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Noy’s new ‘Noli’: Touch them not EDITORIAL 06/18/2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Noy’s new ‘Noli’: Touch them not

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
06/18/2011
Noynoy may not have issued a gag order on his officials to evade their being summoned by Congress or hearings, as claimed by his degree-turning presidential spokesman, Edwin Lacierda. But what Noynoy and his boys are now doing to achieve the same effect of a gag order, is much worse, as it entails giving the House of Representatives, dominated by his lapdog congressmen, the marching order to stop any and all probes of the presidential sacred cows.

Their “justification?” Congress is not the right place for this. Noynoy, through his spokesman, claimed that Congress is not a venue for character assassination.

Congress and its members in fact, enjoy absolute freedom of speech, as they can say anything within the halls of Congress and not be sued for libel or slander by those whom they libeled and slandered. Also, Congress, aside from speeches during the campaign period, has always been a body that is tasked to hold hearings and investigations, in aid of legislation, and at times not even in aid of legislation, which is acceptable.

Besides which, neither Noynoy nor Malacañang, should interfere in the affairs of Congress — something which Noynoy has done too many times to get his way, and through the corrupt practice of promising them the release of their pork barrel allocations, along with a pledge of an additional pork barrel allocation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110618com1.html

Same puppy, different collar FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/18/2011

Same puppy, different collar

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
06/18/2011
Ping Lacson has become quite a staunch defender of Noynoy, to the point of berating the Justice Secretary, Leila de Lima, for having the gall to “undermine” Noynoy though her statements, such as her being dismayed if Noynoy does not adopt her IIRC panel recommendations on the sanctions for various Noynoy officials involved in the botched hostage rescue last year, and wrong for De Lima to say that the IIRC findings jibe with the Hong Kong police findings.

“Where in the world would you find a Cabinet member who would put the president on the spot?” Lacson was quoted as saying to reporters.

It must be asked of Ping then: Why the heck was he complaining and slamming Gloria and her aides then when they refused to go against whatever policy adopted by the previous Palace tenant? Why slam them as lapdogs of Gloria, when apparently, Lacson wants all of Noynoy’s Cabinet secretaries and aides to be lapdogs? Oh, not forget Noy’s allies, too..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110618com2.html

‘Arab spring’ breaks state monopoly on information focus 06/18/2011

‘Arab spring’ breaks state monopoly on information

focus

06/18/2011
DUBAI — Social networking sites have allowed young protesters behind the “Arab Spring” revolt against the old guard to break a state monopoly on information, even if credibility is at times in question.

Activists using Facebook and Twitter have been taken aback by the extent that these Internet sites along with YouTube have broadened their reach.

Such sites have “helped to create space for political and social communication that did not exist in most of the Arab world,” said Ziad Majed, a Middle East lecturer at the American University of Paris.

“When we launched our first call for demonstrations on Facebook at the end of January, we had no idea about the number of people who might respond,” said activist Hashim al-Sufi, an organizer of anti-regime protests in Yemen..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110618com3.html

Protestant Church sues Arroyo for killings, human rights abuses

Protestant Church sues Arroyo for killings, human rights abuses


“Something is indeed terribly wrong when pastors and church workers are killed, arrested and detained or go missing while they are teaching people to know, defend and fight for their rights,” Rev. Rex Reyes, general secretary of the National Church of Christ in the Philippines (NCCP), said.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – While the Aquino government dilly dallies in running after former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, her family, and officials of her administration, different groups have filed cases against the former president and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officials for plunder and human rights violations. Now, it is a church that decided to do so.

With more than 18 of its members killed, one disappeared, three ambushed and wounded and four arrested, detained and tortured, the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP) filed today a damage suit against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

UCCP general secretary Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, relatives of five slain UCCP pastors and members and Pastor Berlin Guerrero filed the civil case against Arroyo before the Quezon City Hall of Justice.

“Gloria Arroyo and the military agents under her command must be held accountable for the injustice they have exacted on the Church and the Filipino people,” Marigza said. “We have preponderance of evidence pointing to the military establishment [as the perpetrators]. Arroyo then was the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Being the highest official of the AFP then, we are suing Arroyo under the principle of command responsibility.”

Marigza cited the case of Guerrero who was abducted just outside the local UCCP chapel in Biñan, Laguna after a Sunday worship service on May 27, 2007. The UCCP bishop said that records show that members of Naval Intelligence Security Forces were the ones who took Guerrero to a safehouse and tortured him before he was turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s provincial headquarters at Camp Pantaleon Garcia in Imus, Cavite.

Relatives of slain UCCP pastors and members are joined by bishops in their quest for justice.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea/ bulatlat.com)
Not one of the perpetrators of the crimes has been prosecuted, said lawyer Emilio Capulong.
Relatives of UCCP members Joel Baclao, Pastor Edison Lapuz, Pastor Raul Domingo, Pastor Andy Pawican and Noel Capulong are among the complainants.

Baclao was shot dead by a gunman just outside his home in Daraga, Albay, Bicol on Nov. 10, 2004. Baclao was the coordinator of Andurog-Bicol, a disaster relief program of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and the regional coordinator of the Promotion for Church People’s Response (PCPR).

Lapuz had just come from his father-in-law’s burial in San Isidro, Leyte on May 12, 2005 when he was shot dead by two unidentified men.

Domingo, a United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) pastor and secretary-general of the human rights group Karapatan in Palawan, was killed by suspected military agents last Aug. 20, 2005..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/17/protestant-church-sues-arroyo-for-killings-human-rights-abuses/

Progressive groups ask, why is the Aquino government suddenly engaging China over the Spratly Islands?

Progressive groups ask, why is the Aquino government suddenly engaging China over the Spratly Islands?

 “It is as clear as day,” declared Terry Ridon, chairman of League of Filipino Students, “that it is only when US interests are served shall it extend assistance to its semi-colony.”
By MARYA SALAMAT

Bulatlat.com
MANILA – When US Ambassador Harry Thomas seemed to contradict this week the earlier statement of the US embassy about not intervening in the Spratly Islands issue, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III immediately welcomed Thomas’ statements. For weeks now, the Aquino administration has been loudly complaining of Chinese “intrusions” in parts of Spratly which the Philippines has been claiming as its territory.

But to back up that claim the Philippine military installations and deployment in the disputed islets seemed puny against those of rival claimants. And so, the Aquino government’s solution has been to invoke its treaty partnership with the United States and expect US troops and military hardware to lend support.

“It is as clear as day,” declared Terry Ridon, chairman of League of Filipino Students, “that it is only when US interests are served shall it extend assistance to its semi-colony.”

“The Aquino government is allowing the Philippines to become the battleground of a US proxy war with China,” said Vencer Crisostomo, chairman of national youth group Anakbayan. Not only that, they called attention to the way the Aquino and the US governments have been insinuating the possibility of more US troops and arms arriving in the Philippines.

While the group Akbayan protested the Chinese “intrusions” in front of the embassy of China, the progressive labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) protested the way the Aquino government has been playing into the US’ “desperation to expand its military presence in the country and the region.”

The Aquino government’s assertion of sovereignty over the Spratly Islands is “hypocritical,” charged the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), considering that the Aquino government is at the same time “allowing the US imperialists to blatantly trample on Philippine sovereignty.”

Pro-US war-mongering

Aside from the Philippines, six other countries are laying claim, wholly or partly, on the Spratly group of islands, a group of tiny, rocky islands in the South China Sea believed to be rich in oil and natural gas. These islands were “discovered” under former strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who decreed that it would then be part of Philippine territory. This week, as Noynoy Aquino engages in a word war with China for parts of the Spratly, namely the Recto Bank (Reed Bank to China), Aquino has also ordered the renaming of South China Sea as “West Philippine Sea.”

All these claims to Spratly are unilateral, said Roland Simbulan, a UP professor and expert on geopolitics.
Prior to Marcos’ declaration which China regarded as an “invasion” of their Nansha islands, the Philippines, said China, has never referred to the Spratly islands as part of its territory, whereas China can boast of a long historical claim to it. The other claimants to Spratly are Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. In 2002, these countries including China and the Philippines signed a Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) ..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/17/aquino-governments-row-with-china-over-spratlys-criticized-as-part-of-us-script/

Supreme Court fails to issue decision again on Hacienda Luisita agrarian dispute

Supreme Court fails to issue decision again on Hacienda Luisita agrarian dispute


“By not issuing any decision today, the Supreme Court prolongs the sufferings of farm workers and provides opportunity for the Cojuangco-Aquinos to maneuver.” – Lito Bais, president of the United Luisita Workers Union (Ulwu) said.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Farm workers from Hacienda Luisita left their homes at 4 a.m. today to witness the promulgation of the decision of the Supreme Court on the decades-old agrarian dispute.

After hours of waiting, they went home empty-handed as the Supreme Court still did not issue any decision on the legality of the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) scheme in the 6, 453 disputed sugar estate owned by President Benigno S. Aquino III and family. The case has been pending with the high court since 2005 after the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) ordered the revocation of the SDO.

The Cojuangco-Aquinos implemented the SDO in 1989, one of the non-land transfer schemes allowed by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. In lieu of land distribution, corporate shares were distributed to farmer-beneficiaries.

“By not issuing any decision today, the Supreme Court prolongs the sufferings of farm workers and provides opportunity for the Cojuangco-Aquinos to maneuver,” Lito Bais, president of the United Luisita Workers Union (Ulwu) said.

Long wait 

Bais, like most of the farm workers at Hacienda Luisita, have been waiting for decades to gain control of the land.

Frustrated, farm workers from Hacienda Luisita and their supporters bang the gates of the Supreme Court.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
In 1967, the Hacienda Luisita should have been distributed to the farm workers had the Cojuangcos complied with the conditions of the loan from the Central Bank. When the Cojuangcos purchased the sugar mill and the Hacienda Luisita land through a loan from the Central Bank in 1957, the loan agreement provided that the land should be distributed to the farmers after ten years.

In 1985, a Manila trial court ordered the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to the farm workers. When Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino became president, the case was dismissed by the Court of Appeals (CA)..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/14/supreme-court-fails-to-issue-decision-again-on-hacienda-luisita-agrarian-dispute/

Divorce bill, providing a remedy for women in abusive marriages

Divorce bill, providing a remedy for women in abusive marriages
“We cannot deny the reality that there are marriages that turn sour. There are marriages that are abusive, even violent and there are bigamous marriages. We need to address this reality and give couples in these failed marriages the option of divorce.” – GWP Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – There are nineteen victims of marital violence every day. In 2009, wife battery ranked highest among cases of violence against women at 72 percent, victimizing 6,783 women. About three out of ten perpetrators of violence against women are husbands of the victims, according to Philippine National Police (PNP).

Some 800 cases for legal separation and annulment are filed every month before the Office of the Solicitor General. Over 43,650 applications were recorded from 2001 to 2007.
These are the bases of Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) for introducing House Bill 1799 or “An Act Introducing Divorce in the Philippines.”

The GWP said that HB 1799 is based on the concrete experiences of married Filipinos. “These experiences were studied in their religious, socio-economic, political, cultural and legal context. Lessons and insights were drawn up, and from these lessons, the provisions of HB 1799 were formulated.”

GWP Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan cited studies showing that not all countries that allow divorce have a high divorce rate. Divorce statistics show that In Italy, only 12 percent of marriages end in divorce, while in Spain it is 17 percent. Both countries are predominantly Catholic.

The Catholic Church believes allowing divorce would lead to a breakdown of the family. Others who are likewise opposed to the bill thinks that a divorce law would be abused. Rep. Ilagan asserted that there are enough safeguards to prevent the divorce law from being abused. “The bill has five grounds before a divorce is granted and the couple has to undergo a rigorous process. Divorce will not be granted just because a husband or a wife is bothered by the other’s snoring. This is not like divorce Las Vegas style,” Ilagan said.

Rep. Ilagan also said that HB 1799 is not modeled after divorce systems of other countries; they call it divorce-Filipino style. “And it is sensitive to the rich and diverse cultural – including moral and religious – environment of our country.”

Divorce guarantees women’s rights 

The progressive women’s group Gabriela said that divorce provides an option to women who want to get out of abusive and unhappy marriages. “This measure will benefit women, especially those who are victims of domestic violence,” Lana Linaban, secretary general of Gabriela, said.

From 2009 to March 2011, there were 1,452 cases of marital violence that have been referred to Gabriela. This constituted 67 percent of the total number of cases of violence against women that were handled by Gabriela. Domestic violence consistently ranks highest among cases of violence against women (VAW) that Gabriela has been handling..... MORE

Source:  Bulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/14/divorce-bill-providing-a-remedy-for-women-in-abusive-marriages/

Another journalist was killed, three more received threats for exposing corruption By RONALYN V. OLEA Bulatlat.com

Another journalist was killed, three more received threats for exposing corruption
 
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Another radio broadcaster was shot dead, the fourth journalist killed under the new administration.

According to a report by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Romeo Olea, 49, was riding a motorcycle on his way to the radio dwEB office in Nabua, Camarines Sur when he was shot at around 5:52 a.m. along the national highway.

Olea was immediately brought to the Riconda Medical Center. He was dead when he reached the hospital.
According to the local police, two 9 mm. shells were found at the crime scene. Police have yet to determine if the killing is work-related.

The CMFR said that if the murder is work-related, Olea’s killing would be the fourth case of a journalist/media worker killed in the line of duty under the administration of Benigno Aquino III, and the third in 2011. He would also be the sixth journalist from the Bicol Region killed in the line of duty since 1986, and the second from Camarines Sur province.

Threats against journalists continue
 
Meanwhile, in just one week, three other journalists who exposed alleged corrupt practices were harassed by local authorities.

In Kalinga, Governor Jocel Baac barged into the radio booth of Kalinga broadcaster Jerome Tabanganay, June 7 and struck the latter in the mouth with a microphone.

According to accounts by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Tabanganay was about to end his program “Agenda” on dzRK Radyo ng Bayan-Kalinga when Baac arrived with his men brandishing Armalite rifles. Baac threatened the broadcaster, saying: “Go on. Keep talking. I will kill you.”

The brazen assault on Tabanganay “shows the extent to which impunity has thrived in this benighted land of ours,” the NUJP said in a statement.

On May 19 last year, Tabanganay survived an assassination attempt after he began criticizing the resurgence of “jueteng,” an illegal numbers game in the province.

“This incident shows the extent to which this system of governance has allowed petty tyrants and the enemies of truth to use everything at their disposal to silence those with whom they disagree with impunity,” the NUJP said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/06/14/killings-threats-against-journalists-escalating/

House allies junk Noy’s KKK probe By Gerry Baldo, Charlie V. Manalo and Aytch S. dela Cruz 06/18/2011

MOTIVE OF MINORITY TO ‘ROIL’ AQUINO QUESTIONED BY PALACE, CONGRESSMEN

House allies junk Noy’s KKK probe

By Gerry Baldo, Charlie V. Manalo and Aytch S. dela Cruz 06/18/2011


Heeding President Aquino’s marching order to his allies in the House of Representatives to stop the probe of his KKKs (Kaibigan, Kaklase and Kabarilan), or presidential cronies, classmates and shooting range buddies, both Malacañang and the the presidential allies in the House are all set to junk the move of the House Minority bloc to hold an investigation on the issue, giving the same reason for blocking the move.

Aquino does not fear the House Minority’s congressional inquiry into his erring close allies but is merely questioning the “motives” of the opposition camp in pursuing such political undertaking, Malacañang clarified yesterday. This was echoed by a House ally.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said their concerns only spring from the huge probability that some lawmakers in the House, especially those who are not allied with the administration, may take advantage of the investigation to throw mud at their political foes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110618hed1.html

No NSC meet, despite terror attack threats By Aytch S. dela Cruz 06/18/2011

No NSC meet, despite terror attack threats

By Aytch S. dela Cruz 06/18/2011

Still rejecting full blown Cabinet meetings, including a meeting of the National Security Council, President Aquino is not scheduling an NSC meeting to discuss the reported threat of a terrorist attack, with Malacañang claiming that the intelligence report on the terrorist threat was “raw information.”

The Palace yesterday down-played the reported terrorist attack that was said to be plotted by local extremist groups while the nation was celebrating the Philippine Independence Day last Sunday, June 12.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the intelligence report from where the information was reportedly culled was “raw and unconfirmed”, adding that it “is just one of many such reports received by the government on a regular basis”..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110618hed2.html

ILO adopts treaty to ensure protection of 53M domestic aides globally By Michaela P. del Callar 06/18/2011

ILO adopts treaty to ensure protection of 53M domestic aides globally

By Michaela P. del Callar 06/18/2011

The International Labor Organization (ILO) adopted last Thursday in Geneva a landmark treaty that will ensure protection to an estimated 53 million domestic helpers, including Filipinos, worldwide.

With 396 affirmative votes, 16 against and 63 abstentions, the 2011 Convention on Domestic Workers will come into force after two countries have ratified it. The Philippines, one of the leading sources of household workers, and Uruguay said they would ratify the accord.

In Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) welcomed the approval of the agreement, saying its adoption would protect foreign domestics, particularly Filipinos, from abuses and other labor risks..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110618nat3.html

Muslim body seeks Senate aid on budget release 06/18/2011

Muslim body seeks Senate aid on budget release

06/18/2011
The commission tasked to look after the welfare of Muslim Filipinos recently sought the help of the Senate for the release of an approved P100 million supplemental budget from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for it to effectively carry out its social, legal and development projects.

The appeal was contained in a letter of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Secretary Bai Omera Dianalan-Lucman in reply to the Senate’s request for updates on the implementation of Republic Act No. 9997, the law that created the commission. Lucman’s letter was addressed to Peter Paul Pineda, deputy secretary of the Senate’s external affairs and relations office..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110618nat9.html

SC upholds P1.2 million fine imposed on Robina factory for illegal discharge of wastewater By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/18/2011

SC upholds P1.2 million fine imposed on Robina factory for illegal discharge of wastewater

By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/18/2011

The Supreme Court (SC) has sanctizoned a factory owned by Universal Robina Corp. (URC) in Bagong Ilog, Pasig City which was discharging wastewater into the Pasig River for more than three years.

The tribunal’s Third Division’s decision affirmed earlier rulings of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) and the Court of Appeals (CA) which found the Gokongwei-owned firm liable for accumulated daily penalties amounting to P1.2 million for continuously polluting the lake for a total of 1,247 days.

In turning down URC’s appeal, the tribunal said LLDA correctly reckoned the two periods — from March 14, 2000 to Nov. 3, 2003 and from March 15, 2006 to April 17, 2007 — within which URC was found to have continuously discharging pollutive wastewater.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110618met5.html

40 sex den workers rescued, seven pimps arrested in Makati 06/18/2011

40 sex den workers rescued, seven pimps arrested in Makati

06/18/2011
Inquest proceedings have been initiated against seven individuals suspected of acting as pimps for more than three dozens sex workers in Makati City.

An Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons composite team rescued 45 sex workers and arrested pimps and employees in a house used as a sex den at 2061 Edison st., Barangay San Isidro, Makati City.

The team led by National Inter-Agency Task Force Against Trafficking chief Fiscal Jonathan Lledo, personnel from the Women and Child Protection Desk (WCPD) of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headed by Senior Supt. Emma Libunao and social welfare officers of Makati City conducted the police rescue operation after weeks of casing and surveillance..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110618met4.html

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