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More diplomatic gaffes EDITORIAL 02/22/2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More diplomatic gaffes

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In a bid to save face over its no apology stance, Malacañang and its special envoy to Taiwan to repair ties, Mar Roxas, say they will offer no apology to the Republic of China (Taiwan) but will merely seek understanding through an explanation of how and why the 14 Taiwanese fraudsters were deported to China.

At the same time, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) head, who had apologized, tried to downplay his apology, claiming it was not an official apology but a “personal” apology he had given Taiwan officials
Sen. Franklin Drilon, Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas’ staunchest defender, said the apology given by Meco head Amado Perez does not bind the Philippine government since it is not official as Perez does not have any legal personality to issue an official apology.

“He cannot bind the Philippines. He does not have the authority (to speak on behalf of the country) because he’s merely a chairman of the GOCC (government-owned and -controlled corporation). He’s just like the chairman of the MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System), SSS (Social Security System), also GOCCs. He cannot bind the country,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110222com1.html

Impeaching Merci FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/22/2011

Impeaching Merci

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy wants Ombudsman Merceditas “Merci” Gutierrez impeached. His allies in the House of Representatives, as well as some senators in the upper chamber, want her impeached as well.

But for what purpose, if not to kick her out of her constitutional office, if not to enable Noynoy to appoint an Ombudsman of his choice?

Congressmen who want Merci impeached under the heading of betrayal of public trust — which is pretty broad — but mainly due to the plea bargain agreement her prosecutors entered into with former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, hardly bothered to impeach the then Ombudsman, Simeon Marcelo, despite the fact that he too, did nothing to file money laundering and plunder charges against then Justice Secretary Hernando “Nani” Perez, despite the preponderance of hard and documented evidence coming from Coutts Bank and the Swiss authorities, along with a signed attorney in fact document from Perez assigning such powers to withdraw and deposit in that Swiss bank to his wife.

What did Marcelo do then? He, who was supposedly independent, submitted all the documents to then sitting chief executive, Gloria Arroyo, instead of filing the charges against Perez..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110222com2.html

Tourists on cheap Vietnam FEATURE 02/22/2011

Tourists on cheap Vietnam


HANOI — Tourists who boarded the “Dream Voyage” tour boat for Vietnam’s Halong Bay last Wednesday thought they had got a cheap deal.

It ended up costing them their lives.

Travel agents in Hanoi’s Old Quarter tourist hub say you get what you pay for, with the cheapest two-day tours that sell for about $35 relying on vessels with lower standards.

“You know why so many young people died? Because it was a cheap tour,” said one travel agent, asking not to be named.

Ten visitors from the United States, Sweden, Russia, Britain, Japan, France and Switzerland died when their boat sank while they slept before dawn on Thursday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110222com3.html

Regarding the Libingan ng mga Bayani NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 02/22/2011

Regarding the Libingan ng mga Bayani

Armida Siguion-Reyna
The national cemetery in Fort Bonifacio was first put up for Filipino military personnel, effectively the counterpart of the American Cemetery somewhere in the same area, where the United States soldiers killed during World War II are buried. Its English name is Cemetery of Heroes, the final resting place of the defenders of Bataan, Corregidor, Leyte, Leyte Gulf, Ormoc Bay, and yet other battlefields. There lies as well the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the dramatic representation of the many who fell fighting for his country yet sadly unidentified. On its main entrance, it is written: “I do not know the dignity of his birth, but I do know the glory of his death.”

First formally named as the Republic Memorial Cemetery, it became the Libingan ng mga Bayani on Oct. 27, 1954, upon the behest of then President Ramon Magsaysay, who would himself later perish in a plane crash but be interred elsewhere, at the Cemeterio del Norte in La Loma..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110222com4.html

Mr. K’s ‘Freedom Doctrine’ floored AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 02/22/2011

Mr. K’s ‘Freedom Doctrine’ floored

Ken Fuller
This week, let’s take a look at just two of the many interesting items on the Internet concerning the situation in Egypt.

A blog by Tom Scocca (“What comes after Mubarak?” reproduced on 21stcenturymanifesto.wordpress.com) takes issue with Charles Krauthammer, whose Washington Post column on Feb. 10 argues that the USA should model its approach in the Middle East after that adopted by the Truman administration in Europe after World War II. (If Krauthammer’s name rings a bell, it’s because his column also appears in the Manila Times.)

Krauthammer recalls that the Truman approach meant doing everything possible, both overt and covert, to ensure that communists failed to gain the reins of government outside of the Soviet sphere of influence in Europe.

While in Western Europe, this partially took the form of throwing money at “democratic” governments (Marshall aid was granted on condition that the communists were kept out), on the periphery of the continent it often took a more brutal form. There, says Scocca, it meant “encouraging our allies to outlaw the Communist Party, then to smash the communists for being outlaws. In Greece, that eventually meant supporting a military coup and a right-wing junta, a dictatorship that ran on torture.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110222com5.html

Kadhafi after 42 years: A leader under siege focus 02/22/2011

Kadhafi after 42 years: A leader under siege


TRIPOLI — Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi is facing an unprecedented challenge to his four-decade rule of the oil-rich North African country after six days of anti-regime unrest and more than 170 deaths reported.

In power for nearly 42 years, the one-time political pariah had imposed himself as a key international player the West could not ignore.

As a young colonel, Kadhafi on Sept. 1, 1969, led a coup overthrowing the Western-backed elderly King Idriss, and quickly established himself as a belligerent, unpredictable and flamboyant leader.

Reputedly born in a Bedouin tent in the desert near Sirte in 1942, Kadhafi alienated the West soon after seizing power, accusing it of launching a “new crusade” against the Arabs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110222com6.html

RP Constitution, State policy, Section 12 VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 02/22/2011

RP Constitution, State policy, Section 12

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
The State... shall protect... the life of the unborn from conception.”

Thus stands the truth and thrust the reality reads about a State Policy basically about someone who is a human person, who is not yet born and who is but a conceived embryo in the womb of his or her mother. As no less than a policy, the State known as the Philippines is committed not simply to allow the unborn to reach his or her birth, but also categorically resolve to give protection thereto. And rightly so not only as enjoined by simple Ethics but also as affirmed by plain Morals. Reason: Without human life, what is there left in the here and now to be a subject of preoccupation? Without the human person,what is there worthy to consider, what is there righteous and just to be concerned about?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110222com7.html

Ligot a front in raid of military coffers By Angie M. Rosales 02/22/2011


Ligot a front in raid of military coffers

By Angie M. Rosales 02/22/2011

Having succeeded in keeping a little under P1 billion in his uncovered 10 bank accounts, it is improbable for the former military comptroller under the term of the late Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes, Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot, to have accumulated such a huge sum by himself, which could translate to his having been a front for someone big and powerful or that he was in cahoots with certain unidentified individuals in raiding the national coffers as he could not have possibly done it by himself.

Ligot was found to have kept in the past an estimated P740 million worth of combined peso and dollar deposits in 10 banks, and he may have been fronting for another person or individuals.

Sen. Franklin Drilon yesterday said this was a big possibility and vowed to unmask Ligot as having been in cahoots with certain individuals in raiding the country’s coffers, if he is found to have been fronting for them.

At the same time, Drilon vowed to make accountable some of the banks that accommodated the retired general and his supposed dummies in putting up the questioned accounts..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110222hed1.html

Libya on brink of civil war; RP won’t evacuate Pinoys By Michaela P. del Callar 02/22/2011

Libya on brink of civil war; RP won’t evacuate Pinoys

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/22/2011

Libyan leader Moamar Kadhafi’s son warned Monday that the country faces a bloody civil war if protesters refuse to accept reform offers, in a speech broadcast as gunfire rang out in the capital.

Saif al-Islam Kadhafi condemned the unprecedented uprising against his father’s 41-year rule as a foreign plot, but admitted mistakes were made in a brutal crackdown and urged citizens to build a “new Libya.”

“Libya is at a crossroads. If we do not agree today on reforms, we will not be mourning 84 people, but thousands of deaths, and rivers of blood will run through Libya,” he said.

Kadhafi’s son gave a lower toll than the United States and rights watchdogs who said that hundreds are feared dead in an offensive to crush the uprising carried out by the military, reportedly backed by foreign mercenaries..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110222hed2.html

Malacañang bucks HK publication, says Noy a tenacious reform campaigner 02/22/2011

Malacañang bucks HK publication, says Noy a tenacious reform campaigner

Malacañang wants President Aquino to be noticed for his supposed “tenacity” in imposing measures that would reform Philippine society and not “naïve” as branded by a Hong Kong-based online publication, the Asia Sentinel, which criticized the Chief Executive for his apparent lack of resolve in making tough decisions for the country.

Analysts working for the Asia Sentinel cited the many times Aquino had kowtowed to China in a futile bid to spare the lives of the three Filipinos who were scheduled to face execution owing to drug-related charges which, they said, classically illustrated his preference to put politics of the heart before national interest.

Reacting to this statement, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda stressed that protecting overseas Filipino workers has been a policy of the government since Flor Contemplacion was executed in 1995 and the case of the three death convicts are certainly no different from that.

“We respect their opinion but we disagree. The President has been firm in the protection of its overseas contract workers abroad. That is a foreign policy of this government since the Flor Contemplacion case. The President has always been firm in his policies. I don’t see why the statement of opinion of the Hong Kong group is largely… It’s not a gospel truth,” Lacierda told reporters at a news conference..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110222hed3.html

Solon says Roxas in Taiwan to cover lost ground By Gerry Baldo 02/22/2011

Solon says Roxas in Taiwan to cover lost ground

By Gerry Baldo 02/22/2011

In what capacity is troubleshooter Manuel Roxas II in Taiwan to supposedly smooth ruffled relations with the territory over the deportation of 14 Taiwanese to China instead of Taiwan?

A legislator asked this while saying that Roxas visiting Taipei as a private citizen may not have the credentials to issue an of-ficial stand for the govern-ment.

A ranking member of the House minority bloc said sending Roxas to Taiwan could be just an attempt of the losing vice presidential bet in the last elections to cover lost ground after the surprise success of Vice President Jejomar Binay in delaying the execution of three convicted Filipinos in China.

Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros Magsaysay questioned the capability of Roxas, a partymate of President Aquino, to patch things up with the Taiwanese government in connection with the deportation squabble. Roxas allegedly went to Taiwan to appease Taipei as a private citizen..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110222hed4.html

Bishops freeze RH bill talks with Palace 02/22/2011

Bishops freeze RH bill talks with Palace

Catholic bishops have temporarily suspended talks with Malacañang on the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill, a few days prior to the third set of their dialogs with Palace officials scheduled this week.

According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, its president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar sent a letter to President Aquino last Feb.19, informing the Chief Executive of the CBCP’s decision to withdraw from the talks.

“In view, however, of the pastoral letter that the Catholic Bishops issued on the matter last Jan. 31, and considering the speed in the ongoing legislative processes both in the Lower House and the Senate, I deem it prudent to suspend in the meantime further talks with the Executive department,” he said.

Odchimar expressed his gratitude to the President for his immediate response to the bishops’ earlier invitation to conduct dialogs on the controversial birth control issues..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110222hed5.html

2,000 residents evacuated as Bulusan volcano erupts By Mario J. Mallari 02/22/2011

2,000 residents evacuated as Bulusan volcano erupts

By Mario J. Mallari 02/22/2011

Some 2,000 residents living around the slopes of Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon province were evacuated to safer grounds after the volcano spewed ashes yesterday morning.

Army 49th Infantry Battalion (IB) chief Lt. Col. Santiago Enginco said that he immediately dispatched five military trucks around 10 a.m. after Mt. Bulusan exploded minutes earlier.

“We have transported about 50 families numbering around 150 people from Puting Sapa village to the designated evacuation center in Cogon Elementary School in Juban town; 300 families in Irosin town,” said Enginco.

Enginco said the volcano spewed ashes and thick smoke that reached more or less two kilometers above the sky which lasted about 20 minutes. He said that the ash explosion was blown by the wind toward southeastern direction, affecting some areas in the towns of Juban, Irosin and Bulan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110222nat1.html

Aquino ‘not to boycott media’ critical to his administration By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/22/2011

Aquino ‘not to boycott media’ critical to his administration

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/22/2011

Malacañang yesterday clarified that President Aquino was not calling on advertisers to boycott news organization that are critical to his government during a speech he delivered before newly-inducted members of the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard) last week.

According to presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, the President was merely encouraging AdBoard to help the government urge media organizations to be more fair in their treatment of news stories about the administration.

“What we’re emphasizing there, in fact, was an appeal to good citizenship. We would like to invite the AdBoard to let’s have, by promoting the good news. We are not averse to criticisms by the way. We are used to that,” Lacierda told reporters at a news conference yesterday.

“What we are saying also is that we need to also show the people what this government is doing. We appeal to fairness. We appeal to good citizenship on the part of the AdBoard members. The funny thing is media has taken this to mean that we are trying to blackmail, or trying to tell them to ban or boycott. There is no such call by the President to boycott media. In fact, we regard media as necessary partner to governance,” he explained further..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110222nat4.html

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