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Poverty begets poverty EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 04/11/2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Poverty begets poverty

Click to enlarge
There is more than meets the eye if the pollsters accurately captured the actual situation in their recent survey about hunger and poverty showing both malaise as rising and engulfing the bulk of the population.

The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) where the Philippines is among its adherents has the eradication of poverty and hunger by 2015 as its primary target, which means that by that year, people earning less than $1 a day, which many accept as the norm in an international definition of poverty, would have been cut by half.

The recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) indicated that instead of moving forward, efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger in the country are actually retrogressing despite the much-hyped conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that cost the budget P21.5 billion.

The Philippines has one of the highest incidences of poverty as a proportion of the population in Asia, even with the recently revamped government formula in defining who are considered poor..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110411com1.html

Real trouble FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/11/2011

Real trouble

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Hunger and poverty have risen, and are likely to rise some more, given the harsh economic conditions today, plus the never-ending skyrocketing prices of even essential goods and services. Yet all Noynoy can say is that the results of the March survey on these two items are flawed, and do not reflect the voice of the respondents who are the recipients of his conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, who he claims, are mainly from the Visayas and Mindanao.

An even more idiotic comment from Noynoy was one where he said that the CCT funds could not have possibly reached the beneficiaries in two weeks time, or even less such as two to three days of field surveying.

But if that CCT program was already implemented since say, July of last year — which would be a continuation of Gloria Arroyo’s CCT involving 1 million beneficiaries, plus Noynoy’s expanded CCT from say, January to March this year, then the hunger and poverty rate would not have risen that much..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110411com2.html

UN killings raise Afghan transition fears focus 04/11/2011

UN killings raise Afghan transition fears


MAZAR-I-SHARIF — Killings of UN staff in one of Afghanistan’s safest cities have raised fears that plans for Afghans to take control of security from Nato troops in three months are being rushed.

The northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, famed for its opulent “Blue Mosque,” was thrown into turmoil last week when demonstrators took to the streets after Friday prayers to protest the burning of a Koran by an American pastor.

The protests spiralled into the attack on the UN compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, which left seven foreign staff dead.

Although peace has since been restored with stepped up patrols and pleas from local leaders, some residents say the attack leaves them worried that Afghan forces are not ready to take control of security for the city..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110411com3.html

Fair play C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 04/11/2011

Fair play

Jonathan De la Cruz
Not that Tourism Secretary Bertie Lim’s latest (or is it resurrected?) brainstorm called “open skies” which has been translated into a P-Noy executive order is palpably wrong on its face. Certainly, there can be benefits derived from such an opening. But the question is: did Lim and his people ever get to thoroughly and responsibly “war gamed,” as in run through a due diligence kind of workout, to determine what these benefits really are and whether the country and our airlines are in a position to take advantage of the potential windfall? The way things stand it is clear that Lim’s and his crew rushed this initiative and failed to properly advise P-Noy about the pros and cons of this operation. Otherwise, why should we be hearing that word reciprocity from our carriers and other sectors affected by this undertaking? Yes, Sir. Reciprocity. As in mutually beneficial, equitable and reciprocal arrangements. Not shoddy even shady and predatory workouts as seems to be the eventual end result of Lim’s operation unless he listens to other voices such as those of Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific and even Southeast Airlines (Seair) that for the first time are one in saying that the recent order does not meet the test of reciprocity in its purest and proper form..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110411com4.html

It’s about time HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 04/11/2011

It’s about time

Aldrin Cardon
Yes, it’s about time Noynoy Aquino proves his words. It has taken him so long to fulfill his campaign promises. He’s even a failure in some.

I’m glad his realization came like a jolt in the form of a popularity survey, on which Noynoy hinged his victory May of last year.

It could be true the slight dip in his approval ratings was enough to send jitters down his spine, which Mikey Arroyo, a former presidential son clinging on the flaws of the party-list law to stay in power, faulted for his tax woes.

Yes and no! It could be more than that, Mikey..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110411com6.html

Tax season SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 04/11/2011

Tax season

Dinah S. Ventura
A hardworking member of our staff in the office is determined to pay her income tax before deadline this week. She does not earn as much as, say, those high-living government officials and military honchos, and yet she would gladly set aside that little bit of her salary for our country’s coffers.

Perhaps I will attribute this to her youth and basic goodness as a human being. These past two decades, it seems many of us have grown horns, declaring our doubts of government’s ability to maximize our country’s assets and wondering if and how our taxes are really used.
It doesn’t help that corruption scandals regularly break out and virtually slap us in the face. The latest one — of supposed straight-backed generals showing us their crooked side — has been the most shocking by far because, to be honest, we never expected such a thing. In our book, politicians are the usually the culprits, and not those men of honor in the military!

Oh well, it just goes to show how naïve we can be..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110411com7.html

‘People power’ backfire DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/11/2011

‘People power’ backfire

Herman Tiu Laurel
Only two-and-a-half months after the Egyptian uprising on Jan. 25, 2011, forces of the US-Egyptian ruling establishment have started to devour the revolution’s children. As I start this column, international cable and Internet news have started flashing clips of the Egyptian military’s dispersal of protesters at Tahrir Square , the site where the so-called Egyptian “people power” began.

Since a “transition government” took over after Mubarak’s fall and despite the holding of a constitutional plebiscite, innumerable voices of dissent have been raised against the new government’s direction — with the same old Mubarak generals in charge and the same old US domination of that part of the world.

The resurgent protesters were engaged in a sit-in and defied the imposed curfew. When a smattering of military officers started to join them in protest, the Egyptian army cracked down heavily on the crowd, which led to two deaths (though the number is believed to be bigger).

The Egyptian people power against Western-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak went off to a very heady Twitter start but lacked the effective clarity in ideology and organized political-military leadership to consummate a revolution. While Twitter and Facebook can indeed rouse the young and the middle class, and even draw in the masses, these social media simply do not have the wherewithal to seize and maintain government power and wage a programmed restructuring of society, thus laying them open to opportunistic predators.

I remember issuing a warning in my column, “From US frying pan to US fire,” that unless the spontaneous combustion of the Egyptian revolution was being fanned by a clear nationalist civilian-military leadership (with emphasis on “nationalist”), the people power there would just end up like the one we had here, where the people were made to suffer worse conditions under the continued control of the US and the old oligarchy.

Even today, with the US calling the shots, Egypt is already sending arms and military trainers to neighboring Libya, a country that has double its per capita income and standard of living, to fuel the Libyan civil war while it has yet to sort out its own problems. What proof does the world — or the Yellow bleeding hearts rooting for the so-called Libyan “rebels” — need in order to realize that worse things have come upon the Egyptian people today after their so-called “revolution,” no different from what has happened here since 1986?

In a decade or so, Egyptians will have nostalgia for Mubarak — for the relative calm and stability of his period, for the poor but survivable neo-colonial economic conditions, and for the relative predictability of the whole of North Africa and the Middle East then. What the US and its Egyptian lackeys have in store for Egypt is simply the complete deconstruction of its stability, security, and economic leverage. This backfire is to be seen in the coming years.

Like the Edsa “people power,” the long line of US-engineered or abetted destabilizations, coups and putsches have all been about maintaining Western political-economic hegemony — from the CIA Iranian “people power” project in 1953 against Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh for nationalizing Iran’s oil fields to the fake Libyan “pro-democracy” rebellion, which, according to Italian journalist Franco Bechis, was actually planned by French intelligence services in November 2010, a year after Moammer Kadhafi threatened to nationalize joint ventures with the West.

The French plan was actually rehashed in the context of the Arab “people power” when Washington took over with its own counter-revolutionary goals. In October 2010, Nouri Mesmari, Kadhafi’s protocol officer, turned himself over to the French secret service with plans against his former boss. He then led them to Libyan air defense Col. Abdallah Gehani who was ready to collaborate. But it was recent defector former Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa who is being held responsible for the earlier defections of Mesmari, et al.
Thus, similar to Egypt, where Mubarak’s former intelligence chief rules the roost today, in Libya, former Kadhafi officials are the chief collaborators of the US and Nato posing as “rebels.” The new Benghazi-based rebel government recognized by France, Italy, Qatar, etc. already ships oil to these countries and the rest of Europe. It is therefore pretty clear that these “rebel” rulers, being complete underlings of the West, will absolutely be unable to bargain for any favorable terms for Libya and its people.

Let’s not forget Côte d’Ivoire, where French and UN forces bombed President Laurent Gbagbo (who was nationalizing the cocoa industry) and his forces in support of former IMF country manager Alassane Ouattara, a once unelected prime minister and presidential candidate in the recent disputed elections. With economic sovereignty ceded to Western powers by their lackeys, isn’t it still obvious that these countries will be reduced to worse penury like the Philippines?

Under the Yellow governments, the Philippines has grown hungrier each passing year since Edsa 1986, with its national economy regressing terribly from an incipient state of industrialization and agricultural self-sufficiency. A March 2011 SWS poll showed an astounding 70-percent increase in hunger to 20.5 percent of the population from a 12-year average of 13.8 percent. PeNoy was reportedly “shocked,” showing how out of touch he is.

And so the backfire in the Philippines is now burning rapidly — incontrovertible evidence of which is what Amando Doronilla desperately fretted of in his column, “Marcos rehabilitation bandwagon,” together with Commission on Human Rights Chief Etta Rosales’ discombobulation over Marcos being voted by the people as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Heroes.”

But then, the whole elitist, holier-than-thou Yellow army — from Jim Paredes, Leah Navarro, Dinky Soliman, Etta Rosales, ABS-CBN, to PeNoy — still choose to bear down on someone like Willie Revillame over his mindless, albeit sadistic, entertainment (more likely for his outburst during live coverage of Cory’s wake) when their failures for the past quarter of a century have sent more Filipinos to desperate straits than ever before.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m.; TNT with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “NFA Privatization: Grains of Tears” 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/20110411com5.html

DoJ, BIR in tug of war over Arroyo tax case By Benjamin B. Pulta 04/11/2011


DoJ, BIR in tug of war over Arroyo tax case

By Benjamin B. Pulta 04/11/2011

A tug of war appears to have started between the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) over jurisdiction on the P74-million tax evasion case on the eldest son of former President Arroyo who now sits as a party-list representative in Congress.

The DoJ is not giving up its power to investigate and prosecute taxes and had opposed a House bill seeking to transfer such functions to the BIR.

In a two-page position paper to Congress, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima objected to a proposal before the lower house seeking to transfer to the BIR the exclusive mandate to investigate, handle and prosecute tax-related cases.

Last week, the BIR filed with the DoJ a tax evasion complaint against Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and his wife Angela for an estimated P74 million in allegedly unpaid taxes..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110411hed1.html

6 RP troops trapped in Ivory Coast fighting By Mario J. Mallari 04/11/2011

6 RP troops trapped in Ivory Coast fighting

By Mario J. Mallari 04/11/2011

The United Nations peace keeping mission, including six members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), is being targeted by loyalists of incumbent Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo as tension continues in the African nation.

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr., however, assured the safety of the AFP team currently deployed in the troubled nation as re-ported by Air Force Lt. Col. George Tagle, who is a mem-ber of the UN Peacekeeping Force staff.

“His fellow Filipino UN military observers are safe and out of danger,” Oban said.

Aside from Tagle, other members of the AFP team serving under the UN-Peacekeeping Force staff are Navy Lt. Commander Jorge Vicente Aganan Jr. and Lt. Col. Emilio Felicen..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110411hed2.html

IFJ: Massacre case still moving slowly under Noy 04/11/2011

IFJ: Massacre case still moving slowly under Noy

International media groups are asking why despite the change in leadership, the Maguindanao massacre case is still moving at a snail’s pace.

International press freedom organiza-tions, thus, called on President Aquino to direct his administration to provide the necessary resources and support to ensure the swift prosecution of suspects accused of murdering journalists and media workers in the celebrated case.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said it is already 500 days since the November 2009 massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, in Maguindanao.

Philippine and international organi-zations jointly expressed their outrage and deep concerns at the continuing delays in prosecuting key suspects in the massacre and other media killings in the Philippines, the IFJ said in a statement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110411hed3.html

Binay warns OFWs anew on drug trade peril 04/11/2011

Binay warns OFWs anew on drug trade peril

Vice President Jejomar Binay has appealed anew to Filipinos not to be lured by promises of money from drug syndicates and to decline requests to bring luggage or items outside the couantry.

Binay’s statement came after a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that another Filipina is facing death penalty in Indonesia for drug smuggling.

The suspect was appre-hended by Indonesian authorities at the Adi Sumarmo Airport in Solo, Central Java, for possession of 1.193 kilograms of class I type of heroin last April 3, four days after three Filipinos were executed in China for the same offense.

“I’m asking our countrymen not to accept packages containing drugs in exchange for money. You should not be lured by promises of money and.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110411hed5.html

Food group calls on Noynoy to address ‘hard life’ of Pinoys 04/11/2011

Food group calls on Noynoy to address ‘hard life’ of Pinoys

A network of food security organizations called on President Aquino over the weekend to implement a package of urgent measures to relieve consumers of high prices after a survey found that a growing number of people were experiencing hunger and considering themselves poor under his administration.

Among the short-term measures the Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS) proposes include suspension of the implementation of the 12 percent value-added tax (VAT), suspension of oil price hikes, increase of minimum wage, and increase of production and price support for farmers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110411nat6.html

Bongbong Marcos mum on half-Australian sister By Ted Boehnert 04/11/2011

Bongbong Marcos mum on half-Australian sister

By Ted Boehnert 04/11/2011

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya — Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was mum over reports of his supposed Australian half-sister when he graced the 20th Commencement Exercises of PLT College here last Friday.

He neither confirmed nor denied the information concerning his alleged Australian half-sister Analisa Josefa Hegyesi..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110411nat7.html

Thousands of residents near Taal Volcano defy Phivolcs warning 04/11/2011

Thousands of residents near Taal Volcano defy Phivolcs warning

Thousands of people living near a volcano in an island close to Manila defied official warnings to evacuate last Sunday as fears of an eruption grew.

Only 77 people living near the crater of Taal Volcano left the island, a popular visitor spot 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of Manila, over the weekend, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

The island is home to 7,000 farmers, fishermen and tourist guides, according to the country’s volcanology institute..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110411nat1.html

P4.5-million plunder case slapped against Atienza By Pat C. Santos 04/11/2011

P4.5-million plunder case slapped against Atienza

By Pat C. Santos 04/11/2011

The Manila city government has filed a P4.5-million plunder case against former Mayor and Environment Secretary Lito Atienza in connection with the alleged overpricing in the project to dredge the historic Pasig River.

Also named respondents in a 21-page complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman by Manila assistant city administrator Amado Tetangco were architect Deogracias Tablan and engineer Alan Gatpolintan, executive director and assistant executive director, respectively, of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC).

Atienza, Tablan and Gatpolintan were charged for allegedly conspiring to award to the Belgian company Baggerwerken Decloedt (BDT) a hugely overpriced contract for the dredging of the Pasig River in October 2008..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110411met1.html

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