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Demeaned judiciary EDITORIAL 06/20/2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Demeaned judiciary

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Providing live coverage of the interviews of nominees to the post of the chief justice conducted by the members of the Judicial and Bar Council is seen as a good move, which the JBC and others are now spinning as its adherence to transparency, said to be the call of the times, although much of it is being committed in the breach.

While it may be a good move, it is still not quite as transparent as the JBC wants it to appear, since voting will still be done away from the prying eyes of the public.

Why the JBC is reluctant to share its individual votes with the public puzzles, since even the Supreme Court, from time immemorial, informs the public, through its decisions, which justice voted for, or against the petitions.

Congress also comes out openly with its members’ vote, so why should the JBC members be so secretive about who they vote for?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120620com1.html

A don’t care presidency FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/20/2012

A don’t care presidency

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Malacañang does not seem concerned that a Jordanian journalist, along with two Filipinos acting as his crew, are believed to have been kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf somewhere in Sulu.

Up till yesterday, the Palace claim was that Jordanian Baker Atyani, who works for the Al Arabiya news channel in Dubai, is still under the category of “missing” even when he is now under the custody of the Abu Sayyaf because he had gone to the Abu Sayyaf lair “voluntarily” and had not informed authorities about his “interview” with the head of the Abu Sayyaf.

That’s pretty stupid a view.

Journalists who are out for an interview, especially with lawless elements and wanted persons, certainly do not make it a habit to tell authorities that they are leaving for a rebel lair to interview the bandit group..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120620com2.html

Coconut pest infestation in Batangas killing livelihood of farmers

Coconut pest infestation in Batangas killing livelihood of farmers

MANILA — An agriculturist from the environmental political party Kalikasan Partylist is calling on the Benigno Aquino III government to address what she said was the problem of massive coconut scale infestation in Southern Tagalog, specifically in the province of Batangas. The group said it is urgent for the government to implement immediate and long-term solutions to the problem and provide immediate financial support to the affected coconut farmers.

According to reports, some 115,000 coconut trees planted in 1,700 hectares of land Batangas are said to be infested with the Aspidiotus destructor Signoret or the coconut scale insect.

Batangas province suffered the heaviest state of infestation with 41 barangays and seven municipalities affected to date.

According to agriculturalist and Kalikasan Partylist convener Finesa Cosico, the coconut scale pest is one of the most destructive armored scale insects that infest coconut and other plant species, including oil palm, cucumber, tomato, and banana. The pest is said to grow quickly and spread in colonies, decreasing crop yields and eventually killing the plants that it infests.

Based on studies, the insect sucks out the nutrients and sap of the coconut tree. The leaves will then turn brown and eventually fall. Infested trees, prior to dying, yield fewer fruits.

“We cannot underscore enough the need for the national government to adopt long-term solutions to stop this infestation and prevent its spread. Coconuts are a major agricultural export of the country; they’re planted on one-third of Philippine agricultural lands. Given all this, national agencies should be ready with mitigation and control measures to prevent more possible infestations,” she argued.

Stop the infestation from spreading

In earlier months, congressional lawmakers have called for official inquiries into the extent of the infestation. Batangas Rep. Manuel Collantes said if the coconut pest infestation is not stopped, it might spread to other coconut-producing regions such as Leyte and Samar.

There have also been reports that besides coconut trees, other palm species such as the Palmera, Hawaiian Palm and kaong have also been infested.

Several towns in Laguna, Batangas and Quezon have also reported incidence of infestation.
Cosico said an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for coconut lands should be institutionalized..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/19/coconut-pest-infestation-in-batangas-killing-livelihood-of-farmers/

Media ship-storm over Russian vessels ‘bound for Syria’

Media ship-storm over Russian vessels ‘bound for Syria’

A Russian cargo ship stopped near Scotland has been forced to turn back to home shores as the UK-based insurer withdrew the vessel’s cover. Western media are mired in speculation over alleged Russian supplies to Syria.

­The MV Alaed, a multipurpose twin-deck cargo vessel was proceeding through the North Sea when it was stopped by the UK marine insurer the Standard Club some 50 miles (80.4km) off Scotland.

The ship was halted after the US told the insurer Washington suspected the vessel was heading to Syria, carrying MI25 helicopters known as "flying tanks" and other choppers.  .... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/syria-russia-ships-media-218/

Assange asks for political asylum in Ecuador

 Assange asks for political asylum in Ecuador

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Assange wrote directly to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, saying he was being persecuted and could not return to his homeland, where he would be vulnerable to extradition to "a foreign country that applies the death penalty for the crime of espionage and sedition."

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, a big fan of WikiLeaks, is now reportedly studying Julian Assange’s request. Last month Correa told Assange in an interview that it is time to get rid of false stereotypes depicting wicked governments persecuting saint-like journalists and news outlets and welcomed him to the “club of the persecuted..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/assange-political-asylum-equador-236/

Youth activist tortured by soldiers in Quezon

Youth activist tortured by soldiers in Quezon


MANILA – An 18-year old youth activist was nabbed allegedly by soldiers in Lopez, Quezon and tortured into admitting he is a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), according to human rights group Karapatan-Southern Tagalog.

Franklin Barrera, district coordinator of Kabataan partylist, was taken by armed men at around 1 p.m. on June 7. Based on Barrera’s handwritten account, a copy of which was sent to Bulatlat.com, somebody hit Barrera’s head from behind while he was walking on his way home on Yumul street, barangay Gomez in Lopez, Quezon. When he regained consciousness, he found himself inside a red van. The armed men immediately blindfolded him. He was taken to a house in barangay San Isidro near the Army’s 85th Infantry Battalion detachment.

In a report by Inquirer.net, Colonel Eduardo Año, commander of the 201st Brigade,of the Philippine Army said that Barrera is an NPA guerrilla. He also claimed, however, that it was the NPA, not the military who abducted and tortured the young activist.

In the same report, Año said Barrera is ready to face the media to reveal “how he was abducted and tortured by his NPA comrades before turning him over to Karapatan in a hospital.” “He was used to serve as ‘props’ on their vilification campaign against the military,” Año was quoted as saying..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/13/youth-activist-tortured-by-soldiers-in-quezon/

Panganiban’s comeuppance CROSSROADS Jonathan De la Cruz 06/20/2012

Panganiban’s comeuppance

Jonathan De la Cruz
Comeuppance: A deserved rebuke or penalty; castigation, chastisement, punishment, correction, desert(s), discipline, nemesis, penalty, wrath; reprisal, retaliation, retribution, revenge, vengeance; assessment, charge, fine, mulct; example, sentence; confinement, imprisonment, incarceration; condemnation, damnation, denouncement; censure, criticism, rebuke, reprimand, reproof.

Finally, he got his comeuppance. This was how a friend of mine received the news that former Chief Justice (CJ) Artemio Panganiban has been charged with libel before the Makati City RTC by businessman Herminio Disini. A self-made man, this friend of mine was part of a group of investors who were at the receiving end of one of Panganiban’s decisions which he claimed was “utterly baseless” and unavailing. He said that not only did they lose the case, they were embarrassed no end as they were able to wangle a “win-win” compromise in international arbitration based on exactly the same set of arguments and facts as Panganiban’s.

Well, if it is any consolation, I told him that based on reports it was also Panganiban who convinced then CJ Hilario Davide Jr. to inveigle, if we may call it such, the Supreme Court (SC) to acquiesce to the unfinished impeachment trial of then President Erap Estrada and then proceed to Edsa to administer the oath to then Vice-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120620com4.html

P200M in Erap Muslim Foundation missing 06/20/2012

P200M in Erap Muslim Foundation missing

The P200 million deposited in the Erap Muslim Youth Foundation (EMYF), which was supposed to have been forfeited by the Sandiganbayan after the conviction on plunder of former President Joseph Estrada, appears to be missing, the camp of Estrada yesterday told the Tribune.

Estrada was said to be wondering which government agency or person had taken the funds from the bank, as they have been reported missing.

In a brief telephone interview with the former president, Estrada said that he has heard that the funds from the foundation which was forfeited by the Sandiganbayan are missing, and that he would like to know which government entity withdrew the funds and where they went to.

“We are still trying to check out where the money went. As of now, the report I got was that the funds are missing from the foundation.

It will be recalled that the P200 million was claimed by former Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson to have come from the jueteng proceeds that went to Estrada, although this was said to have been meant as a donation to the foundation, which is a separate entity..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120620hea7.html

Chinese ships staying put; DFA issues muddled excuse By Mario J. Mallari 06/20/2012

Chinese ships staying put; DFA issues muddled excuse

By Mario J. Mallari 06/20/2012

At least six Chinese government-controlled vessels are still in Scarborough Shoal despite the prevailing bad weather that resulted in the pull-out of Philippine ships as ordered last Friday by President Aquino from the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea to which the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) conceded by issuing a lame excuse.

A reliable source, who requested anonymity, said that as of latest monitoring yesterday, there were three Chinese maritime surveillance vessels (MCS) and three fishery law enforcement command (FLEC) ships in Panatag Shoal.

“There are six Chinese vessels now in the area –three MCS and three FLEC,” the source said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120620hea4.html

‘Missing’ journalist may face raps, jail term By Fernan J. Angeles 06/20/2012


‘Missing’ journalist may face raps, jail term

By Fernan J. Angeles 06/20/2012

Jodanian journalist Baker Atyani, believed to have been kidnapped, but merely “missing” to Malacañang and President Aquino, may yet end up being interrogated by the military and face probable charges as well as a stay in jail if he gets past his Abu Sayaff captors.

Malacañang aides not only doubt the abduction angle on his disappearance, but also appear bent on subjecting the Al-Arabiya bureau chief stationed in Dubai to the type of military and police interrogation usually done on suspects.

Aside from undergoing what Malacañang described as “some form of questioning,” Atyani may also find himself in jail should he be found to have violated existing laws in what the government claims to be frequent meetings that he has had with the outlawed group notoriously popular for some of the terror attacks in the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120620hea1.html

Noy signs 2 AMLA amendments By Fernan J. Angeles 06/20/2012

Noy signs 2 AMLA amendments

By Fernan J. Angeles 06/20/2012

Moments after President Aquino signed “An Act To Further Strengthen The Anti-Money Laundering Law,” the new law providing sharper fangs on similar enactments, to wit: the Republic Act 9160 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 and RA 9194, the superceding law that had the former revoked, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad claimed that the country has rid itself of an old stigma as the best place to hide wealth from unknown, even illegal sources.

Aquino’s top budget manager said the new anti-money laundering law was equipped with stipulations guaranteeing the privacy of individuals or groups from whom or to whom suspiciously huge funds come from or are bound to land, but without compromising the integrity of the Philippine banking and fund transfer systems and always promoting the national interest.

“Through this measure, the Aquino administration can strengthen Republic Act 9160, or the ‘Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001’ by restoring the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s authority to freeze assets allegedly proceeding from criminal activity. The newly signed law also reinstitutes the rewards-and-incentives system that was originally in place under RA 9160—but which was later revoked by RA 9194—as well as expands the scope of crimes identified in the AMLA, among others..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120620nat1.html

PNP says it has purged its retirees list of ‘ghost pensioners’ By Gina Peralta-Elorde 06/20/2012

PNP says it has purged its retirees list of ‘ghost pensioners’

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 06/20/2012

The Philippine National Police yesterday announced it had already cleansed its retirees’ list of “ghost pensioners” following the report of the Department of Budget and Management (DBP) that the PNP was losing P250 million every month.

According to PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome, the PNP is continuously updating the current master list of at least 60,621 PNP and PC/INP pesioners to maintain the integrity of the police pension payroll.

Bartolome in his report to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said pensioners have been cleansed and purged of unwanted entries based on the template required by the DBM..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120620met5.html

Navotas mayor backs DepEd move allowing LGUs to suspend classes 06/20/2012

Navotas mayor backs DepEd move allowing LGUs to suspend classes

Navotas Mayor John Rey Tiangco has supported a recent guideline of the Department of Education (DepEd) which allowed the local chief executives to suspend classes in public and private schools during bad weather and other calamities.

He told members of the Camanava Press that the DepEd has finally realized the need to give the authority to the mayors to decide whether or not to suspend school classes in their respective turfs during typhoon and severe flooding.

“I believe the education department just made the right move when it finally allowed the mayors to suspend classes because anyway we are more familiar with our turfs as compared with them, that’s really a good solution,” Tiangco said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120620met2.html

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