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

PART 1 - PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS IN 2016; WHO WILL RUN AND WHO ISN'T IN THE RUNNING?


MAY 25 ---With less than a year before the May 2016 elections, politicians planning to run for President are already seeking your vote by trying to outdo each other in a bid to boost their chances of winning – or maybe to convince themselves that they should run.
Of 10 possible presidential contenders, only four have openly declared their plans to join the race. They are Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate Majority Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and former Senator Panfilo Lacson, who recently quit as rehabilitation czar. Other presidential contenders are Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, Senators Grace Poe, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. The tenth would-be candidate, detained Senator Bong Revilla, was believed to be all set to join the race, if he had not been charged and incarcerated for his alleged involvement in the multi-billion pork barrel scam. READ MORE...

ALSO: Mar ready to continue P-Noy’s ‘straight path’


MAY 27 ---ROXAS --President Aquino has said DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas II is “on top” of the list of his choices for successor next year. AJ Bolando/Philstar.com file DOÑA REMEDIOS TRINIDAD, Bulacan, Philippines – Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said yesterday he is ready to take the challenge of President Aquino to be the latter’s possible successor and to lead the nation to the “straight path.” The President has said Roxas is “on top” of the list of his choices for successor next year. But he said he is deferring making a formal announcement until after the Liberal Party-led coalition has established a consensus or after his last State of the Nation Address on July 27. There are barely five months left before the filing of certificates of candidacy in October. “I am ready to accept the challenge to continue President Aquino’s straight path so that we can continue what we have achieved,” Roxas said in Filipino in a chance interview with reporters. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy revealed to media today Mar is still his top choice for president


MAY 25 ---Interior Secrteary Manuel Roxas II and President Benigno Aquino III. STAR file photo 
President Benigno Aquino III revealed on Monday that Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II is still his top choice among the possible presidential candidates in the 2016 elections. In an ambush interview with reporters in Marikina, Aquino said he was "surprised" to hear from the media that Roxas was reportedly not being eyed as the Liberal Party's standard bearer. Aquino said Roxas is a "staunch leader of the party" and a "valuable member" of the Cabinet with "quite a wide range of expertise."  Roxas also showed his "ability to sacrifice" when he withdrew his presidential plan in 2010 and ran instead as Aquino's vice presidential candidate. "All of these traits should point out that he is ,to my mind, as far as our coalition is concerned, he is at the top of the list," Aquino said. READ MORE...

ALSO PNoy: Philippines will be First World country if my reforms continue


MAY 25 ---P-NOY
 - President Benigno Aquino III claimed on Monday that the country will reach First World status if the reforms of his administration will be continued. In his speech in Marikina Elementary School, Aquino trumpeted the country's economic achievements under his watch and the decline in unemployment and hunger incidence among families. Aquino also boasted of his administrations' anti-corruption efforts and programs for education, health and poverty alleviation that contributed to the country's progress. "Kung madidiligan ang ating mga ipinunla... baka po tuluyan nang nasa First World status tayo sa panahong iyon," Aquino said. "Napakasarap pong pangarapin nito lalo pa't alam nating maaabot ito kung maipagpapatuloy lang natin ang pagsisikap, pag-aambagan at pagsisigurong maayos at matapat ang pamamahala sa ating bansa," he added. READ MORE...

ALSO Tiangco dares Noy: ‘walk the talk’ on corruption raps of allies


MAY 27 ---TIANGCO
The gloves appear to be off, especially after President Aquino stated that for Vice President Jejomar Binay to win the presidency in 2016, he should answer the charges of corruption leveled against him. This statement appeared to have gotten the gander of Rep. Toby Tiangco, interim president of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), who shot back, saying that the Aquino administration has been playing “godfather” to allies who are charged with corruption, and if President Aquino dares Binay to answer charges, the Liberal Party Aquino’s allies should answer the corruption charges that have been leveled against them. He dared Aquino and his allies to walk the talk. UNA took a swipe yesterday at the President’s remarks on the Vice President and turned the tables on Aquino and his allies, saying his administration also needs to answer allegations of corruption hurled at their allies.
“As I have been consistent in saying, that tuwid na daan is the height of hypocrisy. The government agencies under the Administration are being used against the opposition. At the same time, the administration is harboring allies who are deeply involved in anomalies and other allegations of corruption. It is the administration itself that is defending the presidential allies and are even lawyering for them,” the UNA interim president said. READ MORE...

ALSO Grace: Mar wants me as his VP


MAY 27 ---Poe reiterated that she is still trying to determine the reason why she needs to gun for a higher position.
SEN. Grace Poe on Wednesday admitted that Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd has already told her that he wants her to be his running mate in the 2016 elections. But the greenhorn lawmaker, who is closing in on Vice President Jejomar Binay in popularity surveys, said she remains undecided about her political plans. Poe told reporters that she met Roxas by chance in a restaurant where the presumptive standard-bearer of the administration-backed Liberal Party purportedly floated the idea that they join hands in next year’s polls. “For me, the intention of Secretary Roxas is clearer, he mentioned that it will be better if we join forces,” she said. But while they both have similar objectives of pursuing the reform program of President Benigno Aquino 3rd and in fighting corruption, the senator pointed out that she believes there are still a lot of things that should be done to help improve the lives of Filipinos people and effectively address poverty. READ MORE...

ALSO Tribune commentary Noy's annointed: It’s elementary


MAY 27 ---Noynoy appears to be doing a strip tease on who his anointed would be, emitting signals that it would be Grace Poe and lately, Mar Roxas. He has also said, at one time, that during the administration’s election campaign, he would be there to focus on the success of his claimed change and reforms programs, with the latest spiel on the Philippines becoming a First World Country soon, with the continuity of his reforms and his daang matuwid, but which no longer has any currency among the Filipino people. But whether the choice is Mar Roxas or Grace Poe, the foremost question among the electorate is whether either would continue to protect Noynoy and his Liberal Party (LP) biggies from from prosecution, should either or both win the two top political slots in 2016.
For Noynoy and the LPs, the campaign thrust against VP Jojo Binay, who is definitely running as the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer, appears to be pretty clear-cut: the continued portrayal of the VP as corrupt to make their anti-corruption stance gain currency. Already, Noynoy has publicly stated that Binay needs to answer the allegations of corruption if he wants to win the presidency.READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Part 1: Presidential hopefuls, v. 2016


Santiago Poe Binay Roxas Cayetano


Lacson Marcos Escudero Duterte

Who will run and who really isn’t in the running?

MANILA, JUNE 1, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) By Macon Ramos-Araneta | May. 25, 2015 at 12:01am - With less than a year before the May 2016 elections, politicians planning to run for President are already seeking your vote by trying to outdo each other in a bid to boost their chances of winning – or maybe to convince themselves that they should run.

Of 10 possible presidential contenders, only four have openly declared their plans to join the race. They are Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate Majority Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and former Senator Panfilo Lacson, who recently quit as rehabilitation czar.

Other presidential contenders are Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, Senators Grace Poe, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

The tenth would-be candidate, detained Senator Bong Revilla, was believed to be all set to join the race, if he had not been charged and incarcerated for his alleged involvement in the multi-billion pork barrel scam.

READ MORE...
Binay and Cayetano are frequently at odds in the media thanks to the hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee on the alleged corruption committed by the Vice President, of which Cayetano is a member.

The subcommittee, chaired by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, has already conducted 21 hearings on the matter, the longest-ever held by the panel.

Cayetano is among the two senators at the forefront of the Senate probe on Binay. The other is Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who earlier aired his intention to run for President, but later said Filipinos are “not yet ready” for a Trillanes presidency.

Binay was the earliest candidate to announce his plan to run for President in next year’s election.

While discharging his duties as Vice President and housing czar, distributing land titles to the poor, he is also busy warding off criticisms and charges of anomalies and questionable deals.

Binay has vehemently denied all corruption charges, but he never showed up at the Senate hearings. He insisted he was a mere target of dirty politics after announcing his desire to run for President in the upcoming elections.

Cayetano, in an obvious bid to entice voters, recently aired two political ads on television.

Binay also appeared in a TV ad sometime in 2009. In Binay’s “Ganito Kami Sa Makati,” he described the city “masaya, maunlad at maligaya,” which featured a woman clutching her baby saying the catchphrase “Ganito kami sa Makati, ganito sana sa buong Bayan.”

The Vice President, who was then Makati mayor, talked how residents enjoyed free hospitalization and free medicine, free education until college, and the “loving care” given to the senior citizens, who are given free movies, concerts and trips. During their birthdays, Makati gives them a birthday cake.

In Cayetano’s first political ad, the senator spelled out the gains of his hometown of Taguig like free education, job assistance and medical benefits. He also talked about low tax rates in Taguig and the city being an “ideal place” for investments.

Cayetano, who got a fresh term in the 2013 elections, ranking third in the Senate polls, declared that corruption is not allowed in Taguig, where his wife is mayor. The commercial said: “Sa Taguig, bawal ang corrupt kaya bigay todo ang biyaya. Masaya ang bawat pamilya!”

He has consistently tagged Binay, the perceived frontrunner in the 2016 presidential elections, as “corrupt.”

Viewers were recently treated to another political ad with the spiel “May pagbabagong tunay sa ating buhay, kapag may Kuya Alan.”

Santiago, for her part, said she wanted to reclaim the presidency that she claims she won in 1992, if she is cured after her battle with stage 4 lung cancer. She insists that former President Fidel Ramos cheated her in the election held 23 years ago.

Months later after revealing that she was stricken with the serious ailment in July last year, Santiago announced she had licked cancer.

“I am now contemplating on running for President as one of several career options,” she said.

Although she does not attend plenary sessions, she has been actively going around the country delivering speeches particularly before youth groups.

Santiago remains on medical leave due to her condition, but her office says she remains the top-performing senator, having filed a total of 1,007 bills and resolutions from the start of the 16th Congress in June 2013 until the last session day of 2014.

Lacson, meanwhile, has confirmed that he is open to take another shot at seeking the presidency, but said it would still depend on his rankings in election surveys. He is doing consultations in different parts of the country to gauge if his presidential bid would gain ground.

“We are open, but it appears that I have been stuck to the senatorial race. If we are talking about running for senator, our rating is very high – 1 to 2. But [in the] the presidential [race], we are very low,” he said.

In the last nationwide survey, he obtained only one percent among the choices for President.

“I’m not saying that I don’t want to run. If we are talking about my intention, I can tell you directly that I have the intention,” he said.

Lacson ran for president in 2004, but was handily beaten by both former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the late Fernando Poe Jr.

He considers the possibility of a “Ping-Poe” tandem, referring to Senator Grace Poe. But in case Poe runs for President, he is willing to slide down and run for vice president with her instead.

A group of retired military and police officers earlier issued a manifesto urging Lacson and Poe to forge an alliance and run in tandem for higher office in 2016. But Acting Minority Leader Tito Sotto sees him only as a “dark horse” in the race.

Roxas, Poe, Marcos, Escudero and Duterte have been mum about their presidential plans.

Roxas, also the president-on-leave of the Liberal Party, said he will accept any decision by President Benigno Aquino III and his party on who will be the administration’s presidential bet in the coming elections. .

“I am ready to abide by the decision. The biggest vote would come from the President,” said Roxas, referring to Aquino, the party’s national chairman.

LP members cannot seem to decide yet on the party’s standard bearer since some are pushing for Roxas while others want Poe. The President himself has openly admitted that he is looking for an “alternative candidate” who can continue his “Daang Matuwid” program of good governance and who can win the presidency. He even talked to Poe about her political plans and LP’s search for an alternative candidate to Binay.

The meeting gave the impression that LP might field Poe, also due to her strong showing in voters’ surveys.

While officially undecided about seeking higher office, Poe has shown indications that she might seize the opportunity and run for the presidency.

She even asked Aquino if the ruling LP will support her in case she decides to run, being a non-member of the party.

Poe, whose ascent in the political arena is due to the popularity of her late father, Fernando Poe Jr., was an absolute neophyte when she joined the senatorial race in 2013. But she garnered the highest number of votes.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Presidential hopefuls, v. 2016 (Part 2) By Macon Ramos-Araneta | May. 26, 2015 at 12:01am

Second of two parts --Concluded from Monday

Many believed it was the “FPJ magic” that worked for her and not her brief stint as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

She was totally unknown when thrust into the political arena, having spent her most of her life in the United States.

Binay has said that the Philippines cannot afford an “inexperienced” leader, saying the next President should have experience and competence.

He came out with the warning a few days after the meeting between Aquino met Poe. Observers interpreted the remark as a “swipe” at the inexperienced Poe.

Poe however insisted that “honesty” and “quality service” were more important.

For Marcos, the only son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, the presidency is a matter of destiny.

But he is often lumped together with the “undecided presidentiables” and has been consistently called upon to declare his intentions.

Marcos said the only thing clear and definite is that he would run in the coming elections. He is eligible to seek another six years as senator.

As chairman of the Senate local government committee, he is now focused on studying and reviewing the Bangsamoro Basic Law, a priority bill of the Palace intended to help bring lasting peace in the Muslim Mindanao region.

“Many have been saying that I should run for President. I listen to all of them. I’m happy for their strong support. So we will thoroughly study everything,” he said recently.

Although he shares his mother’s dream that he become president, Marcos said there are many considerations. The Nacionalista Party senator has been involved in local and national governance for over two decades, starting as vice governor of Ilocos Norte at the age of 23.

On the recent remark of President Aquino that he (Marcos) would never become President, the senator simply said: “that’s his opinion.”

Just like Lacson and Marcos, Escudero says he will become President if it is his destiny.

“No matter how you prepare for it, if it is not meant for you, you will not be President,” Escudero said.

Escudero said he still does not have any decision for May 2016 since it is still far away. He has no plan to rush whatever plans he may make.

On a “Chiz-Grace” or “Grace-Chiz” ticket, Escudero said there are no such talks yet with Poe, who is his supposed best friend in the Senate.

Duterte, who has been known for his tough stance on criminals, had once said he would shoot anybody who would dare day he would run for President.

He has shrugged off calls for him to try his luck and seek the country’s highest elective post.


WALL MESSAGE “Walay pusganay” (Don’t force me) reads a message on a wall in Davao City with a sketch of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in what seems to be an attempt to portray the tough-talking politician’s statement that he should not be forced to run for President in 2016. KARLOS MANLUPIG/INQUIRER MINDANAO (INQUIRER FILE)

But the Davao city executive has been on a “listening tour,” giving speeches and issuing controversial statements, the latest of which discussed his plans on “killing of all criminals.”

Due to the timing of these statements, including his latest challenge for members of the international group Human Rights Watch to do drugs in his city so he can personally kill them, many believe he is eyeing the presidency. But he has consistently denied this.

“No, I am not running for President. I never categorically said I was running for President,” said Duterte.

As for his going around the nation, Duterte said he is merely pushing his advocacy for a federal form of government. He believes adopting federalism would hasten development in the countryside. Federalism, he said, can also end the many years of armed conflict in Mindanao with the expected rejection of BBL.

Duterte also noted that he has no money to bankroll a presidential campaign —and that begging for money is not his style.


PHILSTAR

Mar ready to continue P-Noy’s ‘straight path’ By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 27, 2015 - 12:00am


President Aquino has said DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas II is “on top” of the list of his choices for successor next year. AJ Bolando/Philstar.com file

DOÑA REMEDIOS TRINIDAD, Bulacan, Philippines – Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said yesterday he is ready to take the challenge of President Aquino to be the latter’s possible successor and to lead the nation to the “straight path.”

The President has said Roxas is “on top” of the list of his choices for successor next year.

But he said he is deferring making a formal announcement until after the Liberal Party-led coalition has established a consensus or after his last State of the Nation Address on July 27.

There are barely five months left before the filing of certificates of candidacy in October.

“I am ready to accept the challenge to continue President Aquino’s straight path so that we can continue what we have achieved,” Roxas said in Filipino in a chance interview with reporters.

READ MORE...
The DILG chief was here for the formal opening of the Salintubig water project of his department and the municipal government led by Mayor Ronaldo Flores.

Roxas said he is grateful for the President’s trust and confidence in his capability to continue the reforms set into motion by the administration.

“His message is clear and I’m accepting it with all my heart,” he said, referring to Aquino’s voicing his preference for the DILG chief as the country’s next leader.

“Secondly, I believe that he is expressing his trust not just in me but in others who are helping him carry out reforms started in 2010,” he said.

But the DILG chief stressed his priority at the moment is to uplift the living conditions of the people by making sure that projects are properly implemented.

The Salintubig project aims to provide clean and potable water supply to almost 455 waterless municipalities in the Philippines.

Roxas said a total of 1,360 households and 100 hectares of farmlands in several mountain villages here would benefit from the project.

The DILG chief also gave a check worth P3.5 million to the municipal government for another water system project for Barangays Talbak and Sapang Putik.

Roxas was supposed to be LP’s standard bearer in 2010 but gave way to then senator Aquino. He ran instead for vice president but lost to Jejomar Binay.

Roxas told reporters yesterday that while the country’s situation is not perfect, it has greatly improved since Aquino became president.

“We’re now in a better situation. It’s not perfect but we have significantly advanced,” he said. “And the people know that if we stay in the straight path, we can achieve more.”

Roxas also revealed that he had discussed the peace and order issue with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

He said Duterte talked about offers for him to run as vice president. He said the meeting was cordial and they even had dinner after. He did not reveal details. “We’re best friends, that’s why our discussion was cordial,” Roxas said.

Duterte recently admitted on local television that he has had links with the Davao Death Squad, which is allegedly responsible for thousands of vigilante killings in the city.

‘Best choice’

For some administration congressmen, Roxas is Aquino’s and LP’s best choice for standard bearer in 2016.

“While I’m not from the LP, I believe Mar Roxas can continue what PNoy started. He (Roxas) is known to be loyal, and has no corruption issues,” Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, who belongs to the National Unity Party, said. - With Ric Sapnu, Paolo Romero


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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