PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)
FROM PHILSTAR

BY BOBIT AVILA: WHY CORRUPTION CASES CANNOT MOVE FORWARD(Prior to the historic declaration by the SC, my good friend, Tony Lopez in his column in the Manila Times wrote that “Congress is the Philippine’s Biggest Criminal Syndicate.” In that article, Tony wrote that the PDAF alone was conned up to P25 billion. Again I would like to reiterate my call for the resignation of the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales as she has become the single cog that has blocked the wheels of Justice, a justice that contuse to elude the Filipino today.)


NOVEMBER 29 -........One hundred million Filipinos are still awaiting the Justice they have been denied from the time of the conjugal Marcos Dictatorship and into the last 30 years after the famous EDSA Revolt of 1986 even under two, not one, two Aquino Presidencies. If the so-called “Marcos Loot” was not recovered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), there is something terribly wrong with the way we dispense our kind of Justice, which in my book… is sheer injustice. After all, in Law School we learned that basic principle, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied! ” Today Justice once more escapes from the clutches of the frustrated Filipino nation. Why? Because the Office of the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales sits on top of the biggest scandal in the Philippine government where even the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) has already declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional. On Nov. 18, 2013 in a vote of 14-0, the SC declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as unconstitutional and on July 1, 2014 the SC declared the DAP as unconstitutional in a vote of 13-0-1. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Mocha Uson - What’s your color?


NOVEMBER 29 -Photo credits: asia.nikkei.com
Since the start of the campaign, I have been very vocal about my support for Pres. Duterte and regardless of his flaws I still support him because of what he is doing for us – and what he can do for us and our country. My political color is brown since it stands for our natural color and for me it represents the ordinary people. While some agree with me, others believe that I’m a fanatic and I only seek to divide our nation further. But does defending the President, because I want to focus on the things that matter, make me a fanatic? If we look at it closely, we have already been divided into pro, anti, and neutral because of our differences in opinions and this is all right since it shows that we are a thinking nation. What I do not like, however, is for us to be divided into yellows and red/blue when we should all be brown. We should all stand together and work with each other if we truly want our country to improve. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Alex Magno - Butig, Lanao del Sur


DECEMBER 3 -ALEX MAGNO Butig, Lanao del Sur is not much of a town. What inspired the members of the Maute Group to occupy it is still anybody’s guess. Occupation of the town by the terrorist group drew a determined military response. The Armed Forces threw in everything they had: helicopter gunships, warplanes, heavy artillery and tanks. Still, it took our soldiers six days to recover this forsaken municipality from the terrorists. In the end, 31 soldiers were wounded and 61 members of the Maute Group lay dead. Although the Army firmly controls the center of the town, remnants of the terrorist group are said to be lurking in the forested fringes of Butig. As they withdrew, the terrorists booby trapped the town – already devastated by bombardment and house-to-house fighting. As I view the television clips and read reports of soldiers injured by booby traps, I see shades of Aleppo or of Mosul. A town is seized. It is liberated only at the cost of leveling it – like Manila was after it was liberated by the US Army. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Satur Ocampo - Salonga’s alternative vision to Marcos tyranny


DECEMBER 3 -Nineteen real heroes and martyrs who fought against the dictatorship have been included in the Bantayog ng mga Bayani's wall of remembrance. The ceremony on Wednesday, which lasted for four hours, coincided with the observance of the birth anniversary of hero Andres Bonifacio. DECEMBER 1, 2016 GMA NEWS FILE
Jovito R. Salonga, former Senate president and elder statesman, led the 2016 batch of 19 heroes and martyrs whose names were engraved on the Wall of Remembrance at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City last Nov. 30. He had been the moving spirit behind the Bantayog, established 30 years ago to recognize and honor those who had fought for freedom, justice and democracy against the Marcos martial-law dictatorship. Altogether the granite Wall now shows 287 honorees. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE BELOW
OR CLICK HERE TO GO ONLINE

Why corruption cases cannot move forward


By Bobit S. Avila

MANILA, DECEMBER 5, 2016 (PHILSTAR) SHOOTING STRAIGHT By Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 29, 2016 - 12:00am 0 5 googleplus0 0 Last Friday’s big breaking news was the death of Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro a true revolutionary who embraced Marxist and Leninist thought an ideology that was used by the unlamented USSR. He was a thorn on the side of at least 10 American Presidents, starting with Pres. John F. Kennedy when he allowed the Soviets to station intermediate missiles in Cuba and threatens American security and nearly brought the world into a nuclear holocaust. With the USSR as his patron, he was the face of Communism that plagued many nations that fell like dominoes when faced with insurgency.

But when Communism fell in 1989 and the USSR broke apart and threw away the Communist ideology, Castro was left with keeping it for Cuba. In the end, Castro only proved that his only success was that he could grab hold of the people of Cuba for his own dictatorial desires and since he really had no ideology of his own, Cuba is still woefully poor despite the billions that the USSR poured into this small tiny island nation.

* * *

MARCOS LOOT

One hundred million Filipinos are still awaiting the Justice they have been denied from the time of the conjugal Marcos Dictatorship and into the last 30 years after the famous EDSA Revolt of 1986 even under two, not one, two Aquino Presidencies.

If the so-called “Marcos Loot” was not recovered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), there is something terribly wrong with the way we dispense our kind of Justice, which in my book… is sheer injustice. After all, in Law School we learned that basic principle, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied! ”

PDAF

Today Justice once more escapes from the clutches of the frustrated Filipino nation. Why? Because the Office of the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales sits on top of the biggest scandal in the Philippine government where even the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) has already declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional. On Nov. 18, 2013 in a vote of 14-0, the SC declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as unconstitutional and on July 1, 2014 the SC declared the DAP as unconstitutional in a vote of 13-0-1.

Prior to the historic declaration by the SC, my good friend, Tony Lopez in his column in the Manila Times wrote that “Congress is the Philippine’s Biggest Criminal Syndicate.” In that article, Tony wrote that the PDAF alone was conned up to P25 billion. Again I would like to reiterate my call for the resignation of the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales as she has become the single cog that has blocked the wheels of Justice, a justice that contuse to elude the Filipino today.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

Meanwhile, I urged my good friend, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to craft a bill in Congress to overhaul or reform the Office of the Ombudsman. Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte fight against corruption in this country cannot be stymied by one person alone. Perhaps the Office of the Ombudsman can be repacked to be held by a five-man committee with no more “Constitutional Protection” which for me was unnecessary in the first place. This five-man committee should not be an appointee of the President, rather by both the Supreme Court and the Judicial Bar Council (JBC).

But what’s the latest from the Office of the Ombudsman?

Despite her earlier stand not to express her personal views on the Marcos burial issue, suddenly we got a report that The Ombudsman lamented the “lack of demand for truthful and honest discourse,” she said that “People nowadays easily believe lies and half-truths spread by propagandists and fake news sites.

A big part of the population would rather believe and share fake news sites and echo the baseless assertions of dubious bloggers and flame baiters. They no longer care to verify the veracity of these allegations. When supposed ‘truths’ about Martial Law and the purported ‘progress’ that the Philippines enjoyed during the regime are considered more fact than fiction, then we see a transformation of our values as a people.”

Honestly Conchita? Frankly speaking, we don’t want to hear your yellow-tainted opinion on this issue just in case it gets into your office and you can already be charged for being biased.

If the Marcos cases haven’t given Justice to the Filipino people… it is only because people like you continually fail the Filipino people every single day. Why talk about the Marcos burial when there is a bigger talk about the case that should have been filed against former Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Leila de Lima?

Meanwhile we hear all that talk about the Ombudsman investigating Pres. Duterte in a case filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV? She knows that today that case cannot prosper because Mayor Duterte is now the President.


What’s your color? HOTSPOT By Mocha Uson (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 29, 2016 -


Photo credits: asia.nikkei.com


By Mocha Uson -PHILSTAR COLUMN

Since the start of the campaign, I have been very vocal about my support for Pres. Duterte and regardless of his flaws I still support him because of what he is doing for us – and what he can do for us and our country.

My political color is brown since it stands for our natural color and for me it represents the ordinary people. While some agree with me, others believe that I’m a fanatic and I only seek to divide our nation further. But does defending the President, because I want to focus on the things that matter, make me a fanatic?

If we look at it closely, we have already been divided into pro, anti, and neutral because of our differences in opinions and this is all right since it shows that we are a thinking nation. What I do not like, however, is for us to be divided into yellows and red/blue when we should all be brown. We should all stand together and work with each other if we truly want our country to improve.

READ MORE...

We have been divided into different colors because there are solid supporters of the previous administration who are blind to the tangible achievements of this administration, and yet I’m the fanatic?

BRINGING DOWN DUTERTE?

If these yellow forces are trying to bring down this administration, must I just turn a blind eye? Or must I make a stand and show them that there are people who will not let them succeed in destroying this administration just to put their political party in power once again.

Should it be about who is in power or what we can do to help the progress of our country? Are they pro-Philippines or are they just interested in bringing back the power to the color they got used to?

If these groups are really fighting for the interest of the people, then why did they separate from the Anti-Marcos rally last Friday? Why did they call for the people not to support the Nov. 25 rally and support the Nov. 30?

FIGHTING FOR MARACOS' VICTIMS?

This made me question if they are really fighting for the victims of the Martial Law or are they just fueling the anger of the people and channel it towards the President? Do they really want justice for these people or are they just trying to use them to bring down this administration?

I agree that the protesters must be heard and that we must let them fight for what they believe in as much as I believe that we must also respect the decision of the President and the Supreme Court. However, we must not let other groups use us for their own agenda.

There are rumors that the yellow group will be using the anti-Marcos rally to oust Pres. Duterte; that, for me, does not make any sense since this has nothing to do with his capability to lead this country to a better future.

“What should we be fighting for?”

This is what we must ask ourselves: should we fight for our own agenda or should we fight for the advancement of our country? Should we fight against each other or fight for a country where everyone’s belief and decision will be respected?

Pres. Duterte himself said, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.” I hope that tomorrow’s rally would not be used to paint the President as a dictator since he is clearly defending our democracy. I also hope that the rally tomorrow would not be about ousting a President that has won fairly through the support of 16 million Filipinos. We respect your opinion and your right to say it but we hope that you don’t do anything to disrespect our decision last election.


Butig FIRST PERSON By Alex Magno (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 3, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


BY ALEX MAGNO

Butig, Lanao del Sur is not much of a town. What inspired the members of the Maute Group to occupy it is still anybody’s guess.

Occupation of the town by the terrorist group drew a determined military response. The Armed Forces threw in everything they had: helicopter gunships, warplanes, heavy artillery and tanks.

Still, it took our soldiers six days to recover this forsaken municipality from the terrorists. In the end, 31 soldiers were wounded and 61 members of the Maute Group lay dead.

Although the Army firmly controls the center of the town, remnants of the terrorist group are said to be lurking in the forested fringes of Butig. As they withdrew, the terrorists booby trapped the town – already devastated by bombardment and house-to-house fighting.

As I view the television clips and read reports of soldiers injured by booby traps, I see shades of Aleppo or of Mosul. A town is seized. It is liberated only at the cost of leveling it – like Manila was after it was liberated by the US Army.

READ MORE...

Our military officers try not to speculate about what motivates the enemy. I suspect Butig was occupied for the Maute Group to create its own Mosul, very likely on instructions from some ignorant ISIS handler from Syria or Iraq.

The Maute Group pledged allegiance to the ISIS some months ago. We are not sure if they did that for prestige or for financial support. At any rate, the local facsimiles of the ISIS have tried their best to mimic the brutal methods of their idols. This includes bombing a night market in Davao City and bloody executions. This made carnage the hallmark of whatever it is they are fighting for.

The local terrorists, who could not be more intelligent than their Arab idols, must have thought Butig was fit to be their Mosul. Recall that Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was seized through a lightning operation by ISIS fighters several years ago. It was touted as the seat of the caliphate ISIS imagined.

BUTIG, BUSTLING URBAN CENTER

Mosul, unlike Butig, was not just a bustling urban center. It was an important vantage point. Iraq’s biggest dam sat nearby and oil wells dotted the desert around it. It has, for thousands of years, been the nexus of trade in that part of the world. Every significant ethnic and religious community is represented in Mosul’s cross-section.

Given the Maute Group’s size and fighting capacity, however, Butig should suffice. The terrorists probably imagined that by controlling the town, they could magnify their influence. It would serve as a bastion for them to grow their movement and threaten the Republic.

They grossly miscalculated. The AFP’s response was immediate and overwhelming. The enemy was not going to be allowed to hold populated territory, to have a sanctuary within which terrorists could be trained and IEDs to be manufactured.

If the Maute Group wanted to hold on to a town, they needed large mobile forces to pin down reinforcements sent in to recover it. Apart from the minor squad-sized unit that managed to attack a police convoy sent in as advance party for President Duterte, there is no other indication of any substantial mobile force.

Instead, the Maute Group tried to hold on to the town by fortifying their positions in the few built-up areas of the municipality, including the old town hall and the mosque. They were sitting ducks for artillery barrages and airstrikes. When the Army assaulted the town, armored vehicles protected the troops. This explains the gross disparity in the casualty toll.

The Battle for Butig sets down policy so clearly even the terrorists might understand.

MAUTE CLAN

If units such as the Maute Group might manage to survive in sparsely populated areas, it is not because our security forces tolerate them. It is simply because it is too costly and inefficient to chase bandits in the jungle. But if they occupy populated areas, the Armed Forces will give them no quarters and no rest.

President Duterte no less, dismissing the dangers of slipping into the war zone, visited the troops at the frontline in Butig to raise morale. On the day the President visited the troops, Butig was cleared.

We are not sure how quickly the Maute Group might recover from the disastrous Battle for Butig, considering the casualty toll. But if terrorist incidents might be caused by lone wolves, a couple of members of this group with enough propensity for violence could still hit soft targets, especially in the metropolitan areas.

This is the reason why the PNP remains on high alert despite the lopsided outcome at Butig. We have had so many terrorist attacks happening during the holiday season to merit the alert. Last week, a bomb was found on Roxas Boulevard with Maute Group “signatures.”

Remember the Maute Group is not just a generic bandit group. It is composed of members of the Maute clan. That is enough reason to suspect they will attempt to exact vengeance in the wake of crushing defeat.

The Maute Group used to be a unit of the predominantly Maranao Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Its members were said to have been involved in the assault that wiped out an entire unit of the PNP-SAF at Mamasapano.

If there is any deal to be cut with the Maute Group, the MILF ought to be involved. Partners of the Philippine Government in carving out a Bangsa Moro homeland, the MILF should take responsibility for reining in a renegade group that used to be part of their fighting forces.


Salonga’s alternative vision to Marcos tyranny AT GROUND LEVEL By Satur C. Ocampo (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 3, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Nineteen real heroes and martyrs who fought against the dictatorship have been included in the Bantayog ng mga Bayani's wall of remembrance. The ceremony on Wednesday, which lasted for four hours, coincided with the observance of the birth anniversary of hero Andres Bonifacio. DECEMBER 1, 2016 GMA NEWS FILE

Jovito R. Salonga, former Senate president and elder statesman, led the 2016 batch of 19 heroes and martyrs whose names were engraved on the Wall of Remembrance at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City last Nov. 30.

He had been the moving spirit behind the Bantayog, established 30 years ago to recognize and honor those who had fought for freedom, justice and democracy against the Marcos martial-law dictatorship. Altogether the granite Wall now shows 287 honorees.

READ MORE...

Witnessing the event, my mind rushed back to the late 1970s, when my acquaintance and friendship with Jovy Salonga began. I was then a political detainee at the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, It was there that I met him for the first time, when he visited a detained member of his Protestant church. We talked about the plight of those political detainees like me who were accused of rebellion, and whom Juan Ponce Enrile, then Marcos’ defense minister, had vowed never to release. Months later, Salonga managed to convince Enrile (his fraternity brother at the UP) to order the release of most of my co-accused.

In the ensuing months, Salonga began political discussions with me after I acceded to his request to give him a written detailed account of my arrest, detention and torture and an explanation of why I was arrested. He handed me a copy of his essay, “Our Vision of a Better Philippines,” which I read as a proposed alternative program to Marcos’ vaunted vision of a “New Society.” He asked me to discuss it with my colleagues in prison and provide him, in writing, our collective views.

In turn I gave him a copy of the draft 10-point program of the National Democratic Front (reissued with elaborations in 1977), because we found certain points in his paper that coincided with certain aspects in seven of the NDF’s 10-point program. Writing to him in January 1980, I suggested that he and I could “pursue discussions on the points of coincidence to arrive at a consensus… then explore the other points on which we somehow differ.”

Due to space limitation, I can’t fully dwell on the several points in Salonga’s paper that I commented on. Let me just share a few of them.

In the first part, subtitled “The Realities of Today,” Salonga portrayed quite aptly the national situation under seven years of martial law: the loss of basic human rights and liberties, the loss of the people’s right to participate in governance, the sluggish and regressive economy, and the growing impoverishment of the broad masses against the flourishing riches of a select few.


JOVITO SALONGA -14th President of the Senate of the Philippines; In office July 27, 1987 – January 1, 1992; President: Corazon Aquino; (Title last held by Gil Puyat) WIKIPEDIA

Salonga cited several causes of that abominable situation without clearly identifying what he thought to be the main ones. I focused on two of these points: 1) “foreign investors, mainly the multinational corporations, were induced to come in” with guarantees and advantages that “only martial law can provide”; 2) “like a number of client dictatorships around the world, the [Marcos] martial law regime has been the recipient of increasing US military and economic aid” and that the amended US-RP military bases agreement “confirms our state of dependency” on America.

These two factors, I said in my letter, “must be dealt with properly, for they constitute one of the basic problems of our society: foreign – specifically US imperialist – control.” I wholeheartedly agreed with his view that “as long as the Philippine economy is controlled by foreign interests, our people cannot claim to be independent.”

Salonga urged that we should make use of our natural resources and available skills to, first of all, serve the interest and requirements of the majority of the people – instead of serving the interests of the multinationals and their local affiliates. As regards foreign investments, he wasn’t against these but suggested that the “permissible activities of foreign corporations and enterprises should be carefully delineated and regulated, and their phaseout in certain lines essential to the national interest should be established.”

Juxtaposing his proposals against his own observation that the multinationals have practically been dictating government policies of their host countries, I wrote that asserting new rules and regulations would not suffice to basically alter the situation.

On a broader perspective, Salonga was emphatic that “we must devise our own social and economic structures to fit our own local conditions, on the basis of the needs of our own people, not on the basis of the requirements or needs of others.” Capitalism, “in the context of Philippine conditions, provides abundance to so few and pitifully little to so many,” he observed. He rejected identification with “any of the centers of power today – Washington, Moscow, Peking [Beijing], or Tokyo.”

He suggested, in general terms, a reorientation of the generally accepted view on property to imbue it with a social function. More radically, he called for “ dismantl[ing] illegal or undue concentration of wealth” and for “an alternative economic system based not on private profit but on cooperation and solidarity.”

In more specific terms, Salonga urged that “at the earliest opportunity, the government of a liberated Philippines classify and set apart the industries and services that are to be owned and operated by the State and those that may be left to private initiative.” He added that “key industries and public services essential to the national interest and common welfare should be owned by the State” and that certain fields of enterprises be Filipinized (retaining certain areas for foreign interests), and the establishment of a system of cooperatives both rural and urban-based.

These proposals converged to some degree with certain aspects of the NDF program.

After the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship, when Salonga became Senate president, he led the majority of his colleagues in rejecting the extension of the US-RP military bases agreement pushed by the Cory Aquino government. He thus made good on his commitment, during our face-to-face discussions in Bicutan, to heed the people’s call to “dismantle the US bases” in the country. Alongside progressive organizations and allies, he twice petitioned the Supreme Court (in vain) to declare the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) unconstitutional.

Salonga polished his above-cited proposals in a reinvigorated program for the Liberal Party which he then headed. But after he lost in his presidential bid in 1998 there has been no talk about this program again.


By Satur C. Ocampo


CONTINUE TO >> NEXT HT-OPINION PAGE

GO TO >> HEADLINE NEWS PAGE

GO TO > > BUSINESS & ECONOMY PAGE


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

RMAIL: PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
© Copyright, 2016 All rights reserved


BACK TO PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE