• 6 AUGUST - *1907 - Gen. Macario Sakay, one of the Filipino military leaders who had continued fighting the imperialist United States invaders eight years into the Ph...
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It pays to be in power EDITORIAL 05/31/2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It pays to be in power

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
05/31/2011
It pays to have a relative as president in Malacañang.

Not only is there a bill being crafted in the House that would circumvent the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, which would benefit the Cojuangco-Aquino owned Hacienda Luisita, but also even a government built for free Luisita “private interchange” is still making oodles of money collecting toll fees from motorists — and with no receipts given, to boot.

The Aquino-Cojuangcos always benefit, that is for sure, and despite Noynoy Aquino’s constant attacks against Gloria Arroyo and her administration, they certainly benefited a lot from her administration, as not only was the hacienda raw land sold to government for right of way road grossly overpriced — which sum was not even divvied up between management and the hacienda farmers, since the whole sum went to the Cojuangco-Aquino hacienda management — but also from that private interchange, paid for by the government, which means the people’s money..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110531com1.html

Time for divorce law FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/31/2011

Time for divorce law

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
05/31/2011
With Catholic Malta voting in favor of legalizing divorce, only one single country is left that bans divorce: The Philippines.

But it looks like the House of Representatives will soon tackle the divorce bill filed by two legislators: Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan and Rep. Rufus Rodriquez.

This comes amid the still heated debates in the House on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. Both bills — the RH bill and the divorce bill — will definitely be fought against by the Catholic bishops.

The divorce bill presented by Ilagan, however, appears to be too strict and open only to some five grounds for couples or spouses in filing of a petition for divorce..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110531com2.html

Midwives on motorbikes spread sex sense in Cambodia focus 05/31/2011

Midwives on motorbikes spread sex sense in Cambodia

focus

05/31/2011
CHANLOUNG — Sitting in the shade of a large tree and surrounded by a group of women, Cambodian midwife Ly Siyan holds up a colorful poster displaying a range of contraception options.

She patiently waits for the giggles to subside when she points to a condom, aware that the two dozen women in the village of Chanloung in northwest Siem Reap province have rarely experienced such an open discussion about sex.

Once the 37-year-old has their full attention again, she talks about long-term contraceptive methods and debunks some of the more persistent myths about their side-effects.

For mother-of-two Beun Chem, 27, who wants to hold off having more children so she can focus on running her small shop, the midwife’s explanations are eye-opening..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110531com3.html

God’s laws and the Keynesian agenda AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 05/31/2011

God’s laws and the Keynesian agenda

AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
05/31/2011
For the outsider, the Philippines is sometimes confusing.
For example, a few weeks ago Manny Pacquiao was paid a reported $20 million for chasing another man around a boxing ring for 36 minutes. No, no, that’s not what I have trouble comprehending (although, now I think about it…). The thing that really has me beat is what happened later.

On May 14, Pacquiao attended a “thanksgiving Mass” at Quiapo church. Here, Monsignor Clemente Ignacio told him to prepare for the forthcoming scrap in the House of Representatives over the Reproductive Health bill, which he would be expected to oppose. Congressman Pacquiao duly vowed compliance, saying the bill was “against God’s laws.”

For me, confusion reigns on several counts here. Firstly, I was under the impression that the Catholic Church’s opposition to contraception was, rather than “God’s law,” the result of a papal encyclical called Humanae Vitae issued as recently as 1968. It turns out, in fact, that many of the claims made for God have really been the responsibility of the Vatican. The doctrine of papal infallibility, for example, saw the light of day as recently as 1870, in Vatican I. It was the Council of Trent (1545-1563) that decided that the Bible and church tradition (e.g. dogmas concerning the virginity of Mary) were equally authoritative. But I digress….... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110531com4.html

Danger. Disease. Disaster VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 05/31/2011

Danger. Disease. Disaster

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
05/31/2011
Time and again, long since to these days, loving parents and upright teachers are one in inculcating a noble and ennobling value system in children about sex.

Human sexuality is sacred, noble and sublime. In this regard, the three fundamental truths they know and hold on are the following: One, God created the human person to His own Image. Two: God created the human person as a man or a woman. Three: God created man and woman with the option to become husband and wife for the generation and upbringing of children as their blessings and treasure.

In fact, a great number of parents and teachers who are neither Christians nor Catholics relate with their children with care and concern in the matter of sex. They too tell the famous fable of “The flower and the Bee” to impart the purity and beauty of human sexuality. Only the malicious, the depraved and the amoral fool around with sex among themselves, with others, their own children included. This is repugnant and unconscionable as it is not even civilized..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110531com5.html

Older AIDS survivors face new challenges focus 05/31/2011

Older AIDS survivors face new challenges

focus

05/31/2011
SAN FRANCISCO — AIDS nearly killed Lou Grosso three decades ago, but that didn’t prepare him for the latest news from his doctor: he has heart disease.

Like many older HIV carriers facing problems — including financial — they never expected to live long enough to confront, Grosso, 57, also suffers from aching joints, memory loss and nerve pain.

Of the 14 pills he takes each day, only three are designed to treat HIV.

Dr. Brad Hare, his specialist at San Francisco General Hospital, keeps track of it all, but Grosso is still worried..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110531com6.html

JAZA writes Noy to ask for prized 3G allocation EXCLUSIVE 05/31/2011

SAYS PLDT-DIGITEL MERGER RESULTS IN LOPSIDED TELECOMS FIELD

JAZA writes Noy to ask for prized 3G allocation

EXCLUSIVE

05/31/2011
“What are we in power for?”

The famous line that identifies with abuse of power oozed out from a letter sent to President Aquino by Globe Telecom-munications (Globe Telecoms) of the Ayala group requesting that it be granted highly prized third generation or 3G/Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) frequencies that are used extensively among business process outsourcing (BPO) offices and for highly popular smart phones.

To stress the weight of Globe Telecoms’ request, the letter was signed by no less than Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, top man of the Ayala conglomerate and a major business ally of the Aquino clan with Globe Telecoms president Ernest Cu signing below him.

The letter was peculiar since it was written to Aquino and not to the regulator National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) which awards the frequencies and that these frequencies are supposedly bidded and not assigned..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110531hed1.html

Luisita toll illegal, solon pushes probe on HLI private road By Charlie V. Manalo 05/31/2011

Luisita toll illegal, solon pushes probe on HLI private road

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/31/2011

A ranking member of the House of Representatives yesterday refuted claims of President Aquino’s uncle, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. who said that the P20 toll fee being collected by the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) on motorists passing through the Luisita Parkway Road linking the sugar estate to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) is legal and being beyond the authority of the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) as the road stands on private land.

Quoting TRB Executive Director Manuel Imperial, Deputy Speaker, Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said the toll fee being collected by HLI is highly illegal if the firm owned and operated by the President’s family does not have a permit coming from the TRB.

“I had a meeting with TRB Executive Director Imperial and he categorically said that all toll fees collected on road use, be it private or public, should have a permit coming from them,” Remulla said. “All toll fee collection is regulated by the TRB.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110531hed2.html

Divorce bill to spark another heated debate — Speaker 05/31/2011

Divorce bill to spark another heated debate — Speaker

05/31/2011
The House of Representatives is in for another con-tentious debate on the issue of the divorce bill before it takes on another long recess.

According to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, the divorce bill, like the controversial reproductive health bill, is going to trigger another fiery debate between its proponents and those towing the line of the Catholic Church even as he noted that the RH bill could take the backburner given the priority that the House is going to give to those which are already on third and final reading.

“I did realize that we have a divorce bill and it is bound to be another one contentious bill,” he told a chance interview yesterday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110531hed6.html

Social enterprises better than CCT in alleviating poverty—solon N E W S B R I E F S 05/31/2011

Social enterprises better than CCT in alleviating poverty—solon

N E W S B R I E F S

05/31/2011
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño yesterday reiterated his objection to the additional P2 billion to be realigned to the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, calling it a “waste of money that could otherwise be used to create more jobs and livelihood for the poor.”

In yesterday’s soft opening of an exhibit on social enterprises at the House, Casiño, who is both chairmen of the committee on small business and entrepreneurship development, said government was putting way too much money on “short term, populist gimmicks” like CCT rather than implementing long-term anti-poverty strategies.

“Government needs to refocus its anti-poverty strategy from short-term CCT to long-term job creation and livelihood development. It is a wonder, for example, why government has done so little to support social enterprises like the ones exhibited here when their impact on poverty is much much more fundamental than dole-outs like the CCT program,” Casiño said in his opening remarks..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110531nat7.html

Binay convenes execs of Anti-Illegal Recrutiment Task Force 05/31/2011

Binay convenes execs of Anti-Illegal Recrutiment Task Force

05/31/2011
Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday convened the Presidential Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment (PFTAIR) at the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for its first official meeting.

During the meeting, the Vice President said he will be talking to Chief Justice Renato Corona to make sure that cases are filed against the recruiters of offloaded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“The offloaded OFWs are sent back to their respective provinces, but we seldom see cases filed against their recruiters,” Binay said.

“We must always have ready evidence for the prosecution to present in court to ensure that these illegal recruiters are convicted,” he added, Binay also ordered the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to provide a list of expenditures based on the PTFAIR’s original two-year run as basis for the Task Force’s budget plan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110531nat4.html

Lawmaker pushes more measures to reform NFA By Charlie V. Manalo 05/31/2011

Lawmaker pushes more measures to reform NFA

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/31/2011

Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile is pushing for measures to reform the National Food Authority (NFA), saying the agency cannot act both as a trader and a regulator at the same time and that these dual functions should be decoupled.

Enrile said allowing NFA to regulate its own purchases has obviously resulted in lapses in the past, which has resulted in billions of pesos in government funds being lost in alleged overpricing deals entered into by the agency.

He suggested that while NFA be allowed to continue to purchase food items, the regulatory function over these purchases should be immediately passed on to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure that all deals undertaken by the NFA are done above board.

At the same time, the lawmaker called on the DA to require all its regional offices to conduct “honest to goodness, credible assessment” on the food requirement of the people in their respective areas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110531met2.html

Robbery gang leader killed in shootout By Arlie O. Calalo 05/31/2011

Robbery gang leader killed in shootout

By Arlie O. Calalo 05/31/2011

An alleged leader of a notorious robbery syndicate said to be operating in Metro Manila and nearby provinces was killed after he exchanged gunfire with members of the Caloocan City police last Sunday afternoon.

Northern Police District director Chief Supt. Antonio Decano in a statement lauded the leadership of the city police chief Senior Supt. Jude Wilson Santos for the neutralization of the so-called Bansalan Group following the death of its alleged leader, Bandino Bansalan, 35, alias “Bossing,” of Bagong Silang, also in the city.

“The police vigilance and the cooperation of residents to the local law enforcement authorities just paid off with the killing of the alleged robbery gang leader whose group has been under tight watch for its crimes,” Decano said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110531met1.html

Groveling, PeNoy style DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/30/2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Groveling, PeNoy style

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
05/30/2011
Did BSA III know what he was talking about when he said last Jan. 4 that the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) entered into by the Philippines with China and Vietnam — primarily for exploring offshore and deep sea natural resources, including oil and gas — “shouldn’t have happened” and scrapped it on the pretext that it encroached into the country’s territorial waters?

When the Philippines has a written understanding and invitation with two other parties to work together in an area where everyone has agreed to “jointly exploit,” how can there be encroachment? Don’t we have “joint ventures” with other countries in various mineral projects? The biggest fossil fuel project in the country with Royal Dutch Shell, Malampaya gas, necessarily had seismic surveys done. Wasn’t that undertaken with a foreign country and company, too?

What has likely determined the sad fate of the JMSU can be found in a paper written by a senior adviser and director of a Washington DC think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (“The JMSU: A Tale of Bilateralism and Secrecy in the South China Sea” by Ernest Bower), that reflects US attitude toward this joint Asian initiative for common exploration of shared resources for mutual benefit.

To the US, “bilateralism” simply means that it was out of the loop in relation to its former colony, the Philippines — a situation it is extremely uncomfortable with. The term is even inaccurate as the JMSU was a “trilateral” undertaking by the three concerned Asian nations. “Secrecy,” on the other hand, simply means that the US was kept in the dark. This is because it believes that every country in Asia is obliged to keep it informed about matters that are primarily its concern.

The JMSU was a good undertaking in the overlapping parts of the South China Sea for promoting the spirit of “joint development” that would preserve amity as well as provide impetus for economic progress for the nations involved. All three — China, Vietnam and the Philippines —contributed to the funding of marine facilities such as ships as well as equipment for the seismic survey project. The result would have been a treasure trove of information, especially for the Philippines, about each country’s marine resources (even in disputed territorial waters) — which, in the case of the Philippines again, would never have come about given its dire financial straits.

But it seems that BSA III would rather to stay in the dark about this and wait for his US sponsors to do the seismic surveys and keep the information to themselves as they have been doing in the past. Given this, the Philippines will just forever be at the mercy of western interests.

Expectedly, some local print and broadcast media have been raising the China bogey, after reports surfaced of Chinese MIG jets buzzing two Philippine Air Force turbo-prop planes in the Spratlys — this, despite the fact that China has since denied the existence of MIGs in its air fleet; as have Philippine authorities clarified that it was not a “buzzing” incident, since what specific flag those jets flew cannot be ascertained.

Most vociferous were some midget minds on AM radio calling for “the need to fight, even to die” for the Philippine territory, as well as Manila Times “Doctor” Dante Ang, whose column dated May 28 read “Use our US card in resolving the Spratlys issue.”

While the US can and has often used the Philippine card as a Joker now and then in UN diplomatic games (swing votes), as well as a regional gofer to issue derogatory pronouncements on Myanmar or North Korea, the Philippines just has no gravitas to play a so-called US card.

In fact, it was the US that used the Philippines as shock absorber during the Second World War, which sapped the might of the Japanese Imperial Army but decimated the Philippine economy, while the US top general then fled to the safety of Australia.

The US later “granted” independence to the Philippines in 1945 only to take it away with its left hand via the Laurel-Langley Agreement, the imposition of Parity Rights, and, as Salvador Araneta wrote in America’s Double-Cross of the Philippines, the US Congress-issued “Dodd’s Report” in 1948 that consigned our fate as a mere vegetables garden to Japan, an erstwhile enemy which Uncle Sam decided to industrialize to fortify against the “domino effect” from communist China.

Further, when the British, together with the Malaysians, instigated the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) war against the Philippine Republic for the latter’s attempt at retaking Sabah, the US simply sat at the sidelines, refusing even to resupply ammunition for guns and cannons. Why, it has even overtly supported the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) since the late Hashim Salamat sent his kowtow letter to George W. Bush in 2003.

All these therefore provide the context to the groveling of BSA III in relation to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the purchase of old US Coast Guard Hamilton class cutters for the Philippine Navy.

The VFA “embeds” Americans in Philippine military units supposedly for the training of Filipino soldiers. But in actuality, Americans are the ones learning from us, and may someday use this know-how to kill Filipino soldiers if and when a nationalist Philippine government arises, or when the MILF wins a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain set-up and sends its naval forces to the Sulu Sea that will trigger a military response from the Republic, which the US would then use as a “humanitarian threat” requiring the presence of international troops to “save” the oppressed minority. (Improbable, you say? Well, we can never tell given the vagaries of US geopolitics.)

While there’s a “Scrap the VFA Movement” that condemns this continuing (and escalating) US encroachment into Philippine sovereignty, Noynoy only has ears for Ambassador Harry Thomas. As for those Hamilton class Navy cutters, why is BS Aquino buying these discards (using our Malampaya revenues) when the US gives them as grants to other countries? Bugok na PeNoy talaga!

(Tune in to Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “New 2011 Power Scams”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)....

(Reprinted with permision from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com5.html

Noynoy gets cold treatment EDITORIAL 05/30/2011

Noynoy gets cold treatment

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
05/30/2011
It was clear that Noynoy came home empty handed from his recent trip to Thailand, where he supposedly met with the four biggest Thai corporations. What was clearly missing in his return report was a quoted investments figure.

In his past travels, the Palace would usually toss around figures of the supposed investments although most of the time these are mere commitments and are extrapolation of the cost of the projects that are exploring a possible location in the country.

More often than not, it is all propaganda, since so-called intent to invest, or even commitments from businessmen hardly ever translates to real investments.

The fact that foreign direct investments have dropped by 30 percent already shows the failure of Noynoy to get investors interested in the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com1.html

Superfluity FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/30/2011

Superfluity

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
05/30/2011
Noynoy Aquino has been creating useless offices within his executive department, and they are really superfluities because these offices are not really needed to run the government effectively.

But he creates them anyway because politically, he has to make room for them — especially for the losing candidates in the last elections.

This is the reason the office of the chief of staff has been created by Noynoy, especially for his losing vice presidential bet, Mar Roxas, even when it is much too evident there is no need for such an office, since this would more or less have the same functions assigned to the Executive Secretary.

To date, that claimed administrative order (AO) still hasn’t been finalized, precisely because not only would the functions of one overlap the other, but also that there will be more confusion, if not chaos, in having two offices with almost the same functions with two heads — one belonging to the Balay group which is headed by Mar, and the other, identified with the Samar group..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com2.html

Paje and the greening program C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 05/30/2011

Paje and the greening program

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
05/30/2011
Now that P-Noy has decided to issue a permanent appointment to acting Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje, people expect he will now move even more vigorously in implementing the agency’s expansive mandate to, among others, promote environmental stability, biodiversity conservation and food security, reduce poverty and enhance the productive and judicious use of our natural resources.

Not that Paje has been a laggard in his almost a year’s watch over the department. Far from it. In fact, he has been quoted as saying that he just plodded on and worked like a “casual” employee since no one really can be a permanent Cabinet member. He knows fully well that as a political appointee he works at the “pleasure of the President,” a condition which, in a very real sense, can be even more problematic in holding a job in an acting capacity.

Even more so in Paje’s case since it was always understood that he was just filling in for Liberal Party (LP) stalwart Neric Acosta, a known environmentalist and expert on DENR issues and concerns. Thus, it was understandable Paje had to tread carefully lest he steps on some toes or walks on the wrong side of the road or, worse, issues out orders or advisories which can be twisted to run him to the ground..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com4.html

Heritage lost (and found again) HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 05/30/2011

Heritage lost (and found again)

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
05/30/2011
I belatedly caught Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society in a talk radio program one rainy night last week, when he mentioned something like Philippine arts’ stunted growth due to its being just a mirror image of its western granddaddies.

Although Philippine arts has built a legacy with past music and films worth their salt, there is no denying it continues to wallow in everything pegged from their foreign “inspirations.” This is why even some of the country’s top movie producers did not bother to preserve their past movies which should have spoken for our growth in culture and as a people.

A flashback hit me when a friend, who used to do apprentice job at Regal Films, once declared how they “discovered” reels and reels of old films down a place where they pee during busy working nights.

It was a nightmare, he said, seeing the reels soaking wet in their own urine. Most of the films, mostly B-movies made after the notorious era of “pito-pito” movies (films completed in seven days, some of them without the use of formal scripts) of the 1980s..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com6.html

A question of pride SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 05/30/2011

A question of pride

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
05/30/2011
There’s nothing like a huge disaster — or the possibility of one arriving at one’s doorstep — to jostle one’s perspectives.

When the threat of a typhoon “possibly worse than ‘Ondoy’” came last week, we saw quick and massive preparations taking place like never before. Evacuations were promptly undertaken, supplies were ensured, assistance and rescue units were primed for readiness.

Typhoon “Chedeng” was lesson in disguise, no matter those idiotic comments of “it’s too bad Chedeng never came — we had gone through so much preparation!” Now why would one wish for disaster just to make one feel good about one’s foresight?

Speaking of twisted priorities, let’s recall that news report in a major daily about “lost movies” and the need for archival and preservation of Filipino films.

According to Bayani San Diego in his article, the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (Sofia) found a copy on U-matic tape of the “lost movie” Summer Love, a 1981 Regal film that starred Maricel Soriano and William Martinez, Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com7.html

HLI COLLECTS P20 FROM EACH VEHICLE SANS RECEIPT House to probe illegal Luisita toll By Charlie V. Manalo 05/30/2011

HLI COLLECTS P20 FROM EACH VEHICLE SANS RECEIPT

House to probe illegal Luisita toll

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/30/2011

The House is considering to conduct a probe into the Hacienda Luisita Inc.’s (HLI’s) collection of tolls for the use of a private road linking the sugar land owned by the family of President Aquino to a major expressway and which are collected supposedly without even the issuance of receipts.

House ways and means committee chairman Batangas Rep. Herminigildo Mandanas said reports have reached the chamber that HLI is not issuing receipts despite collecting a P20 toll rate for every motorist passing through the private road linking the contested sugar land to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

Mandanas said that if indeed the reports HLI is not issuing the proper receipts for its toll fee collections, the firm could be held liable for tax evasion..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110530hed1.html

RH argument likely to reach SC, says Miriam By Angie M. Rosales 05/30/2011

RH argument likely to reach SC, says Miriam

By Angie M. Rosales 05/30/2011

The ongoing debates on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill are likely to reach the Supreme Court (SC), Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago yesterday said even as she expressed confidence that it will be approved by colleagues in the Senate eventually.

But the senator, one of the main proponents of the measure in the Upper Chamber, is not optimistic over the immediate approval of the bill and even predicted deliberations to take place beyond 2011.

“This will take some time. We don’t expect this to be disposed of easily or even be rushed because regardless of the results (of the debates) in the House of Representatives and the Senate and in the (bicameral) conference committee (level), whoever will be defeated would likely seek remedy from the SC,” Santiago said in an interview over dzBB radio..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110530hed3.html

US reminds Noynoy: Use $434-M grant ‘transparently’ By Michaela P. del Callar 05/30/2011

US reminds Noynoy: Use $434-M grant ‘transparently’

By Michaela P. del Callar 05/30/2011

The United States, with apparent anxiety, has called on the Aquino government to use transparently its $434-million anti-poverty reduction assistance to the Philippines and ensure that it will go to its intended programs and beneficiaries.

The additional assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US government aid agency, was officially made available to the Philippine government on Tuesday, marking the start of the five-year implementation of its poverty reduction programs.

“Our government, through the MCC, is pleased to support the Aquino administration in its fight against corruption and poverty and looks forward to the continued transparent implementation of the $434-million MCC compact grant that will benefit millions of poor Filipinos,” said US Ambassador Harry Thomas in a statement.

Over the years, foreign aid donors have complained of corruption and lack of transparency in the implementation of specific development programs in the country, hindering economic growth and poverty alleviation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110530hed2.html

NDFP doubts Noy government’s sincerity in pursuing peace talks 05/30/2011

NDFP doubts Noy government’s sincerity in pursuing peace talks

05/30/2011
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has questioned the sincerity of President Aquino’s administration in pursuing peace with the communist group, citing the government’s failure to release NDFP consultants as committed by its peace panel.

In a statement, NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni said the continued detention of Alan Jazmines, Tirso “Ka Bart” Alcantara and other NDFP consultants and NDFP personnel protected under the Joint
Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (Jasig) puts the Aquino administration’s sincerity in question.

Jalandoni stressed that the Government of the Philippines (GPH), through its peace panel, committed itself “to work for the expeditious release of detained NDFP consultants and other Jasig-protected persons in compliance with the Jasig and in the spirit of goodwill.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110530nat3.html

Fraternal politics blamed for mess in IBP elections By Gerry Baldo and Benjamin B. Pulta 05/30/2011

Fraternal politics blamed for mess in IBP elections

By Gerry Baldo and Benjamin B. Pulta 05/30/2011

A party-list lawmaker yesterday disclosed that fraternal politics is getting in the way of the elections of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Western Visayas.

According to Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) Rep. Sherwin Tugna, the suspension of elections of the IBP governor in Western Visayas was issued by the Supreme Court acting on a petition filed by lawyer Marven Baguilanea, a contender for the post of governor in the region and a fraternity brother of SC Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Tugna said that the election, scheduled on May 7, 2011 in Romblon, was indefinitely suspended upon the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) allegedly signed by Corona while it was on recess.

“The Supreme Court should lift the TRO now and allow the IBP members in Western Visayas to vote. The voice of the people is the voice of God,” Tugna, a lawyer by profession, said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110530nat1.html

Stolen, hijacked vehicles found in Pasig warehouse By Mario J. Mallari 05/30/2011

Stolen, hijacked vehicles found in Pasig warehouse

By Mario J. Mallari 05/30/2011

Several stolen and hijacked vehicles were recovered by operatives of the police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) during an operation at a private warehouse in Taguig City recently.

Quoting belated reports, HPG director Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said HPG operatives, armed with a search warrant, on Thursday swooped down on a warehouse owned by a certain Albert Dy at 100 Daang Manunuso, Barangay Ibabao-Tipas.

Espina said the operation was launched after HPG received information that illegal items were kept in the compound.

The information, Espina said, proved positive as combined HPG and Taguig City police operatives stumbled on a Fuso Wing van (UVE-759) loaded with empty Nestle boxes which was reported as hijacked by its owner Orendain Trading last May 11 in Batino, Calamba City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110530met1.html

Strict enforcement of no-smoking laws in metropolis starts today, says MMDA 05/30/2011

Strict enforcement of no-smoking laws in metropolis starts today, says MMDA

05/30/2011
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday announced starting today (May 30), the agency and the 17 local government units (LGUs) of Metro Manila will start apprehending smokers who will be caught puffing away in public places in all major and secondary roads of the metropolis.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said MMDA and LGU health and environmental sanitation officers, usually accompanied by policemen, will round up smokers caught violating the provisions of Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, and the smoking prohibitions of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and all local ordinances and issuances.

Violators will be fined P500 on first offense while those who cannot afford to pay the fine are obliged to render an eight-hour community service..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110530met3.html

Time ticks for Noy EDITORIAL 05/29/2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Time ticks for Noy

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
05/29/2011
The German government issued a loaded statement the other day when it said a fair and swift resolution of the airport terminal project is encouraged for foreign investors to even consider projects under Noynoy’s private-public partnership (PPP) scheme.

The statement mentioned “the international business community” instead of investors in Germany to indicate that a likely consensus was arrived at on the terminal issue. The German Embassy, while saying no comment on the recent court ruling awarding what the investors in the terminal project had considered a token amount, the timing of the communique was hard to miss.

The statement reads that a fair and swift solution would be an encouraging signal for the international business community to engage in long-term investments such as the PPP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110529com1.html

Shoot first, ask questions later FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/29/2011

Shoot first, ask questions later

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
05/29/2011
Without even checking things out, and on the basis of a news report, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo quickly sacked the warden of the Camp Bagong Diwa on allegations that Andal Ampatuan Sr., the patriach of the clan, was “freely roaming” in that prison.

It turns out that the photo published, which was provided by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, Ampatuan’s political foe, was at least a year old.

This is the same Mangudadatu who also says that Ampatuan has an air-conditioned room, plus a cellfone.

It was Robredo who clarified, after his talk with Mangudadatu, that the photo of Ampatuan is an old one..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110529com2.html

Radiation fears surround France’s old uranium mines focus 05/29/2011

Radiation fears surround France’s old uranium mines

focus

05/29/2011
ROSGLAS — It looks like any other another leafy woodland path in Brittany, but campaigners say ramblers on this particular trail may face levels of radiation at least 10 times higher than normal.

The path runs alongside a disused uranium mine in the hamlet of Rosglas, one of over 200 suspect sites dotted across France, this one marked with just a makeshift sign drawn up by local anti-nuclear campaigners.

When the leaders of the world’s most powerful developed economies meet this week at the G8 summit to discuss the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima reactor disaster, France will urge them to keep faith with nuclear power.

Some three-quarters of France’s domestic power comes from nuclear plants, and the country is keen to export its expertise in the form of modern third generation EPR reactors — which it insists are safe..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110529com3.html

Farcical ‘one-China’ policy BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 05/29/2011

Farcical ‘one-China’ policy

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
05/29/2011
It is the classic case of “while the cat is away, the mice will play” in real life.

A thoroughly disgusted and disappointed Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim has gone to court seeking relief from the implementation of an ordinance granting overly-generous tax breaks to the multi-billion cellular telephone firm Smart Telecommunications.

Declared respondents in the suit filed recently before the Manila Regional Trial Court were Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso as well as several members of the City Council who had passed Ordinance No. 8229 exempting Smart from paying franchise and real property taxes on its telecommunications equipment in cell sites situated within city boundaries..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110529com4.html

‘Two children policy’ VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 05/29/2011

‘Two children policy’

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
05/29/2011
Malacañang is bent on doing away with poverty in the country. Good! It has prepared a legislative vehicle for the purpose. Great! It is ready to spend billions to accomplish its design to propel the economic development of the country. Bravo!

How? Plain and simple! Do not allow babies to be born. Do not allow wives to become mothers. Do not allow husbands to be fathers. Get rid of people for the lesser they are, the better. The food on the table is not enough to feed the children around it. Solution: Lessen the children instead of making the food more. The houses available are few and/or small to accommodate families. Solution: Make the families smaller or fewer instead of multiplying and/or enlarging houses..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110529com5.html

De Lima wants malverse raps filed vs ex-DoJ chief By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/29/2011

RAUL GONZALEZ NOW ACCUSED, INSTEAD OF ACCUSER

De Lima wants malverse raps filed vs ex-DoJ chief

By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/29/2011
Where once he had the power to have charges filed against perceived political foes of the regime, today, former Department of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez stands accused in a malversation complaint filed against him before the DoJ that appears to also be going after the Noynoy administration’s political foes.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has assigned a new prosecutor to handle a pending case against her predecessor in the agency.

In Department Order No. 263, De Lima said that “in the interest of public service, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Liwayway Nazal is designated as acting provincial prosecutor of Zambales to conduct the preliminary investigation” of Gonzalez.

The case, docketed as NPS III-019-INV-10K-00669 involves malversation of
public property..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110529hed1.html

Church has heavy exposure in MVP’s mining company By Aytch S. de la Cruz 05/29/2011

Church has heavy exposure in MVP’s mining company

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 05/29/2011
The Catholic Church which has been active in the local anti-mining movement supposedly championing the cause of indigenous people and environmental groups that protest against the destructive effects of mining operations appear to be benefitting themselves from interests in Philex Mining Corp. (Philex) which is controlled by the group of businessman Manuel Pangilinan.

Documents provided The Tribune showed that various religious groups, including The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, belong to the top 100 stockholders of Philex Mining.

The other Catholic groups shown in the documents to have a substantial stake in the mining firm included The Religious of the Virgin Mary and The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Zamboanga..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110529hed2.html

Solon wants to grant franchises to build airports in rural areas By Charlie V. Manalo 05/29/2011

Solon wants to grant franchises to build airports in rural areas

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/29/2011

A lawmaker has filed a bill granting airline franchisees the right to develop airports in rural areas in the country.
Valenzuela Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo, author of House Bill 3775, said the proposal will provide a way to develop rural airports through the help of the private sector.

“Our country sorely needs dependable transport systems to make economically convenient and affordable access to and from rural areas. For commerce of any national importance to take any meaningful presence in a community, options of transport services must be made available to allow the use of the kind of service commensurate to the nature of the requirement,” Gunigundo said.

Gunigundo said many airline companies can now expand their missionary routes by allowing them to invest in the construction and development of airport facilities in rural areas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110529nat1.html

Angara backs creation of Algae R & D hub By Ted Boehnert 05/29/2011

Angara backs creation of Algae R & D hub

By Ted Boehnert 05/29/2011
Sen. Edgardo Angara is backing the establishment of a Philippine Algae Research Center, which is envisioned to harness the potential of algae in the lucrative fields of nutraceuticals, cosmetics, pharmeceuticals and animal feeds.

Angara, chairman of the congressional commission on Science Technology and engineering (Comste), said that the best way for the country to develop the industry would be through public-private partnerships (PPP). This would allow the private sector to focus leverage its industrial research, as well as academic research, to develop viable commercial products.

Angara said that Comste partners from Alson’s Aquaculture and the Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC) are collaborating on a PPP that looks into the commercial uses of algae, including its use as a biofuel..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110529nat5.html

Noynoy’s decision on giving special treatment to inmates out next week By Aytch S. de la Cruz 05/29/2011

Noynoy’s decision on giving special treatment to inmates out next week

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 05/29/2011

President Aquino said he will come up with a decision on the issue of special privileges being accorded to high-profile prisoners inside their detention cells by the middle of next week upon receipt of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s report.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte tried to back her principal’s statement yesterday by reiterating the Department of Justice (DoJ) is already on the final stages of its report on the unauthorized vacation taken by former Batangas Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste from the New Bilibid Prisons while serving his jail sentence for homicide.

Valte said this is separate from the alleged special treatment being given by jail authorities to former Maguindanao Andal Ampatuan Sr., primary suspect in the 2009 mass execution of journalists and other civilians, inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City which cropped up only recently..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110529met1.html

Cervical cancer vaccine pioneer visits mobile clinic in Muntinlupa City M E T R O F I L E 05/29/2011

Cervical cancer vaccine pioneer visits mobile clinic in Muntinlupa City

M E T R O F I L E

05/29/2011
Australian scientist and cervical cancer vaccine pioneer Prof. Ian Frazer (second from right) visited Muntinlupa City recently to observe the mobile clinic offering free cervical cancer screening to local residents. Organized by the city government, Department of Health (DoH), Cervical Cancer Prevention Network Program (Cecap) and the Cancer Institute Foundation, the free clinic provides local women with hospital-grade screening service for the early detection of cervical cancer..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110529met7.html

Useless prison revamp 05/28/2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Useless prison revamp

05/28/2011
If anything should be revamped in the prison system, it should be the way the system treats prisoners, which is almost inhuman, as prisoners are all expected to suffer in crowded cells, stinking bathrooms and virtually being fed with canine food.

Instead of having a rehabilitative penal system, what this country insists on is to even have a stricter punitive penal system, which is, in all probability, the reason prisoners who have the means to get themselves better prison lodgings and better food, get for themselves these “perks” and the reason too that corruption becomes even more intense.

Our jails are overcrowded, and yet there has been no move on the part of government, the executive and the legislative departments, along with the judiciary, past and present, to improve living conditions in jails, whether in Bilibid or in city jails, or provincial jails, for that matter.

What is wrong with giving convicts, and especially detainees in city jails, house arrests with electronic monitoring bracelets, for authorities to check on their whereabouts? Such a system would certainly help decongest jails..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110528com1.html

Indecisive must be his name FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/28/2011

Indecisive must be his name

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
05/28/2011
It has been some three weeks, if not a month, since Noynoy announced that he will be appointing losing vice presidential bet Mar Roxas as his chief of staff, and that an Administrative Order (AO), is being drafted to clarify the functions of Roxas as his chief of staff and the functions of his Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.

Yesterday, while in Thailand on an official visit, Noynoy told reporters that he and his officials are still in the process of drafting the AO to detail the responsibilities of Roxas, adding that he wants Roxas to handle some political and internal management concerns, such as the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), along with other assignments Noynoy may be giving Mar from time to time.

He was quoted as saying that before finalizing the executive order for Roxas’ appointment, they will meet together with Ochoa to discuss the separation of functions and responsibilities.

Does it take that long for Noynoy to decide just what duties Mar is to be given, which is why to this date, there has been no AO from Malacañang?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110528com2.html

As world hesitates, China stands firm on dissent focus 05/28/2011

As world hesitates, China stands firm on dissent

focus

05/28/2011
BEIJING — The international community’s mixed response to China’s crackdown on dissent — ranging from public criticism to total silence — has handed Beijing leeway to maintain its hardline, experts say.

Since Chinese authorities, apparently spooked by the pro-democracy uprisings sweeping the Middle East, began detaining lawyers, artists and other activists in February, a parade of Western leaders have met with Beijing’s top brass.

Some have slammed China over the clampdown — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this month called it a “fool’s errand.”

Others like Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who visited Beijing last month, have avoided making criticism in public..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110528com3.html

Fishing for bigger profits: Norwegian firm accused of pulling a fast one on its workers

Fishing for bigger profits: Norwegian firm accused of pulling a fast one on its workers

 “What is happening in Mustad is a textbook case of illegal closure…of capitalists drastically undertaking illegal and anti-worker measures because they are confident the Aquino government won’t lift a finger to harm them,” said Leandro “Ka Doods” Gerodias, KMU deputy secretary-general and president of the Alliance of Democratic Labor Organizations (ADLO).
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – After 23 years of profitable operations in the Philippines, Norwegian firm Mustad, maker of “the best-selling hook-brand in the planet,” moved out some of its equipment from its factory in Quezon City on May 17. On May 24, it broke the news to its 200 workers that they were being terminated because the factory was shutting down operations. Mustad reportedly cited losses but the workers are disputing it.

“What is happening in Mustad is a textbook case of illegal closure. It is also a textbook case of capitalists drastically undertaking illegal and anti-worker measures because they are confident that the Aquino government won’t lift a finger to harm them,” said Leandro “Ka Doods” Gerodias, KMU deputy secretary-general and president of the Alliance of Democratic Labor Organizations (ADLO).

One of the three unions of workers in Mustad is an affiliate of ADLO-KMU.


(Contributed photo / bulatlat.com)
The said textbook case has also been commonly referred to as “runaway shop,” where a profitable company shuts down operations in one location only to reopen or continue operations in another location, with new, lower-paid and non-unionized employees.

Shutting down factories with unionized workforce has been a “common tactic used by capitalists in order to save on costs,” said Armand Hernando, documentation coordinator of non-government Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR). In documenting numerous similar cases, CTUHR found that “most companies that claim to have gone bankrupt actually just cease operations for a while and reopen with a new set of employees that are contractual and non-unionized. This definitely cuts costs and brings greater profits for the company.”

Mustad Terminal Tackle Philippines is a subsidiary of Mustad Norway that produces fishing hooks, rigs, flies among other metal fishing equipment for export. Prior to the sudden shutdown, most of its workers reportedly suffer from various degrees of heavy metal poisoning, as handling toxic chemicals was routine in their job..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/27/fishing-for-bigger-profits-norwegian-firm-accused-of-pulling-a-fast-one-on-its-workers/

Peace mission in Davao reveals rights, humanitarian law violations under Oplan Bayanihan

Peace mission in Davao reveals rights, humanitarian law violations under Oplan Bayanihan
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
Sidebar: Resistance to mining exploration gave rise to rights violations
 
“The killings of Rudy and his son Rudyric Dejos in Sta. Cruz and of Santos Manrique in Pantukan brought into the limelight the real face of Oplan Bayanihan and revealed what was concealed in the peace and development coating of the Aquino administration’s continuation of the wicked legacy of past counterinsurgency programs,” the mission said in a statement.
By RONALYN V. OLEA

MANILA — The Aquino administration and the Armed Forces of the Philippines claim that its new counterinsurgency program dubbed as Oplan Bayanihan is fundamentally different from the previous Arroyo administration’s bloody counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya. But the results of a recently-concluded peace mission in the Davao region revealed otherwise.

Duyog sa Panaw, a 73-member National Interfaith Peace and Mercy Mission led by Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP), documented violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) by state agents victimizing more than 3,664 individuals in a span of only three months.

Participants to the mission visited Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and Pantukan, Compostela Valley from May 21 to 23.

Bishop Modesto Villasanta, EJP convener, said violations documented ranged from extrajudicial killing, harassment, attack or use of public places for military purposes, illegal checkpoint, and land-grabbing of ancestral lands of indigenous peoples, and disrespect for indigenous traditional leadership and cultural rights.
“The killings of Rudy and his son Rudyric Dejos in Sta. Cruz and of Santos Manrique in Pantukan brought into the limelight the real face of Oplan Bayanihan and revealed what was concealed in the peace and development coating of the Aquino administration’s continuation of the wicked legacy of past counterinsurgency programs,” the mission said in a statement.

Father and son Dejos were found dead with gunshot and stab wounds inside their house on February 27. Manrique was shot dead by four unidentified armed men riding on motorcycles on April 12.

According to a testimony of one of the residents interviewed by the mission, Rudy, who actively campaigned against the military’s Barangay Defense System (BDS), received death threats from soldiers of the 39th IB. The testimony also revealed there are two witnesses who saw how the soldiers killed the Dejoses.
Based on the mission’s investigation, Manrique had also received death threats through text messages. In March this year, Manrique was held and harassed by elements of the 1001st Brigade in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley on his way home after meeting fellow small-scale miners.

In Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, the mission recorded 26 cases of human rights violations with 851 victims. The mission found out that elements of the 39th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) violated the international humanitarian law prohibiting the use of schools, medical, religious and other public places or facilities for military purposes.

The 39th IB also violated the rights of 22 individuals by coercing them to join the Barangay Defense System (BDS), the mission reported. The mission also said that soldiers of the 39th IB warned residents against joining rallies and progressive organizations.

The situation seemed no different in Pantukan, Compostela Valley. The mission reported that elements of the 71st IB violated IHL for using public places and facilities for military operations, affecting 480 individuals and 80 families.

The mission deemed that large-scale foreign mining interests resulted in violations of the IHL and the human rights of small-scale miners and their families of Gumayan, Brgy. Kingking. Americna firm Russel Mining and Minerals, Inc. is operating in the area..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/27/peace-mission-in-davao-reveals-rights-humanitarian-law-violations-under-oplan-bayanihan/

Aquino government neglects country’s tertiary education; tuition hikes reach up to 103 percent in the NCR

Aquino government neglects country’s tertiary education; tuition hikes reach up to 103 percent in the NCR

According to the study made by the NUSP, since 2001, the national average tuition rate per unit increased by 94.72 percent. From the average of P257.41 per unit in A.Y. 2001-2002, the average tuition rate almost doubled to P501.22 for A.Y. 2010-2011. Meanwhile, in the National Capital Region where most universities and colleges are located, average tuition rate increased by 102.7 percent.

by INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
So what if the country’s universities are among the top in Asia? The government still neglects these institutions by commercializing education and making it less and less accessible to the poor majority of Filipinos.
This was the assertion of Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino in reaction to a recently released report on the Top 200 Asian Universities for 2011.

“Majority of the top Asian schools, including the leading Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, are state universities substantially funded and supported by their respective governments. This appreciation for tertiary education by other Asian governments are blatantly in contrast with the education policies of the Aquino administration. In our country, state universities and Colleges (SUCs) are institutions of destitution,” Palatino said.


Students led by Kabataan Party-List and the National Union of Students of the Philippines say that the Commission on Higher Education continues to fail in its role to ensure accessible and quality tertiary education in the country. They said the CHED has reneged on its promise made last year that there will be no tuition and other fee increases in state universities and colleges (SUCs) but, many SUCs have already jacked their fees this coming enrollment period. (Photo courtesy of NUSP / bulatlat.com)
In the ranking of career and education network QS, the University of the Philippines placed number one in the country and ranked number 62 in Asia. The Ateneo de Manila University was ranked 68; University of Santo Tomas, no. 104; De La Salle University, no. 107.

In the meantime, eleven universities occupied the same report’s 201+ ranking in Asia. These schools were Mindanao State University, Xavier University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Silliman University, Father Saturnino Urios College, Mapua Institute of Technology, Adamson University, Saint Louis University, Central Mindanao University, University of San Carlos, and University of Southeastern Philippines.

The Philippines has 2,180 colleges and universities only 112 of which are SUCs. Palatino noted that the Philippines is dominated by private schools.

“It is alarming that our SUCs are increasingly pressured by the government to function as private schools. The country’s premier university, UP, receives insufficient funds from the government. Thus, it is forced to raise tuition fees to cover the shortage of funds. Tuition in the university now costs as much as P1000-P1,500 (US$23.25-US$34.88) per unit. That translates to P18,000 (US$419) per semester, but this still excludes miscellaneous fees,” Palatino said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/27/aquino-government-neglects-countrys-tertiary-education-tuition-hikes-reach-up-to-103-percent-in-the-ncr/

‘NFA guilty of legalized smuggling’ – farmers, NFA employees

‘NFA guilty of legalized smuggling’ – farmers, NFA employees

As of five days ago, the NFA awarded to the private sector the rights to import 660,000 metric tons out of the 860,000 metric tons of rice to be imported for the year, this despite news reports of sacks of rice rotting in NFA warehouses. And rice traders who import the rice would even be exempted from paying taxes.
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
Who’s not surprised that there’s rice smuggling in the National Food Authority (NFA)? The employees of the NFA and the rice price monitoring group Bantay Bigas, that’s who.

According to Bantay Bigas, the rice smuggling at the NFA is actually “legalized practice,” and that the privatization of the food agency is to blame.

Roman Sanchez, President of the NFA Employees Association (NFA-EA) and member of Bantay Bigas, said that the privatization of the NFA has made the agency more prone to corruption. He said that because of the private sector-financed importation (PSF) policy , rice smuggling has become legal. The group calls the PSF smuggling because commercial traders are allowed to import rice without paying taxes.

“Rice traders connive with corrupt NFA officials,” he said.

Earlier last week, media was furnished with a copy of the audit report prepared by a three-member team hired by the NFA. The reports said that the implementation of the PSF importation from 2008 to 2010 resulted in massive losses for the government. It said that from 2008 to 2010, the NFA allowed commercial rice traders to import a total of 1.4 million metric tons (MT). The NFA also asked the Fiscal Incentives Regulatory Board, on behalf of the traders, a tax exemption worth P20 billion (US$46,511 million).

Bantay Bigas has launched “Brigada Kaldero”, a series of protest actions against continued increases in the prices of rice and other food items, as well as oil products. The group said that farmers don’t need dole-outs and demand that the government implement the National Food Authority’s mandate to ensure the country’s food security.(Photo courtesy of Bantay Bigas / bulatlat.com)
Under the PSF scheme rice traders are allowed to import rice duty and tax free. If they deliver earlier than the agreed upon schedule, the NFA even gives rice traders rebates. The traders then sells the rice they import to the public but with permits and licenses from the NFA. And they get to keep their profits from the sale. This is supposedly part of the government’s “commitment to develop the marketing and entrepreneurial capabilities of the private sector, primarily the farmer organizations.” However, only rice traders have the capital to finance rice importation.

The NFA union and Bantay Bigas said that there was nothing surprising about these findings and that there was nothing new about it at all. Based on Bantay Bigas estimates, smuggled rice comprises 15 to 21 percent of the country’s total rice imports. The group said that because of smuggling, Filipino farmers are denied remunerative income from their produce..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/25/nfa-guilty-of-legalized-smuggling-farmers-nfa-employees/

Kin of victims of Maguindanao massacre fear that the Ampatuans have same privileges as Leviste

Kin of victims of Maguindanao massacre fear that the Ampatuans have same privileges as Leviste


Mrs. Editha Tiamzon, wife of Daniel Tiamzon of UNTV who was killed in the massacre, appealed to Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo to allow them to visit the Ampatuans in jail.


By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – When news broke out that former Batangas governor Antonio Leviste went in and out of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) at will, relatives of the victims of the Ampatuan massacre could not help but feel uneasy. They reiterated their call to be allowed to check if the Ampatuans are still in jail.

Former Batangas Governor Leviste was arrested by authorities May 18 after leaving the NBP premises. He is sentenced to six to 12 years of imprisonment after he was convicted with homicide for the killing of his long-time aide, Rafael de las Alas, in 2007 inside his office in LPL Tower in Legaspi Village, Makati City?
Editha Tiamzon, wife of UNTV’s Daniel Tiamzon, related that she and other families of victims went to Camp Bagong Diwa in January to check if the Ampatuans are still there. “We only wanted to ensure that they are still there but we were made to wait for one hour and were never allowed to enter the premises,” Mrs. Tiamzon said during the Monday’s event to commemorate the massacre on November 23, 2009 that claimed the lives of 58 individuals, including 32 journalists.?

Editha Tiamzon, widow of one of the victims of the Ampatuan massacre, calls for justice for her husband Daniel.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
“That is what we fear now. Ex-governor Leviste was able to go in and out of prison because he is moneyed, so is our enemy. When we went to check if the Ampatuans are still in prison, the BJMP told us that they were asleep during the day. Why is that so? It raises suspicions that maybe they are being allowed to go out at night that is why they are asleep during the day,” Mrs. Tiamzon said.

Mrs. Tiamzon appealed to Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo to allow them to visit the Ampatuans in jail. “We will not hurt them. We have already forgiven them but we still want justice to be served,” Mrs. Tiamzon said.

Alwyn Alburo, vice chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), said that they are awaiting President Benigno S. Aquino III’s promise to put a closed circuit television [CCTV] in the detention cells of the Ampatuans.
Out of 196 suspects in the Ampatuan massacre, only 90 have been arrested. Only a few has been arraigned and only one case is undergoing trial.

Contempt
 
Mrs. Tiamzon also expressed sadness over the contempt charges against Monette Salaysay, widow of? Ampatuan massacre victim Napoleon Salaysay.

“We have no money to pay newspapers, radio and television networks to express what we feel. It is only in the streets where we can shout how we feel about what is happening. But what happened to one of us? She was charged with contempt,” Mrs. Tiamzon said.

A special division of the Court of Appeals (CA) issued a resolution April 12 charging Salaysay and Rowena Paraan, NUJP secretary general, of contempt.??The five justices of the CA who issued the resolution accused Salaysay and “foisting bias and corruption” against the court for their statements quoted in a news article where they expressed concerns on the?slow pace of the case.??“She [Salaysay] is one of those who spoke bravely but now she feels depressed because of the contempt charge,” Mrs. Tiamzon said.

Live coverage
 
Meanwhile, Karry Sison of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) said there has been no action yet regarding the petition filed before the Supreme Court for live media coverage of the Ampatuan massacre trial.
Families filed the petition in November last year. The defense has filed its comment and the PILC in turn has filed its reply in January, according to Sison.

Lawyer Karry Sison says live media coverage is instrumental for the public not to forget the Ampatuan massacre.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
“Live media coverage is instrumental for the public not to forget [about the massacre],” Sison said, stressing that the petition asserts the freedom of the press not only for media but for the Filipino people in general.
“Alongside freedom of the press is the people’s right to information,” Sison said. “The people also have the right to a fair and public trial.”
Sison added that most of the families of the victims live outside Metro Manila. “Their situation prevents them from attending the hearings.”

In his speech, Luis Teodoro, deputy executive director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, encouraged the media to continue its coverage of the trial and of other aspects related to the massacre such as the dismantling of private armies..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/24/relatives-of-victims-of-maguindanao-massacre-fear-that-the-ampatuans-have-same-privileges-as-leviste/

Foreign investors want ‘fair, swift resolution’ of NAIA 3—German gov’t By Michaela P. del Callar 05/28/2011

CALL FOR‘NEGOTIATED’ PIATCO SETTLEMENT

Foreign investors want ‘fair, swift resolution’ of NAIA 3—German gov’t

By Michaela P. del Callar 05/28/2011

It was a diplomatic statement from the German government in Manila, but it was clear it was not happy with the Pasay City Regional Trial Court judge’s decision on the “just compensation” awarded to the Philippine International Airport Terminal Corp. which was merely a fifth of what Piatco was seeking from the Aquino government as payment for its having expropriated the air terminal.

The German government said foreign investors would want to see a fair and swift resolution of a decade-old terminal investment row involving a German company and its Filipino partner before investing in President Aquino’s much-touted public-private partnership for country-wide infrastructure development.

At the same time, Germany declined to comment on a recent local court decision awarding $175.757 million in just compensation to Piatco, the consortium with local partner of German airport builder Fraport, for the expropriation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA Terminal 3 but called for negotiations to break the legal deadlock..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110528hed1.html

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