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Destroying democracy EDITORIAL 09/22/2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Destroying democracy

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/22/2011
Noynoy’s allies are really going too far in displaying their subservience to him, to the extent of their insistence in destroying the independence of a co-equal body which is the Supreme Court (SC) and other constitutional bodies, without even giving a thought of their acts setting a dangerous precedent.

Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, vice chairman of the House justice committee, threatened members of the high court with impeachment should they rule as unconstitutional the provision for the P23-billion miscellaneous personnel benefits fund (MPBF) in the 2012 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Ruling this proviso as unconstitutional, said Fariñas, constitutes betrayal of public trust for the SC’s “usurpation” of legislative powers.

“If Congress decides to institutionalize the MPBF to prevent the malady of not filling up of vacant positions in order to use the appropriations intended for such for other purposes, the House could rule that such is a betrayal of public trust,” Fariñas stressed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110922com1.html

Questionable moves FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/22/2011

Questionable moves

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
09/22/2011
Former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia (ret.) was ordered by Noynoy to serve out his sentence of hard labor for two years arising from his conviction meted out by a military court.

Noynoy appeared pleased with himself that he had ordered Garcia imprisoned in the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa, with early claims of Gloria Arroyo not having acted on the conviction and sentence of Garcia.

It was later found that the papers never reached Gloria, which only proves that Noynoy and his administration, without going through checks, quickly blame Gloria for anything and everything with speed and no thought.

Apart from the military admitting to having no record of the military court’s transmittal of the Garcia conviction to Malacañang, there also appears to have been more mistakes committed regarding the incarceration of Garcia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110922com2.html

Palestinian UN campaign seen as rebuke to US focus 09/22/2011

Palestinian UN campaign seen as rebuke to US

focus

09/22/2011
UNITED NATIONS — The Palestinian campaign for statehood at the United Nations is a diplomatic bullet aimed as much at the United States as at Israel, according to many observers.

Any US veto of a Palestinian application for UN Security Council recognition could bring Palestinian-US tensions to a new peak following a year in which there has been virtually no progress in resolving the Middle East conflict.

US President Barack Obama is to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, which risks being overshadowed by the Palestinian bid for statehood.

No meeting with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is planned, and Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour has accused the US administration of taking a “negative position” with its veto threats..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110922com3.html

Family of OFW suspected to have been starved to death demands justice

Family of OFW suspected to have been starved to death demands justice

Janice Joy Pampangan’s arms bore marks of being either tied with a thick rope or handcuffed; her left eye was missing; and her internal organs were shrunken. Her fingernails were long and her body appeared disheveled, indicating that she was tied, abused, and left to die.
by INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

There is no grief like that of parents whose child had been killed and continues to be denied justice.
A year after her death, the family of Janice Joy Pampangan, 25, continues to cry to high heavens seeking justice for their daughter. Janice Joy, originally from Makilala, Kidapawan in South Cotabato, died in Jordan May 2010 under mysterious circumstances. The mystery has been compounded as her family received three death certificates stating three different dates of her demise.

According to Migrante-Middle East regional director John Leonard Monterona, the Pampangan family has sought the assistance of a Migrante chapter in Davao City because they felt Philippine authorities have not acted on their appeals for an investigation into Janice Joy’s death.

Janice Joy was recruited by a Paranaque-based Almeladi recruitment agency to work as a domestic worker for a Jordanian household. She left for Jordan on September 15, 2005. She signed a two-year contract and successfully completed it in 2007, but, according to reports, her employer forbid her to leave despite her constant pleas.

In the fact sheet of her case prepared by Migrante-Davao chapter, Janice Joy’s parents said that in October 2007, their daughter was able to talk to them on the phone but the call lasted for less than 30 minutes. Her previous phone calls were even shorter and so were the ones that followed that October 2007 call.

The victim’s father had previously accused the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) of negligence for her daughter’s death. In a media interview, Janice’s father Faustino Pampangan said that after leaving for Oman, jordan in 2005, Janice did not contact her family for five months causing her parents to worry. Faustino went to the OWWA, but the agency told him to wait for at least a year explaining that it was not unusual for OFW to fail to contact their families for long periods.

After a year of waiting, he went back and asked Owwa about her daughter’s whereabouts and was asked to wait again.

Finally, during that period, they were able to talk to Janice Joy, but the girl said she could not talk much about what was happening to her because her employer was always present. “But even then she was already asking us to help her to leave her employer,” the father said.

Janice Joy’s mother said they had also gone to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), but the DFA only kept telling them that they were still “processing” Janice Joy’s case. We kept returning to the DFA, but they were never able to help us,” she said.

Owwa and DFA deaf to OFW family’s pleas

For three years since their daughter began working in Jordan, Faustino said they appealed to the DFA and the Owwa to help bring Janice Joy home out of fear for her safety. They were convinced even then that Janice Joy was a victim of constant abuse.

“She was forced to stay with her employer for three years, but the entire time she wanted to come home. We kept asking the Owwa for help, but all it did was refer us to different offices,” Faustino said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/20/family-of-ofw-suspected-to-have-been-starved-to-death-demands-justice/

Transport strike gathers support from different sectors

KMU said the strong Sept 19 protests combined with transport strike in some areas succeeded in explaining the just bases of the protest to the public, effectively garnering their sympathy and support.

By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
Sidebar: Threat of eviction during transport strike forced urban poor protesters out of support rallies
 
MANILA – Public transport was limited or halted at the height of the Sept 19 transport strike called by PISTON (Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide) and other allied nationwide transport organizations. The strike was most severely felt in Mindanao and a significant part of Southern Tagalog and Metro Manila, said the Kilusang Mayo Uno in a statement.

But the Aquino government belittled the strike, saying it was barely felt because there were no stranded passengers and there was still heavy traffic in Metro Manila. The government did not connect the apparent lack of stranded commuters to the fact that its local government units fielded buses for free ferrying of stranded commuters, on top of the 200 military trucks dispatched for free rides.

It also did not make the connection as aired in mainstream TV reports that there were more private cars on the road that day, because the government, led by Metro Manila Development Authority Francis Tolentino, cancelled the number coding scheme for the day.

Along with 200 military trucks, the Aquino government fielded 17,000 fully armed soldiers and police to prevent the protesters from urging their fellow drivers to support the strike.


Protests vs oil deregulation in Cotabato City (Photo by Kawagib Human Rights / bulatlat.com)
According to the KMU, the strong Sept 19 protests combined with transport strike in some areas succeeded in explaining to the public the just bases of the protest, effectively garnering their sympathy and support. They added that they mobilized as much as 5,000 people, excluding the drivers, in Metro Manila, and tens of thousands more in protest centers and strikes in other parts of the Philippines.

Protests and sympathy for protesters in many places

“Today, it is high time that we act, support and raise the people’s capacity to resist and counter-act by an ever widening mass protest the inutility and neglect of the Aquino regime in solving the Philippine crisis,” Flor Acbo, chairperson of BAYAN in Eastern Visayas said.

He viewed the mass actions held in Eastern Visayas as “indication of the peoples’ spontaneous reaction to fight back, which still needs to be raised into organized action.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110922com3.html

Palestinian UN campaign seen as rebuke to US focus 09/22/2011

Palestinian UN campaign seen as rebuke to US

focus

09/22/2011
UNITED NATIONS — The Palestinian campaign for statehood at the United Nations is a diplomatic bullet aimed as much at the United States as at Israel, according to many observers.

Any US veto of a Palestinian application for UN Security Council recognition could bring Palestinian-US tensions to a new peak following a year in which there has been virtually no progress in resolving the Middle East conflict.

US President Barack Obama is to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, which risks being overshadowed by the Palestinian bid for statehood.

No meeting with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is planned, and Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour has accused the US administration of taking a “negative position” with its veto threats..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110922com3.html

Hindi ka nag-iisip INSIDE CONGRESS Charlie Manalo 09/22/2011

Hindi ka nag-iisip

INSIDE CONGRESS
Charlie Manalo
09/22/2011
Last week, the Aquino administration rammed down the throats of the lawmakers the proposed P1.816 trillion 2012 national budget which includes among many others, a provision that would effectively allow the Executive branch to impound the hiring budget of constitutional bodies, including the Supreme Court.

Knowing fully well that the provision for the P23 billion miscellaneous personnel benefits fund in the 2012 General Appropriations Act runs contrary to the fiscal autonomy of these constitutional commissions which is enshrined in the constitution, congressmen allied with the administration were quick enough to dangle the sword of Damocles over the heads of the SC justices on whose shoulders lie the task of determining the constitutionality of such provision, threatening them with impeachment should they declare the MPBF unconstitutional.

So, who now would decide the constitutionality of this issue?

All that hullabaloo regarding this MPBF would not have passed Congress’ approval without the full knowledge of President Aquino as it had emanated from the office of the secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, headed by one of his most trusted minions, Butch Abad. And Noynoy had obviously given his consent even if he had been forewarned that he would be treading on thin ice as the very idea of the MPBF would run contrary to the Constitution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110922com5.html

Sins against life VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/22/2011

Sins against life

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
09/22/2011
It is hard to know and to be convinced that human life is the summit of all precious realities here and now, as well as the peak of all invaluable gifts hereafter and beyond.

Without human life: What are diamonds worth, what is jewelry for? What for are socio-economic progress and development? What is the benefit of peace and order? Take away human life, and what for are integrity and honesty? In the cemetery, would it really make any difference at all if one’s tomb is miserable or grandiose, if it is made a dumping place or the site of a lavish and expensive museum? It is but to the living that all such things matter, viz., that gold and silver are valuable, that power and wealth mean much, that money has its value and use. Without life, all of them are stripped of significance and worth.

This brings to fore the hideous nature and gross implications of any and all “Sins Against Life” — something that has acquired significance and continues to acquire relevance in this once “Land of the Morning” — the then “Lupang Hinirang!” Yes, there appears to be much preoccupation about human rights. In the same way, some talks are also heard about human dignity. But then, what are human rights for and what is human dignity all about — without human life?!.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110922com7.html

Noynoy junks Senate plea to defer MRT, LRT fare hikes By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Angie M. Rosales 09/22/2011

Noynoy junks Senate plea to defer MRT, LRT fare hikes

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Angie M. Rosales 09/22/2011

Malacañang rejected yesterday persistent appeals made by members of the Senate for the administration to defer until next year the implementation of its plan to cut its subsidy on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Railway Transit (LRT) Systems and increase fare cost.

“I think this is a matter of explaining to the public and also to the senators why, number one, the subsidy will continue. The subsidy will only be diminished—let me be clear on that. But I think it’s also important to know that a continuous subsidy would not really, in the long run, be beneficial to the government coffers and also to the taxpayers,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda as he noted that the current level of subsidy is just way too much.

“We could use that subsidy elsewhere for other programs of the government. What we are trying to do is only to approximate the MRT fares to the bus fares, for now,” he said.

Lacierda stressed that while the fare increase is inevitable, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Mar Roxas, is also committed to make sure that the facilities and services of the MRT and LRT systems are in good running condition..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110922hed1.html

Jinggoy slams NTC for illegal franchise grant to Altimax-Innove By Angie M. Rosales 09/22/2011

Jinggoy slams NTC for illegal franchise grant to Altimax-Innove

By Angie M. Rosales 09/22/2011

National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) officials may soon find themselves in the Senate hot seat, after an upper chamber leader yesterday moved to have the agency’s alleged questionable grant of an extended provisional franchise to a company that earned a windfall profit of P160 million in the last two years, even without any known existing facility.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada brought up what he said is a continuing violation of the legislative fran-chise allegedly being committed by NTC and a telecommunications firm Altimax Broadcasting Inc. (Altimax).

Altimax, some two years ago, leased its broadcast frequencies to Innove Communi-cations Inc., a sub-sidiary company of Globe Telecoms, earning between P70 million and P90 million in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

“By leasing its bandwidth to Innove, Altimax has arrogated unto itself the very authority vested upon the Congress of the Philippines. Altimax trampled upon the process, a display of utter lack of respect to our laws and to every Filipino,” Estrada said in his privilege speech..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110922hed3.html

Military releases secret martial law records By Mario J. Mallari 09/22/2011

Military releases secret martial law records

By Mario J. Mallari 09/22/2011

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday said it had made public the records of its actions during the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’s martial rule from 1972-1981 when he used the Armed Forces to crush opposition.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said he hopes the declassification of the secret documents would bring closure to a troubled period where tens of thousands allegedly suffered human rights abuses. Many victims are still missing to this day.

“Your defense and military establishments fully commit to turn over all declassified martial law documents in our possession to our Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for preservation and for the sake of posterity,” he added.

Gazmin, who was a junior officer of the AFP when Marcos declared martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, said the military has admitted to committing abuses during the period “but for it to be documented, we need to see the documents.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110922hed4.html

NGO seeks funding from UNFPA for RH bill approval — Sotto 09/22/2011

NGO seeks funding from UNFPA for RH bill approval — Sotto

09/22/2011
If one staunch lobby group was unmasked to be affiliated with an international entity strongly advocating abortion, another local non-government organization (NGO) pushing the passage of Reproductive Health (RH) bill is seeking funding from no less than the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for purposes of “enticing” Filipino lawmakers into approving the measure.

The UNFPA happened to have been found by the United States government as behind China’s brutal “one child” policy implemented several years ago, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said yesterday.
Sotto bared that Linangan ng Kababaihan Inc. (Likhaan) has recently sent a budgetary proposal to the UNFPA aimed at cultivating support to the legislators.

“They have a proposal to the UNFPA for the reproductive health advocacy network (RHAN) asking for a monetary support in order to expedite the passage of the RH bill. In their budget statements and budget items, No. 1 is ‘nurturing of legislators.’ I’m not sure what this means. But I’m concerned about the participation of the UNFPA through RHAN and Likhaan. It appears that the UNFPA has participation through RHAN and Likhaan,” Sotto said in his interpellation during last Tuesday’s plenary session..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110922nat2.html

House to pursue probe on ballot switching By Gerry Baldo 09/22/2011

House to pursue probe on ballot switching

By Gerry Baldo 09/22/2011

The House panel tasked to investigate the alleged ballot switching in the House of Representatives after the canvassing of votes in the 2004 elections is set to resume its hearings on Oct. 3.

According to House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III, they have 30 session days left to finish the probe that would focus on the issue of breach in security at the House and how to prevent such occurrences in the future. Tañada said that they are not going to tackle the issue of who won the elections and who lost.

“The committee will continue the hearing on Oct. 3 so that the fact-finding panel will be able to finish with the investigation,” Tañada said yesterday.

He said that while the probe was stalled by the marathon budget hearings during the past several weeks, they have “all the time to resolve the issue.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110922nat1.html

Wide-body Airbus aircraft, Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet in near mishap at NAIA 09/22/2011

Wide-body Airbus aircraft, Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet in near mishap at NAIA

09/22/2011
A wide-body A33 Airbus aircraft hit a Boeing 747 jumbo jet while pushing back out of the terminal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport a little past midnight yesterday, causing delays to both flights.

Officials from the airport’s Media Affairs Division revealed that the tug operator pushing back the Qatar Air Airbus Industries A330 wide-body jet miscalculated the distance between the Delta Airlines Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet parked to its side, resulting in the wingtips to touch one another.

The Qatar Airways aircraft, which was parked at Bay 14 of the NAIA, was pushing back for departure at 12:40 a.m. when the plane’s left winglet scraped the six-foot high right winglet of the B747-400 jet.

The contact resulted in minor scratches to both wingtips that forced the pilot of the Qatar flight to return to the terminal. For safety reasons, the pilot had the passengers disembark from the aircraft while maintenance crew checked on the involved part and make sure its airworthiness..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110922met2.html

House body approves bill on anti-bullying By Charlie V. Manalo 09/22/2011

House body approves bill on anti-bullying

By Charlie V. Manalo 09/22/2011

The House committee on basic education and culture has unanimously approved the so-called anti-bullying act to address the rising incidence of severe intimidation inflicted by school bullies against their schoolmates.

The panel also called on the House leadership to calendar House Bill 5248 for plenary debates to ensure immediate passage of such an important piece of legislation.

HB 5248 consolidates various bills that will make it mandatory for all elementary and secondary schools to adopt policies to address the acts of bullying in their institutions.

Authors of the measure include Ako Bicol party-list Reps. Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Christopher Co..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110922met1.html

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