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The real score EDITORIAL 07/09/2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The real score

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One wonders just what it is that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, along with senators allied with Noynoy, wants to achieve by way of focusing on the vehicles, said to be Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) granted to the bishops, if, in the first place, these are used by them to help the poor and the needy?

Is it the aim of Noynoy’s PCSO to cut off all these “charitable” projects to the clergy that incidentally, have been in practice for decades — and especially during Cory Aquino’s time when a lot of government funds were invariably channeled to Caritas and other religious projects?

If so, then the better way is for the Noynoy administration to announce that henceforth, it is his policy that no one — whether congressman, mayor, governor, local executive official or bishop or priest or nun, or even the Pope — can expect to be granted requests by the PCSO — whether in the form of money or vehicles or hospitalization or medicines for the sick and the needy, since such requests for charity work are deemed to be banned..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110709com1.html

Denials get the Palace nowhere FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/09/2011

Denials get the Palace nowhere

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
For Noynoy and his Palace aides, a denial by any of them should be taken as gospel truth.
Thus, when they say that Noynoy already sold his Porsche, but refuses to say to whom he sold it to and when, as well as refusing to say who had sold him his claimed second hand Porsche, those statements have to be taken as gospel truth, because they said so.

In much the same way, Malacañang yesterday stated that Noynoy does not have a top of the line, bullet proof BMW SUV; that he had never been given this as a gift, because Noynoy is not the type to accept gifts.

As deputy spokesman Abigail Valte claimed: “That’s (having a BMW SUV) not true. He was not gifted with one, not has the president bought one. So let’s nip that in the bud. There is no truth to these rumors that are making the rounds.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110709com2.html

South Sudan’s wild hope for the future focus 07/09/2011

South Sudan’s wild hope for the future


BALA POOLS — It’s home to the world’s second largest migration of animals, an epic movement of antelope through some of Africa’s most pristine wildernesses.

But there is not a single tourist in the vast expanse and stunning scenery of Badingilo National Park to see it — not yet, anyway.

South Sudan, which will become the world’s newest nation on Saturday, is opening up after decades of brutal war, which killed some two million people and left its infrastructure in ruins.

Wildlife also suffered but many populations did survive, and now the fledgling government is working to conserve and develop what remains.

“People were amazed when it was found after the peace signed in 2005, that the wonderful wildlife that had survived was so great,” said Gen. Alfred Akwoch, adviser to the south’s wildlife, conservation and tourism ministry..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110709com3.html

Int’l anti-imperialist league holds assembly amid the global crisis

Int’l anti-imperialist league holds assembly amid the global crisis

“Legal protest movements are rising on a global scale in an unprecedented way. They are fueled by pro-imperialist and reactionary policies and such concrete conditions generated by these as rising mass unemployment, soaring prices of food, fuel and other basic commodities and increasingly violent reaction of states to unarmed protests.” – Professor Jose Maria Sison


MANILA – More than 400 members of people’s organizations from at least 40 countries gathered together to come up with common efforts in building a brighter future.

The Fourth International Assembly of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) formally opened today at the Ciudad Christia Resort in San Mateo, Rizal. With delegates representing more than 300 grassroots organizations from all continents, the assembly is the biggest since 2001. It will last until July 9.

The ILPS was founded in May 2001 at Zutphen, the Netherlands. With the theme, “Build a Bright Future! Mobilize the People to Resist Exploitation and Oppression Amidst the Protracted Global Depression, State Terrorism and Wars of Aggression!” the Fourth International Assembly coincides with the tenth year of the League.

Malcolmn Guy, secretary general of the International League Of Peoples’ Struggle, addresses the delegates.(Photo by Raymund B. Villanueva / bulatlat.com)
In his keynote address, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, chairman of the ILPS International Coordinating Committee (ICC), said: “The League stands today as the foremost global formation of mass organizations comprehensively covering all major concerns and issues in the people’s struggle for national and social liberation and promptly issuing analyses, statements and calls to action for the benefit of the broad masses of the people.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/07/07/intl-anti-imperialist-league-holds-assembly-amid-the-global-crisis/

Peasants from poor countries shout ‘Fight for land against land grabbing, landlordism, state terrorism, imperialism’

Peasants from poor countries shout ‘Fight for land against land grabbing, landlordism, state terrorism, imperialism’

“Landlords, land grabbers, corrupt governments and imperialism – we must all fight and defeat them. The landlords say they will never give up their lands, but what is stronger than their greed is the righteousness of our struggle for land and our humanity.”

MANILA — Activist from India Malem Ninsthoujia is indignant. It is the day after the Supreme Court issued its decision scrapping the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) scheme in Hacienda Luisita and he echoes the anger of farmers from Central Luzon and everywhere else in the country in saying that the High Court’s verdict is deceptive.

“The farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita demand that they be given control and ownership over the land so long denied them by a fake agrarian reform program. The Philippines’ justice system leaves much to be desired when it comes to upholding the rights of farmers,” he said.

Then he directly addressed the audience comprised of farmers, peasant leaders and agrarian rights advocates.
“Fellow farmers, comrades, always hold your head high! We are the tillers of the earth, we are the ones who feed humanity. We must never forget that in our work and in our struggle for genuine agrarian reform all over the world there is dignity!”

Peasant leaders and agrarian reform advocates from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Argentina, Kenya, Cambodia, Senegal, Cameroon, Burundi joined their Filipinos counterparts in the first “International Speak Out Against Global Land grabbing” held in Quezon City. In a lively protest and program in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) offices, the internationalists expressed strong solidarity with Filipino farmers and the rest of the Filipino people in pressing for immediate reforms.

In a lively protest and program in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) offices, the internationalists express strong solidarity with Filipino farmers and the rest of the Filipino people in pressing for immediate reforms (Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)
Land is life, fight for land rights

The rally and Shout Out activity were also parts of two international activities, the International Festival for Peoples’ Rights and Struggles and the 4th Assembly of the International League of Peoples’ Struggles.

Nepalese activist Balram Banskota of the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) said farmers in his own country have learned through the years to be more aggressive in pressing for their democratic rights. He said that the radical political upheavals in Nepal have served to strengthen the farmers’ movement in the country.

“We work every day, we sleep without having eaten. As we suffer the landlords remain lazy but rich because we pay them with our life’s blood. The political upheavals in Nepal, however, have wrought changes: we are now committed to the fight for genuine agrarian reform and it is the landlords who now fear landlessness and poverty. In the ongoing construction of our developing society, farmers are making sure that we incorporate in the new constitution the life and death issues of lad reform and food security. I am certain that this, too is in the agenda of farmers in the Philippines as they demand their rights in the streets and in the halls of parliament,” he said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/07/07/peasants-from-poor-countries-shout-fight-for-land-against-land-grabbing-landlordism-state-terrorism-imperialism/

Fight against Climate Change must be directed against Transnational Corporate Greed – environmentalists

Fight against Climate Change must be directed against Transnational Corporate Greed – environmentalists

According to IBON data, TNCs account for 50 percent of all oil, gas and coal extraction and refining. Only 10 TNCs account for about 41 percent of world production of oil and gas, and TNCs control 80 percent of land worldwide which is cultivated for cash crops. Only 20 TNCs account for about 90 percent of the sales of hazardous pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.

As one of the activities of the International Festival for Peoples’ Rights and Struggles (IFPRS) which ran from July 5 to 6 in the Philippines, environmental networks held a forum dubbed “the Current Challenges of Climate Change” in Quezon City. Organizers said that they wanted to raise awareness on the science and politics of climate change as well as present critiques on the various responses to climate change.

Guests from New Zealand, Cambodia, India, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan shared how their respective countries deal with climate change and its devastating effects.

Unquantifiable loss of culture, heritage

Dr. Timote Viaoeleti of Impact New Zealand shared that it was also urgent to address the issue of climate change because of its impact on the cultural life, heritage and history of peoples.

“This loss is not quantifiable, and what has been destroyed can never be restored,”he said. He explained that the massive floods that hit areas like Kirabati, Rarotonga, Somoa and Fiji destroyed more than the terrain and the livelihood of residents, but also the burial grounds and ancestral lands of the people. The other effects of climate change such as coral bleaching, soil erosion, decreased water supply, storm surges, ocean acidification also alter the face of New Zealand and with it comes the destruction of cultural history and the people’s emotional connection to the land.

Resource persons on the Forum on the Current Challenges of Climate Change said that the issue of injustice is at the root of the climate crisis. They said that for all their posturing, governments of advanced capitalist countries and their corporations have not only refused to fully honor their obligations to reduce emissions and support climate actions in the more impoverished countries, they have also exploited the climate crisis to enforce false solutions that create new profit opportunities, expand their control over natural resources and worsen global warming. (From left Vaioleti, Tek Vannara , Irina Gilfanova)(Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)
“It’s not usual that the social, spiritual and epistemological issues are considered when discussing the effect of climate change; but in the case for instance of New Zealand, these issues cannot be neglected. Take the destruction of burial grounds or the flooding of ancestral lands — the emotional relationship of people with the land is all but erased, and memories are not enough to contain the grief over what was lost. People are forced to move and leave behind all that they have built and nurtured for centuries. There is a saying and a belief in Samoa: If my village is good, then I am good. If there is something wrong with my village, then there’s something wrong with me. The connection between the environment and the self is very present; there is the acknowledgment that environmental destruction destroys more than forests, oceans or livelihood: it eradicates the self,” he said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/07/06/fight-against-climate-change-must-be-directed-against-transnational-corporate-greed-environmentalists/

Bukidnon land dispute shows failure of agrarian reform – Anakpawis

Bukidnon land dispute shows failure of agrarian reform – Anakpawis

“We are alarmed that CMU, a center for education and formation of values, by its actions, is promoting a teaching of values that contradicts the intention of social justice. By denying the farmers the land that is very much attached to their lives, the CMU has become a despotic landlord rather than an educational institution.” – solidarity mission

MARAMAG, Bukidnon — For Winnie Loable, 36, their struggle for the land they have been tilling is not just a matter of securing the future of his family, it is also about honoring his father and seeking justice for his death.
“Like us, they, too, were fighting for our right to till our land,” Loable said, “Winning our agrarian dispute will not only assure my children of a better future but it would also be my way of giving honor to my father’s life and struggle.”

The BTL farmers wish they could win the agrarian dispute for their children’s future (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
Leonardo, Loable’s father, was among those who were hired by the Central Mindanao University to till parts of the 3,084 hectares of land. The agricultural workers made the idle lands productive by planting it with rice. When the CMU went bankrupt, the farmers continued to cultivate the land and paid a rental fee per square meter.

In 1986, peasants formed Buffalo (Bukidnon Free Farmers and Agricultural Laborers Organization) and petitioned for the inclusion of the 1,200 hectares of the 3,084 hectares of land they were tilling in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of former President Cory Aquino. Two more groups of farmers formed Tamaraw (Triad Agricultural Manpower of Rural Active Workers) and Limus (Landless Tillers Inhabitants of Musuan) respectively, and staked their claim on another 1,200 hectares of land. Hence, when these three groups of farmers banded together, they called themselves BTL.

While waiting for the Certificate of Land Ownership Award, which was consequently awarded in 1992 and cancelled 10 years later, peasants regularly held protest actions..... http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/07/05/land-dispute-between-farmers-and-university-officials-in-bukidnon-shows-failure-of-agrarian-reform-anakpawis/MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/07/05/land-dispute-between-farmers-and-university-officials-in-bukidnon-shows-failure-of-agrarian-reform-anakpawis/

Noy nixes sale of PCSO, Pagcor By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 07/09/2011


Noy nixes sale of PCSO, Pagcor

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 07/09/2011

Despite the scandal plaguing the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, past and present, there will be no [privatizing the PCSO and the Phiippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.(PagCor) for the simple reason that President Aquino will be denied his huge unaudited pork barrel, the presidential social fund (PSF). And there will be no investigation of the current PCSO chief, Margarita Juico, on allegations of anomalies in the current charity office, as well as allegations of her having obtained some P27 million when she was still a director in the same office, with Malacanang saying that her denial of all these alleged anomalies is more than sufficient proof for Aquino.

This was admitted by Aquino, through his deputy spokesman, Abigail Valte, who said that while there are calls for the abolition or the privatization of the PCSO which has been described as a milking cow of any administration, Valte claimed that such a move is unnecessary because this would compromise some of the government’s charity projects..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110709hed1.html

DFA exec: PCSO funded only P15-M ‘blood money’ By Michaela P. del Callar and Angie M. Rosales 07/09/2011

DFA exec: PCSO funded only P15-M ‘blood money’

By Michaela P. del Callar and Angie M. Rosales 07/09/2011

There is now a case of the missing P5 million, since former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chief Rosario Uriate claimed that she had given a foreign affairs official P20 million in cash from its intelligence fund for “blood money” payment, while the diplomat said only less than P15 million was given by PCSO and not in cash, but in manager’s checks.

A senior Foreign Affairs official yesterday denied personally having received a P20-million donation from the PCSO that was used as blood money payment to save three Filipinos from death row in Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Undersecretary Esteban Conejos said department records would show that only close to P15 million was given by the PCSO and not P20 million as claimed by the former national lottery agency’s general manager Rosario Uriarte..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110709hed2.html

Group accuses DAR, OSG of collusion with Noy on Luisita row By Charlie V. Manalo 07/09/2011

Group accuses DAR, OSG of collusion with Noy on Luisita row

By Charlie V. Manalo 07/09/2011

The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) yesterday accused the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for appearing to be “in collusion” with President Aquino in withholding its official stand on the agrarian dispute involving Hacienda Luisita, a vast sugar estate owned by the President’s family.

This even as international support for the farmer-beneficiaries of the contested sugar estate continues to snowball

“Up to now, Luisita farmers still have to hear a word from the OSG and the DAR on what steps they are going to take. The DAR and the OSG appears in collusion with the President in hiding the administration’s official stand on the Hacienda Luisita issue,” said KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos.

“We challenge the DAR to side with Hacienda Luisita farmers who are determined to fight for their rights to the lands,” said Ramos announcing that “a series of protest by Hacienda Luisita farmers against the SC decision are now set.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110709nat8.html

Estrada urges gov’t to ensure OFWs’ employment in Saudi Arabia 07/09/2011

Estrada urges gov’t to ensure OFWs’ employment in Saudi Arabia

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada yesterday urged the government to fight tooth and nail to keep jobs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as in other destination countries available to Filipino workers.

At the same time he wanted to strengthen industries in the country to be able to boost and expand local employment.

“Our government should exert all efforts to provide overseas jobs, as well as local employment, to our countrymen,” said Estrada, concurrent chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development and the congressional oversight committee on labor and employment (COCLE).

The senator aired the call, especially to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) amid the KSA government’s decision to strictly implement “Saudization,” or policy on prioritizing employment for their nationals over foreign workers in Saudi-owned firms, as well as its “freeze hiring” on household service workers (HSWs) from the Philippines and other countries..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110709nat3.html

Special panel to probe PCSO intel funds scam By Arlie O. Calalo 07/09/2011

Special panel to probe PCSO intel funds scam

By Arlie O. Calalo 07/09/2011

The Office of the Ombudsman has created a special panel which will investigate allegations of misuse of the intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) during the administration of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In an e-mailed statement, acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro said the anti-graft office would start looking into the alleged misuse of intelligence funds of PCSO during the time of President Aquino’s predecessor and to find out who should be held criminally liable.

Casimiro said the special panel he formed would focus mainly on the manner by which PCSO funds were disbursed. He, however, declined to reveal the identities of the its members.

The anti-graft office’s initiative to conduct its own probe came following revelations made during the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the disbursements of the agency’s intelligence funds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110709met1.html

I did not order abduction of student activists – Palparan By Benjamin B. Pulta 07/09/2011

I did not order abduction of student activists – Palparan

By Benjamin B. Pulta 07/09/2011

Retired Army general Jovito Palparan has formally denied he ordered his men to abduct Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, two student activists who disappeared five years ago.

Speaking to reporters before the Department of Justice (DoJ) panel’s preliminary investigation hearing yesterday, Palparan said: “I am strongly denying that. What will you admit if there is nothing to admit?”
He added his critics only label him as a butcher to give him a bad reputation.

“Ang alam ko diyan sa berdugo, hindi na mabubura yan sa isip nila. Ibebenta nila yan sa media at sa publiko to put me down para maging credible ang accusation nila sa akin. And that is also against the Armed Forces and the government,” said Palparan who also served as party-list representative from 2007 to 2010..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110709met2.html

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