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Another Noy wisecrack EDITORIAL 04/08/2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another Noy wisecrack

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Noynoy, from the start of his presidency, pledged to do what was needed to be done and since then has been criticizing his predecessor for often giving in to politically expedient choices in the nine years Gloria was in power.

Noy’s bluster lasted only until his initially high survey marks allowed it. Now that his true capability is being revealed and the Yellow euphoria sparked by the death of his mother, former President Cory Aquino, in August 2009, has worn off, he has started to sound differently..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110408com1.html

Go after allies, too FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/08/2011

Go after allies, too

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy is really going full blast against the previous administration and its appointees and it certainly won’t be long before Noynoy and his boys go after Gloria Arroyo and her spouse, Mike.

First, it was Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, but Noynoy failed in getting him out, as legally, he coudn’t oust the CJ. Then came Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, and he succeeded, as he ensured the impeachment vote in the House of Representatives with an added pork sweetener offer. Next came Prospero Pichay, of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and now, the latest target is former presidential son Rep. Mikey Arroyo and his wife on tax evasion, with the Justice secretary, as usual, quickly getting into the publicity picture by saying that graft and corruption cased can be filed against Mikey stemming from the tax evasion raps. Note that there has been no evidence as yet and no investigation of graft, yet such charges are already being prepared. No vindictive politics involved?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110408com2.html

For Ivory Coast’s Ouattara the battle is far from over ANALYSIS 04/08/2011

For Ivory Coast’s Ouattara the battle is far from over


ABIDJAN — Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara, on the brink of prising the presidency from his rival’s grip, stands to inherit a state in tatters after months of bloodshed, and will urgently need to restore order, analysts said.

Four months after a disputed November election plunged the country into chaos, hundreds have been killed, about a million people are displaced and armed youths roam the streets looting and striking terror into citizens.

Democratically elected and recognized by the world as the rightful winner, Ouattara nonetheless has found himself resorting to force to oust strongman Laurent Gbagbo who steadfastly refuses to let go of power.

With Gbagbo’s fall imminent, Ouattara has “an enormous task in front of him,” said Rinaldo Depagne of the International Crisis Group..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110408com3.html

A damaged culture NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 04/08/2011

A damaged culture

Armida Siguion-Reyna
American Rhodes scholar James Fallows said this of ours, in an article published in The Atlantic Monthly a little over a year after Edsa I. The publication wasn’t well-known to the average Pinoy, but the essay aroused great indignation hereabouts, especially from those yet to tire from talking about the “bloodless revolution,” “the glorious four days in February,” “People Power,” and other such catch phrases describing events that led to the exile of the Marcoses to Hawaii.

Angriest were the johnny-come-lately activists who believed the Marcoses to be the problem and nothing else but, those whose history of activism were all of the four days they had spent outside Camps Crame and Aguinaldo, and their having voted for Cory Aquino, after the true-blue militants had declared a boycott of the 1986 snap elections. By the time some of the genuine aktibistas had decided to join the race anew, it was too late: the perfumed set had breasted the tape at the finish line, untouchables who would not stare criticism in the eye and for whom the saying “bato-bato sa langit, ang tamaan huwag magalit,” did not work..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110408com4.html

Child labor, mules atbp. C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 04/08/2011

Child labor, mules atbp.

Jonathan De la Cruz
It’s bad enough that we are being tagged as the home of drug mules. Today, we are getting another yet another egregious distinction. Hardly have we gotten out of the oprobium associated with the death of the three Filipinos in China on charges of drug trafficking and the arrest and detention of scores more in China, Malaysia and Indonesia, among others, we are now facing another round of international condemnation. A recent International Labor Organization (ILO) report has advised that we have about 2.4 million children (15 years old and below) working under dangerous and exploitative conditions. This, despite our having signed an earlier covenant to end the worst forms of child labor five years from now by 2016. Foremost forms of such “dangerous and exploitative conditions” are those being performed by children in mining and other extractive industries, prostitution and even soldiery which in the eyes of ILO experts are sadly being imposed on millions of our children..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110408com5.html

Ghost city symbolizes cost of nuclear disaster focus 04/08/2011

Ghost city symbolizes cost of nuclear disaster


PRIPYAT — “Careful — do not touch anything with your bare hands!” warned the guide as we entered the kindergarten and our Geiger counter hissed like an angry rattlesnake.

On the floor and shelves were plastic cubes and teddy bears and kiddies’ books, just the things you would expect to find in a children’s playgroup.

But these toys were coated in a thick leprous white dust, for they had lain undisturbed for almost a quarter of a century.

And scattered among them were infant-sized gas masks.

Something terrifying had made the toddlers flee their innocent corner of the world. Their home, Pripyat, once a model city, had become the set for a true-life apocalypse movie..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110408com7.html

Philippine Charity ‘Sweeped-stakes’ DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/08/2011

Philippine Charity ‘Sweeped-stakes’

Herman Tiu Laurel
“Charity begins at home,” an old proverb goes; but I don’t think it applies to the current officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Instead, the new managers from the Yellows are apparently making a clean sweep of the agency’s name literally. In a 56-page exposé, former PCSO chairman Manoling Morato reveals: “From the lobby pa lang, katakot-takot na ang harangan. ‘Yan ang instruction ni Margie (Juico, the new PCSO chairman) and her sons and brothers. They call the shots too. People are afraid of them; and rightly so…”

I wouldn’t take Morato’s word for it had I not known that Juico’s husband, Philip, allegedly has been going around brokering talents for PCSO advertising proposals. It also helped that a former PCSO insider told us that the husband-and-wife team is reportedly brokering for the Ayalas’ takeover of the prime 6.9-hectare lot of Quezon Institute (QI) along E. Rodriguez Ave. that was quickly vacated when Juico transferred the agency’s offices to the PICC last year.

This transfer to the CCP Complex on Roxas Blvd., where there are no direct jeepney or bus rides to the agency’s doorstep, severely limits the access of PCSO’s supposed clientele, the poor and infirm. At its former QI location, rides from Quiapo, Cubao, Caloocan, San Juan, Makati, Marikina, Pasig, and the provinces are easily taken to bring these beneficiaries right up to PCSO’s gates. Besides, since the lease on the QI property is for a good 50 years, it still has 37 years left for which either a penalty has to be paid or it may try to sublease — which is likely where the brokering of the real estate deal comes into the picture.

The QI property was leased by PCSO in 1995, edging out the LRT proposal which would have used it for a train station. Since it was already deemed a perfect site for a commercial center and transport hub back then, it’s no wonder that Ayala and other real estate developers have been eying this property for over a decade now. And since the Ayalas and the Juicos are known to belong to one Yellow family, hands down, it will probably go to the Ayalas this time.

We should also stress that the PCSO leases QI from the Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc. (PTSI) for P24 million a year with a 5-percent annual increase proviso. This augments the PTSI’s P9-million endowment from various sources, of which its most notable project is the continued operation of the Quezon Institute hospital. It was precisely because of this and PTSI’s other functions that President Manuel Quezon established the PCSO. However, with Juico’s plan, this historical connection among the three will be merely thrown into the dustbin and, from my perspective, another 6.9-hectare green, oxygen breathing lung for Metro Manila will be converted into yet another choking, concrete rat maze.

As Juico is planning to transfer PCSO to Makati, the classic lagaring Hapon where she will likely buy or lease from Ayala or even use it as a pretext for swapping the E. Rodriguez property may set in. Juico claims she is in a hurry to get out of QI because it is already an old and unsafe structure. Really now.

The structures at the QI area were built in 1938 and designed by National Artist, Architect Juan Nakpil. Through the many earthquakes Metro Manila has experienced over the century, it is such old structures that have withstood the test of time. Note the resilience of the University of Santo Tomas main building, Malacañang Palace, the Post Office beside the Pasig River, and many others.

The trouble is, there are elements eyeing big real estate deals that are attempting to deliberately weaken them, such as those in Morato’s report where some contractors were made to dig holes on the QI’s beams and posts; and recently, under Juico, where electrical wirings were pulled out, fuse boxes stripped, toilet bowls and faucets removed, glass partitions and panels cannibalized, and water pumps dug out. Was it all to ensure that the PCSO would not be able to return if so ordered by the courts or any other authority?

The only charity known is one that is given to her extended parasitic Yellow family, such as a PR man who has grabbed the chance to position himself anew to benefit from government’s info and advertising budgets — a privilege the PR man enjoyed without limit during a previous administration.

Morato says that during his term as chairman, he did not avail of any PR firm because the PCSO had its own PR department. But, since PR firms get commissions of anywhere from 15 percent to 40 percent for contracts signed, we can assume it’ll be on the high side for the PR man and his “sponsor.”

Morato’s lengthy exposé includes many other issues, such as the conspiracy to transfer all PCSO funds to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Juico’s “spoiled milk” case at the Ombudsman filed by the late former DSWD Secretary Mita Pardo de Tavera, and others — but we’ll reserve these for future columns.

Looking at the situation, it’s now clear why Aquino III placed the PCSO directly under the Office of the President from where it used to be. It’s part of a sinister plot to take over the property, which had been preconceived by the Yellows from the very beginning. It shows the heartless, cynical, and predatory hypocrisy of this “elite” class of old families and oligarchs that rip off even the most vulnerable, needy and desperate of our public at every turn. This sweepstakes office under the Yellows should therefore be called Philippine Charity “Sweeped-stakes.”

(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 “The Grain Drain: NFA Privatization” with the NFA union; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus select radio and GNN shows).

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

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110408com6.html

BIR files P79-M tax fraud vs Mikey A, spouse By Charlie V. Manalo and Aytch S. de la Cruz 04/08/2011


BIR files P79-M tax fraud vs Mikey A, spouse

By Charlie V. Manalo and Aytch S. de la Cruz 04/08/2011

Bureau of Internal Revenue officials yesterday had state prosecutors file tax fraud charges against former President and Rep. Gloria Arroyo’s eldest son, Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, with the BIR alleging that he and his wife, Angela, dodged P 73.85 million in taxes from 2005 to 2009.

The complaint is the first step toward the filing of charges in court against the couple that could land them 10-year jail terms, said Kim Henares, the chief tax commissioner.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who was with Henares at a press conference, said graft charges can also be lodged against the couple stemming from the tax evasion case.

De Lima said the tax complaint could lead to more serious criminal charges..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110408hed1.html

US Embassy hands $132K for seized Ligots’ assets By Benjamin B. Pulta 04/08/2011

US Embassy hands $132K for seized Ligots’ assets

By Benjamin B. Pulta 04/08/2011

A check for $132,000 (P5.4 million at P41 per $1) representing proceeds of the sale of real estate in California owned by controversial former Armed Forces comptroller Jacinto Ligot and his wife Erlinda has been turned over by the United States government to the Philippines’ Department of Justice.

In a statement issued to reporters, the DoJ quoting US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas said the Ligots’ property in Buena Vista Park in California was liquidated by the US government under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) signed between the two countries.

The property located at 7102 Stanton Avenue, Buena Park, California, exposed by Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, was registered in the name of Mrs. Ligot, which has been subject of an administrative forfeiture case before the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court as well as the tax evasion case filed recently by the Bureau of Internal Revenue before the DoJ..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110408hed2.html

Measures vs price hikes all ‘short-term’ — Diokno By Chito Lozada 04/08/2011

Measures vs price hikes all ‘short-term’ — Diokno

By Chito Lozada 04/08/2011

The measures being taken by President Aquino to address rising prices have short-term effects and may even encourage corrupt practices, according to noted economist University of the Philippines (UP) professor Benjamin Diokno.

Aquino the other day directed economic officials in the Cabinet to study the possible imple-mentation of a wage increase for private employees, a reduction of the value added tax (VAT) on fuel and the imposition of price controls on basic com-modities which was seen as a move to shore up his falling survey ratings.

Diokno, who was also a former Budget Secretary, said the government should look for long-term solution to rising prices and that price control won’t work except for a very short period..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110408hed5.html

Pinoys repatriated as Ivory Coast 04/08/2011

Pinoys repatriated as Ivory Coast

The Philippine government is on alert for possible outbreak of hostilities in Ivory Coast where 10 Filipinos have already asked to be repatriated.

In a report to the Depart-ment of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria said it is sending a two-man consular team to the beleaguered African state to conduct a ground assessment and
provide assistance to Filipinos.

The embassy in Abuja has jurisdiction over Ivory Coast.

There are some 100 Filipinos in Ivory Coast, mostly professional and skilled workers, as well as permanent residents. Six Armed Forces of the Philippines officers are also assigned in the UN Operation in the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110408hed6.html

RP, Vietnam want legal binding 2002 accord on disputed islands By Michaela P. del Callar 04/08/2011

RP, Vietnam want legal binding 2002 accord on disputed islands

By Michaela P. del Callar 04/08/2011

The Philippines and Vietnam want a 2002 accord on the disputed South China Sea territories to be turned into a stronger legally-binding code of conduct and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China to jointly embark on development projects to prevent the long-running disputes from erupting into armed confrontations.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said after a meeting in Hanoi Tuesday that the conflicting claims in the Spratlys and other South China Sea areas “should be resolved peacefully and never by force.” Their countries, along with China, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan have had overlapping claims over the vast region, believed to be rich in oil and gas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110408nat2.html

Four armed men abduct, rob African businessman of cash, vehicle 04/08/2011

Four armed men abduct, rob African businessman of cash, vehicle

Members of the Pasay police have launched a manhunt operation against four unidentified notorious robbers who abducted early morning yesterday an African while buying bread at a bakery store in Cavite.

The robbers took all the victim’s money in several banks, stole his vehicle then left him on a highway near the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Police identified the victim as Alabamar Quadri, 46, businessman, owner of Saloon in Tagaytay City, who was abducted by four armed men in front of a bakery on Aguinaldo Highway, Dasmariñas, Cavite. He was later pushed out of a vehicle on Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110408met3.html

Five-hour fire in Malabon City leaves 1,200 families homeless 04/08/2011

Five-hour fire in Malabon City leaves 1,200 families homeless

Some 1,200 families were left homeless after a five-hour fire hit a residential area early yesterday morning in Malabon City, the local Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said.

Luckily, no one was reported hurt in the blaze that razed 800 houses on Camia Street, Barangay Maysilo broke out around 2:24 a.m. and was controlled some five hours later, arson investigator SFO2 Bernard Cruz said.

Cruz added more houses were destroyed in the fire because residential structures in the area were made of light and flammable materials.

The fire was even worsened by the narrow alleys that made it difficult for firefighters to penetrate and contain it as quickly as possible..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110408met4.html

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