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About Pacman and Liz Uy EDITORIAL 11/19/2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

About Pacman and Liz Uy

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The media are again getting into the hair of Noynoy, as he touched on, of all topics, when he landed in Manila coming from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum in Japan, the newspaper coverage on Manny Pacquiao which he considered as very denigrating on the capabilities of the boxing icon and the increasing focus of the media in his current love interest.

Noynoy went on with his grudge saying that nothing much of his achievement particularly the bringing in of supposed new investments from Japanese firms was given prominence in news reports and instead the Japan interviews were mostly about designer Liz Uy, his current dating partner.

On Pacquiao, Noynoy said what seemed to have been highlighted were Pacman’s disadvantages prior to his fight with Mexican boxer Antonio Margarito. He said the media were putting down Pacquiao instead of encouraging him prior to the fight.

The bottled-up rage welling up in Noynoy against media, however, seems more than being about Pacquiao or his new girlfriend. Last October at a Vietnam briefing, Noynoy was steaming against a small paper with a few readers for printing a comment of Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez saying that the poor leadership skills of Noynoy may keep him from completing his six-year term..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101119com1.html

Unimpressed FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 11/19/2010


Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Until the Aquino government fixes the peace and order problem in the country, no amount of tourism campaigning will get the tourists to come to the Philippines.

Already, at least two foreign envoys have issued their governments’ advisories, discouraging their citizens from traveling to the country — not due to some probable terrorist activity, but on account of the rising criminal incidents. One was the Japanese envoy, while the other was the South Korean envoy.

Strangely enough, Noynoy Aquino did not react violently to these two travel advisories that focused on crime as a no travel factor, unlike the reaction he had over the travel advisories from six foreign governments warning their citizens of the credible terror threat — yet these warnings from the two Asian envoys are more direct and perhaps more damaging.

But Aquino and his tourism boys appear to think that it will be a change of slogan that will be bringing the tourists in, as the government is reportedly spending P100 million for the launch of a new Philippine logo, replacing the old but effective “Wow Philippines.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101119com2.html

Lady Gaga and the sociology of fame: college course FEATURE 11/19/2010

Lady Gaga and the sociology of fame: college course


CHARLESTON — Pop provocateur Lady Gaga may be only 24 but she has already won a string of awards and can now add another feather to her many hats: a university course in her name.

“Lady Gaga and the sociology of fame” is one of the latest courses to be added to the curriculum at the University of South Carolina for the spring 2011 semester.

And it already has the campus buzzing.

“The case of the fame of Lady Gaga is sociologically relevant as a study in popular culture and the social conditions of the current culture of fame,” said professor Matthieu Deflem, who will lead the course.

A self-proclaimed fan of the American music diva who has raised eyebrows with her over-the-top costumes, gravity-defying heels and stunning music videos, Deflem is also a huge follower of pop culture since the 1960s..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101119com3.html

Double standard privatization DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 11/19/2010

Double standard privatization

Herman Tiu Laurel
\"Diven the many issues that are basic to the well-being of the Filipino people such as electricity, water, public transport and toll ways that are not being dealt with by most columnists of mainstream media, I have made it a point to focus on them through this space. But whenever I see issues covered extensively by media being obfuscated by writers who rear their discriminatory heads, then I have to step into the fray.

The Philippine Airlines (PAL) vs PAL Employees Association (Palea) strike threat is a case in point. One the chief proponents of the privatization of state assets, economic liberalization advocate Solita Monsod, takes what I see as a double standard stand on the PAL vs Palea impasse, as she uses it as another opportunity for lambasting a favorite whipping boy of the Makati Business Club, a noisy group that shares her economic views.

That the global and local airline industry is going through precarious times is not in doubt. Monsod concedes that “the global economic crisis was in full flow in 2008 and 2009, and travel was a natural victim (with)… a 7 percent decrease in worldwide demand.” She also admits the adverse impact of new restrictions on the Philippine aviation industry by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after our country was downgraded due to deficiencies in our Air Transportation Office (ATO) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

What is not included, though, in that litany of problems besetting PAL is the flag carrier’s history of overstaffing before privatization, which previous management reorganizations constricted by government-led compromises could not optimally resolve. What PAL wouldn’t give to get the chance that other airlines such as Cebu Pacific had, which is to start from scratch — to start on the right foot.

One setback of PAL in the past three years came from losses on its hedge against aviation fuel price spikes in 2008. PAL reportedly incurred $150 to $300 million in losses when oil prices reversed and dove instead, as the global economic downturn took its toll.

Monsod and Palea keep attributing this loss only to management and says labor shouldn’t be punished for it. I don’t think PAL ever intended to take out that loss on anyone, but that hedge was a judgment call intended for the good of the company as a whole.

Fuel is obviously a fundamental cost in any airline operation. Securing oneself against fuel price spikes, which many expected at that time, was to PAL’s interest. A case can be made that fuel prices really could have gone right through the roof. If it had gone that way, all stakeholders in PAL — management, labor, and even government — would have reaped the benefit from the hedge.

Privatization was intended to pass management of the flag carrier from cumbersome state managers to private, professional managers. I have never been for privatization of state and public utility assets. I have fought it all the past decades; but the advocates of privatization should be consistent and leave private management’s prerogative alone so long as laws are strictly followed.

PAL’s spinoff of various non-core operations comes from a tenet of good business — focus. There is clearly nothing illegal in that spinoff, and the company is complying with its obligation to provide severance pay (increased to 1.25 month for every year of service), and offers new opportunities in the new spun-off companies to retrenched employees which would most likely lead to better future compensation as the companies grow with the synergy.

Those who expect the privatized company to perform like a social welfare enterprise could propose to start getting the state and government involved again. Do what the Japanese did to save their Japan Airlines (JAL). Their government pumped in 50 billion yen to turn it around, which was justified in JAL’s case as it is a government airline.

Detractors claim that the new spinoff companies are also invariably led by one relation or another of the PAL owners, but who best to invite new capital into this unattractive industry today than those who can assure new investors the good will with the core client?

PAL’s owners have actually unburdened government of a huge weight around its neck, and PAL’s privatization is the only privatization project where the public is ahead; unlike the privatization in power, water, toll ways, mass transit system and port handling. It’s a wonder why Monsod practically never critiques these other privatizations.

The recent bus transport strike in Metro Manila highlights another double standard: The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Transportation and Communications’ view of buses as traffic jam generators, while being blind to the over a hundred thousand private cars exclusively chauffeuring students to and from school, clogging up Edsa and its tributaries.

Buses serve five times more passengers per square meter than private vehicles, having much greater positive economic and social value. Private vehicles are inefficient commuter movers; only more “sosyal.” School buses should be mandatory in Metro Manila, where a special school bus network with communication radios and trained conductors that would unclog Metro roads by over a hundred thousand cars should be established. When I proposed this to Cory Aquino’s MMDA chief Elfren Cruz in 1991, he said: “Magagalit ang mayayaman.” (The rich will get angry.)

Frankly, this crackdown on buses may have a hidden agenda — make the MRT’s new coaches (and resulting higher rates) under the multi-million public-private partnership or PPP projects more lucrative for PeNoy’s invited “investors.”

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

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101119com4.html

Angry Indians take anti-corruption fight online FEATURE 11/19/2010

Angry Indians take anti-corruption fight online


NEW DELHI — After decades spent deploring the daily blight of bribery in private, thousands of Indians are taking the anti-graft fight into their own hands and going online to shame the guilty.

India is no stranger to graft, whether it be a billion-dollar corporate fraud case or absurdly inflated toilet paper contracts for the athletes’ village at last month’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

But corruption is most vividly felt in people’s everyday lives, with seemingly endless requests for backhanders to secure everything from phone connections to birth certificates and school admissions letters.

A Bangalore-based non-profit organization, Janaagraha, responded to the problem in August by setting up a Web site, IPaidABribe.com (IPAB), a cathartic forum for angry citizens to vent their frustration and share experiences.

In February, a lobby group called 5th Pillar printed and distributed a zero-rupee note, urging people to hand them out whenever they encountered a greedy bureaucrat..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101119com5.html

With Suu Kyi free, China’s Liu is only jailed peace laureate ANALYSIS 11/19/2010

With Suu Kyi free, China’s Liu is only jailed peace laureate


BEIJING — China is now the only country to detain a Nobel Peace laureate after Myanmar released Aung San Suu Kyi, but experts say the unwonted limelight will not prod Beijing into freeing dissident writer Liu Xiaobo anytime soon.

Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said the Myanmar democracy icon’s release was an encouragement to all political prisoners including Liu, but observers do not see it influencing Beijing.

“I can’t imagine that there will be an impact,” said Ian Holliday, a professor of political science at the University of Hong Kong.

“At any rate China will make its own calculations based on its own stability situation... and it won’t really care what the United States or others think.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101119com6.html

In Senegal, a sheep is man’s best friend FEATURE 11/19/2010

In Senegal, a sheep is man’s best friend


DAKAR — It is the day of reckoning for reality television star Hamza, a large white ram that is among 15 contestants hoping to be crowned Senegal’s most beautiful sheep.
His owner, Mohamed Diop, 38, who calls Hamza “my pet and my best friend,” is the nervous one, however, with a prize of two million CFA francs ($4,000) only one of the issues at stake.

“If I win...” he says, pausing as he peers over a throng of people crowding his stall before yelling to attract the attention of a young woman standing shyly to the side clutching a baby.

“If I win,” he repeats, pointing and beaming, “I am going to marry that girl!”

The popular Kharbii competition — Kharbii is sheep in the local Wolof language — now in its second year has gathered a massive television following with viewers following the show week by week as finalists are whittled down..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101119com7.html

SC spurns Noy on live TV trial of Ampatuans By Benjamin B. Pulta and Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/19/2010


SC spurns Noy on live TV trial of Ampatuans

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Aytch S. de la Cruz 11/19/2010

The Supreme Court and Malacañang are set for another head-on collision over the proposed live television airing of the Maguindanao massacre trials as SC spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said yesterday unless a petition is filed and a ruling handed down by the court, a standing legal precedent disallowing television coverage of hearings in the lower courts will stand.

President Aquino quickly fired off a retort, saying the SC should value “transparency” which was the aim of the proposed television coverage of the trial which he had publicly supported.

Since no less than Aquino has expressed support to the idea of airing live the trial proceedings of the Maguindanao massacre, a denial from the court could trigger a new round of tension between the executive and the judiciary, Sen. Francis Escudero said.

Escudero noted the fact that government prosecutors are not barred from appealing before the SC the judiciary’s position against live coverage of any court proceedings as in the case of the Maguindanao massacre..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101119hed1.html

P154-B mega projects unveiled in 1st PPP salvo By Aytch de la Cruz and Ayen Infante 11/19/2010

P154-B mega projects unveiled in 1st PPP salvo

By Aytch de la Cruz and Ayen Infante 11/19/2010

Chanting “the Philippines not for sale!,” protesters yesterday tried but failed to break inside the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City where President Aquino and his team of economic managers were launching his administration’s pet project that aims to attract the biggest local investors to infuse fund into major government projects, the first 10 of which are already worth a total of P154 billion.

President Aquino unveiled vital infrastructure to be opened for private investment, both local and foreign, under the so-called public-private partnership (PPP) program during the “Infrastructure Philippines 2010: Investing and Financing in Public-Private Partnership Projects” conference at a Pasay City hotel.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose de Jesus said 10 transportation-related priority projects will be placed on the auction block next year.

“The projects presented today have completed feasibility studies, have completed right of way requirements, and have been budgeted to the required government counterpart for award and implementation by the fourth quarter of 2011”, De Jesus said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101119hed2.html

Soldiers, NPAs clash in Leyte legitimate, says Tutaan By Mario J. Mallari 11/19/2010

Soldiers, NPAs clash in Leyte legitimate, says Tutaan

By Mario J. Mallari 11/19/2010

The battalion commander of the Army unit engaged in supposed firefight with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Leyte last Sunday that led to the killing of a top notch botanist and two other civilians yesterday maintained there was legitimate encounter with the communists.

Lt. Col. Federico Tutaan, commander of the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion (IB), said his men were dispatched after receiving reports of the presence of more or less 30 NPA rebels in Barangay Lim-ao, Kananga town.

“We made operations plans and orders and so my men went there and there was an encounter at that particular place,” said Tutaan.

During subsequent search and clearing operations in the area, Tutaan said the military operatives discovered that there were civilians in the area, one of them is Leonardo Co, who is a top-notch botanist and consultant of Lopez-owned Energy Development Corp. (EDC), who were conducting survey.

Unfortunately, two civilians, including Co, were recovered dead while another one expired at a hospital. Two other civilians survived the incident..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101119nat1.html

RP now a member of UN group against piracy 11/19/2010

RP now a member of UN group against piracy

The Philippines, which has one of the highest number of nationals being held by ransom-seeking pirates off Somalia, was officially admitted as a mem-ber of a United Nations anti-piracy group.

Republic of Korea Permanent Representative and chairman of the 7th CGPC Plenary Meeting Ambassador Hayoong Moon announced the membership of the Philippines to the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPS) last Nov. 10.

“This is an im-portant membership for us as the Contact Group is the primary global body that is taking
direct action on multiple levels to address the serious problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia,” Libran Cabactulan, Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN, said.

The CGPCS was established on Jan. 14, 2009, pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851 to facilitate discussion and coordination of actions among states and organizations to suppress piracy off the coast of Somalia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101119hed4.html

Former Justice chief is new JBC member 11/19/2010

Former Justice chief is new JBC member

Dean Artemio Tuquero Jr., who served as Department of Justice (DoJ) secretary during the Estrada administration, is the newest member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

Malacañang appointed him to represent the legal academe in the JBC.

Tuquero replaced Dean Amado Dimayuga who retired last July.

Tuquero is the former dean of both the University of the East (UE) College of Law and Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) School of Law.

He also served as chief state prosecutor, undersecretary of justice and
associate justice of the Court of Appeals.

Chief Justice Renato Corona is the ex-officio JBC chairman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101119hed6.html

RP ranks 4th among nations with prostituted children 11/19/2010

RP ranks 4th among nations with prostituted children

The Child Protection Unit (CPU) said the Philippines ranks 4th on the list of countries having a large number of prostituted children.

Citing reports of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), CPU said there are about 75,000 children in the Philippines who were forced into prostitution due to poverty.

CWR reported increased incidence of prostitution in rural areas where food is planted and grown.

“The financial crisis has aggravated the condition of impoverished rural women. Although they produce food for the country, they cannot cope with the crisis because, to start with, they are landless and have been earning so little…” the report said.

Rural women and children are vulnerable to prostitution because of their impoverished situation. Farmers and fishermen comprise the poorest sector of our country. And across basic sectors, women and children account for the largest poor population..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101119nat6.html

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