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Fall guy EDITORIAL 11/25/2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fall guy

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Vicente “Enteng” Romano, a Black and Whiter who was appointed by Noynoy Aquino as the Tourism undersecretary of promotions, resigned Tuesday, taking full responsibility for the Pilipinas kay Ganda logo and slogan fiasco.

Being a true yellow, Romano went to the extent of claiming that Noynoy already had “misgivings” about the brand, specifically instructing him to come up with a comprehensive market research before launching it, adding that it would just be a preview event, after which research would be done.

He also said his immediate boss, DoT Secretary Alberto Lim, had also asked him to postpone the event given the President’s concern, but that he had persisted.

This resignation of Romano can be termed as a “clean-up face job” to spare Noynoy and Lim, both of whom were, prior to the launching that turned out to be a fiasco, praising the new logo and slogan to high heavens, even saying that this new tourism brand will be bringing in the tourists..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101125com1.html

The way they are FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/25/2010

The way they are

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Given Noynoy Aquino’s track record in closing his eyes to the many allegations leveled against some of his appointees, and insisting on retaining them while brushing away such charges as unfounded and baseless, or that the appointed officials have already explained the charges to him with him saying he was satisfied with their explanations, abolishing the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC), the agency tasked to probe graft and corruption of presidential appointees in his executive department and in government-owned and -controlled corporations, and giving this task to his deputy executive secretary for legal affairs that is directly under him, can hardly be seen as strengthening the fight against graft and corruption in government.

The executive order that abolished the PAGC stated that this would enable the Office of the President to directly investigate graft and corrupt cases of presidential appointees and at the same time streamline the government bureaucracy “to promote economy and efficiency in government,” adding that the PAGC was a redundancy,” referring to the Office of the Ombudsman that is mandated to probe government officials. So isn’t the new division created also a redundancy?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101125com2.html

Saudi royal health problems throw spotlight on succession ANALYSIS 11/25/2010

Saudi royal health problems throw spotlight on succession


RIYADH — The ailments of Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince have put the spotlight on a generation of elderly princes whose rule is nearing an end with the future unclear for the world’s top oil supplier.

King Abdullah left the country on Monday to be treated in the United States for a herniated disc complicated by a hematoma. Officials said the condition was not life-threatening, but at 86, it cuts into Abdullah’s energy to rule.

The reins of government were taken up by his half-brother, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, officially 79 but believed to be aged closer to 85.

But Sultan, the defense and aviation minister since 1962, has battled with what is said to be cancer since at least 2008, and he has severely curtailed his own activities.

In a country where the media and political activities are tightly controlled, stock and currency markets were steady and oil prices rose on news from Europe..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101125com3.html

Classmates of Executive Secretary Ochoa BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 11/25/2010

Classmates of Executive Secretary Ochoa

Louie Logarta
Sen. Bong Revilla is mad once again at Hayden Kho, the controversial boytoy of celebrity surgeon Vicky Belo who gained worldwide notoriety because of his videotaped sexcapades with sexy actress Katrina Halili that were posted in the Internet.

Every once in a while, Revilla manages to surprise. This is one of those rare occurrences.

The flashpoint was occasioned by Kho’s interview published recently in another paper in connection with the launching of his new men’s perfume line, which was reportedly underwritten by his multi-millionaire girlfriend, wherein he made light of the scandal that had hogged the headlines for weeks some two years ago.

Interviewed by Senate reporters, Revilla, who had delivered a privilege speech in May 2009 entitled “A Doctor’s Perversity” lambasting Kho for the sex videos with actress Halili which were allegedly taken without her knowledge and consent, had this terse statement: I hope the public will not forget the bad things he has done, especially to the woman whose name and honor he tarnished..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101125com4.html

Governance by principle VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 11/25/2010

Governance by principle

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
While they are certainly some other big and formidable problems specifically in conjunction with the present administration, a distinct one comes in the marked liability of observing governance by personal friendship and by political gratitude — instead of governance by principle such as “Ang Tamang Daan,” “Ang Daang Matuwid” or similar expressions. The truth of the matter was that any new administration was very much welcome after the infamous previous one that was equated with the incarnation of the pairing of “Graft and Corruption.” In fact this national tragedy precisely brought about another nice sounding principle of governance: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.”

The fact of the matter, however, is that the incumbent administration brought to fore the reality of governance by personal friendship. Objective realities such as administrative talents and governing capacity — among other basic requirements of good and effective governance — have been ceding in favor of who are the friends of the Chief Governor. The appalling over-all result of such an official inanity is one and the same, viz., it is business as usual whereby objective realities cede to but personal preferences..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101125com5.html

Working, loving and praying COMMENT By Ronald Roy 11/25/2010

Working, loving and praying


By Ronald Roy 11/25/2010
People are debating over whether the world’s greatest pound-for-pound boxer of all time, Manny Pacquiao, should hang up his gloves while he’s still healthy. From where I sit, I think he was right in deciding to scale up the ladder to go for a ninth world crown. With his lopsided win over Antonio Margarito, Manny knows he would not be a true champion if he backed away from a chance to smash his own world record.

All great champions dream of that elusive ego-inflating status as the greatest of all time, and Manny Pacquiao is no exception. He will go for a middleweight crown, then a tenth belt, and so on, until a loss finally takes him to the full measure of his mortality — and only then can he proudly say he tried his glorious best in the purest Athenean spirit. To be sure, motivating him is the certainty that additional crowns will make more remote the surpassing of his record, an event that is however inevitable.

Humans have not stopped growing bigger, taller, more physically endowed in all respects; that’s why Manny’s record will be broken as in all other sports in the planet. He is Asiatic, and therefore of a smaller frame than his black and Caucasian counterparts, for instance, who can grow to be heavyweights. It will however take a very long time before Manny’s superhuman feat falls, especially if the record breaker starts as a flyweight like Manny did..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101125com6.html

Bad cop ‘milicias’ emerge as new lords of Rio slums FEATURE 11/25/2010

Bad cop ‘milicias’ emerge as new lords of Rio slums


RIO DE JANEIRO — “From now on I want two dollars per gas canister. If you don’t pay...!” — the crackling voice on the police intercept picked up here did not need to complete the sentence.

But this time the threat was not from the drug gangs that have long plagued Rio De Janeiro’s slums, but one of several squads of corrupt police, known as “milicias,” that are tightening their grip over much of the city.

The milicias, made up largely of off-duty firefighters, police and prison guards, have emerged as a new mafia and seized control of more than 100 of the city’s 250 largest shantytowns, according to a report published this month by Paulo Storani, a former military police special forces commander.

By way of comparison, the Brazilian city’s largest drug cartel, the Commando Vermelho, controls just 55, it said.

The changing face of organized crime in the seaside city is one of many challenges facing security forces ahead of its hosting of the 2016 Olympics.

“The milicias exist in Rio and they have not ceased to advance since 2000,” said Marcelo Freixo, a state government deputy from Rio who chaired a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the groups in 2008..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101125com7.html

Noy’s office gets PCSO, sparks Pidal flashback By Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/25/2010


Noy’s office gets PCSO, sparks Pidal flashback

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/25/2010

As astonishing as the more than P600 million jackpot that had accumulated for the 55-numbered lotto draws, President Aquino issued a string of executive orders reorganizing government agencies, including one that returned to the Office of the President (OP) the direct supervision over lotto operator Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Executive Order (EO) 14 was released by the Palace yesterday removing the PCSO from the direct supervision of the Department of Health (DoH) and returning it to Aquino’s office.

The PCSO was originally under the control of the OP through Republic Act 1169 which created the charitable wing of the government whose primary task is to raise and provide funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character.

Former President Arroyo, however, transferred the PCSO under the wings of Department of Social Welfare and Development in Nov. 8, 2004 through EO 383 and subsequently transferred it to the DoH control through EO 455 dated Aug. 22, 2005..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101125hed1.html

Palace now claims logo a preview, not launch By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 11/25/2010

Palace now claims logo a preview, not launch

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 11/25/2010
First they called it a launch. Now they call it just a preview that nevertheless cost close to P5 million which is a pretty expensive “preview” any which way it is cut.

The highly criticized Pilipinas Kay Ganda tourism logo and slogan on which the Department of Tourism (DoT) reportedly spent P4.8 million is only just a preview and not exactly a launch, in its broadest sense, Malacañang claimed yesterday, in yet another bid to downplay the botched launching.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in stating this, corrected the statement of his principal, President Aquino, who categorically announced in Japan earlier that the DoT will be launching his administration’s tourism logo in defending his appeals for the foreign governments to lift the travel advisories.

Trying to get out of a fix, Lacierda said: “That (previous statement of Aquino) is correct but the exact idea behind there is to make it (revelation of the new tourism logo) just a preview. We held a meeting before President Aquino left for...I forgot what was that—either Vietnam or Japan—and he said that it was about to be launched but he told us to study it first carefully (before launching it),” Lacierda explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101125hed2.html

DSWD chief snubs House PEACe bonds probe By Gerry Baldo 11/25/2010

DSWD chief snubs House PEACe bonds probe

By Gerry Baldo 11/25/2010

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman yesterday snubbed the House committee on good govern-ment hearing on the P10-billion Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificate (PEACe) bonds saying, in a letter to the panel, that she has nothing to do with controversy.

But despite her denials, it was disclosed that her husband was among the board of directors of the foundation that received the bulk of the P1.3 billion in commissions arising from the flotation of the zero-coupon PEACe bonds that are set to mature next year.

Representatives Jerry Trenas (Iloilo) and Salvador “Sonny” Escudero (Sorsogon) said they were extremely disappointed by the absence of Soliman, who also said she was at a meeting with Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu in Mindanao.

Escudero said Soliman should have explained her side so that wild allegations about her involvement in the controversy can be clarified, especially when her husband, Hector Soliman, was one of the board of directors of Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) which got 90 percent of the P1.3 billion earned by the Caucus of NGO Networks (Code-NGO) through the flotation of the bonds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101125hed3.html

AFP says it’s ready to send troops to Korea By Mario J. Mallari 11/25/2010

AFP says it’s ready to send troops to Korea

By Mario J. Mallari 11/25/2010

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is ready to send troops to South Korea should the political leadership decide to do so amid the tension between South and North Koreas, this despite the fact that the country is hardly known for its military prowess as well as its lack of modern military arms and hardware.

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David Jr. said that despite this lack, Filipino soldiers are courageous fighters and fight battles well.

It was not known why the AFP should even join in a shooting dispute between the two Koreas, as the country generally stays neutral in such situations.

David added Tuesday’s exchanges of artilleries between the two Koreas are also a concern of the Philippines.

“Matters that are happening among our neighbors are concerns of the Philippine republic but these are matters of the policy makers,” David said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101125hed5.html

Noy picks Cuisia as RP envoy to US By Michaela P. del Callar 11/25/2010

Noy picks Cuisia as RP envoy to US

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/25/2010

President Aquino has nominated former Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia Jr. as the country’s new ambassador to the United States, Foreign Affairs sources said yesterday.

Cuisa is one of the original yellows, having served under Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.
It was also during his term as Central Bank governor that the CB went bankrupt.

Cuisia was also a high ranking official of the Namfrel during the last presidential elections.

Cuisia, who retired last year from his post as President and CEO of insurance firm Philam Life upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 after serving the company for 16 years, will replace Willy Gaa.

Gaa, a career diplomat who is already due for recall, was earlier put on a holdover capacity until a suitable replacement is found. Gaa has been assigned abroad for already eight years, which is two years in excess of the required six-year tour of duty for Philippine diplomats..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101125hed6.html

Solons push moratorium on coal plants 11/25/2010

Solons push moratorium on coal plants

Lawmakers yesterday called on Congress for the enactment of a measure which would set for a moratorium on the construction and expansion of coal-fired power plants.

“Coal is considered one of the ‘dirtiest’ sources of energy and is one of the leading contributors to climate change and global warming. Environment advocates have been pressing the government for years to prepare, in a comprehensive and strategic manner, sources of energy alternative to coal such as geothermal and hydro power, but to no avail. It is time Congress intervenes and comes up with measures to help protect our environment and human lives before it’s too late,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares said.

Colmenares and fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, together with other environmentalist members of Congress are filing a House Resolution calling for the immediate moratorium on the construction and/or expansion of coal-fired power plant projects. Bayan Muna is also joined by Reps. Lani Mercado-Revilla, Raymond Palatino, Antonio Tinio, Rafael Mariano, Luzviminda Ilagan, and Emerenciana de Jesus. Rep. Manny Pacquiao also committed to co-author the resolution upon his arrival from Saranggani.

According to the resolution, there are currently 10 coal power plants in the country consuming 80 percent of the nation’s coal supply. There are four additional coal-fired power plants to be completed by 2012 and there are still proposals for more coal power plants in different provinces and cities..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101125nat5.html

NPA suspends offensives in provinces near Mt. Bulusan By Mario J. Mallari 11/25/2010

NPA suspends offensives in provinces near Mt. Bulusan

By Mario J. Mallari 11/25/2010

The communist New People’s Army (NPA) has declared suspension of offensive military operations (Somo) in Mt. Bulusan areas in Sorsogon province where local residents have been affected by the eruption of the volcano.

Army 9th Infantry Division (ID) spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said the military learned of the NPA Celso Minguez Command’s declaration of Somo through the media but nevertheless we welcome such move.

“We welcome it, even without any formal talk,” said Cabunoc as he stressed that the Army’s present focus in Sorsogon is “concentrated on disaster risk management operations.”

“We are not into combat operations but on security patrols… security of residents within the permanent danger zone,” said Cabunoc.

For his part, Col. Audie Delizo, commander of the 903rd Brigade’s Task Force Sagip, said that military rescue teams also welcomed the ‘peace offer’ from the communist rebels..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101125nat3.html

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