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Sectarianism: US tool Written by Herman Tiu Laurel

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sectarianism: US tool

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of San Beda College Graduate School of Law, writes in his column in the Manila Times (As Syria Bleeds): “The world powers have assumed the irresponsible posture of refusing to decide about the illegitimacy of the Assad family’s ferocious grip on power, even when its only claim to legitimacy is that it has held the reins of government for decades on end! Like affected ignorance, the decision to remain uncertain is ethically wrong, and the price is paid in the terrible currency of children blown to bits ... The UN’s pathetically inadequate response … points quite clearly to the need to revisit the veto system … What legal or moral justification is there for a veto? And if the veto power is wielded with such thoughtlessness and disregard for the suffering of the oppressed, should we continue allowing some states such power?”

I sent this report by the LA Times to Aquino: “BEIRUT — Much of the Christian population of the besieged Syrian city of Qusair has abandoned the town after an ‘ultimatum’ from the rebel military chief there, reports Agenzia Fides, the official Vatican news agency … Some mosques in the city have relaunched the message, announcing from the minarets: ‘Christians must leave Qusair.’”

As the Vatican agency “has sought to document the parlous plight of Syria’s ancient Christian community … A Jesuit priest, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, had recently remained in Qusair for a week, ‘praying and fasting for peace in the midst of the conflict.’”

From the Jerusalem Post (“US-backed rebels said committing Christian genocide in Syria” by Joseph Decaro): “DAMASCUS — Syrian Christians are being targeted by Muslim rebels, according to the Vatican and other sources among besieged Syrian Christian communities … The US-backed Syrian rebels are sacking churches and issuing threats that all Christians will be cleansed from rebel-held territory.  ‘The picture for us is utter desolation,’ said Bishop Philip Tournyol Clos, a Greek-Catholic Melkite Archimandrite.  ‘The church of Mar Elian is half destroyed and that of Our Lady of Peace is still occupied by the rebels.  Christian homes are severely damaged … completely emptied of their inhabitants, who fled without taking anything.’ Asked whether it was the Free Syrian Army that was telling Christians to get out, Agnes Miriam, Mother Superior of the Monastery of St. James at Qara in the Diocese of Homs, said, ‘Yes … it was the commander on the ground, Abdel Salam Harba, who decided that there was to be no more negotiations with Christians.’”

From Crispin Black of UK news magazine, The Week (“If Assad falls, is Britain ready to rescue Syria’s Christians?”): “The tolerance shown towards Christians in Syria is unlikely to survive Assad’s overthrow by Sunnis … But generally, as was true in Cromwell’s New Model Army, the hard men throughout history tend to be driven by belief and ideology.  And the driving ideology behind the Syrian rebellion is Sunni Islam in both its austere mainstream and violent Salafist forms.”

From the Washington Post (“Syrian Christians live in uneasy alliance with Bashar Assad” by S. Akminas): “DAMASCUS, Syria — Hani Sarhan is a Christian who says none of his relatives works with Bashar Assad’s regime or has anything to do with it.”  But, “what (they) heard from (the protesters) at the beginning of this revolution saying, ’Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin,’” made them think about “the real aim of this revolution … ‘So from this point of view, fearing for my life, I declared my support for President Assad.’”

From Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu of Arutz Sheva, an Israeli newspaper that obviously has no love for Assad (“US Helps Gulf States Arm Syrian Rebels”): “The Obama administration is coordinating with Saudi Arabia and Qatar in arming Syrian rebels. Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood also is channeling aid to the opposition … The Gulf States have shipped weapons, including anti-tank weaponry…”

Finally, from the US Anti-War.com’s John Glazer: “According to one US intelligence estimate, as many as a quarter of the 300 rebel groups in Syria may be fighting under the banner of al-Qaeda (alleged 9-11 mastermind), says Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House intelligence committee. Strangely, the fact that Washington, in cooperation with its allies, is now sending communication gear, military intelligence, and weapons to militias in Syria with considerable — and growing  —ties to al-Qaeda has not made the Obama administration blink.”

Aquino protests “the international rule (non-intervention) that bars states from intervening in the domestic affairs of another state” whenever, according to him, a state kills its own people.  But who is killing whom?
That same argument opened the gates to intervention by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) in Libya; yet, to date, the Nato intervention has caused 50,000 deaths — a figure nowhere near what Muammar Gaddafi was ever accused of.

Gaddafi seized power without bloodshed over 40 years ago but his ouster cost Libyan lives dearly.  The same goes for Saddam Hussein, accused of killing 5,000 in the alleged Halabja gas attack — except that in the US-backed Iraq war against Iran, where the latter suffered 1 million deaths, the US occupation of Iraq has caused more deaths (up to one million in the almost 10 years that have passed) than anything the Iraqi dictator could have ever inflicted.

Intervention for “humanitarian” purposes has caused utter misery with the breakdown of law and order. Non-intervention is a lesson of civilization from the Hundred Years and Thirty Years War in Europe that ended in the Treaty of Westphalia.

The US-Nato alliance with its slavish Gulf State autocrats is using Sunni sectarianism to destroy a budding secular state (where Assad just concluded new elections and appointed three Sunnis to replace his defense brass who were killed in a terror attack), in the same way the US uses Muslim rebels in Mindanao to separate the oil rich Sulu Sea from the Philippines.

I invited Aquino to my TV show or for him to invite me to San Beda to discuss our differing views; but he refused. Maybe he’s just too busy coping with the frat violence that has killed two students the past year.
(Watch Destiny Cable GNN’s HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., this week on “Mindanao: Doomed to Partition?” — with replays at 11:15 p.m. and on Sunday; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com)

(May pahintulot ng muling paglimbag mula kay Ka Mentong)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/2372-sectarianism-us-tool

Right and wrong of Cha-cha Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Right and wrong of Cha-cha

Congress leaders say that all they are interested in, by way of Charter change (Cha-cha) is an amendment to the economic provisions in the Constitution, evidently, through the claimed Joaquin Bernas’ Fourth Mode, whose constitutionality is questionable, since there are only two constitutionally approved modes to amend the Charter by Congress, while a third but limited mode of amending he Charter is through a people’s initiative.

Congressional leaders have vowed to block any and all moves to amend political provisions, which include the lifting of term limits.

But even as they vow to block such provisions, the same leaders must also know that they can’t possibly block any congressman or senator from coming up with his own Cha-cha bill that calls for amendments to the political provisos, and other provisions besides. Each senator, after all, is a republic unto himself. To block others could translate to losing that vote and three fourths vote is needed to pass such a measure..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/2376-right-and-wrong-of-cha-cha

Who’s afraid of Jojo Binay? Written by Tribune Editorial

Who’s afraid of Jojo Binay?

Many are questioning the wisdom of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s decision to have shown his cards early in the presidential game as a result of the apparent launch of smear operations against him four years before the actual battle.

On one side, the premature muckraking on him reflects the fear he instills on his would be opponents mainly fed by the good ratings he has been getting from various performance surveys.

For most Filipinos, however, his candor in expressing his desire to seek the presidency in 2016 was a positive move since it gave Filipinos enough lead time to assess his qualities as their next leader as opposed to a last minute candidate whose claim to the presidency is through political inheritance spiced up with theatrics about one candidate giving up his impossible presidential bid in favor of another..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/editorial/item/2377-who%E2%80%99s-afraid-of-jojo-binay?

Kofi Annan resigns as Special Envoy to Syria (w/ Video)

Kofi Annan, who has been mediating the Syrian crisis as a special UN-Arab League Envoy, is stepping down from the post, UN chief Ban Ki-moon says.

"Mr. Annan has informed me, and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Nabil Elaraby, of his intention not to renew his mandate when it expires on 31 August 2012," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

Annan blames “the increasing militarization” in Syria, along with the international community's inability to come to a consensus over the conflict, for his departure..... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/kofi-annan-steps-down-syria-envoy-704/

Capitalism failed

Capitalism failed

By Stephen Lendman

Economic/financial systems dependent on wars and predation eventually self-destruct. Western capitalism is no exception. Money power runs things. War profiteering is policy. Ordinary people have no say. Exploiting them for profit is prioritized. Divisions between rich and poor grow. By some measures they're unprecedented. Money power in private hands and democracy can't co-exist. Banking giants transformed Western societies into vehicles for wealth extraction. Corrupt politicians facilitate their criminality. In return, they're rewarded handsomely.

Paul Craig Roberts wrote about "The Collapsing US Economy and the End of the World." Can societies survive Washington's hubris, he asked?

Federal policy destroys people politically, militarily and economically. Few benefit at the expense of most others. Washington grows more "isolated and despised." Europe "is on the ropes" and sinking. Wars rage endlessly. Victories are elusive. Options perhaps are down to "the elimination of life on earth. Is this Washington's program," asked Roberts..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/02-08-2012/121826-capitalism_failed-0/

Syria cracks down on sponsors of terrorism

Syria cracks down on sponsors of terrorism

Syria cracks down on sponsors of terrorism. 47688.jpeg
Pravda photo
Government forces and the opposition are fiercely fighting in Aleppo. The outcome of the fight is important both strategically and psychologically. The economic capital of Syria cannot belong to the rebels: their victory will inevitably open the way to establishing control over the north of the country. Foreign Minister of Syria urged the UN to demand that the powerful countries of the East and West stop supporting terror. The latter are discussing the removal of Assad.

Damascus called on the UN Security Council and the Secretary General to demand Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, Britain and the U.S. stop supporting terrorists who are fighting on the territory of Syria. The Foreign Ministry of Syria addressed the UN Security Council and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with a formal appeal, calling them to demand from the armed fighters "to withdraw from the Syrian cities and to stop terrorist actions." The Foreign Ministry believes that the paramilitary groups, thrown into the territory of Syria, obtain money and weapons from the above-mentioned Western and Eastern sponsors and use them to commit "horrific crimes," earlier in Damascus and today in Aleppo..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/conflicts/02-08-2012/121825-syria_terrorism-0/

The RH bill Written by Armida Siguion- Reyna

The RH bill

With the debate on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill perhaps ending on Aug. 7 in the Lower House, the men of daklot, yes, pun intended, are calling on “all the faithful to stand up and express their opposition” to it by attending the “Prayer Power Rally against the RH Bill” at the Edsa Shrine tomorrow.

The Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) word their invite on their websites and blogs stopping short of saying that if you’re not with them, you’re not one of the faithful, and you’re not one of the faithful the way they define faith, then you don’t believe in God.

ECFL chairman Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes says, “this is a moral issue and therefore this event will not be a political rally but a prayer rally focused on praying for the non-passage of the (RH bill).”
Teka muna.

‘Eto naman pala and the CBCP is capable of taking a position on a moral issue, where did it stand on the stealing of the people’s vote in 2004? What did it say about the extra-judicial killings in the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo — 104 journalists murdered, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP); 1,190 activists from January 2001 to March 2010, 205 enforced disappearances and 1,028 torture victims, not to mention the hundreds of thousands displaced by military operations as tallied by human rights group Karapatan — and exactly whom did the CBCP point an accusing finger at, in the aftermath of the heinous massacre masterminded by Arroyo’s allies, the Ampatuans?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/2374-the-rh-bill

Palace says nature to blame for slow response to ‘Gener’

Palace says nature to blame for slow response to ‘Gener’

Daily Tribune image
The Palace is now citing nature as “having worked against” the capability of the government to address sudden disasters as the recent flooding spawned by typhoon Gener after receiving wide criticisms over poor response resulting in at least 23 casualties while the typhoon left a trail of disaster in areas of Luzon.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ricky Carandang said President Aquino would likely reassess government’s capability in addressing disasters.

“Zero-casualty remains an aspiration that we are working for. Clearly, based on what happened today, there’s going to be an assessment to see what more can be done to prevent these floods from having such an impact,” Carandang said.

Short of blaming Mother Nature, Carandang added that the preparations that the government has made seemed falling short citing storms and earthquakes as happening more often and of higher tenacity..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2402-palace-says-nature-to-blame-for-slow-response-to-%E2%80%98gener%E2%80%99

RP warns China vs stoking tensions with oil tenders

RP warns China vs stoking tensions with oil tenders

Amid China’s latest move to assert its claims in the South China Sea, Malacañang yesterday asked claimant countries in the disputed waters to refrain from causing acts that may lead to a further escalation of tensions in the area.

According to reports, China is moving ahead with its first major tender of oil and gas blocks in portions of the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.

Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, however, yesterday told a press briefing that the government is not aware of an area in the disputed waters that China will bid out for exploration.

“We’re not sure what areas specifically that China plans to bid out. So if they are in areas that are disputed like the Kalayaan Group of Islands where there are other claimants like the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and then Taiwan and Vietnam, then I understand that the Code of Conduct, while it’s not binding, the spirit of it is that countries will not make an efforts to increase tensions,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2401-rp-warns-china-vs-stoking-tensions-with-oil-tenders

Noy admits lobbying for De Lima in JBC list

Noy admits lobbying for De Lima in JBC list

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had always been the choice of President Aquino to take on the Chief Justice post.

This was discovered through a presidential slip of the tongue before reporters, when Aquino admitted lobbying for the inclusion by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) of De Lima in its list to be submitted to him by the body.

Aquino and his spokesmen have always claimed that, as the JBC is an independent body, the President will not interfere with the JBC selection, even he himself, and not his spokesmen, had finally admitted that he has been actively lobbying to get De Lima included in the JBC shortlist, from which he would appoint his chief justice.

It was no less than the President who had made the personal admission on the clandestine lobbying and the help he has been extending to his Justice Secretary regarding the decision of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)  to deny her motion over a disbarment case for which she has in effect been dropped from the list of nominees to become the next chief justice..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/headlines/item/2403-noy-admits-lobbying-for-de-lima-in-jbc-list

MILF commander meddled in Army-ASG encounters — DND

MILF commander meddled in Army-ASG encounters — DND

The government has filed a protest against the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for possible violation of the ceasefire agreement with the suspected involvement of an MILF commander in the recent encounter between the Army’s elite Scout Ranger and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists in Basilan.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, during the Defense Press Corps Forum, said the complaint was forwarded to the Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (JCCCH) of the government and the MILF.

Relatedly, after suffering setbacks against the ASG in Basilan during the past weeks that resulted in the killing of 10 soldiers and six civilians, the military has relieved its brigade commander in the area and appointed a combat-tested officer to address the menace posed by the terrorists..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/2405-milf-commander-meddled-in-army-asg-encounters-%E2%80%94-dnd

Ched orders San Beda to get hazing suspects

Ched orders San Beda to get hazing suspects

  • Written by 
  • Friday, 03 August 2012 

Daily Tribune photo
The Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has condemned the hazing death of San Beda College of Law student Marc Andrei Marcos who died last Monday evening in Cavite.

Early this year, shortly after the death of Bedan Marvin Reglos, the Ched issued an urgent directive to all private and public higher education institutions (HEIs) enjoining their strict compliance to the provisions of Republic Act 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law and the immediate submission of a certified list of fraternities and sororities in their institutions.

San Beda College responded to Ched’s memorandum in writing, saying it “does not recognize fraternities, sororities or similar organizations… hazing incidents are serious administrative offenses, explicitly classified as major offenses.” The school added, “…considering that they are not recognized, the school could not therefore submit, as of this time, a certified list of officers and members.” Other schools have been submitting the required lists..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/nation/item/2406-ched-orders-san-beda-to-get-hazing-suspects

Trader’s lawyers dispute BoC’s account on seized 420,000 bags of rice from India

Trader’s lawyers dispute BoC’s account on seized 420,000 bags of rice from India

Lawyers representing the trader involved in the seized shipment of 420,000 bags of rice in Subic said the shipment was only meant to be temporarily housed in the free port before it could be shipped to its buyer in the Middle East.

In a statement, the Amira C Foods through its lawyers from the Ongkiko, Manhit, Custodio and Acorda Law Office said “the controversy is subject of an appeal pending before the Bureau of Customs. Based on news reports, however, it appears that the Bureau is relying on false and incorrect information.”

“The Bureau of Customs is respectfully urged to first review all documentary evidence presented by our client and to refrain from prejudging the appeal,” the trader’s counsels said, adding “the unabashed mistreatment of this case is a concern that impacts on the reputation not only of Amira Foods but also the Philippine Subic SSEZ as a free port,” lawyer Demetrio Custodio Jr. said.

They also claimed the rice trader, who operates in at least 40 countries, had been doing business for 50 years, client is in compliance with all the requirements of Subic Special Economic Zone (SSEZ), a free port, as represented to it by the SBMA and its authorized locator..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/2382-trader%E2%80%99s-lawyers-dispute-boc%E2%80%99s-account-on-seized-420000-bags-of-rice-from-india

Retired, active soldiers ask Noy, VP Binay to restrain BCDA from demolishing their homes

Retired, active soldiers ask Noy, VP Binay to restrain BCDA from demolishing their homes

Retired and active military personnel are pleading for help from Malacanang to stop Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA)’s planned demolition of their residences in a portion of Diplomatic and Consular Area, South Bonifacio in Taguig City.

In a letter sent to the President Aquino as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), retired Col. Benjamin Zabat, who is the president of the Consular Area Residents Association Inc., brought to the Chief Executive’s attention objections to the forced demolition of the structures in their area.

A notice furnished by BCDA dated July 20 entitled “Sapilitang Pagbabaklas ng Istruktura at Huling Abiso ng Paglikas” had threatened the immediate demolition of the structures in the area..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/metro-section/item/2381-retired-active-soldiers-ask-noy-vp-binay-to-restrain-bcda-from-demolishing-their-homes

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