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The Daily Tribune

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Too soon for findings EDITORIAL 08/31/2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Too soon for findings

Click to enlarge
The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday made public its forensic analysis, saying that all the eight Chinese tourists were killed by sacked police Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza.

The PNP spokesman said that of the 65 spent shells from an M-16 rifle recovered at the scene, 58 of them came from the firearm used by Mendoza in executing the hostages, while seven other spent shells recovered inside the bus are still being studied to determine their origin.

It was evident that the PNP came up with that initial forensic findings to erase suspicions of friendly fire from the police having killed some of the hostages during the assault.

Let’s all hope that the PNP’s findings jibe with both the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) findings, and more importantly, the Hong Kong forensics, because if they don’t, more hell is likely to break loose.

What is difficult to understand is why the PNP insists on publicly releasing its so-called “initial forensics analysis” and claim, “with a degree of certainty” that all eight hostages were killed by the hostage taker, especially when there is yet to be investigations from two more groups.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com1.html

Unreliable ally FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/31/2010

Unreliable ally

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
From a global point of view, Noynoy Aquino and his government, due to their gross mishandling of the hostage crisis that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead, might now be seen by foreign government-allies as incompetent, and therefore, an unreliable ally in the continuing war against terrorism, where unfortunately, the Philippines has been made the front stage in this part of the terrorism war.

No matter the push from the Noynoy Communications Group secretaries in laying the blame on the previous Arroyo administration whom they alleged had not spent the funds for training and equipment of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams and special police forces, while saying that they have only been in office less than two months when this hostage crisis erupted, the fact is that it was very evident that Noynoy and his officials blew their chance in proving their leadership abilities and competence in handling such crisis situations.

The fact of the matter is that the Philippines has a president who does not want to accept responsibility and acknowledge accountability, and has moreover this penchant on laying the blame on everything else except himself and officials he has appointed.

Even as he and his executives lay the blame on the previous administration for the botched police rescue operations, how then do they explain the fact that this is the same police force that had the equipment and the training, but ran around like headless chickens now that the government has changed hands?... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com2.html

Nearly 15,000 war missing still haunt the Balkans FEATURE 08/31/2010

Nearly 15,000 war missing still haunt the Balkans


BELGRADE — Verica Tomanovic holds up a flyer as she talks about her Serb husband who disappeared in Kosovo more than a decade ago.

“This man went missing. If you know his whereabouts, please call KFOR or 92 (the police).”
Andrija Tomanovic, the 62-year-old chief of surgery in Pristina’s hospital, disappeared in broad daylight on June 24, 1999, two weeks after the war ended and Nato-led KFOR peacekeeping forces controlled the area.

He is one of some 14,650 persons unaccounted for after the wars in Croatia, Bosnia Hercegovina and Kosovo, which tore apart the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Families throughout the western Balkans still hope to find out what has happened to their missing loved ones, if only to bury and grieve for them properly.

“On that day he called (from the hospital)... and said he was going home and would call back in 10 minutes,” Tomanovic’s wife recalls.

“We haven’t heard from him since,” she adds in a whisper.

Immediately after he disappeared Verica, who was visiting her daughter in Belgrade at the time, spent frantic days and nights calling friends and colleagues in a desperate bid to locate her husband.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com3.html

Did this really happen? NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 08/31/2010

Did this really happen?

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Miss Universe runner-up Venus Raj is continuously hit left and right even by those hardly able to put subject and predicate together, for her answer to American actor William Baldwin’s question in the final round of last week’s Miss Universe contest about the “one big mistake” she’s ever made in her life and whatever she’s done to “make it right.”

Her response: “Thank you, Sir, for that wonderful question. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Good evening, Las Vegas. You know what, sir, in all my 22 years of existence, I can say that there’s nothing major, major, I mean problem that I have done in my life because I am very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So, thank you so much that I am here, thank you, thank you so much.”

She finished 4th runner-up, in other words, the 5th loveliest, in a field of 80 contestants. Still she’s pilloried and blamed for not coming up with “a better answer” that could have made her Miss Universe, because, as an idiot said in a blog, “kasi kung nanalo siya, makakalimutan na ng mundo ang ginawang pangho-hostage ni Rolando Mendoza ng mga turistang Chinese.”

When the self-flagellation ends is hard to predict, but enough is enough. Tama na, itigil na, and I daresay my good friend Pete Lacaba feels just about the same. See, in the Internet there’s a Huffington Post article about “Miss Philippines, Maria Venus Raj, (who) is by anyone’s definition fantastically beautiful, poised, and graceful. Many believe she should have won the competition, and she deserves a lot of credit for being the first Filipina since 1999 to make it to the finals. But her flubbed response to the question of what mistake she had made in her life and what would she have done differently apparently cost her the crown.”... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com4.html

Ninoy and the embassy AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 08/31/2010

Ninoy and the embassy

Ken Fuller
An article posted on the GMA News Web site on Aug. 18 (“Ninoy networked with everyone, Reds included,” by Lisandro Claudio) gives details of the links between Ninoy Aquino and the Communist Party of the Philippines formed by Jose Maria Sison in 1968.

As Claudio concedes, however, these links are not exactly news. It has, for example, been known for decades that Aquino acted as a middle-man in the formation of the New People’s Army, arranging the initial meeting between Sison and Bernabe Buscayno, better-known as Kumander Dante, the NPA’s first leader. As this outsider researched a forthcoming book (A Movement Divided, to be published next year, is a sequel to 2007’s Forcing the Pace), one of my sources confirmed this particular link, adding that Aquino also provided arms and allowed his Times Street residence to be used by wounded NPA fighters.

Prior to this, Aquino had led an interesting life working with the CIA, a connection upon which Claudio is silent. 

At President Magsaysay’s suggestion, Aquino spent four months in the USA, observing CIA training methods, following which he reported back to Magsaysay. By now he had married into the wealthy Cojuangco family. When the Spanish-owned Tabacalera company decided to sell the 7,000-hectare Hacienda Luisita, Magsaysay mentioned this to Aquino, as the former wished to avoid the property falling into the hands of the Lopez family. Aquino then approached his father-in-law, Jose Cojuangco, who purchased it.

After the death of Magsaysay, President Garcia asked Aquino if he would provide refuge for a group of anti-Sukarno colonels linked with the secessionist rebels of Sumatra. This was agreed, and a training camp was established on the hacienda which, according to Sterling Seagrave, was “[o]ne of the CIA’s favorite estates” as it “provided the Agency with facilities to train agents for conspiracies throughout Southeast Asia.” Gabriel Kolko informs us that when the Sukarno loyalists stormed Sumatra to put down the rebellion, the CIA “assigned some three hundred to four hundred Americans and foreigners to supply the rebels with arms and supplies...” Amazingly, and by his own admission, one of these foreigners was Aquino, who was sent to Menado with two army radio technicians; he stayed a month and then returned to Manila to report.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com5.html

2009 Adoption Law is unconstitutional By Alan F. Paguia COMMENT 08/31/2010

2009 Adoption Law is unconstitutional

By Alan F. Paguia


Is the 2009 Adoption Law, or Republic Act 9523, constitutional?

No. It appears violative of two constitutional principles. First, the separation of powers, and second, it contains substantial provisions which are not germane to, nor expressed in, its title.
Violation of separation of powers

1. The title of the law reads:

2. The statute materially provides:
“SEC. 8. CERTIFICATION. — The certification that a child is legally available for adoption shall be issued by the DSWD in lieu of a judicial order, thus making the entire process administrative in nature.

The certification, shall be, for all intents and purposes, the primary evidence that the child is legally available in a domestic adoption proceeding, as provided in Republic Act No. 8552, and in an inter-country adoption proceeding, as provided in Republic Act No. 8043.”

3. In other words, the Congress, through RA 9523, seeks to promulgate the certificate of availability for adoption as primary evidence in adoption proceedings which are already covered by the Supreme Court’s RULE ON ADOPTION or A.M. No. 02-6-02-SC, which took effect on Aug. 31, 2002, and which expressly repeals Rules 99 and 100 of the Rules of Court. DOES CONGRESS HAVE THIS POWER? No. Under the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court’s power to promulgate judicial rules is NO LONGER SHARED BY THE SUPREME COURT WITH CONGRESS (Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice, 301 SCRA 96; 1999). Most importantly, the 1987 Constitution took away the power of Congress, under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure (Baguio Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Coperative v. Judge Illuminada Cabato-Cortes, 613 SCRA 733; 2010). As one of the safeguards of the Supreme Court’s INSTITUTIONAL INDEPENDENCE, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure in all courts is now the Supreme Court’s EXCLUSIVE domain (ibid.). 

4. Consequently, the REPEAL of judicial rules on adoption sought to be promulgated by RA 9523 — is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. This state of the law and jurisprudence is within the MANDATORY JUDICIAL NOTICE of all courts; and, is likewise within the MANDATORY QUASI-JUDICIAL NOTICE of the DSWD, considering that ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith (Art. 3, CIVIL CODE). If ignorance of the law is not an excuse, with greater reason is ignorance of the Constitution not an excuse.

Substance not germane to title

5. Under the Constitution: “Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.” (par. 1, Sec. 26, Art. VI).

6. RA 9523 deals with more than one subject. Generally, it refers to the requirement of a DSWD certification declaring a “child legally available for adoption” as a prerequisite for adoption proceedings. But the law actually does more than that. It does not simply impose an additional requirement. It converts the entire judicial process of adoption into an essentially administrative process. There is, therefore, a DEVIATION from the general subject of the law (Insular Lumber Company v. CTA, 104 SCRA 710) which is not expressed in the title. The conversion of adoption proceedings from JUDICIAL to ADMINISTRATIVE is not germane to, nor reasonably necessary for, the imposition of an additional requirement in adoption proceedings. The two legislative intentions are separate and distinct purposes. One can exist without the other. Hence, while the title of the law covers the matter of additional requirement, it does not express the matter of conversion (Tio v. VRB, 151 SCRA 208).


7. The DSWD officials are thus placed in a predicament where they have to choose between following the statute or following the Constitution. If they follow the statute which appears unconstitutional under the foregoing premises, they take the risk of incurring administrative, civil, and criminal liability. If they follow the Constitution, they take the risk of upholding the Rule of Law.... Go to Page

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100831com6.html

JPE: ‘We are not taking Trillanes as a free man’ 08/31/2010

JPE: ‘We are not taking Trillanes as a free man’
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile clarified yesterday that the Senate is not taking Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as a free man when the upper chamber passed a resolution asking the court to allow the detained senator to attend the Senate session and other activities.

“He is still under detention,” Enrile clarified in a radio DWIZ station interview.

“We are asking the court for the orders and restrictions and limitations which the court may issue to transfer the custody, the place of confinement of Trillanes from Camp Crame to Senate under guard if necessary,” Ernile said.

Last week, 15 senators approved a revised resolution asking anew the Makati Regional Trial Court to allow the long-detained legislator to fulfill his legislative duties.

In Resolution No. 7, the senators said that the temporary transfer of custody of Trillanes would not be tantamount to release or even impair the doctrine of separation of powers between branches of government and infringe on the court’s prerogatives..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100831nat1.html

Palace gags all hostage crisis probers By Aytch S. dela Cruz and Benjamin B. Pulta 08/31/2010

DoJ chief in charge but no HK media questions to be entertained 

Palace gags all hostage crisis probers

By Aytch S. dela Cruz and Benjamin B. Pulta

Malacañang has issued a gag order yesterday on all officials in all agencies doing investigative work on the aftermath of the hostage crisis.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) through its chief, Secretary Leila de Lima, has issued a “gag order” against all investigative agencies currently involved in the ongoing investigations related to the recent hostage crisis that left eight Chinese Hong Kong residents dead.

While in her briefings, De Lima will be answering Filipino reporters’ questions, she made it clear that she will not be entertaining questions from Hong Kong media, saying they should direct their questions to Hong Kong authorities.

A day earlier, the Philippine National Police spokesman declared that the police forensics team has already concluded with “an amount of certainty” that 69 shells found in the hijacked bus all came from the hostage taker. Only seven slugs are to be checked against other firearms.

The gag order was issued to ensure that no confusion arises among the different agencies that are keeping track of the case, Malacañang said yesterday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed1.html

Senate to probe hijacker brod’s role 08/31/2010

Senate to probe hijacker brod’s role
been on air and monitoring the live coverage on television when the arrest on his brother, Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Gregorio Mendoza, took place.

“Based on the excerpts of the interview, he (Mendoza) knew what is happening outside because of the TV monitor inside the bus. It is absurd that the authorities overlooked this matter when they drastically arrested the brother of the hostage taker,” the senator said.

“It was clear that instead of it (Gregorio’s arrest) controlling the been on air and monitoring the live coverage on television when the arrest on his brother, Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Gregorio Mendoza, took place.

“Based on the excerpts of the interview, he (Mendoza) knew what is happening outside because of the TV monitor inside the bus. It is absurd that the authorities overlooked this matter when they drastically arrested the brother of the hostage taker,” the senator said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed2.html

Peace talks with gov’t at risk without Malaysia, warns MILF By Mario J. Mallari 08/31/2010

Peace talks with gov’t at risk without Malaysia, warns MILF

By Mario J. Mallari

The secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) yesterday ex-pressed apprehension over the government’s supposed plan to change Ma-laysia as the facilitator of the peace negotiations.

Former MILF nego-tiator and now information committee chief Mohagher Iqbal said the changing of the facilitator could serve as a problem in the planned resumption of the peace talks after the Ramadan.

“If they (government) will not touch the mechanism in place, it could happen (resumption of peace talks after Ramadan) but if they will touch them, example they want to change the facilitator, facilitating country, that could be a problem,” he noted.

President Aquino, in his State of the Nation Address, had expressed his intention to resume the peace negotiations with the MILF after the Holy Month of Ramadan which ends second week of September.
Iqbal stressed that without changing the mechanism in-place, the resumption of the talks would come smoothly.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed3.html

Singson may receive HK anger backlash By Gerry Baldo 08/31/2010

Singson may receive HK anger backlash
By Gerry Baldo

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte raised the possibility that with emotions running high after the carnage of Hong Kong tourists in the recent hostage-taking crisis, this may create a backlash on the drug case in the territory against Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson as he expressed the hope that it will be spared from such a possibility.

Belmonte said that it would be “pitiful” if the botched hostage rescue last week that resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong residents would affect the case now pending in the former British colony.

“That’s a different matter altogether. That would be pitiful,” Belmonte said amid continued outrage over the Manila incident that killed eight Hong Kong and Canadian tourists held hostage by a former police officer.

“Just let their laws and the circumstances prevail without the emotionalism that is engendered by an entirely different matter,” Belmonte said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed4.html

Angara calls for ‘pork’ transparency 08/31/2010

Angara calls for ‘pork’ transparency
Sen. Edgardo Angara yesterday challenged Mala-cañang to exercise transpa-rency in the distribution of so-called pork barrel to lawmakers as no less than the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) already issued an assurance that Congress members will have enough appropriation of such under the proposed 2011 national budget.

“Of course we understand the need for transparency. Ambiguity can be perceived as corruption. We all know by now that incon-sistencies in the books are red flags for suspicious spending activity,” he stressed.

The senator, former finance committee chairman in the upper chamber, was reacting to the recent statement made by the DBM that lawmakers will be provided with pork barrel, also known as Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), but under very strict measures for accountability and transparency.

“We should exercise prudence in spending and show that the PDAF can be an effective tool for development,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100831hed5.html

High court upholds freedom of speech and of expression 08/31/2010

High court upholds freedom of speech and of expression
The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the exercise of freedom of speech and of expression of the employees of the state pension fund agency Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) when, in 2005, they wore red shirts and appeared in a hearing against their union leader to manifest their support.

In a ruling of the SC en banc (full court), it dismissed the petition filed by former GSIS president and general manager Winston Garcia for his failure to prove that employees Dinnah Villaviz, Elizabeth Duque, Adronico Echavez, Rodel Rubio, Rowena Therese Gracia, Pilar Layco and Antonio Jose Legarda were guilty of grave misconduct and/or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service pursuant to the rules of procedure of the GSIS.

Wearing red shirts, the said employees appeared before the GSIS Investigation Unit on May 27, 2005 to support Mario Molina and their union leader Albert Velasco, they defiantly raised clenched fist in airing their grievances against Garcia’s administration.

After a month, using as basis the report of the GSIS security, Garcia found the employees guilty and punished them with a one-year suspension with accessory penalties.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100831nat2.html

No new laws without corresponding measures to generate revenues By Charlie V. Manalo 08/31/2010

No new laws without corresponding measures to generate revenues
By Charlie V. Manalo

A ranking House leader said yesterday no new laws increasing public expenditure should be passed without a corresponding revenue-generating or cost-offsetting measure.

Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, author of House Resolution 302, said any management spending or tax legislation that increases the deficit or reduces revenues must be accompanied by a countervailing measure that offsets the increase in deficit or reduction in revenue.

“In order to lessen the country’s ballooning deficit, it is necessary to instill fiscal discipline in the public sector,” said Mandanas, chairman of the House committee on ways and means.

Mandanas called on both executive and legislative branches of the government to adopt deficit-neutral rules to instill fiscal discipline for a more responsible financial management and promote sustainable economic growth.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100831nat7.html

From bad to worse EDITORIAL 08/30/2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

From bad to worse

Click to enlarge
From one foul up to another, authorities are digging the country into a deeper diplomatic crisis than where it is currently now. And all indications are pointing to a vacuum in leadership as a source of the problem.

A team of forensic experts from Hong Kong was denied access to the bus where the Aug. 23 hostage incident happened on the mere excuse that they did not have authorization from the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police.

Verifying the Hong Kong team’s purpose, however, was illogical since the group is accompanied by the Hong Kong police and Hong Kong officials themselves had earlier stated that the group is being sent under an agreement with local officials.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo also mentioned the willingness of the Aquino administration to cooperate with Hong Kong investigators.

Was it all for show then, Philippine style, which is the government’s style of claiming cooperation and effective coordination, where none is given or even exists?... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100830com1.html

It’s a crisis, not an election campaign, stupid! FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/30/2010

It’s a crisis, not an election campaign, stupid!

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
It was pretty stupid of Malacañang to come up with that e-mail to Palace reporters bringing up, at this particular time, the killing of a Filipino tourist in Beijing by a crazed Chinese wielding a scythe.

That “anonymous” Palace message had one theme: The killing of Filipino tourists also happen in China, but the Chinese never apologized, while Noynoy Aquino did in the case of the dismissed policemen who held Chinese nationals hostages and killed eight of them.

Nobody says killings happen only in the Philippines because it happens everywhere in the world. What is at issue in this crisis under the Noynoy presidency is not only that it had botched the rescue operations of the Hong Kong Chinese tourists resulting in the senseless deaths of eight of them, but that the Aquino government had succeeded in making it an international issue, as well as a diplomatic crisis with China.

What then is behind the stupidity of Aquino’s Malacañang in comparing the two incidents and Noynoy apologizing for the botched rescue while, according to the Palace e-mail, the Chinese government did not?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100830com2.html

Poland’s 1980 strike spawned Solidarity, doomed communists focus 08/30/2010

Poland’s 1980 strike spawned Solidarity, doomed communists


WARSAW — Thirty years ago, Poland was squarely in the global spotlight as a strike spawned Solidarity, the communist bloc’s first free trade union which later brought down the regime.

Aug. 31, 1980 saw a watershed accord between communist authorities and the striking shipyard workers of the Baltic city of Gdansk, led by charismatic electrician Lech Walesa.

With Polish media muzzled by official censors, the tense days were recounted by foreign correspondents.

“Special forces are on view in Gdansk,” reported an AFP correspondent on Aug. 19, amid fears that the regime would crush the strike as it had done repeatedly in the past, possibly with the help of its Soviet allies.

The strike had begun on Aug. 14. Like several previous protest waves in communist-era Poland, it was a response to price rises by the regime, which controlled the economy.

But it took on a political dimension. The movement was to snowball nationwide, eventually drawing in 10 million Poles, or over one in four.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/

‘We don’t hate’ C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 08/30/2010

‘We don’t hate’

Jonathan De la Cruz
Amid all the gloom, hate mail and finger pointing engendered by the Rizal Park carnage last Monday Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan has issued a calming and much appreciated note on his Twitter (@EyeOfJackieChan) which read: “This kind of things always happen around the world. It happen to HK’s people, the whole HK is talking about it. It’s really sad..If they killed the guy sooner, they will say why not negotiate first? If they negotiate first, they ask why not kill the guy sooner? So sad..HK is a nation built by a lot of different people..don’t worry!! We do not hate!! Humans should be united and not kill or hate each other..” Chan or for that matter anybody else could not have said it better.

Last Monday’s bloodbath was truly sad and unfortunate. It was an isolated incident and does not happen everyday, here and elsewhere. It was a real blackmark on all of us and we hope that in time the hurt will subside and the wound would heal. But it could have been avoided if only those officials whose responsibility it is to keep the peace and make our environs safe did their work well. Some will say lots of people including this writer have become instant experts on the art of hostage taking or the handling of crisis situations such as last Monday’s. That this is Monday morning quarterbacking at its worst. No, Sir. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the crisis committee (and that includes those at the Palace who did the post-evaluation issuing all kinds of statements) which oversaw the situation bungled big time. They made a “major, major” faux pas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100830com4.html

Radical national surgery imperative DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 08/30/2010

Radical national surgery imperative

Herman Tiu Laurel
While the whole country is distracted with the Hong Thai tourist bus massacre and the subsequent embarrassing and demoralizing imbroglio, the PeNoy Aquino government is insidiously conniving with its financial overlords to transfer taxpayers’ money to the oligarchs under the guise of an “investment fund to finance loans for infrastructure under the public-private partnerships (PPPs)... at very low interest rates.” Big Business’ DPA (deep penetration agent) in the National Economic Development Authority, Cayetano Paderanga Jr., adds that the money will be used “for loans to pump-prime the economy” to boost infrastructure “if we are to generate the six million tourists we hope to achieve,” as well as “strengthen the legal, institutional, and governance framework” of the PPPs.

Take out the gibberish and the scheme is simple: Subsidized loans for private corporations that will engage in government projects, with sovereign guarantees yet again!

Frankly, the pump-priming and six million tourists Paderanga is dreaming about went up in smoke after PeNoy allowed the police under his authority, as commander-in-chief, to go without timely interference despite the Keystone Kops’ odious performance from the moment they pumped bullets into the tourist bus’ tires without immediate follow through. But since that fiasco has been already whipped more than the proverbial dead horse, we will not beat it anymore. Nonetheless, there are still live horses which PeNoy and his Big Business masters are intending to ride on to another six years of unprecedented corporate profits — hoping to beat their previous P3-trillion bonanza in the nine-and-a-half years of Gloria Arroyo. With the announced PPPs of PeNoy yielding billions of low interest loans, Big Business will be off to a very spectacular start again under its new puppet government.

Of course, PeNoy’s economic plotters believe that affixing any plan with a “pump-priming” tag will sound academic and economic, a kind of techno-talk enough to impress the public into acceptance. However, such a step will only impoverish the nation and destroy its economy, while enriching only the oligarchs. It’s much of the same pump-priming that US President Obama did, which is why it’s now almost certain that not only will a “double dip recession” descend upon that once mighty superpower, but that it will most probably lead to its “greatest depression.” Already, top American economist David Rosenberg, along with trend researcher Gerald Celente and other luminaries such as Arthur Laffer and Paul Krugman believe so. That’s because Obama’s stimulus package, which amounted to trillions of dollars, merely went to bailing out the financial mafiosos that left the people penniless.

In stark contrast, China’s pump-priming consists of tax rebates and the raising of minimum wages, along with massive infrastructure expansion by the state. The Chinese people therefore have more money to keep domestic consumer activity expanding; to fuel demand; to keep farms and factories viable; and to sustain employment.

PeNoy’s Big Business-biased cheap loans, meanwhile, will result in infrastructure projects that only favor business interests. And, as we have seen in the past three decades, the supposed “trickle down” effect will only fall into the catch basin of Big Business and its corrupt partners in the government bureaucracy through corruption — as exemplified by the Gloria to PeNoy holdover of appointees’ financial perks, including a “privatization bonus,” which is actually a bribe to government executives who will betray public interest by promoting the oligarchy’s privileges.

The Big Business bias in Philippine government and society started with the Edsa I coup. This was then institutionalized by Cory Aquino through her 1987 Constitution with provisions that mandated the economy to be “private sector-led” and the Monetary Board to be dominated by bankers.

As public wealth and power started getting transferred to the giant corporations of the oligarchs, it made government progressively bankrupt, and among many other things, caused the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ store of equipment to shrink (from over 100 helicopters down to two dozen in recent years) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to rely more on jueteng and other sidelines to keep the loyalty of its generals and officers to the ruling class (while many in its rank-and-file resort to petty crimes to survive). All these have led to the low morale (and morals) of our uniformed service — fostering a deteriorating professionalism, the rise of a “pera-pera” culture, as well as, careerist opportunism in its ranks.

Should we be surprised then, given the overall decay of society and the government institutions, that at the Hong Thai crisis the Manila Police District and the PNP showed utter lack of cooperation and cohesion; or that on the same day, two Korean missionaries in the Philippines were kidnapped, with their two companions killed; or that eight policemen were ambushed and killed elsewhere in the Philippines that same week; and so on? Should we be surprised that the nation’s psyche, in reaction to the hostage fiasco, has come to mirror national confusion and paranoia?

We as a nation are already in the ICU (intensive care unit). Radical brain surgery of the Edsa I-Edsa II tumor is therefore imperative if we are to recover. Here’s an SOS to all patriotic citizens, soldiers, officers, and civilian leaders!

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch Politics (and Economics) Today, Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m. on Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21 about “Ninoy’s Death: A False Flag Operation?”; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100830com5.html

Mamang Pulis II HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 08/30/2010

Mamang Pulis II

Aldrin Cardon
Last week, I wrote about the different faces of the Filipino policeman, those which were far from the straight-bodied, nice looking “Mamang Pulis” of old who commanded respect from the community, as he has become worse than a monster — the kotong cop hated by drivers and commuters; the pulis patola who is far worse than what Dolphy did his policeman’s job in the movies for laughs; and the torturer whose existence was confirmed by the video leaked by his own kind.

Also last week, however, another face of the Filipino policeman surfaced: that of an extortion expert, a hostage-taker and later, when he knew his drama was going nowhere, that of a murderer and one-man cause of shame of a country whose leadership could not effectively deal with his kind.

It is somehow stupefying to see the nation now delving into the what ifs and would-have-beens as a result of the hostage drama in front of the Quirino Grandstand, where the country’s glorious history was once made, only to be eclipsed by this one shameful act that brought forward our worst.

Police officials are pointing at each other, the Manila mayor is denying his botched role in the siege, senators are enjoying their moments grilling the officials involved, and Malacañang not knowing what happened. These are the various backdrops that further exposed government’s weaknesses in dealing with crisis..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/

Major major events SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 08/30/2010

Major major events

Dinah S. Ventura
As the heavens opened up and drenched the metro and its bleary-eyed commuters many times in the past week, so, too, did two “major major” events rain down both ire and reservations from everywhere in the world.

First, there was the “bungled,” “botched,” “embarrassing” rescue of Chinese tourists taken hostage in their tour bus at the Quirino Grandstand that many of us are still talking about today. The quoted adjectives above have made their run in the past days, along with “frustrating,” “stupid,” “ineffectual,” and even “WTF!” 

These have all been directed at the police force, which everyone agrees could have done much to attain a much better end for that hostage-taking crisis. The people who followed the news from start to finish were mostly horrified at the way the authorities mishandled the situation. If they had been better trained, more equipped and had their priorities straight, then none of those poor tourists would have died.

It’s too bad that the tragic turn of events on that sad day was witnessed — over and over again — in different parts of the world, sending our compatriots cringing into a safe corner to avoid the anger of some who made everything into a racial issue, as well as the ridicule of others, who made it into a racial slur..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100830com7.html

Tens of thousands rally in HK, vent fury on Aquino 08/30/2010


Tens of thousands rally in HK, vent fury on Aquino

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Hong Kong yesterday to demand from President Aquino justice for victims of the August 23 hostage bloodbath, as legislators of the territory sought the use of the black travel alert on the Philippines to exert political pressure on the Aquino government

Legislators wanted the black alert in place until the Philippine government delivered a report on its investigation into what led to the deaths of eight Hongkongers in last Monday’s hostage-taking in Manila, according to the South China Morning Post.

Demonstrators voiced their anger over the Philippine government’s handling of the siege in the heart of Manila on Monday which left eight Hong Kong tourists dead amid widespread complaints of police bungling.

“It’s too late for the governments to do anything, but Hong Kong people hope that, at the very least, the Philippine authorities could tell us the truth,” Daisy Kwong, a telecoms firm project manager, said.
“I cried for hours after watching the tragedy played out live on TV,” she said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100830hed1.html

PNP claims ‘mis-coordination’ over barred HK bus probers By Mario J. Mallari 08/30/2010

PNP claims ‘mis-coordination’ over barred HK bus probers
By Mario J. Mallari

The Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed “mis-coordination” for denying Hong Kong forensic experts access the other day to the Hong Thai bus, where the bloody hostage-taking happened that ended in the killing of eight Hong Kong tourists and the hostage-taker last Monday, saying that the foreign investigators will be granted full cooperation on undertaking their probe starting today. 

PNP spokesman Agrimero Cruz Jr. stressed the Hong Kong police were not blocked from conducting their separate investigation of the bus now being preserved as evidence at a warehouse inside the National Capital Region Police Office’s (NCRPO) headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

“”They (Hong Kong police) will have ‘constructive possession’ of the bus starting tomorrow (Monday),” said Cruz during a press conference in Camp Crame yesterday afternoon. Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, meanwhile, has been summoned by the Senate for a public hearing on the bloody hostage-taking incident last August 23.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100830hed2.html

Filipino maids suffer brunt of HK anger By Mario J. Mallari 08/30/2010

Filipino maids suffer brunt of HK anger
By Mario J. Mallari
Joy Fajardo likes to spend her Sundays meeting friends from her home town in Chater Garden, a famous gathering spot for the Philippine community at the heart of Hong Kong’s financial center but yesterday was an exception.

The 30-year-old said she was warned to stay away from Chinese crowds for fear of retribution over the dramatic hostage crisis that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead in Manila Monday.

“We are very worried to be living in a Chinese com-munity now,” Fajardo said.

Anger and grief mounted this week after a busload of Hong Kong tourists was hijacked in Manila exactly a week ago by a sacked policeman armed with an assault rifle in a bloody siege watched live around the world.
Eight of the tourists were killed in the final stages of the 12-hour standoff, triggering widespread accusations about police bungling.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100830hed3.html

Four killed, 38 injured as bus plunges into creek in Quezon 08/30/2010

Four killed, 38 injured as bus plunges into creek in Quezon
A passenger bus fell into a creek in Quezon province early yesterday, resulting in the deaths of at least four passengers while 38 others were injured.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Senior Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. said a CUL bus, with license plate TWV-912, was traversing the New Diversion Road along Sitio Amao, Barangay Silangang Malicboy in Pagbilao town around 2:30 a.m. when it lost its brakes.

According to him, the bus fell into a creek that led to the killing of four of the passengers who died on the spot due to massive head and body injuries.

The identities of the fatalities, however, were not immediately available.

The PNP spokesman said 38 others, including the driver of the bus identified as Oscar Pedrigosa, were injured.

“While traversing the said place bound for Cubao, Quezon City, the bus allegedly lost its brakes and fell into a creek,” said Cruz, quoting initial reports from the Quezon Provincial Police Office..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100830hed4.html

Ampatuans ask court to defer massacre trial 08/30/2010

Ampatuans ask court to defer massacre trial
Former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., together with his son, Andal Jr., has asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to postpone the Sept. 1 trial of the multiple murder charges against the Ampatuan clan until Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes resolves all related pending motions before her sala.

Government prosecutors, however, vowed to oppose the motion of Andal Sr., one of the principal suspects in last year’s massacre of 57 persons.

State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera said the government panel will file its opposition to the clan’s legal move this coming week.

He also expressed confidence that the judge tasked to hear and try the case, Solis Reyes, will not grant the Ampatuans’ petition.

“The trial (date) has already been set for Sept. 1. There’s already a pre-trial, and the pre-trial order was issued last Friday. We don’t see any reason it should be delayed any longer,” he said.

Navera said the trial will be for those who have already been arraigned last month, unlike in the case of Andal Sr. who has yet to be arraigned..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100830hed5.html

Hostage-taking crisis should not affect Noy’s US trip — Honasan By Angie M. Rosales 08/30/2010

Hostage-taking crisis should not affect Noy’s US trip — Honasan

By Angie M. Rosales

Malacañang should deal with criticisms over the apparent mishandling of the Aug. 23 hostage-taking incident at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila head-on.

According to Sen. Gregorio Honasan, there is no reason for the Palace to put off the planned visit to the United States of President Aquino scheduled sometime in September.

“We’re not trying to preempt the President and his advisers but until when do we have to deal with this? We have to face the situation,” he said in an interview with dzBB yesterday.

There are concerns raised by some that the planned visit to the US could further incite the already strained relations with China.

Malacañang earlier has announced that Aquino is slated to attend the United Nations general assembly next month and also intend to invite foreign investors to the Philippines, his first foreign trip as the country’s Chief Executive..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100830hed6.html

Blameless Noynoy EDITORIAL 08/29/2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blameless Noynoy

Click to enlarge
Bigger crises are sprouting from the containment of the backlash of the bungled rescue operations on Hong Kong tourists at the Luneta Park that resulted in the death of eight hostages and the hostage taker.

Right off, the day the hostage crisis started, mismanagement and the resulting foul ups from the highest levels all the way down started to happen. Noynoy was nowhere to be found throughout the whole ordeal. When the standoff was nearing its critical phase as darkness approached, many were expecting Noynoy to make his presence known on television or on radio at least to give some sense of direction to the mayhem that is being seen on TV in and around the situation area.
The hostage taker started acting irrationally and began to shoot down his hostages and the police started a comical assault — although definitely not a laughing matter, as it had tragic consequences — that would definitely be used in training tactical police units throughout the globe as perfect examples of what not to do in such operations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100829com1.html

No messing up on this, too FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/29/2010

No messing up on this, too

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Another crisis may just blow up on the faces of Noynoy Aquino and his government, which includes the police force, if they don’t watch every step they make, because China and Hong Kong are definitely watching the Aquino government and how it handles the crime lab findings, yet another crisis is likely to erupt, giving the country yet another big blackeye.

As things stand, it was pretty stupid of a police crime lab officer to come up with an initial finding of who really killed the hostages — whether it was the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team that did, via “friendly fire” or that of the hostage taker, sacked police officer Rolando Mendoza, when he snapped.

Just what did the crime lab officer say that was stupid? Something about his saying that he can state, “with a degree of certainty” that the foreign hostages were killed by Mendoza, adding that these initial findings are based on witnesses’ accounts. And all these despite the fact that there has not been any forensic examination done, nor was there even any ballistic testing.

Hong Kong authorities have already reacted to this statement, pointing out that the hostages who survived the carnage were not even interviewed at all..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100829com2.html

Under attack, Obama holds cards on Afghan pullout date focus 08/29/2010

Under attack, Obama holds cards on Afghan pullout date


WASHINGTON — Faced with mounting criticism over Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama is leaving a persistent — and, some say, strategic — ambiguity about a July 2011 goal to start withdrawing troops.

In recent weeks, Obama has faced thinly veiled calls from the defense establishment to delay the date. But the war is increasingly unpopular with the US public, particularly the base of his own Democratic Party.

Obama first mentioned the deadline in a December 2009 speech outlining an intensification of the war. Obama — who has tripled the US troop presence to 100,000 since taking office — said forces will start to leave in July 2011 while “taking into account conditions on the ground.” Ever since, officials have offered their own interpretations.

Addressing Afghans, the administration has highlighted the deadline to coax President Hamid Karzai to take more responsibility. But to neighboring Pakistan, officials have stressed a long-term US commitment, fearing Islamabad may otherwise hedge bets by keeping ties to the Taliban.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100829com3.html

Council eyes reclaimed Manila Bay land for squatters BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 08/29/2010

Council eyes reclaimed Manila Bay land for squatters

Louie Logarta
British security specialist Charles Shoebridge, without his having to explicitly say so, is saying the buck stops with Senior Supt. Orlando Yebra of the Manila Police District.

Yebra, in case you didn’t know, is the police officer who stood as the principal negotiator last Monday during the hostage drama at the Luneta staged by a disgruntled former police officer wherein eight unfortunate Hong Kong tourists lost their lives, and for which some 125,000 OFWs, mostly domestic helpers, now risk being discriminated against by their Chinese employers.

In the BBC News Web site, Shoebridge, who had reportedly worked with Scotland Yard and the British Army, said in the article “Ten things the Philippines bus siege police got wrong” that Colonel Yebra had missed several opportunities to put an early end to the crisis which due to the fumbling and bumbling of concerned police officials, has made the country the laughingstock of the world.

Most notable was (as shown in an accompanying photograph embedded in the article) when Yebra, reputedly the most experienced negotiator in the MPD, having studied sophisticated anti-terrorism tactics in Australia, England and the US, and the other unidentified policeman wearing a crew-cut and an orange T-shirt were talking to the hostage-taker who was standing in the doorway of the bus with his M-16 Armalite rifle nonchalantly slung down his right side a mere three feet away.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100829com4.html

A humiliated nation TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 08/29/2010

A humiliated nation

Larry Faraon, OP
The infamous hostage taking fiasco not only humbled our nation but also humiliated us almost to the grave beyond resurrection.

I was homebound from Singapore when all eyes at the Changi Airport were glued to international news TV focusing on our national embarrassment. Suddenly, I felt like saying I was an Indonesian when other passengers saw me heading for the departure gate assigned to the Philippine Airlines, as one Caucasian guy boisterously commented, “I won’t get there (at PAL plane)…you know, somebody might just get crazy and they start shooting the plane down!”

Obviously by now, our national imagination must have loitered into the realm of the growing global disgust, jeer and contempt even among those countries where Filipinos have been considered friendly and hospitable, such as countries hosting our overseas Filipino workers. But presuming that we have defecated on our own heads and sullied our faces of ignominy and metamorphosed ourselves into dumb and dumber global citizens, we have done our share of apologies, in fact quite profusely enough to the point of self-effacement. I believe that is enough.

Our leadership has avowed no let up and no whitewash in the investigations which the Hong Kong authorities entrusted to us as a last ditch trust. We have paid all the bills. We lost a disillusioned yet be-medaled officer. We have declared a Day of Mourning and put at half-mast our flags. No less than President Noynoy Aquino himself apologized in international television and officially to the bereaved and to the leaders of China and Hong Kong. He has admitted to the national police’s shortcomings and crude unpreparedness in dealing with the hostage-crisis situation, even if he did not openly admit to his failure to be available when Hong Kong’s Donald Tsang was desperately reaching him out to a possible collaboration with the Hong Kong police with ours — the hostages are their nationals anyway. But our contrition is sincere and deep..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100829com5.html

‘Ponzi scheme’ shakes Benin, puts president on defensive focus 08/29/2010

‘Ponzi scheme’ shakes Benin, puts president on defensive


COTONOU — An alleged Ponzi scheme has shaken the tiny nation of Benin, leaving scores of people in financial ruin and prompting calls for the president to be tried on accusations he helped the firm involved.

Months after allegations emerged that the firm, ICC Services, was defrauding people of their life savings through a scheme reminiscent of the Madoff scandal in the United States, victims have focused their anger on the government.

They say government officials endorsed the company and signaled that its promises of lavish returns were legitimate by giving it special attention, including appearing with ICC management on television.

“We believed it, and how could we not when the political authorities themselves, the moral guardians, gave their approval by appearing with those investment firm managers,” said Janvier Houndekon, a 32-year-old taxi driver.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100829com6.html

Sex Education — 5 VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 08/29/2010

Sex Education — 5

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
\"Natural Family Planning.” This is a rather known phrase that the Catholic Church claims and proclaims as a cardinal truth and mandate in the sphere of family and life, in the context of birth and population.

The phrase itself already brings forward the following three more important realities for people to know, understand and observe: One, that the Church is formally and categorically pro-family whereas this is the nucleus of human society. Two, that the Church is pro-planning of the family in terms not only the birth but also the support and formation of children. Three that the Church is pro-nature in the planning of the family.

In other words: First, the Church is definitely not against the “planning” of a family concretely in terms of the number of children born therein. Second, the Church formally reposes the grave obligation on fathers and mothers of having only the number of children they can satisfactorily support in their physical needs and accordingly form in their ethical/moral values. Third, the Church nevertheless only approves the planning of the family or the spacing of children through the means provided by the Law of Nature, specifically as far as the woman is concerned..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100829com7.html

Senegalese beggars lash out at government ban FEATURE 08/29/2010

Senegalese beggars lash out at government ban


DAKAR — A group of beggars cluster around a car in Senegal’s capital, to take some meat being offered to them: “We expect generous souls, not raids,” one of them told AFP in response to a government ban on street begging.

“The government wants to kill us. Let those who do nothing for us leave us alone,” added another beggar sitting in front of Dakar’s Grand Mosque with her blind husband, and two children under five years old, reaching out to passers-by.

In another street, a group of men and women in wheelchairs were equally scathing.

“It is because we are weak that the government is attacking us. They can kill me but I won’t leave here,” said Ali Ndoye, a man in his thirties.

A young beggar, Cheikh Diop, 18, agreed with the others. “Let them put us all in prison. In 2005 we were with several other beggars, beaten and dragged away by police... but we came back.

“If they pick us up, we will come back, because without begging we couldn’t live.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100829com8.html

PNP blocks HK experts from hostage bus probe By Gina Elorde 08/29/2010

Security exec says investigation arrangements made

PNP blocks HK experts from hostage bus probe

By Gina Elorde
The Philippine National Police (PNP) barred Hong Kong forensic experts yesterday from examining the tourist bus where the Aug. 23 hostage drama happened that led to the death of eight nationals and residents of the Chinese territory as local police investigators said they have not yet completed their own forensic investigation.

The denial of the Hong Kong experts from holding their own investigation into the incident happened despite an earlier assurance made by Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to the Hong Kong government that the government will welcome a third-party investigator to verify the PNP’s findings and ensure transparency of the ongoing probe. Hong Kong Undersecretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok also told a Hong Kong newspaper that the arrangements had been made under an existing communication mechanism between the two governments to gather information for a likely inquest.

Five experts arrived yesterday to examine the Hong Thai tourist bus which was hijacked by a dismissed policeman last Monday in an 11-hour standoff that was covered live by media outfits worldwide. 

The bus is now under the custody of the National Capital Region Office (NCRPO) in Camp Bagong Diwa headquarters in Taguig, City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100829hed2.html

House to conduct own probe intotourist bus siege 08/29/2010

House to conduct own probe intotourist bus siege
The House of Representatives has decided to conduct a separate investigation into the 11-hour tourist bus siege last Monday which resulted in the killing of eight foreign hostages.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, author of House Resolution 277, has asked the concerned House committees to investigate and evaluate the incident.

“It is an unfortunate incident that cost the lives of the Chinese tourists precisely because the stand-off lasted for possibly an unreasonable length of time without skilled and careful planning on how to make the assault without endangering the lives of the hostages and the hostage taker as well,” Castelo noted.

“The manner the crisis has been handled reflects utter lack of skill of supposed-to-be trained police authorities to contain or neutralize life threatening incidents that put the lives of hostages on the line and at grave danger not just in the hands of the hostage taker but even more in the hands of the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) assault team,” he said.

The Senate started last Thursday its probe into the hostage-taking perpetrated by a dismissed police officer who was also killed in the incident.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100829hed3.html

Palace to meetmedia on crisis coverage rules By Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/29/2010

Palace to meetmedia on crisis coverage rules
By Aytch S. de la Cruz

The Palace will start a series of dialogs with news organizations next week to put up parameters on media coverage as a result of the recent hostage-taking at Rizal Park that took the lives of at least eight Chinese tourists where sensational reporting, especially among those in the broadcast media were being blamed for the situation turning for the worst.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning (PCDSP) Secretary Ricky Carandang said he is scheduled to meet with broadcast media executives and share some of the government’s insight with hopes to correct the lapses made by both sides that he said “were deemed contributory to the tragic end of the 11-hour hostage incident at Quirino Grandstand last Monday.”

Crisis management analysts said that, at some point, the sensational and blow-by-blow media account of the hostage taking incident hampered the authorities’ negotiation efforts with the perpetrator, former police Senior Insp. Rolando Mendoza.

Carandang, nonetheless, clarified that President Aquino does not necessarily blame the mass media over the failed rescue attempt by the law enforcement agencies that led to the bloody conclusion of the hostage crisis..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100829hed4.html

Cunanan says he earned only P15.3M not P66.6M 08/29/2010

Cunanan says he earned only P15.3M not P66.6M
The former chairman of state pension fund Social Security System (SSS) said that the Senate finance committee which is currently investigating excessive compensations given to officials of state-owned corporations released inaccurate figures regarding the bonuses and other perks that he received for the past three years and that he earned a mere P15.3 million windfall and not P66.6 million from the sale of shares.

Thelmo Cunanan wrote Sen. Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Senate body that has been conducting hearings on bonuses and allowances of officials in government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs), said that he used his own money to exercise a stock option offered by Philex Mining Corp. (Philex), in which the SSS owns stakes, from which Cunanan supposedly got an estimated an P85 million windfall. 

At recent hearings, four SSS executives including its former president Romulo Neri were questioned on some P127 million they allegedly pocketed over the past three years, the bulk of which was in the form of stock options in Philex, where these executives represented the SSS.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100829hed5.html

Enrile pushes estate tax relief for homeowners 08/29/2010

Enrile pushes estate tax relief for homeowners
Persons inheriting homes from deceased parents or relatives usually are overburdened by the estate tax which they could ill afford. Because of inability to pay the estate tax, some heirs are focused to sell their inherited property.

To grant them relief, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has filed a bill granting an estate tax exemption for a family home from P1 million to P10 milllion.

“The prevailing provisions of Republic Act 8424) or the Tax Reform Act of 1997), as amended, allow for the deduction from the gross estate an amount equivalent to the current fair market value of the decedent’s family home up to P1 million,” Enrile explained in Senate Bill 132.

“Despite the deduction, the increasing value of the family home nowadays and its inclusion in the computation of the estate tax contribute significantly to the amount to be paid by the surviving spouse.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100829hed6.html

House panel organization nears completion 08/29/2010

House panel organization nears completion
The committee assignments are nearing completion as the House of Representatives confirmed the nomination of several chairmen and members of the different panels.

Albay Rep. Al Francis Bichara chairs the committee on foreign affairs which tackles all matters directly and principally relating to the relations of the Philippines with other countries, diplomatic and consular services, the United Nations and its agencies, and other international organizations and agencies. The committee currently has 36 members representing the majority and six members for the minority.

Negros Oriental Rep. George Arnaiz heads the committee on local government, which has 42 members. Arnaiz headed the same committee in the 14th Congress. 

The chairmanship of the committee on information and communications technology went to first termer Taguig Rep. Sigfrido Tinga..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100829hed7.html

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