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AMLC’s slip shows EDITORIAL 08/21/2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

AMLC’s slip shows

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The fact that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) was looking into the supposed fat account of the Arroyo family’s LTA Inc., was not what had grabbed attention in the interview Ping Lacson gave about the offshoot of the ongoing used police helicopters probe but the possibility that the AMLC laid off the transactions of the Arroyo company.

This is enough reason for the Senate to hold a probe on the AMLC and its officials whose agency supposedly acts independently of the government, being under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Before the creation of the AMLC, the Philippines was placed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the eminent organization of rich countries, on a money-laundering watch list and even threatened trade sanctions on the country for being a haven for dirty money.

The country languished under the category for some years and even the remittances of Filipinos working overseas received a degree of restriction to remind the then Arroyo administration of the need to set up an Anti-Money Laundering Act..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110821com1.html

Reforms and change? Bah, hambug! FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/21/2011

Reforms and change? Bah, hambug!

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy pledged that as part of his change and reform program, he would make the judiciary independent.

What he says and what he does clearly do not speak of any kind of change and reform, as he keeps on appointing those who are deemed Noynoy and administration-friendly.
Translated, what Noynoy really wants are appointees whom he can rely on to do as he wishes.

In the case of the vacancy in the Ombudsman’s office, he appointed a former Supreme Court (SC) associate justice, Conchita Carpio-Morales, who is known to be anti-Gloria and therefore friendly to him.

What is being glossed over especially by the Yellow media that keep on claiming that Carpio-Morales is independent merely because her opinions in rulings went against the Arroyo administration, is the fact that from the time she was appointed by Gloria to the SC, to the time there was a falling out between the Arroyos and the law firm with which her cousin, SC Justice Antonio Carpio, is identified, most, if not all her decisions, were then favorable to the Arroyo administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110821com2.html

Fears grow over Nigerian Islamists’ ‘terror links’ ANALYSIS 08/21/2011

Fears grow over Nigerian Islamists’ ‘terror links’


KANO — A Nigerian Islamist sect blamed for dozens of deadly bomb blasts and shootings has shown increasing signs of links to outside groups such as al-Qaeda’s north African branch, analysts say.

While there has been no clear proof of such ties, Western diplomats and security experts point to the growing sophistication of attacks by the sect known as Boko Haram as well as claims made on Web sites and elsewhere.

The possibility of such links have led to fears among Western countries, with Nigeria the largest oil producer in Africa, the continent’s most populous nation and a major crude supplier to the United States.

“We are very concerned about the linkages between Boko Haram and other extremist organizations in Africa and other places,” US General Carter Ham, commander of US Africa Command, told local journalists during a visit to Nigeria this week..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110821com3.html

The ‘sins’ of Commissioner Alvarez N.O . N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E Jacinto 08/21/2011

The ‘sins’ of Commissioner Alvarez

N.O . N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E
It seems that the “sins” of Commissioner Angelito Alvarez are piling up. Aside from allegedly masterminding the loss of more than 3,000 containers vans coming from the Port of Manila and MICP, recently, at the hearing of the sub-committee on ways and means, it was found that Alvarez together with a deputy commissioner of customs and another official has accredited several customs bonded warehouses owned by a certain Tina Yu, Baby Reyes and a certain Big Mama that gave fake addresses to the bonded warehouses they claimed they owned. Call this gross negligence, incompetence or connivance with smugglers, Alvarez and company could not have accredited these bonded warehouses if they were doing their jobs right unless they in cahoots with these smugglers causing the release of about 3,000 containers where the government lost billions of pesos in forgone taxes and duties. It was said the goods loaded on the lost containers ended in these make-believe warehouses and can no longer be traced by the investigators because Alvarez and company allowed them to be accredited. The name Tina Yu and the others should be thoroughly investigated as they are alledgedly accused of conniving with Alvarez in smuggling activities..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110821com5.html

Conviction ASAP TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 08/21/2011

Conviction ASAP

Larry Faraon, OP
It was a quiet celebration of the 73nd birth anniversary of the late Fernando Poe Jr. yesterday, but supporters present at thanksgiving in a Eucharistic celebration were loudly chanting and proclaiming FPJ as the 14th president of the Republic of the Philippines.

In sight was Sen. Koko Pimentel, Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, Teddy Casiño, whistle-blower General Gudani, Colonel Rabusa, daughter and MTRCB chairman Grace Poe Llamanzares and President Joseph Estrada, who pleaded with the lawmakers in attendance to classify electoral fraud and cheating as heinous crimes and jokingly remarked, “Bilisan ninyo at baka maunahan kayo ng Diyos” referring to the present medical condition of former President Gloria Arroyo. With Senator Pimentel heading the Senate committee on electoral reforms and Representatives Casiño and Rodriguez in the lower house pursuing the 2004 massive cheating probe, with the military coming out of the dark, there is surely great hope that history would be rewritten beginning with replacing the photograph of Mrs. Gloria Arroyo at the Malacañang Hall with that of Fernando Poe Jr., as the 14th president of the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110821com6.html

Money for money VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 08/21/2011

Money for money

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
The matter of making money out of money instead of on account of trade and/or industry; the issue of having money as a means of profit to earn more money rather than by reason of honest to goodness investment in business; the question of using money to produce more money merely by speculation in place of sweat and toil — this is the ultimate premise of the debacle of the market as such. And this is what is precisely at the bottom of the so called “economic collapse,” “downgrading” among other bad news the world over.

There are many able economists who certainly see it otherwise. Some say that such an economic disaster is caused by national socio-political instability if not outright regional wars. There are also those who affirm that investments in business especially that of production, have become less and less due to instability, graft and corruption here and there. There are those who even claim that the downfall of the world economy is basically on account of the rising world population. And there are those who cite and proclaim other factors for the deteriorated and still deteriorating global economy. And being experts and professionals, it is highly impossible that which they think and say, are altogether wrong..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110821com7.html

Leaked cable: US keen on Mindanao resources 08/21/2011


Leaked cable: US keen on Mindanao resources

Leaked diplomatic documents in Wikileaks showed the United States has a special interest in the natural resources in Mindanao and the ending of the armed conflict in the region, giving credence to a suspicion that the United States is prodding the Aquino administration’s peace efforts with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), including brokering the recent secret meeting between MILF spokesman Al Haj Murad and President Aquino.

Wikileaks obtained documents dated February 2006, or prior to the botched signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) on Aug. 5, 2008 showing extensive reference to the untapped rich mineral resources of Mindanao and tensions in the region which hinder the exploitation of these resources.

The leaked cable from the US embassy in Manila made particular reference to the so-called Liguasan Marsh in the Cotabato Basin spanning 288,000 hectares and is among areas controlled by the MILF.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has already identified natural gas and oil deposits in three areas of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago: the Cotabato Basin, the Davao-Agusan Basin; and an area straddling Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. The Cotabato Basin, notably, includes the 288,000 hectare Liguasan Marsh, straddling the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudurat, according to the cable..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110821hed1.html

Zubiri still on Koko’s elections fraud target By Charlie V. Manalo 08/21/2011

Zubiri still on Koko’s elections fraud target

By Charlie V. Manalo 08/21/2011
While already proclaimed winner over Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri after his electoral protest for the 2007 senatorial elections has been upheld, Sen. Koko Pimentel is not about to let “bygones be bygones.”

In an interview yesterday after the consultation called for by Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), Pimentel said that he is open to the filing of charges against Zubiri should evidence prove that he had committed electoral fraud.

“Yes, I am open to filing of charges against him (Zubiri) if evidences show he committed electoral fraud,” Pimentel told The Tribune.

“But for the moment, my committee will start its investigations on allegations of fraud in the 2004 presidential elections,” he added.

Pimentel had just been appointed chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reform..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110821hed2.html

Group calls on lawmakers to reject P161-billion pork barrel for Aquino By Charlie V. Manalo 08/21/2011

Group calls on lawmakers to reject P161-billion pork barrel for Aquino

By Charlie V. Manalo 08/21/2011
A militant fisherfolk group yesterday appealed to lawmakers in both Houses of Congress to shoot down the proposed P161.6-billion pork barrel for President Aquino for next year.

In a statement, the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) asked congressmen and senators of cross party lines to reject the P161 billion pork barrel asked by Malacañang for Aquino under the unprogrammed items of the 2012 budget submitted by the Palace to Congress.

“President Aquino is asking Congress to give him P161 billion in total pork barrel funds for 2012. The character of this pork barrel is free from audit and scrutiny of the taxpaying public. Where is transparency here?” said Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya national chairman.

Hicap said the provision for presidential pork barrel which is free from audit and review of the Commission on Audit (CoA) promotes high crime of corruption because it gives President Aquino dictatorial powers on how to spend P161 billion of unprogrammed funds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110821nat1.html

Suspects in Norzagaray killing named 08/21/2011

Suspects in Norzagaray killing named

NORZAGARAY, Bulacan — An alleged eyewitness in the brutal slaying of a 60-year-old man and an 18-year-old single mother surrendered to police authorities and named the three suspects who murdered the victims at a grassy area in Sitio Caymino, Barangay Bitungol here last Tuesday night.

Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez Jr., Bulacan police director, said that Richard Hernandez, 28, a resident of Barangay Assumption, Area I, Sapang Palay, San Jose del Monte City, expressed fear for his life, prompting him to personally report to the Norzagaray police station last Friday.

Mendez said Hernandez divulged that he witnessed the killing of Reynaldo Follosco, married, employee of the Land Management Bureau and a resident of 465 Antipolo St., Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila and Sharmaine Santos, 18, a resident of No. 2716 Gen. Lucban St., Gagalangin, Tondo.

Hernandez identified the suspects as Reynaldo Gervacio, alias “Kulot,” and his brothers Victor and Michael, all native of Tondo, Manila and presently residing in Barangay Assumption, Area I, Sapang Palay, San Jose del Monte City..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110821nat2.html

NTC slammed for loopholes in new rules for broadband connection speed

By Charlie V. Manalo 08/21/2011
Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile has criticized the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) over the memorandum order it issued setting a minimum speed of broadband connections, saying the order is a mere “lip service” and will not ensure concrete benefits for a big portion of Internet service users.

This, as he called on NTC to push telecom firms to complete the rollout of mobile connectivity throughout the country which will allow Internet connectivity to penetrate a larger portion of the population and a bigger number of schools.

Enrile explained that despite its good intentions of improving broadband connections to allow customers to surf the Internet faster, NTC’s Memorandum Order No. 07-07-2011 was full of loopholes that may be used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to skirt the order’s intent.

In particular, he said the NTC order left out customers using pre-paid broadband services that last only for several days to a week. “The NTC order does well in setting a respectable 80% minimum service reliability level for ISPs and requiring ISPs to properly inform their customers about the broadband/Internet connection offered to them. This should benefit broadband users who are on a monthly subscription arrangements with their providers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110821met2.html

Probe sought on P197M given to AFP during 2004 elections By Pat C. Santos 08/21/2011

Probe sought on P197M given to AFP during 2004 elections

By Pat C. Santos 08/21/2011
The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) yesterday called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Commission on Audit (CoA) to investigate the P197 million election fund given to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the 2004 elections.

The call came amid revelations in the Mayuga report on the possible misuse of the election funds. Bayan said based on interviews, the bulk of the funds was not used for AFP units doing election duties, but by the intelligence units of the AFP, Bayan said in a prepared statement.

The funds came from the Comelec when it deputized the AFP for election duties in some areas in the provinces. The funds were supposed to cover expenses of TF HOPE headquarters, operational expenses, missions and reservists.

In his interview with the Mayuga panel, then Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Garcia who headed the Task Force Honest Orderly and Peaceful Elections (HOPE) suggested that the AFP review how the huge election funds were spent and what was spent did not come close to the amount that was released..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110821met1.html

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