PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

VP BINAY ISSUE: SC GIVES CA, ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING 10 DAYS TO REPLY TO BINAY'S PLEA


Executive officials led by officers of the government’s Anti-Money Laundering Council’s looking into the bank deposits of the lawyers of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who have been dragged into controversies brought about by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee investigations involving allegations of corruption against the Binay family and allies, have been ordered by the Supreme Court to submit within 10 days from receipt of notice their comments on the plea by the Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza and Binay Law Offices (SPCMB),.  The law firm claimed the AMLC examination violated its right to due process, privacy, and the attorney-client privilege which it added, is “sacrosanct in the legal profession.”   The SPCMB said absolute confidentiality of bank deposits remains the general rule and basic state policy in the Philippines, “except in very limited situations.”   The law firm added that the AMLC’s “blanket authority” to examine the company’s bank accounts was “clearly intended to aid a mere fishing expedition.”    The SC order was confirmed by SC spokesman Theodore Te yesterday. The petitioner SPCMB law offices had asked the Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the AMLC and CA from looking into its bank accounts over suspected money laundering activities.  The respondents include the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Insurance Commission. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO AUTOMATED POLLS: SC stops PCOS midnight deal
(NO MORE HOCUS FOCUS)


NO MORE HOCUSPCOS The PCOS machine similar to this one used in a polling precinct in Baclaran would be replaced with steel ballot boxes should the TRO stopping the Comelec-Smartmatic deal be not lifted on time, says the Comelec. THE MANILA TIMES FILE PHOTO NO MORE HOCUSPCOS The PCOS machine similar to this one used in a polling precinct in Baclaran would be replaced with steel ballot boxes should the TRO stopping the Comelec-Smartmatic deal be not lifted on time, says the Comelec. THE MANILA TIMES FILE PHOTO

PULSE ASIA SURVEY: Aquino govt scores low in peace efforts
(Pulse Asia noted that the Aquino administration has failed to score a majority approval rating on the 12 national issues performance-rated in the poll.)


The Aquino administration obtained a higher disapproval rating in its efforts to obtain peace in Mindanao in the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident, a Pulse Asia survey showed. 
Results of the survey conducted from March 1 to 7 were released on Tuesday. The survey had a plus-minus 3 percent margin of error and confidence level of 95 percent, according to the pollster. Pulse Asia said “no religious, political, economic or partisan group influenced” its survey process, which it conducted on its own “without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.”  The survey showed an increase in public disapproval of the government’s peace efforts by eight percentage points, or 29 percent from 21 percent in November 2014.  Nonetheless, 40 percent of the 1,200 respondents still approve of the government’s peace efforts, although the March 2015 figure is lower compared to the 45 percent approval rating in November. The Mamasapano incident continued to hog the headlines during the survey period from March 1 to 7. The incident sparked public outrage that pulled down President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s approval and trust ratings to their lowest since he took power in 2010. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino biggest loser among top 5 national officials – Pulse Asia


AQUINO  Among the top five officials of the country, President Benigno Aquino III suffered the biggest drop in approval ratings, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed. Aquino’s approval rating fell by 21 percentage points, from 59 percent in November 2014 to only 38 percent in March 2015. His trust rating, on the other hand fell by 20 percentage points, from 56 percent in November to only 36 percent this month. “Amidst the various challenges being faced by his administration at the present time, appreciation for and trust in the President ease during the period November 2014 to March 2015 not only at the national level (-21 and -20 percentage points, respectively) but in all geographic areas (-18 to -27 percentage points, respectively) and in Classes ABC and D as well (-24 and -23 percentage points, respectively),” a Pulse Asia release said. READ MORE...

ALSO: 8 in 10 Filipinos 'struggling, suffering' financially
(Researcher said: Government can achieve inclusive economic growth in part by "improving the country's education system and increasing the focus on vocational and technical education."  It also said that the Philippines should capitalize on the population's high sense of purpose to improve financial well-being and "address the effects of rising inequality, poverty and underemployment.")


A tourist, right, rides a horse-drawn carriage locally known as "Kalesa" around the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila, Philippines on Monday, March 16, 2015. The tour costs P350 (about US$8) per passenger. AP/Aaron Favila
— Only 18 percent of Filipinos saw themselves as "thriving" financially, while the rest of the represented population said they are "struggling" or "suffering" in terms of economic security. The recent Gallup-Healthways State of Global Well-Being Index 2014 reported that Filipinos' perception of financial security is notably below the Asian and global averages of 25 percent. The global study found that 52 percent of Filipinos report to be struggling in terms of financial well-being, while 30 percent are suffering. It also indicated that suffering is more prevalent among Filipino rural residents (35 percent) than those who live in urban areas (24 percent). The researchers also noted that the weak response to financial questions—whether a respondent feels he has "enough money to do everything he wants to do" or whether he has "worried about money" the past week—was not only characteristic of the unemployed population. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Expel Trillanes gains ground; PNP intel man denies his claim


Sen. Antonio Trillanes is in a deeper hole than earlier perceived. Aside from being accused of revealing information obtained in an executive session in violation of Senate rules, his allegations of a conspiracy to “wine and dine” members of the military prior to Operation Plan (Oplan) Exodus yesterday proved to be baseless and filled with innuendoes.
The police intelligence officer, who hosted the “happy hour” with military officials in-charge of Maguindanao present on the eve of the day Oplan “Exodus” was launched, came out yesterday, denying insinuations that the event was done to intentionally to prevent the Army from knowing about the Special Action Force (SAF) operation. Senior Supt. Manolo Ozaeta, head of the Philippine National Police-Special Project Mindanao, admitted that he hosted a two-and-a-half hour “boodle fight” among Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army officials, particularly those from the 601st Brigade, last Jan. 24 at the Del Rio Splash Resort in Koronadal City. Moves to expel Trillanes from the Senate as a consequence of his public disclosure of some alleged information discussed during the executive session on the Mamasapano investigation, had gained ground and is now under study, Tribune sources bared.
Trillanes said he is ready and willing to be judged by his peers, in any eventuality, even as he remained firm in his claims that his revelations were not based on the closed-door proceedings of the three-panel investigating body handling the Mamasapano issue, but from sources in the military. READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Trillanes - Hoist with his own petard


"She just yakked and yakked and yakked". This was how then Philippine Navy Lt. Sr. Grade Antonio Trillanes IV complained about former President Gloria Arroyo when he was castigated after bringing to her notice complaints of corruption in the military. He launched at least two failed coup attempts against the Arroyo government. Now a senator, Trillanes is facing expulsion from the Senate for yakking too much.
Trillanes who is taking the cudgels for Noynoy and his bumbling administration, evidently to propel his further ambitions in the polls next year, has been making the rounds in media to boost recall but in the process he violated the Senate rules by disclosing information raised in an executive session held for the Mamasapano debacle.

Trillanes, in his eagerness to hog the headlines, revealed confidential information in the closed-door proceedings, primarily those concerning the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers’ mission to capture or eliminate Malaysian terrorist Marwan and two local cohorts.Trillanes who seems to have a serious problem with obeying rules and laws, appeared to have disregarded Senate regulations in upholding the sanctity of executive sessions.Trillanes revealed to reporters that an intelligence officer of the Philippine National Police treated some military officials and soldiers to a drinking spree on the eve of the Mamasapano mission which his peers said was among the issues revealed in the executive session.READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

SC gives CA, AMLC 10 days to reply to Binay lawyers’ plea


VP BINAY

MANILA, MARCH 30, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Wednesday, 25 March 2015 00:00 - Executive officials led by officers of the government’s Anti-Money Laundering Council’s looking into the bank deposits of the lawyers of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who have been dragged into controversies brought about by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee investigations involving allegations of corruption against the Binay family and allies, have been ordered by the Supreme Court to submit within 10 days from receipt of notice their comments on the plea by the Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza and Binay Law Offices (SPCMB),.

The law firm claimed the AMLC examination violated its right to due process, privacy, and the attorney-client privilege which it added, is “sacrosanct in the legal profession.”

The SPCMB said absolute confidentiality of bank deposits remains the general rule and basic state policy in the Philippines, “except in very limited situations.”

The law firm added that the AMLC’s “blanket authority” to examine the company’s bank accounts was “clearly intended to aid a mere fishing expedition.”

The SC order was confirmed by SC spokesman Theodore Te yesterday. The petitioner SPCMB law offices had asked the Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the AMLC and CA from looking into its bank accounts over suspected money laundering activities.

The respondents include the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Insurance Commission.

CONTINUE READING...
Due to the continuing unlawful and unconstitutional examination of their firm’s bank accounts by the AMLC, the law firm stressed that there is an extreme urgency for issuance of the TRO.
The Court gave the respondents 10 days from receipt of notice to comment.

In a 44-page petition filed last March 1, the law firm, where the Vice President’s daughter, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay, is a partner-on-leave, also wanted the SC to declare all records and information obtained from this examination as “inadmissible” in any proceeding.

It also sought the nullification of the order issued by the Court of Appeals granting the application for bank examination filed by AMLC.

The law firm argued that the appellate court issued the order “with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction.”

“Unless a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction is issued, Petitioner SPCMB Law shall be deprived of its constitutional rights to its irreparable damage and prejudice,” the petition stated.

The law firm argued that their being included in the probe was an “arbitrary, whimsical and capricious act” on the part of AMLC and CA, adding that their rights to privacy and due process were violated since their law firm cannot be covered by the AMLC probe.

They stressed that their firm “is not charged with, impleaded in any predicate crime” to warrant the ongoing books examination.

The AMLC’s plea also reportedly covered the bank accounts of Vice-President Binay; his wife, Elenita; son and Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay; Rep. Binay; and several others.
The law firm was among the entities that the AMLC wanted to probe after being linked to Binay-related controversies.

The SPCMB said it had tried securing copies of pleadings and orders related to the AMLC’s application for bank examination filed with the Court of Appeals last February, but the appeals court denied the request on grounds of confidentiality.

The law firm, which represents both Binay and businessman Antonio Tiu earlier filed a 44-page petition last March 11, urging the high court to stop the AMLC from proceeding with its examination and scrutiny of SPCMB Law’s bank accounts.

SPCMB Law asked the high court to declare unconstitutional the Anti-Money Laundering Act, in so far as it allows the examination of bank accounts “in any way related to a money laundering offense” without giving notice to the respondents.

The law firm said its bank accounts cannot be examined “on the pretext that one partner of petitioner SPCMB Law is a daughter of a person who is being accused of plunder, and that another partner stands as legal counsel for another person who is an alleged ‘dummy’ for said accused.”

The “dummy” being referred to is businessman Antonio Tiu, who was tagged as a “dummy” of the vice president in the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee probe on the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.


MANILA TIMES

SC stops PCOS midnight deal March 25, 2015 12:30 am by JOMAR CANLAS SENIOR REPORTER


NO MORE HOCUSPCOS The PCOS machine similar to this one used in a polling precinct in Baclaran would be replaced with steel ballot boxes should the TRO stopping the Comelec-Smartmatic deal be not lifted on time, says the Comelec. THE MANILA TIMES FILE PHOTO

Justices outnumber Sereno in voting vs Smartmatic contract The Supreme Court (SC) en banc on Tuesday indefinitely stopped the P300-million “midnight deal” entered into by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with Smartmatic-Total Information Management (Smartmatic-TIM).

Voting 12 to 2, the High Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Comelec and Smartmatic for the repair, refurbishment and maintenance of 82,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to be used in the 2016 presidential polls.

The majority of SC justices prevailed over the wishes of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. who wanted to have oral arguments before a TRO shall be issued.

“The court, voting 12-2, issued a temporary restraining order to enjoin the implementation of the extended warranty contract (Program 1) , dated January 30, 2015, effective immediately and until further orders from the court,” the ruling said.

The ruling favored a petition filed by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) questioning the contract signed on January 30, 2015, three days before the retirement of Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. on February 2, 2015.

Acting Comelec Chairman Christian Robert Lim said the development may prompt the poll body to consider reverting to manual elections, among other options, in the 2016 elections if the TRO is not lifted in time.

CONTINUE READING...
Lim admitted that the TRO will have a “big impact” on preparations for next year’s polls, saying that aside from the PCOS machines, the poll body has other important matters to deal with, like the bidding for the lease of additional counting machines.

“Of course, the possibility of going to manual will always be there,” he said. “We hope, we believe that the Supreme Court will resolve this case as soon as possible.”

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body’s legal department will file a motion for reconsideration before the SC as soon as it receives a copy of the TRO.

Jimenez expressed confidence that the SC would reconsider its decision, saying that if it can be made within the first half of the year, then it would still be within the Comelec’s preparations time frame.

“The challenge is really to get the TRO lifted as soon as possible,” he said.

In the petition for certiorari, the lawyers group accused the Comelec of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in allowing the contract with Smartmatic to proceed.

In particular, the petitioners assailed Comelec Resolution 9922, entitled “In The Matter of Clarifying the Opinion of the Law Department to the Draft Contract for the 2014 Extension to the Warranty Program; Repair and Maintenance of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) Machines,” on December 23, 2014, which approved Smartmatic-TIM’s Extended Warranty Proposal (Program 1), and the contract subsequently entered into by both parties.

According to the petition, the contract did not pass through the required public bidding. The deal was sealed via direct contracting or single source procurement.

The petitioners accused Comelec of violating the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9184, also known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act.”

The IBP said competitive bidding in government procurement is “a matter of public policy.”

It pointed out that the election court’s contention of “tight time schedule” to justify the deal must not hold water since this is “not a ground to dispense with the conduct of the public bidding under the law.”

With this, the IBP asked the High Court to issue a TRO against the Comelec’s contract with Smartmatic.

Recently, AES Watch also filed a similar petition.

The signatories were Bishop Broderick Pabillo; former Comelec Commissioner Augusto Lagman; Dr. Pablo Manalastas, a computer science faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines; Leo Querubin of the Philippine Computer Society; Concepcion Bragas-Regalado, founding president of Migrante International; Dr. Jaime Caro of the UP Department of Computer Science; Marikol Akol, co-organizer of TransparentElections.org.ph; and Evita Jimenez, executive director of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance.

Meanwhile, the SC en banc junked for being premature petitions filed by former Immigration Commissioner Homobono Adaza and the Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections (C3E) asking the High Court to stop public bidding for the supply, lease or purchase of the Optical Mark Readers and Direct Recording Electronic machines.

It dismissed Adaza and C3E’s plea asking the court not to allow Smartmatic to participate in any Comelec bidding.

The SC said it is within the jurisdiction of the Comelec to have a public bidding on these machines for it is considered as the authority on election matters.

Acting Comelec Chairman Lim said he has called an emergency meeting of senior officials to discuss effects of the TRO.

“We will be creating scenarios, consider other alternatives,” he added.

The controversial PCOS machines, supplied by Smartmatic-TIM Corp., are undergoing repair and refurbishment by Smartmatic technicans at a Comelec warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna. WITH WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL


MANILA TIMES

PULSE ASIA SURVEY: Aquino govt scores low in peace efforts March 25, 2015 12:28 am by CATHERINE S. VALENTE REPORTER

The Aquino administration obtained a higher disapproval rating in its efforts to obtain peace in Mindanao in the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident, a Pulse Asia survey showed.

Results of the survey conducted from March 1 to 7 were released on Tuesday.

The survey had a plus-minus 3 percent margin of error and confidence level of 95 percent, according to the pollster.

Pulse Asia said “no religious, political, economic or partisan group influenced” its survey process, which it conducted on its own “without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.”

The survey showed an increase in public disapproval of the government’s peace efforts by eight percentage points, or 29 percent from 21 percent in November 2014.

Nonetheless, 40 percent of the 1,200 respondents still approve of the government’s peace efforts, although the March 2015 figure is lower compared to the 45 percent approval rating in November.

The Mamasapano incident continued to hog the headlines during the survey period from March 1 to 7.

The incident sparked public outrage that pulled down President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s approval and trust ratings to their lowest since he took power in 2010.

READ MORE...
The survey results also showed that the number of Filipinos who cited the urgency of “increasing peace in the country” rose by three percentage points–to 22 percent in March from 19 percent in November last year.

Despite the increased disapproval rating in the government’s peace efforts, public assessment of its work on key concerns remains “largely unchanged,” Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda, Pulse Asia Research Director, said in a statement.

“For the most part, the performance ratings of the Aquino administration in March 2015 do not differ significantly from those recorded four months ago,” Tabunda added.

Responding to the survey results, Malacañang said it would step up efforts to address the public’s top three urgent concerns.

“In the next 15 months, the administration will intensify efforts at job creation while maintaining fiscal discipline in order to rein in inflation,’ Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

“Good governance is imperative in achieving inclusive growth,” he added.

Pulse Asia noted that the Aquino administration has failed to score a majority approval rating on the 12 national issues performance-rated in the poll.

“As far as the top three urgent national concerns of Filipinos are concerned, disapproval is the plurality opinion toward the administration’s efforts to control inflation (41 percent), public opinion is split three-ways as regards its initiative to increase workers’ pay (33 percent approval, 35 percent indecision and 33 percent disapproval), and appreciation is the plurality view concerning its anti-corruption work (42 percent),” it said.

The government also got “almost the same approval and indecision figures for its initiatives to create more jobs (37 percent versus 33 percent) and control population growth (37 percent versus 33 percent),” while “public opinion is split three-ways with respect to its performance in the area of increasing the pay of workers –33 percent approval, 35 percent indecision, and 33 percent disapproval.”


INQUIRER

Aquino biggest loser among top 5 national officials – Pulse Asia Aries Joseph Hegina, Kristine Angeli Sabillo | INQUIRER.net 9:05 AM | Thursday, March 26th, 2015


AQUINO

Among the top five officials of the country, President Benigno Aquino III suffered the biggest drop in approval ratings, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed.

Aquino’s approval rating fell by 21 percentage points, from 59 percent in November 2014 to only 38 percent in March 2015. His trust rating, on the other hand fell by 20 percentage points, from 56 percent in November to only 36 percent this month.

“Amidst the various challenges being faced by his administration at the present time, appreciation for and trust in the President ease during the period November 2014 to March 2015 not only at the national level (-21 and -20 percentage points, respectively) but in all geographic areas (-18 to -27 percentage points, respectively) and in Classes ABC and D as well (-24 and -23 percentage points, respectively),” a Pulse Asia release said.

READ MORE...
According to the poll, which was conducted from March 1 to 7 among 1,200 respondents, the approval ratings of Vice President Jejomar Binay (now 46 percent from 45 percent last quarter) and Senate President Franklin Drilon (now 49 percent from 47 percent) increased by one percentage point and two percentage points, respectively.

The survey was held more than a month after the botched Mamasapano operation, which resulted in the deaths of 44 policemen, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and five civilians.

On the other hand, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. suffered a seven-point drop in approval ratings (from 34 percent in November last year to 27 percent this month). Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s approval rating also fell (from 37 percent in November last year to 29 percent this month).

Aquino also received the highest increase in disapproval ratings (from 11 percent in November 2014 to 23 percent this month). Binay’s disapproval ratings remained at 23 percent while that of Drilon (down by one percentage point to 12 percent in March), Belmonte (up by one percentage point to 16 percent) and Sereno (up by five percentage point to 19 percent) showed minimal changes.

PULSE ASIA Top Five National Government Officials 1PULSE ASIA Top Five National Government Officials 2

Among social classes, Aquino suffered a 24-point loss on his approval ratings in Class ABCD (from 59 percent in November last year to 35 percent this month) and a 10-point decrease in Class E (from 57 percent to 47 percent.)

The President suffered double-digit losses in his approval ratings across all geographic areas: 27 points in the Visayas (from November’s 68 percent to March’s 41 percent), 23 points in the National Capital Region (from 49 percent to 26 percent), 22 points in Mindanao (from 67 percent to 45 percent), and 18 points in Luzon (from 54 percent to 36 percent).

Other notable movements recorded in the survey include: Binay incurred a 13-point increase in his disapproval (from 24 to 37 percent) and distrust (from 25 percent to 38 percent) ratings in the National Capital Region; Drilon lost 17 points on his approval ratings in Class ABC; and double-digit declines on Belmonte’s approval (from 44 percent in November to 30 percent) and trust (41 percent to 28 percent) ratings in the National Capital Region.


PHILSTAR

8 in 10 Filipinos 'struggling, suffering' financially


A tourist, right, rides a horse-drawn carriage locally known as "Kalesa" around the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila, Philippines on Monday, March 16, 2015. The tour costs P350 (about US$8) per passenger. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — Only 18 percent of Filipinos saw themselves as "thriving" financially, while the rest of the represented population said they are "struggling" or "suffering" in terms of economic security.

The recent Gallup-Healthways State of Global Well-Being Index 2014 reported that Filipinos' perception of financial security is notably below the Asian and global averages of 25 percent.

The global study found that 52 percent of Filipinos report to be struggling in terms of financial well-being, while 30 percent are suffering.

It also indicated that suffering is more prevalent among Filipino rural residents (35 percent) than those who live in urban areas (24 percent).

The researchers also noted that the weak response to financial questions—whether a respondent feels he has "enough money to do everything he wants to do" or whether he has "worried about money" the past week—was not only characteristic of the unemployed population.

CONTINUE READING...
"Notably, an unusually high proportion of employed Filipinos, 34 percent, are suffering in financial well-being. This is consistent with the country's high underemployment rate, which reached 19 percent in 2013," the study stated.

More Filipinos (41 percent) aged 45 and older, meanwhile, report to be suffering money-wise compared with just 25 percent among the younger population.

"The older generation may be less able to move to cities in search of jobs, making them subject to financial vulnerability arising from unequal growth among urban and rural areas," it said.

The Philippines was part of the global study of 135 countries reflecting respondents' perceptions and experiences related to their purpose, social, financial, community and physical well-being.

Results are based on phone or face-to-face interviews with a 500 to 4,244 adults in each of the countries surveyed from January to December 2013.

Purpose-driven Filipinos

More Filipinos were also found to be "thriving" compared with the regional and global average in terms of a sense of purpose (32 percent) and community (42 percent) as well as of social well-being (35 percent).

Researchers said the high numbers are supported by the Filipino culture that stresses "close families ties and obligations to extended family members."

Filipinos use a cloth to filter sediments from ink which they collect from open cans of newspaper printing machines in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, March 19, 2015. They scrape the ink out from the cans and sell them later sell for P1,5000 (about US$ 33) for a 25 kilogram can after they have cleaned out the dirt and sand inside. AP/Aaron Favila

Questions related to purpose involved whether Filipinos "like" what they do or "learn or do something interesting every day."

They were also asked whether they have someone in their lives who encourages them to be healthy or gives them "positive energy" every day as a way to measure their social well-being.

Respondents' sense of community was also measured with questions on whether Filipinos find their city or area a "perfect place" or if they have received recognition for helping to improve their neighborhood.

Filipinos' "thriving" physical well-being (24 percent), meanwhile, compares well with the 23-percent regional and 24-percent global averages.

Philippines' Well-Being Index, based on the Gallup-Healthways State of Global Well-Being study

The researchers recognized, however, that the government has aimed to make the Philippines' rapid growth more inclusive.

What government should do

Researchers said that while the economic perception in the rapidly developing Philippines continues to be low, the Philippine government has been aiming to have a "more inclusive" growth.

Government can achieve inclusive economic growth in part by "improving the country's education system and increasing the focus on vocational and technical education."

It also said that the Philippines should capitalize on the population's high sense of purpose to improve financial well-being and "address the effects of rising inequality, poverty and underemployment."


TRIBUNE

Expel Trillanes gains ground; PNP intel man denies his claim Written by Mario J. Mallari and Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 26 March 2015 00:00


Sen. Antonio Trillanes is in a deeper hole than earlier perceived.

Aside from being accused of revealing information obtained in an executive session in violation of Senate rules, his allegations of a conspiracy to “wine and dine” members of the military prior to Operation Plan (Oplan) Exodus yesterday proved to be baseless and filled with innuendoes.

The police intelligence officer, who hosted the “happy hour” with military officials in-charge of Maguindanao present on the eve of the day Oplan “Exodus” was launched, came out yesterday, denying insinuations that the event was done to intentionally to prevent the Army from knowing about the Special Action Force (SAF) operation.

Senior Supt. Manolo Ozaeta, head of the Philippine National Police-Special Project Mindanao, admitted that he hosted a two-and-a-half hour “boodle fight” among Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army officials, particularly those from the 601st Brigade, last Jan. 24 at the Del Rio Splash Resort in Koronadal City.

Moves to expel Trillanes from the Senate as a consequence of his public disclosure of some alleged information discussed during the executive session on the Mamasapano investigation, had gained ground and is now under study, Tribune sources bared.

Trillanes said he is ready and willing to be judged by his peers, in any eventuality, even as he remained firm in his claims that his revelations were not based on the closed-door proceedings of the three-panel investigating body handling the Mamasapano issue, but from sources in the military.

READ MORE...
The senator, himself a former military officer, claimed that ranking officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were invited to a night out by an intelligence officer from the PNP, which turned out to be Ozaeta, on the eve of the SAF mission in Mamasapano, Maguindanao and some 120 other members of the elite police force who were also deployed refused to provide needed reinforcements to their embattled comrades during the crucial hours of the Jan. 25 operation.
It was gathered from sources that even before the Tribune came out with a story on the possible serious breach of protocols in the on matters governing executive sessions, specifically provided for in the published Senate rules, the matter of subjecting Trillanes to punitive action was already being reviewed, based on his statements made over the weekend.

His revelations were viewed to be covered by the said proceedings conducted by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Sen. Grace Poe, jointly with the committees on peace, unification and reconciliation and finance, sources said.

Ozaeta said key police and military officials assigned in SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) attended the dinner party.

Ozaeta clarified that the dinner was held with a pure good intention upon his invitation as a gesture of gratitude and goodwill to officers of the 601st Brigade in recognition of the previous successful joint operations launched by PNP and AFP units in Central Mindanao.

He said the party was originally scheduled as a lunch or dinner party in November and December 2014 but was later moved to 6pm of Saturday, Jan. 24 upon the suggestion of the AFP counterparts to ensure the availability of all guests since it was on a weekend.

Ozaeta dismissed insinuations that the “boodle fight” was, in any way, connected to the launching of Oplan “Exodus” targeting Malaysian terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Amin Baco, alias Jihad, and Filipino bomb expert Basit Usman.

Ozaeta maintained it was purely coincidental that the dinner was held hours before SAF commandos launched Oplan Exodus against the three high-value targets in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

According to Ozaeta, the dinner party started promptly at 6 p.m. and ended when he and Col. Melquiades Feliciano, 601st Brigade commander left around 8:45 p.m.

“If at all alcoholic drinks were served during the dinner, these beverages normally come with parties, Ozaeta said.

“It has no link whatsoever with the Mamasapano operations nor was it intended to divert our counterpart’s attention in reinforcements as both units did not expect such operations in Mamasapano in the first place,” added Ozaeta.

Trillanes over the weekend revealed that a PNP officer “wined and dined” some military officials on the eve of the launching of Oplan “Exodus” purportedly to know if the Army was aware of the impending SAF operation.

On Monday, SAF chief Director Virgilio Moro Lazo called on Trillanes to be more circumspect in issuing statements regarding the Mamasapano.

There were also insinuations that the “happy hour” was held to prevent Army officers, particularly Feliciano and Lt. Col. Romeo Bautista of the 45th Infantry Battalion –who have jurisdiction over Mamasapano, Maguindanao, from taking action when Oplan “Exodus” is launched
Ozaeta offered himself to his PNP superiors to explain after Trillanes revealed the matter, which was taken during an executive session of the Senate as part of the hearing on Mamasapano clash.
Military sources branded the move as an obvious attempt to divert the attention of Army officials in Maguindanao from Oplan “Exodus.”

They noted that the police host hand-picked Feliciano and Bautista, who are in-charge of Maguindanao, in their invitation. As a result, the chain of command in Maguindanao was broken, leading to delayed military response at the height of the clash between the SAF and combined Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

The operation resulted in the killing of 44 SAF commandos, including seven junior officers, 17 MILF, six BIFF and three civilians.

Despite the issue, the PNP maintained that the 150,000-strong police organization is committed to maintain strong bond with its AFP counterparts.

Under Senate rules, senators, including their staff and other employees are prohibited from divulging publicly any of the confidential matters taken in an executive session and a violation would be expulsion for the upper chamber member following a vote of two-thirds of all senators and dismissal for any erring personnel.

Trillanes throws tantrum

In a press conference, Trillanes stood pat in saying that his information came “outside of the executive session” as it was relayed to him by those in the Army, particularly those who supposedly wined and dined with the PNP officer he identified only as Senior Supt. Ozaeta, and expressed permission for him to talk aboutthe said incident publicly.

He assailed his colleagues who may file an expulsion resolution against him.

“Now if there would be a senator who is ignorant of the rules, go to my office and I will explain the Senate rules. Whoever is the source of the Tribune. Whoever told that person to the Tribune, that one will have to answer for it actually, because it was confirmation of the information in there (executive session), isn’t it? Then it was given to media. That source should be the one investigated since that is “our” rules,” he said.

“Even if it comes to that (expulsion proceedings), I would welcome any ethics complaint to be filed by a peer in the Senate if anybody will have the guts to file it,” he said.

But his own statements, in expressing his displeasure over the Senate report on the Mamasapano incident, Trillanes admitted that the issues he raised were very glaring to have been made in the executive session but were disregarded in arriving at the findings and recommendations.

“That is the reason that I am wondering (about) . Supposed to be, in the committee report, that was what I expect to come out (the “wine and dine” incident) because this information was too obvious. I believe it’s very material but what they did was to make a a political statement through the committee report. They came out with findings that conformed with what the public and media wanted to hear. The truth did not come out. The one who explained the findings of the committee report was Sen. (Francis) Escudero, was he the one who wrote it?,” he lamented.

The senator also came short in acknowledging the claims that the effort to exclude the AFP from the PNP operation was due to the $5 million bounty offered by the United States government for the capture or killing of Marwan.

Trillanes said he will stand by the veracity of his information even as the Tribune sources disputed its significance to the Mamasapano incident as the PNP official is not in any way connected or involved in the SAF operation or relieved SAF chief Director Getulio Napenas.

The senator contradicted this stressing that the person was privy to the said operation and insinuated to have acted upon orders to ensure that the AFP does not have an inkling of the SAF operation.

“(SAF) Dir. (Moro Virgilio) Lazo at Napeñas were making it appear that I am lying. No sir. Those came from Army officers that I talked to. They, actually, they were quibbling. They were PMAers (Philippine Military Academy graduates) but they quibbled. They knew that the dinner was held but since they knew it was not SAF, which by the way I did not say (the sponsor of the dinner) was part of SAF. My facts are straight. Gen. Lazo my facts are straight, now you should make sure your facts are correct.

Trillanes even claimed that the night out was arranged by the PNP officials and not by those from the military.


TRIBUNE EDITORIAL

TRILLANES: Hoist with his own petard Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 26 March 2015 00:00

'She just yakked and yakked and yakked.' This was how then Philippine Navy Lt. Sr. Grade Antonio Trillanes IV complained about former President Gloria Arroyo when he was castigated after bringing to her notice complaints of corruption in the military.

He launched at least two failed coup attempts against the Arroyo government.

Now a senator, Trillanes is facing expulsion from the Senate for yakking too much.

Trillanes who is taking the cudgels for Noynoy and his bumbling administration, evidently to propel his further ambitions in the polls next year, has been making the rounds in media to boost recall but in the process he violated the Senate rules by disclosing information raised in an executive session held for the Mamasapano debacle.

Trillanes, in his eagerness to hog the headlines, revealed confidential information in the closed-door proceedings, primarily those concerning the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers’ mission to capture or eliminate Malaysian terrorist Marwan and two local cohorts.

Trillanes who seems to have a serious problem with obeying rules and laws, appeared to have disregarded Senate regulations in upholding the sanctity of executive sessions.

Trillanes revealed to reporters that an intelligence officer of the Philippine National Police treated some military officials and soldiers to a drinking spree on the eve of the Mamasapano mission which his peers said was among the issues revealed in the executive session.

READ MORE...
The issue was not pursued since it was not directly related to the botched Jan. 25 SAF operation contrary to how Trillanes has recounted the revelation to reporters.

Senators were told that the still unnamed intelligence officer was not in any way involved in the SAF operation and that the celebration was a simple gathering of former comrades who wanted to relive their successful joint missions in the past.

Trillanes yakked, however, that the Senate report missed out on certain important issues apparently referring to the conspiracy angle which was formed in his belligerent mind frame.

The Navyman-turned-senator is also known for making allegations without proof to substantiate them.

Describing Trillanes’ revelation, one of those present in the executive session said the revelation did not even merit a mention in the committee report since it is not considered a vital information.

Under the Senate rule on executive sessions, the senators and the officials and employees of the Senate are ordered “to absolutely refrain from divulging any of the confidential matters taken up by the Senate and all proceedings which might have taken place in the Senate in connection with the said matters shall be likewise considered as strictly confidential until the Senate, by two-thirds vote of all its members, decides to lift the ban of secrecy.”

The same rule stated that “any senator who violates the provisions contained in the preceding section may, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all the senators, be expelled from the Senate and if the violator is an official or employee of the Senate, he shall be dismissed.”

Trillanes countered there could not be any ground for his expulsion and even bragged that he is not bound by the Senate rules.

His excuse now is that he had obtained the information outside of the executive session when the military officials stepped out of the closed-door hearing.

The fact that his colleagues contradicted him and who all said the exact issue was brought out in the executive session was enough proof that Trillanes lied.

Trillanes is apparently trying to spin a fable to support the allegations that the Mamasapano bloodbath was the sole fault of the scapegoat relieved SAF chief Getulio Napeñas, whom Noynoy has been blaming for making the wrong decisions and who had fed him false informations.

The public is now treated to a president who is evidently lying and who is then supported by a duplicitous senator who together constitute a pathetic pair.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE