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Straight path downhill EDITORIAL 01/14/2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Straight path downhill

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People outside looking in seem not all impressed by Noynoy who trumpets daily his so-called straight path his administration is taking. The conservative United States think tank Heritage Foundation, however, believes that the country is even retrogressing in terms of the government’s battle against corruption.

In the index of economic freedom that it undertakes yearly with the authoritative Wall Street Journal, the Philippines was found at the lower half of the ranking, at 115 of 179 nations and among countries with a “mostly unfree” economy.

A major factor for the poor showing of the country was the existence of still “pervasive corruption” more than half a year into the Aquino administration. The Heritage index showed the performance of the country in the index had reached its highest around the period 1997 to 2000, which was the time when Joseph Estrada was President but who, ironically, was forced out of office on trumped-up corruption charges by the very same elite people who are now allied with Noynoy and who imposed Gloria on the nation as successor of Erap who, to this very day, has never claimed to have abdicated his post..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110114com1.html

Piecemeal amendments? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/14/2011

Piecemeal amendments?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Obviously following Noynoy’s line that the Charter should not undergo changes during his presidential term, presidential ally Sen. Serge Osmeña Wenesday proposed a no-additional expense mode for a Charter change (Cha-cha) move, either through a constituent assembly (con-ass), i.e. two chambers voting separately on a three-fourths vote to amend only certain provisos of the Charter, or do it the American way, which was, he informed the reporters, by legislating amendments to the US Constitution, which took anywhere from 10 to 15 years introducing some 26 amendments to the original American Constitution.

That sounds easy enough, despite providing all the amendments necessary within a decade and a half span, but which is certainly not practical at all and too long a time to effect changes in the Charter. Besides, another chief executive can have the Charter amended.

Serge says that calling for a duly elected constitutional convention is much too dangerous. An elected con-con can be no more dangerous than electing members of Congress. And if we can elect members of Congress which has proven much too dangerous since majority of its members become instant political turncoats and lapdogs of the Malacañang tenant, why should it be dangerous to elect delegates to the con-con to draft a new Charter?

The easy answer to this is that those who reject a change in the Charter are those who fear the system changing from presidential to parliamentary, where obviously their anointed will be a nobody in Parliament..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110114com2.html

Philippine traffic woes worsen as car sales boom focus 01/14/2011

Philippine traffic woes worsen as car sales boom


MANILA — Lawyer Meg Gutierrez gets up before dawn in an effort to beat the worst of Manila’s traffic but still ends up spending almost two hours driving the short distance to work.

In the evening Gutierrez often has to navigate her car through the Philippine capital’s peak commute period, meaning the return home is longer and she can waste up to five hours a day in bumper-to-bumper frustration.

“I spend so much time on the road. When I get home, I just sleep, and then wake up again the next day. I really have to budget the time for my responsibilities, my errands, my work,” Gutierrez, 28, told AFP.

But Gutierrez said she would still prefer making the 20-kilometer (12-mile) trip by car than public transport, as the irregular bus schedules, crowded buses and lack of trains make that an even more arduous option..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110114com3.html

I have a puppet? NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 01/14/2011

I have a puppet?

Armida Siguion-Reyna
And it’s no less than Grace Poe-Llamanzares, chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), as alleged by one Michael Reyes mikerey70@yahoo.com, in an e-mail he sent me Jan. 3, 2011, and which I put out here in full last Jan. 11. If it’s not the best example of a little learning that’s a dangerous thing, I don’t know what is.

Offended by the trailer of the Dolphy-starrer Father Jejemon, he not only liked it that the supposedly offensive scenes were voluntarily excised by the producers and that “concerned citizens and officials of the Catholic Church” issued a call to boycott Father Jejemon WITHOUT HAVING SEEN THE FILM AT ALL.

Movie critic and Philippine Star Entertainment columnist Butch Francisco did not like the same “offensive” scenes, but he didn’t call to boycott the movie, because he took care to see the movie first in its entirety before rendering an opinion, which isn’t what the zealots and the bigots in the Catholic Church have done, e-mail sender Reyes included.

To spoon-feed, the computer dictionary says a zealot is one “who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of his religious, political, or other ideals,” but the bigot “causes the most trouble, exhibiting obstinate and often blind devotion to his or her beliefs and opinions, is intolerant and contemptuous of those who do not agree.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110114com4.html

The Federal Reserve is a private bank! DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 01/14/2011

The Federal Reserve is a private bank!

Herman Tiu Laurel
It was on a Jan. 11 episode of a morning radio program that I realized how very few even among our society’s most well read really understand the core of the global financial and economic problem. To this day, only a handful are able to narrow the issue down to the very character of the so-called “Central Bank of the World,” the US Federal Reserve.

And whenever this happens, such as on that day when one bright texter conveyed this very important point to Teddy “Boy” Locsin during his radio broadcast, saying that “the US Federal Reserve is a private bank,” it is no longer strange that a lame retort that goes, “No.
 The Federal Reserve is a government bank; that is why it is called Federal,” will fly back almost without a nanosecond of thought from the supposed erudite’s lips. Yet even as Locsin believes this to be too obvious, it will definitely do him good if he can shift his attention to the case, Lewis v. United States, 680 F.2d 1239 (1982), US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, where the court ruled that: “The Federal Reserve Banks ‘are independent, privately-owned and locally controlled corporations,’ and there is not sufficient ‘federal government control’ over ‘detailed physical performance’ and ‘day to day operation’ of the Federal Reserve Bank for it to be considered a federal agency.”

The case involved a plaintiff who was injured by a vehicle owned and operated by a Federal Reserve bank, who brought action alleging jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The district court under Judge David Williams dismissed it, holding that a Federal Reserve bank was not a federal agency within the meaning of the Act.

The Center for Research on Globalization (CRG) report on this issue is very thorough and anyone can access its Web site (http://globalresearch.ca/) to check out the documents involved. At the end of the long analysis, the CRG says: “The common claim that the Fed is accountable to the government, because it is required to report to Congress on its activities annually, is incorrect. The reports to Congress mean little unless what the chairman reports can be verified by complete records. From its founding to this day, the Fed has never undergone a complete independent audit. Congress time after time has requested that the Fed voluntarily submit to a complete audit, and every time, it refuses.”

After the 2008 Wall Street collapse, the clamor for the audit of the Federal Reserve has intensified with former and soon-to-run-again “independent” Republican and Tea Party-backed presidential bet Ron Paul leading the charge. The Federal Reserve is still refusing the audit and the US Congress can’t do much about it so far because its character as a private bank allows it to set up many barriers to auditing.

The many Web sites on the issue say there’s an easier way to confirm if the Federal Reserve is or isn’t a private bank by looking into the US’ Yellow Pages. Indeed, the Federal Reserve does not appear in the pages’ government listing — but it comes after Federal Express in the commercial listing!

Enterprising investigators have dug up the private interests that own the controlling stocks of the Fed: Rothschild Banks of London and Berlin; Lazard Brothers Banks of Paris; Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy; Warburg Bank of Hamburg and Amsterdam; Kuhn, Loeb Bank of NY (now Shearson American Express); Goldman Sachs of NY; National Bank of Commerce NY/Morgan Guaranty Trust (where JP Morgan Bank, Equitable Life, and Levi P. Morton are principal shareholders); Hanover Trust of NY (where William and David Rockefeller and Chase National Bank NY are principal shareholders); and Lehman Bros. (prior to 2008). Is it just a coincidence that all of them are Jewish interests?

In the final analysis, the Philippines — being tied to American economy and finance — is also under the control of this system. It’s no surprise then that many of our Finance secretaries have been recommended by Hank Greenberg — yes, another prominent Jewish money master.

It is therefore important for the likes of Teddy “Boy” Locsin to appreciate the real nature of the Federal Reserve. As a very popular communicator, it will be a boon to public enlightenment if he starts explaining this.

The control of money is the control of society; and control open to the public such as that of the “Bank of China,” which makes no bones about its being under the control of the Chinese government, is better than control hidden behind the cloak of terms such as “Federal” or “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas” (BSP) that mislead the people, when their money is actually controlled by unaccountable and self-interested parties that continue to exploit, abuse, and steal from them and the nation’s wealth.

The banking system that China maintains, similar to that of many other countries that are still state-controlled or dominated (e.g., India and, of course, Vietnam), is coined by some as the “National Bank” system. The Philippines, in contrast, has an absurd set-up where the BSP Board is dominated by private directors, even as the Philippine President appoints the BSP chief.

The famous and infamous quote from Amschel Rothschild, father of the Rothschild banks of Germany, Paris and Britain goes thus: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws…” And, if I may add, neither will they care about who votes in these elections or who counts these votes as many of these (including those PCOS machines) can be bought anyway. And since there are no elections in China, the Rothschilds of this world are not able to control such state-centered countries, including Cuba.

In the end, it’s a choice between the dictatorship of Money or the dictatorship of the People, represented by a National Economic Development program geared toward popular economic democracy. Whose side are you on?

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; TNT with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “2011: Year of Fighting Phil. Oligarchy” with Butch Junia and FDC’s Job Bordamente; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reposted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110114com5.html

Evacuees huddle in flood-hit Brisbane FEATURE 01/14/2011

Evacuees huddle in flood-hit Brisbane


BRISBANE — A fluorescent yellow bracelet is the sign of loss for hundreds of Brisbane families, as they cram evacuation centers and pray for their flood-hit homes and possessions.

More than 500 people are sleeping on rows of mattresses at the city’s sprawling RNA Showground exhibition center, all wearing the little bracelets handed out on registration.

Iraqi student Issam, and his wife and child who recently joined him from Baghdad, were among those forced to flee at a moment’s notice as the floods struck, clutching just two plastic bags full of belongings.

“It was a terrible night. We live 40 meters (yards) from the river, on the first floor,” he told AFP, in the cavernous, neon-lit conference hall transformed into a teeming refugee center..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110114com6.html

Duchess Habsburg, a tenant in her own palace FEATURE 01/14/2011

Duchess Habsburg, a tenant in her own palace


ZYWIEC — After 60 years in exile in Switzerland, Duchess Marie-Christine von Habsburg, 87, is living out her golden years as a tenant in two rooms of her family’s vast palace in southern Poland.

“Well, isn’t that funny? I live here as a tenant in my own palace” in the town of Zywiec, she says, making light of the situation.

But she insists she is “the happiest of tenants” in one of the properties of the famed Habsburg dynasty, this one expropriated by communists after the war and which her family never tried to reclaim after the 1989 demise of communism.

“I’m delighted to be back where I was born, where I spent my childhood,” says the octogenarian confined to a wheelchair and dressed in her trademark black.

A member of the House of Habsburg, a dynasty originating in what today is Austria that reigned over much of Europe from the 15th to the 20th century, she was able to return to the 19th-century palace only after the fall of communism two decades ago. Her family had been driven out by the Nazis during World War II and the communists prevented their return after 1945..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110114com7.html

Drilon, Noy allies seen dumping JPE By Angie M. Rosales 01/14/2011

Drilon, Noy allies seen dumping JPE

By Angie M. Rosales 01/14/2011

A coup in the Senate is said to be in the offing, but nobody wants to confirm it.

Talk of a brewing “coup” in the Senate circulated loudly yesterday, just three days before Congress reconvenes and resumes sessions, with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile allegedly ending up as the casualty.

Enrile was the compromise choice of both the Liberal Party and Nacionalista Party (NP) camps, as neither LP members Senators Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan and Franklin Drilon could get the numbers to gain the Senate presidency.

Neither could the camp of Sen. Manuel Villar nor the group of Sen. Ed Angara.

Enrile garnered the numbers because all three camps decided to support the incumbent Senate president who did not even seek the high Senate post. Enrile has always said that if the senators no longer want him to lead them, he would gladly step down to give way to a new Senate leader..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110114hed1.html

Palace points to Gloria for dismal Heritage rank Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/14/2011

Palace points to Gloria for dismal Heritage rank

Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/14/2011

As expected, the Palace yesterday blamed the past administration of former President Arroyo for the poor showing of the country in the Index of Economic Freedom that the conservative Washington-based think tank The Heritage Foundation (Heritage) released the other day placing the Philippines among countries with a “mostly unfree” economy.

Malacañang yesterday claimed the index jointly published by Heritage and The Wall Street Journal was the result of surveys conducted between the second half of 2009 and the first half of 2010 which were all under Arroyo’s watch.

The Philippines ranked at 115th spot among 179 nations included in the index that showed its economic freedom score this year slipped by 0.1 point from last year to 56.2. It scored lowest in the “Freedom from Corruption” category where it got a grade of 24 mainly as a result of perceptions that corruption in the country remains pervasive.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda argued that there was nothing in the report that can possibly be attributed to the current administration because the information that factored in the study was as of June 2010..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110114hed2.html

Mar ‘pressuring’ Noy to appoint Macalintal to top poll post By Gerry Baldo 01/14/2011

Mar ‘pressuring’ Noy to appoint Macalintal to top poll post

By Gerry Baldo 01/14/2011

Losing Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate and former Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas is reportedly putting pressure on President Aquino to appoint election lawyer Romulo Macalintal to the top post at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

A source from the LP yesterday said Roxas and a host of ranking LP members trooped to Aquino’s “Bahay Pangarap” to force the President to immediately appoint Macalintal instead of lawyer Sixto Brillantes to the post left vacant by Comelec Chairman Jose Melo.

“Senator Roxas is trying to move mountains to have Macalintal appointed to the Comelec,” the source said.
But presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda downplayed reports that Roxas is backing the potential appointment of his legal counsel in the last 2010 elections, Macalintal, who is among the candidates in the race for the next Comelec chief..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110114hed3.html

DoJ seeks raps against Sollano, insists mall was methane blast By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/14/2011

DoJ seeks raps against Sollano, insists mall was methane blast

By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/14/2011

Prosecutors have recommended criminal charges against retired Army bomb expert Col. Allan Sollano who had disputed official findings that the explosion in Glorietta 2 mall in Makati City three years ago was caused by leaking methane gas.

In a 12-page report, the Department of Justice (DoJ) panel led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said that “after a judicious examination of the evidence, (it) finds the claim of Col. Allan Sollano that the Glorietta 2 explosion on Oct. 19, 2007 was caused by an IED/bomb, not worthy of credence,

“It is recommended that an investigation be conducted by the PNP (Philippine National Police) and/or the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) on the culpability of Col. Allan Sollano and other persons who may have acted with him, for possible violation of PD 1829 (penalizing obstruction of apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders),” the panel concluded..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110114hed4.html

Noy under fire over luxury Porsche 01/14/2011

Noy under fire over luxury Porsche

The claimed “straight path” of President Aquino has led him to the luxurious path of a P4.5-million luxury Porsche sportscar amid a population mired in poverty and a hunger rating of Filipinos going higher under his government along with the tragedy of the flood-stricken and landslide victims who have been rendered homeless.

Not even his claimed prudent management of public funds speaks of the “righteous way, with a President, all decked out in very snazzy German Porsche, speeding it up in a race track.”

Aquino admitted yesterday he had splashed out on a luxury Porsche sportscar, sparking criticism
in a country where a third of the population live on less than a dollar a day.

“It appeared to be out of character. He had campaigned against luxury cars and here he is, buying a Porsche,” Milo Tanchuling, secretary general of the activist group Freedom from Debt Coalition, told Agence France Presse..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110114hed6.html

Lim questions guilty admission in amnesty 01/14/2011

Lim questions guilty admission in amnesty

Former Scout Ranger chief retired Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim yesterday questioned the admission of guilt provision of the implementing rules and regulations (IRRs) of Proclamation 75, branding it as “unacceptable” as he maintained that what they did during the Arroyo administration has constitutional basis.

At a chance interview during yesterday’s court martial hearing, Lim said that while he welcomes the amnesty proclamation of President Aquino, he expressed apprehension over the IRR which included admission of guilt in its provisions.

“I am thankful to the President for giving amnesty to the soldiers who were involved in political uprising. I think this is recognizing the sacrifices and efforts of our soldiers who really stood for the truth against corruption,” said Lim.

“But I am wondering why the need to add in the implementing rules and regulations the portion about admission of guilt because that is not in the proclamation. Why do they have to go out of their way to include that in the IRR,” asked Lim..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110114nat2.html

Pimentel: Gov’t should move as one to solve squatting problem 01/14/2011

Pimentel: Gov’t should move as one to solve squatting problem

The whole government structure from the national to the local levels should unite to effectively address the longstanding problem of squatting, according to former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel.”

In remarks before a recent gathering of governors and mayors, Pimentel observed that squatting is “one of the most pressing problems” facing the nation as “the blight of squatter colonies not only mars the beauty of this country but more importantly demeans the dignity of the squatters who are also human beings like the rest of us.”

Pimentel suggested that the only way to solve the squatter problem is “to bring together under clearly defined parameters the powers of the central government and the functions of local governments.”

The national official in charge of implementing the national shelter program, Pimentel said, should have full jurisdiction over the national agencies dealing with homelessness, and he has to harness the support of the local executives, including governors, mayors and even barangay officials..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110114nat7.html

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