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Groveling, PeNoy style DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 05/30/2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Groveling, PeNoy style

Herman Tiu Laurel
Did BSA III know what he was talking about when he said last Jan. 4 that the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) entered into by the Philippines with China and Vietnam — primarily for exploring offshore and deep sea natural resources, including oil and gas — “shouldn’t have happened” and scrapped it on the pretext that it encroached into the country’s territorial waters?

When the Philippines has a written understanding and invitation with two other parties to work together in an area where everyone has agreed to “jointly exploit,” how can there be encroachment? Don’t we have “joint ventures” with other countries in various mineral projects? The biggest fossil fuel project in the country with Royal Dutch Shell, Malampaya gas, necessarily had seismic surveys done. Wasn’t that undertaken with a foreign country and company, too?

What has likely determined the sad fate of the JMSU can be found in a paper written by a senior adviser and director of a Washington DC think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (“The JMSU: A Tale of Bilateralism and Secrecy in the South China Sea” by Ernest Bower), that reflects US attitude toward this joint Asian initiative for common exploration of shared resources for mutual benefit.

To the US, “bilateralism” simply means that it was out of the loop in relation to its former colony, the Philippines — a situation it is extremely uncomfortable with. The term is even inaccurate as the JMSU was a “trilateral” undertaking by the three concerned Asian nations. “Secrecy,” on the other hand, simply means that the US was kept in the dark. This is because it believes that every country in Asia is obliged to keep it informed about matters that are primarily its concern.

The JMSU was a good undertaking in the overlapping parts of the South China Sea for promoting the spirit of “joint development” that would preserve amity as well as provide impetus for economic progress for the nations involved. All three — China, Vietnam and the Philippines —contributed to the funding of marine facilities such as ships as well as equipment for the seismic survey project. The result would have been a treasure trove of information, especially for the Philippines, about each country’s marine resources (even in disputed territorial waters) — which, in the case of the Philippines again, would never have come about given its dire financial straits.

But it seems that BSA III would rather to stay in the dark about this and wait for his US sponsors to do the seismic surveys and keep the information to themselves as they have been doing in the past. Given this, the Philippines will just forever be at the mercy of western interests.

Expectedly, some local print and broadcast media have been raising the China bogey, after reports surfaced of Chinese MIG jets buzzing two Philippine Air Force turbo-prop planes in the Spratlys — this, despite the fact that China has since denied the existence of MIGs in its air fleet; as have Philippine authorities clarified that it was not a “buzzing” incident, since what specific flag those jets flew cannot be ascertained.

Most vociferous were some midget minds on AM radio calling for “the need to fight, even to die” for the Philippine territory, as well as Manila Times “Doctor” Dante Ang, whose column dated May 28 read “Use our US card in resolving the Spratlys issue.”

While the US can and has often used the Philippine card as a Joker now and then in UN diplomatic games (swing votes), as well as a regional gofer to issue derogatory pronouncements on Myanmar or North Korea, the Philippines just has no gravitas to play a so-called US card.

In fact, it was the US that used the Philippines as shock absorber during the Second World War, which sapped the might of the Japanese Imperial Army but decimated the Philippine economy, while the US top general then fled to the safety of Australia.

The US later “granted” independence to the Philippines in 1945 only to take it away with its left hand via the Laurel-Langley Agreement, the imposition of Parity Rights, and, as Salvador Araneta wrote in America’s Double-Cross of the Philippines, the US Congress-issued “Dodd’s Report” in 1948 that consigned our fate as a mere vegetables garden to Japan, an erstwhile enemy which Uncle Sam decided to industrialize to fortify against the “domino effect” from communist China.

Further, when the British, together with the Malaysians, instigated the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) war against the Philippine Republic for the latter’s attempt at retaking Sabah, the US simply sat at the sidelines, refusing even to resupply ammunition for guns and cannons. Why, it has even overtly supported the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) since the late Hashim Salamat sent his kowtow letter to George W. Bush in 2003.

All these therefore provide the context to the groveling of BSA III in relation to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the purchase of old US Coast Guard Hamilton class cutters for the Philippine Navy.

The VFA “embeds” Americans in Philippine military units supposedly for the training of Filipino soldiers. But in actuality, Americans are the ones learning from us, and may someday use this know-how to kill Filipino soldiers if and when a nationalist Philippine government arises, or when the MILF wins a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain set-up and sends its naval forces to the Sulu Sea that will trigger a military response from the Republic, which the US would then use as a “humanitarian threat” requiring the presence of international troops to “save” the oppressed minority. (Improbable, you say? Well, we can never tell given the vagaries of US geopolitics.)

While there’s a “Scrap the VFA Movement” that condemns this continuing (and escalating) US encroachment into Philippine sovereignty, Noynoy only has ears for Ambassador Harry Thomas. As for those Hamilton class Navy cutters, why is BS Aquino buying these discards (using our Malampaya revenues) when the US gives them as grants to other countries? Bugok na PeNoy talaga!

(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, on “New 2011 Power Scams”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)....

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com5.html

Noynoy gets cold treatment EDITORIAL 05/30/2011

Noynoy gets cold treatment

Click to enlarge
It was clear that Noynoy came home empty handed from his recent trip to Thailand, where he supposedly met with the four biggest Thai corporations. What was clearly missing in his return report was a quoted investments figure.

In his past travels, the Palace would usually toss around figures of the supposed investments although most of the time these are mere commitments and are extrapolation of the cost of the projects that are exploring a possible location in the country.

More often than not, it is all propaganda, since so-called intent to invest, or even commitments from businessmen hardly ever translates to real investments.

The fact that foreign direct investments have dropped by 30 percent already shows the failure of Noynoy to get investors interested in the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com1.html

Superfluity FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/30/2011


Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy Aquino has been creating useless offices within his executive department, and they are really superfluities because these offices are not really needed to run the government effectively.

But he creates them anyway because politically, he has to make room for them — especially for the losing candidates in the last elections.

This is the reason the office of the chief of staff has been created by Noynoy, especially for his losing vice presidential bet, Mar Roxas, even when it is much too evident there is no need for such an office, since this would more or less have the same functions assigned to the Executive Secretary.

To date, that claimed administrative order (AO) still hasn’t been finalized, precisely because not only would the functions of one overlap the other, but also that there will be more confusion, if not chaos, in having two offices with almost the same functions with two heads — one belonging to the Balay group which is headed by Mar, and the other, identified with the Samar group..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com2.html

Paje and the greening program C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 05/30/2011

Paje and the greening program

Jonathan De la Cruz
Now that P-Noy has decided to issue a permanent appointment to acting Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje, people expect he will now move even more vigorously in implementing the agency’s expansive mandate to, among others, promote environmental stability, biodiversity conservation and food security, reduce poverty and enhance the productive and judicious use of our natural resources.

Not that Paje has been a laggard in his almost a year’s watch over the department. Far from it. In fact, he has been quoted as saying that he just plodded on and worked like a “casual” employee since no one really can be a permanent Cabinet member. He knows fully well that as a political appointee he works at the “pleasure of the President,” a condition which, in a very real sense, can be even more problematic in holding a job in an acting capacity.

Even more so in Paje’s case since it was always understood that he was just filling in for Liberal Party (LP) stalwart Neric Acosta, a known environmentalist and expert on DENR issues and concerns. Thus, it was understandable Paje had to tread carefully lest he steps on some toes or walks on the wrong side of the road or, worse, issues out orders or advisories which can be twisted to run him to the ground..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com4.html

Heritage lost (and found again) HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 05/30/2011

Heritage lost (and found again)

Aldrin Cardon
I belatedly caught Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society in a talk radio program one rainy night last week, when he mentioned something like Philippine arts’ stunted growth due to its being just a mirror image of its western granddaddies.

Although Philippine arts has built a legacy with past music and films worth their salt, there is no denying it continues to wallow in everything pegged from their foreign “inspirations.” This is why even some of the country’s top movie producers did not bother to preserve their past movies which should have spoken for our growth in culture and as a people.

A flashback hit me when a friend, who used to do apprentice job at Regal Films, once declared how they “discovered” reels and reels of old films down a place where they pee during busy working nights.

It was a nightmare, he said, seeing the reels soaking wet in their own urine. Most of the films, mostly B-movies made after the notorious era of “pito-pito” movies (films completed in seven days, some of them without the use of formal scripts) of the 1980s..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com6.html

A question of pride SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 05/30/2011

A question of pride

Dinah S. Ventura
There’s nothing like a huge disaster — or the possibility of one arriving at one’s doorstep — to jostle one’s perspectives.

When the threat of a typhoon “possibly worse than ‘Ondoy’” came last week, we saw quick and massive preparations taking place like never before. Evacuations were promptly undertaken, supplies were ensured, assistance and rescue units were primed for readiness.

Typhoon “Chedeng” was lesson in disguise, no matter those idiotic comments of “it’s too bad Chedeng never came — we had gone through so much preparation!” Now why would one wish for disaster just to make one feel good about one’s foresight?

Speaking of twisted priorities, let’s recall that news report in a major daily about “lost movies” and the need for archival and preservation of Filipino films.

According to Bayani San Diego in his article, the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (Sofia) found a copy on U-matic tape of the “lost movie” Summer Love, a 1981 Regal film that starred Maricel Soriano and William Martinez, Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110530com7.html

HLI COLLECTS P20 FROM EACH VEHICLE SANS RECEIPT House to probe illegal Luisita toll By Charlie V. Manalo 05/30/2011


House to probe illegal Luisita toll

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/30/2011

The House is considering to conduct a probe into the Hacienda Luisita Inc.’s (HLI’s) collection of tolls for the use of a private road linking the sugar land owned by the family of President Aquino to a major expressway and which are collected supposedly without even the issuance of receipts.

House ways and means committee chairman Batangas Rep. Herminigildo Mandanas said reports have reached the chamber that HLI is not issuing receipts despite collecting a P20 toll rate for every motorist passing through the private road linking the contested sugar land to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

Mandanas said that if indeed the reports HLI is not issuing the proper receipts for its toll fee collections, the firm could be held liable for tax evasion..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110530hed1.html

RH argument likely to reach SC, says Miriam By Angie M. Rosales 05/30/2011

RH argument likely to reach SC, says Miriam

By Angie M. Rosales 05/30/2011

The ongoing debates on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill are likely to reach the Supreme Court (SC), Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago yesterday said even as she expressed confidence that it will be approved by colleagues in the Senate eventually.

But the senator, one of the main proponents of the measure in the Upper Chamber, is not optimistic over the immediate approval of the bill and even predicted deliberations to take place beyond 2011.

“This will take some time. We don’t expect this to be disposed of easily or even be rushed because regardless of the results (of the debates) in the House of Representatives and the Senate and in the (bicameral) conference committee (level), whoever will be defeated would likely seek remedy from the SC,” Santiago said in an interview over dzBB radio..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110530hed3.html

US reminds Noynoy: Use $434-M grant ‘transparently’ By Michaela P. del Callar 05/30/2011

US reminds Noynoy: Use $434-M grant ‘transparently’

By Michaela P. del Callar 05/30/2011

The United States, with apparent anxiety, has called on the Aquino government to use transparently its $434-million anti-poverty reduction assistance to the Philippines and ensure that it will go to its intended programs and beneficiaries.

The additional assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US government aid agency, was officially made available to the Philippine government on Tuesday, marking the start of the five-year implementation of its poverty reduction programs.

“Our government, through the MCC, is pleased to support the Aquino administration in its fight against corruption and poverty and looks forward to the continued transparent implementation of the $434-million MCC compact grant that will benefit millions of poor Filipinos,” said US Ambassador Harry Thomas in a statement.

Over the years, foreign aid donors have complained of corruption and lack of transparency in the implementation of specific development programs in the country, hindering economic growth and poverty alleviation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110530hed2.html

NDFP doubts Noy government’s sincerity in pursuing peace talks 05/30/2011

NDFP doubts Noy government’s sincerity in pursuing peace talks

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has questioned the sincerity of President Aquino’s administration in pursuing peace with the communist group, citing the government’s failure to release NDFP consultants as committed by its peace panel.

In a statement, NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni said the continued detention of Alan Jazmines, Tirso “Ka Bart” Alcantara and other NDFP consultants and NDFP personnel protected under the Joint
Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (Jasig) puts the Aquino administration’s sincerity in question.

Jalandoni stressed that the Government of the Philippines (GPH), through its peace panel, committed itself “to work for the expeditious release of detained NDFP consultants and other Jasig-protected persons in compliance with the Jasig and in the spirit of goodwill.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110530nat3.html

Fraternal politics blamed for mess in IBP elections By Gerry Baldo and Benjamin B. Pulta 05/30/2011

Fraternal politics blamed for mess in IBP elections

By Gerry Baldo and Benjamin B. Pulta 05/30/2011

A party-list lawmaker yesterday disclosed that fraternal politics is getting in the way of the elections of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Western Visayas.

According to Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) Rep. Sherwin Tugna, the suspension of elections of the IBP governor in Western Visayas was issued by the Supreme Court acting on a petition filed by lawyer Marven Baguilanea, a contender for the post of governor in the region and a fraternity brother of SC Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Tugna said that the election, scheduled on May 7, 2011 in Romblon, was indefinitely suspended upon the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) allegedly signed by Corona while it was on recess.

“The Supreme Court should lift the TRO now and allow the IBP members in Western Visayas to vote. The voice of the people is the voice of God,” Tugna, a lawyer by profession, said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110530nat1.html

Stolen, hijacked vehicles found in Pasig warehouse By Mario J. Mallari 05/30/2011

Stolen, hijacked vehicles found in Pasig warehouse

By Mario J. Mallari 05/30/2011

Several stolen and hijacked vehicles were recovered by operatives of the police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) during an operation at a private warehouse in Taguig City recently.

Quoting belated reports, HPG director Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said HPG operatives, armed with a search warrant, on Thursday swooped down on a warehouse owned by a certain Albert Dy at 100 Daang Manunuso, Barangay Ibabao-Tipas.

Espina said the operation was launched after HPG received information that illegal items were kept in the compound.

The information, Espina said, proved positive as combined HPG and Taguig City police operatives stumbled on a Fuso Wing van (UVE-759) loaded with empty Nestle boxes which was reported as hijacked by its owner Orendain Trading last May 11 in Batino, Calamba City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110530met1.html

Strict enforcement of no-smoking laws in metropolis starts today, says MMDA 05/30/2011

Strict enforcement of no-smoking laws in metropolis starts today, says MMDA

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday announced starting today (May 30), the agency and the 17 local government units (LGUs) of Metro Manila will start apprehending smokers who will be caught puffing away in public places in all major and secondary roads of the metropolis.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said MMDA and LGU health and environmental sanitation officers, usually accompanied by policemen, will round up smokers caught violating the provisions of Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, and the smoking prohibitions of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and all local ordinances and issuances.

Violators will be fined P500 on first offense while those who cannot afford to pay the fine are obliged to render an eight-hour community service..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110530met3.html

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