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More fumbles in Blunderland EDITORIAL 02/24/2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More fumbles in Blunderland

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
02/24/2011
Not surprisingly, Noynoy’s special envoy to Taiwan to mend fences and chief troubleshooter Mar Roxas failed at his job, leaving Taiwan officials more furious than before and already making good their threat to freeze Filipino job hiring along with shipping home the first batch of Filipino workers whose contracts have probably expired.

But really, Mar, Noynoy, his Palace aides and defenders are to blame for this latest fiasco.

The reason is simple. There was already that plan to send Roxas, Noy’s emissary, to Taiwan to explain the Philippine side on the deportation of 14 Taiwanese nationals to China, instead of to Taiwan..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110224com1.html

Destroying the high court FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/24/2011

Destroying the high court

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
02/24/2011
It is really puzzling why the House of Representatives insists on proceeding with the impeachment hearing via its justice committee, instead of waiting, as called for by the Supreme Court (SC), for a final and executory decision, as the rules provide for the petitioner to file a motion for reconsideration.

Even Speaker Sonny Belmonte, who just last week told reporters that he would ensure that the justice panel would abide by the call of the high court, so suddenly changed his tune and gave the committee head, Rep. Niel Tupas, the green light to start impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. Is Belmonte a leader or a follower?

Also, those in the majority of the panel had earlier signified that they prefer to wait for the high court’s final resolution. Then all of a sudden, they all want to defy the high court by proceeding with the case against the Ombudsman.

The only logical reason for their change of mind can only point to the Malacañang tenant, who makes no bones about wanting Gutierrez impeached — along with charging her prosecutors. What else can make these congressmen, who are now allies of Noynoy, change their minds and defy the SC, if not the master’s voice coming from Malacañang to rush the impeachment proceedings against Merci?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110224com2.html

Asian feet made for more than just walking FEATURE 02/24/2011

Asian feet made for more than just walking

FEATURE

02/24/2011
HONG KONG — Most people put one in front of the other as a most basic way to get around, though they often come in handy to kick a ball, ride a bicycle or dance a jig — maybe even walk a tightrope.

But in Asia, feet are far more than just the two pins that keep us upright and get us from A to B — they can lead people into a cultural minefield.

In India, touching another person’s feet is perceived as a sign of respect for their knowledge and experience, usually reserved for family elders and teachers and parents.

Feet also play a prominent role in Indian wedding ceremonies..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110224com3.html

Paco Larrañaga to be repatriated BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 02/24/2011

Paco Larrañaga to be repatriated

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
02/24/2011
Due to his considerable influence and political connections (as well as that of his illustrious father), former party-list Rep. Joel Villanueva was able to delay the inevitable, that of being hauled before the bar of justice due to his alleged past sins.

Unfortunately for Villanueva, the son of twice-defeated presidential candidate Eddie Villanueva of the Bangon Pilipinas Movement and Jesus Is Lord religious congregation, the reprieve lasted only for a scant few months.

A scant seven months after being found guilty by the Supreme Court of illegally sitting as an honorable member of the 14th Congress (2007-2010), Villanueva now finds himself facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Villanueva is declared ineligible to hold office as a member of the House of Representatives representing the party-list organization Cibac (acronym for Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption, ironically)… the Court finds that the respondent was not qualified to be nominee of either the youth sector of the overseas Filipino workers and their families sector in the May 2007 elections,” the SC said in a decision penned by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110224com4.html

What’s going on? VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 02/24/2011

What’s going on?

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
02/24/2011
Dated Jan. 31, 2011, the CBCP Pastoral Letter issued on the occasion of the Plenary Assembly of the Church Hierarchy in the Philippines, formally exhorted the Catholic Faithful to: “Pray together, reason together, decide together, act together, always to the end that the truth prevail over the many threats to human lives and to our shared human and cultural values.”

The underlying reason behind the expressed CBCP exhortation is the disturbing conviction and posture of the present government in terms of the following basic thesis: Population is the underlying cause of poverty in the country. More human lives are thus taboo. Reduction of population at all cost is wherefore a priority. Thus: The “Reproductive Health bill” that precisely prevents human reproduction but promotes promiscuity, and that in effect undermines women’s health by anti-life chemical in-takes — courtesy of the Multinational Pharmaceuticals whose business is the manufacture and sell of contraceptives, and whose main preoccupation is profit. Ethics has no place in their agenda. Morals are irrelevant in their options..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110224com5.html

Afghan militants ramp up suicide strikes — experts focus 02/24/2011

Afghan militants ramp up suicide strikes — experts

focus

02/24/2011
KABUL — A recent wave of deadly Afghan suicide attacks with mass civilian casualties shows that insurgents waging a war now in its tenth year are resorting to bombing “soft” targets, officials and experts say.

In the last three weeks more than 100 persons, most of them innocent bystanders, have died in six suicide attacks. The government, Nato and a top US official say the apparent new tactic is proof the militants are running scared.

But not everyone agrees.

On Monday, a suicide attack killed 31 persons at a government office in the north, while on Saturday the troubled country witnessed its deadliest attack since June when 38 died at a bank in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan.

The capital Kabul has also been hit with high-profile attacks, including on a supermarket popular with Westerners and a shopping mall, leading to security on the streets being stepped up in recent days..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110224com6.html

Kurd play adds voice to Mideast anger focus 02/24/2011

Kurd play adds voice to Mideast anger

focus

02/24/2011
ARBIL — A play whose plot took actors and audience alike across Iraq’s Kurdish capital of Arbil this week delivered a stinging portrait of the northern region’s leaders as power-mad and greedy.

When Karukh Ibrahim’s 90-minute production climaxed outside the Kurdistan region’s parliament building, it was the 28-year-old director’s way of adding his voice to protests that have raged against entrenched rulers throughout the Middle East.

“Qabristan,” or “The Cemetery” in Kurdish, started at a park in the centre of Arbil and shifted locations in the city as the young hero in search of his mother and an old woman looking for her son were pitted against elitist offiicals.

From the Sami Abdul Rahman public park, the play shifted to the journalists’ guild headquarters and went on to the ministry of religious affairs before concluding in front of parliament, all with the audience in tow..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110224com7.html

Noy, aides lied openly—Taiwan’s Ma By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 02/24/2011

RP GOV’T SHOULD TAKE PUNITIVE ACTION VS OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN WRONGDOING

Noy, aides lied openly—Taiwan’s Ma

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 02/24/2011

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday accused the Philippine government officials of lying openly to cover up three major mistakes they made during the process, despite claims by President Aquino that an apology to Taiwan cannot be made because the correct processes were followed.

A report by the Taiwan Times yesterday quoted Ma as saying that three major mistakes were committed during the process, pointing out that while the Taiwanese were expelled from the Philippines, Philippine officials said they were extradited (there was no request for extradition from mainland China). They were also not sent to their native country — the RoC (Republic of China) — a move Ma said seriously violated international law and practices.

The 14 Taiwanese were all RoC citizens who legally entered the Philippines with proper documents. However, the Philippine government claimed they did not have legal travel documents which has been disproved by their passports and visas.

“Your government officials lied openly,” Ma was quoted as having told Aquino’s special envoy and troubleshooter Manuel “Mar” Roxas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110224hed1.html

RP won’t condemn Libyan gov’t; strong Manila-Tripoli ties remain By Michaela P. del Callar 02/24/2011

RP won’t condemn Libyan gov’t; strong Manila-Tripoli ties remain

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/24/2011

The Philippines yesterday expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Libya but said it has no plans of breaking diplomatic ties with the leadership of Moammar Gadhafi, who has been condemned by world leaders for violence inflicted on anti-government protesters.

Peru’s government has announced it is suspending diplomatic relations with Libya to protest the violence unleashed by Gadhafi against his people, according to news wire reports.

“The Philippines has had a close friendship with Libya and its people and we treasure that friendship,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Ed Malaya told the Tribune. “They have helped us in the Mindanao peace process and our bid for the Organization of the Islamic Conference.”

Libya has contributed two military men to the International Monitoring Team, a 60-member Malaysian contingent safeguarding a ceasefire.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110224hed2.html

High growth rates bypass poor — WB 02/24/2011

High growth rates bypass poor — WB

02/24/2011
The high economic growth rates that the government has been reporting has no meaning for the poor since they have not benefited at all from the supposed economic gains in terms of uplifting their conditions, the World Bank (WB) said in its latest update on the country.

The quarterly update on the country titled “Robust Growth, Stubborn Poverty” stated that despite the remarkable rebound, the latest of which was a record 7.3 percent expansion rate for last year, growth continues to bypass the poor.

The report cited the latest official poverty data which it said “confirm a lack of poverty reduction response to economic growth in the Philippines.”

Even though real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 5.4 percent during 2003 to 2006 and 4.3 percent during 2006 to 2009, or well above population growth, the poverty incidence rose from 24.9 percent of the population in 2003 to 26.4 percent in 2006, and inched up further to 26.5 percent in 2009, it noted..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110224hed3.html

12 Pinoys missing in New Zealand quake — envoy 02/24/2011

12 Pinoys missing in New Zealand quake — envoy

02/24/2011
Philippine officials in New Zealand are searching for 12 Filipinos who went missing following Tuesday’s magnitude 6.3 quake in Christchurch area.

Embassy Charge d’affaires Giovanni Palec has refused to release the names of the Filipinos, who are mostly students, because they are still verifying if they are indeed missing.

“As of now there are 12 missing but we are trying to confirm if it’s really 12. We are also trying to confirm if they are really missing or they might be separated and some had to stay in evacuation centers,” Palec told dzBB radio yesterday. “The situation on the ground is very fluid.”

Palec said an embassy team from capital Wellington will leave for Christchurch on Thursday to check on the condition of the 2,000 Filipinos there..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110224hed4.html

Rushing Merci impeach to delay resolution By Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo 02/24/2011

Rushing Merci impeach to delay resolution

By Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo 02/24/2011

House minority members yesterday said there is no need to rush the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and that the committee should wait for the final decision of the Supreme Court (SC), since rushing this could result in further delaying the resolution of the case.

At a press briefing, House Minority Leader Albay Rep.

Edcel Lagman said the decision of the House committee on justice to resume the impeachment hearings “without waiting for the finality of the Supreme Court decision recalling the status quo ante order” is “rash and regrettable.”

The decision to resume the hearing immediately without the final decision, Lagman stressed, would only “trample on one’s right to due process.”

“The right of a litigant to interpose a motion for reconsideration is a component of due process. Thwarting one’s opportunity to file a reconsideration effectively tramples the right to due process,” Lagman said, adding that there was no reason for the House to ignore Gutierrez’s right to file a motion for reconsideration saying the House leadership and the panel, through the pleadings they filed before the SC and appearances at the oral arguments, had recognized the jurisdiction of the high court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110224hed5.html

Ligot couple’s lawyers, counsels of Joc-joc, Iggy ‘Jose Pidal’ Arroyo By Angie M. Rosales 02/24/2011

Ligot couple’s lawyers, counsels of Joc-joc, Iggy ‘Jose Pidal’ Arroyo

By Angie M. Rosales 02/24/2011

Retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and his wife Erlinda, the couple facing forfeiture charges and are alleged to have ill-gotten wealth, have employed the services of the law firm that represented two personalities in the past who were embroiled in a similar controversy.

The Ligot couple’s lawyers, Antonio Zulueta and Rafael Zialcita, once served as legal counsels for Bacolod Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo and former Department of Agriculture (DA) undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc joc” Bolante when the two appeared before Senate proceedings several years ago, Tribune sources in the Senate said yesterday.

Zulueta served as Arroyo’s lawyer when the latter faced the Senate to defend his claims that he owned the so-called Jose Pidal accounts containing over P300 million in deposits, initially alleged by Sen. Panfilo Lacson as being owned by his brother, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo.

Zulueta was also noted in the records of the 2008 proceedings of the Senate blue ribbon committee during the reopening of the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, as Bolante’s lawyer..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110224hed6.html

Enrile seeks probe of coco levy investment fund 02/24/2011

Enrile seeks probe of coco levy investment fund

02/24/2011
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday pushed for an investigation of the reported P1.5 billion net operating losses incurred by the Coconut Industry Investment Fund Oil Mills Group (CIIF-OMG) from 2005 to 2007.

In filing Senate Resolution 389, Enrile said he wants to find out what actions were taken by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to address the CIIF-OMG’s financial difficulties during the three-year period and to assure the continued preservation and conservation of sequestered assets.

Enrile said the probe also seeks to know why the P1.7 billion representing cash dividends on SMC shares that were paid to the 14 CIIF Holding Companies were caused to be transferred to the CIIF-OMG companies to allegedly cover for the accumulated losses and to settle certain maturing operations of the CIIF-OMG companies with various creditors.

Notwithstanding the fact that a turn-around was made following the appointment of a new leadership in the CIIF-OMG in 2009, leading to positive operating incomes of P82 million in 2009 and P171 million in 2010, Enrile said, an inquiry should be made to determine whether irregularities were committed in the transactions and operations of the CIIF-OMG that resulted in huge losses during the said 3-year period..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110224nat4.html

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