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Going toward the crooked path EDITORIAL 08/07/2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Going toward the crooked path

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Senators are reportedly bent on lifting former President Gloria Arroyo’s gag rule, also known as Executive Order 464 (EO 464).

From reports, this is to be done through the issuance of the new Senate rules, which was one of the “infirmities” cited by the Supreme Court (SC) in the failure of the Senate to demand for then National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Romulo Neri to appear before the Senate panel and testify — even behind closed doors, on his conversation with Arroyo regarding the ZTE-NBN contract that carried with it a bribe to get it approved.

But this gag rule lifting may not be as easy as it is being made to sound, because it wasn’t just that new Senate rule infirmity that was brought up, but the fact that the ponente in that Neri case did overturn the ruling on EO 464 by the SC then headed by Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, as ponente Justice Teresita de Castro did uphold the right of the President not to permit her executives to attend congressional hearings and respond to questions posed by the senators.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100807com1.html

Noynoy’s EO happy ways FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/07/2010

Noynoy’s EO happy ways

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Yet another executive order (EO) has been issued by Noynoy Aquino, this time, revoking EO 883 issued by Gloria Arroyo granting lawyers working in the government occupying legal positions an automatic career executive service officer (Ceso) lll rank, saying EO 883 was illegal.

The Gloria EO probably is, although one wonders why there is so much focus in the Noynoy government to make a priority the revocation of Gloria’s EOs, although it should be pointed out that Noynoy has not moved to revoke EO 464, the Gloria gag rule.

Still, while the revocation of the Ceso granting may make some Ceso officers happy, as they obtained their current rankings the hard way, that is, taking examinations and going through other rank eligibility procedures, would this revocation make much of a difference, especially since Ceso-eligible lawyers, even if stripped of their Ceso lll ranking, can’t be fired, except for cause?

There aren’t enough Ceso officers in the entire government and no matter what rank a government officer has, he would still have to continue with the same task he has been assigned to. The pay may be lower but the job would still be there — but promotions may come slowly for those who have been stripped by Noynoy of their Ceso lll rank.

One really wonders what is behind this urge of Noynoy and his legal aides in revoking EOs that have been signed by Gloria..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100807com2.html

Wheels of justice: Cutting India’s legal backlog on the move FEATURE 08/07/2010

Wheels of justice: Cutting India’s legal backlog on the move


KAPURHOL — By the side of a busy main road in western India, Nizamuddin Sheikh perched on his crutches and gave a toothless grin, as the trouser leg where his right limb once was flapped in the wind.

The wizened 52-year-old farmer has had a court case hanging over his head for the last seven years after he threatened a neighbor with an iron bar in a heated land dispute.

But the prospect of a stiff fine — or worse — was lifted after he agreed to hold his ears in a traditional sign of public apology and shake hands with his victim in front of a judge in the back of a bright yellow bus.

“I’m very happy that the matter has been resolved without a payment,” Sheikh told AFP after negotiating the steps down from the bus into the muddy car park. “It was very quick.”

Sheikh is one satisfied customer of India’s first mobile court, which aims to dispense speedy justice for free in hard-to-reach rural areas and ease the burden on the country’s slow-moving and chronically over-burdened courts.
On one blustery, overcast day punctuated by heavy monsoon downpours, the distinctive, bright yellow vehicle stopped in front of a community center in Kapurhol, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Pune in Maharashtra state..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100807com3.html

Cojuangco-Aquinos Used ‘Impostors’ Who Misrepresented Luisita Workers in ‘Sham’ Deal Published on August 7, 2010

 Cojuangco-Aquinos Used ‘Impostors’ Who Misrepresented Luisita Workers in ‘Sham’ Deal

Published on August 7, 2010


MANILA — The so-called compromise agreement entered into by the Hacienda Luisita Incorporated (HLI) and the farm workers of the sugar plantation owned by the family of President Aquino is a sham, with the management having allegedly used as signatories individuals who misrepresented themselves as leaders of the hacienda’s farmers and workers.

Jobert Ilarde Pahilga, the lawyer of the group of farm workers who had earlier filed a petition for the revocation of the stock distribution option (SDO) in Hacienda Luisita, said he would file a petition citing HLI and these individuals in contempt of court.

“We will definitely question in all forums available to us the standing of these individuals with whom HLI management negotiated and hold them accountable for their acts,” Pahilga said.

In negotiating with what Pahilga described as “impostors,” HLI has attempted a repeat of “the 1989 deception” in which HLI management allegedly manipulated the referendums that paved the way for the implementation of the SDO, a scheme that was implemented in lieu of actual land distribution.

Previous story: ‘Breakthrough Deal’ Is a Lie Meant to Sway Supreme Court Decision on Hacienda Luisita, Say Farmers

“This time, they are trying to manufacture consent by negotiating with individuals who do not have authority to represent the farm workers,” Pahilga said.

“What the HLI is doing is a repeat of the manufactured referendum in 1989, which mothered the protracted strife that now bedevils the farm workers in Hacienda Luisita,” said Pahilga, who is also an executive trustee of Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra) and lawyer for the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (Ambala), the farm workers group that is supposedly a signatory to the agreement the Cojuangco-Aquinos disclosed this week.

According to Pahilga, the HLI implemented the SDO scheme through a bogus referendum to evade land distribution. Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, who had followed the case closely ever since, said Saturday that the farm workers “voted under duress when the referendum on the SDO was done in 1989.”.... MORE

Advocates for Women and Children Push for Sex Education in Schools Published on August 7, 2010

Advocates for Women and Children Push for Sex Education in Schools

Published on August 7, 2010


MANILA – Pam Mendoza, now 27, got pregnant at the age of 16; she was in fourth year high school then. Angelica (not her real name), 18, also got pregnant at the same age. She‘s now 18 and a student in a university. Both of them became mothers at such an early age. While other teenagers sleep for long hours, they had to wake up several times during the wee hours of the morning to feed and change the diaper of their baby, and later on send them to school.

Both of them believe that it is important to integrate sex education in the school curriculum.Mendoza said if she was well-informed about sex and its implications, she would probably not end up getting pregnant at an early age. Angelica said now that she has a child, she has to juggle her studies with taking care of her baby. She has no time to do things that teenagers normally do. “Somehow, I regret having had pre-marital sex because of that,” she said..... MORE

Is the Worst Really Over at PAL? Not Quite, as Workers Brace for More Turbulence Published on August 7, 2010

Is the Worst Really Over at PAL? Not Quite, as Workers Brace for More Turbulence

Published on August 7, 2010

The dialogue brokered by government did not address the root causes of the unrest raised by the pilots who resigned. Instead, PAL will continue to implement its massive spin-off and contractualization schemes – approved by the Arroyo regime, not yet rescinded by the Aquino government — that will affect thousands of PAL’s cabin and ground employees.


MANILA – In the face of mounting calls for the government to investigate Lucio Tan’s alleged losses and abuses of his employees in Philippine Airlines, the Aquino government has retreated from further intervention in the ongoing labor disputes in the airline, suggesting that the trouble at the country’s flag carrier may be over.
But is it?

After brokering a dialogue between PAL pilots and management last Thursday, Malacañang claimed satisfaction at having “opened communication lines between the two parties” that led to “a commitment from PAL management not to do the things that the pilots viewed as discriminatory.” ... .MORE


De Lima Supports Non-Separation of Morong 43 Mom, Newborn Published on August 7, 2010

De Lima Supports Non-Separation of Morong 43 Mom, Newborn

Published on August 7, 2010 


MANILA – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima overturned the move of a subordinate and expressed support for the non-separation of Morong 43 mother and her newborn son.

Carina Judilyn Oliveros, one of the 43 health workers arrested in Morong, Rizal on Feb. 6 gave birth to her first baby July 22 at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). The legal counsels of the Morong 43 filed a petition before the Morong Regional Trial Court (RTC) for Oliveros’s release on recognizance so she could breastfeed her baby.

Amylyn Sato, one of the legal counsels of the Morong 43, said the petition does not indicate the duration for the temporary release but the pediatrician’s recommendation is six months. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies up to six months and continuous breastfeeding with supplementary feeding up to two years old and beyond.

State Prosecutor II Romeo Senson filed a manifestation of vehement opposition to the said petition..... MORE

Noy strips gov’t lawyers of automatic Ceso III rank By Aytch S. de la Cruz 08/07/2010

As Palace revokes GMA’s EO 883 but mum on future of EO 464 gag rule

Noy strips gov’t lawyers of automatic Ceso III rank

By Aytch S. de la Cruz
Now they have it, now they don’t.

President Aquino has been on an Executive Order (EO) revocation spree, with Malacañang yesterday releasing yet another EO revoking former President Gloria Arroyo’s EO that granted government lawyers automatic Career Executive Service Officer (Ceso) lll status.

But Aquino has remained silent on revoking EO 464, or the gag rule, that bans Malacañang executives from appearing before congressional inquiries and testifying before the congressional panels. Both the Senate and the public have been calling for the revocation of EO 464.

What Aquino released was EO 3 that rescinds Arroyo’s EO 883 which he and his legal team said was illegal because it amounts to depriving the Career Executive Service Board (Cesb) of its mandate “to promulgate the rules, standards and procedures on the selection, classification, compensation, and career development of the members of the career executive service” as stated under the law.

In the same breath however, Malacañang admitted that no government lawyer has taken advantage of the automatic Ceso lll rank, despite the earlier existence of EO 883.

EO 883 automatically vests the rank of career executive service official (Ceso) level III to lawyers who occupy legal positions in the government executive service who have obtained graduate degrees in law and have successfully passed the bar examinations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100807hed1.html

Palace, military downplay terror angle in Zamboanga airport blast 08/07/2010

Palace, military downplay terror angle in Zamboanga airport blast

Malacañang yesterday ruled out the “suicide bombing” in the recent explosion perpetrated by a suspected bomber outside the arrival area of the Zamboanga City International Airport Thursday evening.

President Aquino said he has been informed that this particular incident is supposed to be considered an isolated case that is not geared toward instigating a fresh round of terrorist attacks during the first months of his administration.

Aquino informed reporters that investigations are now being conducted by government forces led by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Jesus Verzosa in coordination with National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin  and Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to determine the real motives of the suspect in executing the crime. 

He said Verzosa already went to Zamboanga City yesterday to personally oversee police investigations regarding the matter.

At a news conference, Communications Group messaging unit head Secretary Ricky Carandang said that, right now, they are still trying to sift all the information that they have been receiving from the media in relation to the incident..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100807hed2.html

Respect inter-parliamentary courtesy on Gloria, Zubiri tells House By Angie M. Rosales 08/07/2010

Respect inter-parliamentary courtesy on Gloria, Zubiri tells House

By Angie M. Rosales
Breaking the tradition of inter-parliamentary courtesy, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri yesterday criticized a counterpart colleague from the House of Representatives for “attacking” former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo in a privilege speech.

Zubiri said Arroyo should have been afforded respect being an erstwhile Chief Executive.

“They should at least give respect to our former president now that she’s a member of the House of Representatives. We (in Congress) have what we call proper decorum and parliamentary courtesy,” he stressed.
The senator, former partymate of Arroyo in Lakas-CMD party, was reacting to the tirades made by Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello against the now Pampanga congresswoman in a privilege speech early this week.
Bello lambasted Arroyo saying that corruption was the signature 

of the former leader 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.”

Bello’s manner of raising issues against the previous administration did not sit well with Zubiri, saying lawmakers should not stoop low by resorting to name calling during speeches..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100807hed3.html

Noy welcomes hacienda accord; unions blast ‘deception’ BY Aytch S. dela Cruz and Charlie V. Manalo 08/07/2010

Noy welcomes hacienda accord; unions blast ‘deception’

BY Aytch S. dela Cruz and Charlie V. Manalo
President Aquino yesterday welcomed the compromise agreement between the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) management and its farmers that has been reportedly signed by the parties concerned notwithstanding the lingering contentions of other farm worker beneficiaries.

Aquino, through his spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, described this as a pleasant development and hoped that the Supreme Court (SC) will rule favorably on this agreement.

“The President has a very minimal interest, I think less than one percent, in Hacienda Luisita. The important thing there is to have a peaceful resolution. But he leaves the management of Hacienda Luisita to settle this problem with the farmer and the beneficiaries,” Lacierda said in a news conference at the Palace yesterday.

Lacierda, nonetheless, mentioned that Aquino is pretty much aware of the “broad strokes” of the issue including HLI’s proposal that only one third of its farmlands should be distritued to the beneficiaries.

He added that Aquino has also been informed of a suggestion being floated that presents an option to the farmers whether to convert these portions of lands to cash or not just to reach a mutual agreement with their landlords..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100807hed4.html

De Lima dares Dumlao: File complaint vs coercive prosecutor 08/07/2010

De Lima dares Dumlao: File complaint vs coercive prosecutor

For claiming that he was forced into implicating fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson in the double murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emanuel Corbito, Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Leila De Lima yesterday challenged former Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) ranking official, Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, to file a complaint against the government prosecutor who he claimed allegedly forced him into give incriminating testimony against his former boss, Lacson.

De Lima was quoted as saying that it was unfair for prosecutors who have been hard at work on the case, to be accused by Dumlao with the media present saying that which Dumlao should do is to go through the correct process, which is to file his complaint against the prosecutor who coerced him into testifying against Lacson.

De Lima also hinted that there could be someone who may have gotten to Dumlao in a bid to weaken the prosecution’s case.

She, however, did not name names, although it is likely that Lacson, or his camp, may be putting the squeeze on Dumlao, not only to weaken the case, but also to make it easier for Lacson to have the case dismissed, as he is said to be a supporter of President Aquino, and had even his staff and his publicist work for the campaign of Aquino..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100807hed5.html

US aid agency okays $434-M fund vs corruption, poverty By Michaela P. del Callar 08/07/2010

US aid agency okays $434-M fund vs corruption, poverty

By Michaela P. del Callar

A United States aid agency has finally approved a $434-million additional funding to the Philippines to curb corruption and reduce poverty through economic growth.

“Congratulations to the people and Government of the Philippines for tackling difficult challenges to create tangible opportunities for growth and prosperity,” said Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yohannes in Washington. 

“The Filipinos have articulated a clear vision to improve the quality of their lives through a technically, environmentally, and socially sound plan. I am confident that the country’s ongoing commitment to positive reforms, accountability and transparency, and the timely implementation of the compact will deliver tangible results.” 

In Manila, US Ambassador Harry Thomas said the decision by the MCC Board of Directors, chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “marks a vote of confidence in the Aquino administration and its commitment to confront corruption.”

“The MCC grant will support President Aquino’s efforts to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth, combat corruption and ensure a better future for all Filipinos. I am delighted that we now have this new opportunity to build on our partnership with the Philippines. We look forward to signing the final agreements in the coming weeks, and getting to work as soon as possible,” Thomas said.

The compact funding by the MCC may be signed after a 15-day congressional notification period, which follows MCC Board approval..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100807hed6.html

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