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Bill’s oral help EDITORIAL 11/12/2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bill’s oral help

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/12/2010
The Palace has just shown that it would not hesitate to bend too low to have the astronomical P21 billion funding for its so-called conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to sail through the Senate, after dragging former US President Bill Clinton into the fray, most likely unknowingly.

Clinton was in Manila for a day to speak on globalization but the way the Palace exploited a courtesy call he made on Noynoy on that day, it was made to look like Clinton was coming to the rescue of Dinky Soliman in giving support to the much-assailed CCT in the face of a probable rough sailing in Congress.

The Palace, at first, tried unleashing its top dog in the Senate, Franklin Drilon, to preempt the entire Senate by claiming that the chamber would pass the entire P1.645-trillion budget unblemished, which would take to mean that the P21-billion budget for CCT was already in the pocket.

Drilon, expectedly, was at the receiving end of other senators’ wrath the other day for his bluster. The Palace ploy obviously backfired as Drilon’s claim that the Senate won’t touch the budget all the more steeled the commitment of those against it and the overpriced CCT..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101112com1.html

Who’s in charge? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/12/2010

Who’s in charge?

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/12/2010
Despite denials from Palace aides, it is clear that several factions in Noynoy’s Malacañang continue to exist, and from all accounts, it is the Liberal Party (LP) support faction that appears determined to take full control of the presidency, and of course of Noynoy.

The latest target appears to be Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa, who is the subject of rumors circulating that he is on his way out, this despite the fact that Ochoa’s name was included on the list submitted by Malacañang to the Commission on Appointments (CA) for confirmation.

At the same time, it really seems so strange that, despite the many presidential insults — and they are insults — on an LP favorite, acting Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Jesse Robredo, Noynoy does not have the gumption to fire him, or at the least, ask Robredo to resign.

That Noynoy is uncomfortable with Robredo is more than evident, and since Robredo is not a stupid man, he must know that Noynoy has no trust and confidence in him. Yet he refuses to resign, insisting that he will go the moment Noynoy says he should go. Is this an edict coming from the LP faction?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101112com2.html

Suu Kyi release all part of junta’s plan ANALYSIS 11/12/2010

Suu Kyi release all part of junta’s plan

ANALYSIS

11/12/2010
BANGKOK — She remains the biggest threat to military rule in Myanmar, so if Aung San Suu Kyi walks free it will be because the first election in 20 years has gone according to the generals’ script, analysts say.

While the final decision lies with junta chief Than Shwe, officials say preparations are under way for the expected release of the detained democracy icon, who has been locked up for most of the past two decades.
Her freedom may be a price the regime is willing to pay to deflect criticism about the poll, widely condemned in the West and seen as a charade to create a facade of democracy after almost five decades of military dictatorship.

“It shows the Burmese (Myanmar) military government is very confident about the state of things, otherwise they wouldn’t release her,” said Thailand-based analyst Aung Naing Oo..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101112com3.html

Beyond Lady Gaga NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/12/2010

Beyond Lady Gaga

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
11/12/2010
First, let my clarify I don’t have anything against the American pop singer. I’m told my younger apo like her and that my 20-year-old grandson dances to her music, so fine. But having just read in another broadsheet about shoemaker’s daughter Angelyn Bayrante, 12, first-prize winner of the first Maria Carpena Kundiman Song Festival in Biñan last October, I can’t help urge the younger among us to please, pretty please, go beyond Lady Gaga — if we want to have more of the likes of Bayrante and kundiman song festivals.

Who is Maria Carpena? Wikipedia in the Internet fortunately tells us more about her, more than just her dates of birth and death (Oct. 22, 1886 — March 8, 1915), her being a singer/stage performer, and the Philippines’ first recording artist, dubbed as the Nightingale of the Zarzuela. Google her names for anecdotes that include how “her soprano pitch… could break a glass with her powerful voice… unable to read notes, she learned the score by ear, a practice commonly known as ‘oido.’ She had her first stage appearance sometime in 1901, singing in a benefit concert at the Zorilla Theater when she was 15…

“She decided to pursue her career, her father disowned her, ‘hanggang magpantay and mga paa’… sought refuge among the Sisters of Charity of Colegio de Sta. Rosa in Intramuros, a former beaterio known for taking care of orphaned Filipino girls… met and fell in love with Jose “Pepe” Alcantara, a sales agent and kalesa-maker… had two children with him… Pepe’s untimely death was announced to her in the middle of a performance… she went with the show with tears flowing from her eyes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101112com4.html

Beyond Lady Gaga NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/12/2010

Beyond Lady Gaga

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
11/12/2010
First, let my clarify I don’t have anything against the American pop singer. I’m told my younger apo like her and that my 20-year-old grandson dances to her music, so fine. But having just read in another broadsheet about shoemaker’s daughter Angelyn Bayrante, 12, first-prize winner of the first Maria Carpena Kundiman Song Festival in Biñan last October, I can’t help urge the younger among us to please, pretty please, go beyond Lady Gaga — if we want to have more of the likes of Bayrante and kundiman song festivals.

Who is Maria Carpena? Wikipedia in the Internet fortunately tells us more about her, more than just her dates of birth and death (Oct. 22, 1886 — March 8, 1915), her being a singer/stage performer, and the Philippines’ first recording artist, dubbed as the Nightingale of the Zarzuela. Google her names for anecdotes that include how “her soprano pitch… could break a glass with her powerful voice… unable to read notes, she learned the score by ear, a practice commonly known as ‘oido.’ She had her first stage appearance sometime in 1901, singing in a benefit concert at the Zorilla Theater when she was 15….... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101112com4.html

The sovereign, nationalist direction DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 11/12/2010

The sovereign, nationalist direction

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
11/12/2010
Much as I would like to take even a day off from the endless electricity price gouging and swindles, I am not able to. The news every day brings up new cases of the blatant defrauding of the Filipino power consumers by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), together with the big private power companies, as well as the silence of the nation’s legislature.

A few days ago, this headline came up: “Aboitiz Equity income jumps 128 percent to P5.6B in Q3.” Looking closely into the details, one reads: “The power group continued to account for the biggest chunk of the income pie with an 83 percent share, followed by the banking and food groups…”

No doubt that 83-percent increase attributed to the Aboitiz power group came from the company’s deal with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm), wherein it got to buy the state’s power barges 117 and 118 for a third of what was declared to the ERC when it subsequently entered into a deal for those same barges to fill in for the “energy crisis” in Mindanao.

That threefold increase in valuation, which Therma Marine Inc. of the Aboitiz group submitted to the ERC, was made the basis for setting the current power rates in Mindanao, which, as we reported and powerfully expounded on the floor of Congress by a Mindanao congressman, “have virtually doubled from March to April and May this year.” It was stated further that “In 2009, we paid P49.70 per kWh/month. However, last April we paid P360 per kWh/month and P606 per kWh/month in May 2010. This had caused untold sufferings and hardships to our people in Mindanao, especially the poor.”
Those hardships and sufferings now translate to the huge, heartless, and indecent income jump of 128 percent of the Aboitiz Equity group. And yet this dwarfs what the company got in 2001.

After colluding with the Edsa II power grab of Gloria Arroyo, the Aboitiz group got the newly-installed regime to transfer P20 billion in GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) deposits in the Land Bank of the Philippines — one of our largest and most stable government banks, with over 500 ATMs to service GSIS members — to its own banking interest, Unionbank, which had only less than 50 ATMs at that time.
It was patently illegal since GSIS deposits should always be deposited in a government bank. But aside from being disadvantageous to government, it was also a disservice to the million and a half GSIS members as Unionbank was not in a position to service them efficiently — which resulted in the many years of horrendous complaints about Unionbank and its eCard system with the GSIS. Ten years have passed and despite the continuing abuses, none of these transgressions have been punished.

The abuse by the oligarchs is part and parcel of the continuing policy of liberalization and privatization of the Philippine economy. It has destroyed the public sector and dismantled public, shared ownership of the nation’s wealth and resources by transferring these only to a few — just a dozen or so — corporate oligarchs through which the Western powers plunder the nation.

The mother of all this plunder, in turn, has been the liberalization of our currency and capital regime, which is now highlighted by the ongoing collapse of globalization in the world economy via the currency war that is a-building. This, as self-respecting and self-caring nations start escalating a series of protectionist measures for their economies.

From Brazil (which has raised its tax on foreign investments in its bonds from two to four, and now six percent) to Japan (which has shocked everyone by intervening last September to weaken its yen and announcing this month that it will continue to maintain its weak yen policy), nations are opposing the US’ move to strengthen everyone else’s currency by weakening its own.

All, it seems, except for the Philippines, which is under the IMF-WB (International Monetary Fund-World Bank) stooge Cesar Purisima, who has proudly declared the dollars invested in his $1-billion bonds as tax exempt, thereby strengthening the peso and weakening the dollar, and resulting in punishing losses for our OFWs, export industries, and call centers.

The Aquino government tries to look for some silver lining, such as looking to prepay foreign loans as it takes fewer pesos to pay dollar debts; but the dark clouds are overwhelming.

As oil is already projected to rise to $100/bbl soon, since oil producing countries have set higher prices to compensate for the declining value of the dollar in which the trade is denominated; rice producing countries will certainly do the same. At the same time, without currency and trade restriction, imports from the US will rise and domestic agriculture and industries will suffer even more.

Even without the dollar devaluation, our poultries and piggeries have already been under a lot of pressure from US exports of chicken and pork parts, as our car industry has suffered from American imports. With the dollar devaluation, coupled with the elite and Filipino consumers’ penchant for imports, this will even worsen dramatically.

The only course, if this country is to survive and grow again, is the sovereign and nationalist economic direction. And this is something we hope the Aquino III regime can still learn. If not, then we can expect the pressure for an unscheduled regime change to be in the cards within a year’s time.

(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 “Power Consumers’ Legislative Champions: Reps. Bernadette Herrera and Toby Tiangco,” 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/20101112com5.html

Special passport aims to ease Interpol access on-site focus 11/12/2010

Special passport aims to ease Interpol access on-site

focus

11/12/2010
DOHA — They may not have diplomatic passports but Interpol police and experts should be able to cross borders more easily thanks to a new blue passport for the global policing organization.

The goal of the new passports, approved on Monday at the Interpol general assembly in Doha, is to save time in the event of crisis, disaster or attack, and allow investigators and specialists to reach the site as soon as possible.

“Criminals can cross borders quickly and effortlessly,” Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said, “while the leaders of our central national bureaus and even headquarters staff are slowed or blocked by formalities.”
For 18 months, Interpol experts have been working with private suppliers on the creation of “Interpol travel documents,” which will include a passport booklet and identification card with electronic chips.

A resolution adopted by the general assembly “encouraged member states to adopt the travel documents and to grant special privileges for obtaining visas to their holders.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101112com6.html

Nepal’s endangered vultures take flight for new sport FEATURE 11/12/2010

Nepal’s endangered vultures take flight for new sport

FEATURE

11/12/2010
POKHARA — At a lakeside resort in the mountains of western Nepal, the paragliding season is in full swing, and local champion Kevin is training to get back to full fitness.

His unerring ability to find the thermals that allow paragliders to defy gravity, soaring through the air with vertigo-inducing speed, have made Kevin a minor celebrity in the world of this exhilarating sport.
Kevin, a four-year-old bird who was rescued as a chick after falling out of the nest, is the world’s first paragliding vulture.

His owner is Scott Mason, a 38-year-old Londoner with a lifelong passion for bird conservation who travelled to Nepal nine years ago and — almost by accident — invented the new extreme sport of parahawking.

The birds fly with the paraglider, guiding the pilot to the thermals that they have a natural instinct for finding. They are then rewarded with meat, and are trained to land on a passenger’s gloved hand when called..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101112com7.html

Mancao seeks refiling of raps against Dumlao By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/12/2010

IS HE A STATE WITNESS OR NOT?

Mancao seeks refiling of raps against Dumlao

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/12/2010

A lawyer of former police Senior Supt. Cesar Mancao II asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday to make use of Mancao’s colleague, former Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, as a state witness or charge Dumlao anew in connection with the murder 10 years ago of Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio who represents Mancao wrote De Lima to urge her to use Dumlao as a state witness, citing that this was the condition that had been given by the court to drop Dumlao in the double murder charge sheet.

“We write to urge you to consider without delay to demand that former Police Senior Superintendent Glenn Dumlao act as State witness in connection with the case, or else immediately order the refiling of criminal charges against him before the court,” Topacio said.

Dumlao was one of those originally charged in an information filed by the Department of Justice dated May 11, 2001 for the double-murder cases.

Subsequently on May 23, 2001, a motion was filed before the court to amend the information by discharging Dumlao, conditioned upon the utlitization of him by the people as state witness..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101112hed1.html

More charges set vs Ampatuans, allies as new witness surfaces By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/12/2010

More charges set vs Ampatuans, allies as new witness surfaces

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/12/2010

More persons will be implicated in the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre following Sultan sa Barongis, Sultan Kudarat Vice Mayor Sukarno Badal’s testimony, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday.
“The correct verdict is conviction, that is the target. Failure is not an option in this case. We have so much to lose,” she said.

De Lima added they are now working on the process to discharge Badal as accused in the multiple murder charges as his revelation was valuable and noteworthy in the prosecution of the case, some of whom are members of the Ampatuan clan.

De Lima said Badal feared for his life after learning that he was allegedly subject of liquidation of the alleged supporters of the Ampatuans.

Aside from 57 counts of murder charges, the members of the Ampatuan family may yet face other charges in connection with the Maguindanao massacre, De Lima said at a press conference yesterday, following her meeting last Wednesday with Badal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101112hed2.html

Senate may shelve hot potato RH bill By Angie M. Rosales 11/12/2010

Senate may shelve hot potato RH bill

By Angie M. Rosales 11/12/2010

The Senate appears inclined to put the Reproductive Health (RH) bill on the back burner until heated debates on it boil over as leaders of the chamber said yesterday the bill is not among the priority measures in the Senate.

“We are not going to be rushed to approve a bill as sensitive as the RH bill without studying it. We know that our growth rate is a certainty and that there’s an alternative,” Senate Pre-sident Juan Ponce Enrile said.
“We should not just adopt policies that will favor a certain sector or for the economy to grow to the detriment of other people,” Enrile added.

The upper chamber chief’s statements validated earlier pronouncements made by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III that pending bills in the upper chamber related to reproductive health are not among their legislative agenda.

Sotto himself had admitted that he is against any form of artificial contraception or those on population control but this doesn’t mean that he will not be supportive of any bill promoting reproductive health..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101112hed3.html

Give CCT a chance, Palace urges critics 11/12/2010

Give CCT a chance, Palace urges critics

11/12/2010
Malacañang yesterday twitted the claims of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III that the conditional cash transfer (CCT) scheme which the Aquino administration regards as its centerpiece program toward alleviating poverty in the country will not work, citing the case of the New York City government.

Sotto is among those senators who publicly expressed strong opposition to the ratification of the P21-billion CCT program budget under the supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with whom Presidential Commu-nications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon “Ricky” Carandang would like to address his appeal.

Carandang called on lawmakers to give the CCT program which they inherited from the Arroyo administration another shot as he insisted that it has been proved successful in other countries when implemented properly.

“That’s the New York City government. We’re talking about countries here. I think this (CCT program) is an important program of the Aquino administration and I am hoping that the Senate will give this program a chance. It has been proven to work in other countries,” Carandang said in post-briefing interview..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101112hed4.html

4 Pinoy teachers in China cited as outstanding foreign experts 11/12/2010

4 Pinoy teachers in China cited as outstanding foreign experts

11/12/2010
Even as a Korean actress was shown on television making fun of Filipinos’ English accent, four Filipino teachers were honored by the Chinese government as “outstanding foreign experts” for teaching English in China’s Liaoning and Jilin provinces.

Frederick Lomibao, the second Filipino teacher to receive such recognition from China, accepted his award from Liaoning Governor Chen Zhenggao for his outstanding contribution to the economic, scientific, technological, educational and cultural development of the province.

Lomibao has been teaching English in China for six years, and is now employed at a private school in Liaoning’s Yingkou City.

In an e-mail to the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, he said the award he received “will not only bring honor to our country but also give inspiration to other Filipinos at home and abroad.”

“When I was with the other awardees, I (felt) very proud representing our country (in China),” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101112hed6.html

AFP receives equipment worth P172M from China By Mario J. Mallari 11/12/2010

AFP receives equipment worth P172M from China

By Mario J. Mallari 11/12/2010

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday formally received P172 million worth of engineering equipment from Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchao at Camp Aguinaldo which are part of the Chinese government’s military aid to the Philippines.

The 33 units of engineering equipment were turned over to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David Jr. by Liu during a simple ceremony with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin as guest of honor.

Among the equipment donated were eight graders, two loaders, three road rollers, four backhoe loaders, three dump trucks, two road wreckers, one aerial vehicle and 10 bulldozers. The AFP Corps of Engineers evaluated the distribution of the equipment to different engineering units in the country.

“As a tangible testimony to the kindness and helpfulness of a great friend and neighbor, the People’s Republic of China, we have now an array of engineering equipment for our Armed Forces that would be of utmost assistance in our many developmental nation-building and construction endeavors throughout the country,” Gazmin said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101112nat1.html

Termination of Australia-RP VFA sought By Gerry Baldo 11/12/2010

Termination of Australia-RP VFA sought

By Gerry Baldo 11/12/2010

Amid the presidential move to review the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a lawmaker yesterday said that a similar agreement with the Australian government should be terminated on the grounds that it violates Philippine sovereignty and the Philippine Constitution.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said that the agreements called the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement was secretly sealed by the Philippine government through then Defense Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane in Australia on May 31, 2007 in Canberra, Australia.

“The Philippine government should also terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and Australia for violation of our sovereignty and the Philippine Constitution,” Colmenares said yesterday.
“While the review of the US-RP VFA has been in the media, the Australia-RP VFA has escaped attention even if it contains similarly dangerous provisions,” Colmenares added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101112nat2.html

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