Sunday, 30 August 2009

Miriam: Supreme Court did not censure me

'FOUL-MOUTHED' ?Excerpt of Sen. Santiago's 2006 privilege speech: "I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, degraded.

And I am not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle years in a country of this nature. I am nauseated.

I spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be surrounded by idiots.

I would rather be in another environment but not in the Supreme Court of idiots."

Read complete speech here

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Saturday rejected a news report, which said that the Supreme Court had censured her for scathing remarks she made in a privilege speech in the Senate more than two years ago.

In a statement, she said that the high court, in a ruling released Tuesday, did not reprimand her, but only reminded her to avoid "intemperate language." "Contrary to a certain news report, the Supreme Court did not issue a ‘censure,’ which in law means an official reprimand," the senator said. "The court merely stressed (my) duty as a lawyer to avoid ‘intemperate language’" she added. [Read the Supreme Court's decision here.] Santiago likewise clarified that the terms “censure" and “foul mouth" quoted in the news report were those of the newspaper and did not appear in the SC ruling. A major broadsheet reported on Saturday that the high court “censured" Santiago for her “foul mouth," referring to the "offensive and disrespectful" language the senator used in in her privilege speech in December 2006, wherein she called the high court “the Supreme Court of idiots." The speech, which was Santiago’s reaction to her disqualification as a nominee for chief justice, prompted citizen Antero Pobre to file a disbarment case against the senator for her alleged "disrespect" for the SC. The high tribunal, however, decided on Tuesday to dismiss the disbarment case, citing the senator’s “parliamentary immunity." “The plea of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the complaint for disbarment or disciplinary action is well taken. Indeed, her privilege speech is not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of Court," the SC decision read. In favor of Santiago Santiago said the SC’s decision to junk the case filed against her was in her favor. “It is perfectly natural for the Supreme Court to protect its own," Santiago, a former trial court judge, said. She also said that she and then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban remained “amicable" despite her statement in the same privilege speech that she wanted “to spit on the face of Chief Justice."

Santiago had in the past used similar offensive or derogatory language against officials who dared to cross paths with her, calling some lawmakers “fungus-faced" and even dismissing her critics who are non-graduates of UP, Cambridge or Harvard as "just feces of inferior life forms."

Monday, 24 August 2009

Job hunting? Take those wild party pics off Facebook

WASHINGTON (AFP) - – Nearly half of US employers research the online profiles of job candidates on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn, according to a new survey.

Forty-five percent of the employers surveyed for, the largest US online job site, said they use social networking sites to check on job candidates, up from just 22 percent in a survey conducted last year.

Another 11 percent said they plan to start using social networking sites for screening.

"As social networking grows increasingly pervasive, more employers are utilizing these sites to screen potential employees," CareerBuilder said in a statement.

It said job seekers should "be mindful of the information they post online."

CareerBuilder said that of those who conduct online searches as background checks on job candidates, 29 percent use Facebook, 26 percent use LinkedIn and 21 percent use MySpace.

Eleven percent search blogs while seven percent follow candidates on micro-blogging service Twitter.

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said they have found content on a social network that caused them not to hire a candidate, CareerBuilder said.

Examples included "provocative or inappropriate photographs or information" or content about drinking or using drugs.

Other reasons cited were badmouthing a previous employer, co-workers or clients, poor communication skills, making discriminatory comments, lying about qualifications or sharing confidential information from a previous employer.

Information found on social networking profiles was not always a negative factor in finding a job.

Eighteen percent of employers said they have found content on social networking sites that caused them to hire the candidate, CareerBuilder said.

Some profiles "provided a good feel for the candidates personality" or supported their professional qualifications while others demonstrated creativity or solid communication skills.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, recommended that candidates "clean up digital dirt" before beginning a job search by removing photos, content and links which could hurt their chances.

The survey of 2,667 hiring managers and human resource professionals was conducted by Harris Interactive between May 22 and June 10. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Arroyo govt shopping for jet worth P1.2B

The Arroyo administration is shopping around for a used “presidential fixed-wing executive jet" worth at least P1.2 billion.

The prospective aircraft must be “factory new, twin-engine (turbo-fan engines), pressurized, fitted with auxiliary power unit, and with VIP cabin configuration," said an advertisement placed in the Philippine Star on Thursday.

“The type of aircraft to be offered should have been used as a VIP/Executive aircraft by the country of origin and by at least two countries," the advertisement continued.

As of this posting, Malacanang has not responded to requests for comment about the ad. But despite whatever justification it will make, news of the planned purchase will likely fuel the public outcry over official extravagance.

The President and her US entourage are being criticized for spending $20,000 and $15,000 respectively for expensive dinners in New York and Washington, DC. The uproar has come in the wake of the national mourning for the late former president Cory Aquino, who was known for her simplicity of lifestyle and personal modesty.

The newspaper ad for the new presidential jet invited interested bidders and suppliers to participate as long as they have a repair shop within the Southeast Asian region with the necessary tools, equipment, and skilled personnel.

These “should be ready and available before the delivery of the aircraft," the ad said.

Funds for the jet’s acquisition are expected to come from the Philippines’ 2009 national budget.

Interested bidders are required to pay a non-refundable fee of P100,000 until August 26, 2009.

The pre-bid conference is scheduled for the next day at the Mabini Hall in MalacaƱang while the bid submission deadline will be on September 10, 2009. The winning bidder will be chosen on the same day.

Under the Arroyo administration, the government acquired at least two brand-new choppers, one of which crashed in Ifugao province last April, killing Palace personnel, including Press Undersecretary Jose Capadocia.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Perseid meteor showers heading your way

PARIS (AFP) - – The night sky will sparkle with "falling stars" on Tuesday and Wednesday as Earth passes through a trail of dusty debris from the Swift-Tuttle Comet, say scientists.

The light show, called the Perseid meteor shower, kicks off each year in late-July and increases in intensity, peaking a couple of weeks later.

On a clear night in a dark sky "you should see dozens of meteors per hour," notes Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.

East Asia is best placed to see the shower at its most intense moment, which is predicted for 1800 GMT on August 12, according to the US publication Sky and Telescope (

The meteors are also active for many days before and after this date, though the light reflected by a waning quarter moon may obstruct the view somewhat.

The Perseids occur when Earth runs into a trail of dust and pebbles deposited by the comet Swift-Tuttle in its 130-year orbit around the Sun.

This debris strikes the upper atmosphere at around 60 kilometers (37 miles) per second, a speed that causes it to burn up into a white-hot streaks. Bigger chunks can be seen as fireballs.

Meteor showers vary from year to year, depending on the amount of debris.

In the early 1990s, there were several spectacular Perseid shows, with bursts of several hundred meteors per hour.

Meteors are named after the constellation from which they seem to appear -- in this case, Perseus, a northern constellation lying east of Cassiopeia and north of Taurus.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Miller's triple lifts RP five to victory over Taipei

Willie Miller buried a booming three-pointer in the waning seconds that clinched Powerade-Team Pilipinas’ 77-70 thrilling win over Chinese-Taipei in the 25th FIBA-Asia men’s basketball championship Monday in Tianjin, China. With the shot clock winding down and the Nationals holding on to a slim 72-70 lead, Miller dribbled the ball just atop the three-point area, waited for the seconds to tick away and then made his move by pulling off for a trey as Chinese-Taipei big man Tseng Wen-Ting Lei sagged on defense with 13.7 to go. Swish! “Nakababa iyung kamay kaya alam ko may pag-asang pumasok," said Miller of his game-clinching shot, the last of his perfect 5-of-5 stint from downtown. He finished with 17 points, behind the 23 of top scorer James Yap, who went 6-of-11 from beyond the arc. “Naka-tsamba lang," said the player who just a day before assured he wouldn’t have another poor shooting performance like the one he had in a 56-69 losing cause to South Korea.

The scores:

Philippines 77 – Yap 23, Miller 17, Thoss 8, Helterbrand 8, Baguio 6, Raymundo 5, Dillinger 3, Pennisi 3, Taulava 2, Norwood 2, Aguilar 0. Santos 0. Chinese-Taipei 70 – Tseng 21, Lee 8, Chang 8, Lin 7, Tien 6, Chang Tsung-Hsien 6, Wu 6, Yang 4, Yang Chin-Min 2, Su 2. Quarterscores: 16-21; 33-35; 62-54; 77-70 “Willie is one of the best shooters in the Philippines, so we expect him to make the shot," said coach Yeng Guiao of his No. 11 man whom the international press kept on referring to as “Miller Time." “But he’s just exceptional today."

The thrilling win pushed the Philippines within reach of making the quarterfinals of the tournament serving as the gateway for the 2010 World Basketball Championship in Turkey. With the victory over an ousted team (against Sri Lanka) not carried over into the second phase of the eliminations, the Nationals now carry a 2-1 record and next meet defending champion Iran at 11:00 am. Tuesday.

They face Kuwait at 9 a.m. Wednesday for their final elimination round assignment.

One more win needed “I feel relieved because I think we have one foot in the door already in the top eight. Of course, we still need to assure ourselves by winning one more game, pero tingin ko kaya naman," said Guiao.

The Nationals were pounded inside by the Taiwanese, 38-16, but were extra hot from three-point land where they converted 15-of-30 for a high 50 percent shooting. Miller and Yap both said they were hard on themselves during practice the other day after shooting a combined 3-of-18 from the floor in that loss to the Koreans. But Guaio disagreed, hollering, “Nakuha lang yan sa mura at sigaw. Hindi mo naman puwedeng ma-perfect ang mga tira mo sa isang araw lang." Before Miller took charge, it was Yap who did the most damage for the Nationals, hitting four three-pointers – including three straight in one stretch - in the third period when Team Pilipinas finally grabbed the lead, 56-50. JayJay Helterbrand’s long three-pointer off the board that hit the third quarter buzzer gave the Nationals their biggest lead at 62-54. Chinese-Taipei came back strong, however, stringing eight straight points to open the final quarter, and then regained the upperhand on two free throws by Wu Tai Ho, 68-67, with 4:49 seconds left. But Kerby Raymundo hit three straight free throws and Sonny Thoss made a side jumper as RP got back on top, 72-68. Just when the Nationals appeared headed for the win, Lee Hsueh-Lin was fouled by Miller on transition for two free throws. He made both to pull the Taiwanese to within two. “Miller Time" took over from there.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Willie Revillame violated code of ethics – MTRCB

ABS-CBN noontime host Willie Revillame’s “objectionable" way of removing the live video of former President Corazon Aquino’s cortege from his popular midday program “Wowowee" last Monday violated the broadcast code of ethics, an official of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) said.

NO TO WILLIEThe online petition calling for TV host Willie Revillame's ouster from his "Wowowee" show in ABS-CBN has already attracted thousands of angry respondents.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Roel Saguisag's petition has gathered 16,642 signatures, with at least 40 new respondents every ten minutes. PetitionOnline noted that "Petition to Oust Willie Revillame" is the second most active petition on the site.

This is also the second time since Kevin Nadal's online petition for an apology from the "Desperate Housewives" producers in 2007 that a Filipino-made petition has generated such buzz on the site.

"Was it really hard for him to be humble and human?" Saguisag wrote in his petition, "Pres. Aquino taught us humility and Revillame is showing us the exact opposite."

See petition here

- Joseph Holandes Ubalde

In an interview with GMA News’ Sherrie Ann Torres on Friday, MTRCB chair Consoliza Laguardia said Revillame also violated Sec. 3 of Presidential Decree 1986.

"Yung personal kong tingin objectionable ‘yung ginawa ni Willie kasi pwede niyang ginawa ung offcam. He violated the broadcast code of ethics of KBP (Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas) and then sa part ng MTRCB, Sec. 3 of PD 1986 ‘yung being objectionable and contrary to good customs and tradition," Laguardia said.

(In my personal view, Willie’s action was objectionable because he could have said those things off camera. He violated the broadcast code of ethics of the KBP and for the part of MTCRB, he violated Sec. 3 of PD 1986, by being objectionable and contrary to good customs and tradition.)

On camera last Monday, during Wowowee's regular airing, Revillame testily told his network's management to remove the video of Mrs. Aquino’s cortege aired simultaneously in an inset frame on TV screens.

“Hindi siguro magandang tingnan na pinapakita niyo yan (Mrs. Aquino’s footage). Nagsasaya kami tapos pinapakita niyo yung, I don't think dapat ipakita yan."

“Eh mahihirapan akong magsalita rito. Nagpapasaya ako nakikita ko ‘yung ano (cortege) ni Tita Cory. Sana pakitanggal naman muna ‘yan sa ating traffic. Kasi kung ganyan pakita nalang natin ‘yan kasi nagsasaya kami dito tapos masakit sa akin yan. Nagsasalita ako dito yan Pls, sana maintindhan niyo, nagsasaya kami dito papakita niyo sa amin yun. Diba? Hindi tama eh okay?"

“Hay nako. Pangit. Hindi maganda ho sa atin nagsasalita pinapakita yung kabaong ni Tita Cory. Diba? Paano kami magkakapagsaya nahihirapan kami? I'm sorry ho ah pero ako totoo ako eh. ‘Wag niyo akong papagalitan...Pagkatapos ng show pakita niyo ‘yung gusto niyong ipalabas. Kasi itong Wowowee gusto ko at alam din ni Tita Cory ‘yan kasi napasaya din siya ng show na ito na laging masaya dito. Okay?"

The live video of the transfer of Cory's body to the Manila Cathedral was removed from his show moments later.

A day after his controversial remarks, Revillame apologized through Wowowee and clarified that he had no ill intentions when he sought the removal of the insets.

Sa sitwasyon na ito, kung may nasaktan ako, I’m sorry. Sa pamilya Aquino, alam ng buong pamilya Aquino, wala akong masamang intensyon doon (I’m sorry if what I did hurt anyone. The entire Aquino family knows I have no bad intentions)," Revillame said.

He explained that as the host of a variety show (where guests play games and win money), it would have been hard for him to make his audience happy if Mrs. Aquino’s casket was simultaneously shown.

Teach him a lesson

Two media organizations, the National Press Club and the Alyansa ng Filipinong Mamahayag (Afima), also expressed dismay over Revillame’s remark.

"Siguro dapat mabigyan siya ng leksyon ngayon. Iba na to eh. Ibang case na to eh (He should be taught a lesson this time. This is a different case)," said AFIMA president Jerry Yap.

"Kung hindi niya titigilan yung ganong attitude niya I don’t think dapat pa siyang panoorin ng tao (If he will not change his attitude I don’t think people should continue watching him)," said NPC president Benny Antiporda.

The report said the MTRCB and the KBP will meet to discuss the possible actions against Revillame. -

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Pres. Arroyo visited the wake of former Pres. Aquino

MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Arroyo, who arrived from her U.S. trip this morning (Aug 5) went straight from the airport to Manila Cathedral in Intramuros to pay last respect to former President Cory Aquino.

Wearing a white blazer suit President Arroyo went straight to view the coffin of former President Aquino and offered a short prayer before joining Senator Noynoy Aquino, who received the president in behalf of the Aquino family.

"Masaya ako dahil natupad na rin ang pangarap ng aking mga magulang na maipakita sa ating bayan na wala kaming tinatanim na galit kanino man," shared Sen. Aquino.

After having a brief conversation with Sen. Aquino, Mrs. Arroyo went back again to view the remains of Cory then exited at the left side of the back entrance of the cathedral, where she also entered. Mrs. Arroyo stayed more or less than 10 minutes.

Joining Mrs. Arroyo were Film Director and sister-in-law of former Pres. Aquino Lupita Kashiwara, Camarines Sur 1st District Dato Arroyo, Executive Eduardo Ermita, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Department of Transportation and Communications Leandoro Mendoza, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago and MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Corys funeral, Aug 5, a special non-working holiday

MANILA – MalacaƱang has declared Wednesday, Aug. 5, as a special non-working holiday in commemoration of the late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino. The private funeral of Aquino will be held on Wednesday. She will be buried beside her late husband, Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. at the Manila Memorial Park. According to deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, the declaration of Wednesday as a special non-working holiday will allow the nation to witness the moments before Aquino is brought to her final resting place, radio dzMM reported. A mass will be held at 9 a.m. at the Manila Cathedral before the burial. Fajardo earlier announced that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has cut short her United States trip in order to make it to Aquino’s funeral service on Wednesday. Arroyo will leave New York for Manila on Saturday (Sunday in the Philippines). The chief executive declared a 10-day period of national mourning (Aug. 1 to Aug. 10) over the death of Aquino through Proclamation No. 1850. Aquino, 76, succumbed to colon cancer on Saturday at 3:18 a.m. Her wake is at the La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) gymnasium in Mandaluyong City. The public viewing at LSGH began at 5 p.m. of Saturday and will continue until Monday. The daily viewing schedule will be until 4 a.m., and will resume at 7 a.m.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

FVR: ‘Aquino represented past, future of Filipinos’

Former President Fidel V. Ramos on Friday expressed grief over the death of his predecessor, former President Corazon Aquino, saying her demise was a loss not only for Filipinos but for the whole world. In a phone-patch interview with GMA News, Ramos, who took over the presidency when Mrs. Aquino bowed out of office in 1992, paid tribute to the role that the democracy icon had played in shaping the Philippines after coming out of martial rule under strongman Ferdinand Marcos. "Not only the entire Filipino nation grieves, but the whole world. Cory Aquino represented the past and the future of our people and led in the direction of a better future for our people," Ramos said. “Dito sa aming lahat sa aking pamilya ay nakikiramay sa pamilya at sa lahat ng mahal sa buhay ni Cory Aquino," said Ramos, who only learned about Mrs. Aquino’s death on radio.

This page requires a higher version browser Ramos, together with then defense chief Juan Ponce Enrile, led a military uprising in February 1986 that sparked the EDSA “People Power Revolution," toppled the Marcos regime and propelled Mrs. Aquino to power.

One of Mrs. Aquino's first appointees was then Lieutenant General Ramos, then Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vice chief of staff, whom she named chief of staff and promoted to four-star rank.

As military chief of staff and later secretary of defense, Ramos stood by Mrs. Aquino in the most difficult times of her presidency, helping quell coup attempts mounted mostly by military officers who helped topple Marcos.

During the 1992 presidential elections, Mrs. Aquino threw her support behind Ramos, discarding then House Speaker Ramon Mitra, who was the choice of the ruling Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) - the party formed by her political allies to back her presidency.

Because of Mrs. Aquino's support, Ramos managed to emerge as winner, albeit by a slim margin, in a field of seven candidates that included Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago; businessman Eduardo "Danding Cojuangco, Mrs. Aquino's cousin; then Vice President Salvador Laurel, former Senate President Jovito Salonga and former First Lady Mrs. Imelda Marcos.