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Senator-judges or jurors? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/21/2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Senator-judges or jurors?

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
01/21/2012
One wonders, given the various displays of certain senators in the Senate impeachment court, whether they are performing as judges or jurors, given the vagueness of the Senate impeachment rule that gives the senators in the court the right to ask questions of the witness and counsels — both defense and prosecution.

This is important in the sense that if they wish to portray themselves before the public as judges in the impeachment court, following usual courtroom rules, then they have every right to question the witness and even question and speak directly to the counsels representing either party.

If they wish to portray themselves as jurors, however, following the American jury system, no juror is allowed to ask directly witnesses, or even the counsels, questions, although, the jurors may, outside of the courtroom, send word to the judge on a question of evidence or law that may have proven confusing to the jurors. But even this is usually done through another officer, and not directly to the judge in his courtroom..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120121com2.html

Visiting Canadian church leaders link destructive mining to militarization, rights violations

Visiting Canadian church leaders link destructive mining to militarization, rights violations


The Rev. Marie-Claud Manga, pastor at Saint-Jean-sur-Richeliu, told the Philippine press in Manila that they would engage the general council of the United Church of Christ in Canada to bring these mining-related human rights violations to the Canadian Parliament.
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – “It is clear to us, people are afraid— with a good cause – of mining,” Rev. Dir. Bill Phipps, former head of UCCP Canada, said at a press conference last week. A retired minister and “lawyer in previous life,” he and his team of UCCP church members had just concluded a 10-day mission, dubbed as Beaconsfield Initiative, to the mining areas and mining-affected communities of the Cordillera. During their visit, they lived with, observed closely and talked to people from “all levels of society.”

The Cordillera region is one of the most heavily mined and deforested sites in the Philippines. Despite numerous reported occurrences of land subsidence and erosion that could be traced to years of digging and mining, a bigger chunk of the region has been covered by mining and exploration permits under the renewed push for mining liberalization by the Aquino government.

Rev. Phipps lives in Calgary, the so-called energy center of Canada. He has seen for himself the effects of extractive mining to communities, especially to indigenous peoples. He joined the UCCP’s Beaconsfield Initiative to the Philippines that also looked into how Canadian mining companies, which often claim they are “going green,” are truly operating. When they return to Canada, he promised to disseminate their findings to their church members and fellow citizens of Canada and to push for changes in the way the Canadian mining companies do business and treat the mining-affected communities.

Canada is a mining country, noted Phipps. He estimated that as much as 75-percent of mining companies operating abroad have Canadian stakes. Though mining is touted to help economic development, he said, “We need to do it in a way that respects human rights, the environment, the livelihood, culture and the future of the people” living in the areas to be mined.


Beaconsfield Initiative meet with the governor of Benguet. (Photo by JR Guerrero/ bulatlat.com)
Their findings from their 10-day mission in the Cordillera revealed some serious violations of human rights traceable to the operations of mining companies. Though the members of the Beaconsfield Initiative admitted that they might have gotten only a small part of the picture, compared to the whole impact of mining to the Filipino people, they sounded confident that the data and information they gathered from Cordillera are clear, focused and detailed after the days they spent listening, observing, and “trying to understand” the issues of mining and its repercussions, as experienced by “all levels of society,” in the mining-affected areas of the Cordillera.

At least six Canadian mining companies have mining interests in the indigenous peoples’ territories in Benguet and Abra. These companies include: Columbus/Magellan, Olympus Mining Company, Solfotara mining company, Pacific Metals Canada-Philippines, Adancex, and Canex.

Why destroy healthy communities?

On their own, communities including the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera are living freely and healthy in their ancestral domains, the members of the Beaconsfield Initiative reported. “They have their own sources of livelihood from indigenous farming, for example. The children live and laugh and play freely,” noted Rev. Phipps. But all these are threatened by large-scale mining, he said.

Mining will destroy land, natural resources, the people’s way of life. It devastates communities…. Why destroy healthy communities just to send profits abroad?” Rev. Phipps asked. He said the same destruction of indigenous peoples’ land has happened in the areas affected by mining in Canada. “People have rights to be afraid for their future,” he said..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/19/visiting-canadian-church-leaders-link-destructive-mining-to-militarization-rights-violations/

Bill Killed: SOPA death celebrated as Congress recalls anti-piracy acts (w/ Video)



Bill Killed: SOPA death celebrated as Congress recalls anti-piracy acts

A controversial American anti-piracy act was recalled on Friday, which came as no small victory for hacktivists who launched history's largest attack on several websites – including that of FBI – in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act.

­Those opposing the controversial law have grown jubilant, with many seeing Friday's news as real victory in a sort of war for online freedom. The vote on the anti-piracy legislation, which was due on January, 24, has been postponed.

The words of House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith – who was the chief sponsor of SOPA – came as a bombshell: he stated that American legislators would delay action on similar proposals until the matter is more widely agreed upon..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/sopa-postponed-anonymous-piracy-337/

'We are legion': Anonymous hacks French presidential website (w/ Video)



'We are legion': Anonymous hacks French presidential website


A group of hackers known as ‘Anonymous’ attacked the French president’s website on Friday, apparently in retaliation of the country’s official support of an American clampdown on the popular file-sharing website, Megaupload.

­Anonymous inserted their online slogan "We are legion" into the website’s navigation bar, where it stayed until the end of the day.

The French government reiterated its stance on the issue and denounced the people behind Megaupload.com as criminals and their actions as massive violations of copyright law..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/anonymous-french-website-megaupload-365/

Happy anniversary, Obama. Thanks for the broken promises!

Happy anniversary, Obama. Thanks for the broken promises!


The challenges, he said, were real. He called them serious and said there were many.

America had gathered because the country had “chosen hope over fear; unity of purpose over conflict and discord,” and proclaimed “an end to the petty grievances and false promises.”

But three years to the day after Barack Obama told millions of Americans that that was what had brought him to Washington — three years after he said those words in his inaugural address from the steps of the Capitol Building — the hope, the change and the abolishment of false promises remain largely something that has failed materialize..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/obama-promises-three-years-331/

Bird flu mutation study stopped in fear of deadly global outbreak

Bird flu mutation study stopped in fear of deadly global outbreak


Under pressure to put their research on hold due to fear of a biological disaster, an international team of scientists have voluntarily suspended their study on an advanced, incredibly deadly mutation of the H5N1 bird flu.

In an effort to better understand the deadly bird flu virus, Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical College in the Netherlands, Adolfo Garcia-Sastre of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison have been slaving over their study of the avian influenza. In conducting their own research, the team of scientists was able to mutate the original H5N1 virus into a much more lethal form to see how the outbreak could increase in intensity if not controlled outside of the lab. As word came around late last year that their research had returned a variation able to induce an international outbreak, however, the scientific community urged them to abandon their study in fear that the mutated strain would escape the lab and cause a deadly, worldwide outbreak..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/study-fear-deadly-research-339/

'We are legion': Anonymous hacks French presidential website

'We are legion': Anonymous hacks French presidential website

 A group of hackers known as ‘Anonymous’ attacked the French president’s website on Friday, apparently in retaliation of the country’s official support of an American clampdown on the popular file-sharing website, Megaupload.

­Anonymous inserted their online slogan "We are legion" into the website’s navigation bar, where it stayed until the end of the day.

The French government reiterated its stance on the issue and denounced the people behind Megaupload.com as criminals and their actions as massive violations of copyright law...... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/anonymous-french-website-megaupload-365/

Charges filed vs ex-Comelec officer linked to 2004 fraud

Charges filed vs ex-Comelec officer linked to 2004 fraud
MANILA — Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano who was implicated in the 2004 electoral fraud, was charged with perjury and falsification of public documents.

Bayan Muna Reps. Neri Colmenares and Teddy Casiño filed the complaint before the Ombudsman, January 11. The charges were in connection to Garcillano’s statements at the House of Representatives investigating the so-called “Hello Garci” scandal. The scandal refers to wiretapped conversations between Garcillano and then incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was at the time seeking another term.

The complaint cited Garcillano’s statements during the 2005 hearings conducted by the Committee on Public Information of the House of Representatives, together with the Committees on Public Order and Safety, on National Defense and Security, on Information Communications Technology, and on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms. On the said hearings, Garcillano repeatedly denied going to Singapore and presented a fake passport..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/12/charges-filed-vs-ex-comelec-officer-linked-to-2004-fraud/

Erap blames Davide for failure of democracy 01/21/2012

Erap blames Davide for failure of democracy

01/21/2012
Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada blames former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. for the breakdown in the democratic process which led to the political opposition mounting a coup d’etat against a democratically elected president and a constitutional government.

If there is any one person who is most responsible for the failure of the democratic process in 2001, it was the former chief justice who played politics and, worse, violated the Constitution he has sworn to uphold and defend.

This is what Estrada said yesterday.

Today is the day of Edsa Dos, the day his ouster took place in 2001..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120121hed5.html

Don’t meddle in Corona impeach trial, Palace told 01/21/2012

Don’t meddle in Corona impeach trial, Palace told

01/21/2012
A ranking Church official has urged Malacañang to focus on more pressing issues such as poverty and land reform instead of meddling in the impeachment case against Chief Justice Renato Corona.

“To the (Aquino) administration, let the impeachment proceedings continue. Focus on providing help and relief to the victims of tropical storm ‘Sendong,’ problems on environment, implementation of land reform, distribution of land to the farmer-beneficiaries, not just impeachment,” Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez told Radio Veritas in an interview.

He also called on all Filipinos, including the prosecutors, senator-judges and the defense to pray that impeachment proceedings would be “orderly, objective and charitable for the benefit of all.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120121hed3.html

DFA lauds Pinoy sailors for bravery, heroism By Michaela P. del Callar 01/21/2012

DFA lauds Pinoy sailors for bravery, heroism

By Michaela P. del Callar 01/21/2012

The Filipino crewmembers of the ill-fated cruise ship MV Costa Concordia earned praises from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for their show of bravery and heroism amid the sea tragedy.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario described the sailors, who arrived in batches this week as “men and women of courage, heroism and dedication” for helping organize the smooth evacuation of hundreds of passengers on board the vessel that capsized Friday last week after hitting a reef off the coast of Tuscany in Italy.

“We commend you for showing to the world the best traits of the Filipino seafarers,” Del Rosario said. “You are our sailing ambassadors.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120121nat1.html

Aquino declares January 26 holiday in Negros Occidental 01/21/2012

Aquino declares January 26 holiday in Negros Occidental

01/21/2012
President Aquino has declared Jan. 26 as a special non-working day in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental to celebrate city’s 44th Dinagsa Festival.

In Proclamation No. 311 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on Jan. 9, President Aquino issued the declaration to give the people of Cadiz the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion.
Cadiz City celebrates its own version of Ati-atihan, the Dinagsa Festival.

”Dinagsa” (local dialect) means to flock..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120121nat7.html

Lim issues shoot-to-kill order for cop, three others who shot Sinot traders By Pat C. Santos 01/21/2012

Lim issues shoot-to-kill order for cop, three others who shot Sinot traders

By Pat C. Santos 01/21/2012

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim yesterday called a press conference to announce he had issued a “shoot-to-kill” order for PO1 Ernesto Guong Binayug Jr., a certain alias “Mac” and two other suspects who shot Chinese businessmen Heidi Hsu, 26, Herbert Hsu, 24, and Tony Hsu, 67, along Madrid corner Lavezares streets in Binondo last Jan. 11.

Heidi Hsu was rushed to a hospital but died on arrival, while Herbert and Tony Hsu were wounded.

According to the report of Manila Police District Station 11, initial investigation showed Tony Hsu, while he was riding his motorcycle along Lavezares Street, saw his siblings being grabbed by three of the four suspects armed with unknown caliber firearms..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120121met4.html

‘Gloria’s accomplishment on rural electrification program not true’ By Fernan J. Angeles 01/21/2012

‘Gloria’s accomplishment on rural electrification program not true’

By Fernan J. Angeles 01/21/2012
President Aquino doesn’t seem to run out of ammunition against detained former President Arroyo.
He now claims that the accomplishment of his predecessor on the rural electrification program is not entirely true.

At the ceremonial switch-on of two government-sanctioned rural electrification programs held in Malacañang, Aquino said the government is taking steps to make sure that they genuinely reach rural areas in the country by ensuring that all households of project pilot site are “lighted up.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120121met2.html

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