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

BY LAURA BONILLA: TOP CHEF GIVES BRAZIL'S POOR A TASTE OF THE HIGH LIFE


AUGUST 10 -Top chef Massimo Bottura owns Osteria Francescana in Modena, rated best in the world. PHOTO FROM NDTV.COM Restaurant-goers usually pay hundreds of euros to eat the creations of Massimo Bottura, but he will be serving poor Brazilians for free at the Olympics. The 53-year-old Italian modernist chef owns Osteria Francescana in Modena, rated best in the world by Restaurant magazine this year. He is known for dishes such as “An eel swimming up the Po River” – eel with polenta, Campanie apple jelly, burnt saba onion and charcoal salt. It will set you back 220 euros at his restaurant, which has three Michelin stars. In Rio de Janeiro, Bottura will be serving up scraps, and his customers won’t pay a cent. The idea is to tackle the twin social ills of waste and poverty with one creative, delicious project — set against the backdrop of Rio de Janeiro’s lush landscapes amid the excitement of the Olympics. Bottura’s ingredients will be garbage-bound surplus food donated by the catering companies at the Olympic park and athletes’ village. He and a team of celebrity chefs plan to use that to make some 5,000 meals for some of the most “vulnerable” people in Brazil, a country plagued by poverty and inequality. Their restaurant, called Refettorio Gastromotiva, will open Monday in the trendy Lapa neighborhood. The 108-seat restaurant is funded by corporate sponsors. Customers will be chosen by charities working in Rio’s poorest neighborhoods. The restaurant was decorated by renowned Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, with furniture designed by the Campana brothers, icons of Brazilian design. It is the brainchild of Bottura, Brazilian chef and activist David Hertz and journalist Alexandra Forbes. “I promised my mother I would use my fame to make invisible people visible. The time has come to give back to the world what it has given to me,” said Bottura. “We have an opportunity with this project, which is cultural, and not a charitable project, to fight wastefulness. If we change the way people think, we can help give birth to a new tradition,” he told a press conference. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Erik Espina - Mandatory ROTC


AUGUST 10 -Senators support revival of mandatory ROTC training | mb.com.ph | Philippine News It took a President Rodrigo Duterte, cognizant of his role as Commander-in-Chief, to drum for the return of “mandatory ROTC.” The hibernating policy has been kept on the drawing board of the armed and defense establishments gaining support from specific legislators, only to be bulldozed by “militant” voices in the Lower House, or be overtaken by a graduating Congress. I distinctly recall efforts to preserve the curicula during defense meetings with the late Secretary Angelo Reyes. My modest contributions that ROTC enrollees who can ill-afford the complete fatigue/boots ensemble are currently allowed t-shirts with school emblem, jeans, sneakers but in uniform colors. There was the removal from NSTP a component on “peace education” to be handled by the Philippine National Police. Efforts extended to the Senate hearings under Defense Committee Chair Senator Biazon with a grieving Wilson Chua (father of slain UST ROTC cadet Mark Chua) and myself pleading the venalities of a few men should not imperil the ROTC course. We met with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to petition for the retention of ROTC as a mandatory requirement before graduation. We made clear to the President that if ROTC was made optional, it would suffer the same fate as the subject “Spanish.” An elective is the fastest way to guarantee the demise of such a course. In my mind, I was expecting the “Commander-in-Chief” hat of PGMA to kick-in. What we heard instead was, “It is a possibility we have to risk.” End of story. Fast-forward to the clime for “change.” The following recommendations are submitted: 1) A compromise between RA 7077, Reservist Act, and RA 9163, NSTP Law, is the initial reinstitution of mandatory ROTC, in all state colleges and universities by amending Section 4 (3) of the latter law. No “ifs” and no “buts.” An “iskolar ng bayan” has no say in this because the greatest act of patriotism is enrollment in defending family and country. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Words of advice for President’s critics
[In the midst of the ongoing campaign against drugs, it might be best to give President Duterte much leeway to get the job done. The problem is so immense that reports of drug raids, arrests, and surrenders are coming from all over the country. Over 800 are said to be been killed either by vigilantes or by police for allegedly resisting arrest. Drug users are said to number over three million.]


AUGUST 14 -PHOTO DUTERTE: FIRST ONE HUNDRED DAYS
Last June after President Duterte won the election, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), was confronted by very harsh words for the Church by the new President, who called it a “most hypocritical institution.” Archbishop Villegas chose to invoke “the silence of Jesus before the arrogance of Pilate.” Early this week, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno found herself at odds with President Duterte’s naming of seven judges as being involved with drug syndicates and wrote him a letter expressing concern over the spate of extrajudicial killings of people linked to illegal drugs and saying there should be warrants of arrest before drug suspects are arrested and detained. He reacted sharply, saying: “With crimes rampaging in the country and with slaughter every day, you are just interested in warrants of arrest?” The Chief Justice wisely decided to maintain her silence after the President’s statement. “There is no need to add to what has been said,” she said, much like Archbishop Villegas’ earlier decision to remain silent in the face of Duterte’s comments on the Church. In the midst of the ongoing campaign against drugs, it might be best to give President Duterte much leeway to get the job done. The problem is so immense that reports of drug raids, arrests, and surrenders are coming from all over the country. Over 800 are said to be been killed either by vigilantes or by police for allegedly resisting arrest. Drug users are said to number over three million. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Rene Espina - Comelec stripping VP poll materials
[Considering past fraudulent elections, Comelec, to my mind, cannot be trusted to audit its own work. It would be better if a third party with the proper credentials be allowed to do the audit.]


AUGUST 13 -Former Sen Rene Espina As most of us know, former Senator Bongbong Marcos has filed an election protest at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET)-Supreme Court against VP Robredo questioning her proclamation as vice president. Again, as many politicians know, the first thing that an electoral body that is given the power or the jurisdiction to decide on electoral protests does is to preserve the records of the (particular electoral office) in a safe place where the records cannot be tampered with. The camp of Marcos, through its lawyer, questions the Comelec issuance of a resolution allowing the stripping, producing, or doing back-up files in the SD cards and CCS laptops. Attorney Jose Amorado, Marcos’ Counsel asked the Comelec why it authorized the stripping procedure after the PET already issued a precautionary protection order for the election body to secure and preserve the integrity of all election documents, including those of the VCMs and CCS laptops. Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they also want to see the system intact and keep it as it is. Bautista admitted that the Comelec is yet to start the stripping which would remove most of the contents of the SD and the CCS laptops. He said right now, they have not yet done anything. If the stripping procedure will not be completed by December 1, it would trigger the option for the Comelec to purchase the equipment from Smartmatic. Before the stripping, Bautista said further, the Comelec will be backing up the files to see to it that all data will be there. But it will not be in the original form, so you can make allegations that it could have been changed or tampered with. I am bringing this matter up because that will prevent someone in the Comelec from changing the contents of the records? After all that has happened in the past since the 1987 elections, the Comelec’s reputation and integrity is, to say the least, suspect. According to the Comelec, they will abide by the PET and SET (Senate Electoral Tribunal) decision, including whether a system audit, shall be undertaken as requested by Marcos. Prior to the filing of the present electoral protest against VP Robredo, Marcos had asked a system audit, considering that the Comelec violated the three-month requisite period on the certification of the source code used in the May, 2016, elections. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Top chef gives Brazil’s poor a taste of the high life


Top chef Massimo Bottura owns Osteria Francescana in Modena, rated best in the world. PHOTO FROM NDTV.COM

RIO DE JENEIRO, AUGUST 15, 2016 (BULLETIN) by AFP August 10, 2016 -By Laura Bonilla -Restaurant-goers usually pay hundreds of euros to eat the creations of Massimo Bottura, but he will be serving poor Brazilians for free at the Olympics.

The 53-year-old Italian modernist chef owns Osteria Francescana in Modena, rated best in the world by Restaurant magazine this year.

He is known for dishes such as “An eel swimming up the Po River” – eel with polenta, Campanie apple jelly, burnt saba onion and charcoal salt.

It will set you back 220 euros at his restaurant, which has three Michelin stars.

In Rio de Janeiro, Bottura will be serving up scraps, and his customers won’t pay a cent.

The idea is to tackle the twin social ills of waste and poverty with one creative, delicious project — set against the backdrop of Rio de Janeiro’s lush landscapes amid the excitement of the Olympics.

Bottura’s ingredients will be garbage-bound surplus food donated by the catering companies at the Olympic park and athletes’ village.

He and a team of celebrity chefs plan to use that to make some 5,000 meals for some of the most “vulnerable” people in Brazil, a country plagued by poverty and inequality.

Their restaurant, called Refettorio Gastromotiva, will open Monday in the trendy Lapa neighborhood.

The 108-seat restaurant is funded by corporate sponsors. Customers will be chosen by charities working in Rio’s poorest neighborhoods.

The restaurant was decorated by renowned Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, with furniture designed by the Campana brothers, icons of Brazilian design.

It is the brainchild of Bottura, Brazilian chef and activist David Hertz and journalist Alexandra Forbes.

“I promised my mother I would use my fame to make invisible people visible. The time has come to give back to the world what it has given to me,” said Bottura.

“We have an opportunity with this project, which is cultural, and not a charitable project, to fight wastefulness. If we change the way people think, we can help give birth to a new tradition,” he told a press conference.

READ MORE...

His kitchen team will include French chefs Alain Ducasse and Claude Troisgros, Spain’s Andoni Aduriz and Brazilians Alex Atala, Felipe Bronze, Roberta Sudbrack and Rafa Costa e Silva.

They will take turns cooking, setting the menu based on the ingredients available — which will be surplus food, not leftovers.

Rio city hall has granted them the site free of charge for 10 years.

After the Olympics and Paralympics, Refettorio Gastromotiva will operate as a culinary institute as well as a regular restaurant.

Patrons paying to eat there will also donate a meal to someone in need, under the motto “buy lunch, give dinner,” a spokeswoman said.

Co-founder David Hertz, who runs a “social gastronomy” charity in Brazil called Gastromotiva, said the project is more about changing the way people think than feeding them.

“We had never worked with the issue of food waste before. That’s a legacy we’ll leave,” he said.

The project builds on a similar one, Refettorio Ambrosiano, that Bottura launched last year for the World’s Fair in Milan.

He is working on others in Los Angeles, New York and Montreal, to open next year.


Mandatory ROTC by Erik Espina August 10, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share1


Senators support revival of mandatory ROTC training | mb.com.ph | Philippine News

It took a President Rodrigo Duterte, cognizant of his role as Commander-in-Chief, to drum for the return of “mandatory ROTC.” The hibernating policy has been kept on the drawing board of the armed and defense establishments gaining support from specific legislators, only to be bulldozed by “militant” voices in the Lower House, or be overtaken by a graduating Congress.

I distinctly recall efforts to preserve the curicula during defense meetings with the late Secretary Angelo Reyes. My modest contributions that ROTC enrollees who can ill-afford the complete fatigue/boots ensemble are currently allowed t-shirts with school emblem, jeans, sneakers but in uniform colors.

There was the removal from NSTP a component on “peace education” to be handled by the Philippine National Police. Efforts extended to the Senate hearings under Defense Committee Chair Senator Biazon with a grieving Wilson Chua (father of slain UST ROTC cadet Mark Chua) and myself pleading the venalities of a few men should not imperil the ROTC course. We met with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to petition for the retention of ROTC as a mandatory requirement before graduation. We made clear to the President that if ROTC was made optional, it would suffer the same fate as the subject “Spanish.”

An elective is the fastest way to guarantee the demise of such a course. In my mind, I was expecting the “Commander-in-Chief” hat of PGMA to kick-in. What we heard instead was, “It is a possibility we have to risk.” End of story. Fast-forward to the clime for “change.” The following recommendations are submitted:

1) A compromise between RA 7077, Reservist Act, and RA 9163, NSTP Law, is the initial reinstitution of mandatory ROTC, in all state colleges and universities by amending Section 4 (3) of the latter law. No “ifs” and no “buts.” An “iskolar ng bayan” has no say in this because the greatest act of patriotism is enrollment in defending family and country.

READ MORE...

2) Sec. 11 of the NSTP Law is a bastardization of the Reservists Concept. This must be amended and harmonized with RA 7077 Art X (1) on Civil Auxilliary so that graduates of the other components on NSTP could be harnessed as part of the Citizen Armed Force, distinct from the uniformed Reservists but under the AFP. Administrative IRR changes are required in the AFP for this. For example, NSTP graduates may volunteer as AFP/Army Civil Auxiliary designated by clear markings. If the NSTP graduate decides to take a Military Orientation Training, only then can he be considered as forming part of the Citizen Armed Force.

3) The “One-Summer ROTC Program” where the college student has the option to take his ROTC during any summer vacation, from MS-11 to MS-22, Mon-Fri, 8 am-5 pm, prior to graduation. In short, no more 2-year week-end ROTC.

The latter program is a weak course – a failing learning curve under Sec. 6 of NSTP. A distraction for students serious about their majors. Note, preponderant here is not ROTC as a collegiate course, but the end state of preparing the entire nation for home-defense.


Words of advice for President’s critics August 13, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share2


PHOTO DUTERTE: FIRST ONE HUNDRED DAYS

Last June after President Duterte won the election, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), was confronted by very harsh words for the Church by the new President, who called it a “most hypocritical institution.” Archbishop Villegas chose to invoke “the silence of Jesus before the arrogance of Pilate.”

Early this week, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno found herself at odds with President Duterte’s naming of seven judges as being involved with drug syndicates and wrote him a letter expressing concern over the spate of extrajudicial killings of people linked to illegal drugs and saying there should be warrants of arrest before drug suspects are arrested and detained. He reacted sharply, saying: “With crimes rampaging in the country and with slaughter every day, you are just interested in warrants of arrest?”

The Chief Justice wisely decided to maintain her silence after the President’s statement. “There is no need to add to what has been said,” she said, much like Archbishop Villegas’ earlier decision to remain silent in the face of Duterte’s comments on the Church.

In the midst of the ongoing campaign against drugs, it might be best to give President Duterte much leeway to get the job done. The problem is so immense that reports of drug raids, arrests, and surrenders are coming from all over the country. Over 800 are said to be been killed either by vigilantes or by police for allegedly resisting arrest. Drug users are said to number over three million.

READ MORE...

In his drive to end drug trafficking, President Duterte has been specially sensitive to criticism, so that he asked Chief Justice Sereno who wanted arrest warrants for suspects: “Would you rather that I declare martial law?”

This drew further criticism from those concerned with legal procedures, but Malacañang spokesman Ernesto Abella later said the President is not supporting any legal shortcuts, just facilitating the whole process by encouraging those named to come out and explain themselves. Communications Secretary Martin Andanar urged the nation to understand the President’s words “under the context that the President’s anti-drug campaign cannot wait for the slow wheels of justice Philippine style.”

Senate Minority Leader Rafael Recto had these words of advice: The nation should learn to “auto-delete” the colorful parts of his pronouncements and “not let his curses get in the way of studying the causes he is fighting for.”

Last Friday, the President apologized to Sereno for his harsh words. She has formed a fact-finding committee to investigate the four incumbent judges on Duterte’s list of seven in the President’s “name and shame” campaign. She will no longer say anything on the matter, the Supreme Court spokesman said.


Comelec stripping VP poll materials by Former Senator Atty. Rene Espina August 13, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share0


Former Sen Rene Espina

As most of us know, former Senator Bongbong Marcos has filed an election protest at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET)-Supreme Court against VP Robredo questioning her proclamation as vice president.

Again, as many politicians know, the first thing that an electoral body that is given the power or the jurisdiction to decide on electoral protests does is to preserve the records of the (particular electoral office) in a safe place where the records cannot be tampered with.

The camp of Marcos, through its lawyer, questions the Comelec issuance of a resolution allowing the stripping, producing, or doing back-up files in the SD cards and CCS laptops.

Attorney Jose Amorado, Marcos’ Counsel asked the Comelec why it authorized the stripping procedure after the PET already issued a precautionary protection order for the election body to secure and preserve the integrity of all election documents, including those of the VCMs and CCS laptops.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they also want to see the system intact and keep it as it is. Bautista admitted that the Comelec is yet to start the stripping which would remove most of the contents of the SD and the CCS laptops. He said right now, they have not yet done anything.

If the stripping procedure will not be completed by December 1, it would trigger the option for the Comelec to purchase the equipment from Smartmatic. Before the stripping, Bautista said further, the Comelec will be backing up the files to see to it that all data will be there. But it will not be in the original form, so you can make allegations that it could have been changed or tampered with. I am bringing this matter up because that will prevent someone in the Comelec from changing the contents of the records?

After all that has happened in the past since the 1987 elections, the Comelec’s reputation and integrity is, to say the least, suspect.

According to the Comelec, they will abide by the PET and SET (Senate Electoral Tribunal) decision, including whether a system audit, shall be undertaken as requested by Marcos. Prior to the filing of the present electoral protest against VP Robredo, Marcos had asked a system audit, considering that the Comelec violated the three-month requisite period on the certification of the source code used in the May, 2016, elections.

READ MORE..

As every election lawyer knows, the opening and closing of important Comelec election documents is fraught with danger for the party who is not being supported by those who are in the extraordinary position of being able to change the results,
especially if those assigned to ensure clean and fair elections are in connivance with the party in power at the time of the election.

Considering past fraudulent elections, Comelec, to my mind, cannot be trusted to audit its own work. It would be better if a third party with the proper credentials be allowed to do the audit.

Isn’t it time for the PET-Supreme Court to change its procedures and attitudes?

Usually in our legal proceedings, the party protesting must first be given access to documents to prove its case in a hearing.

Then the opposing party. Now it includes even computer programs and other electronic data. What I would like to see is a new system or procedure where moto propio (by its own initiative), the PET will open the boxes containing the receipts showing how the voters voted, count the votes–in this case, Marcos votes and Robredo votes, compare the totals with the totals reported in the computer. Of course the genuineness of both reports will be checked.

In short, the PET will do its own canvassing of votes comparing them with the Congress’ figures, and the PET should correct it accordingly. In the process, the original documents at precinct level and all other sources will be checked and counterchecked. If PET doesn’t have the necessary personnel, then it could perhaps request the lawyer’s associations to assist them. Other organizations like parish councils and other religious organizations could be included. In this new system, the real winner will come out and our country will be better for it.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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