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No changes FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/04/2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No changes

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Most puzzling in the chairmanships of the various Senate committees is that which was given to neophyte senator, Teofisto Guingona III: The Senate blue ribbon committee, not just because he is a new entry to the Senate membership, but mainly because he is a staunch ally of Noynoy Aquino, which now gives rise to bias favoring the Aquino administration that may mark Senate investigations, now under the helm of a Liberal Party member.

The blue ribbon committee, as a probe body, can work two ways: It can, through its hearings, humiliate critics and foes, as well as protect presidential allies and Aquino officials from allegations and even absolve them.

This was proved in 2001, under the new government of Gloria Arroyo, with then Sen. Joker Arroyo as its chairman. Hearings conducted which tended to implicate Gloria and her spouse, Big Mike, ensured their protection. This is the reason the probe on the telecoms deal involving Pacifico Marcelo and Gloria that involved the non-veto of the franchise not only was killed at the committee level, but that the senator-allies of Gloria who were then in the majority, refused to even provide protection for Marcelo, despite his testimony..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100804com2.html

Fears for refugees as Myanmar election looms FEATURE 08/04/2010

Fears for refugees as Myanmar election looms


MAE LA CAMP — Hla Hla Aye wept as she recalled leaving her son behind when she fled Myanmar a few weeks ago — with three other children, she and her husband couldn’t carry them all to safety.

Her family joined about 148,000 refugees from the military-ruled country living in limbo in camps across the border in Thailand, most of whom fled civil war-torn eastern villages.

But these newcomers have arrived at a time of growing uncertainty, with an upcoming election in Myanmar fuelling talk in Thailand about sending the refugees back, despite expectations that nothing will change in their homeland.
“If the government stays like this, the country will not become peaceful, it will get worse,” said Hla Hla Aye, 28, as she breast-fed her baby in Mae La, the largest of nine refugee camps along the border..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100804com3.html

33 days over MR. EXPOSE Amb. Ernesto Maceda 08/04/2010

33 days over

Amb. Ernesto Maceda
President Benigno Aquino III has completed 33 days or one third of his first 100 days. If you go by the big expectations raised by his campaign promises, nothing impressive has been done yet, especially in the area of corruption, poverty and hunger.

If you go by public perception of his inexperience, he has acquitted himself reasonably well. What is coming out quite clearly is the in-fighting among four power blocs resulting in the mediocre quality of presidential appointments.

To review, let’s list the observations raised:

1. The first Memorandum Order issued by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa turned out to be defective it had to be withdrawn and amended.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100804com4.html

A case for the high court C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 08/04/2010

A case for the high court

Jonathan De la Cruz
What’s happening here? Just as we are heaping all kinds of accolade to the previous administration and our chosen lawyers for winning that multimillion-dollar arbitration case against Piatco and its partner, Fraport, in the celebrated NAIA Terminal III controversy, we are back in the receiving end of international opprobium. And all because of another case, not as celebrated as the NAIA Terminal lll one, but as crucial as far as the international legal community and, of course, business circles are concerned. I am referring here to the acts of Makati RTC (Branch 66) that issued an anti-arbitration writ of injunction against Felicito Payumo, Benjamin Santos and Eduardo de los Angeles all of whom are supposed to proceed to Singapore to attend to an ongoing arbitration case as parties in a suit they filed against Banco de Oro Unibank before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). I am made to understand that this case stemmed over a dispute in the implementation of a “take over clause” in a corporation called Maxicare where the bank and the parties are co-owners. This dispute which the parties failed to resolve amicably has led Payumo et al. to seek arbitration as provided in their internal corporate arrangements. Unfortunately, even as the arbitration was agreed to by the parties and is actually ongoing it appears that Banco de Oro decided to enjoin the Payumo group from even proceeding with it by, take this, physically barring them from actually attending it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100804com5.html

It must have been love HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 08/04/2010

It must have been love

Aldrin Cardon
Or so Kris Aquino, the hot royal cougar, now believes it was, as she put period to her marriage with basketball star James Yap, once the prized find for Kris but one who was not exactly eligible in the most eligible sense of the word when they publicly announced their relationship years ago, exactly when another woman claimed to have been expectant with James child no less. But they plowed through, nevertheless, James notwithstanding Kris’s past; and Kris, seeing only a bed of roses with James.

Kris saw the flowers, but not the thorns. And when they got pricked, they realized how they hurt.

I was disinterested in the Kris Aquino saga, my thoughts just recently veering away from what has become a routine of a middle-aged man’s life kept only on the brink by literature, music and the arts, but whose sanity is perfectly glued by a loving family, meaning a wife, a son and two daughters — who may have seen his imperfections, but they may have viewed life as a perfect balance of good and evil, of yin and yang, and that utopia exists in a small stretch of a street in Imus, where we eat Bossing’s goto and isaw after the Holy Sunday Mass..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100804com6.html

TMI SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 08/04/2010


Dinah S. Ventura
Even when she was abroad for a much-needed breather, it seemed as if the President’s famous sister, Kris Aquino, never left. That’s because tongues continued to wag about her marriage troubles with James Yap, the basketball player who always looked a bit bewildered whenever he was seen on screen with the Aquinos.

It’s true. A great part of Kris’s popularity comes from her no-holds-barred honesty that sometimes makes even the most curious among us cringe with discomfort. 

“TMI!” a friend exclaimed over a press lunch on Monday, chewing over Kris’ words on the very same showbiz talk show she had left soon after her brother’s triumph at the polls. To avoid giving “too much information” is precisely among the reasons Kris decided to leave The Buzz and SNN — that is, for her to significantly lessen the chances of giving the public anything to use against her brother, President Noynoy Aquino.

But upon her arrival from a long vacation in the United States with her two sons, following news of their breakup, Kris found herself once again in the limelight. She cannot help it — the President’s youngest sister simply attracts attention and her tendency to blurt out the whole truth too often become fodder for talk. A joke even went around sometime during the elections that, with Kris in Malacañang, transparency would never be a problem!... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100804com7.html

Government mulls PAL takeover By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/04/2010

But airline says operations back to normal

Government mulls PAL takeover

By Benjamin B. Pulta
President Aquino’s aides appear to have their wires crossed, with one aide contradicting the other.

Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Leila de Lima told reporters that the Aquino government is not discounting the possibility of taking over the operations of beleaguered national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) as well as sanctioning pilots embroiled in the ongoing labor controversy.

But Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Jose “Ping” de Jesus and the PAL officials stated that they are willing to take the resigned pilots back without any sanctions meted.

De Jesus also said that the takeover of the airline is to be a last resort, when all else fails.

But even as the Aquino aides speak of the possibility of a government takeover, they are also aware of the fact that government cannot tap pilots to fly the PAL planes. 

The problem of the airline stems from the resignations of a sizable number of pilots who have been pirated by Hong Kong and Middle East airlines. 

While the government does have pilots, they are hardly trained to fly commercial jets..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100804hed1.html

NCRCom chief admits ’04 poll cheat bribe offer By Mario J. Mallari 08/04/2010

NCRCom chief admits ’04 poll cheat bribe offer

By Mario J. Mallari

National Capital Region Command (NCRCom) chief Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue admitted yesterday to having been offered a huge amount in 2004 to be part of a wholesale cheating operations for the then presidential elections while at the same time decrying the supposed injustice suffered by professional officers and men of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who refused to allow themselves to be used in politics.

In a radio interview, Angue admitted he was offered millions of pesos in 2004, apparently to allow manipulation of the elections in his area of responsibility. Angue was at that time Navy Task Force 62 commander based in Tawi-Tawi.

Former President Arroyo claimed a new six-year term after supposedly winning the elections that year against opposition candidate Fernando Poe Jr. by a lead of 1 million votes, the same number of votes that Arroyo sought from former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano as guarantee, as overheard in the infamous Hello Garci recordings.

Aside from cash, Angue said the offer also goes with a “choose your assignment” proposal. He admitted that such temptations were not easy to resist.

But Angue, a member of the controversial Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1978, said he turned down such offer. He was subsequently relieved from his post.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100804hed2.html

Enrile: Senate committee chairmanships my decision By Angie M. Rosales 08/04/2010

Enrile: Senate committee chairmanships my decision

By Angie M. Rosales
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday quelled allegations that Palace allies, composing the Liberal Party (LP) bloc, controlled the distribution of committee assignments and secured for themselves the juicy posts.
Enrile assumed responsibility in the designation of chairmen in various committees, even taking it upon himself to clear the issue concerning Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who was left with no panel assignment along with Sen. Joker Arroyo.

“That’s my decision. I told my colleagues, ‘you know, I assume that when you voted for me as Senate President, I am entitled to make decisions. I’ll make a decision. I give the privilege to you to kick me out if you do not agree’,” Enrile told reporters, adding that his decision in designating each member to a particular committee was based “on the need of government and the capability of each one.”

“I based these decisions on the advocacy (of each senator). I have my own notion of the capability of each of us here,” he said.

A number of senators have complained over alleged bullying of the ranks of the LP in the Senate in securing their committee assignments.

Santiago was vocal in expressing her disgust over the distribution of panel chairmanship which she noted even disregarded the tradition of seniority in choosing who should lead a particular panel.

Enrile has a ready answer to this issue, repeatedly emphasizing that it was his decision who should sit as chairman, which was corroborated in separate interviews by Senators Loren Legarda and Franklin Drilon, adding that such was also the consensus made during their closed-door caucus.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100804hed3.html

Ethics raps vs Bello’s privilege speech on GMA pushed By Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo 08/04/2010

Ethics raps vs Bello’s privilege speech on GMA pushed

By Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo
Members of the Lakas Kampi CMD-dominated House minority bloc are planning to file an ethics case against Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello for his “unparliamentary” remarks against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.

Lawyer Raul Lambino, Lakas Kampi CMD spokesman and Elena Bautista Horn, Mrs. Arroyo’s chief of staff, said Bello’s acts were “unparliamentary” and “unethical.”

“This is precisely why his remarks are now being criticized by several members of Congress, together with the plan of filing a complaint with the ethics committee,” Horn said yesterday.

Bello, in his speech lambasted Mrs. Arroyo, saying that corruption was the signature of the Gloria Arroyo presidency and that if her subordinates “behaved like pigs, if the clique and cronies of the previous administration
acted as crocodiles, this is because they had a good example of corruption from the top,” he said.

Bello said Arroyo was a model “not only in corruption and plunder but a model on how to behave with impunity and subvert democratic institutions.”

He said he shares the public’s disgust with the Arroyo government’s “record of orgiastic compensation, brazen manipulation of government agencies and funds for political purposes and massive waste of the people’s money detailed by President Aquino during his State of the Nation Address..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100804hed4.html

Palace confident SC to rule on EO1 merit By Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/04/2010

Palace confident SC to rule on EO1 merit

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
President Aquino’s chief spokesman who has figured in a number of past slip ups, yesterday virtually sucked up to the Supreme Court (SC) in the hope of the high court ruling favorably in the case of Executive Order No. 1 (EO1) which formed the Truth Commission that will investigate irregularities in the past administration, saying that the justices are “expected to rule on the case based on the merits of the executive order, and not because they were appointed by former President Arroyo.”

All the current 13 SC justices and Chief Justice Renato Corona were appointed by Mrs. Arroyo. 

Spokesman Edwin Lacierda yesterday expressed confidence that the high court will rule on the Palace’s favor even if all their critics gang up on them regarding the constitutionality of the Truth Commission.

“We have to trust the institution of the Supreme Court. They are the final arbiter and I’m sure that they will be ruling on the case based on the merits of the executive order and not because they were appointed by the former President Arroyo,” Lacierda explained.

The appointment issue is a touchy subject among SC members considering the cold war between Corona and President Aquino, with Aquino openly expressing his preference that Corona gives way to a SC head that he will appoint..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100804hed5.html

Aquino bullheaded on Tolentino, Singson appointments By Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/04/2010

Aquino bullheaded on Tolentino, Singson appointments

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
President Aquino has no plans of recalling the appointments of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino and Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson despite the issues hounding them, with questions raised over their credibility while holding two crucial government posts. 

At a press conference in Malacañang yesterday, Aquino’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, said the allegations and criticisms that have been hurled against Tolentino and Singson have had no effect on the President’s “trust and confidence” on his two appointees. 

Lacierda earlier said Aquino was convinced by Tolentino’s claim that the graft charges filed against him when he was still the mayor of Tagaytay City were merely aimed at harassing him. 

In Singson’s case, Lacierda reiterated that the Chief Executive has accepted his explanation on the allegations of Singson having forged a “midnight deal” with former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chairman Efraim Genuino when he was still at the helm of the Maynilad Water Services Inc. in connection with the Entertainment City project of Pagcor in Parañaque City. 

Aquino yesterday swore Tolentino into office as MMDA chairman along with 41 others in simple mass oath-taking ceremonies held at Malacañang’s Rizal Hall. 

Leading the fresh inductees were: Cayetano Paderangga Jr. (director general, National Economic Development Authority); Angelito Banayo (administrator, National Food Administration); Macra Cruz (office-in-charge, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System); and Emmanuel Joel Villanueva (director general, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100804hed6.html

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