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Students protest ‘darker days’ under Aquino

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Students protest ‘darker days’ under Aquino

 “Ever since he [Aquino] came to power, the education crisis has only worsened.” – National Union of Students of the Philippines

MANILA – There is no bright future for the youth under the administration of Benigno S. Aquino III. The youth groups said that under the present administration the number of out-of-school youths rose at an unprecedented level of around 80 percent. “Aquino came into power promising change, but the only change that’s happened is that these days are darker for the youth and students,” said Isabelle Baguisi, secretary general of National Union of Student of the Philippines (NUSP).

Students has once again walked out from their classes to show their dissent against the continuing increase in tuition and other fees as a result of budget cuts, the implementation of the K to 12 program and campus repression. They said the education crisis has worsened in just the two years of Aquino’s presidency.
“Ever since he came to power, the education crisis has only worsened. Tertiary education has suffered from continued budget cuts while public and private schools keep on increasing tuition and miscellaneous fees. The K to 12 program has also aggravated the education crisis by stretching the already stretched resources,” Baguisi added.

(Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)
According to Baguisi, state universities and colleges such as the University of the Philippines (UP), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and Mindanao State University (MSU) have increased their tuition. On the other hand, the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has allowed 266 private schools to increase their tuition for academic year 2012-2013.

Several youths from different colleges and universities, as well as high school students marched to Chino Roces Bridge (former Mendiola Bridge) last July 13 as build up to the big rally on Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 23.

‘Education as commodity’ 

Budget cuts on education and the government’s push for state universities and colleges to raise their own funds have pushed state-run tertiary schools to increase tuition and other school fees.

According to the data of the NUSP, PUP and MSU have increased their tuition and miscellaneous fees. In PUP, the miscellaneous fee will increase to P450 ($10.46). From P85 ($1.97) per semester, MSU increased its tuition to P50 ($1.19) per unit. Twelve state universities and colleges in the Cordillera region proposed an increase in tuition by 300 percent.

In UP, while before majority of the students pay tuition amounting to P1,000 ($23) per unit, now, majority pays P1,500 ($34) per unit unless the student requests for the lower tuition and submits proof of his or her parents’ income. “When Aquino became president the tuition in UP is around P18,000 ($418) per semester. In his second year, students have to pay P27,000 ($627) per semester,” Anton Dulce of progressive youth group Anakbayan said.

Cleve Arguelles, student regent of UP said the university will implement a large lecture class policy in the whole UP system. “About 100 to 200 students will be put into one class; what would we learn in that kind of situation? It is enraging that we are paying the high cost of education despite UP being a state university because the government no longer wants to subsidize the scholars of the nation.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/22/students-protest-%E2%80%98darker-days%E2%80%99-under-aquino/

No laughing matter

No laughing matter

Quite frankly, the constitutional provisions pertaining to the so-called constitutional Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) have become so unconstitutional that it can now be called a big constitutional joke.

First off, at least two provisos have been unconstitutionally amended and discarded, with the Supreme Court itself, ruling with a hometown decision, on the Chief Justice being the head of the JBC, with the mandate to convene and preside over the proceedings in the JBC.

The SC says, pulling out an antiquated 1948 Judiciary Act which has everything to do with the mode of succession in the high court and not the JBC, since the JBC came into being in 1987, that it should be the acting CJ who now convenes and presides over the JBC, unless unable to, in which case, the succession order goes down the line where now, even a junior justice can preside over such proceedings.

Second, the proviso stating the composition of the JBC, complete with the officers’ official titles, such as the CJ, not the acting CJ or his “successors,” along with the Justice chief and others, are the designated officials in the JBC body, and are now replaceable, such as the President of the Republic now being allowed to appoint anybody of his choice to represent him in the JBC, as his Secretary of Justice had to inhibit herself as she is also eyeing the position of the top SC post..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1845-no-laughing-matter

US missile shield to encircle Chinese economic tiger

US missile shield to encircle Chinese economic tiger

American plans to develop a missile shield in Asia have alarmed Beijing. With 250 million Chinese officially considered poor, spending billions to challenge the US military could sink China’s economy without firing a single shot.

­The Chinese military has voiced concern that the US missile shield plans to destabilize the military balance on the continent.

In March the Pentagon revealed plans to deploy elements of its global antiballistic missile defense system in Asia and the Middle East. Such a shield would include deployable ship-based interceptors and land-based missile interceptors located in the United States’ western territories..... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/china-arms-race-nuclear-787/

'Calculation and deliberation’: Colorado killings planned months in advance

'Calculation and deliberation’: Colorado killings planned months in advance

The Colorado cinema massacre that left 12 people dead was the product of meticulous planning, say US police. The killer had stocked up on ammunition and bomb-making materials months before the attack.

American authorities described suspect James Holmes’ apartment as a deathtrap, rigged with booby traps to kill “whoever entered it.” Police disposed of the explosive materials Holmes’ had stashed in his flat in controlled explosions on Saturday.

The PHD honors student had been receiving deliveries of ammunition and bomb-making materials up to four months prior to the attack, according to a preliminary police investigation..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/colorado-shooting-massacre-cinema-777/

The soul of the nation Written by Larry Faraon Sunday, 22 July 2012 00:00

The soul of the nation

All is set for tomorrow’s third State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Noynoy Aquino. Expectations and frustrations would again be criss-crossing between P-Noy’s cohorts  and critics. But expect some lighter moments when an array and display of SUV’s and a la mode suits and gowns litter the entrance lobby of the Batasan Pambansa. The top government bureaucracy would all be there — all in one place — representatives of their respective constituencies and the Filipino people. All eyes, mind and applause shall all be focused on President Aquino as he mounts the podium and lays on the table the “state” of the nation.

But will he touch at least, on the “soul” of this nation?

Traditional platonic-scholastic philosophy would define the soul as the dynamic principle and substance of man. It would be the defining principle of man which makes him different from all other creatures. The soul’s essential interiority at times buries itself into oblivion in the consciousness of the dynamic being or person, but can readily surge to the surface if necessary, especially when the person ventures into open spirituality or at least maneuver into the world of spirits and meanings provoked or motivated by some sort of incidental vehement impulse..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1841-the-soul-of-the-nation

‘God particle’ Written by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz Sunday, 22 July 2012 00:00

‘God particle’

Whenever the name of God is invoked, there is usually a religious person or a spiritual figure behind it. This can be a nun or a priest, a fervent preacher or an understandable, considering that the lives —mind, heart and spirit — of said individuals are centered on God. Theirs therefore are not only God anchored thoughts but also God oriented words and actions. This is why the mention of God is but a matter of course, for them.

Lo and behold! Recently someone who is not a known religious or spiritual man, recently announced the discovery of something called the “God particle.”

It is said that God is a “sub-atomic particle,” i.e., much smaller than of an atom itself. By the way, the one who made the finding is said to be a scientist who is in fact a Nobel Laureate.

In other words, if the one who proudly and publicly announced it is a distinct and knowledge individual, his pronouncement is definitely something worth thinking and speaking about. It is said though that he was disowned by his own countrymen. Why? This is not known to the public, to date..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1840-%E2%80%98god-particle%E2%80%99

Cruz claims Noy behind Chacha

Cruz claims Noy behind Chacha

  • Written by 
  • Sunday, 22 July 2012 
While President Benigno Aquino III has always maintained that amending the country’s Constitution was not a priority of his administration, an outspoken Catholic archbishop has not taken Aquino’s pronouncement hook, line and sinker.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz claimed that Malacañang controls Congress and solons would not make any move without the former’s blessing.

“If the Senate President and the Speaker of the House met (regarding) Charter change it’s so hard to believe that the executive department has no hand in this,” Cruz said.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte announced earlier that their move to amend the Charter would only be limited to economic provisions.

The two lawmakers said they had agreed not to accommodate resolutions that had nothing to do with the economy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1864-cruz-claims-noy-behind-chacha

Palace: CCT anomalies true but Gloria’s the culprit Written by Fernan J. Angeles Sunday, 22 July 2012 00:00

Palace: CCT anomalies true but Gloria’s the culprit

Malacañang admitted yesterday irregularities hound the administration’s main poverty alleviation program called the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) but the catch is that it blamed the anomalies on former President Gloria Arroyo although it was clear that the CoA report covered 2011.

President Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda said irregularities in the CCT have been corrected even as the Palace official hinted on a practice which he claimed dates back from the time of the previous administration.

Lacierda claimed the “latest” COA review of the CCT program covered 2007 up to 2009.
The CoA report detailed several anomalies, including deficiencies in the screening process of beneficiaries and unliquidated fund transfers, in its review of the CCT scheme for 2010, half of which year is under the Aquino administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1872-palace-cct-anomalies-true-but-gloria%E2%80%99s-the-culprit

Continuous rains sink Metro, suburbs; 2 dead Written by Tribune Sunday, 22 July 2012 00:00

Continuous rains sink Metro, suburbs; 2 dead

  • Written by 
  • Sunday, 22 July 2012 

Two people were killed and six others are missing as floods inundated parts of Metro Manila and nearby areas while a tropical depression Ferdie tore through northern Luzon, civil defense authorities said yesterday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said rescuers were on standby to help residents evacuate if necessary as creeks and open sewers in the capital overflowed from overnight rains, swamping nearby slums and causing traffic jams.

The rains began to ease by midday after plunging some areas in knee-deep waters, but NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said he could not rule out further flooding as runoff from nearby mountains descends into Manila Bay.

“All that rain up there would eventually find their way here,” he said, referring to mountains east of Manila..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/1871-continuous-rains-sink-metro-suburbs-2-dead

US, Canadian men held for selling fake Viagra

US, Canadian men held for selling fake Viagra

  • Written by 
  • Sunday, 22 July 2012 

An American and a Canadian have been detained in the Philippines for selling fake counterfeit Viagra pills through the Internet, police said yesterday.

Canadian man Nicolai Boutnine and Joseph Dean, an American, were among six suspects arrested when police raided a call-center in Mandaue City on Monday, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group said.

Criminal charges were filed against the suspects following a police operation in response to a complaint from the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that owns the erectile dysfunction drug’s patent, said police spokesman Senior Insp. Don de Dios.

“We are coordinating with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to secure some of the evidence needed for their prosecution,” de Dios told Agence France Presse..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/1866-us-canadian-men-held-for-selling-fake-viagra

6,000 cops for Sona isn’t overkill — Palace Written by Fernan J. Angeles Sunday, 22 July 2012 00:00

6,000 cops for Sona isn’t overkill — Palace

For Malacañang, the 6,000 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)  securing the perimeters of the Batasan, in not an “overkill.” The palace believes so even as one of its  official described the preparation  as an essential factor for an  extensive security measure for President Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address (Sona).

Malacañang said  the security measure  seen as  twice extensive compared to last year, is  “just fit” for an event that would rarely see an assembly of top officials from all three branches of the government.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Sona is an important and the only day  the President gets to set foot in Congress.

“Officials of the three branches of government are together. How can it not be taken with great importance?” Lacierda said in response to questions posed by palace reporters seeking description of Malacañang’s perception on the doubly strict security measure put in place by the PNP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1861-6000-cops-for-sona-isn%E2%80%99t-overkill-%E2%80%94-palace

Classes of schools near Batasan suspended tomorrow for Sona

Classes of schools near Batasan suspended tomorrow for Sona

Several public elementary and high schools near the Batasan Complex have been allowed to suspend classes tomorrow to minimize traffic congestion when President  Aquino delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) before a joint session of Congress.

Quezon City  schools division superintendent Corazon Rubio was the one who issued the authorization memorandum to concerned local school administrators, said Greg Bañacia, chief of the city’s Public Affairs and Information Services Office (PAISO). 

However, in order to catch up with the “lost day,” the affected schools can have Saturday classes, she said.
“In replacement to the suspension of classes, Saturday classes will be held,” Rubio said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1860-classes-of-schools-near-batasan-suspended-tomorrow-for-sona

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