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The Daily Tribune

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‘Power crisis in Mindanao rehashed, contrived’

Saturday, April 14, 2012

‘Power crisis in Mindanao rehashed, contrived’

People’s organizations and green groups accuse the Aquino government not only of reneging on its promise to pursue renewable sources of energy but also of contriving the power crisis in Mindanao to railroad the construction of coal-fired power plants.

MANILA – A multi-sectoral rally in Davao marked the ongoing power summit today as various people’s organizations expressed doubts over the motives of the stakeholders in the said summit. “It is more advantageous for the people and the economy of Mindanao to harness renewable energy sources,” said Juland R. Suazo, spokesperson of Panalipdan, a broad alliance of environmentalists and people’s organizations in Southern Mindanao.

So far though, based on the Aquino government’s actions in response to the Mindanao power crisis, harnessing renewables does not seem to be its priority. Instead, the Aquino government and some energy capitalists are seen as railroading the approval of coal-fired power plants and further privatization of existing power plants, all of which have long been rejected by people of Mindanao.

Today’s ongoing summit has also been preempted by what environmentalists described as “hasty” approval of coal power plants. The construction of at least three is now reportedly being fast-tracked, to the dismay of protesting host communities.

Renewable energy sources abound in Mindanao. Pursuing it is viable, the sources are available and the prices are competitive, said Von Hernandez, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. Mindanao is sitting on a veritable “gold mine” of renewable energy sources that have yet to be tapped, he said.

The energy department’s renewable energy program itself lists up to thousands of available megawatts from renewable energy sources in the island such as geothermal (290MW potential plus current 103MW plus approved 50MW projects), hydropower (1080MW current capacity plus 1263.9MW targeted additional capacity), wind (336MW potential capacity), biomass (36.8MW awaiting implementation), and solar power (estimated 5KWhours per square meter). Additional resource mapping may further increase the potentials, said Greenpeace.

Josephine Pareja (Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
Unfortunately the government seems to be reneging on the promise Benigno “Noynoy” C. Aquino III made before he assumed the presidency. He said then that he was for the phase-out of coal power and that the country must make the serious shift toward clean energy sources. According to Hernandez of Greenpeace, it has been nearly three years since the Renewable Energy Bill became law. But it is not yet being implemented up to now. He said in Filipino that the Aquino government is “sleeping on the job when it comes to issuing decisions over proposals for renewable energy sources. On the other hand, it is fast-tracking left and right approval and implementation of coal-fired power plants.”

Davao and Zambo up in arms vs coal-fired plants

Two adjacent but separate coal-fired power plants, with a total of 300MW capacity once operational, have reportedly begun construction in Davao del Sur.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/13/%E2%80%98power-crisis-in-mindanao-rehashed-contrived%E2%80%99/

Truce under threat: Syrian violence continues as UNSC debates new resolution

Truce under threat: Syrian violence continues as UNSC debates new resolution

A ceasefire in Syria seems to be have been broken after troops clashed with rebels in many parts of the country, reportedly killing five people. The UN Security Council is debating a new resolution to authorize an observer mission in Syria.

­UN Security Council members met behind closed doors Friday to discuss a draft resolution that would allow an observer mission to be dispatched to Syria “as soon as possible,” as requested by Kofi Annan.

Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin admitted that “it is crucial for the monitors to be on the ground” in Syria. He said however that more negotiation would be needed over the draft resolution, as the text was longer and more complicated than expected..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/syria-border-clashes-blame-965/

Stealth mode: ENGAGE. Iran shuts off oil tankers’ trackers to cloak supply routes

Stealth mode: ENGAGE. Iran shuts off oil tankers’ trackers to cloak supply routes

Most of Iran's tanker fleet is now operating in "off-radar" mode. Tehran has ordered the captains of its 39-strong oil fleet to turn off the tracking devices aboard the tankers in order to disguise the destination of its oil shipments.

­Only seven of Iran’s crude oil carriers are still visible via the AIS (Automatic Identification System) tracking system, Reuters reported on Friday. Neither the captains from the National Iranian Tanker Co nor the purchasers of Iranian crude have given any official comments on the situation.

"NITC oil tankers are going to operate in stealth mode," the report cites an unidentified oil shipping industry official as saying..... MORE

URL: http://rt.com/news/iran-oil-tanker-tracking-system-018/

US hit with worst drought in years

US hit with worst drought in years

Climatologists say a dry spell devastating almost all of America is starting to worry the weather community during what is one of the worst droughts in recent years.

The federal agency that investigates dry weather, the US Drought Monitor, says that more than half of the continental United States are experiencing “abnormally dry” conditions, which have so far proven to be the worst the country has experienced since 2007.

"Conditions are starting to worry us now," Keith Eggleston, a climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center in Ithaca, N.Y., tells USA Today..... MORE

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/us-drought-dry-conditions-033/

Two UP students harassed during Holy Week

Two UP students harassed during Holy Week

According to Anakbayan, one youth or student leader has been victimized every week.

MANILA – Progressive youth group Anakbayan condemned the harassment of two students from the University of the Philippines–Manila by suspected military agents. Anakbayan members Cleve Arguelles, outgoing vice-chairperson of UP Manila University Student Council, and Nikki Gamara were reportedly subjected to surveillance and harassment last April 2 and 3.

“We condemn the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Aquino administration for this latest attack on our members” Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said.

According to the fact sheet, on April 2 Monday at around 7:00 p.m., an unidentified woman went to Arguelles’ residence saying that she was lost and was looking for someone named “Nikki” but was unable to give a surname. Fellow UP Manila student Nikki Gamara was in the house visiting Arguelles at that time.
Gamara and Arguelles became suspicious because the house is located at the very back of a compound, and that the place is not visible to passersby from the main street.

(Photo courtesy of Cleve Aguelles Facebook account / Bulatlat.com)
On April 3, Tuesday at around 7:00 p.m., Arguelles and Gamara received a report that Gamara’s father, Renante Gamara of the partylist group Bayan Muna, together with Santiago Balleta, was arrested by the police and military in Las Piñas earlier that day. Balleta is the father of Jane Balleta of the Morong 43, a group of health workers who were arrested and detained in Feb. 6, 2010.

Arguelles then accompanied Gamara to her family’s house at around 11:00 p.m. of the same day . When Arguelles was going home, after around 30 minutes of commuting, he noticed that a black Toyota Corolla was following him. He then transferred to other jeeps twice but the car continued to tail him. Arguelles went inside a fastfood restaurant..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/13/two-up-students-harassed-during-holy-week/

Amended law decriminalizing vagrancy attacks exploited women – Gabriela

Amended law decriminalizing vagrancy attacks exploited women – Gabriela

“The amended law turns a blind eye to the realities of poverty and unemployment that heightens women’s vulnerability to trafficking, prostitution and slavery.” – Rep. Luz Ilagan, Gabriela Women’s Party
Women legislators of Gabriela Women’s Party have denounced anew the Benigno Aquino administration for signing into law a measure that criminalizes women forced into exploitative situations by poverty. Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Luz Ilagan said President Aquino declared that prostituted women are criminals when he signed Republic Act 10158, or An Act Decriminalizing Vagrancy.

It is the consolidated version of Senate Bill 2726 and House Bill 493, which decriminalizes all forms of vagrancy and effectively repealed the law on vagrancy – a law widely criticized as being anti-poor. The amended law, however, declared that prostitution – an outcome of vagrancy – is a crime. It was submitted to Aquino last March 7, 2012 and signed into law on April 7.

“The administration is perpetuating the archaic view contained in Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code, but, at the same time, it allows the exploiters of women and those who earn from their exploitation to go scott-free,” De Jesus said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/13/amended-law-decriminalizing-vagrancy-attacks-exploited-women-gabriela/

Miriam calls for probe of beauty products laced with toxic chemicals By Angie M. Rosales 04/14/2012

Miriam calls for probe of beauty products laced with toxic chemicals

By Angie M. Rosales 04/14/2012

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has called for an investigation in the upper chamber into the alleged toxic chemicals found in some cosmetics and other personal care items used by men, reported to have caused various diseases, including cancer and male-health effects.

Santiago raised alarm over the reports and moved for a conduct of an inquiry, in aid of legislation, and possibly determine the need to introduce and implement so-called toxic reduction strategies in cosmetics and other consumer products.

“Given the dangers of everyday exposure to toxic chemicals found in beauty products, the government should ban outright the use of toxic substance in cosmetics and other consumer products,” she said in filing Resolution No. 749..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120414met1.html

Erap named ‘Father of e-commerce’ 04/14/2012

Erap named ‘Father of e-commerce’

He is known to his constituents as the “Father of the Masses” but former President Joseph Estrada has earned another title: “Father of e-commerce.”

The former leader was given yesterday by E-Best the “Father of e-commerce” award for pioneering e-commerce in the Philippines.

In presenting the award, Corazon Chan, Chairman of E-Best declared: “President Joseph Ejercito Estrada has always been an advocate of technology.”

“During his administration he signed the Philippine E-Commerce Act into law on June 14, 2000. President Estrada has always been hopeful that the Philippines is in a good position to gain a good part of the cyber information technology (IT)-related markets. .... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120414hea4.html

Militants demand release of missing peasant leader By Charlie V. Manalo 04/14/2012

Militants demand release of missing peasant leader

By Charlie V. Manalo 04/14/2012

The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) yesterday condemned the abduction of Pagkakaisa’t Ugnayan ng mga Magsasaka sa Laguna (Pumalag — KMP) chairman Alex Arias, who was abducted by suspected state security forces last April 7, and demanded the Aquino government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to immediately produce him.

Reports reaching the KMP national office said Arias, 56, was driving a motorcycle on his way home to Liliw, Laguna last Saturday when his way was blocked by armed men in Barangay Bubukal in Sta. Cruz town. The armed men, believed to be elements of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army were on a van escorted by a number of motorcycles..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120414nat7.html

Binay urges use of carabaomilk in processed food 04/14/2012

Binay urges use of carabaomilk in processed food

Vice President Jejomar Binay has urged food manufacturers in the country to include local dairy products in their ingredients.

“The (food manufacturers) are big firms and their products are sold from Aparri to Jolo and abroad. Their products are also used by other big companies in making bread and other foodstuffs. Our local producers must be tapped to supply their demand for milk products,” Binay said during his visit to the Philippine Carabao Center in Muñoz Nueva Ecija Tuesday..

This public-private partnership was the key to improving the carabao and livestock industry in the country, the Vice President said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120414nat9.html

7 die in road mishaps in Agusan, Cam Sur By Gina Peralta-Elorde 04/14/2012

7 die in road mishaps in Agusan, Cam Sur

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 04/14/2012

At least four people were confirmed dead while 50 others were wounded when a truck loaded with passengers went out of control in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on Thursday afternoon.

Reports disclosed that the truck was loaded with passengers who had come from a burial in Barangay Sta. Irene, Prosperidad when it suddenly turned on its side.

Police investigators said most of the passengers were thrown out of the vehicle, while some of them fell into a ravine just beside the road..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120414nat1.html

People’s champ to take oath as member of VP Binay’s PDP-Laban, not Noy’s LP By Angie M. Rosales 04/14/2012

People’s champ to take oath as member of VP Binay’s PDP-Laban, not Noy’s LP

By Angie M. Rosales 04/14/2012

People’s champ Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao is poised to take his oath as a member, not of the Liberal Party (LP) of President Aquino, but of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III yesterday announced Pacquiao’s impending formal entry into their party which recently led the forming of the coalition called United Nationalist Alliance alongside former President Joseph Estrada’s Partido Masang Pilipino.

Pimentel, who is the current PDP-Laban president, said it’s “all systems go” as far as Pacquiao is concerned in joining their party following what he called a “meeting of the minds” recently..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120414met3.html

Explosion rocks QC gas station; two hurt 04/14/2012

Explosion rocks QC gas station; two hurt

Two people were wounded when an explosion rocked a gas station in Quezon City before noon yesterday.

Quezon City Police District (QCPD) report said the incident happened at around 11:40 a.m. when a truck with plate number RCB 885 loaded with diesel was unloading fuel at a City Oil branch located in Barangay Talayan, Quezon City.

Wounded were Jerome Nava, an employee of the gas station, and Eddie Magada, the truck driver.
Magada’s body was caught fire the report said, He sustained burn injuries and is now being treated at the East Avenue Medical Center while Nava sustained wounds when metal fragments from the exploded truck hit him..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120414met5.html

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