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Mediocrity leads to unconstitutionality EDITORIAL 12/09/2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mediocrity leads to unconstitutionality

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For the Yellows and like-minded, if the Supreme Court (SC) goes against Noynoy Aquino and his Malacañang, it is a judged a court beholden to Gloria Arroyo. But if the high court ruling favors Aquino or past Yellow presidents, such as Noynoy’s mother, the high court is deemed by them as an independent court.

Stated differently, as long as the high court rules in favor of the Yellows’ anointeds, past and present, they will praise the court as being highly independent and will never call them appointees of the previous Malacañang tenant.

Cory Aquino, in 1986, shortly after the Edsa revolt, demanded the resignation of all the SC justices, as they were regarded as the Marcos appointees. She then appointed her allies to the high court and retained some of the justices, who were reappointed by her.

In her early years, her SC many times ruled in her favor, including that ruling that she had “residual powers” that effectively barred the Marcoses from returning home — despite the fact that this is an inalienable right of a citizen to return to his homeland — with or without documents.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101209com1.html

‘Expandable amnesty list’ FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 12/09/2010

‘Expandable amnesty list’

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Mediocre is the middle name of Noynoy and his administration. He plunges from one disaster to another, with no end in sight.

He may have gotten both chambers of the legislature to concur in his flawed amnesty grant, but that concurrence can only mean that his allies in Congress — both in the House and in the Senate — are just as mediocre as he is, and will pass anything — including anything proposed by Noynoy and his incompetents written in a soiled toilet paper.

Even more appalling is the public discovery that the list of the grantees of Noynoy’s amnesty proclamation, apparently came from detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes himself! Wow. A rebel turned ally of Aquino prepares the list of people who should avail of the amnesty? Incredible!

And was it Trillanes too, who advised Noynoy to spurn the Makati Regional Trial Court sentencing of the Oakwood mutiny leader and push the amnesty proclamation and ensure that nobody but nobody will have to acknowledge guilt?

The Executive Secretary, during the Senate hearing, where the list was presented — and where even more names can be added — pointed to the Department of Justice (DoJ) as the source of the list of probable amnesty grantees that was given the Palace.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101209com2.html

Indonesian maids undeterred by Saudi horrors focus 12/09/2010

Indonesian maids undeterred by Saudi horrors

RAWA LUMBU — Undeterred by sickening tales of abuse, Indonesian women are lining up to work as maids in Saudi Arabia where in just a few years they can achieve an almost unthinkable dream — financial independence.

Most think they will be treated well by fellow Muslims in the land of the Islamic holy places, despite the repeated cases of Indonesian women being subjected to physical and mental violence by their Saudi employers.

One recent example was so shocking it prompted Indonesia to summon the Saudi ambassador and send a ministerial delegation to the oil-rich kingdom.

Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, remains in hospital in Medina after her employer, a Saudi woman who has since been arrested, allegedly beat her causing internal bleeding and broken bones, scalded her head with an iron and slashed her with scissors, leaving her horribly disfigured and traumatized.

Earlier in November the beaten body of another Indonesian maid, Kikim Komalasari, 36, was found near Abha. Two persons, her employers, have been arrested in that case.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101209com3.html

Courting a reversal BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 12/09/2010

Courting a reversal

Louie Logarta
The Office of the Ombudsman has again lived up to its checkered reputation of being oh so predictable in so far as cases filed against officials of the Arroyo administration.

To paraphrase the words of a respected colleague, their decision to clear seven officials of the controversial Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) over corruption issues “does not surprise anyone.”

Just recently, the Ombudsman junked a misconduct complaint filed by developer R-II Builders against said HGC brass — Gonzalo Bongolan, president; Elmer Cadano, EVP; Melinda Adriano, VP; Rafael de los Santos, VP; Corazon Corpuz, VP; Danilo Javier, VP; and Jimmy Sarona, VP – for selling two parcels of land to La Paz Milling Corp. at the grossly undervalued price of P390 million when it could have allegedly easily fetched around P700 million, a transaction viewed as grossly disadvantageous to the government.

What totally astounds is the fact that it took the Ombudsman less than a year to dispose of the HGC case which is tantamount to warp speed as far as it is concerned. The Ombudsman’s Office is actually famous for dragging its feet in the resolution of cases involving high-profile GMA officials, lasting years even.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101209com4.html

Bad signs of the times VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 12/09/201

Bad signs of the times

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
These are good times. These are bad times.

These good times: As a people, the Filipinos are poor yet always hopeful. They may be helpless but remain resourceful. They have survived not only the martial law regime but the reign of graft and corruption in effect left the People of the Philippines stronger in spirit and more persevering in their resolve of facing and wrestling with devastating political shenanigans and economic debacles — until they regain their lost sovereignty.

Tyrants came and went. Oppressors appeared and left. And the Filipinos simply continued with living their lives — remaining resolved to do better and hoping for better times. This in itself is a signal, empirical and historical lesson especially for those on “top of heap” for being in tenure of power and having dominion over wealth. Would that they remember while they are presently living in cloud 9, circumstances of one kind or another eventually bring them to the real world of the hard hitting realities of life.

These are bad times. Concretely in conjunction with the present ruling government with its dear personal friends and big political beneficiaries. While it is true that it has come about with certain reactionary accomplishments here and there — even without a national plan of action of one kind or another — it has to be nevertheless noted, with a heavy heart even — that the present administration has demonstrated but mediocrity in its affirmations and resolutions.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101209com5.html

China’s Nobel anger spells tough fight for rights activists focus 12/09/2010

China’s Nobel anger spells tough fight for rights activists

BEIJING — China’s fury over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo and its subsequent crackdown on dissidents could signal a more difficult fight ahead for rights activists, experts say.

Liu, a social critic and author, was sentenced in December 2009 to 11 years in prison on subversion charges after co-authoring “Charter 08,” a bold manifesto calling for democratic reform and greater rights in one-party China.

Since Liu won the Nobel in October, Chinese police have harassed hundreds of activists — detaining some, placing others under house arrest and preventing a few from leaving the country ahead of Friday’s peace prize ceremony in Oslo.

“Many people in China are worried that until the ceremony on December 10, the government has avoided arresting or throwing in jail other activists, but after the ceremony it might be possible the government wants to make an example of several activists,” Human Rights Watch’s Nicholas Bequelin told AFP.

Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest and deprived of nearly all contact with the outside world since he was given the prestigious award, which Beijing fears will embolden China’s political activists into fomenting unrest.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101209com6.html

The legal process COMMENT By Ronald Roy 12/09/2010

The legal process

By Ronald Roy
Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, concurrent chairman of the committee on labor, employment and resource development, cannot be blamed for chiding the House for its inaction on the long overdue Batas Kasambahay bill. But then, he’ll just have to be patient in dealing with a bicameral process that can be at times counter-productive.

Around two million house helps stand to benefit from the proposed bill, and the longer the House delays its proffer of a counterpart bill, “the longer we’ll be depriving them of decent working conditions, benefits and labor rights,“ Estrada said.

The Senate’s original Kasambahay covers membership and benefits in Philhealth, Pag-IBIG and Employees Compensation Commission. The intended statute promises to be the groundbreaking magna carta for household helpers.

I was told recently by a former congressman that this early politics is rearing its ugly head. He intimated that certain insecure quarters do not find appealing the idea of Jinggoy Estrada being given a legislative trail blazer that might just catapult him to the presidency in 2016. They know only too well that apart from his famous surname and the support of a major political party, Jinggoy Estrada has an enviable performance record in lawmaking output and perfect attendance.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101209com7.html

Truth body vehicle for vindictiveness, retribution, says SC By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/09/2010

Truth body vehicle for vindictiveness, retribution, says SC

By Benjamin B. Pulta
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday made available to the public its decision written by Associate Justice Jose Mendoza declaring unconstitutional Executive Order 1 putting up the controversial Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) .

As earlier announced by the tribunal’s spokesmen, the ruling said Malacañang should have included previous administrations under the coverage of the PTC which had originally been given a 29-month deadline to complete its fact-finding mission exclusively on the Arroyo administration.

“Not to include past administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal protection clause

cannot sanction. Such discriminating differentiation clearly reverberates to label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution,”the majority opinion said.

“The Court, in exercising its power of judicial review, is not imposing its own will upon a co-equal body but rather simply making sure that any act of government is done in consonance with the authorities and rights allocated to it by the Constitution,” the tribunal said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101209hed1.html

Confrontational Noy seeks support vs high court 12/09/2010

Confrontational Noy seeks support vs high court

President Aquino yesterday, in a statement, sought public support against the Supreme Court (SC), saying that many were dismayed by its decision voiding his truth commission, stressing that the sins of the past decade committed by the Arroyo administration can never be unearthed, and that the “dark chapter” of our history under former President Arroyo can never have a closure.

In his statement, he tried to weasel out of the SC ruling of the truth body as being unconstitutional, saying: “Is it a sin to ferret out the truth? Is it not an obligation to learn the trurth? Is it not a duty to punish those who violated the law? Is it not our mandate to clear the names of those accused without basis?

“I vow, as your president, that I will defend the Constitution. I vow to make the law real and I vow to give justice to each and every Filipino. Whoever is a supporter of truth also vows to do his duty to uphold the truth. What we want is the truth. We created the Truth Commission in order to close a dark chapter, and it is clear that we can only achieve this if we continue adhering to the truth and find out the truth.”

Yet even as he vowed to defend the Constitution, it was clear that Aquino refuses to abide by the ruling of... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101209hed2.html

US airs fears on RP’s alliance shift to China — WikiLeaks By Michaela P. del Callar 12/09/2010

US airs fears on RP’s alliance shift to China — WikiLeaks

By Michaela P. del Callar
The United States has warned that China might exert economic pressure on Washington’s South East Asian allies, including the Philippines, forcing them to shift their alliance to Beijing, according to online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.

This information is contained in one of the more than 250,000 classified US State Department documents divulged by the controversial Web site.

As of Wednesday, 1,060 of 251,287 secret and confidential diplomatic documents can be viewed online at WikiLeaks Web site and updates are being made daily even as its founder Julian Assange surrendered to British police in London last Tuesday in relation to a Swedish sex-crimes investigation against him. He is now detained in a prison although the British police never divulge at which prison a detainee is.

A confidential cable from the US Embassy in Beijing dated Jan. 6, 2009 details an assessment and overview by American Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt of Washington’s 30 years of bilateral relations with China. It was made public by WikiLeaks on Dec. 4.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101209hed3.html

Judges hint at bigger mass moves vs budget By Angie M. Rosales 12/09/2010

Judges hint at bigger mass moves vs budget

By Angie M. Rosales
The country’s judges yesterday stood their ground in protesting what they called as insufficient budget for the judiciary in the proposed budget for next year with the Philippine Judges Association (PJA) hinting at bigger mass actions forthcoming.

Judge Antonio Eugenio of the Manila Trial Court (MTC) and PJA president said that there are no changes in the judges’ position despite the claim of the Palace and its allies in Congress that they should live within their approved budget.

Eugenio said the executive committee of the PJA is now discussing the next course of action the group will take.

Eugenio said it is now up to legislators whether to consider their request for a bigger budget.
The important thing, Eugenio said, is that they have driven their point during their protest action on Monday during the flag-raising ceremony nationwide.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101209hed4.html

16,000 bogus CCT beneficiaries purged 12/09/2010

16,000 bogus CCT beneficiaries purged

As many as 16,000 so-called “ghost families” were taken out of the 700,000 beneficiaries the Deparment of Social Welfare and Development has identified last September, bringing the current number of potential conditional cash transfers (CCT) grantees down to 961,000 — 339,000 short of the DSWD’s supposed 1.3 million household target by yearend, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman yesterday said.

She added these delisted families have failed to meet the government’s criteria for them to be included in the P21-billion worth CCT program of the Aquino administration.

“What we are doing is a continuing verification of the eligibility of sets 1 and 2 (families) because there have been complaints entering through the grievance system that there is what they call an inclusion and exclusion error. Those who should be in the list were not included on the list and those who were supposed to be excluded made it on the list,” Soliman explained when asked about the purging process of her department’s preparations on the implementation of the CCT program next year.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101209hed5.html

Job employment scams in Guam bared By Michaela P. del Callar 12/09/2010

Job employment scams in Guam bared

By Michaela P. del Callar
The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Guam yesterday warned prospective job applicants of two Web sites which solicit applications for employment opportunities for nurses, but are actually scams.

Guam authorities have alerted the Philippine government that the Web sites www.guamgeneral-hospital.com and www.westernpacifichospital.com have been soliciting application for non-existent jobs.

“Guam General Hospital (GGH) and Western Pacific Hospital (WPH) do not exist,” the consulate said, adding that there is only one hospital in Guam for civilians, which is the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH). The other is for American military personnel, the US Naval Hospital (USNH).

The online job solicitation, it said, is an apparent scam to lure unwary applicants into applying for jobs that does not exist.

“The Web sites of these alleged hospitals are currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” the consulate said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101209nat1.html

Noynoy denies cutting SUCs budget next year By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/09/2010

Noynoy denies cutting SUCs budget next year

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
President Aquino maintained his denials over the budget cuts his government has administered in the allocation for the state universities and colleges (SUCs) next year and has even told an audience not to believe everything they read or seen in the news concerning this matter.

Aquino has found an ally in the presence of children and child rights advocates yesterday when he attended the Children’s Hour Philippines (CHP)’s 10th annual benefit lunch held in Antel Lifestyle City, Makati.

In a speech he delivered at the event, Aquino promised that his administration will remain supportive of the children’s rights to quality education as accomplished by the 16 percent increase he allocated for the budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) next year.

Aquino explained that his decision to prioritize the basic education sector over the SUCs is rooted on the general principle “that half of the person’s ability to learn is developed in the first four years of life” as told by the Early Childhood Care and Development Council (ECCDC).

He relayed that the 2011 DepEd budget which amounts to P31-billion shall be distributed to address the resource gaps in the primary education sector such as shortages in teachers, classrooms, textbooks, and water and sanitation facilities in an effort to reinforce the delivery of basic education services in the primary and secondary levels..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101209nat3.html

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