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‘Busung,’ cursed Written by Herman Tiu Laurel Friday, 27 July 2012 00:00

Friday, July 27, 2012

‘Busung,’ cursed

I haven’t monitored any single State of the Nation Address (Sona) in the past decade. In fact, I didn’t even monitor any of such speeches during FVR’s time. It’s useless to listen to politicians who do not mean what they say and say what they do not mean. The only break I made in my Sona boycott was during the attenuated term of President Estrada. From Erap’s inaugural address down to his last in 2000, he always meant what he said and said what he meant. His “Para sa Mahirap” policy, for one, became the basis for his lowering MRT fares and his strident stonewalling of any power and water rate increases.

Compare that with the administrations of FVR down to Arroyo and today BS Aquino III, which have all chanted the mantra of “economic growth” even as the exploitation of the people continued to heighten unabated.

That mantra was again uttered the other day.  Instead of facing the issues frontally, BS Aquino III lies — like in the case of his Energy Secretary Rene Almendras, who, despite having caused the first quarter P65-billion power debacle in Mindanao, got lavish praises from him. Of course, not a single mention of this or the national power rate crisis came out of PeNoy’s speech.

Reports on BS Aquino’s praises for Almendras came practically from all sectors. However, the one from Iligan Light and Power Inc. (ILPI) proprietor Jojo Borja particularly seethed with anger.

Imagine: ILPI’s power rate is only P5.76 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on a market base of 60,000 customers whereas the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), which has a far greater customer base, charges P13 per kWh.
I wonder what other Mindanaoans think now of BS Aquino III after listening to his Sona that was completely in denial of the critical issues of power cost and policy.  The same goes for the issue of water rates which are going to hit the people right in their gut.

And so, all those praises for Aquino’s Sona must only come from creatures of another planet or simply from those benefiting from the exploitative system.

For the rest who weighed in on BS Aquino’s plaudits for his Cabinet, here are some reactions:
Armin Luistro was praised for his job in the education sector while BS Aquino III boasted of increasing the budget for education under his administration. However, after what we saw in the chaotic implementation of the harebrained K+12 program, how can anyone still praise them?

The recruitment of 20,000 “volunteer” teachers to be paid P100 a day to fill in the posts, as mandated by the K+12 program, shows the folly in this administration’s planning as well as the condescending attitude of the Education chief (which is not surprising, seeing that he came from the elite La Salle milieu).
Worse, the lack of classrooms will be aggravated by K+12 because the classroom construction program under the public-private partnership (PPP) model will add a new layer of profit-taking that will certainly shrink the effective budget toward education.

Frankly, increases in the education budget are an annual exercise of every administration, even Gloria’s.  So BS Aquino III’s boast is, in fact, a disingenuous half-truth that seeks to present a distinctively progressive picture of oneself that is untrue.

Meanwhile, praises for the Agriculture Department’s Proceso Alcala were critiqued by members of the agricultural sector I had talked to, such as the head of the million strong Kammpii farmers’ association that has been waiting for government action on the ground to improve rice farmers’ production and marketing while only seeing little progress over the past two years.

The association leader added that the expansion of irrigation systems being claimed by BS Aquino III for his administration is just the regular increase that every administration has done the past decades, alongside the flawed policies that have not encouraged the increase of rice production.

With regard to the coconut sector, I talked to members of the coconut processors groups and the most significant report is that the Philippine Coconut Authority (the lead agency of the state for this sector) is now going to be the Philippine Coconut Lumber Authority (PCLA) as coconut cutting has now been deregulated in several southern Tagalog provinces — to the detriment of the coconut productivity campaign.

The flagship project of BS Aquino III and his Cabinet, the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, was given special mention in the recent Sona. But other than PeNoy’s self-congratulatory remarks, nearly everyone I spoke with noted a crucial presidential admission: That “there is no comprehensive evaluation of the CCT yet.”

How can a P21-billion program not have any comprehensive implementation evaluation one year after its start? That, according to the “people’s jury” of media analysts I met, only smacks of obfuscation to smokescreen untold anomalies.

But over and above the criticisms I have heard, the one that has got to be the most ominous comes from a Muslim ex-governor who showed me texts from many senders who had expressed the same disgust at BS Aquino III’s Sona.

Such text messages were peppered with “Busung” (which in Cebuano means “cursed”) in reference to BS Aquino III. The reason for the Muslim rancor? BS Aquino III failed to greet the Muslims on the start of the Ramadan that coincided with his speech. How could BSA III’s speech writers have missed that?

But aside from this, the panel of analysts also noted statistical fumbles, like the rosy crime statistics that contradicted police chief Nic Bartolome’s TV and radio admission that crime in the Metro increased 68 percent year-on-year from 18,400 to 28,700 cases; or the dengue statistics based on 2011 instead of 2012 data.

Who’s to blame? Look no further than the Presidential Management Staff — which goes to show that an Ateneo and Kennedy School of Government degree cannot guarantee competence in such vital tasks, which also sadly applies to the appointing power.

(Watch Destiny Cable GNN’s HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11:15 p.m. and on Sunday, this week on “Sin Tax Sins;” visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com).

(May pahintulot ng muling paglilimbag mula kay Ka Mentong)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/2068-%E2%80%98busung%E2%80%99-cursed

Transactional politics not dead Written by Tribune Editorial

Transactional politics not dead

In Noynoy’s one and a half hour State of the Nation Address (Sona), it is that one sentence that has become most commented on and had set off more debates over the population control policy of the incumbent administration and likewise showed how predisposed to accommodation Noynoy is on the issue.

In an obvious attempt to sidestep the issue but at the same time hoping not to be accused of missing the issue in his speech, Noynoy referred to the population control bill as the possible solution to the problems in the education sector.

“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 Noynoy’s reference to what has been more popularly known as the Reproductive Health (RH) measure.

The Church which he was trying to gingerly please through the ambiguous statement was instead, ironically, ticked off by the short mention of what may be his stand on the hotly debated issue on the birth control methods.

Apparently, many are looking forward for Noynoy to clear the air as far as Noynoy position on population control through the Sona, particularly the clergy, but Noynoy decided to play it safe and make mention of it only in passing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/2078-transactional-politics-not-dead

Mind-conditioning surveys Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares Friday, 27 July 2012 00:00

Mind-conditioning surveys

He claims to have made the impossible possible, with all his allies applauding him and his “good governance” and his daang matuwid.

    He claimed to be treading his roadmap, the straight path, even as he lied too many times while portraying a rosy picture of his administration.

All that was probably made possible through his yellow survey outfit and his propagandists, that clearly came up with better results on hunger and poverty surveys, just weeks before Noynoy’s State of the Nation Address (Sona).

But wait, why did the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results, based on the same second quarter, on the Aquino administration’s performance, where its satisfaction ratings slipped released to the public, by way of BusinessWorld, just yesterday, after Noynoy’s Sona?

According to the May 24 to 27 SWS poll, 63 percent of the respondents said they were pleased with the government’s general performance, compared to the 18 percent  who said otherwise, for an SWS  “good” satisfaction rating of +44, down from March’s similarly “good” +46, the lowest thus far for the Noynoy administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/2077-mind-conditioning-surveys

US/NATO/Israel attack on Iran would be a catastrophe for everyone - Bill Ayers

US/NATO/Israel attack on Iran would be a catastrophe for everyone - Bill Ayers

US wars of “invasion, aggression and occupation” are no longer sustainable economically and socially, veteran war critic and US scholar Professor Bill Ayers told RT. He adds that if NATO, the US or Israel attack Iran, it would lead to a catastrophe.

­The activist says America has an old colonial mentality and grotesque double standards. Washington is frantic about the possibility that Iran might have a nuclear warhead someday – but not frantic about the fact that Israel, as Ayers says, is the third-largest nuclear power in the world. And it is not part of nuclear non-proliferation treaty, or even admits to having the weapons.

Ayers is part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which he says has a growing “anti-war energy.”.... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/us-nato-attack-iran-military-nuclear-124/

CIA and FBI establish threat center in London; Secret Service to enforce Trespass Act in Britain?

CIA and FBI establish threat center in London; Secret Service to enforce Trespass Act in Britain?

Athletes from around the globe are now in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but sports stars and spectators aren’t the only ones arriving. The US is sending its top spies from the CIA, FBI and other agencies to aid UK authorities during the games.

British security officials have joined forces with America’s top federal intelligence agencies to establish a "threat integration center" in the UK. Experts with America’s Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) are teaming up with British security officials from Scotland Yard, MI-5 and MI-6 to identify and analyze potential threats that could target the games, set to begin this Friday. They will operate out of a temporary headquarters in the US Embassy in London..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/cia-london-olympics-fbi-143/

What P-Noy failed to say

What P-Noy failed to say

There is no question that P-Noy’s 3rd State of the Nation Address (Sona), a 90-minute fact sheet of his achievements in his first two years in office spiced with undeserved praises for some members of his “inner circle,” the obligatory condemnation of the excesses of the previous administration and overly dramatized references to events of long ago, was rich in detail and titillating in its exhortations. It was, in a very real sense, a clear and convincing sop to the convinced and the advocates.

What was more striking, however, were the things which P-Noy failed to even mention as he cajoled his audience to join him yet again to “do the impossible.”

He did not say anything about our topsy turvy land use and settlements plan which has resulted in urban disarray and decay, a huge housing backlog and, yes, squatter colonies all over the place. It didn’t matter that days before the Sona, the case of Delfin Lee, the fugitive developer who was a favorite “partner” of the previous HUDCC and Pag-IBIG leadership, was splashed in media to the point that many came to believe it was a prelude to P-Noy’s strong statement on the need to go all out against, at the very least, “professional squatters and squatting syndicates” and for discipline and creativity in the development of settlements and housing for all..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/2069-what-p-noy-failed-to-say

Mga beauty queen at rebolusyonaryo Ni ROLAND B. TOLENTINO

Mga beauty queen at rebolusyonaryo

Ang pagkahalintulad ng dalawang titulo, pareho itong pinili: boluntaryong sinalihan, nagpakabihasa, nagpaunlad, at napagtagumpayan. Ang kaibahan ng dalawang titulo, ang una’y permanenteng nakaugnay kundi man nakapakat sa babae, ang huli’y patuloy na pinapaunlad kundi ay iniiwan sa pagtagal ng panahon.

Ang una ay titulong tradisyonal na inaasam ng batang babae’t dalagita: ang katumbas ng pagiging prinsesa sa aktwal na buhay. Ito rin ang ipinapaasam sa kanila: ang epitome ng pagiging isang babae—mula pisikalidad, diskarte, disposisyon, moralidad, talento’t talino, at humanistikong paglilingkod sa kapwa. At sa kultura nga ng bansa, may beauty pageant para sa lahat ng edad ng babae, at ngayon, pati na rin lalake—Little Miss Philippines, Mrs. Philippines, Lola Philippines, at iba pa.

Ang huli ay titulong walang ipinanganak at lumaki na inaasam. Tanging ang boluntaryong sosyalisasyon sa eksenang historikal at panlipunang realidad magkakaroon ng impetus at inklinasyon hinggil sa daaning di lubos na tinutungo. Natututo ang babae (at lalake) sa kondisyon ng posibilidad sa neokolonyal na lipunan, ng pagsusuri, disiplina, kolektibong gawi, sosyalistang tunguhin, at ang gawaing historikal. Walang titulo, maliban ang dagdag na kataga’t turing na “kasama.”

Ang una’t huli ay parehong puno ng ideal. Ang una ay “36-24-36,” “katawang Coca-cola,” “ambassador of goodwill,” “role model for women,” at “representative of female beauty and grace.” Ang huli ay nakaangkla sa “tiwala sa masa,” “simpleng pamumuhay, puspusang pagkilos,” “kolektibong pamumuhay,” “sosyalistang kinabukasan,” at mapagpantay na “relasyon ng sexes.” Ang una ay kapwa babae ang kinakausap, ang huli ay ang babae’t lalake, ang masa..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/17/mga-beauty-queen-at-rebolusyonaryo/

Ombudsman fails to get GMA arrested

Ombudsman fails to get GMA arrested

Less than 24 hours after former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had been granted temporary liberty after posting a P1 million bail bond for her electoral sabotage case, the Office of the Ombudsman tried to get her detained again through an arrest warrant for plunder charges, but failed to secure it from the Sandiganbayan.

At yesterday’s hearing for the Motion for Deferment filed by Mrs. Arroyo’s camp before the First Division of the Sandiganbayan, lawyers for the former President successfully blocked the appeal of the government prosecution to secure a warrant of arrest which could have sent Arroyo back to the Veteran’s Memorial  Medical Center (VMMC) where she had been placed under hospital arrest since December last year after the anti-graft court gave the two contending parties five working days to submit their respective memoranda regarding the case.

The First Division of the anti-graft court said  the oral arguments presented by the prosecution and the defense were enough to resolve three motions filed by the former president in connection with the alleged haphazard and rushed filing of the plunder case against her..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2090-ombudsman-fails-to-get-gma-arrested

Public warned vs poseurs using Tribune for extortion

Public warned vs poseurs using Tribune for extortion

  • Written by 
  • Friday, 27 July 2012 

The Daily Tribune has received recently several queries about certain individuals and scammers who pose as either representatives or reporters of the newspaper who seem to make the rounds of major companies or rich individuals and solicit money in exchange for either the withholding of a negative news story or as goodwill money for the protection of their respective businesses.

Common sense dictates that newspapers such as The Tribune does not engage in the solicitation of money in the performance of its task in disseminating news nor does the newspaper expect individuals to believe poseurs the moment they try to extort money for whatever reason..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2091-public-warned-vs-poseurs-using-tribune-for-extortion

Navy to ask China boats to leave Pagasa

Navy to ask China boats to leave Pagasa

The military’s Naval Forces West (Navforwest) would ask the Chinese fishing boats spotted within the Philippines’ territorial waters near Pagasa Island to leave the area, which is part of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) or the Spratlys in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

Navforwest chief Commodore Rustom Pena yesterday said his command has monitored on Wednesday more or less 20 Chinese fishing vessels only five nautical miles from the Philippine-occupied Pagasa Island in the KIG.

“We will assert our sovereignty in the area because that’s our territory,” Pena said. “If the situation warrants, we will advise them that that’s our territory and they should leave.”

Over at the Palace, amid assertions that the Philippines was ready to got to war given an invasion by foreign forces, President Aquino appealed to the public to stop toying with the thought of armed conflict.
In an ambush interview, Aquino who was at the 114th founding anniversary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said persistent discussion of possible military action would only contribute more tension and increase prospects of armed conflict..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/2096-navy-to-ask-china-boats-to-leave-pagasa

JPE, SB to push economic, defense amendments to Charter

JPE, SB to push economic, defense amendments to Charter

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte are set to talk to President Aquino again this week in a last ditch effort to sway him into agreeing to amend the Constitution.

House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II disclosed that the two top leaders of Congress will attempt to persuade the President to support their move to amend the economic and defense provisions of the Constitution.

“The Speaker and the Senate President will explain to President Aquino the wisdom behind Charter amendments that would be limited to economic provisions. This is to ensure the continuity of the country’s economic growth,” Gonzales said in an interview.

He said the two leaders of Congress will meet with Aquino in Malacañang on Monday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/2095-jpe-sb-to-push-economic-defense-amendments-to-charter

PAL, Cebu Pacific assure public: Our pilots are drug-free, best in world Written

PAL, Cebu Pacific assure public: Our pilots are drug-free, best in world

The Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific, the country’s largest commercial airlines, assured the public, as well as the international airline community, that their pilots are drug-free and are still among the best pilots around the world.

The assurance was made following allegations by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) that many of the country’s pilots are drug addicts.

PAL senior vice president for Corporate Communications Joey de Guzman made the assurance after a commercial pilot was apprehended by PDEA agents in a buy-bust operation in Taguig.

PDEA arrested Rioklyn Toledo last July 14 while handing two sachets of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to a PDEA agent who posed as a buyer..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/2073-pal-cebu-pacific-assure-public-our-pilots-are-drug-free-best-in-world

Jamby turns dream NP-LP coalition into nightmare

Jamby turns dream NP-LP coalition into nightmare

Daily Tribune image
The dream team up between the Nacionalista and the Liberal parties appears to be transformed into a nightmare of conflict as a result of the insistence of the Liberal Party (LP) to include in the coalition’s senatorial slate former Sen. Jamby Madrigal, who was key in the C-5 road extension scam allegations against Nacionalista Party (NP) president Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. prior to the 2010 elections in which both Villar and Madrigal ran and lost.

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Caye-tano yesterday practically con-firmed reports on the current tension now existing in the proposed alliance with Madrigal’s inclusion in the coalition ticket.

“From what I know of the issue, it’s not okay with him. He does not like the idea,” the senator said, referring to NP president and colleague Villar.

Madrigal is considered a nemesis of Villar, having been behind the filing of the ethics case against the latter in 2009 involving the funding of the C-5 road extension project which led to the Senate convening the Committee of the Whole and eventually subjected the conduct of months-long of investigation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2089-jamby-turns-dream-np-lp-coalition-into-nightmare

QC mayor orders inspection of old electricQC mayor orders inspection of old electrical connections in schoolsal connections in schools

QC mayor orders inspection of old electricQC mayor orders inspection of old electrical connections in schoolsal connections in schools

To ensure students as well as school personnel safe from fire, the Quezon City government has intensified its inspection of public schools to fix and rehabilitate poor electrical wiring installed some 30 years ago or more.
The order came from Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista after he was briefed by the city engineering office on the current conditions of some school buildings all over the city, especially those that were built some decades ago.

Engineering department chief Joselito Cabungcal told reporters that public elementary and high schools built way back in the 1980s, 1970s and beyond are mostly fire-traps.

“Our thrust now is to inspect all old school buildings because of their poor electrical wiring system,” he said.
The move to conduct massive inspections of public school buildings came after a fire recently hit a public high school in Project 6 because of poor electrical wiring.

Initial investigation showed its electrical wiring was no longer suitable to the high power consumption of the school facility..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/2071-qc-mayor-orders-inspection-of-old-electrical-connections-in-schools

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