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Radical reversal needed DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 03/23/2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Radical reversal needed

Herman Tiu Laurel
The day after our Monday column on the Mindanao power sabotage and blackmail, our comrade in the fight against the electricity supply manipulation rang up early in the morning. Jojo Borja, stockholder of Iligan Light and Power, told me that the long power blackouts had suddenly stopped just two days after our GNN episode on the issue last Saturday evening.

For good measure, the Monday papers started to reflect the struggle we have waged for months as some politicians have reportedly called for investigations. The name of Serge Osmea even cropped up after being forced to respond to questions from fellow senators, namely, Chiz Escudero and Koko Pimentel. In the Lower House, Mindanao Reps. Vicente Belmonte and Rufus Rodriguez have clamored for action, too. While were happy over these actions, why did they have to come so late? More importantly, can our lawmakers provide the long-term solution by, first of all, reversing the wretched Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) posthaste?

The citizens, power sector players, as well as business and local political leaders of Mindanao have long demanded the mobilization of available power resources, which the oligarchs minions in the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (Psalm) Corp. have kept mothballed despite billions of pesos in losses in the regions economy.

At the same time, Mindanaoans, particularly the electric cooperatives (ECs), have made clear their very strong objection to the privatization of the hydroelectric plants of Mindanao, such as the Agus-Pulangui system. Not all of them, though, realize that the solution to the entire nations power price woes lies in this very demand the end to privatization of the power sector. And this would ultimately mean the repeal of the Epira a law that bans the public sector from setting up and maintaining its own non-profit power generation facilities that are funded by the peoples captive patronage via monthly payments.

If Philippine media had any real dedication to the nation and the peoples welfare, this power price issue should always be the major news item all the time. Sadly, mainstream media, which carry the most palpable daily impact, are hopelessly in the chains of the oligarchs control.

We have been told that one party-list congressman has been boycotted by ABS-CBN in the past few days since he started raising the issue and named the power oligarchs.

Of course, we all know whose diktats are followed at ABS-CBN, and the other major TV networks are no less controlled.

There used to be laws against such over-reaching control of business and media, but not anymore.

Besides PeNoy safeguarding his clans own P10-billion interest in Hacienda Luisita, coupled with his desire to have an Aquino high court, I have long held that the Corona impeachment hullabaloo is part of a deliberate PR strategy of the spinmasters (and puppet masters) of Malacaang to divert from the truly crucial issues of the country.

Imagine: Even when the power crisis had already caused billions in daily losses to Mindanao, rousing a seemingly incipient rebellion from the locals there, this power crisis issue still couldnt make it to the banner of the major news outfits!

You can just see the twisted priority of the patently pro-PeNoy op-ed and news writers who wont be shaken to give way to this vital economic issue even for a day. Still, I am thankful that the Mindanao power rebellion has at last come to fore.

Corollary to our power price woes is our fossil fuel supply that is always at the mercy of world market prices, which absolutely do not reflect true global demand.

Robert Reich, professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a former Bill Clinton Labor Secretary, explains in his article (Why Republicans Arent Mentioning the Real Cause of Rising Prices at the Gas Pump) that Financial speculators historically accounted for about 30 percent of oil contracts, producers and end users for about 70 percent. But today speculators account for 64 percent of all contracts. Bart Chilton, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission the federal agency that regulates trading in oil futures warns that too few financial players control too much of the oil market (allowing) them to push oil prices higher and higher not only on the basis of their expectations about the future but also expectations about how high other speculators will drive the price.

Why then do we 95 million Filipinos allow ourselves to fall prey to these oil speculators greed and whims? For that matter, why does Obama allow his 313 million US citizens to be victimized by the same?
Its because the world has relinquished control to the financial mafias through democratic elections, which are really akin to their brand of political UFCs (Ultimate Fighting Championships). Whats worse is that in the US, Jews control that countrys money.

So it is imperative for the Philippines to oust the domestic lackeys of the Global Finance Mafia, like the one running 60 percent of our power supply today.

In 1986, Cory Aquino reversed the public sector or state-led economic development model by enshrining in her Constitution several private sector-led schemes while handing the Bangko Sentral to a monetary board composed of five from the private sector and only two from government (instead of the other way around).
That is why, above all else, a radical counter-revolution to the Yellows turnover of our government to the oligarchs is needed now more than ever.

(Tune in to 1098AM, dwAD, Sulo ng Pilipino/Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m.; watch Destiny Cable GNNs HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11:15 p.m., after Lent, on Mining: Bomb or Boon?; 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/20120323com6.html

Dirty tricks, Inc. FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/23/2012

Dirty tricks, Inc.

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Land Registration Authority chief and one of Noynoy’s KKKs, being a classmate, Eulalio Diaz lll, was raked over the Senate court’s coals Wednesday for having provided a bloated list of 45 properties of Chief Justice Renato Corona, many of which were either sold, cancelled, or even registered under the strangers’ names.

What was striking about his inconsistent testimony is the fact that he had admitted having prepared the list of 45 properties and passing these as the CJ’s properties days before the prosecution had asked for it, with Diaz saying that it was done as he had taken notice of the impeachment move, but also said he did it because media had requested it, as well as also saying that he did not prepare it because of the coming impeachment trial.

In all probability, the reason for his inconsistent testimony, was to protect and shield his classmate, Noynoy, who just as probably ordered for the bloated list to be prepared, and intentionally done to make the CJ look guilty..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120323com2.html

'Syrian armed groups destroy civilian facilities with imported weapons'

'Syrian armed groups destroy civilian facilities with imported weapons'

With the United States still threatening Damascus with more pressure and isolation, Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour told RT that the policy of backing one side in any national conflict could lead to disaster for the entire region.

­A double-standards policy is applied to almost any vitally important issue in the Middle East, said the minister, whether it is the Syrian conflict, Israeli-Lebanese tension, or the Iranian nuclear issue..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/middle-east-lebanon-syria-244/

China sells Iran hi-tech surveillance system defying US sanctions?

China sells Iran hi-tech surveillance system defying US sanctions?

Iran’s largest telecom company has obtained a powerful surveillance system from a Chinese manufacturer. Despite the boycott from Western companies, Tehran will be able to monitor landline, mobile and Internet communications of potential dissidents.

­The deal between the China-based ZTE Corporation and the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) was signed back in December 2010. As Reuters says in its comprehensive report, the system was part of a $130.6 million contract for networking equipment supplied by ZTE.

TCI is predominantly state-controlled and has a near monopoly on Iran’s landline telephone services, as well as having much of the country’s Internet traffic flowing through its network..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/chinese-iran-sanctions-surveillance-251/

Iranian minefield: Western error would ‘endanger Israel’s existence’

Iranian minefield: Western error would ‘endanger Israel’s existence’

Any move - even the “slightest of errors” - which can be considered a hostile act against the Islamic Republic will jeopardize the very existence of the Israeli regime, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a senior Iranian lawmaker, has said.

­Boroujerdi, who is also the head of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, warned the West that it should take Iran’s threats with all seriousness, Press TV reports.

“Should the Western countries want to commit the slightest of errors regarding Iran, they will be gripped by such ramifications that will endanger the existence of the Zionist regime,” he is quoted as saying. "In case of any venture against our country, the aggressors will face a swift, resolute and serious countermeasure.".... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/iran-israel-attack-existence-threat-235/

File extension: US to keep innocent civilians' data 10 times longer

File extension: US to keep innocent civilians' data 10 times longer

The US intelligence community has risen tenfold the time it has the right to keep data on American citizens and legal residents with no established ties to terrorists. Previously all such records had to be destroyed after six months.

­The new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which gathers and shares information among American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, were approved on Thursday.

The previous retention period set in 2008 was “very limiting,” Robert Litt, the chief lawyer for the body which oversees the NCTC, told the Washington Post..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/terrorism-data-retention-guidelines-263/

Family abducted, presented as rebel returnees in Samar

Family abducted, presented as rebel returnees in Samar

Artemio Labong and his son Jeffery were first abducted by the military; then his whole family was taken under duress and was presented as rebel returnees.

Samar – Journalist Jebri Gil Silda is appealing to the public to join calls to have the Labong family released from military custody in Samar.

Silda is a researcher and anchor for the Lingganay Han Kamatuoran radio program in Tacloban, Leyte and contributing editor of Vista, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines–Tacloban. He was approached by the Labong family when barangay official Artemio Labong and his son Jeffrey, 21, were abducted by soldiers last March 5, 2012 in Brgy. Pagsang-on, Paranas, Samar.

(Facebook profile picture of Jebri Gil Sida / bulatlat.com)
In an earlier report by the Katungod-Sinirangang Bisayas (SB) Karapatan in Samar, it was said that the two were abducted by a group of soldiers from the 87th Infantry Battalion (87th IB). The group also said that before he was taken, Labong was interrogated and tortured in front of his 12-year-old daughter. Another person, a certain Roel, was also reportedly abducted in another incident.

“The family members of Artemio and Roel saw that those who have taken them were members of the Philippine Army. They were in full battle gear and in uniform. We condemn this act of abduction by the members of the 87th Infantry Battalion and demand the immediate release of the two victims,” the human rights group said.

The search

After the two were abducted by 20 to 30 armed men in military uniform, the family tried to search for them for a week, making the rounds of military camps. They went as far as Camp Lukban, General Headquarters of the 8th Infantry Division (8th ID) of the Philippine Army, which commands the 87th IB, in Brgy. Maulong, Catbalogan, Samar. But the military denied that they had the two in their custody.

Losing hope, Artemio’s family sought the help of the media and made an appeal through Silda’s program Lingganay Han Kamatuoran (LHK) last March 16. The military’s response was immediate..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/23/family-abducted-presented-as-rebel-returnees-in-samar/

The case against Corona CROSSROADS Jonathan De la Cruz 03/23/2012

The case against Corona

Jonathan De la Cruz
By now, with the stupendous and unbelievable narrative of LRA Administrator Eulalio Diaz III about the alleged “45” properties of Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife (which has since been reduced to 21 if we go by the prosecution’s count or 11 and decreasing if we go by the latest stipulation between the parties and six if we go by Sen. Ralph Recto’s count or five as admitted by the Chief Justice) the public is increasingly realizing that Corona’s case will probably rest or fall on whether the incomplete filing of his statement of assets, liabilities and networth (SALns) from the time he was appointed to the high tribunal in 2002 to the present is so grave and dangerous to our democratic way of life that he deserves to be removed from his office.

After parading Corona to the country and to the world as the “poster boy of corruption and maladministration” and “the biggest stumbling block to P-Noy’s daang matuwid (straight path) agenda for development and reform,” and imposing eight “very strong” charges to back his withering blackballing by the rampaging Malacañang-cum-House of Representatives express, we are now being told that the Chief Justice should be yanked out of his office to save our democracy because he did not include one property in his SALn?.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120323com5.html

Poll chief claims PCOS glitches due to ‘human error’ By Angie M. Rosales 03/23/2012

Poll chief claims PCOS glitches due to ‘human error’

By Angie M. Rosales 03/23/2012

Most of the glitches of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines supplied by Smartmatic-TIM for the 2010 automated elections were the result of “human errors” and not “machine errors,” Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes said before the Senate committee on election reforms to defend the Comelec’s recent decision to purchase at a discounted price the PCOS machines that it rented in 2010.

At yesterday’s hearing of the committee chaired by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, Brillantes said the Comelec decided to buy the PCOS it leased from Smartmatic-TIM in the 2010 elections partly because this service provider had already corrected the glitches that occurred in that nationwide balloting.

Contrary to the allegations of critics of allegedly defective PCOS units, he said that most of the glitches were traced to “human error” and not to “machine error.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120323hea3.html

Prosecutors shellacked anew on BGEI lot query By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 03/23/2012


Prosecutors shellacked anew on BGEI lot query

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Angie M. Rosales 03/23/2012

The prosecution panel failed to come up with any evidence proving that the P34.7 million check out of an expropriation-negotiated sale proceeding for a Sampaloc property in Manila allegedly pocketed by the wife of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2001 had ended up in one of his purported undisclosed bank accounts.

Lead prosecutor Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. himself practically confessed to this yesterday before the Senate impeachment court and tried to pass the buck to the defense panel, saying the burden of disproving what he has admitted as unsupported allegation contained in Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment was on the Corona lawyers.

Tupas himself, who also confessed that it was a mere “theory” of the prosecution panel that the amount is being kept under Corona’s account, said the money alleged to have been “misappropriated” by Cristina Corona from the 2001 transaction of her family’s Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc. (BGEI) with the city government of Manila, should have been declared by the couple in the chief magistrate’s filed statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120323hea1.html

With photo ops, Noynoying takes new meaning: ‘Acting like busy’ By Charlie V. Manalo and Rocky Nazareno 03/23/2012

With photo ops, Noynoying takes new meaning: ‘Acting like busy’

By Charlie V. Manalo and Rocky Nazareno 03/23/2012

A media offensive by the Palace showing President Aquino supposedly busy at work and at times seen as an overkill, such as when he was shown carrying what appeared to be folders that normally aides carry, has brought about the term noynoying which has gained popularity enough to earn a space in the popular online encyclopedia, the Wikipedia.

Anakbayan, a military youth group, claimed credit for coining the viral word.

In a statement, Vencer Cri-sostomo, national chairman of Anakbayan, said “noynoying” refers to the do-nothing work ethic and inaction of Aquino over problems besetting the country..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120323hea6.html

PNP rescues kidnaped midwife in Sulu By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/23/2012

PNP rescues kidnaped midwife in Sulu

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/23/2012

The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday disclosed that the midwife kidnapped in Sulu on Monday has been recovered in Patikul town, Sulu province on Wednesday afternoon.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Police Regional Office reported yesterday that the abducted midiwife, Roselyn Kiram, was recovered by police authorities at around 5:30 p.m., Wednesday in Sitio Basih, Barangay Maligay, Patikul.

.Kiram was abducted on March 19 in Barangay Liang, also in Patikul.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120323nat3.html

Solar-lighted, ‘green’ chapel opens in Bacolod 03/23/2012

Solar-lighted, ‘green’ chapel opens in Bacolod

An environment-friendly chapel, solar-powered and constructed from indigenous and recycled materials, was opened in a simple blessing ceremony Monday in Bacolod City.

Located within the area of the Greenheart Hermitage on the campus grounds of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, the chapel was a collaborative effort of three Negrense artists who offered to build the “earth chapel” for free due to their common advocacy of protecting the environment.

The chapel was made of indigenous materials including mud, bamboo, rice straw and stalks and cogon grass. Recycled objects including wine bottles, discarded tiles, discarded wood slabs and bits and pieces of other materials were also added in the structure..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120323nat6.html

House okays exemption of int’l airlines from Common Carriers Tax By Charlie V. Manalo 03/23/2012

House okays exemption of int’l airlines from Common Carriers Tax

By Charlie V. Manalo 03/23/2012
The House of Representatives last Wednesday night approved a bill that will rationalize the taxes, particularly the Common Carriers Tax (CCT) and the Gross Philippine Billings (GPB) tax imposed on international air carriers.

House Bill 6022, a substitute measure to House Bills 3928 and 4444 and House Resolution 1949 seeks to amend Sections 28, 108 and 118 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

If enacted into law, international air carriers will be exempted from CCT which is three percent of the airline’s gross turnover and GPB which is two percent of the gross turnover..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120323met3.html

DoJ conducts new probe on death of Daza’s lover By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/23/2012

DoJ conducts new probe on death of Daza’s lover

By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/23/2012

Prosecutors have started their reinvestigation into the death of Noel Orate who died under mysterious circumstances inside the house of his girlfriend, former Quezon City Rep. Nannette Castelo-Daza.
Orate’s family submitted to investigating Assistant State Prosecutor Gino Paolo Santiago a medico-legal report by UP forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun and a spot report of the Scene of the Crime Operatives team.

The family insisted that murder and not homicide be filed against Daza’s son-in-law Allan Robes. The two reports said Orate tested negative for gunpowder burns and that two of the five gunshots he sustained were shot at close range..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120323met1.html

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