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Catastrophe upon a disaster EDITORIAL 03/13/2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Catastrophe upon a disaster

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Japan is one of the countries with the most population of Filipinos, with nearly 300,000 documented overseas Filipino workers and many believe nearly half of the same number of illegal residents in that country, which should be a cause of worry for the Philippine government, owing to the recent strong earthquake and the resulting tsunami that could have killed tens of thousands. This is why the Japan catastrophe has struck close to the heart of the country.

The devastation from the tsunami alone as seen on Japanese aerial footage was massive as water and debris draped coastal communities moments after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake.

With the huge number of Filipino residents in Japan, it is almost certain that the disaster would have resulted in some of our countrymen either hurt or dead, but hopefully not..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110313com1.html

Failure awaits FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/13/2011

Failure awaits

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Funny, but those senators who signed Sen. TG Guingona’s partial report without any reservations finding Merci Gutierrez guilty of betrayal of public trust on account of the plea bargain deal forged between the prosecutors and former military comptroller, discharged Gen. Carlos Garcia, and saying that she should have the decency to resign to “save the country from conflict,” are the same ones who appear to have no decency to inhibit themselves as judges in the impeachment trial of the Ombudsman.

For how can they be seen as impartial judges, when they have already prejudged her and even declared her guilty of betrayal of public trust, and to the extent of Guingona trying to pass off his blue ribbon partial report as having been signed by the majority, when in fact, he never got a majority of signatories to approve his report?

And Guingona even lashed out at the Ombudsman, for taking her case to the media, when he and his Liberal Party (LP) colleagues, have been conducting a trial and conviction by publicity and even misleading the public with the results of the partial report.

The whole idea of course is that the LP senators and their allies in the Senate know that they don’t have the numbers to impeach Merci. Admit it or not, it is most difficult to get 16 Senate votes to convict the Ombudsman, or, for that matter, any impeachable officer..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110313com2.html

Japan: Leading the way in disaster preparations focus 03/13/2011

Japan: Leading the way in disaster preparations


TOKYO — In catastrophe-prone Japan, regularly shaken by earthquakes, dotted with more than 100 volcanoes and swept by typhoons, living with the threat of natural disasters is just a part of life.

The memory of past calamities has made Japan’s 128 million people and their government better prepared for disaster than most other countries.

Even so, most people realize there are limits to preparing for a mega-disaster such as the massive quake and tsunami that hit on Friday.

But zealous safety preparations, regular drills and, crucially, the country’s wealth, which allows for expensive quake-proofing of buildings and infrastructure, have saved thousands of lives in recent decades, experts say..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110313com3.html

Mayor Lim irked over ‘missing’ P12-M ransom BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 03/13/2011

Mayor Lim irked over ‘missing’ P12-M ransom

Louie Logarta
Recently-retired AFP Chief Ricardo David, tomorrow, begins his civilian career as the new commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), an agency currently in the throes of a huge maelstrom arising from the raging Taiwanese deportation controversy and more recently the banning of an Aussie balikbayan stage actor who is HIV positive from entering the Philippines which have placed it under a really harsh light.

David, whose appointment to the BI last week by Malacañang was inked literally a scant few minutes after departure honors held in his behalf in Camp Aguinaldo had ended, will replace career official lawyer Ronaldo Ledesma who acted as its officer-in-charge for some eight months since July 2010 when Mr. Aquino assumed the reins of government.

Malacañang’s choice of David for the BI was naturally met with a great amount of skepticism among long-time employees who regard it as another blatant manifestation of the pampering of military types by the government, which started during the administration of former President Ramos who was also a retired military officer.

As was accurately pointed out in an earlier Tribune story: “They may be political foes, but Mr. Aquino appears to be following in the footsteps of his predecessor President Arroyo by way of rewarding outgoing AFP chiefs of staff with civilian positions in government.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110313com4.html

Spiritualism. Pietism. Quietism VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 03/13/2011

Spiritualism. Pietism. Quietism

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
It need not be said that practically all known religious sects, groupings or movements in the country subscribe to their own respective Christian doctrine and pursuant particular practices.

In one way or another, they look at and revere Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is why they frequently invoke the Scriptures – the New Testament in particular – the central figure wherein the Lord Jesus is. This is also why although said and done in different ways and in various means, the said Christian churches more often than not, believe and observe the teaching of Christ.

The said belief and observances are more known and pronounced on the following points: One, the frequent and ardent recourse to too much and long prayers, which is good. Two, the predictable pursuit of the marvels if not the downright miracles of healing, financial grants and other human needs, which is understandable. Three, the expected loud shouts of joy and gratitude to top and end the gathering, which is something distinct and impressive. It is these Christian churches that brought to fore the standard jubilant shouts of “Praise the Lord!”, “Alleluia!” and “Amen!” which is a marvel to hear and to behold..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110313com5.html

World’s big cities set to become even more crowded FEATURE 03/13/2011

World’s big cities set to become even more crowded


CANNES — The world’s big cities are already bursting at the seams but are set to grow even larger, with experts predicting that some 70 percent of the world’s population will be urban by 2050.

This will put great strains on infrastructure and the environment, and presents a major challenge to city planners, developers and mayors who gathered here this week at MIPIM, the world’s leading annual real estate event, to look for the best way forward.

“The future of the world lies in cities,” London’s Mayor Boris Johnson told a packed auditorium at the opening day of MIPIM Monday.

He was among leaders taking part in a “mayor’s think-tank” here, who say they are increasingly starting to work together in looking for urban development initiatives to improve the quality of life for their citizens.
“We have to keep putting the village back into the city because that is fundamentally what human beings want and aspire to,” Johnson told the crowd, adapting a famous statement made by India’s Mahatma Gandhi that the future of India lay in its 70,000 villages..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110313com6.html

World tightening noose on Kadhafi — Obama FEATURE 03/13/2011

World tightening noose on Kadhafi — Obama


WASHINGTON—US President Barack Obama warned the world is “tightening the noose” on Moamer Kadhafi, but admitted he is “concerned” the Libyan strongman could thwart rebels battling to oust him.

Obama announced Friday he would appoint an envoy to Libyan opposition forces as part of a bid to “change the balance” of the military situation in Libya, and warned the world had an obligation to avoid a Rwanda-style massacre.

The president also defended his efforts to date to oust Kadhafi, amid criticism that he has been too slow or not offered sufficient leadership, adding he was gauging support for a no-fly zone with regional powers.

“Across the board, we are slowly tightening the noose on Kadhafi,” Obama said in a White House news conference scheduled to discuss rising energy prices but dominated by the Libyan revolt and the Japanese tsunami tragedy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110313com7.html

Lopez under fire for slow info flow By Michaela P. del Callar 03/13/2011


Lopez under fire for slow info flow

By Michaela P. del Callar 03/13/2011
Philippine diplomatic officials in Japan, primarily Japanese Ambassador Manuel Lopez, were criticized yesterday for the slow flow of information regarding the status of some 4,500 Filipinos living in areas in that country that were severely affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Friday afternoon.

At press time, all the Philippine Embassy in Japan can report was that “it is checking if the 4,500 Filipinos living in northeastern Japan which bore the brunt of the quake and tsunami are in good condition.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has not received a report from its embassy or consulates in Japan on Filipino casualties in the magnitude-8.9 quake and resulted in a 10-meter tsunami that swept some coastal areas there.

Hundreds were feared dead while scores remain missing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110313hed1.html

Palace refuses to yield report on Merci as useless 03/13/2011

Palace refuses to yield report on Merci as useless

While refusing to comment on lack of support among senators which technically invalidated the findings of the Senate blue ribbon committee’s partial report on Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, Malacañang said it doesn’t see a reason to brand the report signed mainly by President Aquino’s allies in the chamber as “useless.”

The partial report enjoining the House of Representatives to impeach Gutierrez did not carry the unqualified vote of the majority of the members of the Senate making it invalid, according to Sen. Joker Arroyo.

On radio, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said they have yet to receive an official copy of that partial report to be submitted by the Senate blue ribbon committee which is headed by Liberal Party (LP) Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.

Valte was responding to the question whether the pronouncements made by some senators, including Arroyo, in light of Guingona’s statements erased all doubts on the Senate’s impartiality should the impeachment trial against the Ombudsman push through..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110313hed3.html

Binay assures Pinay worker of Gadhafi kin of help 03/13/2011

Binay assures Pinay worker of Gadhafi kin of help

Vice President Jejomar Binay has assured the family of a Filipina worker in the household of a nephew of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi that he will help keep communication lines open between Libya and the Philippines for the two parties.

The Libya-based Diana Rivera is one of four Filipino household helpers of an unnamed nephew of Gadhafi, who supposedly lives outside the capital city of Tripoli.

The Philippine-based sister, Jennifer, has told Philippine television that she had communicated with Diana, who appears to want to be repatriated to the Philippines but is supposedly held against her will by her employer.

With the assistance of a non-government organization claiming to be a foreign policy center, Jennifer last Friday sought the help of Binay, who is also the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110313hed5.html

Macalintal: No basis to impeach justices By Ted Boehnert 03/13/2011

Macalintal: No basis to impeach justices

By Ted Boehnert 03/13/2011

There is no basis to impeach the Supreme Court justices merely on the claim that some of the magistrates may have not read the complete documents of the case against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez before a status quo ante order (SQAO) came out, renowned election lawyer Romulo Macalintal yesterday said.

Macalintal added the allegation that the temporary restraining order (TRO) in the Gutierrez case was issued without some justices having read her petition is not a ground to impeach any of the SC justices since “such an act does not constitute betrayal of public trust (or) of the grounds for impeachment.”

Macalintal said that “in issuing (TROs), Supreme Court justices are not expected to have the luxury to peruse or make an in-depth study of the petition and annexes but just rely on the ‘allegations in support of the motion for TRO’…which is usually contained in 3 -5 pages only.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110313hed6.html

Armed men kill liaison officer, driver of Gov. Santos in Batangas By Gina Peralta Elorde 03/13/2011

Armed men kill liaison officer, driver of Gov. Santos in Batangas

By Gina Peralta Elorde 03/13/2011

The liaison officer and driver of the veteran actress and Lipa Gov. Vilma Santos were killed in an ambush by three motorcycle riding gunmen in Lipa City yesterday morning.

Killed was Cesar Guce, 62, executive assistant and liaison officer of Vilma on police matters in Batangas Capitol and driver Randy Reyes, 34, both residents of Barangay Pinagtung-ulan, San Jose, Batangas.

Investigation disclosed that the victims were on board a Toyota Land Cruiser heading toward Cuenca town from Lipa City when suddenly three gunmen on board a motorcycle blocked their path along JP Laurel Highway in Barangay Banay-Banay around 6:30 a.m..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110313nat1.html

Protest against British firm fizzles out in N. Vizcaya By Ted Boehnert 03/13/2011

Protest against British firm fizzles out in N. Vizcaya

By Ted Boehnert 03/13/2011

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – The much-ballyhooed “Black Friday” protest by anti-mining groups last March 11 against the provincial board’s endorsement of a British-owned mining firm here failed to make a strong impact as the day passed by without a sizeable show of support from the province.

Only few people came to the rally even if the protest call had come from Bayombong Bishop Ramon Villena advising the folk to wear black on said date in protest against the endorsement by the 11 Provincal Board Members for the British-owned mining firm to operate. This despite the outspoken bishop’s who made the announcement over the diocese-run dwRV Radyo Veritas and it was being trumpeted in various pulpits throughout the Bayombong diocese.

The only noticeable effect, aside from the obvious diocesan offices, was seen in some Catholic educational institutions where several students and teachers wore black ribbons or ballers as a sign of their sympathy with the bishop’s call..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110313nat8.html

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