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The dangers of people power EDITORIAL 02/13/2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The dangers of people power

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
02/13/2011
Egypt’s 18-day phenomenon is fast being compared with Edsa I or the people power revolt of 1986 that removed the 20-year rule of former President Ferdinand Marcos and installed former President Cory Aquino to power.

There were certain elements that were strikingly similar in both: an overstaying dictator, a rigged election, and a spontaneous outpouring of public protest, among others.

Like in the case of Marcos, many Egyptians considered President Hosni Mubarak as a necessary leader of the time when the volatile Middle East had been on the brink of major confrontations for the past few years.

Leaders of Israel and the United States are likely spending sleepless nights with the departure of Mubarak and will continue to be restless until his replacement is finally firmly in control..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110213com1.html

Spin FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/13/2011

Spin

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
02/13/2011
Military officials, along with the opposition today, are milking the suicide of Angie Reyes for all its worth, portraying suicide as an honorable and dignified way to die and “save” the country, its institutions and its people from the massive corruption that has enveloped the entire nation.

Shooting himself in the chest, to hit his heart, is now even being compared to the ways of the Japanese Samurai who kills himself for, and with honor.

There is a big difference, however. It is in the culture of the Samurai to commit seppuku, as it also was Japanese culture of army people in Japan during WW ll to commit hara kiri. It is not, however, the Filipino culture and tradition to commit suicide and make this the Filipino’s badge of honor. Why then are the Filipinos being lulled into believing that suicide is not only a heroic act of Reyes, but an honorable and courageous act of saving the nation? Have Filipinos become so amoral that they no longer know what is right from wrong?

Are we to believe that truth about the corruption that exists in the military and no doubt in almost every government department and bureau should now be shelved, simply because a former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff, who could not take the pressure and who refused to cooperate in baring the truth in an inquiry, had decided to take his own life?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110213com2.html

Egypt opposition euphoric, but future remains vague focus 02/13/2011

Egypt opposition euphoric, but future remains vague

focus

02/13/2011
CAIRO — From cyber activists to the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian dissidents were euphoric after Friday’s ouster of Hosni Mubarak, but their plans remained vague as the army now controls the state.

Leading Egyptian opposition figure and former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei declared Egypt a “free and proud nation,” on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

“We have got our life back,” he said earlier on the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera.

“My message to the Egyptian people is that you have gained your liberty... Let’s make the best use of it and God bless you,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110213com3.html

ARMM polls deferment illegal BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 02/13/2011

ARMM polls deferment illegal

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
02/13/2011
Malacañang has signified it intent on securing the postponement of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that are scheduled this coming August, in accordance with law, and have them synchronized with the regular midterm 2013 polls.

Administration apologists say there are two reasons for the poll deferment: First, cost constraints, because the government will have to shell out around P4 billion to underwrite the electoral exercise, something that it can ill-afford at this present time. Second, the ongoing peace talks, because President Aquino wants to make the dialog with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) work by giving in to their demands that the ARMM polls be put off for some later date until the results are clear.

In order to accomplish this, the Palace has included the postponement of ARMM elections among the 17 priority bills they would be asking Congress to fast-track, which would be presented for discussion during the Feb. 28 meeting of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.

But for all intents and purposes, this is already a done deal because no one in his right mind would dare contradict the wishes of P-Noy once he has set his mind to it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110213com4.html

The ‘right to remain silent’ forever TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 02/13/2011

The ‘right to remain silent’ forever

TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
02/13/2011
Suicide is a bad choice, but it is still a choice. It is and will always be against the law of God who is the giver and taker of life.

The late Secretary Angelo Reyes made a bad choice but let us respect that; let it be and implore God’s mercy upon his soul so that he can rest in peace. Then we all say “Amen” to that.

Blaming is the worst argument and does not prove anything besides the fact that it is adding “salt to the wounds” if not insult to injury. Neither is romanticizing the suicide by labeling it as an “an act of heroism” helps ease the pain of the bereaved or the victim himself. Psychologists and mind experts are all agreed that suicide is a form of cowardice enveloped with egoistic pride or perhaps a misplaced sense of altruism such as “saving” one’s family or nation from further disgrace but disguised as self-effacement and heroism, as do the Japanese seppuku.

But what led to an otherwise courageous man, who had daily breakfasts of work related pressures from all flanks being consecutively at the helm of three of the most strenuous departments of government; a soldier who fears no one, not even the dreaded MILF extremist, to end it all would always remain a deep mystery. Not even extenuating triggers, nor cryptic suicide notes, and premonitory actions could lay bare the reasons. As one psychologist says, a suicidal person is often caught between the “devil and the deep blue sea” — an ocean of rational and irrational, the conscious and subconscious, the angst of existence and non-existence, nothingness or just too much of it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110213com5.html

Money woes drive Gazans to collaborate with Israel FEATURE 02/13/2011

Money woes drive Gazans to collaborate with Israel

FEATURE

02/13/2011
GAZA CITY — Mahmud regrets the day he took cash from an Israeli soldier for his wedding. It cost him a life sentence in a Gaza jail for collaboration with Israel.

This 24-year-old is among dozens of Palestinians who have been jailed by Gaza’s Hamas-run security forces for passing on information to Israel about armed groups operating in the enclave.

Some of them let themselves be bought for a pittance — receiving only a few hundred shekels (about $80, 60 euros) — in exchange for betraying their countrymen, Hamas says.

For Mahmud, financial problems paved the slippery slope to jail.

“I was walking near my home in northern Gaza, near the border with Israel, when I was stopped by the special forces and questioned,” he says, crouching in the corner of his cell..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110213com6.html

Pointers on clerical discipline 3 VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 02/13/2011

Pointers on clerical discipline 3

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
02/13/2011
Specifically in conjunction with the here and there heard “dispensation” of priests from the obligations appended to their clerical state and the “dismissal” of priests from the clerical state, the following pointers should be well noted for sake of clarify:

The difference between the above said cases of “dispensation” and “dismissal” of priests, primarily consists in the following factors: A “dispensation” is a favor given for right reasons upon formal request or petition of the priest concerned. On the other hand, a “dismissal” is a penalty for just causes, imposed upon a priest who adamantly refused to seek a dispensation for whatever silly, peculiar or strange reason he might have. Given their inherent gravity, the Supreme Pontiff is the ultimate judge in both “dispensation” and “dismissal” cases.

Finally, the following pointers could prove useful to better understand the nature of the Church, the import of clerical discipline and the updated response of the Vatican toward priests living unpriestly lives:
1.The Church is certainly and definitely not the churchmen. The Church is sanctified and sanctifying as founded and headed by Christ, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity who become man. Hence, while certain churchmen prove to be vicious and scandalous, they are categorically and specifically not the Church..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110213com7.html

Reyes’ death strengthens basis for probe — solons By Angie M. Rosales 02/13/2011

SENATE INQUIRY INTO AFP ANOMALIES RESUMES FEB. 18

Reyes’ death strengthens basis for probe — solons

By Angie M. Rosales 02/13/2011

The apparent suicide of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes has strengthened the resolve of the Senate blue ribbon committee to pursue its probe into the alleged corruption in the military organization to its rightful conclusion with the inquiry resuming on Friday, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate committee, said yesterday.

“As I stated earlier this week after news of his (Reyes’) death reached me, I affirm the resolve of the blue ribbon committee to continue the investigation into allegations of anomalies at the AFP,” Guingona said.

“This is in the hope that we can help this institution which Reyes served for a long time to regain the respect of our people,” the senator said in a statement.

A retired Marine colonel who once joined a coup attempt to topple the previous government also appealed to the Senate to pursue the investigation into the alleged massive corruption in the military..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110213hed1.html

Jinggoy urges high-level efforts in resolving deportation dispute 02/13/2011

Jinggoy urges high-level efforts in resolving deportation dispute

02/13/2011
Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada yesterday called on concerned agencies and officials of the Philippine government to immediately undertake high-level efforts in resolving what he called a “misunderstanding” between the country and Taiwan stemming from the latter’s dissatisfaction after the Philippines deported 14 Taiwanese to China.

The Taiwanese, earlier arrested along with 10 Chinese, were accused of swindling $20 million in an international scam targeting citizens of mainland China, and are facing criminal charges in that country.

Malacañang earlier had explained those arrested were deported to China because it is where the crime was committed, all the victims are Chinese and most of the evidence are in that country.

Estrada expressed alarm over reports that the Taiwanese government, in protest to the deportation, has undertaken retaliatory moves such as suspending the hiring of Filipino workers, and that it is also allegedly considering stopping all investments in the Philippines..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110213hed2.html

Bishops urge corruption probers to include police 02/13/2011

Bishops urge corruption probers to include police

02/13/2011
An inter-faith bishops group called on Congress to extend he current probe on corruption among officials in uniform to include the police force, which it said also shares allegations of irregularities similar to the military.

The Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) said as accusations of massive misuse of funds hound some military officials, the government should conduct a similar probe into the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In a statement, the EBF said the investigation is necessary to unearth allegations of corruption in the police hierarchy “whose reputation has gone down.”

“We also pray that something similar to this (investigation in the military) will come out from the ranks of the PNP,” the online news site of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) quoted the EBF as saying..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110213hed3.html

Western leaders, Aquino hail Mubarak resignation 02/13/2011

Western leaders, Aquino hail Mubarak resignation

02/13/2011
Malacañang yesterday joined the Western leaders in hailing the toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as a historic victory for “people power” and democracy while China and Russia called for stability.

Messages of congratulation to the Egyptian people flooded in as Mubarak handed over power to senior army officers after 18 days of mounting protests against his autocratic 30-year rule.

President Aquino welcomed the euphoric celebration of the Egyptians following the ouster of Mubarak, after a series of furious rallies which he likened to the country’s “people power” revolt that toppled the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

He said Filipinos stood in solidarity with Egyptians in seeking “meaningful and peaceful change,” after Mubarak..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110213hed4.html

Noynoy still hedging on FoI bill support 02/13/2011 By Aytch S. de la Cruz

Noynoy still hedging on FoI bill support

02/13/2011
By Aytch S. de la Cruz
The Palace continued to be ambiguous about the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill, the passing of which was among the campaign pledges of President Aquino, indicating yesterday that the President still needs time to study some of his concerns about the bill.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has formed a panel that would address Aquino’s supposed concerns on the FoI bill amid widespread appeals coming from its advocates for him to include the measure in the forthcoming Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) meeting.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said the discussion for the FoI bill can still take place in the next Ledac meetings since “time must be allotted” to study the concerns of the President.

After which, Valte said, the DoJ panel would have to coordinate with the FoI advocates in Congress to exchange views on the measure. She claimed this is by far what the government is undertaking at the moment in response to the clamor for the enactment of the FoI bill..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110213hed5.html

Soldier dies, 3 others wounded in misencounter By Gina Peralta-Elorde 02/13/2011

Soldier dies, 3 others wounded in misencounter

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 02/13/2011

A misencounter took place between policemen and members of the Philippine Army’s 75th Infantry Battalion in Agusan del Sur last Friday that resulted to the death of a soldier and wounded three others.

Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division spokesman Major Eugenio Osias IV said that the incident happened in Purok Alimo-ot Barangay Kogonon, Trento, Agusan del Sur.

Private First Class Daniel died while 2Lt Albert Anas, Private First Class Tapia and PO1 Jules Philip Granada were wounded in the misencounter.

According to reports from Chief Supt. Reynaldo Rafal, Caraga Police Regional Director, a police team was sent to a mission to rescue PO3 George Sabatin, a member of Trento Police Office, who was abducted by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) last week..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110213nat2.html

RP Embassy in Dubai fails to aid OFW who died in UAE hospital By Ted Boehnert 02/13/2011

RP Embassy in Dubai fails to aid OFW who died in UAE hospital

By Ted Boehnert 02/13/2011

ANGADANAN, Isabela — The body of a 31-year-old female overseas Filipino worker (OFW),who earlier died in a hospital at the United Arab Emirates, arrived here last Tuesday morning (Feb. 8) amid accusations that the Philippine Embassy in the Middle East country failed to act on her request for repatriation while still alive from the hospital.

Alma Suguitan’s body, which arrived the night before at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via an Emirates flight from Dubai, was met by members of her family and a delegation from Angadanan municipal government led by Mayor Lourdes Panganiban.

Allegations were earlier raised by the overseas welfare group Migrante that the Philippine Embassy in the UAE did not act on Suguitan’s request for repatriation while she was still being treated by anemia in that hospital in Dubai.

Suguitan died of that disease last Jan. 25..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110213nat3.html

Fearing being found out 02/12/2011

Fearing being found out

02/12/2011
During the campaign period and when Congress was still in session then, Noynoy Aquino was all for the quick passage of the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill, claiming then that such a law was essential for transparency in government, which he said he embraced.

Of course, that was the time when Gloria Arroyo was still in Malacañang, and Noynoy and his Yellow allies were clearly into pushing the FoI with the aim of obtaining public documents that would show irregularities and yes, corruption to be used against her and her regime.

But now that it is Noynoy who sits in Malacañang, there has been a 180 degree turn on the FoI.

The bill is not part of the so-called Palace’s “priority” bills to be submitted to Congress. Neither for that matter is the Whistle-blower bill..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110212com1.html

Still in Blunderland FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/12/2011

Still in Blunderland

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
02/12/2011
The way Noynoy and his student council government officials quarrel even concerning diplomatic relations, the Philippines, under the Aquino presidency will definitely have a tough time making friends and influencing people, much less attract foreign investments.

And the way Aquino and his boys have mishandled issues over the matter of the deportation of over a dozen Taiwanese nationals, sending them to the People’s Republic of China instead of the Republic of China (Taiwan), they will now be faced with a bigger problem, which is to find employment for the OFWs who are expected to be given a more difficult stay by the Taiwanese government.

While it is true that the country does not have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, owing to the One China policy, we do have, or used to have, strong economic ties with Taiwan. Besides, despite the fact that we do not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, there is no denying that unofficially, the diplomatic ties between the two countries do exist, as the Taiwan Economic Council (Teco) as well as the Manila Economic Council (Meco) proves, with both representatives regarded as ambassadors.

But just because official diplomatic ties do not exist, there is no call for Noynoy and Malacañang propagandists to be so rude as to announce publicly that the Philippine government will not apologize to Taiwan, which rudeness would make the problem even bigger than it should have been..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110212com2.html

CIA chief’s Egypt remark causes confusion focus 02/12/2011

CIA chief’s Egypt remark causes confusion

focus

02/12/2011
WASHINGTON — CIA Director Leon Panetta on Thursday caused confusion when he suggested Egypt’s president was poised to step down, underscoring Washington’s difficulties in tracking a fast-moving crisis.

Amid furious speculation that Hosni Mubarak was preparing to announce his exit in the face of mass protests — which later proved to be wrong — Panetta appeared to endorse the media reports before a congressional committee.

Asked about news accounts that Mubarak was about to relinquish power, Panetta said: “I got the same information you did, that there’s a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening.”

But a US official later had to explain that Panetta was merely referring to media reports and not privileged information from inside the Central Intelligence Agency.

Panetta also openly speculated about the end of Mubarak’s rule, saying it looked like the vice president, Omar Suleiman, would take over..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110212com3.html

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