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The Daily Tribune

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Mixed signals FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/30/2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mixed signals

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
It’s been a full year of the Aquino presidency. He is being weighed, and found wanting, with the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), as well as some political analysts giving Noynoy anywhere from barely passing marks to failing marks for his performance in office.
Of course some of his allies give him high marks, something like 88 percent from ally Sen. Ralph Recto, although there was that warning issued by him that the “learning time” was over and that Noynoy and his administration should start producing results, which really is no different from saying that in his first year in office, Noynoy failed to perform..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110630com2.html

Violence feared after key Thai elections ANALYSIS 06/30/2011

Violence feared after key Thai elections


BANGKOK — The divisions that plague Thai society will deepen further after Sunday’s election unless arch-enemies within the political realm agree to respect the verdict of the polls, analysts say.

Ahead of the July 3 vote which is crucial to the future of the Southeast Asian nation, few observers expect the winner will be able to quietly take power for a four-year term and face opposition merely from within parliament.

The election is largely a battle between the establishment-backed, ruling Democrats led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and the opposition Puea Thai, spearheaded from exile by former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Five years on from a military coup that deposed Thaksin and triggered years of bloody political crisis, the billionaire remains a figure who crystallizes debate in Thailand, where he is still both widely adored and hated.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110630com3.html

Noy’s fourth K INSIDE CONGRESS Charlie Manalo 06/30/2011

Noy’s fourth K

Charlie Manalo
While all eyes are now trained on Noy’s high profile KKKs (kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan), and these include LTO chief Virginia Torres, DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and resigned BuCor chief Ernesto Diokno among others, apparently being overlooked is another of the President’s K — Kapartido — Caloocan Vice Mayor Edgar Erice, who, just like the other Ks, is also said to enjoy Noy’s protection.

In January 2008, the DoJ recommended the filing of 36 counts of graft and plunder charges against Erice, Noy’s colleague in the Liberal Party, in connection with the illegal mining activities of his firm, SR Metal Inc. at Tubay, Agusan del Norte.

Aside from Erice, ordered charged was SR Metal Director, John Antonio Gutierrez.

The DoJ, in its investigation, stated that SR Metals Inc. illegally extracted approximately 1,550,000 metric tons of nickel cobalt ore valued at $60.6 million in just nine months in 2007, way above the quota prescribed by law of an annual production of only 50,000 metric tons of ore for a single mining firm..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110630com5.html

Read the message, not shoot the messenger VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 06/30/2011

Read the message, not shoot the messenger

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
The message was sent by someone from a distant place about something that was not merely surprising but also disturbing.

The message should have been analyzed, evaluated and accordingly acted upon depending primarily on its veracity or falsity, its significance or irrelevance.

Instead, practically all kind of vile and repugnant spit was plastered upon the person of the messenger — while the message was in substance ignored. To this writing, the message continues to linger and make people think..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110630com7.html

Justice, De Lima style FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/29/2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Justice, De Lima style

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Further destroying an acquitted person’s reputation just to make an old man who cries injustice over this person’s acquittal feel that he has finally getting justice for his murdered family is justice, Leila de Lima style, which is really an injustice.

It was evident, from the day she vowed to conduct a reinvestigation of the Vizconde murder case that she and her National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were bent on proving the Supreme Court wrong in its ruling acquitting Hubert Webb, et al. and all that time, given that very short period before the 20-year proscription period lapses, which falls tomorrow, June 30, she and her NBI never went past Webb as the perpetrators of the crime..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110629com2.html

Libya bombing campaign enters 100th day focus 06/29/2011

Libya bombing campaign enters 100th day


BENGHAZI — Nato operations in Libya entered a 100th day on Monday with airstrikes having eased the siege of key rebel cities but with Moamer Kadhafi still in power and fears of a open war lingering.

Three months after French jets flew their first missions over eastern Libya, Nato is still pounding targets across the country in what has become a war fought on multiple fronts, but with few clear victories for either side.

As “Operation Unified Protector” approaches its 5,000 strike sortie, Nato is still hitting around 50 targets a day, mostly in or around Tripoli and Misrata in the west; Brega in the east; and the Nafusa Mountains to the south of the capital.

But the alliance’s early success in pushing Kadhafi’s forces outside striking distance of Benghazi and Misrata have not decisively tipped the balance in favour of the rebels..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110629com3.html

Cranking out ‘The Good News’ C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 06/29/2011

Cranking out ‘The Good News’

Jonathan De la Cruz
There is something very, very wrong when a senior Palace official starts explaining what his or her boss, in this case P-Noy, actually meant after the nation went on a tailspin figuring out who are the two or three Cabinet members the Chief Executive dreads seeing (penitensiya or heavy burden is how he described them) for being “harbingers of bad news.” Even more problematic is when it is explained that P-Noy was in his usual “joking mode” when he uttered those words during the 114th anniversary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Did we ordinary folks hear that right? Joke lang?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110629com4.html

Slum trap for Philippine focus 06/29/2011

Slum trap for Philippine


MANILA — Few things scare Philippine grandmother Maria Luisa Bernardo, who has dodged fires and fought off demolition crews in a tough Manila slum for more than half her life.
But one is the prospect of returning to her northern home province, where the 44-year-old mother-of-five and grandmother-of-six fears she and her extended family could starve to death.

“It’s beautiful in the province, there is no congestion,” said Bernardo, a high school graduate who is one of 30,000 informal settlers of North Triangle, one of Manila’s largest shantytowns.

“But without land to farm you end up going hungry. Here, at least, there’s an opportunity to earn a little money,” she told AFP while sitting on the floor of a shanty she shares with a son, his girlfriend, and their two babies...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110629com5.html

Chavez lobs fresh fertilizer plunder raps against GMA By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/29/2011

Chavez lobs fresh fertilizer plunder raps against GMA

By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/29/2011

Another plunder complaint was filed yesterday by former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez against former President now Rep. Gloria Arroyo and nine others, this time for allegedly diverting more than P2.3 billion fertilizer fund to bankroll her presidential bid seven years ago.

This is the second plunder charge on the same fertilizer fund scam that Chavez has filed, also against Arroyo.
Arroyo spokesman Maite Defensor said they “will defer from making a statement until (they) have received a copy of the complaint.”

In a 31-page complaint filed with the Department of Justice (DoJ), Chavez said thaton Feb. 3, 2004 of exactly one week prior to the May 2004 national elections, then President Arroyo, authorized the disbursement of fertilizer funds in the amount of P728 million allegedly to cover the purchase of fertilizers as part of her “Ginintuang Masaganang Ani Program.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110629hed2.html

DoJ chief: No credible proof of Webb in crime scene By Pat C. Santos 06/29/2011


DoJ chief: No credible proof of Webb in crime scene

By Pat C. Santos 06/29/2011

Despite admitting that there was no credible evidence placing Hubert Webb, who has already been acquitted with finality by the Supreme Court majority, in the crime scene, Justice Chief Leila de Lima and her task force, composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police, broadly implied that Webb and company were the persons who raped and murdered the Vizconde family, saying that “material evidence” from a magnetic tape showed that Webb never left the country.

She and her team claimed that they had at least five witnesses who were not presented, and whose names were not stated. Instead, they were given aliases.

Based on the Bureau of Immigration magnetic reel tape which shows the data of the departure and arrival of airport passengers, Hubert Webb, principal suspect in the 1991 Vizconde massacre, did not leave the Philippines before, during and after the date the Vizcondes were murdered, De Lima and her NBI team claimed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110629hed1.html

Workers call on Supreme Court to release decision on Luisita By Charlie V. Manalo 06/29/2011

Workers call on Supreme Court to release decision on Luisita

By Charlie V. Manalo 06/29/2011

Farm worker beneficiaries of the contested Hacienda Luisita sugar state appealed to the Supreme Court to release a decision and set the record straight to stop all speculations that the collegiate body had been siding with the Cojuango-Aquinos clan.

“Please don’t give us the benefit of a doubt that these allegations were true. Don’t give us the basis or suspect that the honorable justices of the Supreme Court are doing “behind the back” hearings to please the powers-that-be and sacrifice the interest of the people that they supposed to serve,“ said Rodel Mesa, secretary general of the farm workers-based Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA).

Mesa, a Hacienda Luisita farm worker himself, said that “for all its worth, we are ready to face the music.”

“Whether the decision would be in favor or not, we will carry the next phase of our struggle, it’s not the end of the road but it would be the beginning of our long and winding road for social justice. We are not stopping now,” Mesa said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110629nat1.html

Bill to expand anti-human trafficking filed By Angie M. Rosales 06/29/2011

Bill to expand anti-human trafficking filed

By Angie M. Rosales 06/29/2011

Enactment of the proposed Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in the Senate to ensure that government will be more deliberate in its efforts aimed at strengthening its policies against such illegal activities will be pursued following the United States government’s lifting of the Philippines on its watchlist.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chairperson of the Senate foreign relations committee, yesterday said the move by the American government is a recognition of the country’s efforts to meet the standards against human trafficking activities.

“I welcome the removal of the Philippines from the tier 2 watchlist in 2011 State Department Trafficking in Persons report by the US..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110629nat2.html

QC gov’t hires ‘colorum’ tricycle drivers, disabled to make school desks By Arlie O. Calalo 06/29/2011

QC gov’t hires ‘colorum’ tricycle drivers, disabled to make school desks

By Arlie O. Calalo 06/29/2011
Hundreds of “colorum” tricycle drivers who were apprehended a few months ago have found new sources of income after the Quezon City government hired them to make desks for the city’s public schools.

At present, the QC government still has a shortage of classroom desks and chairs in at least 96 public elementary and 46 high schools, according to Mayor Herbert Bautista.

But the mayor said the shortage can now be hugely minimized in the next few months after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources donated to the local government around 6,000 board feet of confiscated woods for the making of school desks and chairs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110629met3.html

‘JV’ joins calls for probe into misuse of PCSO funds By Gerry Baldo 06/29/2011

‘JV’ joins calls for probe into misuse of PCSO funds

By Gerry Baldo 06/29/2011

A congressional probe into the alleged misuse of millions of pesos from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) during the time of former President Arroyo is mounting in the Lower House even as San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito joined calls for an immediate investigation.

“There has to be some closure to these allegations which happened during the previous administration,” Ejercito said yesterday.

Ejercito maintained that several government agencies at the time of Mrs. Arroyo had figured in some form of anomalous disbursements and transactions involving millions of pesos.

According to Ejercito, among the agencies that should be investigated are the National Food Authority (NFA), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) which was then headed by Winston Garcia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110629met1.html

Cop out question EDITORIAL 06/28/2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cop out question

Click to enlarge
Social Weather Station (SWS)’s latest survey release was obviously meant to please the Malacañang tenant, what with a cop out question included over whether respondents believe that in the long run, Noynoy will be successful or unsuccessful president, preceded by an “OR”.

One question was whether respondents think that Noynoy will be a successful president, with a 22 percent affirming it, while 10 say the contrary. But there is an additional question, which was the cop out question, or the easy way out for an answer, which was, or whether it is still too early to tell.

So why include that question in the same questionnaire, when the majority answer would have to be “it’s too early to tell, if not to give Malacañang a “feel good” feedback?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110628com1.html

Nonsensical Noynoy FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/28/2011

Nonsensical Noynoy

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
He bitches about the media always invading his private life while claiming that media prefer to report on his love life and love for fast cars, instead of the “good news” yet it is really Noynoy who encourages the media to keep on writing about his love life and his latest “love interest.”

In Cebu while delivering his speech, he said he is considering making Malacañang sa Sugbo in Cebu his home, if only to meet his future wife, saying that every time he visits Cebu, he sees more beautiful women.

Noynoy also made it appear that he fancied a Korean TV personality Grace Lee, who was co-host in the Kepco gathering.

As he put it in a mix of Cebuano and Tagalog: “Whenever I am invited to come to Cebu, it is not hard for me to say yes. There is even Grace Lee, our visitor. I thought she was Filipino. She’s Korean. Even the Korean women who come to the country are all beautiful. There is need to revive Malacañang sa Sugbu. Perhaps this is where we can be hitch up.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110628com2.html

Gazans paid dearly for snatching Israeli — analysts FEATURE 06/28/2011

Gazans paid dearly for snatching Israeli — analysts


GAZA CITY — Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have paid dearly over the five years since militants snatched a young Israeli soldier, Palestinian and Israeli analysts say.
But they also say the Jewish state itself shoulders a “moral burden” in failing to free Gilad Shalit despite all its military might and diplomatic resources.

Shalit was 19 when he was captured in southern Israel on June 25, 2006 by militants including members of the Islamist Hamas who staged a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip. He has been held there ever since at a secret location.

In response to his abduction, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza and then tightened it the following year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110628com3.html

The continuing gall NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 06/28/2011

The continuing gall

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Gloria Arroyo calls a press conference to hit the incumbent leadership while her own congressional leadership is under water. Gloria warns that “the economic gains from the reforms instituted during her term” may “not be sustained” by this Chief Executive, and flouts “The gains I made were built on the efforts of previous leaders because every administration should build on previous successes.”

After actively participating in the overthrow of a popular president on “moral grounds,” she now says she “built” on her predecessor’s efforts? Akala ko ba, walang efforts ang naturang predecessor, hence the need to replace him? Alas, and alack, how quickly she’s turned her back to the positions she’s taken 10 years ago, en route to stealing the presidency, “not once, but twice.”

So she’s made gains, fine. But if her government hadn’t been as corrupt, the gains would have been much, much bigger, right? Tao talaga ang makikinabang, right? Well, we know who really made pakinabang, thanks to sleight-of-hand.

Day after her presscon, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office through Chairman Margarita Juico, announced how Arroyo and allies ran the PCSO “to the ground,” and left it with P4 billion in debt to media groups and hospitals. Because they had put operational funds and monies for charity in one kitty, the thieves were able to spend undetected and way out of budget “especially” in their “last two years.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110628com4.html

Are the Chinese censors asleep? AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 06/28/2011

Are the Chinese censors asleep?

Ken Fuller
Last Wednesday, I came across an Associated Press (AP) story entitled “China, Vietnam conduct joint sea patrol amid tension” on the Inquirer Web site. (On the AP site the story, by Margie Mason, has a slightly different heading.)

As an example of the tension generated by competing claims to territory in the South China Sea, it quotes an editorial run by Beijing’s Global Times the previous day, June 21. According to the AP piece, the editorial roars: “If Vietnam wishes to create a war in the South China Sea, China will resolutely keep them (sic) company” and “China has the absolute might to crush the naval fleets sent from Vietnam. China will show no mercy to its rival due to ‘global impact’ concerns.”

Feeling that this — especially the “show no mercy” bit — was somewhat extreme, I decided to consult the horse’s mouth and, after a brief search, found myself at www.globaltimes.cn. There, “China must react to Vietnam’s provocation,” was easy enough to find. Amazingly, the passages quoted above simply did not appear. The editorial begins by arguing that China must prepare for two scenarios — peaceful negotiation if Vietnam is willing, “or answer the provocation with political, economic or even military counterstrikes.” The most bellicose comments come toward the end, so here are the final four paragraphs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110628com5.html

Aspiration VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 06/28/2011


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
After looking at the malady of “Asperger’s Disorder” which is a big personal misfortune, and after considering the phenomenon of “Asperation” made at key Filipino cultural values which in turn is a big shame, equity says that it is time to think of and consider the reality and rationale of “Aspiration.” There is really nothing exceptional or singular about this human longing premised on the nature and import of hope — except for the fact that it seems to be the only recourse of millions of Filipinos during these truly trying times.

In plain language, aspiration finds its anchorage on the inherent nature and consequent import of the human “spirit.”
The following are the more cardinal elements ingrained in the “spirit” of the human person: One, it is God given as no one else in this big wide world can give it to himself. Two, it is pulsating and vibrant particularly in its search and pursuit of the reign of truth, justice and peace. Three, it is intense in fervency and immense in scope. Four, it is strong longing, a fervent and persisting desire. Five, it is a craving for something better, something fulfilling..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110628com7.html

Noy can’t trust China’s no RP invasion claim By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Michaela P. del Callar 06/28/2011

Noy can’t trust China’s no RP invasion claim

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Michaela P. del Callar 06/28/2011

He trusts in the United States and distrusts China.

Obviously buoyed by the assurance of the United States that it is prepared to provide military support to the Philippines in the event of an escalation of conflict in the West Philippine sea but anyway speaks of dialog more than military support these days plus a reiteration of US officials that the US does not meddle in territorial disputes, President Aquino upped the tension with China and deteriorated further Philippine-Chinese diplomatic relations, as he intimated yesterday that he does not trust China’s assurance that it will not invade the Philippines to assert its territorial claims in the area, adding that he is suspicious of China’s claim of not having any intention of invading the Philippines.

According to Aquino, the pronouncements of China sounds very suspicious but he reiterated the country’s commitment to pursue diplomatic solutions in resolving the conflict in the West Philippine sea..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110628hed1.html

Erap wants closure on Dacer-Corbito double slay By Angie M. Rosales 06/28/2011

Erap wants closure on Dacer-Corbito double slay

By Angie M. Rosales 06/28/2011

Former President Joseph Estrada wants a closure on the decade-old unresolved kidnapping and killing of the late publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada disclosed this yesterday following the exoneration from any involvement in the twin murder case of his father and Sen. Panfilo Lacson by former police Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino over the weekend upon his arrival in the country.

Aquino, who was extradited from the United States, categorically stated that he did not receive any orders from either the former president or Lacson, then his superior in the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) to kidnap, harm or murder anyone, specifically Dacer and Corbito.

“Yes of course, he wants to have a closure on the case. He’s not the only one interested in seeing the resolution of this case. I’m sure even the public wants to find out who is the real mastermind in the killing of the two. Even I want to find this out,” Estrada, who is currently in Boston taking up a crash course on leadership program, said in an interview with dwIZ..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110628hed2.html

Terrorist group bombs CoA office in North Cotabato 06/28/2011

Terrorist group bombs CoA office in North Cotabato

Two weeks after the United States issued a travel advisory against the Philippines, an improvised explosive device (IED), believed to have been planted by terrorists linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI),
exploded at the entrance of Commission on Audit (COA) office in North Cotabato province yesterday morning.

Army 6th Infantry Division (ID) spokesman Col. Prudencio Asto said that the IED blasted the COA satellite office located along the national highway in Barangay Amas in Kidapawan City around 8:20 a.m.
No casualty was reported during the attack..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110628nat2.html

‘Falcon’ kills three, 18 missing; 1 million people affected By Mario J. Mallari 06/28/2011

‘Falcon’ kills three, 18 missing; 1 million people affected

By Mario J. Mallari 06/28/2011

President Aquino’s zero casualty goal during typhoons remained an ambition as tropical depression “Falcon” left the country with at least three people dead while 18 others remained missing and more than a million others affected by wide-scale flooding brought about by days of heavy rains.

Reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) identified the fatalities as Ranny Bernardo, a resident of Sto. Nino, Hagonoy, Bulacan; Marlon Jay Musni, of Sta. Cruz, Mexico, Pampanga; and Fedelito Muana, of East Bajac-Bajac, Olongapo City.

The three all died of drowning.

Damage to agricultural crops and infrastructures in Regions III, IV-A and V was estimated at P152,711,282..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110628nat1.html

Solon seeks probe on Torres for illegal payment to supplier By Charlie V. Manalo 06/28/2011

Solon seeks probe on Torres for illegal payment to supplier

By Charlie V. Manalo 06/28/2011

Aside from courting trouble for deliberately withholding payment due to the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) information technology (IT) service provider, Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres found herself in hot water again, this time for paying LTO’s supplier of driver’s licenses despite the absence of a legitimate contract.

Camiguin Rep. Pedro Romualdo, a member of the House committee on transportation, yesterday bared he will file a resolution calling for an investigation on the report that LTO is religiously paying its supplier for driver’s licenses, the Amalgamated Motors Philippines Inc. (Ampi) despite the absence of valid contract for almost eight years..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110628met1.html

Camanava execs vow to implement smoking ban in their areas By Arlie O. Calalo 06/28/2011

Camanava execs vow to implement smoking ban in their areas

By Arlie O. Calalo 06/28/2011

The four local government units (LGUs) in the northern part of Metro Manila yesterday pooled their resources and vowed to spare no one in the enforcement of the anti-smoking law which will start in metropolis on July 1.

In fact, the city chief executives, namely, Mayors Enrico “Recom” Echiverri (Caloocan), Tito Oreta (Malabon), John Rey Tiangco (Navotas) and Sherwin Gatchalian (Valenzuela) told Tribune in separate phone interviews that they have been carrying out the tobacco ban long before the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) decided to go full-blast in the campaign.

The Camanava mayors, who form key part of the Metro Manila Council which is the governing body of MMDA, said the no-nonsense implementation of the anti-smoking drive was in compliance to Republic Act 9211 or Tobacco Regulation Act and the Philippine Obligation to World Health Organization-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC), which calls for no smoking in public places..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110628met5.html

US: RP’s worst ‘best friend’ DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 06/27/2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

US: RP’s worst ‘best friend’

Herman Tiu Laurel
A cacophony of voices ranting and raving about what to do in response to a rival claimant’s presence in certain areas of the South China Sea can be heard these days. If these big and loud words only came from credible voices, I would stand up and take heed. But knowing the empty record of many of these bellows of bellicosity, including that young trapo Joey Salceda, who issued that silly boycott call, or the man often dubbed “De Cash-tro” for his perceived chauvinism and underhanded “journalism,” patriotic and nationalist rhetoric just become jingoist and vacuous.

It’s also hard to take seriously what Malacañang’s spinmasters are doing of late, such as recasting their president as a patriot or renaming as the “West Philippine Sea” what has been marked in the World Atlas for thousands of years as the “South China Sea.” Such pompous acts can hardly qualify as “patriotic” given that Philippine officialdom has completely ignored the nation’s enslavement to the US-IMF in its growing annual debt service of P800 billion, which continues to bedevil our finances, economy, and military defense capabilities.

Unwilling to tackle such real fundamental issues as resolving the debilitating 50-year national debt trap, those bellicose voices have instead turned to grasping at one of the flimsiest straws — RP’s so-called “alliance” with the United States of America.

If our history with that North American country were to be the gauge for it, then the Philippines is absolutely doomed. The US committed its first international betrayal of the budding Philippine nation when it stole our forefathers’ victory against their 400-year colonial master Spain and established its own colonialism after killing a million Filipinos, including a hundred thousand or so in the island of Samar.
Then, in the Second World War, the US sacrificed the Philippines to concentrate on the European theater of war and then staged a dramatic return by destroying it. History, as everyone should know, cites Manila as the second most devastated city in the world in that war (beaten only by Warsaw).

This was what Thomas Huber in his The Battle of Manila said of the military option that could have avoided Manila’s devastation: “Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, commander of the US 6th Army, apparently believed that Manila was not a genuine center of gravity and planned to bypass it. Krueger, whose force landed on the beaches of Lingayen Gulf on Jan. 27 1945, also favored delaying any attack on Manila until he could build up his assets and consolidate his position on the Lingayen coast.”

Instead, the vainglorious American Centurion, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, prepared a victory parade that was frustrated by a Japanese naval commander with 17,000 men defying Yamashita’s order to evacuate Manila; for this or other reasons MacArthur ordered the attack on Manila, pulverizing 80 percent of its structures and killing 100,000 of its civilians. It was a retired Filipino Army general who reminded me of this historical fact, as a pointed reaction to all the media hype on the Philippines ’ reliance on US military support.

Another retired Air Force general stated how everybody is going about it the wrong way, by expecting the US to come to the Philippines’ aid in the event of a clash with China. What he said is that the Philippines must learn to go it alone if it really wants to stand up for its territorial interests. He kept repeating that we must act as “THE Philippines ,” i.e. as one nation preparing for its defense even by its lonesome. And that only means rebuilding our economy, our industrial infrastructure, and our defense capabilities.

When I proposed that the country should first rid itself of over 250 trapos in Congress who eat up all our budgets, everyone agreed. Indeed, how can we prepare ourselves when half the national resources are eaten up by debt service and the rest by corruption?

Alas, little prepared me for the shock — in light of what the retired army general and our history books say of the US’ military record — upon reading Teddy “Boy” Locsin’s opinion piece in BusinessMirror last June 23 entitled, “Bring back the US bases and their nukes, Part I.” But this is precisely the attitude that the retired Air Force general scoffed at — dependence on external support while eschewing the primordial task of building the nation, its identity, its national spirit, its sense of purpose, unity and sacrifice.

Given what we know already of the US military and political establishments’ propensity to sacrifice all others to protect its own, in a nuclear conflict scenario, it will deliberately set up the Philippines as a key ballistic magnet for China’s first strikes against any forward attack facilities of the US. It’s going to be a repeat of the destruction of Manila but on a national scale, with radioactive damage dwarfing the Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and Fukushima nuclear disasters combined.

We must take a position against involving foreign countries in our national struggles — the way belligerent Vietnam is doing or by way of Thailand’s use of tact and diplomacy (as it did in World War II and the Vietnam War).

If the Philippines can’t go it alone in standing up for its territorial sovereignty, then we’re a hopeless case. No external power will respect us enough to give us serious support except for opportunistic purposes, which will be useless and ultimately harmful to all Filipinos.

In the middle of the last century, some of our countrymen mistakenly thought of latching on to the Japanese imperial forces to eject US colonialism. In fact, Benigno Aquino III’s grandfather led the Kalibapi while his grandmother headed its women’s bureau. How ironic it is that the grandson now thinks he can use the country’s neocolonial ties to the US to rebuff China’s persistent territorial claims. He obviously doesn’t know that he wins nothing but only loses more for the nation in the end.

(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 “Crushing Coconut Farmers’ Hopes”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110627com5.html

When is a joke a joke? EDITORIAL 06/27/2011

When is a joke a joke?

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Everything does not sound right when the Palace asks the public to get used to the character shifts of Noynoy, particularly when the President is joking and when he’s not.

That was what in effect Noy’s spokesman Abigail Valte told reporters when she asked them to ignore Noy’s statement about the three Cabinet men who he said were bearers of bad news as it was said in jest.

The statement, however, will be hard to dismiss as it was made at the middle of a commotion over Noy’s KKK (kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan) and amid rumors of a Cabinet revamp.

You know the President, he is fond of making jokes, Valte said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110627com1.html

Creating more enemies FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/27/2011

Creating more enemies

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy and his aides are creating more enemies, instead of friends, which is a pretty stupid thing to do, because in the end, Noynoy and his boys will be needing friends a lot more, especially since his ratings have been going downhill and people are starting to see the truth of his “nobody home” presidency.

The Palace mouthpieces, as well as Noynoy still haven’t gotten out of their campaign attack mode that makes Noynoy look so unpresidential, throughly belligerent and coarse to boot.
Cotabato Mayor Japal Guiani, after Noynoy’s photo-op visit in Mindanao, said Noynoy came and went without even offering any solution to the perennial flooding problem in that area, and that he did not even bring relief goods for the suffering flood victims, and no funds have been released at all.

Edwin Lacierda, acting like a canto boy, immediately called Guiani a liar, saying that Noynoy brought relief goods for the flood victims..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110627com2.html

Guinea’s reconciliation blocked by violent past focus 06/27/2011

Guinea’s reconciliation blocked by violent past


CONAKRY — National reconciliation promised by Guinea’s new President Alpha Conde will be an uphill process in a nation scarred by half a century of political and ethnic killings, observers say.

Conde, long in opposition before being elected six months ago to run the west African country, has vowed to unite Guinea’s patchwork of ethnic groups but sceptics point to major obstacles.

“There is not just economic under-development in Guinea, there is also mental under-development,” said Mamadou Bhoye Barry, leader of the opposition Union for National Progress (UPN).

This manifested in hostile “ethnic divisions,” according to Barry, who said Conde’s promise to push reconcilation after his election last November “is not being carried out on the ground, though the will is there.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110627com3.html

Michael Ray clears Erap, Ping on twin murder cases By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/27/2011


Michael Ray clears Erap, Ping on twin murder cases

By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/27/2011

Michael Ray Aquino, the extradited former police intelligence officer after spending a jail term in the United States, has cleared his former boss, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and former President Joseph Estrada of involvement in the murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and the latter’s driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

In a statement forwarded to newsmen, Aquino himself denied being involved in the killings.

“I was interviewed by the media 10 years ago and I categorically denied any knowledge of, and participation and involvement in, the alleged Dacer-Corbito case. That’s the truth and nothing has changed since then. Then and now, I still maintain my innocence,” Aquino’s statement said.

“Moreover, I want the nation to know I was not ordered by President Joseph Ejercito Estrada or Senator Panfilo M. Lacson to kidnap, harm and/or murder anyone specifically Mr. Salvador Dacer and Mr. Emmanuel Corbito. I cannot add any more details since I don’t know anything more (about the murders),” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110627hed1.html

UN fears disease outbreaks amid Mindanao floods 06/27/2011

UN fears disease outbreaks amid Mindanao floods

Nearly half a million children displaced by heavy flooding in southern Philippines could face an outbreak of diarrhea and pneumonia, the United Nations yesterday said.

Vanessa Tobin, country representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), said about 450,000 children were among the tens of thousands affected when floods swamped over two dozen towns in Mindanao the past two weeks.

The floods were caused by the overflowing of the Rio Grande, the country’s second-longest river, after water hyacinths clogged a huge section of the system and prevented it from emptying into the sea.

Authorities had said some low-lying communities remained flooded, and Tobin said this raised concerns over the possibility of children contracting diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110627hed3.html

Basilan bomb explosion kills two, wounds 11 By Mario J. Mallari 06/27/2011

Basilan bomb explosion kills two, wounds 11

By Mario J. Mallari 06/27/2011

Two persons were killed while 11 others were wounded after an explosion rocked a restaurant in Basilan province last Saturday, the military reported yesterday.

Col. Alexander Macario, commander of the Special Operations Task Force, said that the blast hit Mon’s Kitchenette located along Roxas Street in Isabela City around 5:30 p.m.

According to Macario, he immediately dispatched a company of Special Forces, led by Capt. Erlito Roldan, to cordon off the area an assist in the investigation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110627nat1.html

Bill seeking to look into importation of pre-mixed sugar filed By Angie M. Rosales 06/27/2011

Bill seeking to look into importation of pre-mixed sugar filed

By Angie M. Rosales 06/27/2011

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri moved to have an inquiry in the upper chamber over the noticeable increase in the importation of pre-mixed sugar in recent months which, could lead the possible collapse of the sugar industry as well as loss in government revenues.

The senator filed Resolution No. 517 to effect an investigation on the reported technical smuggling of sugar following reports from the National Federation of Sugar Planters Inc., on the increased importation or about one million 50-kilo bags of premixed sugar in 2010.

This practice of importing sugar premix is purportedly to evade the payment of tariff on sugar and is considered as technical smuggling, since under the existing Tariff Code, premix products containing less than 65 percent of sugar is tariff -free while importation of sugar premix which exceeds the allowable percentage carries a tariff of 38 percent.

But laboratory analysis from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) showed that some of these sugar premix importations contained 99.55% sugar..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110627nat3.html

CA okays payment of $6M to CAP creditors By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/27/2011

CA okays payment of $6M to CAP creditors

By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/27/2011

The Court of Appeals (CA) has cleared the way for debt-ridden pre-need firm, College Assurance Plan Philippines Inc. (CAP), to settle $6 million in outstanding obligations to its creditors despite opposition from plan holders-customers.

In a 26-page decision by Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang, the CA’s Ninth Division set aside the orders issued by the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 149 disapproving the payment of CAP’s obligation to Smart Share Investments Ltd. and Fil-Estate Management Inc. (FEMI).

The two firms like CAP are also controlled by the Sobrepeñas. “After a careful and painstaking examination of the records of the case, this Court finds merit in the petition. The public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it disapproved the payment of CAP’s obligations to Smart and FEMI from the proceeds of the sale of the MRT III Bonds,” the CA said.

Some of CAP’s 700,000 plan holders opposed the use of the proceeds of the MRT III bonds to pay for CAP’s obligations and claimed the money should only be used to pay them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110627met2.html

Lawmakers urge DENR to put a stop to massive, indiscriminate sale of ‘tuko’ By Charlie V. Manalo 06/27/2011

Lawmakers urge DENR to put a stop to massive, indiscriminate sale of ‘tuko’

By Charlie V. Manalo 06/27/2011

The gecko-hunting frenzy that is now sweeping many of the country’s rural communities has called the attention of several congressmen who now want the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to look into the massive and indiscriminate trading of geckos, a specie of lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae, found in warm climates throughout the world and known locally in the Philippines as “tuko.”

Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento warned that this fad might push the extinction of this particular animal which is known to feed on insects such as mosquitoes and flies and cause irreversible effects on the environment.

According to Sarmiento, the Internet and even some of the country’s top buy-and-sell magazines are flooded with classified ads on gecko trading, some of which even claim to be agents of the World Health Organization (WHO)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110627met1.html

Noy’s lips have slipped EDITORIAL 06/26/2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Noy’s lips have slipped

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The string of ratings upgrade that the country received the past few days appears to be teasers for Noynoy to persuade him to push forward the breaking of his pledge of no new taxes or tax increases.

Already, Noynoy had stated that taxes will be increased in 2013, saying that the pledge for new taxes was only for a year.

Plagiarizing the elder and the better George H.W. Bush during his 1988 US presidential campaign, Noynoy boasted “Read my lips, no new taxes” during his own campaign in the elections last year to stress his politician’s vow.

After being elected, he was already singing a different tune saying that the new taxes or tax increases pledge was only effective for his first year in office and which means it will effectively expire this month..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110626com1.html

Non-sequiturs from Noynoy EDITORIAL 06/26/2011

Non-sequiturs from Noynoy

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Miffed at former President Gloria Arroyo’s blast of Noynoy’s “nobody home” presidency, along with her stating that Noynoy has not built on the economic gains made, Malacañang quickly put its dukes up and said it was ready for a fight with Gloria.

But Noynoy’s deputy mouthpiece, Abigail Valte, charged that Gloria’s blurbs against her patron, Noynoy, are “unsurprising” and full of generalizations, and that they in the Palace give specific answers.

Yet in was clear that even as Valte was slamming Gloria, she failed to answer directly what which was being charged, such as the 10-year economic growth toward sustainability that certainly has decelerated under Noynoy’s presidency.

For all that Gloria is, and is not, what cannot be denied and official data can attest to that, is that it was under her presidency that there was uninterrupted growth and that the first quarter growth this year under Noynoy, has slowed, with the economy expected to slow down some more..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110626com2.html

Aspersion VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 06/26/2011


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
After saying something about the lamentable and distressing syndrome called “Asperger’s Disorder,” what comes to mind in the context of words and sounds is the term “Aspersion.”
In its more common understanding, aspersion is a reproach, a censure, a depreciation.

Aspersion is in a way understandable when the object of contempt is vile, obnoxious and revolting. But when something is virtuous, noble and lofty, its aspersion is not only a big shame but also a downright abomination.

And the Malacañang occupant plus his loyal cohorts and obedient allies are now avidly engaging in “kadiri to death” aspersion on the endearing presence of children, on the profound blessing of family and the big wonder of human sexuality, Malacañang plus buddies in the legislature and comrades among the NGOs, are bent on pushing and selling the following hideous agenda: Hate children (Reproductive Health bill). Destroy families (Divorce bill). Debase sex (Same Sex Marriage bill).

Poor Philippines. Pitiful Filipinos. It is not enough that the country is going nowhere in commerce and industry. It is neither enough that the Filipinos are wallowing more and more in poverty and misery. Nor it is enough that the national leadership talks but does little. Thus it is that: Development is but a pie in the sky. Better living conditions are simply a big drawing. Justice and peace are merely dreams and more dreams..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110626com5.html

Obama stays open to more foreign intervention FEATURE 06/26/2011

Obama stays open to more foreign intervention


WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama declared Wednesday that although battered by a decade of war America should not shrink into isolationism but remain pragmatic and open to foreign intervention.

Announcing the start of the US drawdown from Afghanistan, Obama acknowledged the heavy cost of America’s overseas adventures as he sought to reassure a war-weary public the “tide of war is receding.”

Under pressure from Congress over continued US involvement in the three-month-old air war in Libya, the President stood firm and warned against caving in to those questioning the nature of America’s foreign engagements.

“Some would have America retreat from our responsibility as an anchor of global security, and embrace an isolation that ignores the very real threats that we face,” he said. “Others would have America over-extend ourselves, confronting every evil that can be found abroad.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110626com7.html

Kasambahay TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 06/26/2011


Larry Faraon, OP
Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is urging President P-Noy to certify as priority legislation that would uplift the plight and labor conditions of the kasambahays or the 2.5 million domestic helpers in the country. Senate Bill 78, also known as the “Freedom Charter for the Household Workers,’’ is long overdue, perhaps as far back as time immemorial, for as long as there have been family households, kitchens to mind, dirty linens to launder, living rooms to tidy up, kids and elderly to watch over and care for.

To further neglect their plight in terms of minimal working conditions and benefits that rightfully belong to them is already “immoral” or a “sin of omission” on the part of the government and the legislators. We hope that the urgency of this bill evades the perceived dilly-dallying or indecisiveness of this administration!

The bill recently approved by the Senate defines household workers as maids, cooks, yayas and houseboys. In Metro Manila their compensation shall be pegged at P2,500 as monthly minimum wage, while those in chartered cities will receive P2,000. It is noted that some household workers receive salaries as low as P800 per month! This is aside from the present and post-employment benefits from the Social Security System (SSS), Phil-Health and Pag-IBIG fund which respective premiums shall be paid for by the employers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110626com6.html

15 missing, 300,000 affected as ‘Falcon’ leaves RP 06/26/2011

15 missing, 300,000 affected as ‘Falcon’ leaves RP

After dumping rains and causing major floods in various parts of the country, including Metro Manila, tropical storm “Falcon” left Philippine territory early yesterday and is moving further away toward China with its full strengh intact.

Nearly 90,000 people were forced to flee their homes due to floods caused by Falcon, with 15 persons listed as missing, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) yesterday said.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned that rains brought by the southwest monsoon will still fall over Metro Manila.

While Falcon only brushed the eastern side of the country, it still brought torrential rain for most of the week..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110626hed5.html

Noy: Bring it on; GMA: Face issues By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Charlie V. Manalo 06/26/2011


Noy: Bring it on; GMA: Face issues

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Charlie V. Manalo 06/26/2011

The Aquino-Arroyo battle royale raged on yesterday as the Palace dared the camp of former President Arroyo to bring it on amid her allegations of the lack of leadership of Aquino, while a key Arroyo ally challenged the administration to face head on the issues raised by the current Pampanga representative in the House.

Presidential deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said yesterday the former President’s attacks against Aquino was designed to “deflect attention from her refusing to submit to proper procedures for ascertaining accountability.”

“We’ve been parrying the attacks of former President Arroyo’s camp for too long now but this time we are hitting back. We are ready,” Valte said in response to Mrs. Arroyo’s claim that the Aquino administration supposedly did not build on the gains of her administration but eroded them instead.

Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay, an ally of Arroyo, however, claimed it is the Palace that is diverting the people’s attention from its failure to address the country’s pressing concerns, adding the Aquino administration should face head-on the issues raised by Arroyo..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110626hed1.html

SMC’s P13.5-B Caticlan Airport rehab gets Noy’s PPP rolling By Danessa O. Rivera 06/26/2011

SMC’s P13.5-B Caticlan Airport rehab gets Noy’s PPP rolling

By Danessa O. Rivera 06/26/2011

It took Asian conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) to get the President Aquino’s Private-Public Partnership (PPP) initiative going with the inauguration of the renovated Caticlan Airport at a cost of $300 million or P13.5 billion that SMC unit TransAire Development Holdings Corp. is undertaking.

Aquino led yesterday’s inauguration of the airport, which serves as gateway to the world renowned Boracay beaches, saying that it will pave the way for more tourism opportunities for the country.

He said the development of the Caticlan Airport will bring long-term economic benefits for the country, particularly by creating more jobs for the people in the tourism sector. These developments in the Caticlan Airport will make tourists more comfortable, according to the President.

SMC president Ramon Ang said the $300 million investment will cover all developments, including the expansion of the runway, terminal, convention center, commercial centers and hotels. Ang said setting up complete tourism facilities would assure that the airport will draw in more tourists..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110626hed2.html

Authorities to probe target of bomb blast in Bulacan jail By Gina Peralta-Elorde 06/26/2011

Authorities to probe target of bomb blast in Bulacan jail

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 06/26/2011
The Bulacan police are conducting investigation to determine who was the target in the bomb explosion that took place inside the Bulacan provincial jail last Saturday afternoon, police report said.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., two suspects reportedly climbed at the detention facility’s wall and dropped two hand grenades and two molotov bombs inside the detention cell.

The Bulacan police are looking into an angle that the two suspects who hurled the two bombs are targeting Alfredo Mendiola — a prime witness in the murder of car dealer Venson Evangelista.

“Malaki ang posibilidad na si Mendiola ang target ng mga suspects pero nangangalap pa ng konkretong ebidensya ang pulisya,” Cruz added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110626nat3.html

Tornado rips 20 houses in Bulacan 06/26/2011

Tornado rips 20 houses in Bulacan

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan— Twenty houses were partially damaged after a powerful tornado swirled through Meycauayan City and Marilao town as strong winds and heavy rains pounded many parts of Bulacan last Saturday morning.

However, no casualties were reported according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC).

The PDRRMC said that 17 houses were partially damaged in Barangay Bayugo and one in Barangay Bahay Pare in Meycauayan City and two houses were washed out in Barangay Poblacion 1st in nearby Marilao town.

Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado sent a team to assess the total damage wrought by the tornado and provide assistance to the victims..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110626nat1.html

Binay exhorts fellow alumni: Help UP produce more patriotic scholars 06/26/2011

Binay exhorts fellow alumni: Help UP produce more patriotic scholars

Vice President Jejomar Binay has called on his fellow University of the Philippines alumni awardees to take a proactive stance in helping the university produce more Filipino scholars committed to serving the country.

“As awardees, it becomes our solemn duty to do whatever it is within our individual and collective capacities to raise the State University’s standards to the summit of universal excellence,” Binay said during a special dinner for awardees hosted by UP president Alfredo Pascual.

The Vice President noted that UP alumni could help the university “continue to produce an endless and a more abundant stream of Filipino scholars and patriots worthy of the highest aspirations and hopes of our people and country.”

Binay has been chosen as the UP Alumni Association’s (UPAA) Most Distinguished Alumus for 2011. The Vice President accepted his award yesterday, June 25, at the Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110626met5.html

Solon seeks magna carta for aggie, fisheries workers By Charlie V. Manalo 06/26/2011

Solon seeks magna carta for aggie, fisheries workers

By Charlie V. Manalo 06/26/2011

The country can ultimately achieve sustained food security by ensuring the economic and social well-being of its agriculture and fishery development workers.

This is the logic behind the proposed Magna Carta of Agriculture and Fisheries Development Workers, contained in House Bill 4602, principally authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo and co-authored by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.

“This bill seeks to accelerate the development and modernization of Philippine agriculture and, more importantly, improve the economic and social well-being as well as their working conditions and employment status of the sector’s workers,” the young Arroyo said.

The Bicol lawmaker added the proposed measure is a companion statute to the landmark Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 (AFMA) which provides the “policies and plans to the continuing modernization and development of the agriculture and fisheries sector amid the ever-changing demands of globalization and food security.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110626met1.html

Removed from reality EDITORIAL 06/25/2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Removed from reality

Click to enlarge
The probability of Noynoy Aquino being far removed from the reality of the country\'s multi-faceted problems is extremely high, now that he himself has disclosed he does not want to hear any bad news from his Cabinet secretaries and other officials, three of whom he said always brought up problems whenever they seek an appointment with him.

Noynoy also said this was the reason he immediately approves appointments from his secretaries who always bring him \"good news\" and have solutions to the problems.

It has come to the point, he told an audience composed of Department of Public Works and Transportation officials and personnel, that everytime these three secretaries who are the bearers of \"bad news\" ask for an appointment with him, he has to force himself to see them, all the while wondering what bad news they are going to give him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110625com1.html

In the wrong, totally FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/25/2011

In the wrong, totally

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Danding Cojuangco has always been the legitimate owner of the San Miguel Corp. shares of stock and all those anti-Danding groups—esepcially the so-called farmers’ group, many of whom are not really coconut farmers but hired workers in coconut plantations, including the government officials who wrongfully sequestered Danding’s shares, know it. Yet they continue to claim that the shares are not his, and that he had obtained these shares through the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), insisting that the shares are part of ill-gotten wealth.

These groups have slammed the Supreme Court ruling that said the SMC shares were not obtained illegally and that Danding is the legitimate owner of those shares, amounting to some 20 percent.

Anybody in his right mind certainly knows that if one borrows money from a bank to buy anything for himself or a corporation, for that matter, that bought asset—whether shares of stock or real property—belongs to the borrower, as long as he pays off his loans, interest and principal that the bank charges.

Just because Danding took out a bank loan to buy the shares of stock of San Miguel, does not translate to these bought shares of stock in SMC as having been ill-gotten..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110625com2.html

Afghan endgame unclear after Obama decision FEATURE 06/25/2011

Afghan endgame unclear after Obama decision


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s decision for a partial troop withdrawal from Afghanistan may ease political pressure at home, but fails to resolve the overriding dilemma of how to extricate the United States from the long war, experts said.

In announcing Wednesday the departure of 33,000 surge troops by the summer of 2012, Obama split the difference between war hawks and skeptics but left uncertain the terms of an endgame involving a possible deal with the Taliban.

Obama’s plan addressed the military’s wish to keep the bulk of the US surge force in place through this year, while offering the start of a drawdown demanded by members of his own party.

But both sides in the debate over the war came away disappointed, accusing Obama of either abandoning the war effort or deepening an open-ended quagmire..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110625com3.html

Youth groups launch campaign for release of political prisoners including UP student Maricon Montajes

Youth groups launch campaign for release of political prisoners including UP student Maricon Montajes

“My daughter is only one among hundreds victimized by state repression. They are languishing in jail without fair trial, and are charged with common and sometimes petty crimes.” – Concepcion Montajes
Militant youth organizations launched its own campaign for the release of political prisoners with particular focus on those who belong to the sector of youth and students. They have sounded the alarm over the one year detention of 21-year old Maricon Montajes, Ronilo Baes, 19; and Romiel Cañete, 22 years old.

The Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP), Anakkbayan, the League of Filipino Students (LFS), KARATULA, College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), and the National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP) demand the dismissal of all charges against all political prisoners, saying they were not guilty of anything but of practicing their political beliefs.

In the pre-dawn hours of June 3, 2010, the 743rd Combat Squadron of the Philippine Air Force conducted a raid in Taysan, Batangas. The three youth were immediately arrested and charged with frustrated murder and homicide, illegal possession of firearms and violation of gun ban. Since then, they have been detained at the Batangas Provincial Jail.

Prior to her arrest, Montajes was a film major at the student of the University of the Philippines (UP) Baes hails from Batangas while Cañete is from Diliman, Quezon City.

Earlier in May this year, former UP Faculty Regent Prof. Judy Taguiwalo and Act Teacher’s Party List Rep. Antonio Tinio accompanied three members of the Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP) to visit political detainees Maricon Montajes, Ronilo Baes, Romiel Cañete and the Talisay 3 in the Batangas Provincial Jail in Batangas City. (Photo courtesy of Task Force Freedom for Maricon / bulatlat.com)
With the full support of various human rights groups and student organizations, Montajes’ mother, Maria Concepcion or “Ching” has established Task Force Maricon to press for the release of her daughter and her companions. In a short speech she delivered to the 28th Buklod Atenista Leadership Summit last May at the Ateneo de Davao University, Mrs. Montajes said that she was determined to bring her daughter’s case to the attention of the respective peace panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and seek their intervention for Maricon’s immediate release.... MORE

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/24/youth-groups-launch-campaign-for-release-of-political-prisoners-including-up-student-maricon-montajes/

Fact-Finding Mission to expose impact of Aurora Pacific Economic Zone begins June 23

Fact-Finding Mission to expose impact of Aurora Pacific Economic Zone begins June 23

June 23 marks the start of a national fact-finding and solidarity mission in Aurora as peasant advocacy groups seek to expose the impact of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Act (APECO) project in the region. It will continue until June 25.

The regional farmers’ group Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (AMGL, Peasant Alliance in Central Luzon), Panlalawigang Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Aurora (PAMANA, Provincial Peasant Alliance of Aurora) and their national organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) are at the forefront of the mission. They are being joined by representatives from various people’s organizations including the human rights group Karapatan, Pagkakaisa para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (PATRIA), and Katribu.

According to reports, Apeco was established on the strength of Republic Act 10083 which was passed on April 22, 2010. The project covers 13,000-hectares of land. According to repots, five barangays with a total population of 5,430 are directly affected by the project.

Farmers, fisherfolk and Dumagat tribe members continue their protests against the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone program, saying that it’s immediate and long-term effects on the environment, the residents’ livelihood and welfare are grossly destructive.(Photo by Jon Carlos Sarmiento / Bulatlat.com)
Last February, President Benigno Aquino III appointed former Labor secretary Bienvenido Laguesma as Apeco’s board director.

Joseph Canlas, chairman of AMGL insists that the project has destructive effects on the land, livelihood and survival of farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous people living within the project’s territory and the immediate, surrounding areas.
“APECO is the result of a program that came into being through legislation, and like many of its kind, its proponents and supporters mainly sought to financially benefit from it. Those who masterminded the Apeco — primarily Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara and his father Sen. Edgardo Angara and their foreign partners — thought very little if at all what the impact of the project will be on the lives of the marginalized people in Casiguran,” Canlas said.

According to the AMGL, APECO is an expanded version of another, similar project, the Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007 (ASEZA) which, in turn, was established via Republic Act 9490 or the Aurora Special Economic Zone Act of 2007.

Aseza only covered 493-hectares of land involving two barangays, Estevez and Dibet. In Apeco, the land areas of Aseza was expanded, and now it covers the said 13,000 hectares, with two more barangays falling under its jurisdiction. The APECO program is composed of residential, commercial, industrial, eco-tourism, highways, ports and airport projects..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/23/fact-finding-mission-to-expose-impact-of-aurora-pacific-economic-zone-begins-june-23/

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