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Int’l tribunal finds agrochemical TNCs ‘guilty’ of violating human rights

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Int’l tribunal finds agrochemical TNCs ‘guilty’ of violating human rights

Based on evidence presented before it, the Tribunal found the defendant agrochemical TNCs “responsible for gross, widespread and systematic violations of the right to health and life, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as of civil and political rights, and women and children’s rights.”

MANILA – In a momentous gathering earlier last week in Bangalore, India, The Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) laid down a guilty verdict against six of the world’s biggest agrochemical companies Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont and BASF.

Jobert Pahilga, a Filipino lawyer representing the Sentro Para Sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra) was among the legal counsels who helped the PPT arrive at the verdict. He stood as one of the prosecutors against the agrochemical firms.

The PPT, founded in 1979 in Italy, is an international opinion tribunal that looks into complaints of human rights violations. Borne out of the tribunals on the Vietnam War and Latin American dictatorships, the PPT has held 37 sessions so far using the rigorous conventional court format. While its verdicts are not legally binding, these can set precedent for future legal actions against Defendants, and can pressure governments and institutions.

The PPT session on agrochemical TNCs drew the support of individuals and organizations around the world. More than 400 organizations representing civil society and people’s organizations of farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists, and indigenous peoples, as well as 7,000 concerned individuals signed on to an international petition circulated by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN)..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/13/intl-tribunal-finds-agrochemical-tncs-guilty-of-violating-human-rights/

Info no go: Wikipedia threatens strike over US piracy bill

 Info no go: Wikipedia threatens strike over US piracy bill

Wikipedia may temporarily blank out its pages in self-sacrifice to draw attention to the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act. While the bill aims to protect copyrighted material, critics fear corporate manipulation could lead to greater censorship.

The US lawmakers behind the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) say it would deal a blow to online pirates and producers of counterfeit brand products like designer fashion items or medicines.

The bill is intended to crack down on websites operating outside of the United States. If passed, the legislation would allow the US government to shut down any site illegally hosting copyrighted content.

However, not everyone supports the move. Wikipedia is the latest to join internet industry giants in the fight to stop the bill from being pushed through the Senate..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/wikipedia-strike-sopa-legislation-677/

Port hold: Occupy disrupt US shipping (w/ Video)


 Port hold: Occupy disrupt US shipping

Massive “Occupy” protests have again erupted across America, paralyzing its West Coast. From the blocked port of Oakland to the shipping hub of Seattle, thousands of disenchanted activists have taken to the streets in defiance of a police crackdown.

­Seattle police have reportedly used flash bang percussion grenades to disperse the protesters who blocked the entrance to the Port of Seattle facilities. Police said multiple people had been arrested, but did not specify exact figures.

Occupy Seattle protesters were seen holding banners reading “Made in China”, clearly highlighting the problem of American jobs being outsourced to China. Those protests appear to be a part of the nationwide effort to block West Coast port traffic, when thousands took on ports from California to Alaska to disrupt, they claim, the economic machine that benefits the wealthiest individuals and corporations. Protesters say they are targeting corporate greed and the government’s complicity and by maintaining their activity, they are keeping the message of the Occupy movement alive..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/occupy-protesters-seattle-ports-659/

Lesbians, Gays demand resignation of DOH’s Ona for homophobic comments

Lesbians, Gays demand resignation of DOH’s Ona for homophobic comments

MANILA – Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona is homophobic. Or at least his comments at a recent convention were.

Gay and lesbian activists are demanding the official’s immediate resignation after he reportedly issued anti-gay comments during the Plenary Meeting of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) last week. LGBT Hate Crime Watch, a human rights watchdog said Ona is guilty of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people (LGBT).

During the convention that gathered AIDS prevention workers, Health Secretary Ona reportedly suggested that parents should rein in their homosexual children and have them tested. This immediately elicited angry hoots and whistles from AIDS activists.

“We want Ona ousted. Bigots do not deserve high government posts, and more so, he should not serve as chairman of PNAC if we do not want his unscientific biases to taint the good work of our unsung AIDS prevention heroes nationwide,” said Marlon Lacsamana, the founder of the Philippines LGBT Hate Crime Watch

“We’re wasting our hard-earned taxpayers’ money on homophobes as he is undoing decades of evidence-based prevention practices that aim to encourage homosexuals and transgenders to voluntarily seek testing, counseling, and treatment. Ona’s words will drive LGBTs away from HIV programs and make us so vulnerable to infections,” Lacsamana said.

Last December 3, LGBT activists and supporters held their annual pride march at the Remedios Circle in Malate, Manila. This year’s theme was “Pride of the Orient” to commemorate the country’s achievement of holding the first pride parade in Asia 17 years ago under the leadership of the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay).(Photo courtesy of Charlotte Despuez / Bulatlat.com)
Oscar Atadero, human rights officer of the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay) said it was regrettable that Ona made his remarks when the World AIDS Day theme this year is about “Getting to Zero.”
The global call by the United Nations for “Zero New HIV Infections” is designed to ensure that most at risk populations (MARPs) get much improved access to treatment for all. The DOH said 7,884 people have been infected with HIV since 1984, including 937 AIDS cases.

“Instead of achieving zero deaths, suggesting that gays, bisexuals and transgenders get tested en masse will achieve zero access, zero treatment and zero saved lives. It feels like gays, bisexuals and transgender are being given a marching order to file into gas ovens in Europe during the time of Hitler,” Atadero said.

The Philippines remains one of the countries with punitive anti-gay laws, such as the Anti-Vagrancy Law, and rampant violence against LGBTs inflicted by police and village security forces. The UN points out that these anti-LGBT policies prevent homosexuals, transgenders, and their partners from accessing life-saving information and treatment..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/07/lesbians-gays-demand-resignation-of-doh%E2%80%99s-ona-for-homophobic-comments/

Solons buck BIR taxation on voluntary social fund contributions

MANILA – Two party-list lawmakers are going against the plan of the Bureau of International Revenue (BIR) to impose new taxes.

Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers Party-List and Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Women’s Party said the memorandum circular issued by the BIR imposing taxes on voluntary contributions to the Government Social Insurance Service, the Social Security System, Medicare, and PAG-IBIG violates provisions in existing tax laws.

Last July 11, 2011, the BIR issued Revenue Memorandum Circular 27-2011 (RMC 27-2011) through the office of Commissioner Kim Henares. The two solons point out that it goes against constitutional provisions and runs counter to the National Internal Revenue Code, or Republic Act 8424 (NIRC, or the Tax Reform Act of 1997)..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/07/solons-buck-bir-taxation-on-voluntary-social-fund-contributions/

Casino VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 12/13/2011


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Time and again, it has been pointed out — with big disgust and genuine embarrassment — that the government under the rule of the present Chief Executive, has shamefully become the biggest gambler in the country.

This is by reason of the glaring fact that exactly the same supreme public official has placed both Pagcor and PCSO directly under his office as GOCCs — with but strictly staff functions. PCSO is now also a well-known gambling government entity on account of Lotto in many variations and STL, not to mention its plan to eventually launch the so called “Loteria ng Bayan.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111213com7.html

Cool capitalism AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 12/13/2011

Cool capitalism

Ken Fuller
Last week, I took friendly issue with a column by Conrado de Quiros which asserted that capitalists don’t have to exploit their labor force in order to thrive. By providing an alternative, strictly economic, definition of the word “exploitation” we can see that exploitation — the creation of a value over and above that needed to recreate the worker’s labor power — is essential to capitalism. No surplus value, no capitalism.

Given the moral emphasis De Quiros places on the questions of outsourcing and “exploitation,” it comes as no surprise when he suggests for his alternative model of capitalism the enterprise called Human Nature, which he says is owned by Gawad Kalinga (GK), founded by Couples for Christ. One of GK’s aims was to rehouse members of the urban poor in 700,000 newly-built homes, establishing 7,000 GK communities. I know nothing about the economics of GK’s housing program and so I am unable to comment. According to Wikipedia, however, “the campaign failed miserably.” Nevertheless, GK has a number of environmental and social aims, and has set itself the target of lifting five million families out of poverty by 2024. GK and its founder Antonio “Tony” Meloto have been showered with honors, and GK has expanded to the USA and other countries..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111213com4.html

Aquino wants AFP to prepare for war By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 12/13/2011

Aquino wants AFP to prepare for war

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 12/13/2011
Apart from the country’s insurgency problem, President Benigno Aquino III on Monday ordered newly appointed Armed Forces chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa to prepare for war amid the country’s present rift with China in relation to its claims over some portions of Spratlys Islands.

In his speech during the AFP Change of Command at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Aquino said that in the past, the military’s only concern are internal threats such as the New People’s Army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) but with the emerging external challenges, the new AFP chief should also be ready to respond against external aggression.

“ Whereas before, the focus of the AFP is on internal threats such as the NPA and the MILF, but nowadays we have to be prepared against extenal challenges, especially because there are those claiming our own territories,” said Aquino said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111213nat8.html

House railroads Corona impeach; raps sent to Senate By Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo 12/13/2011


House railroads Corona impeach; raps sent to Senate

By Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo 12/13/2011

Over and done with, in less than six hours.

No different from the biblical Salome who asked for the head of John the Baptist, President Aquino asked the House of Representatives for the head of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona as its Christmas gift to him, and got it, as his House allies railroaded the impeachment of the Chief Justice yesterday, bringing it to the plenary and immediately submitted the complaint to the Senate for trial--on the same day.

The House yesterday, with 188 congressmen signing the impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice, bypassed the justice committee and submitted the complaint-information to the House secretary-general who in turn submitted this to the Senate on the same day—all done in just some six hours.

In an all-majority party caucus called by the House leadership, a day after the reported meeting of the Liberal Party (LP) at the house of Majority Leader, Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales, lawmakers affixed their signatures to endorse the impeachment complaint against Corona..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111213hed1.html

Solon urges House to pass expanded anti-trafficking bill By Charlie V. Manalo 12/13/2011

Solon urges House to pass expanded anti-trafficking bill

By Charlie V. Manalo 12/13/2011
Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento urged Congress to support the Expanded Anti Human Trafficking in Person Bill which has been approved by the Committee on Revision of Laws and is now awaiting endorsement by the Committee on Appropriations.

Speaking during the observance of the International Day Against Human Trafficking, Sarmiento said the meausure has gone through various public hearing with trafficking survivors, non-government organizations, and national government offices, especially the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

The bill strengthens the government’s campaign against the crime that victimizes mostly women and children, said Sarmiento, main author of the bill..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111213nat3.html

Flash floods destroy 150-hectare of ricefields in Pampanga 12/13/2011

Flash floods destroy 150-hectare of ricefields in Pampanga

CANDABA, Pampanga — An estimated 150 hectares of rice fields with standing crops in some villages here were damaged due to flashfloods on Saturday.

Mario Concepcion, town’s municipal agriculturist, said the incident was believed to be triggered by overflowing of Maasim dike.

The dike, which stretches between the boundaries of San Ildefonso, Bulacan and Barangay Vizal San Pablo in this town, was damaged and has not yet been rehabilitated since typhoon ‘Pedring.’

“We are still checking. But in Barangay Panclara and Pulong Gubat, the ricefields submerged anew to floodwaters,” Concepcion said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111213nat4.html

Burned victims of crashed plane identified By Pat C. Santos 12/13/2011

Burned victims of crashed plane identified

By Pat C. Santos 12/13/2011
All 14 victims who were killed when a light aircraft plunged into the residential areas on Saturday in Paraaque City were identified.

Though their bodies were burned, the families of the victims identified them which include three-year-old Klyde Reflordo, Maricel Rodriduez, Edna Moreno, Janine Moreno, Rowena Moreno, Rowell Moreno, Arnold Moreno, Maribel Nolasco, Margarita Ranon, five-year-old boy James Ranon, Roldan Sabidoria, pilot Capt. Timoteo Albo, co-pilot Capt. Jessie Kim Lustica and passenger Julius Dorado 21.

Five of the 11 injured are still confined in different hospitals in Metro Manila including Rodelyn Molina at Makati Medical Center; Melvin Molina at Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Quezon City; Edna Bigay, Kevin Josh, Emelita Abreu at Paraaque Doctors Hospital, Paraaque City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111213met2.html

Solon chastises DFA over ‘inappropriate’ comment By Charlie V. Manalo 12/13/2011

Solon chastises DFA over ‘inappropriate’ comment

By Charlie V. Manalo 12/13/2011
Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile chastised the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for its statement that the Filipino executed in China was undocumented, saying the pronouncement was “callous, inappropriate and uncalled for.”

Enrile said DFA’s comments does little to justify the lack of government support to the family of the executed Filipino and reflects the government’s mentality of distinguishing between documented and undocumented Filipinos abroad in providing government assistance.

“For the DFA to say that the Filipino who was executed last Dec. 8 was undocumented only shows its lack of adeptness in the field of diplomacy. That statement is not only callous, inappropriate and uncalled for but it also shows the government’s insensitivity to the plight of the family left behind,” Enrile said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111213met7.html

SC lifts writ against FPIC, allows leak tests

SC lifts writ against FPIC, allows leak tests

By Benjamin B. Pulta 12/13/2011

A writ handed down by the Supreme Court (SC) against the Lopez-family controlled First Philippine Industrial Corp. (FPIC) last year stopping the operations of its Batangas-Pandacan pipeline has been lifted by the tribunal to allow for leak tests.

In an en banc resolution, the SC granted the motion of the FPIC and ordered the lifting of the writ or the temporary environment protection order (Tepo) preventing the pipeline’s operation “for the duration of not more than 48 hours from the start of the proposed test runs and only for the duration of said tests in order for FPIC to conduct the tests for purposes of checking the integrity of the WOPL…”

The court considered the recommendation of the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS), the UP Institute of Civil Engineering (UPICE) and the Department of Energy (DoE), as well as the joint manifestation endorsing the leak tests that was submitted to the Court on Oct. 3 by the DoE and UPICE.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111213met1.html

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