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

STILL LEADING: VP BINAY TOPS 'IBON  RESEARCH' SURVEY POLL
[POE CLOSE 2nd, DUTERTE FAST RISING 3rd, P-NOY 4th, ROXAS 5th.]


JUNE 13 ---Despite all the allegations of corruption leveled against him for the past 10 months, unsubstantiated still, by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, composed of three anti-Binay senators, namely Senators Koko Pimentel, Alan Cayetano and Sonny Trillanes, along with the constant insults and broad accusations leveled against the Vice President and saying he is guilty of plunder, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay again topped the pack of presidentiables in a latest survey conducted by independent think tank IBON Foundation, with one respondent, one vote in the presidential preference poll released yesterday.
He is still at the top of the presidential heap, however, despite the allegations and controversies hounding him and his family to date.In the survey, the Vice President maintained his lead against other candidates with 13.8 percent of the 1,496 respondents asked by IBON from May 13 to 23, 2015. The think tank’s survey has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.Binay prevailed despite the survey being conducted amid the issue of corruption against him. He is still the most preferred presidential bet.IBON said that the study was conducted without providing names of possible presidential bets to the respondents, letting them name the person they preferred to be the next president in time for the 2016 polls.Sen. Grace Poe, expectedly had an expected bump in the survey, but remained in second place. She,however, inched closer to the ratings obtained by Binay, with 13.7 percent nods. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino endorsement announced after July SONA  -- Palace


JUNE 14 ---AFTER President Benigno Aquino III praised Interior Secretary Mar Roxas during his Independence Day speech, the Palace reiterated that the official announcement will be made after Aquino’s State of the Nation Address in July.
“The official endorsement will come at the end of July after his last SONA,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview with state-owned Radyo ng Bayan, declining to speculate on whether Aquino’s praise for Roxas also meant his endorsement. “Let us let the President’s words speak for themselves,” she said, adding that Aquino had already said during his state visit to Japan that he will only announce his endorsement after the opening of Congress on the fourth Monday of July. “I promised our people I was hoping the end of June, but now it seems that I have to, by law, deliver a State of the Nation Address, which is (on) the last Monday of July, and it will be shortly after that that I will endorse the person to our electorate,” Aquino said at the Japan National Press Club. At the same time, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, a leader of the ruling Liberal Party, said Aquino has given the Liberal Party the go-signal to go all out in supporting Roxas in his expected run for the presidency in 2016. READ MORE...

ALSO: Poe still undecided on presidential bid


JUNE 12 ---To run or not to run for president in 2016? Senator Grace Poe has yet to decide.
MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Grace Poe is still contemplating on whether to run for president in 2016. Poe, who has been closing the gap between her and Vice President Jejomar Binay in presidential surveys, said she has no definite decision on her plans for the national elections next year. "Hanggang ngayon talaga ginagamit ko tong mga oras na ito para magnilay-nilay dahil sinasabi nila pakipot naman. Sa totoo di ko pa talaga nabubuo... ang meron sakin ay ang pangarap na mapabuti ang buhay ng mga kababayan," she told reporters in an ambush interview at the Independence Day event in San Juan City on Friday. Poe said she has been praying for divine guidance because of the difficult decision to be made if ever she decides to enter the presidential race. READ MORE...

ALSO: VP respects Noy decision not to back his 2016 bid


JUNE 13 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay said he respected President Aquino’s decision not to endorse him in the 2016 presidential elections. “The President has already mentioned that. Let’s respect his position,” Binay told reporters after leading the Independence Day celebration in Rizal Park in Manila yesterday. Asked what kind of support he wanted from the President, Binay said in Filipino: “Enough, it’s done. The President already gave his answer.”  During a weekly media forum in Manila last Wednesday, Binay said he was still hoping to get Aquino’s endorsement in next year’s elections. But Aquino said in an interview last Thursday that the only thing he could offer Binay was fair play through clean and honest elections in May 2016. Meanwhile, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who also attended the Independence Day rites in Luneta, said he was not keen on being the running mate of Binay, as he prefers to seek reelection. READ MORE...

ALSO: Mar gets Noy’s praise but still no endorsement


JUNE 13 ---Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II
– There was praise but still no endorsement from President Aquino yesterday for his party’s presumptive standard bearer in 2016. In leading the 117th Independence Day celebration here, President Aquino managed to squeeze in kind words for the work of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II. Aquino, who chairs the ruling Liberal Party, started out talking about the good governance on which his five-year administration has been anchored. He then credited Roxas, his former runningmate, with the executive order creating a single Negros Island region. “When Secretary Mar Roxas put forward this suggestion and after all the necessary consultations were undertaken, I immediately signed it,” Aquino said. Roxas is a native of nearby Capiz, a two-and-half-hour drive away. Negros used to be divided into two provinces – oriental and occidental. “Like in the past, we know that whenever we task Mar Roxas to lead a project or program, you can expect that the initiative will succeed,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: NPC may field Poe-Escudero team; Sotto says tandem has edge in 2016


JUNE 14 ---Senators Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero. INQUIRER file photoINQUIRER FILE PHOTO 
If they are running together in next year’s elections, Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero have an edge in getting backing from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), according to Sen. Vicente Sotto III. The latest member of the NPC to speak about party support to a Poe-Escudero ticket, Sotto on Saturday cited the two senators’ closeness to the party and their having “no baggage.” Sotto said that while the party had yet to meet to decide who to support in 2016, members looked favorably on a Poe-Escudero ticket—if it would materialize. Sotto said whoever the NPC would back who could count on strong support at the grassroots level, given the substantial number of party members in local positions. At present, the party has 48 members in the House of Representatives and hundreds of mayors all over the country, he said. The NPC backed the candidacy of President Benigno Aquino III in 2010, and Sotto said the party remained a partner of the President but not of any political party.

ALSO VP: No vindictiveness in Binay presidency
[I WILL FIGHT GRAFT BASED ON STRONG EVIDENCE: “I hope to be remembered as a president who is not vindictive, a president who could be referred to as a unifying president,” Binay said. ]


JUNE 14 ---If given the chance for the presidency next year, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay vowed to be the exact opposite of his detractors and the present administration, saying he will not be vindictive and will go after government officials who are involved in graft and corruption based on strong evidence. “I am a lawyer. I was a litigation lawyer. If there are evidence and they need to be charged. It’s part of the fight against corruption,” Binay said when asked how he would deal with government officials accused of corruption. Binay, who was in Polilio Island yesterday, said he wanted to be remembered as a “unifying president.” “I hope to be remembered as a president who is not vindictive, a president who could be referred to as a unifying president,” he said. In previous interviews, Binay highlighted the importance of having strong evidence before filing a case against an official. “Before we even talk of putting someone behind bars, we have to look at the evidence first. We cannot simply put someone behind bars if the situation calls for evidence and yet we could not present anything except our desire to charge him or her and put him or her in jail,” he said. In the wake of the indictment of three senators, including Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, for the alleged misuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the Vice President had urged government to be fair in handling their case. Binay said the case will “test if the drive for reforms will be blind to political motives.” READ MORE..


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

VP Binay tops IBON survey poll

MANILA, JUNE 15, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 13 June 2015 - Despite all the allegations of corruption leveled against him for the past 10 months, unsubstantiated still, by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, composed of three anti-Binay senators, namely Senators Koko Pimentel, Alan Cayetano and Sonny Trillanes, along with the constant insults and broad accusations leveled against the Vice President and saying he is guilty of plunder, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay again topped the pack of presidentiables in a latest survey conducted by independent think tank IBON Foundation, with one respondent, one vote in the presidential preference poll released yesterday.

He is still at the top of the presidential heap, however, despite the allegations and controversies hounding him and his family to date.


IBON FOUNDATION THINK TANK POLL LOGO

In the survey, the Vice President maintained his lead against other candidates with 13.8 percent of the 1,496 respondents asked by IBON from May 13 to 23, 2015.

The think tank’s survey has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.

Binay prevailed despite the survey being conducted amid the issue of corruption against him. He is still the most preferred presidential bet.

IBON said that the study was conducted without providing names of possible presidential bets to the respondents, letting them name the person they preferred to be the next president in time for the 2016 polls.

Sen. Grace Poe, expectedly had an expected bump in the survey, but remained in second place. She, however, inched closer to the ratings obtained by Binay, with 13.7 percent nods.

READ MORE...
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is fast getting known nationally, came in at third with 7.6 percent, or a poor third, and is still very much in the same place as shown in the results of other presidential preference polls.

Both Poe and Duterte have not expressed categorically their intent to run for the presidency in the next elections.

Poe, who is being wooed by the Liberal Party (LP) and currently faces issues on her residency and American citizenship, has not revealed any of her plans, claiming that the decision is up to President Aquino and the Liberal Party, as she refuses to swear and pledge allegiance to the LP.

Duterte, at this time, has been walking and talking like a presidential candidate, going all over the country, claiming that all he is doing is to bat for federalism.

He says that he is not interested in running for a higher post but continues to delve on national issues, responding to questions frequently asked of potential presidential candidates.

He has also come out with political advertisements that clearly indicate his serious run for the presidency.

In other surveys conducted by Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Stations, Binay, Poe and Duterte obtained the same rankings as the latest poll conducted by IBON.

President Aquino surprisingly placed fourth in the IBON poll with 4.2 percent wanting him to remain in office, in spite of his continued claims that he has no plan to stay in Malacañang any minute longer after his term is up.

Putative LP standard bearer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II was lagging again in fifth place, with only 3.8 percent in the bag choosing him as the next president.

IBON did not say why, despite having a large number of respondents, or close to 1,500 respondents, only some half of the respondent gave their responses on their choice for the presidential bets.

Meanwhile, it still is a guessing game for the vice presidential choice of VP Binay, who wants former President, now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada as his choice for a running mate, as the BEst theme, a contraction of the two family names (Binay Estrada).

Although he has stressed many times that he is not interested in running for the vice presidential post, as he already was elected president, he, however, teased reporters, saying that he does not know what the future will bring, and that he is not closing any doors.

So will he or will he not? Run as the vice presidential mate of VP Binay, that is.

Estrada yesterday gave out hints that there still could still be a possibility for him to accept VP Binay’s offer for him to be his running mate for the 2016 elections, because one never knows what the future holds.

While declaring he is done with being a vice president having served the post from 1992 to 198 before being elected president, Estrada, who as with Binay as they led the Independence Day rites at Luneta yesterday, later backtracked a bit, probably more to stop reporters from asking him the same thing over and over again, saying anything is still possible as the election is still about a year to go.

“I’ve been there. That's it. I am done with that role,” said Estrada when first asked whether he would accept Binay’s offer.

“I was born here in Manila and it was here in Manila where I first ganed stardom as a movie actor. I still have lot of work to be done for the Manila residents, my constituents, so that I can earn the debt of gratitude I still owe the Manileños,” Estrada said.

“There’s still a lot to do for the City of Manila,” said Estrada saying he would be seeking reelection as city mayor.

But when asked if if there is still something which could convince him to change his mind and run as Binay’s vice president in 2016, Estrada retorted, “We don’t know.”

Asked again if there is still a possibility he would run as Binay’s Vice President, “Estrada again replied, “Well, you'll never know. It's still a long way to go until the elections.”

For his part, Binay said he would respect whatever the decision of Estrada is regarding his offer.
“You have heard what he said. We will respect whatever he will say,” Binay said.

The VP also refused to issue any statement regarding President Aquino’s pronouncement the other day, describing Binay as too presumptuous in expecting an endorsement from the president on his candidacy.

“The president has spoken and we should respect him what he says,” Binay said.

Estrada also said he was not sure about the value of an Aquino endorsement, saying, “I can't really say. I have no experience in such surveys,” he stressed.

According to some reports, Estrada might once again face former Mayor Alfredo Lim in the 2016 elections saying that the he will run under his local party, the KKK, where his Vice Mayor tandem will be District 1 Congressman Atong Asilo.

Estrada when interviewed had said that he is still looking for his Vice mayor tandem since Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno will be running as senator under the UNA slate.

The Vice President also refused to engage Sen. Grace Poe on her statement she would not pardon him in case she is elected president and he, on the other hand, is convicted of the charges lodged against him.

“That's okay,” was Binay’s reaction.

Others have asked whether Poe would also be running after Aquino himself and other Liberal Party bigwigs who are also alleged as being corrupt and have in fact numerous complaints of plunder and corruption lodged before the Ombudsman. Poe has never replied to this issue.

Neither did she bring up the Mamasapano massacre of 44 Special Action Forces to the plenary, despite having 20 senators sign her committee's conclusion that President Aquino, as Commander in Chief is liable for the botched Oplan Exodus that led to the deaths of the SAF commandos.
By Joshua L. Labonera, Charlie V. Manalo and Pat C. Santos


MANILA STANDARD

Aquino endorsement announced after SONA By MST News | Jun. 14, 2015 at 12:01am

AFTER President Benigno Aquino III praised Interior Secretary Mar Roxas during his Independence Day speech, the Palace reiterated that the official announcement will be made after Aquino’s State of the Nation Address in July.

“The official endorsement will come at the end of July after his last SONA,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview with state-owned Radyo ng Bayan, declining to speculate on whether Aquino’s praise for Roxas also meant his endorsement.

“Let us let the President’s words speak for themselves,” she said, adding that Aquino had already said during his state visit to Japan that he will only announce his endorsement after the opening of Congress on the fourth Monday of July.

“I promised our people I was hoping the end of June, but now it seems that I have to, by law, deliver a State of the Nation Address, which is (on) the last Monday of July, and it will be shortly after that that I will endorse the person to our electorate,” Aquino said at the Japan National Press Club.

At the same time, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, a leader of the ruling Liberal Party, said Aquino has given the Liberal Party the go-signal to go all out in supporting Roxas in his expected run for the presidency in 2016.

READ MORE...
“Secretary Roxas is doing his share of going around the country while performing his functions as [secretary of] Department of [the] Interior [and Local Government],” Abad said in a statement.

“And the President has given the party the go signal to the extent that we all can to support his candidacy,” Abad said.

On Friday, Aquino praised Roxas in his Independence Day speech in Iloilo City, but stopped short of endorsing his presidential bet.

“You know, Mar Roxas, a true son of Panay, advanced this initiative,” the President said, referring to the Negros Island Region, which combines two provinces under one regional group.

“Like in the past, we know that whenever we task Mar Roxas to lead a project or program, you can expect that initiative will succeed.”

Aquino said the initiative was the result of consultations with the leaders of local communities, governors and representatives and even the local chambers of commerce.

“Indeed, I am confident that so long as we continue to tread the straight and righteous path, we will be able to continue the positive changes we experience at present. In this period of evolving technology and social media, we have the greater wherewithal, and the deeper responsibility to contribute in finding solutions to our shared problems. It is my hope that, instead of being a burden to our fellowman, we would do our utmost, contribute what we could to the best of our abilities, so that we may collectively uplift our whole nation,” Aquino said.


PHILSTAR

Poe still undecided on presidential bid By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated June 12, 2015 - 4:06pm


To run or not to run for president in 2016? Senator Grace Poe has yet to decide.

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Grace Poe is still contemplating on whether to run for president in 2016.

Poe, who has been closing the gap between her and Vice President Jejomar Binay in presidential surveys, said she has no definite decision on her plans for the national elections next year.

"Hanggang ngayon talaga ginagamit ko tong mga oras na ito para magnilay-nilay dahil sinasabi nila pakipot naman. Sa totoo di ko pa talaga nabubuo... ang meron sakin ay ang pangarap na mapabuti ang buhay ng mga kababayan," she told reporters in an ambush interview at the Independence Day event in San Juan City on Friday.

Poe said she has been praying for divine guidance because of the difficult decision to be made if ever she decides to enter the presidential race.

READ MORE...
"Kahit sino pwede mangarap ng ganyan pero kailangan maging handa tayo na iimplementa ito kung saka-sakali ialay natin ang sarili natin na tumakbo," she said.

She said that she was deeply hurt by the remarks of some opposition leaders of United Nationalist Alliance that she is merely an orphan or an abandoned child, questioning her citizenship.

"Syempre para sakin masakit yung sinasabi nya na ambisyoso daw ako. Para bang wala naman karapatan na mangarap ang isang tao na manilbihan. Pagkakataon ko ‘to na madepensahan ang aking sarili. Wala naman po ako itinatago, iginagalang ko ang batas. Para sakin itong pakikipaglaban na ito ay hindi lang naman para sakin, sa ating bansa pa naman andaming abandonadong mga bata," she said.



TRIBUNE

VP: No vindictiveness in Binay presidency Written by Charlie V. Manalo Sunday, 14 June 2015 00:00

WILL FIGHT GRAFT BASED ON EVIDENCE

If given the chance for the presidency next year, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay vowed to be the exact opposite of his detractors and the present administration, saying he will not be vindictive and will go after government officials who are involved in graft and corruption based on strong evidence.

“I am a lawyer. I was a litigation lawyer. If there are evidence and they need to be charged. It’s part of the fight against corruption,” Binay said when asked how he would deal with government officials accused of corruption.

Binay, who was in Polilio Island yesterday, said he wanted to be remembered as a “unifying president.”

“I hope to be remembered as a president who is not vindictive, a president who could be referred to as a unifying president,” he said.

In previous interviews, Binay highlighted the importance of having strong evidence before filing a case against an official.

“Before we even talk of putting someone behind bars, we have to look at the evidence first. We cannot simply put someone behind bars if the situation calls for evidence and yet we could not present anything except our desire to charge him or her and put him or her in jail,” he said.

In the wake of the indictment of three senators, including Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, for the alleged misuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the Vice President had urged government to be fair in handling their case.
Binay said the case will “test if the drive for reforms will be blind to political motives.”

READ MORE...
“If it stops with the filing of the plunder cases against three senators who are not political allies and confines itself to the (Janet) Napoles case, it will create the impression of being selective, and that political partisanship – not justice – is the sole motivation behind these charges,” he said.

A year after the first two of three batches of PDAF cases were filed, the Department of Justice has yet to file charges against other lawmakers and individuals involved in the alleged P10-billion scam.

The Palace, meanwhile, was evasive yesterday when asked on the relationship between Binay and President Aquino after Aquino outrightly rejected the chances of Binay getting his endorsement for the elections next year.

“Maybe the question on their relationship would best be asked to Vice President Binay since he had spoken about it and the President had also made his comments about it,” Presidential deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said.

Senate inquisition target



Binay has been the subject of a Senate subcommittee report which recommended filing of plunder charges against him and other Makati City officials on supposed overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall building 2.

Binay claimed the report was railroaded which was denied vehemently by Senate President Franklin Drilon.

“It’s the whole Senate, and not the Senate president that approved the report. The Senate president is just one of the 24 senators,” Drilon said.

Binay has said the Senate under the leadership of Drilon will eventually approve in the plenary the committee report because the senators are allegedly implying that he committed wrongdoings.

Drilon explained that since Binay’s daughter, Nancy Binay, is also a senator, “they cannot say that we will railroad the report.”

The Senate leader also said the blue ribbon subcommittee conducted over 20 hearings since August last year.

A total of 10 senators have already signed the draft report of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee on its inquiry into the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II and other anomalies.

They are Senators Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV, Serge Osmena III, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Pia Cayetano, Guingona, Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, Grace Poe and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

Pimentel prepared the draft report as chairman of the blue ribbon subcommittee while Trillanes introduced the Senate Resolution No. 826 seeking probe into alleged P1.606-billion overpricing of the 11-story Makati City Hall parking building.

Aside from the Vice President, the subcommittee recommended that the anti-graft courts should also investigate and ultimately file plunder cases against Makati City mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. and other Makati City officials.

They are Marjorie de Veyra, Lorenza P. Amores, Gerardo K. San Grabriel, Pio Kenneth Dasal, and Ulysses Orienza.

The subcommittee also believed that Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. chairman Efren Canlas, president Roberto Henson, Orlando Mateo, Gerry Limlingan and Eduviges ‘Ebeng’ Baloloy conspired with the Makati City officials.

The subpanel also gave 22 recommendations including suggestions for the Commission on Audit and other government agencies like Security and Exchange Commission to further investigate the Makati City anomalies.

Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Grace Poe and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III were those who were the initial signatories of the report.

Escudero, who supported Binay in the 2010 presidential elections, explained that he signed the report based on the evidence which is sufficient to justify the recommendation to file the plunder cases, and to afford the named persons the opportunity to answer the allegations against them at the proper forum.

”It will give them opportunity to answer the allegations against them in their chosen forum, the courts, since they refused to participate in the Senate and have been saying that ‘they will answer in the proper forum,” Escudero said in a text message.

“I am signing the Blue Ribbon committee report because the findings that the Makati City Hall II Parking Building was overpriced and that its surrounding bidding process was irregular were largely unrefuted and unanswered,” Aquino said in a statement.

Aquino said the findings warrant the appropriate government agencies, particularly the Ombudsman, to investigate and file the corresponding charges.
Osmeña said he finds the findings of the subcommittee report “very convincing.”

According to the draft partial report, the Makati City Hall III parking building is clearly overpriced by at least PhP1.39 billion.

”The subcommittee believes that its investigation on the alleged overprice in the construction of the Makati City Hall parking building has revealed the commission of a crime and that crime is plunder,” the report stated.

”In the opinion of the subcommittee, all the elements of the crime of plunder have been clearly alleged and substantiated through the unequivocal and straightforward asserts, under oath, of the witnesses..”, it added.

The subpanel also gave 22 recommendations, including suggestions for the Commission on Audit and other government agencies like Security and Exchange Commission, to further investigate the Makati City anomalies.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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