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

PHILIPPINE POPULATION HITS 101.6 M THIS YEAR


The country’s population is projected to reach 101.6 million this year. STAR/File photo
The country’s population is projected to reach 101.6 million this year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. PSA interim assistant national statistician Socorro Abejo made the projection at the official start of Population Census 2015 (PopCen 2015), which runs until Sept. 6. The PSA, a line agency of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), is considered an expanded National Statistics Coordinating Board (NSCB). The 101.6 million forecast is roughly 10 percent higher than the 2010 official count. The annual growth rate is 2.1 percent, slightly slower than the 2.42 percent rate from 1990 to 1995. A census in 1903 – the first under the US colonial era – showed the country’s population at 7.6 million. The 13th census undertaken in 2010 showed the official population count at 92.3 million. READ MORE...

ALSO: Government hiring 142,000 teachers, health workers


The government is hiring nearly 142,000 public school teachers and health workers this year and next year, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said. STAR/File photo
- The government is hiring nearly 142,000 public school teachers and health workers this year and next year, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said yesterday. He told the House appropriations committee chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab that there is P8.9 billion in this year’s budget for the recruitment of 40,320 new teachers and P13.5 billion next year for an additional 62,320, for a total of 102,320 teaching personnel. The proposed P3.002-trillion national budget also allocates P61.8 billion for 43,000 new classrooms, P6.8 billion for computerization projects, P21.2 billion for assistance to students and teachers in private education and P4.2 billion for textbooks and instructional materials. The DBM has proposed a more than P111-billion increase in the budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) next year. Based on the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted to Congress, the DBM proposed a budget of P430.729 billion for DepEd next year, up from the current P319.231 billion. Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the huge increase was in preparation for the implementation of the K-to-12 program. The STAR reviewed the latest NEP and compared it with the 2015 General Appropriations Act, the budget approved by Congress and President Aquino for the current year. Based on budget documents, DepEd will receive increases in personnel services, maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlays. P19.3 B for new positions On personal services, DBM proposed a budget of P19.322 billion for creation of new positions. No such line item was present in the previous year. READ MORE...

ALSO: SC grants Enrile’s plea for Bill of Particulars


Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile
After almost a year, the Supreme Court (SC) finally granted the plea of detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile for a Bill of Particulars or the detailed information on the plunder and graft charges filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with his alleged misuse of the outlawed Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). In a press briefing, SC Spokesman Theodore O. Te said “the SC directed the Ombudsman to submit a Bill of Particulars, providing the information to be contained in the Court’s judgment.” Voting 8-5, the SC also allowed Enrile to confirm or change the “not guilty plea, if he so wishes” that the Sandiganbayan’s third division entered for him when he refused to enter a plea when arraigned on the criminal charges. READ MORE...

ALSO: Enrile to regain freedom; SC poised to let senator post bail
[The former Senate president surrendered to the police in July last year. He was accused of receiving P172 million in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel, which he allegedly poured into dubious projects of non-government organizations owned or controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. The SC declared the PDAF illegal in 2013.]


SENATOR Juan Ponce Enrile will be a free man again as the Supreme Court (SC) is set to grant his petition for bail this week. Sources at the High Court said a 17-page draft decision ordering the provisional release of Enrile circulated among the justices last week. The decision was written by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin. Sources told The Manila Times that an overwhelming majority of the justices are for the release of Enrile, 91, for humanitarian reasons. They said there is even a chance for a unanimous ruling for the senator, who is under hospital arrest for plunder and graft. The sources said most justices decided to show mercy and compassion for the senator because of his frail health. The High Court set a bail of P500,000 for Enrile’s temporary liberty, according to the sources. They said the draft decision “directs the immediate release of petitioner Enrile from custody or prison unless he is being detained for some other unlawful cause.” It also will set aside resolutions issued by the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division and orders the “provisional release of petitioner Enrile upon posting of a cash bond of P500,000.00.” SC justices will vote on the draft decision on Tuesday during their regular en banc session. READ MORE...

ALSO: Ombudsman guilty of graft; Morales used office in civil suit for personal gain—VP’s lawyer


The Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales, who is mandated by the Constitution and the law in her function and office in going after the grafters and the corrupt, is herself guilty of graft and corruption, having violated the Ombudsman’s law.Morales should be charged for violation of the Ombudsman Act and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when she used government resources to defend herself in a P200-million libel suit filed by Vice President Jejomar Binay against her, the Vice President’s lawyer said yesterday.“Ombudsman Morales is herself guilty of graft and corruption in using her entire office and government resources for her personal defense. It bears to stress that the P200-million damage suit filed by VP Binay against her is a personal civil action and is not against the Office of the Ombudsman,” Claro Certeza, the VP’s counsel, said.Certeza cited Section 13 of the Ombudsman Act (Republic Act 6770) which states that the Office of the Ombudsman may only investigate or prosecute erring officials. It has no authority to represent the Ombudsman in her personal civil case. She should either represent herself or hire her own lawyers. She should not use the taxpayers money for personal gain.In a brief telephone interview with Certeza, he informed The Tribune that an earlier Supreme Court ruling had already ruled on this, as it stated clearly that the Ombudsman, acting in a personal capacity, cannot even have the Office of the Solicitor-General to take on her case, nor can her office be used to defend charges leveled against her.Her reply to the civil suit filed by Vice President Binay asked the Makati Court to dismiss the case.Her affidavit was signed by her Deputy Ombudsman, which serves as evidence that Morales has used her office and staff for her defense in a personal case against her, which translates to using government resources for her personal gain.READ MORE...

ALSO: Trillanes evades facing court as VP takes him to court for libel
[The Vice President said it is obvious that the allegations and acts against him “were not made in response to duty but with the obvious intention to injure the reputation of an innocent person in order to attain their objectives.” The Vice President noted that Trillanes and Cayetano have admitted they plan to run for a higher position, Erice is a supporter of 2013 losing vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas (Roxas lost to Binay), while the Mercado group members are all losing candidates in the Makati local elections last May 2013.]


TRILLANES AND BINAY LAWYER QUICHO With Sen. Antonio Trillanes again trying to evade facing the libel and damage charges filed against him in a Makati Court, by Vice President Jojo Binay, in seeking a transfer of venue, the senator was dared by the Binay camp to face the Vice President in court and answer the charges against him. Lawyer Rico Quicho, the VP spokesman for political affairs, yesterday said Trillanes should just answer the damage suit that the Vice President filed against him and 12 others instead of casting doubt on the integrity of the court. Trillanes asked the Supreme Court (SC) to transfer from a Makati City court to another court in Metro Manila the P200 million civil suit filed against him by the Vice President. In a three-page letter to Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, Trillanes’ lawyer Reynaldo Bustos Robles cited the “immense and overbearing” influence of Binay over Makati City where he served as mayor for 28 years. Trillanes accused Binay of providing Makati judicial and prosecutorial officers logistical support. The senator said judges and prosecutors would be able to perform their duties but insisted that bias, prejudice or partiality can be avoided by transferring the case.
“Considering all of the foregoing, holding the trial of the above-captioned case in the City of Makati will indubitably result in the reluctance if not the refusal of material witnesses to testify in the case out of fear for their personal security and/or safety, thus, resulting to the miscarriage of justice,” Trillanes said. His justifications are the same ones he used to have the preliminary investigation on a case filed by Mayor Binay transferred to the DoJ, having the state prosecutor handing the case to the DoJ, despite a pending motion for reconsideration and his refusal to just inhibit himself, following the rules in the prosecution department. READ MORE...

ALSO: Grace Poe's son: Mom seriously considering 2016 bid


The family of Sen. Grace Poe vowed to support the senator if ever she decides to run for a higher position in the 2016 national elections. Philstar.com/EC Toledo
 Brian Poe Llamanzares, the son of Sen. Grace Poe, revealed on Thursday that his mother is seriously considering to run for a higher post in the 2016 national elections. "Sineseryoso niya talaga yung posibilidad na tatakbo siya para sa mas mataas na posisyon," Lllamanzares said in a televised interview with members of the press. The senator's son is currently on leave from his work as a reporter at a television station. "I guess you can kind of tell na dahil nag-leave na ako sa trabaho ko ibig sabihin po n'yan medyo seryoso na," Llamanzares said. Llamanzares noted that they are also being affected by the issues on their mother, particularly on the disqualification case filed against her. READ MORE...

ALSO Grace told: Don’t count on popularity


High survey ratings don’t necessarily translate to victory.
A veteran lawmaker said this as he cautioned Sen. Grace Poe not to be dazzled with her being a pre-election survey frontrunner as history has proven that popularity is not the be-all and end-all in the political derby.House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong city (Metro Manila) noted that history has shown that it is very difficult for an independent candidate to succeed in his or her quest unless he or she has a well-oiled machinery to deliver the votes on election day.Gonzales cited the cases of Sen. Miriam Defensor- Santiago, the late Raul Roco and former senator Panfilo Lacson. They all lost in their respective bids for the presidency.Santiago and Roco were popular with the youth when they respectively aimed for the presidency in the 1992 and 1998 elections.Santiago relied on the People’s Reform Party, which had a negligible grassroots organization. Fidel Ramos, who was endorsed by President Corazon Aquino and was backed by the Lakas-NUCD coalition, won the race.Roco who also relied on his own party, Aksyon Demokratiko, was overrun by a more popular Joseph Estrada, who was backstopped by the machinery of the Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (LAMMP) in 1998 while Lacson–who ran as an independent in 2004–was no match to the powerful Lakas machinery of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.“In history, those who ran independently, or even from smaller parties like PRP and Aksyon Demokratiko, were unsuccessful. Historically speaking, there has not been one [who won the presidency]. For one, you won’t have [election watchers] if you don’t have a political party,” Gonzales pointed out. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Philippine population hits 101.6 M this year


The country’s population is projected to reach 101.6 million this year. STAR/File photo

MANILA, AUGUST 17, 2015  (PHILSTAR)  By Ted Torres - The country’s population is projected to reach 101.6 million this year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

PSA interim assistant national statistician Socorro Abejo made the projection at the official start of Population Census 2015 (PopCen 2015), which runs until Sept. 6.

The PSA, a line agency of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), is considered an expanded National Statistics Coordinating Board (NSCB).

The 101.6 million forecast is roughly 10 percent higher than the 2010 official count. The annual growth rate is 2.1 percent, slightly slower than the 2.42 percent rate from 1990 to 1995.

A census in 1903 – the first under the US colonial era – showed the country’s population at 7.6 million.

The 13th census undertaken in 2010 showed the official population count at 92.3 million.

READ MORE...

A total of 93,000 enumerators or interviewers have been sent out to collect data from 42,028 barangays nationwide. The target is one interviewer for every 300 to 400 households.

One supervisor is assigned to every four enumerators, or a total of 23,000 team supervisors, who are in turn managed by 5,000 area supervisors.

The entire process, which actually started last year, has a budget of P2.5 billion.

By September, the data will be tabulated and processed. Initial data are set for release in December or early January next year. Complete data and official data will be made public sometime in the second semester of 2016.

The PSA also reminded the public that failure or refusal to give accurate information to interviewers is punishable under the law.

“There is a penalty of one-year imprisonment and/or a fine of P100,000,” Abejo added.

Meanwhile, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan emphasized that getting accurate statistical information is key to effective allocation of scarce government resources.

“Accurate and reliable statistical data and evidence are crucial in determining how to allocate limited resources,” Balisacan said.

“We in government rely on these to ensure that the policy decisions and actions we make truly respond to people’s needs,” he said.

“The census is particularly useful for development planning from the national to local levels, for investment programming and for targeting beneficiaries of social services such as health, education, housing and social protection,” he pointed out.

He also said the census is an important input for political exercises, as the formation of congressional districts and cities depends partly on population count.

Even businesses and industries consider census data useful for identifying sites for their businesses, as well as for determining consumer demand for various goods and services, and improving labor supply.

“Throughout my professional career, both in academe and in government, I have seen the power that high-quality data can lend to the formulation of public policies that affect millions of lives,” Balisacan, who is also NEDA director-general, said.

Balisacan said academic and research institutions use census data to study population growth and geographic distribution.


PHILSTAR

Government hiring 142,000 teachers, health workers By Jess Diaz and Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 11, 2015 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 1


The government is hiring nearly 142,000 public school teachers and health workers this year and next year, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The government is hiring nearly 142,000 public school teachers and health workers this year and next year, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said yesterday.

He told the House appropriations committee chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab that there is P8.9 billion in this year’s budget for the recruitment of 40,320 new teachers and P13.5 billion next year for an additional 62,320, for a total of 102,320 teaching personnel.

The proposed P3.002-trillion national budget also allocates P61.8 billion for 43,000 new classrooms, P6.8 billion for computerization projects, P21.2 billion for assistance to students and teachers in private education and P4.2 billion for textbooks and instructional materials.

The DBM has proposed a more than P111-billion increase in the budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) next year.

Based on the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted to Congress, the DBM proposed a budget of P430.729 billion for DepEd next year, up from the current P319.231 billion.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the huge increase was in preparation for the implementation of the K-to-12 program.

The STAR reviewed the latest NEP and compared it with the 2015 General Appropriations Act, the budget approved by Congress and President Aquino for the current year.

Based on budget documents, DepEd will receive increases in personnel services, maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlays.

P19.3 B for new positions On personal services, DBM proposed a budget of P19.322 billion for creation of new positions. No such line item was present in the previous year.

READ MORE...

According to Luistro, this includes budget for the creation of items for teaching and non-teaching personnel for senior high school.

DepEd Assistant Secretary for programs and projects Elvin Uy said they proposed a budget for 43,000 teaching items even as DepEd only projects a need for 30,000 new teachers next year. “That’s in case we have a huge enrolment,” he said.

Uy said the budget proposal also includes funding for the creation of at least 6,000 non-teaching personnel for senior high schools.

The bulk of the increase in the maintenance and other operating expenses is in the financial assistance and subsidy line item.

From this year’s P16.031-billion budget, it has ballooned to P28.782 billion in the proposed budget next year.

Uy said the budget for financial subsidy is divided into three: ‘education service contracting’ that subsidizes the cost of tuition of students enrolled in private junior high school; subsidy for madaris or Muslim private schools; and for the voucher system for senior high school.

The increase in the budget for financial subsidy is due to the first year of implementation of the voucher system for senior high school, which will subsidize the tuition of public Grade 10 graduates who will choose to enroll in private senior high schools.

On capital outlay, the DBM proposed a budget of P80.067 billion for buildings and other structures, up from this year’s P54.274-billion budget.

On the other hand, DBM decreased the budget proposal for land outlay from this year’s P400 million to P65 million next year.

Another P3.439 billion is allotted for furniture, fixtures and books outlay, up from the current P1.246 billion.


LUISTRO

Luistro said the budget for school buildings would be for the construction of some 43,000 classrooms for Grade 12 students in June 2017.

He said the budget for Grade 11 classrooms is already included in the 2014 and 2015 budgets.

Reacting to criticisms that DepEd failed to utilize all of its budget allocations in the previous years, Luistro said it takes time to finish big projects like school buildings.

He noted that construction of a four-storey building lasts at least nine months, and that it would be impossible to have finished all projects within the current year as there are bidding and other procedures to follow.

He maintained that the government is on track in its building projects and that it would make sure that all teacher items for senior high school are filled before the start of classes in June 2016.

Health sector hiring In the health sector, Abad said that for this year, the government is hiring 13,500 nurses, 398 doctors, 3,100 midwives, 214 dentists, 787 public health workers and 308 medical technologists.

For 2016, he said an additional 15,727 nurses would be hired, plus 946 doctors, 3,100 midwives, 324 dentists, 713 public health workers and 308 medical technologists.

He added that P3.3 billion would be allocated for family health and responsible parenting programs, P1.1 billion for tuberculosis control and P793 million for treatment of public health diseases.

Rep. Leah Paquiz of party-list Ang NARS appealed to Abad to raise the salary level of nurses in government hospitals from Salary Grade 11 (about P18,000 a month) to 15 (P25,000) as mandated by the Philippine Nurses Act of 2002.

She said a special law like the one Congress had enacted for nurses should prevail over general legislation like the Salary Standardization Law for government personnel.


MANILA BULLETIN

SC grants Enrile’s plea for Bill of Particulars by Rey G. Panaligan August 11, 2015 Share0 Tweet2 Share0 Email1 Share


Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile

After almost a year, the Supreme Court (SC) finally granted the plea of detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile for a Bill of Particulars or the detailed information on the plunder and graft charges filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with his alleged misuse of the outlawed Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

In a press briefing, SC Spokesman Theodore O. Te said “the SC directed the Ombudsman to submit a Bill of Particulars, providing the information to be contained in the Court’s judgment.”

Voting 8-5, the SC also allowed Enrile to confirm or change the “not guilty plea, if he so wishes” that the Sandiganbayan’s third division entered for him when he refused to enter a plea when arraigned on the criminal charges.

READ MORE...

Those who voted in favor of Enrile’s petition were Justices Presbitero J. Velasco Jr., Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo D. Brion, Diosdado M. Peralta, Lucas P. Bersamin, Jose Portugal Perez, Jose Catral Mendoza, and Estela M. Perlas Bernabe.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno, Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio, and Justices Mariano C. del Castillo, Martin S. Villarama Jr., and Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen dissented.

Justice Francis H. Jardeleza inhibited himself as former solicitor general, while Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes was on official leave.

Enrile has been charged with one count of plunder and 15 counts of violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for reportedly benefiting P172.8 million in pork barrel funds coursed through non-government associations (NGOs) identified with Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in PDAF irregularities. PDAF, in all forms, has been declared unconstitutional by the SC.


MANILA TIMES

Enrile to regain freedom; SC poised to let senator post bail August 16, 2015 10:02 pm by JOMAR CANLAS SENIOR REPORTER


Enrile

SENATOR Juan Ponce Enrile will be a free man again as the Supreme Court (SC) is set to grant his petition for bail this week.

Sources at the High Court said a 17-page draft decision ordering the provisional release of Enrile circulated among the justices last week.

The decision was written by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin.

Sources told The Manila Times that an overwhelming majority of the justices are for the release of Enrile, 91, for humanitarian reasons.

They said there is even a chance for a unanimous ruling for the senator, who is under hospital arrest for plunder and graft.

The sources said most justices decided to show mercy and compassion for the senator because of his frail health.

The High Court set a bail of P500,000 for Enrile’s temporary liberty, according to the sources.

They said the draft decision “directs the immediate release of petitioner Enrile from custody or prison unless he is being detained for some other unlawful cause.”

It also will set aside resolutions issued by the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division and orders the “provisional release of petitioner Enrile upon posting of a cash bond of P500,000.00.”

SC justices will vote on the draft decision on Tuesday during their regular en banc session.

READ MORE...

The sources said if there will be changes in the dispositive portion of the decision, these will be very minor and will likely involve some editing.

An SC official said the new draft deviates from the original draft, which centered on the issues of “mitigating circumstances.”

He added that more justices favored the granting of Enrile’s appeal because the draft decision focused on “humanitarian reasons.”

The sources said the justices agreed not to discuss mitigating circumstances since the senator has not been convicted yet and the issue is only limited to his petition for bail.

Only 14 justices will vote on the draft resolution because Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited from the case since he represented the government when he was the Solicitor General.

Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, although on medical leave, is expected to leave his vote with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Last week, the SC granted Enrile’s petition for a Bill of Particulars in connection with the plunder complaint filed against him involving the pork barrel scam.

With the granting of Enrile’s petition, the case filed against the senator will go back to the Office of the Ombudsman, possibly compelling Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to reinvestigate the cases filed against the senator.

Those who voted in favor of Enrile were Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Estela Perlas-Bernabe while dissenting were Chief Justice Sereno and Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Mariano del Castillo, Martin Villarama and Marvic Leonen.

Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes was on leave.

The former Senate president surrendered to the police in July last year.

He was accused of receiving P172 million in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel, which he allegedly poured into dubious projects of non-government organizations owned or controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

The SC declared the PDAF illegal in 2013.


TRIBUNE

Ombudsman guilty of graft; Morales used office in civil suit for personal gain—VP’s lawyer Written by Benjamin B. Pulta and Charlie V. Manalo Saturday, 15 August 2015 00:00


Morales used office in civil suit for personal gain—VP’s lawyer

The Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales, who is mandated by the Constitution and the law in her function and office in going after the grafters and the corrupt, is herself guilty of graft and corruption, having violated the Ombudsman’s law.

Morales should be charged for violation of the Ombudsman Act and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when she used government resources to defend herself in a P200-million libel suit filed by Vice President Jejomar Binay against her, the Vice President’s lawyer said yesterday.

“Ombudsman Morales is herself guilty of graft and corruption in using her entire office and government resources for her personal defense. It bears to stress that the P200-million damage suit filed by VP Binay against her is a personal civil action and is not against the Office of the Ombudsman,” Claro Certeza, the VP’s counsel, said.

Certeza cited Section 13 of the Ombudsman Act (Republic Act 6770) which states that the Office of the Ombudsman may only investigate or prosecute erring officials. It has no authority to represent the Ombudsman in her personal civil case. She should either represent herself or hire her own lawyers. She should not use the taxpayers money for personal gain.

In a brief telephone interview with Certeza, he informed The Tribune that an earlier Supreme Court ruling had already ruled on this, as it stated clearly that the Ombudsman, acting in a personal capacity, cannot even have the Office of the Solicitor-General to take on her case, nor can her office be used to defend charges leveled against her.

Her reply to the civil suit filed by Vice President Binay asked the Makati Court to dismiss the case.

Her affidavit was signed by her Deputy Ombudsman, which serves as evidence that Morales has used her office and staff for her defense in a personal case against her, which translates to using government resources for her personal gain.

READ MORE...

Another piece of evidence that Morales uses her office and government resources for her personal gain, is that she even had Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan saying in an interview after the hearing that they argued before Branch 133 Judge Elpidio Calis that the complaint is “baseless and does not have a cause of action.”

The Binay camp countered that the Ombudsman should not have been represented in the first place by lawyers from the Office of the Ombudsman and Office of Solicitor General, as this is a personal case.

“She (Morales) is not being sued as an Ombudsman, and neither is the Ombudsman’s Office being sued. This is a personal case,” Certeza said.

The Vice President named Morales in the P200 million civil suit for prejudging plunder cases filed against him and for saying that the evidence against him was strong even if the preliminary investigation had not begun.

Morales exhibited a bellicose attitude against the Vice President, Certeza said, adding that Morales took an extraordinary interest in the prosecution of the Vice President to the extent that:

1. She chose to defy a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals stopping her from suspending the son of the Vice President as Mayor of Makati;

2. She voluntarily initiated, appeared and argued a petition before the Supreme Court to question the TRO issued by the Court of Appeals despite the fact that this is the role of the Office of the Solicitor General; and

3. She refused to apply the principle of “condonation” to exculpate the Vice President’s son from administrative liability but applied the very same doctrine to other respondents before her office.

Together with 12 others named in the suit, Morales repeatedly told the media that the evidence of corruption against the Vice President is strong.

For their orchestrated effort to “maliciously destroy his character and reputation” in violation of the Civil Code of the Philippines or Republic Act No. 386 before the Makati Regional Trial Court, named with Morales in the libel suit are Senators Antonio F. Trillanes and Alan Peter S. Cayetano, Congressman Edgar R. Erice;, AMLC officials Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., Emmanuel F. Dooc, Teresita J. Herbosa, Julia C. Abad, the “Mercado group” composed of Ernesto S. Mercado, Mario U. Hechanova, Renato L. Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI, and The Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc.


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

In a 41-page civil suit, the Vice President said the 13 respondents violated Articles 19, 20 and 21 (human relations), 32 (constitutional rights), and 2176 of the Civil Code when they repeatedly spread allegations of plunder graft and corruption and other illegal activities against him based on unverified and even fabricated sources, and despite the fact these have not been proven in court.

The Vice President also said the respondents violated Article 33 (libel) of the Civil Code in relation to Articles 353, 355 and 358 of the Revised Penal Code.

“In particular, the Vice President said Morales and the officials of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLAC) provided the “veneer of legality to the lies peddled by the Mercado Group,” referring to former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, the principal witness in the Senate hearings.

“Instead of approaching the accusations against the Vice President with the cold impartiality as required by their official functions, Tetangco, Dooc, Herbosa and Abad maliciously ignored official public documents such as income tax returns (ITRs) and Statement of Campaign Contributions and Expenses filed with the BIR and the Comelec for the last 30 years. Instead, they slanted their report to make it appear that the Vice President is guilty of money laundering.

“Worse, said officials tolerated if not instigated the premature release of the AMLC report to Defendant Inquirer that published the same repeatedly in clear violation of Section 9 (c) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

“All these acts and false imputations of the defendants were “prompted by sheer malice, ill will and spite to discredit the Vice President thereby diminishing, if not destroying, his chances of winning in the May 2016 Elections,” the Vice President said.

“These malicious attacks, the Vice President said, maligned his character and reputation and are aimed at destroying his chances of being elected President of the country. The venue for such baseless accusations was a public forum— interviews in media outlets and publication of the defamatory statements in the PDI. “

The Vice President said it is obvious that the allegations and acts against him “were not made in response to duty but with the obvious intention to injure the reputation of an innocent person in order to attain their objectives.”

“The false imputations against the Vice President were clearly predicated on erroneous findings as the imputations, among other things, disregarded more than three decades of public documents. Worse, they were done in total breach and utter disregard of the Vice President’s rights, including but not limited to the right to due process. As such, the Defendants are liable for their acts and omissions that caused the defamation of the name and reputation of the Vice President,” it was noted in the complaint.

The concerted actions of the defendants clearly show a pattern of maligning the character and good name of the Vice President.

“In constantly repeating the accusatory lies of the Mercado Group, Defendants intend to influence negatively the public’s perception of the Vice President to ensure his defeat in the incoming presidential election,” the complaint stated.

Meanwhile, the libel suit filed by suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Bina, the son of the Vice President, has suffered yet another long delay, as once again, another appellate justice assigned to the case of at least two Court of Appeals (CA) justices who have been accused, without any evidence of a P50 million bribe in granting the Makati Mayor a temporary restraining order that prevented his first suspension.

To this day, the CA has not acted on Mayor Binay’s petition to lift his second suspension by the Ombudsman.

In the alleged bribery case which involves Senator Trillanes, yet another CA justice has reused herself from handling the contempt raps filed by the suspended Makati City Mayor.

Appellate court Justice Maria Luisa Quijano-Padilla told the CA Special 5th Division headed by Justice Stephen Cruz, Chairman of the Division, that she is inhibiting herself since she is a member of the internal committee investigating her fellow CA Justices on the bribery accusations of Trillanes.

With the conflict interest issue, Padilla deems it proper to inhibit from the case in order avoid accusations of partiality in the Trillanes contempt case.

Office Order No. 190-15-ABR by Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. reorganized the new set of magistrates who will conduct the probe over the allegations of Trillanes of P25-Million bribery of Binays to CA Justices Jose Reyes and Francisco Acosta.

The Chairman of the Internal Committee was headed by Associate Justice Sesinando Villon. The members include Justices Franchito Diamante and Manuel Barrios who belongs to the original set of Ethics Committee members.

Barrios and Diamante chose to hold on with the task and conduct the probe, along with Associate Justices Carmelita Salandanan-Manahan and Padilla.

In the CA Special 5th Division which was supposed to hear the case of Trillanes, aside from Cruz, the other justice tasked to hear the case is Justice Ramon Paul Hernando .


COURTESY OF PHILSTAR POSTED JUNE 25, 2015 --
- Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV confirmed on Thursday morning that he will run for Vice President in the 2016 national elections. "I am 100 percent sure na tatakbo ako for vice president sa 2016," Trillanes said during a Senate forum. The senator took short courses on national and international security, as well as leaders and development program at Harvard University as preparations for his vice presidential bid.

The CA has ordered Trillanes to explain why he should not be cited for contempt for making baseless allegations.

Binay has asked the CA to cite Trillanes in contempt for issuing irresponsible statements against the CA Justices handling the petition of Binay.

Binay lambasted Trillanes for accusing magistrates of the CA of receiving bribe money in exchange for issuing two orders that halted Binay’s preventive suspension order.

CA Justices Jose Reyes and Francisco Acosta were accused by Trillanes of receiving P25 million each in exchange of favorable resolutions in the case of Makati Mayor 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.


 

TRIBUNE


Trillanes evades facing court Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Tuesday, 11 August 2015 00:00
 


TRILLANES AND BINAY LAWYER QUICHO

With Sen. Antonio Trillanes again trying to evade facing the libel and damage charges filed against him in a Makati Court, by Vice President Jojo Binay, in seeking a transfer of venue, the senator was dared by the Binay camp to face the Vice President in court and answer the charges against him.

Lawyer Rico Quicho, the VP spokesman for political affairs, yesterday said Trillanes should just answer the damage suit that the Vice President filed against him and 12 others instead of casting doubt on the integrity of the court.

Trillanes asked the Supreme Court (SC) to transfer from a Makati City court to another court in Metro Manila the P200 million civil suit filed against him by the Vice President.

In a three-page letter to Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, Trillanes’ lawyer Reynaldo Bustos Robles cited the “immense and overbearing” influence of Binay over Makati City where he served as mayor for 28 years.

Trillanes accused Binay of providing Makati judicial and prosecutorial officers logistical support.

The senator said judges and prosecutors would be able to perform their duties but insisted that bias, prejudice or partiality can be avoided by transferring the case.

“Considering all of the foregoing, holding the trial of the above-captioned case in the City of Makati will indubitably result in the reluctance if not the refusal of material witnesses to testify in the case out of fear for their personal security and/or safety, thus, resulting to the miscarriage of justice,” Trillanes said.

His justifications are the same ones he used to have the preliminary investigation on a case filed by Mayor Binay transferred to the DoJ, having the state prosecutor handing the case to the DoJ, despite a pending motion for reconsideration and his refusal to just inhibit himself, following the rules in the prosecution department.

READ MORE...
 

Also respondents in the damage suit were Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Caloocan City Representative Edgar Erice, Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) officials Amando Tetangco, Jr., Emmanuel Dooc, Teresita Herbosa, Julia Abad, former Makati officials Ernesto Mercado, Mario Hechanova, Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Binay said in a 41-page civil suit, the 13 respondents violated Articles 19, 20 and 21 (human relations), 32 (constitutional rights), and 2176 of the Civil Code “when they repeatedly spread allegations of plunder graft and corruption and other illegal activities against him based on unverified and even fabricated sources, and despite the fact these have not been proven in court.”

He added that the respondents should also be held liable for libel, under Article 33 of the Civil Code in relation to Articles 353, 355 and 358 of the Revised Penal Code.

“By mouthing in public and/or publishing/or causing the publication of the concocted and fabricated claims, which maliciously impute the crimes of graft and corruption as well as other illegal activities against the Plaintiff, thereby attacking and attempting to ruin his name and reputation, the defendants caused damage to the Plaintiff through fault and/or negligence,” the complaint stated.

“These malicious attacks, the Vice President said, maligned his character and reputation and are aimed at destroying his chances of being elected President of the country. The venue for such baseless accusations was a public forum— interviews in media outlets and publication of the defamatory statements in the PDI.

 

The Vice President said it is obvious that the allegations and acts against him “were not made in response to duty but with the obvious intention to injure the reputation of an innocent person in order to attain their objectives.”

The Vice President noted that Trillanes and Cayetano have admitted they plan to run for a higher position, Erice is a supporter of 2013 losing vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas (Roxas lost to Binay), while the Mercado group members are all losing candidates in the Makati local elections last May 2013.

The Vice President also noted:
1. public documents contradicting mere allegations were disregarded by defendants AMLC officials who were tasked to weigh documentary evidence as against testimonies. From the start, the said the testimonies were already established as tainted because the witnesses themselves admitted they have ill feelings against the Vice President or they were/are his political enemies.

2. another testimony that can no longer be verified as it came from a dead person was not immediately thrown out. How can one cross-examine a dead person?

3. his right to due process was denied as he was depicted as guilty of plunder without being given a chance to answer in the proper forum all allegations against him.

“The false imputations against the Vice President were clearly predicated on erroneous findings as the imputations, among other things, disregarded more than 3 decades of public documents. Worse, they were done in total breach and utter disregard of the Vice President’s rights, including but not limited to the right to due process. As such, the Defendants are liable for their acts and omissions that caused the defamation of the name and reputation of the Vice President,” it was noted in the complaint.

The concerted actions of the defendants clearly show a pattern of maligning the character and good name of the Vice President.

 


MERCADO

“In constantly repeating the accusatory lies of the Mercado Group, Defendants intend to influence negatively the public’s perception of the Vice President to ensure his defeat in the incoming presidential election,” the complaint stated.

“Because of their malicious acts and/or defamatory statements, made in collusion with one another as they clearly motivated to prejudice the Vice President and to malign his character, the defendants are civilly liable jointly and solidarily,” the complaint added.

“In making the foregoing libelous statements, the defendants have declared in public that the Plaintiff is a plunderer who has amassed ill-gotten wealth, a corrupt politician who does not deserve to be elected President but should be thrown in jail,” the complaint stated.

“Suffice it to say that the baseless and defamatory allegations made by the defendants outside the halls of Congress are intended to malign the integrity and character of the Plaintiff for the sole purpose of diminishing, if not outright destroying, his chances of being elected President in the May 2016 elections,” the complaint stated.

The case has been assigned to Judge Elpidio Calis of the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 133.

Trillanes shows aversion to fairness, impartiality

Quicho noted that Trillanes once again showed his “aversion to fairness and impartiality” by asking the court administrator to transfer the hearing of the civil suit filed by the Vice President to another venue.

“Senator Trillanes’ request to move the venue of the hearing showcases his lack of respect for the independence and integrity of the courts,” Quicho said.

“It also highlights Senator Trillanes’ aversion to fairness and impartiality as exhibited by his conduct in the previous investigations that he participated,” he added.

Quicho reminded the senator how he called the Vice President a coward for not appearing before an admittedly biased and antagonistic Senate subcommittee.
“Again, ours is a country of laws and not of Senator Trillanes. Allegations, just like sincerity, is subject to proof. Anything less, which Senator Trillanes implies, is tyranny and opportunism at its highest order,” he said.

“The people and institutions maligned by Senator Trillanes must have their day in court with a fair and impartial proceeding,” he added.

Trillanes said having the trial in Makati City “can endanger the lives of the defendants in the case.”

Quicho said the former navy lieutenant seems to be afraid of the fact that Makati residents stayed at the quadrangle in front of the Makati city hall building while waiting for the Court of Appeals decision on the suspension of Makati Mayor Binay.

“Trillanes appears to believe that the support of the Makati constituents can be a possible source of danger for him, the 13 other respondents, and even witnesses who may be called to testify. If that is not paranoia, I don’t know what is,” Quicho said.

In his request to the court administrator, Trillanes also said that “the entire RTC of Makati may be perceived to be biased in favor of Binay due to the benefits given to all RTC Makati judges by the Makati City Government.”

Quicho noted that this is the second time Trillanes has questioned the integrity of the courts yet the senator has not provided any evidence to prove his allegations.
More than a month ago, Trillanes said in a television interview that members of the Court of Appeals were bribed to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the enforcement of the Ombudsman’s suspension order against Mayor Binay.

As to alleged benefits the RTC received, Quicho said the grant of financial support by the local government unit to judges is specifically provided for by Section 458 (a) (1) (xi) of the Local Government Code.

Quicho, commenting on the continuing Senate probe pointedly said that “he who alleges something must prove it, based on credible evidence. This month, it will be one year since the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee began its kangaroo court proceedings but until now it is still groping for form to prove all the loose and general allegations against Vice President Binay.

“The senators leading the roving commission provided their so-called resource persons with the venue to discredit the accomplishments of the Vice President in Makati while bullying and humiliating private individuals that do not follow their script.


CAYETANO, TRILLANES

“Notwithstanding the lack of admissible evidence, these perjured resource persons were given trappings of favors by the administration that emboldened them to manufacture and produce unbelievable evidence that will not stand judicial scrutiny.

“It has been almost a year and the people have realized the real intention of the administration: to use this inquisition of the Vice President to cover up the anomalies of its allies and its palpak at manhid governance, and prop up the ratings of their anointed one.

“It is not surprising that Secretary Lacierda is parroting the same line as these senators. He has thrown caution and legality in the air just to conveniently downplay the incompetence and callousness of the administration. He still refuses to accept that the Vice President has replied to the Senate through an affidavit ignored by the senators and dismissed by Lacierda as a worthless piece of paper when he has apparently not read it.

 


PHILSTAR

Grace Poe's son: Mom seriously considering 2016 bid By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated August 14, 2015 - 9:48am 5 236 googleplus0 0


The family of Sen. Grace Poe vowed to support the senator if ever she decides to run for a higher position in the 2016 national elections. Philstar.com/EC Toledo

MANILA, Philippines — Brian Poe Llamanzares, the son of Sen. Grace Poe, revealed on Thursday that his mother is seriously considering to run for a higher post in the 2016 national elections.

"Sineseryoso niya talaga yung posibilidad na tatakbo siya para sa mas mataas na posisyon," Lllamanzares said in a televised interview with members of the press.

The senator's son is currently on leave from his work as a reporter at a television station.

"I guess you can kind of tell na dahil nag-leave na ako sa trabaho ko ibig sabihin po n'yan medyo seryoso na," Llamanzares said.

Llamanzares noted that they are also being affected by the issues on their mother, particularly on the disqualification case filed against her.

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A losing senatorial candidate earlier filed a complaint before the Senate electoral tribunal seeking to unseat Poe. The senator allegedly failed to meet the residency and citizenship requirements for her position.

"As son, obviously that affects me. I talked to my sister and it's more on telling her na no matter what happens you always have remember na your mom is a good person," he said.

Sen. Tito Sotto earlier said that Poe is 80 percent sure of running for president in the 2016 polls. However, Poe has not yet announced her plans for next year's elections.


MANILA TIMES

Grace told: Don’t count on popularity August 11, 2015 10:46 pm by LLANESCA T. PANTI, REPORTER

High survey ratings don’t necessarily translate to victory.

A veteran lawmaker said this as he cautioned Sen. Grace Poe not to be dazzled with her being a pre-election survey frontrunner as history has proven that popularity is not the be-all and end-all in the political derby.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd of Mandaluyong city (Metro Manila) noted that history has shown that it is very difficult for an independent candidate to succeed in his or her quest unless he or she has a well-oiled machinery to deliver the votes on election day.

Gonzales cited the cases of Sen. Miriam Defensor- Santiago, the late Raul Roco and former senator Panfilo Lacson. They all lost in their respective bids for the presidency.

Santiago and Roco were popular with the youth when they respectively aimed for the presidency in the 1992 and 1998 elections.

Santiago relied on the People’s Reform Party, which had a negligible grassroots organization. Fidel Ramos, who was endorsed by President Corazon Aquino and was backed by the Lakas-NUCD coalition, won the race.

Roco who also relied on his own party, Aksyon Demokratiko, was overrun by a more popular Joseph Estrada, who was backstopped by the machinery of the Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (LAMMP) in 1998 while Lacson–who ran as an independent in 2004–was no match to the powerful Lakas machinery of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“In history, those who ran independently, or even from smaller parties like PRP and Aksyon Demokratiko, were unsuccessful. Historically speaking, there has not been one [who won the presidency]. For one, you won’t have [election watchers] if you don’t have a political party,” Gonzales pointed out.

READ MORE...

He, however, clarified that being with an established political party does not guarantee a victory because times have changed.

“Being with a big political party doesn’t guarantee a win. There are other available tools for campaign now that did not exist before… there’s social media, and the media, which would also play a huge role,” Gonzales said.

Having said that, the son of the late Senate President Neptali Gonzales does not see anybody as a frontrunner at this point.

The filing of candidacy is October 12 to 15, but the last pre-election survey will be released in September.

In recent Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia surveys, Poe edged out Vice President Jejomar Binay and former senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd by at least eight percentage points.

Poe also dominated the survey for possible bets for Vice President.

“Any candidate, declared or otherwise, will be feeling the pressure. Secretary Mar has said that it will be an uphill battle, the other camp whose ratings are going down would also be worried, and even those on top…because this is the first survey that would factor the President’s endorsement,” Gonzales said.

Poe and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero attended last night’s gathering of members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) at the residence of the party’s founder, industrialist Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. in Quezon City.

Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao, president of the NPC, earlier said majority of the members are backing a Poe-Escudero tandem in 2016.

Escudero was a member of the NPC before he resigned to become an independent in the 2013 elections.

Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, however, was quick to dispel speculations that the two senators’ presence means they will team up in next year’s elections under the NPC banner.

“This is just a fellowship and consultation… Imposible. May iba pa kaming iko-consult [It’s impossible to make an announcement. We’re still consulting others],” Sotto told reporters.

The NPC was formed in 1991 as a vehicle for Cojuangco’s presidential bid.
While Cojuangco no longer pursued politics after his defeat in 1992, the party continued to exist.

The “fellowship” was held hours after congressmen affiliated with the NPC had a meeting with Roxas.

“That’s a different story. Over here… is the NPC meeting itself. That is not an NPC meeting. [There still is no]party stand. [Once there is an] official party stand, most probably the members will follow,” Sotto told GMA News.

5 Responses to Grace told: Don’t count on popularity
alvin stamaria says:
August 12, 2015 at 2:10 pm
Ang taong dikit sa kanya nagyon ay mataas ang ambisyon…..ingat lang po Maam…….may kasabihan….wolf disguise in a sheeps’ clothing……..& all the political parties backing her have amassed wealth during the martial law…years……watch out Maam…..
Reply
Roldan Guerrero says:
August 12, 2015 at 12:24 pm
The elderlies always say that ” A little learning is a dangerous thing”. Grace Llamanzares is a crude example of a greedy politician who is too ambitious and who pretends to be competent in the highest government position. She is no less than another one if not even more stupid than her mentor….the PORK BARREL/DAP KING.The presidency is not a joke , we should learn from the Cory and BSA example who did nothing but put every Filipinos in jeopardy..This DRUNKARD LIAR woman should face the reality that she is not and never qualified in any government position. Her citizenship and residency status are both in question. She should resign and give-up her senatorial seat and stop riding on popularity hunger and stop all obsessions she is dreaming that could result to a nightmare.
Reply
justin says:
August 12, 2015 at 9:40 am
The 2016 presidential election will be a battle of magic. It started with Pnoy winning with the help of Cory’s magic. Grace will be the next president with the help of FPJ’s magic. Binay has a big chance in the election because of black magic. For Roxas to win, he must resort to hocus pocus or abra cadabra.
Reply
Ruben Garzon says:
August 12, 2015 at 8:02 am
Everyone with the intelligence of an elementary school graduate knows that popularity is not a benchmark of winning an election derby, that’s a given. Money is the only factor that decides elections so to even mention it in your article is an exercise in mootility (or is that even a word). Joseph Estrada was an exception. If the election was held today, Poe would win but questions regarding “natural born Pilipino” will have to be resolved first. DNA testing should provide some answers if not the answer.
Compare to the birthers of Obama, questions about “natural born” definition has risen yet the furor has died since the guy is on his way out. We are facing six years of executive function here, will these be laid to rest ever?
Reply
fyi says:
August 12, 2015 at 3:33 am
Grace Poe is riding the Aquino express and trying to hide it.
Why else would she give the SAF 44 investigation to Ombudsman Morales instead of to the senate ?
Since she gave the report to Morales a vote is now required to reopen it and that will never happen with the Aquino allies in congress who do as they are told or risk joining the 3 jailed opposition senators for giving their pork barrel allocations to fake non government organizations thru Napoles and Abad.
Reply


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