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Groups denounce left and right price hikes, propose relief measures and solutions

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Groups denounce left and right price hikes, propose relief measures and solutions

In the light of the worsening hunger and poverty and given the already soaring prices of commodities, it is feared that the triple threats of price hikes may well turn out to be the “straw that will break the camel’s back,” said Lana Linaban, secretary-general of Gabriela.

MANILA – Protests marked almost every day of the past two weeks as drivers, workers, women, the urban poor, students and peasants launched different mass actions to oppose oil price hikes, another looming toll fee hike, a scheduled electricity rate hike and threat of a transport fare hike.

The Drivers and small operators affiliated with Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) launched a noise barrage in Cubao, Quezon City last Tuesday to denounce the latest, almost P2 ($.05) hike in pump prices of oil. George San Mateo, national president of Piston, told Bulatlat.com that they are “not supporting the P2 ($0.05) jeepney fare hike petition submitted by other transport groups last Monday to the LTFRB.”

These transport groups that petitioned the LTFRB for fare hike include the Pasang Masda, Acto, LTOP, Altodap, and 1Utak. They cited the hike in prices of oil products as justification for their fare hike petition.
“These so-called transport leaders have lost the moral high ground to demand for a fare hike to ‘help’ the drivers,” said San Mateo.

“The leaders of these transport groups have allowed themselves to be used by the Big Three oil companies and President Benigno Aquino III when they turned their backs on our unity to launch a transport strike last Sept 19, to oppose the ceaseless oil overpricing and oil price hikes,” San Mateo said. In having allowed themselves to be used by the Big 3 and Aquino, they have “no moral high ground to ask for a fare hike,” said San Mateo.

San Mateo slammed the said fare hike petition, which is limited to just National Capital Region, Region 3 and Region 4, as “divisive and deceptive.”

“Majority of drivers all over the country are feeling the pinch of oil price hikes, especially since in other provinces such as in the Visayas and in Mindanao, diesel and gasoline sometimes cost P5 ($0.12) per liter more compared to the already overpriced rates in the National Capital Region,” San Mateo said.

Piston reiterated that the better relief for majority of drivers and commuters would still come from suspending the Value-Added Tax (VAT) imposition on oil, withdrawing the P9 ($0.21) overpricing and doing away with the oil deregulation law altogether. San Mateo dared the Aquino government to do these and provide relief to all drivers and Filipinos.

Proposed toll hike slammed

Last Friday, an alliance opposing toll fee hikes condemned the public consultation held by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB). Tutol-Slex said the meeting is “a bull-headed attempt to ram the newly-proposed toll fee hikes down the peoples’ throat.”

Toll hikes are blamed as one of the causes of price hikes of commodities and transport. (Photo by Tudla Productions / bulatlat.com)
“What kind of a public consultation is this? The government officials in the TRB board of directors, who are supposed to uphold the public’s interest on this issue, did not attend. The stakeholders were not furnished with a copy of the petition for a toll hike, making it hard for us to prepare to refute pro-hike arguments,” said Sammy Malunes, TUTOL Hike spokesperson.

The contract between the government and the private corporations managing the expressways states that the corporations may increase toll fees every three years after holding public consultations on the proposal.
Ramon Te, councilor of the City of Caloocan and TUTOL Hike co-convener, warned against the “ill effects” of implementing another toll fee hike. He urged local government officials to speak up against the toll fee hikes, saying he is aware of how their constituents “are suffering from the increase in the prices of basic goods and services caused by the toll hikes.”... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/22/groups-denounce-left-and-right-price-hikes-propose-relief-measures-and-solutions/

The passion of famed botanist Leonard Co

The passion of famed botanist Leonard Co

Sidebar: Leonard Co remembered with tree-planting and re-launch of Common Medicinal Plants of Cordillera
MANILA – “A tree dies. A tree lives. The forest lives forever.” These words greet everyone who would view the photo exhibit put up in memory of botanist Leonard Co at UP Diliman’s Palma Hall. Leonard Co and two of his four companions were killed a year ago by the Philippine military in the forest of Kananga, Leyte while conducting field research. He was collecting plant specimens of endangered species.

The military claims that Co and two of his four companions were killed in a crossfire. But the surviving members of his team swore that there had been no crossfire because the Philippine Army was the only armed group present at the scene during the shooting. The Commission on Human Rights also reported in an evaluation of the physical evidences presented from the scene that the massacre victims did not die due to a crossfire.

Although a year has passed since then and plenty of hearings and a few field investigations have been conducted, those responsible for the death of Co and two of his four companions on that field research have yet to be held accountable for the crime, said the Justice for Leonard Co Movement. As such, on the first anniversary of his death, Co’s family and friends, students and colleagues and members of the Justice for Leonard Co Movement dubbed the activities they held as “a struggle against forgetting, a fight against injustice.”


Leonard Co spent much of his life in the company of plants and people wanting to get to know them better, for all its beneficial uses. From testimonies of those who had known him, worked with him, laughed with him, trekked the mountain and forest trails with him, ate with him and learned from and with him, it appeared that Leonard Co’s ceaseless study and documentation of Philippine plants had transcended the formal structure in the study of that field by the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Biology. Through the years the people comprising the institute had unconsciously given him space, respect and recognition.

Leonard Co with a flowering plant he identified and discovered (Photo courtesy of UP Institute of Biology / bulatlat.com)
“Leonard Co entered UP as botany freshman in the early 70s and never left,” said Dr Perry Ong, head of the Institute of Biology, UP Diliman. Leonard Co was the last graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Botany degree in the institute in 2008. He became a familiar figure, a resident almost, of UP’s Herbarium, which had been like home to him. “Wherever work takes him, at the end of the day, he always goes back to the Herbarium in UP Diliman, noted Dr. Ong.

Co was already an acclaimed master and an authority on Philippine plants when he finally acquired his diploma, which was just a formality, said his colleagues. To students, he was known as that generous Chinese in the Herbarium who would “cure you of plant blindness,” as Dr Ong described his infectious love of plants. He explained that Co and his friend Lagunzad could make you appreciate all the plants in the vicinity, even those you would ordinarily not notice.....MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/17/the-passion-of-famed-botanist-leonard-co/

Africa? Where is Africa?

 Africa? Where is Africa?

Correct, we might well ask because Africa is apparently invisible and has certainly been inaudible, looking on cowering in fear as a new wave of neo-colonialism is launched against her shores, by the same demons who sold Africans into slavery and stole her resources. As Mother Africa is raped, her sons look on like voyeurs.

Those of us who have worked hard behind the scenes telling the world about the real intentions of NATO, telling the world that there is a grand scheme and a pattern which began with Afghanistan not in 2001 after 9/11 but back in the 1990s when Mullah Omar refused to take a bribe from the USA giving US energy companies transportation rights of the fuel resources from Central Asia across his country. It continued with Iraq, the last piece in the puzzle securing Iran's western frontier for invasion.

For those who have any doubts at all, then google up Iran and US bases and tell me the Islamic Republic is not surrounded both on land and by sea. Tunisia and Egypt set the scene in preparation for Libya, as I said in this column and then, as Mother Africa was gang-raped by among the worst demonic scourge this planet has ever seen, what did Africa's sons do? Absolutely nothing at all..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/world/africa/21-11-2011/119692-africa_where-0/

‘CIA, MI6 and Mossad: Together against Syria’ (w/ VIDEO)

‘CIA, MI6 and Mossad: Together against Syria’

The West is doing its best to destabilize the situation in Syria, author and journalist Webster Tarpley told RT. According to him, civilians have to deal with death squads and blind terrorism, which is typical of the CIA.
­“What average Syrians of all ethnic groups say about this is that they are being shot at by snipers. 

People complained that there are terrorist snipers who are shooting at civilians, blind terrorism simply for the purpose of destabilizing the country. I would not call this civil war – it is a very misleading term. What you are dealing with here are death squads, you are dealing with terror commandos; this is a typical CIA method. In this case it’s a joint production of CIA, MI6, Mossad, it’s got money coming from Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and Qatar, he explained..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/syria-terrorism-cia-destabilization-863/

What people want NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/22/2011

What people want

Armida Siguion-Reyna
You must have heard about the one where President Erap sends a text message to the woman who put him in jail: “Belat, ako ang nasa Singapore.”

Or seen the one where her neck-brace’s headgear’s been altered to make her appear as if playing the immensely-popular word game on Eat Bulaga, “Pinoy Henyo” and she’s supposed to be guessing “Singapore” with various captions that not only show the average Pinoy’s skill with punning but especially his lack of respect for the former president.

It’s not the time to be funny, conservatives say. So what, if Mikey Arroyo was watching the premiere showing of a vampire movie in the US, when his mother was “treated without respect” — Elena Bautista-Horn’s words, not mine..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111122com4.html

Anti-population administration VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 11/22/2011

Anti-population administration

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Problem: There is pervasive poverty and consequent lack of food, shelter and clothing. There are more and more protests from more and more sectors of society. There is more and more criminality not only in the streets but also in private residences.

Cause: Population — according to the present administration. Solution: Do away with population, promote contraception, get rid of children — according to the same administration.

Annoyance: More mouths to feed, to clothe and to house, more people to complain and lament, more and more individuals registering their dissent and criticisms, all brought about by population..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111122com7.html

Days of the jackals AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 11/22/2011

Days of the jackals

Ken Fuller
There is a scene in Guiseppe de Lampedusa’s 1958 novel The Leopard (brought to the screen five years later in a visually stunning film by Luchino Visconti) in which Don Fabrizio, the larger-than-life prince of Salina, meditates upon the decline of his aristocratic class and the rise of the bourgeoisie in a unified Italy as he gazes upon the squalid poverty of his Sicily. “We,” he muses, “were the leopards; the lions; those who’ll take our place will be little jackals, hyenas…”

These words came to mind as I watched the horrifying end of Moammer Kadhafi on the video that circled the globe in the days following Oct. 20. Leaving aside the question of whether Kadhafi qualified for the description of leopard or lion, there seems little doubt that those who have replaced him are jackals and hyenas.

In addition to their treatment of Kadhafi, they may be judged by their arbitrary arrest, and sometimes murder, of dark-skinned Libyans, their slaughter of those 267 of his supporters found in a mass grave in his home town of Sirte and, we can expect, further atrocities yet to be unveiled..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111122com5.html

Noy seeks Sokor’s help in upgrading military 11/22/2011

Noy seeks Sokor’s help in upgrading military

Apart from the United States, President Aquino yesterday revealed that he also sought the assistance of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak for a military upgrade but did not say whether this will come as a defense assistance agreement or through simple supply arrangement.

“On defense cooperation, I expressed to President Lee the interest of the Philippines to gain some specific defense articles, such as military-grade helicopters, boats and aircraft,” Aquino, who hosted the state visit of the foreign leader, told reporters.

“This is in consonance with the upgrading and modernization of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” he added.

Lee did not disclose any response to.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111122hed6.html

Comelec’s complaint vs Gloria ‘fatally flawed’ By Angie M. Rosales 11/22/2011

Comelec’s complaint vs Gloria ‘fatally flawed’

By Angie M. Rosales 11/22/2011

The case lodged by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against former president now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo suffers from major flaws, the Arroyo counsel and spokesman Ferdinand Topacio said yesterday.

He pointed out that the Nov. 18 resolution of the poll body finding probable cause against Arroyo is “fatally flawed and may be annuled, as he stressed that section 5, rule 3 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure calls for a quorum and votes required.

In Section 5. on Quorum; Votes Required, the proviso says that (a) when sitting en banc, four members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. The concurrence of a majority of the members of the Commission shall be necessary for the pronouncement of a decision, resolution, order or ruling..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111122hed1.html

100 massacre suspects still at large, security forces intensify hunt By Mario J. Mallari 11/22/2011

100 massacre suspects still at large, security forces intensify hunt

By Mario J. Mallari 11/22/2011
Two years after the massacre of at least 58 civilians, more than 30 of whom were media practi-tioners, in Maguindanao province, police and military authorities continue to run after more than 100 suspects in the gruesome killing.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. yesterday said the military continues to extend full support to the Philippine National Police (PNP), through intelligence gathering, in the hunt for the perpetrators still at large.

As of latest count, Burgos said more than 100 suspects in the Maguindanao massacre remain at large.

“We continue to support the PNP in running after persons at-large. We will continue to support law enforcement operations of the PNP,” he stressed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111122hed4.html

Senate approves bills on education, labor rights 11/22/2011

Senate approves bills on education, labor rights

The Senate yesterday approved two bills on third and final reading; one seeking to stop discrimination in the workplace and other areas of society and another measure seeking to make kindergarten education mandatory among five year pupils.

First to be approved by19 senators present was the Kindergarten Education Act of 2011, sponsored by Sen. Edgardo Angara. The bill was earlier approved on second reading before the Senate adjourned for a recess last October.

Also approved unanimously on third reading was Senate Bill 2814, otherwise known as the Anti-Discrimination Act was sponsored by Sen. Loren Legarda, chairman of Senate committee on cultural communities.

Legarda said she was hopeful that there will be lesser cases of discrimination in the country in the event SB 2814 will be enacted into law..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111122nat5.html

SC to decide coverage terms for GMA trial By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 11/22/2011

SC to decide coverage terms for GMA trial

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 11/22/2011

After questioning the Supreme Court (SC)’s impartiality in making a ruling that reversed the watch list order issued by the Department of Justice against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo.

Malacañang said yesterday that it will be up to the high tribunal to decide on whether or not to allow a live coverage on her trial in relation to the electoral sabotage case filed before a Pasay City court.

In a text message, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that the issue on the live coverage was likewise settled by the SC with respect to the Maguindanao case trial..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111122nat1.html

Lim commemorates US Governor Harrison’s death anniversary 11/22/2011

Lim commemorates US Governor Harrison’s death anniversary

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim remembered Filipino loving United States Gov. Gen. Francis Burton Harrison by commemorating his 54th death anniversary with the participation of Consul General of the United States of America Embassy, Michael Schimmel at the Manila North Cemetery.

“Harrison was fair to Filipinos whom he gave many opportunities to start meaningful careers in the civil service. Thanks to the well-educated and cultured government official, which Manila can boast of an outstanding heritage edifice,” Lim said.

“He is remembered for his integrity, Christian discipline and love for his fellow human beings,” Lim added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111122met4.html

RH backers camp out; Church says bill promotes homosexuality By Gerry Baldo 11/22/2011

RH backers camp out; Church says bill promotes homosexuality

By Gerry Baldo 11/22/2011

Sensing that the Reproductive Health (RH) bill is not going to get the nod of the House of Representatives before the Christmas break, supporters of the measure yesterday urged House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to intervene and rev up the legislative mill for the controversial bill.

Akbayan party-list Reps. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao and Walden Bello said the House leadership should refrain from entertaining repetitive queries from the critics of the RH bill.

“The discussions are over. The interpellation has been enough. It is clear that the anti-RH (lawmakers) are delaying this process. The discussion has been comprehensive and exhaustive. It is time to vote,” Bag-ao said. At the last count there are at least 25 lawmakers who are queued to debate proponents of the bill..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111122met1.html

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