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Grudge fight EDITORIAL 03/05/2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Grudge fight

EDITORIAL
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03/05/2011
That there is no evidence with which the House can legitimately impeach Ombudsman Merceditas “Merci” Gutierrez, or an absence of probable cause, is evident in the way the House justice committee chairman, Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas, has suddenly changed the rules in impeaching a constitutional official.

As reported, the justice panel will not be utilizing the strict rules of evidence when members are called to vote on the issue of probable cause in impeaching Merci, with Tupas stressing that this being a political case, and not a court case, the rules of evidence as stated in court rules, no longer apply.

Tupas was quoted as saying that “since this is a political proceeding, not a court case, we are not strict on the rules of procedure. We’re not acting as lawyers but as political leaders in an impeachment.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110305com1.html

What gall! FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/05/2011

What gall!

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
03/05/2011
Former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo accuses Merceditas Gutierrez, the present Ombudsman, of betrayal of public trust, among other charges, yet most of what he accuses her of, are largely of his own doing, when he was the Ombudsman, and allied with then President Gloria Arroyo.

As it has been bared, during a recent Senate hearing, former Solicitor General Frank Chavez testified that plunder charges were in fact filed against retired military comptroller Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot as early as 2005, almost the same time as that of his successor, Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, but these complaints were disregarded and reduced to mere forfeiture cases.

Marcelo, who was Ombudsman at that time, never acted on the two cases of plunder up to the time he left office. What was filed instead by Marcelo was an action for forfeiture against Ligot, apart from the fact that the case filed by Marcelo against Garcia was a “defective” complaint, obviously meant to fail.

Yet there was Marcelo, even going to the extent of lying, in a letter to Noynoy Aquino, about a demurer of evidence that he claimed was filed in the case of Garcia, when there was none at all..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110305com2.html

After Iraq, Arabs wary of Western action in Libya ANALYSIS 03/05/2011

After Iraq, Arabs wary of Western action in Libya

ANALYSIS

03/05/2011
DUBAI — Arab states are reluctant for Western military intervention in Libya after being stung by the US-led invasion of Iraq, analysts say, adding that an intervention could fuel extremism.

Anti-government protests broke out against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s 41-year rule in mid-February and quickly escalated into armed conflict.

The patchwork Libyan opposition now controls swathes of eastern and western Libya including the key eastern city of Benghazi and some oil installations, while Kadhafi remains firmly in control of the capital Tripoli.

The possibility of a Western no-fly zone to prevent Kadhafi launching air raids on his people, as well as other types of military intervention, have been raised..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110305com3.html

Nurses Press Government for Jobs, Decent Pay and Outright Ban of ‘Volunteer for a Fee Training’ Scheme

Nurses Press Government for Jobs, Decent Pay and Outright Ban of ‘Volunteer for a Fee Training’ Scheme


 “If you take the proper nurse to patient ratio in this country more than 364,000 nurses are actually needed…but owing to the volunteer-for-a-fee practice of private health facilities, compounded by the low government budget for health… the Philippines finds itself today in a situation where it has seemingly surplus nurses but it also has a pressing need for their services.”
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – After a House resolution was passed last month urging President Benigno Aquino III to halt the “exploitative practice of collecting training fees from professional and registered nurses under various forms of ‘volunteer training programs’ by public and private hospitals”, hospitals reportedly got alarmed. “They stopped for a while, but now they’re coming back with different methods of ‘volunteer training for a fee’”, said nurse Leah Paquiz, president of an organization of nurses called Ang Nars.

Some hospitals have also retaliated against young nurses who exposed the volunteer/training-for-a-fee scheme.

“Forty-six of us nurses who had paid the hospital for our ‘training’ were dismissed when we made it known to the country that we are ‘volunteers’. It’s very wrong but nurses can’t speak out for fear of being blacklisted,” said Philip So Chan. Chan has a visa and could have opted to work abroad but he chose to remain in the country to “develop health care here.” His noble intention was repaid by being forced to swalow the volunteer-for-a fee scheme so that he could gain work experience to qualify for a full-time regular nursing job.

Under the guise of specialty training, some hospitals today have continued the “volunteer for a fee training scheme,” which has been happening in the Philippines for more than a decade now. This highly irregular scheme was exposed only recently and is being opposed more strongly and openly by nurses’ groups with the support of progressive lawmakers..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/05/nurses-press-government-for-nursing-jobs-decent-pay-and-to-ban-volunteer-for-a-fee-training-scheme/

After Hacienda Luisita, Cojuangco Family Claiming Former Military Camp Lands in Pangasinan

After Hacienda Luisita, Cojuangco Family Claiming Former Military Camp Lands in Pangasinan

“The greed of the Cojuangco-Aquinos extends to Pangasinan. Now they are claiming that they own the lands that farmers have developed since the Spanish times,” said AMGL chairman Joseph Canlas.
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — The Cojuangcos are at it again.

According to a farmers group based in Central Luzon, the Cojuangco-controlled Central Azucarera de Tarlac Realty Corporation (CAT) is claiming ownership of 386.8-hectares of agricultural and residential lands covering some 12 villages in Bayambang town, province of Pangasinan.
The Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (AMGL or Alliance of Farmers in Central Luzon) said it firmly opposes all moves of the CAT to take over the area, saying that if the Cojuangco-owned company succeeds, thousands of famers and their families will be displaced.

The contested area is also the site of the 289-hectare Camp Gregg Military Reservation established and used by the US colonial government from 1903 to 1949.

 “The greed of the Cojuangco-Aquinos extends to Pangasinan. Now they are claiming that they own the lands that farmers have developed since the Spanish times,” said AMGL chairman Joseph Canlas.















Canlas said the Cojuangcos are staking their claim based on assertions that the land was owed by a certain Isabelo Hilario, supposedly an arriendero or a contractor of sugarcane who failed to deliver goods he promised the company. This Hilario allegedly paid CAT with the lands in Bayambang..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/03/after-hacienda-luisita-cojuangco-family-claiming-former-military-camp-lands-in-pangasinan/

Martial Law Victims Insulted by Exclusion from List of Compensation Claimants

Martial Law Victims Insulted by Exclusion from List of Compensation Claimants

 Out of the 9,539 original complainants in a class action suit filed against the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, only 7,526 victims would receive compensation. “Are they telling us that we are not genuine victims? Where is justice for us?” said martial-law victim Carlos Bolito, 60, after learning he was not included in the list of claimants.
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Jose “Bong” Barsoles, 59, who was tortured and detained during martial law, went to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) compound in Quezon City on March 1 to get his share of the compensation awarded by the Federal District Court of Hawaii to the victims of martial law who filed a class action suit against the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.

But after patiently waiting for his turn, Barsoles was told that he is not included in the master list of claimants. Surprised, he told the person issuing the claims that he was among the original petitioners in the class suit. He was then asked to fill out a form and was told to wait for further notice.

Barsoles was among the more than 2,000 victims of martial law whose names have been delisted from the original list of petitioners. On Feb. 28, some of the victims received $1,000 each during ceremonies at Club Filipino in San Juan City. Out of the 9,539 original complainants, only 7,526 victims would receive their cheques.


Martial-law victims and families of those slain during the Marcos dictatorship wait for their turn to get compensation. Others, including those who joined the class suit, were not in the list. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)

























The compensation came from the $10-million settlement agreement by Marcos crony Jose Campos, which was approved by United States District Judge Manuel Real. While the estimated value of Marcos’s ill-gotten wealth in Colorado and Texas is pegged at $78 million, the counsel for the martial-law victims Robert Swift settled for only $10 million. Twenty-five percent of the amount was given to Swift and his team of researchers and only $7.5 million were allotted for the victims..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/02/martial-law-victims-insulted-by-exclusion-from-list-of-compensation-claimants/

On 100th International Women’s Day, Groups Press Aquino to Act on Women’s Demands

On 100th International Women’s Day, Groups Press Aquino to Act on Women’s Demands


“Aquino’s ninth month in office coincides with the militant action of Filipino women on March 8. Just like giving birth to a child, the protest of women all over the country and overseas would be born after nine months of discontent over an administration found inadequate in action.” — Lana Linaban, Gabriela secretary-general
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com


MANILA — On the 100th year of International Women’s Day, Gabriela, together other women’s groups from various sectors, vowed to “intensify their mass actions against President Benigno S. Aquino III’s failure to address the core issues confronting women.”

“Aquino’s ninth month in office coincides with the militant action of Filipino women on March 8. Just like giving birth to a child, the protest of women all over the country and overseas would be born after nine months of discontent over an administration found inadequate in action,” Lana Linaban, Gabriela secretary-general said.

She added that while Aquino claims economic achievements, the truth is that more Filipino women and their families are impoverished. “Prices of goods and utilities have been soaring and the government has not done any meaningful and decisive intervention.”



Women’s groups, led by Gabriela, vowed to “intensify their mass actions against Aquino’s failure to address the core issues confronting women.” (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / bulatlat.com)





















Mylene Obias of Gabriela-Tatalon chapter said the typical budget of $8.06 a day to feed a family of six living in an urban poor community could only buy 2 kilograms of NFA rice, half a kilogram of fish and cooking oil, which would serve as lunch and dinner. “Plus there is transportation fare and snacks for the children going to school. Prices of other basic commodities such as sugar, coffee, milk and utilities like water and electricity increased and these increases have not yet been factored in in the family’s budget.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/02/on-100th-international-womens-day-groups-press-aquino-to-act-on-womens-demands/

Merci won’t quit, to snub House hearings By Gerry Baldo 03/05/2011

Merci won’t quit, to snub House hearings

By Gerry Baldo 03/05/2011

Forget calls for her to quit. Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez won’t resign and neither will she be attending the described kangaroo impeachment panel headed by Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., saying he and his justice panel are highly biased.

Gutierrez yesterday said she is not going to attend the hearing at the House committee on justice on Tuesday because the justice panel, headed by Tupas, is biased against her.

Gutierrez added that with or without her presenting evidence to counter the charges against her, the justice panel is going to decide to impeach her as the rules of evidence will not be applied.

A newspaper report yesterday quoted the congressman as saying that the justice panel will no longer be using the strict rules of evidence in appreciating the charges leveled against the Ombudsman, reasoning out that impeachment is a political proceeding, not a court proceeding, which is why there is no necessity in the panel members’ adherence to the rules of evidence..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110305hed1.html

Ligot’s wife not yet off the hook—solon By Angie M. Rosales 03/05/2011

Ligot’s wife not yet off the hook—solon

By Angie M. Rosales 03/05/2011
High reading of her blood pressure might have saved her from being subjected to an inquiry over her alleged properties Thursday, but Erlinda Ligot, wife of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Lt. Gen. (ret.) Jacinto Ligot,  is not yet off the hook in the ongoing Senate investigation on corruption in the military.

Blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona said shortly after suspending the hearing Thursday that Erlinda Ligot will have to testify before the Senate panel.

“If it is certified by her doctors that she is physically fit to testify, then we will call upon her again. But if not, then we will afford her time, until she recovers and until she can be certified by the doctor to appear. We cannot force her to appear and submit herself, given her condition,” he said.

The Senate panel aborted the scheduled interrogation of Ligot’s wife who was earlier found to have allegedly acquired some real properties here and abroad even after the former general has since retired from the service..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110305hed2.html

RP faces new dispute with China over vessel ‘harassment’ By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/05/2011

RP faces new dispute with China over vessel ‘harassment’

By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/05/2011

The Philippine government has filed a diplomatic protest against China after a Philippine exploration vessel at a disputed territory in the South China Sea complained of harassment by the Chinese Navy.

Chinese Embassy Charge d’Affaires Bai Tian was summoned to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) where Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio handed him a note verbale expressing the government’s “deep concern” over the incident.

But the Chinese Embassy in Manila brushed aside the complaints, maintaining its “indisputable sovereignty” over the territory which it calls Nansha Islands or Spratlys to other claimants.

Embassy spokesman Sun Yi did not comment directly on the incident, saying only that the mission was taking note of the reports..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110305hed3.html

No apology despite RP deportation blunder By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Benjamin B. Pulta 03/05/2011

No apology despite RP deportation blunder

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Benjamin B. Pulta 03/05/2011

Despite the now admitted blunder in claiming that the 14 Taiwanese were undocumented and charges of fraudulent activities have been found baseless, Malacañang still doesn’t see the need for the government to finally issue an apology to Taiwan even as the Department of Justice (DoJ) already came out with its resolution finding no probable cause to indict the 10 Chinese and 14 Taiwanese who were earlier deported to the mainland China on allegations of fraud.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning (PCDSP) Secretary Ramon Carandang yesterday insisted that the government is standing by its position, citing “presumption of regularity” as the main consideration for the deportation of all the suspects concerned..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110305hed4.html

DFA extends repatriation of OFWs in Libya; probe sought on crisis plan 03/05/2011

DFA extends repatriation of OFWs in Libya; probe sought on crisis plan

03/05/2011
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said it will take at least another week to evacuate the remaining overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are in critical areas in strife-torn Libya.

Earlier, acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario had said the government’s target is to complete by Saturday the evacuation of Filipinos and their families from the coastal cities of Libya.

Del Rosario said it may not be possible to move all Filipinos out of Libya as they are spread out across the country.

“We would still be there but I think we needed to put an internal deadline for ourselves so that we could muster the required effort and resources to be able to do this within a reasonable time when we consider that as each day passes, it gets relatively more risky,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110305hed5.html

Slain journalists’ kin seek UN action on killings 03/05/2011

NURSES ORGANIZATIONS CRY FOUL OVER TRAINING FEES

Slain journalists’ kin seek UN action on killings

03/05/2011
Relatives of five slain journalists have filed complaints before a United Nations (UN) body seeking damages from the Philippine government for their deaths.

In a statement, lawyers Harry Roque and Romel Regalado Bagares of the Center for International Law announced the filing of complaints against the Philippine government before the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

The journalists, William Yap Yu, Dennis Cuesta, Maricel Vigo, Juan Pala and Fernando Lintuan were all killed in separate instances across a time span of 8 years, from 2000 to 2008.

“If successful, the families hope to be awarded damages for the government’s failure to bring the perpetrators of these murders to justice,” the statement explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110305hed6.html

N. Vizcaya execs endorse UK mining project 03/05/2011

N. Vizcaya execs endorse UK mining project

03/05/2011
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya — The Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Board Members endorsed a multibillion-peso mining project of Britsh Co. during their regular session last Feb. 28.

This was the second mining project that they endorsed since 2006.

Eleven of the board members were in favor for the mining project, while two others opposed the Runruno Gold-Molybdenum Project under the auspices of FCF Minerals, local subsidiary of the British firm Metals Exploration (Metex or MTL) based in mineral-rich Runruno village in Quezon town here.

The endorsement came just as anti-mining advocates were holding a prayer rally inside the St. Dominic Cathedral here condemning the alleged human rights violations of the Australian-New Zealander-owned OceanaGold Philippines Inc..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110305nat3.html

5.7 quake jolts Mindanao; folk panic 03/05/2011

5.7 quake jolts Mindanao; folk panic

03/05/2011
A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck in some parts of Mindanao region particularly Surigao del Sur last Thursday rendering panic to residents, the National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said yesterday.

NDRRMC executive director and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) administrator Benito Ramos said the magnitude 5.7 earthquake was felt in Region 10 and Caraga Region around 11:11 p.m. last Thursday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110305nat4.html

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