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A zarzuela of past errors DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 08/05/2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

A zarzuela of past errors

Herman Tiu Laurel
Finger-pointing is again the order of the day. Not long after Sen. Tito Sotto challenged his colleagues, Kiko Pangilinan and Franklin Drilon, believed to be two of the original collaborators of Gloria Arroyo in the cheating of 2004, to finally come clean by dropping their pretensions, was his subsequent collaboration with the alleged cheating mastermind to partake of the corrupt system also laid bare. Similarly acting blameless while lambasting the cheats today, many of those in media were themselves part of the propaganda blitz that sustained the series of cheating and cover-ups well into 2007 and 2010.

This pattern of holding elections suffused with cheating, then eventually making an exposé out of them, has become a deftly-staged zarzuela of focusing only on the subsidiary corruption in politics to distract the people from a totally debased political-economic order. As a result, the economic and financial corruption, particularly of the parasitic elite, is missed by many.

The past months, we built up a case against the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Finance (DoF) for their seriously corrupt financial policy of keeping the country in debt despite the financial surplus afforded by our decades-long OFW remittances. Such an anomaly was gleaned from the Special Deposit Account (SDA) amounting to P1.5 to 1.7 trillion and the Gross International Reserves (GIR) which total $70 billion today.

After some controversy with BSP Deputy Gov. Diwa Guinigundo over the issue, an unexpected affirmation of our position came from none other than Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima who publicly favored “the unwinding of the SDA,” which entails the reduction of interest rates to facilitate the fund’s release for domestic investments.

In fact, an Aug. 3, 2011 Manila Bulletin news story by Chino S. Leyco reported that “Purisima, who is also a member of the central bank’s Monetary Board, said… the Aquino government would be happy to accommodate (any unwinding of the SDA). He explained that by unwinding the P1.44-trillion deposits at the BSP’s special deposit accounts, it may cut the borrowing costs of the government.” Furthermore, the report noted, “Deposits by banks to the special deposit account facility of the BSP continued to increase in the past few years, a scenario which critics said… could have been more useful for the economy if it were invested in lending.”

Actually, when we were having consultations with former National Treasurer Norma Lasala way back in 2004-2005, she already insisted that the management of our national reserves had gone awry and, thus, wasted billions. At that time, Purisima was already Finance secretary and Amando Tetangco, the BSP chief. Despite this, the continuity in the financial mafia remains unbroken. Tetangco has gotten his second term for the same post while Purisima got back the Finance portfolio after a hiatus courtesy of “Hyatt 10.”

So the question is, why is Purisima only now beginning to admit the wisdom of “unwinding” the gargantuan SDA (and, in all probability, later proclaim that we can indeed mobilize a greater part of our GIR)?
For sure, achieving this would be a first step toward liberating ourselves from the chains that have shackled us for the past five decades. But that’s just the beginning. The next stage is to free ourselves from ALL debt and all private bankers’ traps.

Since all credit and money is guaranteed by the taxpayer, there is absolutely no reason the people, through the State, should borrow from any private party. The nation should instead set up a “Peoples’ Bank” where creation of credit and money will be subject to referendum.

Now, we ask: Why was there no fanfare when Aquino III reappointed Tetangco to his BSP post when this is one of the most important jobs in the whole government?

Undoubtedly, the answer lies in the fact that the BSP, as it is set up today, is actually “independent,” with the presidential appointment merely ceremonial. And with a Board dominated by private bankers, the bank decides on monetary policy, possessed of an “independent” character institutionalized by Cory Aquino’s handpicked Constitutional Commission — whose members claim is a relic of the 1973 Constitution even without basis.

Being a private bank, the BSP actually follows the workings of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) where both have a public façade but with private bankers at the core (see “The Tower of Basel: The World’s Biggest Central Bank Has Private shareholders,” GlobalResearch, July 29, 2011).

Is there any wonder then why the People’s Republic of China is today the leading nation and economy in the world in terms of growth and stability? Its banking system is based on the concept of the “People’s Bank,” with its credit policies designed for national development and public welfare. Of course, this is not the case for the US and its satellites — such as Europe’s PIGS (Portugal, Italy/Ireland, Greece, Spain) — now reeling from the greed and machinations of so-called “banksters.”

But sadly, our Senate, House, and financial bureaucracy — from the Bureau of Internal Revenue to the Bureau of Customs et al. — all follow the diktats of Wall Street, IMF-WB, ADB, and Basel in keeping the Philippines perpetually in debt; in taxing us more to pay it off; and in privatizing public services to create more debt (like the call for P110 billion more borrowings after 10 years of privatizing the state’s power assets).

Our past national errors, such as the 10 years of fraud under Gloria Arroyo, should offer us concrete lessons in our nation’s political-economic history; our decision now should be to turn a completely new leaf — starting with a deeper understanding of our financial system.

(Tune in to Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, on “Hello Garci: A Complete History,” with Atty. Alan Paguia, Saturday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110805com5.html

Not a bad show EDITORIAL 08/05/2011

Not a bad show

Click to enlarge
Migzs Zubiri could have made a lot of difference at the Senate had he existed without a gauntlet hanging over him due to allegations that he cheated to gain his six-year seat in the chamber.

He has a record that would be hard to match for a first-timer in the chamber. The records show that he did not take lightly the job as an elected representative of the people.

The presumption, however, is that he won the elections fair and square, and in that, it appears that the young senator seems to have been totally confounded throughout his stint.

Koko Pimentel, his rival for the 12th and last position in the race for the Senate in the 2007 mid-term polls, had accused Zubiri non-stop of benefiting from the Ampatuan fraud mafia in Maguindanao that Koko said eventually resulted in his bagging the contested seat. Expectedly, Zubiri denied the charges and maintained that no massive fraud transpired in 2007 and that he was equally a victim of a wrong count, if not cheating, as there was said to also have been cheating in other provinces benefiting Pimentel..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110805com1.html

Obsessed FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/05/2011


Ninez Cacho-Olivares
It has to happen, what with a Malacañang tenant so obsessed with having cases filed not only against his predecessor, but even anyone identified with her.

With such a vindictive mind-set Noynoy has, as well as using all these trials by publicity to build up public hatred for his political foes, and knowing that Noynoy gets exhilarated by “exposés” and feeding on his vindictive spirit, it is hardly surprising for the public to know that too many of Noynoy’s allies now in power and position, have been trying to outdo each other in making a case against their predecessors in a bid to always be on the right side of the Malacañang tenant — even if it means framing up individuals and coming up with perjured testimonies.

This was shown up with the suicide of a legal counsel in Development Bank of the Philippines Benjamin Pinpin, who according to reports on the suicide note he left for his wife, had been depressed for sometime, as he was coerced by his superiors to come up with a perjured affidavit pinning down former DBP officials.

In his suicide note to his wife, Pinpin lamented that he had signed the document which he described as the biggest mistake he had ever committed in his life, saying: “Signing the document was the biggest mistake in my life...I exposed myself by going beyond the truth.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110805com2.html

Troubled waters between Lebanon and Israel focus 08/05/2011

Troubled waters between Lebanon and Israel


BEIRUT — A dispute between Lebanon and Israel over their maritime boundary has heated up and sparked fears of conflict as both countries move to assert sovereignty over an area potentially rich in gas.

Tension rose last month after Israel’s Cabinet approved a map of the country’s proposed maritime borders with Lebanon and submitted it to the United Nations, which has been asked to mediate.

The map conflicts with one submitted by Lebanon to the UN last year and that gives Israel less territory.

The Lebanese say their map is in line with an armistice accord drawn up in 1949 and not contested by Israel..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110805com3.html

Confessions raise war crimes issue in Australia focus 08/05/2011

Confessions raise war crimes issue in Australia


SYDNEY — Confessions by a former refugee that he is a killer responsible for scores of deaths in Myanmar have raised questions about whether other possible war criminals are living in Australia undetected.

Myanmar-born Htoo Htoo Han, now an Australian citizen, has lived in the country for more than decade and is a father to three school-aged children.

But he claims to have a dark past, saying he infiltrated the student movement in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, in the late 1980s and provided information to an army death squad.

Han says he killed 24 young men himself with bullets to the back of their heads, and was implicated in the deaths of more than 100 others..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110805com6.html

Uganda’s first white politician plans progress FEATURE 08/05/2011

Uganda’s first white politician plans progress


KAMPALA — It was Uganda’s ubiquitous potholes that first made Ian Clarke want to stand to become the country’s first ever elected white politician.

Now, after winning a landslide victory to become the mayor of one of the capital city’s five sprawling districts, they are the first thing that the Irish doctor is planning to fix.

“The potholes are a metaphor for Uganda and for the state of Kampala,” Clarke told AFP, pointing at a group of labourers that had started work filling in one of the city’s rutted roads.

“If we can demonstrate that we can overcome the potholes and keep our streets clean then we can show that things can change,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110805com7.html

CamSur: CamFalse vs CamTrue? C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 08/05/2011

CamSur: CamFalse vs CamTrue?

Jonathan De la Cruz
It’s getting more interesting by the day. Or, should we say, more tangled. The fight for the “hearts and mind” of the people of Camarines Sur between the pro-split group, that is, for the creation of a new province, Nueva Camarines out of Camarines Sur, Bicol’s biggest province, headed by 4th District Rep. and Deputy Speaker Noli Fuentebella and three of his four colleagues, Reps. Rolando Andaya, Luis Villafuerte and Dato Arroyo and the pro-status quo group led by Gov. LRay Villafuerte and 5th District Rep.Salvio Fortuno, is turning out to be a down-the-wire, fight to the finish operation. It will definitely get even hotter after the lower chamber passed the substitute bill HB 4820 on third and final reading last Wednesday by an overwhelming vote of 229-1. This will now bring the battle to the Senate and ultimately to the people of Camarines Sur in a plesbicite to be called for the purpose in the event the Senate gets to pass this within the term of this Congress as the pro-split group hopes will happen soon..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110805com4.html

Koko’s ex-lawyer De Lima vows to go after Migz By Angie M. Rosales. Benjamin B. Pulta and Virgilio Bugaoisan 08/05/2011

Koko’s ex-lawyer De Lima vows to go after Migz

By Angie M. Rosales. Benjamin B. Pulta and Virgilio Bugaoisan 08/05/2011

Resigned Sen. Juan Miguel”Migz” Zubiri yesterday, through George Garcia, his legal counsel, withdrew his counter-protest against an electoral protest filed by lawyer Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel four years ago.

Garcia filed before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) in Quezon City a motion to withdraw and terminate Zubiri’s counter-protest against Pimentel, saying his client’s decision to withdraw the counter-charges will expedite the resolution of Pimentel’s election protest, stressing that if this counter protest is not withdrawn, the case may drag on for six years.

But the former election lawyer of Pimentel, now Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, said Zubiri is not in the
clear should the election fraud charges push through, vowing to go after Zubiri on fraud charges.

Speaking to newsmen, De Lima explained that cheating charges against Zubiri by his closest rival Pimentel would still have to be included in the joint investigation of the Department of Justice (DoJ) and Commission on Elections on fraud anomalies that hounded the 2004 and 2007 polls..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110805hed3.html

Mike’s BI watchlist came much too late By Angie M. Rosales 08/05/2011


Mike’s BI watchlist came much too late

By Angie M. Rosales 08/05/2011

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) placed former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and his accountant Rowena del Rosario on its departure watchlist on orders of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday acting on a request of the Senate blue ribbon committee which summoned him to appear in its inquiry into second-hand helicopters purchased by the Philippine National Police (PNP) but it came a day too late as Arroyo was already in Hong Kong since Sunday reportedly for a medical check-up.

Arroyo had no departure record at the BI and it was surmised that he might have chartered a private plane to Hong Kong either last Sunday or on Tuesday.

The helicopters which are the subject of the Senate probe were allegedly owned by Arroyo and had been passed off as brand-new.

With his flight to Hong Kong amid the used choppers scam in which Arroyo allegedly pocketed $700,000 mark up, Senate probers said they now cannot compel Arroyo to testify before the chamber to establish the ownership of the two helicopters when these were sold, particularly if he’s not physically fit to do so.

Sen. Franklin Drilon said the issuance of an invitation or serving of a subpoena to Arroyo would also not be feasible if indeed he had left the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110805hed1.html

More cops held over chili torture video 08/05/2011

More cops held over chili torture video

The police said yesterday they have detained six more officers in a widening investigation into the maltreatment of recruits who were allegedly force-fed and rubbed with red-hot chilis.

A total of 14 police officers are now in custody and their two superior officers are also being investigated, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Raul Bacalzo said in a statement.

“Actions like these do not have any place in the PNP where respect for human rights and the rule of law is a command policy that every PNP member is duty bound to uphold,” he said.

Eight police officers were arrested last Monday after Commission on Human Rights Chief Loretta Ann Rosales alerted the interior ministry to two videos she said showed a group of naked and blindfolded police recruits..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110805nat2.html

JdV washes hands off ballot-switching By Gerry Baldo 08/05/2011

JdV washes hands off ballot-switching

By Gerry Baldo 08/05/2011

Former Speaker Jose de Venecia yesterday denied he had knowledge of the ballot-switching incident in the House of Representatives during the canvassing of the certificates of canvass in 2004 when he was the Speaker.

De Venecia said nobody knew the incident is going to happen even as he placed the blame on the Philippine National Police (PNP) which was supposed to keep the ballot boxes containing the certificates of canvass.

“We didn’t know about this. Nobody knew, not even the opposition. What hurts us is that the PNP was supposed to provide security for the House but now it turns out that they were the ones who raided, took and replaced the genuine election returns,” De Venecia said in the sidelines of the necrological services for Zambales Rep. Antonio Diaz who died Wednesday of multiple organ failure.

De Venecia, who was at the House to pay his last respects for Diaz, also washed his hands of any liability in the ensuing investigation in 2005 which found out that there was no security breach in the House of Representatives..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110805nat1.html

No money, no exam policy soon to be thing of the past By Gerry Baldo 08/05/2011

No money, no exam policy soon to be thing of the past

By Gerry Baldo 08/05/2011
The policy of some schools to refuse students to take their exams unless they pay their tuition could be a thing of the past even as the House of Representatives has now passed on third and final reading a bill that would give students the right to take the mid-term and final exams despite pending financial obligations.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the House committee on higher education, said the passage of the bill (House Bill 4791) into law would criminalize such actions by the school.

Aside from Angara, the principal authors of the bill are Reps. Raymond Palatino (Kabataan Party-list); Mark Villar (NP, Las Piñas); Abigail Faye Ferriol (Kalinga Party-list), and Carlo Lopez (LP, Manila).

Under the bill schools and teachers who will refuse to allow students who failed to pay tuition or other school fees from taking mid-term or final examinations could be liable for censure and or a fine ranging from P20,000 to P50,000..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110805met5.html

Makati city files criminal charges vs retired judge for ‘midnight ruling’ 08/05/2011

Makati city files criminal charges vs retired judge for ‘midnight ruling’

The City of Makati has filed criminal and administrative charges against a retired judge and a clerk of court for allegedly issuing a “midnight decision” favoring Taguig in territorial dispute.

Lawyer Kenneth Dasal, head of the city law department, lodged a complaint for usurpation of authority and falsification of documents against former Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 153 Judge Briccio Ygana and lawyer Jerome Victor before the Department of Justice Tuesday. Earlier, the city lawyer had filed administrative charges against the two before the Supreme Court.

Dasal said Ygana issued a decision on the case even after his retirement. The judge celebrated his 70th birthday last July 9, hence his last working day was on July 8, a Friday.

The judge had ruled that Taguig has jurisdiction over Fort Bonifacio, comprising the so-called Inner Fort and Barangays Pembo, Comembo, Cembo, South Cembo, West Rembo, East Rembo and Rizal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110805met1.html

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