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The Daily Tribune

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Euphemisms increase with US military expansion

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Euphemisms increase with US military expansion

Deceptions and misnomers cover the arrival, stay and conduct of US troops in the Philippines, as noted by progressive and patriotic groups who questioned, too, the very pretexts being used to expand US military presence in the country and in the region.

See also: Groups slam sellout to US by Aquino Govt
Soldiers maul protesters of US-RP military exercises

MANILA – Some analysts recently wrote that the United States now regards Asia as the new Middle East, in the light of its recent foreign policy shift toward Asia involving greater economic, political and military engagement in the region. But according to independent think tank Ibon Philippines, the shift has started as early as 2001 when the US Quadrennial Defense Review proclaimed a shift to Asia and a corresponding increase in US military presence through fixed bases, rotational deployments, training exercises and logistical arrangements.

As early as 2002, the US had called the Philippines its “second front [in the war on terrorism]” and since then, it has dramatically built up its military presence all over the Philippines.

Ibon has mapped the locations of US military exercises and other arrangements, called by different names, but essentially designed to ensure US military presence throughout the first decade of 2000s. “The US military has made extensive use of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to station some 600 to 700 special forces troops in the country and to bring in as much as 7,000 additional soldiers at a time under so-called joint exercises, civil-military actions and relief operations,” Ibon noted. It has also used the Mutual Logistics and Support Agreement (MLSA) to establish military outposts, have access to facilities, and construct warehouses for its war materiel.

(Chart by Ibon Philippines / bulatlat.com)
This month’s war exercises will be the biggest ever in Balikatan history. This will be the first time the war games would be held simultaneously in different parts of the country. Aside from Central Luzon, there would also be combined US-Filipino troops’ activities in Palawan, Cavite, Bicol, Mindanao, and even in the National Capital Region.
Initial reports said that nearly 5,000 US troops would participate, plus thousands of Filipino soldiers.

Some US troops are also to be deployed in urban centers, even in Metro Manila. Kadamay, a national organization of the urban poor, said this deployment is being disguised as part of the Aquino government’s disaster risk-management and other socio-civic programs.

But according to the urban poor group, the deployment of more local and foreign troops to urban poor communities only aims to quell the support being earned by progressive organizations which the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) accuses as fronts of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/21/euphemisms-increase-with-us-military-expansion/

75 NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 04/21/2012


Armida Siguion-Reyna
The 25th anniversary of my 50th birthday,” quipped Joseph Ejercito Estrada at program’s end, last Thursday night, April 19, at the Le Pavillion, on Roxas Boulevard. It was a huge crowd that gathered to celebrate with him, an assortment of family and friends, a grand mix of the loyal, the not-so-loyal and the pretending-to-be-loyal, the mga nakinabang and the mga umaasa pa ring makinabang.

But what a guest list, headed by President Noynoy Aquino, Vice-president Jojo Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Speaker Sonny Belmonte, former Speaker Joe de Venecia, Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ed Angara, Tito Sotto, Greg Honasan, Serge Osmeña III, Bong Revilla, Bong-Bong Marcos, former Senators Ernie Maceda, Nikki Coseteng and Kit Tatad — I’m sure there were more senators and congressmen, I list only those I saw, or remember seeing.

Offhand, former Erap Cabinet members Liling Briones, Titoy Pardo, Lenny de Jesus, Eki Cardenas, the brothers Ronnie and Manny Zamora, lawyers Frank Chavez and Opap Villonco, P-Noy’s sisters Ballsy Cruz and Pinky Abellada, Tony Boy Cojuangco and Gretchen Barretto, RC Constantino Jr. and wife Dudee, Susan Roces, Marichu Maceda, MTRCB Chairman Grace Poe-Llamanzares and husband Neil, Danny Dolor, Ricky Lo, Ronald Constantino, Tirso Cruz III and wife Lyn, Sunday lunch regulars Dean Amado Valdez and wife Nelly, Ka Imon Cuevas and wife Ka Anita, former Mindoro Rep. Ricardo Quintos, the Ejercito siblings, of course —.... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120421com2.html

Pentagon has ‘successful plan’ with hundreds of Tomahawks deployed near Iran

Pentagon has ‘successful plan’ with hundreds of Tomahawks deployed near Iran

America’s plan B for Iran “will be successful,” promises US defense secretary, Leon Panetta. Reports suggest this is no sable rattling, as the US strike groups deployed to the Persian Gulf may be carrying some 430 Tomahawk missiles.

­Washington has not yet dropped its “all options” stance towards Iran, who, they fear, may be building nuclear weapons. The confirmation was obtained by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer from Panetta on Thursday.

We are prepared with all options on the table if we have to respond,” Panetta said, adding that “there are plans” to deal with Iran if the country does not give up its nuclear ambitions..... MORE

URL: http://rt.com/news/pentagon-iran-attack-missiles-606/

Saudi Arabia: Beheadings for ‘witchcraft’

Saudi Arabia: Beheadings for ‘witchcraft’

A Sri Lankan woman is currently facing decapitation by sword on a witchcraft charge in Saudi Arabia, in accordance with Wahhabism, a strict form of Sunni Islam. The UN reports executions tripled in the kingdom in 2011.

­A Saudi man complained that in a shopping mall his 13-year-old daughter “suddenly started acting in an abnormal way, which happened after she came close to the Sri Lankan woman,” reports the daily Okaz.

After the local man denounced the Sri Lankan for casting a spell on his daughter, police in the port city of Jeddah found it sufficient cause to arrest the woman..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://rt.com/news/saudi-arabia-sharia-beheading-435/

Pentagon wants spies sneaking through offices around the globe

Pentagon wants spies sneaking through offices around the globe

The Pentagon is pushing for more power when it comes to international spying. The US military is now making a case to open up an undercover operation aimed at the overseas civilian sector.

The US Department of Defense has asked Congress to approve a change in intelligence outlines which would permit America’s undercover units to send spies into the offices of foreign military contractors. It would involve infiltrating factories and businesses building warheads for competing nations, essentially establishing the businessman as America’s next mold for a spy rather than the more-recognized James Bond-type. Critics say that doing so might be big for America’s intel gathering operations, but it could also signal the start of a slippery slope with potentially catastrophic consequences..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/pentagon-spies-us-military-599/

Bulacan court denies Palparan’s plea to stop proceedings

Bulacan court denies Palparan’s plea to stop proceedings

“…the accused were afforded due process and were properly informed of the nature and cause of the accusations against them.” – Judge Teodora Gonzales
MANILA – The local court handling the case against retired Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. et.al recently issued an omnibus order denying the latter’s pleadings to halt trial proceedings.

Palparan, along three others, is charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with the enforced disappearance of University of the Philippines (UP) students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan. Palparan and M/Sgt. Rizal Hilario remain at large while two other co-accused have been detained at the headquarters of the Philippine Army in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

In a decision dated April 3, Judge Teodora Gonzales of the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 14 denied the omnibus motion for preliminary investigation; to quash or recall warrant of arrest; hold departure order and to suspend proceedings, which was filed by Palparan, Hilario and another accused, S/Sgt. Edgar Osorio. A copy of the decision was sent to Bulatlat.com by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), the private counsel in the instant case..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/20/bulacan-court-denies-palparan%E2%80%99s-plea-to-stop-proceedings/

Ramos defends ‘take or pay’ proviso, blames Cory crisis 04/21/2012

Ramos defends ‘take or pay’ proviso, blames Cory crisis

The camp of former President Fidel Ramos defended the much criticized take or pay provisions in power supply contracts the government signed with independent power producers (IPPs) was necessary as incentives to investors to put up power plants during his term citing “unfavorable circumstances” that he hinted as being caused by his predecessor, former President Cory Aquino.

Ramos spokesman Nick Lagustan wrote The Tribune saying that the rationale for the “take or pay” provision is that “at the onset of the Ramos administration, in addition to the crippling power crisis, it was confronted with a zero economic growth rate, dysfunctional, telecommunications and transport sectors, fragmented political environment, a growing fiscal deficit pushing up inflation and interest rates to double-digit levels, and large public debt, all of which discouraged private domestic and foreign investments.”

Ramos assumed the presidency in 1992 succeeding Aquino, the mother of the current President..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120421hea2.html

Farmers slam HLI counsels over uncalled for statement 04/21/2012

Farmers slam HLI counsels over uncalled for statement

Two militant farm workers’ groups have called on the Supreme Court to order a restraint on the outspoken Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) counsels on their unwarranted statements that meant to influence the court’s ruling over the compensation issue which is set to be resolved along with the finalization to award Hacienda Luisita, a vast sugar plantation estate in Tarlac province owned by members of the Cojuangco family, set next week on the final en banc session of the high tribunal Tuesday next week in Baguio.

In a statement, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) secretary general Rodel Mesa said the statements being issued by the HLI counsels obviously are meant to influence the high court in its decision for a compensation package for the Cojuangco-Aquino family for the vast sugar estate..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120421hea4.html

US vessel rams boat off Basilan; Pinoy fisherman killed 04/21/2012

US vessel rams boat off Basilan; Pinoy fisherman killed

A United States military boat rammed into a small fishing boat in Basilan province on Wednesday, killing a fisherman while another one was injured, a military official yesterday said.

Col. Ricardo Visaya, commander of the Army’s 104th Brigade and concurrent chief of the Joint Task Force Basilan, said a US Mark-5 boat, with American servicemen on board, had just delivered medicines in Hadji Mutamad Island in Isabela for a medical mission of the Special Forces when the accident happened around 7 p.m.

“They (US troops) were on their way back, it was already dark and incidentally the small boat was also on its way back without any light, so it was not noticed,” he added..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120421hea6.html

Four Pinay OFWs rescued Four Pinay OFWs rescued By Michaela P. del Callar 04/21/2012

Four Pinay OFWs rescued Four Pinay OFWs rescued

By Michaela P. del Callar 04/21/2012

Four Filipina victims of human trafficking who were locked up and forced to work in a night club in Malaysia were rescued by Malaysian authorities this week as Manila and Kuala Lumpur continue to put an end to the illegal activity.

The victims, aged 27 to 36 and residents of Manila, were smuggled by a Filipino to Malaysia through Zamboanga, a notorious backdoor exit being used by trafficking syndicates.

They arrived in Sandakan and were promised high-paying jobs but were themselves peddled to male entertainment club operators..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120421nat2.html

Mall heist suspect tagged in robbery, murder of Binay kin in Laguna By Efren V. Chavez 04/21/2012

Mall heist suspect tagged in robbery, murder of Binay kin in Laguna

By Efren V. Chavez 04/21/2012

One of the two arrested suspects in the armed robbery at the Robinsons Galleria in Mandaluyong City was identified as the gunman in the murder of a distant relative of Vice President Jejomar Binay in San Pedro, Laguna last year.

Laguna police director Sr. Supt. Gilbert Cruz on Friday said Arenio de la Cruz, 46, was identified as the one who shot dead Rufino Binay, 50, at the victim’s home in Barangay San Antonio in San Pedro on March 28, 2011.

Binay, who at that time was spending his vacation from his workabroad, was identified by police as a distant relative of the Vice President..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120421nat6.html

SC rules against Palace use of coco levy trust fund By Benjamin B. Pulta 04/21/2012

SC rules against Palace use of coco levy trust fund

By Benjamin B. Pulta 04/21/2012

The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled as void two presidential acts passed during the time of former President Joseph Estrada which put up trust funds for farmers connection with the coco-levy funds originally collected in the 1970s.

In a decision by Associate Justice Roberto Abad, a unanimous high tribunal ruled as illegal Executive Order 312 which established a P1-billion fund from the assets acquired using coco-levy funds and Executive Order (EO) 313 or the creation of a fund known as the Coconut Trust Fund which also directed government lawyers to exclude the 27-percent Coconut Industry Investment Fund San Miguel Corp. shares from the coco-levy case of former Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.

The high court grants the petition of farmer groups led by Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Samahang Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan in challenging the validity of EOs 312 and 313..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120421met1.html

Noy attends Erap’s birthday party, lauds former leader’s traits 04/21/2012

Noy attends Erap’s birthday party, lauds former leader’s traits

President Aquino cited the invaluable traits of former President Joseph Ejercito “Erap” Estrada that have inspired the Filipinos in times of hardships and trials as he wished the former President the best of health during his diamond birth anniversary celebration.

In his message during Erap’s birthday celebration at the Le Pavilion Metropolitan Park in Pasay City Thursday evening, President Aquino acknowledged Estrada’s unique character of dealing with the emotions of the common people and giving them hope to surpass challenges.

“Niyakap kayo ng masang Pilipino at malinaw sa lahat ang dahilan nito… taglay ninyo ang kakayahang tukuyin ang kanilang pulso at kurutin ang kanilang puso,” the President said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120421met4.html

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