© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO) http://newsflash.org

EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM MANILA TIMES)

EDITORIAL: About the trash, SHAME ON YOU, CANADA


2015 July 22, Duterte urges Aquino gov't to protest Canadian trash in PH-PHOTO FROM CHANGE.ORG
THE conclusions from a Senate hearing this week on the circumstances by which 103 containers of trash from Canada found their way into the Philippines were the correct ones, and no less than anyone in this country should expect. The Senate tells the Aquino administration to do what it should have done with prodding: Demand that the Canadian government to take back their garbage, at their own expense. The Senate also wants the Department of Foreign Affairs censured for its weak and diffident handling what is now a more than two-year-old problem. We will not criticize Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who introduced a resolution asking the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to look into the matter, or the panel’s chairman, Sen. Chiz Escudero, for their tardiness in giving their attention to the issue, because the Senate frankly should not have to spend valuable time investigating such a stupidly simple problem. Even though we have clear laws covering this sort of thing – Sen. Marcos cited the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act (RA 6969) in his resolution – it should be a matter of basic common sense that garbage of any sort is not an acceptable import under any circumstances. That common sense, however, seems to have escaped the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the DFA, and most of all, the importer (who has not yet been identified) of the unwelcome cargo. All of those concerned have violated our laws and wasted the people’s time and money, and they should be sanctioned appropriately.READ MORE...

ALSO by Ambassador A. Jarasa: A pillar of Philippine foreign policy


by Ambassador Juanito P. Jarasa
ONE of the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy has been the protection of the rights, and the promotion of the welfare and interests, of overseas Filipinos. The other two pillars are the preservation and enhancement of national security and the promotion and attainment of economic security. Ever since the execution of Filipino maid Flor Contemplacion in Singapore in 1995, assistance to nationals or ATN has gained ascendancy in Philippine foreign policy.Contemplacion was convicted of killing a fellow OFW and her young ward and executed thereafter. Certain quarters blamed the Philippine government for not acting accordingly on the case. Philippine relations with Singapore were strained and the case led to the sacking of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of Labor. It was during my tenure as Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the DFA in 1998 that the Philippine-Singapore Action Plan was signed to put behind the Contemplacion episode.Despite the official statement that our policy is not to export labor, our government officials constantly seek job opportunities for Filipinos abroad. Overseas deployment has become an obsession for jobless Filipinos and for those seeking greener pastures. Between 3,000 to 5,000 Filipinos leave their homes everyday to seek work overseas. There are now over 10 million Filipinos in at least 192 countries, not to mention the seamen.The Filipino diaspora represents about 10 percent of the Philippine population. Migration has been the answer to the perennial problem of inadequate domestic job creation. Our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been hailed as “modern-day heroes” owing to their significant contribution to the Philippine economy. The remittances of OFWs to their families have raised the country’s GNP and stimulated consumerism and construction activity in the real estate sector. Remittances from overseas Filipinos have exceeded the $20 billion mark, sending home a record $24.31 billion in cash in 2014. As one of the top labor exporting countries, the Philippines is the third biggest recipient of cash transfer, after India and China.READ MORE...

ALSO by Ricardo Saludo: Is Pope Francis adulterating family values?


Ricardo Saludo
He said nothing about the US Supreme Court decision in June allowing same-sex marriage, then promulgated ulgated two sweeping canon law amendments last week to make marital annulment less cumbersome and expensive. And as St. Pope John Paul II did in 2000, he is letting all priests give absolution for the reserved sin of abortion, not just bishops, in the Holy Year of Mercy starting December 8. Are Pope Francis’s pronouncements and decrees on the family adulterating Catholic teaching and morals? Reactions to his missives and moves have ranged from applause and adulation to anxiety and apoplexy. Last week, a legal adviser to the Vatican’s high court, Detroit canon lawyer Edward Peters, took issue with the annulment amendments. First, he worried about collusion among spouses to annul valid un-ions due to a procedural change expediting petitions filed by both spouses or consented to by the one not filing. And Peters fears letting any bishop grant annulments may compromise rulings, since the ju-dicial process requires legal knowledge which many prelates lack. Concerns about watering down Catholic family morals began when His Holiness said to journalists on a flight back to Rome after the July 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, that it was not for him to judge homosexuals who wish to turn to God, although the Church considers homosexual acts sinful.
Two months later, he told the Jesuit weekly journal America: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. … The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.” Then in the Synod on the Family last October, liberal factions pushed for changes in longstanding Church positions on homosexuality, and denying communion to Catholics still married under Church law, but living with other partners. Statements on these issues were included in the final Synod state-ment, even though they did not win the required two-thirds approval for inclusion. What’s a good Catholic to do?
This writer and this column cannot do justice to the complex and arcane argumentation and other in-formation needed to properly elucidate and evaluate the family issues stirred by Pope Francis’s pro-nouncements and edicts. So apologies that this article will not answer the question in the headline.READ MORE...


EDITORIAL: ‘More than ever, we need a caretaker government now!’


WE adopt as our editorial for today, the statement issued by the National Transformation Council on the first anniversary of the Lipa Declaration, on 26 August 2015.) One year ago (on August 27, 2014) the National Transformation Council convened its very first assem-bly in Lipa City and issued its landmark Lipa Declaration. After Lipa City, successive assemblies were held in Cebu, Butuan, Angeles, Davao, General Santos, and Lipa once more, to spread the urgent call for national transformation. Various groups across the nation came forward to echo our call. Cebu, Mindanao and Central Luzon were among the first to respond with great enthusiasm and vigor. Today we pause to consider how the government and our people have responded to our call. How valid stands our call? As the various political groups prepare to compete for the 2016 presidential elections, does our call for change still carry the same weight and urgency among our people, or has it been completely set aside as irrelevant in the ongoing shuffle for political power? This we must now ascertain. In Lipa, we declared that we faced a crisis of unprecedented proportions. We saw the nation in grave peril from the very political forces ordained to protect, promote and advance the nation’s wellbeing, but which were aggressively undermining its moral, religious, social, cultural, constitutional and legal foundations.
We saw that unbridled and unpunished corruption and widespread misuse of political and economic power in all layers of society had not only destroyed our common conception of right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, legal and illegal. It had also put our people, especially the poor, at the mercy of those who have the power to dictate the course and conduct of our development for their own ends.Despite the consistent protestations about Mr. Aquino’s so-called “Daang Matuwid,” official corruption went unchecked and unabated to the point where it no longer sufficed to say the system has been thoroughly corrupted, but rather that “corruption has become the system.” Far from preserving and defending the Constitution as he swore to do when he assumed office, Presi-dent B. S. Aquino 3rd violated and subverted it by corrupting the Congress, intimidating the judiciary, taking over the treasury, manipulating the automated voting system, and perverting the constitutional impeachment process. Mr. Aquino also damaged the moral fabric of the nation by physically bribing members of Congress not only to impeach and remove a sitting chief justice of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Renato Corona, but also to enact a Reproductive Health Law which puts the state in control of the reproductive faculties of married couples, and disrespects the right to life of human beings at the earliest and most vulnerable stages of their lives, in defiance not only of the Con-stitution, but above all the moral law, the customs, culture and consciences of Filipinos. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: Is Aquino rewriting the Mamasapano story?


YOU can get it from the horse himself (not just from his mouth) if you log into the website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer( www.inquirer.net). There you will hear on video President Aquino telling an Inquirer audience of journalists and staff, that there is an alternative version of what took place on January 25, 2015, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao – different presumably from the popular version of the incident/encounter/ massacre that is generally believed by the public. The president spoke at a forum at the Inquirer’s headquarters in Makati City. His key message, as reported by the paper, is that there is still no conclusion on the incident because the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other groups are still investigating.Aquino declared there: “I still have quite a number of questions, and there are various agencies of government tasked to ferret out the truth of exactly what happened in its entirety. There is an alternative version of events that happened there, which is undergoing very intense scrutiny. We are looking for witnesses that will prove or disprove certain observations.” “Certain quarters raised certain points that led to the alternate version. There is no conclusion at this point,” he added.
This presidential line has stunned many people who heard the video and read the Inquirer banner story, including, it appears, some of the paper’s journalists themselves. With no wish to rain on the Inquirer parade and its cozy relations with Malacañang, we will say here that Aquino’s statements are extremely disturbing and enraging. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Shame on you, Canada


2015 July 22, Duterte urges Aquino gov't to protest Canadian trash in PH-PHOTO FROM CHANGE.ORG

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 (MANILA TIMES) EDITORIAL September 11, 2015 11:43 pm - THE conclusions from a Senate hearing this week on the circumstances by which 103 containers of trash from Canada found their way into the Philippines were the correct ones, and no less than anyone in this country should expect.

The Senate tells the Aquino administration to do what it should have done with prodding: Demand that the Canadian government to take back their garbage, at their own expense. The Senate also wants the Department of Foreign Affairs censured for its weak and diffident handling what is now a more than two-year-old problem.

We will not criticize Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who introduced a resolution asking the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to look into the matter, or the panel’s chairman, Sen. Chiz Escudero, for their tardiness in giving their attention to the issue, because the Senate frankly should not have to spend valuable time investigating such a stupidly simple problem.

Even though we have clear laws covering this sort of thing – Sen. Marcos cited the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) and the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Waste Control Act (RA 6969) in his resolution – it should be a matter of basic common sense that garbage of any sort is not an acceptable import under any circumstances.

That common sense, however, seems to have escaped the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the DFA, and most of all, the importer (who has not yet been identified) of the unwelcome cargo. All of those concerned have violated our laws and wasted the people’s time and money, and they should be sanctioned appropriately.

READ MORE...

Whatever misbehavior occurred here, however, does not in any way reduce or eliminate Canada’s ultimate responsibility for the problem. And for the Canadian government—one which the Philippines otherwise has an excellent relationship with, and for the most part has a reputation for being sensitive to environmental issues, at least outside its own country—to plead helplessness to apply the simple solution of arranging for its unwanted trash to be picked up and returned to its sender is a shocking disappointment.

It is particularly distressing that Canada has taken this attitude now, at a time when climate issues and their impact on developing nations are again coming to the fore in discussions leading up to the global climate summit to be held in Paris at the end of this year.

One would think that even if Canada honestly does not see the obvious problem with sending massive amounts of garbage to a country that is already struggling with various ecological challenges, the inevitability of being the subject of a great deal of bad publicity should have made the Canadian officials concerned with this issue should have been more proactive.

Shame on you, Canada. We thought you were better than this. Whatever our unassertive diplomatic officials have to say about the matter, we demand, on behalf of the people of the Philippines, that you take back your trash without further delay.


A pillar of Philippine foreign policy September 11, 2015 11:17 pm by Ambassador Juanito P. Jarasa


by Ambassador Juanito P. Jarasa
FORMER ENVOY TO KOREA

ONE of the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy has been the protection of the rights, and the promotion of the welfare and interests, of overseas Filipinos. The other two pillars are the preservation and enhancement of national security and the promotion and attainment of economic security.

Ever since the execution of Filipino maid Flor Contemplacion in Singapore in 1995, assistance to nationals or ATN has gained ascendancy in Philippine foreign policy.
Contemplacion was convicted of killing a fellow OFW and her young ward and executed thereafter. Certain quarters blamed the Philippine government for not acting accordingly on the case. Philippine relations with Singapore were strained and the case led to the sacking of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of Labor. It was during my tenure as Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the DFA in 1998 that the Philippine-Singapore Action Plan was signed to put behind the Contemplacion episode.

Despite the official statement that our policy is not to export labor, our government officials constantly seek job opportunities for Filipinos abroad. Overseas deployment has become an obsession for jobless Filipinos and for those seeking greener pastures. Between 3,000 to 5,000 Filipinos leave their homes everyday to seek work overseas. There are now over 10 million Filipinos in at least 192 countries, not to mention the seamen.

The Filipino diaspora represents about 10 percent of the Philippine population. Migration has been the answer to the perennial problem of inadequate domestic job creation. Our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been hailed as “modern-day heroes” owing to their significant contribution to the Philippine economy. The remittances of OFWs to their families have raised the country’s GNP and stimulated consumerism and construction activity in the real estate sector.

Remittances from overseas Filipinos have exceeded the $20 billion mark, sending home a record $24.31 billion in cash in 2014. As one of the top labor exporting countries, the Philippines is the third biggest recipient of cash transfer, after India and China.

CONTINUE READING...

The enactment of a national legislation—the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (RA 8042)—was deemed essential to enable the Philippine government, particularly our people in the foreign service, to be attuned to the task of extending assistance to overseas Filipinos whose stay abroad has caused social downsides, such as family separation and moral breakdown.

OFWs also have to be protected from illegal recruitment, coercive practices of and inhumane treatment by employers, and deployment in dangerous places. RA 8042 was amended by RA 10022 to enable the DFA to use its legal assistance fund in filing charges against erring foreign employers.

The Philippines was the first developing country to host the Global Forum on Migration and Development. Aside from seeking the conclusion of bilateral accords with labor recipient countries, the Philippines is also in the forefront of the campaign for the ratification of the Convention for the Protection of Migrant Workers.

Migration has created an enormous and delicate constituency for our foreign service. It has become imperative to open more embassies and consulates, particularly in Islamic countries hosting a concentration of OFWs. In this sense, our diplomatic approaches have put on a humanitarian face. It should be understood here that ATN covers all overseas Filipinos, not only OFWs.

The Philippine government extended assistance to five Filipino drug mules (not all of them OFWs) who were executed in China in 2011 and 2013.

Working side-by-side with our Embassy and Consulate General is the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) which consists of the Labor Attache sent by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Welfare Officer from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

The Embassy and POLO must work in tandem in order to deliver the assistance and service needed by OFWs and other Filipinos at the post. Close cooperation and coordination between the two entities are essential, otherwise our representation abroad will be found wanting.

Aside from the social downsides and problems mentioned earlier, Embassy/POLO have to deal with the following:

Ill effects of labor deployment
loneliness/depression, mental illness or disorder
live-in arrangement or cohabitation
alcoholism
gambling
quarrel and violence
Drug use and drug trafficking
Repatriation of nationals from strife-torn countries

Assistance to OFWs has, in certain instances, compromised Philippine foreign policy orientation and advocacies.

The United States was miffed by the decision of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004 to withdraw the Philippine humanitarian contingent in Iraq earlier than scheduled to save the life of OFW Angelo de la Cruz from his abductors.

This incident put the Philippine role in the U.S.-led Coalition of the Willing in Iraq and designation as “a major non-NATO ally” under a cloud.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs at that time (Delia D. Albert) justified the President’s decision, saying that it was dictated by the convergence of the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy, to wit: saving de la Cruz was in accordance with the objective of protecting as well the 1.5 million Filipino workers in the Middle East; of having a secure and democratic Iraq contributing to a stable and safer Middle East; and reducing the possibility of disruption of our oil supplies from that region.

In February 2012, the Philippines, with the protection of Filipino workers in Syria in mind, did not participate in a United Nations General Assembly vote seeking endorsement of an Arab League plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario justified the action in these words: “Our nationals in Syria, who are highly vulnerable, are urgently being repatriated and we are receiving assistance from the Syrian government in this effort.”

If there were no OFWs in Syria, the Philippines would have logically joined the overwhelming majority of UN member states in supporting the resolution owing to the fact that our country had shown to the world how to oust an authoritarian regime through peaceful People Power.

Syria is the last holdout among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa gripped by the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011-2012.

In looking after the interest and welfare of overseas Filipinos, the DFA relies on two mechanisms, namely: the embassies and consular establishments abroad, and the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) in the DFA. The geographic offices inside the DFA that encompass the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East assist in the formulation of policy towards the overseas Filipinos along with the Undersecretary for Policy.

There appears to be a comprehensive spectrum of government agencies attending to the problems, needs and requirements of our OFWs. Aside from the DFA, there is DOLE, OWWA, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). TESDA can be added to them for it is providing new or enhancing skills to make our workers more employable and competitive abroad.

The post of Presidential Adviser for OFW Concerns should be abolished as his role is in conflict with that of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. The proposed establishment of a Department of Overseas Filipino Workers is superfluous since it will create another bureaucratic layer that will encroach into and complicate the functions of the aforementioned government entities.

On a personal note, I served from 1999 to 2003 as Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, a post where there is a convergence of the three pillars of our foreign policy. Modesty aside,

I can say that I did my part in helping our workers in Korea in my own quiet way and without fanfare. In retirement, I treasure the following commendation from the DFA’s OUMWA regarding the case of eleven Filipinas trafficked to Korea:

First, OUMWA takes this opportunity to commend Post and the Office of the Labor Attache for the successful and careful handling of the case of the eleven (11) Filipinas trafficked to Korea. The pro-active stance and strategy that the Post took, in close coordination and collaboration with Labor Attache Conferido, deserves not only commendation, but also emulation. What you have done for these Filipinas, though often remain unpublicized, become poignant stories of heroism which would remain with us even after retirement and keep us inspired to serve our country well.

OUMWA is elated to learn that the filing of the civil case on behalf of the Filipinas caused quite a stir in the Korean government. Nonetheless, our job is not yet finished. We just hope that we can elicit the same interest and response from the end of the Philippine government.

The resolution of the case of the 11 Filipinos is embodied in the following clipping from the Joong Ang Daily dated 31 May 2003:

Court rules in favor of Filipinas

After informal and non-binding hearings, the Seoul District Court ruled that three night club owners in Dongducheon, north of Seoul, must pay from 4 million ($3,200) to 6 million won in compensation to each of 11 Filipinas who said they were forced into prostitution at the clubs.

The night clubs are located near Camp Casey, a US military base.

The Philippine Embassy here instituted the proceedings, making it the first embassy to take such steps on behalf of its nationals.

The court agreed that the women had been forced into prostitution, and said the compensation was based partly on Philippine income levels. Both parties have two weeks to consider the court’s informal verdict before deciding whether to pursue the matter formally. The lawyer for the women complained after the decision that the compensation was too little.

Instead of the usual brickbats, it may not be amiss for the Philippine media to acknowledge, if not appreciate, the humanitarian and “heroic” acts that our people in the foreign service have been extending to our “modern-day heroes.”


Is Pope Francis adulterating family values?
September 12, 2015 11:12 pm by RICARDO SALUDO


Ricardo Saludo

He said nothing about the US Supreme Court decision in June allowing same-sex marriage, then promulgated two sweeping canon law amendments last week to make marital annulment less cumbersome and expensive.

And as St. Pope John Paul II did in 2000, he is letting all priests give absolution for the reserved sin of abortion, not just bishops, in the Holy Year of Mercy starting December 8.

Are Pope Francis’s pronouncements and decrees on the family adulterating Catholic teaching and morals?

Reactions to his missives and moves have ranged from applause and adulation to anxiety and apoplexy.

Last week, a legal adviser to the Vatican’s high court, Detroit canon lawyer Edward Peters, took issue with the annulment amendments.

First, he worried about collusion among spouses to annul valid un-ions due to a procedural change expediting petitions filed by both spouses or consented to by the one not filing. And Peters fears letting any bishop grant annulments may compromise rulings, since the ju-dicial process requires legal knowledge which many prelates lack.

Concerns about watering down Catholic family morals began when His Holiness said to journalists on a flight back to Rome after the July 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, that it was not for him to judge homosexuals who wish to turn to God, although the Church considers homosexual acts sinful.

Two months later, he told the Jesuit weekly journal America: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. … The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

Then in the Synod on the Family last October, liberal factions pushed for changes in longstanding Church positions on homosexuality, and denying communion to Catholics still married under Church law, but living with other partners.

Statements on these issues were included in the final Synod state-ment, even though they did not win the required two-thirds approval for inclusion.
What’s a good Catholic to do?

This writer and this column cannot do justice to the complex and arcane argumentation and other in-formation needed to properly elucidate and evaluate the family issues stirred by Pope Francis’s pro-nouncements and edicts.

So apologies that this article will not answer the question in the headline.

READ MORE...

Moreover, any positions put forward on these issues would almost surely need review and recasting when these contentious matters intensify and escalate even more at the concluding Synod on the Family next month.

Plainly, we ain’t seen nothing yet in the Church’s deliberations and disputations on family morals.

Still, this devout, if unschooled believer humbly offers some personal guidelines on how a Catholic could approach the controversies involving the Holy Father, especially those in which his authority and adherence to Christ’s teachings are questioned.

First, as Filipino lawyer and Catholic apologist Marwil Llasos urged at a Greenhills talk on Church author-ity yesterday, the faithful should first and foremost make sure they get full information on issues and papal actions and positions in forming their views. Too often, concerned believers make judgments and take sides based on some bit of news or opinion picked up online, or at the say-so of a few friends or religious personages.

Attending seminars like the apologetics series in which Llasos spoke would be a good way to be better informed. The nine-to-noon talks free of charge are held every Saturday until December 12 at the San-tuario de San Jose parish hall in Greenhills. Among topics for discussion are Christian sects, sources of the Bible, Church history, the theology of Christ and Mary, the Sacraments, sexual morality, and the Papacy and Pope Francis.

A second rule of thumb for believers concerned about the controversies on family morals is to listen to their individual consciences. While there may be moves to soften Church positions on certain aspects of sexuality and family, Catholics always have the option to live by the traditional tenets they have been taught.

Even if the Vatican may show greater mercy toward, say, those who commit or perform abortions, that is no reason for most Catholics who abhor the murder of unborn children to change their mores. Ditto other aspects of family ethics. Living by the strict moral codes espoused by the Church and its saintly leaders for millennia would not lead to sin, even if the present-day hierarchy may change those age-old tenets.

At the same time, measures to encourage the faithful to atone for their sins, seek forgiveness, and mend their ways should be welcomed. God will always be merciful to a truly contrite sinner committed to reforming his or her life, and the Church cannot but reflect this eternally consoling truism, even as its processes validate if there is true contrition and reform.

With the Holy Father devolving certain reserved acts to bishops or priests, those privileges also de-mand that anyone exercising them should ensure that the demands of truth, justice, morality, and penance are met. Undue leniency in granting absolution, for instance, only deceives wayward souls into thinking they are forgiven, when they really are not due to their lack of contrition or commitment to avoid sin.

And bishops now empowered to judge annulment petitions should ensure that they get and listen to expert judicial advice. It is good to expedite the tardy adjudication of ecclessiastical cases, including this writer’s own 12-year-old annulment petition still on appeal in the Roman Rota after being granted in 2009.

But the most important thing is to ensure that Christian morals and values are delineated and affirmed in all Church rulings and actions. That is the only way to ensure that, as our Lord said, what is loosed on earth is indeed also loosed in heaven. Amen.


EDITORIAL: ‘More than ever, we need a caretaker government now!’ September 12, 2015 11:14 pm

WE adopt as our editorial for today, the statement issued by the National Transformation Council on the first anniversary of the Lipa Declaration, on 26 August 2015.)

One year ago (on August 27, 2014) the National Transformation Council convened its very first assem-bly in Lipa City and issued its landmark Lipa Declaration.

After Lipa City, successive assemblies were held in Cebu, Butuan, Angeles, Davao, General Santos, and Lipa once more, to spread the urgent call for national transformation.

Various groups across the nation came forward to echo our call. Cebu, Mindanao and Central Luzon were among the first to respond with great enthusiasm and vigor. Today we pause to consider how the government and our people have responded to our call.

How valid stands our call?

As the various political groups prepare to compete for the 2016 presidential elections, does our call for change still carry the same weight and urgency among our people, or has it been completely set aside as irrelevant in the ongoing shuffle for political power?

This we must now ascertain.

In Lipa, we declared that we faced a crisis of unprecedented proportions. We saw the nation in grave peril from the very political forces ordained to protect, promote and advance the nation’s wellbeing, but which were aggressively undermining its moral, religious, social, cultural, constitutional and legal foundations.

We saw that unbridled and unpunished corruption and widespread misuse of political and economic power in all layers of society had not only destroyed our common conception of right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, legal and illegal. It had also put our people, especially the poor, at the mercy of those who have the power to dictate the course and conduct of our development for their own ends.

Despite the consistent protestations about Mr. Aquino’s so-called “Daang Matuwid,” official corruption went unchecked and unabated to the point where it no longer sufficed to say the system has been thoroughly corrupted, but rather that “corruption has become the system.”

Far from preserving and defending the Constitution as he swore to do when he assumed office, Presi-dent B. S. Aquino 3rd violated and subverted it by corrupting the Congress, intimidating the judiciary, taking over the treasury, manipulating the automated voting system, and perverting the constitutional impeachment process.

Mr. Aquino also damaged the moral fabric of the nation by physically bribing members of Congress not only to impeach and remove a sitting chief justice of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Renato Corona, but also to enact a Reproductive Health Law which puts the state in control of the reproductive faculties of married couples, and disrespects the right to life of human beings at the earliest and most vulnerable stages of their lives, in defiance not only of the Con-stitution, but above all the moral law, the customs, culture and consciences of Filipinos.

READ MORE...

Therefore, faithful to the objective moral law and to the universally honored constitutional principle that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them, we de-clared that Mr. Aquino had lost the moral right to lead the nation, and had become a danger to the Philippine democratic and republican state and to the peace, freedom, security and moral and spiritual wellbeing of the Filipino People.

We further declared that we had lost all trust and confidence in Mr. Aquino and called upon him to immediately relinquish his position so that we could restore the broken constitutional system before we begin to consider electing a new government under normal political conditions.

The various assemblies that followed in other parts of the country reiterated with greater vigor and urgency the call upon Mr. Aquino to step down. This reached a high point after the January 25, 2015 massacre in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in which 44 special action force police commandos perished in the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after they were denied reinforcement by the President, who ordered the military units to stand down.

With similar intensity and urgency the assemblies renewed the call upon the council to establish a caretaker government to preside over the needed system change. The role of such interim body, they pointed out, will not be to succeed Mr. Aquino but solely to prevent the continued destruction of our political system, and to rebuild and nourish back to health its institutions, so that all could freely join the political competition later, without the dice being loaded in anyone’s favor. At the very least the people must be guaranteed a truly functioning, fraud-free electoral system, otherwise we should re-frain from holding any further elections.

Today (on Aug. 27), one year after the Lipa declaration, we have to ask, is there anything we said in Lipa and in all the other assemblies, that now appears to have been in error, or in excess of our consti-tutional, moral and patriotic concerns?

Have we unfairly and unjustly condemned the Aquino admin-istration, and misread our people’s capability to stand for our Constitution and the dignity and honor of the nation?

No, we have not. The Aquino administration has not shown the slightest desire to do penance for its grievous wrongs, and mend its ways. As it approaches the end of its borrowed time, it has shown no effort, and no desire, to conduct a clean, honest and credible election, nor to prosecute those who have debased the rule of law and the constitutional order and ripped off the coffers of the nation.

The apparent game plan is still to manipulate the 2016 presidential election through the Commission on Elections and its Venezuelan partner, Smartmatic, in order to ensure the continued plunder of the economy, the continued destruction of all our institutions and the continued exploitation of our politi-cal system.

In our effort to make the regime accountable to the Constitution and the rule of law, some members and friends of the National Transformation Council have asked the Supreme Court to declare void and unconstitutional the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) through which some false friends of the Republic in the name of a bogus peace seek to balkanize Mindanao.

They have also asked the High Court to stop the illegal and massive realignment of public funds which would allow Smartmatic and the Comelec to control without any accountability the next elections.

To end the administration’s unilateral exercise of impunity, they filed today (on August 27) a manda-mus suit against the President, the Ombudsman, the Budget Secretary, the Justice Secretary, the Sen-ate President, the Seaker of the Huse, the senators and congressmen, the heads of various agencies, and all those involved in the misuse and abuse of the P50-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.

Our faith in our highest court remains strong and unimpeachable, but we fear that even if the court should act favorably upon all our petitions, such action may not be sufficient to end the evil that now envelops the system.

So we must be prepared to do more. We have been told that Mr. Aquino has less than one year to stay in power, and that we should be patient and wait for the next administration to take over.

But just as it took just one tiny moment to issue the order that led to the bribery and total corruption of Congress and the removal of the Supreme Court Chief Justice, and to the Mamasapano Massacre, it would not take much longer for Mr. Aquino to commit our poorly equipped troops into an unwanted, needless and ruinous war at the West Philippine/South China Sea, or to completely hijack the next election, if in his judgment that could “save” him and his friends from any and all imagined peril.

We pray to Almighty God, in whose hands we put the nation’s safety and wellbeing, that nothing like this would ever happen. But given what we have been through these last five years, we cannot afford any undue risks at this time.

Mr. Aquino must step down. More than ever we need a caretaker government, now.


Is Aquino rewriting the Mamasapano story? September 11, 2015 12:15 am

YOU can get it from the horse himself (not just from his mouth) if you log into the website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer( www.inquirer.net). There you will hear on video President Aquino telling an Inquirer audience of journalists and staff, that there is an alternative version of what took place on January 25, 2015, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao – different presumably from the popular version of the incident/encounter/ massacre that is generally believed by the public.

{PHNO note: FULL TEXT: AQUINO MEETS INQUIRER MULTIMEDIA; TACKLES Q&A FROM EDITORS, REPORTERS RIGHT HERE AT Noy's Corner (PE) yellow page}

The president spoke at a forum at the Inquirer’s headquarters in Makati City. His key message, as reported by the paper, is that there is still no conclusion on the incident because the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other groups are still investigating.

Aquino declared there: “I still have quite a number of questions, and there are various agencies of government tasked to ferret out the truth of exactly what happened in its entirety. There is an alternative version of events that happened there, which is undergoing very intense scrutiny. We are looking for witnesses that will prove or disprove certain observations.”

“Certain quarters raised certain points that led to the alternate version. There is no conclusion at this point,” he added.

This presidential line has stunned many people who heard the video and read the Inquirer banner story, including, it appears, some of the paper’s journalists themselves.

With no wish to rain on the Inquirer parade and its cozy relations with Malacañang, we will say here that Aquino’s statements are extremely disturbing and enraging.

READ MORE...

It is now eight months since the tragedy happened, and the victims’ families and the nation are still vainly looking for closure in this affair, and here we have the president of our country saying that the matter is still up in the air, still being investigated, and with no end in sight.

It would have been different had the President said that there can be no conclusion because he himself has not yet told the full story of how he authorized and even helped organize the operation. For that would be the truth. He has never admitted his role in green lighting the operation.

It would have been different also had Aquino declared that there can be no conclusion because he has not yet told the story of what really happened on January 25, and why, after being apprised of the encounter, he as commander-in-chief did not order rescue operations to be immediately mounted and launched by military forces, so that the lives of the commandos could be saved. He has not yet confirmed that he did not order rescue operations. The nation has only seen generals squirming under questioning by the Senate on why inexplicably no rescue was attempted.

And yet, and yet, it got even worse at the Inquirer love-in. Aquino raised some tantalizing and speculative questions.

He of all people cited the question whether the SAF 44 were actually the ones who killed the terrorist Marwan. He seemed by this to be impugning the heroism of the commandos.

He broadly hinted that there are other intriguing questions to resolve, before closure can be achieved.

All these are serious matters for clarification and confirmation, because the President’s line of questioning is certain to rouse a lot of anger and gnashing of teeth.

Distorting the facts is never a good way of lifting the weight on one’s conscience.
Our people are literally in anguish because up to now our national leadership and our government cannot come to terms with this national tragedy. They cannot seem to find the words and the ideas that will enable the widowed, the orphaned, the comrades-in-arms, and the public to surmount this tragedy.

The President and Congress have yet to render proper honors and recognition to the fallen. Aquino has stubbornly refused every opportunity that came his way.

For the President to now rewrite the Mamasapano story in this way is ignoble and reprehensible. He deserves the full condemnation of our people and the nation.

17 Responses to Is Aquino rewriting the Mamasapano story?

cres says:
September 12, 2015 at 10:11 am
Aquino is a liar. Every word he says is far from the truth. He is not true to his christian calling.
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Marcial Lex says:
September 11, 2015 at 11:53 pm
This Government is good only in misleading the public, that’s all!!
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etnemelc says:
September 11, 2015 at 10:45 pm
What really happened in mamasapano? Too many questions and too many secrets that needs to be reviled. Maybe not in my lifetime.
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Hector David says:
September 11, 2015 at 3:22 pm
Believe me sirs .. I speak the truth though the heavens say otherwise. We have a blam less President .. In Yolanda , Samboanga , poverty alleviation ,trafficc,unemployment ,poor infrastructure,high costs of power , water and fuel,exorbitant medical and hospitalization costs,,lack of equipment of our police and armed forces,corruption, leaking and inefficient MRt/LRT and Mamasapano… But we have 6% GNP growth, our oligarch are making billions upon billions milking the public thru monopolies oligopolies and cartels………we are fine who cries about the suffering of the Filipinos .. This is Matuwid na Daan
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Amnata Pundit says:
September 11, 2015 at 2:37 pm
Didn’t they also say that Plaza Miranda was bombed by Marcos, not by the enemies of Marcos? They also said Ninoy was killed by Marcos, not by the enemies of Marcos. They are also pushing Cory as a candidate for sainthood without, understandably, asking the Hda. Luisita tenants for their opinion. The jaw-dropping alternative of the day that is in a close contest with the idea that PPP projects are actually for the people’s benefit not the oligarchs’ is the line that in spite of the corruption all around him, Boy Sayad himself is honest and incorruptible. I can’t wait for the Mamapasano alternative story.
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kalbongdad says:
September 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm
trying to escape the wheelchair…….malapit ka na..ilang tulog na lang……sasakay ka na sa wheelchair….
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P.Akialamiro says:
September 11, 2015 at 11:56 am
No wonder one of his monikers is “Abnoy”!?
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ren fuentes says:
September 11, 2015 at 10:55 am
ah kaya pala sabi sa news o praise release ni poe-ppet o poequino, she would re-open the investigation of the mamasapano massacre. now i get it. meron palang naimbentong script ang mga script writers ng abs-cbn este sorry po script writers ng communications group ni joe america
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Homer says:
September 11, 2015 at 10:20 am
What’s actually more revolting and shameful is that while they squander our coffers and murder and use our fellow Filipinos as pawns for their own interests, we as a people just sit and do nothing. I envy Thailand, HK and Malaysia for their UNITY in protesting against corruption and their BRAVERY to stand up against the evils of their leaders and government.
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adrianmichael says:
September 11, 2015 at 10:16 am
Aquino is a Paranoid idiotic person.!! he has no heart to the oppressed! how can we extricate him of his polishness to the Filipino people!!!!!? how much more time can we be able to bear the agony while watching him kicking us all into to the pit of hell!!!!!!
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derick garcia says:
September 11, 2015 at 10:03 am
Let the truth be revealed
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MDM says:
September 11, 2015 at 7:54 am
bs Aquino virtually commanded the army NOT TO RESCUE THE SAFF-44 PERIOD , HE CAUSED THE DEATH OF THESAFF-44 CRYSTAL CLEAR …. Aquino better not fool us FILIPINOS … HE CAN MAKE FOOL OF HIMSELF ANYTIME but not to any other FIL. CITIZEN …
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Leodegardo Pruna says:
September 11, 2015 at 7:02 am
This is the kind of president the Fillipinos have. Always trying to play his way out of trouble and TRUTH, if truth is haunting him like hell. Had he told what he knows and authored from the beginning, the Mamasapano issue would have been gone by now with victims properly given their places in history and authors their place in jail. When shall the Filipinos wake up from their deep sleep? God bless the Philippines.
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vg says:
September 11, 2015 at 7:01 am
Aquino will always be remembered as the president who took us straight down the “Do It Wrong” path. Getting 44 SAF policemen killed is not something many people could have done. It took Aquino’s personal involvement to get it to be so wrong. When he dies and is buried, we should put “Here lies the reason for 44 SAF dead.” on his marker.
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goryu says:
September 11, 2015 at 6:47 am
May pagsatanic talaga si NOYTARD ano?Hindi pa niya aminin na siya ang dahilan ng pagmasaker ng SAF44 dahil sa ‘STAND ORDER’ niya ng akmang sasagipin na ng army ang SAF44.
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Dennis Fernandez says:
September 11, 2015 at 4:16 am
At the height of the Mamasapano investigation, someone floated the idea that it was an American operation, with some of the supposed witnesses claiming that a foreign-looking, Caucasian was one of the bodies retrieved from the scene. Pnoy is may be trying to feed the same idea as his defence to exculpate himself of the tragedy.


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