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To tax or not to tax EDITORIAL 04/29/2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

To tax or not to tax

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Noynoy is in a quandary. The budget would be in a perpetually huge deficit if his administration does not take action in matching government expenditures with what is being earned through primarily taxes.

The other side of the equation is that the government needs to spend more as the nation’s need for basic services grows and along with it, higher allocations for the payments of interests and principals on debts when the shortfall in the budget hit record levels since the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo.

Revenues of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs are making modest gains in meeting targets but the efforts will not likely be enough if the deficit in the budget would be drastically reduced from its current astronomical levels of above P300 billion every year which is equated with more borrowings by the government..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110429com1.html

Weak case FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 04/29/2011

Weak case

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
It makes headlines, but the plunder complaint filed against former President Gloria Arroyo and her former officials probably will get nowhere, basically because Frank Chavez’s complaint is full of holes, despite his claims of having “hard” evidence to prove his charges.

Chavez really should start boning up on the plunder law because for one, even if the amount mentioned taken from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) funds and transferred to other government agencies fits the plunder amount, the fact that Gloria — at least from official documents as of this time — did not personally benefit from it.

Of course Chavez claims she did benefit from it, saying that he has proof OWWA funds were transferred to PhilHealth for health cards’ distribution timed for her election. His proof was a memorandum from then PhilHealth chief Francisco Duque stating in essence that these OWWA funds for health cards would “enhance” her chances in her electoral bid for the presidency in 2004..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/

Focus on safety at Brazil nuclear plant after Japan FEATURE 04/29/2011

Focus on safety at Brazil nuclear plant after Japan


ANGRA DOS REIS — Brazil’s Angra dos Reis bay is a tropical paradise that attracts droves of tourists each year. But it is also sharply in focus as the home of the nation’s only nuclear power plant.

Brazilian officials insist things are safe at the two pressurized water reactors, Angra I and Angra II, which face the sea some 150 kilometers (90 miles) west of Rio de Janeiro.

But security improvements have been stepped up in the wake of the devastating disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, crippled by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

“We were taking measures (to improve security), but Fukushima accelerated them,” Jose Manuel Diaz Francisco, in charge of security at Electronuclear, the public company in charge of the plants, told AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110429com3.html

Trench warfare C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 04/29/2011

Trench warfare

Jonathan De la Cruz
Those who are assuming and continue to insist that P-Noy’s “all-out war” against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and others perceived to be obstacles (or, in some instances the very poster boys and girls’ of corrupt practices) in his administration’s avowed battle against graft and corruption is all for show, are gravely mistaken. They should now realize that the battle is for real as far as the regime is concerned no matter that some sectors are saying the Chief Executive is simply diverting public attention from his own inadequacies.

They should now start imbibing P-Noy’s campaign slogan kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap and be ready for the consequences. As for us mortals we better be prepared to endure five solid years of trench warfare featuring P-Noy and his gladiators versus all others who, in their view, may be out of line or those who are simply exhausted and pissed off with this never-ending cycle of retribution. As one pundit noted, our penchant for national self-flagellation is simply indescribable. It is, in his view, beyond compare and, yes, self-defeating. Indeed, it is and will be a tough life especially for us ordinary folks because as things stand, the lines have been drawn and there seems to be no turning back. But first, let us revisit P-Noy’s “articles of faith and governance,” as it were, if only to ensure that we, the Filipino people, and, in his own inaugural words, P-Noy’s bosses, understand fully and properly from where his seemingly inexplicable crusade is coming. For it is only through a proper reading of these articles will we responsibly divine what prompts P-Noy and his advocates to do the things they have been doing almost a year into his six-year term..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110429com4.html

Royal Wedding frenzy turns off many Americans focus 04/29/2011

Royal Wedding frenzy turns off many Americans


WASHINGTON — For every American setting an alarm clock to go off before dawn Friday to catch the Royal Wedding, there is at least one curmudgeon glowering in a corner, eagerly waiting for the whole thing to be over.

In America, as in Britain, the wedding of Kate and William is almost inescapable.

Food sections of US newspapers have reprinted scone recipes. Entrepreneurial vendors are hawking commemorative tea cosies and replicas of Kate Middleton’s now-famous sapphire engagement ring.

And a popular cable station last week aired the made-for-television romance William and Kate, viewed by millions of Americans..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110429com7.html

Shiites decry ‘persecution in Bahrain’ focus 04/29/2011

Shiites decry ‘persecution in Bahrain’


DUBAI — Bahrain persists in persecuting members of its Shiite majority in “systematic” human rights violations, seven weeks after crushing a month-long pro-democracy protest, activists say.

Shiites face fast-tracked martial courts, continued detention of hundreds, demolition of mosques and arbitrary dismissal of employees in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, they say.

At least 567 people, including 38 women, remain in detention, former MP Matar Matar told AFP, out of around 1,000 people rounded up after security forces quelled the protest on March 16.

“We are in touch with international organisations to highlight the systematic violations by the authorities,” he said, claiming the government was taking advantage of “international silence” over the violations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110429com6.html

Political implosion imminent DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/29/2011

Political implosion imminent

Herman Tiu Laurel
As I write this piece, I recall my recent radio chat with “Sorry Yellow Movement” lead convenor Linggoy Alcuaz. He sees the accelerating collapse of the current regime, citing as a major fissure in the political firmament the declared intention of the presidential uncle, Rep. Peping Cojuangco to actively join the PDP group identified with Binay. “Tito Joe,” as Peping is known in their family circle, was followed by “Tita Tingting,” who resigned from her post as head of a government safety academy connected with state security institutions.

Alcuaz adds that these tremors are just a precursor to more earthquakes ahead as the deadline nears for the one year-ban on appointments, where only one out of 10 of PeNoy’s losing partymates from the 2010 elections can ever hope to get appointed. Many of these un-appointed loyalists will then start to grumble as PeNoy is now a captive of the warring Balay and Samar groups, himself bereft of any redeeming accomplishment.

At the same time, I recall my discussions with leading pro-PeNoy figures from three major economic sections of society — the rice, dairy and coconut sectors. In all, the judgment is the same: The present government has been a massive letdown.

The rice sector’s problems are clearly reflected in the contradicting pronouncements of PeNoy’s Agriculture secretary and his National Food Authority chief, with the former declaring no need for rice imports but with the latter openly contradicting it.

In the dairy sector, the country’s premier organizer of farmer-dairy production networking and marketing says PeNoy’s government has absolutely no support for efforts to increase farm income through production substitution of the country’s yearly P100-billion dairy imports. While he admittedly supported PeNoy as he was taken in by the Yellow mania, when I reminded him that it was President Estrada who was his industry’s biggest supporter, he acknowledged his error.

The coconut industry, meanwhile, which directly and indirectly supports the livelihood of some 20 million Filipinos, initially had high hopes. Coming from the past administration’s kleptocracy, particularly in state coconut institutions such as Philcoa (which was headed by a tradpol), coconut farmers and entrepreneurs anticipated changes; but their hopes were short lived.

To everyone’s disappointment, a coconut NGO leader averred that another non-coconut man was appointed to Philcoa, resulting again in paralysis, where coconut exports slumped severely in the first quarter while coconut development programs continue to be at a standstill.

As the combined rice, dairy and coconut sectors constitute 70 percent of the country’s population, the multi-layered incompetence plus the breakdown of PeNoy’s political coalition, notwithstanding his regime’s administrative aimlessness in the critical economic sectors, all predicate disaster for the Filipino people.

Can we wait until 2016 to take another shot at changing the leadership that is obviously failing big even at this early stage? Can we sit idly by when the food price crisis starts impacting on the people by the third quarter, with the full force of a Fukushima-like tsunami and nuclear disaster, as we face PeNoy’s unceasing commitment to his masters at the US Embassy and the IMF-WB to increase VAT from 12 to 15 percent, to raise MRT/LRT fares, and to keep unchecked the murderously escalating fuel prices pushed by the global “oily-garchs?”

It probably won’t be like Oakwood in 2003 or the 2006 Marine standoff but there certainly will be a new variation that is more political than military. Such a move will be prompted by the pressing need to save the nation from the unprecedented crises that have emerged from a second of year of PeNoy’s massively failing governance and irreconcilable turf wars.

The genuine opposition must come together, prepared for this imminent implosion. By “genuine opposition,” we do not mean the GMA-led trapos who are engaged in a moro-moro with the sitting administration via a fake, acoustic war around the issues of Merci Gutierrez and this new, designed-to-fail Frank Chavez plunder case against Gloria Arroyo. (Why not revive the “Hello Garci” case when all the evidence is there?)
By genuine opposition, we mean the peasants, farmers, coconut planters, workers, as well as urban poor movements — the constituency that is bearing the brunt of PeNoy’s failures. By taking to the streets once more, much like in Edsa III of 2001, the nation can finally install a leadership that is both sincere in its passion for the people and armed with a competence born of experience, maturity and wisdom. Lest it be nipped in the bud, we shall not name names just yet. But believe me, it is growing and biding its time.

To continue our post-Lenten recap from the last column, here’s my take on the cultural front: The Revillame imbroglio is really a political campaign to clobber the entertainer for repeatedly snubbing the Yellow powers. If cultural reformation were the real goal, then they’d also have to demand for a review of Tito, Vic and Joey’s decades-long trashy fare. With the growing number of street children which the Commission on Human Rights isn’t doing anything about, this Jan-Jan child abuse charge by Etta Rosales, et al. is pure hypocrisy.

On the global front, a recent event encapsulates how pitiful some local opinion writers are for being hoodwinked by the West’s info manipulation: The resignation of Al Jazeera Beirut bureau chief, Ghassan Ben Jeddo, over his former network’s unprofessional coverage of Libya — where massacres that never took place were repeated over and over — and Bahrain — where massacres that did take place have been all but ignored. Need I say more?

(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 “Edsa Tres Revisited;” 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/20110429com5.html

DoJ not ordered to take charge of Gloria’s plunder raps — Noynoy By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 04/29/2011

DoJ not ordered to take charge of Gloria’s plunder raps — Noynoy

By Aytch S. de la Cruz and Angie M. Rosales 04/29/2011

Malacañang yesterday feigned ignorance over Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s move to claim jurisdiction over the plunder charges filed recently by former Solicitor General Francisco “Frank” Chavez against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said De Lima was acting on her own and did not receive any order from Aquino when she decided to take over the case filed by Chavez instead of having Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, an Aquino foe, take on the case, since government officials and employees’ cases are usually lodged in the Office of the Ombudsman.

De Lima reportedly also wants the plunder cases against Arroyo pending in the Ombudsman’s Office transferred to the Department of Justice (DoJ)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110429hed1.html

MILF trying to woo back Kato; gov’t panel expresses alarm By Michaela P. del Callar 04/29/2011

MILF trying to woo back Kato; gov’t panel expresses alarm

By Michaela P. del Callar 04/29/2011

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has ordered its rogue commander currently leading a separate armed group to immediately return to its fold and stop staging rebellions.

In an official resolution adopted on March 23, 2011 that was released on Thursday, the MILF, the country’s largest separatist Muslim group, stopped short of expelling Ameril Umbra Kato even as the Philippine government and MILF have said that the new faction would derail the ongoing peace process and threaten the security and stability of Mindanao.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the government and MILF are holding talks, Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the MILF peace panel, said Kato “has not yet burned his bridges” with the group..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110429hed3.html

Bar blast suspect charged by DoJ By Benjamin B. Pulta 04/29/2011

Bar blast suspect charged by DoJ

By Benjamin B. Pulta 04/29/2011

Criminal charges for multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder have been recommended yesterday by the Department of Justice (DoJ) against a member of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity in connection with the grenade attack outside the De La Salle University last Sept. 26.

In a 21-page resolution, prosecution lawyer Gerard Gaerlan recommended the filing of charges which were then approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.

The Justice department also found probable cause to indict Anthony Nepomuceno of Mogpog, Marinduque for illegal possession of explosive.

The DoJ ruled that Nepo-muceno’s alibi that he could not have committed the crime because he was not present at the La Salle premises when the bombing took place “is weak.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110429hed2.html

Air Force jump master dies in Pampanga skydiving mishap 04/29/2011

Air Force jump master dies in Pampanga skydiving mishap

An Air Force jump master died after his parachute malfunctioned during a training at Clark Airbase in Pampanga last Wednesday.

Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol identified the fatality as M/Sgt. Samuel Nagac, an acclaimed jump master of the 770th Special Operations and Combat Support Group.

Nagac, Okol said, was among the five jumpers undergoing capability training on airborne operations when the fatal accident happened. The Air Force men jumped from a Huey helicopter..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110429hed6.html

Widow-maker aircraft crashes anew; pilot dead By Mario J. Mallari 04/29/2011

Widow-maker aircraft crashes anew; pilot dead

By Mario J. Mallari 04/29/2011

An Air Force trainer jet crashed yesterday near a resort in Bataan province, killing one of its two pilots.

Military Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) chief Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan confirmed that an Air Force S-211 trainer jet crashed near Stela Mariz Beach Resort in Barangay Banawang, Bagac town.

Pangilinan said that one of the pilots was confirmed dead but he did not give the name pending confirmation.
“Aircraft disintegrated upon impact…one confirmed dead,” Pangilinan said.

According to Pangilinan, heavy rains were ongoing at the crash site at press time yesterday..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110429nat1.html

Complaints against Willie based on tampered YouTube video — Revillame’s counsel 04/29/2011

Complaints against Willie based on tampered YouTube video — Revillame’s counsel

Lawyer Leonard de Vera said yesterday that the child abuse complaints against Willie Revillame, including one filed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), were based on eight minutes of video spliced and doctored and then uploaded on YouTube to make his client look bad.

De Vera said that a viewing of the unedited 48 minutes of TV appearance by six-year-old Jan-jan would show that the eight-minute YouTube video misrepresented the actual events and their proper context in an obvious bid to portray Revillame as a child abuser.

Revillame’s counsel said that Jan-jan only cried twice in the six times he danced on Revillame’s show last March 12, but that the uploaded YouTube clip made it appear like he was crying all the time..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110429nat2.html

MMDA gives green light to 10 renowned artists to re-design walls and pillars of Edsa 04/29/2011

MMDA gives green light to 10 renowned artists to re-design walls and pillars of Edsa

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has given the green light to 10 renowned artists in the country to paint the walls and pillars of Edsa with the aim of providing a respite from the drab surroundings of smoke-belching vehicles and billboards and a refreshing contrast that can help commuters and motorists calm down when they’re stuck in traffic.

The MMDA with the support of a leading paint manufacturing company, top-rate science and art have put together an urban renewal initiative, dubbed the Edsa Project, that will enable not only huge artworks to be posted on eight strategic locations along Metro Manila’s main road artery but will also lessen air pollution through the use of a local breakthrough air-cleaning paint as well.

This year-long Edsa Project will be launched on May 7, in Barangay San Lorenzo, Makati City to coincide with the village’s Community Day celebration.

The artists will compose eight artworks and execute them with the Knox-Out paint by Boysen, a paint that uses sunlight to transform poisons in the air, particularly nitrogen oxide, into a harmless residue that is easily washed away by rain..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110429met5.html

Two lawmakers oppose use of full-body scanners at NAIA By Gerry Baldo 04/29/2011

Two lawmakers oppose use of full-body scanners at NAIA

By Gerry Baldo 04/29/2011

Two lawmakers from Mindanao yesterday pushed an investigation into the plan of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to acquire full-body scanners for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) amid complaints that these intrude into the privacy of the travelers.

According to Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and his brother Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, the use of the machines would virtually strip those who go through it.

“They are also known as ‘virtual strip search’ because they use low levels of radiation to see terrorist contraband and provide a very detailed image of the travelers’ naked body,” the Rodriguezes said in House Resolution 1115..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110429met1.html

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