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Ignoring the sovereign will EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 10/20/2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ignoring the sovereign will

Click to enlarge
A dangerous precedent has been set by the majority of the Supreme Court (SC) when it ruled to uphold the President’s right to appoint officers in charge (OICs) for all elective posts in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as well as Congress’ right to postpone the ARMM elections and synchronize them with the general elections in 2013.

It is a dangerous precedent because at any time then in the future, the Philippine Congress, which is nothing but a forever rubber stamp of the Malacañang tenant, will always toe the line of the president and postpone any ARMM or Barangay and other elections in order for the President to appoint the OICs of his choice, on the basis of claims to initiate reforms.

What happens in a future time, with another president in Malacañang, who also wants the elected ARMM officials replaced with his appointees?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111020com1.html

Grand screwing FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/20/2011

Grand screwing

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Well, well, well. It looks like these holier than thous now in Noynoy’s Cabinet and still sporting a hypocritical halo, were also into dipping their fingers into the public money jar to also finance the 2004 presidential campaign of their once idol, Gloria Arroyo.

But what hypocrites they are, considering the fact that they too, were in league with the election cheats in 2004 to make Gloria win the presidency, yet made it out as though they were outraged by the poll cheating in 2004, a year after, when all along they were part of the cheating machine.

A witness, who was an officer under Gloria’s presidential adviser on the peace process, Teresita “Ging” Deles, bared that government funds were tapped for such activities, as Deles had provided the logistics for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP)’s part of the campaign, complete with hiring Muslim movie actor Robin Padilla to get the Muslim vote for her then idol..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111020com2.html

Republicanism wanes as queen heads to Australia FEATURE 10/20/2011

Republicanism wanes as queen heads to Australia


SYDNEY — Australia’s republican movement has long argued it is a matter of when, not if, the royals will be ditched, but on the eve of Queen Elizabeth II’s latest visit enthusiasm for severing ties is ebbing.

The former British penal colony voted against becoming a republic in a 1999 referendum and republicanism has seen its fortunes decline since.

As the queen prepares to make her 16th trip Down Under this week, few are expecting any protests on what could be her farewell tour of the country.

National chairman of the Australian Monarchists League Philip Benwell said people had great respect for the queen regardless of their political opinions.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111020com3.html

Isolating Noynoy INSIDE CONGRESS charlie manalo 10/20/2011

Isolating Noynoy

charlie manalo
Amid the questionable surveys by polling firms showing President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino enjoying a remarkable trust and satisfaction rating, thousands of peasants yesterday trooped to the streets all over the country in a series of protest actions to express their strong opposition to Noynoy’s pro-landlord administration.

In Southern Tagalog, around 2,000 peasants crashed the gates of Batangas Pier and symbolically padlocked its gates to show utter dismay to the continued land conversion which has been abused by bug landholders to escape agrarian reform.

In Manila, a few more thousand farmers marched to Mendiola and launched their own version of Occupy Wall Street by laying siege, for the next three days the historical bridge leading to Malacañang..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111020com5.html

Power VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 10/20/2011


Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
First, it was “Horse Power” as some kind of a measure of the pulling strength of an animal. Then it became “Fire Power” with reference to the destructive force of implements of war. Thereafter, there came to fore the famous “People Power” as an empirical proof of the sovereignty of citizens over their government leaders. Now, it is “Nuclear Power” that is the talk of the town — especially so after the devastating Japan experience.

In other words, the need for power, the demand for energy, the need of fuel all rightful and serious preoccupations of a country — especially so when the imperative of socio-economic development becomes a big concern. This is simply because in more ways than one, one kind of power or another is directly or indirectly necessary for the alleviation of poverty. The building of infrastructure, the promotion of industries, the production of common human necessities — all the these and more, require power..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111020com7.html

More killings feared in wake of Aquino’s support for paramilitary deployment in mining areas

 More killings feared in wake of Aquino’s support for paramilitary deployment in mining areas

The government remains blind to everything except the money that it gets from the mining firms – but this money is tainted with our blood; and no amount of money can ever compensate for the loss of our slain tribal leaders who fought for our rights to our own lands.”


MANILA – In the immediate aftermath of President Benigno Aquino III’s decision to support the call of the military to deploy paramilitary groups in mining areas, leaders and members of indigenous groups have sounded the alarm over the worsening militarization in their communities.

Last October 11, six leading members of the indigenous people’s organization Linundigan in Agusan del Sur went into hiding after feeling extremely threatened by members of paramilitary forces. The six individuals said they have strong reasons to believe that their lives are in danger and that they are targets of a possible attack by the paramilitary group Salakawan (“enforcer of all laws” in the local dialect). Their group has chapters in the villages of Sinakongan, Agsabo, Kinamaybay, Bakingking, Maasin and San Jose, all within the municipality of Esperanza in Agusan del Sur.

Earlier in August, some 23 other individuals from the area, including their families, were also forced to go into hiding because of threats from the paramilitary group.

According to Linundigan, its officials and members are being targeted by Salakawan.

Only last June 30, the group’s director Arpe Belayong and his nephew Solte San-ogan, a 21-year old deaf mute, were killed by elements of Salakawan. Belayong was reportedly killed because of his refusal to sign a document on ancestral domain. His signature was needed so loggers could start operations within their ancestral domain.

Belayong’s children, Michelle Belayong, 14, and Adeb Belayong, four years old, were also injured in the attack, sustaining gunshot wounds in the back. Belayong’s widow Maysee and her children were forced to leave their former home. In a report by human rights group Karapatan, the Salakawan members involved in the attack were armed with a garand M1, M14 and carbine rifles. Seen among them was a man known to be a member of the security detail of Mayor Nida Manpatilan, wife of former Mayor Deo Manpatilan..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/20/more-killings-feared-in-wake-of-aquino%e2%80%99s-support-for-paramilitary-deployment-in-mining-areas/

Keppel liable for accident but it is up to workers to file claims – DOLE

Keppel liable for accident but it is up to workers to file claims – DOLE

Labor Undersecretary Lourdes Transmonte said the DOLE cannot file a case against Keppel even if its investigation showed that it is liable for the accident.
Related Story: Govt policies blamed for ‘accidents waiting to happen’ in workplaces
MANILA – There had been the usual “toolbox meeting” in Keppel Subic Shipyard on the morning of Oct 7, before some 230 workers proceeded to continue work on the repair and anti-pirate retrofitting of a 22,650-ton cargo container ship called MV Tombarra.

It is just one ship to work on, and Keppel Subic Shipyard has on average a 1,300 Filipino workforce, according to Keppel Subic Shipyard president Mok Kim Whang. More than two-thirds of these workers are contractual, based on the presentation of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
There had also been a health and safety inspection of Keppel Subic Shipyard last August, according to PEZA in Subic. The findings had been okay, it said.

Keppel and Hanjin are two of the big-ticket shipbuilding and repair investors that took over the facilities in Subic, Zambales after these were converted from being US military bases before. It involved billion-dollar investments and employs thousands of workers. But it has also repeatedly featured in accidents that resulted in deaths and injuries to its workers.

File picture of Keppel workers at work on MV Tombarra’s cargo loading ramp before the Oct 7 accident. (Photo courtesy of DOLE / bulatlat.com)
From the investigations of the Metal Workers’ Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP), Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (IOHSAD), Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) and Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), here is what happened on Oct 7:
- The workers were repairing a ramp used by the cargo ship to load and unload cars. (Ramp weighed 166.4 tons according to Zambales police report, 250 tons according to the workers and witnesses interviewed by MWAP.)

- The said ramp was held in place by steel cables more than an inch in diameter and tied to a part of the ship, which was dry-docked while being repaired; the ramp is several stories high from the ground where other workers were busy. On the other end of the ramp, only one steel post was supporting it.

- The steel cables supporting the ramp from one end snapped, resulting in what sounded like an explosion. But the single steel post supporting the ramp on the other end failed to support the whole weight of the ramp being repaired and retrofitted with anti-pirate plate.

Sample of frayed steel cables that brought about the fall of tons of steel tower post and ramp. (Photo courtesy of DOLE / bulatlat.com)
- Unbalanced, the steel post teetered and fell, bringing the ramp down with it, and an anti-pirate plate to be fitted on it.

(The Zambales police reported that a “crane” used to carry the anti-pirate plate fell on the cables, causing it to snap. But Fernando San Juan, witness and father of Mark San Juan who died during the accident said the “crane” was not yet near the ramp area when the cables snapped. The police attributed their “error” to the lack of engineering experts among them and to the fact that many things at the site had been shifted around and “tampered with” before they arrived. Senator Estrada told the police to interview the witnesses.)

- The steel post crushed the workers who were working under the ramp. Other workers who were working on the ramp slid and fell..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/20/keppel-liable-for-accident-but-it-is-up-to-workers-to-file-claims-%e2%80%93-dole/

Gov’t, MILF trade raps on clash; 19 troops dead 10/20/2011

Gov’t, MILF trade raps on clash; 19 troops dead

Government forces and Muslim rebels which figured in a deadly clash that left at least 19 soldiers dead gave conflicting claims on which side started the firefight with the military accusing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) of shielding terrorists that government forces tried to serve warrants of arrest on and the MILF claiming that government troops initiated the violent confrontation after they attacked a rebel camp near the town of Al-Barka.

Col. Tony Parlade, spokesman for the Philippine Army, accused the MILF of not only shielding its “terrorist criminal comrades” but also sending reinforcements that triggered a 10-hour fierce gun battle with government troops.

The military also accused the MILF of “murdering” six soldiers who were taken captive and earlier declared missing during a clash on Basilan island in which at least 13 other troops died..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111020hed2.html

House body set to reopen PEACe bonds probe 10/20/2011

House body set to reopen PEACe bonds probe

A committee of the House of Representatives is set to reopen its investigation into the controversial P10-billion Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificate (PEACe) bonds that was engineered by Caucus of Development NGO Networks (Code-NGO), a group formerly headed by Social Welfare Sec-retary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, which floated the zero-coupon bonds in a bid to determine those responsible for the loans extended to the government in 2001.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability, yesterday said the panel will resume its hearing on the controversy when Congress resumes sessions on Nov. 14.

Trenas explained that the reopening of the inquiry was an offshoot of the request made by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) which complained the huge obligations that the government will be paying for the maturing bonds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111020hed3.html

Noynoy clears Deles on poll fraud raps By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 10/20/2011

Noynoy clears Deles on poll fraud raps

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 10/20/2011
Even without the benefit of any formal investigation, Malacañang expectedly cleared on a basis of a blanket denial, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita “Ging” Deles on her alleged involvement in elec-toral fraud during the 2004 presidential elections.

While deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte was absolutely certain in declaring the innocence of Deles, even saying that the witness was lying about the role of Deles in the 2004 poll fraud, she could not say the same thing about the other allegations made by Datu Haj Ansari Alonto on the fraud commited, intimating that the other state-ments made were credible.

Alonto testified before the before the Senate that President Aquino’s peace adviser had helped former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo campaign, using public fund as well as engage in cheating operations..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111020hed5.html

Government seizes 25 Chinese boats 10/20/2011

Government seizes 25 Chinese boats

The government said yesterday it had seized 25 small Chinese boats after its navy confronted a larger fishing vessel in disputed South China Sea waters.

On Tuesday’s encounter followed a series of incidents between the two nations in the strategically vital South China Sea this year that have led to a spike in diplomatic tensions.

Government authorities said the bigger Chinese vessel was towing the 25 wooden, motorised dinghies near Reed Bank, an atoll just 150 kilometers (90 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111020nat4.html

‘Poe as RP’s 15th President if proved 2004 polls rigged’ By Angie M. Rosales 10/20/2011

‘Poe as RP’s 15th President if proved 2004 polls rigged’

By Angie M. Rosales 10/20/2011

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero is firm in his resolve in pursuing his filed resolution that would acknowledge late movie icon Fernando Poe Jr. as the 15th President or the rightful winner during the 2004 polls.

The matter is dependent on whatever outcome or evidence that will be gathered by the joint Department of Justice-Commission on Elections (DoJ-Comelec) panel as well as the Senate committee for looking into the alleged massive cheating in the 2004 polls.

“It’s (Resolution No. 543) is aimed at setting the record and correcting the country’s history,” he said in an interview with reporters.

If in the event that evidence would prove that Poe was the rightful winner in the 2004 presidential race, it doesn’t mean that whatever decisions or moves taken by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo would be declared illegal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111020nat1.html

MMDA: Special spaces for motorcycle drivers to be called ‘Blue Lanes’ By Pat C. Santos 10/20/2011

MMDA: Special spaces for motorcycle drivers to be called ‘Blue Lanes’

By Pat C. Santos 10/20/2011

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino announced yesterday the motorcycle lanes along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and Macapagal Avenue in Pasay and Parañaque will be called “Blue Lanes.”

“Our men worked feverishly, round the clock to paint the lanes blue so that they could be easily identified,” the MMDA chief explained.

Effective Oct. 17, non-exclusive motorcycle lanes were designated on the two major thoroughfares: For Commonwealth, the fourth lane from the curb, and for Macapagal, the first. Motorcycle riders are also required to observe a 60-kph speed limit.

For now, violators will not be issued traffic tickets but are required to undergo a 15-minute seminar at designated spots along the thoroughfares. A special sticker is given to a rider who completes the seminar that could be attached to his motorcycle..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111020met5.html

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