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

UPBEAT P-NOY: PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES TO REVOLVE AROUND MY ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS


MAY 16 ---President Aquino
 As his six-year term nears its end, President Aquino sees the economy growing even more – noting that the Philippines never enjoyed this much stability for the last 40 years – and presidential contenders debating on the robust economy and the legacy of transparency that he will leave behind. An upbeat Aquino revealed that after a meeting with his economic managers, it turned out that his administration stood out with the “highest rate of growth for the past 40 years” when viewed from among all the administrations, which had an average of 6.3 percent GDP annual growth rate. “For the past 40 years, this (economic growth) is the highest. Now, if we are able to hit 7 to 8 percent growth this year, we will even beat the record for the past 60 years. So, it is (during my time that we experience) a boom,” he said in Filipino over Bombo Radyo Philippines recently. In a preview to what his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27 would be like, the Chief Executive couldn’t help but be enthusiastic about what lies ahead, including his most important achievement in his remaining year in office. Last year, Aquino also cited a booming economy, saying more Filipinos are now able to buy cars, thus necessitating the need to construct or improve roads. He also cited the need to improve public transport systems, like the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), to create an efficient public transportation while blaming his predecessor former President and now Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for failing to address the issue during her term. READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay remains top 2016 contender; Poe closes in - SWS
[POE HUMBLED BY RESULTS; Binay: We can't afford an inexperienced leader]


VP BINAY  - "I sincerely believe that the issue in this coming election - for the presidency particularly - is experience and competence. Mahirap na. We have undergone and still undergoing so many things that could not have been serious problems were it not for the fact that one does not have experience and competence,” said Binay, who went around public markets in Cagayan de Oro Sunday. Binay’s critics are expected to reveal more “exposes” against the Vice President in the coming weeks. A Senate sub-committee is already on its 20th hearing on the alleged corruption in Makati, where Binay’s family reigns.
Vice President Jejomar Binay remains the top presidential contender in the 2016 elections, but Senator Grace Poe's popularity level is catching up with the vice-president's, the latest survey from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said. A March 20-23 survey, results of which were first published by BusinessWorld, shows that Binay's numbers barely changed from the previous presidential preference poll last November 2014. SWS said Binay got 36%, just a percentage-point drop from the previous SWS survey last November. SWS noted that while Binay's numbers barely changed, Poe – who has not yet declared her intention to run in 2016 – saw her numbers jump by 10-percentage points to 31%. Given the survey's margin of error of plus/minus 3%, Binay and Poe were actually statistically tied in the March survey. The independent pollster said the respondents were not given a list to choose from and were instead asked to give names of up to three persons whom they thought should succeed President Benigno Aquino III. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who had said in February that he had no intention of seeking the presidency, also saw a 10-point jump in his figures to 15%. READ MORE...

ALSO ANALYSIS a Boo Chanco Report: P-Noy and the economy
[We still have to get those expressways and modern airports up faster or we won’t be able to sustain the current optimism. That’s the tragedy of P-Noy… failure to deliver even one significant infrastructure project that’s not a carryover from the past administration.]


MARCH 4, 2015 ----P-NOY at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in China  The claim is being made that it is wrong to call for P-Noy’s resignation and destabilize the country specially now that the economy is doing great. Is this correct?  Yes, the economy is doing great. A Bloomberg survey of economists shows they think the Philippines will be the second fastest-growing economy in the world this year, second only to China. Yes, it is silly to destabilize our fast growing economy by adding a serious political risk into the equation. Why should we allow ambitions of old men among the Transformers and the Mitsubishops throw away a fast growing economy, something we had wanted all these years?  True, the high GDP growth rate is still far from inclusive but, that – together with the favorable international credit rating and our record setting stock market – all show a good amount of confidence in our economy we haven’t had in a long while. If we manage things right, all these could be the basis of an economy that finally lifts most of our people out of poverty. No, it is wrong to say P-Noy was largely responsible for this favorable environment as some propagandists for the administration will have you believe. The contribution of P-Noy in this phenomenon of high trust among foreign investors is his perceived honesty. Investors and economic analysts are right to see P-Noy as basically honest, a sharp contrast to some of his immediate predecessors. It is more pleasant to do business in a country where the leadership is not corrupt. I asked Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley when he called us a breakout nation in 2012, what got us in his list. Sharma thinks P-Noy’s focus on good governance and fighting corruption is the main attraction. But Sharma emphasized we still need to work on economic reforms and maintain political stability. We still have to get those expressways and modern airports up faster or we won’t be able to sustain the current optimism. And that’s the tragedy of P-Noy… failure to deliver even one significant infrastructure project that’s not a carryover from the past administration. READ MORE...

ALSO PNoy to Bishop: No sacred cows in govt


MAY 17 ---P-NOY 
The Palace assured the Catholic Church that it will prosecute all government officials including the President’s allies if the Department of Justice finds evidence of their wrongdoings. Presidential deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte reiterated the instructions of President Benigno S. Aquino III to DOJ secretary Leila De Lima to charge all accused not just for “PR” stunt so long as the evidence will stick in court. Valte was reacting to the call of Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo for Aquino to go after the grafters who amassed wealth through the pork barrel system, formally called priority development assistance fund. Valte noted that De Lima is now looking for evidence to pin down officials involved in the third batch of cases related to the pork barrel scam. “Because if you file a case based on flimsy evidence, then that results in a disservice to the public because the respondent can actually get away with it (crime),” she added. The accused, Valte said, may invoke double jeopardy in some cases. “So it’s really about making sure that the investigations are thorough and are backed by evidence that will hold up in court,” she stressed. On Friday, Pabillo urged Aquino to use his remaining time of his term to fulfill his promise of “tuwid na daan (straight path)” and prosecute all officials involved in the pork barrel scam even if it means charging his own allies. “It’s more believable if they do that. They should not use ‘tuwid na daan’ in taking down their enemies,” Pabillo said, noting the persecution of those perceived to be against the Aquino administration. READ MORE...

ALSO Binay unfazed: No turning back; Will not back out from 2016 race; Poe meeting with Roxas, too.
["The fight will go on. Inumpisahan niya, tatapusin ko,” he added (The fight will go on. He started it I will finish it)].


MAY 17 ---Binay: I will not back out from presidential race....
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday said he will not back out from the presidential race in 2016 despite persistent reports of alleged corruption against him and his family which he branded as mere “political black propaganda.”  “All negative reports and lies being spread against me and my family will not deter me from running,” Binay said during the National Conference of Employers held at the Marriott Hotel, Pasay City. “The fight will go on. Inumpisahan niya, tatapusin ko,” he added. Binay also said that he will respect the decision of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to support Senator Grace Poe should she decides to seek the highest post in the 2016 elections. Binay made the statement even as a Palace official admitted that President Benigno Aquino III has had meetings with Poe and presumptive Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II. “We should respect their decision. There is no need to interfere on the decision of Estrada. If he wants to support Poe, then so be it. Let’s respect it,” Binay said. Poe is the daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr, Estrada’s best friend. Estrada’s political party Partido ng Masang Pilipino, is part of the opposition’s United Nationalist Alliance – Binay’s political party. The Vice President said, however, that UNA is still considering Poe to be his running mate. Still, Binay did not give a direct answer when asked whether he is ready if Poe decides to run under the administration’s Liberal Party. Presidential deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte, who admitted that Poe has been meeting with the president, said that Poe and Roxas has an ongoing separate discussion with Roxas. “Well you know, we’ve seen that it is an on going discussion as Senator Grace Poe met with Secretary Mar Roxas earlier, and then met with the President along with Secretary Mar Roxas,” Valte said in a radio interview. READ MORE...

ALSO Palace: Up to Binay to quit cabinet
[Malacañang is not joining calls for Vice President Jejomar Binay’s resignation from the Cabinet].


MAY 16 ---In a radio interview, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said it is up to Binay to respond to the resignation calls over allegations of corruption. “Well, that’s a decision that is left up to him… whenever we’re always asked about resignations, that is a question that is better posed to the person who is the subject of the call to resign, perhaps, or the question to resign,” Valte told Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday. The Court of Appeals (CA) earlier ordered the freezing of more than 200 bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies of Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Elenita Binay, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and others linked to their family. The 38-page CA order, dated May 11 granted the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) petition for a freeze on 242 bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies. The AMLC petition stated that the statements of assets, liabilities, and networth of the Binays and former Makati Vice-Mayor Ernesto Mercado did not reflect their bank accounts and other transactions. The CA concurred with the AMLC and found probably cause that these bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies were “related to unlawful activities.”  The Binay camp earlier issued a statement claiming that the vice-president’s political opponents are using the AMLC report for “political gains.”  But Malacanang has rejected allegations that the administration party is behind the freeze order on Binay’s bank accounts. READ MORE...

ALSO: Erap to back Poe only as UNA bet


MAY 17 ---ERAP --NEW MEETING SET BETWEEN NOY AND GRACE — PALACE
Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada made clear yesterday that his commitment to support the candidacy of Sen. Grace Poe, the daughter of his bosom buddy, the late movie icon Fernando Poe Jr., who also carried the opposition banner in the controversial 2004 elections in 2010, is predicated on her running under the banner of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). The prospect of Poe becoming the anointed of President Aquino became clearer last Thursday after Aquino said he is convinced that Poe can continue what he had started under the principle of “tuwid na daan” (straight path). Prior to Aquino’s pronouncement, he held a meeting with Poe where Poe asked him if she could rely on his support and that of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) if she seeks a higher position in 2016. Aquino’s deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said that another meeting is scheduled between Aquino and Poe. “There is supposed to be another meeting as the President mentioned, if I’m not mistaken, but I don’t know when the schedule is going to be,” Valte said. Valte added that Poe met with presumptive LP standard bearer Interior Secretary Mar Roxas earlier and then met with Aquino along with Roxas. “So it’s an ongoing discussion and it’s not a surprise in the sense that Senator Poe ran on the President’s ticket in 2013 and the discussions are obviously ongoing,” she said. “They all agree that the reforms must continue, So let’s just wait for further development,” she said. Estrada, however, told reporters that he laments that he cannot support Poe if she decides to seek a higher office under the wings of the LP in the 2016 elections. As a member of the opposition UNA, Estrada said he is duty-bound to support the opposition candidate in the next election. READ MORE...

ALSO: 25,090 teaching, non-teaching personnel to lose jobs when K-12 is in full swing


About 25,000 teaching and non-teaching personnel are set to be displaced by the full implementation of the K to 12 program next year, according to a report submitted by the government’s education cluster to Congress.
Of the estimated 25,090 employees in the education sector who will be affected by the addition of two more years to the country’s basic education system, 13,634 are teaching personnel while 11,456 are non-teaching workers. The latest estimate is lower than the earlier assumption released by the Commission on Higher Education last March of 78,000 displaced. The education cluster comprised of CHED, the Department of Education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Department of Labor and Employment attributed the displacement of the personnel to the “reduction in college enrollment” that “may adversely affect the operational viability of various higher education institutions.”  Under the K-12 enhanced basic education program, a student will be required to undergo kindergarten, six years of elementary, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school.

ALSO Tribune commentary: Economic development
[The biggest business of the government are the People of the Philippines — men, women and young individuals — who are sent abroad as overseas Filipino workers, who earn their living even in the midst of mortal danger and who send their dollar remittances to the country. Never mind if they are imprisoned for one crime or another — whipped or killed even unless “blood money” is paid.] 


MAY 17 ---by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz In formal and informal talks, in media and general public addresses, before, during, and after State of the Nation Addresses, especially in conferences delivered before foreign audiences, the present Malacañang resident —ignorantly or deliberately, jokingly or seriously, incompetently or decidedly —makes repeated claims of the big and fast economic development taking place all over the country resulting in the eradication of poverty and other magical economic advancements all over the Land. What remain interestingly unsaid are the following: The biggest business of the government are the People of the Philippines — men, women and young individuals — who are sent abroad as overseas Filipino workers, who earn their living even in the midst of mortal danger and who send their dollar remittances to the country. Never mind if they are imprisoned for one crime or another — whipped or killed even unless “blood money” is paid. Another emerging truly profitable business in the country is the manufacture, distribution and sale of prohibited drugs not only for local use but to the extent that the same deadly items even become export quality products — such as through more and more so-called local and foreign “drug mules” on their own initiative or though innocent carriers. And there is the detestable and shameful already established plus still being enlarged gambling industry — frequented by local criminals and foreign gangsters, money launderers included.  Until this present administration is done away fast, unless the in-coming public officials are really for public service for the common good, Philippine Las Vegas is coming to fore. Strange but true, there are indications to the effect that this administration with its subservient administrative KKK members, its questionable partisan political allies plus certain subservient judicial figures, also strangely and pitifully equates “Economic Development” with the number of bars around plus “entertainment” districts in place plus women and young girls “for sale.”
There is the fact of “development” in all these. There is the undeniable “economic” reality in all these. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:


MANILA STANDARD

PNoy to Bishop: No sacred cows in govt By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan | May. 17, 2015 at 12:01am


P-NOY

The Palace assured the Catholic Church that it will prosecute all government officials including the President’s allies if the Department of Justice finds evidence of their wrongdoings.

Presidential deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte reiterated the instructions of President Benigno S. Aquino III to DOJ secretary Leila De Lima to charge all accused not just for “PR” stunt so long as the evidence will stick in court.

Valte was reacting to the call of Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo for Aquino to go after the grafters who amassed wealth through the pork barrel system, formally called priority development assistance fund.

Valte noted that De Lima is now looking for evidence to pin down officials involved in the third batch of cases related to the pork barrel scam.

“Because if you file a case based on flimsy evidence, then that results in a disservice to the public because the respondent can actually get away with it (crime),” she added.

The accused, Valte said, may invoke double jeopardy in some cases.

“So it’s really about making sure that the investigations are thorough and are backed by evidence that will hold up in court,” she stressed.

On Friday, Pabillo urged Aquino to use his remaining time of his term to fulfill his promise of “tuwid na daan (straight path)” and prosecute all officials involved in the pork barrel scam even if it means charging his own allies.

“It’s more believable if they do that. They should not use ‘tuwid na daan’ in taking down their enemies,” Pabillo said, noting the persecution of those perceived to be against the Aquino administration.

READ MORE...
With only a year to go before Aquino’s term ends, Pabillo said the people have yet to see “if the path is really straight” because “many are still corrupt and poor.”

“They can no longer undo what they failed to do in the last five years but at least they can show that they are serious about it,” Pabillo said.

The government has been able to file plunder and malversation charges against only eight NGOs directly linked to Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the pork barrel scam, but has taken no action against the 74 other NGOs who account for an even larger sum of public funds.

In the first week of May, Lawyer Levito Baligod said that three former and incumbent legislators reportedly eyeing Senate seat in 2016 polls under the administration Liberal Party are supposed to be among the respondents in the third batch of pork barrel scam cases that were shelved by the Department of Justice.

Baligod, former counsel of whistle-blowers in the PDAF scam led by Benhur Luy, made the revelation even as he urged the DOJ to give priority to the third batch of cases.

Baligod stressed that sufficient evidence had been gathered against the three politicians, so cases of malversation of public funds should have already been filed since last year.

“We are saddened and alarmed by the attitude of the DOJ of not giving importance to this third batch The government is losing its high moral ground in fighting corruption,” Baligod, who was part of the early DOJ probe of the pork barrel scam, said in a press conference.

Clarifying that he has no intention of seeking public office next year, Baligod said he believed that the statement of de Lima that the third batch of PDAF cases is no longer a priority “sends a chilling effect on us ordinary citizens who want to address corruption.”


MANILA STANDARD

Binay unfazed: No turning back By Vito Barcelo, Sara Susanne D. Fabunan | May. 17, 2015 at 12:01am


Binay: I will not back out from presidential race....

Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday said he will not back out from the presidential race in 2016 despite persistent reports of alleged corruption against him and his family which he branded as mere “political black propaganda.”

“All negative reports and lies being spread against me and my family will not deter me from running,” Binay said during the National Conference of Employers held at the Marriott Hotel, Pasay City.

“The fight will go on. Inumpisahan niya, tatapusin ko,” he added.

Binay also said that he will respect the decision of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to support Senator Grace Poe should she decides to seek the highest post in the 2016 elections.

Binay made the statement even as a Palace official admitted that President Benigno Aquino III has had meetings with Poe and presumptive Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II.

“We should respect their decision. There is no need to interfere on the decision of Estrada. If he wants to support Poe, then so be it. Let’s respect it,” Binay said.

Poe is the daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr, Estrada’s best friend.

Estrada’s political party Partido ng Masang Pilipino, is part of the opposition’s United Nationalist Alliance – Binay’s political party.

The Vice President said, however, that UNA is still considering Poe to be his running mate.

Still, Binay did not give a direct answer when asked whether he is ready if Poe decides to run under the administration’s Liberal Party.

Presidential deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte, who admitted that Poe has been meeting with the president, said that Poe and Roxas has an ongoing separate discussion with Roxas.

“Well you know, we’ve seen that it is an on going discussion as Senator Grace Poe met with Secretary Mar Roxas earlier, and then met with the President along with Secretary Mar Roxas,” Valte said in a radio interview.

READ MORE...
She added that it comes as no surprise if Poe would seek guidance from the President since the lady Senator, an independent candidate, ran on the Liberal Party’s ticket during the last midterm elections in 2013.

She also disclosed that Poe will have another meeting with Aquino in the coming weeks.

“I do know that there is supposed to be another meeting as the President mentioned, if I’m not mistaken, but I don’t know when the schedule is going to be,” she admitted.

On Friday, Poe admitted that she would seek Aquino’s guidance in whatever role she may find herself in,

Aquino met with Poe before he left for a four-day visit to the United States and Canada.

While Aquino did not directly tell Poe that the LP wanted her to be either its standard bearer or its vice presidential candidate in next year’s election, the senator said the President told her the LP needs an alternative candidate.

She added that Aquino also made it clear to her the alternative candidate need not be an LP member, but someone who has the chance of winning the elections and who can carry out the current reforms of the present administration and its fight against corruption.

On Thursday, the President said he believes Poe would be among those who can continue the reforms that he said his administration has started.

He added that as of this time, his party has yet to finalize everything, including its campaigning strategies.

The President has earlier assured the public that he will endorse the LP’s standard bearer in June, but added that he would still need to consulting with several sectors, including the non-government organizations, the civil society organizations, among others, on who the administration should choose to represent them in the next presidential polls.

The president also said he is open on getting an independent candidate to represent the LP in the elections.

“I get everybody’s inputs eh, not just the established political parties but also, di ba, yung again the NGOs (non-government organizations), the civil society organizations, peoples organizations, other support,” Aquino said.

Based on the previous Social Weather Survey result, Poe retained her position as the top vice presidential bet for the May 2016, while also trailing Binay on a separate survey for Filipinos’ choice for the next president.

Roxas, on the other hand, landed at 7th place as the Filipinos’ choice for president.

Following the survey, Aquino admitted that he was worried with the performance of Roxas in surveys.

“Parang yung pangamba ng bayan aspect ay talagang kailangang pakinggan ko, lahat ng boses ng bawat isang sangay, ng bawat sanga nitong samahan na ito, at ma-preserve nga yon,” Aquino said.

“Kapag na-preserve natin yon, talagang lalakas ang tulak ng pangangampanya ng kung sino man ang mapili ng buong samahan,” he added.

Last month, during the general assembly of 1,490 municipality mayors, Aquino has listed the criteria that he was looking for from his successor.

He said that he was not only looking for a presidential candidate who can continue his program of “straight path” but someone who has “integrity, honesty, and confidence” in running the Philippines.

The President, whose term would end in May 2016 also added that the Philippine economy will remain robust if his successor will continue the reforms that he has started since 2010.

“Kung ngayon pa lang, halos limang taon matapos manumbalik ang pag-asa ng ating mga Boss, ay napakalayo na ng ating narating, gaano pa kaya katayog ang mga pangarap na maabot natin kung magtutuloy at dadami pa ang mga repormang ipapatupad ng susunod na magiging pinuno? (We’ve gone this far, nearly five years after hope was restored to our bosses. We can go even higher if reforms are pursued by the next president) ,” the President added.


MANILA TIMES

Palace: Up to Binay to quit cabinet May 16, 2015 11:18 pm  by CATHERINE S. VALENTE REPORTER

Malacañang is not joining calls for Vice President Jejomar Binay’s resignation from the Cabinet.

In a radio interview, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said it is up to Binay to respond to the resignation calls over allegations of corruption.

“Well, that’s a decision that is left up to him… whenever we’re always asked about resignations, that is a question that is better posed to the person who is the subject of the call to resign, perhaps, or the question to resign,” Valte told Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

The Court of Appeals (CA) earlier ordered the freezing of more than 200 bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies of Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Elenita Binay, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and others linked to their family.

The 38-page CA order, dated May 11 granted the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) petition for a freeze on 242 bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies.

The AMLC petition stated that the statements of assets, liabilities, and networth of the Binays and former Makati Vice-Mayor Ernesto Mercado did not reflect their bank accounts and other transactions.

The CA concurred with the AMLC and found probably cause that these bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies were “related to unlawful activities.”

The Binay camp earlier issued a statement claiming that the vice-president’s political opponents are using the AMLC report for “political gains.”

But Malacanang has rejected allegations that the administration party is behind the freeze order on Binay’s bank accounts.

READ MORE...
In defending the Liberal Party (LP), Valte said that CA and AMLC, which are both involved in the issuance of the freeze order against Binay’s assets, are independent bodies.

“You know, let’s point out also that the AMLC is composed of the Central Bank governor, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) chair, and also the Insurance Commissioner; and, as such, may trabaho po talaga silang ginagawa under the Anti-Money Laundering Act. You know, as the President said, we have nothing to do with the AMLC report and we certainly do not have—have not used it for the ends of the administration other than, of course, the mandate of the AMLC itself,” she said.

“We can’t comment any further owing to the fact that the entire—all these revelations are… Well, at least, the freeze order is an order of the competent court and wala po kaming sakop sa judiciary,” Valte added.

The spokesperson of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) meanwhile challenged the Binay family to come out openly and and explain how they became rich.

Former Bayan Muna party-list representative Teddy Casiño said, “the charges and the information revealed so far indicate corruption of such scandalous proportions that these cannot be dismissed by general denials or attribution to a demolition job by the Vice President’s enemies.”


TRIBUNE

Erap to back Poe only as UNA bet Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 17 May 2015 00:00


ERAP

NEW MEETING SET BETWEEN NOY AND GRACE — PALACE

Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada made clear yesterday that his commitment to support the candidacy of Sen. Grace Poe, the daughter of his bosom buddy, the late movie icon Fernando Poe Jr., who also carried the opposition banner in the controversial 2004 elections in 2010, is predicated on her running under the banner of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

The prospect of Poe becoming the anointed of President Aquino became clearer last Thursday after Aquino said he is convinced that Poe can continue what he had started under the principle of “tuwid na daan” (straight path).

Prior to Aquino’s pronouncement, he held a meeting with Poe where Poe asked him if she could rely on his support and that of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) if she seeks a higher position in 2016.
Aquino’s deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said that another meeting is scheduled between Aquino and Poe.

“There is supposed to be another meeting as the President mentioned, if I’m not mistaken, but I don’t know when the schedule is going to be,” Valte said.

Valte added that Poe met with presumptive LP standard bearer Interior Secretary Mar Roxas earlier and then met with Aquino along with Roxas. “So it’s an ongoing discussion and it’s not a surprise in the sense that Senator Poe ran on the President’s ticket in 2013 and the discussions are obviously ongoing,” she said.

“They all agree that the reforms must continue, So let’s just wait for further development,” she said.
Estrada, however, told reporters that he laments that he cannot support Poe if she decides to seek a higher office under the wings of the LP in the 2016 elections.

As a member of the opposition UNA, Estrada said he is duty-bound to support the opposition candidate in the next election.

READ MORE...
Estrada is actually one of the key founders of UNA along with Vice President Jejomar Binay and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who is detained for supposedly the misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the Palace-scripted P10-billion pork barrel scam case.
Estrada expressed his wish that Poe would choose to be an opposition candidate next year.
Estrada earlier expressed his commitment to support Poe’s candidacy even as president for next year’s elections but he said that the endorsement would only be given to Poe as a UNA candidate.
Estrada had said she would endorse Poe because she is “the daughter of my best friend FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.) who is more than a brother to me.”

Estrada added he is confident that Binay can hurdle the latest allegations against him after the Court of Appeals (CA) issued a freeze order on his and some of his associates’ bank accounts.
In a radio interview last Thursday, Aquino said he spoke with Poe on the belief that “she is going in the right direction.”

“We worked hard for [the gains of my administration]. We worked on them with blood, sweat and tears so they could become permanent and not just last for six years,” he added.

“Poe is one of those we expect to continue, and can really continue (our agenda),” the President said.

Poe, currently ranks second to front-runner Binay in the presidential surveys but the allies of Aquino and LP is on an unrelenting effort to dislodge him from the top of the surveys through a string of allegations of irregularities primarily during his term as Makati City Mayor.

Aquino, in an interview, said that despite his mentioning Poe as a possible successor, the selection process had not been completed and he was not yet ready to announce the administration’s presidential candidate.

Roxas seems to have fallen out of grace in the Palace circle because of his poor showing in regular presidential surveys, while Poe’s numbers has been steadily rising.

The Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey held last March 20 to 23 showed Poe preferred by 31 percent of respondent against Binay’s leading 36 percent. Roxas was far behind posting a 15 percent rating.

Roxas’ supporters in the LP are, however, persistent.

Western Samar Rep. Senen Sarmiento, LP secretary general, said a Roxas-Poe combination endorsed by the President would be the likely administration team for 2016.

LP acting president Joseph Emilio Abaya disputed the weak chances of Roxas becoming the standard bearer of the party for the 2016 presidential elections.

Abaya said voters would still support administration candidates. “The people agree that daang matuwid should continue,” he added.

Sen. Sergio Osmena III is not surprised about the news that the LP is looking for a new candidate to challenge permanent survey leader Binay. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte also said the LP leadership does not consider Roxas as its sure candidate for president in 2016.

Belmonte is very close to the late president Cory Aquino, having occupied three concurrent posts as Philippine Airlines, Manila Hotel and Government Service Insurance System president during her term.

Belmonte said the LP leadership is open to possibilities that its bet for the presidential elections may come from other parties with coalition deal with LP.

Parties that are allied with LP are PDP-Laban where Binay is the standard bearer, Nationalist People’s Coalition and Lakas-NUCD.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

25,090 teaching, non-teaching personnel to lose jobs when K-12 is in full swing By XIANNE ARCANGEL, GMA News May 4, 2015 5:41pm

About 25,000 teaching and non-teaching personnel are set to be displaced by the full implementation of the K to 12 program next year, according to a report submitted by the government’s education cluster to Congress.

Of the estimated 25,090 employees in the education sector who will be affected by the addition of two more years to the country’s basic education system, 13,634 are teaching personnel while 11,456 are non-teaching workers. The latest estimate is lower than the earlier assumption released by the Commission on Higher Education last March of 78,000 displaced.

The education cluster comprised of CHED, the Department of Education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Department of Labor and Employment attributed the displacement of the personnel to the “reduction in college enrollment” that “may adversely affect the operational viability of various higher education institutions.”

Under the K-12 enhanced basic education program, a student will be required to undergo kindergarten, six years of elementary, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school.

Stop-gap measure

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To mitigate the impact of K to 12 in higher education, Congress is now deliberating on a proposal to establish a P12-billion tertiary education transition fund that will provide financial assistance to affected academic and non-academic personnel in universities and colleges during the so-called transition period.

DepEd said it also plans to rehire displaced college teaching staff as basic education teachers in senior high schools.

These proposals, however, were hit by Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon as last-minute, stop-gap measures which do not address what he sees as the problematic implementation of the K-12 program.

“The Tertiary Education Transition Fund is nothing but a last-minute stop-gap measure which aims to fool affected personnel into accepting the imminent mass lay-off. The bill now being tackled by the House committee also fails to address the transgression of fundamental labor rights of teaching and non-teaching personnel that the full implementation of K to 12 harbors,” he said.

The lawmaker is urging the government to stop the implementation of the K-12 program so DepEd and other related agencies can resolve the various issues hounding it. — BM, GMA News


TRIBUNE COMMENTARY

Economic development  Written by Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz Sunday, 17 May 2015 00:00

In formal and informal talks, in media and general public addresses, before, during, and after State of the Nation Addresses, especially in conferences delivered before foreign audiences, the present Malacañang resident —ignorantly or deliberately, jokingly or seriously, incompetently or decidedly —makes repeated claims of the big and fast economic development taking place all over the country resulting in the eradication of poverty and other magical economic advancements all over the Land.

What remain interestingly unsaid are the following:

The biggest business of the government are the People of the Philippines — men, women and young individuals — who are sent abroad as overseas Filipino workers, who earn their living even in the midst of mortal danger and who send their dollar remittances to the country.

Never mind if they are imprisoned for one crime or another — whipped or killed even unless “blood money” is paid.

Another emerging truly profitable business in the country is the manufacture, distribution and sale of prohibited drugs not only for local use but to the extent that the same deadly items even become export quality products — such as through more and more so-called local and foreign “drug mules” on their own initiative or though innocent carriers.

And there is the detestable and shameful already established plus still being enlarged gambling industry — frequented by local criminals and foreign gangsters, money launderers included.

Until this present administration is done away fast, unless the in-coming public officials are really for public service for the common good, Philippine Las Vegas is coming to fore.

Strange but true, there are indications to the effect that this administration with its subservient administrative KKK members, its questionable partisan political allies plus certain subservient judicial figures, also strangely and pitifully equates “Economic Development” with the number of bars around plus “entertainment” districts in place plus women and young girls “for sale.”

There is the fact of “development” in all these. There is the undeniable “economic” reality in all these.

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Never mind public utilities people pay for. Never mind a transport system that does not work.
Never mind garbage all over the place.

Never mind men, women and children begging in the streets.

Never mind families sleeping in the sidewalks, living by the canals, having illiterate children.
So what if the number of criminals is not only the same but even becoming more?

So what if thieves rob houses, steal from supermarkets? It is alright if boys snatch and run away with the bags — money, cellphone, jewelry — of old and young women alike. All these are big signs of “economic development.”

But most of all, so what if continuous big graft and huge corrupt practices are practically everywhere — particularly in government-owned and controlled corporations — not to mention the now infamous and nauseating Disbursement Acceleration Program and Priority Development Assistance Fund fiasco. These are but signs of “economic development.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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