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Aquino govt’s violations of Philippine sovereignty, the worst – CPP

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Aquino govt’s violations of Philippine sovereignty, the worst – CPP

Aside from allowing the US armed forces access to their former military bases, the Aquino government “allows the US FBI to interrogate prisoners in Camp Crame and use its custodial center in keeping foreign nationals it suspects of being “terrorists.”

MANILA – Sovereignty issues would hound the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III politically and legally. This is the projection of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The Philippine government may accuse the revolutionary groups led by the CPP as outside the fold of law (or of the Philippine Constitution), but the CCP seems to have an even worse counter-accusation— the Philippine government is in fact contemptuous of its own Constitution and laws.

As the Aquino regime “continues to allow the US military to increasingly intervene and operate within the Philippines, it is bound to be politically and legally confronted by issues of sovereignty,” the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said in a statement. The revolutionary group enumerated various issues where they say the Aquino government has trampled on Philippine sovereignty, in the process violating provisions even of its “own reactionary laws.”

These issues include providing the US warships and submarines with virtual open access to Philippine waters, “without consideration to the policy of freedom from nuclear weapons as provided for in the 1987 reactionary constitution.”

The United States’ advanced warships and submarines are reportedly nuclear-powered. On top of that, these are also widely believed to be armed with and capable of launching nuclear weapons.

The Philippine Constitution, on the other hand, is explicitly against the entry of nuclear weapons. But the Philippine government has little hope of enforcing it if the warships, aircrafts and troops it had invited to enter the Philippines can freely move around with their nuke via the US policy of “neither confirming nor denying” its presence. The CPP is encouraging patriotic Filipinos to continue questioning the said policy.

Another Aquino violation of Philippine sovereignty shows in this government’s “allowing the US armed forces to maintain a military base inside Philippine territory.” According to the CPP, the headquarters of the 700-strong Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF)-Philippines is in an exclusive zone within Camp Navarro, the main camp of the AFP’s Western Command, in Zamboanga City. It is, in fact, the camp first visited by American Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, when he flew to the country early this month and checked on the AFP’s progress in counterinsurgency operations, for example.

American Gen. Dempsey with US troops at Camp Navarro in Zamboanga, Philippines. (Photo taken from Gen. Dempsey’s Facebook photo album of his Phil. visit/ bulatlat.com)
The JSOTF-P headquarters camp, based on various reports and complaints of former soldiers, cannot even be entered into by top generals of the AFP without permission from US officials.

In practice, the JSOTF’s exclusive zone in Zamboanga is a military base, but it apparently exists without an appropriate treaty, violating “requirements set by the 1987 constitution covering foreign military bases, troops and facilities,” the CPP noted.

Aside from the JSOTF headquarters in Zamboanga, the US has been reportedly setting up and operating an intelligence infrastructure in the Philippines. It includes the likes of the mountain-top antennas, among others, which the US has reportedly set up during its “humanitarian missions” and “joint exercises” in the past several years. According to the CPP, these facilities which the US considers as its exclusive domain “are essentially US military facilities,” but where, it asked, is the “relevant agreement or treaty covering such facilities?”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/21/aquino-govt%E2%80%99s-violations-of-philippine-sovereignty-the-worst-%E2%80%93-cpp/

Noy, aides in blunderland

Noy, aides in blunderland

Yet another serious blunder has been committed by Noynoy and his administration, which may well have diplomatic repercussions.

While all the time the Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani, bureau chief of Al Arabiya network, was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, there went Noynoy, his aides and other government authorities, claiming that Atyani was not kidnapped, was not missing, is in cahoots with the Abu Sayyaf group, is the conduit for funds for the terrorist group, is going to be arrested, jailed, deported and banned from returning to the Philippines and that government authorities will no longer look for him nor mount a rescue operation, apart from the many lies they spouted for over a week over the situation of the Jordanian journalist and two Filipino crew members.

As early as Wednesday, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry had already confirmed that Atyani had been kidnapped in the Philippines amid conflicting reports over his disappearance.

“Efforts exerted via the Jordanian Embassy in Tokyo and our consul in Manila have confirmed that Atyani was kidnapped. We are following up on the case in order to secure his safe release,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Sabah Rafei told The Jordan Times without elaborating any further..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/589-noy-aides-in-blunderland

No transparency

No transparency

For all that Noynoy and high court blabber of reforms and transparency now being imbibed by a “reformed” Supreme Court as a result of the conviction by the Senate court of the ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona, the transparency promised is certainly absent, as gleaned from the SC’s newly released guidelines in the matter of their statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALn).

Apparently, none of the members of the now Aquino high court wants their old SALns released to the public — through the media, limiting these only to the latest SALns, where no doubt, had undergone corrections, following the impeachment trial.

Not even acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and his sidekick, Justice Lourdes Sereno, who made it appear then that they were all for transparency by making public — not their SALns but a summary, which means nothing, appear not to want transparency now..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/549-no-transparency

US drone strikes ‘could be war crimes’ and set risky precedent - UN

US drone strikes ‘could be war crimes’ and set risky precedent - UN

The use of drone strikes by the US to combat terrorism flouts international law and may encourage other nations to follow suit, a UN rapporteur says. He stressed that some of the attacks may constitute war crimes.

Christof Heyns, the UN special investigator on extrajudicial killings told a UN conference in Geneva that the US needs to be held legally accountable for the use of armed drones.

"Are we to accept major changes to the international legal system which has been in existence since World War Two and survived nuclear threats?" he said.

He also requested that the Obama administration publish statistics on the number of civilian deaths caused by strikes on suspected terror leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/us-drone-violates-law-un-report-459/

Ecuador recalls ambassador for Assange advisement

Ecuador recalls ambassador for Assange advisement

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has recalled his ambassador to the UK in order to discuss the case of Julian Assange. The asylum bid is being analyzed without concession to foreign pressure, but with caution to “other countries’” opinions.

­"We are calling our ambassador back for consultations because this is a very serious matter," Correa said Friday. “We are going to proceed cautiously, responsibly and seriously in this case, without bowing to absolutely any pressure.”

Ecuadorian envoy Ana Alban had met earlier with British authorities to ascertain their point of view....MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/assange-ecuador-asylum-correa-544/

Cases of mysterious deaths of OFWs mount

Cases of mysterious deaths of OFWs mount

Migrante-Middle East said they receive reports of OFWs who died under questionable and vague circumstances on an average of two cases every month.

MANILA – Another victim of a mysterious death while overseas, 22 year old Romelyn Eroy Ibanez’s body arrived home, with her left eye, tongue, brain, heart and internal organs missing, from Saudi Arabia on August 24, 2011 – almost a year after she died on September 2, 2010.

Romelyn was from North Cotabato. She was hired by the Solid Works Manpower Agency in Cotabato, it was stated in her contract that she would work as nursing aid for Wafa Al Harkaan and Dr. Sulta Al Otaibi Medical Polyclinic Co.. However she ended up as a domestic helper to an employer named Musfer Yahya Musfer Al-Abbas.

According to the death certificate, the cause of Romelyn’s death was suicide. An autopsy report issued by the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia claimed that the cause of her death was “poisoning resulting from drinking Clorox acid resulting to complications.”

The Ministry’s findings contradicted the forensic exam made by a certain Dr. Mayma, which revealed that she sustained stab wounds and several cigarette burns. Dr. Mayma said in his report that “it is impossible for the subject OFW to commit suicide inflicting on herself several stab wounds and at the same time taking in acid.”

Two years after Romelyn’s death, her family still cries out for justice. Her sister Mira wrote Migrante – Middle East asking for an update on her sister’s case. She said she already asked the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in North Cotabato and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regional office but was not able to get any update on her sister’s case.

“We would want to know what happened to the reinvestigation of my sister’s case,” Mira wrote in her email to John Leonard Monterna, Migrante—Middle East regional coordinator.

“We went to OWWA to ask them (for an update) but they can’t give us any information. They have many files on my sister’s case but whenever I am there they cannot give me any explanation why they don’t have any update on my sister’s case,” she added.

Monterona lambasted the inaction of the government. “I was shocked and disgusted upon reading the email of Mira informing me that the OWWA in North Cotabato and the DFA regional office could not give an update on the reinvestigation,” said Monterona..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/23/cases-of-mysterious-deaths-of-ofws-mount/

Rights group slams military for pressuring victim to recant testimony

Rights group slams military for pressuring victim to recant testimony

After giving a testimony regarding his abduction and torture by the military, the victim, after a few days, disappeared again only to resurface later to file a case against the NPA and a human rights group that assisted him.

MANILA — It’s a case of he said and now-he-says-something else. A human rights victim of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has recently recanted his statements against his abductors and claimed that he was actually taken by members of the New People’s Army and a human rights group in Southern Tagalog.

“Should we ever trust the military? Lessons from the past tell us that whatever credibility it pretends to have has already gone down the drain,” Karapatan-ST said in a statement. “It’s using cheap, dirty tactics.”
This was in direct reaction to the military’s claim that 18-year old Franklin Barrera, a member of the Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement was abducted by the New People’s Army (NPA) with the help of the human rights group. Barrera made the same allegation on June 19 when he went to the Quezon police to file charges against Karapatan-ST.

Barrera was  abducted on June 7 by members of the AFP 85th Infantry Battalion and was surfaced the day after and gave an account of his abduction and the torture he suffered at the hands of his abductors to Karapatan-ST. The group also released a video where Barrera himself is seen speaking and describing his ordeal. The video has been posted and circulated in social networking sites.

Afterwards, according to reports, Barrera again went missing on June 10 and resurfaced June 19, this time filing criminal charges of kidnapping with detention against several individuals whom he said were NPA members. Barrera filed the charges against the NPA and members of Karapatan-ST at the Quezon police..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/23/rights-group-slams-military-for-pressuring-victim-to-recant-testimony/

RP planes scan Scarborough vs foreign ‘intruders’

RP planes scan Scarborough vs foreign ‘intruders’

Despite the pullout of government-controlled vessels from Scarborough Shoal as ordered by President Aquino last week, top Defense and military officials yesterday maintained that there was continuous monitoring of the disputed territory through aerial surveillance.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters that “aerial surveillance” in Scarborough Shoal has been continuing, apparently to monitor situation in the disputed area.

Surveillance aircraft of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Navy are doing the monitoring, he said.
“We are doing that (air surveillance)…but bad weather is hampering it…we are flying there, that is ours,” Gazmin stressed, adding that “airplanes from the Coast Guard and Philippine Navy are doing that alternately,” he added.

On June 15, Aquino ordered the pullout of a PCG’s search and rescue vessel and a maritime surveillance ship of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) from the contested shoal, citing bad weather and rough seas prevailing in the area..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/610-rp-planes-scan-scarborough-vs-foreign-%E2%80%98intruders%E2%80%99vs

Jordan rejects Noynoy’s claims, confirms kidnap

Jordan rejects Noynoy’s claims, confirms kidnap

President Aquino and his security aides may yet have an egg land on their faces for yet committing another big blunder that could well lead to a souring of diplomatic relations, this time with Jordan.

They have for over a week been issuing statements claiming that Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani, Dubai-based bureau chief of Al Arabiya network, has not been kidnapped and portraying  him as a conduit for terrorist activities while disregarding his, and his two Filipino crewmen’s safety by refusing to launch rescue operations.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed yesterday that Atyani has been kidnapped and has already contacted its embassy in Japan as well as its Manila consul.

In an article posted June 21 on the online edition of 35-year-old English daily newspaper The Jordan Times, the Foreign Ministry of Jordan confirmed that Al Arabiya television news network bureau chief Baker Atyani has been abducted by a terrorist group based in southern Philippines, “amid conflicting reports surrounding his disappearance.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/614-jordan-rejects-noynoy%E2%80%99s-claims-confirms-kidnap

Dagupan City mayor, council face graft raps Written by Tribune Saturday, 23 June 2012 00:00

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has found that the resolution passed by the Dagupan City council allowing Mayor Benjamin Lim to initiate the sale two properties owned by the city government violated the law.

In its reply to the request for clarification made by Dagupan Vice Mayor Belen  Fernandez, the DILG’s legal service department pointed out that the resolution was in violation of Section 52 (D) of the Local Government Code of 1991, as reiterated under Article 105. In her letter of May 26, Fernandez said the special session held on April 20 which passed the resolution authorizing Lim to initiate the sale of the properties at McAdore International Place and at Barangay Talibaew, Calasiao, was done with “undue haste and under dubious circumstances.”

The special session was held while Fernandez was in California, USA Four city councilors supportive of Fernandez were not informed about the special session, the vice-mayor said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/605-dagupan-city-mayor-council-face-graft-raps

Angara: K+12 may fail with underpaid teachers

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara renewed his call for improved pay scales for public school teachers and nurses as the government rolls out this month the fourth tranche of salary increases mandated by the Salary Standardization Law III or SSL III (Joint Resolution 04).

Angara, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education, emphasized that teachers and nurses must be compensated according to the rising cost of living to encourage them to stay in the country.
“Quality education and health care are crucial to improving the welfare of our people as these pave the way for good employment opportunities,” said the representative of the lone district of Aurora. “Unfortunately under the SSL, our teachers and nurses receive much less than they deserve, which forces them to find jobs outside the country.”

Angara, who in 2008 helped author Joint Resolution 04 that became the SSL III, noted that the minimum salary for public school teachers was only P17,255 representing salary grade (SG) 10, while government nurses received only P18,549 or the equivalent of SG 11..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/608-angara-k%2012-may-fail-with-underpaid-teachers

Lim leads Manileños in honoring ‘Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan’ awardees

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim yesterday led Manileños in honoring Philippine icons in the field of arts, literature and culture as part of the city’s week-long observance of the 441st Araw ng Maynila.

The recipients of this year’s Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan were awarded to pay tribute to them for using their talents and selfless service to uplift the lives of their countrymen, according to Lim.

“Maligayang bati sa mga tatanggap ng parangal sa taong ito na lakip ang pag-asang lagi silang magiging “sulong pananglaw” at inspirasyon hindi lamang sa mga taga Maynila kundi sa lahat ng sulok ng Pilipinas (Congratulations to recipients this year and I hope that they will serve as light and inspiration not only to the people of Manila but also in every part of the land),” Lim said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/598-lim-leads-manile%C3%B1os-in-honoring-%E2%80%98patnubay-ng-sining-at-kalinangan%E2%80%99-awardeessining

A+ A A- Atienza hits move to reclaim portions of Manila Bay

A city ordinance passed without public consultations and in a “sneaky” manner by the City Council of Manila and signed by Mayor Alfredo Lim will, if not stopped, deprive Filipinos of one of their priceless, but free, treasures — the sight of the sun setting over the Manila Bay. Worse, it will have grave environmental and economic implications, a former city executive said.

Manila’s former three-term mayor and Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Lito Atienza yesterday denounced the manner in which Ordinance 8233 — authorizing the City of Manila, through Mayor Lim, to  file an application with the Philippine Reclamation Authority to reclaim portions of Manila Bay — was passed last year by the council under presiding officer Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso. It effectively repeals a 1993 city measure, Ordinance 7777, prohibiting reclamation along Manila Bay from the portion near the US Embassy to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, where Manila’s boundary with Pasay City begins..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/602-atienza-hits-move-to-reclaim-portions-of-manila-bay

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