PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS WEEK
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EDGARDO ANGARA AT BOOK LAUNCH: FPJ DIDN'T WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ERAP


APRIL 30 ---Angara book launching PHOTO by MAILA AGER/INQUIRER.net
When the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) was deciding whether or not run for president in 2004, he did not want to be associated with his best pal, ousted-President and now-Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. Former Senator Edgardo Angara revealed this in his new biography titled: “Edgardo J. Angara: In the grand manner” which was launched at the Manila Polo Club in Makati Wednesday. Poe ran for president in 2004 under Angara’s Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) but lost to former-President and now-Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Angara said that, at first, Poe did not want to run for president but later gave in after he was pursued by Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. “FPJ was actually more concerned about his public image than Erap (Estrada’s nickname) ever was. Erap was all out for FPJ, but FPJ privately preferred not to be associated with Erap if he was going to run for president, because he didn’t want the public to think again of the entertainer as a frivolous figure,” the former senator said in the book, written by Jose Dalisay Jr. READ MORE...

ALSO: P-Noy in Cebu for Labor Day rites


MAY 1 ---President Benigno Aquino III. STAR/File photo
President Aquino is rolling out today in Cebu the country’s first “full cycle” employment facilitation program to reduce high youth unemployment nationwide. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Aquino would celebrate Labor Day with the launching of the Canadian-funded JOBStart Philippines, a program that aims to shorten school-to-work transition of unemployed youth from 2 to 4 years to only 6 to 9 months. Baldoz also reminded employers that May 1 has been declared a regular holiday, thus entitling workers to double pay plus 30 percent per hour more for work rendered beyond the 8-hour period. For his part, Vice President Jejomar Binay is pushing for higher tax exemptions, citing the need to boost workers’ purchasing power by stabilizing the prices of basic commodities and controlling inflation. He also wanted to focus on inclusive growth, creating more local jobs that would give an option for Filipino workers to seek employment in the country instead of going abroad. In Metro Manila, members of NAGKAISA, a coalition of labor organizations in the country, and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) will march from Welcome Rotonda in España Boulevard to the Chino Roces bridge in Mendiola to express their dismay over the Aquino government’s failure to improve workers’ lives. READ MORE...

ALSO: Youth comprises most of jobless Filipinos: 7 of 10 unemployed had high school degree or college-educated


April 30 ---Refusal to implement policies to develop country's domestic economic sectors and boost potential of labor force reason behind worsening joblessness Research group IBON expressed concern that the number of unemployed remains most concentrated among the youth. Official unemployment figures also show that many jobless workers are high-school or college-educated. According to IBON, this underscores not only the gravity of the worst-ever jobs crisis under the Aquino government but also the economy’s inability to sustain job creation in the country, including for the youth joining the labor force. Almost half or 47.3% of all unemployed were in the 15-24 year old age-group as of January 2015. READ MORE...

ALSO: LP to convene nat’l council to finalize bets for 2016


MAY 1 ---STAR/File photo
The ruling Liberal Party (LP) will convene its National Executive Council (NEC) to chart political strategy and come up with a lineup of candidates for the 2016 elections, an administration lawmaker said yesterday. Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, secretary-general of the LP, said many prominent personalities have manifested their interest to run for the Senate under the LP banner. The lawmaker was reacting to reports that actor Dingdong Dantes, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista might run for the Senate under the LP. READ MORE.....

ALSO: Gov't protecting OFWs, Noy claims on Labor Day


MAY 1 ---Militant groups advocating the welfare of Filipino migrant workers. Edd Gumban
MANILA, Philippines - After receiving criticisms over the case of death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso, President Benigno Aquino III claimed on Labor Day that the government is taking care of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). In his Labor Day message on Friday, Aquino said the government is ensuring to protect Filipino workers including those in other countries. "Saanmang sulok ng mundo sila naroroon, sinisikap tugunan ng pamahalaan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan, lalo na sa larangan ng edukasyon, pagsasanay, at agarang ayuda," Aquino said. "Pinapanday natin ang higit na matatag na ugnayan sa puwersang manggagawa upang mapakinggan ang kanilang saloobin at mabigyan ito ng karampatang aksyon," he added. Aquino's comments on OFW concerns came after Veloso, who was convicted for smuggling heroin, was spared from facing the Indonesian firing squad on Wednesday. READ MORE...

ALSO LABOR DAY MASSIVE PROTEST: 'PNoy abandoned laborers on their day'


MAY 1 ---Thousands of workers troop to Mendiola in Manila to air their grievances, asking the government for better benefits and working environment.
Members of the labor groups Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and Nagkaisa on Friday accused President Aquino of abandoning his commitment to workers nationwide. During the Labor Day protest at Mendiola, Manila, workers scored the president for his alleged inaction in responding to the eight-point agenda raised by the groups in 2012. "President Aquino's choice to go to Cebu today rather than confront and respond to the frustrations of the workers on this Labor Day is both an abandonment and high form cowardice," the labor groups said in a joint statement. READ MORE...

Show of military might closes out biggest Balikatan

 



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ALSO GAMES OVER: Show of military might closes out biggest Balikatan


MAY 1 ---GAMES OVER No longer sporting grim and grimy faces, Philippine and US Marines, some of whom managed to smile, pose for a souvenir photo after their live fire RP-US Balikatan military exercises at Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac province. The notorious Crow Valley was the gunnery range of the former US Air Base in Clark Field, then the largest outside the United States. RAFFY LERMA
CAPAS, Tarlac—The United States military on Thursday displayed its superior firepower during a combined arms live fire exercise (Calfex) at Crow Valley here that ended this year’s 10-day Balikatan (shoulder to shoulder) exercises.
The US military brought its Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters, an A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter plane and howitzers during the war games that had American and Filipino soldiers fighting side by side. Col. Dave Womack, commander of the 2nd Strike Brigade, 25th Infantry Division of the US Army, said the Balikatan was not so much about the equipment but the Filipino and American soldiers who learned from each other. “They were side by side today and we showcased their ability to integrate their capabilities. And I think they are impressive,” Womack said. Col. Lawrence Mina, Task Force Kalayaan commander of the Philippine Army, said Calfex was the application of what the soldiers learned during the field training exercise phase of Balikatan, where no live ammunition was used. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Former Sen Ed Angara: FPJ didn’t want to be associated with Erap Estrada


Angara book launching PHOTO by MAILA AGER/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, MAY 2, 2015 (INQUIRER) Maila Ager  @MAgerINQ 12:22 PM | Thursday, April 30th, 2015  - When the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) was deciding whether or not run for president in 2004, he did not want to be associated with his best pal, ousted-President and now-Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Former Senator Edgardo Angara revealed this in his new biography titled: “Edgardo J. Angara: In the grand manner” which was launched at the Manila Polo Club in Makati Wednesday.

Poe ran for president in 2004 under Angara’s Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) but lost to former-President and now-Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Angara said that, at first, Poe did not want to run for president but later gave in after he was pursued by Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.

“FPJ was actually more concerned about his public image than Erap (Estrada’s nickname) ever was. Erap was all out for FPJ, but FPJ privately preferred not to be associated with Erap if he was going to run for president, because he didn’t want the public to think again of the entertainer as a frivolous figure,” the former senator said in the book, written by Jose Dalisay Jr.

READ MORE...
No entertainers, too

“In fact, he didn’t want any entertainers to be included in our senatorial line up. He had a clear idea of how a public figure should look and behave,” Angara said.

This later became a problem because, he said, Poe was known as “Da King” in show business and “so he behaved royally, disdaining to give interviews to the media and to talk to mayors and politicians, which hampered his campaign.”

Angara said the late actor had developed an aversion to the media because of a “bad experience” with a TV reporter, GMA7 Sandra Aguinaldo, that “almost singlehandedly torpedoed his whole candidacy.”

“It had been quite a struggle to get this guy to run. And when he was running, it was also a struggle to get him to meet the press and other politicians, other people,” he said.

Angara said he then decided to call a meeting and explained to FPJ that the media were complaining about the lack of access to him, that he had to change his attitude and to win them over, as well as the local officials.

Jojo Binay’s role

“So he asked what we should do, and I said that we needed to get someone who was media-savvy or accustomed to interacting with media but also someone who could relate to politicians. So we recommended Jojo Binay,” he said, referring to now Vice President Jejomar Binay.

“We made him the general campaign manager. With Jojo, FPJ started to open up. He had a script, and he was used to memorizing scripts so things went more smoothly. Tito had good writers at Eat Bulaga, who helped with the speeches. From then on, we were able to repair our relationship with politicians and the media,” the former senator further said.

Angara is the father of incumbent Senator Sonny Angara.


PHILSTAR

P-Noy in Cebu for Labor Day rites By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 1, 2015 - 12:00am


President Benigno Aquino III. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is rolling out today in Cebu the country’s first “full cycle” employment facilitation program to reduce high youth unemployment nationwide.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Aquino would celebrate Labor Day with the launching of the Canadian-funded JOBStart Philippines, a program that aims to shorten school-to-work transition of unemployed youth from 2 to 4 years to only 6 to 9 months.

Baldoz also reminded employers that May 1 has been declared a regular holiday, thus entitling workers to double pay plus 30 percent per hour more for work rendered beyond the 8-hour period.

For his part, Vice President Jejomar Binay is pushing for higher tax exemptions, citing the need to boost workers’ purchasing power by stabilizing the prices of basic commodities and controlling inflation.

He also wanted to focus on inclusive growth, creating more local jobs that would give an option for Filipino workers to seek employment in the country instead of going abroad.

In Metro Manila, members of NAGKAISA, a coalition of labor organizations in the country, and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) will march from Welcome Rotonda in España Boulevard to the Chino Roces bridge in Mendiola to express their dismay over the Aquino government’s failure to improve workers’ lives.

READ MORE...
Alan Tanjusay, NAGKAISA and TUCP spokesman, said they expect 25,000 workers from 49 labor groups and workers’ organizations in both private and public sectors to join the march and protest rally.

In Bulacan, the provincial government is partnering with SM City-Marilao and other offices to link applicants with potential employers here and abroad.

Police units have been placed on heightened alert in Mindanao and the Visayas islands as protest rallies are expected today, said Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Sr. Supt. Bartolome Tobias.

He added that the PNP will strictly implement a ‘no permit, no rally’ policy nationwide, although permit-less rally can still be held in private places or public plazas.

Aquino will first visit Negros Occidental province, where he is expected to inaugurate the P63.4-million Negros First Rice Processing Center in Bago City and the P630-million Negros First Cyber Center before proceeding to the neighboring Cebu Island.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a text message said the President does not have any intention of avoiding the rallies in Metro Manila, noting that this is the only time Aquino is celebrating Labor Day in the provinces.

He added since 2010, when Aquino became President, Filipino workers have been able to receive higher take home pay because of the increase in 13th month pay and other benefits and the provision of new livelihood opportunities.

In Cebu, Aquino is expected to spearhead the launching of Asia’s first ‘full-cycle’ employment facilitation program, named JOBStart.

“The program is supported by the Asian Development Bank and funded by the government of Canada. It offers enhanced career guidance services, job matching and referral, technical training, internship and a transformative eight-day skills training which most employers say are the key to employability,” Baldoz said.

JOBStart will initially cater to 3,200 youths, an addition to the 2,162 youths who participated in the pilot run.

Baldoz said this will further reduce youth unemployment, which accounts for half of the unemployed sector nationwide.

Meanwhile, Binay said inclusive growth must happen in the country to avoid a repeat of the case of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina facing death sentence in Indonesia for drug trafficking.

“We need to intensify our efforts to provide more opportunities to our countrymen so that people like Mary Jane will no longer need to leave the country for work,” Binay said in Filipino, referring to the Filipina worker who was sentenced to die by firing squad in Indonesia for transporting illegal drugs. Veloso received a reprieve hours after her recruiter surrendered to the police in Nueva Ecija province.

Binay, presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ concerns, also said support mechanisms for OFWs must be strengthened, given their importance in propping up the economy.– With Delon Porcalla, Aurea Calica, Cecilia Suerte Felipe, Helen Flores and Ramon Efren Lazaro


IBON FOUNDATION RESEARCH GROUP

Youth comprises most of jobless Filipinos: 7 of 10 unemployed had high school degree or college-educated

IBON NEWS | 30 April 2015 | Refusal to implement policies to develop country's domestic economic sectors and boost potential of labor force reason behind worsening joblessness

Research group IBON expressed concern that the number of unemployed remains most concentrated among the youth. Official unemployment figures also show that many jobless workers are high-school or college-educated.

According to IBON, this underscores not only the gravity of the worst-ever jobs crisis under the Aquino government but also the economy’s inability to sustain job creation in the country, including for the youth joining the labor force.

READ MORE...
Almost half or 47.3% of all unemployed were in the 15-24 year old age-group as of January 2015. Meanwhile, almost a third (31.6%) of all unemployed were in the 25-34 age group during the same period.

IBON added that while education has been valued by society as a ticket out of poverty, it should be noted that among the unemployed, almost three out of 10 (33.4%) had a college education, with at least 20.4% actually having graduated. Moreover, 7 of 10 unemployed youth were high-school or college-educated. In 2014, some 553,706 graduated from college yet only 518,000 jobs were created the year before.

Government's refusal to implement policies that will develop the country's domestic economic sectors and boost the potential of the labor force, such as agriculture and domestic industries, is the reason behind worsening joblessness, the research group said. (end) IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.


PHILSTAR

LP to convene nat’l council to finalize bets for 2016 By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 1, 2015 - 12:00am


STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The ruling Liberal Party (LP) will convene its National Executive Council (NEC) to chart political strategy and come up with a lineup of candidates for the 2016 elections, an administration lawmaker said yesterday.

Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, secretary-general of the LP, said many prominent personalities have manifested their interest to run for the Senate under the LP banner.

The lawmaker was reacting to reports that actor Dingdong Dantes, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista might run for the Senate under the LP.

READ MORE...
“They are welcome to be part of the LP slate. But until the names of our candidates have been approved by the party’s National Executive Council, nothing is official yet,” Sarmiento said. “Everyone must go through the party’s selection process.”

“Everything at this moment is speculation because we still don’t have any official lineup yet. We have a selection process to observe and we will choose our candidates on the basis of this process,” he added.

President Aquino chairs the NEC with Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. as vice chairmen.

Sarmiento, LP acting president Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Alfonso Umali are the other members of the NEC.


PHILSTAR

Gov't protecting OFWs, Noy claims on Labor Day By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated May 1, 2015 - 12:14pm


Militant groups advocating the welfare of Filipino migrant workers. Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines - After receiving criticisms over the case of death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso, President Benigno Aquino III claimed on Labor Day that the government is taking care of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In his Labor Day message on Friday, Aquino said the government is ensuring to protect Filipino workers including those in other countries.

"Saanmang sulok ng mundo sila naroroon, sinisikap tugunan ng pamahalaan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan, lalo na sa larangan ng edukasyon, pagsasanay, at agarang ayuda," Aquino said.

"Pinapanday natin ang higit na matatag na ugnayan sa puwersang manggagawa upang mapakinggan ang kanilang saloobin at mabigyan ito ng karampatang aksyon," he added.

Aquino's comments on OFW concerns came after Veloso, who was convicted for smuggling heroin, was spared from facing the Indonesian firing squad on Wednesday.

READ MORE...
The execution was postponed following Aquino's last-minute proposal to the Indonesian government that Veloso be made a witness against the drug syndicate that duped her.

While he received praises for this move, Aquino also faced criticisms for the supposed lateness of his actions to save Veloso and for neglecting the welfare of other migrant workers who were victims of human and drug trafficking.

Aquino fired back at his critics on Thursday, claiming that the number of incidents involving Filipino drug mules has decreased to 14 from the yearly average of 78.

"Kung may mga ibang tao nagkokomentaryo na wake up call ito na dapat tayong kumilos, kami matagal nang mulat ang mata namin, kumikilos kami at nagkakaresulta na," he told reporters in Bacolod City.


PHILSTAR

'PNoy abandoned laborers on their day' By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated May 1, 2015 - 2:13pm


Thousands of workers troop to Mendiola in Manila to air their grievances, asking the government for better benefits and working environment.

MANILA, Philippines - Members of the labor groups Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and Nagkaisa on Friday accused President Aquino of abandoning his commitment to workers nationwide.

During the Labor Day protest at Mendiola, Manila, workers scored the president for his alleged inaction in responding to the eight-point agenda raised by the groups in 2012.

"President Aquino's choice to go to Cebu today rather than confront and respond to the frustrations of the workers on this Labor Day is both an abandonment and high form cowardice," the labor groups said in a joint statement.

READ MORE...
TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said the president's trip to Cebu during the Labor Day rallies in Manila is also a sign of the chief executive's disconnect with the problems of the workers.

"It is now clear that he is still disinterested and disconnected with the staple problems confronting wthe workers and besetting the labor sector in the country," Tanjusay said, noting that laborers would have to wait for the new president in 2016 to decide on the groups' proposals.

Included in proposal are the streamlining of contractual job scheme, increasing the wages of private employees and government workers, lowering the cost of electricity and ensure reliability of supply, implementing the agro-industrial plan to create stable jobs and allowing public sector workers to form unions.


INQUIRER

GAMES OVER: Show of military might closes out biggest Balikatan Cynthia D. Balana, Gabriel Cardinoza | Inquirer Northern Luzon 5:40 AM | Friday, May 1st, 2015


GAMES OVER No longer sporting grim and grimy faces, Philippine and US Marines, some of whom managed to smile, pose for a souvenir photo after their live fire RP-US Balikatan military exercises at Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac province. The notorious Crow Valley was the gunnery range of the former US Air Base in Clark Field, then the largest outside the United States. RAFFY LERMA

CAPAS, Tarlac—The United States military on Thursday displayed its superior firepower during a combined arms live fire exercise (Calfex) at Crow Valley here that ended this year’s 10-day Balikatan (shoulder to shoulder) exercises.

The US military brought its Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters, an A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter plane and howitzers during the war games that had American and Filipino soldiers fighting side by side.

Col. Dave Womack, commander of the 2nd Strike Brigade, 25th Infantry Division of the US Army, said the Balikatan was not so much about the equipment but the Filipino and American soldiers who learned from each other.

“They were side by side today and we showcased their ability to integrate their capabilities. And I think they are impressive,” Womack said.

Col. Lawrence Mina, Task Force Kalayaan commander of the Philippine Army, said Calfex was the application of what the soldiers learned during the field training exercise phase of Balikatan, where no live ammunition was used.

READ MORE...
“Training needs were identified when we started the exercise. What we think were not covered by this training, we can have them in the next Balikatan exercise,” Mina said.

At least 10,000 Filipino and American soldiers took part in the exercise, the biggest Balikatan in the last 15 years.

On Thursday, 90 American troops and 160 Filipino soldiers participated in the war games that lasted almost an hour.

“Not only are we training and helping our brothers and sisters from the Philippines, we’re getting a lot of readiness out of here. We came here to increase our readiness and that’s really important to us,” Womack said.

“We have also benefited from this and so I want to make that clear because there are things that we are doing here that we just can’t do in other places so, we’re pretty thankful for this opportunity,” he said.

He said the exercise also trained them to work together during humanitarian assistance and disaster response situations.

Vice Adm. Alexander Lopez, Balikatan exercise director, said the mock battle was not directed at any country “but more to any crisis situation that both our countries might face.”

“We have made new and better initiatives and this is, by far, the biggest Balikatan in terms of manpower and equipment,” he said.–With reports from Jun Malig, Armand Galang and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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