Archive for July, 2009
In the run-up to the 2010 polls in the country one group is often overlooked by Political analysts in general and media as a whole. It is a dark side of politics, the criminal gangs who know having a strong influence on political funding directly or via proxy allows them to carry on with the deadly trade of death that is illegal and has for some time been a serious almost incurable cancer that fuels corruption, crime and truly destroys society.
The drugs that poisons our youth and through enablers in power whose corruption turns a blind eye or tawrts efforts to allow them to ply the trade that is for most Filipino families a product that is the root of all evil and sum of all fear of every parent . Philippine government is already waging a war against “narco-politics” which is happening in the country and as election time nears rears its ugly head.
As the focus moves in media towards the 2010 national and local elections few major reports seem to be covering it. One wonders why little attention is paid to the the fact that there is a narcotics cabal of organized crime in our midst and they do influence media and government if not in cash – then in kind- I remember a coverage I did and the reply of senior NARCOM official on the drug gangs influence on society. The general who has pass away told me on background to not look so far away – that media itself was influenced by the narcotics trade.
The general told me, “If drug tests on broadcast journalists, columnists, and, editors were conducted I wonder how many would pass? and if any would take them if the results were made public? “Yes, I think in a at least a few cases off hand the reality that drug use in media outlets exist must be admitted. But then again the problem is throughout society.
The late general also admitted that aside from the Media which is a mirror of society; Government agencies, even the Police force has problems with some members addicted to narcotics. But the general went on to say, “Media however is a scary thought, since it shapes public opinion,” and he added “When in some few cases at a editorial board meeting or story conference more than just the days reports are passed around behind closed doors one wonders what kind of reporting happens in a cloud of smoke or if the razor lines of a mirror are present.” The General never went into too many details he later was transferred out of NARCOM to another PNP unti and passed away. He never identified anyone in particular but hinted that back in 90’s the problem of nacro-politics and influence was wide-spread.
In a news release – Deputy presidential spokeswoman Lorelei Fajardo said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Malacañang. “Are alarmed on the possible use of drug money to influence the outcome of the elections next year.” Fajardo said that, “President Arroyo was very much concerned over the possibility of “narco-politics” occurring in the country and showing its influence in the 2010 elections, particularly at the local level.”
She added that there are “Some corrupt politicians who are using drug money so they can push their political ambitions to be able to get a juicy government positions.” noting the key word some – and not seeking to elaborate on identities.
“Our political leaders, especially local government officials, should partner with President Arroyo or the national government in the all-out war against illegal drugs,” adding further that in light of this people should come forward and report those involved to expose them. ”If there is evidence that politicians are behind these kind of sickening activities, they will not be spared no matter how far and wide their influence is,” she said. ”Mrs. Arroyo is serious in combating this spread of illegal drugs and we cannot discount the possibility that it could be a factor that drug money could be used in the coming elections and we have to do something about that,” Fajardo said.
Philippine President Gloria Arroyo says “The importance of international engagement in the country’s development.” Arroyo said this while attending the startup of a new road project that is expected to benefit millions of people in central and northern Mindanao. ”This is one of the fruits of international engagement,” the President said when she led the groundbreaking of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) -funded road project here that stand to benefit some four million Filipinos.
“This road project will benefit not only the people of Impasugong or Bukidnon but also the neighboring areas,” she explained. The President, assisted by Bukidnon Governor Ma. Jose Zubiri Jr., Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Rep. Candido Pancrudo, lowered the time capsule containing the project’s plan. Governor Zubiri informed the President that the AusAID project will cover some 160 kilometers of all-weather roads.
“This is something new for Bukidnon and this was made possible through the efforts of the President and our good relations with the Australian government,” he said. Australian Charge d’Affaires Steve Scott said the Philippines is an “important partner of Australia,” adding that the funds were made available to the Philippines because of “good governance and good execution of AusAID projects.” The road project is under the Southern Philippines Provincial Road Maintenance Program (SPPRMP) that covers 10 provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao and is funded with some 100 million Australian dollars or around P3.5 billion by the Australian government through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
The program has a Provincial Road Maintenance Facility (PRMF) that provides P50 million each year to every beneficiary province for construction and repair of provincial roads over a five-year period. It has been noted that provincial roads are the key links of rural communities to the national highway and eventually to the centers of trade and commerce, political administration, and health and educational services, among others.
By improving transport, the welfare of rural folks will significantly improve.
Apart from improving the road network, the program also seeks to strengthen each province’s institutional capacity and governance system related to the provision and maintenance of provincial roads. Depending on the performance of each beneficiary province in carrying out the program, these could be eligible for another round of assistance. The beneficiary provinces of the SPPRMP are Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Surigao del Norte, in Mindanao; and Bohol and Guimaras in the Visayas.
Three more beneficiary provinces are still to be identified.
Within five years, the SPPRMP is principally expected to have rehabilitated at least 1,000 kilometers of provincial roads in the 10 provinces; improved access for over four million people to schools and health centers; and reduced transport costs.
The PRMF is said to be Australia’s single largest grant project in the Philippines to date; the bilateral agreement covering this was signed last March. Australia is the country’s second largest bilateral grant aid donor after Japan. Its aid program has grown significantly in the last three years. For the fiscal year 2008-2009, its assistance portfolio is estimated at Aus 109 million dollars.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo strongly supports the full automation of next year’s elections.
In a press briefing in Bukidnon the press secretary Cerge Reymonde that, “Malacanang is consistent with its desire to attain poll automation and that President Arroyo has earlier reiterated that there will be elections next year.” He added that the Arroyo administration, “Trusts the Supreme Court in handling controversial cases.”
Remonde was referring to a case motin filed before the SC by the “Concerned Citizens Movement” which is seeking the Supreme Court to among other thins “Stop the Commission on Elections from releasing payments for the automation project.”
Remonde stressed that, “We believe that Supreme Court knows what is best, and they know how to handle the particular issues,” The Press secretary also pointed out that. “The direction of President Arroyo’s administration is clear and that it supports the full automation of the 2010 polls. ”
Meanwhile, “The CCM has asked the High Court to nullify the Comelec deal with Smartmatic and Total Information Management” the Palace press release went on to say.
It had earlier questioned the legality of the contract and requested the court to issue a temporary restraining order on the signing of the deal on July 10. Although the court did not stop the signing, it set a hearing on July 29.
The link between JI spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir and the latest attack on the 17th in Jakarta of jemaah islamiyah has been established according to local media reports in Jakarta.
One of the bodies recovered from the scene of the blast has been identified as a former student of his Madrassa in central Indonesia.
- Jakarta Bombings: Manila Police on high alert vs. JI attacks – 40 mobile checkpoints
- Analysis: STRATFOR says JI resurgence led by new violent faction
- Jakarta Bombings: JI ‘Spiritual leader’ Bashir called for ‘New Jihad July 14′
- Jakarta Bombing:Noordin Top & J.I. new faction “from Mindanao”
- Were Mindanao trained JI bombers used in Jakarta blasts – report