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

POE MUST GET COMELEC, SC RULING ON CITIZENSHIP, SAY EXPERTS


MAY 19 ---PHILSTAR PHOTO Headline news: Grace: I’m a natural born Philippine citizen By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) Updated May 19, 2015 - 12:00am  Former UP law dean Pacifico Agabin, litigation expert Raymond Fortun, and UP law professor Harry Roque Jr., all say that frontunner Grace Poe first has to prove, either before the courts or the Commission on Elections (Comelec), that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has been a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years before the May 2016 polls. They pointed out that the senator must first hurdle probable disqualification cases before the Comelec and the Supreme Court before her popularity can translate into valid votes. Fortun said popularity in preferential surveys is not enough to ensure Poe’s victory in case she decides to run for higher office next May. Poe topped the latest presidential contenders surveys of both Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Station, in which she was ahead of her closest rival - Vice President Jejomar Binay - both by eight percentage points. However, Ronnie Holmes, Pulse Asia in an early morning TV interview yesterday was quoted as saying that the results of the presidentiables’ survey between Vice President Jojo Binay and Senator Poe is not as wide as people think, given the margins of error, usual of which are plus minus 3 percent on a national level, and plus, minus six percent on regional levels. READ MORE...

ALSO: Abad hits Binay on DAP; calls VP 'hypocrite", says ‘his agencies benefited from DAP’


JUNE 26 ---ABAD VP’s agencies got P11.4B in 2011, says DBM chief 'Butch' Abad. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Friday hit back at Vice President Jejomar Binay, calling him a “hypocrite” as he said agencies under him benefited from the Administration’s controversial Disbursement Acceleration
Program (DAP). In a statement, Abad said Binay received at least P11.45 billion funding from DAP in October 2011. “I find it hypocritical that he is against DAP… He never raised any issue when the two agencies received and used those funds,” Abad told reporters in a text message. Binay headed the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Home Guaranty Corporation, which were recipients of DAP funds. “Why was it okay then, and not okay now when he is out of government? When was he telling the truth?” Abad said. READ MORE...

ALSO Raging word war continues: Binay trades barbs with Mar, DBM chief Abad


JUNE 27 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay 'I felt like a leper in the Cabinet' – VP 
Vice President Jejomar Binay thanked President Aquino yesterday for allowing him to serve in the Cabinet, but renewed his tirade against administration officials.
A word war has erupted between Binay, who lamented that he often felt like “a leper” in the Cabinet, and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who fought back with equal intensity. “Why are there no charges filed against Butch Abad? It is very clear that he was at fault (with regard to) DAP,” Binay told reporters in a brief interview. DAP stands for Disbursement Acceleration Program, parts of which the Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional. Binay also came out swinging at Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, whom he castigated for reportedly making light of ordinary Filipinos’ troubles. “It was reported that Mr. Roxas found what I said on Wednesday amusing,” Binay said in Filipino during a speech before members of the media in Navotas City. “If Mr. Roxas finds it funny, well, I’d like to tell him that for the Filipino people, our problems are no laughing matter,” Binay said. “It is not funny that despite the growth of the economy, a lot of our people remain poor and hungry,” he added. “This is a serious issue, Mr. Roxas. There is nothing funny.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay hits Roxas for MRT woes
[And also: "The President said I was silent for five years. Maybe he forgets that on the big issues, like the Zamboanga siege or the Disbursement Acceleration Program, we spoke at length and I told him what I thought,” Binay said.]


JUNE 27 --VICE President Jejomar Binay lashed out at Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II for the first time on Friday, blaming him for the misery of commuters who ride the Metro Rail Transit, which he said deteriorated under Roxas’ watch when he was Transport secretary.
“For the Filipino people, it’s no joke to ride daily the MRT trains that constantly break down,” Binay said, addressing Roxas directly.
“And it is certainly not laughable to consider that despite the vaunted economic growth, many of our people are mired in poverty and are starving. This is serious, Mr. Roxas. It’s not a joke,” Binay said. Binay was reacting to Roxas’ remark that it was laughable that Binay would claim the Aquino administration was callous and incompetent. Roxas said Binay, who resigned from the Cabinet Monday, had five years to point out the wrongdoings of the administration but did nothing. “Try telling that to hundreds of thousands who ride the MRT trains daily, and see whether they find it all laughable,” Binay told Roxas. Binay also said he was not silent when he was a member of the Cabinet and he took up key issues when necessary. “The President said I was silent for five years. Maybe he forgets that on the big issues, like the Zamboanga siege or the Disbursement Acceleration Program, we spoke at length and I told him what I thought,” Binay said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Abaya on MRT woes --Binay mixing politics in issue
[Passengers have suffered from the MRT's numerous technical glitches and daily overcrowding, which Abaya attributes to the system's age and not the DOTC's failure.]


JUNE 27 ---In this August 2012 photo, Joseph Emilio "Jun" Abaya speaks to a reporter on his appointment as secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications replacing Secretary Manuel Roxas II, following the announcement made by President Benigno Aquino. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas 
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya aired his side after Vice President Jejomar Binay blamed his predecessor, Mar Roxas, for commuters' woes in taking the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system.
Abaya said Saturday that the technical problem of the MRT cannot be addressed by politically charged statements, which he said Binay has been releasing since quitting Cabinet earlier this week. READ MORE...

ALSO: Belmonte says he’s inclined to back Poe, not Roxas


JUNE 24 ---HOUSE Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said he will likely support the candidacy of Senator Grace Poe over that of the Liberal Party’s presumptive standard bearer, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II in the 2016 presidential elections.
Between Poe and Roxas, Belmonte said, Poe was closer to his heart. But he added that he has not made up his mind as yet. Binay “From a certain point of view, all of those running are good friends of mine and that’s why I have more or less kept away from this thing up to this point, but we are really reaching a very decisive point [in October] and that’s pretty close,” he said. Belmonte also said he would favor a Roxas-Poe ticket next year, saying Roxas still had a chance to improve his survey rankings in the runup to the May 2016 elections. He said Roxas placed third in the latests Social Weather Stations survey, behind Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay, but ahead of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Belmonte also said that the members of the Cabinet who are planning to run next year should resign by October, the month set by the Commission on Elections for the filing of certificates of candidacy for those running in the 2016 polls. “It’s a good thing by October, these Cabinet members who are running will be forced to resign because at that point, they will... no longer part of the official family. They can disagree with the President if they want to; they can do their own thing. They can sell their own dream and I think that is necessary,” Belmonte said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Leave political vendetta behind, Marcos advises next president


JUNE 27 ---Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. said yesterday the next President of the Republic should not adopt a policy of political vendetta that puts political opponents in jail.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, said political vengeance adopted in the past and present administrations is “counterproductive and divides Filipinos.” The next Chief Executive should instead push for the development of the country, improve the lives of the Filipino people and help accelerate the pace of the country’s economy, Marcos pointed out. “We should leave that culture of vengeance behind us. What the next President should strive is to unite the country so that every Filipino could work together for the good of our country – not for personal gain, not for the benefit of a party, but for the benefit of the entire nation,” he stressed. Marcos gave the advice as the presidential election fever starts to get hot. Meanwhile, Marcos has yet to decide whether he would seek the presidency, vice presidency or simply seek another six-year term in the Senate. READ MORE...

ALSO: Grace Poe tops SWS poll on vice presidential bets; Mar 2nd followed by Chiz and Binay 
[Despite leading the list of possible vice presidential bets, Poe's rating decreased from 26 percent in March to 21 percent in June.]


JUNE 24 ---Sen. Grace Poe is topping the recent presidential and vice presidential surveys for the 2016 national elections. Facebook/Grace Poe
- Sen. Grace Poe emerged as the top choice to succeed Vice President Jejomar Binay next year, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Wednesday. Despite leading the list of possible vice presidential bets, Poe's rating decreased from 26 percent in March to 21 percent in June. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas maintained the second spot with 12 percent followed by Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Binay, both with seven percent. Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Panfilo Lacson garnered three percent of votes from the respondents. Meanwhile, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano both scored two percent. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

POE MUST GET COMELEC, SC RULING ON CITIZENSHIP, SAY EXPERTS


PHILSTAR PHOTO Headline news: Grace: I’m a natural born Philippine citizen By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 19, 2015 - 12:00am 

MANILA, JUNE 29, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Tuesday, 23 June 2015 00:00 - Former UP law dean Pacifico Agabin, litigation expert Raymond Fortun, and UP law professor Harry Roque Jr., all say that frontunner Grace Poe first has to prove, either before the courts or the Commission on Elections (Comelec), that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has been a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years before the May 2016 polls.

They pointed out that the senator must first hurdle probable disqualification cases before the Comelec and the Supreme Court before her popularity can translate into valid votes.

Fortun said popularity in preferential surveys is not enough to ensure Poe’s victory in case she decides to run for higher office next May.

Poe topped the latest presidential contenders surveys of both Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Station, in which she was ahead of her closest rival - Vice President Jejomar Binay - both by eight percentage points.

However, Ronnie Holmes, Pulse Asia in an early morning TV interview yesterday was quoted as saying that the results of the presidentiables’ survey between Vice President Jojo Binay and Senator Poe is not as wide as people think, given the margins of error, usual of which are plus minus 3 percent on a national level, and plus, minus six percent on regional levels.

READ MORE...

“Qualifications to run for the presidency is enshrined in the Constitution. I am certain that the courts will not be moved to favor an unqualified candidate regardless of competence, integrity or popularity,” Fortun said in a text message.

The qualifications Fortun was referring to are specified under Article VII, Section 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which requires a presidential candidate to be natural-born citizen and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding such election.

Agabin, for his part, believes that Poe’s popularity in the surveys would be rendered “useless” if she eventually gets disqualified over her residency or citizenship qualifications.

“So those issues (on residency and citizenship) still need to be settled if she intends to file her certificate of candidacy in October,” Agabin said.

Like Fortun and Roque, Agabin said questions on Poe’s qualifications are best threshed out in the proper forum. For Fortun and Roque, it’s before the courts; and for Agabin, it’s before the Commission on Elections after she has filed her CoC.

In a separate radio interview over the weekend, Agabin, who is also the general counsel of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, also stressed that Poe should have renounced her US citizenship at least 10 years before seeking higher office.

Poe, a foundling adopted by movies stars Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, grew up in the Philippines but later pursued her studies in the US, where she sought and was granted, American citizenship and where she later found a job and acquired American citizenship. Her husband and children are all American citizens.

She said she had renounced her American citizenship in 2010 before a Philippine Notary Public in Pasay City, for her to be eligible to take on the job as the censors chief.

The last time she used her American passport was on Dec. 27, 2009, while she lost her American citizenship before June 2012, as official US documents show.

Poe has insisted she has met the 10-year residency rule because she returned to the country in 2004 after her father passed away.

She, however, did not renounce her US citizenship until 2010 and has been using her US passport, in 2009. She was appointed to cjair the Movie and Television Ratings Classification Board in 2010.

As late as 2009, she was still using her US passport to travel to and from the Philippines, according to Immigration records. Some legal experts, like Roque, have earlier said the count of her residency should begin in 2010 when she renounced her US citizenship.

Roque, in a blog post, quoted a 2003 commentary from constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas who said a candidate who had already renounced his foreign citizenship “equivalently withdraws his renunciation… if he continues to use a foreign passport.”

Roque said Poe should have renounced and resided in the Philippines “exclusively” as a Filipino for at least 10 years.

“The dual citizenship law reckons compliance for candidates for elective posts only from the time they became exclusively Filipino citizen,” said Roque.

The lawyer added that Poe’s taking an oath of allegiance to the Philippines when she renounced her US citizenship in 2010 is considered as “positive acts” to acquire or perfect Philippine citizenship.

And under the Constitution, a candidate can only be considered “natural-born” if he or she is a citizen since birth “without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship.”

Poe, however, insisted her residency count should begin in April 2006, when she was finally able to sell their family’s house in the US and buy another one in the Philippines. It was this date that was in her mind when Poe filled out in October 2012 her certificate of candidacy for the 2013 senatorial race, which was considered by legal experts as a lame excuse.

But Fortun emphasized the need for Poe to still prove that she had made an “equivocal act” to re-acquire her roots in the Philippines.

“Whether that equivocal act needs to be a renouncing of her US citizenship or the purchase of land in the Philippines is for the courts to decide,” said Fortun.

“But definitely, she herself knew that her residency was interrupted - otherwise, she would not have written ‘6 years, 6 months’ as her years of residency when she filed her candidacy in October 2012,” he added.

It was this answer of Poe in her certificate of candidacy that United Nationalist Alliance spokesman Toby Tiangco cited as reason for Poe’s automatic non-qualification in the May 2016 presidential polls.

Poe. if she files her certificate of candidacy will have to add three years, which would be short of the 10 year residenct. Should she change the years of her residency in her CoC, then she is liable for perjury.


MANILA TIMES

Abad hits Binay, calls him 'hypocrite": ‘Binay gained from DAP’ June 26, 2015 11:48 pm by CATHERINE S. VALENTE REPORTER


ABAD

VP’s agencies got P11.4B in 2011, says DBM chief 'Butch' Abad.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Friday hit back at Vice President Jejomar Binay, calling him a “hypocrite” as he said agencies under him benefited from the Administration’s controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

In a statement, Abad said Binay received at least P11.45 billion funding from DAP in October 2011.

“I find it hypocritical that he is against DAP… He never raised any issue when the two agencies received and used those funds,” Abad told reporters in a text message.|

Binay headed the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Home Guaranty Corporation, which were recipients of DAP funds.

“Why was it okay then, and not okay now when he is out of government? When was he telling the truth?” Abad said.


JUNE 24 photo --SHOULDER TO CRY ON Vice President Jejomar Binay lends an ear to an elderly woman in Navotas City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN


READ MORE...

In a speech on Wednesday, Binay accused the administration of persecuting him while tolerating those allegedly involved in the DAP controversy.

Rebutting Binay, Abad insisted that the DAP, despite being declared as invalid, was done in good faith and no official was declared guilty of any offense by the Supreme Court (SC).

“Unfortunately, he does not understand or more likely refuses to understand the Supreme Court’s decision on DAP,” he said.

“The SC did not declare anyone guilty of any wrongdoing or graft. But in fact reiterated in a clearer manner the doctrine of operative fact, which presumes good faith in all the acts and decisions made in relation to DAP,” Abad added.

Like a leper

Binay also on Friday said he felt like a leper during Cabinet meetings.

When asked by reporters if he was treated like an outcast by the other members of the President’s official family, the Vice President said he felt like a leper after his critics allegedly spread rumors that he would soon be arrested for plunder and graft.

“Hindi naman naa-outcast. Pero, alam mo itong mga bandang huli na nga kasama na ito siguro ng resulta ng panggigipit, at sabihin ko lang sa inyo ha, lalung-lalo na na kalat na kalat na at ikinakalat ng mga kalaban ko sa pulitika na ako ay ipaaaresto. Alam mo para kang may ketong doon sa Cabinet meeting [Not really an outcast. But lately, as a result of being persecuted and I’m just telling you that especially when my political opponents started spreading rumors that I would soon be arrested, I started to feel like a leper during Cabinet meetings],” he added.

The Vice President on Monday resigned his Cabinet portfolio. Binay was presidential adviser on overseas workers affairs and chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

Gross misrepresentation

Commenting on Binay’s claims, Malacañang said the Vice President was treated with respect by his fellow Cabinet members.

“With the utmost respect to the Vice President, the underdog image he tries to portray is a gross misrepresentation of what happens inside Cabinet meetings,” its spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a text message.

“The truth is he is given all the respect due the second highest official in the land during Cabinet meetings,” he added.

Lacierda refused to engage the Vice President in a word war, saying the Aquino administration has no time for politicking as it remains focused on governance and public service.

“As we have stated, we will gently address to the Vice President’s camp all the issues he could have raised to the President as a Cabinet member but chose not to,” Lacierda told reporters.

“Resigned Chair VP Binay and his people may have the luxury of hitting President Aquino and his men and women but President Aquino, the incumbent Cabinet members and his entire administration are committed to fulfill our oaths with undivided devotion, ardent fervor and utmost dedication to serve the Filipino people and tread daang matuwid [straight path] until the last day of the Aquino administration,” he said.

In a separate statement, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed for calm and reason from Binay’s camp.


PHILSTAR

Word war rages continue: Binay trades barbs with Mar, DBM chief By Janvic Mateo and Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 27, 2015 - 12:01am 5 256 googleplus0 0


Vice President Jejomar Binay 'I felt like a leper in the Cabinet' – VP

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay thanked President Aquino yesterday for allowing him to serve in the Cabinet, but renewed his tirade against administration officials.

A word war has erupted between Binay, who lamented that he often felt like “a leper” in the Cabinet, and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who fought back with equal intensity.

“Why are there no charges filed against Butch Abad? It is very clear that he was at fault (with regard to) DAP,” Binay told reporters in a brief interview.

DAP stands for Disbursement Acceleration Program, parts of which the Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional.

Binay also came out swinging at Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, whom he castigated for reportedly making light of ordinary Filipinos’ troubles.

“It was reported that Mr. Roxas found what I said on Wednesday amusing,” Binay said in Filipino during a speech before members of the media in Navotas City.

“If Mr. Roxas finds it funny, well, I’d like to tell him that for the Filipino people, our problems are no laughing matter,” Binay said.

“It is not funny that despite the growth of the economy, a lot of our people remain poor and hungry,” he added. “This is a serious issue, Mr. Roxas. There is nothing funny.”

READ MORE...

On Thursday, Roxas said he found it funny that Binay would accuse the Aquino administration of corruption and of being insensitive to the needs of the people.

While denying that he had been an outcast all along in the Cabinet, Binay said that the past months had been difficult for him.

“I felt like a leper,” he said in Filipino, referring to the moments he spent in the Palace with other officials. He said it was in the past months when his political enemies were spreading rumors of his supposed coming arrest.

Two days after quitting his Cabinet posts last June 22, the Vice President delivered a strongly worded speech castigating the administration for its failure to deliver on its promise and for enforcing justice selectively.

Binay’s tirade drew counterpunches from President Aquino himself.


LACIERDA

Joining the fray was presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, who described Binay as the only vice-president in history with his own official residence.

“With the utmost respect to the Vice President, the underdog image he tries to portray is a gross misrepresentation of what happens inside Cabinet meetings. The truth is he is given all the respect due the second highest official in the land during Cabinet meetings,” Lacierda said in an abs-cbnnews report.

Binay said he was piqued with Abad’s statement calling his stand on DAP as “hypocritical.”


President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, together with Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Jejomar Binay, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Atty. Chito Cruz, listens to the messages from Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Oban, Jr. and Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Raul Bacalzo during the launching ceremony of the AFP/PNP Housing Program in Bocaue Hills, Barangay Batia, Bocaue, Bulacan on Monday (May 23). (Photo by: BenHur Arcayan/ Malacanang Photo Bureau).

Abad said the agencies Binay chaired or co-chaired – Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, National Housing Authority (NHA), and the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC) – received funding from the controversial program.

Despite being leader of the two agencies, Binay said he did not receive any DAP funds as NHA is under the Office of the President and the HGC is a government-owned and controlled corporation.

He also scored the administration for failing to file cases against Department of Budget and Management officials who were part of the non-release of the Internal Revenue Allotment to local government units in 2013.

Abad denied the allegations and said that entire P302.8-billion IRA was released as scheduled.

“We do not withhold these appropriations and they have always been released without condition or delay. All agency transactions between the DBM and LGUs in 2013 have been properly documented,” Abad said in a statement.

But according to Binay, his statement was based on a COA report released earlier this year.

An audit report posted on the COA website said that the shares of the local government units from the national taxes two years ago were not released to them, but kept under DBM’s “Administered Funds” or Fund 103.

State auditors said the non-release of the funds violates a provision in the Constitution, which states that local government units are entitled to a share in the national taxes and that the amount should be automatically released to them.

Hypocritical “It is hypocritical for VP Binay to be ranting against the PDAF and DAP when he himself benefited from these two funds,” the budget chief said in a text message to The STAR.

He said Binay requested in 2011 and 2012 that his office be allocated P200 million a year in PDAF “for his pet projects.”

“Two housing agencies, of which he was chairman of the governing boards, NHA and HGC received P11.450 billion in DAP funds in October 2011,” he said.

Binay’s P200-million PDAF was the same amount allocated to each senator. Each member of the House of Representatives received a P70-million allocation.

The Vice President’s pork barrel fund was subjected to the same limitation as that of a senator or a House member.

The STAR checked the website of the DBM and found that up to 2013, Binay received his P200-million pork barrel fund.

That year, the Vice President had a budget amounting to P416,575,000.


RAPPLER REPORT SEPT 2013: NO MORE PORK. Vice President Jejomar Binay, pictured in this file photo, announced that he is foregoing the P200 million social services fund in his own budget, which some lawmakers have described as his pork barrel. In a statement read by his chief of staff Benjamin Martinez Jr, Binay said he decided to remove the fund even before Congress and the Department of Budget and Management clarified whether or not the amount can be considered pork barrel. Binay’s office has said that while the fund originally came from the unused Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of then Sen Benigno Aquino III, it was integrated into his office’s locally funded budget in 2012 and 2013. The removal of the P200 million almost halved the OVP budget. From P417 million, it is now down to P217 million, Martinez said. RAPPLER.COM Published 11:32 PM, September 11, 2013

A special provision in the budget law stated that of that amount, P200 million “shall be used to fund the priority programs and projects of the Vice President.”

“Provided, that not more than 50 percent thereof shall be used for education, health, social protection, and/or tourism programs and projects and not more than 50 percent for public infrastructure programs and projects,” the provision further stated.

This was the same distribution of funds for “soft” and “hard” projects that senators and congressmen were required to follow.

Binay’s predecessor, Noli de Castro, who was vice president to then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, did not have a P200-million pork barrel.

De Castro also did not have an official residence. Upon his request, Binay was allowed by President Aquino to use the sprawling Coconut Palace at the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex as his official residence-office.

Binay’s pork barrel fund was scrapped along with the allocations of lawmakers when the SC abolished the PDAF in the latter part of 2013.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also denied Binay’s allegation that the Aquino administration did nothing to help the poor.

Valte described Binay’s statement as a “stark turnaround” from his previous statements.

“This markedly was different from his statements from one week ago, from two weeks ago, even if you go as far back as 2010,” she said.

Critical Binay also debunked criticisms that he had chosen to remain silent about perceived wrongs in the administration when he was still part of it.

He cited the Zamboanga siege in 2013, when the government was bent on continuing with the assault against the Nur Misuari faction of the Moro National Liberation Front despite a supposed ceasefire that he brokered.

“I also took the stand that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is against the Constitution,” said Binay.

“When the Supreme Court declared it as illegal, I said we should follow it. The administration decided to fight for it,” he added.


The Aquino sisters attend the birthday party of Vice President Jojo Binay. Published August 12, 2014 COURTESY OF GLOBAL BALITA

Binay also emphasized he remains friends with the President and his sisters.

“Kaibigan pa rin,” he said.

“We are only talking about the government. We are talking about governing the country,” Binay said when asked about the status of his personal relationship with the President.

“For me, on our part, our friendship does not end,” he added.


November 3, 2014 photo from GMA NEWS NETWORK

On the President’s saying “thanks” after castigating him, Binay said he is also thanking the President back for giving him the opportunity to serve in the Cabinet.

“I did my job and what the President asked of me. Even more,” said Binay in Filipino.

With his help, Binay said the government was able to let the OFWs feel the support of the country’s leaders. He also cited reforms in the housing sector, which had been abused in the past.

Earlier, Binay’s spokesman for political concerns Rico Quicho said Binay still performed better than Roxas despite the huge budget allocated to the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Department of the Interior and Local Government under the leadership of Roxas.


Jun 19, 2011 photo ---FORMER SENATOR Manuel "Mar" A. Roxas II was named yesterday as departing Transportation Secretary Jose "Ping" P. de Jesus’ replacement, ending speculation as to where President Benigno S. C. Aquino III would be placing his defeated running mate in the 2010 national elections. The appointment was welcomed by businessmen, who had earlier said they were not immediately worried by a leadership vacuum at the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), which will be in charge of several public-private partnership (PPP) projects. NERBAC WEBSITE

“Sec. Roxas’ lackadaisical performance in the DOTC and DILG portfolios despite enormous government funds given to him defines his leadership capabilities,” said Quicho.

“The Vice President has been true to his word that he would devote his time and effort to help the President build the nation.”

Binay was right For some legal personalities, Binay was right about raising the issue of “selective justice” under the administration.

“(What Binay) said is true. This administration is timid to prosecute decadent allies, and brave to use the entire government apparatus to ram its political opponents,” lawyer Levito Baligod said in a text message.

Baligod had acted as counsel for Benhur Luy and other whistle-blowers in the PDAF issue. He said a selective application of justice is “immoral and a form of graft and corruption in itself.”

“Every evidence needed is with DOJ already. Sec. De Lima herself confirmed in her June 13, 2014 public statement that the evidence is already complete. So I’m very disappointed with her latest statement, especially on the ruse that more affidavits are needed,” he explained, refering to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Also echoing Binay’s insinuation was Integrated Bar of the Philippines national president Vicente Joyas.

“I do not agree with her (De Lima). There is selective justice and that holds true up to this day,” he stressed, referring to the handling of the PDAF cases.

“We are still under a cloud of surprise why is there such a delay. There appears to be a selective justice. We are all aware there are many people involved and yet only three senators were charged,” Joyas pointed out.

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, San Beda College Law Graduate School dean, said prominent administration allies linked to the PDAF scam like Abad have never been prosecuted.

“The ‘selection’ is clear. Why were some hurriedly prosecuted and why does it take so long to conclude investigations against the President’s allies? Has any high profile ally like Abad been prosecuted?” the law dean pointed out.

“The probe against Sens. (Juan Ponce) Enrile, (Bong) Revilla, (Jinggoy) Estrada and Binay proceeded so fast. So that excuse (of De Lima) is lame,” Aquino said.

“She’s playing blind and deaf to the fact that no one in the administration has been indicted despite COA reports against administration allies on PDAF and despite SC Supreme Court ruling on DAP,” UP professor Harry Roque said.

“There’s just no reason for the delay when you have common evidence, COA reports and whistle-blowers. It’s foot dragging since they don’t want to file,” he said.

Administration allies linked to the PDAF case were Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and former Pangasinan Rep. Rachel Arenas.

“I doubt if the cases against the administration allies will still be filed,” Joyas commented.

Villanueva is reportedly being eyed by the LP for its senatorial slate next year. – With Jess Diaz, Edu Punay


MANILA STANDARD

Binay hits Roxas for MRT woes By Vito Barcelo, Sandy Araneta | Jun. 27, 2015 at 12:01am


VICE President Jejomar Binay lashed out at Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II for the first time on Friday, blaming him for the misery of commuters who ride the Metro Rail Transit, which he said deteriorated under Roxas’ watch when he was Transport secretary.

“For the Filipino people, it’s no joke to ride daily the MRT trains that constantly break down,” Binay said, addressing Roxas directly.

“And it is certainly not laughable to consider that despite the vaunted economic growth, many of our people are mired in poverty and are starving. This is serious, Mr. Roxas. It’s not a joke,” Binay said.

Binay was reacting to Roxas’ remark that it was laughable that Binay would claim the Aquino administration was callous and incompetent.

Roxas said Binay, who resigned from the Cabinet Monday, had five years to point out the wrongdoings of the administration but did nothing.

“Try telling that to hundreds of thousands who ride the MRT trains daily, and see whether they find it all laughable,” Binay told Roxas.

Binay also said he was not silent when he was a member of the Cabinet and he took up key issues when necessary.

“The President said I was silent for five years. Maybe he forgets that on the big issues, like the Zamboanga siege or the Disbursement Acceleration Program, we spoke at length and I told him what I thought,” Binay said.

READ MORE...


President Benigno Aquino III gets an on-site briefing from Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco on the bomb blast in her city on January 25, 2015.

He recalled that during the 2013 Zamboanga siege, he found a way to lay the groundwork for a ceasefire.

“But the fighting was relentless, and their decision could no longer be bent, first of all because he [President Benigno Aquino III] was so mad at Nur Misuari.”

Binay also said he gave timely advice that the DAP, a brainchild of Budget Secretary and LP stalwart Florencio Abad, was unconstitutional.

“When the Supreme Court declared it illegal, I said, we should heed the ruling,” Binay said.

“And now, it has been revealed to our people that DAP was used for projects that did not help the poor,” he added.

The Vice President said contrary to claims that the DAP has been abolished, it remains alive under different names.

As housing czar, Binay said he sought to carry out sweeping reforms in the housing sector, but “the budget for housing agencies was given to DILG, which has no mandate to build homes.”

That transfer of funds was questioned in budget hearings by the minority in Congress, but Budget Secretary Abad, with help from allies in the House, pursued it.

“Politics dictates who should get the bigger budget, especially their people who have plans to run in the elections,” Binay said.


ABAD

Abad, however, said Binay’s attack was hypocritical.

“I find it hypocritical that he is ranting against DAP when two housing agencies he chaired, NHA (National Housing Authority) and HGC (Home Guaranty Corporation), received P11.450 billion in DAP funds in October 2011,” said Abad in a text message to reporters in Malacanang.

Binay chaired the NHA and the HGC, which were recipients of DAP funds.

Abad said Binay never raised any issue when the two agencies received and used those funds.

“Why was it okay then, and not ok now when he is out of government? When was he telling the truth?,” Abad said.

Binay said he lasted five years in the Cabinet because he wanted to help the poor, but could only stand so much, especially when he realized that even after five years, poverty was so pervasive.

Binay slammed the former Transport secretary for being callous to the plight of millions of MRT commuters, who suffered from the daily glitches and an increase in fares without a public hearing.

Under Roxas’ term as DOTC secretary, the running MRT trains went down from 73 to just 16, Binay said. On Friday, only seven trains ran.

“To temporarily solve the problems, workers have to make do with discarded parts because of the lack of spare parts, which was supposed to be provided by maintenance contractors,” he said.

Binay said that it was the common people who ride the MRT daily, and that poverty in not funny.


Boodle fight. Vice President Jejomar Binay, Rep. Toby Tiangco and Mayor John Rey Tiangco join a boodle fight with the residents of Navotas City on Friday. Manny Palmero

“It is not funny that despite progress, many Filipinos remain poor and hungry. This is a serious matter, Mr. Roxas. Not something to laugh about.,” Binay said in Filipino.

The Vice President said he quit his Cabinet posts because he felt his colleagues were treating him like a lepper.

Binay still thanked the President for letting him be a member of the Cabinet, but said he returned the favor by faithfully serving him, and worked hard to help Filipino workers abroad and to reform the housing sector.

In the Palace, the President’s spokespersons kept up the attack on Binay, saying his portrayal of himself as an underdog in the Cabinet was “a gross misrepresentation.”

“The truth is he was given all the respect due the second highest official in the land during Cabinet meetings,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

Contrary to being left out, Binay was the only vice president in the country’s history to be given an official residence by the sitting President, Lacierda added.

The President also gave Binay the portfolios that he sought, the Palace official said.


VALTE

Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte denied Binay’s allegations that the administration was doing nothing to help the poor.

“You know this is a very stark turnaround from what the Vice President had been saying. So this markedly different from his statements from one week ago, from two weeks ago, even if you go as far back as 2010,” said Valte.

Valte said they could always open the government records on the budget and programs, and see that Binay’s claim was wrong.

Also on Friday, Social Weather Stations (SWS) said Binay’s net satisfaction rating had bounced back to a “good” or +42 since June last year.

Binay’s rating improved from +31 in March 2015 to +42 in June 2015.

Earlier, his net satisfaction rating had dropped consecutively from +73 in March 2014; to +67 in June 2014; +52 in September 2014; +44 in December 2014; and +31 in March 2015. It then recovered in June 2015 with +42.

Binay’s ratings had been dropping during the past several months, after he was linked to allegations of corruption in some Makati projects when he was still mayor of the city.

Binay, who is facing graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman, has denied all the allegations.

The same SWS survey showed that the net satisfaction rating of the Senate improved slightly, from +31 in March to +33 in June.

The Supreme Court experienced a dip in its rating, as did the entire Cabinet.

The SWS survey said Binay’s net satisfaction rating rose to a “good” +42 (64 percent satisfied minus 22 percent dissatisfied), up 11 points from the +31 in March 2015 despite being displaced by a first-term senator in the most recent quarterly presidential SWS survey.

The SWS survey said Senate President Franklin Drilon suffered the highest drop in his net satisfaction rating, falling from +35 in March (“good”) to +29 in June (“moderate”).

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. also incurred a similar drop in his rating, from +12 to only +9.

The Palace said the bounce in Binay’s rating was not a cause for concern, saying the survey did not cover the period in which Binay resigned from the Cabinet.


PHILSTAR

Abaya on MRT woes: Binay mixing politics in issue (philstar.com) | Updated June 27, 2015 - 12:08pm 2 195 googleplus0 0


In this August 2012 photo, Joseph Emilio "Jun" Abaya speaks to a reporter on his appointment as secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications replacing Secretary Manuel Roxas II, following the announcement made by President Benigno Aquino. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas

MANILA, Philippines — Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya aired his side after Vice President Jejomar Binay blamed his predecessor, Mar Roxas, for commuters' woes in taking the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system.

Abaya said Saturday that the technical problem of the MRT cannot be addressed by politically charged statements, which he said Binay has been releasing since quitting Cabinet earlier this week.

READ MORE...

"Sigurado po ako na ang technical problem could not be solved by a political solution," Abaya said in an interview with dzMM. "Hindi po hinahalo dapat 'yan dahil otherwise po, mas lalong papalpak ang MRT 'pag ganyan po ang analysis."

He said the DOTC can explain the technical issues of the MRT if Binay only asked earlier.

RELATED: Philippines' MRT trains 5 times 'more dangerous' than counterparts

"Never did he comment kaya nabibigla ako na kung kailan pa s'ya lumabas, saka s'ya nagkokoment," Abaya said.

Binay on Friday scored Roxas, his likely opponent in the presidential race in 2016, for his perceived inaction over the plight of MRT passengers.

"For the Filipino people, it's no joke to ride daily the MRT trains that constantly break down," Binay said.

Passengers have suffered from the MRT's numerous technical glitches and daily overcrowding, which Abaya attributes to the system's age and not the DOTC's failure.


MANILA STANDARD

Belmonte says he’s inclined to back Poe, not Roxas By Maricel Cruz | Jun. 24, 2015 at 12:01am

HOUSE Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. said he will likely support the candidacy of Senator Grace Poe over that of the Liberal Party’s presumptive standard bearer, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II in the 2016 presidential elections.

Between Poe and Roxas, Belmonte said, Poe was closer to his heart.

But he added that he has not made up his mind as yet.

Binay “From a certain point of view, all of those running are good friends of mine and that’s why I have more or less kept away from this thing up to this point, but we are really reaching a very decisive point [in October] and that’s pretty close,” he said.

Belmonte also said he would favor a Roxas-Poe ticket next year, saying Roxas still had a chance to improve his survey rankings in the runup to the May 2016 elections.

He said Roxas placed third in the latests Social Weather Stations survey, behind Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay, but ahead of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Belmonte also said that the members of the Cabinet who are planning to run next year should resign by October, the month set by the Commission on Elections for the filing of certificates of candidacy for those running in the 2016 polls.

“It’s a good thing by October, these Cabinet members who are running will be forced to resign because at that point, they will... no longer part of the official family. They can disagree with the President if they want to; they can do their own thing. They can sell their own dream and I think that is necessary,” Belmonte said.

READ MORE...

He said those who are as yet unsure should make up their mind.

Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, vice chairman for political affairs of the ruling Liberal Party and a known supporter of Roxas, shrugged off Belmonte’s statement regarding Poe.

“Every woman is closer to the heart of men, but choosing a president is not just decided by the heart but also by the mind,” Erice said.

Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez said: “Every man’s heart is closer to a woman.”

House Deputy Minority Leader and 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III said the Speaker was just being honest and was trying to think out loud.

“With his vast experience in politics, the Speaker should know who are winnable and who are not,” Bello said.

Also on Tuesday, opposition Senator JV Ejercito said he would resign from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) if he decides to support the Poe over Vice President Jejomar Binay in the 2016 presidential election.

In the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Ejercito admitted having difficulty choosing between the two, because they were both close to him and his family.

“I’m just hoping that one will not run,” he said. –    With Macon Ramos-Araneta


MANILA BULLETIN

Leave political vendetta behind, Marcos advises next president by Mario Casayuran June 27, 2015 Share0 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share6

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. said yesterday the next President of the Republic should not adopt a policy of political vendetta that puts political opponents in jail.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee, said political vengeance adopted in the past and present administrations is “counterproductive and divides Filipinos.”

The next Chief Executive should instead push for the development of the country, improve the lives of the Filipino people and help accelerate the pace of the country’s economy, Marcos pointed out.

“We should leave that culture of vengeance behind us. What the next President should strive is to unite the country so that every Filipino could work together for the good of our country – not for personal gain, not for the benefit of a party, but for the benefit of the entire nation,” he stressed.

Marcos gave the advice as the presidential election fever starts to get hot. Meanwhile, Marcos has yet to decide whether he would seek the presidency, vice presidency or simply seek another six-year term in the Senate.

READ MORE...

CORRUPTION CHARGES

The advice comes also at the heels of charges that the present Aquino administration is implementing “selective justice” where the administration allegedly goes after its political enemies while allowing its allies in the Liberal Party to go unpunished.

The charges were hurled yesterday by Vice President Jejomar Binay who resigned from the Aquino Cabinet Monday, after serving for five years. Binay is now facing graft charges at the Office of the Ombudsman.

“We should do away with what we have been seeing in the past few years when recent administrations adopted a deliberate campaign of vengeance against their political foes, practically making it a national policy,” Marcos said.

ARROYO AND ERAP

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sent her predecessor President Joseph “Erap” Estrada to jail on charges of plunder. Arroyo met the same fate under the Aquino administration.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Marcos recalled that the Aquino administration had also actively sought the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was an appointee of Arroyo.

3 SENATORS IN JAIL

At present, opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla Jr. are behind bars facing cases of alleged corruption.

Binay claimed that the corruption charges lodged against him are politically-motivated and orchestrated by allies of the Aquino administration.

Meanwhile, political observers ask if it is possible that President Aquino might suffer the same fate as former Presidents Arroyo and Estrada after the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional some parts of the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program, (DAP) which funneled billions of public funds into various projects.

“Only the future can tell,” political observers pointed out.

If President Aquino had indeed violated the laws, then he should face charges that may be filed against him after his term, Marcos pointed out.

However, Marcos said the next administration should not have a direct hand in the filing of such charges and should treat them as any ordinary criminal case.


PHILSTAR

Grace Poe tops SWS poll on vice presidential bets By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated June 24, 2015 - 11:03am 5 77 googleplus0 0


Sen. Grace Poe is topping the recent presidential and vice presidential surveys for the 2016 national elections. Facebook/Grace Poe

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Grace Poe emerged as the top choice to succeed Vice President Jejomar Binay next year, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Wednesday.

Despite leading the list of possible vice presidential bets, Poe's rating decreased from 26 percent in March to 21 percent in June.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas maintained the second spot with 12 percent followed by Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and Binay, both with seven percent.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Panfilo Lacson garnered three percent of votes from the respondents.

Meanwhile, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano both scored two percent.

READ MORE...

On the other hand, Poe topped both the SWS and Pulse Asia presidential survey, overtaking Binay.

The SWS vice presidential survey was conducted from June 5 to 8 among 1,200 respondents nationwide.

RELATED: Infographic: Ratings of possible 2016 presidential bets


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE