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BSA III: ‘My government, inept!’ DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/16/2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

BSA III: ‘My government, inept!’

Herman Tiu Laurel
At the much-ballyhooed power summit convened by the Aquino III government in Davao last week, the clamor of Mindanao’s leaders and people’s organizations was brilliantly echoed in the voice of Menchie Ambalong of the Mindanao Commission on Women who, as reported, reasoned that government’s alleged inefficiency “should not be an issue because Agus-Pulangi earn(s) P7 billion a year,” eliciting immense applause from the summit’s 350 delegates.

In contrast, the audience turned silent when BS Aquino III, the supposed president of the republic, spoke and insisted that government was inefficient in the operation of the plants, saying, “We know for a fact that the government is inefficient in operating the Agus-Pulangi and other assets and the debts that resulted from that inefficiency were even bigger than the national budget…”

Supporting Ambalong’s view, the president of the Confederation of Provincial Governors, City Mayors and Municipal Mayors League, Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, for his part, said, “In Mindanao cheap hydropower is the only incentive that could attract investors and drive commerce and development… Let’s shatter the myth that the Napocor (National Power Corp.) and the Agus-Pulangi complex are all losing propositions,” adding that the state-owned power company earned P73.2 billion at P2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from 2003 to 2011.

That’s really telling President Noynoy Aquino that he’s either an idiot — for being oblivious to the fact that Agus-Pulangi is a huge earner — or that he’s simply parroting a deliberate lie of the power pirates and privateers to deceive the people. Besides, if PeNoy’s finger were to persist in pointing to government as inefficient, he might soon be surprised to see where his thumb is actually aimed at.

In a presidential republic, a president is both chief executive and head of state, representing therefore the entirety of government. This is a universal understanding. As Wikipedia puts it, “In presidential republics the head of government may be the same person as the head of state who is often called… a president…”

Now, if President BS Aquino III says the government has been inefficient in Agus-Pulangi’s operations, isn’t he actually saying that he himself was (and is) inefficient as head of the very government in charge of everything in the country since his proclamation in June of 2010? And given that he seems to show a great disdain for “inefficiency,” castigating “government” for being inefficient, can he apply that standard to himself as head of government?

Such inanity was what BS Aquino III made the 350 delegates suffer while they wriggled in their seats with a great deal of difficulty out of holding back their rage.

Jojo Borja, this column’s man-on-the-scene at the summit, called us afterward, admitting that he held back and spoke only very briefly on the floor, fearing that he may spill his raging gut and give BSA III a tongue-lashing for the incredibly twisted perspective the head of government displayed.

BSA III had such incongruent statements on Agus-Pulangi that he actually asked Mindanaoans: “You insist on operating it? So who would spend for the rehabilitation?”

The Agus-Pulangi rehabilitation that would restore the complex to full capacity was estimated by Napocor to cost anywhere between P2 to P3 billion. Is PeNoy saying that a head of government with a P1.816 trillion national budget for 2012 cannot find a relatively paltry amount to avoid the losses that are 20 to 30 times greater?

As we can see in this Mindanao Gold Star Daily report on the impact of the crisis, “Estimated economic losses using the ratio of Gross National Product (GNP) to the total kWh sold (P144 per kWh in 2010 multiplied by the 430 million unserved kWh in 2010) translates to P62 billion in economic losses for Mindanao. In Cagayan de Oro and the towns of Tagoloan, Villanueva, and Jasaan in Misamis Oriental, the reported total unserved energy of 15.6 million kWh translates to some P2.2 billion in economic losses.

Hardest hit during the 2010 crisis were member companies of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Industries (Coci) with some suffering as much as a 50-percent drop in production due to the power curtailment. ”

As there is yet no current estimate on how much Mindanao’s economy has bled from this continuing crisis, the above report lays a clear basis for believing the losses until May this year will reach P62 billion or likely even more.

But, as BSA III remains undeterred, he even found the gumption to lecture Mindanaoans “to pay a real price for a real service,” stressing that they are left with “only two choices: pay a little more for energy or live with the (rolling blackouts).”

Considering that even if the “blended” generation rate (a cost mix of the nearly cost free hydroelectric power and the up to P14/kWh rate of independent power producers or IPPs), when added to the distribution cost, would approximate Cagayan de Oro’s rates today of around P7.50/kWh (the price preferred by Sen. Serge Osmeña and the Energy Department), that would still be $0.18/kWh — higher than Hong Kong’s $0.14/kWh, Kuala Lumpur’s $0.11/kWh, Shenzhen and Jakarta’s $0.10/kWh, or Shanghai and New Delhi’s $0.09/kWh. Comparing such figures from Jetro (Japan External Trade Organization) where the Philippines’ nationwide average price already tops the list at $0.23/kWh, that ranking will shoot up even more once Mindanao accepts PeNoy’s higher rates.

And so we ask: In the face of such burdens, are Filipinos (whether from Luzon, Visayas, or perhaps Mindanao soon) who are being made to pay the highest power rates in Asia, still the ones whom Serge Osmeña brands as “going to be in trouble because (they’ve) been spoiled?” What the hell!
Perhaps the ultimate question ought to be: Why are PeNoy and Serge spoiling the power oligarchs? And, since the Palace occupant hates the “inefficient” government so much, may we also ask: Why are you still there?

(Tune in to 1098AM, dwAD, Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m.; 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., on “Fuel price crisis: Solutions” with consumer advocate Dr. Amanda Cruz and Wilson Fortaleza of FDC; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120416com5.html

Saving the judiciary FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/16/2012

Saving the judiciary

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
It’s a bit too late to ask the Chief Justice, Renato Corona, to either resign or take an early retirement at this stage of the impeachment game, but the Palace boys and their yellow horde won’t stop trying because they — more especially Noynoy — know that they do not have the numbers in the Senate to convict Corona. Sixteen is always a difficult number to obtain.

This latest move, made during the lull in the impeachment trial, by the Palace to get Corona out was bared by the Chief Justice himself recently. The failure to get Corona out of the Supreme Court probably also explains why suddenly, Noynoy, who had earlier said he would no longer comment on the impeachment of the CJ, again blasted away at Corona and the entire judiciary during his conferment of an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Apparently, Noynoy and his boys believed it would be as easy as pie for them to get rid of Corona, which was the reason there was that railroading of the very flawed Articles of Impeachment against him, immediately submitted to the Senate for trial, as they thought he would quickly resign..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120416com2.html

The perfect drug? Monsanto hooks Nepal on GMO corn

The perfect drug? Monsanto hooks Nepal on GMO corn

The Nepalese government has teamed up with notorious agricultural giant Monsanto to force farmers use its GMO seeds. The strain, banned in several EU countries, will be used to substitute imports and boost the starving nation’s maize production.... XXXX

Soon after the initiative was introduced, public anger spilled onto both social media and the streets.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the US embassy in Katmandu to speak out against Monsanto.
“You start buying seeds from them,” explained protester Sabin Ninglekhu. “Year one: it can produce a bit of yield. Year two: yield starts going down. And then it means you have to increase inputs. You have to annually buy seeds from this company because seed fertility keeps going down.”.... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/monsanto-nepal-crops-maize-seeds-095/

Syria vows to fight ‘escalated terrorist attacks’ as first UN observers arrive

Syria vows to fight ‘escalated terrorist attacks’ as first UN observers arrive

The Syrian army pledged to continue fighting armed rebels in anticipation of the arrival of a team of UN observers, as “armed terrorists” have “hysterically escalated” their attacks following the official halt of all military operations.

­The first six observers arrived in Damascus late Sunday, a UN spokesman said. The other 24 are expected to follow in coming days.

The observers will be monitoring the shaky ceasefire that came into force on Thursday. Aggressions against civilians, army personnel, military checkpoints and private and public properties have all escalated since then, a Syrian military source says. The onslaught came “in conjunction with the UNSC resolution to send international observers to monitor the [ceasefire],”  the official SANA news agency reported on Sunday..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/un-observer-mission-syria-attacks-100/

Assange: I’ll be called a traitor, interviewing radicals (w/ Video)

Assange: I’ll be called a traitor, interviewing radicals

What they would never say on mainstream TV – Julian Assange promises delicious revelations from his guests in The World Tomorrow on RT, hours before the world premiere.

RT: Why did you decide to do your own show and become a TV host?

Julian Assange: There are two reasons. First of all, being under house arrest for so long, it’s nice to have an occasional visitor and to learn more about the world. And given that the conversations we were having are quire interesting, why not film them and show other people what was going on..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/rt-assange-show-wikileaks-125/

Koko vs Leila CROSSROADS Jonathan De la Cruz 04/16/2012

Koko vs Leila

Jonathan De la Cruz
What’s with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima? Has she any respect left for the Rule of Law and due process? Did she have any violent disagreements with then Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos, Sr. during the time that she was a practicing election lawyer?

These are the questions being asked of the lady secretary in the face of objections over her move to discharge two of the co-accused, former Comelec Provincial supervisors Lilian Suan Radam (South Cotabato) and Yogi Martirizar (North Cotabato), in the electoral sabotage case involving the tampering of votes in the said provinces in the 2007 elections. No less than Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel who initiated the filing of the case and the Comelec-DoJ investigating panel which endorsed it have questioned the dropping of the charges against the two former provincial elections supervisors noting that the two were “most guilty” among those charged which included then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former poll Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., and a host of other officials and therefore should not even be considered as potential state witnesses..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120416com4.html

Beijing rules out military force vs RP — Chinese paper By Michaela P. del Callar, Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 04/16/2012

Beijing rules out military force vs RP — Chinese paper

By Michaela P. del Callar, Angie M. Rosales and Mario J. Mallari 04/16/2012

China will not resort to military action against the Philippines in a disputed area in the South China Sea where the two countries are locked in a week-long tense standoff, according to a Communist party mouthpiece, but says “it will not compromise its principles” to appease Manila.

Influential Chinese newspaper Global Times said in its editorial that Beijing still prefers to solve the impasse diplomatically through negotiations, adding “peace and stability in the area are still what China strives for.”

While it claimed to have “remained reserved in protecting its interests,” Global Times warned though that China “will not make unprincipled concessions to the recklessness of neighboring countries.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120416hea2.html

NoyBi parting ways inevitable — Palace By Rocky Nazareno 04/16/2012


NoyBi parting ways inevitable — Palace

By Rocky Nazareno 04/16/2012

A “parting of ways” between President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay is inevitable when crunchtime comes for the May 2013 elections, according to Malacañang.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte yesterday pointed out that since Mr. Aquino and Binay belong to the Liberal Party (LP) and PDP-Laban, respectively, “there will inevitably be a parting of ways.”

A group within Aquino’s circle called the Samar faction had supported the team up between Binay and Aquino during the 2010 elections calling their combination as NoyBi as opposed to the official LP tandem of Aquino and now Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120416hea1.html

Sugar millers push biomass energy for Mindanao 04/16/2012

Sugar millers push biomass energy for Mindanao

The Philippine Sugar Millers Association (PSMA) sees biomass as a sustainable solution to the energy crisis in Mindanao.

The association said biomass resources could generate from 35 megawatts (MW) to 70 MW of power for the South.

“The energy policymakers need to realize that Mindanao, being agriculture-based, possesses an abundant biomass energy resource, which is generated as a residue from the production of various agricultural crops, (like sugar cane, corn and coconut), in the region,” PSMA said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120416nat7.html

7 CL rivers undergo clean up 04/16/2012

7 CL rivers undergo clean up

Seven river systems in Central Luzon that drain their waters into Manila Bay are undergoing a massive clean-up by local government units (LGUs) surrounding them.

These are the Pampanga River covering Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and Pampanga; Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River in Bulacan; Talisay River in Bataan; Angat Watershed in Bulacan; Pasac River, Pasig-Potrero River, and Porac-Gumain River, the last three all in Pampanga.

Twelve barangays in Meycauayan and nine barangays in Marilao traverse the Marilao-Meycuayan-Obando River. The Talisay River is surrounded by four barangays of Balanga. Illegal fishpens encroach on Pampanga rivers and these are slated for demolition. Some 140 private homes encroach on the Marinal River in Laur, Palayan River in Palayan, Nabao Creek in Cabanatuan City and the Danglan Creek in Gabaldon..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120416nat3.html

13 Philpost execs, MVP sued over questionable computer deals By Pat C. Santos 04/16/2012

13 Philpost execs, MVP sued over questionable computer deals

By Pat C. Santos 04/16/2012

Newly formed media group Alab ng Mamamahayag (Alam) last Tuesday filed criminal charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against television network tycoon Manny Pangilinan, Postmaster General Josefina de la Cruz and 13 other ranking officials of the Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) for allegedly questionable computer-procurement deals with the state courier.

Alam president Berteni Causing and Alam PhilPost Chapter president Tirso Paglicawan, Jr. said three counts of administrative charges were also filed at the Ombudsman against De la Cruz and her alleged “accomplices,” 11 other officials of PhilPost.

Also charged were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) president Napoleon Nazareno and Xitrix Computer Corp. account manager Vicente Esperanza III..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120416met1.html

PNP issues guidelines on checkpoints 04/16/2012

PNP issues guidelines on checkpoints

The Philippine National Police (PNP) recently released guidelines on the proper conduct of checkpoints, PNP Chief Nicanor Bartolome revealed.

“As the promotion of right-based policing becomes a focal point on the agenda of the PNP leadership, the conduct of police or law enforcement must be in compliance with human rights standard,” Bartolome said.

He added that the public advisory will help guide motorists on how to deal with authorities at checkpoints and ensure its implementation on proper searches and seizures to avoid violation of human rights..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120416met5.html

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