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The Daily Tribune

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Make or break EDITORIAL 05/04/2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Make or break

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Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile is right in his analysis that the next Ombudsman can make or break Noynoy Aquino’s government. He must perforce make the right choice in appointing the next Ombudsman, who will have to be measured by higher standards, given the many charges leveled against resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez on the turtle-slow pace she had in resolving cases, along with the charge that she was so incompetent that she had a very low rate of conviction.
Noynoy and his allies demonized Merci too much that Filipinos will now expect the new Ombudsman not only to resolve complaints and their investigation and resolution with speed but also measure the new Ombudsman’s “competence” through a high conviction rate.

In other words, by wrecking the reputation of Merci as an Ombudsman, Noynoy gave himself a bigger problem with a new Ombudsman who may not fit the public’s expectation.

There is very little question that whoever becomes the next Ombudsman will be going after the previous Malacañang occupant and her officials. This is expected, and it is just as certain that whoever Noynoy appoints to that top position will also share his bias against Noynoy’s political foes. Naturally, since the focus will be on the previous administration officials, Noynoy’s allies and cronies will be spared of any and all charges and prosecution..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110504com1.html

Double standard FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/04/2011

Double standard

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
The world rejoices at the death of the face of terror, Osama bin Laden, although it is evident that even if he was killed, along with his son and three others, terrorism has not been killed along with him.

But while it is a relief to know that Bin Laden is finally gone, it is disturbing to realize that the United States and its “special forces” which is in reality a group of assassins, are into highly-covert operations to kill whoever they have targeted to be assassinated.

Reports have filtered in that Bin Laden was shot in the head, which can only mean that he was killed in cold blood, and by a sharp shooter, maybe a sniper even, instead of the special forces capturing him and the rest and bringing him to court to face justice.

It is a disturbing thought because anytime America or the Western powers want to eliminate a foe, all it does is to send their assassins to do away with that foe, or, as it is in the case of Libyan strongman Moamar Khadaffi, they go to the extent of bombing, not military installations, but a residence of the son of Kadhaffi, the daughter in law and even grandchildren of Khadaffi — and all contrary to the UN resolution that does not allow the assassination of the Libyan strongman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110504com2.html

Left-leaning party rises as Canada vote redraws map FEATURE 05/04/2011

Left-leaning party rises as Canada vote redraws map


MONTREAL — Voters have redrawn Canada’s political map, electing as the official opposition a social democratic party that engaged the middle class and made deep gains in Quebec.

“It’s dramatically revolutionary,” Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, told AFP.

Projections showed the New Democratic Party, led by former municipal politician Jack Layton, capturing 43 percent of the vote in Quebec and more than 30 percent across the country in Monday’s poll.

It humbled its three rivals in all-important Quebec, which holds a quarter of seats in parliament, destroying the Bloc Quebecois’ separatist hegemony and routing the Liberal Party, historically Canada’s strongest political group..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110504com3.html

On subsidies and other matters C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 05/04/2011

On subsidies and other matters

Jonathan De la Cruz
Now that the administration has embarked on a subsidy spree, targeted or otherwise, as some labor groups noted, it will do well for the implementors to come out with precise and, yes, simple guidelines to ensure that everybody, including the proposed beneficiaries understand how the schemes work. Otherwise, things will be lost in the translation, so to speak. We have been witness to many well-intentioned projects, especially those involving the provision of benefits for certain sectors getting muddled up or turn into lemons all because the parties failed to fully understand what the project package was all about.

Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and his colleague, DILG boss Jesse Robredo, have come out with one in the case of the fuel subsidy (Pantawid Pasada) plan for jeepneys and tricycle drivers. We will soon see how this scheme works and how effective it really is given the brickbats  it has gotten from some transport groups which have taken issue not only with the scheme itself (“band aid” and tokenism were the critics’ buzzwords) but with the cost of administering the same. Among others, the critics have asked how the beneficiaries were selected, how much did the subsidy cards cost and whether its manufacture was bid out and other related issues accompanying this foray. Maybe Almendras and Robredo should mount a simple question and answer (Q & A) campaign focused on these issues to avoid getting sucked into a quagmire which can turn this initiative into an embarrassment before it even gets off the ground or, gets expanded to include other transport groups such as truck and taxi drivers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110504com4.html

Where to? What now? HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 05/04/2011

Where to? What now?

Aldrin Cardon
Not a few, perhaps, have noticed the quickening hoofbeats of CIA operations in Pakistan when one of its operators named Raymond Davis was charged with killing two locals whom he accused of allegedly trying to rob him early this year.

The Davis case somehow soured US-Pakistan relations as American interest was on the line when Pakistani authorities insisted in putting Davis to trial, to which the US objected.

The Davis case was somehow parallel to that of another CIA operator who lost a limb when the bomb he was assembling in a hotel room in Davao accidentally set off. Nothing was heard of since from that CIA man soon after his presence was detected at the height of local political uncertainties brought about by the combined problems of poor national leadership, upheavals in the military and the threat from internationally-affiliated terrorist groups based in Mindanao.

Barely four months after the Davis caper, no less than US President Obama announced a “successful raid” in what was otherwise deemed an improbable Bin Laden hideout in Pakistan, coming May Day that is believed to have broken the al-Qaeda’s back..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110504com6.html

Wild, wild world SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 05/04/2011

Wild, wild world

Dinah S. Ventura
Almost 10 years after the the World Trade Center in New York City fell under terrorist hands, the leader of that deadly movement to wound the Western world is dead. Osama bin Laden died in a raid by US forces on his hideout in Pakistan.

The jubilant reaction among Americans, who lost so much and have continued to grieve since that fateful Sept.11 day, is perfectly understandable. But so are, of course, worries of a possible retaliation by his followers with the death of the al-Qaeda movement leader. The world may have condemned what was deemed as a senseless, criminal act, but the jihadi movement nevertheless grew by leaps and bounds after the tragic terror attack in 2001.

911 spawned a dangerous war, one that caused the US to take its forces to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as modify its foreign policy. The world was never the same again, and even our country became party to the global “fight against terror.”

With Bin Laden’s death, US President Barack Obama has declared: “Justice has been done.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110504com7.html

Palace wants ‘absolute’ exemptions for Aquino on FoI bill By Aytch S. de la Cruz 05/04/2011

Palace wants ‘absolute’ exemptions for Aquino on FoI bill

By Aytch S. de la Cruz 05/04/2011

The draft legislation seeking the enactment of President Aquino’s preferred version of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act is expected to start rolling today with a discussion between members of the Presi-dential Communications Group (ComsGroup) and administration ally, Quezon Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada, author of House Bill (HB) 53, Malacañang said yesterday.

According to presiden-tial spokesman Edwin Lacierda, the Aquino administration remains committed to implement an FoI Bill that would cater to both the public’s right to know and right to privacy by certain government institutions.

“We’re discussing it with Congressman Tañada but we hope that we can move the FoI Bill. We just want to make sure that the rights of the individuals concerned in the government are also protected,” Lacierda said in a chance interview with reporters following a mass oath-taking cere-mony presided by Aquino inside Malacañang..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110504hed3.html

Solon scores Noy for absolving Purisima on tax issues, zeroing in on Arroyos By Charlie V. Manalo 05/04/2011

Solon scores Noy for absolving Purisima on tax issues, zeroing in on Arroyos

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/04/2011

Zambales Rep. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay yesterday scored the Aquino administration for its double standard approach in the imple-mentation of the law, absolving its allies while convicting without trial its perceived enemies.

Magsaysay issued the statement after reports came out that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is all set to investigate the youngest son of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo, over the possibility the younger Arroyo might have cheated on his tax payment.

“Finance Secretary (Cesar) Purisima has also problems reconciling his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Networth (SALn) and income tax returns from 2007 to 2009. Apparently, his SALn won’t jibe with his declared income and the taxes he paid. So why is the BIR not lifting a finger on this matter of Purisima’s evasion of taxes and unpaid taxes (based on his assets and and his ITR?),” Magsaysay said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110504hed4.html

SC wants Comelec, Congress explanation on ARMM poll hitch By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/04/2011

SC wants Comelec, Congress explanation on ARMM poll hitch

By Benjamin B. Pulta 05/04/2011

Officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Senate and the House of Representatives have been ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) to explain their positions on whether the Aug. 8, 2011 Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections should push through.

The ruling was made in two cases filed by Datu Michael Abad Kida, of the Maguindanao Federation of Autonomous Irrigators Association Inc., Hadji Muhmina Usman of Tawi-Tawi; lawyer John Anthony Lim from Sulu and other barangay officials and residents in Basilan and Lanao del Sur.

They said lawmakers are playing “moro-moro” with the dates of the ARMM election citing several laws passed setting the elections.

But they pointed out that the ARMM Organic Act or Republic Act 9504 fixes the date of election to second Monday of September which should have been followed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110504nat1.html

AFP sends battle-tested battalion members to Golan Heights 05/04/2011

AFP sends battle-tested battalion members to Golan Heights

Members of an Army battalion, credited for the successful counter-insurgency operations in Quezon province, will mainly comprise the 327-man Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) peacekeeping missionin the war-torn Golan Heights region.

Of the 327-man 4th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights, 169 officers and enlisted personnel came from the Army’s 76th Infantry Battalion (IB), led by Col. Cornelio Valencia.

“This is the first time in AFP’s history that a core battalion from a major service is sent to the United Nations for peace keeping operations. This idea is to send a core group to emphasize unit integrity and enhance competitiveness with foreign contingents,” Valencia said.

The AFP usually creates peacekeeping contingent by pulling out personnel from various units of the three major service commands, namely, the Army, Navy and the Air Force..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110504nat5.html

MTRCB bans for one month showing of Willing Willie for running counter to Pinoy values 05/04/2011

MTRCB bans for one month showing of Willing Willie for running counter to Pinoy values

Philippine censors yesterday slapped a month-long ban on a wildly popular television show amid public uproar over a program in which a six-year-old was cajoled into simulating a striptease.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) concluded the March 12 episode of Willing Willie violated a law against immoral and indecent broadcasts that run counter to Filipino values.

“Celebrities and TV personalities should exercise the highest degree of care and diligence as they are the most (frequently) seen and their reach and influence is far greater than any other individual,” the ruling read.

“It is the responsibility of the network and their talents to educate themselves regarding gender sensitivity, children and women’s rights issues... and (how to treat) other marginalized sectors of society.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110504met2.html

De Lima, two other gov’t officials charged over deportation of Taiwanese By Arlie O. Calalo 05/04/2011

De Lima, two other gov’t officials charged over deportation of Taiwanese

By Arlie O. Calalo 05/04/2011

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula were slapped yesterday with a criminal complaint by a lawyer before the Office of the Ombudsman over the controversial deportation of 14 Taiwanese last February.

In a four-page urgent motion for investigation, lawyer Reynaldo Bagatsing named De Lima, Gatdula and then immigration bureau officer-in-charge Ronaldo Ledesma in his complaint for possible violation of Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act” and Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

In filing the complaint, Bagatsing said there was no basis for the concerned government officials to order the summary deportation last Feb. 2 of the 14 Taiwanese because they showed documents they were legally admitted to the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110504met1.html

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