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Witnesses on parade EDITORIAL 09/21/2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Witnesses on parade

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So-called witnesses having a “tale” to tell against the previous administration have been surfacing in droves, while Justice Secretary Leila de Lima immediately gets all of them into the Witness Protection Program (WPP) and just as quickly presents them before the media.
But just how credible are they, considering the fact that they all face electoral sabotage cases and have been in hiding for the past five years or so?
De Lima the other day presented two witnesses, former election supervisors from Mindanao who surfaced to disclose their knowledge on how the results of the 2007 mid-term elections were said to have been rigged in favor of the senatorial bets of the Arroyo administration.
She presented lawyers Lilian Radam and Yogie Martirizar, both of whom face charges of electoral sabotage but who now claim that they were pressured into signing extra copies of certificates of canvass (CoCs) and statements of votes (SoVs) to manipulate the results of the 2007 elections.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune
URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/

Mirror image of Marcos FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/21/2011

Mirror image of Marcos

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Impeachment is once again in the mind of the Noynoy congressmen, this time their target is the Supreme Court (SC), through its justices.

The latest report on this issue is that Rep. Rudy Fariñas is moving to have the impeachment proceedings going against the high court justice who stood accused by Noynoy allies of plagiarism but was cleared by the high court itself.

But there is some kind of hidden agenda in that move to revive the impeachment complaint against the SC justice, given the fact that the SC and the executive have been at odds over the unprecedented budget control of Noynoy over the Judiciary hiring funds, which the high court justices, including the Office of the Ombudsman, the Commission on Elections and the Civil Service Commission are against, as their fiscal autonomy is constitutionally guaranteed.

Deputy Speaker Jesus Crispin Remulla was quoted as saying that there are also now moves to get SC Chief Justice Renato Corona impeached..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110921com2.html

New era for US military as gay ban expires focus 09/21/2011

New era for US military as gay ban expires


WASHINGTON — As a staff sergeant training to be an Air Force officer, David Hall had a promising career ahead of him until a fellow airman outed him as gay.

Nearly 10 years later, Hall said he hopes to rejoin the military that discharged him when a ban on openly gay and lesbian troops officially expires on Tuesday.

Hall, 37, has already put in phone calls to recruiters and said he will be celebrating on Tuesday that “the country as a whole realized that this was something that needed to go away.”

Years of legal battles and political activism — along with changing social attitudes and open policies among most Nato allies — paved the way for the change, which Congress approved in December..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110921com3.html

Myanmar army allies’ clout on show at new parliament FEATURE 09/21/2011

Myanmar army allies’ clout on show at new parliament


NAYPYIDAW — Imposing bronze lions, the symbol of the ruling party, guard the entrance to Myanmar’s fledgling parliament in a sign of its domination by the military and its political allies.

The palatial building in the heart of Naypyidaw, a purpose-built capital constructed just five years ago, is the showpiece of a “roadmap to democracy” promised by the general who ruled for decades.

Inside the vast maze of marble-floored corridors, chandeliers and air-conditioned chambers, a sign proclaims: “People’s expectations, parliament’s implementation.”

Yet a quarter of the seats were reserved for the military even before landmark elections last year, and the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) holds about 80 percent of the remainder.

“Here we have no opposition party. All are colleagues. For us there is no opposition,” USDP Secretary General Htay Oo told a rare news conference at the parliament, which opened in January..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110921com5.html

Looming constitutional crisis C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 09/21/2011

Looming constitutional crisis

Jonathan De la Cruz
Even as we laud Speaker Sonny Belmonte and the members of the House of Representatives for passing the proposed P1.8 trillion 2012 budget earlier than expected, we cannot help but be saddened by their inability to overcome the executive department’s insistence in impounding parts of that budget. The power of the purse belongs exclusively to Congress. That power includes the sole discretion to firmly and properly indicate how public funds must and should be used. The same cannot be compromised in any manner or form much less outsourced, in its disposition to the executive. To do so is to render Congress inutile and is a throwback to what senior members of this administration have all been railing against during the Arroyo years – the complete domination of the handling of precious public funds by the executive via the much reviled re-enacted budget system. That was called then the total impoundment of public funds. Under P-Noy, the impounding is selective but equally as deadly and belies the administration’s claims of responsive and accountable governance. This practice is far from such good intentioned hype. It is out and out undemocratic and counter productive..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110921com4.html

House threatens impeach moves against SC justices By Charlie V. Manalo By Charlie V. Manalo 09/21/2011


House threatens impeach moves against SC justices

By Charlie V. Manalo By Charlie V. Manalo 09/21/2011
Unprecedented and controversial moves by President Aquino to take control of the allocated budget hiring funds of some P101 billion from constitutional offices with guaranteed fiscal autonomy were followed by Aquino’s allies in the House of Representatives yesterday, as they too made another unprecedented move by threatening to file impeachment proceedings against high court justices who will vote against the House-passed Malacañang proposed budget that calls for Aquino’s impounding of the Judiciary’s hiring funds.

Apparently aware they have inserted an unconstitutional provision in the proposed 2012 national budget which would effectively allow the Executive Branch to impound the hiring budget of other government agencies including constitutional bodies which would expectedly merit an adverse ruling from the Supreme Court (SC), a senior member of the House of Representatives yesterday threatened members of the high court with impeachment should they rule against the provision for the P23 billion miscellaneous personnel benefits fund (MPBF) in the 2012 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

In a text message, Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, vice chairman of the House justice committee, warned the SC that members of the House may go for impeaching the members of the SC should it declare the MPBF unconstitutional..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110921hed1.html

Palace at a loss on Garcia being at NBP not stockade By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 09/21/2011

Palace at a loss on Garcia being at NBP not stockade

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 09/21/2011

The Palace yesterday cannot cite a law that would justify locking up former AFP Comptroller (ret.) Brig. Gen. Carlos Garcia in a civilian penal facility at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) despite his being convicted by a military court, and instead resorted to citing a vague explanation about an alleged “exception” to the rule concerning the military justice system.

President Aquino’s deputy spokesman Abigail Valte could not cite any specific provision of the law or even the rules on military conduct that would allow the incarceration of Garcia at the NBP instead of being sent to the military stockade.

Despite being a lawyer, Valte told reporters yesterday that Garcia was sent to the NBP upon the advice of the lawyers of the Department of National Defense (DND) but could not say if those who issued the recommendation cited any provision of law that allows soldiers convicted in court martial proceeding to be jailed in a civilian jail.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who is a former Philippine National Police chief, raised the question on the basis of Garcia being incarcerated in a civilian jail while his conviction was on his court martial case..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110921hed2.html

Solon seeks probe of construction of coal-fired power plants 09/21/2011

Solon seeks probe of construction of coal-fired power plants

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano is seeking a probe into numerous planned and ongoing construction of privately owned and operated coal-fired power plants in the country.

In House Resolution 1612, Mariano said the Aquino government is permitting the profileration of coal-fired plants as part of its long-term national energy plan and policy on Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
Under the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2009 to 2030 crafted by the Department of Energy (DoE), the government has adopted the policy of accelerated exploration and development of coal resources to ensure energy security.

Under the Philippine Energy Contracting Round, the government continues to offer our national coal reserves to big local and foreign companies for explorations and production. It is targeting to increase the local production of coal by 250 percent by 2015 in order to meet the demands of increasing numbers of coal-fired power plants to be installed in Isabela, Zambales, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Sarangani province, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, General Santos City and Sultan Kudarat..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110921nat6.html

RH bill not likely to get House nod, says lawmaker By Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo 09/21/2011

RH bill not likely to get House nod, says lawmaker

By Gerry Baldo and Charlie V. Manalo 09/21/2011
The controversial Reproductive Health bill, now pending before the House in plenary, is not likely to get the nod of Congress when it resumes next week.

According to Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II of Mandaluyong City, Congress has to do some balancing acts during its deliberations where 25 lawmakers have signified their intention to argue for or against the bill. Others he said refuse to participate in the deliberations leaving a few warm bodies in the plenary hall.

“There is a lot of balancing acts here. You can’t just impose the rules. Pakisamahan talaga rito,” Gonzales said yesterday during the weekly Ugnayan sa Batasan media forum.

Gonzales explained that expediting the passage of the bill could be done by limiting the time of the interpellators who could also try to get even by questioning the quorum..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110921nat3.html

Palace asked: Hold hikes in LRT-MRT fares, toll rates By Angie M. Rosales 09/21/2011

Palace asked: Hold hikes in LRT-MRT fares, toll rates

By Angie M. Rosales 09/21/2011

Senators, crossing party lines, have formally appealed to Malacañang to put off even in the meantime the planned simultaneous increase in fees of the Light Rail and Metro Rail Transit (LRT-MRT) and toll in the country’s expressways.

The initiative of Senators Manuel Villar Jr., Joker Arroyo and Ralph Recto was immediately given assurance of full support by no less than Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile while seven other colleagues moved to have themselves made co-authors of Resolution No. 602.

In filing the resolution, the original authors pointed out that public hearings conducted by the Senate economic affairs, public services and other appropriate committees on the provisional fare hike showed that “there is no need to increase this year the fares of MRT and LRT.”

“I will support it. The situation in the country is such as that there is too much burden on the public and I think that government must be ready to subsidize public services for the benefit of the poor and that is the same philosophy of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) — to subsidize the people who are not in the position to pay for themselves considering the cost of transportation in the country and the uncontrolled increase in the price of fuel for transportation. I think the government must sacrifice and be ready to subsidize the transportation needs of the people,” Enrile said in an interview with reporters..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110921met1.html

Intensified campaign on smoking ban in Caloocan City nets 1,455 violators 09/21/2011

Intensified campaign on smoking ban in Caloocan City nets 1,455 violators

The Caloocan City government has stepped up its campaign against smoking as it ordered the local law enforcement agencies to closely monitor public places that are covered by the law on tobacco regulation and spare no one who continues to defy the ban.

“The city government has committed itself to strictly carry out the law against smoking in all public places and I have ordered the concerned implementing authorities to make sure that it is being followed to the letter,” Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri said.

The city government, according to the mayor, has been holding a series of seminars aimed at making the people aware of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking to one’s health.

This as the city’s health office, in a report to the city chief executive, said some 1,455 individuals were apprehended for smoking in public places between July 1 and 30 this year alone..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110921met3.html

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