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AQUINO ABOLISHES GRAFT BODY: President Benigno Aquino III has abolished the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and transferred its functions to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (ODESLA). Aquino's Executive Order 13 states that the abolition is part of the administration's policy of streamlining the government bureaucracy to promote economy and efficiency in government." "The PAGC is an example of the kind of redundancies we want to eliminate in government to allow us to better allocate our limited resources. It doesnt make sense to have two or more government offices do the same thing," Executive Secetary Paquito Ochoa said Wednesday. "It's wasteful and inefficient."...Aquino earlier said the national government could do away with the office since its functions are already covered by the Office of the Ombudsman.

PHP 193,000 FOUND IN ANGELES CITY EX-MAYOR'S TABLE: City Hall employees have been checking every table, chair, and corner of the building after a sum of money was found inside a table from the administration office. A group of maintenance workers found P193,111.19 inside a table previously issued to the administration office of former Mayor Francis Nepomuceno. The workers who were tasked to transfer the table to the city information office (CIO) found the cash, tied with a rubber band and placed inside a brown envelope...(a note with the cash identifies it as 3% of a construction contract).

BANK TO SURRENDER GENERAL'S LOOT: The bank where former military comptroller Carlos F. Garcia keeps his alleged ill-gotten wealth has expressed its readiness to deliver proceeds of his deposit accounts to the Sandiganbayan. The retired major general also has deposit accounts with the Armed Forces and Police Savings and Loan Association, which has also promised to surrender Garcia's money to authorities.

SANDIGANBAYAN First Division ordered the turnover to the Quezon City jail of Uldarico Andutan Jr., a former executive of the Department of Finance (DOF), who was arrested earlier this month on a plunder charge

HOEOWNERS ASK COA FOR HELP: Bataan-based homeowners group asks help of Commission on Audit (CoA) in clarifying legal controversies hounding implementation of multi-million peso housing project of the previous provincial administration.

Big-time housing developer Globe Asiatique Realty Corporation (GA) filed a counter-affidavit to refute the charges of syndicated estafa, constituting economic sabotage filed against its officers in connection with multi-billion housing project in Pampanga. In his counter-affidavit, GA board chairman Delfin Lee denied allegation that GA committed embezzlement of workers' contributions from Home Mortgage Development Fund or Pag-IBIG

PERFORMANCE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM FOR LGU's: ...the Philippine national government that has been grappling with the endemic problem of corruption...took notice of what was being accomplished at the local level, in particular by top-performing cities. It too decided to experiment with adopting the PGS...

HEARING NO SHOW: Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, was a no-show, leaving some members of the House committee on good government and public accountability very much annoyed. Instead, Soliman sent a letter to the committee, in which she said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) had nothing to do to with the 10-year zero-coupon bond sale which netted the Caucus of NGO Networks (Code NGO), a group that Soliman used to head, a P1.4-billion profit.

PCGG SEEKS RULING ON OLD CASE: The Presidential Commission on Government (PCGG) asked the Sandiganbayan First Division to render a ruling on its motion for summary judgment filed on March 20, 1996, seeking award to the state of a disputed 18.4-hectare prime property in located in Pasig City. The PCGG is also seeking dismissal of adverse claims by other parties.

GLOBE Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. has asked the Department of Justice to dismiss the criminal charges against them, denying that they can be held liable for syndicated estafa in connection with its alleged anomalous housing projects in Pampanga.

Forty controversial infrastructure projects undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)'s Biliran Engineering District at an estimated cost of P519,815,000 are now the subject of a joint investigation by the Senate and the DPWH Central Office. These projects were allegedly implemented hastily by the Arroyo administration through said local engineering district just before the national and local elections last May 10

Biyaheng Totoo: Overpriced P5.7-M police training facility in Tawi-Tawi unused after 10 years

Ombudsman orders probe of Cebu Governor and top provincial officials

Ombudsman places Parañaque City accountant and labor officer under preventive suspension for six months pending investigation into complaints they acted improperly.

ASIA TIMES: CONTESTED TRUTHS IN RP >>> Corruption and weak law enforcement are consistently cited as reasons why foreign investors shy from the Philippines. In Transparency International's latest global corruption index, the country rated in the "highly corrupt" category, ranking 134 out of 178 countries. It's a hard truth Aquino's commission is likely to have difficulty in overcoming.

ROBREDO TO LGU's: Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo urged local government units to facilitate full disclosure of all its financial reports, bids and procurements and revenues for a "more meaningful partnership towards better governance."

Radioman links threat to views on Apeco aired on his program >>> A man threw an explosive device at the house of a radio broadcaster in Baler, Aurora...police said no one was hurt. But the mild explosion punctured the door of the house of Bernie Rada in Barangay Buhangin.

BIR BITES AGAIN: A lawyer who failed to pay almost P59 million in income tax and a security agency which refused to settle more than P76 million in tax deficiency are the latest targets of the government's campaign against tax evaders.

THREAT LINKED TO APECO RADIO SHOW: A man threw an explosive device at the house of a radio broadcaster in Baler, Aurora, on Tuesday night, and police said no one was hurt. But the mild explosion punctured the door of the house of Bernie Rada in Barangay Buhangin...Rada, Manila at the time of the attack...said he suspected that the blast was a retaliation for the Tuesday episode of his show "Morning Pasada" on Radyo Natin. "I tackled Apeco (Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport). I first read anti-Apeco comments. I then read pro-Apeco comments. I think that drew trouble for me," he said. Apeco, spanning nearly 13,000 hectares in Casiguran, was created by a law initiated by Sen. Edgardo Angara and his son, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara. Churches and nongovernment groups opposed the project.

US JUDGE APPROVES SETTLEMENT INVOLVING MARCOS' OWNED LAND: A federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas approved an unusual $10 million settlement in a case involving former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and roughly 4,000 acres in northern Tarrant County and 520 acres in Colorado. U.S. District Judge Terry Means approved the settlement of a class-action lawsuit involving 9,539 Filipinos who were victims of Marcos' regime and seven companies that owned land believed to have been bought with funds from Marcos' estate. The plaintiffs were either victims of torture, summary executions and other harsh treatments or their heirs.

MCC RATES RP: The Philippines was found eligible for grant assistance from the US government's Millennium Challenge Corporation after scoring above the median on a majority of indicators used as criteria for grant eligibility. The "MCC scorecard" showed that the Philippines scored above the median on a majority of the indicators, including all indicators in the Ruling Justly and Economic Freedom categories. Among the indicators where the Philippines rated well are control of corruption, government effectiveness, land rights and access, regulatory quality and civil liberties. On the other hand, the country rated poorly in terms of health and primary education expenditures... The MCC monitors the policy performance of Compact eligible countries throughout the year. Once a country is selected as eligible, the MCC expects it to continue its reform process and maintain and improve its overall policy performance on the indicators.

AQUINO: Governmant reviewing supervision of paramilitary groups to insulate them from partisan politics

BUREAU of INTERNAL REVENUE files tax evasion charges against a lawyer and a security agency at the Department of Justice for failing to pay taxes.

Inquiring into your bank accounts

Globalization, a phenomenon where almost everything could be shared and marked by complicated and complex taxing jurisdictions, has increased the risk of tax evasion. In order to address such risk, international information exchange has become a very valuable tool in ensuring a compliant global tax arena. Last March 5, then President Gloria M. Arroyo...signed Republic Act (RA) No. 10021 or the "Exchange of Information on Tax Matters Act." The law was enacted to comply with internationally agreed tax standards required for the exchange of tax information to combat international tax evasion and avoidance...

...RA 10021 has amended Section 6(F) of the NIRC and has effectively enlarged the CIR’s authority to inquire into taxpayer’s bank records to include information requests from foreign tax jurisdiction.

An important provision in the new RA is Section 3, which authorizes the BIR to use the information gathered in this process for tax assessment, verification, audit and enforcement. This provision in effect gives the BIR equal opportunity with the foreign tax authority to utilize the bank information and data gathered in conducting its own investigation of possible violations of Philippine tax laws and regulations by the same taxpayer. In other words, the BIR’s participation in this process is not merely ministerial and it also stands to benefit from the exercise.

Overall, the issuance of RA 10021 and its implementing regulation demonstrates our country’s attempt to build a better image as a tax transparent jurisdiction. Provided the law and the regulations are implemented properly, tax authorities should be able to efficiently monitor and curb both international and domestic tax fraud, given that tax evaders face liabilities in both the foreign jurisdiction and the Philippines.

CUSTOMS SUSPENDS FOUR OFFICIALS: Following orders from the Ombudsman, Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez has put under preventive suspension four officials of the BoC after the anti-graft body found sufficient evidence to charge them for sugar smuggling

OMBUDSMAN SUSPENDS OFFICIAL: The Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) suspended for six months without pay the register of deeds (RD) of Calamba, Laguna for alleged irregular transfer of a land title and charged another with estafa for the same offense...Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Mark Jalandoni identified the respondents as Edgar Santos of Calamba and Artemio Caña, RD of Marikina City. The case against Santos arose when he was still the RD of Marikina. He allegedly issued land title to a property belonging to another individual.

OMBUDSMAN DISMISSES CASES AGAINST 13 OFFICIALS: The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed for lack of substantial evidence administrative charges for grave misconduct and abuse of authority and criminal raps for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and dereliction of duty against 13 officials of Silay City and a Coca-Cola officer. The charges were filed in connection with the painting of two Silay City public market buildings with the Coca-Cola colors and brand name three years ago

NINE CHARGED WITH FRAUD FOR "GHOST PURCHASES": Criminal charges have been filed at the Office of the Ombudsman against former Lipa City Mayor Oscar Gozos, six former and incumbent city hall officials and employees, and two businessmen for allegedly defrauding the city government of P44 million in "ghost purchases" shortly before and after the May 10, 2010, elections.

ARROYO PARDONED GRAFTER VOWS TO PAY: A private contractor whose 203-year sentence on 27 counts of graft got written off after being pardoned by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has agreed to pay penalties imposed by the Sandiganbayan and the Supreme Court. Jaime Ponce de Leon made the promise after prosecutors sought his arrest for non-payment of his liabilities.

AQUINO TO INVESTORS: "NO BACKROOM DEALS" >>> The president assured investors that doing business in the Philippines under his term would be different from doing business here before. He said transactions will be clear, honest and transparent, and will not be done in the dark, so to speak, and not marked by backroom deals.

GHOSTS OF PAST CORRUPTION AND ENTANGLEMENT HAUNT INVESTORS: Aquino has promised investors a level playing field and to make it easier and less costly to do business. He has launched a high-profile campaign against tax evaders, smugglers and corrupt officials to shore up government revenues, although its effectiveness is yet to be seen... "Everything will be done in broad daylight. There will be no backroom deals, midnight deals," Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said. "We'll make it easier for them to do business in the Philippines as compared to the past."

ASIA TIMES: MILITARY RUMORS FLY >>> (A former national security advisor)...predicted that the Aquino government will "self-destruct" sooner than expected, saying it has neither the competence nor character to govern a nation polarized by vested interests...critics claim the Aquino government's regulatory policies could be compromised by big business-linked Cabinet officials. They have also questioned Aquino's choice of close friends and members of his own extended family for top government posts. (Another said)..."We will continue to wage our fight against corruption and irregularities,"

CONGRESS URGED TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGED FREEPORT SCAM: Members of the Upper House of the Philippine parliament were asked by an activist fisherfolk alliance to investigate a colleague following a report that the latter influenced the relocation of a free port project in favor of his family's business and interest and those big land speculators allied with the lawmaker in his hometown province. The fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chair of the powerful Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate the alleged role of Senator Edgardo Angara on the relocation of Aurora Pacific Economic and Freeport project (Apeco) to a less disadvantageous site to benefit a property owner who was a provincial official.

Free port relocation labeled a scam: A project realignment "worse" than the C-5 road extension controversy last year?

ECONOMIC ZONE LOCATION QUESTIONED: Sen. Sergio Osmena III and several residents of Aurora yesterday opposed the creation of an economic and freeport zone in the northernmost part of the province. Most of the residents, majority of them indigenous people, and local leaders claimed they were not consulted about the planned economic and freeport zone, which they feared would result in environmental degradation at the marine life-rich Casiguran Bay. Osmeña said it is better to put up an economic zone in Baler, instead of Casiguran, because it is nearer to Manila.

ANGARA: APECO ISSUES MUST BE URGENTLY ADDRESSED In the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the budget of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO), Senator Edgardo J. Angara said the discussions were a positive development as it gave deserved attention to the issues of concerned parties. "We welcome this hearing and we are grateful for the participation of all parties concerned. It gave a chance for APECO to share its position as well as to clarify any misunderstanding and lingering doubts on the part of its opposers," he said. The hearing was attended by APECO officials, members of the community, heads of Barangays, indigenous peoples (IPs) and local officials. Each resource person was given a chance to air his/her concerns regarding the major development project.

PROTEST OVER AURORA ZONE: Priests, farmers, fishermen and a leading architect rattled a hearing of the Senate finance committee, led by Senator Edgardo Angara, on the budget of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone Authority. Some of the protesters said they were evicted from their land when the zone was expanded, while others said the airport in the zone stopped them from moving their boats to the sea. Still others claimed that the runway's construction left many areas prone to flooding. "We were evicted and deprived of our livelihood," said Luz Gonzalez, 78, a farmer from Casiguran who has been living on a reservation there since 1962. Angara and his son, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, were the principal authors of the law that expanded the Aurora Special Economic Zone to 12,900 hectares from 500 in the 14th Congress. The older Angara said Gonzalez would not be forced out, but later he said she should consider relocating to an area with farmland being developed by the economic zone. Architect Felino Palafox Jr., who did the master plan for the Aurora Pacific Ecozone, said several sites for the airport and the seaport were proposed, but a new survey might be necessary to spare people trouble. "We'd rather see our mistakes on paper rather than see it happen to people," he said. "They are pitiful."

"A WHITE ELEPHANT WORSE THAN C-5." That is how architect Felino Palafox describes the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco) in Casiguran, Aurora.

House body to probe alleged rights violations in Aurora's special economic zone

Osmeña vows to block Aurora economic zone budget

NO SHOW: Senator Antonio Trillanes IV did not show up at the continuation of the hearing of the amnesty proclamation for officers and enlisted personnel in the House of Representatives...he decided not to attend "out of delicadeza," citing that he will be one of the beneficiaries of the amnesty...Trillanes led the pocket mutiny of soldiers at the Oakwood premier apartments in Makati City in 2003 and the siege of Manila Peninsula Hotel in 2007 in protest of alleged corruption within the military.

RP BRAND LOSES VALUE: Negative news has pulled down the Philippines' value as a brand, according to an advertising consultancy's annual report...The country ranked 65th out of 110 in Futurebrand's 2010 Country Brand Index, down 29 places from last year. "The Philippines has been beset by high-profile violent incidents this year that might have overshadowed the election of a new president pledging to reform a country troubled by perceptions of corruption," a statement released alongside the report read.

Bishop raps gov't promotion of "sugar-coated jueteng" >>> Says a gov't doing this is also 'morally corrupt'

Aquino claims momentum in fight against corruption

The Philippines may still rank poorly in Transparency International's corruption index, but President Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday the momentum for change was there and the country was on its way to better times.

The Philippines ranked 134th out of 178 countries in terms of corruption, representing a slight improvement from its 139th status last year.

Aquino said he himself had pointed out the country's corruption problem during the campaign, and added that at least in his first four months as President, the country's ranking improved.

“That will have momentum. With the momentum, I think we will move farther away,” he told reporters in an ambush interview.

But he noted that the country still has many obstacles to hurdle, including those in the judiciary.

According to him, the administration was working to move past these challenges, and that his goal in the end was to get people to expect that a largely corruption-free government was the norm.

He also said that while he was doing his best to correct the deficits in the system, a complete overhaul in just six years was unrealistic. What he wants is to get the move for change going so that it cannot be stopped.

“But we believe that we will cross over the threshold, that there would be a momentum generated that cannot be stopped by anybody,” he said.

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2010 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index
Results and Articles:

Corruption Perceptions Index 2010: Why have we failed to improve?

DAILY STAR: The CPI - Corruption Perceptions Index-2010 was released by Transparency International (TI) on October 26. Bangladesh has failed to achieve improvement over last year. In a scale of 0-10, we have scored 2.4, the same as in 2009, and occupied 134th place among 178 countries featured in this year's index. Our score is the same as Azarbaijan, Honduras, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ukraine and Zimbabwe, all ranked in the 12th position from the bottom. Bangladesh was in the 13th position from the bottom last year, together with Belarus, Pakistan and Philippines. The downslide of one step from the 13th to the 12th position may not be significant because, in addition to the score of the country concerned, the ranking depends also on comparative performance of other countries and the number of countries included or excluded in the particular year.

RP scores minor 'improvement' in corruption index

GMA NEWS: Despite scoring a minor improvement, the Philippines continues to be perceived as "highly corrupt" in a global corruption index compiled by an international anti-corruption group. The Philippines ranked 134th out of 178 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index for 2010, with a score of 2.4, and was 26th out of 33 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It was lumped in the ninth of 10 categories, with those in the last category being considered "highly corrupt," according to the report posted on TI's website


Country raises transparency rank five rungs

MANILA TIMES: The country's ranking in global corruption improved during the past three years, but the country is still tagged as highly corrupt among 178 countries, according to a Transparency International (TI) survey. In its 2010 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released on Tuesday, TI said that the Philippines was ranked 134th with a score of 2.4, better than its 139th ranking in 2009. In 2008, the country was ranked 141st with a score of 2.3.


JUDGING ARROYO: "...worst of all are the reports of attempts to bribe the kin of the slain, and of the privileged treatment some of the accused individuals have been receiving while in custody, including the courtrooms being used between hearings as their reception hall and massage parlor. The latter disturbs because it confirms fears that wealth and power no matter how ill-gotten decides not only the conditions of detention of the worst criminals, but also the outcome of their trials. The country has been down this road before, having seen how, from the moment they're charged, wealthy and powerful individuals are not only given special treatment; they also manage to intimidate or buy off witnesses and even the kin of their victims, and are able to escape punishment. How the justice system can overcome all this to provide the victims the justice that have eluded so many others has put the system itself on trial. But our determination to see justice done and to sustain our outrage is also being tested. What is not on trial but should be -- if indeed the Ampatuans are guilty of planning and carrying out the massacre -- is the late, unlamented Arroyo regime. During the nine years in which she was in power, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo...ignored the vast corruption that enabled the clan to access public funds, and by doing so encouraged it." - By Luis V. Teodoro in BusinessWorld

EVERYBODY COMMITS A MISTAKE: The Senate should not waver in investigating Senator Edgardo Angara for alleged conflict of interest in the issue of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco) in his home province. A fellow senator, Serge Osmeña, accused Angara of "lawyering" for Apeco during a Senate finance sub-committee hearing. The Angaras hold positions in Apeco. The senator's sister, Aurora Governor Bellaflor A. Castillo, is Apeco's vice chair while his son, Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, is a board member. Osmeña claims Edgardo Angara is Apeco's unofficial CEO or chief executive officer. Even if the good senator denies he has selfish interest in Apeco, the mere fact that his sister and son are officers of the economic and freeport authority shows the Angaras have personal stakes in the agency. It's all right for the Angaras to have personal interests in Apeco as long as they get out of government. It seems that the Angaras don't have delicadeza. --By Ramon Tulfo in Philippine Daily Inquirer

BETWEEN SPEECHES AND REALITIES: "...the negative image and external perception of the Philippines leave much to be desired, and require extensive reworking. The perception of the Philippines is that the Philippine government has been, still is, incurably corrupt; politics is inextricably embedded and intertwined with business; extra-judicial killings, especially of journalists, are rampant; the country has the longest running Communist insurgency; the Muslim secessionist movement is far from resolved and simmering; contracts are not honored and respected; economic policies are inconsistent; the police organization is equally corrupt; the bureaucracy is apathetic and corruptible; the business oligarchy is ambivalent towards the poor; the cost of doing business is high due to corruption; and infrastructure severely lags behind. It follows, therefore, that there should be an intelligent balance between the gung-ho advocacies of President Aquino in his well-crafted speeches and the realities on the ground as enumerated above. The rhetoric needs to be correlated with realistic conditions on the ground. The fact is that the Aquino adminstration has not started its crusade against corruption and for transformational changes in society but it gets increasingly bogged down in trivia and litigation..." HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA in Manila Bulletin, 11/15/10

A culture of corruption

DESPITE President Aquino’s vow to end corruption in government, the Philippines was ranked the world’s 12th most corrupt country in a field of 178 nations in the latest survey by Transparency

International, a global watchdog group.

On a scale of one to 10, with one being the worst score possible, the Philippines scored 2.4 in the Corruption Perception Index, putting it in the same league as  Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Honduras, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.

Among the founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, we are now perceived to be the most corrupt, even compared to Indonesia, which had a better index of 2.8. Among the bloc’s newer

members, only Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos scored worse than we did—certainly something President Aquino should keep at the back of his mind when he meets his peers at the 17th Asean summit in Hanoi this week.

While our index of 2.4 was the same as it was in 2009, our place on the global corruption ladder actually slipped a notch from last year, when we were the 13th most corrupt country.

Notwithstanding any spin that the administration’s three communications secretaries might put on the latest survey, the 2010 results are a disappointment. At the very least, they mean that despite Mr. Aquino’s posturing and his efforts to vigorously prosecute officials from the previous administration, the public perception is that little has changed in our culture of corruption.

We cannot say we are surprised.

After all, it is one thing to chase down the corrupt among one’s political opponents. It is more convincing when the guilty among friend and foe alike are punished to the same measure.

Yet this is not what this administration has shown us.

In Congress, the currency is pork, not ideals, and horsetrading is the order of the day.

Within the Executive branch, friends of the President seem immune from suit, even when a panel headed by the Justice secretary finds them liable for administrative offenses.

The President’s family-owned hacienda is apparently exempted from the harshest effects of the agrarian reform law, even though other landowners have complied.

Whether the President admits it or not, this kind of special treatment is a form of corruption, and unless he cleans house on both sides of the political fence, we will continue to be perceived as a culture

that condones corruption.

As Mr. Aquino often points out, fighting corruption isn’t just the job of government, that we all have a role in fighting corruption.

That job is easier to do, however, when our leaders truly lead by example.



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Ehem -- the anti-corruption initiative of the Philippine Jesuits echoes the urgent call for cultural reform against corruption in the Philippines.
Ehem aims at bringing people to a renewed sensitivity to the evil of corruption and its prevalence in ordinary life. It seeks ultimately to make them more intensely aware of their own vulnerability to corruption, their own uncritiqued, often unwitting practice of corruption in daily life.
Ehem hopes to bring people, in the end, to a commitment to live the way of Ehemplo --- critical of corruption, intent on integrity!
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This website primarily serves to gather for research and educational purposes in one single place news and information specifically pertinent to integrity and corruption in the Philippines. The news items, views, editorials and opinions summarized or reported on this website are taken from the general media and reputable blogs, websites, etc., and are exclusively the responsibility of the original sources and/or authors. In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107, any copyrighted work on this website is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit research and educational purposes only. Ref:
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