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BONGBONG: 'PROTEST VOTES' WILL DOMINATE POLLS - LP: POLLS WILL CORRECT BONGBONG'S 'DISTORTED SENSE OF HISTORY'
[In a news conference in Davao del Norte, Marcos on Friday reportedly said that he and his running mate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago will benefit from “protest votes” as a result of people’s frustration with the administration.
Marcos has been leading in recent preference surveys for vice president, tied with Sen. Francis Escudero]


MARCH 12 -Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos speaks to the crowd in front of Provincial Capitol in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, February 9, 2016, during the start of the 90-day campaign period. INQUIRER PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA The ruling Liberal Party on Saturday slammed vice presidential aspirant Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his remarks that “protest votes” will dominate the upcoming national elections because “the government has abandoned real public service.” LP spokesperson and Akbayan Representative Barry Gutierrez called Marcos an “expert” on “protest votes” and “abandonment of public service,” alluding to the popular 1986 uprising that ended the dictatorship of the senator’s late father and namesake. “Well, he would know all about protest votes and abandonment of public service. For 20 years, he had a ringside seat to his father’s Martial Law regime, which beggared the country and stripped away basic freedoms from ordinary Filipinos,” Gutierrez said in a statement. “He was at Malacañang standing beside his father, the late dictator, when the voices of protest of millions of Filipinos finally grew strong enough to end the Marcos regime and send them fleeing into exile,” he added. READ: In Panay, martial law victims vow to hound Bongbong Marcos Gutierrez also slammed the younger Marcos’ “distorted sense of history,” saying that the May polls would be an opportunity for voters to correct his misconceptions. READ MORE...RELATED, Support for Marcos’ vice presidential bid surges in Mindanao...

ALSO: Grace, Bongbong top people power week survey


MARCH 9 -Senators Grace Poe and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. topped a Pulse Asia survey taken during the week when the nation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1986 people power revolt. Joven Cagande, file
Senators Grace Poe and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. topped a Pulse Asia survey taken during the week when the nation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1986 people power revolt. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte nudged Vice President Jejomar Binay from second spot in the presidential race in the Feb. 23-27 survey commissioned by ABS-CBN. Poe was the preferred presidential candidate of 25 percent of respondents, followed by Duterte with 23 percent and Binay with 22 percent. The administration candidate, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II ranked fourth with 20 percent. Trailing them is Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with three percent. In the vice presidential race, Marcos edged past – but remained statistically tied at No. 1 – with Sen. Francis Escudero, Poe’s running mate. Marcos and Escudero obtained 26 and 25 percent, respectively. Marcos’ rating was unchanged from a similar survey conducted on Feb. 16 to 20, while Escudero suffered a three-point decrease from 28 percent. In third is Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo of LP, whose ratings jumped from 17 percent in the third week of February to 21 percent in the latest survey. READ MORE...RELATED, ANOTHER DISSENTING OPINION on Poe SC ruling could undermine national security...

ALSO: Aquino urged to respect, not regret people’s will in electing VP in 2010


MARCH 13 -P-NOY The people’s will is something to be respected, not regretted. Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay’s campaign spokesperson, lawyer Rico Quicho yesterday hit back at President Aquino telling him that the basic tenet of democracy — “how it works, how it should be treated” should not be the way that Aquino viewed it in his recent speech in Cavite. “It (the democratic process) should not be resented even if it does not adhere to one’s liking,” Quicho said. In a statement, Quicho lashed at Aquino for saying he regretted that Binay was elected as vice president in 2010. “With all due respect, Mr. President, the results of the 2010 elections represented the will of the people,” said Quicho. The other day, campaigning for Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas, Aquino took a dig at the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer, insinuating that having Binay and not Roxas, elected as vice president in 2010 could by far his biggest regret in his presidency. “Mar has been one of the faces of the government in responding to those in need. It got me thinking, how far we would have achieved if Mar was my partner in governance since 2010,” Quino was quoted saying in the LP campaign rally in Dasmariñas, Cavite, last Thursday.“I just cannot get this out of my mind. I have a former colleague who now claims the straight path is always ineffective. Now he calls it inept,” said Aquino apparently alluding to Binay. In the 2010 elections, a group calling itslef Noy-Bi group surfaced from Aquino’s camp supporting the Aquino-Binay tandem. This was later blamed for the Roxas’ loss to Binay. Having been subjected to political persecution by the president’s allies after making it known he was oppsed to the administration’s disbursement acceleration program (DAP), Binay resigned from the Aquino Cabinet last year. At the launch of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as a party last tear, Binay exposed the ineptness and the incompetence of the Aquino administration, further irritating Aquino. Not only did Aquino started attacking him personally, but the entire machinery and resources of the government had been made available to the “lead demolition team,” the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee including the Ofiice of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit (CoA) which had no hesitation in violating its own rules just to derail Binays chances in the May 9 polls. READ MORE...ALSO
Noy brags - ' Infra projects under my watch top GMA’s record'...

ALSO: Duterte's son - ‘My father is not a dictator'


MARCH 13 -'DIGONG' DUTERTE
The youngest son of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took the cudgels for his father who is accused of being a potential dictator leader by his critics. Sebastian “Baste” Duterte declared his father is not a dictator contrary to what detractors are painting him to be. “They say he is a dictator. They say that if he wins the presidency, he will declare martial law. They say that he is a murderer. If that is true then I must have been raised by a different person because the Rodrigo Duterte that I know told me to go out and share my blessings,” the younger Duterte said. He stressed his father is not running just because he wanted to be the president of the Philippines.  “He is running because he wants to send us Filipinos a message, that there could be a better tomorrow for all of us,” he added. Also seizing the opportunity to defend his father, he said the Davao mayor has soft heart for the poor and someone who loves his city so much. “He is telling us that we should reach out for one another. He is telling us that we have to reach out to expand humanity, especially for the poor, the marginalized and the incapacitated,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Cayetano - Gov’t failed coconut farmers...

ALSO: Grace Poe blasted by allies, rivals
[The Daang Matuwid spokesman, Rep. Barry Gutierrez hit back at Poe who, after farmers slammed her [Poe] for defending the coco-levy, said that unlike Poe and Escudero, he and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, who is running for vice president with LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas, played major roles in passing the bill in the lower house. He shot back at Poe and Escudero: What were you doing in the Senate, especially since Poe was vice chairman of the agriculture committee.]


MARCH 12 -POE DU30: Vote for Trump, Clinton, not American Poe -A political rival of Sen. Grace Poe for the 2016 presidency, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, yesterday told his audience of students at Our Lady of Lourdes College, that Filipino voters who want an American to be the next president of the republic, it would be no different if the Filipino voters cast their votes for either Donald Trump, Republican, or Hilary Clinton, Democrat, both of whom are front runners in the US primaries. At the same time, the administration team scored Poe for not doing anything in the Senate on the coconut levy issue. Duterte told the crowd during the rally that he does not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision qualifying Poe to run for the presidency in 2016, despite doubts of her citizenship and Sen. Grace Poe to run for president amid doubts over her citizenship and residency issues. “If she is elected president—if you want Poe to become the president, that’s okay with me,’ he said. “What I want to say is that two years from now, there may surface evidence some two years later that Grace Poe is an American. They might say later, ‘She’s an American. We have been fooled.’  “It’s better that people voted for Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton instead, since she (Poe) and the two American cadidates are the same thing. Duterte said he has nothing personal against Poe, adding that he is against the idea of electing a possibly a noy-natural born Filipino as president. The said his beef is about her questionable citizenship, being a foundling with no known parentage. READ MORE...RELATED, Poe got $150M from Macau firm in breach of laws...

ALSO: Chief Justice lashes back at critics - No room for doubt on Poe DQ ruling


MARCH 13 -Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Saturday insisted that there is no room for doubt in the Supreme Court’s majority ruling to uphold Sen. Grace Poe’s qualification to run for President, even as opponents of the landmark ruling cited a split within the majority of nine justices who voted to overturn the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision canceling Poe’s certificate of candidacy.
In her extensive concurring opinion, Sereno sought to answer the questions raised on how firm the high court majority was in upholding the natural-born status and 10-year residency of Poe. The decision said the Comelec had gravely abused its discretion in canceling Poe’s certificate of candidacy. Without naming names, Sereno cited a particular dissent that apparently made the majority ruling appear weak. “With the majority of the members of the Court declaring, by a vote of 9 as against 6, that petitioner Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares has no legal impediment to run for the presidency, it is most unfortunate that one of the dissenting opinions opens with a statement that tries to cast uncertainty on an already tense situation,” Sereno wrote. “The dissent gives excessive weight to the fact that there are five justices in the minority who believe that petitioner does not have the qualifications for the presidency, while ignoring the reality that there are at least seven justices who believe that petitioner possesses these qualifications,” she said. ‘Not binding’  Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro disclosed the other day that there was a “split” in the majority, saying that the nine who voted to qualify Poe differed on how to treat the citizenship and residency issues raised against her. READ MORE...RELATED...Doubts grow over Poe SC majority rule...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

BONGBONG: GOVT FAILED PUBLIC SERVICE, 'PROTEST VOTES' WILL DOMINATE POLLS - LP: MARCOS 'DISTORTED SENSE OF HISTORY'


Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos speaks to the crowd in front of Provincial Capitol in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, February 9, 2016, during the start of the 90-day campaign period.
INQUIRER PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, MARCH 14, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ  March 12th, 2016 - The ruling Liberal Party on Saturday slammed vice presidential aspirant Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his remarks that “protest votes” will dominate the upcoming national elections because “the government has abandoned real public service.”

LP spokesperson and Akbayan Representative Barry Gutierrez called Marcos an “expert” on “protest votes” and “abandonment of public service,” alluding to the popular 1986 uprising that ended the dictatorship of the senator’s late father and namesake.

“Well, he would know all about protest votes and abandonment of public service. For 20 years, he had a ringside seat to his father’s Martial Law regime, which beggared the country and stripped away basic freedoms from ordinary Filipinos,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

“He was at Malacañang standing beside his father, the late dictator, when the voices of protest of millions of Filipinos finally grew strong enough to end the Marcos regime and send them fleeing into exile,” he added.

READ: In Panay, martial law victims vow to hound Bongbong Marcos

Gutierrez also slammed the younger Marcos’ “distorted sense of history,” saying that the May polls would be an opportunity for voters to correct his misconceptions.

READ MORE...

“The good Senator is an expert on these things, but apparently he has a distorted sense of history. I think that the May 9 elections will be an opportunity for the Filipino people to correct Mr. Marcos’ misconceptions,” he said.

READ: Ateneo professors slam Bongbong Marcos’ ‘revision of history’

In a news conference in Davao del Norte, Marcos on Friday reportedly said that he and his running mate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago will benefit from “protest votes” as a result of people’s frustration with the administration.

Marcos has been leading in recent preference surveys for vice president, tied with Sen. Francis Escudero. CDG

RELATED STORIES

Poe leads, Marcos rises in People Power week poll

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

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Support for Marcos’ vice presidential bid surges in Mindanao March 13, 2016 9:47 pm
by JAIME R. PILAPIL, REPORTER

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is enjoying a groundswell of support in Mindanao after clinching the backing of the Katipunan Guardians Brotherhood (KGB) party-list.

The pledge of support was made over the weekend in Pagadian City, highlighted by the unanimous endorsement of all the mayors of 26 towns and one city in Zamboanga del Norte.

Marcos got the endorsement of Zamboanga del Sur local executives led by Gov. Antonio Cerilles and Pagadian City Mayor Tata Polmones during the “Peace and Order Forum” sponsored by the KGB party-list held at Megayon Stage in Dao, Pagadian City.

Also present were vice mayors, board members, councilors, barangay (village) officials, members and officers of KGB led by its first nominee, Marjon Cerilles and Rep. Aurora Cerilles.

Marcos thanked the people for their overwhelming support and asked them to join him in his advocacy for national unity.
Last week, Marcos brought his “Unity Caravan” to General Santos City, the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Zamboanga del Sur and Compostela Valley.

Other Mindanao leaders who joined the Marcos bandwagon were Davao Del Norte Representatives Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo and Anton Lagdameo, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list official Jericho “Koko” Nograles and Panabo City Mayor James Gamao, among others.

Marcos was also warmly received by Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario and Compostela Valley Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy.

Del Rosario narrated that it was former President Ferdinand Marcos who encouraged him to run for political office in 1978 and appointed him Minister of Natural Resources in 1984.

“I owe a lot to the father of our senator, Bongbong Marcos. That is why I consider it a privilege to introduce to you all the son of my former boss. With your help and support, we may soon see him as the new Vice President of our country,” he said.

Marcos also consolidated the support of the predominantly Ilocano-speaking towns and cities in North Cotabato with the mayor of Makilala, Rudy Caoagdan, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, crossing party lines to support his vice presidential bid.

He went around several towns and cities in North Cotabato, particularly in Makilala, Kidapawan, Matalam, Kabacan and Midsayap–areas where Ilocano migrants settled.

The senator was warmly welcomed in Kabacan town where around 65 percent of residents are of Ilocano descent.

He was conferred the title of Supreme Leader by the T’boli tribe of South Cotabato with the rank of Datu Kelmokul and the adopted son of T’boli and Blaan tribes.
-----------------------------

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

St. Luke’s Global denies Santiago admitted By: Kristine Felisse Mangunay @inquirerdotnet March 10th, 2016


SANTIAGO

MANILA -St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City has denied that Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago has been admitted in the Taguig City hospital. Jun Manibon of the hospital’s admissions department on Thursday said Santiago’s name was not in the healthcare directory, which he said recorded all patients admitted both through the admissions and emergency departments.

 Nica Bartolome, manager at the emergency department, refused to confirm or deny if Santiago had at any point been admitted there, saying hospital personnel were not allowed under hospital policy to reveal the identities of patients who are admitted in the medical institution.


PHILSTAR

Grace, Bongbong top people power week survey By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 9, 2016 - 1:00am 1 4 googleplus0 0


Senators Grace Poe and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. topped a Pulse Asia survey taken during the week when the nation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1986 people power revolt. Joven Cagande, file

MANILA, Philippines – Senators Grace Poe and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. topped a Pulse Asia survey taken during the week when the nation celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1986 people power revolt.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte nudged Vice President Jejomar Binay from second spot in the presidential race in the Feb. 23-27 survey commissioned by ABS-CBN.

Poe was the preferred presidential candidate of 25 percent of respondents, followed by Duterte with 23 percent and Binay with 22 percent. The administration candidate, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II ranked fourth with 20 percent. Trailing them is Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with three percent.

In the vice presidential race, Marcos edged past – but remained statistically tied at No. 1 – with Sen. Francis Escudero, Poe’s running mate. Marcos and Escudero obtained 26 and 25 percent, respectively.

Marcos’ rating was unchanged from a similar survey conducted on Feb. 16 to 20, while Escudero suffered a three-point decrease from 28 percent.

In third is Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo of LP, whose ratings jumped from 17 percent in the third week of February to 21 percent in the latest survey.

READ MORE...

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano obtained 12 percent, while Senators Gregorio Honasan and Antonio Trillanes got six percent and four percent, respectively.

Senate race In the Senate race, the Pulse Asia survey showed that 14 candidates have the chance to be included in the “Magic 12.”

They are former senators Francis Pangilinan, Richard Gordon, Panfilo Lacson and Juan Miguel Zubiri; and reelectionist senators Vicente Sotto III, Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, Sergio Osmeña III and Teofisto Guingona III.

Also included are former justice secretary Leila de Lima, former Akbayan lawmaker Risa Hontiveros, boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, former Technical Education and Skills Development director-general Joel Villanueva and Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian.

The survey has an error margin of plus/minus 1.9 percent.

Academe moves vs Marcos

Hundreds of academicians from different educational institutions yesterday issued a joint statement opposing the vice presidential bid of Marcos Jr.

Criticizing the senator for calling the dictatorship led by his father the “Golden Days of Philippine History,” almost 200 faculty members signed a statement explicitly opposing the candidacy of Marcos.

“Educators and the rest of the Filipino people must unite against the wrong version of history that is being propagated by Ferdinand Jr. and his allies. The pages of history are clear: Marcos was a crook and a human rights violator,” the statement, written in Filipino, read.

Among the signatories were National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera as well as faculty members from the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).

Other signatories were faculty members from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Mindanao State University, Mapua Institute of Technology, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, National University and the Technological Institute of the Philippines.

The statement was issued days after more than 500 ADMU faculty members as well as five Jesuit leaders of Ateneo universities in the country, issued a statement criticizing Marcos for defending the martial law era.

Among those who signed the statement were Jose Ramon Villarin of ADMU, Primitivo Viray of the Ateneo de Naga, Joel Tabora of Ateneo de Davao, Roberto Yap of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, and Karel San Juan of Ateneo de Zamboanga.

“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,” read the Ateneo 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.

CEAP backs call The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), which has over 1,400 member-schools, also expressed support for the Ateneo statement.

CEAP advocacy and information management officer Anthony Coloma said they share the sentiment of ADMU against efforts by the younger Marcos to “canonize the harrowing horrors of martial rule.”

“With the same fervor, we cry our hearts out, ‘Never again!’” CEAP added.

Coloma said that as Catholic educators they are committed to teach the truth. “We encourage our various institutions of learning to assess the quality and the content of our instruction relative to the atrocities of the Marcos regime.”

CEAP also demanded from the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) the “same level of introspection.”

“It seems that we have been remiss in instilling in the youth’s consciousness about the regime’s brutal savagery. Instead, they have been drowned by the Marcosian snares and the Imeldific lies,” it added.

While it has been 30 years since the downfall of the dictator, CEAP said “the revolution, however, is unfinished.”

“The fullness of democratization, especially the creation of a social order which respects the dignity of all Filipinos, has yet to be achieved. It is our responsibility now as a people to continue and complete this unfinished struggle… We must start with the truth,” Coloma added.


Dean Antonio La Viña.

Meanwhile, Antonio La Viña, outgoing dean of the ADMU School of Government, said politicians in Mindanao are likely to carry Marcos regardless of who they prefer to be the next president.

La Viña was among those who signed the Ateneo statement.

In a Facebook post, he disputed the claim of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the local campaign machine would strengthen the chances of administration bet Manuel Roxas II.

“Not going to happen, from what I am hearing on the ground. Every politician I talked to in Mindanao the last few days are moving to Duterte, Binay and Poe,” he said in the post.

“It seems also, regardless of presidential preference, that most of them will be carrying Marcos as their VP,” he added.

Latest survey conducted by Pulse Asia showed Marcos getting 19 percent of support from Mindanao, next to Senators Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano who both got 22 percent. – With Evelyn Macairan

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

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

DISSENTING OPINION --Poe ruling could undermine national security Published March 12, 2016 10:17pm By VIRGIL LOPEZ, GMA News DISSENTING OPINION


CJ SERENO

Supreme Court (SC) justices who opposed Senator Grace Poe's bid for the presidency believe her legal victory in the high tribunal came at the expense of established jurisprudence on vetting poll candidates and could be used by certain people to undermine national security and interest.

The SC earlier voted 9-6 to declare the reversal of the disqualification of Poe from the presidential elections in May over issues of citizenship and residency as required by the 1987 Constitution for those running for president.

Those who voted against the senator were Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Mariano del Castillo, Arturo Brion, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, and Bienvenido Reyes.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and eight other justices took Poe's side. The senator who was accused of lying about her citizenship and residency status.

In his dissenting opinion, Carpio said the ruling made a "mockery" of national elections by allowing Poe with "uncertain citizenship status" to be potentially elected president, a position expressly reserved by the Constitution for natural-born Filipino citizens.

"This will make a mockery of our election process if petitioner wins the elections but is later disqualified by this Court for not possessing a basic qualification for the Office of the President - that of being a natural-born Filipino citizen," he said.

De Castro said the decision would amend the 1935 Constitution, which was in effect when petitioner was born in 1968, to add "foundlings found in the Philippines whose parents are unknown" in the enumeration of natural-born citizens.

"This amendment of the Constitution by the judicial opinion...is based mainly on extralegal grounds and a misreading of existing laws, which will have unimaginable grave and far-reaching dire consequences in our constitutional and legal system and national interest," she said.

De Castro also agreed with the view of del Castillo that non-Filipinos may misuse a favorable ruling on foundlings to the detriment of national interest and security.

Del Castillo explained that these individuals might use the ruling to obtain Filipino citizenship or natural-born status and wreak havoc on the nation.

"Our country must not only be defended and protected against outside invasion, it must also be secured and safeguarded from any internal threat against its sovereignty and security," he said.


DEL CASTILLO

"I do not want to wake up someday and see my beloved country teeming with foreigners and aliens posing as natural born Filipinos while the real natives are thrown into oblivion or relegated second or third class citizens who have become strangers in their own homeland."

Bernabe, for her part, slammed the use of statistics to back Poe's claim to natural-born status.

"The constitutional requirements for office, especially for the highest office in the land, cannot be based on mere probability. The proof to hurdle a substantial challenge against a candidate's qualifications must therefore be solid," she said.

Solicitor-General Florin Hilbay, quoting the Philippine Statistics Authority, had said the statistical probability that any child born in the Philippines would be a natural-born Filipino is either 99.93 percent or 99.83 percent, respectively, during the period 2010 to 2014 and 1965 to 1975.

Poe was found at a church in Iloilo City on September 3, 1968.

However, Bernabe said the circumstances surrounding Poe's abandonment, as well as her physical characteristics, "hardly assuage this possibility."

"By parity of reasoning, they do not prove that she was born to a Filipino: her abandonment in the Philippines is just a restatement of her foundling status, while her physical features only tend to prove that her parents likely had Filipino features and yet it remains uncertain if their citizenship was Filipino," Bernabe said.

Disregard of decided cases

Brion, meanwhile, took aim at the decision's alleged disregard of decided cases where the SC recognized the Comelec's jurisdiction to determine eligibility as part of determining false material representation in a candidate's COC.

The cases include the ouster of Rommel Arnado as mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte for continued use of United States passport despite having renounced his American citizenship and Regina Ongsiako-Reyes as Marinduque lawmaker for being an American citizen.

"With the Comelec stripped of the jurisdiction to determine, even preliminarily, Poe's citizenship and residence, then its determinations are null and void, leading to the further conclusion that this Court no longer has any issue left to review and to decide upon as neither would it be necessary to determine Poe's eligibilities," Brion said.

The high court said Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen and has complied with the 10-year residency requirement in the Constitution, having been an actual resident of the Philippines since she came back from the United States on May 24, 2005. — APG, GMA News


TRIBUNE

Aquino urged to respect, not regret people’s will on VP Written by Charlie V. Manalo Sunday, 13 March 2016 00:00



The people’s will is something to be respected, not regretted.

Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay’s campaign spokesperson, lawyer Rico Quicho yesterday hit back at President Aquino telling him that the basic tenet of democracy — “how it works, how it should be treated” should not be the way that Aquino viewed it in his recent speech in Cavite.

“It (the democratic process) should not be resented even if it does not adhere to one’s liking,” Quicho said. In a statement, Quicho lashed at Aquino for saying he regretted that Binay was elected as vice president in 2010.

“With all due respect, Mr. President, the results of the 2010 elections represented the will of the people,” said Quicho.

The other day, campaigning for Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas, Aquino took a dig at the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer, insinuating that having Binay and not Roxas, elected as vice president in 2010 could by far his biggest regret in his presidency.

“Mar has been one of the faces of the government in responding to those in need. It got me thinking, how far we would have achieved if Mar was my partner in governance since 2010,” Quino was quoted saying in the LP campaign rally in Dasmariñas, Cavite, last Thursday.

“I just cannot get this out of my mind. I have a former colleague who now claims the straight path is always ineffective. Now he calls it inept,” said Aquino apparently alluding to Binay.

In the 2010 elections, a group calling itslef Noy-Bi group surfaced from Aquino’s camp supporting the Aquino-Binay tandem. This was later blamed for the Roxas’ loss to Binay.

Having been subjected to political persecution by the president’s allies after making it known he was oppsed to the administration’s disbursement acceleration program (DAP), Binay resigned from the Aquino Cabinet last year.

At the launch of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as a party last tear, Binay exposed the ineptness and the incompetence of the Aquino administration, further irritating Aquino.

Not only did Aquino started attacking him personally, but the entire machinery and resources of the government had been made available to the “lead demolition team,” the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee including the Ofiice of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit (CoA) which had no hesitation in violating its own rules just to derail Binays chances in the May 9 polls.

READ MORE...

In his statement the other day, Aquino implied that one thing he would regret most is to hand over the helm of power to someone whose thrust and vision differs from him.

“If something happens to the president, the vice president will take his/her place. Just think about it, if their platform is not the same, all that we achieved could be derailed or wasted,” Aquino told his audience in Cavite.

VP was people’s choice


QUICHO

Quicho however refuted Aquino saying it was precisely for that purpose – to replace the president if the need arises – for which the people elected Binay as vice president.

“The people elected you (Aquino) to be their President and Jejomar Binay as their Vice President. They saw in Vice President Binay the qualities of a servant leader who is ready and competent to perform the duties of a president,” Quicho reminded the president.

“The will of the people is not something to regret, but to respect,” Quicho stressed.

Quicho added Binay never disappointed the people even Aquino himself as he had proven to be a working Vice President especially in the Housing and OFW sectors, which received unsolicited commendations even from the president.

“He has been a team player despite being treated like a pariah by most members of the Cabinet who are also your partymates,” Quicho averred.

Sincere in carrying out his responsibilities, Quicho said Binay chose to stay on and do his work until it was evident that the conspiracy to undermine him politically - hatched and implemented by Liberal Party and its allies – would not stop, even to the point of directly undermining the independence of government instrumentalities and independent institutions for Aquino’s allies’ political interests and ambitions.

“The Vice President is offering to the people his track record of performance and accomplishments as a local executive and Vice President. All candidates must offer the same, including your candidate,” Quicho said alluding to Aquino.

“The people should freely decide who among the candidates is the most competent and prepared to lead our nation and address the problems of poverty and hunger, which has worsened in the last five years,” he added.

“We submit that Vice President Jojo Binay is that kind of candidate,” Quicho said.

Meanwhile in La Union, Binay vowed to give priority to the education sector when he becomes president.

“Our schools have been neglected as they have been accorded with a minuscule budget. I promise you, I will increase the budget of all of our schools,” he said during the celebration of the 24th foundation of the Naguilian National High School.

Binay identified giving free books, uniforms, and school supplies for public school students as one of his priority programs during his first year in office.

Other priority programs included the abolition of income taxes for workers earning P30,000 a month or less; continued and expanded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps); and free healthcare for the poor.

The UNA standard bearer stressed the need to invest heavily in education.

“Education should be free. The feeding program for the millions of students in grade school should be continued,” he said.

“There should be additional budget for scholarships. There should available funds for those who would want to avail of loans for their educatio,” he added.

Binay, who taught in St. Scholastica’s College, also stressed the importance of training for teachers.

“We should have more trainings for our teachers to help them in their professional growth,” he said.

He also noted that teachers’ salaries should be increased to entice them to stay and work in the country.

“Teachers’ salaries should be increased. A lot of our teachers are being forced to go abroad to work there,” he said, adding that some even chose to work as household helps.

Binay also highlighted the importance of ensuring the employability of graduates.

“We will improve the skills and competence [of our workers], especially now that we are facing the ASEAN Integration. Our advantage is that we can provide the manpower, but that manpower should be skilled and competent,” Binay said.

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ALSO FROM PHILSTAR

Noy: Infra projects under my watch top GMA’s record By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 14, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Aquino yesterday trumpeted anew the achievements of his administration, bragging that they surpassed those of his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

MANILA, Philippines – This student is proud to beat his economics professor.

President Aquino yesterday trumpeted anew the achievements of his administration, bragging that they surpassed those of his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Aquino described as paltry the infrastructure projects of Arroyo, while he managed to finish his own in a shorter period of time.

Aquino cited the project in Cebu that started in 2005 up to 2010 with an allocation of P12 billion.

“In my administration, I was able to pour in almost P32 billion for Cebu,” he said.

“Even in Bohol, the former administration poured P3.75 billion worth of infrastructure projects. I was able to sustain it with P10.45 billion, this is for infrastructure only,” Aquino said in a speech before the Philippine Military Academy’s commencement exercises in Baguio City yesterday.

Arroyo, now a representative of the second congressional district of Pampanga, was president from January 2001 to June 2010. She was also a professor of economics at Ateneo de Manila University, where Aquino was her student.

From a vibrant economy, combating corruption to allocating big-ticket infrastructure projects, Aquino believes his six-year administration easily surpassed the achievements of the nine-year reign of Arroyo.

Aquino has repeatedly painted a picture of a very promising Philippines, which will be nearing first-world status if his good governance policies are pursued, highlighting the fact that he “tripled” the measly P165-million infrastructure budget he inherited from Arroyo.

While saying he would not want to bother the PMA cadets with his achievements that may only eat up their “merienda cena” time, Aquino nevertheless recited a litany of the progress he made before the PMA Gabay-laya Class of 2016.

Aquino revealed the 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that Arroyo initiated with 780,000 household-beneficiaries, has now been extended to 4.4 million, thereby lifting about 7.7 million people from the poverty line.


TRIBUNE

‘My father is not a dictator,’ says Duterte son Written by Charlie V. Manalo and Gerry Baldo Sunday, 13 March 2016 00:00


'DIGONG' DUTERTE

The youngest son of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took the cudgels for his father who is accused of being a potential dictator leader by his critics.

Sebastian “Baste” Duterte declared his father is not a dictator contrary to what detractors are painting him to be.

“They say he is a dictator. They say that if he wins the presidency, he will declare martial law. They say that he is a murderer. If that is true then I must have been raised by a different person because the Rodrigo Duterte that I know told me to go out and share my blessings,” the younger Duterte said.

He stressed his father is not running just because he wanted to be the president of the Philippines.

“He is running because he wants to send us Filipinos a message, that there could be a better tomorrow for all of us,” he added.


Duterte's son Sebastian to Roxas: At least my father minimized illegal drug trade in Davao City | FROM Kicker Daily News Online

Also seizing the opportunity to defend his father, he said the Davao mayor has soft heart for the poor and someone who loves his city so much.

“He is telling us that we should reach out for one another. He is telling us that we have to reach out to expand humanity, especially for the poor, the marginalized and the incapacitated,” he added.

READ MORE...

“He told me to treat everyone with equal respect. The Rodrigo Duterte that I know loves his city as if it was his own child,” he added.

He also recalled the time when he, as a child, was encouraged by the mayor to always give to others and to treat everybody equally.

“From the time I was born until I was 10 years old, we live in an area in Davao City that was surrounded by poverty. While we were there my father told me to go out and share my toys with the other kids,” he said.

The PDP-Laban standard-bearer earlier was quoted as saying during a forum organized by the University of the Philippines-Los Baños that “You might say I sound like a dictator, maybe. If you do not like it, fine, but the way you have to do it, you have to be like a dictator. The way you say, that’s enough. Stop.”

Also, he said: “They say I am a dictator. Of course I have to be a dictator, son of a...but I will not stay beyond my terms. You say I am a dictator-mayor. Well, because nobody will believe me otherwise.”

Democratic rights under threat



Meanwhile, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) has warned the Filipino people that it would be a calamity if Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wins the vice presidency on May 9.

CEGP said the first victim of the son and namesake of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. would be the democratic rights of the so-called Millennials, or those born after 1982 who happen to be either ignorant of the atrocities of Martial Law or simply do not care about their democratic rights.

The group, which is the biggest federation of campus journalists nationwide, said it is puzzling why Marcos topped the recent Pulse Asia vice presidential survey.

CEGP national president Marc Lino Abila said “if Marcos Jr. lands the second-highest post of the republic, he would do anything to distort history and blur the atrocities during Marcos Sr.’s 21-year tyrannical rule.”

“Having another Marcos on one of the top positions in the government is appalling and winning the vice presidency is one way to recapture Malacañang. We cannot let the scion of a dictator win despite the fact that his family abused human rights, violated people’s democratic freedoms, amassed public funds and brought the nation to bankruptcy,” Abila argued.

“Bongbong is not as innocent as he thinks himself to be.”

“Though some Millennials are blinded by the lies of the Marcoses, campus journalists are well aware of the viciousness of the Marcoses to the campus press. A number of young men and women who fought the dictatorship were campus journalists. In the age of Internet and social media, campus journalists won’t let anyone muzzle us from telling the important issues of the youth and people. We won’t let Bongbong Marcos, an author of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, to be vice president,” Abila asserted.

Infra dev’t to address unemployment


MARCOS

Marcos, for his part, said the next administration should focus in infrastructure development to address the unemployment problem and the impending exodus of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Middle East.

According to him, a good first step for infrastructure development is the implementation of foreign-assisted projects that have not been completed, especially those funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), World Bank - International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Fund, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Fund.

“A number of these foreign-assisted infrastructure projects have incurred delays in their completion and implementation due to technical and administrative problems. Steps should be initiated in resolving the projects’ backlog,” he stressed.

Most of these foreign-assisted ventures are the construction of bridges, roads, irrigation systems, flood risk management, and other big ticket projects, which according to Marcos, could have already jumpstarted economic growth had they been completed on time.

“Infrastructure development is a good way to boost the economy, address the unemployment problem and the impending arrival of our OFWs displaced from the Middle East and elsewhere,” he pointed out.

Marcos said the government should, as early as now be thinking about alternative measures for workers who have been displaced or even for those who will not be given a chance to work abroad.

The senator also pointed out that the government should be looking inward to develop opportunities for workers in the country instead of shipping them out in the first opportunity.

“The sad thing about it is that we are always looking for opportunities elsewhere, but very seldom have Pinoy skilled workers simply just looked around and found opportunities to exercise their skills in their homeland,” he lamented.

Marcos said there should be more efforts to retool and educate Filipino workers so that they will be able to find opportunities in industries that need a strong workforce as well as a review of salaries for these industries to make sure that they have competitive salaries.

“If our government can provide growth opportunities here, in the Philippines, I am sure that our skilled workers will be the missing link to catapult our economy to its full potential. As it stands, other countries benefit from their skills because our government does not see what they can do for the country,” he said.

Poe-Chiz legal team readying for polls


CHIZ - POE

Members of the Partido Galing at Puso legal team are now preparing for the May 2016 elections as they held a National Convention at the club house of the Nationalist People’s Coalition headquarters in New Manila, Quezon City yesterday.

According to lawyer Bobby Lucila, head of the ?National Campaign Legal Center of the Grace Poe Chiz Legal Team, ?they are in the process of training volunteers on how to deal with glitches in the elections.

“We are equipping these volunteers the necessary tools to preserve the integrity of the polls,” Lucila said in an interview.
The group is headed by a secretary-general - lawyer George Garcia.

Lucila stressed the group is composed of some 450 lawyers and other volunteers which include information technology experts.

Lucila, reacting to reports that the Commission on Elections is planning to postpone the elections, also said the elections should be held as provided for in the Constitution.

“The elections should be held as provided by law. It is problematical, what are the reasons for postponement? Are there valid and constitutional grounds for postponement?” Lucila asked.

Lucila said the group is also preparing for possible cheating at the presidential canvassing.

“We are preparing for the entire process until proclamations...cheating will always be part of it, it is a concern but just part of the overall issues that we need to address,” the lawyer said.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Cayetano: Gov’t failed coconut farmers By Mike Frialde (philstar.com) | Updated March 12, 2016 - 10:26am 0 88 googleplus0 0


Senator and vice presidential bet Alan Peter Cayetano said the government failed to release the P100-billion coconut levy funds for farmers. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Senator and vice presidential bet Alan Peter Cayetano says government as a whole, had failed the coconut farmers when it failed to release the billions in coconut levy funds.

Speaking to reporters during his visit last Friday at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) campus with his running mate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Cayetano said government should also stop tossing blame and making-up excuses

“All of us in government have failed the coconut farmers. It is still there, P100 billion, ‘di namin naipasa ang bill. So maraming excuses ang ibibigay ng administration, ang mga senators. Pero let us look ourselves in the mirror, and tell ourselves, did we succeed? Nagagamit ba ng coconut farmers ang pera? Hindi. So we have failed. ‘Wag na tayong magturuan. Together, as government, we have failed the coconut farmers and we should do something about it,” he said.

For his part, Duterte said the coco levy fund should be given to coconut farmers, saying the disposition of the fund is long overdue.

"The Supreme Court has said that the money belongs to the people. Matagal na ‘yan. By this pronouncement, it should have been given to the rightful owners," said Duterte during his meeting with farmers at the UPLB campus.

Duterte said the money, which was collected by way of levy from millions of farmers during the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos, must be immediately distributed to coconut farmers and growers.

READ MORE...

According to Duterte’s spokesman Peter Laviña, around 25 percent or 3 million hectares of the country's 12-million hectare agriculture lands are devoted to coconut. There are also around 3.5 million coconut farmers across the country today – making up close to 10 percent of the total 40-million labor force.

The country’s coconut industry, Laviña added, is also among the top 5 net foreign exchange earners, with an average of $760M per year. The Philippines also contributes around 59 percent share in world coconut exports.

If Duterte is elected, Laviña said the coco levy money that can't be returned on account that beneficiaries cannot show proof, cannot be located, or have long passed away, will be placed in a trust fund for research and development, scholarships, replanting and other programs that will directly benefit the coconut industry.

"We need to have a new vision and program for the revival of the coconut industry to bring equitable wealth creation, including restructuring Philippine Coconut Authority to also focus on other vegetable oil crops such as oil palm as complementary to coconut,” Laviña said.


TRIBUNE

Grace Poe blasted by allies, rivals Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 12 March 2016 00:00 f


POE

DU30: Vote for Trump, Clinton, not American Poe


DUTERTE

A political rival of Sen. Grace Poe for the 2016 presidency, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, yesterday told his audience of students at Our Lady of Lourdes College, that Filipino voters who want an American to be the next president of the republic, it would be no different if the Filipino voters cast their votes for either Donald Trump, Republican, or Hilary Clinton, Democrat, both of whom are frontrunners in the US primaries.

At the same time, the administration team scored Poe for not doing anything in the Senate on the coconut levy issue. Duterte told the crowd during the rally that he does not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision qualifying Poe to run for the presidency in 2016, despite doubts of her citizenship and Sen. Grace Poe to run for president amid doubts over her citizenship and residency issues.

“If she is elected president—if you want Poe to become the president, that’s okay with me,’ he said.

“What I want to say is that two years from now, there may surface evidence some two years later that Grace Poe is an American. They might say later, ‘She’s an American. We have been fooled.’

“It’s better that people voted for Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton instead, since she (Poe) and the two American cadidates are the same thing.

Duterte said he has nothing personal against Poe, adding that he is against the idea of electing a possibly a noy-natural born Filipino as president.

The said his beef is about her questionable citizenship, being a foundling with no known parentage.

READ MORE...

The Supreme Court the other day qualified her as a candidate for the presidency on a vote of 9-6, despite no proof of Poe being a natural born citizen with her length of residency in the country having been met, which the SC majority must have counted the start from 2005, when she first returned home. However, she was still an American citizen in 2005, and did not renounce her US citizenship when she applied for, and was granted, dual citizenship.

Poe renounced her American citizenship to accept a job as the chairman of the Movie Review Classification Board and was even said to have left for the US in 2011 to officially state that she is renouncing her citizenship, and in 2012, the US delisted her as a naturalized American citizen.

When asked about the possibility of having an “American First Family”, Duterte just replied that this was beyond his concerns since it’s what the Filipino people want.

“Ask the Filipino people... If that is what the people want (an American president in the Philippines), my word does not really matter.

Duterte has made it clear that he is against the SC decision on Poe because this would create a chaotic situation.
He stressed that he, along with all lawyers, were taught who are the natural born citizens.

Chiz blasts SC critics: Respect ruling


ESCUDERO

Rather than castigating the magistrates who voted in favor of Poe and threatening to impeach them, Escudero said Poe’s political opponents should focus on expounding their platforms of government and plans for the country to the electorate to help voters decide wisely come May 9.

Escudero slammed the losing petitioners in the disqualification case filed against Poe for being “arrogant and presumptuous that they know everything about the law” and even threatening to file impeachment cases against the nine SC justices who voted in favor of the leading presidential candidate.

“These people do not have a monopoly of wisdom in interpreting the law. They should respect the decision of the justices, who would not stake their names, their integrity or their places in history in jeopardy,” Escudero said.

Escudero said that while he the petitioners have the right to file their motions for reconsideration with the high court, “they do not have to malign the justices by lecturing them of what they were supposed to do.”

The senator also pointed out that the petitioners were ill-advised for making such an early, sweeping judgment of the magistrates who voted in favor of Poe even when they, themselves, admitted that they have yet to read a copy of the SC decision.

In fact, as of Wednesday, the High Court has yet to release a copy of the decision.

In separate interviews they granted to media, University of the East College of Law Dean Amado Valdez, lawyer Estrella Elamparo, De La Salle University political science professor Antonio Contreras and former senator Kit Tatad – through his lawyer Manuel Luna – said that, in rendering a decision favorable to Poe, the justices committed “a great injustice to the country and violated the Constitution.

Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno led eight other SC magistrates in voting to allow Poe to run for president in the May 9 elections. The eight are Associate Justices Presbiterio Velasco Jr., Lucas Bersamin, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Francis Jardeleza, and Diosdado Peralta.

Those who voted to uphold the Commission on Elections’ decisions canceling Poe’s certificate of candidacy for president were Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Arturo Brion, Mariano Del Castillo, Bienvenido Reyes, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

“It is the height of insolence that these petitioners could denigrate our justices for a decision that is sound and based on jurisprudence. It is just unfortunate that they may have their own interpretation of the law,” Escudero said.

Admin coalition twits Poe on pending coco levy trust fund bill

The administration’s “Daang Matuwid” coalition twitted Senator Grace Poe for claiming to champion the cause of small coconut farmers, saying that she failed to act on a pending bill creating the coco levy trust fund.

“As Vice-Chair of the Agricultural Committee, perhaps Senator Poe can explain why the bill remains unpassed at (and) why she did not even become a co-author. It’s easy to say you are an ally of a particular sector. The hard thing is doing real work to genuinely help them,” coalition spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said on Friday.

The statement came after Poe’s running mate Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero blamed some key members of the ruling Liberal Party for the non-passage of the bill.

LP to Poe: You did nothing in Senate

The Daang Matuwid spokesman, Rep. Barry Gutierrez hit back at Poe who, after farmers slammed her for defending the coco-levy, said that unlike Poe and Escudero, he and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, who is running for vice president with LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas, played major roles in passing the bill in the lower house.

He shot back at Poe and Escudero: What were you doing in the Senate, especially since Poe was vice chairman of the agriculture committee.

The coco levy trust fund bill created to manage the fund, valued at least P70 billion, for local coconut farmers remains pending in the Senate.

“Our commitment is seen with the passing of the coco levy trust fund bill in the House after it was certified urgent by the President. Cong. Leni and I spearheaded its passing in the lower house,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said it is one of the administration party’s priorities to make sure farmers benefit from the money recovered from cronies of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Another critic, former Rep. Walden Bello, who is running for the Senate said: Poe is showing her true political color.

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Poe got $150M from Macau firm in breach of laws Written by Tribune Wires Monday, 14 March 2016 00:00



Independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe has accepted campaign contributions from a Macau-based junket operator, Sun City Group, in possible violation of Philippine laws.

Documents obtained by the Tribune showed that Poe’s camp accepted a total of P150 million in “political donations” from Sun City Holiday Resort owned by gambling mogul Alvin Chau which was recorded through three cash vouchers issued last year.
One of the vouchers, for P50 million in contributions, has the discernible signature of Grace Poe in it.

A prospectus of the Macau firm said the Sun City Group was established in 2007 and is now one of the big four junket operations in Macau that control around 80 percent of the local VIP baccarat market worth $6.1 billion, equivalent to 74 percent of Macau’s total casino gaming revenue last year.

Sun City Group runs VIP clubs at 11 Macau venues—the newest club, spanning more than 20,000 square feet, is the Galaxy Suncity VIP Club, unveiled at the Galaxy Macau resort opening in May last year, it said.

Suncity also runs a high roller operation at Paradise Walkerhill casino in South Korea, and has representative offices in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan.

“In 2008, the group established Sun City Tours, which offers comprehensive travel agency services in Macau,” it said.

 “Suncity also owns chic entertainment venues, including Club Lotus nightclub at Venetian Macao, which regularly hosts the world’s top DJs and music acts. Macau’s trendy set are also eagerly awaiting Suncity’s Sky 21 Bar and Restaurant, which is now under renovation and is set to open atop AIA Tower at the end of 2011,” it said.

Sun City Group is also trying to establish a strong foothold in the local gaming industry as the company said it plans to expand its VIP room presence in Solaire and City of Dreams.

This was not the first time that Poe has figured into what are likely illegal contributions as she is already under fire for the use of helicopters in campaign sorties which she admitted to have been lent by San Miguel Corp. and Helitrend Corp.

Two laws, the Corporation Code and the Omnibus Election Code which both ban companies from making donations for election purposes, may have been violated as a result of the Macau contributions.

Section 36 of the Corporation Code provides that companies can make reasonable donations for charity and for the public welfare, but not “in aid of any political party or candidate or for purposes of partisan political activity.”

Section 95 of the Omnibus Election Code states that among those prohibited from contributing “for purposes of partisan political activity” are: public or private financial institutions; operators of public utility or those in possession of or exploiting any natural resources of the nation; contractors or sub-contractors that supply the government with goods or services, or perform construction or other works; grantees of government-granted franchises; grantees of loans worth more than P100,000 by the government; educational institutions that have received grants of public funds of more than P100,000; officials and employees in the civil service, or members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and “foreigners and foreign corporations.”

The SEC ruled in July 2015, that the Omnibus Election Code should not be considered as an amendment of the ban in the Corporation Code.

“However, if we are to harmonize and give effect to both laws, it is prudent to uphold the absolute prohibition on donations to any candidate or political party or for purposes of partisan political activity by any and all corporations,” the SEC said.

Prohibition absolute — SEC

The SEC added that the prohibition of contribution from foreign and domestic corporations “is absolute.”

The SEC said Section 95 of the Omnibus Election Code should be appreciated as an amplification of the absolute prohibition contained in the Corporation Code.

The SEC said that while the Corporation Code is a blanket prohibition over all corporations, the Omnibus Election Code is industry and activity specific, taking into consideration the amount of influence the prohibited entity can exercise over the government.

“These differences do not clash with each other to the point that one is a bar to enforcement and effectivity of the other… the presence of these two laws, especially as they affect corporations, serves as a more effective deterrent for corporations planning to make contributions for partisan political activities,” the SEC said.

The SEC said the nationality of a corporation does not matter in determining the applicability of the prohibition.


RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

INQUIRER

Chief Justice lashes at critics of SC ruling in Poe DQ case - No room for doubt on Poe SHARES: 1826 VIEW COMMENTS By: Tarra Quismundo @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:38 AM March 13th, 2016


Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Saturday insisted that there is no room for doubt in the Supreme Court’s majority ruling to uphold Sen. Grace Poe’s qualification to run for President, even as opponents of the landmark ruling cited a split within the majority of nine justices who voted to overturn the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision canceling Poe’s certificate of candidacy.

In her extensive concurring opinion, Sereno sought to answer the questions raised on how firm the high court majority was in upholding the natural-born status and 10-year residency of Poe.

The decision said the Comelec had gravely abused its discretion in canceling Poe’s certificate of candidacy.

Without naming names, Sereno cited a particular dissent that apparently made the majority ruling appear weak.

“With the majority of the members of the Court declaring, by a vote of 9 as against 6, that petitioner Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares has no legal impediment to run for the presidency, it is most unfortunate that one of the dissenting opinions opens with a statement that tries to cast uncertainty on an already tense situation,” Sereno wrote.

“The dissent gives excessive weight to the fact that there are five justices in the minority who believe that petitioner does not have the qualifications for the presidency, while ignoring the reality that there are at least seven justices who believe that petitioner possesses these qualifications,” she said.

‘Not binding’

Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro disclosed the other day that there was a “split” in the majority, saying that the nine who voted to qualify Poe differed on how to treat the citizenship and residency issues raised against her.

READ MORE...

“Even the nine who voted with the majority did not have a uniform position on the issues,” she said.

Manuelito Luna, the counsel for former Sen. Francisco Tatad, one of the four petitioners for Poe’s disqualification in the Comelec, said the vote of seven meant that the ruling “binds no one.”

“Only seven justices, or less than the majority, voted to declare Poe presumptively natural-born and a resident of the Philippines for 10 years immediately preceding the day of the election,” Luna said in a statement on Saturday.

“It binds no one; it cannot become part of the law of the land or jurisprudence,” he said.

‘Clear majority’

But Sereno insisted that there was a clear majority. By her account, out of the nine who voted to grant Poe’s petition against her disqualification, seven agreed to hold that Poe was natural-born. But only 12 of the full court of 15 justices participated in the voting on that particular question, she said, making it a clear majority of seven.

“Out of the 12 members who voted on the substantive question on citizenship, a clear majority of seven voted in favor of petitioner. As to residency, seven out of 13 voted that petitioner complied with the 10-year residency requirement,” Sereno said.

“These votes, as explained in the extended opinions submitted by the members of the majority, must be respected,” she added.

Dissent in majority

Based on the voting sheet, Associate Justices Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa and Diosdado Peralta were the two justices in the majority who did not want to put the citizenship question to a vote.

Caguioa and Peralta argued that the decision should only go as far as ruling that Poe did not commit material misrepresentation, with the intent to deceive, in saying that she was both natural-born and a Philippine resident of at least 10 years in her certificate of candidacy.

Caguioa explained his divergence from the majority on the citizenship issue.

“On this point I deviate from the majority opinion when it proceeded to rule on the question of the petitioner’s citizenship. Keeping in mind the nature of this court’s limited certiorari review, I believe that this court need not have made a definitive ruling on petitioner’s status as a natural-born Filipino citizen,” he wrote in his 11-page opinion, in which he was joined by Peralta.

“I concur, however, that the Comelec grossly misappreciated the evidence when it found that the petitioner deliberately intended to mislead the electorate when she stated that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen, knowing full well that she is a foundling,” he said.

6 voted to disqualify

Those who voted to uphold Poe’s disqualification on account of lacking the necessary qualifications included the three justices who also rejected Poe’s claim to natural-born status on the Senate Electoral Tribunal in a separate case: Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, De Castro and Arturo Brion. Associate Justices Bienvenido Reyes, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Mariano del Castillo also voted against Poe.

Of the six, only Reyes opted not to issue his own dissenting opinion, joining Bernabe’s instead.

Comelec castigated

Sereno, who was vocal in supporting the rights of foundlings during oral arguments on the case, castigated the Comelec for shifting the burden to Poe to prove her citizenship.

“The standard proposed by the Comelec—physical proof of blood relation to a parent who is a citizen of the Philippines—is an impossible, oppressive and discriminatory condition,” the chief magistrate said.

“To allow the imposition of this unjust and unreasonable requirement is to sanction a violation of the Constitution and our obligations under existing international law,” she said.

Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., in his separate opinion, agreed with this point, saying that putting the burden of proving citizenship on foundlings “is as preposterous as rubbing salt on an open bleeding wound.”

“It adds insult to injury. The state cannot allow such unconscionable interpretation of our laws. Instead, the judiciary, as the instrumentality of the State in its role of parens patriae (parent of the nation), must ensure that the abandoned children, the foundlings, those who were forced into an unfavorable position are duly protected,” he said.

‘Discriminatory’

So did Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza, saying the Comelec held a “discriminatory interpretation of the Constitution” in requiring Poe to prove her natural-born status despite being “abandoned as an infant with unknown facts of birth and parentage.”

“It (Comelec) acted with ‘an evil eye and unequal hand,’ denying foundlings equal justice guaranteed by the same fundamental law. This is grave abuse of discretion,” he said.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said the status of foundlings as natural-born Filipinos could be inferred from the intent of the Constitution, acts of the executive and legislative branches, and the Philippines’ concurrence with international law.

“Doing justice and discharging our duty to uphold the rule of law require that we conclude that foundlings are natural-born Filipino citizens, absent any evidence that proves the contrary,” said Leonen.

“This is the inescapable conclusion when we read the provisions on citizenship in the context of the entire Constitution, which likewise mandates equality, human dignity, social justice and care for abandoned children,” he added. TVJ

RELATED STORIES

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Duterte on Poe after SC decision: ‘Goodluck to her, I wish her the best’

Chief Justice: PH adoption laws recognize foundlings as Filipino citizens

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Doubts grow over Poe majority rule Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Monday, 14 March 2016 00:00



SC RULES SHOWED JUDGMENT ‘INEFFECTUAL’

The mystery over the Supreme Court’s use of fuzzy mathematics in issuing a “majority” decision that threw out the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) earlier ruling disqualifying independent presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe became deeper yesterday as a counsel in the controversial Poe case said the ruling was patently “null and void.”

Then presidential candidate George W. Bush used the term “fuzzy math” during the debates prior to the 2000 US presidential elections in dismissing doubtful economic figures used by his opponent Al Gore.

Manuelito Luna, counsel for former Sen. Francisco Tatad in the petition to disqualify Poe on the citizenship and residency requirements of the Constitution on a presidential bet, said based on the numeracy rule and the internal rules of the SC, the 7-5 vote outcome on the citizenship qualification as well as the 7-6 vote outcome on the residency qualification, meant that no majority vote was obtained.

Since the dispositive portion of the (SC) decision esssentially states that Poe is qualified to run for President in the coming election, and since the voting on these substantive issues is one less of the majority of eight, then the nine members of the Court could not have qualified her for the presidential election since the judgment was “inneffectual, if not patently null and void,” he added.

Luna said 50 percent plus one of the 15-member SC equals eight, which is a sinple majority. Poe’s claim of qualification to be a presidential candidate following a Supreme Court decision on her petitions remained tenuous despite the supposed majority ruling based on the dissenting opinion of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

In his 55-page dissenting opinion, Carpio said the SC’s voting on the issue of citizenship was 7-5-3 and pointed out there was no majority ruling on Poe’s qualification as a natural-born citizen and asserted that he believes that allowing a naturalized citizen to run for president and possibly lead the country’s military may set a dangerous precedent.

Carpio explained that only seven of the nine justices in the majority ruling were of the opinion that foundlings like the senator are considered natural-born citizens.

They were Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Lucas Bersamin, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, Marvic Leonen and Francis Jardeleza.

Two other magistrates - Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta and Benjamin Caguioa - joined the separate dissenting opinion of Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo that the SC should not rule on the citizenship issue on this case.

They held that the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion since Poe did not make deliberate misrepresentation on her 10-year residency status, but there is no need for the SC to determine the eligibility of Poe on the citizenship requirement under the Constitution.


CARPIO

Aside from Carpio, four other magistrates - Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Bienvenido Reyes - joined in his dissenting opinion that Poe is not a natural-born Filipino and also lacks the residency requirement.This means their actual voting on the citizenship issue was 7-5-3.

“What is clear and undeniable is that there is no majority of this Court that holds that petitioner Mary Grace Natividad Poe Llamanzares is a natural-born Filipino citizen,” Carpio stressed.

Rule 12, Section 1 of the SC Internal Rules requires that all decisions and actions in court cases “shall be made up upon the concurrence of the majority of the Members of the Court who actually took part in the deliberation on the issues or issues involved and voted on them.”For a case where all 15 justices voted, at least eight votes are needed to achieve a majority ruling.

Luna has taken cue from Carpio’s dissent in their plan to appeal the ruling.

“Only seven justices or less than the majority of the SC voted to declare Poe presumptively natural-born. It binds no one; it cannot become part of the law of the land or jurisprudence,” he said in a statement.

Sereno’s faulty counting

Luna questioned the explanation of Sereno in her concurring opinion that the basis in counting the majority should only be 12 and not 15 since the three who voted not to rule on the citizenship issue should not be counted.

“In the TRO, the voting was 12-3. The voting to grant or not to grant petition was 9-6. Hence, the basis for computation for the number of majority should be 15 and the majority should be 8,” the lawyer explained.

Luna said they would appeal the majority ruling, which he alleged “is diametrically opposed to Constitution, the rules, and the rulings in Reyes v. Comelec and Cerafica v. Comelec, among others.”

“The seven justices practically re-wrote the Constitution through a judicial opinion resulting in the impermissible discrimination of half-bloods, those whose mothers are Filipinos and covered by the 1935 Constitution,” he argued.

Carpio said the majority ruling provided an “anomalous situation” beyond the intent of the framers of the Constitution.

“The election process becomes a complete mockery since the electorate is mercilessly offered choices which include patently ineligible candidates. The electorate is also needlessly misled to cast their votes, and thus waste their votes, for an ineligible candidate,” the senior magistrate stressed.He centered his dissent on the issue of Poe’s citizenship, reiterating she is not a natural-born Filipino – both as a foundling and a former American citizen.

“To allow a person, who is found by the Comelec not to be a natural-born Filipino citizen, to run for President of the Philippines constitutes a mockery of the election process. Any person, who is not a natural-born Filipino citizen, running for President is obviously a nuisance candidate under Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code,” Carpio said.

Carpio also rebutted the majority opinion that Poe does not have the burden to prove her being natural-born by establishing Filipino blood lineage since citizenship accorded to foundling is presumed.

“Any person who claims to be qualified to run for the position of President of the Philippines because he or she is, among others, a natural-born Filipino citizen, has the burden of proving he or she is a natural-born Filipino citizen. Any doubt whether or not he or she is natural-born Filipino citizen is resolved against him or her. The constitutional requirement of a natural-born citizen, being an express qualification for election as President, must be complied with strictly,” he stressed.

Also, the senior justice added that the country is not bound by international laws on foundlings.

“In sum, there is no international treaty to which the Philippines is a contracting party, which provides expressly or impliedly that a foundling is deemed a natural-born citizen of the country in which the foundling is found. There is also obviously no international treaty, to which the Philippines is not a party, obligating the Philippines to confer automatically Philippine citizenship to a foundling at birth,” Carpio said.

“Otherwise, a natural-born Filipino citizen who has absolutely renounced and abjured allegiance to the Philippines and pledged sole allegiance to the United States, undertaking to bear arms against any foreign country, including the Philippines, when required by U.S. law, could still become the Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by performing a simple act – taking an oath of allegiance before a Philippine public official – to reacquire natural-born Philippine citizenship. The framers of the Constitution, and the Filipino people who ratified the Constitution, could not have intended such an anomalous situation,” he said.

Carpio also joined Del Castillo’s position that Poe would not meet the 10-year residency requirement before the May polls.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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