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Look who’s talking EDITORIAL 10/29/2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Look who’s talking

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In slamming those who criticize the Aquino administration for changing the rules of the game, referring to the sudden decision of the Malacañang tenant to charge 20 percent tax on the zero coupon PEACe bonds, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima insisted that it was not the Noy administration that changed the rules in the middle of the game, but the Code-NGO.

He added it should be the Arroyo administration that should be held accountable for the entire controversy and not the incumbent administration.

He insisted that all government issued papers are subjected to a 20 percent tax and banks should have looked into this as early as 2001, when the bonds were issued.

Purisima was quoted as saying to top officials of investment banks and fund managers that they “should have studied the issue closely before,” stressing that such a tax free bond would not even have gotten to first base in the Aquino administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111029com1.html

The Aquino ‘kakistocracy’ FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/29/2011

The Aquino ‘kakistocracy’

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Oops. A new term has been added to the Noynoy Aquino government: The Noynoy “kakistocracy” which is even worse than the term of a student council government that has been applied to the same Noynoy administration.

Wikepedia — always a lifesaver for a desk report in a hurry — says that kakistocracy comes from the Greek word kakistos, meaning “worst” and combined with the Greek word kratia, which means rule, or government, the term translates to mean a government under the control of a nation’s worst or least-qualified citizens.

Kakistocracy was a term used by the counsel and spokesman of Big Mike Arroyo in describing the Noynoy administration’s insistence on placing his client under a watch list, which he and even the staunch Aquino allies say is illegal and unconstitutional..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111029com2.html

Mining companies attacked by the NPA resume operations through government support

Mining companies attacked by the NPA resume operations through government support

“The people affected by mining has long been asking the government to side with them. It is obvious, however, that government is quicker to respond to the interests of mining companies.”


CAGAYAN DE ORO, Misamis Oriental — Every other day, the Tumambang family of Sitio Opis in San Fernando, Bukidnon is able to eat rice and vegetables. In between, they fill their empty stomachs with bananas, sweet potatoes and cassava.

Tumambang and her family plant rice for their consumption, and at times, sell it to the market. “I knew from the very start that we are poor. But I never realized that much worse is about to come,” Leah Tumambang, 37, told Bulatlat.com.

Given the poverty they are experiencing in their community, she said, most of the residents did not think twice about accepting the Eagle Mining Company to mine in their community sometime in September 2008. The mining company promised, she said, that it would build schools, health centers and other projects that would benefit the people.

People were promised that they would have an opportunity to build concrete home. But most importantly, residents were told that they would be given jobs.

But none of these promises came true. Tumambang said, the mining operations made their lives harder instead.

“The mining company ruined our water system, where we get potable water,” she said, adding that the water pipes, which was donated to the community by a German NGO, was destroyed. “They never bothered to fix it.”

Tumambang added that the mining waste spilled to the river where the community,since time immemorial, usually wash their clothes. With the polluted water in the community, many, most especially the children, suffer from diarrhea – a sickness they never experienced before the mining activities in their area began.
To add to their woes, the mining company also destroyed their crops. Fruit-bearing trees were cut down. Families who owned the trees were compensated, ranging from $116 to $232. “But it is not enough. We could earn so much more from those trees, which are more sustainable for the Lumads.”

“We gathered together, consolidated our ranks and decided that it is time to drive them away,” Tumambang said.


The residents, according to Tumambang, tried all the possible means to drive the mining company away from their community and salvage what was left of their water resources. They sent petition letters and held dialogues with local government officials, But, she said, local officials told them that they could not do anything to help the community because they should honor the signed agreement.

“But why should we honor such agreement if the mining company did not do their part?” she said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/28/mining-companies-attacked-by-the-npa-resume-operations-through-government-support/

Another victim killed in Arakan Valley

Another victim killed in Arakan Valley

Ramon Batoy, 35, was killed a mere three days after Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed also in Arakan Valley.

MANILA – A peasant farmer was killed by soldiers from the 57th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Sitio Upper Lumbo, barangay Kabalantian, Arakan Valley, North Cotabato last Oct. 20. Ramon Batoy, 35, was killed a mere three days after Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed also in Arakan Valley. The soldiers also fired at Batoy’s house, his wife Gina, who is six months old pregnant, and their two children were able to escape.

According to the initial report, before his killing, Ramon Batoy was being accused by soldiers of being a member of the New People’s Army. Batoy is an active supporter of Bantay Katubigan and Bantay Kalikasan of Mt. Sinaka facilitated by the Municipal Agriculture Office of Arakan. He was also a tenant-farmer of the Mayor of Antipas.

The family of Ramon Batoy weeps in rage after he was shot dead by soldiers outside his house in Sitio Upper Lumbo, Barangay Kabalantian, Arakan, North Cotabato. (Photo by Karlos Manlupig / Bulatlat.com)
According to the urgent action alert sent to Bulatlat.com, three soldiers from the 57th IB forcibly entered Batoy’s house. When Batoy resisted, he was hit with rifle butt. Batoy defended himself against the soldiers and struck the soldier with his bolo. Three soldiers nearby, one of whom was covering his face with a mask, riddled Batoy with bullets. A witness saw that one soldier strapped a rifle on Batoy and took pictures of his dead body.

Batoy’s house and seven other houses nearby were then fired upon by the soldiers. Batoy’s brother, Roger, 44, suffered minor wounds on his left foot. He was inside his house with his wife and stepmother. His wife, Janeth noticed bullets passed over her head during the firing.

On the same day, according to human rights groups Karapatan, Noli Badol, 35, farmer and a leader of Sitio Upper Lumbo, Brgy. Kabalantian, Arakan was also mauled by soldiers from 57th IB. “Badol’s legs and hands were tied. Soldiers also fired at his wife Evelyn, 32, who is eight months pregnant, and their children when she attempted to go near Badol. The military took Badol and detained him at the detachment of the 57th Infantry Battalion for several hours,” Karapatan said in a statement.

Celso Batoy, elder brother of Batoy, 47, was also mauled and detained by the soldiers. Both Celso and Badol are both currently detained at the police station of Ammas Municipality in North Cotabato for charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

These incidents resulted to the evacuation of 136 families. Some 43 families from Sitio Lumbo evacuated to Binoongan Elementary School for fear of more attacks from the military.

A farmer points at the bullet holes on the house of Ramon Batoy who was killed in Sitio Upper Lumbo, Barangay Kabalantian, Arakan, North Cotabato. (Photo by Karlos Manlupig / Bulatlat.com)
The following day, Oct. 21, another 93 families evacuated to the same school.
“What kind of ‘peace and development’ is going on in the communities in Arakan? The military’s ‘peace and development’ activities actually means the fake surrender of civilians being forced to admit to being members of the NPA; the mauling, strafing, harassment, threat, intimidation and killings of civilian. We are now seeing the true face of Oplan Bayanihan, the current administration’s counter-insurgency program, where scores of human rights violations take place amid the presence of the so-called Peace and Development Teams (PDTs),” Karapatan Southern Mindanao said in a statement....... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/28/another-victim-killed-in-arakan-valley/

Calls for justice echo as Fr. Pops was laid to rest

Calls for justice echo as Fr. Pops was laid to rest

“Tentorio was “a good priest, a fervent believer who for many years served the people of the Philippines in a courageous and indefatigable way.” Pope Benedict XVI
MANILA – Thousands of people mourning for the passing of Italian missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio or Fr. Pops were in attendance as his body was laid to rest in Kidapawan City, North Cotabao on Tuesday, Oct. 25.In Manila, church and other groups also marched from España to Mendiola bridge wearing black shirts and red ribbons calling for justice for the slain priest.

On Oct. 17, Tentorio was killed outside his convent in Poblacion, Greenfields, Arakan Valley while preparing to go to a clergy meeting in Kidapawan City. According to news reports, Tentorio sustained ten gunshot wounds in the head and chest. Tentorio’s body was buried beside Fr. Tulio Favalli’s tomb.

Tentorio had been living in the country for almost three decades. He first arrived in the Philippines in 1978 and was later on assigned to North Cotabato in 1985. Since being assigned to North Cotabato in 1985, the Religious Discernment Group (RDG)said in a statement, Fr. Tentorio has taken to heart the joys, hopes, grieves and anxieties, particularly of the Monobos in the Arakan Valley.

Seminarians from the Order of Servites joined the march for justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio. (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)

Fr. Greg Obejas said during the solidarity action in Mendiola bridge that Tentorio was only giving the people of Arakan what the government should be providing them. “Fr. Tentorio gave the people of Arakan education, a basic social service that the government should be providing for its citizens. Instead of providing basic social services, the government has even increased the budget for the military. There is no war here. The government should be ashamed for what had happened to Fr. Pops.“

RDG said that Tentorio provided the people of Arakan schools, day care, health services, sustainable agriculture and livelihood projects for this people whom he loved so much. “He was head of the Tribal Filipino Apostolate in the Diocese of Kidapawan. Fr. Fausto believed in community development to empower the people. He therefore questioned the so called “development projects” supported by the government and large foreign corporations, such as plantations and mining, seeing that these were not for the good of the people. He became a vocal critic in defending their rights and the integrity of mother earth,“ RDG added.

According to Karapatan, Tentorio was the 56th victim of extrajudicial killing under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino. Ramon Batoy, a peasant farmer also lives in Arakan Valley was killed on Oct. 20, barely three days after Tentorio’s killing, was the 57th victim of extrajudicial killing. He was killed by alleged members of 57th Infantry Batallion.

Serving the people

(Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)

Tentorio has definitely touched the lives of the people in North Cotabato. As described by the RDG, Tentorio has lived the call of Vatican II, to make his own “the joys and the hopes, the grieves and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted because, these too are the joys and hopes, the grieves and anxieties of the followers of Christ” (Church in the Modern World, No.1)

In a news article Pedro Gumano, a leader of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said, during a tribute for the slain priest, that Tentorio had always been the person the people in Arakan go to to ask for help. “From food , work, education, building daycare center, wedding of a daughter, hospitalization of a child, whatever it is, Pops always came to share his blessings.” Tentorio also provided water system and fixed the road for the people..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/28/calls-for-justice-echo-as-fr-pops-was-laid-to-rest/

Scholars to pursue legacy of Fr. Pops

Scholars to pursue legacy of Fr. Pops

“Father Pops told us, Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for the people. What about us humans? Can’t we sacrifice our lives for our fellowmen and women, too?”
Davao Today
Sidebar: Musings in the first hours following Fr. Pops murder?

ARAKAN, North Cotabato — The coffin where the body of Fr. Fausto “Father Pops” Tentorio lay was bedecked with flowers. As the vigil continued day and night, so was the outpouring from ordinary folks who stayed for the daily mass and tribute. They paid respects to the missionary who spent much of his life serving the poor in Mindanao.

Father Pops’ scholars — from elementary to college – were also present. Most of them, if not all, stayed the whole duration of his wake. “Father Pops kept telling us, don’t base everything on the book and in the four corners of the classroom. You have to go outside and see actual events. The society—that is our book, our classroom,” recounted Rey Rabadon, 20, a resident of Barangay Malibatuan in Arakan.

And as 15,000 people – most of whom he helped and touched their lives — from Davao City, from the provinces, from Manila and Italy, witnessed his burial on October 25, Father Pops’ scholars promised to themselves, to continue and pursue the ideals and legacy of Father Pops.

(Photo courtesy of WM.com / bulatlat.com)
“Father’s death will not stop me from moving forward. It will not weaken me,” said Rabadon, “I know that with Father Pops’ help, there are people who are willing to help me and those who are interested to go to school.”

Rabadon, a Bisaya, is currently in his third year, taking Bachelor of Science in Forestry at the Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology. He has been Father Pops’ scholar since primary school. Two of his siblings were Father Pops’ scholars until they got married. One graduated high school while the other one finished only third year in secondary school.?

Orphans since 2003, after both their parents drowned in the river after a heavy rain, Father Pops practically became their surrogate father.

“Father Pops took care of us. He supported us all throughout. And if he can’t go to us personally, he assigned his staff to deliver his support,” said Rabadon. “Everything that we need in school, he gave it to us since we became scholars until the time of his death,” he added. ?

For Isabel Indao, “(E)ven if he’s already gone, I promise to finish my education. He is my inspiration.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/28/scholars-to-pursue-legacy-of-fr-pops/

Create conditions for peace, not all-out war, Aquino told

Create conditions for peace, not all-out war, Aquino told

The GPH talks whether with the MILF or with the NDFP remain bogged down until today, mired as these are in the GPH’s efforts to “box it in its counter-insurgency program called Oplan Bayanihan.” – Satur Ocampo of Makabayan

Sidebar: A saga of all-out euphemisms vs peace, the Moro and the ordinary people 

MANILA – The script and the action do not match. The Aquino government flaps its wings like a dove but its actions remain even more hawkish.

These, in a nutshell, are the reactions of various progressive peoples’ groups to announcements aired by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and his trusted officials regarding peace talks, and this government’s seemingly opposite instructions to its troops on the ground.

“President Aquino has categorically stated that he will not wage an all-out war against the MILF but his ‘all-out justice operations’ have all the characteristics of Estrada and Arroyo’s all-out war against the MILF and the Moro people,” said Antonio Liongson, spokesman of the Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA), in a statement.

The MCPA describes Aquino’s ‘All Out Justice’ as just “a veiled All-Out War.”

Given Aquino’s “tacit directive” clothed in a supposed all-out justice, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has begun “pursuit operations against criminal elements,” as signaled by massive air strikes in Zamboanga Sibugay in the South.

As of October 25, these “pursuit operations” have driven 2,900 families, or about 16,000 individuals, to flee to evacuation centers. The operation is a direct response to the outrage over the AFP’s bungled operations to “arrest” an MILF commander last week in Basilan. The said operation backfired– it is the military troops and not the forces of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or any of their target “criminals” who suffered more casualties.

The AFP has admitted to sustaining 19 casualties last week in their Basilan operations. Though lapses in their operations are being pointed out and studied now in an investigation at the Senate, an all-out war or military solution has also been pushed more strongly since last week, especially by the followers and loyalists of “two militarist presidents of the Philippines, Marcos and Estrada,” as the MCPA described Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Panfilo Lacson. These two, they said, are “incorrigible fascists and unrepentant human rights violators.”

Women in Mindanao crying over their relatives who are ‘murdered and harassed’ during an alleged AFP operation. (Photo by Karlos Manlupig / bulatlat.com)
As the AFP conducts air strikes against “lawless elements,” MILF officials have vehemently denied that their members are ‘lawless.’

Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice-president, said yesterday that the MILF is willing to support efforts to go after “lawless” elements.” In fact, going after “lawless elements” is one of the responsibilities of the ceasefire committee of the Government of the Philippines (GPh) and the MILF, he said. He reiterated in Filipino that their forces “have complied with the ceasefire committee’s provisions.”

Jaafar urged the Philippine government to implement the provisions of their Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) and the responsibilities of the ceasefire committee. He said that it should be the task of the ceasefire committee, based on their ceasefire agreement, to discuss the pursuit of those alleged ‘lawless elements.’

“The civilians are suffering. They are crowding the evacuation centers and they have been forced to abandon their livelihood,” Jaafar said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/27/create-conditions-for-peace-not-all-out-war-aquino-told/

Another notorious MILF leader missing; security forces’ intel failures scored By Mario J. Mallari and Michaela P. del Callar 10/29/2011

Another notorious MILF leader missing; security forces’ intel failures scored

By Mario J. Mallari and Michaela P. del Callar 10/29/2011

Despite declaring victory in its Zamboanga Sibugay offensives, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continued to hold off its guns against Moro Islamic Liberation Front elements in Basilan, boosting suspicion that the group of wanted MILF commander Dan Laksaw Asnawi could have escaped from the island-province.

At present, AFP Peace Process Office chief Col. Dickson Hermoso stressed the military is “still developing the situation” in Basilan, particularly in Al Barka town where 19 members of the Army’s elite Special Forces (SF) were killed during a clash with combined MILF and Abu Sayyaf rebels last Oct. 18.

“We are still developing the situation because this will be intelligence-driven…these are all hinged in proper planning and, of course, utmost observance of rule of law, and should be people-centered, without unnecessary damage or casualty from unintended targets,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111029hed2.html

Noy donates funds, but clueless on MILF’s BLMI By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Mario J. Mallari 10/29/2011

Noy donates funds, but clueless on MILF’s BLMI

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan and Mario J. Mallari 10/29/2011

President Aquino has provided seed money of P5 million to the Moro rebel chieftain ostensibly for the establishment of a Muslim foundation of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) called the Bangsamoro Leadership Management Institute (BLMI), whose aim is claimed to be geared toward training and development of BangsaMoro leaders, but remains clueless about the foundation and its officials.

Malacañang admitted yesterday it had no idea who is running the alleged MILF-BLMI foundation and showed not the slightest hint of its history and background as an organization which would have qualified it as a beneficiary of a P5-million donation from the government.

In one of his usual Freudian slips, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda admitted that the Palace has no idea at all on who are the people running the BLMI but insisted anyway that the the P5 million donated to the organization by the government using taxpayers’ money was a token of goodwill to the insurgents who are now largely being blamed for killing 19 soldiers in Al-Barka, Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111029hed1.html

NTC urged to strictly monitor PLDT-Digitel transactions 10/29/2011

NTC urged to strictly monitor PLDT-Digitel transactions

Government regulator National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should ensure that PLDT and Digitel comply with the terms of their franchises and existing laws on fair competition after approving the merger of the two companies, a Senate panel yesterday said.

According to the Senate committee on public services, the NTC should strictly monitor the transaction and see to it that consumer interest is protected.

“The NTC must make sure that the prerequisites it had set regarding the share-swap deal will be fully complied by both companies,” it added.

In March, PLDT announced its plan to acquire a majority stake in Digital Telecom-munications Philippines (Digitel), which owns the Sun Cellular brand, in a deal amounting to P74.1 billion..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111029hed4.html

House approves bill creating DICT on 2nd reading 10/29/2011

House approves bill creating DICT on 2nd reading

The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a priority measure that would create the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which shall be the primary government entity to plan, promote and help develop the ICT sector and ensure reliable and cost-efficient communications facilities and other multi-media infrastructure and services in the country.

House Bill No. 4667 or the “Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2011” aims to integrate the management of two diverse concerns: transportation and communications into one department which is the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC); and develop a Philippine information and communications technology in accord with world-class standards, thereby ensuring a better future for all Filipinos.

The proposed law was endorsed for plenary approval by the House committees on government reorganization chaired by Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Cesar Jalosjos, on information and communications technology chaired by Taguig City Rep. Sigfrido Tinga, and on appropriations chaired by Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111029nat3.html

DoJ orders filing of tax evasion raps vs Caparas By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/29/2011

DoJ orders filing of tax evasion raps vs Caparas

By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/29/2011

Filing of criminal tax evasion charges has been ordered by the Department of Justice (DoJ) against national artist Carlo J. Caparas for over P101.8 million in unpaid taxes from 2006 to 2009.

Caparas, who is registered with the BIR as “professional engaged in dramatic arts and others,” is known for producing and directing the movie The Maggie de la Riva Story and GMA-7 shows such as Gagambino, Panday and Totoy Bato.

In a resolution, the DoJ found probable cause in the complaint filed by Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in October last year against Caparas for 48 counts of purported violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).

A preliminary investigation conducted by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rosanne Balauag showed that the popular director failed to file value-added tax returns for the incomes worth P850,951,388.60 that he received from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for two TV programs he produced from 2006 to 2009, Ang Pangarap Kong Jackpot and Kroko..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111029met1.html

Militant lawmakers egg gov’t to make sure GMA is coming back 10/29/2011

Militant lawmakers egg gov’t to make sure GMA is coming back

Two militant solons yesterday joined other lawmakers in calling on the government to make sure that former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will return to the country after undergoing medical treatment abroad.

According to Bayan Muna Reps. Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares, Mrs. Arroyo should guarantee that she is returning to the country even as they pointed out that an independent group of doctors should examine the former president and come up with recommendations on whether there is indeed a need for her to seek further treatment abroad.

Sources from the House of Representatives said Mrs. Arroyo had recovered and according to Len Bautista Horn, her chief of staff and spokesman, doctors have already given her the go-signal to travel abroad.

San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito said it is unlikely Mrs. Arroyo would return to the country and face all the charges filed against her..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111029met3.html

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