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Indecent proposal EDITORIAL 03/28/2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Indecent proposal

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Improper is the word to describe the Palace’s floating of its hot idea that public opinion and surveys will influence the Senate court that would try the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

The Palace mouthpiece with the longest title Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning (PCDSP) Secretary Ramon Carandang said a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing a 52 percent support on Gutierrez’s impeachment should have a bearing on the senators who would sit as judges on the impeachment court.

The obvious hand of Noynoy in the House vote to impeach Gutierrez was already reprehensible even without Carandang’s pitch..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110328com1.html

Just in time? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/28/2011

Just in time?

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Ping Lacson has finally surfaced, coming out of hiding after some 14 months.

His return to the country was of course not unexpected, after the Court of Appeals voided his arrest warrant, saying there was no probable cause to link him to the murder of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.

But Malacañang’s reaction to Lacson was strange, in that Noynoy’s mouthpiece said it welcomed the return of Lacson, adding that he can now put closure on the allegations.

Why should the Palace welcome his return, given the fact that the senator, for close to a year and a half, flouted the law, and even issued conditions for him to return to the country?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110328com2.html

Mideast turfs out presidents who would be king

Mideast turfs out presidents who would be king


DUBAI — Revolts across the Arab world have targeted longtime presidents seen as eager to set up ruling dynasties, while the region’s established monarchies have so far emerged relatively unscathed.

“It is clear that the ones who have been in the line of fire of the Arab revolts are the presidents, but even the monarchies might not be immune to the contagion,” says analyst Saman Shaikh of the Brookings Institute in Doha.

Tunisia started the ball rolling in January when President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was sent packing into exile, to be followed by Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak the following month under the weight of mass street protests.

“People power” has since set its sights on embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh: between them, the three heads of state have amassed several decades in power..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110328com3.html

Are they mining the stock exchange? C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 03/28/2011

Are they mining the stock exchange?

Jonathan De la Cruz
There was a time when mining issues were being listed like crazy in major stock exchanges, including the Australian and Toronto Stock Exchanges, that some investment funds representing public employees and pedigreed private equity firms started a quiet investigation on the whys and wherefores of such a seeming gold rush. It turned out after some months of inquiry that a number of the issues were really for real, meaning, they had intrinsic value and represented solid businesses upon which hard-earned monies can really be invested. But a lot turned out to be speculative ones which cultivated the “greed for the fast and big bucks,” as one analyst called it, of many investors. Which is why these analysts called the promoters of these issues “miners” of a different kind — they were mining the stock exchange. That appellation has since stuck, so now every stock exchange of record has set up some kind of a vetting system to determine whether the exchange is being unduly used by these so-called “miners” to the detriment of thousands of innocent investors and, of course, the public whose confidence in the market has to be responsibly reinforced if these exchanges’ operations are to be appreciated at all..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110328com4.html

Cold, wet, and in panic HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 03/28/2011

Cold, wet, and in panic

Aldrin Cardon
The cold, wet summer isn’t here yet.

In fact, there is none of the anticipation of this freak weather change. Locals are looking forward to a “normal” Philippine summer.

Boracay, that great beach destination that is now almost crowded throughout the year, is starting to welcome the surge of people fighting for precious space in its very fine white sand.

But new things are beginning to put a different face on Bora this year.

The huge sand castles, built by residents to charge tourists for photo opportunities with them, would soon decrease. The local government is now charging sand artists with fees that I find exorbitant, they may have been legislated to discourage the trade altogether..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110328com6.html

Summer SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 03/28/2011


Dinah S. Ventura
There’s plenty of reasons tourists keep coming back to Boracay. The much-touted island paradise continues to satisfy vacation-goers’ desire for fun and relaxation on the sunshiny shores of the famed beach destination.

Locals look forward to the summer months to soak in the sun, doze by the sand and party the night away. There’s something about the blue sea and sky that lull the senses no matter what weather it is. Even when the sun barely shows itself, Boracay captivates in a way that is hard to describe.

Yet just like any dynamic destination, Boracay has had its share of issues, from overdevelopment to environmental concerns. Negligence and abuse were talked about for years before we saw any action from government in terms of exerting control over the use of the island’s resources. For a long time, concerned parties lobbied to ensure that controls are put in place so that the natural beauty we so love are preserved as much as possible..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110328com7.html

Manufacturing ignorance DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 03/28/2011

Manufacturing ignorance

Herman Tiu Laurel
The term agnotology is gaining more usage. I heard it used on television for the first time last week, on the program of Max Keiser on RT (Russia Today, on Global News Network, Destiny Cable). His partner Stacey Herbert described as agnotological capitalism American neo-conservative newspaper and TV (Fox News) pundit Ann Coulter’s rejoinder to the anti-nuke wave in the wake of the Fukushima nuke disaster. Coulter said on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News that radiation in some dosage levels can be beneficial to humans, i.e. the hormesis theory, citing without naming “a stunning number” of physicists reported on the New York Times and some other papers. Of course there is no “stunning number,” but Coulter added that to create an antologic situation in the minds of audiences who may not be alert to the ploy. Keiser cited this a “manufacture of ignorance,” the same way the tobacco industry has tried to convince people smoking is good for the health.

Agnotologicism or manufacturing of ignorance is an important rephrasing of the old terms misinformation and disinformation, expanding the meaning to include the idea of deliberate, systematic, structured creation of gaps in information and understanding in the public’s mind. The neo-conservatives in the US are often identified with the far right, ultra-capitalist causes, which include the nuclear and defense industry lobbies.

Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reily rooted for every American and Nato wars, and they are now for the attack on Libya. The nuclear lobby is a lobby for the uranium based nuclear power because it is also adjunct to the nuclear weapons industry. It all ties in, including their desire to downplay the terror of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Thorium nuclear reactor has no such lobby as it does not produce the weapons grade byproducts.

Manufactured ignorance can also serve the interest of the complete opposite pole — the solar and wind power lobby. These two lobbies are having a heyday nuking nuke power and selling themselves as the only alternative; but they are not telling anybody that their options simply won’t supply the base load power requirements of modern society and standards of living. We can take from the nuclear lobby the truth against the other side of the issue, writing in Forbes magazine March 18 on “Options for Replacing Japan’s Busted Nukes” or the Fukushima plants Christoher Helman says “Solar — Right now, the Mojave Desert is home to roughly 400 mw worth of solar projects, the biggest concentration in the world. To get 6,000 MW from solar power would require Japan building more installations than currently exist in the entire world — about 50,000 acres covered with parabolic troughs at a price of some $24 billion.”

Even then, Helman says, “the generation capacity would not be baseload, only on when the sun shines…. the long-term cost of solar power comes to 25 cents per kilowatthour.” On wind power to replace the six Fukushiima power lost he says, “You’d need something like 4,200 turbines covering well more than 60,000 acres at a cost of $11 billion. Again, this would not be reliable baseload power. Wind costs roughly 10 cents per kwh.” These solar and wind advocates don’t allow the public to see these, creating an agnotologic situation by glossing over these. Helman, who seems to be of the nuclear lobby, makes an agnotologic move when he describes nuclear power as costing only 11 cents per kwh — which does not include the astronomical costs of storing radioactive waste and the unlimited potential for financial disaster from accidents like Fukushima; financial forensic analyst Hiro Vaswani estimates it would really cost $ 5,000 per kwh.

In our Philippine media setting, agnotologic situations are created every day. One example of this is a recent exposé Quezon City’s councilors’ “ghost employees” by a ratio of 10 to 1 favoring ghost employees: thousands of the walking, salary collecting dead. However, the report omits something. In the last Quezon City elections reform candidates running on a platform to expose former Mayor Sonny Belmonte’s corruption presented facts and figures taken from QC Hall documents. It exposed thousands of ghost employees in city hall itself. This was not cited in the recent exposé as the writer is said to be friendly with Sonny Belmonte. Corruption during the Belmonte nine-year era is very vital because his city administrator is now sitting in Malacañang. If such corrupt officials are riding high and more powerful than an Ombudsman, how can there be a “matuwid na daan?”

The Libyan situation presents agnotology cases galore, such as the admission by the anti-Gaddafi opposition leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, in remarks to the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore that he recruited al-Qaeda fundamentalists to fight in Iraq. Likewise, that the CIA has been funding al-Qaeda from its very inception.

Mainstream media, especially Al Jazeera, hardly report these; especially Al Jazeera, funded by the Emir of Qatar and backed by the Western powers, US and British; now at the forefront of the attack on Libya (Qatar the only Arab country providing planes). Agnotology or the manufacture of ignorance is the groundwork for manufacturing consent for war and other unsavory things.

(Tune in to Sulo M-W-F, 6-7 p.m. on 1098AM; TNT with HTL, Tuesday 8 to 9 p.m., replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our selected radio and GNN shows)

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110328com5.html

Pro-RH solons: Davide ‘agent of falsehood’ By Gerry Baldo 03/28/2011


Pro-RH solons: Davide ‘agent of falsehood’

By Gerry Baldo 03/28/2011

House members backing the Reproductive Health bill called former Chief Justice Hilario Davide an “agent of falsehood” for supposedly launching a black propaganda against the bill as the Church stepped up its campaign against the measure that has the backing of the Aquino administration.

Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, one of the staunch proponents of the Reproductive Health bill, said he was very disappointed at how Davide carried his black propaganda against the RH bill.

“He’s dead wrong. He’s exploiting his status to perpetuate falsehood about the RH bill promoted by the Catholic Church hierarchy. Worse than earthquakes and tsunamis — this comes right out of the Nazi propaganda playbook,” Bello said.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Rep. Antonio Tinio, also a co-author of the measure,
said Davide is opposing public opinion which is overwhelmingly supporting the RH bill..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110328hed1.html

Dacers mull elevating case vs Lacson to SC By Jason Faustino 03/28/2011

Dacers mull elevating case vs Lacson to SC

By Jason Faustino 03/28/2011

Members of the Dacer family are not giving up on Sen. Panfilo Lacson who they believe was responsible for the murder of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito as the family’s legal counsel hinted on plans to elevate the murder case against Lacson to the Supreme Court.

In a television interview, the lawyers of the Dacer family and witness Cezar Mancao said that they had a meeting last Saturday when they discussed the possibility of bringing the case to the Supreme Court.

The meeting came as Lacson arrived in the Philippines via the airport in Cebu days after the Court of Appeals lifted the warrant of arrest on him.

Lacson was reported yesterday on his way to Manila from Cebu City where he arrived at noontime Saturday from Hong Kong, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110328hed2.html

Drilon seeks to move ARMM polls to 2013 By Angie M. Rosales 03/28/2011

Drilon seeks to move ARMM polls to 2013

By Angie M. Rosales 03/28/2011

A known Malacañang ally in the Senate has filed a bill calling for the postponement of the electoral exercise in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) this year and hold it instead simultaneous with the 2013 national polls.

Senate Bill 2756, introduced by Sen. Franklin Drilon, is effectively the counterpart measure to the proposal in the House of Representatives approved last Wednesday, and in support of the call of President Aquino to put aside the holding of the electoral exercise in the meantime.

Drilon said the conduct of a separate elections for the ARMM will cost P1.8 billion this year.

“It is opportune time for the new administration to be more prudent and discerning in its current expenditures. The savings to be realized from the postponement of the elections may instead be used for urgent social services and physical infrastructures needed in the region,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110328hed4.html

AFP ready to thwart attacks by NPAs as they celebrate rite tomorrow By Mario J. Mallari 03/28/2011

AFP ready to thwart attacks by NPAs as they celebrate rite tomorrow

By Mario J. Mallari 03/28/2011

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has intensified intelligence operations to thwart any attempt from the communist New People’s Army (NPA) to stage atrocities in observance of its 42nd founding anniversary tomorrow.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said that AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr. has instructed all military units to intensify intelligence gathering in connection with the NPA anniversary.

Mabanta, however, maintained that the military has not raised its alert level.

“We have instructions to step up intelligence monitoring and to initiate action to thwart terroristic action emanating from the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF),” said Mabanta..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110328nat1.html

Saudi bans in hiring OFWs due to wage increase 03/28/2011

Saudi bans in hiring OFWs due to wage increase

An alliance of Filipino migrants rights group, with chapters in the Middle East, said the moved by the Saudi government to stop the hiring of overseas Filipino domestic workers exposes the dilemma of the Philippine government “lucrative business” of peddling its cheap human labor sans protection of their well-being, rights and welfare.

“Clashes of contending interests in peddling OFWs abroad has become more apparent now with the Saudi government imposing a ban on hiring OFW-DH,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Citing reports, the Saudi government issued a note verbale to the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh saying “processing and verification of household service workers have been stopped until further notice.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110328nat4.html

Rights’ victims oppose Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani 03/28/2011

Rights’ victims oppose Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani

No hero’s burial for the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos!

Human rights victims to this day still object to having Marcos buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

Members of Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) said the plan to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is “a great insult and embarrassment to the Filipino people.”

Selda chairman Marie Hilao Enriquez, herself a victim of human rights abuse, said they will protest any move to have Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110328nat7.html

De Lima wants gov’t to aid indigents on funeral expenses By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/28/2011

De Lima wants gov’t to aid indigents on funeral expenses

By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/28/2011
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is recommending an expanded program for the government to subsidize funeral services for indigents.

In a legal opinion, De Lima said “promissory notes” from the indigent families may not be the realistic workable solution for the rising cost of dying.

Secretary Ma. Lourdes Mendoza, committee on poverty alleviation-House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City, sought a legal opinion for the official position of the Department of Justice (DoJ) regarding House Bill 3751 entitled “An Act Prohibiting the Detention of Bodies in Funeral Homes and Morgues on Grounds of Non-Payment of Embalment or Any Other Funeral Services.”

While there is a law that prohibits the detention of bodies by funeral homes and morgues due to unpaid payments of embalment, De Lima said the government should render assistance to indigents who cannot afford to pay for the funeral expenses of their deceased relatives..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110328met1.html

Inspection of dorms in Manila set 03/28/2011

Inspection of dorms in Manila set

Manila City Hall officials yesterday said they are set to inspect all dormitories operating within the city proper as part of their preparedness program for natural disasters, including killer quakes.

At the weekly Balitaan sa Tinapayan, engineer Melvin Balagot, chief of the City Building Office, and City Administrator Jay Marzan told reporters they were directed by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim to ensure the safety of students residing in dormitories during times of calamities.

“Magsasagawa na kami ng mga inspeksiyon sa mga dormitory, simula na ang bakasyon ng mga estudyante kaya ito na ang pagkakataon naming para ma-inspeksiyon ang kanilang mga tinutuluyan para matiyak na ligtas ang mga estudyante kapag may lindol, tsunami at sunog (We will conduct an inspection to all dormitories starting this vacation, because this is the time that we can freely inspect their condition to ensure the safety of students in cases of fire, earthquake and tsunami),” Balagot said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110328met3.html

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