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Wrong way to go EDITORIAL 11/16/2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wrong way to go

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Arguments pro and con on the issue of the Noynoy Aquino Truth Commission can always be made by political camps, and the high court may even have the last word on it — should it deem to rule on the issue, but in the end, the so-called Truth Commission tasked to look into the allegations of criminal activities committed by the previous government won’t amount to anything at all, mainly because this body was created, not to be able to pin down Gloria Arroyo on such criminal charges, but to paint a blacker than black picture of the previous president and in the course of things, excuse the incompetence and ineptitude of the Noynoy presidency.

This has already happened during Noynoy’s mother, Cory Aquino’s time as president.

Her first edict was the creation of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which was tasked to go after the illegally acquired wealth of the Marcoses, which was then claimed by the Cory government to be some P10 billion, which at that time was already mind-boggling.

Yet if one thinks about it without emotion, just how could Cory and her people have come up with the estimated P10 billion at that time when her decree on the PCGG was drafted just a day after she was installed in Malacañang? Obviously, this charge was bereft of solid evidence..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101116com1.html

Taking it with a grain of salt FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/16/2010

Taking it with a grain of salt

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Surveys, conducted the way they are in this country, really serve very little purpose, if at all.
More to the point, such surveys are virtually meaningless, principally because more often than not, the questions posed are much too broad and too general, and even worse, as such approval and trust surveys are conducted every quarter or so, by the time the results come out, either certain issues within that period have lost their importance and relevance, or so much time has elapsed that the so-called pulse of the nation is not quite reflected.

At most, what can be gleaned from such surveys would be the increases or decreases in approval and trust ratings, which hardly are accurate pulse measures.

Pulse Asia, in its October survey, showed that 79 percent approve of Noynoy Aquino’s performance, while 80 percent expressed trust in him. Compared to a previous survey rating, Noynoy suffered a 9 percent decline in approval rating, while his trust rating dipped some 5 percent.

These are figures, and frankly, dubious figures at that. So there has been a decrease in both trust and approval ratings. But do these figures mean anything, or answer certain questions?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101116com2.html

Suu Kyi release ‘not a Mandela moment,’ caution analysts ANALYSIS 11/16/2010

Suu Kyi release ‘not a Mandela moment,’ caution analysts


BANGKOK — Despite the global elation, the release of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi does not herald a new era for Myanmar but instead signals that the junta no longer considers her a threat, analysts say.

Suu Kyi’s iconic status has drawn comparisons with Nelson Mandela — who was jailed for 27 years before becoming South Africa’s president — but observers doubt that allowing “The Lady” to walk free will lead to a similar sea change.

“This is not exactly a Mandela moment, because the regime is not prepared for reconciliation,” said Maung Zarni, a Myanmar research fellow at the London School of Economics.

Just six days before Suu Kyi’s release, the junta held a rare election — a key step in its carefully crafted “road map to democracy,” which critics claim is designed to legitimize the brutal regime’s hold over the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101116com3.html

Courtesy NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/16/2010


Armida Siguion-Reyna
That’s what was sorely missed from the Clinton group here just recently. They threw their weight around as if the man they were with was still US president, walang sinino, as our elders would say. Not the country’s vice-president, not the official wear of one of our indigenous tribes, never mind that their principal was here to lecture on “Embracing Our Common Humanity.”

I make it clear I have nothing against the United States of America. My sense of politics does not go as far as strongly taking sides between colonizer and colonized. Explain to me what US imperialism is and in five minutes I’m lost. The dictionary says it’s “a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force” and when my activist friends tell me that’s not good, I quickly rebut it’s not bad either.

In other words, I’m saying I’m more pro-America than anti. This may greatly have to do with my memories of the war: Back in our house in Maysilo, in Malabon, after my maternal grandparents’ house in Pinaglabanan, San Juan, was commandeered by the Japanese, Papa knew when MacArthur had landed in Leyte, and when the American forces had reached Lingayen, in Pangasinan. Walang peryodiko, walang radio o TV; lahat ng balita galing sa underground radio movement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101116com4.html

Legislated nationalism AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 11/16/2010

Legislated nationalism

Ken Fuller
Responding to one of my columns some time ago, a Manila friend commented that my problem (or, he might have said, one of them!) was that I was more nationalist than most Filipinos.
I mention this in order to assure readers that, although it is my intention this week to briefly discuss House Bill 465, I do so with the best of intentions. My only criticism of Filipino nationalism and patriotism is that there is not enough of it. But while Philippine legislators obviously have every right to pass laws regulating the behavior of their citizens, this outsider’s well-intentioned view is that this bill is problematic.

House Bill 465, given its third reading last month, amends earlier legislation, increasing the maximum penalty to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of P100,000 for those failing to stand to attention when the national anthem is sung, or failing to render it in the legislated fashion, i.e. “with fervor” and at the mandatory tempo — 4/4 time, 100-120 beats per minute.

Most alarmingly, cinema ushers will be empowered to execute a citizen’s arrest on those refusing to comply, and to summon police assistance. In a letter to the Inquirer a few days later, Rudy S. Coronel called this particular provision “rather too surrealistic.” While I only visit a cinema once every few weeks, I have only once witnessed someone refusing to stand for “Lupang Hinirang,” and even then the surly young man was eventually shamed into the standing position by his girlfriend. Cinema ushers, who are mostly young and female, will surely wonder why they have been singled out to enforce, at the risk of assault, appropriate displays of patriotism..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101116com5.html

Sniffing out the fakes: Perfume world battles smell-alikes FEATURE 11/16/2010

Sniffing out the fakes: Perfume world battles smell-alikes


PARIS — Kenzo Flower or Coco Chanel? Take your pick among dozens of fragrances, copied for a fraction of the price. This is the promise made by a growing army of “smell-alike” perfumers — and they have the law on their side.

Like the rest of the luxury industry, perfumers are under assault from imitators set on cashing in on their brand image, and sites that openly claim to copy top fragrances are flourishing on the Internet.

One British site — Perfume Parlor — offers perfume oils with the “same top, heart and base notes as the designer perfumes available from the high street stores” — for around one-tenth of the price tag.

While there may be little market for a designer handbag without designer logo, consumers who buy knock-off designer scents don’t parade the bottles in public — making the copies harder to sniff out..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101116com6.html

Long wait for justice in RP’s worst massacre focus 11/16/2010

Long wait for justice in RP’s worst massacre


A Muslim clan accused of the Philippines’ worst political massacre is intimidating and attempting to bribe witnesses while dragging out court proceedings, rights groups and victims’ relatives say.

Almost 12 months since the Ampatuan family allegedly orchestrated the murders of 57 persons to stamp out a political rival’s electoral challenge, family members of those killed fear the trial could drag on for years.
“In my heart I want to forgive, but we need to have justice served. They have to pay for what they did to us,” said Editha Tiamzon, widow of Daniel Tiamzon, one of four crew members from local broadcaster UNTV who were killed.

“When will the trial be over? God only knows, but we cannot afford to wait forever.”

Former Datu Unsay town Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. allegedly led over a hundred of the clan’s private army in stopping a convoy carrying relatives of a political rival in their southern stronghold of Maguindanao province, before shooting and hastily burying them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101116com7.html

Lopezes sued in SC over leaky pipeline By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/16/2010


Lopezes sued in SC over leaky pipeline

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/16/2010

Residents of West Tower Condominium in Makati City sought a writ of “kalikasan” from the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday to compel the Lopez family-controlled First Philippine Industrial Corp. (FPIC) to stop its repair operations and instead replace its leaky 40-year-old pipeline which transfers oil products from Batangas to the Pandacan depot of major local oil companies.

In a 35-page petition, the residents comprising around 80 families living in the 22-story building also asked the high court to direct FPIC and its affiliate First Gen Corp. and its respective directors to check the structural integrity of the whole 117-kilometer pipeline and replace it while making periodic reports on their findings with regard to the 117-kilometer pipeline. The petition also sought to bar the firm from opening the pipeline until it has been thoroughly checked and replaced.

FPIC’s board of directors is led by its chief executive officer Federico R. Lopez and president Leonides U. Garde. Lopez is also the CEO of First Gen Corp. The Lopez family patriarch Oscar Lopez sits as chairman emeritus of both companies.

FPIC owned up to the responsibility for the oil leak in its pipeline in Makati City and committed to carry out the clean-up operations and other works to rectify the damage which it maintained could have been caused by “stresses” or too much pressure of vehicles that pass by the affected area..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101116hed1.html

Approval, trust ratings on Noy post big slides 11/16/2010

Approval, trust ratings on Noy post big slides

The performance rating on President Aquino slid an ominous nine percentage points to 79 percent in the latest Pulse Asia survey even as the Palace heralded the latest poll as indication of shared optimism among the public.

A major decline was also recorded in his trust rating that shrunk to 80 percent in the survey conducted in October from a high of 85 percent in the July survey. The substantial drop in both his performance and trust ratings was posted in just a span of 17 weeks since his election.

The latest survey covered most, if not all, of the controversial issues that tested Aquino’s administration, including the August 23 Manila bus hostage tragedy, the jueteng allega-tions on some of his most trusted officials, the granting of amnesty to over 300 rebel soldiers, and the dispute with the Catholic Church over the Reproductive Health bill.

The Pulse Asia survey covered 1,200 respondents and was held last Oct. 20 to 29.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101116hed2.html

Gov’t warned on bid to remove KL’s mediator in RP-MILF talks By Michaela P. del Callar 11/16/2010

Gov’t warned on bid to remove KL’s mediator in RP-MILF talks

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/16/2010

The Philippine government’s demand to replace Malaysia’s long-time facilitator in the peace process between the government and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is delaying the resumption of peace talks, diplomatic sources yesterday said.

Sources added the government peace panel wants to replace Datuk Othman Bin Abdul Razak for his “obvious display of bias” toward the MILF.

“The government wants Malaysia to appoint a neutral facilitator so that the peace process can move forward,” a Foreign Affairs official told the Tribune.

Other diplomats interviewed by the Tribune warned that the resumption of peace talks is “not likely to happen” within the year unless the Aquino government would drop such demand.

The previous government of President Arroyo also made a similar attempt to seek the removal of Othman as Malaysian facilitator, but failed. The MILF has threatened to withdraw from the negotiations if Othman is replaced..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101116hed3.html

NBI ‘elite team’ formed to track down Lacson 11/16/2010

NBI ‘elite team’ formed to track down Lacson

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has created a “special elite team” from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track down Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who is now on the run, in connection with the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said the special elite team is also part of the action of the agency in order to locate, arrest and make Lacson face the criminal charges filed against him.

“There is an elite team that I formed last week. I personally designated the members of this team. They will not do anything but try to locate the whereabouts of Sen. Ping Lacson,” De Lima told reporters at the sidelines of the NBI’s 74th anniversary.

The Justice secretary, however, did not give the special elite team a deadline within which to locate the fugitive senator.

De Lima said NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula and NBI Intelligence Division head Ruel Lasala themselves willmonitor the operations of the said team..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101116hed4.html

Aquino hits media focus on negative, his love fling By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 11/16/2010

Aquino hits media focus on negative, his love fling

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 11/16/2010

The good and the beautiful should be highlighted in local newspapers instead of intrigues and the negative, President Aquino lectured reporters yesterday on his arrival from a recent visit to Japan for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum Leaders’ Summit citing the penchant of local media to delve on his romantic flings and highlighting stories that denigrated the capability of Filipino boxing icon and Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao who recently won his eighth title in a lopsided win against Mexican opponent Antonio Margarito.

In an arrival statement he delivered at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Aquino expressed dismay with how some local media came out with their stories about Pacquiao before his recent fight with a stronger and bigger Margarito at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“I just mentioned Manny whom I have spoken to yesterday and when I boarded the airplane earlier, I saw some of the (local) newspapers — I think it was yesterday’s issue—one of it stated: ‘Greatest battle of Manny Pacquiao,’ the other one said: ‘Manny needs more hopes.’ It just made me wonder why it is that we would discourage Manny on the day that he would take on the challenge itself. Maybe we could have just said that: ‘Manny we’re behind you’; ‘Manny we are praying for you’ and I hope that would also apply to us,” Aquino related..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101116hed5.html

Pinay, Bangladeshi to be lashed for sex out of wedlock in UAE 11/16/2010

Pinay, Bangladeshi to be lashed for sex out of wedlock in UAE

A Filipina maid and her Bangladeshi lover will receive 100 lashes and be deported for having sex out of wedlock in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, a newspaper yesterday said.

The Sharjah Sharia Court ordered the Filipina to be lashed 100 times and deported for “unlawful sex,” said the Gulf News report.

The Bangladeshi would be lashed for adultery and jailed for a year for entering the house belonging to the Filipina’s sponsor without permission before being deported.

Foreign workers in the UAE and most other Gulf states must be sponsored by an employer to work in the country.

In some cases, employers hold the worker’s passport and can deny permission to change jobs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101116hed6.html

Sino trader, two teachers kidnapped in Mindanao 11/16/2010

Sino trader, two teachers kidnapped in Mindanao

Three persons, a Filipino-Chinese trader and two public school teachers, were kidnapped during two separate incidents in the provinces of Maguindanao and Basilan, the military said yesterday.

Quoting sketchy reports from the field, acting Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Maj. Gen. Romeo Lustestica said teachers Cecilia Sosas and Merlyn Yakapin, both teaching at the Baas Elementary School in Lamitan town, were abducted at 11 a.m. yesterday by still unidentified armed men.

Lustestica said the victims were reportedly brought towards Tuburan area, where pursuit operations were subsequently launched by combined police and military forces.

Intensified pursuit operations resulted in the recovery of Yakapin, a native Yakan, at 11:45 a.m.
Lustestica said the manhunt operations are still ongoing to locate Sosas and her captors.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101116nat7.html

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