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Too sensitive a presidency EDITORIAL 11/11/2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Too sensitive a presidency

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Malacañang aides say it’s not censorship, but it sure looks like censorship that applies to all government officials and workers, what with the supposed issuance of government social media guidelines, which draft was already approved by Noynoy Aquino.

This was supposed to have sprung from the Twitter message of Noynoy’s speechwriter, Mai Mislang, who had tweeted, while in Vietnam, that the wine sucks, as well as other negative to Vietnam comments.

So why should a ban on the use and contents of social media networking sites be imposed on all government workers and their bosses?

The ban, which the Palace says is not a ban, or censorship, but government social media guidelines, is obviously imposed to ensure that there would be no negative comment made by anybody in government against the Aquino government. Why else include everyone in government, when such should only apply, if at all, just to delegates accompanying the President on his visits abroad?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101111com1.html

Red faces FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/11/2010

Red faces

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
From replies of the foreign envoys to the note verbale sent by the Department of Foreign Affairs getting them to clarify their advisories related to a credible terror threat, it certainly looks like DFA, and more specifically, Noynoy Aquino, who had publicly crabbed about not being informed beforehand on this terror threat, should be sporting red faces today.

The foreign envoys, more specifically Australia, pointed out that the Department of National Defense (DND), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica) were notified by the foreign governments about intelligence reports of a fresh terrorist threat in the Philippines.

And there was Noynoy, publicly complaining that the advisories of a terrorist threat issued by six foreign governments are without any basis, and petulantly insisted that, as the Philippines is an ally of the foreign powers, they should have informed the Aquino government of the terror threat.

But as the foreign envoys pointed out, all the intelligence agencies and the defense and police departments were informed beforehand, which makes Noynoy look like an ignoramus in such security matters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

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

Children in war: The lost millions looking for a voice focus 11/11/2010

Children in war: The lost millions looking for a voice


UNITED NATIONS — Among all the UN accords, protocols and mechanisms that seek to defend the estimated 13.5 million children lost in conflict around the world, none mentions the right to feel a parent’s love.

And that is just what Joseph and Alima said they had missed when they appeared before a very official UN panel on children displaced by wars.

Joseph is one of the army of “Lost Boys” of Sudan. After escaping a burning hut he became separated from his mother, carried a gun before he was 10, saw many people killed, ate bats and rats to survive.

Alima was growing up in the Taliban’s hardline Afghanistan of the 1990s when her family decided it could take no more and ended up penniless in a refugee camp in Pakistan.

“We had very different experiences but we grew up with the same fears and traumas,” Alima, now 21, told AFP in an interview after her appearance at the United Nations headquarters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101111com3.html

P500-M smuggling case in limbo BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 11/11/2010

P500-M smuggling case in limbo

Louie Logarta
Lt’s all over the news.
Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad has embarked on a second career: Show business. She had agreed to be the co-host of controversial comedian Willie Revillame on his primetime game show Willing Willie on the resurgent station TV5.

But that’s not what people want to read about. You know what’s really juicy? It’s the sidebar or the understory, the one that can be found if you read between the lines.
Because in jumping onto the ABC TV5 bandwagon, Ms. Soledad, who’s more famously known as the girlfriend of President Noynoy Aquino, has confirmed to all and sundry that it’s splitsville romance-wise for her and her beau after he indicated he wasn’t interested in tying the knot anytime soon.

She couldn’t have picked a worse station to hitch her star to than upstart TV5 which is currently in the midst of a furious campaign to propel itself to the nation’s No. 3 television network, initially that is, after the acknowledged titans of the boob tube ABS-CBN and GMA Kapuso; and who knows, if they manage things properly, even beyond..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101111com4.html

‘Hell is full of good intentions’ VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 11/11/2010

‘Hell is full of good intentions’

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
So the saying goes. Mere intentions though right, just and proper, do not count in the world of realities. The maxim acquires bigger significance and relevance when but good intentions are the response given to hard hitting actualities of graft and corrupt practices, of cheats and frauds. This is not meant to say that bad intentions are great — even but taking into account that such are precisely the launching pad of errant conduct and disastrous behavior. The known saying simply means that mere intentions no matter how good and great even, do not eradicate vice nor bring about virtue.

The maxim acquires greater significance in terms of politics, in view of governance. In other words, rhetoric is pleasant to hear and at times even worth repeating. But that’s it. As some say: Words plus more words cause but verbal diarrhea. For that reason, speeches and promises — no matter how well thought of and put into elegant writing — remain sterile when they are kept divorced from realizations. In the same way, mere talks and more talks are irrelevant to good governance that demands definite and defined actions in accord with the nature and implications of truth and justice..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101111com5.html

Sucking bad, worse, worst! COMMENT By Ronald Roy 11/11/2010

Sucking bad, worse, worst!


By Ronald Roy 11/11/2010
Texter 4173, what sucks real bad is Assistant Communications Secretary Mislang’s twitter diatribe against the Vietnamese people in general, and against their alleged lack of good wine, good-looking guys and safe streets in particular.

A faux pas of this magnitude is virtually unpardonable if committed by an invited guest at a State dinner against the host country. It is also a breach of all norms of patriotic deportment against the offender’s own country because it passes off his countrymen as ill-mannered. Does Mislang have to be reminded that common sense is the fountainhead of good conduct? She should consider herself fortunate that common sense was not around when her grave misconduct was adjudged as playful mischief.

I was once told the President is such a “Christian forgiver” that it was only natural for him to forgive Mislang. If this is true, P-Noy may already have so redefined his role as the State’s chief disciplinarian as to betray a serious measure of unfitness for the highest office. It is no tongue-in-cheek that he may yet consider releasing all felons from prison as an act of Christian forgiveness..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101111com6.html

Alarming unfolding scenario LETTER 11/11/2010 Dear Editor:

Alarming unfolding scenario


Dear Editor:
I read with much interest — and alarm — your analysis of the scenario unfolding with respect to the double murder case against Sen. Panfilo Lacson. While my client and I are still willing to give Secretary Leila de Lima the benefit of the doubt regarding her handling of the case — as she has shown nothing thus far for us to doubt her sincerity, as in fact, she has been vigorous in pursuing this case, even to the extent of cancelling Mr. Lacson’s passport and ordering the intensification of the manhunt against him — one can only imagine what pressures are being brought to bear on her by Mr. Lacson’s political allies in the Palace, in order to get the senator off the hook.

If what we fear the most will transpire, and Senator Lacson, by some stroke of technicality or legal nicety, will be excluded from the case, then it will indeed be a black day for the criminal justice system in the country. As we have publicly said at the start of President Aquino’s administration, how he handles this case will be an acid test for his governance. It will again show to all and sundry that the rich and powerful can get away with anything in this country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101111com7.html

Rank of senators vs P21-B CCT grows By Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/11/2010


Rank of senators vs P21-B CCT grows

By Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/11/2010

President Aquino and his allies in the Senate may be in for a big disappointment as opposition from senators swelled yesterday on the huge P21 billion funding of the doleout conditional cash transfer (CCT) program despite a desperate Palace bid of having visiting former US President Bill Clinton endorse the program.

While the P1.645-trillion 2011 budget hurdled the House of Representatives without cuts, the appropriations bill still needs Senate approval and more senators expressed intention to vote down the CCT program in the budget yesterday.

Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said he intends to slug it out with Palace allies in the Senate once the budget bill is presented for debates on the floor.

The 2011 budget is expected to be taken up on the floor in today’s Senate session and will be referred to the Senate finance committee, said Sen. Franklin Drilon, committee chairman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101111hed1.html

US twits Noy on warning overreaction 11/11/2010


US twits Noy on warning overreaction


The United States government yesterday reminded the government of President Aquino, which protested the US travel advisory that warned of imminent terror attacks in Metro Manila, that it is the US’ duty to safeguard the security of Americans all over the world.

In a statement, the US Embassy said the travel notice it issued last week was not intended to harm its “long-standing and deep friendship” with the Philippines. The embassy stressed that the US, the largest development grant donor to the country, has one of the largest investors in the Philippines.

It also noted that no travel ban was issued against the country.

“As part of our responsibility to ensure the well-being of our citizens, the United States government encourages them to make informed decisions as they travel around the world,” it said.

For that reason, the embassy said the US government provides updates on security and other
considerations that people should be aware of when they travel..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101111hed2.html

US may snub review outcome, concedes VFA panel exec 11/11/2010

US may snub review outcome, concedes VFA panel exec

Chances are high that the efforts which the Aquino administration is making toward improving the contentious provisions stated in the existing Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States would be futile as the Americans may overturn whatever comes out from the unilateral review of the VFA Commission (VFACom).

Executive Secretary and concurrent VFACom Chairman Paquito Ochoa Jr. indicated this position the other night when asked to provide substantial details on the progress of the internal review that his agency is currently undertaking with respect to the VFA.

Speaking to reporters during a pre-birthday dinner he hosted Tuesday evening at the Bahay Ugnayan in Malacañang Complex, Ochoa said they are still in the initial stages of reviewing the VFA courtesy of the technical working group and are just about to start quantifying the possible improvements that can be applied on the treaty by next week.

“We still haven’t gone through the details. What we’re preparing for is our position. Once that’s ready, we will present it to them (the Americans) or we will sit down with them. I still don’t know how to go about the system of the conversation. There’s a procedure but I still haven’t memorized it,” Ochoa told reporters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101111hed3.html

Ochoa won’t quit post, no replacement from Balay faction 11/11/2010

Ochoa won’t quit post, no replacement from Balay faction

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. has belied rumors that have circulated through text messages recently that he is on his way out of the Aquino Cabinet and would be replaced anytime soon by someone more competent from the Balay faction of former Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas.

The anonymous source of this rumor allegedly mentioned that Ochoa’s position will be handed over to Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras whom Aquino has regarded in public as one of the outstanding officials he has in his Cabinet by far.

Aquino purportedly considered this option to spare his administration from more blunders stemming from Ochoa’s perceived incompetence owing to the quality of executive orders (EOs) and other documents that his department furnishes which are often being questioned before legal courts.

Apart from Almendras, talks have already made rounds previously that the Executive Secretary position is being reserved for Roxas himself after that one-year hiatus from public service mandated by the Commission on Elections against those individuals who lost in the last elections..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101111hed4.html

House urged to adopt Aquino’s amnesty for rebel soldiers By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo 11/11/2010

House urged to adopt Aquino’s amnesty for rebel soldiers

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

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday fell short of lecturing the lower house leaders on the delay in their deliberations of President Aquino’s proclamation granting amnesty to more than 30 mutineers, including detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

While cautious in committing a breach in the long-standing tradition of inter-parliamentary courtesy, Enrile said it will not look good for the Chief Executive if the House of Representatives will not be able to gain support to effect the presidential issuance finally into a law, considering that the lower chamber is composed of supposed strong allies of Aquino.

“The majority there is allied with the President. I don’t think the majority in the House would embarrass the President by disapproving a proclamation made by him.

“I don’t think the Speaker (Feliciano Belmonte) will not be able to muster the number to pass the concurrent resolution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101111hed5.html

Fire kills 3 OFWs, injures 4 others in Dubai By Michaela P. del Callar 11/11/2010

Fire kills 3 OFWs, injures 4 others in Dubai

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/11/2010
Three Filipinos were killed in a fire that razed their rented apartment in Dubai, United Arab Emirates over the weekend, a Philippine consulate report said yesterday.

Consul General Benito Valeriano said that the victims, who were housemates, suffered major injuries from the incident last Nov. 6.

Two suffered minor injuries, while the third sustained second-degree burns in the face, back, arms and the four suffered burns on toes and are now confined at theSurgical Intensive Care Unit of Al Rashid Hospital..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101111hed6.html

Flight warning as residents flee Bulusan volcano 11/11/2010

Flight warning as residents flee Bulusan volcano

Dozens of people fled their homes near a restive Philippine volcano yesterday, while authorities advised pilots to avoid flying near clouds of fine ash shooting out from its crater.

More than 50 persons fled two villages at the base of the 5,135 feet Mt. Bulusan volcano and more may follow, the local Philippine Army command said in a statement.

Soldiers and police would also be posted to keep people out of a six-kilometer danger zone around the crater and has trucks on standby to take evacuees to government-run shelters, it said.

Bulusan showered nearby communities with ash on Tuesday, with its explosions accompanied by booming sounds, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said in an advisory, adding that it expects more explosions.

“Civic aviation authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may pose hazard to aircraft,” it said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101111nat2.html

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