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(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

FAST CHECKING THE LUZON FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
[
MORE FLUFF THAN FACT]


APRIL 26 -The final leg of the Commission on Elections-sanctioned presidential debate was more sober than the last round, but candidates still made some statements that deserved some scrutiny. We pored through dozens of pages of transcripts to check which claims were more fluff than fact. READ INFOGRAPH OF EACH CANDIDATE.....
Duterte lawyer calls Trillanes claims ‘hearsay’...

ALSO: Roxas - Don’t vote for Duterte


APRIL 28 -Manuel Roxas II ADMINISTRATION standard bearer Manuel Roxas II on Wednesday warned Filipinos against voting for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, saying his rise to power could make communism, a godless ideology, to prevail in the country. He challenged Duterte to prove that his “hands are cleaner than his mouth” after Duterte allegedly did not declare P211 million in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. “If you want communism to rule over the country, if you want the New People’s Army to strengthen its ranks, it’s clear who should you choose. It’s [Mayor Duterte] who said that,” Roxas told reporters in Talisay City. “I will catch and fight the NPA. Not because I want them killed, but they want to overturn the government and the way we live today. Communism is a godless political philosophy. There is no god, they don’t fear any god. Communism deprives people of individual empowerment.”  Malacañang on Wednesday also expressed concern over Duterte’s ties with Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army. “Freedom-loving citizens would find sufficient cause to be alarmed at the picture published in a major broadsheet, where erstwhile captive PNP officers are shown wearing shirts with POW [Prisoner of War] printed thereon and being paraded by heavily armed NPA members in the company of Mayor Duterte, with the CPP, NPA and the NDF flags prominently displayed in the background,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement. Roxas did not mince words after the NPA sealed an agreement with Duterte on Monday to release five policemen that they had been holding. Duterte emphasized that while he was not left-leaning, he wanted to overthrow the Aquino administration and install another one. “I am not [a communist]. I do not subscribe to their armed struggle,” Duterte said in answer to some claims that he was supportive of the rebel group. But “I want to overthrow this government [Aquino administration] because it’s already very weak.” Duterte also claimed he talked with the NPA rebels and told them that there should be no conflict during election season because “the voting public will be affected.” READ MORE...RELATED, VP, Mar call for Duterte’s waiver on P211 million....

ALSO:
Relax, Duterte tells business - ‘I’m not what they say I am,’ Digong says to Makati crowd


APRIL 28 -No cause for alarm. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech beforemembers of the Makati Business Club during the group’s 2016 Presidential Dialogues at the Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City on Wednesday,.
PRESIDENTIAL candidate Rodrigo Duterte told business leaders Wednesday that he would spend P18 billion yearly to support start-ups, made up mostly by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), with each region getting P1 billion. “This is what I want the Trade department to do,” he said, addressing members of the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines at the Manila Peninsula Hotel. He said small businesses are forced to get financing from the loan sharks because there is no institutionalized government agency. The Department of Trade and Industry, he said, should be in charge of loan assistance to MSMEs. He said he has what it takes to be a capable president but people should not judge him superficially. “This government will be clean,” he said. “I am willing to turn a blind eye to what these corrupt officials have accumulated but once I am elected these activities should stop.”  Duterte also sought to put the business leaders at ease. “Relax, I am not the man I am portrayed to be by some,” he said, apparently trying to rein in his use of profanity. At one point, however, he turned to a racial stereotype—saying he would talk to the Indian ambassador to get Indian loan sharks to ease up on Filipino MSMEs. Duterte also said he would discontinue the agrarian reform program because it has not benefited businessmen or farmers. He added that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program has caused more agricultural lands to become less productive because farmers are not able to develop their lands for lack of resources. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte open to ‘toning down’ Constitution to accommodate foreign investors ...

ALSO: Santiago to probe commercial surveys if elected


APRIL 28 -Should Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago be elected the 16th President of the Philippines, she would immediately order an investigation on the conduct of commercial surveys that have been coming out one after the other in the days leading to the May 9, national elections. image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/04 
“By the means of their surveys, they dictate to us and precondition our minds which candidates are going to win, so in effect, they have the power to choose,” she said during the Manila Bulletin (MB) Hot Seat discussion at MB’s main office in Intramuros, Manila on April 28.
“That is very dangerous, it is anti-democratic.” In the recent Pulse Asia survey, Santiago maintained her position in the last spot with two percent, while Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte placed first with 34 percent. Sen. Grace Poe came in second (22 percent); Vice President Jejomar Binay, third (19 percent); and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, fourth (18 percent). Another survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations placed Santiago in the last spot, as well, with three percent. Despite her “dismal performance” in the surveys, Santiago, dubbed “campus queen,” has maintained lead in surveys conducted in various universities. At the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, she got 64 percent; University of Santo Tomas, 66 percent; Ateneo de Manila, 37 percent; University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, 59 percent; University of Northern Philippines, 36 percent; and UP Los Baños, 66 percent. READ MORE...RELATED,Miriam D. Santiago: All my life I have tried to excel...

ALSO: NOY PRESENTS ‘DON’T VOTE FOR’ LIST


AQUINO
WITHOUT naming names, President Aquino warned the public against voting for candidates who think highly of themselves, who are always on the warpath, and who are facing corruption charges. Aquino earlier said he is willing to lead the fight against possible abuses to prevent a repeat of human rights violations under martial law. He said he has been approached by people who are concerned about the rise of a vice presidential candidate in the pre-electoral surveys. “All that we’ve accomplished, we stand to lose under a leadership that is contrary to the Straight Path. The question: will you allow people with bullying tendencies or those who fight everyone every time they open their mouth to lead the country?” Aquino said at the launch of the Freedom Memorial Museum at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City. He said the potential election of the candidates, whom he did not name, could overturn the progress and reforms that he had started under his Daang Matuwid administration. Aquino is frowning on the election of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as vice president. Marcos has refused to apologize for the atrocities committed during the rule of his late strongman father. He said the iron fist rule has been tried and found to have failed when the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared martial law in 1972. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is currently leading the presidential race based on different pre-election surveys, is known for trash and tough talk and even promised to rid the country of criminality in three to six months. Aquino also slammed a candidate who keeps refusing to explain the allegations of corruption that he is facing. Vice President Jejomar Binay is facing corruption charges before the Ombudsman. The President said he trusts the voters to make the right choice on election day. At the end of the speech, guess who were left: Mar Roxas and Leni Lobredo, and Grace Poe. A fallback jst in case Mar doesn’t make it. FULL REPORT, RELATED, Aquino stars in new Roxas-Robredo ad...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Fact checking the Luzon Presidential Debate

MANILA, MAY 2, 2016 (PHILSTAR) lApril 26, 2016 - The final leg of the Commission on Elections-sanctioned presidential debate was more sober than the last round, but candidates still made some statements that deserved some scrutiny. We pored through dozens of pages of transcripts to check which claims were more fluff than fact.

READ MORE...

SANTIAGO

DUTERTE

BINAY

DUTERTE

BINAY

ROXAS

BINAY

SANTIAGO

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michael villaranda • 7 hours ago
POE - qualified to be a DSWD secretary
MIRIAM - qualified to be a DEPED secretary
BINAY - qualified to be jailed in prison
ROXAS - (wala akong maisip na bagay sa kanya, INCOMPETENT kasi)
DUTERTE - qualified to be a PRESIDENT
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Richard Joash Tan  michael villaranda • 4 hours ago
TAN - qualified to be more than a president
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Elmar Olita Obguia Jr.  michael villaranda • 6 hours ago
Nah, Duterte - qualified to be a DILG Secretary and Miriam - more than qualified to be the President.
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michael villaranda  Elmar Olita Obguia Jr. • 4 hours ago
magpagaling na muna si Miriam.. hirap nga syang magsalita last debate.. di mo alam kung bigla na lang mahihimatay sa stage
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Ekya  michael villaranda • 6 hours ago
sa isip malang yan na qualified cya
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michael villaranda • 7 hours ago
bakit kaya natatagalan/nahihirapan si miriam sa pagsasalita during debate.. totoo kayang magaling na sya? sana magfocus na muna sya sa health nya.. she can be a great DEPED secretary...
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RCE • 7 hours ago
BIAS
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john delacruz • 7 hours ago
this article could have been interesting except the format is very hard to understand. ang gulo nung style ng pagkaka construct nito
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michael villaranda • 8 hours ago
DUTERTE - ROBREDO for the win
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crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd  michael villaranda • an hour ago
Masyado kang nagpapaniwala sa survey survey na yan. Maniwala ka sa May 9th survey and you will be shocked on what hits you.
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AS OF aPRIL 16, 2016 tUESDAY.
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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Duterte lawyer calls Trillanes claims ‘hearsay’ By: Niña P. Calleja @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:07 PM May 2nd, 2016


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (L) and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER/CDN FILE PHOTOS

The legal counsel of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte belittled the affidavit executed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, calling his statement as “hearsay”

In Trillanes’ affidavit, he said he got the documents about Duterte’s bank accounts through a certain Joseph De Mesa, allegedly a former supporter of the Davao mayor.

READ: Duterte camp: Malacañang behind demolition job; Trillanes a pawn

Click Here!
Trillanes said De Mesa obtained the documents from a close relative working for an agency investigating the ill-gotten wealth of government officials.

“In other words, it was a hearsay coming from De Mesa. He heard it from De Mesa. Kumbaga, hindi lang ito kuwentong kutsero, kuwentong barbero pa (It’s all fish tale),” Salvador Panelo, who has the special power of attorney from Duterte, told reporters.

READ: Duterte lawyer asks BPI for certificate to belie Trillanes claims

Panelo said he showed the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Trillanes’ affidavit showing Duterte’s supposed transaction history.

“The official of the bank said: ‘Ay Sir, wala po kaming form na ganiyan, e computer lang po iyan e.’ Kumbaga, tinype lang nila iyon, pinagsama-sama lang nila’ (The official of the bank said, ‘Sir, we don’t have a form like that. It’s like a hodgepodge),” Panelo said. IDL


MANILA STANDARD

Roxas: Don’t vote for Duterte posted April 28, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito and Sandy Araneta


Manuel Roxas II

ADMINISTRATION standard bearer Manuel Roxas II on Wednesday warned Filipinos against voting for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, saying his rise to power could make communism, a godless ideology, to prevail in the country.

He challenged Duterte to prove that his “hands are cleaner than his mouth” after Duterte allegedly did not declare P211 million in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

“If you want communism to rule over the country, if you want the New People’s Army to strengthen its ranks, it’s clear who should you choose. It’s [Mayor Duterte] who said that,” Roxas told reporters in Talisay City.

“I will catch and fight the NPA. Not because I want them killed, but they want to overturn the government and the way we live today. Communism is a godless political philosophy. There is no god, they don’t fear any god. Communism deprives people of individual empowerment.”

Malacañang on Wednesday also expressed concern over Duterte’s ties with Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.

“Freedom-loving citizens would find sufficient cause to be alarmed at the picture published in a major broadsheet, where erstwhile captive PNP officers are shown wearing shirts with POW [Prisoner of War] printed thereon and being paraded by heavily armed NPA members in the company of Mayor Duterte, with the CPP, NPA and the NDF flags prominently displayed in the background,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

Roxas did not mince words after the NPA sealed an agreement with Duterte on Monday to release five policemen that they had been holding.

Duterte emphasized that while he was not left-leaning, he wanted to overthrow the Aquino administration and install another one.

“I am not [a communist]. I do not subscribe to their armed struggle,” Duterte said in answer to some claims that he was supportive of the rebel group.

But “I want to overthrow this government [Aquino administration] because it’s already very weak.”

Duterte also claimed he talked with the NPA rebels and told them that there should be no conflict during election season because “the voting public will be affected.”

READ MORE...

In various occasions, Duterte has admitted exalting the NPA, which was founded by Jose Maria Sison who is in exile in The Netherlands. But he said he wanted the NPA disarmed.

A video showing Duterte praising the NPA went viral after the major television networks refused to air it for allegedly failing to pass ethical standards.

Another video showed Duterte cursing Pope Francis for causing heavy traffic when he visited the Philippines last year.

And still another clip showed Duterte announcing it would be bloody if he became president.

“Mayor Duterte is saying that we should pay revolutionary taxes and help the NPA. Help these rebels,” Roxas said.

“Even Joma Sison is saying that if Duterte wins, half of their feet will be inside Malacañang.”

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

RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

VP, Mar call for Duterte’s waiver on P211 million Written by Angie M. Rosales and Charlie V. Manalo Thursday, 28 April 2016 00:00



Vice President Jojo Binay yesterday reiterated his call for all presidential candidates to sign bank waivers and submit this to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to look into their, their spouses, children and all other relatives bank accounts.

Binay came up with this move during the second presidential debate, and presented a written waiver for all the five presidential candidates to sign. None of the four other candidates agreed to sign this type of waiver.

With the alleged hidden P211 million in bank deposits in the name of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte exposed the other day by Sen. Antonio Trillanes, as published in a broad sheet , which also showed the documents that had the stash of bank deposits of Duterte in it, wherein hundreds of millions of pesos were not declared.

VP Binay’s camp yesterday reiterated the challenge to his rivals to allow the AMLC to look into their bank accounts, as well as those of their spouses and children.
The statement came after media reported that Duterte did not declare in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALn) P211 million deposited in a Bank of the Philippines, a local bank.

“The Vice President said this last Sunday and we will say it again: If you’re not hiding anything, this is our challenge: Submit yourselves to AMLC. Make public your SALn and Income Tax Returns (ITRs),” said UNA campaign communications director Joey Salgado.

“Sadly, none of them responded,” he added.

Salgado recalled that Duterte’s camp had earlier claimed that the Davao City mayor signed a waiver that would allow his bank accounts to be examined—a detail the Duterte seems to have forgotten in his latest statement.

Duterte just yesterday said he will never sign a bank waiver, saying that Trillanes has to prove his allegations. Moreover, Duterte said he refuses to walk into the trap Trillanes has laid out for him.

On March 14, Duterte and his runningmate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano signed a manifesto that stated that they “pledge to open all our bank accounts in local and foreign currencies both here and abroad in the interest of transparency and accountability.”

However, the so-called waiver which was posted in Duterte’s publicist Peter Laviña’s FB was not a waiver at all but merely a ”pledge” which is meaningless as a bank waiver. It was obviously done for publicity’s sake and for damage control.

But Duterte now refuses to sign a waiver for the AMLC to look into the existence of a joint account with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) he allegedly shared with his daughter, Sara Duterte.

“The camp of Ms. Duterte is bragging he had signed a waiver allowing his bank accounts to be opened. This morning, a national daily ran a story stating he has P211 million in a bank which he did not declare in his. When Mr. Duterte was asked if he would sign a waiver, he said no,” Salgado said.
“It seems that waiver was merely a press release,” he said.



The Vice President earlier signed a bank waiver, giving the AMLC access to his bank accounts as well as those owned by his spouse and children.

He urged all the other candidates to do the same, in the interest of transparency and honesty. The Vice President also released the copies of all his SALNs from 1987 as well as his ITRs,” Salgado said.

Last Sunday, a few hours before the presidential debate, the Vice President reiterated his call for fellow bets to sign the AMLC waiver.

“If we are not hiding anything, if all of us believe that we have to bare all before the people, if all of us claim we are in favor of the freedom of information, then let us all sign the waiver. Submit yourselves to AMLC,” dared Binay.

“Sign the waiver so it can be settled once and for all who among us is hiding something from the people,” he added.

Mar, LPs press Duterte to disclose bank accounts


ROXAS

Liberal party standard bearer Mar Roxas yesterday pressed Duterte to come out with the truth about his alleged “hidden bank accounts.”

“Mayor Duterte, let’s make it clear and come out with the truth about these bank accounts,” Roxas said in a statement yesterday.

“How are the people going to trust you when you do not have clear answers about the bank accounts?” Roxas stressed.

“Do these bank accounts exist? What’s in these bank accounts? Where does the money in these bank accounts come from? And why is it not included in your SALn?”Roxas said.

Roxas, who has been lagging behind in the surveys since the start of the campaign period, noted that for weeks Duterte and his running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, have been making a big fuss about their alleged willingness to open their bank accounts since the first presidential debate. And now you refuse to sign a waiver?” Roxas said.

Roxas expressed doubts that Duterte has back tracked again as he had done previously on the issue of the Philihealth beneficiaries in Davao.

Duterte claimed that there are no Philhealth beneficiaries in Davao City. The claim was contested by Roxas.

Roxas charged that Duterte does not have a word of honor and has been backtracking on his statements.

Roxas claimed that Duterte accepted his challenge that if proven that Davao residents are beneficiaries of Philhealth the latter would back out of the presidential race.

“Are you back tracking again on your pledge in the waiver?” Roxas said.

Roxas reminded Duterte that he is running for the presidency which is mandated by the people’s trust.

He said that if the source of the money is legitimate, Duterte should not be hiding them.

“Mayor Duterte, I’m calling on you, please reveal the truth about these bank accounts,” Roxas said.

Friends before,foes today

A new word war has erupted among the vice presidential candidates, between Senators Cayetano and Trillanes, with Duterte bearing the brunt.

Trillanes was prompted yesterday to reveal that Duterte has been hiding hundreds of millions of pesos in a purported secret account that is allegedly a joint account with the mayor’s daughter Sara Duterte.

Duterte, Trillanes alleged, owns more than P211 million in bank deposits, significantly higher than the said amount which is said to be held in an account the mayor and Sara are keeping at the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI) branch in Julia Vargas Ave., Pasig City and the amounts are undeclared in the mayor’s SALn. His common law wife and children also have hundreds of millions in their accounts in their names.

“That P211 (million bank deposit), that’s (just) the tip of the iceberg. You have no idea how wealthy Duterte is. Once we’re through with him, you’d be surprised. You’ll be amazed about the wealth of the guy,” he said.

Cayetano’s apparent penchant to name calling perceived critics, the latest of which was Trillanes whom he labeled as “Poetector” has earned his presidential running mate a threat from the latter who vowed to further expose the mayor’s alleged skeletons in the closet.

“He has no other thought but to come up with such gimmicks. He (Cayetano) should should aside because he may just follow (Duterte after my expose) okay?” Trillanes said.

Trillanes said he will not hesitate to take up issues concerning Cayetano, who happens to be a party mate in the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the running mate of Duterte, if he will stand in the way of his expose against the mayor that concerns alleged undisclosed assets of the latter.

Cayetano’s use of labeling Trillanes “Poetector” was an apparent attempt to ridicule the latter who has come out not only supporting but also endorsing the presidential bid of Sen. Grace Poe.

“The allegation is obviously a desperate ploy to bring down Duterte and promote Trillanes’ preferred presidential bet, Senator Poe,” Cayetano said.

“It’s quite sad that a supposed principled man like Trillanes will resort to such a cheap and shameful gimmick. It’s a pitiful sight to see Trillanes reduce himself from being a protector of the people to a ‘Poetector’,” Cayetano added.


CAYETANO

Trillanes said he’s confident in the validity of his claims which was provided by what he called a “network of informants” who have not failed him even in the past.

“I’m sorry but I cannot reveal the source of my information. But this is easily very verifiable and I stand by my track record. I have been doing this for a while now and so far everything’s passed. I have yet to expose anything that eventually turned out false before,” he said.

“We are talking about somebody running for president who is pretending to be poor. But it turns out that he is a fraud and he has to explain it. We have been challenging the other presidential candidates to sign the waiver of the bank secrecy law and prove me wrong. If I am wrong then I am going to resign from the Senate even. But we have to keep up the challenge. We’ll see if he signs the bank secrecy waiver. For that matter, I will challenge him, I’ll challenge him to sue me for libel because he does then his bank accounts will now be open for liquidation and therefore it’s exempted from the bank secrecy,” he said in a television interview.

“It’s very easy for Mayor Duterte to say that he has or he doesn’t have an account in BPI, Julia Vargas. And that’s the end of it. But if he would admit to having one, then, the initial information would be validated. And we’ll go to the next step.

Poe also joined the fray, having been accused by the camp of Duterte and Cayetano of colluding with Trillanes in his expose against Duterte.

“Duterte and Cayetano should prove it and he should prove that this is not true what is being alleged. The trouble is, I am always the one attacked but when I allege something about them I have to prove whether it is true or not. Now it’s their turn. Why say I paid to do this. How was this done? I don’t even know about this bank accounts report ,” Poe said in reply to charges that her camp allegedly paid Trillanes in coming up with this issue.

Poe did not spare Cayetano saying that the latter should know Trillanes better, whether the senator’s charges are baseless, being a party mate and in a tandem in exposing the alleged wrong doings of Binay and in investigating other corruption issues in the Senate.

Duterte and his daughter Sara joint account which he said was not declared in Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

A PDF file of Sara and Rodrigo Duterte’s 9 bank transactions – seven transactions on March 28, 2014 and two transactions on December 9, 2014 – was provided by Trillanes’ office to the media.

Based on the document, on March 28 – Duterte’s birthday – some P16 million to P55 million were credited to Duterte’s account.

Cayetano said that Trillanes’ allegation is absurd, adding that he and Duterte were the first tandem to challenge their rivals to sign a bank secrecy waiver.

“Duterte has nothing to hide. In fact, he is the only presidential candidate to sign a bank secrecy waiver. It’s unfortunate that Senator Trillanes comes out with cheap tricks despite the throng of consultants/Poetectors on his payroll. If the only thing they can come up with is a baseless accusation against Duterte, clearly they have nothing on him,” Cayetano said.
With Gerry Baldo


MANILA STANDARD

Relax, Duterte tells business - ‘I’m not what they say I am,’ Digong says to Makati crowd posted April 28, 2016 at 12:01 am by Othel V. Campos


No cause for alarm. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech beforemembers of the Makati Business Club during the group’s 2016 Presidential Dialogues at the Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City on Wednesday,.


PRESIDENTIAL candidate Rodrigo Duterte told business leaders Wednesday that he would spend P18 billion yearly to support start-ups, made up mostly by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), with each region getting P1 billion.

“This is what I want the Trade department to do,” he said, addressing members of the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines at the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

He said small businesses are forced to get financing from the loan sharks because there is no institutionalized government agency.

The Department of Trade and Industry, he said, should be in charge of loan assistance to MSMEs.

He said he has what it takes to be a capable president but people should not judge him superficially.

“This government will be clean,” he said.

“I am willing to turn a blind eye to what these corrupt officials have accumulated but once I am elected these activities should stop.”

Duterte also sought to put the business leaders at ease.

“Relax, I am not the man I am portrayed to be by some,” he said, apparently trying to rein in his use of profanity.

At one point, however, he turned to a racial stereotype—saying he would talk to the Indian ambassador to get Indian loan sharks to ease up on Filipino MSMEs.

Duterte also said he would discontinue the agrarian reform program because it has not benefited businessmen or farmers. He added that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program has caused more agricultural lands to become less productive because farmers are not able to develop their lands for lack of resources.

READ MORE...

His remarks on land reform drew the most applause from an audience that appeared tentative or lukewarm toward Duterte.

Duterte, who was mayor of Davao City for more than two decades, said he would not hesitate to “just plagiarize” the good development plans of previous administrations, including infrastructure projects that have been delayed.

On top of that, he promised to allocate as much as P30 billion as health assistance to poor families living in the poorest provinces.

“There should be at least, one doctor per barangay. I will make sure that government doctors will be compensated for their service,” he said.

Turning to his platform of law and order, Duterte said he would hire 3,000 more policemen and double the salary of security forces to start a bloody war against crime.

Duterte’s lead in the presidential race has unnerved the business sector. The peso slumped 1.6 percent in April, as opinion polls put the mayor firmly ahead of his rivals, despite his inflammatory comments about rape and extra-judicial killings.

Duterte trailed his two closest rivals in a Bloomberg survey of economists on which candidate would best steer economic policy.

Duterte’s popularity has been boosted by peoples’ anxiety over crime and, like US presidential candidate Donald Trump, supporters praise him for straight-talking. As the election looms, Philippine bond risk has climbed from near an eight-month low and foreigners have pulled $41 million from local stocks this month.

“Duterte represents uncertainty,” said Edwin Gutierrez, who helps oversee about $11 billion as head of emerging-market sovereign debt at Aberdeen Asset Management Plc in London. “He’s a bit of a one-trick pony with his law and order message. I don’t think he’d do anything to upset the apple cart with economic policy, but I don’t see economic reform as being his priority. The comparisons to Trump are obviously rather unflattering whether justified or not.”

The peso fell 0.1 percent to 46.81 per dollar as of 1:30 p.m. in Manila, while the nation’s benchmark stock index dropped 0.9 percent. The currency is headed for its worst month since August and reached 46.943 on Tuesday, the weakest level in seven weeks. ING Groep NV said it’s reviewing its forecast for the exchange rate to weaken to 47.60 by the year-end. Local-currency bonds have handed dollar-based investors a loss of 0.5 percent this month, a JPMorgan Chase & Co index shows.

“We could see the peso hitting 48 per dollar before heading back to 46.50 by the end of the year,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc. in Manila. “It’s driven by fear and the normal reaction of local investors is to buy the dollar.”

Duterte’s spokesman sought to calm market jitters by saying uncertainty usually arises in the weeks before an election, and it will be “business as usual” should the mayor be elected president. The front-runner will provide businesses the “right and proper atmosphere” to prosper without sacrificing the welfare of the people, Peter Laviña said in a statement Tuesday.

The latest poll conducted by Social Weather Stations showed Senator Grace Poe in second place, while Mar Roxas, the candidate backed by Aquino, was third and Vice President Jejomar Binay fourth.

Duterte has won support from locals by transforming Davao from a city battling crime and gangs in the 1980s to what his campaign calls one of the nation’s safest. A controversial figure, the 71-year-old former lawyer and prosecutor is facing a backlash for comments he made April 12 about the rape of an Australian missionary in a 1989 prison riot. He told the US and Australian ambassadors not to meddle in Philippine politics after they condemned the remarks.

“His comments were a curve ball to the market,” said Joey Cuyegkeng, economist at ING Groep NV in Manila. “It more or less shakes the confidence of investors that gains in reforms are irreversible. We estimate something like 70 percent to 80 percent of the peso’s weakness is attributable to the local developments.”

The cost of protecting Philippine sovereign debt against non-payment for five years has risen eight basis points since April 19 to 104, according to data provider CMA. The credit-default swap contracts were at 93 on March 18, the least since July 2015. A three-month gauge of expected swings in the peso climbed 54 basis points in April to 5.70 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“Duterte’s governance philosophy doesn’t seem to have much focus on economic policy, and his lack of national experience is a drawback,” said Mixo Das, a strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore. “We are overweight on the Philippines but we’ll reevaluate our position if Duterte’s win looks more certain.” With Bloomberg

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte open to ‘toning down’ Constitution to accommodate foreign investors by Philippine News Agency April 28, 2016 (updated) Share6 Tweet1 Share1 Email1 Share52 image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/d113-300x220.jpg


(MB FILE) Davao Mayor and Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte (JOHN JEROME GANZON) (MB FILE) Davao Mayor and Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte (JOHN JEROME GANZON)Duterte

PDP-LABAN standard bearer and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he is open to “toning down” the Constitution to accommodate foreigners interested to own and establish businesses in the Philippines.

“I will open the economy to foreigners,” he said shortly after his appearance at the presidential dialogues hosted by the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines.

In February, Duterte said he is “comfortable” with up to 70 percent foreign ownership.

The Constitution only allows 40 percent ownership for foreigners.

However, Duterte said he will let Congress decide on which industries will be opened for foreigners.

“I will tone down the Constitution for foreigners, but I will leave it to Congress to decide,” he added.

The PDP-LABAN standard bearer, however, clarified that he opposes foreigners’ ownership of lands in the Philippines.

Earlier, Duterte said he doesn’t have problems with leasing our lands to foreigners.

He reiterated this position Wednesday, saying lands can be leased out up to 60 years.

Duterte, who is running under an anti-corruption and anti-criminality agenda, said he will consult his financial and foreign relations managers regarding this matter.


MANILA BULLETIN

Santiago to probe commercial surveys if elected by Jaimie R. Aberia April 28, 2016 (updated) Share0 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share14


Should Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago be elected the 16th President of the Philippines, she would immediately order an investigation on the conduct of commercial surveys that have been coming out one after the other in the days leading to the May 9, national elections. image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/04

“By the means of their surveys, they dictate to us and precondition our minds which candidates are going to win, so in effect, they have the power to choose,” she said during the Manila Bulletin (MB) Hot Seat discussion at MB’s main office in Intramuros, Manila on April 28.

“That is very dangerous, it is anti-democratic.”

In the recent Pulse Asia survey, Santiago maintained her position in the last spot with two percent, while Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte placed first with 34 percent. Sen. Grace Poe came in second (22 percent); Vice President Jejomar Binay, third (19 percent); and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, fourth (18 percent).

Another survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations placed Santiago in the last spot, as well, with three percent.

Despite her “dismal performance” in the surveys, Santiago, dubbed “campus queen,” has maintained lead in surveys conducted in various universities.

At the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, she got 64 percent; University of Santo Tomas, 66 percent; Ateneo de Manila, 37 percent; University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, 59 percent; University of Northern Philippines, 36 percent; and UP Los Baños, 66 percent.

READ MORE...

“How can I be number one in every university in the Philippines wherever you go in the archipelago and not rate under the commercial surveys? The strategy is to deprive me of enough recorded votes so that the contributors will no longer give me money, and then they would come and make an offer [for me to withdraw],” she revealed.

Santiago, however, clarified that it is her husband who receive such offers and that she never received one directly, as “they wouldn’t dare, because they’d be dead by now.”

“The offer is, ‘If you think you are not going to win, can you withdraw and endorse me instead? I will refund your campaign expenses up to P350 million,’” she narrated.

“Kung wala pala akong kwenta, bakit pa nila ako bibigyan ng pera para bumaliktad lang (If I don’t matter, why would they offer me money just to back out of the race)?”

Asked which camp she was referring to, Santiago said “almost all” and did not name names.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Miriam D. Santiago: All my life I have tried to excel By: Dona Z. Pazzibugan @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 01:47 AM April 30th, 2016


Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago at The Forum attended mostly by students held in Baker Memorial Hall, UP Los Banos, Laguna. INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON

UP LOS BANOS/APRIL 27, 2016 - Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was at the hangar before the appointed time, having left home in her silver Mercedes-Benz sedan before the sky began to lighten. Running mate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., came a few minutes later and was properly apologetic.

The two were meeting for the first time since they made their tandem official in October, a decision that Santiago had to defend to her supporters early on.

In the following days, the feisty senator also had to defend her decision to run an admittedly grueling campaign for the top office of the land, despite what she had described as having stage 4 lung cancer held at bay by “very advanced, very expensive” medication.

For this inaugural campaign in Laoag City, Santiago boarded the eight-seater plane slowly and laboriously, her aides unable to assist because of the narrow confines of the plane. She later explained that she also suffers from a pinched nerve that causes pain in her lower back and neck, some of the manifestations of her final stage cancer.

The unforgiving disease has not ravaged her appearance, although without makeup, her pallor showed and her hand trembled at times.

Real winner

A veteran of six national campaigns including her phenomenal 1992 run that ended in one of the most controversial presidential election results ever (“She was the real winner in that elections,” Marcos declared during a campaign event on Feb. 14), Santiago made it clear she was just as serious in contesting the presidency this time.

READ: Miriam back in fighting form, hits surveys

“It’s very hard to change my mind once I decide; ask my husband,” she said, addressing rumors that she would eventually withdraw from the race. Such speculations have hounded her campaign, and might also be behind her dismal showing in presidential preference surveys which, the senator maintained, was a product of conspiracy to ease her off.

So why persist in what could likely be her last political battle while also waging a more vicious personal war against cancer?

“I won’t tell my body to stop. As long as my brain is working, I will continue working,” Santiago said, before backtracking with an emphatic, “I don’t need this presidency, I don’t need this presidency.”

At 70, Santiago said she has nothing more to prove. “It’s just that it’s one of the major challenges left in my life,” she said, citing as a blessing a family that includes five grandchildren and her 92-year-old mother.

“I just like to show, what I’m trying to show is, it can be done,” Santiago said.

But while she showed an unshakable certainty in her political plans, the senator confessed to questioning what fate has in store for her, “what God was telling [her]” on several instances, starting with her dream role of being a judge in the United Nations International Criminal Court (ICC).

At the time she was ready to assume the job as the first Filipino and first Asian from a developing country to sit in the war crimes tribunal.

But she had to defer taking her oath due to chronic fatigue syndrome. A year later, in June 2014, she was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer, and had to give up the post for which she spent years campaigning among foreign dignitaries around the globe.

“Why is it that when I’m ready to leave for work abroad, and become an OFW (overseas Filipino worker), all of a sudden cancer is here?” she asked.

READ: Miriam Defensor-Santiago also seeks to be int’l legal adviser

She said she sat down and examined her life. “All my life I have tried to excel… I have done everything that can be done in my life,” said the Ramon Magsaysay laureate for government service. “In effect I’m already a veteran, a life veteran.”

But the veteran had never considered retiring, even after 18 years as senator. “The question I ask is, retire to what? What can I retire to? I do not play mahjong or any other form of pastime without my husband,” she said with a laugh. “When I was younger I was a swimming champion. But what will I do, I cannot swim all day,” she continued.

In 2015, Santiago announced her presidential run after getting the green light from her doctors. “I told myself, I will overcome this, even at risk to myself,” she said. “So I’m pursuing the presidency only because… from the very beginning there is nothing else I am equipped for,” she said, before adding facetiously: “I could be an astronaut but I am not equipped, so I cannot entertain that ambition.”

Continued Santiago:  “I am happy with my life. I just want to do what I need to do in my vocation: ferret out the crooks and jail them for life. That has always been my prayer.”

Predestined

Although she felt initially depressed when told of her cancer, the senator said she is inherently an optimist. “And a sort of fatalist, too,” she added. “There’s always a certainty [in my] mind that in a sense everything is predestined.”

Once in the public eye, however, the senator’s private pains and physical frailties are set aside, and as expected, she sets out to own the stage. In campuses, students hang on to her every word as she dishes out firebrand speeches in her signature accent. Like rival Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Santiago uses hyperbole “to be more effective and to catch the attention of the audience.”

She is also likely to harp on her academic credentials. “These politicians invent lies against their opponents. Why don’t they study, do their homework? I see them in the Senate, they just read what their assistants give them. Their assistants should have run for office instead. Besides, are they honor students?” she asked in one of her speeches, in contrast to Duterte’s self-depracating boast that he consistently got 75 in school.

READ: Santiago says Duterte has crossed the line

Santiago is not above twitting her opponents as well about their flaws, including their looks, using abrasive language. “Don’t have too many querida, one is enough,” she said, before adding, “I guess it’s because they’re the only ones attracted to their looks.”

Subdued, distracted

In typical combative stance, she dares corrupt officials: “I will put them all in jail. They can choose: economy class, business class or first class? But they will all go to jail!” She thundered in another speech.

But the heat, the stress of the hustings, and her cancer seemed to be taking their toll, as Santiago sounded more subdued, distracted and frail in the final presidential debate on April 24 held outdoors in Dagupan City, Pangasinan province.

For most of the three-hour debate, she paused in the middle of sentences, appearing to have lost her train of thought. Called on to expound on her answer, Santiago stood on the podium but did not speak for several moments. Then she said, “Can you repeat the question?”

Previous campus visits were as telling: for about 10 minutes, the emcee introduced Santiago, citing her academic credentials, awards and major accomplishments as trial court judge, immigration commissioner, agrarian reform secretary and senator for three terms; her expertise in constitutional and international law, and her being cheated in the 1992 presidential elections.

Interrupted by cheers, the emcee ended his spiel: “With her signature humor and bravery, she fought back, and her cancer has regressed. Even cancer cells are afraid of her!”

Despite the expectations stoked by the glowing intro, the senator spoke for about 10 minutes, starting off with her pickup lines, lambasting corrupt politicians and stressing her core message: the next President should be chosen based on academic, professional and moral excellence. Then, with a final wave and smile, she returned to her car, eschewing “ambush” interviews and questions from her audience.

In another campus tour, she stated the obvious: “I have cancer. I told God I am ready, but He was never ready.”

But oh, when she talks of the presidency, “she was full of excitement,” said cousin-in-law, Corazon Gonsalves-Defensor, 89, who taught math to Santiago at the University of the Philippines Visayas.

The fact that her former student was running for President showed the strength of her “character and spirituality,” she said. “She depends on the Lord to protect her and to guide her,” she added.

Santiago’s determination to see her campaign through might be explained by an interview she gave the Inquirer, at the heat of her second presidential campaign in 1998. Her favorite poem, she said, was written in 1875 by an Englishman whose leg had just been amputated due to an illness.

“Before you sleep tonight, think about the words of a wise poet,” she said, reciting the last two memorable lines of the poem, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

RELATED STORIES

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Miriam ‘disheartened’ by surveys


MALAYA

NOY PRESENTS ‘DON’T VOTE FOR’ LIST By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR April 29, 2016


AQUINO

WITHOUT naming names, President Aquino warned the public against voting for candidates who think highly of themselves, who are always on the warpath, and who are facing corruption charges.

Aquino earlier said he is willing to lead the fight against possible abuses to prevent a repeat of human rights violations under martial law.

He said he has been approached by people who are concerned about the rise of a vice presidential candidate in the pre-electoral surveys.

“All that we’ve accomplished, we stand to lose under a leadership that is contrary to the Straight Path. The question: will you allow people with bullying tendencies or those who fight everyone every time they open their mouth to lead the country?”

Aquino said at the launch of the Freedom Memorial Museum at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.

He said the potential election of the candidates, whom he did not name, could overturn the progress and reforms that he had started under his Daang Matuwid administration.

Aquino is frowning on the election of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as vice president. Marcos has refused to apologize for the atrocities committed during the rule of his late strongman father.

He said the iron fist rule has been tried and found to have failed when the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared martial law in 1972.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is currently leading the presidential race based on different pre-election surveys, is known for trash and tough talk and even promised to rid the country of criminality in three to six months.

Aquino also slammed a candidate who keeps refusing to explain the allegations of corruption that he is facing. Vice President Jejomar Binay is facing corruption charges before the Ombudsman.

The President said he trusts the voters to make the right choice on election day.

At the end of the speech, guess who were left: Mar Roxas and Leni Lobredo, and Grace Poe. A fallback jst in case Mar doesn’t make it.

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RELATED FROM RAPPLER.COM

Aquino stars in new Roxas-Robredo ad  Bea Cupin @beacupin Published 9:17 PM, March 01, 2016 Updated 8:15 AM, March 02, 2016


'Meron po diyan, tiyak sarili lang ang kayang mahalin at meron rin namang tunay kayong mamahalin,' the President says in a new ad for his anointed bets

CLICK IMAGE  TO WATCH AQUINO


AQUINO'S ANOINTED. President Benigno Aquino III endorses Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo in their newest political ad. Screenshot from Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – The chief campaigner is now the top television endorser.

President Benigno Aquino III takes the lead role in the newest political ad for the 2016 campaign of Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II and running mate Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo.

The ad, which aired on television over the weekend, features Aquino with a plain, black background and minimalist graphics. The ad was also released online via Roxas' official Facebook page on Tuesday, March 1.

"Mga boss, patapos na po ang aking termino. Eleksyon na, marami na namang manliligaw sa inyong boto. Alam niyo naman, eskperto tayo sa panliligaw," says the bachelor president.

(My bosses, my term is about to end. It’s election season again. Surely, a lot will try to win your votes. And you know me, I’m an expert when it comes to courtship.)

"Meron po diyan, tiyak sarili lang ang kayang mahalin at meron rin namang tunay kayong mamahalin (There are those who surely love only themselves. And there are those who truly love the Filipino people)," he goes on to say. The line "sarili lang ang kayang mahalin" is paired with graphics depicting good and evil.

The line "tunay kayong mamahalin," meanwhile, is juxtaposed against the yellow ribbon, a democracy symbol in the Philippines which has since morphed into among the ruling party’s political symbols.

The President adds: "Hindi na tayo magpapabola. Ito na ang tunay na nagmamahal at magmamahal pa sa inyo. Ang tambalang Mar Roxas, Leni Robredo (We will not allow ourselves to be fooled. These are the people who truly love you and will continue to love you: Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo)."

Roxas and Robredo, wearing their yellow campaign shirts, only make an appearance in the final seconds of the ad, flashing the "Laban" sign.

It’s the latest ad to be released since the official campaign period began on February 9.

Aquino, who is also chairman of the ruling party, has been actively campaigning for his anointed bets, joining them in rallies around the country.

The President will again be with the duo in Bohol and Cebu from March 2 to 3, for campaign rallies in the two provinces.

In sorties around the country, Aquino has been consistent in telling people that it's Roxas and Robredo who are guaranteed to continue the supposed gains of "Daang Matuwid," his administration’s catchphrase of its anti-corruption, transparency, and good governance agenda.

Aquino also doesn't hold back in hitting his anointed candidates' rivals.

Roxas and Robredo both promise to push continue programs that work, and improve those that don’t – a "Daang Matuwid 2.0," according to those belonging to the LP-led coalition.

Aquino’s endorsement is hoped to boost the chances of an LP win in the 2016 elections. Despite being the ruling party’s bets, neither Roxas nor Robredo have topped any preference polls. – Rappler.com


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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