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Ex-AFP budget chief drops big payola bomb vs Angie By Angie M. Rosales 01/28/2011

Friday, January 28, 2011


Ex-AFP budget chief drops big payola bomb vs Angie

By Angie M. Rosales 01/28/2011

It really pays to be the chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as they end up becoming instant millionaires.

Apart from getting “send-off” money in the millions upon their retirement from the service, they even have close to half a million pesos in “slush funds” yearly at their disposal — despite the fact that these “monetary perks” enjoyed by the various military chiefs are not allotted in the military budget.

Former Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes and other former AFP chiefs of staff were alleged to have a P480 million “slush fund” at their disposal at one time, a former comrade and military budget officer-turned surprise witness divulged before Senate probers yesterday.

Reyes, according to Col. (ret.) George Rabusa, also received P50 million as a “parting gift” when he retired from his 37 years of service in the military in 2002, on top of the P5 million he allegedly received monthly, in
the last 15 months of his tour of duty, for personal use and another P5 million for his office expenses, taken from the said “slush fund.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110128hed3.html

Marcelo failed to include Garcia’s P50M 01/28/2011

Marcelo failed to include Garcia’s P50M

Special prosecutors handling the plunder and other charges filed against former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Maj. Gen. (ret.) Carlos Garcia did not go after the P50 million as the former military officer managed to withdraw this amount prior to the freezing of his bank accounts and have it included as restitution to the government.

The amount was part of the alleged deposits maintained by Garcia and family to keep the purported ill-gotten wealth he amassed while still in the active service.

This was among the apparent loopholes government prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman who inked the plea bargain agreement with Garcia which was noted by Senate probers yesterday.

It was Sen. Franklin Drilon who raised this issue during the initial public hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee into Garcia’s plea bargain agreement which would entail the former official “surrendering” an amount of P135 million to the government, in exchange for the dropping of the lesser charges..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110128hed4.html

Palace slams ‘noisy minority,’ blames media ‘sensationalism’ By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Michaela P. del Callar 01/28/2011

Palace slams ‘noisy minority,’ blames media ‘sensationalism’

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Michaela P. del Callar 01/28/2011

Vexed by the onslaught of criticisms it has been receiving lately on the government’s failure to prevent the recent bombing incident in Makati and address the rising criminality in the country, Malacañang yesterday slammed the so-called “noisy minority” for allegedly politicizing the issues that are currently confronting President Aquino’s leadership.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also blamed the media for allegedly “sensationalizing” the recent crime incidents that are being reported to the public lately beginning from the carjacking and killing spree involving a notorious group of car thieves to the latest bus mishap which already claimed five innocent lives.

“They (police) are the repository of all the statistics. They enforce peace and order. These things, I do not think, can be fudged. The only reason we are thinking that crime rates are up is that there is publicity on the kidnapping, on the certain.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110128hed5.html

Don’t let strong ties with China keep US on sidelines, RP told By Michaela P. del Callar 01/28/2011

Don’t let strong ties with China keep US on sidelines, RP told

By Michaela P. del Callar 01/28/2011

A senior US State Department official yesterday said Washington does not object to the Philippines’ growing ties with China but stressed that it must not neglect its long-standing relationship with the United States.

According to US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, maintaining good relations with the two countries would not only benefit the Philippines but the entire region as well.

“We expect and want the government of the Philippines to have a close and growing relationship with China. We also want very much for the government of the Philippines to want a good relationship with the US,” Campbell told a press conference.

Campbell, who is in Manila for the two-day Philippines-US bilateral strategic dialog, noted that it is the case “that almost every country in Asia seeks two strong relationships.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110128hed6.html

Noy’s new flame: P8.5-M bullet-proof Lexus car 01/28/2011

Noy’s new flame: P8.5-M bullet-proof Lexus car

President Aquino appears to have shifted his hobby from firing pistols to collecting luxury cars after he was seen riding a bullet-proof Lexus LX 570 in visiting victims of the fatal Edsa bus bombing incident who were being treated at St. Luke’s Global City Hospital.

The ritzy car is aside from a P4.5-million luxury Porsche sportscar that he justified as being purchased “third-hand.”

The Palace has rejected repeated demands to show purchase documents on the Porsche to verify the sportscar’s true cost but a source had said it was a gift from a businessman which has a local Porsche dealership..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110128hed2.html

Jinggoy moves to level ‘employment field’ for women 01/28/2011

Jinggoy moves to level ‘employment field’ for women

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada moved to institutionalize measures assuring equal employment opportunities for all regardless of gender.

Estrada, concurrent chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development and the joint congressional oversight committee on labor and employment (Cocle), lamented that despite the explicit guarantees expressed by our Constitution, ratified United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) and the recently enacted Magna Carta for Women, it is believed that many cases of discrimination happen everyday in factories, corporate towers and also in government offices..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110128nat2.html

25% increase in HIV patient seen in RP By Pat C. Santos 01/28/2011

25% increase in HIV patient seen in RP

By Pat C. Santos 01/28/2011
Persons suffering from HIV/AIDS increased rapidly by 25 percent for this year in the Phillippines according to an international expert Steve Kraus of the UNAIDS Regional Support for Asia and the Pacific in meeting with Catholic bishops to discuss role of Christian faith in fighting the dreaded infection.

Catholic bishops simultaneously wore red ribbon lapel pins yesterday as they pledged a proactive role in the fight against HIV/AIDS and prevent discrimination against those living with the disease.

“The Church has made remarkable things in all parts of the world and these include the years of prevention, treatment, support and care for the people living with HIV,” Kraus said.

“Here in the Philippines, it is crucial and logical that you work closely with the Church… this is a good sign that we will intensify our collaboration and work even close together.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110128nat4.html

8th most dangerous country EDITORIAL 01/27/2011

8th most dangerous country

Click to enlarge
Peace and order in this country have gone from bad to worse under the Aquino administration and no amount of claims that the perpetrators are going to be caught and justice being done will change the peace and order picture.

If one goes by categories, at this point, under the presidency of Noynoy Aquino, the country has become not only the eighth most dangerous country in the world, with the Philippines going up two notches in this year’s global terrorism risk assessment, but it has also become a failed state.

In such international surveys that cast a negative picture of his government and the state of corruption, terrorist activities, criminality and even human rights abuses, the predictable reply from Noynoy’s defenders in the Palace always points to the surveys as still referring to the previous administration of Gloria Arroyo.

But Noynoy has been in office for some seven months, and blaming his predecessor for everything going wrong under his stewardship is getting too tiring. Noynoy is president. It is his administration today — and has been for some seven months, and he has done nothing, but nothing to fix things in this country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110127com1.html

Caught with their pants down FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/27/201

Caught with their pants down

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Once again, the incompetent Noynoy Aquino has been caught with his pants down.

Even as he admitted that he had received intelligence reports and was warned of an imminent terror attack by Muslim militants, he also said that he did make the report public because his officials believed the militants did not have the capability to carry it out.

As he put it: “We have had a report that there were terrorist groups planning the same (an attack). But the assessment at the time was that there was a lack of resources to be able to carry it out and a lack of support base.”

His admission came after he repeatedly denounced the US and five other Western governments in November last year when they issued travel advisories warning that a terrorist attack was imminent in Manila..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110127com2.html

Lord Rabbit reigns again for China’s Lunar New Year FEATURE 01/27/2011

Lord Rabbit reigns again for China’s Lunar New Year


BEIJING — Lord Rabbit, a mythical bunny sent down from the moon to bring good health to Beijing, is making a triumphant comeback as the Chinese capital gears up for the Lunar New Year.

Banned during the tumultuous Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) when China’s communist rulers sought to stamp out customs seen as superstitious, Lord Rabbit has re-emerged as the nation once again embraces its ancient traditions.

“Traditionally, Lord Rabbit has nothing to do with the Year of the Rabbit,” Tang Yujie, a fifth-generation artisan whose family makes traditional Chinese crafts including figurines of the mythical hero, told AFP.
“But as the government has been sponsoring a resurgence in Chinese folk customs, it is natural that ordinary people are making the connection.”

Tang, 50, runs Bannerman Tang’s Toys and Crafts, a shop in a quiet lane near the Confucius Temple in Beijing. She is hoping to keep traditional arts and crafts alive through her work, some of which is displayed in city museums..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110127com3.html

Bukidnon revisited BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 01/27/2011

Bukidnon revisited

Louie Logarta
In preparation for a planned bike trip this Holy Week that would take us from Cagayan de Oro City and Davao City, my son-in-law AJ and I decided recently to check out the terrain and do some reconnoitering in order to determine the possible pit stops along the 330-kilometer route where our small entourage would be taking refreshments and attending to basic necessities, as well as finding a suitable place where to spend the night. Because let’s face it, I’m no spring chicken any longer and it’s just not possible for me to finish the gig in one day, unlike those superbly-conditioned road warriors in the old Tour of Luzon. And besides, this wasn’t intended to be a race, but a leisurely outing where we could take in the scenery and enjoy all the fresh air en route, which can’t be done in Manila.

So, one lazy day after Christmas, we boarded our car and motored to the upland province of Bukidnon where around 80 percent of the itinerary would traverse.

I hadn’t been to Bukidnon in 32 years so I was simply itching to go back to the place. The last time I was there was in 1978, together with my late father Nic Logarta who was then minority leader in the Interim Batasang Pambansa. And as I recall, we were in CDO to see his cousin, the late Mayor Oloy Roa, the owner of the biggest Toyota dealership in Northern Mindanao who had promised to sell him a Crown sedan at a big discount, among other things..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110127com4.html

Deals COMMENTS 01/27/2011



In the “done deal” case where erstwhile Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes was placed on the senatorial carpet by Jinggoy Estrada and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, it should not be difficult to establish at least his tacit participation in former AFP Comptroller Gen. Carlos Garcia’s alleged heist of over P300 million worth of State assets. An audit can trace the assets that started from the comptroller’s official custody and ended somewhere beyond an unauthorized exit door.

In the comptrollership over government resources, responsibility is never vested in only one functionary. Subordinates are called upon to participate in the comptrollership process, and higher authorities are enjoined to supervise, approve, confirm or note all transactions relative to the assets. The Senate’s investigation should also include all the five Generals who alternately served as Chief of Staff during the entire comptrollership tenure of Garcia.

It taxes even an idiot’s mind to suppose a comptroller’s larceny this humongous has benefitted only one person. State auditor Heidi Mendoza’s recent revelation she had received a call from the “Palace” warning her to slow down on Garcia leaves no room for doubt a very powerful person did not wish to be implicated, thereby creating the supreme horror that the higher the rank is, the grislier than a carnap-murder of the current variety the plunder gets to be.

The notion of power striking out from unseen hands raises fears that Garcia may have permanently vanished. Remember Bedol, Mahusay, Sollano and some 70 military personnel behind the Hello Garci scandal, to name just a few? They are all gone..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110127com5.html

Pro-poor, yet pro-wrong VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 01/27/2011

Pro-poor, yet pro-wrong

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.” (Philippine Constitution, Section 12).

Marriage is categorically not a mere contact that can be done away with at the instance of either or both parties therein. Marriage is definitely neither like using a car, getting rid of this thereafter in order to get a better looking one. Marriage is definitely an institution in the order of nature and thus recognized accordingly by the 1987 Philippine Constitution as nothing less than a State Policy.

Meantime, there is the provision of ab initio valid marriage that, however, rests voidable through subsequent annulment by post factum reasons — such as infidelity, violence, abandonment and psychological incapacity.
There is the ease of committing adultery, or the option to stage spousal violence, or the decision to abandon a marital partner, or the readiness to admit psychological incapacity — specifically and conveniently to obtain marriage annulment for a cost or but a whistle.

Furthermore, there is also the key question of how many marriages someone can enter into and subsequently annul — for any of the above cited grounds. Then, there is furthermore the big concern of how many homes can be broken, how many families can be abandoned by somebody through obtaining annulments one after another. Finally, on the ground, reality proves that anyone found guilty of infidelity, violence, abandonment or considered belabored by psychological incapacity, does not even meet the fundamental requirement for institutional marriage intents and purposes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110127com6.html

A literary melting pot in India’s ‘pink city’ focus 01/27/2011

A literary melting pot in India’s ‘pink city’


JAIPUR — Royalty rubbed shoulders with the rump of India’s caste system at the Jaipur Literary Festival this year as crowds flocked to India’s “pink city” for an annual dose of celebrity and culture.

Bright sunshine and a roster of 220 authors and performers, including a clutch of Nobel, Booker and Pulitzer prize winners, lured tens of thousands of book lovers to the grounds of the Diggi Palace — a converted 19th century mansion where the event has been held since 2006.

Billed as the world’s largest “free” literary festival, the Jaipur event prides itself on its open door policy, eclectic mix of speakers and informal atmosphere which spurns VIP enclosures.

Thus the former Maharaja of Kashmir, Karan Singh, who helped open the 2011 festival, could later be seen sitting among the crowd, taking in a poetry recital and signing autographs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110127com7.html

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