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Our energy ‘Sputnik’ moment DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 09/30/2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

The usual divide and rule path

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/30/2011
The divide and rule tack of Noynoy’s yellow appointees at the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is working perfectly, which may be enough to destroy the global reputation of the bank.

The DBP is the government’s premier commercial bank which, along with the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), that in turn was created to supposedly serve the vast agricultural sector, was designed as tools for the country’s development.

Lately, however, the only development that has been seen at DBP is infighting among its officials and a bitter feud among Noynoy’s appointees and the past leadership of the bank.

The conflict within the DBP is a microcosm of the many conflicts within the fractious Noynoy administration.
The public, for instance, is now used to hearing about the Balay and the Samar factions’ internal struggle in Malacañang and the almost public display of one faction pathetically trying to outdo the other.

There were also several instances when Noynoy’s yellow people tried to impose their will on the agencies that they colonize.

At the DBP, the yellow appointees backed by the minions of Noynoy’s cronies are supposedly on a crusade to cleanse the state bank of its crooked past.

On the cross hair of the yellow appointees are the former DBP officials and businessman Roberto Ongpin who has long been suspected by the yellows and the new administration officials to be a chief crony of former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.

Employees were not asked but ordered to turn in what they knew about past irregular dealings and when the evidence is considered insufficient, it does not matter that these are manufactured to suit their whims.

The turf battle at DBP has reached international notice, with credit watchdog Standard and Poors issuing a subtle warning about a possible downgrade of DBP’s credit grade that would make it more expensive, if not difficult, for the bank to borrow abroad or the value of guarantees that the bank gives on loans to private companies degraded.

The derating on the bank, it being an integral part of government, may also reflect on the overall credit grade of the country.

The conflict at DBP only goes to show the shortsighted character of Noynoy and the people around him in running the government or its different arms.

Noynoy similarly has the penchant of deciding based on immediate needs while not seeing the future implications of his decisions. A clear proof of this, was his donating $1 million to the Japanese victims of the earthquake that happened way back in March.

The day after the donation, while he was still in Japan, typhoon “Pedring” struck, devastating most of Luzon, including Metro Manila.

Those left in the country found out to their dismay that only P3 million was left in the calamity fund to be spent which would not last for long for the many victims of the devastation caused by the typhoon.

The DBP situation would not have been blown out of proportion had the appointees of Noynoy shed their cloak of conceit and sought cooperation from employees of the bank instead of threatening them.

As it turned out, the appointees of Noynoy are being resisted by those who they are supposed to work with in improving the performance of the state bank.

Consider that the first order of business of Noynoy’s appointees was to dig up alleged irregular loans transacted with the bank instead of attending to the many requests from troubled business sectors for government assistance.

A serious reform at all levels of government is indeed expected from the administration of Noynoy but not through an abrasive mob-like manner that the yellow crowd surrounding to which Noynoy is accustomed.
Now, trouble at the DBP is near tipping point with the employees up to the managerial level appears to be closing ranks against the appointees of Noynoy.

The resolution of the conflict in the state bank would require either most of the employees being terminated or the appointees of Noynoy being sent packing out of DBP.

The latter is more ideal but would likely not happen with Noynoy’s help.
 

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110930com6.html

The usual divide and rule path EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 09/30/2011

The usual divide and rule path

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
09/30/2011
The divide and rule tack of Noynoy’s yellow appointees at the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is working perfectly, which may be enough to destroy the global reputation of the bank.

The DBP is the government’s premier commercial bank which, along with the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), that in turn was created to supposedly serve the vast agricultural sector, was designed as tools for the country’s development.

Lately, however, the only development that has been seen at DBP is infighting among its officials and a bitter feud among Noynoy’s appointees and the past leadership of the bank.

The conflict within the DBP is a microcosm of the many conflicts within the fractious Noynoy administration.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/

Cha-cha on their mind FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/30/2011

Cha-cha on their mind

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
09/30/2011
Senate and House leaders during their first Legislative Summit yesterday reportedly agreed on a new mode of amending the Charter to be called the “bicameral constituent assembly (con-ass)” whereby the two chambers come together, but vote separately on the proposed amendments to the 1987 Charter.

This way, said some leaders, the controversial provision regarding the matter of a three-fourth vote from all the members of the entire Congress, i.e., the House and the Senate, voting as one body and not separately, will have been resolved through the “bicameral con-ass.”

As long as this mode of changing the Charter is not challenged before the high court, that mode is likely to push through. But what if this is challenged?

It has to be pointed out that there are only two modes by which Congress can amend the Charter and the first mode stated clearly in the Constitution says that “Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by (1) Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members; or (2) a constitutional convention (con-con).”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110930com2.html

Down with the billboards NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 09/30/2011

Down with the billboards

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
09/30/2011
This lola did not agree with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) anti-smoking memorandum that empowered its men to arrest smokers caught on sidewalks and curbsides and inside private vehicles on Edsa. Neither, with its suggestion to arm traffic enforcers.

With the first, it wasn’t so much to defend smokers’ rights, as it was to recognize the myriad crimes taking place in the city’s main artery na nadadagdagan pa, imbes kumonti. Never mind the jaywalkers, although those who reject the use of walkways and pedestrian lanes run the risk of being hit-and-run victims. Mas dapat bang unahing hulihin ang naninigarilyo kaysa sa mga rugby solvent-sniffers, motorcycling thieves grabbing cell phones and handbags and bands of minors preying on unlocked taxis?

Regarding arming MMDA traffic enforcers to protect them from the deleterious effects of “road rage,” well, I’ve let out my bit about that, almost just recently, here in this same space. The proposal was borne by the “lack of respect” for the MMDA man-on-the-road, reasoning along the lines of “If we can’t respect him, then we arm him, so he’s able to shoot back.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110930com4.html

Palea vs the people C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 09/30/2011

Palea vs the people

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
09/30/2011
Unfortunate and grave! This is all I can say about that wildcat strike launched by the Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees’ union, Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea), last Tuesday, as Typhoon “Pedring” battered the metropolis. That strike stranded thousands of PAL passengers not only in the country but overseas and disrupted for a good 11 hours the operations of the nation’s flag carrier. One passenger, a certain Annie Recio, who was flying to Iloilo to visit her ailing mother and who braved the rains to be at the airport on time only to be told flights were cancelled summed the public’s sentiments well when she said “while she could sympathize with the Palea members’ plight what they did was unforgivable...they have a responsibility to the passengers and the public to do their job and not let them suffer as well.”

Indeed, that strike could not have been done at the worst time. There was a typhoon, people were hurrying to their destinations and essential cargoes were being moved in, out and around the country that any kind of disruption would cause irreparable damage not only to PAL but probably even more to its customers such as Recio whose presence beside her ailing mother was beyond any consideration. No wonder she was visibly shaken and angry when she got interviewed by members of media..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
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URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110930com5.html

Senate, House agree on Cha-cha By Angie M. Rosales, Charlie V. Manalo and Virgilio Bugaoisan 09/30/2011

MALACAÑANG INSISTS CHARTER CHANGE NOT A PRIORITY

Senate, House agree on Cha-cha

By Angie M. Rosales, Charlie V. Manalo and Virgilio Bugaoisan 09/30/2011

It took a Legislative Summit organized by the leaders of both houses of Congress to agree on amending the Constitution through a newly introduced mode that will enable the House and the Senate to vote separately, instead of jointly, as stated in the Constitution.

But Malacañang said it is not keen on pushing Charter change even if it is only to amend restrictive economic provisions but that it would not stop Congress if one or both chambers proceed in pursuing constitutional reforms.

Leaders of both chambers of Congress yesterday agreed, during the summit, to proceed separately on the manner by which to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

The Constitution is, however, clear on the modes by which Congress can amend or revise the Charter, and in both instances, the Charter states that both chambers must vote jointly, either with a three-fourths vote for Congress itself to introduce amendments, or two-thirds, or a majority, again voting jointly, to amend the Charter through a constitutional convention..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110930hed1.html

Ball on Palace’s court, SC says on tolls VAT By Virgilio Bugaoisan and Benjamin B. Pulta 09/30/2011

Ball on Palace’s court, SC says on tolls VAT

By Virgilio Bugaoisan and Benjamin B. Pulta 09/30/2011

The Supreme Court yesterday said the ball is on Malacañang’s court whether or not to impose the value-added tax (VAT) on road tolls starting tomorrow as there is no more legal impediment with the lifting of the temporary restraining order on the tax despite a pending motion for reconsideration on its imposition.

SC spokesman and Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said the Bureau of Internal revenue (BIR) may opt to impose the unpopular 12-percent VAT on toll rates after the SC lifted yesterday the freeze order issued against the imposition.

Despite wide public clamor mainly from the Senate and various transport and commuter groups, the Palace said President Aquino will not lift a finger to defer the implementation of the VAT on toll tomorrow.

At a press briefing, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said Aquino would not intercede to stop the implementation of the VAT on toll because the Palace has no choice but to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110930hed2.html

SC upholds conviction of 17 ASG in nurses’ abduction By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/30/2011

SC upholds conviction of 17 ASG in nurses’ abduction

By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/30/2011

The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the conviction of 17 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits for the abduction 10 years ago of Ediborah Yap and three other nurses from a government hospital in Lamitan, Basilan.

The special second division of high tribunal turned down the appeal of the accused and stood by its earlier decision last June that affirmed the conviction of the terrorist group led by the late Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Sabaya.

“The court resolves to deny the motion with finality, the basic issues raised therein having been duly considered and passed upon by the court in the aforesaid decision and no substantial argument having been adduced to warrant the reconsideration sought,” stated the notice of resolution signed by division clerk of court Ma. Luisa Laurea.

The SC again held that the Court of Appeals was correct in directing the convicted Abu Sayyaf bandits to pay P200,000 in moral damages to the family of Yap and to kidnap victims Shiela Tabuñag, Reina Malonzo and Joel Guillo, and also to pay additional P150,000 in civil indemnity and exemplary damages to Yap’s heirs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110930nat1.html

Roxas’ biofuels unit start full operations 09/30/2011

Roxas’ biofuels unit start full operations

09/30/2011
The bio-fuel unit of listed sugar group Roxas’ Holdings Inc. (RHI), Roxol Bioenergy Corp., has started full operations after the government announced the guidelines for the much-awaited pricing mechanism for ethanol will be signed soon.

RHI chairman Pedro Roxas said the company was informed that the guidelines shall involve a reference price for locally produced fuel ethanol based on the National Biofuel Board’s published prices of feedstock as monitored by the Sugar Regulatory Administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/business/20110930bus6.html

Pimentel calls for probe into GMA cover-up of massive poll fraud in 2007 09/30/2011

Pimentel calls for probe into GMA cover-up of massive poll fraud in 2007

09/30/2011
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III yesterday called for an investigation into the alleged cover-up by former President Arroyo of massive fraud during the 2007 senatorial elections.

“There is sworn testimony that the former President was the main player behind the cover-up of the rigging of the 2007 elections,” Pimentel said.

The senator, chairman of the Senate committee on electoral reforms, was referring to the sworn testimony, dated Aug. 22, http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110930met1.html2011 of former South Cotabato acting provincial election supervisor Lilian Suan-Radam.

Radam surfaced recently and revealed a grand scheme involving former Malacañang officials and former top officials of the Commission on Elections led by then chairman Benjamin Abalos.

Radam admitted she and several other election officers were given instructions to manipulate the results to favor the Arroyo administration’s Team Unity senatorial candidates..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110930met1.html

Navotas, Malabon cities placed in state of calamity after ‘Pedring’ 09/30/2011

Navotas, Malabon cities placed in state of calamity after ‘Pedring’

09/30/2011
The cities of Navotas and Malabon have been placed under a state of calamity as most villages of the two neighboring areas in northern Metro Manila are still flooded and thousands of families remain holed up at various evacuation centers.

In separate phone interviews, Navotas Mayor John Reynald Tiangco and Malabon Mayor Tito Oreta said they were elated by the quick reaction of the members of the two cities’ Sanggunian who held emergency council sessions for the purpose.

“Thus we are declaring a state of calamity in the city so as the affected residents will be immediately provided with the much-needed assistance, especially those still holed up at several temporary shelters put up by the city government,” Tiangco and Oreta said.

Tiangco cited the importance of placing the coastal city under such state, saying this would be beneficial to the families since the local government can be able to purchase their immediate needs through emergency procurement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110930met2.html

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