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Far-reaching consequences EDITORIAL 04/05/2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Far-reaching consequences

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
04/05/2011
While the issue at the moment is whether Noynoy has the power to fire the deputy Ombudsman with the Ombudsman arguing that it has the mandate, under the Charter, to discipline all government officials, save for the impeachable officers, what may be more important to reflect on is the far-reaching consequence of allowing a Philippine president to fire, as the highest administrative penalty, another officer belonging to constitutional offices on arguments that, as the President has the power to hire, he also has the power to fire.

An even more far-reaching consequence comes when such a presidential action sets a dangerous precedent owing to a presidential probe on such officers outside of the executive branch are fired from office on grounds that the official, in this case, Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III, failed to act on a motion for reconsideration (MR) within a five-day period that Malacañang claimed resulted in the gunman, dismissed policeman Rolando Mendoza, taking and killing hostages on Aug. 23 last year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110405com1.html

Of political motivations FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/05/2011

Of political motivations

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
04/05/2011
Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., reacting to reports that the Sandiganbayan has set the date early next month for his father’s, former Gov. Niel Tupas Sr., arraignment cried foul, as he questioned Ombudsman Merci Gutierrez’s denial of his father’s motion for reconsideration last May 3, 2010, linking this to the House’s impeachment of Merci.

Tupas Jr., said the case against his father is “politically motivated” and is being used by Merci to get back at him for pursuing the impeachment case.

If such is his argument, then the same charge of political motivation connected to the impeachment of Merci can be used against him. After all, is it not strange that a neophyte congressman from Iloilo, whose father has a pending case before the Ombudsman’s office, suddenly became the justice panel chairman? Sure, he may be a lawyer, but there certainly are others, among the congressional allies, who would be qualified, if not more qualified. The fact is, after Noynoy’s victory at the polls, and with the distribution of political largesse and the distribution of the spoils among the allies, Tupas Jr. sought this chairmanship and got it, with the intent of using his justice panel to get Merci impeached..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110405com2.html

Israel wary but hopeful as Syrians revolt focus 04/05/2011

Israel wary but hopeful as Syrians revolt

focus

04/05/2011
JERUSALEM — After watching with trepidation as a popular revolt in Egypt swept away long-time ally Hosni Mubarak, Israel is now casting a cautious eye to the north, where unrest threatens to engulf Syria.

But while Mubarak was seen as a bulwark of the peace between Israel and its southern neighbor, it is a different story in hostile Syria, which remains officially in a state of war with the Jewish state.

There Israel could benefit from a more democratic government, officials and analysts believe, even if it is one still led by President Bashar al-Assad after he has been forced to make reforms.

The Jewish state’s best hope would be that Syria could be torn away from its alliance with Israel’s arch-foe Iran and the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110405com3.html

What do you feel? NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 04/05/2011

What do you feel?

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
04/05/2011
So Elizabeth Batain, Sally Ordinario-Villanueva and Ramon Credo went to China on tourist visas. Who helped them get the visas?

I ask because I’d been to China quite a few times. It’s never been easy for me or any other member of my family to get approved for travel there. We’re asked to submit proof of ownership of property, income tax returns and proof of some cash in bank, and etcetera.

Batain, Ordinario-Villanueva and Credo presumably did not own property, filed no income tax, did not have cash in bank. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have left the country to seek work elsewhere, Ordinario-Villanueva a day before Christmas of 2008, and Credo, four days after. It’s easy to see that someone moved to have their travel documents approved.

Unbelievable that no one is raising the possibility of international drug syndicates being in cahoots with some people in the Department of Foreign Affairs, and in our international airports. Or checking who approved the passports of the three, and if the passports were quickly applied for and just as quickly released. Or finding out if airport computers can reveal airport personnel on duty the day an apprehended drug mule is caught.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110405com4.html

Ship brings rare glimpse FEATURE 04/05/2011

Ship brings rare glimpse

FEATURE

04/05/2011
BENGHAZI — The wounded men on the aid ship from the besieged city of Misrata, most of them torn apart by shrapnel and bullets, tell of the bloodiest front in the revolt against Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi.

They speak of a city under lockdown that has gone weeks without electricity or running water, where snipers have cleared the center and mortar rounds and rockets rain down at random on residents huddled inside their homes.

The more than 250 patients were brought Sunday to the rebel port of Benghazi on board a Turkish aid ship, which was to pick up another 100 or so wounded people from the eastern front before steaming on to the Turkish port of Cesme.

On board, a pale Mohammed Muftah, 34, describes how he was sitting at home on a quiet Friday morning when a barrage of mortar rounds fired by Kadhafi’s forces slammed into his residential neighbourhood..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110405com6.html

Clarification LETTER 04/05/2011

Clarification

LETTER

04/05/2011
Dear Editor:
We wish to clarify certain issues about the residential property in North Forbes Park, Makati allegedly owned by Sen. Franklin Drilon which appeared in the column of Mr. Louie Logarta last March 31, in The Daily Tribune.

The senator categorically denies that he owns the said property. We wish to emphasize that the property, which was indeed registered under the name of his stepdaughter, Eduarda Genuino, was already sold, and there was no way that the good senator had been involved in the transactions. It was owned by the Genuino family. It has already been sold as part of the business of the Genuinos..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110405com7.html

Liars AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 04/05/2011

Liars

AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
04/05/2011
Remember those innocent days in January when people were persuaded that the upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East were driven by nothing more than the desire of ordinary people to live in freedom and dignity, ridding themselves of despots who governed in the interests of foreign powers and businesses?

How different things appeared in March, after the UN Security Council decided, with a principled veto nowhere in sight, that those with the means (not to mention the barely-concealed eagerness) to intervene in Libya should do so. This, they pronounced sanctimoniously, would be conducted on the basis of the noblest of motives — the protection of “unarmed civilians.” Liars. Are these the same “civilians” we see on television, their chests crossed with bandoliers, firing rockets and brandishing automatic weapons?

And are the “statesmen” — Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, et.al, — who decided that their own peoples should shoulder the costs of another war the same politicians who previously told those identical peoples that they must tighten their belts, there being insufficient funds for the customary levels of social provision? Liars. In truth, the war in Libya is being waged on behalf of the same interests whose cause is served by the social expenditure cuts in the aggressor nations — big business..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110405com5.html

Senate impeach rules to favor prosecution panel — solon 04/05/2011

Senate impeach rules to favor prosecution panel — solon

04/05/2011
Some members of the prosecution team in the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez have expressed confidence that the existing impeachment rules in the Senate would be more favorable to them.

According to Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, the way the trial would be conducted would make them convince the senators to rule in favor of the prosecution panel even as he added that hearing all the six Articles of Impeachment before voting would fully inform the senator-judges about the merits of the case.

“It is the constitutional right of the people to be informed. Besides, hearing all the six Articles of Impeachment first will also make us convince the senators to vote in our favor,” he said.

Umali added that delaying the voting would not hamper the trial and possibly act in favor of the Ombudsman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110405hed3.html

Cayetano raps poll head on bribery, blackmail By Angie M. Rosales 04/05/2011

CLAIMS SIXTO BRILANTES WANTS CA OKAY FOR WIFE’S PROTEST CASE WIN

Cayetano raps poll head on bribery, blackmail

By Angie M. Rosales 04/05/2011

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday accused Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes of alleged attempted bribery and blackmail.

The poll body chairman, alleged Cayteno, is dangling the case of the senator’s wife, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, in exchange for the minority leader’s approval of Brillantes’ confirmation before the Commission on Appointments (CA).

“I am writing the CA this week asking for a decisive action and full investigation on the attempt to blackmail a member of the CA or myself, by the chairman of the Comelec. I will cooperate 100 percent. If they will require me to name names, I will cooperate,” the senator said even as he urged President Aquino to also conduct his own independent investigation on this matter.

Cayetano, in a luncheon-press conference with a select group of reporters, claimed that Brillantes allegedly threatened to have the electoral protest regarding the mayoralty race in Taguig City yield a decision unfavorable to the senator’s wife, if the former will not meet up with him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110405hed1.html

Noy appoints The Firm lawyer poll commisioner By Aytch S.dela Cruz 04/05/2011

Noy appoints The Firm lawyer poll commisioner

By Aytch S.dela Cruz 04/05/2011

President Aquino appears ready to ensure the victory of his Liberal Party allies in 2013 by appointing more of his and his anointed presidential candidate former Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas’ lawyers to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

He yesterday appointed another member of “PNoy lawyers”—a group of legal practitioners who helped him out during his campaign for the 2010 elections—and who was also formerly connected to controversial law outfit, “The Firm”, to a vital Comelec position.

Thirty eight year-old lawyer Christian Robert Lim bagged the first of two Comelec commissioner positions that were left vacant since Feb. 2 owing to the retirement of Gregorio Larrazabal and Nicodemo Ferrer.

Earlier, upon the early retirement of the Comelec chairman, Jose Melo, Aquino appointed his election lawyer, Sixto Brilantes, as poll chairman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110405hed5.html

Death toll hits 11, hundreds flee Maguindanao clans’ clash 04/05/2011

Death toll hits 11, hundreds flee Maguindanao clans’ clash

04/05/2011
Hundreds of residents fled a remote village in Mindanao after 11 men, including relatives of a powerful politician died in a clash with Muslim rebels, officials said Monday.

A 500-strong armored army unit deployed in the deserted village of Tenok on Monday, a day after the clash, to keep about 150 gun-wielding Esmael Mangudadatu clan members and 130 guerrillas said to be members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Group (MILF) apart, military spokesman Col. Prudencio Asto.

“They would not want to engage our people, who are fully equipped and can even call on air support if needed,” Asto said.

He said the Mangudadatu gunmen and the MILF rebels were however digging in and taking up defensive positions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110405hed6.html

Lacson may have entered RP using fake document — DFA By Michaela P. del Callar 04/05/2011

Lacson may have entered RP using fake document — DFA

By Michaela P. del Callar 04/05/2011

Former fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson may have entered the country using a fake travel document.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, its Property Division said that Lacson’s document bearing serial number 34258 ”ïs still with the department and has not yet been sent out to any particular post.’’

“The Philippine Consulates General in Hong Kong, Macau, Xiamen and Guangzhou have denied issuing a travel document to Senator Lacson,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said in a March 31 letter to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

“The said posts have also reported that Travel Document 34258 is not within the series of travel documents issued to them,” Seguis added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110405nat1.html

Lawmaker wants RP embassies converted to OFW defense centers 04/05/2011

Lawmaker wants RP embassies converted to OFW defense centers

04/05/2011
A member of the House of Representatives yesterday called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to consider “converting embassies and consulates worldwide as OFW defense centers first and foremost” in an environment of changing global landscapes and huge numbers of Filipinos seeking employment abroad.

According to Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, “diplomatic posts should now no longer just limit itself on diplomacy work or enhancing trade relations with nations but focus more on ensuring legal rights of all OFWs are respected and defended.”

“Are the legal rights of those waiting in death rows in various countries given appropriate legal defense or are they now in death row because their rights were not defended in a foreign country whose legal system may not be similar with the Philippines?” Enrile asked..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110405nat4.html

Solons using BoC as ‘milking cows’ By Charlie V. Manalo 04/05/2011

Solons using BoC as ‘milking cows’

By Charlie V. Manalo 04/05/2011

A lawmaker yesterday bared some of her colleagues in the House of Representatives have been demanding money from collectors of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in some major ports in the country.

Requesting anonymity, the solon, a member of one of the most powerful congressional committees which deals with everything about taxes, said that the small group of lawmakers is asking the collectors to give them P500 to P1,000 per container van.

“Despite P-Noy’s straight path campaign, this small group of lawmakers is trying to play around and creatively finding ways how to get around with the President’s tough order to push clean governance. They have thick face,” the source made the allegations in the midst of corruption charges in the military.

Asked how the operation is carried out, the solon said that since the members of the said committee hold oversight function, they conduct visitations of the major ports instead of monitoring collection of tariff dues from the imported goods, they impose on the Customs collector their share of the loot from their collections..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110405met4.html

‘No truth to reports groups kidnap toddlers to take out organs’ 04/05/2011

‘No truth to reports groups kidnap toddlers to take out organs’

04/05/2011
The Caloocan City government has pacified its constituents over bogus reports on smuggling of human organs or human trafficking as it ordered the local police to go after crooked individuals behind the spreading of the false story about missing children who were allegedly being abducted to get their internal organs.

The rumors, however, have caused panic among residents that compelled the local government to order city police chief Senior Supt. Jude Wilson Santos to conduct an exhaustive investigation to determine the brains behind the outrageous reports which are being disseminated through text messages.

As a result, Santos formed a special unit that will focus on the matter to the extent of uncovering the identity of those individuals or groups who have nothing to do but spread such malicious reports that admittedly terrify the residents especially the parents..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110405met5.html

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