• 6 AUGUST - *1907 - Gen. Macario Sakay, one of the Filipino military leaders who had continued fighting the imperialist United States invaders eight years into the Ph...
    5 years ago

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Placing RP on war footing with China’s FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/31/2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Placing RP on war footing with China’s


FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/31/2012
Noynoy is really endangering the country not only be risking economic sanctions from China that may even lead to war with the Philippines in the middle of it all, but also virtually giving the country away — and for a song — to the no longer great god America by considering (probably a done deal by this time) to make this country an American base for spy planes or drones, which could kill many innocent Filipinos, just as these drones have done in Pakistan and Iraq and other some such places where the American military is still around.

Already, that report that emanated from the Washington Post and confirmed by Malacañang, albeit claiming Noynoy is still “mulling” over the expanded military presence, has raised the hackles of China, as gleaned from the Communist Party paper, Global Times, although Chinese diplomatese tempered the Chinese government’s reaction to the offer from the Philippines to the US, calling for greater efforts toward “peace and stability” in the region, after the Philippines offered to allow more American troops on its territory..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120131com2.html

Russia opposes 'Libyan scenario' in Syria and will block resolution

Russia opposes 'Libyan scenario' in Syria and will block resolution


Russia will not bargain with the West over the fresh draft resolution on Syria, says Russia’s deputy foreign minister. The draft in its current form ignores the Russian position and therefore, has no chance of being accepted, Gennady Gatilov said.

­"It is not part of our political practice to trade our principles," Gatilov said on Monday as cited by Interfax. "We don't bargain, but seek consideration for our positions and our vision, which are based on our knowledge of regional realities and our historical experience.”

"Russia can only support the resolution if it fixes Russia's principled approaches, which I have mentioned and which are shared by many other countries," he added..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/russia-assad-talks-opposition-083/

Indefinite detention and torture: US already enforcing NDAA

Indefinite detention and torture: US already enforcing NDAA


Not even a month after President Barack Obama signed his name to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, the US government is already using the legislation to justify its ongoing detainment of a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.

Musa'ab al-Madhwani had barely entered adulthood when he first arrived at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002. But in the months between his capture in Pakistan and transfer to Gitmo, the Yemeni national experienced more than most would see in a lifetime. Before he turned 23, he says he was beaten and kicked, threatened with death and suspended by his hands in an underground torture chamber..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/us-ndaa-al-madhwani-gitmo-089/

Impeachment trial VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 01/31/2012

Impeachment trial

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 01/31/2012
It does not require much brainwork to know and conclude that the now ongoing impeachment trial costs money — money that certainly does not come from any of those directly and indirectly invoked therein. Instead, they are nonchalantly and conveniently taken from the direct and/or indirect taxes of every baby, child, teenager and adult in the Philippines. Never mind if they have barely enough money to buy their food, to pay for their clothes and shelter.

Never mind if their fathers and/or mothers cannot even find work, cannot in fact afford sending them to school, cannot buy the medicines they need and do not even find any relief in the ever rising prices of prime commodities — their little energy/fuel consumption included.

In other words, never mind if the impeachment case is undertaken more by way of vindictiveness than the honest-to-goodness search for truth and the due application of justice...... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120131com6.html

Palparan’s ‘lawyer’ claims missing UP students alive


Palparan’s ‘lawyer’ claims missing UP students alive


“If it is false, it’s an insensitive and irresponsible claim designed to confuse and raise false hopes. It could be a cheap shot to incorrectly undermine the charges. But if true, which is good, it raises even more questions though.” – Edre Olalia, private prosecutor

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan – After five years and a half of searching for her daughter, Erlinda Cadapan would have been overjoyed after being told that her dearest Sherlyn and companion Karen Empeño, the two missing University of the Philippines (UP) students, are still alive.

But the news came from one of the purported lawyers of retired Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., the main suspect in the abduction of the two UP students.

In the January 30 hearing at the Bulacan Regional Trial Court branch 14, lawyer Jesus Santos said, “Last night, I was informed that the alleged victims are alive. If [petition for] preliminary investigation is allowed, [we will prove that] the alleged victims are alive, then what is the crime committed?”

Judge Teodora Gonzales said Santos’s statement is mere information not supported by facts. Santos replied, “If this information would be right, it’s the end [of the case].”

Surprised, one of the private prosecutors Edre Olalia stood up and said, “If the bare allegation is true, charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention still hold…Assuming it is true, it would not in any way affect the case.”

Judge Gonzales told Santos, “Unless the victims are produced, the statement would not hold water.”

Immediately after the hearing, Mrs. Cadapan approached Santos and said, “You’re already old. Do not lie anymore.”

“It is difficult to take their words. What I want is the truth. If they know where Sherlyn is, why did they not surface her earlier? I have been searching for more than five years. They have been lying to us for so long. If it is true, why did they not bring my daughter and Karen to court?” Mrs. Cadapan said in an interview after the hearing.

Mrs. Cadapan noted that Santos did not provide the source of information and any details regarding the whereabouts of Karen and Sherlyn. ..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/31/palparan%e2%80%99s-%e2%80%98lawyer%e2%80%99-claims-missing-up-students-alive/

The BPO backlash AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller Ken Fuller 01/31/2012

The BPO backlash

AN OUTSIDERS VIEW
Ken Fuller
Ken Fuller 01/31/2012
Last week, this column argued that many Philippine commentators on economic affairs fail to think “outside the box.” Due to ideological commitment, some voluntarily submit to the narrow horizons of the current, dysfunctional “export-oriented” economic model, imposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund decades ago. Others have simply abandoned hope that the Philippines will embark upon the path of genuine development.

Take, for example, the concern regarding the Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Bill currently before the US Congress.

In 2011, business process outsourcing (BPO) revenue in the Philippines was $9 billion, no less than 4.5 percent of gross domestic product. Some 900 BPO firms employ 1.1 million Filipinos, around 60 percent of whom are call center agents. This country, being the world’s third largest provider, has 15 percent of the market share...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120131com5.html

SC justice files libel case vs journalist 01/31/2012

SC justice files libel case vs journalist

01/31/2012
A libel complaint was filed yesterday before a Manila court by Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. against journalist Marites Vitug.

The complaint arose after Vitug, in her book, claimed, among others, that over his years in the judiciary, lawyers and judges gave Velasco the monicker “practicing justice,” referring to his frequent visits to his former law firm when he was a Court of Appeals (CA) justice.

In a two-page information, Assistant City Prosecutor Jose Nelson Todas found probable cause to indict Vitug, citing as evidence her own book, “Shadow of Doubt,” launched two years ago..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120131hed6.html

Presence of US troops in RP not aimed against China — AFP By Mario J. Mallari and Fernan J. Angeles 01/31/2012

Presence of US troops in RP not aimed against China — AFP

By Mario J. Mallari and Fernan J. Angeles 01/31/2012

The Department of National Defense (DND) yesterday doused fears that the planned increased military presence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific Region, particularly in the Philippines through more military exercises, was aimed against China which has expressed concerns over the plan.

At a press briefing, DND spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said the Philippines is pushing for stability and peace in the Asia Pacific region as he stressed that the planned increased US military presence coupled with the ongoing capability upgrade and modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are not directed against any nation.

“Of course, we are after peace and stability in the region. That is our priority,” Galvez said. “…The increased US presence is really for the exercises, along with the equipment we are buying, we need to know more, we need to train how to use these things properly. There are new concepts of operations, there are some techniques that we don’t know yet, that is the primary reason.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120131nat2.html

Solon slams China media’s threat to ‘sanction’ Philippines By Charlie V. Manalo 01/31/2012

Solon slams China media’s threat to ‘sanction’ Philippines

By Charlie V. Manalo 01/31/2012

Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay yesterday slammed an editorial by the China Global Times pushing the Chinese government to sanction the Philippines over its increased ties with the United States in terms of improving the country’s defense capabilities, saying China has no right to impose punishment on the Philippines since we are an independent country and not under their control.

“China has no right to impose sanctions on the Philippines because we are not under their control. We are an independent nation and thus, do not serve for their pleasure,” Magsaysay said.

However, the solon urged the government to rethink its decision to undergo more joint exercises in the country as well as allowing American soldiers to rotate around the country and expressed alarm that this might jeopardize the safety and security of the Philippines and make it a target by enemies of the United States..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120131nat3.html

Tupas snubs JBC meeting By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/31/2012

Tupas snubs JBC meeting

By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/31/2012

A meeting between members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) proceeded smoothly despite the different sides that members of the collegial body are standing on the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Two JBC members are firmly lodged on the prosecution’s side, namely Iloilo Rep. and Justice Committee Chairman Niel Tupas Jr. and possible prosecution witness Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said “Everything was normal they had the agenda so they just went through the agenda. It was business as usual for the JBC.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120131nat1.html

Immigration bars 980 aliens from entering RP By Conrado Ching 01/31/2012

Immigration bars 980 aliens from entering RP

By Conrado Ching 01/31/2012

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) barred more than 900 foreigners from entering the country in 2011 in the different ports of entry nationwide.

BI Commissioner Ricardo David said that a total of 980 foreigners were refused entry last year, compared to the 640 who were excluded in 2010.

David attributed the rise in the number of excluded aliens to the increased vigilance of immigration officers who screen arriving foreigners in the various airports and seaports..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120131met3.html

90-day suspension slapped on five Navotas jail execs By Gina Peralta Elorde 01/31/2012

90-day suspension slapped on five Navotas jail execs

By Gina Peralta Elorde 01/31/2012

Five jail officers of the Navotas City Jail were ordered a 90-day suspension after the escape of five inmates from their custody on Jan. 23, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo identified the suspended jail officers as Senior Insp. Manuel Serquina; Senior Jail Officer 3 Sencino Abrazaldo; Senior Jail Officer 1 Adan de Loza; JailOfficer 1 Loreto Edosor and Jail Officer 1 Enrico Velasquez.

The DILG chief approved the suspension order based on the recommendation of Jail Director Rosendo Dial, chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120131met6.html

Why beg for an increase in US military presence?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Why beg for an increase in US military presence?


By BENJIE OLIVEROS
Bulatlat.com
It has now hit the headlines, the US is negotiating with the Aquino government for an increase in its military presence in the country through more frequent joint military exercises and other military cooperation activities, and an increase in the number of US troops rotating in the country. Recent policy pronouncements and visits by American officials have been leading to this point.

The Obama administration has declared, as part of its spending cuts, that it would move toward refocusing the concentration of its overseas deployment of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Asia-Pacific region. Then came the visit of US State Secretary Hillary Clinton, which was followed recently by a delegation of US Senators that included former Republican presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona, Senators Joseph Lieberman (Connecticut), Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island) and Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire).

Instead of taking a negotiating position, the Aquino government is now practically begging the US to increase the number of rotating troops in the country from the current 600 US Special Forces soldiers at any given time, and to make more frequent the conduct of joint military exercises. The Aquino government is justifying this by raising the specter of a potential conflict with China over the Spratly islands, and declaring that the US would aid the Philippines in case war erupts. The Aquino government practically grabbed the ploy of the US hook, line and sinker.

Is this not true?

First of all, the US would act only according to its own interests. This is clearly stated in US policy documents and was proven, historically, in practice. When the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos asked for US support in the country’s conflict with Malaysia over Sabah, the US did not respond. Likewise, when the conflict over claims to the Spratly islands first erupted, the US likewise clarified that it is not obligated to act in behalf of the Philippines..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/29/why-beg-for-an-increase-in-us-military-presence/

Libya Update: Libyans will not submit

Libya Update: Libyans will not submit

29.01.2012
 
Libya Update: Libyans will not submit. 46479.jpeg
All not well in NATO torture terrorist land
Pravda photo
News of the Libyan resistance:

The National Transitional Council (NTC), Al Qaeda and other NATO backed terrorists are unable to subdue the country. Not only are they incapable of running a country or government, but they can't even agree among themselves and they are eating each other alive..... MORE

SourcePravda.ru

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/terror/29-01-2012/120355-Libya_Update_Libyans_will_not_submit-0/

‘War in Iran would mean WWIII’



‘War in Iran would mean WWIII’

The military build-up and economic sanctions against Iran are designed to unleash a global war from the Mediterranean to China with unpredictable consequences, warns Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

­Tensions between Iran and the West are close to crisis level. With massive help from the western media, Iran has firmly become embedded as the root of all evil in the minds of many westerners..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/us-iran-ww3-chossudovsky-025/

Stun gun vs Occupy DC: Cops tase protester in pyjamas (VIDEO)



Stun gun vs Occupy DC: Cops tase protester in pyjamas (VIDEO)


US park police have used a stun gun on an Occupy protester, whose only crime was tearing down fliers warning demonstrators about a ban on camping in Washington’s McPherson Square.

­On Sunday afternoon, while arresting a man for the abovementioned activity, the three officers got nervous when he started to cry out repeatedly “I have done nothing wrong!” To cut things short, a police officer shot the man in the back with an electronic stun gun to make handcuffing a smoother process..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/occupy-police-taser-protestor-033/

Occupy Oakland: Cops bend law in brutal arrest wave

Occupy Oakland: Cops bend law in brutal arrest wave


Was police provocation behind the stand-off between law enforcers and Occupy protesters in Oakland, which ended up with a devastating incursion into City Hall and over 400 detainments? Witnesses insist no order to disperse preceded the mass arrests.

­The peaceful rally last Saturday turned into a violent clash, with protesters throwing stones at police and officers answering with tear gas grenades. In the end, law enforcement brutally beat the rioters, with over 400 arrested, on charges of disobeying commands to disperse and vandalism..... MORE
SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/occupy-oakland-police-unlawful-069/

Kabataan Party bucks ROTC reinstatement, says yes to youth social involvement

Kabataan Party bucks ROTC reinstatement, says yes to youth social involvement


By INA ALLECO R. SLVERIO
Bulatlat.com
There’s no way they are going to allow ROTC training become mandatory again.

Kabataan Party-List and the youth and students organization Anakbayan have declared their determination to oppose proposals to once more make ROTC or the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) mandatory in all colleges and universities nationwide.

In a hearing of the Committee on Higher and Technical Education in Congress recently, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino said he will stand against what he termed were “dangerous proposals to reverse and disregard the gains of students in their fight against an unrightful military training.” The youth lawmaker said that the ROTC has done more evil than good to those who underwent its training program.

The ROTC was mandatory to all college students since World War II but was incorporated into and became just one of the options in the National Service Training Program by virtue of Republic Act No. 9163 in 2001 after strong protests from students, faculty and administrative officials.

“The ROTC has taught its cadets how to become blind and docile servants. With its grim and bloody human rights record, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has no right to meddle with the academic affairs of our youth. A war-mongering and mercenary institution must not be allowed to infiltrate schools and teach students,” he said.

It is well known that the training system of ROTC is essentially lifted from that of the AFP. Palatino blasted the claim that the AFP-run program teaches the students how to be patriotic. Among the main reasons for the protests against the ROTC was the murder of University of Santo Tomas student Mark Chua who exposed irregularities in the ROTC unit of the university.

ROTC threatens academic freedom

“The AFP uses the program in its red-baiting campaign against progressive student groups. In many ROTC lectures, soldier-instructors conveniently tagged student activist groups as affiliated with the New People’s Army. The ROTC is clearly a threat to academic freedom,” Palatino said..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/27/kabataan-party-bucks-rotc-reinstatement-says-yes-to-youth-social-involvement/

Beijing appeals for calm after RP offer to US 01/30/2012

Beijing appeals for calm after RP offer to US

01/30/2012
China yesterday called for greater efforts toward “peace and stability” in the region, after the Philippines offered to allow more American troops on its territory.

Manila last Friday said it planned to hold more joint exercises and to let more US troops rotate through the Southeast Asian country — an offer welcomed by the United States as it seeks to expand its military power in Asia.

“We hope that relevant parties will make more effort toward peace and stability in the region,” China’s foreign ministry said in a brief statement faxed to Agence France Presse..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120130hed3.html

Santiago wants to trim long impeachment witness list By Angie M. Rosales 01/30/2012

PROSECUTORS PREPARE FOR TRIAL BEYOND MARCH RECESS

Santiago wants to trim long impeachment witness list

By Angie M. Rosales 01/30/2012

Senator-Judge Miriam Defensor Santiago in the impeachment trial said she will move to trim the 100 witnesses the prosecution panel plans to present to the Senate court trying Chief Justice Renato Corona, adding the prosecution would have to justify in including all the names on the list.

Santiago issued the statement even as the prosecution panel said yesterday it is looking at the trial extending beyond the scheduled adjourning of Congress in March.

While indicating that they are willing to expedite the impeachment trial of Corona and to stipulate on facts, the prosecutors said they are also willing to continue with the trial even after Congress adjourns sine die in March..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120130hed1.html

Lawmaker urges Congress to pass oil profit cap bill 01/30/2012

Lawmaker urges Congress to pass oil profit cap bill

01/30/2012
In the midst of the ongoing impeachment trial at the Senate, Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV has reiterated his call for his colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives to immediately pass a bill setting the allowable level of profit for petroleum companies and imposing windfall profit tax on oil firms.

“With the oil prices continuously increasing almost on a weekly basis, the government is virtually helpless in checking the apparent abuses of petroleum industry players in increasing and in refusing to decrease prices of petroleum products even when warranted by market forces..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120130nat6.html

Solon opposes DFA’s planned closure of 10 embassies 01/30/2012

Solon opposes DFA’s planned closure of 10 embassies

01/30/2012
House Assistant Majority Leader and Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles yesterday questioned the plan to shut down at least 10 Philippine embassies and consulates due to alleged budgetary constraints as they noted that all funding for these diplomatic posts are all presumed to have been provided with adequate allocation through the 2012 General Appropriations Act.

Nograles said this plan to shut down diplomatic posts is a move that absolutely puts the country in bad light apart from the fact that it would even make it more difficult for many Filipinos who have problems in their host countries to seek help from the government.

In fact, Nograles said, the country even needs to increase the number of its consular offices to ensure that Filipinos who are in nearly every corner of the globe can easily secure help from the government when necessary..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120130nat4.html

Gov’t owes LGUs P449M in Customs VAT–Teves By Charlie V. Manalo 01/30/2012

Gov’t owes LGUs P449M in Customs VAT–Teves

By Charlie V. Manalo 01/30/2012

Tax wizard and former Negros Oriental Rep. Herminio Teves yesterday bared that the national government owes the country’s local government units over P449 million in internal revenue allotments (IRA) collected by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) but kept out of LGU’s reach since 1989.

Teves, who was chairman of the House committee on ways and means during the 13th Congress, said the unpaid IRA comprised the 40 percent share of LGUs from value added tax collected by the BoC from 1989 to 2009 alone.

The veteran former solon made this revelation as he supported the contention of several incumbent congressmen led by Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas that the value added tax (VAT) collected by the BoC should be considered part of the total collected national taxes to which LGUs have a share under the provisions of the Local Government Code..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120130nat1.html

Installation of CCTVs at car parks pushed 01/30/2012

Installation of CCTVs at car parks pushed

01/30/2012
The alarming rise in crimes committed at car parks has prompted a woman lawmaker to push the enactment of a bill providing for the mandatory installation of security cameras and recording devices and the implementation of ample security measures that would safeguard life and property inside car park facilities.

Filed by Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, House Bill 5718 or the Car Park Security Act of 2012, also prohibits the imposition of blanket and unconditional waivers exempting car park operators from any liability to crimes committed against their patrons..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120130met2.html

Lakeshore open dump in Taytay-Angono poses danger to drinking water 01/30/2012

Lakeshore open dump in Taytay-Angono poses danger to drinking water

01/30/2012
A lakeshore open dumpsite in a locality east of Metro Manila threatens government project that would tap Asia’s second largest freshwater basin as a major source of safe drinking water for the 14 million residents of the National Capital Region (NCR).

The13-hectare dumpsite, located along the Taytay-Angono coastal road in Barangay Muzon is owned and operated by the Taytay local government. It has long been ordered closed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) due the strong clamor of Greenpeace, an international environment activist organization..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120130met3.html

UP condemns harassment of students undergoing fieldwork in Pampanga

Sunday, January 29, 2012

UP condemns harassment of students undergoing fieldwork in Pampanga


“We will not let it happen just like that. Justice must be served.” – UP President Alfredo Pascual
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com
MANILA –Three community development students of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman were in Porac, Pampanga to learn about the lives of the Aeta community. They did not expect they would be tagged as New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas for doing so.

Since December, Rafael Antonio Dulce, 25; Marie Gold Villar, 23; and another student who refused to be identified were at the Katutubo village or Tent City in Porac, Pampanga conducting field work as part of their academic requirement. The village is a relocation site where Aetas have lived after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.

On January 21, at around12:00 noon, the three students were trekking the mountains going to barangay Camias where they were invited by barangay officials to attend the town fiesta. On their way, a man in civilian clothes called out the group. The man, who introduced himself as Paul from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 3 office asked for Villar’s name and started interrogating her. Three more men in civilian clothes came towards them, said Dulce.

The men, said Dulce, kept on asking questions. Dulce then explained the objectives of their integration at the Katutubo village and that they were invited by barangay officials in Camias to visit their community. “Then their line of questioning became different and suddenly they were accusing us of being members of the NPA,” Dulce said during a press conference, Jan. 26.

Dulce texted their colleague who stayed at the Katutubo village, saying that they were being harassed. It was then that a man who introduced himself as Chris started pushing him and challenged him to a fistfight. “He started pushing me and threw out invectives at me. I almost fell because he was pushing me toward the ridge,” Dulce recalled..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/27/up-condemns-harassment-of-students-undergoing-fieldwork-in-pampanga/

Geopolitical stakes in Nigeria: Curious role of the IMF

Geopolitical stakes in Nigeria: Curious role of the IMF


As Nigeria spirals into instability, historian and economic researcher Frederick William Engdahl argues a recent government decision to lift subsidies on imported fuel in the oil-rich nation bears the mark of Washington Consensus shock therapy.

In the article below, Engdahl explains his view.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and its largest oil producer, is from all evidence being systematically thrown into chaos and a state of civil war. The recent surprise decision by the government of Goodluck Jonathan to abruptly lift subsidies on imported gasoline and other fuel has a far more sinister background than mere corruption, and the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) is playing a key role. China appears to be the likely loser along with Nigeria’s population..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/oil-subsidy-nigeria-imf-955/

Flash-grenades & tear-gas: 300 arrested at Occupy Oakland (PHOTOS, VIDEO)



 Flash-grenades & tear-gas: 300 arrested at Occupy Oakland (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Police in Oakland, California, have used tear-gas and flash-grenades as a 2,000-strong Occupy Oakland march turned violent, with some protesters claiming that rubber bullets were also fired into the crowd. At least 300 people were arrested.

The demonstrators had attempted to take over vacant buildings to use as their headquarters, they also broke into City Hall and tried to occupy a YMCA. Police spokesman Jeff Thomason told media most of the arrests came around 8 pm local time. Police took many protesters into custody as they marched through the city's downtown area, with some entering a YMCA building..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/occupy-oakland-police-gas-971/

US toothless against Iran rock: Pentagon seeks new superbomb

US toothless against Iran rock: Pentagon seeks new superbomb


Having considered the toughness of the rock-hidden Iranian nuclear facilities, America’s Nutcracker military command has decided to save jaw and develop a new conventional superbomb, since the US still plans to do the job in Iran without nukes.

­Washington has once again reminded Tehran that it has the military capability to crack Iranian hard-target nuclear sites with conventional weapons, leaking to the Wall Street Journal plans to develop an even more effective bunker-buster bomb.

The American military is no longer in love with the most powerful non-nuclear weapon it possesses, the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), a 13,600-kilogram mammoth capable of penetrating deep underground facilities..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/american-super-conventional-bomb-951/

In the name of God, go! VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 01/29/2012

In the name of God, go!

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
01/29/2012
It was recently reported that on the first day of the now ongoing impeachment process, someone said with gusto and unction: “In the Name of God, go!”

It is not often that such an injunction is heard —especially in the secular sphere. God was invoked and His name was used. Even for this reason alone, it is but proper to consider the different significance and nuances of this admittedly sacred and solemn invocation made on the occasion of a basically political exercise. It can be readily noted that the cited supplication can be intended as a blessing, an insult or curse.

A sacred mission with the needed blessing — this is one of the ordinary and usual intentions behind the proclamation. The agenda is difficult and may even be dangerous. Hence, nobody less than God Himself is called upon to accompany the agent..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120129com6.html

Prioritized obsessions TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 01/29/2012

Prioritized obsessions

TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
01/29/2012
\"Not a priority,” President Noynoy Aquino replied to the media when asked about the front page capture of Secretary Ronald Llamas buying in bulk some two thousand pesos worth of pirated DVD’s. In short, he is on track of being at odds with media, as if telling them, “You guys, don’t dictate my priorities.” But news media, being the Fourth Estate, have all the power to focus or fine tune the priorities of the government whether favorable or not to the sitting power.

However, the whole physique of Secretary Llamas may not block the “daang matuwid,” but his horns, wings and tails may hit some sensibilities as he heads through the narrow alleys.

For instance his moral ascendancy as a government official especially enjoying the prerogative of being within “whispering distance” to the president is a serious question not only for himself but also for the whole of the presidential circle. Currently, the secretary is nowhere in sight or missing — of course, with P 2000 worth of DVD’s equivalent to around 600 DVD’s, he still must be stuck in front of his home theater watching. Besides, there is the issue of the seemingly unstoppable violation of the anti-piracy law, which the Optical Media Board is inefficiently implementing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120129com7.html

US won’t return bases, but lauds RP offer forincreased military presence 01/29/2012

US won’t return bases, but lauds RP offer forincreased military presence

01/29/2012
WASHINGTON — The United States has welcomed the Philippines’ offer to allow more US troops on its territory, saying it would boost US power in Asia, and assured it was not seeking to re-establish bases in the former colony.

The Philippines the other day said it planned to hold more joint exercises and to let more American troops rotate through the Southeast Asian country which is embroiled in increasingly tense territorial disputes with China.

“We would welcome discussions with the Philippines along those lines, but there’s no aspiration for bases in Southeast Asia,” Adm..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120129hed3.html

Puerto Princesa river officially among new 7 natural wonders 01/29/2012

Puerto Princesa river officially among new 7 natural wonders

01/29/2012
The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) yesterday was confirmed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

“When your very own President Aquino came out in support of the PPUR Campaign, I knew that this country was taking the New7 Wonders of Nature seriously. Fans of PPUR all over the world responded to his call for action by voting in record numbers and today’s confirmation is the well-earned reward for this extraordinary display of enthusiasm,” Bernard Weber, founder and president of New7Wonders (N7WN), in a statement, said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120129hed6.html

Police eye Dominguez carjack group in witness’ killing 01/29/2012

Police eye Dominguez carjack group in witness’ killing

01/29/2012
The local police are now digging deeper into the possible involvement of the notorious Dominguez carjacking group in the killing of a lady witness in Bulacan on Thursday shortly after she attended a court hearing.

Cristina Rojas, a gas station owner and businesswoman who testified before the court against brothers Raymond and Roger Dominguez said to be the leaders of the Dominguez cartheft syndicate operating in Bulacan province and nearby towns and cities, was shot inside a passenger jeepney by one of the passengers along MacArthur Highway in Malolos Bulacan on Thursday, the report said.

The report said her assailant followed her even when she boarded the jeep, and shot her before getting off from the jeepney. The suspect alighted and boarded of a waiting motorcycle..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120129nat3.html

Albay Cagsawa Festival kicks off February 01/29/2012

Albay Cagsawa Festival kicks off February

01/29/2012
DARAGA, Albay — Passion builds up as Albay’s newest and most historic tourism attraction, the Cagsawa Festival, kicks off here in February this year. The festival is expected to further rev up the spirited tourism drive of the province.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the Provincial Capitol here and the Municipal Government of Daraga, led by Mayor Gerry Jaucian, have forged the partnership that gave birth to the Cagsawa Festival, which was immediately elevated to the category of Albay’s two other important provincial festivals; Magayon and Karangahan.

The month-long Cagsawa Festival kicks off at the historic and world famous Cagsawa Ruins Park, marked by the remains of a church belfry amid a tumble of bricks that define the layout of an Spanish era settlement. Only the top of the belfry remains above ground after the church and the settlement were buried by the violent Mayon Volcano eruption in 1814..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120129nat4.html

Batangas City warden dismissed By Gina Peralta-Elorde 01/29/2012

Batangas City warden dismissed

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 01/29/2012

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) sacked the jail warden of Batangas City jail from his post for alleged scam for pocketing millions of pesos from the daily food allowance for the inmates.

Sacked from his post was Chief Insp. Deogracias del Castillo. He was replaced by Senior Insp. Emmanuel Banawag as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of Batangas City jail.

According to report, the P50 budget for food allowance per day for each prisoner amounting to P7,800 which covers the 1,600 inmates at the Batangas City jail only P1, 400 is received by the prisoners and the rest of the amount is pocketed by Del Castillo..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120129nat1.html

TIP pays tribute to teachers everywhere in ‘Teacher Teacher’ M E T R O F I L E 01/29/2012

TIP pays tribute to teachers everywhere in ‘Teacher Teacher’

M E T R O F I L E

01/29/2012
Everyone who has sat in class and known the answer to a teacher’s question has eagerly raised his hand and with much aplomb exclaimed, “Teacher, Teacher” -- desirous of being called to earn points in class. This seemingly innocent phrase has become the title of a book which celebrates how teachers everywhere empower their students with the knowledge that they share. The Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) launched a commemorative publication that resonates this empowerment on Jan. 21, 2012 at the Anniversary Hall of the TIP Quezon City Campus along Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City. The book, aptly entitled Teacher Teacher: A Tribute to Teachers Everywhere, is not only a literary homage to the noble profession of teaching, it is also TIP’s way of honoring the teachers who have molded generations of young minds into becoming better individuals..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120129met6.html

Exemption of QC elderly from color coding pushed By Arlie O. Calalo 01/29/2012

Exemption of QC elderly from color coding pushed

By Arlie O. Calalo 01/29/2012
A Quezon City councilor is seeking the support of his colleagues at the Sangguniang Panlunsod for the immediate passage of his proposed measure aimed at exempting the city’s senior citizens from the number coding scheme being implemented by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

According to Councilor Marvin Rillo, his proposed ordinance is in line with the city’s continuing effort to expand the delivery of basic services to its elderly residents in recognition of the vital role they play in the task of nation-building.

He said his office will coordinate with the MMDA and also with the QC Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), which provides auxiliary services in traffic management in the city, to facilitate the grant of the exemption..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120129met1.html

On US Imperialism and a way forward for the Philippines

Saturday, January 28, 2012

On US Imperialism and a way forward for the Philippines



Full Interview with Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairman, the Communist Party of the Philippines
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Chairperson, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle
BY BILL FLETCHER, JR.

(Shorter version appears in AlterNet, January 22, 2012)
1. Most people in the USA know little about the Philippines, its history, and/or its relationship to the USA. What do you believe are the reasons for this ignorance?

Answer: The US mass media are most responsible for informing, disinforming or simply keeping the American people ignorant about a country like the Philippines. I presume that most people in the USA become most aware of a country when the mass media are blaring out a certain extended course of sensational events of great interest to the US officialdom and the ruling class.

I am sure that in the past there were times of long duration when the mass media called the attention of the American public to the Philippines, like when the US was justifying and carrying out its war of aggression against the Filipino people from 1899 onwards, when the Japanese fascists pushed the US out of the Philippines at the start of World War II and the US reconquered the Philippines in 1945 and when the US-propped Marcos fascist dictatorship was in the process of being overthrown.

When the extraordinary or sensational subsides, the mass media pay less attention to the country and do not say much about the protracted reality of US colonial rule in the Philippines in most of the first half of the 20th century or the US semi-colonial domination of the Philippines since 1946. The ruling system in the US does not allow the Americans who know the truth about of the Philippines to impart their knowledge to the public promptly, widely and sustainedly through the mass media or any other means.

2. Given what you are saying, do you think that the US media has consciously mischaracterized the situation in the Philippines by focusing on groups like Abu Sayyaf?

Answer: Yes, the US media drum up US policy and corporate interests and consciously misrepresent the Philippine situation, as in the focusing on the Abu Sayyaf . This small bandit gang, whose origin can be traced to the CIA and intelligence operatives of the Philippine army who organized and used it against the Moro revolutionaries (MNLF and then MILF), is magnified as an extension of Al Qaida in order to serve the false claim of Bush that the Philippines is the second front of a global war on terror as well as to rationalize state terrorism and US military intervention in the Philippines..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/25/on-us-imperialism-and-a-way-forward-for-the-philippines/

Russia rejects new draft resolution on Syria



Russia rejects new draft resolution on Syria

Russia has opposed the new Arab-European draft resolution on Syria presented by Morocco in the UN Security Council on Friday. Russia’s ambassador to the UN says it will continue to search for ways to end the ongoing bloodshed there.

As RT’s Marina Portnaya reports from New York, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, expressed “deep” disappointment with the draft, indicating that he does not believe that the international community should impose an outside solution on the Syrian conflict. He also rejected the idea of an arms embargo or the use of force being imposed on Syria..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/russia-rejects-resolution-syria-927/

US and Israel revive largest joint anti-missile drills

US and Israel revive largest joint anti-missile drills

 Israeli and American officials put plans for a massive missile drill mysteriously on this month, but now the exercise, originally slated for this spring, will be scheduled for October 2012.

The drill, which will also signal a surge of American troops to Israel by the thousands, will mark the biggest test of its type for both nations. As tensions worsen between the US and Iran — as well as Israel and its Islamic Republic neighbor — Tehran authorities fear that the exercise will try out more than just the missile capabilities of the allies. Also being put to the test is Iran’s patience..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/us-israel-missile-plans-889/

Freedom fears over Twitter’s by-country ‘censorship’

Freedom fears over Twitter’s by-country ‘censorship’

 Micro-blogging service Twitter has announced that it will filter tweets on a country-by-country basis due to differing legal demands. Critics were quick to accuse the company of attacking freedom of online speech to make extra profit.

Individual tweets can now be shown in some countries but blocked in others, the internet giant said in a blog post on Thursday. The goal is to comply with legislation under different jurisdictions, while not deleting offending content globally. Twitter offers the example of France and Germany, where public pro-Nazi statements are banned..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/twitter-censorship-individual-country-853/

Thousands wage war against ACTAck on Internet (w/ Video)



Thousands wage war against ACTAck on Internet

 Poland is facing a new day of protests against a copyright agreement signed by Warsaw on Thursday.
Opponents are staging demos and hacker attacks and say the ACTA treaty amounts to Internet censorship and gross violation of human rights.

Several thousand people have already gathered in front of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw and the crowd is growing, reports RT’s Aleksey Yaroshevsky, who is following the protest against ACTA.

In order to become law, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement must first be voted in by parliament. In a bid to stop this from happening, the hacktivist group Anonymous has targeted official websites in the countries that have already signed it..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/poland-acta-protest-anonymous-823/

Progressive labor belies DOLE’s ‘claim of ‘industrial peace’

Progressive labor belies DOLE’s ‘claim of ‘industrial peace’


Despite the difficulties posed to unions and workers’ organizations by the intensifying repression and contractualization, the total number of labor disputes recorded and “handled” by the labor department itself has continued to increase in 2011.
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – In 2011, unionists who suffered imprisonment for having launched a strike faced the threat of being jailed again if they failed to raise money for their increased bail. In the same year, strikers from another company, from the Nestlé core factory in Asia, spent the year urging the Aquino government to press Nestlé to respect and implement the Supreme Court decisions affirming the workers’ reasons for having launched a strike since 2002. The then Arroyo government and Nestlé management had just reportedly converted the façade of the factory into a “military garrison” against the strikers. In 2011, too, several fatal accidents in workplaces revealed the dangerous combination of contractualization and lack of government regulation of occupational health and safety.

And then shortly before 2011 ended, the much publicized massive retrenchment in Philippine Airlines (PAL), denounced by affected employees as PAL’s way of replacing regular workers with contractual workers, was finally implemented. It was supported by the labor secretary and President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. As the Labor Secretary assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute months before, the workers response was dismissed as a “wildcat strike” by the DOLE and PAL management. They had the workers bodily dragged off the airport premises and summarily laid off..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/27/progressive-labor-belies-dole%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98claim-of-%E2%80%98industrial-peace%E2%80%99/

Transport group calls for regulation, scrapping of VAT amid incessant oil price hikes


Transport group calls for regulation, scrapping of VAT amid incessant oil price hikes


“The government is doing nothing because the prices of oil are controlled by the Big 3.” — Piston member
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Edwin Bermeo, 55, driver of a FX, a public utility vehicle, complained about the incessant oil price hikes this month. The price of diesel has increased by P3.20 ($0.07) per liter. Oil companies hiked the prices of petroleum products four times since the start of the year.

Bermeo said his net income per day has shrunk to only P200 ($4.65), not enough to feed his six children. Like many drivers, Bermeo works for 14 to 16 hours per day.

“The government is doing nothing because the prices of oil are controlled by the Big 3,” Bermeo said in Filipino, referring to Caltex, Petron and Shell. “And there is the VAT [value added tax] which should have been added to our meager income.”

The government has imposed 12 percent VAT on prices of petroleum products. With the average price of diesel per liter at P54.04 ($1.26), according to Department of Energy’s oil price monitor, the VAT on oil amounts to P6.48 ($0.15) per liter. If VAT is removed, a driver could save up to P162 ($3.77) for 25 liters of diesel..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/26/transport-group-calls-for-regulation-scrapping-of-vat-amid-incessant-oil-price-hikes/

RP welcomes greater US military ties By Michaela P. del Callar 01/28/2012

RP welcomes greater US military ties

By Michaela P. del Callar 01/28/2012

The Philippines is open to increased US military presence and engagement in the country, in a move analysts said was directly aimed at trying to contain a rising China.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario yesterday said the Philippines was looking for more joint military exercises with the US, as well as having a greater number of American troops rotating through the Southeast Asian country but only if these conform to Philippine laws.

“It is to our definite advantage to be exploring how to maximize our treaty alliance with the United States in ways that would be mutually acceptable and beneficial,” Del Rosario said in a statement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120128hed4.html

Enrile opposes GMA transfer to regular jail By Angie M. Rosales 01/28/2012

Enrile opposes GMA transfer to regular jail

By Angie M. Rosales 01/28/2012

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is opposed to the government’s idea of transferring detained former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo to a regular detention facility after she fully recovers from her current medical condition.

“Whatever you may say against her, we must treat her with a certain degree of civility and dignity, being a former president of the country. If she’s going to be convicted, then punish her. But before that, given the fact she has handled the country for nine years, we have to be very careful (in handling her case),” he said.

The Senate chief was reacting to reports on the motion filed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) seeking to transfer Arroyo from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City where she is currently under hospital detention to a regular jail if a medical examination would show that she was already fit enough..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120128hed5.html

Palparan sighted in Bataan By Gina Peralta-Elorde and Fernan J. Angeles 01/28/2012

Palparan sighted in Bataan

By Gina Peralta-Elorde and Fernan J. Angeles 01/28/2012

Fugitive ex-military official Major Gen. Jovito Palparan was reportedly sighted in three towns in Bataan province, police intelligence report said.

As this developed, at least three police teams have been formed to track down the former Army officer who was reportedly sighted in Bagac, Morong and Abucay — all in Bataan province.

Bataan police director Senior Supt. Arnold Gunnacao said the reports have reached his office claiming that on Thursday he got a text message saying that Palparan was spotted near the Philippine Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion in Abucay, Bataan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120128nat5.html

JPE sympathizes with Miriam’s emotional outbursts at impeach hearing By Angie M. Rosales 01/28/2012

JPE sympathizes with Miriam’s emotional outbursts at impeach hearing

By Angie M. Rosales 01/28/2012

For some, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s display of emotional outbursts during the last two consecutive impeachment proceedings may have already been too much.

But for Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, he could empathize with his colleague as she is known to be dealing with hypertension.

“All I can say is, we should be a bit understanding because she is suffering from some ailment. If you are in that condition, normally your threshold of stress is very shallow. All of a sudden, her blood pressure rises,” he said.
Yet, the upper chamber chief who is acting as presiding officer in the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, reminded senator-judges to remain composed and control their emotions during the proceedings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120128nat3.html

DND bent on acquiring P70-B modern military hardware for Armed Forces By Mario J. Mallari 01/28/2012

DND bent on acquiring P70-B modern military hardware for Armed Forces

By Mario J. Mallari 01/28/2012

The Department of National Defense (DND) is bent on approving 138 projects to acquire modern military hardware as part of the capability upgrade and modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), amounting to about P70 billion, by July this year.

During the Defense Acquisition System kick off at Camp Aguinaldo yesterday, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said while the task at hand is difficult to achieve, he urged those involved in the acquisition program to give their best to beat the deadline on the completion of the 138 projects.

“Our main responsibility is to ensure the approval and signature of the contracts for all the 138 projects for the AFP modernization and capability upgrade program not later than 31 July 2012,” Gazmin said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120128met5.html

Mayors agree to adopt single ticketing system for 17 LGUs By Pat C. Santos 01/28/2012

Mayors agree to adopt single ticketing system for 17 LGUs

By Pat C. Santos 01/28/2012

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), the policy-making body of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), yesterday approved a resolution adopting a uniform ticketing system for the 17 local government units (LGUs) of Metro Manila.

The resolution was approved following a presentation and dialog with Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo who pledged to present the single ticketing system for the approval of President Aquino. Representatives of transport groups such as the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers (Fejodap), Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila at Suburbs Drivers Association (Pasang Masda), Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) participated in the dialog.

Without the single ticketing system, each Metro Manila LGU and the MMDA use their respective traffic violation tickets within their jurisdictions. This runs counter to the 1995 MMDA Charter mandating the Agency to “install and administer a single ticketing system.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120128met1.html

RP must learn from Ecuador DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 01/27/2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

RP must learn from Ecuador

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
01/27/2012
Other than the letters to its name, the Philippines has other things that are more plentiful than Ecuador: Nine times more population; 10 percent more land area; a sea territory that is far more vast, etc. Yet, Ecuador is much better off in terms of per capita gross domestic product (GDP), with $8,327 compared to our $4,111; or its higher Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.72 compared to our 0.64, among other statistics.

In addition, one key difference will make the Filipino people see the light of day — that is, if they would cease to be mindlessly dependent on mainstream media. This sad comparison centers on a recent announcement on the Philippine government’s share of Malampaya oil profits totaling $1.1 billion, which translates to only 10 percent of the gas facility’s total earnings for 2011. Ecuador, in contrast, gets an astounding 87-percent share of gross revenues today from oil extracted by foreign companies. So what accounts for the Philippines’ sordid plight?

If only we had the same tough pro-people, pro-nation leadership as Ecuador under its progressive President Rafael Correa, the Philippines would also have a just share of its natural and national patrimony. If RP had someone like Correa today, the people would be enjoying not just a $1.1-billion share from Malampaya but around $8.8 billion (equivalent to P360 billion), or about the entire sum of the yearly allocation for interest payments on our foreign debt. If only we had this money in our hands, then Congress could have had the means to budget the principal repayment of our foreign debt in order to wipe this out in a few years’ time.

Ecuador did not always have this vastly pro-people arrangement with the transnational oil companies in its country. Before 2007, it only had a 13-percent share of revenues from its oil fields. All that changed with the victory of a nationalist leadership. And this exciting and welcome development for all Ecuadorians was chronicled in Jayat Ghosh’s “Could Ecuador be the most radical and exciting place on Earth?” in The Guardian.

As a backgrounder, the then 47-year-old Correa was elected in 2007 on an anti-trapo platform after a year of then Vice-President Alfredo Palacio’s transition government, which took over from Lucio Gutiérrez, who was ousted by a “citizens’ movement” protesting his administration’s failures to deliver on land reform, lower unemployment, social services and historical exploitation by the oligarchy.

By December 2008, Correa declared Ecuador’s national debt illegitimate for having been contracted by previous corrupt and despotic regimes. And as he pledged to fight creditors in international courts, he succeeded in reducing the debt before even paying any of it off.

Correa then brought his country into the fold of the Venezuela-led Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas in June 2009. All these policies were, of course, anathema to the US. Thus, a police-led coup that led to the Ecuadorian leader’s kidnapping was launched — with Correa thankfully restored after being rescued by the military. But this by no means deterred him from renegotiating contracts with foreign oil companies, thereby completely changing the rules by December 2010.

Foreign oil firms, which used to pay just over a percentage of their profits to the national government through taxes, were made service providers instead and paid a set fee for each barrel of oil extracted (at about $35 per barrel); the national government then kept everything above that, which allowed it to profit whenever oil prices increased.

Over and above his achievements in the oil sector, Correa also dramatically raised the corporate tax share in the total pie from 35 to 40 percent. These increases were then “put to good use in infrastructure investment and social spending,” raising Ecuador’s proportion of public investment to GDP to 10 percent — the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean — while doubling social spending since 2006, enabling progress toward free education and free health care for all.

Ghosh gushes, “All this may sound too good to be true, and certainly the process of transformation has only just begun. There are bound to be conflicts with those whose profits and power are threatened, as well as other hurdles along the way. But for those who believe that we are not condemned to the gloomy status quo, and that societies can do things differently, what is happening in Ecuador provides inspiration and even guidance. The rest of the world has much to learn from this ongoing radical experiment.”

Here in the Philippines, we have a scion of a cacique family in power who epitomizes a class of people whom Correa fought and overcame to launch the “radical and exciting” changes benefiting the Ecuadorian nation today.

Filipinos need the same type of leadership as the new Latin American leaders like Correa, Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), or Cristina Fernández (Argentina), who continue to push their countries forward with nationalist and pro-people policies.

While Ecuador wrested the just and rightful bounties of its oil wealth from foreign hands and gave them to its people, RP’s past and present governments have merely been in cahoots with Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, allowing additional investments in Malampaya to dilute the country’s already measly 10-percent share — when the fact is all these “investments” were derived from Malampaya profits courtesy of Filipino power consumers, who have been paying for overpriced electricity through natural gas plants managed by a big oligarchic family.

Just the same, pressure from the likes of Energy Secretary Rene Almendras and his ilk continues for the privatization of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), which represents government’s share in Malampaya.

And so, as our country’s senators are caught up in impeachment rapture, the plunder of our nation continues unabated.

(Tune in to 1098AM, dwAD, Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m.; watch Destiny Cable GNN’s HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11:15 p.m., on “New proofs of Hocus PCOS;” 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/20120127com6.html

Recto’s foul play FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/27/2012

Recto’s foul play

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
01/27/2012
Sen. Ralph Recto thought the viewing and listening public, no matter how small an audience it really is, that it wouldn’t see through what he was doing, which was doing a Drilon, i.e., lawyering for the prosecution Wednesday.

Sure, he can always claim that all he did by questioning the witness, Bureau of Internal Revenue Chief Kim Henares, was merely to clarify the public what it was the “Alpha” returns and the Income Tax Returns (ITRs) were all about, but he went further, and asked, year by year, what was the income of Chief Justice Corona and the amount of taxes paid under the Alpha list. He can always claim that as an excuse.

But — and this is a big but. There was already a ruling made by the presiding judge of the impeachment court, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, disallowing the witness to be questioned by the prosecutor, except to authenticate the documents, to which the defense had already not only stipulated, but also was in full accord — to shorten the authentication process, which merely needed the witness to state that yes, such is true and correct, because she did not have personal knowledge and that she was moreover not competent to give an opinion on the matter related to the CJ’s ITR because she was not an expert witness..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120127com2.html

Americans are against war: But does govt care? (w/ Video)



Americans are against war: But does govt care?

With harsh US rhetoric and tensions around Iran’s nuclear program snowballing by the hour, American polls nonetheless show that most Americans think a war with Tehran would be a grave mistake. But do the leaders care?

­Despite Iran’s recent consent to return to negotiations over its atomic work, the Obama administration says war with Tehran is still on the table. Even harsher statements come from some of Washington’s hawks like Newt Gingrich, who spoke of breaking the Iranian regime within a year..... MORE
SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/americans-no-war-iran-819/

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