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FROM THE TRIBUNE

EDITORIAL: SELECTIVE JUSTICE GOES INTERNATIONAL
(A report:
A report of British daily The Guardian, however, exposed that the administration of US President Barack Obama should be held liable for the same offenses that it has been alleging on Rody.)


NOVEMBER 7 -The US government is hot on the heels of toughie Rody for his abrasive rhetoric and the more than 4,000 deaths in the unrelenting campaign against drug trafficking in the country. The US government had even threatened what is equivalent to sanctions on the purchase of American security equipment and military aid. The US said American assistance has always been predicated on international human rights standards. The rising deaths in Rody’s war on drugs have been associated by the US to state-inspired extrajudicial killings. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL Ripping off ‘Yolanda’ victims


NOVEMBER 11 -Remember Noynoy intervening to keep the casualty in the typhoon “Yolanda” disaster to not more than 6,000 dead while at Tacloban City in Leyte alone the victims littered the streets and were placed, of course, unofficially at more than 10,000. Now more hidden numbers are being revealed. Despite the so-called transparency website of then Budget Secretary Butch Abad under the so-called “Build Back Better” and the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (Faith) programs, the donations allegedly ran to close to P100 billion but the actual donations based on the audit of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo was P1.16 trillion. Comparing the figures of Noynoy and Abad, and that of Taguiwalo, some P900 billion had vanished in thin air. Reporters have asked Abad about the absence of a concrete number on the total donations prior to the May elections and gave an evasive answer saying that coordination has been poor regarding the accounting of the amount. The strongest typhoon to hit the earth struck on November, 2013 and Abad can’t provide an exact number on the donations three years after.READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL -Narco thriller takes new turn


NOVEMBER 10 -More mysteries are expected to unfold related to the suspicious death of mayor of Albuera Town in Rolando Espinosa Sr. in his jail cell in Leyte.CIDG Region 8 operatives led by Chief Inspector Leo Laraga killed Espinosa and drug suspect Raul Yap while serving search warrants at the Baybay, Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail last Saturday. Laraga claimed Espinosa and Yap were shot in self-defense.Espinosa was the second mayor in the drug list of toughie Rody to have been killed in highly questionable circumstances.
Last August, Rody released a narco-list that included 150 local officials, police officers and some military brass. The first to fall was Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, Samsudin Dimaukom was shot and killed along with nine of his men last October 28. Dimaukom, along with his wife, “surrendered” in August to the provincial police after being included in the drugs list. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Ninez Cacho Olivares - God save America


NOVEMBER 12 -So sorry, Donald Trump and his many supporters, but America, if it ever was great, can hardly hope to be great again, certainly not under the presidency of Trump, and not after the worst ever US presidential campaign, where the now US president-elect had shown himself to be a racist, a bigot, xenophobe and one who disrespects women and a liar to boot, among other character flaws the campaign has shown him to have. In the past, it hardy mattered to the American people or to the world for that matter, whether their president was a Democrat or a Republican. They accepted the results of the election and its system of the electoral college. Even the world leaders and world governments hardly made a fuss over which American candidate won. The results were always accepted. Not this time, however, not with Trump as the president. But really, it is Trump’s and his campaign that brought about all these protests and in a sense, unacceptable to the many world governments who have been shocked by the results of the elections. READ MORE...


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EDITORIAL - Selective justice goes int’l

MANILA, NOVEMBER 14, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial Monday, 07 November - The US government is hot on the heels of toughie Rody for his abrasive rhetoric and the more than 4,000 deaths in the unrelenting campaign against drug trafficking in the country.

The US government had even threatened what is equivalent to sanctions on the purchase of American security equipment and military aid.

The US said American assistance has always been predicated on international human rights standards.
The rising deaths in Rody’s war on drugs have been associated by the US to state-inspired extrajudicial killings.

READ MORE...

“Our assistance programs are designed to address human rights concerns by expanding Philippine capacity to conduct effective, lawful investigations and professionalizing the criminal justice system so that it’s more accountable, transparent, effective and just,” said US State Department spokesman John Kirby.

There were even suggestions from US legislators aided by Rody’s political opponents to bring the Philippine leader to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to account for state-sanctioned atrocities.

A report of British daily The Guardian, however, exposed that the administration of US President Barack Obama should be held liable for the same offenses that it has been alleging on Rody.

The report said members of the US armed services could be prosecuted for war crimes for providing midair refueling and other military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Nearly 4,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed since the conflict began in earnest in March 2015, after Houthi rebels seized Sana’a, the largest Yemen city. The war has pitted Saudi Arabia, which supports the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour, against Iran, which backs the Houthis.

US Rep. Ted Lieu, a former air force lawyer, wrote US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, saying that the administration’s insistence it is not taking part in target selection for coalition sorties, many of which have hit hospitals and schools, does not excuse the US from legal responsibility.

Lieu wrote he found it “deeply troubling that the US apparently has no advanced knowledge of what targets will be struck by jets that are refueled by US personnel with US tankers.”

“The US would appear to be violating LOAC (laws of armed conflict) and international standards by engaging in such direct military operations if US personnel are not aware if targets are civilian or military, if the loss of life and property are disproportional, or if the operation is even militarily necessary,” Lieu said.

Lieu added US personnel are now at legal risk of being investigated and potentially prosecuted for committing war crimes.

“Under international law, a person can be found guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes,” he said.

The Guardian also quoted a legal advisor for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Tristan Ferraro, as saying that refueling represents one of the elements of support that would make the supporting nation a party to a conflict.

US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, had called for an end to Saudi-led airstrikes after a string of incidents with high civilian casualties, the report said.

It added the US has announced it is reviewing its military support for the coalition, it had stopped supplying cluster munitions, and it has urged the Saudi armed forces to take greater precautions to avoid civilian casualties.

It also cited state documents saying the US provided the Saudis with a “no-strike” list of critical civilian infrastructure, and urged the coalition to avoid it in its air campaign.

But it has continued to provide refueling and other logical support and argued that Saudi Arabia has a right to defend itself against missile attacks from Houthi rebels inside Yemen, the report added.

Its Yemen engagement only shows the blatant hypocrisy of the US in terms of demanding human rights from other leaders while it turns a blind eye on its own global transgressions.


Ripping off ‘Yolanda’ victims Written by Tribune Editorial Friday, 11 November 2016 00:00


Remember Noynoy intervening to keep the casualty in the typhoon “Yolanda” disaster to not more than 6,000 dead while at Tacloban City in Leyte alone the victims littered the streets and were placed, of course, unofficially at more than 10,000.

Now more hidden numbers are being revealed. Despite the so-called transparency website of then Budget Secretary Butch Abad under the so-called “Build Back Better” and the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (Faith) programs, the donations allegedly ran to close to P100 billion but the actual donations based on the audit of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo was P1.16 trillion.

Comparing the figures of Noynoy and Abad, and that of Taguiwalo, some P900 billion had vanished in thin air.

Reporters have asked Abad about the absence of a concrete number on the total donations prior to the May elections and gave an evasive answer saying that coordination has been poor regarding the accounting of the amount.


Budget Secretary Florencio Abad speaks at a Senate hearing. P171-B ‘Yolanda’ funds now under DBM control August 2, 2015 COJURTESY OF MARKET MONITOR BLOG NOVEMBER 12, 2016 (APPENDED BY PHNO)

The strongest typhoon to hit the earth struck on November, 2013 and Abad can’t provide an exact number on the donations three years after.

READ MORE...

It took Taguiwalo less than four months to come up with the P1.16 trillion amount.

“Given the magnitude of the damage of Yolanda and the corresponding outpouring of international support, it was only when the typhoon hit in 2013 that there was a consolidated effort to track humanitarian aid coming in the country,” the DBM said in a statement later which was apparently Abad making an excuse.

In a speech before church organizations, Taguiwalo revealed a total of P1,165,797,345.13 was received as a donation of the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) from Nov. 11, 2013 to June 30, 2016 under Dinky Soliman.

Taguiwalo revealed that there was no conscious effort to coordinate and efficiently use funds allocated for the Yolanda victims.


TAGULWALO

For instance, she said that a DSWD inspection of shelter projects in Guian, Eastern Samar came upon the demolition by local government unit (LGU) of temporary shelters to make way for a core shelter project.

She said that while the reconstruction was ongoing, the typhoon survivors were deprived of any shelter since there were no transition houses.

Taguiwalo’s team also found that of the temporary shelter projects earmarked for Yolanda survivors, only 57 percent or 1,410 units were completed three years after the typhoon hit.

For core shelters, which are the permanent structures for the survivors, of the targeted 3,112 units, only 32.68 percent were completed, 62 percent were yet to start and 5.14 percent were ongoing.

A so-called project providing boat garages to fishing communities where they can park their vessels during a vicious storm like Yolanda, which is a DSWD project and Dinky earlier reported to be 85 percent completed in Eastern Samar was found to be 20 percent complete.

ANOOMALIES AT ITS WORST

The anomalies were at its worst in the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) cash program for survivors which appeared to have been used as another fund for political patronage for the Liberal Party (LP).

Taguiwalo said that barangay chairmen and other local government officials were granted arbitrary power by the former administration to decide on ESA beneficiaries including the discretion to decide who gets the P30,000 for totally damaged homes and P10,000 for partially damaged residences.

Many survivors who lost their homes and should have received P30,000 only got P10,000, Taguiwalo said.

LGUs were also given discretion to decide where no build zones are located, in which residents are not given any assistance.

Noynoy and his yellow cohorts should be held accountable for the huge amount apparently pilfered from the victims of the typhoon who may have been victimized a second time by the LP.

The abuse of the Yolanda survivors again reflected the sheer insensitivity and hypocrisy of the yellow mob of the previous regime.


Narco thriller takes new turn Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 10 November 2016 00:00 f


More mysteries are expected to unfold related to the suspicious death of mayor of Albuera Town in Rolando Espinosa Sr. in his jail cell in Leyte.

CIDG Region 8 operatives led by Chief Inspector Leo Laraga killed Espinosa and drug suspect Raul Yap while serving search warrants at the Baybay, Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail last Saturday.

Laraga claimed Espinosa and Yap were shot in self-defense.

Espinosa was the second mayor in the drug list of toughie Rody to have been killed in highly questionable circumstances.

Last August, Rody released a narco-list that included 150 local officials, police officers and some military brass.

The first to fall was Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, Samsudin Dimaukom was shot and killed along with nine of his men last October 28.

Dimaukom, along with his wife, “surrendered” in August to the provincial police after being included in the drugs list.

READ MORE...

Espinosa, similar to Dimaukom, presented himself to authorities and was even accommodated in the residence of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald de la Rosa.


ESPINOSA, DE LA ROSA

Espinosa was later arrested in October on charges of involvement in illegal drugs and possession of firearms.
His son Kerwin fled the country but was detained in Abu Dhabi last September.

Rody is being pointed to by his opponents as the culprit for the two deaths which are conveniently associated with the rising summary killings as a result of the war on drugs.

A more plausible theory, however, is that those in the narco-list who could be valuable sources of information are being silenced.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II linked Sen. Leila de Lima to the series of slays recently in relation to the narcotics trade.

Rody had pushed de Lima to the wall with his revelations about her involvement in the drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) which seems to be leading to a bigger conspiracy involving personalities higher than de Lima in the previous administration.

Aguirre called de Lima the “common denominator” in some of the recent killings including that of Espinosa.
Aguirre said that in the affidavit that Espinosa gave to the police, de Lima was listed on top.

De Lima was also pointed to by NBP high-profile inmates, including Jaybee Sebastian, during a House probe as having been on top of the illegal drugs syndicate inside the national penitentiary.

Aguirre earlier said the money that ran through the bank accounts connected to NBP drugs syndicate headed by de Lima was between P12 billion to P15 billion, “bigger than the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam,” and which can now be employed to finance operations to silence potential squealers.


DE LIMA

The trail in the de Lima drugs network apparently goes way high up involving key officials of the previous administration.

Rody and Aguirre had indicated a higher authority was behind de Lima and the drugs operations go beyond her fund raising campaign for the 2016 elections.

NBP convicts have pointed to de Lima as tapping so-called high-value prisoners to raise money through the sale of shabu, the preferred narcotic which is largely available and highly demanded by the poor.

The recounting of deputy chief for operations of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Director Benjamin Magalong of the shelved Oplan Cronus, put together by the CIDG and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, was a disclosure that may pin former Palace officials to the drugs trade.

De Lima, Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayo; Chief Supt. Reginald Villasanta, then executive director of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC); and Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo Jr. of the National Capital Region Police Office took over the NBP raid on Dec. 15, 2014 that eased out the PNP from the plan.

Another revealing fact was that Villasanta was chief of PAOCC under the office of then Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., whose name had cropped up on several occasions regarding the drugs trade at NBP.

Magalong, during the hearing, wondered why the raid left behind some drug lords.

“It was our mandate to conduct the raid and then we were dropped at the last minute. Oplan Cronus was supposed to isolate high-value inmates to get rid of the worsening drug trade in the NBP but others were left out,” Magalong said.

Later on, Aguirre revealed that the de Lima-led raid was meant to ease out the competition of drug lord Jaybee Sebastian at the NBP.

Espinosa was considered a valuable asset of the administration in backing up its claims of narco-politics in the previous administration.

The motive for the recent deaths all point to those who want the suppression of evidence.


God save America Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares Saturday, 12 November 2016 00:00

So sorry, Donald Trump and his many supporters, but America, if it ever was great, can hardly hope to be great again, certainly not under the presidency of Trump, and not after the worst ever US presidential campaign, where the now US president-elect had shown himself to be a racist, a bigot, xenophobe and one who disrespects women and a liar to boot, among other character flaws the campaign has shown him to have.

In the past, it hardy mattered to the American people or to the world for that matter, whether their president was a Democrat or a Republican. They accepted the results of the election and its system of the electoral college.

Even the world leaders and world governments hardly made a fuss over which American candidate won. The results were always accepted.

Not this time, however, not with Trump as the president. But really, it is Trump’s and his campaign that brought about all these protests and in a sense, unacceptable to the many world governments who have been shocked by the results of the elections.

READ MORE...

It would be very difficult for Trump to succeed in uniting the American people under his presidency and perhaps, had Hillary Clinton won the presidency, she too, would not be able to succeed in uniting the American people, since too much hate has been spewed by Trump, along with his supporters, at least a lot more than Hillary, whom Trump supporters, influenced by his hate rhetoric, believe her to be a crook, which has not been substantiated yet they call for Hillary to be locked up.

Where before many Americans were not openly racists, anti-immigrants, and hated Muslims and blacks, through the hate campaign of Trump, suddenly reveled in their being openly racists, didn’t care to respect women, apparently believed in the campaign promises of Trump, which can hardly be delivered as pledged.



Can Trump with a divided America, hope to unite America now that he will, by January 2017, take his oath as president?

Already there have been state-wide protests against Trump, although chances are high that eventually, the protests will have to die down. Still, such protests will pop up whenever some Trump policies go against what anti-Trump Americans believe to be anti-democratic principles and go against their freedoms, as well as their dignity and respect.

The American way of life, will no longer be the same. America will hardly be seen as the model of democracy and freedom.

In a democracy, through elections, their results should be accepted as the will of the people as long as the elections are not rigged, and there exists no proof that the 2016 presidential elections in the US were rigged.

It is possible that many American citizens who did not want to vote for Trump or Hillary Clinton, failed to cast their vote, for different reasons.

Others, swayed by the results of the pre-poll surveys that were all wrong, just as the political analysts were dead wrong, as they based everything on the polls, may have believed early on that Clinton would win anyway, and failed to vote for her.

But apparently, they all read the signs wrong. Apparently, the so-called “rural roar” that went loudly for Trump, was not considered in the surveys. The Blacks did not go all out for Clinton.

Even on the eve of elections, it was Ciinton who had the demeanor of a winner, while Trump looked like a loser. And yet the roles were reversed in the end.

There were as predicted by the Trump camp, hidden Trump voters who in the end made their voice heard.

Trump supporters wanted change, they voted against the elite, against the establishment, against Obama care and more, without really thinking of how such pledges of Trump will impact on the country and its people. And even the world.

Trump promises Americans jobs in manufacturing instead of products being outsourced as they have been for a long time. But does Trump expect prices of such manufactured goods from America and made in America to be competitive if such products are not outsourced? The prices of goods manufactured in America will go skyhigh and lose out. Still, this would be a Trump problem and of the Americans.

Trump had spoken of reversing everything the Obama administration did, which would result in a chaotic government and president who has not only promised the people too much, but has also encouraged them, through Trump’s divisive rhetoric, to be bigots, xenophobes and racists.

As one European country leader said, after Trump’s win: “God save America.”


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