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EX-CHIEF JUSTICE CORONA, 67


APRIL 30 -Corona He was one of the nation’s top lawyers, capping his career with an appointment as chief justice, but fell ignominiously, becoming the first chief magistrate to be removed by impeachment. Renato Corona died early yesterday due to cardiac arrest. He was 67. His son Francis announced that the former Supreme Court (SC) chief died at 1:48 a.m. in The Medical City in Pasig where he was brought last Wednesday after suffering a heart attack. “Please pray for the eternal repose of his soul as he joins his Creator,” the family said in a brief statement, adding that Corona’s remains will lie in state at The Heritage Park in Taguig City with viewing starting today. Flags are flying at half-mast for Corona at the SC and all courts. He died with the cases against him for graft and tax evasion still not resolved. A civil forfeiture case will proceed against his estate. Malacañang expressed its condolences to the Corona family. “We join them in fervent prayers for his eternal repose,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said yesterday. Vice President Jejomar Binay was saddened with Corona’s passing. “It’s saddening. Two months ago, we were together at a dinner. But he already looked weak,” Binay said in an interview yesterday during a break in the campaign. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno ordered that flags in the high court and all courts nationwide be flown at half-mast to mourn the passing of the former chief justice whom she succeeded. “The Chief Justice and the associate justices of the Supreme Court mourn the passing of Renato Corona, the Court’s 23rd chief justice. The Philippine flags in all courts and the Supreme Court colors will be flown at half staff starting today,” the SC said in a statement. Corona, an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University from grade school to law school, also had a Masters of Law degree from Harvard University. He served in the executive branch during the administration of former presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. READ MORE...RELATED, CJ Corona’s death: selective justice under the Aquino govt explains why Duterte’s vigilante style is popular...

ALSO: Palace, Binay camp condole with Corona family


APRIL 29 -Former Chief Justice Renato Corona. AP FILE PHOTO
Tributes started pouring in for the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who passed away on Friday after succumbing to cardiac arrest. Malacañang issued a statement relaying its condolences to the Corona family. “We extend our condolences to the bereaved family of the late CJ Renato Corona and join them in fervent prayers for his eternal repose,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said. The spokesperson of Vice President Jejomar Binay Atty. Rico Quicho extolled Corona for fighting a good fight to uphold the independence of the Supreme Court. “I am deeply saddened by the passing of CJ Renato Corona. He is a good man, loving husband, and father. CJ Corona fought a good fight to uphold the independence of the institution he dearly loved. His moral courage is second to none,” Quicho said. Quicho, a member of Corona’s defense team, thanked the late chief magistrate for trusting him to be one of the lawyers to handle his impeachment case. READ: What Went Before: Charges against former Chief Justice Corona “I thank him for the trust that he gave me during his challenging times. I will continue to fight for the rule of law and judicial independence,” he added. Corona was appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the 23rd Chief Justice. He served from May 17, 2010 to May 29, 2012. He attended Ateneo de Manila for his grade school, high school, college and law school education. He also attended Harvard Law School for his Masters of Law and was conferred a Doctor in Civil Law degree from University of Santo Tomas. THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: No wage hike on May 1–DOLE


APRIL 23 -There will be no wage increase for workers on May 1, but there are as many as 400,000 job opportunities here and abroad, and the possibility of nonwage benefits when President Aquino sits down with various labor groups for breakfast on Labor Day.
This, according to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, is what Filipino workers could look forward to as the country marks its 111th Labor Day celebration. “We are not expecting any minimum wage increase announcement,” said Baldoz, explaining that the law prohibits the wage board from issuing successive wage orders within a year unless there is a “supervening condition,” or abrupt and sustained increases in the prices of oil, food and other essential commodities. The last wage order issued by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) took effect on June 3 last year and granted an additional P30 daily to Metro Manila workers in two tranches. Contractualization The labor official said President Aquino may also unveil several nonwage benefits during a breakfast forum with labor groups on May 1. She added that the government was studying a resolution on various issues raised by labor leaders, including contractualization, tax exemption and social protection. Baldoz said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had also lined up over 70 job fairs in the country’s 16 regions to provide jobseekers, including new graduates and returning and displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), a massive facility to find jobs. To date, a total of 2,903 participating local employers and recruitment agencies will make available 406,706 local and overseas employment opportunities to jobseekers during the DOLE’s Job and Livelihood Fair on May 1. The job vacancies range from managerial and professional, to technical, skilled and unskilled categories, Baldoz said, and will be offered by “participating employers in the business process outsourcing, tourism, banking and finance, hotel and restaurant, health and wellness and construction sectors.” The first of the job fairs will kick off on April 30 at Camp Servillano Aquino in Tarlac City. On May 1, job and livelihood fairs will be held at SM Supermalls in the National Capital Region. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pinoys now seeking jobs in Philippines


MAY 2 -This was according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Nicon Fameronag, who said more than half of yesterday’s applicants who trooped to the job fairs offered by the DOLE nationwide preferred to work locally and only a small percentage applied for overseas jobs. Philstar.com/File photo  The lure of overseas employment seems to be fading, as more workers are seeking jobs in the country.
This was according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Nicon Fameronag, who said more than half of yesterday’s applicants who trooped to the job fairs offered by the DOLE nationwide preferred to work locally and only a small percentage applied for overseas jobs. Fameronag said as of 1 p.m. yesterday, they have recorded a total of 22,036 job applicants nationwide, more than half of whom wanted domestic employment. Fameronag further noted that of those who applied, almost 11,283 have qualified or have been referred for an interview, while 2,292 were hired on-the spot (HOTS). “We have already posted 36.1 percent HOTS, with 497 of those hired for local employment,” Fameronag said. In Metro Manila, DOLE National Capital Region (NCR) director Nelson Hornilla said for the first time, more local jobs were offered in the Labor Day job fair and many of the jobseekers also applied for local employment. Hornilla said 17,000 local jobs were opened to jobseekers as compared to only 15,000 overseas jobs. Of the more than 1,000 registered applicants, 320 were hired-on-the-spot, with local employment accounting for 265 of the job placements. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the DOLE is grateful that there were more job opportunities, both local and overseas, offered in the last Labor Day job fair to be mounted by the Aquino administration. “We are hopeful that we will achieve our target of 25 percent HOTS this Labor Day,” Baldoz said, adding that in 2010 DOLE registered 10 percent HOTS. She said all of the participating employers are operating labor-compliant companies. READ MORE...

ALSO: MALAYA OPINION OF THE DAY - HAPPY LABOR DAY


MAY 2 -LABOR SECRETARY BALDOZ - May 1 Labor Day--Labor’s minds turn to contractualization. Administration and DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz condoned this style of slavery. Labor groups dare presidentiables to ‘Walk the Talk’ on contractualization. At a press conference held in QC, a coalition of presidents of unions challenged all candidates vying for the 2016 presidency to act now against the scourge of contractualization. All five presidentiables pledge to act against contractualization only after... AFTER an electoral victory in May. Meanwhile, if you watch the business section, notice that most multinational companies and manufacturers net profit (i.e., for their pockets) tens of millions each 3 months of business from the sweat and blood of contractuals. Since all presidentiables have spoken against contractualization, the immediate thing for these presidential candidates to do is to act now... today... with their own companies and those they have control and investments in. It worked on international concerns like when U.S. investments were pulled out to pressure South Africa to release Nelson Mandela from his 28 years unjust imprisonment. Companies and schools in America pulled out their investments in South Africa, and these divestments may have pressured South Africa to release Mandela. Contractuals get nothing more than their daily wage--none of the security and benefits of a regular employee within a labor union. PNoy proudly declared that his administration had the least number of union strikes--indicating contented employees. Excuse me, Mr. President, but since you allowed all companies to hire contractuals, the Philippines no longer has labor unions to strike. “All politicians will promise heaven on earth to edge out their rivals but since all of them have spoken against contractualization, the next best thing for them to do is walk the talk and begin with their own companies and those they have investments in,” said Crisanto Ami, official of Union Presidents Against Contractualization (UPAC). Contractualization is hiring for 59 days, firing on the 60th day. And if an individual is a subservient slave and employee, he may lack out and be rehired the next day for another 59 days without regular employee benefit. Employment agencies which provide these contractuals slice off up to 20% from the daily minimum wage paid leaving the workers a little more than P300 for a 10-hour workday. Meanwhile, if you watch the business sections, notice that multinationals, corporations and manufacturers net, NET tens of millions each quarter, from the sweat and blood of millions of contractuals. “If presidentiables truly disapprove of contractualization and its disempowering impact to the lives of more than seventy percent of the forty one million national labor force in both the public and private sector then it would be admirable for them to practice what they preach.” READ FROM BEGINNING...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Ex-chief justice Corona, 67


Corona

MANILA, MAY 2, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 30, 2016 -He was one of the nation’s top lawyers, capping his career with an appointment as chief justice, but fell ignominiously, becoming the first chief magistrate to be removed by impeachment.

Renato Corona died early yesterday due to cardiac arrest. He was 67.

His son Francis announced that the former Supreme Court (SC) chief died at 1:48 a.m. in The Medical City in Pasig where he was brought last Wednesday after suffering a heart attack.

“Please pray for the eternal repose of his soul as he joins his Creator,” the family said in a brief statement, adding that Corona’s remains will lie in state at The Heritage Park in Taguig City with viewing starting today.

Flags are flying at half-mast for Corona at the SC and all courts.

He died with the cases against him for graft and tax evasion still not resolved. A civil forfeiture case will proceed against his estate.

Malacañang expressed its condolences to the Corona family. “We join them in fervent prayers for his eternal repose,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said yesterday.

Vice President Jejomar Binay was saddened with Corona’s passing.

“It’s saddening. Two months ago, we were together at a dinner. But he already looked weak,” Binay said in an interview yesterday during a break in the campaign.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno ordered that flags in the high

court and all courts nationwide be flown at half-mast to mourn the passing of the former chief justice whom she succeeded.

“The Chief Justice and the associate justices of the Supreme Court mourn the passing of Renato Corona, the Court’s 23rd chief justice. The Philippine flags in all courts and the Supreme Court colors will be flown at half staff starting today,” the SC said in a statement.

Corona, an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University from grade school to law school, also had a Masters of Law degree from Harvard University. He served in the executive branch during the administration of former presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

READ MORE...

He was assistant secretary for legal affairs and later on presidential counsel of Ramos, before serving as chief-of-staff and acting executive secretary of Arroyo.

Corona then served in the judiciary for almost 10 years, before Arroyo appointed him as SC associate justice in April 2002.

Arroyo then named Corona chief justice of the high court in May 2010 – an appointment that became controversial because it fell within the 2010 election period covered by a ban on midnight appointments. The SC, however, ruled that appointments in its posts are not covered by such ban.

It was under Corona’s watch when the high tribunal in November 2011 ordered the distribution of the 4,915.75-hectare Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac to over 6,000 farmer workers-beneficiaries of the sugar estate owned by President Aquino’s family.

In his separate opinion on that case, Corona pushed for lower compensation for the hacienda owners based on the fair market value of the land in November 1989.

A month later, allies of the President in the House of Representatives voted to impeach Corona over charges of hidden assets and partiality to Arroyo.

After the impeachment trial – the first in judicial history – the Senate voted 20-3 in May 2012 to convict him for betrayal of public trust for his failure to disclose all his properties in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). He was then removed from office and was replaced by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio in an acting capacity. After an extensive search for the next chief justice, including televised interviews with the Judicial and Bar Council, the President picked Sereno.

Corona’s ordeal under the Aquino administration did not stop with his impeachment. In March 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a case against him before the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) for allegedly evading taxes on P120.5 million in assets.

A few weeks after, the Office of the Ombudsman filed a civil case for forfeiture of unexplained wealth amounting to P130.3 million and also cases of perjury and violation of Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials) against him before the Sandiganbayan.

Amid all the cases, Corona vowed to clear his name and answer the charges that he believed were part of a “merciless persecution” by the Aquino administration against supposed remnants of the Arroyo government.

He said he expected the filing of cases against him, citing the roles of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and then justice secretary Leila de Lima – both appointees of Aquino – as prosecution witnesses in his impeachment trial.

Arroyo, now a Pampanga congresswoman, cited Corona for his dedication to the rule of law and unblemished public service record.

“With heartfelt prayers and sympathy, my family and I convey our deepest condolences to the family of chief justice Renato Corona on his passing. His unblemished record of service to the Republic, the rule of law and legal education deserves the praise and emulation of every Filipino and every advocate of truth and justice,” Arroyo said in a statement.

One of the last decisions of the Corona-led Supreme Court was allowing Arroyo – who was then being prosecuted for electoral sabotage – to seek treatment abroad for her degenerative bone disease afflicting her cervical spine.

Victim of ‘selective justice’

Vice Presidential aspirant Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. mourned Corona’s death, saying that that he was a victim of Aquino’s brand of selective justice.

“It is always sad to note the passing of a man like chief justice Renato Corona to whom a great injustice was visited,” the senator told reporters during a press briefing in Daet, Camarines Norte.

Marcos, who voted against Corona’s impeachment, said it is unfortunate that at the time of his death Corona’s name was still under a cloud.

“I hope that his passing will finally bring him peace from the troubles of the day-to-day work,” Marcos said.

“My family and I extend our deepest condolences to his wife Cecille, their children and the rest of his family,” he added.

Three of Corona’s lawyers during his impeachment trial also expressed sadness over his death.

Rico Quicho, now the campaign spokesman for United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay, described Corona as “a good man, loving husband and father.”

Quicho said Corona “fought a good fight to uphold the independence of the institution he dearly loved.”

“His moral courage is second to none,” he said.

Quicho also thanked Corona for the trust he gave him “during his challenging times.”

“I will continue to fight for the rule of law and judicial independence,” he said.

Lawyer Karen Jimeno, who served as one of Corona’s spokespersons, shared similar sentiments. She said the former chief justice embodied what it meant to fight for the independence of a separate branch of government.

“The easy way out for him was to resign,” Jimeno said in a phone interview with The STAR. “But he decided to fight back.”

The lawyer said she kept in touch with Corona and his family even after the trial, referring to him as “a good friend.”

Describing the former chief justice as a family man, Jimeno said the impeachment trial took a toll on his health, considering that he was already suffering from diabetes.

“We saw his deterioration,” she said, noting that the stress did not stop as various criminal cases were filed against him even after the impeachment trial.

Jimeno said Corona respected the Senate’s decision to remove him from his post. He also declined to call for a mistrial even after allegations surfaced that senators had received funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program in exchange for a vote to convict him.

Jimeno said what happened to Corona should always remind the public of the detrimental effects of trial by publicity. She stressed the need to follow the rule of law.

Former spokesman Tranquil Salvador also said that Corona “was a kind and gentle person who believed and stood for the rule of law.”

Criminal charges died with Corona

The criminal charges filed against Corona before the Sandiganbayan and the CTA have been extinguished following his death, Rommel Bagares, senior associate at the Roque and Butuyan Law Office, said.

However, he said the separate civil action for forfeiture filed against Corona could proceed against his estate.

Explaining the rules, lawyer Raymond Fortun said the criminal liability of an accused is personal to him.

“The death of the accused means that the penalty could no longer be enforced,” he said.

“Civil cases, on the other hand, can continue because the properties of the deceased belong to his estate upon his death. The plaintiffs can continue to pursue their claims by mere substitution of the estate of the decedent as a defendant,” added Fortun.

The former chief justice was facing graft and corruption and multiple counts of tax evasion cases before the Sandiganbayan and the CTA, respectively.

An independent P130-million civil forfeiture case was also filed against him before the anti-graft court.

Bagares said Corona’s lawyers would officially inform the respective courts of his death through a manifestation. – With Christina Mendez, Delon Porcalla, Perseus Echeminada, Helen Flores, Michael Punongbayan, Paolo Romero, Janvic Mateo

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

RELATED FROM GET REAL PHILIPPINES BLOG

CJ Corona’s death: selective justice under the Aquino govt explains why Duterte’s vigilante style is popular April 29, 2016by Ilda



[Photo courtesy Reuters.]

The death of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona is a reminder to Filipinos that there is no justice in the Philippines — unless of course you take matters into your own hands or proactively seek it by using your connections in the Justice Department and law enforcement agencies.

Because patronage politics is rife in Philippine society, justice is only afforded to those in power and their allies.

Corona, who reportedly died of cardiac arrest, passed away without getting vindication for his removal from office. His career in the judiciary and as a lawyer ended abruptly after he was found “guilty” of the trumped-up charges filed by members of Congress. The senator-judges, who presided in what some called a Kangaroo court, also allowed the prosecution to publicly humiliate him during his impeachment trial in 2012.

They ignored the blatant violation of the rules in gathering evidence against Corona and their bald mockery of the justice system. This included divulging his dollar accounts that were supposed to be protected by the Philippines’ bank secrecy laws and making false accusations based on hearsay.

President Benigno Simeon Aquino paved the way for their shameful behaviour. The President relentlessly persecuted Corona from Day One of his Presidency. The President pursued Corona’s removal from office like a mad dog would. He did not care about Corona’s right to presumption of innocence because his goal was to ruin his reputation with the public.

BS Aquino kept badmouthing Corona even to his face. The first-born son of so-called “heroes” Ninoy and Cory showed his lack of breeding and empathy in his agenda to remove Corona.

This was evident in the first instance BS Aquino humiliated Corona during a speech he delivered at the Criminal Justice System summit in 2011.

He did not have any qualms about calling Corona a midnight appointee in front of the crowd. The audience were visibly shocked at his callousness. Never mind that the Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines found Corona’s appointment legitimate anyway.

Why was BS Aquino obsessed with Corona?

Because the Corona court granted the Hacienda Luisita farmers the lands that have been denied to them by the Aquino-Cojuangco clan:


The LRC (LUISITA REALTY CORPORATION)  is one among the many notorious corporate avatars of the Cojuangco-Aquino family in Hacienda Luisita, where presidential sister Ballsy Aquino-Cruz is director while Pinky Aquino-Abellada and Viel Aquino-Dee sit as top stockholders.COURTESY OF THE LUISITA WATCH WEBSITE

In 2011, the court directed the Hacienda Luisita Inc. to give the farm workers P1.3 billion as share in the sale of the 500-ha land to RCBC, as well as 81 ha of Luisita lands to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

It’s not hard to understand why BS Aquino was angry at Corona. Just imagine being in power and not being able to do anything to stop the distribution of the lands your family had been clinging on to for decades. BS Aquino’s pride must have been hurt especially if presumably the elder Aquino-Cojuangco clan members were pressuring him to do something to take it back.

What has happened since Corona’s removal from office? Not much has changed. They said Corona’s impeachment would pave the way for “honesty” in government.

But the truth is politicians today still refuse to open their bank accounts to the public for scrutiny. The only time Filipinos are made aware of a public servant’s account details is when another politician is using it to expose corruption against his rivals. Other than that, politicians in the Philippines in general enjoy the privilege of hiding their loot using the bank secrecy law.

They seem to have this understanding not to expose a secret account unless it is necessary or as a last resort. Why else would someone like Senator Trillanes use Davao City Mayor and Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte’s bank account against him just two weeks before the election? The senator could have exposed that months ago.

Indeed, the country’s bank secrecy laws do not work for those who are not in power. If you are not allied with the incumbent President, your secret account is at risk of being exposed. What happened to Corona is called selective justice and is still happening today especially prior to the Presidential Elections. People have noted that only candidates running against the incumbent’s bet, Mar Roxas, are subject to investigation and public scrutiny.

It goes to show that so-called democracy in the Philippines is only a front. In a true democracy, justice is applied equally to all. It should not favor anyone, rich or poor.

The application of selective justice in the Philippines is the reason why Filipinos are getting increasingly frustrated at the current government. BS Aquino’s Daang Matuwid or so-called “straight path” only works for his friends and allies. No wonder Duterte’s vigilante style of justice has become acceptable to a lot of people. If the justice system is broken anyway, people think it is better to take matters into their own hands. They are tired of politicians like BS Aquino and Mar Roxas who say they are “decent’” but do not have any qualms about destroying people who get in their way.

Corona was never found to be guilty of corruption by a real court. His only offence was in the discrepancy in his Statement of Assets and Liability Net Worth (SALN), which by law, government officials are allowed to correct whenever discrepancies are found. Most public servants would be guilty of that but they are spared from the persecution Corona was subject to under BS Aquino and his minions. BS Aquino keeps bragging about being the first President to impeach a sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice. He couldn’t have done it without the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and pork barrel funds and a corrupt Congress.

Perhaps, in death, Corona gave Filipinos his final gift. His death should remind the voters of the injustice and cruelty of the BS Aquino government. Corona’s impeachment, trial and removal from the Supreme Court were blatant abuses of power and disregard for the law.

The consequences of that will be evident in the decades to come. And that is the true legacy of BS Aquino.


INQUIRER

Palace, Binay camp condole with Corona family SHARES: 1721 VIEW COMMENTS By: Aries Joseph Hegina @AHeginaINQ INQUIRER.net 09:46 AM April 29th, 2016


Former Chief Justice Renato Corona. AP FILE PHOTO

Tributes started pouring in for the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who passed away on Friday after succumbing to cardiac arrest.

Malacañang issued a statement relaying its condolences to the Corona family.

“We extend our condolences to the bereaved family of the late CJ Renato Corona and join them in fervent prayers for his eternal repose,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

The spokesperson of Vice President Jejomar Binay Atty. Rico Quicho extolled Corona for fighting a good fight to uphold the independence of the Supreme Court.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of CJ Renato Corona. He is a good man, loving husband, and father. CJ Corona fought a good fight to uphold the independence of the institution he dearly loved. His moral courage is second to none,” Quicho said.

Quicho, a member of Corona’s defense team, thanked the late chief magistrate for trusting him to be one of the lawyers to handle his impeachment case.

READ: What Went Before: Charges against former Chief Justice Corona

“I thank him for the trust that he gave me during his challenging times. I will continue to fight for the rule of law and judicial independence,” he added.

Corona was appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the 23rd Chief Justice. He served from May 17, 2010 to May 29, 2012.

He attended Ateneo de Manila for his grade school, high school, college and law school education. He also attended Harvard Law School for his Masters of Law and was conferred a Doctor in Civil Law degree from University of Santo Tomas.


INQUIRER

No wage hike on May 1–DOLE SHARES: New VIEW COMMENTS By: Tina G. Santos @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 04:11 AM April 23rd, 2013


Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz: No wage hike. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—There will be no wage increase for workers on May 1, but there are as many as 400,000 job opportunities here and abroad, and the possibility of nonwage benefits when President Aquino sits down with various labor groups for breakfast on Labor Day.

This, according to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, is what Filipino workers could look forward to as the country marks its 111th Labor Day celebration.

“We are not expecting any minimum wage increase announcement,” said Baldoz, explaining that the law prohibits the wage board from issuing successive wage orders within a year unless there is a “supervening condition,” or abrupt and sustained increases in the prices of oil, food and other essential commodities.

The last wage order issued by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) took effect on June 3 last year and granted an additional P30 daily to Metro Manila workers in two tranches.

Contractualization

The labor official said President Aquino may also unveil several nonwage benefits during a breakfast forum with labor groups on May 1.

She added that the government was studying a resolution on various issues raised by labor leaders, including contractualization, tax exemption and social protection.

Baldoz said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had also lined up over 70 job fairs in the country’s 16 regions to provide jobseekers, including new graduates and returning and displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), a massive facility to find jobs.

To date, a total of 2,903 participating local employers and recruitment agencies will make available 406,706 local and overseas employment opportunities to jobseekers during the DOLE’s Job and Livelihood Fair on May 1.

The job vacancies range from managerial and professional, to technical, skilled and unskilled categories, Baldoz said, and will be offered by “participating employers in the business process outsourcing, tourism, banking and finance, hotel and restaurant, health and wellness and construction sectors.”

The first of the job fairs will kick off on April 30 at Camp Servillano Aquino in Tarlac City.

On May 1, job and livelihood fairs will be held at SM Supermalls in the National Capital Region.

READ MORE...

Along with the simultaneous job fairs, the 16 DOLE regional offices have also prepared several employment and livelihood activities and services during the monthlong celebration of Labor Day, whose theme this year is “Manggagawang Pilipino: Handa sa Hamon ng Makabagong Panahon.”

One-stop shops

Among the events being organized are livelihood fairs and counseling, product displays and sales, franchising exhibits, medical missions, career coaching seminars, skill training and livelihood skills demonstrations.

There will also be one-stop shops to facilitate the job application process for jobseekers.

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) earlier filed a formal petition seeking an P85 increase in the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila, citing the continuing increase in the prices of basic commodities.

But DOLE-NCR Director Alan Macaraya said the one-year period does not end until June 3. “The wage board cannot entertain any wage petition within the one-year period. We can consider it filed with us, but we will not have any official action.”

Macaraya said DOLE will issue after May 1 a resolution on whether or not to give the TUCP petition due course.

“We just signed the resolution. But the decision of the board was to defer the release of the resolution until after Labor Day,” Macaraya said, citing the sensitivity of the issue.

“As far as the wage order is concerned, we have to follow procedures like conducting a public consultation or public hearing,” he added.

At the DOLE main office in Intramuros, the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno held a picket to condemn what they called the Aquino administration’s policy of freezing and cutting wages through a new wage scheme.

The workers were referring to the two-tiered wage system.

“We are calling for the junking of this wage cut and wage freeze scheme and for the passage of the P125 wage hike bill. Workers need a significant wage hike, not a wage cut or a wage freeze, in order to cope with the rising prices of basic goods and services,” KMU chairman Elmer Labog said.


PHILSTAR

Pinoys now seeking jobs in Philippines By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 2, 2016 - 12:00am 1 52 googleplus1 0

This was according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Nicon Fameronag, who said more than half of yesterday’s applicants who trooped to the job fairs offered by the DOLE nationwide preferred to work locally and only a small percentage applied for overseas jobs. Philstar.com/File photo MANILA, Philippines – The lure of overseas employment seems to be fading, as more workers are seeking jobs in the country.

This was according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary Nicon Fameronag, who said more than half of yesterday’s applicants who trooped to the job fairs offered by the DOLE nationwide preferred to work locally and only a small percentage applied for overseas jobs.

Fameronag said as of 1 p.m. yesterday, they have recorded a total of 22,036 job applicants nationwide, more than half of whom wanted domestic employment.

Fameronag further noted that of those who applied, almost 11,283 have qualified or have been referred for an interview, while 2,292 were hired on-the spot (HOTS).

“We have already posted 36.1 percent HOTS, with 497 of those hired for local employment,” Fameronag said.

In Metro Manila, DOLE National Capital Region (NCR) director Nelson Hornilla said for the first time, more local jobs were offered in the Labor Day job fair and many of the jobseekers also applied for local employment.

Hornilla said 17,000 local jobs were opened to jobseekers as compared to only 15,000 overseas jobs.

Of the more than 1,000 registered applicants, 320 were hired-on-the-spot, with local employment accounting for 265 of the job placements.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the DOLE is grateful that there were more job opportunities, both local and overseas, offered in the last Labor Day job fair to be mounted by the Aquino administration.

“We are hopeful that we will achieve our target of 25 percent HOTS this Labor Day,” Baldoz said, adding that in 2010 DOLE registered 10 percent HOTS.

She said all of the participating employers are operating labor-compliant companies.

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Baldoz said the high number of local jobs offered in the Labor Day job fairs showed that government efforts to encourage more investments, such as in tourism and infrastructure, have succeeded.

“So we are looking forward to a brighter future for our workers,” Baldoz said.

She expressed hope that the next administration will continue the whole-year job fair that DOLE is undertaking to address unemployment.

The increasing HOTS for the past years, Fameronag added, indicated DOLE’s job facilitation services are working well.

He said the Labor Day job fair would continue for a month.

“That is the measure how we are performing in our one-day job fair. This time we hope to exceed last year’s number of job applicants as well as the HOTS,” he said.

Hired on the spot Fameronag dismissed allegations that the jobs being offered in the job fairs are contractual employment.

He said there are many big companies participating and they are hiring lot of engineers and other professionals.

For new graduates like 21-year-old Mariel Diaz, it took her only 10 minutes to find employment upon arriving at yesterday’s Labor Day job fair.

Diaz said she just graduated last April and was hired immediately as marketing assistant with an entry monthly salary level of P13,000 plus other benefits, despite her lack of work experience.

“I was very surprised that I got hired immediately even if I am just a new graduate,” Diaz said.


MALAYA

HAPPY LABOR DAY By Dahli Aspillera May 02, 2016

JOSE Teodoro Limcaoco, managing director and CFO of Ayala Corporation’s BPI is quoted by Atty. Paola Alvarez:

“I don’t know where Sen. Trillanes got his information, but the graphic posted by the (Philippine Daily Inquirer) showing alleged credits is not a BPI document....The deposit slip shown by Mar (Roxas) or the Inquirer is not a unique thing. All banks will show the name of the depositor on a deposit slip....We are committed to protecting client trust and preserving the trust bestowed on us by our clients all these years.”--The official statement of BPI.

Atty. Alvarez: This BPI clarification belies the claim of Senator Trillanes that Mayor Duterte has a deposit at BPI amounting to P211 million. Since Trillanes used false information in making the allegation that Mayor Duterte did not declare these deposits in his SALN, then Trillanes peddled a big, fat lie for which he should apologize to the Filipino people because he has absolutely no credibility.

Duterte said when Trillanes executes an affidavit for his claim that the Davao City mayor has P211 million undeclared wealth in joint BPI account with daughter Sara, that would be libel and perjury for lying. “I already requested lawyer Salvador Panelo to face him and open my bank account on Monday.”

***


LABOR SECRETARY BALDOZ -

May 1 Labor Day--Labor’s minds turn to contractualization. Administration and DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz condoned this style of slavery. Labor groups dare presidentiables to ‘Walk the Talk’ on contractualization.

At a press conference held in QC, a coalition of presidents of unions challenged all candidates vying for the 2016 presidency to act now against the scourge of contractualization. All five presidentiables pledge to act against contractualization only after... AFTER an electoral victory in May.

Meanwhile, if you watch the business section, notice that most multinational companies and manufacturers net profit (i.e., for their pockets) tens of millions each 3 months of business from the sweat and blood of contractuals.

Since all presidentiables have spoken against contractualization, the immediate thing for these presidential candidates to do is to act now... today... with their own companies and those they have control and investments in. It worked on international concerns like when U.S. investments were pulled out to pressure South Africa to release Nelson Mandela from his 28 years unjust imprisonment. Companies and schools in America pulled out their investments in South Africa, and these divestments may have pressured South Africa to release Mandela.

Contractuals get nothing more than their daily wage--none of the security and benefits of a regular employee within a labor union. PNoy proudly declared that his administration had the least number of union strikes--indicating contented employees. Excuse me, Mr. President, but since you allowed all companies to hire contractuals, the Philippines no longer has labor unions to strike.

“All politicians will promise heaven on earth to edge out their rivals but since all of them have spoken against contractualization, the next best thing for them to do is walk the talk and begin with their own companies and those they have investments in,” said Crisanto Ami, official of Union Presidents Against Contractualization (UPAC). Contractualization is hiring for 59 days, firing on the 60th day. And if an individual is a subservient slave and employee, he may lack out and be rehired the next day for another 59 days without regular employee benefit.

Employment agencies which provide these contractuals slice off up to 20% from the daily minimum wage paid leaving the workers a little more than P300 for a 10-hour workday. Meanwhile, if you watch the business sections, notice that multinationals, corporations and manufacturers net, NET tens of millions each quarter, from the sweat and blood of millions of contractuals.

“If presidentiables truly disapprove of contractualization and its disempowering impact to the lives of more than seventy percent of the forty one million national labor force in both the public and private sector then it would be admirable for them to practice what they preach.”

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The veteran labor leader took notice that all candidates have released statements condemning contractual labor but have done nothing concrete during their incumbency at the respective posts to prevent the systemic onslaught of workers even after the Kentex fire in Valenzuela City last year.

Ami cited that among the presidentiables only Miriam Defensor Santiago filed a resolution before the Senate to conduct an inquiry on the alleged promotion of contractual employment by the labor department in its Department Order 18-A two days after the Kentex tragedy.

“With media hounding these politicians everyday and dissecting their every statement, candidates may speak all they want about the evils of contractualization but are only negating each other. Worse, words without actions particularly during the campaign period will only reinforce their Trapo (traditional politician) image”.

UPAC leaders also took a swipe at candidates who have long been in government service but only recently have taken a position against contractualization and have the gall to ask the ranks organized labor for its votes when they have done nothing during their incumbency.

“With only more than three weeks into the campaign, it will be crucial for all presidentiables to take up our challenge and prove their sincerity and worth to the electorate by regularizing their employees, divest from companies who employ contractual, disengage from their financiers who employ thousands of temps in their workforce as well as endorse local candidates known to be in the business of sub-contracting labor.”

The group likewise announced that they are willing to support any candidate who takes up on their challenge. .

Ami clarified that “organized labor even with its dwindling numbers is a crucial voting bloc and can effectively influence the electoral results since the top bets are statistically tied, based on recent surveys.”

UPAC also announced that they shall be holding a rally at the DOLE office of Monday next week to denounce the department’s circumvention of labor laws and PNoy’s and Labor Secretary’s rabid anti-workers stint for the past six years.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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