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The Daily Tribune

(Without Fear or Favor)



World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Philippines

The Philippines Matrix Project


Monday, February 28, 2011

Déjà vu

Click to enlarge
Before fund donors, Noynoy boasted of his supposed achievements in the economic and fiscal fields during the eight months that he has been in office.

He cited before the Philippine Development Forum (PDF) the other day the rebidding of overpriced contracts, the adoption of zero-based budgeting and the increase in the budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program as among his achievements.

He conveniently makes no mention of the defense recently inked with his appointed officials, as these were clearly overpriced. Still, let Noynoy stay in dreamland as one day he will definitely wake up to the nightmare of having done nothing all throughout his stay in Malacañang and will go down in history as having made the Philippines worse off than any other time.

But there was a reason for him to come up with yet another boast as Noynoy was again reminding many of Gloria who waxes in exuberant pride about non-existent achievements, which path he is following, but in a worse way, as the achievements of the Arroyo regime, he has the gall to pass off as his..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com1.html

In a fix again FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/28/2011

In a fix again

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy is likely to do repeat of a washed down Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report on the Aug. 23 botched hostage rescue, where he absolved his close buddy and his allies from any criminal and administrative charges.

This time around, the repeat will come in the form of the probe on the 14 Taiwanese fraudsters who were deported, not to Taiwan, but to Mainland China.

Noynoy and his government refuse to apologize to Taiwan — and there are reasons to take such a position, owing to the One-China policy, since a formal apology from the Philippine government would outrage the Mainland Chinese government, as this would be a recognition of Taiwan, which would be a breach of the One-China policy, although this matter could have been handled much better than the botched up job Noynoy and Malacañang did on this deportation issue.

To this day, Noynoy insists that there is nothing to apologize for, claiming that to apologize would mean that the Philippine government committed such a huge mistake, which he insists his government did not commit, which is not quite true..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com2.html

Domestic violence rages in NZ quake aftermath focus 02/28/2011

Domestic violence rages in NZ quake aftermath


CHRISTCHURCH — With nerves frayed by months of tremors that peaked in a horrifying earthquake this week, Christchurch residents are lashing out against those they need the most.

Police said domestic violence surged by 50 percent after a major tremor rocked New Zealand’s second city last September, the prelude to Tuesday’s quake that left at least 123 dead and destroyed parts of the city center.

Just a day into the latest disaster, police commander Dave Cliff said authorities had seen another surge in family assaults, with many homeless or without power and water, and as some turned to alcohol to cope.

“The stress and trauma of Tuesday’s earthquake is understandably taking its toll, and the continual aftershocks are exacerbating the tiredness and emotional fatigue,” said Cliff..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com3.html

Rule of law in ARMM C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 02/28/2011

Rule of law in ARMM

Jonathan De la Cruz
It is a sad commentary of our times that 25 years after Edsa I, we remain largely a government of men rather than of laws. The promised return to the rule of law and democratic processes — a key if not fundamental underpinning of that successful people’s uprising — has, over the years, been unevenly upheld. That checkered history which spawned the rise of new cronies and members of the ruling elite through misgovernance, misuse of government funds and irregular buyout of state and sequestered assets at bargain prices, the democratization of corruption across the board, election fraud and continuing human rights abuses, among others, need to be corrected with even more vigor now that the second President Aquino is in place. So, if he truly wants to keep the spirit of Edsa alive and make a difference for our country and people during his term, then we exhort P-Noy to firmly commit his administration to the rule of law and democratic processes. He can begin by listening to those who are asking him and his allies, in and out of Congress, to abide by the law and the Constitution in the matter of the scheduled Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections in August. It is as simple as that and P-Noy does not need any lecturing or even briefing from his rowdy “inner circle” who seem to be more interested in promoting their own selfish agenda than assisting in the promotion of.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com4.html

‘Twitter’ Dee and Dum DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 02/28/2011

‘Twitter’ Dee and Dum

Herman Tiu Laurel
The debate between two factions of Edsa I celebrants, Jim Paredes and Sen. Gringo Honasan, has become quite a conversation piece. It started with a tweet from user @janicegamos who said, “I would’ve believed in the spirit of Edsa 1986 if not for the fact that its so-called heroes, et al. became opportunistic.” This tweet was referred to Honasan, which he reacted to with apparent agitation: “Opportunistic?! In & out of jail, 7 years underground, 17 yrs soldier, bullet wounds in body... Opportunism?!”

Honasan certainly felt aggrieved given his military service but was Gamos actually referring to him? Then again, was Ces Drilon being judicious in referring it to Greg since he was only a protégé of Johnny Enrile? If another had been asked, there would have been no bullet wounds to speak of — only outstanding wealth and political advancement all throughout.

That Twitter follower who started it all indeed raised an extremely valid point, given the hard sell that Edsa I and the “people power” story have amounted to each year — more so on its 25th anniversary. And the obvious reason is, after 25 years, it has offered no benefit to the people while its major heroes — the Aquinos, Cojuangcos, and other elite families such as the Lopezes, Ayalas, et al.; and politicos from Enrile, FVR, to the many Yellows — all continue to make it big… very big. (Ditto the likes of Kris Aquino, who can neither sing, dance, nor act.)

Gamos and the nation as a whole wouldn’t question the spirit of Edsa I if, 25 years later, Filipinos hadn’t actually lost so much in quality of life and standard of living; in jobs; in food and physical security; in social coherence; and in moral and national dignity. Yet, in spite of it all, a crop of Yellow delunoids continue to live in dreamland.

Fireworks certainly flew when Edsa I celebrity Jim Paredes joined in, blasting Honasan, et al.: “They joined Edsa to save their asses against Marcos. When it was safe again, they launched their coups,” describing them as “Serial coup plotters who never accepted the people’s will except when they won in elections,” then adding, “They owe the people an apology. They were plain users without the nation’s good in mind.”

Honasan then retorted, “Until U have faced the business end of a gun as a soldier, for God, country & family HERE, U know nothing;” and added, “I didn’t go abroad” to rub in Paredes’ publicized migration to Australia in 2006 (an obvious cop-out move that left his “Handog sa Mundo” ringing hollow).

Paredes returned from Australia only when the prospects of a Yellow win in 2010 became believable, showing his feet of clay. And so Paredes evasively tweeted, “Until you can be honest about your true motives, then I can’t believe you.” Really, has Paredes himself been honest about his motives? Who is he now to question others?

Such a mindset is so typical of the Yellow crowd. They think revolutions are a songwriting stint; or, like Leah Navarro, a singing contest; or, like the Makati socialites, a sandwich-making proficiency game; or, like the religious flock, a show of their novena power against bullets. These even when it’s just their habits or cacique complexions (and scents) that paralyze the trigger-fingers of robotic soldiers, who otherwise wouldn’t think twice about mowing down masa demonstrators, as they have done so often — from the Mendiola Farmers’ Massacre, to the carnage at Edsa III, to the Hacienda Luisita Massacre a few years back.

All told, members of Paredes’ ilk live manicured lives and migrate when they chose. Even their sainted icon, Cory Aquino, was always under American care, as Gringo admits, “We were protecting Cory since 1985…” But then why were Honasan’s men into protecting Cory when their sworn duty was to protect their Commander-in-Chief and the Constitution?

US magazine The Executive Intelligence Review reported that “By November (1985), the plans for insurrection were unveiled publicly, as the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the home of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, carried out a ‘war game’ against the Philippines … The CSIS’ work in Asia was largely financed by the CV Starr insurance empire run by Maurice ‘Hank’ Greenberg (which) owned most of the insurance industry in the Philippines, and a number of Philippine politicians…”

Though the Edsa I “stars” deny the role of the US against Marcos, it was very, very real. As former US State Secretary George Schultz wrote in his auto-bio, Turmoil and Triumph, the 1986 “people power” was cooked behind the back of Ronald Reagan from within the State Department.

Moreover, as Foreign Policy magazine reported: “In his Heritage speech (Paul) Wolfowitz (another former US Secretary of State) also took credit for the downfall of Marcos (stating)… ‘The private and public pressure on Marcos to reform… contributed in no small measure to emboldening the Philippine people to take their fate in their own hands and to produce what eventually became the first great democratic transformation in Asia in the 1980s.’”

These “pressures” included currency attacks; 45-percent interest rates; cuts in US military aid channeled to Cardinal Sin; stepped-up demonization of Marcos; the forced “snap election;” and later, the walk-out of computer technicians associated with Honasan’s group, which was already coordinating with the Americans.
We must henceforth rise from this “Twitter Dee and Dum” level of debate and go into a genuinely honest, objective and comprehensive review that leaves nothing out from scrutiny. A joint government-civilian investigation of Edsa I should be established to arrive at the whole truth — including the Ninoy assassination. We owe it to all the @janicegamos-es of the land, to our children and their future.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; TNT with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “Reviewing the Marcos Path;” visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our select radio and GNN shows)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com5.html

Tall tale SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 02/28/2011

Tall tale

Dinah S. Ventura
Once upon a time, there was a soldier who was tasked to serve his countrymen by approving and dispensing funds for military needs and activities. He preceded another man whose job made him so powerful and rich that he could afford to send his children abroad carrying huge amounts of cash.

In due time, people began to notice their luxurious lifestyles. Their wives were often traveling, their children had wardrobes full of designer clothes and they lived in millionaires’ enclaves.

Meanwhile, the military rank and file continued to subsist on spartan fare and wear scuffed boots, not to mention below-standard quality helmets to protect their heads against bullets. Some young officers decided to complain about this injustice, but did so in hostile means that it landed them in jail for years. The high-living military officers, however, continued to live splendidly.

Who was going to take notice? After all, many politicians were living the same way. A high position invariably brought influence and perks like expensive trips galore, million-peso dinners, gifts and mansions. Heavily tinted luxury cars hid them from public scrutiny, and many of them never felt the discomforts of traffic with police escorts in motorcycles ready to part the Red Sea for them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com7.html

Shattered dreams HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 02/28/2011

Shattered dreams

Aldrin Cardon
I dreamed of becoming a soldier when I was young.

I also wanted to write. So, I made my dream complicated by dreaming of becoming a soldier and a war chronicler at the same time.

I did not realize that wars then were different from those of Vietnam and Korea, just two or three decades before I was born. Yet they were fading from the world’s memory as my youth was chilling with the cold war, or was busy creating their own punk statement while the rest was following the fashion of Aga Muhlach’s Bagets.

The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio seemed a far and unreachable place.
For us, high school dreamers, it meant two years of long and arduous preparation..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110228com6.html

Aquino parties at Edsa while OFWs suffer Angara By Angie M. Rosales 02/28/2011


Aquino parties at Edsa while OFWs suffer Angara

By Angie M. Rosales 02/28/2011

A legislator sees President Aquino slackening and demanded that he buckle down to work before the government is caught up in a crisis situation amid the crisis situations transpiring in many parts of the globe that would impact on the country.

Sen. Edgardo Angara said yesterday the Aquino administration appeared to be giving in to a relaxed attitude amid the various political turmoils and disasters taking place in other countries that are expected to highly affect Filipino immigrants and migrant workers.

Angara criticized on radio the apparent lack of a sense of urgency being shown by Malacanang over issues confronting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Libya, Taiwan and in New Zealand, saying the crisis in the Middle East is expected to affect the country’s oil supply anytime as well.

“If I’m the secretary of the Department of Energy or theexecutive secretary or the President, I will seek a dialog with those in the oil industry (not to raise prices for the meantime). We need to help one another first because the situation is critical. A number of Filipinos are out to lose their jobs in the Middle East. This would be a double whammy for us,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed1.html

David worries over graft probe backlash on AFP modernization 02/28/2011 By Mario J. Mallari

David worries over graft probe backlash on AFP modernization

By Mario J. Mallari
Armed Forces of the Phi-lippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David Jr. worries over the backlash of the ongoing congres-sional inquiries into the massive corruption in the AFP pleading yes-terday that it should not stop the long-delayed modernization of the 120,000-strong organization.

While David reiterated the AFP’s full support to the congressional investigation into the military anomalies during the term of the late AFP Chief of Staff and Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes, he stressed that such probes should not result in further delaying the AFP modernization program.

“Reports that there are some irregularities in the handling of budget should really be investigated if there are any… (but) that is not the reason for our planners, for our Congress not to stop or to stop the modernization of the AFP,” said David on radio.

David stressed that the AFP modernization program is among the morale-boosters of the ordinary soldiers who risked their lives in the battle field..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed2.html

Ombudsman warned against snubbing impeach hearing By Gerry Baldo 02/28/2011

Ombudsman warned against snubbing impeach hearing

By Gerry Baldo 02/28/2011

The House committee on justice is now set to hear the impeachment case against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutier-rez even as it warned that failure to come to the hearings would mean that she is waving her right to present her side.

According to Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, vice chairman of the justice panel, they are giving Gutierrez all the time to answer the charges against her.

“We had given, are giving, and will give her every opportunity to present her side before the justice committee within the time we gave her. Even if she does not answer, we will proceed with our hearings on March 1, 2, 8 and 9,” Fariñas yesterday said.

He stressed that Gutierrez would be losing her right to reply if she refuses to attend the hearings..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed3.html

130 Pinoys cross Libya-Tunisia border — DFA 02/28/2011

130 Pinoys cross Libya-Tunisia border — DFA

Another batch of 130 Filipino workers in strife-torn Libya has crossed the Libyan-Tunisian border at Ras al-Jedir and is on its way to Manila, acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario yesterday said.

Del Rosario, who leads a Philippine contingency team in the Middle East, said a consular team received the Filipinos at the border and have made arrangements for their flight home.

Accompanied by Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos and a small team from DFA Manila, Del Rosario flew to Jerba, the Tunisian city closest to the Libyan border, Friday night to facilitate the evacuation of Filipinos from Libya.

He had originally planned to proceed to Tripoli if not for the de facto “no fly advisory” being considered for Libya by the inter-national community..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed4.html

RP poses high risks for business — UK firm 02/28/2011

RP poses high risks for business — UK firm

A London-based think tank has placed the Philippines among countries considered posing high risks for investors, placing 17th in a ranking of 175 countries that evaluates the key strategic, operational and reputational risks for business.

In the security risk category, the Philippines was ranked eighth as a result of politically-motivated violence and terrorism.

Global risk assessment firm Maplecroft said in its Global Risks Atlas 2011 that important growth economies of India, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Russia all pose high risks for business.

The study evaluated the impact of 32 “global risks,” which are risks outside the control of an individual government or business that have the ability to affect multiple regions and industry sectors. The Atlas focuses on seven key “global risk” areas: macroeconomic risk; security risk; governance risk and illicit economies; resource security; climate change; pandemics, and societal resilience, including human rights..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110228hed6.html

Palace lying to Muslims on ARMM polls postponement — solon 02/28/2011

Palace lying to Muslims on ARMM polls postponement — solon

Beyond the façade of promised reforms lies a deceitful scheme aimed at extending payback to his election supporters.

Describing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindano (ARMM) a failed experiment, President Aquino, through his minions, had called for the postponement of the ARMM elections schedule Aug. 8 this year to 2013, so that the President can appoint officers in charge (OICs) who can institute proper reforms for the war-torn region.

However, Lanao del Sur Rep. Pangalian Balindong slammed Aquino, saying the President is lying to the public on his true intent of postponing the ARMM elections.

At a forum in Sulo Hotel last Saturday, Balindong said that going by Aquino’s line of reasoning that ARMM is a failed experiment, then whoever the President appoints cannot institute the so-called reforms ARMM needs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110228nat2.html

2 out of 14 OFWs missing in New Zealand safe, alive By Michaela P. del Callar 02/28/2011

2 out of 14 OFWs missing in New Zealand safe, alive

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/28/2011

Two of the 14 Filipinos who were previously reported missing following last week’s 6.3-magnitude quake in Christchurch, New Zealand are alive and safe, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said, adding that Philippine officials there continue to search for other Filipinos who may still be alive.

The survivors were identified as Rita Estrella and Hayley Concepcion.

“We have not given up in the search for Filipino survivors there,” DFA spokesman Eduardo Malaya said even as New Zealand authorities have shifted from rescue to retrieval operations as hopes dim in finding more survivors, nearly a week after the disaster.

Malaya said Philippine officials in Christchurch have appealed to New Zealand to resume rescue operations, saying several other missing Filipinos could still be alive..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110228nat1.html

Noy gets a divine message EDITORIAL 02/27/2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Noy gets a divine message

Click to enlarge
Noynoy, in his speech marking Edsa I, again invited Filipinos to join him in his journey through the straight path, something which he has been asking for since the campaign for the presidency. Such mindless invitation makes it look like either nobody has yet taken up his challenge or he is into rambling words that do not mean anything to him.

Also he asked for unity while at the same time engaging in head bashing of former Presidents Marcos and Arroyo. The point is, why call for unity when he does not mean it?

Noynoy had stuck to the reformist image that won him the elections, that is a literal meaning of stuck. He has failed to move beyond being the candidate and step into the shoes of the president that Filipinos thought would lead them to the road to good governance and prosperity.

What he says seem to be rehashes, if not clean copies of what he delivered to convince Filipinos to vote for him during the campaign for the 2010 elections..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110227com1.html

Enough already FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/27/2011

Enough already

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Quite frankly, after 25 years, the issue of the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos should be put to rest.

His family wants him buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and really, there is no reason not to have his remains — which are frozen, kept for years in a refrigerated crypt — buried in Libingan.

It is not as if the Libingan ng mga Bayani is reserved for the Yelllows and their allies who have died, or that those buried there are cleaner than clean.

So why are the Marcoses denied their desire to have Marcos buried in that particular cemetery?

The whole issue of denying the Marcos burial at the Libingan — was due to the fact that, by the time Marcos died, it was Cory Aquino in power and position, and it is common knowledge she, her family and the Marcoses were bitter enemies. Cory was so vindictive in denying Marcos that burial site that she actually ordered state honors and a state funeral for a military dog that had died..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110227com2.html

Abused Afghan women fear for future of shelters FEATURE 02/27/2011

Abused Afghan women fear for future of shelters


KABUL — At a secret women’s shelter in Kabul, a mother with sad brown eyes who fled with five children all born after relatives raped her explains her fears over Afghan government plans to take over the refuges.

The 28-year-old left her home in Laghman province, east Afghanistan, three months ago and now lives at the shelter, which keeps its windows whitewashed and curtains drawn so neighbors do not guess what it is.

“My husband wasn’t a good person and all the time he was out and we didn’t have any food. When I told my husband’s father and his brother to bring food, they abused me,” she told AFP while breastfeeding her youngest, aged six weeks.

She plucked up the courage to flee her home but now her father-in-law has followed her to Kabul to try and force her to come back, she says..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110227com3.html

Customs payola reaches Malacañang BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 02/27/2011

Customs payola reaches Malacañang

Louie Logarta
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima really needn’t look too far to find the heads that will be made to roll in connection with the prevalence of Filipino drug mules (or couriers) using the Ninoy Aquino international Airport (NAIA) as their jump-off point for various overseas destinations.

Literally, they can be found in the back yard. In the Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs and PNP Aviation Security Group units operating in the NAIA.

In a press briefing, De Lima said there are over 70 Filipinos now languishing in death row in China for drug offenses, the bulk of whom were convicted sometime in 2008 and 2009, before the entry of the Aquino administration. “Bakit hindi sila na-detect papalabas sa NAIA? Pwedeng backdoor. Maaring ipinalusot. Vulnerable to corruption kasi ang mga tao.”

She disclosed that she had been specifically tasked by President Aquino to find out once and for all if these mules had managed to smuggle illegal drugs out of the country as a result of inferior technology or connivance of corrupt airport personnel. Or both..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110227com4.html

Clueless diplomacy TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 02/27/2011

Clueless diplomacy

Larry Faraon, OP
\"I am sorry” has been a pejorative phrase in Philippine politics since Mrs. Arroyo debased the most powerful emotional sentiment of a person next to “I love you.” It would seem therefore prudent to avoid such phrase especially in the mending or healing of wounded relationships with Taiwan. Ever since the One-China Policy, the country has been on a tightrope mode of existence vis-à-vis the two Sino-neighbors.

The latest row with the Taiwanese government which has turned more sour because of miscalculated diplomatic skirmishes from both sides is totally unnecessary though. The conflict between PRoC and RoC has always been kept low by both themselves since such political warps between them would prove detrimental to their respective pursuit for economic progress. The Chinese, especially the business kind, are wary about politics — as they quip here in Binondo, malas sa negosyo!.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110227com5.html

Brain drain VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 02/27/2011

Brain drain

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Finding: “Filipino science and technology workers leaving the country to work abroad jumping by 148 percent”. Perception: “Grim scenario.” Identification: “Nurses and midwives, Engineers, Doctors, Dentists, Veterinarians and pharmacists.” Lamentation: “It is a sad fact that we are losing them. We hope that we can find ways to make more of them stay in the country and use their talents here.”

Thus goes the report of a much circulated national broadsheet according to a pronouncement from the Department of Science and Education. The “Brain Drain” started in 1998. While the said Department did not say that the sad phenomenon is ongoing up to this day, it would be nevertheless contrary to plain reality to say that it has stopped. The fact is that to date, there seems to be no foreign developed and developing country without the presence of OFWs. This is a standing fact that would be foolish if not downright irrational to deny..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110227com6.html

Exhausted rescuers feel quake’s emotional toll focus 02/27/2011

Exhausted rescuers feel quake’s emotional toll


CHRISTCHURCH — Devastated rescue workers had to be dragged away from the wreckage of Christchurch’s CTV building, unable to stop thinking of the entombed earthquake victims they were leaving behind.

“It’s not a matter of just walking away from a worksite, they were touching bodies,” said police commander Dave Cliff, describing how searchers refused to leave the fire-scarred site on Wednesday night, 24 hours after the tremor.

“This is deeply emotional for those people working on this. They do it because they have an absolute desire to help people, to find people to rescue.”

About 700 rescue workers are now sifting steel and concrete wreckage in central Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-biggest city, which was hammered Tuesday by the vicious 6.3-magnitude earthquake..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110227com7.html

Aquino takes swipe anew at Marcos over Edsa plaints By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/27/2011


Aquino takes swipe anew at Marcos over Edsa plaints

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/27/2011

President Aquino stayed the course of delving into the sins of the past a day after the Edsa I celebrations criticizing those raising the unfulfilled promises of the People Power revolt comparing the probable descent of the nation into a turmoil similar to what is happening in Libya had uprising in 1986 did not happen.

In a speech during the conferment of awards to key personalities in the Edsa I revolt, Aquino again made use of the Marcos regime in extolling the supposed gains after the Edsa revolt.

He referred to Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s assertion that the Philippines could have followed the footsteps of Singapore had it not been for the Edsa I revolt.

Aquino said in his speech that it had recently become fashionable to point out the unfulfilled promises of Edsa with some daring to say that “maybe a one-man rule was not such a bad idea, never mind the oppression and the lack of liberties.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110227hed1.html

Noynoy plays hardball with Taiwan over row By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/27/2011

Noynoy plays hardball with Taiwan over row

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/27/2011
President Aquino wants to tough it out with Taiwan over the conflict on the repatriation of Taiwan residents accused of fraud to China, saying that alternative countries for employment will be offered to those to be displaced by Taiwan’s freezing of the hiring of Filipinos over the refusal of the Aquino administration to apologize over the deportation issue.

Malacañang said yesterday an instruction was formally given to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to search for alternative employment destinations for Filipinos who would have to bear Taiwan’s brunt over the deportation row.

This developed as Taiwanese legislators have sought an “indefinite” freeze on the hiring of Filipino workers as a result of Manila’s “unfriendly” attitude towards Taipei.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said on radio that following Aquino’s recent statement, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) is now working to find additional employment opportunities forFilipinos abroad other than Taiwan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110227hed2.html

98 Pinoys arrive from Libya; DFA execs in Tunisia for repatriated OFWs 02/27/2011

98 Pinoys arrive from Libya; DFA execs in Tunisia for repatriated OFWs

Close to 100 Libya-based repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) landed in Manila in batches yesterday as the government stepped up efforts to bring thousands more home.

According to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, the 98 OFWs arrived from France where they were evacuated by their local recruitment agencies and their employer, Vinci Grand Projects.

The government estimates that 26,000 Filipinos were working in the oil-rich North African country before the uprising against Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi broke out, part of a vast number of mostly lower-paid migrant workers in the country from across Asia and Africa.

Their jobs ranged from domestic helpers to engineers and white-collar workers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110227hed3.html

Senate eyes clipping powers of Ombudsman By Angie M. Rosales 02/27/2011

Senate eyes clipping powers of Ombudsman

By Angie M. Rosales 02/27/2011
The Senate plans to go directly to the root of the problem in the anomalous plea bargain deal retired military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia had obtained to free him from a plunder case by clipping the prosecutorial powers of the Ombudsman.

Sen. Franklin Drilon initiated the move even as he also called for a review of the laws providing for plea bargaining on cases involving plunder and other high crimes.

“We must have a law which should regulate plea bargaining,” he told the Senate blue ribbon committee before its proceedings last Friday was put in suspension by panel chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.

In recommending at least three legislative measures for the committee’s consideration in its panel report on the proceedings, Drilon called for a review for possible amendment of the law that created the Office of the Ombudsman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110227hed5.html

23 priority bills up for Ledac meeting, says Malacañang 02/27/2011

23 priority bills up for Ledac meeting, says Malacañang

Everything is all set for the first Executive Legislative Development Advisory Council (Ledac) to be led by President Aquino tomorrow, with a total of 23 priority bills slated to be discussed, Malacañang yesterday said.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte told the state-run radio dzRB that the meeting is scheduled to finally start at 10 a.m.

She said Malacañang is ready to present 23 legislative measures but she was not able to give substantial details regarding the matter.

“From what I understand, 23 priority bills made it to the list. So we are just essentially waiting for the meeting to happen this Monday (today) and, of course, we’ll be on hand to give you more information once the meeting is already under way,” Valte only said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110227hed6.html

AFP suspends offensive operation vs NPA rebels By Mario J. Mallari 02/27/2011

AFP suspends offensive operation vs NPA rebels

By Mario J. Mallari 02/27/2011
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday declared the week-long suspension of offensive military operations (Somo) with the communist New People’s Army (NPA) as a success with only minimal violations committed by the threat group during the period.

The Somo, which started Feb. 15 in time for the resumption of the formal peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Oslo, Norway, lapsed midnight Monday.

“By large, it has been successful. There may have been some violations reported but apparently these appear to be minimal,” AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said during a press briefing.

Mabanta said that the military is not privy to what transpired during the week-long talks in Oslo..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110227nat2.html

Albay bags 2011 Palarong Bikol championship 02/27/2011

Albay bags 2011 Palarong Bikol championship

Guinobatan, Albay — This province bagged this year’s championship in the recently concluded Palarong Bikol here. It bested 13 other regional sports delegations and snatched the top honors from reigning champion Camarines Norte. It was Albay’s best performance ever in 26 years in the regional sports festival.
Albay amassed 140 gold medals, 88 silvers and 68 bronzes for total haul of 296 medals, posting a record of 489.1 points, 54.5 points over dislodged 2010 champ Camarines Norte, which got only 434.5 points and finished as 1st runner up.

Camarines Sur trailed Camarines Norte with 432.5 points, followed by Legazpi City and Naga City to complete the top five placers in the regional games that ended February 18 at Albay Sports Complex here.
“It took so long in coming - 26 years - before Albay again captured the top spot of Bicol sports. Despite 24 days of continuous heavy rainfall right before the Bicol Palaro and the challenge of playing host, it is quite a feat,” a proud Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said in a statement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110227nat5.html

Do-nothing government EDITORIAL 02/26/2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Do-nothing government

Click to enlarge
Libya was in political turmoil two weeks ago and the world knew it as the violence was reported all over the globe. Yet Noynoy Aquino and his government, despite the knowledge that there are Filipino workers who could very well be caught in the crossfire, insisted on doing nothing, even announcing that there would be no mass evacuation; only voluntary repatriation for those who want to return home.

But even in that, there apparently was not even any Filipino official who was organizing the voluntary repatriation business.

What is usual with so many of our envoys, whenever a catastrophe occurs, is to quickly state — an hour or so after the catastrophe occurs, that the Filipinos in that area are all safe, and no one has been injured.

This happened again shortly after the news of the devastating New Zealand quake was out. Yet there were our envoys, claiming that no Filipino had been reported injured. Now we find out that over a dozen Filipinos — maybe more, have been trapped in a collapsed building, with other Filipinos probably dead..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110226com1.html

Not a healing president FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 02/26/2011

Not a healing president

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
He says one thing, but does the opposite.

Yesterday, at the 25th anniversary of the Edsa Revolt rites, Noynoy vowed to unite the nation, yet he harked back to the Marcos past and the Arroyo regime. How then can he even make that vow to unite the Filipinos under his stewardship, when he is much too divisive?

The problem with Noynoy and his Yellows, who were his mother’s Yellows too, is that they believe they have a lock and the copyright on Edsa, which is the reason Noynoy can’t ever be the president of the Filipinos, as he insists on being the president of the Yellows.

To this day, he still wears that yellow ribbon pinned on his Barong Tagalog, which was what he had worn all througout his presidential campaign.

Even his election to the presidency was propagandized as an Edsa r evolt, in a different form. But good grief, what was Edsa 1986 all about, if not getting rid of the 13-year dictatorship and ushering freedom and democracy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110226com3.html

Edsa at 25: Aquino Is Wasting Legacy of People Power, Say Farmers

Edsa at 25: Aquino Is Wasting Legacy of People Power, Say Farmers

For Filipino farmers, filling a stage with actors and performers is hardly the best way to commemorate the culmination of more than a decade’s fight against the Marcos dictatorship. “It would have been better if President Aquino does something worthy of EDSA 1 such as announce the surrender of the Cojuangco family’s unjust claim on Hacienda Luisita,” Willy Marbella of KMP said.

MANILA — Wasting the legacy of the 1986 Edsa People Power uprising.

This was how Hacienda Luisita farmworkers and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) described the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the popular revolt that ousted the Marcos dictatorship and installed Aquino’s mother, Corazon C. Aquino, to the presidency.

“The Aquino administration is in the thick of preparations for the February 25 anniversary of Edsa People Power. It even had tarpaulin banners and high-rise billboards put up all over the metropolis praising President Aquino’s mother and calling her an icon of democracy. For us farmers, it is very hard to accept how the incumbent government is packaging what happened 25 years ago because for us, the legacy of the uprising has been wasted,” said KMP deputy secretary-general for internal affairs Willy Marbella.

In a protest action in front the Supreme Court on February 22, Luisita farmworkers denounced the upcoming government-led Edsa celebration as a farce and sorry tribute to the essence of the People Power uprising. (Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)

Marbella said that for KMP, the assertion that democracy and genuine freedom were achieved after Edsa 1 was a based on an illusion.

“Farmers believed the late president Cory Aquino’s promises that she would implement what the dictatorship did not – genuine land reform – but this did not happen. The Cory administration refused to put Hacienda Luisita under agrarian reform after the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. She instead pushed for the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of 1998 with the help of the landlord-dominated congress and saved HLI for the Cojuangco family,” he said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/23/edsa-at-25-aquino-is-wasting-legacy-of-people-power-say-farmers/

Reds, Manila End Oslo Talks with ‘Guarded Optimism and Hope’

Reds, Manila End Oslo Talks with ‘Guarded Optimism and Hope’

OSLO, Norway — The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ended their first formal peace talks in six years with “guarded optimism and hope,” concluding today, February 22, six hard days of bargaining in this Norwegian capital.

Postponing their scheduled closing ceremony at least three times, both panels appeared to have struggled to agree on several ticklish issues, until finally emerging from their talks at around eight in the evening Oslo time.

Relief showed on the faces of GPH panel chair Alexander Padilla and his NDFP counterpart Luis Jalandoni as they read their respective closing statements and later good-naturedly answered questions fielded by members of the Philippine and international media who have been waiting for more than five days for news from the negotiations.

Both panels, as well as the Royal Norwegian Government, the third-party facilitator of the talks, announced the reconvening of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), and the reactivation of the reciprocal working committees (RCWs) on socio-economic reforms and the formation of working groups for political and constitutional reforms, which will be next in the agenda of the discussion after this the present round of talks on socio-economic reforms.

GPH panel chairmain Alexander Padilla, Royal Norwegian Government chief facilitator Ambassador Tore Lundh, and NDFP panel chair Luis Jalandoni in today’s closing ceremonies in Oslo. (Photo by Raymund B. Vilanueva / bulatlat.com)

The JMC was formed in 2004 to monitor the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). For almost seven years, the GPH, then known as Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), refused to convene the JMC..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/22/reds-manila-end-oslo-talks-with-%E2%80%98guarded-optimism-and-hope%E2%80%99/

Dole Philippines Workers in Tough Fight as US Company Uses Military Force Vs Union

 Dole Philippines Workers in Tough Fight as US Company Uses Military Force Vs Union

Today, Feb. 22, the workers at the largest plantation and cannery in the Philippines will hold a union election. The incumbent KMU-affiliated union, Amado-Kadena, is fighting to retain its dominance even as Dole Philippines uses a pro-management faction of the union against it while the US company, its allies and the military vilify and harass the union’s members and officers.
MANILA – “You have to suffer the consequences.”

Kevin Davis, at the time the boss in Dole Philippines (Dolefil), the largest integrated plantation and cannery in the Philippines, told Jose Teruel this in 2006 after the workers’ union Teruel headed successfully asserted its desire to affiliate with NAFLU, a labor federation of the progressive Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

Davis made the threat following Dolefil management’s campaign to undermine the union’s choice of leaders as well as the labor federation it wanted to ally itself with, often using methods that were borrowed from the military.

The list of these “consequences” being suffered by the union, Amado Kadena-NAFLU-KMU (Asosasyon sa mga Mamumuo sa Dolefil Alang sa Kalingkawasan ug Demokrasya sa Nasud, or Association of Dolefil Workers for Freedom and Democracy ), and its leaders has grown longer as thousands of the multinational company’s workers embark yet again on another election, scheduled for today, February 22, in General Santos City,  to choose their union leaders.

Efforts by the Dolefil management to defeat Amado-Kadena are focused on two fronts: its support for a faction of the union called LEAD-PH and a parallel campaign to vilify Amado-Kadena as a communist group and to harass its officials and members..... MORE

Click here to read more stories on Dole Philippines and its union-busting activities


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/22/dole-philippines-workers-in-tough-fight-as-us-company-uses-military-force-vs-union/

OFWs Who Lived For Years Under a Bridge in Jeddah Return Home with Harrowing Tales of Neglect

OFWs Who Lived For Years Under a Bridge in Jeddah Return Home with Harrowing Tales of Neglect

“When we were still (in Saudi) the government did not help us. Now that we are home, they still could not extend any assistance to us.” – Lubaira Guiandal, 43, one of the OFWs who lived under the Khandara Bridge while awaiting repatriation.

MANILA — Outside Migrante International’s office in Cubao, Quezon City, 11 overseas Filipino workers were sharing their recent experiences to the group and to some church workers when, all of a sudden, one of them stood up and banged the table thrice, emphatically saying, “Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.”

The man was Arnulfo Manongdo, 42, a recently repatriated OFW who lived under the Khandara Bridge in Jeddah for six months. He was reenacting what Vice Consul Lorenzo Rhys Jungco did and said when they approached him and the Philippine consulate in Jeddah for assistance on their request for immediate repatriation.

Manongdo left to work as a maintenance crew for the Kimpahad Medical City on March 20, 2006. His principal agency, a  manpower services based in Saudi Arabia called Al-Safari, gave him the salary stipulated in the contract — 1,800 riyals — for the first three months. On the fourth month onward, however, Al-Safari refused to give them their salary unless they surrendered their iqama (residency permit).

Arnulfo Manongdo (left) served as leader to the OFWs who lived under the Khandara Bridge for years while awaiting for repatriation. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
He chose not surrender his iqama, while his co-workers who submitted theirs received a salary of only 450 riyals and a food allowance amounting to 200 riyals. Without a single riyal to survive, he worked on a part-time basis for other companies. But Manongdo eventually escaped from Al-Safari sometime in November 2006 after seeing that it would not change its policies regarding the workers’ salaries.

Manongdo managed to find different jobs, from being a cargo carrier to a restaurant crew. He could not, however, find a regular job. “We were paid for a month, then fired the next month,” he said, “I could hardly send money to my family.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/20/ofws-who-lived-for-years-under-a-bridge-in-jeddah-return-home-with-harrowing-tales-of-neglect/

Philippines’s Oldest Woman Political Prisoner Released

 Philippines’s Oldest Woman Political Prisoner Released

MANILA — The country’s oldest woman political prisoner has been released from the Misamis Occidental Provincial Jail in Oroquieta City last Feb. 17.

After almost six years in detention, Angelina Bisuña Ipong, 66, finally walked free as the last in the string of cases filed against her by the military was dismissed.

Click here for previous Bulatlat.com stories on Angelina Ipong.
Ipong, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), was arrested on March 8, 2005, in Lumbayao village, Aloran town, Misamis Occidental, by combined elements of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Southern Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). She was held incommunicado for 14 days and was allegedly subjected to sexual molestation and torture.

Angelina Ipong in detention.
Presiding Judge Bernadette S. Paredes-Encinareal of the Regional Trial Court Branch 36, Calamba, Misamis Occidental, dismissed the double murder, double frustrated murder, and arson charges against Ipong, according to a statement by the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM).

Ipong’s release marked the third day of formal peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the NDFP in Oslo, Norway.

The dismissal of the charges came after Pablito Sanidad, a member of the GPH peace panel, sent a letter to Encinareal purportedly asking the latter to expedite the decision on Ipong’s cases..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/20/ofws-who-lived-for-years-under-a-bridge-in-jeddah-return-home-with-harrowing-tales-of-neglect/

DoJ eyes Ligot assets probe, new raps for Garcia By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 02/26/2011

DoJ eyes Ligot assets probe, new raps for Garcia

By Angie M. Rosales and Benjamin B. Pulta 02/26/2011

Prosecutors will initiate investigations shortly into the corruption allegations against retired Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and his family.

At the same time, the Department of Justice (DoJ) is also said to be eyeing new charges against former military comptroller retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, focusing on alleged evasion of taxes.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday a committee will be formed to investigate the properties of Ligot and his wife Erlinda, along with assets of their relatives. It is alleged that the properties came from military funds that were pocketed by the Ligots.

“General Ligot and his immediate family would have to be part of the (DoJ) probe (on corruption in the military),” she told reporters in an ambush interview..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed1.html

Noy belittles Marcos, GMA at Edsa rites By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/26/2011

Noy belittles Marcos, GMA at Edsa rites

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 02/26/2011

Backward-looking President Aquino yesterday led the nation in commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Edsa People Power revolt which saw his mother, the late President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, taking government control from the late strongman, President Ferdinand Marcos.

Given the event that was strongly identified to the Aquinos’ political domination, the President has taken the opportunity to take a dig at his unpopular predecessor and the late strongman himself whose dictatorship, Aquino said, did not spare even the airing of a popular animated television show.

“When the boss ordered the closure of a television or radio station, you still haven’t pushed the button to change the channel yet the news you were trying to follow was already cut off the air. Even ‘Voltes V’ was not spared. This dark system which ruled for 14 years happened because (the government) has forgotten that in every system, the public should be the seat of authority. The Filipinos should have been the boss, not Marcos,” Aquino in the first speech he delivered during a flag-raising ceremony held at the Edsa People Power monument that kicked off the whole day celebration, Friday morning..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed2.html

134 Pinoys now safe; 13,000 more to be evacuated from Libya, says DFA By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

134 Pinoys now safe; 13,000 more to be evacuated from Libya, says DFA

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

Thousand of foreigners yesterday faced hellish scenes in trying to escape Libya as governments around the world, including the Philippines, scrambled to evacuate their citizens from the chaos engulfing the country.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it planned to bring 13,000 of its nationals from riot-torn Libya with the help of their employers, though it gave no timetable.

According to acting Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, the government was making arrangements for Filipinos to escape via chartered ferries and commercial flights.

The ferries would take Filipinos from Tripoli to Malta, and those based in Benghazi, Libya�s number-two city, to Crete..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed3.html

Taiwan solons call from indefinite Pinoy freeze hire By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

Taiwan solons call from indefinite Pinoy freeze hire

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

Lawmakers from Taiwan’s ruling party said Taipei should freeze indefinitely the hiring of Filipino workers due to Manila’s “unfriendly” attitude towards Taiwanese people while demanding the resignation of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang, for saying that that is no longer any need for Taipei to demand that the Philippines apologize for deporting 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China.

A “fact sheet” that was agreed on by Roxas and Taiwanese officials after their 12-hour marathon meeting last Monday night said any Philippine official found to have mishandled the deportation case would be held accountable and sanctioned. This, Yang said, passed for an apology.

Yang’s comments sparked outrage yesterday among Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers, who demanded that he step down.

There are 100,000 Filipinos in Taiwan, which accounts 20 percent of the total foreign workforce there. Majority are employed in electronic assembly and manufacturing factories while around 20,000 work as caregivers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed4.html

Michael Ray’s return to RP imminent—Justice chief By Benjamin Pulta 02/26/2011

Michael Ray’s return to RP imminent—Justice chief

By Benjamin Pulta 02/26/2011

With former Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino, a close aide of fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson, losing his extradition case in a US appellate court, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima sees Aquino going back to the Philippines soon to stand trial for the double murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and Emmanuel Corbito 11 years ago.

De Lima confirmed yesterday that the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has turned down the habeas corpus petition of Aquino seeking a reversal of the extradition order issued by US District Court of New Jersey in Newark last year.

The appellate court upheld the ruling of District Court Judge Esther Salas.

“Upon review of the record, we conclude that competent evidence supports the probable cause finding in this case. Accordingly, and because no substantial issue is presented on appeal, we will summarily affirm the District Court’s judgment,” read the five-page opinion of the US appellate court distributed by De Lima to reporters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110226hed6.html

DFA starts remitting UN payments to gov’t treasury By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011

DFA starts remitting UN payments to gov’t treasury

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/26/2011
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it has begun the process of remitting to the National Treasury all proceeds from the country’s participation in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in their supervision.

From 2000 to 2010, the DFA said the UN has remitted a total of $66.6 million to the Philippines to cover the deployment of troops and equipment in support of peacekeeping operations in East Timor, Liberia and Haiti. Of this amount, $3.3 million are in the custody of the DFA.

Except for the $3.3 million temporarily deposited in a government account in New York, the DFA said “all the proceeds were remitted by the UN to the trust accounts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the Land Bank of the Philippines from 2000 to 2003 and the United Coconut Planters Bank from 2003 to present.”

“The actions taken by the DFA in connection with the UN peacekeeping payments are consistent with its desire to ensure that proper safeguards are in place to allow the Philippines to derive maximum benefit from its participation in UN peacekeeping operations,” the DFA said in a statement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110226nat2.html

Solon goes after college dean in Facebook scandal By Charlie V. Manalo 02/26/2011

Solon goes after college dean in Facebook scandal

By Charlie V. Manalo 02/26/2011

Buhay Party-list Rep. Irwin Tieng, author of the �Anti-Cyberboso Law,� is going after a college dean who turned the popular networking site Facebook into his own porn site when he posted the naked pictures of his student after she refused to leave her live-in partner.

Tieng wants the full force of the newly-passed Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2010 (Republic Act 9995) applied to St. Jude College Prof. Alexander Rible for posting the pictures of his student, Annika (not her real name) whom he allegedly coerced into sleeping with him, lest he would fail her in his class.

�I have provided Annika a good lawyer to make an example of Rible and others like him who has no respect for women and basic decency. It is just unfortunate that the first person to pay for the crime of �cyberboso� is a college dean who should be teaching us all about respect for privacy and common decency in our society,� said Tieng, who is one of the principal authors of RA 9995.

Under the law that is now popularly known as the Anti-Cyberboso Law, an offender faces imprisonment of not less than three but not more than seven years; and a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P500,000..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110226nat1.html

The stealing of a revolt EDITORIAL 02/25/2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

The stealing of a revolt

Click to enlarge
Edsa I has been hailed as the precursor of the many popular uprisings after 1986 when it happened, including the disintegration of the once mighty Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), as well as the tearing down of the Berlin wall, a long symbol of communist oppression.

It was 25 years since that historic moment that happened in the desire of most Filipinos for a better life away from what was considered then as an abusive autocratic rule and many now strongly hold that the nation was better off during those years under martial law..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com1.html

25 years ago NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 02/25/2011

25 years ago

Armida Siguion-Reyna
It is said that in February of 1986, as much as two to three million Filipinos were on Edsa. You would think that with that number of witnesses, no one would dare rewrite history, but in almost all of subsequent Edsa celebrations it has been made to appear as if Juan Ponce-Enrile wasn’t there, his face and likeness expunged from videos, cropped off photos, and to those who had actually seen him cross from Camp Aguinaldo to Camp Crame on Feb. 23, explained, if not as figment of the imagination, then simply just as bit-player.

“Hindi siya ang nagtawag ng tao,” is the explanation of anti-JPE forces, some of them still foaming in the mouth to this very day.

But if indeed, it was Jaime Cardinal Sin who issued the call for people to go the Edsa, or if not Sin, Butz Aquino, would any of them have sounded the clarion call if my brother hadn’t holed up first in Aguinaldo? It took the event’s turning silver, for someone to invite him to Edsa, and on front-pages of newspapers dub him an “Edsa hero,” share photo-op space with no less than President Benigno Aquino III, former President Fidel Ramos and Sen. Greg Honasan. Finally.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looks back at the four days collectively known as Edsa I as “an opportunity for our people to express their hopes and dreams for our country,” as he also rather emotionally clarified “We did not leave the country, we were taken away and not allowed to return.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com2.html

After 25 years: ‘No change?’ DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 02/25/2011

After 25 years: ‘No change?’

Herman Tiu Laurel
I looked up on the Internet some cues on “Delusional Disorder Treatments” and found prescriptions ranging from psychotherapy, medication, to psychosurgery. Sadly, I couldn’t find the cure for what I wanted to remedy — the delusional “Edsa I People Power Syndrome” afflicting certain people, which is propagated by the present ruling order. Special among this crop of delunoids are a number of opinion writers in mainstream media. They continue to sing paeans to 25 years of Edsa I in the face of overwhelming evidence against their grand delusion.

Once such indictment against Edsa I came via a dimwitted assertion by their presidential icon Aquino III in his speech at Ocampo, Camarines Sur three days ago, where he said, “After 25 years, was there change? Unfortunately, nothing really changed — corruption is still rampant and the result, the needs of the people were left unattended…” What??? Twenty-five years with trillions of pesos of budgets, and still “no change?”

The fact is, there has been tremendous change over the past 25 years: CHANGE FROM BAD TO WORSE. Corruption isn’t the same; it has worsened geometrically. In the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for instance, as Linggoy Alcuaz can attest to (since he was with a communications company supplying equipment to the AFP during Marcos’ time), military comptrollers used to get only 1 percent of the 10 percent set aside for “intermediation.” But since Cory Aquino’s time, as attested to by retired Gen. Romeo Padiernos and reported in mainstream media this week, military corruption has expanded by leaps and bounds, leading to what we now shockingly witness in the Gen. Carlos Garcia “pabaon” mess.

Marcos could not have subdued the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) and the NPA (New People’s Army) if the rate of AFP corruption seen during the Cory years down to the FVR and GMA regimes had already prevailed then. Now, the AFP can’t even provide decent boots.

Cory Aquino became the dog that was wagged by the AFP tail during her time. Afterwards, the military was led by none other than the chief of the Philippine Constabulary and the entire AFP, Fidel Ramos. One retired general told me over a regular breakfast meet with other retired officers: “When FVR took over the AFP and visited the camps for inspection, he would have a stack of envelopes with money to hand out to the officers saying, ‘Go improve your image.’” That same general said the practice of conversion became rampant only after Mrs. Aquino became Commander-in-Chief.

Yet the profligacy that followed her assumption to office was not only limited to the AFP; it swept the entire Cabinet. While Marcos had only 12 Cabinet secretaries, Cory had a whopping 34 and cost P4.4 billion yearly to maintain because every Big Business and “civil society” faction wanted a seat.

A major and fundamental change that overcame the Philippines after Edsa I has been the rapid transition of the country from a rice self-sufficient nation and occasional exporter to its status today as the “world’s top (and most expensive) rice importer.” Now, that’s something to be proud of, isn’t it? It’s a question I’d like to address to some of my fellow columnists in the other papers fawning over Cory Aquino and her “democracy” (as if economics and rice aren’t fundamental to human rights and human dignity).

Never mind that we had the beginnings of a car industry already thanks to Marcos, at a time when South Korea was still dreaming of it, or that electricity sufficiency for 25 years had already been planned with the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant already set to operate in 1984, seven years before the People’s Republic of China’s first nuclear power plant in 1991.

A month’s worth or eight 1,000-word columns of mine couldn’t summarize the deterioration from what the Marcos era left behind in terms of socio-economic infrastructure, along with the devastation Mrs. Cory Aquino and the succeeding Yellow regimes wrought later. Marcos’ prescient energy program included geothermal, dendro-thermal, bio, and solar energy; we were growing cotton and grapes to achieve self-sufficiency in these; ship building was starting with Baseco, far ahead of South Korea; cultural centers were built, and never duplicated since.

In contrast, Cory Aquino, “civil society,” and the Makati Business Club only brought in factories of delusions, such as Conrado de Quiros’ “We are the one country that invented people power” — a really shameless historical plagiarism of France’s Storming of the Bastille or Korea’s April 19 Movement against Syngman Rhee, (among many) precedents to Edsa I of deposing elite or US-backed tyrants.

The facts of history must be learned: The 21st century’s rising stars, ranging from China, Singapore, to Malaysia, strengthened their growth by way of nationalist authoritarian governance. Political and economic laissez -faire merely led to the internal collapse of the 20th century superpower, the USA.

Another lesson is that popular insurrection mistakenly called revolutions, and daubed with whatever color, can lead to rightist-elitist victory as well as popular-progressive triumph. Venezuela had the latter under a populist leadership, where nationalization of state assets proceeded posthaste; Ukraine, meanwhile, had the elitist, Western-oriented version and, like the Philippines, saw its own corruption and impoverishment multiply within a decade of its reversing course.

Western-nurtured “people power” are for Western interests only; hence, the privatization of a nation’s wealth. Only nationalist people power benefits the nation.

“NO CHANGE” is unacceptable; we need REAL CHANGE for the better. Onwards with True People Power… the spirit of Edsa III continues!

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; TNT with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “National Development versus Yellow Economics” with Charito Planas and Linggoy Alcuaz; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and watch or listen to our select radio and GNN shows)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com3.html

Preserving the legacy of Edsa 1986 COMMENT 02/25/2011

Preserving the legacy of Edsa 1986


I have been asked several times what we should do, as a nation and as a people, to preserve the legacy of the February 1986 Edsa Revolution.

My answer is: protect democracy and unleash the full potential of democracy.

Protecting democracy requires vigilance. It also requires courage, not just the physical kind but the moral kind. It requires on the part of public officials in particular refusing to be bought, refusing to compromise, refusing to collaborate with those who show tendencies toward despotism. The previous regime did not just succeed because it was ruthless, it also succeeded because many officials were willing to support it for personal advancement and gain.

Unleashing the full potential of democracy requires alleviating poverty, if not eradicating it. I will not tire of saying again and again: Democracy is nothing if it is not also democratizing wealth. Democracy cannot thrive in a society whose population groans in abject poverty..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com4.html

Ancient Inca grain is new health food darling FEATURE 02/25/2011

Ancient Inca grain is new health food darling


COTIMBORA — Grown high in the Andes for millennia, a grain the Incas so prized they deemed it sacred has become a global star and is now being touted as the health food of the future.

Quinoa, a good crop for harsher climes as it prospers in semi-arid conditions and high altitudes where rivals struggle, has nutrition experts salivating as it is chock full of protein and essential amino acids.

“We don’t ever get sick, because we eat the quinoa we got from our ancestors,” Agustin Flores, a third-

generation farmer in Bolivia’s southern highlands, told AFP with a touch of salesmanship and a hesitant smile.
“When we are tired, after the working day, we have a drink based on the quinoa grain and that picks us up,” said Flores, adding that he and his four sons also consume it in soups and cakes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110225com5.html

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