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The Daily Tribune

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Their turn EDITORIAL 11/18/2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Their turn

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A lot of Cabinet members who are to undergo the confirmation process before the powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) will be having a difficult time getting themselves confirmed, as many of them have created enemies among many members of Congress, both the House and the Senate.

And the enmity springs from the way they fought politically prior to a change in government — as they projected themselves to be the good and the righteous, while those who were not their allies were lumped together and branded as trapos, and the evil.

Now that they are appointees of the new Noynoy Cabinet, the political past is sure to come into play.

The latest development has Sen. Miriam Santiago opposing the appointment of Department of Education Secretary La Salle Brother Armin Luistro on account of the power of a CA member to invoke Section 20 which would automatically suspend the confirmation process of a Cabinet member..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101118com1.html

Crabbing too early FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/18/2010

Crabbing too early

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
When Noynoy Aquino decided to run for the presidency, he and his allies were one in focusing on the negative in the Arroyo government. They gloried in the fact that the media focused on the negative and against Gloria Arroyo.

Now that he is in Malacañang, he whines about media focusing on the negative aspects of his government, and even complains that the media should focus on important issues, rather than his love life.

What Noynoy will soon realize as he stays longer in Malacañang is that the criticisms will get worse, especially if the public senses that his government isn’t doing anything by way of delivering on his campaign pledges — chief of which would be the promise of change and reforms, plus the pledge to rid the government of corruption and an improved economy.

US President Barack Obama, once the darling of media, is now the recipient of heavy criticisms — for not having lived up to his promise of change and bring about a big improvement in economic conditions for Americans..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101118com2.html

Secular Tel Aviv gets its very own ‘messiah’ FEATURE 11/18/2010

Secular Tel Aviv gets its very own ‘messiah’


TEL AVIV — Tel Aviv has long prided itself on being a secular, cosmopolitan outpost in a land overflowing with religions, saints and shrines — but now it has its very own “messiah.”
Sitting cross-legged on the ground in a gritty part of town by a bustling open-air market, he exudes the air of a Biblical character, down to his long hair, beard and sandals.

“One year and two months ago I was an ordinary person and then a snake bit me in Bethlehem. And then I started to see God,” he told AFP, describing how he died and was “resurrected” as the messiah.

Calling himself only “The Messiah of Tel Aviv,” this 31-year-old Russian-born immigrant has become a fixture in a neighborhood more accustomed to beggars and bohemians before he announced he was a prophet, bringing dark warnings of the approaching apocalypse.

His story is unusual in Tel Aviv, but observers say the “Messiah of Tel Aviv” fits a pattern all too familiar in the Holy City, which gives its name to a rare condition called Jerusalem Syndrome.

That condition largely affects tourists who come to Israel and the Palestinian territories, where holy sites of Christianity, Judaism and Islam intersect, and suddenly find themselves overwhelmed by it all, believing themselves to be characters from the Bible..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101118com3.html

Pamantasan ng Lungsod Pamantasan ng Lungsod BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 11/18/2010

Pamantasan ng Lungsod

Louie Logarta
\"Diploma mill” allegations being raised against the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) are threatening to tarnish its proud and hard-earned reputation as being one of the country’s most prestigious learning institutions.

In reaction, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said he has ordered City Hall chief of staff Ric de Guzman to look into the serious charges which were brought out by radio broadcaster Percy Lapid, concurrently a director of the National Press Club, per information provided by a former university professor.

But just to be clear, this isn’t a shotgun accusation being leveled at the tuition-free Intramuros-based school whose operations are funded by Manila City Hall.

What we’d like to focus on exclusively is the so-called Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) being conducted under their auspices which is allegedly fraught with irregularities; not to denigrate any of the other full-fledged courses being offered such as accounting, engineering, nursing, architecture, management, law, medicine, tourism, etc..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101118com4.html

And now the PPP C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 11/18/2010

And now the PPP

Jonathan De la Cruz
Let’s get things straight. Between spending precious resources on the controversial P21 billion plus conditional cash transfer (CCT) program and the about to be inaugurated public-private partnership (PPP) plan meant to jumpstart the country’s enhanced focus on key infrastructure projects, I will take the latter any time. Not that there is no need for a short term, stopgap alleviating measure to address the urgent needs of the “poorest of the poor.” There is. But the CCT plan in its present form does not wash. Unless the plan is drastically changed and its funding moderated to accommodate the concerns raised thus far, there is reason to believe it will go the way of other “pro-poor” initiatives in the past —corrupted to the hilt, politicized no end and, of course, a breeding ground for dependence and mendicancy. We should not let taxpayer money go to waste in this manner just to allow people like Dinky Soliman test their favorite “developmental theories” on poverty and the fate of nations.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101118com5.html

Shut up, or else... COMMENT By Ronald Roy 11/18/2010

Shut up, or else...


By Ronald Roy 11/18/2010
Irecently found a piece of paper clipped onto my windshield. It bore a note that read: “Stop your bad lies or else im a army crack ofcer.” It was either a threat or a prank from a crack shooter, a crackpot, or a crank. Whatever it was, I found the hand-printed message more amusing than worrisome because of the comic relief its unusual grammar brought on a muggy day. Anyway, I’ve got more bad lies for the note maker regarding the 2007 Glorietta 2 basement explosion that took the lives of 11 innocent victims and wounded over a hundred others.

In my comment last time around, I opined that the detonated explosion theory was a great deal more credible than the methane blast theory in the search for evidence relative to the mind-blowing question of whether the massive destruction of lives and property was the handiwork of terrorists, or of military personnel ordered to shift away from public focus the scandalous NBN-ZTE deal.

What devastates, outrages and incites to insurrection is the fear that a reopened investigation will only be controlled or influenced by the massacre’s brains and their henchmen. However, I will not mind being that quixotic fool who hopes these vermin and scoundrels will submit self-incriminating evidence..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101118com6.html

Marriage VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 11/18/2010


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
The marital union between a man and woman being what is and what is it for, it stands to reason that there must be certain objective truths and living realities that cannot but be seriously considered and evaluated if a couple — not only the man but also the woman, or both of them — are seriously contemplating of getting married. It is not simply fundamental but also practical to think and decide if the following statements are really true or actually false:

Marriage is for adults. It is definitely not merely for the old in age but also the mature in their action and reaction patterns. In other words, such a serious option as entrance into the marital state is not for boys and girls in their mentality and consequent conduct. It is not a secret that there are young people who think and behave like adults — just as there are old people who act and reason out like juveniles. Again, marriage is for adults, i.e., a man and a woman who are grown-up, dependable and responsible..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101118com7.html

Miriam threatens CA rejection of Noy men By Angie M. Rosales 11/18/2010


Miriam threatens CA rejection of Noy men

By Angie M. Rosales 11/18/2010

A misplaced cellphone call believed to be belonging to one of the candidates for Cabinet positions ticked off opposition Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago at a Commission on Appointments session yesterday, endangering the confirmation of most of Aquino’s nominees as she threatened to invoke section 20 of the CA rules that provides for the one-person veto power of a CA member.

Besides Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, who faces rough sailing in the CA due to Santiago’s opposition, several other Cabinet officials are also likely now in the crosshairs of Santiago.

Santiago herself announced this yesterday, saying that she is also eyeing invoking section 20 on “smug, self-satisfied, non-elected appointees.”

Santiago lost her cool while presiding a CA hearing when a mobile phone rang in the middle of the proceedings and threatened to cite the person in contempt.

This is not the first time that Santiago reacted violently as there had been at least two similar incidents in the past..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101118hed1.html

Noynoy wants Ampatuan trial aired live on nat’l TV By Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/18/2010

Noynoy wants Ampatuan trial aired live on nat’l TV

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/18/2010

A new television spectacle may be coming soon featuring the trial of members of a powerful Muslim clan accused of orchestrating the country’s worst political massacre as President Aquino yesterday backed calls for the airing live on national television of the court proceedings on the case.

Aquino told reporters that the more that people learned about the atrocity the lower would be the chances of such a massacre happening again, supporting calls by press groups for the hearings to be broadcast.
“It will be educational for the rest of the people to find out what trans-pired... (what conditions) produced such an atrocity, and what steps should be done to prevent the same from happening again,” he added.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said a letter addressed to Chief Justice Renato Corona is already being drafted to formally communicate this appeal to the high court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101118hed2.html

Bag with 2 grenades found in US property By Michaela P. del Callar 11/18/2010

Bag with 2 grenades found in US property

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/18/2010
A bag containing a possible explosive devices which the police later said contained two grenades was found yesterday near a United States Embassy property along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, a US Embassy spokesman said, heightening concerns about security amid the series of travel advisories warning of imminent terrorist attacks in Metro Manila.

Embassy spokesman Rebecca Thompson said a street sweeper found the bag on the median between the service road and Roxas Boulevard in the vicinity of the US Seafront.

“He alerted a US embassy local guard who in turn informed local authorities. We understand that Pasay City Police responded onsite immediately,” Thompson said in a text message. “We commend their prompt action. We are grateful that no one was injured in the incident,” she added.

Incensed by the travel warnings, the government last Monday brought its complaint before the United Nations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101118hed3.html

Aquino ready to amend amnesty proclamation By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Gerry Baldo 11/18/2010

Aquino ready to amend amnesty proclamation

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Gerry Baldo 11/18/2010
The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) in Procla-mation 50 which granted amnesty to over 300 rebel soldiers who attempted but failed to overthrow the Arroyo administration will be clarified in response to the concerns raised by members of the House of Representatives, President Aquino conveyed to reporters yesterday.

Aquino issued the statement hours after Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. revealed to House reporters that they are amenable to the amendments that would be proposed by lawmakers in the lower chamber before they can issue their concurrence with the amnesty grant.

Aquino, in a chance interview, said he was able to meet with some members of the coalition whom he did not identify yesterday and they reached a consensus with respect to the clarification of the IRR.

“There has been a clarification. I met withmembers of the coalition today (Wednesday) and what we will do is that we will clarify the IRR (and determine) exactly how to operationalize the various points raised in the amnesty proclamation. Can I just point out that this (motion) emanated from the Senate, a branch of Congress,” Aquino explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101118hed4.html

RP yanks new tourism campaign amid porn link 11/18/2010

RP yanks new tourism campaign amid porn link

The government yesterday said it had pulled its latest online tourism campaign after critics panned the rebrand and warned that unwary surfers could easily end up at a porn site instead.

The site, www.beautifulpilipinas.com, was taken down on Tuesday, just a day after it was launched by the Department of Tourism to much fanfare, said Evelyn Maca-yayong, interim head of the DoT’s tourist information office.

The campaign featured a candy-colored logo including the slogan, a coconut tree, an endangered primate called a tarsier, the sun and waves.

Critics panned the decision to use the local spelling of the country’s name, warning that a similar site, www.beautifulfilipinas.com, was pornographic.

Some called for the country’s eight-year-old tourism slogan, “Wow Philippines,” to be brought back..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101118hed5.html

NBI trusts Interpol to smoke out Lacson 11/18/2010

NBI trusts Interpol to smoke out Lacson

Officials of the country’s premier law enforcement agency say the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) coordination with the International Police (Interpol) to track down fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson continues but noted that the search may be hampered if the lawmaker has managed to slip into a country which has no extradition treaty with the Philippines.

According to NBI Di-rector Magtanggol Gatdula, the bureau continues to coordinate with the Interpol for the search for Lacson.

“He remains in the Interpol’s system,” he said.

“If he is in other country and decides to enter in another foreign country, the Interpol will alert the National Center Bureau in Manila. The NCB will then inform the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the NBI about it,” he added.

The NBI director said he has still high confidence with their counterparts in Europe, Southern America and others.

 “The system (Interpol) still works,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101118hed6.html

Death of botanist, civilians in Leyte clash probed—AFP By Mario J. Mallari 11/18/2010

Death of botanist, civilians in Leyte clash probed—AFP

By Mario J. Mallari 11/18/2010
An investigation is now ongoing to determine possible culpability of Army soldiers in the killing of a botanist of the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and two other civilians during a supposed encounter between government troops and communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Leyte province last Monday.

Military Central Command (Centcom) chief Lt. Gen. Ralph Villanueva said he already instructed Army 8th Infantry Division (ID) commander Maj. Gen. Mario Chan to conduct parallel investigation of the incident in Kananga town where Leonardo Co, a botanist, who is working as consultant for EDC, and two others were killed.

“We are now conducting a parallel investigation because we really emphasize in our operations the safety of civilians,” said Villanueva.

Police have already started investigation of the case. Part of the police probe was to determine whether the three fatalities were really caught in the crossfire.

While it is too early to presume innocence of the Army operatives, Villanueva expressed optimism that the soldiers were not responsible in the death of Co and his companions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101118nat1.html

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