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AFTER THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE #2 IN CEBU

MIRIAM JOINS CEBU PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE, ON TWITTER


MARCH 21 -SANTIAGO -Presidential candidate Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has weighed in on various issues which were raised during the second presidential debate held in Cebu City on Sunday using the tool that she knows best—social media. Santiago, through her staff, made her views regarding the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, the legalization of divorce, and the West Philippine Sea dispute on Twitter. READ: Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas square off in delay-marred Cebu debate No-show Santiago’s podium to be taken out of stage on 2nd debate On the FOI bill, Santiago said she would certify it as urgent if elected president. She said she already introduced amendments on the Senate version of the bill for its improvement. Santiago would have been the only candidate to push for the legalization of divorce in the country. The senator said that her support for divorce was hinged on two grounds: attempt on the life of a spouse by the other; and adultery or concubinage. She was also open to death penalty for drug traffickers—a sentiment she shared with Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. READ MORE, READ THE TWEETS..ALSO, .Fact-checking the second presidential debate...

ALSO: Miriam remains UP’s bet


MARCH 27 -Spearheaded by the Alpha Sigma fraternity, the mock elections held at UP Diliman, Manila and Los Baños from Feb. 24 to March 11 showed Santiago winning by a huge margin over her opponents. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file
MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago topped the mock elections for president at three campuses of the University of the Philippines in which over 11,000 students took part.
Spearheaded by the Alpha Sigma fraternity, the mock elections held at UP Diliman, Manila and Los Baños from Feb. 24 to March 11 showed Santiago winning by a huge margin over her opponents. Out of the 11,755 students who took part in the polls, 6,606 or 56.2 percent said they would vote for Santiago. Trailing her was Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte with 2,356 votes, Sen. Grace Poe with 1,273, Liberal Party bet Manuel Roxas II with 641 and Vice President Jejomar Binay with 288. A total of 591 students did not choose any of the candidates for president. In the vice presidential race, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo topped the race with 4,715 votes, followed by Sen. Francis Escudero with 1,938 and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with 1,874. Trailing them are Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with 1,447 votes, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV with 475, and Sen. Gregorio Honasan II with 474. A total of 832 students abstained from voting in the vice presidential race. READ MORE...RELATED, 5 takeaways from the 2nd presidential debate...  ALSO, 2nd debate more engaging – Comelec says...

ALSO: EDITORIAL -  ‘This is my time’
[Sunday’s debate gave us, among others, a preview of what each presidency would look like. Four presidential candidates answered questions from journalists and from each other on various national issues, but their demeanor in doing so was even more telling than the words they spewed.]


MARCH 22 -Sunday’s debate gave us, among others, a preview of what each presidency would look like. Four presidential candidates answered questions from journalists and from each other on various national issues, but their demeanor in doing so was even more telling than the words they spewed.
All four candidates—Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe and former Secretary Manuel Roxas II—fended off questions regarding issues of corruption, human rights violation, patriotism and incompetence, respectively, with some coming off better prepared and tougher than the others. Binay, despite being a lawyer, seemed particularly off even as he repeated himself numerous times accusing Poe of abandoning her country to become a citizen of the United States. Duterte gave the highest number of sound bytes, pummeling Roxas with sweeping accusations and calling him names. Poe cleverly laid a trap for Binay by saying working hard in a foreign country is so much better than staying here and plundering public funds. When the vice president took offense, she said she was not referring to him. Roxas, for his part, was visibly upset by attacks on his person. He appeared the most out of touch among all the four candidates. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - True colors revealed


MARCH 22 -The second edition of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-sponsored presidential debate was full of revelations. More than what the candidates said, the four presidential bets who many consider will slug it out in the May presidential poll, revealed their true character. United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) bet Jejomar Binay was steadfast in his advocacy of decisive leadership and in fending off attacks from his opponents which he said are best taken up in a court of law. Binay, as always, came prepared and brought with him documents which were meant to refute allegations of irregularities which was allowed initially by organizer TV5 but which the Comelec blocked saying a standing rule bars candidates from bringing with them documents to the podium. The dispute over the documents apparently delayed the opening of the debate with the camp of administration Liberal Party (LP) candidate Mar Roxas and Sen. Grace Poe, insisting that Binay comply with the Comelec rules. In the end, Binay was still holding documents when the debate started although he was barred from reading from it by the moderator. Independent candidate Senator Poe obviously got a lot of coaching on debate strategy as she uncharacteristically fired the first shot in the exchange of heated accusations among the candidates, as she chided Binay over his refusal to attend the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee inquisition that lasted for one year, yet when Binay wanted to show the documents to prove that the allegations were nothing but black propaganda, Poe and the moderator stopped him from doing so. Binay said he will issue an Executive Order to implement provisions of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to which Poe retorted that since he has avoided the Senate hearings, how can he be believable in his vow.
Binay coolly responded saying that he is a man of action and will do what he promises. Poe was trying to establish herself as having firm convictions but failed because the citizenship issue, which remains the biggest question on her despite the recent Supreme Court ruling, threw a cloud of doubt on even the basic concept of her loyalty to country. PDP-Laban candidate Rodrigo Duterte as always failed to impress as he continued to emphasize his achievements in Davao City when he is not seeking a re-election for the local post but as president of the entire country. He generally refused to engage his opponents to a joust except for his favorite pet peeve Roxas.READ MORE...
RELATED, EDITORIAL - FOI bravado live AND MALAYA COLUMN - DIGONG WINS – AGAIN!...

ALSO: After drawing flak, Teddy Locsin Jr. defends 'Tagalog' comment


MARCH 21 -LOCSIN Former lawmaker and ''#NoFilter'' host Teddy Locsin Jr. on Monday explained his view on the use of the Filipino language in debates, after he drew flak for urging candidates to speak only in English. During the second leg of the PiliPinas presidential debates, Locsin tweeted about his opinion on the use of Tagalog in debates, saying that the use of the language for debate "should be discouraged."
Locsin's tweets received flak from netizens, especially from Filipino language advocates and members of the academe. But he shrugged these off, even telling his critics to "grow up." "If you really have something, show me that it is a good language. That it is effective in debate, that it can get its point across," Locsin said on ANC Alerts on Monday. Locsin said that "Tagalog" can be used in a debate only if it is straight to the point. "You can also say it in Tagalog if you are a Ted Failon and not a Chiz (Escudero), then it's derecho, the way they speak, the way Ted speaks, the way Luchi (Cruz-Valdez) spoke during the debate. It sounded like English to me because it was clear and to the point," he said. Locsin was referring to the part of the debate where Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte asked Senator Grace Poe what she would do if she gets a call early in the morning about China sinking two Philippine ships. For Locsin, Poe could have easily answered the question in English. READ MORE...

ALSO: Easter, masayang sinabulong sa bayan ng Calauag sa Quezon


Photo by Peewee Bacuño
Masayang isinagawa ang tradisyunal na "Salubong" sa Linggo ng Muling Pagkabuhay sa St. Peter the Apostle Church sa bayan ng Calauag sa lalawigan ng Quezon madalaing-araw nitong Linggo. Sinimulan ng mga Kaloliko sa Calauag ang okasyon sa pamamagitan ng banal na Misa. Matapos ang Misa, idinaos ang prusisyon na nahahati sa dalawang grupo. Ang mga kalalakihan ay kasama sa imahe ni Hesus na muling nabuhay (Risen Christ), at ang mga kababaihan naman ay kasama sa imahe ni Birheng Maria na naka belo ng itim. Nang makaikot sa bayan ang hiwalay na prusisyon ng dalawang grupo, nagsalubong ito upang isagawa ang pagsasadula ng Salubong, na ayon sa Bibliya ay ang pagtatagpo ng Inang Maria at ni Hesus na muling nabuhay. Masaya at masiglang umawit ang mga batang naka-bihis anghel. Ang isa sa kanila ay nakabitin pa mula sa tutok ng ginawang arko at umaawit ito habang dahan-dahang inaalis ang belong itim ni Maria sa isang tagpo ng Salubong. Dumagsa ang maraming mananampalataya, lahat ay nananabik na mapanood ang pagaalis sa belong itim ng imahe ni Maria. May paniniwala ang ilang taga-Calauag na kapag nahirapang alisin o hindi raw naalis ang belong itim ay mamalasin ang kanilang lugar at kung mabilis na naaalis naman ang belo ay maayos at magaan ang magiging pamumuhay ng mga taga rito. — Peewee Bacuño/LBG, GMA News  FULL REPORT


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Miriam joins Cebu presidential debate — on Twitter

MANILA, MARCH 21, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Aries Joseph Hegina @AHeginaINQ March 21st, 2016 - Presidential candidate Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has weighed in on various issues which were raised during the second presidential debate held in Cebu City on Sunday using the tool that she knows best—social media.

Santiago, through her staff, made her views regarding the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, the legalization of divorce, and the West Philippine Sea dispute on Twitter.

READ:

Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas square off in delay-marred Cebu debate

No-show Santiago’s podium to be taken out of stage on 2nd debate

On the FOI bill, Santiago said she would certify it as urgent if elected president. She said she already introduced amendments on the Senate version of the bill for its improvement.

Santiago would have been the only candidate to push for the legalization of divorce in the country.

The senator said that her support for divorce was hinged on two grounds: attempt on the life of a spouse by the other; and adultery or concubinage.

She was also open to death penalty for drug traffickers—a sentiment she shared with Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

READ MORE...

“Miriam is open to death penalty for drug traffickers. She also maintains that the justice system should be improved,” the tweet from her staff read.

Regarding the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, the senator said that she would “assert PH nat’l territorial integrity, and will join Asean in facing China.”

Santiago earlier announced that she would not be able to join the Cebu debate because she signed up for a clinical trial for a new anticancer drug.

“I am very sorry to miss out on the debates, but it would be a disservice to the country if I forego the opportunity to get rid of my cancer completely and strengthen myself further to serve the Filipino people,” Santiago said in a statement on Thursday, March 17. Santiago is currently last in voter preference polls. This is her third try for the presidency.

#VotePH2016: The Inquirer multimedia coverage of the 2016 national and local elections in the Philippines provides to voters the latest news, photos, videos and infographics on the candidates and their platforms, as well as real-time election results come May 9, 2016. Visit our special Elections 2016 site here: http://www.inquirer.net/elections2016 .


PHILSTAR

Miriam remains UP’s bet By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 27, 2016 - 12:00am 0 292 googleplus0 0


Spearheaded by the Alpha Sigma fraternity, the mock elections held at UP Diliman, Manila and Los Baños from Feb. 24 to March 11 showed Santiago winning by a huge margin over her opponents. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago topped the mock elections for president at three campuses of the University of the Philippines in which over 11,000 students took part.

Spearheaded by the Alpha Sigma fraternity, the mock elections held at UP Diliman, Manila and Los Baños from Feb. 24 to March 11 showed Santiago winning by a huge margin over her opponents.

Out of the 11,755 students who took part in the polls, 6,606 or 56.2 percent said they would vote for Santiago.

Trailing her was Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte with 2,356 votes, Sen. Grace Poe with 1,273, Liberal Party bet Manuel Roxas II with 641 and Vice President Jejomar Binay with 288.

A total of 591 students did not choose any of the candidates for president.

In the vice presidential race, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo topped the race with 4,715 votes, followed by Sen. Francis Escudero with 1,938 and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with 1,874.

Trailing them are Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with 1,447 votes, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV with 475, and Sen. Gregorio Honasan II with 474.

A total of 832 students abstained from voting in the vice presidential race.

READ MORE...

Around half of the respondents said they were not registered voters or are still not eligible to vote.

In the previous poll, when the list of candidates had yet to be finalized, students from UP Diliman chose Roxas and Santiago as their preferred candidates for president and vice president, respectively.

Manuel Golez, project head of the Boto ng Iskolar ng Bayan: The UP Alpha Sigma Mock Election Series, said they intend to expand the next mock polls to other UP units.

In a statement, Santiago, a UP alumnus who used to teach at the university’s College of Law, welcomed the result of the mock polls.

“I am honored to have been chosen by UP students, who are some of the most discerning voters and opinion leaders. If elected, I vow to continue the tradition of honor and excellence embodied by UP,” the senator said.

While lagging in surveys conducted by Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, Santiago has consistently topped mock polls held in colleges and universities.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Fact-checking the second presidential debate (philstar.com) | Updated March 22, 2016 - 10:20am 38 436 googleplus0 0


The second leg of the presidential debates, held in Cebu, was filled with flowery promises and fiery rhetoric.

We looked into some of the statements that four presidential candidates made on Sunday evening to see which had basis and which were mostly bluster.

Ang dami nating savings. The government is guilty of underspending.

JEJOMAR BINAY March 20, 2016 - Presidential Debate Visayas 2016 Consistently True Responding to a question on how government can spend more on services and projects while also lowering tax rates, Binay pointed out that the government has not been spending as much as it has planned. He said that government spending is part of what spurs economic growth.

The government has, in fact, not been reaching spending caps in recent years. But Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in an interview in 2015 that saying the government underspends is not quite accurate.

"I think the real and more precise term is we spend slow, but we eventually spend as much as 93 percent of the funds by the end of the year," Abad said. Source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2015/10/21/1512961/budget-chief-close-range-we-dont-underspend-rather-we-spend-slow

Infrastructure spending in 2015 -- P595.78 billion -- was the highest since 1991 but only accounted for 3.7 percent of gross domestic product against the target of four percent. Source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2016/03/21/1564913/roads-bridges-corner-bulk-record-infra-spending

DUTERTE: The secretary has forgotten that being the DILG secretary, he controls the police. Kaming mga mayor, we only give guidance... we do not exercise control over the police

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, responding to a claim made by former Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II that he had failed to address barangays in Davao City that had been identified as "drug-infested" said the failure was DILG's, and, by extension, Roxas's.

READ MORE...

Although the Philippine National Police is technically a bureau under the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Local Government Code and the DILG Act deputize mayors as members of the National Police Commission and grant them "operational supervision and control over PNP units in their respective jurisdiction" except for the month immediately before the elections control goes to the Commission on Elections.

Duterte, who has been promising to go after drug syndicates and has said he will lower crime rates within six months if elected president, has been praised by his supporters for his tough stance on crime, has held up Davao City as the model of a safe city where laws are enforced vigorously.

BINAY: Mr. Roxas, tinuro ka ni Mr> Vitangcol. Nagnakaw, ano ba?

During a heated part of the debate, Binay accused Roxas of stealing money through a maintenance contract for the Metro Rail Transit-3, citing an accusation from former MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol III, who is facing a graft case over the deal.

Although Vitangcol has said Roxas, former Department of Transportation and Communications, should also be charged over the deterioration of the train system, he did not say that Roxas stole public money. Source: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/02/18/1554372/ex-mrt-chief-tags-roxas-mrt-contract-mess

Vitangcol is, in fact, in hot water for allegedly acting in "evident bad faith, manifest partiality, or gross inexcusable negligence" for awarding a contract to Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corp, or PH Trams, where an in-law was an executive.

Vitangcol's relative Arturo Soriano, as well PH Trams executives Marlo dela Cruz, Wilson de Vera, Manolo Maralit and Federico Remo are also facing criminal charges over the deal.

POE: Hindi ko pinirmahan ang batas na ito sa simpleng pananaw lamang na kailangan may representasyon ang mga nagtatanim ng niyog.

False. Asked about her independence in light of a perceived connection to business tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, Poe said that disposition of coco levy assets awarded to the government is up to the government and not Cojuangco.

She also said that she did not support a bill at the Senate that would create a law to govern how the funds will be used.

A copy of Committee Report 106 consolidating bills dealing with the coco levy funds on the Senate website, however, shows that Poe signed the report, which recommended approval of Senate Bill 2675.

Senate Bill 2675 creates the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Committee, which will have five representatives from the coconut farmers sector.

Sen. Cynthia Villar's Senate Bill 2126, Sen. Bam Aquino's Senate Bill 2467 and Sen. Ralph Recto's 455, which were consolidated in Senate Bill 2675, also included provisions to include representatives of farmers' organizations in bodies that would supervise the use of the coco levy funds.

It must be pointed out, however, that signing or not signing the committee report will not move the bill closer to passage by the Senate. According to the Senate website, SB 2675 is still pending approval on second reading and was last discussed on the Senate floor in May 2015.

ROXAS "Sa lahat sa atin dito, ako lang ang nakapagpasa ng batas na ang minimum wage earner ay exempted sa income tax."

While a senator, Roxas filed Senate Bill 103 "to exempt minimum wage earners in the private sector and government workers in Salary Grades 1 to 3" from paying income taxes. That bill was consolidated into what would become Senate Bill 2293. Congress passed the bill, which was later enacted as Republic Act 9504.

RA 9504 exempted minimum-wage earners from paying income taxes and raised the personal tax exemptions to P50,000 from P25,000.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

5 takeaways from the 2nd presidential debate By Jovan Cerda (philstar.com) | Updated March 21, 2016 - 3:41pm 47 993 googleplus5 0


The second presidential debate was held on Sunday at the University of the Philippines Cebu.

MANILA, Philippines — It was a debate unlike the first one, with candidates going out of their way to launch attacks against others who were prepared to retaliate. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the things that happened during the second PiliPinas Presidential Debates.

1. The great delay

The debate was supposed to begin at 5 p.m., but because of a major miscommunication, it took more than one and a half hours before all four presidential candidates appeared on stage. The debate was delayed when, according to moderator Luchi Cruz-Valdes, she mistakenly allowed Vice President Jejomar Binay to present documents during the debate. This was a lapse on her part, as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) explicitly told the presidential candidates that they are not allowed to bring notes during debates.

In a statement, the TV5 management, one of the organizers of the debate, said: "On behalf of the management of TV5, the President, Mr. Noel Lorenzana and the head of News, Ms. Luchi Cruz-Valdes, would like to apologize for the inordinate delay in the 2nd Presidential debate that was brought about solely by the confusion on the rules implemented by the COMELEC on the Debate. In the end, the Management of TV5, the COMELEC and the presidential candidates, have agreed that despite the technical and procedural issues, it is more important to allow the debate to proceed and not deprive the public of their right to witness this historical, exciting and Aksyon-filled event."

Binay insisted that he was allowed to bring documents, but Comelec Chair Andres Bautista was firm that the four of them have to abide by the debate rules set by the poll body.

In a video record of the pre-debate events, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe and Manuel "Mar" Roxas II took turns chiding Binay over his insistence to use the documents. In the end, he was not allowed to use them. The debate started at around 6:30 p.m.

2. Binay attacked for corruption allegations

If the first debate on February 21 appeared more of a forum than an actual debate, the second one showed the candidates taking off their gloves and giving everyone else a hard time.

READ MORE...

In a question about the Freedom of Information Bill, an apparently more combative Poe drew first blood when she came out swinging against Binay's refusal to attend multiple Senate hearings on the graft and corruption allegations being hurled against him. Binay earlier said he would issue an executive order in support of the freedom of information in case he wins the presidency, but Poe was quick to paint a picture of the vice president as a hypocrite.

Binay went off topic and decided to attack Poe instead on her "allegiance" to the United States and the junior senator being "ashamed" of the Philippines.

Poe retorted, saying that one may be living in the Philippines, but is stealing money from the people. When Binay said there has yet to be a ruling against him, Poe attacked the vice president's defensiveness: "Did I say you're the one who stole?"

In a separate issue on Poe's position on the coco levy funds, Binay told the senator that there is nothing left of the funds despite the Supreme Court ruling to distribute them to farmer beneficiaries. Poe took the opportunity to launch a potshot out of nowhere, asking Binay if the funds were sent through Philrem. In a news report, the vice president was accused of using the remittance company to send $100 million to Hong Kong. The same company was tagged in the $81-million bank heist from Bangladesh Bank where the stolen money found its way to Philippine casinos.

Roxas, for his part, asked Binay to defend himself amid a flurry of corruption allegations, particularly the alleged overpricing in the procurement of equipment at the Ospital ng Makati.

The vice president initially did not directly answer the question, but instead opted to discredit the Commission on Audit by saying they are only doing table surveys that get discredited by the anti-graft court.

In the end, Binay dismissed Roxas's attack by saying that prices don't matter when looking at the quality of procurements.

In an attempt to clear himself from all the attacks thrown at him ever since he announced his bid for the presidency, Binay challenged the candidates to sign bank secrecy waivers, but he was not allowed by the moderator.

3. Strong exchange between Poe and Roxas

Perhaps one of the more substantive exchanges in the debate happened between Poe and Roxas on the issue of Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB). According to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), BUB is a "one of the major reform initiatives of the Aquino administration" and has been tagged as such from several perspectives.

"First, it is seen as a component of its budget reform thrusts that are aimed at making the national government budgeting process more responsive to local needs. Second, the BUB is viewed as part of the democracy/empowerment reform as it opens another avenue for people's participation in local planning and budgeting and for generating demand for good governance at the local level. Third, it is also perceived as part of local governance reform in the sense that it provides incentives for good local governance," the PIDS noted.

Roxas managed to explain how BUB works, but Poe was sharp in questioning the potential of BUB to be exploited by the current administration to gain the support of local government especially during election season. Roxas responded by saying the BUB has been in effect since 2011.

With her point answered, Poe shifted her attack and questioned the inclusion of "menu" items in the budget which can be politicized by the administration by choosing which local government units and projects to prioritize.

Roxas spun this argument by saying that the menu items are there so that local officials won't be able to spend the budget on unnecessary projects like waiting sheds and welcome arches where they can emblazon their names even if the taxpayers paid for them.

This exchange between Roxas and Poe is particularly notable because out of all the exchanges in the debate, their question-and-answer portion was devoid of personal attacks and the two candidates decided to actually engage each other instead of bringing up unnecessary issues that could have only muddled the discussion. Poe raised sharp and legitimate questions, while Roxas was patient in explaining details and defending the administration.

4. Digressing from the main topic to attack each other

In what seemed like a pattern all throughout the debate, the presidential aspirants went all out on personally attacking each other even if they went off course from the main topic at hand.

For Binay, it was opening up the issue of Poe's lack of loyalty to the country on the issue on the Freedom of Information Bill.

For Poe, it was raising the issue of Binay's alleged involvement with remittance agency Philrem on the topic of the Coco Levy Trust Fund Bill.

For Duterte, it was insisting that Roxas's degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is fake when they were having an exchange on how to best tackle the problem of drugs and criminality in the country.

5. Candidates reveal positions on controversial issues

The second installment of the presidential debates had a special portion where candidates were asked to raise their hands if they are in favor of a certain proposal. They were not allowed to explain their position.

On the issue of divorce, no one raised a hand. Not including Vatican City, the Philippines is the only state in the world where divorce is illegal. A Jan. 19, 2015 report from Foreign Policy notes that the country "is the last holdout among a group of staunchly Catholic countries where the church has fought hard to enforce its views on the sanctity of marriage. Pope Francis, who visited the Philippines... has urged his bishops to take a more forgiving stance toward divorced Catholics, but this is a moot point in the Philippines: There is no such thing as a divorced Catholic."

On the topic of bringing back the death penalty, Duterte and Poe were the only ones who raised their hands.

According to the Commission on Human Rights, the Philippines was the first Asian country to abolish capital punishment when the 1987 Constitution prohibited the death penalty. President Fidel Ramos signed a law that brought it back, and the first execution since suspension happened in 1999 under President Joseph Estrada. Under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, death row inmates were pardoned, and the death penalty was again suspended in 2006.

For the last controversial issue, the candidates were asked if they are in favor of allowing President Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery), a resting place reserved for fallen military personnel, heroes and martyrs. The topic is a thorny issue that has divided the public, with President Aquino speaking against it and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. saying that his father deserves a hero's burial. Binay and Duterte raised their hands.

For a more comprehensive report on the debates, campaigns and the election period, visit bilangpilipino.philstar.com .

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

2nd debate more engaging – Comelec By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 22, 2016 - 12:00am 0 15 googleplus0 0


For Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, while the debate did not fully present the platform of the candidates, it became a “window on the characters of the candidates.” Philstar.com file photo/Patricia Viray

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) expressed satisfaction over the second part of the presidential debate, saying it was “more engaging” and “bared the candidates’ real character.”

The second leg of the Comelec’s PiliPinas Debates 2016 was held at the University of the Philippines campus in Cebu City, organized by The Philippine STAR, TV5 and BusinessWorld.

During the debate, presidential candidates Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former interior secretary Mar Roxas traded heated exchanges.

But Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista noted that the candidates were still able to present their stands on issues that were asked of them.

“There was more interaction among the candidates. We really want to make this debate to be a staple of our elections,” he said in a telephone interview.

For Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, while the debate did not fully present the platform of the candidates, it became a “window on the characters of the candidates.”

He noted that in many instances during debate, the reactions displayed by the candidates were “very authentic” and this is important for voters in choosing their next president.

READ MORE...

“This is one of the rare opportunities where you are seeing the candidates in close proximity to each other and reacting to each other directly. It is important for us to see how they deal with situations,” he said.

While the Comelec does not want the debate to be personality based, he said that “ultimately it could be part of the decision making” of the voters.

Rona Ann Caritos, executive director of the Network for Free Elections, said the group was pleased with the outcome of the debate even if it started 90 minutes late.

“More than the answers, we saw the characters of our presidentiables. The debate is really important for voters to decide who to vote for and galvanize their vote choice,” she added.

‘Binay loser in debate’

For Consortium on Electoral Reform executive director Ramon Casiple, the debate was more “upbeat but the discussion was not deep.” He noted that the candidates debated on some issues but they were not able to fully lay down their platforms. Discussions focused primarily on corruption.

“There is a loser in that debate, and I think it’s Vice President Binay. He lost himself last night,” Casiple said.

But Anthony Leachon, president of the Philippine College of Physicians Foundation Inc., expressed dismay that health and education were not tackled during the debate.

“It’s unfortunate that health and education were not discussed because they both get the biggest share of the national budget…The rights to education and health are basic rights and we were looking forward to what the candidates have to say about them,” he said.

But he also said that the debate had provided a reflection on the four candidates’ “true characters under stress.”

Leachon noted that when a person is under stress, he tends to display different characters like “maturity, humor and strength of character.”


MANILA STANDARD

‘This is my time’ posted March 22, 2016 at 12:01 am



Sunday’s debate gave us, among others, a preview of what each presidency would look like. Four presidential candidates answered questions from journalists and from each other on various national issues, but their demeanor in doing so was even more telling than the words they spewed.

All four candidates—Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe and former Secretary Manuel Roxas II—fended off questions regarding issues of corruption, human rights violation, patriotism and incompetence, respectively, with some coming off better prepared and tougher than the others.

Binay, despite being a lawyer, seemed particularly off even as he repeated himself numerous times accusing Poe of abandoning her country to become a citizen of the United States. Duterte gave the highest number of sound bytes, pummeling Roxas with sweeping accusations and calling him names. Poe cleverly laid a trap for Binay by saying working hard in a foreign country is so much better than staying here and plundering public funds. When the vice president took offense, she said she was not referring to him. Roxas, for his part, was visibly upset by attacks on his person. He appeared the most out of touch among all the four candidates.

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There were rules, to be sure, but these were taken as mere suggestions. There was that confusion on being allowed to bring notes to the stage, which was said to be the reason the debate started more than an hour later than it was supposed to. There was the rule on how long a candidate was supposed to speak and whether any interruptions may be made. Much too often, we heard the phrase “this is my time” uttered by a candidate, belaboring a point but finding himself or herself interrupted by a rival.

In the end, we saw that for all their talk about respecting the rule of law, the candidates tended to bend it—in varying degrees—to suit their own purposes.

Sunday’s debate was decidedly racier than the first one held last month in Cagayan de Oro City. Then, there was a semblance of an effort to be nice to each other. In the latter one, there was no attempt to mask their growing disdain for their rivals. This was their time, indeed.

The more conscientious voters—those who try to put some thought into the exercise—normally consider the candidates’ educational background and professional experience to determine their fitness for the job. We might add one more measure: how they speak, respect simple rules, address their opponents, defend themselves and present their arguments.

Whether the insight we got from the debate was worth the delay is arguable. Whether it should be a factor in shaping the decisions of those who still have not made up their minds is not.


TRIBUNE

True colors revealed Written by Tribune Editorial Tuesday, 22 March 2016 00:00



The second edition of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-sponsored presidential debate was full of revelations.

More than what the candidates said, the four presidential bets who many consider will slug it out in the May presidential poll, revealed their true character.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) bet Jejomar Binay was steadfast in his advocacy of decisive leadership and in fending off attacks from his opponents which he said are best taken up in a court of law.

Binay, as always, came prepared and brought with him documents which were meant to refute allegations of irregularities which was allowed initially by organizer TV5 but which the Comelec blocked saying a standing rule bars candidates from bringing with them documents to the podium.

The dispute over the documents apparently delayed the opening of the debate with the camp of administration Liberal Party (LP) candidate Mar Roxas and Sen. Grace Poe, insisting that Binay comply with the Comelec rules.

In the end, Binay was still holding documents when the debate started although he was barred from reading from it by the moderator.

Independent candidate Senator Poe obviously got a lot of coaching on debate strategy as she uncharacteristically fired the first shot in the exchange of heated accusations among the candidates, as she chided Binay over his refusal to attend the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee inquisition that lasted for one year, yet when Binay wanted to show the documents to prove that the allegations were nothing but black propaganda, Poe and the moderator stopped him from doing so.

Binay said he will issue an Executive Order to implement provisions of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to which Poe retorted that since he has avoided the Senate hearings, how can he be believable in his vow.

Binay coolly responded saying that he is a man of action and will do what he promises.

Poe was trying to establish herself as having firm convictions but failed because the citizenship issue, which remains the biggest question on her despite the recent Supreme Court ruling, threw a cloud of doubt on even the basic concept of her loyalty to country.

PDP-Laban candidate Rodrigo Duterte as always failed to impress as he continued to emphasize his achievements in Davao City when he is not seeking a re-election for the local post but as president of the entire country.

He generally refused to engage his opponents to a joust except for his favorite pet peeve Roxas.

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Duterte contented himself in making light of most of the questions and giving unspecific answers which only showed his lack of preparation for the event in a province where he is projected to get strong support.

Roxas was the biggest revelation as he apparently caved in from the intense pressure from his opponents who made him account for the several incompetence and corrupt practices under the administration of Noynoy which he, under the LP platform of continuity, vowed to pursue.

His rivals for the presidency raised his performance as Interior secretary which was very mediocre and highly partisan.

His stint as Transportation and Communications secretary was also highlighted by his opponents amid the dilapidated condition of the mass transit system Metro Rail Transit 3. Roxas and Noynoy have continuously blamed detained former President Gloria Arroyo for the transport problems even if her administration has been over for more than five years.

Roxas was confronted with the slow government response to the devastation caused by typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013 and his irresoluteness in the aftermath of the Mamasapano debacle in which he claimed he was taken out of the loop by Noynoy and sidekick dismissed Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima.

Duterte even claimed that he wandered aimlessly during the time that Roxas was in Tacloban City after Yolanda hit, saying Roxas did not know what to do as victims of the typhoon cry for government assistance.

The issues raised against him, particularly from Duterte, inflamed Roxas who started to answer in a raised voice as he showed obvious discomfort over his three opponents ganging up on him.

In sum, he fell to the apparent bait of Duterte to put him off balance and spilled his true unpleasant self before the whole nation.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

FOI bravado live @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:50 AM March 22nd, 2016

TO HEAR the four presidential candidates last Sunday, it would appear as if the freedom of information (FOI) bill were everyone’s favorite piece of legislation. The first sustained wrangle in the debate proper was over the bill which, after nearly six years of President Aquino’s administration, remains an unrealized law—approved in the Senate but stalled in the House of Representatives.

Ah, but no worries—each of the four candidates just about tripped all over themselves and each other in promising to pass the bill once they get to Malacañang. That it would be their first order of business was the unanimous vow.

Sen. Grace Poe, who had batted for and shepherded the version of the bill that was approved in the Senate, said she would not even wait for the bill to become law; she would use her presidential powers to issue an executive order directing all government agencies to practice open and transparent governance.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former interior secretary Mar Roxas also said as much—all three vowing not only to support the measure but also to make it a cornerstone principle of their future administration.

If, at this time, viewers felt a prickly sense of déjà vu at the runaway zeal for the FOI bill unfolding on their TV screens, that could only be because they had heard it all before. In 2010, all across the country, then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III fired up an electorate fed up with the corruption and excesses of the nine-year administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with the promise that he would make the passage of the FOI bill a priority.

It would mark a clean break with the rotten, dishonest dispensation before it, Mr. Aquino said, and light the way for his mantra of “daang matuwid.”

But the erstwhile FOI champion had a different epiphany once he was ensconced in the Palace.

Merely a year into his term, Mr. Aquino was prodded on the bill’s glacial pace at the House that was then and even now dominated by his party and allies, and this time he waffled: “You know, having a freedom of information act sounds so good and noble, but at the same time—I think you’ll notice that here in this country— there’s a tendency of getting information and not really utilizing it for the proper purposes,” he told a gathering of Southeast Asian business leaders.

That hedging was the cue for Congress to mothball the bill for the rest of Mr. Aquino’s term.

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The Senate passed its version of the bill in March 2014, while the House version cleared the committee on public information in November 2014.

But with Mr. Aquino refusing to certify it as urgent, FOI was as good as dead—the fate it has repeatedly been subjected to since 1992, when the first of many attempts to pass a bill that would flesh out the constitutional requirement for open, transparent government was filed.

“The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized,” Article III, Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution says. “Access to official records, and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.”

How game-changing the Aquino administration would have been had it made good its promise to enact an FOI law; instead, the electorate must now contend with a new bunch of presidentiables brawling on national TV to prove their individual fealty to the FOI cause.

Will they deliver?

Roxas, who has had the ear of the President all this time, never came out publicly to call for the FOI’s passage before this debate.

Duterte said he was all for it, but when the Commission on Audit questioned him on “ghost employees” on the Davao City Hall payroll, the mayor shooed the COA away—as he did human rights observers looking into alleged summary executions during his watch.

Poe’s commitment to FOI will be tested once her ties to certain people bankrolling her campaign are put under scrutiny—Danding Cojuangco and the coco-levy funds, for instance, as well as those pushing her to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution.

And Binay? The Vice President has made a dubious art form of ducking any opportunity to explain the array of plunder and corruption charges against him. He has refused to appear in the Senate or other venues that would clear his name, rejecting the idea that he owes anyone an accounting of his public record.

Will such a man champion FOI? Can a leopard change its spots?

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RELATED FROM MALAYA

DIGONG WINS – AGAIN! By Rey O. Arcilla March 22, 2016

THERE are surveys and there are surveys. Invariably, they all are conducted by polling between two to three thousand voters in various regions of the country.

On presidential bets, almost all of the surveys had President-to-be Rodrigo Roa Duterte (unless he is cheated) with a very substantial lead over all the other candidates among the ABC voters.

What does that mean? It means that the majority of the “thinking” or “wealthier” voters have already made up their minds to vote for Duterte, otherwise known as “Digong”.

But what is more telling than the periodic surveys conducted by the two major polling firms is the online survey conducted by Rappler.

In the survey, Rappler asked: “If elections were held today, who would you vote for?” Some 50,000 responded.

When I voted earlier this month, the following were the results:

Rody Duterte, 69.7%; Mar Roxas, 15.82%; Miriam Santiago, 6.65%; Grace Poe, 4.61%; Jojo Binay, 1.67%.

When I tried voting again from a different computer, the following came up: “Thanks for taking the poll again but we’ve already counted your vote. Your second vote is not counted towards the results.”

It being an online survey, the voters most probably belong to the ABC class who presumably are the ones with access to computers.

***

Digong wins… again!

In last Sunday’s second presidential debate held in Cebu, the clear winner – once again – was candidate Duterte!

His responses to questions posed by the panel of journalists and his rivals were straight to the point. His repartees were sharp and at times, even funny.

Go, Digong, go!

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***

According to Reuters, US Naval Operations chief Admiral John Richardson said that China is planning to build an artificial island in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal which is located just off Zambales within our Exclusive Economic Zone.

China seized the shoal from us about four years ago. The Aquino administration did nothing about it.

We certainly wouldn’t want to be gifted again by China with another fait accompli just like she did in a couple of our reefs in the Spratlys where there now exist reclaimed land with airstrips, surface-to-air missiles and radar facilities.

And now, the report that Chinese coast guard vessels ramming and damaging a Filipino fishing boat in the vicinity of Panatag Shoal…

So what are President Noynoy Aquino and his acting foreign secretary Rene Almendras doing about it? Seeking instructions from the US? Just asking.

***

The Supreme Court decision “allowing” Grace Poe Llamanzares to run for president has nothing to do at all with statelessness. She is not stateless. She is a naturalized Filipino citizen who once renounced her American citizenship.

She is a foundling who, in spite of her consuming desire to be president of the Philippines, does not appear to really want to know who her biological parents are to prove that she is a natural-born Filipino.

To be able to run for president, the Constitution says that a candidate must be a natural-born Filipino and must have resided in the country for not less than ten years prior to the elections. And that’s what the high tribunal ruled upon.

So what utter nonsense is the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Bernard Kerblat saying that the Supreme Court’s cockeyed ruling makes the Philippines “a shining example of humanitarianism in taking concrete steps to reduce statelessness in the region”?

As a UN official, this fellow Kerblat may enjoy certain diplomatic immunities but, lest he forgets and gets into trouble, that does not mean he can interfere in a purely domestic affair of his host country without the risk of being declared persona non grata.

***

Still on the question of Llamazares’ citizenship, a reader who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote:

“I understand, there is a long line of applicants who want to renounce their American citizenship. There is also a heavy filing fee that the U.S. collects at the time of filing. Further, even if the petition to renounce is approved, the applicant is required to file tax declarations for five years from the time of approval before the renunciation becomes final.

“In the meantime, what is the tax status of both husband and wife (the Llamanzares couple) during that interim? What is their tax status today? Are they filing and paying taxes in the Philippines and in the US?

What is the legal residence of this couple? She may be a good enough person to be elected president but I share the same sentiments re constitutional compliance and legality.”

I believe a clarification from Llamanzares’ camp would be in order.

***

Incidentally, according to a notice of the DFA, all those who want to take the Foreign Service Officer examination should be natural-born Filipino citizens and concurrently permanent residents of the Philippines, to wit:

“Citizenship - Applicants should be natural born Filipino citizens and concurrently permanent residents of the Philippines. Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9225 and its implementing Rules and Regulations, those who pass the FSO Examinations with more than one citizenship shall subscribe and swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities, and renounce their oath of allegiance to any other country, prior to assumption of office.”

Paragraph 3, Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9225, states:

“(3) Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to their assumption of office: Provided, That they renounce their oath of allegiance to the country where they took that oath.”

Based on the foregoing, I believe it is incumbent upon the acting foreign secretary to find out who among the active DFA personnel have acquired the citizenship of, or permanent residence in, a foreign country and take appropriate action.

Secretary Almendras, Sir?

***

Noynoy’s Daang Matuwid hit nasty bumps again.

First is the reported discovery by the Commission on Audit that more than P7 billion in fund transfers by the DILG during the term of LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas remain unliquidated.

Second is the revelation by Senator Sergio Osmeña III that the Aquino administration has been identified by the US State Department in its report earlier this month that the Philippines is one of the major money-laundering countries in 2015.

Third is the plunder complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman by BIR employee Rhodora Alvarez against Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin over a P1.2 billion helicopter deal in 2013.

This is the daang matuwid Roxas wants to continue trekking?!

***

Reminders (for Noynoy):

1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Authority (NFA) during Arroyo’s illegitimate regime. Noynoy himself said on several occasions that there is documentary evidence to prove the venalities in the past in that agency. That was more than five and a half years ago!

2) Order GSIS chief Robert “Pretty Boy” Vergara to report to him on COA’s findings that:

(a) Vergara received the obscenely excessive compensation of P16.36 million in 2012 making him the highest paid government servant then. He was also the highest paid in 2013 with P12.09 million and again in 2014 with about the same amount.

Vergara makes the SSS officials who are under severe criticism for the emoluments they have been receiving look like pikers.

(b) That about three years ago, at least P4.13 billion in contributions and loan payments made by 12 government offices, maybe more by now, to the GSIS had not been credited to the offices as of Dec. 31, 2011.

COA also said that the amount of unrecorded remittances could go much higher because only 36 agencies have at that time responded out of the 186 that were sent confirmation requests by government auditors. Of the 36, 27 confirmed “discrepancies” in their premium and loan payments ledgers when compared with those of the GSIS.

There are three questions being raised when remittances, or parts thereof, of government agencies are not recorded by the GSIS on time: a) Where are these huge sums “parked” in the meantime?; b) Do they earn interest?; c) To where (whom?) does the interest, if any, go?

Pray tell, Mr. Vergara, what is the present status of these funds, including those that may have been remitted since and not yet recorded by the GSIS? How long do you think you can “dedma” these questions?

I believe it is time for COA to follow up on what Vergara has done on the above findings so that affected GSIS members would know the status of their contributions!

Maybe the GSIS Board chairman, Renato de Guzman, could also look into this?

In this connection, I would like to address this question to COA Chief Michael Aguinaldo: “Is Vergara one of the sacred cows in Noynoy’s coterie whom you wouldn’t dare investigate?”

***

Today is the 327th day of the ninth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.

I dread to think of how many more years it will take before Jonas’ disappearance is finally resolved. It is beginning to look more and more like the next administration will have to be reminded of it too. In the meantime, it would be interesting to know what our Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice are doing about it.

***

From an internet friend:

A new business was opening and one of the owner’s friends wanted to send him flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card, which said: “Rest in Peace.”

The owner was angry and called the florist to complain.

After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist replied:

“Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry, you should imagine this - somewhere, there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying: ‘Congratulations on your new location!’”


ABS-CBN

After drawing flak, Teddy Locsin Jr. defends 'Tagalog' comment Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News Posted at 21 Mar 2016 06:49 PM Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on LinkedIn


LOCSIN

MANILA - Former lawmaker and ''#NoFilter'' host Teddy Locsin Jr. on Monday explained his view on the use of the Filipino language in debates, after he drew flak for urging candidates to speak only in English.

During the second leg of the PiliPinas presidential debates, Locsin tweeted about his opinion on the use of Tagalog in debates, saying that the use of the language for debate "should be discouraged."

Locsin's tweets received flak from netizens, especially from Filipino language advocates and members of the academe.

But he shrugged these off, even telling his critics to "grow up."

"If you really have something, show me that it is a good language. That it is effective in debate, that it can get its point across," Locsin said on ANC Alerts on Monday.

Locsin said that "Tagalog" can be used in a debate only if it is straight to the point.

"You can also say it in Tagalog if you are a Ted Failon and not a Chiz (Escudero), then it's derecho, the way they speak, the way Ted speaks, the way Luchi (Cruz-Valdez) spoke during the debate. It sounded like English to me because it was clear and to the point," he said.

Locsin was referring to the part of the debate where Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte asked Senator Grace Poe what she would do if she gets a call early in the morning about China sinking two Philippine ships.

For Locsin, Poe could have easily answered the question in English.

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"What you simply say is this: 3 o'clock, you wake me up, 3 o'clock in the morning? I'm sending my jets. And whether they come back or not, it makes no sense to me, because if they don't come back, then war has been declared between the United States of America and China over the sinking of two of my ships. Period. Then you are a leader," he said.

Locsin said that for him, Duterte won the debate, partly because he communicated well while speaking in English.

"He spoke it like a real man, Hemingway style. Few words and to the point," said Locsin.

He also pointed out that Luchi Cruz-Valdez, who was moderating the debate, was able to effectively communicate in Tagalog, despite the tense situation.

"Luchi did it. That was a confused situation for her, because she got the point across. In spite of the terrible situation, she was in control, and she did it in Tagalog," Locsin said.

His advice for the candidates? Use any language they want as long as they can get their message across clearly.

"Say what you want, but be clear. My advice to the candidates, it's your neck that's on the line. It's not me and what language you want to use, or what language I like. You failed to do a Duterte and you just lose the debate," Locsin said.

CRITICISMS

National Artist for Literature and Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino commissioner Virgilio S. Almario, released a statement on the issue, wherein he said that a debate becomes circular not because of the language, but because of the people debating.

Almario lamented Locsin's point of view, noting that such thinking is a manifestation that he looks down on the native language.

"Bunga ito ng mababà niyang pagtingin sa katutubong wika. Para sa kaniya, at sa mga tulad niyang Inglesero, ang Ingles lámang ang pinakaperpekto at pinakamahusay na lengguwahe sa mundo. At iyon ang malaking problema para sa kaniya. Hindi niya matatanggap na walang wikang taal na superyor at/o imperyor. Sa halip, ang antas ng pag-unlad ng bawat wika ay depende sa gumagamit," Almario said.

Almario also cited that debates have been done in Filipino for so long.

"Ni hindi yata alam ni Teddy Boy na nagdedebate halos linggo-linggo ang mga tao sa barberya, sa kanto, palengke, at kahit sa mga karihan. At nagiging napakainit ang kanilang bakbakan, nagiging mahayap ang palitan ng mga salitâ, kung minsan ay nauuwi sa suntukan (at tagaan), at hindi Ingles ang kanilang ginagamit na wika," Almario said.

"Hindi Ingles, kayâ mas nagkakaintindihan silá, mas tumatalab ang insultuhan, mas mabilis ang sagutan. Hindi “circular shitty,” katulad ng mga debate sa Batasan dahil naghihirap umi-Ingles ang mga kongresman at senador," he added.

 


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Easter, masayang sinabulong sa bayan ng Calauag sa Quezon Published March 27, 2016 11:57am


Photo by Peewee Bacuño

Masayang isinagawa ang tradisyunal na "Salubong" sa Linggo ng Muling Pagkabuhay sa St. Peter the Apostle Church sa bayan ng Calauag sa lalawigan ng Quezon madalaing-araw nitong Linggo.

Sinimulan ng mga Kaloliko sa Calauag ang okasyon sa pamamagitan ng banal na Misa.

Matapos ang Misa, idinaos ang prusisyon na nahahati sa dalawang grupo. Ang mga kalalakihan ay kasama sa imahe ni Hesus na muling nabuhay (Risen Christ), at ang mga kababaihan naman ay kasama sa imahe ni Birheng Maria na naka belo ng itim.

Nang makaikot sa bayan ang hiwalay na prusisyon ng dalawang grupo, nagsalubong ito upang isagawa ang pagsasadula ng Salubong, na ayon sa Bibliya ay ang pagtatagpo ng Inang Maria at ni Hesus na muling nabuhay.

Masaya at masiglang umawit ang mga batang naka-bihis anghel. Ang isa sa kanila ay nakabitin pa mula sa tutok ng ginawang arko at umaawit ito habang dahan-dahang inaalis ang belong itim ni Maria sa isang tagpo ng Salubong.

Dumagsa ang maraming mananampalataya, lahat ay nananabik na mapanood ang pagaalis sa belong itim ng imahe ni Maria.

May paniniwala ang ilang taga-Calauag na kapag nahirapang alisin o hindi raw naalis ang belong itim ay mamalasin ang kanilang lugar at kung mabilis na naaalis naman ang belo ay maayos at magaan ang magiging pamumuhay ng mga taga rito. — Peewee Bacuño/LBG, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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