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Too much noise, no results EDITORIAL 05/02/2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

Too much noise, no results

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Noynoy’s Liberal Party (LP) should start identifying who it labeled as guilty personalities presumably in the past administration that it said resigned Ombudsman Merceditas “Merci” Gutierrez should “reflect and see that she can still take a role” in bringing to judgment.

The LP said that through such an act Merci can still redeem herself.

The other question that the LP needs to answer is from what Merci should redeem herself.

She was impeached by the House allies of Noynoy but the allegations made against her in the articles of impeachment never saw the light of day after she resigned and in effect prevented the convening of the Senate court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110502com1.html

Indecisive presidency FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/02/2011

Indecisive presidency

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
What? Noynoy still doesn’t have an Ombudsman-candidate in mind, and he also still does not know whether a new Ombudsman would be given an appointment by him up till 2012, or the full seven years?

Heck, he does not even know how long it will be before he can appoint a new Ombudsman, because he says everything now depends on the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), whom Noynoy has called on to speed up the search for candidates for Ombudsman.

As one of his many mouthpieces, Abigail Valte, said: “How fast the replacement would take depends on the JBC’s submission of the list of people the body recommends. From what I read in the papers, the council is also looking for a replacement for resigned Deputy Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni. Usually the body will allot time to receive and screen applications, then transmit its recommendations to the Palace.”

But who recommends, and who applies? Without such papers, how can the JBC start the search?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110502com2.html

Libya rebels in squeeze to manage ‘crisis economy’ FEATURE 05/02/2011

Libya rebels in squeeze to manage ‘crisis economy’


BENGHAZI — The Libyan opposition is courting loans secured against oil revenues and the frozen funds of Moamer Kadhafi’s regime to manage a “crisis economy” in territories under its control.

“We are managing an economy that is in crisis in Libya’s liberated areas,” Ahmed al-Abbar, who manages the economic portfolio for the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council, told AFP in an interview.

He said the TNC’s top priority was to secure access to regime funds frozen abroad but, should this fail or fall short of needs, the focus would shift to opening credit lines with governments or financial institutions.

“If we are unsuccessful... then we will request loans secured against the frozen assets and oil. We all know that loans to Libya are guaranteed by the fact of its wealth.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110502com3.html

P-Noy’s chance C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 05/02/2011

P-Noy’s chance

Jonathan De la Cruz
With the resignation (some, like law professor Alan Paguia, say for good reason it should be called stepping down) of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez effective Friday, May 6, P-Noy will now have the chance to finally set in motion what has always been considered the principal basis for his election — lead the nation through the “straight and narrow path” of transparent, effective and, yes, accountable governance. After waging an “all-out war” against Gutierrez for months on end culminating in her stepping down from office just three days before the start of her impeachment trial at the Senate, the Chief Executive will now have to show that indeed his seemingly inexplicable hounding of Gutierrez is for real. But first P-Noy must review the current status of the Ombudsman as the constitutionally established “tribune of the people” and ensure that it is returned to its constitutional roots. As Paguia noted during our regular Saturday Forum at the Annabel’s Restaurant in Quezon City over the weekend, P-Noy must perforce perform his constitutional duty by appointing an Ombdusman in accordance with the strict dictate of the 1987 Constitution. Meaning, the replacement will serve a term up to 2016 not November 2012 as claimed by Gutierrez and her lawyers. He posits that only by returning the office to such a constitutional order, no matter what the complications and consequences may be, can P-Noy proceed with all deliberate speed to press on with his avowed “rule of law” and daang matuwid anti-corruption campaign to end poverty and injustice in the land. Although this assertion can lead to a messy legal situation, there is merit to it. And, if P-Noy and his advocates are really serious in making a difference in the way we do things, there is every reason for them to embrace this line..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110502com4.html

Of kings and serfs HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 05/02/2011

Of kings and serfs

Aldrin Cardon
The lady food server in a joint fronting the Kalibo airport in Aklan insisted she could not serve me a burger. A burger is not on their menu.

But she offered me an alternative: A cheese burger, which I was sure was just another burger, only that it comes with a tiny slice of cheese.

I did not dare argue as she was coming off a petty fight with a co-worker, who I supposed is their technical/all-around boy ready to take his mid-noon siesta. He switched the television channel to Max — which was then showing a war movie, interrupting lady server’s momentary dream of princes and princesses while insisting they don’t serve burgers!

She was surfing channels before she was rudely interrupted by a burger-searching customer. She was checking on updates on William and Kate’s so-called wedding of the century..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110502com6.html

Wages, workers and weariness SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 05/02/2011

Wages, workers and weariness

Dinah S. Ventura
On the afternoon of the much-awaited, highly anticipated British Royal Wedding last Friday, one Merceditas Gutierrez called a press conference to announce her resignation as Ombudsman. Once again, her timing was off.

And maybe it made us wonder if the Ombudsman’s lack of speed in dealing with corruption cases that landed in her office really has nothing to do with any sort of manipulative or underhanded tendencies, but simply reflected the normal rate in which she does everything.

How sad... and unbelievable.

We think she has finally realized there is no slipping out of the dragnet, just as so many suspects of villainy in our beleaguered nation have been able to do, no doubt with a little help from the slowness of such bodies as the Office of the Ombudsman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110502com7.html

Facelifting ‘royalties’ DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/02/2011

Facelifting ‘royalties’

Herman Tiu Laurel
Today there are two royalties in desperate straits because of declining popularity and credibility, with each undergoing one monumental facelift after another.

One royalty touting itself as heavenly and the other as an earthly power have both seen their material and political fortunes decline over the last generation. After being rocked by family and/or sexual scandals, each one has now had to resort to—as they’ve previously done for their survival—the technique originated by Edward Bernays (pioneer of modern public relations and nephew of Sigmund Freud) of using great galas with pomp and pageantry, mixing royalty with celebrity — like “Bread and Circus” but in a much grander scale — to mesmerize the throng into accepting their “superiority” and their “right” to demand absolute loyalty from their subjects.

The Vatican has seen its global flock decline rapidly over the last decade while the House of Windsor is still in shock over the attack on Prince Charles’ limo by London’s tuition fee protesters.

The failing faith of Catholics is reflected in the Roman Catholic Church’s dire situation in Latin America, once considered the “continent of faith,” now the “continent of concern” for the Vatican.

In Brazil, where there are more Catholics than in any other country in the world, up to half a million followers are leaving the Church every year. Mexico, with the second largest number of Catholics, has seen a decline of almost 10 percent from the last century. In Colombia, only two out of every three are now Catholic when almost the entire population was such in the 1950s. In Guatemala, one third of the country’s 12 million inhabitants have left the Catholic Church this decade, mostly converting to evangelical Protestantism.

A poll carried out by Unimer Research International revealed that 52 percent of Costa Ricans “no longer believe” in the Catholic Church. We know, of course, that this is happening in the Philippines , too, especially in light of the Church’s unpopular opposition to the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, among other things.

Thus, the Vatican’s fast-track beatification of the late Pope John Paul II (PJPII), which opens the door to his early sainthood, is obviously in response to the crisis of popularity and credibility of the Catholic empire. The belief in the righteousness of this effort, however, even among Catholic luminaries, is by no means universal.

The current pope, Benedict XVI, waived the five-year waiting period for PJPII’s canonization allegedly for “responding to the will of the people.” But it was also most likely to preempt disturbing questions, such as that of Fr. Richard Vega, president of the US National Federation of Priests’ councils, who said that “…the normal five-year wait would have allowed more time to examine John Paul’s relationship with Maciel” (Mexican-born Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, disgraced founder of the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi movement, found guilty of raping underaged males and also fathering at least one child). Others are even more pointed.

Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister criticized PJPII’s “attitude toward clerical sex abuse of children,” saying it “embodied the worst kind of clericalism,” adding that, “The least the church could do in respect for those who have already suffered insult at the hands of the church is to let the perspective of time decide whether or not canonization is in order.”

Mercy Sr. Theresa Kane said other causes for canonization should have had more priority — particularly assassinated Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero’s, calling yesterday’s beatification of the late pontiff “somewhat premature.”

Outside Catholicism, Rev. Charles Curran, professor of theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas , who claims not to have any objection to PJPII’s beatification, said the church “would be a lot better off if we stopped canonizing popes, bishops, clergy and religious.”

I obtained these from an article by Joshua McElwee in the National Catholic Reporter, where there are more criticisms of the rushed beatification.

On the much darker side of PJPII are the published stories, not incontrovertible but certainly with much basis to consider, of suppression of dissent within the Catholic Church especially in regard to liberation theology and its socialist underpinnings — arguments that some see as justification for the rightwing pogroms in Latin America against progressive priests and activists.

There is the established fact that PJPII operated with the CIA in mobilizing the Polish Solidarity movement, triggering insurrection and establishing the pattern for failed “revolutions” in East Europe. As a 2009 survey of Polish sentiment after two decades of the Solidarity government reported, “…when asked what in the country has changed for the worse in comparison with the communist era, Poles most often mention high unemployment, poor health care, the higher cost of living, low wages, widespread poverty, corruption, and social and economic inequality.” It is the same pattern in almost all of former Soviet Eastern Europe.

A new book, co-authored by Marco Ansaldo, a journalist with the Italian paper La Repubblica, and Turkish journalist Yasemin Taskin, raises evidence that this was US State Secretary Gen. Alexander Haig’s order to blame communists for what was actually an independent act of an outlawed ultra-nationalist, neo-fascist Islamic group (“Grey Wolves”) that papal assassin Mehmet Agca was part of. Agca was later forced by Italian secret service and the CIA to implicate Bulgaria.

Over and above all these, however, is the question of PJPII’s financial dealings. It must be remembered that he took over from the “Smiling Pope” John Paul I, Albino Luciani, who served only 33 days and was poisoned (as documented in “In God’s Name” by David Yallop) because of the reforms he initiated, especially financial reforms.

When PJPII took over, none of these reforms were pursued. Instead, he set a record of profligacy in his travels that he appointed Jaime Cardinal Sin to the Special Commission on Finance to raise funds — even from the Philippines. The worst, however, is still his whitewash of John Paul I’s murder.

As for British Royalty’s crooked-teethed lords and knock-kneed ladies, we’ll wait for the next royal’s murder to say more.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m.; TNT with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “Edsa Tres Revisited” with Ronald Lumbao and Linggoy Alcuaz; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus select radio and GNN shows)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110502com5.html

Gutierrez’s resignation ‘void ab initio’ — Paguia By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/02/2011

Gutierrez’s resignation ‘void ab initio’ — Paguia

By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/02/2011

Outspoken justice system critic Alan Paguia claimed former Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas Gutierrez’s recent resignation was “void ab initio.”

In an e-mailed statement, Paguia, a defense lawyer for President Joseph Estrada before being suspended by the high court for harsh words against the tribunal, said “She (Gutierrez) cannot relinquish an officae she no longer holds,”

“Her term had expired in 2009,” Paguia said, adding Gutierrez had been appointed in 2004 after her predecessor Simeon Marcelo stepped down citing health reasons before completing the law’s seven-year term for the position.

As a consequence, Paguia believes Gutierrez’s term should be only up to the remainder of what would have been Marcelo’s term, or up to 2009 only..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110502hed2.html

Kadhafi survives Nato air strike; son killed 05/02/2011

Kadhafi survives Nato air strike; son killed

TRIPOLI — A Nato raid killed Moammar Kadhafi’s youngest son and three grandchildren but the Libyan strongman escaped unhurt in what a regime spokesman yesterday said was a deliberate attempt to assassinate him.

The house of Seif al-Arab Kadhafi, 29, “was attacked tonight with full power,” government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told reporters, announcing the deaths from the raid.

Nato said it had targeted a command and control center.

The Libyan leader and his wife were in the building but were not harmed, Ibrahim said, calling the strike “a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110502hed3.html

Labor warns protests may lead to calls for Noy ouster 05/02/2011

Labor warns protests may lead to calls for Noy ouster

Thousands of workers and activists took to the streets yesterday to protest the government’s labor export policy and to demand higher wages amid rising prices of basic commodities as a major labor group said the series of protests may lead to the possibility of targeting the ouster of President Aquino.

The Aquino regime should heed Labor Day’s warning signal. If it fails to act now to uphold the interests of the Filipino workers and people, it will face ever-growing protests and the possibility of being the target of an ouster movement, according to the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1 movement).

Carrying slogans and banners criticizing the government, the marchers accused President Aquino of reneging on his campaign promise last year to raise the living standards of the country’s workforce.

They also demanded an end to the government’s policy of sending workers overseas. An estimated nine million Filipinos work abroad and their millions in dollar remittances have traditionally buoyed up the economy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110502hed5.html

Del Rosario orders voluntary repatriation of Pinoy workers in Syria By Michaela P. del Callar 05/02/2011

Del Rosario orders voluntary repatriation of Pinoy workers in Syria

By Michaela P. del Callar 05/02/2011

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario has ordered voluntary repatriation for 4,110 Filipinos living in three areas in Syria where violent demonstrations are taking place.

Del Rosario, who visited Damascus over the weekend to meet with Syrian officials and personally check on the condition of Filipinos in the strife-torn country, instructed the embassy to ask 110 Filipinos in Daraa, 2,400 in Latakia, and 1,600 in Homs if they wish to be evacuated.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) last week raised the crisis alert level in Syria to number 2, which entails restriction of movements around said country, avoiding large crowds and areas of protest.

Non-essential and non-urgent travel is discouraged, including travel for tourism purposes, and only returning workers are allowed to go back.

There are around 17,000 Filipinos in Syria..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110502nat1.html

Catholics in RP venerate John Paul II 05/02/2011

Catholics in RP venerate John Paul II

Millions across the largely Catholic Philippines remembered Pope John Paul II yesterday as the Vatican prepared for a ceremony to honor him with near-sainthood status.

In the province of Bataan, north of the capital Manila, dozens joined an early morning walk to raise funds for a papal shrine featuring a life-size statue of the much-beloved pontiff.

The shrine was built at a park which used to house the United Nation’s refugee processing center. The late pope said mass for thousands of Vietnam war refugees there during his first visit to the Philippines in 1981..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110502nat4.html

Maguindanao massacre suspect loses habeas case before appellate court By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/02/2011

Maguindanao massacre suspect loses habeas case before appellate court

By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/02/2011
The Court of Appeals (CA) has stopped a Pasig City court from allowing the release from jail of one of the accused in the Maguindanao massacre case.

In an 18-page decision by Associate Justice Ramon Garcia, the CA’s Ninth Division reversed the order issued by the Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 153 on Oct. 29, 2010 and instead dismissed the petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by Datukan Malang Salibo.

The appellate court pointed out that under court rules the release of any person through the privilege of a writ of habeas corpus is not allowed if he has been charged before a court.

Salibo was arrested in August 2010 and was subsequently detained by virtue of an arrest warrant for one Butukan S. Malang and a commitment order for Butukan S. Malang, alias Datukan Malang Salibo, both issued by Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City in relation to the Maguindanao massacre case..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110502met2.html

Solons air different views on gov’t subsidy for MRT By Gerry Baldo 05/02/2011

Solons air different views on gov’t subsidy for MRT

By Gerry Baldo 05/02/2011

Two lawmakers from Mindanao yesterday said the government subsidy for the Metro Rail Transit system should be scrapped because it is unduly benefiting residents of Metro Manila.

They added the funds that are being used to subsidize the MRT riders should instead be used to fund pro-poor programs for their constituents.

The proposal, however, does not sit well with other lawmakers.

Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay and Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said the subsidy should not be stopped because Filipinos are still reeling from the effects of high prices of petroleum products and they need all the support they can get from the government, including the MRT subsidy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110502met1.html

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