PHNO HEADLINE NEWS MIDDLE OF THE WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

ONLY 23% (1 in 4 Filipinos) SUPPORT BBL - SWS
[In terms of the benefits of the peace talks with the MILF to the Filipinos, the SWS said the national opinion was “somewhat negative” in March 2015. Forty-two percent said there would be “some” or “much” benefit, but 56 percent think there would be “little” or no benefit.]


MAY 16 ---Supporters of the Bangsamoro Basic Law march to the House of Representatives, where an ad hoc panel was supposed to begin voting on the draft law yesterday.
Photo By Boy Santos Only one in four Filipinos is in favor of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in the aftermath of the Jan. 25 Mamasapano incident, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in its latest report. A special survey conducted by the SWS from March 20 to 23 found 23 percent of 1,200 respondents who expressed approval of the BBL, while 48 percent were against it. “A generally favorable attitude toward the peace agreement prevailed until after the Jan. 25 incident in Mamasapano, and in March 2015 attitudes toward the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law were on balance negative throughout the country,” the SWS said. But respondents in the areas to be covered by the Bangsamoro autonomous region remain hopeful that the BBL will be passed and it will bring peace and development in Mindanao, according to the SWS. If enacted, the BBL will be the legal basis for the creation of the Bangsamoro autonomous region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The draft BBL is the product of peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). However, 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) were killed by combined teams of the MILF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups in Mamasapano. READ MORE...

ALSO Aquino: No [he will not agree] to watered-down Bangsamoro law


MAY 15 ---President Aquino said amendments to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) are to be expected as this is “normal” but said he will not agree with a watered-down BBL. Old file photo
“Of course, since it is a historical document, we want everything to be put on paper and that’s just normal,” Aquino said in an interview with Bombo Radyo aired Thursday.
He said former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, a member of the National Peace Council that reviewed the proposed BBL, has said the BBL is constitutionally sound and defensible. The President also said the deliberations for the BBL in the Senate and Congress are still on schedule. “With the target that the leadership of the House gave us, I think they are on schedule,” Aquino said. The Congress is hoping to pass the BBL before the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Aquino on July 27. Aquino said his administration is not threatened by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM), armed groups that are against the passage of the BBL. Aquino said JIM founder Mohhamad Ali Tambako has already been arrested. As for the BIFF, he said, its numbers and its capacity have been “significantly reduced.” “It’s not too big a group to begin with to create violence in Mindanao,” he said.

ALSO: Noy met House leaders twice over weekend presses House to pass BBL
[The Bangsamoro Basic Law seeks to create a Bangsamoro autonomous region to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao].


Aquino ally and House Leader Belmonte President Aquino met with leaders of the House of Representatives twice over the weekend to ensure the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as the  chamber’s ad hoc committee votes today on a second version that retained or reworded several key provisions that were considered unconstitutional. The meetings were held at Malacañang yesterday and last Friday, and included leaders of parties belong to the pro-administration bloc, deputy speakers, as well as vice chairmen of the ad hoc panel. The meeting continued until last night, with lawmakers finalizing the second draft to incorporate additional changes. The meetings came on the heels of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed only 23 percent of Filipinos supported the BBL in the aftermath of the Jan. 25 incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao wherein 44 police commandos were killed in a clash with gunmen from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and a private armed group. The BBL seeks to create a Bangsamoro autonomous region to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that Aquino described as a “failed experiment.”  The section-by-section voting on the BBL was postponed from last week due to numerous last-minute amendments put in by several lawmakers. This prompted the House leadership to ask the panel, chaired by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, to come up with a single draft. Rodriguez came up with and distributed a 144-page draft before the weekend that excised at least eight provisions that were considered unconstitutional. READ MORE...

ALSO: Inputs from BBL hearings in Jolo, Zambo valuable in correcting Moro law flaws - Marcos
[But he warned that if Congress rushed to pass BBL without addressing its flaws, it would not achieve its end of bringing just and lasting peace to Muslim Mindanao. “The main priority is getting it right, maybe, a far second is getting it done under the deadline,” the senator said.]


MAY 16 ---Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks to the media in Zamboanga City after a public consultation on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law in Patikul, Sulu on Wednesday, May 13. He says many of issues raised on inclusion, on alleged lack of consultation need to be addressed as Senate tackles the Bangsamoro Basic Low. Jonathan de Santos 
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday said his decision to hold two-day, marathon hearings in Jolo (Sulu) and Zamboanga on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law proved to be correct as it gave his panel valuable inputs that would help in crafting a version of the BBL acceptable to majority of stakeholders.  Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, noted that the hearings brought out in the open sentiments and concerns of local residents and officials over the draft BBL not given much attention either in news reports or in congressional discussions of the proposed law. “There is really no substitute for talking to the locals,” he said. The glaring issue that came to the fore in two-day hearings is that of “inclusivity,” according to the senator. In Jolo, for example, Marcos noted that many resource persons spent a lot of time decrying the fact that they were left out in the process “because they are MNLF [Moro National Liberation Front], because they are Tausugs, and they belong to the Sultanate of Sulu.”  Representatives from both the MNLF and the sultanate said they want out of the Bangsamoro territory, as conceived in the draft BBL.  In the Zamboanga hearing, Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar bared that the five governors of provinces comprising the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) were never consulted in the drafting of the BBL. Also, Marcos noted that majority of the indigenous peoples (IPs) of Mindanao were apparently left out in the process too. READ MORE...

ALSO: Tagle becomes first Asian to head Caritas worldwide


MAY 16 ---
Cardinal Tagle with Pope Francis AFP PHOTO  VATICAN CITY: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has been elected as the new president of Caritas Internationalis. He was nominated at the confederation’s 20th General Assembly in Rome. The Filipino prelate got 91 votes out of 133. Cardinal Tagle will replace Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as president of Caritas Internationalis. He will become the global representative of the Caritas confederation of 165 members as its head when he officially takes office at the end of the assembly on May 17. Maradiaga, who offered his congratulations and warm support to the new president, stepped down after serving two terms. Following his election, Tagle, speaking by phone to the delegates from over 130 member organizations from all over the world, said “Buona sera a tutti [Good evening everyone]!”   Thank you for your trust. I’m limited in my capacities but with all of you, with the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts and in the name of all of the poor people in the world, I accept this election.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy’s changing tune on his friend Purisima draws criticisms


MAY 16 ---Resigned PNP Chief Purisima --President Aquino’s backtracking on his claim that his close friend, resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima, had lied to him at the height of the Operation Plan (Oplan) “Exodus” drew criticisms from the retired and active police and military ranks. The Tribune sources, from both the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ranks, branded the President’s backtracking as a clear indication of his true character. “It’s a character flaw. What a waste!” a retired general told the Tribune. “It clearly showed that he (Aquino) values his friendship with Purisima so much that he took back his own words for it. A weak leader,” another retired senior official said. “That proves that Purisima still wields strong influence on the President even after he resigned as chief PNP,” a Camp Crame official said. In a radio interview, Aquino took back his claim that Purisima fed him “lies” before members of the House of Representatives during a meeting in Malacañang. Aquino claimed that Purisima’s messages to him only contained wrong information and not an outright lie. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Chilling effect’ on business over AMLC report leakage by Senate probers
[Money transfers to Canada legitimate—VP camp]


MAY 16 ---“I will no longer ask how the AMLC report was obtained , since this is confidential under the law, because I know why this confidential reort was leaked,” he said, noting that AMLC’s report was one-sided as it has yet to include his responses to the findings. “This is what the AMLC said: The report is just one sided and it did not give us any chance at all to explain these bank data. The AMLC is wrong. It is really all wrong,” the Vice President said. “The information you got from the media is that I have 242 bank accounts. I even beat Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and I didn’t even realize that there are so many banks in the country,” he added. Binay clarified that the funds in his bank accounts came from his income, savings and investments before he joined government as well as the campaign donations when he ran for Vice President in 2010. In coming up with its findings on the bank accounts of political foes of President Aquino and the Liberal Party, the Anti-Money Laundering Council doesn’t bother to check on whether money transfers to Canada, as stated in its leaked report, being publicized by the anti-Binay media, are legitimate. The AMLC merely lists these transfers as part of the alleged hidden wealth of Vice President Jojo Binay.A TV report said that the AMLC bank data showed that the VP had transferred funds to Synnovate, Synnovate Ltd. and David Rink Consultancies in Canada which AMLC claimed are illegal transfers.Joey Salgado, head of VP Binay’s media affairs, issued a statement to the media saying that the least that AMLC could have done, before making such a faulty conclusion, was to check out these companies using Google, In a statement, Salgado said: “As reported in media, the AMLAC report claims that the money transfers to Synnovate, Synnovate Ltd. and David Rink Consultancies in Canada are illegal. “Had AMLAC bothered to do a simple Google check they would have known that these companies are legitimate market research companies. They were paid for services rendered.
“This is another clear proof that AMLC misled the Court of Appeals into issuing the freeze order. Now, the publication of the leaked report is misleading the public, which was the objective of those behind the leak.” READ MORE...

ALSO TIMES EDITORIAL: Hasty passage of BBL bill sure to create curses worse than Mamasapano


MAY 16 ---THE hasty passage, as President BS Aquino wishes, of the Bangsamoro Basic Law bill in its present form will produce more crises and tragedies worse than the Mamasapano massacre. That disaster happened because PNoy relied on his old and trusted friend, then suspended national police chief Alan Purisima to serve as his alter ego in carrying out the commando mission. And he (PNoy) ordered military units that wanted to save the lives of our 44 PNP-SAF commandos to stand down.
He took the “negative, negative” decision because he was afraid letting our soldiers do the right and honorable thing would wreck his precious peace process with the MILF. Now, he is again precipitately moving to get the BBL bill passed. It will demolish the constitutionally created Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and frustrate the aspirations of Muslim Filipinos who were working to perfect their autonomous region. It will give the leaders of the rebel separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front a brand new region or substate. The Bangsamoro Basic Law bill as it is now gives the MILF leaders control of the proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region. More than that it also gives the MILF leadership an unconstitutional parliamentary and ministerial sub-state that can easily integrate with Malaysia. When it does, the proposed Bangsamoro substate will not be the first territory of the Philippines to be swallowed up by Malaysia. The first to be illegally taken away from the Filipinos is Sabah (North Borneo). This territory belongs to the Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo–and the Philippines. BS Aquino’s Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has been so efficient and effective in the propaganda to make people believe that passage of the BBL bill will truly make Mindanao the region of peace that it should be. Mindanao was in fact the and of peace and promise– before the Malaysian supported separatist rebels mounted their rebellion. The truth is that only those parts of Mindanao where the MILF and their friends the BIFF and the other gangs of armed bandits (including even some members of the Abu Sayaff Group) operate break out into wars, vengeance killings and other kinds of violence. Most of Mindanao’s provinces are just as peaceful and by and large as prosperous as the rest of our country. READ MORE...plus People's Responnses.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Only 23% support BBL – SWS


MANILA TIMES

Jolo, Zambo inputs valuable in correcting Moro law flaws May 16, 2015 12:25 am by CATHERINE S. VALENTE

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks to the media in Zamboanga City after a public consultation on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law in Patikul, Sulu on Wednesday, May 13. He says many of issues raised on inclusion, on alleged lack of consultation need to be addressed as Senate tackles the Bangsamoro Basic Low. Jonathan de Santos

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday said his decision to hold two-day, marathon hearings in Jolo (Sulu) and Zamboanga on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law proved to be correct as it gave his panel valuable inputs that would help in crafting a version of the BBL acceptable to majority of stakeholders.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, noted that the hearings brought out in the open sentiments and concerns of local residents and officials over the draft BBL not given much attention either in news reports or in congressional discussions of the proposed law.

“There is really no substitute for talking to the locals,” he said.

The glaring issue that came to the fore in two-day hearings is that of “inclusivity,” according to the senator.

In Jolo, for example, Marcos noted that many resource persons spent a lot of time decrying the fact that they were left out in the process “because they are MNLF [Moro National Liberation Front], because they are Tausugs, and they belong to the Sultanate of Sulu.”

Representatives from both the MNLF and the sultanate said they want out of the Bangsamoro territory, as conceived in the draft BBL.

In the Zamboanga hearing, Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar bared that the five governors of provinces comprising the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) were never consulted in the drafting of the BBL.

Also, Marcos noted that majority of the indigenous peoples (IPs) of Mindanao were apparently left out in the process too.

READ MORE....
“That is a very serious shortcoming in the process, that is why we are going to correct it,” he said.

For this purpose, the senator set a hearing for the MNLF on May 18 and for the Sultanate of Sulu on May 25.

Marcos said he is also looking at the possibility of another hearing for local executives of areas that will be included in the Bangsamoro territory and adjacent local government units even as an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives is set to vote on its version of BBL.

“It is now well recognized that the only peace agreement that will bring true, just and lasting peace is one that includes all stakeholders in the BBL and in the surrounding territories,” he added.

“And whatever shortcomings Congress has had in consulting those entities, we will try to correct in the next few weeks by asking them to come to the Senate and give their views and opinions on the BBL,” Marcos said.

He assured that conducting another hearing for the local executives will not cause undue delay in the work of his committee.

Malacanang has openly expressed its desire to have the BBL passed before the last session day of Congress on June 10.

Marcos earlier said his committee will also introduce amendments to address issues of constitutionality, administration, wealth-sharing and power relations, among others.

But he warned that if Congress rushed to pass BBL without addressing its flaws, it would not achieve its end of bringing just and lasting peace to Muslim Mindanao.

“The main priority is getting it right, maybe, a far second is getting it done under the deadline,” the senator said.

Subhead: 1 in 5 OK BBL Only one of five Filipinos approves of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro political entity and the Bangsamoro Basic Law, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll showed.

This was among the findings of the special survey conducted by SWS from March 20 to 23 about two months after the infamous Mamasapano incident. Results were released on Friday.

“[A] generally favorable attitude toward the peace agreements prevailed until after the January 25 incident in Mamasapano, and in March 2015 attitudes toward the proposed BBL were on balance negative throughout the country,” SWS said.

The March survey was conducted among1,200 adults nationwide, including 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It had sampling error margins of 3 percent for national percentages and 6 percent for Metro Manila, rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

But those in the proposed core territory of the prospective Bangsamoro political entity remain hopeful that the BBL will be passed, and that it would bring peace and development to Mindanao.

“Despite the storm of controversy that followed the January 25 Mamasapano encounter, and the delays in congressional deliberations on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law that ensued, residents of the Core Territory of the Bangsamoro are still hopeful that Congress could pass the law. The exception to this is in Sulu, where residents are somewhat not hopeful.

“Elsewhere in the BASULTA (Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi) archipelago, the outlook is positive. Mainland areas of the Core Territory have a strongly positive outlook,” SWS said.

Residents of the Core Territory were surveyed from February 22 to March 1, using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults, including 800 in Sulu archipelago and 700 in Central Mindanao.

The Core Territory includes Sulu, Basilan, Isabela City, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Cotabato City, Lanao del Norte near ARMM and Cotabato also near ARMM.

“Consistent with their negative attitude toward the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, people in the Philippines as a whole are not hopeful that the proposed new Bangsamoro government will bring peace and development to the area. People in the Core Territory are more hopeful, with the same geographic variation as noted in the approval of the Basic Law,” SWS noted.

It said the March survey found Filipinos’ knowledge of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), and the subsequent draft BBL to be insufficient as self-rated, and merely stable over two-and-a-half years since the signing of the framework agreement.

Approval of the FAB was at 45 percent compared to 23 percent disapproval (+22) in December 2012, 39 percent with 17 percent disapproval (+22) in March 2013, 49 percent with 23 percent disapproval (+26) in March 2014, and 44 percent with 27 percent disapproval (+16) in June 2014.

But after the Mamasapano incident, only 23 percent approved of the BBL while 48 percent disapproved and 28 percent were undecided, for a net score of -24.

But the special survey in the Core Territory of the proposed Bangsamoro entity from February 22 to March 1 found somewhat more knowledge of the peace agreements and the proposed BBL.

“In the Sulu archipelago, knowledge was less than in mainland areas of the Core Territory (Maguindanao, Cotabato City, Lanao del Sur, 6 municipalities in Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays in North Cotabato),” SWS said.

It added that attitudes toward the proposed BBL were positive throughout the Core Territory.

According to SWS, opinions in Sulu and Isabela City were the least strong, while Tawi-Tawi and the rest of the island of Basilan were more positive.

The most positive of all were the mainland areas of the Core Territory, SWS said.


MANILA TIMES

Tagle becomes first Asian to head Caritas worldwide May 16, 2015 12:22 am


Cardinal Tagle with Pope Francis AFP PHOTO

VATICAN CITY: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has been elected as the new president of Caritas Internationalis. He was nominated at the confederation’s 20th General Assembly in Rome.

The Filipino prelate got 91 votes out of 133.

Cardinal Tagle will replace Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as president of Caritas Internationalis.

He will become the global representative of the Caritas confederation of 165 members as its head when he officially takes office at the end of the assembly on May 17.

Maradiaga, who offered his congratulations and warm support to the new president, stepped down after serving two terms.

Following his election, Tagle, speaking by phone to the delegates from over 130 member organizations from all over the world, said “Buona sera a tutti [Good evening everyone]!”

Thank you for your trust. I’m limited in my capacities but with all of you, with the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts and in the name of all of the poor people in the world, I accept this election.”

READ MORE...
He added, “Let us together strengthen the church of the poor so our witness can help guide us to a world of understanding, justice, true freedom and peace.”

Tagle is the first Caritas Internationalis president to be elected from Asia.

Fr. Edu Gariguez, Caritas Philippines’ executive secretary, said Cardinal Tagle “has the qualities of a good leader for the organization” and recounted that the clamor for the cardinal to be nominated was led by Caritas Asia when the process started early this year. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo asked the Filipinos to pray for Tagle.

“That is great news for us in the Philippines. That means, many people from different parts of the world recognize the leadership of a Filipino. But that places a great responsibility on Cardinal Tagle’s shoulders. That is why we have to pray for him that he would be able to do his duty well. It’s really a big trust given to him,” Pabillo said. CNA, VATICAN RADIO AND CBCP NEWS


TRIBUNE

Noy’s changing tune on pal Purisima draws criticisms Written by Mario J. Mallari
Saturday, 16 May 2015 00:00


RESIGNED PNP CHIEF PURISIMA

President Aquino’s backtracking on his claim that his close friend, resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima, had lied to him at the height of the Operation Plan (Oplan) “Exodus” drew criticisms from the retired and active police and military ranks.

The Tribune sources, from both the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ranks, branded the President’s backtracking as a clear indication of his true character.

“It’s a character flaw. What a waste!” a retired general told the Tribune.

“It clearly showed that he (Aquino) values his friendship with Purisima so much that he took back his own words for it. A weak leader,” another retired senior official said.

“That proves that Purisima still wields strong influence on the President even after he resigned as chief PNP,” a Camp Crame official said.

In a radio interview, Aquino took back his claim that Purisima fed him “lies” before members of the House of Representatives during a meeting in Malacañang.

Aquino claimed that Purisima’s messages to him only contained wrong information and not an outright lie.

READ MORE...
The President talked again about Oplan “Exodus” a month after he claimed that it will be the last he will speak of the incident.

The President said “The information that reached me was wrong. Did he lie? I think it is too heavy to say that he lied. But the information might have had some wishful thinking on his part.”

“That’s completely unnecessary. Why take back his words? Is he thinking that Purisima will be absolved because of his backtracking? He (Aquino) is just exposing himself to unnecessary criticism,” an AFP official said.

Even the PNP-Board of Inquiry that conducted a thorough probe of Oplan Exodus found Purisima at fault.

Purisima resigned last Feb. 6 amid criticisms for taking role in the bloody operation while under a six-month preventive suspension by the Ombudsman.

Again, Aquino pinned all the blame on sacked Special Action Force (SAF) Director Getulio Napeñas.

In a meeting with House leaders in Malacañang then, Aquino had claimed he was “fed with lies” than “inaccurate information,” as claimed by Rep. Romeo Acop, in an exchange of information with Purisima via text message on Oplan Exodus.

This is in stark opposition to what the President claimed yesterday, as Aquino said Purisima “stayed near for what we call as a subject matter expert” as he has handled missions on high-value targets before.

Opan Exodus resulted in the killing of 44 SAF commandos, including seven junior officers, and one of the terrorist targets – Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan.

The operation sparked a day-long clash with combined Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.


TRIBUNE

‘Chilling effect’ on business over AMLC report leakage Written by Tribune Wires
Saturday, 16 May 2015 00:00

Money transfers to Canada legitimate—VP camp

In coming up with its findings on the bank accounts of political foes of President Aquino and the Liberal Party, the Anti-Money Laundering Council doesn’t bother to check on whether money transfers to Canada, as stated in its leaked report, being publicized by the anti-Binay media, are legitimate.

The AMLC merely lists these transfers as part of the alleged hidden wealth of Vice President Jojo Binay.

A TV report said that the AMLC bank data showed that the VP had transferred funds to Synnovate, Synnovate Ltd. and David Rink Consultancies in Canada which AMLC claimed are illegal transfers.

Joey Salgado, head of VP Binay’s media affairs, issued a statement to the media saying that the least that AMLC could have done, before making such a faulty conclusion, was to check out these companies using Google,

In a statement, Salgado said: “As reported in media, the AMLAC report claims that the money transfers to Synnovate, Synnovate Ltd. and David Rink Consultancies in Canada are illegal.
“Had AMLAC bothered to do a simple Google check they would have known that these companies are legitimate market research companies. They were paid for services rendered.

“This is another clear proof that AMLC misled the Court of Appeals into issuing the freeze order. Now, the publication of the leaked report is misleading the public, which was the objective of those behind the leak.”

READ MORE...
The Vice President was in a fighting mood when reporters ambushed him on the sidelines of the 36th National Conference of Employers, saying that he isn’t retreating from running for the presidency in 2016, stressing that he started this, and he will finish this, referring to his candidacy for the top political post.

As a guest speaker, the VP said the leakage of the AMLC report that led to the freezing of 242 bank accounts, five of which are under his name creates a “chilling effect” on the business community.

The Vice President described the AMLC report as “whimsical” and expressed the hope that the issue would be resolved soon.

“Let us all hope this whimsical use of regulatory powers is stopped sooner than later. It creates a chilling effect on confidence in business and the banking system that is detrimental to our economy and development,” he said.

Binay joked that he hopes no one among the participants will be invited to attend the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearings for being called his friend.

“Now that I have referred to you as dear friends, I hope you will not get an instant invitation from the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee to prove you are not my dummies, and your companies, not my dummy corporations,” he quipped.

“It is also my prayer your bank accounts will not be subjected by AMLC to a freeze order solely on the basis of our friendship and association, or the fact that you are in the same room as Jojo Binay,” he added.

The Vice President lamented the order, saying it is being used to persecute persons affiliated with him.

“Such is the sad fate of some honest and hardworking businesspersons I know. They were publicly ridiculed, intimidated and harassed, and their bank accounts are now frozen simply because they happened to be my friends,” he said.

Binay said he was not surprised that AMLC’s report had been leaked to other parties even as he himself has not yet received a copy of the report.

“I will no longer ask how the AMLC report was obtained , since this is confidential under the law, because I know why this confidential reort was leaked,” he said, noting that AMLC’s report was one-sided as it has yet to include his responses to the findings.

“This is what the AMLC said: The report is just one sided and it did not give us any chance at all to explain these bank data. The AMLC is wrong. It is really all wrong,” the Vice President said.

“The information you got from the media is that I have 242 bank accounts. I even beat Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and I didn’t even realize that there are so many banks in the country,” he added.

Binay clarified that the funds in his bank accounts came from his income, savings and investments before he joined government as well as the campaign donations when he ran for Vice President in 2010.

“AMLC says that the funds I have can only come from the salary that I earned as Vice President and income as a mayor and that the deposits in my bank accounts don’t match my SALn,” he said.

“This is false. What the AMLC says is my illegal wealth consists of my salary as mayor. The AMLC didn’t include what I earned coming from my practice of the law and my wife’s practice as a doctor, my businesses that were started only the 80’s.

“We pay the right amount of taxes,” he added.

The Vice President also stressed that the campaign contributions he received were duly reported to the Commission on Elections.

“AMLC did not even ask whether the so-called ill gotten health came from the campaign donations that are declared in the Comelec. The AMLC really has gone about it the wrong way. And what is worse is the AMLC’s claim that 247 accounts are mine even when others, who are known businessmen and investors are included,” he said.

“I remain hopeful that our business sector remains resilient to the oppressive heat of politics and remain focused on the bigger tasks ahead,” he added.

To date, Malacañang has remained tightlipped on the findings of the AMLC against the VP and his family.

The Palace, which holds regular press briefings, has not held any conference since Tuesday and has not issued statements on the matter since Wednesday, when it merely denied having any information on the matter.

President Aquino, in a radio interview late this week, said the Liberal Party (LP) – which has been alleged by critics to be behind the consecutive attacks against Binay and his family – has no knowledge of the AMLC report as the LP does not have a copy of the document.

“We have not seen that AMLC report. When I was talking with a member of the Liberal Party, he said he was also looking for the one who has a copy of the AMLC report. The AMLC report, the court has it has a copy and the one who filed it, but it’s an independent body,” he said, referring to the AMLC.

Julia Abad, the daughter of the incumbent Budget Secretary, Butch Abad, is the Executive Director of AMLC. [PHNO note: This might be a 'typo'? or the wrong Julie Abad? Google produced Julia Bacay-Abad as Deputy Director at Central Bank of the Philippines / and as
AMLC Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad from Inquire news report)

Meanwhile, the revival of the issue on the Senate’s probe on the controversial “birthday cakes” being distributed by the Makati City government to its senior citizen-constituents is forthcoming following reports implicating of Sen. Nancy Binay and her siblings linked to the company supplying the pastry items.

But even as investigation on this matter could expose Senator Binay and her siblings on possible graft charges or corrupt acts, Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes admitted that it would not be easy to initiate any disciplinary action by the Senate against her.

“It is difficult for the Senate to initiate any disciplinary action on a senator, but it won’t preclude the filing of criminal charges against Senator Binay,” Trillanes said in a phone-patched interview with Senate reporters.

The senator was referring to the issue alleging that Senator Binay, along with her sister, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay and brother, Makati Mayor Erwin Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr. are directors of the company supplying the cakes to the senior citizens of Makati City.

Trillanes said it would just be a matter of time before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee tackles anew the issue, which was brought out on the first day of their probe against the VP nearly 10 months ago.

“We will take that up again the moment we have completed the documents (related to the cakes) in possession of the committee,” he said.

From the looks of it, the ongoing Senate probe against the Vice President is far from wrapping up anytime soon, even after 20 public hearings as Trillanes’ own statements indicate that there is no let up in digging up further “dirt” of the Binays and in exposing this before the public.

Trillanes also noted the possibility of calling for or initiating moves aimed at having the Vice President dropped from being a member of the Cabinet family of President Aquino.

“We will come to that. I am just looking for the timing. I assure you it’s just a matter of time,”he said.
With Charlie V. Manalo, Angie M. Rosales and Joshua L. Labonera


PHILSTAR

‘It w


PHILSTAR

'Litt


MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL

Hasty passage of BBL bill sure to create curses worse than Mamasapano May 16, 2015 12:02 am

THE hasty passage, as President BS Aquino wishes, of the Bangsamoro Basic Law bill in its present form will produce more crises and tragedies worse than the Mamasapano massacre.

That disaster happened because PNoy relied on his old and trusted friend, then suspended national police chief Alan Purisima to serve as his alter ego in carrying out the commando mission. And he (PNoy) ordered military units that wanted to save the lives of our 44 PNP-SAF commandos to stand down.

He took the “negative, negative” decision because he was afraid letting our soldiers do the right and honorable thing would wreck his precious peace process with the MILF.

Now, he is again precipitately moving to get the BBL bill passed. It will demolish the constitutionally created Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and frustrate the aspirations of Muslim Filipinos who were working to perfect their autonomous region. It will give the leaders of the rebel separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front a brand new region or substate.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law bill as it is now gives the MILF leaders control of the proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region. More than that it also gives the MILF leadership an unconstitutional parliamentary and ministerial sub-state that can easily integrate with Malaysia. When it does, the proposed Bangsamoro substate will not be the first territory of the Philippines to be swallowed up by Malaysia.

The first to be illegally taken away from the Filipinos is Sabah (North Borneo). This territory belongs to the Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo–and the Philippines.

BS Aquino’s Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has been so efficient and effective in the propaganda to make people believe that passage of the BBL bill will truly make Mindanao the region of peace that it should be. Mindanao was in fact the and of peace and promise– before the Malaysian supported separatist rebels mounted their rebellion.

The truth is that only those parts of Mindanao where the MILF and their friends the BIFF and the other gangs of armed bandits (including even some members of the Abu Sayaff Group) operate break out into wars, vengeance killings and other kinds of violence. Most of Mindanao’s provinces are just as peaceful and by and large as prosperous as the rest of our country.

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OPAPP propaganda has also made most Filipinos and even foreigners think that nearly ALL the people of Mindanao–Muslims and Christian alike–want the BBL bill passed so that the ARMM is dissolved and the MILF can rule over a new Bangsamoro substate. This has been proved to be a gigantic lie during the hearings of Senator Marcos’ committee in Sulu and Zamboanga.

More than half of the inclusive members of the community who participated in the hearings in Jolo were opposed to the BBL bill as it is written.

The various objections aired in Jolo were summarized to The Times by former governor of Tawi-Tawi province, Almarim Centi Tillah, president of the Parhimpunan Sin Islam (Philippine Islamic Society), who is also the Wazir (political officer) of the Sultanate of Suku and North Borneo.

He told the hearing that the Tausugs, who are the overwhelming majority of the people of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, parts of Zamboanga and Basilan, and other Muslim Filipinos who are not Maguindanaos or Maranaos (who make up the vast majority of the MILF) cannot possibly accept the arrangement designed by the MILF and now being pushed by President Aquino.

He said the MILF people’s only similarity with the Tausugs is their common religion. But their languages, customs and traditions and upbringing are very different.

The Tausugs deplore the crafting of the BBL bill by Malaysians and the MILF without regard to what the Tausugs and other island Filipino Muslims feel and want. They want negotiations between the Philippine government and the Filipino Muslims and the people of Mindanao to be inclusive–so that even Christians and indigenous peoples, the Lumads, could give inputs.

He gave Senator Marcos the proposal he brought up a decade ago for two federal autonomous regions to be created–after, of course, the necessary amendments to the Philippine Constitution. One autonomouos region will consist of the landlocked provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. The other will be made up of the island-provinces of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan. This proposal is favored by the people of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, and Chairman Misuari of the MNLF.

Senator Marcos is reported to have said, “There is really no substitute for talking to the locals. The glaring issue that came to the fore in two-day hearings is that of ‘inclusivity.’”

Marcos is reported to have noted that in Jolo many resource persons spent a lot of time decrying the fact that they were left out in the process “because they are MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), because they are Tausugs, and they belong to the Sultanate of Sulu.”

Not only will a new dispensation in Mindanao, with MILF leaders lording it over the other Filipino Muslims, cause Tausugs and Lumads to rise against MILF Maranaos and Maguindanaos. Christians, too, will react — maybe violently.

Congress must not pass the BBL bill in its present form.

12 Responses to Hasty passage of BBL bill sure to create curses worse than Mamasapano

emilio says:

May 16, 2015 at 11:42 am

just as I wrote before and again. the government is better off just improving the already existing ARMM, yes it failed but its not the end of the world. Just learn from its failures and improve the ARMM. BBL is suspicious, it cannot be trusted because they want more like their own police forces, etc. their conditions and demands makes it more harder to control while the ARMM is less demanding and is already in placed. Besides, we also have to be suspicious with Malaysia participation. I say scrap the BBL for the reason they massacred our 44 commandos is enough good reason to drop it permanently and just continue ARMM. If MILF wants war so be it lets reduce their numbers and population as they wish.

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disgusted constituent says:

May 16, 2015 at 11:41 am

akala ko ba failed experiment ang armm na dapat palitan. ha ha subukan nyo i audit ang armm ngayon, i mean true and real audit, makikita nyo ang totoo

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igme says:

May 16, 2015 at 10:55 am

Two autonomous regions are more practical and less controversial since no one will be put under authority of the other muslim group.

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Vicente Penetrante says:

May 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

“You are my bosses,” President Aquino said before. Now, “as father of the nation,” his will must be obeyed. Next year, only what he did to his predecessor can be done to him. He needs the next president to be an ally and a friend.

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Odnalor Obirt says:

May 16, 2015 at 8:22 am

BBL is not just booting the face of all Peace Loving Filipino People. It is also a big kick in the head of Intelligent Filipinos with the creation of Peace Council whose members declare that BBL is Constitutional. Another slap in the face of all Filipinos was by Pnoy himself when he appointed Sheriff Abas as one of the Comelec Commissioner. In my own analysis, Benigno Aquino III is already an Islam convert. That is the reason why he is doing everything in his power to pass BBL and protect the interest of MILF.

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E. G. Festin says:

May 16, 2015 at 7:29 am

The opinions of the Tausugs, in whose ethnic community the Sultanate of Sulu and Sabah belongs, in which hairman Emeritus Misuari and most of the MNLF belong, were not sought. The only MNLF members the OPAPP people consulted are those who are n their side–like Alonto whose is not a Tausug. That alones show how crooked this project is and violates the idea of Tuwid na Daan. Talagang Tuwad na Daan ang tinatahak ng mga Aquino at Yellow Army Aqunistas na traidor sa Inang Bayang Filipinas.

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vg says:

May 16, 2015 at 7:19 am

The whole process has been flawed. We negotiated with an armed gang who represents less than 1% of the affected area. We left out everyone else from the area. The government used negotiators without AFP members. We appointed people who only wanted peace at all costs. Naturally the product of this was agreements that favored the MILF over the Nation. Just junk the BBL and start over with talks with the people to see what needs to be done with the ARMM, already a law.

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Rolly Mamaril says:

May 16, 2015 at 6:31 am

The BBL will only encourage CORRUPTION because of the alleged big MONEY that it will receive from the government. I don’t believe that the money will be use to help the poor people in Mindanao, as usual these money will only be divided among it’s LEADERS.

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Kagawad Manny Wagan says:

May 16, 2015 at 4:35 am

ang remedyo lang sa nagkakagulong mga rehiyon natin ay open up natin ang pagbabago o amyendahan ang ating konstitusyon!…hindi mamawala ang mga agam-agam kung parati na lang mga taong namumuno elista sa gobyerno ang masusunod. Kung gusto nilang baguhin ang konstitusyon thru BBL passage nito ay dapat lahatan ng baguhin o amyendahan ito. Kung papalitan nila ng BBL ang ARMM ang ibig sabihin ay aamyendahan ang konstitusyon. Bakit iopen na lang sa publiko ang pagbabago o amyendahang ang batas nito. Hindi lamang mindanao ang may problema sa rehiyon. Sa equal representation na lang ng mga senador ay may problema na, sa BBL pa kaya?

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hector says:

May 16, 2015 at 4:33 am

BBL – ‘A MILF boot stamping on the face of filipinos’

“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” George Orwell

BBL, in its current guise, is an act of treachery, undertaken with dubious motives, pursued through deceit and duplicity, and dismissive of national interests, regional implications, valid concerns, and public opinion.

The process itself has been a betrayal of trust and honor, and the indecent haste to steamroller it through congress not only smacks of autocracy, but is reflective of an unhealthy system, weak institutions, no genuine balance, or separation, of powers, and politicians incapable of integrity, independence, or intellectual debate. A cowardly and shameful display by all involved, especially congressmen who are just waiting for a payday from malacanang.

Beyond the complexities of legal phraseology, and the natural desire of lawyers to be obtuse, politicians are using obfuscation to mislead and misinform, and negotiators applying ambiguity to hoodwink.

It will be no use closing the stable door after the trojan horse has bolted.

The principles and issues are both clear and simple.

BBL – K.I.S.S.’

Structure – manipulated dictatorship/datuship. Sham democracy. Feudal. Party Lists will be a pandoras box for a power grab. Nepotism already evident in Comelec appointment.

Systems – veil of secrecy – no transparency or accountability. No checks and balances. A thieves charter and a financial black hole. (Islamic Accounting, and creative auditing, will be the norm). COA already finding lawmaker scams and unaccounted funds. (? Application of FoI, if ever passed)

Strategy – divide and conquer. Isolate and insulate. Expand and secede. An island within an island. Muslim Mindanao. MILF as a national political party!!

Social – impoverishment and exclusion. Status driven. A 2 tier society – MILF and ‘others’, Islam and infidels.

Security – guns, goons, gangs, and gold. Private armies with public money.

Sovereignty – not in the national interest. Unconstitutional in a number of respects. Bye bye Sabah.

Stakeholders – Malaysia – economic and political control. A ‘closed shop’, but an open door for smuggling. MILF – does not represent nor reflect Bangsamoro. Why only MILF involved!! MNLF – one of many factions with divergent views – even amongst itself! ISIS – the elephant in the room. Indigineous People/Lumads – a silenced voice The Filipino People – only 21% of filipinos actively support the BBL US – arms length neo-colonialism. Mcdonalds for muslims. “US says Mindanao has $1-trillion untapped mineral resources”.(wikileaks). Show US the money! Women – greater gender equality and higher level participation needed.

Stability – when money comes in the door, the guns will come through the window.

Societal values – Islamic state and Sharia law. A climate of fear and oppression.

Subsidies – MILF have been guaranteed the winning ticket to the annual lottery jackpot. A goldmine. Focus on wealth sharing, but not an economic vision/plan. A free for all!

Schooling – propaganda and brainwashing for all. ‘Mindthink’, and the ‘thought police’

Subterfuge – a training ground for subversives. A recipe for splinter groups and conflicts. No guns decommissioned. No justice for Mamasapano. No show of sincerity. MILF not to be trusted.

Secrets – the die was cast in a clandestine deal in Tokyo between Aquino and Murad. A sinister game.

Self-interest – when the narcissism of legacy meets the ambition of terrorism, then a devils pact ensues. Bad intent equals bad outcome.

Senate – Senators have largely, and consciously, avoided being part of the debate, and once again proved to be an irrelevance in national issues, and intellectual pygmies. The only language senators hear is when money talks. Cowardly as well as corrupt.

Segregation – anything which facilitates exclusivity, or exclusion, based upon religion, ethnicity, or simply strength of arms, is retrogressive and reprehensible.

Secession – the ultimate goal: an Islamic state. BBL is another brick in building an islamic ‘Berlin wall’

Submission – MILF have always been in the driving seat, (with Malaysia as the back seat driver), and their recent vitriol and threats have exposed their true nature. They do not want to negotiate, but for the country to capitulate. Pnoy Aquino has been an easy stooge, and a willing partner in crime.

“Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others” Niccolo Machiavelli

BBL is not about peace, but about power. BBL in not for the benefit of the majority, but an opportunity for a minority. BBL is a trojan horse, and hides a venomous sting inside its carefully crafted, and consciously ambiguous, clauses. BBL has been designed to confuse, not clarify. BBL is a springboard to strife, not a platform for prosperity. BBL represents a crooked path which will end in a bloody cul-de-sac.

A weak BBL will only result in a weak peace. A bad BBL will only necessitate endless legal ping-pong.

A strong peace takes creativity and courage in leadership and negotiation, competence and commitment in implementation, concensus and collaboration in operation, and control and communication in oversight.

Diversity and Inclusion is the fundamental socio-economic principle to future progress and prosperity, and should be the core pillar, underpinned by equality and empowerment. BBL, in both process and proposals, is far removed from such goals.

Palace propaganda and ‘peace councils’ epitomise a flawed process, and comprise of dishonest brokers who are acting like snake-oil salesmen. Pnoy Aquino has once again demonstrated a complete lack of integrity and honor, and like BBL itself, is not fit for purpose. History has shown that treason runs in the Aquino family, that hypocricy is Pnoy Aquino’s tool in trade, and that he only wants to represents vested interests, not the filipino nation. A leader who divides is a leader who fails the country. A leader who lies is a leader who shames the country.

“Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship”. George Orwell

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P.Akialamiro says:

May 16, 2015 at 3:34 am

The proposed BBL, among the negatives as indicated, is ‘shortsighted’. If the MILF finds discontent in the future, don’t you think they will not seek the sympathy and support of Malaysia? Will it be impossible for the MILF to think of seeking separation from the country? Considering the ties among muslim brothers, won’t they prefer to be identified with Malaysia rather than the Christian Philippines?

Better to be wary than be sorry later on!

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Troy says:

May 16, 2015 at 2:46 am

This Treacherous BBL is just the beginning of Muslims/Christians Tribals Wars in the whole Mindanao. Pnoy won’t care anymore and passed the problem to the next administration same with what happened to the SAF 44 abandoning his SAF 44 being massacred by his BFF MILF.


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