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It’s all about the RH bill EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 10/02/2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It’s all about the RH bill

Click to enlarge
Churchmen are so against the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill for the sole reason that once enacted into law, there is no way the Catholic Church hierarchy can pressure the Malacañang tenant to go slow on the use of contraceptives since the law is there to be enforced.

This means that, under the RH bill, government will have to provide poor couples contraceptives for free, if they choose this method of family planning, and along with it, government, through its health workers, would have to start educating the general public into the ways and means available to couples who choose to limit the number of their children.

In truth, Malacañang does not need a law to provide couples contraceptives. It is not illegal for government to do so. As a matter of fact, contraceptives are not a banned item in this country and one can freely purchase condoms, pills, and intra-uterine devices in stores.

But Catholic bishops know that as long as there is no law on this, government can easily be swayed by them to toe the Catholic line on the contraceptive issue.

Under the Gloria Arroyo presidency, it is on record that the government through the Health department, provided some P50 million or so funding supposedly for birth control education to couples, but these funds went to the Couples for Christ, an organization that strictly toes the Church line. Obviously, what this group was educating the poor couples was for them to go into natural birth control, which would be the rhythm method, the temperature taking method to check on the woman’s ovulation period, as well as the abstinence method, all of which are sanctioned by the Church..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101002com1.html

Fearing Jojo’s rise FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/02/2010

Fearing Jojo’s rise

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Who is afraid of Vice President Jojo Binay?

Malacañang and its Balay Puti group, which counts on Liberal Party members led by losing VP candidate Mar Roxas, mainly because they fear that in 2016, after Noynoy Aquino’s presidency will have been terminated, Binay will likely be the next president, and where will they all be?
What they fear most about Binay is that despite his clearly being out of the loop with Noynoy and the LPs, he is a performer and an achiever, which is probably the reason Budget Secretary Butch Abad, who is closely identified with Roxas, and is very “in” with Noynoy, has opted to slash not only the Office of the VP’s budget, but also the housing budget — and by 50 percent.

In the case of the OVP budget, Malacañang cut it from 195 million to P177 million, while the housing budget was slashed in half, with the funds diverted to Dinky Soliman’s department and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Almost all Philippine presidents treated their vice presidents very shabbily.

In the case of Noynoy’s mother, Cory Aquino, she reneged on the agreements forged between her and Doy Laurel. True, she made Laurel the prime minister and head of government on her first day in office. But on the very same day, she abolished Parliament and proclaimed a revolutionary government, making herself the sole government and the sole law. And there went the promise of Doy’s primed ministership..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101002com2.html

Ethiopians want more from sacred Nile waters focus 10/02/2010

Ethiopians want more from sacred Nile waters


GISH ABAY — Here in the shadow of Mount Gish, the spring water that forms the Blue Nile is believed to have healing powers, but Ethiopians say that is the only benefit they get from the mighty river.

“These waters are sacred, they perform miracles for the sick,” Berhanu Melak, an elderly farmer, told AFP as he filled a metal trough with water for the throngs of white-cloaked men and women who have been queuing since the early hours in this town 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Addis Ababa.

The sparkling stream in Gish Abay spills first into Lake Tana then makes its way towards Sudan as the Blue Nile. There, the river joins the White Nile in Khartoum before draining into Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, spanning in all nearly 6,000 kilometers.

“But look around you, there is nothing here. The big river doesn’t feed us,” Berhanu says, his voice almost drowned out by the nearby bathers.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101002com3.html

US Role in Philippine Counterinsurgency Operations

US Role in Philippine Counterinsurgency Operations

originally Published on September 26, 2010

In a speech during a Peace and Security forum held at the Mandarin Hotel last April 22, 2010, then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III outlined his National Security Policy, which he said focuses on four key elements:

Governance – “The government must be present and accountable to its citizens especially those living in the poorest and most remote areas.”

(An effective political strategy focuses on strengthening the government’s capability and capacity to respond—and be seen to be responding—to the needs of its people.)

Delivery of basic services – “To alleviate the plight of innocent civilians caught in the conflict, we must renew government programs that build access roads, school buildings for basic and adult education, provide potable water and sanitation facilities, basic health care, electricity, assist in shelter reconstruction, and provide temporary livelihood interventions.”

Economic Reconstruction and Sustainable Development – the national government, in partnership with international donor organizations, must assist the new ARMM regional government in building a capable bureaucracy with streamlined and transparent procedures to increase the region’s absorptive capacity for development projects that will come its way..... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/26/us-role-in-philippine-counterinsurgency-operations/

Violence and Poverty Haunt Children in Ilocos Region

Violence and Poverty Haunt Children in Ilocos Region

Originally Published on September 11, 2010


VIGAN CITY — Jennybeth, 14 years old, used to question her father’s work as a human rights advocate. Her father Pastor Marcelino Mariano was one of the companions of Pastor Billy Austin when he was shot by motorcycle-riding men in November 9, 2006. Fortunately, Pastor Billy survived the incident but his family and his companions’ families were deeply traumatized.

Artwork created by a child victim of aerial bombardment during a workshop initiated by the Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC)-Ilocos. (Photo by Joan Garcia / bulatlat.com)
After the incident, Pastor Marcelino received threats and intimidation from the military. Soldiers were demanding that he reveals the whereabouts of Pastor Billy who went into sanctuary after the attempt on his life. As a result, Jennybeth was in constant fear for her father’s life.

Sandy, 11 years old, is the daughter of Pastor Billy. Like Jennybeth, she did not understand her father’s involvement as a human rights advocate. When she learned about the attempt on her father’s life, she could not sleep for days. After the incident, she was easily startled. Even the barking of dogs would scare her.
Unidentified men kept watch on their house, asking neighbors about the whereabouts of Pastor Billy.

For years now, Jennybeth and Sandy have been attending activities initiated by the Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC)-Ilocos for children victims of human rights abuses

In an art workshop shortly after the incident, Sandy was able to express her thoughts about her family’s situation after the attack. In her drawing, she depicted how the family’s economic burden was shouldered by her mother since her father went into sanctuary..... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/11/violence-and-poverty-haunt-children-in-ilocos-region/

Book Review: In Ilustrado and Eight Lives Lived, Which Life is Worth Writing About?

Book Review: In Ilustrado and Eight Lives Lived, Which Life is Worth Writing About?

Published on September 25, 2010


The award-winning novel Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco follows the tradition of ‘the great Filipino novel’: it is political and outwardly rooting for social change. Its title alone is pregnant with possibilities of exhortation and uprisings. After all, the original Ilustrados in Philippine history launched the Propaganda Movement more than a century ago, creating literary gems that inspired Filipinos to unite and revolt against colonialism.

Today Syjuco refurbished the memory of the Ilustrado and in his acclaimed debut novel, called on migrant Filipinos to become like modern-day Ilustrados. Syjuco himself is an expat Filipino when he wrote it. He studied literature abroad and worked at various odd jobs while in university. He is currently based in Australia.

Ilustrado has won two top literary awards – a Palanca award and the Man Asian Literary Prize, the latter being the first for any Filipino writer- before it was published this year in the Philippines, North America, Canada, UK and Australia..... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/25/book-review-in-ilustrado-and-eight-lives-lived-which-life-is-worth-writing-about/

Four Farmers, One Bayan Muna Member Latest Victims of OBL

Four Farmers, One Bayan Muna Member Latest Victims of OBL

Published on September 25, 2010

MANILA — Extrajudicial killings continue under the Aquino administration, claiming the lives of four farmers in Mobo, Masbato and a Bayan Muna member in Mawab, Compostela Valley.

According to an urgent action alert prepared by Karapatan,on Sept. 7, at around 9:00 a.m. farmers Vicente Flores, Richard Oliva, Melecio Monacillo and his son Jonathan decided to go hunting in the forested area at the boundary of barangay Mapuyo and barangay Mabuhay. By lunch time, the four went to the house of Eliseo and Rosie Albao to rest. Rosie and her children were at home at that time while Eliseo was then working in a neighbor’s farm. The four, tired from their hunting, fell asleep right away.

At around 12:30 p.m., an undetermined number of soldiers belonging to the 9th IBPA appeared from uphill, passed by Rosie’s house and without any explanation, stormed inside and shot the sleeping farmers. Richard, wounded from the first volley of gunfire, was able to jump out of the window but was hit with bullets by the soldiers outside the house..... MORE


URL: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/09/25/four-farmers-one-bayan-muna-member-killed/

Noy wavering on RH bill By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/02/2010


Noy wavering on RH bill

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/02/2010

Despite the assurance by President Aquino that he remains firm on his stand on his program of delivering free contraceptives to poor couples who want them, and even when both houses of Congress have shown strong support for the passage of the Reproductive Health bill, it appears that Aquino may already be wavering on his stated position, as Malacañang yesterday said the RH bill is not Aquino’s priority.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told Palace reporters there is no certainty Aquino will certify the RH bill as urgent, clearly stating that this is not a priority for him, as he is focused on reviewing the Palace-reviewed Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report.

“We need to see the RH bill first. While the position of the President is clear on responsible parenthood, in fairness to the executive branch we have yet to see the present RH bill/ So from there the President will be able to make a decision as to whether he has any concerns, and whether he supports it. These are the things he will be able to answer once he reviews the RH bill.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101002hed1.html

CBCP head denies threat; solons rally behind Aquino By Angie M. Rosales 10/02/2010

CBCP head denies threat; solons rally behind Aquino

By Angie M. Rosales 10/02/2010

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) head yesterday denied reports he had threatened excommunication for President Aquino despite the Catholic Church hierarchy’s “frustration over Aquino’s plan to push artificial contraception.”

CBCP president Bishop Nereo Odchimar underscored that they still believe in the spirit of dialog as an “initial approach” on the matter “and not confrontation.”

“Threat of excommunication at this point can hardly be considered to be in line with dialog,” Odchimar said in a “disclaimer” issued yesterday.

“The imposition of the canonical sanction has not been contemplated by the CBCP,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101002hed2.html

Gov’t to block PAL strike 10/02/2010

Gov’t to block PAL strike

The government yesterday said it would ban a planned strike that threatens to paralyze the operations of national flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL).

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said if the airline and its flight attendants’ union failed to reach an agreement next week, she would assume jurisdiction over the dispute, making a planned strike illegal.
“We are (looking) after the interests of the riding public. PAL is still the national carrier and there is the national interest to protect,” she stressed.

Assuming jurisdiction would force the two sides to negotiate further and, if an agreement was still not reached, the DoLE chief could make a decision on the dispute, Baldoz explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101002hed3.html

US to help RP handle hostage incidents By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/02/2010

US to help RP handle hostage incidents

By Michaela P. del Callar and Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/02/2010

The United States yesterday said it would provide aid to the country to help improve its handling of hostage-taking incidents following a bungled rescue operation that killed eight Hong Kong tourists who were taken hostage by a sacked policeman last August.

The aid, amounting to $1.4 million or around P60 million, will help the Philippine National Police (PNP) set up an anti-kidnapping and hostage negotiation training program, in the wake of the August tragedy, US Ambassador Harry Thomas said.

“Even without links to international criminal organizations, crimes can become international incidents, as we saw in the tragic events of Aug. 23. The threats cross our borders – on land as well as at sea. No country can face them alone,” he added.

The US also donated on Friday to the PNP vehicles, motorcycles and digital forensics training equipment amounting to $150,000..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101002hed4.html

SC justice inhibits self in Merci suit By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/02/2010

SC justice inhibits self in Merci suit  
By Benjamin B. Pulta

At least one senior magistrate will not take part in the deliberation over a suit seeking to stop Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez’s impeachment.

Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. has inhibited himself from the case filed by the embattled anti-graft official against members of the House of Representatives.

Court Administrator and spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said Velasco cited the presence of his son, Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco, as the reason for his decision not to participate in the discussion of Gutierrez’s petition against the House committee on justice.

While the young Velasco is not a member of the committee, whose resolutions finding the two impeachment complaints against Gutierrez sufficient in form and substance are being questioned before the high tribunal, he may eventually get involved in the proceedings once it reaches the plenary.

Marquez said Justice Velasco cited “delicadeza” in his decision to inhibit from the case..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101002hed5.html

Angara tells NFA to step up palay procurement 10/02/2010

Angara tells NFA to step up palay procurement

As rice farmers harvest their third quarter produce, food security advocates today urged the National Food Authority (NFA) to step up its palay procurement by positioning its buying stations strategically near farm areas and not the usual where there are only one or two buying stations at the provincial centers.

The Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) issued this statement amid talks on the looming budget cut in rice subsidy.

Arze Glipo, TFFS lead convenor, said that the proposed 2011 budget cut is an insult to farmers who are already struggling against high input cost and cheap procurement price..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101002nat6.html

Cops mum on claim of Cagayan car crash victims NPA rebs By Ted Boehnert 10/02/2010

Cops mum on claim of Cagayan car crash victims NPA rebs

By Ted Boehnert 10/02/2010

TUGUEGARAO CITY – Police here remained mum yesterday over reports that at least some of the fatalities in a car accident in Alcala, Cagayan last Sept. 23 allegedly were members of the Maoist New People’s Army (NPA).

According to Senior Supt. Mao Aplasca, Cagayan police director, they were still checking the real identities of the victims, including the two others who were injured.

“We are still verifying the identities of the victims through our Army intelligence, the reason why we cannot release the iinformation yet,” Aplasca said.

Aplasca refused to confirm or deny reports that Remedios Dawag, the last to be identified of the fatalities of the Starex van that crashed into a 10-wheeler truck in Alcala last Sept. 23 morning was an NPA Amazon with a P1.5 million prize on her head.

Meanwhile, sources from the Philippine Army (PA) also refused to confirm reports that Dawag was indeed a high-ranking NPA leader..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101002nat5.html

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