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Evils of the past EDITORIAL 11/26/2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Evils of the past

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/26/2010
It must have been an honest-to-goodness coincidence, that the 6/55 lotto pot had reached P685 million and the sudden retaking of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) by the Office of the President through Executive Order (EO) 14. It must be, since to think otherwise would not be in a direction along the straight path of Noynoy.

Definitely, it would not look good if somebody associates the transfer of jurisdiction of PCSO and the winner of the record jackpot that would have to happen sooner or later.

Still, the PCSO under the wings of Noynoy’s office may raise some nasty imaginations flying, particularly when the election period approaches.

The PCSO, which was under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health (DoH) when it was retaken by Malacañang, was an original Palace body, but a public outrage against how it was turned into a personal money factory of the notorious conjugal plunderers resulted in it being transferred first to the supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and later on, under the DoH..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101126com1.html

Black and White FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/26/2010

Black and White

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/26/2010
Social Services Secretary Dinky Soliman may have, all to herself, P21 billion for her conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, but she certainly can’t get away from the fact that even as she denies she was not involved in the Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificate (PEACe) bonds scam — as she had by then already resigned as chairman of the Code-NGO, the beneficiary of the bonds scam, and was already Gloria Arroyo’s DSWD secretary — her husband was an integral part of the scam, being a member of the board of directors of the foundation that received the bulk — 90 percent — of the P1.3 billion in commissions — money multiplied now being bilked from the Filipino people courtesy of this scam.

Code-NGO officials, in a congressional hearing, testified that Hector Soliman, Dinky’s husband, was an active member of the board of the foundation, known as the PEF.

That Dinky’s, as well as the civil socialites who got the big political payback from Gloria Arroyo, as they were part of the coup that unseated then President Joseph Estrada and seated Gloria in Malacañang unconstitutionally, certainly wielded a great influence over Gloria in such matters, as during the hearing, Giselle Lood, deputy treasurer of the Bureau of Treasury (BTr), testified that the earlier proposal of the Code-NGO lacked transparency.

She said: “On transparency, the mode of transaction was not transparent. The Code-NGO has no capacity to transact with the government on a negotiated sale,” yet she also admitted that despite this lack of transparency and the Code-NGO’s lack of capacity to transact with government a negotiated sale, the government still proceeded with the transaction through public auction where Code-NGO and its chosen bank bagged the bonds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101126com2.html

Fear of instability stops China reining in N. Korea ANALYSIS 11/26/2010

Fear of instability stops China reining in N. Korea

ANALYSIS

11/26/2010
BEIJING — China’s deep-seated fear of instability along its northeastern border will prevent it from reining in its erratic ally North Korea after Pyongyang’s deadly attack on a South Korean island, analysts said.

World powers led by the United States have categorically condemned Tuesday’s artillery bombardment of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island, leaving China isolated as it merely expressed “concern.”

The fact that Tuesday’s attack even happened may show that the West has overestimated Beijing’s influence over its reclusive neighbor, analysts said.

They added that demands by US President Barack Obama and Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan for China to maximize its leverage over Pyongyang appeared unrealistic.

“The Chinese are in a dilemma in terms of how to respond to this,” said Brian Bridges, head of the political science department at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101126com3.html

Thanksgiving NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/26/2010

Thanksgiving

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
11/26/2010
Getting Thanksgiving greetings in yesterday’s e-mail reminded me how much the day stands as arguably the most important of holidays in the United States, from when it was first celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Native American Indians up to the present. We don’t celebrate it here in the Philippines, and perhaps this is where we are wrong. For however the going gets rough, we, each of us, have reasons to be grateful. Make your own list, here’s mine.

1) First I’m thankful we have a new president. I have a more than fair idea of what’s being said for and against the new kid on the block, but hey. The one before him was far worse, she left crap for her successor to deal with, and you know what I mean, when I say this. It’s said that the man is indecisive, takes his time doing this and that. But he’s not a thief, and this means much to me.

2) I’m glad we have Manny Pacquiao. I will admit I wasn’t enamored with him during his early years as champion. He appeared to me as a willing poster boy for Gloria Arroyo, after his hard training and grueling bouts partying with the chu-chuwas of the previous administration. The way he is feted now by fellow congressmen, I see it clearly. There’s nothing wrong with him as what’s wrong is with the sipsep surrounding him.

Siya mismo, well, he is the first to win 10 world titles in eight different weight divisions, the WBC Super Welterweight World Champion and WBO Welterweight World Champion, the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, et cetera, but what I like about him has nothing to do with his titles. It’s his humility..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101126com4.html

Remembering C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 11/26/2010

Remembering

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
11/26/2010
Last Nov. 23, the nation joined the families, friends and associates of the 57 (58 to include Romy Momay whose body has not been found) victims of what has been tagged as one of the grisliest and most despicable atrocities of our time — the Maguindanao massacre. A year ago on that day a convoy of vehicles carrying the wife, sisters and relatives of then gubernatorial candidate Esmael Mangudadatu and a group of journalists were forcibly stopped and their occupants killed in what has been described as “a most brutal and inhuman manner.” That massacre shook not only the entire nation but the world as well. Now, even as the principal suspects have been arrested and are currently in jail facing the heaviest of sentences available under the law, we cannot help but ask: will justice ever be served at all? Or, as some family members have come to ask rhetorically, will the penalties under our laws ever be enough to assuage the pain of the lost of their loved ones? We can only hope and pray that justice be served and well.

Elusive quest. As things stand, the families’ plea for speedy prosecution may be more wishful thinking than anything else. Our laws and the rules of court are such that litigation can really be so stretched to ridiculous lengths. There are no short cuts, especially since the requisites of due process are such that a simple maybe even inadvertent tweak in the entire workout can be a ground for dismissal of a case. As Sen. Joker Arroyo, himself a veteran litigator and human rights lawyer, noted “...even if the court conducts a daily marathon hearing there will be difficulty in getting it finished as hoped...the case could drag on for the next 200 years...” Explaining himself, Arroyo noted that in a hearing every defendant — all 196 of them — has a right to cross examine any witness. Every side will have to be heard and the judge will have to weigh every appeal and argument raised by any of the parties. Indeed, the quest can be stretched out and frustrating and no matter how the families and even our leaders plead for a speedy trial the same can, at best, be merely treated as an advisory. The rules and respect for the court’s independence say so..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101126com5.html

Truth, the first casualty of war DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 11/26/2010

Truth, the first casualty of war

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
11/26/2010
\"The first casualty of war — Truth.”
At any point in history, wars are being waged on a daily basis on one level or another. This week in the Philippine and world stage, several exchanges of fire and eruptions of abnormally high intensity conflict have been reported by both the local and international media and, as expected, have led to tremendous distortion and disinformation.

As the North and South Korea conflict literally exploded just days ago, most of Western and Philippine media pinned the blame perfunctorily on “Stalinist” and “provocative” North Korea, when the fact is, South Korea fired the first artillery shot.

As an Associated Press (AP) report noted: “The skirmish began when Pyongyang warned the South to halt military drills in the area, according to South Korean officials. When Seoul refused and began firing artillery into disputed waters, albeit away from the North Korean shore, the North retaliated by bombarding the small island of Yeonpyeong, which houses South Korean military installations...”

North Korea has been accused as “provocative” and “aggressive,” as well as an “agitator” in this exchange of artillery fire. But the AP report objectively revealed that it was South Korea’s military forces that made the provocation.

This bolsters the conviction of some analysts that it is one of the US’ attempts to start a much needed war in this region to revive its economy, in line with US military-political think tank RAND Corp.’s proposal of two years now.

It is important for the Filipino nation to be informed of the facts underlying this build-up of tension in the Korean peninsula. Our countrymen shouldn’t be victimized by war-mongering Western propaganda which seeks to draw the Philippines into “their” wars. By setting the record straight, we are reminding the Filipino people that there is never any positive payback for being sucked into conflicts or wars designed for other countries’ interests.

The lesson from the WWll for the Philippines is there for all to recall: Manila became the second most devastated city in the world when General MacArthur decided to use it as a center stage for his own glorification.

The American and Western economies are now in shambles, so their ruling classes desperately need to create wars (while profiteering at the same time) to distract attention from their domestic crises and their own culpability for these.

In the Philippines, the wars of the social classes continue: The ruling class, represented by the Yellow political regime and its variations (including the Liberal, Lakas, Kampi and Nacionalista parties, the Aquinorroyo leftists and civil society, such as Etta Rosales, Karina David, et al., plus the oligarchs, ad nauseum) is constantly pitted against the people.

This week, Pag-IBIG, HUDCC, NHA and other government home financing borrowers are rising up to oppose their eviction from homes which they have been amortizing for over a decade but have had difficulty keeping up with due to loss of employment, shrinking purchasing power (with the lion’s share gobbled up by power and water overcharging), and the oppressive financial policies of financing agencies raring to turn these homes over to foreign mortgage buyers such as Deutsche Bank. And this is something that mainstream media won’t be carrying in their news.

Rising political alternatives to the dominant Yellow regimes continue to be suppressed, as with the unjust detention of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV who embodies the hopes of millions of Filipinos. The Aquino III administration may be going through the motions of responding to the cries for justice and the early release of Trillanes, but its moves in sync with like-minded Yellow elements are making a joke of this. Make no mistake: Joker Arroyo is Yellow to the core and he opposes the amnesty for our patriotic and idealistic soldiers who stood against the Gloria Arroyo regime only to mask his own complicity in one of the darkest periods of Philippines history and an era of untold suffering for the Filipino masses.

As Joker tries to put up more legal obstacles in this Palace show, suspended lawyer Alan Paguia says: Amnesty is an unconditional, political act; it does not require any admission of guilt, and requires no apology (and certainly not to Gloria as the Joker demands).

Joker Arroyo is, among other things, a legislative enforcer of the ruling class. He gave away Meralco without any compensation to what the public paid for when the state expanded its franchise coverage by four times, and allowed the electricity consumers’ payments to pay for what the Lopezes owed the government for getting it.
It is even said that when those blessings were being bestowed, Joker’s most beloved was working as a lawyer for the other party, constantly whispering into the ears of one who would decades later utter the empty phrase, “Kung Bad Ka, Lagot Ka.”

Joker complains about Trillanes’ “mutiny” against a clearly corrupt regime, but wasn’t his Edsa I made possible by the mutiny of a segment of the military against Marcos for a shallower reason — the rivalry between Generals Ver and Ramos? The truth is indeed the first casualty of war, and more so in an information war.

(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 “RP’s Home Mortgage Crisis: Ready to Explode,” on Global News Network, Destiny Cable, now Channel 8; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)



SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101126com6.html

Indian premier’s ‘Mr. Clean’ image takes a battering focus 11/26/2010

Indian premier’s ‘Mr. Clean’ image takes a battering

focus

11/26/2010
NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, known as India’s “Mr. Clean,” is battling to save his image after becoming enmeshed in a damaging telecom scandal in the twilight years of his distinguished career.

Singh, 78, stands accused of failing to intervene when his telecoms minister, A. Raja, sold mobile phone licenses for a fraction of their value, losing the country up to $40 billion, according to the government’s audit watchdog.

There is no suggestion that Singh, always pictured in traditional sky-blue turbans, benefited from the license sales to mostly ineligible firms who won them without making competitive bids.

But the Supreme Court in a rare step last week asked the government to explain its “alleged inaction and silence for 16 months” on a request by an opposition lawmaker to prosecute Raja, who stepped down this month.

Under Indian law, the premier must approve criminal proceedings against any Cabinet member. Singh’s office has told the Supreme Court the government followed procedure in responding to the complaint..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101126com7.html

Noy’s amnesty skips rebels’ guilt admission By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 11/26/2010

CHIEF AIDE: NO GUILT CLAUSE A ‘MATTER OF SEMANTICS’

Noy’s amnesty skips rebels’ guilt admission

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 11/26/2010

Malacañang yesterday issued Proclamation No. 75, a revised edition of Proclamation No. 50 that granted amnesty to over 300 rebel soldiers who attempted but failed to overthrow the Arroyo administration on at least three separate occasions.

But that which is being sought—an admission of guilt from the mutineers before they seek amnesty—was absent in the revised amnesty proclamation.

It was evident, however, that the aspect of admission of guilt which most of the lawmakers have been pushing was nowhere to be found in the revised amnesty proclamation, but Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa claimed “it’s just a matter of semantics.”

Ochoa said this issue was discussed lengthily during his consultation with the lawmakers involved, including Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, and the ultimate conclusion drawn is that the admission of guilt becomes automatic once the person applies for amnesty. He added that the operative word is actually “participation” and not exactly “guilt.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101126hed1.html

Ochoa says ‘circumspection name of PCSO funds game’ By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 11/26/2010

Ochoa says ‘circumspection name of PCSO funds game’

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 11/26/2010

It’’s all a matter of evidence and circumspection in the matter of the presidential handling of the charity funds, the Palace claimed yesterday.

With speculations rising over the sudden control of President Aquino of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, which means presidential total control of the charity funds, which include Lotto and the STL funds, Malacañang yesterday claimed that this move, through the issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 14, was done upon the request forwarded by PCSO chief Margie Juico.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. disclosed this information following suspicions that the PCSO, chief operator of the grand lotto draws, might be used once again as an avenue in which erring public officials could use this for money laundering activities.

“The only theory there is that we acted on the request of the PCSO Chairman Margie Juico and the reason she cited there is that it was anyway previously under the Office of the President and she just wanted to have it put back to the OP,” Ochoa told reporters at a news briefing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101126hed2.html

Ping asks CA to revoke arrest warrant By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/26/2010

Ping asks CA to revoke arrest warrant

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/26/2010

Lawyers representing Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson are insisting on the latter’s innocence in connection with the Dacer-Corbito murders even as they claimed that the testimony of former police official Cezar Mancao linking the fugitive lawmaker to the case is a “pure fabrication.”

In a manifestation before the Court of Appeals (CA), Lacson reiterated his contention that the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) erred in finding probable cause to order his arrest for the kidnapping and murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, 10 years ago.

Last Feb. 5, the Manila RTC ordered Lacson’s arrest based on the Feb. 13, 2009 affidavit of Mancao implicating him as the brains behind the twin killings.

The senator has elevated the case to the appellate court to nullify the arrest warrant against him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101126hed4.html

N. Korea warns of more strikes; RP worried over US-Seoul military exercises 11/26/2010

N. Korea warns of more strikes; RP worried over US-Seoul military exercises

11/26/2010
SEOUL — North Korea yesterday blamed South Korea and the United States for provoking its artillery bombardment and warned it was ready to strike again, as a US carrier headed in for war games off the tense peninsula.

Pyongyang charged in a statement that “the US can never evade responsibility for the recent exchange of fire,” which saw four persons killed when North Korean forces shelled the island in disputed waters last Tuesday.(See related story on Page 5)

“If the warmongering South Korean puppets fail to return to their senses and commit another reck-less military provocation, our army will carry out second and third rounds of powerful physical retalia-tory strikes without hesitation.”

The warning came as the US and South Korean navies plan to hold a four-day naval exercise in the Yellow Sea from Sunday that will involve a strike group headed by aircraft carrier the USS George Washington..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101126hed5.html

Jinggoy respects Erap decision to sell home on Polk Street 11/26/2010

Jinggoy respects Erap decision to sell home on Polk Street

11/26/2010
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is not privy to the plans of his father, former President Joseph Estrada, to sell their house in North Greenhills, San Juan City where he and his siblings grew up in.

“I don’t know the plans of (former) President Estrada. I haven’t talked to my father yet, (but) ultimately he has the final decision, it’s his personal decision,” the senator said in an interview.

He admitted though that he had been hearing rumors about the reported plan of the former
leader to put up on sale their residence at No. 1 Polk St., North Greenhills, for several weeks now.

The younger Estrada further confessed that he’s against the idea of disposing of their property which saw the former president political career rose from being San Juan mayor to senator, vice president and until he assumed the presidency in 1998 and where he, sister Jackie and brother Jude spent their childhood..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101126hed6.html

Centcom submits firearms in botanist’s death By Mario J. Mallari 11/26/2010

Centcom submits firearms in botanist’s death

By Mario J. Mallari 11/26/2010

The military’s Central Command (Centcom) has already submitted all the firearms used during a supposed clash with communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Leyte that resulted in the killing of a top notch botanist and two other civilians for ballistics examination by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Centcom commander Lt. Gen. Ralph Villanueva, at the same time, welcomed Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s move to conduct independent probe of the killing of Energy Development Corp. (EDC) consultant and University of the Philippines botanist Leonardo Co and two of his assistants.

“We welcome such investigation. We are to any investigation…we are fully cooperating with the PNP special investigation task force,” said Villanueva.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. also echoed Villanueva’s statement, saying an independent probe body will douse any doubts on the military..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101126nat2.html

33 TNT Pinoys nabbed in Saudi crackdown By Michaela P. del Callar 11/26/2010

33 TNT Pinoys nabbed in Saudi crackdown

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/26/2010

At least 33 undocumented Filipino workers were apprehended in a series of intensified crackdown by Saudi authorities on illegal migrants in the Middle East state despite the issuance of amnesty for overstaying aliens.

Citing a report from the Philippine Labor Overseas Office in Al-Khobar, migrant worker group Migrante said those arrested were 27 women and six men.

Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said Saudi authorities started raiding various accommodations of foreign migrant workers on suspicion that they are overstaying and undocumented expatriates.

On Tuesday night, a composite team from Jawasat police and Mutawa or cultural police started the crackdown by raiding apartments and houses at Tukbah, Al-Khobar, where suspected undocumented migrants, including Filipinos, are staying..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101126nat1.html

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