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Two-faced Noy EDITORIAL 09/18/2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two-faced Noy

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Noynoy is again off to the United States and the highlight of his visit would be a speech delivered before a forum to launch to Open Government Partnership initiative in the United States. The program involves several countries that would commit transparency in government.

Noynoy would definitely be a square peg in the conference despite his pro-democracy image for one sole reason: His administration has refused to give priority to the long-pending Freedom of Information (FoI) bill in Congress.

The passing of such bills among signatory countries are essentially the bone of the launching of the private initiative. The Philippines remains among the exceptionally few countries that still do not have an open records law that would compel the government to disclose documents. The FoI bill has been languishing in Congress for the past 15 years.

The last time that the bill had a chance of making it into a law was last year when the bill was killed savagely by a lack of quorum in the House of Representatives..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110918com1.html

Déjà vu FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/18/2011

Déjà vu

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, a former associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC), in her bid to revive the plunder case against former Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia while seeking the court’s reversal of the plea bargain agreement entered into between Garcia and Morales’ office, is in essence asking the Sandiganbayan to violate the principle of double jeopardy.

Wrong Sandiganbayan decision or no, the fact remains that Garcia, after agreeing to the plea bargain, was arraigned and convicted on a lesser charge of direct bribery and money laundering, which means that the plunder case no longer applies to him.

To revive the plunder case against Garcia would then have to be a matter of double jeopardy, yet this long held principle is what a former SC justice wants done by the court.

Such a judicial mistake was already committed during the tenure of Noynoy’s mother, Cory Aquino, when, shortly after the 1986 Edsa revolt that catapulted her to the presidency, the already acquitted soldiers who stood accused of having planned and executed the assassination of Ninoy Aquino at the airport, were again tried for the same crime before the same Sandiganbayan, as approved by the high court and in a particularly political partisan atmosphere, then with newly appointed Aquino justices who then convicted the already acquitted soldiers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110918com2.html

CCTs: Expensive, short-sighted and artificial

CCTs: Expensive, short-sighted and artificial

The Aquino administration seeks a bigger budget for a program that is criticized as a poor cornerstone in the drive against poverty.
IBON research head
IBON Features/ September 2011
IBON Features— The Aquino administration is currently seeking an 86%-budget increase for its multi-billion peso conditional cash transfer (CCT) program. But while the program admittedly has a feel-good factor, it is a problematic approach to reducing poverty in the country.

The administration itself sets a high standard for the CCT program. Its economic blueprint, the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016, declares: “Direct CCTs to the poor through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program shall be the cornerstone of the government’s strategy to fight poverty and attain the MDGs.” Unfortunately this is a poor cornerstone and the program is a weak foundation in the drive against poverty in the country. Five major concerns can be raised.

First, the program is a one-shot affair that peaks in 2013 and is virtually over after 2018. The 320,411 household beneficiaries in the first year of formal implementation in 2008 rises to 4 million in 2014 and then falls just as quickly to some 350,000 in 2018. Households can only be enrolled in the program for up to five years and it is expected that a total of 4.6 million beneficiary families will have been reached over the entire program. Perhaps not coincidentally, the peak of program implementation in 2014 happens right before assessment of the country’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) performance in 2015..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/15/ccts-expensive-short-sighted-and-artificial/

Filing of ‘trumped-up charges’ vs activists continue under Aquino

Filing of ‘trumped-up charges’ vs activists continue under Aquino

Karapatan stressed that the president is capable of releasing political prisoners as he did when he released rebel soldiers. “All he has to have is the political will to release those who are wrongly imprisoned.” – Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan.

MANILA – Seventy-seven activists have been charged with fabricated charges under the new Aquino administration, according to human rights group Karapatan.

Karapatan said of the 360 political prisoners all over the country, 77 were arrested under the Aquino administration, 247 during the Arroyo administration and 21 before the Arroyo administration. Thirty are women, 11 belong to the elderly and 28 are sick, Karapatan records show.

The group, along with Samahan ng Ex-detainees laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), joined the fasting staged by hundreds of political prisoners from various detention cells beginning Sept. 13.

“Among the notorious legacies of the Marcos dictatorship was the illegal arrest and detention of political prisoners who fought against the corrupt and repressive regime. Such reality exists to this day, with 360 political prisoners languishing in jails for fabricated and trumped-up charges because of the exercise of their political beliefs that run counter to those of the powers running our government,” Angie Ipong, former political prisoner and Selda secretary general, said.

“President Aquino should look at the mirror of history twice when he likens activist organizations to a dictatorship. His administration is actually carrying on the more vivid legacy of a dictatorship with such rights violations under his term,” Ipong said, referring to Aquino’s remarks against the League of Filipino Students (LFS) in his recent speech.

This is the second time political prisoners and their supporters held a fast to demand for general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty. The first was held in July in time for President Aquino’s second State of the Nation Address (Sona).

Karapatan stressed that the president is capable of releasing political prisoners as he did when he released rebel soldiers. “All he has to have is the political will to release those who are wrongly imprisoned,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairwoman, said.

Supporters hold a sympathy fasting in front of the Philippine National Police’s headquarters, Sept. 13.(Photo courtesy of Karapatan / bulatlat.com)

Under Aquino, only six political prisoners have so far been released, including Ipong, and consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) namely Jovencio Balweg, Jaime Soledad, Glicerio Pernia and Maria Luisa Purcray. Multiple common crimes filed against them have been dismissed.

In a message, Sandino Esguerra, a political prisoner who has been detained for more than ten years at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, said Aquino “has no reason not to heed their demand for freedom.”

Emeterio Antalan, another political prisoner detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, said, “In the name of matuwid na daan (straight path), Aquino must release political prisoners.”

Criminalizing activism

“The political prisoners are falsely accused of crimes they have not committed, contrary to Aquino’s continued mantra that his government is for human rights,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez said such practice intends “to hide the government’s political persecution of those it labels as enemies of the state.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/15/filing-of-%E2%80%98trumped-up-charges%E2%80%99-vs-activists-continue-under-aquino/

Canada shares lessons of its booming native tourism FEATURE 09/18/2011

Canada shares lessons of its booming native tourism


VANCOUVER — Native dancers wearing colorful masks take the stage, performing an ancient ritual dance invoking the grizzly bear, a sacred figure for many First Nation peoples in the upper reaches of North America.

The performance is being watched by 15 Taiwanese aboriginals, who have come here to learn the art of creating financially viable native tourism back home.

The Taiwanese visitors are part of a unique exchange program in which they hope to learn from their Canadian hosts about the art and the profit-making potential of aboriginal tourism.

The Council of Indigenous Peoples, a ministry-level body in Taiwan, has sent these young people to learn about aboriginal-run tourism from Canadian indigenous communities to see what aspects of this flourishing trade can be duplicated back home..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110918com3.html

Early bird catches the worms TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 09/18/2011

Early bird catches the worms

Larry Faraon, OP
President P-Noy is busy opening “cans of worms” —a full stack of it — of the past administration and it would seem that not even a single case would convict the Arroyos or their cohorts and accomplices in the remaining five years of his watch. Definitely, potholes and distractions to an otherwise smooth transition and progress.

In the meantime, being an intelligent politician that he is, Vice-President Jejomar Binay declared openly and as early as now his intention of transiting from the Coconut Palace to Malacañang Palace in 2016. It is a preemptive and clever move.

Preemptive in a sense that henceforth the Vice-President would have his eyes on the ball being dribbled by the Aquino administration. Being a prospective president, he would make sure that the Aquino cohorts should tread the Daang Matuwid (the path of righteousness) of P-Noy the next 1765 days so as not to be bothered by the grueling task of stepping on and cleaning the trash of corruption of a past administration, as P-Noy is now on the Arroyos. Even if he is a part of the Aquino administration team, VP Binay would stand as a watchman or even a fiscalizer, preempting possible large scale corruption in the present administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110918com6.html

Intelligent. Calm. Practical VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 09/18/2011

Intelligent. Calm. Practical

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
While the present administration may neither claim proven competence nor pursuant admirable accomplishments, and while the national leadership still remains far from achieving its gloriously proclaimed mission and agenda, there is, however, a distinct laurel in its promotional administrative staff. This: The choice of a spokesman who has long since proven herself to be not only intelligent but also calm and practical in answering both easy and difficult questions repeatedly thrown at her direction. Probably unnoticed and unsaid, she is one established asset in the ruling government.

This is why there are those who say — and correctly so — that she has proven herself to be good and effective buffer for the disturbing mystery and dismaying enigma behind the personality and character of her protégé. It is not easy to speak for, defend and promote the highest public official in the land who is saddled with a good number of persisting doubts and questions — particularly so about his ability and industry. In short, it is not easy to speak on behalf of the same national figure with all its known personal liabilities and consequent lackluster executive performance..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110918com7.html

Temperature range: Minority mulls SC appeal By Charlie V. Manalo 09/18/2011


Temperature range: Minority mulls SC appeal

By Charlie V. Manalo 09/18/2011

The House minority and members of the progressive bloc in the lower chamber branded the approval late Friday night of the proposed P1.816-trillion 2012 budget on second reading as rushed “exactly the same way as in the previous administration,” with them raising the possibility of questioning the approved Appropriations Act before the Supreme Court.

The budget passing second reading is as good as approved since a third reading will be mere formalities.
Voting viva voce, the House passed on second reading House Bill 5023, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Bill, but in his turno en contra speech, Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño denounced the proposed budget, saying it does not address the fundamental problems of chronic poverty and underdevelopment and instead reduces the national budget into an instrument of doleouts and the privatization of basic social services.

An obviously elated Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, nevertheless, described the budget as being “grounded on the realities” of the national and global economy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110918hed1.html

DFA asked to explain OFW’s death By Gina Peralta-Elorde 09/18/2011

DFA asked to explain OFW’s death

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 09/18/2011
A lawmaker has called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to provide more details surrounding the fate of a murdered overseas Filipino worker (OFW) whose remains with missing body parts arrived home early this month.

Sen. Manuel Villar noted that Romilyn Ibañez’s repatriated body was missing a tongue and an eye, a fact that brought even more pain and sadness to her family.

He also pointed out that it took a year for the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia to work for the repatriation of Ibañez’s remains, and the DFA has not been forthcoming with any explanation as to the delay.

“For the family’s peace of mind and in the name of justice, I join the different non-government groups in calling on the Department of Foreign Affairs to reveal the forensic and police reports surrounding Ibañez’s gruesome death,” Villar, in a statement, said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110918hed4.html

PNP to deploy 5,000 cops for transport strike tomorrow 09/18/2011

PNP to deploy 5,000 cops for transport strike tomorrow

The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday said the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) will field 5,000 police personnel to ensure order and security along Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares when transport groups push through with their planned transport holiday on Monday.

Director General Nicanor Bartolome, newly installed PNP chief, said he also directed the PNP Directorate for Logistics to send out all police buses, trucks and troop carriers to assist commuters who will be affected by the projected transport holiday.

Bartolome earlier instructed local police commanders to initiate dialogue with the leaders of transport groups and keep lines of

communication open for effective coordination on the movement of motorcades and marchers and other possible mass actions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110918hed5.html

DepEd mapping out protection of pupils from punishments 09/18/2011

DepEd mapping out protection of pupils from punishments

Department of Education (DepEd) said that they are now mapping out a more comprehensive child protection policy to protect pupils against bullying, abuse, exploitation and discrimination in school.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said DepEd has started consultations with teachers and other stakeholders on the policy.

“This is a serious matter that we cannot put off nor delay because it involves the over-all well-being of our learners which when not addressed promptly may negatively affect them for life,” Luistro said.

Luistro also reminded school personnel and the public that corporal punishment and violence in any form is not allowed in public schools, whether by adults or the children’s peers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110918nat3.html

Supreme Court upholds CA ruling on Roxas land exemption from CARP By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/18/2011

Supreme Court upholds CA ruling on Roxas land exemption from CARP

By Benjamin B. Pulta 09/18/2011

A ruling by the Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the exemption of 27 parcels of land from the government’s agrarian reform program after they were converted into residential areas by the owners.

In its decision, the tribunal’s First Division Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo denied the petition filed by farmers questioning the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in favor of Roxas & Co. Inc.

The farmers had filed the petition for review before the SC challenging a decision dated April 29, 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA order had dismissed the petition for certiorari which assailed the Department of Agrarian Reform’s granting Roxas & Co. Inc.’s Application for Exemption from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program’s (CARP) coverage..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110918nat1.html

Aquino asked to release woman political prisoners By Jason Faustino 09/18/2011

Aquino asked to release woman political prisoners

By Jason Faustino 09/18/2011
Tanggol Bayi, an organization of woman human rights defenders, yesterday called for the immediate release of all political prisoners, especially woman political prisoners, the elderly and sickly ones, as it joined the families and friends of political prisoners in a henna tattoo and facepainting activity at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

Cristina Palabay, convenor of Tanggol Bayi, said there are currently 30 woman political prisoners among the 360 political prisoners who are at present detained in various jail facilities.

“Many of them were charged with fabricated charges of rebellion and criminal offenses in the course of their work and advocacies as woman human rights defenders when they questioned and became vocal and active critics of government policies and programs. It is lamentable that the political persecution, repression, state violence and militarism against woman human rights defenders continue, from the martial law period up to the present administration,” Palabay said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110918met1.html

Lawmaker throws support to transport strike tomorrow vs excessive oil prices 09/18/2011

Lawmaker throws support to transport strike tomorrow vs excessive oil prices

Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano yesterday expressed full support to the upcoming transport and people’s protest tomorrow against excessive oil prices. Anakpawis’ member organization Piston-KMU will lead the Tigil Pasada in National Capital Region and major cities nationwide.

“The transport sector, workers, farmers, fisherfolk and consumers affected by high oil prices have all the reasons to protest against high oil prices, the greedy oil companies and the Aquino government’s callousness over the highly sensitive issue of oil price hikes,” Mariano said.

“Political actions such as strikes and protests are necessary to show the people’s opposition to the monopoly operations of the foreign oil cartel. The abusive and burdensome series of oil price hikes is now further fueling the intensifying anger of Filipino people already disillusioned with Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid,” said Mariano who also lambasted the Philippine National Police (PNP) for its “overkill preparations” for the transport strike.

“Creating an inter-agency task force and fielding of 5,000 cops on the day of the people’s protest is ‘overkill’ — an indication that the government is ready to avert legitimate people’s actions but won’t lift a finger against oil companies,” Mariano said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110918met2.html

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