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Impeach all: Merry Xmas! DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 12/16/2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Impeach all: Merry Xmas!

Herman Tiu Laurel
Except for the very sparse Christmas spirit in the air, I bet one wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference between this December season and months past. Everyone is pretty much aware of how life has progressively gotten harder each passing year. But, just when I was just about to give up on the holidays, an early and unexpected present seems to be coming our way, with the moro-moro war among the Yellow factions now getting so heated up that it’s becoming somewhat real.

Of course, the acrimony as of now involves only words, which don’t break bones. However, in the event that somebody gets pikon and starts throwing real punches, the ruffling of the feathers can lead to some blood being drawn or worse. Even if real issues, such as the widely believed power plunder conspiracy between Malacañang, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and the oligarchs, and other similar Big Business abuses, are set aside for a while, I am hoping that enough pandemonium will manage to drag in truly vital issues into the fray.

For starters, somebody could raise the issue of the oligarchs’ control of certain members of the Supreme Court (SC), whether appointed by PeNoy or Gloria. In fact, one of the appointees of the present dispensation, Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, was the ponente of a decision favoring the ERC and the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on the crucial approval of a 2009 Performance Based Regulation rate-setting scheme that raised power rates and Meralco’s profits — based on, of all things, a flimsy technicality of a supposed failure of consumer advocates to attend an ERC hearing.

Sereno apparently glossed over the fact that there was an oppositor present in that hearing (Mr. Uriel Borja of Iligan Light and Power), who interposed his objection and was amply prepared to present the evidence of the alleged massive overpricing of Meralco of its power rate proposals, but whom the ERC, in its usual pro-Meralco manner, gagged on the technicality that he was not registered as an “intervenor.”

As a result, the public has been penalized. They are now charged almost double the P0.90 per kilowatt-hour cost, which was shown by another petitioner, Mang Naro Lualhati, to be the rightful rate.

Moreover, as we narrated in a previous column, the ERC again apparently conspired with Meralco to confuse power consumer advocacy groups about the exact schedule of a recent hearing, hoping that the latter would be declared in default. Even while the advocates persisted, waited, and had siesta in the hearing room until the new appointed time, the issue that Mang Naro was to raise in a subsequent hearing was resolved in favor of Meralco since the ERC sent the advice for the later date to an old address of Lualhati which he, of course, never got. If this is brought to the SC, I have no doubts that Lualhati’s petition would be thrown out again.

Further, who can forget that another widely perceived Meralco-leaning lawyer was appointed to the high court by PeNoy? According to the news recap sent by Ferdie Pasion of the history of this magistrate’s appointment, “Court of Appeals Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, who once served as finance manager of a security agency owned by President Aquino’s family, was appointed as the newest Supreme Court justice… Reyes served as vice president and finance manager from 1987 to 1990 of Best Security Agency Inc., a security agency set up by Benigno Aquino III and his uncle, construction magnate Antolin Oreta.” But that’s not all.

“Reyes was appointed Supreme Court justice despite having been reprimanded by the high court in 2008 for signing a decision favoring Manila Electric Co. even before Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Conrado Vasquez could decide which of the court’s two divisions should resolve the case.”

The report added: “The Meralco-GSIS case exposed serious ethical issues, prompting the Supreme Court to investigate accusations of bribery. Reyes then faced a Supreme Court panel that eventually reprimanded him for simple misconduct. Reyes’ appointment filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Eduardo Nachura” (the former congressman who allegedly did dirty jobs for the Arroyo government as its Solicitor General).

It will be argued that such appointments passed through the Judicial Bar Council composed of politicians and leaders of the legal community. But ask any non-partisan and apolitical members of the community and they will tell you the extent of the horse trading that goes on in that body. That’s why political lackeys get appointed there in the first place. The ordinary folks and consumers will only get a better shake if we impeach all the justices of the present SC and fill the slots with a People’s Court.

That People’s Court can then also take the function of the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan to prosecute both houses of Congress and the Executive branch, replacing them with a People’s Congress and a “participative-ly” elected Executive structure.

That People’s Democratic Government can then prosecute the dozen or so oligarchs who have been behind the sham democracy in the country and put them in prison with their darling Gloria Arroyo and all her henchmen; same with PeNoy and company for the murders at Hacienda Luisita, the continuing jueteng operations, and the plunder in Quezon City and all over government.

That would be a wonderful Xmas indeed and an even better and happier New Year!

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Saturday, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111216com4.html

Peasant, fisherfolk groups renew call for pull-out from the WTO

Peasant, fisherfolk groups renew call for pull-out from the WTO

In the 17 years that the Philippines has been a member of the World Trade Organization, from being a net importer of rice, it became a net exporter as production fell considerably and land grabbing became rampant. Now, even vegetables are being heavily imported and soon imported fish products would flood the country, all in the name of the WTO.

The Philippines should get out of the World Trade Organization before it’s too late.

Peasant and fisherfolk organizations renewed this call recently during the 2nd Rural People’s Conference and Action against WTO and Imperialist Plunder in Quezon City. The activity was led by Anakpawis party list, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the Amihan peasant women federation and Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA). The groups signed a manifesto asking the Aquino government to take Philippine agriculture out of WTO.

The anti-WTO conference was held this morning at the KKFI gym in Sampaloc, Manila and was attended by some 200 farmer and rural folk leaders. The first Rural People’s Conference against WTO was held in December 2001 in front of the United States Embassy in Manila.

In the manifesto signed by their respective leaders, the organizations said the country’s continuing involvement in the WTO has wrought irreparable and irreversible damage to local agriculture, as well as promoted massive landgrabbing.
KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said it is high time for the Philippine government to make a decisive stand against the 17-year old membership of the country in WTO.

“The Philippines has suffered 17 years of global and domestic landgrabbing, 17 years of dismal performance of local agriculture and 17 years of food insecurity, and extreme hunger and poverty. Our membership in the WTO has brought us nothing but hardship,” he said.

Ramos, who recently attended several conferences held in India and Republic of Korea this last quarter of 2011, campaigned for the abolition of WTO and convinced other farmer groups in Latin America, Europe, the African continent, South Asia and Southeast Asia to support the global demand for the junking of WTO and neo-liberal globalization policies.

He named several controversial cases of global land-grabbing in the Philippines under the WTO regime: that of the lease made by South Korean company Jeonnam Feedstock Limited over 94,000 hectares of land in Occidental Mindoro for corn production; the conversion being made by the Japanese firm Pacific BioFields Corp. and local firm BioEnergy Northern Luzon Inc. of over 600,000 hectares of public and non-disposable timberland in Pagudpud town in Ilocos Norte into coconut plantations; and the implementation of a $300-million banana export project of the NEH company of Bahrain and AMA Group facilitated by the government agency Philippine Agriculture Development and Commercial Corp. (PADCC) in 2010 covering 10,000 hectares..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/16/peasant-fisherfolk-groups-renew-call-for-pull-out-from-the-wto/

Russian missile chief: ‘We can nuke your AMD’

Russian missile chief: ‘We can nuke your AMD’

Russian strategic missiles may target American anti-ballistic missile shield facilities in Europe, the commander of the Russian missile troops has warned.

­The missiles on duty have blank flight programs, but they can be promptly targeted at any destination, including the controversial European AMD sites, Lieutenant General Sergey Karakaev told journalists on Friday.

“There are no technical limitations on the use of strategic missiles. It would take very little time to select a new target and upload a new missile flight program,” he assured..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/missile-target-amd-europe-977/

Putin dubs McCain 'nuts', says US drones, commandos killed Gaddafi (w/ Video)

Putin dubs McCain 'nuts', says US drones, commandos killed Gaddafi

Vladimir Putin has lashed out at John McCain over his threats that the PM may face same fate as the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The Russian premier speculated that the US senator has been traumatized by his POW experience.

Putin presented his version of how Gaddafi was killed, and it allocates a dubious place for NATO in the scenario..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/putin-mccain-gaddafi-nuts-879/

Indefinite detention: 'Architecture of fascist state' (w/ Video)

Indefinite detention: 'Architecture of fascist state'

Terror suspects in America could be held in prison indefinitely – without charge or trial. The military will be able to take custody of alleged terrorists virtually without question. Critics say this would be a stark violation of human rights.
­The controversial National Defense Authorization Act, which was met with criticism from human rights activists, faced a presidential veto, but since last month Obama has retracted his warning.

“The White House explained it would veto the bill because these provisions, mandating military custody amount to a restriction of president’s authority,”
explains John Glaser, assistant editor at Antiwar.com..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/battlefield-america-veto-theater-857/

Poverty worsens despite conditional cash transfer program

Poverty worsens despite conditional cash transfer program
“This flagship program of Aquino is just a palliative measure. People don’t need dole-outs. What they really need is a permanent job.” – Gloria Arellano, president of Kadamay
MANILA – Marivic Quioga, 29 is a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps since 2010. However, the 4Ps program has failed to uplift Quioga and her family from poverty. Quioga said the P900 ($20) she usually gets from the said program did not improve her family’s living conditions.

“Nothing. We’re always short (on money),” Quioga said referring to the cash grant. Quioga is a B’laan from barangay Tuyan, Malapatan, Sarangani Province. She has four children with ages 12, 10, eight and five. Her husband is a farmer earning an average of P1,500 ($34) per month, while she is a housewife. According to Quioga, she became part of the program when the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) conducted a survey in their place.

Babbylyn Hermosora, 31, a Sangrir (an ethnic group in General Santos) from Purok Maguindanao, Labangal, General Santos City, is also a beneficiary of the 4Ps. She has three children with ages, seven, four and an eleven-month-old baby. Her husband is a warehouseman in a grocery store who earns P4,000 ($93) a month. She is also a housewife.

The Conditional Cash Transfer program, which the government calls the Pantawid Pamilyang Pamilya Program (4Ps), is the centerpiece poverty alleviation program of President Benigno S. Aquino III. Under the cash transfer program, the government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, would distribute a maximum amount of $32.55 per month to poor families covered by the program..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/15/poverty-worsens-despite-conditional-cash-transfer-program/

Farmer adds to growing list of extrajudicial killings under Aquino administration

 Farmer adds to growing list of extrajudicial killings under Aquino administration

Glendyhl Malabanan, Karapatan-ST secretary general, said farmer Guillermo Castillo is the 65th victim of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration.

MANILA – Only three days after the commemoration of the 63rd International Human Rights Day, another farmer was gunned down in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro.

On Dec. 13 at around 6:30 p.m, Guillermo Castillo, 46, was shot dead in front of his wife by unidentified men wearing bonnets. The assailants went inside the victim’s home in sitio Tuguilan, barangay Tayamaan, Mamburao town.

According to Karapatan-Southern Tagalog, the killing was preceded by surveillance operations conducted by suspected elements of the 80th Infantry Batallion of Philippine Army against the victim.

Glendyhl Malabanan, Karapatan-ST secretary general, said Guillermo is the 65th victim of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/16/farmer-adds-to-growing-list-of-extrajudicial-killings-under-aquino-administration/

‘President Aquino will be the next to be impeached’ — CBCP bishop By Pat C. Santos 12/16/2011

‘President Aquino will be the next to be impeached’ — CBCP bishop

By Pat C. Santos 12/16/2011

A bishop-member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has aired the warning that the next high official who may be facing impeachment would be President Aquino once it will be proven that he is employing a dictatorial style in running the government.

This was aired by CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs Chairman Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, pointing out that it is violative of the Constitution if a leader does not go by the rule of law and turns to dictatorship as a way of ruling under a democratic country.

The bishop also dared Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona to prove his allegation that President Aquino is becoming a dictator..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111216hed2.html

ROXAS JOINS FRAY TO UNSEAT BINAY AS VP Noynoy out to reclaim Luisita through CJ’s impeach EXCLUSIVE By Charlie V. Manalo and Virgilio J Bugaoisan 12/16/2011


Noynoy out to reclaim Luisita through CJ’s impeach


By Charlie V. Manalo and Virgilio J Bugaoisan 12/16/2011

Vengeance aside, the real agenda behind the impeachment of Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona is to prevent the 6,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita from being distributed to its tenant-farmers by pricing it far beyond the capacity to pay of the farmers, a reliable Tribune source said.

Informed that the plot to impeach Corona was set, Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas, the source also said, quickly seized the opportunity and threw in his support for Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

Roxas has a pending electoral protest against Vice President Jejomar Binay before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) which is composed of the SC justices sitting en banc..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111216hed1.html

Intra-party-list rift blamed in lawmaker’s ambush By Gerry Baldo 12/16/2011

Intra-party-list rift blamed in lawmaker’s ambush

By Gerry Baldo 12/16/2011

A lawmaker from Zamboanga del Norte yesterday blamed political intramurals among leaders of a party-list organization as the reason behind the ambush of Kakusa Rep. Ranulfo Canonigo.

According to Rep. Rosendo Labadlabad, Canonigo has been the pressured to resign as president of his party-list group, the Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong na Walang Sala (Kakusa) before unidentified gunmen shot him infront of his house in Barangay Concepcion Uno, Marikina City last Sunday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111216nat5.html

Bomb explodes in Maguindanao; 2 killed, 1 wounded By Gina Peralta-Elorde 12/16/2011

Bomb explodes in Maguindanao; 2 killed, 1 wounded

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 12/16/2011

At least two people were confirmed dead while one wounded when a bomb exploded in Datu Udin Sinsuat town, Maguindanao while the town was celebrating its festivity.

The police report disclosed that the bomb went off at the place where Gov. Ismael Mangudadatu was attending a town event.

The blast took place at Barangay Dalican at about 10:45 a.m. at a motorized rickshaw near a municipal hall packed with visitors that killed two men two men on board..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111216nat3.html

EU chooses RP as center for anti-nuke disaster By Michaela P. del Callar 12/16/2011

EU chooses RP as center for anti-nuke disaster

By Michaela P. del Callar 12/16/2011

The European Union has chosen the Philippines as the site for its anti-nuke disaster center in Southeast Asia, which seeks to prevent the threats of nuclear catastrophes and its unlawful use in the region.

However, Philippine officials are still deliberating on the feasibility of the EU’s offer to host the Permanent Secretariat of the Southeast Asian Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Center of Excellence and risk mitigation.

The EU, through its contractor the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), is discussing details with the Philippine Anti-Terrorism Council regarding the practicalities of the establishment of the secretariat..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111216nat1.html

Caloocan officials to lead motorcade vs firecrackers 12/16/2011

Caloocan officials to lead motorcade vs firecrackers

Caloocan City Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri will lead other local key officials and the Liga ng mga Barangay in a city-wide motorcade on Sunday against firecracker use in greeting the New Year.

According to the mayor, the joint effort was an initiative of various civic groups, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the local government that have banded together to warn the residents on the hazards being posed by the use of firecrackers during the New Year’s revelry.

This as Liga ng Barangay sa Pilpinas president Councilor Ricojudge “RJ” Echiverri, the mayor’s son, has with him the entire city village officials in the planned motorcade which will also have volunteers and students participating..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111216met4.html

Gloria’s allies in military, police may sow chaos — ‘JV’ By Gerry Baldo 12/16/2011

Gloria’s allies in military, police may sow chaos — ‘JV’

By Gerry Baldo 12/16/2011

A lawmaker from San Juan yesterday warned that military generals and police officers who are loyal to former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo could exploit the current rift between Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona and President Aquino.

According to Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, there is a big possibility that military men close to the former president would instigate chaos in the government in an attempt to exonerate the Chief Justice.

“It’s very possible that the camp of Mrs. Arroyo and her loyal generals would foment chaos,” Ejercito said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111216met1.html

Weathermen: Weekend before Christmas will be rainy 12/16/2011

Weathermen: Weekend before Christmas will be rainy

State forecasters yesterday said Metro Manila will experience a rainy weekend as a tropical depression has entered the Philippine area of responsibility.

According to Pagasa weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio, tropical depression “Sendong” was last spotted 1,100 kilometers east of Mindanao..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111216met3.html

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