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

BONGBONG SAYS '2016 BINAY-MARCOS' TANDEM POSSIBLE


AUGUST 6 ---Senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos and Vice President Jejomar Binay combo picture. InterAksyon dot com file Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., on Thursday acknowledged that he is among those being considered by United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as a possible running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay in the upcoming 2016 elections. Speaking before the weekly Kapihan sa Senado media forum, Marcos, who described himself as an "undecided candidate," said that, while there is no rush in making a decision, he considers the Binay-Marcos tandem is a "viable" one. "Of course it is viable. Why not? Anything can be viable. As I said, all possibilities are being discussed and considered, because they are, well, possibilities," the senator told journalists attending the forum. "I am considering everything. I talk to everyone, about everything. Nothing is off-limits," he elaborated. Marcos said there are discussions on the possible tandem and its going on not only with his party – the Nacionalista Party – but also with other groups and political parties. "That is why I said I am grateful that I am being considered, but, again, decisions especially at the national level are quite involved," he said. Marcos said he is in constant communication with the United Nationalist Alliance, and the possibility of teaming up with Binay has been discussed. READ MORE...

ALSO On separate events: Binay, Roxas, Poe all in Cebu today


AUGUST 24 -L-R: Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe Philstar.com, File
 The three expected top presidential candidates in next year’s elections – Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe, and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II – are coincidentally in Cebu today on separate engagements, apparently to woo voters. Binay, head of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, left for Cebu yesterday while Poe has been there since the weekend, and Roxas will be accompanied by President Aquino when they leave Manila this morning. The Palace didn’t give details, however, on what will be the official function of Aquino and Roxas in Cebu except to say it was a “gathering of friends.” Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, said the Vice President was invited by local businessmen in Cebu. Binay will also visit today Barangays Climaco, Puting Bato and Dumlug in Toledo City and Barangays Camp 4, Jaclupan and Tabunoc in Talisay City. The Vice President criticized the administration for failing to provide Cebu with its rightful share in national taxes and major infrastructure projects in the past five years. Poe will be in Cebu City today to attend the celebration of the foundation week of the University of San Carlos (USC). She will be at the USC campus at 9 a.m. Meanwhile, the expected tandem of Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero for the top posts in the land has eight names in its possible senatorial lineup for next year.

ALSO: Estrada endorses Grace Poe as ‘The next..'


AUGUST 21 --Former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada spoke about his friendship with late actor Fernando Poe Jr. on the commemoration of FPJ’s 76th birthday at the Manila North Cemetery on August 20. ARIES HEGINA/INQUIRER.net
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada climbed the stage and acknowledged the presence of his bosom friend’s daughter, Sen. Grace Poe, saying, “The next…”  “President,” the crowd shouted, finishing the sentence for him, then let out a lusty cheer of approval of his apparent endorsement of the front-runner in the voter preference polls for the 2016 presidential election.  “Thank you,” Estrada said, adding, “You really know.” 
It was the 76th birthday of Estrada’s late best friend, movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., but politics was palpable in the mood of the crowd at the commemorative event at Manila North Cemetery on Thursday as FPJ’s daughter tried to decide whether to run for Malacańang or stay in the Senate to steel herself for the job then go for it when the right time came. She had earnest supporters. “Takbo Poe” (Run Poe), they said on the banners that decked the white tent in front of FPJ’s mausoleum. There were also streamers with pictures of FPJ and Poe with a message thanking “Da King,” as the actor was also known, for his daughter and a cryptic but clear notice of action to come: “GP2016 race.” And there was a tarpaulin banner signed by people who want Poe to run for President and Sen. Francis Escudero for Vice President. Poe took the encouragement modestly, telling reporters later that her family, friends and supporters were there to remember her father, as they did every year. For FPJ  “I am not denying that there is much interest now because of the 2016 (elections), but this day is for FPJ, a [continuing] remembrance of him,” she said. At the event were FPJ’s widow, actress Susan Roces, and friends led by Estrada, a former President of the Philippines and one of the founders of the current opposition party, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), whose presidential candidate next year is Vice President Jejomar Binay. Until recently, Binay led the voter preference polls for the presidential election. READ MORE...

ALSO: FVR to deliver authentic SONA
[In the format of a reaction to P-NOY's final SONA and the VP's True SONA]


AUGUST 23 --FVR
FORMER President Fidel V. Ramos is expected to deliver his Authentic State-of-the-Nation Address before the Philippine Constitution Association in Makati City on August 27, the group of constitutionalists announced on Saturday. Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said Ramos, who was president from 1992 to 1998, will be the guest of honor and speaker in Philconsa’s monthly membership meeting to be held at the 6:30 p.m. at the Manila Golf & Country Club. Philconsa chairman former Justice Manuel M. Lazaro said Ramos’s own address will be delivered as a form of reaction to the State-of-the-Nation Address delivered by President Benigno Aquino III last July 27 and the True State-of-the-Nation Address of Vice President Binay last August 3. The National Anthem will be led by Associate Dean Rita Linda V. Jimeno, Philconsa vice president for constitutional reforms while the invocation will be delivered by Philconsa governor and treasurer, UP Regent Nelia T. Gonzales. The Philconsa Creed will be led by retired Gen. Dionisio R. Santiago while the welcome remarks will be delivered by Romualdez. New members will also be presented by Dr. Margarita R. Cojuangco, VP for Academic Affairs, to be inducted by retired Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, Philconsa president emeritus. The Guest of Honor and Speaker will be introduced by Retired Omb. Aniano A. Desierto, Executive Vice-President. Immediately after former President Fidel V. Ramos’ speech, an open forum will be conducted Philconsa governor Antonio S. Lopez, publisher and editor-in-chief of BizNews as moderator while former justice secretary, Agnes Devanadera will act as master of ceremonies. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Palace defends stricter rules for balikbayan boxes
[The coalition is taking issue with the ''dictatorial and arbitrary manner by which the BoC has chosen to approach the balikbayan box issue.'']


AUGUST 22 -A Palace official on Saturday denied that the government was focusing solely on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in its latest effort to curb smuggling in the country. The Bureau of Customs recently said that it may impose tougher measures on balikbayan boxes for fear that these tax-free packages are being used by traders to smuggle goods into the country. In a statement, Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina recounted that some items inside some balikbayan boxes could be considered as smuggled goods due to non-compliance with the Philippine Tariff and Customs Code. He added that some packages were found to be ''spilling with undervalued items and under-declared contents'' during the bureau's spot checks. In a radio interview, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said, ''Hindi naman po rin sa 'napag-iinitan.' Ang Bureau of Customs ay hinahabol din naman po 'yung mga malalaking smuggler.'' ''I think there has been some point of concern when it comes to the BOC doon sa mga balikbayan boxes because they have caught some instances where smugglers are using balikbayan boxes as vehicles. Minsan po 'yung mga parts na nadistrangka inilalagay po sa balikbayan box tapos shini-ship para i-reassemble ho muna ulit dito,'' she explained. Valte said that the Customs should ensure that the process will not cause any hold up in the release of the balikbayan boxes and that the property inside should be respected. '''Di ba, hindi pwede 'yung may nawawala, hindi pwede 'yung parang nilamutak. BOC has to be very conscious about that because it's respecting also the property of the owners who sent them legally through the balikbayan boxes,'' she said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace on Erap’s 2016 plan: Let’s wait and see
[Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada gave his goddaughter Senator Grace Poe a piece of advice if ever she decides to run for a higher post: Brace yourself for the "dirty tricks." He also joked that Poe should be his running mate if he decides to run in 2016. "If I run (and win), then you become my vice president. I will only finish the years that was stolen from me. Iyong three years, 'di ba? Sabi ko three years, tapos ibibigay ko na sa 'yo. So, magiging nine years president ka pa... I was just kidding," Estrada said.]


AUGUST 23 --JUST KIDDING’ Erap teases Poe: Run as my VP, be president for 9 years GMA NEWS HEADLINE August 19, 2015 9:47pm Malacańang downplayed yesterday Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s hint that he might take another crack at the presidency and said the public would just have to wait and see if he is really serious about it.
“I think that was being floated…But until such time that we see the lineup after the certificates of candidacy have been filed (in October), everyone is free to make such pronouncements. You’ll never really know until they have filed their certificates of candidacy,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over radio dzRB. “I think that will intensify going into October, all these names, all these supposed tandems. So we never really know until they file their certificates of candidacy and then we can talk about moving forward,” Valte said. In a telephone interview with The STAR recently, Estrada said he wanted to run again for president – with Sen. Grace Poe as his running mate – purportedly to recover the three and half years of the presidency “stolen” from him. He said he would want to serve only for three and a half years and relinquish the rest of his term to Poe. Elected in 1998, Estrada was ousted in 2001 in a popular civilian uprising due to corruption and other irregularities. With his ouster, then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took over. He was detained while on trial and was pardoned by Arroyo after being convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Bongbong says Binay-Marcos tandem possible  By: Ernie Reyes, InterAksyon.com August 6, 2015 7:49 PM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5


Senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos and Vice President Jejomar Binay combo picture. InterAksyon.com file

MANILA, AUGUST 24, 2015 (INTERAKSYON) Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., on Thursday acknowledged that he is among those being considered by United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as a possible running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay in the upcoming 2016 elections.

Speaking before the weekly Kapihan sa Senado media forum, Marcos, who described himself as an "undecided candidate," said that, while there is no rush in making a decision, he considers the Binay-Marcos tandem is a "viable" one.

"Of course it is viable. Why not? Anything can be viable. As I said, all possibilities are being discussed and considered, because they are, well, possibilities," the senator told journalists attending the forum.

"I am considering everything. I talk to everyone, about everything. Nothing is off-limits," he elaborated.

Marcos said there are discussions on the possible tandem and its going on not only with his party – the Nacionalista Party – but also with other groups and political parties.

"That is why I said I am grateful that I am being considered, but, again, decisions especially at the national level are quite involved," he said.

Marcos said he is in constant communication with the United Nationalist Alliance, and the possibility of teaming up with Binay has been discussed.

READ MORE...

He said UNA interim president, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco is his cousin–in-law. Tiangco is married to Eileen Michelle Yap, whose mother, Conchita, is a younger sister of former First Lady Leyte Rep. Imelda Marcos.

He said NP expects to come to a decision on its political plan for 2016 next month.

Binay, for his part, disclosed that, aside from Marcos, the UNA search committee is also considering Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago as a possible running mate.

But Santiago has earlier declared that she intends to seek the presidency after doctors determined that she is recovering from lung cancer and after placing third in a voters' preference survey for president.


PHILSTAR

Binay, Roxas, Poe all in Cebu today By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 24, 2015 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


L-R: Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe Philstar.com, File

MANILA, Philippines - The three expected top presidential candidates in next year’s elections – Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe, and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II – are coincidentally in Cebu today on separate engagements, apparently to woo voters.

Binay, head of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, left for Cebu yesterday while Poe has been there since the weekend, and Roxas will be accompanied by President Aquino when they leave Manila this morning.

The Palace didn’t give details, however, on what will be the official function of Aquino and Roxas in Cebu except to say it was a “gathering of friends.”

Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, said the Vice President was invited by local businessmen in Cebu.

Binay will also visit today Barangays Climaco, Puting Bato and Dumlug in Toledo City and Barangays Camp 4, Jaclupan and Tabunoc in Talisay City.

The Vice President criticized the administration for failing to provide Cebu with its rightful share in national taxes and major infrastructure projects in the past five years.

Poe will be in Cebu City today to attend the celebration of the foundation week of the University of San Carlos (USC).

She will be at the USC campus at 9 a.m.

Meanwhile, the expected tandem of Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero for the top posts in the land has eight names in its possible senatorial lineup for next year.

READ MORE...

A source that requested anonymity said among the candidates being considered are Las Pińas Rep. Mark Villar, Taguig Rep. Lino Cayetano, re-electionist Senators Tito Sotto and Ralph Recto, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian.

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

“The forming of grand unity ticket will be a significant step towards national unity.” – With Christina Mendez


INQUIRER

Estrada endorses Grace Poe as ‘The next…’ @inquirerdotnet 02:07 AM August 21st, 2015


Former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada spoke about his friendship with late actor Fernando Poe Jr. on the commemoration of FPJ’s 76th birthday at the Manila North Cemetery on August 20. ARIES HEGINA/INQUIRER.net

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada climbed the stage and acknowledged the presence of his bosom friend’s daughter, Sen. Grace Poe, saying, “The next…”

“President,” the crowd shouted, finishing the sentence for him, then let out a lusty cheer of approval of his apparent endorsement of the front-runner in the voter preference polls for the 2016 presidential election.

“Thank you,” Estrada said, adding, “You really know.”

It was the 76th birthday of Estrada’s late best friend, movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., but politics was palpable in the mood of the crowd at the commemorative event at Manila North Cemetery on Thursday as FPJ’s daughter tried to decide whether to run for Malacańang or stay in the Senate to steel herself for the job then go for it when the right time came.

She had earnest supporters. “Takbo Poe” (Run Poe), they said on the banners that decked the white tent in front of FPJ’s mausoleum.

There were also streamers with pictures of FPJ and Poe with a message thanking “Da King,” as the actor was also known, for his daughter and a cryptic but clear notice of action to come: “GP2016 race.”

And there was a tarpaulin banner signed by people who want Poe to run for President and Sen. Francis Escudero for Vice President.
Poe took the encouragement modestly, telling reporters later that her family, friends and supporters were there to remember her father, as they did every year.

For FPJ

“I am not denying that there is much interest now because of the 2016 (elections), but this day is for FPJ, a [continuing] remembrance of him,” she said.

At the event were FPJ’s widow, actress Susan Roces, and friends led by Estrada, a former President of the Philippines and one of the founders of the current opposition party, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), whose presidential candidate next year is Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Until recently, Binay led the voter preference polls for the presidential election.

READ MORE...

But a long-running Senate investigation of corruption charges against him and plunder charges filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman brought him down.

Poe, who topped the 2013 senatorial election, surged to the front, leaving Binay in second place, followed by either the ruling Liberal Party’s Interior Secretary Mar Roxas or Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Estrada’s presence at FPJ’s birth anniversary was expected, as he was a friend of the Poe family, but his incomplete acknowledgment of Senator Poe as the next President of the Philippines indicated that he was torn between the daughter of his late friend and Binay.

But Estrada now seems to be distancing himself from Binay. He did not show up when Binay launched UNA as a political party in July, although his son, Sen. JV Ejercito, was there.

Estrada’s tribute

In his short speech, Estrada paid tribute to FPJ, whom he described as his “friend to the end.”

He said FPJ had been his constant companion not only in the movies but also in politics, with FPJ joining him in his campaign from the time he ran for mayor of San Juan City, as senator, Vice President and ultimately President.

“Erap will die but will never be able to repay his debt of gratitude to (FPJ),” Estrada said, referring to himself by the nickname derived from the word FPJ used to address him. “Erap” is “pare” (buddy) spelled backward.

FPJ himself ran for President in 2004, but lost to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He protested his defeat, but died in December that year.

In his homily, Fr. Larry Faroan urged Poe to go for the presidency, like her father who, he said, was elected the 14th President of the Philippines but was cheated of his victory.

‘New morning’

“I know (FPJ) is watching over Susan and Sen. Grace Poe who will continue his legacy,” Faroan said.

“To all those who are here, there is a new morning that is coming,” Faroan said, quoting the line from FPJ’s presidential campaign.

Faroan also defended Poe against the challenge to her citizenship, saying that even if a child were adopted, she is lucky because she was picked by her new parents.

“Senator Grace is not an adoptee. She was chosen by her parents. She was chosen by Susan and Da King,” Faroan said, adding that Poe was also chosen by the people as senator and “will also be chosen in 2016.”

Faroan urged the people to be vigilant in 2016 and not to allow those who were “forcing someone to be second when he can be first,” apparently referring to Poe, whom the Liberal Party is pressuring to come down from her lead in the polls to become the running mate of Roxas.

Asked about Faroan’s statements, Poe did not give a direct answer, saying only that her family chose him to celebrate the commemorative Mass because he was “very light and in touch with the pulse of the people.”

Poe also played down Estrada’s seeming endorsement of her as well as his presence there, saying he was a good friend of her father as well as the mayor of Manila, where the cemetery was located.

Asked whether she would follow in FPJ’s footsteps, she said: “I always try to follow him, not necessarily in all his decisions but at least his inspirations. The kind of person that he was, his sincerity, his humility, his generosity.”

She thanked her father’s supporters for continuing to remember him and said she would not be in the Senate today if not for him.

Poe also thanked her supporters for their faith in her job in the Senate and for supporting her possible run for Malacańang.

“If they are organizing, I recognize them and humbly thank them all,” she said.

She said she found encouraging the actions of groups that were putting together movements to help her in case she decided to run for President, but stressed that making the decision required “introspection on one’s objectives to help better the lives of the people.”

Praising FPJ

During the short program that followed the Mass, Poe praised her father for teaching her to be a good daughter and person and to have a higher purpose in life.

She also thanked her parents for taking care of her from the very start when she was brought to the Poe home as a curly-haired toddler suffering from skin disease.

Aside from Roces and Estrada, also present at the event were Poe’s husband, Neil Llamanzares, and son Brian; former Rep. Roilo Golez; former Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes; Batangas Vice Gov. Mark Leviste, as well as Manila councilors and show-business personalities.

Ending her speech, Poe quoted some lines from FPJ’s movies, saying the words reflected Philippine society, where there are oppressed people and people who want to fight back and rise from oppression.

“There is a line in FPJ’s movie ‘Aguila’: ‘Do not mislead yourself, child, in your journey just to say you need me. What you are searching for is meaning,” she said, adding that everyone should find their purpose in life and learn how to help other people.–
With a report from Jodee Agoncillo


MANILA STANDARD

FVR to deliver authentic SONA By MST News | Aug. 23, 2015 at 12:01am


FVR

FORMER President Fidel V. Ramos is expected to deliver his Authentic State-of-the-Nation Address before the Philippine Constitution Association in Makati City on August 27, the group of constitutionalists announced on Saturday.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said Ramos, who was president from 1992 to 1998, will be the guest of honor and speaker in Philconsa’s monthly membership meeting to be held at the 6:30 p.m. at the Manila Golf & Country Club.

Philconsa chairman former Justice Manuel M. Lazaro said Ramos’s own address will be delivered as a form of reaction to the State-of-the-Nation Address delivered by President Benigno Aquino III last July 27 and the True State-of-the-Nation Address of Vice President Binay last August 3.

The National Anthem will be led by Associate Dean Rita Linda V. Jimeno, Philconsa vice president for constitutional reforms while the invocation will be delivered by Philconsa governor and treasurer, UP Regent Nelia T. Gonzales.

The Philconsa Creed will be led by retired Gen. Dionisio R. Santiago while the welcome remarks will be delivered by Romualdez.

New members will also be presented by Dr. Margarita R. Cojuangco, VP for Academic Affairs, to be inducted by retired Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, Philconsa president emeritus.

The Guest of Honor and Speaker will be introduced by Retired Omb. Aniano A. Desierto, Executive Vice-President.

Immediately after former President Fidel V. Ramos’ speech, an open forum will be conducted Philconsa governor Antonio S. Lopez, publisher and editor-in-chief of BizNews as moderator while former justice secretary, Agnes Devanadera will act as master of ceremonies.


ABS-CBN

Palace defends stricter rules for balikbayan boxes ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 08/22/2015 9:08 PM | Updated as of 08/22/2015 10:54 PM

MANILA – A Palace official on Saturday denied that the government was focusing solely on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in its latest effort to curb smuggling in the country.

The Bureau of Customs recently said that it may impose tougher measures on balikbayan boxes for fear that these tax-free packages are being used by traders to smuggle goods into the country.

In a statement, Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina recounted that some items inside some balikbayan boxes could be considered as smuggled goods due to non-compliance with the Philippine Tariff and Customs Code.

He added that some packages were found to be ''spilling with undervalued items and under-declared contents'' during the bureau's spot checks.

In a radio interview, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said, ''Hindi naman po rin sa 'napag-iinitan.' Ang Bureau of Customs ay hinahabol din naman po 'yung mga malalaking smuggler.''

''I think there has been some point of concern when it comes to the BOC doon sa mga balikbayan boxes because they have caught some instances where smugglers are using balikbayan boxes as vehicles. Minsan po 'yung mga parts na nadistrangka inilalagay po sa balikbayan box tapos shini-ship para i-reassemble ho muna ulit dito,'' she explained.

Valte said that the Customs should ensure that the process will not cause any hold up in the release of the balikbayan boxes and that the property inside should be respected.

'''Di ba, hindi pwede 'yung may nawawala, hindi pwede 'yung parang nilamutak. BOC has to be very conscious about that because it's respecting also the property of the owners who sent them legally through the balikbayan boxes,'' she said.

READ MORE...

DIALOGUE SOUGHT

Meanwhile, a group of OFWs and advocates urged the BOC to hold a dialogue with the OFW sector prior to executing any moves in relation to the entry and delivery of balikbayan boxes.

In a statement, Susan Ople of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center said, ''This has become a very emotional issue for our OFWs. We would like to know firsthand from the BoC leadership what brought this controversy on.''

The coalition is taking issue with the ''dictatorial and arbitrary manner by which the BoC has chosen to approach the balikbayan box issue.''

Lito Soriano, a former OFW-turned-businessman, said, ''This is why a balikbayan box is so sacred to OFWs. It is an expression of love, and we always look forward to hearing about how its contents made our family happy.''

Bhing Comiso of the Pinoy Expat/OFW Bloggers Awards (PEBA), a former caregiver in Taiwan added: ''Dugo at pawis ang nilalaan para mapuno ang balikbayan box. Tapos ang OFW pa mismo ang mag-aayos kasi may sense of belongingness sa pag-aayos ng box. Pinapangalanan kung para kanino ang bawat item tapos bubuksan lang nila ng walang pakundgangan. Simpleng bagay sa iba pero para sa amin, meaningful pati ang ayos at bawat nilalaman ng isang balikbayan box.''


PHILSTAR

Palace on Erap’s 2016 plan: Let’s wait and see By Aurea Calica and Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 23, 2015 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


JUST KIDDING’ Erap teases Poe: Run as my VP, be president for 9 years GMA NEWS HEADLINE August 19, 2015 9:47pm

MANILA, Philippines - Malacańang downplayed yesterday Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s hint that he might take another crack at the presidency and said the public would just have to wait and see if he is really serious about it.

“I think that was being floated…But until such time that we see the lineup after the certificates of candidacy have been filed (in October), everyone is free to make such pronouncements. You’ll never really know until they have filed their certificates of candidacy,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over radio dzRB.

“I think that will intensify going into October, all these names, all these supposed tandems. So we never really know until they file their certificates of candidacy and then we can talk about moving forward,” Valte said.

In a telephone interview with The STAR recently, Estrada said he wanted to run again for president – with Sen. Grace Poe as his running mate – purportedly to recover the three and half years of the presidency “stolen” from him. He said he would want to serve only for three and a half years and relinquish the rest of his term to Poe.

Elected in 1998, Estrada was ousted in 2001 in a popular civilian uprising due to corruption and other irregularities. With his ouster, then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took over.

He was detained while on trial and was pardoned by Arroyo after being convicted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan.

READ MORE...

The Manila mayor and veteran actor tried to regain the presidency in 2010 but lost to President Aquino. He got the second highest number of votes.

The administration’s standard bearer, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, also wants Poe to be his vice presidential candidate, but the senator appears cool to his offer and has even hinted at her readiness to run for president.

Vice President Jejomar Binay has long declared his intention to run for president.

Others reported to be eyeing the presidency are Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano who, according to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., is also a good choice for Roxas’ running mate if talks with Poe fail.

Binay and Duterte are said to be eyeing Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as running mate.

Estrada said Binay is undoubtedly having difficulty because of the “demolition job being consistently made against him and his family.”

“It is not clear yet whether he will be charged, jailed or if he will fail to run. Many things can happen in the next one or two months,” the Manila mayor said.

If Binay drops out of the race or if the opposition fails to field a standard bearer for the 2016 polls, Estrada said that would leave him with no other choice but to run for president.

Binay is the acknowledged presidential candidate of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), a former coalition of Binay’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan party and Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.

Clean track record Valte, meanwhile, stressed the administration was confident that Roxas as its standard bearer would be able to attract wide support despite questions raised by the Binay camp regarding the Cabinet official’s achievements as public servant.

Binay, who served as mayor of Makati City for a long time, has been trumpeting his supposed success as a local official and supposed architect of the city’s progress.

“Short and sweet…I think the record of Secretary Roxas will bear itself out. His more than 20 years in public service will certainly show what he has already done and how his record remains spotless throughout the more than two decades that he has been in public service,” Valte said.

Valte said this was also the reason why President Aquino has chosen Roxas to continue the daang matuwid or straight path policy of the administration.

Before he announced his anointment of Roxas as his successor, Aquino had emphasized the importance of having someone “honest,” and with integrity and competence, to continue what the administration has started.

Why not Sonny? As the ruling Liberal Party continues its search for Roxas’ running mate, party stalwart and Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo has floated the name of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. as another choice for vice president.

Calling him a quiet worker who enjoys the respect of nearly all political blocs, Belmonte may be the man the LP is looking for to be its vice presidential bet in next year’s polls.

Castelo made the proposal as Roxas has yet to gain headway in wooing Poe to be the administration’s vice presidential candidate.

Poe has yet to publicly disclose her political plans for next year, and is perceived to be entertaining the idea of running for president as she has been topping presidential and vice presidential surveys.

“Why not SB? SB could galvanize the coalition,” Castelo said, using Belmonte’s initials.

“He could maintain the fragile coalition from a possible break up should Poe continue her quest for he presidency,” he said.

He said Belmonte has been credited for keeping the administration coalition intact in the House of Representatives. This allowed for the timely passage of various landmark bills in the chamber.

Castelo also said the House leader has maintained his independence despite being a top official of the LP, even locking horns with President Aquino on certain issues.

He said Belmonte also has good relations with Poe, Roxas and Binay.

He also cited Belmonte’s exemplary track record and managerial skills as three-term mayor of Quezon City, and before that as chief executive officer of the Government Service Insurance System and other government-owned and controlled corporations.

Castelo said that while he is still optimistic that Poe would eventually agree to run with Roxas, he sees Belmonte as somebody the administration standard bearer should seriously consider.

“He (Belmonte) has the experience and the track record that’s open to anyone. No more learning curves for him, if he’s elected the vice president, he’ll hit the ground running,” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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