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

CAMPAIGN ENDS

MIRIAM: I WILL NEVER QUIT
[RELATED: Security forces on alert ahead of tense PH elections]


MAY 8 -Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago rejected yesterday the call of President Aquino to unite against survey forerunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, saying she will never withdraw her candidacy. On the last day of the campaign, the lawmaker reiterated that she would end the electoral race at the voting precinct tomorrow. “I have said it before, and I will say it again: I will never quit, I will never stop, I will never withdraw. I owe it to the Filipino people who believe in my leadership and who yearn for long-overdue reforms,” Santiago said. She criticized the alleged conspiracies to keep her scores low in popularity polls, describing it as mind-conditioning tools that are aimed at discouraging her contributors, “effectively depriving me of campaign funds.” Santiago, who earlier admitted to having lung cancer, also denounced black propaganda about her health as she revealed that some camps have urged her to withdraw in exchange for up to P350 million in reimbursements for campaign expenses. Her runningmate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sees victory at the end as as he maintained high survey scores and received the endorsements of the Iglesia ni Cristo church and the Catholic group El Shaddai. READ MORE...RELATED, Security forces on alert ahead of tense PH elections...

ALSO: Binay ends campaign in bailiwick
[RELATED: Comelec 100% ready for third automated nat’l elections]


MAY 8 -Vice President Jejomar Binay MANILA, Philippines – On the last day of the campaign, Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday returned to the city where his political career began three decades ago.
Binay, his runningmate Sen. Gregorio Honasan II and the rest of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) slate last night held their miting de avance in Makati City where the Vice President served as mayor for 21 years.
UNA senatorial bets as well as local candidates led by mayoralty bet Rep. Abigail Binay joined the Vice President as he capped off the 90-day campaign period for national posts. Except when he joined his daughter during the proclamation rally on March 28, the opposition presidential bet steered away from campaigning in his bailiwick, which is currently headed by the ruling Liberal Party (LP). Binay’s son, former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, was dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman over graft allegations in connection with construction of the P2.2-billion Makati City Hall parking building. Abigail, who is on her third term as congresswoman, will try to wrest back the city hall from LP bet acting mayor Kid Peña. READ MORE...RELATED, Comelec 100% ready for third automated nat’l elections...

ALSO: Luneta turns red for Digong
[RELATED: Today, PH picks next President]


MAY 8 -Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte MANILA, Philippines – The grounds of the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park in Manila turned red yesterday with an estimated half a million red-shirted supporters of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gathered at the miting de avance last night.
The gathering, hosted by singer Jimmy Bondoc, started with a prayer at past 4 p.m. Entertainers then took the stage with singer Aiza Seguerra rousing the crowd with a song about change. Next on stage to speak was Jose David Lapuz, who was Duterte’s political science professor at the Lyceum of the Philippines. Lapuz told the crowd that Duterte as a student showed he had the guts to do whatever it takes.
“I am happy that one of my students will become the president on Monday,” Lapuz told the cheering crowd shouting “Duterte, Duterte.” Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name, spoke about supporting Duterte, saying he is a good friend and nobody can stop him from donating and gifting Duterte millions in cash for his campaign. Later, vice presidential candidate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano spoke about the virtues of Duterte and reforms in the government. Singer Freddie Aguilar entertained the crowd, singing about change. – With Robertzon Ramirez FULL REPORT.RELATED, PH picks next President...

ALSO: ‘Make me your next president’
[RELATED: 2016 bets end campaign in miting de avance]


MAY 8 -Sen. Grace Poe MANILA, Philippines – Supporters, friends and the family of presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe filled the historic Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila during the miting de avance of the Partido Galing at Puso last night.
Poe’s husband Neil Llamanzares remains optimistic that his wife will win the elections. “We’re gonna make it,” Llamanzares said in an interview before the event started at around 5 p.m.
Llamanzares was unfazed by attacks on his US citizenship in a bid to derail his wife’s presidential bid. He said all the criticism and struggles their family went through during the campaign were all worth it. “It was long and grueling but it was all worth it. For the chance for Grace to serve so many people, it was all worth it,” he said. Llamanzares has decided to renounce his American citizenship following a black propaganda by Poe’s detractors. Llamanzares also received flak after he was accused of being a US spy, which Poe had denied. Poe’s daughter Hanna said she was excited for the elections. Asked if she is worried about the upcoming elections, Hanna said, “Of course not, I have so much faith in my mom.” Poe’s family and relatives attended the miting de avance, which capped the 90-day campaign period. READ MORE...RELATED, 2016 bets end campaign in miting de avance...

ALSO: World is watching, choose Mar-Leni’
[RELATED: Noy gov’t ready for smooth transition to next admin]


MAY 8 -Manuel Roxas II 
The world’s eyes are on us. Malacañang reminded Filipinos that the world will be watching tomorrow’s elections and they must not fall for promises of peace and progress through a strongman rule, but rather go for Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet Manuel Roxas II and vice presidential bet Leni Robredo.
“Once, we successfully overthrew a dictator that had promised us peace, order and a new society, but instead gave us oppression, violence and reason to fear our own government,” Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said over dzRB yesterday. “Today, we see these same promises being dangled before us by those who would seek to cast aside our hopes and instead take advantage of our fears,” he added. The Palace issued the statement as the latest surveys show the tough-talking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte leading the presidential race. Duterte is still the frontrunner despite the flak he drew for cursing at Pope Francis, the joke about the rape of an Australian missionary and pronouncements that he would kill criminals and abolish Congress if it does support his programs. The Palace called on voters to vote wisely, saying their choice of leader would shape the future of the country. Quezon noted that Filipinos must also use their minds and hearts in deciding who to vote for because it would affect everyone, especially the children’s future. “The fight is far from over. In fact, it has only just begun. Long after the election clamor has died down, the quiet work of governance will continue, and it is up to us to choose who will lead us during this next chapter of our history,” Quezon said. “Who can we trust to uphold the rule of law? Who do we want to represent us and speak for us in the international community and its platforms? Everything we have worked so hard to achieve is at stake,” he added. President Aquino earlier noted that it is imperative that the people align their votes with the vision for the country. “Do we want a leader who represents the best in us – a nation of decent, hardworking individuals – or do we want one whose popularity is fuelled by fear, hate, ignorance and disrespect for the law?” Aquino said. “Whomever we choose, it is certain that nothing will ever be the same again. But whether for good or bad is something we must individually decide. During these last two days before the elections, let us ask ourselves if our candidate is truly the best we Filipinos can offer,” he added. Quezon said by working together, the country already achieved so much these past six years. READ MORE...RELATED, Noy gov’t ready for smooth transition to next admin...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Miriam: I will never quit


MAY 8 -Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago

MANILA, MAY 9, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Pia Lee-Brago  May 8, 2016 - Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago rejected yesterday the call of President Aquino to unite against survey forerunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, saying she will never withdraw her candidacy.

On the last day of the campaign, the lawmaker reiterated that she would end the electoral race at the voting precinct tomorrow.

“I have said it before, and I will say it again: I will never quit, I will never stop, I will never withdraw. I owe it to the Filipino people who believe in my leadership and who yearn for long-overdue reforms,” Santiago said.

She criticized the alleged conspiracies to keep her scores low in popularity polls, describing it as mind-conditioning tools that are aimed at discouraging her contributors, “effectively depriving me of campaign funds.”

Santiago, who earlier admitted to having lung cancer, also denounced black propaganda about her health as she revealed that some camps have urged her to withdraw in exchange for up to P350 million in reimbursements for campaign expenses.

Her runningmate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sees victory at the end as as he maintained high survey scores and received the endorsements of the Iglesia ni Cristo church and the Catholic group El Shaddai.

READ MORE...

“Desperation is showing, these are all desperate attempts to try and salvage somehow the candidacy of the administration candidates,” Marcos said of the ‘unity call’ of President Aquino.

He added that the call only validates his warning about a “Plan B” to be executed by the Aquino administration.

Marcos earlier warned that the administration would manipulate survey results to mislead people into believing that its bets are closing in on the poll forerunners.

He said this could be a ploy to mask the efforts to rig the election results to ensure the win of administration candidates.

“This is the reason why every voter must take active steps to ensure his vote is counted and reflected accurately in the election results,” Marcos said.

He has already filed a complaint with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to question the discrepancies in the votes cast and votes counted, citing a number of incidents abroad where the votes for him were counted for other vice presidential candidates. – With Perseus Echeminada, Rainier Allan Ronda

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Security forces on alert ahead of tense PH elections by AFP May 8, 2016 (updated) Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share17


(MB Photo) A member of the Philippine Marines and Philippine National Police, do roudns as they ensure security in the polling percents where vote counting machines are stored at Payatas B Elementary School in Quezon City, May 6, 2016. The AFP and the PNP is under the joint security that ensures peace and order in polling centers. It includes peace and order and security concerns as well as the activation of Joint Security Control Center (JSCC), conduct of internal security and counter-terrorism operations, Establishment of Joint COMELEC-AFP-PNP checkpoints, and organization of Joint Task Group dedicated to dismantle identified Private Armed Groups (PAGs). (MArk Balmores) (MB Photo)

A member of the Philippine Marines and Philippine National Police, do roudns as they ensure security in the polling percents where vote counting machines are stored at Payatas B Elementary School in Quezon City, May 6, 2016. The AFP and the PNP is under the joint security that ensures peace and order in polling centers. It includes peace and order and security concerns as well as the activation of Joint Security Control Center (JSCC), conduct of internal security and counter-terrorism operations, Establishment of Joint COMELEC-AFP-PNP checkpoints, and organization of Joint Task Group dedicated to dismantle identified Private Armed Groups (PAGs). (MArk Balmores) Manila, Philippines – Tens of thousands of security forces fanned out across the Philippines Sunday on the eve of national polls, following a bitter and deadly election campaign plagued by rampant vote-buying and intimidation.

Elections are a traditionally volatile time in a nation infamous for lax gun laws and a violent political culture, and they have been inflamed again this year by allegations of massive corruption from the local village to presidential level.

“Vote-buying is everywhere,” Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Luie Guia told reporters.

“We are receiving reports that everything is being used to buy votes, not only money. It could be (plastic) basins, groceries.”

Such small gifts are an effective, if illegal, way for politicians to win support in a nation where roughly one quarter of its 100 million people live below the poverty line.

To try to check vote buying, the election commission has banned mobile phones in polling places. This is so people cannot photograph their ballots to prove tovote-buyers that they cast their ballots for the right candidates.

At the national level, presidential and vice presidential rivals are also accusing each other of trying to rig the elections.

President Benigno Aquino, who is limited by the constitution to a single term of six years, has warned the favourite to succeed him, Rodrigo Duterte, is a dictator in the making and will bring terror to the nation.

Duterte, mayor of the southern city of Davao, has in turn accused Aquino’s administration of planning “massive cheating” to ensure that his preferred successor, former interior secretary Mar Roxas, wins.

Followers of Duterte, who has admitted links to vigilante death squads in Davao that rights groups say have killed more than 1,000 people, have warned of a “revolution” if he loses.


Filipinos cross a road ahead of the presidential and vice presidential elections in Tondo, Manila on May 8, 2016. Philippine presidential favourite Rodrigo Duterte vowed to forget human rights if he wins the May 9 election and "butcher" criminals, in a typically savage tirade to end an explosive campaign. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

 Filipinos cross a road ahead of the presidential and vice presidential elections in Tondo, Manila on May 8, 2016. Philippine presidential favourite Rodrigo Duterte vowed to forget human rights if he wins the May 9 election and “butcher” criminals, in a typically savage tirade to end an explosive campaign. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN Meanwhile, at least 15 people have died in election-related violence, according to national police statistics.

In the latest suspected case, a grenade blast killed a nine-year-old girl behind the house of a powerful political warlord in the strife-torn province of Maguindanao late on Saturday, said Chief Inspector Jonathan del Rosario.

The girl’s death has not yet been included in the tally, although it likely will be, according to del Rosario, spokesman for a police election-monitoring taskforce in Manila.

“This looks like it is election-related but we have a process we have to follow,” he told AFP.

Del Rosario said 90 percent of the nation’s police force, or about 135,000 officers, were already on election-related duty and had been authorised to carry their assault rifles. He said they were guarding polling and canvassing places and manning road checkpoints.


PHILSTAR

Binay ends campaign in bailiwick By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 8, 2016 - 12:00am 2 0 googleplus0 0


Vice President Jejomar Binay MANILA, Philippines – On the last day of the campaign, Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday returned to the city where his political career began three decades ago.

Binay, his runningmate Sen. Gregorio Honasan II and the rest of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) slate last night held their miting de avance in Makati City where the Vice President served as mayor for 21 years.

UNA senatorial bets as well as local candidates led by mayoralty bet Rep. Abigail Binay joined the Vice President as he capped off the 90-day campaign period for national posts.

Except when he joined his daughter during the proclamation rally on March 28, the opposition presidential bet steered away from campaigning in his bailiwick, which is currently headed by the ruling Liberal Party (LP).

Binay’s son, former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, was dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman over graft allegations in connection with construction of the P2.2-billion Makati City Hall parking building.

Abigail, who is on her third term as congresswoman, will try to wrest back the city hall from LP bet acting mayor Kid Peña.

READ MORE...

The Vice President, whose campaign platform is primarily focused on alleviating poverty, runs on the promise to replicate what he did in Makati in the rest of the country.

According to UNA, Binay chose to hold his miting de avance in Makati where he was able to successfully implement pro-poor programs and improve the lives of his constituents.

“Binay built his platform of governance upon the achievements of Makati under his leadership and has vowed to replicate what he has done for the city for the entire nation once he becomes president,” said the opposition party.

“As president, Binay vows to push for the availability of basic services, benefits and pro-poor programs, just as he has done as mayor of Makati and as Vice President of the Philippines. He stands for a government that promises to be competent, caring, healing and unifying,” it added.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Comelec 100% ready for third automated nat’l elections by Philippines News Agency May 8, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share15


COMELEC (MB File Photo)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is 100-percent ready to conduct the third automated national elections in the country on Monday (May 9, 2016).

According to Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez they are very much prepared to hold a more transparent polls.

“Mas handa ang Comelec ngayon kesa sa ibang halalan ang sabi nga ng chairman (Juan Andres Bautista) namin ang kanyang pangako na ito ang magiging pinakatransparent na halalan sa kasaysayan ng Comelec and very importantly we feel that on Election Day we wil be 100 percent ready to conduct the elections,” he said in an interview at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), which is the venue of the Comelec headquarters for the 2016 polls.

“So far no hitches,” Jimenez added.

He noted that the Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) of the 92,509 units of vote counting machines (VCMs) to be used in the forthcoming polls.

“FTS have been clean across the board. There have been some issues regarding late arrivals etc. but mukha matatapos natin siya within the allotted time which is today. So wala tayo major discrepancies,” he said.

The FTS involves the end-to-end test of the process, from the initialization of the machines, to the voting of 10 people, to the feeding of the accomplished ballots to the VCMs, and until the printing of election returns (ERs).

With this, the poll body official said they expect voters turnout of 75-80 percent of more than 54 million registered voters.

“We are looking at 75 to 80 percent voters participation during Monday’s polls,” he added.

Jimenez also issued last minute reminders to all the voters including to prepare a list of the candidates they will be supporting to make their voting process faster and convenient, make sure that they do not over vote or their votes will not be counted and make sure they fill up properly the ballot.

“We encourage everyone to prepare a list of the people they want to vote kasi mapapabilis ang proseso para sa mga botante. Pangalawa make sure na tama ang pagshade sa balota. Ok mag-abstain, mag undervote pero hindi okay mag-overvote. And the third make sure that you only fill up the ballot properly use the physical paper properly also which means huwag punitin, huwag basain, huwag tupiin at huwag gumamit ng kahit anong panulat malaban doon sa official marker,” he explained.

Five candidates are eyeing the presidency which include Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and former Interior Secretary Manr Roxas II.

There are six candidates for vice president while 50 candidates are running for 12 posts in the Senate; 115 candidates for 59 partylist seats.

For the House of Representatives there are a total of 634 candidates vying for 238 seats; 275 candidates for 81 gubernatorial posts and 206 candidates for 81 vice gubernatorial posts.

There are a total of 1,813 candidates for 776 seats in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan; 4, 159 candidates for 1,634 mayoral seats; 3,795 candiates for 1,634 vice mayoral seats; 33, 737 candidates for 13,540 seats for Sangguniang Panglungsod/Pambayan; 4 candidates for the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; 4 candidates for vice governor of ARMM; 68 candidates are fighting for 24 seats for the ARMM Regional Assembly.

Under the Philippine Constitution’s Article IX-C, Section 2, the Comelec is in charge of conducting elections in the Philippines. Comelec enforces all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election.

A few days before the elections, Bautista said that “credible elections should not only be honest, but also perceived to be honest by the majority of the citizenry.”

Over 92,000 Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) and election paraphernalia have been delivered by technology provider Smartmatic before May 9. Hardware Acceptance Tests, Pre-election Logical Accuracy Tests, local and independent source code reviews were completed.

On Election Day, Comelec’s Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) and Election Officers will be operating the VCMs in the polling centers. Canvassing and consolidation of votes will be conducted by the Board of Canvassers in each municipality, city, district and province. For senators and party-lists, Comelec will act as the National Board of Canvassers.

Meanwhile, Congress and Senate will act as the National Board of Canvassers to consolidate the country-wide votes and proclaim the winners for President and Vice-President.

To ensure that technical incidents are addressed immediately during Election Day, Smartmatic will provide support through its National Technical Support Center (NTSC)—a call center set up to guide and assist BEIs in handling and solving technical incidents with the VCMs and the CCS.


PHILSTAR

Luneta turns red for Digong By Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 8, 2016 - 12:00am 1 7 googleplus0 0


Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte MANILA, Philippines – The grounds of the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park in Manila turned red yesterday with an estimated half a million red-shirted supporters of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gathered at the miting de avance last night.

The gathering, hosted by singer Jimmy Bondoc, started with a prayer at past 4 p.m. Entertainers then took the stage with singer Aiza Seguerra rousing the crowd with a song about change.

Next on stage to speak was Jose David Lapuz, who was Duterte’s political science professor at the Lyceum of the Philippines.

Lapuz told the crowd that Duterte as a student showed he had the guts to do whatever it takes.

“I am happy that one of my students will become the president on Monday,” Lapuz told the cheering crowd shouting “Duterte, Duterte.”

Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name, spoke about supporting Duterte, saying he is a good friend and nobody can stop him from donating and gifting Duterte millions in cash for his campaign.

Later, vice presidential candidate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano spoke about the virtues of Duterte and reforms in the government.

Singer Freddie Aguilar entertained the crowd, singing about change. – With Robertzon Ramirez

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

PH picks next President May 8, 2016 10:26 pm by WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL, REPORTER

ALL roads lead to the polling centers today as the country’s more than 54 million registered voters cast their ballots to elect the 16th President of the Republic.
Voters will also choose the rest of the other national and local leaders who will run the government for the next three to six years.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Sunday said all preparations to ensure a clean, honest, peaceful and credible elections are all in place, including contingency measures for any unexpected problems that may arise.

“As far as the Comelec is concerned, we are 100 percent ready. It’s all systems go. All counting machines and corresponding ballots have been deployed,” Bautista added. He added, however, that some kinks or glitches could still crop up along the way.

Malacanang on Sunday also said it’s all systems go for the May 9 elections as the Comelec, military and police organizations stand ready to ensure the safe and peaceful conduct of the polls.

In an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the entire government is well-prepared for “peaceful and honest elections” amid reports that the Aquino administration is plotting to “steal” the results of the voting in favor of Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.

“In the aspect of security, the joint forces of the Armed Forces and the national police with the help of the [Comelec] are solidly behind the peaceful and safe conduct of the elections,” Coloma added.

“The DepEd [Department of Education] has ensured that all schools that will be used as polling centers are prepared and the teachers who will act as Board of Election Inspectors [BEIs] under the supervision of the Comelec are equally ready,” he said.

The Palace official allayed fears of a massive brownout, saying the Department of Energy has been coordinating with power sector providers to ensure a steady supply of electricity nationwide.

“We are one with citizen’s watchdog groups and other volunteer stakeholders who dedicate their time to help the Comelec,” Coloma said.

He noted that it is important to safeguard the integrity of the polls by working together to fulfill the responsibility of electing the country’s next leaders.

Coloma said even the international community is eagerly awaiting results of the elections, adding that the people should show determination to preserve democracy and good governance.

He said the outgoing government is prepared for the smooth transition to the next administration, assuring orderly turnover of systems and documents to the incoming government.

Mistakes corrected

In vouching for their preparedness for Election Day, Bautista said the Comelec has carefully studied and corrected its mistakes in past polls.

They expect a 75 to 80 percent turnout among the 53,786,223 total registered voters, or 600 voters out of 800 for every clustered precinct, the poll body chief added.

Records show a 77.31 percent turnout during the 2013 mid-term elections, and 74.98 percent in 2010 when the Automated Election Law was first implemented.
For 2016, the Comelec has also increased the total number of clustered precincts to 92,509 with 800 voters assigned per precinct, an improvement from the 2013 mid-term polls of 77,829 clustered precincts with 1,000 voters per precinct.

The Comelec en banc has adjusted the voting hours from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. to encourage early voting and instill discipline among voters, and to allow as well the BEIs to finish their work earlier to include the transmission of election results.

Priority lanes are also provided for persons with disability (PWD), senior citizens and pregnant women, including day care centers where mothers can leave their children while they vote.

There would be health and legal assistance desks in every polling area.

Bautista assured the public, though, that all other safeguards and rules prior to the closing of the voting hours will remain.

“We will follow the rules. After 4:30 p.m., if you are within 30 meters from the polling precincts, you will be allowed to vote, you will be given numbers,” Bautista added.

“It’s the same rule [adopted] in the 2010 and 2013 elections,” he said.

Bautista added that the Comelec may extend the voting hours depending on the situation on the ground, with factors such as a heavy turnout of voters or any breakdown in the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) to be considered.

The Comelec, he said, has extra VCMs ready if some of the machines would malfunction, as well as extra generator sets in case of brownouts in some areas.
Declaration of faith

BISHOPS CALL

Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle also on Sunday reiterated his call to the faithful to go out and vote, pointing out that part of such responsibility is “to be discerning and analytical of the candidates.”

A similar call was also made by the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, warning voters against candidates who are morally and politically unstable.

“The Catholic Church has never asked any political candidate to seek its endorsement but the Catholic Church has always demanded of Catholic voters that they cast their votes as an act not only of citizenship but also as a public declaration of faith. We ask this most earnestly of all of you, Catholic brothers and sisters, in the forthcoming elections,” Villegas said.

The Catholic Church, according to Villegas, is apolitical but it is part of its mission to “pass moral judgments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it.”

However, he assured the public that the CBCP would support “whoever wins honestly,” saying the bishops’ group would do everything so that the people, up to the remotest barangay (village), would rally around a just and God-fearing government that visits no vengeance on foes but is characterized by mercy and compassion for all, not only for allies.

WORKERS UNION

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the country’s biggest labor organization, also called on Filipinos to vote for leaders who they think can address massive problems on poverty, contractualization, lack of job opportunities, poor wages, worsening crime situation and inadequate government service.

“The Filipino people have been confined in a very harsh wilderness due to past leaderships’ failures. They will select among the candidates they think a savior who can, at least, reduce the pain of their afflictions caused by irregular jobs, measly wages, rising criminalities, joblessness and inadequate government service,” TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay said also on Sunday.

Three presidential candidates, former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay signed a contract with a coalition of labor federations and workers’ organizations calling for the repeal of the notorious and rampant contractual work scheme in the country.

The groups said regardless of who among Roxas, Poe and Binay wins, the minority President has a binding agreement with majority of Filipino workers to ensure that he or she would live up to his or her promise to end contractualization.

It was also noted that that presidential frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s failure to sign the document “puts into question his sincerity in fighting contractualization.”

Also known as “endo” (end of contract) or “5-5-5” jobs, this contractual work arrangement is characterized by hiring employees for only five months without security of tenure, paid with unlawful wages and without social protection benefits and privileges compared to what regular workers receive.

A total of 18,069 positions are up for grabs in the elections: President, Vice President, 12 senators, 58-party-list representatives, 235 district congressmen, 81 governors, 81 vice governors, 772 members of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan, 144 city mayors, 144 city vice mayors, 1,610 city councilors, 1,490 municipal mayors, 1,490 vice mayors, 11,924 municipal councilors and a governor and a vice governor for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and 24 ARMM assemblymen.
WITH JOEL M. SY EGCO


PHILSTAR

‘Make me your next president’ By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 8, 2016 - 12:00am 1 6 googleplus0 0


Sen. Grace Poe MANILA, Philippines – Supporters, friends and the family of presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe filled the historic Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila during the miting de avance of the Partido Galing at Puso last night.

Poe’s husband Neil Llamanzares remains optimistic that his wife will win the elections.

“We’re gonna make it,” Llamanzares said in an interview before the event started at around 5 p.m.

Llamanzares was unfazed by attacks on his US citizenship in a bid to derail his wife’s presidential bid.

He said all the criticism and struggles their family went through during the campaign were all worth it.

“It was long and grueling but it was all worth it. For the chance for Grace to serve so many people, it was all worth it,” he said.

Llamanzares has decided to renounce his American citizenship following a black propaganda by Poe’s detractors. Llamanzares also received flak after he was accused of being a US spy, which Poe had denied.

Poe’s daughter Hanna said she was excited for the elections.

Asked if she is worried about the upcoming elections, Hanna said,

“Of course not, I have so much faith in my mom.”

Poe’s family and relatives attended the miting de avance, which capped the 90-day campaign period.

READ MORE...

Poe’s mother Susan Roces and her half sister actress Lovi Poe were also present during the event.

Cebu Rep. Joseph “Ace” Durano said the decision to hold the miting de avance in Plaza Miranda came from Poe herself, who wanted to start and end her campaign beside the Quiapo Church.

Poe to vote in San Juan Poe will cast her vote tomorrow at the Sta. Lucia Elementary School in San Juan. Her precinct number is 0349A.

Poe turned down the last ditch effort by the administration, led by President Aquino and Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II, to salvage a victory by seeking a unity dialogue.

Poe reiterated that she would not back out from the presidential race, saying doing so would be a betrayal to the people who support and trust her.

Following a campaign in Urdaneta, Pangsinan and a visit at the Our Lady of Manaog, Poe proceeded to Plaza Miranda where her proclamation rally was held.

During the rally, reelectionist Sen. Vicente Sotto III urged the people to choose Poe to ensure the future of the country.


Poe,Final campaugn at  miting de avance at Plaza Miranda

Emotional Grace Poe turned emotional when she asked Pangasinenses for their support and help make her the country’s second president from Pangasinan during a campaign rally yesterday.

“Please give me a chance to serve not only you, my dear provincemates, but all the Filipinos,” Poe told the crowd.

Poe thanked them for supporting her late father, movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., when he ran but lost in the 2004 presidential elections.

Pangasinan is the third vote rich province in the country, with around 1.4 million registered voters.

Poe said it felt like a homecoming when she campaigned in Pangasinan eight times.

FPJ’s father was from Barangay Caoayan Kiling in San Carlos City.

The senator cried when she saw children eagerly wanting to see her and shook their hands as she was delivering her speech.

Poe said she wanted to give the children a better future, enough food, quality education and good health.

Let people, not elite, choose – Chiz The choice of the country’s next leader should be left to the Filipino voters and not just the elite, according to Poe’s runningmate, Sen. Francis Escudero.

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ENDIING WHERE IT BEGABN

Escudero said in a democracy, the electorate should be allowed to choose its leaders.

“The election should be decided by the people and their conscience,” he added.

On election day, Escudero said all Filipinos are equal as they troop to the polling precincts.

“We are all equal with one vote each even if you are a president or a senator, tricycle or jeepney driver,” he said.

Escudero made the statement amid attempts by the administration to convince Poe to withdraw from the presidential race in favor of Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II.

Escudero shot down Roxas’ call for Poe to quit the race in a bid to stop Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte from winning the elections on grounds that he could become a dictator and impose martial law.

Escudero insisted that he would not allow the country’s elite, including influential businessmen and politicians, to continue to dictate the course of election in the Philippines.

Escudero, who is running under the Gobyernong may Puso platforms of rapid and inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, transparency and global competitiveness, urged the electorate to use their vote as an important precursor for change.

“Tomorrow’s election gives the people the opportunity to send a clear message to those in government that they demand a much better government that is willing to listen and address the needs of every Filipino,” he said.

“We are urging the people to vote wisely and be an advocate for change, which we as a nation want and deserve,” he added. – With Eva Visperas, Marvin Sy

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2016 bets end campaign in miting de avance Written by Ed Velasco Sunday, 08 May 2016 00:00



Thousands of candidates for the election tomorrow have held their final hurrah yesterday via miting de avance or final ralliers in their own turfs led by the presidentiables who all held their final campaign hurrah in different places in Metro Manila.

Observers said traditionally, miting de avance is the candidates final push for their candidacy. “In this scenario, the challengers are in better position because they can promise anything which the incumbent cannot do,” said Renato Diaz, a former two-term congressman of Nueva Ecija’s first district.

Miting de avances of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Grace Poe and Mar Roxas were all scheduled yesterday.

Binay’s miting de avance was slated in his bailiwick in Makati City while Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was at Rizal Park in front of the Quirino Grandstand. The final rally of Sen. Grace Poe was scheduled at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo while Mar Roxas was at the Quezon City Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

In Batangas, a three-hour traffic was witnessed yesterday from the town of Sto. Tomas to San Pablo City in Laguna due to numerous miting de avance of candidates running in different positions.

Observers said in this final campaign money usually pour in — literally — as the hakot (paying crowd to attend the event) trend is the most common way for most candidates to show force.

“The payment is usually in two stages, the downpayment that is given when they go to the event then the second payment after the event,” said Ailene, who was part of former Caloocan City Mayor Reynaldo Malonzo campaign team.

In Masbate, the four candidates running for governor have conducted their last campaign in their own places.

“In places where there are private armed groups, miting de avance is not usually held because of the threat in candidates’ life,” said Dante Bravo, whose brother, Narciso, is one of the candidates for governor of Masbate.

Bravo said in most cases, the candidates make the final campaign as entertaining as they can to make the campaigning light and not full of promises. “Usually there is singing, dancing and the candidates take part in the festivities,” Bravo added.

Narciso is running against incumbent Gov. Rizalina Llanete, former Gov. Antonio Kho and Mercy Cabiles. Narciso is the mayor of San Fernando, Masbate. The town has 20 municipalities and one city.

One recent fatality in miting de avance was Rey Uy, mayoral candidate of Calbayog City in Samar. Uy was shot and killed during his final campaign rally two days before the 2010 elections.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama launched an early miting de avance last Friday in the north and south district of the city.


PHILSTAR

World is watching, choose Mar-Leni’ By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 8, 2016 - 12:00am 0 59 googleplus0 0


Manuel Roxas II

 MANILA, Philippines – The world’s eyes are on us.

Malacañang reminded Filipinos that the world will be watching tomorrow’s elections and they must not fall for promises of peace and progress through a strongman rule, but rather go for Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet Manuel Roxas II and vice presidential bet Leni Robredo.

“Once, we successfully overthrew a dictator that had promised us peace, order and a new society, but instead gave us oppression, violence and reason to fear our own government,” Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said over dzRB yesterday.

“Today, we see these same promises being dangled before us by those who would seek to cast aside our hopes and instead take advantage of our fears,” he added.

The Palace issued the statement as the latest surveys show the tough-talking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte leading the presidential race.

Duterte is still the frontrunner despite the flak he drew for cursing at Pope Francis, the joke about the rape of an Australian missionary and pronouncements that he would kill criminals and abolish Congress if it does support his programs.

The Palace called on voters to vote wisely, saying their choice of leader would shape the future of the country.

Quezon noted that Filipinos must also use their minds and hearts in deciding who to vote for because it would affect everyone, especially the children’s future.

“The fight is far from over. In fact, it has only just begun. Long after the election clamor has died down, the quiet work of governance will continue, and it is up to us to choose who will lead us during this next chapter of our history,” Quezon said.

“Who can we trust to uphold the rule of law? Who do we want to represent us and speak for us in the international community and its platforms? Everything we have worked so hard to achieve is at stake,” he added.

President Aquino earlier noted that it is imperative that the people align their votes with the vision for the country.

“Do we want a leader who represents the best in us – a nation of decent, hardworking individuals – or do we want one whose popularity is fuelled by fear, hate, ignorance and disrespect for the law?” Aquino said.

“Whomever we choose, it is certain that nothing will ever be the same again. But whether for good or bad is something we must individually decide. During these last two days before the elections, let us ask ourselves if our candidate is truly the best we Filipinos can offer,” he added.

Quezon said by working together, the country already achieved so much these past six years.

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“Of course, much more remains to be done. But when has a quick fix ever worked? When has dictatorship ever worked? Now that the world’s eyes are on us, do we want them to see us vote for the kind of one-man rule we ousted only a generation ago?” he asked.

Quezon noted that there was a time when people feared the government, when they did not dare speak against those in power.

“Those days are long gone and we must unite as a people to ensure that they never return,” he said.

Quezon said nothing short of real and transformational change swept the country these past six years and the country’s progress has been acknowledged by numerous international organizations, as well as by fellow members in the community of nations.

“Concretely, we see this manifested in infrastructure projects and initiatives like the conditional cash transfer program, which has already lifted millions out of poverty. The data is encouraging: under the Aquino administration, we managed to boost our national economy and international reputation while also ensuring that the poorest Filipinos benefit from our advancement,” Quezon said.

“Just this week, the President inaugurated several projects that would directly improve the lives of our countrymen. It is clear: whether in Cagayan, Camarines Sur, Davao Oriental or any other province, this administration has continually sought to bring true government service to the people. Rather than settle for trickle-down economics, we actively pursued inclusive growth,” he added.

Quezon stressed that the vote tomorrow would be about the next generation and that Filipinos could not possibly go for someone who would disregard institutions, media, faith and good manners.

Leni to Bongbong: I’m not like you Meanwhile, Robredo dismissed vice presidential contender Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ claim that LP has a “Plan B” where she will work for the impeachment of Duterte if both of them are elected.

Marcos said the LP is working to ensure Robredo’s victory as Roxas has only a small chance of defeating Duterte.

“I’m not like you,” Robredo said in response to Marcos’ allegation.

“Actually, there is a big chance that he’ll (Marcos) attempt to take control of our government. He’s a senator while his mother is a congresswoman, his sister is a governor and he has nephews who are also running – we’ve been fighting this kind of politics and he wants to be the next highest official of the land,” she added.

Robredo appealed to Marcos not to resort to “lies” and “mind-conditioning” and not to be bitter just because she’s now leading the surveys for vice president.

“I’ll never be part of any kind of cheating or subterfuge. I’ve always believed the will of the people should prevail,” Robredo said.

“Up to now, Sec. Roxas and I work hard and the LP is not just helping me but pushing for our tandem,” she added.

The administration’s Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid claimed that the latest SWS survey confirmed that Roxas is gaining momentum.

In the new SWS survey, Roxas got 20 percent, up from 19 percent in the last survey.

Duterte maintained his 33 percentage points. Sen. Grace Poe is at second with 22 percent, down from 24 percent. Roxas ranks third, followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay with 13 percent and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with 2 percent.

“The latest SWS survey, like all the recent surveys, confirmed what we always say: Mar has the momentum. Once again, only his numbers have gone up while those of his rivals went down or stayed the same,” coalition spokesman and Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez said.

“Mar’s continued rise shows how Filipinos are now rallying behind him in the fight against Duterte,” he added.

Gutierrez also urged those who are still undecided and who believe in democracy to support Roxas.

“To all Filipinos who believe in preserving democracy, who believe in upholding Filipino values, who believe in transparent and consultative leadership, switch to Mar. Together, we will win this fight,” he said.

Robredo said whoever would be elected president, she would give her 100 percent as this was part of the job of the vice president.

She also noted that running for vice president is a calling that she cannot simply ignore. If she wins, she would ensure that everything would be transparent in accordance with her good governance advocacy.

“I don’t want to be someone who enters the game with good intentions and then wakes up one day a different person,” she added. – With Paolo Romero, Alexis Romero

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Noy gov’t ready for smooth transition to next admin Written by PNA Monday, 09 May 2016 00:00



Malacañang yesterday has assured the smooth transition from the Aquino government to the next administration.

Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the smooth transition is expected because of good governance, which is the advocacy of the Aquino administration.

“Dahil sa masigasig na pagtatatag ng mabuting pamamahala o good governance, maisasalin ng Aquino administration sa hahaliling administrasyon ang isang pamahalaan na kung saan ay maayos ang mga sistema, patakaran at pamamaraan, kumpleto at hayag ang mga opisyal na datos at dokumento at laging handang maghatid ng mapagkalingang paglilingkod sa mga mamamayan,” explained Coloma during an interview over Radyo ng Bayan.

Coloma said coordination between the outgoing and incoming administrations is important to ensure a smooth transition.

“Noong palapit na ‘yung pagpalit ng administrasyon, siguro pagkatapos ito noong proklamasyon ng bagong Pangulo na idinaos sa Batasang Pambansa noong first week o lagpas lamang sa first week of June 2010 ay nagkaroon na ng mga ugnayan sa pagitan ng outgoing at incoming administration,” the Palace official recalled.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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