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Cha-cha plans smell Written by Tribune Editorial Saturday, 14 July 2012 00:00

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cha-cha plans smell

Something about Charter change seems to be brewing between Malacañang and Congress, despite Noynoy’s claimed resistance to changes in the 1987 Constitution and the two houses of Congress said to be determined to push Cha-cha.
That something is the not quite categorical stand of Noynoy in his claimed rejection of changes in the Charter in “any form or shape.”

Even as he claimed to be surprised at the two congressional leaders’ move to push Cha-cha, he also said he was willing to “listen” to them in their wisdom on the need for changes and amendments to the Constituion.

His Lady Gaga also said something about the need for the two leaders of Congress to convice Noynoy on constitutional changes. That is a fairly contradictory statement from Noynoy and the Palace, considering that they claim to be firm on Noynoy’s position on rejecting Cha-cha..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/1494-cha-cha-plans-smell

Too late to Cha-cha Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Too late to Cha-cha

There are many reasons Charter change is not likely to fly even under the Noynoy presidency, and Sen. Miriam Santiago’s reasons are pretty sound.

Despite claims of the congressional leaders that only the economic provisions — with the additional military provisions arising allegedly from the tensions and problems over the disputed areas in the South China Sea — will be tackled, and by a consituent assembly (con-ass), the fact is that the moment Charter change moves (Cha-cha) come, there is no one — not even the Senate leader nor the Speaker, who can stop any member of Congress from opening the floodgates for any issue brought up in plenary for amendments.

The truth is, to amend the Constitution merely to attract more foreign investors, won’t be the solution.
Investors will always pour their investment funds in any country — whether run under a dictatorship or a democracy — as long as profits can be made and the country’s peace and order problem is under control.

Investors don’t need to own land. They can always get close to 100 years lease in this country. As for the 60-40 percent sharing in favor of Filipinos, there certainly are many ways to get around this sharing percentage — and legitimately..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1493-too-late-to-cha-cha

Cha-cha plays anew Written by Tribune Editorial

Cha-cha plays anew

To view matters objectively, the 1987 Constitution is long due for an overhaul to update its restrictive provisions on the economy which are serious limiting factors for investors exploring possibilities in the country and some other aberrations caused by the intense political atmosphere when it was crafted.

This has been the position of most presidents after the term of President Cory Aquino, Noynoy’s mother.

It would be a bitter pill to swallow, however, for Noynoy to admit defects in the Charter crafted during the term of his mother who supposedly delivered the nation from a dictatorship.

The 1987 Constitution was a total eradication of its 1973 version which was abolished immediately after Cory came to power through a revolt and she ruled for a full year as an absolute dictator, where she was the sole government and the sole law...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/1474-cha-cha-plays-anew

White House gives Homeland Security control of all communication systems

White House gives Homeland Security control of all communication systems

The White House has finally responded to criticism over US President Barack Obama’s hushed signing last week of an Executive Order that allows the government to command privately-owned communication systems and acknowledges its implications.

When President Obama inked his name to the Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions Executive Order on July 6, he authorized the US Department of Homeland Security to take control of the country’s wired and wireless communications — including the Internet — in instances of emergency. The signing was accompanied with little to no acknowledgment outside of the White House, but initial reports on the order quickly caused the public to speak out over what some equated to creating an Oval Office kill switch for the Web. Now the Obama administration is addressing those complaints by calling the Executive Order a necessary implement for America’s national security..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/white-house-systems-order-142/

Pentagon: 'Gitmo drugged prisoners for their sake…then interrogated'

Pentagon: 'Gitmo drugged prisoners for their sake…then interrogated'

A recently-released Pentagon report admits to interrogating Guantanamo Bay prisoners after administering mind-altering treatments to them - often forcibly against their will - but stresses it was not done for the purposes of interrogation.

The report by the inspector general of the US Department of Defense obtained by truth-out.org  under the  Freedom of Information Act, found that some Gitmo inmates were questioned while receiving prescribed psychoactive treatments.

The Pentagon has tried to justify the facility staff’s actions, saying that “nowhere in the medical records did we find any evidence of mind-altering drugs being administered for the purpose of interrogation,” as the report states on page 13..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/guantanamo-drugs-prisoners-interrogation-084/

Facebook spies on users in attempt to catch sex predators

Facebook spies on users in attempt to catch sex predators

Social networking sites aren’t just for keeping in touch with friends anymore. Facebook is using technology to thwart sex predators - but the site’s good deeds come at the cost of invading the privacy of its users.

­Facebook uses a combination of technology and human monitoring techniques to keep tabs on its 1 billion members.

Efforts usually begin with an automated screening for inappropriate language and exchanges of personal information. Employees teach software what to seek out by using the online records of convicted pedophiles.
If a monitored conversation raises suspicion with Facebook employees, they will then contact local authorities..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/facebook-sex-privacy-technology-139/

Amid killings, attacks, UN experts urge Philippines to protect rights defenders

Amid killings, attacks, UN experts urge Philippines to protect rights defenders

The UN experts urged the authorities to carry out prompt, impartial and independent investigations into the growing number of threats and killings of rights defenders to hold perpetrators to account and to fight impunity.


MANILA – Amid reports of killings and death threats against human rights defenders in the Philippines, two United Nations Special Rapporteurs on human rights defenders and extrajudicial executions called on the Philippine government to adopt urgent measures to protect the life of rights defenders and to ensure they are able to carry out their important work.

The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders defines human rights defenders as those who seek the promotion and protection of civil and political rights as well as the promotion, protection and realization of economic, social and cultural rights.

In a statement posted at its website, the UN experts said that a number of cases have been reported to them involving death threats and, in the worst of cases, killings of human rights defenders since the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio in Mindanao last year.

Tentorio, a Catholic Italian missionary, was killed inside the compound of a local Church, October 17 by suspected state agents. Human rights group Karapatan reported that under the two-year term of President Benigno Aquino III, there have been 95 of victims of extrajudicial killings. Recent cases include the murder of Dutch missionary Willem Geertman and Romualdo Palispis, chair of Justice and Peace Action Group (JPAG). Karapatan also reported the killing of Arnolfo Vaflor, a member of an affiliate of the National Federation of Sugar Workers in Negros Occidental on July 9.

“Many of the cases involve individuals and organizations working to defend the right to a healthy environment,” said Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders. “Disputes over land rights and campaigns against mining and dam projects infringing on the rights of local communities tend to be sensitive, and those defending such rights are often met with violence.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/13/amid-killings-attacks-un-experts-urge-philippines-to-protect-rights-defenders/

Iggy Rodriguez, the artist as a conscious political being

Iggy Rodriguez, the artist as a conscious political being
MANLA — Iggy Rodriguez is a political activist and an artist. For him, his work as an artist is enriched and given meaning by his activism, and his work as an activist is also improved by the discipline he has cultivated as an artist.

Currently the coordinator for the Makabayan coalition of political parties and its chapter in the National Capital Region (NCR), Rodriquez is also a core group member of the Tutok Karapatan Artists’ Initiatives and the well-known group that makes the impressive effigies that are burned during important political protests the UGAT Lahi Artist Collective. His work in these organizations are considerable, but he manages to juggle his workload through discipline.

Discipline is a crucial thing with Rodriguez. Born Raoul Ignacio Mallillin Rodriguez in Zamboanga, the 37-year old artist was not “born” with the innate ability to draw or paint.

“It was something I willed myself to do,” he explained.

In grade school, he watched classmates and friends draw images in their notebooks, and while he himself was not inclined to draw at that time, he liked the idea.

“I liked the idea of creating images, of copying ones that I liked. I found it interesting. I didn’t do it myself, but I liked seeing the work of others,” he said.

His elder brother often brought home comic books (“Marvel Comics, Heavy Metal, that sort of thing”) and he was amazed at what he saw.

“It was like seeing the world interpreted in a different way. The way the characters were drawn, the scenery, the entire conceptualization and consequent rendering. Before then I didn’t know that there was such a way to depict the world,” he shared.

The beginning of his journey as an artist officially began, however, when he was forced to stay in the library one afternoon in high school. Rodriguez can’t recall the exact circumstances that led to his afternoon detention in the library (“Maybe it was raining, I don’t remember), but he will never forget the artist that first inspired him to try to be one himself. He found a book on Pablo Picasso and his work during his so-named Blue Period.

(Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)
Picasso’s Blue Period refers to the time between 1901 and 1904, when the Italian artist created essentially monochromatic paintings using the colors blue and blue-green. He made his paintings at a time in his life when he was depressed over the death of a friend and retreated from society. The paintings themselves evoke feelings of sadness, loneliness and a lack of hope.

“I was affected by the images themselves and how they were rendered. I was only a high school student, but I’d already heard of Picasso even then. That afternoon was the first time I’d really looked — I mean looked– at his work and I told myself that I would work hard to be a painter, an artist myself,” he said.

Rodriquez has no qualms about admitting that he only learned to draw and paint in college at the University of Sto. Tomas where he took a course in fine arts and advertising. He said whatever talent he has, he cultivated and honed it by studying and constant practice. He literally taught himself to draw, pushing and goading himself until wielding a pen or a paintbrush became second nature to him.

“Many artists are said to be innately talented and that they are able to create merely from sheer inspiration, goaded by a muse of their own making. I didn’t start off like that, and up to now I cannot say that I need to be inspired to create. My own process of creating art always starts with me confronting myself with the necessity to create: tired or not, inspired or not, I need to be always practicing my craft and I want to be always learning ways to improve it,” he said. His right index finger has a rough callus, a testament to his daily routine of drawing at least one hour a day and more on days when his schedule permits..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/05/25/iggy-rodriguez-the-artist-as-a-conscious-political-being/

Asean Summit fails, ends in acrimony

Asean Summit fails, ends in acrimony

  • Written by 
  • Saturday, 14 July 2012 

Daily Tribune Photo
China sends big fishing fleet to Spratlys

PHNOM PENH - Days of heated diplomacy at Southeast Asian talks ended in failure Friday as deep splits over China prevented the Asean grouping from issuing its customary joint statement for the first time.

Foreign ministers from the 10-member bloc have been wrangling since Monday to hammer out a diplomatic communique, which has held up progress on a separate code of conduct aimed at soothing tension in the flashpoint South China Sea.

But Beijing on Friday described the Asean Summit that broke down amid deep divisions over China as “productive.”
A foreign ministry spokesman emphasized China’s position had been supported by some among the 10-member Asean  nations during their meeting in Cambodia that ended Friday without a customary joint communique.

“It is a productive meeting and China’s views and position on many issues have won the appreciation and support of many participating countries,” China’s ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said when asked to comment on the summit.

“Over the years this Asian regional cooperation has made important achievements relating to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/1509-asean-summit-fails-ends-in-acrimony

Noynoy voted ‘Worst World Leader’; Hitler in 2nd; Saddam Hussein lands in 3rd place

Noynoy voted ‘Worst World Leader’; Hitler in 2nd [Corazon Aquino 3rd; George Bush 4th]

President Aquino, who has portrayed himself as a popular leader walking the straight path, was voted upon in an online survey that saw him as the world’s worst leader.

Two years in the presidential office and Aquino garnered the highest votes in a web-based poll for the World’s Worst Leaders.According to  a website Rankopedia (rankopedia.com), the likes of Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, George Bush, Fidel Castro and even Mao Tse Tung are no match to the Philippine President who was voted by internet users from around the world as the “World’s Worst Leader.”

Aquino, who is only on his second year as Philippine President, notched the top spot in the list of the World’s Worst Leaders, garnering 63.54 points, followed by German Nazi fascist Adolf Hitler at far second with 43.50 points.

The list of the World’s Worst Leaders also had the incumbent President’s mother, Corazon Aquino, his predecessor, and his family’s mortal enemy in the 30,000-member strong Rankopedia roster..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1508-noynoy-voted-%E2%80%98worst-world-leader%E2%80%99-hitler-in-2nd-saddam-hussein-lands-in-3rd-place

SC drops raps vs Danding, JPE in coco fund mess

SC drops raps vs Danding, JPE in coco fund mess

A ruling by the Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the  Office of the Ombudsman in deciding to drop  graft charges against business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile for alleged behest loans and investments made by the United Coconut Planters Bank in the United Coconut Oil Mills Inc. (Unicom) during their stint as members of the Board of Directors of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB).  

In a decision  penned by Associate Justice Roberto Abad dated June 26,  the tribunal  ruled that Cojuangco, Enrile and 16 others could no longer be prosecuted since the charges against them had already prescribed.
In the case of respondents, who were charged by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for violation of Sec. 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the prescriptive period is 10 years.

“Prescription of actions is a valued rule in all civilized states from the beginning of organized society. It is a rule of fairness since, without it, the plaintiff can postpone the filing of his action to the point of depriving the defendant, through the passage of time, of access to defense witnesses who would have died or left to live elsewhere, or to documents that would have been discarded  or could no longer be located,” the high court said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1506-sc-drops-raps-vs-danding-jpe-in-coco-fund-mess

Noynoy defies Church, welcomes offshore tourism, casino complex

President Aquino, who has repeatedly claimed  he is against efforts to transform the country into a premier gambling destination, just found himself welcoming corporate developments hinting at a possible joint venture between the Gokongwei property development firm and Macau casino magnate Kazuo Okada.

At the regular press briefing in Malacañang, Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang described the imminent partnership between Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) and the famous casino mogul behind Macau’s casino boom as a welcome development.

The reported joint venture, which has already been approved in principle by both parties, embarks on multibillion-dollar tourism and casino complex “Entertainment City Manila.”

“If there is interest in investing in the Philippines, we certainly welcome this activity,” said Carandang who was made to fill the shoes of the President’s spokesman....MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1498-noynoy-defies-church-welcomes-offshore-tourism-casino-complex

Higher salaries,not K+12 — teachers

Higher salaries,not K+12 — teachers

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) challenged President Aquino to take action on several bills for teachers’ compensation pending before the houses of Congress.

Benjo Basas, the group’s chairman said “this is the high time to discuss the pending bills on teachers’ salaries and this is far more important than the proposed K+12 program of the government.”

Basas noted that several bills have been proposed since the opening of the 15th Congress and the most common were proposals that sought to upgrade the salaries of public school teachers from the current Salary Grade 11 (SG-11) to higher positions under the Salary Standardization Law 3 (SLL-3), which was fully implemented last month.

“We appreciate any proposal that seeks to augment the living of our teachers because this is a testament that the legislators know what is due the teachers and the government recognizes its mistake for putting us in a very low position in government classification.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1500-higher-salariesnot-k%2012-%E2%80%94-teachers

Solon urges gov’t to nurture small businesses

Solon urges gov’t to nurture small businesses

At the celebration of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Week at the Megatrade Hall 2 and 3 in Megamall, Bayan Rep. Teddy Casiño called on the Aquino administration for all out support for MSMEs, saying this was what the country needed to lower unemployment and jump-start the economy.

Casiño, who chairs the committee on small business and entrepreneurship development in the House, was the special guest of honor at the opening of the exhibit “Eats more Fun in the Philippines” Medium and Small Enterprise Development Week, which will run from July 12 to 15.

“We can stem the brain drain if we are able to provide enough jobs and livelihoods in the local economy. Though there is still no substitute for comprehensive industrialization coupled with genuine agrarian reform for the development of our economy, increased government support for MSMEs will be a good start,” the solon said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1501-solon-urges-gov%E2%80%99t-to-nurture-small-businesses

VP Binay wants Asiatique owner’s passport cancelled

VP Binay wants Asiatique owner’s passport cancelled

  • Written by 
  • Saturday, 14 July 2012 
Vice President Jejomar Binay said he will ask for the cancellation of Globe Asiatique (GA) owner Delfin Lee’s passport if reports that the controversial property developer has left the country to evade arrest are confirmed.

Aside from cancelling Lee’s passport, the government could also request for Lee to be extradited back to the country, he added.

“Pag na-trace yan sa abroad, magpa-file sa pamahalaan na kung pwede ay pabalikin dito kasi may kaso. Para bang pinapa-cancel mo ‘yong pasaporte,” Binay said in an interview Thursday.

The GA owner has an outstanding warrant of arrest issued against him for syndicated estafa in connection with GA’s Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

The Vice President said he feared Lee’s escape, if true, will lead to loss of the public’s trust in the government.

“Ito po ang mga pagkakataong nawawalan ng tiwala ang mga kababayan natin sapagkat maliwanag pa sa araw ang kasong ito at talagang hot issue ang kasong ‘yon,” he said.

Binay, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, said he will not allow Lee to escape arrest and vowed to help the public regain its trust in the country’s judicial system.

“Hindi po ako papayag. Ibabalik po natin ang tiwala ng taumbayan,” he said.

He added he has written the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to confirm if Lee had indeed left the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1499-vp-binay-wants-asiatique-owner%E2%80%99s-passport-cancelled

Dengue cases in Caloocan City decrease in first six months, says mayor

Dengue cases in Caloocan City decrease in first six months, says mayor

Caloocan City Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri said yesterday  the number of dengue cases in the city has decreased in the first six months of the year.

Based on the report submitted by City Health Officer Dr. Raquel So-Sayo, 834 cases of dengue were reported in the city from Jan. 1 to June 11 this year. This is a 15-percent decrease as compared to the 983 cases listed in the same period last year.

While the city ranks third in the Department of Health’s list with the most number of dengue cases in Metro Manila, it only posted 0.5 percent Case Fatality Rate with four persons dead from the disease..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1496-dengue-cases-in-caloocan-city-decrease-in-first-six-months-says-mayor

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