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

VP BINAY FILES P200-M DAMAGE SUIT VS DETRACTORS


JULY 21 --In his complaint, Vice President Jejomar Binay is seeking P100 million each in moral and exemplary damages, and P1 million in attorney’s fees. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando
While repeatedly dismissing accusations of corruption against him as mere political mudslinging, Vice President Jejomar Binay is now demanding more than P200 million in damages from his accusers, whom he sued yesterday for libel and slander. Named defendants in a 41-page complaint Binay filed with the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office were Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice and nine others. Binay said the defendants are “civilly liable” for libel and slander under the Revised Penal Code. He said the defendants intended to discredit and dishonor him by “maliciously imputing” to him the crime of amassing illegal wealth and other illegal activities. In his complaint, Binay is seeking P100 million each in moral and exemplary damages, and P1 million in attorney’s fees. Also named respondents in the complaint were former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, former head of Makati’s General Services Department Mario Hechanova, former Makati barangay chairmen Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Teresita Herbosa, Insurance Commission commissioner Emmanuel Dooc; and Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC) deputy director Julia Bacay-Abad. READ MORE...

ALSO: Law experts back Binay’s P200-M suit vs critics


Vice President Jejomar Binay Philstar.com/File
Vice President Jejomar Binay’s P200-million damage suit against his detractors will benefit the country’s justice system, according to the dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law.
On the other hand, the law dean of the University of the East said the civil case will bring the allegations of Binay’s critics within judicial scrutiny in accordance with the rules of evidence. Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, San Beda Graduate School of Law dean, said the suit is a test of the integrity and morality of the country’s justice system. “I would hope that for the sake of credibility, at least these cases be paid attention to,” he said. In a text message, Amado Valdez, former University of the East law dean, said the case will separate hearsay from admissible evidence.“Binay has the right to press charges against his accusers to level the playing field,” he said. “It is an inherent right of every individual to seek redress and damages. Sometimes offense is the best defense.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Duterte offered as Binay’s VP—Jinggoy Estrada
["Well I think Vice President Binay has offered the slot of the vice presidency to Mayor Duterte. But I think hindi pa yata sila nagka-ayusan,” said Senator Estrada, the son of former President Joseph Estrada.]



JULY 21 ---Senator Jinggoy Estrada. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Vice President Jejomar Binay has asked Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to be his running mate in 2016, senator Jinggoy Estrada said. In an interview after his bail hearing from plunder at the Sandiganbayan Monday, Estrada said there were talks but no decision has been made yet. “Well I think Vice President Binay has offered the slot of the vice presidency to Mayor Duterte. But I think hindi pa yata sila nagka-ayusan,” said Senator Estrada, the son of former President Joseph Estrada.
Asked if there was a former offer, the younger Estrada said he is not privy to it. Talks for Duterte as Binay’s vice president developed even as Duterte is known to be close to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the ruling Liberal Party presumptive standard bearer. UNA was formed as an alliance in the 2013 elections with the elder Estrada’s party Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). Duterte is a member of PDP-Laban. Binay left PDP-Laban in 2014 due to disunity in the party. Binay has officially launched UNA as his own political party for his presidential bid in 2016. PDP-Laban has bolted out of the alliance. Binay and Estrada formed an alliance in the 2010 elections for their vice president and president bid. Only Binay won as vice president. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Inquirer statement on Binay lawsuit


JULY 21 ---P200M DAMAGE SUIT A lawyer for Vice President Jejomar Binay holds a copy of the P200-million damage suit Binay filed against the Inquirer, Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales (from left inset) and nine others. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA; INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS
“We learned from news reports that Vice President Jejomar Binay filed an action seeking P200 million in damages against the Philippine Daily Inquirer and several other individuals and government officials. We have not yet officially received a copy of the complaint. We emphasize that our news reports are either based on public documents and documents which have been made public by the courts or prosecutorial agencies or pertain to matters of legitimate public interest. We regret that the Vice President views the truth in news reporting for ‘malicious coverage’ intended to ‘unduly condition the minds of the public.’ We are at a loss why the Vice President has singled out the Philippine Daily Inquirer even as the Complaint itself mentions some defendants getting ‘maximum media mileage’ from several media outfits (the Philippine Daily Inquirer was not among those mentioned). The Philippine Daily Inquirer was also not the first to report the ‘freeze’ order of the Court of Appeals.
We value integrity and editorial independence in carrying out our duty to inform and serve the public interest. The role and mission we have taken requires us to uphold freedom of the press enshrined in the Philippine Constitution. We shall continue to discharge this mission with neither fear nor favor.”  THE FULL STATEMENT.

ALSO: Binay wants court to stop Trillanes’ ‘abuse’


JULY 22 ---CAYETANO, TRILLANES
THE Camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said Senator Antonio Trillanes III’s “bullying and arrogance” and his habit of using his position to intimidate his political enemies must be stopped by a competent court. “It is about time Senator Trillanes’ bullying and arrogance was reviewed and stopped by a court of competent jurisdiction after a fair and impartial administration of justice,” Binay spokesman Rico Quicho said. He made his statement even as Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday said the P200-million suit that Binay had filed against, Trillanes and other officials was a mere tactic to divert the people’s attention from the issue of corruption against him. “A case to intimidate is the defense of a corrupt,” Cayetano said. He and Trillanes are the two senators investigating the alleged anomalous transactions in Makati by the vice president and his family. Quicho said the attack against Binay started when the vice president publicly announced his intention to seek the country’s top post, hence jeopardizing the Aquino administration’s ambition to make Interior Secretary Mar Roxas III the next President. Binay continues to top the poll surveys followed by Senator Grace Poe while Roxas is in fourth place. Quicho dismissed Trillanes’ claim that Binay had filed his P200-million suit against him and 12 other respondents after Binay panicked over the investigations against him “The complaint filed by the vice president against certain parties including Senator Trillanes is a legitimate redress of grievances. This also shows that the rule of law is non-negotiable,” Quicho said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Mar as ‘face-saver’; Aquino will be forced to pick Roxas, says Osmeña


JULY 22 --ROXAS
TO save face, President Benigno Aquino III will be forced to anoint Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II as the Liberal Party standard bearer for 2016, despite his being a “consistent tail-ender” in all opinion surveys by independent polling companies, Senator Sergio Osmeña III said Tuesday. “They also extoll the LP as the biggest, the most powerful, the one with the most resources, but they have no presidential candidate,” said Osmeña. “So if I were to guess, [the President] will endorse Mar,” said Osmena, a political strategist who served on Aquino’s campaign when he ran for president in 2010. Osmeña said it would be embarrassing for Aquino to endorse the current leader in the opinion polls, Senator Grace Poe, if she decides to run outside the LP. Neither Roxas nor Poe have declared their intention to run for president in 2016. Poe, however, has dislodged Vice President Jejomar Binay in the latest opinion surveys of the presidential candidate preferred by most voters. In the June survey, Roxas placed fourth. Osmeña denied insinuations that he tried to dissuade Poe from running for President to give Roxas a better shot at the presidency next year. Earlier, Osmeña said Poe would be better off running for vice president and serve six years to gain the experience to become a better president. Osmeña’s son, Jose Lorenzo Osmeña, is set to marry Roxas’ niece, Ana Cristina Maria Roxas Ojeda in January 2016, but the senator said this had nothing to do with his suggestion to Poe. “That proposal to Grace [Poe] to run for vice president was in response to a question on the better route to great for presidency for her. Obviously, the more experienced [she is], the better,” Osmeña said. Liberal Party leaders believe Roxas has a better chance of winning the presidency if Poe does not run. READ MORE...

ALSO: Int’l finance group upbeat on Poe, Roxas but cool to Binay


JULY 21 --Sen. Grace Poe, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS
The Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) said Sen. Grace Poe or Interior Secretary Mar Roxas becoming President in 2016 would be good for the Philippine economy, while a Binay presidency may undermine the reforms introduced by the Aquino administration. Amid uncertainties due to next year’s national elections as well as stock market and debt troubles in China and Greece, respectively, IIF lowered its 2015 economic growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent, according to its latest Global Economic Monitor issued on July 15. IIF, which claims to be “the leading global association of financial institutions, with close to 500 members from more than 70 different countries,” also brought down to 6.3 percent from 6.5 percent its 2016 growth projection for the Philippines.
In a separate report released last month titled “IIF Dispatch: Philippines Update,” it said “[n]ext year’s elections could prove challenging” to the country’s economic transformation in recent years. “The upcoming presidential election will likely provide a short-term economic boost through government spending and investment, but maintaining policy continuity will be a challenge,” IIF said. “The typical pre-election infrastructure investment surge would favor Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas (President Aquino’s running mate in 2010), but it seems likely that investors will stay on the sideline and wait to see how the new administration shapes up,” it added. “Sen. Grace Poe, an independent with ties to Mr. Aquino’s Team PNoy, has also recently emerged as a potential contender.” READ MORE...

ALSO Assurance from ex-finance chief: Efficient programs, budget use under Binay —TEVES
["VP Binay is for faster decision-making within the bounds of our law; he is for aggressive, yet prudent, spending. He will focus on the proper implementation and monitoring of projects and programs that will help achieve higher and sustained economic growth which is more inclusive,” Teves said]


Margarito "Gary" B. Teves (born August 1, 1943) was the secretary of the Department of Finance of the Philippines. He was appointed to the position in July 2005 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, following a mass resignation of her economic team. In January 2009 he was named "Best Finance Minister" in Asia, a title given by London-based international finance magazine, The Banker.
Former Finance Secretary Margarito “Gary” Teves yesterday assured international groups that a Binay presidency will continue economic reforms and enhance the private-public partnership (PPP) projects that mostly failed to take off during the present administration.“Contrary to what the Institute of International Finance (IFF) says, a Binay presidency will continue the economic reforms, as well as enhance the private- public partnership programs that the present administration had started,” Teves said.A pro-Aquino broadsheet highlighted an IFF story claiming that the international finance group favors a Mar Roxas or Grace Poe presidency and doubts that the populist Binay will pursue reforms supposedly started under Aquino’s term. “Based on his policy speeches and our interactions, we believe that the IFF’s reservation toward a Binay presidency is unfounded,” he added.Teves said that Vice President Jejomar Binay will begin rolling out his plan of action in the coming months, especially since the campaign season will soon start.“I feel that they have some reservations about the VP’s programs and platforms but that is understandable as the campaign season has not officially started,” Teves said.
“But that will soon change, as the VP will begin rolling out his economic plans that will actively push for inclusive economic growth,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO 4th Meeting failed anew: No Noy-Grace agreement seen before SONA


JULY 22 --President Aquino and Sen. Grace Poe. Philstar.com/File
MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino met again with Sen. Grace Poe last Monday afternoon but they failed to reach any decision on whether the senator will support the presidential bid of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II next year.
“There was mutual respect for each other in our conversation. All I can say is that this is perhaps our last meeting before the SONA (State of the Nation Address of the President) and, as I said, we both agreed that we have the best interest of our country in mind in whatever decisions we will make in the coming days,” Poe told The STAR. The latest meeting – which lasted from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – came four days after Aquino met with Roxas, Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero. “We talked for about five hours. I could sense the very difficult position P-Noy is in right now,” she said. Poe recognized the difficult decision President Aquino has to face amid pressure to choose between her and Roxas, the presumptive presidential bet of the ruling liberal Party (LP). “I understand and sympathize with his predicament and situation. I consider him a true and sincere friend and he has my utmost respect,” said Poe, who is an independent senator. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Binay files P200-M damage suit vs detractors


In his complaint, Vice President Jejomar Binay is seeking P100 million each in moral and exemplary damages, and P1 million in attorney’s fees. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando

MANILA, JULY 23, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Mike Frialde July 21, 2015 - While repeatedly dismissing accusations of corruption against him as mere political mudslinging, Vice President Jejomar Binay is now demanding more than P200 million in damages from his accusers, whom he sued yesterday for libel and slander.

Named defendants in a 41-page complaint Binay filed with the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office were Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice and nine others.

Binay said the defendants are “civilly liable” for libel and slander under the Revised Penal Code.

He said the defendants intended to discredit and dishonor him by “maliciously imputing” to him the crime of amassing illegal wealth and other illegal activities.

In his complaint, Binay is seeking P100 million each in moral and exemplary damages, and P1 million in attorney’s fees.

Also named respondents in the complaint were former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, former head of Makati’s General Services Department Mario Hechanova, former Makati barangay chairmen Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Teresita Herbosa, Insurance Commission commissioner Emmanuel Dooc; and Anti Money Laundering Council (AMLC) deputy director Julia Bacay-Abad.

READ MORE...

He said Cayetano, Trillanes and Erice were the “talking heads” and “attack dogs” tasked to publicly persecute him and his family and malign their name and reputation.

Binay said Mercado, Hechanova, Bondal and Enciso are the “paid witnesses” who maliciously accused him in public of crimes and “defects that are mere fabrications and outright lies.”

Binay, meanwhile, tagged the Inquirer as the “biased media outlet,” the aim of which is to “relentlessly bombard the public with lies and innuendo spewed by the Mercado group through the malicious articles it published.”

Binay called Tetangco, Herbosa, Dooc, Abad and Morales the “government inquisitors” allegedly sent out to undertake a general fishing expedition using government resources against him.

In Binay’s complaint, Tetangco, Herbosa, Dooc and Abad were called officials of the AMLC “tasked to illegally examine” his bank accounts as well as “maliciously prepare a report based on this illegal examination” to “make it appear” that he was engaged in illegal activities “even if not true and supported by documents.”

He said the officials “release and/or cause the unlawful release” of the AMLC report to Cayetano and “unauthorized parties” for “maximum media mileage.”

He also accused Tetangco and Herbosa of “having direct links” to ranking members of the administration Liberal Party.

“Defendant Carpio-Morales, on the other hand, was tasked to use her office” for the conduct of preliminary investigation on a criminal complaint against Binay “even if he is an impeachable officer.”

In the complaint, Binay said it’s part of Morales’ plan to file with the Sandiganbayan an information against him “prior to (Binay’s) going through the process of impeachment.”

Talking to reporters shortly after filing the complaint, Certeza said the Vice President has chosen to seek damage to prove that the charges against him are intended to malign his character and destroy his chances of being elected president.

“The court is the proper venue to raise accusations. In a court, hearsay and rumor are not accepted,” he said. “Anyone who makes an accusation is required to present evidence to validate his accusation,” he said in Filipino.

“With the filing of this damage suit, our countrymen will be given the chance to truly determine who is telling the truth. Under the orderly procedure prescribed by Rules of Court, the VP will present evidence to show how his detractors have connived to repeatedly lie to the public about their baseless charges of corruption. No one is above the law,” he said.

Certeza told reporters the P200 million in damages is the same amount of alleged Binay kickbacks from a real estate deal as alleged by Trillanes.

Meanwhile, the Sandiganbayan has barred Mercado from taking the witness stand in a graft trial of former Makati City mayor Elenita Binay, saying the former vice mayor’s testimony is not needed in the case.

In a ruling released yesterday, the anti-graft court said testimony from Mercado does not serve the purpose of authenticating a document that he is not even privy to.

Ombudsman prosecutors earlier asked the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division to allow Mercado to testify against Mrs. Binay, calling him a vital witness who can identify a Commission on Audit (COA) report on the alleged overpriced purchase of more than P107 million worth of office furnishings for Makati City Hall in 1999 and 2000.

Defense lawyers, however, opposed the idea, saying the former vice mayor, who first exposed the alleged irregularities involving the Vice President and his son Mayor Junjun Binay, is not a listed witness in the case.

The Sandiganbayan, after hearing the arguments, sided with Mrs. Binay’s camp and ruled that Mercado should not be the one to identify or authenticate a COA document.

“Mr. Mercado will certainly not be able to fulfill these requirements since he was not a member of the audit team which took part in the audit investigation and in the eventual preparation and submission of the audit report,” the anti-graft court noted.

“At the outset, therefore, he cannot be expected to identify or authenticate the Audit Report itself, let alone the purported original, which he was not privy to,” the Sandiganbayan said. – With Michael Punongbayan


PHILSTAR

Law experts back Binay’s P200-M suit vs critics (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 23, 2015 - 12:00am 2 1622 googleplus1 0


Vice President Jejomar Binay Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay’s P200-million damage suit against his detractors will benefit the country’s justice system, according to the dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law.

On the other hand, the law dean of the University of the East said the civil case will bring the allegations of Binay’s critics within judicial scrutiny in accordance with the rules of evidence.

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, San Beda Graduate School of Law dean, said the suit is a test of the integrity and morality of the country’s justice system.

“I would hope that for the sake of credibility, at least these cases be paid attention to,” he said.

In a text message, Amado Valdez, former University of the East law dean, said the case will separate hearsay from admissible evidence.

“Binay has the right to press charges against his accusers to level the playing field,” he said. “It is an inherent right of every individual to seek redress and damages. Sometimes offense is the best defense.”

READ MORE...

Aquino asked government prosecutors to take a careful look at the case.

“If this will be dismissed outright by the prosecutor, that will send disturbing signals to ordinary citizens, who will then say that if the voice of the Vice President is not heard, how much more if it involves complaints of ordinary people,” he said.

Valdez, Philippine Association of Law Schools president, cautioned Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales against invoking her status as an impeachable official in evading the damage suit.

“The immunity defense is double-bladed,” he said. “Binay will be justified to invoke it as well.”

Named respondents in Binay’s civil suit before the Makati Regional Trial Court are Morales, Sens. Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano, former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) executive director Julia Bacay-Abad, Mario Hechanova, Renato Bondal; Nicolas Enciso IV, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco Jr., Securities and Exchange Commission chief Teresita Herbosa and Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc.

Binay’s complaint alleged that the defendants colluded to malign his name to make him back out of the 2016 presidential elections.

“Why support a person who had abandoned the country?”

Binay asked this question to the administration yesterday amid reports that it will back the presidential or vice presidential bid of Sen. Grace Poe next year.

Speaking at the birth anniversary of Apolinario de la Cruz or Hermano Pule in Quezon province, he said Filipinos should contemplate whether they deserve the sacrifices made by heroes like Hermano Pule, especially those who have pledged allegiance to another country.

“It’s unbelievable that Filipinos who were born Filipino abandoned their country and became citizens of another country,” he said in Filipino.

“They will be willing to turn against their motherland if necessary because they already swore an oath to a foreign country.

“They (administration) said they love the Filipinos, but they are supporting a person who once abandoned the country.”

Speaking to reporters later, Binay merely shrugged and smiled when asked if he was referring to Poe.

Instead he asked reporters if they have read the oath of allegiance to the United States flag.

“It’s up to you to speculate…have you read the Oath of Allegiance of a naturalized (US) citizen?” he asked.

Poe had acquired US citizenship but she renounced it before being appointed to a government post in 2010.

She chaired the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board before becoming senator in 2013.

Erap on Binay Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he would not have second thoughts of supporting Binay “all the way” if Poe is not his opponent in the 2016 presidential polls.

In an interview with Karen Davila on ANC television, Estrada said the accusations against Binay have not affected his decision to support him.

However, Estrada said the Sandiganbayan, not the Senate, is the proper forum to determine Binay’s guilt.

Estrada said he is still torn between Binay and Poe. – Edu Punay, Helen Flores, Jose Rodel Clapano


PHILSTAR

Duterte offered as Binay’s VP—Jinggoy Estrada SHARES: 3407 VIEW COMMENTS By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 06:13 PM July 21st, 2015


Senator Jinggoy Estrada. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Vice President Jejomar Binay has asked Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to be his running mate in 2016, senator Jinggoy Estrada said.

In an interview after his bail hearing from plunder at the Sandiganbayan Monday, Estrada said there were talks but no decision has been made yet.

“Well I think Vice President Binay has offered the slot of the vice presidency to Mayor Duterte. But I think hindi pa yata sila nagka-ayusan,” said Senator Estrada, the son of former President Joseph Estrada.

Asked if there was a former offer, the younger Estrada said he is not privy to it.

Talks for Duterte as Binay’s vice president developed even as Duterte is known to be close to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the ruling Liberal Party presumptive standard bearer.

UNA was formed as an alliance in the 2013 elections with the elder Estrada’s party Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Duterte is a member of PDP-Laban.

Binay left PDP-Laban in 2014 due to disunity in the party. Binay has officially launched UNA as his own political party for his presidential bid in 2016.
PDP-Laban has bolted out of the alliance.

Binay and Estrada formed an alliance in the 2010 elections for their vice president and president bid. Only Binay won as vice president.


INQUIRER

Inquirer statement on Binay lawsuit  @inquirerdotnet 05:40 PM July 21st, 2015


P200M DAMAGE SUIT A lawyer for Vice President Jejomar Binay holds a copy of the P200-million damage suit Binay filed against the Inquirer, Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales (from left inset) and nine others. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA; INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

“We learned from news reports that Vice President Jejomar Binay filed an action seeking P200 million in damages against the Philippine Daily Inquirer and several other individuals and government officials. We have not yet officially received a copy of the complaint.

We emphasize that our news reports are either based on public documents and documents which have been made public by the courts or prosecutorial agencies or pertain to matters of legitimate public interest. We regret that the Vice President views the truth in news reporting for ‘malicious coverage’ intended to ‘unduly condition the minds of the public.’

We are at a loss why the Vice President has singled out the Philippine Daily Inquirer even as the Complaint itself mentions some defendants getting ‘maximum media mileage’ from several media outfits (the Philippine Daily Inquirer was not among those mentioned).

The Philippine Daily Inquirer was also not the first to report the ‘freeze’ order of the Court of Appeals.

We value integrity and editorial independence in carrying out our duty to inform and serve the public interest. The role and mission we have taken requires us to uphold freedom of the press enshrined in the Philippine Constitution.

We shall continue to discharge this mission with neither fear nor favor.”


MANILA STANDARD

Binay wants court to stop Trillanes’ ‘abuse’ By Vito Barcelo | Jul. 22, 2015 at 12:01am


CAYETANO, TRILLANES

THE Camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said Senator Antonio Trillanes III’s “bullying and arrogance” and his habit of using his position to intimidate his political enemies must be stopped by a competent court.

“It is about time Senator Trillanes’ bullying and arrogance was reviewed and stopped by a court of competent jurisdiction after a fair and impartial administration of justice,” Binay spokesman Rico Quicho said.

He made his statement even as Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday said the P200-million suit that Binay had filed against, Trillanes and other officials was a mere tactic to divert the people’s attention from the issue of corruption against him.

“A case to intimidate is the defense of a corrupt,” Cayetano said.

He and Trillanes are the two senators investigating the alleged anomalous transactions in Makati by the vice president and his family.

Quicho said the attack against Binay started when the vice president publicly announced his intention to seek the country’s top post, hence jeopardizing the Aquino administration’s ambition to make Interior Secretary Mar Roxas III the next President.

Binay continues to top the poll surveys followed by Senator Grace Poe while Roxas is in fourth place.

Quicho dismissed Trillanes’ claim that Binay had filed his P200-million suit against him and 12 other respondents after Binay panicked over the investigations against him

“The complaint filed by the vice president against certain parties including Senator Trillanes is a legitimate redress of grievances. This also shows that the rule of law is non-negotiable,” Quicho said.

READ MORE...

Binay accuses Trillanes and 11 other officials of colluding to malign Binay’s name and reputation.

“For the past 11 months, the vice president has received the unkindest of accusations bereft of any merit that are deeply rooted in a concerted effort to discredit and humiliate him,” Quicho said.

“Senator Trillanes has, time and again, slandered private individuals, sitting justices and legitimate entities without any proof. This must be stopped and it is time to bring back decency and responsibility to Senator Trillanes’ vocabulary.”

Quicho said Binay had faced his accusers in court while Trillanes was hiding behind parliamentary immunity.

“He has chosen to face his accusers squarely in a court of law and is not hiding behind parliamentary immunity like Senator Trillanes or the Witness Protection Program like the other accusers,” he said. With Macon Ramos-Araneta


MANILA STANDARD

Mar as ‘face-saver’; Aquino will be forced to pick Roxas, says Osmeña By Macon Ramos-Araneta, Sandy Araneta and Maricel V. Cruz | Jul. 22, 2015 at 12:01am


ROXAS

TO save face, President Benigno Aquino III will be forced to anoint Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II as the Liberal Party standard bearer for 2016, despite his being a “consistent tail-ender” in all opinion surveys by independent polling companies, Senator Sergio Osmeña III said Tuesday.

“They also extoll the LP as the biggest, the most powerful, the one with the most resources, but they have no presidential candidate,” said Osmeña.

“So if I were to guess, [the President] will endorse Mar,” said Osmena, a political strategist who served on Aquino’s campaign when he ran for president in 2010.

Osmeña said it would be embarrassing for Aquino to endorse the current leader in the opinion polls, Senator Grace Poe, if she decides to run outside the LP.

Neither Roxas nor Poe have declared their intention to run for president in 2016.

Poe, however, has dislodged Vice President Jejomar Binay in the latest opinion surveys of the presidential candidate preferred by most voters. In the June survey, Roxas placed fourth.

Osmeña denied insinuations that he tried to dissuade Poe from running for President to give Roxas a better shot at the presidency next year.

Earlier, Osmeña said Poe would be better off running for vice president and serve six years to gain the experience to become a better president.

Osmeña’s son, Jose Lorenzo Osmeña, is set to marry Roxas’ niece, Ana Cristina Maria Roxas Ojeda in January 2016, but the senator said this had nothing to do with his suggestion to Poe.

“That proposal to Grace [Poe] to run for vice president was in response to a question on the better route to great for presidency for her. Obviously, the more experienced [she is], the better,” Osmeña said.

Liberal Party leaders believe Roxas has a better chance of winning the presidency if Poe does not run.

READ MORE...

The President met Poe on five occasions, but they have failed to reach an agreement on a common, unified ticket.

Osmena said the results are going to be the same no matter how many meetings they have, and that there was no stopping Poe from running for president in 2016, with or without the President’s endorsement.

“Grace Poe will still run as an independent,” he said.

Osmeña, to whom Poe goes to for advice, said she should choose her running mate carefully, and that her friend Senator Francis Escudero had “excess baggage.”

“As of today, there’s no issue against Grace Poe. She is honest. She’s straightforward. She’s charming. She has no issue, so why would she pick a partner who has excess baggage? Not just a baggage, but excess baggage,” he said.

During her last meeting with the President, Poe said she felt the President was in a very difficult position.

“I understand and sympathize with his predicament and situation. I consider him a true and sincere friend and he has my utmost respect,” she said.

Poe said the President reiterated his desire for all of them to continue working together, and that he believed that like him, they could and would do the best for the country.

“In the end, we both agreed to continue, in whatever capacity, striving and working for our countrymen and for the betterment of our children’s future,” she said.

The President’s meeting with Poe Monday afternoon, which lasted five hours, came after last week’s dinner with her, Roxas and Escudero.

Poe has said she is more comfortable running with Escudero who is her close friend, but they have not yet made a final decision to run for higher office.

Poe said Monday’s meeting with the President “is perhaps our last meeting before the SONA (State of the Nation Address) and we both agreed that we both have the best interest of our country in mind in whatever decisions we will make in the coming days.”

Aquino had said he would announce his administration’s presidential candidate after the SONA on July 27. Political observers said the President wants an administration tandem composed of Roxas and Poe.

Osmeña said the President’s endorsement of Roxas should not be seen as payback for Roxas’ decision to slide down to the vice presidential race in 2010 to give way to Aquino.

He said “give way” was inappropriate because even then, Roxas had no chance of winning the presidency.

“Yeah, it’s true. He sacrificed for the party. But you know the usual phrase that I gave way... Hello? He didn’t have a chance,” Osmeña said.

After last week’s dinner with Poe, Escudero and Roxas, the President said he was closer to naming his anointed presidential candidate, but it was apparent that no decision had been reached on a common ticket.


INQUIRER

Int’l finance group upbeat on Poe, Roxas but cool to Binay By: Ben O. de Vera @BenArnolddeVera Philippine Daily Inquirer
04:19 AM July 21st, 2015


Sen. Grace Poe, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

The Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) said Sen. Grace Poe or Interior Secretary Mar Roxas becoming President in 2016 would be good for the Philippine economy, while a Binay presidency may undermine the reforms introduced by the Aquino administration.

Amid uncertainties due to next year’s national elections as well as stock market and debt troubles in China and Greece, respectively, IIF lowered its 2015 economic growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent, according to its latest Global Economic Monitor issued on July 15.

IIF, which claims to be “the leading global association of financial institutions, with close to 500 members from more than 70 different countries,” also brought down to 6.3 percent from 6.5 percent its 2016 growth projection for the Philippines.

In a separate report released last month titled “IIF Dispatch: Philippines Update,” it said “[n]ext year’s elections could prove challenging” to the country’s economic transformation in recent years.

“The upcoming presidential election will likely provide a short-term economic boost through government spending and investment, but maintaining policy continuity will be a challenge,” IIF said.

“The typical pre-election infrastructure investment surge would favor Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas (President Aquino’s running mate in 2010), but it seems likely that investors will stay on the sideline and wait to see how the new administration shapes up,” it added.

“Sen. Grace Poe, an independent with ties to Mr. Aquino’s Team PNoy, has also recently emerged as a potential contender.”

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However, “[i]f the more populist Vice President Jejomar Binay wins, he could undermine the government’s PPP strategy if/when he takes office,” IIF said, referring to the Aquino administration’s centerpiece public-private partnership program.

As of June, the institute noted that Binay had been leading the surveys, with Poe “not far behind,” while Roxas trailed both.

“While a victory for Poe or Roxas would favor continuation of the current administration’s agenda and would be market positive, it is too early to tell how the market would react if Binay wins,” IIF said.

It sees next year’s elections boosting government spending—which is currently underperforming and dragging the economy—as early as the latter part of this year.

“[W]e believe that funds already available at the agency level will make their way into the real economy in the second half of 2015, especially given that the government has a strong incentive to make things happen before the May 2016 elections,” IIF said.

On its website, IIF said its members “include banks, insurance companies, asset managers, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, central banks and development banks.”

It said its mission was “to support our members in prudently managing risks and to advocate for regulatory, financial and economic policies that are in the broad interest of our members and that foster global financial stability and sustainable economic growth.”

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RELATED

Biz Buzz: Bizmen’s ‘backup’ By: the staff @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 07:14 AM May 15th, 2015

Believe it or not, quite a number of business personalities—even among the Makati Business Club crowd—are inclined to support Vice President Jejomar Binay in next year’s presidential elections, albeit veeeery quietly.

But that was before this well-organized operation against the Vice President got underway.

Now, we hear that many of these businessmen are starting to fret that the anti-Binay operation may actually bear fruit.

As such, we hear that several of them are now scouting around for alternative 2016 presidential candidates. And by “alternative,” we don’t only mean an alternative to Binay, but also an alternative to the current crop of potential candidates like Senator Grace Poe or Interior and Local Governments Secretary Mar Roxas.

Because they are businessmen, many of them want this alternative candidate to have the welfare of the Philippine economy as his or her top priority. Indeed, many of them are smarting from what they say were too many wasted chances by the current Aquino administration in addressing very basic economic issues like the country’s weak infrastructure system.

And believe it or not, consensus is growing among these businessmen for a particular business-minded politico.

Who is he?

Previously portrayed in public as a Villain, this potential candidate may seek public Vindication for what happened six years ago, and may just end up with the Validation he desires.

The question is: Will he end up Vanquished once more, or Victorious the second time around?–Daxim L. Lucas

The Airbus cometh

One of France’s most popular aviation exports is coming to town next week in hopes of luring buyers here with its newest baby.

Of course, we’re referring to plane maker Airbus, which is flying its long-range A350 XWB—or extra wide body—to Manila on May 20 in its product debut in the Philippines.

The move underscores the country’s growing importance in the global aviation space and is also a nod to our domestic carriers, which have been eyeing expansion moves to more distant destinations in North America and Europe.
But it doesn’t come cheap. Airbus’ 2015 price list ranges from $270 million to $428 million.

The Philippines is a naturally strong market for Airbus—the manufacturer supplies the bulk of the fleet of most of our domestic carriers. Only Philippine Airlines, in fact, has planes from its biggest competitor, United States-based Boeing, via the latter’s B777- 300ERs. —Miguel R. Camus

MVP in Asean

The MVP group has also received new offers to participate in new ventures in Southeast Asia. One of these is a $600-million toll road project in Vietnam that will link Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to the city outskirts.

To recall, MPIC has gained a foothold in Vietnam through a 45-percent interest in CII Bridges and Roads Investment Joint Stock Co. (CII), an urban infrastructure developer in Ho Chi Minh City.

The group is keeping its option to raise its stake in CII (maximum foreign ownership limit is 49 percent). But MPTC president Ramoncito Fernandez said the strategy would be to make this existing investment “bloom” first. Nevertheless, the group has the option to join any new venture CII will undertake.

CII is expected to triple the size of its project portfolio in the next three years. It operates 17 kilometers of toll roads with daily vehicular traffic of 38,000, while 55 kilometers of new toll roads are either contracted or are being constructed, with an expected daily traffic of 43,300 vehicles.

MPIC chief finance officer David Nicol said the group was also looking at a provincial water project in Indonesia, which he said could benefit from Maynilad Water’s expertise in non-revenue water management. Some toll road projects have likewise been offered to the group.

At the same time, Nicol said, the possibility of an increase in interest in Thailand’s Don Muang Tollway Public Co. was “becoming more imminent.”–Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

E-mail us at bizbuzz@inquirer.com.ph. Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).


TRIBUNE

Efficient programs, budget use under Binay — ex-Finance chief Written by Charlie V. Manalo Friday, 24 July 2015 00:00


Margarito "Gary" B. Teves (born August 1, 1943) was the secretary of the Department of Finance of the Philippines. He was appointed to the position in July 2005 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, following a mass resignation of her economic team. In January 2009 he was named "Best Finance Minister" in Asia, a title given by London-based international finance magazine, The Banker. WIKIPEDIA

Former Finance Secretary Margarito “Gary” Teves yesterday assured international groups that a Binay presidency will continue economic reforms and enhance the private-public partnership (PPP) projects that mostly failed to take off during the present administration.

“Contrary to what the Institute of International Finance (IFF) says, a Binay presidency will continue the economic reforms, as well as enhance the private- public partnership programs that the present administration had started,” Teves said.

A pro-Aquino broadsheet highlighted an IFF story claiming that the international finance group favors a Mar Roxas or Grace Poe presidency and doubts that the populist Binay will pursue reforms supposedly started under Aquino’s term.

“Based on his policy speeches and our interactions, we believe that the IFF’s reservation toward a Binay presidency is unfounded,” he added.

Teves said that Vice President Jejomar Binay will begin rolling out his plan of action in the coming months, especially since the campaign season will soon start.

“I feel that they have some reservations about the VP’s programs and platforms but that is understandable as the campaign season has not officially started,” Teves said.

“But that will soon change, as the VP will begin rolling out his economic plans that will actively push for inclusive economic growth,” he added.

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The IFF had said that a Mar Roxas or Grace Poe presidency would continue the Aquino administration’s plans but is uncertain if the Vice President wins the 2016 national elections.

Teves also disputed the IFF, which said that a Binay presidency would be populist and could undermine the PPP program.

“A Binay presidency will be market-oriented rather than populist. In fact, he is in favor of amending the economic provisions of the Constitution to attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs), which, in turn, will generate more jobs for Filipinos,” Teves said.

“Contrary to IFF’s belief, a Binay presidency will continue to implement President Aquino’s programs, for as long as these are above-board and benefit more Filipinos. For one, VP Binay will continue and enhance the PPP program. In his July 18 speech in Bacolod City, VP Binay said he will advocate for PPP as a means to accelerate the construction of more classrooms across the country.” he added.

A Binay presidency, Teves said, will actively push for measures that would hasten the implementation of projects under the PPP scheme, such as amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, Right-of-Way Bill, and address bureaucratic inefficiencies.

Teves also noted that PPP projects under the current administration, however, have been beset by inadequacies and several delays resulting in underspending on infrastructure, which is a key driver of the economy.

“VP Binay is for faster decision-making within the bounds of our law; he is for aggressive, yet prudent, spending. He will focus on the proper implementation and monitoring of projects and programs that will help achieve higher and sustained economic growth which is more inclusive,” Teves said.

“As an experienced chief executive, VP Binay takes a pragmatic approach on administration and development. He believes that social programs should be implemented only if there are corresponding revenues to finance and sustain them,” he added.

Teves said that aside from implementing basic social services, a Binay presidency will endeavor to maintain a favorable debt-to-GDP and tax effort ratios to retain and further improve the country’s stable credit ratings.

More importantly, Teves said that a Binay presidency will ensure that everyone will benefit from the country’s growth.


VICE President Jejomar Binay on Saturday stressed the need to continue the reforms initiated by President Benigno Aquino 3rd beyond 2016, saying these reforms have ushered the Philippine economic turnaround highlighted during the recent World Economic Forum (WEF). “We also need to acknowledge the positive impact of the reforms initiated by President Aquino,” Binay said in a statement. MANILA TIMES MAY 14, 2014.

“A Binay presidency would see to it that economic growth and progress are cascaded to the poor and marginalized, as he had successfully done in Makati,” Teves said.

Binay, meanwhile, scored the Aquino administration anew, this time over its alleged underspending on healthcare and said funds for public health are instead used to bribe allies of the administration.

In a speech during the 83rd Annual National Convention of the Philippine Health Workers Association, Binay hit the Aquino administration for trimming the budgets of the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), and the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) by P970.6 million, only to use it to fund programs of its allies.


Binay, during his speech at the PPHA convention, hit anew the Aquino administration for its alleged insensitivity and ineptness, saying he could not stand the injustice suffered by the poor, as the government “is spending less on health care,” but “concentrating on conditional cash transfer.” The Aquino administration has been a tightwad for health services, said Binay lambasting the government for “cutting the budget of the Lung Center, the Kidney Center and the Heart Center by P970.6 million.” HEADLINE NEWS THE FREEMAN DOH’s Garin scolds health exec for inviting VP Binay By Jennifer P. Rendon (The Freeman) | Updated July 24, 2015 - 12:00am

“This administration has been a tightwad in spending for necessary services, so much so that the World Bank (WB) has commented that our growth has been hampered by government’s under-spending in public works and social services,” Binay said.

“But there is a lot of money. The money was unfortunately used to bribe politicians so the ruling party could get rid of their political enemies. The money has been spent to fund programs of their favorite leaders and friends, including for junket to the hearing of ITLoS in The Hague. Only three made the oral arguments but more than 35 high-ranking officials were sent in business class plane tickets and first-class accommodation,” the Vice President averred.

“In other words, public funds are being used for politicking,” he further said.

Binay also questioned the administration’s insistence on increasing the budget of its pet project Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) while spending less on health care.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that five percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) must be spent on health care. We are below this standard, with the government concentrating on the Conditional Cash Transfer or CCT,” Binay said.

“This is one thing that puzzles me most. They are giving monetary assistance to the poor so they can go to a health center but then, they do not provide adequate funds for the health center. So what health program or assistance can the poor avail of in a health center?” he added.

Binay said that while significant increases have been made in the public health budget in recent years, many still do not have access to basic health services.
He also questioned why a third of the annual increase in the Department of Health budget has gone to Philhealth.

“While patients are given Philhealth cards, government hospitals lack health workers and equipment. So where does the less less-privileged patients have themselves admitted to? Presently, the hospital bed to patient ratio is 17:10,000, while the health worker to patient ratio is 3:10,000,” Binay said.

“Funding is not the problem, the problem is the absence of a government which could provide speedy and honest-to-goodness service to the people. What we need is a caring and compassionate government which could understand the plight of the people and attend to their needs,” he added.

Binay cited a report from the Senate committee on health and demography that showed the government allotting P17.408 billion to hire healthcare professionals, build and improve healthcare facilities, and buy hospital equipment this year. He lamented how this amount of spending fails in comparison to the budget given to Philhealth.

“Unfortunately, the money was never really used for what is what intended for. If we are to sum up the budgetary requirements for all those projected health expenditures, it would still pale in comparison to the budget given to Philhealth,” Binay said.

“This validates my earlier statements that this government is insensitive and incompetent. It is incompetent for having failed to resolve the needs of the public health sector. It is insensitive as it failed to have a clear grasp of what is happening down the grassroots,” he added.

Meanwhile, Binay also outlined his plan on how to improve the Philippine healthcare system. He guaranteed to provide easy access to quality healthcare just like what is provided to the residents of Makati.

“We have done that in Makati. We put up the Ospital ng Makati wherein indigent patients are accorded free medical check ups, free hospitalization with free medication. We also provide free consultations for those afflicted with heart ailments,” he said.

He also moved to strengthen the capacity of the local government unit to deliver health services.

According to Binay, special attention must be given to local government units in rural areas where funding is limited and where poverty incidence is at its highest.

“According to a study conducted Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the number of rural health units was pegged to 2,300 units. We must therefore improve health planning and service expansion to these areas, including those caught in conflict,” he added.

Senate hearing confirms VP

The result of yesterday’s Senate blue ribbon committee bears out Binay’s allegations as the liability of health officials in the alleged anomalous and fraudulent claims to Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) was highlighted with no less than the lead prober, blue ribbon committee chair Sen.Teofisto “TG” Guingona noting their failure in detecting the supposed “red flags.”


Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairman Teofisto Guingona III reprimanded yesterday the appeals body of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for sitting on over 80 cases involving alleged offenses committed by eye centers, clinics and other facilities for four to six years. At the resumption of the committee hearing on the allegedly spurious claims made by some clinics and medical facilities from PhilHealth, Guingona aired his concern about the volume of unresolved cases, some of which were filed before 2010. HEADLINE NEWS Senate probe bares numerous pending cases involving eye clinics By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 24, 2015 - 12:00am

None of the 82 cases involving various eye centers and clinics have been resolved by Philhealth’s Committee on Appealed Administrative Cases (CAAC) against health care providers, some of which have been pending for almost six years already or long before the discovery on the fund mess which has already amounted to P2 billion.

“It has come to our attention that in the past, the DoH (Department of Health) and Philhealth do not walk in tandem. Sometimes, what Philhealth does is also not followed up by the DoH. How many people have to go blind before we do an honest to goodness (probe), before CAAC resolves these cases?” Guingona said, addressing CAAC which is presently chaired by Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel.


“The Philhealth and DoH must work together. There were red flags and they were not monitored,” the senator said.

The committee was also told that even the issue on the questioned P2 billion benefit payment claims came up, some of eye clinics have been under monitoring, according to DoH Asst. Secretary Nicolas Lutero III.

Dr. Alexander Ayco of CAAC pointed to the lack of any existing guidelines which contributed to the piling up of cases as well as legal counsel who could provide them legal advise on the complaints or cases.

Ayco said that since he had been in CAAC in 2001, they have been reviewing cases that had been lodged dating back as far as 2001.

But Guingona was not satisfied with the Ayco’s reason and insisted that the CAAC should have addressed the issues on guidelines and legal advisers to prevent delays.

DoH Secretary Janette Garin acceded to some of the lapses and the need to address the issues.
Angie M. Rosales


PHILSTAR

4th Meeting failed anew: No Noy-Grace agreement seen before SONA By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 22, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Aquino and Sen. Grace Poe. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino met again with Sen. Grace Poe last Monday afternoon but they failed to reach any decision on whether the senator will support the presidential bid of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II next year.

“There was mutual respect for each other in our conversation. All I can say is that this is perhaps our last meeting before the SONA (State of the Nation Address of the President) and, as I said, we both agreed that we have the best interest of our country in mind in whatever decisions we will make in the coming days,” Poe told The STAR.

The latest meeting – which lasted from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – came four days after Aquino met with Roxas, Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero.

“We talked for about five hours. I could sense the very difficult position P-Noy is in right now,” she said.

Poe recognized the difficult decision President Aquino has to face amid pressure to choose between her and Roxas, the presumptive presidential bet of the ruling liberal Party (LP).

“I understand and sympathize with his predicament and situation. I consider him a true and sincere friend and he has my utmost respect,” said Poe, who is an independent senator.

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Poe said there is no final decision yet but they all agreed to work for the best of country.

“He (Aquino) reiterated his desire for all of us to continue working together and that he believes that, like him, we can and will do what is best for our country,” she added.

“In the end, we both agreed to continue, in whatever capacity, striving and working for our countrymen and for the betterment of our children’s future,” Poe said.

Sen. Francis Escudero was informed about the meeting, although he was not privy to what transpired.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III, a family friend of Poe, expressed belief that Poe would not give in to Roxas.

He said that the choice is not between “Grace and Mar” and that “it’s really Mar.”

“They just want to convince Grace to accept VP (vice president),” Sotto said.

Sotto earlier said he believes Poe will run for president with Escudero as her runningmate in the elections next year.

Vilma for VP The latest meeting of Aquino and Poe happened as Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto admitted receiving “feelers” to run as the vice presidential bet of Roxas under the administration ticket.

Santos-Recto, also a popular actress, was with President Aquino during the unveiling of the inaugural marker of the Asian Productivity Office Production Unit, Inc. high security printing plant and demonstration of the new e-passport system at the LIMA Technology Center in Malvar, Batangas last Monday.

Santos-Recto, a member of the LP, said she has no political plans yet because there was no time to think about it.

She told reporters she wanted to make sure her last term as governor would end well and at the same time finish her movie with actress Angel Locsin, the girlfriend of her eldest son Luis.

Asked if Aquino was asking her to consider running for higher office, Santos-Recto said there were feelers to which she only replied: “Thank you for considering me.”

“I don’t entertain them,” Santos-Recto said, refusing to discuss the issue further because there was no formal invitation or discussion with the President in the first place. – With Aurea Calica, Marvin Sy


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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