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The stealing of a revolt EDITORIAL 02/25/2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

The stealing of a revolt

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Edsa I has been hailed as the precursor of the many popular uprisings after 1986 when it happened, including the disintegration of the once mighty Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), as well as the tearing down of the Berlin wall, a long symbol of communist oppression.

It was 25 years since that historic moment that happened in the desire of most Filipinos for a better life away from what was considered then as an abusive autocratic rule and many now strongly hold that the nation was better off during those years under martial law..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com1.html

25 years ago NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 02/25/2011

25 years ago

Armida Siguion-Reyna
It is said that in February of 1986, as much as two to three million Filipinos were on Edsa. You would think that with that number of witnesses, no one would dare rewrite history, but in almost all of subsequent Edsa celebrations it has been made to appear as if Juan Ponce-Enrile wasn’t there, his face and likeness expunged from videos, cropped off photos, and to those who had actually seen him cross from Camp Aguinaldo to Camp Crame on Feb. 23, explained, if not as figment of the imagination, then simply just as bit-player.

“Hindi siya ang nagtawag ng tao,” is the explanation of anti-JPE forces, some of them still foaming in the mouth to this very day.

But if indeed, it was Jaime Cardinal Sin who issued the call for people to go the Edsa, or if not Sin, Butz Aquino, would any of them have sounded the clarion call if my brother hadn’t holed up first in Aguinaldo? It took the event’s turning silver, for someone to invite him to Edsa, and on front-pages of newspapers dub him an “Edsa hero,” share photo-op space with no less than President Benigno Aquino III, former President Fidel Ramos and Sen. Greg Honasan. Finally.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looks back at the four days collectively known as Edsa I as “an opportunity for our people to express their hopes and dreams for our country,” as he also rather emotionally clarified “We did not leave the country, we were taken away and not allowed to return.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com2.html

After 25 years: ‘No change?’ DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 02/25/2011

After 25 years: ‘No change?’

Herman Tiu Laurel
I looked up on the Internet some cues on “Delusional Disorder Treatments” and found prescriptions ranging from psychotherapy, medication, to psychosurgery. Sadly, I couldn’t find the cure for what I wanted to remedy — the delusional “Edsa I People Power Syndrome” afflicting certain people, which is propagated by the present ruling order. Special among this crop of delunoids are a number of opinion writers in mainstream media. They continue to sing paeans to 25 years of Edsa I in the face of overwhelming evidence against their grand delusion.

Once such indictment against Edsa I came via a dimwitted assertion by their presidential icon Aquino III in his speech at Ocampo, Camarines Sur three days ago, where he said, “After 25 years, was there change? Unfortunately, nothing really changed — corruption is still rampant and the result, the needs of the people were left unattended…” What??? Twenty-five years with trillions of pesos of budgets, and still “no change?”

The fact is, there has been tremendous change over the past 25 years: CHANGE FROM BAD TO WORSE. Corruption isn’t the same; it has worsened geometrically. In the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for instance, as Linggoy Alcuaz can attest to (since he was with a communications company supplying equipment to the AFP during Marcos’ time), military comptrollers used to get only 1 percent of the 10 percent set aside for “intermediation.” But since Cory Aquino’s time, as attested to by retired Gen. Romeo Padiernos and reported in mainstream media this week, military corruption has expanded by leaps and bounds, leading to what we now shockingly witness in the Gen. Carlos Garcia “pabaon” mess.

Marcos could not have subdued the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) and the NPA (New People’s Army) if the rate of AFP corruption seen during the Cory years down to the FVR and GMA regimes had already prevailed then. Now, the AFP can’t even provide decent boots.

Cory Aquino became the dog that was wagged by the AFP tail during her time. Afterwards, the military was led by none other than the chief of the Philippine Constabulary and the entire AFP, Fidel Ramos. One retired general told me over a regular breakfast meet with other retired officers: “When FVR took over the AFP and visited the camps for inspection, he would have a stack of envelopes with money to hand out to the officers saying, ‘Go improve your image.’” That same general said the practice of conversion became rampant only after Mrs. Aquino became Commander-in-Chief.

Yet the profligacy that followed her assumption to office was not only limited to the AFP; it swept the entire Cabinet. While Marcos had only 12 Cabinet secretaries, Cory had a whopping 34 and cost P4.4 billion yearly to maintain because every Big Business and “civil society” faction wanted a seat.

A major and fundamental change that overcame the Philippines after Edsa I has been the rapid transition of the country from a rice self-sufficient nation and occasional exporter to its status today as the “world’s top (and most expensive) rice importer.” Now, that’s something to be proud of, isn’t it? It’s a question I’d like to address to some of my fellow columnists in the other papers fawning over Cory Aquino and her “democracy” (as if economics and rice aren’t fundamental to human rights and human dignity).

Never mind that we had the beginnings of a car industry already thanks to Marcos, at a time when South Korea was still dreaming of it, or that electricity sufficiency for 25 years had already been planned with the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant already set to operate in 1984, seven years before the People’s Republic of China’s first nuclear power plant in 1991.

A month’s worth or eight 1,000-word columns of mine couldn’t summarize the deterioration from what the Marcos era left behind in terms of socio-economic infrastructure, along with the devastation Mrs. Cory Aquino and the succeeding Yellow regimes wrought later. Marcos’ prescient energy program included geothermal, dendro-thermal, bio, and solar energy; we were growing cotton and grapes to achieve self-sufficiency in these; ship building was starting with Baseco, far ahead of South Korea; cultural centers were built, and never duplicated since.

In contrast, Cory Aquino, “civil society,” and the Makati Business Club only brought in factories of delusions, such as Conrado de Quiros’ “We are the one country that invented people power” — a really shameless historical plagiarism of France’s Storming of the Bastille or Korea’s April 19 Movement against Syngman Rhee, (among many) precedents to Edsa I of deposing elite or US-backed tyrants.

The facts of history must be learned: The 21st century’s rising stars, ranging from China, Singapore, to Malaysia, strengthened their growth by way of nationalist authoritarian governance. Political and economic laissez -faire merely led to the internal collapse of the 20th century superpower, the USA.

Another lesson is that popular insurrection mistakenly called revolutions, and daubed with whatever color, can lead to rightist-elitist victory as well as popular-progressive triumph. Venezuela had the latter under a populist leadership, where nationalization of state assets proceeded posthaste; Ukraine, meanwhile, had the elitist, Western-oriented version and, like the Philippines, saw its own corruption and impoverishment multiply within a decade of its reversing course.

Western-nurtured “people power” are for Western interests only; hence, the privatization of a nation’s wealth. Only nationalist people power benefits the nation.

“NO CHANGE” is unacceptable; we need REAL CHANGE for the better. Onwards with True People Power… the spirit of Edsa III continues!

(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 “National Development versus Yellow Economics” with Charito Planas and Linggoy Alcuaz; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and watch or listen to our select radio and GNN shows)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com3.html

Preserving the legacy of Edsa 1986 COMMENT 02/25/2011

Preserving the legacy of Edsa 1986


I have been asked several times what we should do, as a nation and as a people, to preserve the legacy of the February 1986 Edsa Revolution.

My answer is: protect democracy and unleash the full potential of democracy.

Protecting democracy requires vigilance. It also requires courage, not just the physical kind but the moral kind. It requires on the part of public officials in particular refusing to be bought, refusing to compromise, refusing to collaborate with those who show tendencies toward despotism. The previous regime did not just succeed because it was ruthless, it also succeeded because many officials were willing to support it for personal advancement and gain.

Unleashing the full potential of democracy requires alleviating poverty, if not eradicating it. I will not tire of saying again and again: Democracy is nothing if it is not also democratizing wealth. Democracy cannot thrive in a society whose population groans in abject poverty..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com4.html

Ancient Inca grain is new health food darling FEATURE 02/25/2011

Ancient Inca grain is new health food darling


COTIMBORA — Grown high in the Andes for millennia, a grain the Incas so prized they deemed it sacred has become a global star and is now being touted as the health food of the future.

Quinoa, a good crop for harsher climes as it prospers in semi-arid conditions and high altitudes where rivals struggle, has nutrition experts salivating as it is chock full of protein and essential amino acids.

“We don’t ever get sick, because we eat the quinoa we got from our ancestors,” Agustin Flores, a third-

generation farmer in Bolivia’s southern highlands, told AFP with a touch of salesmanship and a hesitant smile.
“When we are tired, after the working day, we have a drink based on the quinoa grain and that picks us up,” said Flores, adding that he and his four sons also consume it in soups and cakes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com5.html

Ligot admits being ‘front’ for condos, homes By Angie M. Rosales 02/25/2011

Ligot admits being ‘front’ for condos, homes

By Angie M. Rosales 02/25/2011

Unable to explain away a deed of sale, with his name and signature for marital consent on a P25-million posh condominium unit in Essensa, Fort Bonifacio under his wife Erlinda’s name as owner, and sold to her brother, former military comptroller under then Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes, Maj. Gen. Jacinto Ligot admitted he and his wife were fronting for others, naming his brother in law although talk had earlier made the rounds that Ligot was a front for some powerful individuals within and outside the military establishment.

More prime properties in the country owned by the Ligot couple were uncovered yesterday by Senate probers investigating the issue of corruption in the military.

Ligot confessed that he and his wife merely acted as “fronts” for some of the questioned properties that are the subject of the forfeiture proceedings against them, but pointed to his brother-in-law as the real owner, Edgardo Yambao, whom Sen. Franklin Drilon noted to have accumulated through the years about P300 million in cash and assets even if there is no showing he had a source of income since 1999..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110225hed1.html

Noy gov’t under fire over Libya evacuation 02/25/2011

Noy gov’t under fire over Libya evacuation

Thousands of Filipino workers are stranded in riot-torn Libya and are desperate to be rescued, an industry support group yesterday said as it blasted the Aquino government’s evacuation efforts.

Migrante International said it had lost contact with many of its members in Libya as they scrambled to find ways of crossing the border to neighboring countries without any government support.

“Government really messed up, they kept telling the workers that there was voluntary evacuation, but how will they know who to look for, or where and how do they get to the assigned places,” Migrante chairman Gary Martinez told Agence France Presse.

“When we spoke to one group of construction workers last night, they said they will try to make it across the border to Egypt by bus today, because they haven’t heard from any government official.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110225hed2.html

Palace moving to axe Garcia prosecutors By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 02/25/2011

Palace moving to axe Garcia prosecutors

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 02/25/2011

The fate of state prosecutors handling the case of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia seems to have been sealed as the Palace is considering the termination of Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit and her deputies who arranged the claimed lopsided plea-bargain agreement in the plunder case against Garcia, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday.

At the Senate probe yesterday on the agreement it was found that prosecutors handling the plunder case of Garcia did not object when he entered a plea of guilty to lesser charges even when the plea bargain agreement was yet to be approved by the Sandiganbayan.

Senate probers managed to extract this answer from members of the prosecution panel under the Office of the Ombudsman, a matter that lawmakers could be deduced as “gross negligence” on their part.

The Ombudsman, through special prosecutor Barreras-Sulit, was given one week to study the possible filing of the motion to withdraw the said plea bargain deal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110225hed3.html

Taiwan freeze hire still on despite 7 pt. consensus By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/25/2011

Taiwan freeze hire still on despite 7 pt. consensus

By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/25/2011

Taiwan Minister Jennifer Wang of the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said yesterday her council will adopt an across-the-board freeze on the import of Philippines workers if the Philippine government fails to show goodwill to Taiwan in the wake of its failure to apologize for the wrongful deportation of 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China earlier this month, the China Post of Taiwan reported.

She said the CLA will follow the example of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in handling the row with the Philippines arising from the wrongful deportation case.

Once the CLA decides to freeze the entry of Philippine laborers across the board, there will be no timetable on how long the freeze remains in place unless the Philippine government shows goodwill toward Taiwan.

But following the acceptance of a seven point “agreement” given the Taiwan media, one of which insists on an investigation of Philippine officials and penal sanctions imposed on those who have committed wrongdoing, Taiwan now appears to have softened its stance on the Philippines, saying there is no need for Taipei to demand an apology from the government of President Aquino for its deportation to Beijing of 14 Taiwanese wanted for fraud in China..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110225hed4.html

Keep looking for quake survivors, RP asks N. Zealand By Michaela P. del Callar 02/25/2011

Keep looking for quake survivors, RP asks N. Zealand

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/25/2011
Philippine officials yesterday appealed to New Zealand rescuers to keep searching for survivors of this week’s killer quake, saying 14 Filipinos were feared buried under the rubble.

Twelve of the missing were believed to have been inside the Canterbury Television (CTV) building that collapsed when the 6.3-magnitude quake struck Christchurch city last Tuesday, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Ed Malaya said.

Rescuers announced they have started to shift from rescue to retrieval operations as hopes dim in finding more survivors at the CTV building, which housed a TV station and a language school for foreign students, three days after the disaster.

But Malaya said Philippine officials in Christchurch have appealed to New Zealand to resume
rescue operations since there is an indication that the most of the 14 missing Filipinos are still alive..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110225hed5.html

Noy does a Gloria, appoints DFA chief despite congressional ban By Michaela P. del Callar 02/25/2011

Noy does a Gloria, appoints DFA chief despite congressional ban

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/25/2011

Despite the existence of a constitutional ban for presidents to appoint and swear in a Cabinet official or any presidential appointee while Congress is in session, President Aquino yesterday swore in former US Ambassador Albert del Rosario as acting foreign secretary, immediately filling a vacuum left by Alberto Romulo due to major problems facing Filipino workers in China, Taiwan, quake-hit New Zealand and protests-hit countries of Libya, Yemen and Bahrain.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Del Rosario is a fitting choice to lead the DFA because “he comes with a sterling track record in foreign service to show that he will serve the President and the Republic with integrity and the highest devotion to the democratic principles that underscore all official actions, domestic and foreign.”

“He comes into office at a time filled with many challenges. The President believes that he must be brought to harness at the soonest possible time to be fully briefed and engaged,” Lacierda added in his statement released last night..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110225hed7.html

Singson gets 18 months jail term for cocaine smuggle 02/25/2011

Singson gets 18 months jail term for cocaine smuggle

Hong Kong — A Philippine congressman from one of the country’s most powerful political families was sentenced to 18 months’ jail yesterday for smuggling cocaine and another drug into Hong Kong.

District Court Judge Joseph Yau described the prison term as a serious fall from grace for Rep. Ronald Singson, a politician and music promoter, who was caught with drugs at Hong Kong’s international airport last year.

Earlier this year, the colorful 42-year-old Singson admitted to bringing 6.67 grams of pure cocaine and two tablets of the narcotic Nitrazepam into the city on July 11, 2010. A vial of cocaine was found in his underwear.

“The defendant imported a substantial amount of cocaine into Hong Kong,” Judge Yau told the packed courtroom, adding that Singson was a politician whose family has substantial wealth..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110225nat1.html

Stradcom: Road Users Group misinformed 02/25/2011

Stradcom: Road Users Group misinformed

“The Road Users Group is misinformed,” Margaux Salcedo, spokesman for Stradcom, said in reaction to the Road Users Group complaint against the company. “Interconnectivity fees are for operations that are beyond the scope of the primary LTO (Land Transportation Office) contract for computerization of drivers license and motor vehicle registration. We only added this to our services, upon the directive of the LTO and at minimal cost to the public, for greater efficiency at the LTO,” Salcedo clarified.

The public must know that Stradcom does not charge interconnectivity services from the public but from the private offices requiring interconnectivity like insurance companies that are required to be connected to LTO, Salcedo explained. It is the insurance company that is billed, not the vehicle owners or the motoring public..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110225nat4.html

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