PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



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

DUTERTE APOLOGIZED TO POPE FOR "USING THE LORD'S NAME IN VAIN"; NOW HE SAYS, 'POPE HAS FORGIVEN ME'


APRIL 4 -DUTERTE - After coming under fire for cursing Pope Francis during his proclamation rally in Manila last year, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he had been forgiven by the Vatican through a letter he recently received from the Catholic Church hierarchy.
Duterte, whose ratings dipped after the incident, has since recovered and has placed second in recent presidential polls. The mayor, visiting the convent of the Sto. Niño Parish in Ubay, Bohol, with his running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, said he had asked for forgiveness from the Pope and he “received a positive response.’’  Duterte and Cayetano had just met with parish priest Fr. Gilbert Nagosa when he told reporters about the letter from the Vatican. “I wrote them to express my regret for using the Lord’s name in vain,’’ Duterte said. When pressed by reporters if he thought he was forgiven by the Pope, Duterte answered with a high-pitched “yes.’’ But Duterte declined to show a copy of the letter to the media because he did not want to be accused of again “using the name of the Lord in vain.’’  He said he decided to write to the Vatican for his own peace of mind and not for political reasons.  Duterte earlier said he had planned to go to the Vatican to kiss the hand of the Pope and personally ask for forgiveness, but decided not to push through with it, fearing it might be misconstrued as a political act. FULL REPORT. RELATED, LOOK - Pope Francis offers prayers for Duterte...

ALSO: BINAY TAKES BIG HIT IN PULSE ASIA SURVEY; Aquino, others improved


APRIL 5 -VICE President Jejomar Binay saw his net performance and trust ratings going down by five to nine points while other top ranking government officials, including President Aquino, saw their net ratings improving, the March 12 to 18 Pulse Asia survey showed.
The survey, which involved 1,800 respondents nationwide and had a margin of error of +/-2 percent, also showed Aquino and Senate President Franklin Drilon obtaining the highest performance and trust ratings while Speaker Feliciano Belmonte continued to be the least approved and trusted among the top five ranking officials of the country. The Pulse Asia Ulat sa Bayan survey showed Binay obtaining an approval rating of 46 percent in March which hardly moved from 47 percent in January and a disapproval rating of 25 percent which worsened from 21 percent during the same period, resulting in a net performance rating of +21 down from +26. Twenty-nine percent were undecided if they approved or disapproved of the Vice President’s performance. Binay’s net trust ratings also dropped to +17 in March from +26 in January after his trust ratings went down 44 percent from 48 percent while his distrust rating worsened to 27 percent from 22 percent. Thirty percent were undecided if they trust or do not trust the Vice President. The net performance rating is the difference between the approval and disapproval ratings while the net trust rating is the difference between trust and distrust ratings. The same survey saw Aquino’s net performance ratings improving to +34 (52 percent approval, 18 percent disapproval, 30 percent undecided) from +31 (49 percent approval, 18 percent disapproval, 33 percent undecided) tying with Drilon as the most approved official with a net performance rating of +34 (46 percent approval, 12 percent disapproval, 39 percent undecided) which is also an improvement from +30 (44 percent approval, 14 percent disapproval, 40 percent undecided). READ MORE...

ALSO: Marcos says no need to probe ‘clear incompetence’ at NAIA


APRIL 5 -MARCOS
The Senate is not inclined to waste time and people’s money in looking into instances of plain and simple incompetence, a senator said on queries about the possibility of holding a probe into the five-hour outage that hit Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 Saturday night.A presidential candidate, however, wanted a probe on the incident, which not only crippled the operations of NAIA but also prompted the cancellation of nearly 100 flights. The administration should remove from office those who will be found to be responsible, said Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Santiago’s running mate, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. contradicted her proposition as he saw no need for any investigation as the incident only proved what he said is already obvious to everyone, plain and simple incompetence by the people who are running the airport. “We don’t need to investigate the incident. It was plain to everybody that the officials did not do their job,” he said. Marcos added he has been calling for the resignation of the likes of Manila International Airport Administration (NAIA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado, especially during the height of the tanim-bala (bullet-planting) controversy, allegedly perpetuated by some corrupt airport personnel. “I have long called for the termination of the general manager, Honrado, who never did his job. He’s really incompetent. I don’t know why he’s still there,” he said. Honrado is a distant relative of President Aquino, who, in turn, dismissed calls for him to sack the airport official. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Sen. Nancy Binay both said that the excuse given by airport officials that the power outage was due to the tripping of a Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) substation and defective generator sets, is unacceptable especially as NAIA has been considered a “profit center” and can well provide for its needs. READ MORE...RELATED, Miriam: NAIA may regain ‘worst airport’ tag after 5-hr power outage...

ALSO: SC ruling on Poe hints looming constitutional crisis–PHL BAR Assn


APRIL 4 -PHOTO ON MARCH 18, 2016 Senator Grace Poe durign the pressconference together with 30 congressma including partylist members supporting team galing at puso held at L' Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. PHOTO BY JAY MORALES Senator Grace Poe. PHOTO BY JAY MORALES
The Supreme Court’s decision allowing Senator Grace Poe to run for president portends a looming constitutional crisis, the oldest organization of lawyers on Monday said in a statement.
Philippine Bar Association (PBA), the oldest voluntary national lawyers’ organization since 1891, said a judicial ruling is supposed to resolve issues in a legal controversy with finality. “Under our laws, judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws and our Constitution form part of our country’s legal system. When handed down by our Supreme Court, it assumes greater significance as it establishes legal precedent and forms part of our jurisprudence,” PBA said. In the case of Poe, however, voting 9-6, the high court ruled that Poe is qualified to run for President. The high court said there was no misrepresentation on the part of the Senator when she declared in her certificate of candidacy that she is natural born Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10years. But like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), a mandatory organization of lawyers, PBA said the high court’s ruling on the case of Poe failed to resolve the question on her citizenship and residency. “It can be concluded that the decision did not settle the matter of whether Poe is a natural-born citizen and whether she has met the residency requirement under the law,” the IBP Board of Governors said in a statement. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Wilson Flores - Serge Osmeña on the Aquinos, taipans, presidentiables & how to win an election


APRIL 3 -“I’m not like most politicians, I like to follow principles, not personalities,” says Sen. Serge Osmeña.As campaign manager, Serge Osmeña helped President Aquino win two elections but has been very critical of this administration. ‘I have to criticize because I’m thinking of the people’s welfare.’ Sen. Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III has been in news headlines as the no-nonsense and erudite Senate Banking Committee chairman leading the investigation into the bizarre $81 million theft of Bangladesh state funds and its money-laundering via Philippine bank and casino channels. He is a grandson and namesake of the late incorruptible President Sergio Osmeña Sr. Not many know that Osmeña helped Noynoy C. Aquino in his two electoral bids as senator and as president due to the personal requests of the late President Cory C. Aquino and, later, the Aquino sisters respectively. At one point in her career, Grace Poe also sought his advice. Although Osmeña has become linked to Liberal Party presidential bet Mar Roxas due to the recent wedding of his son to Mar’s favorite niece, I heard this Cebu statesman is reportedly inclined to support Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. CONTINUE READING...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Pope has forgiven me, says Duterte


Presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, APRIL 11, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Nancy C. Carvajal @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 04:57 AM April 4th, 2016 - After coming under fire for cursing Pope Francis during his proclamation rally in Manila last year, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he had been forgiven by the Vatican through a letter he recently received from the Catholic Church hierarchy.

Duterte, whose ratings dipped after the incident, has since recovered and has placed second in recent presidential polls.

The mayor, visiting the convent of the Sto. Niño Parish in Ubay, Bohol, with his running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, said he had asked for forgiveness from the Pope and he “received a positive response.’’

Duterte and Cayetano had just met with parish priest Fr. Gilbert Nagosa when he told reporters about the letter from the Vatican.

“I wrote them to express my regret for using the Lord’s name in vain,’’ Duterte said.

When pressed by reporters if he thought he was forgiven by the Pope, Duterte answered with a high-pitched “yes.’’

But Duterte declined to show a copy of the letter to the media because he did not want to be accused of again “using the name of the Lord in vain.’’

He said he decided to write to the Vatican for his own peace of mind and not for political reasons.

Duterte earlier said he had planned to go to the Vatican to kiss the hand of the Pope and personally ask for forgiveness, but decided not to push through with it, fearing it might be misconstrued as a political act.

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

LOOK: Pope Francis offers prayers for Duterte @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 03:24 PM April 4th, 2016
vatican letter

The Vatican has responded to the apology letter sent by the camp of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte last January.

The letter, which was signed by Italian Archbishop Angelo Becciu of the Secretariat of State, was shared by Duterte’s camp to the media on Monday.

“The Holy Father offers the assurance of his prayers for you, as he invokes upon you the divine blessings of wisdom and peace,” Bicciu said in the Feb. 24 letter addressed to Duterte.

READ: Pope has forgiven me, says Duterte

Bicciu also said that the Pope “appreciates the sentiments” which Duterte expressed in his letter.

Duterte’s camp is yet to disclose the contents of his letter to the Supreme Pontiff.

The letter was sent by the Vatican months after Duterte cursed at Pope Francis during his speech at the proclamation rally of the PDP-Laban in November last year.

READ MORE...

In his speech, Duterte said that he was one of the many people inconvenienced by the arrival of the Pope for his papal visit in the country in January 2015.

“Sabi ko, ‘Bakit?’ Sabi sarado na [ang daan]. Sabi ko, ‘Sinong darating?’ Sabi si Pope. Gusto kong tawagan, ‘Pope, p— ina ka, umuwi ka na. ‘Wag ka nang bumisita dito,” the tough-talking mayor said.

READ: Duterte ‘curses’ at Pope Francis, Lacierda fires back

His remarks drew flak from netizens and government officials.

He has since apologized for what he said. AJH/JE


MALAYA

BINAY TAKES BIG HIT IN PULSE ASIA SURVEY By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR April 05, 2016

VICE President Jejomar Binay saw his net performance and trust ratings going down by five to nine points while other top ranking government officials, including President Aquino, saw their net ratings improving, the March 12 to 18 Pulse Asia survey showed.

The survey, which involved 1,800 respondents nationwide and had a margin of error of +/-2 percent, also showed Aquino and Senate President Franklin Drilon obtaining the highest performance and trust ratings while Speaker Feliciano Belmonte continued to be the least approved and trusted among the top five ranking officials of the country.

The Pulse Asia Ulat sa Bayan survey showed Binay obtaining an approval rating of 46 percent in March which hardly moved from 47 percent in January and a disapproval rating of 25 percent which worsened from 21 percent during the same period, resulting in a net performance rating of +21 down from +26. Twenty-nine percent were undecided if they approved or disapproved of the Vice President’s performance.

Binay’s net trust ratings also dropped to +17 in March from +26 in January after his trust ratings went down 44 percent from 48 percent while his distrust rating worsened to 27 percent from 22 percent. Thirty percent were undecided if they trust or do not trust the Vice President.

The net performance rating is the difference between the approval and disapproval ratings while the net trust rating is the difference between trust and distrust ratings.

The same survey saw Aquino’s net performance ratings improving to +34 (52 percent approval, 18 percent disapproval, 30 percent undecided) from +31 (49 percent approval, 18 percent disapproval, 33 percent undecided) tying with Drilon as the most approved official with a net performance rating of +34 (46 percent approval, 12 percent disapproval, 39 percent undecided) which is also an improvement from +30 (44 percent approval, 14 percent disapproval, 40 percent undecided).

READ MORE...

Belmonte and Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno improved the most with their net performance ratings going up by 11 and 10 points each.

Belmonte obtained a +13 net performance rating (30 percent approval, 17 percent disapproval, 48 percent undecided) up from +2 (24 percent approval, 22 percent disapproval, 51 percent undecided) while Sereno got a +14 net performance rating (31 percent approval, 17 percent disapproval, 46 percent undecided) up from +4 (25 percent approval, 21 percent disapproval, 49 percent undecided).

The Pulse results also showed Aquino’s net trust ratings improving to +28 (49 percent trust, 21 percent distrust, 30 percent undecided) from +16 (39 percent trust, 24 percent distrust, 37 percent undecided) tying with Drilon as the most trusted official with a net trust rating of +28 (42 percent trust, 14 percent distrust, 41 percent undecided) despite dropping from +30 (46 percent trust, 16 percent distrust, 38 percent undecided).

Belmonte and Sereno improved the most with their net trust ratings going up by 18 and 28 points, respectively.

Belmonte obtained a +7 net trust rating (27 percent trust, 20 percent distrust, 48 percent undecided) up from -11 (20 percent trust, 31 percent distrust, 47 percent undecided) while Sereno got a +8 net trust rating (30 percent trust, 22 percent distrust, 43 percent undecided) up from -13 (21 percent trust, 34 percent distrust, 43 percent undecided).

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the latest results showed the President continuing to enjoy majority approval and close to majority trust almost six years into office.

“The latest survey results released by Pulse Asia Research show that the public’s confidence in President Aquino remains strong, even as he nears the end of his term…Throughout his term, President Aquino has obtained historically high approval ratings. On a larger scale, these positive ratings reflect the people’s approval of Daang Matuwid—and the reforms and programs initiated under it,” Lacierda said.


TRIBUNE

Marcos says no need to probe ‘clear incompetence’ at NAIA  Written by Angie M. Rosales Tuesday, 05 April 2016 00:00


MARCOS

The Senate is not inclined to waste time and people’s money in looking into instances of plain and simple incompetence, a senator said on queries about the possibility of holding a probe into the five-hour outage that hit Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 Saturday night.

A presidential candidate, however, wanted a probe on the incident, which not only crippled the operations of NAIA but also prompted the cancellation of nearly 100 flights.

The administration should remove from office those who will be found to be responsible, said Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Santiago’s running mate, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. contradicted her proposition as he saw no need for any investigation as the incident only proved what he said is already obvious to everyone, plain and simple incompetence by the people who are running the airport.

“We don’t need to investigate the incident. It was plain to everybody that the officials did not do their job,” he said.

Marcos added he has been calling for the resignation of the likes of Manila International Airport Administration (NAIA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado, especially during the height of the tanim-bala (bullet-planting) controversy, allegedly perpetuated by some corrupt airport personnel.

“I have long called for the termination of the general manager, Honrado, who never did his job. He’s really incompetent. I don’t know why he’s still there,” he said.

Honrado is a distant relative of President Aquino, who, in turn, dismissed calls for him to sack the airport official.


RECTO -This ridiculous incident is simply unacceptable. Government has billions of pesos to spend for improvement of airport facilities.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Sen. Nancy Binay both said that the excuse given by airport officials that the power outage was due to the tripping of a Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) substation and defective generator sets, is unacceptable especially as NAIA has been considered a “profit center” and can well provide for its needs.

READ MORE...

Recto noted that government collections from passengers and airlines in 2014 from NAIA alone amounted to P9.3 billion, netting P5.25 billion and this is more than enough to guarantee reliable electricity or buy emergency power generators for its four terminals.

Recto: no lack of money

“Lack of money can’t be an excuse on why it is hit by blackouts, or its ceilings are crashing down, or its airconditioners are conking out,” Recto said.

Recto cited income reports of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and three other agencies that profit from NAIA’s 37 million annual passengers in saying that the five-hour power outage that hit the airport Saturday was “unacceptable and preventable.”

“NAIA is in the black. So there should be no blackout. This ridiculous incident is simply unacceptable. Government has billions of pesos to spend for improvement of airport facilities,” he said.

The safety of passengers should be of paramount importance all the time and such incident only added to the chaos and instability, that, in the light of global terrorism threats, should not be taken for granted as thousands of lives are at stake, Binay said.


BINAY

The power outage is totally unacceptable and poses a serious security issue, she added.

There were even several reports of theft when the power outage hit and the management at the NAIA-3 did nothing to address these. A simple sorry is not enough to cover the passengers’ inconvenience,” she said.

It is deplorable that the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) would pass the blame on Meralco when they should be the one prepared in cases of emergency, the senator added.

“We need to ensure that those who are responsible and such incidence is avoided in the future because human lives are involved,” she said.

Out of its gross income of P9.3 billion in 2014, MIAA posted a net profit after tax of P3.06 billion, Recto said.

On top of this, it remitted P1.08 billion as national government share to the Treasury and paid P1.1 billion in taxes, “which means government netted close to P5.3 billion from NAIA users in 2014,” Recto said.

“NAIA can’t be run like an ordinary barangay hall or police precinct where electricity can be cut. It even has funds to put up a mini-power plant,” Recto said.

Recto said a third of NAIA’s P9.3 billion gross income came from the P550 international terminal fee and the P200 domestic terminal fee paid by passengers, which reached P3.5 billion in 2014. Airlines contributed P2.8 billion in landing fees.

“The P3.5 billion in terminal fee from passengers are enough to maintain the electrical system at NAIA, even for the airconditioners to avoid people from saying ‘it’s more fan in NAIA 3,’” Recto said.

The Department of Tourism (DoT) had coined the phrase “it’s more fun in the Philippines” as a come on for tourists.
Recto said funds for the improvement of NAIA can also be sourced from travel tax collections.

Most of the nearly P2 billion travel tax collected by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) in 2014 were from NAIA outbound passengers.

“NAIA is a major collection point of this tax. This tax is either included in the ticket fare or paid before check-in at the TIEZA kiosk,” Recto said.

Travel tax rates range from P2,700 for a first class passenger; P1,620 for an economy seat; to P300 for an OFW dependent.

“Part of this travel tax collections should be plowed back to NAIA, for comfort facilities like clean toilets, better Wi-Fi, and tourist help desks and brochures, “Recto said.

Also, Recto pointed out, a significant portion of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ (CAAP) P5.7 billion gross income for two years came from NAIA flight operations.

“Even from the Aviation Security Fee (ASF) the government has small earnings,” Recto said, referring to the P60 ASF that every international passenger pays and the P15 charged to domestic passengers.

It should not come as a surprise if NAIA is placed back in the list of “worst” airports in the world because of the said incident, said Santiago.

“The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) seems eager to regain the ‘world’s worst airport’ title which it lost only in 2015, not only for inconveniencing passengers, but for not working as it should,” the senator said.

The NAIA was the world’s worst airport from 2011 to 2013, and the fourth worst in 2014, according to online travel website Guide to Sleeping in Airports, which ranks airports based on comfort, convenience, cleanliness and customer service.

The airport administration blamed the outage on Meralco’s supply trip, and claimed that even after Meralco restored power, the NAIA remained without electricity. Meralco has meanwhile denied a power outage.

Santiago, for her part, said that the NAIA must have uninterrupted power supply.

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

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS

Miriam: NAIA may regain ‘worst airport’ tag after 5-hr power outage Published April 4, 2016 6:16pm


SANTIAGO

Airport authorities appear to be courting the "worst airport" tag anew, presidential candidate Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Monday after the five-hour power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) over the weekend.

Santiago urged the Aquino administration to immediately investigate the incident and remove from office those who are found responsible.

“The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) seems eager to regain the ‘world’s worst airport’ title which it lost only in 2015, not only for inconveniencing passengers, but for not working as it should,” Santiago said.

The NAIA was dubbed as the world’s worst airport from 2011 to 2013, and the fourth worst in 2014, according to online travel website Guide to Sleeping in Airports, which ranks airports based on comfort, convenience, cleanliness and customer service.

The power outage hit Terminal 3 late on Saturday and power was not restored until before dawn on Sunday, prompting the cancellation of flights and leaving passengers stranded at the airport.

The MIAA said the power outage at the NAIA-3 happened after a substation of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) tripped at around 8:45 p.m. Saturday.

Meralco, meanwhile, said that the glitch was restored in less than a minute. It said that the five-hour power outage could have been caused by "trouble on the customer's loadside."

Santiago said NAIA must have uninterrupted power supply.

“Assuming for the sake of argument that the Meralco line tripped, where were the generators? The explanation that they were not working is unacceptable,” she added.

Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya had admitted that one of the 10 generator sets at Terminal 3 did not kick-in after Meralco's substation tripped.

"Sabi niya may na-drain [na battery]. Hindi nagkick-in ang isang genset (generator set) natin. May drainage sa battery power... Hindi nag-transmit ng power sa building (NAIA-3) mismo," Abaya told radio dzBB on Sunday morning, referring to NAIA-3 manager Octavio Lina. —ALG, GMA News


INQUIRER

SC ruling on Poe hints looming constitutional crisis–lawyers’ group By: Tetch Torres-Tupas
@T2TupasINQ INQUIRER.net 07:15 PM April 4th, 2016


PHOTO ON MARCH 18, 2016 Senator Grace Poe durign the pressconference together with 30 congressma including partylist members supporting team galing at puso held at L' Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. PHOTO BY JAY MORALES Senator Grace Poe. PHOTO BY JAY MORALES

The Supreme Court’s decision allowing Senator Grace Poe to run for president portends a looming constitutional crisis, the oldest organization of lawyers on Monday said in a statement.

Philippine Bar Association (PBA), the oldest voluntary national lawyers’ organization since 1891, said a judicial ruling is supposed to resolve issues in a legal controversy with finality.

“Under our laws, judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws and our Constitution form part of our country’s legal system. When handed down by our Supreme Court, it assumes greater significance as it establishes legal precedent and forms part of our jurisprudence,” PBA said.

In the case of Poe, however, voting 9-6, the high court ruled that Poe is qualified to run for President. The high court said there was no misrepresentation on the part of the Senator when she declared in her certificate of candidacy that she is natural born Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10years.

But like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), a mandatory organization of lawyers, PBA said the high court’s ruling on the case of Poe failed to resolve the question on her citizenship and residency.

“It can be concluded that the decision did not settle the matter of whether Poe is a natural-born citizen and whether she has met the residency requirement under the law,” the IBP Board of Governors said in a statement.

READ MORE...

“While the decision appears to have rendered an opinion as to whether (Poe) is a natural-born as well as whether she has satisfied the 10-year residency requirement for the presidency, it should be emphasized that the dispositive portion of the decision merely orders the reversal of the decisions of the Commission on Elections granting the petitions to disqualify her… and states that she is qualified to be a candidate for president in the national and local elections on May 9, 2016,” it added.

Echoing IBP’s statement, PBA said the high court failed to resolve the issues “with clarity and certainty such that more questions are raised than answered.”

“When the ruling fosters confusion on long established legal principles in matters of constitutional law, citizenship, rules of evidence, burden of proof, the value of declarations made under oath, among other facets of law, the stability of our legal system,” PBA said.

PBA said the high court decision could stir a constitutional crisis with the possibility of electing a natural-born Filipino citizens on mere presumption “potentially being ousted from office by a majority vote of the Supreme Court, the resulting mandate is weakened from inception, the balance of power among the great branches of government is upset and the contentious issue of succession comes to fore.”

“And yet, is it not the Supreme Court that reminded us that ‘obedience to the Rule of Law forms the bedrock of our system of justice,’” the PBA said.

Motions for reconsideration have already been filed before the Supreme Court.

The high court has already set for deliberation the appeals during its first en banc session in Baguio City. JE

RELATED STORY

Storm over SC decision refuses to die


PHILSTAR DIGITAL EDITION

Serge Osmeña on the Aquinos, taipans, presidentiables & how to win an election WILL SOON FLOURISH By Wilson Lee Flores | 814 views April 03, 2016


“I’m not like most politicians, I like to follow principles, not personalities,” says Sen. Serge Osmeña.


By Wilson Lee Flores

As campaign manager, Serge Osmeña helped President Aquino win two elections but has been very critical of this administration. ‘I have to criticize because I’m thinking of the people’s welfare.’

Sen. Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III has been in news headlines as the no-nonsense and erudite Senate Banking Committee chairman leading the investigation into the bizarre $81 million theft of Bangladesh state funds and its money-laundering via Philippine bank and casino channels. He is a grandson and namesake of the late incorruptible President Sergio Osmeña Sr.

Not many know that Osmeña helped Noynoy C. Aquino in his two electoral bids as senator and as president due to the personal requests of the late President Cory C. Aquino and, later, the Aquino sisters respectively. At one point in her career, Grace Poe also sought his advice.

Although Osmeña has become linked to Liberal Party presidential bet Mar Roxas due to the recent wedding of his son to Mar’s favorite niece, I heard this Cebu statesman is reportedly inclined to support Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

CONTINUE READING...

Excerpts from the exclusive STAR interview with Senator Serge Osmeña:

PHILIPPINE STAR: Part of your life story was made into a movie called Eskapo by Star Cinema, on your escape from martial law prison along with ABS-CBN boss Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr. Was that film accurate?

SENATOR SERGIO OSMEÑA III: That movie was very accurate and I’ll tell you why. After we escaped, both of us tape-recorded our accounts, we had our own versions, two hours, they were transcribed into 600 or 700 pages. We gave all that to the scriptwriter Pete Lacaba.

However, there were three inaccuraries: First, the director Chito Roño said one scene was boring so he made me and Geny Lopez quarrel, but in real life, I never quarreled with Geny. By the way, my wife is also a Lopez, a niece of Geny and daughter of his first cousin Albertito Lopez. Second inaccuracy, the director added that part of a guard discovering our escape and shooting at our car. Third inaccuracy, I’m more handsome than actor Richard Gomez who portrayed me in that movie! (Laughs)

Your late father Senator Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr. was an archrival of President Ferdinand E. Marcos in the 1969 election, then you were in the opposition during martial law. How is your relationship with Senator Bongbong Marcos now?

We’re cordial, not enemies.

What about the Marcos era’s ex-Defense chief Senator Juan Ponce Enrile?

We’re friends. Physically, that guy is really built like a tank. I think his father lived to 100. Enrile is very, very sharp mentally. I respect him on certain positions.

I heard that Ninoy Aquino was a brilliant politician?

Yes, he was brilliant and extremely charismatic, grabe, magaling ‘yan (really, he was very capable). Ninoy was the most charismatic person I have ever met. Charisma is the ability to convince people to follow your leadership.

Was it true Ateneo’s American Jesuits and other people unfairly criticized Ninoy for the “sins” of his World War II Japanese collaborator dad Benigno Simeon Aquino; and was that partly the motivation for him to excel, maybe to cleanse the family honor with his success?

I did not hear that firsthand, but yeah, Ninoy wanted to cleanse his father’s name. I would hear it from other friends who were close to him, because accusations that his dad was a leader of the Makapili was one of his hangups.

Do you think that, of Ninoy’s kids, it is Kris Aquino who is most like him in terms of charisma and natural intelligence?

I don’t know Kris Aquino well. I know Ninoy’s other daughter Pinky; she is very similar to Ninoy, very charming and dynamic.

The late President Marcos, was he charismatic too?

Yes, he was. There are three things you need to be successful in public service. No. 1 is the ability to persuade others. No. 2 is a good working knowledge of how a government works. No. 3 is a strong sense of moral backbone to say “no” to temptations. I shortened those three C’s to charisma, competence and character. Yeah, all politicians have charisma.

Even Mar Roxas has charisma?

Yes, Mar has, but not as much.

Who to you is the most charismatic politician in the country today?

It’s hard to measure... Duterte is very charismatic. Binay was elected vice president, he has a lot of charisma. Of course, Grace Poe; also Miriam. Erap has a lot of charisma.

Last Jan. 30 your son Joey Osmeña wed Ana Ojeda, eldest daughter of Mar’s sister Ria Roxas Ojeda and Mar Roxas was one of the godfathers; she’s also reputedly his favorite niece. Why did you come out in the media saying you don’t want to vote for Mar as the next president and why have you criticized his competence?

I’m not like most politicians, I like to follow principles, not personalities.

What good things can you say about Mar?

Mar is very rational, very left-brained, he will figure out how to present something with supporting arguments.

Your comments on the other presidentiables?

Grace Poe is motherly, very cariñosa (charming), magandang dating niya sa tao (she’s comes across well to the public). Digong Duterte is very simple, very focused on improving peace and order. He hates corruption, terrorists and illegal drugs. Binay has good experience in local government, okay naman.

I was one of the first to write that your grandfather President Sergio Osmeña Sr.’s father was the Chinese immigrant tycoon Don Pedro Lee Gotiaoco of Cebu, so that makes you a cousin — from a different line — of the self-made industrialist John Gokongwei Jr. The Gotianuns and Gaisanos are from different branches of this clan too. Your impressions of Gokongwei?

John Gokongwei Jr. is one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs this country has ever developed. When he goes into a business, he succeeds. He does it very quietly, like when he founded Cebu Pacific Air, like when he bought Digitel.

Do you know why he entered the airline business? Gokongwei told me that in the US, he always flew on the cheapest airlines and economy class; he kept asking questions and studied their budget airlines. Can you imagine, I used to fly in 1998 from Manila to Cebu, one way for P2,500; then all of a sudden, this entrepreneurial Gokongwei’s Cebu Pacific Air comes out with P999 plane tickets?

On his 80th birthday dinner, I asked his secretary how come they didn’t invite other senators. She said: “You’re the only senator invited because you’re his relative.”

Another outstanding relative of yours from another branch was the recently deceased Andrew Gotianun of Filinvest/East West Bank, he was an uncle of yours and of Gokongwei. His wife Mercedes Tan Gotianun is also a brilliant. Your impressions of them?

Yes, Andrew and his wife Chita, they’re both very hardworking, very humble and also business geniuses.

The late Cory C. Aquino was reportedly close to you. I heard she personally asked you to help her son Noynoy’s senatorial campaign?

Cory was very honest, very religious, very dignified. She used to serve coffee to us, Ninoy’s friends. She was very humble, never had a loud voice, then she later came into her own. She was mautak (brainy), a math major in college.

In 2007 when I was myself running for senator, Cory asked me to be her son Noynoy’s campaign manager because he was then ranked No. 9 in surveys and just two points away from candidate No. 15. He could become a victim of “dagdag-bawas” (addition-subtraction) cheating. He was a target of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. I asked that he follow my strategies, Cory promised me that Noynoy would obey. After Noynoy won at No. 6 and two million votes ahead of No. 7 Ed Angara, Cory gifted me with her painting. Noynoy invited me three times to dinner.

I heard that, in the 2010 presidential election, when Noy at one time was weakening in surveys and Senator Manny Villar was surging, the Aquino sisters followed in their late mother Cory’s footsteps before and asked for your help. What are the secrets to winning elections?

The three sisters came to the house and asked me to take over Noynoy’s campaign. A politician only needs to do three things to win a campaign. First, have the right message, what you tell the voters, and why. Second, determine how to communicate the message whether via talk shows, TV/radio/newspaper/online ads. Third, do it as efficiently as you can and watch the budget.

How come many of our candidates have lousy, fake or confusing messages?

The problem with some politicians is they just invent a message. I don’t. I ask what they already have as a public image based on surveys, then create a positive message based on that image. For example, if surveys say the public has an image of you wearing green shoes, green is the color of the US dollar, then we’ll link that to the message about higher incomes.

For example in 2013, Grace Poe asked my advice. I did a survey. Sixty-two percent said they connected her image to her late father, the actor Fernando Poe Jr. Why do the people love FPJ? They love him because they perceive him as helpful to the poor. That was the message I advised her to use.

You were close to Ninoy and Cory Aquino, you helped President Noynoy two times in his important election campaigns. Why, then, have you become critical of his presidency by calling him an honest person but “an awful manager”?

I don’t think he likes my criticisms, but I have to criticize because I’m thinking of the people’s welfare. If magagalit siya sa akin, sorry na lang, Sergio (If he’ll get angry at me, then sorry, Sergio). I never asked for anything, no favors, no appointees, etc.

One thing positive I can say about Noynoy is that he has brought to government the high moral standards of Cory C. Aquino. In that way, he never violated the legacy Cory has bequeathed. You must remember, Noynoy was elected not because he’s Noynoy, but because he’s the son of Cory C. Aquino.

So being honest and straight is not enough for a president of the Philippines, we need a truly hardworking leader, too?

Oh, my gosh, if I were president of this country, I would need to work twice as hard as both GMA and FVR!

* * *

Thanks for your feedback! Email willsoonflourish@gmail.com or follow WilsonLeeFlores on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and http://willsoonflourish.blogspot.com .


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2016 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE