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

ROXAS CITY: MAKE WISE CHOICES, VOTE FOR MAR, LENI - NOY


FEBRUARY 10 -President Aquino with Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and his runningmate Leni Robredo during a meeting with local leaders and the community in Roxas City, Capiz. KRIZJOHN ROSALES
ROXAS CITY, Capiz,  The 90-day campaign for the May 9 elections officially kicked off yesterday with President Aquino rallying the people to get involved and make wise choices for the country’s future. Aquino led a sea of around 10,000 yellow-clad supporters in the Capiz Gymnasium here where the candidates of the ruling Liberal Party led by presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and his runningmate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, were introduced. The LP did not deviate from its usual rallies – attendees wore yellow and musical numbers were an important part of the program along with confetti that abundantly rained down on the President and the candidates as they raised their arms and flashed the Laban sign. But before Aquino went to the campaign rally, he inaugurated a paved national road in Barangay Duyoc in Dao town where he enumerated the gains of the administration and why the people should make the right decisions during the elections. “In the end, the country’s good future is in our hands,” Aquino said. He chose to endorse Roxas, Robredo and 12 senatorial candidates that he said would continue what his administration started. READ MORE...RELATED, Admin bets vow to shower CamSur with infra projects... AND  RELATED, Roxas, binalewala ang hamon ni Duterte tungkol sa 'tuli'...

ALSO: Binay vows decisive leadership


VFEBRUARY 10 -ice President Jejomar Binay with Sen. Gringo Honasan and the UNA senatorial slate at Nueve de Pebrero in Mandaluyong City. BOY SANTOS
Vice President Jejomar Binay kicked off yesterday his campaign for the 2016 presidential elections in a large slum area in Mandaluyong City, vowing to provide decisive leadership that will secure the nation and truly prioritize the poor.
Wearing dark blue jeans and a blue polo shirt, Binay arrived at the Welfareville compound in Mandaluyong City at 4:45 p.m. Blue is Binay’s campaign color. The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer appeared to be in a fighting mood when he stepped on stage to join his running mate Sen. Gregorio Honasan II and nine of UNA’s senatorial candidates, led by boxing champion Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao. Around 20,000 Binay supporters, mostly from Mandaluyong and Makati City, attended the opposition party’s proclamation rally held on Nueve de Pebrero Street. At around 7:30 p.m., Binay began his speech by acknowledging his fellow UNA candidates, allies, local candidates and thousands in the audience whom he referred to as his fellow nognog (dark complexioned). Binay hits Noy Binay took the opportunity to hit President Aquino and his administration for failing to curb poverty incidence in the country in the last six years. READ MORE...RELATED, Remulla to be Interior Sec, Honasan as anti-crime czar under Binay term...

ALSO: Grace begins another life chapter at Quiapo Church


FEBRUARY 10 -Sen. Grace Poe and runningmate Sen. Chiz Escudero in Plaza Miranda.EDD GUMBAN, MIGUEL DE GUZMAN
Left on the doorstep of a church in Jaro, Iloilo 48 years ago, Sen. Grace Poe feels it’s only fitting that she should begin her toughest political journey in another house of worship – the Quiapo Church.
Accompanied by her husband Neil and eldest son Brian, Poe heard mass at the Quiapo Church a few hours before she went on the stage set up outside for her proclamation rally. “The story of my life started inside a church. It is fitting that I should launch the next chapter in front of a church,” Poe said. She promised to govern with compassion and fairness. “I am Grace Poe, and in your Gobyernong may Puso, you are my family,” the senator said. With her at the rally were her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero and some of the senatorial candidates under their Team Galing at Puso (GP). “As my father has told me: in whatever you do in your life, always fill your efforts with prayers. Therefore, in this historic spot – before the people, before God – I offer this pledge: I am Grace Poe, mother, daughter, Filipino,” she told the crowd gathered outside the church, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist but is more popularly known as the church of the Black Nazarene. READ MORE...RELATED, POE WANTS LAOAG AIRPORT MODERNIZED...

ALSO: Duterte, Cayetano start campaign with Manila’s poor


FEBRUARY 10 -'BATUIGAS'
The tandem of presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday started on their campaign trail with a proclamation rally last night at the heart of Tondo, Manila. Duterte arrived in Tondo at around 7 p.m. for his proclamation rally, along with his partner Cielito Avanceña and daugther Veronica.
Speaking before a crowd of some 3,000 residents of what is considered as Manila’s poorest district, Duterte bared his plans for the country’s development if elected as the country’s next president. “People of Tondo dream of something new. I promised you something. But if you really know me, I will deliver. I will do it even if I lose my life, honor and even the presidency. I will deliver on my promises,” he told the cheering crowd gathered at the intersection of Morga and Zamora streets where a large stage was built for the rally. In his proclamation speech, Duterte assured that once elected as president, he would immediately double the salaries of policemen and soldiers. But he was also quick to warn them not to engage in illegal activities. Duterte also promised that he would also implement economic measures similar to what was done by the late President Ferdinand Marcos such as the Masagana 99 and Biyayang Dagat programs. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte pressed on health...

ALSO: Miriam hits rivals for premature campaigning


FEBRUARY 10 -Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago receiving a traditional hat from runningmate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the Imelda Cultural Center in Batac, Ilocos Norte. JOVEN CAGANDE
BATAC CITY, Ilocos Norte, Philippines – Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago launched her campaign here yesterday, hitting her rivals and questioning their integrity for embarking on premature campaigning.
She said other presidential bets had started their campaign much earlier, circumventing election laws. “Hindi pa nga sila presidente (they are not yet president) nag-violate na ng batas (the laws),” she stressed. Santiago was with her runningmate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whom she wishes to be the next president of the country in case they both win and “something happens” to her. “The country needs a young idealistic leader who will take over the reins of government should I be elected and something happens to me,” she told supporters at the plaza of Batac City, hometown of Marcos’ father and namesake former President Ferdinand Marcos. Santiago added that should she win in the elections, she would put in prison all those who have pocketed their pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund of lawmakers. She added she will bring them to brand new jails with different amenities. READ MORE...RELATED, On Aquino Blames 2 Senators on failed BBL --MARCOS TO AQUINO ON BBL: ‘IT’S THE PROCESS, MR. PRESIDENT’...WATCH VIDEO...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Make wise choices, vote for Mar, Leni – Noy


President Aquino with Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and his runningmate Leni Robredoduring a meeting with local leaders and the community in Roxas City, Capiz. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

ROXAS CITY, Capiz, FEBRUARY 15, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica February 10, 2016 - The 90-day campaign for the May 9 elections officially kicked off yesterday with President Aquino rallying the people to get involved and make wise choices for the country’s future.

Aquino led a sea of around 10,000 yellow-clad supporters in the Capiz Gymnasium here where the candidates of the ruling Liberal Party led by presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and his runningmate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, were introduced.

The LP did not deviate from its usual rallies – attendees wore yellow and musical numbers were an important part of the program along with confetti that abundantly rained down on the President and the candidates as they raised their arms and flashed the Laban sign.

But before Aquino went to the campaign rally, he inaugurated a paved national road in Barangay Duyoc in Dao town where he enumerated the gains of the administration and why the people should make the right decisions during the elections.

“In the end, the country’s good future is in our hands,” Aquino said.

He chose to endorse Roxas, Robredo and 12 senatorial candidates that he said would continue what his administration started.

READ MORE...

While critics say the Daang Matuwid (straight path) coalition failed to meet expectations and were not able to fulfill promises, Aquino said the results of the government’s various programs would show that they tried their best to achieve inclusive growth in line with their campaign slogan in 2010 – that there would be no poor if there were no corrupt in government.

“From the very beginning, our pledge was: nobody would be left behind,” Aquino said.


Roxas kicks off campaign, vowing to fight hunger, fear. Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas speaks at the launching of his campaign for the presidency in Roxas City in Capiz province on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated February 9, 2016 )

Symbolic of Daang Matuwid, Aquino said the paved road could shorten travel between Junction Mianay, Sigma and the Panitan municipality in this province to 30 minutes from the previous one hour and could help farmers and businessmen transport their goods to the market faster and easier.

“The principle of daang matuwid is simple: focus the service on the people, do what is right and for sure, it will bring good results,” Aquino said.

He said the administration had gone far as he cited the gains of the government in terms of employment, the conditional cash transfer program, education, energy, health insurance coverage, among others.

“This is just the beginning. Come May, Filipinos will face the crossroads again.

The question is: will we go straight ahead and continue the good that we started? Or will we waste everything that we worked hard for and make a turn to go back to the crooked system and old ways?” Aquino remarked.

“If you trusted me in 2010, please trust me again this time,” the President said.

Aquino said daang matuwid was no gimmick or drama but a policy that brought results and must be continued.

With the K

At the kick-off rally here, Aquino said Roxas has the “K” to succeed him as the country’s next leader.

The letter K is known among Filipinos as karapatan or right, but the President said that for Roxas, “K” stands for kakayahan (ability), konsensya (conscience), katapatan (honesty), kalinga at pagmamahal (concern and love for others).

“Now, with your help once again, I say with full confidence now that Mar Roxas should be the next president of the Philippines,” Aquino said.

Roxas led the LP slate with Robredo along with senatorial candidates Senate President Franklin Drilon, Sens. Ralph Recto and Teofisto Guingona III, former senators Francis Pangilinan and Panfilo Lacson, former justice secretary Leila de Lima, former energy secretary Jericho Petilla, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority chief operating officer Mark Lapid, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. director Risa Hontiveros; Cooperative NATCCO party-list Rep. Cresente Paez and Interior Assistant Secretary for Muslim Affairs and Special Concerns and former Maguindanao officer-in-charge Nariman Ambolodto.

Former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva failed to make it but the President said he was expecting him to join them in their other sorties.

Aquino said Roxas and Robredo would not make empty promises, given their respective track records in public service.

“Again, our fate is in our hands. It is in our hands if we will take full advantage of the opportunities opening up for the country. It is in our hands which direction we should take the country; whether daang matuwid will be continued or we will go back to the crooked path,” Aquino said.

Roxas, for his part, said the fight for the presidency will not be easy.

“This fight is not easy because this is a fight worth fighting. I will never allow myself to be defeated by those who abuse our people, those who fool us and, most of all, I won’t let myself be defeated by thieves,” Roxas said in Filipino. – With Alexis Romero, Paolo Romero, Delon Porcalla, Mayen Jaymalin

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Admin bets vow to shower CamSur with infra projects SHARES: 2300 VIEW COMMENTS
By: Julliane Love De Jesus @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 04:31 PM February 12th, 2016


DRILON

IRIGA CITY—The expansion of the runway of Naga Airport would be among the projects the Mar Roxas-Leni Robredo administration will prioritize, Reelectionist senator Franklin Drilon said in a Liberal Party sortie in Camarines Sur.

Liberal Party senatorial bets vowed on Friday to boost the tourism of Camarines Sur by pursuing the improvement of Naga City airport should they win in the upcoming elections.

“Importante ang turismo ng Camarines Sur. Ito ay tututukan ng Ro-Ro government,” Drilon said in a press conference before the LP campaign kickoff in the home province of Representative Robredo.

The current administration has allotted P3.5 billion for the expansion of Naga Airport’s runway and construction of new facilities seen to be completed in 2019.

Drilon said Naga City records the highest number of tourist arrivals among all cities and municipalities in Camarines Sur.

Since it has a shorter runway compared to other airports, Naga City Airport can only accommodate small turbo-propeller aircraft due to its limited capacities.

Senatorial aspirant Mark Lapid also said that aside from refurbishing the domestic airport, he would also push for the improved implementation of Philippine National Railways Bicol Express.

PNR operations in Bicol, which runs from Tutuban in Manila to Legazpi, are currently suspended after one of its trains got derailed in Sariaya, Quezon in 2012.

“Yung mga kalsada going to Caramoan at Peñafrancia museum talagang makikita niyo na magiimprove,” Lapid, formerly the chief of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), promised.

Administration bets, with President Benigno Aquino III, went here in Iriga City to kick off for the second time the campaign of the “Daang Matuwid” coalition. IDL

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

Roxas, binalewala ang hamon ni Duterte tungkol sa 'tuli' Published February 13, 2016 10:23pm LIGAO CITY, Albay -- Ayaw patulan ni Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II ang hamon ni Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte na magpakita ng katibayan ng pambato ng administrasyon na "tuli" na ito para ipakita naman ng alkalde ang kaniyang medical record.

“Wala akong panahon para sa mga walang kwentang bagay na ‘yan,” tugon ni Roxas sa mga mamamahayag nang makapanayam siya nitong Sabado.

Una rito, sinabi ng pambato sa panguluhang halalan ng PDP-Laban na si Duterte, na isasapubliko lang niya ang kaniyang medical record kapag naglabas ng katibayan si Roxas na tuli na ito.

Ang pahayag ay ginawa ni Duterte nang hingan ng reaksiyon sa sinabi ni Roxas na dapat isapubliko ng alkalde ang tunay na kalagayan ng kaniyang kalusugan.

Bunga naman ito nang pagkakansela ng mga lakad ni Duterte noong Huwebes matapos sumpungin ng matinding sakit ng ulo. (Basahin: Duterte, nagpaliwanag kung bakit inilihim na dinala siya sa ospital).

Hindi nakakatawa

Samantala, iginiit ni LP spokesperson at Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, na hindi dapat gawing katatawanan ni Duterte ang kampanya.

“He offers great entertainment value and people will realize, you know what he offers is just that. We’re not here for laughs,” anang kongresista.

“We’re here for the welfare of the 104 million people. He makes good fantastic entertainment. We’re not here to elect a comedian,” dagdag ni Quimbo.

Hindi ito ang unang pagkakataon na nagbanggaan sa salita sina Roxas at Duterte, na minsan na ring naghamunan ng sampalan at suntukan. — FRJ, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Binay vows decisive leadership By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 10, 2016 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


Vice President Jejomar Binay with Sen. Gringo Honasan and the UNA senatorial slate at Nueve de Pebrero in Mandaluyong City. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay kicked off yesterday his campaign for the 2016 presidential elections in a large slum area in Mandaluyong City, vowing to provide decisive leadership that will secure the nation and truly prioritize the poor.

Wearing dark blue jeans and a blue polo shirt, Binay arrived at the Welfareville compound in Mandaluyong City at 4:45 p.m. Blue is Binay’s campaign color.

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer appeared to be in a fighting mood when he stepped on stage to join his running mate Sen. Gregorio Honasan II and nine of UNA’s senatorial candidates, led by boxing champion Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.

Around 20,000 Binay supporters, mostly from Mandaluyong and Makati City, attended the opposition party’s proclamation rally held on Nueve de Pebrero Street.

At around 7:30 p.m., Binay began his speech by acknowledging his fellow UNA candidates, allies, local candidates and thousands in the audience whom he referred to as his fellow nognog (dark complexioned).

Binay hits Noy Binay took the opportunity to hit President Aquino and his administration for failing to curb poverty incidence in the country in the last six years.

READ MORE...

“The President’s term nears its end, but instead of reducing the country’s poverty rate, more people became poor under his administration,” he said.

He noted that unemployed Filipinos also grew despite the government’s repeated claim of economic improvement under its slogan of tuwid na daan (straight path).

He stressed that the country needs a president who never blames other people at times of crisis, citing in particular the Mamasapano debacle, which left 44 police commandos dead on Jan. 25, 2015.

Promises In his 30-minute speech, Binay also promised to provide additional P65 billion in the budget of the education department so it can provide free books, uniforms and other school supplies to almost 20 million public school students.

He vowed to work with local governments and the private sector in providing free healthcare, especially to the poor.

Binay also reiterated his commitment to continue the government’s conditional cash transfer program, which was started during the presidency of now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“We will not only continue it, we will also expand it to include 60 to 64 years old and many of our citizens in the list of program beneficiaries,” he said.

The Vice President likewise vowed to exempt workers who receive monthly salary of P30,000 and below from paying taxes. – With Janvic Mateo, Non Alquitran

 
VP Binay, pumalag sa kumakalat na political ads laban sa kanya News5Everywhere Published on Feb 1, 2016 AKSYON | Pumalag ang kampo ni Vice President Jejomar Binay sa mga political ads na naglalaman ng umanoy walang basehang akusasyon laban sa kanya. Itinuturo nila ang Liberal Party na nasa likod nito. Bagay na itinaggi naman ng LP. Ulat hatid ni Erwin Tulfo. (Video uploaded by Raffonzyl Bonifacio; Manuscript edited by Joey Hernandez; For any concerns, you may email us at newsfiveeverywhere@gmail.com)

 
Binay triumphs his experiences in gov't INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Published on Feb 12, 2016 Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday enumerated his experiences in government and pointed out how he could be the best choice to be the next President of the country. Video and editing by RYAN LEAGOGO

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Remulla to be Interior Sec, Honasan as anti-crime czar under Binay term Written by Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales Monday, 15 February 2016 00:00



Vice President Jejomar Binay bared his plan to appoint Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla as Interior Secretary and his runningmate Sen. Gringo Honasan as anti-crime czar to highlight the focus on public order of a government under him.

In Nasugbu, Batangas, Binay told supporters he will assign Honasan as anti-crime czar since criminality remains widespread, noting that one of his fraternity brothers, former Sto. Tomas, Batangas Councilor Damasino “Caloy” Mabilangan Jr. was shot dead Friday morning while jogging.

Also last Thursday, Binay visited Cavite where he was joined by Remulla. The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) signed a unity covenant with Partido Magdalo led Remulla in July last year.

During his visit, Binay announced should he win the presidency, he would appoint Remulla as his interior and local government secretary.

UNA spokesman Mon Ilagan, meanwhile, expressed the party’s appreciation of the warm reception given to Binay, Honasan and the rest of the UNA slate in their sorties in Southern Tagalog and Rizal during the first week of the campaign season.

“The people are very responsive and they show it. If they don’t like a candidate they won’t come out to meet them but UNA so far was met warmly by people inthe Calabarzon area,” Ilagan said. Ilagan boasted Binay, Honasan and their senatorial slate were always received enthusiastically by the crowds in every town and city in CALABARZON that they have visited so far.

“UNA can claim the area as its bailiwick. In the last presidential elections in 2010 it was Binay who won in this area,” Ilagan said.

After their successul proclamation rally in Mandaluyong packed by some 30,000 supporters, the Binay-Honasan tandem and their senatorial bets barnstormed the province of Laguna Wednesday.

They were joined by Laguna Governor ER Ejercito as they visited San Pedro, Biñan, Santa Rosa, Cabuyao, and Calamba.

Meanwhile, Binay, Honasan, and their senate slate barnstormed Batangas on Friday, visiting Nasugbu, visited Balayan, Calaca, Lemery, Bauan and Batangas City.

Binay and UNA visited Rizal on Friday, where former Rizal Governor and now Antipolo Mayor Casimiro “Jun” Ynares III extolled Binay’s experience as executive during a short program in Antipolo.

Aside from Antipolo, the Binay-Honasan tandem also visited Cainta, Angono, Binangonan, and Morong, where they were joined by lawyer Harry Roque who is representing party-list Kabayan.

In Angono, Binay called himself “kandidato ng senior citizen” and narrated the services that the elderly in Makati enjoyed while he was still mayor of the city. He also pledged that under his presidency, he will replicate what he did in Makati nationwide.
In all of their visits, Binay stressed he would continue and expand the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the current administration and will include senior citizens aged 60 to 64 years.

Binay also said he would scrap the income tax of workers earning P30,000 and below.

“I have asked my staff to do a computation, I do not promise anything that I don’t know what I’m getting into. Malacañang was not telling the truth about the income tax reduction proposal which they said can’t be implemented since it has no compensating measure. That is pure stupidity,” he said.

Binay also stressed the need for a leader who has a good track record in management and care for others, especially the poor.

“It is about time that the country be led by somebody who has experience, the ability and concern for every Filipino,” Binay said.

Santiago-Marcos bares senatoriables

The tandem of Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. already have a senatorial line-up, nearly a week after the official campaign season had kicked off.

They, however, failed to come up with a complete 12-man slate as only 10 names were bared and most of their so-called senatoriables as “adopted” candidates running under another tandem, that of Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

In the Youth for Miriam launch held yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, the Santiago-Marcos team presented three senatorial candidates from the Liberal Party (LP) slate and also three from the Poe-Escudero tandem.

Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) advocate Susan Ople, former Makati City vice mayor and actor Edu Manzano, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno have been included in the Santiago-Marcos team, alongside Senate President Ralph Recto.

All four of them are candidates of Poe-Escudero tandem although Recto is considered an “adopted” candidate as he is officially under the banner of LP.

Two other LP senatorial bets, former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva have likewise been adopted while those named under the United Nationalist Alliance’ (UNA) ticket – Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Saraggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao were also part of the list.

Completing the 10-man slate are former Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, and former Armed Forces Chief of Staff and Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Dionisio Santiago.

Recto immediately extended his appreciation for the inclusion of his name in the Santiago-Marcos tandem.

“I am expressing my thanks because good manners require me to acknowledge such a kind gesture. Politeness must trump partisan politics any time,” he said.

“Senators Santiago and Marcos are esteemed hardworking colleagues whose love for country and commitment to work for the uplifting of the lives of our people are genuine and beyond doubt. I am also heartened by their pledge to conduct a campaign which will focus on platform, vision, and issues, which I hope will be the general tenor of the presidential race.

“Certainly, any commitment to elevate the quality of public discourse would help voters make an informed choice come election day. I wish them the very best of luck,” he said.

Meanwhile, Marcos paid a courtesy call to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Socrates Villegas at the Archbishops’ Office in Dagupan City at the continuation of his “Unity Caravan” in Pangasinan today.
After the closed-door meeting with Villegas, Marcos said they did not talk about politics.

“We talked about everything under the sun but not politics,” Marcos said.

Rainbow Cabinet for Poe-Chiz

Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe underscored the importance of a reconciliatory government even as she expressed openness to appoint in her Cabinet competent and highly-qualified people from rival political groups whose integrity are beyond reproach should she win the May 2016 presidential polls.

“Whatever [political] color, whether you are from the past administration, or a political adversary, if you are competent, we will appoint you,” Poe said during a press conference last Friday.

Poe, who is running with vice presidential candidate and Sen. Chiz Escudero, explained that political differences this coming presidential polls should not hamper the good choice of right people to sit in the Cabinet for as long they have all the qualifications to do the job.

“Our criteria in choosing cabinet members, whoever is going to join us, should, first, be trustworthy and should have integrity. Secondly, should have the proper orientation and competence,” Poe stressed.

The independent presidential candidate said also that she sees nothing wrong to tap the services of old faces in the Cabinet unless they are incompetent.

Last Friday night, Poe led her team on their first kicked-off provincial rally in San Carlos City in Pangasinan, hometown of her father, the late action king, Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ).

Poe, the lone independent candidate for the highest post of the land, found thousands of allies in familiar territory, which delivered more than 805,000 votes for her when she ran for the Senate in 2013.

Pangasinan has more than 1.7 million registered voters.

Poe said the values that were passed on to her by her father spell the difference between her and other presidential candidates who have more political experience.


PHILSTAR

Grace begins another life chapter at Quiapo Church By Marvin Sy and Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 10, 2016 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


Sen. Grace Poe and runningmate Sen. Chiz Escudero in Plaza Miranda.EDD GUMBAN, MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

MANILA, Philippines – Left on the doorstep of a church in Jaro, Iloilo 48 years ago, Sen. Grace Poe feels it’s only fitting that she should begin her toughest political journey in another house of worship – the Quiapo Church.

Accompanied by her husband Neil and eldest son Brian, Poe heard mass at the Quiapo Church a few hours before she went on the stage set up outside for her proclamation rally.

“The story of my life started inside a church. It is fitting that I should launch the next chapter in front of a church,” Poe said.

She promised to govern with compassion and fairness.

“I am Grace Poe, and in your Gobyernong may Puso, you are my family,” the senator said.

With her at the rally were her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero and some of the senatorial candidates under their Team Galing at Puso (GP).

“As my father has told me: in whatever you do in your life, always fill your efforts with prayers. Therefore, in this historic spot – before the people, before God – I offer this pledge: I am Grace Poe, mother, daughter, Filipino,” she told the crowd gathered outside the church, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist but is more popularly known as the church of the Black Nazarene.

READ MORE...

“With all my heart and strength, I will uphold and defend programs of a compassionate government, our aspirations for the Filipino family, our hopes for the country and our children and to those who have gone to great lengths to tarnish my good name, I am ready to defend my Filipino identity, here and now,” Poe said.

The senator is contesting before the Supreme Court her disqualification from the presidential race by the Commission on Elections.

“Some have argued that, because I am a foundling, I can never be a true Filipino. That because I am a woman, I can never fight a man’s fight or do a man’s job. That because I lack experience, I also do not have competence. There are even those who say that my life is just too full of drama,” Poe said.

“Maybe my life is replete with drama because, like the majority of Filipinos, there are difficulties that I have to struggle with. I have been oppressed and belittled, but I rise to fight again after each battle, after the passing of each storm of my life and fate,” she said.

“They may well call it drama, but this is my real life. It is the reality that many Filipinos live everyday,” she added.

Lessons from parents


Grace with parents Susan Roces and Fernando Poe Jr.

The senator said she draws strength from people she has known all along as her parents – actress Susan Roces and the late action star Fernando Poe Jr.

She said her parents have instilled in her integrity, diligence and hard work, courtesy, kindness and consideration for others.

“Armed with these qualities and values, I am running for the presidency of our country, so that I may stand and fight with all of you whose lives are full of drama, whose daily pain and struggles are drawn from long experience,” she declared.

“I am here for you. I am here because we all draw from the same pain and because, despite this, we have not given up, and will continue to dream and strive for a better life for our families,” she said.

“Each of us should be able to realize our dreams. Every child should be able to dream of becoming a teacher, a policeman, a prosperous farmer, a lawyer, even a president of our country,” Poe said.

Her proclamation rally showcased some of the biggest stars on television, including Eat Bulaga mainstays Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Ruby Rodriguez who served as hosts of the event.

Team GP senatorial candidates are Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, former senators Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri, lawyer Lorna Kapunan, party-list Reps. Samuel Pagdilao and Neri Colmenares, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, OFW advocate Susan Ople, Senator Vicente Sotto III and Ralph Recto, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo and actor Edu Manzano.

Recto, Zubiri and Manzano were not present during the rally but sent their representatives to deliver their respective speeches.

P-Noy’s guest Poe on Monday showed up at the birthday party of President Aquino just as her rival in the presidential race, Manuel Roxas II, was leaving. It was not the first time she has been invited to attend the very exclusive birthday party of Aquino, but her presence was remarkable because she had declined the President’s offer to be Roxas’ runningmate.

Aquino appointed her MTRCB chief at the start of his term in 2010. The party was held at the clubhouse near the presidential residence Bahay Pangarap.

Meanwhile, at the continuation of oral arguments at the SC on her disqualification case, another magistrate has expressed support for her position on being a foundling and eligible candidate for president.

Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza questioned the factual basis of the Comelec for disqualifying the senator.

The magistrate said he believes it’s the poll body that should bear the burden of providing evidence to justify its conclusion that Poe is not a natural-born citizen.

“Where in the two resolutions of the Comelec did it make a finding of fact based on other evidence presented by Poe? To my mind, you did not make a factual determination based on evidence,” Jardeleza said in his interpellation of Comelec commissioner Arthur Lim.

In response, Lim stressed that the Comelec discussed the facts presented in the case regarding Poe’s status as a foundling.

Jardeleza also stressed that while the Constitution is silent on the status of foundlings, they should be accorded the same rights as any citizen of the country.

“This is a very difficult case because there is a great silence by the Constitution about what to do with foundlings. (The Constitution) does not contain the word ‘foundlings,’ it does not tell us what to do. We must decide this based on the bill of rights, specifically on the basis of due process clause and the equal protection clause,” the justice said.

“Comelec may have crossed a line. You may have deprived petitioner Poe of a due process right,” he said.

Just like Jardeleza, two other SC justices seemed to have sympathized with Poe’s plight and raised rights of foundlings – Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

Team GP campaign manager Cebu Rep. Joseph Ace Durano told a news conference they expect the SC to rule on her cases late this month or early next month.

“After today’s oral arguments hearing, our information is that the justices will have one more hearing next week. After that, they will give the parties five days to submit their respective memoranda, and after the submissions, they will make a decision within 10 days,” he said.

“So we expect the decision by the end of this month or by early March,” he said, adding it would likely be on or before March 9.

He also stressed the senator would not ride on the popularity of her father.

“No, the campaign is not about FPJ. Ninety percent of it will be about Senator Grace, her accomplishments and her platform of government. That will be the core of our messaging.”

Back to No. 1

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the Magdalo group from Feb. 3 to 5 showed Poe regaining the lead in the presidential race, with 29.9 percent of the votes.

Davao City Rodrigo Duterte took second spot with 26.6 percent. He was statistically tied with Vice President Jejomar Binay who got 25.5 percent.

Coming in fourth place was former interior chief Manuel Roxas II with 14 percent, followed by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with 3.3 percent.

Magdalo party-list Rep. Francisco Ashley Acedillo said that as in their previous pre-election surveys, randomly selected respondents in the latest survey were given a list of candidates for president/vice president, and were asked: “If elections would be held today, who among the following candidates would you vote for?” – With Edu Punay, Jess Diaz, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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RELATED FROM MALAYA

POE WANTS LAOAG AIRPORT MODERNIZED By JP LOPEZ February 12, 2016 SEN. Grace Poe yesterday barnstormed Ilocos Norte and vowed to fulfill what her late father, Fernando Poe Jr., had wanted done in the province: promote tourism to generate more employment and income opportunities for locals.

Although Ilocos Norte is the bailiwick of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is seeking the vice presidency in tandem with Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Poe was welcomed by Marcos’ elder sister, Gov. Imee Marcos, and Batac Mayor Jeffrey Nalupta at the city hall.

Imee said Ilocanos are opening their doors to other candidates, adding Poe is a family friend.

Addressing city hall employees, Poe said if elected to the presidency, she would push for the expansion of the Laoag Airport to help boost tourism in the province. The only international flights to Laoag are chartered from Kaohsiung in Taiwan, according to the province’s tourism office.

“Batid natin ang potensyal ng turismo dito ay napakalaki dahil nga ang ganda-ganda ng inyong lugar. Noon pa pinaplano kung papa’no palalawakin ang airport at kung ano pang puwedeng gawin para dito,” Poe said.

“Alam din natin ang dami ng trabahong madadagdag kung diretsong may international flights dito at ma-expand natin ang airport,” she said, adding she also intends to implement free irrigation projects in Ilocos Norte for the farmers that her father, who ran but lost in 2004, had long wanted to help.

Poe’s visit also evoked memories of her trips to the province when she was young while FPJ was filming one of his famous films, “Ang Panday,” in Paoay.

“Dito siya may inspirasyon dahil sa ganda ng inyong probinsya na gumawa ng pelikula kung saan hinding-hindi siya makakalimutan. Ang pinakamagandang mga pelikula ni FPJ ay dito nag-shooting sa Ilocos Norte,” she said, adding that she and her father also rode bikes around Paoay.

Imee said that while Poe’s citizenship is being questioned, there’s no doubt in her mind that Poe is an Ilocana.

Asked by journalists whether she would be amenable to a Poe-Marcos victory in the May 9 polls, Imee, in jest, said: “Marcos-Marcos?” referring to an urban legend that Poe is the child of former President Ferdinand Marcos with former actress Rosemarie Sonora. Sen. Marcos has, in several instances, jokingly referred to her as “sister.”

Poe said she is not the daughter of the late president, adding the joke does not sit well with her and her relatives, particularly her cousin, Sheryll Cruz, the daughter of Rosemary.

Poe was accompanied in her visit by senatorial bet Isko Moreno. Her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, was campaigning in Sultan Kudarat.

From city hall, Imee escorted Poe to a church and a brief stop at Sand Dunes where a statue of FPJ stands. From there, Poe and Imee held a motorcade towards Mariano Marcos State University where the senator addressed students.


PHILSTAR

Duterte, Cayetano start campaign with Manila’s poor By Mike Frialde and Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 10, 2016 - 12:00am 1 35 googleplus0 0


BATUIGAS

MANILA, Philippines – The tandem of presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday started on their campaign trail with a proclamation rally last night at the heart of Tondo, Manila.

Duterte arrived in Tondo at around 7 p.m. for his proclamation rally, along with his partner Cielito Avanceña and daugther Veronica.

Speaking before a crowd of some 3,000 residents of what is considered as Manila’s poorest district, Duterte bared his plans for the country’s development if elected as the country’s next president.

“People of Tondo dream of something new. I promised you something. But if you really know me, I will deliver. I will do it even if I lose my life, honor and even the presidency. I will deliver on my promises,” he told the cheering crowd gathered at the intersection of Morga and Zamora streets where a large stage was built for the rally.

In his proclamation speech, Duterte assured that once elected as president, he would immediately double the salaries of policemen and soldiers. But he was also quick to warn them not to engage in illegal activities.

Duterte also promised that he would also implement economic measures similar to what was done by the late President Ferdinand Marcos such as the Masagana 99 and Biyayang Dagat programs.

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Duterte said that Marcos was the best president the Philippines has ever had if he did not turn into a dictator.

Duterte also said he takes pride in being born poor although he admits that he is not that poor now.

For his part, Amado Bagatsing who is running for mayor of Manila and a supporter of Duterte said it is about time that the country has a president from Mindanao.

At dawn yesterday, Duterte and Cayetano also had breakfast of pancit (noodles), salted egg and pandesal with poor residents of Binondo, Manila.

Duterte greeted the residents and promised them the conditional cash transfer program would be sustained to help them buy food. The Mayor added that he would increase the cash grants to the beneficiaries if elected president on May 9.

No such thing as tuwid na daan Duterte also said that there is no such thing as “Tuwid na Daan,” citing the corruption at the Bureau of Customs and the bullet-planting scheme at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Duterte, who has a strong stance against illegal drugs, crime and corruption, reiterated that he would eradicate the scourges in six months. He also warned loan sharks to stop abusing the less fortunate.

He said that loan sharks take advantage of poor people who are forced to borrow money through a “5-6” scheme because of poverty.

Stop it. Ako na nagsasabi sa inyo (I’m telling you), stop it,” Duterte said.

Cayetano added that the people tend to choose loan sharks because of the government’s failure to sustain capital for small businessmen.

“Many residents here want to start their own business, but because of lack of capital, they borrow from these loan sharks and are forced to do so despite extremely high interest rates,” Cayetano said.

Thousands also flocked yesterday to Freedom Park along Roxas Avenue in Davao City to campaign for Duterte.

A similar activity was also reportedly held at the SMX convention center in Bacolod City, while motorcades were held in other key areas such as General Santos City, pushing for the candidacy of Duterte.

Singers and bands performed in each of the venues for the campaign kick off of Duterte and Cayetano.

Duterte failed to attend his oath-taking as chairman of the PDP-Laban in Intramuros, Manila, his executive assistant said.

Bong Go said that Duterte skipped the oath-taking as he was not feeling well.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was asked again yesterday by Rizalito David to disqualify Duterte from the presidential polls.

In an 11-page Motion for Reconsideration, David said the Comelec First Division erred in its findings that the substitution of Duterte for Martin Diño was valid.

“Contrary to the commission’s findings, Diño’s filing as well as withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy (COC) were attended by glaring irregularities and intended to make a mockery of the elections, thus, he could not have been validly substituted by respondent Duterte,” he noted.

He claimed that Diño’s COC was for mayor of Pasay City and not for president. Such COC was withdrawn after Diño was declared a nuisance candidaate by Comelec.

Duterte substituted for Diño after he withdrew his candidacy for mayor of Davao City.

But David added that political party Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod has not withdrawn its nomination of Duterte as Davao City mayor. – With Edith Regalado, Sheila Crisostomo, Ghio Ong

 
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Cayetano: How can Binay stop corruption? INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe28,695 Add to Share More 10,430 84 5 Published on Feb 5, 2016 Senator Minority Leader and vice presidential candidate Alan Peter Cayetano expressed doubt whether Vice President Jejomar Binay can stop corruption.

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Duterte pressed on health; BUT MAYOR SHOWS NO SIGNS HE’S AILING SHARES: 3777 VIEW COMMENTS
By: Nico Alconaba @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao 01:03 AM February 14th, 2016


Davao City Mayor and presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—There was no other time in his campaign for Malacañang when Rodrigo Duterte’s physical presence was more important than what he had to say.

As the Palace and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) applied pressure on him to disclose the true state of his health, the Davao City mayor showed up at public events here on Saturday, including a mass wedding where he presided over civil ceremonies for 99 couples.

Duterte, 70, showed no signs of illness when he arrived at the village gymnasium in Barangay Tigatto for the mass wedding.

He was under his own power and was his usual self, talking to people and giving advice to the couples tying the knot.

As usual, however, he was late.

He arrived with his common-law wife, Cielito Avanceña, and their daughter Veronica.

Accompanying them were his running mate, Alan Peter Cayetano, and the senator’s wife, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano.

Duterte stayed for half an hour after the mass wedding then rode to Tagum City with Cayetano for a campaign rally there.

Falling ill

Duterte dropped out of sight on Thursday, two days after the start of the campaign, after coming down with, according to his camp, migraine.

He canceled a speech to a medical convention in Quezon City and scrapped other activities, setting off speculations about his health.

Duterte faced reporters before flying back to Davao on Friday and told them that he was confined overnight at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in Greenhills, San Juan City.

He said he was found to have acute bronchitis, which triggered headache, nausea and vomiting.

The mayor said he was prescribed antibiotics and advised to rest.

He denied he had cancer or had suffered a stroke, but admitted he had a slipped disc from a motorcycle accident 10 years ago; Barrett’s esophagus, which involves tissue lining in his esophagus; and Buerger’s disease, constriction of blood vessels caused by accumulation of nicotine.

He said his ailments were not deadly and assured his supporters that he was well and was in the campaign for the long haul.

Duterte, however, refused to disclose his medical records, saying that would be crazy.

But he said he would if Mar Roxas, the LP standard-bearer, would show he was circumcised.

Roxas, tied for second place in the polls with Duterte and Vice President Jejomar Binay, the opposition presidential candidate, refused to be baited into a tussle with the combative Davao mayor.

“I have no time for nonsensical things like that,” Roxas told a reporter in Ligao City, Albay province, on Saturday.

READ: Roxas on Duterte dare: I have no time for nonsense

But Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, the LP political affairs chief, said the people had the right to know the state of health of candidates running for President.

“How can the electorate vote for you if you are hiding something from them?” Erice said.

Erice said he wanted Duterte to answer two questions: Are you physically fit and will you disclose your health records?

Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo, spokesperson for the LP, said Duterte’s refusal to disclose his medical records would set a bad precedent for the other candidates.

“If they’re not willing to fully disclose something that the public can already observe, like fainting spells and slurred speech, what more for the things that cannot be seen like ill-gotten wealth and secret bank [accounts]?” Quimbo said.

Running the Philippines is a full-time job with no vacation leaves and only the fit can handle it for six years, he said.

Malacañang urged Duterte to disclose the true state of his health, saying the people reasonably expected it from all candidates.

“It is in the public interest that all candidates disclose the state of their health, as it may be part of the consideration of the electorate in choosing a President,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

Lacierda said the 1987 Constitution carried a provision for disclosure of the state of the President’s health, which was inspired by former President Ferdinand Marcos’ concealment of his affliction with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Marcos secretly underwent dialysis and eventually had a kidney transplant. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

Disclosure from all

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., LP vice chair, said he would request all presidential and vice presidential candidates to fully disclose their health condition “in fairness to the people.”

Roxas proposed health disclosure as the campaign started last week, drawing a response of readiness from the 73-year-old Binay and the 48-year-old front-runner, Sen. Grace Poe.

On Friday, Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesperson for political affairs, gave assurance that the Vice President was “in good health.” Those who doubt it should come with Binay’s campaign to see, Quicho said.

No guarantee

For Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, however, there is no need for the candidates to disclose their health records, as no presidential aspirant can guarantee they will survive six years in Malacañang.

“Even if you have [no illness, can you guarantee that you can] live for six years? That’s why you have a Vice President and we have a rule of succession,” Enrile said in a radio interview.

Enrile noted that President Ramon Magsaysay, who was elected in 1953, did not suffer from any ailment, but died in a plane crash in 1957. With reports from Gil Cabacungan, DJ Yap, Leila B. Salaverria and Kristine Felisse Mangunay/TVJ


PHILSTAR

Miriam hits rivals for premature campaigning By Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 10, 2016 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago receiving a traditional hat from runningmate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the Imelda Cultural Center in Batac, Ilocos Norte. JOVEN CAGANDE

BATAC CITY, Ilocos Norte, Philippines – Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago launched her campaign here yesterday, hitting her rivals and questioning their integrity for embarking on premature campaigning.

She said other presidential bets had started their campaign much earlier, circumventing election laws.

“Hindi pa nga sila presidente (they are not yet president) nag-violate na ng batas (the laws),” she stressed.

Santiago was with her runningmate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whom she wishes to be the next president of the country in case they both win and “something happens” to her.

“The country needs a young idealistic leader who will take over the reins of government should I be elected and something happens to me,” she told supporters at the plaza of Batac City, hometown of Marcos’ father and namesake former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Santiago added that should she win in the elections, she would put in prison all those who have pocketed their pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund of lawmakers.

She added she will bring them to brand new jails with different amenities.

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“May first class, business class, ordinary. Mamili sila pero kulong silang lahat (they could choose but they will all be in jail),” she said to the delight of the audience.

Santiago, who hails from Iloilo, said she launched her campaign in Ilocos Norte because Ilocanos are special to her.

“I came here because I’ve always admired the Ilocanos and to signify my wholehearted support for Bongbong Marcos as the next vice president,” Santiago said.

Marcos vowed to end the political division that has pervaded for decades if he is elected.

He called on his supporters to help him in his campaign for national unity to move the country forward.

“That’s why I started the campaign here because our fellow Ilokanos have shown how to unite. The solid north… unity is not only for the solid north but also for the whole country,” Marcos said.

He said the country has not moved forward because the current leaders have fostered the politics of division.

The kick-off ceremony also marked the first time Marcos and Santiago were seen together in public since they first announced their tandem for the elections last year.

It was also the first time Santiago was seen in public in a long time. She claimed she had been cured of stage four lung cancer.

The two candidates arrived together on board a private jet at the Laoag City International Airport at around 9 a.m.

Marcos, together with his sister Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee, held a motorcade all the way to the Laoag City provincial capitol as thousands of residents lined the streets from the airport to the provincial capitol and later to Batac City. Santiago did not join the motorcade.

They then proceeded to the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Batac to hear mass.

Marcos’ mother Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda and his wife, lawyer Liza Marcos, later joined them.

Santiago joined them in the kick-off rally beside the Our Lady of Immaculate Church where they formalized their tandem for the May 9 elections.

Bongbong tied to ill-gotten wealth cases The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has tied Marcos Jr. to various cases involving alleged ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the Marcos family during the dictatorship of his father.

In a statement released Monday night, the PCGG refuted the lawmaker’s claim that he is no longer involved in the cases filed by the government against him and his family. – With Janvic Mateo, Ariel Paolo Tejada

WATCH MIRIAM SANTIAGO

 

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RELATED FROM MALAYA

MARCOS TO AQUINO ON BBL: ‘IT’S THE PROCESS, MR. PRESIDENT’ February 12, 2016


AQUINO BLAMES 2 SENATORS FOR DEATH OF BBL -REPORT BELOW...

VICE presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. yesterday said President Aquino, who was once a senator and a member of the House of Representatives, may need enlightenment on the process of lawmaking so he would understand why the bill seeking to create a Bangsamoro autonomous region was not passed.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government which scrutinized the Malacañang-drafted Bangsamoro Basic Law, was reacting to reports that Aquino blamed two senators for supposedly conspiring to block the passage of the BBL.

The President did not name names but it was apparent he was referring to Marcos and Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile.

Marcos said the BBL is a bill of “local application,” and as such should originate from the House.

He said like the process for passage of the yearly national budget, the Senate could not vote on the bill if the House of Representatives has not yet finished with its version and transmitted it to the Senate.

“Maybe this should be explained to the President: That the BBL is a bill of local application, which means it is a local law. The rules state that with laws of local application, the Senate must wait for the House before it can vote on the measure),” he said in an interview with the “Ikaw na Ba? Program of radio dzBB.

Marcos’ committee last year came out with a substitute version of the measure, called the Basic Law for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, because of unconstitutional provisions in the Palace version. The House also came out with is own version of the measure.

The BLBAR was in the period of interpellation with Enrile propounding questions to Marcos when Congress adjourned last February 5. Congressmen also failed to approve their version.

PHILSTAR

Noy: 2 senators conspired to block BBL By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 11, 2016 - 12:00am 1 71 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines – Two senators conspired to block the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and put the fragile peace in Mindanao in greater peril, President Aquino said in a speech during the Liberal Party’s kickoff rally in Iloilo City Tuesday night.

The President did not name the senators, but he was apparently referring to Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The President also made a pitch for senatorial candidates running under the administration coalition as he warned of important measures not taking off if the right lawmakers don’t get elected.

“Our bosses, that’s the importance of the legislature. So the senators that we should choose must be right and worthy,” Aquino said.

“For example, the talks on peace in Mindanao. One hundred million of our fellowmen are affected because of the failure to pass the BBL. The painful thing about this is that it seems only two senators conspired (to make this happen),” he said.

“The committee report took too long to be released. And even on the last day of session, the conspirator was not yet finished in interpellation,” the President said. “What I told those criticizing the BBL was this: what is your proposal or alternative to the BBL? Nothing was presented to us. Now, where are we? So we are in the same situation.”

Enrile made a long interpellation of the BBL when it was last discussed on the floor before Congress went on recess early this month. Marcos chairs the Senate committee on local government. It was his committee which drafted a substitute bill but Senate President Franklin Drilon said Marcos was unable to focus on his legislative work as he was busy campaigning for vice president.

Drilon, who is seeking re-election under the LP, earlier said the reality was that Enrile “had a thick file of questions” to ask Marcos but then the election campaign had caught up with the latter.

“Senator Marcos became busy and could not attend all the sessions and Senator Enrile – because he was not there during the committee hearings – had so many questions,” the Senate president said.

“And then the political environment, given that we are nearing elections, did not add to an environment conducive for the passage of the law,” he maintained.

“But the fact that the Bangsamoro Basic Law was not passed does not mean the end for the peace process. I would urge whoever is elected president – and I think it makes a lot of sense for him or her – to pursue this peace process and bring it to conclusion,” he said.

In Roxas City, the only Muslim senatorial candidate of the Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid said a BBL “that is in line with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro” would be her first bill if she wins in the elections.

Former interior assistant secretary for Muslim affairs Nariman Ambolodto said she would push for a BBL that is based on the peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. – With Alexis Romero, Jess Diaz


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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