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Falling flat EDITORIAL 04/02/2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Falling flat

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
04/02/2011
Reacting to the fall-out from Hong Kong, whose residents are, to this day, mad as hell at the Aquino administration for its refusal to take responsibility for the death of some eight Hong Kong Chinese over the botched rescue hostage last Aug. 23, Malacañang suddenly, albeit belatedly, came out with the announcement of the dismissal of Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III for gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct in handling the dismissal complaint against hostage-taker Rolando Mendoza.

In a statement, the Office of the Executive Secretary said: “This is the first time that the Aquino administration has taken direct action against an official in connection with the Aug. 23 hostage-taking following the review of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report by the Palace legal team headed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.”

The decision was issued on March 31, 2011, or some seven months after the bloody hostage situation.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune


URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110402com1.html

Red faces FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/02/2011

Red faces

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
04/02/2011
The media that focused on the execution of the three Filipino convicted drug mules in their bid to get public sympathy for the three and of course increase circulation for the print media and a larger viewership for TV, must be red-faced by now, realizing the big boo-boo they committed in protraying these drug mules as overseas Filipino workers who are pitiful victims, and pleading for their lives, when all along, the three were not OFWs at all, but the usual drug couriers who willingly smuggled drugs into China for a hefty fee.

While it may sound callous, it must be said that, having broken the laws in China that metes out the death penalty for smuggling drugs, they deserve to be punished, according to the laws in China. So why did these media outfits make them out as martyrs, while blaming poverty for their crimes, with Noynoy now vowing to go down hard on the recruiters, when apparently, they were not recruited as OFWs for a job in China, but merely get into China on a tourist visa for the purpose precisely of smuggling large amounts of cocaine?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110402com2.html

Who’s next? Kazakh strongman leaves succession riddle focus 04/02/2011

Who’s next? Kazakh strongman leaves succession riddle

focus

04/02/2011
ALMATY — The inevitability of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s victory in presidential elections masks a gaping uncertainty as to who will succeed the man who has dominated Kazakhstan for more than two decades.

Nazarbayev has ruled the energy rich steppe nation of 16 million since even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, enjoying a sequence of ceremonial presidential election victories untroubled by a serious opposition challenge.

He is expected to cruise to victory in Sunday’s polls after barely bothering to campaign and Nazarbayev’s advisors predict he will stand in the next polls in 2016 to carry out a modernization drive up to 2020.

Seen by his supporters as a Central Asian national leader comparable to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Turkey or Mahatma Gandhi in India, few in Kazakhstan question the prospect of another decade of Nazarbayev in office..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110402com3.html

Transport Caravan and Transport Strikes, “Just For Starters”

 Transport Caravan and Transport Strikes, “Just For Starters”

Government agencies such as the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) belittled the day of protest but President Benigno Simeon Aquino III signed and announced that day a previously pending executive order that promises to give discounts and subsidies to public utility vehicles.

By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
| Sidebar: Government Tried to Quell People’s Protest Vs Oil Overpricing
MANILA – The nationwide people’s protests last March 31 was “a success as it drew a lot of support from drivers’ and workers’ groups and various multi-sectoral groups in the Philippines”, said Larry Tan, spokesman of Koalisyon ng Progresibo at Makabayang Mamamayan (KPMM).

Before midday, the “transport caravan” of more than a hundred jeepneys and FX taxis in Metro Manila had started on its route from Quezon City to Welcome Rotonda, where they were met by private sector workers and government employees from the KMU and Courage, members of Gabriela, Health Alliance of Democracy, the urban poor, various youth and students groups and progressive party-list representatives. A brief program was held there.

In various communities in Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan City and other areas in Metro Manila, organizations allied with KMU and Bayan marched to join the protest in Mendiola later that day to “condemn the Aquino government’s inaction on the spiraling oil prices and the grave abuse by oil companies of hapless consumers”.


Women protesters wrote their demands on oil products.(Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
Elsewhere in the country, protest actions, transport caravans, and transport strikes were also held in Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City, Bukidnon, General Santos City, Zamboanga City, Davao City, and Surigao in Mindanao; Bacolod City, Iloilo City, Roxas City (Capiz), and Cebu City in the Visayas; and Angeles City, Santiago City (Isabela), Calamba City (Laguna), Sorsogon City, and Legazpi City in Luzon..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/04/01/transport-caravan-and-transport-strikes-%E2%80%9Cjust-for-starters%E2%80%9D/

Killed Urban Poor Leader Laid to Rest, Community Vows to Continue the Fight For Justice

Killed Urban Poor Leader Laid to Rest, Community Vows to Continue the Fight For Justice

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com
MANILA — As slain urban poor leader Antonio “Nono” Homo was laid to rest on Tuesday, his kin and comrades vowed to continue fighting and asserting their right to decent housing and social services to make sure that he did not die in vain.

“We are demanding for justice and for our rights,” Irene Tena, secretary general of Nagkakaisang Samahan sa Kadiwa (Nasaka), said in Filipino.

Antonio “Nono” Homo, 47, campaign officer of Nasaka, was at his neighbor Julie Manuel’s house on March 16 when, at around 8:40 p.m., an unidentified man aimed the barrel of a .45 cal gun through the window and fired at Homo’s head. The bullet pierced through the victim’s skull.


At Antonio Homo’s wake(Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
Homo’s brother, Bobby, said their family is grieving for his brother’s untimely death. He said it is hard to let go of a brother like Homo who was helpful, generous and selfless. “Kakainin na lang, ibibigay pa,” he said, “He is always willing to extend a helping hand to others.”

While Bobby is not a member of any activist organization, Homo, who was a member of the Kabataan para sa Demokrasya at Nasyunalismo, a youth group that actively protested against the Marcos dictatorship, brought him to rallies and protest actions. He added that his brother was at the infamous Mendiola Massacre..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/04/01/killed-urban-poor-leader-laid-to-rest-community-vows-to-continue-the-fight-for-justice/

Labor Export Policy to Blame for Deaths of Three Filipinos in China – Migrants’ Group

Labor Export Policy to Blame for Deaths of Three Filipinos in China – Migrants’ Group

We should not allow our people to mourn over and over again for the loss of lives of our fellow Filipinos here and overseas. For the best way to render justice to Ordinario, Credo and Batain is not to allow such injustices anymore.” – Hustisya
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com
MANILA — Migrante International said the execution of the three Filipinos in China is a “potent slap on the face” of the Philippine government, which rely heavily on the remittances of Filipinos working abroad to keep the economy afloat instead of generating jobs back home.

“We grieve not just for the family (of the three Filipinos) but for all Filipinos who are being forced to work abroad because of the widespread poverty in the country,” Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez said after Vice President Jejomar Binay confirmed the death of the three Filipinos in a television report.


Sally Villanueva, one of the first Filipino nationals executed in China(Photo courtesy of the Ordinario Family / bulatlat.com)
The three Filipinos, namely Sally Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain, were convicted separately in 2008 and were the first Filipino nationals to be executed in China for carrying 4,410 grams, 4,113 grams and 6,800 grams of heroine, respectively. They were originally scheduled to be executed in February but the Chinese government moved it to March 30 after Vice President Binay, who, on a last ditch effort, was sent by the Philippine government to China to plead for the lives of the Filipinos.

The Philippine consulate in Xiamen reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Villanueva and Credo were able to see their kin for the last time an hour before they were executed.

“What are you doing here, why are you all crying, am I going to die?” Mylene Ordinario, quoting her sister Villanueva, said in a dzBB interview. Upon realizing what was going to happen to her, Villanueva reportedly said, “It (is) okay. I have accepted my fate. I will be your angel and watch over you.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com
URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/04/01/labor-export-policy-to-blame-for-deaths-of-three-filipinos-in-china-%E2%80%93-migrants-group/

Hacienda Luisita Farmworkers to Supreme Court: Give Us The Land Free and Clear

Hacienda Luisita Farmworkers to Supreme Court: Give Us The Land Free and Clear

“This is an issue of life and death for us, we will not be discouraged or ever dissuaded into giving up.”
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
Is the Supreme Court deliberately avoiding the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita?

This was the question posed by Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) chairman Joseph Canlas during a rally led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU) and Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) and AMGL in Mendiola recently.

The farmworkers had been holding weekly protest actions in front of the Supreme Court (SC) offices in Padre Faura st. in Manila since January to press the high court to issue the decision on their case against the management of the Hacienda Luisita regarding the revocation of the Stock Distribution Option (SDO).
Every week, too, the Supreme Court disappointed them.

The farmworkers have time and again said the Hacienda Luisita case and how it would be resolved would be a precedent to how other agrarian disputes in the region will be settled. The high court’s decision, they insist, is of grave significance to farmers.

“The SC cannot evade this issue forever; it must take a stand and issue a decision. We have been hearing rumors that the justices have already prepared a decision but have been holding back against announcing it because of pressure from Malacañang itself,” Canlas said..... MORE

SourceBulalat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/04/01/hacienda-luisita-farmworkers-to-supreme-court-give-us-the-land-free-and-clear/

Regulate Oil Prices To Mitigate People’s Hardships – Jeepney Drivers

Regulate Oil Prices To Mitigate People’s Hardships – Jeepney Drivers

 Jeepney drivers say oil price increases and fare hikes worsen the conditions of drivers even more because they are also affected by spikes in prices of basic commodities resulting from these increases.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – “The meager one peso ($.02) fare increase did not help. It only goes to oil companies,” said Geniano Sotera, 54, a jeepney driver for 33 years.

Plying the route from Alabang to Muntinlupa City proper, Sotera is on the road as early as 5 a.m. and would go home at 6 p.m. His take home income, however, is not enough to buy a decent meal for his wife and two children.

Sotera earns $4.6 to $6.9 a day. The biggest chunk that is being taken from his daily earnings is spent on diesel amounting to $20.93. The current pump price of diesel is P46.65 or $ 1.04 per liter. His boundary, or the amount he remits to the jeepney operator, is $11.62. He also has to allocate at least $3.48 for his breakfast, lunch and snacks. “When the diesel was only $0.51 to $0.69 and the fare is only $0.16, I only spent $13.95 for diesel,” Sotera recalled.

Sotera believes that another fare increase is not the solution to the problem. He said the price of oil products should be regulated. “We know that when the prices of oil products increase, the prices of basic commodities also increase and the poor gets poorer,” Sotera said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/31/44520/

Noy fires Merci’s deputy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 04/02/2011

OMBUDSMAN CRIES FOUL, SAYS DISMISSAL UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Noy fires Merci’s deputy

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 04/02/2011

President Aquino yesterday fired Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III, seven months after he was recommended to be charged by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) which looked into the botched Aug. 23, 2010 Manila bus hostage rescue that left eight tourists from Hong Kong dead and several others injured.

The decision came after Malacañang’s legal team, headed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., completed its own review on the IIRC’s conclusions which found Gonzalez guilty of gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct in handling the concerns of the deceased hostage taker, Rolando Mendoza, a dismissed police officer.

Despite Malacañang’s order to dismiss the deputy Ombudsman from his post, this was ignored by the Office of the Ombdusman, citing that Gonzales had been investigated internally, and cleared of the charges, apart from which, it was also pointed out to the.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110402hed1.html

Pinay faces death penalty in Malaysia over drug case 04/02/2011

Pinay faces death penalty in Malaysia over drug case

04/02/2011
Amid continued mourning for the three Filipino drug mules who were executed in China last March 30, another Filipino abroad is facing the death penalty for smuggling 11.9 kilos of marijuana, a report yesterday said.

But college instructor Aida Dizon Garcia, 51, during a court arraignment in Malaysia pleaded not guilty to the charges, Kuala Lumpur’s online news The Star said.

If convicted, Garcia will be sentenced to die by hanging.

Acting on a tip, Garcia, who boarded an express bus from Kuala Lumpur heading south, was arrested by authorities around 5:30 a.m. near the south-bound toll plaza along the North-South Expressway on Nov. 27..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110402hed2.html

‘Let’s respect rule of law’ of other countries — SC 04/02/2011

‘Let’s respect rule of law’ of other countries — SC

04/02/2011
The Supreme Court (SC) has stressed the sovereign legal basis in the continuing debate on why the three Filipino drug convicts were executed in China despite pleas for their lives for humanitarian reasons.

“We have to respect the rule of law” in other places, said lawyer Jose Midas Marquez, spokesman and administrator of the Supreme Court, which is now in summer sessions in Baguio City.

Marquez was referring to Elizabeth Batain, Sally Villanueva and Ramon Credo who were executed on March 30 for the crime of heroin smuggling..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110402hed6.html

Solon: Ombudsman fails to act on scam charges vs Lorenzo, Bolante By Charlie V. Manalo 04/02/2011

Solon: Ombudsman fails to act on scam charges vs Lorenzo, Bolante

By Charlie V. Manalo 04/02/2011
Complainants and endorsers of the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez yesterday bared no case had been filed to date against former Agriculture Secretary Luis “Cito” Lorenzo and undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante on the plunder of P728 million fertilizer fund, which according to them, is a clear proof of the Ombudsman’s gross inaction and negligence of duty.

“As of last Friday, not a single case was filed by the Ombudsman against former Agriculture Secretary Luis “Cito” Lorenzo and Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante on the plunder of P728 million fertilizer fund,” Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) secretary general Danilo Ramos, one of the complainants, said during a press briefing at the House of Representatives yesterday.

Ramos showed the media a certification from the Sandiganbayan’s Judicial Records Division dated Feb. 25, 2011 stating that “as of this date and per available records on file, No Criminal/Civil Case had been filed against... Jocelyn Bolante and Luis ‘Cito’ Lorenzo.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110402nat2.html

Visit of US Pacific Fleet exec to RP a success 04/02/2011

Visit of US Pacific Fleet exec to RP a success

04/02/2011
The commanding general of the United States Pacific Fleet has declared his recent visit and talks with top-ranking Philippine Defense and Military officials a fruitful one, highlighted by a call to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

Admiral Patrick Walsh, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said his visit last Friday had productive discussions with Gazmin and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) top brass, particularly on bilateral naval cooperation and regional security issues.

“The United States has a multi-faceted equal partnership with the Philippines based on respect for Philippine sovereignty and admiration of Philippine democracy,” said Walsh..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110402nat4.html

Somali pirates release 20 Pinoy sailors 04/02/2011 By Michaela P. del Callar

Somali pirates release 20 Pinoy sailors

04/02/2011
By Michaela P. del Callar
Twenty Filipino crewmen of a Japanese vessel were released by their Somali captors over the weekend after more than four months in captivity, the Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The MV Izumi, a Japanese-owned and Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel, was hijacked on Oct. 10, 2010 while on its way from Japan to the Kenyan Port of Mombasa.

The DFA said the Filipinos, who were released on Feb. 26, “are all safe” and now heading to Mombasa, Kenya, where they will take an onward flight to Manila.

This development brings down to 118 the total number of Filipino seafarers on board 11 vessels being held by pirates in the Gulf of Aden..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110402nat6.html

Solon to Noy: Include fishers, farmers in P500-M fuel subsidy By Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo 04/02/2011

Solon to Noy: Include fishers, farmers in P500-M fuel subsidy

By Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo 04/02/2011

A lawmaker from the one of the most impoverished provinces in the country yesterday called on President Aquino to include farmers and fisherfolk in the P500 million he allotted for fuel subsidy to the transport sectors, saying they are also gravely affected by the unabated increase in oil prices.

In a text message, Samar Rep. Ben Evardone justified the inclusion of the farmers and fisherfolk in the fuel subsidy, saying not only they are vulnerable to oil price hikes but that prices of petroleum products in the rural areas are much higher than in Metro Manila.

“We welcome the fuel subsidy program of the government but it should include the other vulnerable sectors like fishermen and farmers in the countryside. They are also hit hard by the unabated spiraling increase of fuel prices,” Evardone said. “While the subsidy to Metro Manila drivers are laudable, it should be pointed out that Metro Manila is not the Philippines.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110402met1.html

Parents of minor caught violating curfew ordinance in Manila face raps 04/02/2011

Parents of minor caught violating curfew ordinance in Manila face raps

04/02/2011
Manila’s City Administrator Jesus Mari Marzan has warned parents of minors who will be caught for violating curfew laws they will be charged in court if they cannot discipline their children.

The warning was aired by Marzan during the weekly “Peoples Day” forum at the city hall after several barangay chairmen complained of laxity in the implementation of the city ordinance on curfew.

Marzan said if the minor offender will be caught for the second time the order was to bring him to the Rescue and Acton Center of the Manila Social Welfare Department (MSWD) for temporary shelter while cases are being prepared against the parents of the offender..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110402met5.html

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