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Mt. Olympus syndrome EDITORIAL 10/22/2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mt. Olympus syndrome

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The overarching impression on the Aquino administration is one of hubris and a feel of being Triton among minnows.

The likes of Noynoy and his self-righteous bunch at the Liberal Party, Ging Deles, Armin Luistro, Coco Quisumbing, Edwin Lacierda, Sonny Coloma and many others frequently cross path with people who do not subscribe to their self proclaimed righteous path pitch, including critics of the administration and members of the media.

These people cannot be blamed, however. Their character stock has been molded right out of the people power model of the so-called civil society from which sprung Edsa l and ll that first installed Cory Aquino, mother of Noynoy, and then Gloria, the claimed mother of all corrupt practices.

In both Edsa episodes, the so-called civil socialites, a euphemism for the conspirators of both extra-constitutional power grabs, were able to wrestle control of government without the benefit of a popular vote..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101022com1.html

Gets mo na Noy? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/22/2010

Gets mo na Noy?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
As pointed out by Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in his speech in a Philconsa gathering, a hostile Executive Branch will not stop the judiciary from upholding its mandate under the Constitution, which is the power of judicial review.

As he put it: “When the Supreme Court invokes its power of judicial review, it does not assert its moral or constitutional ascendancy over the other two co-equal branches of government. It only reminds all and sundry of the non-negotiable supremacy of the Constitution,” adding that while the judiciary may not have either the power of the sword as wielded by the executive or the purse as controlled by Congress, “it wields the power of the pen or the authority to interpret the Constitution and the laws.”

The key word of course is authority, something that is denied a president when it comes to judicial matters.
Gets mo na Noy?

The fact alone that Noynoy’s solicitor-general and even his officials named as respondents by petitioners, have to go to the high court whenever ordered to comment on petitions, is already sufficient evidence that in such matters concerning the interpretation of the law, they know they have to defer to the high court for a ruling of an issue, because this is the constitutional power vested in the judiciary.

Noynoy and his officials, as well as his sip-sip followers in the legal profession claim that, as Noynoy is president, he has the right and the power to appoint his officials and officers in the Executive Branch..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101022com2.html

For Palestinian snake charmer, pythons are part of the family FEATURE 10/22/2010

For Palestinian snake charmer, pythons are part of the family


RAMALLAH — A lot of fathers would prefer their two-year-old daughters not to ride a giant Burmese python down the street like a pony — but not Jamal Amwasi of Ramallah.
The 35-year-old Palestinian civil servant is the proud owner of more than a dozen snakes, including several large pythons, all of which live in a shed a few meters (yards) from his home in the occupied West Bank.

“These snakes have become part of the family. Every morning and every night I check up on them and feed them,” he says.

Amwasi stands out in the West Bank, where pets of any kind are rare and snakes are mostly viewed as farm pests. His experience has made him the leading local authority on the reptiles.

As a boy, Amwasi would hunt birds and gazelles in the surrounding hills, a pastime that eventually led him to snakes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101022com3.html

Apprehensions NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 10/22/2010


Armida Siguion-Reyna
NEW YORK — Thanks to technology, we know what’s going on in Manila. That Trillanes and company were pardoned by P-Noy, almost soon as the amnesty papers were signed. That Sen. Joker Arroyo is upset by it, as is Sen. Miriam Santiago. That sila na ang magka-level ngayon, as a text joke supposedly goes. That at the rate Senator Arroyo has been sounding far from the Senator Arroyo young people used to idolize, it’s Senator Santiago who is embarrassed to be mentioned in the same breath as he.

The Morong 43 have not been released despite the many groups of international NGOs and lawyers praying for such, as well as the countless editorials and op-ed columns pointing out, as Conrado de Quiros did, that “It was the leftist rebels, more than the military ones, who fought GMA with a passion for the last nine years, for which they paid a terrible price.”

In the city that never sleeps, we get e-mail, we get texts, we get Facebook, we get media updates, and here I take the opportunity to congratulate whoever has given this paper’s Web site a facelift; the font’s much clearer and bigger, too.

But back to the neither-here-nor-there feeling that one has, shortly before flying back. What’s chismis and what’s fact is hard to tell when you’re abroad. The country’s top bachelor’s confirmed to have broken up with his girlfriend and is rumored to be “an item” with a very stylish woman. His usually loquacious sister is mum about it, and observers say it’s when she’s quiet that she also says a lot, so there..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101022com4.html

RP’s currency and socio-political puzzle DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 10/22/2010

RP’s currency and socio-political puzzle

Herman Tiu Laurel
In June 2010, South Korea and Indonesia issued several currency policy measures. The former announced a series of controls to protect its economy from external shocks while the latter devised ways of capping short-term capital inflows and outflows. Earlier in October 2009, Brazil instituted a 2 percent tax on foreign portfolio investments. During this period, Taiwan also restricted overseas investors from buying time deposits.

The Philippines, in contrast, has being the doing the reverse under the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s open mole, Cesar Purisima, by ushering in the flood of foreign moneys. In particular, Purisima exempted the dollar bond disguised as the “peso bond” from any taxes because, according to him, the bond “…has to be structured in such a way that there will be no tax issues.”

So with our gates wide open to predatory finance, the Shylocks that deluge the local market with dollars that couldn’t even earn 1 percent domestically are in today for a bonanza with Purisima’s 5 to over to 6 percent interest! Why, the IMF gofer even proclaims, “Our position is that we (the government) take the tax exposure.”

And yet, what he doesn’t say is that deluging the local market with dollars further appreciates the peso, causing our OFWs and exporters to get less pesos for the dollars they earn; thus, depressing their lives and incomes as well as those of others, such as the BPO sector.

And as Philippine exports are made more expensive in the international market, imports will become cheaper and more purchases from abroad will be made, which will depress our local industries even more, putting a great deal more pressure on social and national equitability. Already, we are hearing the cries of our OFWs and exporters.

Leaders everywhere are worried, too. Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega declares: “We are in the midst of an international currency war, a general weakening of currency. This threatens us because it takes away our competitiveness.”

Today is an era of shrinking global demand. Issuers of reserve currencies, such as the US, adopt monetary expansion to cheapen their exports while non-issuers, such as Brazil, correctly respond with currency intervention. Those who do not do so, such as the Philippines, only find their currencies soaring to their detriment.

Brazil is touted today as one of the best stories of impressive economic growth. This is attributed, first of all, to the growth of its domestic production capacity, whereby products, such as cars and other vehicles, produced in Brazil are substituted for imports; and second, to the massive surge in Brazilian raw material sales to China — which mean a further breaking away from US and Western diktats on politics, finance, and the economy.

Purisima is leading this country into its final financial and economic ruin, and that is not surprising for one whose loyalty is to the foreign financial powers, and not the Filipino nation. He remains a governor of the World Bank (WB) Group and the Asian Development Bank and alternate governor for the IMF for the country, as one recent editorial of the Tribune revealed. So why would he bat an eyelash in sacrificing the welfare of this nation to prop up the US dollar, as we are seeing him do today?

It is the supreme irony that treason — both political and economic — not only goes unpunished but is richly rewarded; while patriotism and nationalism such as that of Senator Trillanes continues to be punished by the system (although we are happy that the Senate has finally concurred with the amnesty, over the dead political body of Joker Arroyo).

We have been educating our people to be concerned about the nation’s financial and monetary policies over politics and personalities. With regularity, we have brought our readers back to the time of Presidents Quirino and Garcia when capital and currency controls spurred a fledgling program of Philippine industrialization to gain a headstart over the rest of Asia.

These policies have to be restored to restore economic justice to our people. Only then can domestic agriculture and industry, not to mention employment and growth, be revived.

Aquino III’s government is a puppet regime of the US and the IMF, having several IMF-WB and US Embassy lackeys appointed to every key position in the Cabinet. It will not be more than two years before this predation and its disastrous impact will compel the people to react explosively to compel a reversal of policies.

The zarzuela between the “warring” Aquino III and Gloria Arroyo camps is exposed in the charades, such as in the meeting between the Budget chief with Arroyo supposedly to clarify the “cash transfer” program’s operations, the basis of which both are actually in agreement over. All told, these players are simply part of the continuing implementation of the US and Western plan of institutionalizing mendicancy in our people.

The Truth Commission of Davide is another such distraction. As we can see, it is clearly obfuscating the real issues against the Arroyo regime by stirring the pot with extraneous cases, such as Manuel Villar’s alleged budget-land manipulation schemes. The Davide commission is obviously intending to divert the cases away from the courts where they should be pursued, and with a certainty of success over time. But truth will out, as it now appears in the Glorietta bombing case.

Retired Army Col. Allan Sollano, Army Explosive and Ordnance Disposal unit leader at the Glorietta blast scene last Tuesday reaffirmed his original findings: “From… the dome in the roof of the basement and the damaged steel ladder… it was caused by a very, very powerful blast effect of a high explosive.”

He also recounted a meeting in Malacañang, attended by his men, where Gloria Arroyo supposedly told the generals to make the Glorietta blast a methane gas explosion. So it’s absolutely strange that the FBI team sent by the US concurred with the methane gas theory. Was there a quid pro quo there?

Gloria’s Noberto Gonzales was acting Defense chief at that time and destabilization was suspected. The massive defeat in May 2007 of Gloria’s senatorial slate was followed by the beheading of over a dozen Marines in Basilan in July. Two months later, the Glorietta blast occurred. It happened just days after Fidel Ramos issued veiled threats against Gloria that went kaput after the blast. And in November, a bomb exploded in Congress, killing Gonzales’ buddy and suspected brains behind the Basilan massacre, Rep. Wahab Akbar. Oh, how the pieces are coming together!

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; watch “Privatization of Irrigation” on Politics Today, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., Tuesday, 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/20101022com5.html

Sumo: A Japanese passion catches on in Europe FEATURE 10/22/2010

Sumo: A Japanese passion catches on in Europe


WARSAW — A world away from Tokyo, sumo is alive, well and winning popularity. In a large gymnasium at a sports center in the Polish capital Warsaw, workers create a dohyo, or Sumo arena, using 26 tons of clay.

Meanwhile in an adjoining room, young boys with blond and chestnut hair practice the sumo moves of their hefty heroes, dragging their feet towards their coach, legs apart, knees bent and hands clasped in front.

Hundreds of young Poles are now learning sumo, as the ancient Japanese form of wrestling wins popularity in eastern Europe. Warsaw even recently hosted the world amateur sumo championships.

“My brother encouraged me and I’m glad he did,” says Aleksander, a round-faced, blue-eyed, nine-year-old towhead weighing in at 29 kilograms (63 pounds)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101022com6.html

Bollywood looks for Diwali success focus 10/22/2010

Bollywood looks for Diwali success


MUMBAI — Bollywood is gearing up for a slew of new releases over the Hindu festival of Diwali, with expectations high that they will provide some cheer after a lackluster year at the box office.

At least 10 big films are due to hit the screens in the coming weeks, with hopes of success pinned on the comedy Golmaal 3 and the time-travel romance Action Replayy (eds: correct) that will be released on Diwali itself on Nov. 5.

Like the Christmas period for Hollywood, Diwali has traditionally been seen as a money-spinner for India’s Hindi-language film industry, as studios look to attract the holiday crowd with well-trailed movies featuring big name stars.

Industry watchers estimate that Bollywood could make four billion rupees ($90 million) by the end of the year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101022com7.html

PTC must probe Code-NGO scam By Angie M. Rosales 10/22/2010

PTC must probe Code-NGO scam

By Angie M. Rosales 10/22/2010

What’s good for the goose, must also be good for the gander, the goose being a former president, while the gander would be her former allies, but are now members of the Aquino Cabinet.

The Philippine Truth Commission (PTC), a creation of President Aquino, has been claimed by its appointed chairman, former Supreme Court Chief Justice and former President Arroyo’s appointee to the United States as the country’s permanent representative, Justice Hilario Davide Jr., as not only focusing on the charges against Arroyo, but would include also the complaint against Sen. Manuel Villar on the C-5 controversy.

Now a senator wants the PTC to also look into the transaction that was participated in by some current Cabinet officials of President Aquino in the alleged rigged auction of government bonds in the early days of the Arroyo administration.

Sen. Edgardo Angara yesterday said the fact-finding body set up to investigate alleged anomalies committed during the previous administration, should also include the so-called PEACe Bonds controversy, the alleged multibillion-peso scam where the group called Caucus of Development NGO Networks (Code-NGO) earned a windfall profit of over P1 billion, tax-free for the floating of the P10-billion bond..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101022hed1.html

DoJ chief: Unseen hands hiding Ping; Noy: Lacson case not a priority By Benjamin B. Pulta and Pat C. Santos 10/22/2010

DoJ chief: Unseen hands hiding Ping; Noy: Lacson case not a priority

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Pat C. Santos 10/22/2010

For Justice chief Leila de Lima, the department’s inability in finding fugitive Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is an embarrassment and she may create a special task force to hunt him down, as she is certain “unseen hands” are helping Lacson hide.

But for President Aquino, finding Lacson and bringing him to justice is not a priority, as he was quoted as telling reporters in calamity-stricken Isabela yesterday.

Aquino claimed he is currently focused on solving problems brought about by typhoon “Juan.”

“My priority are the problems we have today that have created damage to the Philippines, whether it is a natural disaster, crime incidents such as kidnapping,” he was quoted in reports as saying..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101022hed2.html

Ex-senator joins call for Deles’ ouster By Gerry Baldo and Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/22/2010

Ex-senator joins call for Deles’ ouster

By Gerry Baldo and Aytch S. de la Cruz 10/22/2010

Former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. yesterday called on President Aquino to seriously consider the resolution passed by members of Congress to junk Secretary Teresita Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process for the sake of peace in Mindanao.

According to Pimentel, the peace efforts of the government will not be successful without the cooperation of the Mindanao lawmakers whom Deles had allegedly maligned.

“In my view, the Executive should consider that (reso-lution) seriously for the sake of peace efforts in Mindanao. This won’t be successful without the cooperation of the Mindanao lawmakers,” Pimentel said yesterday.

He was one of the guest panelists at the weekly Usaping Balita Media Forum at the Serye Restaurant in Quezon Circle in Quezon City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101022hed3.html

Angara takes a dig at Aquino By Angie M. Rosales 10/22/2010

Angara takes a dig at Aquino

By Angie M. Rosales 10/22/2010

Four days may have already passed since the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council’s (NDRRMC) meeting where President Aquino, who was supposed to preside, was a no-show but the incident did not come to pass with some keen observers.

One of them was Sen. Edgardo Angara as he took a dig at the Chief Executive by comparing the manner in which Chilean President Sebastian Piñera played his role in the successful rescue of miners, all 33 of them who were trapped half a mile, for almost 70 days, beneath Atacama desert.

“Isn’t it embarrassing that we tried to rescue people and we ended up killing all of them? Whereas Chile, tried to rescue 33 people and they rescued 33 people? The stark contrast is really discomforting. The right in being a Filipino, that is whatis the essence (of the issue),” the senator said during the weekly Kapihan sa Senado, in comparing the two governments’ handling of crisis that caught international media attention.

“The hostage (crisis), that’s really embarrassing because it was televised. In Chile, it was also televised but you feel a sense of pride, you realize that this Chilean government is so smart, intelligent..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101022hed4.html

Noynoy-SC showdown looms By Aytch de la Cruz 10/22/2010

Noynoy-SC showdown looms

By Aytch de la Cruz 10/22/2010

It appears that President Aquino is bent on arranging a showdown with the Supreme Court (SC) as he matched fire with fire after Chief Justice Renato Corona’s description of a hostile Executive Branch the other day, saying yesterday that he is keeping his hardline position that the SC’s issuance of a status quo ante order on the Executive Order (EO) 2 was an interference with the affairs of the President.

Aquino, thus, merely shrugged off Corona’s assertion of the power of the pen of the judiciary, which he said will not allow itself to be intimidated in upholding its constitutional mandate.

Aquino told reporters yesterday that nothing has changed insofar as his position is concerned with respect to the rulings handed down by the high court lately which he described as clear interference in the affairs of its co-equal branches of government.

Apart from the status quo ante order on EO 2, which sought to terminate all so-called midnight appointees of former President Arroyo, Aquino said the same position applies to an SC ruling on the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez at the House of Representatives..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101022hed5.html

10 killed in Cotabato bus explosion 10/22/2010

10 killed in Cotabato bus explosion

At least 10 persons were killed when a bomb exploded inside a packed passenger bus in Cotabato province yesterday, a ranking military official said.

Quoting initial reports from the field, Army 6th Infantry Division (ID) chief Maj. Gen. Anthony Alcantara said an unknown improvised explosive device (IED) exploded inside a Rural Transit Bus with body number 2284 driven by Arlan Tadio.

Alcantara said eight persons died on the spot while at least six others were rushed to local
hospitals after sustaining wounds during the blast.

Two more victims reportedly died while undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

The Army official added the passenger bus, which came from Tacurong City and bound for Cagayan de Oro City, was traversing along the national highway in Barangay Dalapitan, Matalam town around 10:30 a.m. when the explosion occurred..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101022hed6.html

Dissenters in SC plagiarism ruling: Sanctions undermine court’s honesty By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/22/2010

Dissenters in SC plagiarism ruling: Sanctions undermine court’s honesty

By Benjamin B. Pulta 10/22/2010

Dissenting magistrates said the Supreme Court (SC) is doing a great disservice to its cause in covering up what was clearly a case of plagiarism in its decision to turn down a suit filed by Filipino women who were used as sex slaves during the Japanese occupation.

Associate Justice Lourdes Sereno said the SC ruling ordering contempt raps for the UP College of Law professors undermines honesty in learned discourse by claiming no wrong had been committed.
“What is so grievous about this whole contempt proceeding is that it comes in the wake of the gross injury that the Court has inflicted upon the virtue of honesty in learned discourses by labeling plagiarism as not plagiarism in the related case involving one of its members.

“With all due respect to my colleagues, it is not the place of the Court to seek revenge against those who, in their wish to see reform in the judiciary, have the courage to say what is wrong with it. The Court finds its legitimacy in demonstrating its moral vein case after case, not in flaunting its judicial brawn. There is nothing to be gained for the administration of justice in not letting his one instance pass just because feelings have been hurt and the urge to retaliate must be satisfied.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101022nat1.html

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