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What subsidy? Public utility drivers still demand for an oil price rollback

Sunday, May 8, 2011

There are 214,596 registered public utility jeepneys in the country, but when the Aquino Government’s Pantawid Pasada program was finally begun first week of May, only 3,000 fuel cards loaded with P1,050 ($34.95) each had been prepared for distribution by the government.
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

MANILA –Do the math. There are 214,596 registered public utility jeepneys in the country, but when the Aquino Government’s Pantawid Pasada program was finally begun first week of May, only 3,000 fuel cards loaded with P1,050 ($34.95) each had been prepared for distribution by the government, and it has also prepared only one distribution center which is at Camp Crame in Quezon City. How could the rest of the country’s jeepney drivers be able to avail of that so-called Pantawid Pasada? asked George San Mateo, secretary-general of Pinag-isang Samahan ng mga Drivers at Operators Nationwide (PISTON).

San Mateo also pointed out as “highly irregular” the government’s decision to directly involve in the distribution of said fuel cards some transport organizations and federations. The distribution of the so-called subsidy should have been a straightforward transaction between individual franchise holders and the government, San Mateo explained. But the Department of Energy (DoE) decided in a meeting that the list of franchisees availing of the subsidy would have to be brought to the distribution centers by its associations.


(Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
Other drivers’ associations have reportedly complied with the DOE stipulations, but Piston did not. Aside from seeing the process as “highly irregular,” Piston still has not yet forgotten the government’s oft-repeated threats against the franchise of its allies and members every time they would conduct a transport protest action. Why is the DOE requiring that, asked Piston, when the Land Transportations Franchising and Regulatory Board already has a master list of the jeepney franchise holders?

Pantawid Pasada as “trickery”

Last month Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Teddy Casiño had described Pantawid Pasada as “nothing but a drop in the fuel tanks of our country’s public transport drivers,” because the amount cannot even buy a full tank of diesel. He added that the initial P450 million ( $10.48 million) allotted for the fuel subsidy program that “will last for two months will not make a dent in the incomes of our jeepney and tricycle drivers and operators since the 11 oil price hikes so far this year have negated whatever subsidizing effect government purports this program will have.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/06/what-subsidy-public-utility-drivers-still-demand-for-an-oil-price-rollback/

Seeking justice for Jonas Burgos

Seeking justice for Jonas Burgos

Published on May 6, 2011
Mrs. Burgos told Bulatlat.com that for three consecutive nights, a van with tinted windows parked in front of their house in Quezon City for 15 minutes.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Despite the risks involved, Mrs. Edita Burgos, mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos, is determined to sue all those involved in the abduction of her son.

In an interview with Bulatlat.com, Mrs. Burgos said, surveillance on her intensified again after the release of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) report implicating the military in the enforced disappearance of her son.

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 elements of the Philippine Army.

Mrs. Burgos told Bulatlat.com that for three consecutive nights, a van with tinted windows parked in front of their house in Quezon City for 15 minutes. In all three occasions, no one boarded or stepped out of the van. Mrs. Burgos said she also noticed motorcycle-riding men tailing her several times. .... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/06/seeking-justice-for-jonas-burgos/

The people of Lacub’s continuing struggle for land

The people of Lacub’s continuing struggle for land

 
Their history of resistance against the plunder of their resources is as rich as their mountains.
Sidebar: Cordillera elders form pact against mining, militarization
By JOAN GARCIA
Bulatlat.com

VIGAN CITY – “We have nowhere to go, there is no other place for us but here”, Ferdinand Magalis, Chair of Timpuyog dagiti Umili iti Lacub, Bantayan Ekolohiya ken Kinabaknang or TULBEK (Lacub People’s Federation for Ecological and Resource Protection) said regarding the entry of mining giant Philex Mining Corporation and its partner Golden Lake Minerals Inc. in their ancestral land.

In June 2010, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) approved the exploration permit for gold of Golden Lake in Lacub, Abra. Since then, the people of Lacub headed by TULBEK, together with the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) have been opposing the mining exploration.

According to Magalis, despite the difficulties, they decided to host the Cordillera Day 2011 in their community because it can help in informing other people, especially their fellow indigenous peoples in the Cordillera, international delegates and the media regarding their resistance to the proposed large-scale mining in their area.


(Photo by Jeffrey Ocampo / bulatlat.com)
Since the preparations for the Cordillera Day started, TULBEK has sought dialogue with the municipal government for assistance in the hosting and to seek support for their opposition to the entry of the mining companies in the municipality but they were met with hostility and even threats.

In the April 15 meeting of TULBEK with Mayor Estelita Bersamina and Vice Mayor Leo Barona, they received death threats and the local government even accused the CPA and the KASTAN of brainwashing the people of Lacub.


Bersamina and Barona are actively pushing for the mining in Lacub as they claim that it will help their municipality to develop.

Aside from the local government’s pro-mining stand, the military’s sudden presence in the municipality is a cause of concern for the people of Lacub.

Last April 17, the military began to station in the barangays of Buneg, Pacoc, Guinguinabang, Lan-ag and Bacag- 5 out of the 6 barangays in Lacub..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/06/the-people-of-lacub%E2%80%99s-continuing-struggle-for-land/

Mothers of missing UP students file charges against notorious Army general

Mothers of missing UP students file charges against notorious Army general

Published on May 5, 2011

"We will not stop seeking for justice. We will not stop until the perpetrators are punished. I cannot settle with the fact that I can only embrace my daughter in my dreams," Erlinda Cadapan, mother of Sherlyn, said.

By SHARMAINE ANNE B. VILLANUEVA and RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA-In their continuing search for their missing daughters, the mothers of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan have been going to different places. Barely five years since the two University of the Philippines students were abducted, their search led them to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

On May 4, Erlinda Cadapan, mother of Sherlyn, and Concepcion Empeño, mother of Karen, filed before the DOJ a string of criminal charges against Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., former commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army; his commanding officers Lt. Col. Rogelio Boac of the 56th Infantry Battalion and Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado of the 24th Infantry Battalion, M/Sgt. Donald Caigas and M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario and several "John Does."

Karen and Sherlyn were abducted on June 26, 2006 in San Miguel village, Hagonoy, Bulacan by armed men wearing ski masks. Farmer Manuel Merino who came out to help the two was also taken. They remain missing to this day.

The charges include rape, serious physical injuries, arbitrary detention, maltreatment of prisoners, grave threats, grave coercion, violations of Republic Act 7438 or An Act Defining Certain Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial Investigation as well as the Duties of the Arresting, Detaining and Investigating Officers, and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof. (Below: press conference held after the filing.) .... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/05/mothers-of-missing-up-students-file-charges-against-notorious-army-general/

Senate to still table Merci charge sheet By Angie M. Rosales 05/08/2011

IMPEACH CASE LIKELY HEADED FOR ARCHIVES

Senate to still table Merci charge sheet

By Angie M. Rosales 05/08/2011

While it’s been deemed moot and academic, the Senate will still tackle the so-called charge sheet against resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez in the aborted impeachment proceedings by a court to be consituted by the chamber when Congress reconvenes tomorrow.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III yesterday said they still have to dispose of the articles of impeachment against Gutierrez transmitted by the House of Representatives prior to her resignation.

“The agenda on Monday, based on the pending or standing motion when we went on recess a month ago, was resolution No. 15 which is the disposition of the articles of impeachment,” the senator said.

The rules of the proceedings call for the matter to be disposed of following the turn of events while Congress was in recess, Sotto explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110508hed1.html

AFP orders probe of soldiers ‘playing ball’ with Ampatuans 05/08/2011

AFP orders probe of soldiers ‘playing ball’ with Ampatuans

05/08/2011
Soldiers were accused yesterday of playing basketball with suspects in the country’s worst political massacre, causing acute embarrassment to the military.

An inquiry is under way into allegations made by a relative of one of the 57 people murdered in the November 2009 attack, military spokesman Commodore Miguel Rodriguez said.

“The instructions are, if these people are indeed suspects, we should arrest them, not play ball with them,” Rodriguez said.

“The chief of staff (Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Oban), was livid and ordered an investigation,” Rodriguez added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110508hed4.html

‘Bebeng’ halts Bicol ferries, flights 05/08/2011

‘Bebeng’ halts Bicol ferries, flights

05/08/2011
More than 1,000 passengers were stranded in the Bicol region yesterday as ferries stayed at port and some domestic flights were cancelled ahead of an approaching storm, the emergency services said.

The state weather bureau said tropical storm “Bebeng,” the first major weather disturbance of the year, was expected to hit Catanduanes, an island of about 250,000, on Sunday morning.

The storm is packing winds of up to 65 kilometers an hour near the center and was churning slowly westward toward the northern Luzon from the Pacific Ocean, it added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110508hed6.html

Philippine Navy to hold maritime exercises in La Union By Mario J. Mallari 05/08/2011

Philippine Navy to hold maritime exercises in La Union

By Mario J. Mallari 05/08/2011
To enhance the interoperability of its active and reserve forces particularly on humanitarian operations like disaster response, the Navy will hold maritime exercises starting tomorrow in La Union province.

Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama cited the importance of Exercise “Pagsasama” 2011 in enhancing the interoperability of Navy forces, both active and reserve, various facets of maritime service.

“This exercise is of utmost importance to the Navy and maritime stakeholder interests as it reinforces the bond between the active and reservist Navy personnel, as well as other stakeholders toward a
stable and progressive maritime environment,” Pama said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110508nat5.html

Probe urged on 2 OFWs killed in Syria crossfire 05/08/2011

Probe urged on 2 OFWs killed in Syria crossfire

05/08/2011
A Filipino migrants’ rights group in the Middle East today urges the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and its Philippine post in Damascus, Syria to investigate the reports about the death of the two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Syria.

John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, said OFW Baynida Saylila, who works as a household service worker for a Syrian family in Damascus, during a phone conversation yesterday informed him of what she had seen involving two fellow OFWs who were caught in a firefight between Syrian military forces and anti-government protesters.

“My fellow OFWs were asked by their employer to buy something at a store located at the ground floor of the building where I am staying. At this juncture, they were hit by stray bullets,” Saylila said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110508nat3.html

Group urges Congress to pass law on outdoor media industry 05/08/2011

Group urges Congress to pass law on outdoor media industry

05/08/2011
An advocacy group composed of out-of-home (OOH) outdoor media industry operators, suppliers and allied service providers is urging Congress to pass a law that will guide its industry.

The Outdoor Media Advocacy Group (OMAG) particularly supports pending measures in the House of Representatives introduced by Reps. Leopoldo Bataoil (HB 3159) and Angelo Palmones (HB 3539), saying “they are comprehensive in scope and reasonable in character.”
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110508met3.html

Customs loses P15-M case vs importer of lotto paper By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/08/2011

Customs loses P15-M case vs importer of lotto paper

By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/08/2011
The Supreme Court’s Third Division has turned down a petition filed by lawyers of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) questioning the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) to drop the criminal charges for violation of the Customs Code they filed against officials of a company which allegedly failed to pay the correct duties on more than a million dollars’ worth of thermal paper the firm imported for use by the government’s lottery operations.

In its decision, the high tribunal through Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales upheld the dismissal of the case filed by the BoC against officials of Mark Sensing Philippines Inc. (MSPI).

“In fine, petitioner’s (BoC’s) motion for reconsideration of the challenged CTA Resolution did not bear the imprimatur of the public prosecutor to which the control of the prosecution of the case belongs, the present petition fails,” the SC said as it noted that the BoC was likewise “not represented by the Office of the Solicitor General in instituting the present petition which contravenes established doctrine that the OSG shall represent the Government of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110508met1.html

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