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BSP watches over PEPs EDITORIAL 02/28/2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BSP watches over PEPs

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The hearing yesterday of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies seeking to establish the source of the possible leaked Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) documents of Chief Justice Renato Corona revealed the disturbing fact that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is in the habit of peeking into bank accounts of certain citizens even without court orders.

For PSBank alone, it was established that 112 bank accounts were looked into by the BSP, not the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that the law authorizes to probe into suspicious bank accounts, but a so-called BSP anti-money laundering specialist that appears to have been done to skirt the Anti-Money Laundering Law (AMLA) that required the AMLC to secure a court order or the authorization from the account holder before a bank account can be opened.

The BSP undertakes the surreptitious examinations of accounts in the guise of an audit and majority of the targets are so-called politically exposed personalities (PEP) who are generally government officials and politicians or institutions that have a certain association with a PEP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120228com1.html

89% vote in favor of new Syrian Constitution

89% vote in favor of new Syrian Constitution

Syria’s Interior Minister has announced that 89 per cent of those who took part in the referendum have voted in favor of a new constitution. The new law puts an end to five decades of one-party rule among other reforms put forward by President Assad.

Interior Minister Ibrahim al-Shaar announced the results of the referendum at a press conference on Monday.­

According to the minister, out of 14,580,000 Syrians eligible to vote some 8,376,000, or about 57 per cent, actually came to the polling stations and voted, RT’s Maria Finoshina reports from Damascus..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/syria-referendum-constitution-results-307/

Occupy London camp destroyed by police in riot gear (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The Occupy London camp outside St Paul's Cathedral was destroyed early Tuesday. Hundreds of officers converged on the camp just before midnight local time and began to dismantle what had been home to around 70 activists.

­Bailiffs in high-visibility jackets dragged tents and their contents to garbage trucks and dumpsters where they were crushed. Police in riot gear formed cordons to keep protesters and their supporters out of the camp. Activists say the police were met with peaceful resistance.  However, media reports say around 20 protesters have been detained.

Several dozen protesters have been camped on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral since October last year. It was one of the longest-surviving encampments inspired by the New York “Occupy Wall Street” movement against corporate greed..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/occupy-london-camp-evicted-357/

Of families and winners NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 02/28/2012

Of families and winners

Armida Siguion-Reyna
And this was what family talked about last Sunday, at dinner, on account of the 84th Annual Academy Awards due to air Monday morning, yesterday. “Palagi na lang impeachment ang pinag-uusapan natin,” my nephew Ponchit commented. “Ibahin naman natin, hapon pa iyong sa senado, let’s go Hollywood!”

Or, what is generally referred to by cinephiles, worldwide, as the night of the Oscars. The award is officially “the Academy Award of Merit,” but as legend has it, the trophy got the affectionate nickname in 1931, when one of the Academy’s secretaries exclaimed it looked liked her “Uncle Oscar.”

There’s another version that says it was film actor Bette Davis who looked like it after her first husband, the band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson, but what’s what, no one will never know, kasi sa totoo lang, it no longer matters, basta Oscar na siya, tapos..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120228com4.html

The persistent professor and burial barongs AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 02/28/2012

The persistent professor and burial barongs

Ken Fuller
As oxymoronic as this might strike the ear, there are probably honest property developers in Metro Manila, but someone of my acquaintance — let’s call him The Professor — reckons there are several of the other kind as well. Along with fellow unit-owners in the condo tower where he resides, he has complaints about the developer and its contractor, and arising from this he, in his words, “without even trying have been made aware of five other cases where there have been serious complaints/legal actions by residents who did not get what they thought they signed up for.”

Those complaints range from “what appear to be shady or questionable practices (misrepresentation) in selling to customers, to illegal practices and the ignoring of the law regarding building plans, environmental issues, worker health and safety, lack of transparency and accountability, etc.”

In his own case the problems started when the developer announced that a third tower would arise on a site where residents were under the impression when they bought their units that there would be only two. A group of them put together a campaign, some members of which were then hit with a libel suit brought by the developer which, in due course, was thrown out by the prosecutor..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120228com5.html

Something is wrong VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 02/28/2012

Something is wrong

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
Would that everything were all right with the Philippine Government, with Philippine democracy, with the people of the Philippines! Would that the Legislature enact needed and relevant laws, the Executive ably and satisfactorily implement them, and the Judiciary accordingly act on its violations! Would that there be equality and separation of power — in truth and in fact — among the said three branches of government! Would that the Philippine Constitution be not merely a nice paper to read but really a basic document for the government to abide with and for the people to live by! Then, the Philippines would be a blessed country and the Filipinos a fortunate people — and thus probably become the big envy of the world.

But something is wrong — here and now! The Philippine government is not of the people, by the people and for the people — but of the politicians, by the politicians and for the politicians. The Legislative Department rests primarily immersed in but partisan politics and pursuant political alliances. The Executive Department remains disabled and incompetent in its mandatory agenda for the common good and public welfare of the citizenry. The Supreme Court is anything but supreme in the interpretation and application of the laws of the land. To say that such an adverse composite phenomenon spells social disaster for the country and misery for people is one big understatement..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120228com7.html

RP gov’t defies China, to bid out 15 oil, gas areas By Michaela P. del Callar 02/28/2012

RP gov’t defies China, to bid out 15 oil, gas areas

By Michaela P. del Callar 02/28/2012

Ignoring China’s protest, the Department of Energy (DoE) will continue to offer 15 maritime offshore territories for oil exploration, including two areas near the province of Palawan being claimed by Beijing.

Energy Secretary Jose Almendras said the Philippine government hopes to award the service contracts to winning bidders next month amid opposition from China, which asserted that two of the 15 areas are part of the disputed South China Sea.

“We offered these service contracts which the Republic of the Philippines believes are within its territorial claims,” Almendras told reporters at the sidelines of the 1st European Union-Philippines Energy Meeting.

China maintains “indisput-able sovereignty” and historical rights over the vast sea that straddles one of the world’s vital.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120228hed2.html

Exiled Joma says no deal with Noy government By Mario J. Mallari 02/28/2012

Exiled Joma says no deal with Noy government

By Mario J. Mallari 02/28/2012

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison yesterday denied that he is already in the country after striking an agreement with President Aquino, blaming supporters of detained former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo for spreading the false information.

In a rare broadcast interview over dzRH, Sison stressed that he is still in Utrecht, The Netherlands where he is in self-exile.

“I am here in Utrecht, and only yesterday (Sunday in Manila) I was a public speaker in Amsterdam,” Sison said.

Earlier reports circulated about the homecoming of the exiled CPP founding leader. There were also reports that Sison was offered a Cabinet position by the Aquino administration..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120228nat1.html

Court slams prosecutors’ bid to force SC confrontation By Angie M. Rosales 02/28/2012


Court slams prosecutors’ bid to force SC confrontation

By Angie M. Rosales 02/28/2012

The House prosecution panel remains nowhere near substantiating any of their eight allegations on impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona as they again suffered a severe blow yesterday with Senate judges issuing a barrage of lectures and reprimands on their efforts to pit the impeachment court with the Supreme Court (SC) through their pleadings that would impinge on the independence of branches of government.

The court also ruled against seeking SC Associate Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno’s testimony personally or in writing that was topped off by another reprimand from presiding justice Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile after they appealed for a clarification on the court’s rejection of a witness.

The move of the Senate impeachment court to deny Sereno’s testimony was due to the decision of Senator-Judge Antonio Trillanes IV to “withdraw” an earlier motion to send her written questions to shed light on the

prosecution’s alleged partiality of Corona to former President Gloria Arroyo in the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would have allowed Arroyo and her spouse, Jose Miguel Arroyo, to leave the country last November..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120228hed1.html

House panel declares Wynn persona non-grata, clears Pagcor on bribery raps 02/28/2012

House panel declares Wynn persona non-grata, clears Pagcor on bribery raps

The House committee on good government yesterday effectively banned contro-versial American casino magnate Steve Wynn from doing business in the Philippines after the panel declared him persona non grata for allegedly bes-mirching Philippine Amuse-ment and Gaming Corp. head

Cristino Naguiat and the country regarding his bribery accusation against the Pagcor chairman.

This even as the panel lauded Wynn’s corporate rival, Japanese gambling mogul Kazuo Okada, for his continued faith in the prospects of the Philippines as the next gaming and entertainment center in Asia.

At the committee hearing, panel chairman Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing virtually cleared Naguiat of any wrongdoing when he was hosted by Okada during a visit to Wynn Resorts..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120228hed4.html

Taiwan gov’t extends OFWs’ term to 12 years By Mina Diaz 02/28/2012

Taiwan gov’t extends OFWs’ term to 12 years

By Mina Diaz 02/28/2012

The Department of Labor and Employment said that Taiwan government has extended the cumulative stay of foreign workers in their country from nine to 12 years, which would benefit Filipino caretakers, domestic workers, factory workers, nursing aides and fishermen.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that Taiwan ’s parliament has amended the provision of the island’s Employment Service Act extending the previous cumulative stay limit of nine years for foreign workers, including Filipinos from nine to 12 years.

OFWs in Taiwan number about 90,000, of which around 15 percent are caregivers and domestic helpers, while the remaining are factory workers..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120228nat3.html

Oreta’s nephew takes over Malabon mayoral post By Arlie O. Calalo 02/28/2012

Oreta’s nephew takes over Malabon mayoral post

By Arlie O. Calalo 02/28/2012
Malabon City Vice Mayor LenLen Oreta has formally taken over the post of his ailing uncle Mayor Canuto “Tito” Oreta.

In a huddle with some members of the media, the younger Oreta, who is first cousin of President Aquino whose late father was the elder brother of ex-Sen. Tessie Aquino-Oreta, the vice mayor’s mother, confirmed that he has assumed the city’s top post.

Asked on the health condition of his uncle, who has been undoubtedly well-loved by most residents and even some political rivals for his kindness and being too caring to them since the time he was Barangay Maysilo chairman and barangay league president for years, Acting Mayor Lenlen said he was slowly recovering.

“He is on leave and he is recovering but he needs complete rest,” said the younger Oreta on his ailing uncle..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120228met3.html

Gatdula asks court to secure evidence on NBI exec’s ambush By Benjamin B. Pulta 02/28/2012

Gatdula asks court to secure evidence on NBI exec’s ambush

By Benjamin B. Pulta 02/28/2012

Beleaguered former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief Magtanggol Gatdula has filed a suit before a Manila Court seeking a protection order against his former subordinates and boss.

In a 14-page petition, Gatdula sought an amparo writ against Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, NBI deputy director Reynaldo Esmeraldo and acting NBI officer-in-charge Nonnatus Rojas.

Gatdula filed the petition in connection with allegations that he was behind the ambush on Esmeralda’s convoy last week which De Lima and Esmeralda stated that it was linked to the case of a Japanese national who claimed that Gatdula’s men extorted money from her in exchange for her liberty..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120228met1.html

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