PHNO EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE PAST WEEK
MALAYA

OPINION by Nestor Mata: THE CRIMES OF NOYNOY AQUINO AS PRESIDENT

CONCERNED Filipino citizens, representing various civic organizations, schools, and churches all over the country, have launched movements calling on President Noynoy Aquino to step down, for abolition of the notorious pork barrel system, to stop the use of the “Hocus-PCOS” voting machines, to put an end to patronage politics, and for the return of a true democracy. All the crimes perpetrated by President Aquino contradicted the regime and system change as proposed by the National Transformation Council through the Citizens’ Assemblies in key cities of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and the People’s Initiative Against Pork Barrel. That is why all concerned Filipinos are against the use of the flawed PCOS voting machines in the 2016 presidential elections, and voiced the need for “new leaders and a new political class” to rule a truly democratic Philippines. READ FULL COLUMN...

EDITORIAL: ROTTEN TO THE CORE 

HOW the New Bilibid Prisons got turned into a luxury vacation spot for some of the country’s most notorious criminals has to be jarring to even the most jaded among us. After all, those high-profile prisoners were supposed to be serving penalties after their crimes were established by proof beyond reasonable doubt. Among them were drug traffickers, kidnappers, and murderers serving life sentences. They preyed on society for a long time before they were brought to justice. Taxpayers paid to have them arrested, convicted and thrown in jail and will continue to pay to feed and clean them up for the rest of the time they spend in the state penitentiary. READ ENTIRE EDITORIAL...

OPINION By Dahli Aspillera: CAPABILITY, OR LACK OF IT, TO GOVERN  

“I agree it’s absurd, but I think the German chancellor, French president, Japanese prime minister barely speak proper English too. So I think speaking proper English isn’t a qualifier.” – Totoy Kalentong  “Totoy Kalentong, this column disagrees with you. You overlooked one thing. English is (almost) the national language of the Philippines. The president functions in Classes A, B, C. When one discusses with the president of the Philippines, the language is most likely English. English is not a crucial language of Germany, French, Japan. English is not their medium in daily life. To emphasized to you, English is almost the national language in the Philippines. Philippine presidents will be dysfunctional if unable to speak proper English. You write your commentaries (such as that one above to which I am replying) in English? Why didn’t you write in Pilipino?” – DA (of this column) READ MORE...

OPINION  By Jose Bayani Baylon: A MODEL FOR PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP

WHEN the public and the private sectors join forces, the public benefits. Or, as stated in the Vision, it is “A model private-public partnership Training Center producing highly employable and nationally certified graduates in technical-vocational courses and other programs in support to the development thrust of the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte.”  But what is “it”? “It” is the PCTC – or the Provincial Community Training Center, a tech-voc training facility that was the brainchild of Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas and made possible with the support of mining companies operating in her province, particularly Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) subsidiaries Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC), Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) as well as the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL). READ ENTIRE COLUMN...

EDITORIAL: CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS; 2016 Presidential race 

NEITHER the ruling Liberal Party nor the opposition is likely to be happy with the most recent polled ratings among possible presidential candidates for 2016.  As expected however, both camps are putting on brave faces for the public’s benefit. Vice President Binay, at 31 percent back in September, shed another five percentage points to settle at 26 percent, according to Pulse Asia’s figures. He is still on top but anyone with such lofty political plans has to be casting a wary look at the 15 percent drop he has seen in just five months when his ratings were highest at 41 percent in June. That he continues to be neck and shoulders in front is proof of Binay’s resiliency, considering the barrage of corruption charges thrown at him during that period. Still, such accusations coupled with his continuing plunge, has to have an effect on the confidence of campaign contributors. The only consolation and a comforting one is that Senator Poe, the closest one to his numbers, has consistently declared herself unwilling to take the plunge. READ FULL EDITORIAL...

OPINION by Ellen Tordesillas: CHINA ANSWERS THE PHILIPPINES’ U.N. SUIT  

THE Position Paper of China on the case filed by the Philippines with the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal showed the wide gap between the two countries as regards their conflicting claims on the South China Sea islands, reefs and rocks.  The meeting between President Aquino and Chinese President Xi Jinping may have lowered the tension but the two countries are really far apart attitude and perspective. Example:  Before the meeting of Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Beijing last month, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said their bringing unilaterally the territorial conflict with China before the UN court is not an unfriendly act. China has refused to participate in the UN suit, the first ever filed against the economic superpower, insisting instead on bilateral negotiations which the Philippines shunned. “We precisely selected arbitration because, as was defined by the United Nations, it is not an unfriendly act. It is, as a matter of fact, one that we are utilizing to be able to preserve a valuable friendship,” Del Rosario said. That’s not how China sees it. READ FULL REPORT...

OPINION by Dahli Aspillera: O, CHRISTMAS TREE...

No one to buy you Give yourself to me... No, forget it. I cannot afford a Professional Tree Decorator. Without one, well, you may end up with what the snoots refer to as kitchen sink tree, an anything-goes tree, Ano-ba-yan? tree, or worse. If you cannot afford a decorator, your Christmas tree has no personality, no class, no oomph. Someone without a professional decorator encircled her tree with a silver Christmas barbed-wiry string. “Auschwitz” they called her tree. The Professional Tree Decorator studies the ambiance of the room, the decorum of the family, the contents/value of your home, the fee, then... decides on the motif based on all of the above. READ FULL OPINION...


READ FULL MEDIA EDITORIALS & OPINIONS  HERE:

Opinion: THE CRIMES OF AQUINO AS PRESIDENT


NESTOR MATA

MANILA, DECEMBER 22, 2014 (MALAYA)  By NESTOR MATA - CONCERNED Filipino citizens, representing various civic organizations, schools, and churches all over the country, have launched movements calling on President Noynoy Aquino to step down, for abolition of the notorious pork barrel system, to stop the use of the “Hocus-PCOS” voting machines, to put an end to patronage politics, and for the return of a true democracy.

The first movement started in Lipa City where a citizens’ assembly called on Aquino to step down from office for having violated the Constitution and other laws of the land. The assembly, initiated by the National Transformation Council (NTC), proposed the regime and systems change. The same calls for Aquino to step down from the presidency “soonest possible” were voiced in Cebu City, Angeles City, Davao City, Butuan City and General Santos City.

The latest movement is the People’s Initiative Against Pork Barrel (PIAPB). Since its launching, different churches, schools and peoples’ organizations have gathered 500,000 signatures. It will continue to hold national sign-up day starting with the dawn masses to herald Christmas. Its theme is “Pamasko Mo Para Sa Bayan: Kinabukasang Walang Nakawan.”

The PIAPB believes that “the evil pork barrel system steals resources that should go directly to service the needs of the weakest, poorest sectors of Philippine society. The pork barrel diverts state funds into the hands of a few powerful politicians and crony organizations. In abolishing the system, it would help minimize avenues for corruption and weaken the hold of political dynasties on public funds.” The national sign-up campaign aims to gather one million signatures by the end of this year.

Actually, the Supreme Court has struck down the pork barrel system, disguised as the PDAF and DAP, as unconstitutional. But the high tribunal’s decision was ignored by the House Committee of Justice for being “insufficient in substance.” Aquino used the PDAF and DAP to pay off members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as noted by political observers, analysts and pundits, to enact the Reproductive Health Law and the impeachment and removal of then sitting Chief Justice Renato Corona from the Supreme Court.

“The pay off made Aquino the chief and unchallenged corruptor of both houses of Congress,” as one pundit bluntly wrote. “It was worse than ripping off the state treasury himself. And that made him impeachable for culpable violation of the Constitution, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust. But because he had committed the crimes in complicity with the congressmen and the senators, he was not convicted and impeached as president.”

Not only this, other political analysts, pundits and commentators recalled, Aquino was illegitimately elected in the 2010 presidential elections. The election was rigged with the use of Precinct Optical Scan (PCOS) voting machines which were divested of their safety features and accuracy mechanisms by the Commission on Elections and the foreign-owned Smartmatic, and programmed to make Aquino the very first “machine-elected president”.

All the crimes perpetrated by President Aquino contradicted the regime and system change as proposed by the National Transformation Council through the Citizens’ Assemblies in key cities of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and the People’s Initiative Against Pork Barrel.

That is why all concerned Filipinos are against the use of the flawed PCOS voting machines in the 2016 presidential elections, and voiced the need for “new leaders and a new political class” to rule a truly democratic Philippines.

***

Quote of the Day: “The first function of a true political leader is advocacy. He must articulate the wants, the frustrations, and aspirations of all the people!” – Anon.


EDITORIAL: ROTTEN TO THE CORE DECEMBER 18, 2014


And all of these happened under an administration whose centerpiece program was to stop corruption. The NBP, it appears, did not get the memo.’

HOW the New Bilibid Prisons got turned into a luxury vacation spot for some of the country’s most notorious criminals has to be jarring to even the most jaded among us.

After all, those high-profile prisoners were supposed to be serving penalties after their crimes were established by proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Among them were drug traffickers, kidnappers, and murderers serving life sentences. They preyed on society for a long time before they were brought to justice.

Taxpayers paid to have them arrested, convicted and thrown in jail and will continue to pay to feed and clean them up for the rest of the time they spend in the state penitentiary.

Now we learn that not only have they continued to direct big-time drug rings from inside NBP; jail officials even assisted them by bringing in communications equipment.

Taxpayers also paid for electricity to power up their computers and wide-screen television sets and provided top level security to ensure they would not be interrupted in their business and leisure.

And all of these happened under an administration whose centerpiece program was to stop corruption. The NBP, it appears, did not get the memo.

Familiarity was supposed to breed contempt but it was the opposite that happened over at the country’s biggest penal system. Instead, the jailers became lackeys and toadies of the convicted criminals.

It is time to make the union official. This time, taxpayers would not mind at all. – PT.


OPINION: CAPABILITY, OR LACK OF IT, TO GOVERN  By Dahli Aspillera | December 19, 2014


Dahli Aspillera

PRESIDENT Pacquiao?  What possible experience does he think he has to be president of the Philippines? The man can barely converse in English.... Just when I think there’s nothing more in the Philippines that could be more absurd, this headline comes out. I do not know if I should laugh or cry at the lamentable conditions of Philippine politics.” – Vertumnus.

“I agree it’s absurd, but I think the German chancellor, French president, Japanese prime minister barely speak proper English too. So I think speaking proper English isn’t a qualifier.” – Totoy Kalentong

“Totoy Kalentong, this column disagrees with you. You overlooked one thing. English is (almost) the national language of the Philippines. The president functions in Classes A, B, C. When one discusses with the president of the Philippines, the language is most likely English. English is not a crucial language of Germany, French, Japan. English is not their medium in daily life. To emphasized to you, English is almost the national language in the Philippines. Philippine presidents will be dysfunctional if unable to speak proper English. You write your commentaries (such as that one above to which I am replying) in English? Why didn’t you write in Pilipino?” – DA (of this column)

On the issue of Pacquiao wanting to be president , an absentee-congressman as his total experience: “Even Noynoy Aquino was not prepared when he was thrust into the presidency. For that matter, his mother, the iconic Cory was not that prepared.... I concede the point. But Noynoy was at least a congressman for 9 years, senator for 3 years [plus Noynoy’s formative years living in Malacañang, picking up know-how]. While Senator Grace Poe was only a chairman of the movie censors board before she became senator in 2013. As for Cory, we just forced the tough role on her. We used her to remove Ferdinand Marcos. She never pretended to be the compleat president, but restoring democracy was achievement enough.” – Federico Pascal Jr., opinion columnist.

“Unfortunately for the Philippines, Pacquiao will win. Why? The masa who vote are mostly uneducated, poor, hungry, and have not read newspapers in their lifetime. They know nothing, nothing about governance. Their only experience in life is hand-to-mouth survival. However, they know Pacquiao as a boxer and a Filipino. Thus on election day when they see ‘Pacquiao’ on the ballot, they will choose him.” – Jsnl626

Such derogatory adjectives heaped on the “masa” by Jsnl626 is unfair. It is not accurate to conclude that all undereducated and poor Filipinos know nothing. Philippine history records many citizens who were undereducated and impoverished, but did courageous, intelligent and heroic undertakings for their country. I hope the younger generations will value more this privilege of voting. Hopefully, the youth, rich or poor, know that talent for governance is different from talent for sports, art, literature, or any other field. What one needs to know in boxing is different from what one needs to know in country governance.

“You over estimate yourself. No matter how well you nourish yourself, you brain will not improve enough to run the government. Even intelligent leaders failed, what more with you?.... You earned from boxing, so, stay in boxing. Don’t be an embarrassment as a leader for the Philippines.” – Noyab

“If Pacquiao truly cared for this country, he would not run as its leader.” – Jane Tan

“Did nothing as a congressman; now having plans to become president... pwe!” – Pinoy Abno.

“Can you blame Pacquiao? He is banking on the inherent perspective, patronizing popularity-prone values of majority of the voting population of the Philippines... he is metaphorically not too far off from the politics of yore of this country since after Ferdinand Marcos was deposed in 1986? And this boxing fellow is just simply being nudged, being nurtured, being nagged by interested groups....” – Koneksyon_Manila

PHNO ADDENDUM TO THIS COLUMN: FROM THE ASK-A-QUESTION @ YAHOO.COM

Would you like Manny Pacquiao to be the next President of the Philippines?
If somehow the public votes him to be Vice President or even President of the Philippines, would you have a problem with that? For me, honestly, why not? We have had President's that are very, very smart, and not only graduated top at their respectfult elite colleges, but some of them even graduated college from the United States. Gloria Arroyo and Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was even classmates together. At first I was totally against it, but why not have someone in office with less education background?

So why not have Manny P become V.P or even be President? His not eligilbe now cause of his age, but if he gets older, I wouldn't mind at all if he runs.

So for me, I wouldn't have a problem, I would not really care if Manny Pacquiao runs for V.P or President. As long as he does his job properly and responsibly, then why not give him that chance?

What do you think?

THERE ARE 15 ANSWERS AT THIS TIME OF DAY  at 5:15 pm Thursday, December !8, 2014

Best Answer --Asker's Choice

delive_rance answered 3 years ago
Yes why not. Filipinos vote for Joseph Ejercito Estrada then who is known to be a high school dropout of Ateneo de Manila only and never made it to college that open his career in show business, isn't it?

So why not Manny Pacquiao also. Maka-diyos at maka-tao at surely wouldn't corrupt his way to the top since he is already too rich to steal money from the government baka siya pa nga ang mag-abono sa ating bansa pag nagkataon.

I wouldn't have a problem too just like you if Manny Pacquiao become the President of the Republic of the Philippines. As you can see here, a lot of people do not like him to be our President a simple example of CRAB MENTALITY of Filipinos, that will grab one another to get to the bottom or the pit. He must prove himself worthy of the title of the President siempre, not just give it to him in a silver platter. And since he is doing his homework like studying in college after finishing his high school, I presume he will enrol in a public administration course also like the comedian Ai-Ai at UP or somewhere else just to know the ropes of being a politician in the making.

The United States of America is often called the "land of opportunity" why not the Philippines too. That all Filipinos regardless of status in life should have more opportunity in our own land, not because he or she is rich or poor but what he can do for the country as a whole.

Manny should not stop studying or gaining more knowledge of what lies ahead of him if he want to be the circle of politicians. It is not easy to be one, with all the dirty laundry some of them have behind their backs. Manny can just sit back and relax in his mansion for years without working or going to politics and let his millions work for him isn't it?

But he said he wants to change the Philippines and work for the welfare and the betterment of each Filipinos. Well why not let us give him that chance maybe he is the MESSIAH we are practically looking for.

Because we are always looking in the wrong direction and electing some scrupulous rich and powerful clan in the Philippines for President why not a Filipino who went from rag to riches and of course to politics. And if he fails, well do say we didn't tried.

 CHANCE is all we need in the Philippines, like those applying for a job or a slot in the PBB or Pilipinas got Talent show, just a few minutes of your time to show what the guy or girl can do right in front of you. Just 2 minutes they all ask while here as President, we will give him 6 long years to prove himself. Is that too much for some of you?

 I personally do not think so. Some of them here are already 30 years old but couldn't think independently or could answer any question properly or could walk alone in the dark.
Asker's rating & comment
5 out of 5
thanks!!!!

READ MORE ANSWERS @ ASK-A-QUESTION @ YAHOO.COM


OPINION: A MODEL FOR PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP By Jose Bayani Baylon | December 19, 2014


Jose Bayani (JB) Baylon

WHEN the public and the private sectors join forces, the public benefits.

Or, as stated in the Vision, it is “A model private-public partnership Training Center producing highly employable and nationally certified graduates in technical-vocational courses and other programs in support to the development thrust of the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte.”

But what is “it”?

“It” is the PCTC – or the Provincial Community Training Center, a tech-voc training facility that was the brainchild of Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas and made possible with the support of mining companies operating in her province, particularly Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) subsidiaries Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC), Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC) as well as the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL).

For the years 2012 and 2013, over P15 million were donated by mining firms operating in Surigao del Norte to make the PCTC possible. In addition, Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation donated a workshop building worth over P6 million as part of the training complex.

Other mining firms which made significant donations for the project were Philex Mining Corporation, Platinum Gold Metals Corporation, and Silangan Mindanao Mining Corporation.

The training center is located in the Municipality of Placer, which donated a parcel of land with wan area of about 7,777 square meters to become the site of the facility.

Inaugurated last July 25 with the political leadership of Surigao del Norte present together with officials of the private partners, the PCTC is a one-of-a-kind partnership that maximizes the presence of a critical industry in the province of Surigao del Norte in a manner that provides direct and clear benefits even to individuals from areas not directly impacted by mining operations.

Among the skills that can be learned at PCTC are shield metal arc welding; automotive servicing; consumer electronics servicing; electrical installation and maintenance; driving; and garments manufacturing. Obviously, these are skills that are in great demand here as well as abroad!

I was there as an employee of Nickel Asia who wanted to witness how the mining industry and an LGU can come together in a concrete way for the benefit of a wider audience.

And this is very clear from the Mission of the PCTC: “The Center provides quality technical-vocational education and skills training programs among the out-of-school youths, the unemployed and underemployed adults; responsive to the needs of mining, agri-fishery, information and tourism industries; supported with strong partnerships with the LGUS/NGO/industry and multi-sectoral associations.”

PCTC is part of the “HEALS” development agenda of the Surigao del Norte provincial government. HEALS is clearly an acronym, with H standing for Health, E for Education and Environment, A for Agriculture and Aquaculture, L for Livelihood and Tourism, and S for Social Services and Spiritual Renewal. I know that you know that almost every politician coins a name like this, some even using their own initials or nicknames for posterity’s sake, but corny as it may sound it appears that the Surigao del Norte government treats HEALS more than just as a political slogan and is actually serious about putting elements of the agenda in place.

In his remarks on behalf of TMC and HMC, NAC president and CEO Jerry Brimo pointed out that the relationship between the mining companies and the province and people of Surigao del Norte is symbiotic: when one progresses the other does too. This, he said, explains why TMC, HMC and the rest of the mining companies were quick to respond to the call of Governor Matugas to support the PCTC, because the center was clearly good both for the mining industry in particular and the people of Surigao del Norte in general.

As Mr. Brimo pointed out: the graduates of PCTC will be well-equipped for employment by the mining industry, true; but they will also be qualified for work elsewhere, even abroad, thus widening their horizons and broadening their opportunities.

Undeniably, the mining industry labors under some negative perception, caused, in part, by illegal and/or irresponsible operators and by a history of neglect under pre-1995 Mining Act rules and regulations. It is not surprising that many local government officials, from governors to mayors to even barangay captains, find it easier to heed the advice of the noisy (and usually minority) anti-mining community to just “say no to mining.”

Unfortunately, this stance, though understandable, has its drawbacks: when an LGU tars and feathers every mining operation – without exception – as irresponsible, it loses the benefits that responsible and legal mining operations can bring to the host community, of which Baguio City and many areas in Benguet and Toledo City in Cebu are long-standing example. This is why the steps taken by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte are bold, if not in fact brave.

Think about it: if every provincial government had the vision to maximize the benefits of the presence of industries in their localities like the Province of Surigao del Norte clearly has, then progress will surely come much faster to our countrymen in the countryside!


EDITORIAL:

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS December 11, 2014

NEITHER the ruling Liberal Party nor the opposition is likely to be happy with the most recent polled ratings among possible presidential candidates for 2016.

As expected however, both camps are putting on brave faces for the public’s benefit.

Vice President Binay, at 31 percent back in September, shed another five percentage points to settle at 26 percent, according to Pulse Asia’s figures.

He is still on top but anyone with such lofty political plans has to be casting a wary look at the 15 percent drop he has seen in just five months when his ratings were highest at 41 percent in June.

That he continues to be neck and shoulders in front is proof of Binay’s resiliency, considering the barrage of corruption charges thrown at him during that period.

Still, such accusations coupled with his continuing plunge, has to have an effect on the confidence of campaign contributors.

The only consolation and a comforting one is that Senator Poe, the closest one to his numbers, has consistently declared herself unwilling to take the plunge.

While considered an ally of the administration, she has also not signed up with the ruling party.

If Binay is in a sticky situation, the administration is in no less of a pickle with sixth place and six percent the closest that a legit Liberal party member can manage.

By all accounts, the public’s earlier discontent with President Aquino has been waning and he has actually recovered some lost ground in his public satisfaction ratings, according to another pollster.

The improving public affection for the President however is evidently non-transferable. It has so far not helped his closest allies any. How much his direct endorsement will change matters is still open to question.

How LP bigwigs will shape party consensus for one candidate to field against Binay could well be a game-changer.

Handicap weights and all, the coming race is shaping up to be closer than anyone thought. – PT.


CHINA ANSWERS THE PHILIPPINES’ U.N. SUIT By Ellen Tordesillas | December 10, 2014


Ellen Tordesillas

THE Position Paper of China on the case filed by the Philippines with the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal showed the wide gap between the two countries as regards their conflicting claims on the South China Sea islands, reefs and rocks.

The meeting between President Aquino and Chinese President Xi Jinping may have lowered the tension but the two countries are really far apart attitude and perspective.

Example:

Before the meeting of Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Beijing last month, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said their bringing unilaterally the territorial conflict with China before the UN court is not an unfriendly act.

China has refused to participate in the UN suit, the first ever filed against the economic superpower, insisting instead on bilateral negotiations which the Philippines shunned.

“We precisely selected arbitration because, as was defined by the United Nations, it is not an unfriendly act. It is, as a matter of fact, one that we are utilizing to be able to preserve a valuable friendship,” Del Rosario said.

That’s not how China sees it.

In its position paper released a week before the Dec 15 deadline set by the UN court for China to submit a comment on the Philippine complaint, China said if both parties in the conflict agreed to bring the issue for arbitration to the UN, that is not an unfriendly act. But that is not the case with the Philippine complaint.

“China does not consider submission by agreement of a dispute to arbitration as an unfriendly act. In respect of disputes of territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, unilateral resort to compulsory arbitration against another State, however, cannot be taken as a friendly act, when the initiating State is fully aware of the opposition of the other State to the action and the existing agreement between them on dispute settlement through negotiations.

“Furthermore, such action cannot be regarded as in conformity with the rule of law, as it runs counter to the basic rules and principles of international law. It will not in any way facilitate a proper settlement of the dispute between the two countries. Instead it will undermine mutual trust and further complicate the bilateral relations.”

The 27-page Position Paper repeatedly and consistently underscored the lack of jurisdiction of the UN Arbitral Court on the Philippine suit.

The UN Arbitral Court is not for territorial disputes and conflicts concerning a country’s sovereignty which are under the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In the ICJ, however, both countries should agree to bring their conflict for arbitration.

The UN International Tribunal on the Law of Sea deals with interpretation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea signed by 165 countries including the Philippines and China.

China summarized the Philippine position thus:

First, China’s assertion of the “historic rights” to the waters, sea-bed and subsoil within the “nine-dash line” (i.e., China’s dotted line in the South China Sea) beyond the limits of its entitlements under the Convention is inconsistent with the Convention.

Second, China’s claim to entitlements of 200 nautical miles and more, based on certain rocks, low-tide elevations and submerged features in the South China Sea, is inconsistent with the Convention.

Third, China’s assertion and exercise of rights in the South China Sea have unlawfully interfered with the sovereign rights, jurisdiction and rights and freedom of navigation that the Philippines enjoys and exercises under the Convention.

China said the essence of the Philippine suit is the territorial sovereignty over several maritime features in the South China Sea, which does not concern the interpretation or application of the Convention.

“It is the view of China that the Arbitral Tribunal manifestly has no jurisdiction over this arbitration, unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, with regard to disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.”


O, CHRISTMAS TREE... By Dahli Aspillera | December 22, 2014 LITTLE Christmas tree


 Dahli Aspillera

No one to buy you

Give yourself to me...

No, forget it. I cannot afford a Professional Tree Decorator. Without one, well, you may end up with what the snoots refer to as kitchen sink tree, an anything-goes tree, Ano-ba-yan? tree, or worse. If you cannot afford a decorator, your Christmas tree has no personality, no class, no oomph. Someone without a professional decorator encircled her tree with a silver Christmas barbed-wiry string. “Auschwitz” they called her tree.

The Professional Tree Decorator studies the ambiance of the room, the decorum of the family, the contents/value of your home, the fee, then... decides on the motif based on all of the above.

When I was a child–which was not too long ago in the galactic scheme of things–we were happy to hang our favorite little toys, foil-wrapped candies and home-baked cookies, whatever pretty little things and colorful ribbons there were around. Papa always bought a Baguio tree–no plastic tree, too expensive then. Pines were still available and cheap (before being denuded). I still remember the strong Christmas scent of the newly cut pine, mixed with the smell of my mother’s freshly baked petit choux, chiffon and fruit cakes and Christmas cookies. Mama, you’re still the best baker in my book.

The tendency for designer home Christmas trees is to out-do those loaded expensive trees in stores. One decorated hers with nothing but mini-Bloomingdale shocking red mini-boxes and wide gold textile ribbons. If you know Bloomer’s in New York, that is one for pure snobbery. Another had hundreds of mini-capes angels, stars and white bulbs. The effect was dreamy. Running out of ideas the subsequent years, the with-it started consulting decorators.

The professionally decorated Christmas trees in the villages have little resemblance to its origin in Germany when Martin Luther (1482-1546) first put a few candles in his yard evergreen tree. Pines had been used in ceremonies by Egyptians even before Christianity in their celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

When the ancient Romans observed the feast of Saturn, a part of the ceremony was the raising of an evergreen bough. The early Scandinavians did holiday homage to the fir tree. To the Druids of Europe, sprigs of evergreen in the house meant eternal life; to the Norsemen, evergreen symbolized the revival of the sun god Balder. Putting a bough outside the door started with the superstitious--hoping to keep out witches, ghosts, evil spirits and the like.

Until about 1700, the decorated tree custom was confined to the German Rhine River district. During the American revolution, the tradition of the tree crossed the Atlantic with the Hessian soldiers. At Fort Dearborn, Illinois in 1804, Christmas festivities mentions a decorated Christmas tree.

The evolution of the decorations: From 1700 on, lights were accepted; tufts of cotton and strings of popcorn on indoor Christmas tree branches represented snow. Apples and cranberries added color. Candies and chocolates were hung on trees to get them out of reach of prowling animals and children. Gifts of food were hung in the branches as offerings or sacrifices to the deities.

The best known Christmas tree is the one lighted annually by the President in Washington DC, which first began in 1924 when a 35-foot living Norway spruce was planted near the White House.

The Christmas tree with the greatest limb spread (110 feet) was a 300-year-old oak, approximately 90 feet tall and a trunk circumference of 15 feet at Wilmington, North Carolina requiring 7,000 colored lights and six tons of Spanish moss.

Now in a tree-less empty nest, lots of warm wishes to my readers for a Merry Christmas ! -


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE