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Not Noy’s business EDITORIAL 08/13/2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Not Noy’s business

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
08/13/2011


Are they, or are they not independent and co-equal bodies of the executive branch of government?
Leaders of both houses of Congress — the Senate president and the Speaker, are pushing Charter change (Cha-cha), mainly focused on amending economic provisions.

Malacañang, whenever talk of Cha-cha arises, always has this reply: Cha-cha is not the President’s priority — as though that which Malacañang says on this specific subject is the end of the argument.

But apparently, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte does believe that it is of prime importance to get Noynoy Aquino’s nod on the Charter amendments the two leaders of Congress are proposing.

The Speaker reportedly said that Noynoy is against Cha-cha because such an exercise will prove divisive and would paralyze the economy.

Belmonte was quoted as saying in a report that he and Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile will be convincing Noynoy to go along with constitutional change.

But why would it be important to get the nod of Noynoy on Cha-cha, as claimed by both Houses of Congress — as well as Malacañang itself that always claims with a straight face the President does not interfere in the business of the legislature — that they are a co-equal branch and independent of the executive branch of government and Malacañang?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110813com1.html

Face-saving Bertie FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/13/2011

Face-saving Bertie

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
08/13/2011
Bertie Lim, Tourism secretary, resigned yesterday, and his Black and White (BW) group quickly claimed that Lim was the victim of attacks from enemies with “powerful vested interests,” that it hinted broadly were linked to oppositors of the open skies policy.

That’s crap, but trust the BW to always come up with crap to make its members’ forced resignation look like martyrdom.

Lim was hardly a competent Tourism secretary and he really did not have the experience, especially marketing and administrative experience, to tackle the job.

Just what experience did he have prior to getting the tourism portfolio? He is said to have managed a small resort in Palawan, El Nido, where he didn’t stay too long either, perhaps due to his not having succeeded in making the resort a profitable business..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110813com2.html

Respect our rights to land and life, indigenous peoples asked on World IP Day

Respect our rights to land and life, indigenous peoples asked on World IP Day

August 9 is the international day of the world’s indigenous peoples, but the “occasion is a grim one as human rights violations and ancestral landgrabbing are rampant.” – Piya Macliing Malayao, KAMP.

By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
Sidebar: Indigenous peoples’ groups decry use of IPRA and NCIP for development aggression
 
MANILA – “We’re not asking for money, we’re just bringing to the attention of the Aquino government our pleas—that they stop those who try to deceive us and dig up and destroy our lands. We have nowhere else to go to. Our life is tied to the land and mountains,” Lope dela Cruz, 70, a Dumagat from Tanay, Rizal, said in Filipino before members of other indigenous peoples’ group in a rally at the Mendiola Bridge last Tuesday, World’s Indigenous People’s Day.

Garbed in Dumagat attire, Mr dela Cruz had marched with fellow indigenous peoples garbed in the attire of their own tribes. Dela Cruz shared how the Dumagat in Rizal are being denied their livelihood as the mountains are “crawling with state soldiers who are barring the Dumagat from their usual farming activities there.”

“How would we survive if we could not hunt for food or do some farming in the mountains? We have no other source of livelihood,” dela Cruz said, adding that if the mountains were to be continuously denied them, they would die of hunger.


Monico Cayog, 74, regional president of Kalumaran, said Aquino’s non-reference to IPs in his SONA actually spoke a lot.(Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
Many of the Philippine indigenous peoples have historically lived off the country’s forests in the mountains, practicing nomadic agriculture that allows the forest to regenerate. But that practice and livelihood are now under severe threat, as leaders and representatives of various tribes recount various examples of a national phenomenon – the vicious and massive displacement of indigenous peoples everywhere to give way to giant corporations’ mining, logging and energy projects.

KAMP, the national alliance of indigenous people’s organizations in the Philippines, said, in their statement on the occasion of the international day of the world’s indigenous peoples, large-scale mining is “the largest bane to indigenous peoples.” To date, the group has tracked down nearly 600-thousand hectares of the 1.05-million hectares approved for mining as of June this year as covering ancestral territories. In the Cordilleras in the north, KAMP noted that 60-percent of the entire land area has looming mining operations.

Even the investments in the energy sector that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III boasted about in his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) are deemed as disastrous not only to the environment but also to the indigenous peoples, based on KAMP’s study. These energy projects include the Laiban dam in Rizal, the privatization of the Agus-Pulangi dam in Northern and Central Mindanao, and the pending coal mining operations in Surigao del Sur.

State violence vs IPs to secure foreign mining operations

To secure these large-scale mining, logging and energy projects, the government is heavily deploying military and conducting operations in its covered areas, KAMP has noted.


IPs bearing their calls marched to Mendiola in their traditional attire, Aug 9. (Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
“Mining operations of giant companies have always been coupled with massive deployment of state soldiers,” said Johnny Sawadan, 47, spokesperson of the Cordillera People’s Alliance, in a speech before fellow indigenous peoples at a rally in Manila.

Sawadan said that in their area, numerous battalions of the 501st, 502nd and 503rd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are deployed to supposedly protect the citizens but their presence only results in rights violations of the people of Cordillera.

In just one year of the Aquino administration, “eight indigenous peoples were killed by state forces… More than a thousand Lumad fled their homes because of military abuse,” said Piya Macliing Malayao of KAMP. There had also been indigenous peoples subjected to military harassments, illegal arrest and physical injury. Military attacks unfortunately do not differentiate between children and adults, KAMP noted, as they pointed to indigenous children who either witnessed their parents being harassed, or the children themselves got injured and harassed. In the killing last June of Higaonon Arpe Belayong and Solte San-Ogang, two children were also injured..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/12/respect-our-rights-to-land-and-life-indigenous-peoples-demanded-on-world-indigenous-people%E2%80%99s-day/

CCP should have stood firm against censorship – National Artist

CCP should have stood firm against censorship – National Artist

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO

MANILA — The chairman of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) and National Artist for Literature Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera expressed strong disappointment over the decision of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and its Board of Directors to close the exhibit Kulo long before its originally scheduled end on August 21.

In a forum in the College of Mass Communication in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus, Lumbera said it was disappointing and frustrating how the CCP bowed down to pressure from a few quarters and in the process failed in its duty to uphold the rights of artists and the freedom of expression.
“The CCP should have stood its ground and resisted the demands of those who did not understand the implications of their actions when they raged against an art piece. It did more than just shut the doors of a gallery exhibiting Kulo, it surrendered the rights of artists and allowed censorship in,” he said.

A dangerous precedent

The National Artist said the CCP’s action was also a cause for alarm because it sets a dangerous precedent.
“It sends a message to artists, that they should be more careful when creating their art for fear of repercussions. This is an attack against creativity and the freedom of expression; artists are being told to toe a certain line and repress what they truly think and feel about society and how they experience the world,” he said.

Lumbera also questioned how the CCP seemed to have caved in after former First Lady and wife of ousted ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos gave her views on Mideo Cruz’ controversial installation “Poleteismo.”

Commenting on the issue of the closure of the controversial Kulo exhibit including Mideo Cruz’s “Poletesismo,” National Artist for Literature Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera says the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and its Board of Directors should not have bowed down to pressure from a few quarters. (Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)
“Who is Imelda Marcos anyway? She was the wife of a former president. What right has she, what authority does she have to lay down what constitutes art and what doesn’t, what’s obscene and what’s not? It’s most unfortunate that the CCP did not take the opportunity to clarify concepts surrounding art, how to appreciate it and other related ideas to foster healthy and productive discussions on matters such as this,” he said.

The CAP and the loose artist formation Palayain and Sining (Set Art Free) said they will hold a symbolic action on August 21 as the CPP officially ends the exhibition run of Kulo.

Right to agree to disagree

Karen Ocampo Flores, former head of the CCP Visual Arts and Museo Division of the CCP, tendered her resignation yesterday over the flop surrounding the exhibit. She said she did her best to try and clarify how everything connected to the exhibit went through the CCP’s processes, but in the end, the political pressure mounted went below the belt.

“First off, Imelda Marcos should not have been allowed media mileage over this issue. Second, religion has never been the focus of whatever fights that have unfortunately erupted over this. This is all about politics and the right of artists and everyone else to express creatively their beliefs. I resigned with my convictions intact; I simply exercised my right to agree to disagree,” she said.

Flores called on Filipino artists to support the CCP and bring issues of censorship and curtailment of the freedom of expression constantly to its attention and in the process have the public collectively deal with them.

Directly addressing those who used religion to attack the exhibition, Flores said, “Religion should be there to nourish and sustain us, but it shouldn’t be used to foster hate and conflict and widen the gap of differences,” referring to those who attacked Cruz over the media and the internet saying that he “violated their religious beliefs.”

A campaign for education

The chairwoman of the UP Art Studies department Prof. Cecilia Sta. Maria de la Paz shook her head over how the CCP chose instead to close the Kulo exhibit than engage in a campaign of education. She said the whole controversy would not have gotten out of hand and could have turned into something positive had the CCP taken a more proactive stance.

“The CCP gave in to the deep-seated fears and lack of knowledge of the public. On the other hand, the media could also have helped put Mideo’s art in context and encourage discussions and debate instead of directly or not fomenting arguments and fights. What is the nature of the offense in this case concerning a piece of art? What did the artist mean by constructing his piece in such a way that many deemed offensive? There’s a need for visual literacy here, and we could have used this opportunity to impart this,” she said.
De la Paz said that Filipinos should realize that the age when art is considered only in terms of its entertainment and decorative value is long over.

“What happened affects our rights as a whole. Threats against artists are threats against the rest of us. We want discourse, not hysteria. You just don’t shut doors just because you feel offended — let’s talk about it,” she said.

Artists appeal to resist attempts at censorship

Writer and art historian Prof. Nick Tiongson of the UP College of Mass Communication, in the meantime, said the Philippines already has a history of censorship. He cited various instances wherein works of art in the fields of film and dance have been censored by the government since the 1930s. He said that in the 1950s, bishops called for a ban against ballet because of its supposed “lewdness.”

“All these years we have been battling against censorship. Ideally , the media and the arts have a common goal: to tell the truth about society with media doing this through exposition, and the arts through creative expression. If we allow censorship or allow the distortion of art and how it is appreciated, we allow the status quo to continue and it is a state of things that goes against the interest of the Filipino people,” he said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/11/ccp-should-have-stood-firm-against-censorship-%E2%80%93-national-artist/

Gabriela calls for higher health budget in 2012 to address ‘dismal state of reproductive health’

Gabriela calls for higher health budget in 2012 to address ‘dismal state of reproductive health’


During the August 9 budget hearing of the DOH, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño exposed the practice of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) of asking indigent patients to pawn personal items like mobile phones and watches in exchange for releasing patients.
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
MANILA — The proposal for a reproductive health law may still be stuck in limbo, but this is not stopping women’s group Gabriela from demanding that the Aquino administration allot more funds for reproductive health services in the country.

Gabriela deputy-secretary general Gert Libang said the Aquino administration should decisively address issues concerning the “dismal state of reproductive health.” She said the government has the main responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient funds for public health, including coverage for comprehensive maternal and child care services.

“Only when health care and other social services assume priority in government spending could it begin to concretely promote women’s health,” she said.

According to Libang, the government has long neglected public health services, and one of the immediate effects is the erosion of maternal and infant health care .

“With the government spending less and less on key health services, women are deprived of appropriate health care services that will enable them to go through pregnancy and childbirth safely and ensure the health of their newborns,” she said.


Gabriela deputy secretary-general Gert Libang said the Aquino administration should decisively address issues concerning the “dismal state of reproductive health.” She said the government has the main responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient funds for public health, including coverage for comprehensive maternal and child care services. (Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)
According to Gabriela, the proposed 2012 budget for the Department of Health (DOH) reflects the Aquino government’s “wrong priorities and insubstantial plan of action for addressing reproductive health.”

“The P10.265 billion-proposed nominal increase (US$23.87 million) in the 2012 DOH budget is deceptive. The supposed increase is not intended for actual delivery of tangible health care services that will benefit women and the people. The truth is, the proposed budget does not provide for the construction of additional maternal hospitals and substantive increase in the hiring of doctors, midwives, and other medical professionals. These measures could, without a doubt, do much to improve tragic statistics on maternal death and infant mortality,” she said.

Libang said 11 women die everyday from complications connected to childbirth.

Based on reports, allocations for infant and child care services such as vaccination and immunization has been cut to a mere P1.874 billion (US$43.5 million), down from last year’s P2.492 billion (US$57.9 million). In the meantime, the budget for subsidies to indigent patients for confinement or use of specialized equipment has been decimated from P16 million (US$372,093) in 2011 to zero.

“If this budget will be approved, more poor Filipinos including women and children will be deprived of health services. Women in particular will have even less access to essential reproductive health care services,” Libang said.
The women’s group also said that while there has been a considerable increase in proposed allocations for the so-called “Family Health and Responsible Parenting” program, this will not necessarily lead to the betterment of the situation of reproductive health care..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/11/gabriela-calls-for-higher-health-budget-in-2012-to-address-dismal-state-of-reproductive-health/

Peace talks between GPH and NDFP likely to resume in September

Peace talks between GPH and NDFP likely to resume in September

 
Fidel Agcaoili, member of the NDFP peace panel and chairman of its Human Rights Committee, told Bulatlat.com that they already proposed a date for the next round of talks to be held in Oslo, Norway and are now waiting for the response from the GPH panel.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – A member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panel disclosed that formal peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and NDFP may continue next month.

Fidel Agcaoili, member of the NDFP peace panel and chairman of its Human Rights Committee, told Bulatlat.com that they already proposed a date for the next round of talks to be held in Oslo, Norway and are now waiting for the response from the GPH panel.

Talks scheduled last June have been deferred due to non-compliance of the GPH to its commitment to release most, if not all, of the 17 detained NDFP consultants and personnel protected under the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig).

“They started to release some but that is not enough,” Agcaoili said in an interview with Bulatlat. “We hope they will comply [with the agreement to release the Jasig-protected individuals].”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/11/peace-talks-between-gph-and-ndfp-to-resume-in-september/

What happened to the ‘Hello Garci’ protagonists?

What happened to the ‘Hello Garci’ protagonists?


They have all been rewarded and chances are, they would be able to get away with it.
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – For the main cast of the “Hello Garci” election scandal, life has so far been as nearly happily-ever-after as it could be. The main protagonist and beneficiary, the former president, or the disputed president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, plus her immediate family, had grown wealthier based on both their official declaration and other reports coming out about the increased family net worth and properties.

They have also held on to political power – Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is currently a Pampanga representative. She reportedly has supportive and powerful allies in congress who continue to shield her and tell critics to give her “parliamentary courtesy,” and, many suspect, she likely has influence too over the judiciary whose justices she has largely appointed. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s two sons and brother-in-law have also remained as congressmen.

Despite the lingering questions about the legitimacy of her presidency and the numerous attempts to unseat her, Arroyo went on to finish her term as the second longest sitting president. The only problem, it seemed, is the seeming continuous need for further cover-up operations of what a mutinous soldier has described as “the original sin”— her stealing the presidency in the 2004 elections.


Rotten tomatoes for a rotten president – from protesters in Iligan City in 2008.(Photo courtesy of arkibongbayan.org / bulatlat.com)
What became of the other cast of Hello Garci

The Ampatuans -Unlike the Arroyos who mainly benefited from the election rigging, life has not turned out as sweetly for some of their trusted operators in the crime. The Ampatuans, for example, who used to lord over Maguindanao and ARMM, have found themselves in jail after allegedly massacring 58 people, mostly media workers, in Ampatuan, Maguindanao on November 2009. These areas largely figured in vote-padding and vote-shaving in 2004, according to Hello Garci tapes.

Some of the Ampatuan’s are still in jail and one of them, Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), was aired on at least three TV networks last month angling for freedom in exchange for revealing who masterminded the massacre and later on, exposed Arroyo’s election fraud..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/07/what-happened-to-the-hello-garci-protagonists/

Special Report: Philippines- The unhealthiest of poor countries

Special Report: Philippines- The unhealthiest of poor countries


Despite the promises of devolution, funding for health services is unable to keep up with local needs
Sidebar: Not enough doctors, and nurses, in
Sidebar: Where do the sick go?
SECOND PART: LGUs try enterprise to cure shortage in health funding
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com and Maggie De Pano Fellow
Surigao del Sur was not proud of their health figures six years ago: for every dozen mothers who died of pregnancy complications or while giving birth in the country in a year, one came from this province. It was the highest maternal mortality rate among provinces—269 in every 100,000—even higher than the national average of 230.

The provincial government moved quickly. It clustered adjacent municipalities and assigned a team of woman health workers to monitor pregnant women in each area. Their duty was to make sure these mothers went to skilled health professionals for regular check-ups, and delivered in birthing clinics or hospitals. The province also allocated more funds for the improvement of these health facilities, and enrolled almost all the declared indigents in the state’s health insurance system or Philhealth.

By 2009, Surigao del Sur had brought down maternal deaths to 99 in every 100,000. The following year, Malacañang noticed and gave it the Galing Pook award, which recognizes innovative programs by local governments.

But the good news ends there. Other priorities had been competing for the limited provincial budget, that sustaining the program became difficult. Starting 2009, the yearly decline in maternal deaths stopped. This year, the province will start paying the World Bank loans it incurred for the construction of additional birthing clinics and the upgrade of hospitals, even though these didn’t turn into financially viable facilities..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/11/philippines-the-unhealthiest-of-poor-countries/

Noy: Bangsamoro substate will include non-Muslim communities By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Mario J. Mallari 08/13/2011

Noy: Bangsamoro substate will include non-Muslim communities

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Mario J. Mallari 08/13/2011

The substate, along with an expanded territory for the secessionist Muslim group, appears to be a done deal between President Aquino and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front leaders, as Aquino said yesterday that any peace agreement that will be entered by the government with the MILF will have to cover even the non-Muslims, apparently confirming speculations that among the subjects of discussion in the upcoming peace talks is the creation of a Bangsamoro substate which would include territories dominated by Christians and other non-Muslims.

In an ambush interview after feting the members of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation Team, Aquino said that he is determined to put in place a comprehensive peace agreement with the MILF under his administration.

“The MILF has already stated that the Bangsamoro (substate), if the agreement is not all-inclusive to include those who are non-Muslims, then there would always be breakaway factions. So what we’re trying to do is to speak on behalf of the entire Bangsamoro people. That’s why, at the end of the negotiating process, we will present it before all of the stakeholders before presenting it to the country at large, so that all the immediate stakeholders will be consulted,” Aquino said.

Aquino admitted that without the support of all stakeholders — the Christian communities covered by the proposed Bangsamoro substate included — “then we cannot achieve the peace that we want.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110813hed3.html

Big Mike to SC: Strike down DoJ travel ban By Benjamin B. Pulta and Charlie V. Manalo 08/13/2011

Big Mike to SC: Strike down DoJ travel ban

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Charlie V. Manalo 08/13/2011
Former First Gentleman Juan Miguel “Mike” Arroyo isn’t taking the watch list order on him, issued by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, sitting down as he asked the high court yesterday to void this order against him.

At the same time, his son, Rep. Juan Miguel (Mikey) Arroyo, currently in the United States, has reportedly cut his trip short over a watch list order that is also being dangled by De Lima, who has also ordered former President, now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo placed on a watch list despite the fact that the former President is currently being hospitalized after a botched second surgery on her cervical spine arising from an infection.

Mike Arroyo asked the Supreme Court yesterday to stop the the Department of Justice (DoJ) from placing him on the immigration watchlist, saying the order violated his constitutional rights to travel, due process and equal protection under the law.

In his petition filed through his lawyers Inocencio Ferrer and Ateneo law professor Poncevic Ceballos, the elder Arroyo said DoJ Department Circular No. 41 ordering that he be placed on the Bureau of Immigration (BI) watch list was issued with “grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110813hed1.html

Controversial tourism chief announces resignation By Virgilio Bugaoisan and Michaela P. del Callar 08/13/2011

Controversial tourism chief announces resignation

By Virgilio Bugaoisan and Michaela P. del Callar 08/13/2011

One supposed headache of President Aquino is gone.

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim announced his resignation yesterday following a bruising term in which he oversaw a marketing disaster and quarrelled with the travel industry.

Lim, 61, said he was stepping down to spend more time with his family after just 13 months in the job, but he also conceded that frequent criticism of him may have impacted his ability to carry out his duties.

His resignation came amid lingering speculations that he was the Cabinet official being pointed to by Aquino as his “headache,” although it is more likely that Lim was asked to resign by the President.

At a press briefing shortly after personally tendering his courtesy resignation to the President yesterday, Lim told media he could no longer take the stress that comes along with his job as Tourism secretary and had grown tired of being separated from his family for long periods of time because he is required to travel a lot..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110813hed2.html

Delays in renewable energy too costly — solon 08/13/2011

Delays in renewable energy too costly — solon

08/13/2011
Sen. Edgardo Angara reiterated his call on government to hasten efforts in implementing mechanisms for the promotion of a Renewable Energy (RE) industry in the Philippines.

Angara, chairman of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), made the statement after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) suspended its public hearing on the feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates petitioned by the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), after it was discovered that NREB failed to publish the full proposal due to a lack of funds.

NREB Chairman Pedro Maniego, however, hinted that the deficiency may be resolved soon saying: “It’s good that the Department of Energy (DoE) will help us, as NREB itself does not have any budget.”

“With these delays, the window becomes narrower for our country to capitalize on the business opportunities presented by the global shift to renewables. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits of renewable energy, the government should also consider the large number of green jobs the industry could generate,” Angara said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110813nat6.html

Koko could have been proclaimed senator 2 years ago — Cayetano By Angie M. Rosales 08/13/2011

Koko could have been proclaimed senator 2 years ago — Cayetano

By Angie M. Rosales 08/13/2011

Proclamation of Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III should have taken place as early as two years ago, one of the members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) said yesterday, pointing out that his lead over then rival in the poll protest case, Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, was estasblished at over 258,000 votes.

“At that time when the evidence of the counter-protest already showed that after the 25% of the counter-protest (of Zubiri) had been counted, that even if we (SET) proceeded in counting the remaining 75 percent (of his supposed spurious ballots), it can no longer overcome the lead of the protest (Pimentel). At that point, we could have already declared (the winner in the protest cast) based on my understanding and interpretation of our rules,” said Sen. Pia Cayetano.

The senator was referring to the tabulations made in the recount proceedings sometime in 2009 where the spurious ballots deducted from Pimentel was 88,561 while those deducted from Zubiri was at 365,246.

After revision and appreciation, the difference in the total number of votes of Pimentel against Zubiri was 258,166..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110813nat1.html

Motorcycle owners urged to install security devices on their units to prevent theft 08/13/2011

Motorcycle owners urged to install security devices on their units to prevent theft

08/13/2011
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has urged owners of motorcycles to install security devices on their units to prevent robbers from stealing them while parked or left unattended.

QCPD director Chief Supt. George Regis issued the call yesterday after he met with the city government officials led by Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista at the city hall where they assessed security measures being undertaken by the former in connection with the city’s peace and order campaign.

Regis admitted due to a series of apprehensions of suspects and groups involved in stealing four-wheeled vehicles, thieves have shifted to stealing motorcycles instead of four-wheeled units.

Owners of motorcycles should cooperate with police authorities so that the latter can effectively act on the problem and lessen if not totally stop this new trend of motorcycle theft, the QCPD chief said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110813met2.html

‘Mikey’ told: Arroyos no longer infallible, face charges now By Gerry Baldo 08/13/2011

‘Mikey’ told: Arroyos no longer infallible, face charges now

By Gerry Baldo 08/13/2011

San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito yesterday told Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo to be man enough to face the consequences of their actions during the nine-year incumbency of his mother, former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“Just face the music,” Ejercito said yesterday, in reaction to a statement issued by Mikey that his family is being persecuted by the Aquino administration.

Mikey Arroyo claimed this is the first time in Philippine history that a political family is being persecuted.
“It’s not persecution. It’s just that justice is being served now after nine long years,” Ejercito said.

Ejercito, son of former President Joseph Estrada who was ousted by an elite coup led by then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2001, noted that when the Arroyos were in power they were infallible..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110813met1.html

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