PNoy KEEPS LIPS SEALED ON ANOINTED FOR 2016  

President Aquino remains elusive on his anointed candidate for 2016 as his spokesman said the administration does not have an official candidate despite the Liberal Party’s (LP) statement that the administration standard-bearer would be no other than Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma’s said on state-run radio yesterday that the administration still does not have a definite candidate for the presidential polls. Coloma said the administration has not yet picked a candidate, saying there are still many reforms that the Aquino administration is involved in. He said the President wishes to implement all his reforms and establish its foundations to completely reform the society.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, also LP vice chairman, said Roxas will be the standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 national elections. ”I would confirm that,” Drilon said. Also last week, LP acting president and Trans-portation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the LP is fielding Roxas as its standard-bearer in the next presidential elections. Roxas ran but lost in the 2010 vice presidential race against Vice President Jejomar Binay who already announced interest to run for president as early as 2010. Roxas, however, fares poorly in confidence surveys and trails Binay by a wide margin which sparked talks of Noynoy and his LP allies shopping around for a more acceptable candidate. “What is more important at present is focusing on nation building and economic development, than pouring time on partisan policy. This is not the right time, and we already have an election calendar. We still have higher priorities than that,” Coloma said. *READ MORE...

ALSO: Pangilinan to replace Juan as NFA head — Palace 

The Palace yesterday announced through state-run Radyo ng Bayan that Presidential Adviser on Food Security and Agriculture Modernization Secretary Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (photo) will head the National Food Authority in the meantime following the irrevocable resignation of former NFA Chief Arthur Juan last week. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Pangilinan will be temporarily assigned to head the agency as the Palace searched for Juan’s replacement who will be capable of taking the responsibilities of the post.

“The NFA is currently under the supervision of Sec. Pangilinan, it will only be for a short time until a replacement is announced. What is being searched by the qualifications is of course integrity and a track record that can attest to being the NFA administrator,” he said. Coloma asked the public to wait as instating a new head for the NFA would have to undergo certain processes, given that the President must first accept Juan’s resignation before appointing a new official to the post vacated. “Let us wait for it (instating someone to replace Juan). It will still pass administrative offices given that it is for a presidential appointee,” Coloma said. “The President must first officially accept his resignation since there is also a process to assigning a new leader to the post. Let us just wait, we can be assured that the right thing will be done so the NFA will be able to continue its service,” he said *READ MORE....

(ALSO) Palace: Next NFA chief should have integrity  

The successor of resigned National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Arthur Juan should have integrity and track record to carry out the vital role of the agency, Malacańang said yesterday. The Palace also reiterated President Aquino still trusts Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya and Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima despite the controversies hounding them. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President has yet to appoint the next NFA chief. He said the resignation of Juan – who was tagged in an alleged extortion try on a rice trader – has to undergo administrative processes. “As a presidential appointee, his (Juan) resignation should be accepted by the President and he should be informed about it,” Coloma said.

“The transition period is short so let’s just wait for it. Among the criteria being considered for qualification are integrity and track record to handle the important responsibility of NFA administrator,” he added. Coloma said he has no information yet whether the President has spoken to Juan about his resignation. “What we know for now is the acknowledgment of (presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization) Secretary (Francis) Pangilinan that he has resigned,” he said. Juan submitted an irrevocable resignation on Thursday, citing failing health. Juan, who only served as NFA chief for three months, is accused of trying to extort P15 million from Jomerito Soliman of Purefeeds Corp., whose warehouse in Bulacan was raided last July. *READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Midnight insertions’ in 2015 budget hit  

THE Palace inserted 100 pages of undisclosed changes to the 2015 budget just hours before its approval by the House of Representatives, including “midnight insertions” that allow President Benigno Aquino III to impound, realign and divert committed funds halfway through the year, opposition lawmakers said. The insertions were discovered by ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio at about 4 p.m. Friday when he learned the Department of Budget and Management was carrying 100 pages or errata with several amendments to the National Expenditure Program.

This prompted House Senior Deputy Minority Leader Neri Colmenares to urge Congress on Sunday to withdraw the House’s unanimous approval on second reading of the national budget at 11:52 p.m. Friday and subject the errata to plenary debates. “The DBM is pulling a fast one on Congress by submitting the errata at the last minute to legitimize the impoundment of funds just like they did in the illegal P144-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program,” Tinio told the Manila Standard. “I urge the House to withdraw its approval of the budget until after the DBM’s errata had been subjected to congressional debate and scrutiny,” Colmenares said over radio dzBB. Tinio said at about 7:30 p.m. during his interpellation before the plenary, the DBM officially submitted the errata to the chairman of the House committee on appropriations Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, who was also the sponsor of the Palace-proposed budget.

Tinio protested the insertions, arguing that these did not undergo strict scrutiny by the panel and that no debate took place in the plenary on the amendments that the Palace wanted inserted, prompting Ungab to admit the errata would be considered by the small committee that would meet during the break to consider all amendments to the six-volume General Appropriations Act. “The errata contained major amendments to various major projects. And these provisions would allow the President to realign projects such as major infrastructure projects to another project if he so desires. These realigned projects did not undergo congressional scrutiny much like the DAP-funded projects,” Tinio said. Emerging from the budget approval on second reading close to midnight Friday, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. announced the House need not pass a law to redefine savings because special provisions had been inserted in the national budget that will allow the President to realign funds mid-year. *READ MORE...

ALSO: Belmonte agrees with Bayan Muna on lack of inclusive growth

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO. — Speaker Feliciano Belmonte has agreed with the view of the political opposition that the Aquino administration has failed to spread the benefits of a robust economy in the last four years to majority of Filipinos. “A lot of us are asking: Why are we not feeling the economic growth in the country?

As House Speaker, I will not tolerate these present circumstances. I will make it my fight for all of us to experience this economic prosperity and not a case where only a few are becoming wealthy. That is what I want to happen,” said Belmonte in remarks during the 15th anniversary of Bayan Muna party-list at Old Balara in Quezon City on Saturday. “If the Philippine economy is growing, Filipinos should also be then ones enjoying its rewards,” he said. Belmonte said he shared Bayan Muna’s sentiments on the lack of inclusive growth under the Aquino administration. “Widespread unemployment and poverty are the leading problems of the country. This cannot be erased by what this government has trumpeted as the rise in our gross domestic product,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said Friday in a speech in Congress. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Senate witchhunt now targets Binay family  

A witchhunt on the whole family of Vice President Jejomar Binay would be the next agenda of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe that started on the supposed overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2 after Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said yesterday that the financial records of members of the Binay family should also be subject to scrutiny.
The Vice President last week released his statements of assets, liabilities and networth (SALns) and his income tax returns (ITRs) dating back to 1988 when he became Makati City mayor.

No amount of explanation and presentation of proof of financial standing of Binay, however, would suffice to stop Cayetano from continuing his charges of alleged graft and corrupt practices on the Vice President. Cayetano yesterday accused Binay of misleading the public by presenting his SALns to disprove the allegations of purported receipt of kickbacks from transactions entered into by the Makati City government during his stint as mayor of the city. “I don’t want fake disclosures. I want the real thing,” was the latest battle cry of Cayetano who is now demanding Binay to instead submit a waiver on the secrecy of his bank accounts, as well as bare his credit card transactions and land titles for the public to better scrutinize his financial records. Incidentally, Cayetano has practically included in his challenge not only the Vice President but the entire Binay family.

Besides the Vice President’s bank deposits or accounts, real properties, Cayetano is challenging Binay to make public even his credit card bills, saying that this is one way of allowing himself to undergo what the senator dubbed as “real lifestyle check” as opposed to a mere presentation of his SALN. While he claimed that the Vice President’s presentation of SALN did not disprove the allegations against him, still, Cayetano said Binay should also have presented the SALNs of his children, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, Sen. Nancy Binay, and Makati Rep. Abigail Binay.
“I am just following the statements made by the Vice President... He was the one who said that he wanted a lifestyle check. But he may be referring to a fake lifestyle check, the public would gain nothing from such,” he said. The senator was reacting belatedly on last week’s presentation to the media by Binay’s lawyers of his income tax returns for the last 28 years to show that the Vice President is open to a lifestyle check. *READ MORE...

 
ALSO: VP's Lawyer to resign if Binay's SALN proven inaccurate  

PHOTO: The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay's presentation of his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. Image courtesy of Binay's Facebook account. - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay is standing by his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) amid allegations that he has hidden wealth. In an interview with ANC's Headstart on Monday, lawyer Princess Turgano said she is even ready to quit her job if proven that Binay's SALN is inaccurate. "It's to show everyone of how much I believe in the SALN of the Vice President," Turgano told program host Karen Davila. "Naniniwala ako na hindi nagsisinungaling ang ating Bise Pangulo at na ang kanyang SALN ay totoo," she added.

During the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-committee hearing last week, former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado accused Binay of owning a 8,877-square meter land near Fort Bonifacio. Mercado, a former ally of Binay, said the property is not reflected in any of the Vice President's SALNs because it is under the name of businesswoman Erlinda Chong. "Isa ho sila sa mga nagiging front ni Vice President Jejomar Binay sa mga ganitong property na dapat mailihis o maitago sa kanilang pangalan," Mercado said of Chong, whose husband is supposedly a badminton buddy of Binay. Mercado said all the business establishments on the property are also owned by Binay and Chong. He said these are managed by Gerry Limlingan, Binay's reported finance officer. Despite these allegations, Turgano insists that the properties Binay declared in his SALN are his only assets. "We stand by our SALN and these are the only properties of the Vice President," Turgano said.

Ahead of the Senate hearing last week, Turgano presented the Binay's SALNs to the media and detailed his accumulated wealth from 1989 to 2013. Turgano believes that the presentation of Binay's SALN helped the Vice President amid calls for a lifestyle check for officials accused of committing corrupt acts. "By showing the SALN, we were able to show that if the Vice President did increased his net worth, it's because of hardwork," Turgano said. Binay and his son, incumbent Makati City Mayor Erwin Binay, are facing a plunder complaint for allegedly benefiting from the supposedly overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building. Binay has also been accused of earning kickbacks from all projects in the city and of rigging project biddings to favor certain companies. - Louis Bacani THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

Noy keeps lips sealed on anointed for 2016


PNoy

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 (TRIBUINE) Written by Joshua L. Labonera - President Aquino remains elusive on his anointed candidate for 2016 as his spokesman said the administration does not have an official candidate despite the Liberal Party’s (LP) statement that the administration standard-bearer would be no other than Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma’s said on state-run radio yesterday that the administration still does not have a definite candidate for the presidential polls.

Coloma said the administration has not yet picked a candidate, saying there are still many reforms that the Aquino administration is involved in. He said the President wishes to implement all his reforms and establish its foundations to completely reform the society.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, also LP vice chairman, said Roxas will be the standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 national elections.

”I would confirm that,” Drilon said.

Also last week, LP acting president and Trans-portation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the LP is fielding Roxas as its standard-bearer in the next presidential elections.

Roxas ran but lost in the 2010 vice presidential race against Vice President Jejomar Binay who already announced interest to run for president as early as 2010.

Roxas, however, fares poorly in confidence surveys and trails Binay by a wide margin which sparked talks of Noynoy and his LP allies shopping around for a more acceptable candidate.

“What is more important at present is focusing on nation building and economic development, than pouring time on partisan policy. This is not the right time, and we already have an election calendar. We still have higher priorities than that,” Coloma said.

* Also, Coloma said the Palace has no time to comment on partisan politics, saying “[they] do not participate in talks on partisan politics. Our focus is the government’s work,” when asked about calls on Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s to bid for presidency.

Questions on the administration’s candidate came amid indications by President Aquino himself that he may seek a second term through a revision of the constitutional limit on the President for a single term of six years.

Aquino and the Palace had also kept the public guessing on his real intent about his sudden turn around in considering charter change.

The Palace, earlier, had repeatedly dismissed suggestions for Aquino to stay on beyond 2016 but during his current European tour Aquino told reporters in Madrid, Spain that he had not ruled out a second term, saying when there is a will, there is a way.

Aquino up to now has not clarified his position on extending his term, with him and his allies constantly changing their statements.

Deputy presidential

spokesman Abigail Valte has earlier said that the President has not mentioned anything directly pertaining to extending his term, adding that there aren’t plans that the President shared related to a term extension such as plans to call on Congress to start deliberating on cha-cha once back from overseas.

“It’s hypothetical, so far the President has not mentioned any plans about calling on Congress to start hearing on amending the Charter,” Valte said.

“So the President just wants this time to really focus on governance and that’s I think the role of each and every government employee, is to really focus on governance right now,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said earlier.

“The President has not spoken on his preferred choice. So, let’s just wait for the time that the President would decide to endorse or to choose who his candidate would be for the presidential elections,” he said.

Lacierda said the President will make and announce his decision “at a proper time.”

In his US tour, Aquino also evaded questions about his anointed for 2016 saying “it is not time to talk about politics and that he would rather focus on addressing the needs of his people rather than think about the 2016 presidential elections.”

“I still have about a year and nine months to go,” the President said during a question-and-answer session after delivering a policy speech at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University.

“If we are all concentrated just on the next elections rather than doing the things that we have to do now, we shouldn’t allow the distraction of the election to interfere with our obligations to our people,” he said.

He noted that since he left Manila for an official tour of Europe and the United States, two typhoons have struck the country and Mayon Volcano has become restive.

“I think those have to be attended rather than jockeying for position in 2016,” he pointed out.

The President also fended off criticisms hurled against his allies, saying that if his critics think his allies are dishonest and corrupt, they could charge them in court.

The Ombudsman in particular is ready to investigate complaints, even those coming from anonymous individuals, he said.
Aquino, however, said he believes there are a lot of individuals in the country qualified to become president.

He however indicated that he is not ready at this time to announce the candidate he will support in the country’s next presidential polls.

Pangilinan to replace Juan as NFA head — PalaceWritten by Joshua L. Labonera Monday, 29 September 2014 00:00

The Palace yesterday announced through state-run Radyo ng Bayan that Presidential Adviser on Food Security and Agriculture Modernization Secretary Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (photo) will head the National Food Authority in the meantime following the irrevocable resignation of former NFA Chief Arthur Juan last week.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Pangilinan will be temporarily assigned to head the agency as the Palace searched for Juan’s replacement who will be capable of taking the responsibilities of the post.

“The NFA is currently under the supervision of Sec. Pangilinan, it will only be for a short time until a replacement is announced. What is being searched by the qualifications is of course integrity and a track record that can attest to being the NFA administrator,” he said.

Coloma asked the public to wait as instating a new head for the NFA would have to undergo certain processes, given that the President must first accept Juan’s resignation before appointing a new official to the post vacated.

“Let us wait for it (instating someone to replace Juan). It will still pass administrative offices given that it is for a presidential appointee,” Coloma said.

“The President must first officially accept his resignation since there is also a process to assigning a new leader to the post. Let us just wait, we can be assured that the right thing will be done so the NFA will be able to continue its service,” he said.

* On issues hounding Juan that are allegedly behind his resignation, Coloma said he has no information regarding such. The Palace official also denied any knowledge of Juan talking to the President.

“I stand with Secretary Pangilinan’s stand to acknowledge the resignation of NFA Administrator Juan where he lamented Juan’s resignation and he believes that Juan has nothing to do with accusations against him. That’s our information from Sec. Pangilinan,” Coloma said.

Pangilinan last week confirmed the resignation of Juan from his post, a day before the celebration of the 42nd anniversary of the food agency and amid an unresolved “extortion” issue as claimed by a grains dealer.

“It is with regret and sadness that we received yesterday afternoon (Sept. 25) the irrevocable resignation of Art Juan as National Food Authority administrator. He cited failing health as the reason for his stepping down,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

The food security czar had raised the possibility that the allegation of extortion was the machination of an “influential” party whose powerful toes he had stepped on in the campaign to clean up the agency.

FROM PHILSTAR

Palace: Next NFA chief should have integrity By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 29, 2014 - 12:00am 5 10 googleplus0 0


Arthur Juan

MANILA, Philippines - The successor of resigned National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Arthur Juan should have integrity and track record to carry out the vital role of the agency, Malacańang said yesterday.

The Palace also reiterated President Aquino still trusts Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya and Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima despite the controversies hounding them.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the President has yet to appoint the next NFA chief. He said the resignation of Juan – who was tagged in an alleged extortion try on a rice trader – has to undergo administrative processes.

“As a presidential appointee, his (Juan) resignation should be accepted by the President and he should be informed about it,” Coloma said.

“The transition period is short so let’s just wait for it. Among the criteria being considered for qualification are integrity and track record to handle the important responsibility of NFA administrator,” he added.

Coloma said he has no information yet whether the President has spoken to Juan about his resignation.

“What we know for now is the acknowledgment of (presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization) Secretary (Francis) Pangilinan that he has resigned,” he said.

Juan submitted an irrevocable resignation on Thursday, citing failing health.

Juan, who only served as NFA chief for three months, is accused of trying to extort P15 million from Jomerito Soliman of Purefeeds Corp., whose warehouse in Bulacan was raided last July.

* Soliman has been accused of mixing Thai rice with rice intended as animal feed and passing it off as premium Sinandomeng.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation would continue to probe Soliman’s allegations even if Juan has resigned from his post.

Still in trust

Coloma said Abaya, who is implicated in the questionable maintenance deal for the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3), is still trusted by the President.

“As far as I know, he still has the full trust and confidence of the President,” Coloma said in Filipino.

Last week, the Office of the Ombudsman ordered a preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication against Abaya and other transport officials for supposedly entering into an anomalous maintenance contract for the MRT-3.

Abaya has expressed readiness to face the allegations against him.

On Purisima, Coloma said the President won’t be affected by the allegations against the PNP chief who has been accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth.

“The President leads the entire executive department. He is the Chief Executive. His perspective is wide and he is unfazed by such issues. He faces them and he gives them reasonable response and solutions,” he said.

Consumer group Coalition of Filipino Consumers has filed plunder, graft and direct bribery charges against Purisima before the Ombudsman for allegedly amassing ill-gotten wealth and receiving bribes for the building of a mansion in Camp Crame.

Purisima was also accused of hiding the true value of his alleged mansion in Nueva Ecija.

The call to oust Purisima was triggered with the involvement of several policemen in illegal activities, most recently the EDSA incident involving 12 police officers in a kidnapping and extortion attempt.

Arsenio Evangelista of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) wanted Purisima to quit over allegations of corruption in the PNP.

Some police officers cried foul over Evangelista’s statements branding the PNP as an “organized crime syndicate” under Purisima.

The police officials reminded Evangelista that Purisima led the arrest of the suspects in the killing of his son Venson on Jan. 14, 2011. Purisima was then police director of Central Luzon.

“We respect their right to criticize the PNP but criticism on the PNP and PNP chief should be objective and with basis,” said one police officer.

An official of an umbrella group of agriculture stakeholders based in Pangasinan also wanted Purisima to stay on.

Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura president Rosendo So expressed confidence that Purisima will be able to clear his name.

“We believe that Gen. Alan Purisima is not guilty. He can explain everything before a proper forum,” So said.

So added many people wanted Purisima out as PNP chief because of his efforts in cleaning the police ranks.

So recalled how Purisima was very effective as head of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER) from 2002 to 2003.

“He helped so many kidnap victims, including my own family,” So said.

“General Purisima’s record must be good then that when he was to be relieved as provincial director, five of the six congressmen and 43 mayors from Pangasinan signed a letter of appeal to then PNP chief Police Director General Oscar Calderon for Purisima’s stay in the province, citing his accomplishments in resolving big time criminalities,” he added. –Cecille Suerte Felipe, Eva Visperas

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

‘Midnight insertions’ in 2015 budget hit By Christine F. Herrera | Sep. 29, 2014 at 12:01am


Antonio Tinio

THE Palace inserted 100 pages of undisclosed changes to the 2015 budget just hours before its approval by the House of Representatives, including “midnight insertions” that allow President Benigno Aquino III to impound, realign and divert committed funds halfway through the year, opposition lawmakers said.

The insertions were discovered by ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio at about 4 p.m. Friday when he learned the Department of Budget and Management was carrying 100 pages or errata with several amendments to the National Expenditure Program.

This prompted House Senior Deputy Minority Leader Neri Colmenares to urge Congress on Sunday to withdraw the House’s unanimous approval on second reading of the national budget at 11:52 p.m. Friday and subject the errata to plenary debates.

“The DBM is pulling a fast one on Congress by submitting the errata at the last minute to legitimize the impoundment of funds just like they did in the illegal P144-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program,” Tinio told the Manila Standard.

“I urge the House to withdraw its approval of the budget until after the DBM’s errata had been subjected to congressional debate and scrutiny,” Colmenares said over radio dzBB.

Tinio said at about 7:30 p.m. during his interpellation before the plenary, the DBM officially submitted the errata to the chairman of the House committee on appropriations Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, who was also the sponsor of the Palace-proposed budget.

Tinio protested the insertions, arguing that these did not undergo strict scrutiny by the panel and that no debate took place in the plenary on the amendments that the Palace wanted inserted, prompting Ungab to admit the errata would be considered by the small committee that would meet during the break to consider all amendments to the six-volume General Appropriations Act.

“The errata contained major amendments to various major projects. And these provisions would allow the President to realign projects such as major infrastructure projects to another project if he so desires. These realigned projects did not undergo congressional scrutiny much like the DAP-funded projects,” Tinio said.

Emerging from the budget approval on second reading close to midnight Friday, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. announced the House need not pass a law to redefine savings because special provisions had been inserted in the national budget that will allow the President to realign funds mid-year.

* Instead, the Speaker said the House will exercise its “oversight powers” to periodically check on whether or not the budget is being spent “judiciously.”

Tinio argued that the DBM’s submission of the errata at the last minute was the Palace’s way of getting around congressional scrutiny.

“The Palace knew that post-enactment realignments were illegal and so it tried to make midnight insertions. Had we not discovered it, Congress could have carried the errata by approving it along with the budget but with midnight insertions that were kept from Congress and the public,” Tinio said.

Ungab argued that it has always been a tradition that the DBM submits errata.

Before it adjourned its sessions for a three-week break, the plenary on Friday elected the members of the special appropriations committee, whose members mostly belong to the ruling Liberal Party.

The small committee counted as members LP officials such as Ungab, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone.

Tinio said the Liberals also tried to ease out the minority bloc by nominating House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora, who was still recuperating from a recent kidney transplant.

“The Liberals knew Ronnie is still on sick leave. They really did not want to give it to Neri [Colmenares], who, being a deputy, is supposed to take over if Ronnie is away. Still, the plenary named Zamora,” said Tinio, who is also a member of the minority bloc.

Colmenares said the plenary had already terminated the period of debates and interpellations without the errata having been discussed.

Ungab said the small committee would take care of the Palace-proposed amendments.

“The budget approval needs to be withdrawn. After the second reading, there is no more plenary debate on the budget. The third and final reading would only approve the entire budget, along with the individual amendments. But the DBM’s errata provisions had not been subjected to debates and scrutiny,” Colmenares said.

After the third and final reading, Colmenares said the bicameral conference committee would be constituted to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the GAA.

“The errata contain reprioritization. It redefines savings. Reprioritization means pork. Any reprioritized project that did not undergo congressional scrutiny becomes President Aquino’s pork barrel,” Colmenares said.

“Why have Congress approve a budget if you are going to re-prioritize [funds] and term them as savings?” he added.

“The DBM admitted that it has errata on the approved budget. So we’re going to demand that the moment they insert the errata, these must be subject to deliberations again. We haven’t seen the errata. So we approved the wrong budget,” Colmenares told dzBB.

Colmenares said the minority bloc would give the majority a choice: “Toss the budget back to the committee level or reopen the plenary debates.”

Colmenares said the minority was not out to delay the approval of the budget because it did not want a reenacted budget, which would give the President even more leeway in shuffling funds.

“But we have to deliberate on the errata. We don’t want to get in trouble with the Supreme Court again,” said Colmenares, referring to the DAP, parts of which were declared unconstitutional.

Colmenares accused the DBM of violating the rules to make the insertions.

“That’s in fact a violation of the rules because we have already passed the budget on second reading yet there are errata that we don’t know anything about. The DBM kept the House in the dark. So it’s as good as if the second reading did not take place,” Colmenares said.

“We are very much concerned and suspicious about the errata since these involve billions in public funds and this budget is even tagged as an election budget. We want to know the contents of the errata and how much exactly these involved,” Colmenares said.

Tinio said the DBM refused to give him a copy of the one-inch-thick errata since the single copy that was submitted to Ungab’s panel has yet to be photocopied to furnish all congressmen.

“We would definitely demand that we be given copies of the errata. They almost go away with it. We will not allow them to hide things from the public and we will not allow Congress to simply grant the Palace’s whims and caprices,” Tinio said.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Belmonte agrees with Bayan Muna on lack of inclusive growth
By Gil C. Cabacungan |Philippine Daily Inquirer9:17 pm | Sunday, September 28th, 2014


Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Feliciano Belmonte has agreed with the view of the political opposition that the Aquino administration has failed to spread the benefits of a robust economy in the last four years to majority of Filipinos.

“A lot of us are asking: Why are we not feeling the economic growth in the country? As House Speaker, I will not tolerate these present circumstances. I will make it my fight for all of us to experience this economic prosperity and not a case where only a few are becoming wealthy. That is what I want to happen,” said Belmonte in remarks during the 15th anniversary of Bayan Muna party-list at Old Balara in Quezon City on Saturday.

“If the Philippine economy is growing, Filipinos should also be then ones enjoying its rewards,” he said.
Belmonte said he shared Bayan Muna’s sentiments on the lack of inclusive growth under the Aquino administration.
“Widespread unemployment and poverty are the leading problems of the country. This cannot be erased by what this government has trumpeted as the rise in our gross domestic product,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said Friday in a speech in Congress.
* Colmenares said this was not a “simple ‘trickle-down’ discussion,” which could be solved by the P64.7-billion conditional cash transfer program, temporary jobs and the public-private partnership program.

In order to ensure a broader distribution of wealth, Belmonte asked Colmenares and the minority bloc to form a congressional oversight committee to monitor the deployment of the annual budget.

“We are all asking what is happening to our public funds? We have read all these news about corrupt practices of the strong and powerful. We will be forming an oversight committee to check where the funds are going and ensure that the poor are getting what has been allocated for them,” he said.

Belmonte said the oversight committee, which was styled after a similar body in the US Congress, would also determine whether budget was being misused. He promised that the culprits would be punished.

FROM THE TRIBUNE

Senate witchhunt now targets Binay familyWritten by Angie M. Rosales Monday, 29 September 2014 00:00

CAYETANO WANTS BANK RECORDS, CREDIT CARD BILLS

A witchhunt on the whole family of Vice President Jejomar Binay would be the next agenda of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe that started on the supposed overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2 after Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said yesterday that the financial records of members of the Binay family should also be subject to scrutiny.

The Vice President last week released his statements of assets, liabilities and networth (SALns) and his income tax returns (ITRs) dating back to 1988 when he became Makati City mayor.

No amount of explanation and presentation of proof of financial standing of Binay, however, would suffice to stop Cayetano from continuing his charges of alleged graft and corrupt practices on the Vice President.

Cayetano yesterday accused Binay of misleading the public by presenting his SALns to disprove the allegations of purported receipt of kickbacks from transactions entered into by the Makati City government during his stint as mayor of the city.

“I don’t want fake disclosures. I want the real thing,” was the latest battle cry of Cayetano who is now demanding Binay to instead submit a waiver on the secrecy of his bank accounts, as well as bare his credit card transactions and land titles for the public to better scrutinize his financial records.

Incidentally, Cayetano has practically included in his challenge not only the Vice President but the entire Binay family.

Besides the Vice President’s bank deposits or accounts, real properties, Cayetano is challenging Binay to make public even his credit card bills, saying that this is one way of allowing himself to undergo what the senator dubbed as “real lifestyle check” as opposed to a mere presentation of his SALN.

While he claimed that the Vice President’s presentation of SALN did not disprove the allegations against him, still, Cayetano said Binay should also have presented the SALNs of his children, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, Sen. Nancy Binay, and Makati Rep. Abigail Binay.

“I am just following the statements made by the Vice President... He was the one who said that he wanted a lifestyle check. But he may be referring to a fake lifestyle check, the public would gain nothing from such,” he said.

The senator was reacting belatedly on last week’s presentation to the media by Binay’s lawyers of his income tax returns for the last 28 years to show that the Vice President is open to a lifestyle check.

* However, during the Senate hearing last Thursday, during the continuation of the Senate probe on the alleged overpriced Makati City hall parking building, Cayetano stressed that he was not convinced with the Binay camp’s presentation about his wealth.

“In your SALn, there would be no indication of a person’s lifestyle. For instance, the SALn shows P5 million cash but it will not show how much you spent for a trip to a restaurant, for instance you paid P100,000 or when you spend P5 million for a travel overseas, or it will not also show that your house is full of expensive paintings and antiques,” he said.

“In the anti-graft law what is being subjected to scrutiny are not only the assets of an official but also his family up to the third degree of affinity… If the SALn of the Vice President shows P60 million but Sen. Nancy (his daughter) also has P60 million, you take them together. Unless Sen. Nancy or the other children of the Vice President can show that they have sources of income separately to support the P60 million they declared,” he said.

“That is my reply to the Vice President who said that he favors a lifestyle check. There is no public official who would put all his assets under his name, some will be placed in another person’s name, but the money will still go to him. And that would be part of his lifestyle that needed looking into,” Cayetano said.

On Wednesday last week, in response to challenges to his integrity and unfounded allegations that he amassed wealth during his long stint as Makati City mayor, Binay released to reporters his SALns and income tax returns from 1988 to the present.

”The Vice President filed his SALN every year and paid his taxes,” Binay’s spokesman and Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla told reporters at the Coconut Palace, the official residence of the Vice President, in Pasay City.

Despite the release of Binay’s financial documents, however, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, lead prober on the alleged overpriced Makati City hall parking building implicating the Vice President, said the documents have no bearing on the issues against him being tackled in the ongoing probe by the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee.



“That’s not part of the investigation of the sub-committee. So that’s nothing. That’s an entirely separate matter. Maybe he’s responding to some other charges but not those made in the sub-committee,” Pimentel said.

As Senate probers resume its investigation on the matter today, two new witnesses are expected to testify, according to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Martin Subido, vice presidential legal counsel, said the SALN and ITRs are public documents and can be requested by anyone.

Binay’s net worth in 1988, according to his SALN, was P2,527,724.85 or assets of P3,510,013.85, and Liabilities of P982,406.

He also had real properties in San Antonio Village in Makati; Laguna; Alabang Hills, Cupang, Muntinlupa; Tunasan, San Pedro, Laguna; Cabagan, Isabela; San Pascual, Batangas; and Bataan. These amounted to P635,000 based on market prices that year (1988).

In 1994, the Vice President started a piggery business in Rosario, Batangas through a sole proprietorship under the name JCB Farms. JCB Farms is duly registered with the BIR–Rosario, Batangas office.

JCB Farms is a mere lessee of a nine-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas, with the Leasehold Improvements introduced by JCB Farms duly reported in its annual audited financial statements and in the tax declarations duly filed with the appropriate local government unit.

A flower shop business owned by Dr. Elenita S. Binay (Blooms and Bouquet) has also been sourcing its flower requirements in a flower farm in Rosario, Batangas.

The said flower shop along with the Vice President’s salary as Mayor were the latter’s only sources of income from 1989-1991.

“The piggery and flower farm both explain the Vice President and his family’s visibility in Rosario,” Subido said.

He added that the increase in Binay’s net worth was mainly due to JCB Farms, as well as the disposition of real properties that he owned prior to his election as Makati mayor in 1988.

JCB Farms earned for the Vice President an additional net income of P44,350,921.88 from 1994 to 2010. During said period, Binay paid taxes amounting to P15,889,581.83.

After the 2010 elections, the Vice President had excess campaign contributions amounting to P13,541,711 or total contributions of P231,480,000.00 and total expenses of P217,938,289.

He also disposed off his business interests for a profit in JCB Farms as well as his investments in shares of stocks. He initially invested P400,000 in stocks in 1994.

Thus, Binay’s net worth for 2010 increased to P58,096,290.78, or P13,306,757.44 higher than his 2009 net worth.

As of December 31, 2013, Binay’s net worth was P60,118,766.00., with assets amounting to P66,171,663.00 and liabilities of P6,052,897.00.

The Binay couple’s consolidated net income from 1986 to 2013 (excluding 2004), meanwhile, amounted to P83,115,268.23, for which they paid taxes that amounted to P23,054,751.93.

“As the Vice President has been saying, his life is an open book. He is confident that his SALN will pass scrutiny, as it always has even during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when he was among the leading individuals in the opposition and was subjected to constant harassment,” said Subido.

FROM PHILSTAR

Lawyer to resign if Binay's SALN proven inaccurate (philstar.com) | Updated September 29, 2014 - 10:28am 18 301 googleplus1 0


The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay's presentation of his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. Image courtesy of Binay's Facebook account.

MANILA, Philippines - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay is standing by his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) amid allegations that he has hidden wealth.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart on Monday, lawyer Princess Turgano said she is even ready to quit her job if proven that Binay's SALN is inaccurate.

"It's to show everyone of how much I believe in the SALN of the Vice President," Turgano told program host Karen Davila.

"Naniniwala ako na hindi nagsisinungaling ang ating Bise Pangulo at na ang kanyang SALN ay totoo," she added.

During the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-committee hearing last week, former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado accused Binay of owning a 8,877-square meter land near Fort Bonifacio.

Mercado, a former ally of Binay, said the property is not reflected in any of the Vice President's SALNs because it is under the name of businesswoman Erlinda Chong.

"Isa ho sila sa mga nagiging front ni Vice President Jejomar Binay sa mga ganitong property na dapat mailihis o maitago sa kanilang pangalan," Mercado said of Chong, whose husband is supposedly a badminton buddy of Binay.

Mercado said all the business establishments on the property are also owned by Binay and Chong. He said these are managed by Gerry Limlingan, Binay's reported finance officer.

Despite these allegations, Turgano insists that the properties Binay declared in his SALN are his only assets.

"We stand by our SALN and these are the only properties of the Vice President," Turgano said.

Ahead of the Senate hearing last week, Turgano presented the Binay's SALNs to the media and detailed his accumulated wealth from 1989 to 2013.

Turgano believes that the presentation of Binay's SALN helped the Vice President amid calls for a lifestyle check for officials accused of committing corrupt acts.

"By showing the SALN, we were able to show that if the Vice President did increased his net worth, it's because of hardwork," Turgano said.

Binay and his son, incumbent Makati City Mayor Erwin Binay, are facing a plunder complaint for allegedly benefiting from the supposedly overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building.

Binay has also been accused of earning kickbacks from all projects in the city and of rigging project biddings to favor certain companies. - Louis Bacani


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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