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The Daily Tribune

(Without Fear or Favor)



World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Philippines

The Philippines Matrix Project


Monday, February 28, 2011

Déjà vu

Click to enlarge
Before fund donors, Noynoy boasted of his supposed achievements in the economic and fiscal fields during the eight months that he has been in office.

He cited before the Philippine Development Forum (PDF) the other day the rebidding of overpriced contracts, the adoption of zero-based budgeting and the increase in the budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program as among his achievements.

He conveniently makes no mention of the defense recently inked with his appointed officials, as these were clearly overpriced. Still, let Noynoy stay in dreamland as one day he will definitely wake up to the nightmare of having done nothing all throughout his stay in Malacañang and will go down in history as having made the Philippines worse off than any other time.

But there was a reason for him to come up with yet another boast as Noynoy was again reminding many of Gloria who waxes in exuberant pride about non-existent achievements, which path he is following, but in a worse way, as the achievements of the Arroyo regime, he has the gall to pass off as his..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com1.html

In a fix again FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/28/2011

In a fix again

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy is likely to do repeat of a washed down Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report on the Aug. 23 botched hostage rescue, where he absolved his close buddy and his allies from any criminal and administrative charges.

This time around, the repeat will come in the form of the probe on the 14 Taiwanese fraudsters who were deported, not to Taiwan, but to Mainland China.

Noynoy and his government refuse to apologize to Taiwan — and there are reasons to take such a position, owing to the One-China policy, since a formal apology from the Philippine government would outrage the Mainland Chinese government, as this would be a recognition of Taiwan, which would be a breach of the One-China policy, although this matter could have been handled much better than the botched up job Noynoy and Malacañang did on this deportation issue.

To this day, Noynoy insists that there is nothing to apologize for, claiming that to apologize would mean that the Philippine government committed such a huge mistake, which he insists his government did not commit, which is not quite true..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com2.html

Domestic violence rages in NZ quake aftermath focus 02/28/2011

Domestic violence rages in NZ quake aftermath


CHRISTCHURCH — With nerves frayed by months of tremors that peaked in a horrifying earthquake this week, Christchurch residents are lashing out against those they need the most.

Police said domestic violence surged by 50 percent after a major tremor rocked New Zealand’s second city last September, the prelude to Tuesday’s quake that left at least 123 dead and destroyed parts of the city center.

Just a day into the latest disaster, police commander Dave Cliff said authorities had seen another surge in family assaults, with many homeless or without power and water, and as some turned to alcohol to cope.

“The stress and trauma of Tuesday’s earthquake is understandably taking its toll, and the continual aftershocks are exacerbating the tiredness and emotional fatigue,” said Cliff..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com3.html

Rule of law in ARMM C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 02/28/2011

Rule of law in ARMM

Jonathan De la Cruz
It is a sad commentary of our times that 25 years after Edsa I, we remain largely a government of men rather than of laws. The promised return to the rule of law and democratic processes — a key if not fundamental underpinning of that successful people’s uprising — has, over the years, been unevenly upheld. That checkered history which spawned the rise of new cronies and members of the ruling elite through misgovernance, misuse of government funds and irregular buyout of state and sequestered assets at bargain prices, the democratization of corruption across the board, election fraud and continuing human rights abuses, among others, need to be corrected with even more vigor now that the second President Aquino is in place. So, if he truly wants to keep the spirit of Edsa alive and make a difference for our country and people during his term, then we exhort P-Noy to firmly commit his administration to the rule of law and democratic processes. He can begin by listening to those who are asking him and his allies, in and out of Congress, to abide by the law and the Constitution in the matter of the scheduled Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections in August. It is as simple as that and P-Noy does not need any lecturing or even briefing from his rowdy “inner circle” who seem to be more interested in promoting their own selfish agenda than assisting in the promotion of.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com4.html

‘Twitter’ Dee and Dum DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 02/28/2011

‘Twitter’ Dee and Dum

Herman Tiu Laurel
The debate between two factions of Edsa I celebrants, Jim Paredes and Sen. Gringo Honasan, has become quite a conversation piece. It started with a tweet from user @janicegamos who said, “I would’ve believed in the spirit of Edsa 1986 if not for the fact that its so-called heroes, et al. became opportunistic.” This tweet was referred to Honasan, which he reacted to with apparent agitation: “Opportunistic?! In & out of jail, 7 years underground, 17 yrs soldier, bullet wounds in body... Opportunism?!”

Honasan certainly felt aggrieved given his military service but was Gamos actually referring to him? Then again, was Ces Drilon being judicious in referring it to Greg since he was only a protégé of Johnny Enrile? If another had been asked, there would have been no bullet wounds to speak of — only outstanding wealth and political advancement all throughout.

That Twitter follower who started it all indeed raised an extremely valid point, given the hard sell that Edsa I and the “people power” story have amounted to each year — more so on its 25th anniversary. And the obvious reason is, after 25 years, it has offered no benefit to the people while its major heroes — the Aquinos, Cojuangcos, and other elite families such as the Lopezes, Ayalas, et al.; and politicos from Enrile, FVR, to the many Yellows — all continue to make it big… very big. (Ditto the likes of Kris Aquino, who can neither sing, dance, nor act.)

Gamos and the nation as a whole wouldn’t question the spirit of Edsa I if, 25 years later, Filipinos hadn’t actually lost so much in quality of life and standard of living; in jobs; in food and physical security; in social coherence; and in moral and national dignity. Yet, in spite of it all, a crop of Yellow delunoids continue to live in dreamland.

Fireworks certainly flew when Edsa I celebrity Jim Paredes joined in, blasting Honasan, et al.: “They joined Edsa to save their asses against Marcos. When it was safe again, they launched their coups,” describing them as “Serial coup plotters who never accepted the people’s will except when they won in elections,” then adding, “They owe the people an apology. They were plain users without the nation’s good in mind.”

Honasan then retorted, “Until U have faced the business end of a gun as a soldier, for God, country & family HERE, U know nothing;” and added, “I didn’t go abroad” to rub in Paredes’ publicized migration to Australia in 2006 (an obvious cop-out move that left his “Handog sa Mundo” ringing hollow).

Paredes returned from Australia only when the prospects of a Yellow win in 2010 became believable, showing his feet of clay. And so Paredes evasively tweeted, “Until you can be honest about your true motives, then I can’t believe you.” Really, has Paredes himself been honest about his motives? Who is he now to question others?

Such a mindset is so typical of the Yellow crowd. They think revolutions are a songwriting stint; or, like Leah Navarro, a singing contest; or, like the Makati socialites, a sandwich-making proficiency game; or, like the religious flock, a show of their novena power against bullets. These even when it’s just their habits or cacique complexions (and scents) that paralyze the trigger-fingers of robotic soldiers, who otherwise wouldn’t think twice about mowing down masa demonstrators, as they have done so often — from the Mendiola Farmers’ Massacre, to the carnage at Edsa III, to the Hacienda Luisita Massacre a few years back.

All told, members of Paredes’ ilk live manicured lives and migrate when they chose. Even their sainted icon, Cory Aquino, was always under American care, as Gringo admits, “We were protecting Cory since 1985…” But then why were Honasan’s men into protecting Cory when their sworn duty was to protect their Commander-in-Chief and the Constitution?

US magazine The Executive Intelligence Review reported that “By November (1985), the plans for insurrection were unveiled publicly, as the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the home of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, carried out a ‘war game’ against the Philippines … The CSIS’ work in Asia was largely financed by the CV Starr insurance empire run by Maurice ‘Hank’ Greenberg (which) owned most of the insurance industry in the Philippines, and a number of Philippine politicians…”

Though the Edsa I “stars” deny the role of the US against Marcos, it was very, very real. As former US State Secretary George Schultz wrote in his auto-bio, Turmoil and Triumph, the 1986 “people power” was cooked behind the back of Ronald Reagan from within the State Department.

Moreover, as Foreign Policy magazine reported: “In his Heritage speech (Paul) Wolfowitz (another former US Secretary of State) also took credit for the downfall of Marcos (stating)… ‘The private and public pressure on Marcos to reform… contributed in no small measure to emboldening the Philippine people to take their fate in their own hands and to produce what eventually became the first great democratic transformation in Asia in the 1980s.’”

These “pressures” included currency attacks; 45-percent interest rates; cuts in US military aid channeled to Cardinal Sin; stepped-up demonization of Marcos; the forced “snap election;” and later, the walk-out of computer technicians associated with Honasan’s group, which was already coordinating with the Americans.
We must henceforth rise from this “Twitter Dee and Dum” level of debate and go into a genuinely honest, objective and comprehensive review that leaves nothing out from scrutiny. A joint government-civilian investigation of Edsa I should be established to arrive at the whole truth — including the Ninoy assassination. We owe it to all the @janicegamos-es of the land, to our children and their future.

(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 “Reviewing the Marcos Path;” visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our select radio and GNN shows)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com5.html

Tall tale SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 02/28/2011

Tall tale

Dinah S. Ventura
Once upon a time, there was a soldier who was tasked to serve his countrymen by approving and dispensing funds for military needs and activities. He preceded another man whose job made him so powerful and rich that he could afford to send his children abroad carrying huge amounts of cash.

In due time, people began to notice their luxurious lifestyles. Their wives were often traveling, their children had wardrobes full of designer clothes and they lived in millionaires’ enclaves.

Meanwhile, the military rank and file continued to subsist on spartan fare and wear scuffed boots, not to mention below-standard quality helmets to protect their heads against bullets. Some young officers decided to complain about this injustice, but did so in hostile means that it landed them in jail for years. The high-living military officers, however, continued to live splendidly.

Who was going to take notice? After all, many politicians were living the same way. A high position invariably brought influence and perks like expensive trips galore, million-peso dinners, gifts and mansions. Heavily tinted luxury cars hid them from public scrutiny, and many of them never felt the discomforts of traffic with police escorts in motorcycles ready to part the Red Sea for them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com7.html

Shattered dreams HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 02/28/2011

Shattered dreams

Aldrin Cardon
I dreamed of becoming a soldier when I was young.

I also wanted to write. So, I made my dream complicated by dreaming of becoming a soldier and a war chronicler at the same time.

I did not realize that wars then were different from those of Vietnam and Korea, just two or three decades before I was born. Yet they were fading from the world’s memory as my youth was chilling with the cold war, or was busy creating their own punk statement while the rest was following the fashion of Aga Muhlach’s Bagets.

The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio seemed a far and unreachable place.
For us, high school dreamers, it meant two years of long and arduous preparation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com6.html

Aquino parties at Edsa while OFWs suffer Angara By Angie M. Rosales 02/28/2011


Aquino parties at Edsa while OFWs suffer Angara

By Angie M. Rosales 02/28/2011

A legislator sees President Aquino slackening and demanded that he buckle down to work before the government is caught up in a crisis situation amid the crisis situations transpiring in many parts of the globe that would impact on the country.

Sen. Edgardo Angara said yesterday the Aquino administration appeared to be giving in to a relaxed attitude amid the various political turmoils and disasters taking place in other countries that are expected to highly affect Filipino immigrants and migrant workers.

Angara criticized on radio the apparent lack of a sense of urgency being shown by Malacanang over issues confronting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Libya, Taiwan and in New Zealand, saying the crisis in the Middle East is expected to affect the country’s oil supply anytime as well.

“If I’m the secretary of the Department of Energy or theexecutive secretary or the President, I will seek a dialog with those in the oil industry (not to raise prices for the meantime). We need to help one another first because the situation is critical. A number of Filipinos are out to lose their jobs in the Middle East. This would be a double whammy for us,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed1.html

David worries over graft probe backlash on AFP modernization 02/28/2011 By Mario J. Mallari

David worries over graft probe backlash on AFP modernization

By Mario J. Mallari
Armed Forces of the Phi-lippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David Jr. worries over the backlash of the ongoing congres-sional inquiries into the massive corruption in the AFP pleading yes-terday that it should not stop the long-delayed modernization of the 120,000-strong organization.

While David reiterated the AFP’s full support to the congressional investigation into the military anomalies during the term of the late AFP Chief of Staff and Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes, he stressed that such probes should not result in further delaying the AFP modernization program.

“Reports that there are some irregularities in the handling of budget should really be investigated if there are any… (but) that is not the reason for our planners, for our Congress not to stop or to stop the modernization of the AFP,” said David on radio.

David stressed that the AFP modernization program is among the morale-boosters of the ordinary soldiers who risked their lives in the battle field..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed2.html

Ombudsman warned against snubbing impeach hearing By Gerry Baldo 02/28/2011

Ombudsman warned against snubbing impeach hearing

By Gerry Baldo 02/28/2011

The House committee on justice is now set to hear the impeachment case against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutier-rez even as it warned that failure to come to the hearings would mean that she is waving her right to present her side.

According to Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, vice chairman of the justice panel, they are giving Gutierrez all the time to answer the charges against her.

“We had given, are giving, and will give her every opportunity to present her side before the justice committee within the time we gave her. Even if she does not answer, we will proceed with our hearings on March 1, 2, 8 and 9,” Fariñas yesterday said.

He stressed that Gutierrez would be losing her right to reply if she refuses to attend the hearings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed3.html

130 Pinoys cross Libya-Tunisia border — DFA 02/28/2011

130 Pinoys cross Libya-Tunisia border — DFA

Another batch of 130 Filipino workers in strife-torn Libya has crossed the Libyan-Tunisian border at Ras al-Jedir and is on its way to Manila, acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario yesterday said.

Del Rosario, who leads a Philippine contingency team in the Middle East, said a consular team received the Filipinos at the border and have made arrangements for their flight home.

Accompanied by Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos and a small team from DFA Manila, Del Rosario flew to Jerba, the Tunisian city closest to the Libyan border, Friday night to facilitate the evacuation of Filipinos from Libya.

He had originally planned to proceed to Tripoli if not for the de facto “no fly advisory” being considered for Libya by the inter-national community..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed4.html

RP poses high risks for business — UK firm 02/28/2011

RP poses high risks for business — UK firm

A London-based think tank has placed the Philippines among countries considered posing high risks for investors, placing 17th in a ranking of 175 countries that evaluates the key strategic, operational and reputational risks for business.

In the security risk category, the Philippines was ranked eighth as a result of politically-motivated violence and terrorism.

Global risk assessment firm Maplecroft said in its Global Risks Atlas 2011 that important growth economies of India, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Russia all pose high risks for business.

The study evaluated the impact of 32 “global risks,” which are risks outside the control of an individual government or business that have the ability to affect multiple regions and industry sectors. The Atlas focuses on seven key “global risk” areas: macroeconomic risk; security risk; governance risk and illicit economies; resource security; climate change; pandemics, and societal resilience, including human rights..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed6.html

Palace lying to Muslims on ARMM polls postponement — solon 02/28/2011

Palace lying to Muslims on ARMM polls postponement — solon

Beyond the façade of promised reforms lies a deceitful scheme aimed at extending payback to his election supporters.

Describing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindano (ARMM) a failed experiment, President Aquino, through his minions, had called for the postponement of the ARMM elections schedule Aug. 8 this year to 2013, so that the President can appoint officers in charge (OICs) who can institute proper reforms for the war-torn region.

However, Lanao del Sur Rep. Pangalian Balindong slammed Aquino, saying the President is lying to the public on his true intent of postponing the ARMM elections.

At a forum in Sulo Hotel last Saturday, Balindong said that going by Aquino’s line of reasoning that ARMM is a failed experiment, then whoever the President appoints cannot institute the so-called reforms ARMM needs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110228nat2.html

2 out of 14 OFWs missing in New Zealand safe, alive By Michaela P. del Callar 02/28/2011

2 out of 14 OFWs missing in New Zealand safe, alive

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/28/2011

Two of the 14 Filipinos who were previously reported missing following last week’s 6.3-magnitude quake in Christchurch, New Zealand are alive and safe, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said, adding that Philippine officials there continue to search for other Filipinos who may still be alive.

The survivors were identified as Rita Estrella and Hayley Concepcion.

“We have not given up in the search for Filipino survivors there,” DFA spokesman Eduardo Malaya said even as New Zealand authorities have shifted from rescue to retrieval operations as hopes dim in finding more survivors, nearly a week after the disaster.

Malaya said Philippine officials in Christchurch have appealed to New Zealand to resume rescue operations, saying several other missing Filipinos could still be alive..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110228nat1.html

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