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The Daily Tribune

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Human rights group criticizes military airstrikes in Caraga

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Human rights group criticizes military airstrikes in Caraga

The Kahugpungan sa mga Lumadnong Organisasyon-Caraga (Kasalo-Caraga) has sounded the alarm over the ongoing militarization in Zapanta Valley, Bray. Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte and Ferlda, Alegria, Surigao del Norte. The group said countless human rights violations are being perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the Lumad-Mamanwa people in their communities. The group said the indigenous peoples in the Caraga region are perennial targets of intensive militarization.

According to the secretary-general of Kasalo-Caraga Genasque Enriquez, the AFP launched combat operations from March 4 to 6, which was participated in by elements of the 30th Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Special Forces of 402nd Brigade.

“Indiscriminate firing, shelling and airstrikes were executed simultaneously. They targeted the nearby mountain areas of Sitio Zapanta Valley, spreading fear among the residents. Residents were forced to evacuate and seek safety in Brgy. Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte,” Enriquez said.

According to reports, Lumad-Mamanwa youth, elderly, women and young children journeyed nine kilometers across muddy terrain late afternoon on March 6. Forced to evacuate were 45 families or 149 individuals..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/22/human-rights-group-criticizes-military-airstrikes-in-caraga/

NYPD spies on liberals

NYPD spies on liberals

After revealing that NYPD has been spying on New York Muslims for years since 9/11, the Associated Press reports that the Big Apple Police force has also been doing the same with the city's liberals.

Undercover cops were sent to collect information at meetings of peaceful liberal activists and created a database on certain leaders who planned protests across America..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/police-flaherty-nypd-new-329/

Twitter sticks together with OWS protesters

Twitter sticks together with OWS protesters

Twitter Inc. refuses to give out information on Jeffrey Rae, a prominent OWS protester whose on-the-ground Twitter reporting is followed by thousands. Activists under police scrutiny say a political witch hunt has begun on behalf of “the 1 per cent”.

The microblogging service Twitter says it will not comply with the request two weeks ago by the New York District Attorney to hand over data about an Occupy Wall Street protester. Jeffrey Rae was among more than 700 activists arrested during a Brooklyn Bridge march in New York on October 1 last year..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/twitter-rae-occupy-data-366/

Assad’s wife may be stripped of UK citizenship

Assad’s wife may be stripped of UK citizenship

Syria's British-born first lady could lose her British citizenship, following the EU’s new raft of sanctions on the Assad family: freezing all of their assets in Europe and banning the members of the family from traveling to EU countries as well.

­Asma Assad, 36, Born Asma Akhras to a prominent Syrian family living in Britain, has dual British-Syrian citizenship, so the British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State William Hague had to state earlier that Asma Assad still has the right to enter Great Britain – despite the EU sanctions..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/syrian-assad-wife-asma-363/

Damaged goods sold again EDITORIAL 03/24/2012

Damaged goods sold again

Click to enlarge
Smartmatic must be one very lucky company dealing with the poll body.

Not only has it virtually fleeced the Filipino taxpayers and many of the 2010 voters with its Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines costing billions that were full of glitches and has to this day, not produced its source code publicly, but also that whether it was under the Melo-led Comission on Elections or the Brillantes led Comelec, Smartmatic can pull off yet another billion- peso deal, with poll chairman Sixto Brillantes even claiming that the PCOS glitches suffered during the 2010 presidential elections were not the the errors of the PCOS machines, but human errors.

Information technology experts have already stated that the PCOS machines had unacceptable software and hardware defects. That can’t possibly be considered human error.

There were also “significant failures” in the transmission of results of the PCOS machines..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120324com1.html

Zambales folk resist mining

“Before the mining started, the environment was pristine. We lived on farming, and the harvest was plentiful. Now, when it rains, red water rises.”
Mineral-laden red soil becomes fertile ground to people’s resistance against destructive mining.
In the past six years, some residents of Guisguis village in Sta. Cruz town were able to buy motorcycles, as well as to improve the structure of their houses. Residents called it “katas ng mina” (fruit of the mines), as those who could afford were the few employed by the mining companies operating in the village.

But this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the toll that the mining operations had exacted on the environment, and consequently, on the health, livelihood and safety of the villagers. This was the finding in a report of the Movement for the Protection of the Environment (Move Now!), the alliance of environment advocates in Zambales, which also voiced out the people’s sentiments calling for a stop to mining operations in the area.

From March 12 to 13, a fact-finding mission led by Move Now! gathered stories from residents in the villages of Guisguis, Canaynayan, Guinabon and Lomboy in Sta. Cruz. The report reflected the villagers’ collective grief about the ongoing environmental destruction and looming threat of disaster brought about by the mining operations in the mineral-rich Zambales mountain range.

“Before the mining started, the environment was pristine. We lived on farming, and the harvest was plentiful. Now, when it rains, red water rises,” a woman from Canaynayan described life before the mining companies came.

Villagers blame farm losses and rising flood waters to the mining operations that had gradually carved out forest cover and mountains in Sta. Cruz. Loosened soil of red-orange hue and laden with minerals slide down and clog the waterways. When it rains, silted water spills out into the irrigation system and rice farms.

Residents have put up a sign in front of the public grade school in Canaynayan, Sta. Cruz, Zambales expressing their opposition to mining.(Photo by Dee Ayroso/ bulatlat.com)
The fact-finding mission report named the seven mining companies present in the area: Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc. and its contractor DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI), Eramen Minerals Inc., Shangfil Mining and Trading Corp., Filipinas Mining Corp., PhilAsia and Loren and Leoni (LnL).
The companies employ open-pit mining to extract nickel and chromite ores, which are then hauled to waiting barges in a wharf in another village.

Regional groups Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson (AMGL), Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (Karapatan), and the Katribu partylist joined Move Now! and its local member organizations, Agapan ang Kalikasan at Kabuhayan or AGAP-Zambales and Sagip-Zambales. A representative of the Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) was also part of the fact-finding team.

Red dust in the wind

On the rutted road leading to the communities at the foot of the mining area, one gets a good powdering of dust, a sample of the mountain soil loosened by the extractive operations. Dust hovers along the whole length of the furrowed dirt road, as dump trucks go to and from the mining site, at the rate of three trucks per five minutes. Following barangay regulation, they stop only at 9 p.m. and resume their noisy, thundering trips from 4 a.m., waking people up before they intend to..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/21/zambales-folk-resist-mining/

Prosecution misleading public on P34.7-million BGEI sale By Gerry Baldo 03/24/2012

Prosecution misleading public on P34.7-million BGEI sale

By Gerry Baldo 03/24/2012

The prosecutors’ propagandists went into a full-scale propaganda blitz on the issue of the Manila City Treasurer’s Office for P34.7 million paid out to the Chief Justice’s spouse, Cristina Corona, in trust for Basa-Guidote Enterprises Inc.(BGEI) mainly due to the defense’s success in presenting testimonial and documentary evidence to support the valid sale.

It is suspected that the prosecution and its spokesmen went on a propaganda overdrive on this BGEI payment issue because the defense had succeeded in proving that, indeed, there was a check payment of some P34.7 million to BGEI.

It is being said that the members of the Basa family are at odds and that the property or settlement has been in dispute..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120324hea5.html

Power crisis to remain unabated—Palace By Rocky Nazareno and Charlie V. Manalo 03/24/2012


Power crisis to remain unabated—Palace

By Rocky Nazareno and Charlie V. Manalo 03/24/2012

Malacañang yesterday conceded that the power crisis in Mindanao will remain unabated until 2013 even as it assured the region that it is already fast-tracking efforts to increase base load capacity by contracting more power barges and building coal-fired power plants.

The Mindanao power crisis has been going on for weeks on end, and it is only now that President Aquino claims to be addressing it, but also already telling the nation it must tighten its belt some more, as emergency measures to temporary resolve the power crisis will raise the cost of electricity.

For many Mindanaoans, the power shortage is artificial, and that an energy crisis has been created through these long blackouts, in order for Malacañang to create an emergency situation where it can then justify the imposition of emergency measures that would call for the contracting of power barges, which would lead to overpriced purchases and graft-ridden contracts..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120324hea1.html

Koko to DPWH: Stop repairing good roads 03/24/2012

Koko to DPWH: Stop repairing good roads

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III today said he will ask Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson to explain why some roads in good condition are unnecessarily being repaired while other roads damaged by recent typhoons have yet to be rehabilitated.

Pimentel issued the call after his office received several reports from local commuters and motorists questioning the indiscriminate and unnecessary repair of good roads in Metro Manila as well as the San Luis road in Pampanga and some roads in Mindanao.

“It is indeed puzzling why roads in perfect condition are being subjected to maintenance and improvement works while those damaged by thropical storm “Sendong” have been neglected for months. Why do we have to rebuild good roads while other places do not even have roads at all?” he asked..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120324nat3.html

Ombudsman: No bail for ex-Rodriguez mayor By Arlie O. Calalo and Jason faustino 03/24/2012

Ombudsman: No bail for ex-Rodriguez mayor

By Arlie O. Calalo and Jason faustino 03/24/2012

The Office of the Ombudsman has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by former Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal Mayor Pedro Cuerpo and former municipal engineer Aristotle Cruz, who were both criminally charged of illegal logging or violation of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has ordered that both Cuerpo and Cruz would not be able to post bail for their temporary liberty..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120324nat1.html

Bartolome orders intensified operations vs riding-in-tandem fiends By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/24/2012

Bartolome orders intensified operations vs riding-in-tandem fiends

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 03/24/2012

Intensified police operations will continue against street crime syndicates, especially those involving riding-in-tandem suspects even if the Philippine National Police (PNP) is preoccupied with public safety operations for the entire summer vacation season.

PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome ordered sustained law enforcement operations against armed riding-in-tandem suspects engaged in robbery and other forms of street crime.

“We need to sustain the momentum of our successful police operations against riding-in-tandem suspects, especially now that we are on a winning streak against street crimes,” Bartolome said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120324met2.html

Families ask SC to grant clemency to ‘Abadilla 5’ By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/24/2012

Families ask SC to grant clemency to ‘Abadilla 5’

By Benjamin B. Pulta 03/24/2012

A year after the Supreme Court upheld the guilty verdict on the five accused dubbed “Abadilla 5”—Senior Police Officer 2 Cesar Fortuna, Rameses de Jesus Calma, Leonardo Lumanog, Joel de Jesus and Augusto Santos — their families have asked the SC anew to take up their case.

In a letter to Court Administrator Midas Marquez, the wives of De Jesus brothers, Lumanog and Fortuna and the grandmother of Santos admitted they regretted their failure to submit last year a report of the Office of the Ombudsman charging 15 policemen who allegedly tortured the accused into admitting the crime.

“We are aware that our submission is a year too late and will no longer reverse the Supreme Court (SC) decision reaffirming an RTC conviction of the Abadilla 5. Late as it may be we are still giving you a copy of said resolution as part of our continuing battle to free five innocent men who have suffered almost 16 years of imprisonment,” they said in their letter..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120324met1.html

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