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Disunited administration EDITORIAL 12/22/2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Disunited administration

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
12/22/2010
ne of the most startling statements made by Noynoy Aquino during the presidential campaign, and in a press conference yet, was that he and his vice presidential bet, former Sen. Mar Roxas, have agreed to share the workload of the presidency, with Noynoy stating that it would be as high as an 80-20 percent workload share, with Roxas taking on the 80 percent.

That Noynoy statement was met with incredulity by the public as it was pointed out to Noynoy that the presidency cannot be shared, as not even a vice president is clothed with presidential power and authority.

Still, this statement was never retracted by Noynoy and in any case, Roxas lost his vice presidential bid as then Makati Mayor Jojo Binay won the polls, and was proclaimed Vice President by the Congress.

It is evident that Noynoy has not shared the presidential workload with Binay, but from all indications, he appears to have kept his word that he would be sharing the presidential work with Roxas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101222com1.html

Junking holiday economics FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 12/22/2010

Junking holiday economics

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
12/22/2010
Personally, I am against holiday economics, as it is not only highly unproductive, but also serves to drain the pocket of business with all the holiday work it has to pay workers — especially under dire economic conditions.

Quite frankly, this country has too many holidays, some of which should not even be holidays, such as the February Edsa Revolt which is really quite meaningless, and even the Ninoy Aquino assassination on Aug. 21. If Ninoy’s assassination is to be a holiday, then heck, we may as well declare the three Filipino martyrs — Gomburza day a special holiday, among other Filipino martyrs and heroes who died.

But that is hardly the point of the matter.

The point is: Can a president amend a law through a presidential proclamation?Apparently, Malacañang seems to think it can. And should..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101222com2.html

Australians buy cows and sheep with a mouse FEATURE 12/22/2010

Australians buy cows and sheep with a mouse

FEATURE

12/22/2010
SYDNEY — Buying sheep and cattle in Australia used to be a tough business — drovers would herd livestock thousands of kilometers across the hot and remote Outback for auction. Now ranchers can buy a herd with just a few clicks of a mouse from the comfort of a tractor cab.

Some farmers faced a three to five day trip to buy sheep — “now they do it in the hour,” said Gary Dick, general manager of livestock sale site AuctionsPlus.

With just a few clicks, buyers around Australia, even farmers working in their fields, can bid on animals and have them transported across the vast country thanks to online trading.

“You can buy stock from your office desk over your computer, which gives you another dimension in your supply,” long-time user Steve Sinclair, head of Sinclair Meats, told AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101222com3.html

Three cheers for the Azkals C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 12/22/2010

Three cheers for the Azkals

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
12/22/2010
Whoever thought of the name “Azkals” for the heroic Philippine football team which got as far as the semifinals in the prestigious Asian Suzuki Challenge Cup should report immediately to Tourism Secretary Bertie Lim. The guy has certainly a talent for marketing, specifically branding, and that is what the Philippines needs to become a major tourist destination in the world. The real “Azkal” — short for Asong Kalye (street dog, for some stray dog) in Pilipino — just about describes the phenomenon that is now the 2010 Philippine football team. It is a gritty, disciplined and very focused team which defied all the odds to reach the semifinals. That it gave the defending champion Indonesian team a run for its money is no exaggeration. No less than the winning team’s head coach, Alfred Riedl, readily admitted after their 1-0 win over the Azkals last Sunday that the game “was probably their most difficult match” in the tournament because of how physically strong the Filipinos are.” Riedl added that for him the Azkals were like a European team not a Southeast Asian team. Well, they are, in more ways than one not only because they are children of mixed marriages, mainly Fil-European, but because of their talent and determination as a team to win for themselves and for their parents’ native land.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101222com4.html

Asians in festive shopping spree as West sulks FEATURE 12/22/2010

Asians in festive shopping spree as West sulks

FEATURE

12/22/2010
SINGAPORE — Strong currencies and a travel boom are fuelling a festive shopping spree in Asia’s retail capitals even though consumers remain wary of a new downturn, economists and retailers say.

With US and European consumers stuck in uncertainty, global brands are pinning their hopes on Asia, where the buying binge usually stretches from Christmas to the Lunar New Year which will take place in early February.

Singapore’s fashionable Orchard Road is teeming with foreign shoppers, many of them from Southeast Asian countries whose currencies have appreciated sharply against the US dollar this year.

Don Triangga, a 26-year-old Indonesian tourist, said he spent 1,500 Singapore dollars ($1,150) on a Louis Vuitton belt and a Burberry shirt, and he wasn’t done yet.

“The Burberry polo shirt is a gift, but the belt I use,” he told AFP while sitting next to a gigantic Christmas tree in front of the swank Ion Orchard shopping mall..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101222com5.html

Merry Christmas HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 12/22/2010

Merry Christmas

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
12/22/2010
here seems to be a thousand blue lights waiting for Sen. Antonio Trillanes when he reports to his office anytime soon.

The former Navy captain had his first taste of freedom Monday night. He went straight to his in-laws’ house — where his wife and two kids are staying, and had six hours of sleep, before he gave his first media interview to the pair of Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna on Tuesday morning.

He would be surprised with the extra effort his Senate staff poured in anticipation of his freedom, the door to his office looks like a passageway to a theme park. But it was all worth it, Trillanes will spend his first Christmas as a free man since he voiced the military’s desire for changes which Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts denied them and the nation.

Trillanes vowed to be a changed man without forgetting the ideals that fired up his desire to serve his people, first as in the military and now, in the Senate.

Before he does his job, however, let him enjoy the holidays and let us wish him a peaceful Christmas and a merry new year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101222com6.html

Happy holidays SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 12/22/2010

Happy holidays

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
12/22/2010
he season is reaching its peak — you only have to brave the traffic and witness the shopping frenzy in the malls, the tiangge havens and even the sidewalks to feel the mounting excitement in the air.

So what else is new, right? The difference is that this year, it feels like the season came too soon, leaving many of us unprepared. It seemed as if we were too caught up in our problems to feel the usual thrill whenever the “ber” months came.

The difference, too, is that many of us are finally learning to appreciate the real reason for the season — it is, after all, a time for hope, peace, joy and gratitude.

For instance, hope came late this year for Hubert Webb, whose Christmas will be the happiest in a very long time. Free at last, he was seen shopping soon after he was released from prison over what some see as a “failure of justice.” Fifteen years ago, he was a young man who probably thought nothing of spending his time and money on clothes, but now, his appreciation for the experience was so palpable, you could almost see the effort he put into controlling his emotions. He was shown on television looking through the pile and jokingly admitting that it was the first time he was wearing jeans again as he was always in a pair of shorts in prison..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101222com7.html

Aquino in no position to overturn Garcia bid move 12/22/2010

AFTER GRANTING AMNESTY TO MUTINEERS AFTER GRANTING TO MUTINEERS

Aquino in no position to overturn Garcia bid move

12/22/2010
President Aquino has a weak hand in his effort to overturn a plea bargain that resulted in the release on bail of indicted retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia after granting amnesty to a group of military mutineers, an international risk consultancy firm said.

The Pacific Strategies and Assessments (PSA) in its Philippines Weekly Report said many believe that Aquino has little legitimacy to confront the Garcia issue after granting amnesty to a group of military mutineers, including Sen. Antonio Trillanes, “and he simply lacks the capacity and wherewithal to reevaluate the proceedings and decision.”

Garcia was released last week after entering a plea of guilty to the lesser offense of indirect bribery from plunder. He was ordered to pay a bail bond of P60,000.

Garcia was originally charged with plunder for allegedly acquiring more than P300 million in unexplained wealth when he was Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller in 2004. His wife, Clarita, and children Ian Carl, Juan Paulo and Timothy Clark, who all had fled to the United States, were also included in the charge..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101222hed1.html

DoJ eyes RP-HK MLAT as shield for Noy’s pals, allies in HK probe By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/22/2010

DoJ eyes RP-HK MLAT as shield for Noy’s pals, allies in HK probe

By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/22/2010

It is still a matter of President Aquino’s continued protection of his pals and allies from prosecution, here and in Hong Kong, which tends to indicate that this was the safety measure being sought by Malacañang from Hong Kong authorities in its evident resistance to have its officials testify before the Hong Kong panel that will be probing the Aug. 23 Manila botched hostage rescue operations that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead, along with the hostage taker, a dismissed policeman, Rolando Mendoza.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said that the Philippine government will invoke its Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR) to shield from prosecution 13 witnesses summoned by Hong Kong authorities in its investigation of the botched rescue.
Speaking with reporters, De Lima expressed misgivings that the investigation being conducted by Hong Kong authorities which she said might lead to theprosecution of the Filipino witnesses..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101222hed2.html

De Lima to probe Webb, et al. despite SC acquittal 12/22/2010

De Lima to probe Webb, et al. despite SC acquittal

12/22/2010
Three teams have been ordered formed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to go after three sets of suspects in the Vizconde massacre that occurred in June 1991.

One of the teams, however, will still be held as suspects Hubert Jeffrey Webb, et. al., all of whom have already been ac-quitted by the Supreme Court on grounds that the prose-cution failed to prove its case against Webb, et al.

De Lima acknowledged that if Webb comes off as the guilty party by the special probe teams composed of investigators from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), there can be no case filed against Webb and his group since he has been acquitted and charging them would violate the double jeopardy principle.

The PNP and the NBI are attached agencies of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the DoJ, respectively. They were tasked by Malacañang to spearhead the inter-agency panel that will conduct the reinvestigation.

President Aquino had ordered the reinvestigation of the Vizconde murder case,
saying he sympathizes with Lauro Vizconde..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101222hed3.html

US troops bar local journalists from TV coverage; Embassy downplays ‘order’ By Michaela P. del Callar 12/22/2010

US troops bar local journalists from TV coverage; Embassy downplays ‘order’

By Michaela P. del Callar 12/22/2010

The US Embassy on Tuesday downplayed reports that American soldiers ordered local reporters in Zamboanga City to stop taking footage of the visit of Visiting Forces Agreement Executive Director Edilberto Adan inside a Philippine military camp last Monday.

Wossie Mazengia, acting embassy spokesman, said the soldiers merely “requested verification” on the status of the members of the media.

Reports said the reporters were shabbily treated by six American military personnel guarding the US Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) office inside the West Mindanao Command (Westmincom) headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Mazengia also said journalists were not barred from covering the event. She said they were allowed access inside the camp and even spoke with Adan and JSOTF-P head Robert Gusentine..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101222hed4.html

Cusi quits, cites political pressure By Conrado Ching and Aytch S, de la Cruz 12/22/2010

Cusi quits, cites political pressure

By Conrado Ching and Aytch S, de la Cruz 12/22/2010

The chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Director General Alfonso Cusi, has succumbed to mounting pressure from Malacañang and has tendered his resignation with the Office of the Pre-sident last Monday evening.

Cusi’s resignation comes at a time when the country is in the middle of scrutiny by international bodies to validate the improvements the CAAP has done on the country’s civil aviation system and ultimately decide if Philippines deserves to get its Category 1 or “Safe” rating back.

“I hereby tender my irrevocable resignation as Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines effective Dec. 31, 2010,” Cusi said in his letter to President Aquino.

“The circumstances of my appointment have been politicized by certain quarters and, consequently,
have cast doubts on my integrity and management competence,” Cusi added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101222hed5.html

Combat pay hike or a mirage? ask soldiers By Aytch de la Cruz 12/22/2010

Combat pay hike or a mirage? ask soldiers

By Aytch de la Cruz 12/22/2010

Was it or was it not an increase in combat pay under Executive Order 15, confused soldiers were asking yesterday.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) heralded what appears to be a 100 percent increase in the soldier’s combat pay as announced by Aquino during the AFP’s 75th anniversary ceremonies in Camp Aguinaldo yesterday, citing the EO’s provision granting a fixed P500 per month combat pay to soldiers that was previously P240 for each soldier sent to a war zone.

The EO, however, removed a P150 daily allowance to soldiers as hazard pay under former President Arroyo’s EO 658 which EO 15 repealed.

The repealed combat allowance comes out higher if a tour of duty lasts for more than two days since it is computed daily.

The additional P260 to the existing P240 monthly combat pay will be given starting Jan.1 based on the EO..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101222hed6.html

Trillanes not allowed to travel abroad — Enrile By Angie M. Rosales 12/22/2010

Trillanes not allowed to travel abroad — Enrile

By Angie M. Rosales 12/22/2010

Unlike the rest of his colleagues in the Senate who can attend to their so-called official missions abroad, neophyte Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is not allowed to travel outside of the country, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said yesterday.

Enrile, whom the Makati Regional Trial Court entrusted or placed Trillanes under custody, maintained that the latter can do freely whatever he wants when he gets his “amnesty.”

As “custodian” the upper chamber chief said he stands to be responsible of Trillanes.

“I’m a lawyer. I practiced law. I know the norms under which we lawyers comfort ourselves with respect to our dealings with the courts and in obedience to their orders. And so given the fact that I was given the custody of Trillanes and given the fact that he has not yet been amnestied, that is to come later, and so therefore, given the fact that he is still subject to the jurisdiction of the regional trial court before whom this case is pending, I have to go through the process of considering him still as a person under judicial custody entrusted to me. And so therefore, I have to put a symbol of authority to establish that status. And that is why we have to assign to him two members of OSAA (Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms),” Enrile told reporters in an interview.

Makati RTC Branch 148 Judge Oscar Pimentel issued an order last Monday afternoon “partially” granting the Trillanes’ motion for a provisional liberty on recognizance following the issuance of Proclamation No. 75 by President Aquino which grants amnesty to so-called mutineers of the Arroyo administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101222nat1.html

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