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Force of yellow habit EDITORIAL 12/12/2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Force of yellow habit

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They have the seat of government, don’t they? Or do they? Noynoy and his yellow allies continue to act as though they are seeking an overthrow of something or anything perceived by them to be against their interest.

It has been the same thing all over again since 1986 when they got the first taste of success in short-circuiting the voting process by staging the Edsa 1 revolt that made Noynoy’s mother, Cory Aquino, president and an absolute dictator for at least a year, writing her own so-called “Freedom Constitution” followed by the 1987 Constitution written by her 50 handpicked yellow delegates.

In 2001, Joseph Estrada won the presidency convincingly despite the strong opposition from the yellow company made up of the Makati businessmen, Catholic bishops and the evil civil socialites, along with the leftists and the unprofessional military, but from his first day at Malacañang, the plot started for his ouster that culminated two and half years years later in the 2001 Edsa ll where the nine-year curse of Gloria on the country originated. Again the Estrada overthrow was the handiwork of the yellow company.

Had Noynoy lost in the 2010 elections, even validly, a new Edsa revolt was likely. Such a plan being already in place was proven by Noynoy’s oft-repeated warning that he would call for people power if he was not elected president.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101212com1.html

Making foes suffer FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 12/12/2010

Making foes suffer

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
There can only be one reason the judiciary budget was slashed by Noynoy and his Budget secretary: Vindictiveness and their way of letting the high court suffer for earlier ruling as legitimate and constitutional, the appointment of Renato Corona as the Chief Justice.

Even before Noynoy was proclaimed president by Congress, he was already insisting that Gloria had no right to appoint the top magistrate because the appointment was done during the midnight ban.

Noynoy said it was his right to appoint the new chief justice — and certainly his choice was not Corona but one of the two Moraleses — probably Justice Conchita Morales-Carpio, as she had just a few months before retirement, after which, Noynoy would have named Justice Antonio Carpio, who would have a longer term.

Noynoy even threatened at that time, to have Corona impeached as he continued to insist that the Corona appointment was unconstitutional, despite the decision of the high court that the appointment is constitutional.

As Noynoy did not get what.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101212com2.html

Flood-swept Czech town turns disaster into development FEATURE 12/12/2010

Flood-swept Czech town turns disaster into development

CHRASTAVA — Not many Czech towns of 6,000 might push “pinup” calendars featuring local women but Chrastava, ravaged by floods in August, has put a novel spin on turning disaster into development.

The town is still reeling from the devastation wrought when fierce rains turned a local river into a raging waterway, flooding 200 homes in this northern locality right near the Polish and German borders.

Damage is estimated at 1.5 billion koruna (60 million euros, $81 million) but relief funds from the central government have been slow to arrive.

So the town, 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the capital Prague, took reconstruction into its own hands.

Chrastava now boasts several projects, including a new — if eccentric — footbridge to replace the old one washed away in the floods: A rickety, wood-framed, hand-propelled funicular for pedestrians.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101212com3.html

Quid pro quo – Suansing for Luistro BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 12/12/2010

Quid pro quo – Suansing for Luistro

Louie Logarta
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, one of the prickliest members of the upper chamber, has suddenly gone soft on former De La Salle University president Bro. Armin Luistro, whom Malacañang wants ratified as secretary of the Department of Education.

After threatening on several occasions to block his nomination that was pending before the powerful Commission on Appointments due to alleged “conflicting interests, gross ignorance of the law and political deafness” issues, Mrs. Santiago did the opposite with an about-face maneuver thus paving the way for Luistro’s assumption as DepEd chief with full powers, after allegedly being promised certain concessions by the Palace.

Mrs. Santiago had earlier informed CA chairman Sen. Edgardo Angara that she had every intention of opposing Luistro’s nomination probably because she was still bristling at the way he and his group Black and White Movement had crucified her for being one of the senators who opposed the opening of the second envelop during the landmark impeachment trial of President Estrada in 2001. Ironically, the letter turned to be a bummer because it didn’t contain anything derogatory against Estrada when it was opened a few years later.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101212com4.html

Noli me tangere VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 12/12/2010

Noli me tangere

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
The Latin phrase sounds familiar. It is the title of a famous literature that forwarded one signal and distinct cry — with element of great resentment toward what was then wrong with the nation and unjust to people.

The ground reality and distinct relevance of the lamentation eventually proved to be the joyful liberation of the nation and the big blessing of the Filipino people. Thus it was that in the realm of objective truth, falsehood ultimately succumbed to veracity, oppression and immorality subsequently bowed down before the virtues and integrity, respectively.

“Touch me not!” While thought of very intensely and thereafter bravely written decades ago, the text and context of the strong injunction are still very vibrant and insistent — when applied to such a corrupt and corrupting syndicate of the infamous jueteng operators vis-à-vis shameless jueteng protectors. The heart and soul of the continuous existence and vibrant are found in the following triad: One, the open and continuous exploitation of the poor and unlettered. Two, the constant and effective security avidly accorded to the lawless jueteng federation precisely by those supposed to root it out. Three, the untrammeled flow of juicy and regular payolas to all those salivating for their guaranteed regular receipt among those in the hierarchy of public officials and police authorities committed to jueteng continuous and fruitful operative existence.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101212com5.html

The truth not the commission TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 12/12/2010

The truth not the commission

Larry Faraon, OP
Rep. Edcel Lagman and Mrs. Gloria Arroyo’s cohorts jumped with joy over the Supreme Court’s decision to tag the Truth Commission as unconstitutional. They smelled the scent of victory for their former boss and patroness. But at the end of the day, it is more of a setback for Mrs. Arroyo than for the Aquino administration.

The camp of the past administration could have wished that the Truth Commission were approved and then go on down to work on the eventual vindication of Mrs. Arroyo’s “innocence,” since the commission’s chairman is a pawn of the past administration — namely, retired SC chief, Hilario Davide.

As it is, with the disapproval of the Truth Commission, Mrs. Arroyo’s cases would be a sword of Damocles hanging unperturbed over the neck of any of the Arroyo’s retinue of corrupt elements. And that would mean sleepless nights and qualms of conscience and uncertainty over her clean bill of health.

The Truth Commission should have done that and thereby afford Mrs. Arroyo a peaceful and clear conscience and close the door on the Arroyo administration with flying colors and that history would judge her as righteous. But with the SC decision she would miss that part.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101212com6.html

Turkey’s Alevis losing hope for broader freedoms focus 12/12/2010

Turkey’s Alevis losing hope for broader freedoms

SIVAS — Turkey’s Alevis, a distinct moderate sect of Islam, have put government support for religious freedom to the test by pressing for broader rights in a country where they are often seen as heretics.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has launched a rare dialog with the sizeable community.

But after several meetings between the two sides since 2007, Alevi leaders question Ankara’s sincerity and hold out little hope that their demands will be met.

The government “does not go beyond listening to our problems... We do not expect any improvement soon,” Ali Balkiz, a leading Alevi activist, told AFP.

The Sunni majority’s prejudice against Alevis is deep-rooted: Apart from the broad theological differences, there is the history of Alevi rebellions and their bloody supression.
Like Shiites, Alevis worship the Prophet Ali, the last of the first four C... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101212com7.html

Burgos case not priority of new body under DoJ 12/12/2010

Burgos case not priority of new body under DoJ

The suffering of the family of activist Jonas Burgos who disappeared in 2007 may prove to take longer as President Aquino yesterday said a task force he ordered formed under the Department of Justice (DoJ) to revisit unresolved cases of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances will give priority to cases that occurred under his watch.

Aquino said six cases have been identified to have happened from the time he assumed the presidency and, as much as possible, he would like to address these cases first before the body tackles other past atrocities.

He claimed five out of the six cases had been resolved and the law enforcers are currently pursuing the sixth case.

“Our focus is cases under our watch. We’ve filed cases, I understand, five of the six have been solved. There were two that I mentioned, one of them is already ready for hearing…But all of them had their cases, I understand, filed. Of course, I’m still aiming for the sixth,” Aquino told reporters in a chance interview held in Tarlac City.

The two cases that Aquino has referred to in his speech during the celebration of the International Human Rights Day in Malacanang the other day involved that of Miguel Belen in which, he claimed, “a murder charge is already pending against the two suspects before the Regional Trial Court of Iriga City” and the other one is that of Jose Daguio that, he said, has already been set for initial hearing.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101212hed2.html

TI poll: 48% say Noy not effective vs graft 12/12/2010


TI poll: 48% say Noy not effective vs graft

President Aquino’s so-called “straight path” is nowhere to be discerned in a recent Transparency International (TI) survey that showed nearly half of Filipino respondents stated that the current government’s action against corruption was ineffective.

The global corruption watchdog’s survey was conducted between June 1 and September 30 that included the first three months of the Aquino administration.

On the question: How would you assess your current government’s actions on the fight against corruption? 48 percent of some 1,000 respondents answered “ineffective,” while 28 percent replied “effective,” and the rest, or 24 percent, believed it was neither of both.

Nearly seven out of 10 also indicated that the level of corruption in the country increased in the past three years, the 2010 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) released the other day showed.
Asked to rank local institutions most prone to corruption, respondents identified the police and political parties on top followed by public officials and civil servants tied with the parliament or legislature; the judiciary; the military and businesses; the education system; non-government organizations, and finally media.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101212hed1.html

Noy retreats from oust-Corona move By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/12/2010

Noy retreats from oust-Corona move

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
President Aquino backtracked yesterday on an all-out campaign to oust Chief Justice Renato Corona, indicating he is no longer planning to support any impeachment complaints that his allies may push in Congress against the Supreme Court (SC) head.

Aquino’s statement was in contrast to his belligerent mood last Wednesday when he indicated plans of supporting moves to impeach Corona after the SC voted down Executive Order 1 that created the Philippine Truth Commission.

He clarified he was not the one who started the impeachment issue, saying he received calls to that effect from his allies in Congress even as none of his allies acknowledged having conveyed such plans to him.

Aquino explained that when he answered the question on whether he was considering supporting plans to impeach Corona so that he can finally get rid of the so-called “Arroyo court,” what he mentioned was actually the impeachment complaint against another SC magistrate whom he did not identify.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101212hed3.html

No military apology to ‘Morong 43,’ says Noynoy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/12/2010

No military apology to ‘Morong 43,’ says Noynoy

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
A public apology that is reportedly being sought by the relatives of the 43 jailed health workers from the members of the military that allegedly aggravated them will not happen as their Commander-in-Chief, President Aquino, refused to yield to such kind of demand.

Aquino has implied that his recent order for the Department of Justice (DoJ) to file a motion to withdraw the information against the wrongfully accused health workers collectively known as “Morong 43” has already shown enough sincerity on his part toward addressing their concerns.

“I think we have already demonstrated and we have already rectified the situation… So for us to apologize to those who have been served already is, I think, too much (to ask),” Aquino told reporters in a chance interview yesterday in Tarlac City.

Aquino reiterated that he instructed the DoJ to execute such order precisely in recognition of the Morong 43’s claims that their rights to due process had been violated by the military which, he said, he will never tolerate while he’s in command.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101212hed4.html

US couple jailed for exploiting Pinoys 12/12/2010

US couple jailed for exploiting Pinoys

WASHINGTON — A Florida couple were sentenced to several years in prison Friday (Saturday, Manila time) for exploiting dozens of Filipino migrants they lured to the United States with lies and forced to work under threat in service jobs in Florida, the Department of Justice said.

Sophia Manuel and Alfonso Maldonado “pleaded guilty to conspiring to obtain a cheap, compliant and readily available labor pool by making false promises to entice the victims to incur debts to pay up front recruitment fees,” the department said in a statement.

Manuel, who was also found guilty of making false statements to obtain foreign labor certifications and visas under the federal guest worker program, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years behind bars, and Maldonado to four-and-a-quarter years.

Approximately 39 Filipino migrants were brought over by the Quality Staffing Services Corp. the couple owned, and “compelled... through threats to have the workers arrested and deported” to work in country clubs and hotels in southeast Florida, the department said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101212hed5.html

Aquino to uphold GMA’s ‘holiday economics’ 12/12/2010

Aquino to uphold GMA’s ‘holiday economics’

Filipinos won’t be denied their time to unwind this coming Christmas and New Year as President Aquino yesterday indicated that he will uphold his predecessor’s holiday economics principle for the approaching festive seasons.

By virtue of former President Arroyo’s Proclamation 1841, both December 25 (Christmas Day) which falls on a Saturday and December 27 (Monday) in lieu of the Rizal Day which falls on a Friday, December 30, are declared as regular holidays.

The last two Fridays of December, 24 (Christmas Eve) and 31 (last day of the
year), on the other hand, are considered special non-working holidays.

“Those (dates) were included in the law that has been executed,” Aquino said in a chance interview.

These holiday declarations may be exploited by the public to go on vacation and spend time with their families while celebrating two of the world’s most anticipated occasions of the year.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101212hed6.html

GSIS okays pensioners receiving other income 12/12/2010

GSIS okays pensioners receiving other income

Some 306,597 old-age and survivorship pensioners of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) will now receive pension benefits even if some of them are still employed or are receiving other forms of income.

In its meeting this week, the GSIS board approved a resolution for this purpose revising the provision of Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the GSIS Charter (RA 8291) disqualifying surviving spouses from getting the usual half of the GSIS pensioners monthly benefit if they are earnings more than the minimum wage rate or are getting pension from other institutions.

The previous provision leans on the idea that the surviving spouse must be “dependent for support” on the deceased pensioners.

GSIS president and general manager Robert G. Vergara said the Board recognized that “gainful employment” does not imply that a surviving spouse is no longer dependent for support upon the deceased member or pensioner.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101212hed7.html

Operations launched to rescue kidnapped 2 MSU students By Gina Peralta Elorde 12/12/2010

Operations launched to rescue kidnapped 2 MSU students

By Gina Peralta Elorde
The combined police and military agents have launched rescue operations for the safe recovery of two students who were kidnapped last Tuesday morning by still unidentified armed men inside the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

As this developed, officials, teachers, and students of the MSU were afraid due to the abduction incident.

At the same time, MSU academicians were troubled as they thought that the university is not properly secured because armed men can barged into the premises and can abduct innocent civilians.

The abduction incident happened last Tuesday around 8 a.m.

The two students were identified as Sheila Mae Vidal, 18 and Alcher Baricuatro, 19.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101212nat1.htmls

Police eye politics behind killing of Magallanes 12/12/2010

Police eye politics behind killing of Magallanes

Politics is being eyed as the motive behind the killing of former vice mayor of Claveria, Masbate last week by still unidentified armed men.

Former Vice Mayor Joseph Magallanes sustained multiple gunshot wounds of his body when the suspects barged into his house at Buena Perla village in Barangay Las Labas, Sta. Rosa Laguna. The victim was watching television when the incident happened.

Reports from the Sta. Rosa police and Masbate police, the house of Magallanes was pillaged with bullets.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101212nat3.html

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