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Noynoy, off to being RP’s biggest spender EDITORIAL 01/06/2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Noynoy, off to being RP’s biggest spender

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
01/06/2011
If one goes by the spending record of Noynoy Aquino, both as congressman and senator, it can already be gleaned that as president and chief executive of the land, Noynoy will continue incurring big expenses without, however, anything to show for such huge expenses.

A Commission on Audit (CoA) report of 2009 on Senate expenditures, Noynoy, then a member of the Senate, was pegged as one of the top three big spenders among 23 senators, using up to close to P22 million for that year.

And to think the presidency was not even in the realm of his consciousness at that time.

In the CoA report on Noynoy’s expenses, P11.31 million went to the salaries and other benefits of his staff; P396,635 for meetings and conferences; P101,920 for rental of office space and equipment; P454,000 in extraordinary and miscellaneous expense and P9.1 million in other maintenance and operating expenses..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110106com1.html

X’mas present from the Court of Appeals BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 01/06/2011

X’mas present from the Court of Appeals

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
01/06/2011
The management and board of directors of Philex Mining Corp., said to be the biggest and most profitable mining company operating in the country today, will not relish the fact that their organization is again being featured in a negative light.

Some three months ago, Philex mines, one of the blue chip stocks listed in the local bourse, hit the front pages of several newspapers (and stayed there for several days) after the Senate finance committee chaired by Franklin Drilon revealed to the public that certain Arroyo government officials connected with the Social Security System (SSS) had “inappropriately” received tens of millions as part of their remuneration package from the corporation.

The startling revelations were made by Drilon in the course of an investigation into fantastic salaries that certain GMA favorites were getting from the government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) to which they were assigned. The committee discovered that certain heads of GOCCs were making a killing in office by helping themselves to earnings of the corporations they were supervising, which is prohibited by law. Under Republic Act 7656, GOCCs are supposed to remit at least 50 percent of net earnings to the national treasury, and failure to do so constitutes malversation of public funds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110106com4.html

Student council government FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/06/2011

Student council government

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
01/06/2011
Student council government the Nonoy Aquino government is truly run, for its key aides to not even know that a writ of possession granted by a court to the government does not translate to that government being allowed to operate and exercise rights of ownership — as long as there is still the pending matter of paying the owners of the expropriated property compensation in full.

Even a student council government would perhaps have known, or at least researched into the Supreme Court decision on such an issue before claiming that there is no such ruling from the high court as Noynoy’s aides have stated.

For a number of years after the Arroyo administration expropriated the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3 (NAIA-3), in defiance of the exhortation of the court judge then, the late Henrick Guingayon, and upheld by the high court in GR 166429, where government was prohibited from performing acts of ownership, such as awarding concessions and leasing any part of the NAIA-3 to other parties, the government did so anyway, and worse, these illegal acts are being continued by the Noynoy government that remains defiant, saying that government has been given the right to possess the facility and exercise ownership rights..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110106com2.html

Sudan poll a challenge to Africa’s colonial borders ANALYSIS 01/06/2011

Sudan poll a challenge to Africa’s colonial borders

ANALYSIS

01/06/2011
JUBA — A referendum on independence for south Sudan on Sunday raises tough questions about the legitimacy of Africa’s colonial borders and sets a precedent for existing secessionist movements, analysts say.

“There is an uneasiness in Africa toward this independence because it breaks with a tradition (of borders being inviolable) and because it seems to be taking place under US pressure,” says Roland Marchal, Sudan specialist and senior researcher at the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris.

“This is seen as if it were a Berlin II, with the colonial powers carving up Africa again,” he said, referring to the 1885 Berlin Conference where European powers divided and colonized Africa among themselves.
A peace accord in 2005 between the mostly Arab Muslim north and the largely Christian African south ended a 22-year civil war in Sudan, with an agreement that southerners could vote for independence after six years..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110106com3.html

Cheap Chinese copies shrink India’s silk sari industry FEATURE 01/06/20

Cheap Chinese copies shrink India’s silk sari industry

FEATURE

01/06/2011
NEW DELHI — For centuries, the stunning silk saris woven by hand in the holy city of Varanasi have been prized by Indian women, but an influx of cheap Chinese-made copies is destroying the local industry.

Badruddin Ansari, one of the few weavers still in business, says that most of his former colleagues now struggle to eke out a living as vegetable sellers, tea stall operators or rickshaw drivers.

“When a person loses his home and his livelihood, where can he go?” he asked angrily.

“I hope the art of making Banarasi saris will survive. The government must ban these imported saris or put a heavier duty on them to save the domestic industry.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110106com6.html

Punishment by humiliation COMMENTS By Ronald Roy 01/06/2011

Punishment by humiliation

COMMENTS

By Ronald Roy 01/06/2011
Appalling is why the Magdalo and other rebel soldiers applying for amnesty are being required to admit guilt for having committed allegedly mutinous acts against the previous regime headed by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, unqualifiedly the worst Filipino “president” ever. I don’t believe the Danilo Lims, Ariel Querubins, Antonio Trillaneses and their kindred spirits deserve this humiliation.

The Oakwood Apartelle siege staged by the Magdalo soldiers led by then Navy Lieutenant Trillanes, now a senator of the republic, was essentially an impassioned search for answers, specifically in respect of why they had to continue waging war with enemies of the state who were armed with hardware belonging to the military, and why they had to do so in ignominious shoddy uniforms and worn out shoes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110106com7.html

Political will VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 01/06/2011

Political will

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
01/06/2011
Many things have been said for many times about something many individuals have been clamoring for, about the many benefits of the so-called “political will” in governance — especially so on the part of the present corporate leadership.

The common perception is that there is a big mixture of the excellent and the mediocre, the good and the bad in the overall conduct of the incumbent administration.

Some good things: Exorcism of government agencies reeking with officials with super-big salaries and great perks. Amnesty for the then dissenting military personnel. Release of the “Morong 43” — minus three. Attempts for socio-economic development. Intention to redeem poor and chosen families through cash transfers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110106com5.html

Poll operators on list of Comelec officials replacements—Solon By Angie M. Rosales 01/06/2011

Poll operators on list of Comelec officials replacements—Solon

By Angie M. Rosales 01/06/2011

Some alleged poll fraud operators are among those being considered to replace outgoing Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo and retiring commissioners, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano disclosed to reporters yesterday.

The senator, however, refused to name names as to who he was referring to, saying that he will only do so when the proper time comes or if and when a shortlist is submitted to President Aquino.

At a press conference, Cayetano said that based on reports that have been coming out in the papers, some names being mentioned as being considered for the would-be vacated posts are alleged to be known “election operators” in previous poll exercises.

“If this will hold true in the end, it’s out of character of the Aquino administration to pick as the next chairman or commissioners some known operators in the industry of electoral cheating..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110106hed1.html

Palace: NAIA-3 row to be resolved in RP interest, not German no-aid threats By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/06/2011

Palace: NAIA-3 row to be resolved in RP interest, not German no-aid threats

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/06/2011

Reacting to reports that the German government will not be releasing the P2 billion in aid for Mindanao until a resolution of the airport terminal row comes about and will likely shy away from investments in the country, Malacañang continued with its defiant stand, saying that the Palace will be putting the interests of the Philippine government over Germany’s Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide (Fraport AG).

However, the Palace also expressed willingness to finally resolve the longstanding disputes among all the parties concerned with respect to the operation of the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3).

At the same time, it was disclosed that the legal fees, said to amount to $50 million for the legal team hired by government to handle the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco) and Fraport, among whom are former Justice Florentino Feliciano and now Supreme Court JusticeLourdes Sereno, have not been liquidated at all.

Malacañang earlier denied that such an amount was paid and received by the legal team..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110106hed2.html

Trillanes claims at ease in admitting mutiny guilt By Mario J. Mallari 01/06/2011

Trillanes claims at ease in admitting mutiny guilt

By Mario J. Mallari 01/06/2011

Admitting guilt for breaching the Constitution, which was required under Proclamation 75 that offered amnesty for soldiers who mutinied against former President Arroyo, was a breeze yesterday for former Navy lieutenant and now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV who filed his application for pardon, along with 19 other Magdalo officers.

Questions were raised on how the accused mutineers will treat the guilt admission provision in the proclamation after former Scout Ranger head and retired Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim rejected availing himself of the offered pardon on condition of the admission of guilt but Trillanes said it was easy for his group yesterday to admit guilt and feel good about it.

“We are man enough to admit we have broken rules in the pursuit of morale cause and we faced it like men. We were jailed and the others were separated from the service. So, it’s very easy for us to agree to that,” Trillanes said.

“I feel good. This is actually a milestone in our lives, this is a step to our ultimate freedom and we welcome this opportunity to serve this country once again,” said Trillanes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110106hed3.html

Senate panel set to discuss ethics complaints vs ‘Ping’ 01/06/2011

Senate panel set to discuss ethics complaints vs ‘Ping’

01/06/2011
Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson might get his wish after all — subjecting fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson to “expulsion” proceedings.

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday revealed to reporters the planned move to have the ball rolling on the matter of the ethics complaint against Lacson, saying he will activate the ethics and privileges committee which he chairs when Congress reopens this month.

The move, however, had nothing to do with the call of Singson against Lacson, in retaliation to critics of his son, embattled Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson, who want his son expelled from the lower chamber following his involvement in a drug-related case in Hong Kong.

Cayetano assured due process in handling the matter, dismissing the scenario that the case will be fast-tracked emphasizing.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110106hed4.html

Garcia plea bargain deal approved in May — Solgen By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/06/2011

Garcia plea bargain deal approved in May — Solgen

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/06/2011

The Sandiganbayan has issued a resolution accepting the plea bargain between prosecutors and former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia as early as May 4, 2010, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) yesterday revealed.

Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz also informed reporters that his office has already filed a 17-page Urgent Motion for Leave to Intervene and a 34-page Omnibus Motion-in-Intervention in a bid to nullify and set aside the resolution granting the plea bargain agreement which was filed on March 16, 2010 through “Joint Motion for Approval of Plea Bargaining Agreement” of the accused and Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).

The OSG stressed that the May 4, 2010 resolution of the Sandiganbayan Second Division headed by Presiding JusticeEdilberto Sandoval granting the plea bargaining agreement of Garcia and the OSP of the Office of the Ombudsman should be nullified on the ground that the evidence against Garcia was strong.

Cadiz and Malacañang officials cited records they have culled from the courts including the P200-million check signed by Garcia to emphasize that evidence of guilt was strong against the erstwhile financial manager of the AFP on charges of plunder..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110106hed5.html

Death toll from rains rises to 25 01/06/2011

Death toll from rains rises to 25

01/06/2011
The death toll from landslides and floods in the country rose to 25 yesterday, with those trying to profit from the disaster by salvaging flotsam becoming victims themselves, officials said.

Although major highways are now open after landslide rubble was cleared away, large areas of the country’s south are still covered with floodwaters, said regional civil defense chief Blanche Gobenciong.

“About 70 percent of our region is still flooded,” Gobenciong told Agence France Presse by telephone from Butuan City.

The nationwide toll doubled overnight as heavy rains fell again after a brief respite on Tuesday, and Gobenciong said some of the seven dead in and around Butuan were trying to salvage floating logs to sell to lumber firms..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110106hed6.html

Singson’s House expulsion depends on HK court decision By Gerry Baldo 01/06/2011

Singson’s House expulsion depends on HK court decision

By Gerry Baldo 01/06/2011

The final decision of the House of Representatives on the issue of whether or not to expel Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson as an offshoot of his being charged with drug trafficking in Hong Kong would largely depend on his admission of guilt and the decision of the court, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said.

“I think if there’s a final decision there... it’s based on a confession or admission of guilt. I think common sense says you don’t have to start from day one, from scratch and so forth, we can take cognizance of a lot of things,” the Speaker said.

The Speaker explained that at this point in time there is a need for the House ethics committee to gather all pertinent documents including the report of a congressional team headed by the vice chairman of the House committee on justice Marikina Rep. Romero Federico Quimbo who went to Hong Kong to monitor developments in the Singson case..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110106nat1.html

OFWs seek lifting of ban on Afghan deployment By Michaela P. del Callar 01/06/2011

OFWs seek lifting of ban on Afghan deployment

By Michaela P. del Callar 01/06/2011

Hundreds of Filipino workers in Afghanistan have appealed anew to President Aquino to lift the Philippine deployment ban there as the deadline nears for the expulsion of foreign workers from countries that impose a travel ban to the strife-torn state.

Lifting the ban, they said, would allow more Filipino workers “to be employed gainfully in the safe and secure conditions in US bases.”

In a statement, the Filipinos in Afghanistan (FIA), an organization of more than 1,000 Filipinos working in high-level and supervisory positions with international organizations and skilled workers from 64 US bases all over Afghanistan, said the ban would render hundreds of Filipinos jobless once they return to the Philippines.
More than 6,000 Filipino workers in Afghanistan are in danger of being sent back to the Philippines by the end of this year as the US Central Command ordered all contractors in that country against Third Country Nationals (TCN)whose domestic laws prohibit their citizens from traveling and working in Afghanistan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110106nat7.html

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