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Some are smarter than others EDITORIAL 08/17/2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some are smarter than others

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In congressional hearings, allegations, and even sworn testimonies by witnesses, are more than enough for senators to proclaim whoever is the focus of the Senate panel’s investigation guilty of whatever the senators allege and many of our senators today seize on this to subject a “summoned” resource person to a trial by publicity.

Not so, in an independent court of law, even if the senators claim that a sworn testimony is enough to charge whoever is the subject, with a criminal offense.

While it is true that in this country, a mere affidavit of complaint from a complaining witness is enough for the fiscal to elevate the complaint to a court of law, which really is unfair, since more often than not, the affidavit complaint is not substantiated by evidence as yet, being merely the word of an individual, such allegations must be proved before the court hands down the verdict.

Frankly, the Senate today has focused too much on investigations that just as frankly, hardly lead to anything, much less a legislative measure..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110817com1.html

Penance for what? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/17/2011

Penance for what?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Doing penance, in the Catholic faith, is something for the sinner to do. So why should the bishops, or more specifically, Manila Archbishop Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, order a “day of penance” in churches for the claimed “sin of sacrilege and blasphemy” involving a recent controversial art exhibit known as Kulo at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)?

As far as the artist is concerned, he committed no sin — assuming he belongs to the Catholic faith — in either painting these and having his work exhibited at the CCP. As for many other Filipinos who don’t care one way or the other whether it is art or non-art, what do they care whether it was a sin or not? They didn’t paint the penis or Mickey Mouse or whatever else was painted over religious pictures and exhibited, and as they didn’t have a hand in these paintings, why ask them to pray to be forgiven on this “day of penance?”

The cardinal ordered that the “prayer of reparation” on the day of penance is to be recited in all Masses for a whole week, saying that “our laypeople have expressed their strong sentiments regarding this work was an affront to decent society, through protests and rallies, and even through the filing of a criminal suit. As Church, we will kneel before our loving God to pray and seek reparation for this public sin. We will do this along with this ‘prayer of reparation.’”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110817com2.html

SC decision ‘same monster as 1989, 2010 referendum’– Farmers’ group

SC decision ‘same monster as 1989, 2010 referendum’– Farmers’ group

“Hacienda Luisita farm workers cannot be fooled by the SC’s legal semantics. The SC order pretends to be democratic when, in fact, it is anti-democratic.” – Danilo Ramos, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

MANILA – Reacting to a recent statement by a Supreme Court official, farmers said the high court decision issued in July provided the conditions for a rehash of “the same monstrous scheme” conducted in 1989 and in August last year.

In a report, Supreme Court administrator and spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said the high court’s July 5 ruling did not require a referendum among farm workers in the 6,453 hectare-disputed Hacienda Luisita owned by President Benigno S. Aquino III and family.

Marquez said the order allows each farm worker-beneficiary (FWB) to choose whether they wanted to own their share of the land or remain as a stockholder in Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI). “A majority vote is not required since the choice of an FWB would not affect the choice of other FWBs,” he said., adding that FWB can remain stockholders if they want to and those who want land can still get portions of land subject to the agrarian reform program of the government.

For Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Marquez’s “clarification” does not mean anything. “Although the term referendum was not used in the SC order, it is the same monstrous scheme used in the 1989 referendum on the stock distribution option and the August 2010 referendum on the compromise agreement cooked up by the Cojuangco-Aquinos. The SC order is designed to divide, deceive, and perpetuate social injustice against the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers, and subscribes to the President’s relatives’ maneuver to evade land distribution,” KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said.

“The Cojuangco-Aquinos are notorious for employing guns, goons, and gold inside the Hacienda just like what happened in two sham referendums in the past,” Ramos said.

In 1989, Cojuangco-Aquinos allegedly used their private army and the military to harass and intimidate the farmers into agreeing to the stock distribution option (SDO). In August 2010, the Cojuangco-Aquinos offered a deal with a section of farmers in an attempt to maintain the SDO scheme.

“Hacienda Luisita farm workers cannot be fooled by the SC’s legal semantics. The SC order pretends to be democratic when, in fact, it is anti-democratic,” Ramos said.

In its 92-page order, the court directed the DAR to “immediately schedule meetings with the farm workers and explain to them the effects, consequences and legal or practical implications of their choices.” It said the farm workers “will be asked to manifest, in secret voting, their choices in the ballot.”
“Whether through a referendum or secret voting, we still see the SC ruling as a manipulative scheme by the Cojuangcos-Aquinos to prevent genuine land distribution in Hacienda Luisita,” Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said.
Junk SDO
Mariano reiterated the call of farmers to revoke the SDO which, he said, was conveniently used by the President’s family to evade land distribution.

Last month, the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawanag Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) has filed their motion for reconsideration asking the high court to reverse its decision on the SDO.

The high court declared that the SDO agreement was not revoked and that it was only the Stock Distribution Plan (SDP) and Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) resolution approving it that was cancelled.

“The very reason why the farmworkers petitioned to revoke the SDO of Hacienda Luisita was the fact that instead of the envisioned better lives under the said scheme, their living conditions worsened. The farm workers were not given any dividends. They remained the minority stockholders. They have no control over the use and disposition of the assets of the corporation including the land. They have no say in the corporate business ventures. Their hours of work were dictated by the corporation. In short, they were at the mercy of HLI,” Ambala stated in their petition.

“SC Spokesperson Midas Marquez cannot make an excuse out of the fact that the SC decision perpetuated social injustice in Hacienda Luisita,” Mariano said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/16/sc-decision-%E2%80%98same-monster-as-1989-2010-referendum%E2%80%99%E2%80%93-farmers%E2%80%99-group/

Proposed health budget for 2012, ‘inadequate, with wrong priorities’

Proposed health budget for 2012, ‘inadequate, with wrong priorities’

In a study of the proposed 2012 health budget conducted by the Coalition for Health Budget Increase (CHBI), it found out that the increases in the health budget only “define the Aquino Health Agenda of privatization and commercialization of public health care which will further jeopardize the health of the people.”
MANILA – Health workers from public hospitals trooped this week to the budget hearing in Congress, holding a picket at the gates of the House of Representatives to drum up their calls for the government to reverse its “trend of abdicating on health service provision.” As a start, the health workers said, the government should increase the health budget next year to at least P90-billion ($2.09 billion).

“Health is a human right,” the members of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), Alliance of Health Workers, women’s group Gabriela, community organizations and other concerned health advocates who formed the Coalition for Health Budget Increase, repeatedly said in their picket in front of the House of Representatives.

For the members of the new coalition, it would not do to transform health care and services as commodities which, if you cannot pay, you cannot avail of. They argued that if the government truly recognizes health as a right, it would not allow health services to be privatized. The health groups demanded an increase in the budget for operating expenses of public hospitals and government health centers, for disease prevention and for health workers and professionals, among others.

“The country’s patients and health have been suffering a lot already, but the Aquino government is prioritizing the acquisition of battle ships and killing machines,” said Sean Vilchez, deputy secretary-general of HEAD.

Government hospitals as enterprises
In his presentation introducing the health department’s proposed budget for next year, Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona also pointed to the worsening trend in Filipinos’ total health expenditures: the large and increasing share of “out-of-pocket” spending or the spending on health care that the people themselves shelled out at the point of service. In 2007, the latest year for which the government has data, the out-of-pocket spending comprised more than half of the total, dwarfing the share of the government and social insurance.

To address this problem, the health workers in public and specialty hospitals retained by the health department have been demanding for increased budgets. These, they said, would prevent public hospitals from charging its patients especially the poor..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/16/sc-decision-%e2%80%98same-monster-as-1989-2010-referendum%e2%80%99%e2%80%93-farmers%e2%80%99-group/

KMP insulted by government’s measly budget for farmers: P5 support per hectare of corn

KMP insulted by government’s measly budget for farmers: P5 support per hectare of corn

 “It is the farmers, without any meaningful support from the government, who principally worked for a bountiful harvest. Even the so-called budget for irrigation cannot be claimed as government support because we’re the ones paying the exorbitant irrigation fees. Now, because the the government is giving measly funds for the national rice and corn program, we seriously doubt that high harvest yields can continue.” – KMP
MANILA – The Department of Agrarian Reform has more funds for tarpaulin and posters, and this, farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said, is downright insulting.

“The Aquino government is allotting measly appropriations for the DA’s [Department of Agrarian Reform] national rice and corn program. The DA is getting P53.7 billion ($1.248 billion) for 2012, but only P6.181 billion ($143.7 million) is being given to the national rice program. While farmers shoulder the high cost of production, the administration abandons its responsibility to subsidize rice and corn farmers across the country,” KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said.

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) leader Danilo Ramos said the Aquino administration cannot claim credit for the supposedly record high harvests of unmilled rice and corn in the first semester of this year. He said it was the farmers, without any meaningful support from the government, who worked for a bountiful harvest. Government is allotting only P6.181 billion for the national rice program. (Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)
Ramos said of the total 2012 appropriations, only P4.533 billion (US$ 105.419 million) will go to 14 regional offices of the DA and the remaining amount will go the Office of the Secretary, the Agricultural Training Institute, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Bureau of Soil and Water Management, and the Bureau of Plant Industry. The P4.533 billion (US$ 105.419 million) in the meantime will be divided for the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) with P3.31 billion (US$769.767 million) and P1.223 billion (US$ 284.418 ) for Capital Outlay (CO).

“This means that only P1.223 billion (US$ 284.418 million) was allocated for 4.35 million hectares of rice lands or a measly P281 (US$6.53) per hectare,” Ramos said. “The Aquino government is spending more for tarpaulins than for direct support to rice farmers.”

In the meantime, for the national corn program, the DA has an appropriation of P950.739 million (US$22.1 million) but only P761.46 million (US$ 17.6 million) will go to the 14 regions because the P189.279 million ( $4.4 million) will go to the aforementioned agencies of the DA. The P761.46 million ($17.6 million) will also be divided into the corn program’s MOOP748.769 million ($17.4 million) and P12.7 million (US$302,325) for CO.

“This translates to an allocation of only P5.10 (US$0.118) per hectare for the 2.49 million hectares of corn lands,” Ramos said. “Given how the oil prices, irrigation fees, and the prices other farm inputs continue to rise, the government should all the more provide for the needs of farmers and the rest of the agriculture sector. The small budget for the national rice and corn program is an insult to rice and corn farmers.”

The KMP leader also said President Aquino cannot claim credit for the supposedly record high harvests in palay (unmilled rice) and corn in the first semester of this year and attribute it to improved irrigation.
In a press briefing last Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said palay production reached 7.57 million metric tons in the first half of the year. This was a 14.4 percent increase from 6.62 million tons in the first semester of 2010. Corn harvest hit 3.30 million tons, 37 percent more than 2.41 million tons a year ago.

The DA attributed the jump in production to the expansion of irrigated lands. It also noted that there was sufficient rainwater in the first half of the year to enable farmers in non-irrigated areas to plant rice.

“It is the farmers, without any meaningful support from the government, who principally worked for a bountiful harvest. Even the so-called budget for irrigation cannot be claimed as government support because we’re the ones paying the exorbitant irrigation fees. Now, because the the government is giving measly funds for the national rice and corn program, we seriously doubt that high harvest yields can continue,” he said.

Massive landgrabbing in Central Luzon

In a related development, the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (AMGL or Peasant Alliance in Central Luzon) and its provincial chapter Amgl-Nueva Ecija announced that they will launch a comprehensive campaign of protests against land grabbing in the region.

Based on the 2010 accomplishment report of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), nearly 96,000 Nueva Ecija farmers comprised some 36 percent of the farmer-beneficiaries in Central Luzon. They cultivate more than 41 percent or 169,000-hectares of productive agricultural lands..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/14/kmp-insulted-by-governments-measly-budget-for-farmers-p5-support-per-hectare-of-corn/

Babies kept in Dubai jails with their OFW mothers

Babies kept in Dubai jails with their OFW mothers

The Philippine embassy in Dubai should coordinate with local authorities and work for the speedy release of OFW inmates and their children on humanitarian grounds.

MANILA — Babies are being kept in prison with their mothers in jails in Middle East, and the Philippine Embassy in Dubai should immediately go to their aid.

This was the call issued by Migrante’s chapter in the Middle East, saying that there are more or less 15 women overseas Filipino workers with their children in jail in the Muraqabat prison for women in Dubai.

Migrante-Middle East regional director John Monterona said he received information from a recently released female OFW inmate who requested anonymity that there are about 100 OFW inmates in the said jail and 15 of them have their children incarcerated with them.

“The information we just received is quite disturbing. The innocent children have been exposed to the adversities and bitter realities of prison life,” said Monterona.

Monterona’s report has been corroborated by reporter Nichola Jones of the online newsmagazine 7Days. Jones followed the lead Migrante Middle East provided and visited the Muraqabat prison. Monterona said that the 7Days reporter told him through an email that she saw little children in the jail’s courtyard.

“I assumed it was ‘family visiting day’ but when I asked the guard, she told me they live there. They don’t ever get to go out of the prison compound and receive no education,” Jones said.

In her report, Jones also said, a prison official of the Dubai Central Jail in Al Awira said that there were also another 38 young children jailed with their mothers in the prison’s women’s section.

No figures were available for police station holding cells in Port Rashid, Al Rashidiya, Al Raffa and Bur Dubai.

A report by Gulf News in May revealed that in the Al Aweer Women’s Jail, women detainees are allowed to take custody of their children under two years of age while they are serving their jail sentences. A jail official, Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, deputy chief of Dubai Police, said the Dubai Police is the first security body to allow women detainees to babysit and breastfeed without time limits.

Monterona said the children should not be in jail in the first place even though their individual mother is in prison.

He said that Migrante staff in Dubai were given legal advice which suggests children can only be kept with their mothers in jail until they finish breast feeding – a policy the central jail official said is being implemented in the female block.

“No matter what, 38 children in jail is 38 too many. Some of the women OFWs were charged of illicit affairs. Unfortunately, they became pregnant and while serving their time in jai delivered their babies,” Monterona said.

Monterona said some OFWs who were jailed claimed they were sexually abused and got pregnant. “They tried to escape their employers/abusers, but their were charged with absconding and other made-up crimes like stealing or engaging in illicit affairs,” they said.

Unmarried pregnant women breaking the law

According to human rights website on laws in Dubai, unmarried women are guilty of violating the law if and when they become pregnant. A girlfriend/boyfriend defacto relationship in Dubai is illegal.

Through the years, there have been many documented cases of unmarried mothers in Dubai ending up in jail with their babies after delivery.

After release from jail upon the completion of their sentence, they are deported..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/14/babies-kept-in-dubai-jails-with-their-ofw-mothers/

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.
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.

“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..... MORE

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/

Nothing less than substate for peace deal, says MILF By Mario J. Mallari 08/17/2011

Nothing less than substate for peace deal, says MILF

By Mario J. Mallari 08/17/2011

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) insisted yesterday that any agreement less than its proposed Bangsamoro substate will not address the decades-long Mindanao conflict as the group indicated that the substate proposal would be the least it can offer at the bargain table in terms of autonomy when it negotiates peace with the government in Kuala Lumpur late this month.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, however, maintained there is nothing definite in any negotiations just like the ongoing peace process with the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

“We are not talking of non-negotiable because in any negotiation you cannot say that. What I can say is that
(Bangsamoro substate) is the least form of self-governance that can really address the problem in Mindanao,” said Iqbal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110817hed2.html

Miriam pitches for RP joining ICC, Senate votes on 2nd reading 08/17/2011

Miriam pitches for RP joining ICC, Senate votes on 2nd reading

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chairman of the foreign relations subcommittee, urged the Senate to concur with the ratification by President Aquino of the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court ICC).

The Senate voted for the measure on second reading, resolution No. 546 which seeks the upper chamber’s concurrence of the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, along with Sen. Joker Arroyo, however, cast a negative vote.

“Im not objecting, I’m registering a negative vote,” Enrile said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/

Senate wants Iggy at chopper hearing By Angie M. Rosales 08/17/2011


Senate wants Iggy at chopper hearing

By Angie M. Rosales 08/17/2011

All Senate eyes are now on the former First Gentleman’s brother, Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo, after he came out with a statement it was not his brother, Juan Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, who leased the five Raven helicopters—two of which were said to have been sold as brand new to the Philippine National Police but the family firm, LTA Inc.

But for coming out in the open and owning up to the transactions with Lionair Inc. president Archibald Po and not his older brother Mike, the Negros Occidental congressman has earned for himself an “invitation” to the Senate blue ribbon committee.

Senate probers were practically in unison while saying that the younger Arroyo will have to put it on record since he himself “offered” the information that their family transacted with Po but that it was in the nature of their company, Lourdes T. Arroyo Inc. (LTA Inc.), being the lessee of five Robinson helicopters from Lionair.

Whether or not Iggy will stick to his claims, should he agree to testify before the blue ribbon committee, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said he can produce a witness who can crush the former’s pronouncements and even prove that he is lying..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110817hed1.html

Two die in Sultan Kudarat explosion By Gina Peralta-Elorde and Mario J. Mallari 08/17/2011

Two die in Sultan Kudarat explosion

By Gina Peralta-Elorde and Mario J. Mallari 08/17/2011
Two persons were confirmed dead when a group of armed men attacked the convoy of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu along Alunan Highway, Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat last Monday afternoon.

Among those who died during the attack was Maguindanao Provincial Board Member Datu Russman Sinsuat Sr. He died at 12:13 a.m. yesterday from injuries he sustained of the explosion.

Police report said a Kia Sedan exploded hitting a passing black Toyota Fortuner owned by Sinsuat Sr. last Monday.

Sinsuat Sr.’s vehicle was part of the Mangudadatu convoy traveling along Alunan Highway when the bomb exploded..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110817nat1.html

SC upholds baselines law By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/17/2011

SC upholds baselines law

By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/17/2011

A ruling by the Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the constitutionality of the two year old l Baselines Law (Republic Act 9522) which critics said undermines the country’s claim over the contested Kalayaan Group of Islands.

The SC en banc through a decision by Senior Justice Antonio Carpio dismissed for lack of merit the petition filed by a group, led by international law experts Merlin Magallona and Harry Roque Jr. seeking to stop implementation of the law.

The petitioners claim the law had radically revised the definition of the Philippine archipelago resulting in the loss of at least 15,000 square nautical miles of the country’s territorial waters and claimed that RA 9522, which was an amendment of RA 3046 (the old Baselines Law),redefined the Philippine territory as having a roughly triangular shape, excluding much of the waters that were previously within the territory defined by the 1898 Treaty of Paris, which described the territory as rectangular about 600 miles wide and 1,200 miles long.

They also stressed that it also converted the country’s internal waters into “archipelagic waters” through standards under the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLoS) that uses the straight baselines method in delineating the national territory..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110817nat4.html

Cardinal says Mideo Cruz should be held liable for ‘blasphemous’ artwork 08/17/2011

Cardinal says Mideo Cruz should be held liable for ‘blasphemous’ artwork

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales yesterday said controversial artist Mideo Cruz should be held legally liable for his “blasphemous” artwork at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Rosales said Cruz must face the consequences of his actions for having offended the Christian faithful.

“He needs to be instructed. He needs to open his mind. Hindi dahil artista ka ay magagawa mo na lahat ng gusto mo na wala kang pakiramdam, wala kang pagpapahalaga sa damdamin ng iba (It doesn’t mean that if you are an artist, you can do whatever you want without considering other people’s feelings),” Rosales said in a radio interview over Radyo Veritas.

Rosales said Cruz’s work has crossed the boundaries of freedom of expression..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110817met3.html

Mandaluyong RTC rules: Smoking cigarettes in open spaces allowed 08/17/2011

Mandaluyong RTC rules: Smoking cigarettes in open spaces allowed

The Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court (RTC) yesterday issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from implementing its smoking ban along major thoroughfares, secondary roads and sidewalks in Metro Manila.

The TRO stemmed from a complaint by Antony M. Clemente and Vrianne I. Lamson who were accosted by MMDA’s so-called environmental enforcers while smoking cigarettes on a sidewalk along Edsa near Farmer’s Market in Cubao, Quezon City last July.

The two were issued environmental violation receipts and fined P500 each for disobeying the smoking ban.
In issuing the TRO, Judge Carlos A. Valenzuela cited the decision of the Supreme Court in MMDA vs Bel-Air Village Association Inc. (328 SCRA 636) where it ruled that Republic Act (RA) 7924 (An Act Creating the MMDA ) does not grant the MMDA with police or legislative powers and that all “its functions are administrative in nature.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110817met1.html

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