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Freudian slips EDITORIAL 09/24/2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Freudian slips

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Very strange it was that Noynoy Aquino, during the question and answer portion at the World Bank Monetary Fund meeting and speech he had in the US, made two disturbing remarks.

He was quoted as having said, in the matter of the Supreme Court (SC)-Malacañang relations, that the high court, over which he had clashed on issues, was “more cooperative” now, and that today, he and the high court are more like partners.

He added, in explaining why the SC is “less hostile” and “more cooperative” today, that certain developments, such as the ouster of Ombudsman Merceditas Guiterrez “sent a signal.”

“So what am I trying to say? I think there has been a change in attitude as far as the Supreme Court is concerned. They (justices) are now more like partners than they were before,” Noynoy was quoted in the media as saying..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110924com1.html

New probe style: Guilt by association FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 09/24/2011

New probe style: Guilt by association

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
There really is something wrong with the way probes are being conducted under the Aquino regime which does not speak well of the Noynoy government.

Every single allegation or every single claimed witness testimony that is vowed to be probed by either Congress, both chambers, or the Department of Justice (DoJ), has the clear intention to link such alleged corruption or irregularity to either Mike Arroyo or his spouse, Gloria, or both.

It is almost as if none of those who want the heads of the Arroyos has any evidence with which to charge them, despite the many witnesses they trot out in public.

This is probably why the Noynoy allies continue with their favorite pasttime, which is conducting a trial and conviction by publicity.

There is today that charge that Bobby Ongpin, businessman, who had acquired a P660-million loan from the state-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) entered into a behest loan, and one that is now being claimed by some senators to be similar in nature to the used helicopter scandal involving the Philippine National Police (PNP)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110924com2.html

Looted Libyan missiles dangerous but difficult to use focus 09/24/2011

Looted Libyan missiles dangerous but difficult to use


PARIS — Thousands of surface-to-air missiles pillaged in Libya pose less of a risk than feared as most militant groups in sub-Saharan Africa lack the knowhow and the equipment to fire them, experts say.

The Soviet-made SA-7 is a man-portable low-altitude missile with a high explosive and passive infrared homing device that could pose a nightmare in the Sahel where an al-Qaeda affiliate, among other groups, is active.

While some fear they could be used to target commercial flights if they fell into the wrong hands, others say that using them is not so simple and that they could turn out to be just scrap metal, if not properly stored.

The arsenal of toppled Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi comprised about 20,000 such missiles, initially manufactured in the former Soviet Union since 1972 and then in other east European countries, according to experts..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110924com3.html

Witnesses recount abduction of UP students by military

Witnesses recount abduction of UP students by military

“The abduction could not be carried out without Palparan’s knowledge,” Olalia told Bulatlat.com in an interview shortly after the hearing. “They [soldiers] were all under Task Force Malolos. It’s a conspiracy. His men would not act without his knowledge.”
MANILA — “Return our daughters!”

Mrs. Erlinda Cadapan shouted as she faced retired Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. and other military officers at the end of yesterday’s hearing on the case of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño.

After hearing once again the testimony of eyewitness Raymond Manalo that her daughter Sherlyn was raped, the mother could not contain her rage. Although Mrs. Concepcion Empeño, mother of Karen, did not utter a word, she held a placard that read: “Palparan, guilty!”

Mothers of the two missing University of the Philippines (UP) students listen intently to the statements of respondents.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
The two mothers have been searching for their daughters, both students of University of the Philippines (UP), for more than five years. Karen and Sherlyn, along with farmer Manuel Merino, were abducted on June 26, 2006 in Hagonoy, Bulacan by state agents.

In May, following a Supreme Court decision that pointed to Palparan and other military officers as responsible for the abduction, the mothers filed a complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ). A three-man panel of the DOJ led by Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera conducted a series of hearings for the preliminary investigation of the case.

At the clarificatory hearing, Sept. 23, the prosecutors propounded questions both to witnesses and respondents.

Positive identification

Manalo, who, along with his brother Reynaldo, was held by the military from February 14, 2006 until their escape in August 2007, positively identified Palparan, former commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, and other respondents M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario, Lt. Francis Mirabelle Samson and Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado as some of the soldiers whom he saw or talked to during the months he was held in captivity. Raymond was able to describe vividly the soldiers who he initially knew by their aliases.

Witness Raymond Manalo recounts how he met Karen and Sherlyn.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
On a whiteboard, Raymond wrote down the places where he was taken to during his 18 months of captivity. These included Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; a safehouse in Pinaud village, San Ildelfonso, Bulacan; village hall of Sapang, San Miguel, Bulacan; Camp Tecson ; Limay, Bataan; a safehouse in Iba, Zambales and a farm in Bolinao, Pangasinan.
Manalo met Karen and Sherlyn in Camp Tecson sometime in August 2006. From there, Manalo, the two UP students and Merino, was transferred from one camp or safehouse to another. It was in Limay, Bataan, at the camp of the 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army where Raymond last saw Karen and Sherlyn. He recounted how the students were raped by M/Sgt. Donald Caigas. Caigas, also a respondent to the case, is already dead.

Manalo also named Harry Baliaga, also implicated in the abduction of Jonas Burgos, as one of those who abducted him. Baliaga is yet to be named as respondent in this particular complainant.

According to Manalo, Palparan talked to him twice in one night in May 2006 when he was at the village hall of Sapang, San Miguel, Bulacan.

“He told us he would spare our lives if we followed his orders. He said he would allow us to see our parents and we should tell our parents not to attend hearings and rallies and not to talk to Karapatan,” Manalo told the panel..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/24/witnesses-recount-abduction-of-up-students-by-military/

Groups urge Aquino to free all political prisoners in marking martial law

Groups urge Aquino to free all political prisoners in marking martial law

“President Aquino reminisces about his family’s sufferings under Martial Law, but he callously ignores the suffering of other families whose loved ones are jailed not under martial law, but under the Aquino government.” — Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairwoman

MANILA – On the 39th anniversary of the imposition of martial law, human rights advocates and other groups called anew on President Benigno S. Aquino III to release all political prisoners.

Members of people’s organizations allied with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) marched from España to Chino Roces (formerly Mendiola bridge). In various detention facilities nationwide, hundreds of political prisoners went on hunger strike from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21 to demand their release.
Karapatan said there are 360 political prisoners still languishing in jails today. Seventy-seven of them were jailed under the new Aquino administration.

“Today’s commemoration of the 39th year of the declaration of martial law is again an occasion for the President to reminisce the experience of how he and his family suffered under martial law… But even as he recalls the suffering of his family, he callously ignores the suffering of other families whose sons, daughters, wives, husbands, fathers and mothers are detained, not by the dictator but by his government, not 39 years ago, but today,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan secretary general, said in a statement.

Aquino government’s denial

“To our knowledge, we have no political prisoners,” said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

“The government has the gall to say there are no political prisoners because it has criminalized political offenses, conveniently covering up the fact that there ARE political prisoners under Aquino’s watch,” Enriquez said in reaction to Lacierda’s statement.

Enriquez cited Crisanto Fat, a peasant leader charged with fabricated cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. He died in jail last Sept. 20. (See related story)

“Under the Marcos dictatorship, it is clear that there were political prisoners. In this sense, Marcos is better. Now, they (Aquino) refuse to recognize the existence of political prisoners, preferring to call them as ‘alleged political offenders,” said Casambre, Rey Claro Casambre, executive director of Philippine Peace Center. This he attributed to the filing of trumped-up charges and other criminal offenses against activists.

Karapatan chairwoman Marie Hilao-Enriquez, survivor of martial law, calls on protesters to continue fighting against repression. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
Casambre pointed out that the arrest and continuing detention of 13 consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) violated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

Alan Jazmines, one of the NDFP consultants, said in his message from prison that the Government of the Philippines (GPH) needs to abide by previous agreements and exercise goodwill measures for the smooth continuation of the peace talks. This the GPH could start doing by releasing all political prisoners, he said.

Jazmines also suffered detention and intense torture under martial law, according to martial law activist Bonifacio Ilagan. Jazmines was again arrested February 11 this year. He is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center inside Camp Crame.

Karapatan is calling for a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty for political prisoners. “He did it in the case of the Magdalo soldiers. Yet he remains indifferent to the political prisoners,” the group said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/23/groups-urge-aquino-to-free-all-political-prisoners-in-commemorating-martial-law/

Piston’s George San Mateo, a progressive transport leader

Piston’s George San Mateo, a progressive transport leader

Piston and some of its national leaders have become popular, and as such targets of vilification, because they consistently oppose the exploitation of drivers and Filipinos in general by the oil cartel and all those who “collude” with it.

MANILA — When transport leader George San Mateo and other leaders of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) board a bus, there are times when its conductor would not allow them to pay their fares. “We in Piston would tell the conductor and driver: ‘Thank you, but the company might deduct it from your own pay,’ and we would insist on paying. But they wouldn’t let us,” George told Bulatlat.com in an interview.

He quoted some bus conductors as telling him: “We are comrades – and you have been helping us a lot.” That thought never fails to count for San Mateo; he had thought Piston is more known among jeepney drivers than bus employees.

Since 2007, San Mateo has been serving as the national secretary general of Piston, an organization whose members so far came mostly from organizations of jeepney and FX taxi drivers and small operators.

Today, George San Mateo and Piston are household names in consistently questioning the abuses of the monopoly oil companies, the oil deregulation law that made it legal and possible, and the seeming paralysis of the government in checking alleged oil overpricing and runaway profit margins. Piston has also distinguished itself from other transport organizations in having resolutely sought to oppose “unjust oil price increases,” rather than immediately asking for fare hikes or other ‘non-solutions.’

In this way, Piston has courted the support and sympathy of the riding public, as the group urges the public to see the mass transport drivers for what they are— a part of the downtrodden, exploited and oppressed people in Philippine society— and not the ‘enemy’ or ‘undisciplined traffic violator’ that the government would have anyone believe. For the tag of the ‘enemy,’ Piston leaders and members have pointed its finger to the oil cartel instead. And to whoever is taking the side of this oil cartel, for example, as Piston often said, the energy department and President Benigno S. Aquino III himself.

Since Aquino’s last-minute “dialogue” with transport leaders failed to derail the impending transport strike, while their energy undersecretary’s initial efforts to sow confusion among the public about Piston’s supposed suggestion to “strengthen”, and not repeal, the Oil Deregulation Law, also reportedly failed to remove public support to Piston’s calls to protest oil overpricing, Malacañang and other officials have appeared preoccupied in belittling the strike and those who led it, such as Piston..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/23/piston%E2%80%99s-george-san-mateo-a-progressive-transport-leader/

US pushing for charter change to allow US firms to operate freely in the country

US pushing for charter change to allow US firms to operate freely in the country

“For several decades now, even with these restrictions in place, foreign investors and multinationals repatriated billions of dollars in profits without any real and substantial contribution to the domestic economy and social development.” Rep. Luz Ilagan, Gabriela Women’s Party

MANILA – The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the United States governments wants a sweeter deal than the ones the Philippines government gave China and Japan in recent months. President Benigno Aquino III signed an agreement allowing China to lease 1.2 million hectares of land for agricultural production; earlier, he also allowed Japanese corporations to lease one million hectares for bio-fuel production.

Pamalakaya made the assertion after reports came out that US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. has been quoted urging the Aquino administration to start deliberations on charter change and allow the passage of constitutional amendments so the Philippines can participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) group.

Last August, Thomas met with the media in a forum on Philippine-US relations organized by the Washington-based Asia Society. During the forum, Thomas was quoted as saying that the Philippines should amend its charter to allow foreign companies to have majority stakes in companies operating in the Philippines.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that Filipinos should own majority shares (60 percent) in companies doing business in the country, especially those involved in strategic industries. This provision is being circumvented by subsequent issuances such as the Mining Act of 1995, which masks the mining operations of wholly-owned foreign mining companies as a partnership between the government and the foreign corporation. Nevertheless the said provision in the 1987 Constitution remains in force.

Thomas said the Aquino government should initiate moves to amend the 1987 charter and remove all provisions that restrict and prohibit foreign capital equity to the Philippines. The constitutional ban against 100 percent foreign ownership, said Thomas, is what bars the Philippines from joining the TPP.

The TPP is a Asia-Pacific trade organization which, Thomas said, could vastly expand Philippine markets, create jobs and reduce poverty. The US official said President Aquino sought US support for joining the TPP during his US visit last year.The TPP aims to eliminate tariffs among participating countries – Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the US – by 2015..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/09/22/us-pushing-for-charter-change-to-allow-us-firms-to-operate-freely-in-the-country/

Solons file 2012 budget amendments 09/24/2011


Solons file 2012 budget amendments

Members of Congress yesterday made a beeline to submit amendments to House Bill No. 5023, known as the General Appropriations Bill for 2012.

Plenary session resumes at the House of Representatives on Monday, although it is not certain whether these amendments will be accepted by the majority or ignored by the House allies of President Aquino who toe the Palace line.

The budget bill was already passed on second reading and the passage of the bill on third reading is usually merely a formality and technicality.

But a number of lawmakers want the multibillion-peso fund for hiring government personnel in the proposed 2012 national budget to be returned to the control of government agencies concerned..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110924hed1.html

Jinggoy pushes probe of OFW deaths 09/24/2011

Jinggoy pushes probe of OFW deaths

Alarmed by the rising number of tragic deaths of overseas Filipino workers, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada has called for an in-vestigation into the reported fatalities to determine if government officials have already addressed the situation.

Estrada, also the concurrent chairman of the committee on labor, employment and human resources development and of the joint congressional oversight committee on overseas workers’ affairs, also expressed sympathy with the family and relatives of OFWs whose bodies were recently repatriated.

“There should be a thorough investigation on the part of the Philippine embassies in countries where our OFWs had been victims of brutal and unnerving maltreatment. We owe our modern heroes and fellow Filipinos justice and final resolution of their cases,” Estrada stressed.

One of these cases is the death of Joy Pampangan, 25, an OFW whose body was sent home a year after her questionable death from Jordan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110924hed5.html

No vacancies in ARMM despite SC ruling—solon By Charlie V. Manalo 09/24/2011

No vacancies in ARMM despite SC ruling—solon

By Charlie V. Manalo 09/24/2011

Despite the Supreme Court’s (SC) restraining the President from appointing officers-in-charge (OICs) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), there will be no void or vacancies in the positions of ARMM governor, vice governor and members of the regional assembly whose terms of office expire on Sept. 30.

This was clarified by House Minority Leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the principal petitioner in the SC who is challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act 10153 which cancelled the Aug. 8 ARMM election and authorized the President to appoint OICs.

Lagman said that existing laws on ARMM, particularly RA 9054, or the Expanded Organic Act of 2001, authorizes the hold-over of incumbents until their successors are duly elected and qualified.

Consequently, the implementation of the hold-over proviso in ARMM is valid, legal and constitutional, according to Lagman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110924nat1.html

Koko urges police: Run after large-scale sex tour syndicates 09/24/2011

Koko urges police: Run after large-scale sex tour syndicates

To effectively purge the rampant sex trade and prostitution in the Philippines, law enforcers should train their guns against large scale sex tour syndicates, promoters and organizers, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said.

Pimentel noted it is the sex tour organizers and operators who are responsible for the upsurge of prostitution in the country.

Many of these syndicates are preying on innocent girls who are taken advantage of, on account of their poverty.

He said it is high time that law enforcers must pursue the organizers and operators of sex tourism who are the real culprits..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110924nat7.html

Palparan attends DoJ hearing with 2 vans full of guards in tow

Palparan attends DoJ hearing with 2 vans full of guards in tow

Controversial former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan yesterday attended the clarificatory hearing by prosecutors on the disappearance of two students five years ago while in a military witchhunt on communist symphatizers.

Speaking to newsmen, Palparan, clad in civilian barong and accompanied by a two vans loaded with plainclothes bodyguards, said he is eyeing another run for a seat in Congress on an anti-communist agenda.

Palparan confirmed he is keen on running as nominee for Bantay party-list in 2013.

“In Congress, I can do a lot against terrorists,” said Palparan who allegedly masterminded violent military operations which resulted in scores of human rights violations and extrajudicial killings targeting activists and insurgents when he was still active in the military..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110924met2.html

Protests vs slash in SUCs budget greet Noy’s arrival By Gerry Baldo 09/24/2011

Protests vs slash in SUCs budget greet Noy’s arrival

By Gerry Baldo 09/24/2011
President Aquino’s arrival from the United States was greeted by nationwide protests to force the government to pour P24 billion more into the funds allotted for the state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the 2012 national budget.

According to Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino, “the nationwide strike embodies the outrage of our SUCs against the inaction of the Aquino administration to reverse the cuts and provide sufficient funding for our public universities.”

Palatino said the P21.8-billion budget given to SUCs for 2012 is actually P24 billion short of the P45.8-billion budget requirement based on the needs of SUCs.

“I urge the Aquino administration to grant these amendments. Otherwise, we’ll be left with no choice but to continue with the protest actions until President Aquino heeds the just demands of our SUCs,” Palatino said during an inter-faith prayer rally at the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110924met1.html

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