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When ambition is lethal EDITORIAL 01/10/2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

When ambition is lethal

Click to enlarge
There is something extremely dangerous in one politician’s itchy hands and his not being able to wait for his turn in the top seat of the land.

We have seen this type of consuming ambition that created political monsters in the past. We were witnesses to the same type of ambition on Gloria Arroyo, the former president and now Pampanga representative.

Former Sen. Manuel Roxas II did not exactly give way to then Sen. Benigno Aquino III to become the standard bearer of the Liberal Party (LP) on Sept. 1, 2009, when Roxas being was portrayed by the same Yellows as making the supreme sacrifice for the country. There was no sacrifice in the move. Instead, it was a necessary maneuver as Roxas who was considered then the LP’s presidential timber was miserably lagging in the surveys which were being dominated at that time alternately by former President Joseph Estrada, Vice President Noli de Castro, then Senate President Manuel Villar and Sen. Chiz Escudero. Erap then had not even announced his presidential bid because of threats from several allies of Gloria to thwart an Estrada candidacy.

Roxas was consistently chalking up a mere one-digit preference during the surveys..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110110com1.html

No excuse for failure FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/10/2011

No excuse for failure

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy Aquino, since his days as a presidential candidate, has always blamed everything and anybody for whatever failings he has. And he has had, and continues to have, many failures in life, and in his current job. And, as he has no achievements to speak of and show for his time in the presidency, he continues to flay at his critics and those he sees as his political foes, branding them as the stumbling blocks to the claimed reforms and changes he wants to bring about.

During Friday’s vin d’honneur at Malacañang, Noynoy, in his one and a half minute speech — the shortest on record — blasted at the “noisy minority that want to rekindle the malicious practices of the past.”

But just who compose the noisy minority, and just who does he refer to as those who want to rekindle the malicious practices of the past — some of which, incidentally, have been rekindling, such as lump sum appropriations, to name just one.

Of course, Noynoy does not say, and won’t say who the noisy minority is either, because he is using the “noisy minority” to blame for his failure and zero achievement in his six months in the presidential office..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110110com2.html

Hong Kong researchers store data in bacteria FEATURE 01/10/2011

Hong Kong researchers store data in bacteria


HONG KONG — The US’ national archives occupy more than 500 miles of shelving; France’s archives stretch for more than 100 miles of shelves, as do Britain’s.

Yet a group of students at Hong Kong’s Chinese University are making strides toward storing such vast amounts of information in an unexpected home: the E.coli bacterium better known as a potential source of serious food poisoning.

“This means you will be able to keep large datasets for the long term in a box of bacteria in the refrigerator,” said Aldrin Yim, a student instructor on the university’s biostorage project, a 2010 gold medalist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s prestigious iGEM competition.

Biostorage — the art of storing and encrypting information in living organisms — is a young field, having existed for about a decade..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110110com3.html

Carandang is wrong C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 01/10/2011

Carandang is wrong

Jonathan De la Cruz
Here’s what PCOSPD Secretary Ricky Carandang said about the recent increase in toll rates at a press briefing in Malacañang last Wednesday: “The toll increases will stay. No, you (reporters) are not going to see any bold announcements today as to reduction. You just have to bear with it, we will see the benefits in due time...We don’t have the power to stop the increases. It’s been done by the Supreme Court (SC) already...We are abiding by our contractual obligations...”

Well, we can understand the need to increase the toll rates considering the improvements which have been made in both the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex) and South Luzon Expressway (Slex). But we cannot agree with Carandang that the toll increases, especially at the Slex will have to stay and that the government does not have the power to stop the same. He is also wrong when he said that the SC has already decreed the increases. No, Sir. Of course, the increases can stand correction and government has the power to stop these if it finds that the same were based, among others, on false representations and are violative of the permissible rates of return as provided for in the toll operating agreement. That is what the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) are there for. Precisely, these agencies are supposed to properly and responsibly scrutinize the terms and conditions provided under the toll operating agreements (TOAs) and subject the petitions for increases to public hearings and consultations to ensure that the same are in accordance with law and sound public policy. That means, Carandang, that these increases are not automatic or even cast in stone even if the TOAs, as argued by the Slex toll operator, provided for increases every two years..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110110com4.html

Unite and lead DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 01/10/2011

Unite and lead

Herman Tiu Laurel
Divide and rule, the politician cries; unite and lead, is watchword of the wise.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Last week we saw the climactic final arguments in the intensely-debated issue of apology as a requisite for the amnesty to be granted to the Oakwood and 2006 AFP protesters. Those demanding it — led by Joker Arroyo and the Monsods (Christian and Solita), along with outright Gloria Arroyo devotees such as Edcel Lagman — were pitted against Gen. Danilo Lim, the most vocal, unapologetic anti-Gloria military protester, as well as the equally firm but more restrained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

About a month ago, a special article by Christian Monsod got the ball rolling, followed by a series from Solita, all against Lim. But the final devastating blow, the coup de grace so to speak, was delivered when Gen. Danny Lim delivered his knockout blow via his statement: “Admitting guilt would clear Gloria Arroyo…” Now that ends the debate!

Anybody still demanding an apology from the patriotic soldiers who stood up to oppose the venalities of the Arroyo regime would hereafter look like pro-Gloria apologists; but indeed, the Monsods and their ilk are still really closet Arroyo devotees, as are many others in print and broadcast media who range themselves with the pro-apology line.

Gloria’s media operations are very much around. Our Sulo ng Pilipino volunteers monitoring the radio airwaves can identify each and every one of these “kumain-taristas” still under someone’s payroll, evidently because of their inane spiels that the plea bargain with Gen. Carlos Garcia is even more acceptable than the amnesty for our conscientious military objectors.

Trillanes, for his part, also gave his own coup de grace by accepting the amnesty while “proudly” admitting the disobedience of certain rules without apologizing for anything.

If after this point the amnesty is not consummated, then there’ll be hell to pay. The embers of protest will grow into a fire and then ignite a great prairie conflagration over in the tinder fields of suppressed popular rage over MRT-LRT and transport fare increases, along with other burdensome hikes in toll fees as well as power and water rates.

No doubt the Gloria Arroyo forces would like to see this happen too. So if the Aquino III administration falls into the trap of yielding to the demand for an apology then they’ll have hell in their hands. But either way, the Arroyo media team, planting their assets in various newspapers and commissioning full-time bloggers and Facebook brigades, will go to town hitting at the administration and destabilizing the situation.

That requirement for apology was indeed inserted by Arroyo elements in Aquino’s cabal, and he’d better recognize who they are or he’s in deep shit.

While the Arroyo versus Aquino undercurrents continue to run (at least officially), it should also be clear that the Aquinorroyo direction runs parallel to it. Among the many factors that tie the two together, the clearest ones are their co-existence in the matrix of Belmonte-Ochoa and Rico Puno, aside from the aggressive continuation of such policies as the cash transfer program, privatization, and build-operate-transfer scheme in the guise of public-private partnerships.

This is very difficult for many to keep in perspective as the ruling class which presides at the very top works hard through the manipulation of media to frame the polarization of issues as Aquino versus Arroyo, when the real polarization is between the people’s welfare and the insatiable appetite for profits of the oligarchs, which both Arroyo and Aquino are serving and are part of. The people and the conscientious and patriotic military officers must therefore be conscious of this.

Unity of the people is key to overcoming the millennial strategy of divide-and-rule. For so long, the ruling oligarchs have been dividing our minds and ruling our lives. Through the past three decades, members of the ruling class centered in the plush Makati business district, guided and aided by foreign powers, have set the agenda by dividing the people into Yellows, Reds, pro-Marcos, pro-Erap, and whatnot.

And now that they are featuring a tussle between the pro-Aquino vs pro-Arroyo Yellows, the oligarchy with its foreign partners continues to increase its stranglehold on the nation’s assets, resources and natural wealth while making the country harsher and harsher for the Filipino people — with higher taxes and public utility rates, among others. Even filing fees now make it impossible for the poor to bring their cases to court.

“Those who have less in life should have more in law,” Magsaysay was supposed to have said. But that is no longer true today especially after the evolution of economics and politics into an anti-poor and pro-oligarchic system.
The recent turn in the Vizconde case seems to have highlighted this and has led to efforts by heretofore divided pro-people advocacy groups to come together and clamor for a rethinking of what is happening to our justice system.

Last week the People’s Movement for Justice was formed with various groups, ranging from Liza Masa’s Gabriela and its once estranged fraternal organization Sanlakas, to Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (associated with Edsa II) and our own Sulo ng Pilipino which was part of Edsa III, as well as many others under the unifying influence of Rasti Delizo and Tito Guingona, to pursue justice for all.

The people’s military and civilian champions are getting wiser. Unification of popular causes and efforts must proceed henceforth with greater energy and wisdom to lead this nation toward full emancipation and prosperity.

(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 with Dr. Rene Ofreneo and Mr. Hiro Vaswani on “2011: Filipino SWOT”; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110110com5.html

The many faces of freedom HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 01/10/2011

The many faces of freedom

Aldrin Cardon
He fought a corrupt, abusive system for more than half his life.

He took the hills as an idealistic young man, who probably had thought he could change the system, like many of his other contemporaries who have sacrificed more, with others even giving their lives for the cause, while some were snuffed out by their own comrades, who believed in their own cleansing, but which ultimately led to the weakening of the Philippine left movement.

Tirso Alcantara, the hardened New People’ Army leader on whose hands have dried blood of former comrades who had to fall under the Maoist hardliners’ Kampanyang Ahos, the Communist Party’s cleansing its ranks of suspected infiltrators, had fallen into his captors’ hands. He met the end of his revolutionary road somewhere in Lucena, where even in the most hidden villages, its folk have cellular phones, no matter how ancient the models are, and one tipped him off to the military..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110110com6.html

A few good men SHE SAID Malou E. Rosal 01/10/2011

A few good men [and women]

Malou E. Rosal
Is honor dead in the police and military forces of the Philippines?
Over the years we have grown weary of erring politicians and government leaders, but now it seems even those men whom we used to count on for protection and security are falling into the quagmire as well.
Not only are crooked policemen in hot water these days, but the unresolved issues in the military are still making headlines, with former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia on the hot seat.
Murder, robbery, kidnapping — these latest blows on the police, which have yet to revive its ailing image — have made those cases of stray bullets or even that embarrassing foiled rescue of tourists in Manila seem petty..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110110com7.html

1 dead, 560 hurt in cult tradition 01/10/2011


1 dead, 560 hurt in cult tradition

One person was killed while 560 devotees were treated for minor injuries yesterday after taking part in an annual procession which many consider a cult ceremony to honor a centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ believed by many to have miraculous powers.

Barefoot Catholics, which some estimates put at as much as 2 million, joined the religious procession of the Black Nazarene atop a gilded carriage around Manila’s downtown Quiapo district.

The procession is one of the country’s most spectacular and extreme shows of faith and attracts people from all walks of life.

A 17-year-old man was stabbed to death by an unidentified assailant in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park, Manila where the image of the Black Nazarene was brought as part of the festivities of famous image of the Christ on Saturday night..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110110hed1.html

DoJ tosses to CSC PAO eligibility row By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/10/2011

DoJ tosses to CSC PAO eligibility row

By Benjamin B. Pulta 01/10/2011

The Department of Justice (DoJ) had tossed to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) the responsibility of sorting out the eligibility of state lawyers in connection with the brewing controversy over a DoJ opinion stating that Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda – Acosta and her deputies are not qualified to their positions due to the lack of Career Exe-cutive Service (CES) eligibility.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said CSC’s clarification on the issue is needed following apparent conflicting opinions of some of its commissioners and of officials of the Career Executive Service (CES) Board submitted to the department..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110110hed2.html

Last of detained Magdalos placed under Sabban’s care By Mario J. Mallari 01/10/2011

Last of detained Magdalos placed under Sabban’s care

By Mario J. Mallari 01/10/2011

Cashiered Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, one of the core leaders of the Magdalo group, was released from detention last Saturday after the military leadership approved his petition for transfer of custody to Western Command (Westcom) chief Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban.

Lawyer Trizie Angeles, Faledon’s counsel, said the Marine captain was released from his detention at the Marine headquarters at Fort Bonifacio before 4 p.m. Saturday.

Faeldon was the last Magdalo officer to be released from detention.

“His (petition for) transfer of custody to General Sabban was approved,” Angeles said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110110hed3.html

Lawmaker in critical state, 6 dead in Arizona shooting spree 01/10/2011

Lawmaker in critical state, 6 dead in Arizona shooting spree

TUCSON, Arizona — A US congresswoman was in critical condition after being shot in the head Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) by a gunman who opened fire in Tucson, Arizona, killing six persons, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, a member of President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party, was meeting constituents at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona when the assailant unleashed a volley of automatic fire.
Obama called the attack a “tragedy for our entire country.”

The House of Representatives, which opened under new Republican leadership just
three days earlier, called off proceedings for the upcoming week..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110110hed4.html

‘Not tonight, honey, I’m tearing’ 01/10/2011

‘Not tonight, honey, I’m tearing’

When women cry, their tears send out a chemical signal that puts a damper on men’s sexual arousal, a study by Israeli researchers has found.

Researchers collected the women’s tears in vials and presented them to 24 men, aged 23 to 32, who did not know what they contained.

Some men sniffed control vials that contained odorless saline solution, and others sniffed vials containing women’s tears, which also have no detectable smell..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110110hed5.html

2 Pinoy sex tourism victims get US restitution funds 01/10/2011

2 Pinoy sex tourism victims get US restitution funds

Two Filipino minors who were victims of sex tourism have received restitution trust funds from the United States government after an American was convicted of engaging sex with them.

The trusts were established as a result of an order of restitution against Donald Mathias of Davie, Florida in the criminal case against him. Mathias, 64, was sentenced on March 3, 2010, to 20 years in prison for engaging in sex tourism in the Philippines, and also ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to his victims.

The trusts serve to ensure that restitution money ob-tained for the victims of Mathias’ crimes is used for appropriate purposes and for the benefit of the victims..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110110hed6.html

Statement of Noynoy on 2016 gives green light for Cha-cha debate — solon By Charlie V. Manalo 01/10/2011

Statement of Noynoy on 2016 gives green light for Cha-cha debate — solon

By Charlie V. Manalo 01/10/2011

President Aquino’s statement openly declaring he will not run for 2016 should be taken as a go-signal to open up the debates on the amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

This was the statement of Samar Rep. Ben Evardone after Aquino last Sunday announced before the 56th general assembly of the League of Cities in the Philippines (LCP) that he would not seek another elective post in 2016.

“With President Aquino’s declaration that he will not run for public office in 2016, I think this is the best time to start the national debate on Cha-cha (Charter change),” Evardone said through a text message.

However, the Samar solon stressed that no one among the incumbent officials should benefit if ever the 1987 Constitution is amended..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110110nat4.html

Worms destroy 2,000 has. of farms corn worth P21M 01/10/2011

Worms destroy 2,000 has. of farms corn worth P21M

SANTIAGO CITY — About 2,000 hectares of corn farms worth P21 million were ravaged by armyworms over the weekend, said official from Isabela provincial agriculture office.

The farms were located in the villages of Ilagan and Tumauini towns in Isabela..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110110nat5.html

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