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Impeach a smokescreen EDITORIAL 03/11/2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Impeach a smokescreen

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The impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez appears to have become Noynoy’s focus for want of any other achievement in his avowed battle against corruption.

Creating an enemy to have the people rally against has been the practice for so long of many governments that have become bereft of public support.

Gutierrez is not exactly the ideal Ombudsman since she carries the stigma of having close associations with the past leadership but looking at the history of her office, a predecessor, Aniano Desierto, suffered the same fate of being similarly accused of conspiring with former President Fidel Ramos, whom he incidentally cleared of all charges of corruption in an expo scam, but unlike Gutierrez, he safely finished his full term, a big portion of which was under the abbreviated presidency of Joseph Estrada.

Noynoy claims that Gutierrez will be an obstacle in efforts to make former President Arroyo and government officials who served under her answerable for graft cases already with the Ombudsman or those to be filed against them and he had made it clear on several occasions that he wants her out of the anti-graft office..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110311com1.html

Spare us the hypocrisy FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/11/2011

Spare us the hypocrisy

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Liberal Party senators, reacting to reports that Noynoy’s marching orders to the LP congressmen and his allies in the House of Representatives to impeach Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and ensure her ouster, all claimed that the Palace order did not apply to them, although it was evident that they defended Noynoy’s marching orders, saying that this was not a case of presidential interference in congressional matters, and claiming still that they, as senator-judges, would be independent and impartial should there be an impeachment trial.

Yet reports are out that LP senator and chairman of the blue ribbon committee, TG Guingona, at a time when the House justice committee is now “redoing” the articles of impeachment under the heading of “betrayal of public trust,” has made public the Senate panel’s report that recommends the filing of charges against Special State Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit for betrayal of public trust in connection with the plea bargain agreement inked with former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, as well as recommending that the Ombudsman be “held accountable for non-feasance.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110311com2.html

AFP-NPA unity vs imperialism DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 03/11/2011

AFP-NPA unity vs imperialism

Herman Tiu Laurel
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA)-National Democratic Front (NDF) combine should declare a unilateral end to its war against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and instead focus on enlightening the soldiers of our Republic on their true role of “protecting the people.” This longstanding war is but a distraction from the real one that must be waged by all — the war against imperialism.

This war, directed at Western powers eager to regain their dominance either through an expanded Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) role or by other means, will be a boon to all Third World countries that have successfully struggled to break free from the stranglehold of neo-colonialism.

Thus, “peace talks” between the NDF and the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) not only distract but also perpetuate the lie of Western governments’ “peace mediation,” making them appear to have better intentions to obfuscate from the real tyranny of their imperialistic oppression.

This article is a fruit of my discussion with an underground cadre who admitted his dilemma over the AFP-NPA war. When an NPA fighter is killed, his immediate and extended families ache for revenge; likewise, when an AFP soldier dies at the hands of the NPA, his entire clan also seeks to avenge his death. It turns out that both sides of similarly impoverished families only become much poorer after their heads of families are killed.

The recurrent peace talks between the government and the communist rebels simply stretch out this futile and self-defeating struggle that deepens the devastation of this country. Instead of harnessing precious resources and human energy, and instead of strengthening our national resolve to break the shackles of those lecherous international bankers and their local oligarchic partners, what has really been accomplished to date?

The NDF Web site itself exposes the farce of the peace talks as murders of members or supporters of the Left continue to be perpetrated, such as that of Rody Dejos and his son Rody Rick in Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur; or that of Bayan Muna activist Rodel Estrallado in Bicol, among many others; vice-versa the ambush of the Eastern Samar Regional Mobile Group, killing its police team leader and wounding three others. And even as peace talks with government resume, NDF consultant Alan Jazmines is arrested. The list just goes on and on.

Meanwhile, some of the best and brightest of our young countrymen are sacrificed to the altar pyre of this war, such as the much publicized Mindanao State University scholar-turned-NPA guerilla Kemberly Jul Luna, aged 21, who died in an AFP-NPA clash in Bukidnon last year. How many more of such valuable lives must be wasted before the NDF’s leaders can rise above their war obsession and farcical peace talks?

In the meantime, lots of time — years, decades, nearly half-a-century — is lost. If only the intelligence and articulation of such valuable talents such as Kemberly were utilized in educating the masses and the AFP rank-and-file to deny the imperialists, neo-colonialists, and oligarchs the coercive arm to impose their exploitative and oppressive socio-economic system, the AFP could have become the weapon of the people.

This, even before Latin American countries found their Hugo Chavez, who became Venezuelan president and started the wave of progressive victories in that continent, from Bolivia’s Evo Morales, to Argentina’s Nestor Kirchner, Brazil’s Lula da Silva, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo.

A unilateral declaration by the CPP-NPA-NDF of the end of its war against the AFP and a call for unity with the Armed Forces to fight the common enemy of imperialism will be a dramatic elevation of its stature in the eyes of the Filipino people. It will also be a shock to the AFP that has the real potential of triggering a paradigm shift among the rank-and-file and idealistic young officers. They will definitely be liberated from their paranoia against the NPA and be free to reflect on their ironic situation of being defenders of a system that does not serve their families’ interests while dedicating their efforts toward building the nationalist corps.

The best and the brightest of the NDF youth, in turn, may start joining the PMA (Philippine Military Academy) and be part of rebuilding the officers’ training institution into a nationalist school instead of a careerist breeding ground. With a united People’s Armed Forces, imperialism would not stand a chance.

Further, with a united People’s Armed Forces, the nation can finally resolve one last insurgency that has continued to bar the country’s road toward peace and prosperity — that of foreign interference in Mindanao. Should that fateful day come, the shameless alliance between the US, Great Britain and Malaysia, and their patsy Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) can be ended with finality, along with those demeaning “peace talks” held in a foreign land, under the watchful eyes of those who yearn lasciviously to swallow the riches of this nation’s southern islands and seas.

The NDF should thus learn from its debacle in 2008 when it was seen standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the US and British ambassadors (like godparents), ready to sanctify the unholy pact between Gloria Arroyo’s government and the MILF to establish the BangsaMoro Juridical Entity.

Everyone should know that the MILF, an organization that was given its second birth after sending that wimpish, subservient letter to former US President George “Dubya” Bush, is nothing but an insult to the movement against global imperialism.

(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 the “ARMM Hocus PCOS;” 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/20110311com6.html

Saudi Arabia unlikely to catch revolt contagion ANALYSIS 03/11/2011

Saudi Arabia unlikely to catch revolt contagion


WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia, ahead of planned protests, seems unlikely to catch the contagion of Arab revolutions, US experts said as they stressed the enormous impact unrest there would have on the world economy.

Even if the world’s largest oil producer is eager to show it is different from the other Arab countries, it also has points in common with them, they said.

Like Egypt or Tunisia, Saudi Arabia has many young people. Thirty-eight percent of Saudis are 14 years old, or younger, according to figures from the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Like their peers in other Arab countries, Saudi young people are turning increasingly to social networking sites like Facebook, which they used to organize protests last week in the eastern part of the desert kingdom..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110311com3.html

Of the worst yet to come NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 03/11/2011

Of the worst yet to come

Armida Siguion-Reyna
As I so put here last March 4, came this e-mail from one so clearly affected about what I had written about drug mules, and how no one is really able to get out of our international airports with contraband whether hand-carried or ingested, UNLESS with the compliance of airport personnel. There’s a syndicate preying on the needy and the kapit sa patalim, I had pointed out, but name me an airport guy arrested for such crimes and you can’t.

I had wanted to compress the e-mail, but just yesterday media bannered the tragic tale of the three sons of Flor Contemplacion sentenced to life for selling/pushing illegal drugs. Contemplacion, whom in 1995 we vowed never to forget, was hanged in Singapore for supposedly killing kababayan Delia Maga and a five-year-old Singaporean boy. But as a daughter-in-law posted in Facebook the other day, “What we, as a nation, failed to contemplate on, has become ordinary and commonplace. Flor Contemplacion lives and her name is now Sally Ordinario.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110311com4.html

Palengkeras C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 03/11/2011


Jonathan De la Cruz
If presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda and his twin, Presidential Communications Strategy Secretary Ricky Carandang have any respect left for the office they are supposed to represent, they should stop bitching like palengkeras (fishwives) against perceived administration “enemies” at every turn. Imagine Lacierda putting words in the mouth of Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez without as much as blinking an eyelash in a bid to smear the high tribunal. Lacierda was quoted as having said that Marquez admitted that the current court is an “Arroyo court.” The last I heard, Marquez was actually saying otherwise insisting that once somebody is appointed to the high tribunal he is his own man. It is actually Lacierda and his ilk who have been mouthing that line since they entered Malacañang.

It was Lacierda, for example, who took umbrage at the suggestion that some groups associated with P-Noy have been going around trying to impugn the integrity of some justices and are pounding on alleged “indiscretions” within the court in a bid to pressure the sitting magistrates into submission in a bid to get some friendlier faces into the court. It was UP College of Law Dean Marvic Leonen who heads the government panel in talks with the MILF who made a big hullabaloo about the so-called plagiarized ruling of Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo after another UP professor, Harry Roque, complained about the ruling in behalf of his clients. The Palace through Lacierda went out of its way to bombard the high tribunal on this one until Leonen was exposed as talking from both sides of his mouth..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110311com5.html

US still skeptical on no-fly zone FEATURE 03/11/2011

US still skeptical on no-fly zone


WASHINGTON — The United States still seems skeptical of a drumbeat of demands for a Libyan no-fly zone, but hints are emerging of a possible last-ditch plan to deter any mass aerial slaughter of civilians.

Nato defense ministers are set to meet Thursday in Brussels seeking consensus on intense contingency planning that has included study of no-fly zones, humanitarian missions and other possible military action.

Officials did not comment publicly on their strategy heading into the talks, other than to respond to calls for a no-fly zone by saying the option, though complex and problematic, is under active consideration.

White House spokesman Jay Carney also said Washington had a “strong preference” that any eventual US military action take place under an umbrella of international endorsement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110311com7.html

LP senators toe Noy’s line, find Merci guilty By Angie M, Rosales 03/11/2011


LP senators toe Noy’s line, find Merci guilty

By Angie M, Rosales 03/11/2011
Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III yesterday publicized a “partial” panel report that found Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez guilty of non-feasance over her approval of the plea bargain agreement between the prosecutors and former military comptroller discharged Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, even telling the House justice committee to include this in its articles of impeachment.

It was seen by many as yet another attempt on the part of the Liberal Party senators to pressure the Ombudsman to resign instead of undergoing an impeachment trial while others saw it as a blatant prejudgment on the part of the LP senators who are to be the judges in the trial..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110311hed1.html

Merci junks quit calls, wants trial 03/11/2011

Merci junks quit calls, wants trial

Even in the face of open pressure for her to resign coming from President Aquino, the House of Representatives’ justice panel and now even from the Liberal Party senators who will be senator-judges in the impeachment trial against the Ombudsman, Merceditas Gutierrez yesterday junked their resignation calls, saying “I will not resign because there is no law that says I should, even if I have a pending case,” stressing that “if they (senators who seek her impeachment and Aquino think they have a strong case against me, why do they ask me to resign?”

Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Teofisto Guingona III yesterday came out with his committee report where he called on Gutierrez to resign and “spare the country” while recomending her impeachment for “betrayal of probable cause” over her approval of the plea bargain agreement of former military comptroller, discharged Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110311hed2.html

BIR files fresh tax raps vs Garcia, Ligot and spouses By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/11/2011

BIR files fresh tax raps vs Garcia, Ligot and spouses

By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/11/2011

Following President Aquino’s remarks in Singapore before the Filipino community, to the effect that he would be getting those accused before the Senate Al Capone style, which means that if the State cannot get any evidence of the crime, it will slap tax evasion charges instead, the Bureau of Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday moved quickly to come up to file a third charge for criminal tax evasion against retired Maj.Gen. Carlos Garcia and his spouse Clarita.

At a press briefing, the BIR said the latest charges involve the Garcia’s alleged failure to file their income tax return for 2004..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110311hed4.html

Corona draws the line vs high court detractors By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/11/2011

Corona draws the line vs high court detractors

By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/11/2011
Chief Justice Renato Corona yesterday warned detractors of the Supreme (SC) who he referred to as “politicians forcing the justices to play their game,” that they are subverting the democratic process.

Corona said critics in Congress are courting the end of democracy in waging open hostilities against the SC while stressing the tribunal will not bend to  pressure groups to rule on the basis of what is popular and politically expedient.

“It will be very dangerous if they force us to decide on the basis of what is popular. If these politicians force us to play their political game, then it will be the end of our democracy,” Corona said.

“Maybe someone really doesn’t want us here,” he said in recalling his being snubbed in the inauguration of President Aquino last year, the cut in the proposed judiciary budget this year and other issues, such as being called deaf and blind by Aquino..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110311hed5.html

Binay wants contingency plans for OFWs reviewed 03/11/2011

Binay wants contingency plans for OFWs reviewed

Vice President Jejomar Binay has expressed the need to review the government’s contingency plans for overseas Filipino workers amid increasing tensions in the Middle East and North Africa.

While he acknowledged that the civil conflict in Libya put forward lessons that the Philippine government should learn and act upon, Binay, also the presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) affairs, said the government needs to re-evaluate how it sees the political situation in the Middle East, review contingency plans and consider adding more diplomatic and labor workforce.

“We would need to reconfigure or rethink our appreciation of the political situation in the Middle East, and to seriously review our contingency plans for our OFWs, subjecting them to periodic reassessments,” he told the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) last Wednesday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110311hed6.html

Papers on graft cases vs ex-PCGG officials missing By Jason Faustino 03/11/2011

Papers on graft cases vs ex-PCGG officials missing

By Jason Faustino 03/11/2011

Important documents pertaining to the graft and corruption cases against the past officials of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has gone missing, a partial report on the first 100 days of the new officers said.

The 44-page report, submitted to President Aquino, contains alleged abuses by the former officials of the agency in relation to massive travel expenses amounting to millions, as well as compounded utility bills on electricity and water.

But what officials raised their eyebrows at, was that several important documents and evidence pertaining to cases filed against the officials of the agency have gone missing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110311nat2.html

Hostage taker’s brother wants to testify— HK Standard 03/11/2011

Hostage taker’s brother wants to testify— HK Standard

A report from the Hong Kong Standard yesterday said that the policeman-brother of the hostage taker, Rolando Mendoza, at the center of the Manila tourist bus bloodbath is willing to testify via video link.

The coronor, Michael Chan Pik-kiu, during the inquest the other day said Gregorio Mendoza is unable to leave the Philippines to testify at the Hong Kong inquest into the tragedy.

The report said that the Chinese Embassy in Manila sent a message on Friday, saying Mendoza could not obtain a passport to attend the hearing but that he wants to testify by video link, Chan said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110311nat4.html

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