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RP wasting $30-billion fund DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 07/01/2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

RP wasting $30-billion fund

Herman Tiu Laurel
What could be more important than writing about a key bit of information that will make the Filipino people realize they don’t need foreign funds in the national economy anymore to enable them to throw the yoke of economic colonialism immediately? All the BS that cause the inferiority complex and mendicancy of Filipinos (BS such as “we need foreign investors”; “we don’t have the funds”; “we can’t run the country without debt”; or “we can’t escape the debt trap”) will simply have to go down the toilet drain.

Several times before, we have written about this idle fund that can free us of foreign dependency right away. We placed the figure at $28 billion or P1.3 trillion and identified that fund as the Special Deposit Account (SDA) with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which was pointed out to us by economist Hiro Vaswani of KME (Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya). Recently, we got another confirmation of the existence and availability of this “disposable” fund kept idle only because of the treasonous streak of our BSP officials.

In a guest column by Mario Antonio Lopez in one business daily, it was reported that former Neda Chief Romulo Neri was of the opinion that “our dollar reserves of $65 billion (are) substantially above what the IMF (International Monetary Fund) considers adequate for a nation of our size and needs.”

In fact, Neri was said to believe that “we can, if we wish to, use perfectly legal means to liberate half of the fund ($30 billion) to jump-start a number of badly needed initiatives in education, agriculture, and health over and above the money currently available,” stressing that the “P40 billion requested, indeed needed, by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is a small amount compared to what can be made available to the three other programs which, in the process of providing the needed services, also means increased employment and livelihood opportunities.”

In other words, we don’t need the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) projects of PeNoy because this $30-billion fund is already larger than all the funding requirements for the 83 “flagship” projects under his entire term.

One report even placed the relatively miniscule “investment” requirement at “P739.78 billion under the Private-Public Partnership, 10 of which with investment requirements of P127 billion have been shortlisted and readied for rollout in 2011.”

Besides this, another reason for tapping the idle SDA is that PPP partners get unconscionable “sweeteners” such as TRO-free operations which, like in past BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) projects, effectively bar people from resorting to the courts no matter the inimical nature of these projects to public welfare or how financially abusive the project owners become. Of course, this is on top of the fact that “investor-partners” of government also get “sovereign guarantees” for their profits, which only means that they get to secure their loans risk free and their profits at exorbitant rates of return.

One of our fellow columnists in another paper, Romeo Lim, sums up the flawed logic of the PPP program (and the BOT law that preceded it): “Government (does) not have money to fund the huge investment requirements of our infrastructures program. Revenue collection (is) never enough… Government assets for sale (are) not inexhaustible, and there (are) limits to government borrowings.”

Unfortunately, that rationale, despite never being valid nor true, has gotten even the most intelligent and well-informed of our leaders either totally or partially ignorant of the existence of the huge fund that the country can use, perhaps out of a reluctance to exercise a modicum of mental or political independence.

Actually, the BSP and the country’s bankers know that this gargantuan fund is readily available for the nation’s benefit. But why is everybody silent about it? Is it because of certain shenanigans in the BSP, where officials are in cahoots with foreign fund managers to take advantage of it?

A recent news item (“BSP’s outsourced funds reach $9.8B”) reveals that a huge chunk of our reserves continues to yield management commissions or fees to almost a dozen foreign fund managers, stating, “The central bank’s externally-managed portfolios as of the end of last year totaled $9.89 billion, up by $5.94 billion from $3.95 billion third quarter of 2010 due to a shift in portfolios. (The BSP’s treasury department)… said the amount of almost $6 billion were cash infusions from the BSP’s internally-managed portfolios. The move was to shift this much amount from the internally-managed funds to externally-managed portfolios, which are funds outsourced to external managers and invested in longer-dated maturity securities, to preserve the country’s foreign currency capital. The BSP’s external fund management program started in 1997 (FVR’s time), when a portion of the gross international reserves was invested in long-term instruments. The BSP currently has 10 external fund managers including JP Morgan Chase.”

So who are the other “fund managers?” Do BSP officials receive fat commissions for subcontracting this, too?
In addition, it was revealed that “about 42 percent of Philippine funds which are US dollar hedged portfolios — are invested in the US, 33 percent in the Eurozone, 11 percent in Japan and nine percent in the United Kingdom.” BSP insiders tell us that commissions are paid out for such “investments” as well.

The Filipino people should thus wake up to the big scam that is going on with the country’s huge financial reserves. We are not as poor as those opportunistic elements in our ruling elite and financial cabals make us to be.

We, the people, should take charge of our nation’s financial resources through a People’s Bank run by our knowledgeable representatives — not by gofers of the international and local banking cartel.

(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 “Supreme Court: Supreme Injustices” with Lauro Vizconde, Dante Jimenez and Rasti Delizo of PMJ; 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/20110701com6.html

Recall and retaliation EDITORIAL 07/01/2011

Recall and retaliation

Click to enlarge
What was going on in the mind of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in calling a press conference to present supposed new witnesses in the unresolved Vizconde massacre case that apparently was meant to again implicate the same personalities already acquitted by the Supreme Court (SC) was too obvious: Recall and retaliation.
Recall was for her 2013 senatorial ambitions as a coup in her public career which would be most accessible by sticking to the celebrated case and digging up old bones, including those consigned to lie in peace.

Retaliation was meant for the SC that had already ruled exonerating Hubert Webb and all his other co-accused in the case. The apparent motive of De Lima was to hand the tribunal a slap on its face by bringing out the new witnesses against Webb and company after it already ruled to throw out the charges based on one dubious witness Jessica Alfaro, a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) asset..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110701com1.html

Indecisive FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/01/2011


Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy told reporters yesterday that one Cabinet official of his may be sacked if that person does not shape up, but added that the official will be given another assignment.

He refused to identify the Cabinet official, saying that he will talk to the official, adding that the official could be transferred to a different agency if several issues are not addressed.
One suspects that Noynoy has been forced into saying this, which is clearly an iffy thing, since there are conditions attached to this official’s removal.

After his speech saying that he has at least two or three Cabinet members who always bring him the bad news which he said he dreads giving them appointments as he always wonders what bad news these officials will be bringing him, Noynoy received a lot of flak. His mouthpieces tried their hand at damage control, claiming it was all a joke, which brought even more flak. In the end, a mouthpiece came out to say that Noynoy will definitely fire officials who are incompetent, without identifying the officials..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110701com2.html

Of padres and padrinos NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 07/01/2011

Of padres and padrinos

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Juggernaut, a regular blogger on ellentordesillas.com, asks: “so Gloria has corrupted the sc, the pcso, congress, the goccs, military — how are we to recover from this? how many years of reform must be undertaken? will one year be enough, will six years? can we undo in a year what has been done in nine? can we undo with good intentions the damage that has been done with ‘concrete monetary rewards?’”

Searching for answers, I came across one of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Chairman Margarita Juico’s many recent revelations: Seven bishops received Mitsubishi Pajeros from Gloria Arroyo, presumably in exchange for “cooperating” with her. The cooperation apparently extended to all the way up to now, for the one using a spanking new Mitsubishi Montero Sports just last month demanded P-Noy’s resignation over his “KKK” — kaklase, kaibigan at kabarilan. Almost soon after, guess who put up a press conference and blustered, “Nobody’s home?”

Not a coincidence, that.

The bishops, identified not only by their past close relationship to Gloria Arroyo, but by their going around in, yes, Pajeros, are staying tightlipped. Those who didn’t get anything are the ones denying receipt of the bounty, and perhaps, this, too, is a ruse. Dedma ang mga nakatanggap, habang maingay sa pagtanggi ang mga walang nakuha..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110701com4.html

Impatience C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 07/01/2011


Jonathan De la Cruz
We can understand why most of those interviewed in the latest Pulse Asia survey (7 out of 10) were more forgiving of P-Noy and his administration than a lot of the pundits and experts in our midst. Not only are we a forgiving people we are also a very patient one. “Que sera, sera” whatever will be, will be remains a favorite among us ordinary folks. Also, in the period before taking over and even in the first month or so of his administration, P-Noy exuded a kind of folksy, forthcoming and trustworthy (Kayo and Boss Ko) air which endeared him to the public. No wang-wang became de rigeur and humility and accountability in public service and even in private transactions were expected to get back in style. Somehow, people believed that P-Noy will not only be a model of honesty and integrity but will be able to handle the demands of his office, carry on and deliver on his promises. And so, when things started to unravel across the board and finger pointing and the “blame game” became an almost daily Palace routine, the public began to take a second look at P-Noy and his crew.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110701com5.html

‘New proof in Vizconde case inadmissible against Webb’ 07/01/2011

‘New proof in Vizconde case inadmissible against Webb’

The alleged newly discovered evidence being introduced by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Hubert Webb in connection with the Vizconde massacre case cannot be used against him and is “inadmissible” as evidence, a lawyer yesterday told the Tribune.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal said this was not only because of the principle against double jeopardy as Webb and his co-accused had already been acquitted by the Supreme Court (SC).

Also, Macalintal stressed, the evidence allegedly belongs under the category of “forgotten evidence” which, according to him, “is not allowed as it defeats the orderly and speedy administration of justice.”

Macalintal cited a June 27, 2006 case of “Ombudsman vs Coronel (GR164460)” wherein the court forbade the presentation of such “forgotten evidence.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110701hed2.html

Saudi bans Pinoy OFWs, stops work permits issuance By Michaela P. del Callar 07/01/2011

Saudi bans Pinoy OFWs, stops work permits issuance

By Michaela P. del Callar 07/01/2011

Saudi Arabia will stop issuing work permits to Filipino domestic helpers beginning July 2, adding pressure to the Aquino government to provide more jobs at home.

Saudi imposed the deployment ban to protest the monthly wage increase from $200 to $400 being sought by the Aquino administration for Filipino maids.

Rico Fos, Foreign Affairs Director for Migrant Workers Affairs, said Manila will seek clarification from Saudi regarding the ban, which also includes Indonesia, but noted that it will not back down from negotiations seeking better pay for Filipino maids.

“The meeting will be held in July 4 in Riyadh between Philippine and Saudi officials. We hope something positive will come out of that dialog,” Fos said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110701hed4.html

Ombudsman orders plunder raps filed vs Bolante, Lorenzo By Arlie O Calalo 07/01/2011

Ombudsman orders plunder raps filed vs Bolante, Lorenzo

By Arlie O Calalo 07/01/2011

Minutes after denying the motions for reconsderation of former Agricuture Secretary

ordered the filing of plunder cases against the two on the P723-million fertilizer fund scam.

Casimiro stood firm on his earlier order finding probable cause to indict Lorenzo, Bolante and several other high-ranking officials in connection with the fertilizer fund scam.

Aside from the main respondents, incumbent Quezon City Rep. Nanette Castelo-Daza, ex-Rep. and now Marinduque Gov. Carmencita Reyes and former Catanduanes Gov. Leandro Verceles Jr. filed separate motions which were also denied by the anti-graft office.

Charges of violation of the provisions of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) were ordered filed against them before the Sandiganbayan, the acting Ombudsman yesterday said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110701hed1.html

Senate to probe 2 more alleged anomalous deals By Angie M. Rosales 07/01/2011

Senate to probe 2 more alleged anomalous deals

By Angie M. Rosales 07/01/2011

Two other cases of alleged fund misuse during the Arroyo administration are slated to be investigated by the Senate, with one involving the alleged anomalous acquisition of helicopters for the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) unit amounting to P105 million and a purported irregularity in the use of almost P9 million of Road Users’ Tax.

A twin move to probe the said issues is being pursued by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Teofisto “TG” Guingona, following their filing of Resolution Nos. 518 and 520 last Wednesday, it was gathered yesterday.

Resolution No. 518 is about the alleged misrepresentation in the acquisition of the Light Police Operational Helicopters (LPOHs) from Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corp. (Maptra) while the other is about irregularities in the Motor Vehicle Users’ Charge (MVUC), also known as the Road Users’ Tax under the past administration.

The lawmakers stressed the need to inquire into the use of P8.547 million from the MVUC to a youth “emergency employment program” as these releases “appear to be in violation of Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act because ... all monies collected under RA 8794 should have been earmarked solely and used exclusively for the maintenance and improvement of road drainage, installation of adequate and efficient traffic lights and road safety and air pollution control, and NOT established to address underemployment or drug problems of the youth,” they said in their resolutions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110701nat1.html

China says naval drills not linked to sea disputes 07/01/2011

China says naval drills not linked to sea disputes

BEIJING — China has said a series of recent naval drills are “routine” and unrelated to simmering tensions in the South China Sea involving a range of nations with competing territorial claims.

When asked about the six military exercises staged by the Chinese Navy in June, including a joint drill with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin, defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun urged the media not to speculate about their purpose.

“China hopes all parties will treat the Chinese navy’s normal exercises in an objective and rational way,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Yang as saying Wednesday. He described the drills as “routine arrangements.”

He said China expects all countries involved in the South China Sea disputes to “make the peace and stability of the region a priority and do more to contribute” to that outcome, according to Xinhua..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110701nat3.html

LFS hits back at AFP, to file charges against CRS chief By Mario J. Mallari 07/01/2011

LFS hits back at AFP, to file charges against CRS chief

By Mario J. Mallari 07/01/2011

The militant League of Filipino Students (LFS) yesterday lambasted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for identifying the youth group as among the organizations that should be avoided by young students, branding such pronouncements as dangerous and irresponsible.

In a statement, LFS chairman Terry Ridon said they are holding AFP-Civil Relations Service (cRs) chief Brig. Gen. Eduardo del Rosario personally liable for deaths of their members in the future.

“The bloody intrigue against student activists continues. In fact, it has never been abandoned by the AFP. If our ranks are again felled by bullets for being suspected rebels, Brig. Gen. Eduardo del Rosario shall be personally liable for our deaths,” Ridon said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110701met1.html

Group to bring postponement of ARMM polls to UN court 07/01/2011

Group to bring postponement of ARMM polls to UN court

A workers and farmers political group said yesterday it would bring to the United Nations court the postponement of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), saying the move is “a blatant violation of human rights.” At a forum in Manila, Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka (PMM) president Jose Malvar Villegas Jr. said the postponement of polls in ARMM on Aug. 8 is equivalent to “illegal cancellation of elections” as this denies people their right to choose their leaders. “President Aquino cannot just appoint officials or his allies to take over in ARMM..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110701met5.html

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