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What now, Noy EDITORIAL 12/19/2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What now, Noy

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
12/19/2010
What is considered as the first test of Noynoy’s capability as president goes on trial in Hong Kong on Feb. 14 as Hong Kong would be subjecting 116 Filipinos, including likely some Cabinet officials under its scrutiny within the ambit of its law, over the bungled hostage rescue operations last Aug. 23 that left eight tourists dead. They were residents of the Chinese territory.

Noynoy came out a miserable failure, in a global view, from the way he handled the incident, during and after it happened.

The incident remains a huge and likely recurring black eye on the Aquino administration which Noynoy had helped along by watering down the recommendations of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report on the incident.

Nothing was heard from Hong Kong regarding the findings of the IIRC which did the job of probing the controversial incident exhaustively under the short time allotted to it, indicating a guarded acceptance of it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101219com1.html

Test of sincerity FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 12/19/2010

Test of sincerity

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
12/19/2010
Hong Kong certainly is putting the sincerity of Noynoy Aquino and his administration -- and his political will — to a test, done through the issuance of summons for over 100 Filipino officials and witnesses, among others to testify before the Hong Kong probe team that will be investigating the botched Aug. 21 hostage rescue which left eight Hong Kong residents dead, and a lot more injured.

This test of sincerity — which Noynoy and his officials will likely fail — came about as a result of the “official” visit of Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, along with a Department of Foreign Affairs official, Eduardo Malaya, who serves as DFA spokesman.

In Lim’s eagerness to get the ties between Manila and Hong Kong — and subsequently, China — normalized, he promised a lot of things — many of which the Philippine government won’t be able to deliver.
Lim informed the Hong Kong leader, Donald Tsang, that the Philippines will be paying compensation for the death of the eight tourists as well as those who were injured, with Malaya later adding that a “public-private partnership” group will be forking out the compensation money. How much is involved, and just who the private benefactors are was not divulged. Still, this monetary compensation whose amount was not divulged by Lim, will come from taxpayers’ money again because it does not make sense for the government to tap the private sector for funds to pay off the relatives of the Chinese victims. It is not the fault of the Filipinos or even the Tsinoys but the fault of Noynoy Aquino and his administration whose incompetence and ineptitude caused the botched rescue hostage..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101219com2.html

America’s poor face bleak Christmas focus 12/19/2010

America’s poor face bleak Christmas

focus

12/19/2010
ROCKVILLE — In the three years since she lost her job at a US childcare center, Sandra has stared austerity in the face each year when Christmas comes around.

This year is no different: the bundle of small logs in front of the fireplace in Sandra’s suburban home is not a treat meant as a decorative festive Christmas blaze, but is there to keep warm.

Two weeks before Christmas, there is no Christmas tree inside the house, no wreath on the door.
Sandra is just one of millions of Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, and facing another holiday season of belt-tightening and bleakness.

Ten percent of the US workforce is out of a job, and one in six workers is underemployed, meaning they don’t work enough hours to make a living wage..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101219com3.html

Noli de Castro, Rep. Quimbo may be liable for housing scam BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 12/19/2010

Noli de Castro, Rep. Quimbo may be liable for housing scam

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
12/19/2010
Well, better late than never.
The “beautiful game” has finally arrived in the country with thousands upon thousands of aficionados now gushing over the stellar achievements of the Azkals in the international sports arena.

To the uninitiated, what we are referring to is the extremely physical activity known as soccer football or futball which is captivating an estimated two billion people all over the globe, with the Philippines as one of the last few remaining countries that refuses to acknowledge the popularity of the team game.

The awakening of Filipinos to the wiles of the beautiful game was brought about by the stunning success notched the other week by Team Philippines (christened “Azkals” by the players themselves) which entered the semifinal phase of the biennial Asean Football Federation’s Suzuki Cup, via the 5 points notched during the group stage in Vietnam.

I really don’t know how the intrepid Azkals, who are said to be ranked 152nd worldwide, will fare out in the Philippines’s maiden appearance in the second leg of the 14-year-old tournament, but one thing they can be sure of are the prayers of legions of their countrymen as they take on the likes of Indonesia and Vietnam (whom they had humiliated by a 2-0 score during the eliminations last Dec. 5 in My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi before a hostile hometown crowd) that are supposedly light years ahead of them in terms of football savvy and experience..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101219com4.html

Supreme Court VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 12/19/2010

Supreme Court

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
12/19/2010
While it is true the Supreme Court (SC) of the land can be made a low subordinate to any supposedly co-equal branch of government, this lamentable and detestable situation has already become a reality in this country when this was placed under martial law where might was right.

In other words, in the said adverse socio-political situation, the SC could be anything but independent and supreme. In this errant circumstance, the said court becomes a joke and the whole justice system in a country makes a turn about and emerges as the nationwide “System of Injustice.”

But when there is even but essential democracy in a given nation — such as the now Philippines — there is no option but to respect the judicial stand of the SC, to abide by its judgments in accord with its very nature and finality.

This is to say: To undermine the significance and prestige of the SC basically on account of an unwanted decision — just as to praise it to high heavens only by reason of its desired judgment — this is not only puerile but also dangerous: Puerile because it gives the image of a little boy crying because his toy is taken away from him. Dangerous because it invites disregard of and disdain for the said court. And the ultimate losers are the people in general — not really those who are in power now and tomorrow no more..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101219com5.html

Charity turns cane toad pest into princely footwear FEATURE 12/19/2010

Charity turns cane toad pest into princely footwear

FEATURE

12/19/2010
SYDNEY — The warty and toxic cane toad may be the most reviled animal in Australia, but a charity has devised a way to make good use of the invasive pests — fashioning them into sneakers fit for a prince.

Efforts to eradicate the repulsive hopper, a prolific breeder which has spread widely in the country’s tropical reaches since being introduced to kill beetles in the 1930s, have included killing them with golf clubs and driving over them.

But Rupert Noffs hopes the shoes he and his brother Matt have devised will be a kinder way of depleting the numbers of the incredibly tough amphibian which secretes a poison which can kill pets and wildlife and injure humans.

He says that people who have seen the sneakers — which combine kangaroo leather with a cane toad detail — are taken aback at how a loathsome creature can be converted into a fashion statement.

“Sometimes when people first see them they kinda freak out and then they go ‘Actually, it’s quite beautiful’” he told AFP ahead of the Gideon Shoes launch in Sydney on Thursday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101219com6.html

Austerity bites for elderly in Britain FEATURE 12/19/2010

Austerity bites for elderly in Britain

FEATURE

12/19/2010
LUTON — The deep cuts in social spending in Britain are only just starting to hurt — and for disabled 75-year-old David Gower they threaten to cut off the care on which he depends.

David is virtually paralyzed and only able to live in his modest home in Luton, north of London, because four carers visit him every day.

“Those visits are my lifeline — without them, I couldn’t get out of bed,” said the former railway technician.
Of the 120 pounds (142 euros, 190 dollars) pension he receives a week, he hands over 100 pounds every month to the local authorities to pay for his care.

On top of that he must pay a modest rent for his small flat in sheltered accommodation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101219com7.html

Noy resists HK hijack probe By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/19/2010

SAYS HONG KONG HAS NO JURISDICTION, RIGHTS OF FILIPINOS MUST BE RESPECTED

Noy resists HK hijack probe

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/19/2010

After promising the Hong Kong government that the Philippine government of President Aquino will cooperate fully with Hong Kong authorities in their investigation of the Manila hijacking of a busload of Hong Kong tourists, eight of whom were killed during the botched hostage rescue operations, Malacañang appears to be reneging on its promise to Hong Kong leader and Chief Executive Donald Tsang, using as the Palace excuse the alleged protection of the rights of Filipinos first.

During a recent visit of Philippine tourism secretary to Hong Kong, among the pledges he made to Tsang was that the Aquino adminis-tration will cooperate fully in the Hong Kong probe of the Manila hostage taking incident that occurred last Aug. 23, apart from assuring Tsang that the Aquino government will be providing monetary compensation to the injured and the relatives of the dead Hong Kong tourists.

Hong Kong immediately took up this pledge of Tourism chief Alberto Lim, and anounced that it will summon 116 Filipinos, officials and witnesses as well as police and the forensic teams to testify at a Hong Kong public hearing.

But Malacañang quickly reacted by saying that the Aquino administration will put the rights of its citizens first if Hong Kong calls on them to testify at an inquiry into a fatal hijacking in Manila. Aquino’s deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said they had not yet received full details of the proposal to summon 116 witnesses to the Chinese city’s investigation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101219hed1.html

NBI ready for Vizconde case reinvestigation By Pat C. Santos 12/19/2010

NBI ready for Vizconde case reinvestigation

By Pat C. Santos 12/19/2010

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has expressed its readiness to conduct a re-investigation of the 1991 Vizconde massacre after the Office of the President issued an order to reopen the celebrated rape and murder case.

In a memorandum signed on Dec. 16, 2010 by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, President Aquino directed the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the NBI to use all their resources to bring about the solution of the case.

It will be recalled that the Supreme Court acquitted Hubert Jeffrey Webb and six others who were convicted by the lower courts, junking as not credible the testimony of the government’s “star witness”, drug addict Jessica Alfaro, which was found inconsistent and illogical, while Webb’s alibi was found to have been strongly substantiated by records from the United States Immigration agency, and other witnesses proving that Webb was in the United States at the time the rape and murder were committed.

Special Investigator (SI) IV Cecilio Zamora, spokesman for the NBI, earlier had said the agency
is ready once again an official order is received by his office in connection with the reinvestigation of the Vizconde massacre case..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101219hed2.html

Palace: No pointof comparison between Morong 43 and ‘mutineers’ By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/19/2010

Palace: No pointof comparison between Morong 43 and ‘mutineers’

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/19/2010
That 38 out of the 43 jailed health workers who were already released the other day in time for next week’s holidays ahead of the 300-plus mutineers who were granted amnesty by President Aquino is not a quirk of fate, Malacañang yesterday said.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte stressed that nothing is ironic with respect to the recent emancipation of the health workers known as “Morong 43” while those who were amnestied by Aquino remain in detention and might miss the celebration of the holiday season with their families.

Valte said there is no point of comparison between the two groups of individuals who were charged with different sets of crimes because the processes that govern their respective cases are entirely poles apart.

“On one hand, you have amnesty which requires the concurrence of Congress — meaning the Lower House and the Senate — and a case that is up for trial before the regional trial court. These processes are different,” Valte was quoted saying in a news briefing aired over the state-run radio dzRB..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101219hed3.html

Garcia walks out of Crame jail 12/19/2010

Garcia walks out of Crame jail

12/19/2010
Former military comptroller retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia walked out of his detention cell inside Camp Crame in Quezon City before noon yesterday.

After almost six years in prison at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center, Garcia was released around 11 a.m. The former military official was accompanied by his lawyer Constantino de Jesus.
From Camp Crame, Garcia went straight to his home also in Quezon City.

Garcia posted bail after pleading guilty last Thursday on lesser charges so he could avoid being tried for “plunder” or massive corruption, punishabl1e by life in jail, Renato Bocar, the court clerk for the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court, said.

“He has not yet been sentenced but he has entered a plea of guilty and it has been accepted by the court,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101219hed4.html

WikiLeaks chief Assange fears US charges 12/19/2010

WikiLeaks chief Assange fears US charges

12/19/2010
BUNGAY — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said it was “increasingly likely” the US would try to extradite him on charges related to leaked cables as he savored his first day on bail.

Speaking Friday outside Ellingham Hall, a friend’s mansion in eastern England, where he must live while on bail, Assange said he was concerned about potential moves from US authorities.

“The big risk, the risk we have always been concerned about, is onwards extradition to the United States. And that seems to be increasingly serious and increasingly likely,” the Australian told reporters.

The 39-year-old founder of the whistle-blowing website is fighting extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women which he denies..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101219hed5.html

US sentences Abu leader to 23 years for 1995 abduction 12/19/2010

US sentences Abu leader to 23 years for 1995 abduction

12/19/2010
WASHINGTON — A senior member of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf was sentenced Friday (Saturday Manila time) to 23 years in a US prison over the kidnapping for ransom of tourists, including four Americans, officials said.

With former hostages from the 1995 drama watching in a Washington courtroom, a judge handed down the punishment to Madhatta Haipe, a Philippine citizen who was extradited to the United States last year.

Haipe, a former professor in Islamic studies, had faced life in prison but received a lighter sentence after pleading guilty.

Prosecutors said Haipe was second-in-command of the al-Qaeda-linked group at the time of the kidnapping.
“It was incredibly gratifying that so many of those victims were able to stand today in an American courtroom and watch the terrorist who held them hostage be sent to prison for his crimes,” federal prosecutor Ronald Machen said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101219hed6.html

Isabela pushes P6-billion ethanol project By Ted Boehnert 12/19/2010

Isabela pushes P6-billion ethanol project

By Ted Boehnert 12/19/2010
SANTIAGO CITY — A multimillion-dollar bio-ethanol project in San Mariano, Isabela was pushed through despite the protest of the militants earlier this week.

The estimated cost of the project is P6 billion or $120-million funded by several countries, including the Philippine government.

The oppositors claimed that thousand residents in the area will be displaced by the project and its airable lands will be constricted or become smaller in size which are available for food production.

But according to investors, which include Japanese firms JGC Corp., Itochu Corp., Taiwanese firm GCO and the Philippine Bioethano and Energy, the project will help to improve the living condition of the residents in the region. They also said that the accusation is a lie.

According to Rep. Ana Go, (2nd District, Isabela), she said that none of the affected residents in San Mariano town will be displaced. Aside from this, she said, they will have first crack of the jobs in the said project once it begins by 2012..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101219nat5.html

4 minors bomb movie-TV actress’ house in Malabon By Arlie O. Calalo 12/19/2010

4 minors bomb movie-TV actress’ house in Malabon

By Arlie O. Calalo 12/19/2010

The house of movie and television actress Angelica de la Cruz was bombed early yesterday morning in Malabon City.

No one, however, was hurt in the incident as the actress was reportedly not in her residence at 61 Gen. Borromeo St., Barangay Longos while other house members were sleeping, including her father, Barangay Chairman Ernie de la Cruz.

In a report to Northern Police District director Chief Supt. Edgardo Ladao, local police chief Senior Supt. Cornelio Barrios said alert village watchmen managed to arrest two suspected bomb throwers who were both minors and residents of the same village.

Their two other companions, also minors and residents of the barangay, were able to elude arrest, according to Barrios as he said the suspects’ identities were withheld since they were all underage..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20101219met1.html

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