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Despite ‘fatwa,’ Erap vows to end MILF reign By Gerry Baldo 03/21/2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010



Despite ‘fatwa,’ Erap vows to end MILF reign

By Gerry Baldo

A supposed “fatwa” or religious decree against his presidential bid has not changed former President Joseph Estrada’s determination to eradicate the Muslim secessionist movement if elected on May 10, saying this is necessary to bring peace in Mindanao.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) endorsed a fatwa by a group of Muslim scholars in Mindanao island, the heartland of the large Islamic minority, ahead of the May elections.

“After studying the actions and policies of Mr. Estrada before and after his election as president until this present time, we found out that he is really an enemy of Islam,” MILF quoted the Bangsamoro Supreme Council of Ulama as saying.

Estrada, who was in a campaign swing in Cotabato City yesterday, said he is not an enemy of Islam and that the MILF is his only target since the group continues to spread mayhem in Mindanao, Estrada said.
.... MORE

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ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/headlines/20100322hed1.html

No ‘credible’ gov’t action on massacre — Asia HR group By Aytch de la Cruz 03/21/2010

No ‘credible’ gov’t action on massacre — Asia HR group

By Aytch de la Cruz
A Hong Kong-based civil rights group which is regularly consulted by the United Nations (UN) criticized yesterday the government for the lack of credible action on bringing justice to the victims of the Maguindanao massacre that has the influential Ampatuan political clan, an ally of President Arroyo, as suspected perpetrator.

“The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) wishes to highlight the lack of credible action by the government of the Philippines concerning the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre in Maguindanao in which 57 persons travelling to register a candidate in local elections were massacred by the private army of the ruling family which has ties to the President. Thirty journalists were killed in this massacre, the highest number ever killed in a single event,” it said during the 13th Session of the Human Rights Council at the UN. 

ALRC said after the initial steps taken by the government, nearly four months later, there has been no substantial progress in the trial of the 197 accused, 62 of whom are policemen. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/headlines/20100321hed2.html

Generals’ game EDITORIAL 03/21/2010

Generals’ game

Click to enlarge

The groundwork for Operation August Moon that is a self coup plan of Gloria and her favored generals, is in place and the Palace showed yesterday that it is now testing the waters for a public response after Gloria’s deputy spokesman Charito Planas floated the possibility of a military junta should the elections in May 10 fail.

Nearly all the generals mentioned in a Tribune report way back the middle of last year when the lid was blown on the plan are right in strategic positions and the recently appointed chief of staff is now Gen. Delfin Bangit, a former head of the Presidential Security Group and a member of Gloria’s favored Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1978.

Also there is Leandro Mendoza, Gloria’s fierce loyalist general, now positioned as Executive Secretary or what others prefer to call as the little president..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100322com1.html

Clueless, flip-flopping candidate FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/21/2010

Clueless, flip-flopping candidate

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

From the statements he utters on several positions taken, it really looks like Noynoy Aquino has no understanding of how things work in government.

Of course, when it comes to flip-flopping political statements, Noynoy is proving to one and all just how much of a political opportunist or the trapo he derides, he has become.

It will be recalled that Noynoy, immediately upon accepting the Liberal Party’s standard bearership, said he will be going after Marcos and his ill-gotten wealth, and as the days went by, tossed some more anti-Marcos spiels, such as still wanting to get to the bottom of his father’s murder and the brains behind the slaying, which everyone knows, he and the Aquino clan believe it to be Marcos.

These days however, he has been directing all his attacks at Gloria Arroyo, vowing to create a commission — not unlike his mother’s failed Presidential Commission on Good Government, where commissions were good to the commissioners, all of whom appear to have gotten wealthy on the job..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100321com2.html

Remembering Emi Boncodin ENQUIRY Demaree J. B. Raval 03/21/2010

Remembering Emi Boncodin

Demaree J. B. Raval

On a fine day in September 2006 — I had just shepherded the Kabul Declaration Against Corruption at a conference held at the Serena Hotel, and was about to leave for my UN quarters — I heard a familiar voice asking the hotel concierge what rooms were available and how much they cost. The gravelly yet sing-song inflections took me back in time to my Senate and UP days, and I was very sure to whom it belonged. And true enough, it was Emi, a.k.a. former Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin.

What was a very fragile Bikolana like her doing in war-torn Afghanistan? She told me she had come as a consultant to the Afghan Ministry of Finance in the preparation of the national budget. Emi stayed at the hotel only for two days, preferring to stay at the more frugal quarters for consultants. She did save a lot in changing residence, and took pride in being able to spend her savings buying a rare indulgence for an austere woman like her: a hand-spun cashmere shawl — the famous pashmina. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100321com3.html

Gibo in the end? BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 03/21/2010

Gibo in the end?

Louie Logarta

There is a lesson to be learned regarding President Arroyo’s unexpected scuttling of the $100-million (or around P2.5 billion) “midnight deal” that was being hatched by certain bright fellows in the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) — share the sunshine.

As the Big Bird character said during one of the episodes of the iconic Sesame Street television show catering to toddlers and young kids that was totally big in the 1970s, what this means is simply don’t be greedy.

Well, lust or the all-consuming desire for money is what probably led to Arroyo’s termination of the plan of certain CIAC officials to award to the Kuwaiti firm Al Mal Consortium the multi-year contract to develop and manage a world-class passenger terminal at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) situated right inside the Clark Freeport.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100321com4.html

A damning dilemma TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 03/21/2010

A damning dilemma

Larry Faraon, OP

This is a country where choices are always favors. And within the context of this country’s mired and wounded political praxis, it becomes a root cause of corruption since such choices become invoices for political ploys or strategies for some other bigger favors.

For instance, for the critics and detractors of the GMA administration, the appointment of the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on the eve of a major electoral exercise would fall into that category of “strategic choice” which may put this country’s political future into deeper peril and mess.

But the issue presents a dilemma; a damning one. On the one hand, there is the realistic apprehension that in the event of an election failure and deadlock, the Supreme Court which acts as the final arbiter in election contentions and conflicts would find it difficult to wrest from the web of “utang na loob” in making its decision, especially when practically all of them are appointees of Gloria Arroyo whose political stakes are as clear as day. The fear is real and that reality is threatening the only democratic right of the every citizen in this country especially the poor, whose voices are heard through their silent choices...MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100321com5.html

The curse of injustice in the land VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 03/21/2010

The curse of injustice in the land

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz

A curse is definitely not something to be taken lightly nor gingerly, calmly and nonchalantly. A damnation or malediction, a scourge or tribulation, a torment or plague — this is a curse. It basically means an odious situation eventually leading to a heinous and odious destiny. And applied to a country calamity or a social catastrophe.

Injustice is a tightly suffocating tyranny of inequality and iniquity, a disgusting and revolting rule of lawlessness and iniquity. It is the eradication of what is right and just. Thus comes to fore the suffocating reign of the unethical, the unfair, the unjust — be these individual, families or group of persons with the following detestable behavioral pattern: They steal without remorse, rob without limit. They take and keep what is not theirs. They are the law as they are way up above the law..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100321com6.html

Cashing in on cutting carbon at home FEATURE 03/21/2010

Cashing in on cutting carbon at home


CHICAGO — Can the promise of a free cupcake or some cold hard cash work better than dire predictions of dying polar bears and rising sea levels at getting people to cut their carbon footprint?

Two US-based startup companies certainly hope so.

Energy brokers in White Plaines, New York have launched what they hope will be a global exchange platform for selling carbon offset credits based on cutting home energy use.

They sold the first credit in January for $21.50 — yielding a $4.30 brokerage fee — and expect to sell the second in the coming weeks..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100321com7.html

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