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

POVERTY CONTINUES TO WORSEN
[But Palace says, PH economy, governance vastly improved under PNoy]


AUGUST 5 ---The poverty level in the country continues to worsen despite the P178-billion spent by the government under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from 2010 to 2014, a private survey agency said yesterday.
But Malacañang said that under President Aquino’s watch, the country has vastly improved in terms of economic development and good governance. In a national survey conducted by Ibon Foundation in May, 2015, it showed that seven out of 10 respondents (or about 67 percent) see themselves as poor. This translates to about 67 million poor Filipinos. This larger figure is more consistent with the 66 million poor Filipinos earlier calculated by Ibon, using Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) data for 2012. Critics noted that the poverty remains massive despite the government’s P78-billion 4Ps or the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program budget for 2015. In contrast, the wealth of the 10 richest Filipinos has already more than tripled under the Aquino administration from P630 billion in 2010 to P2.2 trillion in 2015 for a 250 percent increase. Ibon Foundation also noted that the government’s claim that President Aquino and Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala had already cut the number of hungry Filipinos by half based on a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The FAO said in its 2015 State of Food Insecurity Report of the United Nations (UN) that the country is among the 72 developing countries which have reached the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the number of poor inhabitants by half. READ MORE...

ALSO: TANGLING WITH PNOY IS A BIG MISTAKE


AUGUST 7 ---By Amado Macasaet  In his own “true state of the nation” address made in Cavite, Vice President Binay claimed there is widespread poverty in the Aquino administration. That is not exactly false. There are millions of Filipinos the Catholic Church says live in conditions below human dignity but it does not do much about it. There are no recent reports on how many of the population is below the poverty line. Yet, our eyes and those of Vice President Binay can see waifs, old men and women in the streets pan in hand begging for money and food. Squatter colonies proliferate. Scavengers litter garbage heaps looking for anything they can make a little money from. Nothing tells the leaders of the country of how poverty continues to grip a large portion of the population. President Aquino could have done better, in the belief of Vice President Binay. Yes, he could have. All of us know he has been trying his best. The proof not felt by the poor is the almost vertical rise in the Gross Domestic Product, the value of goods and services produced and sold in the country in a given year. The Vice President is trying to chop the President into fine pieces not only for the sake of his country but more in pursuance of his all-consuming ambition to be elected Chief Executive in next year’s national elections. Jejomar Binay is making a mistake. He does not seem to feel the pulse of the people for the President. PNoy continues to enjoy the support of his people, not only because of his success in raising the GDP. After five years, PNoy’s name has not been tainted with rumors of corruption. The people love him for that. It should be remembered Binay sought the endorsement of President Aquino. He was denied. Then he went on a rampage criticizing Mr. Aquino as a failed Chief Executive. He resigned from the job the President gave him as housing czar. If I were a candidate for President who holds a Cabinet position, I will never forget I owe the Chief Executive my job although I won as vice president in another political party, not the Liberal Party of Simeon Benigno Cojuangco Aquino. We know there is no such thing as gratitude or “utang na loob” among politicians. But there is so much sense in Binay thanking the President for giving him a Cabinet job. He can say he played a big role in helping the President succeed in giving meat to his slogan “kayo ang boss ko” and his “matuwid na daan” philosophy of governance. The Vice President could have enumerated his accomplishments as housing czar by mentioning the number of new homes Pag-lbig built for the poor. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino province not all-out for Roxas
[CORY BROTHER SAYS HE, OTHER COJUANGCOS NOT FOR ROXAS, BUT RIVAL BINAY]


AUGUST 7 --Former Tarlac Rep. Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RODEL ROTONI
GERONA, Tarlac—As President Aquino rallied Filipinos to unite behind the presidential bid of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, his own relatives are sharply divided over who to support in next year’s presidential elections. In Mr. Aquino’s home province of Tarlac, members of the Cojuangco clan, the President’s maternal relatives, declared their support for the presidential candidacy of one of Roxas’ most bitter opponents, Vice President Jejomar Binay. This became very clear on Thursday when former Tarlac Rep. Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., Mr. Aquino’s maternal uncle, led local officials in welcoming Binay to this town, the first of four Tarlac towns that Binay was scheduled to visit this week.
“As far as the Vice President and I are concerned, we have a very long friendship that goes way back to 1978,” said Cojuangco, younger brother of the late President Corazon Aquino, the President’s mother. He said Binay was his lawyer when they worked in the campaign for the bid of his brother-in-law, the slain Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., for a seat in the Batasang Pambansa. “It was a very hard fight because all of our leaders were jailed,” he said, noting it was only Binay who was able to work for the release of some of them. “[Binay] gambled with his life for us to have democracy. So, it’s that kind of camaraderie that I cannot just let go,” Cojuangco said. He said other relatives, including his wife, former Tarlac Gov. Margarita Cojuangco, are supporting Binay. He, however, refused to name them, saying their clan might be perceived to be divided. Cojuangco said Mr. Aquino knew that he was supporting Binay.
He said it is also not correct to describe Tarlac as President Aquino’s bailiwick. READ MORE...

ALSO: Man who did not abandon Tacloban passes away; Last businessman standing!
[The man who President Aquino scoffed at when he was cited as a victim of a shooting incident because of the looting and violence that ensued after the tragedy. “Eh buhay ka pa naman, di ba (You’re still alive, anyway),” Aquino told Uy.]


AUGUST 5 --Businessman Kenneth Yu Uy
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – A young businessman who showed the world his love for Tacloban amid all the chaos after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 has passed away. Kenneth Yu Uy, 41, scion of a rich Chinese-Filipino family here whose interests include rice mills and hotels, was the man who President Aquino scoffed at when he was cited as a victim of a shooting incident because of the looting and violence that ensued after the tragedy. “Eh buhay ka pa naman, di ba (You’re still alive, anyway),” Aquino told Uy. Media may not forget his moment with Aquino, but Taclobanons, especially his friends, best remember Uy as “the man who did not abandon Tacloban.” Uy was among the few businessmen who reopened their businesses as soon as possible to bring back normalcy and a glimmer of hope to the battered city. He opened the doors of Asia Stars Hotel to relief workers and his bakery to sell “yolandisal,” the dough which had to be manually rolled and pressed, to hungry Taclobanons.  READ MORE... RELATED STORY...

ALSO Report: Displaced persons in Zambo, Davao hidden from UN expert


AUGUST 6 --United Nations Special Rapporteur on Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Chaloka Beyani assessed the impact of all forms of internal displacements during his ten-day visit to the Philippines from July 21 to 31, 2015. UN/Jean-Marc Ferré
The government allegedly hid internally displaced persons prior to the inspection of a United Nations (UN) rapporteur in Zamboanga City and Davao City last month, according to a report from New York-based Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch Asia Division Researcher Carlos Conde said that hundreds of internally displaced persons who have been staying in the grandstand of the Don Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex in Zamboanga City have been asked by the government to leave the complex on July 18, four days before US Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani's visit. The government cited a need to repair the facility READ: UN expert to gov't: Fulfill vows to 'Yolanda' victims Conde noted that Beyani was disappointed over the grandstand's closure a few days before his visit and hinted that it "may have been a deliberate attempt to whitewash its poor conditions." The people who were staying at Zamboanga City's grandstand were those who were displaced due to the fighting between Moro National Liberation Front rebels and government forces in 2013. "Many were relocated to sites where basic services such as water and power are lacking or nonexistent, or far away from their fields or places of work," Conde said in a statement, adding that hundreds refused relocation and chose to stay in the grandstand instead. READ MORE...

ALSO: Ombudsman indicts Mayor Lani Cayetano for locking session hall


AUGUST 6 --TAGUIG MAYOR CAYETANO ALSO THE WIFE OF SENATOR ALAN CAYETANO
For padlocking the session hall, Taguig mayor Laarni “Lani” Cayetano faces violation of the Revised Penal Code for preventing members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to hold regular sessions. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales indicted on Thursday the wife of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Officer-in-Charge City Administrator Jose Montales for violation of Article 143 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). Article 143 of the RPC penalizes persons who, by force or fraud, prevent or tend to prevent the meetings of local legislative bodies.  The case stemmed from the eviction of the Sangguniang Members and their transfer to a small room in the city auditorium in 2010.The Ombudsman said the city council held its proceedings on the staircase of the city hall and in various venues inside and outside the city hall for the next 14 sessions. The council said the padlocking of the session hall was an act of hostility, premeditated and executed with undue haste, without prior consultation and prior notice. Morales also junked Cayetano’s explanation that the move was part of the city’s reengineering and reorganizational plan.The Ombudsman said there was neither a plan nor a semblance of a project study that would make necessary the immediate change in the layout of the city hall offices. READ MORE...

ALSO: TRIBUNAL TURNS TABLES ON LAWMAKER

[CA orders Trillanes to explain bribery allegations in court]


AUGUST 4 --JUNJUN VS TRILLANES
This could be outspoken Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's turn to be grilled in a hearing next week. The Court of Appeals has ordered Trillanes to appear before tribunal to explain why he should not be cited in contempt after he told members of the media that two appellate court justices accepted P50 million in bribes to rule in favor of suspended Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay. In a three-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz, the appeals court's Fifth Division said Trillanes should appear during oral arguments on a contempt plea filed against the lawmaker by Binay. The oral arguments is scheduled for August 14 at 2 p.m. at the CA's Paras Hall on Maria Orosa Street in Malate, Manila. "We believe that there are matters to be clarified, hence, there is a need to set a hearing to allow parties to be heard and for this Court to propound classificatory questions to the parties or their witnesses," the CA resolution read. Concurring with Cruz were Justices Ramon Paul Hernando and Maria Luisa Quijano-Padilla. "Trillanes made several baseless and sweeping statements against the independence, integrity and reputation of the [CA] and the justices in the 6th Division," it avers. "[I]n the face of respondent's [Trillanes] disrespectful act and unrelenting malicious attacks toward the [CA] and its justices, there is a need for the [CA] to protect and preserve its dignity and independence. It, therefore, behooves the [CA] to cite respondent Trillanes for indirect contempt and mete out the appropriate punishment on him," it added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Libel suit vs Trillanes transferred to DoJ
[ANOTHER CASE OF ‘SELECTIVE JUSTICE’]


AUGUST 6 --In yet another clear case of the Aquino administration’s selective justice, a libel suit filed in a Makati court by suspended Makati Mayor Erwin “Jun-jun” Binay against Sen. Antonio Trillanes, an ally of President Aquino, was quickly taken away from the court’s jurisdiction and transferred to the Department of Justice (DoJ). It was the Makati Prosecutor’s Office that insisted on transferrng the case from the courtroom to the DoJ, which is controlled by the Justice secretary, Leila de Lima, known to shield the allies from prosecution on orders of Malacañang. But the lawyer of Binay stated that it is the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office, not the Department of Justice, that is the right venue for the libel case filed by the Makati mayor against the senator. Binay lawyer Claro Certeza asked state prosecutor Gimarie Pacamara at the preliminary investigation of the case at the DoJ to halt the proceedings, pending the resolution of their motion for reconsideration of the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office decision granting Trillanes’ request to move the venue to the DoJ. It is usual for libel suits and other lawsuits to be filed in a court of law and not with the justice department. It is also usual for the accused and their lawyers to seek a review of the case by the DoJ. But the court, after some 60 days, continues with the case against the accused. It is probably the first time for the prosecutors to immediately have a suit that has been filed in court qickly transferred to the DoJ’s jurisdiction. Binay’s lawyer, Celso Certeza, said: “We believe that the city prosecutors office of Makati is the right and proper venue of the case under the law, that’s why we filed a motion for reconsideration and asked Prosecutor Pacamara to halt the proceedings due to our pending motion,” Certeza said. His client, the lawyer added, doubts whether the DoJ can be impartial in hearing the case, as Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had spoken several times against Binay, particularly when she issued a legal opinion affirming the suspension order issued by the Ombudsman against the mayor in March. “It is suspicious that they (Trillanes’ camp) insist that the case be heard at the Department of Justice. “Is it right that they are the only ones who can say and insist on the venue of the case? It’s surprising that they don’t want this case to be heard in a Makati court,” said Certeza. In his motion for reconsideration, Mayor Binay said the senator failed to explain the need to compel the entire city prosecutor’s office of Makati City to inhibit from the case, and instead have the DoJ take charge of the preliminary investigation. Not surprisingly, the DoJ quickly took over the libel case and gave Trillanes more time to answer Binay’s complaint. DoJ extended the deadline for the submission of the counter-affidavit of the camp of Trillanes in connection with the libel complaint filed against him to Aug. 13. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Poverty continues to worsen despite Pantawid (4Ps)

MANILA, AUGUST 10, 2015  (MANILA BULLETIN) by Genalyn D. Kabiling and Chito A. Chavez August 5, 2015 - The poverty level in the country continues to worsen despite the P178-billion spent by the government under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from 2010 to 2014, a private survey agency said yesterday.

But Malacañang said that under President Aquino’s watch, the country has vastly improved in terms of economic development and good governance.

In a national survey conducted by Ibon Foundation in May, 2015, it showed that seven out of 10 respondents (or about 67 percent) see themselves as poor.

This translates to about 67 million poor Filipinos. This larger figure is more consistent with the 66 million poor Filipinos earlier calculated by Ibon, using Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) data for 2012.

Critics noted that the poverty remains massive despite the government’s P78-billion 4Ps or the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program budget for 2015.

In contrast, the wealth of the 10 richest Filipinos has already more than tripled under the Aquino administration from P630 billion in 2010 to P2.2 trillion in 2015 for a 250 percent increase.

Ibon Foundation also noted that the government’s claim that President Aquino and Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala had already cut the number of hungry Filipinos by half based on a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The FAO said in its 2015 State of Food Insecurity Report of the United Nations (UN) that the country is among the 72 developing countries which have reached the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the number of poor inhabitants by half.

READ MORE...

However, Ibon said the report probably failed to confirm that the country’s poverty rate has already worsened to 25.8 percent based on the studies of human rights group Karapatan.

It also said that the statistics used by the government are based on the individual daily survival threshold of P52 per day. Based on these statistics, every man, woman, and child in the country spends only P52 on food, fare, and services every day, 365 days a year, contrary to what the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report which stated that the food threshold in 2013 was P5,593 monthly for a family of five, which zoomed to P6,125 in 2014.

The poverty threshold was even higher for the same family at P8,025 monthly in 2013 and P8,778 in 2014.

The poverty level in the country is comparable to that of Haiti and the gravity of the situation worsened from 24.6 percent in the first semester of 2013 to 25.8 percent by the first half of last year, the latest official statistics made available by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed, Ibon said.

Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said substantial progress has been made in reducing poverty, increasing employment, and improving the people’s quality of life under the President Aquino’s watch.

“If we compare the picture presented by Vice President (Jejomar) Binay, this contradicts the optimism of Filipinos who take pride of their skills and capacity to the world,” Coloma said.

“The country has come a long way since 2010, especially in the aspect of economic development. The growth is felt by Filipinos through improved living conditions,” he added.

Coloma said the administration was able to replace the “vicious cycle” of poverty, unemployment and lack of employment with a new “virtuous cycle” of reduced poverty, higher school completion rate, and more job opportunities.

The improved living conditions of Filipinos can be seen in the increase in the acquisition of residential properties and vehicles in the country, Coloma added.

“While he paints a picture of pessimism, there are many concrete manifestation of the hope and optimism among Filipinos about their future,” he said.

Last Monday, Binay used his “true State of the Nation Address” to hit back at the alleged inept and callous Aquino government. Binay, who resigned from the Cabinet last month, claimed the government failed to address poverty, hunger, and unemployment in the past five years.

Coloma, however, said Binay had all the chance to raise his objections when he was part of the Cabinet.

Based on Palace monitoring of feedback, he added that the “overwhelming trend” was against the Vice President.

As this developed, Ibon reported that the net income of the country’s 260 listed firms at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) rose from P438 billion in 2010 to P583 billion in 2014 for a 33-percent increase.

Records noted the net income of the country’s Top 1000 corporations grew from P804 billion in 2010 to P1 trillion in 2013, or a 26 percent increase.”

Moreover, the DA’s hunger rate of 11.5 percent from 2012 to 2014 is even lower than the 17.2 percent self-rated hunger rate in December 2014 based on a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), or the 13.5 percent for the first quarter of 2015.

Even the much-ballyhooed P15 wage increase in the National Capital Region (NCR) could not reduce the pangs of hunger that afflict 587,000 workers who would get P481 a day, which is not even half of the P1,088 needed to keep kith and kin together, according to Karapatan and Ibon.

Ibon, Karapatan and the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) described the wage increase as “meaningless” since the P481 daily wage is not even half of the P1,088 ($24.24) needed for a family to meet the basic necessities of their families.

For maintaining a decent life, Ibon said a worker needs a monthly minimum wage of P16,000 ($356), which would slash company profits by only 17.1 percent.

PSA admitted that 42.8 percent of the take-home pay of workers goes to food based on the results of its Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), and this means only P4,444 for food per month, or P148 daily for a family of five, or P29.60 for each family member per day.

All these data confirm the unjust level of wages in the Philippines, contrary to the protests of capitalists who do not want a legislated minimum wage.

The modest food guide issued by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) showed that a family must have to spend P439 ($9.78) daily to be able to eat healthy and right, with the diet consisting of rice, galunggong or round scad, malunggay and bananas of the lakatan variety.

This amount is more than 92 percent of the daily wage, KMU stressed.


MALAYA

TANGLING WITH PNOY IS A BIG MISTAKE By Amado P. Macasaet on August 07, 2015

In his own “true state of the nation” address made in Cavite, Vice President Binay claimed there is widespread poverty in the Aquino administration. That is not exactly false. There are millions of Filipinos the Catholic Church says live in conditions below human dignity but it does not do much about it.

There are no recent reports on how many of the population is below the poverty line. Yet, our eyes and those of Vice President Binay can see waifs, old men and women in the streets pan in hand begging for money and food. Squatter colonies proliferate. Scavengers litter garbage heaps looking for anything they can make a little money from.

Nothing tells the leaders of the country of how poverty continues to grip a large portion of the population. President Aquino could have done better, in the belief of Vice President Binay. Yes, he could have.

All of us know he has been trying his best.

The proof not felt by the poor is the almost vertical rise in the Gross Domestic Product, the value of goods and services produced and sold in the country in a given year.

The Vice President is trying to chop the President into fine pieces not only for the sake of his country but more in pursuance of his all-consuming ambition to be elected Chief Executive in next year’s national elections.

Jejomar Binay is making a mistake. He does not seem to feel the pulse of the people for the President.

PNoy continues to enjoy the support of his people, not only because of his success in raising the GDP.

After five years, PNoy’s name has not been tainted with rumors of corruption. The people love him for that.

It should be remembered Binay sought the endorsement of President Aquino. He was denied. Then he went on a rampage criticizing Mr. Aquino as a failed Chief Executive. He resigned from the job the President gave him as housing czar.

If I were a candidate for President who holds a Cabinet position, I will never forget I owe the Chief Executive my job although I won as vice president in another political party, not the Liberal Party of Simeon Benigno Cojuangco Aquino.

We know there is no such thing as gratitude or “utang na loob” among politicians.

But there is so much sense in Binay thanking the President for giving him a Cabinet job. He can say he played a big role in helping the President succeed in giving meat to his slogan “kayo ang boss ko” and his “matuwid na daan” philosophy of governance.

The Vice President could have enumerated his accomplishments as housing czar by mentioning the number of new homes Pag-lbig built for the poor.

READ MORE...

The fact that President Aquino failed or refused to mention his name in his last state of nation address (SONA) should not offend his sensibilities.

The refusal sits squarely with the President’s denial of Binay’s request to endorse him for next year’s election.

Again, if I were Vice President Binay, I would say the President’s refusal to support his candidacy is an exercise of freedom of choice although the decision is purely political.

Instead of cutting the President into fine pieces, I would swear to do my best to continue implementing President Aquino’s successful economic programs.

If he had done that instead of saying PNoy was a phenomenal failure, he might get the votes of millions of voters who continue to support the President. He lost them by his own choice.

The events of the past when the presidency was a four-year term with a right to re-election, the President cannot do anything right in the last year of his first four year term.

His political enemies paint him as evil. President Aquino is on the last year of his six-year term.

Politicians including Vice President Binay now tell the people the President is a monumental failure as shown by the increasing number of people who “live in conditions below human dignity” according to the Catholic Church.

Voters will not forget Binay was a key player of PNoy’s administration for five years. If his watch was a failure Binay contributed to it. If it was a success Binay can claim he contributed to it as housing czar.

Before he started criticizing the government he served Vice President Binay should have conducted an honest survey on how much more support is left for President Aquino. If the support hardly changed, he should not tangle with PNoy. Instead, he should swear to the voters he would follow in his footsteps although he is not his favored candidate.

On the other hand, should the survey clearly show PNoy no longer enjoys the support of his people, Binay should make him appear worse than what people think.

There is a lesson for presidential candidates to learn from the fears of the members of the American Chamber of Commerce the growth of the economy may slow down or even be reversed if the voters do not elect a President remarkably similar to PNoy in leading the country to growth.

I am personally saddened by the failure of my compadre Jojo Binay (Junjun Binay, mayor of Makati, is my wedding godson) to cultivate to his advantage the early popularity and acceptance ratings showing he ranked higher than PNoy.


By Amado P. Macasaet


INQUIRER

Aquino province not all-out for Roxas CORY BROTHER SAYS HE, OTHER COJUANGCOS NOT FOR ROXAS, BUT RIVAL BINAY @inquirerdotnet 12:30 AM August 7th, 2015


Former Tarlac Rep. Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ RODEL ROTONI

GERONA, Tarlac—As President Aquino rallied Filipinos to unite behind the presidential bid of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, his own relatives are sharply divided over who to support in next year’s presidential elections.

In Mr. Aquino’s home province of Tarlac, members of the Cojuangco clan, the President’s maternal relatives, declared their support for the presidential candidacy of one of Roxas’ most bitter opponents, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

This became very clear on Thursday when former Tarlac Rep. Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., Mr. Aquino’s maternal uncle, led local officials in welcoming Binay to this town, the first of four Tarlac towns that Binay was scheduled to visit this week.

“As far as the Vice President and I are concerned, we have a very long friendship that goes way back to 1978,” said Cojuangco, younger brother of the late President Corazon Aquino, the President’s mother.

He said Binay was his lawyer when they worked in the campaign for the bid of his brother-in-law, the slain Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., for a seat in the Batasang Pambansa.

“It was a very hard fight because all of our leaders were jailed,” he said, noting it was only Binay who was able to work for the release of some of them.

“[Binay] gambled with his life for us to have democracy. So, it’s that kind of camaraderie that I cannot just let go,” Cojuangco said.

He said other relatives, including his wife, former Tarlac Gov. Margarita Cojuangco, are supporting Binay. He, however, refused to name them, saying their clan might be perceived to be divided.

Cojuangco said Mr. Aquino knew that he was supporting Binay.
He said it is also not correct to describe Tarlac as President Aquino’s bailiwick.

READ MORE...

“Why only him? I was congressman here for 20 years. My wife was also governor here for three terms. You know, it’s difficult to predict [the outcome of the elections]. Let’s just see the results,” Cojuangco said.

Asked what Binay should expect in Tarlac in the 2016 elections, he said: “Victory.”

But he said it is also important that next year’s elections are clean. “If we repeat what happened in 2013, we won’t know who won. Smartmatic should prove to us that they cannot manipulate [the 2016 elections] like they did in 2013,” he said.

Mr. Aquino had officially declared Roxas as the administration candidate for President next year in a move that came weeks after Binay, a close friend of the Aquino family, resigned from the Cabinet as housing czar and lambasted Mr. Aquino’s failures in a move that signaled his break from the administration.

Binay came out firing against Mr. Aquino, calling the President’s governance “inane” and “inept.”

Malacañang fired back at Binay, saying the Vice President spent five years as a member of the Cabinet without a word about what he deemed to be wrong in the administration.

Binay, however, insists his friendship with the Aquino family remains intact despite his barrage of criticisms against the President.

Following his endorsement of Roxas, Mr. Aquino made an appeal to Filipinos to unite behind Roxas’ presidential run as official candidate of the ruling Liberal Party.


PHILSTAR

Man who did not abandon Tacloban passes away By Lalaine Jimenea (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 5, 2015 - 12:00am 5 2913 googleplus1 1


Businessman Kenneth Yu Uy

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – A young businessman who showed the world his love for Tacloban amid all the chaos after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 has passed away.

Kenneth Yu Uy, 41, scion of a rich Chinese-Filipino family here whose interests include rice mills and hotels, was the man who President Aquino scoffed at when he was cited as a victim of a shooting incident because of the looting and violence that ensued after the tragedy.

“Eh buhay ka pa naman, di ba (You’re still alive, anyway),” Aquino told Uy.

Media may not forget his moment with Aquino, but Taclobanons, especially his friends, best remember Uy as “the man who did not abandon Tacloban.”


FLASHBACK: INQUIRER FILE --NOVEMBER 10, 2013 PHOTO: MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos on Twitter likened President Benigno Aquino III to a “brat” or a “diva” after reading news that he allegedly walked out on a disaster briefing in Tacloban City following the devastation wrought by monster typhoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan). The businessman [Uy] claimed he was held at gunpoint by a group of men. Aquino, clearly irked by the claim, was quoted saying, “But you did not die, right?” Twitter user Marlon Buenaventura (@Ionbuen) likened the President to a child having a fit while Cheska Montes (@cheskamontes) asked, “Is it timely to be a brat?” “Mr. President is acting like a kid! Our kababayans need your help, walkout is not a help!” wrote Kers Regis (@KerwinRegis).....

Uy was among the few businessmen who reopened their businesses as soon as possible to bring back normalcy and a glimmer of hope to the battered city.

He opened the doors of Asia Stars Hotel to relief workers and his bakery to sell “yolandisal,” the dough which had to be manually rolled and pressed, to hungry Taclobanons.

READ MORE...

When every other Yolanda victim who had the means took the first flight out of Tacloban, Uy opted to stick it out, telling friends this was the time they were needed most by their city.

Uy succumbed to a heart attack last July 16. He is survived by his mother Lucy and brother Kervin.

Big boss, big heart Uy was a big man with a big smile.

“But his heart was even bigger,” said Hector Go, a long-time business partner and friend.

Go cited as example the yolandisal which Uy insisted on selling at only P2 each.

“Boss, let’s sell that at P5 each,” Go recalled telling Uy, but the young businessman would not hear of it.

“If we sell it at that price, people cannot afford it,” Uy answered.

What was important for Uy then was for people to have food so that they could eat and have the strength to survive another day.

Go said Uy was not the typical businessman as he was always brimming with optimism and would only smile at financial losses, believing that there would be better days.

After opening up Asia Stars Hotel to volunteers, Uy tried to convince other businessmen to do the same.

His commitment to the city transcended even a threat to his life. Two days after the onslaught of Yolanda, Uy was at a gas station trying to obtain fuel for their generators. A mob gathered, thinking that Uy would get all the fuel for himself. A shot rang out, and Go said they had to move Uy out of the area.

Not his fault Meanwhile, Jeff Manibay, a convenor of One Tacloban, told The STAR he was the reason why Uy got the sharp end of Aquino’s tongue.

Another victim who refused to leave Tacloban, Manibay actively helped in relief efforts.

On the third day after Yolanda, he decided to go to the command center at the Tacloban City police station because he wanted to talk to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

Manibay said he and his friends passed by Salazar Street “near Sam’s Trading” where shots rang out.

He was all the more determined to tell Roxas to bring in more security forces to curb the growing violence.

It was at the command center that he met Uy. They learned that President Aquino was flying in so they waited for him.

Manibay recalled his impatience when Aquino arrived but had to go through a program first. He was aghast when the report read to the President was “unbelievable.”

The report, according to Manibay, said there were only 72 people dead, that clean water was available and that there was no peace and order problem.

He raised his hand and told Aquino that he can go to nearby Magallanes Street and see no less than 700 dead people piled up there.

As for clean water, he pointed out he had just been in the command center’s kitchen and they were using rainwater to cook food.

And to emphasize the deteriorating peace and order, he pointed to Uy, saying, “That man nearly got shot this morning, buti na lang hindi tinamaan.”

That was when Aquino told Uy, “Eh buhay ka pa naman, di ba?”

Manibay admitted he might have irritated the President because he was practically shouting already, but he still feels bad about Aquino’s response.

As for Uy, Go said the businessman was equally shocked at the President’s reaction, and only managed to say, “Anong klase siyang presidente (What kind of president is he)?”

But being the good-natured man that he was, Go said Uy just forgot about the incident and concentrated on bringing Tacloban back to its feet.

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

RELATED FLASHBACK DURING TACLOBAN DEVASTATION BY YOLANDA

RAPPLER.COM

After tense meeting with Aquino, Tacloban trader back in business Voltaire Tupaz @voltairetupaz Published 11:15 AM, November 20, 2013 Updated 12:24 PM, Nov 23, 2013

(UPDATED) 'You have to be a little bit crazy if you want to start a business now,' says Kenneth Uy. 'I think I'm crazy enough.'


NEW BUSINESS. Tacloban-based businessman Kenneth Uy had his head shaved to show that he has moved on and is ready to embark on a new beginning. Photo by Voltaire Tupaz/Rappler

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – "Ok lang, buhay ka pa naman (It's ok, you're still alive anyway)."

This was what President Benigno Aquino III supposedly told local businessman Kenneth Uy in a tense briefing where he reportedly walked out after another businessman, Jeff Manibay, recommended the imposition of martial law in typhoon-affected areas.

It was November 10, just two days after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated Tacloban City and the rest of Leyte province, and relief had not reached the surviving residents. Local officials and businesmen discussed their urgent needs with Aquino, recalling one instance when Uy was fired at by looters in downtown Tacloban.

Uy vividly remembered the day Yolanda battered his city. "The day after the typhoon, I didn't want to wake up, I didn't want to stand up, because when I looked out of the window, I saw that it was true – that we've been really hit by a typhoon, that it is really going to change our life," Uy said.

Uy has recovered since then. By the time the President returned to the province on Monday, November 18, Uy was back in business. He has shaved his head to show that he has moved on and is ready to embark on a new beginning.

Businessman's nightmare

Yolanda has become every businessman's nightmare, even worse than bankruptcy, Uy told Rappler in a conversation in front of his hotel along Zamora Street.

It is now one of the safest streets in Tacloban City. Uy's hotel, the Asia Stars Hotel, served as the nerve center of the augmentation team sent by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to help restore peace and security in the city. Police generals, media, and international aid groups are staying there. A room costs about P2,500 a night.

Across the street from the hotel were remnants of panic and disorder: destroyed stores and restaurants. Broken bottles of medicines littered the front of a pharmacy.

A few blocks away, the grocery that Uy's family owned – one of the oldest in the city – was ransacked. It survived cutthroat competition from Gaisano and Robinsons malls but not the hunger and desperation of the typhoon victims.


MAKESHIFT BANK. UnionBank is set to resume its operations in Tacloban inside this 'tiangge' on November 21. Photo by Hector Go

'Crazy' businessman

"You have to be a little bit crazy if you want to start a business now. I think I'm crazy enough, and I think I can find a few more crazy people around to join me," he said.

He did. On Sunday, November 17, he started selling prepaid call cards that came from Cebu. On Wednesday, November 20, he will open a tiangge (flea market) with some local traders he invited.

The store will sell food, water, toiletries, fuel, and gas – scarce commodities that are badly needed in the affected areas.

Water is locally sourced. Canned goods, toiletries, and fuel will come from Cebu. Suppliers from Samar will bring in vegetables beginning Friday, November 22.

UnionBank and Banco de Oro will also have desks at the store to receive deposits and service withdrawals.

The two banks, together with government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, will open ahead of other banks, which will reportedly resume operations on Friday yet.

"We have to put the infrastructure for people to buy so that those who can afford will not line up for the relief goods. The people who really need help should get the relief goods," Uy said.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, November 20, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Eduardo del Rosario said "we are happy that there is now economic activity" in the region.


HOT 'YOLANDESAL'. After Yolanda, trader Kenneth Uy opens the same business that his grandfather started in the 1930s when he first arrived in Tacloban - a bakery. Photo by Hector Go

Last businessmen standing

Almost 80% of the local businessmen have left Tacloban City, according to Uy. He decided to stay, just as he did back in college when he had the option to leave and study in Manila or abroad.

"I told myself, if you go somewhere else, then I don't think Tacloban deserves that. She has been good to us. She has been good to our parents, to Lolo and Lola (to Grandpa and Grandma)," Uy said.

Uy's grandparents, traders from China, arrived in Tacloban in the 1930s. His grandfather, Uytingkoc, started a bakery that expanded into businesses that include a grocery, an ice plant, and a rice mill.

His Australia-based brother is coming home to help him rebuild their business.

Others may have left, but it doesn't mean they are not coming back, Uy said.

"They're eager to start again, to start their businesses, but there are questions that they (government) have to answer first," he said.

Security is top on the business sector's list. They were not only traumatized by the typhoon but also terrified by the looting incidents. Electricity and banking are other important concerns.

LOOTING IN TACLOBAN.

Businesswoman Joy Uy captured how some people looted an appliance store near her house.

'We will die here'

"They (businessmen) really blame the government. They move too slow. Puro salita lang. Nakikita naman, 'di ba (They're all talk. Isn't it obvious)?" Uy's cousin, Jojo Uy, told Rappler on his way to Manila.

Jojo temporarily left Tacloban to bring his wife and her family to Manila. They felt helpless when they saw their goods and those from other stores being looted. They no longer feel safe in the city.

Jojo said he will return to Tacloban after a week or two, depending on how the security situation in the city will improve.

Other businessmen also want to go back to restore commerce and help "their people" in need.

"We have no choice. We live there," he said.

He echoed what his cousin, Kenneth Uy, said back home: "I don't think you can move San Juanico Bridge. I don't think you can move the Sto. Niño Shrine. Those are the things that we have grown old with. And hopefully, we will die here."

Photos by John Paul Go – Rappler.com


PHILSTAR

Report: Displaced persons in Zambo, Davao hidden from UN expert By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated August 6, 2015 - 10:05am 1 473 googleplus0 0


United Nations Special Rapporteur on Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Chaloka Beyani assessed the impact of all forms of internal displacements during his ten-day visit to the Philippines from July 21 to 31, 2015. UN/Jean-Marc Ferré

MANILA, Philippines — The government allegedly hid internally displaced persons prior to the inspection of a United Nations (UN) rapporteur in Zamboanga City and Davao City last month, according to a report from New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch Asia Division Researcher Carlos Conde said that hundreds of internally displaced persons who have been staying in the grandstand of the Don Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex in Zamboanga City have been asked by the government to leave the complex on July 18, four days before US Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani's visit. The government cited a need to repair the facility

READ: UN expert to gov't: Fulfill vows to 'Yolanda' victims

Conde noted that Beyani was disappointed over the grandstand's closure a few days before his visit and hinted that it "may have been a deliberate attempt to whitewash its poor conditions."

The people who were staying at Zamboanga City's grandstand were those who were displaced due to the fighting between Moro National Liberation Front rebels and government forces in 2013.

"Many were relocated to sites where basic services such as water and power are lacking or nonexistent, or far away from their fields or places of work," Conde said in a statement, adding that hundreds refused relocation and chose to stay in the grandstand instead.

READ MORE...

In Davao City, the police and the military attempted to remove and return to their villages some 700 displaced member of indigenous group Ata Manobos who have been living in a compound of a Protestant church since May.

The attempt to supposedly "rescue" the Ata Manobos was met with resistance and failed. The members of the indigenous community were displaced due to the presence of military forces in their rural villages which led to a fight with the New People's Army.

Conde noted that incidents were not the first time the Philippine government "put on a pretty face for visiting dignitaries."

"In May 2012, it rounded up and hid street children and others living along a highway in Manila when the Asian Development Bank’s board of governors met," Conde said.

In January, the Department of Social and Welfare Development sent homeless families to a resort in Batangas to allegedly hide them from Pope Francis.

RELATED: DSWD chief: Resort stay is ‘family camping’ for poor


INQUIRER

Ombudsman indicts Mayor Lani Cayetano for locking session hall SHARES: 5975 VIEW COMMENTS By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 10:25 AM August 6th, 2015


TAGUIG MAYOR CAYETANO ALSO THE WIFE OF SENATOR ALAN CAYETANO

For padlocking the session hall, Taguig mayor Laarni “Lani” Cayetano faces violation of the Revised Penal Code for preventing members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to hold regular sessions.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales indicted on Thursday the wife of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Officer-in-Charge City Administrator Jose Montales for violation of Article 143 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

Article 143 of the RPC penalizes persons who, by force or fraud, prevent or tend to prevent the meetings of local legislative bodies.

The case stemmed from the eviction of the Sangguniang Members and their transfer to a small room in the city auditorium in 2010.

The Ombudsman said the city council held its proceedings on the staircase of the city hall and in various venues inside and outside the city hall for the next 14 sessions.

The council said the padlocking of the session hall was an act of hostility, premeditated and executed with undue haste, without prior consultation and prior notice.

Morales also junked Cayetano’s explanation that the move was part of the city’s reengineering and reorganizational plan.

The Ombudsman said there was neither a plan nor a semblance of a project study that would make necessary the immediate change in the layout of the city hall offices.

READ MORE...

The Ombudsman’s resolution also said that “the documentary evidence, as well as respondents’ own admissions, belied their claim that any ‘reorganizational or reengineering plan’ with respect to city hall offices actually existed.”

The Ombudsman also said Cayetano failed to comply with Section 45(b), Article I, Chapter III of the Local Government Code which requires that the power bestowed upon the local chief executive to assign and allocate office spaces must be exercised for the purpose of promoting efficient and economical governance, for “the exercise of any power, whether express or implied, must be rational. The exercise necessarily precludes any arbitrariness or abuse.”

The padlocking incident stemmed from a political rivalry between Cayetano and Taguig Vice Mayor George Elias, who cried political harassment when the mayor prevented them from holding sessions.

READ: Old wounds reopen in Taguig politics

Elias is an ally of the Tiñga political clan, the fierce rivals of the Cayetanos in Taguig. Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Dante Tiñga lost to Cayetano in the May 2010 elections.

The council was then forced to work in the upper deck of the auditorium where the ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia used in the 2010 elections were stored. These were the subject of an election protest against Cayetano.
IDL


INQUIRER

TRIBUNAL TURNS TABLES ON LAWMAKER August 4, 2015 4:28pm Tags: antoniotrillanesiv, jejomarbinay, makaticityhallbuildingii, junjunbinaysuspension

CA orders Trillanes to explain bribery allegations in court


JUNJUN VS TRILLANES

This could be outspoken Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's turn to be grilled in a hearing next week.

The Court of Appeals has ordered Trillanes to appear before tribunal to explain why he should not be cited in contempt after he told members of the media that two appellate court justices accepted P50 million in bribes to rule in favor of suspended Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay.

In a three-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz, the appeals court's Fifth Division said Trillanes should appear during oral arguments on a contempt plea filed against the lawmaker by Binay.

The oral arguments is scheduled for August 14 at 2 p.m. at the CA's Paras Hall on Maria Orosa Street in Malate, Manila.

"We believe that there are matters to be clarified, hence, there is a need to set a hearing to allow parties to be heard and for this Court to propound classificatory questions to the parties or their witnesses," the CA resolution read.

Concurring with Cruz were Justices Ramon Paul Hernando and Maria Luisa Quijano-Padilla.

"Trillanes made several baseless and sweeping statements against the independence, integrity and reputation of the [CA] and the justices in the 6th Division," it avers.

"[I]n the face of respondent's [Trillanes] disrespectful act and unrelenting malicious attacks toward the [CA] and its justices, there is a need for the [CA] to protect and preserve its dignity and independence. It, therefore, behooves the [CA] to cite respondent Trillanes for indirect contempt and mete out the appropriate punishment on him," it added.

READ MORE...

Last May, the CA division, under its former name Special Eleventh Division, had already given Trillanes 10 days to comment on Binay's contempt plea.

In his contempt plea, Binay said Trillanes should be held in contempt of court for hurling "baseless" accusations that CA Justices Jose Reyes Jr. and Francisco Acosta each received P25 million to stop the six-month preventive suspension of Binay over alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

Reyes and Acosta have denied Trillanes' allegations.

The Binay camp has a separate and pending contempt charge against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña and several others, in connection with Binay's preventive suspension.

Binay, son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, said they should be held in contempt for defying a CA temporary restraining order stopping his preventive suspension. The CA eventually issued a writ of preliminary injunction, still in favor of Binay.

The CA 6th Division, composed of Jose Reyes, Acosta and Justice Eduardo Peralta issued a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction which halted Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales' order of preventive suspension against Binay.

A second suspension order pushed through against the mayor after he failed to get a TRO a second time.

Trillanes is one of the senators actively participating in the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearings on the allegations of graft against Binay.

The Binay camp has repeatedly criticized the hearing as one where resource persons defending the Vice President were put in a bad light and not allowed to freely speak. -NB, GMA News


TRIBUNE

Libel suit vs Trillanes transferred to DoJ Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 06 August 2015 00:00


ANOTHER CASE OF ‘SELECTIVE JUSTICE’

In yet another clear case of the Aquino administration’s selective justice, a libel suit filed in a Makati court by suspended Makati Mayor Erwin “Jun-jun” Binay against Sen. Antonio Trillanes, an ally of President Aquino, was quickly taken away from the court’s jurisdiction and transferred to the Department of Justice (DoJ).

It was the Makati Prosecutor’s Office that insisted on transferrng the case from the courtroom to the DoJ, which is controlled by the Justice secretary, Leila de Lima, known to shield the allies from prosecution on orders of Malacañang.

But the lawyer of Binay stated that it is the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office, not the Department of Justice, that is the right venue for the libel case filed by the Makati mayor against the senator.

Binay lawyer Claro Certeza asked state prosecutor Gimarie Pacamara at the preliminary investigation of the case at the DoJ to halt the proceedings, pending the resolution of their motion for reconsideration of the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office decision granting Trillanes’ request to move the venue to the DoJ. It is usual for libel suits and other lawsuits to be filed in a court of law and not with the justice department.

It is also usual for the accused and their lawyers to seek a review of the case by the DoJ. But the court, after some 60 days, continues with the case against the accused.

It is probably the first time for the prosecutors to immediately have a suit that has been filed in court qickly transferred to the DoJ’s jurisdiction.


CERTEZA

Binay’s lawyer, Celso Certeza, said: “We believe that the city prosecutors office of Makati is the right and proper venue of the case under the law, that’s why we filed a motion for reconsideration and asked Prosecutor Pacamara to halt the proceedings due to our pending motion,” Certeza said.

His client, the lawyer added, doubts whether the DoJ can be impartial in hearing the case, as Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had spoken several times against Binay, particularly when she issued a legal opinion affirming the suspension order issued by the Ombudsman against the mayor in March.

“It is suspicious that they (Trillanes’ camp) insist that the case be heard at the Department of Justice.

“Is it right that they are the only ones who can say and insist on the venue of the case? It’s surprising that they don’t want this case to be heard in a Makati court,” said Certeza.

In his motion for reconsideration, Mayor Binay said the senator failed to explain the need to compel the entire city prosecutor’s office of Makati City to inhibit from the case, and instead have the DoJ take charge of the preliminary investigation.
Not surprisingly, the DoJ quickly took over the libel case and gave Trillanes more time to answer Binay’s complaint.

DoJ extended the deadline for the submission of the counter-affidavit of the camp of Trillanes in connection with the libel complaint filed against him to Aug. 13.

READ MORE...

The complaint stemmed from the allegations of Trillanes that two magistrates of the Court of Appeals (CA) were bribed with the amount of P25 million each in exchange for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the earlier suspension order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman against Binay.

The Ombudsman earlier imposed a six-month preventive suspension without pay on Binay and 22 others for the administrative and graft cases filed against them in connection with the alleged “overpriced” construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Assistant State Prosecutor Pacamara granted the motion of the camp of Trillanes to extend the period of submission of the counter-affidavit to Aug. 13, 2015 at 10 a.m.

According to Judy-Ann Bautista, counsel of Trillanes, the senator is currently in Quezon Province and is unable to attend the hearing.

Certeza, counsel of Binay, informed Pacamara about their opposition on the decision of the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office to transfer the hearing of the complaint to the DoJ since there is a pending motion to transfer back the complaint to the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office which still has to be resolved.
For the camp of Trillanes, Bautista stressed that they believe that there would be a fair treatment of the complaint in the DoJ rather than in the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office because Binay is the city mayor.

The quick disposition of the Trillanes request to move venue to DoJ sharply signals that all the resources of the government are now ranged against the Binays, Certeza stressed.


DOJ

Such a transfer of venue, said Certeza, is contrary to the rules embodied in the Manual for Prosecutors. There, a prosecutor may be asked to recuse himself or herself from handling a case if he, she, or spouse or child is an interested party in the case; related to either party to the case by affinity or related to the counsel; and has been named executor, administrator, guardian or trustee of a party to the case.

Certeza said that none of these circumstances are present in this case; adding that the reason cited by Trillanes, is that City Hall was providing allowances and other support to the city prosecutors’ office has no basis.

However, Trillanes’ counsel said it was just right that it was transferred to the DoJ since they believe the the DoJ can come up with a “neutral and impartial” decision.

This despite the fact that it has been proved too many times that the DoJ is hardly impartial and has in fact, dismissed many complaints lodged against the allies of the Aquino administration while quickly filing cases against the political foes of President Aquino.

To date, on the pork barrel scam cases, only three opposition senators have been charged with plunder and detained. None of the close allies of Aquino has been charged, despite the fact that their names were listed in the Special Audit Report by the Commission on Audit, which both De Lima and Ombudsman Conchita Caprio-Morales, who is also hardly an impartial Ombudsman, considered as “strong evidence” against the three senators.

But the lawyer of Trillanes explained there was no intention on their part to question the city prosecutor’s office when they made the request.

“It’s not that we are questioning the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office, but since it is located in Makati and the complainant is the city mayor, we believe that we could get a favorable decision here at the DoJ,” she said.

Binay sued Trillanes for libel over the senator’s claim that he bribed two associate justices of the Court of Appeals (CA) to the tune of P50 million in exchange for issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) that halted the first suspension order issued against him by the Ombudsman in March.


TRILLANES

On Tuesday, the CA ordered Trillanes to explain the basis for his claim at a hearing it called for Aug. 14.

Rico Quicho, the Vice Presidential spokesman on political affairs spoke on Trillanes’ comment in relation to the CA justices.

Quicho said that the CA is the proper forum where Senator Trillanes should present evidence to support his rash and precipitate allegation of bribery against sitting justices.

“The continued threats and bullying of Senator Trillanes that he will bring the justices to the Senate, where there is complete disregard of the rules of court and proper conduct, is a clear intrusion to the independence of the judicial branch.

“Does Senator Trillanes mean that he can accuse anybody, including the Court of Appeals Justices but when the court asks him to present evidence of the alleged bribery, all he can say is that he fears for the security and the reputation and employment of his witness?”

All that is needed, according to Trillanes. Is for the court to judge him on the basis of his personality and track record as a senator, and not the evidence. And all that the court needs is to check his record as a senator and legislator, not the evidence. And it is the court that should prove that it is the accuser who is at fault.

“So how does the dirt he throws at the persons be resolved if this is the way Trillanes keeps on accusing people without any evidence?

“It is time for Senator Trillanes to be held accountable for his indiscretions in a fair and impartial investigation.

“Finally, Senator Trillanes must also be made fully accountable for his explicit admission in a media interview that he used “not so legal” means to fish for information in order to support his incredulous claim of bribery in the Court of Appeals. Is he referring to wiretapping, which is an illegal act? He should face this issue squarely,” Quicho stressed.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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