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Subpar anti-graft post EDITORIAL 05/06/2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Subpar anti-graft post

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The Ombudsman for the past few years proved to be a critical and at the same time controversial post that has almost always been plagued by suspicions of political bias and for a reason, since the term of the top anti-graft executive of seven years as fixed by the Constitution is being exploited by administrations leaving a six-year term.

The intent of the guaranteed term of the Ombudsman was to free the post from political influence because of the longer tenure compared with the president.

The highly politicized nature of most administrations voted into power, however, sees the Ombudsman as a guarantee, particularly after the assumption of a rival political power..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110506com1.html

Noy allies worried FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/06/2011

Noy allies worried

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Malacañang tries to portray Noynoy as still popular; still enjoying popular support, despite his falling ratings. But his allies — especially those who have an eye on the presidency, as well as senatorial seats, both in elections of 2013 for senators, and 2016 for the presidency and the vice presidency, are clearly worried over the close to 20 point drop in Noynoy and his administration’s performance ratings.

Add to this the fact that international surveys, such as the 2010 Global Integrity Report, which showed that the Philippines, under the stewardship of Noynoy — and obviously, his Liberal Partymates and other allies — and obtained a “very weak” rating in terms of governance and corruption, have already been pointing out the weak leadership along with more corruption under the Aquino government.

These global surveys, showing that corruption under the Aquino government is worsening, along with very weak leadership, it should be stressed, can no longer be blamed on the previous administrations, as Noynoy has been in Malacañang for close to one year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110506com2.html

Native Americans offended by code name ‘Geronimo’ focus 05/06/2011

Native Americans offended by code name ‘Geronimo’


WASHINGTON — Native American leaders in the United States expressed outrage Wednesday that the name of legendary Apache warrior Geronimo was used as a military code name during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

“To associate a native warrior with Bin Laden is not an accurate reflection of history, and it undermines the military service of native people,” said a statement by Jefferson Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

Geronimo, an Apache chief who lived from 1829 to 1909, was a famed warrior who fought in what is now the US state of New Mexico, battling US and Mexican authorities as the American West was being settled.

Keel said using the name of Geronimo during the US special forces operation against bin Laden in Pakistan was an affront to Native Americans because it linked them to one of the most reviled enemies of the United States..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110506com3.html

The Obama dividend C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 05/06/2011

The Obama dividend

Jonathan De la Cruz
Talk is rife about a so-called Obama dividend just a day or two after the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Variously defined as a slowing down of high profile terrorist attacks, a redirection of intelligence gathering and funding as well as a redefinition of the engagement between so-called target states such as the United States and sponsor states such as Iran and Libya or a combination thereof, the Obama dividend is supposed to usher in a more peaceful and stable world. The “dividend” buzz is especially high pitched in the US and other countries under constant terrorist threat such as the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Spain and even Indonesia, Russia and a number of Middle East states which were attacked or targeted by al-Qaeda operatives and affiliates since the 9/11 attack which triggered the US-led “war on terror.” With Bin Laden’s death, the observation goes, the inspiration not to mention funding for high profile attacks will now slow down if not altogether disappear as the Bin Laden Inspired groups including their sponsors will now have to reassess their position. In addition, American policy makers on both sides of the aisle were also talking about a more thorough review of US engagement in Pakistan and Afghanistan which are considered the main battle grounds on the war on terror with a view toward reducing the presence of US combat troops and, of course, the multi-billion funding for their cooperative endeavors. Whether these expected dividends, as it were, will come to fore remains to be seen. Suffice it say that for now this so-called Obama dividend has definitely re-energized the American people if we go by the euphoric reception of President Obama’s announcement of Bin Laden’s death and the zest infused into the US economy as evidenced by the surge in US stocks and the US dollar.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110506com4.html

Top lawyer boosts Singapore opposition FEATURE 05/06/2011

Top lawyer boosts Singapore opposition


SINGAPORE — Supporters say he could have easily become a Cabinet minister, but Chen Shao Mao has caused a stir in Singapore by running against the government in Saturday’s general election.

In a political culture obsessed with academic credentials, the 50-year-old lawyer and economist with degrees from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford universities has boosted the profile of the tiny, fragmented opposition.

Chen advised the Agricultural Bank of China on its $22 billion initial public offering (IPO) last year — the world’s second biggest share launch — and counts the Chinese finance ministry and international firms as clients.

A partner with prominent US-based law firm Davis, Polk and Wardwell, Chen fits the profile of a top candidate running under the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), which recruits high-flyers from the public and private sector..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110506com6.html

Kadaffi’s son and granchildren DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/06/2011

Kadaffi’s son and granchildren

Herman Tiu Laurel
Barack Obama timed the Osama bin Laden action-drama, tagged by the Inquirer as an “Epic raid like spy thriller,” for several major dilemmas the US is facing today. First is the massive deleterious impact of the US-Nato bombing of a residential area that killed Moammar Kadaffi’s second youngest son Saif al-Arab and his three pre-teen grandsons.

Second is Obama’s dwindling poll numbers while entering an election year. Third is the Establishment’s worry that on the 10th year since 9/11 — after the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) Twin Towers, including Building 7, with close to 3,000 victims — up to 84 percent of Americans, based on a 2006 New York Times/CBS News poll, reject the official US government story while over 80 percent support actor Charlie Sheen’s view that 9/11 was an “inside job” by high government officials.

This Obama stunt is the latest in a long history of hoaxes in aid of warmongering, going back to the fake Sinking of the Maine to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, to Bush’s 9/11 as well as Saddam’s WMD.

One of Kadaffi’s sons, Saif al-Arab, was wounded together with younger brother Khamis, back in the 1986 bombings (ordered by Ronald Reagan) that killed their 15-month-old adopted sister, but was not so fortunate this time in this second act of US barbarism against the Kadadfis.

I know the massive emotional impact these murders of innocents must have had on the entire Arab world since I, not even an Arab, felt the great injustice like a sword through my own heart. If I were in Libya, I would take up arms against the invaders too. I can see how the incident will fire up all Arab peoples, even in the puppet Arab countries, as well as other nations against this blatant Western aggression. Hence, Obama staged this “epic raid like spy thriller” to divert attention from the mourning for Kadaffi’s kin and their burial on land (which Muslim tradition requires, as against a burial-at-sea which the cowardly lying Americans did for the alleged Osama corpse).

I empathize with Kadaffi, as a father and grandfather, for the sacrifices made for his children (who represent the hope of the nation) and, more importantly, for his continued struggle against the real tyrants of this world.

As a Filipino, I am ashamed at the way local mainstream media have groveled at the feet of US and Nato propaganda, re-issuing Western media lies for domestic Filipino consumption.

All told, they are merely part of the global warmongering and oppression, of the campaign of dehumanization against emerging nations such as Libya, the Philippines, and the rest of the Third World. Either that or they are just stupid — stupid to believe that the 9/11 WTC atrocities could have been planned and executed by pre-modern mujaheddins hiding in the most backward areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and stupid for refusing to read the genuine American conscience, such as the 700 scientists, architects, and engineers for “9/11 Truth,” who say the entire WTC collapse was a “controlled demolition.”

Fortunately for us all, Obama’s “epic spy thriller” script didn’t stay intact long enough to convince many. As soon as the tale hit the media, it began to unravel. Initially, the US said bin Laden fought back and used his wife as a human shield. That story quickly changed when other officials denied it. Then, as Bin Laden’s face, battered and smashed by bullets, appeared on the Internet, this was later proven by skeptics as a manipulation of two of his old photos.

Chinese media, which had reporters on the ground but were kept a distance away, initially reported that it was Pakistani troops that raided the alleged Bin Laden “mansion” but later retracted this. The “mansion” being reported by Western media turns out to be an ordinary three-story building typical of the community of many retired Pakistani military and civil service residents there. But the real fly in the ointment was the “burial-at-sea” which puts the Bin Laden body beyond verification.

The evidence of the lie is there for all to see. We culled the following from the best compilation of materials on the subject, prisonplanet.com: (a) photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the US assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons; (b) “Not a single bullet was fired from the compound at the US forces and their choppers. Their chopper developed some technical fault and crashed and the wreckage was left on the spot,” according to a Pakistani official; (c) a reference to the “rescue” of famed dramatic Marine Jessica Lynch which turned out to be a PR stunt (“Was Bin Laden assault a Jessica Lynch-Style Fable?”); and (d) the cover-up of the death of American football star turned Special Forces in Afghanistan Pat Tillman who was killed by fellow US soldiers after he questioned the war.

Finally, on the matter of 9/11 and who really did it, prisonplanet.com reports, “Top US Government Insider: Bin Laden Died in 2001, 9/11 a False Flag,” referring to Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, who worked at influential positions under three different presidents and still works with the Defense Department, going on Internet radio on The Alex Jones Show, stating that Osama bin Laden died in 2001 and that he would be ready anytime to testify to a grand jury how a top general told him directly that 9/11 was an inside job. That should uncover the whole truth. But surely, the US ruling class dreads the day when this shall come to pass.

(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, with this week’s topic, “Ten Years of PNAC: Project for a New American Century;” 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/20110506com5.html

Noynoy’s DoF, BoC chiefs face graft raps 05/06/2011


Noynoy’s DoF, BoC chiefs face graft raps

Three Cabinet officials of President Aquino were charged with corruption on April 19, 2011 at the Office of the Ombudsman, documents obtained by the Tribune showed.

Facing criminal and administrative charges for violating anti-graft laws are Cesar Purisima, secretary, Department of Finance (DoF); Guillermo Parayno Jr., undersecretary, DoF, and Angelito Alvarez, commissioner, Bureau of Customs (BoC).

Purisima, Parayno and Alvarez are appointees of Aquino and considered the first three Cabinet officials of his administration to be charged with graft amid Aquino’s claimed crusade of his administration and government walking the straight path to eliminate corruption in the bureaucracy and weed out public officials embroiled in anomalies.

Another Aquino ally, losing senatorial bet Neric Acosta, who has announced to the media that he is going to take over the helm of the Department of Environment and National Resources, has been charged with graft over the misuse of his pork barrel, which the charges said he had funneled to non-governmental organiztions that are, however, alleged to be managed and controlled by his relatives..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110506hed1.html

Dacer-Corbito slay suspect’s extradition ‘in a few weeks’—DoJ By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/06/2011

Dacer-Corbito slay suspect’s extradition ‘in a few weeks’—DoJ

By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/06/2011

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s close aide, Michael Ray Aquino, may be sent back to the country within a few weeks after the Department of Justice (DoJ) said it is now preparing for the extradition of the former police intelligence officer, a suspect in the murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

“The information given to us is that there are no more legal impediments for his extradition,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said, noting that Aquino had exhausted his appeals before the US courts.

“What we are awaiting from our US counterparts, the US-DoJ, is a formal written note informing us that the extradition process has been completed,” she said, adding the confirmation could happen “in a few weeks.”

“We’re just talking here about a few weeks’ confirmation,” De Lima said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110506hed4.html

IOM: 100 plus Pinoys stranded in Libya need urgent repatriation By Michaela P. del Callar 05/06/2011

IOM: 100 plus Pinoys stranded in Libya need urgent repatriation

By Michaela P. del Callar 05/06/2011

More than a hundred Filipinos currently stranded in Libya’s conflict-stricken city of Misrata need urgent repatriation, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said, adding that it has failed to establish contact with the group.

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario met last week with Libyan officials to ask protection for Filipinos living there.

During his meeting with Libyan Foreign Minister Adelati Obeidi, Del Rosario sought Libya’s assistance in reaching the Filipinos and bring out those who wish to leave.

Obeidi promised to enlist the help of personnel from the United Nations to get the Filipinos out of Misurata where fighting for control continues between government and opposition forces..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110506hed6.html

SC orders hard-sell firm to refund duped customers By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/06/2011

SC orders hard-sell firm to refund duped customers

By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/06/2011

A ruling by the Supreme Court (SC) has ordered a local electronics firm to refund consumers whom it duped in fake promotional sales.

In a decision penned by Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura, the SC also affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) and the ruling of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that imposed on Aowa Electronic a fine of P300,000 for violations of the Consumer Act of the Philippines under Republic Act 7394.

The firm was also ordered to refund 273 consumers, mostly in Metro Manila. The cancellation of its business permits and the withholding of its applications for permits were also affirmed by the SC.

Complainants said they were approached by Aowa representatives in malls to inform them that they had won a “gift.” When they expressed interest in the “gift,” Aowa representatives would inform them that they could get the “gift” only if they would purchase an additional product which was substantially priced..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110506nat2.html

China’s proposal on Spratlys not feasible — Miriam By Angie M. Rosales 05/06/2011

China’s proposal on Spratlys not feasible — Miriam

By Angie M. Rosales 05/06/2011

China’s proposal for a joint development of the disputed oil-rich Spratly’s island is not feasible, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said yesterday.

“That’s a hoary proposal. China has been making that proposal for over a decade. Basically, China is saying let us not quarrel over these maritime areas because each one can have a slice of the pie. We can just do it amicably among ourselves. The problem is that the actuations of China do not match its words. That is very easy to say but very difficult to do. You know, you’ll have to work out the mechanics and the devil is in the details,” she said.

The former chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee noted the move of the Chinese government which came after the lodged a complaint before the United Nations (UN) over recent incidents in the Philippine claimed territory off Palawan involving China..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110506nat3.html

QC gov’t orders families living along West Valley Fault Line to evacuate By Arlie O. Calalo 05/06/2011

QC gov’t orders families living along West Valley Fault Line to evacuate

By Arlie O. Calalo 05/06/2011

Anticipating real danger in case of an earthquake, the Quezon City government has ordered the immediate relocation of at least 42 families whose houses were built in an area transecting the West Valley Fault Line.

Interviewed by Tribune, Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista said he already directed the city’s disaster risk management council to start sending notices to the affected families, specifically those living on Gen. Del Pilar Street, Barangay Bagong Silangan.

He added the concerned families were immediately advised to voluntarily vacate the area which is more vulnerable to ground rupture and potential landslides during an earthquake generated by the fault system.
Aside from the notice, the city government will also prepare waivers for homeowners resisting the order..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110506met2.html

BoC files P5-billion suit vs Phoenix Petroleum By Danessa O. Rivera 05/06/2011

BoC files P5-billion suit vs Phoenix Petroleum

By Danessa O. Rivera 05/06/2011

The Bureau of Customs (BoC) yesterday filed a P5-billion smuggling case against Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., one of the leading independent oil industry players in the country which in 2009 was ranked 211th among the country’s top 10,000 corporations, for violations of the Tariff and Customs Code.

Among the violations cited were non-payment of excise and value-added taxes, non-submission of import documents such as invoices and bills of lading by Phoenix president and CEO Dennis Ang Uy.

Based on the company’s own press releases, Phoenix is perhaps the country’s fastest growing oil company considering that its first quarter revenue of P6.1 billion this year was 122 percent higher than the P2.75 billion it made during the same period last year. The company also reported a 97 percent increase in volume year-on-year.

Also included in the charge sheet were Jorlan Capin Cabanes, a Davao-based Customs broker, and several John Doe/s and Jane Doe/s, among them Customs employees who conspired or colluded with other parties to defraud the government of much-needed revenues..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110506met1.html

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