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A dummy for a president EDITORIAL 01/17/2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

A dummy for a president

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The ascent of Manuel Roxas II to Malacañang, guaranteed by Noynoy from the start of his presidency, does not only leave a bad taste in the mouth but is an assault on the dignity of the highest seat of the land.

It presupposes that a deal was struck between Noynoy and Roxas or possibly the leadership of the Liberal Party (LP) for obtaining the presidency and later apportion the powers that the office brings.

It was Roxas whom the LP wanted to push for the presidency, if not for his lack of ability to impress a believable image of his supposedly being for the masses.

He launched his presidential campaign for instance using the poor man’s transportation called padyak and he handily won a Senate seat by selling himself to the public as Mr. Palengke..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110117com1.html

For the country’s sake? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/17/2011

For the country’s sake?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Perhaps one of the most stupid remarks made by the Palace, through the presidential spokesman, was stated Saturday, when she said that Noynoy Aquino had appointed Mar Roxas as chief troubleshooter for the sake of the country.

It is most stupid because, while the nation — including the frigging Yellows — knows that Noynoy definitely cannot hack the presidency, which is at a standstill with him at the helm, not even learning anything despite his being in office for 200 days, Malacañang confirmed that Noynoy is such an incompetent president as well as thoroughly incapable of governing, preferring to spend his time playing video games, going target shooting and driving expensive cars.

And this is the reason Noynoy has to appoint a chief troubleshooter who has been tasked to resolve “intense” problems in government. Noynoy himself announced this, which is also an admission from him that he can’t hack the job, despite the fact that he has a Cabinet secretary for each and every government office, who are supposed to take charge of their departmental problems.

Is Malacañang saying that the country and the nation cannot do without Roxas as Noynoy’s chief troubleshooter? After all, the spokesman did say that Roxas was appointed by her boss for the country’s sake..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110117com2.html

Sudan partition poses challenges for China FEATURE 01/17/2011

Sudan partition poses challenges for China


JUBA — The looming partition of Sudan after this week’s independence vote in the south poses challenges for China, which faces dependence for nearly five percent of its oil imports on a new country long suspicious of its ties with Khartoum.

A full 80 percent of the oilfields in Sudan, which the state-run China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) has pumped billions of dollars into developing, lie in the south.

Beijing’s arms deals with the Khartoum regime and its dogged defence of it in international forums have resulted in the former rebels who are set to lead the new state having much closer relations with Western countries that provided aid during the 1983-2005 civil war and spearheaded efforts to end the conflict.
China did open a consulate in the southern regional capital Juba in 2008 three years after the peace deal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110117com3.html

‘Fair is fair’ C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 01/17/2011

‘Fair is fair’

Jonathan De la Cruz
In our last column, we asked a number of questions which many of our readers and our listeners in our morning radio show Karambola over dwIZ 882 to get to the bottom of this heating blame game over the plea bargain entered into by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and retired Maj.Gen.Carlos Garcia who is facing a plunder case before the Sandiganbayan. We were of the impression as were our readers and listeners that the government prosecutors were not being rigorous and aggressive enough in pursuing the case against Garcia and that the Sandiganbayan may have hastily approved the said agreement to the disadvantage of our people and the derogation of the rule of law.

We recall that Garcia, the former AFP comptroller, has been in detention for the past six years that the case was being heard. Which is why the plea bargain agreement supposedly approved by the court last May 4, 2010 came as a surprise to a lot of people since most were of the impression that it was based on strong and convincing evidence enough to convict Garcia and his co-accused, including his wife and two children of plunder “beyond reasonable doubt.” Well, as the latest hearing before the graft court’s Second Division and records of the case now show there is more to this case than our impressions and the the shrill protestations of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and, yes, former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and former Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio both of whom have been arguing against the said plea bargain..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110117com4.html

‘Let them eat Porsche’ DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 01/17/2011

‘Let them eat Porsche’

Herman Tiu Laurel
The Porsche episode in the still early presidential life of Aquino III reflects the culture deep within the heart of this Yellow President — hedonistic, materialistic, uncompassionate, insensitive, and essentially corrupt to the core.

The information reaching us brings up the last item in list of traits that we have written here, because the claim that Aquino III bought the second hand Porsche at a discount with his own money seems clearly to be a lie.

Furthermore, many other major goings-on in the Aquino III government is leading all eyes to that corruption factor — particularly, the major decision of the PCSO to transfer its offices and to turn over Quezon Institute along E. Rodriguez Ave. — that extremely valuable real estate property — to the major backer of the Yellows, the Ayalas. All these are being done while the government is approving massive rate increases in power, transportation, and other fees. Reminds us only too well of the times of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
The remnants of the pro-Arroyo regime are in jubilation over Aquino III’s continuing failures in governance and moral ascendancy, with some saying that “Gloria is at least better in governance.” That is the myth that the pro-Arroyo apologists would like people to believe, and many dumb Filipinos might just swallow this out of frustration with Aquino III’s dismal performance.

The basic fact is still this: Throughout the nine-and-a-half years of Arroyo, the national debt increased beyond the combined borrowings of the previous three administrations; hunger and poverty reached their highest levels; and private sector and government corruption reached unprecedented heights (with P10 trillion going to local Big Business and God knows how much for Arroyo’s coterie). But then, Aquino’s Yellows have nothing to crow about as they are set to match, or even surpass, Arroyo’s nine-and-a-half year-record in a much shorter time.

In our column a few weeks back, we paraphrased historian Arnold Toynbee’s saying that “society starts to decay when it loses its moral fiber and the elite turns parasitic, exploiting the masses…”

Aquino III and Arroyo are both mere political representations of the ruling class, i.e. the parasitic elite ruling families that sit atop the social edifice. In alliance with foreign powers, their rule got re-invigorated in the Edsa I elite counter-revolution against an economically modernizing semi-feudal state, and subsequent to that in Edsa II, where their neo-colonial exploitation accelerated further to stomp the rising populist surge under President Estrada.

Arroyo did her part for the ruling elite in maximizing privatization of power and other public utilities. Aquino III’s ascendancy, meanwhile, was engineered by the ruling powers through “Hocus PCOS” and is now maximizing the squeeze on the people’s capacity to pay by raising all the public service fees and rates massively.
Back to the Porsche: The insensitivity and uncompassionate character of Aquino III shone through like the glitter of the Porsche’s baked enamel. The timing and circumstances of this “purchase,” juxtaposed with Aquino III’s announced string of massive increases in costs for the public, is nothing but an unabashed display of extravagance.

It revealed his absolute lack of empathy with the sufferings of the ordinary folk, as he did during that news conference right after the hostage massacre where he smiled (or sneered) nonchalantly while the all-too-serious subject of the murders was being discussed. This Porsche episode sneers right down on the Filipinos’ faces that are all the more bowed by life’s increasing burdens. To add insult to injury, it is now widely held that the source of that luxury vehicle is a certain Manny Dimaculangan, Aquino III’s architect-friend and presidential foreign trips companion who also has contracts with government.

One can certainly agree with “Walang mahirap kung walang korap.” It partly explains why the ranks of the hungry and poor have grown again as we near the 200th day-milestone of the present government. But it must be said that the corruption endemic to the socio-political system is one which the Yellows instituted after Edsa I, and the situation cannot change until a new popular and national revolution, led by anti-elite and pro-People leaders, is begun.

By such leaders, I certainly do not refer to the NDF or Satur Ocampo, whose welcome for the “$7.5-million compensation for Marcos victims” is coupled with support for the perpetuation of US subversion of our nation’s cultural sovereignty. They also can never be such leaders because they only divide the people, diffuse the anti-imperialist consciousness of the population, and promote the US myth of defending democracies across the globe, while reducing the people’s struggle to an alms-begging exercise.

The revolution will come from a people enlightened by nationalism, in alliance with patriotic officers and soldiers who will rally around that National Economic and Political Development Program. This program, in turn, should be led by those who are dedicated to erasing the moral and economic corruption engendered by the ruling class, the foreign, colonial powers, and their controlled intelligentsia. Only then will the nation not be waylaid from the real enemy — the oligarchy.

The Monsods, for instance, who promote the myth of the credibility of the Feliciano Commission, simply distort the issues of Oakwood to distract the public’s attention away from the elite’s complicity in the corrupt Arroyo regime. Feliciano himself, too, is part of that corrupt system, evidenced by his role in the questionable $50-million lawyers’ fee as chair of the arbitration panel for the NAIA 3 controversy — a very privileged appointment courtesy of Gloria Arroyo again.

The nation should thus spit out the Porsche and ram it down the throats of the corrupt ruling elite instead!
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 “Fight vs Power Elite Begins” with Butch Junia and FDC’s Job Bordamente; visit our blogs, http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110117com5.html

Scum of the Earth HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 01/17/2011

Scum of the Earth

Aldrin Cardon
It wasn’t hard to conjure up a mental recreation of what transpired in what was ordinarily a busy F.B. Harrison St. in Pasay, where workers and merchants weave into its everyday crowd of pimps and occasional prospects, and of small-time drug dealers and mostly poverty-stricken users who find dope a convenient escape, and who, sometimes, are witness to petty crimes or are involved in them.

But unlike the drama of last Dec. 20, when a kidnapping worthy of cinematic reconstruction took place in the very same street that was once notorious only for small thievery, a shame compared to this high profile case where two victims were later found murdered in some place else, its perpetrators ranking members of the Philippine police force who should rather fade from light as scum of the earth.

Only that my cinematic mental recreation had a policeman on street patrol, whiling away his time months before his retirement, getting the part of a fumbling accidental hero, who failed to even fire his gun against the well-armed attacker of three Indian nationals, one of whom was their main target, but who had managed to flee by seeking refuge behind my fumbling cinematic hero’s back. Before he ran farther away as his attackers vented their ire on the poor patrolling policeman, leaving him for dead and riddled with bullets, as his pistol was no match to the assault rifles of their attackers, his brothers in arms — policemen themselves..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110117com6.html

Puh-leeze! SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 01/17/2011


Dinah S. Ventura
When guns are carried by goons, gold is never far behind.

But is money or greed the only reason we are now suffering from a surfeit of police criminality?

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has yet to make headway in cleaning up its dirt-blackened image among fellow Filipinos, yet various cases have succeeded in besmirching it anew.

The past year alone saw at least two major, major issues that racked the police force. The first was about cruelty or brutality by the police, as showcased in Tondo, Manila, where a cop, wearing shorts and shirt, was seen tormenting a man who had been stripped bare and tied with a rope, one end of which the policeman was yanking cruelly as the man howled and writhed in pain. The other end of that rope had been tied to the man’s private parts, and the cop pulled as he pleased and delivered a beating with the other hand.

Whatever the man had been accused of doing, no one (least of all the police) had any right to torture and maim him. The incident was caught on video and later released by an unknown witness to media, exposing the kind of human right abuses that have apparently been taking place in some police stations.
The resulting public outcry led to an investigation, and the police officer and his team were reportedly relieved of duty and faced administrative charges..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110117com7.html

Include ex-AFP brass in Garcia probe — troops By Mario J. Mallari 01/17/2011


Include ex-AFP brass in Garcia probe — troops

By Mario J. Mallari 01/17/2011

Not only former Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes but Armed Forces chiefs-of-staff under his term should be included in a deeper probe of the plunder case against former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) comptroller retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, military sources said, adding a half-baked investigation may spur further unrest in the military.

“AFP corruption will remain alive unless swift action is done to overturn Garcia deal and cases filed versus ex-DND chief, the five CSAFPs (chiefs of staff, AFP), ex-J6 (comptroller) Ligot,” said a source who requested anonymity.

Former AFP chiefs of staff who served under Reyes’ watch as defense chief were Diomedio Villanueva, Roy Cimatu, Benjamin Defensor, Dionisio Santiago and Narciso Abaya. Abaya was the AFP chief of staff when Garcia’s son was caught with $100,000 at a United States airport.

A source said the move should have been done long before if only to prove there are no sacred cows..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110117hed1.html

JPE sues for ‘benefit of doubt’ on Brillantes By Angie M. Rosales 01/17/2011

JPE sues for ‘benefit of doubt’ on Brillantes

By Angie M. Rosales 01/17/2011

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday urged his colleagues sitting in the Commission on Appointments (CA), perceived to be against the designation of new Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes, to give the new poll chief the benefit of the doubt.

Enrile was referring to the eventual submission before the bicameral appointments body of the known election lawyer who was formally named to replace retired Comelec Chairman Jose Melo.

The upper chamber chief who is concurrent overall CA chairman issued the statements in the light of the controversy surrounding the nomination of Brillantes to the post.

A colleague, Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, earlier had made mention that Brillantes’ rival to the post, another election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, is being fielded by another faction within the support group of President Aquino..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110117hed2.html

Moves on to oust Roxas from LP top post By Gerry Baldo 01/17/2011

Moves on to oust Roxas from LP top post

By Gerry Baldo 01/17/2011

Members of the Liberal Party are allegedly now plotting to unseat former Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas as LP president vice Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte.

Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol, a former ranking official of Lakas-Kampi-CMD party and now with the LP, said Belmonte should replace Roxas in line with the tradition that those who take on the position of the Speaker also take on the top post of President Aquino’s political party.

“This is what happened to Speaker Jose de Venecia... this also happened to Speaker (Prospero) Nograles,” Apostol said yesterday.

He, however, stressed that the reported moves could not be confirmed because “these are just rumors.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110117hed3.html

Kyrgyz village named Barak asks US namesake for help 01/17/2011

Kyrgyz village named Barak asks US namesake for help

Desperate for help to solve their living problems, the residents of a village named Barak in Kyrgzystan hit on an unusual solution — writing a letter to their famous namesake, Barack Obama.

Even more surprisingly, the United States president wrote back and promised aid to the village in a Central Asian state that is a key strategic partner for Washington, a Kyrgyz lawmaker told the parliament..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110117hed4.html

Noynoy seen testing waters for Cha-cha By Angie M. Rosales 01/17/2011

Noynoy seen testing waters for Cha-cha

By Angie M. Rosales 01/17/2011

President Aquino is testing the waters on Charter change (Cha-cha) which, according to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, is not at all bad since a wide discussion on amending the Constitution is about time.

“That is why I’m willing to provoke a debate just so we can stir public interest, for them to be fully aware of this issue. They should be made to decide on this, whether they want to change their life or lead the kind of life they have now forever,” Enrile said.

It is likely that Malacañang or President Aquino is merely testing the waters, so to speak, the reason why the Executive has yet to put up an official position on the issue of Cha-cha, Enrile said. The Cha-cha issue is likely to heat up as Congress reopens sessions beginning today.

Enrile expressed belief that Aquino need not to be convinced by his ranks in the Liberal Party (LP) who are now standing as proponents of the renewed move to amend the provisions of the 1987 Constitution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110117hed5.html

Enrile clears Palace, Noy in Senate ‘coup’ 01/17/2011

Enrile clears Palace, Noy in Senate ‘coup’

Whether there’s truth behind the coup talks in the upper chamber, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday dismissed any possibility of Malacañang having a hand on the purported plot to oust him, including the possibility of President Aquino’s involvement.

Enrile expressed belief that if the President or the Executive would want to replace him, the matter would be handled diplomatically.

“If it’s the wish of the President, I know him as a level-headed person, we know each other. I don’t think so (that he is involved). All they have to do is tell me, talk to me. I don’t think (President) Noynoy (Aquino) is like that, that he’s a machinator or a Machiavellian because he can talk to me, anytime,” he said in an interview over at dzBB.

Clearly, the upper chamber chief said such allegations could have only come from those who are out to stir an issue in the upper chamber.

“I don’t think the President has anything to do with it or Malacañang for that matter,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110117hed6.html

Solon calls on gov’t to look into plight of OFWs in Saudi By Gerry Baldo 01/17/2011

Solon calls on gov’t to look into plight of OFWs in Saudi

By Gerry Baldo 01/17/2011

A party-list lawmaker yesterday called on the Aquino government to take a closer look at the plight of Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia many of whom are suffering from unhealthy working conditions.

According to Democratic Independent Worker’s Association (DIWA) Party-list Rep. Emmeline Aglipay, the Filipinos are braved leaving their families to look for jobs elsewhere, yet most of whom are also being confronted by financial problems in their places of work particularly in Saudi Arabia where some 25 percent of the 1.8 million Filipinos have complained of delayed and unpaid salaries.

Aside from the unpaid or delayed salaries, the OFWs have also complained that they are overworked and maltreated.

“Twenty percent of these workers have complained that they were either overworked or maltreated,” Aglipay said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110117nat1.html

European Union joins IMT in peace talks 01/17/2011

European Union joins IMT in peace talks

COTABATO CITY — The European Union (EU) officially makes its direct presence felt in the Mindanao peace process by sending two representatives to the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) of the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace talks.

In his Jan. 4 letter to government chief peace negotiator Dean Marvic Leonen and MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, European Ambassador to the Philippines Alistair Macdonald named the two representatives, both women, to the IMT as French Cynthia Petrigh and Briton Susan Margaret Robertson.

The two official representatives will handle the humanitarian aspect of the IMT mission.

The IMT has four components which include security (or ceasefire), socioeconomic, civilian protection, and humanitarian..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110117nat6.html

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