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DND chief caught flatfooted but admits gov’t was tipped off 01/27/2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

AS NOYNOY, AIDES ATTEMPT TO DOWNGRADE TERRORIST ATTACK

DND chief caught flatfooted but admits gov’t was tipped off

01/27/2011
Even as the Aquino government authorities were tipped off on the bus bombing before the bomb went off, they were still caught with their pants down.

This was admitted by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin yesterday as he said the government was caught flatfooted on Tuesday’s bus explosion despite the fact that the authorities had been tipped off about a possible terror attack.

But the DND chief, in an apparent attempt to evade charges of a failure of intelligence, stressed that the perpetrators merely managed to pull a fast one in this particular incident.

Gazmin said they are still exploring other angles and not just focusing on this blast being an act of terrorism.
President Aquino earlier had said threat assessments last year showed that were terrorist groups planning attacks but that these groups lacked the resources, capability, and support base to carry out attacks..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110127hed1.html

Noy: Foreign warnings not validated by bus bombing By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/27/2011

Noy: Foreign warnings not validated by bus bombing

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/27/2011
Foreign governments warned of bombing malls, not buses, and therefore none of these terrorist warnings can be considered as validated by the bus bombing in Edsa-Makati Tuesday.

This was the presidential logic, as President Aquino still refuses to admit that the foreign governments’ warning of an imminent terrorist attack on the country, including Metro Manila, was valid, as he yesterday claimed that the latest attack on a passenger bus along Edsa in Makati the other day — which he earlier had said could be the work of unknown terrorist groups — still does not validate the barrage of travel warnings issued by foreign countries against the Philippines then and even now.

Aquino said the previous travel advisories released by at least six foreign governments during the last quarter of 2010 merely concentrated on the supposed imminent terrorist attacks targeting the malls but the buses were not in that picture.

He insisted that there is a huge difference between guarding a bus and a mall, but conveniently omitted that the same advisories also warned of bombs going off anywhere..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110127hed2.html

Enrile quizzes evidence vs carjack-slay suspect By Angie M. Rosales 01/27/2011

Enrile quizzes evidence vs carjack-slay suspect

By Angie M. Rosales 01/27/2011

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday questioned the arrest made by the law enforcers on the alleged prime suspects behind the spate of carjackings with murder.

The Senate chief noted the possibility of authorities “planting” the evidence even as he issued a stern warning to the Philippine National Police (PNP) top brass on the matter being mishandled by the authorities and the case ending up being dismissed by the courts.

Enrile raised his observations on the manner in which law enforcers considered the alleged suspect, Raymond Dominguez, as supposedly behind the killing of car dealers Venson Evangelista, Emerson Lozano and another purported victim.

The senator quizzed PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo on the validity of claims of the police that the
driver’s license of Evangelista was supposedly found in one of the purported safehouses of Dominguez in Pampanga..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110127hed3.html

RP-US ties at forefront of Manila meeting By Michaela P. del Callar 01/27/2011

RP-US ties at forefront of Manila meeting

By Michaela P. del Callar 01/27/2011

The Philippines and the United States will hold a two-day meeting in Manila beginning today to chart the future direction of the two countries’ bilateral relations and at the same time discuss pressing concerns such as the South China Sea disputes, the Mindanao peace process, the possible review of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the continuing battle against terrorism.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said the first Philippines-US Strategic Dialogue on Jan. 27 and 28 will be co-chaired by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio and Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino for the Philippine

side, and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Derek Mitchell on the US side.

“The dialog will affirm the strength of the Philippine-US alliance and the dynamic partnership for peace, security, stability and prosperity,” Romulo said, adding the meeting “is a clear manifestation of both countries’ resolve to enhance their relations.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110127hed4.html

Terminal 3 impasse haunts Noy even in German HR meet By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/27/2011

Terminal 3 impasse haunts Noy even in German HR meet

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/27/2011

The impasse over the Terminal 3 project of the Ninoy Aquino International Aiport (NAIA) remained on the table even during a meeting between President Aquino and German liberal democrats supposedly to discuss human rights and politics that underlined the deep concern of Germany over the long-drawn dispute involving one of its major companies, the state-owned airport developer Fraport AG.

President Aquino told reporters that human rights issue was on top of the agenda when he met German officials who went to Malacañang last Monday to accompany Commissioner Mark Loning of the Federal Government’s Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid who made a courtesy call to Aquino but the discussions veered off to the Fraport issue.

“The one who visited me actually was the Commissioner on Human Rights. So we were discussing the human rights situation. We touched on the Fraport (issue) — we discussed a little on the trade that already exists between Germany and ourselves and the last point there was that we were both liberal democrats. So there is going to be a big meeting in the middle of this year for liberal democrats everywhere in the world,” Aquino told reporters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110127hed5.html

CCT funds going to wrong hands — minority By Gerry Baldo 01/27/2011

CCT funds going to wrong hands — minority

By Gerry Baldo 01/27/2011

Funds from controversial Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Subsidy Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under its chief, Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, as predicted, have been going to families who can hardly be considered the poorest of the poor.

CCT stipends have been found to make their way to families that cannot be considered as indigents.

According to House Minority Leader Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, there are validated reports that non-indigent families are regularly receiving the CCT funds.

“We have already received reports about families or individuals who are not exactly indigents but who are regularly receiving the maximum CCT benefits,” Lagman said yesterday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110127hed6.html

AFP to file complaint vs NPA with rights groups over use of landmines By Mario J. Mallari 01/27/2011

AFP to file complaint vs NPA with rights groups over use of landmines

By Mario J. Mallari 01/27/2011
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be filing formal complaint before local and even international human rights groups against the continuing use of landmines by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) as evidenced by the ambush against policemen in Cagayan province over the weekend.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. noted that the NPA’s continuing use of the banned land mines were a blatant violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIHL) signed by the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as part of the peace process..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110127nat2.html

DND chief approves amnesty pleas of Trillanes, 58 others By Mario J. Mallari 01/27/2011

DND chief approves amnesty pleas of Trillanes, 58 others

By Mario J. Mallari 01/27/2011
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has approved the amnesty application of former Navy and now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and 58 other officers and enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) figured in military uprisings against the previous Arroyo administration.

In a resolution, the Department of National Defense-Amnesty Committee (DND-AC) recommended to Gazmin the approval of the 59 officers and EP who filed their applications on Jan. 4 to 5.
The DND-AC noted the absence of any objection in the applications for amnesty of Trillanes and 57 other rebel soldiers.

“Whereas, no opposition was filed against the applicants within 15 days following the publication of their names on Jan. 5, 2011 in the designated bulletin boards and the official websites of the DND and AFP pursuant to DND Ad Hoc Committee Circular Number 1(Rules of Procedures in the Processing of Amnesty),” the resolution stated...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110127nat4.html

Still shielding pals and allies EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 01/26/2011

Still shielding pals and allies

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
01/26/2011
Any which way it is cut, Noynoy Aquino and his aides will be seen here and abroad, especially in Hong Kong, as evading the call for the search of the truth behind the botched hostage rescue operations; their refusal to be held responsible and accountable while continuously protecting the presidential close buddies and allies.

The negative perception of the Noynoy presidency and administration can’t be helped, given the fact that, from the day the Hong Kong government announced it would be holding a coroner’s inquest, there went Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, constantly stating that the witnesses being summoned do not have to attend the inquest, citing sovereignty issues, when sovereignty is not even in the picture. This was followed by her insistence on pushing the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty the country has with Hong Kong which she claimed is for the protection of Filipino officials who want to testify..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110126com1.html

Bowing to bishops FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/26/2011

Bowing to bishops

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
01/26/2011
Malacañang says the Responsible Parenthood bill it has certified as urgent has been accepted by the Catholic Church, as the Palace said the bill is not meant to curb population growth — which means no targets on population control will be made — and that the bill is fashioned to alleviate poverty, along with the claim that there will be no insistence or coercion from government on couples to use artificial contraceptive measures.

As Malacañang didn’t quite bare just what the bill says, or does not say, it is doubted that the Church officials just agreed to what is being claimed by the Palace, because there was never anything argued between the bishops and the Palace about poverty alleviation on the Responsible Parenthood bill, nor, for that matter, population growth curbs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110126com2.html

End of the world, and we know it HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 01/26/2011

End of the world, and we know it

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
01/26/2011
When Asha, my eight-year old daughter, asked why it remains cold on January nights and early mornings, I just brushed her aside by telling her to blame the winds coming from China and Siberia.

At noon, she comes back to ask why it suddenly becomes too humid. Oh, blame the sun was my reply.

I got a cute smirk, but I also got my momentary peace, not being ready for any more discourse on geography (I know where China is, but Siberia?), or meteorology (What’s the difference between climate change and changes in weather?), fearing things might get lost in translation and understanding.

The following night, she caught me tucked up in bed, fully covered to the neck. Blame winds from China and Siberia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110126com4.html

Overflow SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 01/26/2011

Overflow

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
01/26/2011
The year of the Metal Rabbit is about to commence, and feng shui experts are warning followers of the art and science of geomancy that 2011, although a better year overall compared to last year, not only lacks in the Earth element but is full of clashing elements as well.

What this essentially means is that people are cautioned to be careful at all times and prepared for anything as things are not always what they seem. This may sound either vague or trite to some people, but feng shui followers are already looking into ways in which they can protect themselves from the year’s negative aspects.

According to Hong Kong’s feng shui Master Joseph Chau, the year bodes well for all businesses, but especially for those in the Metal (banking, car sales, etc.) and Wood (publishing, garments, etc) sectors, ushering prosperity for many.

For the Philippines, however, he recommends more focus on businesses falling under the Water element, which includes tourism, trading, mining, transport and medicine..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110126com5.html

Watchdog slams UN, EU’s human rights ‘cowardice’ focus 01/26/2011

Watchdog slams UN, EU’s human rights ‘cowardice’

focus

01/26/2011
BRUSSELS — The UN and EU stand accused of “cowardice” for claiming to tackle human rights abuses in places like China through soft diplomacy, Human Rights Watch said in its annual report Monday.

Highlighting its claim, the report on global human rights violations was issued in Brussels the same day the European Union hosted controversial Uzbek President Islam Karimov amid protests.

The New York-based NGO’s executive director Kenneth Roth lambasted “the failure of the expected champions of human rights to respond” to violations in 100-plus regimes.

In his eyes, the fundamental error made by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others is to place the focus on discreet cooperation, a euphemism for “other interests at stake.”

Roth cites a “tepid” response to repression in Myanmar, noting that the release of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in Nov. 23 was not matched on 2,100 other political prisoners..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110126com6.html

Moscow bombing again shatters illusions in Russia focus 01/26/2011

Moscow bombing again shatters illusions in Russia

focus

01/26/2011
MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev had this week been due to enjoy the honor of delivering the keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, persuading investors that Russia is undergoing major change.

Instead, his glitzy trip has been shelved as the Kremlin chief stays at home to deal with the latest calamity to hit his tragedy-scarred country, an airport attack that is a brutal reminder of the problems he faces in reforming Russia.

Russia had ended 2010 on a high, revelling in the success of winning the right to host the 2018 World Cup, a coup which for many represented its acceptance as a normal, friendly country by the international community.

But the Moscow Domodedovo airport bombing that killed at least 35 underlined its vulnerability to attacks on key infrastructure used by thousands of people every day, coming less than a year after deadly bombings on the metro..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110126com7.html

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