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Killing the peace process

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Killing the peace process

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo
Streetwise | BusinessWorld
The cold-blooded murder of 59-year-old Italian missionary priest, Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, who was a champion of indigenous people’s rights, an anti-mining campaigner and a human rights defender, jolts us all to the reality that President Benigno Aquino III’s promise of change is nothing but empty rhetoric aimed at deluding the people into complacency and perpetuating the current iniquitous status quo.

Despite the posturing and loud pronouncements for peace and human rights, the Aquino government has done nothing to fundamentally address the real and age-old problems that drive significant numbers of our people to protest and even take up arms against the government. Worse, unarmed advocates and social activists are assassinated with impunity, continuing the pattern and practice of violent suppression of legitimate protest.

In response to resistance by rural communities, especially of peasants and national minorities, to the land grabbing by big mining companies, loggers, landlords and real estate property developers in cahoots with military and civilian government officials, the Philippine government (GPH) utilizes the same-old carrot-and-stick approach, i.e. dole-out and counterinsurgency programs like the Conditional Cash Transfer Program and Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or PAMANA (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) and Oplan Bayanihan..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/21/killing-the-peace-process/

From Quezon to Misamis Oriental, women coconut farmers struggle to make both ends meet

From Quezon to Misamis Oriental, women coconut farmers struggle to make both ends meet

“Our income as coconut farmers is only enough to cover our expenses for a few days. To survive on the other days, we eat bananas and sweet potatoes.”
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Misamis Oriental — Mylene Santowa, 31, and Dioselyn Marianas, 51, are hundreds of kilometers away from one another. They have not met in person but as coconut farmers, both share the same problems that are rooted in landlessness and poverty.

Since 2007, Santowa has never missed a peasant caravan, a nationally coordinated activity organized by peasant groups every October. These gatherings, where she gets to meet other peasants who are struggling for genuine agrarian reform, inspire her, knowing that she is not alone.

Santowa, who earns primarily from harvesting copra, said she inherited this livelihood from her parents. The land that they have been tilling in San Francisco, Quezon was awarded to their family only in 2007 under the condition that they would pay $11 per month for 30 years.

“But with an income of only roughly $46 every harvest season or at least every two months, we could not afford to pay the monthly amortization,” she told Bulatlat.com in Filipino, “We could not even have a decent meal.”

When asked how she manages to make both ends meet, she replied, “I also do not know how we have been surviving.” Her husband Mileton was forced to leave their hometown to work as a cook in a small eatery in Sampaloc, Manila. While her husband earns $70 a month as a cook, “he still have living expenses in Manila. We are lucky if he could bring home at least half of what he earns.”

Marianas, on the other hand, who live hundreds of kilometers away from the province of Quezon, said she also could not imagine how their family manages to survive day after day. They harvest copra from the nine hectares of land that a well-off Mercado family owns in Ginoog, Misamis Oriental. Every harvest or every three months, Marianas said they earn only about $14.

“It is only enough to cover our expenses for a few days. To survive on the other days, we eat bananas and sweet potatoes,” Marianas said, adding that they also sell cassava on the side for only $0.51 per kilo.


Their conditions, said Marianas, have worsened over the years because of unwritten policies and practices. They have brought these issues before the local government but it has not acted on their concerns.

In Misamis Oriental, Amihan Northern Mindanao, a women peasant organization, said 103,258 out of the 161,599 hectares of agricultural land are allotted for the coconut industry as of 2010. But the scale of the industry in the region did not reflect that of the livelihood of the people working on the ground..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/26/from-quezon-to-misamis-oriental-women-coconut-farmers-struggle-to-make-both-ends-meet/

Iran in the crosshairs of imperialism

Iran in the crosshairs of imperialism

Well known are the methods used by Washington to demonize states that do not submit. As in previous occasions with other recipients, the current disinformation operation against Iran has the clear objective of trying to move to a new stage in the imperialist intervention in the Middle East.

By Rui Paz *

The United States announced the discovery of an Iranian attack being prepared against the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington. But the discredit of the biggest military power on the subject of the so-called "fight against terrorism" is so great that not even a significant part of European and U.S. press hides their skepticism towards the elements presented by the White House...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/crimes/26-10-2011/119438-Iran_in_the_crosshairs_of_imperialism-0/

Daddy is not a nice person: The legacy of Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy

Daddy is not a nice person: The legacy of Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy

Let this article serve for posterity, so that future generations, including the children and grandchildren of these three politicians can read these lines and judge for themselves the difference between what this demonic axis has done in reality and the nonsense they will spout forth in their memoirs. The bottom line is Daddy is not a nice person.

Yes, we can just imagine it. In ten years time, David "If I have to pay anything back, then I shall" Cameron, Nicolas "I hate gypsies and drug addicts" Sarkozy and Barack "Hey I do what I am told" Obama will be preparing their kids for adulthood by advising them which Universities to go to, getting them into the best internships and telling them what Daddy did when Daddy was Prime Minister/President.

We can all predict the rosy-coloured nonsense which will grace the pages of their auto-biographies and memoirs as they pass on to the "chicken run", the lucrative after-dinner speech circuit during which they preen themselves and glorify their legacy, however sickening it may have been. Very often, the repression of the truth and the tension this engenders creates imbalances in the body which can give rise to cancers and other stress-related diseases, as explained through the science of bio-synthesis. ..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/25-10-2011/119437-daddy_legacy-0/

Kin of victims bewail slow Maguindanao massacre trial

Kin of victims bewail slow Maguindanao massacre trial

“Ordinary people like me do not understand why our judicial system is like this. Can it be reformed? It is difficult to accept it would take 20 years or 200 years for the case to be resolved.”
MANILA — Grace Morales, 35, lost a husband and a sister in a massacre that took place on November 23, 2009 and claimed the lives of 58 individuals, 32 of whom are journalists.

Her husband Rosell of News Focus left her with three children, now aged 13, eleven and eight. Her sister Marites Cablitas left behind three children. “At that time, I did not know what to do. Two of my loved ones were killed. Who should I console first, my mother-in-law, my own children or my nieces and my nephew,” Morales told the fellows of the Graciano Lopez Jaena Workshop at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Morales, along with the other families of slain journalists, filed cases against the suspects, members of the powerful and influential Ampatuan clan who have been reigning in Maguindanao province. Barely a month before the massacre marks its second year, the trial has still been grinding slowly.

Almost two years after the Ampatuan massacre, the trial is locked up in bail proceedings, with 48 suspects filing petitions for bail, said lawyer Prima Quinsayas of the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ). Of the 196 suspects in the carnage of 58 individuals, including 32 journalists, only two have been arraigned so far.

“Even under Aquino’s administration, we are not moving,” Quinsayas said. “So much for Aquino’s promises…”

Recently, the court granted the motion filed by lawyers of Datu Unsay and Maguindanao mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. to present rebuttal evidence to the opposition filed by the prosecution against Unsay’s petition for bail.

“This is unusual. The general rule is that it is only the prosecution that presents evidence during bail proceedings because it has to prove the strong probability of guilt to oppose the petition,” Quinsayas said. The defense, said Quinsayas, cited only one Supreme Court decision to justify its petition. Quinsayas argued that the particular jurisprudence being cited by the defense is not applicable to the circumstances of the Ampatuan case.

In the same forum, Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III described the recent developments in the case as “disturbing.” He said that under the rules of court, petitions for bail should be summary and the defense can file petitions for bail if the evidence of guilt is weak.

“We are confident that it will be denied. The evidence against Andal is very strong. In a surprising turn of events, the court granted the right [of the accused] to submit rebuttal evidence,” Baraan said. “That will delay the resolution of the case.”

“Can you imagine the court allowing all the 40 plus [suspects] to present rebuttal evidence?” Quinsayas said. “Unfortunately, we have to work with the rules of court. The Supreme Court is not very open to the idea of revising the rules of court,” Quinsayas said.

Editha Tiamzon, widow of UNTV driver Daniel Tiamzon, one of the victims of the Ampatuan massacre, said, “We find the trial very slow. Even if hearings are held twice a week, it is as though nothing is happening. We are not satisfied. Two years has passed and still, we see no light.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/10/26/kin-of-victims-bewail-slow-maguindanao-massacre-trial/

I Survived Lunkan Range

I Survived Lunkan Range

DLUMAY, Sarangani — We were trekking the Lunkan Range for nearly six hours. Exhausted and thirsty, I was desperate to reach Sitio Dlumay at the soonest possible time. There was hardly an opportunity to crack a joke regarding what we were going through. But while I was bravely walking down a ravine, I noticed a woman, in her early fifties, sitting down along the road, laughing while hitting the ground with her hand.
“What’s so funny?” I thought to myself. Well, if you are also curious why, allow me to take you back to Day 1.

My fellow writer Len phoned me on August 5, asking if I am interested to cover a fact-finding mission in Sarangani. Upon seeing the itinerary of the fact-finding mission, however, I was somehow reluctant to join as it includes an 8-hour trek to reach the community that we would visit. I thought that I might not be physically fit to endure it. Until now, actually, I don’t know why I agreed to go.

I arrived at General Santos City on August 9, along with four other participants. I got to hear more dreadful stories about the 8-hour trek during the orientation. It made me even more anxious. If there was anything that consoled me, it was the fact that I would not go through it alone. The following morning, in a “weapon” (or big truck), our journey to Dlumay began.

One of the three weapons passing through the Suyan River(Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
Along the national highway, we took the trip in stride. We woo-ed and wee-ed every time the weapon would bank in one direction to another. But Maricel Salem, head teacher of Blaan Learning Community Center, or as I fondly call Teacher Lisa, told us that we should brace ourselves as we would be “crossing” the Suyan River in a while.
A few minutes later, I understood why. We did not cross the river. We passed through the Suyan River.
It was far from anything that I had expected. The weapon tilted sideways as it passed on big boulders. It was almost hard to decide who screamed the loudest: the participants or the weapon’s engine. In fact, a few minutes later, I was too scared to photograph our trip, entertaining thoughts that the weapon might tumble down the river or fall sideways.

I am very sure that Sarangani’s “river highway” is a first of its kind. Even other participants, including Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino, who had visited other far-flung communities said this is also the first time he has experienced such. Yet, it is not something that the Sarangani province should be proud of.

I could hardly remember how the weapon reached the village proper of Upper Suyan. All I can recall is how thankful I was that we were all safe. Inside a classroom of Milliona Elementary School, I fell asleep while convincing myself that I would survive the trek the following morning..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/08/19/i-survived-lunkan-range/

Coup plot brewing, admits Malacañang By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 10/26/2011


Coup plot brewing, admits Malacañang

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 10/26/2011

Citing certain unnamed forces as stoking the fire of discontent within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Malacañang admitted yesterday the existence of a plot for another military uprising and that President Aquino is reportedly keeping a keen eye on the development.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte confirmed reports of a brewing coup plot amid reports of discontent among many soldiers on the way President Aquino handled the Al-Barka and Zamboanga Sibugay attacks by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

And in an apparent move to appease the soldiers who are unhappy with Aquino’s earlier pronouncements
taking the side of the MILF, Malacañang is now talking tough but only against the so-called “lawless elements” who are behind the attacks that killed 19 soldiers in Al-Barka and 10 policemen and soldiers in Zamboanga Sibugay and supposed coddlers in the MILF, thus keeping itself in a state of denial over the possibility that the MILF is behind the spate of violence..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111026hed1.html

VP Binay off to Saudi as Noy’s representative to Prince’s funeral 10/26/2011

VP Binay off to Saudi as Noy’s representative to Prince’s funeral

Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday left for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to officially extend the country’s condolences to the bereaved family of the late Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Azziz al Saud.
He went as President Aquino’s representative.

“The Crown Prince was a man of vision and many achievements. But for us, he was a true friend of the Philippines and Filipinos,” Binay said in a statement.

“We would like to assure His Majesty, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Royal Family and the people of Saudi Arabia that the government and the people of the Philippines stand with them at this hour of their great loss,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111026hed5.html

Pirates release Pinoy sailor, 23 others after nearly two years of captivity By Michaela P. del Callar 10/26/2011

Pirates release Pinoy sailor, 23 others after nearly two years of captivity

By Michaela P. del Callar 10/26/2011

A Filipino sailor, along with 23 other crew members of a Panama-flagged vessel captured by ransom-seeking pirates off Somalia, was freed over the weekend after being held for nearly two years.

Reports said the ship and its crew were released after alleged payment of ransom.

As a policy, the Philippine government does not negotiate nor pay ransom to kidnappers, but gives ship owners the free hand in negotiating for the release of abducted Filipino sailors..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111026nat1.html

Binay: Enforce drug counterfeit law 10/26/2011

Binay: Enforce drug counterfeit law

Vice President Jejomar Binay has called on all relevant government agencies to ensure strict enforcement of the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs, the Food and Drug Administration Act of 1908, and the Consumer Act to protect Filipinos from the harmful effects of counterfeit drugs.

“Counterfeit drugs and medicines can literally kill our people. Fake drugs cause real pain and suffering,and the victims are hardworking Filipinos who spend hard-earned money to buy medicine. This must not be allowed to continue,” the Vice President said during his speech at the 1st Philippine Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Summit.

Binay also stressed the importance of protecting intellectual property rights in bringing the country closer to its goal of economic development and global competitiveness.

“IPR violations impede creative growth, diffuse creative capital and kill local industries,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111026nat3.html

QC mayor signs socialized housing tax ordinance into law By Arlie O. Calalo 10/26/2011

QC mayor signs socialized housing tax ordinance into law

By Arlie O. Calalo 10/26/2011

Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista yesterday signed into law the controversial Socialized Housing Tax (SHT) ordinance which aims to generate P185 million annually in the next five years to fund his administration’s pro-poor housing program.

“This measure would be a one big step forward in the city government’s effort to provide decent, affordable and safe shelter to qualified informal settlers and low-income families in the city starting next year,” Bautista said.

Members of the Local Housing Board, city council, department heads and Quezon City Press Club witnessed the simple rites held at the Bulwagang Amoranto at the City Hall Complex.

With the passage of the SHT ordinance, the local government can be able to generate additional revenue of P185 million annually in the next five years which it can use to push through with its pro-poor housing programs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111026met1.html

13 leaks found on epic pipeline in Makati alone M E T R O F I L E 10/26/2011

13 leaks found on epic pipeline in Makati alone


Other than the leak at the West Tower basement in Bangkal, Makati, 12 other leakages have been discovered in Makati alone along the 117- kilometer pipeline of the Lopez-owned First Philippine Industrial Corp. (FPIC), said the lawyer of the victims of the petroleum leakage. Lawyer Lorna Kapunan said the information on the leaks was contained in a document sourced from the FPIC, photocopies of which she distributed to reporters, at a Quezon City forum also attended by Environment officials. At the same forum, Kapunan said the Lopez scion herself, Gina Lopez, admitted that the petroleum leak at the West Tower condominium was indeed an environmental disaster. She made the admission prior to the launching of the 10 million signature drive to stop mining in Palawan, Kapunan said. The Lopez group lied when it claimed that the FPIC pipeline was new when it entered into a 25-year contract with Shell and Chevron UK in 1992 to transport oil products from Bantangas to Pandacan, Manila, the lawyer added. Contrary to the Lopezes’ claim, Kapunan said in Makati alone, there are 13 areas found to have leaked and plugged, including Bangkal. FPIC’s corroded and aging pipeline is like a calamity that could explode anytime that could harm the people and destroy the environment from Batangas to Manila:.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111026met7.html

MMDA chief says motorcycle lanes will also be implemented on Edsa, C-5 By Pat C. Santos 10/26/2011

MMDA chief says motorcycle lanes will also be implemented on Edsa, C-5

By Pat C. Santos 10/26/2011
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is bent on implementing motorcycle lanes on major thoroughfares in the metropolis to include the stretch of Edsa and C-5 Road despite a petition for temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by numerous motorcycle riders.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the policy has the support of Metro mayors as well as majority of the public, adding the agency welcomed the petition before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) by the Motorcycle Rights Association (MRA) calling for the court’s intervention to stop what it said was the “unconstitutional” designation of a motorcycle or blue lane along the 12.5-kilometer long Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

“We welcome the suit filed by the motorcycle riders group but we are confident we have the support of the local government units and the public,” Tolentino said. He explained that “judicial process (like the petition for injunction) should have only been used when there is imminent threat to lives and public safety.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111026met3.html

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