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Rotten people, not system DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel By Herman Tiu Laurel 02/03/2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rotten people, not system

Herman Tiu Laurel
By Herman Tiu Laurel 02/03/2012

I was happy with Eric Espina’s regular 50-minute GNN (Global News Network) public affairs show last Tuesday, where he had a special and very interesting guest. Former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales appeared for the first time since the end of the Edsa II regime that extended beyond the normal term of an administration. With a self-conscious and put-on soft-spokeness to sound wise and fair, Gonzales commented on what he says are growing ills of society. Playing ostensibly unaware or “dedma” that he was part of nine years of governance that had aggravated those very problems, he seemed to discount any personal responsibility and, in a very deft way, blamed “The System,” saying, “I see a lot of good leaders in the country but they have to accept corruption because of the ‘system.’” He mouthed this as if the “system” would persist if there were no people sustaining or feeding on it.

This column has been a dedicated critic of the “system,” too; but it also recognizes that the rotten system would not have survived one more day if there were no avaricious powerful forces commanding morally and intellectually weak opportunists manning it. What is the system that prevails in this country today? It is one which everybody describes as corrupt; it is one that spawns deep and growing poverty, leading to heightened internal conflict and criminality, and culminates in a decaying society.

By saying that no person is at fault, Gonzales would like to fool the people into thinking that the “system” is an evil computer brain that operates by itself and runs every corrupt operation that is causing government and corporatist corruption, poverty, moral collapse, jueteng, drug smuggling, the passage of corrupt laws (such as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or Epira), or billing power and water consumers with price gouging rates, ad nausea.

By blaming the system, Gonzales is merely entertaining delusions of having no personal responsibility at all — despite being one of the closest and most powerful confidants of Gloria Arroyo, whose nine years of governance were marked by massive swindles — from the Epira, the expanded value added tax (eVAT) expansions, the Impsa/Fertilizer/NBN-ZTE and countless other scams, the 2004 massive election cheating, the first Basilan massacre in 2007, the Angelo Reyes-General Garcia looting of the military’s coffers, the MoA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain) deal with the Malaysians and the US, to a litany of grave deeds that resulted in the highest hunger and poverty rates in the country beginning 2006. All these continue to this day and are aggravated by the present Malacañang occupants who have the same policies as Arroyo.

Thus, if we were to go by Gonzales’ logic, even the present BSA III government he criticizes should not be blamed for the many crises now arising.

After all, wouldn’t the “system” be to blame for the Luneta hostage massacre in 2010 and not BSA III himself or the city mayor who treated him to siopao at Emerald Garden while the hostage taker was running amuck?

Or, was it simply a computer glitch that made our GDP (gross domestic product) growth fall to a disastrous 3.7 percent for the whole of 2011? Was it merely a glitch in the system of the PCOS machines in the 2010 elections that prompted UP and Ateneo IT experts to discover extraneous software apparently used in the machine counting and the duplicate sites in transmission?

At the risk of getting too far ahead in history, we only need to go back to Edsa II in 2001 when the Constitution was trashed. Did the Rule of Law go to the trash bin all by itself, leading to the Rule of Force and then of Money, as evidenced by the approval of the Epira and other pro-Big Business laws by Congress?

Voicing real concern for the Filipinos’ travails should not be soft-spoken anymore but an explosive burst of indignation. The rotten system persists because there are rotten people who sustain it by collaborating, abetting, and aiding it in order to attain selfish aspirations of power and opulence amid growing want. One only needs to look at the some military generals’ family, some Nynoy justices, or Congress, who have used power to profit massively; or those who have endorsed manifold evils, like what Lacson did in condoning the 2004 Comelec fraud, or Congress taking pork barrel and corporatist money (for the Epira); or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas pushing unnecessary debt; or the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission giving free rein to oil and power companies to plunder consumers massively, ad infinitum.

Who are those rotten people manning the “system?” From Malacañang decision makers to Congress and the Senate, to the top honchos in the judiciary, to the generals in the military and police hierarchy, to the top execs of the Makati Business Club, to the top operators of “civil society,” all these comprise the core of the rotten system. But are there alternatives to these? In other words, are there still good people around to man “a healthy system?”

I can think of countless of them working selflessly, like Mang Naro Lualhati and Jojo Borja among many others in the crusade against electricity plunder; Alan Paguia sacrificing for Rule of Law; Bono Adaza opposing constitutional abuse in the Corona impeachment case; many Freedom from Debt Coalition members who are fighting debt slavery; our Sulo group volunteers; the Tribune; and millions of ordinary Filipinos who ONLY need new, fresh leadership to break through.

Listen again: It’s the rotten people that keep the system rotten.

(Tune in to 1098AM, dwAD, Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m.; watch Destiny Cable GNN’s HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11:15 p.m., on “RP’s geopolitical challenge;” visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)
(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120203com6.html

Sison talks about impeachment of Corona, other issues

Sison talks about impeachment of Corona, other issues

Revolutionary Joma Sison answers questions about his rumored homecoming and the Aquino govt’s distractions while promised reforms crawl or turn comatose.

Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

By DL Mondelo

Correspondent, Bulatlat.com

1. Is the report that you are returning to the Philippines soon to take a cabinet position in the Aquino government and that the New People’s Army is going to be integrated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines true? Do you know the source of the report?

JMS: The report is false. It comes from the direction of a group of military officers and politicians loyal to the past Arroyo regime and coordinated by former defense secretary Norberto Gonzales, the butcher general Palparan and Alcover of ANAD. They are engaged in a psywar intrigue related to the sharpening contradictions between the pro-Aquino and pro-Arroyo reactionaries within the military and entire ruling system.
They think Aquino would be discredited if reported as giving to me a cabinet position.
Even if the presidency of the puppet republic was offered to me, I will not accept it because I do not wish to become the chief puppet of the US and chief representative of the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords, like Aquino.

2. At any rate, what is the status of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations? Will the negotiating panels of the two sides resume formal talks soon?

JMS: In principle, the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations are still on because no side has yet terminated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), despite the blatant attempts of the GPH side to undermine and render it useless. It is still unclear whether the GPH will comply with the JASIG and release the JASIG-protected consultants of the NDFP. Thus, it is still unclear when the formal talks of the negotiating panels shall be held.

3. The armed conflict between the GPH and NDFP is intensifying, with the armed forces of the GPH carrying out Oplan Bayanihan and the NPA striving to advance the people’s war from strategic defensive to strategic stalemate? How does the armed conflict affect the peace negotiations?

JMS: Because of the armed conflict, there are peace negotiations. The GPH finds the need for peace negotiations so long as it is failing to suppress the people and the revolutionaries with the current Oplan Bayanihan and so long as the New People’s Army is successful in carrying out an extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare and creating an ever widening and deepening mass base.

4. Is the Aquino regime serious about running after Arroyo and her top colleagues for plunder? Are you satisfied with the pace at which Aquino has been running after them?

JMS: Compared with the speed of Arroyo in jailing Estrada for plunder, Aquino is a sluggard in making Arroyo accountable for plunder. He has jailed her on the charge of electoral sabotage and has reduced the plunder charges to graft charges after gaining control over the office of the Ombudsman. It remains to be seen whether he will push a plunder charge as a result of Senate findings..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/02/03/on-current-issues-in-the-philippines/

Google starting to censor blogs

Google starting to censor blogs

Following Twitter’s decision last month to begin censoring the messages of users based on restrictions of their respective countries, Google has followed suit and announced that it will begin a similar practice with its own blogging service.

Blogger, the web-log service run by Internet giant Google, will begin censoring the personal posts of its users in order to comply with local laws rather than encouraging an internationally open Internet. While the company has previously allowed users of the World Wide Web to post wide-open opinions on its Blogger site, it will now allow individual jurisdictions to govern what can and can’t be posted on the Web..... MORE

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/google-starts-censoring-blogs-375/

Identity vs. integration: Radical Islamist group ‘freaks out’ Belgian community (w/ Video)

Identity vs. integration: Radical Islamist group ‘freaks out’ Belgian community

The Islamic fundamentalist group Shariah4Belgium has been criticized for its aggressive stance and lack of inter-religious tolerance. Belgian Muslims say they feel threatened by the group’s ideology, which they fear scares people away from Islam.

­Shariah4Belgium came under the spotlight after it opened the country’s first Sharia court, a move which put it on a collision course with the country’s nationalists. The Belgian far-right Vlaams Belang party opposes the Muslim courts, maintaining that all legal disputes should be addressed in the country’s civil judicial system. Leading member Filip Dewinter claims Shariah4Belgium’s leadership said he should be killed for expressing his views..... MORE

URL: http://rt.com/news/radical-islamists-sharia-belgium-407/

Police fire tear gas at outraged Cairo protesters (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Police fire tear gas at outraged Cairo protesters (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

New clashes have broken out in Egypt over Wednesday’s football riot and stampede in Port Said in which 79 died. Two further deaths occurred on Thursday after police opened fire on an angry crowd which tried to storm a police station.

A 3,000-strong mob, furious at the failure of security forces to prevent Wednesday’s tragedy, attacked policemen in the Mediterranean city of Suez..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/egypt-police-protesters-football-385/

Anti-HIV pill to cause AIDS epidemic?

Anti-HIV pill to cause AIDS epidemic?

It has been proven to drastically decrease the chances of contracting HIV before one is even exposed to the virus: Truvada is considered a medical breakthrough by some, yet others fear the once-a-day prevention pill could spur a deadly AIDS epidemic.

The drug — a small, blue pill ingested orally — is currently awaiting FDA approval. Its manufacturer, Gilead, argues that Truvada would reduce the risk of risk of contracting HIV in as many as three-quarters of cases and has been proven so in tests already. AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein is weary of how people will use the pill, however, and warns, "I believe that this could be catastrophic in terms of HIV prevention.”.... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/drug-aids-hiv-truvada-207/

Tillers reject Aquino plans to take over coco levy funds

Tillers reject Aquino plans to take over coco levy funds

Return the coco levy funds to the coconut farmers.

This remains the call of the farmers organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in the wake of reports that President Benigno Aquino III has plans to utilize the coco levy funds instead of releasing it to the coconut farmers. The group warned that if the Aquino government is allowed to proceed with its plans, small coconut farmers will continue to be denied of their rightful ownership of the funds.

Recently, reports came out that the Aquino administration intends to put the multi-billion coco levy fund in a trust fund to be managed by an inter-agency team composed of Department of Agriculture and Department of Finance officials along with bankers and supposed farmers’ groups and their members. Reports also quoted Euclides Forbes, administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority (Philcoa), as saying that the fastest means way to revive the industry would be to use the coco levy funds to build a multi-agency trust fund. It was also reported that Aquino might also issue an executive order to set up the mechanism for the proposed agency.

KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella said coco farmers stand against these plans being hatched by the Aquino administration, saying that the latter only intends to use the funds for self-serving purposes that will in no way genuinely benefit farmers.

Marbella is a farmer who hails from Bicol and he still has in his possession father’s stock certificates from the coconut oil mills established through the coco levy funds.

(Photo courtesy of Agriculture.ph Blog / bulatlat.com)
“With this scheme, we fear that the money that was stolen from coconut farmers would be stolen yet again. The coco levy funds would only change hands, from one Cojuangco to another Cojuangco,” Marbella warned. The “theft” of the coco levy funds, Marbella said, was done by former Marcos crony, presidential uncle and current San Miguel Corp. (SMC) chair Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr.

The peasant leader insisted that small coconut farmers cannot entrust their money to agriculture officials who have been previously involved in the notorious fertilizer fund scam during the previous Macapagal-Arroyo administration..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/02/02/tillers-thumb-down-aquino-plans-take-over-coco-levy-funds/

Kidnappers of Swiss, Dutch elude troops By Mario J. Mallari and Michaela P. del Callar 02/03/2012

Kidnappers of Swiss, Dutch elude troops

By Mario J. Mallari and Michaela P. del Callar 02/03/2012

The military yesterday said it had failed to find two European tourists in the crucial 24 hours after their abduction by unidentified armed men, possibly linked with the Abu Sayyaf Group, last Wednesday in the island-province of Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao.

Elite units of the Navy quickly joined the search for Swiss citizen Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 47, and Dutchman Ewold Horn, 52, who are reportedly wildlife photographers.

The local guide, Ivan Sarenas, 35, and a resident of Davao City, who was also initially taken by the kidnap men, reportedly managed to escape after jumping off the pump boat used by the abductors. He is now undergoing questioning by the police..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120203hed3.html

Abu top leader, JI’s 12 rebels killed—AFP By Mario J. Mallari 02/03/2012

Abu top leader, JI’s 12 rebels killed—AFP

By Mario J. Mallari 02/03/2012

A top leader of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and two Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militants, who are subjects of more than P200 million rewards offered by both the Philippine and United States governments, were killed, along with 12 other terrorists, during a military air strike in Sulu province early morning yesterday, the military said.

At a press briefing, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. said that ASG com-mander Gumbahali Jumdail, alias Dr. Abu, Malaysian Zulkifli bin Abdul Hir, who uses the aliases Marwan and Ibrahim, and Singaporean Muhamda Ali, alias Muawiya, were killed during a “deliberate” military operation in Barangay Duyan Kabau in Parang town..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120203hed2.html

Pasay court to resolve 2 issues on CGMA case today By Pat C. Santos 02/03/2012

Pasay court to resolve 2 issues on CGMA case today

By Pat C. Santos 02/03/2012

The Pasay City court is set to resolve today two pleadings from the case which the former President Gloria Arroyo is facing right today which are motions filed by Commission on Elections (Comelec) to transfer her to regular jail and the other to allow her to attend the wake of her brother-in-law Rep. Iggy Arroyo.\

For the first motion Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas had ordered the attending physicians at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) to appear before the court to shed light on the physical condition of Arroyo in connection with the desire of the respondent Comelec to transfer he in a regular detention cell..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120203nat1.html

KMU: SC prevents Noy from use of coco funds for CCT 02/03/2012

KMU: SC prevents Noy from use of coco funds for CCT

The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said that the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the multibillion-peso coco levy fund prevents President Aquino’s administration from using the money to fund the controversial conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

The KMP issued the statement after reports cited the Jan. 24 SC ruling declaring the 24 percent of the funds as “owned by the government to be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.”

“In a way, the high court ruling prevents the cash-strapped Aquino government from using the multi-billion coconut levy funds for its own benefit like channelling the funds to the controversial CCT scheme and to buy Petron shares,” KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120203nat5.html

Bishop urges Noynoy to impose mining moratorium in Eastern Samar By Pat C. Santos 02/03/2012

Bishop urges Noynoy to impose mining moratorium in Eastern Samar

By Pat C. Santos 02/03/2012

A Catholic bishop has appealed to the Aquino administration to impose a moratorium on mining in Eastern Samar to protect the province’s remaining forests.

Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez said that several large-scale and small-scale mining operations in the province do not guarantee responsible mining, environment protection and rehabilitation.

“We, in the Diocese of Borongan and other anti-mining organizations are calling for a mining moratorium to fix all these concerns first,” Varquez said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120203nat6.html

Labor chief abolishes boundary system for bus drivers By Fernan J. Angeles 02/03/2012

Labor chief abolishes boundary system for bus drivers

By Fernan J. Angeles 02/03/2012
Malacaang may have lost the trust and support of the jeepney drivers on issues concerning the spate of oil price hikes, but it has certainly embarked on a potential friendship with the bus drivers and conductors who now stand to receive not just a fixed salary but also daily perks as incentive.

Deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte yesterday announced that Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz ordered the abolition of the bus boundary system for drivers in a bid to improve their incomes.

Baldoz issued Department Order 118-12 that abolishes the system of paying bus drivers and conductors on a commission basis. Instead, bus drivers and conductors are to be placed on a part-fixed and part performance-based wage system..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120203met5.html

Lawmaker wants House to probe ‘anomalous’ P243-M contract on firefighting equipment By Charlie V. Manalo 02/03/2012

Lawmaker wants House to probe ‘anomalous’ P243-M contract on firefighting equipment

By Charlie V. Manalo 02/03/2012

After failing to get satisfactory answers and actions from both the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officials, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño now wants the House to probe the “dubious termination” of a P243-million government contract for fire fighting equipment allegedly to favor some regular suppliers of the BFP.

Casiño filed early this week House Resolution 2104 to look into why it took the BFP bids and awards committee (BAC) more than a year to award the contract to the lowest winning bidder and why the contract was arbitrarily withheld then finally scrapped by BFP officer in charge Samuel Perez upon the behest of two regular BFP suppliers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120203met1.html

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