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They’re at it again EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 03/20/2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

They’re at it again

Click to enlarge
These citizens of the yellow mob of Noynoy have not learned or are refusing to learn from history. The argument they are using now is that Chief Justice Renato Corona’s character should be spotless as head of the Supreme Court and that the mere suspicions raised against him which formed basis of his impeachment was enough reason for him to step down.

Cycle back to 2000 and replace the name of Corona with former President Joseph Estrada and the Chief Justice position with the presidency and the ad hominems are exact replicas.

House prosecution spokesman Erin Tañada indicated that Corona should not be compared with other government officials because he is the chief magistrate and should be whiter than white with him apparently referring to the argument over the way his properties were valued in his statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALn)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120320com1.html

My dearest Ninez NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 03/20/2012

My dearest Ninez

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Just as ignorance of the law is no excuse, I have none, for not having been around to at least hug you when you lost your husband, Ed, Monday of last week.

That you were there for me, when I lost mine, makes me feel worse, but hush. This isn’t about the pain of my embarrassment, as it is about one widow telling another the worse is yet to come. It’s for your getting accustomed to the loss more quickly, that I am obliged to tell you the truth. Babying you just won’t cut, especially as how to baby an amazona like you is bound to be the greater problem.

Perhaps the one thing we have in common is how others perceive us to be strong. I do not know how you will adjust to the loneliness of the bedroom; it took me some time..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120320com2.html

A danger to life and limb

A danger to life and limb

I never knew that it would come to this point: that the budget cuts on state colleges and universities such as the University of the Philippines would result in loss of lives. Last Sunday, Rey Bernard Penaranda, a 19-year old BS Agriculture student of the UP Los Baños was killed in a robbery attempt just outside the gates of UPLB.

This, according to reports, is the third slaying near the campus in five months: 14-year old Rochel Geronda, a high school student and sampaguita vendor, was found dead barely a week ago less than a kilometer away from the campus, and in October 2011, 19-year old BS Computer Science student Given Grace Cebanico was found dead just outside the UPLB campus, a victim of a robbery-rape-slay.

Closer to home, last February 1, Lordei Camille Anjuli Hina, a 20-year old Political Science student of UP Diliman was stabbed with an icepick just above the left temple in a robbery attempt near the UP student council office at the Vinzon’s Hall. Luckily, she survived but is still in critical condition. There was also a report of a killing inside the campus last December, claiming the lives of a mother and son.

What has the budget cut got to do with this? 
Last year, upon his installation as the 20th UP president, I was interviewing UP President Alfredo Pascual during a dinner he held with journalists. We were talking about his plans for the university and how he would cope with the meager, reduced budget allotted to the country’s premier state university and only national university. He said he would continue trying to convince the government that the budget for UP is an “investment” and not an expense. He was firmly resolved not to increase the tuition. (He delivered on this promise although the default bracket for those who need not file documents detailing their family’s income was raised one level higher, from P1,000 to P1,500 per unit per semester. ) In the meantime, the UP administration would have to earn from its existing assets and cut costs. I remember that he mentioned reducing the number of security guards and installing CCTV cameras instead, as an example..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/06/a-danger-to-life-and-limb/

Russia and ICRC call for daily ceasefire in Syria (w/ Video)

Russia and ICRC call for daily ceasefire in Syria

Russia and the Red Cross have called on all sides in the Syrian conflict to observe a daily humanitarian ceasefire. Yet some believe that this would not help prevent further bloodshed.

­The move comes after a meeting in Moscow between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Jakob Kellenberger.

The parties said that at the present moment, providing humanitarian aid for those in need is the absolute priority..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/russia-ceasefire-syria-religion-954/

Beatings, sexual abuse, electric shock: US torture camps 'still operative'

Beatings, sexual abuse, electric shock: US torture camps 'still operative'

A new report reveals that US forces continue to send detainees to prisons where torture is practiced, despite NATO's promise to suspend prison transfers last September.

­The report carried out by the Afghan Independent Rights Commission and the Open Society Foundation documents numerous cases of torture in Afghan detention facilities between February 2011 and January 2012.

The document has credible evidence in 11 recent cases where practices such as “beatings, suspension from the ceiling, electric shocks, threatened or actual sexual abuse, and other forms of mental and physical abuse” were commonplace. Researchers also discovered widespread violations of prisoners’ rights were in evidence, “including the right to counsel and family notification.”.... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/torture-afghanistan-prisoners-901/

No shortcuts AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 03/20/2012

No shortcuts

Ken Fuller
Last week, this column presented the highlights of a manifesto for development drawn up by a UK businessman-scientist, a long-term resident of the Philippines. Some of his economic proposals are attractive, but do they add up to a development strategy? The proposals for industrialization are, for example, a little thin, and I couldn’t help noticing that two or three of the proposals would directly benefit the businesses in which the plan’s author is involved.

But there are other problems. According to the document, its proposals would save an annual P751.7 billion — equivalent to 70 percent of the 2008 budget. This may be an exaggeration, as the savings include P269 billion in debt servicing, whereas this is actually an “off-budget” item. But this raises the question of how this particular saving would be made. Debt servicing is not discussed in the document, but now it is suggested: “write it off.” Okay, but shouldn’t there be some discussion about how the people will be educated and mobilized behind this proposal, in preparation for the counter-attack by the foreign creditors?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120320com4.html

Gambling addiction VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 03/20/2012

Gambling addiction

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Considering the open secret that the Philippines has a vibrant and strong haven of both “legal” and illegal gambling, attending to the reality that the Philippine government itself is in fact the biggest gambler in the country, it is not only practical but also proper to have though but a simple knowledge of the nature and consequences of gambling addiction. This marked liability has not only personal but also social repercussions that can be anything but dignifying and inspiring.

The mere mention of Pagcor plus PCSO plus Jueteng automatically means billions and billions of pesos — while many millions of Filipinos are miserable and hungry. This detestable phenomenon only means that more and more people, locals and foreigners, are becoming gamblers, be these moneyed or wanting individuals..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120320com6.html

For cultivating own land, Luisita farm workers ordered arrested

For cultivating own land, Luisita farm workers ordered arrested 
In another twist in the long-standing agrarian dispute at Hacienda Luisita of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan, a Tarlac court issued warrants of arrest against the farm workers for cultivating the land for survival.

MANILA – A local court in Tarlac City issued yesterday a warrant of arrest for 22 farm workers of Hacienda Luisita on charges of grave coercion.

Jobert Pahilga, lawyer of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala) said Judge Marvin Mangino of Branch 1 of the Municipal Trial Court in Tarlac City ordered the arrest of Lito Bais, chairman of Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (Uma) and former chairman of Ambala and 21 other farm workers, including five village officials, in connection with the charges filed by the Rizal Commercial and Banking Corporation (RCBC).

The RCBC filed the charges in July, two weeks after the farm workers cultivated portions of the 184 hectares of land being claimed by the bank. The RCBC acquired the land on November 24, 2004 as payment for the loan obligations of Luisita Industrial Park Corporation (Lipco). The transfer was made eight days after the massacre on November 16, 2004 that claimed the lives of seven farm workers.

“We will face the charges. In doing so, we expose the rottenness of the Aquino administration and its collusion with landlords and capitalists,” Bais told Bulatlat.com in an interview, March 19.
“It is very clear that the Aquino administration does not want to give us land to till or, more correctly, to return to us the land that they have taken from us,” Bais said in Filipino.

The farm workers have been fighting for their land for more than 50 years. Since 1957, when the Cojuangcos acquired Hacienda Luisita using a government loan, the Cojuangco-Aquinos have been using every trick in the book to maintain their stranglehold in the more than 6,000 hectares of land.

After the farm workers staged a strike in November 2004, they started cultivating portions of land that used to be planted with sugarcane. During the implementation of the stock distribution option (SDO), farm workers were prohibited from planting palay (rice) and other crops.

“The charges have no legal and factual basis,” Pahilga told members of the media, March 20. “The farm workers did nothing wrong, they just cultivated the land for survival. This is harassment.”

Pahilga said they filed a motion seeking to dismiss the case before the Prosecutor’s Office in Tarlac City but was ignored. “Under the law, it is clearly stated that in cases of agrarian dispute, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) should have jurisdiction.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/20/for-cultivating-land-luisita-farm-workers-ordered-arrested/

Witnesses: Nothing deliberate in omitted Corona properties By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 03/20/2012


Witnesses: Nothing deliberate in omitted Corona properties

By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 03/20/2012

The omission of some real estate properties of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in his filed statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALn) as alleged by the prosecution was not deliberate as witnesses and public documents presented yesterday showed that these were either already disposed of or never been owned by him.

The defense panel presented witnesses to attest to this “evidence,” adding that the Columns condominium unit in Makati City was “correctly” declared by Corona and its disclosure was made only in 2010 due to the fact these were not been paid for until the year before, having been acquired dating back 2004 under an installement scheme payment.

Corona’s lawyers called back two of the prosecution’s witnesses presented during the first week of the trial proceedings, Carlo Alcantara and Randy Rotaquio, registrar of deeds of the city of Quezon City and Taguig City respectively..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120320hea1.html

RP warns talks with MILF nearing ‘stalemate’ 03/20/2012

RP warns talks with MILF nearing ‘stalemate’

The Philippine government yesterday warned that negotiations with Muslim rebels to end a decades-old insurgency in the troubled Mindanao is approaching a “stalemate.”

The government peace panel has earlier said it aimed to sign a peace deal this year with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which seeks an autonomous Muslim state in the nation’s south, and put it to a referendum the following year.

But Marvic Leonen, chief government negotiator who had expressed hope a pact would be formulated within the first quarter of 2012, said both parties must make “difficult decisions” if a peace deal is to remain on track..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120320hea6.html

Blast hits Underground River wharf 03/20/2012

Blast hits Underground River wharf

Local police bomb investigators are probing deeper into the explosion that rocked the wharf near the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan yesterday morning.

Puerto Princesa police investigator Inspector Freddie Taliman disclosed that the explosion took place at 10:30 a.m., near the parking area of vans carrying tourists. The blast occurred while hundreds of tourists were waiting for their turn to be transferred into motorized boats.

No one was injured during the blast. The police are still determining the type of explosives used.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120320nat6.html

SC asks media to comment on gag order in annulment cases By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/20/2012

SC asks media to comment on gag order in annulment cases

By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/20/2012

The Supreme Court (SC) has asked the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC), the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to answer the recommendation of Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez to withhold the parties involved in cases of nullity of marriage.

In an en banc resolution, the tribunal required the OSG, KBP, NPC, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Development and Civil Registrar-General “to comment on this matter within ten days from notice hereof.”

The ruling was signed by SC en banc Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120320nat1.html

Germany wants RP engineers, scientists — Binay By Michaela P. del Callar 03/20/2012

Germany wants RP engineers, scientists — Binay

By Michaela P. del Callar 03/20/2012

Germany, one of the several developed nations in Europe with an aging population, on Monday said it is in need of more engineers and information technology experts from other countries, including the Philippines, to address a looming shortage.

Vice President Jejomar Binay received a delegation of German businessmen and diplomats who requested the deployment of Filipino experts, particularly engineers and computer scientists, to man the country’s medium-range industries.

Binay said the Philippines is willing to deploy Filipino experts, noting it would be a boon to the country, which grapples with rising unemployment..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120320nat2.html

PNP, BFP to probe if arson caused Caloocan mall fire By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/20/2012

PNP, BFP to probe if arson caused Caloocan mall fire

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/20/2012

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo yesterday directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) investigators to conduct a full probe into the fire that damaged the Gotesco Grand Central mall in Caloocan City starting Friday night.

Robredo has ordered BFP Chief Superintendent Carlito Romero to head the investigation team.

Which he tasked to determine if arson was behind the fire..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120320met3.html

Bishop: Review VAT, oil deregulation law By Pat C. Santos 03/20/2012

Bishop: Review VAT, oil deregulation law

By Pat C. Santos 03/20/2012

Amid the unbridled spiralling oil prices, a Catholic bishop called on President Benigno Aquino to show great sensitivity to the poor rather than kowtow to the interests of fuel companies.

In a statement, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo noted that since January, the country has experienced nine rounds of oil price hikes and said that the poor are the ultimate victims of this abusive practice.

“It is immoral and unjust that ordinary citizens are made to suffer the consequences of excessive price demands of downstream oil industry operators,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120320met1.html

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