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Leila’s dilemma EDITORIAL 10/15/2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Leila’s dilemma

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima must have been feeling very left out or isolated in the cliquish administration of Noynoy Aquino to pour her heart out to the media after the Palace’s dilution of the recommendations in the report on the hostage taking crisis that was painstakingly crafted by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) that even the Hong Kong government had surrendered in order to have and exhaustive probe of the incident and do justice to the eight slain residents of the territory.

De Lima, one of two officials who crossed over from the Arroyo administration — the other being Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, both of whom obviously do not have access privilege to Noynoy’s inner circle — is obviously guessing most of the time on the political weather at the Palace.

She intimated in a press briefing that resignation from her post crossed her mind as a result of the apparent whitewash on the accountability of some officials close to the administration in the IIRC recommendations.
The feeling of isolation should have been turned up several notches more after Noynoy issued Proclamation 50 granting amnesty to all soldiers who rebelled against Gloria, including Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, without De Lima being consulted on the pardon..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101015com1.html

The making of a power-mad political monster FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/15/2010

The making of a power-mad political monster

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy Aquino appears to believe that, as he is President of the Republic, he is so powerful that he can even make a co-equal branch of government — the Supreme Court (SC) — bow to his whims as well as surrender to his vindictive nature.

He has also shown — and not just once — that he holds no respect for the co-equal branch of government that moreover has the constitutional mandate to pass judgment and rule on controversial acts, decrees, circulars, as the high court, whether or not people agree with its rulings, is the final arbiter in such questioned acts.

Noynoy went on an attack mode against the high court, after it issued a status quo ante order in a case of the so-called “midnight appointees” one of the many he had fired upon his assumption to office, through his Executive Order (EO) 2, which revoked the appointment of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos commissioner and secretary Bai Omera Dianalan-Lucman.

Reacting to the SC order, which contradicts his EO 2 — at least in the case of petitioner Lucman, Noynoy charged that the high court’s move sets back his administration’s reform efforts..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101015com2.html

533 Chilean balloons released as last miner surfaces FEATURE 10/15/2010

33 Chilean balloons released as last miner surfaces


SAN JOSE MINE — Thirty-three balloons decked out in Chile’s red-white-and-blue colors floated free into the night sky above this mine late Wednesday at the exact moment the last of the 33 trapped miners was brought to the surface.

The globes, scudding across a crescent moon, symbolized the liberation of the men and the soaring pride Chileans felt in their nation — a shared moment of unsurpassed joy and union.

Eyes and cheeks glistened with tears of emotion as the miners’ relatives in Camp Hope, at the entrance to the San Jose mine, watched the balloons rise.

Then they burst into Chile’s national anthem, singing along with the last miner saved, Luis Urzua, wearing a Chilean flag draped over his shoulders, and an emotional President Sebastian Piñera.

The depth of feeling electrified the thousands of international journalists in the camp, who respectfully stood in silence alongside the families, recording the event, and sharing in it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101015com3.html

Like Liberation Day NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 10/15/2010

Like Liberation Day

Armida Siguion-Reyna
NEW YORK — For almost a day we were glued to our TV set, with bated breaths, watching the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,600 feet below ground level, for 69 days, since the gold and copper mine collapsed Aug. 5. And we were just as emotional as everyone on the site, crying and laughing and applauding whenever a miner stepped out of the metal capsule and on to firm ground.

It was as if we were Chileans — no, not just us in our tiny apartment, but the entire world, seemingly one big country, one big Chile, rooting for a group of men even family had already started to give up as lost, and then were suddenly there, like newly-born.

CNN’s coverage I found excellent. In between rescues, the TV news network gave out bits and pieces of background information in no way hysterical but simply factual — batu-bato sa langit, ang tamaan, well, wala akong magagawa kung magalit kayo, because heck, you’re really hysterical and given to manipulating viewers’ emotions.

Anyway, so through CNN, I found out there had already been complaints against the San Jose Mine; its mother company Empresa Minera San Esteban is known in Chile to have a poor safety record. The mine was shut down in 2007 following an accidental death in its premises, but just like in da Pilipins reopened in 2008, “despite failing to comply with all regulations.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101015com4.html

Sweet, bitter and tasteless DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 10/15/2010

Sweet, bitter and tasteless

Herman Tiu Laurel
Today I prefer to start with the sweet than the bitter because a homecoming to freedom is a joy beyond compare. I have been behind bars before and know of its oppressiveness. Last time I was “in,” I was a fellow detainee of the civilian and military protestors of the Manila Peninsula standoff. I was released after only five days, though I thought I would stay for years.

I left behind young courageous military officers who had started their protests way back in 2003 at Oakwood against the corruption and illegality of the former regime. When the Manila Pen standoff took place in 2007, we were carted off to jail altogether. Three years later, all were released except one, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. For those he has inspired with his steadfast principles, the political amnesty signed for him a few days ago can only be the sweetest news in quite a long time.

There is, however, a slightly bitter aftertaste when one considers that this amnesty should not have been needed at all if only all the legalistic crap that stood in the way of immediate freedom for those that stood up to the former regime was never taken seriously.

The bitter aftertaste even becomes a very bitter sense of indignation when one recalls the history of the past 10 years, beginning with the brazen subversion of the nation’s Basic Law by a motley group of conspirators from the Legislature, the Judiciary, the military and police, the Catholic Church, and the evil “civil society,” with foreign elements that deposed a duly-constituted government to install a regime of their own of unprecedented corruption, oppression, and usurpation of power.

Bitterness then almost turns to nausea when one sees that not one of the conspirators has been punished as most are even in the perches of power today.

More bitter irony in that Gloria Arroyo, who now sits in the legislature, participates in crafting laws, and disposes national budgets after insulting the whole nation with her lies, from the Impsa scam to the “Hello Garci” cheating, down to the ZTE-NBN scandal; while Aquino III assures her impunity by creating a mock investigative commission and placing at its helm her chief cohort in the 2001 Edsa II abomination.
Irony overflows as Joker Arroyo continues to throw inane arguments to frustrate justice for Trillanes, who is absolutely free of scandal, while he still has not answered charges of misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds in the 2001 elections, as well as his illegal walkout in the impeachment hearings that denied President Estrada his day in court.

Irony never ends as the Lord of all Lords Chavit Singson, Edsa II rogues Ebdane, Esperon et al. still lord it over, with the list of the vile ruling in style becoming endless.

I look forward to the day soon after the final release of Senator Trillanes to bring about a long deserved meeting between him and the inspiration of the entire anti-Gloria, anti-oligarchy, pro-masa struggle, President Joseph Estrada, who himself served six years and six months of unjust incarceration under the oppressive, illegal regime of Gloria Arroyo and the oligarchy behind her.

Although the two have not met in the past decade, I have always believed that Estrada and Trillanes represent genuine leadership for the nation and the Republic — being individuals (and leaders) of the highest order, and being truly patriotic and never subservient.

Unlike all other politicians on the present political stage, the two have never compromised their most fundamental principles of service to the people and the laws of the Republic in exchange for any quarter from the powerful oligarchs, corrupt tyrants or their prison guards.

Of the events surrounding this amnesty for Trillanes, there is one that seems very tasteless, to say the least. I am referring to the prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DoJ) who said, “We are disappointed… because we had wanted to know what the court will say… We concede that these are political offenses but we have a problem with the timing. If you want to respect the rule of law, we should have waited for the promulgation.”

Such is the farce of our judicial system where the criminals run free while the conscientious objectors, protestors, and dissenters are imprisoned, with the state’s lawyers totally helpless in helping the latter and prosecuting the former. The court trying the Magdalo and Trillanes case has taken too long to absolve the innocent and has proven to be inutile, too, in going after the guilty. Almost everything of vital importance in this society is decided by politics and not the law.

But the tasteless DoJ prosecutors’ comments only echo their secretary’s candid declaration that resignation has indeed crossed her mind after Malacañang tampered with the Incident Investigation and Review Committee’s findings.

Resignation is not something said but done. Her saying it while not doing it is hypocrisy and doubletalk—typical of the posturing of Aquino III’s Cabinet such as Robredo’s being Department of Interior and Local Government secretary but not really; Puno’s not taking jueteng bribes but not apprehending the bribers; and Defense chief Gazmin’s talk of an assassination plot against Aquino but not really offering any proof or follow through.

Meanwhile, my final “tasteless” award, though not related to the Trillanes case, goes to the Pasig River marathon led by “philanthropist” Gina Lopez who raised multi-million sums, not from her own pockets, but from tens of thousands of university students who forked out P100-registration fees and P150-T-shirts, and by compelling government to fund policemen and soldiers to join, while her family raises electricity rates again by another 30 centavos per kilowatt hour this month. This hypocritical kind of elite philanthropy, together with the tastelessness of the current political leadership, is what ought to go into the Guinness Book of World Records!

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch “The Trillanes Saga” on Politics Today, Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m. on Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http:hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101015com5.html

Drownings, mutilation: Animal cruelty haunts the Balkans FEATURE 10/15/2010

Drownings, mutilation: Animal cruelty haunts the Balkans


BELGRADE — A video of a Bosnian girl tossing puppies into a fast-flowing river caused international outrage last month; earlier in the year there was the case of a dog found in Serbia with her paws cut off.

There are other incidents — from tails hacked off strays to bears being forced to dance — to illustrate startling cruelty towards animals in the Balkans, where having pets was frowned on in the Communist era.
The Balkans are “victims of a traditional primitivism,” said Velimir Ivanisevic of the Sarajevo-based Animal Protection group SOS, describing an “inappropriate attitude” towards animals in the region.

The footage of the teenage girl casually taking squealing puppies out of a bucket and hurling them one by one into the river was all over the Internet. Authorities tracked her down but it is unclear if she will be charged.
The case of the one-year-old dog discovered terrified under a car in a Belgrade suburb in April with her paws sawn off caused similar outrage.

The stray, later named Mila, became a cause celebre and local media and businesses rallied to raise money for her care. After months of treatment, she has started to walk on her bandaged stumps..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101015com6.html

Fate of US airbase murky after Kyrgyzstan elections focus 10/15/2010

Fate of US airbase murky after Kyrgyzstan elections


BISHKEK—Parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan that saw the rise of a fiercely nationalist party have raised questions about the fate of a US airbase seen as key to coalition military operations in Afghanistan.

Kyrgyzstan, a geo-strategically important country that is the only one in the world to host both US and Russian military bases, held elections Sunday to create former Soviet Central Asia’s first parliamentary democracy.

The hardline nationalist Ata-Zhurt party that topped the poll had pledged during the campaign to oust the United States Transit Centre at Manas outside the capital Bishkek, a key conduit for troops and fuel to support operations in the war-wracked country.

Akhmatbek Keldybekov, an Ata-Zhurt party leader, told AFP that the party planned on keeping its promise.
“Once parliament is formed, we will raise the issue of the withdrawal of the US military base from the territory of Kyrgyzstan. That is our position,” Keldybekov told AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101015com7.html

Noy slams SC on ‘midnight hires’ status quo 10/15/2010


Noy slams SC on ‘midnight hires’ status quo

President Aquino is on a warpath, and his targeted enemy is the Supreme Court (SC) as the high court did not bow to his Executive Order (EO), with the court having issued a status quo ante ruling, effectively having one of the petitioners whom Aquino alleges to be a midnight appointee return to her post.

Aquino yesterday showed no sign of respect to the SC for issuing a status quo ante order against his EO2, which he said was meant to rid the Executive Department of the “midnight appointees” by his predecessor, claiming that returning them to their posts is a recipe for chaos and paralysis in the Executive Branch of government.

He slammed the high court for meddling in his administration’s affairs.

But the high court reminded Aquino that it is vested with the power and the duty to engage in judicial review, which encompasses the issuance of temporary restraining orders and status quo ante orders..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101015hed1.html

Appeasing HK, China no interest to me — Noy By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/15/2010

Appeasing HK, China no interest to me — Noy

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/15/2010

Appeasing Hong Kong or China would be a flimsy reason to again revise the recommended Palace actions in the hostage fiasco report, according to President Aquino yesterday even as the Hong Kong and Chinese government protested the watering down by Aquino’s legal advisers of the original recom-mendations contained in the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) which it was able to draw up with the help of Chinese authorities.

Aquino said he is standing by the revised Palace version of the IIRC recommend-ations that freed a close buddy and two of his allies of any accountability in the Aug. 23 botched hostage rescue even if it entails risking the country’s diplomatic relations with China and its Special Administrative Region.

Aquino even mockingly said he has no interest in continuously ap-peasing his Chinese counterparts and the
least he can do is simply explain to them why he arrived on the decision to revise the proposed charges on the accountable officials.

He added that the explaining to the Chinese government will be left up to a high-level delegation he previously formed led by Vice President Jejomar Binay and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101015hed2.html

Belmonte in danger of losing speakership By Charlie V. Manalo 10/15/2010

Belmonte in danger of losing speakership

By Charlie V. Manalo 10/15/2010

The delay in the release of the Special Allotment Release Order (Saro) for the congressmen’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), more commonly referred to as pork barrel, is reportedly causing restlessness among the 278 members of the House of Represent-atives with many allegedly planning to stage a coup against Speaker Feli-ciano “Sonny” Belmonte.

This was claimed by a congressman who granted an interview on condition of anonymity.

According to the lawmaker, many of his colleagues are contemplating on replacing Belmonte as Speaker, as he (Belmonte) has been remiss in his duty in asking the Palace and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release their pork barrel to fund projects for their respective districts.

“We have been waiting for such a long time now, the year is about to end and yet the Saro for our PDAF which would fund our projects in our districts has not been released,” said the solon.

“Aggravating the matters is that the barangay elections are only about a week away and our barangay officials are lining up at our district offices everyday following up the projects for their respective localities,” the solon added. “And we can’t even give them assurance that funds for their projects are forthcoming.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101015hed3.html

Alleged jueteng lords no-show in Senate probe 10/15/2010

Alleged jueteng lords no-show in Senate probe

Suspected jueteng lords and operators as mentioned in the privilege speech of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and as alleged by retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz yesterday snubbed the Senate inquiry into the illegal numbers game despite receiving invitations from the upper chamber.

Following their non-appearance, blue ribbon committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III decided to hold another hearing next week before wrapping up the proceedings.

“This will be the one last time that you can air your side, one last time, in the spirit of transparency and fair play,” said Guingona, also the overall lead in the probe, at a briefing after the hearing.

Among those invited by blue ribbon and local government committee headed by Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to clear their names were Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and her husband Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda, Paul Dy of Isabela and Charlie “Atong” Ang.

Guingona maintained that proper invitations were sent to the resource persons denying the
reason of the Pinedas that they did not receive an invitation to the hearing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101015hed4.html

Aquino gets back at GMA for quizzing ‘Dinky doleouts’ By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/15/2010

Aquino gets back at GMA for quizzing ‘Dinky doleouts’

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/15/2010

Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo is being told by her successor and former student, President Aquino, to practice “professionalism” after questioning Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman on the proposed P21-billion budget that his government intends to allocate to reinforce the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

Both Soliman and the CCT are remnants of Arroyo’s nine-year presidency which apparently prompted Aquino to think that his predecessor was taking it personally against him and Soliman who left
her during one of the critical periods of her administration.

Soliman also served as secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the Arroyo administration.

The CCT project, meanwhile, originated during the Arroyo presidency. based on a proposal by her DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral who patterned it after the successful poverty alleviation programs of other third world countries specifically Brazil..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101015hed5.html

CA turns down Ping’s plea CA turns down Ping’s plea Benjamin B. Pulta 10/15/2010

CA turns down Ping’s plea

Benjamin B. Pulta 10/15/2010

The Court of Appeals (CA) has put off action on the plea of embattled Sen. Panfilo Lacson who is asking the appellate court to stop a Manila court from enforcing the arrest warrant against him in connection with the kidnapping and murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito, a decade ago.

The appellate court decided instead to hear first the comments of the Manila regional trial court (RTC) and the Dacer family on Lacson’s petition which sought a review of the resolution finding the existence of probable cause to prosecute the lawmaker for murder.

The resolution became the basis for the issuance of arrest order against him.

“Action on the prayer for the issuance of the temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction is held in abeyance until receipt of the comment or expiration of the period to file comment,” the CA said in a resolution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101015hed6.html

Noy no-show in Senate’s 94th year By Angie M. Rosales 10/15/2010

Noy no-show in Senate’s 94th year

By Angie M. Rosales 10/15/2010

Did President Aquino snub the Senate’s 94th anniversary celebration Wednesday night?

The President sent his regrets, through his appointments secretary on his being unavailable for the said yearly event, in which he would have been the guest of honor, due to a prior commitment.

Such commitment was just adjacent to the room in Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza, where his former colleagues in the upper chamber, erstwhile senators and former President Joseph Estrada were in attendance for a simple sit-down dinner, it was gathered.

The question arose just when some Senate beat reporters stepped out of the Mindanao function room of the hotel when they were told that Aquino had arrived.

This came as a surprise to them since they knew beforehand that Aquino will not show up. It was former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo who was expected that night since she committed to grace the intimate gathering, only to inform the protocol officers of the upper chamber her last-minute cancellation of her attendance..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101015nat2.html

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