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The Daily Tribune

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ICG prods gov’t on Maguindanao massacre By Mario J. Mallari 04/05/2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

ICG prods gov’t on Maguindanao massacre

By Mario J. Mallari

The International Crisis Group (ICG) has urged the government to expeditiously try and convict the perpetrators of last year’s Maguindanao massacre of at least 57 civilians, including 32 media practitioners, if only to bring justice to the victims.

Apart from this, the ICG stressed the government must improve security in the country by ending private and local funding for civilian auxiliaries to the police and military and asserting far more control over procurement and issuance of firearms and ensure the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) moves forward.
The ICG noted that on the pretext of fighting the MILF that the powerful Ampatuan clan, whose members were tagged as involved in the gruesome Nov. 23, 2009 massacre in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao province, built their private force through the government accredited militias.

The ICG, however, maintained the carnage may “offer opportunities to make progress in the areas of justice, security and peace.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100405hed3.html

Noynoy committed graft in forming security firm By Angie M. Rosales 04/05/2010

Noynoy committed graft in forming security firm

By Angie M. Rosales

The Nacionalista Party (NP) camp of presidential aspirant Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. went on an offensive yesterday accusing Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of corruption in setting up a security agency when his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, was in power more than two decades ago.
NP spokesman and senatorial bet Gilbert Remulla made the charges, accusing Aquino of supposedly violating the anti-graft law in disclosing the latter’s Best Security Agency (BSA) set up sometime in 1986 shortly after his mother, was installed into the presidency.

Allegedly, BSA provided services to government firms, Remulla said.

“Sen. Aquino certainly violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act of 1965. What is infuriating is that he shows no remorse or guilt over the whole thing. It’s as if it’s just an ordinary thing doing business with the government when his mother was the then sitting president. This is what’s most alarming,” Remulla said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100405hed2.html

Gibo may have found his ace EDITORIAL 04/05/2010

Gibo may have found his ace

Click to enlarge

The reported junking of Gloria of her own party and presidential bet Gilberto
Teodoro constitute yet another piece of proof that the plundering couple may be cooking up something sinister to stay in power.

Teodoro has not been getting good numbers in the surveys that had him way too low even for an administration-backed machinery to pull him up to realistically become a major contender right before polling day.
It seems that Gloria and Big Mike will have no problem about junking the political party that Gloria herself formed to make certain that their plan for political perpetuity does not miscarry..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100405com1.html

More human intervention FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/05/2010

More human intervention

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Arguments for automating the elections were focused on eliminating human intervention, stemming from too much evidence of electoral fraud. And so automated elections — even to the tune of P11.3 billion for just one electoral exercise in May 2010 were pushed, and quickly approved by Congress.

But from all indications, despite getting into automated elections, human intervention has certainly increased, rather than lessened with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its dubious partner, Smartmatic, taking control of the auto polls.

Human intervention is solidly in place, and so is the poll body’s cheating syndicate, said to be led by the “Big Four” that can be found in the executive offices of the Comelec.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100405com2.html

Cracks mar Berlin Holocaust memorial anniversary FEATURE 04/05/2010

Cracks mar Berlin Holocaust memorial anniversary



BERLIN — Germany’s Holocaust memorial, a solemn maze of concrete grey slabs in central Berlin commemorating the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, split public opinion when it was erected five years ago.

But now, ahead of next month’s anniversary, the splits are all too real as a viciously cold winter, inferior building materials and possible building flaws have resulted in cracks in more than two-thirds of the 2,711 columns.
“Can the Holocaust memorial still be saved?” asked mass circulation Bild.

The head of the foundation that manages the memorial, which stretches over 19,000 square meters (205,000 square feet) at a site close to the city’s famous Brandenburg Gate, said a committee of experts was looking into the problem.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100405com3.html

Only Erap will stop an Aquin-o-rroyo era DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/05/2010

Only Erap will stop an Aquin-o-rroyo era

Herman Tiu Laurel

While mainstream media carry on with the hype of the two main survey outfits instrumental in the Edsa II destabilization of President Joseph Estrada, quiet surveys commissioned by local mayoralty bets are proving to be move reflective of the realities on the ground. Since these are hardly used for publicity as those commissioning them do not have a direct, vested stake in the race for the presidency, there is no pressure for bias at least on this level.

It is in this context that we are reporting on two of these local surveys: The first in Manila puts President Estrada at 44 percent, way ahead of the pack, while the second in Quezon City shows Erap a very close second. In both, Villar has slipped to a far third, reflecting the propaganda overdose that is already choking the public into spitting him out.
The oligarchy-controlled media, however, together with survey outfits that reflect only the privileged class’ perceptions, continue to block out the masa’s overwhelming sentiment about the crises they face in their daily lives. This, they do by redressing old and still festering wounds from Edsa I and II, such as the elite’s insults against the masa’s votes, as well as, personal or class indignities through harsh labels or condescending plays on the masa’s sympathy.
But as the masa’s will and inherent intelligence were shown in their 1998 vote, the same is repeating itself today.
It is very clear even in the latest Pulse Asia survey that only Estrada is gaining ground, by four percentage points at least. The Yellow candidate’s tick-up of one percent is, for all intents and purposes, a statistical standstill. Villarroyo’s train, meanwhile, has markedly lost steam and is now rolling backwards downhill. With nothing new to say and no new contrivances such as being “one of the poor,” Villar is practically eliminated already.
Now then comes the real showdown — one that the oligarchs wish they could have avoided: A battle royale pitting the Yellow dummy versus the Champion of the People. It is also at this time that the issue summarizing all the years from 2001 must be raised, which rightly deals with the question of who brought upon this nation the crisis of law it faces today.
This is what separates the nation’s pre-2001 and post-2001 eras, the demarcation being BG (Before Gloria) and AG (After Gloria). In the years from 1987 down to Jan. 18, 2001, BG, the country, despite all its problems, laid claim to the rule of law in all its dealings, albeit inconsistently. Elections were held periodically and, though imperfect, the country still had a working democracy. Even if the powerful elite continued to hold sway, the exploited middle class and poor had some room to fight certain injustices such as basic utility rate increases and onerous privatizations.
But our lives as Filipinos took a drastic turn for the worse on Jan. 19, 2001 AG when the elite deposed a duly-elected President who abided by every letter of the law. It was all the more disastrous because he was the only president in recent history to uphold the country’s territorial integrity and its obligation to serve the greater good for the greatest number, whose only mistake was to miss the fact that the elite think they are either transnational and corporate or cacique and not just Filipino, while Filipino politicians and police-military bureaucrats think of ordinary citizens as sheep and carabaos, and not as Filipinos with political and economic rights.
People are still aware of Villarroyo’s role in the illegal impeachment of President Estrada when he circumvented the rules to fast-break the case to the Senate wolves. Noynoy Aquino, for his part, was then a congressional wallpaper who, together with his trapo colleagues, neither cared for legal processes nor upheld democracy and justice. It was under their watch that this illegal regime of Gloria Arroyo came to pass.
After 2004’s chance at national redemption got stolen by blatant cheating, both Aquino and Villar stayed silent and continued protecting Gloria. It was only after segments of the elite began distrusting their ragdoll Gloria that the death of Cory Aquino was seized upon to build up their new Yellow puppet.
The succinct truth is Arroyo, Aquino, and Villar represent the injustice of Edsa II and its years of tribulations. The three have ushered in an era where oligarchs have been given free rein to cash in and share the spoils with the most corrupt regime in the annals of Philippine history and all its branches.
President Estrada has defied all the odds to rise from what some have said was “a spent political force.” After years of facing off with Gloria; after successfully fending off many of the elite’s attacks; after knocking Villar out recently, Erap must now train his sights on another elite-engineered ruse — a transition from an Arroyo to an Aquin-o-rroyo regime.
For truly, with the oligarchs’ new Malacañang puppet and their Gloria Arroyo both protectively ensconced in the seats of power, the nation can only be at the service of the oligarchy. Only the real Champion of the People, President Estrada, can put a stop to this.

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100405com4.html

Up for sale: Gandhi items — and his ideals FEATURE 04/05/2010

Up for sale: Gandhi items — and his ideals



AHMEDABAD — The Beatles removed Mahatma Gandhi’s picture from the 1967 album cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in case it upset Indians, but such restraint is now a thing of the past.

Today, Gandhi memorabilia is auctioned off in New York and London with his scant personal possessions attracting sky high prices, while his image is used on pens, billboards and souvenirs.

“People want to buy every piece of history associated with the great man,” Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of India’s independence leader, told AFP.

“Anything that comes with a ‘Gandhi’ tag sells, and India has not been able to protect the items belonging to the father of the nation.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100405com5.html

Reflections and disasters HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 04/05/2010

Reflections and disasters

Aldrin Cardon

I have two daughters who are not exactly fans of restaurants serving local and exotic dishes. Just as other children are nowadays who are growing accustomed to television advertisements and other paid hypes, they prefer burgers and fries.

But classes were out officially last week and for Palm Sunday dinner, I took them to one of Larry Cruz’s joints in Malate. They seemed to love the fare which I personally selected from a rather rich menu, but their focus on our food and conversation was lured by a British food blogger on the other table who seemed to love with gusto his fare of fried frog legs to which my daughters could only shriek ewww!

I reminded my two girls that in times of wars and disasters, even snakes and mice could be eaten. I got sharp stares with my remark. I could understand their reaction.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100405com6.html

Quaking SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 04/05/2010


Dinah S. Ventura

It hardly seems spiritual to quake at the thought of impending disasters, both natural and man-made, so soon after all the positive feelings the Catholic population shared yesterday, Easter Sunday. But it’s hard to feel calm when the rumblings have been felt. And hope, we know, must be tempered by reality.

At this point, we cannot continue to delude ourselves with, say, visions of peaceful, clean elections or a country that will soon rise up like a roaring lion.

Like the earthquake that Metro Manilans felt before the start of the Holy Week, reality is something we cannot simply shut our eyes from and pray would go away. The trembling under our feet, literally and figuratively, is enough to make anyone nauseous and fearful for one’s life.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100405com7.html

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