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Deluded FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/31/2011

Monday, January 31, 2011


Ninez Cacho-Olivares
With more of his Yellow followers now realizing the big mistake they made in electing a know-nothing with even no track legislative record for the 11 years he had as a member of Congress, there went Noynoy again, claiming he is now under attack on several fronts — but for another invented reason: The attacks have come into play since he started his reforms in government.

That is really a laugh, considering that he has done nothing at all — even by way of reforms, which is why the country continues to be directionless and his administration appears to be almost in a state of paralysis.

This is the underlying reason for criticisms leveled against him, and the root of the disillusion felt by his many Yellow supporters.

What reforms is he talking about that he claims to have instituted? In the sphere of corruption in government, corruption has not stopped at all. The only difference between the previous administration and the current one as far as corruption goes, is that it is now the then Yellow opposition that is now in power and enjoying the corrupt life. Opulent Gloria was; Opulent Noynoy is, too..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110131com2.html

Drug violence edges closer to Mexican capital FEATURE 01/31/2011

Drug violence edges closer to Mexican capital


MEXICO CITY — The deployment of soldiers on the outskirts of Mexico City this month has sparked concern that the country’s drug wars are creeping toward the sprawling capital.
Soldiers began nightly patrols on the streets of Nezahualcoyotl, a working class municipality of Mexico state, on Jan. 18, two days after a shootout in a residential area left eight youths dead.

The poor municipality, which lies barely 15 miles (20 kilometers) east of the capital’s historical center, has long been a port of entry for drug dealers to Mexico City.

Suspected battles between drug traffickers broke out there at the end of 2010.

Local police chief Victor Torres blamed the fighting on a split within La Familia drug gang, which is based in western Mexico, and suggested that the notoriously violent Zetas gang could also be involved..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110131com3.html

Letters C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 01/31/2011


Jonathan De la Cruz
We have some letters. A certain Leonardo de los Reyes wrote us regarding the proposed abolition of the PCGG which he agreed was long overdue. He bewailed the theft, transfer of the ownership and hollowing out of sequestered assets in the hands of PCGG agents during the heady days of Edsa 1, which he noted could have been saved from ruin had the leadership then provided clearer guidelines and strictly monitored the preservation and turnover of these assets to the rightful owners as declared by the courts. He also asked that proper auditing of all these sequestered assets be done and the names of all those who served as PCGG officials and agents be published to establish their accountabilities, if any. Finally, he advised that instead of creating the Truth Commission, P-Noy simply should form a dedicated special unit within the Office of The President which can study and go over the records of “suspect” deals especially such high profile ones as the aborted NBN-ZTE, NAIA3/Piatco, North Rail/CNMEG, LTO/Stradcom, Peace Bonds and the MRT3 “Bonds Buy Out,” to name a few of the more controversial projects, and then proceed to go after the malcontents if warranted. We also received letters from Jose Sevilla on the goings-on at the Comelec, Joan Cruz on the peace process, Haydee Duran on Slex and the toll rate increase and Roland Villacrucis on the NFA, LTO and Customs. We will discuss some of their points in subsequent columns and pursue some of the leads they provided..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110131com4.html

Just the tip of the iceberg DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 01/31/2011

Just the tip of the iceberg

Herman Tiu Laurel
As Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia couldn’t have pulled off his larceny on the Armed Forces’ logistics command without authorization from above, so could these superiors of his (i.e. Angie Reyes, other chiefs-of-staff, including various Defense secretaries) also not have conducted these rackets over time without their higher ups ever condoning such acts.

For one, let’s ask who got Reyes to turn against the Constitution in Edsa II by shanghaiing a busload of generals to Gloria Arroyo’s illegal oathtaking, with him even sardonically exclaiming, “Gentlemen, we are committing treason.”

Knowing the answer is key because ever since that fateful day, Mrs. Arroyo has lavishly taken care of Reyes’ fortunes; likewise that of the “cheap” magistrate who administered her oath; and, of course, the vast riches of that noted oligarch slash Edsa pavement dancer who financed her coup — whose ilk Gloria’s economic adviser Joey Salceda claimed nine years later to have “…never had it so good, earning P10 trillion in 10 years” under their Queen’s inglorious reign.

Going by the P300-million loot Garcia had amassed, the former military comptroller may look like a big or middling fish. But once people get to see how much more his bosses may have plundered, he will certainly look like a small fry.

A small fry indeed Garcia is compared to, say, his erstwhile boss, Angie Reyes, who could have amassed P500 million to well over a billion (or even more), and that former Chief Justice, who was alleged to have benefited from the P3-billion Judiciary Development Fund, a scandal circa 2002-2003 that set off impeachment proceedings against him, which Gloria expectedly quashed.

A small fry, too, is what Garcia appears to be especially when placed alongside members of the then expanding Arroyo cabal, whose power addiction grew simultaneous with their own designs to stay in power, such that subsequent elections had to be rigged in order to net the players hefty kickbacks in, say, the ZTE-NBN scandal or even the transitional ruse that was the fraudulent P11.8-billion Smartmatic system.
But then, these billions are definitely miniscule compared to the ten thousand billions of pesos (read: P10 trillion) that the handful of Big Business oligarchs got, starting from the P5-million to P10-million payola-laden passage of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) by the Edsa II lameduck Congress under Sonny Belmonte, which ushered in a decade of power plunder that, up to this day, is the single biggest economic disaster for Filipino households and livelihoods.

Why, Epira was just a harbinger of all the predatory public utility rate increases that followed. In the years after Edsa II, the oligarchs were always on a roll — be it water, toll ways, or even port and harbor service fees! Good thing that a handful of consumer advocates, like the 89-year-old Mang Naro Lualhati, who won us our first P30-billion Meralco refund, are still around. This Feb. 7, he will be presenting in court Meralco’s P92-billion disallowances and P39-billion overcharges.

If and when the likes of Garcia and Reyes are put away in jail, does anyone believe Philippine society will be cleaned up? Their acts of corruption are but shovels of garbage from the Payatas pit of official corruption.
Who were the collaborators of Arroyo and Reyes all through the last decade in the Senate, Congress, media, religious and business sectors, as well as NGOs?

Ask Roilo Golez who, as National Security Adviser, defended Arroyo to the hilt during the Oakwood protests and investigations and called my radio program on dzXL to stop my reading of the Trillanes manifesto on July 27, 2003 and got me kicked out of the station a week later.

Ask Sen. Rodolfo Biazon to enlighten us as to why a group of retired generals reject him as being part of the so-called “righteous generals” of our soldiery. Ask Sen. Miguel Zubiri, too, who has been vocal on the Garcia issue. Let’s see if he can explain how he won his Senate seat.

Oops, I almost forgot, what about Etta Rosales and the funds she got from Gloria to jumpstart her party-lists and her comrades’ congressional careers?

If anyone thinks Garcia and Reyes’ alleged loots are scandalously huge, they should ask Sonny Belmonte where the former QC mayor’s annual P1-billion pork barrel went to in the past 10 years, and why his councilors’ counterpart pork barrel had grown from P40 million to P50 million a year, amid the worsening squalor of Quezon City’s poor.

What about the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and its officials, who are collaborating in a great financial larceny by keeping the P1.22-trillion Special Deposit Account idle while borrowing heavily year in-year out, adding up to the country’s mounting murderous debt to the global banking mafia?

What about the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s top officials, who implement debilitating taxes on small and medium scale businesses, as well as the onerous VAT on hapless Filipino consumers, knowing that an awfully huge chunk of these go off to feed the insatiable sharks of international Finance?

Garcia is a small fry; Reyes is but a middling shark. And while we should never take our eyes off them, we must all know that the megalodons (or prehistoric, dinosaur-like sharks) are swimming below in the coldest, darkest depths of our predatory sea.

(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/20110131com5.html

Terror or destab HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 01/31/2011

Terror or destab

Aldrin Cardon
My source has never been in the forefront of things, but had always been a background player in government. He’s been there, first during the time of Cory, and on a limited capacity, with the present Aquino in Malacañang.

He knows how contending forces operate, being an experienced operator himself during the dark years of martial law, when he had to face players from the entire political spectrum for tactical alliances, or with their main foes themselves during those times when they were severely defeated.

Months before the Edsa bus bombing, my source told this writer in passing that there could be destabilization attempts this year. He revealed from which source these destabilization actions would come from, and their purpose.

Knowing his background, I did not brush off his claims as fatuous. I know where he is coming from, and why he thought Metro Manila would become a dangerous place to live in when that moment comes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110131com6.html

Shaken and stirred SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 01/31/2011

Shaken and stirred

Dinah S. Ventura
Last week, explosions — literally and figuratively — shook us into either a panicky or philosophical state. The loss of lives last Jan. 25 in Makati outraged all of us and made us wonder who would be heartless and cruel enough to commit such a crime.

Who would put a bomb in a bus and walk away knowing it would kill and affect so many lives — those who are working hard to support their families, and took that bus not knowing they would never see their loved ones again?

We are no longer strangers to such senseless acts. Terrorism became a worldwide scourge since 911, and with reports saying that the Abu Sayyaf allegedly had a hand in the Makati bus bombing, we are once again confronted with the stark reality that there are those who walk among us with evil in their minds. With the deaths of those unfortunate five Filipinos, we wonder once more what these rebels are truly fighting for.

If it was intended to destabilize the current administration, it certainly did not get any sympathy from anybody, least of all the millions who are fighting to survive the times..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110131com7.html

Rabusa testimony enough to pin down Reyes — Miriam By Angie M. Rosales 01/31/2011

Rabusa testimony enough to pin down Reyes — Miriam

By Angie M. Rosales 01/31/2011

The revelations in the Senate of retired Col. George Rabusa, a former AFP budget officer, is enough to pin down former Defense Secretary and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Angelo Reyes for raiding military funds, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said yesterday.

A former regional trial court (RTC) judge turned lawmaker, Santiago noted the weight of the testimony of Rabusa as an eyewitness, saying such can stand alone in court even without any corroboration from another witness.

Former AFP comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, likewise, appeared to be on the same boat with another equally tough witness in the person of a Commission on Audit (CoA) auditor Heidi Mendoza who the senator described as an expert witness.

“Reyes, he’s dead meat. His goose is cooked. He’s a dead man walking because we have an eyewitness,” Santiago said in a radio interview..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110131hed1.html

No easy peace deal with gov’t — MILF 01/31/2011

No easy peace deal with gov’t — MILF

Separatist Muslim rebels yesterday admitted peace negotiations with the Aquino administration will not be an easy and smooth-sailing process as it faces constant struggle across the negotiating table with representatives of the government.

During continuing consultations within the secessionist ranks, Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal instead urged the group’s military and political leaders to maintain
objectivity in the peace process with the government.

“Don’t be too optimistic,” warned Iqbal during a talk before more than 800 participants from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte, who arrived last January 28 in a convoy of more than 100 vehicles of various sizes.

The MILF and government ceasefire committees, along with the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT), agreed, arranged and led the travel of these delegates from Butig, Lanao del Sur to Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, the venue of the consultation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110131hed2.html

No abolition, PCGG execs bid for broader powers By Jason Faustino 01/31/2011

No abolition, PCGG execs bid for broader powers

By Jason Faustino 01/31/2011

Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) officials sought the creation of a new agency to focus on corruption prevention and recovery of properties stolen by way of corrupt activities that would in effect extend the life of the PCGG and broaden its powers.

The PCGG is marking its 25th anniversary on February 28 this year and public clamor for its termination had snowballed after failing through most of the years of its existence to win a case .

Responding to these clamors, PCGG chairman Andres Bautista wrote to President Aquino late last year proposing to wind up the efforts to recover the Marcos wealth and transfer all cases to the Department of Justice and all PCGG-managed assets to the Privatization Management Office (PMO) of the Department of Finance.

In the same letter, Bautista recommended the creation of a good governance institution that will conduct research and mainstream best practices on good governance in place of the PCGG..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110131hed3.html

RP activates crisis team in Egypt By Michaela P. del Callar 01/31/2011

RP activates crisis team in Egypt

By Michaela P. del Callar 01/31/2011

The Philippine government has activated its crisis management office to closely monitor the ongoing tension in Egypt while a Filipino migrant workers group urged the Aquino administration to seriously consider evacuating the more than 6,000 Filipinos in the Middle East state to ensure their safety.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has also allocated a P25-million standby emergency fund for Egypt should the security situation there deteriorates and there is a need to evacuate Filipinos to safer places.

Crisis management officials will be on 24-hour duty to provide guidance to the Philippine Embassy in Cairo and assistance to Filipinos who have relatives in Egypt.

Manila is also sending Special Assistant Enrico Fos of the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs to Egypt on Monday to assist the embassy in the implementation of contingency measures for the Filipino community..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110131hed4.html

Thousands of prisoners escape in Egypt; death toll rises to 102 01/31/2011

Thousands of prisoners escape in Egypt; death toll rises to 102

CAIRO — Thousands of prisoners have escaped from detention facilities across Egypt as anti-regime riots raged into a sixth straight day with some soldiers joining the protests that have claimed at least 102 lives.

Several thousand inmates during the night overwhelmed guards at Wadi Natrun prison north of Cairo — which holds many Islamist political prisoners — and spilled out into nearby towns and villages, a security official said.

The official told Agence France Presse that eight prisoners were killed during rioting at the Abu Zaabal prison east of Cairo.

Dozens held at a facility in Fayum, south of Cairo, escaped on Saturday evening in clashes that left one policeman dead..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110131hed5.html

Piatco offers 90-10 deal with gov’t on T3 By Conrado Ching 01/31/2011

Piatco offers 90-10 deal with gov’t on T3

By Conrado Ching 01/31/2011

Philippine International Air Terminals Co Inc. (Piatco), the consortium that built the expropriated Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (T3) put forward yesterday a compromise deal in which it will operate the airport together with the government through a joint venture to settle a long dispute over the ownership of the project.

The scheme, which Piatco called a Joint Venture Agreement-Gross Revenue Sharing Scheme, offers a 90 percent to 10 percent sharing agreement in favor of Piatco that will allow the government to operate the new terminal with the cost of improvements being shouldered by Piatco and a strategic investor that it will invite into the project.

Piatco did not say whether the foreign partner it is targeting will remain Germany’s Fraport AG which is claiming some P18 billion in compensation from the government over the expropriated project. The government, during the term of former President Arroyo, managed to pay only P2.5 billion of Fraport’s total claims.

Piatco president Jennifer Bote said the proposal will allow the government to prevent any cash disbursement to allow the full operation of T3 in which the payment of the government to Piatco shall be derived from daily revenues from the commercial operation of the terminal for a specific period..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110131hed6.html

Makati police to file charges vs Eton owner, contractors By Pat C. Santos 01/31/2011

Makati police to file charges vs Eton owner, contractors

By Pat C. Santos 01/31/2011

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) is eyeing possible violation on Eton subcontractors as they will be charged of negligence by the Makati police.

Five inspectors from DoLE conducted an inside and outside inspections of the ongoing construction of the building to find out what are those that were violated by the contractors of the 39 floor building said to be owned by Lucio Tan Group of Companies.

Aside from possible violation on safety measures by the contractors, the DoLE also is looking on the possibility of its CE Construction, Arlo Aluminum Corp., and its sub-contractor EMP Pinion Corp. and the owner of the building Eton Towers in relation to compliance with just compensation and some benefits from its workers.

The contractors were given a few days to submit to DoLE office the copies of contract of services in order to determine if they are following the law which gives protection to workers on the right pay scale not only on the aspect of safety on their lives but also the benefits that they must rightfully recieve..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110131nat1.html

Detained NPA exec asks gov’t to join peace talks in Norway 01/31/2011

Detained NPA exec asks gov’t to join peace talks in Norway

TUGUEGARAO CITY — The alleged former spokesman of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Cagayan Valley has expressed desire to be released from detention to join the rebel peace panel in Oslo, Norway.

Randy Malayao, now facing criminal charges in Isabela province, sought the help of former Justice Secretary Silvestre Bello III, onetime head of the government peace panel. In turn, Bello called on Malayao last Friday advising him to get a safe conduct pass as National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant.

However, authorities here doubted whether Malayao can be granted a safe conduct pass to Oslo as an NDFP consultant since the names of both consultants were submitted earlier.

The military tagged Malayao as Salvador del Pueblo, former rebel spokesman in Cagayan Valley, who has been in detention since 2008 when he was arrested by a joint military-police contingent in Rizal province..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110131nat4.html

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