and Vietnam (116th), according to the corruption perception index (CPI) report of TI.

“Congress has to institutionalize its efforts to fight official corruption and it cannot do so without a permanent congressional oversight committee that would monitor the performances of the major regulatory agencies of government,” Evardone said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101102hed5.html

150K MRT ‘ghost riders’ taking gov’t for a ride By Angie M. Rosales 11/02/2010

150K MRT ‘ghost riders’ taking gov’t for a ride

By Angie M. Rosales 11/02/2010

Taxpayers are shouldering the subsidy of the daily 150,000 “ghost riders” of Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) for the past few years, a senator yesterday revealed.

“Essentially, taxpayers are shouldering the fare subsidy of 650,000 passengers but since only 500,000 show up daily, there are, in effect, 150,000 ‘ghost riders,’” Sen. Ralph Recto noted.

The government is paying for riders who are non-existent, he stressed.

The senator took note of this information as he stood opposed to the called fare increase by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC).

Instead, the chairman of the Senate ways and means committee said the government should invest in procuring more train coaches to maximize the ridership potential of the railway system and, in the process, turn in a decent return of investment.

The MRT Line 3 from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City is actually good for a daily ridership of 650,000 but only about 500,000 or even less are serviced daily due to lack of coaches, he pointed out..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101102hed6.html

‘Nothing sinister’ about Marines pull out, says AFP 11/02/2010

‘Nothing sinister’ about Marines pull out, says AFP

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday maintained there was nothing “sinister” about the pull out of Marine forces from Basilan, stressing the move was meant to focus the Navy’s specialized unit to areas influenced by the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) particularly in Central Mindanao.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., at the same time, denied that the move to pull out the entire 1st Marine Brigade under Brig. Gen. Eugenio Clemen from Basilan province, was designed to have the Army, the biggest service command of the AFP, corner all area commands.

“That has been discussed long before and the idea there is for the Marines to basically be deployed where there is prevalence of MILF forces,” said Mabanta.

Last Sunday, military sources expressed concerns over the pull out of the Marines from Basilan, which is directly under the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) under Marine Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino. They claimed the move could have something to do with the retirement of Dolorfino on Nov. 10.

The sources claimed the pull of the 1st Marine Brigade in Basilan would pave the way for the probable appointment of an Army general to replace Dolorfino. They branded such move as “unfair” to the Navy-Marines and the Air Force as area commands are the breeding ground for top AFP posts..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101102nat4.html

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