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The real face of terror EDITORIAL 11/05/2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

The real face of terror

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The tack the Department of National Defense and law enforcers are taking on the threat of attack on the country borders on insanity.

The agency for instance shocked the nation a few weeks back by revealing a supposed assassination plot on President Aquino that came and went without explanation from Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin whether the plot was nipped in the bud or if it was actually a hoax.

Later, the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) debunked Gazmin’s claim, saying it has found no specific plot to assassinate Aquino.

Just what kind of intelligence gathering do these Noynoy officials have that they simply come out stating that there are plots to assassinate Noynoy Aquino especially when there is no such plot?

A whole bunch of them appears to be as paranoid as their boss who sees any opposition to him as an enemy out to destroy his claimed reform government, even when clearly, not a single step has been taken by this administration to bring about reforms and change..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101105com1.html

Fates of presidents FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/05/2010

Fates of presidents

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Malacañang and Noynoy’s Liberal Party (LP) allies, knowing of the public’s perception of the political fate of Noynoy following Barack Obama’s and that of his Democrats, quickly tried to dispel talk of comparing Aquino with Obama, even when it is fairly clear that all throughout the campaign season and even during his four-month presidency, all Aquino and his LP allies did was to ape the Obama of 2008, who mesmerized the American voters with his pledge for change and hope.

As one of three communications chiefs claimed, the two can’t be compared — as far as political losses go — since the issue in the recent American electoral exercise was all about the failing economy that led to voters’ disenchantment of Obama.

The Palace aide added that this is not the issue pertaining to Aquino, since the call of Noynoy was to rid government of corruption.

But that is really skirting the issue, because Noynoy’s campaign line was hope, change and reforms in government. Corruption was a side issue and one Aquino and LPs used to fan the flames of hatred against the previous Malacañang tenant, and make themselves out as saints, which incidentally, was what Obama and his Democrats were also doing during the mid-term campaign. They all blamed the Bush administration for the ills being suffered today by the American people..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101105com2.html

Tempers cool in Kashmir after summer of violence FEATURE 11/05/2010

Tempers cool in Kashmir after summer of violence


SRINAGAR — As the first snows fall in the mountains of Indian Kashmir, tempers are also cooling after a summer of violence that saw more than 100 persons die in street protests.
For more than three months, thousands of protesters, many of them teenagers, fought pitched battles with security forces in the highly militarized disputed territory, with scores killed during police shooting.

The deaths, which reached 18 in a 24-hour period in September on the worst day of violence, caused the biggest Kashmir crisis for the Indian government since the start of an insurgency against Indian rule in 1989.
But for two weeks, the region has been mostly calm, attributed partly to a series of measures by the government designed to strangle the protests and defuse anger in the Himalayan region.

For the time being, the cycle of violence has been broken — good news for Delhi ahead of the visit to India this week of US President Barack Obama, who has spoken before about the importance of resolving the conflict.

“Each death sparked fresh violence, but as there have been no more deaths the situation has calmed to a large extent,” Tahir Mohiudin, editor of the widely read Urdu weekly Chattan, told AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101105com3.html

80 NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/05/2010


Armida Siguion-Reyna
By the time you read this, I will have officially turned 80. I write this well in advance of the birthday dinner yet to take place, but I’m able to project what it will be like: A gathering of family and friends, an assembly of people who love me as I am, all eight decades of me.

I’ve had dancing parties for real dancers and wannabe dancers, and kantahan marathons for singers and wannabe singers. I’ve had one that turned gruesome, with the heinous murder of one of my guests, Nida Blanca, three days later. It’s been years since she’s been slain, and justice is yet to come. I didn’t believe then that Rod Strunk masterminded the killing of his wife, I don’t believe it still. And this we continue to discuss in my ensuing birthday parties.

As my natal day drew nearer, I’m told some went into a mini-panic over what to give me, the woman reputed to have everything. It’s always like this, no matter how I reassure associates I want nothing but the pleasure of their company. They fret. They bother. They call each other up: “Ano’ng ibibigay natin kay Tita Midz?”

As chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), I disallowed producers from giving us presents outside of our birthdays and Christmas. Even then, such presents were not to exceed P3,000 for birthdays and not to exceed P5,000, for Christmas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101105com4.html

Comedic tragedy DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 11/05/2010

Comedic tragedy

Herman Tiu Laurel
Taking some time off writing about the widespread power plunder, I reviewed the other burning issues of the week. From the reactions of our Finance officials to the growing cries of exporters, OFW families, and the BPO (business process outsourcing) community for government intervention for the appreciating peso (and the depreciating dollar); to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief’s “not in our lifetime” comment on eradicating corruption; to the UP Law department versus the Supreme Court (SC) on judicial plagiarism, I only found comedies galore.

We received texts from our volunteer news monitor, Zaida, on an interview Wednesday afternoon by dzRH with National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Chief Cayetano Paderanga, which I translate to English: “Paderanga doesn’t even know a currency war is going on. He doesn’t even see the weakening of the peso! How did this guy get to be Neda chief? He doesn’t even discuss measures to defend the peso like ‘currency controls’ — so dumb.”

A week earlier, at a taping of my cable show with forensic financial auditor Hiro Vaswani, a colleague in the Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya (KME) narrated how after a seminar discussion, Paderanga admitted envy of the honest economic talk from nationalists like Hiro — to which Hiro responded with an admonition for Paderanga to simply shut up as he is well rewarded for prevaricating anyway.

Another comedic character is Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas deputy gov. Diwa Guinigundo who, in response to clamor from excruciatingly suffering exporters, said that the BSP would continue to abide by the “free float” of the peso based on the principle that “the exchange rate reflects market fundamentals.” This, even as the most “free market” fundamentalist of fundamentalists there is, Prof. Victor Abola, already says this about the entry of the peso into the P42 to the dollar territory: “This level of the peso is destructive.”

Simply put, Paderanga and Guinigundo’s reactions are what can be labeled in colloquial Filipino as dedma or patay malisya, i.e. playing dumb. These clowns look like Stan Laurel being bonked on the head with a chamber pot by Oliver Hardy; except that they’re not funny at all since their antics cause so much damage to the nation.

The same is true for the Joan d’ Arc of taxation, BIR Chief Kim Jacinto Henares, who charged to skewer little sidewalk bananaque vendors and jeepney drivers into the tax barbeque. Imagine her stepping up a notch or two on the antics of Aquino III’s financial clowns with a headline-grabbing statement, “Not in our lifetime,” when she referred to the eradication of corruption in her agency.

One needs to ask: Didn’t her boss campaign on that great cause of eradicating corruption, and didn’t she armor up to proclaim her crusade it? Well, it shows that their pontifications are simply laughable.

Moving on to another comedy, this time in the legal circle, we are being made witness to the bitching match between UP Law and the SC over a magistrate’s alleged plagiarism. I just wonder how this is such a big issue when both parties have already figured in greater anomalies that have shaken the nation at its core, without them atoning for their sins of commission or omission.

Remember the blatantly unconstitutional “constructive resignation” of an elected President and the suspension of the brilliant lawyer Alan Paguia for raising the incontrovertible sin of the SC’s partisan political involvement in Edsa II? One can only recall how UP Law and the others sat idly by while these injustices transpired. Can they now expect us to take them seriously, given their past intransigence and the belief of many that the alleged academic theft was committed under the nose of one who is much like his peers?

If only UP Law as well as most other law schools had shown some inclination to help in the people’s struggle, such as upholding public welfare against the privatization of public utilities and resources, and against foreign usurpation of national patrimony, then maybe we can be supportive of them. Frankly, in light of RP’s gargantuan problems, this plagiarism issue is really just a molehill blocking everyone’s view of the crucial issues.

If things continue as they are, only tragedy can befall the nation from such inanities. The failure of our respective government institutions to stabilize the peso at some balanced rate, or stem the speculative dollar inflows via fiscal and financial measures, or reject the level of institutional corruption will result in the collapse of two of the biggest earners for the country, the export and call center industry.

Our domestic economy will also be dealt with a devastating blow as OFW families that are sustaining a great part of domestic consumption will spend much less amid decreasing pesos for their remitted dollars. Corruption in the revenue agencies, meanwhile, will continue to eat into the meager earnings of hardworking entrepreneurs that are keeping the rest of the economy alive. Let’s all put a stop to this comedic tragedy before it’s too late.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch “Fighting Power Plunderers in the House” with Rep. Toby Tiangco, former Mayor Jun Simon, and EmPower’s Maris de la Cruz on Politics Today with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101105com5.html

Pakistan to walk tightrope on Afghan peace FEATURE 11/05/2010

Pakistan to walk tightrope on Afghan peace


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan will need to walk a tightrope to secure its interests in US-backed reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, at risk of being sidelined by the Taliban and the Kabul government, analysts say.

British and US newspapers have been awash with reports on the nature of peace efforts needed to end the nine-year Taliban insurgency and allow the 150,000 US-led Nato contingent in Afghanistan to withdraw.
The Taliban have denied any talks are taking place, and Afghan and Pakistani experts on insurgent groups dismiss such reports as as Western propaganda.

But Pakistan is determined to ensure that an allied government is in power in Kabul once the United States and its allies have withdrawn their troops from from Afghanistan.

Washington and Kabul agree there can be no peace in Afghanistan without cooperation from Pakistan, which has repeatedly offered to facilitate reconciliation efforts.

For 10 years, Islamabad has been America’s ally in the war, despite widespread public opposition and militant bomb attacks across the nuclear-armed country that have killed more than 3,740 persons in three years..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101105com6.html

Greece parcel bomb plot underlines youth anger focus 11/05/2010

Greece parcel bomb plot underlines youth anger


ATHENS — A parcel bomb plot targeting foreign governments underlines the emergence of extremism in Greece, fuelled by young people bearing the brunt its deep economic malaise, observers say.

The prime suspect for the packages, 13 of which were found Monday and Tuesday although none caused serious injury, is a group called Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei.

One of its suspected members, a 22-year-old chemistry student, was arrested on Monday.

“It is an ‘anti’ movement, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist. It could be classified as an anarchist movement which is currently using terrorist tactics,” said Theodore Papatheodorou, a criminology expert from the University of Peloponnese.

The group first appeared on the radar in 2008 and since then has claimed responsibility or been blamed for a string of attacks involving firebombs and explosives.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101105com7.html

Ampatuans charged with money laundering 11/05/2010


Ampatuans charged with money laundering

The woes of the Ampatuan clan members are piling up.
Once the most powerful family in the Muslim region, the Amapatuans are now facing new charges.
The Ampatuans, together with the lawyers and their spiritual adviser, have been charged with money laundering.

Also charged was former Presidential Adviser and Chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority Jesus Dureza for his alleged role in helping the Ampatuan political clan clear themselves of charges of rebellion.
The charges were filed by the relatives of the journalists who were the victims of the Maguindano massacre that occurred last year.

A witness had reportedly earlier testified that Ampatuan patriarch Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., former governor of Maguindanao province, “ordered that P10 million be given to Jesus Dureza, the former Presidential Adviser on Mindanao Affairs, to ensure that the separate rebellion charges against the powerful family will be dismissed.”

The same witness had testified that Ampatuan Sr., while detained at Camp Panacan, gave away P386 million to his supporters “to bribe government witnesses, tamper with evidence and commit perjury.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101105hed1.html

BIR files tax evasion raps vs Neri, et al. for undeclared perks By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/05/2010

BIR files tax evasion raps vs Neri, et al. for undeclared perks

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/05/2010

Tax evasion charges were filed by officials against two former officials of the Social Security System (SSS), Romulo Neri and Thelmo Cunanan, both of whom were known allies of then President Arroyo.

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares said that Neri was liable for under-declaration of his income for the years 2008 and 2009 when he was still president of the state pension fund and for failing to pay tax liabilities of P18.3 million.

“A comparison made by BIR investigators of the gross income or revenues declared by Neri in his income tax returns (ITRs) for taxable years 2008 and 2009 as against the income payments he received from various corporations for the same years revealed that he deliberately failed to declare his correct tax base by substantially under-declaring his income for two consecutive taxable years,” said Henares at a
press conference held at the Department of Justice.

In 2008, Henares said Neri earned a total taxable income of P11,352,006.97 while in 2009, he earned P34,212,471.87 in his capacity as president and as nominee to the Board of Directors of several companies where SSS invested some of its members’ money, among them, Philex Mining Corp. (PMC) and Union Bank of the Philippines..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101105hed2.html

RP seeks downgrading of terror warnings By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/05/2010

RP seeks downgrading of terror warnings

By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/05/2010

Malacañang is seriously considering the idea of asking the United States and other allies to withdraw the travel advisories they have imposed on the Philippines, citing inconsistencies in the reports that reached them with respect to concerns on possible terror attacks.

Also, Manila will ask foreign governments to consult with Filipino officials first before issuing such damaging advisories, especially if they don’t seem to have a solid basis.

A Foreign Affairs official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, stressed that guidelines for the issuance of travel advisories are currently being drafted and will soon be circulated to foreign embassies.

Manila cannot compel embassies to adhere to such protocol nor are they bound to implement it because they are not part of the Philippine government.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101105hed3.html

Justify order cutting GOCC, GFI execs’ bonuses, SC tells Palace 11/05/2010

Justify order cutting GOCC, GFI execs’ bonuses, SC tells Palace

The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered Malacañang to defend its side on a petition challenging the constitutionality of Executive Order (EO) 7 that suspended all allowances, bonuses and incentives of officials of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs).

In a two-page resolution dated Nov. 3, the Court en banc gave President Aquino and other respondents — Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad — 10 days to submit their comments on the suit filed by lawyer Jelbert Galicto last month.

“Whereas, the petition appears to be sufficient in form and substance; whereas, considering the allegations contained, the issues raised and the arguments adduced in the petition, the court finds it necessary and proper to require the respondents to comment on the petition within 10 days from notice hereof,” the high tribunal said.

Galicto, a lawyer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth), has claimed that EO 7 should be declared null and void for having been issued without any legal basis, adding that it infringes on the legislative powers of the Senate and the House of Representatives since the order “is by substance a law.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101105hed5.html

DoJ: No reason to reopen probe of Dacer-Corbito slay case 11/05/2010

DoJ: No reason to reopen probe of Dacer-Corbito slay case

Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday she saw no reason to order the reopening of the investigation into the Dacer-Corbito double murder case despite the surfacing of a new sworn statement executed by former police Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino which is contradicting the affidavit executed by former police Senior Supt. Cesar Mancao.

Both Aquino and Mancao were former officers of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), which was headed by then Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief and now Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, during which time noted publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito were abducted and killed in Cavite in November 2000.

Lacson faces a doublemurder case in connection with the slayings of Dacer and Corbito.

De Lima said she will first order the evaluation of the new affidavit because they would like to determine who is telling the truth between Mancao and Aquino..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101105hed6.html

Pinoy seamen outsmart armed hijackers By Michaela P. del Callar 11/05/2010

Pinoy seamen outsmart armed hijackers

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/05/2010

Eight Filipino seafarers were able to escape a piracy attack when it outsmarted armed brigands who attempted to hijack their vessel late last month.

German vessel MV Beluga Fortune was boarded by Somali pirates on Oct. 24 while the vessel was sailing in the Indian Ocean en route to Richards Bay, South Africa. The vessel had 16 crewmembers, eight of them Filipinos.

They sent out a distress call, cut off the ship’s fuel supply, shut down all the power on the bridge and hid in a safe room before they could be overwhelmed by the pirates. The crew hid below deck for two days.

Unable to take charge of the ship or hold any crew member hostage, the pirates were forced to abandon the vessel after stealing some personal belongings of the crew which were left inside the cabins.

A seafarer also called the local manning agency and reported what happened, which also helped in alerting American and British naval ships in the area. The vessels escorted the MV Beluga Fortune to safety as it proceeded toward Richards Bay..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101105nat2.html

Koko seeks dismissal of Zubiri counter-protest 11/05/2010

Koko seeks dismissal of Zubiri counter-protest

Lawyer Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, president of PDP-Laban, who ran but lost in the 2007 senatorial race to Juan Miguel Zubiri, is asking the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) to dismiss Zubiri’s counter-protest for failure to comply with the strict terms of SET Resolution No. 07-108, in addition to the grounds stated in Pimentel’s Motion for Reconsideration pending since July 1, 2010.

In an Urgent Motion to Dismiss the Zubiri Counter-Protest filed on Oct. 26, 2010, Pimentel said that on Sept. 29, 2010, the SET issued Resolution No. 07-108, which required Zubiri to deposit to the tribunal the total amount of P8,250,757.50 strictly in accordance with the following schedule: on or before Oct. 7, 2010, P1,756,050.00; on or before Oct. 10, 2010, P1,968,940.00; on or before Nov. 22, 2010, P839,960.00; on or befor Jan. 3, 2011, P887,512.50; on or before Feb. 1, 2011, P848,815.00; on or before Feb. 21, 2011, P1,291,105.00; and on or before March 38, 2011, P658,375.00.

In a Manifestation with Motion (To Apply Portion of Remaining Cash Deposit in Payment for Second Installment Required in this Counter-Protest) dated Oct.19, 2010, Zubiri said, through counsel, that “this honorable tribunal apply a portion of his remaining cash deposit in payment for and as full compliance of the second installment of the cash deposit required by this honorable tribunal in the amount of P1,968,940, payable not later than Oct. 20, 2010, as directed in the schedule of payments devised by this honorable tribunal as per SET Resolution No. 07-108 dated Sept. 29, 2010.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101105nat6.html

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