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The Daily Tribune

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25 years after, justice for Mendiola massacre victims still nowhere in sight

Sunday, January 22, 2012

25 years after, justice for Mendiola massacre victims still nowhere in sight

In reaction to Secretary Ricky Carandang’s statement that there is “no practical point” in reopening the investigation as it has already been “resolved,” the relatives of the victims replied, “How could it have been resolved when no one has been punished? Now that the son is in power, all the more we have to press for justice.”
MANILA – When 74-year old Virgina Aribe began to talk about the day her daughter Adelfa was killed, her body shook involuntarily from grief. Tears flowed like a river.

On January 22, 1987, Adelfa, then only 19 years old and fifth of Virginia’s ten children, asked permission from her mother to go to Mendiola, a few meters away from Malacañang, to join a protest action to demand genuine agrarian reform from the administration of Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino.

“Before she left that day, she picked up a bamboo, wrote her name and put it somewhere in the rice field where we used to work,” Virginia said in Filipino in an interview with Bulatlat.com. “I did not know it was her way of saying goodbye.”

Adelfa was one of the 13 farmers who were killed when policemen and soldiers opened fire at the protesters.

“Cory promised us she would do something to help us achieve justice. We have been waiting, but up to her death, she had done nothing,” Virginia said. A few days after the massacre, Virginia, along with relatives of other victims, went to Malacañang to talk to Mrs. Aquino. Twenty five years hence, no one has been held responsible for the carnage.

L-R Teresita Arjona, Virginia Aribe, Josephine Dumanico and Purita Yumul set foot on the Mendiola bridge, the site where their loved ones fell 25 years ago.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
A day after the massacre, Mrs. Aquino ordered the creation of the Citizens’ Mendiola Commission headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Pedro Abad Santos, according to Philstar.com’s timeline of the massacre.

In March 1987, the commission recommended the filing of criminal charges against all armed military and police officers on duty when the massacre took place. It also recommended compensation for the victims.
On Jan. 20, 1988, the survivors and victims’ families filed a class suit against the government and certain police and military officers for damages amounting to P6.5 million (then amounting to around $260,000). Among the respondents were former President Fidel Ramos, who was, at that time, the defense secretary; former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Renato de Villa; former Western Police District (WPD) Superintendent B/Gen. and now Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim; Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, then chief of the Philippine Marines; B/Gen. Brigido Paredes, former Marines commandant; Col. Edgar dela Torre and Col. Romeo Monfort; and former Philippine National Police Chief Cesar Nazareno, then WPD deputy superintendent.

The following month, the House Committee on Human Rights recommended the expeditious payment of compensation to the victims.

In May of the same year, the Manila regional trial court dismissed the class suit. The petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but were denied, with the court citing that the State did not file a waiver of immunity from suit..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/22/25-years-after-justice-for-mendiola-massacre-victims-still-nowhere-in-sight/

On trial, too FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/22/2012

On trial, too

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing — especially in media’s propaganda practice.
Almost immediately, after the statements of assets and liabilities networth of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona were released and submitted to the Senate court for markings, there went the yellow media, as well as their anti-CJ legal experts, and aided by the prosecution panel spokesmen, all claiming that the CJ’s SALns show a clear violation of the law.

One yellow report even went to the extent of headlining that the CJ’s SALn showed an undervaluation of his assets, while echoing the prosecution team’s propagandists that Corona failed to include in his SALn, other properties.

Even the anti-CJ online Rappler, went wild with these alleged violations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120122com2.html

US missile defense a threat to the security of neutral states

US missile defense a threat to the security of neutral states

The planned American missile defense shield is “a copper basin” that will cover NATO states and pose a threat to neutral European countries, believes Russian Vice Premier Dmitry Rogozin.

“The Americans call the deployment of the missile defense system in Europe 'an umbrella'. It's not an umbrella, it's a copper basin that will cover both NATO member countries and neutral states,” Rogozin said in an interview with Echo Moskvy radio station. The Russian idiom “to get covered by a copper basin” is similar to the English expression, “to go out of the window”. In this context, what is going out of the window is national security..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/politics/rogozin-missile-defense-threat-257/

McDonald's to expose everything about its chemical food in Russia

McDonald's to expose everything about its chemical food in Russia

Consumer rights' advocates filed a lawsuit against McDonald's fast food chain in Russia. The lawsuit was filed at Moscow's Tverskoy Court. The plaintiffs intend to oblige the company to indicate the complete list of ingredients on packaging, rather than the content of protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Representatives of the Consumer Rights Protection Society claim that concealing the content of products the company violates the status of the retail outlet of finished products, not to mention the fact that it misleads consumers. According to experts, the range of milkshakes, which the chain sells, can not be referred to as "milk" under the Russian law, Adindex.ru reports..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/business/companies/16-01-2012/120240-mcdonalds_russia-0/

Russian writers honor President Assad

Russian writers honor President Assad

The Russian Union of Writers has conveyed its sympathy with the embattled Syrian president by honouring Bashar al-Assad for his contribution to resistance against global hegemony.

“We give this award to President Al-Assad for his steadfastness in resisting the Western hegemony and the attempts to impose their dictations on the Syrian People," the Syrian news agency quotes the chairman of the Union, writer and historian Valery Ganchev, as stating..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/art-and-culture/news/russian-writers-award-assad-397/

It’s economic sabotage, stupid N.O . N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E Jacinto ‘Jing’ Paras 01/22/2012

It’s economic sabotage, stupid

N.O . N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E
Jacinto ‘Jing’ Paras
Recently, the government finally succeeded in having the oil companies open their books of accounts which will show their records on the amount of purchases in oil inventories as well as the prices they paid to the supplier, either in Singapore or in the Middle East as the case may be. As an offshoot to this issue, Energy Secretary Rene Almendras was asked by media what action his department will do if the oil companies are found to have falsified their books of accounts such that it will show their unjustified increase in oil prices beyond what is necessary or that the decrease they made in the oil price is not at par with the decrease of prices in the world market. Secretary Almendras answered that Department of Energy (DoE) is impotent to file charges against these erring oil companies because there is no law available to charge them.

Such cock and bull statement coming from no other than the man in charge of protecting the interest of the people against abuses by oil companies smacks of irresponsibility, ignorance and incompetence. It seems his helplessness is not borne out of the real circumstances but rather in his being protective of the oil companies. Manipulation of oil prices to the detriment of the consuming public if made certain after the examining of the books of the oil companies is plainly an act of economic sabotage. The increase in the prices of oil, be it reasonable or not, will always have a deleterious effect on the economy especially when it affects the poor and the middle-class of our country..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120122com5.html

True or false VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 01/22/2012

True or false

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
There is a good amount of interesting news about the Philippines, more specifically in conjunction with the present administration and the economic plight of the Filipinos as a whole. Malacaang and understandably its rah-rah boys are consistent and insistent in claiming that there is a fast and marked ongoing economic development and consonant social progress in the country. There are surely less hungry people and more self-sufficient families. There are more satisfied Filipinos in the way their government is running the affairs of the State and less individuals who see it otherwise. That such very positive national phenomenon is an infallible constant as far as the Palace is concerned. In fact, such a wonderful and endearing judgment is regularly affirmed by certain major tri-media firms.

In other words, it is definitely false to say that there is lack of competence and industry in the some two-year-old government in the country. In fact, it is a blatant desecration even but to think that the current national leadership has no comprehensive plan, programs and projects for the socio-economic growth of the Philippines. In fact, so Malacanang claims, there is a great majority of Filipinos who are well pleased and much contented with the way the affairs of the State are being conducted and attended to under the illustrious sound and solid national leadership. That is to say, it has never been better. The reality is so declares and affirms the present administration practically everybody is very pleased with and appreciative of the way things are today in the country as a whole..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120122com6.html

Impartiality (?) TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 01/22/2012

Impartiality (?)

Larry Faraon, OP
It couldn’t be a decision of “guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” since an impeachment court is a political exercise and not strictly a legal court where the piles and files of damning evidence would constitute the sole basis of the judges’ final verdict.

An impeachment court is sui generis, as Presiding Senator-Judge Juan Ponce-Enrile would insist. Therefore, there isn’t much impartiality we can expect from the senator-judges, as evidenced clearly by Sen. Franklin Drilon’s prosecutorial intervention in squeezing from the Supreme Court Clerk of Court the statement of assets and liabilities networth (SALn) of CJ Renato Corona.

However, in my humble opinion, the laying down on the table of CJ Corona’s SALn did more harm to the prosecution than to the defense since the former would rather keep the SALn clandestine at the moment to bolster the prosecutors’ Article 2 accusation that CJ Corona was amiss in filing the required SALn. (Drilon should meet more often with the prosecutors to synchronize their strategies)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120122com7.html

P43-billion Malampaya paycheck to gov’t ‘too small’— militant group 01/22/2012

P43-billion Malampaya paycheck to gov’t ‘too small’— militant group

“There’s nothing to celebrate with the P43-billion paycheck from Malampaya.”

This was the reaction of the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) a day after President Aquino accepted the mock check of more than $1 billion from Shell Philippines representing the government’s share in royalties from the controversial gas project.

“There’s nothing to celebrate. The P43-billion paycheck should not send the President jumping with that very little share from the exploitation and plunder of the country’s resources. That is too small and too cheap to begin with,” Pamalakaya national chairman Fernando Hicap, in a statement, said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120122hed6.html

Aquino gov’t absent amid big oil price hikes — groups 01/22/2012

Aquino gov’t absent amid big oil price hikes — groups

Since the presence of government has not been felt amid the rapid increase in fuel prices the past few weeks, militant groups vowed yesterday to answer by jolting the government into action with nationwide massive protests before the end of the month.

Transport and consumer groups noted that during the first three weeks of January alone, local oil companies have increased the prices of diesel by P2.70 per liter, regular gasoline by P2.60 per liter, unleaded gasoline by P2.20 per liter and kerosene by P2.50 per liter.

Piston national president George San Mateo said his group with support from labor and other militant organizations is now preparing for widespread protest actions, including atransport strike to “pressure the Aquino government to act decisively against overpricing.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120122hed2.html

Military ‘concealing casualties’ — Reds 01/22/2012

Military ‘concealing casualties’ — Reds

Contrary to the statement by the military with regard to the casualties in the latest clash with the rebels, the New People’s Army (NPA) claimed that six soldiers were killed and 16 others were wounded during the firefight in Bukidnon.

NPA spokesman for the Merardo Arce Command, Rigoberto Sanchez, in a statement posted on the leftist group’s Web site, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) suffered several casualties in two separate attacks which the rebels launched in Kitaotao town.

He added the military had tried to conceal the fatalities it suffered..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120122hed5.html

BPI to pursue more sustainable farming initiatives 01/22/2012

BPI to pursue more sustainable farming initiatives

The Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will focus increasingly on undertaking initiatives for better promoting sustainable farming nationwide to help further boost the Philippine agriculture’s competitiveness.

“We have to think seriously on making sure we not only produce food but make our farming activities sustainable,” said BPI Assistant Director Henry Carpiso.

He raised urgency for sustainable farming, noting most of the country’s natural resources are non-renewable..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120122nat3.html

Aquino’s advice to jeepney drivers: Try cheaper LPG-fed engines 01/22/2012

Aquino’s advice to jeepney drivers: Try cheaper LPG-fed engines

Amid an admission the government is helpless in keeping the prices of petroleum products from soaring to “in-tolerable level,” President Aquino has offered two options to the public transport groups threatening to call a nationwide strike.

In an interview with Palace reporters the other day, Aquino said the government has not reneged on its commitment to assist the public transport sector at a time when the prices of the petroleum products “just keep on increasing every week.”

He likewise blamed the transport group leaders who he said appears to be “tentative” when they decided to call off a supposed meeting with him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120122met5.html

Lead, toxic metals detected in 14 ‘lucky charms,’ ornaments By Jason Faustino 01/22/2012

Lead, toxic metals detected in 14 ‘lucky charms,’ ornaments

By Jason Faustino 01/22/2012

Lead and other toxic metals were detected in 14 “lucky charms” and ornaments that are currently enjoying brisk sale as Chinese New Year nears.

The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental group promoting public safety from chemicals and wastes, made the disclosure after subjecting 30 samples to chemical analysis using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device.

The samples were purchased last Jan. 18 to 20 from shops and vendors in Binondo, Manila, the country’s oldest Chinatown and heart of the festive celebration to welcome the “Year of the Water Dragon.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120122met1.html

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