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The Daily Tribune

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Estrada confident of No. 1 ranking in Nueva Ecija 03/26/2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Estrada confident of No. 1 ranking in Nueva Ecija


NUEVA ECIJA — With a huge crowd welcoming him, to the point of mobbing him, former President Joseph Estrada yesterday exuded confidence, saying he can expect a landslide victory in Nueva Ecija in May.

“The Estradas have always been number one in Nueva Ecija,” Estrada explained.
A mayor who had endorsed his presidency said: Erap is really unbeatable. “Not one presidential candidate can beat Erap in our place. It is Erap who is the president of the Novo Ecijanos,” said General Natividad Mayor Librado Santos who has openly declared support to the presidential bid of the former president.
In San Jose City, where a crowd of 12,000 greeted Estrada, Vice Mayor Kokoy Salvador proudly said, “Look at the crowds (that have come to welcome Estrada), showing a strong voter support to his presidential candidacy.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, who joined his father for this campaign sortie, thanked the crowds for their never-ending support to the Estradas.
“When I ran for senator, I was number one here,” the lawmaker recalled.
The former president in his speech noted that the people of Nueva Ecija have brought to number one not only his son but also his wife and best friend..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100326hed2.html

Auto polls won’t have proof of voting 03/26/2010

ATM users, lotto buyers given receipts, but not Smartmatic’s PCOS

Auto polls won’t have proof of voting


The National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), in comparing the automated voting system for the May 10 polls to buying lotto tickets or having an ATM transaction, said that voters have no way of knowing whether the ballots they inserted into the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines would have been counted accurately by the machines. There is no proof at all that their votes were counted, since the Smartmatic machines do not give out any receipt or proof of the votes count, unlike receipts given out by machines used for lotto purchases and ATM transactions.

The Namfrel, a poll watchdog that has been conducting, since 1986, a quick count during elections, but never completes the count, has been denied accreditation by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the May automated polls.

Namfrel, in a statement, raised this question: “How sure are you that your vote will be counted in the automated count?”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100326hed1.html

A bunch of hypocrites, traitors EDITORIAL 03/26/2010

A bunch of hypocrites, traitors


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Mikey Arroyo representing the marginalized security guard sector for party-list Ang Galing Pinoy, is as ridiculous as his mother running for a seat in Congress — from being president for nine stolen years. Yet it is a done deal since they are both members of a special breed of individuals as a Palace spokesman described them.

His bid as a party-list representative also is as preposterous as Noynoy Aquino’s call for a new people power if events do not turn out favorable to his being elected and proclaimed president by July 1.

The Arroyos are indeed special for their insatiable lust for power. They are indeed a new species, heretofore unseen in Philippine politics.

The Arroyos have made the country’s laws and processes in government a plaything which they twist and turn in many ways to see if they can be manipulated some more to suit their caprices and ambitions.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100326hed2.html

Bishops to revolt? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/26/2010

Bishops to revolt?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Bishops say they may join yet another people power revolt, should there be a failure of elections where no president would be proclaimed, because this would be the time the people would need their “moral” guidance.

It looks like their “moral compass” is as elastic as their conscience and their so-called principles.

Not too long ago, when it was very clear that Gloria Arroyo had cheated her way to Malacañang in 2004, as evidenced by the exposé of the “Hello Garci” tapes — and even long before the tapes surfaced, where poll documents clearly showed that she had cheated at the polls, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, in a pastoral letter, made it very clear that not only will the bishops not join the call for Gloria’s resignation, but also that neither people power nor impeachment proceedings should be resorted to by the Filipinos.

Still, the Catholic bishops’ ever-changing political stand suffers from a great credibility problem, especially since it has become clear to everyone that these bishops who claim moral ascendancy and hypocritically say they do not dabble in partisan politics, do engage in partisan politics, and how!

But if that is their political bent, why not?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100326com2.html

Foreign universities eye Indian opening FEATURE 03/26/2010

Foreign universities eye Indian opening



NEW DELHI — Universities around the world are poised to establish outpost colleges in India as the government pushes ahead with plans to open up the country’s education system.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet has given the green light to the proposals, which will now be debated by parliament next month.

Nearly one in three of India’s 1.15 billion people is under 14, and Singh has said improving educational standards is crucial if recent rapid economic development is to continue.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100326com3.html

Let’s talk movies NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 03/26/2010

Let’s talk movies

Armida Siguion-Reyna

I Love You Phillip Morris is now showing in our theaters. Or whatever’s left of them, considering that a considerable number have been converted into bingo halls, theater auditoriums, prayer meeting venues, etcetera. Then again, we’re also talking of whatever is left of the movie, for I hear it’s been so heavily censored by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), the remainder hardly makes sense.

Wikipedia says “I Love You Phillip Morris is a comedy-drama film based on the real life events of con artist, impostor, and multiple prison escapee Steven Jay Russell played by Jim Carrey. While incarcerated, Russell falls in love with his cellmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). After Morris is released from prison, Russell escapes from prison four times in order to be reunited with Morris… MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100326com4.html

The Dark Princes’ endless plunder DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 03/26/2010

The Dark Princes’ endless plunder

Herman Tiu Laurel

The confusion over the automated voting system and the campaigns are playing into the power wielders’ goals perfectly. While the people get distracted, the “Dark Princes” fast-track their latest plunder projects in cahoots with the government and finance bureaucrats.

As the nation wrings its hands over the Comelec’s rising incredulity and its seemingly hopeless race against time, and as the people get waylaid by frivolous campaign issues and the multiplicity of spurious candidates, including party-list groups, the Arroyo regime now grants the Dark Princes a P100-billion stimulus package and tax breaks worth billions more for their power, water, and telecoms companies.

Only President Joseph Estrada raised the current power crisis fraud as an issue.

At a press conference late last week at the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) headquarters on Shaw Boulevard, President Estrada belied the Arroyo government’s tale about the Mindanao power crisis and the horrendous overpricing in its emergency power plan. Although media arrived in full force, there was hardly any report in the mainstream newspapers and broadcast outlets the next day.

What many in the media wanted and excitedly thought they were going to get was an announcement that Erap would be withdrawing from the race, which, of course, didn’t happen. But it speaks of what media are when all they would do is scramble for a sensational story based on hearsay rather than take extra pains to report on a genuine national crisis and blatant plunder. Needless to say, their news editors, publishers and producers share much of the blame.

That is why I am no longer surprised with such muted coverage of an important response to the power scam being foisted on us. The oligarchs behind the power industry represent hefty advertising clout that these mainstream newspaper owners fear right down to their bones. That dread of challenging the Dark Princes also permeates the rest of media and the political milieu, particularly the candidates they surreptitiously support, i.e. the Yellow candidate and Mr. Villarroyo.

It should therefore not be surprising that two news items of the last five days that are vital to the Filipino people’s knowledge of their treasury and electricity supply — March 21’s “Additional incentives via IPP to help address supply lack” and March 25’s “Telco, power, water to get P100-B stimulus” — which only the Tribune carried with prominence, were hardly covered by mainstream media — a testament to the Dark Princes’ control of information today.

Among the tax incentives the BoI reported are the “tax-free importation” of generating units and the “tax holidays” for power companies that have long been raking in billions. Now, they will get more tax freebies from a crisis they helped create while ordinary Filipinos soon face an upsurge in their VAT payments from 12 percent to 15 percent! Only God knows if these companies will get the same tax holidays as the Manila Water, which enjoyed a decade of non-payment of billions of pesos in taxes.

On top of these tax freebies, the IMF-WB’s finance manager in the Philippines (aka Finance Secretary Gary Teves) is even proposing a P100-billion stimulus package for “infrastructure projects lined up for the telecommunications, power and water sectors.” I can’t imagine why these top earners among the “Top 1,000 Corporations” would still need any more “stimulus.” But this is how our society is organized: The rich oligarchs get more while the poor people give more.

In the meantime, the Yellow candidate threatens “people power” if the elections are waylaid. Call-ins to radio programs, however, reflect an opposite reaction. A masa lady over a DWWW morning program, for instance, said (in Filipino): “His people power is only for the rich. The poor are worse off. Marcos and Erap were better as no one was ever deliberately mowed down in demonstrations and rallies (recalling the Mendiola, Hacienda Luisita and Edsa III massacres).”

The last people power the Yellow candidate enthusiastically supported was Edsa II which installed Gloria Arroyo. Still, I’d encourage him to go on with the people power myth so that other forces such as the nationalist military groups and the Edsa III masa activists can intervene and finally sort out the mess Edsa I and II created. Only by stopping the oligarchs’ plunder can we return this country to the path of genuine political and economic democracy.

This sham electoral system and exercise can lead to nothing else but chaos while the real economic and social hardships of the people continue to aggravate. Gloria Arroyo’s struggle to survive this transition of power is just a side show to the real crisis — the oligarchs’ and the Dark Princes’ continuing stranglehold on our lives, their insatiable plunder of our nation’s wealth and resources, and their ceaseless efforts to crush the light of hope and the future of our people.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV, Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on “Unorthodox Candidates: Jimmie Regalario and PEP”; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100326com5.html

Nigerian flashpoint city still wracked by killings focus 03/26/2010

Nigerian flashpoint city still wracked by killings



KANO — Despite tightened security in the restive Nigerian city of Jos following recent sectarian massacres, a wave of revenge killings has claimed the lives of both Muslims and Christians.

The tension is so marked that inhabitants find it difficult to venture out in some parts of the central city, which lies on the faultline between the Muslim-majority north and the mainly Christian south.

“We now live in fear as a result of killings in the city, which makes it difficult for us to move about freely,” Muhammad Sani Mudi, spokesman of the Hausa community of Muslims in Jos told AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100326com6.html

Westerners follow Thai brides to live in hard-up northeast FEATURE 03/26/2010

Westerners follow Thai brides to live in hard-up northeast



UDON THANI — On what the locals jokingly call “Westerners street,” Australian Justin Raines is laughing over a beer with his pregnant Thai fiancee Eve — who at 21 is half his age.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re fat, you’re ugly, you’ve got spew hanging out of your mouth or whatever else, there’s some lady here who will want to take care of you,” Justin says with a grin.

Nine years ago he moved from Queensland to this hard-up, northeastern region of Thailand, known as Isaan, to be with his first Thai wife, whom he met on a trip to Bangkok.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100326com7.html

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