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China, Asia’s New Colonizer

‘Rather than acting on the basis of a 21st century ‘new model’ of relations and ‘win-win’ outcomes, your neigbors tend to see these actions as based more on the 19th century notions of stronger states enhancing their security at the expense of their neighbors, and seeking zero-sum’ outcomes favoring the stronger state,’ Hadley said in a speech at the World Peace Forum.

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks about a new Asian security concept; somehow, however, while his loyal Chinese media extols the new Chinese pretension as being the defender of its weaker Asian neighbors, to me in the Philippines, potential country-victim of Chinese gunboat diplomacy, the United States is still my country’s big brother who can lick that neighborhood bully.

PROC’s state-sponsored Global Times’ recent editorial point out that Asian nations including China’s terrorized victims — Philippines, Japan and Vietnam cannot look to the United States to guarantee security in the rapidly growing region.

‘The new security vision for Asia proposed by Xi means that we cannot count on countries beyond Asia to guarantee Asian security,” says Wang Yiwei, director of international affairs at Renmin University of China.

“Asian security issues need to be resolved in an Asian way. The Western world is used to forging alliances and fermenting conflicts and confrontations to gain profits, which does not conform with the situation in rapidly developing Asia.”

Xi intends to have his proposed “new regional security cooperation architecture” accepted by the  Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the 24-nation CICA Summit and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as they were all created by Asians.

“Security in Asia should be safeguarded by the wisdom of the Asian people. Leftover issues including territorial disputes, internal conflicts caused by globalization and Washington’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy have been affecting the security landscape across Asia,” the newspaper says.

US defense allies Philippines and Japan, as well as other neighboring countries, meanwhile, welcomed the shift in the US’ foreign policy and renewed defense ties with Washington amid the emergence of China as a global power with a rapidly growing maritime military might.

China insists that the US is not a party to the disputes and the concept of territorial sovereignty of nations be outside Western definitions.

“The original order in Asia has been ravaged, which constitutes the source of China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors. This is the historical background of the new Asian security view,” the Beijing paper points out..

An all-Asian outlook, it says, aims to build a future with a deep regional integration “the community of common interests, the community of common destiny and the community of common values.”

China and the United States are meeting on outstanding strategic and security issues including the hot contest over the South China Sea.

The New York Times’ Jane Perlez says both countries are not in the mood to improve on their “complicated” diplomatic situation and have set low expectations for progress on the issues.

Observers also note that the two powers may only agree on a bilateral investment treaty.

Washington’s top policymaker for Asia, however, argues that the US has been the most supportive of China’s position in the global stage.

“No country, no major power, has done more to facilitate the emergence of a prosperous and stable China than the United States,” says Daniel Russel, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, in a recent interview with the Asahi Shimbun.

“What we ask in exchange for the ability to help shape the rules that have allowed China to grow and prosper is that China accepts the principle and rules that bind the big and strong countries, as well as the small and weak,” he added.

* * *

Filipinos, Vietnamese and other neighbors of China as well as Americans perceive an inconsistency between the PROC’s statements and its actions in the disputed waters.

Stephen Hadley, who served as National Security Adviser under the Bush and Obama administrations, said in Beijing that while China’s leadership declares equal security for all and peace in the South China and East China Seas, nearby states hear the words as doublespeak.

“Rather than acting on the basis of a 21st century ‘new model’ of relations and ‘win-win’ outcomes, your neigbors tend to see these actions as based more on the 19th century notions of stronger states enhancing their security at the expense of their neighbors, and seeking zero-sum’ outcomes favoring the stronger state,” Hadley said in a speech at the World Peace Forum.

Hadley was referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “new model” in foreign policy that preaches common security for both major countries and smaller ones.

“But particularly in the last six months, from an American perspective, China has taken actions that seem inconsistent with this approach,” he said.

“Rather than ‘common security, equality security and respecting the security of each and every country,’ China has taken actions that its neighbors view as directly threatening their own security,” Hadley added.

An example that Hadley cites is the recent incident involving Philippine vessels that were blocked by Chinese coast guard ships from resupplying soldiers stationed in the disputed Second Thoma (Ayungin) Shoal for the first time in 15 years.

Hadley also said that the the international community frowned upon China’s declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea late last year “without any prior consultation, with only 30 minutes advance notice, and accompanied by threats” against those refusing to comply.

The unilateral deployment of deep-sea oil drilling rig into waters near the disputed Paracel Islands irked Vietnam, while the Philippines also opposed China’s reclamation work in maritime zones it claims part of its territory.

“The problem is that taken altogether, these steps raise questions in the minds of Americans and your neighbors: Is China sincere about wanting to achieve a ‘new model’ of relations between states?” Hadley asked.

The former presidential adviser, however, did not step beyond diplomacy and said he understands that China has its own reasons for its actions.

He admitted that the United States is also perceived in China as hypocritical in its complaints over cyberspying and as emboldening its allies in the Pacific such as the Manila to confront Beijing.

“So where do we go from here?” Hadley asked.

He urged high-level talks, which he called “strategic conversations,” between China and the US to establish a common understanding on how they both “see the world and their respective roles in it.”

“It should focus on how the two nations can best respond to those trends to enhance the prosperity and security of their respective peoples,” Hadley says.

* * *

The recently forged pact between the Philippines and Indonesia to settle their maritime row and the arbitration case are examples Washington cites for Beijing to peacefully end South China Sea rivalries.

Daniel Russel, top US diplomat for East Asia, says the Obama administration is pushing for China to curb its intimidating behavior in the South China and East China seas and look for ways to manage its differences with neighboring states.

“We want countries, including China, to manage or settle claims through peaceful, diplomatic means,” Russel said in a testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

“For example, the Philippines and Indonesia have just done so in connection with their EEZ boundary,” he added.

Russel attested to the relations between the US and China, two powers seen to be counterbalancing in the East Asian region.

However, Russel said that the ties are not marked by strategic rivalry but by “fair and healthy competition.”

Washington’s exchanges with Beijing also involves advising it on managing disputes as a regional leader as its neighbors are “understandably alarmed” by its “coercive efforts” in asserting its sea claims, Russel said.

The state department official also cited third-party dispute resolution processes, one of which the Philippines took.

“Where parties’ rights under treaties may be affected, some treaties provide for third-party dispute settlement, as is the case of the Law of the Sea Convention, an avenue pursued by the Philippines in an arbitration with China currently being considered by an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under that treaty,” he said.

Russel also argued that China must allow the merits of its overlapping claims with the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia to be decided on according to internationally recognized principles.

“These issues should be decided on the basis of the merits of China’s and other claimants’ legal claims and adherence to international law and norms, not the strength of their militaries and law enforcement ships or the size of their economies,” he explained.

Such actions, Russel said, have “no effect in strengthening the legitimacy of China’s claims.”

Aggressiveness that threatens neighbors also damages the emerging global power’s international standing, he said.

* * *

While China says that an Asian solution to our problems with China is the best way to go, the PROC seems to forget that Asians react badly to the Gunboat Diplomacy that the European colonists used effectively in the 17th and 18th century. If China is truly Asian. why does it use the same tactics that the European colonists used against us to get their way with us and our Asian neighbors? The only explanation is that the PROC has no respect for us Asians and regard us the same way that those earlier colonists did.

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Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

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hvp 07.10.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Neonicotinoid Chemicals Will Scare Off Coconut Buyers

If the importers of coconut products learn that neonicotinoid trunk injection had been done, they might stop buying or importing our coconut products.

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

A farmers’ movement in Mindanao opposes the use of Neonicotinoids chemicals to prevent the spread of coconut scale insects (CSI) or “cocolisap”, in the belief that the cure is worse than the disease:  

Save the Coconut Movement (SCM), comprised of coconut farmers, landowners, organic farmers and bee farmers, call for a total ban on the use of chemical pesticides in affected areas.

SCM co-convenor Dennis Lainez says the coconut industry will suffer if foreign buyers stop buying chemically-laced coconut products from the Philippines, adding that local industries that depend on coconut will suffer if a single death or disability should occur because of consumption of a chemically-laced coconut.

Neonicotinoids will kill the bee industry and displace thousands of workers, businesses and investments. He emphasized that Neonicotinoids are not 100 percent effective, saying “the chemical was tested before and showed dismal results.”

Cocolisap infestation is currently concentrated in Calabarzon, with 2 million trees affected as of April this year. An outbreak was also reported in Isabela City, Basilan.

SCM says the Philippines has 350 million coconut trees until Typhoon Yolanda reduced the number to 328 million.

 “It may spell disaster bigger than the cocolisap infestation. If the importers of coconut products learn that neonicotinoid trunk injection had been done, they might stop buying or importing our coconut products. The buyers abroad will be frightened knowing that the persistence of neonicotinoid may last from 40 days to six years. They might use the upper value (6 years). It implies that they may STOP importing coconuts from us for the next 6-7 years,” says SCM founder Edgar Eugenio.

Coconut products may no longer interest foreign buyers similar to the nata de coco case. Countries turned to Thailand when it was discovered that some of our exports had chemicals.

Coconut exports reached US$2 billion or P88 billion based from the Gross Domestic Product report of 2013. He said virgin coconut oil exports is at US$ 54 million or P2.376 billion.

SCM suggests allowing nature’s intervention to have its way and help the coconuts recover nutritionally. The movement suppot=rts other steps such as pruning, organic spraying, biological control and organic fertilization.

Recently, too, the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) announced that it would regulate the transport of mangosteen and lanzones fruits from the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Quezon after these crops were found to be infested with scale insects.

Through Special Quarantine Order No. 1 signed on June 11, BPI director Clarito Barron formally declared that mangosteen and lanzones trees in these provinces have a severe infestation of Aspidiotus spp and Unaspis sp.

Other fruit-bearing plants were also reported to be infested with various species of scale insects. These include banana, avocado, breadfruit, mango, sugarcane, guava, papaya and various palm species. The infestation has so far affected 526,408 fruit-bearing trees.

The movement of fruits and other parts of lanzones and mangosteen trees from the affected provinces would therefore only be allowed after an on-site inspection by a plant quarantine officer designated by the BPI.

Shipments of lanzones and mangosteen from the affected provinces must be accompanied by a Domestic Permit to Transport (DPT), which shall be presented to plant quarantine inspectors manning various checkpoints.

Any movement of lanzones and mangosteen without a valid transport permit is not allowed and shall either be returned to origin, treated if applicable, or confiscated and disposed of.

“Non-compliance by the owner to any of these measures shall constitute a violation, which shall result in the outright confiscation of the commodity,” the order said.

The special quarantine order was issued pursuant to the Plant Quarantine Decree of 1978.

Transporters may apply for a DPT at the regional field offices of the Philippine Coconut Authority or the Municipal Agriculture Office.

Before a DPT is issued from the point of origin, the deputized plant quarantine inspector inspects the shipment to confirm that these are free from scale insects.

The pre-numbered DPT is accomplished in triplicate. The transporter submits the original copy at checkpoints.

We must remember that the coconut is used mostly in the food business and any use of chemicals, especially toxic ones, tend to drive away food processors.

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hvp 07.09.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Nagkasala Ang Pari

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

   Nagsasagawa na ng pagsususri ang Simbahang Katoliko sa lalawigan ng Cebu kaugnay ng ginawang panenermon ng isang pari sa isang 17-anyos na dalagitang-ina habang nagpapabinyag ng kaniyang isinilang nasangol.

Ayon sa sulat ni Fr. Alfonso Suico Jr., C.Ss.R. media liaison ng Redemptorist Church ng Cebu sa Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) sa Manila, sinisiguro umanong papanagutin si Fr. Romeo Obach, sakaling mapatunayang lumabag ito sa sinumpaang tungkulin.

 “An internal investigation is underway. Rest assured that appropriate sanctions on the part of the involved will be applied once the investigation is complete so that justice may prevail,” bahagi ng sulat ng Congregation SS Redemptorist ng provincial superior ng probinsya ng Cebu.

 “We, the Redemptorists of the Province of Cebu are deeply saddened by the incident that happened on July 6, 2014 at the Sacred Heart Chaplaincy in Jagobiao, Mandaue City.”

Aminado itong bilang religious community ay hindi umano katanggap-tanggap ang ginawa ni Fr. Obach. Ngunit iginiit ng nasabing kongregasyon na ang nasabing pari na matagal nang nanungkulan bilang misyonaryo ay maituturing ding isang tao na nagkakamali.

Umapela rin si Fr. Suico sa taumbayan na maging mahinahon at huwag husgahan ang nakunang video na inaalipusta umano ni Fr. Obach ang dalagitang-ina habang isinasagawa ang malalimang imbestigasyon.

Kaugnay nito, humingi na rin ng tawad si Fr. Obach sa nasabing dalagita at sa pamilya nito:

 “I am now making a heartfelt apology to the mother of the child and her immediate family. I am deeply sorry and I humbly ask for your forgiveness.”

Kaya nga marami talaga ang nagulantang sa kumalat na video footage (instant viral) sa social media kung saan makikita kung paanong ipinahiya at nilait ng isang paring taga-Cebu ang isang 17-anyos na dalagang ina habang ito’y nagpapabinyag sa kapapanganak na sanggol.

Bagama’t mayroong mga alituntunin ang Simbahang Katoliko na ipinatutupad, ang lahat ng ito ay batas ng tao. Kahit pa paulit-ulit na iargumento na sinasabi rin sa Bibliya ang pagpapakasal, ang pangungumpisal at ang pagsisimba, wala pa ring sinumang tao - kahit pa pari, obispo o Santo Papa - ang pwedeng humusga sa kapwa na ikaw ay makasalanan dahil nakipagtalik ka at nagkaanak nang walang basbas ng matrimonya.

Tama iyong pari na nagkasala ang dalagita noong siya’y mnakipagtalik sa hindi niya asawa ngunit  wala pa ring karapatan ang pari na pahiwyain ang nagkasala (na hindi naman nangungumpisal sa kaniya sa harap ng maramiong tao at hndi naman nagtatanong kung ano ang natrarapat gawain. Sa totoo nga’y tama naman ang gustong mangyari noong ina na mabinyagan ang anak niya (kahit na sa labas ng sakrmento ng

Tama, na sa paniniwala ng mga Katoliko at iba pang mga kritiyanong relihiyon, isang malaking kasalanan sa Diyos ang pagsasama ng isang lalaki at babae bilang mag-asawa kung hindi pa sila nag-iisang dibdib sa harap ng altar. Kung ang pagli-live in ay malaking kasalanan, lalo pa nga ang pagbubuntis at panga­nganak sa labas ng matrimonya.

Sa New Testament ng Banal na Aklat, malinaw na sinabi ng Dakilang Manunubos na si Hesukristo na dalawa lang ang batas ng Diyos na dapat isabuhay ng tao sa lahat ng pagkakataon at sa habang panahon ng kanyang pansamantalang pananatili sa mundo at ito ay ang: pag-ibig sa Diyos nang higit sa lahat at ang pag-ibig sa kapwa na tulad ng pag-ibig ng Diyos sa kanila.

Kung si Pope Francis ay nagbinyag noong Enero ng isang batang bunga ng ‘pagkakasala’ (termino ng Catholic teachings patungkol sa mga bastardo/bastarda), ano ang karapatan ng Cebuanong pari para ipahiya ang teenager na ina sa seremonya ng binyag? Baket hindi niya inisip na kung kaya ito nagpapabinyag ng anak ay dahil sa gusto niyang masagip ang kaluluwa noong sangol upang, sa pamamagitang ng pagbinyag sa Simbahang Katoliko ay mabigyan ito ng pagkakataong makapasook sa langit, gaya ng paniniwla ng mga Katoliko kung baket nagpapabinyag sa Simbahan,?

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hvp (07.09.14)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

A Second Marcos Presidency?

Malaya 07.09.14

 

Said Ateneo President Jose Ramon Villarin, S.J.: ‘I apologize for any doubts that may have arisen on the mission of the school and the pain this event may have caused. As I hope for your understanding, I would like to assure you that we in the administration have learned our lesson to be more mindful of those we invite to our celebrations.’

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

The silliest argument for a Bongbong Presidency goes like this: There have been two Macapagals who became President. There have also been two Aquino Presidents. It’s time for a second Marcos Presidency.

I don’t think anyone will buy the argument. After all, the second Macapagal presidency was worse than the first one. And, by the present looks of the second Aquino presidency, it may even end up worse than the second Macapagal presidency. My mother tells me that Ferdinand Marcos was our worst-ever president. How does that affect the possibility of a second Marcos presidency under Senator Bongbong?

As for the argument, can you guess who said it?

* * *

The Ateneo de Manila University invited Rep. Imelda Marcos of Ilocos Norte to be present at an event celebrating its Scholarship Foundation. The school later reacted badly to criticisms arising from the photos of Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos gracing the event.

Said Ateneo President Jose Ramon Villarin, S.J.: “I apologize for any doubts that may have arisen on the mission of the school and the pain this event may have caused.

“As I hope for your understanding, I would like to assure you that we in the administration have learned our lesson to be more mindful of those we invite to our celebrations.

The photos showing Villarin, school officials and students posing with the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’ wife circulated on social networks over the weekend.

One particular photo questioned by Ateneo alumni and other netizens shows Marcos striking a pose with some students making the “V” or victory hand gesture, historically associated with those loyal to the late dictator.

Critics pointed out the work of alumni from the Ateneo High School’s “freedom batch” of 1986 who participated in the People Power Revolution that drove the Marcos family from power.

Netizens also recalled the fate of alumnus Edgar Jopson, considered by the student body as one who embodied Ateneo ideals who was among the most outspoken youth leaders against the Marcos regime. After being forced to go underground, Jopson was captured by military in 1982 and was killed.

The former First Lady was invited to the 40th anniversary event of the Ateneo Scholarship Foundation (ASF) on July 5. Villarin explained  that proceeds from a Van Cliburn piano concert organized by Marcos in 1974 was the initial donation to the Ateneo Scholarship fund.

“While not an official school arm, the ASF has been a source of many scholarships ever since its inception. The event last Saturday was a social one and, in spite of the visit of Mrs. Marcos, the evening was really a celebration of our scholars, the foundation’s scholarship programs, and the generosity of the countless benefactors over the last 40 years,” explains Villarin.

Vilarin added that “Ateneo de Manila will never forget the Martial Law years of oppression and injustice presided over by Mr. Ferdinand Marcos” in educating its students.

“We would not be catching up on nation building as we are today, had it not been for all that was destroyed during that terrible time,” the university president said.

He said that future leaders coming from Ateneo will have learned the “darkness” besetting the country under Marcos. Why did the school not vet its decision before inviting Imelda to the event. Couldn’t the administrators not have foreseen that there would be many who would not appreciate Imelda’s being invited to this event?

“We will not compromise on our principles in forming those who would lead this nation, striving at all times to be ‘constantly true’ to ourselves and to our God.” Villarin concludes. If Imelda Marcos gave the Fund a great gift by raising the first funds to came into the Fund, what is there to apologize for?

Did the Ateneo err in inviting Imelda? Perhaps, the school should have also invited a few more characters who also gave to the Scholarship Foundation Fund. I am sure that if the school looks closely, it will find all sorts of characters who gave to the Fund. After all who can and will give to funds like these if not those who have  excess funds, no matter from where their wealth came. By inviting only Imelda and no other donors, the Ateneo seemed to be saying something more and something it did not mean to say to the former First Lady: “Thank You!”

* * *

There are already two impeachment complaints against the President. A former government official filed a second impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino III for bribery and violation of the Constitution.

   Augusto Syuco, Jr., former chief of the state-run Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) who left government while under suspicion of improprieties, filed the complaint after the Supreme Court ruled that parts of the so- called Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were unconstitutional.

   Syjuco explained that Aquino violated  the Philippine Constitution by implementing DAP. He also said Aquino should be impeached due to allegations that government funds were given to senators as bribes to oust Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

   Earlier, lawyer Oliver Lozano filed an impeachment complaint against Aquino over the government’s DAP. Lozano has been filing impeachment complaints against many officials, none of which have ever prospered.

For the impeachment process against Aquino to prosper requires the endorsement of a sitting member of Congress. It is not expected that any member of Congress will endorse an impeachment complaint. As, has been pointed out by a Senator, only the sitting vice president would profit from such a move. When President Estrada was impeached, although the impeachment trial was overtaken by events, the vice president then, eventually took over as President Gloria Arroyo.

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hvp 07.08.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Alan Peter/Agham on the Coconut

Malaya 07.08.14

 

“To control the cocolisap infestation, the Philippine Coconut Administration (PCA)  promotes the use of systemic pesticides, which could have an adverse environmental impact. “

                                                                                   

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

 I like what Senate Majority Leader Senator Alan Peter Cayetano says that although it lost the court battle over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), when the Supreme Court ruled that this was unconstitutional, Malacañang should be glad: Democracy is at work.

Actually, the idea of the DAP is not new.  Other Presidents had also done the same thing. Now that the SC has ruled, of course, the practice must stop. Cayetano sees this as proof that the system of checks and balances is working.

 “I welcome the decision of the Supreme Court. The decision brings forth many victories. Although Malacañang lost the battle, I think [it] won the war,” he said.

Principally, it’s a “victory” for checks and balances, he said.

Under a different administration, the Supreme Court might have glossed over the opposition to the DAP and upheld its constitutionality, Cayetano says.

 “Malacañang lost in the sense that it was wrong to augment [a budgetary] item, or consider an unspent item as savings, and the Supreme Court is correct,” he said.

“But it shows that democracy is alive. It shows check and balance. It shows the respect of the President for the Supreme Court. We should comply with the decision of the Supreme Court,” he added.

Also, Cayetano advised individuals and groups planning to file an impeachment complaint against the President over the DAP debacle to seriously study the matter.

“If the President is impeached, who will benefit? Won’t that be VP Binay?” he said.

He is right, of course. When Erap was impeached, who benefited? Gloria! Impeaching a President does no good to anyone but the sitting Vice President.

* * *

I also like the idea that Senator Cayetano is up front about wanting to be president and not wanting to be vice president. He says that he would rather be mayor or senator than vice president and that one can become president even without being vice president.

When will he be President?

   “I want to be president of this country someday. I think I can do something great for God and our people,” he says.

   “But is 2016 my time? Or is it 2022? 2028? Or never..?”

Considering how his wife, the Mayor of Taguig, is doing and Taguig’s slogan of “Walang Corrupt sa Taguig,” a Cayetano Presidency, may not be such a bad idea.

* * *

Scientists warn against the use of chemical pesticides containing dinotefuran to control coconut scale insects (CSI) or “cocolisap,” which has ravaged over 60 percent of the total coconut farming areas in the country.

The Agham-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People caution the government against using toxic chemicals to combat the CSI aspidiotus rigidus infestation, which could worsen the damage to the coconut industry.

“Instead of abating the current situation, this step could further damage our coconut industry,” Agham secretary general and entomologist Finesa Cosico says.

Cosico was referring particularly to the use of dinotefuran, which is a pesticide that has been found harmful to pollinators such as bees. The coconut is a cross-pollinated type of plant that depends on self-pollination or pollination by an agent.

To control the cocolisap infestation, the Philippine Coconut Administration (PCA)  promotes the use of systemic pesticides, which could have an adverse environmental impact.

“The administration of systemic pesticides to control CSI must be carefully studied prior to the massive scale of application to the affected coconut farm areas. The government must not rely solely on the use of chemical methods to eliminate CSI,” Cosico said.

Dinotefuran is an active ingredient in neonicotinoid, a type of pesticide that controls various types of insect pests. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, dinotefuran is highly soluble and highly mobile, easily leaching to the subsurface, and is resistant to biodegradation.

Agham says that the most controversial issue in the use of neonicotinoids is its effect on pollinators, particularly bees, which could come in direct contact with the chemical or indirectly ingest it through its residues on blooming crops.

The exposure of bees to neonicotinoids could result in colony collapse disorder. The mass disappearance of pollinators was first observed in the United States in 2006.

According to Agham, switching to other “organic and biodegradable” chemicals is is also no assurance that it would be safe for the environment and public health.

 “The use of synthetic pesticide must be a last resort, especially in the case of the CSI because of the lethal effects of dinotefuran to beneficial insects,” she said.

The Department of Budget and Management recently set aside at least P400 million for the six-month scale insect emergency action program of the Philippine Coconut Authority after President Aquino signed an executive order for measures to control the spread of the cocolisap.

Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Secretary Francis Pangilinan has said that over P750 million is needed for the program, which will be undertaken in three phases involving the injection of insecticides, pruning and burning, setting up of a scale insect laboratory for bio-agents, rehabilitation, surveillance and quarantine.

Secretary Pangilinan ought to talk to Biotechnologist Edgar Maranan who has piloted a successful organic solution for cocolisap. Doing this using toxic chemicals may just kill our coconut industry. Remember that the main use of the coconut is for food.  Any toxic chemicals applied to coconut trees might just kill the coconut as food. Remember that coconut water is bottled and the oil in copra is used in cooking.  If we can no longer sell our coconuts because people are afraid to eat what comes from chemically treated trees,  what would we do with all of those thousands  of hectares planted to coconut?

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hvp 07.07.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Nakialam ang Simbahan

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

Tama si Catholic Bishops’ Confe­rence of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Socrates Villegas sa paghamon kay Pangulong Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III na sibakin na sa puwesto ang mga corrupt na miyembro ng gabinete nito bilang patunay ng tuwid na daan ang nais nitong tahakin sa kanyang administrasyon.

Ayon kay Villegas ang pagtahak sa tuwid na daan ay dapat walang pina­panigan, kung nagka­sala umano ang mga gabinete nito ay dapat din na imbestigahan at panagutin, ang imbestigasyon umano sa katiwalian ay hindi dapat sa oposisyon lamang kundi maging sa mga kakampi sa admi­nistrasyon.

 “A government that professes to tread the straight path must remain true to that profession and must be willing to let go of the corrupt in its own ranks,” giit ni Villegas kung saan hinimok pa nito ang Commission on Audit (COA) at Office of the Ombudsman na himayin sa publiko kung paano na­gastos at nailaan ang pondo ng Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Ang naging sagot naman dito ng Malacañang na binigkas ng Deputy Presidential Spokesman ay “Officials are innocent until proven guilty.” Sa aking pananaw, mali ang sagot. Sa totoo lamang, ang mga nasa gabinete ng isang Pangulo “serve at the pleasure of the President.” Hindi sila kinakailangang mapatunayang “guilty” upang sibakin sila. Kahit may rason o wala, maaaring silang sibakin ng Pangulo,

Ako nga’y humanga kay Presidente Cory noong kaniyang kinausap ng masinsinan ang kaniyang Secretary of Defense na si Juan Ponce Enrile bago niya ito sinibak noong 1986 dahil sa nawala na ang tiwala niya kay Enrile na isa sa kumampi sa kaniya at nakatulong sa nangyaring People Power revolution.

Kung naniniwala pa rin si PNoy sa kaniyang Secretary of Agriculture, baket napakaraming mga bureau sa ilalim ng Agricultura ang kinuha niya sa Kalihim at kaniyang binigay kay Kiko Pangilinan? At ang pinakitaan naman ng Presidente ng bastusan na  dahil wala man lamang doon ang Kalihim ng Agriculture noong nilipat kay Secretary Kiko ang halos kabuohan ng Department of Agriculture, ay hindi pa rin nag-bitiw.

Palagay ko nga na tama ang Simbahan na dapat nang magtanggal na si PNoy ng mga alam na ng lahat na mga kurakot ngunit ang Pangulo na lang yata ang hindi pa nakakahalata.

Bagama’t suportado umano ng Malacañang ang posisyon ng Simbahang Katoliko na pa­panagutin ang lahat ng nagpasasa sa kaban ng bayan, sa ngayon ay hindi pa umano marapat na sibakin na agad ang mga ito.

“We have a legal system and it is only fair to afford anyone, either opposition or administration, to undergo the legal process. Meron tayong sinusunod na prosesong legal at me­ron tayong sinusundan na presumed innocent until proven guilty,” ani Valte.  Mali ito. Mali si Valte. Walang proseso-proseso sa mga naka-upo sa gabinete. Kapag gusto ka nang tanggalin ng Pangulo, goodbye na! Dapat nga na para sa mga nasa gabinte, kung nakakahalata ka na rin na wala nang tiwala sa iyo, inaasahang  gagawain mo na ang nararapat at kusa ka na lang aalis. Ito ang ibig sabihin ng “serve at the pleasure of the President.”

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hvp (07.08.14)

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

A Murder in Caramoan

According to incumbent Gov. Miguel Luis “Migz” Villafuerte, parties identified with the former speaker are behind illicit operations in the Caramoan Peninsula, which led to last March’s murder of  four small-scale miners in Lahuy Island.

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

The murder of four small-scale miners in eco-tourism paradise Caramoan Island seems like your typical murder story in a small town. It actually transcends parochial concerns and is  proof that the P10-billion pork scam does not end with the prosecution of the three big fishes — Senators Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.

All other legislators found to have dealt with self-confessed pork scammer Janet Napoles should also be charged.

The smalltown crime in CamSur seems as remote from the Napoles scam as Caramoan Island is from the country’s capital; but they are actually linked by a common thread —  ex-Speaker and former Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella whose fingerprints are all over both.

That Fuentebella is in the rogue’s gallery of the P10-billion pork scam is no longer subject to debate, given that:

* The Commission on Audit (COA), in its 2007-2009 special audit report, identified P40.27 million-worth of irregular Priority Development Assist Fund (PDAF) and Various Infrastructure and Local Projects (VILP) allocations that went to a questionable nongovernment organization (NGO)-beneficiary when Fuentebella was deputy speaker during the Arroyo Administration; and

* Napoles’ signed affidavit dated May 26 that puts Fuentebella as No. 33 on the list of 100 legislators she claims to have dealt with ever since she started dealing her money-spinning racket of skimming off lawmaker’s PDAF outlays through overpriced projects and/or funneling such funds into ghost projects or bogus NGOs.

* * *

Fuentebella—who was speaker during the Estrada administration and whose political clan has controlled CamSur’s 4th or “Partido” district for over a century now—should at least be investigated.

Suspicions are rife that Fuentebella dipped his fingers this time into the illegal mining racket. According to incumbent Gov. Miguel Luis “Migz” Villafuerte, parties identified with the former speaker are behind illicit operations in the Caramoan Peninsula, which led to last March’s murder of  four small-scale miners in Lahuy Island.

After Fuentebella’s s third and final term as congressman in 2013, his “Partido” district seat was taken over by his son William Felix, who, during the Gloria years, headed the Partido Development Authority (PDA), a unique and all-powerful state-run corporation that overseas economic development in the 4th district by virtue of the Fuentebella-sponsored Republic Act No.  7820.

* * *

According to environmental activists, the illegal mining activities are being perpetrated by groups allied with Fuentebella and in cahoots with the police in the Caramoan Peninusala, which is a tourism zone that, by law, is suppossed to be off limits to mining activities.

In fact, the Fuentebella-controlled PDA was empowered three years ago to oversee mining activities in the entire Partido district by way of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), in violation of:

* Republic Act No. 9445, which declared six (6) islands off the northern coast of the Caramoan Peninsula—Lahuy, Cotivas, Guinahan, Luksuhin, Malibagon and Masag—as national tourism zones.; and

* Executive Order No. 79 declaring five specific areas—including tourism development areas as identified in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP)—as closed to mining applications.

Fuentebella wass the lead proponent of RA 9445.

* * *

The illegal mining activities have been going on at Caramoan with impunity because, inspite of his pork “stigma” and his successive close ties to former Presidents Estrada and Arroyo, Fuentebella has seemingly wormed his way back into Malacañang, what with the surprise actions taken by the Philippine National Police (PNP) under Director-General Alan Purisima in relation to the murders.

Napolcom, acting on the May 7 recommendation of its regional office in Bicol, approved last June 9 an en banc resolution suspending CamSur Gov. “Migz” Villafuerte as Napolcom deputy in the province.

Napolcom’s squeeze play on the young governor in response to illegal mining and the subsequent murders has bewildered CamSur folks, considering that Villafuerte was the one who complained to regional police head Chief Supt. Victor Pelota Deona—in an April 29 letter—about the local police’s “inaction” on rampant illegal mining in Barangay Gata and quarrying in Barangay Pili, both in Caramoan, by parties identified with Fuentebella.

In his letter, which was copy-furnished to PNP chief Purisima, Villafuerte told Deona of the “inaction” of former provincial director Senior Supt. Arnold Albis on the illegal mining activities of [1] the firm Partido Construction and of [2] the groups of Barangay Chairperson Mercy Sueno and Kagawad Maximino Breis  Jr. in Barangay Gata.

In his April 7 letter to Albis, Villafuerte attached photos of quarrying in Barangay Pili by Partido Construction—which the governor described as “a known favored contractor of Cong. Fuentebella—“in connivance with local officials of Caramoan including members of the PNP.”

* * *

In his Motion for Reconsideration asking the Napolcom to review its June 9 order suspending him as  Napolcom deputy, Governor Villafuerte noted that due process was not observed in this case because:

*  The commission summarily upheld the confidential report of its Bicol office without first conducting an investigation into the crime and the real issue that caused it, which was the unabated illegal mining and quarrying in Caramoan; and

*  An investigation prior to the submission of the regional report to the Napolcom headquarters recommending the governor’s suspension as Napolcom deputy in the province was truly in order, more so because the persons reporting the alleged abuses  ”are personalities or politicians involved in illegal quarrying, mining, and logging who are directly affected by the intensive campaign/drive of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur to curb or eradicate illegal quarrying, mining, fishing, logging, and other illegal activities in the province.”

* * *

That there is mining at all in Caramoan should be the No. 1 concern of the police leadership because it has been happening with impunity in a tourist zone that President Aquino no less has declared off limits to mining in EO 79, which he signed on July 6, 2012.

Worse, such illicit acts in violation of President Aquino’s order, have been taking place with the protection or connivance of the police, apparently with the blessings of the former Speaker and Deputy Speaker. who should be in jail in Camp Crame right now for his involvement in the P10-billion pork scam as attested to by Napoles herself in her sworn affidavit and by COA in its 2007-2009 report.

Also, the police should have known that this mining issue has been a major CamSur concern back when Luis Raymund “L-Ray” Villafuerte was still governor.

Back in 2011, then-Gov. L-Ray Villafuerte wrote an Aug. 24 letter to DENR Secretary Ramon Paje blasting as “legally infirm” the MOA sealed by his Department, through MGB, with the PDA, because it “clearly usurped the power granted under the province of Camarines Sur as an LGU (local government unit)” as provided in the 1987 Charter and   the Local Government Code.

* * *

Before Napoles herself linked Fuentebella to her scam, he had been identified as among the erring legislators by the COA, which, in its special audit report for 2007-2009, questioned his PDAF and VILP allocations totaling P40.27 million.

This amount is on top of the P80 million-worth of public funds, which Fuentebella and his close relatives  had reportedly squandered when he was deputy speaker for Luzon during the Arroyo presidency., according to then-Gov. “L-Ray” Villafuerte in a plunder case he filed against the Fuentebellas in  September 2011.

By combining the amounts involved in the original plunder case and in COA’s 2007-2009 report—P80 million plus P40.27 million—the DOJ and the Ombudsman would know for sure that the former deputy speaker has been implicated in the highly irregular use of P120.27 million-worth of public funds, or more than double the threshold amount of P50 million for plunder cases.

Villafuerte said COA’s 2007-2009 audit report bolsters his charges in his 2011 plunder case that during the period that Fuentebella was misappropriating public funds for his personal benefit, he was also taking advantage of his “position,  authority, relationship, connection or influence” as a ranking officer of Congress.

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hvp 07.06.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

HK’s Occupy Central

“The statement stressed that universal suffrage must be in line with the Basic Law and the decisions made by the top legislature, and election methods must be in line with Hong Kong’s real situations. It noted that any form of ‘referendum’ held in the region is ‘illegal and invalid’ since it has no constitutional and legal basis.

 

 

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

I call on our leftist friends to read this Xinhua news report from Beijing on the protests in Hongkong where the object of  Occupy Central campaign was simply to give the people of Hongkong some say on who should lead Hongkong, More than 500 were arrested by police for staying overnight on Chater Road as they had announced when they arrived there July 1.

Here is the report: ” (Xinhua) The central government respects the rights of Hong Kong citizens to voice opinions, but any act against the region’s Basic Law and decisions of the top legislature can only obstruct universal suffrage, China’s central authorities have said.

“The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council on Monday released a statement rebuking a “civil referendum” held between June 20 and 29 in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

“According to the statement, the so-called “referendum” was not in line with the HKSAR’s Basic Law and the election procedures set down by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature.

“The stance of the central government has been consistent and clear on the development of Hong Kong’s political governance, which is that we resolutely support Hong Kong to develop democracy in incremental steps in accordance with the region’s Basic Law,’ it said.

“The statement stressed that universal suffrage must be in line with the Basic Law and the decisions made by the top legislature, and election methods must be in line with Hong Kong’s real situations.

“It noted that any form of ‘referendum’ held in the region is ‘illegal and invalid’ since it has no constitutional and legal basis.

“‘Our standpoint is firm that the position of chief executive must be shouldered by one who loves both the country and Hong Kong,’ it said, adding that the so-called ‘referendum’ would not disturb the central government’s sincerity and determination in lawfully pushing forward the selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2017.

“According to the office, the central government fully respects and understands Hong Kong people’s wish for universal suffrage, and such wish ‘can only be realized through lawful, rational and down-to-earth discussions among various sides.’

“‘Any activity in violation of the Basic Law and related decisions of the NPC Standing Committee can only obstruct universal suffrage,’ it said.

“The office urged the people of Hong Kong to see clearly the nature of those planning and organizing the ‘referendum,’ which is to ‘pursue self-interests through breaching the rule of law, disturbing Hong Kong’s social order and holding back the progress of universal suffrage.’

“It called on Hong Kong citizens to voluntarily resist any activity that harms the region’s prosperity, stability and its citizens’ long-term interests.”

Remember that when Hongkong was turned over to the PROC, Deng Xiao Peng noted that the system that would apply to HK would be “One Country, Two Systems.” Well, as has been proven again and again, you can’t trust these bastards to do what they promise. It is useless trying to talk to them. The only thing they respect is firepower, which is why I am glad that we have the USA as our allies.

* * *

Every year since Hongkong was taken over by the PROC, there have been protest marches every July asking for democratic elections to choose the Governor of the territory,

Here is a diary entry in the South China Morning Post written by Jason Dy:”I have taken part in every July 1 march since I moved back to Hong Kong in 2005. That makes yesterday’s march my ninth. I have the routine down pat: I will put on a black T-shirt, eat a hearty lunch and agree on a time to meet my friends in Causeway Bay. I will bring both sunscreen and a small umbrella because the Hong Kong summer, like its politics, is never predictable. Take this year for instance. Who would have thought that Beijing would release the bluntly-worded White Paper – an assertion of total power over the city and a bonanza for protest organisers – less than a month before the most politically sensitive day on our calendar?

“At the Central MTR station, I was about the only man in black. I must have missed the call on social media to wear white to mock the White Paper. But it didn’t matter, because our minds were somewhere else when the train reached Causeway Bay. We were awed by the sheer number of people inching away from the platform. It was like a Chinese New Year flower market except this crowd was bigger and more orderly. There is a lot on our minds these days and we wanted to say it with our feet. And the people have spoken.

“I met up with a friend in front of Sogo. Matthew, a Shanghai native, is a law professor at Hong Kong University. This is his fifth year in the city but his first time joining a march. I told Matt that people came out not only because of the White Paper but also to vent our anger over a laundry list of issues: the northeastern NT redevelopment bill, Beijing’s stance on the 2017 chief executive election and its outright dismissal of the unofficial referendum on election methods in which nearly 800,000 Hong Kongers had participated. I also told Matt that we must enter Victoria Park to be counted by the police, and that authorities routinely under-report the headcount to downplay the level of public frustration. But it didn’t matter, because I was there and I saw it with my own eyes. The size of the crowd this year was not like anything I had seen the other eight times. I knew the people have spoken.

“Over the course of the march, I took pains to visit as many as sidewalk booths as I could. I waved at Lee Cheuk Yan, union leader and chairman of the Democratic Alliance. I shook the hands of all three Occupy Central organisers – Benny Tai, Chu Yiu-ming and Chan Kin-man – and told them how thankful I was for all that they have done and still to do. I also chatted with Erica Yuen, chairlady of People Power. She offered to meet me at her party booth near Wanchai’s Southern Playground if I wanted to talk more and ask her a few questions. I said “sure,” although I knew I probably wouldn’t see her again for the rest of the day. I had to move with the crowds and stay with my friend. But it didn’t matter, because I had no questions and she need not give me any answers. The turnout yesterday was more powerful than any statement a politician could make. For the people have spoken.

“By the time we reached Admiralty and the office towers in Central came into view, the sun had begun to set. The sky suddenly dimmed and the rain started to come down in sheets. Colourful umbrellas pop-opened like daisies. I couldn’t tell whether the untimely downpour was angel tears or a divine intervention to disperse the crowds. But it didn’t matter, because someone somewhere started playing “Under a Vast Sky” through a megaphone. The song, written by a beloved 80s Cantopop band, speaks of ideals and defiance and is the closest thing to a national anthem we have. The marchers instantly broke into song, and the words sent goose bumps all over my soaked body. Rain? What rain? The people have spoken!

“We left the rally near Pedder Street. At a café, I went through the photos on my phone and posted some of them on Facebook and Instagram. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these images would amount to a history book. The pictures of citizens streaming down Hennessy Road, of old people and young people and people in wheelchairs, didn’t just record history, they reclaimed it. After I said goodbye to Matthew, I bowed my head and said a prayer for the students who would remain on Chater Road for an overnight sit-in and who would almost certainly be removed by riot police. I also prayed for the upcoming Occupy Central showdown, a battle that we can’t win but still must fight. Perhaps that, too, doesn’t matter, because the people have already spoken.”

Before the protests, a white paper by the Chinese government proclaimed that Hong Kong does not enjoy full autonomy. The Hong Kong government earlier promised residents that they will be able to vote for their new chief executive in the upcoming 2017 election, but at this point, that promise looks like it will never happen.

On 1 July 2014, organizers said over 500,000 protesters marched along the streets of Hong Kong, while city officials estimated the figure to be 100,000. A police force of around 5000 officers was present during the protest, and over 500 demonstrators were arrested during a sit-in protest that followed on 2 July for illegal assembly and disrupting traffic in Chater Road. Whichever is correct, it was still the biggest protest march in Hongkong since the takeover by the PROC.

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hvp 07.03.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

The Occupy Movement in Hongkong

“The numbers participating in this protest is surprising, considering that Hongkong is part and parcel of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) even if the official slogan is One China, Two Systems‘,  a constitutional principle formulated by Deng Xiaoping, the Paramount Leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), for the reunification of China during the early 1980s.

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

   In Hongkong, the South China Morning Post reports that more  than 787,000 people voted in an unofficial ballot set up by the Occupy Central campaign to push for universal suffrage. Although the results lack legal basis and have been regarded as dubious, the 10-day ballot remains the biggest exercise yet for the people to express their views. Even though the public do not necessarily endorse the civil disobedience campaign, the clamour for democracy expressed through the ballot box seems unstoppable.

The Occupy movement is an international protest movement against social and economic inequality, its primary goal being to make the economic structure and power relations in society more fair. Different local groups have different foci, but among the prime concerns is the claim that large corporations and the global financial system control the world in a way that disproportionately benefits a minority, undermines democracy and is unstable.

The first Occupy movement in Hongkong was which took place in Central, Hong Kong and lasted from 15 October 2011 to 11 September 2012. The camp was set up at a plaza beneath the HSBC headquarters.  The present one is expected to have higher turnout boosted by recent events, including the row about developing the northeastern New Territories and Beijing’s white paper on the implementation of “one country, two systems”. Cyberattacks and tough rhetoric against the ballot also fuelled negative public sentiment. Even when officials opted for a more conciliatory tone after the strong initial turnout, daily voting figures continued to rise.

Notes the South Vhina Morning Post: “Buoyed by what they have called the people’s victory, the democrats may think they now stand taller in front of Beijing. But the stakes have been raised so high that it does not bode well for consensus on the way forward. Not only has the ballot strengthened support for allowing voters the right to nominate chief executive candidates - a concept firmly rejected by Beijing - it effectively gives democrats a mandate to reject proposals that fail to meet international standards. The growing pressure to veto means dwindling space to maneuver.

“Despite strong public support, public nomination is unlikely to be adopted. To Beijing and the Hong Kong government, it remains legally unsound and politically unacceptable. Although all three options in the ballot involved public nomination, the one put forward by the Alliance for True Democracy was relatively moderate and provides more leeway. Unsurprisingly, it also received the most support - over 42 per cent of the votes. It opens the window for further negotiation and, hopefully, room for compromise.”

The “Occupy Central” protest is going on right now in Hongkong. The numbers participating in this protest is surprising, considering that Hongkong is part and parcel of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) even if the official slogan is One China, Two Systems“,  a constitutional principle formulated by Deng Xiaoping, the Paramount Leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), for the reunification of China during the early 1980s. There is almost no chance that what the Hongkong Occupiers want  – some choice on who will rule Hongkong — will never happen under the dictatorship that is the PROC. Still, it’s nice to see the start of the miracle  that democracy can still take hold in the hearts of those who have absolutely no choice in the matter.

                                                                                       * * *

  The first “Occupy” movements were in the U.S., the most famous of which was “Occupy Wall Street.” This was  a protest against  the concentration of wealth among the top 1% income earners compared to the other 99 percent.  According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, the top 1 percent of income earners nearly tripled after-tax income over the last thirty years. According to the CBO, between 1979 and 2007 the incomes of the top 1% of Americans grew by an average of 275%.

During the same time period, the 60% of Americans in the middle of the income scale saw their income rise by 40%. Since 1979 the average pre-tax income for the bottom 90% of households has decreased by $900, while that of the top 1% increased by over $700,000, as federal taxation became less progressive.

In 2009, the average income of the top 1% was $960,000 with a minimum income of $343,927. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%.

During the economic expansion between 2002 and 2007, the income of the top 1% grew 10 times faster than the income of the bottom 90%. In this period 66% of total income gains went to the 1%, who in 2007 had a larger share of total income than at any time since 1928. This is in stark contrast with surveys of U.S. populations that indicate an “ideal” distribution that is much more equal, and a widespread ignorance of the true income inequality and wealth inequality. The occupy movement began with a commitment to nonviolence. Study groups were organized across the US Occupy camps. A subsequent film “”How to Start a Revolution by Ruaridh Arrow which premiered in Boston on 18 September was screened in Occupy camps across the US and Europe. The vast majority of occupy members have been nonviolent. Reviewing the global movement in December 2011, its nonviolence remained an immense strength.

* * *

Was the “Million People March” on that Sunday in the Luneta which  finally rid us of the PDAF  an offshoot of the Occupy movement in other parts of the world? And how much of the b Spring came from the idea that people own their countries and not the politicos and their leaders. Now, we have the “Occupy Central” in Hongkong. Where will this end? Can the “Occupy” idea, that started in America survive and grow under a communist dictatorial regime?

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hvp 07.02.14

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Bumoto na ang SC sa DAP

Diretsahan


ni Horacio Paredes

 

                Sa 13 boto ng mga mahistrado, idineklara ng Korte Suprema ngayong Martes na hindi naaayon sa Saligang Batas ang ilang probisyon ng Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) ng administrasyong Aquino.

        Nag-inhibit naman sa botohan si Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro.

        Eto po ang lumabas sa webpage ng PIO ng Korte na si Atty, Theodore Te:  WHEREFORE, the Court PARTIALLY GRANTS the petitions for certiorari and prohibition; and DECLARES the following acts and practices under the Disbursement Acceleration Program, National Budget Circular No. 541 and related executive issuances UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being in violation of Section 25(5), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers, namely:

        a) The withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies, and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriation Acts;

        b) The cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive; and

        c) The funding of projects, activities and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the General Appropriations Act.

        The Court further DECLARES VOID the use of unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets for non-compliance with the conditions provided in the relevant General Appropriations Acts. SO ORDERED.”

        Ang hindi pinalusot ng Korte ay ang  pag-gamit ng mga pondong inilaan su budget para sa isang bagay at ang pagdeklara na ito bilang “savings” upang magamit ito sa iba pang bagay.

        Hindi rin pinalusot ng Korte Suprema ang paggamit ng unprogrammed funds despite the absence of a certification by the National Treasurer that the revenue collections exceeded the revenue targets.”

        Ayon sa desisyon, hinayaan ng Department of Budget and Management na gamitin ng gobyerno ang mga sumobrang pondo kahit wala pa itong clearance.

        Siyam na petisyon ang inihain sa hukuman na kinukuwestiyon ang DAP.

        Pumutok ang isyu ng DAP matapos isiwalat ni Senador Jinggoy Estrada na ginamit ito ng administrasyon bilang “bonus” sa mga senador na bumoto sa pagpapatalsik kay dating Chief Justice Renato Corona noong 2012.

* * *

        Merong kasalukuyang nangyayari sa Hongkong na “Occupy Central” na protesta katulad ng mga ilang “Occupy” na nangyari sa Amerika. Ang layunin ng protesta sa Hongkong ay ang  ibigay sa mamamayan ang boto sa pagili ng kanilang mga lider at iba pang opisyal na nagpapalakas sa Hongkong. Kung sila’y magtagumpay, parang magiging patunay ito sa pinangako ni Deng Xiao Peng noong sinabi niya na ang Tsina ay magiging “One country, two systems” noong snauli ng Britain ang Hongkong sa Beijing. 

        Ngunit,  sa aking pananaw, hindi makikinig ang Peope Republic of China (PROC) ang hiling ng Occupy Central” mna nakakuha ng sobra sa 700,000 na boto sa sampung araw na mangngampaniya na mabiyan sila nga kaunting demorasiya noong kanilang unang “Occupy” narally noong marso.

 

                                                                                                        * * *

        Basahin ang aking mga  kolum sa www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. Mag-email sa duckyparedes@gmail.com.

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.