HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...

36th ANNIVERSARY: JIL (JESUS IS LORD) AT RIZAL PARK PRAYS FOR NOY's LOVE LIFE 

OCT 25 ---Evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva yesterday led the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) community in praying for President Aquino’s love life. The President was the keynote speaker at JIL’s 36th anniversary at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila yesterday. Just before Aquino left the stage, Villanueva asked the JIL community, those at the grandstand and those watching at home to stretch their hands toward the President and pray for him. Villanueva asked God to grant the desires of Aquino’s heart and bless him in all the aspects of his life. While he asked the Lord to pray for Aquino’s presidency “that would be recorded in the pages of history,” what struck many was the tail end of the preacher’s prayer for the Chief Executive. “May God bless all of us. If I may also ask Father, bless his love life so that he could experience the complete blessings,” Villanueva said. Call for peace, unity * READ MORE...

(ALSO) OCT 25: Today is first day of 1436, the Muslim new year 

OCT 25 --PHOTO: The pink mosque in Maguindanao province. INQUIRER file photo COTABATO CITY, Philippines—Today is new year’s day in the Muslim world. On this first day of the year 1436 in the Hijra calendar, Muslims also commemorate the flight to Medina of the Prophet Mohammad and his companions to escape persecution from the ruling clans of Mecca in A.D. 578. Amon Jadid, the first day of Muharam, the first month in the 12-month Hijra calendar, falls on Oct. 25 this year and it is one of the five declared Muslim holidays under Presidential Decree No. 1083, known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, said Director Galay Makalinggang of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in Central Mindanao.

Article 170 of PD 1083 states that Muslim holidays will be officially observed in the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and in the cities of Cotabato, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian and Zamboanga, and in other Muslim provinces and cities created. No grand celebrations ---* READ MORE...

ALSO: Poor health systems raise Ebola risk in Asia  

OCT 27 --Doctors and nurses of the NAIA’s Bureau of Human Quarantine monitor arriving passengers with connecting flights from Ebola-hit countries using thermal digital scanners. RUDY SANTOS SINGAPORE — The longer the Ebola outbreak rages in West Africa, the greater chance a traveler infected with the virus touches down in an Asian city. How quickly any case is detected – and the measures taken once it is – will determine whether the virus takes hold in a region where billions live in poverty and public health systems are often very weak. Governments are ramping up response plans, stepping up surveillance at airports and considering quarantine measures. Still, health experts in the region’s less developed countries fear any outbreak would be deadly and hard to contain.

“This is a non-treatable disease with a very high mortality rate. And even a country like the United States has not been able to completely prevent it,” said Yatin Mehta, a critical care specialist at the Medanta Medicity hospital near New Delhi. “The government is trying. They are preparing and they are training, but our record of disaster management has been very poor in the past.”  More than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola and nearly half of them have died, according to the World Health Organization. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest ever outbreak of the disease with a rapidly rising death toll in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There have also been cases in three other West African countries, Spain and the United States. Early symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, body aches, cough, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and patients aren’t contagious until those begin.

The virus requires close contact with body fluids to spread so health care workers and family members caring for loved ones are most at risk.Asia, home to 60 percent of the world’s population, scores higher than West Africa on most development indexes and includes emerging or developed countries like Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. But countries like India, China, the Philippines and Indonesia have vast numbers of poor, many of whom live in crowded slums, and underfunded health systems. The Philippine government estimates there are up to 1,700 Filipino workers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, plus more than 100 peacekeeping troops in Liberia. The Department of Health is suggesting a 21-day quarantine period before its citizens leave those three countries, but doesn’t know how it will pay for that, said spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy. “The DOH is doing its part, but it is downstream, it is on the receiving end,” said Dr. Antony Leachon, president of the Philippine College of Physicians. “What is important is that Ebola shouldn’t be able to enter. Since we have 10 million migrant workers, we have problems containing that.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Phl wants zero Ebola toll   

OCT 27 --The Department of Health (DOH) is targeting zero Ebola casualties despite doubts on the government’s capability to prevent the spread of the disease. Health Secretary Enrique Ona said yesterday the DOH is aware that many people doubt the government’s capability to prevent the spread of Ebola in the country. But DOH spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy said the government is exerting all efforts to ensure that no Filipino will die because of Ebola. WHO country representative Julie Hall also said the Philippines is on the right track in responding to the Ebola threat. Ona gave assurance that government and private hospitals are equipped to handle Ebola patients.

He told a Senate health committee hearing on Wednesday that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa, the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila and Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City have designated isolation rooms for Ebola patients. Hospitals in Western Visayas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Bicol, Tuguegarao and Baguio City have also prepared isolation rooms in anticipation of Ebola cases. Health workers will attend a seminar on WHO guidelines in responding to Ebola cases on Oct. 28 to 30. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas also said yesterday the entire government has prepared contingency plans for the possible entry of the deadly Ebola virus in the country. Roxas said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are ready to do their share in dealing with the Ebola threat, saying this is part of President Aquino’s “whole government approach,” the same strategy that the government applied in dealing with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) threat. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) VP Binay: Hacienderos out to stop my pro-poor agenda 

OCT 26 --Describing his detractors as elitist and anti-poor, Vice President Jejomar Binay lashed back at his foes on Sunday and scored them for suggesting that his dark skin makes him unfit to become President and lead the nation for the benefit of the poor. Citing the supposed “Operation Plan Stop Nognog 2016,” the 5-foot-1 Binay said the derogatory word “nognog,” a slur for small, dark-skinned people, could only have been chosen by “wealthy hacienderos,” or landed gentry, to destroy his chances of winning the presidency in 2016. “Surely those who thought of that word are wealthy hacienderos because nognog is a slur against those who are dark-skinned,” Binay said in a statement Sunday, a day after he criticized the Aquino administration for failing to solve the country’s long-standing problems.

While he did not name the “wealthy hacienderos,” Binay said he would not be surprised if Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II is one of the brains behind Oplan SN16. “He is one of the leaders behind Oplan Stop Nognog 2016. I won’t be surprised because first of all the word nognog is derogatory, your dark complexion is taken against you,” Binay said. Binay also lashed back at Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who had publicly announced his presidential ambition and admitted that he was leading the Senate investigation against Binay because the Vice President was not fit tobecome president because of his supposed corruption.

In his latest tirade against Binay, Trillanes said in a television interview that Binay’s “kulay-mahirap [color of the poor]” and “asal-mahirap [manner of the poor]” was inconsistent with the luxurious Batangas property that is being linked to Binay. But Trillanes’ metaphor backfired over the weekend with Twitter users lashing at the senator for associating skin color with social standing or manners. “This Trillanes is overly critical. Boastful. Tunrs me off. ‘Kulay mahirap, asal mahirap’. Ehem, Mr. Senator. And you’re ‘asal iskwater [manners of the ghetto]’?” @msgracevasquez tweeted in Filipino. “Asal mahirap, kulay mahirap, I am so ashamed at what Trillanes said. How about him? Asal mayaman [Rich mannered}? At kulay mayaman [And rich colored]?” tweeted @icedstorm, also in Filipino. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) On emergency powers: It takes 2 to Tango, House tells Aquino 

OCT 27 ---Senate inaction threatens extra power bid. THE Senate’s misgiving to pass an appropriate resolution will effectively prevent Congress from granting emergency powers to the Aquino administration for the uploading of additional power generating capacity next year. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. stressed that since the measure was a joint resolution, the bill granting emergency powers has to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. “It needs both Houses,” Belmonte said, noting however that the Senate appears not to be inclined to pass the resolution because of the Aquino administration’s dallying on the matter and the Department of Energy’s own admission that there really won’t be a power crisis next year.

Opposition Rep. Silvestre Bello III echoed the Speaker’s position and said the Palace should no longer insist on the emergency powers to lease or purchase modular generator sets for a supposed “power crisis” next year. “The granting of emergency powers to the President to address the looming power crisis must be approved by both Houses of Congress,” Bello said. Congressmen and senators agreed there was no need for emergency powers because Department of Energy officials admitted in congressional hearings that there actually will not be a supply deficiency by March next year, but only a shortage of reserves. Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla had claimed there will be a supply shortfall of about 300 to 500 megawatts by March next year and the government needed emergency powers to address the matter. * READ MORE...

ALSO: No emergency powers will down GDP — Palace  

PCT 27 --A Palace official yesterday warned that if President Aquino would not be granted emergency powers, the power lack that would result therefrom would lead to great loss for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the loss could range from P9 billion to P23 billion, dependent on the intensity of the brownouts looming to happen if the power crisis were not averted. Coloma insisted that there is still time for Congress to grant President Aquino additional authority.

“Our communication with leaders in Congress to solve this (power crisis) continues. As mentioned by President Aquino, there would be great losses in our gross domestic product ranging from P9 billion to P23 billion, depending on how often or heavy the effects of the brownouts that we don’t want happening in the summer of 2015,” Coloma said. Coloma insisted the Palace will not be exerting efforts yet on convincing enterprises, particularly mall owners, to install their own solar gadgets to save electricity. “It’s in their decision because it involves spending. They will estimate the expenses and investments on those things and whether it will be fruitful. We want enough energy supply for all times,” he said. * READ MORE...


(ALSO) Noy on power crisis: Prepare for the worst   

OCT 23 ---After tables were turned in the grant of President Aquino’s emergency powers from the Congress, President Aquino reiterated yesterday to the public that the additional authority is needed for the country to cope with “the worst” in the looming power lack. In a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) on Wednesday, Aquino said seeking to grasp the additional authority from the Congress is aimed alone at averting the possible lack in electricity. He said that the administration needs to prepare for the worst to be ready for any circumstance from the power lack. He said requesting a joing resolution from the Senate and the House of Representatives was to heed the warning of the Department of Energy (DoE) that such emergency powers are needed to augment supply for the shortage.

“At the end of the day, if there is no power and the selling of power for that matter, if there is no power comes the summer months, there will only be one party that will be blamed, and that will be the executive,” Aquino said.
“Plan for the worst and hope for the best. You can take the opposite view of hope for the best and plan for the best,” he said. The President reiterated that the act was lawful as provided under the Electric Power Industry Procurement Act (Epira) which allows the government to address the power situation in case which cannot be postponed. * READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

JIL prays for Noy’s love life


Members of the Jesus Is Lord movement gather in Rizal Park during their 36th anniversary yesterday. Left photo shows President Aquino being prayed over by JIL head Bro. Eddie Villanueva. WILLY PEREZ, JOVEN CAGANDE

MANILA, OCTOBER 27, 2014 (PHILSTAR) Evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva yesterday led the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) community in praying for President Aquino’s love life.

The President was the keynote speaker at JIL’s 36th anniversary at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila yesterday.

Just before Aquino left the stage, Villanueva asked the JIL community, those at the grandstand and those watching at home to stretch their hands toward the President and pray for him.

Villanueva asked God to grant the desires of Aquino’s heart and bless him in all the aspects of his life.

While he asked the Lord to pray for Aquino’s presidency “that would be recorded in the pages of history,” what struck many was the tail end of the preacher’s prayer for the Chief Executive.

“May God bless all of us. If I may also ask Father, bless his love life so that he could experience the complete blessings,” Villanueva said.

Call for peace, unity

* The JIL called on Filipinos to pray for peace and unity amid political tensions dividing the country.

They thanked the President for taking part in their celebration and said “they will pray for him to always take the righteous path in leading our country.”

Villanueva said all Filipinos regardless of religion must rise up as one, take a stand and pray for peace to reign in the country.

“My vision for the Philippines is for each and every one of us to be peacefully united with one another. But peace is a long process that starts with the acknowledgement, especially from our leaders, that we have done wrong to our countrymen. It is only after the mistakes have been acknowledged can the country move forward,” he said.

For his part, Villanueva’s son Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva said poverty alleviation is another key toward achieving peace and unity in the country.

“Inclusive growth will only be just words unless our countrymen get employment opportunities that will allow them to provide for the basic needs of their families. There will always be restlessness in our country until such time when the economic gap between the rich and the poor is narrowed,” the younger Villanueva said.

An estimated one million followers attended the JIL anniversary.

Over the past months, scandals on the use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program have divided the country. On its heels followed alleged corruption issues hounding Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family.

“All of these issues need to be resolved at the soonest possible time for the country to move forward. – Evelyn Macairan

FROM THE INQUIRER

Oct 25: Today is first day of 1436, the Muslim new yearBy Nash B. Maulana |Inquirer Mindanao3:37 am | Saturday, October 25th, 2014


The pink mosque in Maguindanao province. INQUIRER file photo

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—Today is new year’s day in the Muslim world.

On this first day of the year 1436 in the Hijra calendar, Muslims also commemorate the flight to Medina of the Prophet Mohammad and his companions to escape persecution from the ruling clans of Mecca in A.D. 578.

Amon Jadid, the first day of Muharam, the first month in the 12-month Hijra calendar, falls on Oct. 25 this year and it is one of the five declared Muslim holidays under Presidential Decree No. 1083, known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, said Director Galay Makalinggang of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in Central Mindanao.

Article 170 of PD 1083 states that Muslim holidays will be officially observed in the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and in the cities of Cotabato, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian and Zamboanga, and in other Muslim provinces and cities created.

No grand celebrations

* All Muslim government officials and employees in those places are excused from work so they may be able to observe their holidays.

But unlike Christians, Muslims are not known to hold grand celebrations on their new year’s day, Makalinggang said.

Many Muslims, however, believe that the first 10 days of Muharam are not safe for travel, nor are these good days to start long-term endeavors like business, and engagements like marriage and binding contracts.

Historical records

This belief, according to the old teachings of Sufism, is based on historical records of the murder of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, to stop him from succeeding to the Muslim leadership following the death of his father, Ali.
Abu Yajid of the Umayyad Dynasty, an adversary of the Muslims in Mecca, subsequently embraced Islam and trained his ambition on the top leadership of the Muslim government as a “caliph.”ť

Yajid plotted the murder of Hussein and 80 of his companions in Mesopotamia, where they had sought refuge.

On the 10th day of Muharam in the early years of the Hijra, they beheaded the prophet’s grandson and Yajid’s troops displayed the head in public to threaten others who wanted to be leader of the government. With a report from Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research

FROM PHILSTAR

Poor health systems raise Ebola risk in Asia By AP (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 27, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

Doctors and nurses of the NAIA’s Bureau of Human Quarantine monitor arriving passengers with connecting flights from Ebola-hit countries using thermal digital scanners. RUDY SANTOS SINGAPORE — The longer the Ebola outbreak rages in West Africa, the greater chance a traveler infected with the virus touches down in an Asian city.

How quickly any case is detected – and the measures taken once it is – will determine whether the virus takes hold in a region where billions live in poverty and public health systems are often very weak. Governments are ramping up response plans, stepping up surveillance at airports and considering quarantine measures. Still, health experts in the region’s less developed countries fear any outbreak would be deadly and hard to contain.

“This is a non-treatable disease with a very high mortality rate. And even a country like the United States has not been able to completely prevent it,” said Yatin Mehta, a critical care specialist at the Medanta Medicity hospital near New Delhi. “The government is trying. They are preparing and they are training, but our record of disaster management has been very poor in the past.”

More than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola and nearly half of them have died, according to the World Health Organization. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest ever outbreak of the disease with a rapidly rising death toll in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There have also been cases in three other West African countries, Spain and the United States.

Early symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, body aches, cough, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and patients aren’t contagious until those begin. The virus requires close contact with body fluids to spread so health care workers and family members caring for loved ones are most at risk.

Asia, home to 60 percent of the world’s population, scores higher than West Africa on most development indexes and includes emerging or developed countries like Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. But countries like India, China, the Philippines and Indonesia have vast numbers of poor, many of whom live in crowded slums, and underfunded health systems.

The Philippine government estimates there are up to 1,700 Filipino workers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, plus more than 100 peacekeeping troops in Liberia. The Department of Health is suggesting a 21-day quarantine period before its citizens leave those three countries, but doesn’t know how it will pay for that, said spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy.

“The DOH is doing its part, but it is downstream, it is on the receiving end,” said Dr. Antony Leachon, president of the Philippine College of Physicians. “What is important is that Ebola shouldn’t be able to enter. Since we have 10 million migrant workers, we have problems containing that.”

* Indonesia has put 100 hospitals that have experience of treating patients suffering from bird flu on standby for Ebola, said Tjandra Yoga Aditama, head of the Health Ministry’s research and development board.

The only way of ensuring that the virus doesn’t spread into a country is enforced quarantine for people coming from countries with an outbreak or – even more effective – a total travel ban. But those measures would mean that doctors and other experts trying to beat the virus at its source in West Africa would be less willing or unable to help, making the outbreak worse.

Airports in Asia have stepped up their defenses: screening passengers who have traveled from affected countries, taking any with high temperature for observation and trying to keep contact them with for 21 days – the incubation period. Even assuming these measures are carried out effectively, people can and do lie about their travel history, and common drugs like Paracetamol are effective in reducing fever.

Authorities in China say 8,672 people have entered southern Guangdong province from Ebola-ridden areas since Aug. 23.

There are more than 160 direct flights per month from Africa to the region’s capital, Guangzhou, a reflection of the booming economic ties between China and Africa. All arrivals are subject to medical observation, which, according to guidelines from the Health Ministry, involves medical staff visiting or calling them morning and evening for 21 days to ask them about their temperature. People whose temperature is above normal should be immediately quarantined for three weeks.

In Hong Kong, around 15 passengers a day arrive from the affected region, chief port health officer Dr. Edwin Tsui Lok-kin said. Prior to the Ebola outbreak, Singapore had an average of about 30 people arriving a month collectively from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the government says.

Dale Fisher, the head of the infectious diseases’ division at the Singapore National University Hospital, said governments in the region should be educating health workers about the disease and the need to ask anyone presenting with a fever at a medical facility about their travel history.

“Asia is very diverse in its capacity, and there are some countries with people that travel a lot that may not have the best infrastructure and are at greater risk,” said Fisher, who has twice been to Liberia to assist in the WHO’s response. “If an index case arrived back in a large Asian city and they were to sit in an open ward vomiting, then you would have a pretty big job on your hands.”

He said that an outbreak could be brought under control with quick isolation and effective tracing of anyone who might have been in contact with the patient, citing the example of Nigeria, African’s most populous country. It was declared Ebola free after confirming 19 cases, seven of them fatal.

Asian health systems and workers have experience in countering infectious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which first appeared in Hong Kong in 2003, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing about 800. The region grappled a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu around the same time that killed about 800 people in 12 countries, and new strains continue to crop up.

Sujatha Rao, a former Indian health secretary, said India’s health system kicked into overdrive when confronted with a health crisis, as was seen during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. “In India we’re very good at crisis management, but we are hopeless at routine care,” Rao said.

Asked whether the country was prepared for Ebola, she added: “We are not ready. But that said, there is only so much preparation that any country can do.”

Phl wants zero Ebola toll By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 27, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) is targeting zero Ebola casualties despite doubts on the government’s capability to prevent the spread of the disease.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona said yesterday the DOH is aware that many people doubt the government’s capability to prevent the spread of Ebola in the country.

But DOH spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy said the government is exerting all efforts to ensure that no Filipino will die because of Ebola.

WHO country representative Julie Hall also said the Philippines is on the right track in responding to the Ebola threat.

Ona gave assurance that government and private hospitals are equipped to handle Ebola patients.

He told a Senate health committee hearing on Wednesday that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa, the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila and Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City have designated isolation rooms for Ebola patients.

Hospitals in Western Visayas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Bicol, Tuguegarao and Baguio City have also prepared isolation rooms in anticipation of Ebola cases.

Health workers will attend a seminar on WHO guidelines in responding to Ebola cases on Oct. 28 to 30.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas also said yesterday the entire government has prepared contingency plans for the possible entry of the deadly Ebola virus in the country.

Roxas said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are ready to do their share in dealing with the Ebola threat, saying this is part of President Aquino’s “whole government approach,” the same strategy that the government applied in dealing with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) threat.

* Aquino recently signed an executive order forming an inter-agency task force to manage emerging infectious diseases in the country. The administration has beefed up coordination among government agencies in the monitoring against the Ebola outbreak.

“Just like it is in a hospital, so it is in governance, the whole of government approach means everyone has to unite and work together,” Roxas said at the 97th Foundation Anniversary of the Philippine Nurses Association.

Roxas noted that the government’s past experiences in dealing with infectious diseases like MERS-CoV, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and bird flu have taught the people and the government the importance of preparing contingency plans.

“During that time (the MERS-Corona virus threat), the PNP’s role was to trace the passengers that had come home but who have tested positive for the MERS-CoV,” Roxas said.

He stressed that the government cannot be complacent knowing that “we have 12 million Filipinos abroad.”

“Who knows if someone among them may have at some point coming home encountered a carrier?” the DILG chief said. – With Cecile Suerte Felipe

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

VP Binay: Hacienderos out to stop my pro-poor agenda By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Oct. 27, 2014 at 12:01am

Describing his detractors as elitist and anti-poor, Vice President Jejomar Binay lashed back at his foes on Sunday and scored them for suggesting that his dark skin makes him unfit to become President and lead the nation for the benefit of the poor.

Citing the supposed “Operation Plan Stop Nognog 2016,” the 5-foot-1 Binay said the derogatory word “nognog,” a slur for small, dark-skinned people, could only have been chosen by “wealthy hacienderos,” or landed gentry, to destroy his chances of winning the presidency in 2016.

“Surely those who thought of that word are wealthy hacienderos because nognog is a slur against those who are dark-skinned,” Binay said in a statement Sunday, a day after he criticized the Aquino administration for failing to solve the country’s long-standing problems.

While he did not name the “wealthy hacienderos,” Binay said he would not be surprised if Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II is one of the brains behind Oplan SN16.

“He is one of the leaders behind Oplan Stop Nognog 2016. I won’t be surprised because first of all the word nognog is derogatory, your dark complexion is taken against you,” Binay said.

Binay also lashed back at Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who had publicly announced his presidential ambition and admitted that he was leading the Senate investigation against Binay because the Vice President was not fit tobecome president because of his supposed corruption.

In his latest tirade against Binay, Trillanes said in a television interview that Binay’s “kulay-mahirap [color of the poor]” and “asal-mahirap [manner of the poor]” was inconsistent with the luxurious Batangas property that is being linked to Binay.

But Trillanes’ metaphor backfired over the weekend with Twitter users lashing at the senator for associating skin color with social standing or manners.

“This Trillanes is overly critical. Boastful. Tunrs me off. ‘Kulay mahirap, asal mahirap’. Ehem, Mr. Senator. And you’re ‘asal iskwater [manners of the ghetto]’?” @msgracevasquez tweeted in Filipino.

“Asal mahirap, kulay mahirap, I am so ashamed at what Trillanes said. How about him? Asal mayaman [Rich mannered}? At kulay mayaman [And rich colored]?” tweeted @icedstorm, also in Filipino.

* Binay picked up from where the netizens left off and said “this is just another proof of Mr. Trillanes’ anti-poor thinking. All of those behind the smear campaign against me think lowly of the poor and those who are dark-skinned.”

“They don’t want me to lead the fight against poverty, to have jobs,” Binay said. “You know what nognog means, it’s slur for small, dark-skinned people.”

“They want to show that I am not fit to become President. Then they will find ways for me to be put in jail, to be impeached. They are doing all of these things to prevent me from running or becoming president of our country,” Binay added.

But Roxas denied Binay’s claim and said the Vice President should answer the charges against him.

“Can you dictate to a senator what he should do? Each of them has his own stand. They have their own track records. Each of the senators has his own credibility,” Roxas said.

Trillanes, on the other hand, denied that he was being anti-poor and said he was just contrasting Binay’s claims to the luxury that he enjoys in private.

Binay scored Roxas and Trillanes a day after he said in a meeting of a Lions Club in Manila that “some senators have been so blinded by political ambition, they cannot see that their actuations are no longer in aid of legislation but in aid of political persecution.”

“You all know the many problems our country is now facing. We though they were already solved in the 1990s but they have again returned to haunt the dreams of our countrymen,” Binay said, naming the power crisis, rising prices, criminality, traffic, dangerous trains, floods and environmental disasters as among the country’s problems.

“Instead of racking their brains to find a solution to these problems, they chose to push forward their own interests by besmirching my name and that of my loved ones,” Binay said.

He was referring to the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee probe into allegations that P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Building II that was built when Binay w.as mayor was overpriced, but the probe has since expanded to other areas.

Binay’s estranged ally and former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, the principal witness in the inquiry, accused Binay of taking 13 per cent of the cost of city projects to finance the 350-hectare farm in Rosario town, Batangas province.

But Binay said the testimony of Mercado and other witnesses was only “recycled” and that it has been rehashed several times when elections are near.

“During elections in Makati, they said I owned 5 hectares. Then, it became 10 until it reached 350 hectares,” Binay said, noting that even President Benigno Aquino III has publicly acknowleged that he is doing his job well.

Binay advised his political rivals to direct their attention toward measures for economic progress and inclusive growth so they can get the same praise from the President.

“Many plausible strategies for the attainment of these goals can be drawn from what many call the Makati miracle. The progress achieved in my home city in over two and half decades is demonstrable proof of competent and compassionate governance,” he said.

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

(ALSO) On emergency powers: It takes 2 to Tango, House tells Aquino By Maricel Cruz | Oct. 26, 2014 at 12:01am

Senate inaction threatens extra power bid


Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.

THE Senate’s misgiving to pass an appropriate resolution will effectively prevent Congress from granting emergency powers to the Aquino administration for the uploading of additional power generating capacity next year.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. stressed that since the measure was a joint resolution, the bill granting emergency powers has to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“It needs both Houses,” Belmonte said, noting however that the Senate appears not to be inclined to pass the resolution because of the Aquino administration’s dallying on the matter and the Department of Energy’s own admission that there really won’t be a power crisis next year.

Opposition Rep. Silvestre Bello III echoed the Speaker’s position and said the Palace should no longer insist on the emergency powers to lease or purchase modular generator sets for a supposed “power crisis” next year.

“The granting of emergency powers to the President to address the looming power crisis must be approved by both Houses of Congress,” Bello said.

Congressmen and senators agreed there was no need for emergency powers because Department of Energy officials admitted in congressional hearings that there actually will not be a supply deficiency by March next year, but only a shortage of reserves.

Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla had claimed there will be a supply shortfall of about 300 to 500 megawatts by March next year and the government needed emergency powers to address the matter.

* Petilla said this shortage could go up to between 600 to 800 megawatts due to the thinning hydro-power capacity and the expected high power demand in summer of next year. If the El Nińo phenomenon materializes, it could even go up to 800 MW to 1,200 MW.

But the House energy committee, chaired by Aquino ally Rep. Reynaldo Umali, learned at a congressional hearing that the projected shortage of 300 megawatts to 1,200 MW that Petilla warned about was merely a thinning of the reserves for two weeks in summer.

Energy officials during the hearing presented data showing that the country would only experience a 31MW shortage in 2015.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines also made a similar observation because the 31 megawatt power shortage in 2015 would only translate to one-hour rotating brownouts on peak hours or from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and only once a week.

Consequently, the House energy committee said it would no longer pass an emergency powers resolution, but only a special authority resolution that will help the government implement its Interruptible Load Program. The House vowed to pass the measure by Dec. 1.

Even if there was actually a supply shortage, Sen. Sergio Osmeńa III, chairman of the Senate energy committee, said the delay in the Palace’s request for emergency powers substantially cut the six-month lead time needed to load any additional capacity onto the electricity grid.

“[Emergency powers] is already out of the question because they need a six-month lead time and we only have four months left,” Osmeńa said. “That is already academic.”

Instead, Osmeńa said the President would only need a special authority to use the Malampaya funds to subsidize the Interruptible Load Program, the scheme espoused by the House.

Minority Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz said Osmeńa’s remark showed serious misgivings about the joint resolution.

“If the Senate will not come out with anything, then that’s it. P-Noy [President Aquino III] will not have anything,” de la Cruz said.

De la Cruz also urged Petilla and other Palace officials to stop insisting on expensive solutions to the power shortage that will cost taxpayers P6 billion to P10 billion.

Meanwhile, the House energy committee already drafted a joint resolution authorizing the executive to establish additional capacity for the Luzon grid next year by tapping privately-owned generator sets.

The three-page draft resolution provides that the additional capacity to be generated shall preferably be sourced from the Interruptible Load Program, fast-tracking plants and committed projects for interconnection, and adoption of energy efficiency and conservation measures.

The program involves asking malls, factories and other businesses to use their own generator sets when the NGCP expects the supply of electricity to fall short of demand.

The resolution notes that a power shortfall of 700 megawatts (MW) is expected to occur in certain weeks from March to July 2015.

Umali said the private sector has committed 847 MW under the ILP, with a usable capacity of 593 MW.

Under the ILP, customers with large power loads such as commercial establishments will be asked to operate their own generator when the power grid cannot meet power demand and the generator owner will be reimbursed later.

Some of the companies that have expressed willingness to participate in the program are the Sy-owned SM group which can unburden the power grid of some 56MW in demand and Robinsons Land with its 22MW, Ayala Land 8MW, Shangri-La 7MW, Waltermart 6MW, and Ortigas and Megaworld, 4MW each.

FROM THE TRIBUNE

No emergency powers will down GDP — Palace Written by Joshua L. Labonera Monday, 27 October 2014 00:00

A Palace official yesterday warned that if President Aquino would not be granted emergency powers, the power lack that would result therefrom would lead to great loss for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the loss could range from P9 billion to P23 billion, dependent on the intensity of the brownouts looming to happen if the power crisis were not averted.

Coloma insisted that there is still time for Congress to grant President Aquino additional authority.

“Our communication with leaders in Congress to solve this (power crisis) continues. As mentioned by President Aquino, there would be great losses in our gross domestic product ranging from P9 billion to P23 billion, depending on how often or heavy the effects of the brownouts that we don’t want happening in the summer of 2015,” Coloma said.

Coloma insisted the Palace will not be exerting efforts yet on convincing enterprises, particularly mall owners, to install their own solar gadgets to save electricity.

“It’s in their decision because it involves spending. They will estimate the expenses and investments on those things and whether it will be fruitful. We want enough energy supply for all times,” he said.

* Meanwhile, Isabela Rep. Rodolfo “Rodito” Albano III urged the Department of Energy (DoE) to enlist the support of the Department of Interior and Interior and Local Government (DILG), local government units and the private sector in securing the participation of business establishments in the government’s Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

According to Albano, the DILG, which oversees LGUs and local business organizations, are in the best position to identify and secure the participation of business establishments and industries equipped with power generators to run their equipment to ease the power shortage in the summer months of next year.

“The DoE should vigorously push the ILP program to maximize privately-generated power supply that commercial and industrial establishments can produce on their own to reduce dependence on the national power grid during the expected shortage in power supply in 2015,” Albano said. Albano is member for the Minority Bloc of the House committee on energy and former executive director of the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC).

Albano’s statement came on the heels of a statement by the House energy committee that it would pass a joint resolution in December granting President Aquino III a special authority to implement the ILP which encourages large private power consumers to use their own generators when supply is low.

Albano said the ILP program should be in place before the end of the year so that the government will not have to resort to leasing or purchasing modular generator sets that would cost P6 to P10 billion taxpayers’ money to address the expected power supply shortfall next year. With Gerry Baldo

Noy on power crisis: Prepare for the worst Written by Joshua L. Labonera Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00



After tables were turned in the grant of President Aquino’s emergency powers from the Congress, President Aquino reiterated yesterday to the public that the additional authority is needed for the country to cope with “the worst” in the looming power lack.

In a forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) on Wednesday, Aquino said seeking to grasp the additional authority from the Congress is aimed alone at averting the possible lack in electricity. He said that the administration needs to prepare for the worst to be ready for any circumstance from the power lack.

He said requesting a joing resolution from the Senate and the House of Representatives was to heed the warning of the Department of Energy (DoE) that such emergency powers are needed to augment supply for the shortage.

“At the end of the day, if there is no power and the selling of power for that matter, if there is no power comes the summer months, there will only be one party that will be blamed, and that will be the executive,” Aquino said.

“Plan for the worst and hope for the best. You can take the opposite view of hope for the best and plan for the best,” he said.

The President reiterated that the act was lawful as provided under the Electric Power Industry Procurement Act (Epira) which allows the government to address the power situation in case which cannot be postponed.

* Aquino noted that the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) is a plausible substitute to the actual power to contract freely for additional electric baseload. However, Aquino backed bite saying “these standby generators for the most part have never been considered as baseload plants.”

The ILP, as found in the House committee on energy, were found to be less costly than contracting for power which Aquino had wanted. ILP is a voluntary scheme where customers with large power loads, such as factories and malls, will be asked to operate their own generator sets during peak hours.

“What’s the difference? The standby generator, you run for a few hours. These ILP producers, in effect, will have to produce on a very regular basis, perhaps on a daily basis,” Aquino said.

“If and when the reserve situation is seriously jeopardized, we go into the ‘Yellow Alert’ or, at worst, ‘Red Alert’ that they call it. Now, we wanted to have other options to be able to draw from in case there’s a need,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aquino made mention of the coal power plant in Subic which the President awaits the final decision to after energy firms pushed for it through Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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