SENATORS URGE AQUINO: STRESS GOOD IN DAP; DEMANDS FOR APOLOGY

JULY 13 --When he addresses the nation on TV Monday night, President Aquino should focus on the benefits of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and stress that officials did not pocket the funds, senators said on Sunday. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Aquino should dwell on the good brought about by the DAP, which the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled on July 1 as unconstitutional. “He should stand by it and explain how the program benefited the country,” Trillanes said in a text message, when asked if it was necessary for the President to issue an apology. “In my view, what is more necessary is for the President to say [the DAP] went to the correct, proper and good projects. It would be good if he would provide a list showing where it went, the big projects that changed the lives of the Filipinos,” Sen. Francis Escudero said over radio station dzBB. Aquino should also point out that the DAP funds were not stolen, Escudero said. “It would be good for the President to say the truth, that they did not personally benefit from this,” he said. According to him, claims of plunder were unlikely to hold because there were no allegations in the court decision that the funds were pocketed by administration officials and were used for personal gain. Demands for apology...* READ MORE

ALSO: Lawmakers split on full accounting of DAP funds 

JULY 13 --Photo: Deputy Speaker and Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos M. Padilla: Why account?  Leaders of the House of Representatives are divided on whether its members should comply with Malacañang’s order for them to make a full accounting of the roughly P12 billion in funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) given to lawmakers from 2011 to 2012. Deputy Speaker and Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos M. Padilla questioned why Malacañang was asking lawmakers to account for the DAP funds when the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had total control of this economic stimulus program recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Padilla also noted that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad had kept the legislature in the dark on the nature of these funds that were illegally impounded as savings and transferred to agencies, projects and local governments handpicked by the DBM chief. “[The] DAP was introduced and implemented without the knowledge and approval of Congress. It is only now that we came to know about it,” Padilla said. “We were not aware that some releases were done to fund projects in congressional districts. Considering also that all releases were done directly to line agencies and the projects were implemented by them, I wonder where the accountability of [congresspeople] shall come in?” he asked. But Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and his deputy, Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, said it was the duty of House members to report where they disbursed money coming from Malacañang. “Certainly, every person should be able to account for such funds, DAP or not,” Belmonte said in a text message. But Belmonte admitted that he was unsure of how much DAP funds were released and how many members received these more than two years ago. “Can’t confirm who received what, if any,” he said. * READ MORE

ALSO: Next gov’t legal move on DAP known Monday night at SONA 

JULY 13 --President Aquino will announce the government’s next legal move when he addresses the nation Monday night, two weeks after the Supreme Court declared his Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional. The emerging consensus as of Sunday was to file a motion for reconsideration seeking to clarify the portion of the ruling that ascribes bad faith to officials who had implemented DAP-funded projects. The government has until July 19 to appeal the decision. Malacañang earlier questioned why the Supreme Court decision was extending “criminal liability” not only to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad but also to other Cabinet officials who implemented projects funded by savings he had pooled under the DAP. The ruling would hit “good men” like Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Education Secretary Armin Luistro, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda earlier said. But with the high court junking the DAP by a 13-0 vote, Malacañang is no longer inclined to fight for its constitutionality anymore, the Inquirer has learned. The motion, if it would be filed at all, would center on the ruling that the doctrine of operative fact could apply only to projects “that can no longer be undone and whose beneficiaries relied in good faith on the validity of the DAP.” Not panicking-- The doctrine upholds actions undertaken under a law before it was declared illegal. “It nullifies the void law or executive act but sustains its effects,” the court said.
Quoting Justice Arturo Brion during the deliberations, the Supreme Court ruled that the doctrine “cannot apply to authors, proponents and implementers of the DAP, unless there are concrete findings of good faith in their favor by the proper tribunals determining their criminal, civil, administrative and other liabilities.” * READ MORE...
Chat with ‘bosses’ “The President is asking for a chance to speak with his ‘bosses,’ the Filipino people, to shed light on issues confronting our country,” he said. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Full-court press vs PNoy 

JULY 14 --SOMETHING must be really wrong with the way the government is being run when President Benigno Aquino III must defend his highest-paid Cabinet secretaries for violating the Constitution or for failing to do their jobs, an opposition lawmaker said Sunday. “The Cabinet secretaries are supposed to be the ones to defend the President at all cost in all issues, not the other way around,” said Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, the head of the independent minority bloc in the House of Representatives. “The President has been spending precious time defending his alter-egos. They are dragging him down. They are his baggage. Once the President starts to defend his men, that’s an indication that something is wrong with the way they run the government.” Romualdez, also president of Philippine Constitution Association which successfully challenged the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program before the Supreme Court, said Cabinet secretaries such as Budget Secretary Florencio Abad who was behind the DAP should vacate their posts because they have already become “too hot to handle.”  The secretaries should not wait for the public to demand they resign or the President to sack them, Romualdez added. The left-wing Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also slammed Cabinet secretaries such as Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Energy Regulatory Commission chief Zenaida Ducut for collecting fat salaries, saying they were “unworthy of the scandalous and obscene pay” amid the rising prices for basic commodities and the corruption that has tainted the government. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Poe: Chiz better off with another running mate

Senator Grace Poe is not planning to run for higher office — at least for now. However, she believes that her good friend, Senator Chiz Escudero, will have a good chance in 2016 in tandem with another running mate who has more experience and a better track record compared to her. "I'm sure si Senator Chiz ay posible (manalo). Maraming nagpakita naman ng interes at siguro sila, mas may track record kaysa sa akin," she said in an interview over dzMM's "Pasa Sais Trenta Sabado" with Henry Omaga Diaz and Jing Castañeda. Poe earlier said she is open to running alongside Escudero, in 2016, but later clarified that she has not yet made up her mind about running in the next elections. Poe, who topped the 2013 senatorial elections, admitted that she still has a lot more to learn after just several months in the Senate. "Sinabi ko naman 'yan, noon pa, na kulang ang aking kakayahan. Wala pa nga akong isang taong senador," she said. Poe added that she knows how hard it is to run for president, citing the experience of her father, the late Fernando Poe, Jr., during the 2004 elections. "Una, wala akong partido. Pangalawa, napakamahal ng pagtakbo. Pangatlo, 'yung pinagdaanan ng tatay ko, alam ko 'yan e. Pipilitin kang tumakbo at maganda naman ang intensiyon mong makatulong, pero pag nariyan ka na, naku ibang labananan na 'yun," she said. But while she has no plans for 2016, the senator admitted that she does not know what the future has for her. "Puwede nating iplano ang ating buhay, pero hindi natin hawak sa kamay ang kinabukasan. Gina-guide ko lang ang aking sarili na huwag [tumakbo sa 2016]," she said. For now, Poe said she is just concentrating on learning more about her job to be a better senator. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

(ALSO) AFP’s Bayanihan campaign a ‘complete failure’ — Reds

JULY 14 --PHOTO: Leadership transition: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III hands over the command saber to new Commanding General Maj. Gen. Hernando Iriberri while retiring commander Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes looks on. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) yesterday declared the military’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” a “complete failure.” The CPP made the declaration days before Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, regarded as the chief architect of the IPSP “Bayanihan,” retires from the military service. Bautista is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 on July 20. “General Bautista’s Oplan Bayanihan is a complete failure,” declared the CPP. The AFP launched IPSP “Bayanihan” in January 2011 aimed at rendering the insurgency problem posed by the New People’s Army (NPA) to inconsequential level. The IPSP “Bayanihan” shifted military paradigm from the body count syndrome, or operations focused on combat score, to whole-of-nation approach of winning the peace through civil military operations. The IPSP “Bayanihan” succeeded Operation Plans Bantay Laya 1 and 2, which were heavy on military combat operations. While declaring more provinces ready for development, meaning the threat of communist insurgents is very minimal, during the implementation of IPSP “Bayanihan,” the last estimated number of NPA fighters released by the AFP remained at 4,000 level throughout the country. This year, the AFP has not issued an estimated strength of the NPA. The CPP, however, stressed that the military failed to decimate the strength of the NPA. “The AFP has failed, not only in its declared objective of decimating the NPA in three years’ time, but also in putting a stop to the nationwide growth and strengthening of the NPA,” it added. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


Read Full Stories here:

Stress good in DAP, senators tell Aquino

List of big projects pressed


President Benigno S. Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, JULY 14, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Leila B. Salaverria - When he addresses the nation on TV Monday night, President Aquino should focus on the benefits of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and stress that officials did not pocket the funds, senators said on Sunday.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Aquino should dwell on the good brought about by the DAP, which the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled on July 1 as unconstitutional.

“He should stand by it and explain how the program benefited the country,” Trillanes said in a text message, when asked if it was necessary for the President to issue an apology.

“In my view, what is more necessary is for the President to say [the DAP] went to the correct, proper and good projects. It would be good if he would provide a list showing where it went, the big projects that changed the lives of the Filipinos,” Sen. Francis Escudero said over radio station dzBB.

Aquino should also point out that the DAP funds were not stolen, Escudero said.

“It would be good for the President to say the truth, that they did not personally benefit from this,” he said.

According to him, claims of plunder were unlikely to hold because there were no allegations in the court decision that the funds were pocketed by administration officials and were used for personal gain.

Demands for apology

Critics have compared the DAP to the graft-ridden Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). In November last year, the Supreme Court likewise declared the PDAF unconstitutional following intense public indignation at allegations P10 billion in congressional pork barrel allocations went to ghost projects and kickbacks.

The President’s nationwide address comes amid continued criticism, warnings of impeachment and calls for an apology hurled at the administration over the high court’s decision voiding core activities of the DAP.

Unspent funds, savings

The DAP was used to pool unspent funds and savings and allocate these for projects deemed priority. Among its recipients were projects recommended by senators.

There have been allegations that the DAP was used to bribe senators who voted against Chief Justice Renato Corona in his impeachment trial, but lawmakers denied this.

There have been calls for Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to resign, which the President has rejected.

Last week, Sen. Sergio Osmeña III said the President should apologize should the Supreme Court reject the administration’s motion for reconsideration of the DAP ruling. Osmeña said the Palace’s call for senators to disclose where they allocated the DAP funds was a ploy to divert public attention.

Senate hearing

But despite the brickbats hurled at the administration, including threats to impeach the President, former Sen. Panfilo Lacson said over dzBB on Sunday that he believed Aquino would hurdle all of the challenges.

“I have no doubt that he will complete his term. We do not have any reason to compare him to the Arroyo administration,” said Lacson, the presidential assistant on rehabilitation and recovery for victims of
Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Escudero said he would still push through with his Senate finance committee’s July 21 hearing on the DAP, which Abad had been summoned to attend.

He said on Sunday the President’s speech was more likely to focus on the broad picture, the context and the principles behind the DAP. The hearing, he said, was going to tackle the nitty-gritty, the details of the projects funded by the DAP.

There was a need to distinguish which of the DAP funds were unconstitutional, Escudero said.

According to the Supreme Court, these were the funds that did not follow the definition of savings, the cross-border allocations, the DAP used for items in the budget and the DAP from unprogrammed funds not supported by a certification from the national treasury.

The DAP funds not sourced from these were not deemed invalid, Escudero noted.

Details on DAP sought

Escudero also believes there is no reason for the President to ban Abad from attending the Senate hearing.

He said the conditions for invoking executive privilege were not present, pointing out that the list of DAP projects had already been submitted to the court, though there was no breakdown per special allotment release order, which is what his committee wanted to know.

“Truth be told, it’s in their interest to explain and put an end to the discussions about the DAP and to be open about it,” Escudero added.

He said the questions about the DAP would surely be raised during the budget deliberations, so it would be better to get them out of the way early, he said.

Lawmakers split on full accounting of DAP funds By Gil C. Cabacungan |Philippine Daily Inquirer1:07 am | Monday, July 14th, 2014


Deputy Speaker and Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos M. Padilla: Why account? Photo: www.congress.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines–Leaders of the House of Representatives are divided on whether its members should comply with Malacañang’s order for them to make a full accounting of the roughly P12 billion in funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) given to lawmakers from 2011 to 2012.

Deputy Speaker and Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos M. Padilla questioned why Malacañang was asking lawmakers to account for the DAP funds when the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had total control of this economic stimulus program recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Padilla also noted that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad had kept the legislature in the dark on the nature of these funds that were illegally impounded as savings and transferred to agencies, projects and local governments handpicked by the DBM chief.

“[The] DAP was introduced and implemented without the knowledge and approval of Congress. It is only now that we came to know about it,” Padilla said.

“We were not aware that some releases were done to fund projects in congressional districts. Considering also that all releases were done directly to line agencies and the projects were implemented by them, I wonder where the accountability of [congresspeople] shall come in?” he asked.

But Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and his deputy, Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, said it was the duty of House members to report where they disbursed money coming from Malacañang. “Certainly, every person should be able to account for such funds, DAP or not,” Belmonte said in a text message.

But Belmonte admitted that he was unsure of how much DAP funds were released and how many members received these more than two years ago. “Can’t confirm who received what, if any,” he said.

* In a text message, Aggabao said: “If it were up to me, we should comply. There is no reason not to. Proof that the DAP funds were used judiciously should help belie the public notion that the DAP was a disingenuous program concocted by the executive to steal money.”

“I received funds on top of my PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund). I am not certain about its source. But even if I was told it came from the DAP, it would not have made any difference because I understood the DAP to be a stimulus program—not a basket of commingled funds derived from premature savings,” he said.

Aggabao said representatives who failed to provide a full accounting of DAP funds should be “prosecuted posthaste.”


Speaker Feliciano Belmonte: We should be able to account. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

In a press statement in October last year, Abad reported that a total of P137.3 billion in DAP funds was released in 2011 (P82.5 billion) and 2012 (P54.8 billion) and disbursed to projects under various government agencies and LGUs.

Abad noted that “only 9 percent of the total DAP releases for the same period (P12.357 billion) were released to projects identified by legislators.” He clarified that DAP releases were “never made to the legislators themselves or to their offices.”

“We study their proposals based on the requirements they submitted, and we make the necessary fund releases to the implementing agency identified by the lawmakers,” Abad said.

“This is why our records don’t specifically reflect releases made to senators or congressmen. We never release the funds to them. These releases are actually made to the appropriate implementing agencies as endorsed by legislators in their request letters.”

The House leaders were reacting to a statement by Malacañang spokesman Edwin Lacierda who declared that the 91 percent of DAP funds spent by the executive branch was properly spent.

Lacierda said he could not vouch for the lawmakers’ deployment of the remaining 9 percent, as this was the subject of a Department of Justice investigation.

Next gov’t legal move on DAP known Monday night By Christian V. Esguerra |Philippine Daily Inquirer4:06 am | Monday, July 14th, 2014


President Aquino will announce the government’s next legal move when he addresses the nation Monday night, two weeks after the Supreme Court declared his Disbursement Acceleration Program unconstitutional. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino will announce the government’s next legal move when he addresses the nation Monday night, two weeks after the Supreme Court declared his Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

The emerging consensus as of Sunday was to file a motion for reconsideration seeking to clarify the portion of the ruling that ascribes bad faith to officials who had implemented DAP-funded projects.

The government has until July 19 to appeal the decision.

Malacañang earlier questioned why the Supreme Court decision was extending “criminal liability” not only to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad but also to other Cabinet officials who implemented projects funded by savings he had pooled under the DAP.

The ruling would hit “good men” like Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Education Secretary Armin Luistro, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda earlier said.

But with the high court junking the DAP by a 13-0 vote, Malacañang is no longer inclined to fight for its constitutionality anymore, the Inquirer has learned.

The motion, if it would be filed at all, would center on the ruling that the doctrine of operative fact could apply only to projects “that can no longer be undone and whose beneficiaries relied in good faith on the validity of the DAP.”

Not panicking

The doctrine upholds actions undertaken under a law before it was declared illegal. “It nullifies the void law or executive act but sustains its effects,” the court said.

Quoting Justice Arturo Brion during the deliberations, the Supreme Court ruled that the doctrine “cannot apply to authors, proponents and implementers of the DAP, unless there are concrete findings of good faith in their favor by the proper tribunals determining their criminal, civil, administrative and other liabilities.”

* Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma on Sunday said the President would seek to “clarify” issues surrounding the DAP in his nationally televised address at 6 p.m.

“That’s the objective of the President,” he said over Radyo ng Bayan, rejecting the idea that Aquino was “panicking” over the controversy.

Coloma said the President had already read the entire Supreme Court decision, including the concurring opinions, before sitting down with members of his Cabinet to work out the government’s response.

Coloma said the decision had a “deep and wide-ranging implication on our government and even our people.”

Chat with ‘bosses’

“The President is asking for a chance to speak with his ‘bosses,’ the Filipino people, to shed light on issues confronting our country,” he said.

At the start of the Cabinet meeting on Friday, the President announced that Abad offered to resign the day before. But he said he had rejected the resignation, arguing that to accept it was “to assign to him a wrong and I cannot accept the notion that doing right by our people is wrong.”

Vice President Jejomar Binay, whose United Nationalist Alliance has been criticizing the DAP, was the lone Cabinet member who was seen not applauding Aquino’s decision on Abad, as shown in an official Malacañang video.

Binay later issued a statement saying he respected the decision as “a prerogative of the President.”

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Full-court press vs PNoy By Christine F. Herrera | Jul. 14, 2014 at 12:01am

Opposition, militants find President’s men ‘too hot to handle’


Beleaguered. President Benigno Aquino III will address the nation tonight to defend the Disbursement Acceleration Program that the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional. Above, he is seen delivering his fourth State-of-the-Nation Address during the joint session of the 16th  Congress on July 22 last year. Lino Santos

SOMETHING must be really wrong with the way the government is being run when President Benigno Aquino III must defend his highest-paid Cabinet secretaries for violating the Constitution or for failing to do their jobs, an opposition lawmaker said Sunday.

“The Cabinet secretaries are supposed to be the ones to defend the President at all cost in all issues, not the other way around,” said Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, the head of the independent minority bloc in the House of Representatives.


“The President has been spending precious time defending his alter-egos. They are dragging him down. They are his baggage. Once the President starts to defend his men, that’s an indication that something is wrong with the way they run the government.”

Romualdez, also president of Philippine Constitution Association which successfully challenged the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program before the Supreme Court, said Cabinet secretaries such as Budget Secretary Florencio Abad who was behind the DAP should vacate their posts because they have already become “too hot to handle.”

The secretaries should not wait for the public to demand they resign or the President to sack them, Romualdez added.

The left-wing Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also slammed Cabinet secretaries such as Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Energy Regulatory Commission chief Zenaida Ducut for collecting fat salaries, saying they were “unworthy of the scandalous and obscene pay” amid the rising prices for basic commodities and the corruption that has tainted the government.

* United Nationalist Alliance secretary general and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco urged the Palace to “move on and buckle down to work than waste time justifying the DAP.”

“The Supreme Court did not say government should stop because of its decision to declare DAP unconstitutional. Why keep on justifying something that has been unanimously ruled as illegal?” Tiangco said, after the Palace announced that President Aquino would make a nationally televised address on the DAP Monday night.

“If President Aquino will keep DAP brains Secretary Abad, then Malacanang had better identify fast who should be held accountable or be penalized for it,” Romualdez said.

Somebody has got to suffer the consequences after the DAP was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, he said.

“The Constitution, the supreme law of the land, was violated. When a law is violated, the violator must be punished. No one breaks the law and walks away untouched, as if he didn’t do anything wrong,” Romualdez said.

“That would be the height of disrespect for the Constitution and a mockery of the justice system,” Romualdez said.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said not one member of the Cabinet received paychecks of less than P1 million last year.

The top grossers emerged even as their departments were being besieged by such controversies as spiraling prices of commodities, a crime wave, joblessness, hunger, homelessness and poverty, he said.

“We protest the huge salaries and bonuses given to certain government officials at a time when millions of Filipinos continue to reel from poverty, the disastrous effects of Yolanda, and the policy of unbearably low wages and salaries, giving government bonuses in the millions is patently oppressive and grossly insensitive,” Reyes said.

“When Benigno Aquino III announced his ‘no wang-wang’ policy in 2010, he was certainly not referring to the entitlements and bonuses of his appointees in government, which include classmates, friends and relatives. As we can see from the Commission on Audit’s 2013 Report on

Salaries and Allowances, tuloy ang ligaya,” Reyes said.

Reyes said the huge salaries and bonuses are made more insulting by the fact that some of the recipients are accused in the pork barrel scam and are facing charges before the Sandiganbayan or are being investigated by the Department of Justice and the Ombudsman.

Other officials have performed badly and do not deserve to be rewarded with big bonuses, he said.

“The case of Alcala sticks out like a sore thumb. He earned more than P4.1 million in 2013 because he was ‘compensated’ for his supposed work in the Department of Agriculture and concurrent chairmanship of the National Food Authority council. Alcala faces five plunder complaints before the Ombudsman and he has failed to stabilize the prices of rice, garlic and other agricultural products. He has also failed to address the infestation threatening coconut farmers in Southern Luzon. Alcala has also been implicated in the pork barrel scam and is also being accused of accrediting several bogus non-government organizations as implementors of DA projects,” Reyes said.

Abad, Reyes said, made some P2. 018 million last year, and is now facing plunder charges before the Ombudsman after he was tagged as the “architect” of the DAP

Alcala has shrugged off the accusations as a “mere nuisance” while Abad maintained the DAP funds were disbursed “in good faith.”

Abad had offered to resign but the President rejected it. President Aquino has defended Abad and Alcala on several occasions.

Reyes also said Ducut, who is also being investigated for her role as Janet Lim Napoles’ agent in the pork barrel scam, earned P2.1 million in 2013.

The ERC was heavily criticized for allowing the Manila Electric Co. to increase its rates by more than P2 a kilowatt hour in December 2013. It took a Supreme Court temporary restraining order to stop the rate hike.

Others accused of involvement in the pork scam were National Livelihood Development Corp. head Gondolina Amata, who earned P2 million in 2013 while NLDC directors Chita Jalandoni and Alexis

Sevidal, who got P1.5 million and P1.3 million, respectively.

Reyes said the head of the Government Service Insurance System, Robert Vergara got P12 million for 2013 while the head of the Social Security System, Emilio de Quiros, Jr. got P7 million in salaries and bonuses. The GSIS and SSS are besieged with complaints from their members and beneficiaries, he added.

“President Aquino’s straight path turns out to be crooked and riddled with anomalies and double-standards. The salaries and bonuses of many top government officials are definitely not deserved. They are obscene especially when seen in the light of government’s refusal to increase the salaries of government employees such as teachers and health workers,” Reyes said.

“We call on the public to examine the salaries and bonuses of these government officials and let them know that they are undeserving of such perks because of their poor performance and because of the anomalies they are implicated in. As taxpayers, we are the ones paying for their bonuses. We have every right to be outraged,” Reyes said.

Tiangco said no amount of explanation or reasons could justify something that was intrinsically wrong.

“The cardinal principle is simple: No one is above the law,” Tiangco said. “You may not be using sirens, but you are directly violating the Constitution that you are sworn to defend and uphold.”

Tiangco said he was puzzled why the President and his allies were wasting precious time defending the DAP when the Supreme Court has already ruled it unconstitutional.

He said the President should use the remaining two years of his term improving the lives of the people instead of defending the DAP.

FROM ABS-CBN

Poe: Chiz better off with another running mate by Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 07/13/2014 5:07 PM | Updated as of 07/13/2014 11:45 PM


Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares

MANILA – Senator Grace Poe is not planning to run for higher office — at least for now.

However, she believes that her good friend, Senator Chiz Escudero, will have a good chance in 2016 in tandem with another running mate who has more experience and a better track record compared to her.

"I'm sure si Senator Chiz ay posible (manalo). Maraming nagpakita naman ng interes at siguro sila, mas may track record kaysa sa akin," she said in an interview over dzMM's "Pasa Sais Trenta Sabado" with Henry Omaga Diaz and Jing Castañeda.

Poe earlier said she is open to running alongside Escudero, in 2016, but later clarified that she has not yet made up her mind about running in the next elections.

Poe, who topped the 2013 senatorial elections, admitted that she still has a lot more to learn after just several months in the Senate.

"Sinabi ko naman 'yan, noon pa, na kulang ang aking kakayahan. Wala pa nga akong isang taong senador," she said.

Poe added that she knows how hard it is to run for president, citing the experience of her father, the late Fernando Poe, Jr., during the 2004 elections.

"Una, wala akong partido. Pangalawa, napakamahal ng pagtakbo. Pangatlo, 'yung pinagdaanan ng tatay ko, alam ko 'yan e. Pipilitin kang tumakbo at maganda naman ang intensiyon mong makatulong, pero pag nariyan ka na, naku ibang labananan na 'yun," she said.

But while she has no plans for 2016, the senator admitted that she does not know what the future has for her.

"Puwede nating iplano ang ating buhay, pero hindi natin hawak sa kamay ang kinabukasan. Gina-guide ko lang ang aking sarili na huwag [tumakbo sa 2016]," she said.

For now, Poe said she is just concentrating on learning more about her job to be a better senator.

FROM THE TRIBUNE

AFP’s Bayanihan campaign a ‘complete failure’ — Reds Written by Mario J. Mallari Monday, 14 July 2014 00:00


Leadership transition: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III hands over the command saber to new Commanding General Maj. Gen. Hernando Iriberri while retiring commander Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes looks on. AFP AND MALACANANG PHOTO.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) yesterday declared the military’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” a “complete failure.”

The CPP made the declaration days before Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, regarded as the chief architect of the IPSP “Bayanihan,” retires from the military service. Bautista is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 on July 20.

“General Bautista’s Oplan Bayanihan is a complete failure,” declared the CPP.

The AFP launched IPSP “Bayanihan” in January 2011 aimed at rendering the insurgency problem posed by the New People’s Army (NPA) to inconsequential level.

The IPSP “Bayanihan” shifted military paradigm from the body count syndrome, or operations focused on combat score, to whole-of-nation approach of winning the peace through civil military operations.

The IPSP “Bayanihan” succeeded Operation Plans Bantay Laya 1 and 2, which were heavy on military combat operations.

While declaring more provinces ready for development, meaning the threat of communist insurgents is very minimal, during the implementation of IPSP “Bayanihan,” the last estimated number of NPA fighters released by the AFP remained at 4,000 level throughout the country.

This year, the AFP has not issued an estimated strength of the NPA.

The CPP, however, stressed that the military failed to decimate the strength of the NPA.

“The AFP has failed, not only in its declared objective of decimating the NPA in three years’ time, but also in putting a stop to the nationwide growth and strengthening of the NPA,” it added.

* The CPP also said that IPSP “Bayanihan” was a brutal as the two Oplan Bantay Laya.

“In waging a brutal war, the AFP has succeeded only in subjecting entire communities to militarization, occupying barangay halls and other civilian structures, violating the people’s domiciles, hampering production and commerce, obstructing school activities and traumatizing children and subjecting community leaders to harassment, illegal arrest and murder,” the CPP said.

“Behind the signboard of ‘peace and development,’ the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan operations have proven to be equally as brutal as all previous campaigns of suppression carried out by the AFP against the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces,” it added.

Contrary to claims by Bautista that the military is gaining ground against the NPA, the CPP said that the communist armed wing is continuously expanding in rural areas where injustices to the masses are common.

“Across the entire Philippines, the New People’s Army continues to expand and grow in strength amid the worsening exploitation and oppression of the toiling masses who suffer widespread poverty, unemployment, low wages, land grabbing and spiralling costs of food and basic services even as the ruling classes continue to enrich themselves through plunder and corruption,” said the CPP.

“With increasing frequency, units of the NPA are carrying out ever bigger tactical offensives against the AFP, police forces, paramilitary units, private armies of big despotic landlords, armed security forces of big mining companies and other armed groups that suppress the people,” the communists added.

Only last Thursday, the NPA attacked the Alegria Municipal Police Station in Surigao del Norte, carting away firearms and taking four policemen as hostages.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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