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Yellow doublespeak EDITORIAL 09/03/2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Yellow doublespeak

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When the yellows were in the opposition, they ranted and railed against the NorthRail project, criticizing the overpriced contract from some $500 million and ballooning to some $2.2 billion and the no-bidding style as well as the fact that the Chinese-made train would still be the old type train, and not a speed train that Metropolitan Manila needs.

When Noynoy and his boys came to power and position, the project was suspended, with the NorthRail contract under review and cancelled, unlike what they did to the two other contracts with the French and the Belgian contractors.

But it certainly looks like that which Noynoy and his boys really want is for their them to get at the contracts themselves — and even make these contracts more expensive thorugh expansion and “reconfiguration.”
Noy and Mar Roxas, his transport secretary, announced they will have the NorthRail contract “reconfigured.” He added that the new contract being worked out seeks to expand the railway to link the international airport in Clark to Makati City in Metro Manila, instead of the current plan drafted under the Arroyo administration to link Mabalacat, Pampanga with Caloocan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110903com1.html

Noy in Wonderland FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/03/2011

Noy in Wonderland

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy Aquino floored a lot of Filipinos when he called, in his speech during his China vist before Chinese businessmen, for investors to start investing in the Philippines as the country is an emerging economic power in the region.

If Gloria Arroyo, in her time, was rattling off her achievements in Enchanted Kingdom, Noynoy certainly is now living in Wonderland, not a place Alice was in, but a place where blunders are committed too often and by Mad Hatter Noynoy.

Imagine calling the Philippines an emerging economic power in the region, especially when he stated this simultaneously with the announcement of the National Statistics Office that the country’s growth in the second quarter muddled along at 3.4 percent from a year ago that was seen as mostly the result of huge government underspending.

The low growth in the second quarter came from a growth of 4.6 percent in the first quarter and was also well below the government’s target of a 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent, tagging the country as being among the weakest performers in Asia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110903com2.html

A decade later. Asia’s ‘war on terror’ still rages focus 09/03/2011

A decade later. Asia’s ‘war on terror’ still rages


JAKARTA — Indonesia has killed or captured most of the militants responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings, but it now faces new threats from second-generation jihadists inspired by the 9/11 attacks.

Even before the strikes on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, Southeast Asian militants were using the tactics of terror in their own war to create an Islamic caliphate across much of the region.

Groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah, which was founded by Indonesian exiles in Malaysia in the early 1990s, were already blamed for several attacks including bombings against churches and the Indonesian stock market in 2000.

But it was the spectacular “success” of 9/11 and the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan that galvanised them to join the war against what al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden called the “far enemy” — or Westerners..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110903com3.html

VAT on toll fees, questionable toll rates opposed

VAT on toll fees, questionable toll rates opposed

“The Aquino government should not treat our expressways like a milking cow; it should recognize it as a form of social service to the public.” TUTOL-SLEX
MANILA — Questions still linger over the price tag of the South Luzon Expressways (SLEx) project, which had ballooned more than twice its projected amount, from P5.88 billion($138.9m) to P12.5 billion ($295.2m). Why and how it happened in just four years has not yet been probed by the government despite the demands of consumers and taxpayers’ groups. Instead, the government, through its Toll Regulatory Board, had approved late last year increases in toll fee levels based on this still unexplained project cost.
(Read: Critics condemn the TRB “lies, treachery and betrayal” in hastily approving 300% toll fee hikes)
(See also: Apart from shocking 300% toll fee hike, govt has to account for dramatic jump in the SLEx project cost)

But before this year ends the government appears bent on coming out with another hike in toll fees, because another round is looming ahead as it gears up to impose the value-added tax (VAT) on its “approved” toll fees. In a picket protest before the Toll Regulatory Board, the TUTOL-SLEx, an alliance composed of taxpayers, consumers and transport workers and small operators, has urged the TRB and the public to stop this “added burden.”

“The Aquino government should not treat our expressways like a milking cow; it should recognize it as a form of social service to the public,” reasoned Sammy Malunes, spokesperson of TUTOL-SLEx. Malunes had worked at the government-owned LRT (Light Rail Transit) until 2001, when majority of the employees including him who was then the union president were dismissed for having defended their right to strike. Malunes and other members of the LRT union have since joined groups that remind the government of the public service component of the country’s railways and toll roads.

In a protest before the Toll Regulatory Board last Sept 1, the TUTOL-SLEx urged President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to scrap “this plan of robbing people who don’t have choices other than use the expressways in travelling.”

Lack of due process, again

TUTOL-SLEx pointed out once more the TRB’s seeming lack of due process in setting toll fees.
After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of imposing VAT on toll fees, the TRB has reportedly prepared to tackle the increase in toll fees being collected along the country’s expressways, even as the Bureau of Internal Revenue has put forward its estimates that the toll operators owe the government a total of P6.5 billion ($153.9 million) in unpaid VAT on toll from 2007 to 2009.

But when the TUTOL-SLEx attended what was supposedly a public hearing on toll fees, the group found out that the TRB “once again fell short of its responsibility to the people.” The group aired its disappointment with the supposed hearing as they found only the TRB executive director, Mr Manuel G. Imperial, and TRB spokesman, Mr. Julius Corpuz, acting as panel in the hearing..... MORE

Source Bulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/02/vat-on-toll-fees-questionable-toll-rates-opposed/

No land reform in Nueva Ecija

No land reform in Nueva Ecija

“We all know that Nueva Ecija is the country’s rice granary but farmers still do not own the lands they till and worse, they are being displaced because farm lands are being converted.” – Joseph Canlas, AMGL chairman.

MANILA – With thousands of farmers facing displacement, peasant groups branded Nueva Ecija province as “a classic model of the bankruptcy of the government’s agrarian reform program.”

According to data gathered by the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (AMGL, Peasant Alliance in Central Luzon), farmers in various parts of the province are facing cancellations of Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA), Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) and Emancipation Patents (EP) and foreclosure.

The group recently held a Caravan against Land grabbing and Displacement and visited Guimba, Muñoz, Cuyapo, Quezon, Licab, Aliaga, Jaen and Sta. Rosa towns.

“We all know that Nueva Ecija is the country’s rice granary but farmers still do not own the lands they till and worse, they are being displaced because farm lands are being converted,” said Joseph Canlas, AMGL chairman.


The AMGL cited the case of farmers from villages Manggang Marikit, Bagong Barrio and Yuson (Mambayu) in Guimba town.

More than a hundred hectares that used to be part of Hacienda Davis have been covered by Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) during the 1990s. The land was leased by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Land Bank of the Philippines to the Philippine Cotton and a Taiwanese agro-corporation.

The Mambayu farmers cultivated the land from 1992 until the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO) came up with a list of farmer-beneficiaries called ListaSaka in 2007. Members of ListaSaka who were able to position themselves in some parts of the land sold parcels of land to a religious sect.

The PARO filed ejectment cases against the Mambayu farmers that reached the Court of Appeals in 2010. The court decision in some of the cases were favorable to ListaSaka while some are pending. Since last year, the PARO, Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO), Philippine National Police (PNP) in Guimba and the provincial police and the 81st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army have been forcing the Mambayu farmers to vacate the land, AMGL said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/01/no-land-reform-in-nueva-ecija/

Proof of military sabotage of party-list elections exposed

Proof of military sabotage of party-list elections exposed

Reports of how the AFP has been attacking and preventing the victory of progressive party-list groups abound. But the smoking gun that would prove these allegations was finally discovered: it was contained in the testimonies that the Mayuga report suppressed.

At last there’s concrete and indisputable proof that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) directly engaged in sabotaging the chances of progressive party-list groups in the 2004 elections.

As they continue to go over the Mayuga Report, Bayan Muna Reps. Teddy Casiño and Neri Javier Colmenares discovered that the controversial military report on the 2004 elections also glossed over or covered up references to the military’s involvement in the campaign for party list group allied with former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and against progressive party list groups including Bayan Muna. The lawmakers said those mentioned in the report could face graft and electioneering charges.

“The name of a certain Col. Rey Ardo keeps cropping up and it appears that the same man went around Lanao and other areas in Mindanao during the 2004 Election,” said Colmenares.

Colmenares said Ardo’s name was mentioned by Gen. Hermogenes Esperon as having been given the task to go around the country to supposedly distribute primers of the Commission on Elections.

“Esperson was quoted saying this, but according to testimonies of officers, Esperon was actually asking them to make sure that the ANAD Party list wins. A Lt. Col. Elmer Logronio testified that Col. Ardo asked him to call for a meeting of mayors in Lanao. In the said meeting what was discussed was ensuring ANAD’s victory,” he said.

ANAD stands for the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy which currently has one representative in congress, Rep. Jun Alcover. AFP supports, cheats for ANAD Party-List Colmenares explained that in the Mayuga Report’s section containing questions asked various witnesses, Questions 83, 84, 88 and 96 were on Col. Logronio’s testimony.

83. Question - Were there active officers who also went there not organic to SOUTHCOM (Southern Command) or Marine Brigade?

Answer - Si Col. Ardo, pero ang tsinecheck niya iyong stand ng Anad. (Col. Ardo, but he immediately checked on to status of Anad.

84. Question – Can you recall the date when you saw him?

Answer – Election period. Before election, May 8 or 9, nag present siya ng Anad and after election nandoon din siya. (Before the elections, May 8 or 9. He presented for Anad and after the elections he was also there.

88. Question – What specifically were the directives at that time?

Answer – Distribute ang leaflets and information sa Anad and to make sure na mananalo ang Anad. (Distribute leaflets and information on Anad and to make sure that Anad wins.)

96. Question – You were not informed that it was a political party?

Answer – Party list lang sir ang sinasabi. Ang pagkakaintindi ko may panlaban tayo sa mga party list na prine present nila halimbawa iyong Bayan Muna. (I was told it was a party-list. As I understood it, we were told that we have a party that would compete against party-list groups like Bayan Muna.)

These testimonies, Colmenares said, were deliberately neglected by the Mayuga Panel.

Admission of electoral fraud campaign 

“The testimony of Lt. Col. Ronald Villanueva as revealed in his answers to Questions 37, 62-67, and 127 was more direct to the point. When asked if he considers as partisan political activity the request of Col. Ardo to help Anad , he answered ‘I will only reduce the influence of left leaning party list organizations by telling my personnel and asking the people who were seeking positions [candidates] how much he can contribute and if he can help Anad because it was given to me as additional assignment to help Anad,’” he said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/01/proof-of-military-sabotage-of-party-list-elections-exposed/

Gabriela calls on Butuan Bishop to stop coddling priest charged with rape of minor

Gabriela calls on Butuan Bishop to stop coddling priest charged with rape of minor

Gabriela said the CBCP should issue specific directives to Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos to stop coddling the accused priest. It also welcomed the statement earlier made by Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, head of the Catholic Bishops National Tribunal of Appeals, that it is the duty of the Diocese of Butuan to commence Cabonce’s trial under canon law.

MANILA — Stop protecting the priest who allegedly raped 17-year old Leah.

This was the demand issued by activist women’s group Gabriela to Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos after the latter admitted that Fr. Fraul Cabonce was under his custody. Cabonce is the parish priest of St. Anne Parish in Tubay, Agusan del Norte. He is being accused by a 17-year old high school graduate for sexually abusing and raping her while she was under his supposed care as a scholar of St. Anne Parish.

The victim, “Leah” came out earlier last week to expose Cabonce, saying that from September 2010 to April 2011, the priest subjected her to various forms of sexual abuse including forced oral sex and rape.

Leah and her parents sought the help of Gabriela to help secure justice for the minor. The victim herself said she is determined to see the alleged perpetrator punished not only because of what he did to her, but because she wants him stopped from repeating the abuse to other children and women.

With the help of Gabriela, Leah filed charges of rape, acts of lasciviousness and child abuse against the priest last August 25.

According to Gabriela spokesperson for Caraga Atel Hijos, Cabonce has been temporarily relieved of his duties as parish priest and reassigned to the Bishop’s Palace in Caraga by Bishop Pueblos. The move has been met by protests from Leah’s supporters.

Gabriela secretary-general Lana Linaban said by taking Cabonce into his custody and deciding to merely transfer him to another parish, Bishop Pueblos is condoning the abusive act committed against Leah. “What the Bishop is doing is in violation of criminal laws and the law of the Church,” she said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/30/gabriela-calls-on-butuan-bishop-to-stop-coddling-priest-charged-with-rape-of-minor/

After China, 2 foreign visits lined up for Noy; Palace defends trips By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 09/03/2011

After China, 2 foreign visits lined up for Noy; Palace defends trips

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 09/03/2011

President Aquino is swallowing everything that he has been throwing against the previous administration, including his tirades on foreign travels funded with taxpayers’ money as Malacañang yesterday announced that the country’s newest globe-trotting President will go on state visit to the United States and Japan.

Even before he could even finish his five-day state visit to China, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is already finalizing arrangements for Aquino’s state visits to both countries just for this September.

There are no details how many people will be part of the presidential entourage in Aquino’s upcoming trip to the US and Japan but in his state visit to China, he brought with him at least 200 business contingent and around 70 Cabinet members and support staff.

“I think there are several invitations for consideration also. I will have to get confirmation from the DFA because several countries have also extended their invitations to the President. I am not quite sure how the details are being threshed out,” Valte said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110903hed3.html

US suspected Saudi envoy of aiding terror suspects in RP — Wikileaks By Michaela P. del Callar 09/03/2011

US suspected Saudi envoy of aiding terror suspects in RP — Wikileaks

By Michaela P. del Callar 09/03/2011

Saudi Arabia’s top envoy in Manila had interfered in terrorism cases in the Philippines, using the close to one million Filipino workers in the Kingdom as a leverage, to secure the release of Saudi citizens linked to terrorists operating in the country, a US cable released by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks said.

The US Embassy in Manila, in a May 4, 2005 cable classified as secret and sent by former Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, expressed alarm at the “disturbing trend” involving Saudi envoy Mohammed Ameen Wali and senior Philippine police and Immigration officials.

A Saudi citizen named Talhi, who was arrested by the Philippine National Police and included in a watch list of Immigration violators, was ordered released by PNP Chief Arturo Lomibao on May 2, 2005 after speaking to Wali.

Talhi, Ricciardone said, “had admitted to giving $8,000 to Cotabato Mayor (Muslimin) Sema, whose meetings with suspected terrorist financiers caused us to suspend a USAID road project.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110903hed6.html

PNP files plunder raps vs Big Mike By Gina Peralta-Elorde 09/03/2011


PNP files plunder raps vs Big Mike

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 09/03/2011

Plunder charges have been filed at the Office of the Ombudsman against former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, together with 16 others, by the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) over the PNP’s purchase of two used helicopters passed off as brand new.

The complaint which was filed yesterday, stated that the PNP’s procurement of two Robinson R44 Raven 1 helicopters from the Manila Aerospace Trading Corporation (Maptra) in 2009 was anomalous.

According to CIDG director Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao, the purchase of the Robinson R44Raven I helicopters was anomalous.

The fact-finding committee was said to have found that the two choppers were sold as brand-new but that they were confirmed to be second-hand and pre-owned by the former First Gentleman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110903hed1.html

Lawmaker calls on Senate to look into landslide accident in Baguio City By Angie M. Rosales 09/03/2011

Lawmaker calls on Senate to look into landslide accident in Baguio City

By Angie M. Rosales 09/03/2011

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III yesterday called on the upper chamber to step into the garbage landslide accident in Baguio City during the height of Typhoon “Mina” last week which claimed the lives of three persons.
The senator pressed for the conduct of inquiry by the committee on health and demography in joint with the local government panel on the condition of all the dumpsites in the country to determine whether these comply with RA 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act of 2003.

Heavy rains brought about by the said typhoon last Aug. 27, caused the mound of garbage at the Irisan dumpsite in Baguio City to loosen and later destroyed a retaining wall.

The ensuing avalanche of trash killed three people, destroyed three homes and damaged many others..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110903nat2.html

Solon cautions gov’t against selling military golf courses By Charlie V. Manalo 09/03/2011

Solon cautions gov’t against selling military golf courses

By Charlie V. Manalo 09/03/2011

An administration solon last Thursday cautioned against proposals to turn golf courses of the Armed Forces of the Philippines into commercial complexes for the purpose of generating income for the government because this would destroy what little greeneries that are left in Metro Manila.

According to Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, suggestions to destroy the various AFP golf courses in favor of malls and other commercial complexes purposely to raise revenues sounds logical, especially at a time that the government sorely need funds but this might have long-term effects on the environment.

“The golf courses does not only provide our veterans and the public a healthy diversion but more importantly, these areas are basically the only patches of greenery that can be found in Metro Manila aside from our wildparks that are sporadically located in the metropolis,” Sarmiento said.

“There is a need to balance such proposal because Metro Manila is running out of green spaces for carbon dioxide absorption,” he added as he noted that the unabated increase in vehicles and other sources of air pollutants has made Metro Manila one of the most polluted cites around the world..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110903nat1.html

Solon tells Noynoy: Heed call of your bosses to scrap or at least suspend collection of VAT By Charlie V. Manalo 09/03/2011

Solon tells Noynoy: Heed call of your bosses to scrap or at least suspend collection of VAT

By Charlie V. Manalo 09/03/2011

As the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is now gearing to collect an additional 12 percent value added tax (VAT) on toll rates at the South Luzon Expressway (Slex), Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño reiterated his call for the scrapping of the burdensome regressive tax, or at least to have it suspended.

“Consumers from all walks of life are reeling from the effects of the VAT, it is high time that it is scrapped or at the very least suspended. It is imposed on almost all goods and services and has been a bane to consumers from A-E. It has greatly affected the purchasing capacity of Filipino citizens, especially on the majority of those who receive salaries below the required cost of living and those who are underemployed or have no jobs at all,” the militant solon said.

“If collection of the VAT is immediately suspended, oil prices will decrease by at least P6, we will have lower electric bills and the VAT on toll will not take effect. This will also reflect in other goods and services and will redound to an increase in the purchasing power of consumers,” Casiño said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110903met1.html

Roxas Blvd. closed today to give way to ‘Alay Lakad Para sa Kabataan’ 09/03/2011

Roxas Blvd. closed today to give way to ‘Alay Lakad Para sa Kabataan’

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday announced the closure of Roxas Boulevard to give way to The Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit’s “Alay Lakad Para sa Kabataan” today, September 4, which will be attended by about 500,000 to 800,000 participants.

The following roads will be closed starting at exactly 4 a.m. based on traffic advisory from MDTEU:
North and southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard, from Anda Circle to President Quirino; P. Burgos from Roxas Boulevard to Lagusnilad east and westbound; T.M. Kalaw from Roxas Boulevard to Taft Avenue east and westbound, and Ayala Avenue corner Finance Street.

Motorists may take the following alternate routes:

All vehicles coming from southern part of Manila intending to utilize the stretch of Roxas Boulevard northbound lane shall turn right to P. Ocampo or President Quirino, left to Taft Avenue to point of destination..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110903met3.html

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