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Noy claims Mar won’t have awesome powers By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/20/2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

BUT WILL MAKE HIM CHIEF ADVISER, CHIEF INVESTIGATOR AND CHIEF ANALYZER OF PROBLEMS

Noy claims Mar won’t have awesome powers

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/20/2011

From the way President Aquino describes the future job and functions of former Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas, defeated vice presidential candidate and his running mate in the presidential elections last year, Roxas will be Aquino’s chief presidential adviser, chief presidential investigator, chief presidential analyzer with powers over even the Executive Secretary and all other department heads.

Aquino yesterday stood by his decision to appoint Roxas, who was reelected Liberal Party (LP) president, as his chief trouble shooter, notwithstanding the criticisms and speculations aired by various quarters that the former senator might just invite more trouble for the administration.

From the looks of it, Roxas’ future functions as described by Aquino would be tantamount to that of a powerful Chief of Staff, but Aquino rejected the analogy, stressing that Roxas will not be given vast authority, contrary to the assumptions held by many.

Speaking to reporters at the Club Filipino where he was guest of honor in his political party’s 65th anniversary, Aquino said that Roxas’ position in the Palace would entail broad expertise in understanding various problems that are brought to his attention..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110120hed1.html

Solons gang up on Reyes amid probe on AFP plunder By Angie M. Rosales 01/20/2011

Solons gang up on Reyes amid probe on AFP plunder

By Angie M. Rosales 01/20/2011

Senators pounced on former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes with Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago calling him one of the greatest morons in Philippine history as the Senate took a united front on the need to investigate the massive plunder of military funds and the plea bargain agreement retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia was able to wrangle from state prosecutors.

Garcia was comptroller when Reyes was Defense Secretary that made legislators call for his possible involvement in the raid of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) funds.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada opened the debates on the floor by delivering a privilege speech on the plea bargain agreement which he described as an outrageous and unconscionable act.

“Without a doubt, the plea bargain makes a mockery of the more than five-year crusade of previous prosecutors, members of media, and other concerned individuals to bring this person to justice. Accused of amassing more than P300 million pesos in illegal wealth in the course of his career...His actions were an affront to the distinguished service offered by our soldiers, who suffered, were wounded and even died on the battlefield while this general sat comfortably in his airconditioned office, serving no one but himself,” Estrada said. “I can only commiserate with others in and out of government who strongly urge that this plea bargain agreement be scuttled permanently,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110120hed2.html

CA upholds suspension of poll execs in ballot folder scam By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/20/2011

CA upholds suspension of poll execs in ballot folder scam

By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/20/2011

The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman placing five officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) under preventive suspension without pay pending the resolution of the complaint filed against them in connection with the P690-million ballot secrecy folders scam.

In a 12-page decision by Associate Justice Magdangal de Leon, the CA’s Special Fifteenth Division denied for “lack of merit” the petition for certiorari filed by Ma. Leah Alarkon, Francis Abaya, Norina Tangaro-Casingal, Martin Niedo and Antonio Santella.

They are former members of the Comelec Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) seeking the reversal of the Ombudsman’s order issued last July 29, 2010.

Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Mario Lopez and Michael Elbinias.

“We find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Ombudsman in issuing the assailed order. A preventive.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110120hed3.html

Aviation deal mess: ‘No deal with France’s Thales’ — Palace By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/20/2011

Aviation deal mess: ‘No deal with France’s Thales’ — Palace

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/20/2011

Malacañang yesterday clarified that the foreign company which the Depart-ment of Transport-ation and Com-munications (DoTC) has been dealing with in its air traffic control system project is not the Thales Group of France but Thales Australia.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada the other day sought an investigation into the P4-billion contract awarded by the DoTC under Secretary Jose “Ping” de Jesus to the Sumitomo of Japan and the Thales Group of France which, according to the reports the lawmaker cited, has a trail of bad reputation when it comes to business transactions.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in a phone interview with the Tribune, said De Jesus has been made aware of the Thales Group of France’s awful history that’s why the DoTC immediately dropped it as a bidder upon verifying the issue and signed up Thales Australia instead.

“The DoTC was aware of the allegations (leveled against) Thales Group of France that’s why it was being verified… What we are dealing with (now) is Thales Australia. They checked (if) there are allegations against Thales Australia and they found none,” he stressed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110120hed4.html

Roxas slams reports on Brillantes meet ‘malicious’ By Mario J. Mallari 01/20/2011

Roxas slams reports on Brillantes meet ‘malicious’

By Mario J. Mallari 01/20/2011

They are malicious and intrigue-filled, former senator and defeated vice presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas said of the media reports that his meeting with newly appointed Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. last Friday was in preparation for his presidential run.

At a press conference after his reelection as president of the LP at the Club Filipino in San Juan, Roxas clarified that the meeting was sought by Brillantes, and not by him.

“Any talk regarding 2016 is all intrigues and malicious because the term of lawyer Brillantes will last till February 2015. So, it’s really intrigue and malicious,” Roxas said.

“I just want to clarify that Mr. Brillantes requested the meeting,” stressed Roxas.

What Roxas failed to mention is that it was President Aquino, as quoted by Brillantes, who told the now officially appointed poll chairman that it was only Roxas who opposes his (Brillantes’) appointment, as Roxas had told Aquino, as quoted, that for him to appoint Brillantes would be no different from his handing the presidency to Vice President Jojo Binay or Sen. Francis Escudero.

But this early, there are speculations that Roxas would be the standard-bearer of the LP in the 2016 presidential elections. He may face incumbent Vice President Binay or Escudero.

Roxas suffered a shocking defeat to Binay who run under the ticket of deposed President Estrada’s United Opposition..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110120hed5.html

Noy claims Mar won’t have awesome powers By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/20/2011

Pinay sentenced to life in Bali for drug trafficking

01/20/2011
A Filipina convicted of drug smuggling last year was meted a life sentence earlier this month by the lower court of Denpasar in Bali, Indonesia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday confirmed.

The unnamed woman was apprehended on July 12, 2010 at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali after a flight from Kuala Lumpur. She was found carrying 2.4 kilograms of heroin. The DFA did not disclose where she is being incarcerated.

According to the DFA, its embassy in Jakarta was not remiss in extending assistance to the woman while her case was being tried, including legal representation and consular help.

The DFA insisted such women are victims of syndicates who turn them into drug mules and warned against “stiff penalties imposed by other countries on anyone caught carrying illegal drugs.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110120hed7.html

Damage to infrastructure due to rains reaches P163.7 million 01/20/2011

Damage to infrastructure due to rains reaches P163.7 million

01/20/2011
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has reported the initial estimated P163.7 million damage to infrastructure due to continuous pounding of heavy rains in Southern hemisphere brought by the effect of cold front as explained by Pagasa.

In a report to Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson by the Bureau of Maintenance, the most affected infrastructure facilities are located in Eastern Visayas Region. Among the impassable road sections due to landslide, road slip and damaged bridge are the Ginpandayan Section and Nipa-Mapanas Section along Palapag-Mapanas-Gamay-Lapinig Road and Catarman-Rawis- San Roque Section along Mainland Road Network in Northern Samar.

It was learned that in the province of Leyte, the Tabangco-Catmon-Manlawaan-Gimarco road, Cabungaan-Tabunok-Consuegera Road, Libungao- Matag-ob - Palompon road and Merida-Lundag-Putingbato-Consolacion-Isabel Road are hardly passable because of washed out road surface materials..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110120nat4.html

Magsaysay tries to get even over verbal abuse row By Charlie V. Manalo 01/20/2011

Magsaysay tries to get even over verbal abuse row

By Charlie V. Manalo 01/20/2011

A party-list representative accused of verbally abusing a Philippine Airline (PAL) ground stewardess has filed a resolution seeking a probe on alleged malpractices of airlines operating in the country.

In filing House Resolution 804 entitled A Resolution Directing the House committee on trade and industry and/or other appropriate committees to conduct in aid of legislation on the policies and practices of airlines operating in the country that affect consumers’ interests and to recommend legislative actions and measures pertaining thereto, Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE) Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay justified the need for a probe citing the numerous complaints lodged by passengers against certain airlines.

“The Constitution provides that the State shall protect the interests of the consumers, promote his/her general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business industry,” Magsaysay stated in his resolution, adding that Republic Act 7394, otherwise known as the Consumers Act of the Philippines, also assures the State shall protect the consumers by implementing “measures to achieve the objectives of protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts or practices.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110120nat6.html

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