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Destroying a nation EDITORIAL 12/23/2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Destroying a nation

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
12/23/2010
Noynoy Aquino and his aides are probably the most meddlesome and the most quarrelsome Filipinos have ever had in the history of Malacañang and its previous tenants.

They have quarreled with the high court and its justices; quarreled with the Ombudsman and even interfered in its decisions and to this day, they continue to do so from day one of the presidency.

Why can’t this Aquino administration, six months in power and position, even learn that there is a separation of powers among the three branches of government, as well as non-interference in constitutional offices independent of the executive branch that has to be strictly honored?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101223com1.html

Fear of uncovering the truth FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 12/23/2010

Fear of uncovering the truth

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
12/23/2010
Why is the Aquino administration so fearful of having his officials, along with some members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), testifying before the Hong Kong coroner in its probe of the botched Aug. 23 hostage rescue operations that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead, with others injured and traumatized?

Hong Kong wants some 116 Filipinos who were part of the hostage rescue operations to testify before a Hong Kong body, but there is clearly a rejection from the Palace to heed the HK summons, as Noynoy Aquino’s aides have been raising even the issue of sovereignty and the demand of a virtual grant of immunity from HK for the Filipinos summoned to consider testifying in that coroner’s probe?

Justice Chief Leila de Lima was quoted as saying that she would bring up the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR) to shield from prosecution 13 witnesses summoned by HK authorities in its investigation of the botched rescue.

One wonders just who the 13 witnesses summoned by HK authorities are, whom Noynoy, through his Justice chief, wants to be completely protected. Would that be his close pal, target shooting buddy Rico Puno, then the de facto DILG secretary in charge of the PNP as well as some of his Liberal Party allies?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101223com2.html

Asia gets into the Christmas spirit FEATURE 12/23/2010

Asia gets into the Christmas spirit

FEATURE

12/23/2010
BANGKOK — The decorations are up, the carols are playing and Santa has been seen scuba diving in Japan, delivering presents on a motorbike in Seoul and being thrown out of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Christianity may not be Asia’s main religion, but Christmas cheer is in evidence around much of the region, even if eating and shopping are often the main attractions.

The shop tills are ringing in Buddhist Bangkok and Muslim Kuala Lumpur, where stores are festooned with tinsel and fairy lights.

More than 100 children in Santa suits recently joined a Christmas carnival at a major mall in the Thai capital.
In Japan, Santa has made a splash in Tokyo aquariums, feeding marine life and performing with dolphins..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101223com3.html

A tale of two rapes BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 12/23/2010

A tale of two rapes

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
12/23/2010
Justice remains elusive for a Pampanga lass whose alleged rapist, a former English professor in the Holy Angel University in Angeles City, remains at arm’s length in a Jeddah, Saudi Arabia detention facility after his repatriation to the Philippines to face charges in court was delayed by bureaucratic red tape.

Sources informed us that suspect Arnel Ocampo was supposed to have arrived in the country last week but somehow his deportation papers were left unsigned by the concerned government official, thus preventing his being shipped back to the Philippines.

Ocampo had been slapped with 32 counts of rape by his alleged victim, a student of his who was 16 years old at the time the sexual abuse started, before the sala of Judge Angelica Paras-Quiambao of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court dating back to last year.

He managed to avoid prosecution in court when he fled the country through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with the aid of certain unnamed officials of the Bureau of Immigration (the BI-NAIA unit was then under Ferdinand Sampol) despite the issuance of a hold departure order and two warrants of arrest by the court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101223com4.html

Big brother. Sibling. Bastard. VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 12/23/2010

Big brother. Sibling. Bastard.

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
12/23/2010
Without the least intention of offending anybody, much less of insulting anyone, and without losing sight of the days of songs and joy during this time of the year, it nevertheless remains in order to call attention to the status of gambling in the country — as a reality call. Yes. It was already proliferating before during the previous administration. But surprise, surprise: Gambling in the Philippines has developed far and wide during the incumbency of the present national leadership supposed to be held by someone whose value system is repeatedly claimed and loudly proclaimed as unconditionally sterling and absolutely honorable.

The fact, however, says something else — if not exactly the opposite. It can be said without doubt or fear that the vice of gambling in this country has moved much forward to the extent that the following domestic simile can be now used to give a better and bigger picture of how really notorious and vicious is the status of gambling in the Philippines: Pagcor is the big brother. PCSO is a sibling. Jueteng is a bastard..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101223com5.html

Clarification LETTER 12/23/2010 Dear Editor:

Clarification

LETTER

12/23/2010
Dear Editor:
This is in reference to Mr. Jonathan dela Cruz’s Dec. 15, 2010 column in The Daily Tribune. Your column raised a number of issues regarding our Putatan Water Treatment Plant, which we would like to clarify in the interest of accuracy and fairness.

First, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) was not conned in a P1-billion contract by Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Maynilad).

Under a memorandum of agreement (MoA) between the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) and MWSS, the former granted the latter usufrutuary right over the property in Putatan, Muntinlupa.

Subsequently, MWSS and Maynilad signed a separate MoA assigning to the latter, gratuitous and exclusive right to occupy and use the property for the remaining period of the Concession Agreement and any extension or renewal thereof..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101223com6.html

Doing the right thing COMMENT By Ronald Roy 12/23/2010

Doing the right thing

COMMENT

By Ronald Roy 12/23/2010
I rubbed my eyes three, four times, and a major daily’s big bold front-page words remained constant — “SC: Webb et al. not vindicated; decision didn’t rule on their innocence..” These were the words as ascribed to Supreme Court (SC) spokesman Midas Marquez. The statement, vague if not erroneous to lawyers, makes one wonder if Marquez was speaking for the court or himself. Either way he will probably get a reprimand even if after a subsequent interview with reporters he clarified the matter before his superiors.

I believe that an official SC spokesman, when making a public statement, should always do so in behalf of the body he represents, and not in any other capacity making a personal opinion. He should in fact refrain from making dubious interpretations of the SC’s pronouncements, most especially its final judgments. I’d rather think though Mr. Marquez was misquoted or taken out of context..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101223com7.html

Sandiganbayan on Garcia case: ‘Shut up’ 12/23/2010

‘GARCIA COULD NOT HAVE ACTED ALONE’ — SOLON

Sandiganbayan on Garcia case: ‘Shut up’

12/23/2010
The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan issued yesterday a “gag order” restraining the parties in the plunder charges against former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia.

The court ordered this amid the backlash caused by a recent action of entering into a plea bargain agreement with the Office of the Ombudsman and its special prosecutors on the plunder raps filed against the retired military official.

“It appears that various unfounded comments have been made that only confuse issues and do not in any way serve the ends of justice. The parties, lawyers and representatives are hereby ordered to refrain from issuing press releases, granting press interviews, and making any comments, pending the promulgation (of the decision),” the order from the Sandiganbayan 2nd Division stated.

The gag order was read by Deputy Special Prosecutor Jesus Micaelduring a press conference at the Office of the Ombudsman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101223hed1.html

Black travel ban vs RP stays — China, HK By Michaela P. del Callar 12/23/2010

Black travel ban vs RP stays — China, HK

By Michaela P. del Callar 12/23/2010

All is still not well between the Philippine and Chinese governments despite the visit of President Aquino’s tourism secretary, Alberto Lim, to Hong Kong with a meeting between him and Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang.

The travel ban issued against the Philippines by Hong Kong following the bloody Aug. 23 hostage tragedy that killed eight of its tourists will not be lifted immediately, China’s top envoy to the Philippines said yesterday.

Ambassador Liu Jianchao revealed that Hong Kong authorities have no plans at the moment to lift the black travel alert which prohibits Hong Kong residents from visiting the Philippines. The Philippines is the only country that was given a black travel alert status by Hong Kong.

“During the visit by Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim (to Hong Kong) last week, the Hong Kong authorities announced that they will consider the easing of the travel warning to the Philippines in due course after examining the measures that have been taken or to be taken (by the Philippine government),” Liu
told reporters in a roundtable forum..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101223hed2.html

WikiLeaks: US mission to UN found RP ambassador ‘naïve’ By Michaela P. del Callar 12/23/2010

WikiLeaks: US mission to UN found RP ambassador ‘naïve’

By Michaela P. del Callar 12/23/2010

The United States has called the Philippines’ top diplomat to the United Nations “naïve,” but perceived him as a “determined” leader of an anti-nuclear weapons body, according to a classified cable released by whistle-blower WikiLeaks.

A confidential diplomatic communication by the US Mission to the UN revealed discussions of Rose Gottemoeller, US Assistant Secretary for Verification, Compliance and Implementation, with key diplomats, including Philippine Permanent Representative Libran Cabactulan, on May 5 and 7, 2009 on the margins of the Non-proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) in New York.

Cabactulan was elected president of the 2010 NPT Review Conference (RevCon)that was held from May 3 to 28 this year at the UN headquarters where he also sat as the country’s chief negotiator.

“Cabactulan, though perhaps somewhat nave (sic) about the particular issues likely to confront him in his role as the President of the NPT Review Conference, clearly was pleased with his appointment and determined to make the RevCon a success,” WikiLeaks cable dated May 13, 2009 said.

“He appeared particularly receptive to consultations with the United States throughout the course of preparations for the RevCon,” it added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101223hed3.html

RP seeks exploratory talks with MILF 12/23/2010

RP seeks exploratory talks with MILF

12/23/2010
The Philippine government yesterday said it hopes to start exploratory talks next month with Muslim rebels waging a decades-old rebellion in Mindanao.

Formal invitations have been sent to Mohagher Iqbal, the chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MNLF), and Malaysia is a possible venue, said Iqbal’s counterpart on the government panel, Marvic Leonen.

The earliest, we hope, will be in January next year. We are open to holding the sessions anywhere, but it could be in Kuala Lumpur, Leonen said in a statement issued by the office of President Aquino’s peace adviser.

But Leonen hopes that facilitation issues will be resolved soon to pave the way for the conduct of informal sessions and resumption of formal peace talks.

“It is very clear that the Philippine government wanted the best chance for a full settlement to gain acceptance from the public. So we have to settle the facilitation issues,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101223hed4.html

Nobel boycott shows Noynoy double-deals with US, China ANALYSIS 12/23/2010

Nobel boycott shows Noynoy double-deals with US, China

ANALYSIS

12/23/2010
The recent decision of President Aquino to boycott the Nobel Peace Price award ceremony in Norway was proof that his administration is double-dealing with Beijing and Washington with the government hoping to exploit the ties with China for economic benefits, a global risk consultancy firm said.

“The Philippine decision to boycott the Nobel Peace Price award cermony in Norway is the latest testa-ment to the developing ties between Beijing and Manila,” according to the Pacific Strategies and Assess-ments’ (PSA) Philippines Weekly Report.

It noted that while the majority of the other 17 countries which chose to boycott were known China allies with little to lose such as North Korea and Pakistan, many were surprised that the Philippines, a recognized US ally and so-called democracy advocate in the Asian region, skipped the ceremony in support of China..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101223hed5.html

2 kidnapped Malaysians freed in Tawi-Tawi after 10 months 12/23/2010

2 kidnapped Malaysians freed in Tawi-Tawi after 10 months

12/23/2010
Two Malaysian laborers seized from a seaweed farm in Sabah in February by Malaysian bandits who have links with the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group have been freed unharmed across the sea in Tawi-Tawi province, police yesterday said.

Troops from the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force found Chen Yui Chung, 48, and Lai Wong Chun, 46, in Bongao, the capital of Tawi-Tawi, late Tuesday, PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo told reporters.

“I am pleased to announce the successful rescue of two Malaysian kidnap victims in Tawi-Tawi Dec. 21,” he said in a statement.

Police picked up the two on the Bongao coast after days of surveillance during which they monitored the movement of the kidnappers, Bacalzo added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101223hed6.html

AFP reports CPP’s first violation of Christmas truce By Mario J. Mallari 12/23/2010

AFP reports CPP’s first violation of Christmas truce

By Mario J. Mallari 12/23/2010

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has recorded the first violation of the Christmas truce committed by the communist New people’s Army (NPA) rebels who ambushed a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) in Negros Oriental province last Monday.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said the militiaman, identified as Larry Bustamante who is assigned to the 12th Infantry Battalion (IB), managed to return fire against the 12-man NPA band which ambushed him along Barangay Humay-Humay in Guihulngan town around 7:45 p.m.

“There is violation of the ceasefire…there is military spot report,” said Mabanta, referring to the ambush against Bustamante who escaped unharmed after the shooting incident.

Mabanta reminded the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF), the political arm of the NPA, to respect the suspension of offensive military operations (Somo)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101223nat1.html

Magdalo leader to make courtesy call to Noynoy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/23/2010

Magdalo leader to make courtesy call to Noynoy

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/23/2010

Malacañang is working out on a possible courtesy call of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV with President Aquino before the end of the year after the former’s petition for a temporary liberty was granted by the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) last Monday.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning (PCDSP) Secretary Ricky Carandang relayed to reporters yesterday that there were indeed plans being cooked for a possible meeting between Aquino and Trillanes soon but that hasn’t been scheduled yet.

This developed as Trillanes reportedly announced that he will be meeting with Aquino after paying courtesy call with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who, incidentally, was among the 17 senators that lobbied for his amnesty.

“As far as I understand, there has been no conversation between the President and Trillanes at this point. I spoke to some of the colleagues of Trillanes and they would like to see the President before the end of the year to make a courtesy call but that has not been set up yet,” Carandang said in a phone patch interview..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101223nat7.html

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