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Dumb EDITORIAL 11/12/2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dumb

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
11/12/2011
Law is logic, it is often said, but apparently some lawyers, especially Malacaang lawyers, serving as the presidential spokesmen and aides of Noynoy Aquino are direct contradictions of what law and logic are all about.

Because the former president, Gloria Arroyo, has thumbed down the offer of Noynoy to fly in specialists of her own choice to perform whatever they have to perform, and on government expense, Noynoys chief mouthpiece Edwin Lacierda concluded and quite illogically that Gloria has practically admitted that her medical condition is not life-threatening.

Huh? How on earth did Lacierda arrive at this illogical conclusion? How does her rejection of Noynoys offer translate to her admission that her medical condition is not life-threating?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111112com1.html

Relying on text messages FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/12/2011

Relying on text messages

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
11/12/2011
Incredible! We actually have a Justice chief who relies on text messages rumors to substantiate her “suspicions” of a yet to be charged in court Gloria Arroyo, obviously in her, and the Solgen’s bid to get the Supreme Court to see it their way.

As things stood, a day later, Leila de Lima had to admit that she had no proof that the Arroyos, mere et pere, have plans to seek political asylum in the Dominican Republic.

Of course she couldn’t have had any proof, foreign office verification assistance or not. She just looked like an incompetent justice chief who would even use text messages as evidence against suspects, which in turn makes her DoJ investigations and findings highly suspect.

Today she says that she was the soul of propriety by announcing the “reports” based on text messages, clearly stemming from a pro-Noynoy columnist, no doubt picked up by the Malacañang text brigade..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111112com2.html

Flood-ravaged Thailand prays to water goddess focus 11/12/2011

Flood-ravaged Thailand prays to water goddess

focus

11/12/2011
BANGKOK — Each year as the monsoon draws to an end, Thais thank the water goddess for sustaining life. But with deadly floods now plaguing the kingdom, many feel she has been a little too generous of late.

The centuries-old Loi Krathong festival is usually an occasion for celebration with ornately-decorated traditional banana-leaf lanterns set adrift in rivers, canals and lakes under the night sky.

This year it is a reminder of the kingdom’s bitter-sweet relationship with water, which has left more than 500 people dead and wreaked havoc in the worst flooding to befall the nation in half a century.

The festival, which also aims to seek forgiveness for polluting the precious resource, comes as questions mount over successive governments’ management of water development and urban planning..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111112com3.html

IAEA report on Iran exposed as a BIG fraud

IAEA report on Iran exposed as a BIG fraud

10.11.2011
 
Ahmadinejad rejects U.S. allegations on nuclear weapons

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country does not need nuclear weapons to "cut the hands" of the United States, and can achieve their goals by peaceful means, thus repudiating claims about its nuclear program.

"Our nation can achieve success through reflection, its rich culture and prudence," Ahmadinejad said in criticizing Washington and its allies, who use an assembly of unfounded allegations against the Islamic Republic.

The president spoke before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports accusing Tehran of having planned nuclear weapons, something the country's government vehemently denies.

"The U.S. administration looks for prosperity by driving other countries to poverty, plundering their riches," Ahmadinejad accused..... MORE

SourcePravda.ru/

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/crimes/10-11-2011/119583-IAEA_report_on_Iran_BIG_fraud-0/

After 25 years, still no justice for labor leader Rolando Olalia, Leonor Alay-ay

 After 25 years, still no justice for labor leader Rolando Olalia, Leonor Alay-ay

“It angers us that after 25 years, no one has been punished for the death of an important labor leader in the country’s history. Olalia is a victim of the injustice that he fought against in his entire life.” – KMU
Sidebar: Rolando ‘Ka Lando’ Olalia: hero of workers, good father
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal – Twenty five years ago, Rolando Rico Olalia was studying law when his father labor lawyer and leader Rolando Olalia was killed.

Rolando, fondly called “Ka Lando” by his colleagues in the labor movement, and his driver Leonor Alay-ay were taken by armed men on the night of November 12, 1986 along Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig. The next day, their bodies were found. Both of them were hogtied and their mouths stuffed with newspapers. Their bodies bore bruises and stab wounds all over, and both had gunshot wounds in the head.

At that time, Rolando Rico, 22, vowed to get justice for his father. He never thought that it might take a lifetime for the case to be resolved.

Until now, no one has been arrested for the crime. Suspects have yet to be arraigned. The trial has not even begun. “This is burdensome. It is very tiring already,” Rolando Rico, now himself a lawyer, told Bulatlat.com when asked about the case during the activity organized by Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) to commemorate Ka Lando’s 25th death anniversary, Nov. 13.

Rolando Rico, along with lawyers Romeo T. Capulong and Marie Yuviengco of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC), handles the murder charges against 13 suspects, all of whom were members of the Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa (RAM), considered as right-wing elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Rolando Rico joined members of KMU and the National Federation of Labor Unions (Naflu) to the site where Ka Lando and Alay-ay were found, now called Olalia Road in sitio Olalia, barangay Dela Paz of this town.

Long battle
 
Months after the incident, three suspects – Gilberto Galicia, Franco Espartero and Filomeno Maligaya – were charged in separate occasions but the cases were all dismissed for alleged lack of evidence.

Workers commemorate the 25th death anniversary of labor leader Rolando “Ka Lando” Olalia and Leonor Alay-ay.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
Many years later, eyewitness Medardo Baretto surfaced. Another witness Eduardo Bueno stepped forward. Their testimonies became the basis for the filing of murder charges against several RAM members on January 12, 1998.

Charged are: Lt. Col. Eduardo “Red” Kapunan Jr., Oscar Legaspi, Capt. Ricardo Dicon, Sgts. Edgar Sumido, Dennis Jabatan, Gene Paris, Freddie Sumagaysay, Fernando Casanova, Desiderio Perez and Jose Bacera, Chief Petty Officers Cirilo Almario and Filomeno Maligaya and civilian informer Gilberto Garcia.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) panel filed a criminal complaint on March 23, 1998 against the suspects. On August 31, 1998, the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo Branch 71 issued a warrant of arrest for the suspects but none has been apprehended up to now.

Two of the accused, Kapunan and Legaspi, filed separate motions to dismiss the charges against them. They argued that Proclamation No. 347 granted by President Fidel Ramos to rebel soldiers “extinguished their criminal liability.” Kapunan said political assassinations, such as the Olalia-Alay-ay double murder case, could have been part of simulated events intended to create an unstable situation favorable for a coup. ?.... MORE
SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/12/after-25-years-still-no-justice-for-labor-leader-rolando-olalia-leonor-alay-ay/

Wage increase, solar energy pushed to counter high electricity rates

 Wage increase, solar energy pushed to counter high electricity rates

“Filipino workers are burdened by First-World electricity rates and prices and Third-World wages.” – KMU
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

MANILA—After raking in good profits last year and in the first three quarters of this year –enough for it to raise its profit projection from P12.2-billion ($283 million) last year to P14.5-billion ($337 million) this year – the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) warned of higher electricity rates this month. The country’s biggest power distributor cited as reason the higher cost of generated electricity it is buying from different power producers.

As expected, the announcement of rate hike was greeted by collective groans and complaints. The announced P0.44 hike per kilowatt in electricity rates will further increase rates in the Philippines, which the Australia-based International Energy Standards had already described last year as the highest in Asia.
In a statement, the progressive labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said they are opposed to the power rate hike. They asked the Aquino government to stop Meralco from further hiking the already high power rates, and to increase, instead, the wage levels in the Philippines, which have been recorded as one of the lowest in the world.

Even before this rate hike, KMU estimated that in the National Capital Region where the “deficient” wages are relatively higher compared to other regions, a minimum wage earner spends no less than 10-percent of his or her monthly income on electricity bills alone.

“Filipino workers are burdened by First-World electricity rates and prices and Third-World wages,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general. The impending rate hike will add P44 ($1.02) more to the bill of households consuming 100 kWh per month, and P88 ($2.04) for those consuming 200 kWh per month. These are “too burdensome for workers earning the minimum wage and those earning even less,” said Soluta.

The labor group has been pushing for a P125 ($2.91) nationwide wage hike for a decade now, to help families defray the increasing cost of living. But every year, the government has merely tasked the regional wage boards to deliberate and decide on the amounts of wage hikes. Every time, though, all labor groups in the country condemn the regional wage hikes as too paltry.

On top of the increases in toll fees, transport fares due to continued oil price hikes, this latest power rate increase will further lessen the real value of workers’ wages in the country, said the KMU. The labor group scored the “capitalists in power” and likened them to a hostage-taker “taking advantage” of the consumers’ need for electricity.

Giants in privatized public utilities

Based on reports, the Meralco franchise covers more than 55 percent of the Philippines’ GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and the company has just vowed to expand it further. Since it changed hands from the Lopez family who also operates power generating plants to Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) led by Manny V. Pangilinan, Meralco has lately claimed powerlessness over rate hikes. It cites the fact that it sources its electricity requirements from the electricity spot market, state-run National Power Corp., and independent power producers.

But as with many privatized utilities in the country, Filipino consumers are just being charged various “unbundled” items in their bills, of which 58-percent are said to be generation charges. The consumers and the government have little to no oversight in the unbundled components of their electric bill nor in the power rate contracts entered into by Meralco and power producers. Unfortunately, past disclosures of progressive union members, including those who had been laid off for having participated in strikes in Meralco, had called attention to various irregularities here.

Meralco’s muscle for “hostage-taking” appear in the process of gaining strength, as it is now looking also to further spread its power over the country’s power sector. Aside from expanding its franchise coverage, it plans to spend as much as $2.3 billion (about P103 billion) to complete its planned power generation portfolio between now and 2016. This is, on top of the fact that the key stakeholder of Meralco, the Metro Pacific Investment Corp., the local arm of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd. which also controls the Philippine Long Distance Company, Smart, Talk & Text and SunCellular and TV5, also has controlling stake in some of the country’s toll roads and hospitals..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/11/groups-push-for-wage-increase-solar-energy-to-counter-high-electricity-rates/

Solon slams CIA tracking of Twitter and Facebook as threat to constitutional rights

 Solon slams CIA tracking of Twitter and Facebook as threat to constitutional rights

“The general profiling of people as ‘friend’ or ‘enemy’ on the basis of their tweets and email is definitely dangerous and must be stopped.” – Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares
by INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO

Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Next time you post a status in your Twitter or Facebook account, know that Big Brother might be reading over your shoulder.

Bayan Muna Representative and human rights lawyer Neri Colmenares sounded the alarm over news reports that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America is tracking Facebook and Twitter accounts all over the world. According to reports, the CIA is also using their embassies in various countries for these surveillance operations.

“While the US government may insist in the legality of their monitoring of Twitter accounts due to their public nature, monitoring is a very dangerous preoccupation and a threat to constitutional rights not only because it crosses into the unconstitutional when it enters into closed social network sites or hacks emails but also because it leads to profiling which is unconstitutional especially if it serves as a prelude to illegal entry into private domains,” he said.

“Vengeful librarians”

According to a report on PressTV, around two-thirds of intelligence reports sent to Washington are made by CIA analysts who monitor millions of individual messages sent worldwide on a daily basis via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

It cited a statement of CIA Open Source Center (OSC) director Doug Naquin that a a team of “vengeful librarians” study networks and media outlets that are open to contributions made by individuals from all over the world. Besides the Twitter and Facebook, the CIA also reportedly monitors television news programs, radio talk shows, chatrooms in the internet, and newspapers for their content and what they imply for the military, economic and political security of the US. These “vengeful librarians” are also said to make note of organizations, individuals and formations that are critical or outrightly against the US and its domestic and international policies..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/11/solon-slams-cia-tracking-of-twitter-and-facebook-as-threat-to-constitutional-rights/

Aussie gov’t calls on Noynoy to be transparent to curb corruption By Michaela P. del Callar and Angie M. Rosales 11/12/2011

Aussie gov’t calls on Noynoy to be transparent to curb corruption

By Michaela P. del Callar and Angie M. Rosales 11/12/2011


The Australian government yesterday called on the government of President Aquino to exert more effort in enforcing a more transparent and proper spending of its budget so it will have enough funds to address long-standing national concerns, such as poverty.

Australian Ambassador Rod Smith said the quality and accountability of government spending is vital so that the government can carry out badly needed development projects.

“A more effective and open budget process in the Philippines is essential to combat corruption and direct public spending to where the development needs are greatest,” Smith said as he unveiled Australia’s P1.3-billion financial aid that will help the Aquino administration manage public funds effectively..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111112hed4.html

Activists hit Aquino for exempting mining from total log ban 11/12/2011

Activists hit Aquino for exempting mining from total log ban

11/12/2011
President Aquino’s move to exempt mining operations from the total logging ban was slammed yesterday by environmental activists of the “Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment” as a serious offense to the critical state of the Philippines’ forest cover and to the Filipino people.

With over 1 million hectares of land, including watersheds and protected forest areas already covered by mining permits and applications, mining’s exclusion from the log ban is feared to contribute to the worsening of various environmental and social crises faced by Filipino communities.

“The move of President Aquino to exempt foreign and private mining corporations from logging ban will surely lead to fast deforestation and degradation of our remaining forests. The President is committing a grave environmental crime. Aquino deliberately forgets that most of the mining concessions are located in ecologically critical forest areas. This logging ban exemption will surely result to loss of biodiversity and also to community displacement as we have seen in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Palawan,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111112nat2.html

Solon wants legal aid desks, hotlines set up for OFWs By Charlie V. Manalo 11/12/2011

Solon wants legal aid desks, hotlines set up for OFWs

By Charlie V. Manalo 11/12/2011

Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile is seeking the creation of legal aid desks and 24-hour hotlines in Philippine embassies and consulates to provide timely and free legal assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) abroad.

In filing House Bill 5453, Enrile said that while OFWs’ remittances which exceeded $18.7 billion in 2010 account for a substantial portion of the country’s economic output, Filipinos abroad get very little legal protection or assistance from Philippine diplomatic posts in their destination country.

In the proposed measure, Enrile calls for the creation of legal aid desks in all existing Philippine embassies and consulates, and 24-hour hotlines set up in countries with a high number of OFWs.

The lawmaker noted that about 3,000 OFWs have been in prison throughout the world for various offenses, 70 percent of whom are facing immigration-related charges..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111112nat1.html

Valenzuela mayor orders closure of mini-carnival By Arlie O. Calalo 11/12/2011

Valenzuela mayor orders closure of mini-carnival

By Arlie O. Calalo 11/12/2011

A visibly irked Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian yesterday ordered the immediate closure of a mini-carnival where a volunteer village watchman was killed and 11 others were injured after one of its rides broke away last Wednesday.

Gatchalian told Tribune he already directed the concerned city officials, particularly the permit and license office, to carry out his order to close down the establishment located along MacArthur Highway in Barangay Karuhatan.

Police chief Senior Supt. Wilben Mayor said his men are still going after the carnival operator identified as Arnel Cudia who fled after the freak accident that took place around 9:20 p.m.

“I have ordered my men to get him and hold him liable for what had happened,” Mayor said in a text message..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111112met1.html

BI chief warns foreigners: Stop resorting to fake marriage to obtain residence visa 11/12/2011

BI chief warns foreigners: Stop resorting to fake marriage to obtain residence visa

11/12/2011


The Bureau of Immigration (BI) yesterday warned foreigners against resorting to fake marriages and use them as a ploy to acquire a residence visa in the country.

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. issued the warning after BI agents arrested an Indian who falsified his application for a five-year temporary resident visa by submitting fraudulent documents.

David ordered the BI legal division to immediately conduct deportation proceedings against Ajay Kumar Kashyap, who was arrested last Oct. 27 at a house in Manuelavil Village, Dasmarias, Cavite.

We should not allow these undesirable aliens to undermine the integrity of our visa issuance system by submitting fraudulent documents, the BI chief said.

David added that staying in the Philippines is not a right but mere privilege of every foreigner which can be withdrawn and revoked anytime..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111112met2.html

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