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20% president EDITORIAL 05/24/2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

20% president

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Mar Roxas appears to have surmounted all the hurdles thrown at his path toward Malacañang as the Palace itself announced his imminent posting as the Chief of Staff early next month.

Mar had to tiptoe through the criticisms strewn along his path. He was accused of aching to have his hand officially on Noynoy’s nape to turn his head where Mar desires.

There was this much talked about 80-20 pact between him and Noynoy in which Mar would take over 80 percent of the functions of the presidency, reserving the rest to Noynoy, thus offering him more room to slacken up..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110524com1.html

Tasting power FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 05/24/2011

Tasting power

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
With two major factions in Malacañang pushing and pulling at each other every step of the way, there is little to wonder that an even more intense power play is at work, not just in the Palace but also in the House of Representatives.

The talk today is the possible ouster of Speaker Sonny Belmonte, whose weak leadership in the House is said to be in question, and the justification for his ouster, so it is being bruited about, is the non-release of the pork barrel that was supposedly promised them, for Noynoy to get total support for the impeachment of then Ombudsman Merci Gutierrez.

Obviously, someone else within the Liberal Party (LP) in the House wants to get the speakership, because truth to tell, if the pork barrel hasn’t been released, the fault lies with Noynoy and his Budget secretary, Butch Abad, who is, however, in the Mar Roxas-Balay clique, that is getting more powerful each day..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110524com2.html

Myanmar refugees living in fear focus 05/24/2011

Myanmar refugees living in fear


MAE LA CAMP — At first sight the bamboo huts nestled at the foot of soaring limestone cliffs in the jungle could be mistaken for an eco-tourism haven — except for the barbed wire and armed guards.

Beyond the perimeter fence and security checkpoints, designed to keep the residents in and unwanted visitors out, tens of thousands of refugees from war-torn eastern Myanmar are living in fear of being sent home.

Thailand’s announcement in April that it wants to close nine border camps, holding more than 140,000 displaced people, has sent ripples of anxiety through the traumatized communities after a more than two-decade presence..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110524com3.html

The zombies still walk AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 05/24/2011

The zombies still walk

Ken Fuller
Last week, this column looked at how, in The Predator State, James K. Galbraith demonstrates that the theory of “comparative advantage” (“comp-ad” in our shorthand) is completely divorced from the realities of the modern trading world and is, anyway, just plain wrong.

When David Ricardo came up with comp-ad, Britain was the rising capitalist pioneer, with a considerable colonial empire. Free trade, which comp-ad was designed to support, was in Britain’s interest as, being the most developed player, it could only benefit by gaining access to foreign markets. More, the comp-ad theory could be deployed to convince its colonies that their future lay in producing primary products, while Britain’s lay in its manufactures, thus ensuring there was no competition with the imperial “motherland.”

But are people still under the spell of the comp-ad mantra? I ran a simple test, typing in the words “comparative advantage” to the search engines of a number of newspaper sites. The number of results were as follows. Manila Times: 1; inquirer.net: 224; Malaya: 6; BusinessWorld: 50; Philippine Star: 55; Manila Standard Today: 17. An archive search of Business Mirror yielded eight results. The search engine of the Daily Tribune was not working. We must therefore concede that comp-ad, although dead as a guide to the real world, still walks abroad at night. And there are some illuminating pieces among my search results..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110524com4.html

Sex Bill 4244 VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 05/24/2011

Sex Bill 4244

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
There are times when the sad truth has to be said. There are occasions when dire reality must be pointed out. And this is that instance when one has to call a spade nothing else but a spade. Now, why call the now hotly debated issue “Sex Bill 4244”?

To call it “Reproductive Health Bill” is a big distortion. Reason: The bill is not “reproductive” simply because it is against reproduction. Neither may be bill be considered as about “Health” precisely because the chemicals in the contraceptive pills can be anything but healthy.

To title it “Responsible Parenthood Bill” is gross falsity. Why? It is specifically against parenthood. And it particularly promotes irresponsibility by promoting the unlimited enjoyment of copulative right yet deliberately separating the parental obligation that could come from it..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110524com5.html

Dog, bless you: US church exalts man’s best friend focus 05/24/2011

Dog, bless you: US church exalts man’s best friend


WASHINGTON — Under a hot sun and clear spring skies, Teddy and Logan joined Yoko and Bentley and a few dozen like them on the steps of an 80-year-old church in Washington, and cocked an ear.

They were at the National City Christian Church on Sunday for the fifth annual blessing of the dogs and, yes, Teddy and Logan, Yoko and Bentley are all dogs.

The blessing of the dogs is not to be confused with the blessing of the animals, which usually falls in the autumn on the feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.

This particular blessing ceremony began as an unabashed way to introduce more people to the National City Christian church in Washington, which is considered the cathedral of the Disciples of Christ denomination, a US branch of Christianity that was founded more than 200 years ago..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110524com7.html

Philippine bird sanctuary under threat FEATURE 05/24/2011

Philippine bird sanctuary under threat


A plan to reclaim land on Manila Bay is ruffling feathers, with conservationists warning the project would destroy one of the Philippine capital’s last nature reserves and bird sanctuaries.

Salt marshes, tidal areas and three mangrove-clad islands that make up the 175-hectare zone are a home or a resting spot for dozens of bird species, including the globally-threatened Philippine duck and Chinese egret.

In a sprawling megacity of more than 12 million people that has seen decades of chaotic development, the area known as Coastal Lagoons is vital because there are so few other bird habitats left, environmentalists say.

“It is the last coastal frontier in Metropolitan Manila, the last of its kind,” said Rey Aguinaldo, a US-trained biologist who manages the Coastal Lagoons for the environment ministry..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110524com6.html

LP plots House coup, backs Abaya as Speaker By Charlie V. Manalo 05/24/2011


LP plots House coup, backs Abaya as Speaker

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/24/2011

A coup in the House of Representatives is in the works and a group led by Liberal Party (LP) members in the chamber will back Cavite Rep. Joseph Emil Abaya to replace Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte.

Abaya, however, categorically denied he is involved in the Belmonte ouster plot and that he is out to grab the Speakership.

This even as a Tribune source revealed that a group of lawmakers identified with a faction within the Liberal Party (LP) is now recruiting support to have Belmonte replaced as Speaker of the 15th Congress..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

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

Sandiganbayan convicts two Air Force execs for graft By Arlie O. Calalo 05/24/2011

Sandiganbayan convicts two Air Force execs for graft

By Arlie O. Calalo 05/24/2011

Two ranking officials of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) were found guilty by the Sandiganbayan of unlawfully selling four generators worth P.8 million in 2002.

Guilty were Brig. Gen. Vladimir Binondo de los Trino, commander of PAF’s 2nd Tactical Operations Wing (TOW) and Maj. Antonio Jason Garcia, TOW’s 564th supply squadron commander.

Each was ordered to serve 18 to 27 years in prison.

In a 47-page decision, the anti-graft court’s 3rd Division said De los Trino and Garcia were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating provisions of Republic Act 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Revised Penal Code (RPC) on malversation of public funds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110524nat1.html

Storm ‘Chedeng’ enters RP By Jason Faustino 05/24/2011

Storm ‘Chedeng’ enters RP

By Jason Faustino 05/24/2011

Tropical storm “Chedeng” (International Name: Songda) has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility as it slightly continued moving toward west northwest direction yesterday morning.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Chedeng was about 795 km east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph.

It said Chedeng was moving west northwest at 15 kph and is expected to be 540 km east northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar on today morning..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110524nat4.html

MMDA chairman: I’m not a protector of Nova Bus firm By Pat C. Santos 05/24/2011

MMDA chairman: I’m not a protector of Nova Bus firm

By Pat C. Santos 05/24/2011

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino yesterday clarified he was not a protector of the Nova Bus company that was tagged as the third vehicle that bumped the taxi that caused the death of veteran journalist and university professor Lourdes “Chit” Estella Simbulan Friday night of May 13 near the UP-Ayala Land Techno Hub in Quezon City.

This was announced by Tolentino during the press conference held at his office in Orense, Makati City where he made an appeal to some witnesses who may be passengers of Universal Guiding Star Bus Line which, according to driver Daniel Espinosa, rammed the taxi carrying Simbulan which was then bumped from behind by speeding Nova Bus Line.

“Basing on the testimony of bus driver Daniel Espinosa that he could not make a high speed on his bus because he was loaded with passengers and the maximum load of it is between 60 and 70 passengers which can be potential witness to shed light on the real story” Tolentino said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110524met4.html

Solon warns of chaos, anarchy at LTO if Stradcom is not paid By Charlie V. Manalo 05/24/2011

Solon warns of chaos, anarchy at LTO if Stradcom is not paid

By Charlie V. Manalo 05/24/2011
The House committee on transportation and communications headed by Southern Leyte Rep. Rogelio Mercado has filed a committee report calling on President Aquino to honor the government’s obligation to Stradcom by ordering the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) and the Land Transportation Office to immediately pay what is due to their IT provider for the services it has rendered or face the prospects of LTO returning to manual operations which would result in chaos and anarchy among the hundreds of thousands vehicle owners.

According to Mercado, the possibility of chaos and anarchy at the LTO is a real and present danger which is precisely why the committee is also urging the DoTC and LTO to fully assess the ramifications of a manual system and its overall consequences to the agency’s delivery of public service, Mercado said.

Mercado explained the LTO should be ready with a viable and effective contingency plan to perform manual operations and to prepare for the worse case scenario that Stradcom will be forced to stop its operations because of LTO’s failure to settle its contractual obligations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110524met2.html

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