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The Daily Tribune

(Without Fear or Favor)



World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Philippines

The Philippines Matrix Project

Prudence needed

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Prudence needed

At this point of rapid deterioration in relations between China and the Philippines, it really is best for the Noynoy government not to ratchet up already dangerous tensions, because the reality is that the Philippines is no match militarily of giant China.

This is not to say that being a weak opponent of China that the government simply lets China have its way over the disputed islands and give up our sovereignty claims. This is merely to state that it would be more prudent for Noynoy and his administration to adopt a low keyed position on this issue and not come up with situations that may be seen by China as a provocation.

A case in point is the publicized opening of a kindergarten school in the Spratlys by a local government official, after which Noynoy and his aides quickly retorted that there is no reason a school cannot be made to exist in the disputed island, as there has existed, for many years, if not decades, residents in that disputed area. Peace was there all the time between China and the Philippines. And then came again the Palace statements on Philippine sovereignty.

Due to the publicity generated by the kindergarten school opening in the disputed island, and the statements from the Palace justifying it, as well as the high-keyed docking of the US nuclear submarine, China reacted by reportedly deploying “combat ready” patrols to Spratlys, saying this is being done to protect China’s interests, so said the Chinese Defense Ministry..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/889-prudence-needed



Koko Pimentel did the predictable. He announced he would be leaving the United Nationalist Alliance, giving the usual reason of the impossibility of his joining UNA as long as his foe, former Sen. Migz Zubiri, is on the same senatorial slate.

But he also said that he is not leaving the PDP-Laban coalition and will run as a PDP candidate under a party that will adopt him, which is, just as predictably, the Liberal Party (LP) of Noynoy Aquino, where he says he can campaign “happy.”

He also claims that he had to leave UNA on account of a principled stand.

Still, Pimentel may not have it all, given a few technical problems, should he insist on running as a PDP-Laban senatorial candidate under the LP, since party-coalition certifications have to come from UNA, which has been approved by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Koko may not be able to run as a PDP-Laban candidate under the LP slate, although there is hardly any question that he can, even if he brands himself as an “independent” still be part of the LP slate..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/890-risks

Turkey seeks NATO intervention in Syria

Turkey seeks NATO intervention in Syria

Turkey seeks NATO intervention in Syria. 47437.jpeg
Gobblemobile (Pravda image)
Turkey is paving the way for possible action by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Syria, using the case of the recent downing of a Turkish military aircraft by artillery from Syrian air defense, as reflected in a report recently published by Voice of Russia.

According to that report, the Turkish government is using this opportunity to agitate for military intervention in Syria.

The report also has argued that western governments are preparing for an operation inside Syria, similar to that carried out in Libya, without waiting for a resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations Organization (UNSC) on military intervention in the Arab country..... MORE

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/conflicts/28-06-2012/121511-turkey_syria-0/

Sex abuse scandal rocks US Air Base

Iran’s oil halo growing thinner: US drops China and Singapore from sanction list

In a last minute call, the White House spares Beijing and Singapore of financial penalties under Iran oil sanctions. The US says the two countries have “significantly reduced” their purchases of the Persian country’s crude.

­“Today, I’ve made the determination that two additional countries, China and Singapore, have significantly reduced their volume of crude oil purchases from Iran,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday – the day the US sanctions against Iran and its customers took legal effect.

The sanctions, which deny access to US banking systems for Tehran’s oil customers, will no longer apply to China’s and Singapore’s “financial institutions for a potentially renewable period of 180 days,” Hillary Clinton added. ..... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/usa-iran-oil-china-082/

Sex abuse scandal rocks US Air Base

Sex abuse scandal rocks US Air Base

A US air force investigation has identified 31 female cadets who were sexually assaulted by their trainers at a Texas military camp. The scandal has raised concerns that the US armed forces are not doing enough to protect women in the military.

An internal probe is currently looking at 12 male military instructors that were serving at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. Six of them face charges of misconduct, including allegations of rape and adultery.

The majority of those under investigation were from the 331st training squadron, whose commander was dismissed from duty last week. He was not charged with sex crimes but was relieved because of the unacceptable level of misconduct in his unit..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/female-cadets-sexual-assault-041/

China vows to oppose military provocation

China vows to oppose military provocation

  • Written by 
  • Saturday, 30 June 2012

China vows to oppose military provocation in Spratlys; other Chinese claimed  islands

China said Thursday it would resolutely oppose any military provocation in its territorial waters, remarks which appeared to be directed at the United States, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Relations between China and the Philippines have deteriorated over a two-month stand-off over sovereignty issues on Scarbourgh Shoal while China’s foreign ministry said its military will be setting up what China called a “normal, combat-ready patrol system in seas under (its) control.”

Currently, in Scarborough Shoal, Philippine vessels are gone, while some 28 Chinese vessels composed of small fishing vessels and Chinese government ships stayed on.

With the departure of two Philippine boats, China hinted broadly at its control over the shoal.

China’s military has established routine naval patrols in the South China Sea, “indisputable territory” of the nation and a matter of “national sovereignty,” defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/916-china-vows-to-oppose-military-provocation

Danding Cojuangco sells stake to Ang on ‘friendly terms’

San Miguel Corp. Chairman and CEO Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. yesterday  announced he was assigning his 11 percent stake in the diversifying conglomerate to President and COO Ramon Ang, who was described by Cojuangco as “a person in whom I have full trust and confidence and rightfully deserves utmost recognition for transforming the Company into a highly diversified and profitable business conglomerate.”

The shares were granted to Top Frontier via an Option Agreement to purchase in 2009. However, TF decided to only partially exercise the option.

“Mr. Cojuangco offered the balance of the Option shares to me and I accepted primarily for the following reasons: the San Miguel vision set by management during my term is far from being achieved, and; I have a continuing commitment to ECJ, the company’s stakeholders and the employees to see through the realization of this vision in the near future,” Ang said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/915-danding-cojuangco-sells-stake-to-ang-on-%E2%80%98friendly-terms%E2%80%99

Carpio to accept CJ nomination; Midas declines

Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, seen as the frontrunner in the race for the highest judicial post and who many believe will be the chosen one of President Aquino, is accepting his nomination made automatically by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

“I will not turn down any chance or opportunity to lead the judiciary if given the opportunity,” he told reporters at a lawyers convention  in Clark, Pampanga.“It’s part of my work. There’s no reason for me to depart from my work,” he added.

Carpio, however, turned down his automatic nomination in 2010 for the the post of Chief Justice, following the retirement of then Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

It was then speculated that Carpio had declined the nomination because he knew he would not be appointed by Arroyo with whom he and the law firm identified with him had a falling out.

Renato Corona was appointed chief justice by then President Gloria Arroyo. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/913-carpio-to-accept-cj-nomination-midas-declines

K+12 graduates to swell unemployment — Anakbayan

On the eve of President Aquino’s second year in power, students, young teachers, church and community youth united to condemn the government’s K+12 program.

At a forum held Friday at the Philippine Normal University (PNU), a state-run institution which drafted some parts of what the protesters claimed was the “anti-nationalist and colonial” K +12 curriculum, youth groups pledged to stop Aquino’s flagship education program.

The K+12, implemented by the Department of Education despite the absence of an enabling law and overruling the current mandatory 10-year education cycle, is expected to be railroaded by Congress upon its resumption of sessions on July 23..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/908-k%2012-graduates-to-swell-unemployment-%E2%80%94-anakbayan

ARMM to secure foreign journalists

ARMM to secure foreign journalists

  • Written by 
  • Saturday, 30 June 2012
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is adopting a policy that will require visiting journalists, especially foreigners, to be secured by Filipino policemen or soldiers while on a news coverage or when visiting the ARMM.

This was announced last Tuesday by ARMM Officer-in-Charge Gov. Mujiv Hataman, who said the policy was aimed at preventing a repeat of the incident involving a Jordanian journalist and two Filipino crewmen.

Jordanian Baker Atyani, 43, the Southeast Asia bureau chief of Al Arabiya News Channel, Rolando Letrero, 22, an audioman, and photographer Ramelito Vela, 39, were reported missing after they left the Sulu State College Hostel last June 12 and failed to return since then.

The authorities later learned that they went to the hinterlands of Sulu province to interview Abu Sayyaf Group leaders and were no longer allowed to leave the bandits’ camp..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/906-armm-to-secure-foreign-journalists

Two motorcycle-riding men gun down Quiapo barangay chairman inside his house

A barangay chairman in Muslim Community in Quiapo, Manila was gunned down the other night by two unidentified assassins inside his own residence.

Police identified the victim as Sainal Shariff Pararanam, 56,  a native of  Masin, Lanao del Sur and a resident of 817 Globo de Oro corner Bautista Street in Quiapo. He was hit in the head when one of the two suspects fired at him  while he was watching television with his wife.

Senior Insp. Joey de Ocampo, chief of the Manila Police District (MPD) homicide section, said the suspects fled the scene on board a motorcycle after the shooting that took place at around 8:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead from two bullet wounds in the head and two in the body at 9:36 p.m.

Initial investigation showed the victim was quietly watching television when the suspects arrived and parked their motorcycle in front of the chairman’s house..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/891-two-motorcycle-riding-men-gun-down-quiapo-barangay-chairman-inside-his-house

Militant activists’ protest greets Noy on his second anniversary at Malacañang

President Aquino, who will be celebrating today his second anniversary at Malacañang, had unexpected and certainly unwelcome visitors as among his early well-wishers.

Close to 200 militant activists stormed the Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang Palace not to congratulate Aquino but to nag him on grievances that marred his first two years as President.

The protesters who claimed to be members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, said there hasn’t been any change under the Aquino presidency.

Overzealous security measures were put in place at the Malacañang vicinity, with members of the Manila Police District guarding Mendiola Bridge and other entry points leading to the Palace while the Presidential Security Group secured the Palace perimeters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/893-militant-activists%E2%80%99-protest-greets-noy-on-his-second-anniversary-at-malaca%C3%B1ang

Manning, Assange and Suu Kyi

Friday, June 29, 2012

Manning, Assange and Suu Kyi

On April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released a classified US military video of three air strikes from a US Apache helicopter last July 12, 2007 in New Baghdad, Iraq. Eighteen people were killed, including two journalists working for Reuters, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen, while two children were wounded in an incoming private van that was going to rescue one of the reporters before it was fired upon.

We know of the children because the video that showed US ground troops arriving at the area — recorded by the gunsight camera on the Apache helicopter, Crazyhorse 18 — had a soldier “running as he (carried) one of the children wounded in the attack on the van.”

Thanks to YouTube, millions of global citizens laid witness to those gruesome events. But had it not been for Private Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old intelligence analyst with the US Army in Baghdad who allegedly passed on the material to WikiLeaks, the world might still have not had any inkling of the atrocities that transpired on that fateful day.

Manning was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of passing classified materials to the whistleblower Web site, then charged with communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and aiding the enemy — all of which could result in lifetime imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the other figure in this controversy, Julian Paul Assange (aged 42 today), is an Australian computer programmer, Internet political activist, publisher, and journalist, best known as the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, a Web site that publishes information from whistle-blowers everywhere.

A hacker-activist in his youth, Assange has garnered numerous awards and nominations, including the 2009 Amnesty International Media Award, the 2010 Readers’ Choice for Time’s Person of the Year, the 2011 Sydney Peace Foundation gold medal, the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, and a nod for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Fearing the accolades were a build-up for another “useful idiot,” I kept quiet about him; now, I’m convinced he is genuine.

In 2010, a European arrest warrant was issued for Assange on what appeared to be trumped-up charges of rape and sexual assault. He was later arrested in the UK and freed on bail after 10 days. On May 30 of this year, Assange lost his Supreme Court appeal to prevent extradition to Sweden. Then on June 19, Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought political asylum on the basis of political persecution. Ecuador granted him temporary protection pending deliberations by the Ecuadorean parliament.

Just before his asylum bid and while serving house arrest in the UK, Assange had around half a dozen episodes of his own talk show beamed over Russia Today (seen here on Destiny Cable Channel 86). Every episode and interview I had the chance to follow was always interesting and in-depth; the last one with Imran Khan of Pakistan was no exception as it exposed the US as well as the Pakistani ruling class’ corrupt politics.
The work and sacrifice of these two heroes, at a time when US imperialism is at its apogee, highlights the power of truth and modern information or — to borrow from another Internet dissident Alex Jones — the “Information War.” This “Infowar” is one that will rouse the world against the US war industry and its controlled war-coddling mainstream media all over the world.

Indeed, these are the people who deserve all the international peace and democracy awards (except for the debased Nobel Peace Prize after it was bestowed to a mother-and-child killer in the White House, now infamous for his unmanned drone terrorism all over the world).

Sadly, there is no clamor yet in the Philippines for the kind of heroism of these two whistleblower-warriors for truth and global transparency. This is perhaps because a lot of column inches are being devoted to certain darlings of Western “human rights” advocates such as Aung San Suu Kyi.

Our Tribune colleague, Ken Fuller, wrote in “A rendezvous with disappointment” a good assessment of Suu Kyi and with apologies I summarize: “US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew in and… met Aung Sang Suu Kyi for talks… Then, on April 13, following the NLD (Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy) by-election victories, in came UK Prime Minister David Cameron… What is happening here… is that Western leaders… are now hurrying to secure a place at the head of the line… Surely Aung San Suu Kyi would not allow them to pillage her country?… (But as) we get to socio-economic questions… what will the economy look like? Will Myanmar attempt to industrialize? What will be the balance between public and private, local and foreign enterprise?… voters were told that the NLD would ‘focus on seeking necessary international assistance for development of the nation,’ and that ‘it is required to make a shift to market economy with a right balance between freedom, stability and social justice, based on the rule of law.’  So, there will be a market economy. But that is not all. ‘It is required to closely cooperate with the International Monetary Fund…’”

Last week in Oslo, Suu Kyi personally received the Nobel Peace honor bestowed on her 21 years ago, getting “two standing ovations as she gave her long-delayed acceptance speech.” Before the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the King and Queen of Norway, and about 600 dignitaries, “The 66-year-old champion of political freedom praised the power of her 1991 Nobel honor both for saving her from the depths of personal despair and shining an enduring spotlight on injustices in distant Burma.”

But I wonder, notwithstanding the fact that Myanmar has never invaded other lands, what has Suu Kyi really said and done about Western imperialism and its heinous cruelties all over the world? Hasn’t she merely epitomized the hypocrisy of the West by serving as “human rights” leverage against struggling Asian and African nations?

Indeed, placing her side-by-side with the heroic Manning and Assange only reveals who the real glove-puppet of the West is.

(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., this week on “The Oust PiNoy Movement” with Mon Pedrosa; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives).

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/855-manning-assange-and-suu-kyi

A patent Noynoy solution

A patent Noynoy solution

What else but the word Noynoying exactly defines what Noynoy is doing regarding the Chinese presence in Scarborough Shoal despite that which his administration had claimed earlier as a mutual agreement reached between the sides of the Philippines and China to withdraw from the area as a means of de-escalating the conflict.

Last June 18, Noynoy ordered Philippine ships to abandon the shoal. He later claimed that he had ordered the pullout from the area to prevent the lives of government personnel from being placed in danger as a result of typhoon Butchoy then.

Strangely, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued a different line, saying that China and the Philippines have mutually agreed to disengage from the face off and leave the shoal area.

Either there was no agreement and the DFA is lying or China did not recognize the supposed agreement because instead of leaving the area, more Chinese ships were deployed around the disputed area while the Chinese government did not mention anything about an agreement that will require the recalling of its state-owned vessels while at the same time issuing a statement short of thanking Noynoy for “withdrawing” Philippine vessels — a statement that, in effect it said had reduced the tension in the area..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/869-a-patent-noynoy-solution

Wrong is now right?

Wrong is now right?

During Gloria Arroyo’s term as the Malacañang tenant, Noynoy, then a senator, said it was wrong for a president to reappoint her nominees who have been bypassed by the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA).

He even sponsored a bill to make it law, and was also pretty strict in saying that after two bypasses of the CA, the confirming power, the President, should no longer reappoint the bypassed nominee in the event Congress adjourns.

During the 14th Congress, then Senator Aquino filed Senate Bill 1719 entitled “An Act Limiting the Reappointment of Presidential Nominees Bypassed by the Commission on Appointments,” saying that “Arroyo abused her power to reappoint her bypassed Cabinet secretaries because of her consistent reappointment of her nominees who have been consecutively bypassed by the Commission on Appointments.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/868-wrong-is-now-right?

Assange rejects police request to surrender

 Assange rejects police request to surrender

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that he rejects the British police’s request to hand himself in and will remain in the Ecuadorean embassy and continue his appeal for asylum on grounds of political persecution.

­Earlier on Thursday, police issued an order for Assange to appear at a police station to begin the extradition process.

The letter from the Metropolitan Police sent to the Ecuadorian Embassy said it "requires him to attend a police station at a date and time of our choosing. This is standard practice in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process.".... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/assange-police-letter-extradition-987/

Divers claim 'Baltic UFO' shuts down all electronics within 200m (PHOTOS)

Divers claim 'Baltic UFO' shuts down all electronics within 200m (PHOTOS)

A strangely-shaped object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea has been interfering with the electrical devices of the Swedish diving team that is trying to film it. But critics are growing more skeptical about the long-running mystery.

­The Swedish Ocean X treasure-hunting team first discovered a mystery object reminiscent of the Star Wars spaceship Millennium Falcon last year.

But they didn’t have the resources to investigate. Now, they have returned with top-of-the-range 3D seabed scanners and a submersible – all funded by a secret sponsor..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/ufo-baltic-millennium-falcon-901/

Cordi critiques Green Economy in World IP Conference

Cordi critiques Green Economy in World IP Conference

Northern Dispatch

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, 17 JUNE 2012 – The call, “Defend our inherent right to self-determination!” was resounded by 500 indigenous leaders, representatives, and advocates from different countries participating in the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Territories, Rights and Sustainable Development, also known as Kari-Oca II, here from June 14-22 at Jacarepagu, Brazil.

“Indigenous peoples all over the world share a common struggle and aspiration – self-determination or our inherent and collective right as distinct peoples to freely determine our economic and social development and freely determine our political status.

Twenty years after the UN Conference on Environment in 1992, the indigenous peoples’ struggle for self-determined development is not only continuing but was heightened by the current global capitalist system that is gripping the world today,” CPA Chairperson Windel Bolinget said as he addressed the conference on June 17.

Kari-Oca II began June 14 with a traditional Terena ritual to welcome participants and to pray for a productive exchange and learning during the nine-day gathering of indigenous peoples from all over the world. After the opening program were discourses on indigenous peoples’ struggles, the worsening violations against indigenous peoples’ rights to territories and resources, environmental destruction, commodification of nature and indigenous peoples struggles for self-determination.

“As experienced by our fellow indigenous peoples here in Latin America and around the globe, corporate greed and State repression with impunity continue to heighten the violations of our right to self-determination in the Philippines and the rest of Asia where I come from. We are struggling against widespread militarization; plunder of our resources through mining, geothermal projects, and large hydroelectric dams; and violations of our right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent,” said Bolinget.

Kari-Oca II is a global indigenous peoples’ activity held simultaneously with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development from June 19-21. From the sharing of experiences on global indigenous peoples’ issues and concerns, Kari-Oca II drew up a declaration on the struggles of indigenous peoples and the major themes of the UNCSD – Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, and “Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development”. The declaration is to be submitted to the UNCSD..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/27/cordi-critiques-green-economy-in-world-ip-conference/

Boys accuse village official of torture

Boys accuse village official of torture

“When we were in the barangay hall, we were told by the barangay ex-o to undress to see if we have tattoos. When we were already undressed he electrocuted us.”

MANILA – It was just an ordinary Saturday, June 23, for Ruel, 16; Eduard, 15; Miguel, 13 and Mar, 12 (not their real names). They were looking for junk to recycle and sell when a barangay official arbitrarily arrested them in barangay Marilag in Project 4, Quezon City. The barangay executive officer accused them of stealing a bike in the said village. The young boys later said they were electrocuted and humiliated, a grave violation of children’s rights.

The barangay executive officer identified as Meniteryo Endozo denied the allegation and said that the boys were notorious thieves. He said the young boys were frequently seen in the village and residents reported incidents of robbery. However, Miguel said, Mar’s school is just nearby and they often play in the village.
The children remember their ordeal vividly. “Ex-o (executive officer) electrocuted us using a stun gun. He even threatened us that we would never see our parents again if he sees us again here in barangay Marilag,” Miguel said.

Alleged torture

Meniteryo Endozo, barangay executive officer of barangay Marilag in Quezon City was accused of torturing four children last June 23. News reports as of June 27 said he was already suspended from his post. (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)
“When we were in the barangay hall, we were told by the barangay ex-o to undress to see if we have tattoos. When we were already undressed he electrocuted us,” Miguel told Bulatlat.com.

He added that he and Mar was told to clean the comfort room of the barangay hall and while doing the cleaning, Endozo once again electrocuted them. Ruel and Eduard were told to sweep the premises of the barangay hall.

Miguel said he saw Endozo hit Ruel at the stomach and was repeatedly electrocuted. “He saw a policeman in the premises of the barangay hall and complained but the policeman threatened them instead and even participated in torturing them,” he said.

Eduard said the policeman took the magazine out of his firearm, removed some bullets and put some in between Ruel’s fingers and pressed it in front of them. The children were not able to identify the said policeman. He also said Endozo also threw a lighted cigarette butt at Ruel’s back..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/28/boys-accuse-village-official-of-torture/

Poll chief nixes vote receipts for PCOS

Poll chief nixes vote receipts for PCOS

Despite the current automated election law that requires a voter’s receipt, Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes appears bent on defying the law, as it was the Comelec that instructed Smartmatic not include voters’ receipts in the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

Smartmatic Asia president Cesar Flores, whose PCOS machines are to again be used for the 2013 elections said his machines can produce receipts but explained that it is the Comelec that does not want that function used.

Brillantes claimed that this receipt function is not necessary since past elections, done manually, did not require it and that receipt of voters will merely be used for vote-buying.

Apparently, the Comelec will again defy the automated law and do what it wants to do by way of discarding machine functions the poll commissioners want discarded..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/878-poll-chief-nixes-vote-receipts-for-pcos

Miriam bats for JBC abolition

Miriam bats for JBC abolition

  • Written by 
  • Friday, 29 June 2012
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago wants to abolish the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) because she thinks it has failed to fulfill its mandate.

In an interview after her speech at the Credit Manage-ment Association of the Philippines, the senator ex-pressed dissatisfaction with the JBC which is responsible for creat-ing a shortlist of nominees for the highest position in the Supreme Court vacated by former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Santiago noted that the JBC was created to prevent politics from penetrating the high court which she said has not been prevented. Now that the process has been politicized, “I think they should turn that power to the Senate as they do in the United States,” the senator stressed.

“So I think we have experimented enough with the JBC that we have to abolish it in the Constitution,” Santiago added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/880-miriam-bats-for-jbc-abolition

Koko bolts UNA; LP welcomes him in slate

Goodbye to all that.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel yesterday announced his withdrawal  from the senatorial slate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and declared that he is open for “adoption” by everybody, including the coalition that his party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) formed with Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Joseph Estrada.

But UNA is not likely to adopt Pimentel, even as UNA  leaders all said that they respect his decision to leave UNA.

The Liberal Party, however, has welcomed Pimentel with open arms, with party leaders saying that he is a shoo-in for inclusion in the LP senatorial slate.

But even as he has distanced himself  from UNA, Pimentel clarified that this move does not mean that he is completely severing his party’s ties with PMP in UNA, saying that it only concerns him and not the entire PDP-Laban where he is the current president..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/879-koko-bolts-una-lp-welcomes-him-in-slate

US Navy, Coast Guard to hold sea drills with AFP

Hundreds of Filipino and American sailors, along with seven combined ships from the two militaries, are participating in next week’s annual RP-US Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) 2012 on the Mindanao Sea.

Philippine Navy (PN) spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said 400 PN personnel and three ships are complementing the 350 US Navy servicemen during the Carat exercises which starts on July 2 in General Santos City. The Carat 2010 will run up to July 10.

The US Navy will be using two ships during the exercises.

Also participating in this year’s Carat are 50 Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) men on a PCG ship and 150 US Coast Guard men on one of their vessels.

Tonsay said this was the first time that both PN and PCG personnel will be jointly training with their US counterparts..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/873-us-navy-coast-guard-to-hold-sea-drills-with-afp

Palace: 4 slain witnesses declined gov’t protection

Malacañang would not allow itself to take all the blame for the killing of prosecution witnesses in the Maguindanao massacre case that saw 58 casualties, 32 of them local journalists.

At a press briefing, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said all the four witnesses who were killed in separate instances had “politely declined” government’s offer of security.

As though to clear the government of any liability for the death of the fourth would-be-witness against the Ampatuan family of Maguindanao, Lacierda urged the remaining witnesses in the 2009 carnage to reconsider the security and protection the government had offered to them.

He said it was “unfortunate” that the witnesses who refused government protection were being murdered one after the other. “We will again offer them security. We do not want their lives threatened, or in this case, terminated,” the presidential spokesman said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/871-palace-4-slain-witnesses-declined-gov%E2%80%99t-protection

Frustrated murder raps filed vs Gatdula, 12 others

Frustrated murder raps filed vs Gatdula, 12 others

  • Written by 
  • Friday, 29 June 2012
Photo by PNA/Daily Tribune
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday filed before the Department of Justice (DoJ) frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms charges against former NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula and 12 others.

The NBI, which is the Philippines’ premier investigating body, is an attached agency of the DoJ.

Aside from Gatdula, the other respondents are businessman Tyrone Ong, Perfecto Villanueva, former policeman and close-in bodyguard of Ong; Ronnie Ong, Ramoso Ramos, Alfredo Compoc, Teodoro Abendano, Ricky Dacillo, Gerry Farillon, Jose Maglalang Jr., Gino Eustaquio, Aljun  Monticlaros and Alvin Monticlaros.

They were all charged with frustrated murder with treachery, evident premeditation and use of illegal firearms in connection with the ambush staged last February against NBI Deputy Director Reynaldo Esmeralda in Paco, Manila..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/866-frustrated-murder-raps-filed-vs-gatdula-12-others

BI probes case of 19 OFWs believed victims of human trafficking

The Bureau of Immigration is investigating the case of 19 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) disguised as members of a religious group who were intercepted by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last May while trying to leave for Italy and South Korea.

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David said on May 16  the human trafficking victims were disguised as members of a religious group who claimed that they were invited to attend the 7th World Families Meeting in Milan, Italy, a triennial international event hosted by the Vatican.

Another group of eight OFWs were intercepted on May 28. They  pretended to be tourists when actually their purpose in leaving was to work abroad.

David said the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) is now probing the case of the 19 undocumented  OFWs after they were barred from leaving the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/865-bi-probes-case-of-19-ofws-believed-victims-of-human-trafficking

An official of the Caloocan City government was shot dead by three motorcycle-riding men while his physician-wife was seriously wounded yesterday morning in Barangay Bagumbong.

This as Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri, after learning of the incident, put up P200,000 cash reward for anyone who can provide the police vital information, especially on the whereabouts of the three attackers.

Senior Supt. Jude Wilson Santos, police chief, said he immediately dispatched a special crack team to go after the three gunmen who shot and killed Bobby Merrera, the officer-in-charge of the city’s Environmental Sanitation Services (ESS) at Caloocan City Hall North.

Quoting an initial report, Santos said the victim already expired before he could reach a nearby hospital due to gunshot wounds in different parts of the body..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/864-caloocan-city-hall-exec-slain-wife-wounded-in-ambush

Soldiers harass peace caravan in Quezon

Thursday, June 28, 2012

“It clearly shows the brazenness of the military. They were ready to do anything to sabotage our caravan.” – Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement

MANILA – They came to bring peace but they were met with hostility by men in uniform.

The Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement, a network of people’s organizations, Church-based groups and local government units, decried what they called as “sabotage” operations of the military against the ongoing mercy mission and peace caravan in Quezon province, south of Manila.

The eight-day mission, which started June 25, aims to document human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by state security forces in 22 towns of South Quezon and to provide relief operations, a medical mission, psychosocial activities, ecumenical services, human rights seminars, among others.

Deployed in South Quezon are 4,000 troops from eight battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

At around 2:30 p.m. of June 26, the 17-vehicle caravan was halted after three of jeepneys had flat tires.

Metal spikes were scattered on the road at Malaahos village, Catanauan, about a hundred meters away from the Army’s 76th Infantry Battalion camp.

One of the posters found all over the towns of Bondoc Peninsula.(Photo courtesy of Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement/ bulatlat.com)
Smear campaign posters and streamers against Karapatan, one of the conveners of the Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement, were also conspicuously posted in public places in the towns of Bondoc Peninsula. The materials maliciously link the volunteers and participants of the relief and medical mission to the New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“It clearly shows the brazenness of the military. They were ready to do anything to sabotage our caravan. It is a good thing that no untoward accident resulted from their foul play,” Orly Marcellana, spokesman of the Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement said in a statement.

Upon arriving at Talisay village in San Andres town, the mission chanced upon a meeting facilitated by the military..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/27/soldiers-harass-peace-caravan-in-quezon/

Towering Babel

Towering Babel

Noynoy’s government, more specifically, his administration is a big, big joke but one that doesn’t make Filipinos laugh.

There doesn’t seem to be any coordination or even communications among the officials of his government — including Noynoy and his spokesmen, as clearly, Malacañang and its aides have turned itself into a virtual Tower of Babel, where everyone talks but nobody seems to understand what the other is saying, or has said.

If one still remembers the biblical account taken from the Book of Genesis, following the Great Flood, generations upon generations spoke only one language which was naturally understood by all — until they decided to build a tower reaching the heavens, but God saw what they did and went down to earth to confound their speech, scattering the people and confused their languages, leaving Babel because God confounded the language of all the Earth.

The difference of course is that even as Malacañang  and Noynoy are supposed to speak the same language, Noy and his officials prefer to cling to babbling Babel, confusing and confounding the Filipino people and even other peoples of the world..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/809-towering-babel



There seems to be a cover-up of sorts over the Bolinao incident, where it was first reported by government authorities that a Chinese cargo ship rammed a Philippine fishing boat at high seas and didn’t even stop to rescue the fishermen.

China immediately reacted, saying there are no reports from its side that a Chinese vessel collided with a small fishing boat along the waters of Bolinao.

Shortly after, government authorities announced that it wasn’t a Chinese ship but a Hong Kong-registered cargo ship. M/V Peach Mountain that rammed the small fishing boat and left the Filipino fishermen at sea without even helping them.

Noynoy, through his spokesmen, quickly vowed to have Peach Mountain charged for violating the law of the sea, related to ships’ refusal to help fishermen in distress..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/808-ridiculous

NATO's Libya: A fine mess

NATO's Libya: A fine mess

Image by Pravda.ru
The map is from June 25, 2012. The green flags show Jamahiriya-held areas, the flames show combats with the NATO-backed NTC terrorists, the rats show terrorist-controlled areas and the bombs denote NATO terrorist attacks against Libyan patriot forces defending their country from this scourge. Let us take a look at NATO's Libya.

At the beginning of 2011, Libya had the highest human development indices in Africa, one of its highest literacy rates, education was available to all for free, housing was provided to all for free, transportation was subsidised, food was distributed for free. Communities regulated themselves through the Jamahiriya system, self-governance through People's Congresses. These Congresses basically met and decided what they needed and the Government provided it.

Enter the FUKUS-Axis (France, UK, US) coveting Libya's vast sovereign fund, Libya's vast energy resources and standing against Colonel Gaddafi's vast humanitarian projects in Africa, for which he was to receive a special humanitarian prize from the UNO and which also denied the FUKUS Axis' banking, arms, telecoms and other business lobbies billions of dollars in revenue from loans made to corrupted officials across Africa..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/27-06-2012/121496-libya_mess-0/

Nothing safe, nothing sacred: Syrian rebels desecrate Christian churches? (PHOTOS)

Nothing safe, nothing sacred: Syrian rebels desecrate Christian churches? (PHOTOS)

Photo courtesy of www.prisonplanet.com via RT.com
Shocking images have surfaced, revealing the alleged desecration of Christian churches in Syria by Western-backed rebels. The pictures, taken by local Christians outraged at the violence, were published by PrisonPlanet.com.

In one of the photos a man who is said to be a member of the Free Syrian Army poses in a stolen priest’s robe while brandishing a looted cross in one hand and a machine gun in the other.

The photos were taken by a Christian woman in Homs, one of the cities most devastated by continued violent clashes between rebels and government forces.... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/syrian-rebels-desecrate-christian-churches-897/

LTFRB’s recipe for a zombie

LTFRB’s recipe for a zombie

Finally, a recipe for resurrecting the dead has been perfected. And it had been done by no less than a government agency of the Philippines, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFR).

Surprisingly, the formula it concocted was so simple but had eluded everyone. All it had to do was to exhume a 20-year old dead franchise, have it awarded to a union and find a willing buyer. And there, you have a zombie bus company!

No wonder Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone calls it the LTFRB’s own palusot.

 Evardone said the LTBRB’s decision to allow the sale of the expired Certificates of Public Convenience of the Pantranco North Express Inc. defies logic as the agency had for 20 years denied any application to have it extended, rendering the CPCs worthless piece of papers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/805-ltfrb%E2%80%99s-recipe-for-a-zombie

Noy ‘too busy’ for China row

Noy ‘too busy’ for China row

The Palace remains undecided and indicated yesterday that the government was still in the “re-evaluation” stage on the prospect of redeploying Philippine boats  in the Scarborough Shoal despite the presence of a growing number of Chinese vessels in the area, saying that President Aquino was “too busy” to firm up a decision.

“Not today (Wednesday). The President has several meetings today,” said Lacierda when asked for details on when Aquino would meet officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and other relevant agencies that form part of the re-evaluation team.

Aquino cited typhoon “Butchoy” last June 18 for his decision to recall ships deployed in the shoal that in effect China considered a withdrawal since it ordered its state-owned ships to stay put on the disputed area. As of yesterday, the military counted 28 Chinese ships in the Scarborough Shoal area..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/834-noy-%E2%80%98too-busy%E2%80%99-for-china-row

Queen Sofia of Spain on a 5-day RP visit, to inspect AECID projects

Her Majesty, Queen Sofia of the Kingdom of Spain, is scheduled to visit Manila and some provinces next month as an official guest of the Philippine government.

The Queen is due to arrive in Manila on July 2 to personally inspect various development cooperation projects being implemented with funding assistance and grants from the Spanish government through its development cooperation agency, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID). “The upcoming visit of Queen Sofia is a reaffirmation of Spain’s commitment toward addressing the myriad developments and challenges the Philippines and the rest of the world are facing today,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

“It is a positive reflection of the Philippines’ long-standing and special partnership with Spain, most especially in the area of development cooperation,” it added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/832-queen-sofia-of-spain-on-a-5-day-rp-visit-to-inspect-aecid-projects

Ford to shut down RP assembly operations

Ford to shut down RP assembly operations

  • Written by 
  • Thursday, 28 June 2012
Contrary to President Aquino’s claim that businesses are rushing to invest in the Philippines, the local unit of US auto giant Ford Motors announced yesterday it will close its local vehicle assembly plant in the Philippines by the end of the year, with the loss of 360 jobs, as part of an ongoing restructuring across Asia.

The decision will leave the country without a motor vehicle exporter, Ford Group Philippines president Randy Krieger said in a statement.

Ford Philippines is the first and only volume exporter of vehicles from the Philippines and has supplied the Ford Focus, Ford Escape and Mazda3 to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) markets that include Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia since 2002.

“This is a very difficult decision. The company studied every possible scenario and opportunity, but we could not make a strong enough business case for future manufacturing,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/830-ford-to-shut-down-rp-assembly-operations

SC: Amparo writ not applicable when state not guilty party

The Supreme Court (SC) clarified the legal requirements for the issuance of a writ of amparo.

In a 15-page decision by Justice Mariano del Castillo, the court en banc dismissed for  a petition for writ of amparo filed by the family of a man who had allegedly disappeared after he was mauled for committing a misdemeanor by the security people of a subdivision in Malolos, Bulacan.

The court which adopted the extraordinary writ as a legal remedy in cases of enforced disappreances and extra-legal killings pointed out that government, real or alleged is an indispensable element for the writ to be issued.

The tribunal’s decision  reversed and set aside the July 24, 2008 decision of the Malolos City Regional Trial Court, Branch 20, which had issued a writ of amparo and ordered the production of the body of Benhur Pardico before the trial court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/839-sc-amparo-writ-not-applicable-when-state-not-guilty-party

De Lima defends NBI’s rescue of Myanmarese kid

De Lima defends NBI’s rescue of Myanmarese kid

  • Written by 
  • Thursday, 28 June 2012
Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday defended the action taken by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the rescue of an eight-year-old Myanmar national in Biñan, Laguna.

The NBI, which is the Philippines’ premier investigating body, is an attached agency of the DoJ.

According to De Lima, the situation then was that the life and safety of the Myanmarese boy were at stake, hence, they ordered the NBI to take the necessary action even without a direct coordination with the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) of the PNP (Philippine National Police)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/838-de-lima-defends-nbi%E2%80%99s-rescue-of-myanmarese-kid

Lawmakers say excise tax bill won’t benefit local tobacco producers

Members of the progressive bloc in the House of Representatives yesterday said the excise tax bill approved on  third and final reading by the House of Representatives last June 6 will not benefit local tobacco producers.

“In the name of providing more funds for the universal health coverage program, the Department of Finance wants to pass a regressive tax measure that will further burden local tobacco farmers and consumers alike,”  Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano said.

House Bill (HB) No. 5727, as amended, seeks to establish a two-tier excise tax system for tobacco, in which cigarette packs with a net retail price of P11.50 or less will have an excise tax of P12 for the first year, and P22 for the second year, translating to an increase of 341 percent and 709 percent, respectively..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/827-lawmakers-say-excise-tax-bill-won%E2%80%99t-benefit-local-tobacco-producers

Angara alarmed by rampant sale of products containing mercury

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday expressed alarm over the continued sale of products containing excessive amounts of mercury.

Angara said the Ecowaste Coalition proved that 13 out of 14 whitening products sold in different parts of Manila violated the 1 part per million (ppm) mercury limit set by the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) Cosmetics Directive. The products also did not label mercury as an ingredient though they contained excessive levels of mercury from 550 ppm to 60,800 ppm.

“Despite the risks, mercury continues to be used in medical devices in school laboratories and even ordinary consumer products like toys, clothes, electronic gadgets, bags and drinking bottles which can be accessed easily by schoolchildren,” he stressed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/824-angara-alarmed-by-rampant-sale-of-products-containing-mercury

Lies the Noynoy gov’t tells you

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lies the Noynoy gov’t tells you

It’s been blunder after blunder after blunder and lies, after lies under the Noynoy administration.

The latest blunder and lie comes from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), that said the other day that all fishing boats of China in the Scarborough Shoal area have already gone.

It turns out that Chinese fishing boats are still there.

As of yesterday, there were some 28 Chinese fishing and government vessels, 23 of which are inside the shoal, according to the aerial surveillance by the Philippine Navy.

The admiral said China has maintained five government vessels, three Chinese maritime surveillance vessels and two Fisheries and Law Enforcement Command vessels outside the shoal, with 23 fishing vessels, 17 small boats and six Chinese fishing boats still remaining inside the lagoon.

Why would the DFA be stupid enough to claim that the Chinese vessels have already left the shoal area when such announcements can well be checked out?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/761-lies-the-noynoy-gov%E2%80%99t-tells-you

A damaged court

With too many constitutional — and non-constitutional — questions cropping up in relation to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC)’s search of candidates for the position of chief justice, and the kind of aspirants who have applied for the post, everything seems to be turning out to be a big but cruel joke being played both on the institutions and the Filipino people.

But as the Constitution appears to be violated as a matter of course under the Noynoy presidency, what else can be expected?

The Charter says that the country does not allow the entry of nuclear weapons, yet there is today, a US nuclear-powered submarine complete with Tomahawk cruise missiles and MK48 torpedoes in our waters for a claimed five-day R and R stay.

There are many more infractions, but returning to the list of applicants and nominees for the high judicial post, what is clear is that too many see this process as a big joke, which does not put the position of chief justice in a good light..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/762-a-damaged-court

Assad: Syria in a state of war, UN: Mission impossible


Assad: Syria in a state of war, UN: Mission impossible

Syrian President says his country in a state of war. The UN peacekeeping chief says the UN observer mission in the country will not resume, as it is too dangerous for the monitors to restart their operations at this point.

More clashes broke out in Syria on Wednesday.

The state media reported gunmen raided the headquarters of a pro-government Syrian TV station early in the day, demolishing the building and killing three employees. Officials denounced what they called a rebel "massacre against the freedom of the press."....MORE  


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/un-monitors-syria-mission-828/

Syria: Attack on TV staff 'worst massacre against journalism' (PHOTOS)

Syria: Attack on TV staff 'worst massacre against journalism' (PHOTOS)

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi put the responsibility for killing of seven TV staffers on the EU, Arab and International organizations. He called it “the worst massacre against journalism and the freedom of media.”

­Seven journalists and workers in the Syrian al-Ikhbaryia Satellite Channel were killed on Wednesday morning in an attack by an armed group targeting the headquarters of al-Ikhbaryia. The assault occurred some 20 kilometres south of the capital Damascus.

They planted explosive devices at the headquarters of al-Ikhbaryia following their ransacking, and destroying the Satellite Channel studios, including the newsroom..... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/syria-tv-massacre-sanctions-858/

Military ops terrorize farmers in South Quezon

Military ops terrorize farmers in South Quezon

MANILA – Cesar Garganta, 28, merely wanted to earn extra income for the enrolment of his two children. Instead of money, what Garganta got was pain and trauma.

On May 28, Garganta and his two friends went to work on a farm in Vista Hermosa village, Macalelon, Quezon. At around 9 a.m., the three chanced upon more than a dozen men in uniform armed with high-powered rifles. The soldiers shouted at the three farmers and Garganta’s two companions immediately ran away, leaving Garganta behind.

“For five hours, the soldiers beat me up. They pointed their guns at me, pointed a bolo knife on my neck. They squeezed my nose with pliers, pricked my ears with sticks. They blindfolded me and tied me to a tree,” Garganta said in an interview with Bulatlat.com. The soldiers belonging to the Philippine Army’s 85th Infantry Battalion were insisting that he and his fellow farmers were members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Garganta is only one of the 128 victims of harassment, torture and other forms of human rights violations perpetrated by suspected state agents in Quezon, according to human rights alliance Karapatan-Southern Tagalog (Karapatan-ST). Eight battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, police and paramilitary are deployed in the 22 towns of the province.

Farmer Cesar Garganta recalls how the soldiers subjected him to physical and psychological torture in a press conference, June 25. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
In another town, Eduardo Dela Peña, 37, also suffered harassment from the military.
On June 22, at around 3 p.m., Dela Peña was tending to his farm at sitio Sabang, barangay (village) Pagsangahan, San Francisco, Quezon when nine soldiers of the 59th and 74th IB of the Philippine Army approached him.

Speaking during the kick-off activity of the mercy mission led by the Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement, June 25, Dela Peña said soldiers accused him of being an NPA member. “They asked me names I do not know. Whenever I said I did not know the persons they were asking about, they punched my stomach,” he said in the vernacular.

The soldiers went with Dela Peña to his house. “I heard the commander ordering his men to kill me. Not long, a soldier pointed a 45 caliber gun at me,” he said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/25/military-ops-terrorize-farmers-in-south-quezon/

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