Friday, July 30, 2010

President Aquino inked EO to create Truth Commission

 The first Executive Order signed by President Noynoy Aquino creates the Truth Commission to be headed by Davide.

Former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will face the Truth Commission only if the body created Friday by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III does not have any constitutional or legal infirmities.
Lakas-Kampi-CMD spokesman Raul Lambino said officials of the party, including Arroyo who is its chairman, have assured full cooperation in helping the body to arrive at the truth in connection with alleged anomalous transactions of the government.
“As her spokesperson has declared, Rep. Arroyo will face the Truth Commission. However, the former president’s lawyers should be expected to allow her to be subjecting herself under the jurisdiction of an illegal body,” said Lambino.
He added: “Doing so would constitute waiver of your constitutional rights as a Filipino citizen.”

Luisita Mill Owners ordered to use original formula for computing 13th month pay

 The Supreme Court sided with the farmers on the issue about the reduction of their 13th month pay by the Central Asucarera de Tarlac.

Here is the news from GMA7
The Supreme Court (SC) has declared that Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT), the sugar milling company owned by the family of President Benigno Aquino III, acted in bad faith when it reduced the 13th month pay of its employees, following a strike in 2004 that ended in violence and killed at least seven people.

The High Court, in affirming the 2009 decision by the Court of Appeals (CA), ordered CAT to revert to its original formula in computing the mandatory benefit for its workers in 2006.

“This act of petitioner in changing the formula at this time cannot be sanctioned, as it indicates a badge of bad faith," read the 10-page decision, penned by Associate Justice Eduardo Nachura of the SC’s Second Division.

Concurring with Nachura were Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Diosdado Peralta and Roberto Abad.

The SC dismissed CAT’s position that the change in formula was due to an “error" in the computation of the benefit, supposedly discovered only by the management when the CAT Labor Union questioned the formula used for computing the employees’ 13th month pay for 2006.

The SC decision also noted that the CAT management had been using the same formula for 30 years, then changed it only following the labor dispute with its employees.

The High Court cited Article 100 of the Labor Code, or the Non-Diminution Rule, which provides that once benefits are given, they become part of an employment contract, whether written or unwritten, and as such cannot be taken back or reduced by the employer.

“As correctly ruled by the CA, the practice of petitioner in giving 13th month pay based on the employees’ gross annual earnings which included the basic monthly salary, premium pay for work on rest days and special holidays, night shift differential pay and holiday pay continued for almost 30 years and has ripened into a company policy or practice which cannot be unilaterally withdrawn," the Court said.

While exemptions may be secured, the Court said the CAT failed to obtain authorization from the labor secretary and hence cannot say the reduction was due to financial losses.

Records showed that before 2006, CAT granted its employees the mandatory 13th month pay since 1975, computed by dividing the total basic annual salary by 12.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Noynoy Aquino defended the Abad family in his government

 He was criticized for reprimanding the weather man and now he is being reprimanded for appointing the Abads in his government except for the wife who was elected as congressman.

But then he defended the Abad family.

MANILA, Philippines—So whatever happened to the 100-day honeymoon?
President Benigno Aquino III Monday expressed dismay over the stinging criticism he got from lawmakers for having too many members of the Abad family in his administration.
Less than three weeks into the presidency, Mr. Aquino said he was not given a honeymoon period—the absence of any major criticism from the press and political detractors—commonly accorded to a new chief executive.
“Just because I’m a bachelor, they thought I hadn’t experienced a honeymoon so they did not give me any,” he said in Filipino. “So I’ll just say ‘thank you’ to them.”
Mr. Aquino has appointed Florencio “Butch” Abad budget secretary and his daughter Julia chief of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).
In addition, Abad’s son Luis has been appointed chief of staff of Finance Secretary of Cesar Purisima. Abad’s wife Henedina is the representative of the lone district of Batanes, who reportedly wants to be the vice chair of the House appropriations committee.
Certain lawmakers have voiced their concern about having members of the same family in key government positions.
A lawmaker belonging to Lakas-Kampi-CMD on Sunday said that he was worried about one family taking control of the government’s budget.
The House appropriation committee sets the General Appropriations Act, the budget secretary disburses the funds (including pork barrel funds), the PMS head dispenses the President’s pork barrel, and the chief of staff has the ear of the finance secretary, he said.
Standing by Abads

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Noynoy Aquino ordered the review of the request of Trillanes to post bail

 Citing the bases reasons for charges of coup d'etat, Noynoy Aquino is of the opinion that Trillanes is a victim of injustice.

Here's the excerpt of the news:

Saying detained Senator Antonio Trillanes IV may have been a victim of injustice, President Benigno Aquino III said Friday that he wants the Department of Justice to review the senator's request for bail.

In an ambush interview in Subic, Aquino pointed out that Trillanes was first jailed because he faced coup d’etat charges before the Makati City Regional Trial Court branch 148 for his participation in the so-called Oakwood Mutiny on July 27, 2003.

The senator later also faced rebellion charges before the Makati City RTC Branch 150 for taking part in the so-called Manila Peninsula hotel siege in November 2007.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Palace defends Aquino for reprimanding PAGASA

 People criticized Aquino for being hard on the remaining 14 meterologists of the country, the head of which was on leave to work in Australia. 

Palace defends Aquino dismay over Pagasa forecasts 

MalacaƱang said Thursday President Aquino was not out of line for berating the country’s weather forecasters for failing to predict that Typhoon Basyang would hit Metro Manila Tuesday.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Mr. Aquino was dismayed because other government agencies relied on the forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

The Department of Social Welfare and Development
, for instance, was dependent on the Pagasa advisory because it could pre-position relief goods in areas most likely to be hit by floods.

“We have all the other agencies doing their job based on the prediction of Pagasa,” Lacierda said in a press conference.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

President Noynoy Aquino reprimands PAGASA

Aquino stated that the inability of the PAGASA to predict typhoon Basyang in Metro Manila is not acceptable. Here is the news:

President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III admonished the weather bureau on Wednesday for failing to predict that Typhoon Basyang (Conson) would ravage Metro Manila.

On Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced that Basyang would batter Northern and Central Luzon areas, but the storm lashed Metro Manila instead.

At an emergency meeting called by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) in Camp Aguinaldo, Aquino told PAGASA that accurate weather information is vital for the government in preparing for disasters.