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In deference to the Supreme Court, the interpreter of the Constitution and the guardian of our basic rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, this chair would suggest and recommend to this impeachment court and the two sides of the case and the panel to take heed ~ Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, impeachment court presiding judge, regarding the order restraining disclosure of Corona dollar deposits If the Senate is the impeachment court, they should be supreme ~ Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda disputing Supreme Court order

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Volume 2 - Number 6 • February 13-19, 2012

4 Between the Eagle and the Dragon

China’s growing military power and its assertiveness in the South China Sea has driven the Philippines into a closer security alliance with the United States. Is that good for us? • Islands of tension: Decades of claims and counterclaims have turned the Spratlys into Southeast Asia’s tinderbox

14 The Looming Threat of HIV-AIDS

Despite the low 0.1% rate of HIV infection, cases in the Philippines have grown four-fold in eight years, one of only seven countries seeing rapid increases. What should be done to stem the tide of infection? • Stigma Factor: To encourage treatment, the first step is to accept the sufferer

WORLD

24 The Arab Spring – One Year Later

One year after the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, new democracies face the challenges of governing with free elections, free media, and free enterprise. Can the momentum be sustained? • Unrest abroad, not jobless at home: Protests and civil war in the Middle East put tens of thousands of overseas Filipino workers in a precarious dilemma: work or safety?

BUSINESS

34 Getting Ready for Takeoff

For tourism takeoff and OFW convenience is a modern, safe and world-class aviation industry. From competition to costs, here are the daunting challenges facing airlines • Safety first: ICAO’s eight critical elements of a safety oversight system • For business, not pleasure: The millions of OFWs aren’t much of a tourist market

TECHNOLOGY

42 The Computerized Crystal Ball of Crime

Massive numbers-crunching is enabling police to prodict where crimes are very likely to happen and who will most probably commit them • Forecasting felonies: IBM is leading the way in predictive analytics for harnessing data to forecast events • Fighting crime with Facebook: The police turn to social media to help keep communities safe

POINT & CLICK You can access online research via the Internet by clicking phrases in blue

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Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence provides expertise in strategy and management, enterprise development, intelligence, Internet and media. For subscriptions, research, and advisory services, please e-mail report@censeisolutions.com or call/fax +63-2-5311182. Links to online material on public websites are current as of the week prior to the publication date, but might be removed without warning. Publishers of linked content should e-mail us or contact us by fax if they do not wish their websites to be linked to our material in the future.

In Strategy as in Geopolitics, Seeing All Sides Is Key
In his long career as journalist, Press Secretary, and ambassador to Myanmar, the late Noel Cabrera combined a flair for the spoken and printed word, a solid grasp of the intricacies of governance and politics, and a first-hand knowledge of Asian affairs. A good helping of all that knowledge and statecraft rubbed off on Cabrera’s daughter Marishka Noelle, as we see in her regional security articles for The cenSEI Report. This year the Ateneo graduate and former Philippine Information Agency writer has already crafted two strategic reports on East Asian geopolitics. Last month she wrote “Is a New Cold War Heating Up?” on China’s military buildup and the United States’ response for the January 23-29 World section. In the article Cabrera gave particular attention, among other developments, to the fast-expanding and increasingly sophisticated missile forces of the People’s Liberation Army, including arrays of intermediate-range ballistic projectiles that can strike well beyond Mindanao. She then posits the question: In range of PLA rockets, should the Philippines get closer to the U.S.?

In a host of wide-ranging issues Marishka Cabrera is continuing her late father’s balancing act

The same policy issue of balancing between the two mega-powers underpins Cabrera’s latest regional security analysis, “Between the Eagle and the Dragon,” in this week’s Nation section. “There is no doubt that the Philippines’ utter lack of external defense capability and Beijing’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea force Manila to rely on the defense alliance with and military assistance from Washington,” she explains. “But are we burning our bridge to the world’s largest economy in a decade?” That capacity to look at opposing sides of any issue is Cabrera’s stock and trade in analyzing and researching every assignment, from geopolitical confrontations to the nip and tuck of governance, business and technology (her other reports cover Myanmar reforms, Apple’s Steve Jobs, IT innovation, and customs reform). Clearly, Marishka has learned much from Noel’s decades of balancing media and government, policy and politics, national interest and international diplomacy.

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Between the Eagle and the Dragon
Fear of China’s growing power drives the Philippines closer to America
By Marishka Noelle M. Cabrera

STRATEGY POINTS
The Philippines again faces the colonial-era predicament of being squeezed between bigpower rivalries With no forces to match China in the Spratlys, the Philippines turns to the U.S., risking more pressure from Beijing Rather than containment, the challenge is to work with the Chinese for the common goal of stability and prosperity

In colonial times, imperial rivals of Spain and America invaded the Philippines, from the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British during the Spanish period, to the Japanese in the American era. Today, the Philippines looks set to line up on one side of another big-power rivalry, expanding its alliance with the United States in countering China’s more assertive military stance, especially in the South China Sea. Will the U.S. alliance bring the Philippines in conflict with China, just as rival powers attacked our shores in their confrontation with the nation’s colonial rulers? Will Washington risk war with Beijing to help Manila assert its claim

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on a handful of often submerged reefs and islets? And can the Philippines afford to antagonize what will be the largest economy and market in the world in a decade or so? Beijing isn’t tickled by the tightening Manila-Washington security embrace. The official comment from the Chinese Foreign Ministry was typically measured: “We hope that relevant parties will make more effort towards peace and stability in the region.” But it was a biting tone coming from the ruling Communist Party of China. ‘Punish the Philippines.’ “Due punishment” was what the January 29 editorial in The Global Times, English-language journal of the CPC’s People’s Daily newspaper, urged for the Philippines’ “balancing act” between the two big powers. The commentary blasted Manila for cozying up to Washington amid territorial disputes, including those with Beijing. The same CPC mouthpiece last October warned the Philippines and other rival Spratlys claimants to “prepare for the sound of cannons” if they go head-to-head with China on the disputed islands. The latest Global Times comment came a day after the second Philippines-U.S. “strategic dialogue” on security and economic cooperation in Washington on January 26-27, a year since the first one in Manila. The editorial thundered: “Wellmeasured sanctions against the Philippines will make it ponder the choice of losing a friend such as China and being a vain partner with the U.S.

“To this end,” the paper continued, “China may consider cooling down its business ties with the Philippines. One step forward in military collaboration with the U.S. means a step backward in economic cooperation with China. In the long run, China may also use its economic leverage to cut economic activities between ASEAN countries and the Philippines.” Deterring a ‘bully.’ That strong line from Beijing’s ruling party came on the heels of the Philippines’ recent pronouncement welcoming wider military cooperation with more U.S. troops rotating through the country. In a Reuters report soon after the Washington meeting chaired by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin hailed the enhanced security cooperation at a time of repeated frictions with China over disputed islands and waters in the South China Sea (see Spratlys timeline on page 8-9). “I would rather look at it from the positive point of view that there would be stability in the region, that we would have enough deterrent,” Gazmin told media. “Without a deterrent force, we can be easily pushed around, our territories will be violated. Now that we have a good neighbor on the block, we can no longer be bullied.” Gazmin also confirmed that the Philippines is considering a U.S. proposal to deploy surveillance aircraft in a temporary, rotating arrangement for better monitoring of areas in the Southeast Asian Sea.

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On greater military cooperation Admiral Robert Willard Keen, commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific forces, said in an Agence France-Presse report: “We would welcome discussions with the Philippines along those lines, but there’s no aspiration for bases in Southeast Asia.” Instead, Washington “wanted more flexible ways to bring troops into Southeast Asia without the costs of permanent bases.” Indeed, President Barack Obama will reportedly nix a $21-billion plan to expand military facilities in Guam. Parameters for broader security cooperation were set by the Manila Declaration, signed last November abroad the American warship Fitzgerald by foreign secretaries of both countries on the 60th anniversary of the Philippines-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. The joint statement reaffirmed the MDT “as the foundation of our relationship for the next 60 years and beyond.” Secretary, and the NCWC operations center “towards enhancing governance in the country’s maritime domain.” Beijing would also have noted the Manila Declaration saying: “We share a common interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce, and transit of people across the seas and subscribe to a rules-based approach in resolving competing claims in maritime areas through peaceful, collaborative, multilateral, and diplomatic processes within the framework of international law.” More U.S. troops, trade and aid. In the Jan. 27 joint statement on the second strategic dialogue in Washington, both nations “reaffirmed our commitment to fulfill the vision of the Manila Declaration through an invigorated and expanded alliance capable of addressing 21st century challenges.” That includes efforts “to deepen and broaden our maritime security cooperation.”

The Nov. 17 declaration made special mention of “cooperating to enhance the Sure enough, on his Feb. 9-11 visit U.S. defense, interdiction, and apprehension Assistant Secretary of State for Politicalcapabilities of the Armed Forces of the Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro declared Philippines.” This thrust coincides with a major shift in military aid “from internal President security towards Benigno maritime Aquino III’s security.” He Executive added that Order foreign military No. 57, financing for signed last the Philippines September, was a U.S. establishing government the National priority. Coast Watch Council, To put military President Aquino joins the Philippine Navy in welcoming the newly acquired Hamilton-class cutter, the BRP Gregorio del headed by hardware where Pilar. Video from Radio-Television Malacañang the Executive his mouth

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was, Shapiro announced that a second Hamilton-class cutter from the U.S. Coast Guard would be provided to the country. The first, renamed BRP Gregorio del Pilar, arrived last August to boost the Philippine Navy’s capability to patrol Philippinesclaimed areas in the South China Sea. Mindful of possible Chinese economic pressure on the Philippines, the U.S. is also offering trade support through possible participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which aims to promote free trade, investment, innovation, and supply chain arrangements among member-states. Besides the U.S., TPP now groups Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Responding to the strong comment from the CPC mouthpiece, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario told the Philippine Daily Inquirer: “Our relations with China as we had said before should be governed by mutual respect, equality and observance of each other’s sovereignty.” He also reiterated the need to resolve the Spratlys issue through peaceful means and in accordance with international law. Balancing China’s clout. Fears are on the rise over Beijing’s growing power, and not just among Filipinos. During his Manila visit last October Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang agreed with Aquino to boost cooperation and information sharing between their navies, plus a hotline linking their coast guards. The pact would address smuggling, piracy, disasters, and protection of marine resources. Hanoi’s leader also expressed support for Manila’s call for a binding code of conduct among rival claimants in the South China Sea.

More than joining hands, however, China’s worried neighbors are turning to big powers to balance China’s clout, “not only to the U.S. but also to India,” according to Joshua Kurlantzick in his article “Growing U.S. Role in South China Sea.” The Council on Foreign Relations fellow notes the failure of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to curb China’s assertiveness on the high seas, leading to growing alliances with outside powers. “[T]he South China Sea may eventually help reshape, and harden, U.S. alliances in Asia,” posits Kurlantzick. Indeed, besides its annual Balikatan exercises with the Philippines, U.S. forces launched last July non-combat exchanges with the Vietnam Navy. The new activities, reports Patrick Barta in the Wall Street Journal, are part of Washington’s strategy to expand joint training “to include newer participants, such as Cambodia and Malaysia, in some programs, as well as the deployment of new hardware, including littoral combat ships in Singapore.”

For U.S. Rear Admiral Tom Carney, who led the American side in the Vietnam exercise, the activity is just more of the same, reports the Singapore Institute of International Affairs: “We’ve had a presence in the Western Pacific and the South China Sea for 50 to 60 years.” But in fact, Washington has made a decided shift to Asia as a counterweight to China’s growing power and influence. In its latest defense paper, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” the Pentagon was refocusing from the Middle East and Europe to Asia and the Pacific.

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ISLANDS OF TENSION
Claims and Counterclaims over the Spratlys
YEAR
200-300 BC 1885 1939 1946 1947 1951 1974 1975 1976 1978 1988 1991 1992 1994 1995 2000 November 2002 May 2003 March 2005 23 July 2010

EVENT
China first discovers the Spratly Islands and other islands in the South China Sea, and Begins to occupy and govern them. China officially claims all the Spratly Islands. The Spratly Islands are invaded and occupied by Japan during the Second World War. China declares the Spratlys as part of Guangdong province. The Philippines claims some of the eastern Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Reef. Japan renounces all rights to the Spratly Islands. No resolution is made on who owns them. In January, Chinese military units seize islands in the Paracels, occupied by South Vietnamese armed forces, and China claims sovereignty over the Spratlys. South Vietnam occupies part of the Spratly Islands. North and South Vietnam unify. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos claims the entire territory as part of the Philippines, redrawing the country’s map. China and Vietnam fight a naval battle just off the Spratly Islands in March. China passes the Law on Territorial Waters and Their Contiguous Areas, formalizing its claim to the Paracel and Spratly Islands. China lands forces on Da Ba Dau reef near Vietnam’s claims in Sin Cowe East, triggering a small military skirmish between the two powers. China distributes a map claiming the entire South China Sea, including all the Spratly Islands. China and the Philippines have a conflict in Mischief Reef, signaling China’s aggression toward nations besides Vietnam in the South China Sea. In May, Chinese and Philippine foreign ministers agree to “contribute positively toward the formulation and adoption of the regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.” China and ASEAN adopt the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the South China Sea. Vietnam issues a “sovereignty” declaration on the Chinese ban on fishing in the South China Sea. Oil companies from China, Vietnam and the Philippines sign a deal to jointly protect oil and gas resources in the Sea. China is angered after the United States takes up the issue of disputes in the South China Sea at a regional forum.

4 March 2011 The Philippines reports that two Chinese patrol boats threatened to ram a survey ship near the Reed Bank. 28 March 2011 13 April 2011 27 May 2011 28 May 2011 1 June 2011 5 June 2011 8 June 2011 9 June 2011 The Philippines announces its increase in air and naval patrols and its plans to upgrade an airstrip on an island it occupies in the South China Sea. The Philippines states that Beijing’s stance on the disputed areas has no basis under international law. Chinese patrol boats cut the cables of a Vietnamese ship while performing an underwater survey of the South China Sea. China criticizes Vietnam for its offshore exploration of oil and gas in the Sea. Manila reports that Chinese navy boats erected pillars and set unloaded materials near Amy Douglas Bank inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. The South China Sea dispute dominates discussion at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. China steps up its criticism of the Philippines, calling on Manila to stop infringing its sovereignty with claims over the South China Sea. Vietnam reports that a Chinese fishing boat, supported by Chinese naval patrols, cut a cable being used by a craft operated by state-run energy company PetroVietnam.

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Compiled by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs *
YEAR
12 June 2011 13 June 2011 18 June 2011 23 June 2011 25 June 2011

EVENT
Anti-China rallies continue in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi for a second straight weekend. Vietnam holds live-fire drills in the South China Sea. Anti-China protests break out in Hanoi, as more than 100 people demonstrate against what they see as bullying behavior by Beijing. The US and Vietnam jointly call for freedom of navigation and rejects the use of force in the South China Sea. The Philippines says it hopes to lease naval equipment from the US in the face of rising friction with China. The US calls for China to cool tensions over the disputed territory and reiterates its commitment to defending its longtime ally, the Philippines. China rejects this call, telling the US to stay out of its regional disputes. China and Vietnam agree to hold talks and resolve the territorial dispute. The US Senate unanimously passes a resolution condemning China’s use of force in the South China Sea, urging a peaceful, multilateral solution. China rejects the resolution. The US and the Philippines begin routine naval drills near the South China Sea. About 100 anti-China protesters march peacefully in Vietnam, denouncing China’s actions in the Sea, despite a heavy security clampdown. The Philippines’ Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario visits China to seek a diplomatic solution. Del Rosario calls for the dispute to go before a UN tribunal, but China rejects the proposal. The US, Japanese and Australian navies hold a joint drill in the South China Sea, Japan’s first joint military exercise in the territory. American and Chinese military chiefs argue about US exercises in the South China Sea. The Philippines states that China’s refusal to allow a UN-backed tribunal to rule on the territorial dispute indicates that Beijing’s claim stands on shaky legal ground. Armed Chinese soldiers allegedly beat a Vietnamese fisherman and threatens other crew members before driving them out of waters near the contested Paracel Islands. Vietnam and US launch a series of naval exchanges. A small group of Vietnamese march to denounce China’s actions despite a police crackdown. The South China Sea dispute is a key topic of discussion at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Bali. China and ASEAN established a deal to create a set of guidelines for future negotiations to create a “code of conduct”. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III visited China, focusing on trade and investment. Aquino also sought to repair bilateral relations as tensions have increased over the South China Sea. Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba proposed a multilateral framework to settle maritime disputes. China wants to resolve the South China Sea dispute bilaterally which each claimant. China and Vietnam held talks and signed an agreement that seeks a peaceful resolution for the dispute. Annual joint US-Philippines marine drills begin, which include a hostile beach assault exercise near the Spratlys. A Philippine warship accidentally struck a Chinese fishing boat in near Spratlys. The Philippine Navy apologizes. Global Times commentary warns of “sounds of cannons” if nations involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea “don’t want to change their ways with China.” Philippine and Vietnamese presidents have agreed to strengthen cooperation between their maritime forces. During the East Asia conference, the US and ASEAN countries aligned to pressure China on their claims in the South China Sea. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao did not rule out multilateral negotiations as China has done previously. President Hu Jintao, addressing deputies of the PLA Navy, urged the Navy to “make extended preparations for warfare in order to make greater contributions to safeguarding national security and world peace.”

26 June 2011 27 June 2011 28 June 2011 3 July 2011 6 July 2011 9 July 2011 11 July 2011 13 July 2011 14 July 2011 15 July 2011 17 July 2011 19 July 2011 25 July 2011 1 September 2011 18 October 2011 11 October 2011 20 October 2011 25 October 2011 27 October 2011 21 November 2011 6 December 2011

*The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is an independent organization dedicated to the research, analysis and discussion of regional and international issues.

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America refocuses on Asia. “U.S. economic and security interests are inextricably linked to developments in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia, creating a mix of evolving challenges and opportunities,” the paper says. The U.S. will “of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region.” As Assistant Secretary Campbell reiterated in a 2009 keynote speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, titled “China 2025,” there is “an active, very clear commitment on the part of the Obama administration America’s bilateral relationships, namely: Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Notably, “Southeast Asian nations seek to engage all major powers but want no single power to dominate.” Depending on their national interest, various countries are playing different roles in the evolving U.S. posture in Asia. Singapore, for one, “is a supporter of closer American engagement in Southeast Asia” and “often portrays itself as a useful balancer and intermediary between major powers in the region,” a U.S. Congressional Research Service report shows. Recognizing its common interest in “the free flow of commerce and resources,” the U.S. has also been strengthening its relations with India. Allies in north Asia are clear, while the U.S. has Vietnam, the Philippines, and now Australia in the south. Japan is “the cornerstone of U.S. security interests in Asia and is fundamental to regional stability and prosperity,” according to the U.S. Department of State. Apart from mutual sentiments regarding North Korea, South Korea is the “seventh-largest goods trading partner of the United States, and the twoway goods trade amounted to roughly $88 billion in 2010,” based on data from the Council on Foreign Relations. ABC News reports a deal has been made by President Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard last year that will enable U.S. forces to have a permanent presence Down Under. Having forces in Australia “will allow the US to rotate forces out to partner with other regional allies and partners and signal a US presence and commitment to the region,” the report

In a discussion at the United States Institute of Peace, Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell says the Asia-Pacific region will be ‘a defining arena for American power and purpose in the 21st century’

to sustain a much higher level engagement with Southeast Asia.” Moreover, Campbell has advocated the creation of a “regional architecture” to address issues and disputes in the region, much like the European Union — an idea seen by China as a ploy for increased U.S. involvement in Asia. A report from the Center of Strategic and International Studies Southeast Asia Initiative outlines the health of six of

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adds. In relation to this, an editorial from Voice of America reads, “The bedrock of U.S. engagement in the region is its alliances.” Vietnam, meanwhile, is demonstrating its “blossoming military relations” with the U.S. as the USS George Washington, a U.S. nuclear supercarrier, cruised along its waters in 2010, according to the Huffington Post. Moreover, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has offered Cam Ranh Bay to service ships and submarines “from all countries,” reports The Telegraph. China, for its part, has its own alliances to nurture. North Korea, for example. “[China] is North Korea’s closest ally, largest provider of food, fuel, and industrial machinery, and arguably the country most able to wield influence in Pyongyang,” a U.S. Congressional Research Service report says. Counterforce but not containment. To be sure, the U.S. policy on China is different from the Cold War containment of the now-disbanded Soviet Union, according to Joseph S. Nye, Jr., U.S. assistant secretary of defense in the mid-1990s. In his Project Syndicate article, Nye describes the Obama administration’s “pivot” toward Asia as a “recognition of the region’s great potential, not a clarion call for containment.” The professor and former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government explains: “American military forces do not aspire to ‘contain’ China in Cold War fashion, but they can help to shape the environment in which future Chinese leaders make their choices.” With this kind of geopolitical stance, U.S. forces need not be in heavy deployment at forward bases all around China, but rather in

rapidly mobile units able to deter and counter hostile moves. Hence, huge permanent bases like the old Subic and Clark facilities are not needed. Instead, opines Manila Standard Today columnist Alejandro del Rosario, “Aircraft carriers constantly at sea with a component of fighter jets would be enough to maintain a forward strategic position for U.S. military presence.” As argued by Tom Bowman of America’s National Public Radio, a Pacific-oriented U.S. military strategy would mean less focus on the Army, but more on the Navy and

On TED Talks, Joseph Nye explains the global power shifts between the U.S. and China and why ‘smart power’ as opposed to ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ is the way to go

Air Force because longer range is needed. “The Army will be the big bill payer here. There was a sense the Army would be cut from maybe 560,000 troops to maybe 520 [thousand],” Bowman explains. “[T]he investments are going to be more in the Navy and the Air Force in the coming years under this strategy,” he adds. A report on Chinese military power from an independent task force sponsored by the

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Council of Foreign Relations claims China is “pursuing a deliberate and focused course of military modernization but that it is at least two decades behind the United States in terms of military technology and capability.” As to military developments, the report directly concerned. Outside forces should not get involved under any excuse.”

Indeed, in some instance, China will yield concessions. In the report “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2010,” the U.S. Department The Philippines may put itself in a position of Defense says “China where it must eventually choose between a has been willing to security ally and an economic powerhouse compromise with and even offer concessions to its neighbors” with regard says: “These capabilities may offer insights to cases of territorial conflicts. During his into intentions, but the capabilities of the October state visit to Beijing, Vietnamese Chinese military cannot be automatically Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen mapped onto the intentions of the Phu Trong discussed territorial issues with civilian leadership.” Chinese President Hu Jintao, and both leaders pledged to maintain Nevertheless, in its 2010 defense white direct communications. paper, the Chinese government made it clear that despite the increase in its military Nor is confronting China a wise strategy capabilities and its booming economy, for the U.S. AOL Defense article “Without “China will never seek hegemony.” But Economic Changes, America Can’t Contain there are real threats. In a report last month China” posits that the failure to contain titled “Is a New Cold War Heating Up?”, China has much to do with geography The CenSEI Report highlighted burgeoning and economy. The article explains: “The Chinese missile arrays as a major threat to geographical asymmetry between China’s both its neighbors and U.S. forces, which and America’s circumstances in the Western would face hundreds of rockets across the Pacific is stark: we are operating thousands mainland in the event of a conflict in the of miles from home, and they are literally South China Sea. the Middle Kingdom…When the asymmetry in economic performance is combined Beijing wants peace and prosperity. with the geographical asymmetry, China’s The good news, however, is that Beijing dominance becomes inevitable over the long much prefers to continue the decades of run, given its vast population.” largely peaceful — and hugely prosperous — relations with Asia and America. Chinese Likewise, the article “Why US Can’t Contain Premier Wen Jiabao in his speech at the China” in The Diplomat says, “The politics 14th China-ASEAN Summit said,” The of the region are simply too complicated, disputes over the South China Sea…should and China is too entrenched economically, be settled through friendly consultation and to make [U.S. containment of China] a negotiation between the sovereign states viable approach.” The People’s Daily Online,

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for its part, highlighted last week the remark by longtime American diplomat Christopher Hill that the U.S. isn’t out to contain China, and Washington’s shift to Asia “has less to do with China, and much more to do with the fact that the Obama administration is disengaging from wars in the Middle East and South Asia.” Caught between two powers. In an interview with People’s Daily, Huang Ping, head of the Institute of American Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, thinks most Asian countries won’t take sides between China and the U.S., saying, “In a word, it is not practical economically for Asia to go without China, and it is also not practical in terms of security for Asia to go without the United States.” Certainly, the Philippines isn’t keen to have to choose between a longtime ally and the world’s fastest growing market. In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations last September, President Aquino declared: “Philippine relations with the United States are vital. The special ties that exist between us, as security allies and development partners, serve as a steady anchor in American engagement towards the Asia-Pacific.” At the same time, during Aquino’s visit to China last year, the Philippines and China pledged to double their trade to $60 billion in 2016. The President also invited the Chinese community to invest in “an emerging economic force in Southeast Asia.” Indeed, the U.S. is still “the dominant foreign military, political, economic, and cultural influence in the Philippines,” according to

the report, “The Republic of the Philippines and U.S. Interests.” However, “China has become a major trading partner and source of financing and investment.” The report also reveals that Chinese policy toward the Philippines “has been aimed partly at forestalling potential U.S.-PH cooperation on security conflicts in the region, including disputes in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait” according to analysts. But there are voices even in the Philippines worried about the enhanced alliance with the United States. Rod Kapunan, also from Manila Standard Today, thinks that in the country’s “reckless decision to invite the U.S. forces” the Philippines is “bound to lose whatever bargaining leverage it has” in negotiating a Spratlys settlement with China. As for American protection, del Rosario warns: “[L]et us not delude ourselves. The U.S. will come to our defense not because it truly loves us but because of its own interests to keep vital sea lanes open to naval operations and maritime commerce.” For his part, ABS-CBN commentator and former congressman Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the government should be more careful in its announcements because what is at stake really are “the survival of our race, the security of our nation, and peace in this part of the world.” Not to mention the danger of colonial history repeating itself.

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In 2008, Humphrey Gorriceta, Jr. accidentally discovered that he was positive for HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. “I was supposed to leave for a lucrative job abroad when my required medical exam included HIV-testing,” he declared in a 2010 interview with The Philippine Star. In a GMA News article about the rising spread of HIV, Gorriceta revealed his behavior as a successful, single, and promiscuous youth prior to being tested HIV-positive. “I was carefree. Whenever I felt the urge to satisfy my physical needs, I would do it. I had sex with multiple partners without protection,” he recounted. Incidence rate still low, but number of cases rising dramatically. According to data from the 2010 UNAIDS Report on the Global Aids Epidemic, as of 2009, the Philippines had less than 0.1% of the population infected with the virus. From 2001 to 2009, the estimated number of people living with HIV increased from 28.6 million to 33.3 million, or by 16.4% (page 180). The Philippines was one of only seven countries worldwide-- alongside Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan-- where the number of HIV cases increased by more than 25% from 2001 to 2009. Specifically, the estimated number of HIV cases in the Philippines over that period rose from 1,700 to 8,700 (page 187 of UNAIDS Report). The report also showed that most countries in the world have been able to significantly reduce the number of new HIV patients or at least slow their increase. The Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry of the Department of Health confirms that

The Looming Threat of HIV-AIDS
Even with a low HIV-incidence rate now, the Philippines faces a possible epidemic, as the virus spreads among members of high-risk groups
By Joanne Angela B. Marzan

STRATEGY POINTS
While the Philippines’ HIV-incidence rate of 0.1% is still low, the number of HIV cases increased from 1,700 to 8,700 from 2001 to 2009 The Philippines is one of only seven countries whose HIV cases increased by more than 25% in that period Most of the new cases are coming from high-risk groups: males having sex with other males, people who inject drugs, commercial sex workers

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the number of HIV cases in the country has been increasing at an alarming rate. In the month of December 2011 alone, 268 new HIV cases were reported, a 54% increase over the 174 cases reported in the same period in 2010. This is so far the highest monthly incidence of HIV/AIDS in Philippine history. Another chart below shows a clear picture of the steady increase in the number of

HIV/AIDS cases in the country since 2001. A significant finding is that of the 8,364 HIV reported cases from January 1984 to December 2011, more than half were cases from the last three years.

Alarming but concentrated. When asked about the rise of HIV cases in the country, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said that the “HIV situation, while alarming,

NEW HIV CASES PER MONTH (2009-2011)

number of new cases

Source: Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, Department of Health (December 2011)

HIV/AIDS CASES REPORTED IN THE PHILIPPINES BY YEAR, 1984-2011

‘84 ‘85 ‘86 ‘87 ‘88 ‘89 ‘90 ‘91 ‘92 ‘93 ‘94 ‘95 ‘96 ‘97 ‘98 ‘99 ‘00 ‘01 ‘02 ‘03 ‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘07 ‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘11 Total AIDS Death 2 2 2 10 29 38 32 39 66 85 72 102 118 116 154 117 189 158 123 174 184 199 193 210 309 342 528 835 1591 2,349 6 4 4 18 25 21 29 48 68 51 64 61 65 104 94 144 80 83 118 140 161 139 171 273 312 506 806 1571 2,255 11 13 11 10 18 17 21 38 57 51 50 23 45 78 40 56 44 38 54 39 36 30 22 10 12 9 8 15 13 13 11 19 24 27 10 16 17 9 20 11 8 11 16 18 10 7 29 1 20 2 94 17 Asymptomatic 0

Source: Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, Department of Health (December 2011)

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is concentrated among key populations at higher risk and not the public at large.” Last month, the United Nations expressed its concern regarding the HIV/ AIDS situation in the country. Country Coordinator Teresita Marie Bagasao of the United Nations Program on HIV-AIDS (UNAIDS) said that, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most problematic, the HIV/AIDS situation in the country is now “five nationally.” Bagasao added, however, that the situations differ from area to area. “It is already eight to nine in specific sites (nationwide) mainly associated with officially-reported HIV prevalence.” She also stressed, “some places that have reported more than four percent to as much as 53 percent HIV prevalence among its mostat-risk groups are alarmed and are actively pursuing solutions to address their situation, described as concentrated epidemics.” Predominantly young men. Another finding coming from the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry is that 94% of the 268 new HIV cases in December 2011 were men. Of the 2,349 HIV cases reported in 2011, 87% were also males. The figure (see upper right) shows a big difference according to gender. Of the 8,364 reported HIV/AIDS cases from January 1984 to December 2011, 6,890 cases, or 82%, were males. In terms of age, the age range of the new HIV cases in December 2011 was 17 to 73 years old, with 27 years being the median age, and 60% of all cases occurring in the 20-29 age group.
Number of Male Cases
<15yo 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 19842005 1 1 1 2 6 21 15-19yo 66 50 22 11 1 14 20-24yo 522 406 179 92 36 121 25-29yo 647 454 227 140 74 300 30-24yo 341 256 124 90 54 360

COMPARISON OF THE DISTRIBUTIO
Comparison of the Distrib

Sexual transmission. The said registry also showed that 238 of the new patients in December 2011 acquired HIV through sexual contact, while the remaining 30 acquired it through needle-sharing among intravenous drug users. 86% were Males having Sex with other Males (MSM). From January to December 2011, 95% of the new HIV cases got HIV through sexual contact while 5% contracted the disease through needle-sharing among intravenous drug users. As to the kind of sexual transmission, the graph (see right) shows that, from 2007 to 2011, there has been a shift from heterosexual to MSM contact.

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ON OF MALE AND FEMALE HIV CASES BY AGE-GROUP AND CERTAIN HIGHLIGHTED YEARS
ution of Male and Female HIV Cases by Age-Group and Certain Highlighted Years

Number of Female Cases
35-39yo 166 128 90 59 43 321 40-44yo 109 81 41 38 30 249 45-49yo 45 42 18 23 15 170 50 & older 45 48 29 20 19 157 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 19842005 <15yo 1 1 1 2 6 21 15-19yo 20-24yo 25-29yo 30-24yo 66 50 22 11 1 14 522 406 179 92 36 121 647 454 227 140 74 300 341 256 124 90 54 360 35-39yo 166 128 90 59 43 321 40-44yo 109 81 41 38 30 249 4549yo 45 42 18 23 15 170 50 & older 45 48 29 20 19 157

Source: Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, Department of Health (December 2011)

PROPORTION OF TYPES OF SEXUAL TRANSMISSION, JAN 1984 - DEC 2011

Year Heterosexual Bisexual Homosexual

‘84 1 0 2

‘85 7 2 1

‘86 ‘87 24 24 0 4 4 3

‘88 16 2 4

‘89 ‘90 19 35 2 4 4 8

‘91 30 4 15

‘92 41 5 5

‘93 47 2 16

‘94 ‘95 ‘96 ‘97 ‘98 ‘99 ‘00 ‘01 ‘02 58 56 81 82 138 144 93 128 129 3 8 7 7 9 10 8 5 8 20 21 30 25 36 30 17 32 46

‘03 ‘04 ‘05 ‘06 ‘07 129 123 131 193 139 14 12 14 26 74 40 27 47 81 107

‘08 ‘09 ‘10 ‘11 160 216 271 388 127 252 463 806 215 336 677 1036

Source: Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, Department of Health (December 2011)

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According to the Philippines HIV/AIDS Profile prepared by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), HIV prevalence among MSM throughout the country is at 0.99%. In Metro Manila, the HIV-prevalence rate among MSM is at 1.61%. But in a report prepared by UNAIDS in 2011, HIV in Asia and the Pacific: Getting to Zero, the HIV-prevalence rate among MSM is much higher. “In the Philippines, epidemics have erupted in metropolitan Manila and Cebu (5% HIV prevalence)… Other data reveal a doubling of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men throughout the country. Serious epidemics among men who have sex with men are underway across the region, especially among young people and in cities,” the report states. Condom use. One interesting finding of the UNAIDS report is that only 32% of surveyed MSM used a condom the last time they had sex with a male partner. This is a low percentage when compared with the 19 other surveyed countries in Asia and the Pacific, higher than only Bangladesh (31%), Lao PDR (24%) and Malaysia (21%). Women’s Rights Researcher Aruna Kashyap, in her article titled Philippines: Dictating Choices, Risking Lives, suggests a possible reason to explain the low incidence of condom use in the country. Kashyap cites religious beliefs, particularly those espoused by the Catholic Church that promotes a “non-barrier method of birth control that is completely ineffective in reducing the risk of HIV transmission.” As early as 2004, Human Rights Watch, in its report Philippines: Unprotected: Sex, Condoms and the Human Right to Health, already warned of an impending HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country unless condom use is promoted. It held the Philippine government responsible for allowing the spread of the disease through its refusal to implement programs that increase public access to condoms. “The Philippines faces a possible explosion of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/ AIDS), yet its government actively impedes measures that would prevent this incurable and deadly disease. It does so chiefly by impeding access to condoms – the single most effective technology against sexual transmission of HIV, and the cornerstone of HIV prevention efforts since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic,” the report said. USAID also makes a similar observation regarding condom use and the spread of AIDS in the country. Among the factors that will contribute to the possible HIV/AIDS epidemic, as cited in the Philippine HIV/AIDS Profile, is a conservative culture and “the Catholic Church’s influence on state policy, particularly its disapproval of condom distribution and use.” Gov’t treatment package not enough? In 2010, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) made available an Outpatient HIV/AIDS Treatment

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(OHAT) package. Through this program, an HIVpositive patient can avail of an annual reimbursement of P30,000 released in four quarterly payments of P7,500.00 each. Covered items in the OHAT package are drugs and medicines, laboratory examinations and professional fees.

Just when thousands of Filipinos are at greater risk of infection, the Philippines is expected to cut down its HIV and AIDS interventions ~ Jonas Bagas

In 2011, however, Global Fund decided to no longer entertain request for new grants until 2014, due to depleted resources.

However, Dr. Susan Gregorio of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) said in an interview with The Philippine Star that P30,000 a year is not enough. According to Dr. Gregorio, an HIV patient needs P15,000 monthly just for antiretroviral therapy. A standard antiretroviral therapy (ART) is described by the World Health Organization as the “combination of at least three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIV disease.” Funding sources still mostly external. Based on the Briefer on the Philippine HIV and AIDS Epidemic prepared by PNAC, external sources have funded more than half of the country’s AIDS spending every year. In fact, only 20% of the HIV/AIDS annual budget comes from the government. In 2009, for instance, USAID gave the Philippine government a $1-million grant from USAID for HIV/AIDS programs and services. Another international funding source is The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. According to the site’s interactive country portfolio for the Philippines, in 2010, the fund released a total of $20.68 million of the fund’s $23.96 million total approved budget for HIV/AIDS.

“A revised resource forecast presented to the Board showed that substantial budget challenges in some donor countries, compounded by low interest rates have significantly affected the resources available for new grant funding. As a result, the Global Fund will only be able to finance essential services for on-going programs that come to their conclusion before 2014 by making savings in the existing grant portfolio,” Global Fund said in a press release. Jonas Bagas of the Network to Stop Aids in the Philippines asserted that the Global Fund budget cut could spell trouble for the country in addressing the HIV/AIDS situation. “Just when thousands of Filipinos are at greater risk of HIV infection, the Philippines is expected to cut down its HIV and AIDS interventions,” Bagas said. In an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP), UNAIDS’ Bagasao said that the country will feel the effects of the budget cut when the present “round” of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria ends in November this year. Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag, in the same report, admitted that government is facing a shortfall of P16 billion, since only P19 billion of an estimated P35- billion requirement for HIV-prevention programs from 2011 to 2016 have so far been matched to foreign and local sources.

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“If we only have so much, we have to prioritize the scope of our programs, choosing the target populations, choosing the specific areas. It is a race against time because the more cases there are, the more different kinds of financial support are needed in the long run,” added Tayag. Prioritize those most at risk. United Nations Population Fund Country Representative Ugochi Daniels believes that in order to significantly reduce the number of HIV and AIDS cases, the country must target MSMs. “For the Philippines, [the target] has to be MSM. If it’s not targeting what it’s supposed to target, the country will be left behind,” Daniels said. In response to the alarming HIV/AIDS situation in the country, PNAC prepared the 5th AIDS Medium Term Plan (2011-2016): The Philippine Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS (5thAMTP). The goal of the plan is to prevent the further spread of HIV infection by “maintaining the prevalence of less than 66 HIV cases per 100,000 populations and reduce the impact of the disease on individuals, families, sectors and communities.” In addition, the plan also aims to target those most at risk, i.e., MSM and People Who Inject Drugs (PWID). To combat the spread of the HIV virus among MSM and transgenders, PNAC developed the Comprehensive Package of Services for MSM based on a Regional Consensus Meeting in Thailand in 2009. The Consensus Statement in Thailand declared the importance of using a “multisectoral, comprehensive package of interventions and sexual health services that will provide a continuum of prevention, care, treatment and support services to reduce the incidence and impact of HIV among the broad range of MSM and TG [transgenders] in Asia and the Pacific.” Aside from these, “enabling environments, strategic partnerships and collaborations that include governments, communities and development partners” were mentioned as “essential for the design, costing and implementation of comprehensive responses.” Examples of prevention activities discussed in the Consensus Statement are the use of digital media like the Internet to reach MSM and transgenders and ensuring the availability and promotion of condoms and lubricants. As seen in the table (see right), one of the key thrusts of the PNAC Comprehensive Package on HIV prevention is peer outreach and education. It is therefore appropriate that Gorriceta, an openly gay man, has become the spokesperson of the National Federation of People Living with HIV and AIDS. Not surprisingly, another key strategy suggested by the package is the promotion and distribution of condoms. HIV incidence among intravenous drug users increasing. According to the UNAIDS report, “HIV in Asia and the Pacific: Getting to Zero,” HIV prevalence in Cebu City among people who inject drugs (PWID) increased from 0.6% to 53% in 2009-2011. In Mandaue City alone, 3.6% of people who inject drugs are HIV-positive.

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The PNAC Report also identified the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Danao in Cebu as having a surge of HIV cases among PWID. The report also proposed a comprehensive package of intervention for PWIDs. Some of the activities include: needle and syringe promotion, setting up of a disposal protocol for used needles and syringes, condom

promotion and distribution, and peer education and counseling. The need to do more. It is commendable that the Philippine National Aids Council, a multisectoral body composed of government and non-government organizations, has chosen to adopt a comprehensive and holistic approach in

THE COMPREHENSIVE PACKAGE OF SERVICES FOR MSM AND TG
Comprehensive Response
HIV Prevention

Key Components and Activities
• Peer outreach, peer education • Promotion of and access to the means of HIV prevention, including condom distribution • HIV counseling and testing • Drop-in services • Voluntary testing with strict confidentiality; provided at the right time, place, and environment • Combined with prevention, counseling and information linked to TCS • Positive prevention • Linked to phychosocial support • Linked to other prevention services, e.g., IDU, sex work services

Specific to TG
Access to information, counseling and suppoirt on transgender issues

Access to HIV treatment, care, and support

An understanding of the effects of HIV antiretroviral medicines and HIV oppotunistic infection treatments for transgender people taking gender reassignment drugs Work to understand HIV risk in relation to gender reassignment, drug treatment and surgical procedures. The ability to change one’s name and gender identity in official documents, and the legal right to live as another gender, free from stigma and discrimination

Enabling Environment for prevention and care services

• Harmonize HIV policies with laws that impede the response • Reduce harassment, violence, stigma • Ensure continuity and consistency of programs and services • Support MSM and TG communitybased organizations and nongovernmentorganizations • Remove structural barriers to the use of services by MSM and TGs • • • • • • • • •

Strategic information

Population size estimation Biological and behavioral surveillance Social and operational research Program and service monitoring and evaluation Policy/legislative review Civil society strengthening Community organization development Capacity building Sustainability

Supporting interventions

Source: 5th AIDS Medium Term Plan (2011-2016): The Philippine Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS

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dealing with the HIV/AIDS situation in the country. HIV prevention and access to HIV treatment, care and support are crucial in reducing the number of Filipinos infected with HIV as well as prolonging the lives of the patients. However, the gravity of the HIV situation in the Philippines is already such that all stakeholders need to do a lot more. We

The looming threat of HIV-AIDS

must address those deficiencies that have so far allowed the number of HIV cases in the country to escalate. Among these is lack of support, awareness and funding, as well as lack of programs that make condoms accessible to the public. We must not wait until the HIV situation in the country progresses to the point that it gets out of hand.

How the HIV stigma keeps the virus spreading and killing
Creating an enabling environment for prevention and care services is also of equal importance. Reducing the stigma of HIV and AIDS disease as well as harassment and discrimination against patients are vital in solving the HIV and AIDS problem not only in the country but worldwide. According to UK-based international HIV and AIDS charity Avert, “Stigma not only makes it more difficult for people trying to come to terms with HIV and manage their illness on a personal level, but it also interferes with attempts to fight the AIDS epidemic as a whole. On a national level, the stigma associated with HIV can deter governments from taking fast, effective action against the epidemic, whilst on a personal level it can make individuals reluctant to access HIV testing, treatment and care.” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, in an August 6 Washington Times op-ed piece, described at length what the “stigma factor” is all about: “One of the biggest hurdles for our global response to AIDS is psychological. That is the stigma factor. To greater or lesser degrees, almost everywhere in the world, discrimination remains a fact of daily life for people living with HIV. One-third of all countries have virtually no laws protecting their rights. Almost all permit at least some form of discrimination - against women and children who contract the disease, against gay men, against communities at risk. Stigma remains the single most important barrier to public action. It is the main reason too many people are afraid to see a doctor to determine whether they have the disease, or to seek treatment if so. It helps make AIDS the silent killer, because people fear the social disgrace of speaking about it, or taking easily available precautions. Stigma is a chief reason the AIDS epidemic continues to devastate societies around the world.” The video titled, “Would you kiss me?,” depicts a situation where HIV/AIDS may discourage a person from pursuing Would you kiss an attractive woman with HIV? intimate relations with an otherwise attractive woman. It perfectly illustrates what the stigma factor is all about.

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Nation
Court as it mustered a vote of 27-4 in favor of the finding that there was “sufficient ground for impeachment” against Justice Mariano Del Castillo for alleged plagiarism and misrepresentation. The committee will convene again this week to determine whether or not probable cause exists to impeach Justice Del Castillo. The Supreme Court ruled early last year that the charge of plagiarism against Del Castillo lacked merit. Meanwhile, the 62-year old Del Castillo has gone on sick leave and is reportedly seeking early retirement.

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the court take heed of the TRO, but other senators said that the matter would still be discussed in their Monday caucus. In reaction, President Noynoy Aquino dared Corona to voluntarily divulge details of his dollar deposits. Meanwhile, on the matter of which is superior, constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas opined that the Supreme Court and the Senate are still coequal despite the impeachment proceedings.

Negros quake kills dozens, destroys ₧266 million worth of property
The province of Negros Oriental began the stage of recovery from the damage left by the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit the area including nearby provinces of Cebu, Iloilo and parts of Panay Island on Monday. Search, rescue and relief operations were conducted despite aftershocks from time to time. According to the Feb. 10 situational report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the casualties were 34 dead and 71 persons missing while cost of damages to roads and bridges was pegged at ₧266 million.

Solicitor General Jose Cadiz quits
Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz tendered his resignation to President Noynoy Aquino, saying that he intends to go back to private practice. Cadiz was a former national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and is the 45th Solicitor General of the Philippines. He represented the State in the case surrounding the land distribution of the Hacienda Luisita. His replacement Francis Jardeleza, the former deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, assured Hacienda Luisita farmers that he will exercise “fairness and justice” in representing their case before the Supreme Court..

SC votes 8-5 to halt Corona $ account info disclosure
The Supreme Court voted 8-5 to stop the Senate impeachment court from compelling officials of the Philippine Savings Bank to disclose information on the dollar deposits of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile recommended that

House panel votes to impeach Del Castillo
The House Committee on Justice pushed for the impeachment of another Justice of the Supreme

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The Arab Spring – One Year Later
Last year’s clamor for democratic reform meets this year’s need to sustain its momentum
By John Carlo Gil M. Sadian

STRATEGY POINTS
While the ouster of long-time dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya may have inspired democratic movements around the world, it has provoked other ruling regimes to further flex their muscles to protect their hold on power. Toppling governments is just the first step in a long journey towards democratization, especially in newly-democratized countries where the polls resulted in the election of Islamist figures less likely to implement genuine democratic reforms.

On the morning of December 17, 2010, fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi burned himself in front of the governor’s office after he was slapped and beaten by municipal inspectors who confiscated his fruit cart. This single act of defiance ignited a revolution that toppled the 23-year-old regime that ruled Tunisia and inspired uprisings in 16 other countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA). The series of events that followed from Bouazizi’s self-immolation is unparalleled: a wave of protests that created shock waves to topple governments in the region and send warnings to governments elsewhere around the world. The world watched in real time as the decades-old regime of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali would bite the dust four weeks later, followed by that of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak four weeks after that.

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The shock waves were also felt in Libya, whose civil war culminated with the capture and execution of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi at the hands of his own people in October. Hoping to avert a violent overthrow, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh gave in to protesters weeks later by promising to step down in January of this year. The same spirit of people empowerment also continues to fire up simmering unrest in Jordan, Kuwait and Morocco, as well as protests in Algeria, Lebanon, Mauritania, Sudan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Western Sahara. In other countries of the region, crackdowns on protesters against the regimes of Bahrain’s King Hamad and Syrian President Bashar alAssad now keep the civil unrest going.

its “economic growth, educated middle class, high rate of female literacy, strong sense of a unified national identity, non-politicized military, and relatively active civil culture of labor unions and Bar association.” Ben Ali’s regime made the prospect of democracy in Tunisia hard to consider. Implausibly enough, however, it took a relatively minor altercation between a female inspector and a fruit vendor over an apple cart to spark a revolution that would bring Ben Ali’s regime to its knees in just four weeks.

Boazizi had wanted to protest the municipal government’s refusal to release his confiscated fruit cart after he paid Sidi Bouzid is the Tunisian town that sparked the the fine, and nationwide protests that eventually toppled the rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Al Jazeera video) Tunisia now social media a model for and Tunisia’s democratization. outspoken In his 1991 book “The Third Wave: youth paid attention despite a governmentDemocratization in the Late Twentieth imposed media blackout. Al Jazeera Century,” American political scientist reported that “throughout the uprising, Samuel Huntington envisioned Tunisia as a Tunisian protesters relied on Facebook to prime candidate for democracy because of communicate with each other.” Through

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social media, the protests spread out from Boazizi’s city of Sidi Bouzid, igniting social unrest elsewhere in the country. Ben Ali was left with no other choice but to step down four weeks later, seeking asylum in Saudi Arabia. The protests did not immediately end upon Ben Ali’s departure to Jeddah. The protesters demanded the eviction of all members of Ben Ali’s party from the transitional government, to which acting President Mohamed Ghannouchi gave in. By March 2011, the election for members of the Constituent Assembly was scheduled, and in October, it took place, with international and internal observers declaring it free and fair. The formerly banned Ennahda Movement (Renaissance Party) took 90 out of a total of 217 seats, and the Constituent Assembly elected a former dissident, physician and human rights activist Moncef Marzouki, to serve as interim president of Tunisia.

control over the judiciary, the revolution brought a fresh start. In its Freedom in the World 2012 Report on “The Arab Uprisings and Their Global Repercussions,” Freedom House called Tunisia “the most dramatic success story thus far in the series of popular uprisings that took place across the Arab world during 2011,” with a remarkable transformation “from a showcase for Arab autocracy to an electoral democracy whose new leaders have pledged themselves to moderation, adherence to civil liberties, and the rule of law.” Nonetheless, it predicted that “achieving . . . deep institutional reforms will likely require many years of effort” (page 4 of Freedom Report).

More than a quarter-million people flooded into Cairo on One year after Ben Ali’s February 1, filling the city’s main square in by far the largest ouster, Tunisia is now demonstration in a week of unceasing demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave office (Associated Press video) a model for democracy, overcoming its reputation as a country that “stood out for the thoroughness of its Egypt: From military autocracy to system of control and oppression.” In a Islamist dictatorship? Immediately country where the government was able to after Ben Ali’s downfall, opposition groups smother all significant sources of opposition in Egypt scheduled a day of protest to be by jailing or exiling dissenters, imposing held on Egypt’s National Police Day on heavy censorship, and exerting political January 25, 2011. Originally intended

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to address police abuses, the demands expanded to include the resignation of the Minister of Interior, the termination of emergency law in effect since 1958, and the imposition of term limits on the president. Through social media, the organizers were able to encourage tens of thousands of people to gather in Cairo and thousands more in other cities. The protests continued for days, until the “March of Millions” filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Jan. 31.

There seems to be growing fear in the West that a new theocracy, like that in Iran, may rise from the rubble of the revolution

democrats, encouraging illiberal forces and trying to ensure that the public equates democracy with instability and insecurity, with the intention of eventually provoking a clamor for the return of authoritarian rule.”

On February 11, 17 days after the protests started, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced Mubarak’s resignation and the temporary assumption of power by the Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces. The military leadership immediately dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution to pave way for new elections and constitutional reforms. A constitutional referendum held on March 19, 2011, produced a constitution ratified by 77% of the voters, which was followed by parliamentary elections that began on November 28. One year after Mubarak’s ouster, the introduction of democracy in Egypt appears to be not as promising as Tunisia’s. According to Democracy Digest’s Michael Allen, “Some observers believe the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is deliberately weakening indigenous

With the result of the elections showing a preference for Islamist groups, there seems to be growing fear in the West that a new theocracy, like that in Iran, may rise from the rubble of the revolution, as discussed by Omar Ashour of the United Kingdom’s University of Exeter, also in Democracy Digest. Ashour writes that the rift between the two big winners in the elections would most likely shape the inclinations of the new government. The Muslim Brotherhood, for one, is “determined, above all, to limit the military’s role in shaping the constitution,” and to “empower the parliament and monitor the security services more effectively.” The other group, the Salafis, on the other hand, is bent on pushing for “a socially conservative agenda to satisfy their electoral base.” Political factors aside, Allen also cites analyst Zvi Bar’el’s observation in the online version of Haaretz, Israel’s largest daily newspaper: “The greatest threat to the revolution isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis or tensions between the army and the protesters. The real threat is money: Egypt does not have any way to fund the revolution.”

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Libya: From Gaddafi to uncertainty? At the height of the revolution in Egypt, just across the border, more than 500 Libyan demonstrators assembled in front of the Benghazi police headquarters to protest the arrest of human rights lawyer Fathi Terbil. The protest was violently broken up by police, resulting in clashes in which 38 people were injured, including

While Libya might have liberated itself from Gaddafi, the problems brought by its new-found freedom appear daunting. As it struggles to establish a new government and prepare the country for free elections, the NTC still faces the challenges of rising Islamist political groups, rivalry among the rebel forces, ethnic war, looting, and the proliferation of weapons from Gaddafi’s stockpile.

Indeed, more than a year after the civil war erupted, protests still hound the streets of Libya, with the people protesting the speed of reforms and lack of transparency from the interim government. On one A senior National Transitional Council official has said that occasion, a crowd deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has died of his wounds threw stones as after being captured near his hometown of Sirte (Al Jazeera video) NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil was about 10 from the security forces. Hundreds of to address them. Thus, Freedom House protesters in the towns of Bayda and Zintan concluded that “while Libya has benefited also assembled and called for an end to greatly from the demise of the Gaddafi Muammar Gaddafi’s government, setting dictatorship, the country confronts an fire to police and security buildings. array of daunting political and security challenges, and has yet to hold its first This escalated into a full-blown civil war elections” (page 5, Freedom Report). where by the end of February 2011, a substantial number of Gaddafi’s officials Other regimes turning back Arab and allies already defected, and a significant Spring? While there may have been part of Libya came under control of the major political changes in Tunisia, Egypt rebels. After a protracted struggle ended and Libya, analysts think that there still is in Gaddafi’s capture and death on Oct. 20, a long way towards attaining democracy the National Transitional Council (NTC) and the rule of law in the Arab region. In officially declared Libya’s liberation on fact, the fall of the governments in Tunisia, Oct. 23. Egypt, Libya, and Yemen has provoked

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the remaining regimes to crack down on protesters to protect their hold on power. In the worst case, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responded to widespread peaceful protests with a campaign of arrests, torture, and urban fusillades that took the lives of an estimated 5,000 Syrians by the end of 2011. After authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya fell apart, the Telegraph reported that al-Assad seems to be bent on keeping power, maintaining that restoring order is his “absolute priority,” and that “there can be no let-up for terrorism—which must be hit with an iron first.” Amidst widespread protests, al-Assad refused calls for him to step down, repeatedly citing the people’s support and blaming the unrest on a foreign conspiracy intended to “destabilize Syria” by “falsifying the facts and events” in the country. Nonetheless, he made a commitment that a referendum will be held in March to propose a new constitution and the possibility of an election. Whether he will stand by this commitment has yet to be seen. In a 2011 year-end review, The Guardian attributes Al-Assad’s resilience to the fact that “Syria has seen no defections of senior loyalists, nor is there any prospect of outside military intervention,” and that “sectarianism is a real danger and the opposition is bitterly divided.” And while “the Arab League and Turkey have turned against Bashar al-Assad,” he is sure that “he can count on being defended at the UN by Russia and China.” Sure enough, on Feb. 4, Russia and China both vetoed

a United Nations Security Council draft resolution condemning Syria. Meanwhile, Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement, led by majority-Shiites, has encountered violent repression by the country’s Sunni rulers, who have been assisted by Saudi Arabia’s military. The movement, which is supported by Iran, is not calling for an overthrow of the monarchy, but rather for deep political reform. In January, the monarchy announced constitutional amendments allowing the country’s elected parliament greater scrutiny over the government, but which fell short of opposition demands for change. And so the process of negotiation – and the delicate dance between a ruling minority and a disenfranchised majority, each supported by a powerful foreign country – continues. Resilience in China, reforms in Myanmar. Elsewhere in the world, the voices of those who stood up against authoritarian regimes in MENA did not go unnoticed. As Freedom House put it in its afore-mentioned report on the global repercussions of the Arab uprisings, Arab Spring came at a time when China was accelerating its “efforts to project its power beyond its borders,” with its Asian neighbors being “important targets of this effort.” During this time, the Leninist government in Beijing “has demonstrated no serious interest in

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political liberalization at home, and has devoted impressive resources to internet censorship, the suppression of minorities, and the elimination of even oblique political dissent″ (page 6, Freedom Report). Thus, it was observed that when the uprisings spread out from Tunisia, “the [Chinese] authorities carried out a major campaign of repression in the wake of the Arab uprisings by censoring public discussion of the movement for Arab democratization, prosecuting or arbitrarily detaining scores of social-media commentators and human rights lawyers, and strengthening the online censorship of domestic social-networking services.” (page 6) Meanwhile, the Freedom House report perceives Myanmar as having attained the most significant gain towards democratization in the Asia-Pacific region after decades of political repression under a military junta (page 6). It cited the government’s allowing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her political party to participate in the forthcoming election, in addition to easing press censorship and legalizing political protest. Nonetheless, it also noted that “it was still unclear whether the changes in Burma were durable or simply cosmetic improvements by the regime.” Russia and its vulnerability to popular discontent. While regimes fell or came under continuing pressure in the Arab world, protests were sprouting in Moscow and other Russian cities following controversial parliamentary elections in December.

As encapsulated in the Freedom House report, although the immediate reasons for these protests were the widely circulated “YouTube videos that suggested ballotstuffing and other forms of election fraud,” the demonstrations had deeper motivations: Displeasure over the reported agreement between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev to swap positions when the latter’s term ends in March 2012. While Dominic Moisi, writing in Project Syndicate, points out differences between recent circumstances in Egypt and Russia – for one, he doesn’t see Russia as being on the brink of revolution, as Egypt was a year ago – he also points out a significant commonality: a rejection of despotism and corruption. “As young Arabs told the rulers of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, and other Arab countries, this new generation of Russians is telling Putin: ‘Get Out!’” Even if the survival of Putin’s regime is not in danger from the demonstrations, he suggests the Kremlin take them seriously, if only because violent repression would be dangerous, and it would be taking what Moisi called a “huge historical risk” in not taking into account the public’s growing alienation. The more daunting task: sustaining democracy. Despite the United States’ growing unpopularity due to its support for oppressive regimes in the Arab region, Freedom House sees the Obama administration’s firmness in assisting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Libyan campaign as an important step in rebuilding its image (page 12). The gains

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of the Arab Spring should serve as a lesson for the United States and the world’s democracies, including the Philippines, to “dispel free societies’ persistent doubts about the strength and universal appeal of their institutions and values.” (page 13)

Yet, there still is much to yearn for if democratization is to be achieved in the Arab world. After all, deposing an authoritarian regime is only the first step. The real work of establishing a functioning and sustainable democracy still awaits.

OIL PRICE DURING THE ARAB SPRING (FROM DECEMBER 17, 2010 UP TO FEBRUARY 3, 2012)

Date
17-Dec-10 31-Dec-10 14-Jan-11 21-Jan-11 28-Jan-11 11-Feb-11 18-Feb-11 25-Feb-11 4-Mar-11 18-Mar-11 29-Apr-11 27-May-11 21-Oct-11 25-Nov-11 30-Dec-11

US$
88.02 91.38 91.54 89.11 89.34 85.58 86.2 97.88 104.42 105.4 113.93 100.59 87.4 96.77 98.83

Major Arab Spring Event
Protests start in Tunisia (Dec 17) Protests start in Algeria (Dec 28) Protests start in Lebanon and Jordan (Jan 12) Ben Ali steps down in Tunisia (Jan 14); Protests start in Mauritania, Sudan and Oman (Jan 17) Protests start in Saudi Arabia (Jan 22), Egypt (Jan 25), and Yemen (Jan 27) Protests start in Iraq (Feb 10), Bahrain (Feb 14), and Libya (Feb 15) Mubarak steps down in Egypt (Feb 11); Protests start in Kuwait (Feb 18) Protests start in Morocco (Feb 20) Protests start in Western Sahara (Feb 26) Protests subdued in Tunisia Protests subdued in Algeria and Sudan Protests subdued in Oman and Western Sahara Gaddafi killed in Libya (Oct 20) Saleh agrees to step down in Yemen by February 2012 (Nov 23) Protests subdued in Iraq
TCR compilation of data oil price history culled from the New York Stock

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The arab spring — one year later

OFWs prefer unrest abroad to unemployment at home
The Arab Spring has possible repercussions for the Philippines, if not the regime-stability issues discussed above. The Arab region is home to an estimated 3 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). It is thus understandable why a major policy stance of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for 2012 is the protection and/or repatriation of Filipinos in the conflict-ridden areas in the MENA. When hostilities started in late 2010, the DFA faced the problem of safely repatriating OFWs, especially those who refused to go home despite the mandatory repatriation orders from the Philippine government. By the end of 2011, DFA figures show that “only 93 Filipino workers from Egypt went home, 282 from Yemen and 434 from Syria. Libya had the highest number of repatriated Filipino workers at 10,087 as the repatriation process was coordinated with their employers, like oil firms and government hospitals.”

lifelines—OFW remittances. According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the mass displacement of OFWs from oil-rich countries in the Arab region would cause the government to lose about $1.6 billion in foreign remittances. Also of concern is the effect or effects of regional instability on oil prices. UP School of Economics Professor emeritus Gerardo Sicat opined in October that the “worst-case scenario could be any internal conflagration that involves Saudi Arabia,” the world’s largest oil supplier. Professor Sicat reasoned that “Any disruption of supply that originates in that country has a large impact on world stocks of oil,” considering that Saudi Arabia is “the critical player that increases or reduces its output of oil to stabilize the world’s supply.” Noting that the toppling of regimes in Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya signal not the end of uncertainties but the beginning of new uncertainties, he warned of the “most important succession problem in the region . . . rising over the horizon,” that of Saudi Arabia. He noted the recent death of the crown prince (Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz), heir to the throne, would need to be resolved quickly, as the king (Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz) is old and sick.

Point of concern at present is the refusal of OFWs to go home despite the escalating situation in Syria. It was reported in a BusinessMirror feature that “these Filipino workers still chose to bear the brunt of living in the danger zones than face an uncertain future in the Philippines due to lack of job and As reported in The Guardian, a new crown prince livelihood opportunities.” There are around 70,000 (Nayef bin AbdulOFWs in Syria, Aziz) was named, ANNUAL OFW REMITTANCES FROM SELECT most of them COUNTRIES IN THE ARAB REGION within a week having entered of Crown Prince Syria illegally. Country OFWs Annual Remittances Sultan’s death, (US$) but what has been Aside from the Egypt 6,000 381,000 left unsaid is that safety of OFWs, Libya 23,713 1,045,000 the Saudi king is the government Bharain 50,685 157,200,000 87, and that the also had to face Yemen 19,444 35,000,000 new crown prince the possibility replacing the of the regional A sample of Middle Eastern countries with their respective old crown prince registered OFW populations and estimated annual remittances unrest adversely who died at the affecting one TCR compilation of information provided by Dept. of Labor Employment putative age of Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a Senate Foreign Affairs committee hearing of the country’s in 2011, as reported in the BusinessMirror Jan. 1, 2012 story, Many OFWs 80, is himself 78. economic
in Middle East choose to stay in danger zone.

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World
Argentina to protest South Atlantic militarization at U.N.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner formally announced her government’s plan to lodge a complaint with the United Nations regarding the "militarization" of the South Atlantic by Britain. The announcement was prompted by resurfacing tensions amid the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Falklands War. Britain has rankled the South American country by sending a naval vessel, the HMS Dauntless destroyer, on a mission to the Falklands recently, in conjunction with Prince William taking to the skies over the area in his first sortie as a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot. During the 74-day Falkland War, 649 Argentines and 257 Britons died. The event is said to have paved the way for Argentina’s return to democracy. However, all sides acknowledge that the measure has so far failed its original intent, which was to topple Fidel Castro or his brother, Raul. The trade ban was put into effect in 1962 during John F. Kennedy's administration. It is said that the first sign of things to come was Kennedy's request for his aide to buy him as many Cuban cigars as he could find, which later was revealed to amount to 1,200. asked criminal ogranizations in Mexico to observe a cease-fire during the papal visit. Mexico has been dealing with a long-running drug war estimated to have caused 48,000 deaths in gang-related violence since December 2006.

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Police revolt topples Maldives president Papal visit prompts cartel deal in Mexico
The Knights Templar (Los Caballeros Templarios) drug cartel has called on rival gang Jalisco Nueva Generacion to leave the Guanajuato state of Mexico and to avoid instigating conflict during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the country next month. Authorities have found more than a dozen "narcomessages" in the form of banners in recent days, including a bedsheet which read, "So don't think about getting close and even less so of generating violence at a time when His Holiness Benedict XVI is coming." Last month, Leon Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago publicly Policital unrest rocked popular honeymoon destination Maldives last Tuesday, as President Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign following a police revolt. Shortly after Nasheed stepped down, Vice President Mohammed Waheed Hassan was sworn in as the country's national leader. Hassan maintains that there was no pre-arranged plan for him to take over the government, but Naheed says that he was victimized by an organized coup. Noted journalist Sumon K Chakrabarti has suggested that Hassan is a puppet from a small political party who commands little support on his own. Chakrabarti feels that the recent events are a cause for international concern, as it could signal what he calls "the end of democracy in t he Maldives."

Fifty years later, U.S. embargo on Cuba remains
Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, a controversial policy which supporters deem a justified move against a repressive government and critics condemn as a failed policy that has hurt ordinary Cuban citizens instead of the Communist government.

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Getting Ready for Takeoff
By Pia Rufino

How aviation reform can boost travel and tourism

STRATEGY POINTS
The Philippines’ noncompliance with international air-safety standards has cost Philippine air carriers expansion opportunities in the U.S. and Asia Compliance with international airsafety standards is as important to boosting local tourism as any catchy slogan

The government hopes to attract about four million tourists this year through the newly slogan campaign “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” Then again, increasing tourist arrivals here might depend not just on a catchy advertising campaign but also on convincing foreign aviation authorities our airplanes won’t come apart. The reliability of Philippine airplanes remains a significant concern, after our aviation program failed to meet international safety standards over four years ago. In December 2007, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), after conducting a safety audit on the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), downgraded

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our aviation safety status, citing noncompliance with the safety standards of specialized UN agency International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), according to a January 2008 message to U.S. citizens from the U.S. Embassy in Manila. In March 2010, the European Union banned Philippine carriers from flying to any of its 27 member-states after the CAAP failed to address safety, modern equipment, and technical personnel concerns. In announcing its decision, the EU cited significant safety concerns raised by ICAO during an audit of Philippine carriers in November 2009, as well as failure to implement corrective actions for concerns the EU raised in 2008. The ban was not expected to have immediate impact since the last flight to Europe by any Philippineregistered carrier was in 1999. As the FAA explained on its website, it has two categories for assessing countries’ civil aviation authorities: compliance with ICAO standards, and non-compliance with ICAO standards. Category 1 covers countries who license and oversee air carriers in compliance with ICAO standards, while Category 2 covers countries who do not provide safety oversight of its air carriers in accordance with ICAO’s minimum safety oversight standards. This rating means the country lacks laws or regulations that are needed for the certification and oversight of air carriers, according to minimum international standards. It also lacks the technical expertise, resources and organization to license air operations, it does not have adequately trained and qualified technical personnel and does not provide adequate

inspector guidance to ensure enforcement of minimum standards. Under Category 2, carriers are still allowed to continue operations at current levels but under heightened FAA scrutiny. The adverse effect on tourism. As a result of the FAA downgrade, the loss in tourism revenue reached more than P66.3 billion in 2009 to 2010, Philippine Travel Agencies Association president Aileen Clemente told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on August 16, 2011. Clemente further said the country could have gained extra 1.4 million tourists from 2009 to August 2011 noting that American tourists (excluding visitors from Guam) accounted for 17 percent, or about 600,000 of arrivals in 2010. She said an American tourist usually stayed an average of 18 days in the country, each spending P2,600 per day. “(The US) is already an established market that we believe has more room for expansion...The government also lost the opportunity to provide jobs to 150,000 of our countrymen,” Clemente noted. Just after the FAA downgrade, Philippine Airlines (PAL) president Jaime Bautista told reporters in January 2008 that the downgrade would affect PAL’s revenues starting in 2009 because it would not be able to use its new planes for flying to U.S. destinations. The Category-2 downgrade would prevent PAL from increasing its 33 flights a week to US destinations, he said, and from changing the type of aircraft or increasing the number of flights on those routes.

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Regaining Category 1. This adverse development pushed Republic Act No. 9497 or the Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008 into reenactment through which CAAP replaced the Air Transportation Office to oversee safety procedures and concerns raised by international aviation bodies, signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on March 4, 2008. To date, the country still hasn’t regained Category-1 status, but it has been preparing for the next foreign aviation assessment. In fact, FAA inspectors conducted a technical review of the CAAP on January 23-27, as reported in the Philippine Star in January. The review is an assessment of the CAAP’s preparedness for another round of audits and evaluations to regain Category-1 status, CAAP director-general Ramon S. Gutierrez told BusinessWorld also in January. After the FAA audit, the government plans to invite the ICAO and the EU back to convince them to reverse the Philippines’ low ratings, he added. According to the BusinessWorld report, in preparation for the eventual audit, the CAAP has been training safety inspectors and improving navigation networks in a number of airports in the country -- Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro

ICAO’s safety oversight system
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s technical review in January is meant to evaluate whether the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has addressed the International Civil Aviation Organization’s eight critical elements of a safety oversight system. A. Primary Aviation Legislation – Refers to the legislative agenda of the government to implement the provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation and its Annexes. B. Specific Operating Regulations – Deals into the availability of amended and up-to-date copies of national aviation regulations for inspectors and users. C. CAA Structure & Safety Oversight Function – pertains to the creation of RA 9497, which abolished the ATO and created the CAAP. D. Technical Guidance – The new standard for training inspectors and technical personnel. E. Qualified Personnel – With the use of an intranet system, a digital reference of documents on inspectors and technical personnel’s merit and qualifications can be easily accessed. F. Licensing & Certification Obligations – A clear regulatory basis and technical guidance reference for certification and issuance of air operator certificate and operating authorizations. G. Continued Surveillance Obligations – A system of supervision to ensure execution of specific guidance on the conduct of follow-up inspections, both random and planned. H. Resolution of Safety Issues – In instances when a deficiency is found during inspection, the safety oversight office should have specific procedures to be implemented to correct the deficiency within a specified time.

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and Zamboanga – with the help of local carriers PAL and Cebu Air, which owns Cebu Pacific. At groundbreaking ceremonies for the Philippine Academy for Aviation Training in Pampanga on January 24, 2012, President Benigno Aquino III said a positive outcome of the FAA review would result in the expansion of the local airlines’ capacities, which would redound to a healthier aviation industry, more mobility for the people, and ultimately, a more robust and equitably progressive economy. (Click on the link above to watch a video presentation of the speech) Aquino said that the government is ramping up efforts to reform Philippine aviation, adding that, “We have also been working on liberalizing aviation here. In the last year we have seen our liberalization programs translate into very robust growth in both domestic and international air traffic,” he said.

The report said the public may feel that that budget airlines pose risks to safety because of the possibility they might cut costs by reducing expenditure on aircraft maintenance. The problem, however, lies more in how the airlines employ safety regulations, as most ASEAN countries do not have enough capacity to conduct evaluation and supervision of their carriers. According to the Asian Development Bank’s Southeast Asia Working Paper Series No. 2, Air Connectivity in Archipelagic Southeast Asia, the global aviation market has benefitted from market liberalization, privatization, and a relaxation of restrictive ownership policies since the late 1980s. Moreover, liberalization especially for tourism and regional development has encouraged policy-makers to reform aviation policy, which has brought change to the Southeast Asian aviation industry since the 1990s.

Liberalization directly   benefited the President Aquino extols the benefits of passing passengers, the FAA technical review and audit process Liberalization airlines and the improves airline tourism sector industry. Deregulation and liberalization which all gain from lower fares and better of airlines industry in ASEAN spurred services. While indirect impacts include rapid growth in the region’s airline sector. effects on government revenue, foreign The rapid growth was also driven by the exchange effects, employment effects, emergence of low-cost carriers, according and effects flowing from improvements to to Strategic Directions for ASEAN Airlines business communications, according to the in a Globalizing World: The Emergence ADB paper. of Low Cost Carriers in South East Asia (2005) by Yose Rizal Damuri and Airlines still planning to expand. Titik Anas. Despite the country’s Category-2 rank,

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local airlines including PAL, Cebu Air, and Southeast Asian Airlines Inc. (Seair) announced their service expansion and modernization plans in January. Lance Gokongwei, president and chief executive office of Cebu Air said in a briefing on January 31, 2012, he was confident the country would regain Category-1 status, as the company plans to offer direct flight operations to new markets including the U.S. and parts of Europe, in order to tap 11 million Filipinos abroad, according to a Feb. 1 Philippine Star report. The airline is hoping to tap into the vast market of 11 million Filipinos based abroad, according to Alex Reyes, a Cebu Pacific official. Of the total, four million are reportedly residing in the US, 2.18 million in the Middle East, 1.22 million in Asia, one million in Europe, 500,000 Australia/ Oceania, and 90,000 in Africa. He noted that more than half of all Filipinos deployed abroad have to endure multiple stops and connecting flights because no local carrier can fly them to their destination non-stop. In the report, Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific Air will lease up to eight new A330-300 aircraft – with a lease price of $220 million each – to offer direct flight operations to new markets, including the U.S., Australia, India, Hawaii, Guam, New Zealand and parts of Europe and the Middle East. ”The A330-300 will give us the lowest cost per seat, allowing us to drive long-haul fares 35 percent lower than those currently offered by other airlines, and as much as 80 percent lower when Cebu Pacific offers promo fares,” he elaborated. PAL invites San Miguel to invest in re-fleeting. On PAL’s part, owner Lucio Tan invited San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the country’s largest beverage, food and packaging company, in December 2011 to assist in his airline’s re-fleeting and modernization, a January 2012 abscbnnews.com report said. PAL’s invitation came six months after San Miguel set aside $300 million to modernize the Caticlan airport over the next two to three years. Issues about PAL being “for sale” gained steam after Tan was reported to have said that the airline was for sale “at the right price,” in reaction to speculation that he and members of his family were in negotiations with SMC and its corporate rival, the group of Manuel V. Pangilinan. After PAL officials said in January that the statement was merely rhetorical, in a Feb.

The OFW air-travel market: Still a one-way street?
Figures from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas’ Stock Estimate of Overseas Filipinos indicate that as of December 2010, 9.4 million Filipinos are based abroad, and of the 9 million of them who are land-based, 1.23 million are in East and South Asia, 2.85 in the Middle East, 3.88 million in the U.S.,74,483 in Africa, 400,800 in Australia/Oceania, and 663,889 in Europe. According to the previously mentioned ADB study, “Air Connectivity in Archipelagic Southeast Asia,” even if the employment of the Filipinos in Asia and the Middle East increases the demand for overseas travel, the average per capita incomes are still very low for generating any significant mass outward tourism. On the other hand, in 2002, 1.9 million inbound tourists mostly from the U.S., Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong generated $US2.5 billion in foreign exchange, contributing $5.7 billion to GDP and employing around 3 million Filipinos.

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12 Philippine Star report, Tan confirmed that a “negotiation” with SMC was ongoing. Southeast Asian Airlines Inc. (also known as Seair) is also expanding its fleet by 10 more aircraft in the next five years, serving more routes and more frequencies, Seair president Avelino Zapanta told abscbnnews.com. The airline flies to five local destinations – Boracay, Batanes, Tablas (Romblon), Clark, and Cebu – and serves three international routes — Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau. Airline industry growing. Global air passenger demand grew by 25.9% in 2011, despite weak conditions in Western economies, according to an International Air Transport Association (IATA) February 1, 2012 press release. Asia-Pacific airlines experienced the widest traffic or capacity gap in 2011, with annual traffic increasing by 4.1% against a 6.4% climb in capacity, but IATA attributed the significant part of the slowdown was due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March, which it said should be temporary. IATA is an international trade body which represents, lead, and serves some 240 airlines (including PAL) comprising 84% of total air traffic. Based on the December 2009 Market Profile for Aviation in Southeast Asia by the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Asian region’s potential in aviation is huge: touted to be the fastest-growing aviation market over the next 20 years, with the second-highest fleet growth at 6.6% over the next decade. A significant growth in aircraft movement is also seen over the next 20 years.

By 2025, Asian airports are expected to handle more than thrice the volume of movements handled in 2005, with annual growth average of six percent, said New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in the report. The report further said Philippine aviation is growing with tourist arrivals

in 2008 increasing by 1.5% from 2007, along with passenger movement of 36.16 million. Budget airlines are popular in the Philippines, with four new players joining the market – PAL Express (also known as Airphil Express), Cebu Pacific, Zest Air and Southeast Asia Air. To improve domestic tourism, the Philippine aviation sector caters to high demand from remote towns and cities are not reached by airlines before. But longterm growth could still be affected by fluctuating fuel prices and changes in global markets, the report stated. Open Skies policy and Category-2 status. To improve the Philippines’ competitiveness as a tourism destination

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and investment location and enhance the competitiveness of domestic carriers in Asia, the government has been attempting to open up airspace through an Open Skies policy. On March 14, 2011, President Aquino signed Executive Order No. 29 Authorizing the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Philippine Air Panels to pursue more aggressively the International Civil Aviation Liberalization Policy. While the local business community has expressed its support for a local Open Skies policy, local carriers have also expressed concern over being granted reciprocity to land in countries whose carriers we allow to come to the Philippines. “PAL is not against open skies. We just want it to be fair and reciprocal, and its implementation should be phased-in and calibrated,” PAL president Bautista said in a statement to GMA-7 in August 2010. Similarly, on its website, Cebu Pacific said: “We strongly believe that the Philippine

Getting ready to takeoff

airspace is a valuable asset and should be used to further the long-term interest of the nation through mutually beneficial air agreements.” In its statement, it also provided examples of the limited reciprocity they now experience with Hong Kong, China, Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. But reciprocity will be hard to bargain for, when local airlines and airports are tarred with FAA Category-2 status, as PAL’s Airline Express found out when it tried unsuccessfully to get South Korea to allow it to resume flights to Incheon. As reported in interaksyon.com, Seoul previously cited the ban on the Philippines imposed by the FAA, the EU, and the ICAO. For its part, PAL is now suggesting that it be assessed separately by the FAA to prove that it complies with international air-safety standards, even if the Philippine government does not, as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in December.

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Sy acquiring Ortigas group for $1B
SM tycoon Henry Sy Sr. is poised to make a "game-changing" move in the next two months, sources say. A $1-billion deal to acquire a majority stake and buy into the privately owned Ortigas property group is in the works. When completed, the transaction will expand the SM group's already massive landbank in the metropolis, and give it control of more shopping and entertainment centers -- including the Greenhills Shopping Center. Shares of SM group-affiliated companies outperformed last Wednesday due to the news of the prospective deal. SM Prime soared 4.7% to ₧15.60 a share; SMIC went up 2.4% to ₧692 each. International Business Report shows that, in 2011, more Filipino business leaders were stressed out compared to their foreign counterparts. The study's results were based on data drawn from interviews conducted between September and December 2011 with 6,000 businessmen all over the world Meanwhile, a 2011 study cited by Agence France-Presse found that happy people make better, faster decisions. Interestingly, both the Happy Planet Index (2009) and the World Values Survey (2007) ranked Filipinos among the happiest people on earth.

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to honor product warranties and provide technical support for its discontinued items, the focus of the company is now on its more profitable divisions – photo printing and desktop printers. An old Fortune article from 1983 describes how entering the electronic age was difficult for Kodak – perhaps a foreshadowing insight. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.

January inflation falls to the lowest in more than a year
Inflation hit a 13-month low at 3.9% this January, as price increases in food and non-alcoholic beverages declined. Inflation rates in the previous two months were 4.2% in December and 4.8% in November. Also this January, inflation in Metro Manila went up to 3.5% from just 3% the month before. Outside the national capital region, the data followed the trend but at a slower rate. A more comprehensive discussion of the data is provided by the recent Summary Inflation Report released by the National Statistics Office.

Philippine businessmen are not having fun, research says
Filipino businessmen would be hard pressed to agree with the statement "It's more fun in the Philippines," the new slogan of the Tourism Department’s promotional campaign. The Grant Thornton

Kodak exits digital camera market
Eastman Kodak is halting the production of their digital cameras, video cameras and digital picture frames. The 133-yearold company invented the digital camera in 1975, but has been failing to turn a profit from it and related technology in quite some time. While Kodak will continue

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How technology is helping the police see crime before it happens
By Tanya L. Mariano

STRATEGY POINTS
Predictive policing helps officers forecast when and where the next crime will likely occur, allowing for efficient personnel dispatch Using data analytics, police map out hotspots of criminal activity and predict crime just like businesses predict consumer behavior and market trends

Don’t panic; they’re not quite Orwell’s Thought Police or Minority Report’s “pre-cogs.” Not yet, anyway. It’s nothing radically new, but predictive policing is gaining a significant boost from the rise in computing power and improvements in data collection. From crime hot spots mapping, data mining, geospatial prediction, to the more cutting-edge technology of measuring behavioral and physiological signals to detect the intent to cause harm or commit an offense, today’s police are better equipped to anticipate when and where the next crime will likely occur, allowing them to prevent and respond to future crime more effectively. Crime-fighting data analytics. From the dawn of the era of professional policing in the ‘60s, to the communitypolicing model of the ‘90s, and the emergence of

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intelligence-led policing after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, police have always had access to a huge amount of information, say Charlie Beck, chief of detectives at the Los Angeles Police Department, and Colleen McCue, president and CEO of applied predictive analytics firm MC2 Solutions. In their 2009 article, “Predictive Policing: What Can We Learn from Wal-Mart and Amazon about Fighting Crime in a Recession,” in The Police Chief, the official publication of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Beck and McCue defined the challenge to police as one of analyzing and leveraging relevant data to stay a step ahead of lawbreakers. By taking a cue from businesses like WalMart and Amazon, who use data analytics to anticipate consumer behavior and market trends, the authors believe that law enforcement can be less reactive and more pro-active, and can more efficiently allocate resources, especially during trying economic times. NYPD takes its stats seriously. Datadriven policing may have started with the New York Police Department’s CompStat system, as reported in a 1999 interview in Government Technology Magazine with CompStat creator Jack Maple, who had started analyzing crime patterns as a transit cop in New York before eventually creating the program while serving as the city’s Deputy Police Commissioner in 1994. If the method of gathering data was relatively primitive and tedious – counting and mapping of crime statistics by hand, along with manual data-entry onto floppy disks – the results were startling.

The article, “CompStat: From Humble Beginnings,” published in Baseline Magazine in 2002, reported that the use of CompStat contributed to a 65.7% decrease in crime over a nine-year period. Inspired by the New York experience, police departments across the U.S. started using CompStat as well, with some even building on its success to create their own predictive policing models. Mapping hotspots of criminal activity. Memphis is often cited as one of the first cities in the U.S. to have successfully implemented a data-driven law enforcement style, and has become quite the benchmark for other cities follow. Since it launched “Blue CRUSH” – short for “Crime Reduction Utilizing Statistical History” – the number of crimes, e.g., rape, homicide, aggravated assault, larceny, and auto theft, plummeted 27% from 2006 to 2010. Most of the drop was attributed to “intelligent positioning of resources, [which means] having more officers patrolling the right area at the right time on the right day,” as described in the summary of a 2011 IBM case study, “Harnessing Statistics to Prevent Crime.” Blue CRUSH was born of a partnership between the Memphis Police Department and the University of Memphis, and uses statistical analysis tools from IBM to map out hotspots of criminal activity. According to Larry Godwin, the Police Department director, “On short notice, we’re able to shift officers to a particular ward, on a particular day, right down to the shift level. It’s a bit like a chess match and

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[the IBM SPSS solution] is enabling us to make arrests we never could have before.” Another example of predictive policing at work that was brought up during the First Predictive Policing Symposium in November 2009, as reported by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), is the Police Department of Arlington, TX having developed a formula to help identify characteristics of “fragile neighborhoods.” By identifying hotspots using data on residential burglaries and comparing these with data on areas with code violations, the department found that “every unit increase of physical decay resulted in almost six more residential burglaries in the city,” which meant that areas with higher physical decay could expect more home burglaries. Armed with this information, officers were able to prevent crime more efficiently, and the neighborhood had added incentive to improve their environment. The national symposium was hosted by NIJ and the Bureau of Justice Assistance in collaboration with the Los Angeles Police Department. Geomapping gets a start. Another program called Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) uses geomapping to pinpoint areas with high incidences of crime and car crashes. According to the NIJ website, “drawing on the deterrent of highly visible traffic enforcement and the knowledge that crimes often involve the use of motor vehicles, the goal of DDACTS is to reduce the incidence of crime, crashes, and traffic violations across the country.” In 2008, seven demonstration sites across the U.S. implemented the project: Baltimore County, MD; Lafourche Parish, LA; Nashville, TN; Oakland, CA; Rochester, NY; St. Albans, VT; and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, NV. Detecting ‘mal-intent’ through behavioral and physiological signals.

IBM leads in the science of data crunching for events forecasting
IBM is a leading player in the big business of predictive analytics. It acquired statistical analysis software maker SPSS in 2009 and U.K.-based crime and fraud intelligence analytics provider i2 in 2011. Aside from Memphis, Richmond, VA and another major metropolitan area in the U.S. have also benefited from IBM’s predictive analytics software, says an IBM data sheet released on IBM SPSS crime prediction and prevention. On New Year’s Eve 2003, by identifying potential hotspots where holiday gunfire had previously been reported, the Richmond Police Department saw a 47% drop in citizen complaints about random gunfire and a 246% rise in weapons recovered, all this achieved using “50 fewer officers than originally planned for the shift, saving the department nearly $15,000 in salary costs in a single night.” More recently, from 2006 to 2007, homicide cases decreased by 32%, rape by 20%, and aggravated assault by 18%. The other major U.S. metropolitan area cited in the document (the name was withheld) likewise saw positive results. By identifying the 500 most violent offenders within its jurisdiction through analysis of data spanning a decade, they were able to deploy officers to areas frequented by these individuals, “with the goal of deterring them from committing additional crimes.” A year later, firearms-related homicides fell 40% without hiring additional police staff and without jeopardizing the safety of its officers.

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Crime prediction has come a long way from the manual data-entry, floppy-diskfilled early days of CompStat described in the afore-mentioned Baseline Magazine feature. One of the most controversial projects in development is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), one of the DHS’s Human Factors / Behavioral Sciences Projects. According to the Agency’s website, the FAST project seeks “to develop a prototype screening facility containing a suite of realtime, non-invasive sensor technologies to detect cues indicative of mal-intent (the intent or desire to cause harm).” The screening system would do this by measuring “physiological and behavioral signals to make probabilistic assessments of mal-intent based on sensor outputs and advanced fusion algorithms and measure indicators using culturally neutral and noninvasive sensors.” A December article in Discover magazine reported that the Department of Homeland Security has tested FAST on more than 2,000 subjects and correctly determined mal-intent 78% of the time. According to the article, the FAST system “operates on the premise that people with hostile intentions will involuntarily exhibit minute physiological signs that can be remotely detected with a suite of sensors,” i.e., a cardio sensor that uses a Doppler radar, a thermal camera to detect for slight changes in temperature on the face, an eye tracker to note eye position and gaze, as well as pupil size, a video camera to take high-resolution images for analysis,

floor sensors to detect shifts in weight and fidgeting, and a microphone to analyze vocal changes. The following promotional video shows how it works:

FAST uses a cocktail of sensors to detect malintent. Video uploaded to YouTube by Public Intelligence

 

However, the article also characterized the results as “better than chance but not overwhelming,” as it discussed both basic and specific issues that the FAST system has raised, e.g., the reliability and sensitivity of sensors that were not designed for airport security, false positives implicating innocent people, failure to subject comprehensive test results to peer review, and the denial of free will. FAST was intended to be deployed in airports to supplement the current Screening of Passengers by Observational Techniques (SPOT) program, which consists of DHS officers roaming airports across the U.S. to scan for suspicious behavior. However, the public won’t be subjected to it anytime soon.

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The December 2011 DHS document, “Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Impact Assessment,” asserts that “FAST is still in the research phase; it is not currently, and may never become, operational.” At the same time, however, the document concludes: “Pending further testing and with appropriate operational limits, notice, and monitoring, we conclude that FAST could be deployed consistent with constitutional requirements.” Predicting crime like earthquake aftershocks. Another predictive method that has received wide media coverage and is being touted as “more sophisticated” than most models is that of Santa Cruz in California, which was even recognized by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 inventions of 2011. In July 2011, the Santa Cruz Police Department launched a six-month experiment that sought to predict property crimes such as home burglaries and car thefts using a program developed by mathematicians George Mohler and Martin Short, anthropologist Jeff Brantingham, and criminologist George Tita. Mohler, an assistant professor at Santa Clara University, developed the software based on an algorithm seismologists use to predict aftershocks following an earthquake, in essence predicting future crime by estimating the risk of “aftercrimes,” or “crimes triggered by recent events due to repeat offender behavior,” according to details of the project available on Mohler’s university homepage. As of August 2011, the program has led to five arrests and a 27% drop in burglaries compared to July 2010 figures, Santa Cruz Police Department crime analyst Zach Friend told the New York Times.

Example of a Google map output with crime risk info windows from Santa Cruz’s crime prediction program, from George Mohler’s website

 

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The program is recalibrated daily as new crimes occur. In contrast, according to the NY Times article, “CompStat and other crime-tracking systems in use in many cities are calibrated less frequently, rely more on humans to recognize patterns, and allocate resources based on past crimes rather than predicted future offenses.” The future of predicting the future. With recent trials yielding positive results and law-enforcement agencies in the U.S.

having to make do with limited resources, adoption of predictive-policing methods as tools for streamlining crime fighting and boosting the efficiency of police departments will likely continue in the coming years. If all goes well with the recent innovations in law-enforcement technology and the more cutting-edge advancements that could be deployed in the future, it looks like there should be more bad days ahead for the bad guys.

@the_police: The long arm of the law harnesses social media
More and more police departments are going online not only to better connect with the public but also to solve crime, following recent successes in solving cases with the aid of social media. Police in Lower-Saxony in Germany will soon use Facebook to track down suspected criminals and find missing persons, reports Reuters, following the completion of a pilot scheme in Hanover which helped clear up six investigations and two missing persons cases. The New York Police Department will also begin monitoring popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, for leads on crimes and tips on “potentially dangerous activity,” according to a report in Time Magazine. In Scotland, the BBC reports that seven out of Scotland’s eight police forces are already using some form of social media to aid criminal investigations as well as disseminate public safety advisories. Even the Philippine National Police in 2010 announced that it has created a Twitter account and will be tapping social media networks such as Facebook to support their investigations, according to a report on abs-cbnnews.com.

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NEWS ON THE NET
Technology
that the website had brought to its attention nearly three years ago. Photos posted on Facebook and then deleted have been found still in Facebook's servers, accessible via direct link. Facebook has admitted that some of its older systems "did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site," but said that it's currently working on a fix. Ars Technica previously brought this issue to the public's attention in an article dated two years ago, and in a follow-up article a year later. The approach is outlined in a paper co-authored by Dr. Huiyang Zhou, Ph.D., an associate professor at the university. More details on the technology can be found in the NCSU's official press release.

Yahoo shakes up its board as chairman and directors leave
Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock left the company last week, along with board members Vyomesh Joshi, Arthur Kern and Gary Wilson, in what was the latest in Yahoo's reorganization efforts to keep up with its rivals. The company's share price has stagnated at around $15 since 2008, when Bostock rejected a $47.5-billion takeover offer from Microsoft. Last month, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigned from its board. More details on the board shakeup can be found in the released Chairman's Update for Yahoo shareholders.

Earthquake strikes Philippines: The rapid social media response
Information about the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck Negros Oriental last Monday, and the ensuing tsunami alert, was quickly disseminated via social media soon after it struck, with news outlets and private individuals alike updating in real time using services such as Twitter and Facebook. Tips on how to put social media to effective use in the face of disasters and emergency situations are found in this Mashable article and in this essay published by the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

For faster PCs, let processors work with imaging chips
New technology is being developed by researchers at North Carolina State Universty (NCSU), banking on the "fused architecture" emerging on multicore CPUs. CPU-assisted general purpose computation on graphics processor units (CPUassisted GPGPU) works when CPUs and GPUs are on the same chip, and can collaborate on computing tasks. The result is boosted processor performance by more than 20% in simulations.

‘Deleted’ Facebook pictures still online three years later
Science and technology news website Ars Technica reports that Facebook is still working on issues

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