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Impeachment: Too much of a political tool EDITORIAL 09/16/2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Impeachment: Too much of a political tool

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No impeachable officer — and that includes Supreme Court (SC) justices, along with the President and Vice President of the Republic --- wants to undergo an impeachment process, mainly because it has become too much of a political tool and performed by Congress whose many members can be bought off or bribed with a promise of an important posting under a new government — if a president is made to undergo an impeachment process, as it was in the case of then sitting President Joseph Estrada, where both the Senate and House opposition broke all rules, and even the rule of law, just to get Estrada ousted, as the political opposition wanted to be in power and position under a new government.

Then came the time of impeachment proceedings against then SC Chief Justice Hilario Davide, where the requirements were met in the matter of numbers, but one complaint that the House did not want to be brought to the Senate for trial, and neither the Senate, then headed by Franklin Drilon, wanted to accept it either.

And so they called on the SC to rule on this issue, wanting it to stop the impeachment process against Davide, who was the ally of Corazon Aquino, Gloria Arroyo and their allies in the House and the Senate.

It was a big mistake they made, because they opened the door for the SC to foray into the internal affairs of a co-equal body.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100916com1.html

Yet another propaganda boost FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/16/2010

Yet another propaganda boost

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy and his image makers are trying hard to boost his image after the hostage fiasco.
Not unnoticed is the fact that his usual propagandists, who pass themselves off as journalists and columnists, were quick to state in their columns that he performed well as a leader during the hostage crisis and in his live panel interview broadcast, with one yellow propagandist even saying that the feedback on Noynoy and his interview was positive.
Gee. They should have gone into his Facebook page, even if more negative comments were edited and blocked by his communications chiefs, and the comments could hardly be called positive.

Still, as they are propagandists and are in paradise today with Noynoy, and probably wanting more influence, they not only try to make Noynoy look good, but also are into destroying the factions they do not belong to, while forever praising those who belong to their faction.

But apparently, what they do by way of portraying Noynoy as a strong leader does not seem to be working out to well.

That Noynoy realizes how much of that political capital he has lost was evident when he tried boosting his image by invoking his parents’ claimed legacy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100916com2.html

Vietnam publisher struggles to issue Western classics focus 09/16/2010

Vietnam publisher struggles to issue Western classics


HANOI — The title of French author Alexis de Tocqueville’s seminal work, Democracy in America, was not well received by authorities in communist Vietnam, so it appeared under another name.

When Hanoi’s Knowledge Publishing House issued the work three years ago there was no reference to democracy in the title, which became Governance of the American People.

Censorship in the one-party state is only one of many challenges faced by the publisher, which aims to translate key works of Western philosophy, political thought and social science.

It also faces a shortage of translators able to handle the great works of Western thought, as well as a lack of readers.
“Because of war, and problems bequeathed by history, Vietnamese education happened with a near-total absence of universal values contained in the classics,” says Chu Hao, 70, editor and director of the publishing house.

“What one could learn was limited to what was contained in the manuals of Marxism-Leninism,” he says. “Even today, philosophy, especially the history of philosophy, is foreign to Vietnamese students.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100916com3.html

Entry of Customs X-ray machines blocked BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 09/16/2010

Entry of Customs X-ray machines blocked

Louie Logarta
Bureau of Customs (BoC) officials have resorted to the usual finger-pointing in the face of allegations that some P8 billion worth of supposedly state-of-the-art mobile X-ray machines said to have been acquired in the Arroyo administration by former Commissioner Napoleon Morales remain underutilized, with a number of them simply gathering dust, and worse rusting away inside various holding areas all over the country.

The sophisticated equipment, which has the capability of scanning the contents of a 40-foot container van inside a few minutes that would have taken at least one day with the manual system that has been the norm in the BoC since its creation in 1902, was reportedly purchased from China at sweetheart rates at about the same time the ill-fated $329-billion NBN-ZTE deal was being hatched.

Customs officials back then justified the acquisition of the X-rays in order to speed up the examination of an estimated 3,000 containers that enter the Philippines daily and correspondingly help increase the collections of duties and taxes being levied by the government on importations.

In a recent interview, acting Director Jose Yuchongco of the Customs Enforcement and Security Service accused the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) which handles the arrastre in the Manila International Container Port (MICP) of blocking the release of several X-ray machines from their warehouses. He claimed that ICTSI was doing so because they planned to buy their own equipment so they could charge importers additional for the service..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100916com4.html

GOCC VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/16/2010


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
It might be good to take a realistic and practical look into the so called government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs). This objective consideration is more in accord with on-the-ground factors than in subservience to both legal provisions and legalistic perspectives.

After the last administration that people in general, identified with graft and corruption incarnate in governance for almost a decade, the GOCCs — a good number of the 36 of them — have been gradually yet definitely unmasked in their gross greed plus callous conscience, especially in terms of the their apparently focal appointed chief executive and the latter’ close minions.

Lo and behold, bonuses galore, not to mention incredibly fat salaries plus loaded perks — plus many other scandalous benefits. Downright unethical conduct particularly in terms of expensive self-services, not to mention apparent corporate untouchable stance in the matter of self-given personal advantages and supposedly official benefits. The said executives and their closed-in subordinates in fact with nausea bled the GOCCs concerned of their assets. Thus is it that some of the said corporations have not only become paper tigers and empty shells. They have become extra expensive to sustain while being the basis of socio-economic liabilities viz., disastrous in their rationale and operation, below zero in their performance rating.

The government is “by the people, of the people, for the people.” The Philippine government is a “republican democracy” whereby it is precisely the people who ultimately hold and exercise sovereign rule. A public office is a “public trust.” And public funds are basically intended for “public welfare.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100916com5.html

Nail torture case shines light on Asia’s migrant maids FEATURE 09/16/2010

Nail torture case shines light on Asia’s migrant maids


COLOMBO — L.P. Ariyawathie said she got a taste of what was in store for her just weeks after leaving her native Sri Lanka to work as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia.

At first, she said, her employers mocked the basic Arabic she had learnt during a 15-day training course before she left for the Gulf. Then, events took a more sinister turn.

“The torture started when a plate was broken by accident. (My employer) asked me whether I was blind and tried to prick something in my right eye,” the 49-year-old said.

“When I covered it with my hand, they pricked a needle on my forehead above the eye.”

Ariyawathie returned home from Riyadh last month, traumatized after what she said was months of beatings and abuse. Doctors had to operate to remove dozens of nails and needles driven into her forehead, legs and arms.

The Saudi authorities have questioned the mother-of-three’s account.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100916com6.html

Asia defies global newspaper meltdown FEATURE 09/16/2010

Asia defies global newspaper meltdown


HONG KONG — Asian newspapers are defying the global print media meltdown while their counterparts in the West spill red ink and lay off staff in droves as readers flock to online news.

Print advertising — the lifeblood of a newspaper’s revenue base — has plunged 47 percent in the hard-hit North American market since 2005, while the outlook for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remains tepid, says a new study by global consultancy Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

But Asia’s newspaper advertising is expected to rise 3.1 percent annually through 2014 to $27.3 billion, according to PwC’s “Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2010-2014.”

The trend toward online news has been slower in Asia where newspapers remain popular, including Japan which has the world’s highest newspaper readership.

“In Asia Pacific and Latin America... newspaper readership has held up and is increasing, which accounts for their stronger performance in recent years and faster growth rates compared with North America and EMEA in the next five years,” the report said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100916com7.html

Speaker, Senate chief won’t defy SC on Merci By Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales 09/16/2010

Impeach move off if Belmonte says so — Tupaz 

Speaker, Senate chief won’t defy SC on Merci

By Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales

The leadership of Congress used moral suasion yesterday to douse a brewing feud between the judiciary and the legislative over the status quo ante order of the Supreme Court suspending the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez as both the Speaker and the Senate president tried to dissuade the House committee on justice from disregarding the order of the high court.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. both said the House committee must comply with the order of the Supreme Court stopping the impeachment proceedings even as panel chairman, Iloilo Rep. Neil Tupaz, remained defiant against the high court’s order.

Tupaz, however, said the House committee will suspend the impeachment proceedings “if it’s prevailed upon by the Speaker.” 

“We are all governed by the Constitution and the one that interprets the Constitution is the Supreme Court. Congress is not above the SC, it’s a co-equal branch and it coordinates. Although independent from the other two branches of government, it must coordinate its work with the two other branches of government,” Enrile told House reporters covering the presentation of the report of Social Watch Philippines (SWP) on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Senate and House leaders..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100916hed1.html

Dureza got P10M, many others bribed by Ampatuans — witness 09/16/2010

Dureza got P10M, many others bribed by Ampatuans — witness
The powerful Ampatuans who were known allies of former President Arroyo and suspected behind the grissly massacre in November last year of journalists and supporters of a political rival prepared huge bribes to try to cover up the killings of 57 people, a witness told the murder trial yesterday.

Andal Ampatuan Jr, the main defendant, and more than 100 armed followers allegedly shot dead the victims in November last year to stop a rival from running against him for the post of provincial governor.

The Ampatuan clan earmarked P50 million, a fifth for a member of then President Arroyo’s Cabinet, to get charges against them dismissed, Lakmudin Saliao, a former Ampatuan servant, told the court.
“Andal Ampatuan Sr. said to give money... to Dureza. Ten million to Dureza,” said Saliao, 33.

He told the court he was referring to Jesus Dureza, a senior adviser sent by Arroyo to the clan compound after the massacre to convince the family to surrender a key suspect, the patriarch’s son and namesake Andal Ampatuan Jr.

Saliao, in the continuation of his testimony at the sala of Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes at Metro Manila District Jail in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, said the order to pay off Dureza was meant to ensure that the separate rebellion charges against the powerful family patriarch will be dropped..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100916hed2.html

Noy not keen on using intel funds in jueteng probe By Aytch S. de la Cruz 09/16/2010

Noy not keen on using intel funds in jueteng probe
By Aytch S. de la Cruz

Despite claiming that the latest jueteng exposé of Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz concerns the government, President Aquino would not sacrifice his intelligence funds and launch an in-depth investigation into the prelate’s allegations unless he divulges the names of the people whom he is tagging on this illegal numbers game discreetly or publicly.

Malacañang yesterday asked Cruz to exercise prudence in coming up with his disclosures on the reported prevailing culture of underground lottery being exercised in various Philippine communities with government officials and some clerics allegedly receiving payoffs.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte told reporters that these allegations of Cruz seriously concern them but they would rather that he reveals the names of the individuals whom he claimed have something to do with jueteng before giving in to his request of making an investigation into the matter.

Cruz, at a press conference the other day, sounded irked over Malacañang’s reception on his manifestations, arguing that they have all the resources to fund an investigation that would determine the veracity of his exposés..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100916hed3.html

Miriam wants RUT funds to go straight to treasury By Angie M. Rosales 09/16/2010

Miriam wants RUT funds to go straight to treasury
By Angie M. Rosales

Congress was prodded yesterday to take action in assuring that billions of pesos of proceeds of the road users’ tax (RUT) be channeled to the National Treasury instead of being left in the care of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which proved during the Arroyo administration to have provided those in power an easy way to divert public funds.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago yesterday sought Congress leaders’ intervention to have road users’ fund intended for the 2011 budget deposited with the National Treasury.

Santiago’s move was in relation to her expose, through a privilege speech last year, on what she described as anomalous procedure that provided for a “freewheeling plunder” of the P60-billion road fund from the road users’ tax.

Her colleagues, led by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, said they will likely have to amend the law providing for the creation of the road users fund for Santiago’s request to be feasible.

In a formal letter sent each to Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, she urged them to exercise strict oversight on the multibillion-peso Road Users Fund in the 2011 budget.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100916hed4.html

IIRC seeks two more days to wrap up hostage siege report 09/16/2010

IIRC seeks two more days to wrap up hostage siege report
An official report on a bus hijacking that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead is to be submitted to President Aquino later this week, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said.

The report is expected to contain specific names of police and government officials to be criminally or administratively sanctioned over last month’s hostage fiasco which has undermined the Aquino government.
“It’s a very exhaustive, fact-intensive report,” De Lima, who is also heading the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) tasked to look into the Aug. 23 hostage-taking incident, said.

The report was scheduled to be submitted to Aquino on Wednesday, but De Lima told reporters that investigators needed two more days to complete some sections.

“We have advised the President that we will submit the report on Friday, the 17th,” she said. “It’s not possible to submit it today (Wednesday).”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100916hed5.html

Noy skips Asia-Europe meet 09/16/2010

Noy skips Asia-Europe meet
In a sudden turn of developments once again, President Aquino has decided to withdraw his presence from the Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) to be held in Brussels, Belgium, this Oct. 4 and 5, couple of days after confirming to reporters his attendance to the event.

Granting a chance interview to reporters who tagged along with him in Cebu City yesterday, Aquino said his Europe trip would no longer push through next month, citing as reason the non-attendance of the other principal heads of state that he hoped to see in that event.

“The Europe trip, by the way, in case you have not been informed will not push through this year. A lot of principal heads of the state that we would have hoped to be able to meet have not confirmed, at this point in time, their attendance… If there is no surety, it’s not worth the expense (for this trip),” Aquino was quoted saying..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100916hed6.html

Solon asks Supreme Court to decide on Luisita’s case with finality 09/16/2010

Solon asks Supreme Court to decide on Luisita’s case with finality
A farmer-lawmaker yesterday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to settle the Hacienda Luisita case with finality.

Rep. Rafael Mariano, Anakpawis party-list, made the recommendation as the SC has mediated the case of the controversial agrarian dispute involving a more than 6,000-hectare sugar plantation owned by the family of President Noynoy Aquino for almost five years. 

Mariano said “the Supreme Court should once and for all decide on the case in light of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI)’s denial that they already dropped their position to retain the stock distribution option (SDO) scheme.”

HLI spokesman Tony Ligon, denied claims of farmers’ lawyer of a “breakthrough” and that the estate’s owners had offered to give up the land..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20100916nat5.html

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