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Women hold Berlusconi’s fate in their hands VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 02/20/2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Women hold Berlusconi’s fate in their hands

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
02/20/2011
ROME — A panel of three women will judge Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in April — the supreme irony for an ageing Latin lover notorious for his sexist jokes and his taste for voluptuous bimbos.

Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana in an editorial said the prostitution case evoked the spirit of Nemesis — the Greek goddess of vengeance. “You Berlusconi used women, now they will judge you,” the weekly said.

The ancient Greek divinity seems an appropriate symbol for an inquiry in which Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and then getting her out of police custody in order to hide his crime.

The charges — vehemently denied by Berlusconi — revolve around Moroccan-born pole dancer Karima El Mahroug, nicknamed “Ruby the Heart Stealer” whose testimony is a vital part of the prosecution’s case..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110220com7.html

Noy brags filing of raps Noy brags filing of raps By Gina Peralta-Elorde and Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/20/2011

PALACE WON’T IMPOSE WILL ON OMBUDSMAN OVER AFP CORRUPTION

Noy brags filing of raps Noy brags filing of raps

By Gina Peralta-Elorde and Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/20/2011

President Aquino pledged yesterday before alumni of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to immediately charge those who wronged the military institution and the nation, referring to public and military officials embroiled in the reports of massive corruption in the military, a statement that was immediately contradicted by his aides in Malacañang saying the initiative should come from the Office of the Ombudsman.

Aquino identified prosecutors who were behind the plea bargain agreement of former and controversial military comptroller, retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, and indirectly referred to Garcia’s predecessor Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot who should also be charged with plunder for reportedly amassing P740 million worth of ill-gotten wealth based on proceedings of an ongoing Senate hearing on military corruption as among those he assured to be criminally charged.

In his speech during the PMA homecoming in Baguio City, Aquino claimed that the prosecutors behind the plea bargain which allowed Garcia to get out of jail on P60,000 bail will be subjected to deeper investigations to determine if there was connivance..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110220hed1.html

Corruption probe drives wedge among PMA alumni 02/20/2011

Corruption probe drives wedge among PMA alumni

02/20/2011
Ranking officials of the Armed Forces of the  Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) who are also alumni of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) yesterday admitted that a deep wedge has been driven into the membership of the PMA alumni while expressing disappointment over the judgement of some people over the scandal in the military, primarily the “pasalubong” (welcome) and “pabaon” (send-off) cash gifts issue.

Interviewed at the 112th PMA alumni homecoming in Baguio City yesterday, retired Brig. Gen. Edgar Rene Samonte, president of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. (PMAAAI), expressed disappointment over the bickering among alumni, referring to the ongoing Senate investigations into the massive corruption in the military in which the accuser and the accused were all PMA alumni, pointing out that they all belonged to the premier military academy.

Samonte said that the alumni homecoming should allow PMA graduates to renew the core values that they were taught as cadets on courage, integrity and loyalty. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110220hed2.html

Binay gets pats on back for China executions stay 02/20/2011

Binay gets pats on back for China executions stay

02/20/2011
commute their sentences to lesser penalty.

“I join the nation in congratulating Vice President Binay for successfully securing a reprieve for the three Filipinos facing execution in China,” Ang Galing Pinoy Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo said.

“While the reprieve may only be temporary, it nevertheless gives us more reason to hope that the Chinese government might eventually grant our appeal that their sentence be commuted to a penalty lesser than death,” Arroyo stressed.

The former presidential son also expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for their compassion in heeding the Filipino people’s appeal on behalf of Ordinario, Credo and Batain.

“I would also like to thank the Chinese government for their compassion in heeding our people’s appeal as personally aired to them by Vice President Binay. I hope and pray this would lead to a much better solution to the case of the three Filipinos and much stronger ties between our countries,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110220hed3.html

AFP probes Facebook abuse video 02/20/2011

AFP probes Facebook abuse video

02/20/2011
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said yesterday they are investigating a purported torture video posted on Facebook that appears to show uniformed soldiers abusing defenseless prisoners.

Investigators are checking the identities of the uniformed men shown repeatedly hitting and kicking a group of at least three people in civilian clothes, said military spokesman Brigadier Gen. Jose Mabanta.

“We are the first to be concerned about this. We have said we will not do these (abuses), then we see it right in our faces,” Mabanta told Agence France Presse.

Officials also want to know when and where it happened, if indeed it actually happened, Mabanta said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110220nat6.html

Philippines apologizes over deportees row — Taiwan 02/20/2011

Philippines apologizes over deportees row — Taiwan

02/20/2011
The Taiwanese government yesterday said the Philippines has apologized after a row over deporting 14 Taiwanese to China and launched an investigation into the incident.

The Taiwanese were arrested and deported along with 10 Chinese suspects earlier this month after they allegedly swindled $20 million in an international scam targeting mainland Chinese.

“I apologize for this unfortunate incident,” Amadeo Perez, chairman of Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco), was quoted as saying in a ministry statement after meeting Foreign Minister Timothy Yang in Taipei last Friday.

Taiwan expressed fury, insisting that the suspects should have been sent back to face justice on the island instead and warned Manila that the incident had dealt a serious blow to bilateral ties..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110220hed4.html

Reds free cop, ex-soldier amid peace talks 02/20/2011

Reds free cop, ex-soldier amid peace talks

02/20/2011
Communist rebels holding peace talks with the Philippine government have freed a police officer and a retired soldier taken hostage ahead of the negotiations, the Army yesterday said.

The New People’s Army (NPA) handed over retired Army Sgt. Mario Veluz to an intermediary late Friday while PO3 George Sabatin was separately turned over on Saturday, Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago told Agence France Presse.

Their physical condition was not immediately known, said Santiago, the regional military spokesman who added the Maoist rebel group was still holding another police officer and a soldier hostage.

“Veluz is long-retired and is getting on in years. I don’t know why they took him hostage in the first place,” Santiago said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110220hed5.html

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