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Has the Aquino government lost momentum in running after Arroyo?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Has the Aquino government lost momentum in running after Arroyo?

By BENJIE OLIVEROS
Bulatlat.com

The impeachment and eventual resignation of former ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, and the impeachment of former chief justice Renato Corona last year, which resulted in his removal this year, would surely banner the enumeration of accomplishments of President Benigno Aquino III. The removal of Gutierrez and Corona, the principal protectors of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the biggest stumbling blocks to holding her to account for her crimes against the people, are laudable accomplishments.

However, these would lose its significance if the process falls short of bringing Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, her family and top officials to account for all their crimes against the people, to include plunder, electoral fraud and sabotage, and most especially extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations. It is a bad enough deed for a president and his or her family to dip their hands into the nation’s coffers; it becomes worse, if they also deny from the people, their only means of democratic participation: voting. Add these to the most terrible crimes of all: killing 1,026 people, and making 206 others disappear.

As of the present, the Aquino government has been able to file a case of electoral sabotage against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. This, it did shortly after Arroyo tried to sneak out of the country but was held at the departure area. The bail hearings have just been concluded – with Judge Jesus Mupas of the Pasay Regional Trial Court about to issue a decision on the petition – and the pre-trial has been set on August 23.

Also graft charges have been filed before the Sandiganbayan against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s husband Miguel and 20 Philippine National Police (PNP) officials for the fraudulent sale of second-hand helicopters to the PNP, which were misrepresented as brand new. However, the wheels of justice in these cases have been grinding so slowly..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/13/has-the-aquino-government-lost-momentum-in-running-after-arroyo/

Big mistake Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Big mistake

What JV Ejercito and VP Jojo Binay recently said about having a “super coalition” for the 2013 elections between the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and the administration Liberal Party (LP) coalition was a big political mistake on their part, basically because their statements reflected the weakness of their own alliance, which is UNA and worse, their stance as an opposition party-coalition to the LP, if not the administration, was just ripped politically to shreds.

Why would a coalition that claims to be the opposing coalition, whether constructive or destructive, want to be allied with the administration party?

Binay who said he was not opposed to the idea of a “super coalition” between the LP and UNA, said as an opposition coalition, UNA can coalesce with the LP because it is a constructive opposition, no different from Britain’s opposition, known as Her Majesty’s loyal opposition..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1694-big-mistake

Syria's top security ministers slain in Damascus bombing



Syria's top security ministers slain in Damascus bombing

Five key Syrian military officials including Defense Minister Gen. Daoud Rajha and Assad’s brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, who served as his deputy, were killed at the top-level meeting in central Damascus.

Syrian General Hassan Turkmani – a former defense minister and senior military official –  Interior Minister Mohammad al-Shaar, and the country’s intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar have died from wounds sustained in the blast.

A number of attendees received serious injuries, and some of them remain in critical condition, the agency reported..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/damascus-suicide-government-wounded-458/

Calls for Assad to quit 'rooted in hopelessness' – Lavrov

Calls for Assad to quit 'rooted in hopelessness' – Lavrov


On the same day that a suicide bomber killed the Syrian Minister of Defense, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that supporting the Syrian opposition while demanding that President Bashar al-Assad step down will lead to an impasse.

"If the policy based on support for the opposition continues – a policy leading to an impasse, since Assad will not go on his own – and all of these mantra calls that he must step down are rooted in hopelessness,"Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

The Russian minister warned against the temptation for outside forces to play favorites with any side in the crisis..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/politics/syria-russia-lavrov-putin-crisis-479/

Shell angry at $5 bln fine demanded for spill in Nigeria

Shell angry at $5 bln fine demanded for spill in Nigeria


Nigerian regulators are demanding Royal Dutch Shell pays $5 billion in fines for environmental damage caused by last year’s oil spill at its offshore Bonga field. Shell says there is no legal basis for the fine.

The fine would be the largest Shell has ever received in Nigeria and is about $125,000 for each barrel of oil split in the Bonga field, about 120 kilometers off the coast.

The spill which was probably the worst in the area for a decade, occurred on December 20, 2011 and according to estimates less than 40,000 barrels, or 1.68 million gallons were released. .... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/business/news/shell-angry-over-demands-to-pay-huge-fine-for-oil-spill-in-nigeria-455/

When the waiting has been too long

When the waiting has been too long


By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
Covering human-rights issues enabled me to meet wonderful people. These include Jose “Bong” Barsoles and Romeo “Tatay Romy” Luneta, both victims of torture during martial law. News of their passing away — Ka Bong on June 29 and Tatay Romy on July 9 — saddens me.

I was struck by their resilience. In my separate interviews with them, Tatay Romy and Ka Bong narrated how they endured the torture at the hands of their captors. After being released from prison, it would have been easy to just forget but both chose to continue the struggle to achieve justice. They are among the 9,539 original petitioners to the class suit filed against the Marcoses in 1986.

I always saw them during protest actions of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) demanding just compensation for victims of the Marcos dictatorship. They also attended rallies condemning extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations.

During my last interview with Ka Bong in March 2011, he could not believe that he was delisted from the list of original complainants. He did not receive a single centavo from the $10-million settlement agreement with a Marcos crony awarded by a district court in the United States.

Tatay Romy, meanwhile, gave me a phone call after the dialogue of Selda with House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte in January this year. He would have joined the dialogue had he not fell twice that morning.
Fr. Diony Cabillas of Iglesia Filipina Independiente, one of the leaders of Selda, captured the poignancy that comes with their death. He wrote this after Ka Bong died –

Pumanaw ka na hindi man lang nasaksihan ang maraming palakpak ng ating kasamahan at sambayanang Pilipino sa pagsasabatas ng Kumpensasyon sa mga biktima ng martial law..... MORE
SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/11/when-the-waiting-has-been-too-long/

Indonesia: Do not escalate sea tensions; RP: We will maintain sovereign rights

Indonesia: Do not escalate sea tensions; RP: We will maintain sovereign rights

  • Written by 
  • Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yester-day said there will be no quick resolution to competing territorial claims in the South China Sea, warning tensions must not be allowed to escalate.

China essentially claims the whole of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in hydrocarbons and straddles strategic shipping lanes vital to global trade.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims in the waters, causing regular diplomatic flare-ups.

“Short of a comprehensive resolution, the claimants must do their best to manage and contain the disputes to make sure that it does not escalate or worse lead to the outbreak of military clashes,” he told the First Strategic Review Forum in Jakarta..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1700-indonesia-do-not-escalate-sea-tensions-rp-we-will-maintain-sovereign-rights

CCT degrades human dignity — Casiño, Cruz Written by Tribune Wednesday, 18 July 2012 00:00

CCT degrades human dignity — Casiño, Cruz

  • Written by 
  • Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño and retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz yesterday branded as “degrading to human dignity” the administration’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

Casiño told the weekly Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) forum that the CCT had been utterly useless in addressing poverty and hunger and it was not what the Filipino people want to improve their lives.

“It is degrading to human dignity. Most of all the people we have talked to about it tell us that they prefer jobs and livelihood opportunities over the CCT. They do not like this dole-out,” he said.

Casiño claimed that the CCT had not made a dent in the poverty level in the country. He said the government made it look like poverty was reduced in the past year when all it did was to lower the threshold of daily needs to only P46 per person per day from P52 during the previous administration.

“That’s pure deception, that is misleading the public. They are doing a camouflage of the real state of the people,” Cruz said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1698-cct-degrades-human-dignity-%E2%80%94-casi%C3%B1o-cruz

BCDA chief unfazed by disbarment threat Written by Wednesday, 18 July 2012 00:00

BCDA chief unfazed by disbarment threat

  • Written by 
  • Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and chief executive officer Arnel Casanova was unfazed by the threat of former Solicitor General Frank Chavez to seek the disbarment of Casanova for saying that the P8.5 billion pay offer of Camp John Hay Development Corp. (CJHDC) to BCDA was against the law.

The CJHDC had just proposed to restructure the lease agreement to write off P3 billion arrears, change the lease to joint venture and to extend the agreement for another 40 years ending in 2061, Casanova told the Daily Tribune.

Chavez had accused the CEO and president of lying to the public for insisting that there was no offer to pay from CJHDC..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1697-bcda-chief-unfazed-by-disbarment-threat

Solon questions proposed water rate hikes of Manila Water, Maynilad Written by Charlie V. Manalo Wednesday, 18 July 2012 00:00

Solon questions proposed water rate hikes of Manila Water, Maynilad


Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño yesterday questioned the proposed water rate hike of Manila Water Corp. (MWC) and Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI), saying they were passing on to the public costs that should be shouldered by the big corporate concessionaires.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has approved the foreign currency differential adjustments of its water concessionaires, MWC and MWSI.

“This new round of water rates adjustment is both unjustified and unconscionable. It is outrageous for consumers to be made to pay for the risks and wrong business decisions of the water concessionaires with regard to the loans they make,” Casiño said.

“In other businesses, losses due to changes in foreign exchange rates are absorbed by the company as part of regular business risks. But in this case, the concessionaires borrow from foreign creditors without any qualms knowing that they are insulated from the risk ordinary borrowers take because they’re allowed to pass on their forex losses to their consumers. It is like having their cake and eating it, too,”  Casiño said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1686-solon-questions-proposed-water-rate-hikes-of-manila-water-maynilad

Gabriela-NCR holds ‘State of the Women Address’ ahead of Sona

Gabriela-NCR holds ‘State of the Women Address’ ahead of Sona


Some 100 militant women yesterday staged a cooking show protest in Mendiola to symbolize the State of the Women Address as part of the week-long protest ahead of President Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 23.

“The women’s situation under Aquino is no different from the previous administrations. It even got worse,”  Gabriela-National Capital Region spokesman Ian Arevalo said.

In a prepared statement the militant women’s organization cited the ominous situation under the Aquino administration such as lack of quality and affordable healthcare system, hikes in prices of oil and basic commodities,  joblessness, continuous demolitions, implementation of K+12 program, discrimination and violence against women and children, among other things.

“Instead of addressing the needs of women and children, the Aquino administration is making a recipe for destruction by being consistent in its program to privatize social services, especially public hospitals, pursue K+12 program despite protests and permit price hikes. These are but a few of the concoctions made to aggravate the already dire life of the Filipinas,” Arevalo said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1685-gabriela-ncr-holds-%E2%80%98state-of-the-women-address%E2%80%99-ahead-of-sona

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