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A decade of agnotology DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 09/12/2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

A decade of agnotology

Herman Tiu Laurel
\"You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough.” — Joseph E. Levine

That may well be the guiding tenet of those at the helm of the Philippines’ energy sector today. But after 10 years of running circles around millions of power consumers and taxpayers, many now seem to be wising up to their grand scam.

A chorus of indignation against RP’s privatized power industry is now echoing from almost all sectors, including major business groups like PhilExport (Philippine Exporters Confederation) and Ecop (Employers Confederation of the Philippines), as well as others who have joined anti-power oligarchy crusaders in condemning the “highest power cost in Asia.”

Provincial power consumers are also up in arms. The Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (Agap) party-list, for one, recently concluded an hour-long “lights off” campaign at 9 p.m. last Friday to protest the illegal collection of millions of so-called MCCs (members’ contribution for capital expenditure) by the electric cooperatives.

The biggest electric power swindle abetted by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), however, is still here in Metro Manila, together with the adjacent towns and cities under the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) franchise area.

Under the cover of the post-Edsa II power privatization law, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), both the ERC and Meralco have created the highest power cost in Asia almost with impunity. It seems the duo has almost proven wrong the P.T. Barnum adage (“You cannot fool all of the people all of the time”) by a decade of near total “agnotological” management of media information. For those who still don’t know, “agnotology” is the science of creating ignorance.

Like the electric cooperatives, the ERC and Meralco have been charging consumers the power distributor’s capital requirements in advance each year amounting to some P8 billion to P9 billion, with claims of increasing electricity demand. Yet in last Friday’s edition of The Daily Tribune, Meralco was said to have disclosed that recent “power demand went down one percent year-on-year.” Now isn’t that damning evidence against them?

Soon, the ERC and Meralco will be caught in their own web of lies, as Frost warned in his poem, “When we first learn to deceive…” While other power crusaders’ groups prepare more “lights out” campaigns (the Freedom from Debt Coalition will have its own on Oct. 11, 2011, from 7:30 to 8 p.m.), the power advocates group with Sulo ng Pilipino (my mother organization) and individuals like former Mayor Jun Simon (Quezon City Electricity Consumers for Reforms), former Assemblyman Bono Adaza, Mang Naro Lualhati (our P39-billion Meralco refund champion), columnist Butch Junia, Jimmie Regalario (Kilusan para sa Makabansang Ekonomiya), and hundreds of others will be filing a series of court cases in late September against the power predators. In the end, truth will prevail over advertising and its budgets.

Meanwhile, another major lie the past 10 years (deemed the largest lie in all of human history) that we must train our eyes on is the 9/11 World Trade Center “terror demolitions.” As it was an event blamed on 19 terrorists, few actually know that 14 of them had Saudi passports arranged by the CIA.

Also, we must recall that in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, George W. Bush said in a chance interview, “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you.” And while brandishing a golf club, he continued, “Now, watch this drive.” Before long, the whole world was made to witness a progression of wars, from Afghanistan to Iraq. And now, with the Western powers’ push in Libya underway, can Syria, and then Iran or Venezuela, be that far away?

The 10 years of deception surrounding 9/11 could have been an unquestioned success if not for the architects and engineers for 9/11 Truth, with over 1,500 qualified members, and the families of 9/11 victims. You can learn more by watching on YouTube, “Architects and Engineers — Solving the Mystery of WTC 7” by AE911Truth.org.

A May 2011 poll by Siena Research Institute extended to 643 New Yorkers, including respondents in all of New York City’s five boroughs found that 48 percent were in favor of a new investigation into the collapse of WTC (World Trade Center) 7. The survey was commissioned by “Remember Building 7,” a transparency group led by 9/11 family members, NYC Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC Can), and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth).

Building 7 is a vital key to understanding the fraud that is the official US government investigation. As the third major, almost 50-story, building in the WTC complex, Building 7 collapsed hours after the North and South towers, despite it not being hit by any airplane. And although a minor fire did occur, it had already been put out before Larry Silverstein (the WTC’s new buyer), in his words, issued an order to “pull it” (in controlled demolition lingo).

Truly, we live with created ignorance everyday. We get it on TV, on radio, in print and on the Internet. Agnotology abounds on a host of subjects — from Libya, Syria and Iran; to our local issues on privatization and escalating rates, or the real reasons why the MRT/LRT, tollways, and government fees will be raised by the PeNoy government even when these are unjust and unnecessary. We are not being told, for instance, that such measures are all because of the dictates of the US Embassy and IMF-WB — the same way the US generics framework was maneuvered into our cheaper medicines law to apply patents where none should.

In response, we should turn this second decade of the 21st century into a decade of “sciometology” (a term I coined) to allow everyone to say, “I know.” This can only be achieved with the help of non-commercial, dedicated, truth-seeking journalists and media. And that’s why we’re here.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Saturday, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8 on “WTC 7: The Tell-tale Mystery”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laure)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110912com4.html

Economics of war on terror EDITORIAL 09/12/2011

Economics of war on terror

Click to enlarge
The global anti-terror war spawned by the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 has turned a decade and it is where the Philippines had its most participation in anything related to the tragedy in the center of capitalism as enemies of the American nation would call New York.

The Philippines was among the first to commit its participation in what is until now a nebulous war, that seems to be best defined by former US President George Bush’s “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” post-9/11 statement.

Gloria Arroyo, who was not one year in the presidency she had snatched from Joseph Estrada, was only too eager please Bush and jumped into the war ahead of nearly every other nation.

Later on, Gloria would be the first to withdraw a token military contingent in the Iraq theater of the war after insurgents threatened to execute Angelo de la Cruz, a Filipino working as a truck driver in the then volatile region..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110912com1.html

Dumb FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/12/2011


Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Noynoy really should think before he speaks, because whenever he doesn’t, he loses more and more public support. And he has to remember that as he stays longer in Malacañang, his popularity, already plummeting in just one year in the presidential office, is expected to plummet even more, as no president stays popular as his term nears its end.

Just recently, at an incoming Atenean president’s investiture, Noynoy likened the League of Filipino Students to the Marcos dictatorship, which statement, in turn got the LFS to call Noynoy “A man with no sense of history.”

As Noynoy reminisced on his college years in Ateneo, he recounted his apprehension in joining the LFS when it was being organized during the martial law.

He said that while everybody has his apprehensions, he had asked himself whether he should join it and be under the LFS executive committee where he said he and other groups would dictate to them, when there was already the Marcos dictatorship in existence..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110912com2.html

With Kadhafi’s fall, Tuaregs lose powerful ally focus 09/12/2011

With Kadhafi’s fall, Tuaregs lose powerful ally


AGADEZ — For many Tuaregs in Niger, the fall of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi means the loss of a powerful ally who for decades had strong ties with the desert community scattered across several countries.

“Libya is the land of the Tuaregs, their base and their support,” Kadhafi said in 2005 to Tuareg leaders who he had invited to Oubari in the center of southern Libya.

“Kadhafi is indisputably the ally of the Tuaregs, he cherished them,” said an employee of a tour agency in Agadez, the town in north Niger on the edge of the desert that is regarded as the Tuareg capital.

“The Libyan authorities automatically gave us working papers, but other west Africans without papers were persecuted,” recalled a former emigrant to Libya, Yassine Souleymane..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110912com3.html

Moore’s conjecture and renewable energy COMMENT By Orlando Roncesvalles 09/12/2011

Moore’s conjecture and renewable energy


By Orlando Roncesvalles 09/12/2011
Time flies and Moore’s Law applies. Because the cost of computing and other high-tech things, such as solar panels, drop by half about every 18 months, the feed-in tariff (FIT) component of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (RA 9513) will soon be obsolete.

Such obsolescence should be welcomed. When something called “grid parity” has arrived or is at hand, the cost of producing one’s own electricity will have fallen to levels approximating what one now pays the grid. This portends a victory of sorts for the hapless electricity consumer.

The FIT is a guaranteed price to be paid to new plants using renewable energy (RE). It is also a price that is well above the wholesale cost of producing electricity from the usual sources (generally thought to be in the P5 per kilowatthour range). The proposed FITs are P7 per kwh for biomass, P6.15 for hydro, P10.37 for wind, P17.65 for ocean waves and P17.95 for solar energy. (For comparison, the residential “all-in” price paid by many consumers is already above P10 per kwh.).... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110912com5.html

US, Dutch and Philippine governments conspired to demonize Professor Sison – Committee DEFEND

US, Dutch and Philippine governments conspired to demonize Professor Sison – Committee DEFEND

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – The recent Wikileaks expose’ of a 2007 cable from the US embassy in Manila (which was published in Manila newspapers) revealing the collaboration between the Dutch, Philippines and US governments to file false murder charges against Filipino political exile Prof. Jose Ma. Sison is merely a confirmation of a conspiracy to persecute, harass and demonize him (Sison).

Thus, stated Committee DEFEND in reaction to a published news report about an unclassified US embassy memo dated Sept. 4, 2007 sent to the US State Department by then US Ambassador to the Philippines Kirstie Kenney.

According to the cable, released by online whistle-blower Wikileaks, the Philippine government through its Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, worked with Dutch and US authorities to build a case against Prof. Sison, who is a political refugee in the Netherlands and is chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in peace talks with the Manila government.

Quoting Ambassador Kenney, the cable stated: “(Romulo) said he and Cabinet colleagues had been working with the Dutch for several years to make sure the case they built was good. They were delighted to finally have Sison behind bars. Romulo said that given the US interest in prosecuting terrorists, he hoped we’d be prepared to assist the Dutch with the case, if the Dutch so requested.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/09/us-dutch-and-philippine-governments-conspired-to-demonize-professor-sison-committee-defend/

International human rights group appeals for 17-year old victim of military torture

International human rights group appeals for 17-year old victim of military torture

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) based in Hong Kong is appealing for justice on behalf of a 17-year-old boy in Basilan Mnindanao who was falsely accused by soldiers and policemen of being a member of the bandit kidnap-for-ransom group Abu Sayyaf. The boy was reportedly tortured and is presently detained together with adult offenders in a jail where he was remanded.

According to the AHRC, Asraf Jamiri Musa, a resident of Patikul, Matatag in Lamitan City Basilan was arrested and allegedly tortured on June 23, 2011. The alleged perpetrators were said to be members of 32nd Infantry Battalion under the 1st Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and members of the Philippine National Police led by 1st Lt. Gian Carlo A. Galanza, PA and Police Chief Inspector Nestor Placio. The human rights group said Musa’s accusers planted evidence of explosives on the boy and forced him to admit his membership to the group.

Based on the fact sheet sent by the AHRC and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, the 17-year old student who was aiming for a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education (BSED), was arrested along with his cousin Pawad Esmael Alpad by members of 32nd IB, 1st IDPA and members of PNP in Patikul, Basilan Province around 1:45 pm on June 23.

Asraf in a his own affidavit said he was sleeping inside the house of his aunt where he had been staying since he was an elementary student. Pawad was also there sleeping. They were suddenly roused from sleep when their aunt told them that there were soldiers looking for Asraf.

Education student 17-year old Asraf Jamiri Musa is appealing to the Aquino administration to uphold his rights and punish the elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines ’32nd Infantry Battalion for illegally arresting him and subjecting him to torture. The boy remains in jail in Basilan Province. (Photo courtesy of The Asian Human Rights Commission / bulatlat.com)
Asraf said the military and police searched the house but did not find anything. The armed forces said they were looking for two Abu Sayyaf members supposedly named Nurhasan Jamiri and Musanna J. Musawho and were said to be staying at the house of Hadji Samiri Alpad. This was the house where Asraf was.
Without listening to the two boys, the police and soldiers reportedly took Asraf and Pawad to the brigade detachment in Lamitan. Asraf’s aunt went with them. After half an hour, the three of them were taken to the military brigade in Tabiawan, Isabela City, Basilan.

“I was taken inside the brigade and made to sit in a waiting shed. The police and military interrogated me and asked me if I am an Abu Sayyaf member. I told them that I am a student, but they did not believe me,” he said.
Pawad was released but Asraf was left behind..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/10/international-human-rights-group-appeals-for-17-year-old-victim-of-military-torture/

Erap: Clinton tried to block gov’t ‘all-out war’ vs MILF 09/12/2011


Erap: Clinton tried to block gov’t ‘all-out war’ vs MILF

Former President Joseph Estrada said former United States President Bill Clinton tried to intervene in calling off an all-out war he launched against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during his tenure which he mentioned as proof of the continued American backing of the MILF’s posture, including the setting up of a substate as among its demands in the ongoing peace negotiations.

Estrada said American intervention in the affairs of Mindanao is not new, recalling his own experience with the Americans during his administration.

“Some very powerful personalities tried to stop me (from pursuing the all-out war) ... even the president of the United States at the time, President Bill Clinton, delivered a letter to me through then Secretary of Defense William Cohen asking that hostilities be stopped.”

It will be recalled that a WikiLeaks report recently revealed that “Washington had a direct hand in the ill-fated deal to create a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity in 2008 that critics warned could lead to a dismemberment of the Philippines.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110912hed1.html

RH bill a deception — Enrile By Angie M. Rosales 09/12/2011

RH bill a deception — Enrile

By Angie M. Rosales 09/12/2011

Senators are slowly coming out in the open expressing their opposition to the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill, one of them even described it as deceitful.

“This bill to me is a deception,” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday said as he pointed out some questionable thrusts in the measure in the guise of supposed health bill when in fact it’s promoting population control.

For one, the upper chamber leader noted during an interview over at dzBB, is that of the bill supposedly advocating physical well-being of a person by ensuring access to essential medicines which include artificial forms of contraceptives.

“They’re trying to promote this as a health bill and it should discuss sickness, cure and medicines. But what’s the therapeutic value of condom, birth pills, IUDs, of injectible (pills)? If this is health bill, how come this is the kind of terminology being carried by the bill?” he asked..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110912hed4.html

RP most vulnerable to natural disasters, says UN 09/12/2011

RP most vulnerable to natural disasters, says UN

Sen. Edgardo Angara called for an improved disaster management system in the country following the release of a United Nations report listing the Philippines among the top five most vulnerable to natural disasters.

The World Risk Report 2011 assesses the vulnerability of 173 countries to natural hazards and their ability to handle the aftermath of natural disasters based on exposure, susceptibility of the population, coping capacity and adaptation strategy.

This report from the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Safety reveals that the Philippines is the third most vulnerable worldwide because of the frequency of calamities, such as typhoons, floods, landslides and earthquake, combined with the country’s ineffectual disaster preparedness programs.

“The Philippines is no stranger to natural hazards. We are hit by several typhoons every year accompanied by floods and landslides and whose magnitude sometimes is similar to Pepeng, Ondoy and Milenyo,” said Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on science and technology..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110912nat5.html

NDFP accuses government of lying over resumption of peace talks 09/12/2011

NDFP accuses government of lying over resumption of peace talks

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has accused the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) peace panel of lying for claiming that the NDFP panel agreed to resume the negotiations even without what it called as “obligatory releases” of NDFP consultants.

NDFP negotiating panel spokesman Fidel Agcaoili stressed that the release of all or most of the 17 NDFP consultants protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (Jasig) and covered by the 2011 Oslo Joint Statements is not a pre-condition but an obligation.

“The GRP, through its negotiating panel, is lying when it claims that chairman Luis Jalandoni of the NDFP peace panel has agreed to go into formal talks without the obligatory releases of all or most of the 17 Jasig-protected persons,” Agcaoili said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110912nat3.html

DBM hit for cutting health budget By Gerry Baldo 09/12/2011

DBM hit for cutting health budget

By Gerry Baldo 09/12/2011

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was criticized anew for slashing the budget of the Department of Health (DoH) in half thereby demeaning the much needed funds that would benefit the millions of poor Filipinos.

According to Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, the budget of the DoH, should at the very least, be pegged at P80 billion for 2012.

Casiño said that during a congressional budget hearing, Health Secretary Enrique Ona admitted that the P42 billion proposed budget under House Bill 5023 or the General Appropriations Bill was only half of what the department had requested.

Among those that were removed by the DBM include the P50-million Subsidy to Indigent Patients for Confinement in Specialty Hospitals; the P2.1-billion for the Implementation of Magna Carta Benefits of Public Health Workers; P25.3-billion for Health Facilities Enhancement Program which was reduced to only P5 billion and the Implementation of the Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program which was slashed from P5.9 billion to only p1.7 billion..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110912nat1.html

Bangkok-bound Filipino tourists closely watched By Conrado Ching 09/12/2011

Bangkok-bound Filipino tourists closely watched

By Conrado Ching 09/12/2011
Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were ordered to tightly screen Filipino tourists leaving for Bangkok following reports that the Thai capital is being used as a transit point for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for countries where there still exists a deployment ban for migrant workers.

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. issued the order to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Airport Operations Division acting chief Lina Andaman Pelia after learning that many travelers off-loaded at the NAIA in recent months were bound for Bangkok and were profiled to be “tourist workers.”

“Tourist workers” refer to undocumented OFWs who attempt to leave the country in the guise of being tourists..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110912met2.html

4,000 CCTV cameras to be put up in QC’s strategic areas 09/12/2011

4,000 CCTV cameras to be put up in QC’s strategic areas

Some 4,000 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras are set to be installed in various strategic areas in Quezon City to curb the rising criminality in the premier city of the country.

Once installed on major and secondary roads in the city’s 142 villages, Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista said they expect crime rates will decline sharply.

The mayor issued the statement after Tomasito Cruz, chief of City Planning and Development Office, informed him about the 4,000 proposed sites for CCTV installations.

Cruz said the proposed CCTV sites will be presented to technical working group during a meeting of the QC Peace and Order Council at Camp Karingal for proper evaluation and approval..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110912met3.html

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