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Too little, too late? EDITORIAL 11/10/2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Too little, too late?

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/10/2010
One undesirable trait found in many Filipino officials is their penchant for closing their eyes to many cover-ups and other criminal activities being done by their superiors, and in many instances, cover-ups made by the Malacañang tenant and aides.
Despite their knowledge and awareness of such cover-ups, they say nothing and go along with whatever is being covered up, then, when their superiors are out of power and position, they blow the whistle — too late.

This appears to be the case of the Glorietta blast that occurred in 2007 and where a retired military colonel and bomb expert, Allan Sollano, now confesses that the mall’s explosion was set off by a bomb, and not methane gas as concluded earlier.

Sollano’s superior then is now the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, Gen. Ricardo David Jr., which tends to indicate that David also kept his mouth shut and went along with the cover-up, if such will be proven a cover-up..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101110com1.html

Wrong way to go FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/10/2010

Wrong way to go

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/10/2010
Honestly, it is difficult to understand why the Department of Justice (DoJ) keeps on publicly calling for the alleged suspects in the Bar exams grenade attack to come out and air their side while at the same time threaten to file cases against them, saying the investigation has been done by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

As the Justice chief told the media, the two members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity who are today’s suspects in the Bar exams blast are also connected to two previous grenade attacks at La Consolacion College and the University of Perpetual Help.

She then called on the two other APO members who she said were involved in the Sept. 26 Bar blast to surface and explain themselves before the NBI and then threatens to file charges against them.

Said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima: “We have the names. I want to relate to them an ultimatum. We know who they are…We know where they are working. We are challenging them to surface otherwise the NBI will be constrained to file charges.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101110com2.html

Italian government faces collapse — experts ANALYSIS 11/10/2010

Italian government faces collapse — experts

ANALYSIS

11/10/2010
ROME — Italy’s government faces collapse after a call by Speaker of parliament Gianfranco Fini for his arch-rival Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign and form a new coalition, experts said on Monday.

Fini’s scathing attack on Sunday on his coalition partner and one-time ally is not likely to force Berlusconi to resign but the Speaker will ultimately bring down the government and could trigger elections, experts agreed.
“A political chapter that has now lasted more than 15 years is ending in dramatic fashion,” Corriere Della Sera said in an editorial, referring to the early 1990s when media tycoon Berlusconi burst onto the political scene.
La Repubblica, a left-wing newspaper that has been virulently opposed to Berlusconi, said: “It’s a question of hours, days at most.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101110com3.html

SC should take pause C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 11/10/2010

SC should take pause

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
11/10/2010
Nobody should be surprised that the House of Representatives approved P-Noy’s first budgetary proposal en toto given the ruling coalition’s super majority in the chamber. Of course, we had half expected that some revisions would be forthcoming given the ferocity of the debates, especially on the controversial conditional cash transfer (CCT) program. There was also the question of the billions in lump sum appropriations which was already in direct violation of P-Noy’s pledge to end the practice and inaugurate a zero based, line item budgeting for ease of implementation and transparency. How the administration planned to finance the P1.6 plus trillion budget given the fact that early on P-Noy announed there would be no new taxes to be imposed was also brought to fore. Then, part of the debate focused on the seeming budgetary bias in favor of certain agencies especially those headed by Liberal Party stalwarts and the lingering problems of funding those basic services such as education, health and infrastructure which have been the bane of almost every administration. The debates were impressive while it lasted for in the end the majority coalition managed to wangle enough carrots and muddle the issues, if we believe the critics, to pass this budget in the manner Malacañang wanted it passed. Oh, well. What matters now is whether the executive has the political will and the capability to execute this budget as planned, given the many obstacles coming its way foremost being the diminishing funding sources, the thinning public patience in the wake of the lingering global economic crisis and the emnity triggered by the never ending battles centered on the so-called sins of the past. We await with bated breath how 2011 will unfold..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101110com4.html

Clarification LETTER 11/10/2010 Dear Editor:

Clarification

LETTER

11/10/2010
Dear Editor:
We refer to the commentary that was published in the Nov. 5, 2010 issue of The Daily Tribune which raised the issues on the supposed assassination plot on President Aquino and the terrorist threat in the country as contained in the Travel Advisory warnings of at least five countries.

On the assasination plot which we have disclaimed earlier and which came out in the 28 September 2010 issue of The Daily Tribune, we would like to reiterate that there was never any official statement on the part of the Secretary with regard to any threat on the life of the President. The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) however maintain that President Aquino, just like any head of state, is always a possible target of such assassination plots and it is more prudent to have that frame of mind at all times, in order to ensure that our President is safe all the time..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101110com5.html

Techno HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 11/10/2010

Techno

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
11/10/2010
As expected, things have sobered up several days after Mai Mislang’s Vietnam caper. And while Mislang, President Aquino’s speechwriter, may have found her new “fame” unwanted, she would need a major, major rebound before she can recover from the ordeal of becoming the center of the nation’s hate.

Mislang was even called a “national embarrassment” in a Facebook page created to give her many haters an avenue to vent their ire.

There are various contending Mislang accounts in Facebook, many for those who express their disgust over Mislang’s uncouth behavior while she joined the President trip to Vietnam, and one openly expressing his support to Noynoy’s beleaguered assistant secretary.

The main anti-Mislang page has attracted nearly a thousand followers already, the others have hundreds to their accounts. The pro-Mislang page has only 49 followers to date.

And there’s one playfully raising a peso for each follower to be able to buy Mislang her ticket back to Vietnam, where more beautiful men and women abound, or so they claimed, to ridicule Mislang’s own Twitter post which went: “Sorry pero walang pogi dito #Vietnam.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101110com6.html

Twitting the team SHE SAID Malou E. Rosal 11/10/2010

Twitting the team

SHE SAID
Malou E. Rosal
11/10/2010
No matter how chummy they are outside of their official capacities, some of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s staff should not be acting in such a cavalier way. Such is the lesson learned from P-Noy’s speech writer’s faux pas in Vietnam, which unfortunately is still getting some people riled up.

It’s basic manners, really, some say. How can one publicly disparage someone (or, in this case, the country) hosting one’s stay, and at an official capacity, at that? Many people have already expressed their varying opinions about this, as Facebook (“hate” posts) and Twitter (twits) have revealed. The individual in question, Assistant Secretary Carmen “Mai” Mislang, has undoubtedly learned some lessons the hard way – that one should be more prudent about one’s words and actions, and that being in the public eye does not just entail having a public position or being in showbiz.

In some cases, she may have reflected recently, unwanted attention comes from just being in the periphery or in the team of a bigwig. In President Noy’s case, more than the usual attention is directed his way (including and especially those who are around him) because of the last decade of excess and cynicism caused by his predecessor in Malacañang..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

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

Noy’s budget faces rough sailing in Senate By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo 11/10/2010

MANY SENATORS OPPOSE DINKY’S P21-B CCT FUNDS

Noy’s budget faces rough sailing in Senate

By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo 11/10/2010

The proposed P1.6-trillion 2011 national budget faces rough sailing in the Senate as a number of upper chamber members are coming out in the open opposing the appropriation of P21 billion in the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of Aquino administration.

While Palace allies in the Senate are ready to defend it, even assuring approval of the item under the budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Sen. Edgardo Angara yesterday discounted the possibility of the CCT being approved without any cuts.

Angara himself is insisting on a slash by as much as P6 billion on the so-called anti-poverty instrument of the Aquino administration.

Angara said his colleagues are not opposed to the CCT program in itself but they are likely to move for a cut as the proposed P21-billion allocation is a huge jump from the current year’s figures at P10 billion which is more than a hundred percent increase.

“That’s almost P1.8 billion a month. That’s a lot of money and a lot of warm bodies because they have to provide 2.3 million families. I believe in this program. It can be an effective poverty fighter but it should be manageable, not wasteful spending,” said Angara in an interview with reporters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101110hed1.html

Solon twits Noynoy on public displeasure with US By Angie M. Rosales 11/10/2010

Solon twits Noynoy on public displeasure with US

By Angie M. Rosales 11/10/2010

It just isn’t done by presidents and world leaders.

An opposition senator yesterday twitted President Aquino’s public admission of his displeasure at the tack taken by the United States government in denying the Philippines any intelligence information on alleged terror attack threats, claiming that as an ally of the western world, it is but right and fitting for the United States to treat the Philippines as its ally by providing the Philippine government with intelligence reports on such threats in a timely manner.

Aquino earlier had complained that when he met with US Ambassador Harry Thomas, all their discussions were focused only on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)’s review, and not once did the envoy mention concerns about the looming terror alert to the country which is now the subject of travel advisories of six other countries.

“President Noynoy (Aquino) shouldn’t be making such comments. Did we hear (British) Prime Minister (Tony) Blair or (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy or (Spain’s President Jose Luis Rodriguez) Zapatero or (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel complain when there was a Europe-wide terror alert?

“There was none because matters like that (are) very sensitive and very, very alarming. It can cause panic,” Sen. Edgardo Angara said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101110hed2.html

De Lima links APO to 2 more grenade blasts in schools By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/10/2010

De Lima links APO to 2 more grenade blasts in schools

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/10/2010

Two other members of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity are having second thoughts about cooperating with the government investigation into last September’s Bar exam blast, prompting Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to threaten them with charges that would be promptly filed against the two APO suspects without the benefit of hearing their side.

She called on the two alleged suspected Bar examinations bombers to come forward and appear before the National Bureau of Investihgation (NBI), then threatened them, saying that she knows who they are and where they work and would have cases filed against them, if they don’t show up.

“We have the names. I want to give them an ultimatum. We know who they are…We know where they are working. We are challenging them to surface, otherwise the NBI will be constrained to file charges,” she said.
“This is also an opportunity for them if they are really not the right guys. After several days, the NBI will file a case against them,” she added.

The experience of the first APO suspect, Anthony Nepomuceno, a call center worker, showed that even after surfacing and having himself interrogated by the NBI, cases were filed against him anyway, despite his claim of having an alibi, which he said proved that he was nowhere near the Bar exams blast site..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101110hed3.html

Former VP not off hook in Pag-IBIG fund mess By Angie M. Rosales 11/10/2010

Former VP not off hook in Pag-IBIG fund mess

By Angie M. Rosales 11/10/2010

Senate probers suspect a “high-level” cover-up by some Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) Fund officials in the P7-billion housing fund mess involving property developer Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp.

“There’s (a possible) cover-up in this case. It could go up to the highest level. But I would refuse to name names at this time until we get more solid evidence and testimonies,” said Sen. Sergio
Osmeña III.

The lawmaker is not ruling out the possibility that former Vice President Noli de Castro being implicated in the loan mess since the policy was approved by Pag-IBIG Fund’s board of trustees.

De Castro served as the housing czar in the previous administration. The senator, chairman of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, which is handling the probe on the matter, said his panel is set to resume its probe Thursday next week.

“I intend to question the Board of Trustees on why they allowed such a dangerous policy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101110hed4.html

Vice mayor eyed as key witness in massacre case 11/10/2010

Vice mayor eyed as key witness in massacre case

11/10/2010
A former town vice mayor is being eyed by prosecutors as a key witness in last year’s Maguindanao massacre, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed yesterday.

Former Vice Mayor Sukarno Badal of Sultan sa Barongis town  has agreed to meet with De Lima today in  Sultan Kudarat  where Badal is being detained in  a military camp.

Badal, also known as Commander Uka, surrendered to authorities over  the weekend. He was caretaker of some 500 assault rifles allegedly owned by former Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. of Datu Unsay town in Maguindanao. Badal  hails from the town of Sultan sa Barongis.

“I will personally assess his value as a potential state witness. I understand from sources and those who worked on his surrender that he has very valuable information not

only with respect to the massacre but also to some other operations of the Ampatuans,” she explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101110hed5.html

PAL hits labor union over spinoff rumors By Mina Diaz 11/10/2010

PAL hits labor union over spinoff rumors

By Mina Diaz 11/10/2010
Labor-strife plagued Philippine Airlines (PAL) accused officers of the PAL Employees Association (Palea) of peddling lies while asking them to produce documentary proof to show alleged links between PAL chairman
Lucio Tan and three service providers that will take over PAL’s Inflight Catering, airport services and call center departments under a contested spin off plan that received government approval.

“The best proof is the corporate records of these companies. However, PAL is under no obligation to disclose them. As the one making baseless and malicious claims, the burden of proof is on Palea,” PAL said in a statement.

PAL president Jaime Bautista had stressed that third party service providers like PLDT e-Ventus for Call Center/Reservations is owned by PLDT while Sky Kitchen for Catering and Sky Logistics for Airport Services are both owned by Cebu-based businessman Manny Osmeña. These service providers are not owned by Tan or any of his family members.

PAL added that its lawyers are currently studying the airline’s legal options and whether it can sue Palea officers for spreading false information..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101110hed6.html

Aquino okays new guidelines for using social networking sites 11/10/2010

Aquino okays new guidelines for using social networking sites

11/10/2010
All ordinary employees and officials of the government shall have to bear the consequences of the diplomatic blunder committed by President Aquino’s speechwriter as Malacañang yesterday announced that they are no exception to the new guidelines imposed by the Communications Group with respect to the use of social networking sites.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte disclosed to reporters that these guidelines have already been approved by the President but they cannot release it in public yet pending the result of the ongoing consultations they have with the other agencies that would look into the legal aspects of such policy citing its possible implications on the people’s right to free expression.

Valte, however, clarified that this new policy neither denies any employee access to these social networking sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter, nor are they being prohibited to say something negative against the government but is merely trying to remind them on “what is acceptable to be said” in the online portal.

“We should all bear in mind that our online persona, especially if one is an employee of the government, (what he or she) says in public is also reflective of the government (he or she works for). So we should just take the necessary caution,” Valte said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101110nat4.html

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