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Noy’s bag of surprises EDITORIAL 08/30/2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Noy’s bag of surprises

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The nation hasn’t yet recovered from the surprise that Noynoy pulled in that secret meeting held with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman, Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, in Japan that many saw as a revival of the scuttled Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) which sought to create the unconstitutional Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE), now Malacañang has sprung another whammy in the $50-billion joint exploration agreement that may be brought up in Noynoy’s visit to China starting Aug. 30.

The agreement sounds like another rerun of another controversial past deal. The Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking Agreement with China during the Arroyo administration was assailed as being grossly tilted toward China’s since it allowed the exploration of areas which are not part of the disputed territories. The Senate then said that going through with the agreement would be an impeachable offense on the part of the President.

The Palace has not released any details on the agreement, merely giving an assurance that the administration would assure that the agreement would be fair on the benefits to be derived from it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110830com1.html

Impossible dream FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/30/2011

Impossible dream

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Strange are truly the ways of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) — despite the country being under a claimed honest and transparent Aquino administration.

One would have thought that, having Noynoy appointees to head the Comelec, the electorate can now hope to have a clean poll body and clean polls.

But it appears that no such thing is likely to happen — especially as the 2013 senatorial polls loom, with, no doubt, Noynoy wanting to ensure the victory of his senatorial bets — which means bets largely coming from the Liberal Party ranks.

While a joint probe body headed by both the Department of Justice and the Comelec will be conducting hearings on the alleged 2004 and 2007 election fraud and the designated members named, the Comelec chairman apparently had a change of mind and pulled out its former law department director Ferdinand Rafanan as member of the joint Comelec-DoJ panel..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110830com2.html

Not a peep NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 08/30/2011

Not a peep

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Outside of typhoon talk, last week’s usap-usapan centered mostly on three topics: Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo once again covering up for Kuya Mike, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay’s heated exchange with Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang, and an Agusan-based priest’s alleged rape of a female minor.

Recall that we never really hear anything from Iggy Arroyo. Not a peep, on issues big or small. He just really creeps out of the woodwork whenever there’s need to defend the bro’. And look here, for this time around, he’s not even well, there’s talk about a serious ailment that needed to be treated all the way in London. Yet he broke free from the treatment, albeit momentarily, to confer with lawyers, and thereafter issue statements clearing utol of anything and everything, along the lines of “Whatever it is, it ain’t Jose Miguel whodunit, I dunnit.”

So, ‘ayan. The helicopters Sen. Ping Lacson’s witnesses say were actually owned by the former First Gentleman and used in his wife’s 2004 campaign and then sold to the Philippine National Police as brand new? Ex-FG knew nothing about that, because it was all Iggy’s doing. And then Iggy proceeds to tell an unlikely tale of choppers not really owned by them, but merely leased. So on and so forth, ad nauseum, with Iggy clearly expecting us to believe him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110830com4.html

There is an alternative AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 08/30/2011

There is an alternative

Ken Fuller
This outsider has it on good authority that in the recent past, former president Joseph Estrada has developed an admiration for Claro M. Recto, who over the course of his career evolved from traditional politician to consistent nationalist. Had Recto’s nationalism begun to work its magic earlier, there would have been no question of Mr. Estrada attempting to remove the nationalist safeguards from the Constitution during his abbreviated presidency. It would seem, however, that son Jinggoy has yet to fall under the Recto spell, for he is calling for the “outdated charter” to be amended.
Another senator supporting a review of the economic provisions is Antonio Trillanes IV. According to the Philippine Star report of Aug. 16, his main interest seems to lie in securing a reduction in domestic shipping rates (presumably by the introduction of foreign competition, although this is far from clear). He also argues that Congress should discuss and vote on the amendments one by one, in the same manner as normal legislation, thus obviating the need for a constitutional convention or constituent assembly, either of which might be railroaded into a sweeping revision of the Charter.
It is surprising to see Trillanes’ name associated with revision or elimination of the economic provisions because he is held to be a staunch nationalist. Indeed, when I interviewed Sonny Melencio earlier this year for my current book project (the third and final volume of a history of the Philippine left; the first volume was published by UP Press in 2007 as Forcing the Pace, while the second, A Movement Divided, will be issued by the same publisher very shortly), he recalled how, when he had visited Trillanes in detention, the latter had expressed opposition to socialism on the grounds that it was “foreign.” So too, Melencio pointed out, is nationalism, meaning that some ideologies, although originated in specific geographical/historical circumstances, can have universal application.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110830com5.html

Armstrong relives historic moon landing FEATURE 08/30/2011

Armstrong relives historic moon landing


SYDNEY — It’s more than 40 years since Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, but his memories of the historic flight remain as undimmed as his passion for further exploration of space.

The Apollo 11 commander, now aged 81, relived the 1969 mission that enthralled the world as he watched Google’s new high-definition images of the moon in Australia last week.

The pictures, available on YouTube since May but which Armstrong said he had only just seen, show Apollo 11’s landing spot, including the fuel cell left behind which it also used as a launch pad.

“So for the sceptics about whether we ever landed on the moon — this is a pretty good indication that somebody’s done it,” he quipped to a business audience that had paid hundreds of dollars to hear him speak..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110830com6.html

PPP: Once again — with feeling VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 08/30/2011

PPP: Once again — with feeling

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
There was this recent disappearing act of no less than the President of the Republic: It was called a “visit.” It was done “abroad.” It was held “secret” in nature and objective.

Thus it came to pass that there was a time when the country had a President who could be then rightfully considered “missing” by the People of the Philippines — until the rare phenomenon was eventually brought to their attention. The cat is out of the bag. The issue is big. The implication is profound.

Briefly said, true or false, the distinct occasion brought to fore a distinct concern about the distinct matter of a “substate” in Mindanao — or something the like. The reactions were serious and immediate. Those indirectly concerned registered their reservations. Those directly concerned came up with their own convictions.

Thus came to pass the huge and shrieking headline of a well-known national daily echoing the choice occasioned by the said “visit.” In other words, some kind of an alternative was given to the Malacañang occupant: “Popularity or Peace.” Translation: Disregard the establishment of the “substate” and remain “popular.” See to it the “substate” becomes a reality and “peace” would be the fruit thereof..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110830com7.html

Kato rattles saber as MILF queries gov’t offer for peace By Mario J. Mallari 08/30/2011

Kato rattles saber as MILF queries gov’t offer for peace

By Mario J. Mallari 08/30/2011
A supposed renegade member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Ameril Umbra Kato vowed yesterday to destroy peace efforts between the government and the secessionist group as the main MILF negotiators questioned the government’s offered formula of a “Bangsamoro Commission” in its proposed draft peace agreement, claiming such does not provide real autonomy to the Moro people.

Surrounded by a small band of ragtag but ruthless followers, hardline Muslim rebel commander Kato vowed to destroy the latest peace efforts.

Decades of fighting have neither wearied nor diluted the resolve of the Saudi Arabian-educated guerrilla, and he warns he remains willing to kill and die in his quest to achieve an independent Muslim homeland in the resource-rich Mindanao.

Jun Mantawil, head of the MILF peace panel secretariat, meanwhile, said the government of the Philippines’ (GPH) proposed draft agreement was not meant to allow Bangsamoro people self-determination being pursued by the MILF..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110830hed2.html

Alvarez already sacked, says Noy By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 08/30/2011


Alvarez already sacked, says Noy

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 08/30/2011

Earlier denials of an impending top-level revamp at the Bureau of Customs (BoC), notwithstanding, President Aquino yesterday announced that he had sacked Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez who came under fire following the disclosure that 2,000 container vans vanished into thin air right under the nose of the Customs chief.

In pre-recorded interview over Radio Mindanao Network, Aquino disclosed that he had fired Alvarez and had found a replacement for him without giving a name, bolstering lingering speculations the President’s action has long been a done deal although he tried very hard to deny it.

Aquino’s announcement came a day before his scheduled five-day state visit to the People’s Republic of China.

Alvarez, meanwhile, said he will start packing his bag after Aquino confirmed his dimissal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110830hed1.html

Saudi Arabia extends ‘Royal Amnesty’ to overstaying Filipinos 08/30/2011

Saudi Arabia extends ‘Royal Amnesty’ to overstaying Filipinos

Filipinos who are overstaying after performing “Umrah,” a form of pilgrimage, are given until Sept. 14 to leave Saudi Arabia, the largest Islamic state in the Middle East and where the two Holy Mosques are located, without being penalized, according to a Filipino migrants right group.

Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said last April 27 the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced that a Royal amnesty was granted to expatriates who have violated residency rules and overstayed as reflected on their ‘umrah’ visas on Sept. 22, 2010 for a period of six months or up to March 23, 2011. This has been extended up to Sept. 14, 2011.

“Filipinos who were overstaying after performing ‘Umrah’ have barely 15 days to avail themselves of the Royal pardon. They could leave Saudi Arabia without any corresponding penalty, monetary and weeks of detention at the deportation center till Sept. 14,” Monterona added.

Monterona said overstaying Filipinos can directly proceed to any Saudi international airports and will only be required by Saudi immigration authorities to present his or her passport along with the expired ‘umrah’ visa and airplane ticket..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110830nat6.html

Bill seeking to video-tape all gov’t transactions filed By Angie M. Rosales 08/30/2011

Bill seeking to video-tape all gov’t transactions filed

By Angie M. Rosales 08/30/2011

A proposition has been laid down in the Senate where government procurement transactions are being required to be video-taped, in the hope of preventing and discouraging corruption.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV proposed to make mandatory the video recording of all the meetings and proceedings starting from the level of the bids and awards committee (BAC) to ensure transparency and honesty in the execution of government policies.

Five years since the enactment of the Government Procurement Reform Act or Republic Act 9184 is still plagued with collusion, abuse of discretionary criteria, malfeasance, misfeasance, and other forms of corruption, the senator noted.

“It is high time that we use video recording in all the procurement transactions of the government to prevent corruption issues like the anomalous purchase of helicopters by the PNP (Philippine National Police) officials,” Trillanes said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110830nat1.html

Philpost stops free ‘snail mail’ service to judicial system By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/30/2011

Philpost stops free ‘snail mail’ service to judicial system

By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/30/2011

In a sign of the times, postal officials yesterday said its cash- strapped operations could no longer provide free “snail mail” service to the country’s judicial system and asked the Supreme Court (SC) to formally review the “franking privilege” it enjoys.

Despite recent rules allowing electronic evidence and other advances in paperless documentation, the bulk of pleadings before the courts are still paper-based copies sometimes requiring up to 11 copies of a single pleading.

The Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost) is now asking the high court to share in the cost of transporting the franked mail by air..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110830met1.html

Multinational firms behind push for RH bill — solon 08/30/2011

Multinational firms behind push for RH bill — solon

Multinational companies manufacturing condoms and other contraceptives are behind the push for the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, a lawmaker from Manila said yesterday.

According to Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing, the multinational companies, mostly American pharmaceutical firms, are expected to earn some P200 million every day from the sale of contraceptives in the country.

“Hindi naman ang RH ang isyu dito eh. Gusto lang kumita ang mga Kano kaya sila ang nasa likod niyan,” Bagatsing said.

Bagatsing, a member of a congressional bloc opposing the bill, said the Philippine government is being dictated upon by the United States through the Millennium Development Goals. He added the Philippines has nothing to gain from the bill, except to buy and give out condoms and other contraceptives..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110830met2.html

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