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Pacman for president EDITORIAL 02/18/2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pacman for president

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Politicians of every feather can only drool at the mere prospect of doing a Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, not at the ring, but at the White House when the other day, the certified boxing legend and congressman “found time” entertaining an invitation from the American President for a visit.

Pacman is in the United States to promote his next bout with Shane Mosley and the Washington visit was a sidetrip.

Pacman did better than eat hotdogs at Manhattan, which was the most notable part of Noynoy’s first visit to the United States that earned him a few milliseconds of Obama’s time, as Pacman was treated to a free lunch at the White House, sharing the table with US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and practically the whole American political leadership.

Just like that. Noynoy, President of the Philippines, head of state and government, had his entire administration plus an American PR firm to get him to meet Obama for a one-on-one, and media mileage in the US with no great success, and there was Pacman, who probably did not even ask for a luncheon date with Obama but got it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110218com1.html

No moves vs corruption FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/18/2011

No moves vs corruption

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy certainly is following in the footsteps of his bete noire, Gloria Arroyo, which makes one wonder why he keeps on criticizing her, when he is doing that which she did — along military lines.

His Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff is retiring next month, having served by that time, nine months as AFP CoS and David already has been offered a job in the civilian government, with Noynoy even announcing to media that he had been successful in convincing David to join his administration even as he (David) said he still does not know just what job he will given, but that he would be accepting whatever Noynoy offers.

Both Gloria and Noynoy appear to be two peas in a pod when it comes to rewarding their military officials, as a way of gaining their personal loyalty.

The grant of amnesty early on by Noynoy was no doubt a way of his to gain some form of loyalty with the military, just as he tried to earn pogi points with the military by allowing the burial of Angie Reyes with full military honors, and giving him a hero’s funeral..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110218com2.html

Sex trial leaves Berlusconi down but not out — experts ANALYSIS 02/18/2011

Sex trial leaves Berlusconi down but not out — experts


ROME — Silvio Berlusconi is set to stand trial for paying for sex with a 17-year-old girl and then attempting a cover-up — but some experts said Tuesday the veteran Italian leader could still cling on.

“The only thing saving him is the weakness of the alternative,” Giacomo Marramao, a professor at Rome III university, told AFP.

“There is no credible political alternative on the horizon, no leader capable of uniting the opposition.”
The trial’s first hearing is set for April 6 — the latest lurid chapter in a controversial political career spanning nearly two decades in which the 74-year-old Berlusconi has survived numerous corruption and sex scandals..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110218com3.html

If they can’t beat him,they insult him NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 02/18/2011

If they can’t beat him,they insult him

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Whoever thinks “cavalier” solely refers to graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) must know that as noun, the archaic definition refers to “foot soldiers, horseman, equestrian and cavalryman.” As adjective it means “offhand, indifferent, casual, dismissive, insouciant, unconcerned; supercilious, patronizing, condescending, disdainful, scornful, contemptuous; informal couldn’t-care-less, and devil-may-care.” All of which exactly describe Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s upperclassmen at the PMA.

Consider the text messages going around indicting Trillanes, the likes of “Let us not forget the uncavalier act of Antonio Trillanes that humiliated and shamed Cav Reyes to the public. When the proper time comes, let every cavalier judge Antonio Trillanes and put him where he rightfully belongs. The time of reckoning is about to come.”

There’s also supposed to be a plan to embarrass him further with a streamer in an upcoming PMA reunion, to read: “Let’s boycott Trillanes in the next national election. Be a wise voter!”

To clarify, I haven’t received any of these, but newspaper columnist Ellen Tordesillas has, and she’s dutifully reported so in her famous blog, www.ellentordesillas.com, where she gets as much as 400 reactions to a good number of her posts..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110218com4.html

True heroes DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 02/18/2011

True heroes

Herman Tiu Laurel
Last Feb. 14, the Court of Appeals (CA)’s First Division extended the 60-day temporary restraining order it issued last Dec. 1, 2010 on the implementation of the P14.3-billion settlement of penalties between the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and the National Power Corp. (Napocor).

Penned by Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao and concurred with by Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. and Associate Justice Jan Aurora Lantion, that decision said, “…there is indeed an urgent need for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction in order to preserve the status quo of the pending controversy until the merits of the case have been fully adjudicated upon and to forestall the injurious effects, which may be grave and irreparable, that may result from the defiance of such status quo.”

Such status quo stemmed from Meralco’s violation of its 10-year supply contract with Napocor, which case Meralco lost, and where ensuing negotiations metamorphosed into a settlement in which both parties agreed to pass on the accrued penalties to Meralco’s customers.

Given this blatant transfer of liabilities from the supply contract violator to its electricity users, power consumer advocacy groups waged a vigorous campaign to save all of Meralco’s consumers from another illegal, unjust, oppressive and exploitative “pass-on” cost that the power distributor was solely responsible for.

How Napocor agreed to such a settlement is simply reprehensible; one can only conclude that, again, as it often happens with such cases, some officials were corrupted into acquiescing to such a deal, thinking that the public would be none the wiser. Thankfully, they were wrong.

Consumer advocacy groups, such as Nasecore (National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms), FDC (Freedom from Debt Coalition), EmPower, Sulo ng Pilipino, Kaakbay, Bayan, and others stepped up to the plate by wielding their bats to fight off this new ambush. And it was an unrelenting battle indeed. Not only were they up against Meralco’s great financial resources; they also had to deal with mainstream media’s persistent focus on the fleeting and petty.

Amid the public’s general bewilderment about the vital issues of the day, we take our hats off to leaders such as Mang Naro Lualhati (who helped win our P30-billion refund before); Pete Ilagan and the Nasecore lawyers; writers like Butch Junia; as well as all the others who led and supported such efforts for helping us (captive electricity consumers) win another major victory against Meralco’s unending predation — this, despite meager resources and struggling against protest fatigue.

Crucial to this victory, too, were the CA justices who took the principled stand of not merely “walk(ing) in to corruption” as Angie Reyes did and accepting “things as they are.”

Last Wednesday, former Marine Col. Ariel Querubin filed his application for amnesty after a general court martial junked his motion to dismiss the mutiny charge against him. One of the few living awardees of the Medal of Valor, Querubin attached a narration of facts explaining the events that led to the standoff at the Marine Headquarters in 2006. He told of being approached by US servicemen and young AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) officers who reported “rampant election fraud” in the 2004 presidential elections, becoming “the repository of… gripes and grievances” of those who “witnessed cheating or… themselves were used to manipulate the results of the 2004 election in favor of Gloria Arroyo.”

He was astonished when superiors told him, as he narrated, “not to rock the boat and not to be naïve. They told me that everybody cheats in the election and GMA was the lesser evil.” Of course, they couldn’t tell him that Gloria was said to have also given millions back then and was to later reward those “higher AFP authorities” very handsomely.

Querubin continues: “…nobody (among his higher-ups) did anything, even after we brought up the matter to the chairman of the Senate defense committee (then Sen. Rodolfo Biazon) who is a former soldier. The US servicemen were sent back to the States…”

When the Mayuga fact-finding committee was formed to look into the military’s involvement in the electoral fraud, Querubin informed Vice Adm. Mateo Mayuga that there were officers willing to testify on the election cheating but they were never called to give their statements.

Further, Querubin’s brigade confiscated 34 assorted high-powered firearms with tampered serial numbers and thousands of ammo intended for the Ampatuans but senior military officers and politicians interceded for their release; and when he filed cases against a police provincial director and a mayor, these were simply dropped and he was relieved of his command in Marawi.

Querubin’s statement is a must read as it reveals more conspiracies between the AFP generals and the corrupt political cabal of GMA, including the connivance between Generals Senga and Demaala to intercede for the release of the firearms to the Ampatuans because, as Senga said, he was instructed “… look for ways (on) how to help (Governor Ampatuan) since the Palace had asked him (Senga) to...” Querubin is a Filipino who may have “walked into” corruption; but he courageously turned and marched away, and fought against it.

With Querubin is another true soldier, Gen. Danilo Lim, who up to now refuses to apply for amnesty as this, he says, would “mean that nothing wrong happened during the time of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.” Compare these to Angelo Reyes’ story.

From the justices of the CA who penned the decision, supporting justice for electricity consumers against the feared swindle of Meralco and Napocor; to the countless and unnamed consumer advocates fighting without even reimbursement of personal costs; to the gallant and genuine “Soldiers of the People” such as Gen. Danilo Lim, Col. Ariel Querubin, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Maj. Jason Aquino, and the many men (and women) of the Bagong Katipuneros (Magdalos) and Para sa Bayan, all true Filipino heroes stand proud.

Shame on those Gloria Arroyo hacks in print and broadcast media who praise the cowardly and corrupt cheats; and demean the true, the brave and the noble Filipino heroes!

(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, on the “Sorry Yellow Movement” with Charito Planas and Linggoy Alcuaz; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com and listen to our select radio and GNN shows)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110218com5.html

Tourism in Tunisia? Only for the brave 02/18/2011

Tourism in Tunisia? Only for the brave

TUNIS — Tunisia has weathered riots, curfews, a state of emergency and ongoing unrest as it undergoes its historic “Jasmine Revolution”: but that has not stopped a few hardy tourists from flocking to its sunny shores.

Indeed, the heady events propelled French speech therapist Francois Huet to grab round-trip tickets for a two-day trip to Tunis “for tourism but also to live history.”

“My heart was beating hard every day during the standoff with Ben Ali, and there was one moment I decided to go,” said 49-year-old Huet of the popular uprising that ultimately ousted longtime strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Jan. 14.

“It’s admirable what the people have done. I came to tell them I found them courageous.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110218com6.html

Poverty haunts Egypt in Cairo’s City of the Dead focus 02/18/2011

Poverty haunts Egypt in Cairo’s City of the Dead


CAIRO — In a sprawling cemetery on the edge of Cairo, where thousands of Egyptians inhabit the tombs of bygone nobles in a City of the Dead, the promise of a revolution is haunted by the specter of poverty.

The centuries-old maze of mausoleums is a long way from Tahrir Square and the Internet activists whose revolt chased Hosni Mubarak from power and united the country behind a vision of a resurrected Egypt, proud and free.

“I didn’t go to Tahrir,” said Nasser al-Said, 27, who makes a couple of dollars a day by selling tea from a rickety wooden table by the roadside.

“I have to support my mother, my wife and my daughter. How are they supposed to eat if I go off and demonstrate?”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110218com7.html

Ping’s ex-aide denies P40-M slush fund claim By Gina Peralta-Elorde 02/18/2011


Ping’s ex-aide denies P40-M slush fund claim

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 02/18/2011

Was fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson lying through his teeth when he claimed in an e-mail that there existed a P40 million fund known as “commander’s reserve” when he was head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and that he had given all of it to his close aide, Romeo Acop for the police troops, or was he trying to create trouble for some of his political foes, in and out of the PNP?

Then Lacson’s PNP comptroller and now Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop yesterday denied his former boss’ claim that there was a P40 million fund given to PNP chiefs for their exclusive disposal.

Acop stressed that the commander’s reserve that Lacson speaks of is the fund used as a contingency fund for the PNP’s “unprogrammed activities,” adding that the money — which actually amounted P44 million — was not for anyone’s personal use, and that the money goes back to the national treasury if not spent.

Acop said he was not aware of the credit card privilege that Lacson claimed he was offered, with very high limits which he claimed could be used by the then PNP chief for his official and personal purchases..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110218hed1.html

Meco debunks De Lima claim, says BI knew 14 deportees are Taiwanese By Conrado Ching 02/18/2011

Meco debunks De Lima claim, says BI knew 14 deportees are Taiwanese

By Conrado Ching 02/18/2011

In the face of the continuous justification by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, that the Department of Justice (DoJ) deportation to mainland China of 14 Taiwanese was based on their alleged failure to show proof of their nationality, the Manila Economic Cultural Office (Meco) in Taipei, Taiwan, yesterday confirmed that the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Manila was properly informed that 14 of the 24 Chinese deported by the Philippine government back to Beijing last Feb. 2, were in fact, Taiwanese.

Meco Deputy Representative Carlo Aquino confirmed to a group of visiting Philippine reporters that a day before the group was deported, they received a formal request from their Manila office to verify the 14 names. It was learned that the Meco immediately replied that 11 of the 14 names were Taiwanese who applied for their visas to the Philip-pines at the Taipei Meco main office while the remaining three got their visas in Taichung, Taiwan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110218hed2.html

China nixed Noy, but gives Binay the greenlight for visit By Aytch S. dela Cruz 02/18/2011

China nixed Noy, but gives Binay the greenlight for visit

By Aytch S. dela Cruz 02/18/2011

President Aquino earlier suffered another rejection from the Chinese government amid his efforts to get China to heed his appeals for the commutation of sentence of the three Filipino drug couriers who are slated to face the firing squad in China next week, but because it was Vice Presdent Jojo Binay who has personally sought a visit to China, the Chinese government relented, and gave Binay the go-ahead signal to come to China and meet with China’s Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Binay leaves today at 7:15 a.m for Beijing.

Earlier, Binay, whom Aquino asked to represent him with an official visit for Binay to appeal the death sentence, told reporters in an unscheduled press conference held at Malacañang yesterday that it is now impossible for him to pursue his visit to China following the response given by its Foreign Ministry on the note verbale sent by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) the other day on his behalf..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110218hed3.html

DND claims to probe ’04 poll rigging By Mario J. Mallari 02/18/2011

DND claims to probe ’04 poll rigging

By Mario J. Mallari 02/18/2011

The Department of National Defense yesterday vowed to look into the alleged participation of military personnel in the massive rigging of the 2004 presidential elections as detailed by bemedalled former Marine Col. Ariel Querubin in his application for amnesty before the DND-Amnesty Committee.

At a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo yesterday, DND spokesman Eduardo Batac said the DND-AC, headed by Undersecretary Honorio Azcueta, will take into consideration the narrative of Querubin and a possible re-investigation of the alleged electoral fraud is in the offing.

“This will have to be taken cognizance of by the committee itself. The committee takes into consideration the narratives submitted…there are other issues coming out of narrative, especially those submitted by Colonel Querubin. This is a welcome development as far as the department is concerned, so further action can be initiated as far as report is concerned,” said Batac.

“The amnesty committee will have to look into this and submit a separate report to the Secretary of National Defense with regard to this particular report of Colonel Querubin. There would be further action on this,” added Batac..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110218hed4.html

Experts favor move to revisit 1987 Charter 02/18/2011

Experts favor move to revisit 1987 Charter

The debates on whether to amend the 1987 Constitution are expected to start in the Senate soon, after majority of constitutional law experts supported a revived move for Charter change (Cha-cha).

Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno said before a Senate committee yesterday that with all the problems confronting the country, it is timely to revisit the 24-year-old Constitution.

“I honestly believe that it is time to discuss again constitutional change,” he stressed.

Puno is also open to the concept of federalism broached by former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and former University of the Philippines (UP) president Jose Abueva, pointing out that the unitary government which has been in place for more than four centuries has not proved effective in delivering services and in ending the peace and order problem in Mindanao..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110218hed5.html

Noy seeks ad body help to manage media 02/18/2011 By Aytch S. de la Cruz

Noy seeks ad body help to manage media

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
President Aquino, throwing out of the window any pretense at press freedom, asked members of an advertising body yesterday, to place their advertisements only in newspapers and other media entities which exercise “responsible journalism” and reject those that are into the alleged habit of sensationalizing the issues in the country.

In a speech delivered before a forum sponsored by the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard) yesterday, Aquino said advertisers should not only consider commercial benefits in advertising but should also consider criteria “to uphold truth and fairness” in the media industry.

The previous administration had used a similar tactic in sending a chilling effect on media by persuading advertisers, primarily government agencies, to cut off advertisements on those perceived to be critical against former President Arroyo although not openly as what was done by Aquino. Advertisement is the primary source of regular income by newspapers and broadcast outfits.

Aquino called for advertisers “to consider using this power (of advertisement) for more than just commercial purposes” by asking them to raise the level of their advertising decisions in such a way that could “encourage responsible corporate behavior and improve the level of discourse in our country.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110218hed6.html

SC slaps Jimenez with P100K fine, reprimands Vizconde By Benjamin B. Pulta 02/18/2011

SC slaps Jimenez with P100K fine, reprimands Vizconde

By Benjamin B. Pulta 02/18/2011

Widower Lauro Vizconde has been reprimanded while another anti-crime advocate was fined P100,000 by the Supreme Court (SC) for their utterances shortly after the high tribunal’s decision to acquit the accused in the Vizconde massacre debacle.

Court administrator Jose Midas Marquez told newsmen that “the court has issued a resolution strongly admonishing Lauro Vizconde for publicly stating the court has been bought and that Justice Carpio, who has inhibited himself from the case has pressured or influenced the court into acquitting Lejano and company.”

“The court also finds Dante Jimenez guilty of contempt of court for bad-mouthing members of the court and imposes a penalty of P100,000 fine,” Marquez explained.

“There is a defining line, make your views heard, right to seek redress and also freedom of speech. But of course, all these are not unlimited. There is a limit to all these freedoms, in this case, Jimenez transgressed that limit,” the SC official said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110218nat1.html

Catholic priest vows to deny burial rights if there is gambling during wake By Pat C. Santos 02/18/2011

Catholic priest vows to deny burial rights if there is gambling during wake

By Pat C. Santos 02/18/2011

A Catholic priest in the northern province has vowed to deny giving burial rights to Catholics if there is gambling during the wake.

Fr. Valentine Dimoc of the St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Lagawe, Ifugao made such rule in a pastoral policy he issued recently.

Dimoc said the parish would uphold the policy of not holding funeral Mass to persons whose bereaved families opted to allow gambling during the wake.

“The policy is pastoral in nature, in response to a social and moral issue in a particular place; the local government unit’s ordinance against gambling is what should be implemented for the common good but sometimes the power is not used by political leaders and law enforcers,” Dimoc said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110218nat7.html

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