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CBCP CHOOSE 2016 LEADERS BASED ON THE 10 COMMANDMENTS


APRIL 2 -These are among the guidelines for Catholic voters contained in a pastoral letter that will be read in all churches in the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan. File photo
Let your conscience be your guide, based on standards set in the Ten Commandments, and don’t let pre-election surveys sway you. These are among the guidelines for Catholic voters contained in a pastoral letter that will be read in all churches in the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas issued the pastoral letter to be read in his archdiocese until May 8, the last Sunday before the general elections. Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), cautioned voters to “be careful in choosing leaders” and not to choose based on who are topping the pre-election surveys. “You are called to be authentic Catholic voters who decide from prayer and conscience. You are called to take courage and make moral decisions. Your vote can make heaven come down and make our country beautiful and good as God desires it,” he said. “We need inspired and inspiring leaders who can rally the nation beyond the horizon of our dreams,” he added. “Be free from the tyranny and pressure of trends and herds. Do it right! Choose what is right according to the Ten Commandments.” He noted that while intelligence and competence are essential for national leaders, “we need to be reminded of our mistakes in the past when we elected intelligent leaders who later on became thieves of government coffers, murderers of the opposition and billionaires from public funds.” More than intelligence, people need God-fearing leaders who are also bravely and stubbornly loyal to the flag and to the people, he added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Poe tops Pulse Asia poll anew


APRIL 1 -SENATOR GRACE POE WITH PARTIDONG GALING AT PUSO POLITICAL RALLY IN PLAZA MIRANDA ANGELES PAMPANGA. (MB PHOTO BY/JAY MORALES) MB FILE/Jay Morales Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares After edging out all presidential bets on the last preelection poll, Senator Grace Poe – Llamanzares claimed the lead anew in the presidential race, the recent Pulse Asia survey released on April 1, 2016 showed. The recent Pulse Asia Survey commissioned by the ABS-CBN, which was conducted on March 15 to 20, showed Poe keeping the lead with 28 percent of the 4, 000 Filipino registered voters, two percent up from the last survey. Duterte, even registering a percentage drop on his voter preference, remained on the second spot with 24 percent voter preference edging out Vice President Jejomar Binay who gained 23 percent, improving by one percent from the last voter preference he posted. Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas remained at the fourth spot backed by 19 percent of the Filipino registered voters. Senator Miriam Defensor- Santiago gained 2 percent voter preference. Meanwhile, the battle of Poe and Duterte in the National Capital Region remained tight as 31 percent chose Poe while 30 percent favored Duterte. Poe dominated the rest of Luzon getting the support of 35 percent respondents, Binay came close with 26 percent. Mar Roxas continues to enjoy the support of most of the voters in Visayas, posting 37 percent, a point higher than the last survey. Duterte, on the other hand, dominated Mindanao getting the nod of 43 percent voters. Class ABC chose Duterte with 32 percent followed by Poe with 30 percent. Poe was also the top choice of Class D and E. THE FULL REPORT. RELATED, Presidency still up for grabs, too close to call, in light of Supreme Court’s non-decision in her DQ case against the Comelec was nowhere in sight....

ALSO: Roxas in defensive mode as Binay blames gov’t for worsening poverty


APRIL 2 -ROXAS
Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II continued to be on the defensive mode over the issue of the failed “Yolanda” rehabilitation effort over two years after the devastating typhoon hit Tacloban and other Visayan towns. In an interview during a campaign sortie in Cotabato, Roxas skirted questions on criticisms made by United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay on the issue of the failed Yolanda rehabilitation effort, but claimed he was at the forefront of the government’s Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA). “I was there when Yolanda came, I was there with our countrymen when Yolanda came, I was there to help for some two weeks,” Roxas told reporters. He said he was in Tacloban as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Governments even as hetold Binay not to play around with the Filipino people. Roxas lamented that his political rivals have been using the Yolanda issue to put him down. “You know my political rivals will do anything to prop up their image,” he said as he questioned the track record of his rivals, particularly Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. “What’s their track record? What did they do?” Roxas quipped. “Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been boasting about his success in wiping out crime in Davao but in his 20 years as mayor of the city, drug still proliferated, crime was there as shown by records. There are many drug-infested barangays in Davao,” he noted. “How can Duterte claim that he would wipe out crime in six months in the country when he was not able to do that as Davao mayor for 20 years?” Roxas asked. Gov’t neglect worsens poverty Binay, for his part, took a dig at the Aquino administration’s lack of compassion for the poor as the primary culprit for the worsening poverty situation not only in Samar but in the whole country as well. “Let us face the problem now which is poverty. Let the people vote now so they can ask why are we still stuck in poverty. It is because this administration lacks compassion for the poor,” Binay told supporters gathered in Calbayog City, Samar. READ MORE...

ALSO: OFWs start to feel backlash of $81-million cyberheist — Binay


MARCH 30 -United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who was a long-time presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFW) concern, expressed serious worries over the negative effects on OFWs as a result of the $81-million money laundering scandal. Binay said he received reports that some OFWs are already experiencing restrictions and limits when sending remittances to the Philippines. “According to reports, foreign banks are closing the accounts of money transfer operators that provide remittance services to OFWs. If this continues, the cost of remitting money could double and this would be an undue burden to millions of OFWs if it happens,” Binay said. Binay added the welfare of OFWs should not be neglected by authorities as the Senate investigates the money laundering controversy. “We should fix loopholes in our system and show our OFWs that we are serious in protecting their hard-earned money,” he said. “We cannot disregard the OFWs. There are only two reasons our economy is still afloat and one of them is the remittance of the OFWs to their families here. That’s why they are referred to as the ‘bagong bayani’,” he added. According to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the full-year personal remittances from OFWs reached $28.5 billion in 2015, which was higher by 4.4 percent than the previous year. Binay vowed to lessen the number of Filipinos working abroad by creating more jobs locally. A Binay administration will focus on strengthening the five biggest creators of employment which are agriculture, manufacturing, mining, business process outsourcing, and exports. Binay had said he hopes someday Filipinos would leave the country as a matter of choice and not necessity. Binay said that in the short term he will continue as well as improve the financial literacy programs taught to OFWs. “We will intensify financial literacy programs to teach OFWs’ families to invest, and not to merely spend the money sent home,” Binay said. READ MORE...
Illustrator of Roxas comics roots for Duterte -'It was just a job, nothing personal'...

ALSO: Bongbong: Let us now end years of divisiveness


APRIL 4 -Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. yesterday reiterated his call for unity, saying the years of divisiveness should end. Barnstorming Port Area in Tondo, Manila, Marcos said Filipino people do not deserve to go through more years of division that has been perpetuated by the country’s leaders in the name of politics. “Ito po ang mensahe ng pagkakaisa na palagay ko ang kailangang kailangan na ating bansa. Marami sa atin ang pinaghihiwalay at pinag-aaway-away sa ngalan ng politika pero ito po ang dahilan kung bakit tayo napag-iwanan ng maraming taon. Dapat ito ay wakasan na,” he told the crowd of supporters in Parola who braved the morning heat just to hear him speak. The senator has been bringing his message of unity across the country, saying it has been one of the major stumbling blocks to the country’s progress because government leaders have chosen to sow hate and division rather than cooperation and love of country and fellowmen. He added he is not only espousing his candidacy for the vice presidency but also support for his unity campaign. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino on the offensive, launching his strongest attacks at rivals


APRIL 3 -PNOY ATTENDS TURNOVER OF PAGCOR FUNDED FOUR STOREY CLASSROOM/ APRIL 1,2016 President Benigno Simeon Aquino lll delivers speech during the turnover of new PAGCOR funded 4 storey 20 classroom school building of the Carmona Elemenary School and awarding of the Shared Service Facility (SSF) certificate of turnover to the covenant community service cooperative (CSSC). INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC
With just five weeks to go before the nation votes, President Benigno Aquino III is on the offensive, launching his strongest attack yet on the rivals of his chosen candidates.
In two different towns in Cavite on Friday, the President gave lengthy speeches urging voters not to allow the return of martial law and not to vote for quitters, references to vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte. READ: Marcos on survey rise: Filipinos accept my message of unity  In Kawit, Mr. Aquino told a huge, excited crowd that he did not want to see the country regretting in 2022 the choice it made in 2016, and realizing it had squandered the gains of the past six years. “If we allow the noisy (candidates) to talk, they might be able to convince the undecided. We have to speak out as well. That is the essence of democracy. We exchange points of view, right? And if we have the right message, then the people will take our side,” Mr. Aquino said. He told the crowd that the Vice President is not a “spare tire,” emphasizing to the voters that choosing a Vice President is as important as voting for a President.  Pitching for Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, Mr. Aquino said the administration chose a “strong candidate for Vice President” precisely because the second in command must be as outstanding as the President. “The minute something happens to the President, we need a Vice President who is just as excellent, someone treading in the same direction, someone as smart and skilled as the President, because the responsibility to lead the country might suddenly be passed on to (the Vice President),” Mr. Aquino said. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

CBCP: Choose bets based on 10 Commandments


These are among the guidelines for Catholic voters contained in a pastoral letter that will be read in all churches in the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan. File photo

MANILA, APRIL 4, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Eva Visperas April 2, 2016 - Let your conscience be your guide, based on standards set in the Ten Commandments, and don’t let pre-election surveys sway you.

These are among the guidelines for Catholic voters contained in a pastoral letter that will be read in all churches in the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas issued the pastoral letter to be read in his archdiocese until May 8, the last Sunday before the general elections.

Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), cautioned voters to “be careful in choosing leaders” and not to choose based on who are topping the pre-election surveys.

“You are called to be authentic Catholic voters who decide from prayer and conscience. You are called to take courage and make moral decisions. Your vote can make heaven come down and make our country beautiful and good as God desires it,” he said.

“We need inspired and inspiring leaders who can rally the nation beyond the horizon of our dreams,” he added. “Be free from the tyranny and pressure of trends and herds. Do it right! Choose what is right according to the Ten Commandments.”

He noted that while intelligence and competence are essential for national leaders, “we need to be reminded of our mistakes in the past when we elected intelligent leaders who later on became thieves of government coffers, murderers of the opposition and billionaires from public funds.”

More than intelligence, people need God-fearing leaders who are also bravely and stubbornly loyal to the flag and to the people, he added.

READ MORE...

Villegas said that for the first commandment “I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange gods before me,” the people should not vote for an atheist or for someone who makes fun of the name of God. “A Catholic cannot support a candidate who vows to wipe out religion from public life.”

While every public official is expected to give life to the constitutional posture of “benevolent neutrality” in respect to the attitude of the state towards religion, the Catholic voter cannot and should not lend his support to any candidate whose ideology binds him or her to make the Philippines a secular state that has no tolerance for religion in its public life.

For the second commandment “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” Villegas explained that “the prohibition of using disrespectful language and cuss words extends to the Church of the Lord, the saints and sacred things.”

He also told the people not to vote for candidates who have a history of violating oaths they have made because “perjury is a grave lack of respect for the Lord of all speech.”

For the third commandment “Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day,” Villegas said in spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship.

For the fourth commandment “Honor your father and your mother,” Villegas said a candidate who fails in this commandment can harm the basic unit of society – the family. Political dynasties are also covered by this commandment.


MANILA BULLETIN

Poe tops Pulse Asia poll anew by Betheena Kae Unite April 1, 2016 Share2 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share7


SENATOR GRACE POE WITH PARTIDONG GALING AT PUSO POLITICAL RALLY IN PLAZA MIRANDA ANGELES PAMPANGA. (MB PHOTO BY/JAY MORALES) MB FILE/Jay Morales

Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares After edging out all presidential bets on the last preelection poll, Senator Grace Poe – Llamanzares claimed the lead anew in the presidential race, the recent Pulse Asia survey released on April 1, 2016 showed.

The recent Pulse Asia Survey commissioned by the ABS-CBN, which was conducted on March 15 to 20, showed Poe keeping the lead with 28 percent of the 4, 000 Filipino registered voters, two percent up from the last survey.

Duterte, even registering a percentage drop on his voter preference, remained on the second spot with 24 percent voter preference edging out Vice President Jejomar Binay who gained 23 percent, improving by one percent from the last voter preference he posted.

Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas remained at the fourth spot backed by 19 percent of the Filipino registered voters. Senator Miriam Defensor- Santiago gained 2 percent voter preference.

Meanwhile, the battle of Poe and Duterte in the National Capital Region remained tight as 31 percent chose Poe while 30 percent favored Duterte. Poe dominated the rest of Luzon getting the support of 35 percent respondents, Binay came close with 26 percent.

Mar Roxas continues to enjoy the support of most of the voters in Visayas, posting 37 percent, a point higher than the last survey. Duterte, on the other hand, dominated Mindanao getting the nod of 43 percent voters.

Class ABC chose Duterte with 32 percent followed by Poe with 30 percent. Poe was also the top choice of Class D and E.

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

RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Presidency still up for grabs, too close to call Written by Angie M. Rosales Saturday, 02 April 2016 00:00



Grace Poe may have topped the ABS-CBN-Pulse Asia polls, but she is still far from winning the elections, as the surge, which her camp has been crowing that would come after the Supreme Court’s non-decision in her case against the Comelec was nowhere in sight.

Poe obtained a 28 percent survey vote in the March 15-20 survey, which covered 4,000 registered voters with biometrics nationwide. It had an error margin of plus/minus 1.5 percent.


PRESIDENTIAL BETS

Her numbers showed a slight increase of 2 percent, while Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who was tied with Poe in the previous Pulse Asia survey at 26 percent for first place, lost 2 percent, getting only 24 percent, and is now tied with Vice President Jojo Binay, at 23 percent, given the 1.5 percent error margin.

Former Interior Secretray Mar Roxas obtained a nationwide survey vote of 19 percent while Sen. Miriam Santigao was pegged at 2 percent.

It is almost impossible for Miriam to catch up, given her health concerns and the election day down to a month and a week. A political analyst Prof. Edmund Tayao of University of Sto. Tomas was quoted as saying by the ANC website stating that while Poe has broken her statistical tie with Duterte, the senator “could still be neck-and-neck” with the mayor.

He also said that not all hope is lost for fellow presidential candidates Binay and Roxas.

“The fact that the top position is still up for grabs, means that Vice President Binay and Secretary Mar can still do something about their numbers so as to catch up,” he said.

Pulse Asia conducted the survey between March 15 and 20, after the second presidential debate. It also came on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing Poe to run in the May 9 elections.


VICE PRESIDENTIAL BETS

Tayao said the candidates’ positions on more specific topics—like China and the West Philippine Sea, tax restructuring, and the Yolanda aftermath—probably affected their numbers.

READ MORE...

The vice-presidential race remained a close fight between Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Francis Escudero, who were tied at first place with 25 percent.

Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo was in second place with 21 percent, which is just four percent difference, which can easily be hurdled.


RULING LIBERAL PARTY PICKS OF SENATORIAL BETS

Senators Alan Peter Cayetano had 14 percent, Gringo Honasan 5 percent and Antonio Trillanes was the cellar dwelller with 4 percent.

Marcos expressed confidence that he will win the seat of the second highest post in the land.

“Chances are good. Otherwise, I will not be here, talking to our leaders and our allies. The chances are good,” he said.

Robredo, for her part, was elated over the latest survey results, noting that she started with only 1-percent voter support against frontrunner Escudero’s 44 percent.


BINAY's UNA Senatorial line-up

In the senatorial race, seven administration candidates would make it to the Magic 12 if elections were held within the March 15-20 survey.

They were Senate President Franklin Drilon, former Sen. Francis Pangilinan, former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Risa Hontiveros, Joel Villanueva, Leila De Lima, and Sen. Ralph Recto.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III shared the lead with Drilon.

Others in the winning circle were former Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Richard Gordon, Rep. Manny Pacquiao, and Sen. Sergio Osmeña.

No let up in campaign—Poe
Even as she continues to maintain her lead over the previous frontrunner in the presidential race, Sen. Grace Poe yesterday said there will be no letup in her campaign especially as election day draws near.

Following the latest Pulse Asia survey showing her as the top presidential contender again, Poe vowed to work harder to further boost her chances of winning the polls, adding the numbers were not an assurance of her victory in the actual elections.


"Galing at Puso" ticket: Senator Grace Poe personally handpicked the candidates in Poe-Escudero Senate slate.

She said she was “grateful for the support since this (campaigning) is not an easy task and these surveys are ever- changing. So there will be no let-up in the campaign,”

Poe’s campaign spokesman, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the trust and confidence of the Filipino voting public fuels the senator to intensify her drive to drum up interest in her platform of governance, ‘gobyernong may puso.”

“Senator Poe is thankful for the unwaivering support being extended to her by our electorate. In the coming days we will constantly take heed of the data from the survey to guide us with our next campaign moves,” Gatchalian said.


SANTIAGO-MARCOS TANDEM SENATORIAL BETS

Her running mate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero also expressed his gratitude for the unrelenting support of the Filipino voters as he remained number one in the latest Pulse Asia survey, saying the results inspire him to work even harder to win their votes in the May 9 elections.

“I am grateful for the support of the voters, for staying with me despite the fact that we’re running an election campaign with limited resources as opposed to the campaign war chest of my rivals,” Escudero said.

On Thursday, Escudero secured a major endorsement from one of Cebu province’s influential political figures: former Gov. Emilio “Lito” Osmeña.


DUTERTE's Senatorial line-up

Also included in the growing list of Escudero’s endorsers are former Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, the eldest son of presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte.

Escudero’s vice-presidential bid is also supported by the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), the second largest political party in the country and has been part of the administration coalition headed by President Aquino.

Escudero claims he also has the support of the Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Kaunlaran Foundation or Kabaka Party of Manila mayoral candidate and incumbent Rep. Amado Bagatsing; 48 lawmakers and congressional candidates in the district and party-list ranks led by Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez; and Davao del Sur Gov. Claude Bautista.

Benitez, former Negros Occidental provincial chairman of the administration Liberal Party, promised to deliver at least 10 million votes for the Poe-Escudero tandem; while Bautista, the NPC provincial chair, said Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental fully support Escudero’s candidacy.

Binay unfazed

Campaigning in Samar, Rico Quicho, the campaign spokesman of Binay said the Vice President remains unfazed by his failure to regain the top spot in the surveys, with the race to Malacañang remaining tight for all the presidential candidates.

In an interview during his campaign rally in Catbalogan Quicho said the vice president’s core group remains strong despite his slight increase in the ratings.

“We thank our supporters and our core group is getting stronger. We believe that through our sorties all over the provinces, our support continues frp, put countrymen for the VP,” Quicho said.


TRIBUNE

Roxas in defensive mode as Binay blames gov’t for worsening poverty Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 02 April 2016 00:00


ROXAS

Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II continued to be on the defensive mode over the issue of the failed “Yolanda” rehabilitation effort over two years after the devastating typhoon hit Tacloban and other Visayan towns.

In an interview during a campaign sortie in Cotabato, Roxas skirted questions on criticisms made by United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay on the issue of the failed Yolanda rehabilitation effort, but claimed he was at the forefront of the government’s Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA).

“I was there when Yolanda came, I was there with our countrymen when Yolanda came, I was there to help for some two weeks,” Roxas told reporters.

He said he was in Tacloban as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Governments even as he told Binay not to play around with the Filipino people.

Roxas lamented that his political rivals have been using the Yolanda issue to put him down.

“You know my political rivals will do anything to prop up their image,” he said as he questioned the track record of his rivals, particularly Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

“What’s their track record? What did they do?” Roxas quipped.

“Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been boasting about his success in wiping out crime in Davao but in his 20 years as mayor of the city, drug still proliferated, crime was there as shown by records. There are many drug-infested barangays in Davao,” he noted.

“How can Duterte claim that he would wipe out crime in six months in the country when he was not able to do that as Davao mayor for 20 years?” Roxas asked.

Gov’t neglect worsens poverty



Binay, for his part, took a dig at the Aquino administration’s lack of compassion for the poor as the primary culprit for the worsening poverty situation not only in Samar but in the whole country as well.

“Let us face the problem now which is poverty. Let the people vote now so they can ask why are we still stuck in poverty. It is because this administration lacks compassion for the poor,” Binay told supporters gathered in Calbayog City, Samar.

READ MORE...

Binay said he will work to fight poverty in the province, which had a 49.5 percent poverty rate in the first half of 2015, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Northern Samar also registered a 61.6 percent poverty incidence during the same period, while Eastern Samar had a 50 percent poverty rate.

He added he will implement programs meant to address poverty, just like what he did during his term as Makati mayor.
“Jojo Binay, raised a poor, promises you that whatever I have done in Makati, where everyone enjoys a good living, I will also do to the rest of the country, for every Filipino,” he said.

Binay as president will improve infrastructure in the province, bring investments in agriculture and expand the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The Vice President has identified agriculture as one of the key sectors that will generate jobs.

“The key here is to modernize agriculture in the region,” lawyer Rico Quicho, UNA campaign spokesman, said.

“Vice President Binay is working to abolish the irrigation fee to help ease the burden of our farmers, which in effect would increase their income. Same goes with the fisherfolk, we need to provide them subsidies and other forms of assistance,” he added.

This will offset losses brought about by the current El Niño affecting the region, Binay’s camp said.

The current rice harvest in the region is expected to be cut by an estimated 44,000 metric tons due to the condition.

His camp said a Binay administration will also push the cultivation of high value crops for export like cacao and vegetables that can generate income after a few months. The province, along with the rest of the region, is frequently visited by typhoons which commonly damages farms.

No GMA backing



In Laguna, Sen. Grace Poe yesterday dismissed any possibility of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo backing up her presidential candidacy.

Such prospect is very remote and even in the light of any likelihood, the senator dropped hints that she’s not keen on getting endorsed by the former president.

Poe, in an interview with reporters while in a campaign sortie in Laguna, said she does not expect Arroyo to support her presidential bid.

The senator refused to give a categorical yes or no answer when asked on the possibility of the former president backing her candidacy.

Should she win the presidency, Poe, however, vowed to allow the rule of law in the plunder case filed against Arroyo before the Sandiganbayan.

Poe’s father, the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., lost to Arroyo in the 2004 presidential polls marred by allegations of massive cheating.

Meanwhile, after Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s public endorsement on the presidential bid of Poe, another member of the clan of the former president is said to announce support on her candidacy.

Well-placed sources from Poe’s camp yesterday hinted that former Laguna Gov. Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito, nephew of the former president, who is seeking anew the gubernatorial post, is supporting Poe’s candidacy as well.

“The announcement of his support needs timing. But right now, Governor Ejercito will support Senator Grace for the presidency along with his wife (Pagsanjan Mayor Maita Ejercito),” sources said.

The former Laguna governor who was disqualified for overspending in his campaign during the 2013 elections is a stalwart of Binay’s UNA.

Talk on impending endorsement from the former Laguna governor was fueled by Poe’s courtesy visit to the Ejercito couple at the Pagsanjan tourism office where her Partido Galing at Puso continued with its campaign.

The Ejercito couple, however, refused to grant any interview to members of the media covering Poe’s campaign trail after the meeting.

Poe, when asked if the courtesy call was meant to seal the support of the Ejercitos, the senator-presidential aspirant said her political activities in Pagsanjan and the towns of Sta. Cruz, Pagsanjan and Siniloan were arranged to visit the relatives of her husband, Niel Llamanzares who is from Lumban.

In a chance interview before a courtesy call following a political rally organized by former Laguna Rep. Egay San Luis, who resigned from the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and is running for Congress as independent, Poe said she has not received any information of support from the couple as of the moment.
By Gerry Baldo, Charlie V. Manalo and Angie M. Rosales


TRIBUNE

OFWs start to feel backlash of $81-million cyberheist — Binay Written by Gerry Baldo Wednesday, 30 March 2016 00:00



United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who was a long-time presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFW) concern, expressed serious worries over the negative effects on OFWs as a result of the $81-million money laundering scandal.

Binay said he received reports that some OFWs are already experiencing restrictions and limits when sending remittances to the Philippines.

“According to reports, foreign banks are closing the accounts of money transfer operators that provide remittance services to OFWs. If this continues, the cost of remitting money could double and this would be an undue burden to millions of OFWs if it happens,” Binay said.

Binay added the welfare of OFWs should not be neglected by authorities as the Senate investigates the money laundering controversy.

“We should fix loopholes in our system and show our OFWs that we are serious in protecting their hard-earned money,” he said.

“We cannot disregard the OFWs. There are only two reasons our economy is still afloat and one of them is the remittance of the OFWs to their families here. That’s why they are referred to as the ‘bagong bayani’,” he added.

According to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the full-year personal remittances from OFWs reached $28.5 billion in 2015, which was higher by 4.4 percent than the previous year.

Binay vowed to lessen the number of Filipinos working abroad by creating more jobs locally.

A Binay administration will focus on strengthening the five biggest creators of employment which are agriculture, manufacturing, mining, business process outsourcing, and exports.

Binay had said he hopes someday Filipinos would leave the country as a matter of choice and not necessity.

Binay said that in the short term he will continue as well as improve the financial literacy programs taught to OFWs.

“We will intensify financial literacy programs to teach OFWs’ families to invest, and not to merely spend the money sent home,” Binay said.

READ MORE...

At the same time, Binay expressed elation over the huge turnout of supporters estimated at 40,000 in the proclamation rally of his daughter in Makati City Monday night which he graced together with the entire UNA ticket.

“The turnout of supporters was huge. People in Makati still love the Binay family,” he said.

Mayor Kid Peña during his proclamation rally held on the same day, had some 8,000 supporters in attendance.

The massive turnout of supporters in Makati, according to Binay, helped eased the pain they have been carrying after having been accused by their opponents of unfounded allegations.

“When you’re hurting and then you see the people still supporting you, it turns sentimental,” said Binay.

Mar comics ripped



Party-list group Anakpawis yesterday slammed the recent release of a comic strip sponsored by the Liberal Party (LP) depicting the so-called heroism of President Aquino’s anointed Mar Roxas during the wrath of typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas in 2013.

It said the comic strip was not only a work of fiction but it also was the most insulting and disturbing political ad of Roxas to bolster its campaign.

“As a desperate attempt to boost rating, the Daang Matuwid Coalition has no qualms of utilizing not only deceiving but also disgusting election propaganda. Victims and survivors of Yolanda as well as their supporters ondemn this act of the Liberal party. Thousands of people who perished during the super storm would roll on their graves by this latest act of the ruling party to get the votes of the people” Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap said.

“More than two years after the typhoon Yolanda, survivors continue to suffer from inadequate service by the government from permanent housing to badly needed financial aids like the Emergency Shelter Assistance. This despite of multi-billion peso worth of combined donations and government alloted fund for Yolanda rehabilitation and reconstruction. Worse the Roxas-backed No Build and Dwelling Zone policy barring urban poor and small fisher folks to go back to their communities in coastal areas had deprived them of their livelihoods and shelters” added Hicap.

Moreover, the party-list solon said that Roxas is falsely depicting himself as the man of the hour during and after the wrath of Yolanda as he cited the Aquino government’s epic failure in the typhoon’s aftermath.

“More than 7000 died, billions of pesos worth of properties and agricultural products were utterly destroyed by Yolanda, so where’s the heroism with that?,” Hicap said.

“The comics should be removed from circulation because this is just a dream of a desperate candidate,” Anakpawis said.
Until today, Anakpawis, said that survivors and relatives of the victims are still waiting for the help coming from the government.

“Anakpawis maintains its position that Yolanda and other calamity-ravaged areas should bestow zero vote for Mar Roxas as the latter would win in the 2016 national election will likely do what the Aquino administration do best for the past six years that is to evade responsibility, pass on the blame to oppositions, neglect calamity victims and spend government funds for its his self-serving agenda” Hicap said.

Miriam for rural jobs



People Reform Party (PRP) hopeful Miriam Defensor Santiago, meanwhile, vowed to create more jobs in the countryside, if elected president, so that Filipinos would no longer need to relocate to urban centers or work overseas to support their families.

Santiago said her administration would focus on economic development, poverty reduction, and jobs creation by investing heavily on public infrastructure, modernizing agriculture, and attracting foreign investors.

“I commit that the Philippine economy will grow faster than ever before, and that it will be truly inclusive. We will make sure that real incomes of workers all over the country will increase over time,” the senator said.

The program of government Santiago posted on her website shows that she intends to spark economic activity outside Metro Manila by implementing one major infrastructure project and setting up one mixed-used government center per region.

She also promised to build an entirely new railway system from Manila to Sorsogon and a modern urban transit system in Metro Manila, with lines reaching urban communities in Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna.

Santiago’s statement was in response to results of an online poll that three out of four Filipinos prefer to work in their hometowns rather than seek jobs elsewhere. The survey was conducted by the Labor Department and online job marketplace Jobstreet.

Santiago, a former Agrarian Reform Secretary, also lamented the poor state of agriculture in the country. This directly impacts the Philippines’ poverty situation, she said, noting that agricultural workers belong to the poorest of the poor.

“For the income and productivity of farmers to grow, the government should attract rather than chase out private capital in the agriculture sector. We must also match private capital with public investment,” the senator said.

Santiago’s agenda includes investing in farm-to-market roads, irrigation and water impounding facilities, as well as research, particularly for the development of disaster-resilient farming technologies and crop varieties.

She added that her administration will consider how the existing Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program, where most beneficiaries are farmers and fisherfolk, may be improved to become a more direct form of support for the agricultural sector.

“Grant-for-produce programs may be put in place in rural areas, following the logic of grant-for-work programs we will implement in urban poor communities. This means that incentives will be provided to more productive farmers,” Santiago said.

To boost manufacturing and the creation of national industries, the senator said she will work to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) and at the same time provide a business climate for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to flourish.

Santiago’s agenda includes streamline business process and licensing procedures, improving the power situation, and enhance trade facilitation measures. The constitutional expert is also open to easing restrictions on foreign ownership.

“Preparing our local government units to accommodate FDI is the same as encouraging more Filipinos to put up their MSMEs. The complaints about red tape and lack of transparency are the same,” the senator said.

Santiago earlier announced that she has joined clinical trials for a new anti-cancer pill, but she remains the top choice for president among millennials, winning by landslide almost all campus surveys held after the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Duterte camp ‘liars, whiners’



Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo called the camp of PDP-Laban presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte a “bunch of liars and whiners” after the latter blamed him for supposedly trying to disrupt the PDP-Laban rally in Mambajao town last week.

Romualdo said that Duterte’s camp only wanted to make excuses for their poorly attended rally.

“I am disappointed and dismayed that Mayor Duterte and his camp resorted to spreading lies and smearing our names to excuse their poorly arranged, poorly organized, and poorly attended rally in Mambajao, Camiguin on March 23,” the Liberal Party congressman said in a statement on Monday.

“I thought that Mayor Duterte and the people in his camp were real men. It turns out that they are just a bunch of liars, wimps, and whiners,” he added.

Duterte was quoted as calling the Romualdo clan of Camiguin “feudal lords” as he complained that the PDP-Laban had a hard time securing a permit for their rally and that the local government supposedly cut the electrical supply.

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ALSO FROM PHILSTAR

Illustrator of Roxas comics roots for Duterte -'It was just a job, nothing personal'By Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 30, 2016 - 12:00am 2 32 googleplus0 1

MANILA, Philippines – It was just a job and nothing personal.

The illustrator of a comic book extolling Mar Roxas as a hero during Super Typhoon Yolanda says he’s actually rooting for Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Karl Comendador yesterday lashed back at his bashers on social media and accused those who destroyed the original concept of the comic book’s cover as vandals.

In his Facebook account, Comendador, a leading figure in the local comics industry during the 1970s and ’80s, apologized to the people or groups who were offended by the comics.

Critics earlier slammed him for allowing himself to be used by the Roxas camp, and regarded the comics as propaganda to twist facts.

He appealed to the public for understanding, saying it was only a job, and that he had done similar commissioned work in the past.

A graduate of the Philippine College of Arts and Trades, Comendador works for Atlas publication and was the illustrator of the famous comics novel, Devil Car by Vic Poblete in the late ’70s.


TRIBUNE

Bongbong: Let us now end years of divisiveness Written by Tribune Wires Monday, 04 April 2016 00:00



Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. yesterday reiterated his call for unity, saying the years of divisiveness should end.

Barnstorming Port Area in Tondo, Manila, Marcos said Filipino people do not deserve to go through more years of division that has been perpetuated by the country’s leaders in the name of politics.

“Ito po ang mensahe ng pagkakaisa na palagay ko ang kailangang kailangan na ating bansa. Marami sa atin ang pinaghihiwalay at pinag-aaway-away sa ngalan ng politika pero ito po ang dahilan kung bakit tayo napag-iwanan ng maraming taon. Dapat ito ay wakasan na,” he told the crowd of supporters in Parola who braved the morning heat just to hear him speak.

The senator has been bringing his message of unity across the country, saying it has been one of the major stumbling blocks to the country’s progress because government leaders have chosen to sow hate and division rather than cooperation and love of country and fellowmen.

He added he is not only espousing his candidacy for the vice presidency but also support for his unity campaign.

READ MORE...

“Ito ang hamon sa atin ng ating panahon — ang pagkakaisa at sana ay suportahan ninyo ako hindi lamang sa aking kandidatura bilang bise presidente kundi bilang isang nagsusulong ng bagong kilusan ng pagkakaisa ng sambayanang Pilipino,” he said.

Marcos motorcaded through the thickly populated Parola, Del Pan, Baseco, Isla Puting Bato and Barangays 5, 31, 32, 20 and 649, all in North Harbor with his youngest son Vincent.

Residents lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the senator shouting “Bongbong” and “Marcos pa rin.” One resident of Isla Puting Bato even shouted “Kay Marcos walang gutom!” as he was speaking before the barangay assembly of Barangay 20.

Marcos expressed elation for the warm welcome and response of the people and profusely thanked them for taking time out to witness his motorcade and listen to his message of unity.


INQUIRER

Aquino on the offensive, launchng strongest attacks at rivals By: Nikko Dizon @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 01:57 AM April 3rd, 2016


APRIL 3 -PNOY ATTENDS TURNOVER OF PAGCOR FUNDED FOUR STOREY CLASSROOM/ APRIL 1,2016 President Benigno Simeon Aquino lll delivers speech during the turnover of new PAGCOR funded 4 storey 20 classroom school building of the Carmona Elemenary School and awarding of the Shared Service Facility (SSF) certificate of turnover to the covenant community service cooperative (CSSC). INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

With just five weeks to go before the nation votes, President Benigno Aquino III is on the offensive, launching his strongest attack yet on the rivals of his chosen candidates.

In two different towns in Cavite on Friday, the President gave lengthy speeches urging voters not to allow the return of martial law and not to vote for quitters, references to vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.

READ: Marcos on survey rise: Filipinos accept my message of unity

In Kawit, Mr. Aquino told a huge, excited crowd that he did not want to see the country regretting in 2022 the choice it made in 2016, and realizing it had squandered the gains of the past six years.

“If we allow the noisy (candidates) to talk, they might be able to convince the undecided. We have to speak out as well. That is the essence of democracy. We exchange points of view, right? And if we have the right message, then the people will take our side,” Mr. Aquino said.

He told the crowd that the Vice President is not a “spare tire,” emphasizing to the voters that choosing a Vice President is as important as voting for a President.

Pitching for Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, Mr. Aquino said the administration chose a “strong candidate for Vice President” precisely because the second in command must be as outstanding as the President.

“The minute something happens to the President, we need a Vice President who is just as excellent, someone treading in the same direction, someone as smart and skilled as the President, because the responsibility to lead the country might suddenly be passed on to (the Vice President),” Mr. Aquino said.

READ MORE...

Stumping hard

With Senator Marcos now sharing the lead with Sen. Francis Escudero in the polls, it is likely President Aquino is stumping hard to dissuade voters from allowing the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to come within a heartbeat of Malacañang.

READ: Marcos vows to maximize post if elected: ‘VP not a spare tire’

Robredo has climbed to second place in the latest Pulse Asia poll. While she is behind Escudero and Marcos by 4 percent, she is the candidate who has made the biggest leap in the polls—getting 21-percent voter support compared with the 1 percent she had before President Aquino endorsed her as the vice presidential running mate of Liberal Party (LP) presidential standard-bearer Mar Roxas.

READ: Escudero, Marcos lead VP race; Robredo closing in

Roxas remains in fourth place, behind Vice President Jejomar Binay, Duterte and Sen. Grace Poe.

In Carmona, where he presided over the inauguration of an elementary school building, President Aquino said that perhaps his generation experienced the dark days of martial law to allow them to “clearly see the difference between right and wrong.”

Repeating a mistake

He stressed that Filipinos should see the difference clearly to this day, with his reform-oriented administration as proof of what the Philippines could attain if its people chose the right leaders.

The President said that for him, the biggest letdown would be if Filipinos allowed themselves to repeat a mistake that would bring back the country’s old problems.

“I don’t have a wife. I don’t have children. But I have nephews and nieces. To me, failure is when each Filipino generation goes through the same problems repeatedly,” the bachelor Mr. Aquino said in Filipino, referring to martial law.

“On May 9 we all cast our votes. What is important is we study (the situation). If we like what is happening now, we will say we have to continue it. If we will be indifferent, those who would bring us back to the old ways might hit the jackpot and be elected,” he said.

“We are responsible for the changes that we want to happen. Let us use our power (to vote) and be responsible to ensure a better future for the Philippines,” he said.

In his speech in Kawit, Mr. Aquino said that as a citizen, he also has the right to examine the statements by those who aspire to succeed him in June.

“I am just asking. Tomorrow, they will say I am attacking them again. But I am a citizen, too, and I have a right to ask. Isn’t it that we have a saying in Filipino that marriage isn’t like hot rice that you can spit out if it burns your mouth?” he said.

Reply to Duterte


LACIERDA, ONE OF AQUINO's  MOUTHPIECES

Mr. Aquino’s statement was a clear reply to the claim of the followers of Duterte that the administration was in “panic mode,” prompting the President to launch an offensive against the Davao City mayor.

Duterte’s camp claimed that the presidential offensive was forced by Roxas’ poor showing in the polls.

Mr. Aquino earlier criticized Duterte for saying that he would step down if he failed to wipe out criminality in six months.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Friday that “Duterte is long on sound bite but short on implementation other than killing every child and adult offender.”

“He [has been] mayor [of Davao] for 20 years [but] crime [remains] rampant [in the city]. How can he expect crimes to be solved in three to six months? Will he [unleash] his death squads [on the whole] country [to] spread [a] reign of terror?” Lacierda said in a statement.

In Kawit, the President expressed confidence that the Philippines has “changed a lot” since 2010.

But he questioned the mindset of people who say that with the country’s accomplishments, there is no way to go but up regardless of who wins the presidential election.

“But what if it is someone who is callous, someone who can tell a barefaced lie? What if it is someone who prevaricates? There is one who has said, ‘I will run (for President), I won’t run, I will run, I won’t run, I was forced to run. When I become your President, I will fix this problem and if I fail after six months, I will resign,’” Mr. Aquino said, referring to Duterte.

Mr. Aquino added that the presidency is like being married to the country without any prenuptial agreement.

Individual decision

No candidate is forced to seek the presidency because filing a certificate of candidacy is an individual decision, he said.

“When I sought your votes, I promised you that I would put this country in a much better state. That means that in six years, there will be ups and downs. It can be frustrating, but we have to be together in good times and in bad times. You don’t just let go. We have a contract,” the President said.

And when a candidate talks of resigning in the middle of his term, Mr. Aquino said, it is only reasonable to ask him to clarify if he “really wants to serve (the country) or not.”

Mr. Aquino is banking on his popularity and high trust rating in campaigning for Roxas, Robredo and the administration’s senatorial ticket, hoping it will work and the reforms he has introduced will continue. TVJ

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