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

POE-ESCUDERO's 'PARTIDO GALING AT PUSO' STARTS CAMPAIGN IN METRO MANILA


JANUARY 20 -Senator Grace Poe and Senator Franchis “Chiz” Escudero during a press conference in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. ARNOLD ALMACEN Notwithstanding the disqualifications cases she is facing in the presidential race, Senator Grace Poe and her team are all set for the May 2016 elections.
Poe, her running mates Senator Francis Escudero and their senatorial slate dubbed as “Partido Galing at Puso” (PGP) will kick off their campaign in Metro Manila on February 9, the official start of the campaign period for the May 2016 elections, their campaign manager, Cebu Representative Joseph Ace Durano, disclosed on Wednesday. Durano, who was tasked to oversee the overall campaign of the team, said they have also mapped out their campaign activities during the 90-day campaign period subject to the approval of the tandem. “It’s a go, the entire 90 days is a go,” the campaign manager told INQUIRER.net over the phone, when asked about their preparations despite the pending disqualification cases against Poe over her citizenship and residency. Asked where they would hold the kick off campaign on February 9, he said: “All I can say right now is that it will be in Metro Manila.”  Asked again why they chose to start the campaign in the metropolis, Durano said” “Many things. One is, it’s one of the biggest voting population. Second, it would be more convenient for national media to attend. Kick off kasi so that’s very important.”  Aside from Poe and Escudero, Durano said the 12 senatorial bets of PGP are all invited but are not compelled to attend the kick off as some of them are guest candidates, like Senators Ralph Recto, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, former senators Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri and migrant worker advocate Susan Ople. Recto is part of the administration’s Daang Matuwid while Sotto, Gordon, Ople, and Zubiri are also running under the United Nationalist Alliance being headed by presidential aspirant, Vice President Jejomar Binay. READ MORE...

ALSO: VP Binay tops latest independent survey, LPs defect to UNA


JANUARY 22 -Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay continues to top surveys, and has pulled away from the 2016 presidential aspirants as he emerged as frontrunner again in the latest pre-poll survey conducted by independent pollster, Issues and Advocacy Center (The Center). That Binay is seen as a likely winner in the 2016 presidentilal polls, can be shown from the defections of administration leaders to the Binay camp. The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Secretary General yesterday announced the defection of administration allies in the Visayas. UNA Secretary General JV Bautista said Southern Leyte officials led by Vice Gov. Sheffered Tan and Provincial Board Member Albert Esclamado left the Liberal Party (LP) and joined UNA. “This is just the start of a series of public announcements where major candidates from different provinces in (the) different parts of the country announce having joined UNA and (are) openly endorsing the candidacy of Vice President Jojo Binay in this coming elections,” Bautista told a news conference in Cebu City. Tan and Esclamado are running for governor and vice governor in Southern Leyte against LP candidates, Rep. Damian Mercado of the province’s lone district and Councilor Koko Yap of Sogod town. Suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, the UNA Visayas coordinator, said announcements on the defection of LP allies in Cebu will be made at “the proper time and proper venue.” Bautista said he chose Cebu City as venue to announce the LP defection because of Binay’s growing popularity in the Visayas. Bautista said he will be in Baguio City next week to make a formal announcement of political movements there before proceeding to Tacloban City in Leyte and Manila. In the latest survey conducted from January 8 to 14, 2016, using a new methodology called Random Direct Dial, 30 percent of the 1,200 respondents interviewed by The Center for the Pulso ng Pilipino, bared they would go for Binay when asked who they would vote for should the elections be held today. READ MORE...

ALSO: Honasan in Cebu belies crowd at Sinulog booed Binay


JANUARY 19 -WHILE IN CEBU FOR THE SINULOG FEST -F
or breakfast, VP Binay, Gringo Honasan. Alma Moreno, Harry Roque, and his son suspended Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay had tinuwang isda (fish-based soup with tomatoes and ginger), bodbod (sweet sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves), rosquillos (scallop-shaped cookies famous in Liloan town nothern Cebu) and ripe banana. (CDN PHOTO/NESTLE SEMILLA) Senator Gregorio Honasan II denied Tuesday that Vice President Jejomar Binay was booed at the Sinulog Festival in Cebu on Sunday. “Last Sunday I was there, I don’t know if I have defective hearing (but) the response was warm. Kung na boo siya eh 'di na-boo din ako, wala akong narinig na boo,” Honasan said during the Pandesal Forum in Quezon City. He said he only heard Binay say “Viva Pit Señor! Daghang salamat!”  The senator said they went to Cebu upon the invitation of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. “Nagpunta kami doon dahil si Vice Presidnet goes there traditionally. Of course, it can be viewed in many ways but, first, I was there and hindi ko narinig yung binoo. It was not intended to be a political event, it was a religious event… so we avoided turning it political, but again siyempre [perception] depends on where you sit,” he said. Honasan's statement belies the claim of Binay's spokesperson, Joey Salgado, that the vice president was booed at the Sinulog Festival. Honasan is the running mate of Binay, the standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance. In a statement, Salgado claimed that the local Liberal Party was behind the supposed booing. “VP Binay has been attending [the] Sinulog since 2010. His presence is nothing new. We have received reports it came from the LP contingent. If this is true, it's just unfortunate that they behaved the way they did. But we understand where they were coming from,” he said. "Alam namin na masama ang kanilang loob dahil leading sa presidential survey si VP Binay, maging sa Visayas. Pero kung hindi nila kayang igalang si Vice President Binay, sana man lang iginalang nila ang okasyon,” Salgado added. A spokesperson of Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said the LP contingent who were with the governor were not yet inside the Cebu City Sports Complex when the supposed jeering happened. —ALG, GMA News FULL REPORT.RELATED NEWS ONLINE....Inquirer story false, VP Binay not booed by 10,000 in Sinulog...

ALSO: Bongbong may become another dictator – Palace


JANUARY 25 -LACIERDA A spokesman for President Aquino has hinted that with the way opposition Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – a candidate for vice president in May – has comported himself, a repeat of the 20-year authoritarian regime could be in the offing. Senate PRIB/Cesar Tomambo  MANILA, Philippines - It’s a stalemate for the country’s two most prominent political clans: the Libingan ng mga Bayani issue is non-negotiable for the Aquinos in the same way that no apology is forthcoming from the Marcoses for the martial law regime. A spokesman for President Aquino has hinted that with the way opposition Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – a candidate for vice president in May – has comported himself, a repeat of the 20-year authoritarian regime could be in the offing. “If martial law, human rights violation and plunder under his late father was the golden age of Philippine democracy, what’s to stop him from committing the same abuses of his father’s regime?” Secretary Edwin Lacierda asked, referring to Marcos’ refusal to issue an apology. READ MORE...RELATED, Binay on his visit to the Middle East, the SSS, and the SWS survey...

ALSO: REMAINS MUM -  Will PNoy respond to Mamasapano probe? Poe says Aquino can’t be compelled to attend Senate inquiry


JANUARY 23 -Malacañang remains mum whether President Aquino will issue a sworn affidavit on his knowledge about the bungled police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25, 2015 that left 44 police commandos dead.
But what is certain, according Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., is that all government officials invited will attend the reopening of the Mamasapano probe on January 27. “We have already responded to the Senate’s invitation and will participate appropriately in their hearing next week,” Coloma said when asked if the President will still issue his own affidavit. Sen. Grace Poe had earlier said President Aquino cannot be compelled to appear before the Senate inquiry into the Mamasapano incident since he enjoys immunity. She reiterated this yesterday. “Ang Pangulo ay mayroong immunity. Hindi naman natin siya pwedeng pilitin na dumalo sa ganitong pagdinig (The President has immunity. We cannot force him to appear in the hearing),” Poe said. The President, however, may issue an affidavit if he wants to, according to Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order, which is conducting an inquiry into the bloody operation. “Siguro kung magkakaroon ng affidavit ang ating Pangulo na sinumpaan din, pwedeng gamitin ito na basehan, (Maybe if the President submits a sworn affidavit, we can use that as basis),” she said. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘SSS to go bankrupt’- Ghost of paranoia
[Bankrupt of basis Verily, their “bankruptcy” appears bankrupt of basis. Where P-Noy could have acted compassionately, he opted to be “heartless.” He disregarded the maxim: “Those who have less in life should have more in law.” There’s a glass 50 percent filled with water. P-Noy and the SSS see it as half-empty. The others see it as half-full. The former focuses on the negative (emptiness), while the latter focus on the positive (fullness).
Unkindest cut He who has a positive prism attempts to find ways to augment the water or replenish a drawdown. But he who has a negative prism and/or even twisted axiology simply discourages others from drinking off the glass, if only to conserve the water, the depletion of which is seen as alarming.]


JANUARY 24 -DEJECTED Pensioner Rogie Bendol, 65, sits on the sidewalk just outside the Social Security System (SSS) head office on East Avenue, Quezon City, after venting his frustration at the SSS in a protest against President Aquino’s veto of a bill that sought to grant 2.1 million retirees an across-the-board P2,000 increase in their monthly pensions. RAFFY LERMA
President Benigno Aquino III vetoed the Social Security System (SSS) pension hike bill, arguing he would rather be “heartless” now to the pensioners than be considered “careless” and “heartless” in the future by the more numerous current members. READ: Aquino vetoes increase in SSS pension He further argued that he would rather be right than popular. His concept of right is an SSS that will not be rendered bankrupt in the future, thereby the current SSS members will not be rendered pensionless—never mind that the present pensioners continue to wallow in the mire of poverty.
The choice was between taking care of the 2.15 million aged, aging and ailing pensioners versus the 31 million SSS members who will wake up on retirement day to an imagined pensionless future, a bankrupt SSS. Mr. Aquino is apprehensive about the future of the 31 million members, but not bothered by the present plight of the 2.15 million pensioners. He chose to be prudent even though “heartless.” Hence, the veto. READ: Aquino on pension hike veto: Better to be heartless now than careless later University of the Philippines School of Economics professor Solita Collas-Monsod asks the relevant question, “Which items of competing expenditures would be foregone by the government to save the SSS?” The Pareto criterion of optimality comes to mind, i.e., parity of marginal utilities. This requires that the marginal welfare of the 31 million SSS members and that of the 2.15 million pensioners come close to parity.READ: Legislators thinking of themselves in pushing SSS pension hike Pareto suboptimal Therefore, favoring the 31 million at the expense of the 2.15 million appears Pareto suboptimal (unfair). Is it more important to society to simply “save” the life of the SSS? If so, then why should the life of a legal creature trump the lives of the 2.15 million—aging, ailing, flesh-and-blood human beings? Is the SSS ailing, too? If so, then is it true that it is self-inflicted with some sort of institutional atherosclerosis, owing to the self-serving management decisions of its “fat and fattened” executives? Is it true that its executives have appropriated for themselves “fat and fattening” yet moral bonuses and allowances? Will the SSS go bankrupt if the pension hike is approved? No, not likely! Initially, P-Noy and the SSS calculate thus: the P2,000 pension increase would result in an annual payout of P56 billion and given the annual SSS investment income of P30 billion to P40 billion, the resulting annual deficit would be P16 billion to P24 billion. Therefore, the SSS would go bankrupt in 2027. Also, it is estimated that the reserve fund (sans pension hike) will last until 2042. Calculation ‘untrue’ But, wait a minute, their initial calculation appears untrue! Thus, the President and Malacañang issued a subsequent clarification based on the 2014 SSS annual report as follows: “The annual report also showed that SSS had a comprehensive income of P46 billion in 2014, putting the deficit arising from the pension hike—using these figures—at only P10 billion. The income is computed by deducting the total amount of benefits payout and operating expenses from membership collection and investment revenue. “In 2014, SSS expenditures totaled P110.712 billion—P102.598 billion for benefits payout and P8.113 billion for operating expenses. “Revenues amounted to P155.180 billion representing P120.650 billion from membership collections and P34.530 billion from investment revenue. The government-owned and-controlled corporation had reserve funds of P418.316 billion in 2014.” True deficit Now, what’s clarified? The true deficit is P10 billion. Initially, they defined income to mean just “investment income.” Now, they define income to include both “membership collection and investment revenue.” Moreover, they imply that income and revenue are synonymous. Per their clarification cum application of simple arithmetic, in 2014, the SSS must have obtained a net revenue/income of P44.468 billion. However, their clarification begets more questions: How is this calculated net revenue/income of P44.468 billion related to the “comprehensive income of P46 billion in 2014” and on which basis the downward-adjusted deficit would be P10 billion? Comprehensive income And, why is the downward-adjusted deficit of P10 billion reckoned on the basis of the “comprehensive income” rather than on the net revenue/income? Where in the annual report can that “comprehensive income of P46 billion in 2014” be seen? How expert are their highly compensated “experts”? Are they too erudite and recondite as to be beyond the grasp of ordinary mortals like me? But, never mind, let me just proceed on the basis of their downward-adjusted deficit of P10 billion. READ MORE....


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Poe, Escudero’s ‘Partido Galing at Puso’ starts campaign in Metro Manila


Senator Grace Poe and Senator Franchis “Chiz” Escudero during a press conference in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. ARNOLD ALMACEN 

MANILA, JANUARY 25, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Maila Ager @MAgerINQ January 20th, 2016 - Notwithstanding the disqualifications cases she is facing in the presidential race, Senator Grace Poe and her team are all set for the May 2016 elections.

Poe, her running mates Senator Francis Escudero and their senatorial slate dubbed as “Partido Galing at Puso” (PGP) will kick off their campaign in Metro Manila on February 9, the official start of the campaign period for the May 2016 elections, their campaign manager, Cebu Representative Joseph Ace Durano, disclosed on Wednesday.

Durano, who was tasked to oversee the overall campaign of the team, said they have also mapped out their campaign activities during the 90-day campaign period subject to the approval of the tandem.

“It’s a go, the entire 90 days is a go,” the campaign manager told INQUIRER.net over the phone, when asked about their preparations despite the pending disqualification cases against Poe over her citizenship and residency.

Asked where they would hold the kick off campaign on February 9, he said: “All I can say right now is that it will be in Metro Manila.”

Asked again why they chose to start the campaign in the metropolis, Durano said” “Many things. One is, it’s one of the biggest voting population. Second, it would be more convenient for national media to attend. Kick off kasi so that’s very important.”


ACE DURANO

Aside from Poe and Escudero, Durano said the 12 senatorial bets of PGP are all invited but are not compelled to attend the kick off as some of them are guest candidates, like Senators Ralph Recto, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, former senators Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri and migrant worker advocate Susan Ople.

Recto is part of the administration’s Daang Matuwid while Sotto, Gordon, Ople, and Zubiri are also running under the United Nationalist Alliance being headed by presidential aspirant, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

READ MORE...

Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, on the other hand, was endorsed by Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, who are also running for president and vice president, respectively.

The candidates exclusive to PGP are Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, ACT-CIS Rep. Samuel Pagdilao, Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, actor and TV host Edu Manzano, and lawyer Lorna Kapunan.

“Everyone is invited but from the very beginning nga as I said, it’s not by compulsion naman e. We understand that each one of them in the senatorial slate has their own strategies, and as much as possible yung sa atin is to support them and not to be a burden on them. Yung sa atin is just a supporting role,” Durano said.

“But being a kick off , you know we’re inviting everyone, and we’ll see who will show up,” he added.

Durano refused to give further details about the kick off since he said they have yet to discuss the complete program next week. TVJ


TRIBUNE

VP Binay tops latest independent survey, LPs defect to UNA Written by Charlie V. Manalo Friday, 22 January 2016 00:00



Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay continues to top surveys, and has pulled away from the 2016 presidential aspirants as he emerged as frontrunner again in the latest pre-poll survey conducted by independent pollster, Issues and Advocacy Center (The Center).

That Binay is seen as a likely winner in the 2016 presidentilal polls, can be shown from the defections of administration leaders to the Binay camp.

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Secretary General yesterday announced the defection of administration allies in the Visayas.

UNA Secretary General JV Bautista said Southern Leyte officials led by Vice Gov. Sheffered Tan and Provincial Board Member Albert Esclamado left the Liberal Party (LP) and joined UNA.

“This is just the start of a series of public announcements where major candidates from different provinces in (the) different parts of the country announce having joined UNA and (are) openly endorsing the candidacy of Vice President Jojo Binay in this coming elections,” Bautista told a news conference in Cebu City.

Tan and Esclamado are running for governor and vice governor in Southern Leyte against LP candidates, Rep. Damian Mercado of the province’s lone district and Councilor Koko Yap of Sogod town.

Suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, the UNA Visayas coordinator, said announcements on the defection of LP allies in Cebu will be made at “the proper time and proper venue.”

Bautista said he chose Cebu City as venue to announce the LP defection because of Binay’s growing popularity in the Visayas.


UNA Secretary General JV Bautista ABS-CBN FILE PHOTO

Bautista said he will be in Baguio City next week to make a formal announcement of political movements there before proceeding to Tacloban City in Leyte and Manila.

In the latest survey conducted from January 8 to 14, 2016, using a new methodology called Random Direct Dial, 30 percent of the 1,200 respondents interviewed by The Center for the Pulso ng Pilipino, bared they would go for Binay when asked who they would vote for should the elections be held today.

READ MORE...

Binay also topped the surveys of Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations.

Sen. Grace Poe and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas were tied for second and third place with 22 percent of the respondents rooting for them.

The foul-mouthed mayor from Davao city whose platform of government is anchored on peace and order that he vows to achieve by eliminating all suspected criminals in three to six months, came in at fourth with 20 percent.

According to Ed Malay, head of The Center, the strategic placements of the advertisements on television and on radio allowed the top three candidates – Binay, Poe and Roxas to generate the needed amount of perceptibility support.

However, Malay added that the ratings of VP Binay have a different case scenario that continues to baffle the armchair political analysts.

It would seem that the negative publicity arising from the series of Senate hearings did not even dampen the enthusiasm of the voters for the diminutive Vice President.

“While the blue ribbon subcommittee was busy trying to tear Binay to pieces, the Vice President doggedly stomped the political campaign field going to places and localities that no other presidential aspirant has ever set foot in,” Malay explained.

“Never does a day pass that Binay is not out there in the field, preferring to stay in the homes of his political leaders rather than check into the comforts of hotels in areas where he is campaigning,” he stressed.

Malay said the survey ratings of the Vice President show that the people doubt the actual intent of the Senate hearings and many are drawn to deduce that these are indeed politically motivated.


FROM PULSONGPILIPINO BLOG

“The fact that the Senate hearings still have to be wrapped up and that no formal charges have been filed only sustains the allegations that the hearings are merely meant to cut Binay’s seeming advantage,” he noted.

Malay said Poe who shot to the top of the ratings after she launched her presidential drive and organizing her own “Walang Maiiwan sa Gobyernong May Puso” as the vehicle of her campaign, has actually very little ground to stand on except her affinity to the late cinema king Fernando Poe Jr. when she entered the political scene in 2013.

And as Poe’s popularity starts losing steam, Malay said this could be attributed to the fact Filipino voters appear to have awaken from their stupor or they may have become more discerning with the advent of social media that voters now look beyond just popularity and are in search of quality and caliber.

“Primarily, what may have affected her campaign are the disqualification controversies that continue to hound her and unless she can prove her nationality beyond any reasonable doubt and her residency status, she will be regarded as too raw for the highest elective position in the land especially when her credentials and qualifications come under review,” said Malay.

On the part of Roxas, Malay explained that the surge from a single-digit rating six months ago to a respectable 22 percent may have been brought about by the campaign organization that the Liberal Party (LP) has set up and the alliances it has forged on the ground with other political parties and groups.

However, according to Malay, Roxas’ campaign will continue to be hampered by the increasing criticism for his continuing support of daang matuwid.

“As instances of graft and corruption are brought to fore, the daang matuwid has been criticized and as critics demonize the administration, many fear that the daang matuwid mantra may spell the defeat of Roxas at the polls,” Malay said.

in the case of Duterte, Malay said the Davao City mayor is also starting to move up in ranking after his campaign ran roughshod over the “cussing the Pope” controversy and other issues relative his character as a person.

“But his methods do not sit well with the Church and the international human rights groups and even with the Philippine military that disdain Duterte’s alliances with the New People’s Army, many of whom have been recruited to form the deadly Davao Death Squad,” said Malay.

Malay stressed that while Binay now enjoys an eight-point lead over his nearest rivals, he cannot as yet be assured of a victory in May unless he widens his lead to double-digits.

“Unless Binay pads up his 8 percent lead over his closest pursuers to a double-digit lead, the Pulso ng Pilipino shows that the 54 million voters have not really made up their minds yet and have not firmed up their choices as to who they will vote for on May 9, 2016 sustaining once again the assumption made by Pulso ng Bayan that this year’s election for the top two national positions will go down the wire and the candidate who has a well-organized political machinery will enjoy the advantage when the voters go to the polls in May 9,” said Malay.


CHIZ AND BONGBONG

In the vice presidential contest, Pulso ng Pilipino revealed it is a toss-up between Senators Chiz Escudero and Bongbong Marcos who were preferred by 29 percent and 26 percent of the respondents respectively.

Malay said Marocs is slowly eating up Escudero’s lead as the latter generated a lot of following from his firm stance in reviewing the disadvantageous portions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which would have decimated the Philippine territory into pockets of mini-republics.
   


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Honasan belies crowd at Sinulog booed Binay Published January 19, 2016 3:56pm By AMITA LEGASPI, GMA News


WHILE IN CEBU FOR THE SINULOG FEST -F
or breakfast, VP Binay, Gringo Honasan. Alma Moreno, Harry Roque, and his son suspended Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay had tinuwang isda (fish-based soup with tomatoes and ginger), bodbod (sweet sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves), rosquillos (scallop-shaped cookies famous in Liloan town nothern Cebu) and ripe banana. (CDN PHOTO/NESTLE SEMILLA)

Senator Gregorio Honasan II denied Tuesday that Vice President Jejomar Binay was booed at the Sinulog Festival in Cebu on Sunday.

“Last Sunday I was there, I don’t know if I have defective hearing (but) the response was warm. Kung na boo siya eh 'di na-boo din ako, wala akong narinig na boo,” Honasan said during the Pandesal Forum in Quezon City.

He said he only heard Binay say “Viva Pit Señor! Daghang salamat!”

The senator said they went to Cebu upon the invitation of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

“Nagpunta kami doon dahil si Vice Presidnet goes there traditionally. Of course, it can be viewed in many ways but, first, I was there and hindi ko narinig yung binoo. It was not intended to be a political event, it was a religious event… so we avoided turning it political, but again siyempre [perception] depends on where you sit,” he said.

Honasan's statement belies the claim of Binay's spokesperson, Joey Salgado, that the vice president was booed at the Sinulog Festival.

Honasan is the running mate of Binay, the standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance.

In a statement, Salgado claimed that the local Liberal Party was behind the supposed booing.

“VP Binay has been attending [the] Sinulog since 2010. His presence is nothing new. We have received reports it came from the LP contingent. If this is true, it's just unfortunate that they behaved the way they did. But we understand where they were coming from,” he said.

"Alam namin na masama ang kanilang loob dahil leading sa presidential survey si VP Binay, maging sa Visayas. Pero kung hindi nila kayang igalang si Vice President Binay, sana man lang iginalang nila ang okasyon,” Salgado added.

A spokesperson of Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said the LP contingent who were with the governor were not yet inside the Cebu City Sports Complex when the supposed jeering happened. —ALG, GMA News

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

RELATED inBLOGGED FROM http://www.boodlenews.com/platform-explained

Inquirer story false, VP Binay not booed by 10,000 in Sinulog January 17, 2016 1:05 pm photo501332235630258256



The Philippine Daily Inquirer is again displaying its utter disregard for responsible reporting. In a story that it churned out about the Sinulog Festival in Cebu today, January 17 at 11:00AM, the newspaper announced that Vice President Jejomar Binay was booed by 10,000 people at the Cebu City Sports Center when he was introduced by Mayor Mike Rama.

The newspaper also declared that the VP had to cut his speech short because of the audience's reaction to him. This is an utter lie.

Sources on the ground reveal that a 10,000-strong audience could not have booed the VP -- or anyone for that matter -- because 10,000 people did not exist at the Cebu City Sports Center. The audience was smaller than that.

Yes, some heckling happened when the VP was introduced by Mayor Rama. But this came from a very small contingent of Liberal Party supporters.

The contingent was so small, the boos would've only been noticed by those who were actually part of the contingent -- or a newspaper source wanting to hear the boos in the midst of an otherwise festive and welcoming atmosphere.

The Inquirer also falsely reports that "the jeering prompted the Vice President to cut short his speech," when in fact the VP had no speech to deliver. In the past four years that VP Binay has gone to the Sinulog Festival, he has done so not to deliver a speech, but to honor his devotion to the Sto. Niño.

He has always only done a short greeting to the other devotees present, never preparing a speech. Besides, the Inquirer itself reported that campaigning was not going to be allowed at the Sinulog, so why did it imagine the VP would prepare a speech?

The Philippine Daily Inquirer is once again revealing its political color with the release of this news article, including choosing an old photo to accompany the story, a photo that has absolutely nothing to do with Vice President Binay's presence at the Sinulog Festival.

This is of course no surprise, especially when one considers that VP Binay has been on top of all presidential surveys since December.

There is also the fact that the Regional Trial Court of Makati has found that the VP has valid cause of action against his detractors -- including the Philippine Daily Inquirer.***


PHILSTAR

Bongbong may become another dictator – Palace By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 25, 2016 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0


A spokesman for President Aquino has hinted that with the way opposition Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – a candidate for vice president in May – has comported himself, a repeat of the 20-year authoritarian regime could be in the offing. Senate PRIB/Cesar Tomambo

MANILA, Philippines - It’s a stalemate for the country’s two most prominent political clans: the Libingan ng mga Bayani issue is non-negotiable for the Aquinos in the same way that no apology is forthcoming from the Marcoses for the martial law regime.

A spokesman for President Aquino has hinted that with the way opposition Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – a candidate for vice president in May – has comported himself, a repeat of the 20-year authoritarian regime could be in the offing.

“If martial law, human rights violation and plunder under his late father was the golden age of Philippine democracy, what’s to stop him from committing the same abuses of his father’s regime?” Secretary Edwin Lacierda asked, referring to Marcos’ refusal to issue an apology.

READ MORE...


LACIERDA

Marcos has repeatedly said he has nothing to apologize for any mistakes his father made and that he would only do so if he himself did it. Aquino wanted an apology from the Marcos family, including Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.

In November 2015, Malacañang renewed its attacks on Marcos, who criticized the government because of the embarrassing bullet-planting scandal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, saying the senator could not even acknowledge martial law abuses.

“Unlike Marcos who continues to deny the abuses of martial law and the corruption, impunity and human rights violations that occurred during the Marcos regime, of which he was a part, the President recognizes that there is a problem,” Lacierda said.

He added the administration is addressing the issue and is taking concrete steps so travelers will have peace of mind and no passenger will be subjected to unfair prosecution.

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

RELATED FROM CNN PHILIPPINES

Binay on his visit to the Middle East, the SSS, and the SWS survey By Paola Palma, CNN Philippines Updated 01:29 AM PHT Sat, January 16, 2016 129


Vice President Jejomar Binay (File photo) Metro Manila (CNN Philippines)

Vice President Jejomar Binay returned to the country late Friday evening (January 15) after a four-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He was accompanies by his son, former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay.

The vice president was greeted by his running mate, Sen. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II, as well as Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

Binay also helped five overseas workers from the UAE go back to the Philippines.

He said the women were undocumented and were duped by illegal recruiters to work in the UAE.

Meanwhile, Binay said he was humbled by the latest Social Weather Stations survey where he placed as the top preferred presidential candidate.

Related: Binay tops new SWS presidential survey

He said he would just continue campaigning in and out of the country.

Binay, however, did not want to comment on President Benigno Aquino III's decision to veto the Social Security System pension hike as he had yet to read up on it.


MANILA BULLETIN

Will PNoy respond to Mamasapano probe? Poe says Aquino can’t be compelled to attend Senate inquiry by Genalyn Kabiling and Hannah Torregoza January 23, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share8

Malacañang remains mum whether President Aquino will issue a sworn affidavit on his knowledge about the bungled police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25, 2015 that left 44 police commandos dead.

But what is certain, according Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., is that all government officials invited will attend the reopening of the Mamasapano probe on January 27.

“We have already responded to the Senate’s invitation and will participate appropriately in their hearing next week,” Coloma said when asked if the President will still issue his own affidavit.

Sen. Grace Poe had earlier said President Aquino cannot be compelled to appear before the Senate inquiry into the Mamasapano incident since he enjoys immunity. She reiterated this yesterday.

“Ang Pangulo ay mayroong immunity. Hindi naman natin siya pwedeng pilitin na dumalo sa ganitong pagdinig (The President has immunity. We cannot force him to appear in the hearing),” Poe said.

The President, however, may issue an affidavit if he wants to, according to Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order, which is conducting an inquiry into the bloody operation.

“Siguro kung magkakaroon ng affidavit ang ating Pangulo na sinumpaan din, pwedeng gamitin ito na basehan, (Maybe if the President submits a sworn affidavit, we can use that as basis),” she said.

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In a previous Senate inquiry, the President authorized the release of a transcript of his text messages to former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima on the day of the operation intended to neutralize foreign terror suspects.

Coloma said the government will heed the Senate invitation and respond to pertinent questions about the Mamasapano operation “in the interest of transparency and public accountability.”

He said the government has always been open and forthright in addressing all concerns about the Mamasapano incident.

The reopening of the Mamasapano probe was in response to Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile’s request.

Poe called on all invited resources persons to participate in the Senate probe to put to rest, once and for all, all issues surrounding the ill-fated operation.

“Alam naman natin na matagal na itong sugat na ito na napakabagal din maghilom. Ang paglalahad ng kanilang nalalaman ay isang proseso para pagalingin na rin natin lahat ng mga hinanaing at sakit natin (We all know this is an old wound that has yet to heal. Knowing the truth is just one of the processes we can do to heal those pain and wounds,” she said.

“The sooner the Mamasapano investigation is over, the sooner everyone can move on,” she said.

Her committee has invited 24 resource persons, most of them officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Among those invited were Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former Armed Forces chief Gregorio Catapang, former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima, and former PNP Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas.

Poe cautioned returning resource persons that they could be held liable if the Senate finds they have withheld information that they already had during the series of hearings and executive sessions last year.

“The objective of this hearing is to ascertain what really happened during those times. They should be able to voluntarily give any information that they know,” Poe said.


INQUIRER

‘SSS to go bankrupt’: Ghost of paranoia TALK OF THE TOWN By: Eduardo R. Alicias Jr.
@inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:21 AM January 24th, 2016


DEJECTED Pensioner Rogie Bendol, 65, sits on the sidewalk just outside the Social Security System (SSS) head office on East Avenue, Quezon City, after venting his frustration at the SSS in a protest against President Aquino’s veto of a bill that sought to grant 2.1 million retirees an across-the-board P2,000 increase in their monthly pensions. RAFFY LERMA

President Benigno Aquino III vetoed the Social Security System (SSS) pension hike bill, arguing he would rather be “heartless” now to the pensioners than be considered “careless” and “heartless” in the future by the more numerous current members.

READ: Aquino vetoes increase in SSS pension

He further argued that he would rather be right than popular. His concept of right is an SSS that will not be rendered bankrupt in the future, thereby the current SSS members will not be rendered pensionless—never mind that the present pensioners continue to wallow in the mire of poverty.

The choice was between taking care of the 2.15 million aged, aging and ailing pensioners versus the 31 million SSS members who will wake up on retirement day to an imagined pensionless future, a bankrupt SSS.

Mr. Aquino is apprehensive about the future of the 31 million members, but not bothered by the present plight of the 2.15 million pensioners. He chose to be prudent even though “heartless.” Hence, the veto.

READ: Aquino on pension hike veto: Better to be heartless now than careless later

University of the Philippines School of Economics professor Solita Collas-Monsod asks the relevant question, “Which items of competing expenditures would be foregone by the government to save the SSS?” The Pareto criterion of optimality comes to mind, i.e., parity of marginal utilities. This requires that the marginal welfare of the 31 million SSS members and that of the 2.15 million pensioners come close to parity.

READ: Legislators thinking of themselves in pushing SSS pension hike

Pareto suboptimal

Therefore, favoring the 31 million at the expense of the 2.15 million appears Pareto suboptimal (unfair).

Is it more important to society to simply “save” the life of the SSS? If so, then why should the life of a legal creature trump the lives of the 2.15 million—aging, ailing, flesh-and-blood human beings?

Is the SSS ailing, too? If so, then is it true that it is self-inflicted with some sort of institutional atherosclerosis, owing to the self-serving management decisions of its “fat and fattened” executives? Is it true that its executives have appropriated for themselves “fat and fattening” yet moral bonuses and allowances?

Will the SSS go bankrupt if the pension hike is approved? No, not likely!

Initially, P-Noy and the SSS calculate thus: the P2,000 pension increase would result in an annual payout of P56 billion and given the annual SSS investment income of P30 billion to P40 billion, the resulting annual deficit would be P16 billion to P24 billion. Therefore, the SSS would go bankrupt in 2027. Also, it is estimated that the reserve fund (sans pension hike) will last until 2042.

Calculation ‘untrue’

But, wait a minute, their initial calculation appears untrue!

Thus, the President and Malacañang issued a subsequent clarification based on the 2014 SSS annual report as follows:

“The annual report also showed that SSS had a comprehensive income of P46 billion in 2014, putting the deficit arising from the pension hike—using these figures—at only P10 billion. The income is computed by deducting the total amount of benefits payout and operating expenses from membership collection and investment revenue.
“In 2014, SSS expenditures totaled P110.712 billion—P102.598 billion for benefits payout and P8.113 billion for operating expenses.
“Revenues amounted to P155.180 billion representing P120.650 billion from membership collections and P34.530 billion from investment revenue. The government-owned and-controlled corporation had reserve funds of P418.316 billion in 2014.”

True deficit
Now, what’s clarified? The true deficit is P10 billion. Initially, they defined income to mean just “investment income.” Now, they define income to include both “membership collection and investment revenue.” Moreover, they imply that income and revenue are synonymous.

Per their clarification cum application of simple arithmetic, in 2014, the SSS must have obtained a net revenue/income of P44.468 billion. However, their clarification begets more questions: How is this calculated net revenue/income of P44.468 billion related to the “comprehensive income of P46 billion in 2014” and on which basis the downward-adjusted deficit would be P10 billion?

Comprehensive income

And, why is the downward-adjusted deficit of P10 billion reckoned on the basis of the “comprehensive income” rather than on the net revenue/income? Where in the annual report can that “comprehensive income of P46 billion in 2014” be seen?

How expert are their highly compensated “experts”? Are they too erudite and recondite as to be beyond the grasp of ordinary mortals like me? But, never mind, let me just proceed on the basis of their downward-adjusted deficit of P10 billion.

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The effect of the adjusted deficit, ceteris paribus, is to delay bankruptcy—beyond 2027. Solving the equation 10x = (24)(11) yields x = 26.4 (correct me if I’m wrong)—meaning that this smaller deficit would delay bankruptcy until 2042, 26 years from now.

Much ado about nothing

Now, isn’t 2042 also the SSS-reported year of death of the reserve fund? This is intriguing. Nonetheless, why should there be too much ado about nothing in light of this showing that the fund will not be depleted after all?

Indeed, there appears to be no shortening of life after all—none, except the accelerated shortening of life of the aging and ailing impoverished SSS pensioners who are heartlessly deprived of pension hike. This finding appears to falsify their claim that the pension hike will shorten the life of the reserve fund—from 2042 downward.

Let us pursue the logic and mathematics of this serendipitous though intriguing finding. The initial claim of P-Noy and the SSS is that the life of the fund (with P2,000 pension hike cum consequent deficit of P24 billion) will be shortened from 2042 to 2027 (11 years from 2016).

Subsequently, as shown in the preceding paragraph, if we use the downward-adjusted deficit (P10 billion), the equation churns out 26.4—meaning that the expected bankruptcy will occur 26.4 years (26 years and 4.8 months) from 2016 or in the fourth month of 2042.

And, if, for example, possibly due to enhanced collection efficiency, the deficit would go down further to, say, P9 billion, then the expected bankruptcy will occur 29.3 years (29 years and 4 months) from 2016 or in 2045.

Inverse relationship

The first implication of this analysis is obvious, i.e., there is an inverse relationship between deficit and fund life, meaning that a smaller deficit means a longer fund life.

The second implication, assuming that the fund will last until 2042, mathematically reveals a range of deficits that cause bankruptcy even after the fund shall have been bankrupted, i.e., the fund would die following its death in 2042! This implies a negative bankruptcy, which could be interpreted as the fund having a positive balance even after its depletion (death)!

Absurdity!

This is at least a nomological impossibility since the attribute and mechanism leading to bankruptcy gets to have meaning only in the context of a nonzero fund. Once bankrupted, it cannot be bankrupted again. Equivalently, only a living organism can die; it is nonsense to assert that the dead will die!"

Reductio ad absurdum

The second implication instantiates a devastating reductio ad absurdum! There must be something wrong with the data that underpinned P-Noy’s veto of the pension hike. The alleged deficit has already been corrected downward to P10 billion. Therefore, necessarily, the SSS claim that the fund as it currently exists will last only until 2042 (the premise of their syllogism) must be factually false; it must have a life longer than that. Or, is the already corrected P10 billion deficit still false?

Further, on the issue of deficit and fund life, if, on or before 2042, the reported P13 billion would be collected from delinquent employers and the reported P64 billion collected from delinquent borrowers—P77 billion collectible over a period of 26 years—then the life of the reserve fund would be prolonged even more by eight years; or the SSS would die even much later in 2050, 34 years from now—beyond the projected death in 2042!

GDP, collection efficiency

Additionally, if the touted gross domestic product growth rate (6 percent) invariantly holds true within the 34-year period—causing an expansion of the formal sector of the economy—then the number of registered firms would likewise proportionally increase, thereby producing a greater number of registered members and employers from whom the SSS could enforce compulsory contributions.

Thus, proportionally increasing collection efficiency, further extending the reserve fund life, hopefully to approximate the 70-year standard.

Take note that an increase in membership contribution is not even included in this calculus. Likewise, this analysis assumes the persistence of the present caliber of SSS management (mismanagement?).

What would happen if the present crop of SSS managers become Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) retirees (they are lucky that they will not be SSS retirees. Does that explain their unmitigated unconcern and unfairness to SSS retirees?) and then get succeeded by a team of more efficient and effective managers? Wouldn’t the SSS become even more viable and sustainable?

Bankrupt of basis

Verily, their “bankruptcy” appears bankrupt of basis.

Where P-Noy could have acted compassionately, he opted to be “heartless.” He disregarded the maxim: “Those who have less in life should have more in law.”

There’s a glass 50 percent filled with water. P-Noy and the SSS see it as half-empty. The others see it as half-full. The former focuses on the negative (emptiness), while the latter focus on the positive (fullness).


Aquino on pension hike veto: Better to be heartless now than careless later ‘IF INCREASE IS APPROVED, SSS WILL SURVIVE FOR ONLY 11 YEARS’ @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 04:45 PM January 15th, 2016

Unkindest cut

He who has a positive prism attempts to find ways to augment the water or replenish a drawdown. But he who has a negative prism and/or even twisted axiology simply discourages others from drinking off the glass, if only to conserve the water, the depletion of which is seen as alarming.

Never mind that he who tries to drink is aged, ailing and thirsty. Shakespeare aptly described something like this: “That’s the most unkindest cut of all.”

Even if the SSS can go bankrupt, will it be allowed to go bankrupt? No!


UP Economics professor Solita Collas-Monsod. FROM WIKIPEDIA: Professor Monsod is best remembered for her role as the Minister of Economic Planning, and later Secretary of Socio-economic Planning and concurrent Director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) from 1986 to 1989, during the term of President Corazon Aquino. Monsod ran for the Senate of the Philippines under the administration party of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, People Power Coalition in the 2001 national elections but lost. In 2005, Monsod became an outspoken critic of Arroyo upon massive allegations of election cheating, graft and corruption.


Monsod, who is against the pension hike, confidently asserts that “the future governments will not let the SSS go down.

They will save it” (Inquirer, Jan. 16). If so, then how come she vigorously defends P-Noy’s veto (premised on “bankruptcy”), knowing in her heart of hearts that the SSS will not die, as she asserts?

Maintaining a pension system is sound public policy.

Small wonder then that the SSS Act of 1997 provides (See Section 20.) a sovereign (Congress) guarantee “xxx to assure the maintenance of an adequate working balance of the funds of the SSS xxx”; and guarantee (Section 21), i.e., “The benefits prescribed in this Act shall not be diminished and to guarantee said benefits the Government of the Republic of the Philippines accepts the responsibility for the solvency of the SSS.”

No, the SSS won’t die unless the SSS law will get abrogated by a more “heartless” P-Noy successor!

If the deficit (P10 billion) is to be subsidized by government, will it be unfair to the taxpayers at large? No!

CCT for pensioners

One immediately implementable modality of subsidy is to use a part of the 2016 appropriation (and thereafter) for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to fund the deficit, considering that the pensions of most SSS pensioners are below the poverty threshold. To make the modality more equitable, those whose monthly pensions fall below the poverty threshold should be given the P2,000 hike and those above maybe only P1,000.

Rejecting this scheme on the grounds that the pensioners are not taxpayers does not hold water because they still pay taxes like the value-added tax and other indirect taxes.

Moreover, during their prime, they themselves were diligent taxpayers. When their time comes to retire, the 31 million will be where the 2.15 million are currently situated. And so, on this ground, they cannot validly raise the issue of unfairness.

Indeed, there should be no quibbling about the primordial moral responsibility of society to take care of its aged, aging and ailing members—SSS pensioners included.

Aquino may yet redeem himself by promulgating an executive order, mandating the automatic enrollment in the CCT program of all SSS pensioners whose pensions fall below the poverty threshold.

Lastly, still on the issue of fairness, it appears that the government (taxpayers) contributes 12 percent of monthly salary to augment a GSIS-member’s monthly contribution, while it contributes nothing (zero percent) to an SSS-member monthly contribution? Isn’t that blatantly unfair to private sector employees and taxpayers?

“The SSS will go bankrupt,” with due respect, this is nothing but the ghastly ghost of paranoia.

(Eduardo R. Alicias Jr. is an SSS pensioner. He can be contacted via edalicias@gmail.com ) TVJ

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