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The voice of the master EDITORIAL 03/02/2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The voice of the master

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
03/02/2011
Is there a directive of sorts from the Malacañang tenant to have, not only Merceditas Gutierrez, Ombudsman, but also the majority of justices in the high court impeached by the House of Representatives?

It certainly looks like it, considering the fact that earlier on Speaker Feliciano Belmonte told reporters that he will have the impeachment proceedings against the Ombudsman suspended, while awaiting the Supreme Court’s final decision on a motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman, but suddenly changed his tune and refused to prevent the committee on justice to proceed with the impeachment hearings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110302com1.html

Forcing through FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/02/2011

Forcing through

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
03/02/2011
One of the priority Palace bills, if not the priority, is the postponement of the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). This supposedly has the approval of the leaders of Congress.

Quite frankly, if it is only the postponement of the ARMM polls at issue, this should pose no problem in both Houses of Congress. The ARMM polls have been postponed many times over. One more postponement will hardly matter.

What may be a contentious issue is whether the incumbent elected ARMM officials will stay in their seats on a hold-over capacity until 2013, since the bill seeks to synchronize the ARMM elections with the 2013 national polls, or if the incumbent ARMM officials will all be ousted, with Noynoy now appointing his choice of ARMM officials in an acting capacity, otherwise known as officers in charge until 2013 when elections will be held.

Chances are, with the majority in the House of Representatives allied with Noynoy today, this congressional rubber stamp of Malacañang will pass the bill just as Noynoy wants it, i.e., kicking out the incumbent elected ARMM officials..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110302com2.html

Gorbachev, an unlikely rights champion focus 03/02/2011

Gorbachev, an unlikely rights champion

focus

03/02/2011
MOSCOW — Mikhail Gorbachev allowed new freedoms in the Soviet Union but for many Russian observers his embrace of human rights was due to Western and other pressures rather than ideological conviction.

In contrast to the eulogies lavished on Gorbachev in the West, Russian historians ahead of his 80th birthday on Wednesday pointed to his willingness to use force against separatism and insistence on the supremacy of the Communist Party.

He even showed a highly equivocal attitude on the question of political prisoners, like the scientist Andrei Sakharov who was placed under house arrest in 1980 under the rule of Leonid Brezhnev and whom Gorbachev freed in 1986.

“When he freed Sakharov and other dissidents, Gorbachev was not guided by moral considerations,” said historian and former dissident Vladimir Toltz. “He did not free them because it’s bad to leave one’s opponents in prison but because it was in his interest.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110302com3.html

The LRA takes a bow C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 03/02/2011

The LRA takes a bow

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
03/02/2011
It is well that after years of delay, the Land Titling Computerization Project (LTCP) of the Land Registration Authority (LRA) will finally be rolled out before the year ends. Rocked by a variety of problems from questions about its original terms of reference (ToR), a flawed legal environment leading to inter-agency coordination issues (there are at least four agencies involved in land titling including the judiciary) and, worst, a debilitating intra-corporate dispute in the proponent company, the LTCP’s fate was uncertain until lately. In any event, now that the new LRA leadership under Administrator Eulalio “Gallant” Diaz has taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, we can only hope that the days of fake titles and other land ownership issues will soon be over.

We note that the stability and integrity of land ownership in the country has been one of the principal drags to our economic take off. Quite apart from fake titles, multiple issuances, sloppy surveys, questionable ownership including the resurgence of centuries old land documents have clouded the economic value of land ownership. Recently, a land dispute threatened the peace and business operations in Boracay. The DENR which supervises the LRA has reported thousands of land disputes nationwide resulting in death and penury to people and lethargic economic movements across the board. Hopefully, with the LTCP in place, the value and use of land ownership in the country will finally be optimized to levels similar to those in more progressive countries..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110302com4.html

Christian town in north Iraq offers refuge C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 03/02/2011

Christian town in north Iraq offers refuge

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
03/02/2011
QARA QOSH — For hundreds of terrified Christian families who fled attacks in Baghdad and Mosul in recent months, an ancient Christian town in Iraq’s north has offered a safe haven from violence.

Qara Qosh, which lies east of Mosul in Nineveh province, took in hundreds of families after an Oct. 31 massacre in a Baghdad church claimed by al-Qaeda.

Forty-four worshippers and two priests were killed in the incident that terrorized the minority and drew condemnation from Iraq’s top Muslim clergy.

While most families fled from the capital and Mosul, Iraq’s two biggest cities, others arrived here from the ethnically mixed oil city of Kirkuk and even as far south as the Shiite Muslim majority port city of Basra, according to Bishop Georges Casmoussa, Qara Qosh’s top Christian leader..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110302com5.html

When disaster strikes SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 03/02/2011

When disaster strikes

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
03/02/2011
The Philippines has repeatedly been jolted out of its self-absorbed state in these past few months. First, some skirmishes with China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have led to some uncomfortable scenarios for the country, which has tried its best to be Miss Congeniality of the world.

Then, political unrest in Egypt, Libya and other parts of the Middle East has led our government to act uncharacteristically fast in order to save the thousands of Filipino workers who might find themselves caught in the midst of war. The disaster in New Zealand, at the same time, has given us more cause to worry, with more of our fellow Pinoys’ lives at stake.

A series of bad decisions and past deficiencies have already resulted in extra troubles for us, adding to the multitudinous ones our government already has to deal with within our shores. How much more with these tensions and disasters striking various parts of the world?

A calm yet strong approach and strategic planning are definitely needed to handle them well. Does our government have what it takes to do it? Perhaps — but we all need to stop expecting to be saved; we can try to be proactive and vigilant ourselves and act according to our individual capacities. If there is anything the Edsa uprising in 1986 taught us, it is that faith and unity or concerted effort can create miracles..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110302com7.html

Big talk, weak actions HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 03/02/2011

Big talk, weak actions

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
03/02/2011
My dog’s vet needed time before she faced us.

She was shaking as she gasped for breath, firmly holding her cellular phone on one hand and lists of several things her clients needed for the day on the other.

Her mind, she said as she profusely begged for time to compose herself, was on her brother whom she claimed was trapped in a desert somewhere in Libya.

He was trying to get out of the country, but was led to a desert way out, where fellow travellers deemed safer.

The other routes, or so they claimed, were infested with gangs of extortionists and Khadafi supporters who rob travellers of their belongings, or shooting them outright at first chance..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110302com6.html

House railroads Merci’s impeach By Gerry Baldo and Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/02/2011

FINDS 2 COMPLAINTS SUFFICIENT, SETS MARATHON HEARINGS

House railroads Merci’s impeach

By Gerry Baldo and Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/02/2011
It’s all over but for the plenary vote for the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, as the House of Representatives justice panel railroaded the two impeachment complaints, judging them to be sufficient.

Marathon hearings will be held by the House justice committee whose majority members, all allies of President Aquino, want the impeachment hearings over and done within a week’s time and elevated for a plenary vote.

If the allies of Aquino get the required number of votes in the plenary, the complaints will be to be submited to the Senate for a trial.

Malacañang appeared pleased with the speed at which the House committee voted to impeach the Ombudsman, as the presidential deputy spokesman, Abigail Valte, yesterday encouraged Filipinos to closely follow the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Gutierrez, foretelling of yet another grand trial by publicity..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110302hed1.html

OWWA men squeeze airfare money from stranded workers 03/02/2011

OWWA men squeeze airfare money from stranded workers

03/02/2011
As a senator complained about the snail-paced repatriation of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Libya, stranded OFWs in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, complained that Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) officials are collecting money for airfare.

A chapter of OFW support group Migrante said President Aquino should issue an appropriate instruction to OWWA over the actions of its officials in Saudi Arabia.

“We have been receiving complaints from distressed and stranded OFWs, who are now at the deportation center, cell nos. 14 and 16, that OWWA officials are asking them to pay for their airfare tickets so that they could be repatriated,” Marlon Gatdula, Migrante-Saudi Arabia deputy secretary-general, said.

Gatdula said the distressed and stranded OFWs at cell nos. 14 and 16 have been calling him since last week informing him that OWWA administrative officer Anthony Basil and Mashur Konting, OWWA case officer, allegedly had been asking the distressed and stranded OFWs an amount from 1,200 to 2,000 Saudi
Saudi riyals for their airfare tickets..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110302hed2.html

Noy’s ‘attack dog’ snarls at SC majority justices By Benjamin Pulta 03/02/2011

Noy’s ‘attack dog’ snarls at SC majority justices

By Benjamin Pulta 03/02/2011
A day after key Palace allies in Congress vowed to pursue impeachment charges against the justices of the Supreme Court who had voted to issue a status quo order on the House of Repre-sentatives to hold in abeyance the impeach-ment hearings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, President Aquino’s head lawyer herself denounced the SC justices and accused the tribunal of railroading the issuance of a status quo order in the impeachment case against the Ombudsman.

“You know one can’t help wondering what is happening to our Supreme Court,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said, citing portions of a concurring opinion by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

Carpio pointed out that the “justices themselves (are) being deprived of the opportunity to take a look at the petition to determine whether a status quo order is proper or not.”

”It is saddening among us, especially lawyers, if you see the Supreme Courtbeing hounded by all these issues.” De Lima added as she said that “the SC should not have issued status quo ante order and there even this controversy now.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110302hed3.html

Muslim lawmaker twits Aquino for ‘experimenting’ on ARMM polls By Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales 03/02/2011

Muslim lawmaker twits Aquino for ‘experimenting’ on ARMM polls

By Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales 03/02/2011
A lawmaker from Muslim Mindanao lashed out at President Aquino, saying the postponement of the elections in the Auto-nomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is nothing but an experiment of the administration of the Muslims.

In a privilege speech Monday night, Tawi-Tawi Rep. Nur Jaafar said that proponents of House Bill 4146, which seeks to synchronize the August 2011 ARMM polls to the 2013 national elections, were strongly determined to railroad and shortcut the proceedings of the joint committees, contrary to the normal practice of a deliberative body and without considering the possible repercussions and negative impact on the ARMM lawmakers’ constituents.

“This would be another experiment to be added to a long list of experiments on the lives of our Muslim people who up to now are still longing for peace. It is an inconceivable transgression of the right of Muslim representatives to parry an attempt to railroad the deliberation in favor of House Bill 4146, denying the people of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao the right to choose their leaders,” Jaafar said in his privilege speech.

Jafaar added that Congress should have passed his House Bill 4062 first since his bill aims to determine if the ARMM voters want the elections held this August or in 2013 in accordance with the ARMM elections
consistent with the Organic Act of ARMM..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110302hed4.html

Noy raises bogeys of past this time before PSG men By Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/02/2011

Noy raises bogeys of past this time before PSG men

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/02/2011

President Aquino again raised the ghosts of the past telling his security details under the Presidential Security Group (PSG) of supposed individuals seeking to resurrect the corrupt system of governance.

Speaking at the 25th founding anniversary of the PSG, Aquino also refused suggestions that progress of the nation could be achieved faster if the government is run with an iron fist.

“Now that we are granted the authority to serve our countrymen, are we going to allow the triumph of corruption and poverty in our country once again? I assume that all of us do not want the dark times in our history happen again when twisted views were trending,” Aquino was quoted as saying in his speech.

“Some say that the nation will be successful if the government rules with an iron fist. As your leader, I am not going to submit myself to such beliefs. I’m aware that given the extent of ourresponsibilities today, there are still threats not only to my security but the security of our nation. There are still those who want to bring back the old system. Nobody wants to witness chaos and violence except those who are enriching themselves while many of our countrymen suffer,” he stressed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110302hed5.html

Singson resigns as Ilocos Sur congressman By Gerry Baldo 03/02/2011

Singson resigns as Ilocos Sur congressman

By Gerry Baldo 03/02/2011

Rep. Ronald Singson yes-terday resigned as a member of the 15th Congress repre-senting the first district of Ilocos Sur resulting from his conviction by a Hong Kong court for drug trafficking and personal use of prohibited drugs after being caught by Customs police having the drugs in his person.

Singson’s e-mailed resig-nation letter was submitted to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte by
his father Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson yesterday.

“I am tendering my resignation as a Congressman for the sake of my countryman, the Filipino people, especially my constituents in the first district of Ilocos Sur, who look up to the members of Congress with respect bordering on adulation, and with the undying hope for truly honorable legislators as exemplars of highest standards of behavior,” Singson said in his one-page letter to Belmonte.

“I am resigning, Your Honor, not because I am succumbing to the pressure of the noisy few among my honorable colleagues; rather, my resignation is a fulfilment of my promise to my father who had all the right to make the first and loudest protest because it was his name and honor that was mercilessly dragged into the tempest of my own undoing,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110302hed6.html

Troops capture NPA amazon in Masbate By Mario J. Mallari 03/02/2011

Troops capture NPA amazon in Masbate

By Mario J. Mallari 03/02/2011

A top-ranking New People’s Army (NPA) amazon in Masbate province was captured by military elements at dawn yesterday, a military spokesman said.

Army 9th Infantry Battalion (IB) commander Lt. Col. Jun Pacatan identified the arrested NPA leader as Vangie Herrero, alias Vivian, who was tagged as the staff officer of the communist’s Masbate Provincial Executive Committee.

Herrero is one of the most wanted persons in Masbate province with P150,000 reward for her arrest. She is wanted for various criminal charges, including murder.

Pacatan said that Herrero’s arrest was made with elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during a raid at the communist leader’s safehouse in Sitio Lamak, Barangay Mabini in Uson town around 5:30 a.m..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110302nat1.html

Ortega slay suspect fails to attend hearing, sends lawyer 03/02/2011

Ortega slay suspect fails to attend hearing, sends lawyer

03/02/2011
Former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes failed to attend   the continuation of preliminary investigation (PI) into the murder case filed against him for the death of Dr. Gerry Ortega even as witnesses in the case reported having received death threats  prompting the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to secure them.

Reyes’ counsel Ferdinand Topacio said they received two subpoenas at 2:20 p.m. and 4:50 p.m. yesterday but said his client cannot be compelled to appear at this stage because they have to receive the complete records, including ballistics and paraffin tests.

Topacio also clarified that they are not resorting to dilatory tactics. “We were not the ones who failed to bring the records. It is the responsibility of the lawyers of the complainants to bring these records.

He said they would submit the counter-affidavit once they received copies of the complete documents..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110302nat5.html

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