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The Daily Tribune

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Dumb and dumber EDITORIAL 11/03/2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dumb and dumber

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Jaws dropped when Noynoy Aquino, in his arrival speech, mentioned the tweeting incident of his speechwriter, and said something about her being young and prone to making mistakes, then added that he has already told his Palace officials to always watch what they say and do.

That piece of advice he claimed to have given his Palace aides to watch what they say and do can very well apply to him, having made so many diplomatic gaffes in his four months stay in office.

But why on earth did he think that a president has to include something as trivial and as inconsequential as a speechwriter’s tweets in an arrival speech? Surely that is beneath a president. If he forgave her tweets, then he did, and didn’t have to announce that to the nation.

When Noynoy and his group were in the United States, newspapers carried the story of a Cabinet secretary saying that all they had eaten in the US were pizzas — day in and day out, and that he can’t eat or see pizza for months.

Is there any difference in the Cabinet secretary saying that and the speechwriter tweeting that wine sucks in Vietnam?

For that secretary, pizza sucks, if one had to eat it day in and out during the presidential trip.
Truth is, there is so much ado about nothing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101103com1.html

Myanmar rulers ‘not ready to return to barracks’ focus 11/03/2010

Myanmar rulers ‘not ready to return to barracks’


BANGKOK — It’s one of the world’s oldest dictatorships, run by an enigmatic postman-turned-soldier who, true to form, is keeping the world guessing about whether his iron-fisted rule is drawing to an end.

As Myanmar gears up for its first election in 20 years — a vote the generals say will mark the dawn of democracy after almost five decades of autocracy — junta chief Than Shwe’s intentions remain shrouded in mystery.

Speculation is rife that the ailing 77-year-old may step down from the position of commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s “Tatmadaw” armed forces and hand over power to a younger generation of trusted lieutenants.

Few, however, expect the military — or its “senior general” — to relinquish the real power any time soon.
“I don’t think he would be happy to retire,” says Aung Zaw, founder and editor of the Irrawaddy, a Thailand-based magazine run by Burmese exiles that is a vocal critic of the regime..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101103com2.html

SC should take pause C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 11/03/2010

SC should take pause

Jonathan De la Cruz
The Supreme Court should consider taking pause on the issue of sanctioning the UP professors who had issued that statement on the plagiarism case involving Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo. This is a no win situation for the high court and the earlier it realizes that the better for all concerned. We may grant that the UP professors were quite aggressive and, some say, uncouth in their critique of the alleged misdeed. They may have gone overboard and breached the line, so to speak, as officers of the court. They may have even taken shortcuts and taken their own rules lightly. In fact, up to now the issuers have not even explained how they got to put the signature of retired SC Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza in that statement without the latter’s knowledge and consent.

But having let things pass, as it were, by passing off Justice del Castillo’s error as an “MS mistake,” an aberration, if you will, they should have ended the ruckus with a simple show cause order. Not a seven-page ruling which only prolonged the debate and the aggravation longer than necessary. In any event, now that the court has issued this order it should just await the professors’ answer and leave things at that. It is not wise, even unhealthy for it or any of its personnel to engage in public debate over an act which can only be described as unfortunate. Let this thing end the way it began — hardly noticed until the court got suckered into the fray by those whose clients’ had expected but did not get the court’s ruling the way they had wanted it to be. As the high court had always advised those who had taken up positions in the government service, especially those considered high and mighty in the public eye — do not be onion skinned. That applies to all not just in the two co-equal branches of government..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101103com3.html

Albanian quandary: How to use old regime’s mountain hideouts FEATURE 11/03/2010

Albanian quandary: How to use old regime’s mountain hideouts


LINZA — The metal doors in the mountainside are tough to open but once in, a tunnel sinks into the rock: The long-concealed hideout for the secret police of late Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha, designed to withstand an atomic bomb.

“This is where the Interior Ministry and Sigurimi (Communist-era secret police) would have been based in case of war,” Interior Minister Abaz Hysa explained to AFP.

It is the first time authorities have opened up this site in the Dajti mountain town of Linza on the outskirts of the capital Tirana to the media.

Under the raw light of bare ceiling bulbs, its tunnels and corridors lead visitors to an underground world — 82 rooms for meetings or work along with other spaces reserved for transmissions or wire tapping.

Another set of metal doors open onto more endless-looking galleries. In all the network of mountain tunnels is nearly two kilometers (12 miles) long..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101103com4.html

Maguindanao revisited HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 11/03/2010

Maguindanao revisited

Aldrin Cardon
One year is too long a wait.

The Ampatuan massacre will be remembered this month with not much promise that those believed to be responsible in the mass murder of 57 persons, including 34 journalists, will be meted long jail terms, or if they will be deemed guilty at all.

Not even a change in government could seem to assure the families of the victims of a resolution to their liking.

Family patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his successor to lead the clan, Andal Ampatuan Jr. have been charged with murder along with 196 others, perhaps the most number of suspects in a given crime since the last global war, but they possess so much influence, aside from lots of money, to dictate the course of their defense that a long trial may lead to a whitewash, or even a mistrial that would lead to their acquittal.

Journalists, including this rubbernecker (if I would qualify as one), have been impatient already as we look for clear signals the Ampatuans and their horde would be brought to justice.

But justice works differently than our wants and demands. And as long as justice works, we will wait.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101103com5.html

Massacre mess SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 11/03/2010

Massacre mess

Dinah S. Ventura
The blood of those 57 persons whose lives were unceremoniously snuffed out in the shocking Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao last Nov. 23, 2009 has long dried in the ground where their bodies were found. But their deaths remain fresh in our minds, almost one year later.

A lot can happen in one year. Heck, a lot can happen in a day!

Who can forget, for instance, that 10-hour drama that unfolded in Manila last August? That cringe-worthy event shows us just how a country’s image can fall in everyone’s eyes, or how the leadership skills of current officials questioned and their reputations tarnished in a span of hours, during which time our dirty linen is aired worldwide and the lives of some innocent tourists are lost.

Just consider, as well, the other side of the coin. A matter of minutes is sometimes enough for the youTube generation to change lives and turn around fortunes!

For those who accompanied the wife of then-Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, on her way to file her husband’s certificate of candidacy for a gubernatorial seat, it took a matter of hours for their blood to mark a dark day in our history. Brutally killed on the way to the Commission on Elections provincial office in Shariff Aguak were at least 32 members of Philippine media, and the rest relatives of now provincial governor Mangudadatu..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101103com6.html

Ping in RP; DoJ chief warns coddlers By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/03/2010


Ping in RP; DoJ chief warns coddlers

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/03/2010

Fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson is in the country, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said, adding that those responsible for hiding the fugitive lawmaker who is facing double murder charges face the full force of the law.

Lacson was seen in a video leaving the country sometime in January last year and has not been seen nor heard, although he was said to have signed some Senate documents even while he went to ground.
He was reported to have left the country just before an arrest warrant was to be slapped on him.

But De Lima claimed that Lacson may never have left the country at all, and merely staged his leaving the country.

“It may have been a charade,” she said of the airport departure video.

However, it was recorded that Lacson had traveled to Rome, Italy, after which, there was no longer any trace of him.

He is said to be in the Interpol “Red List.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101103hed1.html

De Lima wants APO to surrender 2 more bombing suspects 11/03/2010

De Lima wants APO to surrender 2 more bombing suspects

Two more suspects in last September’s bar bombing have been identified, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday.

She declined to name the two, however, saying that the National Bureau of Investigation(NBI) is currently tailing them, but also implied broadly that the two suspects are also members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity.

It was unclear why the NBI has not brought the two suspects for questioning, if its agents have been tailing them.

Instead, she asked the APO members to surrender them.

“The two other suspects who came to his (main suspect) rescue when he was being ganged up have already been identified. He was mauled by a group who saw him throwing the grenade. But I’m deferring disclosure pending operations,” she said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101103hed2.html

GMA’s lawyer: Sandigan ruling to stop Gloria testimony in ZTE-NBN case By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/03/2010

GMA’s lawyer: Sandigan ruling to stop Gloria testimony in ZTE-NBN case

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/03/2010

A lawyer of former President Arroyo urged her critics to honor the Sandiganbayan decision to quash the subpoena for her to testify in the anti-graft court’s proceedings on the aborted $329-million National Broadband Network-ZTE deal, citing pending proceedings in the Supreme Court.

In a statement, former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza insisted that the graft court ruling is backstopped by the Bill of Rights which does not distinguish among the accused claiming those rights.

“Section 12 (1), Article III of the Constitution (Bill of Rights), which embodies the right to remain silent, is clear and explicit,” Mendoza said, adding that “it applies to any person under investigation for the commission of an offense”.

“There can be no question that Congresswoman Arroyo, the former President, is under investigation for her alleged involvement in the NBN-ZTE transaction and the complaints against her are now pending before the Supreme Court,” Mendoza pointed out.

Mendoza issued the statement in reply to a published position by eminent constitutionalist Joaquin Bernas who said that Arroyo cannot refuse to take the stand in the Sandigan NBN-ZTE case against former Arroyo ally Romulo Neri..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101103hed3.html

Palace backs DoLE chief ruling on PAL row By Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/03/2010

Palace backs DoLE chief ruling on PAL row

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/03/2010

The Palace said yesterday it is four-square behind Labor Secretary Rosalindo Baldoz’s decision favoring flag-carrier Philippine Airline’s (PAL) outsourcing of its businesses that resulted in the layoff of 2,600 employees while at the same time advising the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea) to exhaust legal remedies to defend their rights.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte told Palace reporters that affected employees of PAL can turn to several legal remedies after the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) gave the go signal for the PAL management to lay off its employees.

Valte said among the remedies available to PAL employees is the filing of a motion for reconsideration to the Court of Appeals (CA) on the DoLE decision.

Valte said Malacañang is supporting the decision of Baldoz which she said was based on laws, adding that the affected PAL PAL employees will receive their compensation.

Valte made the statement after members of the PALEA marched to Mendiola to stage a protest on the decision and asked President Aquino to fire Baldoz who they called as anti-labor..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101103hed4.html

Binay rated among highly trusted veeps — SWS poll 11/03/2010

Binay rated among highly trusted veeps — SWS poll

Vice President Jejomar Binay posted one of the highest satisfaction rating, with a predominantly “very good” rating among officials in the line of succession of President Aquino, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

The SWS survey showed that 70 percent of Filipinos were happy with Binay’s performance against only 12 percent dissatisfied, giving the Vice President a 58 percent net satisfaction score.

“The result of the SWS survey encourages me to work harder in helping our people fulfill their dream of owning their own homes and having a better life. It also inspires me to persevere in promoting the rights and welfare of our OFWs. I am grateful and humbled by the people’s support,” Binay said.

Binay heads the Housing and Urban Development Coordi-nating Council (HUDCC) and was recently appointed presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs) concerns..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101103hed5.html

No Pinoys killed, hurt in Iraq blast By Michaela P. del Callar 11/03/2010

No Pinoys killed, hurt in Iraq blast

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/03/2010

No Filipino died or was wounded when armed militants laid a bloody siege on a Catholic Church in Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, killing 58 people and wounding 78 others, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

“The Philippine Embassy in Baghdad reported them to be safe,” DFA spokesman Eduardo Malaya said. “There are no Filipinos affected during the church hostage-taking incident in the said city.”

According to Malaya most of the estimated 2,000 Filipino workers in Iraq are confined within U.S. military bases.

However, Malaya said the embassy continues to monitor closely the situation and the safety and security of Filipino nationals in Iraq.

Seven or eight militants stormed the front doors of the Our Lady of Salvation Church, interrupting the evening Mass service, brandishing their machine guns and spraying the room with bullets..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101103hed6.html

MILF to file complaint vs AFP at JCCCH By Mario J. Mallari 11/03/2010


MILF to file complaint vs AFP at JCCCH

By Mario J. Mallari 11/03/2010

The secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) yesterday vowed to file complaint before the Joint Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities (JCCCH) regarding the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) redeployment of Marine forces from Basilan to Cotabato without proper coordination.

Von Al Haq, military spokesman of the MILF, said the secessionist group was saddened by the non-coordination of the AFP to the MILF leadership on the pull out of the 1st Marine Brigade from Basilan to Cotabato City.

“We will file our complaint,” said Haq.

Asked what particularly complaint the MILF would file, Haq replied “uncoordinated movements of troops.”
Haq noted the AFP has been violating the ceasefire agreement’s provision of proper coordination of movement of troops as part of the measures established in connection to the peace negotiations between the MILF and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101103nat1.html

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