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Disturbing EDITORIAL 03/26/2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Disturbing

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
03/26/2011
A very disturbing comment was made by Noynoy Aquino to reporters after a business forum in the province.

He was quoted as saying, in justifying his call for people support for the removal of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, that, as a private citizen, he “demands a certain level of quality of functions of public service,” which is why he wants her removed.

He, as president and a private citizen, so he claims, can demand a certain level of quality, and even go to the extent of not being content with the work done by the Ombudsman. But, whether as president or private citizen, and especially as president, Noynoy cannot and should not interfere in the functions of the legislature or even call on the people to engage in mob rule to oust the Ombudsman, simply because she is seen by him as a stumbling block to his claimed reform program.

The House has been prostituted by Noynoy, and all to get the House to give him what he wants: The impeachment of Merci, and perhaps others whom he judges to be stumbling blocks. All it took was for Noynoy to bribe these congressmen with an additional P20 million pork barrel for their yes vote..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110326com1.html

Cause for alarm, for Noynoy FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/26/2011

Cause for alarm, for Noynoy

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
03/26/2011
It all depends on how one wants to interpret the numbers in a survey — especially if one believes such surveys, and most politicians do.

Still, certain numbers do tend to show certain things, such as the drops and rises of those being surveyed.

Pulse Asia, in a second release of its trust and approval ratings, showed that Vice President Jojo Binay has surpassed the approval and trust ratings of Noynoy Aquino, with Binay obtaining an 83 percent rating, making him the most appreciated high official, as against Noynoy’s 74 percent, or a nine percentage point difference.

In trust ratings, again, Binay emerged as the most trusted public official, rating higher than Noynoy, who obtained a 75 percent, with his VP getting 81 percent, or a difference of six percent..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110326com2.html

Oldest US nuclear reactor ‘disaster waiting to happen’ focus 03/26/2011

Oldest US nuclear reactor ‘disaster waiting to happen’

focus

03/26/2011
LACEY — A sleepy New Jersey town has come onto people’s radar screens because it has the oldest running nuclear power plant in the United States — and some say the most dangerous.

Named for a Revolutionary War general, Lacey, New Jersey is the kind of American town that few from outside the seaside settlement knew much about before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan triggered a nuclear crisis.

Down the road from the 1950s-style diner and across from the bridge that locals use as a fishing pier stands the Oyster Creek nuclear plant.

It uses a GE Mark I Boiling Water reactor identical to those at Japan’s Fukushima plant that lost power in the March 11 earthquake and then had their backup generators knocked out by the tsunami, causing cooling functions to fail..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110326com3.html

Indigenous Center for Lumads Decry Military Abuses, Attacks Against Schoolchildren

Indigenous Center for Lumads Decry Military Abuses, Attacks Against Schoolchildren

Soldiers belonging to the 73rd Infantry Battalion forced 10-year old Jimboy Saya to hold a chain of sub-machine gun bullets and carry an M-16 rifle. The soldiers then photographed the child and distributed it to local media with the caption “NPA child warrior going to school in Dlumay.”
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
Evidently not content with tagging ordinary civilians as members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continue to use children in its campaign to demonize the revolutionary forces.

According to a report by Katribu Party-list, soldiers belonging to the 73rd Infantry Battalion forced 10-year old Jimboy Saya to hold a chain of sub-machine gun bullets and carry an M-16 rifle. The soldiers then photographed the child and distributed it to local media with the caption “NPA child warrior going to school in Dlumay.”

Jimpoy is a Blaan student living in the remote village of Dlumay.

Katribu Party-list has released a statement saying that this was the latest in a series of vicious and systematic acts of harassment the 73rd IB against has perpetrated against the Center for Lumad Advocacy and Services (CLANS) and its projects in the communities it serves in Upper Suyan, Malapatan, Sarangani Province.

The organization of indigenous people said that since November 2010, Clans staff, schoolchildren and their parents, and community leaders have been subjected to interrogation, harassment, vilification and ridicule.
“The soldier even went as far as ordering a Blaan family to exhume their dead pastor, who died of lingering illness, because he was suspected as an NPA killed in action,” said Clans.

Staff members of Clans said they tried to document these atrocities in detail.

“For the past months we have been trying hard to stand our ground in defense of our school and our community against against the platoon of gun-toting government soldiers who would not let us have a day of peace,” they said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/25/indigenous-center-for-lumads-decry-military-abuses-attacks-against-schoolchildren/

Next on the Agenda of the GPH-NDFP Peace Talks: Socio-economic Reforms

Next on the Agenda of the GPH-NDFP Peace Talks: Socio-economic Reforms

 Speaking before members of people’s organizations, Randall Echanis, a member of the NDFP’s Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms (RCW-SER) said the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms is the meat of the peace negotiations as it aims to address the roots of the armed conflict.
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — During these times when the country is reeling from a global economic crisis, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said, a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (Caser) could never be more opportune.

The item on socio-economic reforms is the second in the substantive agenda in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP. The first agenda item was the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL),which was signed in August 1998.

After the initial round of peace talks last February, both panels agreed to start discussing Caser by June this year and to sign the agreement by August.

Speaking before members of people’s organizations, Randall Echanis, a member of the NDFP’s Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms (RCW-SER) said the Caser is the meat of the peace negotiations as it aims to address the roots of the armed conflict.

Echanis said the NDFP and the GPH, which was formerly called as the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), exchanged drafts on Caser on March 16, 1998. Discussions, however, did not start at once.

Echanis recalled that bilateral talks on Caser took place in February and April of 2004. “The NDFP draft became the de facto working draft. The talks did not advance though. We only finished discussing the Preamble and the Declaration of Principles,” Echanis related.

Echanis said the two panels have different frameworks, citing as an example the refusal of the GPH panel members to use the phrase “national industrialization” in the Declaration of Principles.

Talks were stalled until the resumption of formal talks this February. After six years of impasse, the Caser is once again on the table.

On the NDFP side, Juliet de Lima serves as the RWC-SER chairwoman. Besides Echanis, Rafael Baylosis is the other member of the RWC-SER. Meanwhile, the GPH’s RWC-SER is chaired by Ednar Dayanghirang. He is joined by Fr. Bert Alejo and Prof. Fernando Aldana.

During the first round of formal talks, both panels identified the initial topics to be discussed in Caser. Echanis said the NDFP proposed agrarian reform and nationalist industrialization. The GPH later on agreed, citing assets reform and industrial policies as counterparts to the NDFP’s proposal. Both panels said they would revise their respective original drafts, which were submitted in 1998..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/25/next-on-the-agenda-of-the-gph-ndfp-peace-talks-socio-economic-reforms/

Burgos Family Urges Government, AFP to Surface Jonas After CHR Found Army Culpable

 Burgos Family Urges Government, AFP to Surface Jonas After CHR Found Army Culpable

“After almost four years of waiting, we finally see a glimmer of hope…While we seem to have won this battle, the real measure of success is the recovery of my son. We shall continue the fight until Jonas is returned to us, alive and well and justice is served.” – Edita Burgos

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – While the family of missing activist Jonas Burgos welcomes the latest report of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) implicating the military in the abduction, Jonas’s mother Edita said the real measure of success is the recovery of her son. Jonas’s brother JL, meanwhile, said the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

“Our theory has been right all along. The evidence gathered by the CHR confirms our family’s theory that the Philippine Army is involved in the abduction of my son and elements of the police and military are participating in a cover up to hide the identity of the abductors and those involved,” Mrs. Burgos said in a statement.

Jonas
, son of press freedom icon Jose “Joe” Burgos Jr., was abducted on April 28, 2007 at the Ever Gotesco mall in Commonwealth, Quezon City by suspected elements of the Philippine Army. He remains missing to this day.

The CHR investigation led by Commissioner Jose Mamauag found that the abduction of Jonas is “not a simple case of kidnapping done by some individuals within the military, but is, in fact, a part of the entire counter-insurgency program of the past administration wherein both military and police forces played a crucial role in its enforcement.”

The CHR was tasked by the Supreme Court to investigate the abduction of Jonas. In its resolution, the high court noted that there were “significant lapses” in the police investigation. The Burgos family filed a petition seeking the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals denying their petition for writ of amparo and absolving police and military officials implicated in the Burgos case.

In the report signed by Mamauag, the CHR has asked the Supreme Court to direct Army Lt. Harry Baliaga Jr. to produce Jonas. Baliaga was known to have been assigned to the 56th Infantry Battalion in Bulacan. The license plate of one of the vehicles used in Burgos’ abduction was traced to a vehicle under the custody of the Army battalion.

The CHR recommended the filing of kidnapping charges against Baliaga who was identified by two witnesses as among those who abducted Jonas. The commission also urged the high court to grant the petition for writ of amparo filed by Mrs. Burgos.

“After almost four years of waiting, we finally see a glimmer of hope…” Mrs. Burgos said. “While we seem to have won this battle, the real measure of success is the recovery of my son. We shall continue the fight until Jonas is returned to us, alive and well and justice is served.”

Command Responsibility
 
The Burgos family deems that Baliaga “will not act without orders from higher authorities.”
The CHR said the assignment of criminal responsibility must not be confined to the few soldiers who executed the crime. “If ever, they are mere henchmen of the hierarchy of fear that held sway in the past. What is more fundamental is how the principle of command responsibility may be made to bear against the higher-ups who ordered the disappearance of Jonas Burgos, an activist and critic of the former regime,” the CHR said in a statement..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/23/burgos-family-urge-government-afp-to-surface-jonas-after-chr-found-army-culpable/

Negros Rights Advocates Launch “Free Rogina Quilop Movement”

Negros Rights Advocates Launch “Free Rogina Quilop Movement”


“ Rogina’s name only came out in the 5th amended warrant of arrest, together with Romulo Bitoon who was arrested April 5, 2010, three other names, and other John Does; and that the warrant of arrest served to her last March 3 only contained hers and Romulo Bitoon.”
By KARL G. OMBION
Bulatlat.com

BACOLOD City – Rights advocates, kin and friends of detained development worker Rogina Navarro-Quilop launched here early this week the “Free Rogina Quilop Movement” (FRQM) to intensify their coordinated campaign for her release.

Fr. Armand Onion, FRQM coordinator, said during the launching that “the assault on Rogina is an assault on the Filipino people because at the time of her illegal arrest she has dedicated her life in solidarity with the poor.”

“Rogina is a symbol of the struggle of the people for freedom and justice; her freedom will also mean justice for the people,” Fr. Onion added.


Fred Cana, secretary general of Karapatan Negros said Rogina, administrative officer of Bacolod-based non-government service organization Center for People’s Resources and Services (CPRS) and a board director of Ma-ao Parish Multi-Purpose Cooperative Inc. (MPMPCI), was arrested on March 3 at the Bacolod-Silay airport by fully armed elements of Silay City Police Office, Provincial Police Office and civilian operatives believed to be intelligence members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

She was arrested for alleged arson case on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Katherine Go of San Carlos City Regional Trial Court.

She was arrested in the presence of her children and husband Joe Quilop who fetched her at the airport. They also confiscated her laptop, micro flash drives, and P 5,000 in cash..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/24/negros-rights-advocates-launch-%e2%80%9cfree-rogina-quilop-movement%e2%80%9d/

DoJ orders probe on ex-AFP brass plunder scam By Benjamin B. Pulta, Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/26/2011

DoJ orders probe on ex-AFP brass plunder scam

By Benjamin B. Pulta, Angie M. Rosales and Aytch S. de la Cruz 03/26/2011

Their woes are far from over.
A full-fledged fact-finding investigation into the misuse of funds and corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been ordered by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Speaking to reporters, De Lima said a recently formed team would gather more evidence on former generals or officials who could be held liable.

She said the panel, which would be formally created on Monday, is tasked to “start collating all pieces of evidence, information and reports from both houses of Congress and also from the AFP” ahead of a preliminary investigation on a delayed complaint affidavit of whistleblower retired military budget officer, Col. George Rabusa..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110326hed1.html

DoJ issues guidelines for military, police checkpoints 03/26/2011

DoJ issues guidelines for military, police checkpoints

03/26/2011
A public advisory has been issued by the Depart-ment of Justice (DoJ) on police and military check-points for motorists.

The DoJ handed down the 10-point guideline detailing how motorists should deal with authorities in check-points to protect their rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima signed the DoJ’s Advisory Opinion No. 1 last March 15 “in line with the thrust of the department to take a pro-active stance and dynamic approach in criminal justice concerns.”

The “Advisory” is intended to address and advise the public on the proper conduct of checkpoints to protect citizens, to serve as warning to erring law enforcers and to weed out illegal checkpoints..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110326hed1.html

Binay appeals anew for 3 Pinoys on China death row 03/26/2011

Binay appeals anew for 3 Pinoys on China death row

03/26/2011
Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday appealed to Chinese Presi-dent Hu Jintao to grant executive clemency to the three convicted Filipino drug smugglers who will be executed next week despite the government’s acceptance of the verdict.

Binay, concurrent presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ concerns, wrote to Hu, asking him to commute the sentences on the Filipinos, saying they were “merely victims of international drug
syndicates.”

“On humanitarian grounds and on the basis of the strong friendship and cooperation between our two countries and peoples, I once again appeal to Your Excellency to grant clemency to these three Filipinos,” Binay said in his letter to the Chinese leader..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110326hed6.html

Army creates two probe teams to investigate torture video By Mario J. Mallari 03/26/2011

Army creates two probe teams to investigate torture video

By Mario J. Mallari 03/26/2011

The Army leadership has created two investigating teams to separately probe the “torture video” involving candidate soldiers of the 9th Infantry Division (ID) and identify those responsible in the malpractice for possible sanctions.

Military Human Rights Office (HRO) chief Col. Domingo Tutaan said Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz tapped Col. Onesimo Banaga, Army HR chief, and Col. Benedicto Jose, the Army’s Provost Marshal, to dig deeper into the issue.

“They expanded the investigation – one is to identify who participated and who was involved, and two, to determine the command responsibility,” said Tutaan of the Army’s HR office..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110326nat1.html

4.9 quake jolts General Santos City 03/26/2011

4.9 quake jolts General Santos City

03/26/2011
General Santos City, the homeplace of the eight world divisions champion Manny Pacquiao was rocked with a 4.9 magnitude earthquake last Friday.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake was recorded at 9:15 a.m., and was tectonic in origin. No one was reported injured or died.

Phivolcs bulletin said the epicenter was 214 km southeast of General Santos City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110326nat2.html

Lawmakers goad BIR chief: Run after big tax dodgers By Gerry Baldo 03/26/2011

Lawmakers goad BIR chief: Run after big tax dodgers

By Gerry Baldo 03/26/2011

Lawmakers yesterday urged Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief Kim Henares to run after big tax evaders who have been robbing the government of billions of pesos in revenues.

Gabriela Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus, Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan (Agham) Rep . Angelo Palmones and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong Rep. Irwin Tieng said cases should be filed without let-up even as they noted that there are big tax evaders other than those recently sued by the Department of Justice which include three former officials of satellite communications provider Philcomsat Holdings Corp. (PHC).

“For a long time, only the small fry were hounded while the big fish go unscathed,” Ilagan said yesterday, referring to former PHC board member Luis Lokin Jr..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110326met1.html

NBI, Customs operatives seize P5-B fake AFTA forms used by smuggling syndicates 03/26/2011

NBI, Customs operatives seize P5-B fake AFTA forms used by smuggling syndicates

03/26/2011
Organized smuggling syndicates operating at the Bureau of Customs (BoC) are using fake Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) forms to avail themselves of the exemption from payment of tariff duties as agreed upon by Asean member countries.

This surfaced after joint elements of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service and the National Bureau of Investigation seized Thursday 7 kilograms, or 600 sets of AFTA form-E, in a warehouse in Caloocan City owned by Chinese-Filipino businessman George Tan a.k.a. Chen Li Qun..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110326met5.html

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