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The past as a convenient excuse EDITORIAL 01/09/2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The past as a convenient excuse

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The sins and sinners of the past have become an obsessive part of nearly all the speeches of Noynoy, including his message the other day to the diplomatic community during a vin d’honneur, which is a traditional event at the start of the year to strengthen the country’s relations with other countries, along with informing their representatives of what has been done, and what direction the administration is taking.

But with no tangible achievement for the past six months that he has been in office, Noynoy’s natural tendency was to turn to blaming his political critics for his inability and that of his administration to make any headway in governance.

Nearly everything until now the Palace describes as a work in progress, which in itself, is an utter oxymoron since nothing has been moving in terms of policies or even mid term projects. His anchor decrees are all either suspended or invalidated by the Supreme Court largely because the edicts were poorly crafted and contrary to law instead of what the Palace and Noynoy are passing off as the result of an antagonistic high court whose most members he considers as political appointees of the past administration and therefore, his foes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110109com1.html

Mar Roxas: De facto president FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/09/2011

Mar Roxas: De facto president

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Less than a year ago, in a press conference, Noynoy Aquino made a startling announcement — startling because he was running for the presidency yet he was already making it known that he was going to be president in name only — or so his message clearly implied.

What he said then, with his vice presidential running mate, Mar Roxas, beside him, was that his presidency will be a shared one with him, as it would be an 80-20 workload, i.e., 80 percent of the work would be done by Roxas, while 20 percent would be Noynoy’s.

It was a shocking statement, considering the fact that the presidency is never shared. There can only be one president who will have to have responsibility and be accountable his acts in office.

If memory serves — and it usually does — Noynoy never recanted his statement and even when Roxas lost the vice presidential race, Noynoy never made it a secret that once the one-year ban on losing candidates taking on an appointive positions lifts, he would certainly be tapping Mar for an important job in Malacañang..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110109com2.html

Mass bird and fish deaths stoke curiosity FEATURE 01/09/2011

Mass bird and fish deaths stoke curiosity


WASHINGTON — Five thousand dead blackbirds rained from the sky on the first day of the New Year in Arkansas. Then more dead birds fell in other states. Then huge fish kills were discovered in multiple US waterways.

And suddenly it became a worldwide phenomenon, with reports of mass die-offs of birds and fish in Sweden, Britain, Japan, Thailand, Brazil and beyond.

Doves, jellyfish, snapper, jackdaws... it seemed no species was immune.

Conspiracy theorists, doomsdayers and religious extremists warned that the end was nigh.

Could it be astronauts testing a potent sound beam to ward off aliens? The US military experimenting with satellite-powered energy weapons?

What about chemical sprays, meteor showers, or earthquakes activating pollutants from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110109com3.html

Shoot to kill — Mayor Lim BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 01/09/2011

Shoot to kill — Mayor Lim

Louie Logarta
Department of Justice (DoJ) and National Bureau of Investigation probers assigned to the reopening of the Vizconde Massacre are said to be looking for the whereabouts of a certain Bureau of Immigration official identified as “Ferdie Sampol” to clarify some muddled details regarding the two-decade-old case.

From the information we gathered from DoJ sources, it appears that Sampol, then a rookie immigration officer, was the guy who had stamped the passport of Hubert Webb in March 1991 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport when he was supposed to have departed for the United States. In his defense, Webb’s lawyers have steadfastly maintained their client had returned to the country only in October 1992, and had never resurfaced in the country during the intervening months, which means he was innocent of complicity in the hideous crime..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110109com4.html

Bad news VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 01/09/2011

Bad news

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
It all started during the infamous Luneta hostage debacle. It was then expressly revealed by no less than Malacañang itself that the DILG has been in fact effectively divided into two separate agencies. The Local Government Section is headed merely by an “acting secretary” with acknowledged administrative skills in governance. But the PNP is placed under the direction of a permanent undersecretary whose principal credential is friendship of long standing with the Chief Executive. Incidentally, the said acting secretary is known as an anti-jueteng crusader. On the other hand, true or not, the undersecretary is a suspect in the working and benefactions of jueteng in the country.

Recently, it was officially announced by Malacañang that the Cabinet was due for a shake-up at the beginning of this year. Translation: Some four or so members thereof are on their way out. And the same number of fortunate and well-chosen individuals are on their way in. Their names have been mentioned now and then, here and there. Being an office of interest and influence by reason of its authority and scope, the loaded question asked these days is one and the same: Whom will Malacañang appoint as permanent DILG secretary?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110109com5.html

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 01/09/2011

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno

Larry Faraon, OP
My late father died on this day eight years ago, the Feast of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo, Manila. It was not a coincidence, but he was an ardent devotee. In his younger days, we would watch him pack his stuff of a couple of shirts, Spartan rubber shoes and a pair of rugged gloves that he uses to tightly grip the 50-meter long abaca ropes during the long haul and grueling procession on the day itself. He used to be a “mamamasan”—those devotees who carry and pull the carroza of the Black Nazarene along the procession route.

My father’s religious orientation is quite personal and devotional since he despises the hypocrisy of the Sunday church goers in our local parish, seeing the corrupt officials kneeling at the communion rail and the holier-than-thou manangs and senoras who treat their muchachas shabbily if not ruthlessly at home. I never saw him come to Sunday mass despite my mother’s heckling. His first but not the last mass attendance was when I said my first thanksgiving mass as a newly ordained priest — he had to or else my mom would divorce him!.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110109com6.html

Fake Indonesian inmate exposes prison corruption FEATURE 01/09/2011

Fake Indonesian inmate exposes prison corruption


JAKARTA—When Kasiem, a 55-year-old Indonesian woman, was condemned to seven months in prison she decided she would prefer not to serve the sentence. So she hired someone else to go to jail on her behalf.

Kasiem was convicted of selling government-subsidised fertilizer, a crime in Indonesia, but during her transfer to prison swapped places with Karni, a 50-year-old widow to whom she allegedly paid 10 million rupiah ($1,100).

It is the latest in a series of prison corruption scandals that have activists calling for deep reforms.

The case was uncovered last week when one of Kasiem’s neighbours went to visit her in jail only to be presented with the impostor..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110109com7.html

Roxas seen as de facto president; trouble up By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/09/2011


Roxas seen as de facto president; trouble up

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/09/2011

Malacañang yesterday came to the rescue of President Aquino and his announced chief troubleshooter, losing vice presidential candidate, former Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas as it defended Aquino’s running mate in the last presidential polls, amid early criticisms following Aquino’s announcement last Friday of giving Roxas a powerful appointment.

Shortly after the vin d’honneur at the Palace, Aquino told Malacañang reporters that his defeated running mate would be serving as one of his “chief troubleshooters” once the mandatory election ban on previous candidates expires this June 30, which is less than six months away.

Reporters quoted Aquino as saying that he “will really be tapping his (Roxas’) expertise in so many aspects. He might be my...one of our chief troubleshooters on something that needs more intense attention. I might ask him to do that if he is willing,” he said, although Aquino admitted that details about Roxas’ impending appointment to Malacañang are still being threshed out.

Comments have already floated this early that instead of serving the President as his troubleshooter, Roxas may just turn up to become the de facto president as well as become a “troublemaker” in the administration, presumably due to the pervading influence of the warring factions in Aquino’s circle of allies..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110109hed1.html

‘Noisy minority’ a factual statement — Palace By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/09/2011

‘Noisy minority’ a factual statement — Palace

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 01/09/2011

Malacañang yesterday refused to apologize for President Aquino’s highly impolitic and derisive remarks against the political opposition and his critics, in his very brief speech he made during the recently concluded vin d’honneur with one of his spokesmen arrogantly stating that the “noisy minority” allusion is a “statement of fact.”

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte told reporters in her weekend news briefing that the “noisy minority” serving as a stumbling block of his administration in implementing his supposed reforms in government.statement is fact since the presidential sentiment and remarks on the “noisy minority” have been on the record for some time, while Malacañang wondered aloud why it is only now that House Minority leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman would make an issue out of it.

“There will be challenges ahead — from an uncertain outlook for the global economy, to a noisy minority who want to rekindle the malicious practices of the past,” Aquino said Friday in a speech that lasted for about one and a half minutes—the shortest vin d’honneur speech on record.

Aquino was also late for his first vin d’honneur, which is regarded as impolite, improper and thoughtless, considering that he was its host..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110109hed2.html

Floodwaters subside but toll climbs to 33 01/09/2011

Floodwaters subside but toll climbs to 33

More than a week of heavy rains has left at least 33 persons dead from flash floods and landslides in Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao regions, the government yesterday said, announcing floodwaters were subsiding in some areas.

Almost 11,000 individuals remained in government evacuation centers but some had started returning home as rains eased, Lauren Catedral, a civil defense officer in the southern city of Butuan, said.

“People are now more confident the water level will not rise. There are some who have returned home but others have remained in their evacuation centers because there are still floods in some areas,” she added.

Eight persons were injured in landslides while nine others were missing after the heavy rains, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110109hed3.html

Webb: Guingona has no standing to intervene By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/09/2011

Webb: Guingona has no standing to intervene

By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/09/2011
Despite his being a former vice president of the republic, a lawyer for Hubert Webb yesterday said that Teofisto Guingona has no legal standing to intervene in the 1991 Vizconde massacre case.

Defense counsel Demetrio Custodio Jr. said intervention in a case requires legal interest in the outcome of the case.

“I don’t think (former) Vice President Guingona has any interest in this case because his only involvement in this case is his having been the Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary at the time (of the preliminary investigation).

“I hardly think it sufficient legal interest to allow him to intervene,” he said.

Guingona had filed a motion asking the Supreme Court (SC) to allow him to intervene in the case and asked the Court to reverse its decision dated Dec. 14, 2010, insisting that the National Bureau of Investigation’s star witness Jessica Alfaro was a credible witness..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110109hed4.html

Malacañang: Sale of Aguinaldo, Crame not yet final 01/09/2011

Malacañang: Sale of Aguinaldo, Crame not yet final

Malacañang yesterday tried to extinguish premature concerns that cropped up after Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima revealed plans of the government to put up some of the assets of the military for sale, specifically referring to Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame, both in Quezon City.

Speaking to reporters over the state-run radio dzRB, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte clarified that not all the properties inside the military and police headquarters will be privatized, emphasizing Purisima’s statement that these plans are still in the preliminary stages.

“There is nothing to be concerned about, especially our friends in the Defense Press Corps, you won’t be losing your offices because, contrary to some reports, the entire (headquarters) is not the subject being discussed. Secretary Purisima said and as confirmed by (Defense) Secretary (Voltaire) Gazmin, only portions are being considered for the preliminary discussions,” she stressed.

Purisima told reporters at a news briefing after the vin d’honneur in Malacañang last Friday that the Aquino administration is seriously looking at privatizing government assets which, he said, are plenty but were not being put to good use..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110109hed5.html

Four policemen injured in bird attack in Zambo 01/09/2011

Four policemen injured in bird attack in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Four policemen, including two junior officers, were wounded when they were attacked by a cassowary that escaped from this city’s aviary, officials said.

Chief Insp. Felixberto Martinez, Police Station 7 chief, said the policemen were attacked last Tuesday morning when the cassowary crossed the training field of the Philippine National Police Regional Training School (PNP-RTS) in Barangay Pasonanca, seven kilometers north of this city.

The victims, two of whom were identified as Insp. Crisanto Yabo and Insp. Nicanor Bautista, are undergoing schooling at the PNP-RTS.

Martinez said the four policemen, who were attacked one after the other, suffered injuries and were no match to the bird..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110109nat4.html

Visayan, Mindanao literature fares well in 2010 01/09/2011

Visayan, Mindanao literature fares well in 2010

DAVAO CITY – The Visayan and Mindanao literature fared well in 20l0 and on crest of greater opportunity for enhancement of various genres at the opening of the new year.

The two regions also abound with writers and other artists using Binisaya, Hiligaynon, Tagalog, English and other sub-regional media or tongues like Dinabaw, Tausug, Kinaray-a, Binol-anon and what have you.

A month from now, the Visayan and Mindanao literati will again be represented in another international conference through Taboan 2011 International Writers Festival from Feb, l0-12 in this city.

Aside from the holding of Pen International three-day conference in Cebu City on Dec. 4 to 5, two separate fiction writing contests in the vernacular in southern and northern Mindanao were conducted again for the strengthening of the Cebuano-Visayan literature in southern Philippines. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110109nat5.html

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