MALAYA EDITORIAL/OPINION

OPINION by Nestor Mata:
‘FATHOMLESS IGNORANCE’  

SEPT 30---WHENEVER a president speaks, serious people furrow their brows and hold their chins and listen intently to every word. They assume that most everything a president says is significant. Alas, that’s not what happens when President Noynoy Aquino speaks, be it here or during his tour of Europe and the United States. He talked about a lot of things which were not exactly true. When, for instance, he spoke during the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York City, he passionately told global leaders to stop debating and start doing “everything they can “ to address climate change. “Together we must face these challenges and surmount them, or together we will suffer consequences of inaction.” And he even bragged that his administration “has set a goal of tripling renewable energy assets by 2030.

But this was refuted by Greenpeace Philippines, the local affiliate of the worldwide environmental group. “What he did was approve “26 coal plant projects that are expected to be on online by 2020,” Greenpeace said, which will use dirty, emissions-causing coal. And Aquino’s critics in media pounced on what one of them called his “style of lying and hypocrisy.” This is the President, commented Jojo Robles of the Manila Standard Today, who’s “lying about his commitment to helping stop climate change in an attempt to deceive the entire world this time, not just his ignorant countrymen.” And another newspaper columnist, Rigoberto Tiglao of the Manila Times, heckled Aquino for his UN Summit address. “He talked about climate change like it was an anti-addiction retreat. He doesn’t know anything about the issue, and has never been interested in it at all. Before he opens his mouth pontificating that everyone should help reverse global warming, Aquino should first stop smoking!”  What more can one say about the cluelessness of Aquino concerning the issue of climate change? He once talked on alternative-energy asking how windmills would generate power when there is no wind and how solar panels will do the same when there is no sun.

Well, as one who has covered past presidents, I have seen some of them get things wrong, but what sets President Noynoy Aquino apart from them is his obvious fathomless ignorance about such important issues as global warming and climate change. *** Oh, yes, Aquino also seems not to know anything about the imminent threat of a new jihadist movement called the Islamic State or ISIS that’s now spreading from Iraq to Syria and other Middle Eastern nations to Western and Asian countries. He said there was no evidence that Filipino Muslims have been recruited by the ISIS. Even as he talked about it, Muslim Filipino supporters of ISIS gathered in Marawi City’s grand mosque, led by Jamil Yahya pledged allegiance to the Khidaffah governance of Aba Bakr al-Bagdadi, self-proclaimed Caliph of Syria. A few days ago, Catholic bishops were alarmed that jihadists have threatened to kill Pope Francis during his visit to the country early next year. Just recently in Los Angeles, a Filipino, along with an American, was found guilty of plotting to aid jihadists members and to kill American soldiers.

Aquino seems to have no notion at all that the ISIS is part of a worldwide movement that has been waging jihad against non-Muslim states and seeking radical transformation of their own societies since the 18th century. “Their leaders were religious authorities... and their states were theocratically organized,” according to David Motadel, a historian at the University of Cambridge. “They all preached militant Islamic revivalism, calling for the purification of their faith, while denouncing traditional Islamic society, with its more heterodox forms of Islam, as superstitious, corrupt and background.” Today’s jihadist states, Motadel said, share many of those features. They have all succeeded in using Islam to build broad coalitions with local tribes and communities. They provide social services and run strict Shariah courts, and they use advanced propaganda methods.  * READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: LIKE HOLDING OFF A RIVER WITH A SHOVEL  

METRO Manila has been inundated with floodwaters again and again in recent days as torrential downpours proved what weather experts have been saying all along – that the problem is going to get worse because of climate change. Contrary to the assurance of our public works officials, there have been no positive effects at all from the much-touted high-priority impact flood management projects that will bill taxpayers around P5 billion.

No, we do not need to wade in the water with a ruler to tell us flooding in the country’s capital is worse than ever. Not when all the evidence is in plain sight like the hapless motorists and commuters stranded in water-locked vehicles for six to seven hours. The flood project catalog is a long way from inspiring confidence that the situation is bound to get better: some P800 million in dredging contracts and the rest on repair of seawalls and river embankments. These are old and tired palliative solutions that have all been tired before and failed many times over and over. * READ MORE...

ALSO by Ellen Tordesillas: 1987 COUP - THE TIES THAT BIND PNOY AND PURISIMA 

PRESIDENT Aquino’s dogged defense of Police Chief Alan Purisima despite revelations of irregularities (soliciting donations and accepting huge discounts for a car) and the public’s frustration over breakdown of law and order, have led many to ask what’s behind the closeness of the two. While in New York last week, Aquino described the PNP chief as ““not capricious.” Back in Manila after information about the luxurious Nueva Ecija vacation house with an attic on a 4.5 hectare property with a separate pavilion, separate four- car garage with quarters, a 7.5m x 15m pool, Aquino maintains the line that criticisms against his administration are really meant to block reforms that he is instituting. It should be recalled that Aquino wanted badly to have Purisima as PNP chief that Purisima’s predecessor , Nicanor Bartolome, was forced to retire three months before his retirement age of 56.

During the turnover ceremonies from Bartolome to Purisima at Camp Crame on Dec. 18, 2012, Aquino revealed that he has known Purisima since 1987 when the latter was part of his mother’s Presidential Security Group. He said Purisima was introduced to President Cory Aquino by then Defense Chief Fidel V. Ramos, who later on succeeded Cory Aquino as president. Aquino said of Purisima: ”Our bonds have been tried and tested; we know that we stand by each other on the straight path, in service to our countrymen. This explains my utmost confidence that he will always side with what is right, and that he can ensure meaningful, positive change among the ranks of our police force–especially when compared to the system we inherited.“ Police and military sources said the “bond” between Purisima and Aquino was the Aug. 28, 1987 coup attempt against Cory Aquino’s government where the presidential son was wounded. They said Purisima was with him in that incident.

Based on reports of the 1987 coup, the then young Aquino was on his way home past midnight with his PSG escorts. At that time, the rebel soldiers led by then Col. Gregorio Honasan were in the Malacañang area. Aquino’s car was somewhere near the St Jude church, when it was stopped by rebel soldiers, who didn’t know that the president’s son was inside the vehicle. The rebels shot the car when it did not stop. The years and his ascendancy in Malacañang as president have not completely healed the wound that had incident caused him. In March 2013, in General Santos City, while he was condemning the Datu Lahad, Sabah siege by the forces of the late Jamalul Kiram III, Aquino confused the audience when he suddenly shifted to the 1987 coup. He said: “Pasensiya na ho kayo kung may halong emosyon ‘yung talumpati ko sa inyo ngayon. Talagang, alam ho niyo, na-ambush nga ako noong ‘87 po. Tatlo sa apat kong kasamahan patay.” We are wondering, if three of Aquino’s companions died, was the fourth who survived Purisima? Following the series of coup attempts (nine all in all) against the Cory government set up a fact-finding commission headed by then Comelec Commissioner Hilario Davide Jr. * READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: MINDANAO SHOWS THE WAY  

SEPT 29 ---THREE days ago, people of Mindanao achieved a feat never before witnessed any where in the world – an estimated 160,000 people planted more than three million tree seedlings in just an hour. Government employees, students, professionals, all ordinary folks, banded together to carry out one extraordinary job. At day’s end, they covered hundreds upon hundreds of hectares of denuded slopes. They also took one concrete step to preserve this part of the Earth, to reverse the ravages of decades-long abuses and ensure tomorrow’s children will inherit a more sustainable environment.

The numbers were impressive but nowhere as awe-inspiring as the fact that it was, for all intents and purposes, a community effort. There was little fanfare, no political speeches, no noisy promotions. Organizers and participants aimed for a world record but even without such lofty recognition, they have already accomplished a magnificent deed. Worthy of acclaim is the cooperation between local leaders and officials of regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mindanao Development Authority. Mindanaoans showed us it can be done even with little cost to taxpayers, that an honest desire to help and willing hands can work wonders. They proved that common good is not just a line in a politician’s stock of spiels but an ideal that still resonates with the people. The challenge for the rest of the country is to replicate Mindanao’s example even if not on such a scale. At this precarious point in Nature’s balance, every little effort helps. – PT. THIS IS THE FULL EDITORIAL

ALSO EDITORIAL: HAMSTRUNG AND BLINDFOLDED

Now they are talking. The PNP top leadership has finally owned up that the crime rate is way up, a fact that the public has known for quite some time without needing an official statement from the national police. Not surprisingly, the top brass tried to put a positive spin by claiming the rising figure is due to accurate reporting by its police stations all over the country. If that were the case, then the PNP chief has just acknowledged that the real crime rate has previously been underreported and that the numbers they released earlier were a fabrication. The number rose because now they are honest; it was low before because they lied.

Without actually saying the words, PNP chief Alan Purisima branded his men as spineless liars who resorted to window-dressing rather than face sanctions for failing in their job. But the problem is not so much who is in command of a police station as the very nutty system that we require our police officers to work in. With very few exceptions, ordinary cops on the street know who the common criminals are in their beat. Just by text messages or phone calls they can give a pretty precise description of how each of them operates and provide a location to boot. They even keep a list in their head for each type of petty crooks and hardened criminals that they encounter. They know because these are the same names and faces that they arrest over and over again but who the criminal justice system keeps letting out, to graduate to more serious offenses each time. – PT THIS IS THE FULL EDITORIAL.

ALSO by Ducky Paredes: AQUINO STILL TRUSTS PURISIMA, ABAYA   

PRESIDENT Aquino still trusts Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and PNP chief Alan Purisima despite their legal troubles, as officially announced by Malacañang. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. says the President still does not consider the two government officials as liabilities or heavy baggage to him, affirming that both of them continue to perform their duties and have the support of the President even as they face separate corruption probes. Abaya is under investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged anomalous Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 maintenance contract while Purisima faces a plunder complaint for alleged unexplained wealth. Both officials are facing mounting calls to take a leave or resign.

The Palace earlier left to the sound discretion of both Abaya and Purisima whether or not to go on leave. Coloma, speaking on government radio, maintains that both still enjoy the trust and confidence of President Aquino. In the case of Purisima, the President has vouched for the character of Purisima even as he awaits for his explanation on the corruption allegations hurled against him. “The President announced in a recent media interview that he wanted to give Police Director General Purisima a chance to explain the issues that recently surfaced,” Coloma said. The President earlier defended Purisima from graft allegations, saying the police chief was neither greedy nor living a luxurious lifestyle. Purisima was accused of plunder by a consumer rights group for his alleged unexplained wealth, including a mansion in Nueva Ecija. * READ MORE...

ALSO by Ellen Tordesillas: INTERESTING, PUZZLING NUMBERS IN PULSE ASIA’S LATEST SURVEY 

In a survey conducted by Pulse Asia, in a matter of two months, Roxas numbers almost doubled - from seven percent last week of June to 13 percent second week of September. What could be the factors that contributed to respondents finally choosing Roxas when asked who they would vote if elections were held at the time the survey was conducted? As far as Roxas’s actions or accomplishments during the survey period and in the recent months are concerned, we can cite the Philippine National Police, which is under the supervision of the Department of Interior and Local Government, identifying the police officers involved in the daring daytime hulidap on EDSA.

Roxas had strong words for the police officers engaged in criminal activities. The public must have liked that, even if peace and order situation in the country remains worrisome. Another hot issue during the survey the past two months was the possibility of President Aquino extending his stay in Malacañang after 2016, which was first suggested by Roxas. On several occasions, President Aquino stressed the importance that his successor would be the one that would continue his “tuwid na daan” policy. Always, during those occasions, Roxas was beside him. The media play of those controversies might have contributed to the big improvement of Roxas’ rating. But a major factor in the increase of Roxas’s numbers was the demolition job on Binay. Since they were adversaries in the 2010 vice presidential elections and are expected to again be against each other in the 2016 presidential elections, Roxas is being presented as the opposite of Binay. If Binay is corrupt, Roxas is Mr. Clean. * READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORTS HERE:

‘FATHOMLESS IGNORANCE’


NESTOR MATA

MANILA, OCTOBER 7, 2014 (MALAYA) By NESTOR MATA | September 30, 2014 - WHENEVER a president speaks, serious people furrow their brows and hold their chins and listen intently to every word. They assume that most everything a president says is significant.

Alas, that’s not what happens when President Noynoy Aquino speaks, be it here or during his tour of Europe and the United States. He talked about a lot of things which were not exactly true.

When, for instance, he spoke during the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York City, he passionately told global leaders to stop debating and start doing “everything they can “ to address climate change. “Together we must face these challenges and surmount them, or together we will suffer consequences of inaction.” And he even bragged that his administration “has set a goal of tripling renewable energy assets by 2030.

But this was refuted by Greenpeace Philippines, the local affiliate of the worldwide environmental group. “What he did was approve “26 coal plant projects that are expected to be on online by 2020,” Greenpeace said, which will use dirty, emissions-causing coal. And Aquino’s critics in media pounced on what one of them called his “style of lying and hypocrisy.”

This is the President, commented Jojo Robles of the Manila Standard Today, who’s “lying about his commitment to helping stop climate change in an attempt to deceive the entire world this time, not just his ignorant countrymen.” And another newspaper columnist, Rigoberto Tiglao of the Manila Times, heckled Aquino for his UN Summit address. “He talked about climate change like it was an anti-addiction retreat. He doesn’t know anything about the issue, and has never been interested in it at all. Before he opens his mouth pontificating that everyone should help reverse global warming, Aquino should first stop smoking!”

What more can one say about the cluelessness of Aquino concerning the issue of climate change? He once talked on alternative-energy asking how windmills would generate power when there is no wind and how solar panels will do the same when there is no sun.

Well, as one who has covered past presidents, I have seen some of them get things wrong, but what sets President Noynoy Aquino apart from them is his obvious fathomless ignorance about such important issues as global warming and climate change.

***

Oh, yes, Aquino also seems not to know anything about the imminent threat of a new jihadist movement called the Islamic State or ISIS that’s now spreading from Iraq to Syria and other Middle Eastern nations to Western and Asian countries. He said there was no evidence that Filipino Muslims have been recruited by the ISIS.

Even as he talked about it, Muslim Filipino supporters of ISIS gathered in Marawi City’s grand mosque, led by Jamil Yahya pledged allegiance to the Khidaffah governance of Aba Bakr al-Bagdadi, self-proclaimed Caliph of Syria. A few days ago, Catholic bishops were alarmed that jihadists have threatened to kill Pope Francis during his visit to the country early next year. Just recently in Los Angeles, a Filipino, along with an American, was found guilty of plotting to aid jihadists members and to kill American soldiers.

Aquino seems to have no notion at all that the ISIS is part of a worldwide movement that has been waging jihad against non-Muslim states and seeking radical transformation of their own societies since the 18th century.

“Their leaders were religious authorities... and their states were theocratically organized,” according to David Motadel, a historian at the University of Cambridge. “They all preached militant Islamic revivalism, calling for the purification of their faith, while denouncing traditional Islamic society, with its more heterodox forms of Islam, as superstitious, corrupt and background.”

Today’s jihadist states, Motadel said, share many of those features. They have all succeeded in using Islam to build broad coalitions with local tribes and communities. They provide social services and run strict Shariah courts, and they use advanced propaganda methods.

* Indeed, the Islamic State is perhaps the most elaborate and militant jihad polity in modern history. It uses modern state structures, including an organized bureaucracy, a judicial system, madrasas, a vast propaganda apparatus and a financial network that allows it to sell oil on the black market, and unlike its antecedents, its leaders have global aspirations, fantasizing about overrunning St. Peter’s in Rome.

This brought to mind the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now pending approval by Congress. It was the result of a peace deal between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), one of many other a secessionist Muslim groups in Mindanao, and the administration of President Aquino. It carries provisions which would lead to the formation of a “Bangsamoro Entity” in Mindanao, the Sulu archipelago and parts of Palawan. It will have the same modern state structures such as its own government and bureaucracy, a judicial system, its own flag, etc., just like a Islamic State.

Obviously, Aquino isn’t aware that the MILF is run by a “Jihad Central Committee” with its ultimate objective to determine their future. Does he not realize that the moment the BBL is enacted by Congress, a Islamic State will come into being, and the MILF leaders will claim their Islamic State’s “right to self-determination and declare its independence,” and that this would lead to the fragmentation of the Republic of the Philippines?

Mr. President, ever heard of the wise saying, “Forewarned is to be forearmed”?

***

Notable Quote: “The trouble ain’t that a man is ignorant; it’s that he knows so much that ain’t so!” – Anonymous

Thought of the Day: “He that boasts of his own knowledge proclaims his ignorance.” – Spenser

EDITORIAL: LIKE HOLDING OFF A RIVER WITH A SHOVEL October 03, 2014

METRO Manila has been inundated with floodwaters again and again in recent days as torrential downpours proved what weather experts have been saying all along – that the problem is going to get worse because of climate change.

Contrary to the assurance of our public works officials, there have been no positive effects at all from the much-touted high-priority impact flood management projects that will bill taxpayers around P5 billion.

No, we do not need to wade in the water with a ruler to tell us flooding in the country’s capital is worse than ever. Not when all the evidence is in plain sight like the hapless motorists and commuters stranded in water-locked vehicles for six to seven hours.

The flood project catalog is a long way from inspiring confidence that the situation is bound to get better: some P800 million in dredging contracts and the rest on repair of seawalls and river embankments.

These are old and tired palliative solutions that have all been tired before and failed many times over and over.

* Desilting waterways is good only for a year or two with runoffs from non-stop land development going into our main rivers and their tributaries. Pile garbage on top of that even with Metro Manila’s over P4 billion yearly garbage hauling contracts.

Dikes and breakwaters will save one area but will simply redirect the deluge to other places.

One has to wonder what unknown catastrophe it will take to spark a brilliant idea out of our national and local officials.

Meantime, the rest of us are expected to go on our daily grinds, all the while hoping an open manhole or a dangling live power line do not relieve us of the problem permanently. – PT.

1987 COUP: THE TIES THAT BIND PNOY AND PURISIMA By Ellen Tordesillas | October 03, 2014


Ellen Tordesillas

PRESIDENT Aquino’s dogged defense of Police Chief Alan Purisima despite revelations of irregularities (soliciting donations and accepting huge discounts for a car) and the public’s frustration over breakdown of law and order, have led many to ask what’s behind the closeness of the two.

While in New York last week, Aquino described the PNP chief as ““not capricious.” Back in Manila after information about the luxurious Nueva Ecija vacation house with an attic on a 4.5 hectare property with a separate pavilion, separate four- car garage with quarters, a 7.5m x 15m pool, Aquino maintains the line that criticisms against his administration are really meant to block reforms that he is instituting.

It should be recalled that Aquino wanted badly to have Purisima as PNP chief that Purisima’s predecessor , Nicanor Bartolome, was forced to retire three months before his retirement age of 56.

During the turnover ceremonies from Bartolome to Purisima at Camp Crame on Dec. 18, 2012, Aquino revealed that he has known Purisima since 1987 when the latter was part of his mother’s Presidential Security Group.

He said Purisima was introduced to President Cory Aquino by then Defense Chief Fidel V. Ramos, who later on succeeded Cory Aquino as president.

Aquino said of Purisima: ”Our bonds have been tried and tested; we know that we stand by each other on the straight path, in service to our countrymen. This explains my utmost confidence that he will always side with what is right, and that he can ensure meaningful, positive change among the ranks of our police force–especially when compared to the system we inherited.“

Police and military sources said the “bond” between Purisima and Aquino was the Aug. 28, 1987 coup attempt against Cory Aquino’s government where the presidential son was wounded. They said Purisima was with him in that incident.

Based on reports of the 1987 coup, the then young Aquino was on his way home past midnight with his PSG escorts. At that time, the rebel soldiers led by then Col. Gregorio Honasan were in the Malacañang area. Aquino’s car was somewhere near the St Jude church, when it was stopped by rebel soldiers, who didn’t know that the president’s son was inside the vehicle. The rebels shot the car when it did not stop.

The years and his ascendancy in Malacañang as president have not completely healed the wound that had incident caused him. In March 2013, in General Santos City, while he was condemning the Datu Lahad, Sabah siege by the forces of the late Jamalul Kiram III, Aquino confused the audience when he suddenly shifted to the 1987 coup. He said: “Pasensiya na ho kayo kung may halong emosyon ‘yung talumpati ko sa inyo ngayon. Talagang, alam ho niyo, na-ambush nga ako noong ‘87 po. Tatlo sa apat kong kasamahan patay.”

We are wondering, if three of Aquino’s companions died, was the fourth who survived Purisima?

Following the series of coup attempts (nine all in all) against the Cory government set up a fact-finding commission headed by then Comelec Commissioner Hilario Davide Jr.

* Here’s the portion on the Malacañang attack of the Davide Commission report:

“At about 1:45 a.m., 28 August, the rebels launched their attack on Malacañang. Some 20 rebels ransacked the armory of the Anti-Terrorist Task Force at the PSG at the foot of Nagtahan bridge. They attacked Malacañang from two directions along Aguila and JP Laurel streets but were blocked by the PSG and CAPCOM elements deployed at all possible approaches. A firefight ensued, where several men from both sides were killed or wounded.

“The V-160 under the command of rebel Capt Reynaldo Ordoñez (PMA ’78) was confronted by a Scorpion tank coming from the Malacañang area near St. Jude Church. After Ordoñez spoke with its driver, the tank withdrew and the V-160 later left for Camp Aguinaldo. The 62IB led by Ochosa arrived at the Nagtahan bridge area at 2:00 a.m. passing through La Loma. They engaged in a firefight with government troops where three of their companions were killed while two were wounded. After about 30 minutes, they too headed for Camp Aguinaldo. The men of the 14 IB led by Acosta arrived at the Ayala bridge at about 2:30 a.m. and were deployed on both ends of the bridge.

“Later, after hearing shots from the area of Malacañang, they fired three rounds of flares to signal their withdrawal to Camp Aguinaldo.

“Unable to get to Malacañang, the rest of the rebel troops under Honasan headed for Camp Aguinaldo through the Sta. Mesa route. But in the course of their withdrawal, they shot at civilian onlookers who were jeering at them, killing 11 and wounding 54.

“Earlier they had fired at the convoy of President Aquino’s son, Noynoy, who was rushing home to Arlegui near Malacañang. Noynoy was wounded while his bodyguard was killed. Two other people died, and a third one was seriously wounded in the car behind them. The marine reinforcement led by Biazon composed of five companies and four LVTs arrived at the Malacañang area at 4:30 a.m. but the rebels had by them withdrawn to Camp Aguinaldo.”

There were rumors that a woman , who was in the car with Aquino during that incident, was one of the three persons killed.

The late broadcaster/blogger Ding Gagelonia had written about this rumor in his blog “At Midfield” on Sept. 27, 2009. The blog entry carried a press statement from Florencio “Butch” Abad, then campaign manager of presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III refuting what he denounced as “ malicious allegations” that appeared in a newspaper.

Abad said it was “an old story” and the reporter “got the facts completely wrong “

He said: “A certain ‘Charlotte Marie Datiles indeed died during the August 28, 1987 coup d’etat. She was not the girlfriend of Senator Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III nor was she in the same car as the senator.”

Abad quoted from a September 9, 1987 Inquirer column Ramon Tulfo saying that Datiles “was the 19-year-old girlfriend of a certain Lt. Teodoro Sanchez, an undercover operative of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”

Bad said according to Tulfo, “Sanchez and Datiles and another ISAFP agent were passing by Malacañang aboard a car during the attack on the palace. They came from a mission following up a lead in the slaying of Local Government Secretary Jaime Ferrer. Sanchez’s car was sandwiched between the Palace guards and the rebels firing at each other.”

Abad closed his statement with “While we all expect evil propaganda of this nature to continue as the election nears, we have no doubt that truth will prevail in the end. We must not be distracted in the campaign to fight for what is right. The Filipino people deserve nothing less. Our call remains: ‘Tanggaling ang tiwali, itama ang mali!’

Abad’s call remains very relevant today.

EDITORIAL

MINDANAO SHOWS THE WAY September 29, 2014

THREE days ago, people of Mindanao achieved a feat never before witnessed any where in the world – an estimated 160,000 people planted more than three million tree seedlings in just an hour.

Government employees, students, professionals, all ordinary folks, banded together to carry out one extraordinary job. At day’s end, they covered hundreds upon hundreds of hectares of denuded slopes.

They also took one concrete step to preserve this part of the Earth, to reverse the ravages of decades-long abuses and ensure tomorrow’s children will inherit a more sustainable environment.

The numbers were impressive but nowhere as awe-inspiring as the fact that it was, for all intents and purposes, a community effort. There was little fanfare, no political speeches, no noisy promotions.

Organizers and participants aimed for a world record but even without such lofty recognition, they have already accomplished a magnificent deed.

Worthy of acclaim is the cooperation between local leaders and officials of regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mindanao Development Authority.

Mindanaoans showed us it can be done even with little cost to taxpayers, that an honest desire to help and willing hands can work wonders.

They proved that common good is not just a line in a politician’s stock of spiels but an ideal that still resonates with the people.

The challenge for the rest of the country is to replicate Mindanao’s example even if not on such a scale.

At this precarious point in Nature’s balance, every little effort helps. – PT.

EDITORIAL: HAMSTRUNG AND BLINDFOLDED October 01, 2014

Now they are talking.

The PNP top leadership has finally owned up that the crime rate is way up, a fact that the public has known for quite some time without needing an official statement from the national police.

Not surprisingly, the top brass tried to put a positive spin by claiming the rising figure is due to accurate reporting by its police stations all over the country.

If that were the case, then the PNP chief has just acknowledged that the real crime rate has previously been underreported and that the numbers they released earlier were a fabrication.

The number rose because now they are honest; it was low before because they lied.

Without actually saying the words, PNP chief Alan

Purisima branded his men as spineless liars who resorted to window-dressing rather than face sanctions for failing in their job.

But the problem is not so much who is in command of a police station as the very nutty system that we require our police officers to work in.

With very few exceptions, ordinary cops on the street know who the common criminals are in their beat.

Just by text messages or phone calls they can give a pretty precise description of how each of them operates and provide a location to boot. They even keep a list in their head for each type of petty crooks and hardened criminals that they encounter.

They know because these are the same names and faces that they arrest over and over again but who the criminal justice system keeps letting out, to graduate to more serious offenses each time. – PT.

AQUINO STILL TRUSTS PURISIMA, ABAYA By Ducky Paredes | October 01, 2014


Ducky Paredes

PRESIDENT Aquino still trusts Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and PNP chief Alan Purisima despite their legal troubles, as officially announced by Malacañang.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. says the President still does not consider the two government officials as liabilities or heavy baggage to him, affirming that both of them continue to perform their duties and have the support of the President even as they face separate corruption probes.

Abaya is under investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged anomalous Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 maintenance contract while Purisima faces a plunder complaint for alleged unexplained wealth. Both officials are facing mounting calls to take a leave or resign.

The Palace earlier left to the sound discretion of both Abaya and Purisima whether or not to go on leave.

Coloma, speaking on government radio, maintains that both still enjoy the trust and confidence of President Aquino.

In the case of Purisima, the President has vouched for the character of Purisima even as he awaits for his explanation on the corruption allegations hurled against him.

“The President announced in a recent media interview that he wanted to give Police Director General Purisima a chance to explain the issues that recently surfaced,” Coloma said.

The President earlier defended Purisima from graft allegations, saying the police chief was neither greedy nor living a luxurious lifestyle. Purisima was accused of plunder by a consumer rights group for his alleged unexplained wealth, including a mansion in Nueva Ecija.

* Coloma, however, admits that he has no information whether the President had already talked to the two officials facing allegations of irregularity.

***

Purisima found an ally in the president of an umbrella group of agriculture stakeholders in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.

Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura President Rosendo So, whose family fell victim to a kidnapping syndicate, urged Purisima not to resign amid the corruption allegations hurled against him.

In a departure from the perception of others, So says he is confident that Purisima is not guilty and that he will eventually be able to clear his name.

“He can explain everything before a proper forum,” So said.

“Many people want him out as PNP chief because of his efforts to clean the police ranks,” he added.

So recalled Purisima’s exploits as head of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) from 2002-2003. “He helped so many kidnap victims, including my own family,” So said.

Purisima eventually served as head of the National Anti-Kidnapping Task Force (NAKTAF) Strike Force from 2003 to 2005.

So recalled that when Purisima was about to be relieved as provincial director of Pangasinan, five of the six congressmen and 43 mayors of the province signed a letter of appeal to then PNP chief Oscar Calderon for Purisima to remain as PNP provincial chief, citing his accomplishments in resolving big-time crimes.

“The accomplishments included the busting of drug syndicates, illegal firearms and illegal gambling operations in Urdaneta City, and the arrest of a suspected leader of a kidnap-for-ransom syndicate in Bolinao,” So said.

Malacañang calls on the critics of Purisima to give him a chance to defend himself.

“Everybody enjoys the presumption of innocence,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

The Palace assures that despite the president’s keenness on the PNP chief, Purisima will not be spared if allegations are proven.

Lacierda also said it would be up to Purisima to decide whether to take an administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

I honestly think it is best for Purisima to take a leave of absence until he has cleared himself or at least offered some kind of explanation.

***

After snubbing the Senate twice, Purisima is now prepared to bare his soul.

The PNP chief finally showed up to answer charges of plunder, corruption and bribery leveled against him and a surge in criminality that have led to public demands that he resign.

On the eve of his Senate appearance, a third complaint was filed by the watchdog Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in the Office of the Ombudsman, this time accusing Purisima of accumulating P120 million in unexplained wealth.

Senior Supt. Wilben Mayor, the newly appointed PNP spokesman, says that Purisima, who returned Sunday from a four-day conference in Bogota, Colombia, on kidnapping and extortion, had been invited by Sen. Grace Poe to attend the hearing of her committee on public order.

Mayor appealed to the public to cut the PNP chief some slack. “Let us remember that he just arrived from abroad late Sunday night.”

He said that the allegations against Purisima still had to be “proven in the proper forum.”

“That is a personal matter so that is up to him to explain. In the whole context, allegation is not tantamount to guilt. It’s hard to assume that one is guilty just because of an allegation. Let us give him the opportunity to explain his side,” he said.

“Now that he’s here, he now has an opportunity to answer all the allegations and he will answer that in the Senate.”

Poe welcomed Purisima’s acceptance of her invitation. The senator said she would focus on the law and order situation.

“Basically, [my questions] will be peace and order concerns, and especially the presence or lack of credible and effective leadership,” the senator said.

In Zamboanga City, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said President Aquino also was waiting for Purisima’s report on his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), which has been questioned in the Ombudsman. “When it comes to specifics, he is the best person to explain to the people, not only to me, what’s in his SALN,” Roxas said.

The embattled PNP chief is facing criticism from all sides–for his alleged undeclared properties, the controversial construction of his official residence in Camp Crame,” the rising crime rates and the involvement of policemen in some well-publicized incidents of gun-for-hire killings, kidnappings and broad daylight robbery-holdup.

Despite the public attacks against him, Purisima’s morale is high and he has no plans of resigning, Mayor says.

Purisima or his lawyer would answer personal issues, while Mayor, as PNP spokesman, would deal with organizational matters.

Mayor said the PNP had consistently answered queries on the White House issue and on the crime statistics and that Roxas, who supervises the police force, was giving weekly updates on these.

Purisima has yet to answer or explain the allegations against him which began as early as April when a private complainant charged him with plunder over alleged anomalies in the P100-million contract for the delivery of firearms licenses.

Last week, the Coalition of Filipino Consumers filed a case before the Office of the Ombudsman, charging him with indirect bribery, plunder and graft over his properties and the White House controversy.

INTERESTING, PUZZLING NUMBERS IN PULSE ASIA’S LATEST SURVEY By Ellen Tordesillas | October 01, 2014

At last, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas numbers moved up.


Ellen Tordesillas

In a survey conducted by Pulse Asia, in a matter of two months, Roxas numbers almost doubled - from seven percent last week of June to 13 percent second week of September.

What could be the factors that contributed to respondents finally choosing Roxas when asked who they would vote if elections were held at the time the survey was conducted?

As far as Roxas’s actions or accomplishments during the survey period and in the recent months are concerned, we can cite the Philippine National Police, which is under the supervision of the Department of Interior and Local Government, identifying the police officers involved in the daring daytime hulidap on EDSA.

Roxas had strong words for the police officers engaged in criminal activities. The public must have liked that, even if peace and order situation in the country remains worrisome.

Another hot issue during the survey the past two months was the possibility of President Aquino extending his stay in Malacañang after 2016, which was first suggested by Roxas.

On several occasions, President Aquino stressed the importance that his successor would be the one that would continue his “tuwid na daan” policy. Always, during those occasions, Roxas was beside him.

The media play of those controversies might have contributed to the big improvement of Roxas’ rating.

But a major factor in the increase of Roxas’s numbers was the demolition job on Binay.

Since they were adversaries in the 2010 vice presidential elections and are expected to again be against each other in the 2016 presidential elections, Roxas is being presented as the opposite of Binay.

If Binay is corrupt, Roxas is Mr. Clean.

* Binay, as the survey showed, was clearly hurt by the expose on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2 and other stories about institutionalized corruption when he was mayor and being continued by his son, Junjun.

A ten percentage point decline in Binay’s rating – from 41 percent last June down to 31 percent second week of September- is a big drop. Binay should be worried considering that his opponents have said they are not through with him yet.

But I find the survey numbers puzzling.

Why did the rating of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who, together with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, led the attack on Binay, also drop? From five percent last June, Cayetano’s rating dipped to one percent.

Puzzling also is the decline in Sen. Grace Poe’s rating from 12 percent to 10 percent.

Yet, the rating of former President Joseph Estrada increased by one percentage point. From nine to 10.

It’s still one year and eight months to the May 2016 elections. There are a lot of factors that will come into play.

But what is becoming clear is that the scenario of pulling down Binay to “level the playing field” is working in Roxas’s favor.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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