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Noynoy in Blunderland 12/21/2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Noynoy in Blunderland

Malacañang is a virtual Blunderland with Noynoy Aquino and his equally inept, clueless and incompetent aides at its helm.

Doesn’t the Malacañang tenant, along with his miscommunicators, who really are turning out to be Lord and Lady Gagas, first think before shooting their moronic mouths off on virtually any and all issues?

Former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, charged with the crime of plunder, entered into a plea bargain agreement with the prosecutors, where he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of direct bribery along with money laundering. The plea bargain agreement is to be ruled upon by the Sandiganbayan that in the meantime, granted him bail on P60,000. Garcia is now enjoying temporary liberty until the plea bargain issue is settled by the court, which plea will likely be granted, given that the deal was between the prosecutors and Garcia.

Noynoy quickly reacted, telling his favorite Yellow newspaper that he will intervene and have the plea bargain deal rejected, as the evidence against Garcia was strong..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101221com1.html

Profit-sharing and transfer pricing AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 12/21/2010

Profit-sharing and transfer pricing

Ken Fuller
Two weeks ago, this column noted how, despite an economic crisis, US corporations are raking in higher profits than ever. Today, we’ll take a look at how some US-based transnational corporations (TNCs) make a killing by setting up subsidiaries in overseas tax havens. This may, as we’ll see, have implications for the Philippines.

Most of the following information is taken from an article entitled “Ireland top location for US Multinational Profits” on the Irish business site www.finfacts.com. Based partly on two studies conducted by Martin Sullivan (previously a US Treasury Department economist) in the US journal Tax Notes in 2004, this reveals that US subsidiaries in Ireland (pop. 4.5 million) doubled their profits, from $13.4 billion to $26.8 billion, from 1999 to 2002. In Bermuda (pop. 66,000) over the same period, such profits tripled, rising from $8.5 billion to $25.2 billion, making them the two most profitable locations for US business. Believe it or not, the 2002 profit-figure for Bermuda was achieved on the back of income of just $34.3 billion.

Given the size of these two countries, such huge profits obviously do not all arise from productive activity. In fact, the article claims that the boost in profits was not related to increased economic activity. How, then, can this phenomenon be explained?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101221com2.html

Iraqi cinema makes a comeback at Greek film festival FEATURE 12/21/2010

Iraqi cinema makes a comeback at Greek film festival


THESSALONIKI — Iraqi cinema scored a notable first at this month’s Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece, with one film up for an award and a retrospective of the young director Mohamed al-Daradji.

But although Ebrahim Saeedi’s Mandoo (Tired) did not win, both he and Daradji showed that independent Iraqi cinema — whose history dates back more than a century yet for years was a propaganda tool of Saddam Hussein’s regime — has made a comeback.

“From 2005 to 2008, no films at all were produced in Iraq because of sectarian violence but things are changing,” Daradji, whose film Son of Babylon was shot in Iraq and produced in Europe and the Middle East, told AFP.

The critically acclaimed movie follows an old Kurdish peasant woman and her unruly 12-year-old grandson Ahmed in the south of the country three weeks after the fall of Saddam.

The pair are searching for Ahmed’s father, who was a soldier in the Iraqi army during the first Gulf War in 1991 and never came home..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101221com3.html

Mano Mano: Manila’s Young Masters of Drawing at Blanc Compound

Mano Mano: Manila’s Young Masters of Drawing at Blanc Compound

It features two men who use powerful hands to come up with knock-out results but, it is not a fist fight.
Opened last Tuesday, November 16 and will run until the end of this month, Mano mano is a two-man exhibit that brings together two of Manila’s exciting contemporary visual artists, Raoul Ignacio “Iggy” Rodriguez and Michael Alvin “Mike” R. Adrao.

Rodriguez was one of the recipients of the Thirteen Artists Awards in 2009, an award given by the Cultural Center of the Philippines to young and emerging artists based on their bodies of work. On the other hand, Adrao finished residencies at NEAR Dangsang in Seoul, Korea in 2009 and Project Space Pilipinas in 2008.
The show at the Blanc Compound in Mandaluyong features 20 drawings from Rodriguez and Adrao, both popular in this particular field in the visual arts.

Form and Substance
Like in every artwork, form and substance must come together as one, not one after the other. And that is one certain thing that Rodriguez and Adrao accomplished in Mano Mano. Definitely, it is not an exaggeration to say that these two are masters of drawing.

Delusions of Grandeur. The status quo is maintained by those who ride in toy rocking horses.(Photo by Terence Krishna V. Lopez / bulatlat.com)
For those who follow the works of Rodriguez, it is without question that his are always done with high taste and are well thought-off, with hues and strokes and texture and details always falling in proper places.

But beyond his works’ form is the substance one always gets from them.

Rodriguez once again presents here his own critique of the status quo with his seven-piece acrylic and pen and ink on arches, with coming of age in the center- a tableau with a queen with three dog-monster-pets and a boy carrying a flag who is easily, current President Benigno S. Aquino III. The image is carnivalesque and right away you are transported in that place, well, in the carnival.
.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2010/11/20/mano-mano-manila%E2%80%99s-young-masters-of-drawing-at-blanc-compound/

Makibaka: Music Inspired by the Struggle for Change

Makibaka: Music Inspired by the Struggle for Change

In ‘Makibaka The Album,’ Karl Ramirez offers an hour of progressive music that will appeal to a young, mainstream audience as much it does to an older generation of Filipino activists.
MANILA — Progressive music will forever leave its mark in the history of “original Pilipino music” (OPM).
Who could miss the musical contributions of legendary folk musicians Heber Bartolome, Susan Fernandez, Buklod, and Asin? Or punk bands like The Jerks, Betrayed and Urban Bandits during the ‘80s who, loudly and proudly, criticized the ruling order?

During the ‘90s, people who join rallies would listen to songs by Patatag and Tambisan sa Sining or watch Jess Santiago or Danny Fabella sing their compositions. Many have memorized a song or two from the Rosas ng Digma album.

Fast-forward to 2010 and now comes a new breed of people’s musicians featured in Makibaka (Struggle), a seven-track compilation album consisting of songs for and about the struggle for meaningful change.

(Photo courtesy of makibakathealbum.com / bulatlat.com)
Makibaka the album was first introduced to the public during the commemoration of President Benigno Aquino III’s 100th day in power last Oct. 8, where the song of the same title was performed during the protest action led by progressive groups at Don Chino Roces Bridge (formerly Mendiola) in Manila. The album was officially launched on Nov. 4 through its official website.
The album stayed true to its tagline “Rakenrol Tungong Pagbabago (Rock ‘n Roll Towards Change).” The songs veer away from the usual musical style of protest songs that have folk and marching beats, and instead will give its listeners half an hour of pulsating drums beats and powerful guitar riffs, a few ballad-like tunes, and the Rico Blanco-esque vocals of album producer and chief performer, Karl Ramirez. Makibaka is a rock ‘n roll album that will be greatly appreciated not only by the progressive circle but also by the mainstream audience..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2010/11/13/makibaka-music-inspired-by-the-struggle-for-change/

‘It’s Like Shooting Chickens In Abra’

‘It’s Like Shooting Chickens In Abra’

Bangued, Abra (December 10, 2010) – Like shooting chickens or hunting ducks, violence continues to happen in Abra.

Regaining its ugly tag as Cordillera’s “Killings Fields”, two more people were killed on Wednesday in Pidigan town, while gunmen exchanged shots with policemen in Bangued, Abra’s capital town on Thursday morning, killing one and wounding two others.

The latest victims of assassination, cousins Jonathan Palecpec, 26, and Froilan Ventura, 23, were last seen drinking with several men on a vacant lot owned by a barangay official in Pidigan. The drinking session broke up when the shooting occurred.

Palecpec sustained a gunshot wound in his upper nape while Ventura sustained gunshot wounds to his body.
Crime scene investigators found four spent shells and one deformed slug for caliber .45 firearm.

The day before the shooting, on Thursday morning, policemen from Task Force Abra and Abra police command were reportedly implementing a Warrant of Arrest against Fernando Baay, who is wanted for murder, when they were met with gunfire at Brgy Cosili East, Bangued..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2010/12/11/%E2%80%98it%E2%80%99s-like-shooting-chickens-in-abra%E2%80%99/

Video: Women of Morong 43 Recall Indignities They Suffered in Hands of Philippine Military

Video: Women of Morong 43 Recall Indignities They Suffered in Hands of Philippine Military

 In this interview with Bulatlat.com on Dec. 20, three members of the recently freed “Morong 43″ talk about their life in detention, the indignities they suffered in the hands of the military, and how their ordeal affected their lives and their loved ones..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2010/12/20/bulatlat-live-morong-43-face-the-press-today-dec-20/

For 2 ‘Morong 43’ Moms, a New Beginning

Mercy Castro and Judilyn Oliveros gave birth while in police custody and had been under “hospital arrest.” Their release on Friday signaled not just a new beginning but, most importantly, a continuation of their struggle and commitment to help the poor.

MANILA — While waiting for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology vehicle that would bring them to Camp Bagong Diwa, the two ‘Morong 43’ mothers, Mercy Castro and Judilyn Oliveros, could not help but be impatient as the primetime television news talked about the usual rush-hour traffic in Metro Manila.
Dr. Julie Caguiat, executive director of the Community Medicine Development Foundation, who was with the two mothers in their hospital room, pointed to a spot on the TV screen where the BJMP vehicle, she joked, must be caught in traffic. “They might arrive tomorrow,” Castro said in jest, while preparing to take a nap to kill time.

Then the BJMP guards knocked and told them to get ready. They were going to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan to join the other Morong 43. After that, after being imprisoned for more than 10 months, they could be home. 

Mercy Castro, the two ‘Morong 43′ babies and their respective grandmothers. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
“I have mixed feelings. Excited. It is hard to explain it,” Oliveros told Bulatlat.com when asked what she was feeling now that she was only hours away from freedom.

The Morong 43 are the health workers who were arrested on Feb. 6 while conducting a training in Morong, Rizal. They were accused of being members of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Oliveros and Castro were pregnant at that time; they gave birth while they were still in custody on July 22 and October 18, respectively. The police had wanted the two and their newborns to be brought back to jail but the mothers and their supporters protested. The government relented and placed the two under “hospital arrest” at the Philippine General Hospital.
.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2010/12/19/for-2-%E2%80%98morong-43%E2%80%99-moms-a-new-beginning/

Escudero confirms Palace infighting By Angie M. Rosales 12/21/2010

Escudero confirms Palace infighting

By Angie M. Rosales 12/21/2010

A key ally of President Aquino yesterday practically confirmed unending bickering among two major “factions” within Aquino’s inner circle in the Palace after reports the other day that former Sen. Manuel Roxas II, Aquino’s losing vice presidential running mate, had started moves to ease out Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. to pave the way for his assumption of the post.

Sen. Francis Escudero called on the staff and supporters of Aquino to set aside personal and political differences as it is getting in the way of the administration’s effectivity.

Roxas was guaranteed by Aquino of a Cabinet post once the one-year ban on losing candidates to assume a government post ends on May next year.

Reports said that Roxas, also Liberal Party (LP) president, is bent on ousting Executive Sec. Paquito Ochoa Jr. from his position as he is allegedly eyeing the said post and that Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang was allegedly behind the floating of the news on Ochoa’s removal from his post..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101221hed1.html

Review, new raps Palace options on Garcia — solon By Angie M. Rosales 12/21/2010

Review, new raps Palace options on Garcia — solon

By Angie M. Rosales 12/21/2010
President Aquino’s order for a review of a plea bargain former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller Carlos Garcia was able to wangle with the Office of the Ombudsman could effect the filing of a new case against the latter, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said.

Escudero also raised the possibility of Aquino directing the Office of the Special Prosecutor to review their decision allowing Garcia to plead guilty to lesser offenses in the two cases he is facing before the Sandiganbayan that, in turn, allowed him to post bail.

“We could interpret that move as the Palace’s message to the OSP that they could have erred in what they did and that they should put under review their decision,” he said.

Aquino, meanwhile, said he was left scratching his head after Garcia, accused of stealing more than P300 million struck a deal to avoid a life sentence..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101221hed2.html

Aquino orders Cagayan hotel blaze probe 12/21/2010

Aquino orders Cagayan hotel blaze probe

The hotel fire in Cagayan province that left 16 persons dead last Sunday has infuriated President Aquino after learning that the pension house did not have a fire inspection permit.

According to him, he ordered the Departments of Interior and Local Government and Justice to get to the bottom of the Bed and Breakfast Pension House blaze.

“I will admit that I really got angry when I learned about the incident yesterday. Based on the initial report, there was no fire inspection, mayor’s permit. The building is just near the city hall,” Aquino was quoted sa saying in Filipino during an interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The President said he issued his directives to Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima with explicit instructions to expedite the investigation and bring to justice those found guilty for the tragedy.

“How did this happen? You’d think the rules would be stricter after the Ozone tragedy. The inspections are supposed to be continuous. Now they’re pointing at electrical short circuit. Who approved the electrical plan? Bottomline there are those who did not perform their duties that would have prevented this tragedy. I have directed the secretary of Interior and Local Government to investigate the tragedy,” the President said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101221hed3.html

Provide details before summoning witnesses, Palace tells HK gov’t 12/21/2010

Provide details before summoning witnesses, Palace tells HK gov’t

Malacañang yesterday stood by its position with respect to the Hong Kong government’s bid to summon 116 Filipino witnesses for the public inquest it is planning to hold in connection with the August 23 Manila bus tragedy even as it angered one survivor from that incident.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda upheld the statement issued by his deputy, Abigail Valte, last Saturday that Hong Kong authorities have to apprise the Philippines with concrete details first before it can allow Filipinos to testify in their proceedings.

Lacierda explained that this position by the government does not necessarily imply that it is wavering on its previous promise to cooperate with its Hong Kong counterpart on its own quest for justice to be served on eight of its nationals who figured in the tragic incident.

“The summons was coursed through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) — whether we are cooperating or not, of course, we are going to cooperate within the framework of international mutual legal assistance. How will that be? The concern is what are the details on this summons? There are certain details that we need to discuss. There are certain requirements that we’d like to also know. But when asked if we’re going to cooperate, certainly we will cooperate with the Hong Kong authorities. But, again, the devil is in the details — we have to carefully study the details on the summons and what do they want,” Lacierda explained..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101221hed4.html

Aquino blames nitpicking for peso bill error findings By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/21/2010

Aquino blames nitpicking for peso bill error findings

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 12/21/2010

Mere nitpicking was how President Aquino saw allegations of error-filled newly minted bank notes that the Bangko Sentral ng Plipinas (BSP) recently launched.

While saying that he will let the BSP explain itself on the issue, Aquino did not hide his displeasure on the criticisms raised on the new peso bills especially with how the locations of the tourist attractions and featured animals were depicted by the artists.

The new peso notes were mocked by critics for featuring error-strewn maps of the country and apparently inventing a new species of parrot.

“If I want to find a particular area, I’d look at a map or (use a) GPS,” Aquino said in his first comments on the notes, which carry his signature.

Critics said the 20-, 50-, 100-, 200-, 500-, and 1,000-peso notes excluded an island group, misplaced some of the country’s top tourist draws, and portrayed a native parrot with the wrong beak color..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101221hed5.html

WikiLeaks inspires sanitary pad ad in Pakistan 12/21/2010

WikiLeaks inspires sanitary pad ad in Pakistan

Pakistani advertisers in the feminine hygiene business have harnessed the political notoriety of WikiLeaks to tell women that while the US State Department might leak, they don’t have to.

Advertising sanitary pads on selected billboards in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi, the latest catchphrase is: “WikiLeaks... Butterfly doesn’t”..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101221hed6.html

No more long weekends next year — Malacañang 12/21/2010

No more long weekends next year — Malacañang

Filipino workers and students must brace for lesser long weekends and more work and school days by next year as President Aquino decided to scrap his predecessor’s “holiday economics principle” as stipulated in Proclamation 84 he just signed and was released by Malacañang last night.

Aquino has decided not to honor Republic Act 9492 that was enacted by the 13th Congress under the Arroyo administration which allowed the holidays to be moved at a certain date nearer the weekends if it falls on a particular weekday.

Under the Proclamation 84, regular holidays will be: Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day
(Saturday); April 9 – Araw ng Kagitingan (Saturday); April 21 – Maundy Thursday; April 22 – Good Friday; May 1 – Labor Day (Sunday); June 12 – Independence Day (Sunday); August 29 – National Heroes Day (Monday); November 30 – Bonifacio Day (Wednesday); and December 30 – Rizal Day (Friday).

The special non-working holidays include: August 21 – Ninoy Aquino Day (Sunday); November 1 – All Saints Day (Tuesday); December 31 – Last Day of the Year (Saturday); while February 25 – Edsa Revolution Anniversary (Friday) has been declared a special holiday for all schools..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101221hed7.html

Solon blasts telcos for alleged ‘cheating’ By Gerry Baldo 12/21/2010

Solon blasts telcos for alleged ‘cheating’

By Gerry Baldo 12/21/2010

A lawmaker from Easter Samar yesterday deplored the plan of giant telecommunications companies’ (telcos) to suspend “unlimited call and unlimited text” offers during the holidays.

According to Rep. Ben Evardone, chairman of the House committee on public information, said that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should reject what he described as “shrewd, manipulative and greedy” telcos’ petition asking to allow them suspend or “freeze” unlimited call and unlimited text services.

Evardone is set to file a resolution asking Congress to rebuff and penalize telcos’ “unfair and abusive business practices.”

Globe Telecomm disclosed the network freezing will take effect on Dec. 24 to 25 and Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.
Ernest Cu, Globe Telecomm president and chief executive officer, said network freezing is aimed at “avoiding heavy traffic of calls and text messages.”

Smart Communication is reportedly poised to petition NTC similarly for permission to freeze unlimited calls and texts on the same dates..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101221nat2.html

Gov. Ejercito calls for moderation in Slex toll rate hikes By Pat C. Santos 12/21/2010

Gov. Ejercito calls for moderation in Slex toll rate hikes

By Pat C. Santos 12/21/2010

STA. CRUZ, Laguna — Laguna Gov. Jeorge Ejercito Estregan called for the moderation of the impending 250% to 300% toll fee increase in the South Luzon Expressway (Slex) to minimize social and economic impact in Laguna province.

The call was made after the Supreme Court (SC) lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) last April 13 which was issued based on the petition to stop the implementation of the looming toll fee increase.

Ejercito said that such substantial increase in toll charges would result in higher transport costs, generating negative impact on the economic growth of the entire province. Cost of basic products may likewise be affected as a result of increased transport costs.

He said that while the operation of Slex has been helpful in bringing more tourists, business industries and other investors to reach their destination conveniently, the toll hike when it will be implemented on January 2011, it would be detrimental to the tourism sector and economic assets of the province..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101221nat9.html

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