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Ominous start EDITORIAL 11/28/2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ominous start

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/28/2010
Let’s put everything in its right place. In its strictest sense, the economy’s third quarter performance cannot be called growth. Compared with the previous quarter, when the economy grew an adjusted record-setting 8.2 percent over a year, it was a contraction of 0.5 percent.

Also the Aquino administration cannot lay claim to the second quarter growth since it covers the months of April to June, when Noynoy only assumed office July 1. Thus, the reckoning month on how thus far, Noynoy was the third quarter alone that showed the economy under his term is now three months away from a technical recession, which is the economy sinking two straight quarters compared with the previous same period.

Quarter-on-quarter, the 0.5 percent contraction in the gross domestic product (GDP) from July to September, came after a 1.4 percent growth in the second quarter. The gross national product (GNP) that includes income from abroad grew at a slower rate of 1.2 percent in the third quarter from a 1.8 percent expansion in the second quarter..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com1.html

Pinoys not the boss FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/28/2010

Pinoys not the boss

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/28/2010
The reality would have sank in, sooner or later. As it turned out, it came sooner.
Noynoy Aquino’s inuagural address where he claimed that the Filipinos were his bosses, was wildly cheered by the yellows, as well as his no more wang-wang policy.

But if the Noynoy devotees — all yellow colored — had not been wearing rose-colored glasses, they would have seen those claims for what they really are: rhetoric and very insincere at that.

Sure. Noynoy saying the Pinoys are his bosses sounded good to their ears, but frankly, for his devotees to have swallowed this hook, line and sinker, merely shows just how politically naïve they are, to think that this is the gospel truth coming out of the mouth of a politician who has morever, shown his real color: That of being a trapo politician.

Sure, the sirens, or wang-wangs, have been silenced. But that change is pretty cosmetic, considering that there are those police escorts with him with their blinking lights and still pushing cars away so Noynoy and his car can pass without trouble. True, there is no longer the so-called counter flow driving, but the roads are closed, for him to evade traffic. The change was superficial. The trappings of power, which had been equated with the wang-wangs are still there..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com2.html

Lebanon’s Bedouins: Neither nomads nor citizens FEATURE 11/28/2010

Lebanon’s Bedouins: Neither nomads nor citizens

FEATURE

11/28/2010
FAOUR — Hiam Abu Ragheb has big dreams for her 19-month-old triplets despite being a Bedouin without papers in Lebanon. Her sons will be doctors — Bahaa a gynecologist and Saad a surgeon — and her daughter Nazek will be a lawyer or journalist.

But little Bahaa, Saad and Nazek, namesakes of members of Lebanon’s Hariri dynasty — Saad Hariri is now prime minister — might not even make it through school. They have no identity papers.

The Abu Raghebs belong to the Bedouin Huruq tribe and are among more than 100,000 Arab Bedouins who live in eastern Lebanon, many of whom have been fighting for years to be recognized by the state as citizens.
Once a migrant community that lived off herding and agriculture, Lebanon’s Bedouins gave up their traditional nomadic lifestyle by the mid-20th century and settled in the country’s east where they remain today, battling poverty, state neglect and discrimination..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com3.html

Curious case of Jose Ferdinand Rojas II BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 11/28/2010

Curious case of Jose Ferdinand Rojas II

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
11/28/2010
Archbishop Oscar Cruz, the country’s acknowledged “anti-jueteng lord,” has placed Pangasinan police officials on the hot seat with his disclosure that the illegal numbers game has staged a comeback, now that the controversy he started several months ago has subsided.

According to the octogenarian prelate, who heads the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Sugal (or People’s Crusade Against Gambling), jueteng has resurfaced in the third most-populous province in the country due to the acquiescence of certain powerful local government and police officials whom he didn’t name.

In a recent pastoral letter, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who is Cruz’s successor, criticized Pangasinan authorities for their failure to stop jueteng. He said the Church rejects gambling as it corrupts the gambler and exploits and diminishes human dignity.

Villegas also assailed the government for allowing the propagation of small town lottery (STL) as a means to combat jueteng. He said that a government which promotes gambling is morally corrupt.

Philippine National Police (PNP) officials however denied the allegations aired by the two archbishops..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com4.html

Elementary observations on the RH bill VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 11/28/2010

Elementary observations on the RH bill

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
11/28/2010
With all due respect to the President and to all those in the legislative department following his lead on the so-called “RH bill” (Reproductive Health bill), it is but right and proper for them to take into consideration the following simple and basic observations — herein forwarded with malice toward none, with good will toward all:

To start with, the RH bill is a huge misnomer. It is definitely not “reproductive” in nature and finality whereas it is precisely anti-reproduction whereas it is decidedly unfavorable to couples, considering the ill-effective of chemical based pills and injectable plus provided recourse to mutilation like vasectomy and tubal ligation.

The RH bill sadly looks at population as its national enemy whereas it causes poverty; it breeds criminality and other social maladies. It fails to consider the reality that population is wealth — on proviso that government really works and truly serves, conducts itself with integrity and honesty, fulfills its altruistic mission than indulge in self-service..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com5.html

Guess who is more ‘popish’ than the Pope? TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 11/28/2010

Guess who is more ‘popish’ than the Pope?

TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
11/28/2010
When an Italian humorist declared, after the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005: “We have a German Shepherd!” — the world laughed at the equivocation.

But even the detractors of the former Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, that stoic doctrinal watchdog-prefect of the powerful Sacred Congregation on the Doctrine of Faith, who suspended popular theology of liberation exponent, Fr. Leonardo Boff, never played up the “German Shepherd” tag to put the Pontiff in a bad light. Neither did their cohorts burn a canine effigy of the Pope in Vatican’s public square when he revived the Latin Mass.

In this recent statement of the Holy Father about the use of condoms in order to prevent HIV infections even among sex aberrant users such as male homosexuals, the papal thoughts in that interview by journalist Peter Seewald has become a molding clay not for humorists but for contortionists grabbing the limelight in the grand global media stage. Contortionists and cartoonists hushed and rushed over the perceived “complete turnaround” of the Church about its traditional and basic rejection of the use of condom..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com6.html

DoT: The Big Picture LETTER 11/28/2010 Dear Editor:

DoT: The Big Picture

LETTER

11/28/2010
Dear Editor:
Much has been said with regard to the Department of Tourism (DoT) slogan fiasco. I feel all this brouhaha is misplaced because I doubt that even the most dramatic, racy or sexy slogan will “sell” the Philippines as a tourist destination unless we are clear about the role of tourism in the life of our nation.

The “selling” of the Philippines must be part of a grand strategy, a national strategy — one that will chart and give us a road map to where we are going as a country, our priorities, actions. The debate about the slogan belongs to just one aspect of the entire picture. If that national strategy identifies tourism as a major revenue source, then the other departments and agencies should get involved to ensure the success of the effort.

The DoT cannot plan as if it were an island by itself. It needs the Department of Public Works and Highways for the infrastructure needed to access these tourist spots. It also requires collaboration with the Philippine National Police for the protocols for security of the tourists, whether domestic or foreign. It also has to work with the Department of Health to inform the tourist world about our medical tourism services.

The Phil Retirement Agency is another body it can work with since studies show the world is aging and there are millions of elderly who have the time and money to visit our country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101128com7.html

Noynoy government can’t be trusted — Belgian firm By Charlie V. Manalo 11/28/2010

FOREIGN CONTRACTOR ON LAGUNA LAKE DREDGING CRIES FOUL ON PROJECT CANCELLATION

Noynoy government can’t be trusted — Belgian firm

By Charlie V. Manalo 11/28/2010

All of President Aquino’s assurances to foreign and local investors he is trying to woo for his Public-Private Partnership projects, which are said to be composed of big ticket items, may have gone to naught, as he and his government have done a Gloria Arroyo, which is to cancel a clean contract.

With no categorical explanation and no formal notification on its decision to cancel the multibillion-peso Laguna Lake dredging project, a counsel for the project’s Belgian contractor yesterday accused the Aquino administration of being highly untrustworthy, calling the Noynoy administration a government that can never be trusted.

“A government that runs away from its contract is a government that cannot be trusted,” Abraham Espejo, legal counsel for Baggerwerken Decloedt en Zoon (BDC), charged during the weekly Kapihan sa Sulo yesterday, referring to the Aquino administration.

Espejo stressed that with the P18.7-billion project in perfect order as attested to by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the Aquino administration is legally bound by law to adhere to all its provisions, thus the need to execute the project..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed1.html

Nokor condemns US-S.Korean naval drills; Seoul vows revenge 11/28/2010

Nokor condemns US-S.Korean naval drills; Seoul vows revenge

11/28/2010
SEOUL — North Korea yesterday warned of “unpredictable consequences” if the United States and South Korea go ahead with naval exercises in the Yellow Sea, days after launching a deadly attack on the South.
The USS George Washington aircraft carrier and its battle group were planning four days of exercises with South Korea from Sunday as a show of force after Pyongyang stunned the world with its artillery strike.

The planned drill has also heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, which regards the Yellow Sea as its own ancestral waters and has refrained from condemning its communist ally Pyongyang over Tuesday’s attack.

China — which has resisted taking sides in the worst flare-up in decades between the Koreas — was more outspoken in its opposition to the US-South Korean drills.

“We hold a consistent and clear-cut stance on the issue,” China’s Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.“We oppose any party to take any military actions in our exclusive economic zone without permission,” it said, referring to the sea area that stretches 200 nautical miles from a country’s shores..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed2.html

RP bans deployment of OFWs in S. Korea 11/28/2010

RP bans deployment of OFWs in S. Korea

11/28/2010
While the government has not yet cautioned Filipinos against traveling to embattled South Korea, a deployment ban has been issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in connection with the ongoing unrest in the Korean Peninsula.

Malacañang yesterday confirmed that sending overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for South Korea has been temporarily suspended upon the instructions of President Aquino as the government continues to assess the situation.

This developed even as Aquino implied the other day that he finds “convincing” the expectations conveyed to him by all quarters involved in the issue that the longstanding conflict between the North and South Koreas would not escalate into a worst-case scenario.

The deployment ban order was released by DFA Undersecretary Esteban Conejos in cooperation with the officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and Philippine Overseas Employment Association (PoEA) which was affirmed later on by deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed3.html

AHRC: RP a broken, lawless nation; France issues advisory 11/28/2010

AHRC: RP a broken, lawless nation; France issues advisory

11/28/2010
A Hong Kong based human rights group tagged the Philippines as “a broken and lawless nation” as it has become a country where an individual can no longer protect himself, his family and consequently fails to protect a community.

At the same time, the French government, in its Website, yesterday also issued yet another travel advisory, warning its citizens against rising criminality during the holiday season in the Philippines.

Apparently, the criticisms President Aquino openly aired against the countries that had issued travel advisories against the country then even demanded them to withdraw their advisories, claiming that the warnings had no basis, fell on deaf ears..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed4.html

Aquino gov’t braces for student protests 11/28/2010

Aquino gov’t braces for student protests

11/28/2010
Malacañang yesterday asked the restive student leaders in almost every part of the country to just bear with the country’s tight fiscal situation as “maximum tolerance” is being exercised by President Aquino’s security aides in view of the second lightning rally they staged just recently during his speaking engagement in Baguio City.

According to deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte, security measures are being kept in preparation for these rallies by the students, denouncing Aquino’s cuts in the budget of state colleges and universities (SUCs) which she claims to be “infrequent.”

“Usual measures are in place when we have rallies. The rallies, I think, have not been not frequent but we are prepared for them. The President said that usually whenever there’s a rally, maximum tolerance is to be really exercised. So we can really see that at present — maximum tolerance is to be exercised at all times.

We also understand that the students or our countrymen have the right to rally and make their opinions be heard,” Valte said during her weekend briefing to reporters aired live over radio dzRB..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed5.html

Miriam calls for gov’t funding information availability online 11/28/2010

Miriam calls for gov’t funding information availability online

11/28/2010
It’s the age of digital technology and a boost for transparency in government funds and spending information, but it is not known as yet whether the Aquino administration will support transparency though this manner.
As the Senate deliberates the 2011 budget, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago filed a bill that will make information on all government funding awards, grants, contracts, and loans available and searchable on a public Web site.

“Government funding to entities and organizations should be a transparent process so that taxpayers will no exactly how their money is being spent,” Santiago said.

Senate Bill 1675, also known as the Government Funding, Accountability and Transparency Act, aims to expand upon e-government management tools in releasing information on various government financial assistance and expenditures.

These include grants, contracts, subgrants, subcontracts, loans, awards, cooperative agreements, purchase orders, task orders, delivery orders, and other forms of financial assistance accessible to constituents..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101128hed6.html

CA acquits two sentenced to life imprisonment By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/28/2010

CA acquits two sentenced to life imprisonment

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/28/2010

Two persons were sentenced to life behind bars by the lower court has been cleared by the Court of Appeals (CA) after the appellate court found that the arresting police officers bungled in the handling of the illegal drugs seized as evidence in a buy-bust operation in Mabalacat, Pampanga six years ago.

Acquitted in a decision written by Associate Justice Noel Tijam and concurred in by Associate Justices Marlene Gonzales Sison and Danton Bueser were Alexander Monsuelo and Loreto Ortizo, both of Barangay Dau in Mabalacat town.

“The proliferation of dangerous illegal drugs constitutes a menace that must be eradicated. When the integrity of the chain of custody of the illicit drugs is compromised, a reasonable doubt is created that the quantity and quality of the illicit substance confiscated are the same as those examined and presented in court,” the CA said.

With the ruling, the CA reminded law enforcement officers and prosecutors “to be more circumspect and prudent in upholding the integrity of the evidence they present in court especially in drug cases.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101128nat1.html

Solar energy to light up 2,650 households in remote areas 11/28/2010

Solar energy to light up 2,650 households in remote areas

11/28/2010
CEBU CITY — The Department of Energy (DoE) expects to energize about 2,650 more households in remote areas in the country using solar energy.

The DoE will pursue the project after the success of its “Sustainability Improvement of Renewable Energy Development in Village Electrification” program.

Officials from DoE Visayas, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and eight African countries visited the Solar Home System (SHS) project in Alumar Island, Getafe, Bohol with 50 household beneficiaries.

The Alumar Island solar project only cost P500,000, which was contributed jointly by DoE, Jica, Getafe municipal government and University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City.

About 40 families from a far-flung barangay in Toledo City that have never used electricity are among the 2,650 families who can avail themselves of the power service of the SHS for 2010..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101128nat6.html

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