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POE: NO PLANS TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2016 

OCT 29 ---PHOTOS: Sen. Grace Poe: Don’t read too much. FILE PHOTO/PRIB MANILA, Philippines–People should not read too much into her use of her father’s altanghap campaign line in her privilege speech on hunger, Sen. Grace Poe said on Tuesday, as she continued to be skittish when the topic of 2016 was brought up. Poe insisted that she had no intention to run in the country’s next presidential election. “No plans at all,” she told reporters on Tuesday. She said her use of altanghap, shorthand for almusal, tanghalian, hapunan (breakfast, lunch, dinner) should not be an issue.

In her privilege speech on Monday on the growing number of hungry Filipinos, Poe said that as her late father Fernando Poe Jr. had noted, altanghap remained the problem of ordinary citizens. A political analyst made much of the term, saying it was possible that Poe was positioning herself for 2016. The late Poe used the term altanghap when he ran for president in 2004. He said the main problem of Filipinos was almusal, tanghalian, hapunan. “Don’t make an issue of altanghap. I just used it because it sounded good and it is hard to forget,” Senator Poe said.

Fulfilling promise ---She said that she used the line in 2013 when she ran for senator and that she was just fulfilling her promise, which was why she was pushing to address the problem. The lunch program for children is close to her heart, she said. “As I said, fighting corruption is crucial, infrastructure is vital, Bangsamoro is necessary, but let’s not forget the most important, capital, our people, especially the children,” she said.
Binay on Poe In Lucena City, Vice President Jejomar Binay shrugged off the opinion of a political analyst that Poe was presenting herself as an alternative presidential candidate in 2016. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino allies, UNA support probe of Drilon  

NOV 3 ---Administration senators and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) called yesterday for a Senate investigation of Senate President Franklin Drilon and his alleged involvement in the reported overpricing of the P700-million Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) project. Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Vicente Sotto III joined Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino Pimentel III in seeking an inquiry into the overpricing allegations lest the Senate be accused of going after those in the opposition bloc. Trillanes said he sees no problem if the Senate conducts the probe in the same manner that the Senate approved the creation of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee looking into the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Building 2 and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s supposed involvement in it. “Being a partymate of the Senate President, Sen. Teofisto Guingona can also form a subcommittee to conduct a hearing,” Trillanes said in a text message to The STAR.

Drilon and Guingona are stalwarts of the administration’s Liberal Party, while UNA is Binay’s political party. Earlier, Sen. Francis Escudero, another administration senator, said the Blue Ribbon committee should conduct a similar probe of the ICC in the same zealous manner that it did with the Makati building. He also encouraged opposition Senators Nancy Binay and JV Ejercito to initiate the filing of the resolution. Pimentel said the Senate can conduct the inquiry into the ICC as long as it goes through the proper legislative process. Once a resolution is filed, it is referred to the Senate committee, which can set the hearings. Pimentel said the Blue Ribbon committee chairman cannot “arbitrarily” conduct the Senate inquiry without any resolution although the panel can conduct them motu propio (of its own accord). Asked if Drilon can be requested to answer allegations before the Senate panel if and when an inquiry starts, Trillanes said the decision to appear before the Senate depends on the Senate President. “It should depend on the flow of the investigation. But first things first, a senator must file a resolution as basis for that investigation,” he explained. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Drilon faces plunder for 'overpriced' Iloilo Convention Center 

OCT 29 --Senate President Franklin Drilon leads a long list of names of government officials in a plunder complaint filed Wednesday before the Office of the Ombudsman over the alleged "overpriced" Iloilo Convention Center (ICC). Manual Mejorada, former Iloilo provincial administrator, said in the complaint that Drilon, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez and seven other officials violated Republic Act 7080, or the Anti-Plunder Act, in the anomalous and "overpriced" construction of the ICC. "I am filing criminal and administrative complaints against the above-named respondent[s] for offenses committed in the procurement and implementation of the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City," Mejorada said.

He also wants the respondents charged with malversation of public funds, dishonesty and grave misconduct. Also included in the complaint are the WV Coscolluella Architects and project contractor Hilmarc's Construction Corp. Hilmarc's is also the firm involved in the development of the Makati City Hall II parking building that prompted a Senate investigation on Vice President Jejomar Binay's role in alleged overpricing. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Jaime Pacanan, Undersecretary Romeo Momo and regional director Edilberto Tayao and Marilyn Celiz as well as Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority administrator Mark Lapid were also tagged in the complaint. Tayao had earlier denied that the convention center is overpriced and explained that the earmarked P747 million has not completely been spent. Only P492 million was spent for the first phase, as the second and third phases of the project are still pending, he said. The funds came from the DPWH's appropriations since 2012. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: ‘Blue Ribbon’ invites Binay to next hearing; VP agrees to meet CBCP 

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee formally invited yesterday Vice President Jejomar C. Binay to appear in its public hearing early next month to shed light on his alleged involvement in various anomalies now being linked to him. While Binay has yet to respond to the Senate invitation, he has already agreed to meet with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) to air his side on the controversial issues.“I learned that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is willing to open its doors and hear my side on the corruption allegations hurled against me and my family,”

Binay said in a letter to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP Committee on Public Affairs.“It would be an honor to meet with you and other members of the CBCP and the Church. I am grateful for the opportunity to clear my family’s name and put an end to this tired issue,” he added. In a letter, Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Blue Ribbon Committee chairman, invited the Vice President to shed light and deliberate on Senate Resolution No. 826, which Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed. The resolution specifically called for an investigation into the alleged overpriced 11-story Makati City Hall Building II and other “related anomalies purportedly committed by former and current local government officials” of Makati City. “Please rest assured that we will extend the courtesies befitting the Office of the Vice President,” Guingona said in his letter. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay in panic mode, says Cayetano

OCT 29 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay, by accusing the country’s rich of waging a war against a “poor man” like himself, was now in a “panic mode,” Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said on Monday. But contrary to his claims, Binay attended parties with the country’s rich, and count some of them as among his financial backers, Cayetano said. “He’s in a panic mode. Like someone gasping for breath… he’s trying to read all the political books and all the strategies used by other politicians, and applying them to himself, although they do not apply,” he told reporters. In a radio interview in Pagadian City on Friday, Binay accused his opponents of hatching a plot to remove him from office, describing it as a political war waged by the rich against the poor. The Vice President has been fending off charges of corruption and ill-gotten wealth, from pocketing kickbacks from infrastructure deals as a Makati mayor to owning a P1.2-billion high-end farm in Batangas province.

He has dismissed the charges, which is being investigated by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, as attempts at derailing his bid to become the country’s next President in 2016. Cayetano observed that Binay’s use of the rich vs poor card wasn’t very original. He recalled that then President Joseph Estrada also accused the country’s elite of spearheading his impeachment on charges of corruption, incompetence and inefficiency in 2000. Part of ‘drama’ The only difference, he said, was that Estrada’s pronouncement was on the record. “He’s trying to do an Erap,” the senator said. “Whether you believe President Erap’s statement or not, that’s on the record. As for Vice President Binay, he’s known to party officially or unofficially with the richest of the rich of the country,” he said. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Alan Cayetano focus for 2016: Nursery, not Palace 

OCT 25 ---Suddenly, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano isn’t too sure about running for President in 2016, no thanks in part to a steep drop in his voter preference ratings. If anything, the senator may have moved his focus from Malacańang to the nursery. Cayetano said he and his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, are working on having a baby. “In fact, our focus now is not the presidency, but to have a baby, I can tell you very honestly,” he said. Unfavorable ratings Despite his high-profile role in the highly popular Senate inquiry into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, Cayetano saw his ratings dip from 5 percent to 1 percent in the Pulse Asia September survey of voters’ preferences for potential presidential candidates in 2016.

In that survey, Vice President Jejomar Binay, the target of corruption and ill-gotten wealth allegations, continued to lead the pack with 31 percent, though in a vastly diminished capacity. “All politicians want to run, but whether I’m running in 2016 I don’t know. With the present ratings, who would run with such low ratings?” Cayetano told reporters in Taguig City. The senator has been dropping broad hints about his presidential plans. In fact, as early as March, he formed a team to monitor surveys and gauge his chances. He also planned to mount an advertising campaign to boost his putative candidacy. “I want to be President of this country someday. I think I can do something great for God and our people. But is 2016 my time? Or is it 2022? 2028? Or never?” Cayetano said in March. Even before the Senate decided to launch an investigation into the allegedly overpriced P2.28-billion parking building, he had been taking potshots at Binay, the consistent front-runner in the voter preference polls. Strategy backfires Though it may have worked in bringing down Binay’s ratings, the strategy may have partly backfired on Cayetano. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Nancy Binay gives Alan Cayetano a birthday hug  

OCT 29 --Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Cayetano celebrated his birthday yesterday with a gesture from one of his political opponents. A photo released by the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau (PRIB) showed Sen. Nancy Binay giving a hug to Cayetano. "Birthday hug: Senator Nancy Binay wishes Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano a happy birthday at the Plenary Hall," the photo's caption read. "Both senators had been at odds over the Senate inquiry on the alleged overpricing of the Makati Parking Building," it added. Earlier on Tuesday, Cayetano slammed the Binays for acting like untouchable government officials.

He also censured Binay's response to singer Jim Paredes, who reportedly received a death threat after he posted a tweet criticizing Vice President Jejomar Binay. The younger Binay urged Paredes not to be sensitive, according to media reports. "Hindi ba dapat sagot niya bilang senador, supporters ko man kayo, you should never threaten anyone?" Cayetano said in an interview with ANC. Cayetano is a member of the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee investigating the controversial building and other corruption allegations leveled against the Binays. The Binays have criticized the inquiry and the senators for supposedly aiming to discredit the vice president ahead of the 2016 elections. The elder Binay has refused to attend the Senate hearings, saying the senators have already prejudged him. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL REPORT HERE:
 
Poe: No plans to run for president in 2016


POE

MANILA, NOVEMBER 3, 2014 (INQUIRER) Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Leila B. Salaverria | Inquirer Southern Luzon Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:52 AM | Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 - People should not read too much into her use of her father’s altanghap campaign line in her privilege speech on hunger, Sen. Grace Poe said on Tuesday, as she continued to be skittish when the topic of 2016 was brought up.

Poe insisted that she had no intention to run in the country’s next presidential election. “No plans at all,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

She said her use of altanghap, shorthand for almusal, tanghalian, hapunan (breakfast, lunch, dinner) should not be an issue.

In her privilege speech on Monday on the growing number of hungry Filipinos, Poe said that as her late father Fernando Poe Jr. had noted, altanghap remained the problem of ordinary citizens.

A political analyst made much of the term, saying it was possible that Poe was positioning herself for 2016.

The late Poe used the term altanghap when he ran for president in 2004. He said the main problem of Filipinos was almusal, tanghalian, hapunan.

“Don’t make an issue of altanghap. I just used it because it sounded good and it is hard to forget,” Senator Poe said.

Fulfilling promise

She said that she used the line in 2013 when she ran for senator and that she was just fulfilling her promise, which was why she was pushing to address the problem. The lunch program for children is close to her heart, she said.

“As I said, fighting corruption is crucial, infrastructure is vital, Bangsamoro is necessary, but let’s not forget the most important, capital, our people, especially the children,” she said.

Binay on Poe

In Lucena City, Vice President Jejomar Binay shrugged off the opinion of a political analyst that Poe was presenting herself as an alternative presidential candidate in 2016.

* Binay maintained that all qualified Filipinos could seek the presidency.

“The people will be the judge,” the Vice President told the Inquirer in an interview after gracing the affair of Quezon senior citizens at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena on Tuesday.

On Monday, Ramon Casiple, executive director of independent Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said Poe was possibly positioning herself as another presidential candidate in the 2016 polls.

‘Unbeatable candidate’

Casiple said Poe could be a strong contender considering the results of the 2013 senatorial election that she topped, her performance in the Senate and the latest ratings of potential presidential candidates, particularly the decline in the ratings of Binay who nevertheless still leads potential rivals in the 2016 elections.

But former House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez and close political ally of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Binay was an unbeatable candidate in 2016 even with Poe in the race.

“No amount of character assassination and political mudslinging can bring him down. He is a sure winner in 2016,”ť Suarez said.

He said the Suarez political clan in Quezon would campaign for Binay in 2016. His youngest son, David, is the Quezon governor. His wife, Aleta, is a member of the House of Representatives for the province’s third district.

Binay is the first among politicians to declare that he will run for president in 2016.

Suarez said Arroyo’s political allies in Lakas-CMD had yet to decide on whom to support in 2016.

Binay said the prevalent hunger and poverty among millions of Filipinos were not the fault of the Aquino administration.

Binay made the comment when the Inquirer asked for his reaction over the report that 15 million children remain hungry or malnourished and a total of 12.1 million Filipino families considered themselves poor.

Factual

The Vice President said the figures were “factual”ťand “one problem that we have to face.”

Poe questioned comments about her being an alternative to Binay, who declared early on that he would seek the presidency in 2016.

“Why alternative? It’s not as if he would no longer run,” she said.

When reporters pressed her about calls for her to run in 2016, she appeared reluctant to discuss the matter.

World Food Day

She said she was surprised that her privilege speech on hunger, following the observance of World Food Day on Oct. 16, was given media attention, when speeches in the Senate plenary were usually ignored.

Senators Pia and Sonny, too

Poe noted that she was not the only senator who was pushing for programs to address the welfare of severely wasted children.

Senators Pia Cayetano and Sonny Angara have similar bills to feed schoolchildren, she pointed out.

Poe, in her privilege speech, lamented that the number of hungry Filipinos continued to grow even as the country’s economy continued to soar.

Poe said that the 15 million she cited from the Food and Agriculture Organization referred to hungry Filipinos, not necessarily children.

But she added that it did not really matter because in her own statistics, there were some 6 million malnourished children.

Going by the Social Weather Stations figure of 9.3 families who rated themselves as food-poor, the number of hungry children may increase given the average of three children per family, but the number may also be less.

“But let’s not forget. One million, five, or 10, it’s our responsibility, the government, to be able to uplift (them).

There’s no excuse especially now when supposedly we are on our way up, economically,” she said.

FROM PHILSTAR

Aquino allies, UNA support probe of Drilon By Christina Mendez and Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 3, 2014 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


DRILON

MANILA, Philippines - Administration senators and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) called yesterday for a Senate investigation of Senate President Franklin Drilon and his alleged involvement in the reported overpricing of the P700-million Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) project.

Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Vicente Sotto III joined Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino Pimentel III in seeking an inquiry into the overpricing allegations lest the Senate be accused of going after those in the opposition bloc.

Trillanes said he sees no problem if the Senate conducts the probe in the same manner that the Senate approved the creation of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee looking into the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Building 2 and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s supposed involvement in it.

“Being a partymate of the Senate President, Sen. Teofisto Guingona can also form a subcommittee to conduct a hearing,” Trillanes said in a text message to The STAR.

Drilon and Guingona are stalwarts of the administration’s Liberal Party, while UNA is Binay’s political party.

Earlier, Sen. Francis Escudero, another administration senator, said the Blue Ribbon committee should conduct a similar probe of the ICC in the same zealous manner that it did with the Makati building. He also encouraged opposition Senators Nancy Binay and JV Ejercito to initiate the filing of the resolution.

Pimentel said the Senate can conduct the inquiry into the ICC as long as it goes through the proper legislative process. Once a resolution is filed, it is referred to the Senate committee, which can set the hearings.

Pimentel said the Blue Ribbon committee chairman cannot “arbitrarily” conduct the Senate inquiry without any resolution although the panel can conduct them motu propio (of its own accord).

Asked if Drilon can be requested to answer allegations before the Senate panel if and when an inquiry starts, Trillanes said the decision to appear before the Senate depends on the Senate President.

“It should depend on the flow of the investigation. But first things first, a senator must file a resolution as basis for that investigation,” he explained.

* UNA interim president Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said they are interested whether or not Drilon’s allies act fast on the corruption allegation against him as what they did in investigating former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile and Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

Revilla, Estrada and Enrile are currently detained while facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.

“We are also interested whether Senator Drilon’s supporters will show the same rapid and aggressive stance in ferreting out the ‘the truth.’ Will they conduct marathon public hearings as well as call the businessmen and contractors involved; make an ocular inspection together with media; and invite Drilon’s immediate family, as well as garnish his bank accounts?” Tiangco said in a statement.

“We are hoping that they will do these, in the spirit of fairness, as well as getting justice served,” he added.

Drilon, along with Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, has been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman over the construction of the ICC.

“We urge Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales; Justice Secretary Leila de Lima; Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares; Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Aquilino Pimentel III; the Commission on Audit; and the Anti-Money Laundering Council to lift a finger to investigate these allegations against the Senate President,” Tiangco said.

‘Too early to resign’

Pimentel, however, said that it is too early to call for Drilon’s resignation.

“The question is why? It will be a bad precedent. It is not good that an officer of the Senate will be asked to step down just because a complaint is filed before the Ombudsman. So anybody can file complaints just like that,” Pimentel said in Filipino in an interview over dzBB yesterday.

“It’s not practical because when the Senate President steps down, we need to reorganize,” he added.

As far as Sotto is concerned, he will support the probe on the ICC as long as it remains in aid of legislation.

“If it is in aid of legislation, (I support it). If it’s like the subcommittee formed to investigate the Makati building, never mind,” said Sotto, who is substituting as Senate minority leader for Enrile.

He noted that the recent hearings of the Blue Ribbon committee on the pork barrel scam and the alleged overpricing of Makati City Building 2 attributed to Binay have shades of political persecution.


Drilon faces plunder for 'overpriced' Iloilo Convention Center
By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated October 29, 2014 - 2:59pm 3 110 googleplus0 0


Senate President Franklin Drilon and Public Works and Highways Sec. Rogelio Singson unveil the Iloilo Convention Project plan to President Benigno Aquino III at the Iloilo Business Park, Brgy. Old Airport, Mandurriao District, Iloilo City on June 27, 2014. Malacańang Photo Bureau/Ryan Lim, Lauro Montellano

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Franklin Drilon leads a long list of names of government officials in a plunder complaint filed Wednesday before the Office of the Ombudsman over the alleged "overpriced" Iloilo Convention Center (ICC).

Manual Mejorada, former Iloilo provincial administrator, said in the complaint that Drilon, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez and seven other officials violated Republic Act 7080, or the Anti-Plunder Act, in the anomalous and "overpriced" construction of the ICC.

"I am filing criminal and administrative complaints against the above-named respondent[s] for offenses committed in the procurement and implementation of the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City," Mejorada said.

He also wants the respondents charged with malversation of public funds, dishonesty and grave misconduct.

Also included in the complaint are the WV Coscolluella Architects and project contractor Hilmarc's Construction Corp.

Hilmarc's is also the firm involved in the development of the Makati City Hall II parking building that prompted a Senate investigation on Vice President Jejomar Binay's role in alleged overpricing.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Jaime Pacanan, Undersecretary Romeo Momo and regional director Edilberto Tayao and Marilyn Celiz as well as Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority administrator Mark Lapid were also tagged in the complaint.

Tayao had earlier denied that the convention center is overpriced and explained that the earmarked P747 million has not completely been spent.

Only P492 million was spent for the first phase, as the second and third phases of the project are still pending, he said.

The funds came from the DPWH's appropriations since 2012.

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

‘Blue Ribbon’ invites Binay to next hearing; VP agrees to meet CBCP by JC Bello Ruiz and Hannah Torregoza October 30, 2014 Share this:

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee formally invited yesterday Vice President Jejomar C. Binay to appear in its public hearing early next month to shed light on his alleged involvement in various anomalies now being linked to him.

While Binay has yet to respond to the Senate invitation, he has already agreed to meet with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) to air his side on the controversial issues.

“I learned that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is willing to open its doors and hear my side on the corruption allegations hurled against me and my family,” Binay said in a letter to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP Committee on Public Affairs.

“It would be an honor to meet with you and other members of the CBCP and the Church. I am grateful for the opportunity to clear my family’s name and put an end to this tired issue,” he added.

In a letter, Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Blue Ribbon Committee chairman, invited the Vice President to shed light and deliberate on Senate Resolution No. 826, which Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed.

The resolution specifically called for an investigation into the alleged overpriced 11-story Makati City Hall Building II and other “related anomalies purportedly committed by former and current local government officials” of Makati City.

“Please rest assured that we will extend the courtesies befitting the Office of the Vice President,” Guingona said in his letter.

* The Vice President has repeatedly refused to accept the invitations sent by the Blue Ribbon sub-committee headed by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

Former Makati City vice mayor Ernesto Mercado has accused Binay of earning kickbacks in all infrastructure projects in Makati.

Binay has also been accused of using dummies to hide his 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas.

But the Vice President denied all these allegations, saying these are politically motivated and part of the plan to derail his presidential bid in 2016.

PABILLO-MERCADO MEETING

Pabillo reportedly met last week at the CBCP headquarters in Intramuros, Manila, Mercado and other personalities who have accused Binay and his family of receiving kickbacks from Makati projects during his time as city mayor.

Pabillo reportedly said that they also want to hear Binay’s side on the allegations.

The date of the meeting between Binay and the bishops has yet to be set, according to the Office of the Vice President.

UNDECIDED

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, the Vice President’s spokesman for political affairs, said that the decision on whether to accept or decline the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s invitation to attend its hearing will be made over the weekend.

Binay’s office said the Vice President is currently in Camarines Sur and is set to meet with local officials to follow up on their respective local government units’ housing projects.

The Vice President attended the Elderly Week Celebration of the Province of Quezon in Lucena City on Tuesday.

‘GOD WILL DEAL WITH THEM’

Meanwhile, Binay is leaving his critics to God, maintaining that the corruption allegations against him are just “lies” perpetrated by his political foes.

“Diyos na po ang bahala sa kanila (God will deal with them),” Binay told newsmen who interviewed him when he arrived in Sipocot, Camarines Sur, Tuesday afternoon.

Binay lamented that politics in the Philippines is still about mudslinging and character assassination.

“Akala ko magbabago na ang itsura ng ating pulitika, pero hindi po. Ang paninira sa kapwa, sa kanilang pamilya ay tuloy-tuloy, mga pagsisinungaling. (I thought Philippine politics has already changed. But character assassination and spreading lies continue to persist),” he said.

Nonetheless, Binay said, he is encouraged by the warm welcome he received from residents despite the bad weather in Sipocot on Tuesday.

He thought no one would welcome him with all the “insults” and “vilifications” against him by his detractors.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Binay in panic mode, says Cayetano TJ Burgonio @inquirerdotnet DAILY INQUIRER OCTOBER 29, 2014


CAYETANO

MANILA, Philippines–Vice President Jejomar Binay, by accusing the country’s rich of waging a war against a “poor man” like himself, was now in a “panic mode,” Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said on Monday.

But contrary to his claims, Binay attended parties with the country’s rich, and count some of them as among his financial backers, Cayetano said.

“He’s in a panic mode. Like someone gasping for breath… he’s trying to read all the political books and all the strategies used by other politicians, and applying them to himself, although they do not apply,” he told reporters.

In a radio interview in Pagadian City on Friday, Binay accused his opponents of hatching a plot to remove him from office, describing it as a political war waged by the rich against the poor.

The Vice President has been fending off charges of corruption and ill-gotten wealth, from pocketing kickbacks from infrastructure deals as a Makati mayor to owning a P1.2-billion high-end farm in Batangas province.

He has dismissed the charges, which is being investigated by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, as attempts at derailing his bid to become the country’s next President in 2016.

Cayetano observed that Binay’s use of the rich vs poor card wasn’t very original. He recalled that then President Joseph Estrada also accused the country’s elite of spearheading his impeachment on charges of corruption, incompetence and inefficiency in 2000.

Part of ‘drama’

The only difference, he said, was that Estrada’s pronouncement was on the record. “He’s trying to do an Erap,” the senator said.

“Whether you believe President Erap’s statement or not, that’s on the record. As for Vice President Binay, he’s known to party officially or unofficially with the richest of the rich of the country,” he said.

* Fewer than five percent of the rich do not know Binay or have problems with him, Cayetano said. “But most have either told him that they will support him or are very close to him for the longest time. That’s why we wonder who are the rich he’s talking about that are against him,” he added.

This strategy by Binay is all part of a “drama” to endear himself to the poor, Cayetano said.

The subcommittee is to meet Wednesday to decide whether to hold in contempt Hilmarc’s chair Efren Canlas and president Robert Henson for repeatedly snubbing the hearing on Makati’s allegedly overpriced carpark.

“There will be a review if the contempt is justified,” said Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, chair of the subcommittee who moved to cite the pair in contempt.

But Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday withdrew his recommendation that Canlas and Henson be cited in contempt for failing to appear in an earlier hearing of the subcommittee despite being summoned.

Hilmarc’s built the P2.28 billion Makati City Hall II.

Trillanes said the two executives had showed up in a subsequent hearing of the subcommittee, and this remedied the situation.

“Hence, the contempt recommendation was withdrawn,” he said.

Alan Cayetano focus for 2016: Nursery, not Palace TJ Burgonio
@inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:07 AM | Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Suddenly, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano isn’t too sure about running for President in 2016, no thanks in part to a steep drop in his voter preference ratings.

If anything, the senator may have moved his focus from Malacańang to the nursery.

Cayetano said he and his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, are working on having a baby.

“In fact, our focus now is not the presidency, but to have a baby, I can tell you very honestly,” he said.

Unfavorable ratings

Despite his high-profile role in the highly popular Senate inquiry into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, Cayetano saw his ratings dip from 5 percent to 1 percent in the Pulse Asia September survey of voters’ preferences for potential presidential candidates in 2016.

In that survey, Vice President Jejomar Binay, the target of corruption and ill-gotten wealth allegations, continued to lead the pack with 31 percent, though in a vastly diminished capacity.

“All politicians want to run, but whether I’m running in 2016 I don’t know. With the present ratings, who would run with such low ratings?” Cayetano told reporters in Taguig City.

The senator has been dropping broad hints about his presidential plans. In fact, as early as March, he formed a team to monitor surveys and gauge his chances. He also planned to mount an advertising campaign to boost his putative candidacy.

“I want to be President of this country someday. I think I can do something great for God and our people. But is 2016 my time? Or is it 2022? 2028? Or never?” Cayetano said in March.

Even before the Senate decided to launch an investigation into the allegedly overpriced P2.28-billion parking building, he had been taking potshots at Binay, the consistent front-runner in the voter preference polls.

Strategy backfires

Though it may have worked in bringing down Binay’s ratings, the strategy may have partly backfired on Cayetano.

* Cayetano, who has teamed up with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in the high-profile televised investigation, merely shrugs off the idea of an apparent backlash against him.

“When I do investigations, I don’t really care about the consequences or about the ratings,” he said.

He said he had been warned of becoming an open target for attacks if he joined the inquiry, but went ahead just the same. Otherwise, he said, Trillanes would have been on his own.

“If I was really intent on running for President, I would not have joined the investigation,” he said.

But would he reconsider his plans to run for the country’s top post?

“As I said from the start, I never said I’m bent on anything. If the doors are open… if it’s not for me, it’s not for me. I’m a fatalistic person. Wherever God wants to put me, whatever the position, I’m happy anywhere we are,” he said.

Not running for VP

Cayetano has ruled out running for Vice President, apparently not relishing playing second fiddle to the President.

“My problem with being VP is that, unless you are super-close to the President, you cannot really implement your plans. As I said, I’d rather be a senator, or maybe a mayor than a VP, but nothing is final,” he said.

At the hearings on the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building conducted by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, witnesses have accused Binay of ordering the rigging of the bidding for infrastructure projects to favor a contractor, and of taking kickbacks from the deals. He has also been accused of owning a P1.2-billion, 350-hectare farm in Batangas province. Binay has denied the charges.

FROM PHILSTAR

Nancy Binay gives Alan Cayetano a birthday hug By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated October 29, 2014 - 12:27pm 19 669 googleplus0 0


Senators Nancy Binay and Alan Cayetano at the Senate yesterday. Senate PRIB/Romeo Bugante

MANILA, Philippines - Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Cayetano celebrated his birthday yesterday with a gesture from one of his political opponents.

A photo released by the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau (PRIB) showed Sen. Nancy Binay giving a hug to Cayetano.

"Birthday hug: Senator Nancy Binay wishes Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano a happy birthday at the Plenary Hall," the photo's caption read.

"Both senators had been at odds over the Senate inquiry on the alleged overpricing of the Makati Parking Building," it added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cayetano slammed the Binays for acting like untouchable government officials.

He also censured Binay's response to singer Jim Paredes, who reportedly received a death threat after he posted a tweet criticizing Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The younger Binay urged Paredes not to be sensitive, according to media reports.

"Hindi ba dapat sagot niya bilang senador, supporters ko man kayo, you should never threaten anyone?" Cayetano said in an interview with ANC.

Cayetano is a member of the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee investigating the controversial building and other corruption allegations leveled against the Binays.

The Binays have criticized the inquiry and the senators for supposedly aiming to discredit the vice president ahead of the 2016 elections.

The elder Binay has refused to attend the Senate hearings, saying the senators have already prejudged him.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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