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SND, ex-generals into AFP payolas By Angie M. Rosales 01/29/2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

SND, ex-generals into AFP payolas

By Angie M. Rosales 01/29/2011

The bombshell of military corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines hierarchy, dropped by military whistle-blower retired Col. George Rabusa, is more massive than originally thought, as it was also discovered, from a document read into the Senate records Thursday that the brass, from the top chief, to the vice chief of staff and down the line, are all recipients of the payola that comes from the close to P500 million military slush fund.

The AFP inspector-general, Office of the Secretary of National Defense (OSND), and even the senior military aide of the President and commander in chief, along with “lola” said to refer to the former President, to the Congressional Legislative office in the lower house and to the auditor, among the few mentioned, get a slice of the military slush pie.

With virtually all involved and getting their monthly pay-offs from P50,000 to millions, the practice of pocketing public funds and putting this money into their private pockets, and with the Inspector General, along with the auditors also in the AFP pocket, the military practice and “tradition” never surfaced nor investigated--until now..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110129hed1.html

No clear evidence vs MILF yet in Edsa bus blast, concedes DND By Mario J. Mallari 01/29/2011

No clear evidence vs MILF yet in Edsa bus blast, concedes DND

By Mario J. Mallari 01/29/2011

Authorities are very careful in pointing an accusing finger at the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as culprit in last Tuesday’s Makati City bus bombing without conclusive evidence considering the upcoming peace negotiations between the government and the secessionist group.

Department of National Defense (DND) spokesman Eduardo Batac yesterday said ongoing investigations still point to terrorism as probable motive behind the explosion that killed five persons and wounded 13 others.

But Batac stressed there has been no conclusive evidence to tag a certain group as responsible for the bombing, particularly the MILF which is talking peace with the government.

“We are facing the peace process and we have been very careful. We’d like really to make good a try of attaining this enduring and lasting peace through the peace process. So, if we start pointing fingers without any conclusive evidence, it might derail the peace process,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110129hed2.html

Bullet-proof Lexus is brod in-law’s, says Noy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/29/2011

Bullet-proof Lexus is brod in-law’s, says Noy

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/29/2011

Bothered by the latest alleged intrigue about his new bullet-proof sports utility vehicle (SUV), President Aquino came down to the media’s quarters late afternoon yesterday to personally explain how he got the Lexus LX 570 which was reportedly worth P8.5-million.

Reacting to the report published by the Tribune’s Friday edition, Aquino claimed the new SUV was actually a replacement for the presidential limousine, a Mercedes Benz, which was left to him by his predecessor upon learning that it has been damaged when typhoon “Ondoy” ravaged most parts of Metro Manila, including Mala-cañang’s freedom park.

The Mercedes Benz was the vehicle that then outgoing President Arroyo and incoming president, Noynoy Aquino, utilized for Aquino’s inaugural at the Luneta Park which was after the Ondoy-Pepeng typhoons.
Aquino said he never

purchased the Lexus because it came from his brother-in-law who is actually leasing the vehicle for him, for security purposes, to spare the government from spending just to buy an alternative vehicle for his official use..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110129hed3.html

RP interest is the top priority, priority, Palace tells US By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/29/2011

RP interest is the top priority, priority, Palace tells US

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/29/2011
National interest is the utmost priority of the Aquino administration when it comes to its diplomatic relations, Malacañang said yesterday, in response to a United States government official’s call for the Philippines not to abandon its ties with the Americans while building a strong alliance with their greatest competitor, China.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a post-briefing interview that while they recognize the US as its strategic partner, Aquino and his administration will always put national interest above anything else.

“The Philippines will always act in accordance with its national interest. We recognize the importance and, of course, we recognize that the US has always been our strategic partner and we have longstanding alliance with them.

So, as always, the Philippines will act in accordance with national interest that would also mean involving ourselves with improving our relations with China and also maintaining our relations with the US,” Lacierda said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110129hed4.html

DoJ: Rabusa to be under witness protection program By Benjamin B. Pulta,Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 01/29/2011

DoJ: Rabusa to be under witness protection program

By Benjamin B. Pulta,Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 01/29/2011

Justice Chief Leila de Lima yesterday said former state auditor Heidi Mendoza and retired Col. George Rabusa qualify for inclusion in the government’s witness protection program to ensure they would testify on what they know about the corruption in the military.

“Heidi Mendoza was invited to the Senate inquiry (and) we heard Sen. Jinggoy Estrada announced they are considering making a request to cover him (Rabusa) under the witness protection program but preliminarily he will be with the Senate. We are ready. The DoJ stands ready to cover under the witness program, either or both Heidi Mendoza of the Garcia case and Rabusa.” she said.

Mendoza was the head of a special six-member team of the Commission on Audit (CoA) and was detailed at the Office of the Ombudsman from 2004 to 2006 to investigate Carlos Garcia’s transactions.

Mendoza testified on the missing P50 million double reimbursements where part of expenses for soldiers who went abroad to serve under international coalitions already paid under the United Nations fund but were again reimbursed under the Balikatan funds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110129hed5.html

GOCCs remit P29-B revenues to Aquino 01/29/2011

GOCCs remit P29-B revenues to Aquino

A total of P29.25 billion was remitted by 19 government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) to the national government.

According to President Aquino, who received the checks in a ceremony held at Malacañang yesterday, the dividends and other remittances will be given back to the people in the form of social of services, including anti-poverty programs.

“As you can see, we are working overtime to bolster our abilities to give back to the Filipino people what they have given us,” the President said. “We will do this, not only because this is what we are mandated to do, but more importantly, because this is the right thing to do.”

In his message at the ceremonial turnover of GOCCs check dividends and remittances at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang, the Chief Executive said dividends and other remittances from GOCCs will allow the government to frontload its expenditures and speed up the implementation of anti-poverty programs, among others..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110129hed6.html

DILG wants juvenile law amended 01/29/2011

DILG wants juvenile law amended

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said yesterday it will submit to Congress a bill seeking to amend the law that exempts youth offenders from criminal liability.

DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo said he will propose for the amendment of certain provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA), including Section 6 of the said law, which states that “a child above fifteen (15) years but below eighteen (18) years of age shall likewise be exempted from criminal liability and be subjected to an intervention program, unless he/she has acted with discernment, in which case, such child shall be subjected to the appropriate proceedings in accordance with this Act.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110129nat7.html

NPA denounces Makati bombing, justifies killing of 5 policemen By Ted Boehnert 01/29/2011

NPA denounces Makati bombing, justifies killing of 5 policemen

By Ted Boehnert 01/29/2011
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – The communist New People’s Army (NPA) vehemently denounced the bombing last Tuesday of a bus in Makati City that killed five passengers.

At the same time, the CPP-NPA justified the killing of five policemen, and wounding two others here.
The CPP-NPA statement said that the bombing was “the most despicable act” as it perished at least five ordinary working class people and wounded 15 others.”

The rebels described military reports of the bombing that was attributed either to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or to NPA as it was just a product of the military’s imagination.

“The NPA does not engage in such senseless acts of violence that cause death and injury to ordinary people. The MILF also outrightly denied having anything to do with the bombing,” the CPP-NPA said..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110129nat6.html

Empty, nonsensical talk EDITORIAL 01/28/2011

Empty, nonsensical talk

Click to enlarge
Noynoy appears to have got up on the wrong foot after a likely afternoon nap the other day when he faced media as he droned on and on, some of which droning were the most nonsensical statements thus far he had uttered over the bus bombing at Edsa.

In his somnambulist state, Noynoy said there was a big difference between the bombing of the bus and a supposed threat to blow up a mall which he said was the subject of the adverse travel advisories that six western countries late last year issued on the Philippines.

The subject of the alert on the country, however, was the possibility of a bomb blowing up anywhere in the country, with which the administration of Noynoy is not capable of dealing, as proven in the incident at Edsa and even with the admission of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin that his office had been tipped off but did short of nothing by way of government security action.

Noynoy asking the silly phrase, “aren’t buses very much softer targets? This is not identified in the previous records” was no different from telling the world that the Philippines is definitely safe since terrorists only bomb buses instead of malls..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110128com1.html

Utter failure FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/28/2011

Utter failure

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Noynoy tried to excuse his and his aides’ failure of intelligence and failure to stem the bombing of a bus, to the extent of claiming that the foreign advisories sent by their governments were still not validated, saying all those advisories spoke of mall bombings, not bus bombings and stupidly argued that some 7,000 buses cannot possibly be monitored.
He then added that bombings cannot be prevented, citing the recent Moscow bombing that killed more people.

But realizing too late that this bus bombing incident in the heart of the Metro Manila would turn off foreign investors who have been turned off since he took the presidency and blunders through it, Noynoy asked media not to highlight the negative aspect of the peace and order situation in the country, which won’t do him any good.

While it can be argued that such bombings can, and do occur in other countries where intelligence gathering and networking are superior to the country’s, the fact is that there is a high level of confidence in the leaderships of governments of other countries, whether in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain or Russia, at least in doing their utmost to keep their citizens safe, something which is horribly lacking in the leadership and security forces of the country, as they are truly headless, inefficient and highly incompetent in handling such preventive measures, despite the fact that billions of taxpayers’ money in intelligence funds are hardly ever utilized for intelligence work..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110128com2.html

School hijab ban divides Muslim Azerbaijan FEATURE 01/28/2011

School hijab ban divides Muslim Azerbaijan


NARDARAN � A woman with her head uncovered is a rare sight in Nardaran, an impoverished village on the Caspian Sea which has become a stronghold of Islamic activism in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan.

Roadside posters offer messages from the Koran, alcohol is absent from local shops, and hundreds of villagers recently took to the streets in protest against a controversial decision to stop girls wearing the Islamic headscarf in schools.

Angry worshipers demonstrated last month outside the huge mosque which dominates the village on the outskirts of the capital, set fire to a photograph of the education minister and chanted: �We�d rather die than give up the hijab!�

The hijab was effectively banned in schools last year by new rules defining what kind of uniforms pupils should wear in this mainly Shiite Muslim country, which emerged as one of the most secular in the Islamic world after decades of Soviet rule..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110128com3.html

More ‘X’-es NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 01/28/2011

More ‘X’-es

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Yesterday marked the 40th day of my husband’s demise. Writing this in advance, I was of course unable to know who would be going to the mass and dinner my children and I tendered for the occasion. The card we’re still sending out reads, “There are simply no words to thank you for the loving expression of sympathy you have given us during the passing of Sig. Please know how much we appreciated your prayers and kind words, and taking the time to comfort us. Sig was a happy, loving and kind man. We are grateful to have been part of his life.”

My appreciation, once again, for all who dropped by last night.

Aawitan Kita sa Makati goes on its 63rd staging this evening at the University of Makati’s 6th floor auditorium, also with Bimbo Cerrudo, Isay Alvarez, Bayang Barrios, Bangge Mabanta, Joel Villaflor, Raul Montesa and Miguel Castro, in a first-of-the-year presentation entitled “Bagong Taon, Bagong Puso.” I play the role of a widow, in a script that was written way before I became one. The show starts exactly at 6 p.m., but be there 30 minutes earlier to get good seats. Admission is free, but senior citizens get priority accommodation, as part of the Office of the Mayor of Makati City’s project for the city’s elderly..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110128com4.html

Time to step up C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 01/28/2011

Time to step up

Jonathan De la Cruz
There is a time for everything, the Good Book says. After days of crime and violence — from the kidnapping and killing of Emerson Lozano and Venson Evangelista to the killing of Gerry Ortega and then, culminating in the bombing of a Newman Goldliner bus along Edsa, causing death to five persons and injury to dozens — it is time not only to grieve and condemn but to act and act decisively to get the perpetrators to justice and the nation to come around united in fighting all forms of criminality and mayhem now enveloping the length and breadth of the archipelago. For sometime we have somehow assumed that these types of crimes will never reach our shores lulling us into complacency and inaction. And so, our officials are bumbling their way around uttering all kinds of rubbish to explain away the mess only to be dragged back to earth with the wails of our people for justice and peace. But this is not the time for finger pointing so we urge one and all to stay focused, get to the bottom of this wave of criminal acts and find ways to stem the flow, as it were..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110128com5.html

Clarification LETTER 01/28/2011 Dear Editor:



Dear Editor:
This is to respond to the points raised by Mr. Charlie V. Manalo in his article entitled “Group asks Congress to investigate corruption in DSWD’s CCT program,” published in The Daily Tribune last Jan. 3, 2011.

In the article, it was written that Mr. Fernando Hicap, chairman of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), has called on the House oversight committee on monitoring CCT funds to conduct investigation into the alleged corruption of CCT funds last year in Donsol, Sorsogon. In another statement, it was claimed that Mr. Hicap received several text messages from CCT beneficiaries in Barangay Vinisitahan, Donsol, Sorsogon complaining about the distribution, if any, was committed in the area.

On this note, we would like to inform the public that the cash grants for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program go directly to the hands of the beneficiaries. A systematic process of transfer of amount is done through over-the-counter payments and ATM cash cards facilitated by Land Bank of the Philippines and their partner rural banks in the Pantawid Pamilya areas. We have also embarked on the use of Globe G-cash Remit to deliver the cash grants to the beneficiaries living in far flung areas with minimal or no cost on their end (we are already implementing G-Cash in 17 municipalities, including Taytay and Balabac, Palawan)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110128com6.html

Edsa II and the Greenbase legacy DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 01/28/2011

Edsa II and the Greenbase legacy

Herman Tiu Laurel
Who is in need of turning public attention away at the moment? Who is capable of this? Who has the actual track record for such dastardly crimes? These were the first questions that came to mind when I heard about the Newman Goldliner bus explosion the other day.

My thoughts immediately raced back to the F-I-D-E-L series of Rizal Day bombings a decade ago where the masterminds, who continue to run scot-free, subsequently attained their goal of grabbing power from a popularly-elected president, with some Muslim insurgents cum “patsies” (manipulated dupes) falling by the wayside.

I also had flashbacks of Operation Greenbase, an exposé by the Bagong Katipuneros against a top ranking military general and Defense official, accused of ordering the bombing of mosques to create a crisis scenario. Now, it seems, these shadowy figures have good reason to mobilize their assets once again.

In December 2000, the masterminds created a sense of absolute failure on the part of government to secure public safety, thus laying the predicate for the forced removal of the national leader back then. In the Edsa-Buendia bus bombing, the timing and the probable suspects lead us to speculate that the motives may well range from a deepening investigation into the Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia caper to their eagerness to show how much more incompetent the present government is compared to theirs.

Echoes of similarities between those two bombings became more vivid as the former’s most lamented victim, Crizel Acusin, a little girl whose face was blown off, shared an eerily similar name with Kristel Ausena, one of the fatalities in the recent blast. But apart from this, one cannot help but get unnerved by the deliberate inhumanity of it all.

Among the theories that officials are circulating about Tuesday’s explosion is the involvement of Abu Sayyaf or other Islamic insurgents and extortionists. But many of these groups are known to be offshoots of military, police, and paramilitary black ops — let loose under continuing monitoring of handlers who hold dossiers to keep these elements under control and used whenever necessary.

The circumstances and timing of the F-I-D-E-L bombings point to such a similar scenario, where the conspiracy of military and police generals with “The Great Usurper” to topple President Joseph Estrada (boastfully admitted by Arroyo in the video-recorded Copa celebrations of 2001) was the most likely culprit in the different maneuvers that made it possible for the heinous crime to happen, e.g., opening access to the LRT (through the withdrawal of bomb sniffing dogs a week ahead).

Subsequent events involving generals of Edsa II and the capture, helicopter escape, and then rubout of Al Ghozi also point to police brass manipulation of these elements. Some individuals involved in that conspiracy have been in the limelight the past few weeks and may have believed it opportune to put some of these old assets to use this time around.

Whether there is actually this plot today doesn’t really matter. Media have now been effectively sidetracked from the heated investigations that lead to certain generals and people in authority.

But it really brings up the old questions again: If those who have conspired against the Rule of Law and have been shown to have used direct threats of treasonous military action and actual violence against the elected government of Estrada continue to dominate Philippine society, should we wonder why such atrocities as the Goldliner “terror” bombing keep happening?

Remember that these Edsa II personalities, from Gloria and Mike Arroyo to (ret.) Gen. Renato de Villa (who recently got featured in the Jan. 26 Business Mirror column of Manuel Buencamino), were on record with this quote: “Our group, there was a backup strike force… with orders to shoot…” And with their rogue columnists continuing to justify this dark chapter in our history, can it not be said that they and their brand of injustice are still very much around?

The respect for the Rule of Law has not been restored; therefore, the reign of justice and peace cannot as yet return. The culture of impunity will remain for as long as the corrupt and dehumanized powers continue with their Rule of Force.

We must pressure media to return to the burning issues of the day before this latest tragedy completely distracts us. The investigation into widespread military corruption, the network behind the carnapping syndicates and the recent spate of gruesome murders, the injustice of unending increases in public utility rates, the exposé on Supreme Court sleaze by victims of injustice, as well as the economic larceny behind the latest Cha-cha (Charter change) call must all proceed full steam.

In short, we must continue to expose the legacy of Edsa II and Operation Greenbase, which is the total failure of the present system and the parasitic ruling class that are destroying our society and Republic. Nothing short of a revolutionary reversal will restore justice and peace in this country.

(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, about “Crime and Corruption in Philippine Society” with PMJ’s Tito Guingona and Atty. Oliver Lozano; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110128com7.html

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