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Now it’s a P23-B CCT project EDITORIAL 05/20/2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Now it’s a P23-B CCT project

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
05/20/2011
Noy’s favorite Cabinet secretary, Dinky Soliman, since she seems to have cornered the juiciest part of this year’s budget appeared to have gained more favors as the budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program was quietly jacked up by P2 billion.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt, nevertheless, Dinky’s P2-billion extra fund went to the program grant presumably to boost the cash being distributed to the poor.

The problem seems to be in the fact that the beneficiaries remained at 2.3 million families that presupposes the program lacked the groundwork to really determine the amount that each of the poor families would get.

Also, her report to the House should have included the progress of the CCT program, particularly the percentage of the targeted families who were already reached since it would appear that most of the cash in the program had already been transferred, the reason for the extra budget and it is not even the middle of the year yet..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110520com1.html

System going to the dogs FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/20/2011

System going to the dogs

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
05/20/2011
What is the system coming to, under the presidency of Noynoy Aquino?

The House of Representatives, which is dominated and even controlled by Noynoy and his allies, are not satisfied at all with having impeached the Ombudsman — who, however, denied the congressmen-prosecutors, their chance to grandstand through a Senate trial by resigning a few days before the trial was scheduled to start — are back into the impeachment mode, this time targeting a Supreme Court associate justice, Mariano del Castillo, on grounds that he had committed plagiarism as ponente in an SC ruling.

The House justice committee, by a vote of 10-11, found the complaint “sufficient in form.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110520com2.html

Mass graves spread fear through Mexican city focus 05/20/2011

Mass graves spread fear through Mexican city

focus

05/20/2011
DURANGO — The stench of death fills the air of Mexico’s northern city of Durango, where 218 bodies have been unearthed from six hidden graves in the past month.

Most of the bodies were dug out from under houses in a middle class neighborhood as residents watched in horror — and silence.

Known as the land of revolutionary hero Pancho Villa and as a backdrop for Western movies, Durango state, with its eponymous capital, has in recent years emerged as another landmark in Mexico’s brutal drug wars.

Authorities blamed some 900 deaths in the state in 2010 on rising drug violence, out of some 15,000 across the country, the latest in a tide of killings that has unfolded alongside a military crackdown on organized crime..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110520com3.html

In China, some new cities are ghost towns FEATURE 05/20/2011

In China, some new cities are ghost towns

FEATURE

05/20/2011
KANGBASHI — In China’s Inner Mongolia, Kangbashi district offers residents “new modern” living, with tree-lined streets, shiny apartment buildings, vast parklands, restaurants and even a motor racing track.

But seven years after construction workers broke ground on the arid plateau, most of the apartments appear empty and the wide streets are almost deserted — earning Kangbashi the tag of “ghost city.”

The new section of Ordos city on the edge of the Gobi desert was designed to accommodate about 300,000 people but residents say fewer than one-tenth of that number live in Kangbashi. Estate agents insist the number is much higher.

New districts like Kangbashi are springing up across China as the world’s second-largest economy undergoes an unprecedented urbanization process with hundreds of millions of people heading to fast-growing metropolitan areas.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110520com6.html

Asia’s ambitions for IMF top job remain elusive ANALYSIS 05/20/2011

Asia’s ambitions for IMF top job remain elusive

ANALYSIS

05/20/2011
SINGAPORE — When the topic of International Monetary Fund (IMF) succession was floated at an Asian financial summit in Hanoi earlier this month, the most popular name mentioned was not from the region at all.

With Asia’s emerging economies, particularly China and India, now the main driver of global growth, calls have been building for a review of the post-World War II consensus that sees an American head the World Bank and a European the IMF.

But in Vietnam, it was French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, attending an Asian Development Bank (ADB) meeting, who was being tipped to succeed her compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn, participants said.

Events have taken a dramatic turn with the stunning arrest in New York of Strauss-Kahn, who had been expected to give up his post as IMF managing director to make a run for the French presidency next year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110520com7.html

A coup in the IMF? DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/20/2011

A coup in the IMF?

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
05/20/2011
Then the international cable channels first reported breaking news of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest for alleged sexual assault, my reaction must have been typical of most: Another powerful man caught in a scandalous bind; serves him right. The assumption of guilt was too easy, especially since the IMF and its bureaucrats have the image of being instrumentalities of financial and economic tyranny all over the world.
Then, I had a quick rethink and pulled the reins in, especially when Strauss-Kahn was denied bail and later placed in solitary confinement — virtually incommunicado.

This can look very much like the Monica Lewinsky affair, which prompted Bill Clinton’s bombing of Yugoslavia to divert attention, as well as Eliot Spitzer’s “soft assassination” to stop the then New York governor from completing investigations into finance executives’ and investment bankers’ shenanigans in the run-up to the 2008 Wall Street crash.

I may not have given the news of Strauss-Kahn’s arrest a second thought had it not been for a deeper suspicion that something was fishy. Many of those in the highest echelons of power have proclivities they help each other hide. The shit only hits the fan when something disrupts the harmony.

Strauss-Kahn, like Spitzer, is tackling issues involving the global financial mafia in the European financial crisis. A scandal like this could actually be symbolic of a significant policy rupture within the global power elite. I researched the matter and found two significant articles — the first by Mike Whitney entitled “IMF chief Strauss-Kahn caught in ‘honey trap’” and the second by Michael Bucci, “‘Soft assassinations’: Strauss-Kahn and Eliot Spitzer.”

Strauss-Kahn does have enemies in high places: He is the presumptive front-running candidate of the French Socialist Party, seen to have an edge over the rapidly sinking and unpopular French President Nicolas Sarkozy, caught in his stalemated Libya attack amid worsening domestic economic conditions and workers’ protests.

Sarkozy, known as the candidate of the global oligarchy, is very cozy with the US neo-conservatives who have been pushing the hawkish war agenda on the global stage. Under his watch, they have taken France into two African imbroglios (Libya and Côte d’Ivoire), all for their interlocking defense and oil industries.

At the same time, the Euro currency bloc is in the midst of massive financial and economic readjustments that have instituted traditional monetarist financial and economic measures painful to the working class but extremely beneficial to the banking cartel through multibillion bailouts.

Whitney sees Strauss-Kahn as beginning to redirect the IMF away from this traditional monetarist IMF policy, saying, “…if Strauss-Kahn was set up, then it was probably by members of the western bank(ing) coalition, that shadowy group of self-serving swine whose policies have kept the greater body of humanity in varying state(s) of poverty and desperation for the last two centuries. Strauss-Kahn had recently broke(n)-free from the ‘party line’ and was changing the direction of the IMF. His road to Damascus conversion was championed by progressive economist Joseph Stiglitz in a recent article titled ‘The IMF’s Switch in Time’… (that says) ‘The annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund was notable in marking the Fund’s effort to distance itself from its own long-standing tenets on capital controls and labor-market flexibility. It appears that a new IMF has gradually, and cautiously, emerged under the leadership of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.’”

Whitney sums up “Strauss-Kahn (as) trying to move the bank in a more positive direction, a direction that didn’t require that countries leave their economies open to the ravages of foreign capital that moves in swiftly — pushing up prices and creating bubbles — and departs just as fast, leaving behind the scourge of high unemployment, plunging demand, hobbled industries and deep recession. Strauss-Kahn had set out on a ‘kinder and gentler’ path, one that would not force foreign leaders to privatize their state-owned industries or crush their labor unions. Naturally, his actions were not warmly received by the bankers and corporatists who look to the IMF to provide legitimacy to their ongoing plunder of the rest of the world. These are the people who think that the current policies are ‘just fine’ because they produce the results they’re looking for, which is bigger profits for themselves and deeper poverty for everyone else.”

To conclude, Michael Bucci quotes French economist and socialist Jacques Attali: “The most likely outcome is that this case will stick… Even if he pleads not guilty, which he may be, he won’t be able to be (a) candidate for the Socialist primary for the presidency and he won’t be able to stay at the IMF.” Bucci then continues, “But farther behind the curtain might be found investment bankers and international financiers (the Spitzer “soft assassins”). While Messrs. Spitzer and Strauss-Kahn might share a common reprehensible lust, this group (the international financial mafia) represents the world’s top criminals. Like Al Capone and the Chicago mob, they continue to remain immune and prevail, while the audience is glued to sex, money and maids.”

What we are seeing may be an IMF coup in the form of a sex scandal. Reports have it that the detained IMF chief is already under suicide watch (a pretext for you know what). Let’s refocus on the real issues in this L’affaire Strauss-Kahn and wage a campaign to free him if we must. Most importantly, let’s redouble our efforts to rid this world of the menace that is the global financial mafia.

(Tune in to Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)



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


SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110520com5.html

Soliman, Abad in House line of fire on CCT probe By Charlie V. Manalo 05/20/2011

P2B AUGMENTATION MAY BE ILLEGAL — LAGMAN

Soliman, Abad in House line of fire on CCT probe

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/20/2011

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and Budget Secretary Butch Abad may likely find themselves in hot water after House members bared their intention to hold an inquiry into the P2-billion additional budget allotted for the controversial conditional cash transfer (CCT) program bloating its appropriation this year to P23 billion.

In a phone interview, House Minority Leader Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said he would seek clarification from the House appropriations committee on how much was the amount exactly approved for the CCT.

“I would have to ask the appropriations committee on how much was the amount exactly approved for the CCT and how much has been spent so far and how is it being spent,” Lagman said. “We have to know these things as well as the basis for increasing the CCT budget by P2 billion.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110520hed1.html

De Lima ready for face-off with Lacson 05/20/2011

De Lima ready for face-off with Lacson

05/20/2011
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is ready to face Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and be grilled by the lawmaker when she submits herself for confirmation process before the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA).

“Of course I’d like to say that I’ll be ready always even if it’s not Lacson who will interrogate me in the CA.

“I don’t take things personally. I just want that my rights are also protected when I appear before proceedings like that. I’m sure that even a Justice secretary also has some rights,” she told Senate reporters during a chance interview yesterday.

Lacson has accused De lima of supposedly going after him and nailing him down in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110520hed3.html

Solon seeks probe of BIR’s delay in taxpayers’ tax refund claims By Angie M. Rosales 05/20/2011

Solon seeks probe of BIR’s delay in taxpayers’ tax refund claims

By Angie M. Rosales 05/20/2011

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV yesterday sought the conduct of an investigation on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) over its alleged failure to act expeditiously on pending tax refund claims.

The neophyte lawmaker said his decision to file Resolution No. 474 was prompted by complaints on “inordinate delay of processing of tax refund applications.”

Trillanes said that in one newspaper, it said that it takes several months before a revenue officer is assigned to process a taxpayer’s refund claims and once a recommendation is made, it will go through a lengthy review processes.

The report also said that the BIR, in checking compliance of documentary requirements, conducts an audit on all internal revenue taxes of the taxpayer, not only on the particular tax for which a refund has been claimed and this, more often than not, leads to assessment of alleged deficiency on taxes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110520nat2.html

130 political parties mum on Marcos burial 05/20/2011 None of the 130 political parties accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has replied to Vice President Jejomar Binay’s survey letter seeking their official stand on whether or not former President Ferdinand Marcos should be given a hero’s burial. With a June deadline ahead, Binay, who was given the responsibility to decide on the matter, hopes to get their feedback, noting it is crucial to his recommendation to President Aquino. Binay said he “would still wait for the official stand of the political parties until this week.” A final decision on the Marcos burial issue will finally put to a close several years of debate on the request of the Marcos family for the remains of the late dictator to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

130 political parties mum on Marcos burial

05/20/2011
None of the 130 political parties accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has replied to Vice President Jejomar Binay’s survey letter seeking their official stand on whether or not former President Ferdinand Marcos should be given a hero’s burial.

With a June deadline ahead, Binay, who was given the responsibility to decide on the matter, hopes to get their feedback, noting it is crucial to his recommendation to President Aquino.

Binay said he “would still wait for the official stand of the political parties until this week.”

A final decision on the Marcos burial issue will finally put to a close several years of debate on the request of the Marcos family for the remains of the late dictator to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110520nat7.html

Oathtaking of KKK-LP coalition M E T R O F I L E 05/20/2011

Oathtaking of KKK-LP coalition

M E T R O F I L E

05/20/2011
Right photo shows Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim greets Datumona Diamla Saripada Mamangcao (left), chairman of KKK-LP Coalition Lanao del Sur Chapter at the oathtaking of the KKK-LP Coalition at the Bulwagang Villegas, Manila City Hall.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110520met5.html

Customs exec says car smuggling in RP started during GMA’s term By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/20/2011

Customs exec says car smuggling in RP started during GMA’s term

By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/20/2011

A Customs official has blamed the past administration for the rampant car smuggling in the country.

The Bureau of Customs is reeling from an expose on the possible involvement of its officials in a highly organized international car theft smuggling ring focusing on luxury vehicles coming at a time when there is an acute failure to meet revenue targets.

Speaking to newsmen, Deputy Customs Commissioner Gregorio Chavez said his agency “is conducting a probe into smuggled cars and hopefully we can terminate the probe and file cases against the importers and Customs officials who may have colluded with the smugglers.”

Chavez clarified even before the assumption of Commissioner Angelito Alvarez a “warrant of seizure has already been issued by the Bureau of Customs.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110520met1.html

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