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

FINAL SONA: P-NOY ASKS BOSSES --NURTURE STRAIGHT PATH


JULY 27 ---President Aquino delivers his last State of the Nation Address as Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Senate President Franklin Drilon (inset) applaud during the joint session of Congress yesterday. ERNIE PEÑAREDONDO
Addressing Congress and the nation for the last time yesterday, President Aquino called on the people and the next leadership to nurture daang matuwid or the straight path, which he said has been the cornerstone of his administration’s achievements in the past five years. PRIORITY LEGISLATION: • Bangsamoro Basic Law • General Appropriations Act • Fiscal Incentives Rationalization Act • Unified Uniformed Personnel Pension Reform Law • Anti-dynasty law In his final State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino said his administration’s adherence to good governance and reforms restored investor confidence and kept the country on the growth path. He sought “understanding” for the mistakes of his administration in the last five years, but did not mention specifics, stressing that compared to the previous administration, the Philippines is much better off. The two-hour SONA – Aquino’s longest ever – elicited 146 rounds of applause from the audience. “This is just the beginning, and we are being challenged by history to nurture the transformation so this will bear more opportunities for the next generation,” Aquino said. “You have seen what we have achieved. You heard the story of our fellow Filipinos who proved what we could reach using our own strength, cooperation, avoiding competition but rather contributing to the fulfillment of our collective goals,” he said. “Now, we face the world with our heads held high saying: Kaya ko. Kaya ng Pilipino. Simula pa lang ito (I can do it, the Filipino can do it, this is just the beginning),” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino suffered vertigo during SONA


JULY 28 ---Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Malacañang on Tuesday assured the public that President Benigno Aquino III is in good health after he apologized during his last State of the Nation Address (Sona) for being unable to proceed with the traditional processional walk at the House of Representatives. “Sa pagkabatid ko naman po ang kanya lang naging concern kahapon ay ‘yung vertigo at ito lang ang dahilan kung bakit dumiretso siya doon sa podium ng House of Representatives,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a Palace briefing. “Maayos naman po ang kanyang overall health condition,” he added. (Based on my understanding, his only concern yesterday was his vertigo and this was the reason why he went straight to the podium of the House of Representatives. His overall health condition is okay.) READ MORE...

ALSO Bullseye: Binay
[AQUINO TAKES AIM AT AN UNNAMED BUT UNMISTAKABLE TARGET]


JULY 28 --President Benigno Aquino III used his last State of the Nation Address (Sona) not just to trumpet the achievements of his administration; he also unleashed criticism obviously directed against Vice President Jejomar Binay and lavished praise on Binay’s perceived rival, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
Mr. Aquino expressed his gratitude to his Cabinet officials, but his praise for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, believed by many to be his chosen successor, stood out. He called Roxas a man he and the country can trust to choose the nation over himself. While hitting Roxas’ critics for trying to pull him down despite his achievements, Aquino lauded Roxas for his dedication to public service. “Mar, pinatutunayan mo: You can’t put a good man down,” President Aquino said. He mentioned more Cabinet officials, even his personal assistant and stylist, for helping him in his administration. But Mr. Aquino did not include in his thank you list his housing czar and OFW affairs head, who since resigning from the Cabinet assumed his role as leader of the opposition. READ MORE...

ALSO No mention at all: SAF 44 kin slam SONA omission


JULY 28 ---RELATIVES of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) police commandos slain in the covert Mamasapano operation in January took President Benigno Aquino III to task Tuesday for failing to mention their sacrifice in his final State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA).
“It was very sad. Imagine, he was able to thank even his barber but he never mentioned the fallen SAF 44,” said Celesino Bilog, father of PO1 Russel Bilog. During his two-hour valedictory Monday, the President thanked his allies, Cabinet secretaries, and even his hair stylist and his maid for helping him during his presidency. But Flavio Sagonoy from Northern Samar said the President should have also cited the contribution of his son, PO1 Joseph Sagonoy, who died doing his duty, and sought justice for the fallen police officers.READ MORE...

ALSO on Mamasapano massacre: Coloma said, 'He already said he’d carry it to the grave'


JULY 29 --President Benigno Aquino III, wearing a black arm band, leaves the podium shortly after offering prayers for the police commandos killed last Sunday, during the Philippine's biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Aquino said Friday that he has ordered a hunt for the Filipino terror suspect who escaped the anti-terrorist operation that resulted in the killings of the 44 commandos. AP/Bullit Marquez PHILSTAR HEADLINE Palace: Aquino won't resign over Mamasapano fiasco By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated February 4, 2015 - 12:28pm A SPOKESMAN for President Benigno Aquino III said that while he did not mention the Mamasapano massacre of 44 police commandos in his State-of-the-Nation Address, he will carry the tragedy until the end of his days. “On the 6th of February, the President said: ‘I will carry this until the end of my days.’ That is the statement made by the President,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., during a press briefing in Malacanang Tuesday. During the graduation ceremony of the Philippine National Police Academy in March, the President also aired his sympathy for those killed in Mamasapano, Coloma added. “There is no intention not to give importance to the concerns of the victims’ families,” Coloma said when asked to comment on a statement from the families of the slain police commandos that criticized Aquino for failing to mention their sacrifice in his last SONA. READ MORE...

ALSO: President set to pick Roxas as his successor
[ENDORSEMENT RITES OF ADMIN'S STANDARD-BEARER TO TAKE PLACE AT CLUB FILIPINO]


JULY 30 --Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE 
President Benigno Aquino III is poised to formally anoint Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as his chosen successor on Friday at the historic Club Filipino in San Juan City, Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said Wednesday. Sarmiento said in a text message that Roxas would be officially named the LP standard-bearer at 9 a.m. on Friday, coinciding with the birthday of Roxas’ mother, Judy Araneta Roxas, and the feast day of St. Ignatius. Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, an LP stalwart, also confirmed the “anointment” of Roxas. He said he had received a telephone call from Roxas telling him that Mr. Aquino had “given the go signal,” or would anoint him the party standard-bearer. He said there was no word yet on who would be Roxas’ running mate. “Of course, I am still hoping that Grace Poe will agree to be VP,” he said. But party members said no announcement would be made about Roxas’ running mate or who would comprise his senatorial slate next year. “It’s going to be a simple affair, but everyone will be there, not only government officials,” said Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, LP political affairs chair. “There will be no announcements for Vice President or the senatorial lineup,” he added. Leni Robredo One of the names under consideration as Roxas’ running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, said she was asked by colleagues to attend the event at Club Filipino at 10 a.m. READ MORE...

ALSO: Roxas camp working on Pacquiao to leave Binay, UNA


JULY 30 --Interior Secretary Mar Roxas with Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao
The camp of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is trying to woo the boxing icon, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, to leave the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay and join the Liberal Party (LP) as a senatorial candidate in the 2016 elections. Yacap Rep. Carol Jayne Lopez, a friend of Pacquiao and a Roxas supporter, said the boxer seemed receptive to the offer but was “keeping his options open.” “We’re hoping he makes the right decision,” she told reporters.

Lopez is a member of the minority in the House of Representatives but has actively supported the presumed candidacy of Roxas under the LP. She said Pacquiao seemed to still be weighing a lot of things “about where he wants to go in life.” “It is his decision. We just want to make sure we did not miss out on inviting him,” Lopez said. If Pacquiao agrees, he will be part of the LP senatorial slate, she said. At 36, he is still too young to run for Vice President, open only to those at the age of 40. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

P-Noy asks bosses: Nurture straight path


President Aquino delivers his last State of the Nation Address as Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Senate President Franklin Drilon (inset) applaud during the joint session of Congress yesterday. ERNIE PEÑAREDONDO

MANILA, JULY 30, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica - Addressing Congress and the nation for the last time yesterday, President Aquino called on the people and the next leadership to nurture daang matuwid or the straight path, which he said has been the cornerstone of his administration’s achievements in the past five years.

PRIORITY LEGISLATION:

• Bangsamoro Basic Law

• General Appropriations Act

• Fiscal Incentives Rationalization Act

• Unified Uniformed Personnel Pension Reform Law

• Anti-dynasty law

In his final State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino said his administration’s adherence to good governance and reforms restored investor confidence and kept the country on the growth path.

He sought “understanding” for the mistakes of his administration in the last five years, but did not mention specifics, stressing that compared to the previous administration, the Philippines is much better off.

The two-hour SONA – Aquino’s longest ever – elicited 146 rounds of applause from the audience.

“This is just the beginning, and we are being challenged by history to nurture the transformation so this will bear more opportunities for the next generation,” Aquino said.

“You have seen what we have achieved. You heard the story of our fellow Filipinos who proved what we could reach using our own strength, cooperation, avoiding competition but rather contributing to the fulfillment of our collective goals,” he said.

“Now, we face the world with our heads held high saying: Kaya ko. Kaya ng Pilipino. Simula pa lang ito (I can do it, the Filipino can do it, this is just the beginning),” he said.

READ MORE...

The President said his administration shows the nation would not bow down to difficulties but would instead be an example in standing up for its principles before the world.

“This is just the beginning of the relief brought about by freedom from irregularities. This is just the beginning of a society where every Filipino, if they work hard, if they do what is right, will progress,” the President said.

“This is just the beginning. We are just in the first chapter of the great story of the Filipino nation. With the guidance of God Almighty and our continuously treading the straight path, we can fulfill bigger dreams… Our direction is in your hands,” Aquino said.

To stress his point and to give his last address a modern touch in the age of the Internet and social media, he showed video clips of success stories from several individuals.

Makati Business Club executive director Peter Perfecto was shown on a video clip lauding reforms implemented during the Aquino administration.

“What this administration did to reverse the corruption trends under the previous administration was very important,” Perfecto said.

“If there is no rule of law, those corporations that have no qualms about giving bribes or not paying the right taxes are given competitive advantage over the others,” he said.

“With rule of law and good governance established under this administration, foreign direct investment rose from $2 billion to $6.2 billion,” he added.

The MBC official also said the government’s anti-corruption agenda helped improve the country’s ranking in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Report by 33 notches.

With the daang matuwid as its guiding principle, the administration was able to steer the country to its first investment-grade rating and improved ranking in the global competitive index.

“Its message to investors is very clear: investing in the Philippines is worth it, the risk of doing business here is lesser,” he said in Filipino in his speech shown live on TV.

“Now, the interest rate is low and longer loan repayment is encouraging businesses to invest more in the Philippines,” he said.

Fitch Ratings gave the Philippines its long-coveted investment grade rating in 2013, followed by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Foreign direct investment, he pointed out, has grown sharply under his administration from $1.07 billion in 2010 to $6.2 billion in 2014.

“The Philippines is now being called ‘Asia’s Rising Tiger,’ ‘Asia’s Rising Star,’ ‘Asia’s Bright Spot,’” he said.

He added that domestic investments also grew to P2.09 trillion in the third quarter of 2010 to 2014 from only P1.24 trillion in the period of 2003 to 2010.

The President thanked the Filipinos for not making him feel alone. He promised not to fade away as long as his service is needed.

“You can see, if we are not going to be derailed, if the straight path will continue, within one generation, we will become First World.”

He said going back to a crooked system would shatter all the gains achieved by the country under his administration.

“What we have planted is very beautiful and we have exerted much effort and sacrifice to nurture this. Who in their right mind will cut the tree abruptly when it is beginning to bear fruits?

“With this view, the next elections will be a referendum for the straight path. You will be the ones to decide if the changes we are experiencing now will be permanent or will be seen as a product of luck or a temporary rise from the long history of falling,” Aquino said.

Right path?

The President said he will always be on hand to guide the people even after he steps down, and that he can be depended upon for help.

“You will never be alone as well,” he said. “I will be with you, I will stay beside you and link arms with you as we trudge the straight path.”

The President said never once did he imagine himself to be perfect and that he did fail them at times, especially when some people in his government failed to deliver on their promises.

In times of doubt, Aquino said they probably did not find and share the information they had been asked for and he sought understanding for these shortcomings.

But 10 months away from his last day in office, President Aquino still couldn’t help but blame his predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the mess the country is in, five years after he assumed the reins of government.

“When we came into office, we found a citizenry that had grown desensitized to the many allegations of lying, cheating and stealing in government,” he said.

“Those in power boasted of the country having enough classrooms. In truth: classes had to be held in four shifts. Students went to school while it was still dark, and others would go home long after the dark of night had well and truly fallen,” he added.

“All of them were left in the dark because they were not accorded sufficient time in the classroom for learning,” he said.

“Our predecessor took pride in ‘uninterrupted growth’ during her last SONA. Scrutinize what she said, however, and you would realize that a significant portion of this growth was fueled by remittances from Filipinos who had lost hope in our country,” he said.

“As they say: People were voting with their feet. If I were to imitate that style of governance, I would be loath to claim a success borne of forcing my countrymen to escape our shores,” Aquino pointed out.

He made a litany of the anomalies the nine-year Arroyo administration committed, from the P728-million fertilizer scam, the $29-million NBN/ZTE scam, the “Hello Garci” scandal, the bogus Jose Pidal multibillion-peso bank accounts;

The constitutional assembly that could have provided the template for Arroyo’s perpetuation in power, Executive Order 464 that deliberately blocked the truth in legislative inquiries, the midnight appointments;

The calibrated pre-emptive response aimed at muzzling dissent, the November 2009 Maguindanao massacre where 58 journalists were killed, the fat bonuses of MWSS officials, the P1-billion Pagcor coffee, among many others.

These have been daily fare for newspapers where anomalies made headlines, he recalled.

“As the 2004 elections approached, more than P700 million was allegedly used to buy fertilizer that was not suitable for crops, the endeavor was costly and, in many instances, the farmers who should have received the farming supplements never saw it,” he said.

“We ask: Who was nourished by such fertilizers? Definitely neither the farmers nor their crops. Perhaps you also remember the NBN-ZTE scandal,” he said.

“We investigated this in the Senate; someone said there was an attempt to bribe him,” Aquino said, apparently referring to a former economic planning secretary.

“When we undertook an inquiry, this person did not want to testify; he claimed executive privilege. Of course, we couldn’t summon the sitting President – hence, the only one we could question was her henchman accused of bribery. Naturally, he denied the accusation,” he said.

“During those times, even children became familiar with the word ‘scam.’ You might also remember ‘Hello Garci,’ to which the answer was a mere ‘I am sorry.’”

“The genuine bank accounts of the nonexistent Jose Pidal. The attempt to convene a Constitutional Assembly so that they could stay in power for the rest of their lives. There was Executive Order 464, which tried to stifle the truth,” he said.

He also cited the declaration of a state of emergency in order to do away with the checks and balances for martial law as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

“There were also midnight appointments,” he added. – Delon Porcalla


INQUIRER

Aquino suffered vertigo during SONA By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 10:27 PM July 28th, 2015


Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO


Malacañang on Tuesday assured the public that President Benigno Aquino III is in good health after he apologized during his last State of the Nation Address (Sona) for being unable to proceed with the traditional processional walk at the House of Representatives.

“Sa pagkabatid ko naman po ang kanya lang naging concern kahapon ay ‘yung vertigo at ito lang ang dahilan kung bakit dumiretso siya doon sa podium ng House of Representatives,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a Palace briefing. “Maayos naman po ang kanyang overall health condition,” he added.

(Based on my understanding, his only concern yesterday was his vertigo and this was the reason why he went straight to the podium of the House of Representatives. His overall health condition is okay.)

READ MORE...

Just before proceeding with his speech, Aquino on Monday told his audience that he was not able to shake the hands of those who were hoping to welcome him because he was not feeling well.

READ: Aquino apologizes for skipping processional walk

The National Health Service of the United Kingdom defines vertigo as a symptom and sensation of loss of balance or the movement or spinning of the surroundings.

It is commonly caused by a problem with the way balance works in the inner ear.

Meanwhile, Coloma said the coughing experienced by the President was nothing new, something that they have also observed during previous Sonas.

Aquino is a known smoker though Palace spokespersons have repeatedly said there is nothing wrong with his health.

The President’s health is a cause of concern for the public because of potential political instability in the event of his death.


INQUIRER

Bullseye: Binay
AQUINO TAKES AIM AT AN UNNAMED BUT UNMISTAKABLE TARGET By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 11:58 AM July 28th, 2015

President Benigno Aquino III used his last State of the Nation Address (Sona) not just to trumpet the achievements of his administration; he also unleashed criticism obviously directed against Vice President Jejomar Binay and lavished praise on Binay’s perceived rival, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

Mr. Aquino expressed his gratitude to his Cabinet officials, but his praise for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, believed by many to be his chosen successor, stood out. He called Roxas a man he and the country can trust to choose the nation over himself.

While hitting Roxas’ critics for trying to pull him down despite his achievements, Aquino lauded Roxas for his dedication to public service. “Mar, pinatutunayan mo: You can’t put a good man down,” President Aquino said.

He mentioned more Cabinet officials, even his personal assistant and stylist, for helping him in his administration. But Mr. Aquino did not include in his thank you list his housing czar and OFW affairs head, who since resigning from the Cabinet assumed his role as leader of the opposition.

READ MORE...

Aquino minced no words in blasting Binay for the latter’s criticisms against the current administration, his platform of governance, and even Binay’s off-handed push for a “one-to-sawa” (unlimited) term extension for elective officials.

‘One to sawa‘

“Itong term na ito ’di talaga ako naniniwala d’yan,” Binay said before local officials of Bacolod city. “Kailangan one to sawa ’yan, hangga’t gusto ng tao. Kaya kung meron amendments sa Constitution, ipapaalis ko yung term limitation. Hangga’t maaari, iboto nang iboto.” (Binay later clarified that he merely wanted to extend the term limits of local officials).

In his Sona, Mr. Aquino denounced political families especially those tainted with corruption. He said he also turned down propositions to amend the charter to extend his term in office.

“Pero napapaisip po ako: May mali rin sa pagbibigay ng pagkakataong habambuhay na magpakasasa sa kapangyarihan ang isang tiwaling pamilya o indibiduwal. Ganyang kaisipan din ang dahilan kung bakit, noong may nagmungkahing manatili pa ako sa puwesto—kahit raw dagdag na tatlong taon lang—ako mismo ang tumutol dito,” Aquino said.

“Di tayo makakasiguro kung malinis ang intensyon sa mga susunod, o kung nanaisin lang nilang habambuhay na maghari-harian para sa sariling interes. Panahon na para ipasa ang isang Anti-Dynasty Law,” he added.

Binay served as Makati mayor for 20 years, from 1988 to 1998 and 2001 to 2010, before running for vice president. His wife Elenita Binay and son Junjun also took turns in being Makati mayor (Junjun is incumbent mayor).

The 1987 Constitution states that the President is not eligible for reelection after a six-year term. It also says the Vice President is not eligible to run for more than two successive terms.

But the anti-political dynasty bill in Congress is a watered down version of the original proposal to completely stamp out political clans in Congress. In the House of Representatives, the dynasty cap of one family member per politician has been raised to two. Congress is also looking at giving more leeway to clans by allowing them to be spread out in different jurisdictions in a manner which would not be deemed dynastic.

‘Gaganda ang buhay‘

Aquino seemed unfazed when he used his Sona to mock the party slogan of Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in the 2013 midterm elections – “Sa UNA, gaganda ang buhay.”

Binay is again using the slogan to promote his presidential bid in 2016. He said he could lift many out of poverty, as he has claimed to do in Makati.

Though not naming Binay and his party, Aquino turned to street language to express his disbelief at Binay’s platform of governance.

“Siyempre po, kahit kaliwa’t kanan na ang ebidensiya ng pagbabago, mayroon pa ring kontra sa Daang Matuwid. Ang hirit nila: Mabagal daw tayo. Kapag sila raw ang naging Pangulo, sigurado, gaganda ang buhay. Sa mga medyo may-edad po, ang isasagot dito, “Ah, ganun?” sabay taas ng kilay. Para naman sa kabataan, ang sagot natin sa ganoong pahayag: E di wow,” Aquino said.

Without directly naming Binay and his party, Aquino said these people have yet to give concrete solutions to the country’s problems.

“Ang tanong natin: Paano nila gagawin ang mga pangakong iyan? Ang sagot nila: Basta. Nasaan ang detalye at kongkretong mga plano? Basta. Paano ninyo ipatutupad ang inyong mga pangako? Basta. Pakiramdam yata nila nadadaan sa basta-basta ang solusyon sa ating mga problema,” Aquino said.

“Wala pa rin talagang gamot na naiimbento para sa mga nagbubulag-bulagan at nagbibingi-bingihan. Ang payo ko nga po: Maganda siguro, kapag ganitong harapan nang iniinsulto ang talino ng Pilipino, ilipat muna natin ang channel, at baka mas may mapala pa tayo sa panonood ng mga sitcom,” he added.

‘Manhid,’ ‘palpak‘

Aquino also hit Binay for what he deemed unfounded criticisms against his administration. During the launching of UNA, Binay called the Aquino administration “manhid” (insensitive) and “palpak” (bumbling).

Aquino said Binay’s claims of his administration being insensitive was far from the truth, and used the expansion of the coverage of PhilHealth as an example.

“Noong 2012, inanunsyo natin: Kung kabilang ang pamilya mo sa lowest quintile o ang pinakamahirap na 20 porsyento ng ating populasyon, at nagpagamot ka sa pampublikong ospital, sigurado, wala kang kailangang bayaran. Simula po noong 2014: Lumawak na iyan para saklawin ang susunod na quintile sa ating lipunan. Ibig sabihin, para sa pinakamahirap na 40 porsyento, libre na ring magpagamot sa mga pampublikong ospital. Ito po ‘yung pagkalingang tinatawag ng iba na palpak at manhid. Ang tugon ko po, sabi nga ni Aiza Seguerra noong araw: I thank you, bow,” Aquino said.

Election a referendum

Aquino also said the next presidential elections would be a referendum on whether or not his “tuwid na daan” reform agenda would continue.

“May sentimyentong umiiral na sa tingin ko, mahuhuli ng isang tanong, ang tanong po: “Lahat ba ng ating naipundar, lahat ba ng ating pinaghirapan, maglalaho dahil lang sa isang eleksiyon?” Aquino said

After he said this, the crowd was surprised when the faces of Binay, Senator Grace Poe and Roxas — all perceived to be prospective presidential candidates — were projected onto a split screen.

Binay laughed, Roxas seemed to force himself to smile, but Poe, who was in the middle of the screen, was obviously taken aback. She smiled, tried to laugh off the attention, and seemed to mutter: “Oh my.”

“Sa ganitong pananaw, ang susunod na halalan ay referendum po para sa Daang Matuwid. Kayo ang magdedesisyon kung ang pagbabago bang ating tinatamasa ay magiging permanente, o tatanawin lang bilang tsamba at panandaliang pagbangon sa isang mahabang kasaysayan ng pagkakadapa,” Aquino said amid applause from the crowd.

Own Sona

Reporters chased Binay when he went outside the plenary after Aquino’s Sona.

Flanked by his security aide, he evaded questions from the media, and appeared irritated at reporters who badgered him with questions, particularly on Aquino’s push for an anti-political dynasty law.

“Pakinggan niyo nalang ang State of the Nation namin… Makinig na lang kayo sa response ko in due time, okay?” Binay said.


MANILA STANDARD

SAF 44 kin slam SONA omission By Rio N. Araja, Christine F. Herrera and Vito Barcelo | Jul. 29, 2015 at 12:01am


SAF 44. AFP

RELATIVES of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) police commandos slain in the covert Mamasapano operation in January took President Benigno Aquino III to task Tuesday for failing to mention their sacrifice in his final State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA).

“It was very sad. Imagine, he was able to thank even his barber but he never mentioned the fallen SAF 44,” said Celesino Bilog, father of PO1 Russel Bilog.

During his two-hour valedictory Monday, the President thanked his allies, Cabinet secretaries, and even his hair stylist and his maid for helping him during his presidency.

But Flavio Sagonoy from Northern Samar said the President should have also cited the contribution of his son, PO1 Joseph Sagonoy, who died doing his duty, and sought justice for the fallen police officers.

READ MORE...

PO1 Sagonoy was the SAF officer shown on a video being finished off by armed men during the Mamasapano clash with Muslim rebels in January.

“He never mentioned or thanked the police officers who sacrificed their lives for the country. He does not care at all at the expense to cover up someone,” the older Sagonoy said.

The 44 SAF commandos were killed in a covert operation approved by the President and headed by his close friend, then Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima, who was suspended on corruption charges at the time.

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights), said the President’s SONA skirted peace and human rights issues.

“While the state forces tried to protect their indefensible President, Aquino thanked his minions but obviously failed to recognize the fallen SAF 44, his very own men, in the botched Mamasapano operation in January. It is predictably Aquino’s way of glossing over human rights and peace issues that have beset his regime during the last five years,” she said.

Karapatan also lambasted the arrest of top National Democratic Front officers such as Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, Ruben Saluta, and political prisoner Emmanuel Bacarra, whom the communists say were consultants in the peace talks with the government.

“The Aquino regime has been double-dealing with the NDF, dangling the peace talks while hunting down peace consultants and arresting them through trumped-up criminal charges using false witnesses and planted evidence like arms and explosives,” Palabay said.

“For all his contempt for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, BS Aquino is simply enamored with the murderous skills of the Arroyo generals... whom he promoted to the high positions of the AFP,” she added.

“BS Aquino’s much touted ‘tuwid na daan’ (straight path) has been tainted with blood since day one. There is no way the people should allow tuwid na daan to continue. It must be repudiated,” Palabay said.

A former journalist, Carlos Conde, as Asia researcher for the Washington, DC-based Human Rights Watch, said the President’s silence on human rights added “insult to an injury.”

“Aquino barely touched on any of the serious human rights problem his administration has largely ignored since he took office in 2010,” he wrote.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also took potshots at the President for failing to address the peace and order situation and the increase in drug-relate crimes.

“Instead of endlessly blaming the past administration’s incompetence and strings of large-scale corruption, the State-of-the-Nation Address of President Aquino should have tackled more serious issues like peace and order as well as the upsurge in the number of Filipino youths being involved in illegal drugs,” Duterte said.


DUTERTE

“Arroyo is now in jail,” Duterte said, referring to former President Gloria Arroyo. “The past is past. It would have been good if he mentioned what he will do from this day until the last day of his term, rather than keep on blaming and accusing the previous administration.”

Duterte said Aquino seemed to be playing the blame game to divert public attention from the ineptitude and corruption of his Cabinet members.

The biggest labor group, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa said Aquino’s SONA skirted problems of income inequality, unabated poverty and the high cost of living, and did not depict the true state of the nation.

“Aquino chose to disregard tragedies in Mamasapano incident that shows his substandard leadership and the Kentex factory fire that mirrors the widespread poor labor conditions pervading unchecked in his administration,” said TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.

The President also said nothing about the miserable state of public transport including the MRT and LRT train system affecting millions of workers every day and the failure of his administration to provide housing for squatters living in danger zones despite the P50 billion budget allotted to it last year.

“He did not say anything about his failure to build better after the phenomenal havoc by Yolanda. He also refused to divulge the inefficiency among some of the members of his Cabinet,” the TUCP said.

The TUCP also dismissed Aquino’s claim that the number of strikes has dropped.

“The truth is that unionized workers have been under significant threat of losing their jobs or being singled out by management if they even plan to hold a strike. He also did not say that strikes and lockouts are rare because union density is dwindling,” he said.

The TUCP said Aquino obviously evaded the issue of raising wages despite of the survey by Philippine Statistics Authority released March 2015 showing salaries of workers in the minimum wage and lower informal sector workers are still P2,370 short of the poverty threshold of P8,778 a month set by the National Economic and Development Authority.


MANILA STANDARD

Coloma: He already said he’d carry it to the grave
By Sandy Araneta | Jul. 29, 2015 at 12:01am


President Benigno Aquino III, wearing a black arm band, leaves the podium shortly after offering prayers for the police commandos killed last Sunday, during the Philippine's biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Aquino said Friday that he has ordered a hunt for the Filipino terror suspect who escaped the anti-terrorist operation that resulted in the killings of the 44 commandos. AP/Bullit Marquez PHILSTAR HEADLINE Palace: Aquino won't resign over Mamasapano fiasco By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated February 4, 2015 - 12:28pm

A SPOKESMAN for President Benigno Aquino III said that while he did not mention the Mamasapano massacre of 44 police commandos in his State-of-the-Nation Address, he will carry the tragedy until the end of his days.

“On the 6th of February, the President said: ‘I will carry this until the end of my days.’ That is the statement made by the President,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., during a press briefing in Malacanang Tuesday.

During the graduation ceremony of the Philippine National Police Academy in March, the President also aired his sympathy for those killed in Mamasapano, Coloma added.

“There is no intention not to give importance to the concerns of the victims’ families,” Coloma said when asked to comment on a statement from the families of the slain police commandos that criticized Aquino for failing to mention their sacrifice in his last SONA.

READ MORE...

Coloma said Aquino already took responsibility over the fate of the 44 slain members of the PNP’s Special Action Force in earlier speeches.

He has also sought public understanding for the botched operation, but has not apologized for it.

The relatives of the fallen members of the SAF said Aquino should have at least mentioned the 44 commandos in his speech, which thanked even his hair dresser.

At the same time, Coloma denied that the President had dedicated a large part of his SONA to blaming former President Gloria Arroyo.

Coloma said the government must delve into the past to analyze, understand and explain where the country’s situation is right now.

Coloma also denied that the first part of Aquino’s SONA was his way of attacking Arroyo personally.

“The allegations of blaming (Arroyo) has no basis. The President only gave a background or context,” he said.

But the husband of Mrs. Arroyo, Jose Miguel Arroyo, lashed out at Aquino Tuesday, saying he lied about solving problems in the educational system.

“Grabe, what a liar about textbooks and classrooms,” Arroyo said on his Facebook account, a day after President Aquino delivered his sixth and last SONA.

Aquino earlier said the Department of Education was able to address the need for 61.7 million textbooks and 2.5 million chairs in the first two years of his term.

He said a backlog of 66,800 classrooms and 145,827 teachers was addressed in 2013 through the help of local government partners. He said government hired 29,444 teachers in 2014 and planning to hire 39,000 more this year.

The President also defended the implementation of the K-12 program.

But Arroyo criticized the President for again blaming his predecessor.

“He doesn’t have any accomplishment, that’s why. It shows he has no accomplishments. What he is saying is inaccurate. He even uses unknown people to lift himself. So self serving. All propaganda, no meat,” he said.

Aquino earlier reminded the public about the various corruption scandals and allegations against Arroyo including the NBN-ZTE deal, the fertilizer fund scam, her midnight appointments, and the “Hello, Garci” wiretapping scandal that showed alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential election.

Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras said the President talked about Arroyo because he wanted to show what kind of government he was inheriting from the previous administration.

He also said the Aquino administration’s help for the province of Pampanga shows that the President is not vindictive against Arroyo.

No less than Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda, a known Arroyo ally, praised Aquino for expanding the coverage of Philhealth to help more poor people in a video aired during the SONA.

Mr. Arroyo said, however, the statement did not mean Pineda has switched sides.


INQUIRER

President set to pick Roxas as his successor By: DJ Yap @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:59 AM July 30th, 2015

ENDORSEMENT RITES OF ADMIN'S STANDARD-BEARER TO TAKE PLACE AT CLUB FILIPINO


Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

President Benigno Aquino III is poised to formally anoint Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as his chosen successor on Friday at the historic Club Filipino in San Juan City, Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said Wednesday.

Sarmiento said in a text message that Roxas would be officially named the LP standard-bearer at 9 a.m. on Friday, coinciding with the birthday of Roxas’ mother, Judy Araneta Roxas, and the feast day of St. Ignatius.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, an LP stalwart, also confirmed the “anointment” of Roxas. He said he had received a telephone call from Roxas telling him that Mr. Aquino had “given the go signal,” or would anoint him the party standard-bearer.

He said there was no word yet on who would be Roxas’ running mate. “Of course, I am still hoping that Grace Poe will agree to be VP,” he said.

But party members said no announcement would be made about Roxas’ running mate or who would comprise his senatorial slate next year.

“It’s going to be a simple affair, but everyone will be there, not only government officials,” said Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, LP political affairs chair.

“There will be no announcements for Vice President or the senatorial lineup,” he added.

Leni Robredo

One of the names under consideration as Roxas’ running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, said she was asked by colleagues to attend the event at Club Filipino at 10 a.m.

READ MORE...

She laughed off talk that she might be tapped by the LP to run for Vice President, saying “that seems to be beyond my reach.”

“If in the [senatorial preference surveys], I’m only in the 21-22 rank, what more when [the fight] is one-on-one?” Robredo said in a phone interview.

Robredo, the widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, whom Roxas succeeded, said her late husband had full trust in Roxas, which was why she felt she owed it to his memory to support him.

She said Roxas last talked to her in early July about the possibility of her running for the Senate.

“I told him I was open to it, but I couldn’t decide at that point, because I have to make sure our candidate would win in my district, so that the gains we made there would not be lost,” Robredo said.

Formal declaration

Erice said another event would be scheduled next week for the formal declaration of support of governors and congressmen for Roxas.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said he was not aware of the schedule, but he would be there “for sure.”

“[Roxas is] the most qualified person for the presidency,” he said in a text message.

Belmonte said Roxas checked all the boxes in terms of “achievement, track record, qualifications, and integrity.”

Sarmiento said the Friday meeting would be “to discuss important party matters.”

But he added that was not in any position to discuss the specific agenda of the LP meeting, and Mr. Aquino’s expected attendance.

“I can only confirm that there will be a big LP meeting on Friday. As to what it is all about and what is going to be the agenda can be best answered by the LP leadership during the meeting. The media is welcome to cover the event,” Sarmiento said.

To resign from Cabinet

Salceda said Roxas would resign from the Cabinet to concentrate on his campaign and party building. Following the endorsement, Roxas would have a series of meetings with LP members, governors and civil society groups, the governor said. With reports from Mar S. Arguelles, Delfin Mallari Jr., Michael B. Jaucian, Romulo Ponte, Juan Escandor Jr. and Madonna T. Virola, Inquirer Southern Luzon


INQUIRER

Roxas camp working on Pacquiao to leave Binay, UNA SHARES: 6 VIEW COMMENTS By: DJ Yap @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:48 AM July 30th, 2015


Interior Secretary Mar Roxas with Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao

The camp of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is trying to woo the boxing icon, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, to leave the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay and join the Liberal Party (LP) as a senatorial candidate in the 2016 elections.
Yacap Rep. Carol Jayne Lopez, a friend of Pacquiao and a Roxas supporter, said the boxer seemed receptive to the offer but was “keeping his options open.”
“We’re hoping he makes the right decision,” she told reporters.


Lopez is a member of the minority in the House of Representatives but has actively supported the presumed candidacy of Roxas under the LP.
She said Pacquiao seemed to still be weighing a lot of things “about where he wants to go in life.”
“It is his decision. We just want to make sure we did not miss out on inviting him,” Lopez said.
If Pacquiao agrees, he will be part of the LP senatorial slate, she said.
At 36, he is still too young to run for Vice President, open only to those at the age of 40.

READ MORE...

But Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza, who is closely identified with Pacquiao, said he saw no way the boxer would leave UNA for the LP.

He told a news forum that he did not see Pacquiao as a “balimbing,” or turncoat. Atienza plans to run for senator under the UNA banner.

Pacquiao, a member of the majority coalition, is an underperformer at the House and is one of its top absentees. In the 16th Congress, he has sponsored or authored 15 bills or resolutions, five of which are related to sports or boxing, while four are local bills.

He attended the formal launch of Binay’s UNA party on July 1.

Pacquiao said then that he was still in the process of deciding whether to run for senator.

Asked if he would campaign for Binay, Pacquiao had been evasive:

“That depends. We have not talked about that. I am here to support the party declarations.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE