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The Daily Tribune

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The enemies within DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 10/31/2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

The enemies within

Herman Tiu Laurel
The enemies of the Philippines’ nationhood are running circles around its people, Armed Forces, media, and even its progressive forces. At the forefront of these bewildering issues is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)-GRP maelstrom that has left our soldiers and citizens unable to tell for certain who the enemies are and where they lie — whether across or behind our lines. Many Juan de la Cruzes are beginning to feel that some of their government officials behave like the enemy, making public statements more sympathetic to the motley secessionists than our own soldiers; and granting them cash donations while our armed men suffer crucial shortages.

Confusion will continue to reign as long as Filipinos are blind to the existence of the “enemy within,” or the “traitor class” that persists in executing the will of foreign interests in key institutions of society — be it in government, the church, “civil society,” or the academe. Without the purgation of these elements, there is simply no saving the nation.

The Oct. 18 encounter in Al-Barka, Basilan was never a result of legitimate issues of territorial delineation. This much was admitted by no less than the chairman of the MILF negotiating panel, Mohagher Iqbal, in statements to the press two weeks later on Oct. 29 that say: “The ceasefire agreement provides that such a movement of troops… should be coordinated first through the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) or the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (Ahjag), set up in 2002 for joint efforts to go after criminals and ‘lost commands.’”

Basilan Special Operations Task Force commander Col. Alexander Macario, however, in accusing the MILF of treachery with the death of the 19 soldiers (including three young lieutenants), who were going after wanted fugitives, positively stated that they were coordinating with an MILF official, Hudlimaya Salim, before the operation was launched.

Colonel Macario argued that government soldiers merely banked on the “sincerity” of the MILF, and from what I read of his statement — even if a mistake was perceived to have been made after the initial encounter — why did the MILF reinforce its allies and finish off many of the soldiers, even disemboweling them? If there was a sincere intent to adhere to the spirit of peace, couldn’t it have initiated some truce at the very least?

Then, as if to further rub salt on an open wound, sources in media raised the ignominious idea that the pursuit of the fugitives could have been for the “reward” of several millions each — this as our military officers were just about to explain their actions. Despite the fact that investigations into this angle are just underway and Colonel Macario’s clarification that the two fugitives carried no reward on their heads, the damage to the soldiers’ reputations has been done. To jaundiced eyes, some behind-the-scenes deals must have been entered into despite the fact that rewards are not given to soldiers but to informants.

It’s true that there are many issues to look into; but what should demand intense scrutiny is the P5-million “donation” of government to the BangsaMoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI).

The BLMI can be found in the Asia Foundation Web site as one of the NGOs it supports, and apparently it was with prodding from the Asia Foundation that the GRP peace panel took the cue to donate the P5 million. The Asia Foundation, according to AllGov (a US Web site entirely about the US government), “was established as a Central Intelligence Administration (CIA) proprietary in 1954 with the mission ‘to undertake cultural and educational activities on behalf of the United States government in ways not open to official US agencies.’”

The fact that government peace officials, namely, Teresita “Ging” Deles and Marvic Leonen, as well as their boss, BS Aquino III, are only too willing to accede to the US advice to donate the said amount, or to extend favors that serve as an “aid to the enemy,” depicts these officials’ real traitorous bent.

When news of the murders of our soldiers at the Al-Barka site and the Keystone Kops reaction of Malacañang came out, one of our youngest, twin sons, who once fervently wanted to join the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), remarked, “How stupid can these leaders in Malacañang be?” That’s when I explained that the reason I couldn’t allow him to join the PMA was this kind of political leadership which had no loyalty to its people. I told him, “You could have been one of the three young second lieutenants who were killed in vain at Al-Barka. I could never allow that.”

I have many friends from the PMA — very courageous men — who have exhibited to me up close the best that soldiery has to offer. I pity that they should serve under political leaders who deep down have only scorn for our Men in Arms. I know, for I have also seen these so-called “moderate reformists” up close — from the Ateneo “Sarilikha” that included Deles and company, to the UP’s UPSCA from whence the likes of Leonen and other “leftists” sprung.

The Filipino people’s struggle to preserve the nation’s territory and vast richness, which the founding fathers of the Philippine Revolution strove to establish, is doomed unless the enemies within, the Fifth Column, are vanquished, along with all the appendages of foreign interventionists.

This Fifth Column numbers only a few hundred but is ensconced in Big Business, the country’s banking and financial system, the religious hierarchies, “civil society,” foreign funded NGOs, academia, the underworld and even within the military and police establishment. Their “capo di tutti capi” sits astride Manila Bay, which ominously, was inundated by the raging torrent of an angry sea. Could this be a portent of how the nation can rid itself of its enemies within?

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Saturday, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8; visit http://newkatipunero.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/20111031com5.html

Pathetic negotiators we have EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 10/31/2011

Pathetic negotiators we have

Click to enlarge
The defense issued last Friday by Peace Adviser Teresita Deles on the sloppy policy being followed by the administration of Noynoy, failed to resolve anything and came off as another buck-passing attempt with the former administration predictably made out as the goat.

Deles indicated in her statement that all the troubles that the government is encountering today in the restless areas of Mindanao are the result of policies in the past administration after she left her post; the same way that she and Dinky Soliman’s defense that they were not around anymore when the PEACe bonds anomaly blew up — which is hardly credible, since the PEACe bonds scam was hatched up by the same KOMPIL group and the Code-NGO, plus the Soliman Peace Foundation which got the bulk of the P1.8 billion plus, plus, then getting the Filipinos to pay for this P35 billion worse than Madoff scam..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111031com1.html

Maraming mahirap, maraming kurap FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/31/2011

Maraming mahirap, maraming kurap

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
One doesn’t need a survey disclosing the deteriorating numbers of hungry and impoverished Filipinos to see the truth of the increasing poverty that stalks the nation.

And one also knows that no matter the propaganda of the Dinkys of this world on the “success” of her conditional cash transfer (CCT) political doleout project that throws away billions in taxpayers’ money, the so-called poorest of the poor have become even poorer because obviously, the CCT program is a big failure to bring down the poverty numbers in the country.

Whatever the poor get through the CCT never really is utilized for its purpose. Children still do not get to school and pregnant mothers do not have these health check-ups, nor do the poor have enough to eat. Instead the money they are supposed to be receive go elsewhere — to get themselves TV sets or some other stuff as they sell their ATMs to get these non essentials or the husbands spend the money on drinking binges..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111031com2.html

Fil-Am groups decry Aquino govt’s labor trafficking

Fil-Am groups decry Aquino govt’s labor trafficking

MANILA – Filipino-Americans led by two alliances based in the United States of America belied the Aquino administration’s claims that human trafficking has ceased to be a problem in the Philippines. They held a rally against labor trafficking in front of the Philippine Consulate General office in mid-town Manhattan last October 21.

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in the US (Bayan-USA) said the so-called improved ranking of the Philippines in the the US Watchlist of countries on Human Trafficking is both “deceptive” and “hypocritical” as aggressive labor trafficking operations from the Philippines to the US continue under the Aquino government.

Last June, the US State Department’s released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report wherein the Philippines’ status was said to have improved. Along with Singapore and Laos, the Philippines was taken off the list and the so-called Tier 2. Tier 2 is the category for countries which do not fully meet US standards on human trafficking but have been observed to be making efforts to do so.

The State Department, in its report, praised an “intensified effort” by the Philippines, saying that the country succeeded in convicting 25 trafficking offenders, compared with nine the previous year, including first-ever conviction for forced labor.

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan held a rally, October 21, against labor trafficking in front of the Philippine Consulate General office in mid-town Manhattan.(Photo courtesy by Bayan-USA / bulatlat.com)
According to reports, the issue of human trafficking is a sensitive one for Southeast Asian governments. Countries with human trafficking problems are threatened with a cutoff of US assistance if determined that it is not doing enough to stop trafficking. Indonesia and Cambodia stayed at Tier 2. Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, however, remained on the watch list. The only Asian jurisdictions on Tier 1, meaning full compliance, were South Korea and Taiwan.
Malacañang immediately welcomed the upgrade and declared how US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had previously declared confidence in the Aquino administration’s supported commitment to fight human trafficking..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/27/fil-am-groups-decry-aquino-govts-labor-trafficking/

Fears of attack grow as Kenya battles Somali rebels ANALYSIS 10/31/2011

Fears of attack grow as Kenya battles Somali rebels


NAIROBI — As Kenyan troops make slow progress against Islamist rebels in war-torn southern Somalia, experts and officials are warning of the risk of revenge attacks from home-grown militants back home.

Almost two weeks since its forces crossed into Somalia to battle the al-Qaeda-linked Shebab, Kenya has already suffered grenade attacks blamed on the extremist militia.

Two grenade blasts earlier this week in Nairobi killed one person and wounded dozens of others.

Another four people meanwhile were killed by a rocket propelled grenade near the Somali border, an attack also blamed on Shehab fighters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111031com3.html

DPWH peddles lies C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 10/31/2011

DPWH peddles lies

Jonathan De la Cruz
The more Secretary Babes Singson and his crew at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) led by his most trusted deputy, Raul Asis, try to explain that botched repair job on the Osmea flyover in Makati, the more they get deeper into the rut.

Reporters on the scene of their press conference last Thursday were beside themselves in disbelief when Singson and Asis came out with unbelievable statements and justifications that only muddled rather than cleared the air on this brewing issue.

Singson had earlier allayed fears that he was being blindsided by his assistants after his agency was pounded by complaints that the flyover was again in disrepair after only three weeks of use after declaring that the P100 million works was going to be redone by the contractor, Tokwing Construction, at no cost to the government. Of course, the mere mention of a back job being done at no cost to government already raised eyebrows. But such is Singsons reputation that the critics let his obviously unbelievable statement pass. But with that press conference last week, his Teflon like aura has surely peeled off. He will now have to face the music and how! For starters, try making something of these statements which they issued in that briefing:.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111031com4.html

Troops sent to Basilan not to track MILF — AFP By Mario J. Mallari 10/31/2011


Troops sent to Basilan not to track MILF — AFP

By Mario J. Mallari 10/31/2011

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continues to treat gingerly its operations in Basilan where a so-called area of temporary stay (ATS) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is located and where 19 members of the elite Special Forces (SF) were killed during a clash with combined MILF and Abu Sayyaf fighters last Oct. 18 as it indicated yesterday plans to deploy an Army infantry brigade in the area but added that the deployment was not related to the recent encounter.

President Aquino had embarked on a so-called “all-out justice” offensive against the militants instead of an “all-out war” policy despite the death of the soldiers in his effort not to tick off the MILF, adding that negotiations with the separatist group will continue.

Military Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang confirmed the plan but stressed it has nothing to do with the debacle in Al-Barka town where 19 members of the 13th and 19th SF Companies, four of them junior officers, were killed during a 10-hour clash with MILF and Abu Sayyaf fighters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111031hed1.html

Ligots’ coddlers won’t be spared, says Palace By Danessa O. Rivera 10/31/2011

Ligots’ coddlers won’t be spared, says Palace

By Danessa O. Rivera 10/31/2011

The Palace warned yesterday those aiding the fugitive couple, former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot and his wife Erlinda, saying that there will be liability under the law for those in complicity with the Ligots in evading a recent Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) order for their arrest.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said there will certainly be liability under the law if there are people assisting the Ligots in hiding. “I’m not quite clear if it would be aiding and abetting a fugitive or offense under the penal law of obstruction of justice,” she said.

She added the Palace will also have to see the current situation if there will be persons liable for the sudden disappearance of the couple, noting that there were no restrictions on the Ligots so they are free to travel around the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111031hed2.html

Invite foreign doctors instead of leaving RP, Arroyo asked By Gerry Baldo 10/31/2011

Invite foreign doctors instead of leaving RP, Arroyo asked

By Gerry Baldo 10/31/2011
Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should invite foreign specialists here instead of leaving the country to seek medical treatment.

Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya Jr. and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares proposed that it would be better for the former president to invite foreign doctors and have her spine examined here.

“We respect her right to seek medical treatment abroad but the state should not renege on its responsibility to seek justice,” Abaya said.

But House Deputy Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said Arroyo’s request should be granted out of humanitarian considerations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111031hed5.html

DFA advises Pinoys to postpone travel to Bangkok By Michaela P. del Callar 10/31/2011

DFA advises Pinoys to postpone travel to Bangkok

By Michaela P. del Callar 10/31/2011

Filipinos were advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to postpone traveling to Bangkok in Thailand this holiday break due to the flooding situation in the capital.

Non-essential travel like for tourism purposes should be postponed as the extent of the flooding situation in Bangkok is “changing very rapidly,” the DFA said quoting a report from its embassy there.

“No one is certain what would happen between today and Nov. 1, when the flooding is expected to peak due to the high tides and the large volume of water flowing from the northern provinces through the Chao Phraya river, which is now traversing Bangkok itself,” it said.

Thailand’s government has already asked residents to move their belongings to higher ground in preparation for possible flooding..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111031nat1.html

God season for youth in last days 10/31/2011

God season for youth in last days

God is calling for a “prophetic company” on the final chapter of planet earth existence, especially the youth as His secret end-time weapon to take Heaven to earth where He rules and reigns for eternity.

For this reason, the Church led by the Intercessors for the Philippines, Inc. (IFP) will hold a “National Youth Prophetic Conference” to be held at the Cuneta Astrodome, Roxas Boulevard corner Derham Street, Pasay City which starts today and ends on Nov. 2.

Primarily, the conference is intended for the youth ranges from 15 to 29 years old but it is extended to adults as requested by many adult participants..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111031nat4.html

Real property owners will get their money back — ‘Bistek’ 10/31/2011

Real property owners will get their money back — ‘Bistek’

The Quezon City government is only borrowing money from middle-class and commercial/industrial taxpayers when it starts to collect additional revenues out of the newly approved Socialized Housing Tax (SHT) ordinance which was aimed at funding its housing program for qualified informal settler families.

As a matter of fact, Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista said, real property owners in the city will get 100 percent tax credits on SHT effective after five years of continued payments.

This is one of the taxpayer-friendly features of the measure, said the mayor who recently signed the new tax ordinance in simple ceremonies at the QC hall Bulwagang Amoranto..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111031met2.html

Lim reveals first high-rise building to be built in Manila 10/31/2011

Lim reveals first high-rise building to be built in Manila

The City of Manila will soon have a tall building after an ordinance was approved relaxing the ban on high-rise buildings.

In a simple ceremony, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim presented the symbolic key to the city to foreign investor Bernard Burch, Swiss ambassador of goodwill, who will build the tallest condominium building in the city.

Under Lim’s administration, the city has put up programs which encourage foreign investors to invest their resources and build businesses in Manila..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111031met3.html

P21B fails to stop hunger EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 10/30/2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

P21B fails to stop hunger

Click to enlarge
This year, the government’s budgeted P21.4 billion for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program on which Noynoy is underpinning his effort to eradicate poverty in the country, has proved that the doleouts haven’t created a dent at all.

So much hype has been attached to the program to have Congress’ approval for it and lately it seems that even the World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, was hijacked in his visit to the country to act as a prop for the program. But notice, from photos, at the clothes the children were wearing — all clean and new, as if Dinky and her staff made sure Zoellick won’t see them in their usual rags, perhaps to make that Pushkin impression that indeed, the poor are now well-clothed and well-fed.

The doubled effort for the CCT, or known since the previous administration as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), was imperative since the program is being collaterally doubled to more than P40 billion in the 2012 budget and the congressional approval for it is still the subject of deliberations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111030com1.html

Blame game a turn off FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/30/2011

Blame game a turn off

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy and his aides — especially the former Arroyo Palace aides now with him, seem to think that they can blame all their frigging mistakes on the previous administration, but they should realize that the Filipinos — save for those Yellows and their propagandists in the media who claim to be journalists and columnists — are sick and tired of the Noynoy blame game, well over a year and four months into his presidency.

Noynoy continues to coddle the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), even funding a claimed foundation of the Moro rebels that will ostensibly train Moro leaders. The “gift” of P5 million is peanuts, and it is almost certain that it was not just P5 million that the government has been giving the Moro rebels. It is just the amount that is now public knowledge.

Recall that at the secret meeting, funding for the Moro rebels was certainly discussed, since Noynoy was accompanied by his Budget secretary, as well as his Defense chief, not to mention his Finance secretary. Obviously, there would be more “gifts” for the Moro rebels forthcoming — which will naturally be kept secret..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111030com2.html

Done deal BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 10/30/2011

Done deal

Louie Logarta
After some eight long months of acrimonious wrangling brought about by oppositors, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) approved with flying colors the P75-billion coupling of two of the country’s biggest telecommunications outfits — Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel) which owns the popular Sun Cellular brand.

In giving the go-signal to PLDT’s acquisition of the Gokongwei-controlled Digitel firm, the NTC wrote finis, albeit temporarily, to the frenzied efforts of rival Globe Telecoms, the Philippines’ second-ranked telecommunications company which has a grip on an estimated 30 percent of the market, to derail the merger citing monopoly concerns that are not beneficial to the interests of some 30 million cellphone users. PLDT at present also owns Smart Telecommunications which is the acknowledged leader in the cellular telephone segment of the industry..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111030com4.html

NATO to stay in Libya for good?

NATO to stay in Libya for good?

The death of Colonel Gaddafi made many assume that NATO was going to finish its operation in Libya. Sources from the alliance said that it could happen during the next couple of days indeed. However, it is too early to say that the Libyan operation is over. Ali Tarhouni, an official spokesman for the National Transitional Council asked the NATO administration to prolong its mission in Libya for at least one month.

Why does the Council need NATO to stay? It seems that the city of Sirte has been taken. News agencies report that practically all buildings in the city have been destroyed. Rebels continue to find and destroy Gaddafi followers and they do not need NATO's help.

Saifa Gaddafi said that he would continue the struggle and revenge for the death of his father. It is too early to draw the line in this story. It is not ruled out that the Libyans will rebel again once they have come to realize the advantages of "Arab democracy.".... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/world/africa/27-10-2011/119453-nato_libya-0/

Enough is enough! VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 10/30/2011

Enough is enough!

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
An expression of disgust. A statement of exasperation. A message of warning. All these are combined messages and implications of the notice served that “enough is enough!”

What makes this declaration more loaded and significant is that it was made by no less than the chief of Supreme Court (SC), that is openly and clearly said in public, and that it received a big and long applause from his audience.

His perceived sin is having been appointed Chief Justice by the past administration. He was then subsequently ostracized from high level official events. His other attributed sin is having denied the constitutionality of the so-called “Truth Commission.” He was then a marked man as far as the present administration is concerned..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111030com7.html

Giving aid and comfort to the enemy N.O . N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E Jacinto ‘Jing’ Paras 10/30/2011

Giving aid and comfort to the enemy

N.O . N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E
Jacinto ‘Jing’ Paras
The Constitution of the Philippines provides in Section 7 thereof, that it is the obligation of the State to give paramount consideration to national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right of self-determination. Hence the leader of the nation or the State for that matter is expected to protect and defend any attempt by its citizen/s or foreigners to trample with this sacred conditions embodied in our very Constitution. That is why we see in our statute books that the State is concerned with crimes committed in breach of this constitutional mandate and provides for severe penalties thereof.

One of the crimes committed against National Security is Treason that is defined under Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code. It states that, “Any Filipino citizen who levies war against the Philippines or adheres to her enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the Philippines and elsewhere, commits the crime of treason and is penalized by reclusion perpetua and shall pay a fine not to exceed P100,000..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111030com5.html

Fugitive couple still in RP — DoJ By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/30/2011


Fugitive couple still in RP — DoJ

By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/30/2011

The government citing records from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) indicated yesterday that the fugitive couple, former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot and his wife Erlinda who astounded the whole nation with their horde of wealth amassed likely from diversion of military funds, are still in the country and that authorities are already tracking both after the Court of Tax Appeals ordered their arrest over a tax evasion case the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed against them.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the indicted pair are still in the country and in text messages to newsmen she added that “as per (the) BI database, the spouses Jacinto and Erlinda Ligot are in the country.”
“The NBI has been tasked to locate them and effect their arrest.” she said.

The Ligots are now said to be “missing” as the warrants could not be served to the couple..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111030hed1.html

Come clean on P5-M donation, Noynoy told By Charlie V. Manalo 10/30/2011

Come clean on P5-M donation, Noynoy told

By Charlie V. Manalo 10/30/2011

The Palace needed to come clean on the P5 million in supposed donation to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) President Aquino has said belatedly was financing for the MILF’s Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) that supposedly conducts leadership and management training of the rebels group, House Minority Leader Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said yesterday.

Despite Aquino’s claim on the donation, he, nevertheless, admitted being clueless the other day about the foundation and its officials.

In a statement, Lagman said there is a compelling reason for Malacañang to clarify once and for all the “gray areas” in the P5-million donation Aquino made to the MILF “lest he be accused of treason.”

“There is need for Malacañang to clarify and explain the gray and nebulous areas shrouding the P5 million financial assistance to the MILF which the President approved and ordered remitted to the MILF,” Lagman said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111030hed2.html

Migrante urges gov’t to seek clarification from Saudi on ‘salary protection policy’ 10/30/2011

Migrante urges gov’t to seek clarification from Saudi on ‘salary protection policy’

Amid the announcement of Saudi Arabia labor ministry that it is going to implement a ceiling on remittances by expatriate workers including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) “to protect its economy,” a Filipino migrants rights group yesterday urged the Philippine government to seek clarification on the host government about “salary protection” policy.

Citing local reports, Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said Saudi labor ministry disclosed last week its plan to implement what it called ‘salary protection’ program under which expatriate workers could only sent a prescribe amount of their salaries to be sent home.

A high-ranking Saudi Labor official was quoted by local newspapers saying, “About nine to 10 workers in the country are foreigners. This has led to millions of riyals being transferred back to their home countries, harming the local economy.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111030nat2.html

Bishop, nature watchdog appeal to public not to litter on cemeteries 10/30/2011

Bishop, nature watchdog appeal to public not to litter on cemeteries

A Catholic bishop and an environmental watchdog have jointly appealed to the public not to trash the cemeteries as millions are expected to remember their dearly departed loved ones on Nov. 1 and 2.

In a combined appeal, Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iiguez and the EcoWaste Coalition called for a simple and waste-free commemoration of Undas in the light of the countrys unrelenting problem with garbage.

I exhort everyone to keep our cemeteries safe and clean, said Bishop Iiguez who also heads the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Please dont leave any trash behind. With public cooperation, we can turn the tide on trash and make Undas a pleasant occasion for all, especially for Mother Nature, he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111030nat3.html

ALU bans use of toxic wire gauzes in schools 10/30/2011

ALU bans use of toxic wire gauzes in schools

Despite the assurance of the Department of Education (DepEd) that there are enough “safeguards” in schools to prevent asbestos, the Associated Labor Unions’ (ALU) Ban Asbestos Philippines has maintained that the use of all wire gauzes that contain cancerous asbestos be banned from all classrooms and laboratories.

“We called for recall and ban of asbestos containing wire gauze. I hope they (DepEd) can do beyond ensuring us (that) they exercise safety. The best DepEd can do now is take wire gauzes away from laboratories, chemistry and biology class nationwide,” Alan Tanjusay, ALU Policy Advocacy and Campaign Officer, said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111030nat5.html

‘Bong’ Revilla’s half-brother stabbed, shot dead in P’ñaque 10/30/2011

‘Bong’ Revilla’s half-brother stabbed, shot dead in P’ñaque

A half-brother of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. was shot and stabbed dead inside his home in Parañaque City shortly before midnight Friday.

Parañaque police chief Senior Supt. Billy Beltran said actor Ram Bautista Revilla, 22, was stabbed and shot dead inside his house on President Avenue, Phase 6-A, BF Homes around 11:35 p.m. Friday.

Revilla’s girlfriend Janelle Manahan, who was with the actor during the incident, was also critically wounded by two halloween mask-wearing suspects..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111030met1.html

Makati suspends number coding from October 31 to November 2 10/30/2011

Makati suspends number coding from October 31 to November 2

The city government of Makati has lifted its number coding scheme on Oct. 31, Monday, until Nov. 2, Wednesday, to give way to the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

According to Hermenegildo San Miguel, chief of the Makati Public Safety Department, the city government will implement the three-day suspension of its Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program for the convenience of residents and visitors who will be visiting their departed loved ones in the cemeteries located in the city...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111030met3.html

Look who’s talking EDITORIAL 10/29/2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Look who’s talking

Click to enlarge
In slamming those who criticize the Aquino administration for changing the rules of the game, referring to the sudden decision of the Malacañang tenant to charge 20 percent tax on the zero coupon PEACe bonds, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima insisted that it was not the Noy administration that changed the rules in the middle of the game, but the Code-NGO.

He added it should be the Arroyo administration that should be held accountable for the entire controversy and not the incumbent administration.

He insisted that all government issued papers are subjected to a 20 percent tax and banks should have looked into this as early as 2001, when the bonds were issued.

Purisima was quoted as saying to top officials of investment banks and fund managers that they “should have studied the issue closely before,” stressing that such a tax free bond would not even have gotten to first base in the Aquino administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111029com1.html

The Aquino ‘kakistocracy’ FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/29/2011

The Aquino ‘kakistocracy’

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Oops. A new term has been added to the Noynoy Aquino government: The Noynoy “kakistocracy” which is even worse than the term of a student council government that has been applied to the same Noynoy administration.

Wikepedia — always a lifesaver for a desk report in a hurry — says that kakistocracy comes from the Greek word kakistos, meaning “worst” and combined with the Greek word kratia, which means rule, or government, the term translates to mean a government under the control of a nation’s worst or least-qualified citizens.

Kakistocracy was a term used by the counsel and spokesman of Big Mike Arroyo in describing the Noynoy administration’s insistence on placing his client under a watch list, which he and even the staunch Aquino allies say is illegal and unconstitutional..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111029com2.html

Mining companies attacked by the NPA resume operations through government support

Mining companies attacked by the NPA resume operations through government support

“The people affected by mining has long been asking the government to side with them. It is obvious, however, that government is quicker to respond to the interests of mining companies.”


CAGAYAN DE ORO, Misamis Oriental — Every other day, the Tumambang family of Sitio Opis in San Fernando, Bukidnon is able to eat rice and vegetables. In between, they fill their empty stomachs with bananas, sweet potatoes and cassava.

Tumambang and her family plant rice for their consumption, and at times, sell it to the market. “I knew from the very start that we are poor. But I never realized that much worse is about to come,” Leah Tumambang, 37, told Bulatlat.com.

Given the poverty they are experiencing in their community, she said, most of the residents did not think twice about accepting the Eagle Mining Company to mine in their community sometime in September 2008. The mining company promised, she said, that it would build schools, health centers and other projects that would benefit the people.

People were promised that they would have an opportunity to build concrete home. But most importantly, residents were told that they would be given jobs.

But none of these promises came true. Tumambang said, the mining operations made their lives harder instead.

“The mining company ruined our water system, where we get potable water,” she said, adding that the water pipes, which was donated to the community by a German NGO, was destroyed. “They never bothered to fix it.”

Tumambang added that the mining waste spilled to the river where the community,since time immemorial, usually wash their clothes. With the polluted water in the community, many, most especially the children, suffer from diarrhea – a sickness they never experienced before the mining activities in their area began.
To add to their woes, the mining company also destroyed their crops. Fruit-bearing trees were cut down. Families who owned the trees were compensated, ranging from $116 to $232. “But it is not enough. We could earn so much more from those trees, which are more sustainable for the Lumads.”

“We gathered together, consolidated our ranks and decided that it is time to drive them away,” Tumambang said.


The residents, according to Tumambang, tried all the possible means to drive the mining company away from their community and salvage what was left of their water resources. They sent petition letters and held dialogues with local government officials, But, she said, local officials told them that they could not do anything to help the community because they should honor the signed agreement.

“But why should we honor such agreement if the mining company did not do their part?” she said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/28/mining-companies-attacked-by-the-npa-resume-operations-through-government-support/

Another victim killed in Arakan Valley

Another victim killed in Arakan Valley

Ramon Batoy, 35, was killed a mere three days after Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed also in Arakan Valley.

MANILA – A peasant farmer was killed by soldiers from the 57th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Sitio Upper Lumbo, barangay Kabalantian, Arakan Valley, North Cotabato last Oct. 20. Ramon Batoy, 35, was killed a mere three days after Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed also in Arakan Valley. The soldiers also fired at Batoy’s house, his wife Gina, who is six months old pregnant, and their two children were able to escape.

According to the initial report, before his killing, Ramon Batoy was being accused by soldiers of being a member of the New People’s Army. Batoy is an active supporter of Bantay Katubigan and Bantay Kalikasan of Mt. Sinaka facilitated by the Municipal Agriculture Office of Arakan. He was also a tenant-farmer of the Mayor of Antipas.

The family of Ramon Batoy weeps in rage after he was shot dead by soldiers outside his house in Sitio Upper Lumbo, Barangay Kabalantian, Arakan, North Cotabato. (Photo by Karlos Manlupig / Bulatlat.com)
According to the urgent action alert sent to Bulatlat.com, three soldiers from the 57th IB forcibly entered Batoy’s house. When Batoy resisted, he was hit with rifle butt. Batoy defended himself against the soldiers and struck the soldier with his bolo. Three soldiers nearby, one of whom was covering his face with a mask, riddled Batoy with bullets. A witness saw that one soldier strapped a rifle on Batoy and took pictures of his dead body.

Batoy’s house and seven other houses nearby were then fired upon by the soldiers. Batoy’s brother, Roger, 44, suffered minor wounds on his left foot. He was inside his house with his wife and stepmother. His wife, Janeth noticed bullets passed over her head during the firing.

On the same day, according to human rights groups Karapatan, Noli Badol, 35, farmer and a leader of Sitio Upper Lumbo, Brgy. Kabalantian, Arakan was also mauled by soldiers from 57th IB. “Badol’s legs and hands were tied. Soldiers also fired at his wife Evelyn, 32, who is eight months pregnant, and their children when she attempted to go near Badol. The military took Badol and detained him at the detachment of the 57th Infantry Battalion for several hours,” Karapatan said in a statement.

Celso Batoy, elder brother of Batoy, 47, was also mauled and detained by the soldiers. Both Celso and Badol are both currently detained at the police station of Ammas Municipality in North Cotabato for charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

These incidents resulted to the evacuation of 136 families. Some 43 families from Sitio Lumbo evacuated to Binoongan Elementary School for fear of more attacks from the military.

A farmer points at the bullet holes on the house of Ramon Batoy who was killed in Sitio Upper Lumbo, Barangay Kabalantian, Arakan, North Cotabato. (Photo by Karlos Manlupig / Bulatlat.com)
The following day, Oct. 21, another 93 families evacuated to the same school.
“What kind of ‘peace and development’ is going on in the communities in Arakan? The military’s ‘peace and development’ activities actually means the fake surrender of civilians being forced to admit to being members of the NPA; the mauling, strafing, harassment, threat, intimidation and killings of civilian. We are now seeing the true face of Oplan Bayanihan, the current administration’s counter-insurgency program, where scores of human rights violations take place amid the presence of the so-called Peace and Development Teams (PDTs),” Karapatan Southern Mindanao said in a statement....... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/28/another-victim-killed-in-arakan-valley/

Calls for justice echo as Fr. Pops was laid to rest

Calls for justice echo as Fr. Pops was laid to rest

“Tentorio was “a good priest, a fervent believer who for many years served the people of the Philippines in a courageous and indefatigable way.” Pope Benedict XVI
MANILA – Thousands of people mourning for the passing of Italian missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio or Fr. Pops were in attendance as his body was laid to rest in Kidapawan City, North Cotabao on Tuesday, Oct. 25.In Manila, church and other groups also marched from España to Mendiola bridge wearing black shirts and red ribbons calling for justice for the slain priest.

On Oct. 17, Tentorio was killed outside his convent in Poblacion, Greenfields, Arakan Valley while preparing to go to a clergy meeting in Kidapawan City. According to news reports, Tentorio sustained ten gunshot wounds in the head and chest. Tentorio’s body was buried beside Fr. Tulio Favalli’s tomb.

Tentorio had been living in the country for almost three decades. He first arrived in the Philippines in 1978 and was later on assigned to North Cotabato in 1985. Since being assigned to North Cotabato in 1985, the Religious Discernment Group (RDG)said in a statement, Fr. Tentorio has taken to heart the joys, hopes, grieves and anxieties, particularly of the Monobos in the Arakan Valley.

Seminarians from the Order of Servites joined the march for justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio. (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)

Fr. Greg Obejas said during the solidarity action in Mendiola bridge that Tentorio was only giving the people of Arakan what the government should be providing them. “Fr. Tentorio gave the people of Arakan education, a basic social service that the government should be providing for its citizens. Instead of providing basic social services, the government has even increased the budget for the military. There is no war here. The government should be ashamed for what had happened to Fr. Pops.“

RDG said that Tentorio provided the people of Arakan schools, day care, health services, sustainable agriculture and livelihood projects for this people whom he loved so much. “He was head of the Tribal Filipino Apostolate in the Diocese of Kidapawan. Fr. Fausto believed in community development to empower the people. He therefore questioned the so called “development projects” supported by the government and large foreign corporations, such as plantations and mining, seeing that these were not for the good of the people. He became a vocal critic in defending their rights and the integrity of mother earth,“ RDG added.

According to Karapatan, Tentorio was the 56th victim of extrajudicial killing under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino. Ramon Batoy, a peasant farmer also lives in Arakan Valley was killed on Oct. 20, barely three days after Tentorio’s killing, was the 57th victim of extrajudicial killing. He was killed by alleged members of 57th Infantry Batallion.

Serving the people

(Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)

Tentorio has definitely touched the lives of the people in North Cotabato. As described by the RDG, Tentorio has lived the call of Vatican II, to make his own “the joys and the hopes, the grieves and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted because, these too are the joys and hopes, the grieves and anxieties of the followers of Christ” (Church in the Modern World, No.1)

In a news article Pedro Gumano, a leader of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said, during a tribute for the slain priest, that Tentorio had always been the person the people in Arakan go to to ask for help. “From food , work, education, building daycare center, wedding of a daughter, hospitalization of a child, whatever it is, Pops always came to share his blessings.” Tentorio also provided water system and fixed the road for the people..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/28/calls-for-justice-echo-as-fr-pops-was-laid-to-rest/

Scholars to pursue legacy of Fr. Pops

Scholars to pursue legacy of Fr. Pops

“Father Pops told us, Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for the people. What about us humans? Can’t we sacrifice our lives for our fellowmen and women, too?”
Davao Today
Sidebar: Musings in the first hours following Fr. Pops murder?

ARAKAN, North Cotabato — The coffin where the body of Fr. Fausto “Father Pops” Tentorio lay was bedecked with flowers. As the vigil continued day and night, so was the outpouring from ordinary folks who stayed for the daily mass and tribute. They paid respects to the missionary who spent much of his life serving the poor in Mindanao.

Father Pops’ scholars — from elementary to college – were also present. Most of them, if not all, stayed the whole duration of his wake. “Father Pops kept telling us, don’t base everything on the book and in the four corners of the classroom. You have to go outside and see actual events. The society—that is our book, our classroom,” recounted Rey Rabadon, 20, a resident of Barangay Malibatuan in Arakan.

And as 15,000 people – most of whom he helped and touched their lives — from Davao City, from the provinces, from Manila and Italy, witnessed his burial on October 25, Father Pops’ scholars promised to themselves, to continue and pursue the ideals and legacy of Father Pops.

(Photo courtesy of WM.com / bulatlat.com)
“Father’s death will not stop me from moving forward. It will not weaken me,” said Rabadon, “I know that with Father Pops’ help, there are people who are willing to help me and those who are interested to go to school.”

Rabadon, a Bisaya, is currently in his third year, taking Bachelor of Science in Forestry at the Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology. He has been Father Pops’ scholar since primary school. Two of his siblings were Father Pops’ scholars until they got married. One graduated high school while the other one finished only third year in secondary school.?

Orphans since 2003, after both their parents drowned in the river after a heavy rain, Father Pops practically became their surrogate father.

“Father Pops took care of us. He supported us all throughout. And if he can’t go to us personally, he assigned his staff to deliver his support,” said Rabadon. “Everything that we need in school, he gave it to us since we became scholars until the time of his death,” he added. ?

For Isabel Indao, “(E)ven if he’s already gone, I promise to finish my education. He is my inspiration.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/28/scholars-to-pursue-legacy-of-fr-pops/

Create conditions for peace, not all-out war, Aquino told

Create conditions for peace, not all-out war, Aquino told

The GPH talks whether with the MILF or with the NDFP remain bogged down until today, mired as these are in the GPH’s efforts to “box it in its counter-insurgency program called Oplan Bayanihan.” – Satur Ocampo of Makabayan

Sidebar: A saga of all-out euphemisms vs peace, the Moro and the ordinary people 

MANILA – The script and the action do not match. The Aquino government flaps its wings like a dove but its actions remain even more hawkish.

These, in a nutshell, are the reactions of various progressive peoples’ groups to announcements aired by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and his trusted officials regarding peace talks, and this government’s seemingly opposite instructions to its troops on the ground.

“President Aquino has categorically stated that he will not wage an all-out war against the MILF but his ‘all-out justice operations’ have all the characteristics of Estrada and Arroyo’s all-out war against the MILF and the Moro people,” said Antonio Liongson, spokesman of the Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA), in a statement.

The MCPA describes Aquino’s ‘All Out Justice’ as just “a veiled All-Out War.”

Given Aquino’s “tacit directive” clothed in a supposed all-out justice, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has begun “pursuit operations against criminal elements,” as signaled by massive air strikes in Zamboanga Sibugay in the South.

As of October 25, these “pursuit operations” have driven 2,900 families, or about 16,000 individuals, to flee to evacuation centers. The operation is a direct response to the outrage over the AFP’s bungled operations to “arrest” an MILF commander last week in Basilan. The said operation backfired– it is the military troops and not the forces of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or any of their target “criminals” who suffered more casualties.

The AFP has admitted to sustaining 19 casualties last week in their Basilan operations. Though lapses in their operations are being pointed out and studied now in an investigation at the Senate, an all-out war or military solution has also been pushed more strongly since last week, especially by the followers and loyalists of “two militarist presidents of the Philippines, Marcos and Estrada,” as the MCPA described Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Panfilo Lacson. These two, they said, are “incorrigible fascists and unrepentant human rights violators.”

Women in Mindanao crying over their relatives who are ‘murdered and harassed’ during an alleged AFP operation. (Photo by Karlos Manlupig / bulatlat.com)
As the AFP conducts air strikes against “lawless elements,” MILF officials have vehemently denied that their members are ‘lawless.’

Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice-president, said yesterday that the MILF is willing to support efforts to go after “lawless” elements.” In fact, going after “lawless elements” is one of the responsibilities of the ceasefire committee of the Government of the Philippines (GPh) and the MILF, he said. He reiterated in Filipino that their forces “have complied with the ceasefire committee’s provisions.”

Jaafar urged the Philippine government to implement the provisions of their Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) and the responsibilities of the ceasefire committee. He said that it should be the task of the ceasefire committee, based on their ceasefire agreement, to discuss the pursuit of those alleged ‘lawless elements.’

“The civilians are suffering. They are crowding the evacuation centers and they have been forced to abandon their livelihood,” Jaafar said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/27/create-conditions-for-peace-not-all-out-war-aquino-told/

Another notorious MILF leader missing; security forces’ intel failures scored By Mario J. Mallari and Michaela P. del Callar 10/29/2011

Another notorious MILF leader missing; security forces’ intel failures scored

By Mario J. Mallari and Michaela P. del Callar 10/29/2011

Despite declaring victory in its Zamboanga Sibugay offensives, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continued to hold off its guns against Moro Islamic Liberation Front elements in Basilan, boosting suspicion that the group of wanted MILF commander Dan Laksaw Asnawi could have escaped from the island-province.

At present, AFP Peace Process Office chief Col. Dickson Hermoso stressed the military is “still developing the situation” in Basilan, particularly in Al Barka town where 19 members of the Army’s elite Special Forces (SF) were killed during a clash with combined MILF and Abu Sayyaf rebels last Oct. 18.

“We are still developing the situation because this will be intelligence-driven…these are all hinged in proper planning and, of course, utmost observance of rule of law, and should be people-centered, without unnecessary damage or casualty from unintended targets,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111029hed2.html

Noy donates funds, but clueless on MILF’s BLMI By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Mario J. Mallari 10/29/2011

Noy donates funds, but clueless on MILF’s BLMI

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Mario J. Mallari 10/29/2011

President Aquino has provided seed money of P5 million to the Moro rebel chieftain ostensibly for the establishment of a Muslim foundation of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) called the Bangsamoro Leadership Management Institute (BLMI), whose aim is claimed to be geared toward training and development of BangsaMoro leaders, but remains clueless about the foundation and its officials.

Malacañang admitted yesterday it had no idea who is running the alleged MILF-BLMI foundation and showed not the slightest hint of its history and background as an organization which would have qualified it as a beneficiary of a P5-million donation from the government.

In one of his usual Freudian slips, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda admitted that the Palace has no idea at all on who are the people running the BLMI but insisted anyway that the the P5 million donated to the organization by the government using taxpayers’ money was a token of goodwill to the insurgents who are now largely being blamed for killing 19 soldiers in Al-Barka, Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111029hed1.html

NTC urged to strictly monitor PLDT-Digitel transactions 10/29/2011

NTC urged to strictly monitor PLDT-Digitel transactions

Government regulator National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should ensure that PLDT and Digitel comply with the terms of their franchises and existing laws on fair competition after approving the merger of the two companies, a Senate panel yesterday said.

According to the Senate committee on public services, the NTC should strictly monitor the transaction and see to it that consumer interest is protected.

“The NTC must make sure that the prerequisites it had set regarding the share-swap deal will be fully complied by both companies,” it added.

In March, PLDT announced its plan to acquire a majority stake in Digital Telecom-munications Philippines (Digitel), which owns the Sun Cellular brand, in a deal amounting to P74.1 billion..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111029hed4.html

House approves bill creating DICT on 2nd reading 10/29/2011

House approves bill creating DICT on 2nd reading

The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a priority measure that would create the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which shall be the primary government entity to plan, promote and help develop the ICT sector and ensure reliable and cost-efficient communications facilities and other multi-media infrastructure and services in the country.

House Bill No. 4667 or the “Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2011” aims to integrate the management of two diverse concerns: transportation and communications into one department which is the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC); and develop a Philippine information and communications technology in accord with world-class standards, thereby ensuring a better future for all Filipinos.

The proposed law was endorsed for plenary approval by the House committees on government reorganization chaired by Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Cesar Jalosjos, on information and communications technology chaired by Taguig City Rep. Sigfrido Tinga, and on appropriations chaired by Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111029nat3.html

DoJ orders filing of tax evasion raps vs Caparas By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/29/2011

DoJ orders filing of tax evasion raps vs Caparas

By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/29/2011

Filing of criminal tax evasion charges has been ordered by the Department of Justice (DoJ) against national artist Carlo J. Caparas for over P101.8 million in unpaid taxes from 2006 to 2009.

Caparas, who is registered with the BIR as “professional engaged in dramatic arts and others,” is known for producing and directing the movie The Maggie de la Riva Story and GMA-7 shows such as Gagambino, Panday and Totoy Bato.

In a resolution, the DoJ found probable cause in the complaint filed by Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in October last year against Caparas for 48 counts of purported violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).

A preliminary investigation conducted by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rosanne Balauag showed that the popular director failed to file value-added tax returns for the incomes worth P850,951,388.60 that he received from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for two TV programs he produced from 2006 to 2009, Ang Pangarap Kong Jackpot and Kroko..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111029met1.html

Militant lawmakers egg gov’t to make sure GMA is coming back 10/29/2011

Militant lawmakers egg gov’t to make sure GMA is coming back

Two militant solons yesterday joined other lawmakers in calling on the government to make sure that former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will return to the country after undergoing medical treatment abroad.

According to Bayan Muna Reps. Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares, Mrs. Arroyo should guarantee that she is returning to the country even as they pointed out that an independent group of doctors should examine the former president and come up with recommendations on whether there is indeed a need for her to seek further treatment abroad.

Sources from the House of Representatives said Mrs. Arroyo had recovered and according to Len Bautista Horn, her chief of staff and spokesman, doctors have already given her the go-signal to travel abroad.

San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito said it is unlikely Mrs. Arroyo would return to the country and face all the charges filed against her..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111029met3.html

QC’s 20% real estate tax hike DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 10/28/2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

QC’s 20% real estate tax hike

Herman Tiu Laurel
The Quezon City (QC) mayor has a P500-million pork barrel while every city councilor has a P44-million annual budget. These are over and above the city’s entire budget of P2.7 billion per annum. QC already has one of the highest tax structures in the country. Its residence certificate tax alone is 10 times higher than Makati’s. And even as those in city hall officialdom claim to be pro-poor — the reason they green-lighted this controversial Socialized Housing Tax (SHT) ordinance last Oct. 25 — QC has one of the highest employment taxes in the country.

Quezon City has ordinances taxing everything, including the office coffee maker. It has a tax on household water pumps even if the homeowner, not the local government, has invested in its drilling, installation, and procurement (notwithstanding the fact that the water pump is to be situated within his own property). It has an environmental tax but with no environmental services. It taxes fast food outlets operating in malls that already pay environmental service fees — charges which are then passed on to the mall’s tenants — thereby illegally taxing these small stall owners twice. And the list goes on.

Unfortunately, QC has been virtually under the same city administration since Edsa II; it is expected to continue through several more terms unless its citizens wake up to the truth about the corrupt dynasty that has entrenched itself in city hall.
Although 2010 brought in a change of name in the Mayor’s Office, with the electoral victory of the former vice mayor, comedian Herbert “Bistek” Bautista, for all intents and purposes, the ancien régime continues not only because a very young daughter of the previous mayor is now Bautista’s vice but primarily because the old boys of Sonny Belmonte continue to “rule the roost.”

For instance, the former city treasurer, touted as having generated a P6.5-billion budget surplus, is now the city administrator; while behind the scenes is Taddy Palma whose name elicits from QC Circle locators a raised hand with thumb and middle finger formed into a circle.

In the last elections where the former mayor campaigned for his congressional seat, media were flooded with glowing reports of his surplus of P6.5 billion in the city’s coffers. This one from the Philippine Star, dated June 20, 2010 by Reiner Padua, said, “After nine years of being mayor of Quezon City, congressman-elect Feliciano Belmonte Jr. will be leaving the city government with P6.5-billion cash on hand and in banks.”
Yeah, right!

If there is this surplus in Quezon City trumpeted just a little over a year ago, then why did current Mayor Herbert Bautista, Vice Mayor Josefina Belmonte, and the city council deem it necessary to pass a new real estate tax of P180 million or so, purportedly for “socialized housing” or SHT?

When confronted by this P6.5-billion surplus claim, Mayor Bautista simply denies its existence or says that the entire amount has already been used up for salaries and whatnot — which is highly improbable.
So who is lying, Mayor Bautista or the former mayor and his city treasurer, now administrator Vic Endriga? Can the vice mayor-daughter of Belmonte tell us who the liar is among them?

Mayor Bautista, along with his political caboodle in Quezon City, says the tax is a “measly” 0.05 percent of every P100,000 assessed value of real estate property; but that is deceptive and misleading to the extreme.
Based on the “basic real estate tax” for urban centers in Metro Manila of 2 percent, the tax hike approved by the current QC administration adds 0.05 percent for every P100,000 of assessed value, which means P5,000 in SHT for a P1-million property. This is aside from the P20,000 representing the 2-percent basic tax, which means that the SHT is actually an increase of 20 percent or more!

Many Quezon City civic leaders have gone to the city council hearing to oppose this, with city officials, particularly councilors, not being able to give sufficient and rational justification for the measure. One of the most vehement in imposing this tax hike is the “pro-poor” 4th District Councilor Edcel “Grex” Lagman Jr., son of a prominent House apologist for Gloria Arroyo, leading QC residents and homeowners to shake their heads and say, “So young, so c...”

Then, as if to assuage the anger of taxpayers, the city council promises to rebate this exaction five years later — liars all!

If the city council and administration want to do something right for a change, they can begin by investigating the P6.5-billion surplus of Belmonte that is now nowhere to be found. They should also cleanse themselves of the reeking stink from the 3,000 ghost employees that the new Commission on Audit uncovered in city councilors’ payrolls, amounting to over P200 million a year (which investigation was triggered by our July 15 “Quezon City CoA-llusion?” article).

Further, the city council should investigate the North Triangle urban poor relocation scandal involving hundreds of millions and the “favorite contractor” of Belmonte and a former FVR Finance man alleged to have headed the “QC government’s real property pilferage.”

But instead of doing good for QC residents who are filling their city’s coffers with tax payments, these local politicians prefer to keep milking the city’s taxpayers for their imagined “pro-poor” socialized housing program, which is just an excuse for more graft.

Quezon City residents interested in studying the abuse of their city’s taxes can visit http://www.better-qc.org set up by QC anti-graft crusaders Johnny Chang, Rod Kapunan, Andy Rosales, et al. We understand that court suits are already being prepared against this tax hike. Maybe they might as well consider “Occupy QC Hall” very soon.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Saturday, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8 — this week: “Quezon City Homeowners Oppose 20% Real Estate Tax Hike;” visit http://newkatipunero.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/20111028com5.html

Stupid is, as stupid does EDITORIAL 10/28/2011

Stupid is, as stupid does

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The Palace is taking the whole nation as a fool in trying to attribute the P5 million shopping money it gave officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during the first round of the peace meeting in Malaysia as having been forced out of the negotiators since it was a commitment from the previous administration.

Clearly, it was negotiator Marvic Leonen who handed out the money and commitment or not, there appeared to be no stipulations made on the amount, making it a pure bribe.

The Palace is now trying to make up for what could be a major oversight on the bribe and Noy’s mouthpiece, Edwin Lacierda, is now saying that the MILF would be made to account for the amount.

The amount was plain and simple grease money and Leonen casually dismissed the amount when asked about it in Malaysia, saying it was for the funding of a Muslim foundation and did not say anything about it being a commitment from Gloria Arroyo..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111028com1.html

Unconstitutional and persecutorial FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/28/2011

Unconstitutional and persecutorial

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is so power-struck and getting ready to have her “achievements” by way of persecuting the Arroyos in time for the senatorial elections that she goes to the extent of usurping the power that is reserved for the courts, through her constant issuance of her watch list order and even another order allowing the lifting of the WLO for one to travel abroad.

Not only that. Even as the person — in this instance, Gloria Arroyo, who has been placed under a watch list by De Lima, has already provided the medical certificates, there went De Lima, reportedly insisting on having a third medical opinion before lifting the WLO on Gloria.

Patients have heard of having second medical opinions for them to make certain whether say, one should undergo surgery, or whether the first doctor erroneously diagnosed the patient’s ailment.

But a third opinion? That’s already called persecution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111028com2.html

The Large Families that rule the world

The Large Families that rule the world

 Some people have started realizing that there are large financial groups that dominate the world. Forget the political intrigues, conflicts, revolutions and wars. It is not pure chance. Everything has been planned for a long time.

Some call it "conspiracy theories" or New World Order. Anyway, the key to understanding the current political and economic events is a restricted core of families who have accumulated more wealth and power.

We are speaking of 6, 8 or maybe 12 families who truly dominate the world. Know that it is a mystery difficult to unravel..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/business/finance/18-10-2011/119355-The_Large_Families_that_rule_the_world-0/

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