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

COJUANGCO-FOUNDED 'NPC' PARTY GOES FOR GRACE-CHIZ TANDEM
[Former Pangasinan congressman Mark Cojuangco, son of NPC founder and chairman-emeritus Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., is rooting for Binay. He is running for governor of his province. Enverga said the NPC founder was not part of the decision-making process to support Poe and Escudero. Poe and Escudero are running as independents. Escudero was a member of NPC until 2009 when he quit. He later gave up his quest for the presidency.]


MARCH 1 -NPC president and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao explained the NPC is supporting the Poe-Escudero ticket because “their platform is anchored on inclusivity and the candidates’ clear intention to build on gains farther than simply accept the status quo or signal a return to old practices, or hastily and radically subject the nation to a new and unpredictable cycle devoid of continuity." Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero Staff/Released
As expected, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) has decided to support Sen. Grace Poe for president and her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero. NPC president and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao made the announcement yesterday in a press conference. He was accompanied by Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza and Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga, the party’s secretary general and spokesman, respectively.
“We wish to announce that we formally adopt Senators Poe and Escudero as our candidates for president and vice president,” Aggabao said. He said the NPC, the second biggest political group after the ruling Liberal Party (LP), made the decision “after many months of meetings and consultations among its members.” He explained the NPC is supporting the Poe-Escudero ticket because “their platform is anchored on inclusivity and the candidates’ clear intention to build on gains farther than simply accept the status quo or signal a return to old practices, or hastily and radically subject the nation to a new and unpredictable cycle devoid of continuity. “The party feels that in these past decades of division and partisanship, these candidates represent the best hope for a unified push for sustainable development,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Poe, Escudero to rivals: ‘Be man enough’ to accept, respect NPC decision...

ALSO: Binay, Mar camps: NPC not united behind Poe-Chiz


MARCH 1 -The camps of two other presidential candidates – Vice President Jejomar Binay and Manuel Roxas II – belittled the supposed endorsement announced yesterday by NPC president Giorgiddi Aggabao. Philstar.com / AJ Bolando, file 
It was only a small group in the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and not the entire party that endorsed the tandem of presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe and her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero. The camps of two other presidential candidates – Vice President Jejomar Binay and Manuel Roxas II – made the assertion as they belittled the supposed endorsement announced yesterday by NPC president Giorgiddi Aggabao. He told reporters the endorsement was based on a balloting through which 90 percent of NPC members voted to support Poe and Escudero. United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesman Mon Ilagan said Binay was unfazed by the development. “Vice President Binay made a lot of friends when he was mayor of Makati, so we can’t say that the entire NPC is solid even if it endorses Sen. Grace Poe,” Ilagan said in Filipino. Binay is running under the opposition UNA. Ilagan cited former Pangasinan congressman Mark Cojuangco, son of NPC founding chairman Danding Cojuangco, who had endorsed the candidacy of Binay. But when asked if Cojuangco is prepared to go against the NPC endorsement of Poe, UNA campaign spokesman Rico Quicho said it would be up to the Pangasinan politician to take a stand. READ MORE...RELATED, NPC support for Poe-Escudero not party stand, Roxas refutes....

ALSO: Binay, Roxas exchange tirades over 4Ps


MARCH 3 -Vice President Jejomar topped the latest Social Weather Stations presidential survey with 29 percent while administration bet Mar Roxas ranked fourth with 18 percent. AP/Aaron Favila, Bullit Marquez
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirants Vice President Jejomar Binay and Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II on Wednesday exchanged tirades over the administration's conditional cash transfer program. In a campaign rally in Aurora province, Binay assured that he will continue the initiative, called the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), if he wins president.
"'Yung 4Ps ay ititigil daw ni Jojo Binay kapag (naging pangulo). Kasinungalingan po 'yan, 'wag po kayong maniwala d'yan. Ang totoo ay palalawakin ko pa ho ang 4Ps," Binay said. On the other hand, Roxas questioned Binay's plan on the program. "Sinasabi mo ngayon susuportahan mo ang 4Ps. Ang anak mo, ang mga kaalyado mo ang nag-criticize at humaharang dito sa 4Ps na ito. Ano ba talaga?" Roxas said in an ambush interview aired on television during his campaign in Bohol. The administration bet was referring to the vice president's daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay. Roxas claimed that the senator was against the 4Ps. The younger Binay, however, denied the claims of Roxas and stressed that she did not oppose the program. "Walang katotohanan na I opposed it. In fact, I conducted a hearing kasi si Sen. Ralph Recto meron siyang proposed bill making 4Ps as a part of the budget already," Sen. Binay said in a separate interview. Binay and Roxas earlier traded blows during one of the rounds of the presidential debate in Cagayan de Oro. Roxas highlighted his anti-corruption efforts in fighting illegal drugs during his term as Interior Secretary. Binay hit back at Roxas and said that his enforcement was weak. RELATED: Roxas hits Binay over electoral fraud claims Roxas, not Binay is leading spender for poll ads, says VP’s camp THE FULL REPORT. RELATED, Binay’s proposed tax cut to benefit state workers...

ALSO: Duterte supporters turn sacks into campaign posters


MARCH 2 -In a previous interview with dzRJ, media partner of The STAR, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte asked women and the youth to sew campaign T-shirts and posters for him, saying he does not have the machinery to run a nationwide campaign and does not intend to accept money from unscrupulous donors. AP/Bullit Marquez, file 
With meager funds to support a nationwide campaign, supporters of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte are maximizing the use of empty sacks as campaign materials in his run for the presidency.
Sahreen Alvarez, Duterte’s provincial coordinator for Hugpong Federal Movement of the Philippines in Tawi-Tawi, yesterday said she has cut 220 empty sacks into two, to be used as Duterte campaign posters in Davao. Alvarez said the situation is quite difficult, but they are willing to do it for “the president of the masses.” In Tacloban, Duterte’s youth volunteer Jaywils Adlawan said the mayor and his running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, will visit the city on March 14. “We, the youth, are making a video presentation for the program and we will be using flour bags as campaign materials,” Adlawan said. Duterte and Cayetano are scheduled to talk to residents of typhoon-ravaged areas. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte camp hits LP over alleged use of gov’t vehicles in campaign...

ALSO: Miriam vows boom in infrastructure if elected


MARCH 2 -Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the consistent leader in campus surveys since the filing of certificates of candidacy, said that her administration would set aside five percent of the budget for public infrastructure. Philstar.com/Jonathan Asuncion, file
Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago vowed yesterday to invest in public infrastructure, where previous administrations performed poorly, to help facilitate rapid economic growth if she wins the May elections. Santiago, in a statement, said that the projects she wanted launched through public-private partnership include an international airport, a new railway system from Manila to Sorsogon, a modern integrated urban transit system in Metro Manila with lines reaching Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna; and one mixed-use government center with adjacent residential, commercial and entertainment facilities in Metro Manila and in each of the 17 regions. Santiago said that she would also start a major infrastructure project in every region and province. “The poor state of public infrastructure that this administration inherited from its predecessor was pushed back further during the last five years. When I assume office, I will hit the ground running,” the senator said. Santiago, the consistent leader in campus surveys since the filing of certificates of candidacy, said that her administration would set aside five percent of the budget for public infrastructure. “To make the facilities affordable to citizens, the government will not require a premium from winning contractors. In fact, in some cases, because of the benefits government subsidy may be allowed,” said Santiago. READ MORE...RELATED,
Bongbong hit by Ateneo group over refusal to admit martial law atrocities...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

NPC goes for Grace-Chiz


NPC president and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao explained the NPC is supporting the Poe-Escudero ticket because “their platform is anchored on inclusivity and the candidates’ clear intention to build on gains farther than simply accept the status quo or signal a return to old practices, or hastily and radically subject the nation to a new and unpredictable cycle devoid of continuity." Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero Staff/Released

MANILA, march 7, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Jess Diaz March 1, 2016 - As expected, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) has decided to support Sen. Grace Poe for president and her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero.

NPC president and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao made the announcement yesterday in a press conference. He was accompanied by Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza and Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga, the party’s secretary general and spokesman, respectively.

“We wish to announce that we formally adopt Senators Poe and Escudero as our candidates for president and vice president,” Aggabao said.

He said the NPC, the second biggest political group after the ruling Liberal Party (LP), made the decision “after many months of meetings and consultations among its members.”

He explained the NPC is supporting the Poe-Escudero ticket because “their platform is anchored on inclusivity and the candidates’ clear intention to build on gains farther than simply accept the status quo or signal a return to old practices, or hastily and radically subject the nation to a new and unpredictable cycle devoid of continuity.

“The party feels that in these past decades of division and partisanship, these candidates represent the best hope for a unified push for sustainable development,” he added.

READ MORE...

Poe, who was campaigning in Tuguegarao yesterday, said that she did not expect the announcement but was grateful for NPC’s decision to endorse her and Escudero.

“This will help us a lot because the NPC has a strong presence in various parts of the country,” she said.

NPC officers and members had met with Poe and Escudero two or three times, and with LP standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte at least once each.

Aggabao said 90 percent of NPC members support the decision to adopt Poe and Escudero. Party officers would talk to the remaining 10 percent to go along with their party’s decision.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III and Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian said that the NPC’s decision to support Poe and Escudero would further boost their chances of winning.

Gatchalian also expressed confidence that Poe and Escudero would also be supported by incumbent NPC governors and mayors by delivering command votes in their respective areas.


BINAY, MARK COJUANGCO

Former Pangasinan congressman Mark Cojuangco, son of NPC founder and chairman-emeritus Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., is rooting for Binay. He is running for governor of his province.

Enverga said the NPC founder was not part of the decision-making process to support Poe and Escudero.

Poe and Escudero are running as independents. Escudero was a member of NPC until 2009 when he quit. He later gave up his quest for the presidency.

Aggabao, Mendoza and Enverga held the press conference wearing their NPC uniform, signifying the importance of the announcement they were about to make.

Aggabao said most party members were for announcing their support for Poe ahead of the Supreme Court (SC) decision on the two disqualification cases against her.

The Commission on Elections earlier disqualified Poe after finding her to be not a natural-born Filipino and short of the 10-year residency requirement.

“Based on what we have read and what we’ve heard, we are confident that Senator Grace would hurdle these cases,” Aggabao said. In case the SC rules in her favor, “her ratings will go through the roof and the race will be finished.”

“But let me make it very clear that when we made this endorsement, we did not have in mind preempting the decision of the SC in one way or another. When we made this endorsement, we believe this is the best time, this is the most appropriate time,” he added.

There are rumors that the high court would let Poe pursue her candidacy by a vote of 9-6 or 8-6.

There are also speculations that the tribunal would make a “win-win” decision, under which she would be declared as a natural-born citizen but would be disqualified for being short of the required 10-year residency.

Under this decision, she would be qualified to pursue her presidential dream in 2022.

The SC will reportedly tackle the issues of natural-born citizenship and residency separately and would have separate votes on them. – With Christina Mendez, Marvin Sy, Paolo Romero

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Poe, Escudero to rivals: ‘Be man enough’ to accept, respect NPC decisionSHARES: 802 VIEW COMMENTS By: Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 04:28 PM March 1st, 2016


Presidential aspirant and Senator Grace Poe and Senator Francis Escudero. Photo courtesy of Senator Grace Poe’s Office

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga—Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero defended on Tuesday the Nationalist People’s Coalition’s (NPC) endorsement of their candidacies in the upcoming elections in May, saying their rivals should be man enough to accept the party’s decision.

The NPC’s endorsement of the presidential and vice presidential bids of Poe and Escudero has been questioned by the camps of the lady senator’s rivals such as the Liberal Party (LP) of former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Roxas himself believes that the NPC endorsement was not the collective decision of the party.

“First of all, ang nagtatapon lang ng duda ay yung mga nasa kabila. Yung amin namang endorsement ay tinatangap namin mula sa NPC at marami naman sa kanila ang matagal ng sumuporta sa amin kaya lang ngayon ay opisyal na,” Poe said at a press conferenceheld at Fortune Restaurant here.

(First of all, those who cast doubts are from other camps. The received the endorsement from NPC and many of its members have been supporting us since then, it has only been official recently.)

“Mismo liderato ng NPC ay nagpahayag, yun naman ang aming basehan…Ito ang naging decision ng partido kaya ako’y nagpapasalamat sa kanila,” she added.

(The NPC leadership has announced (the endorsement), that’s our basis… This has been the party decision and I am thankful for them.)

However, Escudero minced no words in attacking both Roxas and Binay for meddling in the affairs of the NPC.

“Huli kong tiningnan, LP si Mar at UNA si VP Binay. Wala yata silang karapatang magsalita para sa NPC,” said Escudero, who was a party member until 2009.

(The last time I checked, Mar is from LP and Binay is from UNA. I don’t think they have the right to speak on behalf of NPC.)

“Pangalawa, huli ko ring tiningan, lahat sila humarap sa NPC para hilingin ang endorsement ng NPC. Kung hindi namin nakuha yun, mananahimik kami at gagalangin namin ang decision ng NPC. Porket hindi nila nakuha ang dami naman masyadong sinasabi.”

(Second, the last time I also checked, all of them met with NPC to ask for the party’s endorsement. If we didn’t get (the endorsement), we would be silent about it and we would respect NPC’s decision. They didn’t get (the endorsement), that’s why they are saying these things.)

Poe, Roxas, Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, another presidential aspirant, met separately with the NPC to get its support.

Escudero wondered why the two camps were complaining over the NPC decision when they both have their own political groups and machinery compared to him and Poe.

“Sana tulad ng gagawin namin kung hindi kami ang napili ng NPC, ganun din sana ang gawin nila—magpakalalaki sila kaugnay sa bagay na ito . Tanggapin at galanging kung ano pagpasya pabor man yun o kontra man yun,” he said.

(I hope they will also do what we would have done if we were not chosen by NPC—they should be man enough on this matter. (They should) accept and respect whether the decision is in favor of or against them.)

As a former NPC member, Escudero said he never once tried to speak on behalf of the party.

“Sana tanggapin nila ang ilang bagay na hindi naman lahat sa kanila, hindi naman lahat pwedeng makuha nila. May mga grupo at partidong hindi nila makukuha at hindi rason yun para siraan nila o maliitin nila dahil lamang hindi sila kakampi. Hindi lang sila ang bida sa Pilipinas…” the senator added.

(I hope they accept that not all things are for them, they can’t possible have everything. There are groups and parties they won’t get but that is not a reason to criticize and underestimate them just because they are not their allies. They are not the only protagonists in the Philippines.) RAM


PHILSTAR

Binay, Mar camps: NPC not united behind Poe-Chiz By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


The camps of two other presidential candidates – Vice President Jejomar Binay and Manuel Roxas II – belittled the supposed endorsement announced yesterday by NPC president Giorgiddi Aggabao. Philstar.com / AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, Philippines - It was only a small group in the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and not the entire party that endorsed the tandem of presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe and her running mate Sen. Francis Escudero.

The camps of two other presidential candidates – Vice President Jejomar Binay and Manuel Roxas II – made the assertion as they belittled the supposed endorsement announced yesterday by NPC president Giorgiddi Aggabao.

He told reporters the endorsement was based on a balloting through which 90 percent of NPC members voted to support Poe and Escudero.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesman Mon Ilagan said Binay was unfazed by the development.


Former Cainta mayor Mon Ilagan

“Vice President Binay made a lot of friends when he was mayor of Makati, so we can’t say that the entire NPC is solid even if it endorses Sen. Grace Poe,” Ilagan said in Filipino. Binay is running under the opposition UNA.

Ilagan cited former Pangasinan congressman Mark Cojuangco, son of NPC founding chairman Danding Cojuangco, who had endorsed the candidacy of Binay.

But when asked if Cojuangco is prepared to go against the NPC endorsement of Poe, UNA campaign spokesman Rico Quicho said it would be up to the Pangasinan politician to take a stand.

READ MORE...

“What is more important with the campaign is... your relationship with people,” Ilagan said, noting that Binay is running a campaign at the grassroots level.

“The core support for Vice President Binay is solid,” he added.

The opposition standard bearer held a sortie in Las Piñas City yesterday.

He also greeted supporters at a mall where he stopped for lunch at a food court.

At Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the endorsement should make the campaign more focused on issues.

“The formal endorsement by a political party of a set of candidates should lead to a sharper definition of the party’s stand on vital national issues and a higher level of discourse where the primary focal points of attention are platforms of governance instead of simply personalities,” Coloma said.

“Our bosses – the Filipino people – stand to benefit from the realization of this ideal scenario,” Coloma said.

Clueless

Akbayan party-list Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, spokesman for the Liberal Party-led Daang Matuwid coalition, said many NPC members were unaware of the party’s endorsement of Poe and Escudero.

“I’ve talked to some of Mar’s supporters from NPC, and they say they had absolutely no knowledge of this ‘endorsement,’” Gutierrez said, adding that Aggabao and his group have been claiming since last year that the party was endorsing Poe.

“Apparently, there’s some confusion within their ranks… we will wait for further developments,” he said.

Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr., also an NPC member, echoed the same view.

“I respect the sentiments of some of our fellow NPC congressmen to express their preference for Sen. Grace Poe but for the record, I have not been consulted by the party on any official endorsement on any candidate,” Acharon said in a statement yesterday.

“As far as I am concerned, I have already committed my support to Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo and I will continue to do so in my personal capacity.”

Gutierrez recalled that in 2010 some NPC members supported the presidential bid of Sen. Manny Villar, only for the party to formally endorse then Sen. Benigno Aquino III.


Akbayan party-list Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez

He also said Poe should make a clear stand on the proposal to bury the ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“The president embodies the conscience and morality of the whole nation. We ask Sen. Poe, is it just to bury an oppressive dictator along with those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of all Filipinos?” Gutierrez said in a statement.

“We want to hear your (Poe) answer – is Marcos a hero to you?” he added.

Gutierrez said the issue about the late dictator’s burial is not about legality but morality.

“If a real hero like (former interior secretary) Jesse Robredo was not buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because of his family’s wishes, how can the senator stomach the thought of Marcos being buried there?” he said.

Earlier, Poe said the decision should be in line with the intentions of Republic Act No. 10368, which recognizes and provides reparations to victims of human rights abuses during martial law.

Her spokesman Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said it was unfair for Gutierrez to question NPC’s endorsement of the senator since he is not even a member of the party.

“The statement of the NPC says it all. The party indicated that dialogues will be conducted with the remaining holdouts within the party,” Gatchalian said.

“What’s clear is a vast majority of the party expressed their support for Sen. Grace and Sen. Chiz. We are confident that the party will be able to reel in the remaining 10 percent after their dialogues are done,” he added.

An NPC member, Camarines Sur Rep. Felix William Fuentebella, meanwhile, made clear he was supporting Binay and not Poe. – With Alexis Romero, Aurea Calica, Paolo Romero

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

NPC support for Poe-Escudero not party stand, Roxas refutes SHARES: 1572 VIEW COMMENTS By: Julliane Love De Jesus @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 01:27 PM March 1st, 2016 mar roxas


Former Secretary Mar Roxas at the first presidential debate in Capitol University, in Cagayan de Oro City. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC)’s support for presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe and running mate Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero is not the collective stand of the party, former Interior Secretary and Liberal Party presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas II maintained after speaking with the NPC leadership.

“That’s not the party stand of NPC. That’s what the leadership of NPC said to me,” Roxas told reporters in an ambush interview after his campaign sortie with the LP slate in Parañaque City.

Without naming a particular official, Roxas said he had recently spoken with the NPC leadership and they reiterated that they have not chosen a presidential candidate to support yet.

“Kausap ko ang liderato ng NPC, at nananatiling wala silang pili sa pagkapangulo. Ito (Poe-Escudero support) ay pili lang ng iilang miyembro ng NPC,” he said.

(I have talked to the leadership of the NPC and they still have not chosen a presidential bet. This [expression of support for Poe-Escudero reflects the backing of] only select members of the NPC.)

READ: LP ‘unfazed’ by NPC support for Poe, Escudero

Roxas said more than 20 members, mostly House representatives and governors, of the second largest political party in the country pledged support for him and vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo.

But Roxas said the reported divide in the party was not for him to explain.

“Hindi para sa akin ang magsalita para sa NPC. Siguro may mga leader diyan or mga kinatawan ng NPC ang pinakamabuting magsabi tungkol sa kanila,” he said.

(It is not up to me to speak for the NPC. There might be leaders there or representatives of the NPC who could better speak of it.)

On Monday, South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. quickly reacted on the NPC’s declaration adopting Poe and Escudero as announced by its president Giorgidi Aggabao.

Acharon said not all members of the party were consulted about the decision.

He reiterated that he will remain loyal to Roxas and Robredo. CDG

READ: Poe, Escudero finally get NPC’s endorsement


PHILSTAR

Binay, Roxas exchange tirades over 4Ps By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated March 3, 2016 - 10:40am 3 121 googleplus0 0


Vice President Jejomar topped the latest Social Weather Stations presidential survey with 29 percent while administration bet Mar Roxas ranked fourth with 18 percent. AP/Aaron Favila, Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirants Vice President Jejomar Binay and Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II on Wednesday exchanged tirades over the administration's conditional cash transfer program.

In a campaign rally in Aurora province, Binay assured that he will continue the initiative, called the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), if he wins president.

"'Yung 4Ps ay ititigil daw ni Jojo Binay kapag (naging pangulo). Kasinungalingan po 'yan, 'wag po kayong maniwala d'yan. Ang totoo ay palalawakin ko pa ho ang 4Ps," Binay said.

On the other hand, Roxas questioned Binay's plan on the program.

"Sinasabi mo ngayon susuportahan mo ang 4Ps. Ang anak mo, ang mga kaalyado mo ang nag-criticize at humaharang dito sa 4Ps na ito. Ano ba talaga?" Roxas said in an ambush interview aired on television during his campaign in Bohol.

The administration bet was referring to the vice president's daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay. Roxas claimed that the senator was against the 4Ps.

The younger Binay, however, denied the claims of Roxas and stressed that she did not oppose the program.

"Walang katotohanan na I opposed it. In fact, I conducted a hearing kasi si Sen. Ralph Recto meron siyang proposed bill making 4Ps as a part of the budget already," Sen. Binay said in a separate interview.

Binay and Roxas earlier traded blows during one of the rounds of the presidential debate in Cagayan de Oro.

Roxas highlighted his anti-corruption efforts in fighting illegal drugs during his term as Interior Secretary. Binay hit back at Roxas and said that his enforcement was weak.

RELATED: Roxas hits Binay over electoral fraud claims

Roxas, not Binay is leading spender for poll ads, says VP’s camp

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Binay’s proposed tax cut to benefit state workers By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Vice President Jejomar Binay, standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance, has vowed to exempt workers earning P30,000 and below from paying income taxes if he is elected. OVP

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay’s proposed income tax exemption for workers earning P30,000 monthly and below will benefit the government’s uniformed personnel and teachers, one of his spokesmen said yesterday.

Joey Salgado, communications head of Binay’s presidential campaign, said the Vice President’s planned income tax cut would provide police officers and soldiers with more than P3,500 in additional pay.

Salgado said a policeman with the rank of Senior Police Officer 1 earning P24,976 would be able to bring home P30,918. A soldier (Master Sergeant) will receive P26,968 instead of the present take home pay of P22,211.

Binay, standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance, has vowed to exempt workers earning P30,000 and below from paying income taxes if he is elected.

Aside from uniformed personnel and public school teachers, nurses and clerks working in government institutions also stand to receive their entire salaries once the Binay administration has scrapped income tax for below-middle and middle class workers, Salgado said.

“This move is line with the Vice President’s dream of pursuing the gradual reduction of personal and corporate income taxes. This is part of his plan to improve the lives of the marginalized and bring the country to a level that is in keeping with the pace of our ASEAN peers,” he said.

READ MORE...

The Aquino administration has rejected proposals to lower the income tax for minimum wage earners, saying this would result in massive losses for the government.

Binay, however, argued that what was more damaging to the country was the government’s blatant disregard for the losses incurred by failures in collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

The Vice President said the government is losing P230 billion every year because of the smuggling of agricultural products, P30 billion from oil smuggling and P12 billion from tobacco smuggling.

To compensate for potential revenue losses resulting from the scrapping of income taxes, Binay is looking at selling government assets and the privatization of a number of government-owned and controlled corporations; approval of revenue-generating measures, including Fiscal Incentives Rationalization; fuel marking to fight oil smuggling and improvement in tax administration and collection efficiency.

Binay said the government could generate more than the projected P30-billion loss from reducing income taxes once smuggling is abated.


PHILSTAR

Duterte supporters turn sacks into campaign posters By Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


In a previous interview with dzRJ, media partner of The STAR, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte asked women and the youth to sew campaign T-shirts and posters for him, saying he does not have the machinery to run a nationwide campaign and does not intend to accept money from unscrupulous donors. AP/Bullit Marquez, file

MANILA, Philippines - With meager funds to support a nationwide campaign, supporters of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte are maximizing the use of empty sacks as campaign materials in his run for the presidency.

Sahreen Alvarez, Duterte’s provincial coordinator for Hugpong Federal Movement of the Philippines in Tawi-Tawi, yesterday said she has cut 220 empty sacks into two, to be used as Duterte campaign posters in Davao.

Alvarez said the situation is quite difficult, but they are willing to do it for “the president of the masses.”

In Tacloban, Duterte’s youth volunteer Jaywils Adlawan said the mayor and his running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, will visit the city on March 14.

“We, the youth, are making a video presentation for the program and we will be using flour bags as campaign materials,” Adlawan said.

Duterte and Cayetano are scheduled to talk to residents of typhoon-ravaged areas.

READ MORE...

In a previous interview with dzRJ, media partner of The STAR, Duterte asked women and the youth to sew campaign T-shirts and posters for him, saying he does not have the machinery to run a nationwide campaign and does not intend to accept money from unscrupulous donors.

Women’s group backs Duterte

Meanwhile, Duterte got the support of a women’s group in Mindanao despite criticisms thrown at him for being a self-confessed womanizer.

Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, who attended the Women for Action forum on Sunday in Cotabato, said the public should not focus on Duterte’s words and actions “but on what he has done, what he is doing and what he can still do” that will benefit the people.

Women from Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro and Caraga region attended the forum.

Ilagan, however, said women should first discuss issues concerning them, then challenge the candidates to act on these.

“Women are half of the population and could effectively swing the votes,” she said.

Bing Veloso, of the Coalition of CDO-Misamis Oriental Diehard Supporters of Rody Duterte, said the Cotabato forum aimed to discuss Duterte’s projects for women.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte camp hits LP over alleged use of gov’t vehicles in campaign By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated March 2, 2016 - 6:37pm 1 167 googleplus0 0


Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s standard bearer and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s camp reacted to the alleged use of government vehicles by the Liberal Party and called it a desperate move. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando,file

MANILA, Philippines – Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) standard bearer and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s camp on Tuesday reacted to the Liberal Party (LP) supporters’ use of red-plated vehicles and called it a desperate move.

PDP-Laban spokesperson, lawyer Paola Alvarez said the administration is obviously at the height of desperation as its candidates continue to lag behind in the survey.

"This is proof of what desperation is. This administration is willing to do everything to the extent of devouring our national resources just so it can push its cards on the table," Alvarez said in a statement.

Duterte's camp alleged that the use of government vehicles by the supporters of LP’s Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and his vice presidential running mate Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo in its operations exposes the true nature of the administration and the kind of governance behind the slogan “Daang Matuwid.”

"Daang Matuwid is but a platform of deceit that has been conditioning the minds of Filipinos that this administration has been clean and efficient, when in reality it is corrupt and worse than the past administrations it claims to admonish," Alvarez said.

"It is not only a sham, at most it is shameless and loathsome,” she added.

Duterte’s camp said that its statement is in response to a photo that circulated online last week showing a mini dumptruck loaded with LP’s campaign posters in Zamboanga Sibugay. The camp said there was also a photo showing a black Toyota Hilux with plate number SDK 417, also loaded with a campaign material bearing the word Roxas under the administration slogan Daang Matuwid.

Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Laviña, who earlier criticized Roxas for the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB), added that the government resources are being used by the LP candidates. He reminded that Roxas has been bringing government programs like BUB and 4Ps in his sorties.

"Government resources are now officially the campaign kitty of the bets of the administration," Laviña said.

RELATED: Government resources can’t be used for LP bets’ campaign – Palace

| Governor probe government vehicle with LP campaign items


PHILSTAR

Miriam vows boom in infrastructure if elected By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 2, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the consistent leader in campus surveys since the filing of certificates of candidacy, said that her administration would set aside five percent of the budget for public infrastructure. Philstar.com/Jonathan Asuncion, file

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago vowed yesterday to invest in public infrastructure, where previous administrations performed poorly, to help facilitate rapid economic growth if she wins the May elections.

Santiago, in a statement, said that the projects she wanted launched through public-private partnership include an international airport, a new railway system from Manila to Sorsogon, a modern integrated urban transit system in Metro Manila with lines reaching Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna; and one mixed-use government center with adjacent residential, commercial and entertainment facilities in Metro Manila and in each of the 17 regions.

Santiago said that she would also start a major infrastructure project in every region and province.

“The poor state of public infrastructure that this administration inherited from its predecessor was pushed back further during the last five years. When I assume office, I will hit the ground running,” the senator said.

Santiago, the consistent leader in campus surveys since the filing of certificates of candidacy, said that her administration would set aside five percent of the budget for public infrastructure.

“To make the facilities affordable to citizens, the government will not require a premium from winning contractors. In fact, in some cases, because of the benefits government subsidy may be allowed,” said Santiago.

READ MORE...

She plans to spend an estimated P819 billion on infrastructure projects in 2017, with the amount rising to P1.3 trillion in 2022, adding that some of the amount would have to be sourced through loans, for as long as the returns are greater than the cost.

Santiago repeated her criticism of bold promises made by her opponents without matching plans on where funds will be sourced.

“We cannot build modern infrastructure on the basis of promises alone. It will have to be financed through better tax administration, tax policy reform and government borrowings,” the senator said.

Death penalty Santiago’s vice presidential runningmate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed his support yesterday for the re-imposition of the death penalty only for convicted drug lords.

Marcos said while he is against capital punishment, he will agree to an exemption to re-impose the death penalty on drug lords because they are destroying the country’s youth and future.

He said the next administration should act more resolutely in the fight against illegal drugs in the light of reports that 93 percent of barangays in Metro Manila have illegal drug peddlers.

Marcos said based on other countries’ experience in fighting illegal drugs, it is not the amount of money put in the campaign that would make a difference.

Ill-gotten wealth exhibit

 
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Meanwhile, the Department of History of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City yesterday opened an exhibit on the ill-gotten wealth of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies.

The exhibit, which was put up in partnership with the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, features various images and information on the known ill-gotten wealth amassed by the Marcoses.

“It’s very important for the history department to teach our students never to forget what happened in the past because the past is still present with us,” said department chairperson Maria Bernadette Abrera.

“We think that the issue of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth and the recovery process is a very material part of that process of remembering,” she added.

The exhibit was put up a week after the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution that toppled the dictatorship.

It is located at the Palma Hall lobby and will be accessible to students until Saturday.

Abrera admitted that there is a need to strengthen efforts to remind the younger generation of the horrors of the martial law regime.

“We have to continue bombarding them with information,” she said, noting that the process of seeking justice for the victims and recovering the ill-gotten wealth amassed by those in power is not yet over.

Earlier reports said the Marcoses and their cronies had amassed up to $10 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth.

Since its creation in 1986, the PCGG said it has recovered around P170 billion or around $3 billion.

Almost P94 billion were remitted to the national treasury while another P76 billion were identified as escrow funds.

Abrera said there is a long way to go in efforts to recover billions still missing.

“We need to keep it alive and going because it is the young people who are precisely going to benefit from it,” said Abrera.

“It is not just the quest of one commission, but a quest of the entire Filipino nation because we are seeking justice and we are seeking the truth,” she added.

Susan Macabuag of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation said they are pushing for a separate subject dedicated to the history of martial law. – With Perseus Echeminada, Janvic Mateo

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Bongbong hit over refusal to admit martial law atrocities By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

MANILA, Philippines - Members of the academic community have criticized vice presidential candidate and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for refusing to recognize the atrocities committed during the dictatorship of his father.

More than 400 faculty members and personnel of the Ateneo de Manila University signed a statement condemning what they described as the “ongoing willful distortion of history.”

The head of the University of the Philippines’ history department also debunked claims by Marcos supporters that the administration of the late dictator was the golden days of Philippine history.

The Ateneo academic community deplored Marcos for refusing to acknowledge the crimes of the martial law regime.

“We reject the revision of history, disturbing vision of the future and shallow call for unity being presented by Marcos Jr. and like-minded candidates in the 2016 elections,” it said in a statement.

“The Marcos regime’s economics of debt-driven growth was disastrous for the Philippines. The regime was not interested in inclusive development, long-term state-building nor genuine social transformation of the country, despite its ‘New Society’ rhetoric,” it added.

The Ateneo community demanded that the perpetrators of the crimes be brought to justice as it urged the government to pursue and reclaim all the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.

“Victims and their families should be given justice and compensation in full. Any call for unity, most especially from the heirs of the Marcos regime, will be empty and meaningless unless truth and justice are upheld,” it said.


Dr. Bernadette Abrera

UP-Diliman history department chair Maria Bernadette Abrera said the perspective that the martial law era was the golden days of Philippine history came from the ruling family during those years.

“That is only one perspective and that has to be in synchrony with whatever will be said by all the victims of martial law,” Abrera said.

The UP history department, in partnership with the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, this week opened an exhibit featuring the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies.

Abrera denied the exhibit was part of a shame campaign to undermine the vice presidential bid of the younger Marcos.

“We are not shaming anyone here. Truth will always serve the common good. We are only speaking about what is true. All the things here that the students will see are evidence based,” she said.

The professor decried the supposed attempts to rewrite history and advised Filipinos – especially the youth – to go beyond current problems and understand that these are rooted in the past.

She debunked claims that life was better during the Marcos era.

“Crony capitalism started during martial law, the behest loans. These are the things that continue to haunt us from that period of martial law. Salvaging, the disappearances, all the torture,” she said.

Abrera said the country should not let go and move on from the horrors of martial law, especially since the quest for justice is still not finished.

Of around $10 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth, the PCGG said it has only recovered around $3 billion.

“We need to keep it alive and going because it is the young people who are going to benefit from it,” Abrera said.

“It is not just the quest of one commission, but a quest of the entire Filipino nation because we are seeking justice and we are seeking the truth,” she added.

Osmeña fears Marcos return Sen. Sergio Osmeña III is worried that the gains achieved by the country since the EDSA Revolution would be reversed if Bongbong is elected to higher office.

Osmeña, who was jailed during the martial law years, said the return of a Marcos to power would send a strong message to the world that the moral standards of Filipinos are low.

“Ferdinand Marcos was the number two plunderer in the history of the world. The world will be surprised if the Philippines will elect the son and namesake of the dictator,” he said.

The senator said President Aquino could not be blamed for campaigning against Marcos as it is his moral obligation to let the world know that we have our values right.

Osmeña said he sees many of the assets recovered by PCGG from the Marcos cronies being returned to them. – With Marvin Sy


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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