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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lascañas’ new adventures

Posted April 11, 2017 at 12:01 am by Jojo Robles
If he hadn’t brought a reporter with him to chronicle his latest attention-grabbing stunt, maybe I’d have a little more sympathy for former police officer Arturo Lascañas. But for the life of me, I don’t remember anyone fleeing persecution—or possible assassination, as Lascañas claims— who brought along a journalist from the only newspaper that still believes everything he says, to ensure that his every move was documented just the way he (or his handlers) wanted it.

But there he was, the man who said he had a “spiritual awakening” that made him admit to personally killing hundreds of people, including two of his own brothers, after he swore an oath that there was no such thing as a Davao Death Squad, back in the papers. As far as Holy Week stories go, the flight of Lascañas was decidedly biblical—after playing the Apostle Paul having an epiphany on the way to Damascus, the perjured ex-cop has become the Child Jesus being spirited out of the country, away from the clutches of a murderous King Herod.
Only it shouldn’t really be that way. Normally, people who confess to being one-man, Terminator-like killing machines are brought to court and to jail, where many a real spiritual awakening has taken place.
Indeed, if Lascañas was really not part of some complicated and well-funded plot to embarrass the Duterte administration, the media would certainly have reported with equal fervor and tenacity the unusual case of Guillermina Barrido Arcillas. Arcillas surfaced recently to claim that she had been offered P1 million by anti-Duterte forces led by Senators Antonio Trillanes and Leila de Lima, among others, in order to testify against President Rodrigo Duterte.
But the Manila-based media didn’t even pick up the tale that Arcillas told in a press conference in Davao City. Never mind if she even showed a text message purportedly coming from a Jesuit priest known to be sympathetic to the cause of the Liberal Party, sending her cash through a money-remittance company, with the instruction to immediately delete the message once she had gotten the funds.
Why the story of Arcillas—a self-proclaimed member of the LP who alleged that she did not sign an affidavit alleging crimes committed by Duterte because all the money promised was not given—was ignored by Big Media is a mystery to me. If the press can run stories about the spiritually reawakened Lascañas as if he had not seriously damaged his credibility by perjuring himself and hold his hand all the way to Singapore, I don’t know why someone like Arcillas cannot even get close to receiving the same treatment.
And you wonder why Duterte calls out the media regularly for being biased and acting only on the behest of its oligarch-owners. The apotheosis of the terribly compromised Arturo Lascañas is just one compelling reason why.
* * *
The fear of earthquakes is making people realize that they have to take steps to ensure their safety. In the power sector, this means moving away from energy sources that are not as prone to cause even more damage after an earthquake, to those that are safer—and less injurious to the environment.
I read recently that six years after the horrendous disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, Japanese authorities are moving away from nuclear to “clean” coal. Only, the safety—and environment-conscious Japanese aren’t just shutting down 54 nuclear plants to replace them with low-tech, polluting coal plants.
They are building 46 new coal plants to replace the nuclear facilities using high-efficiency, low-emission (HELE) coal. By 2019, Japan intends to restore coal—using the new emission-lowering carbon-capture technology—as the main source of its power needs, up from 31 percent at the time of the earthquake that hit Fukushima and damaged its nuclear plant.
In the two other big economies of Asia—China and India— these new cleaner coal plants are all the rage, as well. In India, the new coal-burning technology used in 51 plants has reportedly produced the same power as the old ones they replaced, while emitting six million tons less of CO2, the equivalent of taking 1.2-million cars off the road for one year.
China, which has a serious pollution problem, is also banking on carbon-capture coal plants to supply its economy with power while confronting the problem of its rapidly deteriorating air. While both countries are also developing renewable sources of energy, they are meeting growing demands for more power and appeasing the public outcry over emissions and pollution by opting for the low-emissions coal technology.
In the emerging economies of the region, including the Philippines, the shift to this “new” coal is also fast gaining ground, even eclipsing expensive and supposedly safer alternatives like liquid natural gas like that produced by offshore Malampaya gas field off Palawan. Coal remains the least costly and most accessible fuel, making up 42 percent of global electricity production.
As the Philippine economy continues to improve, many experts see coal, long the whipping boy of environmentalists, enjoying a resurgence as new technologies for generation efficiency and carbon-capture and storage systems reduce carbon emissions.
http://manilastandard.net/opinion/columns/lowdown-by-jojo-robles/234082/lasca-as-new-adventures.html#.WOvSC_bpg0U.facebook

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