PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
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PING LACSON IS 'DARK HORSE' FOR 2016


MAY 22 ---Panfilo “Ping” Lacson. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
- The “dark horse” in next year’s presidential race, former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, has television ads hitting the air waves since the start of the week, courtesy of supporters egging him to once more make a run for the presidency. There are two versions of the ads meant to bolster awareness of Lacson, focusing on his stint as senator and his refusal to make use of pork barrel funds allocated to senators. One of the ads showed children singing to tune of “Pen pen de sarapen” and “Ping Ping at disiplin kailangan ng Pilipins.”  In a text message, Lacson, who earlier said he was considering to run for president, said it was his friends and supporters, mostly from the Filipino-Chinese community, who put up funds to produce the commercials, which have aired on prime time. He said other supporters were printing bumper stickers and other materials to boost the awareness campaign for him.
Responding to challenge A sample of a Lacson bumper sticker now in circulation said: “Dito Tayo sa Magaling! Ping 2016. No to Corruption. No to Kotong.”  “I think they responded to the challenge to ‘show me the numbers’ that would guide me in my decision on which direction to take in the elections next year,” Lacson said. But he described the information drive as “disorganized.”  “Disorganized in the sense that it’s a ‘to each his own’ kind of efforts to attain their common objective of convincing me to go for the presidency instead of the Senate.”  Lacson earlier said he would either run again for senator or seek the presidency. Poe factor  READ MORE...

ALSO: Santiago for MV Pangilinan; ad backs Poe, Ping Lacson


MAY 22 ---(From left) Businessman Manuel V. Pangilina, former senator Ping Lacson, Senator Grace Poe 
The season for political endorsements or for floating trial balloons appears to have begun. Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan was put forward as a presidential candidate in May 2016 by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago in her speech at a Maynilad event on Wednesday. Santiago endorsed Pangilinan as she dismissed a full-page newspaper ad urging Sen. Grace Poe and former Sen. Panfilo Lacson “to run in tandem for higher office” in 2016 as the “PR work of a team working for either camp.”  Reacting to the ad, Poe said she was grateful for the kind words given by the retired military and police officers in the full-page ad, while Lacson said he was thankful for the endorsement. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who wants to run for Vice President next year, said Lacson was very much qualified to run for President. As for Poe, Trillanes said she would be a “very formidable opponent” should she run for Vice President. “She’s very much qualified to run for any position and I believe the people’s sympathy is with her,” he said. At the Maynilad Leadership Talk at the University of the Philippines Asian Center auditorium, guest speaker Santiago said: “What is it that you want for the Philippines in 2016? I want you to think about those. And I want you to think about Mr. Manny Pangilinan for President of the republic.”  Pangilinan is chair of Maynilad Water Services Inc., one of the two private water  concessionaires in Metro Manila. He is also chair of Manila Electric Co., Philex Mining Corp. and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., whose media arm has shares in the Inquirer and other newspapers. READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay considers Duterte as running mate; But Davao City mayor says he is not running for any position in 2016


MAY 22 --Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER PHOTOS
Vice President Jejomar Binay is considering Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte his possible running mate in the 2016 presidential elections.
In an interview with a local station on Thursday, Binay said Duterte was “qualified” to be the vice presidential bet of his party United Nationalist Alliance. “[Duterte is] being considered. I don’t think he would be angry about it. He’s qualified. He’s a successful mayor,” Binay said. “Sabi ko nga, there was a time na-feature pa kaming tatlo, successful mayors—ako, si Lito Atienza at saka si Mayor Duterte (As I said, there was a time when the three of us were featured as successful mayors—me, Lito Atienza and Mayor Duterte),” he added. Duterte, however, has announced he is not running for any position in 2016. Speaking to the Inquirer by phone on Friday, Duterte said he had repeatedly announced he was not running because he could not afford to do so. “I don’t have money and I don’t want to beg for money. This Vice President … I have to spend but I don’t have the money. I don’t like asking around for money, especially from other politicians because I don’t want to incur debt of gratitude,” he said, adding that he had been a politician and mayor of Davao City for years and there was no single instance he shopped around for campaign funds. Duterte said he had been going around the country not to promote his potential candidacy for a higher post but to rally people to support federalism. “I have been promoting federalism because there have been clashes due to BBL but I am not running.  READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay respects Poe’s refusal to run as his VP


MAY 23 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe.STAR/File photo
MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay said he respects Sen. Grace Poe’s pronouncement that she is not interested to be his running mate. In an interview with ABS-CBN Davao on Thursday, Binay said the possibility of Poe becoming his running mate came out when he was asked on various occasions about a possible tandem with her in 2016. “All the names I mentioned (in the media interviews), we consider them all, but I have not yet selected (a running mate),” he explained. Binay’s political party the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) earlier said nothing is stopping Poe from charting her political future. Poe said that she does not see herself being the running mate of Binay, who is currently facing numerous corruption allegations. “We are really different when it comes to our style of service,” said Poe, a close second to Binay in recent presidential preference surveys. UNA interim president and Navotas City Rep. Tobias Tiangco believes Binay remains the strongest contender in next year’s presidential polls because of his proven track record in public service, regardless of who his running mate will be. Other names floated as Binay’s possible running mates are Panfilo Lacson, Sens. Francis Escudero and Jinggoy Estrada, Pag-IBIG or Home Development Mutual Fund president and chief executive officer Darlene Marie Berberabe and businessman Manuel Pangilinan. READ MORE...

ALSO: Statements of Binay’s alleged bagman have no value – Trillanes


MAY 23 ---Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. STAR/File phot Gerardo Limlingan, the alleged bagman of Vice President Jejomar Binay, can come out with as many statements as he wants through his lawyers, but these would not mean anything in the probe involving the country’s second highest official. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said the statement released by Limlingan, the second of which came out yesterday, have no value at all as far as the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee investigating the anomalies involving Binay is concerned. Limlingan released a statement through the Yorac Sarmiento Arroyo Chua Coronel Reyes Law Firm, denying allegations he was used as a dummy by Binay’s undeclared business interests. Limlingan is among the 14 individuals ordered arrested by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee for failing to attend the hearings of its subcommittee in spite of the issuance of subpoenas against them. The Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms has not been able to locate Limlingan, who has been in hiding since the hearings of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee started last year. READ MORE...

ALSO: Quit Noy cabinet or stay, Binay camp divided on VP
[Tiangco said he didn’t know yet which side Binay is leaning. “The Vice President does not speak about that to us yet. He was just listening. He would speak if he is 100 percent sure,” he said.]


MAY 24 ----Sentimentally, remember when? The camp of the Vice President Jejomar Binay is divided on whether he should resign from the Cabinet amid calls for him to step down following the leak of a report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on the alleged multi-million-peso bank accounts of the Vice President, his family and his alleged dummies. But according to United Nationalist Alliance interim president Toby Tiangco, he would advise Binay to stay and continue carrying out his duties as the head of the agencies dealing with housing and overseas Filipino workers’ concerns. “There are two sides to this. Both have their good reasons. There are people (in his circle) advising him that he must wait until the filing of the COC (certificate of candidacy) in October and I am one of those people,” Tiangco said. Tiangco noted that Binay would be considered resigned from his Cabinet posts once he files his candidacy in October, according to the rules for appointed officials. READ MORE...

Macalintal twits De Lima: Aquino, like Binay, is not immune from suit

 



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ALSO Election lawyer Macalintal twits De Lima: Aquino, like Binay, is not immune from suit


Romulo Macalintal  
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal debunked the recent statement by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who said President Benigno Aquino III was the sole impeachable official immune from suit. In a statement, Macalintal said the immunity extended to the President was only a “tradition” that could be abandoned. “There is nothing in the constitution nor any existing law which provides that only the President, or any of the said impeachable officials, is immune from suit. As a matter of fact the executive immunity provided for under the 1973 Constitution was repealed or removed under the 1987 Constitution,” Macalintal said. The lawyer also said that De Lima’s statement about the president’s supposed immunity from suit “smacks of unjust or invidious discrimination, thus, violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.”  READ MORE...

ALSO STANDARD COMMENTARY:  Why presidents are corrupt


MAY 22 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe are embroiled in a debate on which is more important – honesty or competence. Grace insists it’s honesty. Jojo maintains it’s competence. Grace Poe is a freshman senator salivating to become president of the Philippines. She has no experience in governance but many people believe she has three things they want in their leader this century – relative youth, a fresh image, and decency and honesty. Jojo Binay has some things people want in their leader – responsiveness, ability to connect with them, experience, competence, brought about by high-level of education (law and three masters degrees) and experience, having been in government for the past 29 years. Binay’s frenemies in the Senate insist he is very corrupt and they have conducted 20 hearings in ten months to prove it. Judging from the record of past 50 years, the most honest presidents in history have been the most incompetent and inexperienced. Think of Cory Aquino and her son, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III. And the most competent and experienced presidents have been the most corrupt. Think of Ferdinand E. Marcos. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino (who served as president from February 1986 to June 1992, without the benefit of an election) has generally been considered an honest president. Yet, Cory Aquino’s presidency was marked by at least seven coup attempts, the release of top communist rebels whose capture the military took up to 50 years, 12 to 18 daily blackouts (she became the Queen of Darkness), and one of the most debilitating recessions in the country’s history. Because Noynoy was incompetent to spend infra funds (about P147 billion), economic growth collapsed during his first full year as president (2011) from 7.6 percent in 2010 to 3.7 percent. Again, for failure to spend P160 billion of infra money in 2014, the government missed its growth target of +7 percent and the economy grew by just 6.1 percent, down from 7.2 percent in 2013. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Ping Lacson is ‘dark horse’ for 2016


PHILSTAR

Binay respects Poe’s refusal to run as his VP By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 23, 2015 - 12:00am


Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe.STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay said he respects Sen. Grace Poe’s pronouncement that she is not interested to be his running mate.

In an interview with ABS-CBN Davao on Thursday, Binay said the possibility of Poe becoming his running mate came out when he was asked on various occasions about a possible tandem with her in 2016.

“All the names I mentioned (in the media interviews), we consider them all, but I have not yet selected (a running mate),” he explained.

Binay’s political party the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) earlier said nothing is stopping Poe from charting her political future.

Poe said that she does not see herself being the running mate of Binay, who is currently facing numerous corruption allegations.

“We are really different when it comes to our style of service,” said Poe, a close second to Binay in recent presidential preference surveys.

UNA interim president and Navotas City Rep. Tobias Tiangco believes Binay remains the strongest contender in next year’s presidential polls because of his proven track record in public service, regardless of who his running mate will be.

Other names floated as Binay’s possible running mates are Panfilo Lacson, Sens. Francis Escudero and Jinggoy Estrada, Pag-IBIG or Home Development Mutual Fund president and chief executive officer Darlene Marie Berberabe and businessman Manuel Pangilinan.

READ MORE...
Meanwhile, the Lakas-Christian and Muslim Democrats may ally itself with UNA in the 2016 elections, said Lakas-CMD president and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

Romualdez, leader of the independent bloc in the House of Representatives, said the party is unlikely to field its own presidential and vice presidential candidates in next year’s polls. Instead, Lakas-CMD may forge a coalition with other parties, including UNA, to put up a strong front against the Aquino administration.

“Most likely with the opposition. He (Binay) is the only one espousing views contrary to that of the administration. We’re talking a lot, nothing formal in a sense,” Romualdez told ABS-CBN when asked about the party’s plans.

“We’re one year before the election and four, five months before the filing. We’re very open, we like what we’ve seen in terms of the political developments,” he said.

Former presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is now Pampanga representative, ran and won in 1992 and 2004, respectively, under Lakas-CMD.

Romualdez said he is still studying the possibility of running for the Senate. Other Lakas-CMD lawmakers reportedly being eyed for the Senate are Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla and Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo, the former president’s son.

Former Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, a stalwart of Lakas-CMD, said he expects former members to return to the party. – With Paolo Romero


PHILSTAR

Statements of Binay’s alleged bagman have no value – Trillanes By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 23, 2015 - 12:00am


Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. STAR/File phot

MANILA, Philippines - Gerardo Limlingan, the alleged bagman of Vice President Jejomar Binay, can come out with as many statements as he wants through his lawyers, but these would not mean anything in the probe involving the country’s second highest official.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said the statement released by Limlingan, the second of which came out yesterday, have no value at all as far as the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee investigating the anomalies involving Binay is concerned.

Limlingan released a statement through the Yorac Sarmiento Arroyo Chua Coronel Reyes Law Firm, denying allegations he was used as a dummy by Binay’s undeclared business interests.

Limlingan is among the 14 individuals ordered arrested by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee for failing to attend the hearings of its subcommittee in spite of the issuance of subpoenas against them.

The Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms has not been able to locate Limlingan, who has been in hiding since the hearings of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee started last year.

READ MORE...
A total of 20 hearings have been conducted by the subcommittee and the next one has been scheduled for next Thursday, May 28.

Trillanes said the statements purportedly made by Limlingan through the law firm would not have any effect on his arrest order.

“The arrest order stays. We’ve been conducting this investigation since August last year and it is only now that he is issuing a general denial? That is unacceptable. Nobody would buy that,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes previously said the only way Limlingan would be able to clear his name is for him to come out and tell all against the Vice President.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said the other day that Limlingan and the other people associated with the Vice President could apply to become state witnesses in exchange for their testimonies against Binay.

Cayetano, however, said the door is closing fast on them because a lot of evidence against the Vice President has been surfacing, including the report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council, and so their testimonies might no longer be needed.

For the hearing this May 28, five individuals – Vissia Marie Aldon, Mario Badillo and Line Dela Peña of the Makati City Hall; businessman Antonio Tiu; and University of Makati president Tomas Lopez – have all given their commitment to attend in order to avoid being arrested.

Kim Tun Chong, Imee Chong, Irene Chong, Kimsfer Chong, Erlinda Chong and Irish Chong, the proprietors of a food enterprise that supplies the birthday cakes for the senior citizens of Makati City, have also indicated that they would attend the May 28 hearing.

Former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado and lawyer Renato Bondal alleged the cake business was actually owned by the Binays, specifically Sen. Nancy Binay.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, the chairman of the subcommittee, said he expects the resource persons to answer the questions they would raise during the hearing and not just show up for the sake of avoiding arrest.

Pimentel said the witnesses would all be testifying under oath and if they opt to remain silent, then they must be able to invoke something acceptable.


INQUIRER

Quit or stay, Binay camp divided on VP Niña Calleja @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 6:18 AM | Sunday, May 24th, 2015


Sentimentally, remember when?

The camp of the Vice President Jejomar Binay is divided on whether he should resign from the Cabinet amid calls for him to step down following the leak of a report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on the alleged multi-million-peso bank accounts of the Vice President, his family and his alleged dummies.

But according to United Nationalist Alliance interim president Toby Tiangco, he would advise Binay to stay and continue carrying out his duties as the head of the agencies dealing with housing and overseas Filipino workers’ concerns.

“There are two sides to this. Both have their good reasons. There are people (in his circle) advising him that he must wait until the filing of the COC (certificate of candidacy) in October and I am one of those people,” Tiangco said.

Tiangco noted that Binay would be considered resigned from his Cabinet posts once he files his candidacy in October, according to the rules for appointed officials.

READ MORE...
“The Vice President has been doing a very good job in taking care of the OFWs and housing sector. He should maximize the opportunity to serve the public. They voted for him to do so,” Tiangco said.

On the other side are people advising Binay to let go of his Cabinet posts. “It’s for political reason. Since he was not getting support from some of the Cabinet members, some believe his effort could just go to waste,” Tiangco said.

“Napopolitika pa siya (His work is being politicized),” he said, quoting some people in the Binay camp.

Tiangco said he didn’t know yet which side Binay is leaning. “The Vice President does not speak about that to us yet. He was just listening. He would speak if he is 100 percent sure,” he said.


INQUIRER

Macalintal twits De Lima: Aquino, like Binay, is not immune from suit Aries Joseph Hegina @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 1:25 PM | Sunday, May 24th, 2015


Romulo Macalintal

Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal debunked the recent statement by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima who said President Benigno Aquino III was the sole impeachable official immune from suit.

In a statement, Macalintal said the immunity extended to the President was only a “tradition” that could be abandoned.

“There is nothing in the constitution nor any existing law which provides that only the President, or any of the said impeachable officials, is immune from suit. As a matter of fact the executive immunity provided for under the 1973 Constitution was repealed or removed under the 1987 Constitution,” Macalintal said.

The lawyer also said that De Lima’s statement about the president’s supposed immunity from suit “smacks of unjust or invidious discrimination, thus, violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.”

READ MORE...
“Since the President belongs to a similar class of impeachable officials under the constitution, there is no rhyme or reason why the other constitutional officials cannot enjoy the same immunity privilege,” Macalintal added.

De Lima said last Thursday that only Aquino was immune from suit and Vice President Jejomar Binay was not.

“The Vice President is not immune from suit. He is an impeachable official but he is not immune from suit.”

“There is no doctrine in constitutional or political law that serves as a legal basis or rationale for immunity from suit of impeachable officials, other than for the President,” De Lima said.

Binay is facing possible corruption raps due to the construction of alleged overpriced government buildings in Makati City which has been the center of a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee probe.

RELATED STORIES
De Lima: Only President immune from suit, not VP Binay

VP not immune from suits, probes’



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RELATED STORIES
De Lima: Only President immune from suit, not VP Binay

‘VP not immune from suits, probes’


MANILA STANDARD COMMENTARY

Why presidents are corrupt By Tony Lopez | May. 22, 2015 at 12:01am

Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe are embroiled in a debate on which is more important – honesty or competence. Grace insists it’s honesty. Jojo maintains it’s competence.

Grace Poe is a freshman senator salivating to become president of the Philippines. She has no experience in governance but many people believe she has three things they want in their leader this century – relative youth, a fresh image, and decency and honesty.

Jojo Binay has some things people want in their leader – responsiveness, ability to connect with them, experience, competence, brought about by high-level of education (law and three masters degrees) and experience, having been in government for the past 29 years. Binay’s frenemies in the Senate insist he is very corrupt and they have conducted 20 hearings in ten months to prove it.

Judging from the record of past 50 years, the most honest presidents in history have been the most incompetent and inexperienced. Think of Cory Aquino and her son, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III. And the most competent and experienced presidents have been the most corrupt. Think of Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Corazon Cojuangco Aquino (who served as president from February 1986 to June 1992, without the benefit of an election) has generally been considered an honest president.

Yet, Cory Aquino’s presidency was marked by at least seven coup attempts, the release of top communist rebels whose capture the military took up to 50 years, 12 to 18 daily blackouts (she became the Queen of Darkness), and one of the most debilitating recessions in the country’s history.

Because Noynoy was incompetent to spend infra funds (about P147 billion), economic growth collapsed during his first full year as president (2011) from 7.6 percent in 2010 to 3.7 percent. Again, for failure to spend P160 billion of infra money in 2014, the government missed its growth target of +7 percent and the economy grew by just 6.1 percent, down from 7.2 percent in 2013.

READ MORE...
The lower government spending in 2011 and 2014 is blamed by NEDA on “institutional weaknesses” – a nice phrase for incompetence.

The Cory-era power crisis produced the most expensive electricity in the world which meant power cost as a percentage of production (about 20 percent) is higher than labor cost (about 10 to 15 percent). The most expensive electricity in the world turned off billions of dollars worth of investments. The Philippines missed three waves of major foreign investments that flowed into Southeast Asia in the past 20 years. Missing these investments meant the highest unemployment rate in Asean and worsening poverty today.

The Cory Constitution of 1986 broke up the two-party system (Nacionalista and Liberal parties) to allow for participation of so-called marginalized parties (actually the communists). The destruction of the two-party system produced two effects – one, a series of corrupt and incompetent governments, and two, corrupt and incompetent elections.

Under the two-party system, the NP and the LP contested the presidency. To capture Malacañang, the presidential palace, the NP and LP must first capture the Senate from where most of our presidents came before 1965. To capture the Senate, the NP and the LP must field the best and the brightest minds of each region.

Thus, you had the likes of Marcos for Northern Luzon, Ninoy Aquino and Jose Roy for Central Luzon, Jose W. Diokno and Lorenzo Tañada for Southern Luzon, Jovito Salonga and Arturo Tolentino for Metro Manila, the Osmeñas from Cebu, and one or two firebrands from Mindanao. Movie actors must play the rules of the party convention. The parties financed unknown but talented candidates -- like the bar topnotchers. Seven of Philippine presidents were bar topnotchers. During their time, the Philippines was the most dynamic economy in Asia. So competence does count.

In the first Senate elections after 1986, without a two-party system, you had the funny situation of a subdivision in Quezon City (La Vista) having four senators, and the entire Mindanao island (which is 40 percent of our land area) without a single senator. No wonder the Filipino Muslims now want their own sub-state.

With the Cory Charter, corrupt and incompetent elections came about because with the destruction of the two-party system, the system of poll watchers was abolished. Under the old system, the NP and LP were each represented in the three-man precinct-level poll body. No precinct election return could be cleared without the signatures of three people – the NP, LP and the teacher representative. The poll watchers were funded by the government.

Today, a presidential candidate must finance the salaries of poll watchers. If there you are 80,000 precincts, you hire 80,000 watchers. Multiply that by two – because the count takes two days and the watchers must be relieved to rest. So you have 160,000 watchers. Pay P500 per day for each of the 160,000 watchers.

That alone will cost the presidential candidate P8 billion. Add the budget for tv and newspaper ads (usually half of campaign costs) and the cost of campaigning in 80 provinces, 100 cities and 1,580 towns for ten months.

Where will the candidate get that kind of money? From two sources: one, donations, and two, from years of corruption (kickbacks, overpriced projects, shady deals with gambling, drugs, kidnapping and other syndicates) while in public service.

When you get huge sums from donors, you become beholden to them. You are their minion.

When you raise money from rackets, you become greedy, heartless and conscience-less. Because a president elected through corrupt means has to accommodate so many vested interests, he or she deliberately becomes incompetent. Because in the presidency, incompetence (often mistaken as honesty) is a valid excuse.

What do people get? Corrupt and deliberately incompetent presidents.

What is the solution? Return to the two-party system. biznewsasia@gmail.com


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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