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Never his priorities EDITORIAL 02/16/2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Never his priorities

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
02/16/2011
One wonders just what the priorities of Noynoy Aquino are, since big issues that hit the media headlines are generally always dismissed by him as not being his priority.

Not too long ago, when the jueteng issue was making headlines, with his target-shooting buddy and undersecretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Rico Puno, was linked to the jueteng payola, and where the Senate had conducted an inquiry into it, there went Noynoy quickly saying that jueteng is not his priority.

It was evident during the congressional hearings, that Puno was much too evasive with his answers such that he no longer remembers who came to see him on the jueteng issue, which were no different from former military comptroller Gen. Jacinto Ligot’s replies to the senators.

Instead of getting to the bottom of the jueteng payola, Noynoy stated that jueteng was not his priority, without thought on how his statement impacts on such issue..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL:http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110216com1.html

Boys behaving badly FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/16/2011

Boys behaving badly

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
02/16/2011
It is a strange reaction coming from the retired military officers as well as the so-called Philippine Military Academy (PMA)’s “cavaliers” and “mistahs.”

Reports say that PMA Class 1979, the class to which Sen. Sonny Trillanes belongs will be “punishing” him for “humiliating a senior officer,” namely the late Angie Reyes, former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff, saying there is that rule of respect between upperclassmen and underclassmen in the PMA.

This was bared for retired AFP chief of staff Dionisio Santiago, who is himself being linked to the corrupt conversion system, along with the pabaon and pasalubong practice in the military. How the 1979 class is going to punish Trillanes, who is no longer part of the military, was not explained by Santiago.

He did say, however, according to reports that the cavaliers and the PMA alumni would be shunning the senator as a sign of protest owing to the arrogance displayed by Trillanes toward Reyes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110216com2.html

Italy-Tunisia migrant crisis highlights failed EU policy FEATURE 02/16/2011

Italy-Tunisia migrant crisis highlights failed EU policy

FEATURE

02/16/2011
RUSSELS — The EU, angrily accused by Italy of leaving it “on its own” to deal with an influx of Tunisian refugees, remains relatively powerless to act on illegal immigration due to a lack of means and will.

Italy’s Interior Minister Roberto Maroni sent shockwaves across Europe this weekend by suggesting Italian troops intervene in Tunisia to block a flux of 5,000 arrivals in five days from the North African country.

The reason for his proposed military intervention? “Europe is not doing anything.... As usual we’re on our own,” he said.

His attack irritated the European commissioner in charge of the issue, Cecilia Malmstroem, whose proposals to European Union member states to improve action against illicit migration are repeatedly rejected, one of her aides told AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110216com3.html

Chairman Villar C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 02/16/2011

Chairman Villar

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
02/16/2011
Where is this newly organized “anti-corruption” group headed by Ateneo School of Government Professor Anthony La Vina coming from? I ask this question in the light of its latest harangue against Commission on Audit Chairman Reynaldo Villar and, if I get the group’s drift, the CoA itself, for perceived negligence if not downright complicity in the commission of alleged anomalies in the handling of government resources. It is as if they have taken the word of whistle-blowers Col. George Rabusa and his deputy, Col. Antonio Lim, and, of course, former state auditor Heidi Mendoza, at face value. That which they narrated in the ongoing congressional hearings about alleged corruption in the AFP is the unvarnished truth as pure as driven snow. Well, Mendoza and company may have divulged a lot of information about the ways and practices at the AFP and we have to grant that. But all these will have to be winnowed and properly ascertained to insure that they add up, not embellished, as what some quarters are now saying about Rabusa’s testimony. What they have done is open up some windows into the workings of the system which has now allowed us the opportunity to take a second look, find out if the guilty can be charged and, finally, pave the way for legislation and executive action to ensure that the anomalies will not recur or metamorphose into other forms. For if truth be told, we have been hearing a lot of the things they narrated not only in the AFP but in almost all government agencies including the GOCCs. But we have had a hard time putting a face to these and having a handle on how the same could be eradicated, or at the very least, mitigated to manageable levels. Thanks to them we will now have that chance if we push hard enough and sustain the effort to get to the bottom of things..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110216com4.html

US studies global revolt for Egypt lessons focus 02/16/2011

US studies global revolt for Egypt lessons

focus

02/16/2011
WASHINGTON — Senior White House officials are studying scores of global revolutions and political transitions for trends that might help Egypt plot an orderly and permanent shift to democratic rule.

A senior official told AFP that President Barack Obama’s foreign policy braintrust had surveyed transitions in Asia, Europe and South America, as it assesses Egypt’s future after the sudden fall of President Hosni Mubarak.

The search for historical precedent comes as some US commentators fearfully handicap the odds of the Muslim Brotherhood staging a takeover in Egypt and use Iran’s Islamic Republic as an omen.

But officials and analysts say that power transfers in places as diverse as Indonesia, Chile and South Korea may be more apt, as Egypt’s military mulls a new power paradigm..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110216com5.html

For pride SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 02/16/2011

For pride

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
02/16/2011
The burial of former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes last Sunday did not lay to rest the Senate investigation on the alleged military corruption issue.

This much was declared by Senate Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, who has exposed the corruption in the military though the the investigation of former AFP comptroller Carlos Garcia’s controversial plea bargain agreement for his plunder case, which rapidly unraveled to uncover so much more.

Much has been said about the death of the former soldier and Cabinet secretary, whose loyalty to his commander-in-chief, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, gave his reputation a different hue in many people’s eyes. While there are those who believe his suicide was done “for the greater good,” there remain others who think it was done for the protection of a few.

Clearly, the mixed emotions surrounding his death has made the search for truth all the more insistent, and while we all sympathize with the bereaved for their loss, we cannot help but wonder if everyone will be objective in dealing with the succeeding sessions in Senate..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110216com7.html

For honor HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 02/16/2011

For honor

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
02/16/2011
Angelo Reyes might have had an idea on how he would have liked to be remembered after his death.

He probably would have liked to be remembered as a doting father and a loving husband to his family. And among his peers, he probably would have liked to be remembered as a fearless soldier and a tough general.

No less than former President Estrada described him as a highly competent military chief of staff who effectively crushed a Muslim rebellion during his aborted term. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose own presidency was badly tainted with corruption which not a few believe had caused Reyes’ suicide, exalted his patriotism, perhaps for lack of a better subject like honesty and a clean record which she could not seem to even utter in public and private.

Senior and retired AFP officials had their turns in extolling the former general, and when among themselves, they would have cursed at Sen. Antonio Trillanes, their young mistah, who exposed the various anomalies within the AFP long before but suffered the consequences his action had brought him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110216com6.html

AFP brass’ tacit OK of ’04 poll fraud bared in Amnesty plea By Mario J. Mallari 02/16/2011

AFP brass’ tacit OK of ’04 poll fraud bared in Amnesty plea

By Mario J. Mallari 02/16/2011

Officially, there is now a document detailing the Armed Forces of the Philippines top brass’ tacit approval of the massive poll fraud committed during the 2004 presidential elections, where the military actively participated in ensuring the election cheating, without a single senior AFP official, including then AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Generoso Senga, wanting to “rock the poll fraud” boat.

Former Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, who figured in the February 2006 alleged plot to overthrow the Arroyo administration, yesterday filed his application for amnesty, a day after a military general court martial (GCM) junked his motion to dismiss the mutiny charge slapped against him.

Querubin, one of the few living awardees of the highest military combat Medal for Valor, formally filed his amnesty application before the Department of National Defense-Amnesty Committee in Camp Aguinaldo at around 10 a.m.

In his amnesty application, Querubin attached a narration of facts, explaining his participation in the supposed plot to overthrow the Arroyo government..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110216hed1.html

No ‘pabaon,’ ‘pasalubong’ in PNP, claims Robredo By Gina Peralta-Elorde 02/16/2011

No ‘pabaon,’ ‘pasalubong’ in PNP, claims Robredo

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 02/16/2011

There are no send-off and welcome cash gifts for heads of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo claimed yesterday in the light of the “pabaon” (send-off)  or “pasalubong” (welcome) cash gifts controversy within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the investigations which are considered among the probable reasons for forme AFP Chief of Staff and Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes to commit suicide last week.

Robredo claimed that fiscal reforms instituted in the PNP under his watch would eliminate corrupt practices similar to the alleged cash gifts practice in the military.

Robredo, however, said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) would welcome any “verified” report on anomalies or illegal transactions in the police organization, as he assured that a probe would be conducted if warranted.

“For now, this would be impossible to happen in the PNP because of the reforms undertaken on the handling of funds in the PNP,” Robredo said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110216hed2.html

Ex-HK hostages detail police incompetence in botched rescue By Michaela P. del Callar 02/16/2011

Ex-HK hostages detail police incompetence in botched rescue

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/16/2011

Former Hong Kong hostages yesterday detailed the alleged incompetence of the Philippine National Police in handling the Aug. 23 Manila bus siege incident.

At an inquest at the Hong Kong Coroner’s Office, Li Tsui Fung-kwan, 66, recalled that she was not even questioned by the police when she was freed by the hostage-taker, dismissed police official Rolando Mendoza, who was himself killed during the botched rescue operations.

Mendoza hijacked a tour bus carrying 25 people, including 20 tourists from Hong Kong.

“The first hostage freed during the Manila tour bus hijacking has told a Hong Kong inquest that police failed to question her for hours afterwards about what had happened on board the vehicle,” Radio Television Hong Kong said.

Li was freed by Mendoza after she complained of stomach ache..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110216hed3.html

Noy claim on Garcia backer useless in Senate probe — JPE By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/16/2011

Noy claim on Garcia backer useless in Senate probe — JPE

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/16/2011
President Aquino’s claim of a supposed backer of retired military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia will have no bearing in the Senate investigation on the alleged massive corruption in the military.

“That is Malacañang. If they have a lead, then that is not evidence yet. A lead is a lead. It is only a suspicion that will become a reality if the evidence is gathered. But your mere speculation,mere surmises, amount to no evidence until you have presented concrete proof that indeed somebody is protecting Garcia and that somebody is this person, or those persons, and this identification is backed up with clear, unassailable evidence,” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said.

As far as investigation on the Garcia plea bargain agreement by the Senate blue ribbon committee, the President’s admission will have no bearing, Enrile said.

“It does not affect any of the blue ribbon hearings. Why should it affect? He only claims that there is now a backer,” the upper chamber chief said in an interview with reporters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110216hed4.html

Noynoy: OICs needed, ARMM a ‘failed experiment’ By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/16/2011

Noynoy: OICs needed, ARMM a ‘failed experiment’

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/16/2011
President Aquino wants the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) postponed, then kick out the incumbent elected officials and appoint his allies in their stead, to serve until 2013, through synchronized elections.

Speaking through his spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, Aquino said this has to be done since the ARMM is a
“failed experiment,” insinuating that if there are challenges to this “personal” presidential wish, Aquino can go through with his plan to replace the incumbent officials of ARMM and replace them with his appointees, since he has “residual powers.”

The talk making the rounds on this matter is that Aquino will be appointing Akbayan chief and political ally Ronald Llamas as OIC governor of ARMM.

But there are also speculations that these positions are reserved for chieftains of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for them to take control of ARMM, as a prelude to forging a peace pact..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110216hed5.html

Three Pinoys sentenced to die by lethal injection in China on Monday By Michaela P. del Callar 02/16/2011

Three Pinoys sentenced to die by lethal injection in China on Monday

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/16/2011

Three Filipinos, two women and one male who were convicted of drug trafficking, were sentenced to die in China by lethal injection on Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said as it conveyed its “grave disappointment and sadness” to the Chinese government over the court decision.

The Supreme People’s Court in Beijing has reviewed and rendered its decision on February 11 on the five cases of Filipinos sentenced to death by lower courts in the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong for drug trafficking.

Two of the five Filipinos were given two-year reprieves but the high court affirmed the death sentence on the three others “after a thorough and serious review process,” the DFA said.

“The death sentences will be carried out in accordance to Chinese law,” a DFA statement said, but stressed that representations are still ongoing for possible commutation of the sentences..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110216nat1.html

Gov’t approves importation of poppy seeds; law prohibits it By Angie M. Rosales 02/16/2011

Gov’t approves importation of poppy seeds; law prohibits it

By Angie M. Rosales 02/16/2011

Importation into the country of poppy seeds for culinary use has the approval of the authorities even if the laws explicitly ban such, except for medicinal purposes, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said yesterday.

Sotto’s latest revelations, following last Monday’s delivery of a privilege speech on poppy seeds, showed that the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), formerly the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), had issued permits to food establishments that make use of such as ingredients to their products.

“I think they should be the ones subjected to an investigation (here in the Senate). It’s in the law RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) that any form of opium, poppy seeds, any poppy derivatives is prohibited in the country,” the senator said in an interview with reporters in response to the claims made by FDA officials that dried poppy seeds are the ones allowed in the country since the use of it had been approved by the United States government.

Sotto said he called up the US’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) representatives in the country, Kent Merchant and Robert Cast, to verify such claims by the FDA to which was denied to him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110216nat4.html

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