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Act of fealty EDITORIAL 05/23/2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Act of fealty

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While the government action against officials of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) was long expected, the seemingly synchronized actions of the Office of the President and the Ombudsman in slapping suspension orders on LWUA Chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. and three other officials left a bad taste in the mouth.

It appeared that the Palace was the first to act on the 90-day suspension of the three LWUA trustees and acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro, who is among the 25 candidates gunning for the post left by Noynoy’s nemesis, Merceditas Gutierrez, getting wind of the decision decided to do one better by freezing Pichay for six months.

Reporters were still asking Noynoy’s spokesmen at the Palace on the fate of Pichay since he was conspicuously not on the list of the LWUA executives ordered suspended when the Ombudsman issued the order canning Pichay..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110523com1.html

No game changer FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/23/2011

No game changer

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Malacañang’s Balay group, foremost of whom are the communications group chiefs and their deputies, are making such a big deal out of Mar Roxas getting the Chief of Staff post and assuming his position holding an office inside Malacañang by the first week of June.

They of course belong to the Balay group of Roxas, although they are making his official entry into the Cabinet as if this would be such a great game changer in Malacañang.

So what is likely to change by way of Noynoy’s style of governance, along with setting policies and directions?

After all, Mar has been in Malacañang unofficially for at least 11 months, and nothing much has changed in Noynoy’s administrative style..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110523com2.html

Netanyahu and Obama clash again; Is it politics? ANALYSIS 05/23/2011

Netanyahu and Obama clash again; Is it politics?


WASHINGTON — The United States and Israel are the closest of allies, the best of friends. Their leaders clearly are not.

The rocky ties between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit a new low this week as the Israeli leader dismissively rejected Obama’s Middle East vision and then proceeded to lecture him in the Oval Office.

And observers fear they could get worse as both take their cases to Washington’s powerful pro-Israel lobby and Netanyahu prepares to address Congress, seen by many as an occasion where he may try to rally US lawmakers against the president.

Netanyahu’s willingness to incur Obama’s enmity puzzled many, particularly with the Israelis desperately needing help from the United States in heading off a bid by the Palestinians to have the United Nations recognize an independent state in September..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110523com3.html

Face off on RH, ARMM C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 05/23/2011

Face off on RH, ARMM

Jonathan De la Cruz
“It was not a debate, it was a conversation,” House Minority Leader and lead Reproductive Health (RH) bill proponent Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman noted when asked about the discussion he had with Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao in plenary last week. Indeed, the two gentlemen had much respect for each other and their respective advocacies they tended to agree to disagree. No insults, no snide remarks. Unlike the bomb thrown by feisty Sen. Miriam Santiago at Pacquiao two days before the face off on the floor which merited a pointed retort from Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao reminding the Iloilo solon that like her, Pacman is a member of Congress, Lagman avoided ad hominems and answered each and every query in as proper a manner as possible.

Thus, he was able to clarify that unlike the earlier RH version filed during the 11th Congress in 1999, the one he refiled last year (he also filed a similar bill during the 14th Congress) and which has been debated, reformed and, finally, issued as a committee report, has already deleted five of the most controversial, if not highly combustible provisions..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110523com4.html

Subsidy for sex, yes; for MRT/LRT or rice, no DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/23/2011

Subsidy for sex, yes; for MRT/LRT or rice, no

Herman Tiu Laurel
As we near the climax — so to speak — of the so-called “Reproductive Health” (RH) debate, the main issue becomes all the more apparent as the excitement of the foreplay fades. One pro-RH columnist wrote in his column last Friday: “What is at the heart of the RH law — and this is what the anti-RH groups strangely underplay — is using government money to subsidize reproductive choices.” Well, lawyer-columnist, I am highlighting it in my column; and I say you and so many other pro-RH supporters are either being taken for a ride or are taking others for a ride on one of the biggest scams in this nation’s history.

It seems that the real reason for the RH bill is not stemming the Malthusian formulation of population robustness equals poverty, or preventing the spread of HIV, or promoting sex education, or upholding the woman’s right to decide on matters relating to her ovaries. The real purpose is “using government money to subsidize” sex choices!

RH bill proponents really have a strange idea of what government money or subsidy should be used for; and that is coincidentally the way Aquino III’s government and his “civil society” cohorts — who are all backing the RH bill to the hilt — think of it, too.

First of all, PeNoy does not look kindly on the subsidy for rice farmers that the National Food Authority has been extending all these decades. His Budget secretary has in fact made the motions of totally slashing the NFA budget several times. Neither does PeNoy view with kindness or understanding the appeal of millions of MRT/LRT commuters to continue with the state’s “subsidy” (if it can be called that) of their fares, which they solely rely on to travel daily from home to work or school, which is as basic a necessity as power and water in modern life. But when it comes to “reproductive choices” — or sex — this they will subsidize to the tune of billions!

The appeal for the MRT/LRT subsidy was met with different tactics of dissuasion by Aquino III to convince commuters that it is such a burden to government. And when the commuting public wasn’t fazed, PeNoy’s spokesmen even attempted to browbeat Metro Manila’s MRT/LRT-riding population into thinking that they’re being unfair, selfish and abusive for demanding this transport subsidy when the rest of the nation’s taxpayers aren’t using the system. Yet what these prevaricators conveniently omit is that these MRT/LRT commuters are precisely the majority that go to work everyday earning subsistence wages from which government exacts its pound of flesh in terms of taxes — taxes that pro-RH proponents would now want to subsidize the sex choices of the beneficiaries of “free contraceptives and condoms,” the poor and unemployed (that is, if these reach them at all, given that macho culture and inebriation are some reasons that condoms are cast to the wind).

The only thing certain is that, once it becomes law, billions will be specifically allocated by the RH bill, whereby its first approved budget “shall be included in the subsequent General Appropriations Act,” i.e. automatically appropriated and/or sponsored — in perpetuity. That budget is certain to reach Big Pharma (including the FVR-linked Carlyle Group), which then also translates to “automatic sales in perpetuity.”

Equally certain are the congressmen’s pork barrel allocations for a least one RH van per congressional district (including drugs, condoms, sex education materials, staff and fuel) that will have the congressman’s likeness emblazoned for all to see. Then, all of these monies are sure to come from the nation’s taxpayers, a great majority of whom are Metro Manila commuters who won’t get any subsidy for their essential work-related fares.

Regarding the RH vans, it must stated that there is already a proliferation of barangay health centers with literally hundreds of thousands of health workers all over the country, so why the RH vans for each congressman, over and above the free ambulances? Local governments do have a big say in these health centers’ budgets and supplies, as well as the dispensation of essential drugs; but keep in mind that neither the national or local governments dedicate budgets for free medication for deadly diseases such a tuberculosis and dengue (go to East Avenue Medical Center and see how expensive these are for the poor).

Yet the bleeding hearts of PeNoy’s government as well as many RH bill proponents believe “contraceptives and condoms” deserve a subsidy of at least P3 billion or more (when we factor in other government agencies such as PhilHealth, National Anti-Poverty Commission, etc. being mandated to fund the RH program)?
An important observation was made by one veteran street parliamentarian about the RH bill proponents taking to the streets to picket, rally and demonstrate for this subsidy for the poor’s “reproductive choices.” He noted the brand new tarpaulins, canvasses and cardboards, and the gleaming colors of the streamers and placards used, not to mention the full page ads. These can only mean huge funds flowing into the pro-RH bill campaign.

I’m sure that — despite my opposition to the Church’s many positions — whenever the Roman Catholic Church funds its campaigns, we know where these are coming from; but for those activist groups associated with Etta Rosales and Dinky Soliman, just where do they get their money? I guess we shouldn’t look far.
We know that USAid, as mandated by Henry Kissinger’s 1974 NSSM 200 (which we have no space to elaborate on), has always been for population control; same with Big Pharma. And, lest we forget, these people have the conditional cash transfer funds at their disposal too, which, as of the latest news, has already been increased by P2 billion over the P21 billion originally allocated. Shades of the CodeNGO PeaceBonds again?

(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/20110523com5.html

Mar seen moving to oust Belmonte By Charlie V. Manalo 05/23/2011


Mar seen moving to oust Belmonte

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/23/2011

Troubleshooter and Chief of Staff in waiting Manuel Roxas II has Speaker Sonny Belmonte’s ouster as his first project when he officially assumes his Malacañang post early next month, a House source said.

This could explain the mysterious delays in the release of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of some members of the House of Representatives.

A highly reliable source in the Lower Chamber yesterday told The Tribune the withholding of the congressmen’s PDAF is not incidental to the administration’s attempt to manage the budget deficit, but the very heart and soul of a grand design allegedly hatched by losing Liberal Party vice presidential bet, and now-to-be-appointed chief of staff of President Aquino, Mar Roxas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110523hed1.html

House calls Leviste incident ‘prison break,’ to grill Diokno By Gerry Baldo 05/23/2011

House calls Leviste incident ‘prison break,’ to grill Diokno

By Gerry Baldo 05/23/2011

The head of the Bureau of Corrections Ernesto Diokno was guaranteed a grilling at the House of Representatives when the House committee on justice starts its investigation into the controversy surrounding the case of “living out” homicide convict and former Batangas Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste.

According to Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., Diokno should be held accountable for the alleged prison break.

“Let’s start it with the director of the Bureau of Corrections. He should be held accountable,” Tupas said yesterday.

Tupas, chairman of the House committee on justice, said that the hearing on the “prison break” would take precedence over the impeachment case of Supreme Court Justice Mariano del Castillo. Tupas and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas are leading Liberal party members in trying to impeach Del Castillo who is being accused of plagiarism..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110523hed2.html

Passport applicants can track their status on Internet 05/23/2011

Passport applicants can track their status on Internet

Passport applicants can now track the status of their application online to determine the exact date of the release of their passports.

To access the Department of Foreign Affairs Passport Tracking Service (PTS), applicants must log on to the DFA Web site www.dfa.gov.ph and click the PTS icon.

Clicking the icon will lead to an online form that requires the following basic information: Full name (first, middle, last), date of birth, cell phone number and e-mail address, date of filing, date of release, amount paid, for and pick-up or courier service (name of courier)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110523nat3.html

Philippine National Games on 05/23/2011

Philippine National Games on

BACOLOD CITY — The present and future of local sports collide as the POC-PSC Philippine National Games 2011 revs into high gear Monday with athletics and arnis hogging the spotlight in the cities of Bacolod and Silay.

A total of 19 golds will be up for grabs in the National Open and junior track and field championships to be held at the Panaad Sports Complex oval on the outskirts of the Negros Occidental provincial capital of Bacolod..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/sports/20110523spo6.html

Head of PNP’s SOSIA faces charges for usurpation of authority 05/23/2011

Head of PNP’s SOSIA faces charges for usurpation of authority

The head of the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been accused of usurpation of authority over his act to cancel the license of a security agency involved in the takeover of IT facilities inside the Land Transportation Office (LTO) compound in Quezon City.

“Chief Supt. Samuel Diciano acted beyond his authority in canceling our license to operate. It is the PNP chief who issues the license and the order to cancel the same. In some cases this authority is delegated to the director, Civil Security Group,” retired Col. Rodrigo Bonifacio, chief executive officer of Unilateral Security Agency, said.

According to Bonifacio, he will file charges in appropriate courts, claiming Diciano’s announcements in media of Unilateral’s loss of license to operate caused him to lose some business..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110523met2.html

Binay gives cash assistance to dependents of soldiers 05/23/2011

Binay gives cash assistance to dependents of soldiers

Vice President Jejomar Binay has awarded cash assistance to dependents of soldiers killed or seriously wounded in action.

Binay, who is co-chairman of the Alay Sa Kawal Foundation (ASK), distributed P30,000 each to 53 dependents of 49 soldiers who were killed and four who were seriously wounded in action.

Established in 1986, ASK is the oldest non-government organization devoted to the welfare of enlisted personnel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“Bilang isang reservist, alam ko pong hindi matutumbasan ng pera ang pagkawala ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay,” Binay said in his speech at Camp Panacan, Davao City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110523met1.html

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