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

VP TOPS POLL, ROXAS 2nd, Poe 3rd
[PALACE POLL UNDERTAKEN SHORTLY AFTER ROXAS GOT NOY’S ENDORSEMENT]


AUGUST 24 -A commissioned quantitative survey by an unnamed business sector group, which was labeled for Malacañang’s eyes only, showed Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay remains the frontrunner in the presidential race, if the elections were held a week after President Aquino’s anointment of Liberal Party standard bearer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, survey documents ob-tained by The Tribune showed.The administration standard bearer, Roxas, came second to Binay, while Sen. Grace Poe landed in third place. She was followed by Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in fourth place with Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos in fifth palce. The commissioned survey, conducted between August 6 to 11, or post Aquino endorsement of Roxas, had Binay getting 33 percent of the vote, equivalent to 15.1 million votes; Roxas obtained 21 percent of the survey vote, equivalent to 9.6 million votes, landing second to Binay and displacing Poe, who had 14 percent of the survey votes, equivalent to over 5 million votes.
Duterte obtained fourth place with 11 percent of the vote while Marcos landed in fifth place with nine percent or the equivalent of 2.3 million votes.Twelve percent were undecided on their choice. The survey’s sample size, the documents showed was 46 percent from 81 provincial Local Government Units (LGUs) .
Included in the survey were six island provinces, 15 Luzon provinces, 10 Visayas provinces and 15 Mindanao provinces.
The same survey showed that it was based on 10 million to 14 million vote reach based on registered voters. READ MORE...

ACCORDING TO BELMONTE CAYETANO IS NEXT BEST OPTION AS ROXAS' VP
[Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said it would do no good for him to speak with the Liberal Party (LP) at this point about running with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, since the party was focused on its pursuit of Sen. Grace Poe.]


AUGUST 20 --Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (left) is the next best option after Sen. Grace Poe in the Liberal Party’s search for a running mate for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas (right) in next year’s presidential election, according to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS 
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Tuesday night said he considers Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano the next best option after Sen. Grace Poe in the Liberal Party’s search for a running mate for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in next year’s presidential election. “Alan is a fighter… And there are too many polite guys here [in Philippine politics]. We need [someone like that],” Belmonte said in an interview with reporters. But Belmonte, a vice chair of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), made it clear that he thought Roxas should still continue his “courtship” of Poe, the front-runner in the voter preference polls for the presidential election, to be his vice presidential running mate. Asked for his other reasons for choosing Cayetano, Belmonte replied: “I think he is winnable,” in a text message. “If I were in the shoes of Secretary Mar, I will continue to court [Poe]. The deadline [for the filing of certificates of candidacy] is still a long way off. Who knows?” he said. Up to Roxas But ultimately it would be up to Roxas, he said. “I would like to agree with the observation that President Aquino has more or less passed the ball to Mar. From the beginning, that was my contention, once [Aquino] has made the choice, he should let his choice do the deciding,” Belmonte said. READ MORE...RELATED...

ALSO Desperate measures: Noy is pushed as Mar’s VP
[Palace insist: PNoy will retire, won't run as Mar's VP]


AUGUST 19 --ROLE REVERSAL Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga wants President Aquino and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to tandem in 2016 just like in 2010 but with roles reversed. MALACAÑANG PHOTO DESPERATE times call for desperate measures. With efforts to woo pre-election survey frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe not getting any headway and with Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo firmly declining suggestions to be the running mate of administration party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, a leader of a Liberal Party (LP) coalition partner floated the idea to consider getting President Benigno Aquino 3rd as vice presidential candidate in next year’s elections. “No need to look any further. There is no better running mate for administration standard-bearer than President Aquino himself. A Mar-Noy tandem would be the ‘dream team’ for the Filipino people–our bosses. It will be a tandem that will not only win but more important, would work for the next six years for the continuity of the daang matuwid [straight path],” Dasmariñas City (Cavite) Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said on Wednesday. Barzaga is vice president of the National Union Party, which has coalesced with the LP. A lawyer, he said former presidents pursued lower elective positions after their term or tenure ended, citing the case of Gloria Arroyo who became Pampanga congressman after her term and Joseph Estrada who became Manila mayor a few years after his ouster. “There is no legal or moral impediment for President Aquino to run for Vice President. It would be best for the President to take matters into his own hands once again after anointing Roxas as successor to continue the basic foundation of good governance. Since Sen. Grace Poe is not keen on running as Roxas’ vice presidential candidate, it would be more realistic for PNoy to be Roxas’ running mate,” according to Barzaga. READ MORE...RELATED...

ALSO: Poe-Trillanes tandem? Trillanes offers Poe his Magdalo group
[What could be in it for him? Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday, Aug. 19, offered Sen. Grace Poe the support of his Magdalo group if she decides to run for president in 2016.]


AUGUST 19 --What could be in it for him? Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday, Aug. 19, offered Sen. Grace Poe the support of his Magdalo group if she decides to run for president in 2016. “If Sen Poe runs for President, our Magdalo group would support her,” he said on DWIZ radio. Trillanes had bared plans to run for vice president in 2016, and has been a vocal critic of another presidential bet, incumbent Vice President Jejomar Binay. Poe, a topnotcher in recent presidential surveys, has not declared her intention to gun for the presidency but has met with the Nationalist People’s Coalition twice this month. She has also met with President Benigno Aquino III, whose “anointed” interior secretary Manuel Roxas II is also wooing her to be his running mate. Meanwhile, in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel, Trillanes said he “knows his place” with respect to Sen. Francis Escudero. “There’s an understanding… I know my place, I’ll be running as an independent,” he said. He also said the question of who will run for vice president under the Nacionalista Party banner would be up for discussion. Aside from Trillanes, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. are also possible vice presidential bets.
“We’ll have to discuss that but for the Vice President, we should (have two) or more to run for the same position then they would be any endorsement,” he said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT. RELATED REPORT......

ALSO MAKATI 'GHOST SENIORS': VP Binay fires back at Trillanes


AUGUST 20 --TRILLANES ON SENATOR’S CHARGE OF MAKATI’S ‘GHOST’ SENIOR CITIZENS Sen. Antonio Trillanes is at it again, claiming that Makati City under the stewardship of now suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay as well as the current Vice President during his stint as Makati mayor, has close to half of Makati “ghost senior citizens,” and vows to expose this alleged scam today, as the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee holds its record-breaking 23 hearings, all intended to demolish the presidential run of VP Jejomar Binay. Reacting to the new claims from Trillanes that there are ghost senior citizen beneficiaries in Makati, Joey Salgado, who heads the OVP Media Affairs, issued a statement, saying that for a year now, “Senator Trillanes and his cohorts have been making wild and sensational statements to drum up interest in their inquisition of the Vice President and his family. They want to undermine the exemplary programs and services of Makati. The senator’s latest statement is no different. 
“The burden is on Senator Trillanes to prove his outlandish conclusion that 45 percent of senior citizen beneficiaries are non-existent. Can he produce actual death certificates and other documents? We doubt it. We expect more half-truths and lies in tomorrow’s hearings. “Under city guidelines, senior citizens are required to personally apply for benefits. Those listed as beneficiaries are actual persons who have submitted the required documents and have passed the verification process. The city’s Social Welfare Department monitors the delivery of cakes. Seniors are also required to personally receive their cash gifts. The office also conducts spot checking to check reports of fraud. It also has a validation process to purge deceased senior citizens from the list. After one year, we cannot really expect Senator Trillanes to be truthful and transparent,” Salgado said. READ MORE...

ALSO Overpriced consultancy: Trillanes threatens netizens (Facebook users) with suit for sharing 'black propaganda'
[A Commission on Audit report earlier this year noted that Trillanes’ consultants failed to submit accomplishment reports or even their resumes to justify the feeds paid to them. Senate documents showed that Trillanes spent P1.25 million monthly to pay 55 consultants. This is double the budget allocation for consultancy services for a senator’s office which is P506,262 a month.]


AUGUST 20 --Trillanes 
SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV brushed aside as “petty” reports that he spent well over his budget for consultants—including his brother who received P71,200 a month—and threatened to sue Facebook users for posting or sharing the “black propaganda.”  In a television interview on the ANC news channel after the story broke in The Standard, Trillanes admitted that his brother, Juan Antonio Trillanes, was indeed one of his consultants, but said he was paid a consultancy fee of P60,000 a month, which he said “is definitely not high.”  Senate documents obtained by The Standard, however, showed that the senator’s brother was receiving P71,200 a month, and had earned P427,000 from July to December 2014. Trillanes said his brother served as his representative during confidential meetings. “Everybody is receiving a monthly consultancy fee. I have a security analyst, financial analyst, legal consultants and practically all other aspects of governance that can help me,” Trillanes said. “There are also area consultants meaning in their particular area they are the sounding board, which is very important in legislation because we need to be grounded,” he added. Trillanes said he employs his brother as a consultant as well as another relative as his chief of staff because this is a position of trust. READ MORE...

Plan D
[It’s a question that’s been bugging me for some time: Why can’t Mar Roxas, the administration presidential candidate, find a suitable running mate?]


Doesn’t Roxas have the endorsement, the resources and the machinery that should by now have everyone who wants to be vice president (and perhaps President someday) breaking down the massive doors of his family’s manor in Cubao? If there are really that many adherents of this administration’s philosophy of the daang matuwid, why aren’t they flooding Mar with their resumes and demanding that they be picked, instead of everyone treating him like he’s been stricken with the political equivalent of the Ebola virus? 
It’s pretty obvious that no one is interested in becoming Mar’s partner for the 2016 race. Not Senator Grace Poe, not Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, not even Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, whom Roxas and President Noynoy Aquino himself wooed in Naga City yesterday, during the third anniversary of Jesse Robredo’s death in a plane crash. Poe has basically told Roxas to stop bothering her already—and to order his men to stop blackmailing and backstabbing her, while he’s at it. Santos-Recto has, in a much nicer, less publicly acrimonious way, told Roxas the same. Unless I am very much mistaken, I don’t think Robredo will join Roxas in his quest either. Despite the attempts of a small, palace-backed, pro-Roxas group to make it appear that a “grassroots” campaign to draft Robredo is under way, I think Jesse’s widow is much too smart to fall for the blandishments of the President and his anointed. So I sought out a source knowledgeable about how the Roxas campaign operates about the difficulties encountered by Aquino’s Chosen One. And I asked why no one seems to be interested in joining Roxas as he continues the reforms of his boss. After some thought, my source threw me a question by way of a reply: “Have you ever wondered why Aquino and Roxas only seem to want a woman to be the Liberal Party’s vice presidential candidate?”  I admitted that I had never considered the importance of the gender of Mar’s running mate. “Then you’ve never heard of Plan D?” my interviewee-turned-questioner asked. You got me, I said. What’s Plan D? “Think of Grace Poe as Plan A of the Aquino-Roxas administration,” my source said. “That means Vilma will be Plan B and Leni, the current favorite, is Plan C.” Okay, I said. I think my next question is, who is Plan D?  CONTINUE READING....


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

VP tops Palace poll, Mar 2nd, Poe 3rd
[POLL UNDERTAKEN SHORTLY AFTER ROXAS GOT NOY’S ENDORSEMENT]

MANILA, AUGUST 24, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares - A commissioned quantitative survey by an unnamed business sector group, which was labeled for Malacañang’s eyes only, showed Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay remains the frontrunner in the presidential race, if the elections were held a week after President Aquino’s anointment of Liberal Party standard bearer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, survey documents ob-tained by The Tribune showed.

The administration standard bearer, Roxas, came second to Binay, while Sen. Grace Poe landed in third place. She was followed by Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in fourth place with Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos in fifth palce.

The commissioned survey, conducted between August 6 to 11, or post Aquino endorsement of Roxas, had Binay getting 33 percent of the vote, equivalent to 15.1 million votes; Roxas obtained 21 percent of the survey vote, equivalent to 9.6 million votes, landing second to Binay and displacing Poe, who had 14 percent of the survey votes, equivalent to over 5 million votes.

Duterte obtained fourth place with 11 percent of the vote while Marcos landed in fifth place with nine percent or the equivalent of 2.3 million votes.Twelve percent were undecided on their choice.

The survey’s sample size, the documents showed was 46 percent from 81 provincial Local Government Units (LGUs) .

Included in the survey were six island provinces, 15 Luzon provinces, 10 Visayas provinces and 15 Mindanao provinces.

The same survey showed that it was based on 10 million to 14 million vote reach based on registered voters.

READ MORE...

According to the Tribune source, a different survey was also commissioned, this time getting the political pulse of the barangay officials, Local Government executives, including governors and congressmen.

No document on this specific survey was obtained by the Tribune, however.

Vulnerabilities of the Palace bet

The survey documents obtained by The Tribune also had another section entitled “Discussion Points” with a subhead on “vulnerabilities” of the Liberal Party’s standard bearer.

The survey documents states the “Vulnerabilities of PNoy –Endorsed candidate, such as the following:

* A three cornered or more presidential candidates will heavily favor Binay. One on one will be difficult, but navigable, for Binay;
* Poe’s presidential candidacy to divide Roxas’ vote source;
* Déjà vu of NoyB set up with erode Roxas;
* Less of the proposed 2016 Budget will clip resources of the Administration’s candidate. Reenactment of budget will favor opposition;
* Shift of Business support to affect 7-9 million votes in NCR and other Metropolitans;
* Military and Police will play a swing vote (role) in the countryside (4-6 million votes);
* Divided social media to cut 40 percent of Roxas’ vote.

The most recent surveys had shown a virtual statistical tie between Poe and Binay while Roxas was far behind with single-digit percentage preference from respondents.

Roxas track record spotless indeed

Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President media affairs, meanwhile, said on President Aquino’s spokesman Abigail Valte’s description of Roxas’ track record as spotless that indeed Roxas’ record spotless and unblemished by competence and compassion for the poor.

It was Roxas’ decision to replace Sumitomo as maintenance provider for the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) when he was DOTC (Department of Transportatio and Communications) secretary.

“Up to now, MRT commuters are being made to suffer from the callous and incompetent decision that favored a service contractor which is owned by an ally of Roxas in the Liberal Party (LP),” he said.

Tacloban was supposed to be Secretary Roxas’ proving ground as crisis manager.

Yet his management of government’s response to the humanitarian crisis brought about by super-typhoon Yolanda can best be summed up in the Secretary’s own words: Bahala kayo sa buhay n’yo (I leave your fate in your hands).

As DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) secretary, he has been showered by DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Secretary Butch Abad with billions for projects that are outside his agency’s mandate like water, climate change and housing.

Yet the Commission on Audit (COA) has criticized the DILG several times for its slowness in releasing funds. The COA said of 175 water projects, only eight have been implemented, Salgado added.

Recently, state auditors blamed the DILG for failing to release P2.08 billion for the modernization program of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

The fund has been idle for the past three years, COA said, because documents for the procurement of firetrucks and other equipment are still pending review and approval at the DILG.

Yet while paperwork piles up at his desk, the DILG Secretary has been very visible in media distributing patrol jeeps and inaugurating projects all over the country. And he does that on official government time.

Too fast for photo ops but uncertain when it comes to doing his job.

Recently, Secretary Roxas said the horrible traffic in Metro Manila is a good thing.

“If his party which controls government cannot manage traffic efficiently, and dismisses the daily commuter hell as a sign of a booming economy, his party and its standard bearer have no business staying in power for another six years,” Salgado said.

The planned Poe-Escudero (Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero) tandem for the 2016 presidential elections is also reportedly going for a “Unity ticket” in the 2016 presidential elections with an array of senatorial candidates from various political parties.

A source from the House of Representatives said that among those eyed and/or interested in the Poe-Escudero slate are reelectionist Sens. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III; Ralph Recto, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Las Piñas City Rep. Mark Villar, Valenzuela City Rep. Win Gatchalian, Taguig Rep. Lino Cayetano,Manila City Vice Mayor Franciso Domagoso or Isko Moreno, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva.

“These names are likely to form a united ticket that will champion the interest of the people. There will be series of deliberations to be undertaken to formalize their entry,” the source said over the weekend.

The same source also debunked reports that duo are not yet sure of running.
“They are running and in a few days or weeks they would be announcing their candidacies,” the source said.

“The forming of grand unity ticket will be a significant step towards national unity,” the source pointed out.

Gatchalian and Sotto are with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). Recto is a stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), Villar and Cayetano are stalwarts of Nationalista Party, Moreno is a member of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), and Villanueva, a former party-list representative of Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) and close ally of President Aquino who, according to members of the LP has never been seen in the company of LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas.

Romualdez is a lawyer, banker and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa). He is the leader of the so-called independent minorityu bloc in the Lower House.

Another source said the primary consideration in inviting candidates to the unity ticket of Poe and Escudero is their track record and their commitment to champion the interest of the people.

“The united senatorial slate being formed is borne out of shared set of principles.

The team will represent candidates that help the advancement of people’s interests and committed to the programs that will champion the rights of the public. It’s not only about popularity,” the source said.

The source also stressed that the unity ticket will be a big boost to the country’s economic and political well-being.

“We feel that it is high time to join hands and push for more nation-building and avoid too much politicking,” the source said.

Poe and Escudero are independent candidates although the NPC leadership has said that they are ready to adopt the duo and use its political machinery for their national campaign.

According to Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Agabbao, both are ‘closet members: of the NPC. Gerry Baldo


INQUIRER

According to Belmonte Cayetano next best option as Roxas’ VP  @inquirerdotnet 01:18 AM August 20th, 2015


Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (left) is the next best option after Sen. Grace Poe in the Liberal Party’s search for a running mate for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas (right) in next year’s presidential election, according to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Tuesday night said he considers Sen.

Alan Peter Cayetano the next best option after Sen. Grace Poe in the Liberal Party’s search for a running mate for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in next year’s presidential election.

“Alan is a fighter… And there are too many polite guys here [in Philippine politics]. We need [someone like that],” Belmonte said in an interview with reporters.

But Belmonte, a vice chair of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), made it clear that he thought Roxas should still continue his “courtship” of Poe, the front-runner in the voter preference polls for the presidential election, to be his vice presidential running mate.

Asked for his other reasons for choosing Cayetano, Belmonte replied: “I think he is winnable,” in a text message.

“If I were in the shoes of Secretary Mar, I will continue to court [Poe]. The deadline [for the filing of certificates of candidacy] is still a long way off. Who knows?” he said.

Up to Roxas

But ultimately it would be up to Roxas, he said.

“I would like to agree with the observation that President Aquino has more or less passed the ball to Mar. From the beginning, that was my contention, once [Aquino] has made the choice, he should let his choice do the deciding,” Belmonte said.

READ MORE...

Cayetano, a member of the Nacionalista Party (NP), said there were no talks for him to become Roxas’ running mate.

“We’re not there yet. We are still in the decision-making (process),” Cayetano said, referring to the NP selection of candidates for the 2016 elections.

“We are not closing our doors but we are not settled with it yet,” he said.

Asked whether he had spoken to Roxas, Cayetano replied in the negative, but added that there were discussions through “common friends.”

“If [it’s] a courtship, we’re just in the [stage] of texting each other,” he said.


Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said it would do no good for him to speak with the Liberal Party (LP) at this point about running with its standard-bearer, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, since the party was focused on its pursuit of Sen. Grace Poe. Not that he is uninterested but that his party, the Nacionalista Party (NP), is still studying its options for 2016 and those may include his running with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, whose presidential candidacy he virtually endorsed on Monday. But Cayetano thanked House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., LP vice chair, for pushing him as a possible running mate for Roxas. But he said he did not think the LP would “two-time,” or would look for a sideline, while wooing Poe to team up with Roxas. “As far as I know, they’re still focused on Senator Poe. So maybe they should conclude their talks with [her] before we [talk]. In the meantime, we’re exploring possibilities,” Cayetano told reporters at the Senate. He said what was important to him in seeking a political partner was program and vision. He said his partner should not treat him as just a “trophy.” “It could be exciting, that’s why I’m personally exploring their personalities,” he said. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA INQUIRER NEWS AUGUST 21, 2015

Not just yet

Roxas said he would not move on without a final word from Poe, who had said she had not decided whether to run and that the LP should not wait for her to make a decision.

“I’m not opening new talks until I have closed the current talks,” Roxas told reporters on Wednesday.

“This is to give respect to [Senator Poe]. This is [for the vice presidency], not for something that you can just throw away and pick up anybody who says yes,” Roxas said.

“We are sincere in inviting Senator Poe to join daang matuwid,” he said, using the slogan for the Aquino administration’s reform program.

Roxas was guest speaker at the ceremony for the turnover of the local government’s socialized housing units in Barangay (village) Culiat, Quezon City, in time for the 137th birthday of former President Manuel L. Quezon.

Belmonte also attended the ceremony and told reporters that Poe remained the LP’s top choice for a running mate for Roxas.

He said he hoped Roxas would never have to move on from Poe.

“I hope it doesn’t reach that point. I hope they are successful together,” Belmonte said.

Reacting to Poe’s comments that some Roxas supporters seemed to be stabbing her in the back, Belmonte, in his talk with reporters on Tuesday night, implied that he understood why she felt that way.

“How can you say you like her—and indeed we love her—and at the same time say she’s not qualified for the job?” he said, alluding to comments by other LP officials about Poe, including Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

Ouster from committees

“Umali and Erice, as far as I’m concerned, talk for themselves, not for me,” Belmonte said.


ERICE AND POE: Caloocan Rep. Edgar "Egay" Erice (L) says the Liberal Party will wait for Sen. Grace Poe (R) only until mid-September. The ruling Liberal Party (LP) still remained hopeful on Saturday (August 15) that Sen. Grace Poe would change her mind and decide to accept the administration's vice presidential bet slot for a Mar-Poe tandem in 2016. ALSO, A lawmaker from the Liberal Party (LP) yesterday linked a former colleague in the House of Representatives to the case filed with the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) questioning the citizenship of Sen. Grace Poe. Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice told reporters that a day after losing senatorial candidate Rizalito David failed to file his complaint with the SET for lack of the required P50,000 filing fee, former Negros Oriental congressman Jacinto Paras phoned him to ask if he could contribute P25,000 to the complainant. “Jing Paras called me and told me that he is contributing P25,000 and requested me to come up with the other half,” Erice said. “I told him we in the Liberal Party will not do that to Senator Grace because we are courting her to be the vice presidential running mate of (Interior) Secretary Mar Roxas.” MORE RELATED NEWS REPORTS GO TO CNN Philippines

Umali warned that Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero should be stripped of their chairmanships of Senate committees should they decide to run together as a “third force” in next year’s presidential election.

“I believe it’s just fair for them (Poe and Escudero) to give up their seats on the Senate committees. They received these as part of being a member of the ruling coalition,” Umali said in a phone interview.
 


REP REY UMALI OF MINDORO

Umali is the brother of Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali, LP treasurer and a personal friend of President Aquino.

Poe and Escudero ran as independent senatorial candidates in 2013 but they were adopted as guest candidates by President Aquino on the Team PNoy coalition party.

The President has been vocal in trying to form a Roxas-Poe ticket to preserve the coalition and ensure the continuity of his reform program.

Committee overhaul

Umali said he expected a major overhaul of the Senate committees after the October deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Poe is the head of three Senate committees—public information and mass media; public order and dangerous drugs; and the joint committee on the Human Security Act.

Escudero is the head of three Senate committees—environment and natural resources, and joint committees on the Clean Water Act and Chainsaw Act.

Erice, LP political affairs chief, declined to comment on Umali’s proposal to remove Poe and Escudero’s benefits as a coalition partners.

During the Ugnayan sa Batasan forum on Tuesday, Umali was candid about his frustration at Poe’s consistent refusal to be Roxas’ running mate.

“That is her prerogative. You cannot force someone you are courting. It’s a waste because she may miss her chance if she doesn’t consider. You know, it’s different when you are an ally of a sitting President, especially one who has an endorsing power,” Umali said.

He reiterated what her colleagues had been saying about Poe, that she was not ready to run the country and that three years as a senator are too short to prepare for a gargantuan task.

Another LP official does not agree that Poe and Escudero should be punished.

“It’s the Senate majority coalition’s call but I don’t think it’s advisable. There are bills of national importance pending in the Senate that will definitely be affected by too much politicking,” said House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales said.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, also an LP member, said: “I think that would depend on the Senate leadership. We have to respect the Senate as a coequal body.”

Not LP

Malacañang on Wednesday acknowledged that there were attempts by some quarters to “drive a wedge” between Roxas and Poe, but denied the LP was behind the smear campaign against the senator.

“It does not make sense to invite Senator Poe to be Vice President and at the same time attack her,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters.

Asked if the LP would defend Poe against the attacks against her, Lacierda said the senator had “already said she is a Filipino,” referring to questions about Poe’s citizenship and residency raised to the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections by Rizalito David, who lost the 2013 senatorial election.

David has said he is acting alone, but there are reports that political bigwigs are using David to harass Poe.–
DJ Yap with Christine O. Avendaño, Erika Sauler, Gil C. Cabacungan and Jerry E. Esplanada

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Drilon scolds LP congressman for meddling in Senate affairs  @inquirerdotnet 02:42 PM August 20th, 2015


Senate President Franklin Drilon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / JOAN BONDOC

Senate President Franklin Drilon chided his partymate, Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, on Thursday for interfering in the internal affairs of the Senate.

“I strongly urge my partymate Umali to observe inter-parliamentary courtesy and mind his own business. I am sure that my partymate knows better than to act like a blabbermouth,” Drilon, vice chairman of the Liberal Party, said in a statement.

“We must refrain from making statements which do not help the already toxic political environment,” he added.

Drilon was reacting to Umali’s statement that there should be a major overhaul of Senate committees once senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero decide to run for a higher office in 2016.

The Senate leader said the congressman’s statements “constitute a serious breach in the long-standing tradition of inter-parliamentary courtesy.”

As a fellow member of Congress, Drilon said Umali “would do well to stop meddling on the internal matters of the Senate.”

Besides, Drilon strongly opposed Umali’s assertion that Poe and Escudero, prospective candidates in the 2016 presidential elections, should be stripped of their respective chairmanships of Senate committees.

“Our legislative work in the Senate is immune from partisanship, and I will see to it that it stays that way,” he said.

“His suggestion is simply absurd, given that we still have to finish a lot of our legislative priorities in the 16th Congress. We have a close and healthy working relationship in the Senate as evident from a number of measures the chamber has continuously passed,” the Senate leader added.

With less than a year left, Drilon said he still expects the senators and their respective committees to continue working on pending reform measures of national importance that the Senate has promised the public.

Regardless of their political plans, the Senate leader said he is confident that Poe and Escudero will continue to effectively man their posts, given the crucial functions these committees to public interests.

Poe chairs three Senate committees — public information and mass media; public order and dangerous drugs; and the joint committee on the Human Security Act, while Escudero is at the helm of three Senate committees—environment and natural resources, and joint committees on the Clean Water Act and Chainsaw Act. He has quit chairmanship of two finance committees, citing delicadeza, as he considers running for higher post in 2016. Maila Ager/IDL

READ: Citing ‘delicadeza,’ Escudero quits as head of 2 finance panels


MANILA TIMES

Noy pushed as Mar’s VP August 19, 2015 10:48 pm
by JOEL M. SY EGCO, SENIOR REPORTER AND LLANESCA T. PANTI, REPORTER


ROLE REVERSAL Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga wants President Aquino and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to tandem in 2016 just like in 2010 but with roles reversed. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

DESPERATE times call for desperate measures.

With efforts to woo pre-election survey frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe not getting any headway and with Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo firmly declining suggestions to be the running mate of administration party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, a leader of a Liberal Party (LP) coalition partner floated the idea to consider getting President Benigno Aquino 3rd as vice presidential candidate in next year’s elections.

“No need to look any further. There is no better running mate for administration standard-bearer than President Aquino himself. A Mar-Noy tandem would be the ‘dream team’ for the Filipino people–our bosses. It will be a tandem that will not only win but more important, would work for the next six years for the continuity of the daang matuwid [straight path],” Dasmariñas City (Cavite) Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said on Wednesday.


Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr.

Barzaga is vice president of the National Union Party, which has coalesced with the LP.

A lawyer, he said former presidents pursued lower elective positions after their term or tenure ended, citing the case of Gloria Arroyo who became Pampanga congressman after her term and Joseph Estrada who became Manila mayor a few years after his ouster.

“There is no legal or moral impediment for President Aquino to run for Vice President. It would be best for the President to take matters into his own hands once again after anointing Roxas as successor to continue the basic foundation of good governance.

Since Sen. Grace Poe is not keen on running as Roxas’ vice presidential candidate, it would be more realistic for PNoy to be Roxas’ running mate,” according to Barzaga.

“Roxas has already waited too long for Poe to join him in his bid to continue what the President has started in his campaign to sustain reforms. After all, public service does not demand a certain position in order to help our people. A Roxas-Aquino tandem is going to be unbeatable,” he said.

A lawyer closely identified with the LP followed the same track as Barzaga’s.
“[Aquino] can run for whatever position he likes. He can run for mayor, congressman or Vice President. He is not prohibited to do so,” the lawyer, who requested he not be named, told The Manila Times.

But according to Malacañang’s spokesmen, running for Vice President has not entered the mind of the President, who would still opt for retirement.

“President Aquino has always stated that he will retire from public office upon the expiry of his term at noon on 30 June 2015. To the best of my knowledge, he has no pronouncements to the contrary,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

READ MORE...

Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino remains true to his words.
“That was asked already before in an airplane briefing with MPC [Malacanang Press Corps] on the way back from outside the country,” he added..

Even the social media is abuzz with speculations that President Aquino might consider a run with Roxas since the LP is reportedly “crashing” after the naming of Roxas as the administration party standard-bearer three weeks ago.

A source of The Manila Times claimed that Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto–whose name had emerged as a potential vice-presidential candidate– also declined when offered the possibility as her husband, Sen. Ralph Recto, is preparing to jump ship and join the camp of Sen. Grace Poe once she declares her plans for 2016.

Lacierda also on Wednesday said some groups are trying to destroy the relationship between Roxas and Poe as he denied that the administration is behind the black propaganda against the senator.

“It makes no sense for us to invite her to be VP [Vice President] and at the same time attack her,” he noted in a text message.

 “There are attempts by some quarters to drive a wedge between Roxas and Poe.”

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Palace: PNoy will retire, won't run as Mar's VP By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated August 20, 2015 - 5:12pm 6 18 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang assured on Thursday that President Benigno Aquino III will not seek the vice presidency next year.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. maintained that Aquino will not reenter the government after he steps down as president.

"President Aquino has previously stated that he would like to retire from public office when his term ends at noon of June 30, 2016, and to the best of my knowledge, he has made no comments to the contrary," Coloma said in a press briefing.

In a radio interview in August 2014, Aquino said he was looking forward to the day he leaves the presidency, which he will celebrate with two Palace officials.

"Sa July 1 (2016), the day after bumaba tayo sa puwesto, at kakain kami ng masarap talaga, tapos may streamer na nakalagay sa likod namin, 'Kalayaan,'" the president said.

Earlier this week, administration ally Cavite Representative Elipido Barzaga Jr. suggested that Aquino should be the running mate of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the Liberal Party's standard-bearer.

In a statement, Barzaga said a "Mar-Noy" tandem would be the "dream team" that is capable of winning the polls and of ensuring the continuity of the "Daang Matuwid."

"The idea of urging the President to be Roxas' running mate is not far-fetched. PNoy is well-loved by the people. A Roxas-Aquino tandem is going to be a sure-fire winner. It's going to be unbeatable," he said.

Barzaga said there is no legal impediment to Aquino's vice presidential bid, citing the cases of former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who sought lower posts after their presidency.


POLITICS.COM.PH

Poe-Trillanes tandem? Trillanes offers Poe Magdalo41
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What could be in it for him?

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday, Aug. 19, offered Sen. Grace Poe the support of his Magdalo group if she decides to run for president in 2016.

“If Sen Poe runs for President, our Magdalo group would support her,” he said on DWIZ radio.

Trillanes had bared plans to run for vice president in 2016, and has been a vocal critic of another presidential bet, incumbent Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Poe, a topnotcher in recent presidential surveys, has not declared her intention to gun for the presidency but has met with the Nationalist People’s Coalition twice this month.

She has also met with President Benigno Aquino III, whose “anointed” interior secretary Manuel Roxas II is also wooing her to be his running mate.

Meanwhile, in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel, Trillanes said he “knows his place” with respect to Sen. Francis Escudero.

“There’s an understanding… I know my place, I’ll be running as an independent,” he said.

He also said the question of who will run for vice president under the Nacionalista Party banner would be up for discussion.

Aside from Trillanes, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. are also possible vice presidential bets.

“We’ll have to discuss that but for the Vice President, we should (have two) or more to run for the same position then they would be any endorsement,” he said.


TRIBUNE

VP fires back at Trillanes Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 20 August 2015 00:00


TRILLANES

ON SENATOR’S CHARGE OF MAKATI’S ‘GHOST’ SENIOR CITIZENS Sen. Antonio Trillanes is at it again, claiming that Makati City under the stewardship of now suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay as well as the current Vice President during his stint as Makati mayor, has close to half of Makati “ghost senior citizens,” and vows to expose this alleged scam today, as the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee holds its record-breaking 23 hearings, all intended to demolish the presidential run of VP Jejomar Binay.

Reacting to the new claims from Trillanes that there are ghost senior citizen beneficiaries in Makati, Joey Salgado, who heads the OVP Media Affairs, issued a statement, saying that for a year now, “Senator Trillanes and his cohorts have been making wild and sensational statements to drum up interest in their inquisition of the Vice President and his family. They want to undermine the exemplary programs and services of Makati. The senator’s latest statement is no different. 

“The burden is on Senator Trillanes to prove his outlandish conclusion that 45 percent of senior citizen beneficiaries are non-existent. Can he produce actual death certificates and other documents? We doubt it. We expect more half-truths and lies in tomorrow’s hearings.

“Under city guidelines, senior citizens are required to personally apply for benefits. Those listed as beneficiaries are actual persons who have submitted the required documents and have passed the verification process. The city’s Social Welfare Department monitors the delivery of cakes. Seniors are also required to personally receive their cash gifts. The office also conducts spot checking to check reports of fraud. It also has a validation process to purge deceased senior citizens from the list.

After one year, we cannot really expect Senator Trillanes to be truthful and transparent,” Salgado said.

READ MORE...

Trillanes has his mess to deal with

Despite Trillanes’ almost endless supply of attacks against VP Binay, it is, however, now apparent that he himself has his big mess to deal with.

This time around, it is the camp of VP Binay’s turn to slap Trillanes saying that “his bullying is never a substitute for proper reasoning”.

Senate documents revealed that Trillanes hired 55 consultants, including his brother, and paid P7.5 million in fees which is P4.46 million more than the P3.04 million standard for hiring consultants.

The dishonorably dismissed military man who is now senator, has hired his brother, Juan Antonio Trillanes as one of his numerous “consultants” earning P71,200 per month that amounts to almost half a million in just six months last year.


SNIPPED IMAGE

Trillanes, in his TV interview at Headstart, an early morning news program, failed to explain what his brother does for him as his consultant, merely saying that the brother does confidential things for him.

The Commission on Audit (CoA) had previously stated that Trillanes’ 55 consultants did not submit accomplishment reports or even their respective resumes to justify the fees paid to them, prompting VP Binay’s camp to slam the outspoken, unreliable senator to explain to the public his own secrets.

“(He) should not be too onion-skinned if the people demand him to explain his exorbitant expense for his consultants,” lawyer Rico Quicho, VP Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, said yesterday.

“Surely a person like the senator’s brother and other consultants who were paid P71,200 a month in fees would have solid credentials worthy of being mentioned in Google or LinkedIn but a cursory search yielded zero results,” Quicho added, saying that the self-righteous senator, who demands too much accountability on the part of VP Binay, lacks transparency.

“Senators often blab that a public office is a public trust but when it comes to Senator Trillanes, he lacks transparency and accountability for his actions.

Often, he hides from it. If the consultancy fees cannot be justified, then we cannot help but conclude his consultants were overpriced,” Quicho added.

“Trillanes’ statements are so full of lies he would even find it hard to believe in himself, Quicho said, describing Trillanes’ defense of his overpaid consultants which included his brother.

Quicho made the statement after being told that the senator, who prides himself as a moral-crusading lawmaker, lied on national television when he told TV hosts Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja that he only maintains around 40 consultants receiving an average of P17,000 a month, the highest paid getting P40,000 monthly.

When told further that Trillanes even tried to bully the two television hosts, almost to the point of never allowing the two hosts to talk as he tried to divert the issue from the CoA audit report to that of Binay’s, Quicho said that was the senator’s style which always leads to nowhere.

“Bullying can never be a substitute for clear reasoning,” Quicho said.

“And that has always been his style, to divert the talks from one issue to another.

Up to now, he still has to explain how he spent his pork or his allocation from the DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program),” Quicho added.

“Anyway, it’s their documents from the Senate which state that he has 55 consultants and paid P7.5 million in fees which is P4.46 million more than the P3.04 million allotted for hiring consultants,” said Quicho.

Trillanes’ brother is one of the most highly paid consultants of the 55 consultants.

The fact that the Commission on Audit (CoA) stressed that Trillanes consultants’ failed to submit accomplishment reports or even their respective resumes to justify the fees paid to them show an utter failure to comply with CoA rules, he said.

“Surely a person like the senator’s brother and other consultants who were paid P71,200 a month in fees would have solid credentials worthy of being mentioned in Google or LinkedIn but a cursory search yielded zero results,” Quicho said.

“Senators often blab that a public office is a public trust but when it comes to Senator Trillanes, he lacks transparency and accountability for his actions. Often, he hides from it. If the consultancy fees cannot be justified, then we cannot help but conclude his consultants were overpriced,” said Quicho.

While Trillanes’ brother got a hefty P71,200 monthly consultant’s fee, it is interesting to note that a consultant named Eddie Ybanez received only P3,500 a month, Quicho said.

CoA had sent a memo to Senate President Franklin Drilon asking him to account for the P231.88 million spent on Senate consultants in 2014.

In the memo, supervising auditor Mario Lipana noted that several senators spent more than the allotted amount for consultants’ fees.

In its report, CoA said: “Analysis of subsidiary ledger account consultancy services which mostly consists of expenses for consultancy services of different offices of senators reveals that there were several senators’ offices that exceed the budgetary allocations.”

CoA, which did not name names, also noted: “Further review of the accounts including the corresponding liquidation documents for the senators’ cash advances and the disbursements vouchers for the claims for consultancy services paid directly through check, disclosed that the reason for exceeding the budgetary allocation for the said account is due to hiring of many consultants wherein a senator’s office hired more than 60 consultants and also of giving a consultants’ rate as high as P94,000 per month.”

Among Trillanes’ “overpriced” consultants are Segundino Orfiano Jr., Ian Lee Punongbayan and Jayme Torrato at P71,200 a month.

A certain Sherwin Sanusie was paid P71,100 while Sonny Madarang got P71,300 a month.

Others consultants received P40,000, P50,000 and P60,000.

CoA said the consultants did not provide accomplishment reports as required by CoA rules.



There were also no resumes or other documentary information on the consultants to show they are qualified to be hired as consultants, CoA said.

The kind of work the consultants did could not be determined, CoA added, as their services were considered “confidential in nature.”

“Hence, the importance or indispensability of hiring consultants could not be determined,” the CoA said.

The CoA required the Senate to explain or justify the “sudden increase of expenses for consultancy services.”

The CoA required Drilon, for example, to explain why consultancy fees paid by his office continuously increased from P147.57 million in 2012, P188.96 million in 2013, and P231.88 million in 2014.


Drilon defended his colleagues, saying the matter of hiring consultants “is a prerogative of each senator.”  “The consultancy agreement and number of consultants, and who these are, are not cleared with my office. I do not sign any consultancy agreements,” he said. Drilon said the senators decide on the basis of their needs within the assigned budget. “There is a budget equally assigned to all senators. How they utilize it in the number of consultants and how much they compensate them depends on the senator and his need,” Drilon said. (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 12, 2015 - 12:00am

Trillanes’ feeds on “ghosts” in August

Trillanes, in his usual style of alleging without any evidence, yesteday charged that Makati City has “ghost” senior citizens and they have eaten up benefits that cost nearly P100 million yearly.

As charges against the Binays continue to pile up, such allegation is the subject of the latest expose of Trillanes that is lined up for scrutiny in the continuing investigation in the Senate – that 45 percent of Makati City’s current population of senior citizens are supposed to be no longer existing or are non-existent.

“We’ll be exposing the ghost senior citizens who receive cakes and benefits.

Some, literally those listed as dead, are still receiving benefits from the ‘past’ Makati administration,” the senator said, referring to the time of then Mayor Jojo BInay and his son, Junjun.

“Some do not exist at all, some are dead, some are just names,” Trillanes said.

The extent of the alleged anomaly, which was alleged to be uncovered by acting Makati Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña upon his assumption, could be higher as the percentage represents only those subjected to the recent auditing of local government and previous years have yet to be scrutinized, Trillanes said, hinting at the possibility of the involvement of Vice President Binay.

“We have to presume that this happened during the previous administration until the time of Mayor Junjun." said Trillanes.


PHOTO OF Toby Tiangco, UNA interim president. But UNA president and Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco contested Drilon’s statement. “Common practice?” Tiangco asked. “I have no sibling or relative employed as my consultant.” Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, on the other hand, said it was all right to hire siblings as consultants or as part of the congressional staff, as long as the lawmakers abide by Commission on Audit rules for such hiring. In Trillanes’ case, he added, this might not be the case. MANILA STANDARD HEADLINES AUGUST 21, 2015

Trillanes further said, "We will backtrack and look at the records until we have established how and when this started. But I believe that this was not conceptualized during the time of Mayor Junjun, who basically is a mere follower of his father. The culprit behind all this is of course his father,” Trillanes said, pointing to the Vice President.

“We will know by tomorrow the actual number,” the senator said, adding that a witness will come forward to attest to these allegations and corroborated by some senior citizens residents of Makati.

Trillanes, in explaining the need to take up the issue in the ongoing hearing by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee on Binay, underscored the significance of the issue especially in establishing the actual “recipients” or “beneficiaries” of the said benefits for senior citizens.


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is set to reveal on Thursday the existence of “ghost senior citizens” who he said were able to get benefits from the Makati City government even if they’re dead or fictitious. Trillanes said he will present documentary evidence and a witness to prove his claim of “ghost citizens” when the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee resumes its probe regarding the allegations of corruption against the family of Vice President Jejomar Binay. POLITICS.COM.PH

“We have to connect the dots and it will be clear. It cannot just disappear in thin air. Who collected it? That’s what we’re after and we have an idea already. Tomorrow we will present it,” he said.

“There are names, some who are not really legitimate senior citizens, some are not residents of Makati, some are already dead but have vouchers on the date of their receipt of their benefits. We will present death certificates (on those already dead but alleged to continue to receive benefits),” he said.

Based on his pronouncements to reporters, the senator said he does not see the proceedings chaired by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel wrapping up soon.

“We still have hearings (next week, on the) 26th with another expose and then we will have some hearings in Sept. and there will be new witness and documentary evidence,” he said.  By Charlie V. Manalo, Ted Tuvera and Angie M. Rosales Published in Headlines

4 comments
tesbiy
Now who's talking HONORABLE Sen. Trillanes a clean public official the epitome of integrity honesty competent incorruptible and not a boastful and has maintain a very courteous manner in dealing with resource speakers in the senate committee hearings like the late Sec..Angelo Reyes who can not accept humiliation from a junior mistah comitted suicide. Now VP Binay is at his mercy he wants VP to attend sub blue ribbon commitee hearing purposely to do it again, where is the deqourom there, was he not aware of separation of powers. I really admired him before but now no more, much better are the magdalo party list in congress the manner they talked in giving their views during interview shows manners and right conduct
tesbiy Thursday, 20 August 2015 01:05 Comment Link

etot
The only time that Binay can convince me, if he sit in the senate panel and answer all the accusation with his evidence. Right now VP Binay is a thief for me and an Angel but actually a DEVIL in disguise.
etot Thursday, 20 August 2015 00:58 Comment Link

vg
The only thing that Trilannes has to speak about is his hiring of relatives and friends as consultants. We do not want him to speak in the 3 person kangaroo court. He was funny at first, repeating half truths and gossip as the gospel. Now he is a disgrace.
vg Thursday, 20 August 2015 00:38 Comment Link

Johnny Ramos
There are thousands of senior citizen who have registered their senior citizens in metro manila that no longer lived in the metro manila. Trillanes should know it by now and this is not the fault of Mayor Binay nor his father. I know lots of them and they do it because of privelages of senior citizens especially in the city of Makati. Classic examples are those senior citizen who were relocated because they are squatters. I for one a senior citizen in Manila trying to transfer my senior to Makati because one can watch movies everyday in Makati unlike in Manila where one can only watch 3 days in a week, To blame VP Binay on this issue is too naive of Trillanes. Trillanes should better concentrate more on his libel case against him. If really he has concrete evidences on the alleged bribery of the justices it's time for him to show in court otherwise he will loose his libel case. Do not confuse us Trillanes ipakita mo na ngayon kung meron ngang lagayan sa justices o manahimik ka na at magdasal na manalo si Mar.
Johnny Ramos Wednesday, 19 August 2015 17:55 Comment Link

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RELATED FROM PILSTAR FLASHBACK MAY 2015

COA questions Senate’s P231.8-M consultancy expenses By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 11, 2015 - 12:00am 2 1088 googleplus0 1


Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - Demanding an explanation on how one senator would need to hire as many as 60 consultants to aid him in his legislative work, the Commission on Audit (COA) has directed the Senate to explain its continuously increasing spending for consultancy services, which reached more than P231.886 million in 2014.

Supervising auditor Mario Lipana, in an Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) addressed to Senate President Franklin Drilon dated Feb. 5, also asked for justification why a single consultant can be paid as high as P94,000 a month.

This is considering that COA cannot check on what kind of services were rendered and if those hired are actually qualified because of alleged confidentiality and the lack of resumes to scrutinize.

Lipana noted the legislative budget service provided itemized monthly budgetary allocations for personal services and maintenance and other operating expenses to members of the Senate which include a P506,262 or 493,499 monthly consultancy services allocation for those with and without committee chairmanships, respectively.

COA’s analysis of expenses for consultancy services however showed that actual spending from January to November 2014 exceeded the monthly budgetary allocations.

This was due to the hiring of many consultants where one senator hired more than 60 consultants as well as the grant of consultant rates as high as P94,000 a month. The COA, however, did not mention the senators concerned.

The AOM took note of how the Senate’s expenses for consultancy services increased from P147.572 million in 2013 to P188.968 million and then to P231.886 million last year.

“The accomplishment of consultants could not be ascertained because they claimed that the services rendered is considered confidential in nature and no accomplishment report or information regarding thereto is attached to every claim of consultancy service. Hence, the importance or indispensability of hiring consultants could not be determined,” Lipana said.

“We also noticed that there were no resume or other documentary information of consultants attached to consultancy services claims that may show their qualifications for being hired as a consultant,” he added.

The AOM tasked Drilon to submit an explanation, justification or both on the sudden increase of consultancy expenses and work for the rationalization of consultancy services expenditure in line with the agency’s fiscal program.


MANILA STANDARD

Trillanes threatens netizens with suit By Maricel Cruz, Vito Barcelo | Aug. 20, 2015 at 12:01am


Trillanes

SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV brushed aside as “petty” reports that he spent well over his budget for consultants—including his brother who received P71,200 a month—and threatened to sue Facebook users for posting or sharing the “black propaganda.”

In a television interview on the ANC news channel after the story broke in The Standard, Trillanes admitted that his brother, Juan Antonio Trillanes, was indeed one of his consultants, but said he was paid a consultancy fee of P60,000 a month, which he said “is definitely not high.”

Senate documents obtained by The Standard, however, showed that the senator’s brother was receiving P71,200 a month, and had earned P427,000 from July to December 2014.

Trillanes said his brother served as his representative during confidential meetings.

“Everybody is receiving a monthly consultancy fee. I have a security analyst, financial analyst, legal consultants and practically all other aspects of governance that can help me,” Trillanes said.

“There are also area consultants meaning in their particular area they are the sounding board, which is very important in legislation because we need to be grounded,” he added.

Trillanes said he employs his brother as a consultant as well as another relative as his chief of staff because this is a position of trust.

READ MORE...

He also said the expenses he racked up for consultancy in 2014 were “a non-issue.”

“It’s petty,” he said.

Trillanes, who has led a Senate campaign to expose the alleged corruption of Vice President Jejomar Binay, took fire from the Binay camp, which urged him to explain his “overpriced” consultants to the tax-paying public.

Citing the story in The Standard, lawyer Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, said Trillanes’ brother earned almost half a million over six months last year.

“Senators often blab that a public office is a public trust but when it comes to Senator Trillanes, he lacks transparency and accountability for his actions. Often, he hides from it. If the consultancy fees cannot be justified, then we cannot help but conclude his consultants were overpriced,” Quicho said.

Quicho also noted that Trillanes’ brother’s salary is almost twice what a government official with a salary grade of 30 receives.

“Surely a person like the senator’s brother and other consultants who were paid P71,200 a month in fees would have solid credentials worthy of being mentioned in Google or LinkedIn but a cursory search yielded zero results,” Quicho said.

Trillanes, Quicho added, “must be reminded that his bullying is never a substitute to proper reasoning.”

Reps. Jonathan de la Cruz of Abakada party-list and Silvestre Bello III of 1-BAP party-list took a dim view of Trillanes’ threat against Facebook users and urged the senator to come clean.

“I don’t think his threat has a leg to stand. I am told the list was issued by the Commission on Audit, and there is nothing... which can prevent anybody from using it,” De la Cruz said. “What the senator can do is to explain the situation, that’s all. Threats will only expose him to further criticism as being onion-skinned.”

Bello, a former Justice secretary, said Trillanes should take the criticism.

“Look who’s talking. He has been maligning the Binays and all those known to be close to them. Now that he is at the receiving end of valid allegations, he shouts foul,” Bello said

The two lawmakers were reacting to Trillanes threat to take legal action against people who shared a Facebook post, which he described as containing “deceitful information about the amount of Senator Trillanes’ consultancy servies.”

“May we inform you that this is an entirely false and malicious information at the expense of the Senator’s credibility.

“Senator Trillanes’ office has checked its records and there’s not a single consultant who’s earning P94,000.

“We also do not have 60 consultants and the COA has not informed our office that an irregularity was committed,” Trillanes said in his private message to users on Facebook.

He also dismissed the Facebook post as “black propaganda.”

“In this light, may we request that you take down the said black propaganda material that you have posted/shared on Facebook. Otherwise, we will be inclined to take legal actions against your above-mentioned post.

“In the meantime, let us all be vigilant against black propaganda and be cautious of the materials we share on social media. Thank you,” Trillanes said.

A Commission on Audit report earlier this year noted that Trillanes’ consultants failed to submit accomplishment reports or even their resumes to justify the feeds paid to them.

Senate documents showed that Trillanes spent P1.25 million monthly to pay 55 consultants. This is double the budget allocation for consultancy services for a senator’s office which is P506,262 a month.


MANILA STANDARD COLUMN

Plan D By Jojo Robles | Aug. 19, 2015 at 12:01am
[It’s a question that’s been bugging me for some time: Why can’t Mar Roxas, the administration presidential candidate, find a suitable running mate?]

 

Doesn’t Roxas have the endorsement, the resources and the machinery that should by now have everyone who wants to be vice president (and perhaps President someday) breaking down the massive doors of his family’s manor in Cubao? If there are really that many adherents of this administration’s philosophy of the daang matuwid, why aren’t they flooding Mar with their resumes and demanding that they be picked, instead of everyone treating him like he’s been stricken with the political equivalent of the Ebola virus?

It’s pretty obvious that no one is interested in becoming Mar’s partner for the 2016 race. Not Senator Grace Poe, not Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, not even Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, whom Roxas and President Noynoy Aquino himself wooed in Naga City yesterday, during the third anniversary of Jesse Robredo’s death in a plane crash.

Poe has basically told Roxas to stop bothering her already—and to order his men to stop blackmailing and backstabbing her, while he’s at it. Santos-Recto has, in a much nicer, less publicly acrimonious way, told Roxas the same.

Unless I am very much mistaken, I don’t think Robredo will join Roxas in his quest either. Despite the attempts of a small, palace-backed, pro-Roxas group to make it appear that a “grassroots” campaign to draft Robredo is under way, I think Jesse’s widow is much too smart to fall for the blandishments of the President and his anointed.

So I sought out a source knowledgeable about how the Roxas campaign operates about the difficulties encountered by Aquino’s Chosen One. And I asked why no one seems to be interested in joining Roxas as he continues the reforms of his boss.

After some thought, my source threw me a question by way of a reply: “Have you ever wondered why Aquino and Roxas only seem to want a woman to be the Liberal Party’s vice presidential candidate?”

I admitted that I had never considered the importance of the gender of Mar’s running mate. “Then you’ve never heard of Plan D?” my interviewee-turned-questioner asked.

You got me, I said. What’s Plan D?

“Think of Grace Poe as Plan A of the Aquino-Roxas administration,” my source said. “That means Vilma will be Plan B and Leni, the current favorite, is Plan C.”

Okay, I said. I think my next question is, who is Plan D?

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“Kris Aquino,” my informant said. “If no one whom Mar and Noynoy want joins them, then Kris would be asked to become the LP’s number two.”

* * *

That got my attention. A reprise of the Aquino-Roxas ticket in 2016, but with a twist?

“It makes perfect sense, if you’re part of the administration,” my source explained. “Kris certainly has the winnability; her own formidable powers as a commercial endorser may even get some votes cast for Mar.”

But is Kris up to the task of campaigning? Will she be able to take the mudslinging that will certainly accompany this grueling and bitter campaign in particular?

“Roxas and the Aquinos have no choice,” my source said. “Noy thought long and hard before he even agreed to endorse Mar, given that Mar is really a hard sell, despite the resources and the machinery; they cannot take the chance of losing not only the presidential race, but the vice presidential race, as well.”

That may be true, I replied. But it still doesn’t answer the question of whether Kris can survive the campaign.

“She’s always been a quick study, that one,” my source said. “And she has a work ethic that would certainly put her brother to shame.”

According to the source, the preparations for a Mar-Kris tandem started as a contingency, in case Roxas had trouble finding a running mate. Part of the strategy was for the Aquino sisters, who have always been close to Vice President Jejomar Binay, to say that they will stand by their brother.

“But while the political strategists of Malacañang were able to predict that Roxas would find it difficult to get a suitable, winnable running mate, they didn’t think they would need to bring out Plan D,” the source said. “But now their worst fears have come to pass, and they feel they have to bring out the big guns.”

Then my source said he had to leave to get back to work. “I don’t want to be like that LP congressman-general who is now in the doghouse with Mar,” he said.

What did the lawmaker do that was so bad? “Well, he was in an LP strategy meeting with Mar when his phone suddenly rang; Mar bawled him out and told him to leave the room. The poor man was so embarrassed that he never joined us again.”

Good luck with Plan D, I managed to say. But he had already left.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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