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Hard reality EDITORIAL 02/09/2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hard reality

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
02/09/2011
Initial reactions from several military figures, as well as some former officers, to the suicide of former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff (CoS) Angelo Reyes, appear to be some sort of effort to — for want of a better word — use Reyes’ death as a way of either going soft on the probes of the military or halting congressional investigations that, apart from the plea bargain deal of former military comptroller retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, have led probers to dig deeper in the massive corruption of the AFP.

Media have tended to lay the blame of Reyes’ suicide on the whistle-blowing activity of retired budget officer George Rabusa, which is unfair. This may sound callous at this time, but the fact is, it was not Rabusa and his exposes on the long-standing corruption in the military that pressured Reyes to kill himself. That was not Rabusa’s, nor the senators’ intent in getting this corruption exposed. Callous as it may sound, it was Reyes’ decision to kill himself and others who were just doingt their job should not be blamed for his suicide..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110209com1.html

Political sell-out FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/09/2011

Political sell-out

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
02/09/2011
Noynoy wants a postponement of the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and wants as well to appoint his preferred individuals to replace the elected officials in the Muslim region.

He says it is necessary to remove the current elected ARMM officials to ensure clean elections and allow his government to institute reforms in the ARMM faster.

What Noynoy is doing is disrespecting the will of the ARMM electorate. Good or bad officials, the fact is that they have been elected to serve until Aug. 8 of this year or thereabouts. For him to kick out these officials — even they be the Ampatuans and their kin, is definitely unconstitutional and illegal. There is nothing in the Charter or in the law that elected ARMM officials can be replaced by another set of officials who would be appointed by the president.

In truth, what Noynoy is trying to do is worse than that which he denounces as the “midnight appointees” of Gloria Arroyo. Those so-called midnight appointees are not elected officials, but this time around, with him as president, he wants to remove the incumbents from their elected positions, in the “holy” name of “reforms,” and replace them with his appointees..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110209com2.html

Cameron reignites UK multiculturalism debate FEATURE 02/09/2011

Cameron reignites UK multiculturalism debate

FEATURE

02/09/2011
LONDON — On June 22, 1948, the ship Empire Windrush docked just outside London loaded with hundreds of men from the West Indies, marking a sea change in British culture — the start of mass immigration.

More than half a century on and after successive waves of arrivals from across the world, Britain is struggling more than ever with the vexed question of how to integrate the newcomers.

Prime Minister David Cameron has now reignited the debate by claiming in a speech on Saturday that the long-standing policy of multiculturalism is a failure and in part to blame for fostering Islamic extremism.

Multiculturalism — generally understood as meaning no single culture or set of values should be promoted above any other — was encouraging different cultures to live separate lives, said Cameron..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110209com3.html

The evidence, please C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 02/09/2011

The evidence, please

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
02/09/2011
Whatever happened to the investigations conducted by Congress in 2003 and later, after the Oakwood mutiny, by the Feliciano Commission on the alleged irregularities and malpractices in the military? This question is being asked in view of the resurfacing of eerily the same allegations made then and those coming out of the ongoing congressional inquiries. Only this time there are new “witnesses,” former CoA auditor Heidi Mendoza and former AFP budget officer George Rabusa whose testimonies have riveted the nation no end. Not that these are new but that they are newly packaged and delivered in more dramatic fashion.

In 2004, then Ilocos Norte Rep. now Gov. Imee Marcos revealed that then AFP Chief Angie Reyes’ wife, Teresita, went on 48 foreign trips from 1998 to 2003. Her frequent companions were the wives of military comptroller Maj. General Jacinto Ligot (ret) and Rabusa. Yes, the same Rabusa who is now being lionized as a whistle-blower. Other allegations of irregularities mirroring those now mentioned in Congress, i.e., diversion and conversion of funds, luxurious lifestyle, assets galore, etc., were also divulged during the same hearings. If memory serves right, Reyes, Ligot and his successor, Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, Rabusa, then LogCom Chief Col. Felipe Tabas and six other persons were charged before the Ombudsman for unexplained wealth and related offenses. Also recommended for prosecution by the House committee on defense were the five Chiefs of Staff after Reyes all of whom served at various times within that period. At that time, Rep. Roilo Golez headed the defense committee so it will be helpful if he can give his colleagues and the public a little history lesson on these matters when the hearings resume next week..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110209com4.html

Echoes of apartheid for evicted farm workers in S. Africa FEATURE 02/09/2011

Echoes of apartheid for evicted farm workers in S. Africa

FEATURE

02/09/2011
PLANGENE — A group of farm workers traces a slow arc around the base of a towering water tank, following the only shade on the shantytown’s main street as the sun makes its way across the sky.

The green drum, which holds 10,000 liters (quarts) and gets refilled three times a week, is the only municipal service in Plangene, an informal settlement for “colored” or mixed-race families who have been evicted from their houses on white-owned vineyards in South Africa’s arid Northern Cape province.

Plangene, which sits about 800 kilometers (500 miles) west of Johannesburg, is a scattering of some 50 tin-roof shacks with no electricity, sanitation, running water or school.

“When the farm owners evict us, the only place to go is here,” says Katriena Brown, a petite 62-year-old widow who moved here in 2005, a month after her husband died..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110209com5.html

Filthy and rich SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 02/09/2011

Filthy and rich

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
02/09/2011
We all know our Kamao ng Bayan, now also Rep. Manny Pacquiao, is filthy rich. His boxing triumphs and judicious investments have yielded millions of dollars for his purse, and he has been known to flaunt his assets somewhat. A fleet of luxury cars, a mansion in General Santos, houses in Metro Manila and in the US. In fact, his five-bedroom Los Angeles home — modest by American celebrity standards, perhaps — was recently featured on MTV Cribs, a show that features various celebrity living spaces.

The YouTube entry on this episode has already gotten almost a million hits, yet I am pretty sure most of the people who watched it were cheering on or feeling nothing but pride in the boxing champ rather than showing their derision for “illegal excess.”

“Illegal excess,” if you must know, is the illegal access to and possession of public funds — a dastardly crime that deserves the worst sort of punishment man can think of. Punishment from UP ABOVE will no doubt come to those who forget to listen to their conscience, but don’t you think it is so much more satisfying to see these criminals getting punished while we are all here on earth?

Pacquiao may have been accused of other crimes, and that is saying it in the least damaging sense, but he has never been suspected of dipping dirty fingers into public coffers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110209com7.html

Cribs HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 02/09/2011

Cribs

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
02/09/2011
Manny Pagsuyuin, or the more popular radio disc jockey Jimmy Jam, could not have said it more fittingly when he declared “Manny has arrived!”

He was not referring to himself but Manny Pacquiao, who recently showed the world his 4,500 square foot, five-bedroom Los Angeles, California mansion through the popular MTV Cribs segment in the music channel.

Since New Wave and Michael Jackson, MTV has neither altered or shaped the lives of many youth. It has become a fulfillment of many dreams, and to be featured in MTV’s international channel means you have reached your pinnacle, either as a musician or a celebrity like Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is the first Filipino celebrity to be featured in Cribs. He now shares the honor of being able to show off his blings as testaments to his superhuman achievements with the likes of hip-hop and R&B superstars 50-Cent, Mariah Carey and Akon, and other select sports greats like Carmelo Anthony, among others..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110209com6.html

Angie says ‘sorry,’ kills self 02/09/2011

REYES FAMILY SEEKS PRIVACY; ERAP: ‘HE WAS A GOOD GENERAL’

Angie says ‘sorry,’ kills self

02/09/2011
Former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff (CoS) and Defense chief Gen. Angelo Reyes killed himself in front of the tomb of his mother yesterday at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City amid the various investigations into the massive corruption in the military organization which tagged him as one of the AFP chiefs of staff who was part of the “pabaon” system and other irregularities.

He shot himself in the chest, aiming at his heart.

Reyes was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physicians at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) in Quezon City due to a gunshot wound in the chest.

Department of Health Secretary Enrique Ona, who rushed to the QMMC, said Reyes was rushed to the hospital around 7:45 a.m. without any vital signs. Ona added attending physicians tried to revive Reyes for about 45 minutes but to no avail..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110209hed1.html

PMA mistahs, allies: Angie ‘victim of trial by publicity’ By Mario J. Mallari 02/09/2011

PMA mistahs, allies: Angie ‘victim of trial by publicity’

By Mario J. Mallari 02/09/2011

For “mistahs” and allies of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Angelo Reyes, he was a “victim of trial by publicity” insinuating broadly that his death by suicide was caused by the public investigations into the massive corruption in the military, which some suspect is the military’s means to get members of Congress to stop the probes being held simultaneously by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, before the massive corruptiion probe gets bigger and implicates more generals and chiefs of staff.

There are sectors holding the view that many more military officers, retired and active, could be linked to such massive corruption in the AFP and exploiting the suicide of the former CoS whle pointing the blame on Congress may lead to a stoppage of the probes.

His mistah from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1966, retired Brig. Gen. Fred Bautista said Reyes was already adjudged “guilty” by the public while the investigations are still ongoing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110209hed2.html

Palace ‘shocked’ at show of generals’ wives wealth By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/09/2011

Palace ‘shocked’ at show of generals’ wives wealth

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/09/2011

The Palace expressed awe at the display of wealth of the spouses of military generals being accused of plundering military funds, a reaction which was far dif-ferent when it faced recent questions on the line of ritzy vehicles that President Aquino was seen in.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said he was surprised to learn that Ligot owned a number of illegally-acquired homes and other properties in the United States, not to mention the jetsetting habits of his wife.

Lacierda expressed no inclination to buy the alibi of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller, retired Brig. Gen. Jacinto Ligot, with respect to his unexplained wealth that was uncovered by the Senate blue ribbon committee the other day.

Lacierda told reporters that it’s uncommon for some-one like Ligot to just assert that he does not know anything about his wife’s 42 travels abroad as well as his constant claims that he doesn’t remember anything whenever he’s being questioned by the lawmakers concerning the allegations against him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110209hed3.html

Less poor after NSCB tweaks poverty formula 02/09/2011

Less poor after NSCB tweaks poverty formula

02/09/2011
Using a revised computing method, the number of poor Filipinos is expected to significantly drop when data covering the Aquino administration start to filter in simply by reducing the computation of those under poverty line from those earning P41 per person per day to just P37 per person per day. The amount is supposedly the cost for a Filipino on average to meet all basic needs, which is highly unrealistic.

The National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) applied the revised formula to a 2009 survey it released yesterday which showed that the incidence of poverty still worsened from 2006.

Research group Ibon, however, said using the new NSCB formula, the number of poor Filipinos in 2006, for instance, was reduced by some 4.6 million..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110209hed4.html

Senate suspends probe; House goes on By Michaela P. del Callar and Gerry Baldo 02/09/2011

Senate suspends probe; House goes on

By Michaela P. del Callar and Gerry Baldo 02/09/2011

The Senate has suspended its inquiry into military corruption for a week, following the death of former Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes, one of those linked to the alleged customary payoffs in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) but the House hearing, which had a schedule yesterday went on, after the majority voted to go on with the probe.

But senators said they will remain steadfast in their efforts to uncover more anomalies in the military in a bid to introduce reforms in the AFP. The hearing will resume on Friday next week.

“In deference to and given the untimely death of Secretary Reyes who once served as a soldier and co-worker in government, as co-chairman of the Senate committees conducting the inquiry given that Senator (TG) Guingona is presently out of the country I am deferring the hearings of the Senate on the plea bargain of (Maj. Gen. Carlos) Garcia for a week,” Sen. Francis Escudero said.

Escudero added suspension of the hearing would enable the Senate “to take stock and gain perspective of recent events and the steps we should take in the weeks and months ahead with only the
best interests of our country and people, as well as the men and women in uniform in the AFP, in mind.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110209hed5.html

Taiwan hits back, orders recall of Teco ambassador By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/09/2011

Taiwan hits back, orders recall of Teco ambassador

By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/09/2011

Taiwan has retaliated against the Philippine government by ordering the recall of its arepresentative to Manila, following the Aquino administration’s decision to extradite 14 Taiwanese to China.

Taiwanese media, quoting a Taipei Foreign Ministry statement issued late Monday, said Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) Representative Lee Chuan-tung, Taipei’s de-facto ambassador to the Philippines, is being recalled over the “inappropriate” deportation of the Taiwanese nationals to China. The ministry also said it will strictly screen all visa applications of Philippine nationals who are seeking employment in Taiwan.
Teco officials in Manila would not confirm if Lee has already left the country.

Manila does not have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, a democratic self-governing island that has been separated from the Chinese mainland since 1949, but still claimed by China as part of its territory..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110209hed6.html

DoLE condemns killing of Pinoy sailor by Somali pirates By Mina Diaz 02/09/2011

DoLE condemns killing of Pinoy sailor by Somali pirates

By Mina Diaz 02/09/2011

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz yesterday strongly condemned the killing of a Filipino seafarer in the hands of Somali pirates as a “senseless disregard for human life.”

The DoLE has discussed with its tripartite partners a plan of action containing measures on how to better safeguard and protect Filipino seafarers on board international vessels traversing the pirates-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea, she said.

“We express outrage over this senseless disregard for human life and we condemn in the strongest possible terms the atrocity of the Somali pirates,” she said.

“We are also saddened by this tragic incident, and deeply condole with the family and relatives of the deceased Filipino seaman. Earlier, I have instructed Administrator Carmelita Dimzon of the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration to extend all possible assistance and monetary benefits to his family, and she has reported that the OWWA had already acted accordingly,” she added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110209nat2.html

Mancao’s lawyer to bar Bato in CA’s hearing over Lacson 02/09/2011

Mancao’s lawyer to bar Bato in CA’s hearing over Lacson

02/09/2011
The lawyer of former Police Senior Supt. Cezar Mancao III yesterday said that he will “strongly press” the joint panel composed of prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DoJ), the Office of the Solicitor-General, lawyers of the Dacer family and the lawyers of Mancao, which will convene tomorrow at the DoJ upon the request of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to look into the possibility of seeking for the inhibition of Court of Appeals Justice Ramon Bato, from further hearing the case of Sen. Panfilo Lacson before the CA. Bato penned the eighty-page decision reversing the trial court’s finding of probable cause against Lacson and nullifying the warrant for his arrest..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110209nat4.html

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