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Do-nothing government EDITORIAL 02/26/2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do-nothing government

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Libya was in political turmoil two weeks ago and the world knew it as the violence was reported all over the globe. Yet Noynoy Aquino and his government, despite the knowledge that there are Filipino workers who could very well be caught in the crossfire, insisted on doing nothing, even announcing that there would be no mass evacuation; only voluntary repatriation for those who want to return home.

But even in that, there apparently was not even any Filipino official who was organizing the voluntary repatriation business.

What is usual with so many of our envoys, whenever a catastrophe occurs, is to quickly state — an hour or so after the catastrophe occurs, that the Filipinos in that area are all safe, and no one has been injured.

This happened again shortly after the news of the devastating New Zealand quake was out. Yet there were our envoys, claiming that no Filipino had been reported injured. Now we find out that over a dozen Filipinos — maybe more, have been trapped in a collapsed building, with other Filipinos probably dead..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110226com1.html

Not a healing president FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/26/2011

Not a healing president

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
He says one thing, but does the opposite.

Yesterday, at the 25th anniversary of the Edsa Revolt rites, Noynoy vowed to unite the nation, yet he harked back to the Marcos past and the Arroyo regime. How then can he even make that vow to unite the Filipinos under his stewardship, when he is much too divisive?

The problem with Noynoy and his Yellows, who were his mother’s Yellows too, is that they believe they have a lock and the copyright on Edsa, which is the reason Noynoy can’t ever be the president of the Filipinos, as he insists on being the president of the Yellows.

To this day, he still wears that yellow ribbon pinned on his Barong Tagalog, which was what he had worn all througout his presidential campaign.

Even his election to the presidency was propagandized as an Edsa r evolt, in a different form. But good grief, what was Edsa 1986 all about, if not getting rid of the 13-year dictatorship and ushering freedom and democracy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110226com3.html

Edsa at 25: Aquino Is Wasting Legacy of People Power, Say Farmers

Edsa at 25: Aquino Is Wasting Legacy of People Power, Say Farmers

For Filipino farmers, filling a stage with actors and performers is hardly the best way to commemorate the culmination of more than a decade’s fight against the Marcos dictatorship. “It would have been better if President Aquino does something worthy of EDSA 1 such as announce the surrender of the Cojuangco family’s unjust claim on Hacienda Luisita,” Willy Marbella of KMP said.

MANILA — Wasting the legacy of the 1986 Edsa People Power uprising.

This was how Hacienda Luisita farmworkers and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) described the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the popular revolt that ousted the Marcos dictatorship and installed Aquino’s mother, Corazon C. Aquino, to the presidency.

“The Aquino administration is in the thick of preparations for the February 25 anniversary of Edsa People Power. It even had tarpaulin banners and high-rise billboards put up all over the metropolis praising President Aquino’s mother and calling her an icon of democracy. For us farmers, it is very hard to accept how the incumbent government is packaging what happened 25 years ago because for us, the legacy of the uprising has been wasted,” said KMP deputy secretary-general for internal affairs Willy Marbella.

In a protest action in front the Supreme Court on February 22, Luisita farmworkers denounced the upcoming government-led Edsa celebration as a farce and sorry tribute to the essence of the People Power uprising. (Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)

Marbella said that for KMP, the assertion that democracy and genuine freedom were achieved after Edsa 1 was a based on an illusion.

“Farmers believed the late president Cory Aquino’s promises that she would implement what the dictatorship did not – genuine land reform – but this did not happen. The Cory administration refused to put Hacienda Luisita under agrarian reform after the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. She instead pushed for the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of 1998 with the help of the landlord-dominated congress and saved HLI for the Cojuangco family,” he said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/23/edsa-at-25-aquino-is-wasting-legacy-of-people-power-say-farmers/

Reds, Manila End Oslo Talks with ‘Guarded Optimism and Hope’

Reds, Manila End Oslo Talks with ‘Guarded Optimism and Hope’

OSLO, Norway — The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ended their first formal peace talks in six years with “guarded optimism and hope,” concluding today, February 22, six hard days of bargaining in this Norwegian capital.

Postponing their scheduled closing ceremony at least three times, both panels appeared to have struggled to agree on several ticklish issues, until finally emerging from their talks at around eight in the evening Oslo time.

Relief showed on the faces of GPH panel chair Alexander Padilla and his NDFP counterpart Luis Jalandoni as they read their respective closing statements and later good-naturedly answered questions fielded by members of the Philippine and international media who have been waiting for more than five days for news from the negotiations.

Both panels, as well as the Royal Norwegian Government, the third-party facilitator of the talks, announced the reconvening of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), and the reactivation of the reciprocal working committees (RCWs) on socio-economic reforms and the formation of working groups for political and constitutional reforms, which will be next in the agenda of the discussion after this the present round of talks on socio-economic reforms.

GPH panel chairmain Alexander Padilla, Royal Norwegian Government chief facilitator Ambassador Tore Lundh, and NDFP panel chair Luis Jalandoni in today’s closing ceremonies in Oslo. (Photo by Raymund B. Vilanueva / bulatlat.com)

The JMC was formed in 2004 to monitor the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). For almost seven years, the GPH, then known as Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), refused to convene the JMC..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/22/reds-manila-end-oslo-talks-with-%E2%80%98guarded-optimism-and-hope%E2%80%99/

Dole Philippines Workers in Tough Fight as US Company Uses Military Force Vs Union

 Dole Philippines Workers in Tough Fight as US Company Uses Military Force Vs Union

Today, Feb. 22, the workers at the largest plantation and cannery in the Philippines will hold a union election. The incumbent KMU-affiliated union, Amado-Kadena, is fighting to retain its dominance even as Dole Philippines uses a pro-management faction of the union against it while the US company, its allies and the military vilify and harass the union’s members and officers.
MANILA – “You have to suffer the consequences.”

Kevin Davis, at the time the boss in Dole Philippines (Dolefil), the largest integrated plantation and cannery in the Philippines, told Jose Teruel this in 2006 after the workers’ union Teruel headed successfully asserted its desire to affiliate with NAFLU, a labor federation of the progressive Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

Davis made the threat following Dolefil management’s campaign to undermine the union’s choice of leaders as well as the labor federation it wanted to ally itself with, often using methods that were borrowed from the military.

The list of these “consequences” being suffered by the union, Amado Kadena-NAFLU-KMU (Asosasyon sa mga Mamumuo sa Dolefil Alang sa Kalingkawasan ug Demokrasya sa Nasud, or Association of Dolefil Workers for Freedom and Democracy ), and its leaders has grown longer as thousands of the multinational company’s workers embark yet again on another election, scheduled for today, February 22, in General Santos City,  to choose their union leaders.

Efforts by the Dolefil management to defeat Amado-Kadena are focused on two fronts: its support for a faction of the union called LEAD-PH and a parallel campaign to vilify Amado-Kadena as a communist group and to harass its officials and members..... MORE

Click here to read more stories on Dole Philippines and its union-busting activities


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/22/dole-philippines-workers-in-tough-fight-as-us-company-uses-military-force-vs-union/

OFWs Who Lived For Years Under a Bridge in Jeddah Return Home with Harrowing Tales of Neglect

OFWs Who Lived For Years Under a Bridge in Jeddah Return Home with Harrowing Tales of Neglect

“When we were still (in Saudi) the government did not help us. Now that we are home, they still could not extend any assistance to us.” – Lubaira Guiandal, 43, one of the OFWs who lived under the Khandara Bridge while awaiting repatriation.

MANILA — Outside Migrante International’s office in Cubao, Quezon City, 11 overseas Filipino workers were sharing their recent experiences to the group and to some church workers when, all of a sudden, one of them stood up and banged the table thrice, emphatically saying, “Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.”

The man was Arnulfo Manongdo, 42, a recently repatriated OFW who lived under the Khandara Bridge in Jeddah for six months. He was reenacting what Vice Consul Lorenzo Rhys Jungco did and said when they approached him and the Philippine consulate in Jeddah for assistance on their request for immediate repatriation.

Manongdo left to work as a maintenance crew for the Kimpahad Medical City on March 20, 2006. His principal agency, a  manpower services based in Saudi Arabia called Al-Safari, gave him the salary stipulated in the contract — 1,800 riyals — for the first three months. On the fourth month onward, however, Al-Safari refused to give them their salary unless they surrendered their iqama (residency permit).

Arnulfo Manongdo (left) served as leader to the OFWs who lived under the Khandara Bridge for years while awaiting for repatriation. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
He chose not surrender his iqama, while his co-workers who submitted theirs received a salary of only 450 riyals and a food allowance amounting to 200 riyals. Without a single riyal to survive, he worked on a part-time basis for other companies. But Manongdo eventually escaped from Al-Safari sometime in November 2006 after seeing that it would not change its policies regarding the workers’ salaries.

Manongdo managed to find different jobs, from being a cargo carrier to a restaurant crew. He could not, however, find a regular job. “We were paid for a month, then fired the next month,” he said, “I could hardly send money to my family.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/20/ofws-who-lived-for-years-under-a-bridge-in-jeddah-return-home-with-harrowing-tales-of-neglect/

Philippines’s Oldest Woman Political Prisoner Released

 Philippines’s Oldest Woman Political Prisoner Released

MANILA — The country’s oldest woman political prisoner has been released from the Misamis Occidental Provincial Jail in Oroquieta City last Feb. 17.

After almost six years in detention, Angelina Bisuña Ipong, 66, finally walked free as the last in the string of cases filed against her by the military was dismissed.

Click here for previous Bulatlat.com stories on Angelina Ipong.
Ipong, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), was arrested on March 8, 2005, in Lumbayao village, Aloran town, Misamis Occidental, by combined elements of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Southern Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). She was held incommunicado for 14 days and was allegedly subjected to sexual molestation and torture.

Angelina Ipong in detention.
Presiding Judge Bernadette S. Paredes-Encinareal of the Regional Trial Court Branch 36, Calamba, Misamis Occidental, dismissed the double murder, double frustrated murder, and arson charges against Ipong, according to a statement by the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM).

Ipong’s release marked the third day of formal peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP in Oslo, Norway.

The dismissal of the charges came after Pablito Sanidad, a member of the GPH peace panel, sent a letter to Encinareal purportedly asking the latter to expedite the decision on Ipong’s cases..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/20/ofws-who-lived-for-years-under-a-bridge-in-jeddah-return-home-with-harrowing-tales-of-neglect/

DoJ eyes Ligot assets probe, new raps for Garcia By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 02/26/2011

DoJ eyes Ligot assets probe, new raps for Garcia

By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 02/26/2011

Prosecutors will initiate investigations shortly into the corruption allegations against retired Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and his family.

At the same time, the Department of Justice (DoJ) is also said to be eyeing new charges against former military comptroller retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, focusing on alleged evasion of taxes.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday a committee will be formed to investigate the properties of Ligot and his wife Erlinda, along with assets of their relatives. It is alleged that the properties came from military funds that were pocketed by the Ligots.

“General Ligot and his immediate family would have to be part of the (DoJ) probe (on corruption in the military),” she told reporters in an ambush interview..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed1.html

Noy belittles Marcos, GMA at Edsa rites By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/26/2011

Noy belittles Marcos, GMA at Edsa rites

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/26/2011

Backward-looking President Aquino yesterday led the nation in commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Edsa People Power revolt which saw his mother, the late President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, taking government control from the late strongman, President Ferdinand Marcos.

Given the event that was strongly identified to the Aquinos’ political domination, the President has taken the opportunity to take a dig at his unpopular predecessor and the late strongman himself whose dictatorship, Aquino said, did not spare even the airing of a popular animated television show.

“When the boss ordered the closure of a television or radio station, you still haven’t pushed the button to change the channel yet the news you were trying to follow was already cut off the air. Even ‘Voltes V’ was not spared. This dark system which ruled for 14 years happened because (the government) has forgotten that in every system, the public should be the seat of authority. The Filipinos should have been the boss, not Marcos,” Aquino in the first speech he delivered during a flag-raising ceremony held at the Edsa People Power monument that kicked off the whole day celebration, Friday morning..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed2.html

134 Pinoys now safe; 13,000 more to be evacuated from Libya, says DFA By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

134 Pinoys now safe; 13,000 more to be evacuated from Libya, says DFA

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

Thousand of foreigners yesterday faced hellish scenes in trying to escape Libya as governments around the world, including the Philippines, scrambled to evacuate their citizens from the chaos engulfing the country.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it planned to bring 13,000 of its nationals from riot-torn Libya with the help of their employers, though it gave no timetable.

According to acting Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, the government was making arrangements for Filipinos to escape via chartered ferries and commercial flights.

The ferries would take Filipinos from Tripoli to Malta, and those based in Benghazi, Libya�s number-two city, to Crete..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed3.html

Taiwan solons call from indefinite Pinoy freeze hire By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

Taiwan solons call from indefinite Pinoy freeze hire

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

Lawmakers from Taiwan’s ruling party said Taipei should freeze indefinitely the hiring of Filipino workers due to Manila’s “unfriendly” attitude towards Taiwanese people while demanding the resignation of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang, for saying that that is no longer any need for Taipei to demand that the Philippines apologize for deporting 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China.

A “fact sheet” that was agreed on by Roxas and Taiwanese officials after their 12-hour marathon meeting last Monday night said any Philippine official found to have mishandled the deportation case would be held accountable and sanctioned. This, Yang said, passed for an apology.

Yang’s comments sparked outrage yesterday among Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers, who demanded that he step down.

There are 100,000 Filipinos in Taiwan, which accounts 20 percent of the total foreign workforce there. Majority are employed in electronic assembly and manufacturing factories while around 20,000 work as caregivers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed4.html

Michael Ray’s return to RP imminent—Justice chief By Benjamin Pulta 02/26/2011

Michael Ray’s return to RP imminent—Justice chief

By Benjamin Pulta 02/26/2011

With former Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino, a close aide of fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson, losing his extradition case in a US appellate court, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima sees Aquino going back to the Philippines soon to stand trial for the double murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and Emmanuel Corbito 11 years ago.

De Lima confirmed yesterday that the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has turned down the habeas corpus petition of Aquino seeking a reversal of the extradition order issued by US District Court of New Jersey in Newark last year.

The appellate court upheld the ruling of District Court Judge Esther Salas.

“Upon review of the record, we conclude that competent evidence supports the probable cause finding in this case. Accordingly, and because no substantial issue is presented on appeal, we will summarily affirm the District Court’s judgment,” read the five-page opinion of the US appellate court distributed by De Lima to reporters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed6.html

DFA starts remitting UN payments to gov’t treasury By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

DFA starts remitting UN payments to gov’t treasury

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it has begun the process of remitting to the National Treasury all proceeds from the country’s participation in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in their supervision.

From 2000 to 2010, the DFA said the UN has remitted a total of $66.6 million to the Philippines to cover the deployment of troops and equipment in support of peacekeeping operations in East Timor, Liberia and Haiti. Of this amount, $3.3 million are in the custody of the DFA.

Except for the $3.3 million temporarily deposited in a government account in New York, the DFA said “all the proceeds were remitted by the UN to the trust accounts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the Land Bank of the Philippines from 2000 to 2003 and the United Coconut Planters Bank from 2003 to present.”

“The actions taken by the DFA in connection with the UN peacekeeping payments are consistent with its desire to ensure that proper safeguards are in place to allow the Philippines to derive maximum benefit from its participation in UN peacekeeping operations,” the DFA said in a statement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110226nat2.html

Solon goes after college dean in Facebook scandal By Charlie V. Manalo 02/26/2011

Solon goes after college dean in Facebook scandal

By Charlie V. Manalo 02/26/2011

Buhay Party-list Rep. Irwin Tieng, author of the �Anti-Cyberboso Law,� is going after a college dean who turned the popular networking site Facebook into his own porn site when he posted the naked pictures of his student after she refused to leave her live-in partner.

Tieng wants the full force of the newly-passed Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2010 (Republic Act 9995) applied to St. Jude College Prof. Alexander Rible for posting the pictures of his student, Annika (not her real name) whom he allegedly coerced into sleeping with him, lest he would fail her in his class.

�I have provided Annika a good lawyer to make an example of Rible and others like him who has no respect for women and basic decency. It is just unfortunate that the first person to pay for the crime of �cyberboso� is a college dean who should be teaching us all about respect for privacy and common decency in our society,� said Tieng, who is one of the principal authors of RA 9995.

Under the law that is now popularly known as the Anti-Cyberboso Law, an offender faces imprisonment of not less than three but not more than seven years; and a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P500,000..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110226nat1.html

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