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‘Days of Rage’ starting Nov. 25 against cuts as Senate railroads 2012 budget

Saturday, November 26, 2011

 ‘Days of Rage’ starting Nov. 25 against cuts as Senate railroads 2012 budget

Debt servicing remains the priority with next year’s debt payments standing at P735.6 billion ($17.1 billion), dwarfing the combined funding of all social services for 2012 amounting to a mere P575.8 billion ($13.39 billion).
MANILA – Sneaky.

This is what various people’s organizations are calling the Philippine Senate’s surprisingly swift approval of the National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2012 or the 2012 budget. Migrante International, youth and teachers’ organizations said the Senate railroaded the approval of the P1.8 trillion (US$40 million) budget that will do nothing to alleviate the Filipino people’s poverty.

Migrante chairman Garry Martinez said the 2012 budget is both “anti-poor and pro-privatization.” He said the allocations for services intended to assist overseas Filipino workers and their families are shamefully scanty, saying that aggregate funds for these as placed in concerned agencies like the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and other affixed agencies remain less than one percent of the total whole.

“Budget on items for welfare and services and reintegration for OFWs were not given additional allocations,” he protested.

The group agreed with Sen. Joker Arroyo that the Aquino administration’s 2012 budget is not a budget for reform.

“It’s clearly a budget for debt-servicing, privatization and militarization. The 2012 budget reflects Aquino’s priorities in governance and economy – privatization in favor of big businesses, subservience to foreign interests, a more catastrophic implementation of a labor export policy, and intensified counter-insurgency at the expense of a just and lasting peace,” Martinez said.

Martinez said Migrante International’s chapters and networks in various countries will be holding indignation rallies against the anti-OFW and anti-poor budget beginning November 12. In the Philippines, the group will join other sectors in a protest camp-out in Mendiola from December 6 to 8. OFWs and families will end the year with a resounding protest on December 18, International Migrants’ Day.

Twisted budgetary priorities 

For their part, youth groups from University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and other state schools have already launched walk-outs, noise barrage actions and protest assemblies in campuses beginning November 23 in protest of the passage of the national budget.

At the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, students walked-out from their classes and held a protest action against the railroading of 2012 budget. Protest actions were also held at the Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST), University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila, among others.

Various organizations led by alliance Kilos Na Laban sa Budget Cuts called the budget appropriations as having a “twisted” orientation. The alliance is comprised of more than 100 organizations from various sectors nationwide.

Vencer Crisostomo, national chairman of Anakbayan and convener of Kilos na Laban sa Budget Cuts, said Aquino’s allies in the Senate passed it without major changes in the allocation for state universities and colleges, health and other social services.

Students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) walked out of their classes, Nov. 24, against budget cut in education and other social services.(Photos by Anne Marxze D. Umil / bulatlat.com)
He assailed the statements of majority Senators claiming that the budget they passed is “biased for the poor.” He also said the groups are “extremely disappointed” that “despite widespread protests, budget remains in favor of debt servicing, profits, dole-outs and the military.”

Earlier, nationwide strikes and protest actions were waged by various groups to protest the budget cuts. More than 20,000 participated in the protests. State universities and colleges (SUCs) have been holding nationwide protests to call for re-channeling of significant government spending for SUCs and social services.

In the the budget proposal submitted by the Aquino government to congress, P21.8 billion ($511 million) was allotted for 110 SUCs, far from the more than P45 billion ($1.46 billion) requested by the SUCs. This is lower than the 2011 SUC budget of P22.03 million ($511,628). In the meantime, 50 schools had their budgets slashed by more than P500 million (US$11 million); 45 others had their MOOE funds reduced by P250 million ($5.8 million); and 58 will have cuts in Personal Services by P400 million ($9.3 million). Allotment for capital outlay is zero..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/25/%E2%80%9Cdays-of-rage%E2%80%9D-starting-nov-25-against-cuts-as-senate-railroads-2012-budget/

(w/ Video) Revolution reality-check: West to reap fruit of Arab Spring

 Revolution reality-check: West to reap fruit of Arab Spring

The epic fight for democracy which unfolded in Egypt in February has turned to major disillusionment. As the aspiring revolutionaries take a reality check, it seems a pattern is emerging among countries caught up in the Arab Spring.

Almost a year after Mubarak’s fall, Tahrir Square is again stained with blood as ordinary Egyptians struggle to oust the military junta which has been in power since February’s uprising.

“It’s about the dignity of the Egyptian people. We don’t want any more humiliation," says Helmi Hassan, a protester at Tahrir Square.

The situation carries echoes of Libya, whose ousted leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was killed last month. People there have been left with a country in ruins and a government they did not choose..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/arab-spring-revolution-falure-275/

Court finds Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes

Court finds Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes

Those who lobbied to have George W. Bush and Tony Blair tried for their role in the Iraq War have finally got their wish. Though the verdict of the court carries no legal weight, its supporters believe its symbolic value is beyond doubt.

The court in Malaysia where the trial took place may not have the power to convict, but the verdict against the former British and American leaders was unanimous.

“War criminals have to be dealt with – convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice,”
the statement from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation read.

The foundation was set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, who was always a staunch opponent of the war against the regime of Saddam Hussain in 2003. He previously branded Blair and Bush “child-killers”..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/court-bush-blair-iraq-043/

Oil cartel and Aquino asked to “control greed”

Oil cartel and Aquino asked to “control greed”

Piston blamed the greed for profits by the oil companies and the greed for the Value-Added Tax (VAT) on oil by the Aquino government as the conjoined reasons why the Aquino administration and the energy department are colluding with the monopoly oil companies.

MANILA – Drivers allied with the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) and members of the progressive group Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) held protest actions on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, against the “greed” of oil companies and the Aquino government’s “inutility” in the face of it. They urged the public to support calls for “real solutions” to oil overpricing.

n Nov 14, diesel prices increased by P1.90 ($0.04) per liter and this week, it increased by another P0.20 to P0.54 ($0.01), prompting the renewed outcry.

(Photo by Angelica de Lara / bulatlat.com)
Last week, drivers and small operators, women and workers’ groups have also rallied against the non-stop oil price hikes. All of the protesting groups warned that poverty and hunger would likely worsen if the trend in price hikes such as of oil products continue unchecked.

Shell led in announcing the latest rounds of price hikes of diesel. Diesel now costs P47 ($1.09) per liter in Metro Manila and P49 to P54 ($1.25) per liter outside the capital.
Bayan members shouted their calls for scrapping the oil deregulation law at the headquarters of multinational oil company Shell in Makati City. They wore yellow shirts and bore placards of the Shell trademark on which were written their sentiments, for example their complaints that while oil companies are pocketing profits of at least P42-million ($976 thousand) a day, the Aquino government is acting “inutile” in the face of their ceaseless oil price hikes.

Pilipinas Shell is the local subsidiary of global giant Royal Dutch Shell. Of the oil companies operating in the Philippines, Pilipinas Shell declared the biggest profits from 2001 to 2009, totaling over the nine-year period to P73 billion ($1.62 billion). The still incomplete data for Petron showed that it earned more than P30 billion ($693.26 million) in profits over the same period, while Chevron (formerly Caltex) raked in P40.2 billion ($929 million) in profits from 2001 to 2009...... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/11/25/oil-cartel-and-aquino-asked-to-%e2%80%9ccontrol-greed%e2%80%9d/

The sorry state of education

 The sorry state of education

Polytechnic University of the Philippines, condemned to penury

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines remains as the only hope for children of poor families to pursue higher education. But this dream is slowly fading as the PUP has been struggling with extreme shortages, dilapidated facilities, and the pressure to increase tuition and other fees to survive.

Philippine Normal University, trying to make do with so little

The Philippine Normal University is supposedly another option. But more than this, the state of PNU would definitely impact on the state of basic education in the country. An overwhelming majority of teachers, especially in the public school system are trained at PNU, and the quality of graduates it produces would reflect on the state of the country’s public school system. While the PNU gasps for dear life, so would the whole public school system..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/

It’s final: Lacson acquitted in Dacer-Corbito slay case — SC By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/26/2011

It’s final: Lacson acquitted in Dacer-Corbito slay case — SC

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/26/2011

The Supreme Court (SC) has turned down with finality a plea by the daughters of slain publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer seeking to reinstate Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the twin murder cases of Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000 and uphold a Court of Appeals (CA) ruling that former police Senior Supt. Cezar Mancao II who implicated Lacson in the murders was not a credible witness.

Mancao was a member of the defunct Philippine Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) which was under Lacson during the time of the murders.

The family of the late Dacer earlier had asked the SC to set aside its ruling which turned down their bid to hold Lacson liable for the cold blooded murders of their father and his driver more than a decade ago..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111126hed4.html

Noy takes back house arrest okay on Gloria By Viriglio J. Bugaoisan and Benjamin B. Pulta 11/26/2011

Noy takes back house arrest okay on Gloria

By Viriglio J. Bugaoisan and Benjamin B. Pulta 11/26/2011
The Aquino administration had a change of heart yesterday on not objecting to a house detention of former president Gloria Arroyo after Arroyo’s lawyers moved yesterday for her being placed on house arrest instead of being incarcerated at the Southern Police District (SPD) with President Aquino now saying it would be up to the court to decide on the manner of Arroyo’s custody while Justice Secretary Leila de Lima issuing a warning on the judge handling the poll fraud case of Arroyo about granting her petition.

Arroyo’s lawyers sought before the court a house arrest for Mrs. Arroyo after one of her doctors affirmed that her condition was improving.

De Lima, however, objected to allowing Arroyo a “house arrest” while the non-bailable case for electoral sabotage case filed against her is tried by warning Judge Jesus Mupas of Pasay City RTC, Branch 112 about granting Arroyo’s request which she claimed can be construed by the public as preferential treatment..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111126hed1.html

Noy wants just compensation for Luisita owners 11/26/2011

Noy wants just compensation for Luisita owners

President Aquino continued to avoid making a categorical position on the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) ordering the distribution of his family’s vast sugar estate, the Hacienda Luisita, and only insisted that the concept of agrarian reform should not just be land distribution but should also include just compensation for the owners of the land being parceled out by the government.

At a press briefing during the First National Media Conference on Climate Change in Legazpi City, Albay, Aquino refused to say whether the government would immediately carry out the order of the high tribunal or would again stall just like it did with the unfavorable decisions issued by the SC.

He said Malacañang had not yet received a copy of SC ruling and had not read its contents but admitted that.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111126hed3.html

CPP joins Luisita peasants celebration over SC decision By Mario J. Mallari 11/26/2011

CPP joins Luisita peasants celebration over SC decision

By Mario J. Mallari 11/26/2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) yesterday joined farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita in celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision ordering the distribution of the 5,000-hectare sugarcane plantation owned by the family of President Aquino.

In a statement, the CPP, however, stressed that the struggle of the 6,000 farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac is far from over.

“The peasants and farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita celebrate the SC decision because it boosts their century-long struggle to put an end to the land-monopoly ownership and achieve justice for the long decades of exploitation, oppression and fascist brutality by the Cojuangco landlord rule,” the CPP said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111126nat4.html

One of 3 abducted Koreans found in Lanao 11/26/2011

One of 3 abducted Koreans found in Lanao

One of three South Korean men missing for more than a month in the lawless Mindanao has been found alive, but the fate of his two companions remains unknown, officials said yesterday.

The South Korean, identified by police as Choi Inn So, was abandoned by his captors in the southern island of Mindanao late Thursday and was picked up by police and local officials, police and military spokesmen said.
“The kidnap victim was apparently ill and weak and was immediately brought to the hospital,” regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang told AFP.

“They apparently abandoned him because he was sick. The situation of the other two kidnap victims is unknown.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111126nat3.html

QC gov’t acquires P2-million document tracking equipment 11/26/2011

QC gov’t acquires P2-million document tracking equipment

The Quezon City government is set to unveil a P2-million document tracking system designed to expedite the docketing of cases filed before the clerk of court of the QC Regional Trial Court (QCRTC).

The launching will take place on Monday (Nov. 28) at the Hall of Justice, according to Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista.

Among those invited to join Monday’s unveiling of the QC-aided tracking system were Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, RTC Executive Judge Ma. Luisa Quijano, RTC Clerk of Court Perlita Vitan-Ele, Metropolitan Trial Court Executive Judge Nadine Jessica Fama, MTC clerk of court Jose Ortiz and other RTC and MTC judges..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111126met5.html

No leakage of questions in Bar exams – Marquez By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/26/2011

No leakage of questions in Bar exams – Marquez

By Benjamin B. Pulta 11/26/2011

The Supreme Court yesterday denied a newspaper report on the alleged leakage of questions in the ongoing Bar examinations which have been scheduled for four Sundays of this month at the University of Santo Tomas along España Boulevard, Sampaloc Manila.

Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez dismissed the report as a “plain rumor.”

“The alleged Bar leakage reported in a major daily is just plain rumor. Every year, loose talks on ‘bar tips’ circulate. However, they remain unsubstantiated and without bases,” Marquez said in a text message.

“The news article also mentions a certain ‘Jess Mundo,’ probably referring to Sandiganbayan Justice Alex Gesmundo. Justice Gesmundo, however, is not an examiner in the 2011 Bar exams,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111126met1.html

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