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Opening the door to corruption EDITORIAL 12/02/2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Opening the door to corruption

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
12/02/2010
Dinky Soliman’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) project is not all that she and Noynoy make it appear to be.

For one, it was learned from the Senate deliberations on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) budget that out of the P21 billion earmarked for the CCT, P4 billion — yes, a cool P4 billion — will go to the hiring of some P4,000 workers next year to implement the administration’s CCT program, which leaves just P17 billion to give away to the claimed poorest of the poor in the country.

That’s a lot of money — and a lot of room for corruption, along with political manuevring from someone who gets moist-eyed looking toward getting a future Senate seat.

Having 4,000 new hires, plus the old hires would be a potential workers’ election base would be what a senatorial aspirant could easily tap, along with the 2.4 million poor family-beneficiaries as an added base for votes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101202com1.html

Audacious demands FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 12/02/2010

Audacious demands

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
12/02/2010
Fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, will surface on condition that the arrest warrant against him is withdrawn, so said his lawyer yesterday.
“From what I understand, if the warrant of arrest is withdrawn or suspended and the reinvestigation is officially conducted, he is going to surface and he will participate in the reinvestigation,” lawyer Alex Poblador stressed.

This is probably the first time a fugitive wanted on murder charges sets his own conditions, which is not only audacious of him, but also unheard of.

Lacson may be a senator, but surely, as an accused in a murder trial, and with an arrest warrant issued against him, he is in no position to set conditions, such as surfacing only if the arrest warrant is withdrawn and a reinvestigation of the case is officially conducted.

Why should he be seeking special treatment?

His lawyer explained that Lacson “will not allow himself to be arrested and detained for a crime he did not commit,” adding that it is unfair that Lacson is being treated like a criminal which the lawyer said was not the case, saying that due respect must be accorded Lacson.

Why should rules be bent for Lacson, and.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101202com2.html

Cyber-crime: Bigger than the drugs trade, and growing FEATURE 12/02/2010

Cyber-crime: Bigger than the drugs trade, and growing

FEATURE

12/02/2010
CANBERRA — Until Eoin Blackwell arrived at his Sydney home from a Christmas party, he had no idea his bank account had been emptied from half-a-world away.

Blackwell’s personal details were stolen by a Romanian card-skimming gang and sold to criminals in Italy. While he relaxed with friends in a pub, the thieves withdrew 3,000 dollars (2,900 US) from his account.

“I found out I had no money trying to pay for a cab. My initial response was ‘what the hell?,’” said Blackwell, 28, a business analyst.

The bank confirmed his cash was gone — “withdrawn in Milan” — and it would take six weeks to investigate, suggesting he “may have participated in the fraud,” he said.

“In the end, I got the (money) back,” he said. “I’m now militant about covering the key pad on ATMs and more cautious with online banking.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101202com3.html

‘Dinky has nothing to fear?’ C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 12/02/2010

‘Dinky has nothing to fear?’

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
12/02/2010
So, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman has nothing to fear about her reported involvement in the controversial issuance of the P10-billion Peace Bonds in the early days of the Arroyo administration in 2001? I really hope so. After all, she has been quoted as having said that she had nothing to do with the bonds since she was already out of Code-NGO, the NGO network she headed for years which was the original proponent of this “creative financing” scheme for which the Filipino taxpayer will fork out P35 billion on maturity next year. She does not have any qualms about each one of us paying that debt burden at all. As such, she does not also find it strange and problematic that Code-NGO is the recipient of a P1.3-billion commission for this financial brainstorm. In a word, her conscience is clear.

All of these she testily advised over the past few weeks as the public got to appreciate the seriousness of the whacking our taxpayers got just to exact more than a billion pesos of commissions for Soliman’s favorite NGO. The question now is: If indeed she did not have anything to fear or hide why did she snub the first hearing on the issue last week to the consternation of the Palace? What made her think that the committee members which included such wisened legislators as Sorsogon Rep. Sonny Escudero would take her lame excuse that she had to “rush to meet with Maguindanao Gov. Toto Mangudadatu,” thus her inability to attend. And she did this at the last minute mind you. Surely, that act and her subsequent whinings do not tally with her posturings of calm and courage under fire. Rather, these merely reinforce the long held public view that she is cowering in fear and will try as best she can to utter a word under oath..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101202com4.html

Where’s Ka Roger? BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 12/02/2010

Where’s Ka Roger?

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
12/02/2010
Malacañang may have solved a problem like Miriam. Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, that is.

By signing the reappointment papers of Senator Santiago’s nephew Customs Deputy Commissioner Toto Suansing (who was one of the favorites of former President Arroyo) as head of the Enforcement Group, P-Noy and his boys may have just deftly sidestepped a nasty confrontation with the feisty legislator in the Commission on Appointments (CA).

Mrs. Santiago had vowed to “massacre” at least half a dozen members of P-Noy’s Cabinet who are seeking confirmation in the powerful CA over alleged corruption issues and who she claimed had used public monies to discredit her for exposing their anomalies.

She said she would be liberally invoking Section 20 of CA rules that state any commission member may move to suspend discussions regarding the confirmation of any government official, which is non-debatable and automatically granted by the chairman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101202com5.html

Imperfecta sed lex COMMENT By Ronald Roy 12/02/2010

Imperfecta sed lex

COMMENT

By Ronald Roy 12/02/2010
I was with the late Ed Ocampo when his fellow basketball Olympian, then Rep. Freddie Webb, mumbled, his hair disheveled and misty eyes cast downward, “My son… my good son Hubert… is innocent… I was with him in America.” I then sensed Webb was telling the truth. Maybe it was the way he looked and spoke. Maybe it was the way the unfurling evidence appeared to increasingly favor his son as the “trial of the century” wore on through the nerve-wracking weeks and months.

But people generally believed otherwise. To them, Hubert Webb was guilty, period. He was the owner of a surname so associated with privilege that he had to be an abusive brat who fiendishly raped and murdered Carmela Vizconde — her mother and younger sister being fatally waylaid in the process. Hubert Webb’s head just had to roll.

Jessica Alfaro was the only “eyewitness” the prosecution presented to identify Webb as the malefactor. She submitted two sworn statements, one: She was outside the bedroom but saw the crimes through an opening of the door, and two: She was inside the room and saw everything. I then thought Webb would be acquitted solely on this flagrant inconsistency. But I was wrong. Instead I learned that sometimes the human psyche condemns others for being privileged.

Hubert’s principal defense was an alibi, i.e. he was not at the scene of the crime because he was in America on or about the day they were committed. Per US Immigration documents, he was then in America. The Rev. Fr. Sonny Ramirez, religious pop star Gary Valenciano and lawyer Antonio Carpio — who would proceed to be today’s Supreme Court associate Justice — separately testified that Webb was then in America..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101202com6.html

Hacienda Luisita: A blessing or curse VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 12/02/2010

Hacienda Luisita: A blessing or curse

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
12/02/2010
There must be something vicious and odious appended to the now infamous Hacienda Luisita. To this date, the bitter issues between the owners and tillers concerned refuse to be laid to rest. To start with — for record and recall — there were no less than two massacres connected with the said sugarland and sugar central: The earlier one in a known “Mendiola Massacre” that had a bearing with Agrarian Reform in general, supposedly the centerpiece of the program of the then government, the head of which however, was directly linked with Hacienda Luisita itself. The later known as the “Hacienda Luisita Massacre” in fact took place within the much contested land itself that stood as some kind of symbol of anti-agrarian reform. Much blood was shed and many lives were lost — on the part of the farmers as a matter of fact. And to this writing, the sugar estate remains a signal issue to all those concerned with its apparently addicted ownership. Thus it is that some question are repeatedly brought to fore.

What kept the present owners of the Hacienda Luisita continuously haunted since their purchase thereof? It is said that its previous owner, Tabacalera, wanted payments in US dollar which was facilitated by none other than the then Commander-in-Chief of a militarized government. It is further said that the same symbol of martial law made direct representation before Central Bank of the Philippines for the US dollar payment..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101202com7.html

HK to conduct own hostage fiasco probe 12/02/2010

CORONER COURT DECISION SPURS 25-DAY INQUEST

HK to conduct own hostage fiasco probe

12/02/2010
To tie up the many loose ends in the government’s handling of the hostage fiasco probe, Hong Kong has decided to hold its own public inquest into the bus hijacking crisis that happened at the Quirino Grandstand last Aug. 23 which left eight Hong Kong tourists dead, a spokesman for the coroner’s court said yesterday.

The inquest is scheduled to last 25 days starting from Feb. 14, less than a month after Hong Kong police concluded their probe into the poorly-handled fiasco which dented relations between the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Officials in Hong Kong have criticized local authorities’ handling of the hijacking by lone gunman Rolando Mendoza, and a subsequent decision to spare officials involved from tough punishments.

The coroner’s court investigates the circumstances behind a person’s death but does not make recommendations concerning liability and has little power to compel witnesses from outside Hong Kong to testify..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101202hed1.html

‘Reinvestigate case, lift arrest order before surrender’—Ping By Angie M. Rosales 12/02/2010

‘Reinvestigate case, lift arrest order before surrender’—Ping

By Angie M. Rosales 12/02/2010

Bounty or no bounty, fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is not about to surrender to the authorities, his legal counsel said yesterday.

“What I understand is that he will not allow himself to be arrested and detained for a crime which he did not commit. So even if there’s a bounty, I doubt if he will surface,” lawyer Alexander Poblador said during a phone-patched interview with Senate reporters.

Based on the statements of his lawyer, the senator is not about to give up on his bid to press the reinvestigation of the double murder case filed against him, the alleged kidnapping and killing of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito almost a decade ago.

“As an officer of the court, I have advised him that he has to respect the judicial process but he has made a decision personally and I think he’s prepared to face the consequences,” Poblador said. “My standing advice to him, judicial or legal processes must be respected but he has already made up his mind. I doubt if the existence of a bounty will make him change his mind,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101202hed2.html

Senate okays 2011 budget 12/02/2010

Senate okays 2011 budget

12/02/2010
Voting 12-2, the Senate yesterday approved on third and final reading the proposed P1.645-trillion national budget for next year.

“We approved the budget as submitted by the President (Aquino) and approved by the House (of Representatives),” Sen. Franklin Drilon, chairman of the finance committee, told reporters.

While there were amendments approved during closed-door caucus that lasted for almost three hours, he said the total budget remained the same.

Opposition senators Joker Arroyo and Alan Peter Cayetano voted against House Bill 3101, the budget measure approved by the House of Representatives last Nov. 8.

Arroyo noted that the budget proposal next year was “bereft of the tools for growth.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101202hed3.html

House panels approve amnesty to mutineers By Gerry Baldo 12/02/2010

House panels approve amnesty to mutineers

By Gerry Baldo 12/02/2010

The House committees on justice and national defense yesterday concurred with the amended proc-lamation of President Aquino granting amnesty to soldiers and enlisted personnel involved in three uprisings against the pre-vious Arroyo government despite vague objections raised by Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon who, for the nth time, had wanted the soldiers to categorically admit guilt in the various incidents.

Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa maintained that the admission of guilt is already implied in the soldiers’ application for amnesty.

The revised amnesty Proclamation 75 grants amnesty to the rebel soldiers who joined the so-called Oakwood Mutiny in Makati in July 2003, Marines stand-off in Fort Bonifacio (February 2006) and the Manila Peninsula takeover (November 2007).

Yesterday’s hearing centered on the issue raised by Biazon, who was allegedly filibustering on whether the soldiers should admit their guilt in the uprisings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune 

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101202hed4.html

House panels approve amnesty to mutineers By Gerry Baldo 12/02/2010

House panels approve amnesty to mutineers

By Gerry Baldo 12/02/2010

The House committees on justice and national defense yesterday concurred with the amended proc-lamation of President Aquino granting amnesty to soldiers and enlisted personnel involved in three uprisings against the pre-vious Arroyo government despite vague objections raised by Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon who, for the nth time, had wanted the soldiers to categorically admit guilt in the various incidents.

Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa maintained that the admission of guilt is already implied in the soldiers’ application for amnesty.

The revised amnesty Proclamation 75 grants amnesty to the rebel soldiers who joined the so-called Oakwood Mutiny in Makati in July 2003, Marines stand-off in Fort Bonifacio (February 2006) and the Manila Peninsula takeover (November 2007).

Yesterday’s hearing centered on the issue raised by Biazon, who was allegedly filibustering on whether the soldiers should admit their guilt in the uprisings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101202hed4.html

SC stays demolition of Fujimi estate By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/02/2010

SC stays demolition of Fujimi estate

By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/02/2010

A year after its petition was filed, the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday issued a status quo order stopping the demolition of the Fujimi estate owned by the Philippines in an upscale corner of Tokyo, Japan.

The property houses the residence of the Philippine ambassador. The previous administration planned to tear down the building to put up a 21-story building.

In a resolution, the Court en banc acted on the petition filed by the Philippine Ambassadors Foundation Inc. led by former Ambassador Jose Macario Laurel IV and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr.,

Laurel is a grandson of the late President Jose P. Laurel. Lawyer Gleo Guerra, acting chief of the SC Public Information Office, said the parties were also ordered to file their respective memorandums on the petition within 30 days upon receipt of notice, after which the case will be deemed submitted for resolution.

“The Court resolved to require the parties to observe the status quo prevailing before the public bidding for
the right to lease and develop the Fujimi property in Tokyo, Japan… No new issues may be raised by a party in the Memorandum, and the issues raised in the pleadings but not included in the Memorandum shall be deemed waived or abandoned. Being a summation of the parties’ previous pleadings, the Court may consider the Memorandum alone in deciding or resolving this petition,” the Court ruled..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101202hed5.html

Jinggoy raps House inaction on ‘Kasambahay’ bill 12/02/2010

Jinggoy raps House inaction on ‘Kasambahay’ bill

12/02/2010
Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada broke inter-parliamentary courtesy as he slammed members of the House of Representatives for their inaction on “kasambahay bill,” the measure prescribing decent employment terms for house helps.

“Insofar as the Senate is concerned, I hope and pray that we pass the bill before the Christmas break. But as far as the House (of Representatives) is concerned, I think it is sleeping on the job. They (House members) have yet to come up with a counterpart bill. I think someone is trying to block this bill (at the lower house. I have to talk to my counterpart there, the chairman of the committee on labor Rep. Emil Ong,” the senator said.

Estrada, concurrent chairman of the committee on labor, employment and human resource development, underscored the efforts they have made so far at the Senate, passing the bill on second reading recently.

“It’s about time (that we enact this law) because the amount stipulated in our Labor Code is way below the minimum wage. If before it was pegged at P800 (a month), now we’re proposing it, following the amendment of (Majority leader) Sen. (Vicente) Sotto (III), to be at least P2,500,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101202hed6.html

Surveys on RH Bill should be stopped — CBCP official 12/02/2010

Surveys on RH Bill should be stopped — CBCP official

12/02/2010
An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday called for a stop to surveys, particularly on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

Fr. Melvin Castro, Executive Secretary of the CBCP– Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL), said it would be better if the surveys on the measure would be stopped for the meantime so as not to be used by groups that are supporting the bill.

“We are appealing to them (surveying firms) not to be used to mindset legislators that majority of the people are for the bill… so that it will not cause undue influence to our legislators,” he said.

Castro said if the survey companies refused to give in to their request, they would appreciate if they will be consulted the next time a survey is to be conducted.

“If they are objective enough, then we will appreciate it for them to, at least, let us see, beforehand, these questions… we hope they will do that so as to ensure objective questioning of the people,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101202nat6.html

‘Don’t panic,’ RP gov’t assures 50K Pinoys in Sokor By Michaela P. del Callar 12/02/2010

‘Don’t panic,’ RP gov’t assures 50K Pinoys in Sokor

By Michaela P. del Callar 12/02/2010

The Philippine government on Wednesday assured the more than 50,000 Filipinos in South Korea that there is no need to panic as the situation in the Korean peninsula has become stable.

Government special envoy Roy Cimatu, who was sent last week Seoul for a security assessment mission, said tension still lingers between South and North Korea, but said there is no indication that it would escalate into a full-blown conflict.

“Despite the tensions, the situation right now is stable,” Cimatu said as he expressed confidence in the ability of the South Korean government to effectively handle the situation. “There is no reason for panic,” he said.
Cimatu added that contingency measures are in place and ready to be activated, including evacuation plans for Filipinos, if the situation calls for it.

“In case of emergency, we want to be sure that the Philippine government is ready to meet the needs of Filipinos in South Korea,” Cimatu said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101202nat1.html

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