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DAYS AFTER QUITTING 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE, SEÑERES DIES AT 68


FEBRUARY 8 -Overseas Filipino Workers Club party-list Rep.Roy Señeres died of cardiac arrest on Monday morning three days after he withdrew his presidential bid. Señeres’s younger brother, Ike, confirmed the lawmaker's death, according to a report from the STAR. His family has yet to issue a statement about the sudden death. On Friday, Señeres quit the presidential race a few hours after the Commission on Elections released the final list of presidential candidates. His camp said the decision was agreed on with his family due to the solon's health condition. His representatives said, meanwhile, that he withdrew due to diabetes. Señeres served as a United Arab Emirates ambassador.
RELATED: Señeres backs out from presidential race FULL REPORT. RELATED, Señeres dies of cardiac arrest...AND Señeres's last wish: No substitute candidate...

ALSO: What’s taking Poe case so long?
[DRILON: DELAY IN DQ CASE AT SC A THREAT TO ELECTION INTEGRITY]


FEBRUARY 11 -Presidential Candidate Sen. Grace Poe . INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / JILSON SECKLER TIU
Senate President Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said the Supreme Court was taking so long to resolve the disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe that it is posing a threat to the integrity of the 2016 elections.
“The issue cannot be left hanging. The case is posing serious threats to fair and credible elections in May and only the Supreme Court’s prompt action can eliminate that threat by resolving the case at the soonest,” he said. Drilon said the high court appeared to lack a sense of urgency, noting that the tribunal has been holding only one session of oral arguments on the case per week.“I’m not dictating on the court, but it is very frustrating because we know for certain that the court could hasten the process by conducting marathon hearings but it has chosen not do so,” he said. The Supreme Court has so far held four oral arguments on the disqualification case against Poe, who brought a certiorari case against the Commission on Elections ruling disqualifying her from running for president on the grounds that she is not a natural-born Filipino and has not met the 10-year residency requirement. The senator said the case should be given “extraordinary attention, so that it can be decided earlier in order to protect the integrity and credibility of the May 2016 polls.” “This is not an ordinary case. It will have a vast impact on our future,” he told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum. Drilon also said it was “arrogance” for the Supreme Court to say that it knows what it is doing, referring to the tribunal’s earlier response when he made a similar plea. “As I’ve said, the election is a basic tenet of democracy and any threat to it should be immediately resolved,” he said. READ MORE, plus VIDEO: POE -'PUNO NA ANG SALOP NG KAHIRAPAN, KATIWALIAN'...RELATED, Allow Poe to run, most voters say-Poll...

ALSO: Aquino, De Lima - A budding romance?


FEBRUARY 13 -Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (left) and President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON IRIGA CITY, Philippines—A budding romance? It was an early Valentine’s Day celebration for President Benigno Aquino III and former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima as the two drew laughter after the bachelor President complimented and gave chocolates to the senatorial aspirant in front of thousands of Irigeños here. “Noong huli kaming nagkita masyado ka yatang namayat, Leila, (From the last time we saw each other, I think you’ve lost some weight),” the President complimented the secretary who was seen giggling while on her seat. Aquino then interrupted his speech and handed a box of chocolates to De Lima on stage. “Minabuti kong may pasalubong ako, ibibigay ko lang (I’ve prepared a gift. I am giving it [to her] now.” As he went back to the podium, Aquino said, still looking at De Lima: “Nakita ko kasi parang nagmistulang lalaban ka ng Binibing Pilipinas (From what I saw, it looked like you’re about to join the Binibining Pilipinas [pageant]).”  Aquino was earlier rumored to have dated then Bb. Pilipinas candidate and now Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. De Lima is now single, having annulled her marriage from her husband, lawyer Plaridel Bohol Jr. They have two children. De Lima is running for Senator under the administration-backed “Daang Matuwid” coalition. As the President vowed to make time for the Liberal Party’s national elections campaign, he has been consistently joining standard-bearer Mar Roxas, Vice Presidential candidate Leni Robredo and the LP Senate slate in proclamation rallies in different provinces. TVJ READ MORE...RELATED VIDEO...

ALSO: No romantic date as Aquino turns 56 today


FEBRUARY 8 -P-NOY's 56th BIRTHDAY PHOTO. FROM PRESIDENTIAL GAZETTE.GOV TWEETS With no romantic date scheduled today, President Aquino celebrates his 56th birthday, coinciding with the Chinese New Year, and riding high on his accomplishments in the final year of his presidency, the most notable of which is the country’s economic resurgence. The President is expected to spend his special day with family and friends in a small birthday gathering at Bahay Pangarap. His family, Cabinet members, and other allies are expected to attend the birthday affair. As of press time, the President has no official public engagements for his birthday on Monday, according to Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. “I have no details yet. It’s a non-working holiday,” Coloma said in a text message when asked about the President’s birthday plans. As for his wish for his boss, Coloma said: “I wish him continued good health and a seamless transition into the post-presidency phase.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino cites Chinese-Filipinos’ contributions to economic growth


FEBRUARY 9 -Joining the celebration of the Lunar New Year, President Aquino thanked the Chinese-Filipino community for its vital contributions to the country’s resilient economic growth.
The President recognized that Chinese-Filipinos are a “treasured component” of the nation which currently sees an economic resurgence under his watch. “The strong, resilient and vibrant country that we are today is powered by our multifaceted milieu,” the President said in a message on the celebration of the Lunar New Year yesterday, Feb. 8. In Binondo, Manila, police said more than a million people gathered to celebrate New Year’s Eve in one of the oldest Chinatown communities in the world. The center of the celebration was in Ongpin Street where the crowds started to gather in the late afternoon to shop, dine and wait for midnight to welcome the Year of the Fire Monkey with a grand fireworks display. “Let us rejoice in the stable environment that has allowed us to harness this multiplicity of talents and perspectives towards our resurgence, and continue to foster it as a foundation of a truly progressive and inclusive Philippines for all of our people,” Aquino said. Aquino said he wishes the Chinese-Filipino community “happiness, prosperity and good health” for the coming year. DYNAMIC HERITAGE He acknowledged that the dynamic heritage of Chinese-Filipinos adds depth and vibrancy to the country’s history. “Your contributions are as far as reaching as they are varied; your unique culture has become part of our collective identity as Filipinos,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Aquino’s China policy hit...

ALSO: Ash Wednesday ushers in Lent; Cardinal Tagle - Don’t be hypocrites in your charity


FEBRUARY 11 -A woman has her forehead marked with a sign of the cross in observance of Ash Wednesday at Saint Peter’s Parish Church in Quezon City yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS
MANILA, Philippines – As the Catholic faithful flocked to churches yesterday to have foreheads daubed with ash, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle had a message in this Lenten and election season: don’t be hypocrites, and don’t use Lenten rituals for publicity stunts.
In his homily during the morning mass for Ash Wednesday that heralded the start of the 40-day Lenten season, Tagle said that some people might take advantage of the call to be charitable to glorify themselves. He reminded the faithful of Jesus’ teaching, that when one gives alms, one should do it secretly and not turn it into photo opportunities, like hypocrites who only want to be praised by others. Aside from the “photo ops” when showing off their generosity, Tagle also discouraged people from spending a long time kneeling in church just to project themselves as pious. He said the church must also not be turned into a venue for fashion shows in order to draw attention to oneself. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Days after quitting 2016 race, Señeres passes away


OFW Party-list Rep. Roy Señeres STAR, file

MANILA, FEBRUARY 15, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Rosette Adel - Overseas Filipino Workers Club party-list Rep.Roy Señeres died of cardiac arrest on Monday morning three days after he withdrew his presidential bid.

Señeres’s younger brother, Ike, confirmed the lawmaker's death, according to a report from the STAR.

His family has yet to issue a statement about the sudden death.

On Friday, Señeres quit the presidential race a few hours after the Commission on Elections released the final list of presidential candidates. His camp said the decision was agreed on with his family due to the solon's health condition.

His representatives said, meanwhile, that he withdrew due to diabetes.

Señeres served as a United Arab Emirates ambassador.

RELATED: Señeres backs out from presidential race

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Señeres dies of cardiac arrest (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 9, 2016 - 12:00am 0 13 googleplus0


FEBRUARY 8 -OFW party-list Rep. Roy Señeres passed away two days after backing out from the presidential race. The ROSE Movement/Facebook

MANILA, Philippines - OFW Family Club party-list Rep. Roy Señeres yesterday died of cardiac arrest, three days after he announced his withdrawal from the May 9 presidential race. He was 68.

According to his lawyer Candy Rivas, family members were present when Señeres passed away at 8 a.m. yesterday morning. She did not give further details.

Last Friday, Rivas and Señeres’ daughter Hannah tried to file his statement of withdrawal with the Law Department of the Commission on Elections, citing his poor health. The Comelec did not accept the statement because the law provides that he should do it personally.

Rivas said she last saw Señeres, a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, on Saturday.

“He was telling me then that his prayers were answered because he was feeling good. There was no indication that he was not feeling well,” said Rivas.

A known advocate of the rights of overseas Filipino workers, Señeres helped save domestic helper Sarah Balabagan from the death penalty in the UAE after she was sentenced to die for killing her employer after he tried to rape her in 1994.

Balabagan, now based in the US, posted her condolences to the Señeres family on her Facebook account.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista (photo)yesterday also expressed condolences to Señeres’ family.

Bautista said that based on substitution rules in case of death, Señeres could be replaced by someone from his political party Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka, until midday of election day, provided that the replacement has a similar surname.

He, however, added that Señeres’ camp must formally notify the Comelec about this because the poll body is set to start loading the names of candidates into the election management system (EMS) today. Othewise, his name will be included in the official ballots.

EMS generates the information that will be printed on the official ballots.

Señeres’ son Roy Jr. would replace the late lawmaker as representative of the OFW Family Club party-list group in the House of Representatives.

Malacañang yesterday expressed its condolences to the Señeres family.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. (photo) said Señeres had pushed for the welfare of workers while serving as chairman of the National Labor Relations Commission and as ambassador to the UAE.

Legacy Though he did not become president, Señeres left a remarkable legacy for Filipinos working here and abroad.

Señeres, until the time of his death, had been fighting for the rights and welfare of millions of Filipino workers, recruitment industry leader Lito Soriano said.

“His advocacy to put an end to contractualization, which has been a growing problem affecting Filipino workers, was the main reason why he wanted to seek the presidency,” Soriano told The STAR.

Soriano said Señeres told him that he would run for president because “now is the right time to push for necessary measures against contractualization.”

He said the late lawmaker is strongly against contractualization because it affects not only the lives of local workers, but also OFWs.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz (photo) said the untimely demise of Señeres was a big loss to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the OFWs.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario presented to Señeres on Feb. 24, 2012 the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments, performance of duties and substantive contributions in advancing the interests of the country and the Filipino people as he performed his work as ambassador.

The Filipino Workers Resource Center in Abu Dhabi also awarded Señeres for his exemplary leadership in providing all out support to OFWs, particularly “maltreated domestic helpers” and for saving the life of Balabagan.

Some presidential candidates and other aspirants for national posts had approached Señeres for his endorsement when news spread that he was withdrawing his candidacy for the presidency, a family member disclosed yesterday.

Señeres’ group is said to have over five million members worldwide.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said Señeres’ death was “a great loss to our overseas Filipino workers’ community, having spent most of his life championing their concerns as well as those of the labor sector.”

“On behalf of my colleagues at the House of Representatives and of my family, I extend my sympathy and prayers to Roy’s loved ones and offer our great respect and gratitude for his unwavering dedication and sincere service to our nation onto the very end,” Belmonte said.


Ople, the youngest daughter of the late Labor secretary and Senator Blas Ople, is a former DOLE undersecretary and an advocate of Overseas Filipino Workers' ...FROM THE POC.NET

OFW advocate Susan Ople described Señeres as “a courageous leader” who consistently took up the cudgels for distressed OFWs even when he was a diplomat.

“The OFW community lost a voice filled with passion, a man who went down fighting regardless of the odds, for principles that he believed in,” Ople said.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said Señeres showed unwavering compassion for OFWs and he and other lawmakers should continue his crusade.

Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano III said Señeres not only fought for the rights of OFWs but also for welfare of local workers.

Sen. Grace Poe said Señeres “will be remembered for his cause to make better working conditions for Filipino workers through their security of tenure.”

Sen. Francis Escudero said he was shocked by the sad news, while Sen. Bongbong Marcos noted that Seneres “championed the rights of OFWs as a diplomat and fought for the causes of the oppressed labor sector.” – Sheila Crisostomo, Mayen Jaymalin, Jess Diaz, Delon Porcalla, Christina Mendez, Perseus Echeminada, Pia Lee-Brago, Paolo Romero

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Señeres's last wish: No substitute candidate (philstar.com) | Updated February 9, 2016 - 6:24pm 1 29 googleplus0 0


In this Oct. 16, 2015 file photo, OFW Family Club party-list Rep. Roy Señeres shows journalists a document after filing his certificate of candidacy for president at the Commission on Elections main office in Intramuros, Manila. Señeres died at 68 years old on Monday. Philstar.com / Jonathan Asuncion

MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino Workers' Family Club party-list Rep. Roy Señeres Sr., who passed away on Monday, did not want any substitute presidential candidate to be fielded in his place, his family said.

Señeres's daughter, Hannah, filed on Tuesday a "very urgent" motion at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ask that his late father would not be replaced in the poll body's final list of candidates, saying this was among his last wishes.

Señeres, who was 68, died of cardiac arrest early Monday triggered by complications from diabetes. He announced an exit from the presidential race last week, citing health reasons.

Hannah said her father also refused to endorse any of the five remaining presidential candidates, namely Sen. Grace Poe, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

READ MORE...

"Before the death of late Congressman Roy V. Señeres, his last wishes were as follows: No substitution for presidency; no endorsement for presidency; to maintain the legacy of his name through the OFW Family Club party-list whereas Roy Señeres Sr. is the No. 1 nominee; and that the acronym OFW Family Club Party-list be maintained in the ballots," the motion read.

Señeres's family also asked the Comelec to remove his name from the ballots, which are yet to be printed as of press time.

In another motion filed earlier on Tuesday, Señeres's political affiliate Workers and Peasants Party urged the Comelec to declare the slot for presidential bets vacant following the death of the lawmaker. — Camille Diola


INQUIRER

What’s taking Poe case so long?
DRILON: DELAY IN DQ CASE AT SC A THREAT TO ELECTION INTEGRITY Philippine Daily Inquirer @inquirerdotnet 05:55 AM February 11th, 2016


Presidential Candidate Sen. Grace Poe . INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / JILSON SECKLER TIU

Senate President Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said the Supreme Court was taking so long to resolve the disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe that it is posing a threat to the integrity of the 2016 elections.

“The issue cannot be left hanging. The case is posing serious threats to fair and credible elections in May and only the Supreme Court’s prompt action can eliminate that threat by resolving the case at the soonest,” he said.

Drilon said the high court appeared to lack a sense of urgency, noting that the tribunal has been holding only one session of oral arguments on the case per week.

“I’m not dictating on the court, but it is very frustrating because we know for certain that the court could hasten the process by conducting marathon hearings but it has chosen not do so,” he said.

The Supreme Court has so far held four oral arguments on the disqualification case against Poe, who brought a certiorari case against the Commission on Elections ruling disqualifying her from running for president on the grounds that she is not a natural-born Filipino and has not met the 10-year residency requirement.

The senator said the case should be given “extraordinary attention, so that it can be decided earlier in order to protect the integrity and credibility of the May 2016 polls.”

“This is not an ordinary case. It will have a vast impact on our future,” he told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

Drilon also said it was “arrogance” for the Supreme Court to say that it knows what it is doing, referring to the tribunal’s earlier response when he made a similar plea.

“As I’ve said, the election is a basic tenet of democracy and any threat to it should be immediately resolved,” he said.

READ MORE...

But Poe’s camp is not unduly perturbed by the delay. “On our side though, we will respect the SC, its decisions and the timelines they will prescribe,” said Poe’s spokesperson Rex Gatchalian while claiming that the candidate was also for the early resolution of the case.


Atty. Francis H. Jardeleza was appointed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Benigno S. Aquino III on August 19, 2014. Prior to this, he was appointed as the Solicitor General in February 2012. He also served as the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon from July 2011 to February 2012. GOOGLE SEARCH IMAGE

Meanwhile, a lawyer for one of the petitioners against Poe Wednesday said Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza’s radical interpretation of the Constitution in favor of foundlings’ rights was tantamount to rewriting the fundamental law.

Lawyer Manuelito Luna, counsel for former senator Kit Tatad, said Jardeleza’s theory that the Constitution’s silence on foundlings should not be taken conclusively as an exclusion of abandoned infants from recognition as natural-born citizens was not supported by the 1935 Constitution, which covers Poe.

He also decried the magistrate’s view that the Comelec may have violated Poe’s due process and equal protection rights in disqualifying her even without making factual findings.

“With due respect, his views have very little legal support,” Luna told the Inquirer in a phone interview.

“First, he (Jardeleza) is proposing that natural-born citizens and foundlings should be considered on par, which does not find support in the Article IV of the 1935 Constitution,” Luna said, citing the article which lays down who should be considered citizens of the Philippines.

“Second, he is proposing a rewriting of the Constitution through a radical and unconstitutional interpretation, ignoring the text in the process,” said the lawyer.

Luna also said Jardeleza’s citation of writings by United States law practitioners during Tuesday’s oral arguments “are not binding on the Supreme Court.”

The lawyer said Poe may not cite a due process violation against the Comelec, having “lied” about her citizenship and residency in her certificate of candidacy.

“A noncitizen such as Poe… should be the last person to cry a violation of the due process clause and the equal protection clause,” he said.

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RELATED VIDEOS

Poe delivers forceful speech: 'Puno na ang salop'

SEN TITO SOTTO...'GALING AT PUSO'

 

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Allow Poe to run, most voters say posted February 13, 2016 at 12:01 am by Adelle Chua



A MAJORITY of voters nationwide either strongly or somewhat agree that presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe should be allowed to run despite the disqualification cases pending against her before the Supreme Court.

According to The Standard Poll conducted between Jan. 27 and Feb. 4 by this newspaper’s resident pollster, Junie Laylo, 22 percent of respondents strongly agree and 38 percent somewhat agree that Poe should be allowed to run notwithstanding the petitions questioning her natural-born citizenship and 10-year residency, both constitutional requirements for the presidency.

Sixteen percent somewhat disagree and 7 percent strongly disagree, with another 17 percent saying they do not know enough about the issue to have an opinion.

Support for Poe was even stronger in Metro Manila, with 67 percent of respondents agreeing to let her run, 21 percent disagreeing, and 12 percent not knowing enough to have an opinion.

Support was lowest in Visayas and Mindanao, with both areas having net 30 percent agreement to her running. Respondents from the Visayas also claimed to know the least about the issue, with 22 percent not being able to form an opinion.

Meanwhile, 64 percent of respondents from urban areas either strongly or somewhat agree to letting Poe run while 22 percent do not agree. Fifty-seven percent of respondents from rural areas agreed while 24 percent disagreed, with 19 percent not knowing enough.

On Dec. 1, 2015, the Second Division of the Commission on Elections unanimously voted to cancel Poe’s Certificate of Candidacy.

The petitioner, lawyer Estrella Elamparo, claimed the senator made material representations that are false in saying that, in 2013 when she was running for the Senate, she had been a resident of the Philippines for six years and six months.

Poe said she had committed an honest mistake.

On Dec. 11, the Comelec’s First Division, acting on the consolidate petitions of former Senator Francisco Tatad, professor Antonio Contreras and law Dean Amado Valdez, also said that Poe committed material misrepresentations in her documents.

The Comelec en banc later upheld these decisions, but Poe appealed the cases before the Supreme Court.

The Standard Poll was taken at around the time oral arguments were being heard on the issue. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, in their pronouncements, appeared inclined to reject the disqualification petitions.

Meanwhile, only 45 percent of respondents nationwide strongly or somewhat agree to allow Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run for president, with 38 percent not agreeing and 18 percent not knowing about the issue to have an opinion. Net agreement stood at +8 percent.

Support for his running despite the disqualification case arising from his substitution to PDP Laban member Martin Diño was strongest in Mindanao at 62 percent and in Metro Manila at 54 percent.

Disagreement in Mindanao was at 25 percent, bringing the net figure to +37 percent.

Meanwhile, net agreement was lowest in (-12 percent) North/ Central Luzon with 34 percent agreeing and 46 percent disagreeing, and in South Luzon/ Bicol (-9 percent) with 36 percent agreeing and 45 percent disagreeing to let him run.

The survey was conducted just before the First Division of the Comelec dismissed the four disqualification cases against Duterte on Feb. 3, 2016 for lack of merit.

The Standard Poll posed questions to 3,000 respondents across the country, with 300 from the National Capital Region, 700 from Northern and Central Luzon, 600 from South Luzon and Bicol, 700 in the Visayas and 700 from Mindanao.

All respondents were biometrically registered voters who said they are certain to vote in the May 2016 elections.

The Standard Poll has a margin of error of +/-1.8 percent nationwide.


INQUIRER

Aquino, De Lima: A budding romance? SHARES: 2863 VIEW COMMENTS By: Julliane Love De Jesus
@JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 12:43 AM February 13th, 2016


Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (left) and President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

IRIGA CITY, Philippines—A budding romance?

It was an early Valentine’s Day celebration for President Benigno Aquino III and former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima as the two drew laughter after the bachelor President complimented and gave chocolates to the senatorial aspirant in front of thousands of Irigeños here.

“Noong huli kaming nagkita masyado ka yatang namayat, Leila, (From the last time we saw each other, I think you’ve lost some weight),” the President complimented the secretary who was seen giggling while on her seat.

Aquino then interrupted his speech and handed a box of chocolates to De Lima on stage. “Minabuti kong may pasalubong ako, ibibigay ko lang (I’ve prepared a gift. I am giving it [to her] now.”

As he went back to the podium, Aquino said, still looking at De Lima: “Nakita ko kasi parang nagmistulang lalaban ka ng Binibing Pilipinas (From what I saw, it looked like you’re about to join the Binibining Pilipinas [pageant]).”

Aquino was earlier rumored to have dated then Bb. Pilipinas candidate and now Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

De Lima is now single, having annulled her marriage from her husband, lawyer Plaridel Bohol Jr. They have two children.

De Lima is running for Senator under the administration-backed “Daang Matuwid” coalition.

As the President vowed to make time for the Liberal Party’s national elections campaign, he has been consistently joining standard-bearer Mar Roxas, Vice Presidential candidate Leni Robredo and the LP Senate slate in proclamation rallies in different provinces. TVJ

VIDEO: AQUINO HANDED DE LIMA GIFT...

 

'De Lima looks like a Bb.Pilipinas contestant'
NQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Published on Feb 12, 2016 President Benigno Aquino III on Friday gave a cake to his former Justice Secretary now Liberal Party senatorial bet Leila de Lima. He described De Lima as someone who is about to join the Bb. Pilipinas pageant because she lost some weight. Video and editing by Domingo "Noynoy" Morcoso III of INQUIRER.net


MANILA BULLETIN

No romantic date as Aquino turns 56 today by Genalyn Kabiling February 8, 2016 Share22 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share41


56th birthday photo. FROM PRESIDENTIAL GAZETTE WEBSITE

With no romantic date scheduled today, President Aquino celebrates his 56th birthday, coinciding with the Chinese New Year, and riding high on his accomplishments in the final year of his presidency, the most notable of which is the country’s economic resurgence.

The President is expected to spend his special day with family and friends in a small birthday gathering at Bahay Pangarap. His family, Cabinet members, and other allies are expected to attend the birthday affair.

As of press time, the President has no official public engagements for his birthday on Monday, according to Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr.

“I have no details yet. It’s a non-working holiday,” Coloma said in a text message when asked about the President’s birthday plans.

As for his wish for his boss, Coloma said: “I wish him continued good health and a seamless transition into the post-presidency phase.”

READ MORE...


COLOMA

The President marks his birthday this year amid a string of accomplishments of his administration, including the country’s economic resurgence and return of transparency and accountability in government.

Despite criticisms about his leadership in the Mamasapano encounter and Yolanda tragedy, among others, President Aquino is still popular among Filipinos as public trust and approval with his administration remain stable.

Aquino, who will end his six-year term this June, has endorsed his friend, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, to be his successor.

Last year on his birthday, the President stayed out of public sight and decided to spend private time with his family.

At that time, Aquino was confronted with the biggest political crisis of his presidency after a bungled police operation in Mindanao.

When his birthday fell on a working day in 2013, President Aquino visited a young cancer patient at a hospital, held a cabinet meeting, and later spent time with his family.


MANILA BULLETIN

Aquino cites Chinese-Filipinos’ contributions to economic growth by Jenny F. Manongdo and Genalyn D. Kabiling February 9, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share34

Joining the celebration of the Lunar New Year, President Aquino thanked the Chinese-Filipino community for its vital contributions to the country’s resilient economic growth.

The President recognized that Chinese-Filipinos are a “treasured component” of the nation which currently sees an economic resurgence under his watch.

“The strong, resilient and vibrant country that we are today is powered by our multifaceted milieu,” the President said in a message on the celebration of the Lunar New Year yesterday, Feb. 8.

In Binondo, Manila, police said more than a million people gathered to celebrate New Year’s Eve in one of the oldest Chinatown communities in the world. The center of the celebration was in Ongpin Street where the crowds started to gather in the late afternoon to shop, dine and wait for midnight to welcome the Year of the Fire Monkey with a grand fireworks display.

“Let us rejoice in the stable environment that has allowed us to harness this multiplicity of talents and perspectives towards our resurgence, and continue to foster it as a foundation of a truly progressive and inclusive Philippines for all of our people,” Aquino said.

Aquino said he wishes the Chinese-Filipino community “happiness, prosperity and good health” for the coming year.

DYNAMIC HERITAGE

He acknowledged that the dynamic heritage of Chinese-Filipinos adds depth and vibrancy to the country’s history. “Your contributions are as far as reaching as they are varied; your unique culture has become part of our collective identity as Filipinos,” he added.

READ MORE...

NON-WORKING HOLIDAY

In 2011, President Aquino issued a proclamation declaring the Chinese New Year as a special non-working holiday. Aquino said the celebration was a manifestation of the nation’s solidarity with Chinese-Filipinos who have been part of its lives.

CELEBRATING SOLIDARITY

Joining the celebration was Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada who hailed the Chinese organizations that helped the city government in organizing the grand celebration that also saw the unity of the various organizations among such groups in the Binondo district.

“For the third straight year, we are using the occasion of the Chinese new year to celebrate our unity and solidarity. It remains a great source of pride and pleasure to remember the very first solidarity dinner that we had in 2014, because it was the first such event jointly celebrated by the local government of Manila, and the entire Filipino Chinese community. That event sealed our unity and set the tone for these past two years of joint initiatives, continuing dialogue, cooperation, and a shared commitment to reclaim and restore Manila’s old glory,” Estrada said yesterday before the start of the grand parade that begun at Lawton area and ended in Ongpin street in Binondo.

Police estimated the crowd in Binondo yesterday at about 1.5 million, not an exaggerated number, Superintendent Romeo Macapaz, chief of Binondo police emphasized.

CHINESE ORGANIZATIONS

Some of the Binondo merchants and Chinese organizations who participated in the Chinese New year parade include: the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Overseas Chinese Alumni Association of the Philippines, Hong Kong chamber of commerce of the Philippines, Philippine Jinjiang General Association, Inc., Filipino Chinese Shin Lian Association, Filioino Chinese General chamber of commerce, Sun Life Financial, Lucky Chinatown, Noble Place, Carelink health services, Dragon 8, Pacific Center, Meteo Gaisano, Rai Rai Ken and LBC.

ELECTRIC TRICYCLE

The electric tricycle which will soon ply the Chinatown district made its debut at the parade. Estrada rode one of the 30 r-trikes that will be utilized in the Binondo area.

TOURISTS IN CHINATOWN


Tikoy, the Chinese New Year's Cake

In Chinatown, two performers entertained the crowds with their songs in front of a supermarket; vendors sold a wide variety of lucky charms, monkey figures, “tikoy” which is a popular food item given as gifts during the season. A giant “tikoy” measuring 36 inches in diameter and weighing more than 300 pounds, was the center of attraction in a food store where a long line had queued just to see it.

At close to midnight, the drums and the gongs sounded, the traditional dragon dance came alive, and colorful fireworks exploded in the sky to welcome the coming of the Year of the Fire Monkey. (With a report from Argyll Geducos)

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Aquino’s China policy hit posted February 14, 2016 at 12:01 am by Vito Barcelo


Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile

THE dean of the Philippine Senate, Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, blamed President Benigno Aquino III for the country’s China crisis, saying Aquino failed to prepare the country when the situation worsened with the occupation of Panatag Shoal.

“What is [our] preparation to protect ourselves? Nothing,” Enrile said during a news forum at the Annabel’s restaurant in Quezon City.

“Maybe we will not be begging America to save our asses [if we had prepared ourselves],” Enrile said, adding that the only reason we are beholden to America is because we have “no security cover against the regional hegemon, China.”

Back in 2012, Enrile criticized Aquino for not heeding the advice of knowledgeable diplomats on the China issue and instead employed Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as a “back-channel negotiator” with Beijing.

Enrile later accused Trillanes of treason for supposedly working to push China’s interest over that of the Philippines to the dismay of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Trillanes later criticized the US-educated Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario for drawing the United States into the dispute.

But Enrile defended Del Rosario’s move on Saturday and said partnering with other countries, specifically the US, may be the only way the Philippines can protect its sovereignty at least for the moment.

“I agree [it would be good] to maintain and strengthen our alliance with the United States of America. The United States of America is still the strongest, richest, and most secure and stable country in the world in this century,” he said.

Enrile noted that the Philippines also has strong bonds with member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but each country also has its own interests to protect in the protracted dispute in the South China Sea.

“It is a [group] of countries with separate national interests. Do we profit by it? Economically, militarily, security-wise, or politically, do we benefit from Asean, I don’t know,” Enrile said.

But a ranking DFA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the China crisis should be understood in the larger issue of freedom of international navigation and commerce in the South China Sea.

“The Philippines has taken all the legal aspects against Chinese incursion, that includes the filing of a case in the International tribunal,” the official said.


PHILSTAR

Ash Wednesday ushers in Lent: Don’t be hypocrites when called to be charitable By Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 11, 2016 - 12:00am


A woman has her forehead marked with a sign of the cross in observance of Ash Wednesday at Saint Peter’s Parish Church in Quezon City yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS

MANILA, Philippines – As the Catholic faithful flocked to churches yesterday to have foreheads daubed with ash, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle had a message in this Lenten and election season: don’t be hypocrites, and don’t use Lenten rituals for publicity stunts.

In his homily during the morning mass for Ash Wednesday that heralded the start of the 40-day Lenten season, Tagle said that some people might take advantage of the call to be charitable to glorify themselves.

He reminded the faithful of Jesus’ teaching, that when one gives alms, one should do it secretly and not turn it into photo opportunities, like hypocrites who only want to be praised by others.

Aside from the “photo ops” when showing off their generosity, Tagle also discouraged people from spending a long time kneeling in church just to project themselves as pious.

He said the church must also not be turned into a venue for fashion shows in order to draw attention to oneself.

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“When you do not think of others or God when you do a generous act, and only want to draw attention to yourself, this is an insult to the one receiving your alms because your true intention is not to help… you are using that person for your own benefit. That is not being generous, that is not being charitable,” Tagle added.

He said that during this season, the faithful are encouraged to prepare for God’s resurrection that would fall on Easter Sunday and asked that they return to the Lord.

Alms giving is one of three ways to renew ties with God during Lent.

The other two are praying and offering sacrifice such as fasting. Tagle also said that when people decide to fast, they should not be motivated by the prospect of losing weight or saving money.

He also asked that the savings from fasting be donated to the Archdiocese of Manila’s Pondo ng Pinoy and Fast2Feed of Hapag-Asa to feed hungry and malnourished children.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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