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TRADITIONS AND PROTOCOL OF A PRESIDENTIAL FUNERAL: ELPIDIO QUIRINO REMAINS REINTERMENT AT LIBINGAN


FEBRAURY 29 -GOOGLE.CA IMAGE SEARCH -On February 29, 2016, the remains of former President Elpidio Quirino will be exhumed at Manila South Cemetery in Makati City for reinterment at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig to mark his 60th death anniversary. He will be the third Philippine president to be interred there, the other two being Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal. The ceremony will be arranged by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and led by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Although there are no laws mandating presidential funerals, certain protocol and traditions are maintained. A deceased Philippine president may be given a state funeral, which involves funeral expenses defrayed by the State; a Book of Condolence opened for local and foreign dignitaries in the Philippines; lying in state for public viewing; and arrival, departure, and final military honors. The Philippine government closely adheres to the protocol of the government of the United States for the conduct of a state funeral. The last Philippine president to receive a state funeral was Diosdado Macapagal in 1997. READ MORE...

ALSO: MILF using clashes to push BBL draft law; MILF leader supports Duterte


MARCH 1 -MILF bet. The leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front supported the presidential candidacy of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who was the only candidate who has visited the separatists’ Camp Darapanan headquarters in Maguindanao. Duterte met with MILF vice chairperson for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is using the fighting between government troops and Muslim extremists a vehicle to push the implementation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, a security expert said Monday. This assessment came a day after MILF vice chairman Ghadzali Jaafar said that those fighting the government in Lanao del Sur were disgruntled Muslims—not bandits or terrorists—who were angry that Congress failed to pass the BBL. “Actually, that’s an excuse to scare the government after its failure to pass the BBL,” the security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.On Sunday, Jaafar said MILF leaders could not control their members who might join the attacks against government troops. Commanders on the ground estimated that some 55 rebels have been killed in weeks-long clashes with the Army that began in Barangay Bayaboa, in Butig town, then spread to seven other villages. The fighting displaced about 200,000 people who fled to evacuation centers or the homes of relatives while the military was defusing landmines left by the rebels. READ MORE...RELATED, ‘No BBL, No Peace’: MILF, Deles say ‘disgruntled’ rebels joining clashes...

ALSO: To stamp out poverty
[The situation has changed very little under the Aquino administration. The Philippines in fact missed its Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty incidence to 17 percent by 2015 from 34 percent in 1991, as one in every four Filipinos has remained poor. Economists here and abroad have identified various ways as to how businesses can help alleviate poverty. The most common is for companies to transfer profits to charitable causes targeting the poor. Another way is for manufacturers and other firms to reduce the prices of their goods and services. Another suggestion is for companies to prioritize the welfare of their own staff members by paying them more or providing them with training or support.]


MARCH 4 -Eleven FIlipinos remained in the 2016 world billionaires list of Forbes Magazine. Forbes.com The robust economic growth during the Aquino administration has seen domestic wealth getting so large that the richest Filipinos have landed in Forbes magazine’s annual listing of the world’s billionaires. The latest tally released by the international publication the other day showed 11 Filipinos making it to the roster dominated by US-based entrepreneurs. SM founder Henry Sy, 91, is the wealthiest at No. 71 with $12.9 billion. John Gokongwei, 88, is the second wealthiest at No. 270 with $5 billion. Lucio Tan, 81, is No. 380 with $4 billion, and banker George Ty, 83, is No. 421 with $3.7 billion. The other Filipino billionaires listed are construction magnate David Consunji, businessmen Andrew Tan and Tony Tan Caktiong, ports magnate Enrique Razon Jr., Puregold’s Lucio Co, stockbroker/insurer/car dealer Robert Coyiuto, and realtor and former senator Manny Villar. READ: 11 PH tycoons on Forbes’ 2016 roster of billionaires
The extent of the wealth of the richest Filipinos is enormous. In 2015, the 50 richest Filipinos in the Forbes list had a combined wealth of $76.6 billion, or P3.62 trillion at current exchange rates. This is bigger than the entire government budget of P3 trillion for 2016. One might ask: Is there anything wrong with that? Shouldn’t it be a source of pride in the corporate world to see Filipino entrepreneurs making it big? But another perspective dictates that as an economy grows, poverty should also decline. And against the bigger backdrop of Philippine economic growth remaining noninclusive, much expectation is directed at the country’s wealthiest. READ MORE...

ALSO: Edsa museum shocks, awes millennials
[RELIVING MARTIAL LAW YEARS AN EYE-OPENER NOT JUST FOR YOUTH BUT SURVIVORS, TOO
For the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC) which put up the museum, it opted to focus more on the martial law years than the 1986 EDSA uprising.]


FEBRUARY 28 -STATUES representing those who disappeared during martial law along with photos of victims of torture or extrajudicial killings reside in the museum’s “The Hall of the Lost” (above). “I VALUE my freedom more now, knowing how hard the situation was before.” This was the realization Angel Almoguerra, 15, came to after her visit to the People Power Experiential Museum at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Friday.
Interviewed by the Inquirer after she and her classmates from the Pasay City East High School finished the 40-minute tour, Almoguerra admitted she was “a little shocked” by what she saw. The museum, through performance and visual arts, depicted the atrocities committed by the late dictator, former President Ferdinand Marcos, after he imposed martial law. Its two-day run was part of the activities commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power revolution which resulted in his ouster. Almoguerra said while her elders and teachers had told her that there were many victims of extrajudicial killings and torture during martial law, “I never knew who they were. Now I do.”  She expressed awe in particular at the museum’s “The Hall of Forgotten Martyrs,” which featured performance artists reenacting the cold-blooded killings of martial law activists and Marcos critics such as Ateneo student leader Edgar Jopson, tribal leader Macli-ing Dulag, freedom fighter Maria Lorena Barros and politician Evelio Javier. “Ninoy Aquino was the only one I knew,” she said, referring to the father of President Aquino whose assassination served as the trigger for the bloodless people’s revolution on Edsa. For Almoguerra, the museum “showed what really happened: That people disappeared or were killed because they fought against the Marcos administration, and that was what pushed the Filipinos to fight for freedom during the People Power Revolution.” READ MORE...

ALSO: SHORT SCOOP EXTRA! 11-YEAR-OLD HOLES 1ST SHOT ON TIGER WOODS-DESIGNED COURSE


MARCH 2 -Montgomery, Florida -Tiger Woods hosted a press conference on Wednesday to promote his newly-designed, Houston-area course Bluejack National.
One of the property’s features is a 10-hole, 792 yard par-three course designed for kids. Tiger helped inaugurate the miniature course on Wednesday and was left stunned when 11-year-old Taylor Crozier aced the first hole in front of everyone. It really was quite incredible. The crowd went nuts and Tiger celebrated by giving Taylor a big bear hug. Not a bad way to open a course. USA TODAY By: Luke Kerr-Dineen | March 3, 2016 8:16 am WATCH VIDEO,,,AND WOW! ONE IN A MILLION?


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TRADITIONS AND PROTOCOL OF A PRESIDENTIAL FUNERAL
[On February 29, 2016, the remains of former President Elpidio Quirino will be exhumed at Manila South Cemetery in Makati City for reinterment at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig to mark his 60th death anniversary.]

 

MANILA, march 7, 2016 (MALACANANG.GOV.PH) On February 29, 2016, the remains of former President Elpidio Quirino will be exhumed at Manila South Cemetery in Makati City for reinterment at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig to mark his 60th death anniversary.

He will be the third Philippine president to be interred there, the other two being Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal. The ceremony will be arranged by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and led by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Although there are no laws mandating presidential funerals, certain protocol and traditions are maintained.

A deceased Philippine president may be given a state funeral, which involves funeral expenses defrayed by the State; a Book of Condolence opened for local and foreign dignitaries in the Philippines; lying in state for public viewing; and arrival, departure, and final military honors.

The Philippine government closely adheres to the protocol of the government of the United States for the conduct of a state funeral.

The last Philippine president to receive a state funeral was Diosdado Macapagal in 1997.

READ MORE...

WATCH: Respects paid for former President Diosdado Macapagal who died on April 21, 1997.

PERIOD OF NATIONAL MOURNING


The Philippine flag in front of Kalayaan Hall, Malacañan Palace at half-mast. Photo courtesy of the Malacañang Photo Bureau

Once a president or former president dies, the incumbent President issues a proclamation declaring a ten-day period of national mourning, during which the flag is flown at half-mast as per Republic Act No. 8491, or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.

However, longer periods have also been declared in the past; for instance, when former President Elpidio Quirino died on February 29, 1956, President Ramon Magsaysay declared a 15-day period of mourning from March 1 to 15 through Proclamation No. 269.

The President also appoints a Committee on Funeral Arrangements and Burial.

In previous presidential funerals, the Committee typically consisted of the Executive Secretary, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of National Defense, the Governor of the deceased president’s home province, a member of the deceased president’s family, and representatives from the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the House of Representatives.


Following the death of President Elpidio Quirino in 1956, President Ramon Magsaysay issued Administrative Order No. 181 to create a committee tasked to arrange the necrological services and state funeral for the late president. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.

The said committee was chaired by Executive Secretary Fortunate de Leon. President Magsaysay, seen in this photo standing behind the coffin of President Quirino, also declared a period of national mourning via Proclamation No. 269 from March 1 to 15, 1956.


President Diosdado Macapagal and Senate President Ferdinand Marcos during the burial of former President Emilio Aguinaldo following his death from coronary thrombosis in 1964. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.

LYING IN STATE

Lying in state refers to the public viewing of the deceased during a state funeral. Traditionally, the President’s body lies in state in the Rizal Ceremonial Hall, the largest room in the Palace. When the casket arrives at Malacañan Palace, the incumbent President leads in the rendering of arrival honors.[3]


The casket of President Manuel L. Quezon entering Malacañan Palace one last time in 1946. In this photo are President Manuel Roxas along with President Quezon’s family led by Mrs. Aurora Aragon Quezon. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


The remains of President Quezon lying in state in Malacañan Palace, 1946. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Museum and Library.


The coffin of President Manuel Roxas as he lies in state in the Ceremonial Hall of Malacañan Palace, 1948. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


President Elpidio Quirino’s remains lie in state in Malacañan Palace, 1956. Photo from the Quezon Family Collection.


The remains of President Ramon Magsaysay, who died in a tragic plane crash while still in office, is seen here lying in state at the Ceremonial Hall of Malacañan Palace in 1957. Photo courtesy of LIFE Magazine.

After the public viewing at the Palace, a necrological service during a Joint Session of Congress specially convened for that purpose may be held if the deceased President also served in the House of Representatives or the Senate.

The body of the deceased President may also be sent to his hometown for public viewing. Arrival and departure honors are rendered whenever the casket enters and leaves a venue.


President Magsaysay’s casket being brought down the Palace steps, which he ascended just three years prior during his inauguration, 1957. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


President Sergio Osmeña’s remains atop the presidential caisson as it leaves the Legislative Building, 1961. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


President Emilio Aguinaldo’s remains being carried into his house in Kawit Cavite, 1964. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


President Emilio Aguinaldo’s remains being carried into his house in Kawit Cavite, 1964. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines


Gov. Lino I. Chatto and Bohol officials lead the vigil of President Carlos P. Garcia's wake at the Bohol Cultural Center, Tagbilaran City, 1971. Photo from Carlos P. Garcia: Radiant Symbol of Filipinism: His Life and Labors, 1896-1971 by Gregorio C. Eronico Sr.

FUNERAL PROCESSION

If the funeral includes a religious service, the funeral escort forms a line outside, flanked by the band. The deceased President’s immediate family members, relatives, and friends enter ahead of the casket, occupying the front-most seats to the right of the church.

A few moments before the beginning of the service, the hearse bearing the casket approaches and military honors are rendered. The casket is then brought into the church for the service.


The funeral procession of President Manuel L. Quezon during his reinterment in 1946. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


Seen here atop the presidential caisson during the funeral procession, President Manuel Roxas’ casket is later brought to Manila North Cemetery where his remains were to be buried, 1948.


Funeral mass for President Ramon Magsaysay, Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila, March, 1957. Photo from the National Library of the Philippines.


The remains of President Aguinaldo during a requiem mass in memory of the departed general in Manila Cathedral, 1964. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.

After the religious service, the cortege exits the church in the same order as the entrance, and departure honors will be rendered. The cortege will proceed to the burial site, marching slowly to solemn music played by the band.

In previous presidential funerals, the caisson bearing the casket was drawn by either soldiers (following the British tradition), horses (following the American tradition), or a motorized military vehicle, which is most common.

In 1944, President Quezon’s funeral caisson in Arlington was drawn by white horses, but for his reinterment in 1946, it was pulled by Battle of Bataan veterans and guerrillas. Subsequent presidential funerals used motorized military vehicles.

IN THE USA

President Quezon's funeral procession in Arlington National Cemetery, a United States military cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, 1944. The use of horse-drawn caisson is a practice borrowed from American state funeral protocol. Photo from the Quezon Family Collection.

A large crowd watches as veterans and guerillas from the Battle of Bataan pull the funeral caisson of President Quezon during his reinterment in 1946.

Another practice borrowed from the American state funeral is the riderless caparisoned horse with stirrups in reverse following the caisson, symbolizing the fallen leader.


President Manuel Roxas’ funeral procession followed by a riderless caparisoned horse to symbolize the fallen leader, 1948. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


The symbolic caparisoned horse trailed after President Ramon Magsaysay’s caisson in his funeral procession in 1957. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.

INTERMENT AND REINTERMENT

Presidential burial sites in the past include the Manila North Cemetery, the Manila South Cemetery, and the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Once the cortege arrives at the burial site, the band and military escort move to form a line within view of the deceased President’s family, with the firing party positioned to fire over the burial plot.

The honorary pallbearers form two ranks, creating an aisle from the hearse to the burial plot, with the most senior pallbearer closest to the hearse.

In cases when the plot is too close to the road to make this formation possible, pallbearers form around the plot instead.


The tomb of President Manuel Roxas in Manila North Cemetery. First Lady Trinidad de Leon Roxas and son Senator Gerardo “Gerry” Roxas are buried in the same rotunda as the former president. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


President Jose P. Laurel was buried in a lot owned by his family in their hometown Tanauan, Batangas. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.

Military honors are rendered before the last viewing and benediction. Before the casket is lowered into the plot, the firing party performs the 21-gun salute while the band’s bugler or trumpeter plays “Taps.”

The Philippine flag on the casket is removed, folded, and presented to the heirs of the deceased, concluding the state funeral.

There have been instances when the remains of former Presidents have been exhumed and reinterred in a different location.

For instance, President Manuel L. Quezon was reinterred twice. Quezon’s remains were exhumed from his vault in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. for reburial in the Manila North Cemetery on August 1, 1946, the second anniversary of his death.

To commemorate Quezon’s 35th death anniversary, Quezon’s remains were exhumed once more and permanently interred at the Quezon Memorial Shrine in Quezon City on August 1, 1979.


The tomb of President Manuel L. Quezon in Manila North Cemetery, where his remains stayed from August 1, 1946 until he was reinterred at the Quezon Memorial Shrine in 1979. Photo courtesy of the National Library of the Philippines.


The scene at the Quezon Memorial Shrine in Quezon City during the late president’s reinterment in August 1, 1979 in commemoration of his 35th death anniversary. Photos from the Quezon Family Collection.

PRESIDENTIAL BURIAL SITES

Presidential burial sites today include the Manila North Cemetery, the Manila South Cemetery, and the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Before President Carlos P. Garcia’s death in 1971, presidents were buried in the Manila North Cemetery simply due to circumstances. This was because the government primarily considers the wishes of the president’s widow or the president’s family members. However, the government would always propose a dignified location fit for the stature of the Presidency.

The first president to be buried in the Manila North Cemetery was President Manuel L. Quezon, who had a family plot existing in the said cemetery when his remains was repatriated and buried there in 1946. In 1979, Quezon’s remains would be reinterred in the Quezon Memorial Shrine.

When President Manuel Roxas died on April 15, 1948, the government decided that it was proper that his remains be buried where President Quezon was. This was not the case, however, when President Elpidio Quirino died on February 29, 1956.

The Quirinos owned a family plot in the Manila South Cemetery, where his late wife Alicia Syquia-Quirino and his two other children were buried, having been killed in the Battle of Manila of 1945. With the wishes of the Quirino family considered, President Quirino was buried in the family plot in the said cemetery.

Manila North Cemetery would again be the burial place of another president, when President Ramon Magsaysay died in a plane crash on March 17, 1957. His remains, following the precedents of two earlier presidents, was interred in the Manila North Cemetery.

In 1959, upon President Jose P. Laurel’s death, no state funeral was arranged or proposed since at the time, the Second Philippine Republic was not yet officially recognized nor supported by public opinion. Hence, Laurel was buried in his hometown, at Tanauan, Batangas, as per the wishes of his family.

In 1964, President Emilio Aguinaldo passed away in old age, and due to his wishes, was buried in his garden at the Aguinaldo Mansion House. Prior to his death, Aguinaldo donated the Mansion House to the country. Hence, his burial on the site symbolized the transformation of his home from a National Monument into a National Shrine.

LIBINGAN EXTENSION

In 1967, President Ferdinand E. Marcos reserved 142 hectares from the Fort Bonifacio Military Reserve (formerly known as Fort McKinley) in consideration for extending the Libingan ng mga Bayani to serve not only as a cemetery for military personnel but also as a national shrine for fallen heroes, national artists and national scientists, as well as the burial site for prominent Filipinos who have served in the government.

Hence by 1971, the first President to be buried there was President Carlos P. Garcia, followed by President Diosdado Macapagal in 1997.

President Elpidio Quirino would be the third president to be reinterred there on February 29, 2016.


MANILA STANDARD

MILF using clashes to push draft law posted March 01, 2016 at 12:01 am by Francisco Tuyay


MILF bet. The leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front supported the presidential candidacy of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who was the only candidate who has visited the separatists’ Camp Darapanan headquarters in Maguindanao. Duterte met with MILF vice chairperson for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is using the fighting between government troops and Muslim extremists a vehicle to push the implementation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, a security expert said Monday.

This assessment came a day after MILF vice chairman Ghadzali Jaafar said that those fighting the government in Lanao del Sur were disgruntled Muslims—not bandits or terrorists—who were angry that Congress failed to pass the BBL.

“Actually, that’s an excuse to scare the government after its failure to pass the BBL,” the security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

On Sunday, Jaafar said MILF leaders could not control their members who might join the attacks against government troops.

Commanders on the ground estimated that some 55 rebels have been killed in weeks-long clashes with the Army that began in Barangay Bayaboa, in Butig town, then spread to seven other villages.

The fighting displaced about 200,000 people who fled to evacuation centers or the homes of relatives while the military was defusing landmines left by the rebels.

READ MORE...

The security official said the MILF was merely exploiting the situation in Butig town, an MILF-controlled area, and sent reinforcements to the group led by Omar and Abdullah Maute, which had engaged in fierce fighting with the Army’s 51st Infantry Battalion in Bayabao village.

He said the MILF joined the battle under the cover of Abdullah Makapaar alias Commander Bravo, who has operated outside the MILF’s hierarchy.

Bravo launched a series of attacks on civilian targets, killing more than 60 people after the Supreme Court struck down an agreement between the government and the MILF on the ancestral domain of the Moros in 2008. The attacks also displaced some 700,000 residents.

“MILF chairman Murad Ibrahim cannot control Bravo? Why?

Perhaps Bravo is being used by the leadership to create chaos so that the government will accede to their demands,” the source added.

Congress refused to pass the BBL, citing its unconstitutional provisions.

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

‘No BBL, No Peace’: MILF, Deles say ‘disgruntled’ rebels joining clashes posted February 29, 2016 at 12:01 am by Sandy Araneta, Francisco Tuyay and Florante S. Solmerin


MILF vice chairman Ghadzali Jaafar

THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Palace’s chief peace negotiator warned Sunday that disgruntled Moros are joining attacks against government troops over the non-passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

MILF vice chairman Ghadzali Jaafar admitted that the group could not control its members, and said those fighting with government troops in Butig, Lanao del Sur, were not bandits or terrorists, as the military has reported.

“Those are Moros, and they attacked because they are angry at the way the Philippine government is handling the peace negotiations—always promising [but not delivering],” Jaafar said in Filipino.

Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles, head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said the failure of Congress to pass the BBL caused the clashes between government forces and armed men in Mindanao.

“Certainly, the huge disappointment over the non-passage of the BBL provides more enticing, fertile ground for recruitment to radical, extremist thought and action,” Deles said in a statement.

Jaafar made his statements during a visit by Davao City Mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte to the MILF camp in Maguindanao.

“Butig is very near the MILF satellite office. The attacks there and other attacks similar to what happened in Lanao del Sur were not launched by terrorists. They are not terrorists or extremists. These people are not radicals,” Jaafar said.

Earlier, Maj. Filemon Tan, spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said the group of attackers was led by brothers Abdullah and Omar Maute, who supposedly have links with the Southeast Asian regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah.

There were also reports that the Maute group was being assisted by supporters of the Islamic State.

Lt. Col. Billy dela Rosa, commander of the Army’s 51st Infantry Battalion, said that they have overrun the stronghold of the Maute group at the heart of Butig town.

But Jaafar said MILF leaders would not be able to prevent its members based in nearby Camp Bushra and Camp Palestine from reinforcing Maute’s group because many of them are related.

“If a member’s uncle is in the battle, he won’t listen to us because blood is thicker than water. That’s what’s happening now,” Jaafar said.

Jaafar said the only way to stop the clashes in Lanao del Sur is for the government to implement the Bangsamoro government—which is what the BBL was supposed to do.

Before the fighting began in Lanao del Sur, the Palace said the quest for peace in Mindanao would continue even without the BBL.

On Sunday, Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Resituto Padilla said 24 bandits were killed in the fighting, lowering the government estimate from the 42 earlier reported.

Tan earlier said the bandits suffered 42 casualties while the government had lost three soldiers.

But Padilla said the Western Mindanao Command had been told to be careful in releasing casualty figures, and said only confirmed deaths should be reported.

Padilla also said the number of residents fleeing the fighting was 2,500, not 8,000 as earlier reported.

On Feb. 20, armed men led by brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute tried but failed to overrun a military detachment in Butig town, prompting the Army brigade there to send more troops that employed tanks and artillery against the enemy.

Padilla said intermittent firefights continued to break out as the government forces pursued the bandits.

“Our troops have to fully clear the area not only of members of the Maute group but also from booby traps. We have to normalize the situation so the residents can go back to their houses,” Padilla said.

Massive clearing operations were being conducted in Brgy Bayabao and 14 nearby villages to free the communities of explosive materials laid by the Muslim rebels, he said.

On Sunday, sporadic firing could be heard from the outskirts of Butig town.

The surrounding villages of Bayabao saw week-long ground fighting and aerial bombardment directed against some 400-strong rebel band that launched a series of attacks on military posts.


INQUIRER

To stamp out poverty SHARES: 246 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:38 AM March 4th, 2016


Eleven FIlipinos remained in the 2016 world billionaires list of Forbes Magazine. Forbes.com

The robust economic growth during the Aquino administration has seen domestic wealth getting so large that the richest Filipinos have landed in Forbes magazine’s annual listing of the world’s billionaires.

The latest tally released by the international publication the other day showed 11 Filipinos making it to the roster dominated by US-based entrepreneurs.

•SM founder Henry Sy, 91, is the wealthiest at No. 71 with $12.9 billion.
•John Gokongwei, 88, is the second wealthiest at No. 270 with $5 billion.
•Lucio Tan, 81, is No. 380 with $4 billion,
•and banker George Ty, 83, is No. 421 with $3.7 billion.

The other Filipino billionaires listed are construction magnate David Consunji, businessmen Andrew Tan and Tony Tan Caktiong, ports magnate Enrique Razon Jr., Puregold’s Lucio Co, stockbroker/insurer/car dealer Robert Coyiuto, and realtor and former senator Manny Villar.

The extent of the wealth of the richest Filipinos is enormous.

In 2015, the 50 richest Filipinos in the Forbes list had a combined wealth of $76.6 billion, or P3.62 trillion at current exchange rates. This is bigger than the entire government budget of P3 trillion for 2016.

One might ask: Is there anything wrong with that? Shouldn’t it be a source of pride in the corporate world to see Filipino entrepreneurs making it big? But another perspective dictates that as an economy grows, poverty should also decline. And against the bigger backdrop of Philippine economic growth remaining noninclusive, much expectation is directed at the country’s wealthiest.

READ MORE...

Many on the list, in trying to meet the expectation, have donated large sums to higher education, environment protection, and housing, among other programs designed to ease the plight of the poor. Still, the private sector is called upon to do more.

Inquirer columnist and former economic planning secretary Cielito Habito has noted that in certain parts of the world, economic growth led to poverty reduction. He said that although certain countries in Asia were successful in translating economic growth to poverty reduction—with every one percentage point of gross domestic product growth resulting in poverty reduction of one to two percentage points—poverty in the Philippines has not been reduced by its GDP growth. The Philippines’ GDP from 2004 to 2009 grew by an average 4.9 percent, but its poverty incidence even increased to 26.5 percent in 2009.

The situation has changed very little under the Aquino administration. The Philippines in fact missed its Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty incidence to 17 percent by 2015 from 34 percent in 1991, as one in every four Filipinos has remained poor. Economist Benjamin Diokno even challenged this figure, arguing that the real poverty picture might be worse than what the official statistics suggested. He pointed out that in 2012, the poverty threshold was P18,935 a year, P1,578 a month, or P52.60 a day—“the height of absurdity,” he said, as he challenged public officials to survive on P57.60 a day for even a week.

The government has some programs to address poverty. Starting from the Arroyo administration, it has been providing direct assistance to extremely poor families through social protection programs. The biggest is the CCT (conditional cash transfer) scheme, in which these families receive cash assistance provided they fulfill requirements for free child immunization and send their children to school. The government is also boosting tax collection to fund a universal health program and improve access to basic education. However, it can only do so much, and this is where the private sector should come in.

Economists here and abroad have identified various ways as to how businesses can help alleviate poverty. The most common is for companies to transfer profits to charitable causes targeting the poor. Another way is for manufacturers and other firms to reduce the prices of their goods and services. Businesses can also employ more people since job generation has been proven to address poverty.

Another suggestion is for companies to prioritize the welfare of their own staff members by paying them more or providing them with training or support. There is a study in the United Kingdom showing that poverty in modern Britain was caused as much by low-quality, low-paid employment as unemployment. If business is to reduce poverty, it is this that it should focus on, according to the study. This is very applicable to the Philippines where the minimum wage has failed to catch up with the ever-rising costs of living.

The government alone cannot stamp out poverty. It is very clear that the private sector must do its part if the nation is to address what is described as one of the biggest moral challenges of this century.


INQUIRER

Edsa museum shocks, awes millennials SHARES: 2593 VIEW COMMENTS By: Jaymee T. Gamil @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:10 AM February 28th, 2016

RELIVING MARTIAL LAW YEARS AN EYE-OPENER NOT JUST FOR YOUTH BUT SURVIVORS, TOO


STATUES representing those who disappeared during martial law along with photos of victims of torture or extrajudicial killings reside in the museum’s “The Hall of the Lost” (above).

“I VALUE my freedom more now, knowing how hard the situation was before.”

This was the realization Angel Almoguerra, 15, came to after her visit to the People Power Experiential Museum at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Friday.

Interviewed by the Inquirer after she and her classmates from the Pasay City East High School finished the 40-minute tour, Almoguerra admitted she was “a little shocked” by what she saw.

The museum, through performance and visual arts, depicted the atrocities committed by the late dictator, former President Ferdinand Marcos, after he imposed martial law. Its two-day run was part of the activities commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power revolution which resulted in his ouster.

Almoguerra said while her elders and teachers had told her that there were many victims of extrajudicial killings and torture during martial law, “I never knew who they were. Now I do.”

She expressed awe in particular at the museum’s “The Hall of Forgotten Martyrs,” which featured performance artists reenacting the cold-blooded killings of martial law activists and Marcos critics such as Ateneo student leader Edgar Jopson, tribal leader Macli-ing Dulag, freedom fighter Maria Lorena Barros and politician Evelio Javier.

“Ninoy Aquino was the only one I knew,” she said, referring to the father of President Aquino whose assassination served as the trigger for the bloodless people’s revolution on Edsa.

For Almoguerra, the museum “showed what really happened: That people disappeared or were killed because they fought against the Marcos administration, and that was what pushed the Filipinos to fight for freedom during the People Power Revolution.”

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For the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC) which put up the museum, it opted to focus more on the martial law years than the 1986 uprising.


In “The Hall of Restless Sleep,” TV screens show the dictator announcing the declaration of martial law as people lie in slumber. Photos by RAFFY LERMA

“We feel that for the past 30 years, the celebration [has been focused] on the last four days [of the Marcos administration]. We never really talk about what caused those four days,” explained EPPC spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celso Santiago.

Santiago admitted that as a youngster, he was also largely unaware of the atrocities during martial law. Only 5 years old when Marcos and his family were forced into exile, he recalled that his school books dedicated just one page to the events during martial law.

“I was lucky my parents told me about it, and they were at Edsa. But not everyone is as lucky as I am. I have friends who have no idea what happened. And I have younger friends who don’t care,” he said.

Santiago dismissed criticisms by netizens that the museum was being used to favor or discredit some candidates for the May elections.

“It is not for or against any candidate. It is a campaign for truth. What the commission wants to tell young people is the whole story. There are no judgments, just facts. Whatever effect it has on the elections, that’s not our objective,” he said.

For Sherwin Dumago, 16, the visi t to the museum helped him make up his mind.

“My parents told me about [Filipinos uniting] to fight against martial law and usher in democracy for the Philippines; that martial law was [a] cruel [time], and that many people died,” he said. “But I also have an aunt who said the opposite: That the period was a prosperous time for the Philippines,” Dumago told the Inquirer.

“I [now] believe my parents. There is so much proof here [in the museum] that many people suffered,” he said.

“Some of us don’t really know [about all this] but that’s because they don’t give importance to the details of the past. Now I can tell my peers: Do more research. I hope they can experience this [museum] like we did. We [learned more] about what Edsa meant,” Dumago added.

Santiago observed that the Edsa People Power Experiential Museum provided lessons not just for millennials but for martial law survivors as well.

“When they came out, they said, ‘Thank you very much for telling our story.’ Some of them were thankful for the reminder [that they should tell] more young people about [their experience],” he said.

“I think one of Edsa’s unfinished business is that those who went through it sort of did not give too much attention on ensuring that young people [knew] about it. I guess we all got caught up in the task of rebuilding the nation because of the mess we inherited,” Santiago observed.

“Now we hope this museum becomes a movement, so that more and more people can really tell the story. Government cannot do it alone. We’re counting on those who went through it. It’s everyone’s responsibility to tell young people of mistakes we did so we don’t repeat them,” he said.


President Aquino administers the oath of office to EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) February 3, 2011 FROM THE OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL OF P-NOY @ GOV.PH WEBSITE

The EPPC plans to set up a permanent “1986 Memory Museum” at the People Power Monument showcasing both the experiential museum and the archival data and testimonial interviews it had collected. It also hopes to set up a smaller version of the experiential museum in Quezon City.


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