• 6 AUGUST - *1907 - Gen. Macario Sakay, one of the Filipino military leaders who had continued fighting the imperialist United States invaders eight years into the Ph...
    5 years ago

......................................................................................

The Daily Tribune

(Without Fear or Favor)

Specials:

Bulatlat.com

World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Philippines

The Philippines Matrix Project

An amateur is an amateur EDITORIAL 11/08/2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

An amateur is an amateur

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/08/2010
The amateurish ways of the Aquino administration resurfaced in its largely gauche response to the series of terror alerts on the country issued by western countries, which were efforts to dismiss these by bandying that the threat does not exist and by floating the idea that the advisories were connected with the plan of Noynoy to review the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Negation and retaliation through the floating of rumors is the trademark of the Noynoy campaign machinery in the May 10 national elections. It was very effective in neutralizing his chief rival then for the presidency, Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., who succumbed to attacks, including the allegation that he was the secret candidate of then President Arroyo, from the Aquino demolition team that saw his candidacy on a steep downhill fall.

It is ridiculous for the camp of Noynoy that this same tactic would be effective as a form of detente.

Connecting the VFA to the advisories was an obvious Palace ploy in its ridiculous belief that the countries which issued the warnings, which were by the way addressed to their own citizens and not to Noynoy or his government, can be politically pressured into removing these.

A wild guess is that the Palace reaction on the supposed VFA connection of the advisories was triggered either by text messages, blog entries or twitter comments that are so easy to manipulate as source of false information..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101108com1.html

Overreaction FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/08/2010

Overreaction

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/08/2010
Noynoy Aquino should realize that he shouldn’t have called on the foreign governments that issued their warnings of a possible terrorist activity to withdraw or lift them, because they won’t do it, mainly due to the fact that the advisories issued were meant for their citizens’ safety and awareness — and not directed at the Filipino people.

For them to withdraw their travel advisories would be to neglect their governmental duties to their citizens living in places where they, on their stated intelligence basis, say danger lurks and for their citizens to take care.

Truth is, it was an overreaction of Noynoy to these advisories, and he did make things worse, by claiming that the intelligence reports they had were without basis, and that as allies, they should have shared their intelligence report with the Philippines.

Yet he also says that informally, he was told that there are assassination plots against two foreign envoys and several security officials, then adds that such information given him is in conflict with the warnings of terrorist activity that these foreign governments have issued..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101108com2.html

Fraud complaints mount on eve of Myanmar election FEATURE 11/08/2010

Fraud complaints mount on eve of Myanmar election

FEATURE

11/08/2010
YANGON — Myanmar’s military regime and its political proxy faced growing accusations Saturday of threats and intimidation on the eve of the country’s controversial first election in two decades.

Ethnic minority groups added their voices to opposition complaints that the main junta-backed party was “cheating” ahead of Sunday’s poll, already criticized by many as a charade to camouflage army rule.

Two parties aligned to the military are together fielding about two-thirds of the total candidates and the weakened opposition has slim chance of success with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi locked up.
The Democratic Party (Myanmar) and National Democratic Force (NDF) accused the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) Friday of illegally collecting advance ballots by coercion.

Signs of voter intimidation were also reported by the Chin Human Rights Organization, which said that in a ward in Chin State, in western Myanmar, one of the polling stations was at an army checkpoint..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101108com3.html

What terror threats C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 11/08/2010

What terror threats

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
11/08/2010
While we should not be taking the latest advisories by the US, UK, Canada, Australia and France, warning their citizens to avoid travel to the Philippines in view of “imminent danger of terrorist attacks” lightly it is best that we do so with caution, not over react as some quarters are suggesting. Coming as it does after the interception of those “bomb packages” sent out of South Yemen to various Western capitals it is very possible that we can be a target of what some experts are now calling “experimental runs” by hard core terrorists of whatever shape or stripe. Too, given our porous borders and the lingering insurgencies in our midst, it is not hard to imagine some armed groups getting itchy in the hope of sending one kind of message or the other at the expense of innocent parties. It is also conceivable that with 10 million Filipinos overseas, some groups may just be able to induce or threaten or drug a number of our countrymen to carry such “experimental runs” as well much the hundreds of our countrymen who have, unfortunately gone overboard as “drug mules” and are now suffering in jail in various locales. Indeed, there is always the possibility of such bombs, stray or otherwise, getting into crowded areas and causing all kinds of damage to us all..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101108com4.html

After Meralco, it’s Wesm’s turn DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 11/08/2010

After Meralco, it’s Wesm’s turn

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
11/08/2010
First it was the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco); now it’s the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (Wesm) and the National Power Corp. (Napocor); another time, it will be the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP); and then it’ll be Meralco’s turn again. The power rate gouging just goes on and on, constantly keeping our power rates the highest ever in Asia — and getting higher still!

Last week, just as torrential rains compelled authorities to release overflowing water from hydro-electric dams such as Angat, raising public expectations for a further reduction of November power rates, given this bountiful hydro power source, Meralco announces that it will raise power rates anew by 98 cents per kWh due to higher electricity prices from the Wesm. Translated, this means that virtually half of the increase (at 55 cents per kWh) from P3.68 to P4.85 per kWh will come from Meralco while the other half will be used to account for Napocor’s so-called “under-recoveries” the past months.

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) requires Meralco to take at least 10 percent of its power supply from Wesm, which auctions power from all independent power producers (IPPs), supposedly to introduce competition (and lower prices). But these rates are actually manipulated by power distributors that also own IPPs. Napocor’s “under-recoveries,” on the other hand, accrued from government’s artificial intervention in times when it had to mitigate the Wesm’s overcharging by ordering temporary low rates.

The Wesm counts among its participants the IPPs and the buyers-distributors. A common sense view of power cost is that this should not be subject to volatility except for fuel and currency fluctuation, which we actually pay for with the corresponding price adjustments.

However, the Wesm bidding or auction also supposedly factors in demand and its fluctuations, a factor that is extremely vulnerable to manipulation. As demand is affected by conditions of supply, these conditions can be easily manipulated by such claims as the “breakdown” of some plants, “unscheduled maintenance” (as with Malampaya gas), “jellyfish invasions” (at Sual), and even supposed El Niño effects (that could easily be neutralized by foresight and preparation), among many others.

Moreover, the Wesm is managed by the Philippine Energy Management Corp. (Pemc) whose operations (including salaries, expenses, etc.) we, the consumers, pay for to the tune of P622.868 million in 2009 (which was still apparently not enough as the firm sought an additional P108 million late last year), and P800 million this year just for “trading” alone.

The Wesm is without a doubt the same system that California adopted, which gave way to the infamous Enron scandal. Back then, Enron executives manipulated power supply by asking power plants to shut down on various pretexts (such as breakdowns and maintenance), then jacked power prices sky high before leveraging their stocks in the market until the company’s collapse. As a result, the state of California found itself with $50 billion in losses. But then, the Enron executives were later sent to jail; while the Wesm executives here continue to hoodwink the nation.

The local Wesm has been scandal-ridden since its inception, with public investigation being called by Malacañang, the Senate, Congress, and the Pemc itself, as in the 2010 case wherein the Pemc asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to intervene against the Wesm based on a letter-complaint from two power utilities for “drastic price spikes” from Jan. 26 to Feb. 25 this year.

Generation prices in the Wesm, accounting for Meralco’s total 55-centavo hike in its November rate, can go as high as P19 per kWh, which is probably close to what it is today. But Meralco itself had just raised its distribution rates in the past months.

By maintaining a tacit modus operandi with the Wesm, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm), Napocor, and the ERC to alternately petition for, approve, and implement power rate hikes, Meralco is perceived to be obfuscating the fact that its franchise area continues to have the highest power rate in Asia, by dazing and off-balancing consumers who are unable to spot a culprit — who’s none other than all of them plus the whole corrupt system, including the legislature and the judiciary, that has propped up the Epira law.

To refresh, the Belmonte Congress in April 2001, before it was set to be replaced by a newly-elected set of legislators, approved the Epira for P0.5 million (supposedly from Meralco) plus P10-million National Electrification Administration (NEA) projects per congressman. The Senate, too, allegedly concurred in exchange for favors from the energy lobby. The judiciary, for its part, has repeatedly sustained the Epira law from consumer suits; thus, ensuring its preservation. Except for Rep. Magtubo in 2001 and Reps. Toby Tiangco and Bernadette Herrera today who have spoken out against the power plunder, Congress has kept quiet the past 10 years.

The foreign interests behind the Epira should also not escape mention. They have worked through the local oligarchs and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the latter attached in 2001 its approval of a $950-million loan to the passage of the said law. A weak and illegal Arroyo government, as well as Congress, was naturally unable to resist the financial and political lifeline held out by the ADB.

But just what is the interest of these groups in instituting such laws and mechanisms that complete the process of privatization?

All the IPPs and distribution companies, and now the transmission grid, the NGCP (a.k.a. National “Greed” Corp. of the Philippines), are indebted to foreign financiers and have foreign partners or principals. Listing in the stock market allows these foreign financial predators to cash-in regularly on their windfall profits.

At the same time, as the nation gets deeper into debt, these vultures will gain more access and control over our strategic energy needs — which is no different from what they have done to our food, water, and health.
There is no solution except for consumers to revolt. Monday, as this column comes out, is another day to register our protest with 10 minutes of lights out against power plunder from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Let’s do this before they ultimately control our entire lives and territory.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch 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/20101108com5.html

What terror? HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 11/08/2010

.

What terror?

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
11/08/2010
The discovery of two bomb parcels on their way to the United States in Great Britain and Dubai may only be coincidental in the travel warnings issued by the US, Canada and New Zealand to their citizens but the subplot to the supposed new terrorist threat from al-Qaeda would play a lot in softening up President Aquino’s stance on reviewing the provisions of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Aquino may have shown his cards too early when he announced several weeks ago his intention to assess the VFA, supposedly a treaty which did not receive the concurrence of the Senate, that the Philippines is now a target for travel blacklisting from the three major world economic players which were later joined by Britain, Australia and France in tightening the economic noose around Aquino’s neck. The Philippines is still reeling from the effect of Hong Kong’s travel ban against its citizens who would want to visit our country as a result of the Aug. 23 hostage-taking and eventual murder of eight HK tourists, excluding hostage taker Rolando Mendoza. Another ban by six major countries would send the country’s tourism to its knees.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101108com6.html

Terror in our times SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 11/08/2010

Terror in our times

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
11/08/2010
The recent spate of travel advisories warning citizens of the Western world against coming to the Philippines due to a terror threat has caused the country some damage.

Not even the blast of a possible terrorist attack can diminish the harm — another black mark we certainly can do without, not to mention the businesses affected by the absence of expected foreign inflow.

In the first week of November, news wire reports said, “The United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand issued travel advisories this week warning an attack may occur at any time in the Philippine capital, and that areas frequented by foreigners were potential targets.” After France joined the call as the sixth country to prohibit its citizens from traveling to the Philippines, President Noynoy Aquino felt compelled to announce that “there is no adequate basis for the warnings,” as the reports added.

Of course, local authorities — the military, police and other government operatives — are not letting their guard down. The Philippines knows it cannot afford another international embarrassment involving foreign visitors. The travel advisories, however, are causing fear to heighten not just among other countries, but also among Filipinos, who are now hesitant to go to malls, airports and other public places for fear of possible attack..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101108com7.html

DFA demands 6 nations clarify terror advisories By Michaela P. del Callar 11/08/2010

REQUIRES FURNISHING OF INTELLIGENCE DATA ‘IN TIMELY MANNER’

DFA demands 6 nations clarify terror advisories

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/08/2010

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sent diplomatic notes to six foreign embassies on Thursday and Friday to seek clarification on their basis for issuing damaging travel advisories and asked them to furnish Philippine authorities “in a timely manner” any intelligence information on threats of terrorism so that precautionary measures can be immediately undertaken.

Philippine officials were incensed by travel advisories released by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and France that warned against an imminent terrorist attack in Metro Manila.

“The central challenge is to give all information necessary to protect the public and at the same time not to frighten people unreasonably. Filipinos can go about their business normally with the knowledge that our police and security agencies are hard at work,” said DFA spokesman Eduardo Malaya.

The Philippine Embassy in London also sought clarification from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which informed them that “the UK did not issue a new travel advisory but rather added only a minor sentence in their advisory to include a few general locations where terrorist attacks may take place.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101108hed1.html

DFA demands 6 nations clarify terror advisories By Michaela P. del Callar 11/08/2010

REQUIRES FURNISHING OF INTELLIGENCE DATA ‘IN TIMELY MANNER’

DFA demands 6 nations clarify terror advisories

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/08/2010

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sent diplomatic notes to six foreign embassies on Thursday and Friday to seek clarification on their basis for issuing damaging travel advisories and asked them to furnish Philippine authorities “in a timely manner” any intelligence information on threats of terrorism so that precautionary measures can be immediately undertaken.

Philippine officials were incensed by travel advisories released by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and France that warned against an imminent terrorist attack in Metro Manila.

“The central challenge is to give all information necessary to protect the public and at the same time not to frighten people unreasonably. Filipinos can go about their business normally with the knowledge that our police and security agencies are hard at work,” said DFA spokesman Eduardo Malaya.

The Philippine Embassy in London also sought clarification from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which informed them that “the UK did not issue a new travel advisory but rather added only a minor sentence in their advisory to include a few general locations where terrorist attacks may take place.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101108hed1.html

Drilon assures Noy: No cut in P21-billion CCT budget Angie M. Rosales 11/08/2010

Drilon assures Noy: No cut in P21-billion CCT budget

Angie M. Rosales 11/08/2010

An ally gave President Aquino an assurance yesterday that the Senate will not slash the P21-billion budget for the controversial conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) despite the appre-hensions aired by legislators on possible misuse and abuse of the huge fund.

“I have yet to see the House (version) but most likely the (Senate) finance committee will not slash (a portion of) it,” Sen. Franklin Drilon said yesterday.

Although the proposed P1.6-trillion national budget for 2011 is still to be transmitted by the House of Repre-sentatives to the Senate, since it had hurdled only the House’s second reading, Drilon said senators had scrutinized the CCT program at their marathon hearings prior to the congressional recess..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101108hed2.html

Church head compares RH battle to Edsa I 11/08/2010

Church head compares RH battle to Edsa I

11/08/2010
Church leaders anticipate a head-on collision with pro-choice President Aquino and supporters in Congress of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill with Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal comparing the bishops’ stand against the bill to the position they took during the People Power revolt in 1986 that led to the toppling of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Speaking before 500 delegates during the 17th Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith and Family, Vidal said the Church’s struggle to preserve and promote the values conducive to nurturing faith, family and life appears to be heading

“toward a head-on collision” with those who push for the passage of RH bill.

He noted that during Edsa 1, “when the issue was political, and the goal was toppling a dictator or a corrupt leader, the Church was hailed as a force for reform and liberation.”

As president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 1986, Vidal said when the voice of the Church proved a useful instrument to attain the tipping point, “virtually everyone whose voice mattered praised the role of the Church.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101108hed3.html

6 Pinoy activists blacklisted, deported from South Korea 11/08/2010

6 Pinoy activists blacklisted, deported from South Korea

11/08/2010
Six Filipino activists who had planned to take part in alternative meetings that are set to run parallel to the G20 summit in South Korea have been deported from Seoul, their colleagues yesterday said.

All six were put on a flight back to Manila late Saturday after being told by South Korean authorities that they were blacklisted and could not enter the country, the activists said.

“We condemn this unwarranted hostile act of the South Korean government toward Filipino activists,” said Judy Pasimio of the Manila-based Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center.

One of those deported, Maria Lorena Macabuag of the group Migrant Forum Asia, said they were only attending a peaceful parallel forum and had not broken any law.

“We were just informed that we were blacklisted by the South Korean government and that we are not allowed to enter Korea,” she said in a statement.

“We asked for a written explanation why we were blacklisted. They told us they will get back to us. I think they are in a hurry to send us back home but since we asked for written explanation, they are delaying things,” she added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101108hed4.html

Another suspect in Maguindanao massacre surrenders 11/08/2010

Another suspect in Maguindanao massacre surrenders

11/08/2010
A former politician who is among 196 persons charged in last year’s Maguindanao massacre surrendered to authorities yesterday, a day after another fugitive’s arrest, authorities said.

Former Sultan Barongis town Vice Mayor Sukarno “Uka” Badal, a political ally of the powerful Ampatuan clan blamed for orchestrating the murders, gave himself up to Army 33rdInfantry Battalion (IB) commander Lt. Col. Manolo Samarita and National Bureau on Investigation agent-lawyer Jun Basco in Barangay Sigayan, Lambayong town around 8 a.m., Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz said.

Badal also turned over several assault rifles, he added.

Badal was the subject of arrest warrant issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes for his alleged involvement in the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre of 57 civilians, including more than 30 media practitioners, in the outskirts of Ampatuan town..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101108hed5.html

Somali pirates release S. Korean tanker with 19 Pinoy sailors 11/08/2010

Somali pirates release S. Korean tanker with 19 Pinoy sailors

11/08/2010
Nineteen Filipino crewmen of a South Korean tanker were freed by Somali pirates last Saturday after seven months in captivity.

Their release brings down to 91 the total number of Filipino sailors held hostage by ransom-seeking brigands in Somalia’s Gulf of Aden.

Also freed were five other Korean crewmembers of the MT Samho Dream which, according to reports, are already sailing toward a safe third country.

Samho Dream was taken by Somali pirates northeast of the Somali Basin on April 4.

A huge ransom was reportedly paid for the release of the seafarers and the hijacked vessel.

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..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101108hed6.html

Romualdez for party president, GMA for chairman By Gerry Baldo 11/08/2010

REORGANIZATION OF LAKAS SEEN

Romualdez for party president, GMA for chairman

By Gerry Baldo 11/08/2010
The political opposition, comprised of Lakas-Kampi-CMD (Christian-Muslim-Democrats) members, is going to elect Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez for party president and former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo for party chairman.

Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, who is being groomed for the post of vice chairman with Sen. Bong Revilla, said that the party will also be courting members who have defected to the ruling Liberal Party (LP). He said that most of these former party members are being treated as second-class citizens in the ruling party.

“We will try to recruit some more and win back those we’ve lost and this is more of party effort,” Suarez said.

He said that the party’s would-be president, Romualdez, is capable of handling the recruitment of more party members.

“Martin is pretty qualified to handle those activities,” he said, referring to the Lakas members who are currently in coalition with the LP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101108nat1.html

There was an error in this gadget

Blog Archive