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Groups mark 120th year of Katipunan

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Groups mark 120th year of Katipunan 

As the Philippines commemorated the 120th year of the founding of the Kataastaasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Katipunan) [last July 7, 2012, various cultural groups under the umbrella of the Bonifacio150 Committee, performed a series of street plays at the historical monuments associated with the Katipunan.

The Katipunan led the Philippine revolution against Spanish colonialism.

Under the direction of Soc Jose, street plays began at the Plaza Bonifacio in Tutuban Mall, where a monument has been laid to mark the house where Andres Bonifacio, founder and Supremo of the Katipunan, was born.

“We wanted to bring to life what is written in our history and make this available to the Filipino audience,” said Dina Po, co-convener of Bonifacio150 Committee and a member of the board of directors of the Linangan ng Kulturang Pilipino. “The founding of the Katipunan is one of the major milestones in our travel as a nation and deserves remembrance.”

After performing at the Plaza Bonifacio, the street theater pushed to Moriones in Tondo to stage more performances at the Honorio Lopez Monument, the 13 Martyrs of Bagumbayan marker, the Cry of Tondo Monument, the Makario Sakay Monument and at the Katipunan Shrine.

“The desire to be a sovereign nation, the ending of poverty and equality of all citizens are the main virtues of the Katipunan that should be revered everyday and by every Filipino,” Po said. “As practitioners and advocates of the Arts, we must harness our talents to encourage our brothers and sisters to learn from our glorious history and apply the lessons of the past to the challenges we face today as a nation.”

According to Po, grassroot groups and citizens have also initiated the formation of the Bonifacio150 Committee, a network to commemorate and celebrate the 150th year of Andres Bonifacio on November 30, 2013. “The commemoration today will be one among the many activities intended for the celebration of Bonifacio’s sesqui centennial,” Po said.


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/08/groups-mark-120th-year-of-katipunan/

‘After all the antics, Aquino’s Mining EO blazes trail for further plunder of Philippine resources’ – environmentalists

‘After all the antics, Aquino’s Mining EO blazes trail for further plunder of Philippine resources’ – environmentalists

Almost a year in the making, the EO is being criticized for lacking in substance in terms of environmental protection and people’s welfare, focusing mainly in the paltry increase in government revenues.
MANILA – Progressive groups held a demonstration in front of Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Monday, pelting its signage with rotten tomatoes as they took the government agency to task for “deliberately ignoring the demands of the people while actively promoting the large-scale plunder of the country’s resources.” It was the day Malacañang was due to divulge contents of its newly signed executive order on mining.

Grouped into Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, leaders of various organizations reiterated, at the gates of the DENR, their calls for a pro-people, pro-environment mining policy, as opposed to the mining liberalization framework of the current national mining law. They assailed the Aquino government’s EO for sticking to that same mining framework that they say had been rejected by the people.

Secretly hatched

Contrary to DENR claims that it had held public consultations, the executive order on mining signed recently by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was “drafted in secrecy,” Kabataan Partylist Raymond Palatino told Bulatlat.com at the sidelines of the Kalikasan-PNE protests. He explained that as early as March this year, Environment Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje had briefed them in Congress about the said EO. As early as that time, “we think that EO has already been compromised,” Palatino said, noting the intensive lobbying of mining industry groups and representatives.

Kabataan Partylist Rep Raymond Palatino, one of the authors of Peoples’ Mining Bill (Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
The effect of this lobbying, protesters have said before, showed in the Aquino government backtracking even on the limited aspect of mining in which it claims it is trying to change: revenue sharing.
No genuine and sincere consultation was ever made with the affected communities and environmental defenders, said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE. Kalikasan Partylist, in a statement, also decried the lack of transparency and thorough consultations over the EO.

“Only the Chamber of Mines seems to have been informed and consulted beforehand as to its contents. In fact, they seem to be the only ones looking forward to the release of this EO, while many important stakeholders – including mining-affected communities, local government units, environmental groups and indigenous peoples – are justly outraged at the lack of consultations and the short-sighted scope of the provisions released piecemeal,” said Frances Quimpo, secretary-general of Kalikasan Partylist.

Almost a year in the making, the EO was criticized for lacking in substance in terms of environmental protection and people’s welfare. According to Kalikasan PNE, it retains the mining provisions favoring foreign and large-scale mining companies.

Greenwashing in favor of destructive mining operations

The mining EO became necessary because of the public clamor for a change in mining policy. According to Kabataan Partylist Rep. Palatino, such is the backlash of the disastrous experiences and negative effects of mining that the people have already complained about numerous times. But Aquino’s mining EO is not addressing that, he said, explaining that it focused narrowly on the economic value of mining. “The rest are just decorations and reiteration of the mining law’s provisions.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/10/%E2%80%98after-all-the-antics-aquino%E2%80%99s-mining-eo-blazes-trail-for-further-plunder-of-philippine-resources%E2%80%99-%E2%80%93-environmentalists/

‘America’s Syrian friends and Afghan foes are same people’ (w/ Video)

‘America’s Syrian friends and Afghan foes are same people’

It’s puzzling how the US can treat radical Islamists in Syria as allies while fighting against them as enemies in Afghanistan, says the chair of the Russian parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

­Washington’s double standard approach is evident in the Syrian crisis. It supports the armed opposition, which wants to turn the country into a dictatorship, claiming that their war against the Assad government has democracy as the goal, Aleksey Pushkov told RT.

RT: Do you think the events unfolding in Syria are in line with the interests of the Syrian people?
Aleksey Pushkov: There is a civil war going on in Syria, and it is only the Syrian political opposition that is benefiting from it. The opposition took up arms and uses violence to achieve their goal. I am convinced that most Syrians don't want to have this armed conflict..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/america-friends-enemies-islamists-812/

Russian Church defends Brits who lost jobs for wearing crucifix

Russian Church defends Brits who lost jobs for wearing crucifix

 The Russian Orthodox Church has stepped in to support two British women who are taking their case for wearing religious symbols at work to the European Court of Human Rights.

­British Airways check-in clerk Naida Eweida and nurse Shirley Chaplin both lost their jobs after wearing a crucifix to work.

In Eweida’s case the airline claimed the cross breached its uniform code. In 2007, British Airways backed down and have since permitted the display of religious symbols. Since then she has been campaigning to define the rights of Christians to wear religious insignia..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/church-human-rights-symbols-faith-805/

OFW-victims of labor malpractice asking for repatriation, refund of fees

OFW-victims of labor malpractice asking for repatriation, refund of fees

MANILA – Sammy Bachiller, 24, applied for a job abroad, believing that he would earn sufficient money for his family. His recruiter told him that he would earn P20,000 ($465) a month. But he was paid only 400SAR plus an additional of 200SAR (P6,600 or $153). Bachiller and 40 more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are victims of labor malpractice. They are now seeking repatriation and demanding to get their money back to pay off their loans. “I would rather go home than to suffer here in Saudi Arabia,” Bachiller said in an affidavit.

The 41 OFWs, all male, were hired by a local establishment in Saudi Arabia named Al-Zahran Operations and Maintenance. There are 855 OFWs working in that establishment, said John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of Migrante-Middle East. They were deployed by its Manila-based agent Al-Ahram International Human Resources Group, Inc.

The OFWs said in their written affidavit that after working for 3 months or more they still were not given an Iqama or residence card, their salaries have been downgraded from 800SAR (P8,800 or $204) to 600SAR (P6,600 or $143), and they were forced to sign another contract written in Arabic upon their arrival to the job site.

Robby Luck M. Flores, 26, for one, said he was told to stop working any explanation. “I have no job for almost two months now. I only had my Iqama or residence card for only one month but they took it away. Now I cannot even look for a job because I don’t have an Iqama. My wife is pregnant and I can’t even send money to her.”

Flores arrived in Saudi Arabia on October 2011. He said he signed a contract, before leaving, that stipulated that his salary would be 800SAR per month, but the Zahran Company only gave him 550SAR (P6,010 or $143). The company also did not give them pay slips. He also got beaten up by his Egyptian supervisor. “He punched me, stepped on my hand and choked me.” Flores wishes that he could come home as he survives only by asking food from friends. Flores, together with his co-workers, filed a complaint before the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Saudi Arabia on January 2012. Sadly, they were told last April that their case against the company is weak.

Bachiller, on the other hand, was recruited by a certain Rosafe Cepria of the Al-Ahram International Human Resources Group, Inc.. He was told that his salary would be P20,000 ($465). However, he was also told by Cepria that he would have to pay a placement fee of P35,000 ($813). Bachiller asked his parents to mortgage their land in Abra.

“I asked my parents to acquire a loan and mortgage our land so that I could go abroad. We mortgaged our land for P50,000 ($1,162) and we also acquired a loan. Our total debt amounted to P60,000 ($1,395). All were used to pay for my requirements to work abroad,” he said..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/09/ofw-victims-of-labor-malpractice-asking-for-repatriation-refund-of-fees/

Crying for justice Written by Charlie V. Manalo Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Crying for justice

Just when they thought they had finally claimed justice, compensated for the long years of work they had rendered the now defunct Pantranco, union members of the Pantanco Employees Association (PEA) and the Pantranco Retrenched Employees Association (PANREA)  suffered another stab in the back, ironically coming from the very institution supposed to protect them: the government of the republic.

Last May 21, after almost three decades of trying to claim their separation pay from the defunct bus line, members of the PEA and the PANREA were finally able to dispose of Pantranco’s 489 expired bus franchises which they had acquired a payment for their claims from the company sequestered by the government during the term of President Noynoy Aquino’s late mother, Cory Aquino, to several bus companies, owned by the Hernandez family.

However, as the sale of the expired franchises had time and again, since 1993, been denied by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the latest of which was in Jan. 5 this year, the sale had been questioned, prompting Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas to enter  the picture and blocked the sale..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1338-crying-for-justice

Local public officials watch Written by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Local public officials watch

It could have another title. It might have a different heading. But it surely carries and forwards one piece of great news for the Filipino people — for a change.
To the DILG belongs the credit. To its leadership goes the gratitude of the citizenry for the needed grading and upgrading of local public officials supposedly elected by their respective constituencies.

It can be said that the over-all commitment of said officials is to safeguard the public trust reposed upon them and to provide what the public service expected from them. Otherwise, there would be a distortion — or contradiction — of the nature and finality of a public office as such.

Irrespective of what it is called, the essence of the DILG leadership move or initiative can be summed up in the following agenda specifically on the part of those who elected their local public officials from the city or municipal up to the provincial levels: One, let civic organizations as well as individuals watch over their respective local public officials, particularly in terms of the evil they are doing and the good they fail to do. Two, have the said.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1337-local-public-officials-watch

Asean ‘needs South China Sea code’ as Beijing insists on terms for dialogs

Daily Tribune image
Southeast Asian nations should give top priority to easing tensions with Beijing in the South China Sea, Cambodia’s premier yesterday said, as he stressed the importance of regional stability.

As foreign ministers met in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Hun Sen said hammering out a code of conduct with China in the disputed waters was a chief goal for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

China, meanwhile, said it was willing to discuss a code of conduct with Southeast Asian nations over the disputed waters, but insisted any potential pact must not be used to resolve the rival claims.

“When conditions are ripe China would like to discuss with Asean countries the formulation of the CoC (code of conduct),” Agence France Presse quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin as telling journalists in Beijing.

“But I want to stress that the CoC is not aimed at resolving disputes, but aimed at building mutual trust and deepening cooperation.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/1355-asean-%E2%80%98needs-south-china-sea-code%E2%80%99-as-beijing-insists-on-terms-for-dialogs

New EO won’t end wait for new mining deals

Mining companies’ hope to end a long wait for President Aquino’s policy on the mining industry with the signing of the executive order (EO) on the sector appeared to have been futile as the Palace said yesterday it would not approve new mining permits until Congress passed a bill increasing royalties on the industry as part of new rules governing the sector.

The policy spelled out in the EO signed by President Aquino last Thursday but the details of which was announced yesterday by Environment Secretary Ramon Paje aimed at boosting state revenues while putting in place measures to protect the environment, tourism and agriculture.

Paje, who announced the new rules, said the key provision would impose a five percent royalty on the gross earnings of mining companies compared to the existing two percent tax.

However he said this would require passage of a bill in Congress, expressing hope it would be passed soon.
“Basically, the executive order intends to increase the revenues of government from mining,” he told reporters.

“There will be no new mining agreements before the new legislation on revenue is passed,” he added.
He stressed the order would respect the existing mining agreements with the 33 mining operations already in the country but would be imposed on new entrants. He said that if the law was passed by 2016, the country could earn an additional P16 billion from the higher royalties..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/1361-new-eo-won%E2%80%99t-end-wait-for-new-mining-deals

Congress will not budge Noy on Cha-cha — Llamas

Not even the combined pressure from both legislative chambers would compel President Aquino to change his position on bids for charter change, presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas said.

In a text message to Palace reporters, Llamas hinted that the President has already decided on what legislative measures needed to be fast tracked, but hinted that charter change was not one of them.
The Reproductive Health (RH) bill and the freedom of information (FoI) bill topped the list of the President, he reported.

The “RH bill has been on the list of priority legislation since last year, and the Administration has been consistent in its support for it. The FoI, while not a priority bill, is likewise high on the list of measures being given serious study and consideration,” Llamas noted.

However Llamas appeared convinced that pressured exerted by two top legislative leaders pushing charter change would not be enough to convince the President to alter his position...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/1366-congress-will-not-budge-noy-on-cha-cha-%E2%80%94-llamascha

Voting 13 senators unconstitutional, says Enrile, urges Miriam to decide

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has concurred with the assertions made by an election lawyer on the unconstitutionality of electing 13 senators in the May 2013 polls even when Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has not formally resigned her post.

Even the proposition broached by his colleague, Sen. Franklin Drilon for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to allot 13 slots in the ballots or for the counting machines to read the winning 13 senators but proclaim only the top 12, was thumbed down by the Senate chief.

Drilon’s call for the Comelec to proclaim the 13th senator in the 2013 elections only when Santiago resigns, was implausible, Enrile said, as there was no precedent.

“I don’t think that’s constitutionally feasible. Otherwise, if that norm is adopted then the 13th senators in any election, if somebody dies, immediately after proclamation, should come in and sit,” Enrile said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/1364-voting-13-senators-unconstitutional-says-enrile-urges-miriam-to-decide

JV willing to campaign with Koko

JV willing to campaign with Koko

San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, a potential senatorial candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), yesterday bared he was willing to conduct a parallel campaign with Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel,  who had bolted the party.

“No formal talks have been made, I am willing to have a parallel campaign with Sen. Pimentel despite his decision to distance himself from UNA,” said Ejecito adding he would rather team up with Pimentel instead of seeing him completely distancing from UNA and joining other parties or coalitions.

The senator had decided to leave UNA, the coalition of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s PDP-Laban and former President Joseph  Estrada’s Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) over disagreement over former senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri’s inclusion in the UNA senatorial line-up..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/1333-jv-willing-to-campaign-with-koko

RP airports move vs Cambodia virus

RP airports move vs Cambodia virus

Airport authorities yesterday reactivated the anti-virus plan to prevent the entry and spread of a fatal respiratory syndrome called entero virus EV71 that has claimed many lives in Cambodia.

Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honado said they were now coordinating with the Department of Health and the Bureaus of Immigration and Customs on reactivating the action plan it implemented in 2003 and 2007 to contain the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome and avian flu, or AH1N1.

Honrado said that a 24-hour monitoring and command center at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals 1, 2 and 3 has been set up.

A total of 11 thermal scanners have been deployed in six international airports in the country to screen possible carriers of the disease.

Several doctors and 27 medical assistants specifically assigned to handle such cases are on round-the-clock duty in all the terminals of the NAIA..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/1334-rp-airports-move-vs-cambodia-virus

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