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Philippines urged to stop killings, other rights abuses

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Philippines urged to stop killings, other rights abuses

“They [the international community] know that the Philippine government has not lived up to its commitment to completely eliminate extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture.” – Fr. Jonash Joyohoy of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and co-head of delegation of the Philippine UPR Watch


MANILA – Several countries expressed alarm, during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines in Geneva, Switzerland May 29, over the unabated extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the Philippines

The UPR is a mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council to review compliance of all 192 UN member states to international human rights agreements. The first UPR in the Philippines was in 2008.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, head of the 29-member Philippine delegation, presented the country’s national report stating the Philippine government’s efforts in addressing concerns on human rights such as the creation of a task force to address extrajudicial killings, enactment and amendment of several laws, human rights education among state security forces, among others.

Sixty-seven countries participated in the discussion on the Philippines. While some countries noted some positive achievements by the Philippine government, many raised the issue of continuing human rights violations under the Aquino administration.

The representative of France said it is “alarmed by extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances and continuing violations against journalists and human rights defenders.”

The delegate of Japan said “extrajudicial killings continue as a significant political issue.”

The delegates of the United Kingdom, Spain and the Holy See called on the Philippine government to “completely eradicate extrajudicial killings.”

Citing the report of Task Force Usig from 2008 to 2011, the Philippine government claims that there were only 27 activists and media practitioners killed during the period. The Task Force Usig of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was created during the Arroyo administration purportedly to investigate cases of extrajudicial killings of activists and journalists. Recently, Col. Domingo Tutaan, head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Human Rights Office said they recorded zero human rights violations during the first quarter of the year.

Reports from independent human rights group Karapatan, however, show that there have been 76 victims of extrajudicial killings and nine victims of enforced disappearances since Aquino took office. Karapatan, and other Church and people’s organizations filed separate submissions to the Council..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/01/philippines-urged-to-stop-killings-other-rights-abuses/

Corona out, economy up EDITORIAL 06/02/2012

Corona out, economy up

Click to enlarge
The economy has nowhere else to go but up after the administration of Noynoy opened the fiscal tap after several quarters of being tightly shut off.

It would not be surprising that the freeing of the flow of government funds was calculated to produce an economic boost just like what happened in the first quarter when the economy posted a 6.4 growth which the spin masters in Malacaang quickly attributed to Noynoys efforts for good governance.

The records showed that the industry did pick up to about a five percent growth mainly as a result of the increase in public spending that mostly went to infrastructure, thus giving life to industries dependent on government outlays such as cement manufacturers and contracting firms.

Also, the services sector that is largely being fed by the business process outsourcing (BPO) boom chalked up something like an eight-percent growth during the period. Also in this sector are the shopping malls which are the chief beneficiaries of an ever stronger growth in remittances from Filipinos working overseas..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120602com1.html

No let up on vindictiveness FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/02/2012

No let up on vindictiveness

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Not content with having the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court convicted by the Senate impeachment court, there quickly went Malacaang and its Ombudsman ready to file criminal charges against Renato Corona and on alleged plunder and tax evasion, despite the clear absence of proof of his having acquired ill-gotten wealth.

Even the Senate chief has already made clear that even as Corona has been convicted and stripped of his position and that he should not be charged criminally, there went Noys spokesman Abigail Valte saying that the Office of the Ombudsman is currently looking at two cases that were recently filed. She said that the two new cases included forfeiture and another a graft complaint for ill-gotten wealth.

Asked whether the administration would push through with its earlier pronouncement to make Corona criminally liable even after resignation, retirement or removal from office, Valte said not one of the three modes of departure from government service would make Corona immune from criminal liabilities..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20120602com2.html

Bilderbergers commit a felony?

Bilderbergers commit a felony?

International lawmakers and other world figureheads are deep in discussion near Washington, DC this week at the 2012 Bilderberg Conference. But are members of the exclusive group breaking US law while meeting off the record?

Little is known about what happened at past Bilderberg meetings, let alone this year’s conference near the nation’s capital in Chantilly, Virginia. Over the years, however, some journalists and rogue reporters have either infiltrated the event or learned from insiders about the goings-on of the elusive meeting of the minds. With reports circulating that some of the planet’s most important decisions being birthed at Bilderberg, it isn’t farfetched that maneuvers involving international policy are being put in place this week where people like US Senator John Kerry and World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick are on the guest-list. If that’s indeed the case, though, several American officials could be breaking a long-standing federal law that prohibits exactly that behavior..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/bilderberg-conference-us-members-788/

Social downer: Anonymous crash Facebook, lock out thousands

Social downer: Anonymous crash Facebook, lock out thousands

An attack orchestrated by the infamous hacktivist group Anonymous forced Facebook offline, with many of its 900 million users unable to log onto the social network for hours.

Anonymous took to Twitter, using their @YourAnonNews handle to say “looks like good old Facebook is having packet problems,” and sprinkled it with some no-nonsense hashtags like #FuckFacebook and #FuckYourIPO.

They followed with “RIP Facebook a new sound of tango down bitches”, which resulted in “RIP Facebook” trending on Twitter both in the United States and worldwide..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/facebook-down-anonymous-hack-772/

Naneng tribe oppose Upper Tabuk Hydropower Dam

Naneng tribe oppose Upper Tabuk Hydropower Dam

Northern Dispatch

TABUK, Kalinga – The unconsulted tribal leaders and members of the Naneng Ancestral Domain comprising the villages of Lucong, Bagumbayan, and Dupag petitioned the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to cancel a water rights permit and a compliance certificate process obtaining free prior and informed consent (FPIC) issued to the Minanga sub tribe of Barangay Dupag.

Nearly 150 petitioners claimed they were not consulted as per provisions of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) endowing the rights and process of FPIC of the affected community to the proposed building of the Upper Tabuk Hydro power Electric Dam or Dupag Dam project. Said compliance certificate to the FPIC process was issued May 14, 2009 by NCIP Officer in Charge and Commissioner for southern and eastern Mindanao Felecito Masagnay, following a resolution issued by the NCIP en banc May 12, 2009.

Petitioners in their April 25 resolution also asked Secretary Ramon Paje of the DENR to cancel the water rights permit issued in favor of the project proponent Kalinga Hydropower Incorporated. In the same resolution, the petitioners asked Secretary Jose Almendras to cancel the hydro power service contract given to the Kalinga Hydro Power Inc or the Minanga sub tribe.

Petitioners claimed that the indigenous cultural communities of Naneng and Minanga are homogenous societies and as such the Minanga sub tribe is not a distinct sub tribe, being part of the Naneng ancestral domain.

The proposed Upper Tabuk Hydro Power Electric Dam or Dupag dam project along the Tanudan river reaches 35.4 meters in height to collect a million cubic meters of water at the back of the dam and release waters at a frequency of 40 to 60 meters per second. Two turbines are designed to let the flowing waters produce a 10 to 17 megawatt hydroelectric current..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/01/naneng-tribe-oppose-upper-tabuk-hydropower-dam/

As tribute to Benguet coffee farmers and environment, art from ground coffee

As tribute to Benguet coffee farmers and environment, art from ground coffee

BAGUIO CITY – Trash-challenged Baguio has produced a young artist who uses ground coffee as medium for his art.

Emerging artist, researcher and environmentalist Vincent Navarro, 20, sees ‘recycling of used ground coffee as aid against build-up of garbage.

For several months now since the horrible trash-slide at Baguio’s landfill in Irisan, city officials are still burdened by the unrelenting woes about its 300-ton daily garbage and the problem of where to locate its landfill.

“I explored the possibility of making art from used grounds I gathered from a large gourmet coffee chain,” Navarro said. He just finished his Fine Arts studies at the University of the Philippines Baguio this April.
Navarro is perhaps the first Filipino multi-media artist who found “gold” in used ground coffee, in using this as medium for his art and in the process extending its value.

Now in Japan for two weeks, particularly in Sendai and in Tokyo, Navarro joins 89 other Filipino youth as “JENESYS Student Ambassador.” They flew to the neighboring country ‘to help in the trauma processing of the quake and tsunami survivors’. The frail-looking yet mature-thinking young artist-environmentalist left a huge canvass display at The Manor in Camp John Hay to “continue his legacy in young art and environment awareness” in the city that he says “shuns political borders”..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/01/as-tribute-to-benguet-coffee-farmers-and-environment-art-from-ground-coffee/

China conflict tops Noy’s agenda in US, UK By Fernan J. Angeles and Mario J. Mallari 06/02/2012

China conflict tops Noy’s agenda in US, UK

By Fernan J. Angeles and Mario J. Mallari 06/02/2012

China may not be happy to hear that territorial dispute at the West Philippine Sea would be the top the agenda of President Aquino when he gets to visit and meet top leaders of United States and the United Kingdom.

As this developed, the Department of National Defense (DND) yesterday claimed that the situation in the disputed territory was improving, saying only “civilian” ships are present in the area.

In an interview with reporters covering the 1st International River Summit in Iloilo City, President Aquino admitted that he is bent on bringing up the country’s territorial dispute with China in his bilateral meetings with US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron next week..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120602nat2.html

Maguindanao massacre witness dismembered, says lawyer 06/02/2012

Maguindanao massacre witness dismembered, says lawyer

A man who testified in court on the country’s worst political massacre was found dead “probably chain-sawed to pieces” in a killing meant to silence other witnesses, an official yesterday said.

Esmail Amil Enog went missing in March after he spoke in court last year about the alleged role of a powerful political clan in the November 2009 murders of 57 persons, prosecutor Nena Santos told Agence France Presse.

“The body was put in a sack and it had been chopped up, probably chain-sawed to pieces,” Santos said, declining to give further details.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120602hea6.html

Read Noynoy’s lips: ‘No waiver, period’ By Fernan J. Angeles

Read Noynoy’s lips: ‘No waiver, period’

By Fernan J. Angeles 06/02/2012
Read his lips: “I won’t sign a waiver.”
No less than President Aquino affixed an exclamation point that strongly suggests an end to clamors for him to sign an unconditional waiver similar to the one that former Chief Justice Renato Corona signed to allow public scrutiny of his bank accounts, specifically on his alleged dollar deposits.

In an interview with newsmen, President Aquino said he can’t seem to find a reason for him to do what Corona did, apparently referring to the signing of a waiver that authorizes the bank to open his dollar deposit accounts for the purpose of government investigation.

Aquino went on to justify his refusal by saying he already signed the waiver in favor of the Ombudsman in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALn) even as Aquino shrugged off the need to sign any waiver of the confidentiality of his bank accounts.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120602hea2.html

BIR moves vs Corona, secures bank waiver By Angie M. Rosales 06/02/2012


BIR moves vs Corona, secures bank waiver

By Angie M. Rosales 06/02/2012

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is hell bent on going after ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, defying pleas from senator-judges to spare the ousted chief magistrate of more persecution, as the agency secured yesterday a copy of his signed waiver from the records of the Senate impeachment court.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had said filing of criminal charges against Corona would be an exercise in futility since the prosecution panel failed to present even a single evidence to pin him down for any corrupt act, much more prove that he amassed wealth illegally since he assumed the SC post.

“I think the BIR already asked for a certified true copy of the bank waiver from the Office of the Senate President,” Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, said on television..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20120602hea1.html

AFP admits planning lapses in first year of Bayanihan By Mario J. Mallari 06/02/2012

AFP admits planning lapses in first year of Bayanihan

By Mario J. Mallari 06/02/2012

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has admitted that several operational lapses it committed last year have overshadowed significant gains achieved, especially in Mindanao, during the first year of implementation of the military’s internal peace and security plan (IPSP) Bayanihan.

In its assessment of IPSP Bayanihan, the AFP leadership cited the operational blunders in 2011, like the attacks by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Surigao del Norte, in Al Barka, Basilan, in Sulu and in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“The AFP is a big organization, and mistakes still happen. While significant gains were achieved by AFP troops in Mindanao, it is unfortunate that such gains were overshadowed by lapses in joint planning of combat operations resulting in blunders like (the attacks in) Taganito Mining in Surigao del Norte; Patikul, Sulu; Al-Barka, Basilan and in Zamboanga Sibugay,” the AFP stated in its assessment paper..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20120602nat1.html

Manila dads stall takeover by PPA of Isla Puting Bato 06/02/2012

Manila dads stall takeover by PPA of Isla Puting Bato

Top city officials have opted to set aside politics as Manila city government’s executive and legislative service branches took steps that temporarily stalled the take-over by the Philippine Ports Authority of Isla Puting Bato which would host a tent village for the 1,500 families displaced by the May 11 fire.

On top of a tent village, the city council likewise approved a resolution allocating and appropriating P200 million from the 2012 budget to defray the initial cost of a program providing a resettlement area for the displaced families from Isla Puting Bato in Tondo, Manila.

Councilor Dennis Alcoreza (1st District, Manila), who authored the resolution, cited the need for a “staging area” where the affected families from the gutted Isla Puting Bato community could stay for the duration of the construction of the resettlement area intended for them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120602met3.html

Ecleo dropped from House roll after SC found him guilty of graft 06/02/2012

Ecleo dropped from House roll after SC found him guilty of graft

The House of Representatives yesterday dumped the Dinagat Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr. from its roll following a Supreme Court (SC) decision finding him guilty of three counts of graft already final and executory.

In a memorandum to House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II finding Ecleo guilty of three counts of graft is already final and executory.

“Pursuant to the final and executory Resolutions of the Supreme Court affirming the decisions of the Sandiganbayan in the conviction of Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr. for numerous violations of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in which perpetual disqualification from office forms part of the penalty, and it appearing that Entry of Judgment in the last case is reduced to pro-forma, please delete the name of Rep. Ruben Ecleo from the Roll of Members of the House effective May 31, 2012,” House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said in his memorandum..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120602met2.html

Solon flays BIR for using wrong data on smuggling By Gerry Baldo 06/02/2012

Solon flays BIR for using wrong data on smuggling

By Gerry Baldo 06/02/2012

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez yesterday slammed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for using wrong data in an attempt to prove that imposing excessive taxes on tobacco products would not result in smuggling.

In his interpellation during plenary deliberations on House Bill 5727, Rodriguez pointed out the experiences of other countries that show the rise in illicit trade when they imposed high increases in excise tax.

A former immigration commissioner, Rodriguez said the government should look at recent data and take into consideration several case studies from both industrialized and developing countries showing that excessive tax increases on tobacco products lead to rampant smuggling and counterfeiting..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20120602met1.html

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