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Scapegoating again DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 11/25/2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Scapegoating again

Herman Tiu Laurel
Only after a year-and-a-half of very obvious dilly-dallying — with what was deliberately an ill-conceived Truth Commission and countless false starts of much publicized plunder and electoral fraud accusations against Gloria Arroyo that spurred a national chorus of denouncement after a cat-and-mouse comedy unfurled at the international airport — did the BS Aquino III administration finally file a case to legally hold its supposed bête noire in the country.

It’s not a narrative that can convince any keen observer of the seriousness of this government in seeking justice, especially since the hospital arrest of PeNoy’s predecessor changes nothing in the oppressive conditions brought forth by their successive regimes.

Rates for electricity, water, toll ways, the MRT/LRT, tuition, as well as prices of basic goods — and, consequently, poverty and hunger — all continue to rise. These are but a continuing legacy of an Edsa II Yellow coup more than 10 years ago that reversed the pro-people Erap administration’s no price increase policy.

With GDP growth down to 4.5 percent from a projected 6 percent; a massive drop in exports; beleaguered collections at the Bureau of Customs; the worsening poverty and hunger indices; and, among many other things, the embarrassing admission that government will have to import 860,000 tons of rice again despite promises by the Agriculture Secretary and PeNoy himself that rice imports are a thing of the past, the arrest of Mrs. Arroyo is simply an attempt at a PR bonanza for an incumbent regime that now badly — nay, desperately — needs it.

It’s very clear that around two months ago, the foreign and local PR advisers of Aquino III managed to convince him that the Aquinorroyo “deal” had to be revised, with Arroyo sacrificed for the good of his administration. Besides, the clamor from the victims of Gloria’s transgressions, including those who were cheated by her electoral and political violations, could not be denied anymore.

Still, there was no lack of defense of Arroyo from the largest bunch of hypocrites within the administration and outside its circle, convincing me even more that the whole affair is the moro-moro I have said it to be all along.

While the mouthpieces of Malacañang and the Department of Justice (DoJ) insist that they are only pursuing the law while foregoing due process, the so-called experts cum sophistic legal authorities who defiled the law at Edsa II, like that Jesuit Bernas who justified the violation of the people’s democratic vote for President Estrada, now argue in behalf of Mrs. Arroyo’s legal rights to due process and equal protection of the law.
At the same time, as the Supreme Court was believed to have tipped Gloria off on its impending issuance of the TRO to give her time to make a sprint to the airport, Malacañang had to stop the flight by hook or by crook as the skeptic, in seeing the larger ruse, would have busted all of them.

That larger ruse is the continuance of the system that has prevailed since Edsa I: The myth that the rule of law reigns and that democracy and justice exist in this country.

Edsa I restored the old oligarchic families, all of whom, according of Alfred McCoy’s An Anarchy of Families: State and Family in the Philippines, Marcos had begun to dismantle earlier. Only idiots wouldn’t see that since 1986, upon Cory Aquino takeover, government has merely been reduced to an alternation of oligarchic factions in monopolizing the nation’s wealth.

Gloria is now the scapegoat of these families despite the fact that PeNoy and his cronies all aided and abetted her usurpation of power twice and partook of the economic plunder and defilement of all government institutions and the rule of law.

Real justice, thus, can only be attained if we see all of them jailed with Gloria, starting with the businessmen who have transferred loyalties to Aquino to continue their plunder.

Unlike their ouster and persecution of Estrada that were hugely detested by the general population, the scapegoating of Gloria is a very effective move. Estrada had genuine efforts to champion the people such as the lowering of the MRT fares; the non-implementation of any power or water rate increases in his attenuated two-and-a-half year term; the elimination of the MILF camps; his support of the peasantry in land reform and irrigation programs; and, not to forget, his lunches with the urban poor in their homes.

When they tried to make a scapegoat of Estrada, the masses exploded in protest, leading to the Edsa III uprising where Gloria Arroyo had to machinegun them down. Their moves against Estrada were, in fact, popular only with the oligarchs and the US Embassy.

In contrast, when Arroyo’s henchmen allegedly tried to build up her rally crowd last week with an offer of P500 per person, they weren’t even able to muster a few hundred, forcing them to call it off. Of course, Gloria’s better organizers such as Dinky Soliman and Ronald Llamas are now with PeNoy, gleefully handling billions in doleout funds.

As such, the real cancers continue to fester in our political-economy, with the Arroyo scapegoat as the opiate to distract the people from their misery.

Even as my radio listeners rejoiced at the arrest of Gloria, the euphoria quickly dimmed when I asked: “Does this bring down your electricity or water bill, or the VAT (value added tax) that’s now added to the toll ways, and even to marinated meats and fish (yes, Virginia, even tocino)? Will this stop the fare increases in the MRT or other modes of transport, or the corruption in all three branches of government?”
The worst part of this scapegoating is that the looting and plunder under the new administration will exacerbate under the cloud of dust this arrest has kicked up — which will stay in the air for weeks and months while the Office of the Executive Secretary and its allies in Congress, local government (Quezon City, for one), and everywhere else wreak havoc.

(Tune in to Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Saturday, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “An Interview with Ken Fuller, Author of A Movement Divided”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111125com6.html

Christmas bonus NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 11/25/2011

Christmas bonus

Armida Siguion-Reyna
Us Aawitan Kita sa Buong Mundo singers were supposed to be doing four shows in the Middle East this time of the year, in Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, so we pushed our Aawitan Kita sa Makati National Heroes episode to the first week of November, and planned for an early Christmas show today.

Our trip got postponed to January, what’s scheduled for today goes on at 5:30 p.m., at the University of Makati’s 6th floor auditorium, entitled “Pasko, Pasko!” with Bimbo Cerrudo, Lirio Vital, Reymond Sajor, Rachelle Gerodias, Raul Montesa, Bayang Barrios, Joel Villaflor, Bangge Mabanta, and yours truly, featuring such songs as “Ngayon ay Pasko Na,” “Kampana ng Simbahan,” “Kami Po Ay Paskuhan,” “Dalangin sa Pasko,” “Heto na Naman ang Pasko,” “Kumukuti-kutitap,” “Mis Kita Kung Krismas” and many more, including what as early as now appears to be a showstopper in “The Prayer,” to be sung by Gerodias, Villaflor and Cerrudo..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111125com4.html

Rebel arts: Occupy seek studio space

Rebel arts: Occupy seek studio space

Art has always flourished on the fertile ground of protest and revolution so it’s perhaps no surprise that Occupy Wall Street art and culture activists are looking to get their own permanent art space.

­Artists form one of the largest groups within the movement and have been behind most of Occupy Wall Street’s creative posters, puppets and related artwork. They now want to find a multi-functional space for studio work, concerts, performances, exhibitions, film screenings, art classes for children and much more, the Art Newspaper reports.

Art produced and inspired by the protesters and their ideas has already featured in several exhibitions held in public galleries. However as the powers that be are constantly suppressing the movement, finding a haven from harassment is a logical move..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/art-and-culture/news/occupy-wall-art-space-171/

Nuke carrier leads US strike force into Syrian waters (v/ Video)

Nuke carrier leads US strike force into Syrian waters

Nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush has anchored off the Syrian coast. As an Arab League deadline to allow observers into the country passes with no response from Damascus, the possibility of intervention in Syria seems to be growing.

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group along with additional naval vessels are to remain in the Mediterranean to conducting maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.The US 6th Fleet is also patrolling the area, Interfax news agency reports.

Meanwhile, America and Turkey are urging their citizens to leave Syria. The US released a statement on Wednesday urging American citizens to “depart immediately while commercial transportation is available.”.... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/syria-intervention-us-warship-229/

Finally, a real ‘MMORS’ clean-up C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 11/25/2011

Finally, a real ‘MMORS’ clean-up

Jonathan De la Cruz
“MMORS” is short for the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando-River-System, a labyrinth of rivers, esteros and other bodies of water flowing through and influences the densest populated areas within the Metro Manila and Central Luzon regions. The system has been tagged by no less than the New York-based Blacksmith Institute and other reputable environmental monitoring groups as one of the most polluted, if not the dirtiest, river systems in the world. This system which is directly interconnected with the Pasig and Pampanga rivers gets to dump all of its wastes into Manila Bay, another body of water which has also been tagged as one big waste basin,and, by now, should be inching its way toward being part of the select group of “dead bodies of water” in the world like Lake Baikal in Russia.

Well, MMORS’ most polluted appellation may soon be a thing of the past. It has taken some time but with loads of political will and with the binding inducement of the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Manila Bay clean-up, the DENR and concerned local government units, namely, the Province of Bulacan, Valenzuela City and the towns of Marilao, Meycauayan and Obando, among others, signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to encourage and guide the clean up of the rivers and the influenced areas in a scientific and expanded manner..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111125com5.html

Gabriela to lead actions on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Gabriela to lead actions on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

All over the world on November 25, women will be holding mobilizations, protest actions and awareness-raising activities such as lectures, conferences, round table discussions, cultural fora and press conferences to condemn violence against women and imperialist aggression.

Gabriela Women’s Network and the International Women’s Alliance (IWA) have issued the call to all women from all walks of life to join the internationally-coordinated actions on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The IWA said that all over the world on November 25, IWA-allied groups will be holding mobilizations, protest actions and awareness-raising activities such as lectures, conferences, round table discussions, cultural fora and press conferences to condemn VAW and imperialist aggression.

In the Philippines, women’s group led by Gabriela will hold a protest in Mendiola at 1 p.m.. Earlier in the day, however, the Manila City government through the office of Mayor Lim will open an exhibit and launch the city hall’s legal assistance program for women-victims.

Earlier this week, Gabriela Women’s Party’s two representatives in Congress opened a photo exhibit entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins Against Women.”

GWP Representatives Luz Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus were joined by Pangasinan Rep. Gina De Venecia and officers of the Center for Women’s Resources, and Just Associates. The photo exhibit which runs until Nov. 29 at the Ramon V. Mitra Hall features photographs and illustrations by various artists and photojournalists . The themes portrayed are rape and incest; domestic violence; sexual harassment; sex trafficking; white slavery and prostitution; discrimination in the workplace; inaccessibility of health services; and state-instigated violence.

Former political prisoner and spokesperson of the human rights group SELDA Angie Ipong also delivered a message. She spoke about her ordeal as a victim of state-instigated violence and stressed the importance of women’s participation in the fight against violence. Ipong, 67, was illegally arrested, manhandled and tortured in March 8, 2000. Also present during the exhibit opening were Mercy Castro of the Morong 43 who was denied health services despite her difficult pregnancy in jail; and family members of Ampatuan Massacre victims.

Also present at the exhibit opening were Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Villarica, Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino,and ACT Teachers Partylist Rep.Antonio Tinio.

It was also announced that on December 2, a film about women political prisoners “Ka Oryang” is also scheduled to be shown at the UP Film institute. Part of the proceeds will go to the legal and campaign fund for the immediate release of Maricon Montajes, a B.A. Film student in University of the Philippines, a media practitioner, a woman political prisoner in the Batangas City Jail.

Prosecute the former president for crimes against women

The two GWP lawmakers, in the meantime, declared their full support for calls for the prosecution of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for cases of plunder and human rights violations.

“We demand the immediate prosecution of Mrs. Arroyo and hold her accountable for the human rights violations committed during her term. We demand that President Benigno Aquino III facilitate the prompt and expeditious handling of these cases. His failure to do so will make him an accessory to the impunity and violence perpetrated by the Arroyo regime.”

Ilagan who hails from Mindanao said two years after the death of 58 women and men, including 32 journalists in the Ampatuan Massacre, 103 of the 196 suspects have not been arrested and only two of the principal suspects have been arraigned..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/25/gabriela-to-lead-actions-on-international-day-for-the-elimination-of-violence-against-women/

On 2nd anniversary of Ampatuan massacre: Aquino told to end impunity

On 2nd anniversary of Ampatuan massacre: Aquino told to end impunity

“The eyes of the whole world are on the Philippines because of this crime and especially because until now, there is no justice and the killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations continue.” – Nestor Burgos, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
Sidebar: Groups laud filing of case vs Arroyo for Ampatuan massacre
MANILA – In a symbolic protest action, relatives of Ampatuan massacre victims, journalists, human rights advocates and supporters, marked the second year anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre, Nov. 23.
The Ampatuan massacre claimed the lives of 57 individuals, including 32 journalists and media practitioners. One remains missing to this day. Suspects are members of the influential Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao.

Journalists, relatives of Ampatuan massacre victims and supporters march toward Chino Roces bridge in Manila demanding President Benigno S. Aquino III to end impunity. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
Wearing black, protesters converged in front of the University of Santo Tomas in España boulevard in Manila. They marched toward the Chino Roces (formerly Mendiola) bridge, stopping for a short program at the Nicanor Reyes street. Leaders carried a banner that read: “Duguan ang daang matuwid.” (Bloody is the righteous path) President Benigno S. Aquino III repeatedly used the phrase “daang matuwid” to refer to the path his administration is taking.
“For the first time, we are commemorating the first International Day to End Impunity. This is not an honor. Of all the days, the international media watchdogs selected this day to be the International Day to End Impunity,” Nestor Burgos, chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in his speech during the rally.

“The eyes of the whole world are on the Philippines because of this crime and especially because until now, there is no justice and the killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations continue,” Burgos said.
Along the way, media practitioners and journalism students made “a trail of impunity,” outlining human bodies on the asphalted road.

According to the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ), ten journalists have been killed since the Ampatuan massacre, six of whom were murdered under the new Aquino administration..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/24/on-2nd-anniversary-of-ampatuan-massacre-aquino-told-to-end-impunity/

No more excuses for gov’t underspending after budget OK 11/25/2011

No more excuses for gov’t underspending after budget OK

Malacañang would have a hard time explaining continued “underspending” once the proposed P1.816-trillion national budget for 2012 is approved by Congress by the second week of December.

“There will be more difficulties finding excuses because the budget is (passed) on time. This is the first budget crafted totally by the economic advisers of President Aquino and the early enactment of this budget would hasten the implementation of public works projects,” Sen. Franklin Drilon, finance committee chairman, yesterday said.

At a news forum at the Senate, Drilon assured the enactment by the two houses of Congress of the money measure on time, saying the technical working group (TWG) of the bicameral conference committee handling the budget bill is now threshing out the differences between the House and Senate versions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111125hed3.html

Corona says ‘power won’t last forever’ By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/25/2011


Corona says ‘power won’t last forever’

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/25/2011

Power won’t last forever, Chief Justice Renato Corona seemed to caution government lawyers yesterday during the oral arguments into the suit filed by the Arroyo camp challenging the travel ban imposed on them by the Department of Justice (DoJ).

Near the end of the hours-long grilling of Solicitor-General Jose Anselmo Cadiz who argued for the government’s position, the Chief Justice asked, “Suppose in six to seven years, present officials are being hounded by political enemies, don’t you think the courts should protect their rights?”

Cadiz replied that the case “is not about vengeance. This is about accountability,” to which Corona retorted “it could be GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), it could be Juan de la Cruz. The name, personality are not important, we have a court of law.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111125hed1.html

Two lady justices clash on SC Hacienda ruling By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 11/25/2011

Two lady justices clash on SC Hacienda ruling

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 11/25/2011
There was unanimity in the high court justices’ decision in distributing to the farmers some 6,000 hectares of the Cojuangco-Aquino sugar estate, but there was dissension from Justice Lourdes Sereno on the cut-off date for the valuation of the Hacienda Luisita land, and gave a much later valuation date that would be beneficial to the Cojuangcos-Aquinos and detrimental to the farmers.

For “straining” the inter-pretation of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling, Associate Justice Teresita de Castro, in her concurrence, openly expressed “vehement disagreement” with Sereno, saying that the Aquino appointed justice strained the interpretation of the law.

In her handwritten concurrence with the decision of the full court on the distribution of some 6,000 hectares of the hacienda, De Castro stressed her “vehement disagreement with Sereno’s opinion, which would have put the land beyond the capacity of the farmers to pay, based on what she called Sereno’s strained interpretation of the law on the date of taking.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111125hed6.html

Bulacan groups ink pact with landfill developer 11/25/2011

Bulacan groups ink pact with landfill developer

The multisectoral campaign in Bulacan to save its rivers, particularly the Marilao, Meycauayan and Obando rivers, received a big boost recently with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the provincial government of Bulacan, local government units, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, with Ecoshield Development Corp., indicating that the river cleanup will be sustained.

Local government officials of Bulacan, led by Gov.Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado, and municipal officials particularly Obando town Mayor Orencio Gabriel, have praiseworthy motives for supporting the engineered sanitary landfill. As Alvarado put it during the signing ceremonies recently, it is an honor for Bulacan to be the first province in Central Luzon to have an engineered sanitary landfill, to be built in Obando town by Ecoshield..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111125nat3.html

UN official concerned over diplaced Pinoys caught in strife-torn Mindanao By Michaela P. del Callar 11/25/2011

UN official concerned over diplaced Pinoys caught in strife-torn Mindanao

By Michaela P. del Callar 11/25/2011

A senior United Nations official yesterday expressed deep concern over the plight of Filipinos displaced by armed hostilities in strife-torn Mindanao and urged the Philippine government and the Muslim rebels currently locked in peace negotiations, to protect them from armed conflict.

Catherine Bragg, deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, who completed her mission to the Philippines yesterday, was appalled at the living conditions of the thousands of refugees affected by the war. Bragg also said she is worried over the condition of those who have been displaced by the severe floods this year.

“I am concerned by the impact of cycles of displacement. The needs of vulnerable people in Mindanao are complex, and we must continue to address them through a concerted effort,” Bragg said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111125nat1.html

MMDA chief meets with inventor of iBus System 11/25/2011

MMDA chief meets with inventor of iBus System

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino yesterday met with Filipino inventor Elma Arboleras who presented her international award-winning invention — the Intelligent Bus Utility System or iBus System.

Arboleras’ iBus System recently bagged in London the British Invention Award for 2011 for “Outstanding Contribution and Application of Innovation for the Public Transport System.”

She was the only Filipina who participated in the prestigious convention..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111125met3.html

Filipinos have not yet forgiven Gloria for her sins, says ‘JV’ By Gerry Baldo 11/25/2011

Filipinos have not yet forgiven Gloria for her sins, says ‘JV’

By Gerry Baldo 11/25/2011

The Filipino people have not yet forgiven former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for crimes she committed during her regime.

San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito yesterday said the apparent indifference of the Filipinos to Mrs. Arroyo who is now facing charges for electoral fraud shows how indignant the people are toward her who had “stolen the presidency twice.”

“I think the people have not yet forgotten how Mrs. Arroyo stole the presidency,” Ejercito said, referring to the elite-instigated power grab that toppled his father, former President Joseph Estrada, in 2001 and the 2004 presidential elections when actor Fernando Poe Jr. lost to Mrs. Arroyo amid alleged charges of vote rigging that was highlighted by the “Hello Garci” scandal..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111125met1.html

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