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Living in a fantasy world Written by Tribune Editorial Wednesday, 25 July 2012 00:00

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living in a fantasy world

Noynoy’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) was, for the third time running, a rehash of his inaugural speech, using his usual meaningless “you are my boss” claim; his usual no wang-wang spiel, his Gloria and her allies corruption bashing and his mantra of change, which he now claims has already come about.

As usual, his biggest claimed achievement was his fight against corruption, which hasn’t succeeded at all.

His list of “achievements” is a big joke, considering the fact that these are expected of any administration which are no achievements to speak of, as these are what governments, locla and national are supposed to do, such as “roads are straight and level, and properly paved”; relief goods are ready even before a storm arrives, rescue services are always on stand-by; people are no longer left to fend for themselves, and all that blather that can’t be categorized as any form of presidential achievement as these are all micro projects in the scheme of governmental things.

Repairing roads is an achievement for Noynoy? People are no longer left to fend for themselves? Crime is down? Corruption is over?

Truth is, despite the figures presented by him, there was no road map presented. Where are we as a nation going? In the absence of a road map, obviously, the nation is still in the dark.

Noynoy did give specific details on certain social programs, with a spin . How is he to achieve it, funding wise?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/1983-living-in-a-fantasy-world

Nothing is possible under Noy Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Nothing is possible under Noy

Nothing — especially unity among Filipinos — is possible under a Noynoy presidency, despite his State of the Nation Address (Sona) claim that nothing is impossible if “Filipinos see that they are the only ‘bosses’ of their government; they will carry you; they will guide you; they themselves will lead you to meaningful change.”

While he speaks of united Filipinos, he continues with his way of constantly dividing the people into “them” and “us,” “us” being his allies that can do no wrong, even when they clearly have been committing too many wrongs;  and “them” being his political foes, whom he blames tp hide all his failures.

How does he expect to unite the people, when he keeps harping on the past, and gauges his so-called accomplishments and achievements on charging and jailing his political foes, while quickly absolving his friends and political allies, which too many see as a contradiction of his overrated daang matuwid that has gone wayward?

His Sona harked back to ancient history, when he spoke of the martial law years that he and his family suffered under the Marcos dictatorship, even mentioning that he was a 12-year-old when martial law was imposed. He made it sound as if it was only he and his family who suffered under martial law, when many more Filipinos did — under even more tragic circumstances..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/1982-nothing-is-possible-under-noy

Iran threatens to ‘strike out’ at any intervention in Syria


 Iran threatens to ‘strike out’ at any intervention in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has friends in the region poised “to strike out” in the event of an intervention into Syria, says a commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The warning was particularly sent to “hated” Arab countries.

­“None of Syria's friends or the great front of resistance has yet entered the scene, and in the event that this happens, decisive blows will be struck at the enemy, especially the hated Arab rulers,” Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, a spokesman of the country's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Fars news agency.

No country in particular was mentioned. Iran remains a key ally of official Damascus, while leaders of such Gulf countries as Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Qatar openly support Syrian rebels.... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/iran-strike-intervention-syria-960/

Syrian rebels’ ‘liberate Aleppo’ campaign enters fourth day

Syrian rebels’ ‘liberate Aleppo’ campaign enters fourth day

The Syrian army has had to evacuate residents from several areas in the commercial hub of Aleppo as sporadic gunfire intensified, reports RT’s Oksana Boyko. Other sources say attack helicopters were sent to deal with the rebels in the northern city.

­Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, had long remained immune to the 17-month uprising against President Bashar Assad. This held true until four days ago when rebels launched a “liberate Aleppo” offensive in the city of three million.

Sources in Aleppo report clashes in four suburbs. Residents took refuge at several university campuses,” reports RT’s correspondent in Syria, Oksana Boyko, in her Twitter microblog..... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/aleppo-syria-rebels-helicopters-970/

Increasing traffic in the waters of Sri Lanka threatens blue whales

Increasing traffic in the waters of Sri Lanka threatens blue whales

Increasing traffic in the waters of Sri Lanka threatens blue whales. 47603.jpeg
Pravda photo
Large numbers of animals have been killed by collisions with boats and propellers. Scientists fear that cetacean watching tourism is the cause...

In early April, whale watchers off the southern coast of Sri Lanka had a disturbing vision:  the lifeless body of a blue whale 60 feet long floating in the water about 20 miles offshore.

The body was quickly becoming swollen and there were fish-louse sucking all the animal's skin.  Even more disturbing was the condition of the tail which had been almost completely severed from the body.

"It was very clear it was caused by the propeller of a boat," said Mazdak Radjainia, structural biologist and underwater photographer, University of Auckland, New Zealand, who found the whale by chance. "It must have been a very cruel death, because the damage was enormous."..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/24-07-2012/121715-whales_alert-0/

Exclusionary economics: How Aquino and Arroyos economics are the same

Exclusionary economics: How Aquino and Arroyos economics are the same

By IBON Features

In his upcoming third State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Benigno Aquino III will surely attempt to highlight how the Philippine economy has improved under his watch to show how his administration is an improvement over its predecessor.

Pres. Aquino will bring to the fore supposed economic successes such as the 6.4% first quarter growth in gross domestic product (GDP), increased budgets for social services, expanded coverage of the conditional cash transfers, and progress under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. The president may also highlight the country’s so-called creditor nation status with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The SONA may also be an occasion to boast about more Filipinos being lifted from poverty, more lands distributed to farmers, and additional living allowances for workers.

The reality behind the so-called gains must however be assessed before concluding that the Aquino administration has indeed been the much-sought change following former Pres. Arroyo’s legacy of corruption and erosion of the people’s general welfare. Nearly ten years of the Arroyo regime saw an unprecedented rise in joblessness and poverty, growing inequality, eroding domestic production and fiscal troubles all anchored on a chain of policies that catered to local and foreign business interests. Do current indicators show a reversal of trends? More importantly, have government policies done an about-face in favor of the Filipino people?

Economic direction

Like the Arroyo administration, the Aquino government has refused to reverse any of the neoliberal policies that have caused such damage to the economy. These policies have kept the Philippine economy underdeveloped and are designed to suit the needs of the domestic elite and foreign business rather than of the Filipino people.

The entrenchment of globalization policies that have made the Philippine economy up for grabs by local and transnational firms cannot be downplayed. The removal of trade barriers has resulted in the unabated importation of cheap goods including those which the country can produce. The Philippines now has among the lowest tariffs in Asia. Under Aquino’s term, quantitative restrictions on the importation of rice are set to be lifted in accordance with commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO). The government has also become even more liberal towards investments in agriculture, industries and services..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/23/exclusionary-economics-how-aquino-and-arroyos-economics-are-the-same/

Groups hit Senate’s ratification of military pact with Australia

Groups hit Senate’s ratification of military pact with Australia

MANILA — Solidarity Groups in Australia were quick to denounce the Philippine Senate as the latter ratified the Australia-RP Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA) on July 24, 2012.The groups represent Filipino migrants in Australia, overseas Filipino workers and students, Australians of Filipino descent and citizens and residents of Australia.

“Let us not embroil peace-loving Australians in internal conflicts in the Philippines. Filipinos and Australians have never been involved in any form of hostilities. The presence of Australian troops is a potential to a shooting war. A shooting war will raise animosities between our two peoples. Ten of thousands of Filipinos in Australia, migrants and citizens, will only fall victims to indiscriminate hate that may result from any escalation of armed hostilities in the Philippines,” they said.

The Senate adopted the resolution concurring with President Benigno Aquino III’s ratification of the SOVFA through a vote of 17-1. The Senate adopted Senate Resolution 788 despite the protest of Senator Joker Arroyo. Arroyo’s position is that the SOVFA would not benefit the Philippines.

“The Senate cannot simply not concur in treaties if other contracting parties have no consideration of the country’s interests. The Aquino administration only wants this ratified because of the country’s dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea,” he was quoted as saying in earlier reports.

Arroyo questioned the Aquino’s support for the SOVFA and said that it was questionable why the Philippine government was enlisting the help of Australia when it is so far away and already an ally of the United States.
“Although the agreement is not a defense pact, its symbolism cannot be lost on China. Let us not grab at straws. We must persevere,” he said on reports in GMA-7 news.

Another senator who previously took a stand against the SOVFA is Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, but she was absent during the voting. Santiago based her opposition on her reading that the SOVFA was “vague” in its provisions and that it risks putting the Philippines at a disadvantage..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/24/groups-hit-senates-ratification-of-military-pact-with-australia/

Gov’t summons envoy over China build-up

Gov’t summons envoy over China build-up


China’s presence build-up in the South China Sea has raised alarms in government, prompting the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to summon yesterday the Chinese ambassador to protest against China’s plans to establish a military garrison on the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

The DFA said it summoned Ma Keqing to lodge the complaint, and also to object to the arrival of a military-escorted Chinese fishing fleet near the contested Spratly Islands.

As tension with China was again seen escalating, the Senate sealed the Palace’s ratification of another mutual partnership for the military, which some senators noting its urgency as a result of developments in the South China Sea.

Voting 17-1, senators concurred with Malacañang’s ratification of the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA) with Australia, which was signed some two years ago or during the Arroyo administration.
The Chinese defense ministry announced plans to operate troops from Chinese-held Sansha or Woody Island in the Paracels on Monday, a month after Beijing designated the island as China’s administrative centre for both the Paracel and Spratly groups..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2006-gov%E2%80%99t-summons-envoy-over-china-build-up

Noy playing safe on RH earned mostly rebuffs

Noy playing safe on RH earned mostly rebuffs

President Aquino’s ambiguous one-liner to refer to the controversial bill on population control in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) the other day earned criticisms rather than approval from the Church which he is trying to appease but it failed to impress the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) which expressed regret over it.

In an official statement posted in the CBCP website, Fr. Melvin Castro said it was clear that the proposed reproductive health (RH) bill or Aquino’s version of it called  responsible parenthood is not about health but about birth control.

“We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase. Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this,” was the only part in the Sona where Aquino referred to the bill.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said  the President particularly wanted a consolidated House Bill 4244 to be passed by Congress even before the electoral climate steps in.

Valte described HB 4244 as the consolidated version of six other legislative bills on the controversial reproductive health. The consolidated version has a new title too — Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development, and for other purposes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2004-noy-playing-safe-on-rh-earned-mostly-rebuffs

2 AFP officers charged with plunder, torture take key military posts Written by

2 AFP officers charged with plunder, torture take key military posts

Daily Tribune photo
Two senior military officers facing separate cases of plunder and torture took over key positions in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) due to the scheduled forced retirement today of two members of the controversial Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1978.

Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, of PMA Class of 1982 and incumbent deputy commander of the Army’s 9th

Infantry Division, was elevated as acting chief of the 9th ID with the retirement of Maj. Gen. Josue Gaverza, of PMA Class of 1978.

Also taking over as acting commandant of the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) was Brig. Gen. Benito de Leon, of PMA Class of 1981, replacing Rear Admiral Victor Emmanuel Martir, also of PMA Class of 1978 which became controversial for having former President and now detained Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo as honorary member..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2002-2-afp-officers-charged-with-plunder-torture-take-key-military-posts

MILF slams police raid on Lanao del Sur base

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has asked the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) to investigate the July 16 raid launched by the Philippine National Police (PNP) elite Special Action Force (SAF) at an MILF base in Lanao del Sur where they allegedly looted civilian properties.

Muhammad Ameen, chairman of the MILF secretariat, said elements of the SAF, supposedly from Region X, conducted a raid at an MILF base in Lanao del Sur purportedly in pursuit of the members of the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The MILF claimed that the SAF operatives raided the vicinity of the MILF’s Camp Darussalam in Butig, Lanao del Sur without prior coordination with the secessionist group...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/2000-milf-slams-police-raid-on-lanao-del-sur-base

Supreme Court upholds JBC authority to process applicants for CJ

Supreme Court upholds JBC authority to process applicants for CJ

The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed a petition questioning the proceedings before the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to screen the next chief justice.

In a two-page resolution released by the high court yesterday, the SC en banc citing precedents upheld the JBC’s action in accepting applications and nominations for the position of chief justice as well as the President’s power to appoint one as the member of the SC.

Petitioners in the case are Homobono Adaza, Alan Paguia, Herman Tiu Laurel and Uriel Borja..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1995-supreme-court-upholds-jbc-authority-to-process-applicants-for-cj

Malacañang announces new NBI director

Malacañang announces new NBI director

Malacañang must have realized that the charter creating the National Bureau of Investigation specifically requires a lawyer for one to qualify as the agency’s director, compelling President Aquino to junk Deputy Customs Commissioner Danny Lim and instead appoint a government prosecutor as the permanent NBI director.

Appointed to the top government detective bureau is Nonnatus Caesar Rojas who, incidentally, has been the NBI officer-in-charge replacing Magtanggol Gatdula who was fired in January after he was linked to the kidnap and extortion of an over-staying Japanese sometime last year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1993-malaca%C3%B1ang-announces-new-nbi-director

VP Binay eggs PNP, NBI to step up hunt for Delfin Lee

VP Binay eggs PNP, NBI to step up hunt for Delfin Lee

  • Written by 
  • Wednesday, 25 July 2012 

Saying fugitive property developer Delfin Lee “is no Ping Lacson,” Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday appealed to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to redouble their efforts to capture Lee who faces arrest for syndicated estafa.

The Vice President issued the appeal after lawyer Willie Rivera, Lee’s counsel, said in a television program that his client is still in the Philippines but is in hiding. Lee’s lawyer also likened the case of his client to Sen. Ping Lacson who went into hiding during the Arroyo administration.

“Delfin Lee is no Ping Lacson. Senator Lacson was a critic of the Arroyo regime while Lee defrauded Pag-Ibig Fund of almost P6 billion by using fake borrowers and fake documents and destroyed the dreams of thousand of working Filipinos,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/1994-vp-binay-eggs-pnp-nbi-to-step-up-hunt-for-delfin-lee

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