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The Daily Tribune

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Treason Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Friday, July 13, 2012


Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles claimed to be on the homestretch toward a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) this year, which has less than six months left.

She said that both parties — the MILF and the government — have already agreed to the creation of a new autonomous political entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), with the entity expected to provide genuine autonomy for the Bangsamoro people, which she added, addresses the root causes of the armed conflict in Mindanao.

Malacañang may call it a “political entity” even when it will have the size, shape and its own political, economic and religious system under a sub-state, which is what the MILF demands.

First off: How can a political entity for the MILF replace the ARMM, which is the existing body that the Constitution mandates for Muslim Mindanao?

It is presumed that as the MILF is Muslim, the territories now an integral part of the ARMM are the same territories that this “new political entity” that is the MILF, which will exercise control..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1473-treason

Time for serious realism Written by Herman Tiu Laurel

Time for serious realism

Just as the nation felt the relief of lowered gas prices for a week or two, conditions in the Middle East just as quickly started raising crude oil prices anew, with the Philippines bracing for new oil price hikes this week. These fluctuations came at a time when Philippine “King of Comedy” Dolphy’s long drawn-out health battles and subsequent demise dominated the airwaves.  Despite the entertainment icon’s much-deserved accolades, I still wonder why a lot of coverage is being devoted to this when an entire national economy is dying because of unresolved problems in energy supply and price stabilization.

With mainstream media placing so much importance on the life and times of the screen and TV legend, I wonder: Are the hard times best assuaged by comedy instead of serious realism and problem-solving?
Indeed, comedy may lighten the burdens.  Comedy may even provide the needed distraction.  But the truth is, comedy can never solve our problems. And as reality persists, every moment of distraction only eats away at the opportunities to solve these problems.

I watched my share of John en Marsha as a kid; but as I had often preferred to play and do other things, our yayas were the ones left to watch it. I did wonder over the years how he had one woman after another. I later learned that as the masa spend a lot of money on comedic distractions, which Dolphy was a master of, such artists become so fabulously rich that their innate charisma is magnified to the hilt.  Thus, in Dolphy’s case, with his string of romances, he also sired quite a number of children, some of whom, unfortunately, turned to murder and arson for self-expression.

When I became oriented to economics as I am today, and contemplated on what such kind of comedy has really contributed to Philippine society, I found that the benefit accrues mainly to the elite. It’s not that they follow Dolphy’s work; but it’s rather due to the distraction of the masses from potential thoughts of dissatisfaction and rebellion.

When egged on for political candidacy Dolphy once joked, “No way. I might win, then what do I do?” So why is the country taking him so seriously when he has never taken himself half as seriously?

Some types of comedy require a lot brains, like stand-ups. Charlie Chaplin once said, “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.” Although Chaplin had serious social and political commentary in his later features, with some saying the same for Dolphy’s John en Marsha or Home Along da Riles, it seemed to me that the latter dwelt more on self-deprecation and a come-what-may acceptance of the depressing lot faced by lower classed Filipinos, instead of making them think about its causes.

So how seriously should audiences take comedians? Saturday Night Live’s Dennis Miller said, “I’m a comedian, for God’s sake. Viewers shouldn’t trust me. And you know what? They’re hip enough to know they shouldn’t trust me.”

Sadly, comedy and entertainment are extolled to the extreme in profit-seeking societies because they are a business; and as Steve Martin says, “Comedy may be big business but it isn’t pretty.”

Exploitation in the entertainment industry is as bad as it is in the regular capitalist economy, though there are efforts by industry Samaritans like Erap to establish welfare projects such as the Movie Workers Welfare Fund (Mowelfund); still, it cannot be doubted that a greater number of support actors and cast retire into poverty while only a few live in the opulence of movie potentates.

Let me pick a quote again from another renowned entertainment icon, Sholem Aleichem, writer of Fiddler on the Roof: “Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.”

And life will always be this way if comedy and entertainment become the focus of Philippine society instead of, as I would prefer, watching the tragedy. As Aldous Huxley once said, “We participate in a tragedy; at a comedy we only look.”

It’s time to get serious and demand such headlines as “Government approves six months oil buffer stock” so that the country could tide over periods of manipulated high oil prices with stocks of low-priced oil; or “ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) total revamp… Consumer protectionists appointed;” followed by “New ERC investigates sweetheart deals,” uncovering 900 percent overpricing in the tens of thousands of power transformers and substations a power company has been buying from its sister company all the past decades; or better yet, “ERC cuts Meralco (Manila Electric Co.) rates by 50 percent.”  Now, wouldn’t all these elicit euphoria and a genuine comedy in the sense of a “happy ending?”

None of these can ever happen if the nation is glued to comedy day in and day out, which, in a sense, even the shows of Willie Revillame are.  Only when the nation gets serious about its crisis and tragedy can it be galvanized into action.

If the progressive countries of today such as China, Singapore, Venezuela, et al. had spent their days indulging in comedy instead of revolution, they would certainly have ended up like the Philippines today.
Laughter is not the best medicine when you have cancer; it is radical intervention with all the means at one’s command. And in a country such as ours which is in the midst of a socio-political and economic cancer, even a healthy dose of comedy wouldn’t amount to much.

(Watch Destiny Cable GNN’s HTL edition of Talk News TV, Saturdays, 8:15 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11:15 p.m., this week on “Consumer Updates: Water and Power Scams;” visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com)

(May pahintulot mula ng muling paglimbag mula kay Ka Mentong)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1469-time-for-serious-realism

War in August? US sends fourth aircraft carrier and dozens of underwater drones towards Iran

War in August? US sends fourth aircraft carrier and dozens of underwater drones towards Iran

The US Navy has unexpectedly dispatched a fourth aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, along with a fleet of underwater drones in what is being considered just the latest move in a series of escalations leading towards a potential war with Iran.

The deployment of dozens of small, unmanned submarine-like watercraft was confirmed by the Los Angeles Times this week, which cites military officials speaking on condition of anonymity.

This particular type of craft, unmanned SeaFox submersible, are reported to be sent to the Gulf so that the US military can detect and destroy any mines that may be planted in the waterway by Iranian officials if they escalate efforts to block the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important narrow stretch of water that exists as an immensely important conduit for any resources being moved in or out of the Middle East..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/war-sub-drone-iran-066/

Russian warships on maneuvers, will re-supply in Syria

Russian warships on maneuvers, will re-supply in Syria

A dozen Russian warships from three fleets are participating in a joint three-month exercise. The group is to visit the Syrian port city of Tartus, where a Russian base is located. The drills are not related to the Syrian conflict, the military say.

The warships and supply ships are derived from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Northern Fleet and Baltic fleet, the Defense Ministry said. The exercise’s main goal is to test inter-fleet coordination during the joint maneuvers.

The Northern Fleet is contributing the largest portion of the group, a destroyer, four tank landing ships and two support ships. The vessels have left their base in Severomorsk and are heading to a rendezvous point in the North Atlantic, where they will meet a fellow group from the Baltic Fleet consisting of a corvette and a refueling tanker..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/russian-warship-drill-syria-917/

LAPD arrests 12 as Art Walk turns into Occupy protest

LAPD arrests 12 as Art Walk turns into Occupy protest

Police have clashed with crowds in downtown Los Angeles, where the monthly Art Walk event was being held.

Twitter accounts say as many as 12 people have been arrested after a skirmish.

The otherwise peaceful party night apparently turned violent, as police wearing riot gear tried to disperse members of the Occupy movement. Some 200 Occupiers joined the festivities and were writing protest slogans in chalk.

The Los Angeles Times cites witnesses as saying the protesters were yelling expletives about police. Drawings of pigs with the words "kill cops" were reportedly chalked on the ground..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/police-bullets-protesters-la-085/

Loving Dolphy Written by Armida Siguion- Reyna Friday, 13 July 2012

Loving Dolphy

And this is what everyone seems to want to do now. Just love the man. Especially after being so moved by Zsa Zsa Padilla’s loving song at the tail-end of her speech at the ABS-CBN tribute for the giant of a performer that was with the network for 40 years.

I had somehow sensed I was speaking to him for the last time, when my daughter-in-law Bibeth and I visited him last March 6, in the house he shared with loving partner Zsa Zsa who was unfortunately at work that evening we dropped by.

He was in a wheelchair and on oxygen, but nonetheless smiling, with his twinkling eyes at its trademark best. We talked about how movies were no longer movies, how I was doing as a widow, the impeachment trial still going on, with him noting, “Si JPE, ano? Matulis pa!” and his hearty appetite, with me going, “Buti ka pa malakas kumain, ako, madalas na walang gana!”

I shall sorely miss Dolphy.

Not, that I was particularly close to Zsa Zsa’s “Lovey,” for in truth my relationship with him developed in time, by osmosis.

Through his son Eric, who had appeared in two Reynafilms’ projects: Hihintayin Kita sa Langit, where he won as Famas Best Supporting Actor in 1991, and Inagaw Mo ang Lahat sa Akin; a GMA Network telemovie, where he was cast as Jose Rizal, in Adios, Dulce Estranjera; and in Aawitan Kita, where, believe it or not, he sang.

And of course, through Bibeth, now busy with resource person work in the many TV shows and mini-documentaries dealing with the life of the comedy icon, an assignment that fell on her lap after writing Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-isa, published in July of 2008, and by the way in stock again, in all National Book Stores..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1470-loving-dolphy

Seafarers press for reforms, to join anti-Aquino SONA protests

Seafarers press for reforms, to join anti-Aquino SONA protests

MANILA — Seafarers are joining the nationally-coordinated protests against the Benigno Aquino III presidency on June 23 as Aquino delivers his third state of the nation address (SONA) on the said date at the House of Representatives. They will be joining the contingent of the organization of overseas Filipino workers and their families Migrante International.

Migrante International chairman Garry Martinez said they are currently handling several cases of seafarers who have suffered labor rights abuses. He said Migrante is looking into the possibility of helping the seafarers file administrative and criminal charges against their ship companies and the manning agency.

The seafarers, June Parina, Maurecio Parel, Jesher Salvacion, Francis Dave Clementir, Mark Hinola, Khalid John Valenzuela, Junuel Blando, John dela Gubaton, Joji Hayahay and Felizardo Tono, were all recruited by JMP Polaris Navigation Inc. and deployed to work for two Taiwan-based ship companies, Meng Hao Fishery Co. Ltd. and Meng Hao Fishery Co. Ltd.

They were all led to believe that they would be working for good pay because they were promised a monthly salary of $350 each besides the $105 fixed overtime pay, as well as a separate monthly food allowance.

Just before they boarded the ship, however, they were forced to sign a new contract wherein the salaries were lowered to $250 for two years on a fixed schedule. They also discovered soon enough that the manpower agency that recruited them as represented by a certain Annabelle Palma David was unscrupulous when it came to contracts: the original contracts they signed were essentially and unilaterally voided and substituted with another that had substandard provisions. In the meantime, they were also illegally charged with placement fees amounting to P15,000 ($357).They were also forced to pay P2,000 ($48) to P2,500 ($56) for their medical examination..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/13/seafarers-press-for-reforms-to-join-anti-aquino-sona-protests/

RP slams Chinese ‘duplicity, intimidation’

RP slams Chinese ‘duplicity, intimidation’

PHNOM PENH — Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario yesterday denounced Chinese “duplicity” and “intimidation” in the South China Sea, souring the mood at a regional summit designed to soothe tensions.

“If Philippine sovereignty and jurisdiction can be denigrated by a powerful country through pressure, duplicity, intimidation and the threat of the use of force, the international community should be concerned about the behavior,” he told the summit, according to an official statement.

Del Rosario was referring to a recent standoff between Chinese and Philippine boats at a rocky outcrop called the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines.

Del Rosario said Beijing’s increasingly assertive stance over disputed and non-disputed areas of the South China Sea posed a “threat to the peace and stability” in the Asia Pacific region.

“If left unchecked, the increasing tension that is being generated in the process could further escalate into physical hostilities which no one wants,” he said at the Asean Regional Forum, which was also attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“This puts in greater jeopardy the remarkable economic dynamism of our region which was made possible by the relative peace and stability that prevailed in the past years.”

Clinton, meanwhile, urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to take a stand on the three-month impasse between China and the Philippines at Scarborough Shoal, warning that such territorial dispute could eventually threaten all 10 members of the regional bloc.

“What might be a challenge today for some of Asean’s members, if left unaddressed by all of Asean, could lead tomorrow to issues that may become problems for (the rest of) other Asean members,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) quoted Clinton as saying during the Asean-US ministerial meeting in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

It was the first major call on the Asean, which is currently led by Cambodia, to take a clearer and stronger stand on the long-simmering territorial rift in the West Philippines Sea, also known as South China Sea, which involves four Asean members — Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/1478-rp-slams-chinese-%E2%80%98duplicity-intimidation%E2%80%99

Cha-cha not a priority of Noy, but allies set for change

Cha-cha not a priority of Noy, but allies set for change

Amid clamor and pressure from presidential allies and groups pushing Charter Change, Malacañang continued to claim that Cha-cha is not a priority of President Aquino  and that he stands firm on his position against efforts to alter a Constitution that was conceived du-ring the term of the current President’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.

At a press brief-ing, deputy presi-dential spokesman Abigail Valte said not even changes in the constitutional provisions touching on term limits for presidents would make Aquino reconsider his stand on amendments to the Constitution, adding that changes in the 1987 Philippine Constitution aren’t  included in the President’s priorities when Congress reconvenes on July 23.

“We have not received any instructions from the President as to any change in the position on Charter change. It’s not a priority,” Valte said.

Speculations however, have arisen that Aquino, in his portrayal as being a reluctant Charter changer is all for for Cha-cha and even the lifting of term limits and has already allegedly given Speaker Felciano Belmonte the green light to inititiate, along with Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, the forming of a constitutuent assembly where the two houses will be voting separately..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/1480-cha-cha-not-a-priority-of-noy-but-allies-set-for-change

High court stops P1-billion Bora reclamation project

High court stops P1-billion Bora reclamation project

The  Supreme Court (SC)  has stopped the Aklan provincial government from implementing its P1-billion reclamation project covering 40 hectares of the coastline of Boracay Island, until it has addressed legal and environmental concerns.

In a 65-page decision by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, the high tribunal ordered the provincial government and its contractors to immediately “cease and desist” from continuing the implementation of the Phase 1 of the project covering 2.64 hectares of foreshore area in Caticlan, Malay, Aklan.

The Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI),  an association of  resort owners, petitioned the high court and questioned Aklan’s reclamation project in and around Boracay.

The petitioners’ lawyers, Harry  Roque and Joel Butuyan, said “the ruling will protect the best beach on earth and the country’s tourism crown jewel.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/1475-high-court-stops-p1-billion-bora-reclamation-project

Senior Pagasa employees mull higher-paying career elsewhere

Senior Pagasa employees mull higher-paying career elsewhere

Malacañang has temporarily prevented a group of senior government weather specialists from leaving the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) over what they claimed was an act that arbitrarily stripped them of hazard pays and longetivity benefits.

In a press statement, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte admitted that they have already been informed about  the internal tension brewing at the government weather bureau as senior Pagasa officials and the agency’s senior technical experts already spoke openly about the possibility of leaving government service for better remuneration which they claim await them abroad.

Valte claimed that the government has already promptly addressed the Weathermen’s Association’s concerns, which see an extremely bitter sentiment on what they described as an arbitrary cancellation of some benefits due to them..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/1433-senior-pagasa-employees-mull-higher-paying-career-elsewhere

METROFILE : Maita Gomez passes away

Maita Gomez passes away

Maita Gomez born on May 23, 1947 died peacefully at her home yesterday, July 12, at around 2 p.m. She was the eldest child of Jose Gomez (deceased) and Cecilia Favis Gomez. She is survived by her children Melissa Ugarte, Luis Decena, Kris and Pog Bartolome, and Michael Beltran, and  her son-in-law Marcelino Ugarte, her grandchildren Katalin and Diego Ugarte, and Seth Decena. Her siblings Cita, Patty, Joe, Nati, Migui and Ditas (deceased). Burial arrangements to be announced later..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/1458-metrofile

400 soldiers on stand-by for Aquino’s 3rd Sona Written by Mario J. Mallari Friday, 13 July 2012 00:00

400 soldiers on stand-by for Aquino’s 3rd Sona

The newly activated Standing Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (SJTF-NCR) is allotting at least 400 anti-riot soldiers for possible deployment during the upcoming State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Aquino on July 23 at the House of Representatives.

Maj. Warden Zamora Jr., SJTF-NCR spokesman, said the soldiers — composed of civil disturbance management (CDM) units from the Army, Navy, Air Force and the General Headquarters (GHQ) at Camp Aguinaldo — will act in support of the National Capital Region Police Office.

“Each of the major service commands — the Philippine Army, the Navy and the Air Force, and the GHQ will be dispatching 100 soldiers each as standby force,” Zamora said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/1457-400-soldiers-on-stand-by-for-aquino%E2%80%99s-3rd-sona

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