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America’s dirty little secret EDITORIAL 09/16/2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

America’s dirty little secret

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/16/2011
The rise of whistle-blower sites and organizations is turning inside out secretive governments and institutions primarily the United States which used to be thought of to have an impenetrable security lock on state secrets.

For years, the United States was suspected of lying in denying the presence of nuclear weapons in their former military bases in the country chiefly in Clark Air Base and the Subic Naval Base.

The mystery that shrouded the likely presence of nuclear arms in the country persisted until 1991 when almost at this time of the year, the Senate voted to terminate the Bases Agreement.

The debate on the nuclear presence in the country was significant because of a provision in the 1987 Constitution that bans the deployment of such weapon within the Philippine territory. The ban is absolute that even the transit of vessels or aircraft carrying nuclear arms were prohibited..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110916com1.html

Too early — but FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/16/2011

Too early — but

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
09/16/2011
Vice President Jojo Binay announced his intention to run for the presidency recently, and DoTC Secretary Mar Roxas’ reaction was to wish Binay good luck on his presidential bid.

Mar, however, made an indirect side crack when asked by reporters if it had been proper for Binay to declare his intentions this early, saying that he was working on pushing programs for safe, cheap and reliable transport for the Filipinos, adding that he is “focused on trains, boats and planes.”

That’s really an indirect way of saying that, unlike Binay, he is working hard, and not thinking of running for the presidency.

Yet everybody knows that Roxas certainly is eyeing the presidency in 2016. As a matter of fact, Noynoy himself announced early on that Mar will be his candidate for president in 2016..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110916com2.html

Jailing our children and teens DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 09/16/2011

Jailing our children and teens

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
09/16/2011
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” — Nelson Mandela

When I first heard of the “solution” which some senators are proposing to the “hamog boys” who perpetrate those “bukas taxi” (taxi ambush) thefts along the Edsa-Guadalupe stretch, I nearly fell off my car seat.

Sen. Chiz Escudero — enthusiastically supported by Senators Vicente Sotto and Pia Cayetano, the head of the Senate committee on youth, women and family relations) — wants to reduce the age limit of criminal liability from 15 years down to nine. The next day’s headlines couldn’t have said it clearer: “Senators want prison for youths involved in crimes.”

With the knowledge that out of every 1,000 children who enter Grade 1, 40 percent would have dropped out by Grade 6 and only 40 percent of that will graduate high school — of whom 49 percent would be unemployed due to the collapse of the economic, educational, and justice system that political leaders are supposed to uphold, I’m beginning to believe it is these senators who should be jailed first!

Sen. Ping Lacson also showed his support, arguing, “The age of offenders (is) going lower and lower (so that won’t help) if we exempt the younger ones from criminal liability…” Apparently, the young offenders he was referring to are those used as drug mules who are later let off easily because of their exclusion from criminal liability.

Sotto, for his part, buttressed the “drug dealers have been using couriers who are below 18 years old” argument by saying, “pag nahuli namin, ni hindi namin makuhanan ng impormasyon... kasi darating agad ‘yung mga abogado ng mga drug dealer at ipapa-turnover sa DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), so hilung-hilo ang PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) at PNP (Philippine National Police) in the issue of drugs…”

I don’t believe youngsters used in such cases can provide any more information than the multibillion-peso intelligence networks of the PNP and PDEA can. It is, in fact, the whole law enforcement and judicial system that’s at the root, as we’ve seen in the Alabang Boys case, where rogues from the Justice department and the courts sprung the culprits.

I can’t imagine law breakers as young as those “hamog boys” acting on their own. There has to be a freaking Fagin behind them, like in the case of the gang of child thieves in Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens’ tale of 18th Century industrial England where poverty and child labor festered.

How many of our out-of-school, homeless, hunger-driven youths, including many orphans among the nine to 15 year olds, are preyed upon and used by sinister Fagins behind the drug, beggar and pickpocket syndicate rings?
Instead, our senators want to throw those, who have had little guidance in the first place, into jail posthaste while they let the largest thieves of the land in power, water, tollways, port service and telecoms rackets fly free to plunder and impoverish the nation even more, and to spawn more orphaned, hungry, and aimless families — children and youth included?

I find it hard to imagine these senators taking such harsh attitudes on these juveniles who have never really been given a chance to take control of their lives. It is our system that has failed them.

Those who control the system from their perches at the top are most at fault. They are not only those in the high echelons of government but equally so those in the economic ruling class, who actually control the political leaders and have done everything to thwart the establishment of a just, kinder and socially equitable system in society.

We have a ruling class today that lives in much greater grandeur than Marie Antoinette while the culture it promotes is one that is made to be at awe of having 40 Philippine billionaires among Forbes’ most wealthy, forgetting that this great concentration of wealth has come at the expense of 40 million Filipinos (70 percent of that children and youth) living below the poverty line.

The senators, with their multi-hundred million pork barrel, and the oligarchs, with their trillions, will surely deny it; but they are plunderers — not only of our wealth but of our nations’ future.

French economist and statesman Frederic Bastiat once said: “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

And my, have they made such a system indeed — with the Epira (Electric Power Industry Reform Act), eVAT (expanded value added tax), and all! Only, this “jail the children” law has shown the true extent of their dehumanization. What have these senators become that they can no longer put the problem of child and youth law offenders in a balanced, fair and human perspective?
From Oliver Twist: “Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the sombre colors are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision.”

There are certainly gentler, kinder and more holistic ways to treat erring children and youth. Unicef and the Payo (Philippine Action for Youth Offenders), in their studies on out-of-school-youth, thus declare: “The moral development of out-of-school children in Metro Manila is appalling… even if they get older, (their) mental-moral capability… may remain retarded or develop at a very slow pace… The results… make a strong case for a serious re-examination of the law which imposes criminal liability on children at the age of nine… Judges should therefore be cautioned to treat youth offenders with utmost care, on a case-to-case basis, taking into account their individual levels of discernment… (requiring) the children (to) undergo thorough testing before adjudicating their culpability for a crime.”

As a grandfather, this quote from Harold Hulbert has especially much meaning: “Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it…” I sincerely hope this has spoken to you as well.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Saturday, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8 on “The Agnotology of WTC Building 7”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110916com5.html

UN nod to Palestinian state won’t ensure independence ANALYSIS 09/16/2011

UN nod to Palestinian state won’t ensure independence

ANALYSIS

09/16/2011
JERUSALEM — If the Palestinian bid to secure UN membership is successful, it could strengthen their ability to fight for independence through UN bodies, international conventions and the courts, analysts say.

But it would have little practical impact in ending the Israeli occupation or letting Palestinians exercise sovereignty over lands they want for their future state, experts warn.

“Once we have a clear resolution that allocates the land of Palestine to its rightful people and speaks about the exact borders of this land, the whole dynamics will change. We will shift to a completely different level,” PLO official Ammar Hijazi told AFP.

“When you stand as a state before another state, it will allow you to use different mechanisms that were not available to you before,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110916com3.html

North Korea cruise trip triggers offbeat moments FEATURE 09/16/2011

North Korea cruise trip triggers offbeat moments

FEATURE

09/16/2011
RASON — A senior official suddenly belts out opera on the deck of a rickety cruise ship, waitresses shimmy at an impromptu dance party below. It’s the good life, North Korea style.

The unexpected, unguarded moments were as offbeat as the trip itself — a cruise on an ageing boat for a group of Chinese tour operators and foreign journalists on a rare visit to a notoriously secretive nation.

The first song from Hwang Chol-Nam, the dapper vice mayor of Rason who was co-hosting the trip, came as the ship ploughed through rough seas one night and he gazed out over the waves from the deck.

It was, predictably, to the glory of leader Kim Jong-Il, who rules the isolated country with an iron grip..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110916com6.html

Islamists ready to share power in democratic Libya focus 09/16/2011

Islamists ready to share power in democratic Libya

focus

09/16/2011
TRIPOLI — Libyan Islamists, a rising political force since the fall of Moammar Kadhafi, are presenting a moderate face and expressing willingness to share power in a new democratic state.

“We believe in the need for partnerships and politics of a free state, civil and democratic,” Id al-Bannan, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood told AFP.

The Libyan branch of the Brotherhood movement is considered to be the most organized on the ground, despite it being ferociously repressed under Kadhafi’s regime.

“Libyan Islam does not tolerate fundamentalism or extremism,” said Bannan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110916com7.html

This day in history NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 09/16/2011

This day in history

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
09/16/2011
The Philippine Senate in 1991 voted “No!” on the extension of the US Military Bases in the Philippines. Rene Saguisag sent me this in an e-mail last week, about the 353-paged Bases of Decisions, a compilation of the senators’ speeches on the issue, “marked by courtesy, maturity, passion, depth, wit, elegance, felicity, and patriotism, in a day-long session, if I may say it so myself, as one senator voting NO!”

As I promised to reproduce the greater part of the former senator’s e-mail on this special day, here it is.

“Erap Estrada and Juan Ponce-Enrile joined us, the usual suspects as Commies, Reds and Pinkos, forming a broad united front in voting NO! The nation listened to our explanations, accepted our decision and moved on; all the polls had shown that overwhelmingly our people had wanted us to continue to be America’s last plantation, unsatisfied with more than 400 years of domination by the Spaniards, the British, the Americans and the Japanese..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110916com4.html

Constitutional crisis seen over impounded funds By Angie M. Rosales 09/16/2011

MORE AGENCIES JOIN STAND VS DBM

Constitutional crisis seen over impounded funds

By Angie M. Rosales 09/16/2011

A constitutional crisis looms on the ongoing dispute among the Executive, the Judiciary and some members of the Legislature over the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) move to “impound” excess funds from unfilled positions in the proposed 2012 national budget under a lump sum appropriation item called miscellaneous personnel benefit fund (MPBF), Sen. Joker Arroyo said yesterday.

Alongside this development, the Judiciary along with members of so-called constitutional offices had taken a stand and even made clear their position against the alleged impounding by the Executive of their share of the MPBF though a formal letter to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, copies of which were also furnished to Sen. Franklin Drilon who is Senate finance committee chairman and his counterpart in the Lower House, Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Among those who affixed their signatures in the said position paper are four appointees of President Aquino namely Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) chairman Sixto Brillantes, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairman Loretta Ann Rosales and Commission on Audit (CoA) chairman Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110916hed1.html

‘Judge Moner’ in flight logs of anomalous chopper 09/16/2011

‘Judge Moner’ in flight logs of anomalous chopper

09/16/2011
Claims made before the Senate by a self-confessed poll fraud operator, a former Shariah court judge and appointee of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, of using a helicopter purported to be owned by former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo appeared to be backed up in so-called flight logs.

Flight log report of Robinson R22/R44 by Lionair Inc. showed a certain “Judge Moner and security” as passengers in four flights made in one day, dated May 18, 2004.

It was not immediately established whether the person being referred to as passenger was Nagamura Moner, the former Shariah Circuit judge of Lanao del Sur and Iligan City, who linked Arroyo and former Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) manager Alfonso Cusi to the 2004 presidential poll fraud operations before the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing last Tuesday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110916hed3.html

Pirates seize undetermined number of Pinoy sailors off Benin coast in Africa By Michaela P. del Callar 09/16/2011

Pirates seize undetermined number of Pinoy sailors off Benin coast in Africa

By Michaela P. del Callar 09/16/2011

An undetermined number of Filipino sailors were among those seized by pirates on board a tanker off the Republic of Benin in Africa, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said yesterday.

Armed pirates, the IMB said, boarded the vessel at 1:21 a.m. yesterday, 62 miles southwest of Cotonou and sailed it to an unknown location. Aside from Filipinos, other nationalities reportedly on board the hijacked ship are from Spain, Peru and Ukraine.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is still verifying the incident.

The last reported numbers of Filipino captives by Somali pirates that were released by the DFA stand at 78. These Filipino seafarers on board eight vessels were abducted in separate occasions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110916nat1.html

Four killed, one wounded in clash of MILF factions 09/16/2011

Four killed, one wounded in clash of MILF factions

09/16/2011
At least four were killed while a civilian was wounded after an intense gunbattle erupted between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Ameril Umbra Kato’s Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) last Wednesday in Maguindanao province.

Army 6th Infantry Division (ID) deputy commander and concurrent spokesman Col. Manuel Luis Ochotoreno said that the firefight broke out around 6 a.m. along Sitio Patiwali in Barangay Ganta, Shariff Saydona Mustapha town.http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110916nat2.html

Ochotoreno said that the encountered elements came from the MILF’s 106th Base Command and Kato’s BIFM.

Initial reports show that two fighters each from the MILF, led by Max Sambulawan, and BIFM, headed by Hassan Indal, were killed during the clashes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110916nat2.html

Tougher traffic laws implemented in Makati City starting today 09/16/2011 Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay yesterday announced that starting today, Sept. 16, deputized traffic enforcers of the city’s Public Safety Department (also known as MAPSA) will begin implementing City Ordinance 2011-010 which amends certain provisions of the Makati City Traffic Code of 2003 and imposes higher fines and penalties for drunk driving, blocking intersections and other traffic violations in the city. Binay said the move is in line with the thrust of the city government to improve road safety and traffic flow in the country’s financial center which has an average daily vehicular volume of 800,000 on regular workdays. “The sheer volume of vehicles that ply our road network every day makes it necessary for us to take steps to ensure that motorists strictly abide by traffic rules and exercise discipline and courtesy on the road. We believe stiffer penalties are an effective deterrent to traffic violations that often cause accidents and traffic congestion,” Binay said.

Tougher traffic laws implemented in Makati City starting today

09/16/2011
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay yesterday announced that starting today, Sept. 16, deputized traffic enforcers of the city’s Public Safety Department (also known as MAPSA) will begin implementing City Ordinance 2011-010 which amends certain provisions of the Makati City Traffic Code of 2003 and imposes higher fines and penalties for drunk driving, blocking intersections and other traffic violations in the city.

Binay said the move is in line with the thrust of the city government to improve road safety and traffic flow in the country’s financial center which has an average daily vehicular volume of 800,000 on regular workdays.

“The sheer volume of vehicles that ply our road network every day makes it necessary for us to take steps to ensure that motorists strictly abide by traffic rules and exercise discipline and courtesy on the road. We believe stiffer penalties are an effective deterrent to traffic violations that often cause accidents and traffic congestion,” Binay said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110916met4.html

Comelec dismisses election protest filed by ex-DENR secretary vs Manila mayor By Pat C. Santos 09/16/2011

Comelec dismisses election protest filed by ex-DENR secretary vs Manila mayor

By Pat C. Santos 09/16/2011
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has dismissed the election protest filed by former DENR Secretary Joselito Atienza Jr. against Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim on the contested mayoralty position last May 2010 election.

Lim’s chief of staff and media bureau chief Ric de Guzman said the dismissal dated Sept. 13 is contained in a 19-page order issued by the Comelec’s First Division duly signed by Presiding Commissioner Rene Sarmiento and Commissioners Armando Velasco and Christian Robert Lim, a copy of which was furnished city hall yesterday.

The Comelec, in dismissing the protest without further proceedings, stated that: “All told, we find that protestant (Atienza) has failed to establish the merit or legitimacy of his election protest from his pinpointed pilot clustered precincts. We find no more need to proceed with the recount of the rest of his protested clustered precincts.

The order further stated that even if the commission accepts Atienza’s submission in its entirety, he is still unable to overcome the lead of Lim..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110916met3.html

Mike Arroyo ‘operator’ of spouse GMA, says ‘JV’ By Gerry Baldo 09/16/2011

Mike Arroyo ‘operator’ of spouse GMA, says ‘JV’

By Gerry Baldo 09/16/2011

Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo is the “operator” of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

This was the conclusion of San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito following numerous reports linking the former First Gentleman to anomalies in the Arroyo administration.

Ejercito, citing the testimony of former Sharia Court Judge Nagamura Moner that Mr. Arroyo has been operating in Mindanao during the previous elections, tagged Mr. Arroyo as the “certified operator” of the former President.

“No one testified about his involvement before, now it’s out in the open. That means that ‘FG’ is indeed the ‘certified operator’ of Mrs. Arroyo,” Ejercito said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110916met1.html

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