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Dead in the water FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/04/2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dead in the water

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
06/04/2011
No more time should be wasted by the Senate on the bill to postpone the August elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It’s virtually dead in the water.

Chances are high that the ARMM bill postponement won’t be passed by the Senate, but even if this passes, and the bicameral body reshapes it to fit Noynoy’s desires, there really isn’t time at all to stop the polls from proceeding.

That even Malacañang realizes it has lost the battle was evident when the Palace declared that Noynoy will probably be endorsing an ARMM candidate who had already filed his certificate of candidacy, whose filing deadline has passed.

Noynoy and his political group failed to get a candidate of their own for several ARMM elective seats because, as he claimed then, they were pushing the postponement of the polls..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110604com3.html

Spanish farmers struggle as olive oil prices plunge FEATURE 06/04/2011

Spanish farmers struggle as olive oil prices plunge

FEATURE

06/04/2011
JIMENA — The sun-soaked valleys of Andalusia made Spain the world’s top olive oil producer but plunging prices have turned the bounty into a farmers’ curse.

At this time of year harvesting is over in this southern Spanish region, which produces 80 percent of Spain’s olive oil. Tiny green dots on the branches point to the next crop in October.

But the idyllic view of olives trees, some more than 100 years old, stretching over the hills into the distance, belies an industry in crisis.

In the village of Jimena, nestled in the midst of the vast stretches of olive groves, is the family-owned factory of La Purisima, manufacturer of olive oil since 1893..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110604com3.html

Divorce should be an option in unhappy marriages — Gabriela solons

Divorce should be an option in unhappy marriages — Gabriela solons

 “The sanctity of marriage is not based on the number of marriages existing but on the quality of marital relationships. When a marriage is no longer viable, divorce should be an option.” – GWP Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

Unhappy marriages where the parties have resorted to hurting and abusing each other should be allowed to end.

This was among the calls made by Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luz Ilagan as she made an appeal to the House of Representatives to seriously address the issues being raised in the proposals in House 1799 for the implementation of a divorce policy in the Philippines.

The Gabriela lawmaker once more brought up the issue in congress in the wake of reports that Malta’s recent referendum resulted to an affirmative vote to legalize divorce in the largely Catholic Mediterranean island. As a result of the referendum, Malta’s parliament is soon expected to pass a law to legalize divorce and the Philippines is left to be the only country in the world without a law on divorce. Almost three-quarters of Malata’s electorate voted last May 29, and 72 percent voted in favor of having divorce in the country.

Ilagan appealed to representatives to “not keep our country in the dark ages.” The Committee on Revision of Laws is set to tackle HB 1799 “An Act Introducing Divorce in the Philippines,” which Ilagan filed together with Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus. Ilagan said that the proposal is based upon the concrete experiences of married Filipinos and that it does not derive from divorce laws in other countries.

“I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to let the legislative mill run its course on the Divorce bill without further delay and give Filipino couples in irreparable and unhappy marriages this option. We cannot ignore the fact that existing laws just do not suffice. Getting an annulment can be very expensive while legal separation will not give estranged couples the right to remarry.”

Ilagan said that the proposed divorce bill elaborates on the need for a measure to address the commission of violence in marital relations. “Women in abusive marriages will definitely benefit from this legislation,’she said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/02/gabriela-solons-highlight-necessity-of-divorce-as-an-option-for-unhappy-marriages/

Gov’t failure to honor agreement to free NDFP consultants may stall talks

0Gov’t failure to honor agreement to free NDFP consultants may stall talks

“They’re [GPH] so enthusiastic about the schedule but they are the ones putting stumbling blocks.” – NDFP
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Formal talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are in danger of being stalled as the GPH has not fulfilled its commitment to release detained NDFP consultants.

In an interview with Bulatlat, Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP peace panel member and chair of the NDFP Human Rights Committee, scored the GPH for not releasing most, if not all, of the 17 detained NDFP consultants and other persons protected under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig).

In the Joint Communique signed by both parties on January 18, 2011, the GPH, through its negotiating 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.”

Signed in February 1995, Jasig guarantees the safety and immunity of negotiators, consultants and all personnel who participate in the peace negotiations.

“Since January, only Angie Ipong was released and then no more,” Agcaoili said. Ipong was released on Feb. 17 after six years of detention. All the charges filed against her were dismissed for lack of evidence.

“They’re [GPH] so enthusiastic about the schedule but they are the ones putting stumbling blocks,” Agcaoli said, referring to the timetable agreed upon by the two panels during the resumption of peace talks in February. “The schedule of formal talks in June remains uncertain,” Agcaoili said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/02/governments-failure-to-honor-agreement-to-release-ndfp-consultants-may-stall-talks/

Hacienda Luisita’s SCTEX toll fee anomalous — Anakpawis

Hacienda Luisita’s SCTEX toll fee anomalous — Anakpawis


The access road and the interchange were constructed and paid for by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, and yet Hacienda Luisita Inc. charges toll fees; the farmers were not given their share of the sale of the right of way, and the Cojuangco family did not pay the government for royalty fees for the quarrying activities.
by INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael V. Mariano today called on the Lower House to conduct a probe on the illegal collection of P20 (US$.465) toll fee by the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) from motorists using the San Miguel access road inside the Luisita enclave to reach the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

In House resolution 1329, Mariano said that the HLI did not pay for the construction of the interchange and has no legal right to impose fees on commuters using the interchange. He said all the costs of the road construction was shouldered by the contractor of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the owner and operator of SCTEX.

According to reports, the HLI started to collect a P20 (US$.465) toll or service fee from motorists passing the access road in Barangay San Miguel inside the Hacienda Luisita enclave to reach the SCTEX last May 17, 2011. HLI co-owner Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr., uncle of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, told the media that the toll fee is for road maintenance and repair.


According to Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, the Hacienda Luisita Incorporated did not pay for the construction of the interchange and has no legal right to impose fees on commuters using it. He said that all the costs of the road construction was shouldered by the contractor of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the owner and operator of SCTEX. (Photo by bulatlat.com)
Rep. Mariano pointed out that the 7.5 kilometer San Miguel access road that connects the Luisita Parkway, now the Luisita Industrial Park, to SCTEX, was built based on an agreement by the HLI and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the owner and operator of SCTEX.
“It has come to our attention that the HLI did not seek permission from the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), saying that the TRB has no jurisdiction over Luisita because it is a private land and not part of the expressway. Based on reports, although the HLI delivered on its commitment to BCDA to build an access road inside the sugar estate in Tarlac, it did not pledge to make it toll-free for the users of SCTEX,” he said.

In the meantime, the BCDA has issued clarifications that the interchange was built to connect Luisita to Subic and Clark economic zones and the San Miguel access road was built for public use. BCDA reported spending P34.106 billion(US$79, 316) on the project, which was funded by loans from the Japanese government (79 percent) and a counterpart fund from the Philippine government (21 percent). The BCDA bought 80 hectares from HLI for the right-of-way of the SCTEx and the Luisita interchange..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/01/charging-of-toll-fee-by-hacienda-luisita-for-access-to-subic-clark-tarlac-expressway-anomalous-anakpawis-party-list/

Workers urge Aquino to address corruption in PhilPost, provident fund

Workers urge Aquino to address corruption in PhilPost, provident fund

In an interview with Bulatlat.com, Rodolfo Bejar from the PhilPost’s Domestic Operations and Services Department said that the last decade has seen the PhilPost as being a “virtual bastion of corruption,” and that despite the efforts of the employees to bring the various corruption issues to the attention of the national government, nothing has happened.
by INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
How much is your friendly neighborhood mailman’s salary? Probably not much because there is reportedly corruption in massive proportions happening at the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost).

Last May 1,2011 International Labor May 2011, employees of PhilPost sent a letter to Malacañang addressed to President Benigno Aquino. III. In their missive, the employees appealed to the president to take action against what they termed as “massive and shocking” financial anomalies being perpetrated by postal officials. The letter was signed by leaders of the PhilPost Rank-and-File Employees (PRAFEA), the Philippine Postal Workers Union (PPWU) and an employee of the PhilPost’s Domestic Operations and Services Department.


Leaders of the PhilPost Rank-and-File Employees (PRAFEA) and the Philippine Postal Workers Union (PPWU) present stacks of documentary evidence to prove their allegations that there’s corruption in the Philippine Postal Corporation and it’s provide fund office. “We have not been making accusations without proof. What we want is to be heard, and for changes to be implemented to protect our provident funds,” they said.(Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)
“Mr. President, please help us unearth the grave anomalies before it’s too late. We still distinctly recall the 1995 fire that hit the PhilPost audit offices where all documents and potential evidence were destroyed,” they said. They went on to say that the multi-million provident fund or the Philippine Postal Corporation – Provident Fund (PFO) of the employees was being slowly depleted through corruption.”

The employees and union leaders are calling on Malacañang to mobilize all concerned agencies to immediately conduct investigations into the allegedly corrupt acts and practices of various employees and officers of PhilPost and the PFO. They tagged the incumbent officer-in-charge Postmaster General, the former and incumbent Philpost chairmen and members of the board of directors; the former and incumbent chairmen and members of the board of trustees of the PPFO and other officials the PFO..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/01/postal-workers-appeal-to-aquino-to-address-massive-corruption-in-philippine-postal-corporation-provident-fund/

Roxas out of DoTC race; 3 undersecretaries resign By Aytch S, de la Cruz 06/04/2011

COMGROUP CHIEF COLOMA, CORY’S EX-TRANSPORT CHIEF ON LIST

Roxas out of DoTC race; 3 undersecretaries resign

By Aytch S, de la Cruz 06/04/2011

Losing vice presidential bet former Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas, reported to have been approached by President Aquino to succeed resigned Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose “Ping” de Jesus, won’t be taking the job, as he is said to prefer to work alongside Aquino in Malacañang, no longer, however, with the title of chief of staff, but as presidential adviser to Aquino.

At the same time, five undersecretaries of De Jesus yesterday announced their resignations effective June 30, the same date set by De Jesus for his separation from the DoTC. One other undersecreary, however, said he will stay on until told to go by Aquino.

Malacañang yesterday ruled out the DoTC leadership as among the Cabinet positions being prepared for Roxas, with presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda saying that Roxas is still being groomed by Aquino to either act as his Chief of Staff or adviser on something and although it was reported that the DoTC post has been offered to him, the Palace cannot confirm its veracity one way or another..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110604hed1.html

Noy appoints family friend Domingo Lee as envoy to China By Michaela P. del Callar 06/04/2011

Noy appoints family friend Domingo Lee as envoy to China

By Michaela P. del Callar 06/04/2011

President Aquino continues with his penchant for appointing personal family friends in his government, no matter how old they are, and how inexperienced they are.

Aquino has chosen a businessman and family friend inexperienced in diplomacy as the new Philippine ambassador to China at a time when major problems, such as the series of territorial spats in the contested Spratlys in the South China Sea, are straining the country’s bilateral ties with Beijing.

The nomination of Domingo Lee, a personal friend of the Aquinos, immediately triggered criticisms from top Philippine diplomats, expressing doubts on Lee’s ability to handle such sensitive issues given his lack of experience in foreign relations.

A copy of Lee’s appointment papers signed by the President in late May that was forwarded to the Commission on Appointments and the Department of Foreign Affairs was seen by the Tribune on Friday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110604hed4.html

Jinggoy files bill defining ‘psychological incapacity’ 06/04/2011

Jinggoy files bill defining ‘psychological incapacity’

06/04/2011
Citing ambiguous provisions in the Family Code, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada has sought a specific definition for the phrase “psychological incapacity” which he said has been loosely used in declaring nullity of marriage.

Estrada filed Senate Bill 781, amending Article 36 of the Family Code. It aims to define certain indications of psychological incapacity as a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage or civil annulment such as violent behavior, drug addiction and infidelity.

Abandonment, protracted and constant refusal to cohabit or to have sexual intercourse with the other spouse should also be a ground for annulment.

Laziness, extreme low intelligence or immaturity are also defined as a case for psychological incapacity..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110604hed6.html

Ombudsman orders Ligots’ wealth worth P55M forfeited By Arlie O. Calalo 06/04/2011

Ombudsman orders Ligots’ wealth worth P55M forfeited

By Arlie O. Calalo 06/04/2011

The Office of the Ombudsman yesterday ordered another forfeiture proceedings for the repossession of the alleged unexplained wealth of former Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and his family in the amount of more than P55 million

Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro, in an 18-page order, recommended that a Supplemental Petition for Forfeiture be filed before the Sandiganbayan against Ligot, his wife Erlinda Yambao-Ligot, daughter Riza, and sons Paulo and Miguel, along with Edgardo Yambao and Gilda Alfonso-Velasquez.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the Office of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (OMB-FIO) which revealed that the retired general has acquired other assets/properties in the form of bank deposits and investment accounts, which were not included in the previous case filed against him and his family before the anti-graft court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110604nat1.html

Villar chides IC for failing to inform OFWs of insurance 06/04/2011

Villar chides IC for failing to inform OFWs of insurance

06/04/2011
Sen. Manny Villar chided the Insurance Commission (IC) for its failure to embark on a public information campaign about the mandatory insurance coverage for overseas Filipino workers, many of whom do not understand the benefits accruing from it.

Villar, who has his own Sagip-OFW program to help distressed workers, noted that big business is being made out of the mandatory insurance coverage for OFWs yet a majority of those leaving the country are unaware of the benefits inherent in their insurance policy.

“The Insurance Commission appears to be sleeping on the job when it comes to informing the OFW sector about the mandatory insurance for overseas workers. This is very unfortunate because several stranded OFWs may be able to come home immediately if they only know more about how the mandatory insurance scheme works,” Villar said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110604nat7.html

Parents who allow children to beg, engage in prostitution will be punished, says solon By Charlie V. Manalo 06/04/2011

Parents who allow children to beg, engage in prostitution will be punished, says solon

By Charlie V. Manalo 06/04/2011

Parents or guardians who allow their children to be used in solicitation or prostitution will soon be charged criminally.

Under House Bill 4555 authored principally by Manila Rep. Carlo Lopez, the penalty of one month to six months imprisonment shall be imposed on the parents, adopter, guardians or persons exercising special or substitute parental authority over children under parental custody found to be begging or engaging in prostitution.

The bill, to be known as the “Parental Sanction Law for Child Begging and Prostitution,” provides the penalty of six months to six years jail term to the parents, adopters or guardians who coerce, intimidate, or force their children to beg or engage in prostitution.

The bill provides further that the penalty shall be one degree higher if the victim is under 12 years of age..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110604met2.html

DoJ lowers boom on speed maniacs, drunk drivers, motorists who use mobile phones while driving By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/04/2011

DoJ lowers boom on speed maniacs, drunk drivers, motorists who use mobile phones while driving

By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/04/2011

Speed demons, drunk drivers and motorists using a mobile phone while driving are due for a crackdown.

In an advisory, the Department of Justice (DoJ) warned motorists against reckless driving following the recent spate of vehicular accidents that killed known personalities.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday reminded motorists that reckless driving, including over-speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving such as driving while talking on mobile phone, are punishable acts under Republic Act 4136, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

“There are many road accidents and we have so-called killer highways so we find it necessary to remind the public that reckless driving is a violation that has corresponding penalty under the law,” said De Lima in issuing her third DoJ advisory..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110604met1.html

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