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The Daily Tribune

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The Philippines Matrix Project

Lie-bor and our labors Written by Herman Tiu Laurel

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lie-bor and our labors

Ten million Filipinos labor overseas, often in horrendous conditions, to earn a few dollars. Even more Filipinos, almost 20 million families, labor each day in various conditions of difficulties to eke out a living to pay for food, water, electricity and other basics. Over and above all that, they also pay for one thing that they never even completely understand — financial interest on everything. They are paying interest for the P 5.1-trillion national debt that continues growing in interest payments, and the P2-trillion national budget includes P800 billion automatically appropriated for debt payment, half of which is interest payments. They are paying for the interest on securitized projects of the PPP (public-private partnership projects) or the MRT, the power companies such as Meralco and the water companies such as Manila Water and Maynilad. The basic facts of Filipino life today are death, taxes, and interest rates on debt.

On June 27, the international finance media reported that Barclays Bank had been find by £290 million or $451 million for manipulating Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) between 2005 and 2009. It had been lying and falsifying its submissions (misreporting, some describe) to the Libor setting mechanism on such critical matters as cost of borrowing from other banks. It did this to boost its appearances as a solid financial institution and maintain high rating and lower interest cost to itself. Libor is calculated by the BBA (British Bankers’ Association) and published by Thomson Reuters financial information group daily after 11:00 a.m. (London time), fixing rates for three currencies: the US dollar, British pound sterling and the Japanese yen.

Evidence of the rate fixing included e-mails of Barclays executives, as The Globe and Mail reports: “The scandal — complete with e-mails showing bankers boasting of manipulating interest rates and congratulating each other with offers of champagne — has triggered fierce criticism about the financial industry in general and Barclays in particular.”

Barclays has dragged in other major banks into what seems to be industry practice, lying and falsification to manipulate their interest costs. Barclays is being investigated for its manipulation from 2005 on, and this couldn’t have gone on so long without knowledge of financial authorities. The British paper Financial Spectator suggests this is so, “In the statement, the bank confirms that it had close contact with the Bank of England and other authorities regarding the liquidity crisis in October 2008 … Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank of England (BoE) …. advised that a number of senior figures within Whitehall were concerned (about) Barclays’ Libor submissions... Mr Diamond (Barclays’ head) explained this by advising Mr Tucker that he believed other banks were ‘posting rates at levels that were not representative of where they would have to undertake business’”, i.e. other banks were also falsifying to window dress their submissions. Now, the BoE and other major banks are dragged into the scandal.

The Guardian reports the Barclays’ scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. One Website reflecting my sentiment aptly called “Hang the Bankers,” reports other global banks being investigated and sued on Libor fixing: HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, JP Morgan, Citibank, et al. Interest rate “rigging” comes in many forms, while these commercial banks do it and can be found criminal in the act, governments like the US of A. can rig it and it is accepted as law, as the almost zero percent interest rate in the US for its bankers is today. For Filipinos who labor to pay interest on everything with interest rates from the lowest of just over four percent that the BSP (Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas) is paying for example to keep local banks’ moneys from OFWs and other inflows parked with it, to the $36-billion  bonds costing as much, to commercial rates of up to 10 percent or consumer finance that is much, much higher, the news of such bank manipulations of interest rates such as Barclays should cause an epiphany, and call for independence from Western banking enslavement.

The Philippines is no longer short of capital to fund its development, as a Filipino banker confirmed to me in a recent discussion. The banker, who was also a major OFW contractor, explained that the over $ 20-billion earnings of the nation annually is more than sufficient and only an OFW bank is needed to consolidate this for investment which will earn the OFWs handsomely on interest. But our national ruling elite in finance and politics refuse to acknowledge the fact that the Philippines is already financially self-sufficient and the traditional bankers with their foreign partners would lose their interest earnings from our country and politicians like Sonny Belmonte who wants Cha-cha to allow in foreign financial predators.

Our politicians are operators for these global and local shylocks. Our nations’ labors should not be stolen of its fruits by the lying boors of Libor, Eurobor (Euro Interbank Offered Rates), the US Federal Reserve or other foreign manipulated rate setting bodies.

The Philippines currency and interest rate sovereignty will only be restored with policies we had during the “Filipino First” era: currency and capital controls.

(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 “New Sin Tax: Sin against Filipinos”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com)

(May pahintulat ng muling paglimbay mula kay Ka Mentong)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1582-lie-bor-and-our-labors

Same striped tiger Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Same striped tiger

With elections coming up in 2013, and with Noynoy and Dinky Soliman’s gargantuan budget for the outright dole-out known as the conditional cash transfer program (CCT), suspicion is high that some P40 billion of that administration dole-out will be used to buy votes for the Noynoy candidates.

But there went Malacañang’s Lady Gaga, allaying fears that the funds will be misused and neither will the local politicians use the CCT program for poor families to campaign for the 2013 elections.

Abigail Valte, aka Lady Gaga, was quoted as saying that the CCT program is insulated from politics because local leaders are not allowed to pick the beneficiaries and the assistance is being given under certain conditions.

“That was the system under the previous administration. But under the Aquino administration, the beneficiaries are selected by conducting the National Household Targeting System (NHTS). That is done through surveys,” Lady Gaga said.

Valte explained that even if the NHTS had recommended particular beneficiaries, they were immediately delisted if found to be unqualified for the program.

She went further by saying that even if this agency identified these beneficiaries correctly and qualifies them to be included in the program, they can still be removed if they fail to comply with government requirements..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1584-same-striped-tiger

Dangerous game: 'US almost daring Tehran to strike first'

Dangerous game: 'US almost daring Tehran to strike first'

With sanctions against Iran gradually showing their ineffectiveness, Washington is escalating the situation in the Persian Gulf, as if encouraging Tehran to attack first, a US politics professor told RT.

­Amid pressure mounting on Tehran, a major Indian company, United India Insurance Co., has agreed to provide insurance for tankers carrying oil from Iran. Insurances are vital for sea transportation. Without insurance, tankers are unable to deliver oil from one destination to another.

The decision of an Indian company means a serious blow to the effectiveness of the US sanctions against Iran in a bid to crank up the pressure over the country's nuclear activities. The sanctions target companies accused of breaching a European ban on buying oil from Tehran..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/us-provoke-iran-strike-180/

Monitoring 'enemy moves': Iran 'vigilant' over US presence in Gulf waters

Monitoring 'enemy moves': Iran 'vigilant' over US presence in Gulf waters

Iran warns it’s closely monitoring the “enemy’s” moves from the Caribbean Sea to the Persian Gulf. The statement comes after Washington is reported to have dispatched a fourth aircraft carrier and a fleet of underwater drones to Gulf waters.

­Iran’s intelligence systems are tracking all the activities of the US forces and its allies from the Caribbean Sea to the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf, says Rear Admiral Javad Mashidi, the deputy commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy.

“By being vigilant about the plots of the enemies and maintaining a massive presence in the country’s maritime borders, the IRGC Navy counters any potential threat posed by the enemies and aggressors,” said Mashidi as quoted by Iran’s Press TV..... MORE

URL: http://www.rt.com/news/iran-us-presence-gulf-229/

GM crop grant planted in UK: Britons wary

GM crop grant planted in UK: Britons wary

UK scientists have received a US$10 million grant for research into GM crops in one of the biggest investments in the field. The British public remains skeptical of GM foods, a recent report suggesting they pose both environmental and health threats.

The multi-million investment from UK-based charity the Gates Foundation will be used to cultivate GM modified corn, wheat and rice.

Scientists from the John Innes Center are hoping to create a strain of crops that are able to extract nitrogen from the air, thus eliminating the need for chemical ammonia spread on fields..... MORE


URL: http://www.rt.com/news/gm-uk-genetically-modified-claims-221/

‘Lose-lose’ propositions Written by Jonathan de la Cruz

‘Lose-lose’ propositions

The death of Dolphy and outcry over the continuing Metro Manila traffic mess have diverted public attention from two developments which the administration is seriously mishandling to our eventual damnation. Instead of delivering the country from potential conflicts which can only negatively impact on our development efforts and weaken our defenses in the face of the lingering global economic crisis, P-Noy and his crew may have exacerbated the situation even more with their inexplicable moves. We are referring here to the rebuff we got at the recently concluded Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Phnom Pehn and the defiant and provocative statements coming out of the MILF General Assembly in Maguindanao attended by senior Cabinet members.

Instead of arriving at ‘win-win’ solutions on both counts, we ended up with “lose-lose” propositions which can only mean more trouble in the years ahead.

In the case of the recently concluded 45th Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting which for the first time did not issue a joint communiqué, the Philippines insisted and was left by its lonesome stridently insisting that the specifics of the months old standoff between us and China and later, China and Vietnam, over disputed parts of the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratlys Group be incorporated in the issuance. Even Vietnam which had earlier protested China’s auctioning of certain exploration contracts in the disputed area apparently begged off at the last minute and did not join the Philippines in the enterprise which should have given us a way out of the impasse..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/commentary/item/1581-%E2%80%98lose-lose%E2%80%99-propositions

Killings unabated under Aquino

Killings unabated under Aquino

In this video, human rights advocates bring to the fore the continuing cases of extrajudicial killings under President Benigno S. Aquino III..... MORE

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/04/killings-unabated-under-aquino/

Gov’t says no protest as Chinese ship leaves Written

Gov’t says no protest as Chinese ship leaves


A Chinese Navy frigate stranded clearly within Philippine territory for the past few days upped and went yesterday with nary a whimper from the government as the Aquino administration even assured China that it would not lodge a diplomatic protest and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario describing the incident as a likely “accident.”

China extricated the frigate from the disputed Half Moon Shoal where it had been stranded for four days.

Last week’s stranding of the ship, which the country calls Hasa Hasa, was likely an accident, Del Rosario said.

“We don’t believe that there were ill-intentions that accompanied the presence of that ship in our EEZ (exclusive economic zone),” Del Rosario said. “As far as filing a diplomatic protest is concerned, my stance is that we will probably not do that,” he said.

The ship was reportedly on “routine patrol” when it was stranded Wednesday on the shoal, which sits just 60 nautical miles from Palawan and within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

International law defines a country’s EEZ as being up to 200-nautical-miles from its shores..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/1613-gov%E2%80%99t-says-no-protest-as-chinese-ship-leaves

Taiwan mulls extending runway in Spratlys

Taiwan mulls extending runway in Spratlys

  • Written by 
  • Monday, 16 July 2012

Daily Tribune photo
Taiwan is considering extending the runway on the contested Spratly Island in a move that could provoke fresh tensions in the heavily disputed South China Sea, media reported yesterday.

If approved, the project would extend by 500 meters the runway on Taiping Island, the largest in the disputed waters and some 1,376 kilometers from Taiwan, the Liberty Times said.

“The national security authorities lately convened a meeting to evaluate the proposal as the situation in the South China Sea has been getting ever complicated,” it cited an unnamed national security source as saying.

Tensions in the South China Sea have risen recently, with China and the Philippines locked in a maritime dispute over the Scarborough Shoal, a reef off the Philippine coast.

The runway, currently 1,150 meters long, was built in 2006 despite protests from other countries with claims in the potentially oil-rich area, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, China and Malaysia..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/1612-taiwan-mulls-extending-runway-in-spratlys

RP-MILF peace talks resume Tri

RP-MILF peace talks resume

Tribune photo
Talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will resume today in Malaysia with high hopes from both sides for a break-through in the long-running peace negotiations.

Still reeling from their meeting during the recently successful Moro Leaders’ Assembly inside MILF’s Camp Darapanan in Maguindanao, members of the GRP and MILF peace panels will again be meeting today during the 29th GRH-MILF peace talks in Kuala Lumpur.

In its Web site, the MILF said that expected to be at the top of the agenda during the resumption of the talks are issues concerning interim arrangement, power- and wealth-sharing, territory, normalization,
basic law and constitutional matters.

“However, it is expected that both the MILF and government peace panels will put up other agenda for discussion, as it was in past practices,” the MILF stated.

The MILF said all members of its peace panel, led by Mohagher Iqbal, will be attending the 29th round of the peace talks.

Joining him on the MILF side are lawyer Datu Michael Mastura, Bobby Alonto, Abhoud Syed Lingga and Abdullag Camlian while GRP panel chairman Marvic Leonen will lead the government delegation.
There were also reports that Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) acting Gov. Mujiv Hataman was also invited to attend the talks..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/1607-rp-milf-peace-talks-resume

DILG probes Duterte’s prison video Written by Fernan J. Angeles Monday, 16 July 2012 00:00

DILG probes Duterte’s prison video

Even in the absence of any formal complaint, Malacanang appears bent on taking on Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who was reported to have stuffed fake ownership documents into the mouth of a person laying claim over a property.

At a press briefing, deputy presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said the Department of Interior and Local Government was in the process of securing a copy of the alleged video of the incident shown on television news programs.

Valte, however, clarified that the DILG is conducting a purely fact-finding investigation for the time being.

Duterte, who is known to be Davao City’s iron-fisted local executive, also drew the ire of the Commission on Human Rights allegedly for forcing the suspected con man to swallow the fake land title he reportedly used to prey on hapless victims..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/1606-dilg-probes-duterte%E2%80%99s-prison-video

Comedy King Dolphy laid to rest Written by Pat C. Santos Monday, 16 July 2012 00:00

Comedy King Dolphy laid to rest

Comedy King Dolphy was laid to rest yesterday afternoon as the whole nation watched on television the ceremony held at Heritage Park in Taguig City.

The burial Mass, officiated by Fr. Tito Caluag, a Jesuit priest, was held at the Heritage chapel at 2 p.m. and attended by relatives and friends of Dolphy, Rodolfo Vera Quizon in real life.

Dolphy’s glass-topped golden metal casket that the actor himself bought in l970s at $40,000, was wheeled by friends toward the niche only some 100 meters distance away from the chapel.

Family members were able to have a last look at the Comedy King’s remains right before the coffin was placed at 3 p.m. inside the tomb where they placed flowers one by one.

Fr. Larry Faraon led the prayers at the grave site..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/1595-comedy-king-dolphy-laid-to-rest

QC government all set to commemorate four historic events in August

QC government all set to commemorate four historic events in August

The Cultural and Tourism Affairs Office (CTAO) of Quezon City has lined up commemorative programs for August which is the city’s “Buwan ng mga Bayani” (Month of Heroes).

The city government will commemorate four historic dates in the country’s struggle for independence and transformation into a democratic society, Greg Bañacia, city’s public affairs and information services office (PAISO) chief, said.

First on the list of events is the 68th death anniversary of President Manuel Luis Quezon on Aug. 1 which will be commemorated with a Mass, floral offering and blessing of President Quezon’s tomb at the Quezon Memorial Circle, he said.

The city government will also mark with a cultural program and simple rites the 134th birth anniversary of President Quezon on Aug. 19 with the participation of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as lead agency..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/metro-section/item/1594-qc-government-all-set-to-commemorate-four-historic-events-in-august

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