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Scientists, farmers protest vs manual on GMOs

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Scientists, farmers protest vs manual on GMOs


“Biosafety is not the intent of this new government policy. It will only facilitate the entry of more genetically-modified organisms (GMOS) into the country. This is bio-entry, not biosafety.” – RESIST! Agrochemical TNCs Network
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
Scientists and agrarian reform advocates held a picket in front of the Department of Agriculture (DA) recently to underscore their opposition to the Aquino administration’s commitment to the entry of genetically-modified organisms (GMOS) into the country.

The picket was specifically directed against the on-going consultation being held by the National Commission on Biosafety in the Philippines (NCBP) for the Manual on Biosafety Decision Making Process, which details the processes and forms for a proposed GMO to be studied, tested and eventually commercialized in the country.

“Biosafety is not the intent of this new government policy. It will only facilitate the entry of more genetically-modified organisms (GMOS) into the country. This is bio-entry, not biosafety,” said RESIST! Agrochemical TNCs Network, which led the action.

Biosafety, according to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, is “the prevention of large-scale loss of biological integrity, focusing both on ecology and human health.”

The group, composed of farmers, scientists, environmental activists, health professionals and development workers asserted that the consultation was a way to hasten the institutionalization of a policy that would make it easier for GMOs to enter the country, without a comprehensive safety, environmental impact and socio-economic impact study.

“The health of the people and the environment is at stake in this issue. As long as proponents have not answered safety and environmental issues raised against GMOs, these should not be allowed in the Philippines,” said Dr. Chito Medina, RESIST Co-convenor and National Coordinator of Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG).

“Also, without socio-economic studies that support the feasibility of these GMOs to help uplift the conditions of farmers, the need for these GM crops should be questioned. MASIPAG farmers maintain that traditional varieties of crops can sustain the livelihood of small farmers. There is no need for these GMOs,” he said.

Wilfredo Marbella, deputy secretary general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and also a Convener of RESIST, said the proposed policy which allows for GMO proponents to withhold significant information relevant to the proposed project in the guise of confidential business information, creates favorable conditions for the massive entry of GMO and GM products in the country.

“Ultimately, farmers will suffer from the negative effects of this policy, and these are myriad. While the government allows for the smooth entry of these GMOs, farmers will continue to suffer from higher cost of farm inputs, displacement due to land and crop conversions, and food insecurity”, he stressed. “Government policies that directly affect farmers should foremost consider farmers’ rights to land and agricultural resources. Opening the country to GMOs undermines these rights.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/31/scientists-farmers-protest-vs-manual-on-gmos/

Wrap up? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares By Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/01/2012

Wrap up?

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
By Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/01/2012
The prosecution, through one of its spokesmen, Rep. Miro Quimbo, said in an interview that the prosecution will wrap up its charge on Article 2, which has to do with the charge of failure of Chief Justice Renato Corona to disclose his SALn, and proceed with Article 3, which alleges that Corona “committed culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayed the public trust by failing to meet and observe the stringent standards under Article VIII, Section 7 (3) of the Constitution that provides that “(a) member of the judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.”

But what makes the prosecution think that it can just wrap up Article 2 and slide into Article 3, which is a different article, by next week?

When the prosecution says that it is done with its first charge, or has rested, as court language says, it is usually the turn of the defense to disprove that which the prosecution claims it has proved..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120201com2.html

UNSC on Syria: Calls to stop 'killing machine' as Russia, China slam sanctions (w/ Video)



UNSC on Syria: Calls to stop 'killing machine' as Russia, China slam sanctions

A major diplomatic battle over the fate of Syria has begun at the United Nations, with Russia and China the only permanent Security Council members challenging the UN's right to ‘meddle’ in sovereign states’ internal problems.

Proponents of the West-sponsored draft resolution are calling for Syria’s President Bashar Assad to step down, the release of all prisoners and the withdrawal of troops from Syrian cities, among other things..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/syria-un-security-council-211/

Destination Persian Gulf? US nuclear sub and destroyer enter Red Sea (w/ Video)

Destination Persian Gulf? US nuclear sub and destroyer enter Red Sea


Two ships of the US Navy, the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis and the destroyer USS Momsen have passed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea. Although their destination is confidential, they are now getting dangerously close to the Persian Gulf.

­The ships’ passage was a major operation for the Suez administration as due to safety reasons they had to close off the canal to all other traffic and even shut down the bridge, disrupting the link between the banks for some four hours. The traffic on the roadways alongside the canal was also restricted, Interfax news agency reports..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/us-submarine-passes-suez-115/

Hundreds of slaughtered civilians isn't a 'huge number' for Obama

Hundreds of slaughtered civilians isn't a 'huge number' for Obama


Those drone attacks, carried out by unmanned aircraft controlled thousands of miles away, don’t do a lot of harm, said the president. According to Obama, drones had "not caused a huge number of civilian casualties” and he added that it’s "important for everybody to understand that this thing is kept on a very tight leash.”

How small is that not-so huge number? If you ask anyone outside of the American intelligence community, they’ll tell you it is in the hundreds..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/drones-civilian-death-obama-187/

Actor Boyet de Leon ignores plea against large-scale mining operations in Batangas

Actor Boyet de Leon ignores plea against large-scale mining operations in Batangas


By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com
Environmental groups in Batangas are crying foul against dramatic actor and Batangas Provincial Board member Christopher de Leon ’s alleged support for mining operations in the region.

Saying that the recent tragedy of Typhoon ‘Sendong’ remains fresh in the minds of many, the Bukluran Para sa Inang Kalikasan (BUKAL) is appalled over how the local government has already approved and endorsed the operations of destructive large-scale mining in the province.

Bukal officials said they received a letter from the office of Governor Vilma Santos-Recto inviting its members to a meeting to discuss mining in Batangas. Earlier on, the group came upon a report released by CrazyHorse Limited, a Canadian Mining firm venturing in Gold-Exploration Project in Taysan, claiming that the firm has already secured the endorsement and approval from the Provincial Board. The endorsement, the company said, was settled May 11, 2011 through the passage of Provincial Board Resolution no. 253.

It was only on January 24 this year, however, that Bukal formally acquired copy of the resolution. The group was particularly dismayed to discover that despite the many dialogues it held with different institutions, churches, schools and communities and alongside officials of the local government, the controversial resolution was still passed.

De Leon, who stands as the head of the Provincial Environment Committee, is now seen as the main proponent of the resolution allowing large-scale mining in Batangas.

“We are disappointed with de Leon’s hypocritical stand toward protecting the environment. During a Church-Leaders Forum Dialogue in March 3, 2011 where he was represented by his Chief-of-Staff, de Leon all but made a commitment to include Bukal’s call for a mining moratorium in the draft of the Provincial Environment Code. A month before this, we had also raised our concerns against large-scale mining in Batangas to de Leon himself, said the group’s lead convenor Fr. Oliver Castor.

Castor said it is now crucial that the people of Batangas know that the actor turned politician is the official primarily responsible for allowing large-scale mining operations in Batangas. He and all the other members of the provincial board unanimously supported the said resolution and betrayed their constituents by ignoring the clamor to save Batangas from environmental destruction,” he said.

Aside from De Leon, Bukal also named board members Carlos Bolilia and Rowena Sombrano-Africa as traitors to the public interest..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/26/actor-boyet-de-leon-ignores-plea-against-large-scale-mining-operations-in-batangas/

Boracay Island from the eyes of an Ati

Boracay Island from the eyes of an Ati

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO and MICHAEL CRUZ
Bulatlat.com
BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan — Along the busy stretch of restaurants, bars and shops of Boracay Island’s world famous white beach, Norberto Marcelo and his family sat together, huddled as if they were planning a game strategy.

Norberto and his family are Atis, an indigenous peoples group who served as Boracay’s first dwellers. They were, however, pushed farther into the fringes of the island when its white beach, and eventually almost all parts of the island, was developed into a tourist destination, which is well-known internationally.

Norberto makes a living as a fisherman. His daily catch, which would normally amount to $2.3, is just enough to buy rice for his family. Meanwhile, Potenciana, his wife, grows vegetables in their backyard. Their income hardly suffice for their needs.

“We eat only once a day, usually around 10 a.m.,” Norberto said. When asked if they do not get hungry in the middle of the day, “Sometimes. But what can we do? Life is difficult.”

The situation has forced them to ask for alms on the streets of Boracay, like other families of Ati who would flock the tourist spot after a day of hard work. Their conditions paint an irony to what most people would call tourism and development.

Boracay before tourists arrived

Norberto and his family sitting along Boracay’s white beach(Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
According to articles found online, Boracay was “discovered” by Sofia Gonzales Tirol and her husband Lamberto Hontiveros Tirol in the late 1800s and they eventually took ownership of some parts of the island.

Norberto, who then lived in the village of Bulabog, regularly visited the white beach during his younger years. He described it as “full of thorns” and the “shores had capiz shells.”

“The sand was so white. You would not be able to stand looking at it because it is so bright, especially around noon time. It sparkles,” Norberto told Bulatlat.com, when asked how Boracay looked back then. “It was then definitely cleaner,” he adds.

Slowly, as tourists started to flock the island, Norberto said, he witnessed how the Boracay changed. Their lives, too, have changed. Many atis were displaced from their homes to give way to the establishments that were being constructed, like hotels and shops. Even Norberto and his family were not spared. In fact, the small parcel of land they call home is owned by the Tirol family.

“So far, they are not asking our family to leave. Maybe they took pity on us. For the meantime, we are cultivating the land so we can live,” Norberto said.

No job opportunities for Ati

As restaurants and shops started to spring along the stretch of the white beach, Norberto said, he and other Atis did not benefit from it.

“We were not able to finish our schooling so we could not land a stable job in any of the establishments,” Norberto said. If they are lucky, the atis are sometimes hired as construction workers for new restaurants or when they are doing renovations..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/01/26/boracay-island-from-the-eyes-of-an-ati/

Iraq alert scaled up; DFA offers to repatriate workers By Michaela P. del Callar 02/01/2012

Iraq alert scaled up; DFA offers to repatriate workers

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/01/2012

The government will offer voluntary repatriation for Filipino workers in Iraq after it raised the security alert level on the country due to the recent breakout of incidences of violence, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who concluded his official visit to Iraq on January 29, had conveyed this to his counterpart, Foreign Ministe Hoshyar Zebari, at a meeting in Baghdad over the weekend but did not say when the new policy will be implemented.

“We discussed the security situation in Iraq in light of the recent bombings in Baghdad, after the withdrawal of the US military,” Del Rosario said in a statement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120201hed3.html

Witness demolishes prosecution’s claims By Angie M. Rosales, and Gerry Baldo 02/01/2012

MEGAWORLD’S REDUCED PRICE FOR CJ’S CONDO VOLUNTARY

Witness demolishes prosecution’s claims

By Angie M. Rosales, and Gerry Baldo 02/01/2012

He may have been the prosecution’s witness, but his testimony proved damaging to the case of the prosecution, on the Megaworld (Megaworld) properties bought by Chief Justice Renato Corona, which the prosecution earlier had claimed was a huge 40 percent discount given to the CJ, as a “gift” which the prosecutors tried to connect to Article 3, and prove that the CJ was unfit for the high position in the judiciary.

It even came to the point where the private prosecutor was impeaching his own witness, with Presiding Judge Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile cautioning and lecturing the prosecution on its move to impeaching its witness.

Exasperation of senator-judges on the manner of presentation and how the prosecution panel has been trying to prove its case against the CJ is starting to show..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120201hed1.html

Group asks SC to end cause of delay for distribution of Hacienda Luisita By Charlie V. Manalo 02/01/2012

Group asks SC to end cause of delay for distribution of Hacienda Luisita

By Charlie V. Manalo 02/01/2012

The farm worker alliance Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita filed their comment on the HLI’s motion for clarification and reconsideration yesterday asking the Supreme Court (SC) to end the cause of delay for the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to its farm workers beneficiaries.

“The court must end the Cojuanco-Aquino’s legal escapade, it’s obvious that they are delaying the process of distribution” said Rodel Mesa, UMA secretary general.

In a 29-page comment/opposition to the motion to clarify and reconsider resolution of Nov. 22, 2011; Ambala that “there is no new matter that came out of Nov. 22, 2011 decision but the discarding of the mandatory option to choose given to the FWB’s.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120201nat2.html

Spain OFWs join calls to stop closure of diplomatic offices By Michaela P. del Callar 02/01/2012

Spain OFWs join calls to stop closure of diplomatic offices

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/01/2012

Filipino workers in Spain have joined calls to stop the closure of Philippine diplomatic missions this year as they decried the government’s plan to cease the operation of the country’s three-year-old consulate in Barcelona.

The protests came amid the government’s decision to scale down its diplomatic operations abroad and start the gradual shut down of 12 embassies and consulates as part of its restructuring plan and austerity measures.

Apart from Barcelona, the 11 other posts to be closed down, according to the Tribune sources are the Philippine consulate in Frankfurt, Germany and the Philippine embassies in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Venezuela and Palau..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120201nat3.html

Lim orders strict implementation of curfew hours for minors in city By Pat C. Santos 02/01/2012

Lim orders strict implementation of curfew hours for minors in city

By Pat C. Santos 02/01/2012
Pestered by numerous complaints from the parents, the curfew ordinance which prohibits minors from loitering the streets of Manila from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. will be implemented even more strictly during the school break.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim directed chief of staff and media bureau director Ric de Guzman to make the necessary coordination with all concerned government units to ensure that the prohibition is enforced to the letter.

With the students going on vacation a few months from now, Lim noted that the school children will all the more have spare time to hang out at night and thus expose themselves to unscrupulous individuals engaging in illegal activities and petty crimes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120201met2.html

MMDA wants robots to man traffic in metropolis 02/01/2012

MMDA wants robots to man traffic in metropolis

02/01/2012
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman FrancisTolentino has asked an award-winning team of young inventors to build a robot traffic enforcer that could detect traffic violators without human intervention.

The high school team from Dr. Yanga’s Colleges Inc. (DYCI) in Bocaue, Bulacan was honored during the Authority’s Monday morning flag ceremony. Their award-winning invention, a robot named Magis, can detect floods, body temperature and blood pressure, among other things. It was exhibited to MMDA officers and staff. The robot had garnered for the team a fourth place award in the annual World Robot Olympiad held recently in Abu Dhabi..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120201met3.html

Ramp model charged for receiving P40-M shabu shipment 02/01/2012

Ramp model charged for receiving P40-M shabu shipment

02/01/2012
Criminal charges for volations of the Dangerous Drugs Act have been filed by the Department of Justice against a ramp model and businessman in Quezon City.

Jail awaits Marvin Simon Buluran Sia for violation of the narcotics law after he was arrested for receiving P40 million worth of shabu (hydrochloride methamphetamine) transmitted to him.

Sia is facing charges for violation of Section 3, Article I of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120201met5.html

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