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Mindanao power crisis ploy to justify coal plants – environmental groups

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mindanao power crisis ploy to justify coal plants – environmental groups

“This is all artificial.” – Dr. Jean Lindo, Kalikasan Party, No to Coal-Davao

Manila – Environmental groups based in Mindanao slammed the recent blackouts in Mindanao as “deliberate acts” and are “part of a ploy of power distributors and the Aquino administration to justify the construction of more coal-fired power plants and other extractive energy projects such as Pulangi V Mega Dam.”
Dr. Jean Lindo, No to Coal– Davao convener and member of the newly-formed Kalikasan Party said the black outs in Mindanao are not real indicators of a power crisis.

“Power distributors can deliberately cause power black outs to happen by manipulating the power supply. This is not new. Every time these firms and investors want to build more coal-fired plants and dams, they mess around with the power supply and cry out that there’s a power crisis or an shortage in supply. This is all artificial,” he said.

Lindo said to verify the statement of Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Jose Almendras that Mindanao needed 500MW of non-hydro power resources, “an independent ENERGY AUDIT is needed to disclose the genuine power situation of Mindanao.”

Various legislators and local government officials including Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino and the two lawmakers of Gabriela Women’s Party Luz Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus have said that Congress should look deeper into the real causes of Mindanao brownouts before even considering giving President Benigno Aquino III special powers. Casiño said that “‘Old, worn out solutions won’t do to solve the Mindanao power crisis.”

“Pres. Benigno Aquino III proposed emergency powers are aimed at allowing him to enter into new contracts with the independent power producers (IPPs) without going through public bidding and the usual procurement processes. This is basically a rehash of the Ramos-era solution to the power crisis, which is to pass the ball to the private sector via onerous, oppressive, sweetheart contracts,” Casino said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/29/mindanao-power-crisis-ploy-to-justify-coal-plants-environmental-groups/

Hot air FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 03/31/2012

 Hot air

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
From the way they have been talking, prosecutors, who have already rested their case last month continue to try and “frighten” the Coronas and their defense team by constantly claiming they will be introducing “rebuttal” witnesses and open up the Basa Guidote Enterprises funds, as well as question the California property in the name of Chief Justice (CJ) Renato Corona’s daughter.

One question: Why do they keep on threatening to rebut all these, and introduce new evidence? Why don’t they just do it?

Perhaps because the prosecution knows it can’t, unless of course the defense comes up with testimonial evidence or documentary evidence on these two specific issues. The prosecution, in case it has forgotten, has rested its case, and merely held open the issue of the dollar accounts of the CJ — in the event the Supreme Court lifts its temporary restraining order on the PSBank’s petition on the same TRO.

As the prosecution, through its spokesman, Rep. Miro Quimbo, said, the Senate should accept all additional evidence against the Chief Justice to avoid public discussion of issues outside the impeachment court.
In the first place, there is a gag order of sorts from the Senate impeachment court on both the defense and the prosecution in airing issues outside of the courtroom, yet there went Quimbo, saying additional evidence should be allowed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120331com2.html

US and Saudis step-up regime change rhetoric in Syria (w/ Video)

US and Saudis step-up regime change rhetoric in Syria

US secretary of State Hilary Clinton was in Saudi Arabia to discuss the hitherto unresolved conflict in Syria. The long-term allies both advocate the removal of President Assad and seek a united strategy ahead of Sunday’s ‘Friends of Syria’ summit.

The US wants to unify the rebels and lobby for humanitarian aid, but Saudi Arabia’s more aggressive stance calls for military action.

Clinton met with King Abdullah and a number of other high-ranking Saudi officials behind closed doors on Friday with a view to “stopping the bloodbath in Syria”..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/clinton-syria-riyadh-intervention-910/

NDAA in court over indefinite detention of Americans

NDAA in court over indefinite detention of Americans

After much debate on a new law signed by President Barack Obama, House Republicans are throwing around the idea of reviewing the National Defense Authorization Act after the law was challenged in court.

Seven witnesses appeared in front of US District Judge Katherine Forrest in New York on Thursday. Among the seven individuals,a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Chris Hedges was responsible for filing the lawsuit believes the “indefinite detention” portion of the law could result in his imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay for merely doing his job.

Hedges a repeated guest on RT is an author, columnist for TruthDig.Com and a Middle-East expert, expressed in Federal court that the NDAA would have an effect on journalists and activists worldwide..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/obama-law-detention-military-883/

Benguet lass, friend, victims of rape by Army officer, fail to join graduation rites

 Benguet lass, friend, victims of rape by Army officer, fail to join graduation rites

The Army captain enticed the young, poor teenage girls with gifts and trips, until he had his way and the girls’ future were forever shattered.
BAGUIO CITY — A girl in a remote village high school in Mankayan, will not be able to attend her graduation rites.

“Isabel,” not her real name, 16, could have been in the graduating class of a Mankayan village high school because she had high grades in all subjects. She failed to take the final examinations in the last grading period because she lost her composure after she disappeared for four days in February.

Since then she has not been in a normal state of mind. She was pronounced as severely depressed by a doctor. The depression resulted in temporary amnesia, said the Innabuyog-Gabriela, a women’s organization in the Cordillera who is documenting cases of violations of women’s rights.

Isabel’s medico-legal certificate disclosed complete hymenal laceration, periannal laceration, which suggest that not just one person had raped her. The hospital that examined her also found that she has fungal infection.

Like Isabel, “Katrina,” her friend, might also have fallen victim to statutory rape, before the Christmas break last year, when she went on a sleep-over but returned home three days later.

Born of poor peasants in the mining town of Mankayan, in Benguet, Isabel, the second of five siblings, is among a group of village teenagers considered as vulnerable to becoming victims of sexual abuse.

“They are young, innocent, and they come from poor families who do not see money flowing to the family coffers,” said Mila Lingbawan, Innabuyog secretary-general, in a press conference on March 28.

What is appalling to Innabuyog is that their common “boyfriend” is a military officer, Captain Danilo Lalin of the Highlander 86 of the 50th Infantry Battalion, now patrolling the environs of Mankayan, Benguet.

It turned out that the military captain had enticed both girls to go out with him by giving the girls gifts such as money, cellphones and trips to Ifugao and elsewhere, as evidenced by photographs of the girls in Ifugao and tickets to tourist destinations.

Some likely evidences of sexual relationship with the captain include the contraceptive pills discovered among the personal belongings of the girls just after they revealed what happened.

From being “textmates,” they finally “eye-balled” (or personally meet) in December when the guy revealed his real identity and eventually invited ‘Katrina’ to a military Christmas party in Tinoc, Ifugao.

Cases of soldiers raping, deceiving girls

“This is not the first case of a military man raping innocent young community girls in the Cordillera,” said Lingbawan.

Jude Baggo of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) said his group has documented cases of rape involving the military. He cited the case of a 14-year old girl in Abra who was allegedly gang-raped by two to three soldiers in 1999. He said, in Mankayan, Isabel’s case is not the first..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/29/benguet-lass-friend-victims-of-rape-by-army-officer-fail-to-join-graduation-rites/

Hire unemployed nurses in public hospitals -GWP

Hire unemployed nurses in public hospitals -GWP

Manila – A lawmaker and a labor center are protesting against the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) call to licensed nurses, nursing graduates, and other jobseekers with healthcare backgrounds to consider the array of non-clinical, yet, medical-related job opportunities as alternate careers in the healthcare industry. DOLE secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said nurses who are having difficulty finding employment should consider applying at business process outsourcing (BPO) companies or the so-called call-centers.

“After failing to find jobs for nurses abroad, the government now wants them to work as call center agents. From nursing volunteers to domestic helpers to call center agents, what’s next for Filipino nurses? This clearly shows the government’s lack of a comprehensive employment plan for graduates,” said Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi De Jesus.

Earlier, the DOLE cited a report of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) stating that the knowledge process oustourcing sector as one of the fast-growing sectors and that it has “fast-growing and innovative trends and advancements in the healthcare industry.” The BLE said that jobless nurses should go out-of-the-box, beyond the traditional clinical jobs, and explore other emerging medical and health-related careers.
“With the growth trend in the healthcare information management outsourcing industry, healthcare careers now expand into various disciplines which opens huge career opportunities for nursing graduates and allied medical professionals,” Baldoz said.

The Career Guides posted at the BLE website at cites healthcare knowledge process outsourcing careers, such as clinical research associates and clinical appeals specialists.

Citing the BLE Career Guides, Baldoz also said healthcare outsourcing jobs pay P14,000 ($325) to P18,000 ($418), while clinical appeals specialists employed in the BPO industry receive a basic pay of P20,000 ($ 465) to P40,000 ($930).

“The salary in these alternate medical careers is double the average monthly salary of P10,000 ($233) received by nurses working in hospitals and private institutions.” Baldoz said.

“Beyond the higher pay, considering these medical-related careers as employment alternatives is a ‘win-win’ solution for jobseekers in the healthcare industry. These jobs, alongside with constant re-tooling and re-training, add to their educational expertise which will increase and broaden their competencies as they venture to their dream medical profession in the future,” Baldoz said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/21/hire-unemployed-nurses-in-public-hospitals-gwp/

Noy scored by Rights group on broken campaign promises By Michaela P. del Callar 03/31/2012


Noy scored by Rights group on broken campaign promises

By Michaela P. del Callar 03/31/2012

He promised to dismantle the paramilitary forces being used by politicians as their private armies during his presidential campaign, but like all other campaign pledges, President Aquino again failed to deliver and has been slammed for it.

A prominent human rights watchdog yesterday admonished Aquino for backtracking on a campaign promise to dismantle paramilitary forces being used as private armies by politicians and blamed for the continuing election violence in the country.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Aquino to live up to his commitment and ban paramilitaries or government-armed civilians in the Philippines “because of their long and continuing history of serious human rights violations.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120331hea1.html

Get ready to pay more for power, Palace tells Mindanaons By Rocky Nazareno 03/31/2012

Get ready to pay more for power, Palace tells Mindanaons

By Rocky Nazareno 03/31/2012

After years of enjoying subsidized power from the government, Mindanaons will now have to shoulder higher power costs due to the sudden need to construct new power plants or bring in additional power barges.

This was disclosed by presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda yesterday amid reports that the Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) has already allowed the state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor) to increase its generation charges in Luzon, the Visayas and, worse, in Mindanao which is already reeling from widespread brownouts.

“Mindanao enjoys the lowest energy power rates because of its hydro and, in fact, that’s the reason even when the Epira (Electric Power Industry Reform Act) was enacted, they exempted Mindanao from privatization,” Lacierda told a press briefing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120331hea3.html

Special school launched to preserve Ifugao culture By Ted Boehnert 03/31/2012

Special school launched to preserve Ifugao culture

By Ted Boehnert 03/31/2012

The Department of Education (DepEd) has launched an Ifugao Indigenous School to assist in preserving their culture.

DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, who was in Banaue town last March 27, inaugurated the school, dubbed the Special Secondary School for the Conservation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces, during the graduation of a national high school in Banaue where he served as commencement speaker.

Luistro said the school will be piloted within the premises of the Gohang National High School, making the announcement during its 18th commencement exercises..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120331nat4.html

Military takes no chances with ‘media-hungry’ terrorists By Mario J. Mallari 03/31/2012

Military takes no chances with ‘media-hungry’ terrorists

By Mario J. Mallari 03/31/2012

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has intensified security operations nationwide, particularly in places of worship, transport terminals and tourist spots, citing their assessment that terrorist groups, like the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the New People’s Army (NPA), may stage attacks during Holy Week.

At a press briefing, Brig. Gen. Roberto Almadin, co-chairman of the AFP-Philippine National Police Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC), announced that all unified commands of the AFP have been directed to coordinate with the PNP, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and other government security agencies.

“As per our initial assessment, gatherings of people in churches, cathedrals and other places of religious interest and tourist spots may be taken advantage of by terror groups to conduct attacks to sow chaos, disorder and gain media mileage,” Almadin said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120331nat1.html

Group calls oil, power firms traitors, Noy Pontius Pilate By Pat C. Santos 03/31/2012

Group calls oil, power firms traitors, Noy Pontius Pilate

By Pat C. Santos 03/31/2012

An urban poor group yesterday condemned the recent approval by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) of additional charges by power consumers of state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor) and Lopez-owned Meralco days before the Holy Week.

In a statement, Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national secretary-general, said “the Aquino administration preferred the right timing for the power rate hike announcement as the consumers head into holiday mode.”

But she warned the ERC as well as Meralco and Napocor that their collusion against ordinary consumers will be faced by the same fury and disgust that haunted the oil firms recently..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120331met1.html

Ayala Ave. closed to traffic for Earth Hour 03/31/2012

Ayala Ave. closed to traffic for Earth Hour

Traffic will be rerouted at the Makati Central Business District starting at 6 p.m. today, March 31, to make way for the Celebration of Earth Hour, the ceremonial switching off of lights, to be held at the Ayala Triangle Gardens and Tower One and Exchange Plaza.

The event will start with an Earth-themed parade of participants, including Bailles de Luces, Lancer Band, Caracol Participants, Makati Representatives, Pascual Laboratories and Informatix contingents, Bus/Ejeep Groups, and Makati School and Barangay Contingents. The parade will start in front of Makati Central Fire Station on Ayala Extension and end at Tower One.

Ayala Property Management Corp. Traffic Consultant Estela Lomat said as the parade head marshals approach the intersection of Paseo de Roxas, westbound lanes of Ayala Avenue from Makati Avenue to Paseo de Roxas will be closed to traffic until the tail end gets inside the TOEP driveway at around 7 p.m..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120331met3.html

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