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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
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GRACE POE'S WOE: DNA MATCH WITH SUPPOSED RELATIVES TURNED NEGATIVE


NOVEMBER 4 -The Senate Electoral Tribunal earlier ruled out Sen. Grace Poe's residency issues and decided to focus on her citizenship instead. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file
Presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe on Wednesday admitted that her DNA test results with her supposed relatives turned out negative.
In an interview with radio dzMM, Poe said that the issue of foundlings should also be considered in her case. "Wala po akong duda sa aking puso, sa aking isip, ako po ay Pilipino," Poe said. Defeated senatorial bet Rizalito David earlier filed a disqualification case against Poe before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), seeking to unseat the senator as she is allegedly not a natural-born Filipino citizen. The senator is also facing several disqualification cases before the Commission on Elections, seeking to invalidate her certificate of candidacy for president. Poe remains confident that she will win the cases filed against her, citing that her camp has legal basis to support her claims that she is a natural-born Filipino. "Masuwerte na rin ako na yan ang isyu at hindi pagnanakaw at hindi pagganap ng iyong trabaho," the senator said. READ MORE... RELATED, Grace Poe says husband will renounce US citizenship...

ALSO: Grace thanks Bongbong, but says DNA won’t match


NOVEMBER 7 -Bongbong willing to undergo DNA test for Grace: Marcos and Poe earlier this year separately declared that there is no need to conduct DNA testing for the both of them. Marcos also branded as “urban legend” the rumors that Poe could be a daughter of his late father with US-based actress Rosemarie Sonora. Joven Cagande PHILSTAR NEWSFILE PHOTO Sen. Grace Poe SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – Presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe yesterday thanked Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his willingness to undergo a DNA test to help her find her biological relatives, but expressed belief their DNAs would not match. “I am thanking Sen. Bongbong, but I think he just wants to help me,” Poe told reporters in a visit here as part of her nationwide tour. “I’m sure he knows if it happens, it will not match,” she added. Poe, a foundling adopted by actor Fernando Poe Jr. and actress Susan Roces, is facing disqualification cases over questions on her nationality. Under the Omnibus Election Code, only natural-born Filipinos may run for public office. There is a rumor that Poe could be a daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. with actress Rosemarie Sonora, the sister of Roces. Poe underwent a DNA test to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino, following the disqualification case filed against her before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). But she has admitted the results of the DNA tests conducted on two of her supposed relatives were negative. In a forum at the Bataan Peninsula State University, Poe said she is not giving up the fight against detractors who want her to be disqualified from the presidential race. She said she has to remain strong not just for foundlings like her, but also for the 20 million people who voted for her in 2013. She lamented that other foundlings would become second class citizens in case she gets an unfavorable ruling from the SET. She reiterated that her defense does not rely on the DNA tests alone but on international treaties stating that foundlings retain the citizenship of the country where they were found. But Poe also said she is ready to return to private life if the SET rules against her. “My prayer is for the magistrates to be fair,” she added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Even ‘political’ vote in Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) bleak for Poe


NOVEMBER 9 -Political affiliations may just tilt the balance against presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe when the nine-member Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) vote in the petition to disqualify her on Nov. 17 despite Poe’s running mate Sen. Francis Escudero dismissing the negative results in DNA tests of Poe affecting her case. Poe’s DNA tests with supposed relatives which would have established her links with supposed Filipino relatives produced negative results but do not spell doom in her case, as far as her being qualified to run for presidency in next year’s elections, Escudero said. The petition questioned Poe’s claim of being a natural-born Filipino which is a requirement for an elective post. The senator said he remains optimistic on the possibility of the SET ruling against the petitioner in the disqualification complaint, given the composition of the body that include six of their colleagues, most of them are not considered to be political allies. But a head count does not favor Poe even if a decision would not be based on purely legal basis. Sen. Nancy Binay happens to be the daughter of one of Poe’s rivals, Vice President Jejomar Binay, while another member, Sen. Pia Cayetano, is the sister of vice presidential candidate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. Sen. Bam Aquino is the campaign manager of another rival of Escudero, administration vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo while Sen. Cynthia Villar is a party mate in the Nacionalista Party (NP) of Cayetano and two other vice presidential bets, Senators Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Antonio Trillanes IV. The two remaining SET members from the upper chamber, Senators Vicente Sotto III and Loren Legarda are the only ones perceived to be possibly sympathetic to Poe, as their party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is contemplating on backing Poe and Escudero’s bid in the coming elections.The three other members of the SET are justices of the Supreme Court who are Senior Justice Antonio Carpio, SET chairman; Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Associate Justice Arturo Brion who are all expected to decide based on the evidence presented. Villar said she would base her vote on Poe based on “fairness” and not through purely legal basis.  “Not all of us are lawyers. So some of us will vote for what we think is fair which not purely legal,” Villar said. Poe needs at least five votes to defeat the petition against her disqualification as Senator. Villar said while the senator members in the SET can consult with lawyers, in the end “it’s your decision.”  “It can be a political decision, it can be a legal decision, it can be both,” Villar said. Carpio said the SET had scheduled a November 17 ruling to beat the Commission on Elections (Comelec) deadline for the complete list of candidates for printing in the ballots.  Chiz confident Amid Poe’s own admission that her attempt to establish her citizenship through DNA tests with purported relatives, at least two of them, have yielded negative results, Escudero remained confident that the law is on their side and that the SET would rule in their favor. “The DNA (tests) can only strengthen the case and is not a requirement under the law. (Supreme Court Senior Associate) Justice (Antonio) Carpio suggested that the test would do a lot of help in strengthening the case in favor of Poe but it will not in any way diminish Poe’s position,” Escudero said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino, Roxas absent in Yolanda anniversary commemoration
[2016 presidential, vice presidential aspirants join Yolanda anniversary]


NOVEMBER 8 -Leyte Rep Romualdez said both Roxas and Aquino did not respond to the invite. "We’re sad," said Romualdez. Tacloban, Leyte (CNN Philippines) – Despite being invited to attend the second anniversary commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda's devastation in Tacloban, Pres. Benigno Aquino III and the administration's presidential bet, former Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, did not show up.
Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said that the people of Tacloban, who until now are still emotionally wounded by Yolanda's destruction, were expecting the president. "We invite everyone — the national government, as well as those in the communities. It's not just a matter of protocol but [it's] just right because he is the head of state," Romualdez said. Romualdez said both Roxas and Aquino did not respond to the invite. "We’re sad," said Romualdez. "I guess they have other schedules. But we understand," he added. Aquino and Roxas were at the forefront of the emergency response when Yolanda hit the country. A few days after the storm struck, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez asked Roxas for assistance. But in a video that surfaced online, Roxas could be remembered telling the mayor that he should be careful because he is a Romualdez and the president is an Aquino. "Yolanda’s not mentioned in the SONA [State of the Nation Address] so we understand it’s not a priority apparently… We're seeing the sad refrain," the lawmaker said. Two years since then, the Romualdezes still complain about the lack of support from the national government. In his speech during the Yolanda anniversary, however, Mayor Romualdez expressed his gratitude to the Aquino leadership and even apologized for the harsh words he may have uttered. 2016 presidential, vice presidential aspirants join Yolanda anniversary Opposition leaders Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay and Sen. Gringo Honasan criticized the government’s response to Yolanda Victims in Tacloban. Binay what he said were the slow recovery and rehabilitation programs of the government for Yolanda victims. "I'm sorry to say. The reaction of government because of Yolanda, the unfortunate incident of Yolanda, is mismanagement. Hindi trabaho ng marunong mangasiwa, hindi trabahong marunong mamuno," the vice president told the media in an interview. Honasan, Binay's vice presidential running mate, said that the perception of having a politicized risk reduction management is also adding to the problem. "That's the problem. There's the perception we have politicized disaster risk reduction management. I'm not referring to any group. I'm just saying in terms of cost benefit, risk benefit, we have a long way to go," Honasan said. Vice presidential hopeful Sen. Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., a relative of the Romualdezes and a known Aquino critic, expressed doubts about the government’s claim that it has accomplished 51 percent of its target for the rehabilitation of areas devastated by Yolanda two years ago. "Very little; very late… Kaya kitang kita kualng talaga ang naging response ng gobyerno hanggang ngayon dalawang taon na nakalipas, wala parin tayo masyadong nakikitang tulong," Marcos said. The National Economic and Development Authority earlier reported that two years after Yolanda, only 51 percent of the rehabilitation and recovery programs have been completed. Marcos said the claim of a 51 percent accomplishment is “a very optimistic estimate” because the government has barely implemented the masterplan for Yolanda rehabilitation crafted by former Presidential Adviser on Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Panfilo Lacson. “I don’t know how they arrived at 51 percent because by the government’s own admission, if you look at the (permanent) housing figures, it is less than 10 percent — 17,000 out of 250,000 is about 6 percent,” Marcos said in an ambush interview at the Tacloban Astrodome. In an earlier interview, Abad said that, as compared to other countries, the rehabilitation and recovery programs in the Philippines is relatively well. CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas contributed to this report. THE FULL REPORT. RELATED, Aquino snub of Yolanda rites reflects his ‘buhay-pa-naman-kayo’ haciendero attitude -Rigoberto Tiglao Times column...

ALSO: Memorial markers unveiled in Tacloban


NOVEMBER 9 -Members of the Sto Niño Children’s Choir look at the names of those killed by Yolanda etched on a commemorative wall during rites marking the second anniversary of the super typhoon at the Astrodome Memorial Grounds in Tacloban, Leyte yesterday. Boy Santos
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Politicians gathered in this city yesterday for the second anniversary of Yolanda, the super typhoon that claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people and destroyed billions worth of crops and property. There was no representative from the Aquino administration, but the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay, a presidential aspirant, joined the people of Leyte in the commemorative activities. Binay, his running mate Sen. Gringo Honasan, and their senatorial slate attended the commemoration. Two memorial markers were unveiled: the shipwreck marker at Anibong district, which was a reminder of the thousands who perished in Tacloban when Yolanda hit the city on Nov. 8, 2013; and another marker at the Astrodome where at least 8,000 evacuees survived a deadly storm surge. Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez, who had expressed disappointment in the national government’s slow implementation of the rehabilitation program despite million of dollars in financial aid from countries around the world, still thanked President Aquino for the help extended to the people of Tacloban. “We would like to thank the President, in behalf of the city government of Tacloban, for all his help to Taclobanons during our desperate moments. I apologized that sometimes we said poignant words because we are only human and because we were hurt,” Romualdez said before a crowd of survivors after he unveiled the shipwreck marker. He also said the Anibong memorial marker would be the symbol for the whole world to unite and work hard for the future generation. Binay, meanwhile, said he was glad to see the happy faces of the people but he felt the pain in their hearts as they remembered the tragedy. READ MORE...

ALSO: GMA’s health condition deteriorating, says daughter


NOVEMBER 9 -Sen. Grace Poe (left) shakes hands with Luli Arroyo during a gathering of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1991 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City yesterday. Kriz John Rosales
 The health condition of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo continues to deteriorate, her daughter Luli Arroyo-Bernas said yesterday. “Her condition is not improving, unfortunately,” Arroyo-Bernas told reporters during a gathering of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1991 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Arroyo-Bernas is an honorary member of PMA Sambisig Class. She expressed doubt whether President Aquino will allow her mother to be placed under house arrest out of compassion for the former president. “I doubt if he will ever listen,” she said. Arroyo-Bernas, however, said the family has not lost faith in the justice system. She expressed belief that the court would allow her mother to post bail. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Arroyo’s continuous detention violates international law. The UN body asked the government to grant her bail. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Grace Poe's woe: DNA match turns out negative


The Senate Electoral Tribunal earlier ruled out Sen. Grace Poe's residency issues and decided to focus on her citizenship instead. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file

MANILA, NOVEMBER 9, 2015 (PHILSTAR)  By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) November 4, 2015 - Presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe on Wednesday admitted that her DNA test results with her supposed relatives turned out negative.

In an interview with radio dzMM, Poe said that the issue of foundlings should also be considered in her case.

"Wala po akong duda sa aking puso, sa aking isip, ako po ay Pilipino," Poe said.

Defeated senatorial bet Rizalito David earlier filed a disqualification case against Poe before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), seeking to unseat the senator as she is allegedly not a natural-born Filipino citizen.

The senator is also facing several disqualification cases before the Commission on Elections, seeking to invalidate her certificate of candidacy for president.

Poe remains confident that she will win the cases filed against her, citing that her camp has legal basis to support her claims that she is a natural-born Filipino.

"Masuwerte na rin ako na yan ang isyu at hindi pagnanakaw at hindi pagganap ng iyong trabaho," the senator said.

READ MORE...

The senator's camp failed to beat the October 21 deadline of the SET and asked for an extension to submit the DNA test results.

The tribunal is set to rule on Poe's disqualification case on November 5.

At a hearing in September, Supreme Court senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, chair of the SET, said that a DNA match is a “conclusive presumption of filiation” of Poe, who has recently expressed her intention to run for president in 2016.

“If you have a conclusive match that is a conclusive presumption, if you have a DNA match, that would solve all our problems here because you cannot argue against that anymore,” Carpio said.

RELATED: Poe to accept SET ruling on disqualification case

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Grace Poe says husband will renounce US citizenship November 4, 2015 5:36pm Tags: gracepoe, neilllamanzares

The husband of presidential hopeful Senator Grace Poe will renounce his United States citizenship.


From L-R: Senator Grace Poe's son Brian, husband Neil Llamanzares, and mother Susan Roces.

The presidential aspirant confirmed the development in a radio interview on Wednesday, saying her husband Neil Llamanzares has reached the decision after a discussion.

"Iyan ang ginagawang issue sa akin ngayon. Nag-usap na kami ng aking asawa. Siya talaga ay magre-renounce," Poe said.

Llamanzares is a dual citizen of the Philippines and the US. Poe noted that he is a natural-born Filipino since both his parents are Filipinos who studied and worked in the US.

"Huwag kayong mag-aalala. Hindi kayo magkakaroon ng American boy sa 'White House,'" she joked.

The couple has three children, two of whom are still minors who were born in the Philippines. Their first child Brian, now 23 years old, was born in the US and is also a dual citizen.

"Hindi ko siya pipilitin na mag-renounce para sa akin," she said, while hinting that Brian may just follow her husband's lead.

"Ang anak ko, die-hard naman talaga yan, kaya para sa kanya ay hindi rin sakripisyo dahil mahal niya ang ating bansa."

Poe, who herself acquired US citizenship before renouncing it in 2010, has been hounded by issues surrounding her residency and citizenship. She is facing disqualification cases before the Senate Electoral Tribunal for her win in the Senate race in 2013 and the Commission on Elections for her candidacy in next year's national elections. —Trisha Macas/JST, GMA News Show comments


PHILSTAR

Grace thanks Bongbong, but says DNA won’t match By Bebot Sison Jr (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 7, 2015 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


Bongbong willing to undergo DNA test for Grace: Marcos and Poe earlier this year separately declared that there is no need to conduct DNA testing for the both of them. Marcos also branded as “urban legend” the rumors that Poe could be a daughter of his late father with US-based actress Rosemarie Sonora. Joven Cagande PHILSTAR NEWSFILE PHOTO

Sen. Grace Poe SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – Presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe yesterday thanked Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his willingness to undergo a DNA test to help her find her biological relatives, but expressed belief their DNAs would not match.

“I am thanking Sen. Bongbong, but I think he just wants to help me,” Poe told reporters in a visit here as part of her nationwide tour.

“I’m sure he knows if it happens, it will not match,” she added.

Poe, a foundling adopted by actor Fernando Poe Jr. and actress Susan Roces, is facing disqualification cases over questions on her nationality. Under the Omnibus Election Code, only natural-born Filipinos may run for public office.

There is a rumor that Poe could be a daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. with actress Rosemarie Sonora, the sister of Roces.

Poe underwent a DNA test to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino, following the disqualification case filed against her before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). But she has admitted the results of the DNA tests conducted on two of her supposed relatives were negative.

In a forum at the Bataan Peninsula State University, Poe said she is not giving up the fight against detractors who want her to be disqualified from the presidential race.

She said she has to remain strong not just for foundlings like her, but also for the 20 million people who voted for her in 2013. She lamented that other foundlings would become second class citizens in case she gets an unfavorable ruling from the SET.

She reiterated that her defense does not rely on the DNA tests alone but on international treaties stating that foundlings retain the citizenship of the country where they were found.

But Poe also said she is ready to return to private life if the SET rules against her.

“My prayer is for the magistrates to be fair,” she added.

READ MORE...

In a press conference yesterday in Subic Bay Freeport, Poe was also asked to comment on criticism that she is still raw for the presidency.

“Being new is not a weakness,” Poe said, adding that voters just got used to electing people with old ideas.

She also compared her presidential bid to new and old cars.

“What would you rather drive, the old ones that still run but you are not sure if it will give you problems, or the new one that you are certain will give you a smooth ride?”

Her running mate, vice presidential aspirant Sen. Francis Escudero, said that President Aquino was also a newbie in the 2010 presidential race but this was never an issue.

“Aquino only served as a senator for three years and nobody raised a question. Why should this be an issue now?” he said.

Poe was also asked what she intends to do with the country’s Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States if she is elected president.

She said “we need cooperation for defense, but we also need to provide safeguards for abuses and criminal offenses.”

She added that the issue is now with the Supreme Court and it is the tribunal that will decide on the fate of EDCA.

Poe also said among her priorities are protection of children’s rights and welfare, poverty reduction and improvement of infrastructure.

Her administration will also prioritize education and will implement a training-and-job-matching program, so graduates will find jobs suited to their education. – With Christina Mendez


TRIBUNE

Even ‘political’ vote in Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) bleak for PoeWritten by Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales Monday, 09 November 2015 00:00


Political affiliations may just tilt the balance against presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe when the nine-member Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) vote in the petition to disqualify her on Nov. 17 despite Poe’s running mate Sen. Francis Escudero dismissing the negative results in DNA tests of Poe affecting her case.

Poe’s DNA tests with supposed relatives which would have established her links with supposed Filipino relatives produced negative results but do not spell doom in her case, as far as her being qualified to run for presidency in next year’s elections, Escudero said.

The petition questioned Poe’s claim of being a natural-born Filipino which is a requirement for an elective post.

The senator said he remains optimistic on the possibility of the SET ruling against the petitioner in the disqualification complaint, given the composition of the body that include six of their colleagues, most of them are not considered to be political allies.

But a head count does not favor Poe even if a decision would not be based on purely legal basis.

Sen. Nancy Binay happens to be the daughter of one of Poe’s rivals, Vice President Jejomar Binay, while another member, Sen. Pia Cayetano, is the sister of vice presidential candidate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Sen. Bam Aquino is the campaign manager of another rival of Escudero, administration vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo while Sen. Cynthia Villar is a party mate in the Nacionalista Party (NP) of Cayetano and two other vice presidential bets, Senators Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The two remaining SET members from the upper chamber, Senators Vicente Sotto III and Loren Legarda are the only ones perceived to be possibly sympathetic to Poe, as their party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is contemplating on backing Poe and Escudero’s bid in the coming elections.


Senate Electoral Tribunal hearing on disqualification case vs Poe; It met to iron out some organizational matters and has set in motion the case that Rizalito David has filed questioning Poe’s nationality and residency status, according to Sen. Vicente Sotto III . “We designated a spokesperson who is attorney Irene Guevarra, the SET secretary,” he said. “Technically, the case has already started. We are not supposed to discuss it or talk about it.”  HALALAN 2016

The three other members of the SET are justices of the Supreme Court who are Senior Justice Antonio Carpio, SET chairman; Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Associate Justice Arturo Brion who are all expected to decide based on the evidence presented.

Villar said she would base her vote on Poe based on “fairness” and not through purely legal basis.

“Not all of us are lawyers. So some of us will vote for what we think is fair which not purely legal,” Villar said.

Poe needs at least five votes to defeat the petition against her disqualification as Senator.

Villar said while the senator members in the SET can consult with lawyers, in the end “it’s your decision.”

“It can be a political decision, it can be a legal decision, it can be both,” Villar said.

Carpio said the SET had scheduled a November 17 ruling to beat the Commission on Elections (Comelec) deadline for the complete list of candidates for printing in the ballots.

Chiz confident

Amid Poe’s own admission that her attempt to establish her citizenship through DNA tests with purported relatives, at least two of them, have yielded negative results, Escudero remained confident that the law is on their side and that the SET would rule in their favor.

“The DNA (tests) can only strengthen the case and is not a requirement under the law. (Supreme Court Senior Associate) Justice (Antonio) Carpio suggested that the test would do a lot of help in strengthening the case in favor of Poe but it will not in any way diminish Poe’s position,” Escudero said.

READ MORE...

Besides, the matter of the DNA tests is a continuing process and does not or will not end in the recent findings concerning the specimen of two supposed relatives, Escudero said.

Regardless of whatever will be the decision of the SET when it hands down its ruling on Nov. 17, Escudero said there will be no let up in pursuing his vice presidential bid.

“That goes the same for the [senatorial] slate since there is no prohibition on continuing the campaign if the case is lost. The decision of the SET is appealable with the Supreme Court, and both party can appeal with the SC,” he said.

Meanwhile, the camp of Poe refuted the claim of Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas that majority of the party-list (PL) groups in the House of Representatives have declared support to the tandem of Roxas and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo. YACAP Congresswoman Carol Lopez, however, claimed that Roxas was correct.

“Being a party-list representative myself, I understand the sentiments and the needs of the party-list groups and I believe those requirements have been discussed and addressed and so we are now all looking forward to May 2016 with Mar Roxas,” Lopez said.

Lopez said the party-list groups are among the most important forces that enable the marginalized Filipinos and the underrepresented in our society to have a voice in the government.

“The team of Mar Roxas has always acknowledged the important participation of the PL groups in the political mix of the country. I personally have looked up to the roles the PL Congs have been playing all these years with the objective to make life better for those who feel they needed more contribution from the national government,” Lopez said.

The party-list groups who are supposedly supporting Roxas, according to Lopez are the Aambis Owa, Abamin, ABS, Agap, Akbayan, Amin, Angkla, APPEND, A Teacher, 1-CARE, CIBAC, Coop Natco, LPGMA, TUCP and Yacap.

Lopez say the schedule to formally present the members of the PL groups to the public is being finalized.

“The team is excited to be working closely with these PLs under the Roxas leadership, we all know that PLs are very hardworking and the concerns and issues they, we, bring to the table are the same concerns and issues of the majority of the Filipinos particularly the poor. This will be an inspiring partnership,” Lopez said.

According to Poe’s camp, however, 18 more big partylist groups have not signified their support for the Roxas-Robredo tandem.

Among them are Abono, An Waray, Ako Bicol, AVE, Abang Lingkod, Anak IP, Agbiag, Gabriela, Anakpawis, , Bayan Muna, Act Teachers, Kabataan, Butil, Act- Cis, Magdalo, Buhay, 1-Care, and Abamin

Osmeña to campaing for Leni

Despite his non-inclusion in the administration’s senatorial ticket, re-electionist Sen. Sergio Osmena III is helping out in the campaign of Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo.

But Robredo’s designated campaign manager, neophyte Sen. Bam Aquino, would not give any meaning to the support being extended by Osmena who has been rallying behind the Camarines Sur congresswoman as running mate of former Interior Sec. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II even long before the LP decided to pick her as their vice presidential bet.

Aquino bared this in a recent television interview, adding that he and his office, that include some experienced staff who are knowledgeable in carrying out a national campaign, are behind the Robredo’s candidacy.
 
Osmena has been more identified with another vice presidential aspirant, independent candidate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, having been the latter’s campaign manager during the 2013 mid-term senatorial elections alongside Sen. Grace Poe.

Osmena recently been reported to have had a “falling out” of sort with both Escudero and Poe, the reasons behind it remain unknown to the public.

Asked if Osmena’s decision to back the candidacy of Robredo is aimed at spoiling Escudero’s candidacy, Aquino would not tell.

“You have to ask him. If those are his reasons you will have to ask him, I don’t want to speak for Sen. Serge (Osmena). We can’t speak for him,” he said.


CNN PHILIPPINES

Aquino, Roxas absent in Yolanda anniversary commemoration By CNN Philippines Staff
Updated 16:04 PM PHT Sun, November 8, 2015 23510


A Yolanda survivor visits the grave of his family.

Tacloban, Leyte (CNN Philippines) – Despite being invited to attend the second anniversary commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda's devastation in Tacloban, Pres. Benigno Aquino III and the administration's presidential bet, former Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, did not show up.

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said that the people of Tacloban, who until now are still emotionally wounded by Yolanda's destruction, were expecting the president.

"We invite everyone — the national government, as well as those in the communities. It's not just a matter of protocol but [it's] just right because he is the head of state," Romualdez said.

Romualdez said both Roxas and Aquino did not respond to the invite.

"We’re sad," said Romualdez.

"I guess they have other schedules. But we understand," he added.


NOVEMBER 8 -Leyte Rep Romualdez said both Roxas and Aquino did not respond to the invite. "We’re sad," said Romualdez

Aquino and Roxas were at the forefront of the emergency response when Yolanda hit the country.

A few days after the storm struck, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez asked Roxas for assistance.

But in a video that surfaced online, Roxas could be remembered telling the mayor that he should be careful because he is a Romualdez and the president is an Aquino.

"Yolanda’s not mentioned in the SONA [State of the Nation Address] so we understand it’s not a priority apparently… We're seeing the sad refrain," the lawmaker said.

Two years since then, the Romualdezes still complain about the lack of support from the national government.

In his speech during the Yolanda anniversary, however, Mayor Romualdez expressed his gratitude to the Aquino leadership and even apologized for the harsh words he may have uttered.

2016 presidential, vice presidential aspirants join Yolanda anniversary

Opposition leaders Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay and Sen. Gringo Honasan criticized the government’s response to Yolanda Victims in Tacloban.

Binay what he said were the slow recovery and rehabilitation programs of the government for Yolanda victims.

"I'm sorry to say. The reaction of government because of Yolanda, the unfortunate incident of Yolanda, is mismanagement. Hindi trabaho ng marunong mangasiwa, hindi trabahong marunong mamuno," the vice president told the media in an interview.

Honasan, Binay's vice presidential running mate, said that the perception of having a politicized risk reduction management is also adding to the problem.

"That's the problem. There's the perception we have politicized disaster risk reduction management. I'm not referring to any group. I'm just saying in terms of cost benefit, risk benefit, we have a long way to go," Honasan said.

Vice presidential hopeful Sen. Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., a relative of the Romualdezes and a known Aquino critic, expressed doubts about the government’s claim that it has accomplished 51 percent of its target for the rehabilitation of areas devastated by Yolanda two years ago.

"Very little; very late… Kaya kitang kita kualng talaga ang naging response ng gobyerno hanggang ngayon dalawang taon na nakalipas, wala parin tayo masyadong nakikitang tulong," Marcos said.

The National Economic and Development Authority earlier reported that two years after Yolanda, only 51 percent of the rehabilitation and recovery programs have been completed.

Marcos said the claim of a 51 percent accomplishment is “a very optimistic estimate” because the government has barely implemented the masterplan for Yolanda rehabilitation crafted by former Presidential Adviser on Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Panfilo Lacson.

“I don’t know how they arrived at 51 percent because by the government’s own admission, if you look at the (permanent) housing figures, it is less than 10 percent — 17,000 out of 250,000 is about 6 percent,” Marcos said in an ambush interview at the Tacloban Astrodome.

In an earlier interview, Abad said that, as compared to other countries, the rehabilitation and recovery programs in the Philippines is relatively well.

CNN Philippines' Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.

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MANILA TIMES COMMENTARY

Aquino snub of Yolanda rites reflects his ‘buhay-pa-naman-kayo’ haciendero attitude
November 8, 2015 9:52 pm RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO


by RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

I couldn’t believe that President Benigno Aquino 3rd snubbed Tacloban City’s invitation for him to attend this year’s rites for Super Typhoon Yolanda’s second anniversary.

It was the worst disaster in the country’s post-war history, and the President ignores its commemoration?

It even seems that he had ordered his entire Administration to snub it, with only the secretary of the interior and local government attending it—something such official would do for even the most unimportant anniversary in some town.

What is it with this President?

He also skipped the first anniversary rites last year in Tacloban City, and instead, visited only Guiuan town in Eastern Samar.

His clown of a spokesman, Sonny Coloma, said that it was, after all, the first town hit by the supertyphoon at landfall, and that the President had limited time. No one among the scandalously timid Malacanang press corps had the courage or intelligence to take Coloma to task and point out to him that it was Tacloban that was hit the worst, with over 5,000 of the 8,000 killed in that area.

The anniversary yesterday would have been his last chance as head of the country to commiserate with the millions of Filipinos in Leyte and Samar who had relatives who died in the disaster, or whose homes and farmlands were devastated. I don’t think this gutless president would even dare show his face in Tacloban City when he steps down next year. I was told that Aquino didn’t even have any other official activity scheduled for yesterday.

What was he doing? Competing with his nephew, Josh, in some X-box game, so he could forget how he utterly failed as President in responding to the calamity that had taken thousands of lives and cut a wide swath of destruction through the mid-eastern coast of his country?

Even internationally renowned journalists Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour shamed him and his sidekick Manuel Roxas for their incompetence.


Identifying the dead in Tacloban two years ago: Actually, they’re dead, Mr. President.

Is something really wrong with this person’s psyche that he cannot face up to his mistakes, and that he does not even have a bit of sympathy, let alone presidential grace, to meet face-to-face with a Marcos or a Romualdez?

Contrast Aquino’s rebuff of the Yolanda commemoration to the 10th anniversary of hurricane Katrina in August in New Orleans.

Three presidents – the Republican George Bush, and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama – were in communion not just with New Orleans but the entire America in expressing sadness over the tragedy that occurred 10 years ago and in resolving to correct the weaknesses that had delayed the government’s response.

Even George W. Bush, who had been blamed for his weak, late rescue and rehabilitation response, had the balls to attend the rites.

Natural disasters

Other than wars or a common enemy, it is natural disasters that provide a community of people the opportunity to strengthen their sense of a common fate, sharing the same geographical curse, the same yearnings for a government with the resources and commitment to protect each one of them. In a word, Yolanda’s devastation could have helped strengthen our sense that we belong to one nation, that we have to strengthen that nation or perish.

The Katrina disaster initially sharpened the racial divide that had been a problem for the US as a nation. Subsequent efforts, though, by the US government, to rehabilitate New Orleans and build the dikes to prevent flooding, had served to strengthen the sense of nationhood of everyone in Louisiana, as the 10th anniversary rites had shown.

In our case, the Aquino Administration even divided the nation over Yolanda. After two years, it is unimaginable for Aquino’s sidekick, Roxas, to even tell the mayor in a meeting, but he did, as Tacloban’s streets were filled with thousands of unburied corpses: “You have to understand, you are a Romualdez, and the President is an Aquino.”

It is unimaginable that in a meeting in Tacloban, he snapped at a businessman who was distressed over indications of looting in the city: “Buhay pa naman kayo ah.” (“But you’re still alive, aren’t you?) That sounds like the typical haciendero attitude toward his tenants or servants who happen to have expressed some grievance.

With that statement, and his utter failure to prepare the government for Yolanda, I am astonished at how Roxas can even think himself a possible president of a country. Roxas and his staff had no clue how devastating a storm surge could be that when it slammed the eastern side of the country he and defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin were, literally I was told, caught with their pants down at dawn, and nearly drowned.

Bush in New Orleans

US President Bush joined the events in the first-year commemoration of hurricane Katrina’s devastation in New Orleans, and admitted:

“To the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” he said. “I want to know what went wrong or what went right … It’s in our national interest that we find out exactly what went on so we can better respond.“

Why can’t our President even say half of that, when his rehabilitation efforts and funds for Yolanda were probably a tenth of that of the US federal government in New Orleans?

It’s also shameful that Aquino’s favorite newspaper comes to his rescue and uses a lie as headline on its issue coinciding with the anniversary of the deaths of thousands of Filipinos: “Malacanang: We did better than US post-Katrina.” Is that paper covering up for the incompetence of his spokespersons?

Can’t Aquino and that paper focus on really finding out, in Bush’s words, “exactly what went on so we can better respond” (next time in case of any future disaster).

We should, perhaps, believe former Senator Panfilo Lacson’s account of what exactly went on in terms of this government’s response to the disaster. Aquino appointed him as the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, a position which turned out, as most people had expected really, to merely involve research work on what was needed to be done, rather than the authority to get things done.

Lacson also was apparently expecting Aquino that for his work, he would be rewarded an endorsement for the presidency, or just the vice presidency. Lacson squarely put the blame on budget secretary Florencio Abad, who he claimed, released only P84 billion or 52 percent of the P168 billion budget for the Yolanda rehabilitation program.

Lacson’s allegations and his numbers were confirmed by the World Bank in its October 2015 economic update, when it noted: “From the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2015, while government budget increased by 18.5 percent, government expenditures only increased by 8.5 percent. This slow pace is most evident in Typhoon Yolanda reconstruction spending.”

Forget the other failures of this President in the past five years. His Yolanda failure and his effrontery to snub its commemoration make his administration the worst in this nation’s history, his “daang-matuwid” this nation’s road to ruination.


PHILSTAR

Memorial markers unveiled in Tacloban By Miriam Garcia Desacada (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 9, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Members of the Sto Niño Children’s Choir look at the names of those killed by Yolanda etched on a commemorative wall during rites marking the second anniversary of the super typhoon at the Astrodome Memorial Grounds in Tacloban, Leyte yesterday. Boy Santos

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Politicians gathered in this city yesterday for the second anniversary of Yolanda, the super typhoon that claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people and destroyed billions worth of crops and property.

There was no representative from the Aquino administration, but the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay, a presidential aspirant, joined the people of Leyte in the commemorative activities.

Binay, his running mate Sen. Gringo Honasan, and their senatorial slate attended the commemoration.

Two memorial markers were unveiled: the shipwreck marker at Anibong district, which was a reminder of the thousands who perished in Tacloban when Yolanda hit the city on Nov. 8, 2013; and another marker at the Astrodome where at least 8,000 evacuees survived a deadly storm surge.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez, who had expressed disappointment in the national government’s slow implementation of the rehabilitation program despite million of dollars in financial aid from countries around the world, still thanked President Aquino for the help extended to the people of Tacloban.

“We would like to thank the President, in behalf of the city government of Tacloban, for all his help to Taclobanons during our desperate moments. I apologized that sometimes we said poignant words because we are only human and because we were hurt,” Romualdez said before a crowd of survivors after he unveiled the shipwreck marker.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

He also said the Anibong memorial marker would be the symbol for the whole world to unite and work hard for the future generation.

Binay, meanwhile, said he was glad to see the happy faces of the people but he felt the pain in their hearts as they remembered the tragedy.

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Binay lamented that the Aquino administration could not fast-track the rehabilitation and recovery program in Tacloban and in Eastern Visayas.

“I cannot understand why until now, only 27 percent of the money were released for the rehabilitation projects. As then chairman of the National Housing Authority, we worked on the basis of the money given to us,” Binay said before the shipwreck marker.

Binay evaded questions from journalists if his attendance in the Yolanda commemoration signaled his alliance with the Romualdezes and the Marcoses.

“I’m not for politics here,” the Vice President said.

Romualdez admitted he has to help endorse the presidential bid of Binay because the Binay family is close to his heart, aside from the help Tacloban had been receiving from Makati City government.

Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also expressed disappointment that it has been two years since Yolanda hit the Visayas but the Senate has yet to receive a status report on the donations from countries and humanitarian agencies for typhoon victims.

“That is why we cannot tell the people because we don’t know what happened to the money the government received,” he said

He also noted that from the housing program alone for affected areas, the national government promised 250,000 units but only 17,000 were completed, including 1,000 in Tacloban.

Foreign dignitaries, who were among those who helped in the recovery and rehabilitation operations, were also present in the event. They admitted working hand in hand to implement their aid for Yolanda survivors.

Michael Hasper, deputy chief of mission of the German embassy, expressed hope the 178 million euros donated to the Philippine government and the 144 million euros from the private sector in Germany would benefit the typhoon victims.

Toto Waspodo, minister counselor of the Embassy of Indonesia, also promised to take care of the Philippines and other neighboring countries in Asia by helping them in times of disaster and calamities.

Meanwhile, a day before the second commemoration of the wrath of Yolanda, six skeletons were unearthed at the coastal community Barangay Manlurip in San Jose district of the city.

The remains were believed to be among the thousands who died during the super typhoon. But Romualdez said this has to be verified first through DNA tests.


PHILSTAR

GMA’s health condition deteriorating, says daughter By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 9, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Sen. Grace Poe (left) shakes hands with Luli Arroyo during a gathering of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1991 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City yesterday. Kriz John Rosales

MANILA, Philippines – The health condition of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo continues to deteriorate, her daughter Luli Arroyo-Bernas said yesterday.

“Her condition is not improving, unfortunately,” Arroyo-Bernas told reporters during a gathering of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1991 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.

Arroyo-Bernas is an honorary member of PMA Sambisig Class.

She expressed doubt whether President Aquino will allow her mother to be placed under house arrest out of compassion for the former president.

“I doubt if he will ever listen,” she said.

Arroyo-Bernas, however, said the family has not lost faith in the justice system.

She expressed belief that the court would allow her mother to post bail.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Arroyo’s continuous detention violates international law.

The UN body asked the government to grant her bail.

READ MORE...

Arroyo is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on plunder charges for alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.

Meanwhile, Arroyo-Bernas and Sen. Grace Poe met at the PMA event yesterday.

Members of PMA Class 1991 paid tribute to their fallen mistahs.

The batch is adopting Poe as a member of the class in time for its alumni homecoming in Baguio City in February 2016.

The two were cordial to each other during the event.

When asked to comment on the move to adopt Poe, the former president’s daughter said: “I have no issue with that. I mean, why would I feel awkward? It’s not my decision. It’s my class’ decision.”

Poe even recognized Arroyo-Bernas in her speech.

Arroyo defeated Poe’s adoptive father, the late Fernando Poe Jr., in the 2004 presidential race.

The senator’s mother, actress Susan Roces, had accused Arroyo of stealing the presidency from her husband.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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