SENATORS ON NOY'S SONA: SINCERE, MOVING, POWERFUL  

Senators found sincerity in President Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, where the chief executive paraphrased the slogan of his late father, Sen. Benigno Aquino III, that "Filipinos are worth dying for." Sen. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said he saw in the President his desire to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). ”The fact that he sought for supplemental budget for DAP-funded projects, he is acknowledging the decision of the Supreme Court regarding its ruling on the DAP,” Angara added. Angara said he would have wanted to hear about how the Aquino administration would address the energy crisis.

“I would have wanted to hear more about the concrete solutions of the administration in addressing the looming energy crisis. But otherwise, it was a direct-to-the-point and sincere speech,” Angara said. Angara also lauded the President over the good news on jobs and scholarship programs. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV expressed support anew to the current administration. “It was a very moving speech, has a powerful message. Palagay ko maraming pong sasabay sa kanyang tuwid na daan,” Trillanes said. The President also made clear his goals to continue working for the good of the people as his term ends on 2016, the senator said. Trillanes said he and the Aquino may have different views on the K-12 program but he respects the President’s views. He said the President showed that he is “just human” amid the adversities in his political leadership, faced with threats of impeachment.

Prior to the President’s SONA, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Aquino should start working on the future as he spends his last two years in office. “The future. Not the past."  Sen. Gringo Honasan, meanwhile, perceived the SONA as Aquino's "call for unity for the remainder of his term, for continuity, sustainability."  In his Twitter account, Sen. JV Ejercito said the Aquino's fifth SONA was his best. "Even if I am in the opposition, I think this SONA is the best by PNoy. Concise and simple. He became emotional in the end. Pati ako nadala," said Ejercito, whose half brother, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is jailed for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam. Senate President Franklin Drilon said his favorite part of Aquino's SONA was "where he said gusto ba nating ipagpatuloy itong ating mga naumpisahan." "So the continuity is very critical for us to be able to achieve our goals," Drilon said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Sona left many important issues in business hanging, say traders 

President Benigno Aquino III’s fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) drew mixed reactions from the business community on Monday, as some of the country’s chief executives saw it more as a review of the past, than a preview of his concrete plans for the future. Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr., president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), noted that the Sona was well-prepared, very inspiring, and emotional, but did not tackle the pressing problems faced by the business community. “Certainly, he was able to enumerate the gains made (by the administration over the past years), except that my expectation is different. I had hoped to hear more concrete solutions to the power situation, a clearer direction for the PPP (public-private partnership program) and the port congestion,” Ortiz-Luis explained.

“I am not sure if those things should be said in the Sona but I had hoped he would touch on it. As an exporter, I am hopeful to hear about the more pressing issues. It was more of the past than the future, but still very inspiring to the point that a lot got teary-eyed, especially after seeing (President Aquino’s youngest sister) Kris cry. But it was ok, he was able to cover many (fronts),” he added. Peter V. Perfecto, executive director of the Makati Business Club (MBC), commented that the “president chose to give his bosses a full account of what they have accomplished so far amidst all the noise being created that their promises have not been kept.”

“We applaud the President’s reaffirmation that the Filipino is worth dying for, living for and fighting for. That gives us all hope that the reforms will continue, that good governance will continue and that inclusive growth will continue to be pursued. The business sector sent its recommendations for his last two years and we remain optimistic that, though not mentioned in the Sona speech, the government will listen and deliver,” Perfecto said. * RAD MORE...

ALSO: Sona draws cheers, jeers, indifference from netizens: They are the bosses of President Benigno Aquino III and what better way to air their sentiments than through the majestic power of social media. After Aquino presented his fifth State of the Nation Address Monday afternoon, the Twitterverse was ablaze with expert opinion, quirky responses, and downright indifferent outlooks. Senator Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito, though a part of Aquino’s opposition, he praised the Chief Executive for his speech that had the power to draw a few emotions.
Also, Commission on Elections Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal praised Aquino for his speech which was tamer compared to previous versions.

Just as famous, probably even more, than her brother, Kris Aquino was also in the minds of the Netizens after the Presidential Sister teared up during the speech. Despite the tears, Netizens still managed to poke fun at Kris, and her always-present assistant Darla. Despite being a complete summary of his penultimate year and all that has happened since, the SONA could also hit specific people. Comedian Vice Ganda got affected with the SONA that the only way to convey his emotions is through Twitter. And with the SONA, students are also at the mercy to write a reaction paper, be it in the college or high school levels, with students who are on Twitter sharing the same sentiments, blood-curdling indifference, or just shallow ignorance.

ALSO: Congressmen express sentiments over SONA 

PHOTO: Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza was unhappy with Pres. Aquino's SONA. President Benigno Aquino III's fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) drew different reactions from members of the House of Representatives. Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and a known critic of the administration, said he was pleased with the president's speech this year. Tiangco even added that it was Aquino's best SONA so far. But Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza thought otherwise. He said he was disappointed over the fact that the president patted the backs of some cabinet members who did not even perform well. Atienza was referring to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala whom he claimed did not meet the rice self sufficiency goal of the government and Labor Secretaty Rosalinda Baldoz whom he said failed to solve the country's unemployment problem.

House Independent minority leader and Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez was also unhappy with the speech, saying it did not give an accurate picture of the country's true condition. Meantime, Makabayan bloc lawmakers -- who are the usual critics of President Aquino -- walked out of the plenary hall just minutes after the start of the speech. House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales said the Makabayan bloc members will not be sanctioned by the House leadership for what they did -- saying that the house leadership respects the lawmakers' right to self expression. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

(ALSO) SONA 2014 | Reactions: what they liked, and missed in PNoy's speech  
The Chief Justice was serene when asked about the chief executive's statements critical of the court; the vice president had unsolicited advice for his boss; and a former president said the SONA lacked the kind of vision that went into building a nation over the long term.

Still, most lawmakers allied with the President were expectedly supportive of his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA). Senate President Franklin Drilon said President Aquino has put a face to the progress achieved by the administration on policies enforced, and economic gains.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, asked in an ambush interview how she felt about the President Aquino's recent statements seemingly castigating the Supreme Court after its 13-0 ruling that deemed unconstitutional his Disbursement Acceleration Program. Her reply: "You can't have an emotional court. ....we have professional duties."

Vice President Jejomar Binay, singled out by Mr. Aquino as "someone who knows what we've been through," was asked what he thought of the President's reference to the 2016 polls,where Aquino said people must elect someone who will doubtless be committed to continue the reforms he began. Binay said it's inevitable that "karanasan at kakayahan" [experience and capability] will be the yardsticks for the next election.

On the incessant criticisms over DAP and other issues, Binay said he had told the President, "Hindi ka na nasanay. Iyong panunuligsa, kasama sa demokrasya [You should get used to it. Criticisms are part of democracy]." What SONA lacked --* READ MORE...

ALSO: SONA 2014 | Yolanda survivors score Aquino for 'lying' about govt response to super storm

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines -- “PNoy, sinungaling ka (PNoy, you are a liar)!” This was the reaction of survivors of super typhoon Yolanda to President Benigno Aquino III’s assertion in his fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday that government “wasted no time in responding” to the devastation the storm wrought last November. Hundreds of storm survivors from different parts of Eastern Visayas converged in this city to take part in a “People’s SONA” at the University of the Philippine Visayas-Tacloban College and then marched through the streets with black ribbons tied to their arms to protest what they said is government’s continued failure to address their needs.

In his speech, Aquino said: “Your government wasted no time in responding. We immediately cleared the airport, which is why, within 24 hours after the storm, three C130s were able to bring in aid. On that same day, we were also able to set up a communications hub to hasten the flow of information. On the second day, the Department of Health’s Rapid Health Assessment teams arrived, as well as additional soldiers, policemen, and BFP (Bureau of Fire Prevention) personnel from other provinces. Likewise, workers from DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) led relief operations -- in the distribution centers in Eastern Visayas or in repacking centers all around the country.” He also claimed that, by November 22, or “two weeks after the storm, the one millionth food pack was distributed to the victims,” and that, by Christmas Day last year, “all municipalities affected by the calamity had been electrified.”

“Napakalaking kasinungalingan ang sinabi ni PNoy na dumating ang mga relief goods sa loob ng dalawang araw, kasi ang totoo dumating ito pagkatapos ng limang araw dito sa Tacloban,” said Marissa Cabaljao, convenor of the chapter of People Surge, the organization of Yolanda survivors, in Pinabacdao, Samar. “Sa amin nga sa Pinabacdao, kung hindi pa kami nag-rally noong June 8, hindi pa kami mabibigyan ng food packs kasi hindi daw kami kasali sa 50-kilometer radius na standard ng gobyerno,” Cabaljao added, referring to the area around Yolanda’s direct path that the Department of Social Welfare and Development had defined for delivery of assistance.

She also scored Aquino for focusing on infrastructure damage while ignoring agriculture, on which the region’s economy rests, and the failure to provide safe housing for the displaced populace almost nine months after the storm struck. Cabaljao said many storm survivors continue to languish in “mabaho, masikip at mainit na tent sa mga tent cities at nakatira sa mga kinorap na mga bunkhouses (smelly, cramped and hot tents in tent cities and live in corruption-marred bunkhouses),” referring to the temporary shelters whose construction rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson had earlier acknowledged to be substandard. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) SONA 2014: PNoy calls critics of his programs 'anti-people' 

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday said those criticizing and opposing his programs are against "transformation" and ultimately against the people. Mr. Aquino said he was perplexed as to why there are those who seem genuinely angry ("galit na galit") with his reform agenda, then later on suggested that the naysayers are in fact nothing more than merely determined to reverse the "transformations" he started, for selfish political ends.

He suggested that those against him are operating on the belief that "as more people suffer, the more people there will be to join their ranks." Those opposing his initiatives, he added, are anti-fisherfolk, anti-student, against every marginalized sector from people displaced by calamities to Muslims in Mindanao. He said his administration had been resolute in pursuing good governance, and this is what made possible the achievements of the past four years. He said he didn't want to be accused of trumpeting his own accomplishments, but nonetheless invited people to join him in summing up what he deemed the most important ones:

"Jobs and livelihood opportunities for majority of Filipinos that were created and continue to be created: from April 2013 till April 2014: at least 1.65 million people were added to the number of Filipinos with jobs. The shortages in books, chairs and classrooms that we inherited have been filled; while new requirements as a result of the K to 12, are also being filled. We now have a 1:1 police-to-pistol ratio. The Armed Forces modernization is proceeding well. Then there's long-term peace in Mindanao; and the sustained economic growth." * READ MORE...

ALSO: Opposition ‘Peaches’ dressed in peach walk out of SONA 

PHOTO: Party-list solons walk out as PNoy starts SONA. Partylist solons backing the impeachment complaint against President Aquino yesterday walked out from the plenary hall during the joint congressional session for the State of the Nation Address of the chief executive. All dressed in peach-colored Filipiniana, members of the Makabayan bloc rose from their seats and headed to the exits just as Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. introduced Aquino for his SONA. Meanwhile, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, wife of detained Senator Ramon :Bong “Revilla Jr., made good her promise not to attend the SONA in protest of Aquino’s alleged selective justice and harassment of personalities belonging to the political opposition. “As soon as the president was introduced, we walked out and joined the real SONA outside,” recounted Gabriela Partylist Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan. Together with Senior Deputy Minority Leader Nery Colmenares, Reps. Terry Ridon (Kabataan); Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna); Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers Partylist); Fernando Hicap (Anakpawis); Emmy de Jesus (Gabriela Partylist), Ilagan protested the Aquino administration’s alleged attempt to mislead the public about the true state of the nation. All members of the minority bloc, the seven lawmakers have individually endorsed at least two of the three impeachment cases filed last week against Aquino. ETHICS INVESTIGATION -- * READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

Senators on Noy's SONA: 'Sincere, moving, powerful'

MANILA, AUGUST 4, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Christina Mendez - Senators found sincerity in President Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, where the chief executive paraphrased the slogan of his late father, Sen. Benigno Aquino III, that "Filipinos are worth dying for."

Sen. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said he saw in the President his desire to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

”The fact that he sought for supplemental budget for DAP-funded projects, he is acknowledging the decision of the Supreme Court regarding its ruling on the DAP,” Angara added.

Angara said he would have wanted to hear about how the Aquino administration would address the energy crisis.

“I would have wanted to hear more about the concrete solutions of the administration in addressing the looming energy crisis. But otherwise, it was a direct-to-the-point and sincere speech,” Angara said.

Angara also lauded the President over the good news on jobs and scholarship programs.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV expressed support anew to the current administration.

“It was a very moving speech, has a powerful message. Palagay ko maraming pong sasabay sa kanyang tuwid na daan,” Trillanes said.

The President also made clear his goals to continue working for the good of the people as his term ends on 2016, the senator said.

Trillanes said he and the Aquino may have different views on the K-12 program but he respects the President’s views.

He said the President showed that he is “just human” amid the adversities in his political leadership, faced with threats of impeachment.

Prior to the President’s SONA, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Aquino should start working on the future as he spends his last two years in office. “The future. Not the past."

Sen. Gringo Honasan, meanwhile, perceived the SONA as Aquino's "call for unity for the remainder of his term, for continuity, sustainability."

In his Twitter account, Sen. JV Ejercito said the Aquino's fifth SONA was his best.

"Even if I am in the opposition, I think this SONA is the best by PNoy. Concise and simple. He became emotional in the end. Pati ako nadala," said Ejercito, whose half brother, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is jailed for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said his favorite part of Aquino's SONA was "where he said gusto ba nating ipagpatuloy itong ating mga naumpisahan."

"So the continuity is very critical for us to be able to achieve our goals," Drilon said.

Sona left many important issues in business hanging, say traders By Amy R. Remo |Philippine Daily Inquirer9:20 pm | Monday, July 28th, 2014


Philippine President Benigno Aquino III gestures as he delivers his 5th State of the Nation Address during the joint session of the 16th Congress at the House of Representatives in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines, Monday July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines— President Benigno Aquino III’s fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) drew mixed reactions from the business community on Monday, as some of the country’s chief executives saw it more as a review of the past, than a preview of his concrete plans for the future.

Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr., president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), noted that the Sona was well-prepared, very inspiring, and emotional, but did not tackle the pressing problems faced by the business community.

“Certainly, he was able to enumerate the gains made (by the administration over the past years), except that my expectation is different. I had hoped to hear more concrete solutions to the power situation, a clearer direction for the PPP (public-private partnership program) and the port congestion,” Ortiz-Luis explained.

“I am not sure if those things should be said in the Sona but I had hoped he would touch on it. As an exporter, I am hopeful to hear about the more pressing issues. It was more of the past than the future, but still very inspiring to the point that a lot got teary-eyed, especially after seeing (President Aquino’s youngest sister) Kris cry. But it was ok, he was able to cover many (fronts),” he added.

Peter V. Perfecto, executive director of the Makati Business Club (MBC), commented that the “president chose to give his bosses a full account of what they have accomplished so far amidst all the noise being created that their promises have not been kept.”

“We applaud the President’s reaffirmation that the Filipino is worth dying for, living for and fighting for. That gives us all hope that the reforms will continue, that good governance will continue and that inclusive growth will continue to be pursued. The business sector sent its recommendations for his last two years and we remain optimistic that, though not mentioned in the Sona speech, the government will listen and deliver,” Perfecto said.

* For John D. Forbes, senior adviser at the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (Amcham), the Sona was said to be “very much in the president’s style, describing specific project and program accomplishments, and only a handful of legislative proposals.”

“We expect his reforms to continue until his last month in office. The 3.5% of GDP level spending on infrastructure is a good move towards the 5 percent target by 2016,” Forbes explained.

Forbes, however, noted that President Aquino was not able to “inform the country with details on the power sector. He could have listed more bills he intends to prioritize.”

Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) president Edgardo G. Lacson, meanwhile, said that President Aquino was able to deliver “his message very clearly.”

“The central message is his continuing commitment to better the lives of Filipinos as he seeks a higher national budget for 2016.

This time, he hinted that he will henceforth observe budgetary procedures as he will seek Congress approval for supplementary budgets,” Lacson said.

Sona draws cheers, jeers, indifference from netizens  By Bong Lozada |INQUIRER.net7:25 pm | Monday, July 28th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—They are the bosses of President Benigno Aquino III and what better way to air their sentiments than through the majestic power of social media.

After Aquino presented his fifth State of the Nation Address Monday afternoon, the Twitterverse was ablaze with expert opinion, quirky responses, and downright indifferent outlooks.

Senator Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito, though a part of Aquino’s opposition, he praised the Chief Executive for his speech that had the power to draw a few emotions.

Also, Commission on Elections Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal praised Aquino for his speech which was tamer compared to previous versions.

Just as famous, probably even more, than her brother, Kris Aquino was also in the minds of the Netizens after the Presidential Sister teared up during the speech.

Despite the tears, Netizens still managed to poke fun at Kris, and her always-present assistant Darla.

Despite being a complete summary of his penultimate year and all that has happened since, the SONA could also hit specific people.

Comedian Vice Ganda got affected with the SONA that the only way to convey his emotions is through Twitter.

And with the SONA, students are also at the mercy to write a reaction paper, be it in the college or high school levels, with students who are on Twitter sharing the same sentiments, blood-curdling indifference, or just shallow ignorance.

FROM SOLARNEWS ONLINE

Congressmen express sentiments over SONA
 


Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza was unhappy with Pres. Aquino's SONA.

President Benigno Aquino III's fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) drew different reactions from members of the House of Representatives.

Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and a known critic of the administration, said he was pleased with the president's speech this year.

Tiangco even added that it was Aquino's best SONA so far.

But Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza thought otherwise. He said he was disappointed over the fact that the president patted the backs of some cabinet members who did not even perform well.

Atienza was referring to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala whom he claimed did not meet the rice self sufficiency goal of the government and Labor Secretaty Rosalinda Baldoz whom he said failed to solve the country's unemployment problem.

House Independent minority leader and Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez was also unhappy with the speech, saying it did not give an accurate picture of the country's true condition.

Meantime, Makabayan bloc lawmakers -- who are the usual critics of President Aquino -- walked out of the plenary hall just minutes after the start of the speech.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales said the Makabayan bloc members will not be sanctioned by the House leadership for what they did -- saying that the house leadership respects the lawmakers' right to self expression. - Solar News Online, from a report by Katrina Domingo

FROM INTERAKSYON.COM

SONA 2014 | Reactions: what they liked, and missed in PNoy's speech By: Lira Dalangin-Fernandez and Ernie Reyes, InterAksyon.com July 28, 2014 8:05 PM InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5


President Aquino shakes hands of lawmakers before leaving the Batasan, where he delivered his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address. BERNARD TESTA, INTERAKSYON.COM

MANILA, Philippines - The Chief Justice was serene when asked about the chief executive's statements critical of the court; the vice president had unsolicited advice for his boss; and a former president said the SONA lacked the kind of vision that went into building a nation over the long term.

Still, most lawmakers allied with the President were expectedly supportive of his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA). Senate President Franklin Drilon said President Aquino has put a face to the progress achieved by the administration on policies enforced, and economic gains.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, asked in an ambush interview how she felt about the President Aquino's recent statements seemingly castigating the Supreme Court after its 13-0 ruling that deemed unconstitutional his Disbursement Acceleration Program. Her reply: "You can't have an emotional court. ....we have professional duties."

Vice President Jejomar Binay, singled out by Mr. Aquino as "someone who knows what we've been through," was asked what he thought of the President's reference to the 2016 polls,where Aquino said people must elect someone who will doubtless be committed to continue the reforms he began. Binay said it's inevitable that "karanasan at kakayahan" [experience and capability] will be the yardsticks for the next election.

On the incessant criticisms over DAP and other issues, Binay said he had told the President, "Hindi ka na nasanay. Iyong panunuligsa, kasama sa demokrasya [You should get used to it. Criticisms are part of democracy]."

What SONA lacked

* Buhay partylist Representative Lito Atienza, who had earlier counseled pro-Aquino lawmakers to go slow in attacking the SC over the DAP ruling, said the SONA had some glaring omissions: "Hindi natin narinig ang tama. Hindi na-report ang tama. Bigas, bilihin, peace and order, brownout ang dapat narinig. Ang tawag ng kabataan dyan ay BOOMPANES‎."

Former President Fidel Ramos sounded disappointed by the seeming loose structure of the SONA: " If this was supposed to be a State of the Nation Address, there must be a vision of the future, and the future we're talking about there is not the two years to go or six years of the president's term, or three years of a time of a governor. No, it's one whole generation. That is what it takes you to stabilize your power system, that is what it takes you to put up your proper infrastructure, farm-to-market roads, seaports, airports."

Iloilo Representatuve Jerry Trenas: "The President has exceeded the people's expectations in running the country. We should expect a fruitful leadership in the last two remaining years of the Aquino administration. We do not have a lameduck President."

Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate said the speech smelled like "gunpowder [pulbura] because the President dwelt at length on acquisitions of weapons and materiel. And yet, he said, he omitted the things needed to improve the human condition, "maliban sa mga buladas niya sa dating SONA [except for the hogwash he dished out in past speeches]."

Sen. Nancy Binay also found some particular areas like job generation and the looming power crisis lacking in the State of the Nation Address.

Still, she was pleased that the President "personally thanked the countries that helped us during the times of crisis. I believe that the SONA was the best venue to show our gratitude."

Senate President Drilon said, “He gave a face to the progress that we have seen. I liked the few lines where he said gusto ba nating ipagpatuloy itong ating mga naumpisahan. So the continuity is very critical for us to be able to achieve our goals."

However, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara lamented that President Aquino failed to mention his concrete solutions in addressing the looming energy cris.

He lauded Aquino on the jobs generated and scholarship program initiated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“The fact that the President is asking for a supplemental budget for DAP-funded projects seems like an acknowledgement by him of the SC decision on the DAP,” Angara said.

For his part, Senator Gregorio Honasan said that the speech was a call for unity for the remainder of his term, for continuity and sustainability.

Meanwhile, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said that even though he was with the opposition, he was carried away by the latter part of the speech, where the President talked about his parents' legacy, and his own fear he may not be able to finish what he began.

SONA 2014 | Yolanda survivors score Aquino for 'lying' about govt response to super storm By: Lottie Salarda, InterAksyon.com July 28, 2014 11:16 PM


A Yolanda survivor holds up a sign demanding cash relief from government in a protest in Tacloban (photo by Lottie Salarda, InterAksyon.com)

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines -- “PNoy, sinungaling ka (PNoy, you are a liar)!”

This was the reaction of survivors of super typhoon Yolanda to President Benigno Aquino III’s assertion in his fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday that government “wasted no time in responding” to the devastation the storm wrought last November.

Hundreds of storm survivors from different parts of Eastern Visayas converged in this city to take part in a “People’s SONA” at the University of the Philippine Visayas-Tacloban College and then marched through the streets with black ribbons tied to their arms to protest what they said is government’s continued failure to address their needs.

In his speech, Aquino said: “Your government wasted no time in responding. We immediately cleared the airport, which is why, within 24 hours after the storm, three C130s were able to bring in aid. On that same day, we were also able to set up a communications hub to hasten the flow of information. On the second day, the Department of Health’s Rapid Health Assessment teams arrived, as well as additional soldiers, policemen, and BFP (Bureau of Fire Prevention) personnel from other provinces. Likewise, workers from DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) led relief operations -- in the distribution centers in Eastern Visayas or in repacking centers all around the country.”

He also claimed that, by November 22, or “two weeks after the storm, the one millionth food pack was distributed to the victims,” and that, by Christmas Day last year, “all municipalities affected by the calamity had been electrified.”

“Napakalaking kasinungalingan ang sinabi ni PNoy na dumating ang mga relief goods sa loob ng dalawang araw, kasi ang totoo dumating ito pagkatapos ng limang araw dito sa Tacloban,” said Marissa Cabaljao, convenor of the chapter of People Surge, the organization of Yolanda survivors, in Pinabacdao, Samar.

“Sa amin nga sa Pinabacdao, kung hindi pa kami nag-rally noong June 8, hindi pa kami mabibigyan ng food packs kasi hindi daw kami kasali sa 50-kilometer radius na standard ng gobyerno,” Cabaljao added, referring to the area around Yolanda’s direct path that the Department of Social Welfare and Development had defined for delivery of assistance.

She also scored Aquino for focusing on infrastructure damage while ignoring agriculture, on which the region’s economy rests, and the failure to provide safe housing for the displaced populace almost nine months after the storm struck.

Cabaljao said many storm survivors continue to languish in “mabaho, masikip at mainit na tent sa mga tent cities at nakatira sa mga kinorap na mga bunkhouses (smelly, cramped and hot tents in tent cities and live in corruption-marred bunkhouses),” referring to the temporary shelters whose construction rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson had earlier acknowledged to be substandard.

* “Siya kaya (Aquino) ang tumira doon, ano ang mararamdaman niya? Wala siyang puso sa mga tulad naming biktima (If he were to live there, what would he feel? He has no heart for us, the victims),” she added.

Noting that, until now, the bulk of rehabilitation work for the survivors continues to be shouldered by international and local aid agencies, she asked: “Ano ang silbi ng gobyerno natin (What is the use of our government)?”

Tricycle driver Eliseo Manacpo, 38, agreed with Cabaljao’s assessment.

“Hay naku, ako hanggang ngayon nangungutang ako para makapagtayo ulit ng bahay namin. Hirap na hirap na ako (Oh well, until now I continue to borrow money to rebuild our house),” he said.

“Hindi ako naniniwala sa mga sinabi ni PNoy sa ginawa niya dito sa ating lugar. Kung totoo mang merong mga donasyon ang ibang bansa, eh bakit hanggang nagyon ‘di namin maramdaman ‘yun? Tiyak gagamitin ng mga pulitiko ang perang ‘yun para sa 2016 election, e mga pulitiko ‘yun e (I don’t believe what Aquino said about what he did here. If it’s true about donations from other countries, how come until now, we do not feel it? For sure politicians will use that money for the 2016 elections because they are politicians), he added.”

SONA 2014: PNoy calls critics of his programs 'anti-people'
By: InterAksyon.com July 28, 2014 7:08 PM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday said those criticizing and opposing his programs are against "transformation" and ultimately against the people.

Mr. Aquino said he was perplexed as to why there are those who seem genuinely angry ("galit na galit") with his reform agenda, then later on suggested that the naysayers are in fact nothing more than merely determined to reverse the "transformations" he started, for selfish political ends.

He suggested that those against him are operating on the belief that "as more people suffer, the more people there will be to join their ranks."

Those opposing his initiatives, he added, are anti-fisherfolk, anti-student, against every marginalized sector from people displaced by calamities to Muslims in Mindanao.

He said his administration had been resolute in pursuing good governance, and this is what made possible the achievements of the past four years. He said he didn't want to be accused of trumpeting his own accomplishments, but nonetheless invited people to join him in summing up what he deemed the most important ones:

"Jobs and livelihood opportunities for majority of Filipinos that were created and continue to be created: from April 2013 till April 2014: at least 1.65 million people were added to the number of Filipinos with jobs. The shortages in books, chairs and classrooms that we inherited have been filled; while new requirements as a result of the K to 12, are also being filled. We now have a 1:1 police-to-pistol ratio. The Armed Forces modernization is proceeding well. Then there's long-term peace in Mindanao; and the sustained economic growth."

* The jab at critics was apparently an offshoot of the firestorm of protests, in the streets, the mass media and elsewhere, that followed the Supreme Court ruling that Aquino's pet fiscal scheme, the Disbursement Acceleration Program, was unconstitutional; as well as dissatisfaction over the spotty accounting provided by the Department of Budget and Management for the DAP. Not only did critics cite several big-ticket, DAP-funded projects that they deemed not conducive to economic growth, they also assailed the DBM's silence over demands for it to state what projects were sacrificed in order to pool the so-called "savings" that later became known as DAP.

Among the fiercest critics of DAP was the Makabayan bloc of congressmen, mostly from militant party-lists, who walked out of the Batasan before the President delivered his speech.

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

‘Peaches’ walk out of SONA by Ben R. Rosario and Charissa M. Luci July 29, 2014


PHOTO: Party-list solons walk out as PNoy starts SONA.

Partylist solons backing the impeachment complaint against President Aquino yesterday walked out from the plenary hall during the joint congressional session for the State of the Nation Address of the chief executive.

All dressed in peach-colored Filipiniana, members of the Makabayan bloc rose from their seats and headed to the exits just as Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. introduced Aquino for his SONA.

Meanwhile, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, wife of detained Senator Ramon :Bong “Revilla Jr., made good her promise not to attend the SONA in protest of Aquino’s alleged selective justice and harassment of personalities belonging to the political opposition.

“As soon as the president was introduced, we walked out and joined the real SONA outside,” recounted Gabriela Partylist Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan.

Together with Senior Deputy Minority Leader Nery Colmenares, Reps. Terry Ridon (Kabataan); Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna); Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers Partylist); Fernando Hicap (Anakpawis); Emmy de Jesus (Gabriela Partylist), Ilagan protested the Aquino administration’s alleged attempt to mislead the public about the true state of the nation.

All members of the minority bloc, the seven lawmakers have individually endorsed at least two of the three impeachment cases filed last week against Aquino.

ETHICS INVESTIGATION

* Reacting to the plenary protest action, Rep. Winston Castelo (LP, Quezon City) vowed to seek an ethics committee investigation on the seven solons.

“The walk out should be referred to the Ethics Committee, to determine whether sanctions should be imposed on the Makabayan bloc. It’s a disrespect not only to the president but also to the people whom they should represent,” Castelo said as soon as the Makabayan solon left the session hall.

‘BAD RECORD’ FOR RESPECT

Castelo’s statement was dismissed by the Makabayan solons who noted that the QC lawmaker has a “bad record” for respect of the right of expression of critics of the Aquino administration.

They were apparentIy referring to Castelo’s filing of a bill to outlaw planking which became a form of protest action by student activist criticizing Malacanang.

‘DRAMA’

Meanwhile, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said the leftist solons should not have attended the SONA if they really wanted to express their protest against the President’s supposed failure to address the corruption in the government and his alleged violation of the Constitution for implementing the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and for entering into Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States.

“Kung ayaw nilang makinig sana hindi na sila dumating. Para kasi ng pa-drama lang nila ang walk out,” he said in a media interview.

MAKABAYAN STATEMENT

“We decided to walk out of the fifth SONA of President Aquino because we know that he would just utter lies to further defend the unconstitutional and illegal DAP (disbursement acceleration program) as well as again try to fool the Filipino people,” the Makabayan statement said.

Through Zarate, the protesting lawmakers added: “ We have had enough of his promises and lies. It is now time to impeach the president who has further pushed our countrymen into increasing poverty.”

Zarate also aired disgust over Aquino’s discussion of the implementation of a military build up through the acquisition of more air and naval military hardware.

BAYAN MUNA

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares said they walked out because the President violated the Constitution and betrayed the people.

“Kami ay lumabas para makiisa sa sambayanang Pilipino na kinukundina at tinutuligsa ang patuloy na kurapsyon, patuloy na abuso, ni Presidente Benigno S. Aquino,” he said.

“Hindi niya nirespeto ang poder ayon sa Konstitusyon ng Kongreso na siya lang ang may tungkulin na magpasa ng budget. Dagdag pa, ang mga patakaran ni Presidente Aquino na kontra mamamayan. Hindi namin maaaring pakinggan sa kanyang SONA,” he added.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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