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Can Noynoy hack it? EDITORIAL 03/16/2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can Noynoy hack it?

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
03/16/2011
Troubled times are ahead of us, even when the country was spared of the massive 9 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan and the devastating tsunami that has caused major radioactive problems for the nuclear plants in Japan, raising health concerns.
Already, with Japan in virtual physical and economic ruins, it is a certainty that the Philippines, as well as other countries in the world, would be feeling the impact arising from the problems Japan is now encountering.

Japan is a big trade partner of the country, and investments from Japan will have to slow down considerably. Trade between the two countries is also bound to suffer, as will jobs from our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Japan, on whose remittances the world over, the Philippine government relies in propping up the economy. Foreign grants and loans from Japan are also likely to peter out and even stopped — for at least the time Japan gets back on its feet, which could take, optimistically, at least three years. Already, the Samaurai bond float has been halted, given Japan’s unfortunate tragedy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110316com1.html

Oops, there may go the vote FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/16/2011

Oops, there may go the vote

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
03/16/2011
For a group of congressmen who were so geared for an immediate plenary vote to impeach Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, as they claimed they had 150 votes to send their Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial, it was pretty odd for them to all too suddenly be agreeable to having the plenary vote Monday next week, and at a time reserved for privilege speeches, and only with a few more session days prior to their congressional recess.

Is it possible that House justice panel chairman Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. and his pro-impeachment group have not as yet clinched the numbers to get Merci impeached by the House?

It may just be possible, considering that while Noynoy Aquino, like his predecessor, whose ways he claimed were disgusting as such practice was a form of bribery and corruption, used the same congressional pork barrel giveaway style to sweeten the pot and make the congressmen vote overwhelmingly for the impeachment trial of Merci but with complaints today from congressmen.

Yet Npynoy has the gumption to keep on talking about his daang matuwid while engaging in the same bribery style on Congress..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110316com2.html

Retired and on the road: Older tourists embrace Asia FEATURE 03/16/2011

Retired and on the road: Older tourists embrace Asia

FEATURE

03/16/2011
NEW DELHI — The typical tourist in Asia used to be a young backpacker in need of a shower, but these days there are just as many older and retired people roaming the continent seeking its secrets.

With money and time to spare, the new breed of Western visitor is hitting the road in India, China and elsewhere, armed with an adventurous spirit, an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge and a keen eye for a decent mattress.

“This is a major growing sector for us,” said Karan Anand, an executive at New Delhi-based tour company Cox and King’s.

“Older people with their pension sorted out often plan their lives around a yearly holiday to interesting places.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110316com3.html

Aftershocks C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 03/16/2011

Aftershocks

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
03/16/2011
Quite apart from the losses in lives and properties which accompanied the twin disasters that struck Japan last Friday, we are now being told to brace for the impact of this tragedy on the world economy. Leading risk analysis firm AIR Worldwide has advised that insured losses from the earthquake alone could reach nearly $35 billion. That will surely bestir the insurance industry which has yet to recover from losses incurred in other disasters worldwide, the latest being the one which visited Christchruch some weeks back. On the other hand, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano taking off from Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s grim assessment that which happened was surely the “worst disaster experienced by Japan after WW ll” noted that the quake is “expected to have considerable impact on a wide range of our country’s economic activities.” Banks have estimated the economic loss in Japan’s northeastern region alone at $183 billion which is huge by any standard. With the expected meltdown in two of the three endangered nuclear plants anytime soon that estimate will soar even higher in the days to come..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110316com4.html

Colombian Amazon village bans prying tourists focus 03/16/2011

Colombian Amazon village bans prying tourists

focus

03/16/2011
NAZARETH — Just off the Amazon River, lies the village of Nazareth. But don’t think about dropping by. Tired of being a curiosity to the outside world, the indigenous people have banned tourists.

Thousands of adventurous, backpacking tourists flock to southern Colombia every year, drawn by eco-tourism and the hope of interacting with the peoples who live and commune with the Amazon jungle following age-old traditions.

The Colombian Amazon, a peninsula sandwiched between Brazil and Peru, is famed for its spectacular flora and fauna, some of the most varied on the planet.

Last year 35,000 tourists poured into the region to swing with the monkeys, swim with the famed pink dolphins that frolic in the Amazon waters or to fish for piranhas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110316com5.html

Meltdown SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 03/16/2011

Meltdown

SHE SAYS
Dinah S. Ventura
03/16/2011
Monday afternoon was sunny and warm — warmer than usual, a worried colleague observed as she hurried in and showed me a text message about the rumored “arrival” in the Philippines of nuclear radiation leak from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Naturally, I felt a twinge of nervousness upon receiving the news. First of all, it was already 3:29 p.m, and I was in the office, approximately one hour away from our house. The message, allegedly from BBC News, advised: Asian countries should take precautions by “staying indoors for 24 hours, closing all doors and windows and swabbing the neck with Betadine lotion” as radiation supposedly hits the thyroid first. The message ended with a disturbing caveat: “Radiation may hit Phil. starting at 4pm 2day.”

Because there was no time to be wasted, I forwarded the message to my loved ones, but asked them to confirm the information first by watching the news. Although I felt a sense of dread and doubt mixing in my gut, I nevertheless took the proffered Betadine lotion from my well-meaning colleague and swabbed away..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110316com7.html

Prophecies and other duds HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 03/16/2011

Prophecies and other duds

HE SAYS
Aldrin Cardon
03/16/2011
It was around 1987 when I first believed in the prophecies of Michael Stipe. He didn’t croon but he ranted. “It’s the end of the word as we know it.” And yes, I felt fine.

I felt fine that, in fact, I’m still alive 24 years later. And doomsday, it seems, looks very far, it won’t happen in my lifetime.

I have to give it to Jay Sean, who gave us reassurance end of the world’s not going to happen in 2012, as one hit movie claimed. But Jay Sean says it’s okay to party like it’s the end of the world, and we can “turn it up, and mash it up, and keep it rockin’ ‘til 6 am, from New York to London over to Japan.”

It’s Japan, however, which gave us a shocker. Waves ripped across its beaches, sweeping along cars and large boats and planes, along with the small houses they could gorge in one wallop.
And doomsday believers had a field day, claiming Japan was a reiteration of events leading to the world’s meltdown. Cool, not!.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110316com6.html

Guingona seeks Noy’s help to convict Merci By Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/16/2011

Guingona seeks Noy’s help to convict Merci

By Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/16/2011

Even the Liberal Party senators appear to be obeying the marching orders of President Aquino, especially on the matter of ensuring the conviction of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez’s impeachment trial, to a perceived help from Aquino to twist the arms of his non-LP allies in the Senate.

Amid strong warning from Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona has already prejudged Gutierrez on the imminent impeachment trial in the upper chamber, the LP senator and staunch ally of Aquino yesterday admitted having furnished Aquino with a copy of his now controversial partial committee report by “email” and providing the President with a copy before even submitting the same to the Senate plenary to put to a vote.

It was highly suspected that Guingona and his fellow LP senators, having failed to get the majority to approve his partial resolution, which seeks the impeachment of Gutierrez on the plea bargain agreement, has sought the help of Aquino to force his other allies in the Senate to approve the partial report for plenary and to ensure a Senate conviction for the Ombudsman as well..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110316hed1.html

Panicky Lopez volunteers embassy staff repatriation By Michaela P. del Callar 03/16/2011

Panicky Lopez volunteers embassy staff repatriation

By Michaela P. del Callar 03/16/2011

Panic has struck most of Japan as explosions and a fire at Japan’s quake-hit nuclear plant unleashed dangerous radiation, prompting recently installed Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manolo Lopez to make a unilateral decision yesterday to repatriate the chancery’s non-essential staff and their dependents in Tokyo.

The decision was apparently his own without obtaining clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said the DFA received Lopez’s recommendation to move out some staff and the families of embassy personnel but that it did not have permission from Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, who is in India attending a ministerial meeting.

“We have not decided yet on whether we will allow our employees to come home. We are still in consultation. There was a recommendation from Ambassador Lopez but I consulted Secretary Del Rosario and his instruction was that let’s have more information on this,” Seguis told a press conference..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110316hed2.html

Solons call for swift resolution of NAIA 3 dispute By Gerry Baldo 03/16/2011

Solons call for swift resolution of NAIA 3 dispute

By Gerry Baldo 03/16/2011

The dispute has gone on too long and has prevented foreign investors from plunking their investment money in the Philippines.

House of Representatives members of the committee on transpor-tation yes-terday called for a swift re-solution of the long-standing legal dispute hounding the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) to restore foreign investor confidence in the Philippines.

Calling it a “black eye on the administration’s efforts to lure foreign businessmen, particularly those from the European community, San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito said it was time for the government to come to terms with the legal problems confronting NAIA 3.

Ejercito said the controversies surrounding the project of Germany’s Fraport AG, a principal investor in the Philippine International Airport Terminal Company Inc. (Piatco) which built the world-class facility, had worried potential investors for many years, owing to the foot-dragging of both the Arroyo and the Aquino governments in paying Piatco what is due the company for governmen’t expropriating the NAIA-3 while ignoring the Supreme Court order banning government from exercising ownership.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110316hed3.html

SC ruling on C-5 worthless after Senate archived case By Angie M. Rosales 03/16/2011

SC ruling on C-5 worthless after Senate archived case

By Angie M. Rosales 03/16/2011

The Supreme Court ruling on the C-5 road controversy involving Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. declaring as valid the Senate committee of the whole’s jurisdiction in investigating Villar’s alleged unethical acts, previously under the ethics and privileges committee, came too late to be of any use, both Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Villar said yesterday.

The high court ruling had lost its value after the 14th Congress came to an end, thus consigning the case to the Senate archives.

The case, Enrile said, can no longer be taken up or even be reopened under the present 15th Congress since the composition of the upper chamber is already different from the previous one.

 “So that’s already moot and academic. It’s already in the archives. It’s unfortunate that the decision came late. We have already finished the hearing long time ago before the elections. It’s functus officio ,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110316hed4.html

RP may lose US aid on low convictions in human trafficking By Michaela P. del Callar 03/16/2011

RP may lose US aid on low convictions in human trafficking

By Michaela P. del Callar 03/16/2011

The Philippines should produce more human trafficking convictions to be taken off a crucial watchlist this year and not end up in a more severe blacklist that would cause it to lose American humanitarian aid, US Ambassador Harry Thomas said yesterday.

Washington welcomed a commitment by President Aquino’s administration, relayed by Vice President Jejomar Binay and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, to improve the country’s battle against the worldwide scourge, Thomas said but added it was “too early to say” whether the Philippines could be taken off the US watchlist this year.

“Clearly, the most important thing is how many convictions you have, so, we’ll see,” Thomas told reporters after a human trafficking forum in Pasig City.

Thomas pointed out encouraging signs such as a pledge by Binay to US officials that the country will prosecute.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110316hed5.html

Pro-impeach solons give way to ARMM debates By Gerry Baldo 03/16/2011

Pro-impeach solons give way to ARMM debates

By Gerry Baldo 03/16/2011

Pro impeachment lawmakers yesterday gave way to debates pertaining to the postponement of the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao even as they filed the resolution impeaching Ombudsman Merceditas Guterrez. The resolution was numbered 1089.

According to Deputy Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas they are not in a hurry to transmit the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial.

“Should the bills (on ARMM polls postponement) be approved on second reading, the third reading would have to be rescheduled on another day. While the impeachment case is a more urgent matter, time is of the essence here considering that the ARMM polls is set in August this year,” Fariñas said in a press conference.

“There is no need to speed up the sending of the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, considering that they (Senate) already hinted that they would attend to the impeachment by May,” Fariñas added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110316nat6.html

RP tells OFWs to leave Bahrain 03/16/2011

RP tells OFWs to leave Bahrain

03/16/2011
The government yesterday advised its 31,000 OFWs in Bahrain to leave the Gulf state after troops from neighboring countries moved in to help the ruling monarchy quell anti-government protests.

“We are urging 31,000 Filipinos to restrict movements to only those absolutely essential and to voluntarily depart the country,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis told reporters.

He said embassy staff in Manama had been in contact with Filipino community leaders there and briefed them on contingency plans.

“We are hopeful the political situation will stabilize, but precautionary measures are in place,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110316nat5.html

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