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Gloria makes sense EDITORIAL 10/18/2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gloria makes sense

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Gloria Arroyo, the Pampanga representative, made a lot of sense in questioning the doleout program of her Social Welfare secretary and now Noynoy’s, Dinky Soliman, costing P21.9 billion, which is being termed as conditional cash transfer (CCT) that is being envisioned as the main government tool to pull out majority of Filipinos from poverty.

Gloria should know about the scheme because it was started during her term. Despite all the hype it got as being effective in reducing poverty and being patterned after the Bolsa Familia in Brazil, the cash transfer program had limited success under Gloria’s administration for the basic reason that the government did not have the resources to see it through.

Gloria’s cash transfer as with Dinky’s CCT, obligates recipients to send their children to school and have them and their mother undergo vaccinations but the program ended up as Gloria’s vote buying scheme in the past elections, which incidentally, is certain to happen in time for the 2013 elections, where many of Noynoy’s anointed are likely to run for elective offices.

Gloria, taking the floor at the House, described Dinky’s CCT as too ambitious and too difficult to implement and made mincemeat of Guimaras Rep. Joaquin Carlos Nava, who was sponsoring the bloated Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) budget that included the CCT.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101018com1.html

Useless wars FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/18/2010

Useless wars

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Given his behavior from Day One of his presidency, it has only become too obvious that Noynoy Aquino can never be a unifying leader nor even a healing president.
For one, he is much too vindictive and takes even valid criticism too personally.

For another, apart from being a lazy and incompetent Chief Executive and who, to this day, has achieved nothing and botched up too much, he has been waging wars in useless fronts.

To this day, he can’t seem to accept that the Supreme Court has as its Chief Justice, a Gloria Arroyo appointee, and all because he claims it is he who should be the appointing power, not Gloria, despite the fact that the SC had ruled that Corona’s is not a midnight appointee, but a legal and constitutional one.

Thus it is that Noynoy always wages a verbal war against the high court, whenever it goes against his wishes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101018com2.html

Smell, close your eyes, remember: Chefs teach kids to taste FEATURE 10/18/2010

Smell, close your eyes, remember: Chefs teach kids to taste


PARIS — Chef Frederic Simonin dangles a fragrant green bunch of dill in front of a classroom of schoolkids in a multi-ethnic corner of Paris: “And what about this? Any idea what it is?”

“Parsley! Rosemary! Basil! Thyme! I know — it’s coriander,” yell the excited eight and nine year olds who were treated to a sensory masterclass from the young chef as part of the annual French culinary festival, the “Week of Taste.”

Lesson one: learning to taste is hard work.

Leo and Gabriel pull faces as they take turns sniffing at a handful of fresh rosemary: “Ooh, that one smells strong,” is one verdict. “I know that — but what is it called?” is another.

A broad smile creases the corners of Simonin’s eyes as he coaxes out the answers: “What does it remind you of,” he asks. “Bread, perhaps?”

“Of my house in Spain,” quips back Gabriel.

“Then smell again and close your eyes,” Simonin tells the little boy. “And remember that it is rosemary.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101018com3.html

Justice for Trillanes, justice for all DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 10/18/2010

Justice for Trillanes, justice for all

Herman Tiu Laurel
Remember the “Alabang Boys” drug and bribery case involving state prosecutor John Resado? Remember the shit that hit the Department of Justice (DoJ) fan in 2009 when Resado was accused by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of illegally releasing drug suspects Richard Brodett, Jorge Joseph and Joseph Tecson because of purported “defects” in PDEA’s case?

The DoJ prosecutors at that time rallied around Resado. The two agencies then traded charges. Government was thus compelled to conduct an independent investigation, where it found a suspicious, unsatisfactorily explained P800,000 deposit in Resado’s account on the same day he signed that infamous resolution.

Good thing someone pursued the Alabang Boys and Resado cases. PDEA agent Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino at that time impressed the nation by standing up to the browbeating of then DoJ Chief Raul Gonzalez and other DoJ top brass.

Meantime, let us be reminded too, of the case that hit international news with the headline, “Philippine judge sacked, another suspended over bribery scandal,” involving Justice Vicente Roxas and Associate Justice Jose Sabio, where three other justices were suspended for not taking the appropriate action.

The scandal arose after Sabio revealed a P10-million bribe offer by a lawyer of Meralco but which he didn’t report until months after, whereas Roxas was dismissed for offering fabricated transcripts of deliberations to a review panel investigating that scandal and writing a ruling on the petition without first consulting the Court of Appeals justice involved.

There is a large volume of seamy stories on our justice and judicial system. So when I heard the DoJ’s lawyers quibbling about technicalities in the amnesty for the Magdalos, I thought: “Who are they to talk?”
They of all people should realize that the power to grant amnesties bestowed upon the Office of the President — the office, not the person — is absolute. The progenitors of our Western (or American) constitutional tradition recognized the potential of any system of laws and government to be flawed. Thus they provided the power, under the checks and balance principle, to the highest elected official representing the almighty people to resolve such issues in behalf of the people themselves.

The anomaly though in our current political and cultural set-up is that power is being wrested from the people’s hands by the politicians and bureaucrats, many of whom have been corrupted and controlled by the powerful oligarchs, Gloria Arroyo, and foreign interests. And this is the only reason Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has not been able to sit in the Senate despite the earnest efforts of his 11 million voters.

For truly, the struggle of Trillanes is the struggle of the people to wrest back the power that is supposedly theirs, peacefully and legally, despite all the obstacles put in place by the bureaucratic and political usurpers of that power.

Take this issue of the Makati trial court’s handling of Trillanes’ case which, despite having taken over seven years of hearings and deliberations, has not been resolved to this day. While most perceive this murderously slow grind as normal for this country’s courts, by international standards, two years is already a denial of the fundamental right of the accused to “a fair and speedy trial,” the rectification of which should be an outright dismissal.

But the tragedy of our society is that the flaws and infirmities of the system have been so accepted because they have plagued us so long. Alas, those who shrug the injustice to Trillanes off are really condemning themselves to suffer that same fate soon.

I heard the DoJ prosecutors complaining about having “labored long and hard these seven years preparing and arguing” the case against Trillanes. But have they actually thought of the hardships the senator, his wife and children, his family, friends and comrades underwent over seven years and seven months of being behind bars, and of being unable to travel the 10-kilometer stretch leading to the halls of the Senate where he was elected by the people to serve?

The parties carping against the amnesty, such as those “unnamed legal experts” quoted by a mainstream pro-Arroyo paper when the Oakwood protest occurred, are undeserving of serious consideration because they have not done their share in standing up to the corruption of the system as the Magdalos and Trillanes have, or risked their whole profession, as what Alan Paguia laid on the line when he criticized the Edsa II transgression of the highest court of the land.

The high prominence being given to criticism of the amnesty from a motley crew of non-entities does not surprise me. I am aware that the party with the most to lose when the amnesty for Trillanes is perfected, i.e. Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts, is moving to fan the criticisms to cover the real issues that led to the Oakwood protest and the astonishing victory of Trillanes over Arroyo’s moneyed candidates in 2007: The unprecedented levels of perfidy, treason and corruption of that regime, which continues today with Arroyo’s reign in Congress and her factotums ensconced in the government bureaucracy.

As for Teddy Te’s comment, I understand his belief in his infallibility, but even he must admit that it is the system that is corrupt through and through — like a Kryptonite that even his super legal brain cannot overcome.

The entire nation, with the 11 million voters of Trillanes, must take action now to shout down the voices of petty tyrants who are attempting to usurp the power and the sense of justice of the people.

Text to radio and TV programs; start hanging posters in your windows and vehicles; start the teach-ins in schools; and declare to the world, “Justice for Trillanes, justice for all!”

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch “Justice for Trillanes, Justice for All” on Politics Today, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., Tuesday, with Teofisto Guingona, RG Guevarra and co-host Abby Aquino 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/20101018com4.html

Can of worms in NHA C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 10/18/2010

Can of worms in NHA

Jonathan De la Cruz
Galling National Housing Authority (NHA) general manager Chito Cruz. Kindly accelerate your ongoing review of questionable and potentially explosive contracts and related operations being undertaken at the agency. We are told that the squatting, land grabbing and retitling syndicates victimizing government, legitimate business people and, yes, the thousands of homeless and settlers occupying mostly public lands, many of which owned by the NHA have regained their footing and are on the prowl for more shady initiatives. Just days after P-Noy ordered a stop to the relocation of the remaining informal settlers at the sprawling North Triangle complex in Quezon City in the aftermath of the bloody confrontation between these groups and the demolition teams the day before we are being swamped with reports of additional problems awaiting the new NHA leadership. One such problem involves the reported irregular acquisition of NHA properties which were heretofore left to ruin but are now primed for so-called re-development. Of course, at almost give-away lease or even acquisition prices.

Sources say that a group reportedly funded by a certain wealthy Binondo-based businessman, is busy working out the irregular maybe even illegal lease and ultimately acquisition of lands owned by the NHA and other government agencies. These guys have reportedly renewed their “relations,” with a ranking NHA officer to serve as their pointman in the housing agency. The latest land deal this group is working on involves the questionable acquisition of a seven-hectare NHA property at Pier 18 at the North Harbor..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101018com5.html

Beyond Chile HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 10/18/2010

Beyond Chile

Aldrin Cardon
It depended on where we sat, or stood.
I happened to be in front of a television set in a restaurant when the first blurred images of the successful rescue of the 33 miners trapped in an underground Chilean tunnel of about 2,000 feet of soil, mud and rock were beamed via a foreign news channel.

It was a surreal event that would have competed with those quaint black and white images of man’s first landing on the moon eons ago.

Only that this time, it was all about saving lives and escaping from deep space, from where they survived for three months when in other circumstances, such as in China mines in a number of instances, many have perished within a few days of lack of food and oxygen.

All 33, including a lone Bolivian, were rescued after an operation that was flawlessly faster than expected. The jubilation that exploded soon after the ascent of the first few miners was likened to those of cheers heard only during World Cup competitions, and no wonder, the world was transfixed on the rescue, their chants of Chi-le, Chi-le, Chile, heard louder than they were during the great football matches, that even Franklin Lobos, one of the trapped miners, who once played for the Chilean national team to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, would have savored them more than he did when he was still among the top athletes of his land..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101018com6.html

Inspired by Chile SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 10/18/2010

Inspired by Chile

Dinah S. Ventura
In what is now billed as “the longest underground entrapment in human history” (which they say could make it to the Guinness World Records), 33 miners came out alive and well in a serious mining mishap in Chile recently.

Just like that time in August when a number of tourists’ lives were at stake right here in Manila as our local authorities struggled to deal with the situation right before the world’s judgmental eyes, Chilean authorities took on the challenge and emerged victorious.

The world applauded what online stories cite as a “meticulously planned rescue operation” where six rescuers had all 33 men “safely above ground in 22 hours, 37 minutes” since it began. “One after another, the miners climbed into a missile-like steel capsule barely wider than a man’s shoulders and took a 15-minute journey through 2,000 feet of rock to the surface,” goes an article in msnbc.msn.com.

Waiting at the end of the miners’ ordeal was Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera along with the miners’ families and an eager crowd..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101018com7.html

Truth body’s findings won’t stand in court By Angie M. Rosales 10/18/2010

Truth body’s findings won’t stand in court

By Angie M. Rosales 10/18/2010

The recently activated Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) lacks a legal personality and its creation is against the Constitution, which are reasons that may deny the body’s findings a leg to stand on in the courts, a senator said yesterday even as the fact-finding body began its task of investigating irregularities committed under the previous administration.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago yesterday expressed reservations whether the findings and recommendations of the body will be able to stand in court.

In a radio interview, Santiago said there’s no constitutional authority allowing the Executive Branch to create bodies like the PTC.

“They created a body that will only prove to be problematic,” she added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101018hed1.html

Disaster center establishment should be prioritized — Angara 10/18/2010

Disaster center establishment should be prioritized — Angara

As the northern part of the country is threatened by super typhoon “Juan,” Sen. Edgardo Angara yesterday said the establishment of the Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC) should be a national priority to better prepare the nation for dealing with similar disasters.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Juan is still strengthening and could bring rains like “Ondoy” and winds like “Basyang.”

“We need the DSMC to help us prepare for the typhoons and similar disasters that will continue to threaten the country. The government needs to be able to understand how to develop an advanced and real-time information disse-mination strategy so people can better prepare to handle such events,” the lawmaker, in a statement, said.

He added that “we need to adopt a pro-active approach in order to properly address this problem. A scientific approach supported by extensive research has already led me to appropriate P100 million from the budget for the establishment of a Philippine Disaster Science Center, roughly P40 million of which is allocated for a proposed Disaster Science Management Center.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101018hed2.html

House to probe HGC over anomalous deals By Gerry Baldo 10/18/2010

House to probe HGC over anomalous deals

By Gerry Baldo 10/18/2010

Another government housing agency, the Home Guaranty Corp., is under fire after the House committee on housing and urban development indicated plans yesterday to launch a full-blown investigation into alleged anomalous transactions entered into by the agency that resulted in millions of pesos losses to the government.

According to Rep. Bernadette Herrera of the party-list Bagong Henerasyon, the alleged “transactions entered into by the Home Guaranty Corp. has put the national government in a highly disadvantageous position.”

Citing reports by the Commission on Audit, the lawmaker stressed that the agency, aside from allegations that it has been mismanaged, has figured in several anomalies since 2002, particularly on the sale of its properties.
“The CoA alleged that the losses were due largely to mismanagement by HGC officials — mainly sale of corporate properties way below market prices,” Herrera said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101018hed3.html

Comelec in crisis anew a week prior to polls 10/18/2010

Comelec in crisis anew a week prior to polls

A week before the nationwide barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, the Comelec admitted being confronted with wasted voting forms, delayed procurement of election materials and a shortage of ballot boxes.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said that it is looking into the reason for the huge spoilage in the printing of ballots of the National Printing Office (NPO) headed by recently appointed director Manuel Andaya. Sarmiento said the Comelec will ask Andaya to explain a high five percent wastage in the printing of ballots compared to the average two percent spoilage rate of the NPO in past ballot printing.

The Comelec’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) had notified the Comelec en banc of the need to purchase additional 300 reams of ballot paper due to the high NPO spoilage rate.

Sarmiento said that the purchase of the extra ballot papers would cost the Comelec P14.5 million..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101018hed4.html

Thousands evacuated, Signal No. 4 up in Cagayan, Isabela By Mario J. Mallari and Jason Faustino 10/18/2010

Thousands evacuated, Signal No. 4 up in Cagayan, Isabela

By Mario J. Mallari and Jason Faustino 10/18/2010

Typhoon “Juan” gathered strength as it barrelled through the northern part of Luzon yesterday, as authorities began evacuating thousands of families to safer ground hours before it was to hit land.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Juan has developed into a super typhoon and was expected to slam into the extreme northern Philippines today and then cut westwards toward the South China Sea.

Government forecasters also upgraded to Signal No. 4 its storm warning in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela.

Juan could uproot trees, blow away houses made of light material, trigger landslides and cause storm surges in coastal areas, authorities said as they began evacuating people from vulnerable communities..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101018hed5.html

CA okays 60 diplomats’ new appointments, promotions 10/18/2010

CA okays 60 diplomats’ new appointments, promotions

The bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) has confirmed the appointment of a career diplomat as the country’s new envoy to Hungary and approved the promotion of 59 officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs while the Aquino administration firms up its list of new ambassadors to be assigned to vacant diplomatic missions abroad.

Monina Estrella Callangan-Rueca was named Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Hungary in the CA’s plenary session held last Oct. 13.

Callangan-Rueda, who replaced Alejandro del Rosario, a political appointee of former President Gloria Arroyo, will also have concurrent jurisdiction over Bosnia and Herzegovinia, and Serbia and Montenegro.
The CA, on the other hand, deferred the confirmation of Consuelo Puyat Reyes who had been nominated as ambassador to Chile; Mercedes A. Tuason as ambassador to the Vatican, and Noe A. Wong as ambassador to Cambodia. They served under Arroyo and have been retained by President Aquino.

Also confirmed as Chief of Mission Class I were: Eduardo Pablo Maglaya, Virginia Benavidez, Luis Cruz. Romeo Manalo and Elizabeth Buensuceso while those for Chief of Mission Class II were Evelyn Austria-Garcia, Meynardo Montealegre, Ma. Teresa Taguiang, Constancio Vingno Jr., Amelita Aquino, Ma. Lumen Isleta, Alex Chua, Joselito Jimeno, Jaime Victor Ledda and Leah Ruiz..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101018hed6.html

Carandang gets P50 million to craft Noynoy’s communications By Gerry Baldo 10/18/2010

Carandang gets P50 million to craft Noynoy’s communications

By Gerry Baldo 10/18/2010

Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang got P50 million the original amount which was allotted to him not the P200 million he intended to get.

Under the P1.645-trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2011 which had been approved on second reading before Saturday dawn, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) budget will be limited to P50 million as earlier allotted by the Office of the President.

The amount of funding for Carandang’s office came after Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad submitted a budget errata document last week to Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, chairman of the House committee on appropriations proposing to increase the group’s budget to P200 million from P50 million.

Based on the approved budget of Carandang’s office, he will be given P18 million for personal services, P30 million for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and P2 million as capital outlay (CO)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101018nat6.html

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