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The Daily Tribune

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Habeas corpus filed for detained LTA staffer By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 08/24/2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Habeas corpus filed for detained LTA staffer

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 08/24/2011

One down, two to go, in the case of the Arroyo brothers and their staffer in moves against them by the Senate?

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday issued a temporary restraining order against Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima’s Senate directed watch list order against former First Gentleman Juan Miguel “Mike” Arroyo.

The Court of Appeals (CA), depending on how it rules on the Arroyo family-owned LTA Inc. bookkeeper, Rowena del Rosario’s petition for habeas corpus, may yet add up a score for the Arroyos and against a Senate position of arresting and detaining her.

The husband of Rowena, the former bookkeeper of LTA Inc. who is now detained at the Senate on contempt charges, filed yesterday a petition for habeas corpus before the CA to compel the legislative chamber’s blue ribbon committee to produce his wife before the court..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110824hed1.html

Acorda dares Ongpin to dispute raps over P660-M behest loan By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/24/2011

Acorda dares Ongpin to dispute raps over P660-M behest loan

By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/24/2011

Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) spokesman Zenaida Ongkiko-Acorda yesterday dared former Marcos Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin to confront the unresolved mysteries surrounding the alleged P660-million behest loans he obtained from the state-owned bank, the second biggest in the country.

Speaking with newsmen, Acorda cited, for instance, that bank officers clearly took shortcuts and acted with undue haste in approving loans to Delta Ventures Resources Inc. (DVRI), a firm controlled by Ongpin, including waiving the opportunity to check whether the latter’s firm was in a financial position to repay the loans it obtained.

Acorda said DBP officials broke banking laws and the DBP’s own internal rules in granting the loans to Ongpin’s firm. The latter’s camp claims the commercial transactions are allowed under the DBP’s universal bank license..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110824nat1.html

Independent group of refillers denounces LPG Act for being anti-consumer 08/24/2011

Independent group of refillers denounces LPG Act for being anti-consumer

A group of independent refillers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) yesterday denounced a bill that would allow the government to confiscate some six million dilapidated and substandard LPG cylinders, calling it “anti-consumer” and defeats the purpose of the Oil Deregulation Law.

The LPG Refillers Association (LPGRA) cited a number of negative implications of the proposed “LPG Safety Act” pending in Congress, including a shortage of LPG cylinders and possible manipulation by major industry players.

“The proposed measure only allows the oil majors to continue to dominate and control LPG market,” LPGRA president Bernie Bolisay said.

Bolisay noted the bill does not provide safety nets and subsidy for the confiscation and impounding of substandard and dilapidated cylinders owned mostly by the poor and marginalized sector..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110824met4.html

‘Pagcor officials receiving bribes from casino ring’ By Charlie V. Manalo 08/24/2011

‘Pagcor officials receiving bribes from casino ring’

By Charlie V. Manalo 08/24/2011

A senior member of the House of Representatives yesterday accused officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) of receiving bribes from the leader of a syndicate who cheated at least three government casinos of more than a hundred million pesos.

During the hearing of the House justice committee, Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay said the Pagcor officials were also seen partying regularly at the unit of suspected gang leader Ben Lui at the Cleveland Condominium in Parañaque City where they were allegedly handed the bribe money.

“This is the syndicate’s member’s way of bribing the Pagcor officials so they would be lenient on him,” Magsaysay said, adding Lui was allowed to leave the country despite a hold departure order (HDO) issued against him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110824met1.html

It can’t be EDITORIAL08/23/2011

It can’t be

Click to enlarge
He could not have been joking. He couldn’t have been, since he was talking about his father and his assassination in 1983 — and on the anniversary of Ninoy’s death.

But is Noynoy absolutely serious about his intention of reopening the double murder cases of former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and his supposed assassin, Ronaldo Galman, after over a quarter of a century has passed?

Aquino’s assassination in 1983 remains the biggest unsolved crime in the country’s history and which is said to have tormented the nation’s psyche for more at least a generation.

Is Noynoy’s intention of reopening the Aquino-Galman murder case yet another way of Ninoy’s only son, to use his dead parent to revive his flagging political capital?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110823com1.html

Big mistake FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 08/23/2011

Big mistake

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Good grief! It was bad enough that Noynoy has been focusing on Gloria Arroyo and her administration’s past, but now, he wants to resuscitate the Marcos past, and go after the Marcoses and others whom he says were the masterminds in the slaying of his father, because, as he intimated, the brains behind the killing are still out there and unpunished.

On the day marking the assassination of Ninoy, his father, Noynoy expressed interest in reopening the 1983 double-slay case of his father and the supposed assassin Ronaldo Galman, claiming that he knows who the culprit is and that this culprit has not been held accountable yet in any court of law.

“I believe I know who it is. How can we (be) able to prove it up to the penultimate level? That’s the issue,’” he was quoted as saying, adding that he also wants to run after several associates of former President Marcos who he says may have had something to do with Ninoy’s death but were not held accountable because they managed to slip out of the country and escaped prosecution. Aquino hinted that these “key personalities” have since returned to the Philippines and can be subjects of a reinvestigation.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110823com2.html

Islam takes root in land of mini-bikinis and carnival FEATURE 08/23/2011

Islam takes root in land of mini-bikinis and carnival


RIO DE JANEIRO — “As-salam aleikum!” Omar greeted worshippers as he entered Mesquita da Luz, Rio’s first mosque where he had just broken his Ramadan fast at dusk.

Those are some of the only words Omar knows in Arabic, and he quickly continued his conversation in Portuguese with fellow Muslims who mostly, like him, converted recently to Islam in the world’s biggest Catholic country.

In a land known more for its mini-bikinis and extravagant carnival featuring scantily clad women, a small but growing number of Brazilians of various backgrounds call themselves Muslim.

For decades, it was primarily families of Libyan, Palestinian and Syrian descent who practiced Islam in Brazil..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110823com3.html

Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere

Armida Siguion-Reyna
The Cultural Center of the Philippines has been accused of just about every ill, one goes to sleep thinking it not far-fetched to find out the next day it was the CCP board that had talked to Garci, got luxury vehicles from the Philippine Charity and Sweepstakes Office, and sold five used helicopters passed off as brand new.

So much so, you’d think those bewailing the lack of “good art” at the CCP would back “good art” when it’s there, but no. “Noli Me Tangere” opened a little over three weeks ago with Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Director Nanding Josef wondering aloud why certain quarters could not, would not, cough up P3,000 for an opening night ticket of a major production. The response to the hundreds of letters asking for support from politicians and big businessmen simply went, “Walang budget.”

How hard is it for a congressman whose wife is seen toting P500,000 handbags, to sponsor a box for a CCP gala? How hard is it for a mayor who brings his staff to a weekend binge, under guise of “planning” at Boracay, to buy at least two tickets? You tell me..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110823com4.html

There should be law against it AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 08/23/2011

There should be law against it

Ken Fuller
Doubtless this outsider was not the only one to be shocked by the title of Tony Lopez’s column in the Manila Times on Aug. 18: “We must live, die and kill for our religion.”

This was his contribution to the discussion of the work by Mideo Cruz recently exhibited as the Cultural Center of the Philippines – until the bishops, a number of politicians and others expressed outrage (and threats), and as a result the CCP pulled down the curtain. The outrage (and that may be too weak a work to describe Lopez’s reaction, who seems so consumed with bile as to become almost incoherent on occasion) was caused by the artist’s juxtaposition of an image of Jesus Christ, a wooden penis, a condom, and various other artifacts. That, at least, is how I understand it. I haven’t seen the work, have no idea whether it qualifies as “art” or, if so, whether it is “good” or “bad” art.

Much of the debate around this work has seen the champions of freedom of expression fighting a defensive battle against those who would deny anyone the right to offend the religious sensibilities of others, particular when public money is involved. Among the latter, one group has filed a case with the Ombudsman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110823com5.html

Hopelessly hoping INSIDE CONGRESS Charlie Manalo 08/23/2011

Hopelessly hoping

Charlie Manalo
No wonder reporters covering the House of Representatives feel hopeless that improvement could be effected on the operations of the Media Relations Services of the Public Relations and Information Bureau of the HoR as based on the allegations raised by some of the MRS staff themselves that their office is being run like hell.

Thanks but no thanks to MRS Director Celine Buencamino whom her staff claims reports for work very late in the afternoon, her office produces press release which are either eons old as most of the media entities have already ran those stories, or releases which contain factual errors. And since she is not around most of the time as her critics allege, then the responsibility to oversee the operations in her office should fall under the watchful eye of her OIC, Lorelei Castillo.

But apparently, Lorelei does not give a damn. In fact, this Celine – Lorelei has not even lifted a finger on the allegations that some of her staff had engaged in money-making ventures using official government time and resources.

According to members of the MRS who had lodged a complaint against the duo, their favored staff has for decades, used the MRS office equipment for personal money-making ventures, even soliciting money, laptops, etc., in exchange for institutional photos or press releases, which are part of their official duties. In short, they are now acting as official PRs of some of the lawmakers!.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110823com6.html

‘Payback time’ VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 08/23/2011

‘Payback time’

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
What goes up eventually goes down. What is not yours continues to clamor for its owner. Life is “weather-weather lang.” These sayings and others like them are the meaning and implications of the phrase “Payback time.”

In other words, what is not yours will be taken away from you in due course. Translation: You may not deviously take and ever keep what does not really belong to you. The time and occasion eventually come when such is taken away from you — like it or not. Whereas bare fisted you came into the world, so too will your hands be empty when you leave it behind. This is lasting truth. This is standing reality. This is abiding experience.

It is during the present history of this nation when the principle and application of “Payback Time” becomes more significant, relevant and realistic. The former lords and masters are now under the rule and call of their previous servants and slaves. This is the standard eventuality when those previously wielding public power and might used these to serve themselves, their families and friends — not to promote the good or enhance the welfare of those who unwisely or unwillingly entrusted the exercise of governance to them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110823com7.html

Senate forces ‘truth’ from LTA staff; cites contempt By Angie M. Rosales 08/23/2011


Senate forces ‘truth’ from LTA staff; cites contempt

By Angie M. Rosales 08/23/2011

In a bid to force its invited “resource persons” to state that it is former First Gentleman (FFG) Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo who is the real owner of four helicopters, two of which were sold as brand new to the Philippine National Police (PNP), senators yesterday moved to cite in contempt, ordered the arrest and indefinite detention of LTA Inc., former bookeeper Rowena del Rosario even before the hearing ended “until she purges herself of the contempt citation,” and presumably, to force her to give the senators the answers they want to substantiate their allegations against the Arroyos.

Charges that FFG owned the helicopters and not leased them were revived by bringing up the old charges of Arroyo being the real “Jose Pidal” with brother Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo taking the fall for his brother, with the presentation of former police Chief Supt. Restituto Mosqueda, who claimed that Mike Arroyo is the real owner of the multimillion-peso “Jose Pidal” account.

Mosqueda, who eight years ago, first appeared in the Senate in 2003 as PNP crime laboratory director claiming that Iggy’s signature matched that of bank documents pertaining to the Pidal account, now claims that which they examined was a specimen produced by Iggy at that time..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110823hed1.html

BoC chief faces extra probe for turning blind eye oil smuggling 08/23/2011

BoC chief faces extra probe for turning blind eye oil smuggling

Bureau of Customs (BoC) Commissioner Angelito Alvarez will be facing another congressional probe, this time for failing to act on a recommendation submitted to him by his subordinates urging him to run after an oil firm which allegedly defrauded the government of nearly P1.6 billion in tax payments.

In a press briefing, Zambales Rep. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay hit Alvarez, who was earlier questioned for the mysterious disappearance of around 2,00 container vans containing highly dutiable goods while en route from the Port of Manila (PoM) and the Manila International Container Port (MICP) to the Port of Batangas and for sacking senior Customs officials who recommended the filing of legal action against Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.(Shell) for misdeclaration of shipment and non-payment of excise and value added taxes.

Magsaysay claimed the government lost P1,578,269,755 from July, 2010 up to the present.

In filing House Resolution 1643, entitled “A Resolution urging the committee on ways and means of the House of Representatives to immediately conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into the issues that surround the unabated smuggling activities of Shell and the its failure to pay the appropriate taxes and duties amounting to several billions of pesos to the government and to look into the failure of Customs and BIR officials to take action and necessary steps to run after Shell thereby causing prejudice and undue injury to government in not being able to collect this much needed revenue..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110823hed6.html

DPWH exec cites defective roads built by Hanjin 08/23/2011

DPWH exec cites defective roads built by Hanjin

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officer in Region X cited 16 defective portions of the three road projects built by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Company Limited in Lanao del Norte province for the past years.

Khalil Sultan, DPWH Region X officer, discovered the defective roads following the inspection conducted by DPWH, together with the provincial and Oriental Consultant International and Hanjin inspection teams, based on the complaints aired by the residents, local and provincial leaders and commuters.

Hanjin Co. constructed the Metro Iligan Regional Infrastructure Development Project (MIRIDP), about 55 kilometers stretch from Tagoloan to Linamon town, covering the interior towns of the province. The road project also was in preparation for the construction and completion of Metro Iligan Agri-Industrial Center (MIRAIC), an agri-industrial manufacturing plant located in Linamon, to pump prime the economic development of the province and the safe passage of commuters as well.

Sultan’s recommendation to Hanjin Co. that it should renovate and restore the destroyed portions of the road projects as it is their obligation to do it based on the memorandum of agreement (MoA) entered into between Lanao del Norte provincial government and Hanjin Co. which is to maintain the road projects for at least one year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110823nat3.html

DBP lawyer urges Ongpin to answer raps By Benjamin B. Pulta and Charlie V. Manalo 08/23/2011

DBP lawyer urges Ongpin to answer raps

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Charlie V. Manalo 08/23/2011

Bank lawyer Zenaida Ongkiko-Acorda said parties in the ongoing investigation of behest loans granted by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) during the last administration should squarely answer the charges against them.

In a statement, Acorda said: “It is truly lamentable that the P660 million loans which were extended by DBP’s officers to the company of Mr. Ongpin ended up enriching some private individuals who wished to engage in speculative stock trading.”

“These P660 million loans could have instead been utilized to help farmers, small entrepreneurs, microenterprises, cooperatives and farmers’ associations which could have availed themselves of loans for microfinance, agricultural and livelihood projects and other projects that could have furthered the developmental goals of DBP.”

In a separate statement, the camp of businessman Roberto Ongpin said they will pursue disbarment charges against Acorda ..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110823nat1.html

City ordinance seeking to punish irresponsible parents on third, final reading 08/23/2011

City ordinance seeking to punish irresponsible parents on third, final reading

The City Council of Manila is ready to pass an ordinance aimed at protecting the children from irresponsible parents for not taking care of their kids.

Councilor Rod Lacsamana, (2nd District, Manila), said the ordinance, which he is the author, was passed on third and final reading of the Manila City Council.

Known as the “Anti-child Endangerment Law,” the ordinance sought to punish a person who abandons or exposes a minor child to a perilous situation that endangers his life, health, or well-being.

“This law speaks for itself and sends a stern warning to irresponsible or uncaring parents or guardians of their children. Thus, no child can even be subjected to the hazard of traffic scenes and polluted conditions because if their parents or guardians neglected their roles to take good care of the child they can be held liable,” Lacsamana said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110823met2.html

Court of Appeals allows PCSO to explain side on scuttled P4.4B deal with Aussie firm By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/23/2011

Court of Appeals allows PCSO to explain side on scuttled P4.4B deal with Aussie firm

By Benjamin B. Pulta 08/23/2011
A ruling by the Court of Appeals (CA) has directed the Regional Trial Court of Makati City to allow the incumbent administration of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) a chance to justify its decision to scuttle the P4.4 billion joint venture agreement that the past administration entered into with an Australian firm.

In a 16-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang, the CA’s Ninth Division also declared null and void the temporary restraining order (TRO) that the Makati RTC issued last April 13 in favor of TMA Australia Pty Ltd. which had a deal with the past administration to put up a first thermal coating plant in the country.

Seven summonses, together with the complaint and its annexes were served to petitioners PCSO chaired by Margarita Juico, members of the Board and the general manager through the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC), being the principal law office of government-owned and controlled corporations (OGCC).

The CA agreed with the PCSO that while the OGCC is the principal law office of PCSO, it is not authorized to receive summons in PCSO’s behalf, as well as the members of its board and its general manager..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110823met1.html

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