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‘Sticker wars’ prove Aquino is ‘President of the elite’ By Gerry Baldo 05/01/2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

‘Sticker wars’ prove Aquino is ‘President of the elite’

By Gerry Baldo

The Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) yesterday said the raging “sticker wars” was the best way to illustrate the “extreme and suspicious” closeness of Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino to the country’s elite, a fact which it said also clearly shows where his real priorities are.

PMP director Wilson Agbayani raised this point during the PMP coordinators’ meeting last Friday, stressing how Aquino’s yellow ribbon stickers are plastered on expensive cars and SUVs (sport utility vehicles), while stickers supporting their standard-bearer, former President Joseph Estrada, are conspicuously posted on passenger jeepneys, tricycles and “padyaks” (pedicabs).

“That’s where you’ll see where a candidate’s support comes from and whom he supports,” Agbayani, in a statement, said.

Agbayani is in charge of marshalling all of the party’s volunteers and coordinators in Metro Manila.

“Since 80 percent of Filipinos are poor, then it follows that only a real man of the masses can represent them. It does not follow that if you have more money, then you have a bigger claim on the country’s future.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100501hed3.html

Meralco ‘deal’ with Noynoy slammed 05/01/2010

Meralco ‘deal’ with Noynoy slammed


A party-list lawmaker who is seeking a senatorial post in the forthcoming elections has denounced the alleged deal forged between Liberal Party presidential bet Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and the private utility firm Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to purportedly forgo the overcharging in electricity rates if Aquino is elected as President.

This developed as the Movement for Better Values yesterday picketed the offices of the Meralco and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to protest recent increases in electricity rates and bared the alleged secret deal between Meralco and the Noynoy Aquino camp.

“(President) Arroyo’s legacy of high electricity rates since the approval of Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act in 2001 and Noynoy’s dream for the presidency bodes ill for consumers and the people,” Nacionalista Party and Makabayan coalition senatorial candidate Rep. Liza Maza said in a press statement.
“The Noynoy deal with Meralco, if this is true, could be a portent of things to come. The ERC is already sitting on the excessive billings of Meralco as proved by the CoA (Commission on Audit) audit. Should the deal push through, we are in for bigger electric shocks,” she added.

According to Maza, figures from the CoA Audit Reports of Meralco reveal overcharges by Meralcio of P8.552 billion and P4.375 billion in test years 2004 and 2007, for a total of P12.98 billion. The years 1987 to 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008 were not included in the CoA audit, she noted.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

  URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100501nat4.html

Mock elections prove 50% voters disenfranchisement By Aycth S. de la Cruz 05/01/2010

Mock elections prove 50% voters disenfranchisement

By Aycth S. de la Cruz

Some 30 to 50 percent of the voters will surely be disenfranchised, as proved by the mock elections conducted by the Commission on Elections at the UNTV in Quezon City Thursday April 29.

Center for People Empowerment in Governance said the mock elections confirmed CenPEG’s previous warnings that the May 10 election is bound to disenfranchise from 30 to 50 percent of the registered voters.

It pointed to Thursday’s end-to-end mock elections held to accommodate 1,000 voters casting their votes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. that allowed only 503 voters to vote with three rejected ballots.

The number of actual votes cast within the 11-hour voting time corresponded with earlier estimates of CenPEG based on two separate days of mock elections -- the Feb. 6 mock polls held in six sites and the March 25 JCOC mock polls held at the Senate.
“The results of all the mock polls should all the more compel the Comelec to extend the voting time from 11 hours to 16 or even 20 hours to accommodate 1,000 voters,” Bobby Tuazon, CenPEG director said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100501hed1.html

Binay twits Roxas on eVAT turnaround 05/01/2010

Says it’s ‘too little, too late’

Binay twits Roxas on eVAT turnaround


United Opposition (UNO) vice presidential candidate, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay yesterday said Liberal Party (LP) rival bet Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II’s statement that he would not raise the expanded value added tax (eVAT) to 15 percent was intended to arrest the erosion of his survey numbers.

“First he pushed for 12 percent eVAT, now he says he will not add another three percent. Does he expect us to be grateful? It’s not even a principled stand. It’s an attempt at damage control that merely reinforces the view that Senator Roxas sees nothing wrong with taxing the poor,” Binay said.
He noted that Roxas made that statement after the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released the results of its April survey where the LP bet’s rating fell for the third time in a row since the start of the campaign period in January.
A survey by Pulse Asia released three days after showed Binay further cutting Roxas’ lead to only nine points.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100501nat1.html

Junta on his mind EDITORIAL 05/01/2010

Junta on his mind

Click to enlarge

Defense Chief Norberto Gonzales claimed that cheating at the polls has begun — by way of bribing Commission on Elections officials as well as elements from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police — to rig the elections in favor of two unnamed presidential candidates.
He claims to have documents to substantiate his claims and would be filing cases soon.
He also says that he is pretty concerned over scenarios of a people power revolt, which has been threatened by Liberal Party standard bearer Sen. Noynoy Aquino, should he lose the elections, believing that the only way he can lose is for him to be cheated of his victory.
There is no question that with the Comelec cheating syndicate, led by the “Big Four,” said to be Comelec executives alive and kicking, rigging of the polls is a possibility — even if the nation is going to have automated elections. After all, the poll body can hardly be called transparent in its ways and has even done away with virtually all the security marks apart from other anti-fraud measures, along with the many glitches being reported.
It is also known that candidates do make deals with Comelec officials to make them win, in certain districts or provinces, and even pay to land a second or third slot in the provincial level, if the first slot has already be bought by another candidate.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100501com1.html

Denials galore FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/01/2010

Denials galore

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Denials of Noynoy Aquino’s alleged psychiatric history come very, very, fast, especially when it comes to the yellow media, which is clearly all out for him.

The first psychiatric report was quickly aired by the very partisan ABS-CBN, and aired even when it was clearly fake, then it attributed the leakage to Nacionalista Party sources that the network refused to identify.

The publicized fake report with quick denials from the alleged signatory and the Ateneo psychology department made many wonder why the yellow TV channel aired it at all, considering the fact that it was clearly a fake document — even at first glance.

But perhaps the intent was precisely to publicize it to snuff out as fakes whatever psychiatric report was expected to come, since this alleged mental instability of Noynoy Aquino has been the talk of the town for months on end... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100501com2.html

Cairo’s zabaleen want only respect in a rubbish life FEATURE 05/01/2010

Cairo’s zabaleen want only respect in a rubbish life



CAIRO — Children stop their game of marbles and scatter as rubbish-laden trucks trundle up their dusty street, swarming with flies and grinding dead vermin beneath their wheels.

The sight — and smell — is all too familiar in Zarayib, meaning “the Sties,” a shanty-town in northeast Cairo where the zabaleen make their living by sifting through garbage in search of anything recyclable.

Before the Egyptian authorities a year ago ordered a total pig cull in the face of the outbreak of swine flu, the animals would do a lot of the messier work for the zabaleen, as Egyptians plying the garbage trade are known.
Without the pigs, the women of Zarayib are now forced daily to sit atop mounds of detritus in the slum’s alleyways sorting rotting food from plastics and glass.

The government said the cull of pigs, estimated in the tens of thousands, was a precaution against swine flu. The mostly Coptic Christian slum dwellers resisted, but eventually surrendered.

But without the pigs the job is nowhere near as efficient and the scavengers are now forced to leave the organic waste in stinking mounds around Cairo or dump it in landfills.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100501com3.html

After the Herrera Law Weakened Workers’ Rights, another Labor Code Revision in the Offing?

After the Herrera Law Weakened Workers’ Rights, another Labor Code Revision in the Offing?


 Two decades after the Aquino government successfully rammed through the first major revision of the country’s Labor Code to the detriment of workers’ rights, the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) recently aired its desire to revise it anew. As with previous attempts to change the Labor Code, their stated reasons boil down to the ‘imperatives of creating jobs to improve the economy.’

Their announcement followed the first major public appearance of ex-Senator Ernesto Herrera, leader of the government-backed Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP). Herrera is the principal author of Republic Act 6715 of 1989, dubbed as the Herrera Law, the first major revision of the Labor Code, which was passed in 1974 during the Marcos dictatorship. It was followed a few weeks later by the “Wage Rationalization Act” or RA 6727, which provided for the creation of regional wage boards, composed of representatives of the government, corporations, and labor, for the purpose of determining wage increases. This, workers asserted, was meant to weaken the national unity and struggle of workers for legislated wage increases.

After his role in changing the Labor Code, Herrera lost his reelection bid for the senate. But recently, he came out of hibernation to lead TUCP in the filing of wage hike petitions in some regional boards, while the rest of the labor sector have given up on these “inutile” wage boards and are lobbying instead for a legislated wage hike.

What is in store for private sector employees and workers now that the ECOP and TUCP, which progressive unions accuse of conniving to mangle workers’ rights, are again actively pushing for their respective agenda? These two groups, which are favored by the government and the International Labor Organization (ILO), also often represent the two sides of the tripartite body that formulates proposals for labor legislation.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/05/01/after-the-herrera-law-weakened-workers-rights-another-labor-code-revision-in-the-offing/

Appellate Court Affirms Rights Commission’s Mandate and Jurisdiction

Appellate Court Affirms Rights Commission’s Mandate and Jurisdiction

The Court of Appeals (CA) 7th Division initially ruled in favor of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) by holding in abeyance the petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO), which was filed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to stop the commission’s hearings on the complaint of human rights violations filed by 43 health workers.

The 43 health workers, who were arrested on Feb. 6 in Morong, Rizal, filed a complaint of human rights abuses before the CHR against the police, military and others involved in their arrest and detention.

For three consecutive hearings, the AFP defied the CHR order to produce the Morong 43 and instead filed a petition for TRO before the CA.

The CA 7th Division under Justice Juan Enriquez did not issue a TRO because it deemed the petition as “premature” and the CHR has a clear constitutional mandate to investigate such cases, Rachel Pastores of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) and one of the legal counsels of the Morong 43 said.

“We are satisfied by the way the CA handled the hearing,” Pastores said.

“The CHR has yet to issue any resolution in the case and it has not performed adjudication as claimed by the petitioners,” Pastores said further. Pastores stressed that the CHR is only doing its mandate of conducting a fact-finding investigation on the serious allegations of human rights violations.

In an interview with Bulatlat, CHR Chairwoman Leila de Lima said the court advised them to sit with the Office of Solicitor General (OSG), the counsels of the petitioners to discuss certain undertakings.

“They said they are willing to produce the Morong 43 but they have all sorts of excuses,” de Lima said.
The court advised the Department of National Defense (DND) to secure permission from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Morong to be able to produce the detainees before the CHR hearings.

“The AFP and PNP [Philippine National Police] are attempting to be above the law by defying the orders of the court and trying to manipulate it. This is a reason for all Filipinos to be alarmed,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairwoman, said in a statement.

Hide the Truth

Pastores said the OSG stopped questioning the CHR’s jurisdiction to conduct the hearings but insisted that it should limit its questions. “The DND and AFP do not want the CHR to ask about the legality of the search and the arrest. What else would the CHR ask?” Pastores said, adding that those questions are vital in determining whether human rights abuses have been committed.

“The petition itself is an attempt to hide the truth and evade responsibility and to perpetuate the culture of impunity,” Pastores said.

The Morong 43 lawyer said the CHR hearings exposed many things, including how the military and the police conducted the raid on Feb. 6.
“Be brave enough to face your stupidity,” Evelyn Montes, wife of Dr. Alex Montes, one of the detainees, told the military and police at the picket outside the CA compound yesterday.

Meanwhile, the CA’s 12th Division granted a similar petition filed by Judge Cesar Mangrobang and Cyrus Jurado and issued a TRO.

Mangrobang is the judge who issued the search warrant used in the Feb. 6 raid and Jurado, according to the relatives of Morong 43, is the lawyer who was hired by the military to represent five of the 43 detainees.
De Lima said they will file a comment and ask the CA to lift the TRO.

In a text message, Karapatan said it welcomes the decision of the CA’s 7th Division and urges the 12th Division to follow suit and lift its TRO.

Pastores said the CA 12th Division did not conduct a hearing before issuing a decision. “The court should have studied the case well given the seriousness of allegations of human rights abuses,” she said.
“This reflects the low level of appreciation of the courts on the work of the CHR and on human rights issues in general,” Pastores added.

Pastores explained that the case filed before the CHR is totally different from those filed at the RTC. “Under the Constitution, the people have the right against unreasonable seizure, illegal arrest, among others. The CHR has the mandate to hear the case.”

In Defense of the CHR

“We call on all peace-loving Filipinos to support the moves of the CHR to assert its independence and exercise its mandate to investigate human rights violations,” Enriquez said.

“The CHR is the only institution that oppressed people like us can turn to. They must not suppress the CHR,” Mrs. Montes said.

Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokesperson of the Free the 43 Health Workers! Alliance said the CHR is the only venue where abuses of the military and police have been exposed. (Bulatlat.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Bulatlat.com)

Source: Bulatlat.com

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/05/01/appellate-court-affirms-rights-commission%E2%80%99s-mandate-and-jurisdiction/

Environment, Human Rights Top Indigenous Peoples’ Electoral Agenda


BAGUIO CITY – As in the past, the 26th Cordillera Day celebration heightened the indigenous peoples’ resolve to advance the issues on environment, human rights, women and children, genuine regional autonomy, jobs, public services, and economic development.

Cordillera Day this year was earlier celebrated in provincial gatherings in Benguet on April 10, Mountain Province on April 17, Apayao and Kalinga on April 24. Abra will hold its post-Cordillera Day celebrations on May 1.

Each of the provincial celebrations resulted in the formulations of electoral agenda consolidated as Cordillera Day Declaration for Politics of Change and May 10 Elections.

Based on experiences for many decades, Cordillera IPs have seen their suffering and exploitation due to anti-people laws and policies and destructive projects and programs in the homeland.... MORE

URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/04/29/environment-human-rights-top-indigenous-peoples%E2%80%99-electoral-agenda/

The Haute Couture as Mirror of Burning Issues of the Time

 The Haute Couture as Mirror of Burning Issues of the Time


Just before the May 10 automated national and local elections take place, women’s group Gabriela would “provide a welcome respite to the increasingly personal insult-based electoral campaign by returning its focus on people’s issues and concerns through a creatively humorous but politically sharp fashion extravaganza.”

Dubbed as The Project Runaway: The Election Season collection, the fashion show, written by veteran director and actor Bibeth Orteza, is divided into two categories, the “Fall” fashion and “Spring” fashion. The “Fall” fashion is about the ills of the Arroyo government while “Spring” fashion features the people’s agenda posed at the 2010 hopefuls.

Lana Linaban, secretary general of Gabriela, Project Runaway is a sequel to their successful 2000 Passion/Fashion Show that focused on the issues and problems that beset the administration of the deposed President Joseph Estrada.

The 30-piece haute couture will be presented on April 30 at the Mowelfund Film Institute.... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/04/27/the-haute-couture-as-mirror-of-burning-issues-of-the-time/

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